VALENTINES DAY!

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Valentines Day!

Valentine’s Day is not just about giving roses or jewelry. It is a special day to show all your loved ones just how much you care about them. It’s a day dedicated to love and treating those that you love with extra care.

 

Gifts are nice but not important, however small gestures count for a lot. A very romantic gesture could be to cook something special for your loved one on this Valentine’s Day. Cooking a special meal together with your whole family would be another option.

 

Since I get to cook everyday, on the 14th my husband usually likes to take me and the family out for dinner.  However when the 14th falls on a weekend, he always makes us a special meal.  He is more of a gourmet cook and his home made pizzas are the best.

 

Make your Valentines Day more enjoyable by including your loved ones and creating a make-it-together meal for the family.  Checkout my site at www.spicemedley.com  and allow me to share my love with you all.

 

 

4 Course Meal

Caesar Salad- This can be made by the kids.

Tandoori Chicken Lollipops

Mutton Curry

Chocolate Barfi

 

 

Tandoori Chicken Lollipops

 

Total Time – 50min

Serving Size – 4 people

Ingredients

6 Chicken Drumsticks (skinless)

1 teaspoon Tandoori Masala

½ teaspoon Garam Masala

½ teaspoon Salt

½ teaspoon of Geera Powder (Cumin powder)

1 tablespoon plain yogurt

½ teaspoon ginger paste

½ teaspoon garlic paste

 

Directions

  1. Marinate the chicken with all the remaining ingredients.  Have the children mix all the ingredients together.
  2. Bake chicken in a 350 degree oven for about 40 minutes and/or until chicken is cooked.
  3. Wrap each drumstick leg with a small piece of foil at the base of the drumstick so it look nice and can be held at that end and eaten.

 

Masala Meat

Total Time to Prepare: Approx 1 hr

Serving Size: 6 people

Ingredients

  • 1 kg  Goat Mutton with Bones
  • 2 big  onions puréed in the liquidizer
  • 1 ½  big tomato chopped.
  • 2  medium size potatoes cut up in chunks
  • 1  cinnamon stick
  • 1 Big  Cardamom
  • 3  small cardamoms
  • 6  cloves
  • 1  tblsp ground cumin
  • 8 to  10 black pepper ground or ½ tsp black pepper
  • 3  green chilies cut finely
  • 1 ½ tsp garlic paste
  • 2 tsp  ginger paste
  • 5tblsp olive oil
  • 1 ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp Turmeric Powder

 

Directions:

  1. Take a  pressure cooker and place meat in the pot with ½ tsp garlic and ½ tsp  salt, half of the onions and 2 cup warm water.  Place the pressure cooker on high and  let the pressure whistle blow for at least 8 times.  It’s imperative that you turn the burner off and remove all steam before opening the lid.  Once you open the lid, take a piece of  meat and see if it is tender enough.    Imagine if you were eating this piece and you use a spoon to break  it apart and if you are able to do it easily then you are set but if it’s  really hard and you struggle to break it apart then put it back in the  pressure cooker and let it steam for another 2 or 3 times.  Continue to do this until the meat has  become tender.
  2. Fry   remaining onions in oil, in a separate pot till golden brown and add  remaining garlic and fry for about 4 minutes.
  3. Add ginger and fry for another 4  minutes.
  4. Add potatoes and fry for  about 4 minutes.
  5. Put all full spices and add tomatoes and fry for 5/7min  till tomatoes become a thick paste like consistency.  It’s a good idea to cover the pot so that with the steam the tomatoes soften quicker.
  6. Add meat (do not use the water from the  pressure cooker at this time. Make sure you save the water from the  pressure cooker for later use.)
  7. Fry for 10 minutes and leave on low heat till oil separates.  Add the water little bit at a time and continue to mix gently.  Then add more water depending on how  much curry you want.  Normally the meat should be submerged in water.
  8.  Place on a high for 5 minutes and then leave it on low for another  10min.

 

Best Way to Eat Mutton Curry

You will enjoy this dish either with rice or Garlic Naan.

 

Chocolate and Valentines Day.

 

Every February 14th love-struck men and women spend more than 1 billion dollars on chocolate products.

What does chocolate really have to do with the most romantic day of the year? Here’s a brief history of chocolate and Valentine’s Day.

Our infatuation with chocolate first began 2,000 years ago when it was discovered in Latin America. The Maya and Aztec elites infused cocoa beans with water to form frothy chocolate drinks – the first frappuccinos, if you will – for special occasions and as sacrifices to the gods. The Aztec ruler Montezuma believed that chocolate was an aphrodisiac and routinely drank it before entering his harem, thus increasing chocolate’s popularity and its association with love and romance. As it turns out, he was ahead of his time. Modern-day scientists have linked the chemical phenylethylamine in chocolate to feelings of excitement, attraction and even pleasure.

The rest of Aztec society used cocoa beans as money and were unable to afford to drink it. Christopher Columbus saw how the Aztecs revered cocoa when he entered the picture in the sixteenth century and immediately took the luxury product back to Queen Isabella of Spain. Chocoholics sprouted up all over Europe, sharing the legend of their new obsession’s alleged mythical powers. At one point in time, chocolate was believed to be so potent that nuns were forbidden from eating it and French doctors used it to treat “broken hearts.”

In the 1800s, the Cadbury Brothers set up shop in England and began packaging candies to sell to the masses. In 1861, in a genius marketing move, Richard Cadbury created the first ever heart-shaped box for Valentine’s Day, spurring the commercialization of the holiday. To this day, every February 14th we all still have a sweet spot for the sweet stuff.  (This History was provided by Gourmet Live Blog)

 

Enjoy My Chocolate Barfi Dessert Recipe

 

Chocolate Barfi

Total Time– 20min

Serving Size -8 people

Ingredients

3 Cups Nido

1 Cup Sugar

250ml Fresh Cream/Table Cream

1 tablespoon Frozen Butter

½ teaspoon cardamom powder

½ cup cocoa powder

2 tablespoons of Rose Water

 

Directions

  1. Place all ingredients in a glass bowl and mix it gently for about a minute and place in microwave for 5 minutes.
  2. Remove dish and stir ingredients again and then place in microwave for 3 minutes.
  3. When you remove the dish you should see that the barfi is not sticking to the sides of the dish.  It should be a little thick and if not then place in microwave for another 2 minutes.
  4. Remove from dish and place on flat surface and shape the barfi into a thin rectangular shape
  5. I would repeat the above recipe again but add ½ cup cocoa powder in that mixture.
  6. Once you have made a second batch add the chocolate part on top of the white barfi  and shape  both into a thick rectangular shape.
  7. When you place the barfi on a flat surface it’s hot so make sure you are quick with molding the barfi into the right shape.  I usually add a 1 tablespoon of rose water to my hands and quickly pat dry the barfi so it gives it a nice fragrance and it’s not that hot on my hands.
  8. Let it settle for 10 minutes and then cut them up in squares and serve.

About Sunita Bagai

I was born in Malawi Africa, grew up there and moved to the United States for my continuing education. I got my BA and Masters from Golden Gate University, in SF. I got married and moved to Virginia. I've been married 14 years and I have two beautiful daughters who make my life complete. I love to cook and now that both my girls are in school full time, and with my husband's enthusiastic support, I'm following my passion and am offering cooking classes to share my cooking ideas with the world.

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