Cooking with Love, for LOVE <3

Howdy! (a bloggers hello) to all. I trust that this rather sudden post of mine reaches you in good ‎spirit and a healthy appetite! The reason for my oh so random article this week was to share with you two exciting recipes which I recently prepared one being on demand of my love, partner and friend, my guy.

Considering my line of work, I must admit cooking and baking is not something I would necessarily do for fun, either I do not see the need to waste ingredients or simply because the mood is just not there and when I do decide to make something on any given day I always stick to the tried and tested dishes instead of going for something a bit more daring. Surprisingly enough for the past two weekends I have prepared two all round favourites one being a rice dish: Akhni, the other a Malva Pudding. I must admit I too was surprised as to how nearly perfect these end products tasted considering my “scary” approach to cooking and baking. One would assume that these would be two of my very own favourites but actually they are not at all, what the two does have in common however is both being ultimate favourites of my guy! which brings me to the title of my article: Cooking with LOVE, for LOVE

‎Ladies, I’m sure we have all heard the saying before “The road to a man’s heart is through his stomach” this is sad but true? LOL. Where they get these demanding appetites from is not to be questioned. So on request, nearly begging from my guy to make him some Akhni, I had to make it happen. Akhni? Not something I made before, not something tried by many. To those whom are not familiar, Ahkni is a rice dish served as a main meal originating from the Indian Cuisine. Similar to Breyani, Akhni is more loved for its spicey flavour and delicious rice texture. After searching around here and there, I finally concluded on a simple yet delicious Ahkni recipe and decided to prepare the dish, daring or not. Sourcing the ingredients wasn’t any hassle at all just as preparing the recipe was simple enough and I managed all by myself, the only time I needed my guy to intervene was for his energy to stir the huge pot.See recipe below:

AHKNI

Ingredients:

3 Tbsp Oil
3 Tbsp Butter
1 Large Onion, diced
7 All Spice
7 Cloves
7 Cardamon Pods
2 Tbsp Ahkni Masala
1kg Lamb/Chicken
1 Tomatoe, diced
2 Tspn Salt (for meat)
2 Tbsp Garlic & Ginger Paste
6 Cups Water
4 Potatoes (cut into quaters and parboiled)
4 Cups Fragrant White Rice/ Basmati Rice
4 Tspn Salt (for rice)
Quarter bunch Dhanya, chopped
Optional: 100g Plain Yogurt

Method:

1. Melt Butter and Oil in a large pot.

2. Add Onion, Cloves, Cardamon & All Spice.

3. Braise Onion till brown then add Akhni Masala.

4. Stir for one minute. Add raw Meat/ Chicken, 2 Tspns Salt, Tomatoe and Garlic & Ginger Paste.

5. Cook till Meat is done. Add water when necessary to prevent burning.

6.  Add Water, Potatoes (parboiled), Rice (raw) and 4 tspn Salt.

7. Bring to boil and cook for 15-20 minutes.

8. Add Dhanya and stir in the Yogurt.

9. Mix well and cook till done.

       Tip* During the last 10 minutes of cooking, cover the pot with foil/butter paper to lock in the steam for a more tender rice grain.

I regret not having any pictures to show except for the vague one below which illustrates the pot being covered with butter paper.
image

So after the “success” of my Akhni I decided to try another one of his favourites, one that I’m sure needs no introduction especially to the average sweet tooth: Mmmmmalva Pudding! This time around the decision was mine. I came to realize that if I could use him as my inspiration for making all sorts of things it would help me to become more kitchen friendly and at the same time reward him with what he likes best. With being a “girlfriend” I think it’s the sense of obligation that drives me towards improving my cooking/baking abilities. This can only be a positive thing right?  Of course he’d agree to that. This means more Curries, Cream Soup and Carrot Cakes for him :).See below for the Malva Recipe:

 Malva Pudding

 Ingredients:  

180g Cake Flour
5ml Bicarbonate of Soda
160g Sugar
2 Eggs
15ml Apricot Jam
30g Butter melted
5ml Vinegar
150ml Milk Basting Sauce:

250ml Cream
125g Butter
125ml Water
100g Brown Sugar

  Method:        

1. Brush a layer cake tin with butter and line the base.

2. Sift together the flour and bicarbonate of soda. Stir in the sugar.

3. Whisk together the eggs, apricot jam, melted butter, vinegar and milk.

4. Make a hollow in the dry ingredients. Add the whisked ingredients and stir to make a batter.

5. Pour into the prepared cake tin and bake at 180 degrees for 45 minutes or until well risen and elastic.

6. While baking prepare the basting sauce. Place all the ingredients in a saucepan and heat to melt the butter and dissolve the sugar. Stir with a wooden spoon and do not allow to boil.

   7.Pour the basting sauce over the pudding as soon as it is removed from the oven.

 *Serve with hot custard and fresh fruit.

To be honest I actually chose the Malva as a “trial” to determine where my baking abilities really lies and if I’d have the urge to bake even more from here on. It turns out I’m looking more forward than ever to trying new recipes and spoiling my guy rotten! Afterall, who wouldn’t find it pleasing to cook for someone knowing how much they’ll enjoy it? The appreciation is almost priceless! I can’t promise to become his best cook but what I finally know is what it means to Cook with Love…

In conclusion, I want to welcome your comments and suggestions on any exciting recipes you recommend I try as I go on a cooking/baking spree, for him and me. 😛 foodyfaheema.‎

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