Tag Archives: easy recipe

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
  • 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.

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
  • 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

Pumpkin Cheesecake

 It’s my very first pumpkin cheesecake! 🙂 I do love both cheesecake and pumpkin, but never tried to combine them together until I baked too many pumpkin slices and already couldn’t eat them.
Cheesecake is enjoyed by millions around the world, and each person has its own take on the best way of making it. Truly a scrumptious dessert! I guess that the pumpkin cheesecake is the America’s favorite dessert. Moreover, I’ve heard about National Pumpkin Cheesecake Day, is that true? In Russia we eat pumpkin, too, but usually it’s sliced and simply baked with sugar, or whole pumpkin stuffed with grains (have a look at my recipe here).
I knew how to make a basic cheesecake, so I just added pumpkin puree and some spices. Oh, I’m so happy with the result! The only thing I was worried that it can be too wobbly, finally it set good, just cracked a little. The texture is perfect – creamy, deliciously smooth and not-very-sweet, everything how I like. Unfortunately, the cheesecake has some unwanted calories, thus for weight watchers I recommend to substitute cream cheese with low-fat cottage cheese or quark.Pumpkin cheesecake

Pumpkin Cheesecake

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: easy
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You need 18cm baking tin for this recipeSlice of pumpkin cheesecake
Ingredients should be at room temperature
Crust
150g graham crackers, finely crushed
80g butter, melted
Filling
350g cooked pumpkin, then pureed
220-250g cream cheese
30g brown sugar + 40g white caster sugar
2 tbsp double cream (35% fat)
2 whole eggs + 1 egg yolk
2 tbsp cornstarch (cornflour)
1 tbsp plain flour
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ginger powder
small pinch of ground cloves, allspice and salt
Method
  1. To make crust. In a medium bowl, blend butter with graham crumbs. Press the mixture into the base of baking tin to create an even layer. Chill for 10 minutes in the fridge, then bake in preheated 160C oven for 5-7 minutes. Take the tin out and let it cool for 10 minutes.
  2. To make filling. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, beat the cream cheese with sugar until smooth consistency. Add pumpkin and combine. Break one at a time, add egg yolk, mix to combine. Add double cream, cornstarch, flour and all spices. Beat until well combined. Pour the filling into crust, spread evenly and bake in preheated 180C oven for 45-50 minutes.
  3. Take the tin out of the oven, let it cool at room temperature. Cover the baking tin and refrigerate overnight.
  4. Remove cheesecake from the tin and slide onto a plate, slice and serve.
Enjoy!
[Click the photos for a closer look]

Macaroni a la flot

 Flot means fleet in Russian. This simple dish consists of macaroni mixed with fried minced meat. In 17-18th centuries, in Russia similar dishes were quite popular among travelers and especially sailors; that no-fridge time meat was salted-cured and kept in barrels, thus seamen could cut a piece of the meat anytime, fry it and mix with some boiled macaroni. The dish became popular again during World War, but instead of fresh or frozen meat was used tushonka – canned stewed meat (usually fatty pork or beef), which was always on hand, and it could be stored up for years without loosing its nutritional value. Post-war period was also hard time for Russia, so such not expensive and nourishing dish didn’t get out of use. Nowadays, ‘macaroni a la flot’ are still widely-cooked and well-known dish; normally pasta tubes are used for macaroni, which mixed with fried minced meat (it can be pork, beef or mixture), onions and sometimes tomato paste or fresh chopped tomatoes.Macaroni a la flot

Macaroni a la flot

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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You may try to add a shredded carrot or chopped tomato and saute it along with meat.

Ingredients
500g minced beef meat (with not less then 15% fat, or you may add some pork)
350g uncooked tube macaroni (like maccheroni, maccheroncini, bucatini, ziti or any other)
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 Tbsp sunflower oil (or any other veg.oil)
1/2 Tbsp butter
salt, black pepper
chopped parsley or fennel for garnish, optional
Instructions
  1. In a deep pan, melt the butter with oil on a medium heat, add onion and fry for 4-5 minutes. Add meat and use wooden or stiff spatula to break it up into small pieces. Season to taste. Ensure you stir the meat regularly so it doesn’t stick to the pan and to  make sure it cook evenly. The meat is cooked when it shows no signs of pink.
  2. Meanwhile, put pasta into a large pot of boiling water. Be sure to add plenty of salt to the water. Cook the macaroni according to package instruction.
  3. Add 3-4 Tbsp of pasta-boiling water to the meat, mix well.
  4. When the pasta is al dente, drain it and add to the pan with meat. Give it a good stir.
  5. Serve warm. Sprinkle with chopped parsley or fennel, if desired.

Enjoy!

Stuffed chicken with beans

 Hello, folks! December just started and I’ve already seen a glorious amount of mouth-watering cookies and holiday cakes! And may be now you are sipping a huge cup of hot chocolate and browsing through the internet, searching for inspiration, new ideas for the Christmas eve, or probably watching snowflakes settle on trees and ground. I can see how it falls only on some websites and photos, so far. 😀
 Besides making and baking numerous amount of cookies, we need to cook a normal food as well, or at least order a pizza. You will always have something quick and tasty to eat for dinner with a chicken breast on hand! It is versatile, quick-cooking, protein-rich and low in fat, does it sound tempting? Delicious skinless and boneless chicken breasts stuffed with parsley and cream cheese, covered with breadcrumbs and baked on a bed of beans. This flavorful chicken dish is perfect for any day of the week or dinner occasion.
Stuffed Chicken with flageolet beans
I’m bringing this tasty dish to all beautiful and lovely people, who has been parting at Fiesta Friday (Oh my #45 already), enjoy the dish and the weekend!

Stuffed chicken with beans

  • Servings: 3
  • Difficulty: easy
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Adapted from “one pot meals/hamlyn”
Ingredients
For the filling
90g Philadelphia cream cheese, room temperature
1 Tbsp finely grated pecorino or parmesan cheese, optional
25g butter, room temperature
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves, or 1/2 tsp dried
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1/3 tsp freshly ground white pepper
For the stuffed chicken breasts
3 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1 can X 530g (drained weight) flageolet beans
70-80ml chicken or vegetable stock, homemade preferable
70-80ml dry white wine
3 Tbsp coarse breadcrumbs, homemade preferable
1 sprig of fresh thyme, or 1/2 tsp dried
2 Tbsp olive oil+ 1 Tbsp butter, for frying
sea salt, white or black pepper, to taste
Preparation Method
  1. For the filling. In a small bowl, beat cheeses, butter, garlic, herbs and seasoning. Using a small knife, make a horizontal cut in each chicken breast. Divide the filling and pack it into breasts, secure with toothpicks. Season the chicken breasts outside with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat the oil with butter in the casserole and fry chicken breasts on both sides until lightly browned. Set aside.
  3. Put drained beans into casserole, add stock, wine and thyme, season to taste. Arrange the chicken breasts on top. Cover and place in preheated 190C/375C oven for 15-16 minutes.
  4. Put breadcrumbs in a small frying pan with some olive oil and heat until breadcrumbs begin to brown. Set aside.
  5. Remove the casserole lid, spread breadcrumbs over the chicken breasts. Return to the oven for 5-7 minutes.
  6. Transfer the chicken to serving plates, put beans alongside.
Enjoy with a glass of white wine or as is!