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

 

Category Archives: NON INDIAN CUISINE

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

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pizza-star2

 

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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

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LOADED POTATO SKINS

We tried out this starter Italian Potato Dippers at one of our favourite restaurants Frankie and Benny’s. The American version of this usually has bacon in it, but I prefer the vegetarian version. Made it at home today and was quite pleased with the outcome. A great starter.

lps1

This is what you’ll need

Medium sized potatoes: 6

Cream cheese: 4tbsp

Green chillies: 2 to 3 (finely chopped)

Cheese sauce: 3tbsp

Spring onion green: To garnish

Chilli flakes: To garnish (optional)

Olive oil: 1tbsp

Let’s get cooking

1. Prick the potatoes with a fork all over a few times. Coat with olive oil and bake in an oven at 180deg C for about 45 minutes to an hour (depending on the size of the potatoes)

2. Prepare the filling by mixing the cream cheese until it is smooth and soft.

3. Add the finely chopped green chillies. Mix well and keep aside.

4. You can top this mixture either with grated cheese or cheese sauce. I used cheese sauce. (Prepare the cheese sauce by melting 1tbsp butter. Add 1tbsp flour and mix to a smooth paste on a low flame. Add 1 cup of milk and mix making sure no lumps are formed. Stir until thick. turn off the flame and add the grated cheese to it. Mix well until it is smooth. Add salt and pepper as required and use as required)

5. Once the potatoes are done, remove from the oven and let them cool completely.

6. Cut them into half lengthwise and scoop out the centre pulpy portion, leaving about a cm of it all around. Do this with all the remaining potatoes. (The centre pulp can be kept aside for use in making parathas, mash or even cutlets.)

7. Bake the potato skins (skin facing up) in an oven at 200 deg C for another 5 to 7 minutes.

8. Remove and fill them with the cream cheese mixture. Top with cheese sauce or grated cheese and bake again for another 7 minutes.

9. Remove and serve hot garnished with spring onion greens.

loaded potato skins2

Approximate preparation and cooking time: 1 and a half hour.

Serves: 3 to 4

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loaded potato skins1

BAKLAVA

I remember having Baklava, traditionally a Turkish sweet for first time when I was a kid. It was a must on the list of things my aunt brought for us every time she visited. It was not until I moved here that I started making it myself. With filo pastry sheets easily available these were easy to make, though a bit time consuming. In the end well worth the effort!

This is what you’ll need

Filo pastry sheets: 25 (the roll you get here has 12 sheets, so I used 2. Thaw to room temperature, if using from frozen)

Sugar: 1/2cup

Honey: 3tbsp

Lemon juice: 1tsp

Almond powder: 2 cups

Cardamom powder: 1/2tsp

Melted ghee: To spread between the filo sheets

Let’s get cooking

1. Prepare a syrup using the sugar, honey and lemon juice. Add a glass of water and bring the mixture to a boil. Let it boil for exactly 10 minutes. Leave it to come to room temperature.

2. Mix the almond powder along with the cardamom powder and keep ready.

3. Grease the baking tray/ tin foil tray that you will be using.

4. Place the first filo pastry and brush with melted ghee all over. Continue with 9 more pastries in a similar manner.

5. Now spread half of the almond powder evenly on the filo pastry.

6. Layer with another 5 filo pastries as done earlier.

7. Spread the rest of the almond powder and cover with 10 more filo pastries.

8. Spread ghee on the topmost sheet.

9. Cut deep into squares and bake at 180 deg C for around 20 minutes or until golden brown.

10. Remove from the oven and pour the prepared sugar/ honey syrup in between the cuts.

11. Separate the pieces and store in aluminium foil.

Approximate preparation and cooking time: 1 hour

Makes 1 medium sized tray

 

 

 

 

JUS-ROL PIZZA PUFF

With winter having set in and the clocks moved back an hour, it seems like time has come to a standstill! Initial winter blues set in and I find myself dreading the thought of having to cook. To my rescue came the Jus-Rol puff pastry sheets that I had at home. Added a few toppings (chicken for the kids and hubby, vegetarian for me) popped it into the oven and voila out came a tasty pizza puff. The kids absolutely loved it and the best part is this required very little preparation.

This is what you’ll need

Jus-Rol puff pastry sheets: 1

Tomato puree: 4tbsp

Vegetables for topping as per your preference I used sliced red onions, mushrooms, green pepper, cherry tomatoes and spinach

Grated cheese: 6 tbsp

Mixed herbs and chilli flakes: For topping

Let’s get cooking

1. Pre heat the over at 180deg C.

2. If using rom frozen, first thaw the puff pastry sheet. Cut into 6 pieces (or 4 big ones)

3. Spread tomato puree on the base of each sheet.

4. Spread the vegetables on the top.

5. Sprinkle herbs and chilli flakes.

6. Top with grated cheese and bake in a preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until the pastry is nicely brown.

7. Drizzle with olive oil and serve hot.

 

Approximate preparation and cooking time: 50 minutes

Serves: 3

 

 

 

CRACKLING SPINACH WITH PANEER (CRACKLING SPINACH WITH COTTAGE CHEESE)

The first time I tried this dish was in a popular restaurant in Mangalore called Palkhi. I can still remember the flavour of the crunchy spinach and paneer. Sanjeev kapoor had a similar recipe where chicken was used. I decided to try out the same using paneer instead of chicken.

This is what you’ll need

Finely chopped and deep-fried spinach: 1 cup

Paneer: 250gms (cut into cubes)

Oil for deep-frying and 1tbsp

Soya sauce: 2tbsp

Chopped garlic: 2tbsp

Chopped spring onion greens: 2tbsp

Red chilli flakes: 2tsp

Cornflour: 1 to 2 tbsp

White pepper powder to taste

Salt to taste

Oil: 1tbsp

Chopped ginger: 1/2tbsp

Celery stick: 1tbsp (chopped)

Onion: 1 medium, cut into cubes and layers separated

Chopped coriander leaves: 2tbsp

Sugar: 2tsp

Honey: 1tsp

Dried red chillies: 5 (diagonally sliced)

Sesame seeds: 1/4cup (toasted)

Let’s get cooking

1. Heat sufficient oil in a pan.

2. Take the paneer cubes in a bowl.

3. Add the white pepper powder, salt, 1 tbsp soya sauce, 1 tbsp chopped garlic, 1 tbsp chopped spring onion greens and 1 tsp chilli flakes. Mix and leave aside to marinate for 10-15 minutes.

4. Add the cornflour and mix well.

5. Deep-fry paneer in hot oil till golden and crisp. Drain on absorbent paper.

6. To prepare sauce, heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan. Add ginger and sauté for 30 seconds.

7. Add the celery and sauté for 30 seconds.

8. Add remaining garlic and sauté till golden.

9. Add the onion and sauté till translucent.

10. Mix in the coriander leaves and toss to mix. Add some water and mix well. Add remaining soy sauce, ½ teaspoon chilli flakes, fried paneer and toss to mix.

11. Add 1 teaspoon sugar, honey and toss to mix. Add remaining chopped spring onion greens and mix well.

12. To prepare crackling spinach, heat oil in a non-stick pan. Add dried red chillies, fried spinach, remaining chilli flakes, sesame seeds and remaining sugar and toss to mix.

13. To serve place the fried paneer in a plate and top with the crackling spinach.

Approximate preparation and cooking time: 45 minutes

Serves: 4

BLOOMING ONION

Everyone at home loves Onion rings, but somehow I have never got around to making them at home. The other day some friends posted pictures of a Blooming Onion and it caught my eye. Immediately found myself searching for a recipe on the internet and what I ended up making turned out quite well. Well, my said said he would rate it a 10 on 10 🙂

This is what you’ll need

Onion: 1 medium or large

All purpose flour: 3/4 cup

Paprika: 1/4tsp

Chilli powder: 1/2tsp

Pepper powder: 1/2tsp

Oregano: 1/2tsp

Garlic powder: 1/2tsp

Salt to taste

Milk: 3/4 cup

Egg: 1

Oil: To deep fry

Let’s get cooking

1. To prepare the blooming onion, cut a small portion at the top of the onion and peel it. Trim off the bottom keeping the base intact. Scoop out a small portion from the top, lengthwise and make slits all round the onion. Carefully separate the layers and drop the onion in cold water until the flour mixture is ready.

2. Prepare the flour mixture by mixing the flour, chilli powder, paprika, pepper powder, oregano, garlic powder and salt.

3. Beat the egg and add the milk to it. Mix well.

4. Now coat the onion with the flour mixture and dip into the egg/milk batter.

5. Coat it with the flour mixture once again, followed by the egg and milk batter.

6. Heat enough oil in a pan and deep fry the entire onion until golden brown. ( The onion should be completely covered in the oil when frying)

7. Drain on a kitchen towel and serve immediately with a mayonnaise/ketchup dip.

Approximate preparation and cooking time: 15 minutes

Serves: 2

HASSELBACK POTATOES

I have seen so many posts on these hasselback potatoes and they looked so pretty that I had to try making it myself. Very simple and you can choose whatever topping you want with it.

This is what you’ll need

Baking potatoes or any other potatoes: 2

Melted butter: 2tbsp

Cheese slices: 2 (cut into one inch squares)

Chilli flakes: 2tsp

Salt and pepper to taste

Let’s get cooking

1. Wash the potatoes well and pat dry. Cut it into thin, even, horizontal slices, keeping the base intact. An easy way to do this is pierce a skewer through from one end of the potato to the other lengthwise and cut until the skewer.

2. Preheat the oven at 200 deg C.

3. Brush the top of the sliced potatoes with half of the melted butter. Sprinkle some salt and pepper powder. Bake for around 30 minutes.

4. Remove from the oven, add the cheese squares between alternate slits of the potatoes. Brush it with the rest of the butter. Sprinkle the chilli flakes and bake again for another 10 to fifteen minutes or until the top is nicely brown and potato cooked.

5. Remove from oven and serve hot with sour cream or a dip of your choice.

Approximate preparation and cooking time: 1 hour

Serves: 2

 

 

HONEY CHILLI CHICKEN

My kids are not very fond of Chinese food, but they do relish the few odd starters like Gobhi manchurian, paneer chilli and after eating this one, honey chilli chicken too! I have seen most recipes for this with potatoes, but since the kids were keen on eating chicken I used that instead.  Found this recipe in Sanjeev Kapoor’s Chinese recipe book and modified it to suit our taste.

This is what you’ll need

For the chicken

Boneless chicken: 300gms

Ginger garlic paste: 1tsp

Soya sauce: 1tsp

Vinegar: 1tsp

Cornflour: 4tbsp

Chilli flakes: 1tsp

Salt to taste

Oil for frying

For the gravy

Spring onions: 2 (coarsely chopped)

Green chillies: 2 (slit)

Green Pepper: 1/2 cup (chopped finely)

Ginger: 1/4″ piece (grated)

Garlic: 5 cloves (chopped)

Honey: 2tbsp

Ketchup: 2tbsp

Vinegar: 1/2tsptsp

Soya sauce: 1tsp

Sesame seeds: 1tbsp (toasted)

Oil: 1tbsp

Salt and pepper to taste

Let’s get cooking

For the chicken

1. Clean and cut the chicken into one inch pieces and place in a bowl.

2. Add all the ingredients listed under “for the chicken” except oil and mix until the chicken pieces are coated well.

3. Keep aside for 10 to 15 minutes and then deep fry the marinated chicken in hot oil.

4. Drain on a kitchen towel and keep aside.

For the gravy

1. Heat oil in a wok and add the spring onions, green chillies, ginger and garlic. Saute for 2 minutes.

2. Add the green pepper and cook for another couple of minutes.

3. Add the soya sauce, vinegar, ketchup and honey. stir well.

4. Add the salt, pepper and the fried pieces of chicken. Mix well until the sauce coats the chicken pieces well.

5. Add the toasted sesame seeds and bring the mixture to a boil.

6. Garnish with spring onion greens and serve as a starter. (If you want, you can add a little water, dilute it and have it as a gravy with fried rice or noodles)

Approximate preparation and cooking time: 40 minutes

Serves: 4

 

 

 

LEMON GRASS COCONUT SOUP

I remember the first time we had tried Thai food and how we were totally put off by the flavours, but now I absolutely relish it and the Tom Kha soup being an all time favourite. Personally, I relish any soup and if it has the flavour of lemon grass along with coconut milk then I can have more than just one bowl! It had been a long time since I made some light, healthy food so decided to make this lemon grass coconut soup. I adapted this recipe from Tarla Dalal’s website.

This is what you’ll need

For the stock

Coconut milk: 2 cups

Water: 4 cups

Lemon grass: 1 stalk (roughly chopped)

Kaffir lime leaves: 2-3

Onion: 1 small (chopped)

Thai red chillies: 3 (sliced)

Ginger: 1’2″ piece (sliced)

Other ingredients

Broccoli: 2 florets (cut into small florets)

Mushrooms: 1 cup (sliced)

Carrots: 1/2 cup (julienned)

Spring onion greens: 1/2 cup (chopped)

Salt to taste

To garnish

Coriander leaves: Few

Lemon wedges: 2

Let’s get cooking

1. Add all the ingredients listed under stock ad bring to a boil. Simmer for 2o minutes.

2. Strain into another pan and discard the flavouring ingredients.

3. Return the pot to the flame.

4. Add the mushrooms, broccoli, carrots, spring onion greens and salt. Bring to a boil, until vegetables are cooked (I like the vegetables slightly crunchy, so I don’t over cook them)

5. Garnish with coriander leaves, lemon wedges and chilli slices. Serve hot immediately.

Approximate preparation and cooking time: 50 minutes

Serves: 4

 

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