Summer Curry with fresh Coconut and Cauliflower Rice

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Summer hasn’t been a proper summer yet here, there was a lot of rain recently and temperatures didn’t rise higher then +23 (only few times!), therefore our menu also wasn’t completely summery. Salads and cold soups were pushed aside and some comfort food, that is curry is back on the table, this time inspired by my last issue of OLIVE magazine.

GREEN BEANS & FRESH COCONUT CURRY

Ingredients:

1 onion

2 cloves garlic

1-2 green chillies, finely chopped

2-3 cm ginger, grated

oil/ghee

2 teaspoons mustard seeds

2 teaspoons ground cumin

3 teaspoons ground coriander

1 teaspoon turmeric

150 g fresh coconut, grated

1 tin/400ml coconut milk

400g fine green beans or runner beans (stringed and sliced)

rice  and poppadoms to serve

Method:

1. In a blender pulse together onion, gender, garlic, chilli with a little water until it forms a paste.

2. Heat oil/ghee on a pan, add mustards seeds, wait till they start to pop, add the rest of the spices, cook for 2 minutes. Add the onion paste and cook for another 5 minutes, followed by grated coconut and coconut milk, season well and simmer everything until the sauce thickens.

3. Add the beans, cover and cook for about 10 minutes, or until they are tender.

4. Serve with fluffy basmati rice and poppadoms or in my case with Cauliflower Rice.

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CAULIFLOWER RICE

I saw it once done by Jamie Oliver and this is a brilliant alternative to the usual rice.

All you have to do take 1 cauliflower head, separate it to the florets and cook it in salted water about 5-7 minutes or until it JUST tender and cooked, DO NOT overcook otherwise it will be bland and watery. After drain and pace it in a food processor, pulse couple times, adjust the seasoning and serve immediately.

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Middle Eastern Sweetmeat

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This last week I saw a post from my fellow blogger Aruna in which she shared a recipe from her fellow blogger about Revani – a traditional Turkish Semolina Cake. I was so excited to see it because it is one of my absolute favourite pudding recipes, although the version I know is called Basbousa (Egyptian version), introduced to me by my boyfriend. It differs from the Turkish version by not using eggs but has melted butter instead, however, I think they are VERY similar in their taste and appearance. Also, last night I met three friends of mine for our usual potluck and it was my turn to bring the pudding, and as Aruna’s post was still on my mind, I thought I had to re-visit the ‘classics’.
At the end it turned up to be a success among my friends and I was so pleased to have introduced them to this delicious dessert. As always there are so many variations to it: instead of lemon syrup, you can use orange flower or rose water, instead of almond – pistachios, pomegranate or strawberries on a side and for extra authentic taste, serve with a glass of sweet mint tea. 🙂

BASBOUSA

Ingredients:

125g butter

150g sugar

50g plain flour

150g semolina

75g grated fresh coconut

175ml milk

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

almonds or pistachios, to decorate

For the syrup:

100g sugar

150ml water

3 tablespoon lemon juice

Method:

1. First, to make a syrup, place the sugar, water and lemon juice in a pan, bring to the boil, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Lower the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes. Remove the syrup from the heat and let it cool completely, then chill in the refrigerator.

2. Preheat the oven to 180C. Melt the butter in a pan, add sugar, flour,semolina, coconut, milk, baking powder, vanilla and mix throughly.

3. Pour the mixture into a shallow cake tin, flatten with the spatula and bake for 30-35 minutes.

4. After removing the cake from the oven, let it cool a little, then cut it into diamond-shape pieces and pour the chilled syrup over the top. Place a piece of nut in the centre of each diamond-shaped slice.

P.S: When cooking the syrup, once the sugar has dissolved, do not stir the syrup while it is simmering. Keep the heat low so that the syrup thickens without changing colour.

Coconut Pie

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I had leftover short crust pastry that I’d used for the day before for another pie and I’ve also had a desire for something coconuty for a while, so I decided to combine these two together in a shape of Coconut pie. The result was very rewarding because not only I satisfied my cravings for the coconut, but this pie has also a very custardy flavour. So, if you are fan of custard and coconut, look no further then this recipe.

COCONUT PIE

Ingredients:

For the pastry:

225 g plain flour

100 g butter

80 g sugar

1 egg

Crumb together by hand the butter into the flour, add sugar, mix in the egg and few tablespoons of cold water or milk to form a soft dough.

For the pie filling:

50 g butter, melted

2 eggs

1 tablespoon plain flour

150 g sugar

200 g desiccated coconut (slightly toast in an oven before till it lightly golden)

225 ml milk

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 170C. In a large bowl, combine melted butter, eggs, flour, sugar, coconut and milk.

2. Pour mixture into prepared unbaked pie shell, carefully place it in an oven and bake for about 45-60 minutes or till it sets and spongy when you press it with your finger.

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