21 December, 2012

Pastry delights in Nairobi

If you ever happen to be in Nairobi there are some places you must visit for trying their lovely pastries, desserts and cakes.

Alexandre in Yaya Centre is one such place. My favorites there include the Strawberry Tart and Chocolate Eclair.

16 July, 2012

Thai Fried Rice - Karen Anand

Last year before I flew to Kenya, I bought Karen Anand's Simple Cooking for Smart Men. Over the weekend I browsed through the book and picked up a few dishes I want to try out. Here is my first take: Thai Fried Rice.

1½ cups Basmati Rice, cleaned, washed and soaked for 1 hour
6 cups Water
4 tbsp Vegetable oil
2 cloves Garlic, finely chopped
1 Medium-sized onion, finely chopped
3 tbsp Dried shrimp, soaked for 5 mins, drained (optional)
150 gm Cooked chicken, diced
4 tbsp Tomato ketchup
1 tsp Sugar
2 Eggs, lightly beaten
1 Tomato, diced
½ Capsicum, chopped
A pinch of salt
Fresh coriander leaves, to garnish

Microwave rice and water, covered, on HIGH for approximately 10 minutes, until slightly undercooked. Drain out excess water. Mix 2tbsp oil, garlic and onion in a large bowl. Microwave on HIGH for 3 minutes. Add dried shrimp, chicken, tomato ketchup, sugar and salt. Microwave covered on HIGH for 1 minute. Add rice. Stir. Beat egg with remaining oil. Stir into the rice with tomato and capsicum. Microwave on HIGH for a further 2 minutes. Remove. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves. 

My Version: 
I used rice which I had cooked the previous day. I skipped the meat and shrimp paste. Also I think it would be nice to add a few more veggies like mushrooms, baby corns and purple cabbage. The ratio of the ketchup to rice is very important since it otherwise tends to get a bit dry. To make it a bit spicy I put in a green chilly with the onions and garlic. You may also want to try adding a bit of red chili sauce. 

09 July, 2012

Breakfast: Gits Uttapam

With the wife away in India, there is complete experimenting happening in the kitchen space.

I like to do the challenging bit on Saturday nights or Sunday afternoons. This weekend I decided to treat myself to a breakfast.

What you see - Gits Uttapam, Coconut Chutney, Strawberries and a glass of TANG. The chutney of course was done by the wife and frozen before she left.

Breakfast - GITS Uttapam and Coconut Chutney

This is a picture of the second uttapam. The first one was much thicker and out of shape. I think what I am going to try the next time is to flatten it out evenly. Use maybe a steel bowl with a flat surface just like they do it professionally at the Udipi restaurants. 

Also the challenge of getting the chopped tomatoes and onions to evenly be embedded into the batter so that they would cook and not get burnt.

Good learning and here is to some more fun time in the kitchen.

07 July, 2012