Posted in Recipe, The Happiness Project

Fried Shrimp

Day 55 of 100 Happy Days! 
It’s been a while since I posted my last recipe. So, here is a recipe of my favorite snack. I also eat the fried shrimps as a side if I am having oriental food. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

Shrimp: 8-10, Large or jumbo sized 
Egg: 1
Hot sauce: 1/2 ts
Milk: 2 tbsp
All purpose flour: half cup
Red chili powder: 1/2 ts or to taste
Black pepper: 1/2 ts or to taste
Salt: to taste
Oil: about half cup or more for deep-frying

Direction:

  1. Process the shrimp first. Peel the shell, but do not peel the last part of the shell and the tail. Then make few slits side-wise in the inner side of the shrimp to keep it straight as much as possible. Do not slit too deep or it can come apart.
  2. Mix with salt, small amount of red chili powder and black pepper and set aside
  3. Beat the egg and add some milk, hot sauce, salt and red chili powder in it
  4. Mix all-purpose flour, some salt, red chilli powder and black pepper in a bowl
  5. Heat oil in a deep-frying pan over medium heat
  6. Toss the shrimps in the flour mix one by one, and then shake off any excess flour from it.
  7. Put it in the egg mix and soak it thoroughly. 
  8. Then put it again in the flour mix and shake off any excess flour or the loose flour can come off the shrimp during frying in the hot oil
  9. Make sure the oil is heated properly and then add the shrimps. Make sure the shrimps are not touching each other and getting heat from all sides. So, it is better to do the frying in 2/3 batches.
  10. Turn the shrimps one or two times to make sure the shrimp is cooked properly. 
  11. When the shrimps will turn golden, remove from oil and carefully drain the excess oil from the shrimp 
  12. Serve with ketchup or any kind of sauce! 
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Posted in Recipe, The Happiness Project

Thai Coconut Red Curry Soup

Day 42 of 100 Happy Days: 

Another recipe of a yummy soup while waiting at the airport! Enjoy! 

Ingredients:
Garlic: 3-4 cloves, finely chopped
Ginger: about 1 tbs chopped or grated
Red Thai curry paste: 2-3 tbs (depends on your taste)
Coconut milk: 2 cans
Chicken breast: 1, boneless
Shrimp: 7-8 large, peeled, tail on
Rice vermicelli noodles: 6-8 oz
Coriander: few, chopped
Basil leaves: 3/4 leaves
Chicken/beef/vegetable broth: 0.5 to 1 packet (32 oz)
Fish sauce: 2 tbs
Salt: to taste
Lemon juice: 2-3 tbs
Oil: 2-3 tbs

Direction:
1. Cut the chicken in large cubes and bring chicken, water, and salt to a boil in a pot. When the chicken will be fully cooked, take out the chicken cubes and keep the water to use it as broth if you don’t have the chicken/beef broth/stock.
2. Slice the cooked chicken cubes into small pieces.
3. Separately boil the shrimps with salt, skin off and tail on for 3-5 minutes. Alternatively, you can boil the shrimp with the skin on and remove the skin after the shrimps are cooked. This will prevent the shrimps from curling up and the shrimps won’t become small.
4. Over medium heat add oil in a large pot.
5. Add chopped garlic, grated ginger and red curry paste and sauté for few minutes.
6. Add cooked chicken and shrimps and gently mix for few minutes.
7. Add coconut milk, chicken broth, fish sauce and bring to boil.
8. When the oil will start to separate from the mixture, add basil leaves
9. Adjust the spice, the thickness and color of the soup (add some more red curry paste to make it more spicy or coconut milk/broth/small amount of brown sugar to make the soup milder, according to your taste).
10 (a). Add the rice vermicelli noodles to the boiling soup. The rice noodle doesn’t need to be cooked like pasta. They just need to re-hydrate in hot soup. Add lemon juice and some cilantro for garnish and turn off the heat.
10 (b). Alternatively, put some dried rice noodle in the serving bowl and pour the boiling soup over it. Then add lemon juice and garnish with cilantro.
10 (c). Another way is to skip adding the rice vermicelli noodles and enjoy the soup!

Posted in Recipe, The Happiness Project

GM Diet: Day 2

Day 28 of 100 Happy Days:

Day 2 of GM Diet is all about vegetables. All you can eat. To me this day is better than the fruit day, as I can use some creativity to make my meals. You can eat salad, you can eat raw vegetables or you can boil some vegetables, or cook veg stir fry or soup! This morning as yesterday I started the day with a full glass of warm water with few drops of lemon juice and later ate some salad. For lunch I made clear vegetable soup. For this I just boiled some vegetables in broth with small amount of salt and pepper. I didn’t put any kind of sauce, like ketchup, soy sauce, sriracha or oyster sauce, so the taste was very bland. That’s okay!

For dinner I made butternut squash soup for the very first time, and it was good! Here is the recipe:

Ingredient: 
Butternut squash: 1, Medium sized
Onion: 1, medium sized, chopped
Apple: 1, skin peeled, chopped
Garlic: half, peeled
Salt and pepper: taste wise

Direction:

  1. Cut the butternut squash into small pieces.
  2. Put small amount of oil in a deep pan and add garlic, chopped onions and apple.
  3. When the mixture will start to turn golden, add the squash pieces
  4. Add some water with salt and pepper and cover with lid.
  5. When the squash pieces will be completely soft, take it out from the stove and wait 5/10 minutes.
  6. Blend the mixture part by part in a blender with some water
  7. When the blending will be done, transfer all thick soup to the same pan
  8. Adjust water and salt
  9. Enjoy!

Now, I have made this soup for weight loss purpose, so I have used small amount of oil. This soup can be enhanced many ways. Like, adding butter or coconut milk or milk cream in the last step.

Tips: To cut the butternut squash easily, I baked the squash first to make it soft. I cut the squash in half and then baked it for an hour at 375F. After that it was soft enough to cut in pieces. If you have better squash you can easily remove the squash with a spoon from its skins after baking, so no post-cut is necessary. Depends on the softness of the squash.

Posted in Recipe, The Happiness Project

Coconut Barfi (jelly type pudding)

One of the easy-peasy recipe of a dessert! Anyone who loves coconut will fall in love with this pudding or barfi! (You can call it whatever you want)

Ingredients:

Coconut water (without sugar): 1 can
Coconut milk: 1 can
Sugar: 4 ts
Agar-agar:2 ts

Direction:

  1. Boil coconut water with 2 ts of sugar and 1 ts of agar agar
  2. Pour it in a serving dish
  3. Let it cool ( you can refrigerate it after it comes down to the room temperature)
  4. Boil the coconut milk with some water, 2 ts of sugar, 1 ts of agar agar
  5. Pour it to the serving dish on top of the coconut water mixture. You have to make sure that the coconut water mixture has been solidified by then, or it can get mixed.
  6. Let it cool and refrigerate it.
  7. Cut in smaller pieces and serve!

Next time I’m going to try this with different types of colorful juice!

Tips:
1. If you want to buy coconut water with sugar, just adjust the sweet according to your taste.
2. There are different types of coconut milk, some are in a form of thick cream and some are liquid. We want liquid type of thickness for this dessert, so if you have bought cream type coconut milk, you have to thin it with some water!

Day 21 of 100 Happy Days

Posted in Recipe, The Happiness Project

What about some “Meatball Curry”??

Day 9:
So…. For my happiness project (#100happydays) I have decided to post one photo everyday that makes/made me happy for hundred days. A small effort to handle my depression by being grateful to life at least once a day. It is being extra hard for me as I don’t go outside too much now a days! Work from home, looking for jobs, watching TV and sleeping pretty much sum up my daily routine (except weekends). This is my day 9, and I have to post 91 more photos! (Are you serious???!!!) Unless I give up! But, I should definitely mention that today was an extraordinary nice day. During this time of the year we don’t see many days with double-digit temperature in North Eastern Canada. I went for a walk in the morning and that was the only time I was feeling somewhat happy. Now after spending the whole day doing almost nothing, I am disappointed with myself. Just an attempt to make the day little bit productive, I cooked again today.

After enjoying an unproductive day, I don’t have anything to write in particular for the happiness project, so I’m posting another recipe. Today I cooked chicken korma and chicken meatball curry, also known as kofta curry. In my category, chicken meatball curry is a complicated-short recipe (easy to cook, takes lesser time but it will keep you occupied for 60-70 minutes). Here is the recipe for the meatball curry.

Ingredients: 
Ground chicken: 500 gm (approx.) ( you can also use ground beef or lamb)
Onion: 2 large, finely chopped (less than half of an onion for ground chicken mixture and rest for the curry)
Coriander: small amount, chopped
Salt: to taste
Oil: 2-3 tbs
Tomato: 1, chopped
Tomato sauce/tomato ketchup: 2 tbs
Ginger paste: 1 ts
Garlic paste: 1 ts
Garam masala: 1 ts (for best flavor, use kabab or keema masala, or 1 tsp of cumin powder will also work)
Red chili powder: less than 0.5 ts
Green chili :2/3 sliced into half

Direction:

  1. Mix ground chicken with small amount of chopped onion, small amount of chopped coriander,  garam masala, salt and red chili powder.
  2. Make 16 or less medium sized balls using damp hand (use oil to damp your hand).
  3. Heat oil and fry the meatballs in a non-stick frying pan over medium heat until the color turns to golden brown or you are confident that meatballs are fully cooked.
  4. Take meatballs out and set aside.
  5. In the same frying pan check if you have enough oil left, if not, add some more (you can use the same oil that you have used for chicken, but for beef I would recommend to use fresh oil as ground beef release a lot of fat while frying, which is definitely not healthy).
  6. Add chopped onions and cook until golden brown over medium heat.
  7. Add salt, chopped tomatoes (or one spoon of tomato paste), ginger and garlic paste and tomato sauce and keep simmering.
  8. When it will start to get dry, keep adding little water every time until the oil separates from the paste.
  9. Add the meatballs and cover for 10/15 minutes (during this time the sauce will penetrate into the meatballs).
  10. Simmer and keep cooking until the sauce becomes smooth and thick!
  11. Add some chopped coriander and green chilies.
  12. Serve and Enjoy!

Tips: For healthy eating, I didn’t fry the meatballs, instead I baked them (for 40 minutes, 400F) without oil. Only drawback is, it might become little bit dry. So, if you are inviting friends or don’t care about the amount of oil you are consuming, frying the meatballs will provide the best results!

Posted in Recipe, The Happiness Project

The magic of cooking!

Cooking is something that I always love (unless I have invited 20+ people and time is running out and I have lots to do…!!). I love to try new recipes as well as cook my popular dishes over and over. Maybe the main reason is I always miss desi foods from home. The city I live in doesn’t has many multi-cultural, good and cheap restaurants to try and my craving has no limit. So, I started to cook instead. Mostly I cook Indian or Bangladeshi food, but I also love to try Chinese, Thai, Italian, Western recipes regularly.  

However, in my dictionary there are four types of recipes. Here they are, with examples 🙂  

1. Easy Short:

This type of recipe is super easy to cook and the time required for cooking is between 30 to 40 minutes. This type of cooking is best when you have exams, you are super busy or you are not in a mood to cook for 2/3 hours. 

Example: Fried rice, Stir fry vegetables or crème brulé.

2. Easy Long:

Recipes from this category are easy but take longer time (like 2-3 hours) to cook. But the preparation time is less (20-30 minutes). This is easy because while cooking it, you can cook other foods or prepare something else at the same time or you can just relax. 

Example: Beef curry, Butter chicken, Whole grill chicken or Caramel pudding. 

3. Complicated Short:

These types of recipes need little time like 50-60 mins to cook, but you can’t move or go anywhere, neither you can comfortably multi-task. 

Example: Kabab, Pakora, Gulab jamun, Jilebi. 

4. Complicated:

Any recipe that needs more than 2 hours of cooking time and more than 1 hour of your active time, falls into this category. Also recipes that don’t fall into any categories listed above, I will list those in here. 

Example: Biryani, Haleem, Kabab curry, Multi layer cakes. 

Well, above all, it doesn’t matter how long does it take to prepare or how easy is it to cook, what I will never compromise is,  “the taste” of the final product. Good taste is independent of cooking time in most cases. Even my easy short recipes usually get very high reviews from my friends and they don’t believe when I tell them the recipe in 3 lines!

Today I cooked Thai thick soup after I checked my weight (Arrggghhh!!). The recipe is super easy, heavy and very healthy. Have a look! 

Thai thick soup:
This is my easy short recipe. Usually I cook this soup, whenever I re-start my weight loss journey. Thai soup is extremely tasty, very popular in South Asia. Surprisingly, we don’t find it here in North America. By Thai Soup they usually offer us clear soup with mixed vegetables. So, here is my recipe for Thai Thick Soup!

Ingredients:
Chicken/beef stock/broth: 1 packet
Chicken: 1 breast, without bones
Shrimps: 7/8 large or more if medium-sized
Corn flour:2 tbs
Tomato sauce: 2 tbs
Soya sauce: 1 tbs
Oyster sauce: 1 tbs
Lemon juice: 1 tbs
Fish sauce: 1 ts
Tasting salt: 1 ts
2 egg yolk
Lemon grass: 4/5 ( I didn’t have it, so didn’t use, but this one is very essential)
Salt and Sugar: taste wise
2/3 green chili, without seeds
Thai curry paste: 2 ts (optional)

dsc_0988-4
Original Thai Soup

 

My Thai Soup (Sorry, the picture is not too pretty!)

Direction:

  1. Cut the chicken breast in large cubes and boil in water with salt.
  2. Take out the chicken pieces from the water, cool it and dice and slice it into smaller pieces, and use the water with chicken stock.
  3. Boil the stock, add sliced chicken pieces, shrimps, corn flour, soya sauce, oyster sauce, fish sauce, tasting salt, beaten egg yolk, lemon juice, salt, and lemon grass.
  4. After 5/10 minutes, add the tomato sauce and green chilies and sugar.
  5. Enjoy!

*Tips: 1. Mix corn flour with small amount of water in a bowl separately before adding to the soup.
2. You can use whole egg if you don’t want to throw out the egg white, but beat first and then add it to the soup ( the soup will look like my soup in the image)

#Day 8