Vadas – Crispy Lentil Dumplings

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Dahi Vadas – Dahi Wadas

Ingredients

  • adas
  • 1 cup Urad Dhal (Vigna mungo, black gram, urad bean, minapa pappu, mungo bean or black matpe)
  • ¼ cup Wwater
  • ¾ tsp black Salt
  • ¼ tsp fresh cracked Pepper
  • ¼ tsp Mustard Seeds
  • ¼ tsp Chaat Masala
  • ¼ tsp Red Chilli powder
  • Pinch Asafoetida or Hing
  • 1 tbsp. finely diced fresh ginger
  • 1 tbsp minced green chilli
  • 1 tbsp of chopped Coriander
  • Optional ½ tsp of Baking powder
  • Oil for frying

Instructions

  1. The first step is to soak the Urad dhal in water for about 8 hours
  2. Wash the dhal and grind to a paste with the help of a little water, leave this for 6 – 8 hours to ferment in the fridge
  3. Add all the ingredients and mix well
  4. Using an ice cream scoop drop the batter into the hot oil and allow to turn a nice golden brown while the inside cooks till it’s nice and spongy
  5. Drain them on some kitchen towels to absorb the excess oil
https://kravingsfoodadventures.com/vadas-crispy-lentil-dumplings/

Lasagna – Old family favourite

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This is not your Nona’s lasagna, but this is MY version of Lasagna, a version I’ve made and fed my growing boys so many many times. My older son Adam at 3 used to call it ‘Pisania’ “Mom I love Pisania” lol This recipe is basic, but you can add and subtract ingredients to change it up!

Lasagna – Old family favourite

Ingredients

  • 1 cup diced Onions?3 tbsps minced Garlic
  • 2 lbs ground meat (Beef, Lamb, Pork, Chicken)
  • 1 tsp of salt?2 tsps Cumin powder?680 ml Tomato sauce.?200 ml of water
  • Fresh Basil
  • 2 tbsp Hot sauce (optional)
  • 200 - 300 gms Lasagna Noodles
  • 24 leaves of baby kale
  • 1 - 1 1/2 cup shredded cheese

Instructions

  1. Heat the oil and add the onions
  2. Allow the onions to sweat and add the garlic to cook off that raw garlic flavour
  3. Add in the ground meat
  4. Break up the meat and allow it to infuse with the onions and garlic
  5. Add salt and cumin powder and mix it in
  6. After a few minutes you will notice liquid coming out of the meat, keep stirring to break up the lumps
  7. Add 680 ml of tomato sauce and mix this in well
  8. Add 200 ml of water int the jar to catch all that residual sauce
  9. Throw in some fresh Basil
  10. Put a lid on this for 2 mins and allow this to simmer
  11. Add hot sauce for a little kick
  12. Layer the sauce, lasagna, cheese & kale
  13. Stick this uncovered in a 350 degree oven for about 30 mins
https://kravingsfoodadventures.com/lasagna-old-family-favourite/

Stuffed Spiced Apples

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This post is sponsored by the Ontario Apple Growers – the opinions and recipe idea is entirely my own.

Do you know where your apples come from? Contrary to popular belief, they don’t magically appear on grocery shelves.

This year I was invited to tour with the Ontario Apple Growers. We headed to Wilmot Fams to the Apple Orchards and onward Algoma Orchards to a packing plant. Last year we visited another farm in the west end. Although it was an amazing trip, we didn’t get to see any of the apples on the trees as it was November and picking was done for the season. You can watch that video here – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e8J1BnQXSSI&t=239s

Ontario Apple farms are located in three different zones and they are all close to the lake regions – Lake Ontario, Lake Erie, Lake Huron and Georgian Bay.

This trip was made mid October and although Apple picking is finished for the most part, the trees are still laden with Ambrosia that is picked in the mid to late fall.

We started off at Wilmot Farms in Bowmanville. This farm is owned by the Stevens Family Charles and Judi and their daughter Courtney. Courtney is the seventh generation farmer in the Stevens family!

Ian Parker, Orchard Manager is very knowledgeable and it blew my mind to learn how much strategy and science in involved in keeping the apples safe. Everything is calculated, the height that the tree is allowed to grow to, and the distance between each tree and the rows. The trees are also thinned so they produce the right amount of apples. If it tree is over producing there are many methods to trim back the apples to maintain quality; including thinning, pruning and applying certain products. Machines such as frost fans are used to suck in the cold air and push it upward, pushing the warm air back onto the orchard. The difference even if it’s a few degrees can save the crop. They also protect the crop from hail using a hail cannon.

Apple Fact: There are 15 different main varieties of apples are grown on nearly 16,000 acres in Ontario

This farm grows about 10 varieties of apples at this time of year the Ambrosia is ripe for the picking. The Ambrosia is a fairly new apple discovered in British Columbia in the early 1990’s. This was found growing in the orchard among another apple variety. This fruit is typically picked late fall.

Many of the trees in the Orchard that are done for the season have a lot of fruit on the ground. In commercial growing, if the apples touch the ground, they cannot be sold under Food Safety protocols. I asked the farmer why the fruit couldn’t be saved by installing a net and the answer he gave me made perfect sense  – when the apple falls, even if it is caught in a net, when it collides with another apple it will bruise, which makes it unsellable. Also the cost of picking the apple on the ground for organic waste or cattle feed is labour-intensive & too expensive, so the best is to leave it on the ground to fertilize the soil for next year’s crop.

Our group of eager bloggers had plenty of photo ops to get up and personal with these beautiful fruit. Here you see my friend Puneeta from Maple and Marigold look for the perfect shot!

Other bloggers on this trip were The Kitchen Fairy, Eclectic Soapbox, Nutrition Artist, Little Sweet Baker, The Viet Vegan, The Messy Baker, The Cookie Writer, Imagelicious, Carmy – Run Eat Travel, The Unlikely Baker, How To Eat, Nomadic Nutritionist, Weekend at the cottage & Baking for Friends – check out their recipes too!

As I was busy admiring the flawless fruit that Eve lured Adam with, I spy a group of pickers! These pickers typically are seasonal agricultural workers that come from Mexico and Barbados to work in the orchard and pick fruit every year. They live on the farm for between 4-8 months and then either transfer to another farm, or go back home till the next season.

The farmers that run this farm are filled with passion and love for the apples. This farm also grows blueberries and you can pick your own in season.

After a busy morning trudging through the apple orchards, we were served a delicious apple themed lunch and these gorgeous apple centrepieces made by the owner Judi Stevens caught my eye.

After lunch we made our way to Algoma Orchards to meet Kirk Kemp a partner with Mike Gibson. In addition to running apple farms they run a top notch apple packing & storage facility and juice processing plant.

Apples arrive by the bins and start to move in massive streams of water to wash the apples and removed any stems and leaves. It is also a gentle way to move the apples through the grading process. This minimizes bruising and damage to the fruit.

Anything that hasn’t come off will be manually picked off.

The apples are then photographed 50 times and monitored by a machine. The fruit that are less than perfect are separated from the perfect fruit.

These move on belts like a highway of apples where they are cleaned. This plants can process 9000 cases of apples per day.

Kirk Kemp, guides us through the plant and we hang on every word.

The apples are kept in temp controlled storage rooms  till they are ready to be packed.

Once the apples are ready to be sold to the grocery store, they move through the plant on the belts and are sorted and boxed by staff.

Apple Fact: The top five varieties in Ontario (based on acreage planted) are McIntosh, Gala, Empire, Red Delicious, and Northern Spy.

Many of the popular store brands you see are packed right here. Boxes of apples are rushed out of here onto trucks to make it into stores for you!

And what does one do when one has way too many apples? Make apple juice and cider of course. Algoma Orchards invested in a state of the art facility to make apple juice that supplies many big brands. Their tanks are insulated which gives them much longer shelf life.

There is a lab on site that monitors the quality of the apple juice.

Apple Fact: It takes four apples to make a glass of pure apple juice.

This chamber controls all (I can’t remember what the specific task of this chamber is) the tanks and everything is temp controlled and computerized.

To keep the facility germ free, the ground is filled with soap suds.

And on our way out we were were sent home with a nice big bag of apples! Yummmm

Now that you know so much about apples, you’re going to love how I developed this recipe for a sweet and savory treat. These Stuffed Spiced apples are brined, then stuffed with a savory filling with herbs and topped with Cheddar. The Apples are just about cooked till the cheese melts to maintain that nice crunchy and juicy exterior. If you’re having a sit down Fall or Christmas lunch or dinner, this is the perfect start to the meal and looks incredible.

I was gifted a large bag of Galas and I decided to use this in this recipe. You can find the right type of apple to use in your recipes by following this guide – http://onapples.com/apple-usage-guide

Although the Gala is not recommended for baking, I only let it go in the oven for a few minutes so the cheese melted to preserve that crispiness. Have apples been brined before? I have no idea, but I think it’s a great idea!

I start with a sweet savory spicy brine and soak my cored apples in so they absorb some more flavour.

 

 

While they soak, I prepare a quick filling using ground Chicken, spices an herbs. This is stuffed into the cavity, topped with cheese and baked for a few minutes. Super delicious!

Here is the super simple recipe!

Appla Baklava

Ingredients

  • tesr

Instructions

  1. tes
https://kravingsfoodadventures.com/stuffed-spiced-apples/

Apple Facts courtesy of http://onapples.com/apple-facts

 

Check out my other Apple recipes:

Candy Apples: https://kravingsfoodadventures.com/candy-apples/

Cheddar crust Apple Pie: https://kravingsfoodadventures.com/candy-apples/

Curried Chicken Salad – https://kravingsfoodadventures.com/curried-chicken-salad/

 

More pictures!

 

 

Popcorn Tandoori Chicken

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Popcorn Tandoori Chicken

Ingredients

  • 3 Chicken breasts (2 lbs)
  • Marinade
  • 1.5 cups of Yogurt
  • 1 tsp red Kashmiri Chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp dried Fenugreek also known as Kasuri methi
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp ground pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin
  • 1/2 tsp Garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp Chaat masala
  • 1 tsp Black salt
  • 2 tsps of Ginger and Garlic paste
  • And 1 tbsp Mustard Oil
  • Batter
  • 1/2 cup regular all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup Cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • Pinch of salt

Instructions

  1. Cut the Chicken into small pieces
  2. Prepare the marinade and reserve about 4 tbsps
  3. Marinate the Chicken in the rest of the marinade
  4. Prepare the breading by mixing the reserved tandoori marinade in the dry ingredients one tbsp at a time till it resembles dry breadcrumbs
  5. Dip the marinated Chicken in this and deep fry in hot oil till crispy
https://kravingsfoodadventures.com/popcorn-tandoori-chicken/

Candy Apples

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If you haven’t been tipped off by the cold weather, you just know it’s Fall when you see the bushels of Apples in the stores. Apples are everywhere. Ontario boasts of producing many different kinds of apples including the prized Honey crisp. Last year I was fortunate to go on a trip courtesy of the Ontario Apple Farmers and I made a lovely behind the scenes video that you can fine here – This year they’ve invited me again and I’m thrilled to be visiting another farm this year.

 

This year I’m having a bunch of people over for the Canadian Fall weekend potluck. I’ve requested my friends to think ‘fall’ when planning the menu. Since I’m hosting, I’m preparing the bird that I affectionately call ‘the beast’ and for dessert, I thought of making an all time favourite – Candy Apples. For it’s contrast against the sweetness of the caramel and chocolate, I chose the Granny Smith and I bought snacking apples instead of the regular sized apples.

 

When I visited the Apple packing plant last year, I learned that the apples are sorted by weight and the smallest ones gets packed and sent off to schools for their lunch programs. And as I discovered these are also the perfect size for Candy Apples.

 

The Apple Growers of Ontario are partnering with me this year to produce three amazing Apple recipes. These will be right here on my blog on Oct 29, Dec 10 & Feb 11. In the meantime, how do you like ‘em apples?

Candy Apples

Ingredients

  • 6 cups Water
  • 4 tbsps Vinegar
  • 8 small Granny Smith Apples
  • 1 lb soft Caramel candies
  • 2 tbsps
  • Sprinkles and candies
  • Walnuts, crushed
  • 8 oz Chocolate

Instructions

  1. Prepare the apples by boiling water, adding vinegar and quickly dipping the apples in to remove any wax
  2. Dry thoroughly and refrigerate for best results
  3. Once cool, remove the stems and pierce each apple through the middle with a bamboo stick
  4. Prepare the caramel by melting the candies & milk in a microwave for 1 minute, stir and then microwave again for another minute till smooth
  5. Working quickly, dip the apple in the caramel and dredge in the crushed walnuts
  6. Place on a silicone mat to prevent sticking
  7. You can also add sprinkles or candies as well
  8. Put it back in the fridge for an hour for the caramel to set
  9. Melt the chocolate in the microwave and drizzle on top of the candy apple as desired
  10. Add more nuts or candies
  11. Refrigerate again
https://kravingsfoodadventures.com/candy-apples/

Chilli Chicken Wontons

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Ok seriously … I think this has gotta be one of the better or more genius ideas that I’ve had! Chilli Chicken in a Wonton???? Why did I take this long to figure this out. I’ve made many a Chilli Chicken in my time from my Mom’s easy recipe to the more complex but incredible Kolkata Chilli Chicken so the evolution to an adorable Wonton was bound to happen.

To create this and make it practical, all of the ingredients are diced very small so they can be easily stuffed into a small wonton wrapper.

I love making a batch of Wontons and just freezing them for a rainy day. These ones kept my family and friends happy for a while. I also made a batch to take to my friends home for a potluck.

Check out my Mom’s Chilli Chicken recipe – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y-Sy-_4gRPg

Check out my version of Bong Eat’s Kolkata Chilli Chicken – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3qUjJ7YSBYA

Chilli Chicken Wontons

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs of boneless Chicken thigh
  • 2 tsps dark Soya sauce
  • 2 tsps light Soya sauce
  • ?2 tsps Shaoxing wine
  • 2 - 4 tbsps Cornstarch
  • 4 cloves Garlic finely minced - 2 tbsps
  • Thumb size of Ginger finely minced - 2 tbsps
  • 1 large chilli finely minced - 1 tbsp
  • 1/2 red onion finely minced - 1/2 cup
  • 3 spring onion bulbs finely minced - 1/4 cup.
  • Green Bell pepper finely minced - 1/2 cup
  • Fresh coriander or cilantro finely minced - 1/2 cup
  • Oil
  • 2 tbsps light Soya sauce?1 tsp Vinegar
  • Fresh cracked Pepper
  • Glue paste Flour + Water
  • 1 lb - 454 gms fresh Wonton wrappers
  •  

Instructions

  1. Marinate the Chicken with the dark, light soya and the shoaling wine
  2. Add Cornstarch and mix well and leave for an hour
  3. Finely dice all the other ingredients and keep it ready
  4. Add some oil to a pam and fry the Chicken on both sides till it’s caramelized and almost cooked
  5. Allow Chicken to cool and then finely dice
  6. In a wok heat some oil and saute the red onion, followed by the ginger, garlic and green chilli
  7. Add the diced Chicken and stir to combine
  8. Add the soya and vinegar
  9. Add the spring onions, green pepper, fresh pepper and finally once cool add the coriander
  10. Make the glue paste by combining flour with water
  11. Lay out the wonton squares and add the paste to two sides
  12. Add some filling in the center
  13. Seal the wonton, you should have a triangle
  14. Take one edge of the triangle and wrap it around
  15. Add a dab of flour paste to the other side and seal
  16. Lay these on some parchment paper to prevent sticking
  17. Deep fry in hot oil
https://kravingsfoodadventures.com/chilli-chicken-wontons/

Tandoori Chicken

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I love love love Tandoori Chicken. If you make this by slathering chicken with a store bought spice and yogurt, you are not alone, but if you want to try something amazing this recipe is for you. Tandoori is derived from the work Tandoor which is basically a large clay pot that is used to cook food. Coal is lit at the bottom and creates a tunnel of heat to submerge skewers of chicken and meat. Tandoori is basically the kind of marinade used in Chicken, Fish or Shrimp although some people now apply this marinade to Paneer Crab and even Turkey.

 

As with every recipe, everyone has their own secret blend. Mine isn’t such a big secret since I have published the recipe a few times before. I also like to use this recipe to cook the Chicken that finally goes into a Butter Chicken. Recently I made this live on my FB page, here is a link if you missed it –

 

As I write this, it’s already fall, but we had a sudden turn of weather for the better. Instead of the colder fall temps, the sun was out and the day warm. We decided to just grab some food and drinks and get out there for one last hurrah before mother nature realized she screwed up. Top of mind of me was making a batch of Tandoori Chicken, from scratch and with a lot of love to share with my family and friends.

 

Although I have shared this recipe before both on my YouTube channel and my blog, this new and improved video and recipe is amazing – enjoy!

Tandoori Chicken

Ingredients

  • 3 lbs Chicken drumsticks
  • 1st Marinade
  • Juice of 1/2 a Lime
  • Generous pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp of Ginger and Garlic paste
  • 2nd Marinade
  • 1.5 cups of Yogurt
  • 1 tsp red Kashmiri Chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp dried Fenugreek also known as Kasuri methi
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp ground pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin
  • 1/2 tsp Garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp Chaat masala
  • 1 tsp Black salt
  • 2 tsps of Ginger and Garlic paste
  • And 1 tbsp Mustard Oil
  • 1/2 cup minced green Chilli & Coriander
  • 1/4 cup Mustard and regular oil for basting

Instructions

  1. Skin the drumsticks and using a sharp knife make slits or gashes in the flesh
  2. Add all the ingredients from the first marinade and leave for at least an hour
  3. Prepare the tandoori marinade by mixing all the ingredients together
  4. Pour this over the marinated chicken and allow this to get right into the slits or gashes
  5. Stuff the minced chilli & coriander into the crevices as well
  6. Marinate overnight
  7. Heat the BBQ to 450 degrees and cook the chicken on both sides basting with a mixture of mustard and regular oil in between
https://kravingsfoodadventures.com/tandoori-chicken/

3 Chicken Soups for the soul with Veggie options

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Whoever said that Chicken soup is good for the soul is spot on. These three Chicken soup recipes with vegetarian options are like a warm hug on a cold day. These 3 recipes are made very easily and can be stored in mason jars for a wonderful light meal all week long. I grab whatever soup I fancy and bring it to work and at lunchtime, all I have to do is reheat in the microwave and enjoy!

The first soup is a Sweet Corn soup also known as the Chicken sweet corn for a non vegetarian version. This soup is a favourite in every Chinese restaurant and it’s so easy to make, my mom would make this for us all the time. If you like seafood, this is also super delicious with crab meat.

The next recipe is a Thai Coconut Rice & Mushroom soup, again, with or without Chicken. Lemongrass and Thai Red Curry paste is the star in the soup and is made hearty with Mushrooms and Rice.

And finally who doesn’t love a good old fashioned Chicken Noodle soup. The stock is enhanced with Garlic and diced Carrots & Celery make this super colourful. Cooked Pasta is added to the broth together with some fresh Parsley. This soup is not cooked for long to prevent the veggies from losing their vibrancy and crunch. Again, Chicken is optional.

3 Chicken Soups for the soul with Veggie options

Ingredients

  • Sweet Corn Soup
  • 600 ml Chicken or Veggie Stock
  • 400 ml Creamed Corn
  • 1 tsp Chilli Vinegar
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 1 tsp light Soya sauce
  • 1 Egg beaten
  • 2 tbsps Spring Onion leaves
  • 1/4 cup cooked shredded Chicken optional
  • Thai Coconut soup with Rice & Mushrooms
  • 600 ml Chicken or Veggie Stock
  • 1 Lemongrass stick cut in 4, 2 inch pieces
  • 1 tsp Thai Red Curry paste
  • 1/2 cup Mushrooms
  • 1 tsp Fish sauce (use Soya for Veggie option)
  • Fresh cracked Pepper to taste
  • 100 ml Coconut Milk
  • Pinch Salt
  • 1/2 cup cooked Rice
  • 1/4 cup cooked shredded Chicken
  • Noodle Soup
  • 600 ml Stock (Chicken or Veggie)
  • 1 tsp minced Garlic
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup each diced Carrots & Celery
  • 1/2 cup cooked Pasta
  • 1 tbsp chopped Parsley
  • 1/4 cup cooked shredded Chicken

Instructions

  1. Sweet Corn Soup
  2. Heat up the stock
  3. Add the creamed corn
  4. Add the Chilli Vinegar, Salt, Pepper, Soya and stir
  5. Beat the egg and drop into the soup stirring with a fork
  6. Add the sliced spring onion leaves
  7. Add shredded Chicken optional
  8. Thai Coconut soup with Rice & Mushrooms
  9. Heat up the stock
  10. Add the lemongrass and allow to infuse into the stock and remove
  11. Add the red curry paste
  12. Add the mushrooms, fish sauce and pepper
  13. Add the coconut milk
  14. Add a pinch of salt and the rice
  15. Add shredded Chicken optional
  16. Noodle Soup
  17. Heat up the stock
  18. Add the Garlic
  19. Add the diced carrots and celery
  20. Add the noodles
  21. Add the Parsley
  22. Add shredded Chicken optional
https://kravingsfoodadventures.com/3-chicken-soups-soul-veggie-options/

Beef Chilly Fry – Quick Pressure Cooker Recipe

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I never met a Chilly Fry I didn’t like. There are so many ways to make a chilly fry and I have a few variations on my channel and blog. A few weeks ago I made my friend Viola Gardonis’s Beef spread for Sandwiches. When she sent me the recipe initially, she also mentioned that the same recipe could be used to make a quick Chilly fry and I decided to test it out for myself. I love the ease of preparation of this dish, the meat is cooked in a pressure cooker and then just shredded and cooked with potatoes, onions and spicy.

It couldn’t be easier. Chilly fry is great with bread, roti or rice. I like to serve it with some dhal for a perfect home cooked comfort meal!

Beef Chilly Fry – Quick Pressure Cooker Recipe

Ingredients

  • lbs Beef or Lamb/Mutton cubes
  • Juice of 1/2 Lime
  • 1 tbsp fresh black Pepper
  • 1 tsp Coriander powder
  • 1 tsp red Chilli powder
  • 2 tsps Ginger & Garlic paste
  • Salt
  • Whole spices - 2 Star Anise, 2 Bay leaves, 2 black Cardamons, 2 inch stick Cinnamon, 6 green Cardamons, 10 Cloves
  • 2 green Chillies - 1/4 cup
  • 1/2 cup Water
  • 2 cups sliced Potatoes
  • 4 cups sliced Onions
  • 1/4 cup sliced green Chillies
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tsps Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp Chilli powder

Instructions

  1. Marinate the meat cubes with the lime juice, powdered spices, salt & pepper
  2. Add oil to a pressure cooker and add the whole spices
  3. Remove the whole spices and keep aside in a small cheese cloth and tie it
  4. Add the meat into the flavored oil and cook for a few minutes till you see a lot of juice come out of the meat
  5. Add the spice bag in, cover the pressure cooker and cook for one whistle
  6. Cool and open the lid, add 1/2 cup of water and close again
  7. Cook for 2 - 3 whistles till the meat is tender
  8. Cook open to dry up all the gravy
  9. Remove and shred the meat
  10. Heat some oil and saute the potatoes and keep aside
  11. In the same oil add the onions and cook till caramelized
  12. Add the green chillies
  13. Add the shredded meat back in with salt, pepper, coriander and chilli powder and mix
https://kravingsfoodadventures.com/beef-chilly-fry-quick-pressure-cooker-recipe/