Keema Stuffed Tilapia

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Note: I had started this post last week but do to unforeseeable circumstances ( which I may share later) wasn’t able to post it. The only issue is I didn’t get too take was the final picture.

This is an original recipe of mine. I have not seen or tasted this before but there maybe something like this out there. This recipe is not something you will make everyday but it is worth the effort if you have the time and you like whole fish. Good to make on the weekends.

Keema is any type of ground minced meat. I had cooked some beef to make cutlets and had no energy to finish making it so decided to stuff a marinated whole tilapia instead. This was then pan fried. You can bake or broil this too. Using a little of coconut oil adds lots of flavor. If you do not eat beef, you can substitute with ground lamb, chicken or turkey. It turned out great. My husband loved it with rice and salas ( raw onions, green chilies and tomatoes with salt and vinegar) after a long plane ride back home from India. I think next time I am going to make it with a seafood stuffing like mini shrimp.

There are 3 phases- Marinating the fish, Making the filling an then bringing them both together. Hope you like it!

Keema Stuffed Tilapia
Ingredients:
3 whole medium sized fish, cleaned and scaled (Tilapia, Red Snapper, Porgie will work well)
Marinade-
Juice of half a lemon ( or white vinegar)
1 tsp turmeric
3 tsp red chili powder
2 tsp black pepper
2 tbsp ginger garlic paste
3 tsp salt

Make 3-4 vertical slits along the length of the fish and apply marinade all over ( in cavity and slits). Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour.

Keema Stuffing

2 lb of beef chuck roast (may substitute with ground beef, chicken, turkey, lamb etc), boiled until cooked
1 tbsp Coconut or any other oil
1/4 tsp cumin seeds
1 onion, diced
3-4 green chillies, chopped finely
1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
1 tsp each cumin and coriander pdr
2 tsp garam masala
1/4 tsp turmeric
1 tsp red chili pdr
Few curry leaves and cilantro leaves

1 beaten egg

Method:

Take cooked beef and mince in a food processor. In a medium frying pan, heat up oil, add cumin seeds and let splutter, add diced onions, green chilies, ginger and garlic. Saute for few minutes then add chili pdr, turmeric, coriander powder, cumin powder and garam masala and curry and cilantro leaves. Now add meat and combine.If you are using ground meat then just add the raw meat here and sauté until cooked. When it cools down a little add the beaten egg. This will help bind everything together when cooking.

Remove fish from fridge and stuff cavity with the meat and egg mixture. Pack tightly and bring edges of fish together as much as possible.

Pan fry Method: Heat up 4 tbs coconut oil in a non stick frying pan. Add the fish (do not crowd the pan) Resist the urge to flip it before it is crispy and brown or else pieces will get stuck on the pan. Intermittently baste the top of the fish with the oil that is in the pan. Flip and let other side get brown and crispy.

Bake or Broil Method: Spray a baking dish with cooking spray. Place fish in pan and drizzle a little of coconut or olive oil over the top. Broil for at least 20 mts until cooked. Or bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 mts until cooked.

Serve with rice and salas.

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Chicken Kabobs , Tzatziki and Cilantro Tabbouleh

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Mediterranean and Middle Eastern food are always on the list for the most healthy of diets. The addition of olive oil and garlic, lemon juice are some key components. Tabbouleh is a light lemony side salad dish made with cracked wheat (bulghur) and lots of parsley. I don’t like parsley much so added more cilantro instead. Even though it is at freezing here today, this light, refreshing meal will remind me of summer. Enjoy!

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Cilantro Tabbouleh

Ingredients:

2 cups Cilantro, chopped finely

1 cup Parsley, chopped finely

1 cup each of chopped tomatoes and cucumber

2-3 cloves garlic minced

3 green onions, chopped finely

1/2 cup Cracked wheat or Bulghur wheat

1 cup hot water

Dressing:

Juice of half a lemon

2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

salt and black pepper to taste.

Method:

Boil the water and pour over the cracked wheat and let stand, covered for 30 mts. Now prepare all the ingredients for the salad and toss together. Check the cracked wheat. The water should have absorbed, but if there is any remaining, just drain. Add to salad. Mix dressing ingredients and toss together. Serve chilled as an accompaniment.

Chicken Kabobs

Ingredients:

6 chicken thighs, skinned and cubed into boneless kabob pieces

Marinade:

1 cup chopped cilantro

1 cup chopped mint

2 stalks green onion

6-7 cloves garlic

4 green chilies

1 tbsp. yogurt

Juice of half a lemon,

1 tsp Lemon zest

1/2 a tomato

2 tsp Cumin pdr

1 tsp coriander pdr

1/2 tsp turmeric

1/2 tsp red chili flakes

2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive oil
Wood or metal skewers

Method:

Clean and prep chicken thigh meat. Set aside. Puree all the ingredients of the marinade in a blender. Should still be able to see specks of the cilantro and mint leaves. Pour over chicken. Let marinate covered in fridge for minimum 1 hour. (Overnight is even better)

Soak wooden skewers in water for 15 mts. Discard leftover marinade. Skewer meat onto them and broil or grill for 25-30 mts until cooked. Should have some brown spots on the meat. Serve immediately.

Tzatziki
Ingredients:
1 cup yogurt
5 cloves garlic
1/2c chopped cilantro
1 cup diced cucumber
2 tsp lemon juice
Salt to taste

Method:
Combine all ingredients in a blender and purée for a few seconds. Chill.

Top a Pita bread with chicken kabobs and Tzatziki sauce, accompany with Tabbouleh salad.

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No Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

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Sometimes you feel like having a cookie and if your oven is not working then this cookie is for you. This is not my original recipe, just one I like to use. It is a one pot cookie. The key in this recipe is to make sure the mixture is kept at a rolling boil for at least one minute.

No Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Cookie

Ingredients:
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter
1/2 cup milk
2 cups sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup chunky or smooth peanut butter
Pinch of salt
3 1/2 cups quick cooking or old fashioned Oatmeal ( not instant)

Method:
Combine all the ingredients except the oatmeal and peanut butter into a saucepan.Allow to melt and bring to a rolling boil. Let it boil for at least one minute. Then add peanut butter and mix until melted and combined. Remove from stove and add the oatmeal and mix together.
Take a piece of parchment paper and drop spoonfuls of the batter and spread to desired size cookies. Allow to cool until set. Store in an airtight container.
Makes about 18-20 cookies.

Bollywood in the Ballroom

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This year I am on the local Indian Association board. We plan about 3-4 events per year and the first one was a potluck dinner with a Bollywood theme—Bollywood in the Ballroom. We had about 125 people come and enjoy, dinner, Bollywood charades and dancing. There was a lot of organizational teamwork involved but our Board had a blast doing it. We served things like Foot Path Falafel, Delhi Belly Chicken Curry, Veer-Zaara Veg curry, Kohinoor Pulao and Dhobhi Ghat Aloo Gobhi.

  • Here are the centerpieces we came up with that can be used for any party. I printed Bollywood movie posters onto Vellum paper ( a transparent acetate like paper that can be found at any crafts store-JoAnns, Michaels etc) I cut them out taped them into a cylinder and put a led light in the center. We chose multicolor table cloths and for the center got black poster board and trimmed the edges with plastic film reel strip. We added old DVDs and some plastic Mardi gras beads ( worked as favors too).Turned out very nicely and not costly at all.

You can use this same technique for any party… For graduations/birthdays/ anniversaries—copy pictures of the graduate or special person onto a Word document and then print them out onto the vellum paper. As your are printing the image, stand by the printer and take it out immediately as the wet ink will make the paper curl, especially darker images. Don’t touch the image as it will smudge. Place on a flat surface immediately to allow ink to dry. Cut it out and just tape the edges to make a cylinder. I printed 2 images on one sheet and the 3rd by itself and cut them out….so its a 3 sided image.

These are easy, inexpensive and personalized….all things that I love.

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Crunchy Murukku – A Tea Time Snack

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I have always wanted to try making murukku. I am definitely not an expert at this and know there are many variations. They didn’t turn out too bad for a first time and the pics came out well.

This is a crunchy snack perfect with a cup of coffee or tea.

Crunchy Murukku

Ingredients:
1 cup rice flour
1/4 cup urad flour
1/4 c besan flour (a.k.a-Channa dhal/Gram/garbanzo/chick pea flour)
2 tbsp softened butter ( is a must)
2 tsp red chili powder- or to taste
1/4 tsp hing or asafetida
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp white sesame seeds
Enough water to make dough

Method:
Heat up the flours individually in a dry frying pan and combine together. Do not brown, just heat up. Heat up the cumin seeds and sesame seeds the same way until fragrant. Add to the flours. Add the rest of the ingredients and add water gradually until you get a soft firm dough. Cover and set aside.
Cut squares of foil and grease.
Place dough into a murukku maker ( see pic below) with the star attachment and swirl into a 2-3 inch circle. Heat oil in a frying pan and drop into oil a few at a time. Flip over and fry until golden. Drain on a paper towel.Makes about 20-30 pieces depending on size. Store in a covered container or Ziploc bag.

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Note: You probably can make this with a cookie press or a piping bag, if you can find a really small star attachment.

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