Monday, December 21, 2009

Baked Bell Pepper and rice


2 Green bell peppers
1 cup of cooked basmati rice
1 Medium sized onion finely chopped
1 small can or about 1/2 cup of tomato puree
1 tbsp of ginger garlic paste
1/2 tsp of cumin powder
1/2 tsp of turmeric powder
1 tsp of garam masala
3 tbsp of Olive oil
1 tsp of bread crumbs (optional)
1 tbsp of plain yogurt (optional)

* Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

* Cut off the top quarter of each bell pepper and reserve. Scoop the seeds and veins out from the inside of   each pepper and discard. Rub about 1/2 tbsp of olive oil on each bell pepper and set the shells aside.

*  In a large skillet over a medium to high heat , add the remaining 2 tbsp of olive oil and ginger garlic paste and the chopped onions. Saute until golden brown or till the raw smell goes.

* Add the tomato puree. Let it cook for about 3-5 minutes.

*  Season with cumin powder, salt, garam masala and turmeric powder. Switch off the stove and allow it to cool for 2-3 minutes.

*  Blend the mixture and mix it with the cooked basmati rice.

* Fill the rice mixture into the scooped bell peppers and sprinkle bread crumbs and  cover with bell pepper lid.

* Bake until the skin of the bell peppers turns color for about 25 minutes.

* Before serving, remove the bell pepper lid carefully add a tbsp of plain yogurt. This is completely optional.

Note: To cook rice....add 1 and 1/2 cups of water to 1 cup of basmati rice and microwave for 20 minutes in a microwavable bowl.

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Friday, October 16, 2009

Badam Kalash

"Badam Kalash" or "Almond Pots" ....just wanted to give a special name for this sweet. Prepared from the remains of the almond squares made earlier. Warm 'almond squares' ( from the previous recipe) before cut to squares are made into pot shaped sweets and decorated with whole almond to resemble the coconut and the green tiny bits are almonds too. They are chopped and dipped in green food color to resemble mango leaves. Made the badam kalash to offer Goddess Lakshmi for Lakshmi pooja.

Have a wonderful Diwali 
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Thattai is a popular savory in the southern part of India. Mostly prepared using rice flour. The ingredients for this recipe are:

2 cups rice flour
3/4 cup of daliya powder or pottukadalai podi
A pinch of turmeric
Salt according to taste.
1 tsp of chilli powder
1 tsp asafoetida
1 tbsp of coarsely crushed cumin and caraway seeds
Few curry leaves torn to tiny bits
3 tbsp of soaked channa dhal
2 tbsp of unsalted butter
Approximately 1 cup of water to mix
Oil for frying

Mix all the dry ingredients rice flour, daliya powder, turmeric, chilli powder, salt, asafoetida, grounded cumin and caraway seeds.Caraway seeds are ajwain / omam/ carom seeds. They give a wonderful aroma and flavour.

Add the soaked channa dhal and butter to the mixture and form a dough with water. To test, whether the dough prepared is of right consistency, make a small ball out of the dough ....about a size of a gooseberry / amla and press it gently to flat ( Thattai is also prepared the same way). Slight cracks appear towards the edges and dough does not stick to your hands. Voila !! you have passed the test and you are on right track...

Before frying, poke the prepared thattais with a fork or a toothpick and this makes the thattai flat and does not fluff up like poori. Deep fry thattais to golden brown.

Note: You can also flatten the dough to thattais between two wax sheets/ paper to avoid stickyness.

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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Almond Squares

"Almond squares" or badam katli similar to burfi prepared using simple ingredients and resulting in heavenly taste which melts in every bite. I prefer almonds much over cashews.Because, almonds are rich in Vit E and according to nutritional health facts the sweet almond itself contains practically no carbohydrates , gluten-free and may therefore be made into flour for cakes and cookies for low-carbohydrate diets.

The ingredients for this sweet are:

1 cup of whole almonds
1 cup of milk
1 1/2 cups of sugar
4 tbsp of ghee
Yellow or orange food color a tiny pinch

Most of the India sweets main ingredients are ghee and sugar.'Ghee' is nothing but clarified butter. Indian sweets does not require baking but has a lot of stirring process. This sweet can be prepared within 25 minutes.Let's start by soaking almonds in hot water for about 2 hours.

*  Peel the skin of almonds after soaking for 2 hours.
*  Grind peeled almonds to paste with milk. Do not pour the milk all at once. Sprinkle milk little by little so that it blends to form a paste.Not too fine paste.I always prefer bit grainy.
*  The consistency of the blended almond resembles the picture.
*  Meanwhile grease a tray with a tbsp of ghee and keep it separately.
*  On to a heavy bottomed pan add a tbsp of ghee and add the almond paste.
*  On a medium flame stir for a minute or two and then add the sugar.
*  Keep stirring and let the sugar melt completely and add the remaining 2 tbsp of ghee.This sweet does not require too much of ghee since, almond itself has lots of oil.
*  After about 18-20 minutes, the contents leaves the sides of the pan and reduced to nearly half.At this stage transfer the contents to the tray and level it.
*  Cut into 1" x 1" squares after cooling.

Note: Regarding the color, I used a teeny tiny pinch of orange food color when bubbles appear while cooking and I wanted to have a natural pale color You can use saffron strands or any color according to your choice.

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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Besan sweet leaves

This is the simplified version of 7 cup sweet. My grandma and my mom usually prepare 7 cup sweet for almost all occasion.Its simple and easy to make and at the most takes 25 minutes time .The basic ingredients are besan or chickpea flour and sugar. I prepared the sweet according to the following measurements and yields around 20 pieces/ leaves.

1/2 cup of besan
1 cup of sugar
1/2 cup of milk
1/2 cup of ghee or clarified butter
1/2 cup of dessicated coconut.
cardamom powder
Chopped nuts for garnishing(optional)

* In a heavy bottomed pan dry roast besan flour for 3-4 minutes and do not let the flour turn brown.
* Always keep the flame low - medium.
* Pour in the milk to the besan flour and whisk it to get rid of any lumps.
* Add sugar and coconut.
* Ghee can be added at intervals or as a whole when the contents completely melts.
* Add cardamom powder when bubbles appear.
* Keep stirring constantly till the mixture reduced to nearly half and this would take nearly 12-15 minutes.
* Grease a tray with ghee and keep aside.
* The contents leaves the sides of the pan, at this stage transfer to the prepared tray.
* Flatten the mixture and level it evenly.Also,see to that it reaches all the 4 corners of the tray.
* Cut into desired shape. I have used leaf shaped cookie cutter.
* I have garnished with chopped almonds.Dipped them in green food color, pat with a paper napkin to dry and decorated.
* Enjoy and have a wonderful Diwali.

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Sunday, October 11, 2009

Diwali Special - Banana Halwa

I had dozen bananas at home. I didn't know what to do apart from banana bread and banana muffin. My mom gave me the recipe for banana halwa. Also, Diwali is coming soon next week...I thought why not start  with my mom's sweet recipe first for Diwali. Needs just 3 ingredients...Banana, sugar and ghee and little patience to stir.

You need:

6 Medium sized ripe bananas
1 1/2 cups of sugar
1/4 cup ghee
1/4 cup of chopped nuts (optional)

* Mash bananas well without any lumps.
* Meanwhile apply a tsp of ghee into a small tray for pouring the halwa mixture and keep it separately.
 * Add mashed bananas into a non-stick pan and stir for 5 minutes. After 4-5 minutes of heating, the mixture slowly changes to a light brown color.
* Now add the sugar and keep stirring constantly.Leave the flame low-medium throughout.
* Keep adding ghee one by one tablespoon now and then while stirring.
Its not necessary to add cardamon powder but that's completely optional. Bananas leave very good fruity aroma while it gets cooked.
* After around 15-18 minutes, the halwa mixture slightly leaves the sides of the pan and also you will see the color turned to dark brown.
* At this phase, stir vigorously for about 4-5 minutes and the mixture forms into a dough like texture and immediately pour into the prepared tray.
*  Flatten the surface with a gheed wide spatula. Let it cool for about 2 hours.
*  Cut into diamond or squares and serve.
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Thursday, October 1, 2009

Veggie Wrap

This is the most quick and easy recipe for a lazy sunday brunch or for a healthy dinner.

To make 2 wraps you need

2 Flat out breads
1/2 cup of lettuce torn into pieces
1/4 cup boiled chick peas or garbanzos
Mix of shredded carrot, thinly sliced red onions, thinly sliced red or green bell pepper, sliced roma tomatoes 
1 medium sized avocado mashed
 Pitted green or black olives 10 nos
2 tbsp hummus
Salt and Pepper

There are range of flat out breads available in the market. Here, I have used low-carb flat out bread. There are other varieties like Italian, light, original, multi grain, mini and so on. Lets begin warming the flatout bread in a girddle for 10-15 secs. Apply and spread hummus 1 tbsp on each bread. Start layering with lettuce,tomatoes, carrot,bell pepper, sliced onions. Add a dollup of mashed avacado on each bread.Top it with olives and sprinkle salt and pepper.Wow!  the wrap is ready in seconds.

: Hummus is healthier than Mayonnaise.Here are the facts. Hummus has 6g fat, 1g saturated fat, and 130mg sodium for a 2 tablespoon serving.  Regular Mayonnaise has 11g fat, 1.5g saturated fat, 10mg cholesterol and 85mg sodium for just a 1 tablespoon serving.
Avocado can be used instead of sour cream.Beyond their delectable flavor, avocados can be part of a healthful diet. Avocado has very few calories compared to sour cream. Also, avocados are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, naturally sodium-free and cholesterol-free.

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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Beetroot Chutney / Dip

Beetroot or Beta vulgaris is a vegetable of which both leaves and roots are used for cooking. It is a good source of antioxidants and nutrients, including magnesium, sodium, potassium, folate and vitamin C. Beetroot helps reduce blood pressure.The juice is an excellent kidney and liver cleanser. Specific anti-carcinogens are bound to the red coloring matter which supposedly helps fight against cancer. Let us try to take beetroot in some form, at least once in a week.This is a simple recipe can be eaten with rice, any indian bread and also served with dosa.

You need, 

2 medium sized beetroot shredded
2 tbsp urad dhal
3 tbsp grated coconut
1-2 dry red chillies
2 tbsp of oil
1 tbsp tamarind paste
A pinch of asafoetida
Mustard seeds and curry leaves (optional)

- Heat oil in a pan, add urad dhal and red chillies.Let urad dhal turn to light brown.
- Now add the shredded beetroot and tamarind. Let it cook for 4- 5 minutes or until the raw smell leaves. Since this is shredded, it cooks much faster. If it is diced, then it takes a bit longer time to cook.
- Also add the asafoetida, salt and grated coconut and blend all the ingredients in a mixer to a rough consistency by adding or sprinkling water little by little.
- Splutter mustard seeds  and curry leaves in 1 tsp of oil and mix it to the chutney.
- Dip is ready to be served.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Mushroom Pulao


2 cups of sliced mushrooms
2 cups of basmati rice
1 cup of thinly sliced onions
1/4 cup of shredded carrot (optional)
A bunch of mint and cilantro
2 tbsp of lemon juice
1 tbsp of cumin
5-6 whole back pepper
2-3 cloves
Cardamon 1/2 tsp
1 inch piece of cinnamon stick
3 pods of garlic
A small piece of ginger
2 small bay leaves
Ghee or clarified butter 3 tbsp
Roasted cashews or walnuts

Wash rice well with water and soak it for 15 - 20 minutes. For a cup of basmati rice, add 1 1/2 cups of water, add chopped mint and cilantro leaves, cumin, lemon juice, a tsp of salt and 1 tbsp ghee. Cook until the rice is done and should not be sticky. Cook rice either in an electric rice cooker or a microwaveable rice cooker with right amount of water. Heat 1 tbsp of ghee in a pan, add bay leaves, chopped ginger, garlic, onions and saute until the onion turns to golden brown. Add sliced mushrooms and let it cook for 5 minutes. Add little bit of salt to the vegetables and to give kick, a pinch or two red chilli powder can also be added. Meanwhile dry roast peppercorns, cloves, cardamon, cinnamon stick and crush it with a mortar and pestle and mix the powder to the cooked vegetables and atlast toss all the mixture with the rice. Roast cashews/ walnuts in the remaining ghee and garnish.
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Green Pasta and Herb biscuit

In this recipe I have used green colored vegetables with fusilli pasta. The word 'fuso' in fusilli means 'spindle' in Italian. Fusilli pasta is used for preparing baked casseroles, soups and salads. The herb biscuit goes very well with the warm pasta. To start with, prepare dough for the biscuit first.

Herb Biscuit Ingredients

This yields around 8 -10 biscuits:

1 cup self raising flour
2 tbsp of dried herbs like rosemary, basil,oregano and thyme
2 tbsp of chilled butter
5-6 tbsp of milk

Sift the flour.Add a pinch of salt and butter to the flour. Mix flour and butter in such a way that it resembles bread crumbs.The best way to mix it would be by hands.Use finger tips instead of a spatula. Now add the herbs and milk. Press gently to form a dough on a floured surface. The dough results with lot of cracks and folds and that is how it has to appear. Divide into equal portions shaping each into balls.At 370 degree F bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Green Pasta Ingredients

1 1/2 Cup of fusilli pasta
2 Cups of green vegetables like Green bell pepper, Zucchini,Peas,Asparagus, Broccoli,Spring onions
1 clove of garlic
3 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese
Salt and Pepper
Water to cook pasta

Bring water to boil in a pot covered with a lid. Add salt and olive oil.Add the pasta to the boiling water (leave it uncovered). Cook until its done. Strain excess water and keep the pasta separately in a bowl. Meanwhile, heat oil in a pan add garlic, spring onions and rest of the chopped vegetables.Add salt and freshly ground pepper.Toss all the vegetables with cooked pasta and top it with shredded parmesan cheese. The cheese melts in warm pasta.Garnish with herb biscuits.
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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Grilled Baguette with Vegetables

Baguette is a French bread crispy and crusty on the outer and softer on the inner part.This recipe is a very good opener for dinner and a healthy snack after a tiresome day from work and can be prepared in few minutes.

1 Baguette
1 cup of finely chopped vegetables like green bell pepper, orange /red bell pepper,mushrooms,spring onions
1/4 cup of chopped tomatoes
1 clove of minced garlic
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp dijon mustard
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp of dried herbs like rosemary and basil
Salt and Pepper

Mix lemon juice, dijon mustard,garlic,2 tbsp of olive oil, salt and freshly ground pepper in a bowl.Add all the chopped vegetables and herbs to combine well.
Cut the bread diagonally.Heat the grill, drizzle remaining 2 tbsp of olive oil and arrange the sliced breads on the grill and see to that the grill marks appear on the bread. Flip the other side and take it out when done. The best way to get the grilled look/ marks is by keeping a plate over the bread pieces and a heavy object like can of tomatoes over the plate.This can also be done using a normal griddle in case the grill is not available.
Top the bread pieces with vegetables and serve.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Avocado salsa

1 ripe avocado
2 medium diced tomatoes
1 clove of garlic
1/4 cup chopped red onions
1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon
Dijon mustard 1 tsp (optional)
salt and pepper to taste

Cut open avocado, peel the skin and remove the seed.Gently cut into small pieces or simply scoop out the flesh with a spoon and mash it. Meanwhile, peel and mince garlic and whisk it with olive oil,lemon juice, freshly ground pepper and salt.You can also add dijon mustard just for a kick. Mix it well with onions , tomatoes ,avocado and chopped cilantro. This goes very well with chips or roll it in a tortilla bread. In the pic...I have cut the tortilla breads in to pieces and baked at 300 F for about 5-6 minutes and that becomes fat free ,oil free tortilla chips.
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Monday, August 3, 2009

Coconut Burfi

Coconut burfi is one of the dessert which is very simple to make.Requires minimal ingredients and takes much less time to make compared to other Indian desserts/ sweets.

Sweetened coconut flakes-1 1/2 cups
1/4 cup of condensed milk
1/4 cup sugar
Cardamon powder 1/2 tsp
Cashews for garnishing

In a heavy bottom vessel add the coconut flakes, condensed milk and sugar. Stir and mix over a medium flame constantly. Add cardamon powder and cook until the mixture leaves the sides of the pan. Transfer into a buttered tray.Flatten the mixture using a spatula. Let it cool for sometime. Cover with a plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2-3 hours. Refrigeration process makes the burfi firm and gives longer shelf life. Cut into desired shapes. Cookie cutter can also be used for different shapes. Decorate with cashews.

Note: Unsweetened desiccated coconut can also be used instead of sweetened coconut flakes. Then the coconut, sugar ratio becomes 1 1/2 cups : 3/4 cup sugar. Condensed milk quantity will remain the same.

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Thursday, July 23, 2009

Carrot Mint Chutney / Thuvayal


2 Medium carrots peeled and diced
1 Handful fresh mint leaves
2 dry red chillies
2 tbsp urad dhal
2 tbsp channa dhal
1 grape sized tamarind /Tamarind paste 1/2 tsp
A pinch of asafoetida
2 tbsp oil

Wash peel,dice or grate carrots. Heat oil in a pan, add urad dhal, channa dhal and red chillies.Saute until it turns color to light brown. Add the carrot and mint leaves let it cook for 3-4 minutes and turn off the heat. Pour the mixture to the blender and combine tamarind paste, asafoetida and salt.Grind it to smooth chutney. Serve with rice,roti or dosa.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Minced Parotta and Salna

Minced parotta or Kothu parotta is a delicacy popular in the South Indian state of Tamilnadu. It is made using parotta pieces, vegetables, salna, a spicy sauce.The ingredients are thrown on a hot cast iron griddle lubricated with oil. These are minced and mixed by repeated pounding using a heavy iron spatula.It is served with onion raita.

Ingredients for kothu parotta

Serves 4

Malabar Parotta 10 nos
Onion finely chopped 1 cup
Tomato chopped 1/4 cup
Bell pepper chopped 1/4 cup (optional)
2 Green chillies finely chopped
Ginger garlic paste 2 tsp
1 Sprig of curry leaves
1 inch piece of cinnamon
Cloves 2 nos crushed
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp garam masala /chaat masala
Oil 2 tbsp

For Garnishing:
1 spring onion finely chopped
2 tsp cilantro finely chopped

Malabar parottas are available in any Indian grocery store in the frozen isle. Defrost the parottas. Heat parottas in a tava till the edges are completely cooked. Now roughly tear the parottas into pieces and keep it aside. Heat oil in a pan,add green chillies, curry leaves, crushed cloves,cinnamon stick,ginger garlic paste and chopped onions.Saute for 2 minutes till it turns light brown.Now add the tomatoes and bell pepper. Can also add boiled peas and sliced mushrooms. This is optional. Let it cook for 2 -3 minutes.Add tumeric powder, salt,cumin powder,coriander powder,garam masala. Cover the pan with lid and cook for 2 more minutes and switch off the stove. Now, toss the teared parottas in the mixture and garnish with chopped cilantro and spring onions.Serve hot with salna.

Recipe for Salna

You need:

1 medium chopped onion
2 tomatoes chopped / 1 can of diced tomatoes
3 tbsp of desicated coconut
Few curry leaves
1 green chilly
2 cloves of garlic
A piece of ginger
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp fennel
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
1/2 tsp garam masala
1 clove crushed
oil 2 tbsp

Heat oil in a pan, add chopped garlic, ginger, green chilly,curry leaves, cumin, fennel, crushed clove and chopped onions. Let onions turn to golden brown.Now add the chopped tomatoes, turmeric powder, salt, red chilli powder and garam masala.Cook until the oil splits and leaves the sides of the pan.In a food processor pour all the mixture and add the coconut.Pulse it for 2 -3 times. Transfer the blended mixture to a pan. cook for 4-5 minutes and turn off the heat. Garnish with cilantro leaves. I ve used the cliantro stems. Enjoy your meal!!

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Sunday, July 12, 2009

Masala murukku


Powdered rice 3 cups
Powdered roasted shelled split grams /daliya 1 cup/pottu kadalai
Crushed and chopped garlic 1 tbsp
Green chilli 1 finely chopped
Curry leaves 1 sprig chopped
Butter 2 tbsp
Cumin 1 tbsp
Sesame 1 tbsp
Chilli powder 1 tsp

Mix all the dry ingredients first starting with rice powder, daliya powder,salt, asafoetida , cumin, sesame and chilli powder. Combine garlic,green chilli,butter and curry leaves to the mixture.Make a dough by sprinkling water little by little. The consistency of the dough should be like roti dough. If the dough is too loose or watery it results in hard murukku. Heat oil in Kadai, make murukku using murukku press. Take it out when murukku turns to light golden brown. Let it stand for 2 - 3 minutes and then serve or store it in an airtight container.

Saturday, July 4, 2009


Tabbouleh is an Arabic dish meaning "little spicy".Traditionally eaten with a lettuce leaves or served with pita bread.

1 cup cooked bulgur wheat / cracked wheat / couscous
1/4 cup of diced tomato
1/4 cup of diced cucumber
1/4 cup of green onions
1/2 cup of red onions finely chopped
1/2 cup of chick peas ( can/cooked)
1/4 cup of chopped fresh parsley
2 tbsp of chopped fresh cilantro
2 tsp chopped mint leaves
1/4 cup of lemon juice
1 clove of garlic
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp of red chili powder/chili flakes

Peel,mince garlic and mix with 2 tbsp of oilve oil, salt,lemon juice and chili powder.This is like salad dressing. In a large bowl combine with all the other ingredients wheat / couscous, tomatoes, cucumber, red onions, green onions,chick peas, parsley, cilantro and mint leaves. Also add feta cheese which is optional. Cover,chill for 2 hours and serve.
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Friday, June 26, 2009

Crunchy Apple Tart

1 sheet puff pastry, thawed
Sugar, for dusting
1 medium apple, peeled, cored, and sliced
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Apricot jam / Strawberry jelly


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Using a rolling pin, roll pastry in each direction to close seams.Using a cookie cutter or round sharp edged cup cut out circles of pastry. Dust it with sugar.Place pastry circles on a chilled sheet pan and let cool in the refrigerator for a few minutes.
Using a vegetable peeler cut wafer thin apple slices. Put apple slices in lemon-juice-spiked water.
Flip pastry circles over on the sheet pans and poke them with a fork to provide an outlet for steam. Sprinkle pastry with sugar and arrange apple slices on top.
Bake in the middle of the oven for 15 to 20 minutes. Poke the crust; if it feels soft it needs more time in the oven.
Microwave some apricot jam / strawberry jelly for 30 seconds. Dab (don't brush) the jam on the tarts. Cool tarts at least 3-4 hours and seal in a Ziploc plastic bag. Serve at room temperature or heat in the microwave. Also can be served with a dollop of ice cream. Goes very well with crunchy tart.
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Tea Time Bites

A cup of hot tea with some home made bites would be a perfect combination and a power booster after lunch or on a rainy day. The preparation time of the dough is 15 minutes and the cooking time is 15 minutes. In hardly 30 minutes cookies are ready from your own oven. There are also some cookie dough available in market. This is my version of making dough with less butter and no eggs.

You need:

1 cup of plain flour
2 tbsp of butter-bring to room temp
1/3 cup of sugar
1 tsp of vanilla extract
A pinch of nutmeg powder
A pinch of salt
1 tsp of lemon/orange zest
1 tsp of baking powder
1 tsp of sour cream
Few drops of milk
1/4 cup of nuts like chopped almonds,pistachios,walnuts

Mix all the dry ingredients ... plain flour,salt,baking powder,nutmeg powder. Bring butter to room temp and blend with sugar till the mixture gets softened. Add vanilla extract and lemon zest.Now bring all the dry and wet ingredients together.This mixture resembles bread crumbs. Now add sour cream and sprinkle few drops of milk to form a dough. The best way to do this is with hands on a floured surface. Wrap the dough with cling sheet and refrigerate for 10 -15 minutes. Remove from refrigerator divide in to equal parts and shape it to round and flat. Top it with nuts on each cookie dough.Preheat oven at 400 degrees and bake for 8-10 minutes till the color changes to golden brown.Remove from oven, let it cool for sometime and serve with tea.

Tip: Chocolate chips or strawberry jelly are also very good alternate for nuts.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Palak Paneer

4 cups of baby spinach
Paneer cubes -1 cup
1 medium onion finely chopped
2 finely chopped tomatoes
3 cloves of garlic minced
A piece of ginger chopped
Red chilli powder 1 tsp
Cumin powder 1 tsp
Coriander powder 1 tsp
Garam masala powder 1/2 tsp
Salt according to taste
Oil 4 tbsp
Sour cream 1tsp(optional)

1.Wash spinach thoroughly and microwave with 1/4 cup of water for 6-8 minutes until its cooked.
2.With 2 tbsp of oil in a pan saute ginger,garlic and onion till its golden brown.Add chopped tomatoes cook for about 3-4 minutes.
3.Remove from fire and transfer the mixture to a food processor and also add the cooked spinach.Pulse it for 2 times.Do not over blend .This is just to bring the mixture together. 4.Meanwhile with the remaining 2 tbsp of oil fry the paneer till it turns slightly brown and pat with kitchen tissue to remove excess oil.
5.In a pan, add the processed mixture and paneer cubes.Add all the spice powder- red chilli powder,cumin,coriander,garam masala and salt.Bring it to a boil.Finally, add the sour cream / whipped cream.
6.Palak paneer goes well with rotis, naan and basmati rice.

Tip:To get the real taste of paneer, soak the fried paneer in luke warm water for 2-3 minutes.This increases the size and softness.

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Monday, June 15, 2009

Stuffed Zucchini

Zucchini -2 nos
Diced tomatoes- 1/4 cup
Dried Basil- 1 tbsp
Olive oil - 2 tbsp
Lemon juice- 2 tsp
Finely chopped garlic - 1 tsp
Grated romano and parmesan cheese- 4 tbsp
Chopped spring onions- 4 tbsp
Salt and pepper

1. Cut zucchini into 1 inch pieces. Scoop out with melon baller or a rounded spoon.
2. Place in a bowl filled with water and microwave for 3 minutes with a pinch of salt.This is to make the zucchini tender.
3. Meanwhile, in a small bowl mix all the other ingredients..diced tomatoes,garlic,olive oil,lemon juice,basil,chopped spring onions,salt and pepper.
4. Fill the scooped zucchini with the tomato mix and top it with cheese.
5. At 375 degree, bake for 8-10 minutes till the cheese melts and becomes golden brown.
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