• Thursday, October 02, 2014

FOOD-0-GRAM

A different kind of breakfast

By Rukhsara Osman

Breakfast has never really been my favourite meal, but as it is said it is the most important of all meals. When I was in school I spent a good six months drinking a simple smoothie in the morning, filling and delicious. Best things about being abroad and staying at a hotel is the breakfast! Fluffy eggs, grilled sausages and tomatoes, different kinds of fruit… I could go on and on.

Pina-oat smoothie
Ingredients:
2 cups diced pineapple
1½ cups coconut milk
1 cup cold water
5.3 oz Greek yoghurt
3/4 cup oats (quick)
1 large very ripe banana peeled
Method:
Add all ingredients to a blender and process until smooth. Serve immediately.

Morning stuffed capsicums
Ingredients:
4 capsicums
2 cups of spinach
4 eggs
Method:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line the bottom of a baking dish with foil. Cut off the tops of the capsicums and remove the seeds. Turn the oven down to 240. Place the capsicums into the baking dish and bake for 15 minutes. Put the spinach in the microwave for 2 minutes, and squeeze out the moisture. Remove the capsicums from the oven and stuff the bottom ½ with the cooked spinach.
Crack one egg on the top half of the capsicum, sprinkle with salt, pinch of red pepper and cumin. You can leave the spice out if you want it more continental and sprinkle with black pepper.
Bake for 20 minutes in 220 degrees.

Yoghurt and bundia
Sour yoghurt is an amazing source of protein, and adding the tiny sweets makes it a perfect union of tang and sweetness. There is no cooking in this recipe. Making it perfect for a morning when you are already running late.
Ingredients:
½ cup plain yoghurt
½ cup bundia
½ banana, sliced

Handful of roasted peanuts
Method:
Layer all the ingredients together in a bowl or glass and serve.
Morning spice
Ingredients:
2¼ cups water
1 whole star anise
1 stick cinnamon
4 cardamom pods, cracked
4-5 black tea bags, or ¼ cup loose black tea
2 cups whole milk or half-n-half
¼ cup sugar
Method:
Press the cardamom pods until they crack. Bring the water, tea, star anise, cinnamon, and cardamom to a boil. Boil for 3-5 minutes until the tea is black and has reduced to about 2 cups. Strain and add the sugar. Add the milk and stir until hot. Place the used cardamom pods in the bottom of the cups.

Dum aloo
Ingredients:
5-6 medium potatoes or 12-15 baby potatoes
3 to 4 tbsp mustard oil
1 bay leaf
½ tsp Kashmiri red chilli powder
½ tsp coriander powder
½ tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp cumin powder
1 cup water
½ tsp sugar or as required
Salt as required
Grind the following to a semi fine paste --
2 medium onions
½ inch ginger
2-3 garlic cloves
Make a semi coarse puree of --
1 large tomato - approx 1 cup tomato puree
Powder or grind –
1½ to 2 inch cinnamon
3-4 cloves
Topping:
1 tsp ghee (optional)
Method:
Rinse the potatoes very well. If using baby potatoes, then remove the mud lodged in the peels with a soft brush. Parboil the potatoes in a steamer or pressure cooker.
When the potatoes are cooking, you do the following --
grind the onion, ginger and garlic in a grinder or blender. There is no need to add any water. Make a semi fine paste and not a smooth one. Chop tomatoes and pulse them in a blender till you get a puree which is not smooth but semi coarse. You can also finely chop the tomatoes. Grind clove and cinnamon in a dry grinder or coffee grinder to a fine powder.
Once the potatoes are parboiled/half cooked, let them cool, then remove the peels and dice them. For baby potatoes you can keep the peels and prick the potatoes with a fork, an optional step.
Sprinkle ¼ tsp turmeric powder on the potatoes and mix well. Heat the mustard oil in a pan. Fry the potatoes till light golden, drain and keep aside.
In the same oil, fry the bay leaf till fragrant for a few seconds. Add the onion-ginger-garlic paste. Saute  till oil starts to leave the mixture and till the paste becomes light brown. Add the tomato puree, the remaining ¼ tsp turmeric powder, red chilli powder, cumin powder, coriander powder, salt and sugar. Saute till oil begins to leave the onion-tomato masala paste. Then add the potatoes and stir till the masala coats the potatoes well.
Add 1 cup water along with the ground cinnamon and cloves powder. You can also add about ¼ tsp of garam masala powder instead of the cinnamon and cloves powder. If adding garam masala, then add it towards the end once the dish is cooked.
Simmer the dum aloo on a low flame till the water almost dries up and the gravy has coated the potatoes well. When serving add a teaspoon of ghee on the dum aloo. Serve Bengali dum aloo hot with luchis or pooris.

Ramen noodle frittata
Ingredients:
6 oz ramen noodles (chicken flavoured)
6 eggs
2 tsp butter
½ cup shredded cheese
Method:
Place noodles in a saucepan filled with boiling water, reserving the seasoning packet. Cook until tender, and drain. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and seasoning packets from the noodles. Mix in noodles.
Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the noodle mixture, and cook over medium-low heat until firm, 5 to 7 minutes. Cut into fourths, and turn over to brown the other side for 1 to 2 minutes. Sprinkle cheese over the top, and serve.

Published: 12:00 am Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Last modified: 4:29 pm Sunday, August 24, 2014

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