Bored of trying out the same old curries with Brinjal/ Aubergine. Why not have a go at making this spicy tangy Brinjal Pickle?? more

In a hurry, why not cook up this simple and tasty Tomato Rice. Goes well with any yoghurt raita. more

A nutritious dal, especially with its combination of different lentils. A perfect accompaniment with plain rice. more

Another unusual dessert. This time with bread!. Never thought bread would taste so good, in a sweet dish other than bread and butter pudding! more

A typical Maharashtrian snack, Misal Pav. Both filling and tasty too! more

 

PIZZA STAR

I am a member of several food groups on Facebook. On one such group a member had posted this video on chilli pizza star. The ready pizza was such a visual treat that I bookmarked the video immediately. It took me a while before I got around to making it. However, I followed only the technique to get the star shape. The toppings can vary according to personal preferences. I chose to make a veg pizza.

pizza-star

This is what you need

Pizza base: 1 (readymade)

Tomato purée: 3tbsp

Cheddar cheese: 1/2 cup (grated)

Mozzarella cheese: 1/2 cup (grated)

Pizza toppings of your choice. I used thinly sliced red onions, mushrooms, red peppers, pineapple and jalapeños

Seasoning: Oregano and Chilli flakes (optional)

Dipping sauce: Optional

Let’s get cooking

1. Place the pizza base on a sheet of grease proof paper.

2. Make 3 cuts with a pizza cutter in the centre of the dough,  this will create a star shape that will give you 6 triangles of dough to fold outwards towards the edge.

3. Around the outer edge of the pizza spread the tomato purée, leaving the centre untouched (where he slits end)

4. Add the onions, mushrooms, red peppers, pineapple and jalapeños.

5. Sprinkle the cheese, both cheddar and mozzarella along with oregano and chilli flakes.

6.  Slowly lift one of the triangles from the centre and overlap it with the corresponding outside edge of the pizza. Continue until you have completed the pizza.

7. Bake at around 250deg C for 20 minutes or until lightly browned and the cheese has melted.

8. Serve hot with a dip of your choice.

pizza-star1

Approximate preparation and cooking time: 45 minutes

Serves: 2

pizza-star4

 

pizza-star2

 

pizza-star3

MASALA UPMA VADA (MIXED VEGETABLE SEMOLINA FRITTERS)

All my hubbie has to hear is “It’s masala upma for breakfast today” and his mood is ruined. Trust me to try out something which caught my attention using masala upma! Thanks to Sanjeev Kapoor I tried out his masala upma fritters and hubbie could not stop praising the delicious breakfast he had!

masala-upma-vada2

This is what you’ll need

Semolina: 1 cup

Onion: 1 (finely chopped)

Carrot: 1 (peeled and cut into very fine cubes)

French beans: 12 to 15 (finely chopped)

Green chillies: 2

Ginger: 1/4tsp (grated)

Curry leaves: Few

Mustard seeds: 1tsp

Coriander leaves: 1tbsp (finely chopped)

Salt to taste

Ghee: 1tbsp

Oil for frying

Let’s get cooking

1. Heat the ghee in a pan and season with the mustard seeds, curry leaves, slit green chillies and ginger.

2. Add the onions and saute for a couple of minutes.

3. Add the chopped vegetables and fry for 2 minutes.

4. Add the semolina and salt. Fry well for 3 to 4 minutes.

5. Add 3 cups of water (more if the mixture is thick) and cover the pan. Let it cook for 5 to 7 minutes.

6. When the mixture is dry, remove from flame.

7. Add the chopped coriander leaves. Mix well.

8. Shape into small round shaped vadas and deep fry in hot oil.

9. Serve hot with rasam/ sambhar and chutney.

masala-upma-vada

Approximate preparation and cooking time: 1 hour

Serves: 3-4

masala-upma-vada1

DATE AND DRY FRUIT ROLLS

Have been so caught up with work that the time I spend in the kitchen has reduced drastically. This was probably the first Diwali where I had hardly made anything specil. Was feeling so guilty, that the night before Diwali made Rava Laadoos and this simple Date and dry fruit roll.

date-and-dry-fruit-rolls

This is what you’ll need

Seedless dates: 500gms (finely chopped)

Mixed nuts: 1 and a 1/2 cups ( I used almonds, cashew nuts and pistachios)

Ghee: 2 tbsp

Let’s get cooking

1. Lightly toast the nuts in a pan and keep aside.

2. In the same pan heat the ghee and add the chopped dates to it. Mix until nicely mashed.

3. Add the toasted nuts and mix well.

4. Remove from heat and let it cool down.

5. Shape into laddoos or alternately, roll into a long roll and cut into one inch roundels.

6. Refrigerate once made. Serve when required.

date-and-dry-fruit-rolls3

Approximate preparation and cooking time: 20 minutes

Dieticians Note

Dates are calorie dense, iron rich foods, easy to digest and contain simple natural sugars.

The combination of nuts in this sweet, makes it protein rich as well.

date-and-dry-fruit-rolls4

 

 

 

INDIAN STYLE VEGETABLE PASTA

Italian pasta with a desi twist was on the Saturday menu. Nutritious and spicy perfect for the kids!

veg-pasta1

This is what you’ll need

Pasta: 1 cup (dry pasta) (I used fusilli, you can use any pasta)

Onion: 1 (finely chopped)

Carrot: 1 (finely chopped)

Peas: 1/4 cup

Mixed peppers: 1/2 cup

Tomatoes: 2

Garlic: 3 cloves (finely chopped)

Ginger: 1/4tsp (finely chopped)

Chilli powder: 1tsp

Turmeric powder: 1/4tsp

Coriander powder: 1/4tsp

Garam Masala powder: 1tsp

Chilli flakes: 1/2tsp

Oregano: 1/2tsp

Grated cheese: 2tbsp

Olive oil: 2tbsp

Salt and pepper to taste

Let’s get cooking

1. Cook the pasta in boiling water. Drain and keep aside.

2. Blanch the tomatoes. Peel, purée and keep aside.

3. Heat the olive oil in a pan. Add the onions and sauté until transparent.

4. Add the ginger and garlic. Fry for a minute.

5. Add the chopped carrots along with the peas and a little water (around 1/4 cup). Cover and cook till the carrots are almost done.

6. Add the dry powders Chilli powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder, garam masala and salt. Fry for 30 seconds.

7. Pour in the tomato purée along with the mixed peppers. Cover and cook for a few minutes.

8. Add the pasta and give the mixture a good stir.

9. Add the grated cheese, salt, chilli flakes and oregano. Mix again.

10. Cook for another five minutes and serve the pasta hot.

veg-pasta3

Approximate preparation and cooking time: 45 minutes

Serves: 2-3

veg-pasta-desi

SPINACH CAULIFLOWER CUTLETS

It is always an ordeal to get my kids to have their daily quota of vegetables. I need to come up with different ways to get them to eat them. Today came up with this idea of spinach and cauliflower cutlets.

spinach-cauliflower

This is what you’ll need

Spinach: 1 cup (finely chopped)

Cauliflower: 1 cup (finely shredded)

Potato: 1 (boiled)

Ginger: 1tsp (grated)

Chilli powder: 1tsp

Turmeric powder: 1/2tsp

Garam masala: 1tsp

Chaat Masala: 1tsp

Cornflour: 2tbsp

Bread crumbs: 1/2 cup

Salt to taste

Oil: To shallow fry

Let’s get cooking

1. In a bowl add the chopped spinach along with the shredded cauliflower, ginger, chilli powder, turmeric powder, garam masala, chaat masala, cornflour and salt.

2. Grate in the boiled potato and add 1/4 cup of the bread crumbs to the above mentioned mixture. Keep the remaining bread crumbs aside, to be used for coating the cutlets.

3. Mix well and shape into cutlets. Coat with breadcrumbs.

4. Shallow fry until evenly brown.

5. Serve hot with ketchup or green chutney.

scc1

Approximate preparation and cooking time: 40 minutes

Serves: 4

CHURROS

During my holiday to Bombay this time, I visited this Spanish dessert joint with friends and tried out their speciality called Churros for the first time. The first look of it reminded me of chakli/ muruku. The taste however was completely different. In fact I enjoyed it so much that I could not resist trying to make it at home.  Found a recipe for it on www.desifiesta.com and it was so very easy to make. Ideally you use a piping bag with a star nozzle to pipe out the churros, but I did not have that, so used a murku press which works just as well, except for the thickness.

churros

This is what you’ll need

For the Churros

All purpose flour: 1 cup

Water: 1 cup

Sugar: 2 1/2 tbsp

Oil: 2tbsp

Salt: 1/2tsp

Oil: For frying

For the sugar coating

Fine sugar: 1/4 cup

Cinnamon powder: 1tsp

Let’s get cooking

1. Bring the water to a boil in a sauce pan. Turn off the flame and keep aside.

2. Add the flour, sugar, oil and salt to the water when it is still hot and using a spoon mix it well until it forms a soft dough.

3. Place this dough into the piping bag or the murku press (which is what I used) and press out the dough into the hot oil. Cook until nicely brown.

4. Drain on a kitchen towel and keep aside.

5. Prepare the sugar coating by mixing the sugar and cinnamon powder.

6. Roll the fried churros in the sugar mixture until well coated.

7. Serve warm on it’s own or with chocolate sauce.

churros1

Approximate preparation and cooking time: 20 minutes

Serves: 2 to 3

churros3

 

 

 

 

MUSHROOM MELT

I have been on a break from blogging for a really long time and finally got back to it after almost 3 months. Thought will start off with something very simple and came up with this open sandwich with a cheesy mushroom topping.

mushroom-melt1

This is what you’ll need

Bread slices: 4

Butter: 2tbsp

For the mushroom filling

Mushrooms: 100gms (sliced finely)

Onion: 1 (finely chopped)

Garlic: 2 cloves (diced)

Butter: 1tbsp

Cheese spread: 2tbsp

Grated mozzarella cheese: 2tbsp

Coriander leaves: 1tbsp (chopped)

Salt and pepper to taste

Let’s get cooking

1. To prepare the filling, melt the butter in a pan.

2. Add the onions and garlic. Sauté until transparent.

3. Add the mushrooms and cook until done.

4. Add the salt, pepper and coriander leaves. Mix well.

5. Remove from flame and when the mixture is still hot add the cheese spread and grated cheese.mix well.

6. Butter each bread slice and grill on a pan. Let it brown. Spread the mushroom filling on each slice and serve hot.

mushroom-melt

Approximate preparation and cooking time: 20 minutes

Serves: 2

mm

BONELESS CHICKEN BIRYANI

Fotor_146618220531437Given a choice, I will eat only the rice from the biryani, but if I do decide to have a chicken piece I’ve always preferred chicken on the bone. This recipe for a boneless chicken biryani looked easy and tempting too. Thanks to vidyascooking.blogspot.co.uk.

This is what you’ll need

To marinate the chicken

Boneless chicken: 500gms

Ginger garlic paste: 1tbsp

Chilli sauce: 3tbsp

Chilli powder: 1tbsp

Turmeric powder: 1/2tsp

Garam masala: 1tbsp

Egg: 1

Cornflour: 2tbsp

Salt to taste

Oil for frying

For the Chicken Masala

Onions: 3 (chopped)

Tomatoes: 3 (chopped)

Ginger garlic paste: 1tsp

Chilli powder: 1tsp

Turmeric powder: 1/2tsp

Garam masala: 1tsp

Mint leaves: 2 tbsp (finely chopped)

Coriander leaves: 3 tbsp (finely chopped)

Green chillies: 4 (slit)

Salt to taste

For the biryani rice

Rice: 2 cups

Bay leaf: 1

Cardamom: 3

Cinnamon: 1″ piece

Cloves: 5

Yoghurt: 3tbsp

Coriander leaves: 1/4 cup (finely chopped)

Mint leaves: 2tbsp (finely chopped)

Green chillies: 3 (slit)

Salt to taste

Oil or ghee as required

Let’s get cooking

1. Clean and cut the chicken into bite sized pieces. Marinate it with the ingredients listed under marinade (except the oil) for at least an hour. Fry the chicken pieces in oil. Drain on a kitchen towel and keep aside.

2. To prepare the rice, wash the rice and soak it for half an hour.

3. Heat oil in a wide pan. Add the bayleaf, cinnamon, cardamom and cloves. Fry for a minute.

4. Add the rice and fry for 2 minutes.

5. Add the yoghurt, mint leaves, coriander leaves, green chillies and salt. Fry for a few more minutes.

6. Pour in 3 cups of water. Once it comes to a boil, lower the flame cover and cook till the rice is done. Open the lid and let the rice cool.

7. For the chicken masala, heat oil in a pan. Add the onions and sauté until transparent.

8. Add the ginger garlic paste and fry for another minute.

9. Mix in the dry powders, followed by the chopped tomatoes.

10. Cook until the tomatoes are pulpy.

11. Add the fried chicken pieces, coriander leaves, mint leaves, green chillies and salt. Mix well.

12. Add a glass of water and bring the curry to a boil.

13. To layer the biryani first spread a layer of the chicken masala at the bottom. Top it with a layer of the rice. Continue till the chicken and rice are over. Cover and seal the pan. Let it cook on a low flame for around 20 minutes.

14. Mix gently and serve hot with a raita of your choice.

Fotor_146618201805431

Approximate preparation and cooking time: 1 hr 30 minutes

Serves: 6 to 8

 

CHUTNEY CHEESE PINWHEEL PUFFS

Deciding what to make for the kids each evening is a huge task. Today I came up with this quick snack made with readymade puff pastry, green coriander chutney and cheese. You can substitute the puff pastry for bread slices, if puff pastry is not available.

chutney cheese pinwheel1

This is what you’ll need

Puff pastry sheet: 1 roll (thawed)

Green coriander chutney: 5 to 6tbsp

Mozzarella cheese: 1/2cup

Milk: To glaze

Let’s get cooking

1. Once the pastry has thawed, spread the coriander chutney all over the base of the sheet.

2. Top it with the grated cheese.

3. Roll the sheet tightly and cut into roundels.

4. Place on a baking tray lined with grease proof paper, glaze with milk and bake for 25 minutes or until the cheese has melted and evenly brown.

5. Serve hot.

chutney cheese pinwheel

Approximate preparation and cooking time: 40 minutes

* If using bread slices, remove the crusts and flatten it with a rolling pin. Spread the chutney, top with the cheese and cut into roundels, diagonally. To cook this, melt some butter in a pan and brown evenly until the cheese melts. Serve hot.

chutney cheese pinwheel3

 

 

 

CHICKEN SEEKH KEBAB

The kids were tired of simple food, which was actually annoying, considering the variety they get to eat every time. To pamper their tastebuds I decided to make seekh kebabs with some of the chicken mince that was left after making chicken cutlets. Came up with an easy recipe which did not require too many ingredients.

chicken seekh kebab1

This is what you’ll need

Chicken kheema/ mince: 250gms

Onion: 1 (grated)

Green chillies: 4 (finely chopped)

Ginger garlic paste: 1tsp

Garam masala: 1tsp

Chaat masala: 1/2tsp

Lime juice: 1tsp

Coriander leaves: 2tbsp (chopped)

Salt to taste

Butter or oil to shallow fry or grill

Let’s get cooking

1. Clean the mince and add it in a bowl along with the rest of the ingredients.

2. Mix it well and add on skewers. (To prevent the kebab mix from sticking to your hand, dip the hand in water a little and apply on skewer)

3. Melt the butter in a griddle and place the skewers on the griddle. Cook until the kebabs are evenly browned, turning occasionally until done. Alternately, brush with butter and place on a grill. Cook until done.

4. Serve hot with a salad and raita or sauce of your choice.

chicken seekh kebab

Approximate preparation and cooking time: 35 minutes

Serves: 4

chciekn seekh kebab3

 

 

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