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Tag Archives: snack

Bruschetta with Marinated Feta

After school snack time is taken quite seriously in our household.

The first question Adi asks as he enters the house is ‘what’s for snack’? And I know he is expecting something hearty and delicious.

Usually it’s something homemade, but I have my days when I am more than happy to open a frozen packet. But what I generally tend to do is prepare snacks in bulk and freeze in portions or have veggies/meat prepped ahead so that a quick snack can be put together.

One such ingredient that I have been lately having in my refrigerator is Marinated Feta. It’s such a versatile ingredient that can be used in a zillion ways and each one different from the other. It’s great in salads; replace regular feta with the marinated one in your next Greek salad and you will know the difference.

Bruschetta with Marinated Feta - thespiceadventuress.com

I have adapted this marinated feta recipe from Bon Appetit. What I loved most about this is the addition of roasted lemon slices and dried chillies that lends such a delicious citrusy flavour with that hint of smoky heat in the background, subtle yet there to boost the overall flavour of the feta.

And even when you are done using the feta, the lemon slices, chillies and oil can be used in different ways so that nothing really goes to waste. Though I love to use the marinated feta in salads, this time I used it as a spread for a Bruschetta.

Bruschetta with Marinated Feta - thespiceadventuress.com

Bruschetta with Marinated Feta - thespiceadventuress.com

Bruschetta is another favourite of ours. It’s a snack I make at home often but we also love to order it while dining out at really good Italian restaurants. The quality of the tomatoes makes a huge difference to the taste of a Bruschetta so many restaurants do not really do justice to this simple classic dish.

In today’s recipe, I have used the marinated feta as a spread and then topped it with the tomato mixture. The background flavours of citrus, salt and cheese lend a delicious creaminess and it works as a wonderful base for the sweet tomatoes.

I always use sour dough or ciabatta for making a Bruschetta. The bread must be toasted lightly on both sides so that it does not go soggy and provides that crunchy texture to the soft tomatoes and feta. As for tomatoes, use sweet vine ripened tomatoes whenever possible. Most people tend to leave out the tomato flesh while making a Bruschetta. While I am making it as a quick snack at home, I use the tomatoes whole and the bruschetta is consumed shortly after making. But if I am prepping a larger quantity for a party, then I omit the flesh so that the tomatoes do not go too soft.

For making the marinated feta, I used Danish feta as it has less salt content when compared to other types. But really, any variety should do.

Bruschetta with Marinated Feta - thespiceadventuress.com

So let’s get to the recipe for this flavourful Marinated Feta and an equally delicious Bruschetta using this. And if you would like to get more snack ideas, check out the category ‘Appetizers’ on the blog.

Ingredients:

For making marinated feta:

  1. 200gms feta; cut into large cubes
  2. 1 lemon; sliced and seeds removed
  3. 2 dried red chillies
  4. 2 dried bay leaf
  5. Freshly ground black pepper
  6. Olive oil; enough to cover the feta.

For the bruschetta:

  1. 1 medium sized sourdough; sliced
  2. 2-3 vine ripened tomatoes; chopped (remove flesh if you wish to)
  3. Freshly ground black pepper
  4. A pinch of sugar
  5. A couple of fresh basil leaves; torn into small pieces
  6. 1 tsp olive oil (from the marinated feta)
  7. 1-2 tsp balsamic vinegar

Method:

Marinated Feta:

  1. Pre heat the oven to 200°C. Line an oven proof tray with baking paper, arrange the lemon slices on top and lightly drizzle with olive oil. Roast till lightly caramelized and charred at the edges (roughly 10-12 minutes, but depends on the size and thickness of the slices so keep a close eye).
  2. Once the roasted lemon slices have cooled, place it in a clean jar along with the feta, bay leaves and chillies. Season with black pepper and pour enough olive oil to cover the feta.
  3. Marinate overnight for best results.

Bruschetta:

  1. In a bowl, add the chopped tomatoes and basil. Add sugar, pepper and a dash of olive oil; mix well.
  2. Smash 2-3 cubes of the marinated feta in a separate bowl using the back of a spoon and spread this on top of the sourdough slices.
  3. Then top each slice with the tomato mixture and drizzle lightly with balsamic.
  4. Serve immediately

Bruschetta with Marinated Feta - thespiceadventuress.com

Bruschetta with Marinated Feta - thespiceadventuress.com

 

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Indian style Chana Tikki (Chickpea Patties)

Snacks are a big thing in our home, not store bought but homemade ones that are devoured with much gusto after the boys get back home from school and work.

Snacks are also an important part of every party we hold at home, because we really love the sit down, relaxed, course by course dinner over the buffet style anyday. Hence there are plenty of recipes on my blog for this category but I realised that somehow there aren’t many vegetarian options in the list.

And I often get requests from friends asking for vegetarian snack or appetizer recipes which got me thinking that I need to make more of these. And that’s how these chickpea tikkis happened.

Indian style Chana Tikki (Chickpea Patties) - thespiceadventuress.com

Chickpea is a popular ingredient worldwide, amongst all cuisines, vegetarians and nonvegetarians alike. We also know that it is a really good source of protein which makes it a pretty healthy option too. I love using chickpeas in curries, rice dishes, salads, dips etc…. but this is the first time I have tried out a tikki using it.

This recipe is actually an adaptation of several kebab and tikki recipes that I have made before or read in books. I didn’t want to use potatoes as the binding agent, so instead used soft white bread and flour. Since the latter are in small amounts, the taste and texture of the chickpeas really shines through. And these are grilled with very less oil on a flat nonstick or cast iron pan because it has a crumbly texture.

So let’s get on to making these delicious, super moreish chickpea or chana tikkis/patties, best paired with this mint coriander chutney. And if you try it out, do tag me in your photograph (#thespiceadventuress) so that I can see it too.

Ingredients:

  1. 2 cups chickpeas; cooked in salted boiling water till mushy
  2. 1 tsp cumin seeds
  3. 2-3 medium garlic cloves; grated
  4. ½ inch ginger; grated
  5. 1 medium red onion; finely chopped
  6. 1 tsp chaat masala
  7. 1 tsp coriander powder
  8. 1 tsp red chilli powder
  9. A pinch of asafoetida/hing
  10. 2-3 tbsp breadcrumbs (more if necessary)
  11. 1-2 tbsp white flour
  12. Vegetable oil
  13. 1 tbsp coriander leaves; finely chopped
  14. Salt, to season

Method:

  1. Soak the chickpeas overnight; cook in salted boiling water till soft and mushy. Drain and keep aside.
  2. Add 2 tbsp oil in a pan, add cumin seeds and allow to crackle. Then add the chopped onions, garlic paste and ginger paste. Sauté till the onions are softened and light brown.
  3. Next add the cooked chickpeas, coriander powder, red chilli powder, chaat masala and asafoetida. Season with salt (remember the chickpeas already has salt) and cook on low heat for about 1-2 minutes.
  4. Add the chopped coriander leaves and remove from heat. Allow to cool well before grinding.
  5. Once cooled, grind the chickpea mixture without water. Then add the flour and breadcrumbs and knead to dough like consistency. Add more breadcrumbs till you get the desired consistency.
  6. Slightly grease your palms using oil and shape the chickpea mixture into round patties/tikkis. Refrigerate for about 15 minutes just to firm up but bring back to room temperature before grilling.
  7. Heat oil in a nonstick pan, just enough to coat the surface as we need to lightly grill the patties and not shallow fry. Place the tikkis on the pan and cook well on one side before flipping over. Take care as you flip over as the tikkis have a crumbly texture or it will break.
  8. Serve warm with mint coriander chutney.

Note – Another way of enjoying these tikkis or patties is by crushing it between a pav; add a dollop of chutney and you have another version of your favourite vada pav. Or go Western by crushing it lightly between a slider bun and add some greens and your favourite mayo for a vegetarian slider.

Indian style Chana Tikki (Chickpea Patties) - thespiceadventuress.com

 

 

 

 

 

Lamb Cigar Rolls

“I have a son, who is my heart.
A wonderful young boy, daring and loving
Strong and kind.”

-Maya Angelou

Today our little munchkin turns 9.  And our hearts are filled with so much joy and happiness…..

Adi is a happy child, a genuine kind soul who finds happiness in humor, music and bear hugs. And as much as we would like to take credit for his upbringing, the truth is that it is not us. His kindness and generosity comes from within him and we are really blessed to have him in our lives.

And just as every other parent, we wish him good health and a joyful heart always.

All of us call Adi the ‘gourmet’ boy. His love for oysters is legendary; yes he can down a dozen of the raw ones which always get us attention at any restaurant we go to. But he is equally at home with traditional South Indian food especially dosas and this tomato egg chutney which is the ultimate combo for him. In fact that’s exactly what I will be making for his birthday dinner!

Lately he has also taken fancy to homemade snacks, especially the savoury ones. These days, he comes home ravenous from school. The growth spurts are real and that means I am always hunting for interesting recipes for quick after school snacks, especially ones that can be made in bulk and frozen to alternate through the week.

The Lamb Cigar Rolls fit the bill perfectly.

Lamb Cigar Rolls - thespiceadventuress.com

Frozen puff pastry sheets are a real blessing; and I always have some stocked in the freezer. Which means that I just need to make a filling for a quick, healthy and delicious snack. These lamb rolls were inspired by the paneer rolls I made last year for Adi’s birthday; it was hands down the best loved starter of the party.

The filling is really simple; lamb mince spiced with cumin, dried mint, paprika and turmeric with chopped onion, garlic and ginger through it. A few spices and aromatics can work wonders with lamb and the flavour of the meat really shines through. A handful of chopped raisins too for that intermittent sweet burst of flavour.

If you are fond of puff pastry snacks, then here’s another delicious one using kangaroo mince.

Lamb Cigar Rolls - thespiceadventuress.com

Ingredients:

(Makes 18-20 rolls)

  1. 5 Puff pastry sheets; each sheet cut into four
  2. 500gm lamb mince
  3. 1 small or ½ medium onion
  4. 3 medium garlic cloves
  5. ½ inch ginger
  6. 2 heaped tbsp coriander leaves; finely chopped
  7. ½ tsp cumin powder
  8. ¼ tsp turmeric powder
  9. ½ tsp dried mint
  10. 1 tsp paprika (or use Kashmiri chilli powder)
  11. Salt, to season
  12. A handful of chopped raisins (optional)
  13. Sesame seeds, for garnish
  14. Vegetable oil

Method:

  1. Defrost the puff pastry sheets before use.
  2. Heat 2-3 tbsp oil in a pan and brown the lamb mince in batches. Remove and keep aside.
  3. In the same pan, add the onion, garlic and ginger; sauté till the onions have softened.
  4. Next add the lamb mince back and season with the spices and salt. Mix well to combine and then add the raisins and coriander leaves. Mix well and remove from heat. Allow to cool completely.
  5. Pre heat the oven (fan forced) to 200°C
  6. Divide one pastry sheet into 4 equal squares.
  7. Place 1-2 tbsp of the prepared mince at one end of the square. Wet the edges of the sheet and roll tightly to form a cigar shaped roll. Repeat for all the other sheets.
  8. Place in a tray lined with baking paper. Spray the rolls lightly with oil and sprinkle the sesame seeds.
  9. Bake in the oven at 200°C for 30 minutes or till golden brown (time taken may vary depending on the type of oven so check intermittently).
  10. Serve warm with your choice of dipping sauce.

Note – If you want to freeze for later, prepare the rolls and freeze in an airtight container. Keeps upto 2 months.

Lamb Cigar Rolls - thespiceadventuress.com

Salmon Kebabs

Today’s recipe was the result of a happy accident.

Salmon Kebabs - thespiceadventuress.com

I had actually set out to make salmon cutlets or croquettes for a client. And the plan was to make a version similar to these Kerala style beef cutlets. So I minced the salmon, added the sautéed onion spice mixture and rolled it into round balls before doing the customary egg breadcrumb routine. But something important came up and I had to go out only to return late,  just in time for dinner. There was not enough time to coat and crumb and then deep fry; and I needed to make something quick with the salmon mixture for dinner.

While shaping the mixture, I realised that since salmon is an oily fish, it held shape pretty well and didn’t really need any other binding agent. So I flattened out the prepared balls into small patties and shallow fried in a pan. The result was these delicious Salmon kebabs. I had struck gold!

Salmon Kebabs - thespiceadventuress.com

And ofcourse, I had to share the recipe with all of you. Because these kebabs are delicious, really simple to make and can grace your dinner tables in so many different ways. Have it as a starter/appetizer, serve it as a canapé topped with relish or chutney or serve it on a bed of salad for a simple light lunch. You can also make slightly bigger patties and have a salmon burger or slider.

The salmon mixture is great for making croquettes too just as I had initially intended.

So let’s get cooking these delicious Salmon Kebabs which is best paired with this tangy mint coriander chutney.

Ingredients:

  1. 1-2 salmon fillets; skinless (weighing approximately 300gms)
  2. 1 red onion; finely chopped

Click here for the full recipe….

Salmon Kebabs - thespiceadventuress.com

Omelette Brochettes

We are big time egg lovers and go through quite a few cartons every month. In fact, if its egg curry bubbling on the stove, my son would sniff it a mile away and come running all excited about dinner.

All forms of egg dishes are welcome in our home and fried runny yolk eggs are a hot favourite of the kiddo for weekend brunches. We are lucky that so far, there has been no restrictions at school too because Adi really loves egg sandwiches in his lunch boxes.

Even though there are plenty of different egg dishes I cook, I was still on the hunt for new ones especially that cater to the after-school-hunger-pangs category. With a growth spurt happening, Adi comes home from school totally ravenous and needs something really substantial. And that’s how I came across a similar recipe for Omelette Brochettes in a cookbook called ‘Mini Treats’ by Hinkler Publications.

Omelette Brochettes, a simple and delicious snack - thespiceadventuress.com

This one’s pretty simple to make, almost like a frittata. Though I have used onions, bell peppers and ham, any combination of meats or veggies can be used depending on your preferences.

It’s a really easy and simple dish to make and one you can make in bulk which also makes it as an excellent starter choice especially for children’s parties. If you are a light eater like me, it makes a delicious lunch option too when paired with a simple green salad.

I have not used cheese in this recipe, somehow I don’t like the texture too much if I have to refrigerate and then re-heat it later. But I would,  if I was making it for a party or to have immediately afterwards.

Omelette Brochettes, a simple and delicious snack - thespiceadventuress.com

Omelette Brochettes, a simple and delicious snack - thespiceadventuress.com

Do try it out and let me know if you enjoyed it and don’t forget to tag your creations with #thespiceadventuress while posting on social media so that I can see it too. Happy cooking!

Ingredients:

  1. 3-4 tbsp olive oil
  2. 1 cup whole milk
  3. 12 large eggs
  4. 1 onion; finely chopped
  5. 8 ham slices; chopped
  6. 2 mini red bell peppers; finely chopped
  7. ½ tsp red chilli flakes
  8. 3 tbsp parsley leaves; finely chopped (reserve a bit for garnish)
  9. ½ tsp dried Italian herbs (a mix of dried oregano, thyme and rosemary)
  10. Salt, to season
  11. Freshly milled black pepper; to season

Method:

  • Preheat the oven to 160°C (fan forced).
  • Line an oven pan (32x26cm) with baking paper. (You can also use a square or rectangle cake tin).
  • Heat olive oil in a pan and add the chopped ham; sauté for about 2-3 minutes and then add the onions.
  • Once the onions are softened and translucent, add the bell peppers. Season with salt and allow to cool slightly before adding to the egg mixture.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs and milk together. Add the chilli flakes, dried herbs, parsley and the cooled onion ham mixture. Season with salt and pepper and whisk well.
  • Pour into the pan and cook in the oven for 12-15 minutes or till the egg has set.
  • Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before turning it out of the pan. Cut into squares and serve with your favourite sauce.

Omelette Brochettes, a simple and delicious snack - thespiceadventuress.com

Spiced Kangaroo Triangles

I often get the ‘raised eyebrow’ expression when I say that I occasionally eat kangaroo meat. While a couple of my friends are fascinated that I have experimentative tastebuds, most of them are quick to judge in the negative.

We have become so judgemental these days, even when it comes to food. It is the era of the global palate, yet we have divided and compartmentalized ourselves in so many food groups – non vegetarians, vegetarians, eggetarians, vegans, paleos with each group trying to sound more righteous than the next.

Why can’t food be just what it is meant to be – to nourish our bodies and our souls. Eat what makes you healthy and happy without judging and having an opinion on another’s diet!

Judgements aside, kangaroo meat is both delicious and healthy. While it is easily available in Australia and quite affordable too, it can be difficult and expensive to procure if you live elsewhere. It is important for me to purchase all the meat I consume from a verified, sustainable source and for kangaroo, it is ‘Gourmet Game’, a trademark of Macro Meats.

I have cooked with kangaroo before and it was a delicious experience. This time, I wanted to experiment with the mince and the inspiration for these Spiced Kangaroo Triangles came from the meat samosas that are famous in India.

Spiced Kangaroo Triangles - a delicious party snack with roo mince - thespiceadventuress.com

Though I started out with the idea of samosas, I wanted to simplify the whole process making the snack a little easier and quicker to make. Samosas can be a bit technical if you are not used to making it often. So instead I decided to do a simple stuffed triangle using store bought puff pastry sheets…like I said, making it simple and easy for everyone. Also these triangles are baked so no deep frying involved which is another plus.

Spices and aromatics are the magic ingredients here which transform the kangaroo mince into the most delicious filling. These spiced kangaroo triangles make the easiest party snack. The filling can be prepared ahead of time and all that you need to do on the day is make the triangles, a bit of egg wash and bake.

Spiced Kangaroo Triangles - a delicious party snack with roo mince - thespiceadventuress.com

Spiced Kangaroo Triangles - a delicious party snack with roo mince - thespiceadventuress.com

Use any kind of meat mince that you wish to, lamb, beef, chicken, all make great options. Or a vegetarian one with the classic ricotta and spinach or spiced potatoes. Just try it once and I am sure you will be making it over and over again….believe me, I have been making it a lot.

Ingredients:

Note – Makes about 30 triangles

  1. 1 kg kangaroo mince
  2. 3 medium red onions; finely chopped
  3. 3 garlic cloves; grated
  4. 1 tbsp ginger; grated
  5. 3 green chillies; finely chopped (adjust to heat preferences)
  6. ½ tsp turmeric powder
  7. ¾ tsp red chilli powder
  8. 1 tbsp coriander powder
  9. ½ tsp roasted cumin powder
  10. Salt, to season
  11. 2 tbsp coriander leaves; finely chopped
  12. 1 tbsp mint leaves; finely chopped
  13. 3-4 tbsp vegetable oil
  14. Puff pastry sheets (each pastry sheet makes 4 triangles)
  15. 1 egg beaten; for egg wash
  16. White sesame seeds; for garnish

Method:

  1. In a large pan, dry roast the mince till it has browned well. Brown in batches on high heat if the pan is small so that the mince is dried out and not stewed in its own juices. Remove and keep aside.
  2. Heat oil in the same pan and add the onions; sauté for 2-3 minutes on medium heat and then add the ginger, garlic and green chillies. Sauté till the onions are light brown, reduce heat and add all the spice powders. Season with salt, add the mince and mix well to combine. Finish off with the coriander and mint leaves. Remove and allow to cool completely before stuffing in the triangles.
  3. In the meantime, thaw the frozen pastry sheets.
  4. Preheat the oven to 200°C (fan forced oven) and line an oven proof tray with baking paper.
  5. Cut each pastry sheet into 4 equal squares.
  6. Place about 2 tbsp of the meat mince in the centre of each square. Brush egg wash on all the four sides of the square and fold diagonally to form a triangle. Press lightly at the edges and place on the baking tray. Repeat for all others.
  7. Finally, brush egg wash on the top surface of the triangles and sprinkled with sesame seeds.
  8. Bake for about 12-13 minutes or till the triangles are golden brown on the surface.
  9. Enjoy warm with sweet chilli sauce.

Note – The cooked mince freezes well to be used at a later date. I make it in bulk, freeze in batches and always have a pack of puff pastry sheets in the freezer; very handy for after school hunger pangs and unexpected guests.

Spiced Kangaroo Triangles - a delicious party snack with roo mince - thespiceadventuress.com

Spiced Kangaroo Triangles - a delicious, party snack with roo mince - thespiceadventuress.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vietnamese Prawn Spring Rolls (with Sweet n’ Spicy Dipping Sauce)

The looong Easter weekend is finally over and it’s back to work today. Well, not quite for me as the little fellow is at home for his term break. So technically, the holiday mood continues…

Last term holidays, Adi handed out invitations to his friends for play dates without asking me. So I found myself caught in completely unprepared situations having to think on the spur for interesting snacks to feed the brood. Though eventually that play date fell upon another mom’s shoulders, I didn’t want a repeat of that scenario this time too so decided to stock up on some finger food before hand, something I know children love to munch on.

And that is how these Vietnamese Prawn Spring Rolls came to be.

Vietnamese Prawns Spring Rolls - The ultimate party snack for kids and adults alike - thespiceadventuress.com

We are all familiar with spring rolls especially the deep fried ones. Perhaps, one of our all time favourite ones in the snack list. There are so many fillings that can be used, both vegetarian and non vegetarian. But I must admit that I am partial to pork and prawn spring rolls.

One of the best spring rolls that I have eaten is at a small Vietnamese restaurant near home. They serve thin, crispy spring rolls to be dunked in a delicious dipping sauce. And traditionally, these spring rolls are eaten wrapped inside lettuce leaves and a couple of mint leaves. Though generally iceberg lettuce is used, I enjoyed this with cos lettuce this time. Let me tell you, once you have it this way, you will not want to eat spring rolls any other way.

The cool crispiness of the lettuce followed by the crunchy deliciousness of the spring roll finishing off with minty freshness and all of it tied together by the sweet and spicy dipping sauce.

Vietnamese Prawns Spring Rolls - The ultimate party snack for kids and adults alike - thespiceadventuress.com

So you get the point…it is delicious!

Now Adi is not too fond of the lettuce/mint leaves/dipping sauce combo; he just prefers dunking it in store brought sweet chilli sauce. And I am sure his buddies are gonna think the same. But all of us do agree on one thing that these Vietnamese prawn spring rolls are the best.

Psst…..I also managed to sneak in some extra amount of carrots. I am sure the mummies are gonna love the idea.

If you are making spring rolls for the first time, then you might take a bit of practice to get it right but hey, it’s no rocket science. I hope the images are helpful or you can just watch any ‘how to make spring roll’ video on YouTube.

collage

Apart from these spring rolls, I am also planning to make these Chilli Chicken Bites and Upma Cutlets. Do you have any easy suggestions that I could try out? Would love to hear all of it….

Without wasting any more time, let’s get frying these delicious Vietnamese prawn spring rolls!

Ingredients:

(Makes around 26 rolls)

For the spring rolls:

  1. 1 packet spring roll pastry (small )
  2. 300 gms prawns; deshelled and deveined
  3. 1 large carrot; grated
  4. 1 medium onion; finely chopped
  5. 1 tbsp garlic powder
  6. 1 tsp sugar
  7. 1 tsp black pepper
  8. Salt, to season
  9. Paste mixture for sealing the pastry:
  • 1 tsp all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp water
  1. Vegetable oil; for deep frying

For the dipping sauce:

  1. 2 tbsp vinegar
  2. 3 tbsp fish sauce
  3. 2 tbsp sugar
  4. 1 cup water
  5. ½ tsp chilli paste (optional)

To serve:

  1. 2 heads of Cos lettuce; leaves separated
  2. A bunch of mint leaves

Method:

  1. Mince or finely chop the prawns. Remember it should have a bite so do not overmince to a paste like texture.
  2. Add the carrots and onions along with the garlic, sugar, pepper and salt. Mix well to combine till you get a uniform consistency.
  3. Mix the flour and water to get a paste like consistency which is to be used for sealing the ends of the pastry.
  4. It is faster if you separate your pastry sheets in advance and store in an air tight container or zip lock bag to prevent drying out. Alternately, you can separate the sheets that you want and then wrap in a damp cloth, removing one at a time.
  5. Place the sheet in a diamond shape (i.e. one pointed end of the sheet towards you as depicted in the picture).
  6. Place a small amount of the filling at the end towards you (do not overload with filling as this tends the roll to break open while frying). Hold the edge and fold over the filling towards the other end and then pull it tightly towards you so that the filling is nestled tightly inside. The tighter the roll, the better will be the shape of your spring roll and also helps it from breaking in the oil.
  7. Fold the other two ends towards each other and roll the whole thing into a cylinder. Seal the end with the flour paste to secure it tightly. Place in an airtight container and cover with lid immediately to prevent drying out.
  8. Repeat the same for all the rolls.
  9. Heat enough oil in a deep pan to deep fry the rolls. To check if the oil is hot enough, insert a chopstick or wooden spoon; if you can notice bubbling around the wooden part, then the temperature is right. Do not over heat the oil as this will burn the rolls outside without cooking the inside prawn meat.
  10. Also, fry only 4-5 rolls at a time in a medium sized pan. Overcrowding leads to a temperature drop which results in soggy rolls.
  11. Fry the rolls in batches and place in a strainer. Remove after a few minutes to a kitchen paper. Avoid stacking up to ensure that the crispness stays longer.
  12. To prepare the dipping sauce, mix together all the ingredients; taste and adjust seasoning accordingly.
  13. Serve on a large platter with the spring rolls, lettuce, mint leaves and dipping sauce so that each person can customize to individual taste preferences.

Note:

  • Spring roll pastry sheets come in both small and large sizes. I have used small ones in this recipe but if you are using large, then adjust the recipe accordingly.
  • Prawn meat can be substituted with any meat of choice. You can also make a vegetarian version with mashed veggies of choice.

Vietnamese Prawns Spring Rolls - The ultimate party snack for kids and adults alike - thespiceadventuress.com

Vietnamese Prawns Spring Rolls - The ultimate party snack for kids and adults alike - thespiceadventuress.com

Hashbrown Muffins with Ham, Cheese and Sundried Tomatoes

Hashbrowns!

Who doesn’t love a good hashbrown….crispy, golden goodness that make our mornings brighter and delicious.

But what could be better? Oven baked hashbrown muffins generously endowed with ham, parmesan and sundried tomatoes. Now we are talking….

Hashbrown Muffins with Ham, Cheese and Sundried Tomatoes - a savoury kid friendly snack perfect for lunch boxes and parties alike - thespiceadventuress.com

 

I have been wanting to make some savoury muffins for a while now but pushed it off till the school term began again. It was #backtoschool today and these hashbrown muffins seemed like the perfect treat to welcome my boy home after his first day in Grade 2.

The idea for a hashbrown muffin came from the blog ‘Recipe Tin Eats’; she used bacon in her recipe but I wanted to create a flavour that Adi enjoys. So it had to be ham and cheese! For that extra flavour punch, some finely chopped sundried tomatoes did the job. And a generous sprinkle of parsley for that refreshing, herby goodness.

A simple and easy to make recipe, these savoury muffins are excellent for parties or when you need to feed a crowd. Also freezes well, so you can make a batch ahead and re-heat it when necessary. And of course, a great lunch box recipe. Do not hesitate to experiment adding flavours that you or your kids enjoy. For a vegetarian version, I am thinking a hashbrown with ricotta and spinach.

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Hashbrown Muffins with Ham, Cheese and Sundried Tomatoes - a savoury kid friendly snack perfect for lunch boxes and parties alike - thespiceadventuress.com

Do you make savoury muffins? I would love to hear about your recipes, so please drop in a comment below. And if you do make these hashbrown muffins, make sure you tag me using #thespiceadventuress so that I would not miss it.

So, let’s get on to the recipe;

Ingredients:

(Makes about 20 muffins)

  1. 100gms ham; chopped finely
  2. 1.2 kg potatoes (any starchy variety); grated
  3. ½ cup sundried tomatoes; chopped finely
  4. 2 tbsp parsley; finely chopped
  5. Salt, to season
  6. Freshly milled black pepper; to season
  7. 1 cup mozzarella; grated (or any melting cheese)

Method:

  1. Sauté the ham on low heat till lightly browned. Keep aside.
  2. Pre-heat the oven to 160°C fan forced (180°C for conventional).
  3. Wash the grated potatoes once or twice in cold water to remove excess starch. Squeeze out the excess water in small batches and place in a bowl.
  4. Add the ham (reserve a bit for garnish), cheese, sundried tomatoes and 1 tbsp parsley to the potatoes; season with salt and pepper. Mix well to combine.
  5. Oil the muffin tray well (even if it is nonstick); scoop about ½ cup of the potato mixture and place in each muffin well. Flatten the top lightly with the back of a spoon.
  6. Oven bake for about 20-25 minutes or till the top has taken a golden brown colour.
  7. Garnish with the remaining ham and parsley; serve warm.

Hashbrown Muffins with Ham, Cheese and Sundried Tomatoes - a savoury kid friendly snack perfect for lunch boxes and parties alike - thespiceadventuress.com

Hashbrown Muffins with Ham, Cheese and Sundried Tomatoes - a savoury kid friendly snack perfect for lunch boxes and parties alike - thespiceadventuress.com

 

 

 

Crumbed Prawns with Desiccated Coconut and Spices

Why not one last recipe before 2016 arrives, especially when we love seafood so much!

Prawns are indispensable for our summer parties, and one of our most favourite foods to throw on the barbie. But today we are having crunchy, crumbed prawns with a difference. Bye to breadcrumbs and welcome to desiccated coconut to crumb these beauties.

Crumbed Prawns with Desiccated Coconut and Spices - a simple, easy to make crunchy prawn starter for your next party - thespiceadventuress.com

I made a batch of these crumbed prawns for a small get-together at home and everyone loved it, especially the kids. And ofcourse spices are integral to any recipe of mine, so I used a basic marinade for the prawns which boosts the flavour quotient. Not much of heat, but definitely more flavour.

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This is an extremely simple recipe, very few ingredients. The prawns can be pre-prepared and kept in the refrigerator till your guests arrive. I oven baked these with absolutely no oil as the coconut releases a bit of oil which is enough to get a crunchy exterior. But if you wish to shallow fry, you may do so but again, very less oil.

Served with sweet chilli sauce, these crumbed prawns with desiccated coconut and spices make an absolutely delicious starter.

Crumbed Prawns with Desiccated Coconut and Spices - a simple, easy to make crunchy prawn starter for your next party - thespiceadventuress.com

Wishing all of you a fantabulous 2016 and a year ahead of joy, happiness and abundant blessings.

Ingredients:

  1. 500gm prawns; shelled and deveined (retain a bit of the shell at the tail end)
  2. 1 ½ cups desiccated coconut
  3. Salt, to season

View the full recipe here.

Crumbed Prawns with Desiccated Coconut and Spices - a simple, easy to make crunchy prawn starter for your next party - thespiceadventuress.com

Crumbed Prawns with Desiccated Coconut and Spices - a simple, easy to make crunchy prawn starter for your next party - thespiceadventuress.com

Recipe developed, styled and shot for Supreme Seafood. 

Tandoori Paneer Skewers with Goat’s Yoghurt

My first taste of goat’s milk was when I was around 10, while living in the Middle East.

We had friends who used to work on dairy farms owned by the rich Arabs and they would bring us all sorts of delicious and exotic foods that were not so commonly available back then. Exotic varieties of dates, goat’s milk, sheep’s milk, yoghurt…..the best kind which were exclusively farmed for the rich families and not for sale.

I had almost forgotten what goat’s milk or yoghurt tastes like until recently when I got the opportunity to sample the same from CapriLac.

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Remember this vegan, dairy free almond yoghurt green smoothie and coconut yoghurt zucchini dip using No Udder products? CapriLac belongs to the same group but specializes in goat’s milk, yoghurt and goat’s milk powder.

Now you would ask, why goat’s milk?

Goat’s milk is not necessarily healthier than cow’s milk on a strict comparison basis. But it definitely has its merits. It has less lactose, a tab bit less sugar and also more calcium, potassium and Vitamin A than cow’s milk. It is also more easily digestible as it has a chemical structure which is quite similar to breast milk and hence is a great dairy alternative for those who have sensitive tummies. It is also less allergenic. So in a nutshell, it can be a great alternative to cow’s milk.

Goat’s yoghurt does not taste much different to cow’s yoghurt. I felt it is creamy but less sour than the cow’s yoghurt which makes it perfect for today’s paneer skewers.

CapriLac Goat products are Australian made (the milk comes from their own farms). No preservatives, no flavours, no additives…..which makes it a really good product for your family’s use.

I wanted to use goat’s yoghurt for a traditional Indian dish that has become a global favourite – tandoori.

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Myths and misconceptions regarding tandoori are rife and rampant. To being with tandoori refers to a dish that has been cooked inside a tandoor, a specialized kind of clay oven. The tandoor arrived in India through the Persian traders and even today, you can find plenty of households in Iran use the tandoor on a daily basis.

So technically the ‘tandoori’ refers to any dish prepared inside a tandoor but these days, the name has also been extended to dishes which use the traditional spice marinade. Again, this marinade has quite a few variations and this one is my version perfected after a lot of trial and error. I do not like to use besan (chickpea flour) in the marinade but prefer to keep it light with just yoghurt, aromatics and spices.

Paneer, as all of us know is Indian cottage cheese and now so commonly available in mainstream supermarkets. Now this is made from cow’s milk so those of you who wish to avoid it can use the same recipe for preparing mixed vegetable skewers (mushroom, broccoli, cauliflower), tofu, chicken or prawn skewers.

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Tandoori Paneer Skewers are an excellent party starter. In fact, it is a hit every time I make it for guests.  It’s flavourful, delicious, pairs equally well with beer, cocktails or wine and just the right summer party food. Perfect for your meatless Mondays too; pair with a simple green peas pilaf and mint coriander dip like I did.

If you have a tandoor at home, that’s great but since most of us will not have it…grilling or pan fry is the best option.

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Note – I have seen many photographs with perfect looking paneer cubes with hardly any signs of charring. But remember, it is those brown charred bits that you actually need because that’s where the deliciousness is!

Ingredients:

  1. 400 gms paneer (Indian cottage cheese); cut into equal sized cubes
  2. 1 medium red onion; cubed
  3. 2 ripe, yet firm tomatoes; remove pulp and cut into cubes
  4. 1 green bell pepper; cubed
  5. 3-4 tbsp vegetable oil
  6. 5-6 tbsp tandoori marinade
  • 4-5 tbsp Goat’s yoghurt
  • ½ tsp ginger paste
  • ½ tsp garlic paste
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • ½ tsp Kashmiri red chilli powder
  • ½ tsp coriander powder
  • ½ tsp cumin powder
  • ½ tsp chaat masala
  • A pinch of black salt
  • 2 sprigs fresh coriander leaves; finely chopped
  1. Salt, to season
  2. Lemon wedges, to garnish
  3. Bamboo skewers

Note:

  • Kashmiri chilli powder is mainly for a deeper red colour. It is optional and the level of heat can be adjusted with regular red chilli powder.
  • Chaat masala and black salt (kala namak) are available at all Indian stores.

Method:

  1. To make the tandoori marinade, mix the goat’s yoghurt with all the aromatics, spices and coriander leaves in a non reactive bowl.
  2. Add the paneer and vegetable cubes into the marinade and mix well. Season with salt and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or as long as possible. Bring to room temperature before cooking.
  3. Soak the bamboo skewers in water for at least 15 minutes before using to prevent burning.
  4. Skewer the paneer cubes and vegetables alternately so that each skewer has paneer, tomato, onion and bell pepper.
  5. Oil a flat pan or grill well and heat to smoking point. Reduce heat and place the skewers. Increase heat to medium and grill till done on all sides. Paneer cooks really fast so a minute or two on each side would be enough.
  6. Garnish with lemon wedges and serve with a mint coriander dip.

 

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Disclaimer – This is a sponsored post in association with CapriLac Foods. But the recipe and all the opinions expressed are entirely mine. 

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