Masoor dal (red lentil) Soup

Masoor dal is a split red lentils, widely used in Asian cuisine, particularly in Indian. Lentil is a good source of protein and fiber. These lentils do not need to soak overnight, they cook very quickly, so the recipe is perfect for everyday cooking. Adding aromatic Asian spices enhances lentils’ taste and brings loads of flavour to the soup! Rich, amazingly good vegetarian thick soup; you should give this recipe a try! :)Masoor Dal (red lentil) Soup

Masoor dal (red lentil) Soup

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 30mins
  • Difficulty: easy
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You can skip chilli if you don’t want the soup hot, or add more if you like it really spicy.
The longer you cook the soup – more creamy it’ll be.
Ingredients
300g red lentils, washed
200g (2 small) potatoes, cut into small cubes
2 Tbsp olive or sunflower oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/3-1/2 tsp chilli seeds, optional
1 clove
2 bay leaves
5-6 pink peppercorns, crushed
sea salt, to taste
3-4 Tbsp fresh coriander, chopped
naan/flatbread, to serve
  1. Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed pan. Add mustard seeds, chilli (if using), cumin, bay leaves, clove and fry until fragrant. Add onion and garlic, cook for 5-7 minutes until soft. Stir in potatoes – fully coat it in oil and spices. Sprinkle with turmeric, pink pepper and salt, stir.
  2. Stir in lentils, add water to cover the mixture. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer until vegetables are cooked. Add more boiling water or continue to simmer further to achieve your preferred consistency. Adjust the seasoning.
  3. Stir in fresh coriander. Serve with bread.

Midweek Salad

 Hey guys! What do you cook during the week? If it’s going to be a hectic working week – do you make anything time-consuming? Personally, if I’m tired I don’t cook complicated dishes and eat simple dishes, including lots of different salads. Hopefully, you eat well and do not buy unhealthy quick and junk meals as I do. Moreover, it seems to me that to make a salad or simple pasta at home for your tomorrow lunch is much cheaper and healthier than to eat any junk-food. Thus, eating healthy foods whiteout spending a lot is possible, and I suggest you to start prepare salads like this one. I love beets and add it everywhere, caramelized beets is even more tasty! Eat the salad, man! :DMidweek salad

Midweek Salad

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients
1 medium beet, cooked
2-3 tsp brown sugar
1/2 Tbsp balsamic or wine vinegar
1 Tbsp olive oil
100-120g green beans
10-15g butter
8-10 cherry tomatoes, yellow or red, cut into halves
60-80g feta cheese, crumbled
bull’s blood leaves, a handful
2 tsp black sesame seeds
1-2 Tbsp pumpkin seeds, toasted
S&P to taste
extra virgin olive oil
basil micro sprouts, optional
  • Cut the beet into small cubes or wedges. In a frying pan or saucepan, combine vinegar, oil and sugar on medium heat; mix to combine. Add beet cubes and swirl to coat. Cook on a medium heat for 7-10 minutes.
  • In a small saucepan, put beans and cover with water, add a butter, some salt and bring to boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 4-5 minutes. Drain the water.
  • On a serving plate, arrange washed leaves, put on beat cubes, beans, tomatoes and feta. Sprinckle with sesame and pumpkin seeds. Drizzle with olive oil, if desired, garnish with basil and season to taste. Enjoy!

Arabian kofta

 Kofta or Kufta is a simple dish, small balls of minced meat – usually lamb or mutton blended with fresh herbs, aromatic spices, garlic and/or onions. These meatballs are very popular in Middle Eastern countries like UAE, Lebanon, Syria, Morocco, and there is no fixed recipe, each cook adds their favourite spices like chilli, cinnamon or cardamom. I highly recommend you to not omit fresh herbs; mint, coriander and parsley give kofta amazing freshness. Lamb meat is often used for kofta, but if you don’t eat lamb meat or it’s too fatty for you – you can easily substitute it with beef; in that case I suggest you to add a tablespoon of olive oil or butter for richness. And of course, the meat should be finely minced.
Arabian Kofta
 Kofta meatballs can be grilled, fried or even baked. Serve them with rice, fresh tomatoes and olives. I love to eat them wrapped in Arabic bread with a slice of roast eggplant, tomato and chopped fresh herbs, and dipping this lip-smacking wrap into hummus. :)
Arabain Kofta - lamb meatballs

Arabian kofta

  • Servings: 28 small meatballs
  • Time: 30mins
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients Arabian Kufta

500g finely ground lamb
100ml sparkling mineral water
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbsp fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
3-4 Tbsp fresh coriander leaves, chopped
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2-1 tsp harissa paste, optional
S&P to taste
2 Tbsp olive oil for frying
Garnish
Arabic bread, hummus, chopped iceberg and herbs
  1. In a large bowl, mix meat with water. Add garlic, herbs, spices, season to taste and mix throughly with you hand.
  2. Form small meatballs, the size of walnut.
  3. Heat the frying pan with oil, add kofta meatballs and fry all over for 6-7 minutes or until cooked through.
  4. Serve with bread, lettuce, herbs and hummus, if desired.
Enjoy!
Kofta- Arabian lamb meatballs

Crepe Cake with custard creme

 Yes-yes! It’s blini again! I was eating lots of crepes last two weeks, seems I need to stop. :D But this is the whole cake! Believe me, you need to try it once to be obsessed forever! ;) Just few days back I was watching one video and Russian confectioner made sweet blini-cake, it was a sign to make it and of course to try new recipe of blini. It turned out to be easy to make, but get ready to prepare a lots of blini! Despite the fact that I used too wide pan and the stack wasn’t high as much as I wanted, blini turned out thin, tender and very tasty.Blini Cake with custard cream

 I decided to make custard cream (the confectioner made another cream), which is not very sweet and buttery. The quantity of the cream was more than enough for my cake, so I spread it on each crepe and put the cake in the fridge to set. Impatiently, I sliced into the cake, bite it and was surprised, the crepes absorbed almost all the cream. There was only the one way out – to eat it with sweet condensed milk on side. :D So, next time I will make double quantity of the cream.Crepe Cake

Crepe Cake with custard creme

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Time: 2-3hr
  • Difficulty: easy
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Before assembling the cake, allow the crepes and cream to cool completely.
The crepe-cake tastes also good on the second day and can be a tasty breakfast, if you manage to save a slice that long!
Thin Blini (crepes)
300g flour- sift in a bowl
1 tsp/5g salt
500ml milk
5 eggs, beaten
120ml water
70g butter, melted
Custard cream 
500ml milk, full fat
4 egg yolks
100g fine sugar
40g cornmeal
1 vanilla bean or 1 tsp extract
In a small bowl whisk together sugar and yolks until the mixture is pale. Add cornmeal while continuing to gently whisk the mixture.
In a pan bring milk with vanilla bean to a boil while constantly stirring and taking care not to burn it.
Gradually pour half of the hot milk into the egg mixture  while continuing to stir. Pour egg mixture into the pan with the other half of milk, continuously stir. Continue cooking and stirring to the point of the mixture becoming thick and custard forming – about 10 minutes.
Cool the custard completely.
Enjoy!

Golubtsi – Russian stuffed cabbage rolls

Stuffed cabbage rolls is a very popular dish in many countries over the world. In Russia, it’s called ‘golubtsi’ – white cabbage leaves stuffed with sautéed ground pork or beef and rice or buckwheat.
 Originally, cabbage leaves were stuffed with meat mixed with millet porridge and the dish was named ‘galushi’. But in 18-19th centuries France had a great influence on Russian cuisine, at least for the upper classes. Many French chefs streamed to Russian to work for royal courts, nobility and other wealthy families. Russian Golubtsi
 French cooking was so prevalent among the upper classes that there were not enough French-born chefs to fill the demand. Wealthy Russians began to send their serfs to work under French chefs in Moscow and Sr.Petersburg, and a few were even sent to France for their training. Some of these peasants were allowed to work in the city, provided they remitted to their masters the required obrok or quit-rent, which was a payment in kind or in money. Others were sold after they had completed their training. Count Rostov in Tolstoy’s War and Peace, for instance, spoke with satisfaction of paying a thousand rubles for Taras, a serf who prepared savory hazel grouse sautéed in Madeira for his daughter Natasha’s name day dinner.
 Thus, Russians were hooked on French dishes, and among which was popular a whole grilled pigeon, covered with a cabbage leave. The dish became fancy and well-liked, and soon was called simply ‘golubi’ or ‘golubtsi’ – from Russian word ‘golub’ that literally means pigeon. Lately cooks began to prepare a fake ‘pigeon’ – well-known stuffed cabbage rolls, which were cheaper and affordable for the lower classes.
Golubtsi - Russian stuffed cabbage rolls
Also, big thanks to Angie for featuring my post – red pancakes! I’m bringing these cabbage rolls to the super Fiesta Friday party! I know, it’s such a simple dish, that many of you have tried it already, but I hope you are tired of sweets and enjoy Russian comforting food. :)

Golubtsi - Russian stuffed cabbage rolls

  • Servings: 10-12 rolls
  • Time: 1hr+
  • Difficulty: moderate
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Ingredients
1 white cabbage
500g beef mince (or mix pork+beef)
90-100g uncooked white rice, short-grain
1/2 large onion, finely chopped
1/2 carrot, shredded
1/2 tsp dried marjoram, optional
S&P to taste
Sauce
1/2 large onion, chopped
1/2 carrot,  shredded
2-3 tbsp tomato paste
oil, for frying
200-300ml water*
2 bay leaves
5-6 black peppercorns
S&P to taste
Garnish
sour cream, chopped parsley, optional
  • Sauce. In a large pan over medium heat, heat the oil. Add onion and carrot for the sauce, cook for 5-6 minutes or until soft. Stir in tomato paste. Turn off the heat and set aside.
  • Cabbage. Discard the 2 or 3 outer leaves of the cabbage. Carefully pull off leaves one by one. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Immerse cabbage leaves and cook for 3-4 minutes. Using tongs, take the leaves out and transfer to a bowl. *Reserve the water to use it lately for the sauce.
  • Filling. Cook the rice fro 8-10 minutes in bowling water. In a large bowl, mix together the beef, rice, onion, carrot and spices. You can fry onion before adding it to the filling.
  • Working with one cabbage leaf at a time, slice off the thick outer rib near the stem end. Place the leaf, rounded up like a bowl, stem end closest to you. Spoon about 2 tbsp of the meat mixture, form it into a short log shape.  Don’t make the rolls too tight. Transfer the roll, seams down, to the pan with sauce. Shape the remaining rolls in the same way.
  • Pour in water – just to cover the cabbage rolls, add more if needed. Season to taste, add bay leaves and peppercorns. On a medium-high heat bring it to boil. Then reduce heat to lower, cover the pan with a lid (or you can use a piece of foil) and cook for 40 minutes. You may cut one roll to test it.
  • Serve rolls with their cooking sauce, sprinkled with parsley and garnish with sour cream, if desired.

Golubtsi