All posts by nasdatoo

Naryal Wara Gonja(Plantain Banana)

Plaintain, commonly referred to as gonja, are a popular delicacy in Uganda.
Plaintain is a member of the banana family.  It is starchy, low in sugar and can be cooked or roasted over fire.
Plaintain is a street food in Uganda.  It is cooked over open fire with the skin.  It is then spilt in the middle, sprinkled with salt, red chilli and lemon. The skin is your plate.
It can be boiled with the skin, you peel it and eat it.
My Mum often fried and served it.  She also made gonja fritters or Naryal Vara Gonja(Gonja cooked in coconut milk) and served as a dessert.
Gonja is very popular in the Caribbean, it is fried and served as a side.
Fried gonja and fritters were a popular afternoon snack with a cup of tea.
You have to store the gonja in a dark warm place to ripen them.    They have to be soft before you use them.

Naryal-Wara-Gonja.jpgPlantain BananaPlantain BananaInstructions

  • 2             ripe plaintain bananas
  • 1             cup coconut milk
  • 1             cup homo milk
  • 1/4         cup sugar(or to taste)
  • 1/4         tsp nutmeg powder
  • 1/4         tsp nutmeg
  • 20           strands saffron
  • 1             tbsp slivered almonds
  • 1             tbsp slivered pistachios

Instructions

  1. In a medium saucepan boil some water.
  2. Peel and slice the bananas and boil for about 5 minutes.  The bananas will become soft.
  3. In another large saucepan boil coconut milk, milk, sugar and spices.  When it starts to boil turn the heat to medium and let it simmer.  When the banana is cooked, take it out of the water with a slotted spoon and drop it in the coconut mixture.
  4. Cook for about five minutes on medium heat.
  5. Let it cool down, transfer it into a serving bowl and refrigerate it till ready to serve.
  6. Decorate with slivered almonds and pistachios before serving.

Fish Cakes

 

b326b931-25f2-4e7c-9a09-3ae3a25842af
Fish Cakes

Ingredients

  • 1/2              lb Fish fillet (you can use any fish –   I have used salmon)
  • 1/2              lb potatoes
  • 1                  tbsp finely sliced green onions
  • 1                  tsp green masala*
  • 1                  tsp salt(or to taste)
  • 1/2              tsp black pepper
  • 1/2              tsp freshly ground cumin
  • 1                  tbsp chopped cilantro
  •                     lemon juice
  • 1/4             cup bread crumbs
  • 1                 egg
  • 1/2              cup canola oil

Instructions

  1. Lay the fish in a fry pan and pour 1/2 cup water on it.  Bring this to a boil, lower the heat and simmer it for 5 min.  Let it rest for 10 min in the fry pan.
  2. Meanwhile, peel the potatoes and cube them into an even-sized chunks.  Put them in a saucepan, cover it with water and add 1/2 tsp salt.  Bring to a boil and then simmer it for 10 mins or until tender, but not broken.
  3. Take the fish out of the water and mash it with a fork.
  4. Drain the potatoes and mash it with a fork.
  5. In a small bowl mix the fish, potatoes and the next 7 ingretients.  Using your hands, gently mix everything together.
  6. Divide the mixture into 12, make a round ball, coat it with bread crumbs and flatten it to make a patty.
  7. Crack an egg in a small bowl, add a tble spoon of water and beat it with a fork.
  8. On med-hot heat, heat the oil in a small frypan, dip the cakes in the egg and shallow fry the cakes on each side about 2 mins till they are golden brown.
  9. Remove from the oil, drain it on paper towel and serve with a chutney.

IMG_2960

  • Green Chutney
  • 1         oz garlic
  • 1         oz ginger
  • 1         hot pepper
  •            handful cilantro
  1. Blend everything together to a fine paste.
  2. Use as needed.

Mulligatawny Soup

Mulligatawny is a a traditional curry soup with origins in India.   It is satisfying, comforting and delicious milding spiced and creamy,  perfect for a cold day, serve with a dollop of sour cream

This soup is popular in South India

]Mulligatawny Soup 

Ingredients

  • 2              level tbsp coriander seeds
  • 1              level tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1              level tbsp aniseed seed
  • 1/4           level tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 1              1″ cinnamon sticks
  • 2              tbsp canola oil
  • 2              medium onions, peeled and chopped
  • 2              carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2              tbsp green masala
  • 5              oz masoor daal, washed
  • 3              large tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 1              lt water(4 cups)
  • 1              can coconut milk
  • 3              tbsp cooked rice
  •                 lemon juice to taste
  • 1              tsp salt

Instructions

  1. Dry roast the corriander seeds, cumin seeds, aniseeds, fenugreek seeds and cinnamon stickes in the microwave for 2 minutes, till they release the aroma. Stir after a minute.
  2. Grind into a powder in a small grinder or with a mortar and pestle.
  3. Heat the oil in a pan, add the onions, carrots, green masala, and fry 2 minutes.
  4. Add the dal, tomatoes, ground roasted spices, turmeric powder and the water.
  5. Cover and cook for 15 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.
  6. Pour into a blender or food processor and blend.
  7. Add the coconut milk, cooked rice, lemon juice, and salt to the soup
  8. Serve hot with a toast or cracker.

IMG_3008 (1)

Variation You can add chicken pieces to the soup before you serve. Add chicken stock instead of water.

Banana French Toast

French Toast, alo known as “eggy bread” is a classic breakfast or brunch dish.  Slices of bread are dipped in a milk and egg mixture, then browned in a hot skillet.  They are served with Maple Syrup and/or fresh berries.

Banana French Toast

Ingredients

  • 1 ripe banana
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup homo milk
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 8 slices French bread
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil

Instructions

  1. Mash the banana, add the eggs, milk and sugar and mix. (You can put everything in a blender or a food processor and blend it).
  2. Dip bread in egg mixture, turning to coat both sides evenly.
  3. Cook bread slices on a lightly greased griddle or a skillet on medium heat until browned on both sides about 2 minutes on each side.
  4. Serve with fresh fruit.

 

 

Ma’amoul

IMG_1421
Maamoul

Ma’amoul are small shortbread pastries filled with pistachios, walnuts or dates. They are served all over the Arab world for Eid and Easter.

A special wooden mould is used to shape a ma’amoul, the round shallow molds are for dates, oval molds are for pistachios and deeper molds for walnuts. If you do not have the molds you can shape the ma’moul in your hand or use a small tart pan.
Makes 36

Pastry Ingredients

  • 2 1/2           cups all purpose flour
    1/2               lb unsalted butter
    1                  tbsp rosewater
    4                  tbsp milk
    icing sugar for dusting the pastries

Pistachio filling

  • 1               cup chopped pistachios
    1/2            cup sugar(granulated or icing)
    1                tbsp rosewater

Walnuts Filling

  • 1           cup chopped nuts
    1/2        cup sugar(granulated or icing)
    1/2        tsp cinnamon
    1           tbsp rosewater

Instructions

  1. Make the fillings. Chop the nuts and mix in the sugar. If you don’t like a grainy texture, you can use icing sugar. The tblsp of rosewater will make the nut mixture moist and easy to shape. Add cinnamon to the walnuts.
  2. In a large bowl add the flour.
    Cut the butter into small pieces and rub it into the flour(using the tip of your fingers)
  3. Add the rose water, followed by milk and make a soft dough.
  4. Divide dough into 4 equal parts. Roll each quarter into about 9 balls to make approximately 36 balls of dough-depending on the size of the mold.
  5. Fill the dough balls with a spoonful of nuts. First, flatten a ball of dough with your thumb and make a hollow. Place the nuts into the hollow. Be generous with the filling. Pinch the dough back over the nut filling, making a ball shape. Do this with the rest of the balls.
    Press the filled dough balls one by one into the ma’moul mold.
  6. To snap the dough out of the mold, tap the tip of the mold against the edge of the counter with a firm quick movement. With the other hand, catch the ma’moul and place it on an ungreased cookie sheet. Dust some flour inside the mold if it’s sticking.

Cherry Winks

IMG_2609

Makes 5 doz

Ingredients

  • 2                jars(8 oz each) maraschino cherries
  • 2-1/2         cups all-purpose flour
  • 1                tsp baking powder
  • 1/2             tsp baking soda
  • 1/2             tsp salt
  • 3/4             cup butter, room tempreture
  • 1                 sugar
  • 2                 large eggs
  • 1                 tbsp milk
  • 1                 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1                 cup chopped walnuts
  • 4                 cups cornflakes, coarsely crushed

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease 2 large cookie sheets.  Finely chop 1/2 cup cherries and set aside.
  2. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl, set aside.
  3. Beat butter and sugar in a a large mixer bowl at medium high speed until light and fluffy.
  4. Beat in eggs, then milk and vanilla, until smooth.
  5. With mixture at low speed, beat dry ingredients just until blended.
  6. Stir in chopped cherries and nuts.
  7. Divide dough into quarters and shape into disks.  Wrap and refregerate overnight.
  8. Spread cornflakes on large plate.  Working with one disk at a time, divide dough and roll into 1-inch balls, then roll in cornflakes to coat.(Keep remaining rough refregerated.)
  9. Place 2 inches apart on a prepared cookie sheets.
  10. Cut 30 cherries in half.  Gently press a cheery half onto centre of each cookie.
  11. Bake 12 – 14 minutes, until browned.
  12. Transfer cookies to wire rach to cool.
  13. Repeat process with remaing douch, cornflakes and cherry halves.

Coconut Pecan Bars

IMG_2674

Makes 36

Ingredients

  • 1/3           cup butter
  • 3/4           cup all purpose flour
  • 1               tbsp lemon juice

Filling

  • 1               cup shredded sweetened coconut
  • 1               cup pecans
  • 2               egg
  • 1/2            cup packed brown sugar
  • 4               tsp all-purpose flour
  •                  pinch salt
  •                  tsp vanilla
  • 1/2            chopped dried sour cherries
  • 1/4            cup chopped bittersweet chocolate ot chocolate chips

Icing

  • 1-1/2         icing sugar
  • 3                tbsp butter softened
  • 2                tbsp milk
  • 1                tsp vanilla

Instructions

  1. In a food processor or bowl, cut butter into flour until it resembles fine bread crumbs.
  2. Drizzle with lemon juice, process just until mixture holds together when pressed.
  3. With floured hands press into parchment-paper-lined 8 inch Square metal pan.
  4. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven until ligh golden, about 15 min.

Filling

  1. Meanwhile, spread coconut and pecans on baking sheet; bake in a preheated 350 degree oven until fragrant and lightly coloured, about 8 minutes.
  2. In a bowl, whisk eggs, sugar, flour, salt and vanilla; stir in coconut mixture, dried cherries and chocolate.
  3. Spreed evenly over base, pressing lightly to smooth.
  4. Bake in 350 degree oven until firm and golden, 25 minutes.
  5. Let it cool.

Icing

  1. In a bowl, beat sugar, butter, milk, and vanilla; spread over filling.
  2. Refrigerate until icing is firm.  About an hour.
  3. Cut into squares.

 

 

 

Spumoni Slices

IMG_2610 (1)

Makes 7 doz.

Ingredients

  • 3          cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2       tsp baking powder
  • 1/4       tsp salt
  • 1          cup butter or margarine softened
  • 1          cup sugar
  • 1          large egg
  • 2          tbsp milk
  • 1          tsp vanilla extract
  • 1          square unsweetened chocolate melted
  • 1/3       cup candied red cherries, finely chopped
  • 5          drops red food colouring
  • 1/2       cup pistachio nuts, finely chopped
  • 1          tsp dark rum or 1/4 tsp almond extract
  • 5          drops green food colouring.

Instructions

  1. Combine flour. baking soda and salt to a bowl.
  2. Beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Add egg, milk and vanilla and mix.
  4. With mixer at low speed, gradually add dry ingredients just until blende.
  5. Divide dough into thirds, placing each in a separate bowl.
  6. Combine one third dough with melted chocolate.
  7. Combine cherries and red colouring with the second one third of the dough.Stir nuts, rum and green food colouring into remaining dough.
  8. Line an 8 x 4 inch bread pan with plastic wrap.  Press green dough evenly into bottom of the pan.  Repeat layering with chocolate and cherry doughs.
  9. Cover and refregerate overnight.
  10. preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  11. Invert pan onto a cutting board.  Remove pan and peel of the plastic wrap.
  12. Cut dough crosswise into 1/4 inch-thick slices, then cut each slice crosswise into thirds or quarters.
  13. Place 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets.
  14. Bake 8 to 10 minutes, until bottoms are lightly browned.
  15. Transfer to wire rack to cool.

Sticky Toffee and Dark Chocolate Pudding Cake

IMG_6545

Serves 8-10

Ingredients

  • 1                lb dried Medjool dates, pitted and chopped
  • 2 -1/2        cups water
  • 2-1/2         cups all-purpose flour
  • 2                tsp baking powder
  • 1/4             tsp baking soda
  • 1                tsp salt
  • 3/4            cup unsalted butter
  • 1                cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3             cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 2                tsp vanilla essence
  • 3                eggs
  • 1                cup chopped Lindt Excellence 85% Dark chocolate

Vanilla Meringue butter cream

  • 4              eggs white
  • 1 1/4        cup granulated sugar
  • 1              tsp vanilla extract
  •                 Pinch salt
  • 3/4          cup unsalted butter, cut into cubes

Chocolate caramel drizzle

  • 1 1/4        cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4           cup water
  • 3/4           cup 35% whipping cream
  • 80            g  Lindth Excellence 85% Dark Chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1/8           tsp salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degree F.  Lightly grease 3-7″ springform pans or 2-9″ springform pans.  Set aside.
  2. Combine dates and water in a small saucepan over medium-high-heat, bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce heat to a low and simmer for 10 minutes or until dates are tender and about 1/3 cup liquid remains.
  4. Transfer to a food processor and pulse until smooth; set aside.
  5. Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl; set aside.
  6. Using electric mixer, cream butter with sugars until light and fluffy.
  7. Beat in vanilla; stir in egges, one at a time, scraping down sides after each addition.
  8. Stir in one-third of flour mixture; stir in half of date puree, mixing after each addition just until incorporated.  Repeat additions of flour and date puree; stir in remaining flour mixture.
  9. Stir in chopped chocolate.  Divide batter evenly among prepared cake pans.
  10. Bake for 40 minutes or until tester inserted in centre of cakes comes out with a few crumbs clinging to it.
  11. Let cool for 10 minutes in pans, then turn out onto racks to cool completely.

Buttercream

  1. In a double boiler over medium-low heat, whisk egg whites with sugar until sugar has fully dissolved and instant-read thermometer reads 160 degree F(70degress F). Remove from heat.
  2. Add vanilla and salt to egg white mixture, using electric mixer, whip until meringue holds stiff peaks and mixture is at room tempreture.  Add butter, one cube at a time, beating well after each addition.  (If mixture looks like it is separating, keep beating until it looks smooth again.)  When butter has incorporated, reduce to medium-high speed; beat for 2 minutes or until silky smooth.  (Use immediately, or refrigerate briefly if buttercream is too soft.)
  3. Spoon buttercream into piping bag fitted with large tip.

Drizzle

  1. In a medium saucepan, combine sugar and water over medium-low heat, stirring until sugar has disolved.
  2. Turn heat to medium-high; bring to a boil, and boil without stirring for 4 to 5 minutes, or until sugar mixture is deep gold.
  3. Remove from heat.
  4. Working quickly and being careful not to splash, stir in cream.  Let cool slightly; add chocolate and salt, stirring until smooth.
  5. Let sauce cool to room tempreture.

Assembly

  1. Trim domed tops from cake layers.  Transfer one layer to cake board, plate or serving platter; drizzle with one third of the chocolate sauce.
  2. Pipe a circle of buttercream around cake, about 1/2 inch(1cm) from edge;  fill with more butter cream.
  3. Top with second cake layer, drizzle with sauce and pipe buttercream over top.
  4. Add final cake layer; pipe remaining buttercream over top and side of cake, using a spatula to spread evenly.
  5. Drizzle remaining chocolate sauce over top and side of cake.
  6. Top with lindt truffles and chocolate sauce.

Chocolatier Tip

The best way to add chocolate to an already sweet dessert is to use chocolate that has a higher percentage of cacoa.  This gives you all the bittersweet flavour without the extra sugar.

 

Vegetarian Sausage Rolls

IMG_5560.jpg

Spinach, chickpeas and sweet potato sausage rolls

Ingredients

  • 1             can chickpeas(400) gms
  • 1/2         lb yam(orange sweet potato)
  • 4             ozs frozen chopped spinach
  • 2             oz feta cheese
  • 1/2         red onion
  • 2             cloves garlic
  • 1             tbsp fresh ginger
  • 1             tsp freshly ground cumin
  • 1             tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4         tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2         tsp salt
  • 2             tbsp fresh coriander, chopped
  • 1             tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1             pkt frozen Puff pastry, defrosted
  • 1             egg
  • 1             tbsp sesame seeds

Instructions

  1. Drain the chick peas, in a food processor pulse the chickpeas to a rough puree.  Put this in a medium size bowl.
  2. Grate the sweet potato and add this to the bowl.
  3. Defrost the spinach and add this to the bowl.
  4. Crumble the cheese and add this to the mix.
  5. Finely chop the onion and add it to the mix.
  6. Finely grate or chop garlic and ginger, add this to the mix.
  7. Add the rest of the ingredients except egg and sesame seeds and mix well.
  8. Lightly beat the egg and brush it all over the pastry sheets.
  9. Cut the pastry about 3″ wide.
  10. Place the vegetable mixture in the centre 1″ pastry, using your hands form it into a sausage shape the lenght of the pastry.  roll the pastry around the filling, as firmly as possible without stretching the pastry, until you have a roll shape with about 1/2″ overlap.
  11. Egg wash each roll and sprinkle with sesane seeds.
  12. Transfer the rolls to the freezer for about 30 minutes to set a little which will make it easier to cut.
  13. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Grease a baking tray with butter or pam or line it with parchment or greaseproof paper.
  14. Remove the rolls from the freezer, using a sharp knife, cut the rolls to your desired lenght.  Place the cut rolls onto a greased baking tray seam side down, and bake for 25-30 minutes until pastry is golden.
  15. Note.  If the rolls collapse a bit during baking and the filling spills out, once the pastry is golden and they are out of the oven, using two desert spoons – one of either sides of the sausage roll – to gently push the filling into the pastry into a roll shape.

IMG_5558.jpg