Friday, August 10, 2012

Mango Lassi

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This popular and easy to make drink is an Indian classic and a staple in restaurant menus.You can make this delicious mango flavored drink with the freshest ingredients at your home for a casual meal or for a party and watch them disappear in delight :-)

Ingredients - Makes 3 glasses
2 cups cubed ripe mango
3/4th cup cream top whole yogurt
1/2 cup sugar - (+/- as per the sweetness of the mangoes)

In a blender add cubed ripe mangoes,yogurt and sugar to make a puree adding enough water to thin it out a bit.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Purple Cabbage Uthappam

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A delicious twist to the uthappam who I consider as a cousin to the all time favorite south indian breakfast dosa.While dosas are thinner savory crepes made out of ground rice and urad dal,uthappams are thicker versions,more like pancakes.Here I have added one of the gorgeously colored and deliciously rich in vitamins vegetable-purple cabbage.For kids it can be made more enticing by adding shredded cheese on top if preferred.

1 cup finely chopped purple cabbage
2 cups dosa batter
Seasonings - Optional
1/4 cup chopped onions
2-3 green chillies chopped
2 tsp chana dal

Heat oil in a pan add chana dal when roasted add chopped onions,salt,green chillies and saute till cooked.Set aside to cool.In a bowl add the batter and the chopped cabbage and mix to blend well.Add the cooled seasonings(optional) to the mixed batter.In a flat pan add few scoops of the batter and make thick crepes.Add oil as needed and flip cook on both sides.Enjoy with roasted dal powder,chutnies or sambar.

Dosa batter:

  • Soak 3-4 cups Idli Rice to 1 cup whole Urad Dal for 8 hrs.Grind with some salt and store till well fermented.
  • Soak 1 cup whole Urad Dal for 5 hrs.Grind to a smooth fluffy consistency.Add 4 cups Rice Flour to the grounded dal,add salt and mix to blend well.Store to ferment well.

Sides to go with this:

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Ridge Gourd Chutney/Peerkangai Thogayal

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One of my favorites is this flavorful and easy to make spicy chutney using Ridge Gourd Peels.This vegetable is also known as Chinese Okra.The outer layer of this vegetable which is not soft, is edible and gives this chutney a natural coarse consistency.It goes well mixed with plain rice or as an accompaniment to dosas and idlis.

Ingredients - Serves 3
2 cups Ridge Gourd Skin-Peeled
5 Cloves Garlic
1 inch piece ginger-both Width and Length
10 Red Dry Chilli Peppers
Tamarind - Marble size - Adjust to the heat of the peppers
1-2 tbsp Oil

1/2 tsp Mustard and Cumin Seeds Each
Curry Leaves Few Sprigs
1-2 tbsp Oil

In a pan heat oil,add garlic,sliced ginger,red dry peppers,then add peeled chopped gourd skin.When roasted,add salt,tamarind and allow to cool.Add some water and blend to a coarse consistency in a blender or mixer.Heat oil in a pan and add mustard,cumin seeds and curry leaves for seasoning.Transfer to a bowl add the chutney and mix to blend well.Enjoy with plain rice or as an accompaniment to dosas, idlis or bread- however you like it.

For thogayals add the ground chutney to the seasoning in the pan and stir cook till the liquid is absorbed and a thicker consistency is achieved.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Quick Dessert with Dessert Shells

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This colorful creamy,fluffy,flavorful dessert is a nice way to round off a meal or to cool off from the heat of the summer.With a little prep these impressive dessert shells can be made in seconds and is sure to give you that extra time to relax.
Dessert Shells as required
Ice Cream -Flavor of choice
Assorted Fruits of choice
Syrup- Flavor of choice
Scoop ice cream of your flavor into the shells and top with your favorite fruits and syrup.Enjoy!!!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Podalanga Poriyal

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Split yellow moong dal is cooked and stir fried with this thin long vegetable also known as snake gourd or potlakaya.This vegetable offers a good amount of flavor that I love incorporating into my cooking.I usually make this stir fry using to go as an accompaniment to a hot spicy curry to be served with rice.It also goes well with yogurt and rice.
Ingredients - Serves 2
1/2 cup yellow split moong dal
2 cups scaped,chopped deseeded gourd
Fistful of fresh grated coconut
Roughly chopped onion a bit
Turmeric powder a few pinches
1-2 tbsp Oil
Salt as per taste

1/4 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp cumin seeds
1/4 tsp urad dal
Few red dry peppers
1-2 hot green chilli pepper-chopped

Cook the dal with some salt and turmeric powder till it is well done,but not mushy.Cook or steam the gourd seperately.In a pan heat oil and add the seasonings then add onions and a little salt,when the onion turns translucent,add the cooked gourd and the cooked dal.Stir to blend well,sprinkle the grated coconut and stir again to blend well.Enjoy with some rice and curry or yogurt.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Carrot Halwa

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Carrot Halwa,where the sweet vegetable is gently cooked in milk and sugar is a very popular sweet in Indian cuisine.Easy to prepare this sweet goes as a perfect complement to a savory snack.Also makes for a delicious dessert to end a spicy meal.Add your favorite nut/nuts in the end to give a nice crunch to the sweet.

Ingredients - Serves 3
5 cups shredded carrots
2 cups whole milk
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup oil
7-8 whole green cardamoms

Heat oil in a wide open pan and add the carrots and saute them for about 5 mins on medium low flame.Add 2 cups milk and the powdered cardamom seeds.Cook till all the milk is absorbed.Add sugar and stir cook on low flame till oil slightly begins to seperate.At this point you can add 2-3 tbsp of ghee or more oil if preferred and continue to stir till well blended.Enjoy hot or cold.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Veggies with Brown Rice

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A super easy and simple meal to put together with the seasons freshest produce.The sweet,tangy and creamy yogurt adds a nice refreshing taste to the meal.Black beans and brown rice add a good balance of protein and carbohydrates with the flavors of the herb seasonings and the heat from the sauce.

Ingredients - Serves 1

1 small crown broccoli-Grilled/Sauteed
1 small crown cauliflower-Grilled/Sauteed
2 med zucchini-Grilled/Sauteed
1/2 cup cooked short grain brown rice
1/4-1/2 cup cooked black beans
Italian Seasoning-Dry- as per taste
Full Fat Creamy Yogurt/Sour Cream as per taste
Tabasco Hot Sauce as per taste
Rosemary and Thyme a few-optional
Salt and Oil

In a pan heat oil and add grilled veggies and the italian seasoning then gently fold in the cooked black beans add salt if needed.Fill the bottom of the serving bowl with cooked brown rice and top it with the veggies and black bean mixture.Add chopped rosemary and thyme to the yogurt/sour cream and pour it on the top.Add tabasco hot sauce and enjoy hot with a chilled drink.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Quinoa Seasoned with Yogurt

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Quinoa pronounced as "keen-wa",is a grain packed with vitamins and minerals.A superfood,it is a good source of protein,amino acids and antioxidants.This recipe is a nutritious combination of the protein packed wonderfully nutty tasting quinoa with creamy yogurt and crunch from the tempering.Quick and convenient to make this meal is healthy,refreshing and perfect as an accompaniment or a meal by itself.

Ingredients Serves 2
Pressure Cook
1 cup Quinoa
2 cups Water
2 tsp Oil

1 tsp chana dal
1 serrano pepper chopped fine-deseeded
1/4 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp finely chopped ginger
Few Curry and Coriander leaves-optional
1 tbsp oil

To Mix
1 1/2 cups Cooked Quinoa
1 cup Nonfat Yogurt
10 Raw Cashews freshly roasted-Optional
1/2 cup Sweet Grapes
1/4 cup Water add more if needed
Salt per taste

Wash Quinoa 4-5 times in water.Drain the water completely,add 2 cups water,2 tsp oil and pressure cook in a pan on medium heat for 4-5 pressures about 20 mins depending on the pressure pan.Let it cool completely.Fluff the quinoa with a fork and set aside.

For the Seasoning:Heat oil in a pan add chana dal,when slightly roasted add mustard seeds,when the mustard seeds begin to pop add serrano peppers,ginger,curry and coriander leaves.Mix to blend well and set aside.

To mix:In a bowl add cooked quinoa,grapes,yogurt,water,salt,cashews,seasonings and mix to blend well.

Note:More fruits of different kind can be added if preferred.For a much creamer consistency add higher fat yogurt.For a vegan option substitute with plant based yogurt.


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

English Muffin Sandwich with Sweet Potato Side

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Single serving size soft egg and creamy cheese tucked inside crispy toasted English muffin makes for an easy quick breakfast.Served accompanied with curried sweet potatoes and chicken makes it an ideal meal for a early start.Finish it off with some yogurt or fresh fruit for a well balanced breakfast or brunch.
For each Sandwich
1 English Muffin
1 Cheese Slice
1 Egg
Salt & Pepper

Side Serves 3
2 Sweet Potatoes - Cooked
Chicken - One Cup
Hot Curry Pwd(used Sadaf brand) - Per Taste
Turmeric Pwd few pinches
Salt and Oil

For the Sandwich:Toast the English Muffin.In a bowl beat an egg with salt and pepper and set aside.Heat oil in a pan add the beaten egg and flip cook on both sides.Add it along with the cheese to the muffin to make a sandwich.For the side:In a pan add oil add chicken,salt,turmeric and stir till chicken is cooked,add cooked cubed sweet potatoes,curry powder and gently stir to cook well.Once roasted enjoy as a side with the sandwich.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Yummy Munchies with Jaggery

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Coconuts are available abundantly in India,where the climate favors the growth of these fruit.Tall coconut trees can be found in backyards and frontyards of many households.
Both my maternal and paternal grandparents had many of these trees around their homes.As soon as I reached my maternal grandparents house my first stop would be to their backyard,first stop at the guava trees and then the gooseberry trees,I would then checkout their abundant collection of jasmine flower plants and another flower called December because they would bloom only during the winter months- for flowers and buds-happily munching on those delicious guavas and gooseberries.They also had Drumstick and Plantain trees.My last stop would be at the small but beautiful vegetable garden, simply loved those peppers,eggplants,okras and greens before settling down below the gigantic tamarind tree,which was my favorite spot to hang around.

My paternal grandparents,where do I start,they lived in a farmhouse,we had to walk through sugarcanes and paddy fields to reach the house.I would happily pluck out those raw groundnuts from the plant on the way and munch on them.They had huge coconut trees too.We would have sweet delicious coconut water and tender coconuts throughout our stay with our grandparents.As a child it was so fascinating to watch someone climb on those tall coconut trees so fast.Their farm house was in a very serene setting surrounded with paddy fields,fresh vegetables,mango and jackfruit trees,livestock running here and there with mountains in the far background.Groundnuts or peanuts were abundantly harvested there.They were popular tea time,talk time and any time snack.We loved eating them raw,boiled or roasted.My grandparents are no more but they left some memories to be cherished.We always had coconuts and peanuts in the pantry.As a child I have very fond memories of me munching on these yummies as dessert after dinner with my family.The following are my three most popular munchies with jaggery,my most favorite being the coconut followed by unsalted roasted peanuts and then the roasted chickpea gram.Hope you like munching on them too!!

In the picture
Jaggery -
Coconut Slices -After slicing the coconuts peel the brown under of the coconuts-they are not too good for the digestive tract.It should all be white.
Roasted Unsalted Peanuts
Roasted Gram

Sending this to BWW #32 created by Susan of Well Seasoned Cook and hosted by Simona of briciole
Sending this to My Legume Affair #46 by Susan of Well Seasoned Cook,hosted by Priya of Mharo Rajasthan's Recipes

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Kung Pao Tofu

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Kung Pao-which means stir fried with chillies and peanuts- is one of the most popular items on the menu in a Chinese restaurant.Its my favorite too.I make it with both chicken and tofu,sometimes with both.In this post I have made Kung Pao Tofu wherein I have made a easy stir fry with tofu using the natural flavors of the ingredients.Love the unique flavor each ingredient adds to this dish especially the crunch from the peanuts,celery and my most favorite ginger, garlic and the heat from the chilli peppers.If preferred substitute tofu with chicken or make it half and half.Can be made less greasy by reducing the oil and the heat from the chillies can be increased or decreased per taste and preference.

Prep Time-10 mins
Cooking Time-10 min
Serves 2
1 12 oz pack Extra Firm Tofu 
1 1/2 cups thinly sliced onion lengthwise
10 hot dry red chillies
1-2 hot serrano peppers cut in circles
1 1/2 tbsp-heapful- ginger cut in thin flakes
1 1/2 tbsp-heapful- garlic cut in thin flakes
1/2 cup cooked potato cut in cubes-optional
2 stalks fresh celery chopped
1 stalk spring onion chopped
3/4 cup peanuts 
2 tsp soy sauce(+/- as per taste)
Oil as per taste
Salt as per taste

Heat 3-4 tbsp oil in a pan add the peanuts,when roasted set aside the peanuts to cool.In the same oil add the dry red chillies-hot ones- they add great flavor to the oil,then add ginger,garlic,onions,salt and cook till the onions turn golden and are well cooked.Add the serrano peppers,potato and cook for few more minutes.Add chopped celery,tofu,soy sauce,peanuts,spring onion and stir cook well to blend.Enjoy hot!!

Note:Pat dry tofu in a towel.Cut them in 6 rectangular strips.Shallow fry or deep fry them as preferred,cut them into smaller rectangles and then add it to the stir fry.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Multi Grain Flavored Drink

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This flavored milk,which can be made in a breeze is a combination of nutritious seven grains,vitamins and protein packed nuts.It makes an ideal accompaniment to morning breakfast,tea time snack or before a workout.The consistency of the drink can be altered by adding more or less of the multi grain nut powder depending on taste and preference.

Ingredients - Makes 1 cup of powder-4 big glasses of drink
1/2 cup 7 Grain Flakes
1/2 cup Slivered Almonds
10 Whole Green Cardamoms-Discard the shell
10 Whole Raw Cashews
Skim Milk-2 cups for each big glass
Sugar per taste
Few Saffron strands and Pistachios for garnish

Add the first four ingredients to a pan and dry roast it on low flame for about 5 mins till a nice aroma arises.Let it cool and grind it to a powder.For each big glass of the drink add 1/4 cup of the powder,along with 3 tbsp sugar and 2 cups milk.Cook for about 3-5 mins or till the milk thickens,stirring in between.Garnish with chopped pistachios and saffron.
Note:You can substitute 1/4 cup almonds with pistachios making it half and half.The powder can be stored refrigerated in an air tight container but is best made in smaller quantities and consumed right away.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Healthy Cereal

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Delight your family and yourself to this delectably healthy seven grains cereal.You can naturally sweeten them with raisins,dates,figs and fruits along with nuts or add some brown sugar or honey,however you prefer it.These seven grains:Rye,Sunflower seeds,Barley,Triticale,Oats,Red and white wheat, are loaded with vitamins and nutrients and add a nice natural chew,which I enjoy eating hot for breakfast.
Ingredients -Makes 1 large bowl of cereal
1/2 cup Seven Grain Flakes
1 1/2 cups water
2 tbsp sweetened coconut
10 Walnuts roughly crushed
Almond Flakes per taste
Raisins per taste
Milk - optional
Powder the flakes to a coarse consistency.Add water and cook for 3 mins or till done cooking.Stir to smooth out well.Add the nuts,coconut and raisins per liking and enjoy hot.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Yellow Peas Curry

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Here is a hearty,warming,one meal-curry I enjoy making with whole yellow peas.These peas naturally add great flavor and aroma to the curry.This peas curry goes very well and is a great accompaniment to parathas,rotis,toasts,quinoa,rice,pooris,idlis or dosas.
1 cup dry whole yellow peas
1 large onion
1 small potato - optional
2 ripe tomatoes-pureed
3 hot serrano peppers minced
1/2 tbsp grated ginger
1/2 tbsp grated garlic
1/2 tsp each chilli pwd and coriander pwd
1/2 tsp turmeric pwd
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
3-4 tbsp oil
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
5 cloves
1 cinnamon stick
Few curry leaves
Garam masala as per taste
Salt as per taste

Soak the dry peas overnight,drain and pressure cook them with 3 cups water.In a separate pan heat oil then add fennel seeds,cloves,cinnamon,curry leaves.Then add the pepper,ginger,garlic,onions,salt and stir cook till the onions turn golden and the raw smell disappears.Add the cooked peas,tomato puree and the dry powders.Add chopped cilantro and water as needed and stir cook till the curry blends together.Enjoy hot!!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Ugadi Pachadi

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India is a country of different dialects.While everyone celebrates universally the New Years Day on January 1st,they also celebrate New Years Day according to their dialects-which can differ as per the calendars they follow by their traditions.Along with all the delicacies like vada,payasam that were made during those days,there was one item that stood out as a special on Ugadi-which is Telugu and Kannada New Years Day,may also be for other dialects.The pachadi is a mixture of different flavors like sweet,sour,bitter,heat and tartness- reason for it being life is a mixture of different feelings and it has to be fully enjoyed.
1 large banana
1/2-1 tsp dry neem flowers
1 1/2 tbsp shredded raw mango
1 1/2 tbsp shredded pear
1/4-1/2 tsp black pepper powder
3 cubes jaggery melted in 1 cup water
Bring water and jaggery to a boil and when the jaggery melts,and the liquid reduces to about half.Take off the flame and strain if there are any stones and set aside to cool.When the liquid cools add mashed banana and rest of the ingredients and mix to blend well.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Tomato Dal/Tomato Pappu

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Tomato dal or pappu has always been a favorite in my house.The flavors are enhanced when cooked in an earthen pot and in a wood burning stove.I usually cook the plain dal to a thick consistency and refrigerate ahead of time for these kind of dal preparations.A good source of protein,dals are an absolute comfort food be it with rotis or hot steaming rice.

Ingredients - Serves 3
1 medium onion - chopped finely
1 cup cooked toor dal - thick consistency
1-1.5 inch ginger finely chopped
2 tsp sadaf garlic powder(+/- as per taste)
1.5 tbsp oil
Quarter tsp turmeric powder
Salt as per taste
Grind to Puree
1 vine ripe tomato
2-3 hot serrano peppers
Half tsp mustard and cumin seeds
2 sprigs fresh curry leaves
3 tbsp chopped cilantro leaves
Few dry red chillies and splash of hing
1 tbsp oil

Heat oil in a pan add onions,ginger and salt.When the onions turn translucent add the tomato puree,turmeric powder,garlic powder and cook for a few minutes.Add the cooked dal and stir to blend well.In another vessel heat oil add mustard and cumin seeds,when they splutter add red chillies,hing,curry leaves and cilantro leaves.Pour it over the dal.Enjoy it with a dollop of ghee and hot steamed rice.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Cabbage Potato Stir Fry

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As a child my fav side was always something with potatoes.This was definetly one of my most favorite side dishes that my mom used to make for dinner to go along with chapatis or phulkas.I love them with yogurt or rasam rice too.You can add some green peas to the stir fry if you did like.

Ingredients - Serves 3
3 cups chopped cabbage
1 potato cut in cubes-can use already cooked potato
1 tomato finely chopped
1 onion chopped
3 serrano green chillies finely chopped(+/- as per the heat)
1/2 tbsp chopped ginger
1/2 tbsp chopped garlic
Coriander and chilli powder per taste
2 tbsp chopped cilantro
1 sprig curry leaves
1 tsp garam masala
1/4 tsp fennel seeds
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
Salt as per taste
3 tbsp oil

Heat oil in a pan add cumin,fennel seeds then add chopped ginger,garlic and green chilli.Follow with onions,potato,curry leaves,salt and stir for a few minutes and cover cook on low flame till the potato cooks through,sprinkle water as needed.Add the spices stir to blend well then add the finely chopped tomato and stir cook till a nice gravy forms.Add the chopped cabbage,cilantro and stir to blend well.Cover cook for a few minutes till the cabbage is done cooking and blends well with the potato.Squeeze some lemon juice if preferred.Enjoy as a side or as a stuffing for a wrap or sandwich.

If using cooked potatoes(make sure they are not mushy) add them before the cabbage.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

White Pumpkin Raita/Poosanikai Pachadi

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This is a simple and easy pachadi or raita that can be made with ease...I made the raita with white pumpkin which is a nutritious and refreshing vegetable.They can be found at Indian-Asian grocery stores.This raita is a perfect accompaniment to parathas-stuffed flat breads or any kind of variety rice and biryanis.

3 cups peeled and chopped white pumpkin
Plain yogurt per taste
Salt as per taste

1/2 tsp mustard and cumin seeds each
3 hot chillies(+/- as per taste)
1/4 cup finely chopped onions
2 tbsp finely shredded coconut-optional
1 sprig curry leaves
2 sprigs coriander leaves finely chopped
Few dashes of asafoetida/hing
2 tbsp oil

In a vessel add the chopped pumpkin,1/4 cup water,salt and bring it to a boil making sure not to over cook it.Set it aside to cool.In a pan heat oil add mustard and cumin seeds,when they splutter add chillies,curry leaves stir for a few seconds then add the chopped onions.When the onions turn translucent
add the coconut,hing,chopped coriander leaves and pour it over the pumpkin.When it cools add yogurt and mix to blend well.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Spinach and Mushroom Quesadillas

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Cheese Cheese and more Cheese is what makes quesadillas simply irresistible.They are one of my favorites.Here I have added my favorite vegetables spinach and mushrooms.Whole wheat tortillas can be substituted for a healthier version and the amount of cheese altered to taste.Either way they are easy to make and are real comfort food.

6 Flour tortillas
Fresh baby spinach-washed and dried
15 Small fresh mushrooms
1 Package part skim/regular shredded mozzarella cheese
Salt as per taste

Heat oil in a pan and stir the mushroom till wilted adding few pinches of salt and set aside to cool.Preheat the oven to 350*F and slightly toast the tortillas.
Spread two fistfuls of cheese,top with mushrooms and spinach and then add more fistfuls of cheese.Cover with an another tortilla or just fold them in half by reducing the fillers.Repeat the process for the other sets.
Bake in the preheated oven or cook it on stove top applying oil or butter till the cheese melts.Using a pizza cutter cut the quesadillas into wedges. Enjoy hot!!!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Fruit Salad

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Whatever season we may be in fruits are always refreshing to enjoy.To me the melon varieties are the most refreshing with their high water content.Here I have used small cookie cutters to cut out the shapes.Kids can cut them out by themselves with a little help from the elders.Its a fun project to do and makes a great salad for parties.
Half a Cantaloupe
Half a Watermelon-Small
10 mint leaves
Juice of one lemon
A good spoonful of honey
Few pinches of salt and sugar
Small sized cookie cutters

Wash the fruits and cut then in half.Scoop the seeds off the cantaloupe.Then slice the half in circles.Using small sized cookie cutters cut out fruit shapes and place them in a bowl.In another small bowl,mix to blend well lemon juice,finely chopped mint leaves,honey,salt,sugar.Pour over the fruits and mix gently to coat.Set aside for a few hours before being served.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Beetroot Stir Fry

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Like a lot of other vegetables beetroot with its natural bright color is very nutritious.I picked up some fresh beetroot from the grocery store,they seemed quite irresistible,to a beetroot lover like me.Here I have made a very simple beetroot stir fry that goes along well as a side dish or just mixed with some plain rice.

Ingredients - Serves 2
2 beetroots peeled and chopped/grated
1 small onion finely chopped
3-4 hot green chillies finely chopped
2 cloves garlic grated
1 sprig curry leaves
1 tsp urad dal
1/2 tsp mustard and cumin seeds each
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1-2 tbsp oil
Salt as per taste

Add salt to the beetroot and steam till it turns soft and set aside.Heat oil in a pan add urad dal,mustard and cumin seeds when the mustard seeds pop add curry leaves,green chillies,onions,garlic,turmeric,salt for the onions and stir fry till onions turn golden.Add beetroot and stir.Cover for a few mins and stir to blend well.Add 3 tbsp shredded coconut if preferred.If you grate the beetroot skip the steaming part.Enjoy with some rice.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Sunflower Nutella Chocolates

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I like to use sunflower seeds quite a bit into my cooking.I like their subtle flavor and they come with the added benefit of being healthy.It works quite well for me.I had previously made sunflower ladoos with the seeds.This time around I added the seeds to Nutella and it was pleasantly delicious,with a nice crunch from the seeds.These chocolates can be easily put together and made ahead of time,makes for a great sweet treat or gift.

Ingredients -Makes 10 Chocolates
1/2 cup Sunflower Seeds-Raw and Hulled
4 tbsp Nutella
1 cup brown candy melts
Assorted nuts and coconut

In a pan roast the sunflower seeds and set aside to cool.When cooled powder them in a coffee grinder to a fine coarse consistency.Transfer to a bowl add 3 tbsp nutella then add 1/2 tbsp at a time and gently fold in and knead to form a firm dough.Scoop a bit,roll them into spheres(you can put a nut in the middle and then roll if preferred).You can also roll them in chopped nuts or coconut if liked.Refrigerate the spheres for about 30 mins.Place the candy melts in a bowl and microwave for a minute to minute and a half,mix with a spoon well.When it cools just a bit,gently dip the spheres into the candy melt-you could use two spoons to coat-once its coated well,place it on a wax paper and allow to cool.When cooled well,refrigerate in a container.Enjoy chilled.
Note:Melt half cup white chocolate in the microwave and use a fork to drizzle.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Jumbo Pasta Shells with Tofu Stuffing

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Ah!Pastas,I like them soo very much.There are so many different varieties to choose,from the really small ones like orzo,star,tube,abcd pastas to these huge jumbo pasta shells.Love cooking with them very much.Here is a jumbo pasta recipe where I stuffed them with tofu and some vegetables.Tofu's beautiful delicate flavor blends well with the flavors of garlic,tomato,herbs and cheese.A simple pasta recipe that goes perfectly well with garlic bread.

Ingredients  Serves-3
12 jumbo pasta shells
1 pack firm tofu
1 small crown broccoli-optional
1 medium zucchini-optional
2 fistful fresh basil leaves
3 tbsp oil
2.5 cups shredded cheese or as preferred
1.5 cups tomato based pasta sauce
Garlic powder as per taste
Salt as per taste

Cook the pasta shells,drain the water and set aside.Slide tofu in a cup for about 15mins,pat dry well with a dry towel and crumble.Pulse broccoli and zucchini.Stir fry tofu with 1/2 tbsp oil and transfer into a bowl,then stir fry the veggies along with salt(use any excess water from crumbled tofu) in a pan adding 1/2 tbsp oil,then combine with tofu to blend well and set the mixture aside.In the same pan add 2 tbsp oil and add the pasta sauce,chopped basil leaves,salt(if the sauce has no salt) and cook for a few mins then add half of the sauce to the tofu mixture,mix to blend well.Scoop the tofu mixture into the shells.Add the rest of the sauce,sprinkle garlic powder and cheese on top of the pasta.Broil in a preheated oven at 350*F till the cheese melts.Enjoy hot with garlic bread.
Note:Alternatively you could just heat them in smaller portions in the microwave till the cheese melts.

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