Wednesday, 29 February 2012

SIMPLE CAPSICUM PULAO

                 I make it a point to have rice for lunch....coz i need the energy to run after my 1 1/2 year old daughter!! At home with rice we normally eat sambar or rasam or ..if its non veg....its either a chicken curry or fish curry.   
                 So inspired by sangee vijay's lunch box special I decided to eat healthy and make my task much easier by cooking veggies and rice in 1 dish!......how nice!!! :)



 INGREDIENTS:
1 cup basmathi rice, washed, boiled and drained
2 tbsp Oil
2 elaichis
2 cardamoms
1 small piece cinnamon
1 big onion, sliced thinly
1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
2 big green or red chilli, de seeded and chopped
1 capsicum (any colour), de seeded and chopped into small pieces
a pinch turmeric powder
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp chilli powder (or as required)
1 tsp corriander powder
salt
a handful of pudina



PROCESS:
  •  Add oil to a wok. When its hot add the elaichi, cardamoms and cinnamon
  • Add onions. Stir til golden brown. Add the chillies and stir
  • Add ginger garlic paste. stir
  • Add the capsicum and stir for a minute
  • add the turmeric, cumin, chilli and corrainder powder and stir\
  • add salt and pudina
  • stir on low heat for a few minutes till all the ingredients come together.
  • add the drained rice and stir.

notes:
  •  tastes good with a simple cucumber and onion raita 

Monday, 27 February 2012

ALMOND BISCOTTI

               Since we are being "healthy" at home for awhile I decided to make these almond biscotti's....Absolutely tasty and guilt- free! My mom loves biscotti's......was thinking of her all the time I baked these......This one's for you amma!! :)

Also sending this recipe to Anjali's event cakes, cookies and desserts





 INGREDIENTS:
1 cup (145 gms) blanched whole almonds
1 tsp ( 5 gms) baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
2 cups (260 gms ) all purpose flour
3/4 cup (150 gms) granulated white sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla essence
1/2 tsp almond extract



PROCESS:
  • Preheat oven to 350 deg F (180 deg C)
  • Toast almonds for 8 - 10 mins or until browned or fragrant. cool and chop coarsely
  • Reduce temperature to 300 deg F (150 deg C). Line a baking sheet with wax paper
  • With an electric mixer combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Beat until blended.(about 30 secs)

  • Gradually add in egg mixture and beat until dough forms, adding almonds halfway through.
  • Add the vanilla and almond essences.
  • On a slightly floured surface roll dough into a log about 14 inches(35 cms) long and 3-4 inches (8-10 cms) wide

  • Transfer log into prepared baking sheet and bake for 30-40 mins or until firm to touch.Log spreads during baking
  • Remove from oven and cool for 10 mins

  • Transfer to cutting board and using a serrated knife, cut log into slices 1/2 inch(1.25 cms) thick on the diagonal
  • Arrange evenly on baking sheet and bake another 10 mins or until slightly browned

  • cool and store in airtight container



notes:
  • I didnt take the measurements( the inches and cms ) into consideration. Just baked it according to my likes.
  • I added a bit more flour to the dough because i couldnt roll out the dough. It was too sticky
  • the biscotti's were crisp but I felt that I should have cut them thinner. Well, there's always a next time.
  • you can even add 1 tbsp of orange or lemon zest to the egg mixture
  • you can substitute hazelnuts or walnuts instead of almonds.


Saturday, 25 February 2012

BANANA BREAD

      

              I had a whole lot of bananas which would have ended up in the garbage, if it wasnt for this banana bread!! I dint want to make a cake!....I wanted to make some banana bread...because I had a brand new loaf tin which remained unused!! So...a perfect time....and a perfect recipe......

INGREDIENTS:
1 cup (115 gms) pecan nuts or walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
1 3/4 cups (230 gms) all purpose flour
3/4 cup (150 gms) granulated white sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 eggs. lightly beaten
1/2 cup(113 gms) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
3 ripe large bananas ( 1 1/2 cups)mashed well
1 tsp vanilla essence



PROCESS:
  • Preheat oven to 300 deg F (180 deg C)
  • Butter and flour the bottoms and sides of a 9*5*3 inch(23*13*8 cms) loaf pan
  • place the nuts on a baking sheet and bake for 8 to 10 mins or until slightly toasted. Cool and chop coarsely
  • In a large bowl combine flour, sugar baking powder, soda, salt, cinnamon and nuts. set aside

  • In a medium sized bowl combine mashed bananas,eggs, melted butter and vanilla ess.
  • With a rubber spatula gently fold the wet ingredients into dry ingredients.stir until just combined and the batter is thick and chunky

  • Bake until golden brown ( about 55 to 60 mins)  and an inserted toothpick comes out clean
  • Cool and then cut.

         notes:
  • I ground my own cinnamon and then sieved it.(only because I dint have cinnamon powder at home :) )


enjoy your banana bread with a hot cup of tea!!

Friday, 24 February 2012

VEGETABLE BURGER

       

                  I tried makin veg patties today!! One of the best ways to eat loads of vegetables in one meal....
You can use a variety of veggies like carrots, peas, beetroot, beans potato etc. You can eat these(veg cutlets) as a snack or (patties) in the form of veg burgers.


        

INGREDIENTS
for the pattie :
 Oil
2 onions, chopped finely
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
3 potatoes, peeled and  roughly chopped
2 beetroots, peeled and roughly chopped
2 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
2 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp garam masala
salt
1/2 cup chopped corriander leaves
1 egg, lightly beaten for dipping
breadcrumbs


for the  burger:
burger buns
lettuce leaves
onions, cut into rings
mayonaise
mustard (optional)
chilli sauce
 pesto (optional)


 PROCESS:
for the pattie:
  • put all the vegetables in a pressure cooker with a bit of salt and cook them with very little water. (about 3 whistles)
  • After the steam in the pressure cooker has been removed, open and check if there is water. If there is water, cook the vegetables further until there is no more water (we dont want to pour out the water beacause the water is full of goodness from the veggies)
  • nicely mash the veggies with a fork.
  • keep aside
  • in a frying pan, add oil
  • fry the onions till they turn light brown
  • add the ginger garlic paste and stir
  • add the tomatoes. stir for a minute
  • add the turmeric powder, chilli powder and garam masala. stir for a few minutes. add required salt
  • add the mashed vegetables and the chopped coriander leaves. stir
  • cool the masala
  • take some veggie masala in your hand and shape them into the desired size. 
  • dip them into the egg mixture. 

  • then into the bread crumbs 
  • repeat the process for the rest of the veggie masala
  • add some oil in a pan and start shallow frying the pattie till they become golden brown
for the burger:
  • slice open your burger bun
  • to the bottom half smear some chilli sauce. add the lettuce leaf
  • place the pattie on top
  • then comes the onion ring
  • add some mayo 
  • add some pesto to the top bun and close the burger

 note:
  • you can choose your own combination of veggies
  • you can choose what goes into your burger as well like cheese and other sauces of your choice








 


Wednesday, 22 February 2012

CHANNA MASALA



                 Garbanzo beans have alot of health benefits which you can read here . A very easy and tasty recipe of all times.

INGREDIENTS:
1 tbsp oil, for frying
1 can (437 gms) chickpeas (garbanzo beans, channa)
2 elaichi
2 cardamom
small piece cinnamon
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 tomato, chopped(deskinned)
2 tbsp tomato puree
1 tsp ginger garlic paste
1 green chilli
1/4 tsp chilli powder ( or as required)
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp chole masala (i used everest)
2 tbsps water
1/2 a handful mint leaves (pudina)
salt as required



PROCESS:
  • Put the oil in a saucepan and add the 3 spices
  • Add the onion and saute for awhile till they turn brown.
  • add the ginger garlic paste and saute for awhile.
  • Add the green chilli and tomato. Stir for a few mins
  • Add the tomato puree.
  • Put the chilli powder, turmeric, cumin, chole masala  and coriander powder in a small bowl and mix with the water
  • Add this mixture to the onions and tomato mixture. Add salt. Add little extra water and bring to boil.
  • Add the channa and pudina. stir and close the saucepan.

note:
  • serve hot with any roti/bread of your choice.


Tuesday, 21 February 2012

BLUEBERRY AND BANANA SMOOTHIE

            


               I just can't eat blueberries as it is!!....Eating it in desserts is sinful!.......So..a smoothie was perhaps the best option I had...and who doesnt like bananas??!So there you go....you have the best combination in hand!! and choosing a ripe banana (not too ripe) imparts sweetness...so no need for sugar!
              The best healthy way to start your day!


         

INGREDIENTS:
1 Banana, roughly chopped
3/4 cup fresh blueberries
2 tbsp vanilla flavoured yoghurt
4 ice cubes
skimmed milk just enough to blend into the desired consistency (about 1/4 cup )




PROCESS:
  • Put all the ingredients into a blender and whizz adding the milk little by little., till you reach the desired consistency
  • serve chilled



Monday, 20 February 2012

PUMPKIN SOUP

            

                   As you know, pumpkin is loaded with goodness....and what better way to eat it ,,,than a lovely smooth soup!!!!!!!!
                  This recipe can't get any easier..... requires very few ingredients......no effort.....and yet the outcome is delicious....simply filled with favour!

INGREDIENTS:
1 tbsp butter
1 small portion of butternut pumpkin,, chopped into cubes( see picture)
1 small onion, thinly sliced
3 pods garlic, pressed
1 cup water
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 chicken stock cube
pepper to taste
2 tbsp coriander leaves, chopped
spring onion , to garnish




PROCESS:
  •  Put butter in a pressure cooker and saute the garlic.
  • When it releases its smell, add the onions.
  • When the onions have softened, add the turmeric powder and pepper.
  • Add the pumpkin.Stir. 
  • Add the water and the chicken stock cube.
  • Stir in the coriander leaves.and close the pressure cooker.
  • let it cook for about 2 or 3 whistles or till the pumpkin has cooked.
  • cool and then put it into a blender and puree it.
  • garnish with chopped spring onions. 

note:
  • For those who want to eat this as a meal, can add a few spoons of cooked rice to their soup.
  • vegetarians can also use veg stock instead of chicken stock

Saturday, 18 February 2012

VEG/NON VEG WRAP



              My husband finally realized that he wanted a change in lifestyle!,,,for the better ofcourse!.....so its all exercise and healthy food at home now!....no more junk!
              The recipe below if for a healthy sandwich wrap....excuse me for the bad photography please.... My husband was so hungry after his workout that he couldnt wait till I photographed our food.......LOL!

INGREDIENTS:

1 small onion, sliced finely
1/2 carrot, sliced thinly
1/2 lebanese cucumber, sliced thinly
1/2 cup purple cabbage, sliced thinly
 few lettuce leaves
chappathi
mayonaise
dijon mustard
sweet and sour chilli sauce( my favorite is the thai chilli sauce)
grilled chicken



marination for the chicken :
6 small pieces boneless chicken
3/4 cup plain yoghurt
3 tbsps cashewnut paste
1/2 tsp white pepper powder
salt to taste.



PROCESS:
  1. marinate the chicken with all the "marination" ingredients and refrigerate overnight
  2. grease your oven proof dish and place the chicken on the tray. Grill at 180 deg celcius till it cooks and the chicken has browned. Turn over and cook the other side as well. 
  3. Cut the chicken into smaller pieces.
  4. place your chappathi on a plate. smear with chilli sauce and mustard.
  5. Working from one corner, place your lettuce leaf.
  6. Top with the chicken, cabbage, onion, carrots, cucumber.
  7. Add a thin line of mayonaise.
  8. Roll the chappathi.



 notes:
  • you can also add a bit of pesto if you like.
  • vegetarian can substitute chicken for any other vegetables. you can also grill some tofu marinated with a bot of extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper.


Saturday, 11 February 2012

PESTO PASTA


                This is one of my easiest lunch recipes . My daughter looks absolutely happy to have this for lunch. Its actually her only favourite dish!...... Basil is actually a very acquired taste... But for those who love it, its heaven!....yum!!
                 Im actually posting this recipe for sangee's event" show me your hits"

INGREDIENTS:
50 gms sweet basil leaves
25 gms pine nuts
40 gms grated parmesan cheese
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, crushed
extra virgin olive oil, to grind
salt and pepper to taste





PROCESS:
  1. Put all the above ingredients in a blender. Add just enough extra virgin olive oil to blend . approximately about 1/4 cup.
  2.  Serve with boiled pasta of your choice.
note:
        Add a little extra oil and refrigerate . It will be fresh for about  a week.
       you can also add more lemon juice if needed.




COCONUT RICE



 INGREDIENTS:
  oil
2 cardamom , 2 elaichi, 1 small piece cinnamom
1 onion
1 green chilli, slit halfway
1 tomato
1 or 2 tsps ginger garlic paste
1 pandan leaf (optional)
10 curry leaves
1 tsp fenugreek seeds
2 cups rice, washed
2 cups , water
1 cup coconut milk

PROCESS:
  1. Put oil in a pan. Add the cardamoms, elaichi and cinnamon
  2. Add the onions and saute for a few mins . Add the ginger garlic paste. Stir. Add chilli and tomatoes
  3. Add the pandan leaves, curry leaves and the fenugreek seeds.

    4. Add the water and the coconut milk.
    5. Add the rice as well. close the rice cooker

 

note:
        If you used the long grained (basmathi)  rice it will look and taste better. We ran out of it! :(



Thursday, 9 February 2012

LAMB ROAST

          

               We're having guests for lunch today...which means a huge spread of food!
My mother in law is the queen of cooking tasty traditional recipes. Although, her main ingredient for all her food is ,,,,OIL!!...the killer! She says there HAS to be oil floating on top....only then it looks and tastes good!!....
               Today im going to post her famous recipe for 'lamb roast'........ Dont worry! Its okay to eat sinfully once in awhile ;)
               We made this dish with 2kgs of lamb...But to make it easier for you, Iv halved this recipe. The recipe may seem long and troublesome....but once you have got your onions cut (which is the horrid part)  your half done already!
                You can serve this dish with rice or parathas....We made coconut rice.....recipe on my next post.......enjoy and grow fat!! oops!

INGREDIENTS:
for the lamb:
1 kg lamb
1 tbsp ginger garlic paste

for the masala:
oil
2 tbsp ghee (optional)
cardamom- 3 , elaichi- 3, cinnamon- 1 small piece
2 tbsp ginger garlic paste
2 big onion , finely chopped
2 big tomato
green chilli - 3 big, ground
1 tbsp chilli powder ( as per taste)
1 tsp turmeric
2 tsp pepper
2 tsp cumin powder
2 tsp garam masala
1 tbsp tomato puree
1 handful pudina/ mint leaves

PROCESS;
  1. wash the lamb and put it into the pressure cooker along with the ginger garlic paste. Add only enough water to cook the lamb.Don't add too much water.  Wait for a few whistles till the lamb is cooked. Remove from the stove and keep aside.


     2 . Put oil and ghee in a big pan.
     3. Saute the cardamom, elaichi and cinnamon.
     4. Add the chopped onions and saute till it becomes slightly brown. This make take awhile.


     5. Add the ground chillies, tomatoes and the ginger garlic paste.


     6.  Add the chilli powder and turmeric powder and stir for a minute.

   
     7.  Add the pepper, cumin powder and garam masala to the lamb mixture and stir.
     8. Add the tomato puree.
     9. Then pour the lamb mixture to the masala.
     10. Add pudina



Note:
         I added too much of water to the lamb when I was cooking it in the pressure cooker. So you can see in the above picture that there is alot of liquid......Don't fret!!!!! We can fix it...Simply take the liquid out into another sauce pan and boil it on a high flame till it reduces. Then add it to your dish! Simple.
        Anyway since you know my mistake, I dont think you can go wrong in the first place! :)