Bloggers Zone

Breakfast Ideas because Breakfast is Most Important Meal of the Day

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Year 2013 has been a fantastic one and each passing day month or year comes with lots of new learning and leaves us enriched { It left me with some of my very good food memories , got to shoot and eat best foods of my life } . 2014 is already upon us so now is the time when we can do something to make this memorable for us. All of us want to be healthy and enjoy a good life everyday, and being healthy tops the list of resolution when any New Year begins.

I am not from the group who make resolutions {somehow I have a feeling that it restricts your horizon 🙂  } , mainly because naturally curious I want to explore anything that catches my fancy at the moment and makes me happy.

I am so glad that through Nirlep I can share my ideas of healthy living with like minded people who believe in eating healthy as well as tasty meals.

Good food is one thing that always makes me happy, and good for me means food that is healthy, tastes good and looks good too { This is the main philosophy behind my food blog  My Tasty Curry  too }.  Breakfast particularly is my favourite meal, and sadly I find it is most ignored meal of the day too. Read the rest of this entry »

Happy New Year to the Nirlep family … Eat healthy, be happy and stay inspired!

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“Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come,
Whispering ‘it will be happier’…”
Alfred Tennyson
Bittersweet Chocolate Marquise with Crème Chantilly & Balsamic Cherry Sauce

It’s quite customary for most of us to welcome the new year with resolutions galore, some with promise and many that don’t last long.  Some will barely see the first 2 weeks of January, and others maybe March if we really try.

Then again there are a few like me {and as I hear a growing band of numbers} that like to take the middle path. Stress free, everyday achievable, intelligent realistic aspirations that give us happiness through the year. Since we are this huge food passionate family at Nirlep, I will stay focussed around food ideas here.

My first shout to foodies is to be a locavore like me. Try and eat locally produced and seasonal food. I  subscribe to a 100 mile radius theory. Basically it allows a farmer to get his produce to the market and go back home in that distance. As distances grow, this theory loses meaning gradually. I like the theory because it also leads to community building, support for the local producer, and fresh, healthy, nutritional food on your table. Celebrate cuisine, culture and above all, native ingredients.

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This in turn also means that I do not reach out for imported, gourmet produce that are falling off supermarket shelves these days. I make my own mascarpone, ricotta, quark etc. That said, I would still buy local pineapples, bananas, strawberries that grow out of the radius, but within the country. A personal choice but a happier one. Keeps my carbon footprint under check, and my family healthy!

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My other gentle advise to you is to use quality ingredients. You are what you eat, they say! You might as well make sure you cook with the best. Not necessarily the best looking shiny red bell peppers and the glossy spinach leaves. Beware … they could be riddled with pesticides. Be smart. Find out where your produce comes from, make friends with the sabziwala. I do!

Better still, cultivate a kitchen garden. Just the first leaves breaking from the ground will give you pure joy money can’t buy. Look at these cherry tomatoes I grew last year in my tiny patch … infinite pleasure, unbridled joy, a celebration of the colours of nature!

Or them tangerines or kumquats as these ornamental chinese oranges are called. I find them truly inspiring and have found a number of uses for them. I began with a bitter kumquat marmalade … and then just carried on experimenting!

Talking of ingredients, try to think out of the box. Experiment. Lots. turn to the Google gods for help. The internet is a huge resource. I experiment loads, fail at times too. A confession. For the first many years of my baking and blogging life, I used only all purpose flour {or maida} for everything.

Just a few years ago, interacting with a lager hearted foodie community, I had an awakening, a rethink of ‘the food on my table’. From that day, I stopped using maida. I bake almost only with whole grains now {the all purpose flour only kept for very special occasions like the odd birthday cake, maybe a bit in home baked bread}.

Bittersweet Fallen Chocolate Gateau

Whole grains also meant whole wheat to me for quite a while, maybe oats too. Building a community is a life saver, an inspiration, a way to think differently. Now I have begun using barley flour, buckwheat {kuttu ka aata}, oats and oat flour, finger millet {ragi}, amaranth flour, almond meal etc. Life is a lot more fun now, a lot healthier too. The possibilities are immense.

Fermented foods are also brilliant. Who doesn’t love a beetroot kanji? The colours and pickled flavours just blow me away. But I learnt something new last year. Pineapple kanji! Who would have thought. The idea came from a friend who I owe a lot too. You can find her recipe here. It’s the one I use. Fermented foods also include idli dosa batter, pickled cucumbers etc. All these have healthy bacteria that are gut friendly.

Chicken korma

Do you associate with flavours and dishes from your childhood? Who doesn’t get overcome with nostalgia? My heart still skips a beat whenever the sweet aromas of pure ghee and caramelised onions in a tadka warm my kitchen. Pure nostalgia, a deep connect with my past! I also love it when the kids follow their nose to the kitchen when the onions are ‘browning’ or caramelising. I know that I am building food memories, a connect they can cherish long after!

More things I love – whole grain baking, gluten free options, salads, colourful food, pumpkin, kormas, kebabs, kadhi, low fat cooking, quick stir fries, nuts in my meals, fruit in my dessert. I could go on forever as the ideas are a plenty.

Dark Chocolate & Persimmon Mousse

However, I would love to hear from you. Have you changed something about how you ‘do food’ recently? Would you like to see something new, something different? It’s always nice to build a community as together we can grow. Eat healthy, be happy and stay inspired!

Eat with your eyes

Oh yes, and the last but not the least. Take pride in what you serve up. We eat with our eyes first. Make it look good, garnish it, enjoy it … maybe take pictures and send them in! Get inspired, stay inspired, dream lots!

 

 

Don’t miss a post
Find me on Passionate About Baking
Also find me on The Rabid Baker, The Times of India

Culinary Masterpiece by passionate Food blogger Deeba: Smoked Indian Chicken Curry / Dhungaar-e-Dum ka Murgh … a simple slow cooked baked Indian chicken curry

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Author of passionateaboutbaking churns out a mouthwatering, smoky, sizzling culinary wonder in Nirlep’s hard anodized ebony.

Culinary Masterpiece by passionate Food blogger Deeba of http://www.passionateaboutbaking.com/

Read complete recipe and product experience here:

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“People close to me called me ‘Curry in a Hurry.’
I was moving through life at 100 miles an hour trying to further my career and be a great mom and make everyone happy.”
Ann Curry

Smoked Indian Chicken Curry / Dhungaar-e-Dum ka Murgh … a simple slow cooked baked Indian chicken curry that makes life on the table seem somewhat easier. I normally cook curries on the stove top. This time was different, and it worked out quite well. Smoking it added a delicious dimension!

Read complete write-up here:

Also, participate in the contest and win unbelievable give-aways.

From her post:

Smoked Indian Chicken Curry / Dhungaar-e-Dum ka Murgh … a simple slow cooked baked Indian chicken curry that makes life on the table seem somewhat easier. I normally cook curries on the stove top. This time was different, and it worked out quite well. Smoking it added a delicious dimension!

I haven’t posted a curry for ages even though I cook them often, including chicken and lamb korma. I’ve recently done a ‘butterless‘ butter chicken and the feedback was great. Mr PAB even commented saying it was better than buttery butter chicken!! At the time I took no pictures as it was still ‘work in progress‘…

Nirlep contacted me and asked if I would like to review any of their products. With a range as varied as Premium Steel Casseroles to a simple sandwich pan, I left it to them. All I asked for was something I could maybe pop into the oven, since I know they do a stove top range. Not that I don’t cook stove top {read I DO ALL THE TIME}, but the baking blog needed a connect!

They sent me a beautiful hard anodized handi, so I grabbed a chicken and set to work. The curry is simple as can be. It’s a simple overnight marination which tenderises the chicken. I cook it on the bone, but you can go boneless too if you like. This time I added green chutney to the marinade, some caramelised onions too. Experiment as you like because you never know what will hit the sweet spot!

As all Indian cooking, this curry works on beautiful ‘andaaz‘, eye balling as it is better known. A bit of this, a dash of that, a few green chillies for flavour, maybe a couple of beautiful red ones too. Mix it all in and marinade straight in the pot, and then throw into a low oven the next day. An hour and a half later, you have CURRY, a nice thick wrapped one!!

OR … heat a little clarified butter in the handi / pan {OK you can use oil}, caramelise some finely sliced onions, pick out the chicken pieces from the marinade and cook over high heat to seal the juices and get the pieces beautifully browned. Add the rest of the marinade, give it a quick gentle stir, seal tightly … into the oven again! Of course you could also cook over a very gentle stove top.

I have a few idea for the handi. A Basque Lamb Stew, kaali dal, stir fried veggies, Thai green curry, kadhi … all in the pipeline. Maybe a little ambitious but pot bread too. It’s quite cold {read freezing} here these days, so as soon as the weather lets up, it’ll be time to bake bread. Have to keep the yeast monsters happy!

What I love about the Nirlep Ebony Handi / anodized pot…
Good quality, feel good pot with a snug lid
The handles don’t get hot
Heavy duty
Convenient ergonomic design which is ideal for sauteing, cooking, heat distribution
That it goes from the stove into the oven, and back with ease
That you can serve right out of it, fuss free!
Easy clean up

Recipe: Dhungaar-e-Dum ka Murgh

Recipe
Smoked-Indian-Chicken-Curry-Dhungaar-e-Dum-ka-Murgh-325-374

Summary: Simple, smoked, delicious Indian chicken curry that can be baked {or cooked on the stove top}. A do ahead marination ensures very little work just before serving. Serve over steamed rice, naan, etc with a mixed greens salad.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours
Ingredients:
800g chicken on the bone, without skin,{1 whole} cut into 12 pieces
200g full fat yogurt, hung for 30 minutes
3 onions, 1 quartered, 2 sliced fine
2 tbsp ghee/clarified butter
5-6 cloves garlic
1″piece ginger
2-3 green chilies {deseed if required}
2 tsp garam masala
Juice of 1 lime
Salt to taste
3 tsps green chutney {optional}
1 stick cinnamon
1 small bunch fresh coriander, chopped fine
2-3 small red chilies, optional
Dhungaar / Smoke
1 small piece wood coal
3-4 drops melted ghee
Method:
Fry the 2 sliced onions in the ghee until crisp and golden brown.
Grind the quartered onion with ginger, garlic and lime juice to make a smooth paste.
In a large bowl, whisk the yogurt. Mix in the onion paste, caramelised onions, green chilies, red chilies if using, fresh coriander, stick of cinnamon, green chutney and garam masala. Add salt as required {you can taste it at this time to check}. Adjust seasoning if required.
Now mix in the chicken pieces well, turn into handi / casserole/ baking dish, cover tightly and leave to marinate in the fridge for a few hours, preferably overnight.
Place the handi/casserole in a bigger empty metal bowl. Place a tiny metal bowl half filled with water on the lid of the casserole.
Place in oven set at low heat and bake for about 1 1/2 hours. Let it sit for a while.
Open and stir gently to get the gravy uniform. Adjust salt if required. Add some more lime juice if you like, maybe some more fresh coriander. Smoke it if desired.
Make a tiny bowl with a aluminium foil. Place a hot burning coal in it and quickly drizzle a few drops of melted ghee/clarified butter over it. The coal will begin smoking immediately. Tightly shut the lid and leave for about half an hour.
Note: Left overs can be deboned and used in wraps {reduce the curry to almost dry}

ABOUT AUTHOR

Well, Deeba makes baking a beautiful assignment in the kitchen. Her visual shots are a benchmark for the ones truely passionate!

In her own words and that we completely stand by! :

A ‘locavore’, a ‘bake-a-holic’, an ‘absolut’ baker are synonymous with who I am, a reflection of the artisan baker and foodie in me. My mantra – ‘Bake From Scratch’. With the lack of international baking ingredients in the everyday Indian kitchen, join me in my culinary adventures as I try to conquer the oven!

“I am a non conformist, passionate & ‘rabid’ baker and blogger from Gurgaon, for whom visual appeal holds as much significance as healthy and delectable food. Any idea that grabs my fancy becomes a springboard for creativity.”

She also has many mentions that are worth sharing here on this forum:

Passionate About Baking found mention here …
PAB on Sunday Dinner on Ziet Online
Sparkah Top 100 Food Bloggers You Should Cater To And Treat to Expensive Pu Ehr Tea
PAB on Inspiration from the Blogging Community @ Turmeric n Spice
Top 500 Food Blogs … http://www.cellarer.com/best-cooking-blogs {at #64}
The 100 Top Culinary Blogs … http://www.guidetoculinaryschools.com/tips-and-tools/best-culinary-blogs
iPhone Strawberry App (Free download here) – Refrigerator Strawberry Cheesecake, Chocolate Strawberry Mascarpone Cake, Strawberry Curd Cheese Tartlets
PAB on Femina Online – FEMINA Foodbytes
MRI Technitian Training – 80 Great sites for those who love to bake
Refrigerator Soup – http://www.refrigeratorsoup.com/twenty-questions-with-passionate-about-baking/
Huffington Post http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2morrowknight/10-world-class-chefs-on-t_b_307161.html
Foodista Food Blog of the Day for Thursday, October 22nd ’09 (http://www.foodista.com/)
Foodie Views of the Day (http://www.foodieview.com/views/)
Interview at Webneetech (http://webneetech.com/2009/10/29/interview-with-blogger-deeba-of-passionateaboutbaking-com/)
Won a copy of Roland Mesnier’s Basic to Beautiful Cakes for my entry Cinnamon Buttercream Autumn Cake to the Daring Kitchen. (Nov 2009)

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2morrowknight/10-world-class-chefs-on-t_b_307161.html

Mentions: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/
Mentions: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/

On her website Deeba writes: “My passions in life…baking, cooking, nature, art. It’s mainly about FOOD as an art.” And she’s right. She’s one of the most respected chefs in India. Her recipes are a feast to both taste buds and eyes. I tried her chcolate strawberry shortcake and its nothing short of amazing. PassionateAboutBaking.com

Featured in ‘Better Homes & Gandens‘, Indian Edition, Jan 2011.

featured in ‘Better Homes & Gandens‘, Indian Edition, Jan 2011.
featured in ‘Better Homes & Gandens‘, Indian Edition, Jan 2011.

Herez wishing her all the very best and many more fun assignments together!

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and many more. Read complete list here
http://www.passionateaboutbaking.com/2007/11/passionate-about-baking-found-mention-here.html

Spicy Tawa Idli by author of sharmispassions.com & Nirlep tawa cooking

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We all often wonder how to put the left-overs to best use and cook up something healthy yet yummy out of those!

Author of the popular food blog www.sharmispassions.com/ Sharmilee J, whips up a spicy useful snack using Nirlep Selec+ fry pan here!

With over 1 lakh followers on her facebook page and regular ones on her blog too, she loves to experiment different cuisines and loves to bake as well.

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Check out her update on facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/sharmispassions

While we are at Idlis…read another update from her on HOW TO CHURN OUT SOFT FLUFFY IDLIS

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Click here to know more

Litebite’s Christmas Treat

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Litebite's Christmas Treat1

No-Bake Nutty Chocolate Biscuit Cake – Easy as Can be by blogger Sanjeeta of http://litebite.in/

Excerpts from her post!

If there is no chocolate in heaven, I am not going‘  ~ Jane Seabrook

Ingredients
(Serves 4)
  • 12 digestive biscuits*
  • 1 cup toasted almonds/Pistachio/cashew nuts
  • ¼ cup cocoa powder
  • 2 tbsp butter/vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp. honey
  • 1 tbsp water…

Click here for full recipe..

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From a food blogger’s perspective

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Nirlep in its endeavour to salute the food enthusiasts has established excellent association with many food bloggers in India. We absolutely love their efforts! Their true passion for food, experimentation, love for sharing their knowledge, vivid photography, insightful tips, endless stories, anecdotes turn cooking and eating into an enjoyable experience. So real! And such an inspiration! Agree? To begin with let’s introduce you to one such personality who has an excellent hold on creative culinary experiences, is a popular photographer, food stylist, recipe developer..and much more ! Rekha Kakkar of My Tasty Curry 

Rekha Kakkar's review  

Check out her experiences with our stainless steel range and her beautiful recipes that are so healthy and truely to die for!