Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Shakshouka--An Irresistible Arabic Breakfast

Shakshouka! The dish is as simple to make as complicated as it sounds. I have been hearing and seeing this dish popping up on my FB timeline almost every weekend and while the dish didn't entice me first as I don't quite enjoy poached eggs, the curiosity around this dish kept on increasing with every passing post. Recently, a very dear friend and his wife came to visit us. Serving breakfast is a bit challenging for me and that was when Shakshouka came to my rescue. It is the same Bread and Eggs breakfast but with a delicious makeover. You must try this for your next weekend breakfast and let me know how addictive it is!!
3-4 eggs as per your requirement 
2 large tomatoes chopped 
1 medium onion chopped 
3-4 fat cloves of garlic finely chopped 
1/2 red bell pepper cut into strips
1-2 chillies chopped (optional)
2 tsp fresh parsley chopped 
2 tsp lebanese 7 spices (you can substitute this with 1 tsp freshly ground cumin powder, 1 tsp coriander powder)
1/2 tsp garam masala powder (you can skip this if using lebanese 7 spices)
1 tsp cayenne pepper 
Salt and pepper to taste 
2 tsp oil

Heat oil in a frying pan and add the onions. Fry till soft and then add the chopped garlic. Keep stirring until the raw smell disappears. Now add the bell pepper and fry just until little soft. Next add the tomatoes and the spices and keep stirring till the tomatoes are mushy and soft and start leaving their juices. Check for seasoning as you won't be able to stir once you add the eggs. Now gently break the eggs on top of the tomato base and reduce the flame to minimum. Let the eggs cook till no clear liquid remains. Sprinkle fresh parsley on top with a dash of freshly ground pepper.   Enjoy with your favourite bread. Goes especially well with challah bread. 

Monday, 11 January 2016

Shortbread Chocolate Chip Cookies

First of all, a very happy new year to all my readers. I know I am quite late in wishing but due to health reasons I was quite tied up in the first week of the month. Nevertheless, I couldn't stay away too long from blogging and cooking and so with a very dear friend visiting us this week, I thought it was the perfect time to get back to routine and bake some yummy cookies for them to enjoy with their tea and coffee. These cookies are amazingly easy and eggless too!! You must try these if you have been looking for a quick way to heaven!! 

1 cup butter, just soft enough to beat but not melted
1/2 cup sugar 
2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp lemon extract (you can use Vanila, orange, or any flavor of your choice)
Chocolate chips for the toppings 

Best the butter and sugar together until fluffy. Now add the extract and beat for a second. Lastly add the flour little at a time and beat until incorporated. You may use your hands at this time instead of the beater. 
Pre heat the oven at 175 degree celcius and line a baking tray with parchment paper. With the help of an ice cream scoop, scoop out small portions of the dough and drop on the prepared baking sheet. Once you have spaced all the cookies 1" apart, using your hands, smooth the cookie drops to an even top and sprinkle some chocolate chips on top. Bake in the pre heated oven for 12-15 minutes till the bottom is slightly golden and the tops spring back lightly when gently pressed. Remove from oven and let them cool in the tray for 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in air tight containers.