Priya's Versatile Recipes

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Blini - Russian Pancake

Russia is mainly a northern country with long-lasting cold winter. Obviously the food should give much energy and warmth to survive during the winter time to Russian peoples. So, the essential components of Russian cuisine are the ones, which provide more carbohydrates and fat rather than proteins. Fresh fruits and vegetables are rarely used in food. So, the top five components of a Russian meal are potatoes, bread, eggs, meat (especially beef) and butter. Other popular foods include cabbage, milk, sour cream, curds, mushrooms, lard, cucumbers, tomatoes, apples, berries, honey, sugar, salt, garlic, and onions.Blini, or Russian pancakes, are thin, flat cakes prepared from batter and cooked on a hot frying pan - first on one side and then flipped to cook on the other side.
The origins of this traditional Russian dish, which recently celebrated its thousandth birthday, can be traced back to ancient times. Its ancestor was made from oat jelly; a hungry traveler wishing to warm the composition up on the fire probably got distracted by something very amusing, leaving the jelly to fry and thus creating the first blini.Since then blini have changed, but not dramatically they are now made not only from oats but also wheat, rye, buckwheat and barley.

Soft Russian Pancakes, Blinis

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Mabhanzi/Zimbabwean Sweet Buns ~~~Zimbabwean Cuisine

Zimbabwe, i picked this country immediately when i was searching for recipes to cook for this month's long marathon for the alphabetical letter 'Z',as the theme for this mega marathon is Around the World in 30days starting with alphabets.The original name of the country was Rhodesia until the late 1970s when the country gained full independence and changed the name to the Republic of Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe means “House of Stone,” which is an illustrious nod to the eight century old stone structures left behind by the Shona ancestors. Today, nearly eighty percent are descendents of Shona people, almost twenty percent are Ndebele, while the remaining population is comprised of descendents of colonizers, immigrants, and emigrants.The cornmeal-based dietary staple of Zimbabwe is also the national dish, called sadza. Sadza to the Zimbabweans is like rice to the Chinese, or pasta to Italians. In fact, sadza re masikati , or "sadza of the afternoon" simply means lunch. Sadza re manheru, or "sadza of the evening" means dinner. Sadza is made from cornmeal or maize, and eaten with relish. Relish can be any kind of vegetable stew, but nyama, (meat), such as beef or chicken, is common among families who can afford it. Sadza is cooked slowly until thick, like porridge.Other traditional foods are peanuts, beans, butternut squash, gem squash, green maize (or corn on the cob), and cucumbers. Avocados are plentiful and cheap. Bowara or pumpkin leaves, can be eaten fresh and are commonly mixed into stews, like dovi (peanut butter stew).

During the summer, open-air markets sell dried mopane worms (spiny caterpillars) and flying ants by the pound. Both can be eaten fried and are said to taste chewy and salty. Flying ants fly in dense clouds around any source of light during the summer, and can be eaten live. The wings are torn off, then the bodies are eaten. The taste is considered slightly buttery.

Mabhanzi, Zimbabwean Sweet buns, Farm fresh Mabhanzi

Monday, September 29, 2014

Hawaij/Yemeni Spice Mix ~~ Yemeni Cuisine

As like 'Q, W and X', the alphabet 'Y' dont have that much option when its comes to a Country name starting with alphabets and obviously i sticked with Yemeni Cuisine as am running a whole month of blogging marathon with Around the World in 30days as theme..Its wonderful to know that this cuisine is influenced very much by Indians as well, obviously most of the Indian spices are used in this cuisine.

Yemen has 2 major regions: North and South Yemen, which used to be different states until the end of the 20th century. The traditions and the cultural habits are similar in the 2 regions of Yemen and the cuisine seems to be unique and general. Because it is mostly a rural country, the agriculture occupies the wide territories, filled with Wheat, coffee and the local qat.The most traditional dish is the saltah. Saltah is a soup like stew where vegetables and meat are removed from the cooking liquid and served separately. The soup is then served with a sauce made from ground fenugreek called Helbah. It is served with lunch and is considered the national dish of Yemen. *

The most important feature of the Yemeni cuisine is the fact that it is very spicy and the hot taste is the most frequent one. There is a wide range of such sauces and dressings, used to spice up the meat or the salads. Since cereals are grown in the country, Yemen people also make their own traditional bread, called the mellawach, which is served with a spicy hot sauce that contains many spices, called the zahaug. Zahaug (zahaug is salsa in which we call it in the west) is also put on grilled meat, besides the hilbeh (hilbah is another name for saltah), fenugreek or coriander paste. The Yemen cuisine includes Lebanese and Indian aliments and spices and also the Arabic general rules, Egyptian and Persian tastes, in a unique combination and authentic cuisine. Yemeni cuisine is extremely popular among the Arab States of the Persian Gulf

Yemeni Spice Mix,Hawaij, Yemeni Vegan Spice Powder

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Coca de Venduras/Coca Vegetable/Vegan Catalan Style Vegetable Pizza

Pizza, this word itself makes my kids happy, they just love to have pizzas everyday,but since i dont like to feed often my kids with these cheesy super rich Italian dish, i'll try myself to make them at home with healthy stuffs in it. Sometimes i'll make wheat based pizza crust or else i'll go for mixed millets pizza crust as well. Also i'll try to add grated veggies in my homemade pizza based crust.However i'll find all the way to add healthy stuffs in my homemade pizzas. Pizzas makes an excellent meal if they are prepared in a healthy way. If you have an opportunity to make a pizza without cheese, how can i miss it. When googling, the name coca pulled me to go through the recipe and got to know more about this Spanish aka Catalan style of tart aka pizza which goes for a yeasted thin crust topped with sauteed vegetables without cheese.

Vegan spanish pizza, coca de venduras, coca vegetable coca catalan