Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Coconut Baked Chicken

Any dish that is made in coconut milk is so flavourful. Today’s chicken dish is just succulent, high in flavor and has all the right spices in it! Everything depends on the thick creamy sauce. If you are a fan of Thai food or a fan of our authentic Kerala stew, then you should try this out.

Coconut Baked Chicken recipe is adapted from @swahilifood , do check her page for the original recipe which is equally good, among her other amazing recipes. Here is my version, it is super easy and a winner all the way!! I hope you get to try it out, trust me you will love it!





Ingredients:

1 whole chicken (or Chicken thighs)

For Marinade
Salt 1 teaspoon
Pepper powder 1 to 2 teaspoon
Turmeric half tsp
Chillie powder 1/2 teaspoon

To make the sauce
Butter 1 teaspoon
Oil 1 tablespoon
Cardamom 3 to 4
Cinnamon stick 2
Cloves 3 to 4
Peppercorns 1 tsp
Bayleaf 1 to 2
Minced ginger 1 tsp
Minced garlic 1 tsp
Chillie flakes 1 teaspoon
Turmeric 1 tsp
Coriander 2 tsp
Garam masala half tsp
Chillie powder or paprika 1 tsp
Coconut Milk 1 can
Chopped Coriander leaves - a bunch

 

Method:
Butterfly the chicken. Marinate the chicken well with the spices. Make sure there is enough salt. Fry the chicken in a pan with butter and oil on both sides of the chicken till the skin turns brown. Then keep aside the chicken in a baking dish.

To make the Sauce:
Remove the excess oil from the pan, leaving a little. Add the cardamom, cinnamon sticks, cloves, peppercorns and bayleaf and saute it. Then add the turmeric, minced ginger & garlic, chillie flakes, coriander powder and garam masala and saute it for a minute. Gradually add the coconut milk. I didnt have to add the whole can, I used 3/4th of it. Just warm it up and add chopped coriander leaves. Everything lies in the sauce. Taste and see of you need to add more spice. Pour this over the chicken. Cover the dish with foil and bake it at 200 degrees C for 45 minutes. Then remove the foil and bake it for another 10 minutes and serve it with bread, Chappati or rice.


Notes:
If you are using Chicken thighs the baking time will be less.






Friday, July 24, 2020

Roasted Cauliflower with Parmesan and Garlic


Roasted whole cauliflower with parmesan and garlic looks good on any table. Whole baked cauliflower can be a vegetarian main dish or a healthy low carb side dish. Its quick to make and high in flavour and no work needed! And it is drizzled with garlic parmesan sauce to enhance flavour. This is my favourite go-to cauliflower recipe and I hope you enjoy making it!



Here is the recipe:


Ingredients:

1 small or meduim head Cauliflower
1/3 cup Olive Oil
3 cloves crushed garlic
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese (divided)
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp or more Sea Salt 
1/4 tsp Black pepper
1/2 tsp Chillie flakes

Method:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).

In a small bowl, make the garlic parmesan sauce. Whisk together the olive oil, minced garlic, 2 tablespoons (28.3 grams) grated Parmesan (half of the total amount), chillie flakes, basil, parsley, thyme, salt, and black pepper.

Place the trimmed cauliflower head upside down (core side up) onto a dutch oven or a baking try. Drizzle half of the sauce over the cauliflower, tilting it to let it drip down the core and all around. Flip over and drizzle the remaining sauce over the top. Use a pastry brush to brush on any that had dripped down to the pan or didn't spread well.

Bake for 35-45 minutes, until the cauliflower is tender and pierces easily with a skewer, knife or fork.

Sprinkle the top of the cauliflower with the remaining 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese. Continue to bake for about 5 minutes, until the cheese is browned.





Above picture is copyrighted Tickled by Inspirations







Thursday, July 16, 2020

Nutella and Orange Swirl Buns


I recently discovered that Nutella and Orange are a deadly combination and super addictive. These buns are so delicious and fun to make… and they are so pretty to look at! The dough for this recipe was so soft and moist and it came out so perfectly! And I must say that it is easy to make even though the process seems long. Please do try. This is a huge hit in our home and I look forward to baking more of these soon...  

This recipe is adapted from Anna Banana and I added my twist to it... 




Yield : 8 to 12 buns depending on the size

Ingredients
·      60 g unsalted butter cubed
·      250 ml milk 
·      15gm yeast
·      500 gm flour
·      100 gm caster sugar
·      1 egg
·      1 tsp salt
·      Nutella 5 to 6 tablespoon or more (please be generous with it!)
·      Orange Zest 1 to 2 tablespoon
Instructions

1.    Heat the milk in a small saucepan until lukewarm. If you are using dried active yeast, transfer about 150ml of lukewarm milk into separate jug and add 1 tsp of sugar. Stir to dissolve sugar and add active yeast. Stir it and set aside for 15 minutes to activate it. 
2.    Add cubed butter to your lukewarm milk, swirling the saucepan every now for the butter to melt and set it aside.
3.    In a bowl of a freestanding mixer fitted with hook attachment, mix the flour, sugar and salt. Once its mixed, add yeast, egg, milk and butter mixture. Mix together for 2 minutes on low speed. Increase the speed to high and mix for further 6-8 minutes until the dough is not sticking to the sides of the bowl. Transfer the dough onto lightly floured surface, roll into a ball and place in a clean, lightly oiled bowl. Cover with clingfilm and let it rise somewhere warm for 2 hours or more until its doubled in size.
4.    Remove the dough from the bowl into a lightly floured surface. Gently knock out the air from it and stretch it into rough rectangle shape. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough into large rectangle.
5.     The longer edge of the rectangle should be facing you and spread the Nutella over 2/3 of the rectangle, leaving 1/3 clean. (please be generous with the spread). Then sprinkle the orange zest over the Nutella spread. Fold the clean part of the rectangle towards the middle, then fold the other end of the dough on top of that. Using a rolling pin, roll it over the rectangle to flatten it out and to stretch the dough a bit. (please head to my Instagram page @tickled_by_inspirations, to see the process, it is saved in the highlights)
6.    Use a pizza cutter or a sharp knife to trim the edges of your rectangle. Slice the rectangle in half, then each half in half again, and again until you have 8 long strips of the dough. Starting at one end of the strip, rolling, tucking the end underneath. Place the rolled bun into baking tray lined with some baking parchment. Repeat the same process with all of the remaining strips.
7.    Cover the buns loosely with some cling film and set them aside to prove for at least an hour.
8.    Preheat the oven to 175C. Bake in the middle shelf of the oven for about 18 minutes or until golden brown and risen. Enjoy! Eat it warm.

Tips:
You can freeze these buns
You can sprinkle hazelnuts on the buns before baking for a nutty texture.

I hope you will enjoy baking these beauties and do drop a mail or a comment and let me know how it turns out!! Have a great and safe weekend!





Above pictures are copyrighted by Tickled by Inspirations




Thursday, June 18, 2020

Bow to Bao Buns


Bao buns are soft, fluffy and pockets of steamy goodness. They go perfect with any meat or vegetables like mushrooms with pickled vegetables, fresh herbs and your favorite sauces. It can be served as a side or as the main meal itself.... And what I love about this bread is that it doesn’t collapse under the pressure of steaming. These buns just made me swoon and are a family favorite now. These are easy to make with readily available ingredients. Try it out and trust me, you will keep making it!





Yield 14 to 16 buns

INGREDIENts
·         1/3 cup warm water
·         1/2 cup warm milk
·         1 tbsp active dry yeast
·         4 tbsp sugar, divided half
·         2 tbsp vegetable or canola oil
·         2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
·         1/2 tsp baking powder
·         1/4 tsp salt

INSTRUCTIONS
1.       Combine warm water, milk, active yeast, sugar and oil. Whisk to let yeast and sugar to dissolve then let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes until the yeast activate.
2.       Meanwhile in a stand mixer and a bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. You could make with your hand too if you prefer.
3.       Pour the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Blend on a low speed to slowly incorporate all the ingredients together then on medium speed until it becomes a dough shape. Keep on kneading for 3 to 4 minutes on medium speed. The dough should be elastic and really soft and not stick to your fingers or on the mixing bowl.
4.       Once the dough is ready, shape it into a ball and place it back to the bowl, cover with a plastic wrap and let it rise in a warm place until it becomes triple size, about 2 hours. Let it sit for longer if needed as it had to rise well. 
5.       Place the raised dough on a working surface and roll it out to 1/4-inch thickness. Sprinkle flour only if you need to. Cut the dough 3 1/2-inch circle with a ring mold or glass or a wine glass. This recipe will make 14 o 16 baos.
6.       Lightly brush or spray oil on one surface of the baos and fold in half as a half moon shape. Gently press each bao with a roller and place on a parchment paper or coffee filter lined steamer so that it won’t stick to the bottom. Cover with a lid and let it rest for additional 30 minutes.
7.       Meanwhile get your steamer ready. Carefully place the steamer with the baos on top of boiling water wok/pot. Make sure water is not touching the baos. Cover and steam for 8 to 12 minutes. Please be careful when you open the lid of the steamer. You can serve this bao as a side or serve with a filling like I did!
I hope you all will enjoy making these and do keep me posted if you try. Have a great weekend everyone!










Above pictures are copyright to Tickled by inpirations








Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Artist of the month - Dr.Zakiya Al Busaidi


Today I am honoured to feature a passionate Omani artist who is a doctor by profession and therapist. And her goal is to heal the world through art and medicine and make this world a better place to live in. Dr. Zakiya Al Busaidi strongly believes that other than medicine, art can heal people. She has also acquired her PhD on the relation between mind and body. And she has been a great advocate for mental health awareness in Oman. She started her journey as an artist 6 years back. I was fortunate to see her work in an exhibition here in Oman. The emotional energy of her work is portrayed beautifully in each piece. There is joy and movement in most of her work through the colours and textures she has used.



Let’s have a look at her beautiful work and hear more from her regarding her art journey









Tell us a bit about yourself. How did your journey as an artist begin? Did you have any formal training?

My name is Zakiya Al Busaidi, I am artist and a doctor. The two seem to be inseparable since both are expressions of my soul. I started my journey with art 6 years ago, unplanned but fell in love with art and started attending short courses with Omani artists for 2 years.


How would you describe your art style?
Since I am a big fan of the French Impressionsm art movement, (especially Claude Monet), that was the first style I started with but later I experimented with pop art, calligraphy and currently working on pour and fluid art. 


What's your inspiration for your art work?

My art is inspired by nature where I feel more connected and spirituality.  


Do you commission different projects? And how can people purchase your paintings?

My art is available for sale on my instagram account (@zalbusaidi_art) and whenever I participate in exhibitions in Muscat. 


Any tips or words of wisdom to aspiring artists who want to pursue a similar career.

I believe in the role of art in healing and I promote for mindful art. Therefore, I encourage people to do art for self- expression and as a way of meditation. Art teaches us how to be present, appreciate the beauty that we have around us and be less judgmental of ourselves and others. 



Thank you Zakiya for sharing your beautiful work with me and my readers…. and for giving us an insight for your inspiring art journey. We wish you many more successes and looking forward to more creative pieces from you!



If you wish to get updates of her beautiful work, please follow her on instagram @zalbusaidi_art.





All the above pictures are via Zakiya Al Busaidi








Thursday, April 16, 2020

Artist of the month - Elizabeth Davis


Elizabeth Davis, a prominent artist in the Oman art community, reminds herself and everyone around that “Art is not merely a career but a way of life”. I am a huge fan of her art work and witnessed her exhibitions many times. Her commitment to the art scene has gained respect and fans… and what I love about her is her constant zeal for learning more, updating her skills and always challenging herself. 



Most of her artwork is greatly influenced by the scenic beauty of Oman and the hospitality and beauty of Omani Culture and her travels as well. I have also known her for promoting and motivating amateur artists as well which makes her an even more beautiful artist. Her work is an extension of her warmth, her enthusiasm and her passion. Her love for details and creating the mood evokes a sense of peace and wanting to travel, that can be clearly seen in her work, through the colours and textures on her work. 

Have a look at her paintings and let’s hear more from Elizabeth and her inspiring journey as an artist





Tell us a bit about yourself. How did your journey as an artist begin? Did you have any formal training or is it self- taught?


My journey as an artist began in school. I have early memories of colouring the Nutrine bunny. We had a wonderful Art and craft section in school manned by a fantastic art teacher. Academics was taught only in the morning session, the whole afternoon session was dedicated to arts and sports. In our art class we were taught various techniques starting with sketching, crayons, colour pencils, water colours, oil painting, marble painting, mosaic work, tie and dye, batik, block printing, leather craft, etc.


As a family too, we children were art oriented in addition to academics. I remember my grandmother used to always decorate her letters with sketches. She had a brother who used to paint on the walls of his house and was considered quite eccentric. The only one who did not care for drawing was my younger brother who incidentally got a prize at the Shankar’s International art competition. I too remember getting a prize much later for my “Qutub Minar”from the Navarang Chitrakala Niketan, Guntur. Many years later my mom said that since her mother and her kids paint, she too should be having that talent and made a pretty good painting, she painted no further almost as if she had proved her point.


My art took a back stage and came to a grinding halt during my work, marriage, bringing up the children phase. Got a breather after coming to Muscat and would paint on and off. Got back fully into the Art scene about 4 years ago after moving to the Al Mouj community and discovering a lot of talented artists. Started with a bang with my first exhibition at the World Art Dubai. It was a great learning experience. Became a member of the Omani society of Fine arts soon after and took part in various exhibitions. Took a few courses with some great Artists and discovered new worlds in art.


My whole idea of Art went for a toss. I discovered Acrylics paints! Whereas I had always strived for perfection and realism, here were artists telling to paint how I feel and not how I see. They tell me to be creative and not to function like a camera! For me Art was art and craft was Craft … and then I discovered Mixed media! And both my interests could merge.


Has your artwork evolved during the last couple of years? How would you describe your art style?


Currently I would call my art as Contemporary and Impressionist and maybe semi abstract. I cannot classify myself as I am still on a journey of experimentation and discovery. In fact all my paintings look like they are done by different people and I am reveling in the sheer variety. I do not want to fall in a niche, I want to keep getting out of my comfort zone, I want to be constantly challenged. The downside is sleepless nights were my mind is furiously pumping out ideas and techniques. In fact a few times I have jumped out of bed, into the adjacent studio, to attack the canvas in the middle of the night. Many a times I have been sorely disappointed with the outcome, but some of my favourite pieces are done over these disasters.




What's your inspiration for your art work? 


Inspiration for art work is all around us and many a times within us.

Initially as you started as an artist, was your work rejected at any point? If yes, how did you deal with it and overcome?


Our biggest rejection comes from ourselves. We have to keep working till we are happy with our work. It is also equally important to know when to stop. Sometimes there is a sense of depression when the mind cannot connect with the hand. Then there is a sense of exhilaration when we feel the hand of the creator working through us.


There are days when I literally live in the studio, and there are other times when I take long breaks. Sometimes, we just have to overcome the inertia, like the writer’s block.




What is the most challenging aspect about your work?


There are days when I literally live in the studio, and there are other times when I take long breaks. Sometimes, we just have to overcome the inertia, like the writer’s block.


What medium do you use? What is your creative process like? and what keeps you motivated?


My whole idea of Art went for a toss. I discovered Acrylics paints! Whereas I had always strived for perfection and realism, here were artists telling to paint how I feel and not how I see. They tell me to be creative and not to function like a camera! For me Art was art and craft was Craft … and then I discovered Mixed media! And both my interests could merge.




Do you commission different projects? And how can people purchase your paintings?


Oman does not seem to be a buyers market currently and there are very few galleries and platforms for artists. The OSFA is doing a tremendous job of promoting art and artists and we are grateful for that. The National Museum too is doing their bit. Also art material is very expensive and often new material is unavailable in Oman. But the art community here is wonderful and encouraging

I have sold a few of my paintings, done a few commission jobs, but not as much as I would have liked to.

I am planning to hold a solo exhibition sometime this year in Muscat and hopefully one in India.


What is your favorite art piece that you have done till date?


Often my favourite art piece is the one I have just finished. Though some are very dear due to the situation behind the painting or certain memories.




Any tips or words of wisdom to aspiring artists who want to pursue a similar career.


My advice to everyone is simple - Enjoy Art … there is an artist in every one of us … it can give immense satisfaction and happiness. Don’t be afraid of disasters. Treat it as an adventure …. “Artventure”.


In fact, I am also hoping to take classes for children as there is no better teacher for creativity than a child and we can learn as we teach. I would also tell parents to encourage children to try out new ideas and not to stereotype their art and thoughts. Using the right side of the brain is as important as the left. Recycling and reusing are also very important to me and I would like to incorporate more of it into my art.

Art is not merely a career, its a way of life.



Thank you so much Elizabeth for sharing your art journey with me and my readers! I am sure there are many who are inspired by your work. And wishing you all the best ahead in your journey!

If you wish to follow Elizabeth’s work please click here and  follow her at eliseasel in instagram handle. And you can email her at eliseasel@gmail.com  




Above pics via Elizabeth Davis











Thursday, April 9, 2020

Positivity in your space


Hey everyone… how is your week going? Since we are all spending a lot of time indoors, at home… do you feel positive enough in your space?

If not, here are some tips for you to create that positive energy in your space and I hope it will work for you…










Natural lighting:

Place your seating close to your window where you can work and read easily. Keep rotating your seating arrangements from one room to another.


Surround yourself with things that make you happy:

If you are sitting at your desk, have pictures of your loved ones close by or a favorite book or something that has sentimental value and brings a smile to your face every time you look at it.


Indoor plants:

Have at least one indoor plant in your space. That pop of green always brings life in your home.


De-clutter:

De-clutter your space as it directly affects your mind and productivity. Throw away papers, bills and things that you don’t need. Donate toys, old books and clothes.


Music:

I always play music in the background when I paint, meditate or read and even when I create recipes… it just sets the tempo for my task.


Aromatic Oils:

To set the mood in your home, burn your favorite aromatic oil or incense. It will uplift your mood as you do your task.


Move things around:

Since we are all home bound, it’s natural for all of us to crave for a change of scenery,  so the best way to tackle this is, move around your wall hangings, pictures and paintings…. Move your furniture around a bit or your décor accents. you can also add a few accents here and there that have a pop of colour.


Favorite Couch:

Always have your favorite couch ready for taking a snooze in between or read or to watch your favorite television show. And keep a throw ready to snuggle in.


Take breaks:

Please don’t forget to stretch and workout in between. If you have a small balcony, you can stretch there and get a bit of sunlight as well. And if you have space outside, try workout or do a spot jogging or skip.




Let me know if these tips are helpful and is working for you… I only wish you all lots of peace and calmness as the lockdown continues. Please stay safe, stay healthy, eat healthy and stay home!



Above pictures are copyrighted by Tickled by Inspirations