Nov 24, 2014

Lebanese Macarouns

Lebanese Macarouns or Macaroons both are same but a little difference in spelling. Those have nothing to do with French Macarons just the name sounds like that. Lebanese Macarouns are made with flour, fine semolina and aniseed powder. When you bite them can feel a mixed flavor of ani seed powder, rose and orange blossom water. Not only in Lebanese cuisine these macarouns you can find in some other Middle eastern countries cuisine also.
                                                            But surprisingly this recipe is very much resemble to our Gavvalu recipe in Andhra Cuisine. Only thing we use cardamom powder to give flavor and make them in a small size, making process is almost same. This recipe I wanted to make for International BM, couldn't make it. So I wanted to post this for this month BM under 44 th Mega Marathon Bookmarks
Let's check the recipe.. 
INGREDIENTS:--
Flour (maida) ---  1 and half cups
Semolina   --- 1 cup (I used chiroti rava)
Sugar   ----  1/2 cup
Aniseed powder  ---   1 tab sp
Mahlab  --- 1/4 (I used badaam powder)
Baking powder  --- 1/2 tea sp
Sunflower oil  ----  1/3 cup
Water ---  1/2 cup
Salt a pinch
Oil for deep frying
                                                                    

FOR SUGAR SYRUP:--
Sugar  ---  2 and half cups
Water  --- 1and half cups
Lemon juice  --  1 tea sp
Rose water  ---  1 tea sp
Orange blossom water  --- 1 tea sp
METOD:--
1. In a large bowl mix all ingredients except water. Add little by little water and make a firm water. Leave this dough for at least one hour.
2. For sugar syrup add sugar and water in a sauce pan bring to a full boil in a medium heat till sugar dissolves.
3. Add lemon juice and cook syrup becomes thick (like badush syrup), then add orange blossom water, remove from heat and set a side.
                                                                      

4. To make Maakrouns take walnut size ball roll each ball in to a finger like shape.
5. Press each on cheese grater to give a pattern on the dough and roll it down with your finger, keep the dough rolled with out sealing the edges.
6. Deep fry the maakroun in hot oil till golden.
7. Remove from oil drain well and drop them in the syrup leave it at least for one minute then remove from the syrup.
Serve warm with tea or coffee...
Notes:--
1. Mahlab is an aromatic spice powder what we find in Middle eastern ciusine that is made with a type of cherry seed and some spices. I didn't find that in India so I replaced it with Almond powder. 
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Nov 19, 2014

Garlicky Red Bell Pepper Dip

I wanted to bake French baguette, but still I have some pieces of sun dried tomato and basil bread. I wanted to finish that so I made a dip with red bell pepper. Before I made chutney with red bell pepper, that goes well with dosa. Now I have to make a spread which pair well with any bread that should be less spicy and creamy. First I thought of using cream cheese but wanted to make it little healthy. Find this recipe in a book called delicious dips which my sister gave me.
                                                      This recipe contain two types of nuts and bread crumbs. I used both nuts but removed bread crumbs. Because I didn't have fresh bread crumbs in hand and also some how I didn't like that option if you like can add bread crumbs. 
Let's check the recipe.....
INGREDIENTS:--
Roasted red bell pepper   ----  1 big 
Red chillies (bird eye red chilli) ---  2
Walnuts  ----  1 tab sp roasted
Pine nuts  ----  1 tab sp
Garlic cloves  ---  3 mashed
Lemon juice ---  juice of one lemon
Olive oil  ---  1 tabsp
Bread crumbs  ---  2 tab sp ( I didn't add bread crumbs if you like can add)
METHOD:--
1. Roast bell pepper on stove how we roast eggplant for bharta, let it cool and peel the skin.
2. Take roasted bell pepper, red chillies, walnuts, pine nuts, garlic, lemon juice, bread crumbs (if using), olive oil and blend in to a smooth paste.
Serve with any bread or crackers or with chips. 
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