Monday, April 27, 2015

Basbousa / Semolina Cakes With Syrup

Basbousa is a delicious dessert, a sweet cake made with semolina flour, coconut and lemon flavored sugar syrup. Traditionally, it was cut in diamond shapes and decorated with almonds. The cake itself is not too sweet but it is soaked with sugar syrup. It is very easy to prepare and the best thing I like about it is that we can make it ahead and serve it as a no-fuss dessert. We can prepare the batter a day before and bake it just before the guest arrive.
 Basbousa is a pretty famous dessert recipe in the Middle East and Egypt. In Turkish this dessert is known as Revani.


Eggs: 3
Sugar: 1 cup
Yogurt: 1 cup
Oil: 1/2 cup
Semolina: 1 cup
All purpose flour: 1 cup
Grated coconut: 1/2 cup
Baking powder: 2 tsp
Vanilla essence: 2 tsp
Zest of an orange 
Almonds for garnishing 

For sugar syrup:-
Sugar: 2 cups 
Water: 1 1/2 cups
Lemon juice: 1 1/2 tbsp


Prepare syrup first. Dissolve sugar in water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil and add lemon juice. Reduce heat and allow to boil for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a baking dish.
In a mixing bowl add eggs and sugar and mix well. Add yogurt and oil to this and mix to combine. Swift flour with baking powder and add to the mixture. Combine all other ingredients ( semolina, grated coconut, vanilla essence and orange zest ) to this.
Pour mixture into the baking dish and smooth with a spoon. 
Refrigerate for 1-2 hours ( optional ).
Boil some water in a pan, soak almonds in it. Transfer into cold water and slip off the skin.
Take a butter knife and make diagonal lines, place an almond in the center of each diamond. Bake for 25 minutes.
Remove cake from oven and cut through the lines. Pour the syrup over cake until no more can be absorbed.

Allow to cool and serve!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Roasted cherry tomatoes, baby carrots & red bell pepper soup

I had a lot of cherry tomatoes here, a soup seemed like a good way to put these tomatoes into use. Found a recipe for Roasted cherry tomato and baby carrot on web and decided to make that. I made a few changes to the original recipe, including cutting it down to feed fewer people. 


Cherry tomatoes- 1 cup
Baby carrots- 5
Red bell pepper- 1/2 
Garlic cloves- 2, crushed lightly and skin peeled 
Olive oil- 1 tsp
Crushed pepper- to taste
Salt- to taste
Vegetable stock- 1-2 cups


Pre-heat oven at 250 deg. C for 10 minutes.
Wash, and towel-dry carrots, tomatoes and pepper. 

Line a baking tray with foil, and spread 1/2 tsp olive oil. Place the tomatoes, carrots, garlic cloves and pepper. Sprinkle some olive oil, salt and pepper.

Bake in center rack, reducing the temperature to 220 degrees for 30 minutes, till the tomatoes break into juice.

Cool and blend in a mixer to smooth consistency. Remove in a saucepan, and add vegetable stock to thin. Adjust salt, and pepper. 

Recipe adapted from

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Kappa Biriyani Recipe


To prepare beef masala:-

Beef: 1/2 kg
Garam masala: 1/2 tsp
Chilly powder: 2 tsp
Turmeric powder: 1/2 tsp
Pepper powder: 1/2 tsp
Coriander powder: 2 tsp
Garlic: 1 tbsp finely chopped 
Ginger: 1 tbsp finely chopped
Curry leaves: 2 stems
Salt to taste

To prepare  kappa:-

Kappa / tapioca: 1 kg, peeled and cut into medium cubes
Turmeric powder: 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste

 To prepare the Biriyani:-

Pearl onions (shallots): 15-20, thinly sliced or 1 medium onion, chopped
Green chillies: 2-3 
Turmeric powder: 1/4 tsp
Chilly powder: 1/2 tsp
Pepper powder: 3/4 tsp
Garam masala powder: 1 tsp
Curry leaves: 1-2 sprigs
Salt to taste
Coconut oil: 1-2 tbsp

For the seasoning:-

Coconut oil: 1-2 tsp
Pearl onions: 2-3, thinly sliced
Curry leaves: a few
Coconut: 1/4 cup 

Marinate the beef with all the ingredients listed for beef masala.
Pressure cook the marinated beef pieces adding 1/4 cup water for 3-4 whistles or until done. Set aside.
Cut the tapioca to small dices and cook in water by adding salt and turmeric powder. When done, switch off and drain the water completely.
Heat coconut oil in a pan and add the thinly sliced pearl onions and green chillies. When onion starts to turn brown, bring down the heat to low and add turmeric powder, chilly powder, pepper powder and garam masala. Saute for 8-10 seconds and add the prepared beef gravy.
Cook for 3-4 minutes until the gravy is thick and add the mashed tapioca and a few curry leaves. Mix well. Check for salt.
Meanwhile heat coconut oil in a small pan,  add curry leaves and sliced shallots. When shallots turn brown add grated coconut and fry till coconut turn brown. Pour this over the prepared kappa ( tapioca ) Biriyani and serve.