VEGETABLE CUTLET

Vegetable Cutlets It’s very difficult to make my kids eat the veggies..  Is it because I never tried to forcibly feed them ? That thought is something which worries me these days.. And now I am on a look out for recipes where I can hide the veggies and feed the kids One way to hide the veggies is in the form of cutlets.  I made the veg cutlets with beetroot, carrot and potatoes.  Kids love to have chicken cutlets.. but vegetable cutlets.. hmm I was not so sure.. Vegetable Cutlets But to my surprise and relief, these veg cutlets  became a favourite with them … Mission accomplished, as both mom and kids are happy !!! 🙂 These cutlets are a good tea time snack. You can prepare the cutlets in bulk and freeze them . Defrost and fry them as required. Vegetable Cutlets4

VEGETABLE CUTLETS

INGREDIENTS

  • Onion – 2
  • Ginger – 1/4 ” piece
  • Garlic – 3 cloves
  • Beetroot – 1 big
  • Carrots – 2
  • Potatoes – 2
  • Chilly powder – 1/4 tsp
  • Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
  • Garam Masala – 1/2 tsp
  • Egg whites – 2
  • Breadcrumbs – for coating
  • Oil – for frying

METHOD

  1. Chop onion, ginger and garlic
  2. Chop the beetroot and carrots .  ( Chopped vegetables will be about 3 1/2 cups)
  3. Boil the potatoes and mash them well.
  4. Heat oil in a pan. Add chopped onions and saute till it turns light brown
  5. Add the chopped ginger and garlic and saute for 3 minutes.
  6. Add the chilly ,turmeric and garam masala and saute .
  7. Mix in  the chopped vegetables and saute till the vegetables are cooked. Turn off the flame.
  8. Add the mashed potatoes and mix well using your hands. (The mixture should hold shape when rolled into balls).
  9. Take small portions of the mixture and roll into lime sized ball .Flatten it between the palms to give it shape .
  10. Beat egg whites with a fork. Dip each cutlet in egg white and roll in breadcrumbs, making sure that all sides are nicely coated.
  11. Heat oil in pan and fry the cutlets in medium flame  till they are golden brown (You can deep fry or shallow fry the cutlets) .

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Singapore Satay with Peanut Sauce and a peek into the upcoming Singapore Food Festival in the UAE

IMG_2592_shadow1Speak of coincidence – last month I had gone to Singapore and Malaysia for a short visit. On return I was planning to blog about Singapore food. A few days later I got an email  from Mojo PR  inviting me to a preview event of the Singapore Food Festival that will take place in the UAE in February. There was going to be a cooking demonstration by the renowned Chef Violet Oon . I got really excited, I didn’t know much about the Singapore cuisine , and here I was getting a chance to know more about it and from none other than the brand ambassador of Singapore food, Chef Violet Oon , herself !!

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The event was held at Parti Perfect, a lovely restaurant behind the Marina Mall in Abudhabi. Chef Violet introduced us to the history of the Singapore cuisine and then led us to the kitchen, where all the action was going to take place !! She started with the Satay and Peanut sauce. As she was explaining each ingredient I noticed that almost all the ingredients were commonly used in the Indian cuisine… the spices, tamarind, jaggery . The chef then explained to us each process – the dry roasting of spices, pounding them using mortar and pestel , making the marinade and then the peanut sauce… This dish could be easily made at home, I was surely going to try this out !! On to the next item ,the famous Chilli Crab –  one of the country’s greatest culinary inventions. This special dish has a sensuous, sweet yet savoury gravy created with a base of chilli and tomato sauces. A few of us tried our hand in cooking this along with the chef .
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The Singapore Food Festival aims to introduce Singapore cuisine through its iconic dishes and food products to consumers in the UAE. The food festival is a joint initiative of International Enterprise (IE) Singapore, the country’s external trade promotion agency, the Singapore Food Manufacturers’ Association (SFMA) and LuLu, one of the largest hypermarket operators in the Middle East..

Taking place from 20th February to 3rd March, the two-week festival will serve up a smorgasbord of Singapore taste sensations, cooking demonstrations as well as daily competitions.

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At the Singapore Food Festival visitors can expect to widen their culinary horizons with Singapore’s fusion of Asian flavours. More than 20 Singapore food and beverage companies will participate in the Singapore Food Festival, presenting a selection of authentic Singapore cuisine such as ready-to-cook sauces, oodles of noodles, traditional snacks and teas as well as signature dishes like Singapore Chilli Crab and Chicken Rice.

On hand to show just how easy it is to cook authentic Singapore cuisine at home will be celebrity Chef Violet Oon. Dishing out a delicious and modern menu, inspired by iconic Singaporean foods, Chef Oon’s Singapore Food Festival repertoire will include the Singapore Satay, Chilly Crab, Laksa – smooth rice noodles in a spicy coconut broth; and Chicken Rice – succulent bites of chicken served on fragrant rice.

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Dubbed Singapore’s Food Ambassador, Violet Oon is one of Singapore’s leading food gurus, and is known as much for her cooking as for her opinions on food.Today, Oon is considered one of the leading authorities on Asian cuisine. She specialises in an array of Singapore cuisines, culled from the nation’s heritage of Malay, Chinese and Indian cultures. Oon shares her wide knowledge of food in classes as well as in consultancy projects and she most enjoys teaching cooking and bringing joy with her food to people who love to eat.

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She is a leading cookbook author in Singapore, having written three books titled Peranakan Cooking, Violet Oon Cooks and A Singapore Family Cookbook.  Tasty Singapore Timeless Recipes by International Enterprise (IE) Singapore published in 2007, is one of the most exciting challenges in her career . She has co-authored the Curry Cookbook in German and is also author and recipe tester of the Peninsula Hotel group of Hong Kong’s 1st cookbook called Naturally Peninsula.

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Established as a trading port in 1819, Singapore has attracted an influx of migrants and merchants over the years from China, the Malay Peninsula, the Indian sub-continent and the Middle East. Along with their cultures, languages and customs, these migrants brought with them their food traditions that have since shaped Singapore’s culinary landscape.Today, Singapore has transformed into a food paradise abound with a diverse array of flavours from around the region.

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Home to a variety of food cultures, Singapore has been dubbed the ‘Melting pot of Asia’. Good for the heart, tummy and soul, some of Singapore’s Chinese fares are the delicious dim sum, roasted meats, chilli crab and double-boiled soups. Another internationally known cuisine found in Singapore is the Indian cuisine. Roti prata, a crispy pancake eaten with curry or sugar and accompanied with a glass of teh tarik, or ‘pulled tea’, which is creamy and frothy milk tea. Just as popular, the local dish nasi biryani, a saffron rice dish with spicy chicken or mutton

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For the Malay cuisine in Singapore, spices and herbs are the trademark of their dishes. Some of these include ginger, turmeric, galangal, lemon grass and pungent belachan, which is shrimp paste. Peanut sauce holds a special place in the Malay cuisine as they are used as gravy for dishes and as a dip for the local favourite satay.  Other widely popular local Malay fares are also the nasi lemak, coconut steamed rice, and nasi padang, steamed rice mixed with a selection of dishes. Not forgetting the unique Peranakan or Nonya food, the flavours that their food offers are a blend of Chinese, Malay and Indonesian.

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One of the most famous Malay dishes in Singapore, Satay is a must-try.

SINGAPORE SATAY

INGREDIENTS:

MEAT

  • 1 kg chicken breast
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds or powder
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds or powder
  • ½ tsp fennel seeds or powder
  • 5 candlenuts or macadamia nuts (optional) (You can use cashewnuts instead)
  • 10 shallots or 1 large red or brown onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 stalk lemongrass, use only the root
  • 1 cm slice galangal, or blue ginger
  • 1 cm slice fresh ginger root
  • 1½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 50g brown or palm sugar
  • 2 tsp tamarind pulp
  • ½ cup water

SATAY SAUCE

  • 40g to 60g tamarind pulp
  • 2 cups water
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup toasted skinless peanuts, ground till
  • fine OR 1 cup crunchy peanut butter
  • 1 stalk lemongrass
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ¾ tsp salt

SPICE MIXTURE FOR SATAY SAUCE

  • 3 candlenuts or macadamia nuts, washed and drained
  • 15 dried red chillies, soaked in hot water till softened
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 30g shallots or large red onions
  • 1 tsp shrimp paste, or belacan (optional)

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METHOD:

SATAY SAUCE

  1. Mix tamarind pulp with water and strain, discard pulp.
  2. Pound or grind spice mixture until fine.
  3. Fry spice mixture in hot oil till fragrant.
  4. Add tamarind liquid and remaining ingredients.
  5. Boil for 15 minutes, stir well. Cool for 30 minutes before serving.

MEAT

  1. Dry fry coriander seeds, cumin seeds and fennel seeds till fragrant and grind till fine.
  2. Pound or grind candlenuts, shallots, garlic, lemongrass and ginger till fine.
  3. Mix the tamarind pulp with quarter cup of water, then knead and sieve to remove seeds.
  4. Mix the sugar with quarter cup of water and dissolve over low heat.
  5. Mix the shallot mixture with the ground seeds,turmeric powder, tamarind water, sugar syrup and salt.
  6. Marinade meat in this mixture for 6 hours.
  7. To grill, skewer 3 pieces of meat on each skewer, brush with oil and BBQ till golden
    brown on both sides.
  8. Serve with satay sauce, cucumbers and sliced raw onions

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Spring Roll

A very popular snack – pancakes  filled with meat and vegetables, coated with breadcrumbs and then deep fried. The whole process is a bit time consuming but worth it as you can freeze them for later use. When required defreeze them for half an hour and fry .This one is another regular on our Iftar table.

For the filling

  • Chicken – 1 kg
  • Soya sauce – 1 tbsp
  • Chilli powder – 1 tsp
  • Carrot , cut into thin long slices – 1/2 cup
  • Cabbage, cut into thin long strips – 1 cup
  • Onion, chopped – 3
  • Garlic, chopped – 10 cloves
  • Ginger, chopped – 3″ piece
  • Green chillies, chopped – 3
  • Light Soya sauce – 1 1/2 tbsp
  • Pepper powder – 1 tbsp
  • Coriander leaves , chopped – a few sprigs
  • Salt – as required

For the pancake

  • All purpose flour – 1 cup
  • Water – 2 cups
  • Salt – 1 pinch

For the coating

  • Egg whites – 3
  • Breadcrumbs – as required

To make the filling

  1. Cut the chicken into fairly large pieces and rub the soya sauce and chilli powder over them. Cook with required amount of water and salt. If there is water remaining, cook with the lid open till all water evaporates. After the chicken cools, shred it into long pieces.
  2. Heat a non stick pan and add oil.
  3. On medium flame saute chopped onions and green chillies till onion turns translucent.
  4. Add chopped ginger and garlic and saute for 4-5 minutes.
  5. Add the shredded chicken and saute again.
  6. Finally add the sliced carrots and cabbage. Increase the flame to high and stir continuously for around 5 minutes till the vegetables turn soft.
  7. Add soya sauce and pepper powder. Adjust the pepper and salt according to your taste.
  8. Stir in chopped coriander leaves and remove from flame.

To make the pancakes

  1. Mix flour , water and salt in blender to get a lump free batter. The batter will be thin in consistency
  2. Heat a non stick pan . Keep the flame low. Pour a big spoonful of batter and spread to form a circle .Cook one side of the  pancake (Do NOT flip over). (If the pancake sticks to the bottom , increase the heat slightly)

Make the spring rolls

  1. Remove the pancake and place on an oiled plate. Place a spoonful of filling on one end of the pancake leaving an inch.
  2. Roll the pancake once. Fold both the sides towards the center.
  3. Roll the pancake till the end .
  4. Continue this with the rest of the batter to make spring rolls.
  5. Dip each spring roll in egg white and then in breadcrumbs.
  6. Heat oil in a deep pan and deep fry the spring rolls till golden brown in colour.

Sending this to Joy from Fasting to Feasting, Iftar Nights, Kerala Kitchen hosted by Vidya and Monsoon Medley hosted by Saffron Streaks