Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Phool Gobhi ki Bhurji | Scrambled Cauliflower

Mashed cauliflower - always reminds me of school dinners - tasteless, dull, watery!! Now think cauliflower bhurji - creamy, melt in the mouth, divine. Bhurji (scrambled) is a popular way of cooking vegetables in the north of India. Deliciously spicy vegetable bhurjis are in fact quite common in a Uttar Pradesh Kitchen. In a bhurji, the vegetables are overcooked just a bit so that they soften and can be coarsely mashed. Then suitable spices added, and the vegetable refried at the end of the cooking process to get a creamy well cooked consistency. Cauliflower is one vegetable that makes for a wonderful bhurji - select a tender, fresh, organic piece for this recipe.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Cinnamon Raisin Bread with Oats

The one bread I have become rather partial to in the last few years is Cinnamon Raisin Bread. The thing, however, that I do not like about the store bought brands is that they are invariably made with white flour and other ingredients that one cannot get one's tongue around!!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Do Kaddu Erisseri | Two Pumpkin Erisseri

If you eat pumpkin, you will love this recipe!! On the other hand, I am tempted to say if you always ignored the this humble vegetable, this recipe may win your taste buds and possibly your heart. The spiciness of the curry paste and the sweetness of the pumpkin give this dish a delicious flavour. You can make this with any kind of pumpkin, but I like to prepare it with a combination of the acorn squash and butternut squash. The combination of these two different types of pumpkin helps balance the flavours in this dish beautifully.


Sunday, December 19, 2010

Daring Cooks December 2010: Homemade Sundried Tomato and Pine Nut Seitan Sausages

The vegetarian sausage recipe is superb - loved this challenge. Will pen in details of my alterations as time permits:) Thanks Jenn and Jill for this wonderful Daring Cooks Challenge.

Post Script: Jenn and Jill have challenged The Daring Cooks to learn to perfect the technique of poaching an egg. They chose Eggs Benedict recipe from Alton Brown, Oeufs en Meurette from Cooking with Wine by Anne Willan, and Homemade Sundried Tomato & Pine Nut Seitan Sausages (poached) courtesy of Trudy of Veggie num num.

All content, text and photographs in this blog, unless otherwise noted, are Copyright of © Annarasa 2007 - 2011. All Rights Reserved. Kindly do not reproduce without permission.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Matar Khumbi Ki Bhaji | Peas Mushroom Stir Fry

Cooking is a passion. I love reading the food pages in the Sunday papers, mags, and in cook books, trying new ideas and cuisines, and experimenting at my leisure!! But most of the everyday meals I cook tend to be simple, balanced,  and wholesome home cooked meals - something I picked up from my Mum :)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Crunchy Vegetable Salad with Yogurt Dressing

I just crave the taste of garden fresh vegetables in the winter. Though we are under 9 inches of snow here and it is bitterly cold here, we are lucky to get crisp and juicy salad vegetables in our favourite stores. Last week, I bought sweet bell peppers: red, yellow, and orange, crunchy cucumbers, and some beautiful tomatoes for a salad. This is a salad I love - it has a light home made dressing that I make with yogurt and lots of nuts and seeds to add to the crunch!!


Thursday, December 9, 2010

Methi Matar Tofu Malai | Fenugreek Peas Tofu Curry

Tofu is one of my favourite foods. I use it in a variety of ways including to make Indian style vegetables and curries. Last night I paired it with one of my favourite vegetables - methi or Fenugreek. Fresh methi leaves are not very easily available to me so I tend to get the fresh frozen variety or the dry ones. For making methi vegetable, the fresh frozen variety is best.


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Khumbi-Matar Pulao | Mushroom Peas Pilaf

I always have a box of mushrooms in the refrigerator. They perk up stir-fries, pasta sauces, bakes, soups, grilled toasts, and salads!! Interestingly, mushrooms do well with Indian dishes as well - they can and do take on the flavour of Indian spices and herbs beautifully.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Rustic Savoury Crostata: A Daring Baker's November

As always a winner from the Daring Bakers. I tweaked the recipe for the crust quite a bit to avoid eggs!! As for the filling - well it just had to be savoury:) This Crostata came out lip-smacking yummy!! The use of multiple flours in the crust gave a really nutty flavour and the filling was delicious. Don't be scared off by the darker crust - the colour comes from the Ragi or Finger Millet flour!! All I can say is that this recipe is a keeper and I am delighted that I decided to fiddle with it to suit our tastes!!


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Jeweled Quinoa Pilaf with Pepitas and Cranberries

Quinoa has been a great favourite of mine ever since I discovered it!! I use it not only as a grain substitute but for an amazingly wide range of cooking. Its extremely versatile and can be combined well with a really wide multitude of flavours. It inspires creativity :)

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Winter Root Vegetable Soup

This is one of my favourite soups. I make some variation of it every winter when root vegetables are abundant and easily available!! The combination of parsnips, carrots, and turnips with celery turn out an astonishingly hearty and tasty soup. If you have home made vegetable stock, use that. If not, try an organic, low/no sodium variety for the most natural taste!!


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Chana Dal Sookhi | Punjabi Style Bengal Gram Lentils


Dals or lentils are a staple of the Indian Kitchen. They are prepared in a variety of ways that can often be identified as regional. Dals from the Punjab are often hearty and made with a combination of big flavours!! Chana Dal Sookhi is a fragrant combination of lentils, spices, fenugreek leaves, onions, and garlic.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Warm Autumn Three Bean Salad

Salad is not the first thing that springs to mind come Autumn. However, the harvest bounty at this time of the year can and does yield some excellent vegetables, beans, and fruits for seasonal salads!! I love to serve this salad with warm Crostini slices drizzled with olive oil.


Saturday, November 20, 2010

Phool Gobhi Aloo Matar Ki Tehri | Cauliflower Potato Peas Rice

Tehri is a classic rice dish that comes from Uttar Pradesh. It is usually vegetarian and prepared with rice and some vegetables. These typically include some combination of potatoes, cauliflower, peas, carrots, capsicum, and French/ Green Beans. It is cooked with Khara Masala or Whole Spices including Kali Elaichi (Black Cardamom), Sabut Kali Mirch (Whole Black Peppercorns), Lavang (Cloves), Dal Chini (Cinnamon), and Zeera (Cumin).

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Southern Buttermilk Biscuits

I love making a good loaf or roll of bread every so often - more so in the winter though!! There is nothing quite like a warm oven and the wonderful smell of baked goodies wafting through the home. I am sure every baker would agree with that thought :)

Monday, November 15, 2010

Baigan Pakoras | Baigan Bhajis (Eggplant | Aubergine Fritters)

Its been grey, cold, and rainy here over the weekend. Some snow flurries would have been welcome and pretty, but somehow they never really made it and all we got was a chilly drizzle all day for two days!!Sunday turned out to be long and exhausting and by evening, I could not wait to dig into some comfort food, stick my achy feet up on the couch and relax!!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Tamatar -Shimla-Paneer Bhurji | Tomato-Green Pepper-Cottage Cheese Scramble


Paneer or Indian Style Cottage Cheese is a real favourite of mine. When I first moved to this city, there was only one Indian store and I never quite trusted the fresh/frozen paneer there. I took to making paneer at home and have stuck to it ever since. Last evening I was craving just some of these creamy home made cheese curds, and I made a quick batch. I let them stay a little soft as I wanted to make this delicious creamy Paneer Bhurji - scrambled with vegetables and spices.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Shimla Mirch-Aloo Bhaji (Green Bell Pepper | Capsicum Potato Stir-Fry)

Sweet Green Bell Peppers are commonly referred to as Capsicum in India. In the Northern part of the country, they are also called Shimla Mirch. It usually comes into the market in the winters, and has an incredibly distinct crunchiness and sweet taste! Paired with potatoes, it makes for a wonderful stir-fry.


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Boondi Ka Raita (Yogurt Salad with Mini Chickpea Flour Dumplings)

Fresh plain yogurt is an integral part of everyday Indian meals. In fact, it is prepared and set at home every morning so that it is ready for the meals of the day! Sometimes fresh yogurt is combined with multiple ingredients and spices to make a delicious tasting salad. Boondi ka Raita is one such yummy addition to any meal. It tastes super with any paratha (Stuffed Indian Flatbread), can be the star of a meal on a festive occasion, and is probably the quickest dish you can rustle up in event of unexpected guests for dinner.


I like home made boondi ( mini chickpea flour dumplings), and always make a batch whenever I get deep frying. But as I fear running out, I also like to keep a stash of good quality store bought boondi in my pantry. You can find it quite easily any Indian grocery - in fact now pre-spiced versions are also available. The key thing to to remember when buying boondi is that the packet in which they are sold must not be lined with grease.

I like to make Boondi ka Raita in multiple ways! Though the basic principle of making the Raita always remains the same, I do like to spice it differently every time. This recipe is made with a Tarka or an oil seasoning that adds a delicious kick to this very simple salad!

Ingredients:
2 1/2 cups plain yogurt
3/4 cup boondi
Salt, to taste
1/2 tsp red chili powder
8-10 curry leaves
1/4 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 cumin seeds
1/4 tsp turmeric
2 green chilies, chopped
1 tsp canola oil

Method:
  1. Beat the yogurt until smooth. Blend in salt to taste.
  2. Beat in the red chili powder. 
  3. Add the boondi.
  4. Prepare the tarka by heating the oil in a small pan. 
  5. Add the mustard seeds. When they begin to pop, add the cumin, curry leaves, and green chilies.
  6. Fry for a minute or until the curry leaves become crisp. Add the turmeric, turn off the heat.
  7. Season with the tarka just before serving.
Good to know:
  • You can reduce the oil content in the boondi by soaking it in warm water for two minutes. Squeeze the water out of the boondi before adding it to the yogurt.
  • Place prepared Raita in the refrigerator for at least a couple of hours before serving. This allows the boondi to soak in the yogurt and spices adding tot he flavour of this dish.
All content, text and photographs in this blog, unless otherwise noted, are Copyright of © Annarasa 2007 - 2013. All Rights Reserved. Kindly do not reproduce without permission.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Nimki | Namakparas | Crisp Savoury Diamonds

Nimki is a popular savoury treat make during Diwali in North India. Deep-fried and crunchy, they are simply delicious. Though I am not very fond of deep frying, I do get down to serious some serious frying once a year, usually during the festive season. And I always try to make at least on batch of Nimki for us to munch on over the month!!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Sabudana-Chana Dal Kheer | Payasam | Sago-Lentil Milk Pudding


Diwali or the Festival of Lights is celebrated every winter across the Indian Subcontinent. Endless varieties of sweets and special savoury foods are prepared in homes, offered as Prasad or Neivedyam in prayers and then shared with family, friends, and neighbours!! One such sweet is Kheer or Payasam.


Sunday, October 31, 2010

Yeast Doughnuts: A Daring Baker's Challenge

Doughnuts!! That's what the Daring Baker's were challenged to create this October!! Whenever I think doughnuts, I am reminded of the the automated doughnut machine at a certain doughnut chain!! Every stage of making a doughnut is visible to the customer and by the time you reach the end of the line, someone hands you a hot fresh doughnut that just melts in the mouth. Luckily we live in a city where doughnut chains don't exist. Fewer the temptations the better!!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Trick or Treat: Cookies for Halloween

After making some delicious sugar cookies for Daring Bakers September 2010, I was inspired to make a whole new batch for Halloween. I made some decorated pumpkins and ghouls. They are headed to a Halloween Party at work tomorrow!!


This time I followed the DB recipe, using egg in the cookies. But I stuck to the eggless icing. Both worked well and I got some nice colourful and crunchy iced sugar cookies!!


Hope these happy fellas will win some hearts and taste buds tomorrow:)

These lovely cookies go out to Akhila @ Learning To Cook for her ongoing event Dish Name Starts With: C.

All content, text and photographs in this blog, unless otherwise noted, are Copyright of © Annarasa 2007 - 2013. All Rights Reserved. Kindly do not reproduce without permission.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Aloo-Paneer Parathas | Potato-Cottage Cheese Flatbread

Paneer or Indian style cottage cheese is both a delicious and low fat food. Its light and fluffy yet creamy texture combines well with potatoes, green chilies, and cilantro to make a lip-smacking filling for parathas. While I love parathas made with just paneer, blending it with potatoes and spices adds a whole new taste to the filling. I usually make these when we are travelling - they are so flavourful and healthy, and they make a wonderfully tasty replacement for sandwiches.


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Toor Dal Amti (Spiced Sweet and Sour Lentils)

The first time I tasted Amti I thought that the flavour was just divine. Today I make many variations of Amti at home as this spicy, sweet and sour lentils is enjoyed by all in the family. This version uses tomatoes, lime, chilies, and jaggery for the seasoning. A good garnish of cilantro and its bursting with flavour.


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Vrat ka Khana | Fasting Foods: Bhuni hui Arbi | Pan Roasted Taro | Colacassia

Bhuni hui Arbi is a particular treat if you are fasting during the festival period! Crunchy, spicy, and a delight to bite into, I like to make this vegetable whenever I find it in the local market. If you are fasting this Navratri, serve this dish piping hot, with a bowl of chilled yogurt seasoned with rock salt and roasted cumin powder.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Vrat ka Khana | Fasting Foods: Sabudana Vada | Sago Fritters

Just about three years ago, when I began this blog, one of my posts was about Sabudana Khichiri. Extremely popular during fasts, this savoury made with sago pearls is as delicious as it is addictive. Sago is also used to make other delicious savouries during fasts including thalipeeth (pancakes) and vadas (fritters). Sweet kheer (milk based pudding) prepared with sugar or gur (jaggery) is often prepared as a Prasad (offering to the Gods).

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Vrat ka Khana | Fasting Foods: Aloo aur Sakarkandi ki Chaat | Potato & Sweet Potato Savoury

This recipe is another favourite of festival times, especially in the Northern parts of India. Its very simple to put together and guaranteed to please. If you are the kind of person who enjoys a sweet-spicy-tang, this Aloo aur Sakarkandi Chaat is for you!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Vrat ka Khana | Fasting Foods: Aam ki Lassi | Mango Yogurt Smoothie

Aam ki Lassi is the most refreshing drink. Fresh sweet mangoes are blended with plain yogurt to get a supremely sweet and tangy drink. Mango Lassi not only quenches your thirst, its a nutrition powerhouse and will give you tonnes of energy, especially if you are fasting.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Vrat ka Khana | Fasting Foods: Aloo Raita | Potato Yogurt Salad

Aloo Raita is a favourite in North India. It is typically made in the winter and I always associate it weekend lunches in the warm Delhi winter sun!! It is also one of those foods that are made during festivals, especially Sharad Navratri. This year Sahrad Navratri falls between October 8 and October 17. During these nine nights and ten days, Hindus worship the nine forms of Goddess/Mother - Devi/Shakti. On the tenth day, Vijaya Dashmi or Dusshera is observed.

Friday, October 1, 2010

September 2010 Daring Bakers Challenge: Sugar Cookies

Making and decorating Sugar Cookies was a great challenge. The cookies turned out delicious. I made an eggless version of them! And the icing was eggless too. Used my new cookie cutter set to do Halloween shapes and some stars and butterflies.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Warm Autumn Sunshine @ Annarasa

My plants have been doing well all summer. And now as autumn has traipsed in, I am still getting a small bounty of vegetables!! Here is some produce from my Patio Garden: juicy pear tomatoes, yellow tomatoes, some okra, and chilies!!

I also grew and got some cucumbers, sweet peppers, and zucchini - all of which we consumed before I got the change to whip my camera out:)

All content, text and photographs in this blog, unless otherwise noted, are Copyright of © Annarasa 2007 - 2013. All Rights Reserved. Kindly do not reproduce without permission.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Vine-Ripened Cherry Tomatoes: Oven-Dried with Olive Oil & Herbs

I picked up a wonderful stash of vine ripened tomatoes from my latest run to our local 'Pick-Ur-Own' at canning prices. There were red tomatoes, Roma, cherry tomatoes, and my favourite the pick tomatoes with their flavoursome tanginess. Leaving the cherry and pick tomatoes aside, I pickled all the red and Roma tomatoes using two of my well-tested recipes.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Fada | Dalia aur Tamatar Ka Upma (Broken Wheat Porridge with Tomatoes)

Whenever I think porridge, I remember the milk and honey soaked dalia (broken wheat) of my school days. Now a days, I like my dalia salty, and yes you guessed it, spicy!! Here is a recipe that is both quick and easy. I like to make this for weekend breakfast, as it is both nutritious and filling and perfect for a good start to the day!!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Strawberry Preserve for the Daring Cooks September 2010

Ah! Food Preservation, what a perfect theme for late summer! Living in the northern hemisphere, there is the urge to squirrel away the bright flavours of summer for the icy cold winter, when sun-ripened vegetables and fruit rarely grace our tables.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

A Daring Bakers Summer: Swiss Swirl Ice Cream Cake

Hi Folks! I completed last month's challenge last week, but have just not had the time to write the post up. As its getting late, just thought I'd drop a note that the challenge was wonderful - I'll add the details and photos in the next couple of days. Thanks Sunita for a great summer challenge!!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Old Fashioned Summer Raspberry Jam

The early arrival of summer this year has been good for vegetables and fruits. After our annual ritual of strawberry picking in early June, we decided to join our local organic berry patch to pick summer raspberries!! Sadly some rather unseasonal rain led to the picking being canceled. The patch owner however had an excellent harvest. She contacted us and asked if we would like some pre-picked berries from the farm. We were delighted and got a pail of sweet-tart raspberries.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Boondi Ki Kadhi | Buttermilk Curry with Mini Dumplings

Curries made with buttermilk and yogurt are an integral part of the Indian kitchen. In most parts of the north, a creamy yet very light and delicious curry called Kadhi can be found. There are multiple variations of this dish which tastes equally wonderful with rotis, parathas, and rice!! While a spicy Pakode Wali Kadhi is probably the most well known in Delhi and Punjab, in Rajasthan a Boondi Ki Kadhi is served. The spices and flavours very considerably, but Kadhi is one of the easiest and quickest of food you can rustle up in your kitchen.



Ingredients:
1/3 cup chickpea (garbanzo) flour
2 cups buttermilk
1/2 cup water
1" piece ginger, peeled and grated
1/2 tsp cumin (zeera)
6-8 curry leaves
1/4 tsp black mustard seeds (rai)
1/8 tsp fenugreek (methi) seeds
6 black peppercorns (Kali Mirch)
4 cloves (lavang)
1" piece cinnamon (Dal Chini)
2 dried red chilies (Saboot Lal Mirch)
1/2 tsp turmeric (Haldi)
1 tsp oil
Pinch asafoetida (Hing)
Salt to taste
1 tsp clarified butter (Ghee)
1/2 tsp red chili powder (Lar Mirch)
1/2 cup ready made boondi

Method:
  1. Heat oil in a heavy bottomed saucepan. When it reaches smoking point, reduce the heat and add one by one the cinnamon, peppercorns, cloves, and red chilies. Roast for a few seconds. 
  2. Then add the mustard seeds, cumin, methi seeds, and asafoetida. Follow immediately with the curry leaves and grated ginger. Stir well until you get the smell of ginger.
  3. Next add half a cup of water and simmer the ginger and spices for 4-5 minutes. Turn off the heat.
  4. In a a separate bowl, beat together the chickpea flour, turmeric, and buttermilk. The mixture should be lump free.
  5. Pour this mixture into the spice mix. and cook on a low heat for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Increase the heat to medium, continue cooking and stirring until the mix begins to thicken into a sauce.
  6. Add the salt to taste, cook for another 5 minutes on a lower heat taking care the sauce does not stick to the pan.
  7. Add the boondi and let it sink into the curry. Turn off the heat. Cover.
  8. Prepare the tarka (seasoning) by heating the ghee in a small pan. Add the red chili powder. Pour over the Kadhi.
  9. Serve hot with parathas or rice.
I love to serve this Kadhi with Spinach Parathas. The combination is simply amazing. This lip-smacker goes out to Priya @ Mharo Rajasthan who is hosting Think Spice, Think Fenugreek this month. Think Spice is a blogger foodie event created by Sunita @ Sunita's World.

All content, text and photographs in this blog, unless otherwise noted, are Copyright of © Annarasa 2007 - 2013. All Rights Reserved. Kindly do not reproduce without permission.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Daring Cooks July 2010: Home Made Peanut Butter and Satay Dipping Sauce

The Daring Cooks challenge for July is Nut Butters!! We could choose from any type of nut including peanuts, walnuts, cashews, pecans, almonds, hazelnuts, or macadamias. The instructions were simple - puree the nuts into a paste or butter. Then use the fresh homemade nut butter in a savoury recipe.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Chukandar Pachadi | Beetroot Pachadi

I always try to buy local and fresh foods for my kitchen. Apart from our world class Farmer's Market, we have loads of other options for seasonal produce around here. We are surrounded by U-Pick operations that sell vegetables and fruits year round or deliver the goodies right to your home. In the summer, I prefer to go out and pick fresh vegetables and fruits. My last trip to the local farm got me a delicious harvest of carrots, beets, and new potatoes!!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Quick Macaroni with Black Olives and Toasted Pine Nuts


We took a break over the weekend. Lovely scenic lakeside town with a gorgeous pier, sunshine, ducklings, and the cool cool breeze. It was great to get away for a couple of days. But not so great for my plants! When we got back, they looked one sorry sight. The July heat had got to them!! After some serious watering and encouraging words, they are back to normal and I even see some tiny green tomatoes on my tomato plants!! The beans are doing wonderfully and I have already got one small harvest of yellow wax beans. Nothing like growing your own.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Hare Pyaaz aur Pudina ke Parathe | Spring Onion and Mint Flatbread

Its been a hectic few weeks out here. Writing load has been heavy though enjoyable and I've had little time for cooking. In the last two weeks, summer appears to have arrived in full force, though we are seeing a great number of summer storms too. The sunshine and rain has worked wonders for the plants which are blooming!! I will get some photos of my garden up in the next few posts.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Nariyal Wale Fras Beans | French Beans with Coconut

French Beans were always a great seasonal favourite in Delhi. Fresh and tender beans would flood the markets in early winter. Sweet and crisp and known as Fras Beans they'd dominate the menu in a multitude of ways. Here I get beans all year round, the fresh ones too, as they come from all across the globe. I also grow them in my vegetable garden in the summer, and the yield is pretty good.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Daring Cooks: Spicy Bean, Walnut, and Sun Dried Tomato Pate with Honey Wheat Bread

Pate and bread!! Perfect combination that always reminds me of Michaelmas in London. Brightly lit streets, exotic foods in creatively decorated containers, and loads of colour and warmth all around. Pate is in-season and and so are herbed crackers that go with it. Then again pates remind me of summer in England - they make a wonderful addition to any picnic basket - whether you plan to watch the boat races or head off to the Wimbledon Greens for a day out!!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Tari Wale Chole | Curried Chickpeas

Chole is a favourite dish in our home. While I make chole more suitable for chaat and tikkis, he makes them in  a typically North Indian style. Tari Wale Chole is typical of UP and Delhi where you will find this curry being sold early mornings at railway stations and small eateries near bus stops. It is also popular in the many temple towns there. The curry of this chole is very simple to make yet is very flavourful. Ideal for dunking freshly made pooris!!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Masaledaar Appe | Spicy Mini Appams

Sometimes, when there is extra time on the hand, or we are expecting visitors, I like to make a snack for our evening tea!! Usually, it is something light and salty. At times, its a matter of using the leftovers!!!! Today, it was the latter - I had idli batter left over from the weekend. I decided to make spicy mini-appams using my aebleskiver or appe pan.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Ghari Moong Dal Saag | Thick Yellow Moong with Swiss Chard

This is s typical dal-saag recipe that you will find in North Indian kitchens. It is considered to be a very light and healthy dish and commonly cooked on hot summer afternoons. Dal-Saag is served with fresh hot phulkas (puffed rotis) which are rolled very thin, plain yogurt and cool refreshing summer salads. Such a meal is very light on the stomach and great for any appetite ruined by hot Delhi summers - think 40C (100F+)!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Healing Foods Pomegranate: The Roundup

Last month I was the guest host to a food blogging event series called Healing Foods. This series has been created by Siri @ Siri's Corner. I chose Pomegranate as it is a much loved fruit, has great healing properties, tastes great, and can be used in a multitude of ways. This is a roundup of the entries I received for the month-long event. The entries are arranged as I received them!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Patta Gobhi aur Adrak ke Parathe | Cabbage-Ginger Flatbread

The other day I noticed that fresh local grown cabbage has arrived at our green grocers. I immediately picked up 2 pieces with tender leaves. The fresh cabbage grown locally - the one that has not seen the inside of a storage coolers has a great sweet taste and it is remarkably crisp. It is ideal for making soft parathas, as once grated it literally melts into the flour.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

A Gift, A Beautiful Red Tulip, and Eyesight for Colton

A few weeks ago Carol Egbert @ carolegbert.com asked a simple question!! The question concerned the name of a certain fruit that I love: the Loquat. A correct answer won me a wonderful gift :)

Monday, May 24, 2010

Delicious Macaroni and Cheese Bake

Mac & Cheese is the ultimate comfort food! We adore mac and cheese round here. I generally use different ingredients each time I make mac and cheese and so have developed several versions of this lovely dish. A couple of weeks back it suddenly turned cool around here. There was even frost on the ground!! Craving something very comforting and warming, I decided decided to make a classically creamy baked version of mac and cheese.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Fresh Apple, Pecan, and Cinnamon Cake

Its been some time since I baked a cake. So when I caught a break on Tuesday evening, I decided to pull out the flour, sugar, and eggs and have a go at it!! I baked a fresh fruit and nut cake with apples, pecans, and cinnamon. This cake is soft and spongy, but it also have a great crumbly texture. Its great with a hot cuppa but you can serve it as dessert with a dollop of fresh cream!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Daring Cooks Challenge: Spicy Green Chile, Two Bean, and Zucchini Enchilada Bake

Spicy Enchiladas are always a welcome treat and home made ones do taste the best!! Barbara and Bunnee gave us a fabulous May 2010 Daring Cooks Challenge. My version of this recipe included the home made corn tortillas, a green chile sauce, two bean and zucchini filling mix, and grated basil-tomato cheese! For the Green Chile Sauce, I broiled the chiles and the tomatillos in the oven but added no onions or garlic in it. For the filling, I made a vegetarian mix of two beans, zucchini, tomato, and fresh corn, with loads of onion and garlic. The tortillas were easy to make and came out very soft and delicious. I did not fry before baking. I made the bake more like a baked lasagna dish, lining the baking pan with the tortillas rather than making individual stacks. It was easy to cut through the bake for individual sized portions. This is a great recipe and we really enjoyed it. I will definitely make this dish again!!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Chana Dal Dudhi | Chana Dal Lauki | Bottle Gourd with Bengal Gram Lentils

It is raining cats and dogs again - its as if the rain just does not want to leave our area! I am almost beginning to feel as though I am stuck in the middle of the monsoons here, albeit a monsoon of a rather chilly and windy variety!! Our rather optimistic weatherman assures us everyday that there is some sunshine out there - waiting to pop right out of the clouds - umm... say.... day after tomorrow :)

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Sweet Mango Cardamom Cream

Its Mango Season in India and I was craving the fruit!! Anyone who has tasted any Indian mango can relate to this craving. Regardless of which part of India the mango may come from, each type has its own unique identity and sublime taste. Though the Alphonso is the most well know, mangos like the Kesar, Dussheri, Langra Banarasi, Chausa, Safeda - to name just a few are well loved for their colour, fragrance, and taste.Of course, none of these can be found here - though in England Kesar and Alphonso was easily available!!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Warm Pasta Salad with Lima Beans, Bok Choy, and Walnuts

Pasta salads are always fresh, vibrant, and full of taste. They are wonderful in summer when one really does not want to go anywhere near hot food!! But what do you do when you get that pasta salad craving and you are in the middle of cold spring showers? Make a warm pasta salad, of course! They are just as delectable, comforting, and delicious. I made mine with warm macaroni, oven grilled soysage (soya sausage), lima beans, bok choy, onions, and walnuts!!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Pomegranate: The Healing Food for May

The Healing Foods Event focuses every month on a single item of food. The aim is to highlight the health benefits and nutritive value of that food. This food event which was initiated by Siri @ Siri's Corner challenges you to share your recipes via the blogosphere in their most healthy form. This May, I will be the guest host for Healing Foods. The food I have chosen to highlight at this event is the Pomegranate!!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Tuscan Ribollita Or a Hearty Reboiled Soup from the Simple Kitchens of Tuscany

A staple of the simple Tuscan Kitchen is soup. And amongst soups, one of the most popular is a soup called the Ribollita. A peasant soup, the term literally means reboiled. With a tangy tomato base, this soup calls for any leftover vegetables lying in the pantry and a generous spoonful of basil pesto sauce. For the uninitiated, think Minestrone without pasta and with loads of beans. This was one of the soups that I made for supper last week. I served it with hunks of Kalamata and Olive Focaccia!!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Hare Pyaaz ke Kulche | Flatbread with a Spring Onion Stuffing

Last week my brother asked me if I had a good recipe for naan!! Of course I did!! But then he asked me if it would be without yeast - some dear friends had requested him for a recipe of naan that could be made without yeast. That got me thinking, and I remembered the great kulchas we got in our school canteen in Delhi!! Chole and kulche was a staple on the menu.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

A Very British Pudding with Fresh Pineapple Bits

The very word pudding for me evokes memories of winter in England. Steamed pudding with freshly made custard were a staple dessert for cold winter evenings!! I have not made steamed puddings since I moved here, and so when Esther of The Lilac Kitchen proposed puddings for a Daring Bakers Challenge, I was truly delighted. In fact, so excited that for a while I could not decide what type of pudding I wanted to make. I was torn between a ginger syrup pudding, a jam pudding, and my favourite a marmalade pudding - and I have delicious home made marmalade!!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Kalamata Olive and Rosemary Focaccia

I have been making a lot of soups lately!! They make a great evening meal with a slice of good bread, a  salad, or a even small serving of pasta!! Last night I had made a hearty Tuscan style Ribollita, and it seemed a no-brainer to make a rich crusty focaccia to go with it.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Spicy Five Grain Spaghetti

Spaghetti is an all time favourite with so many families. While regular spaghetti has been around our stores as far back as we care to remember and is well loved; supermarkets are increasing stocking their pasta aisles with whole grain spaghetti, spaghetti with flax meal (read Omega 3), and multi-grain spaghetti. If you have been reluctant to try any of these out, don't be shy!! You are missing out on some great whole grain nutrition and significantly good taste!! Wholegrain pasta has a very wholesome and nutty taste, that enhances the entire flavour of the heartier pasta dishes, and takes on the thicker sauces very well.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Hare Tarke Wali Toor Dal | Jalapeno Seasoning Seasoned Yellow Pigeon Pea Split

Toor Dal is a much loved staple in many Indian homes. It is usually served with steaming hot rice, a vegetable, and some spicy pickle on the side. I made this dal last week and seasoned it with slices of fresh green jalapeno fried gently in ghee (clarified butter)! For a different but equally delicious seasoning with this dal, drop by at my entry in 2007 for JFI Toor Dal.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Daring Cooks April 2010: Khutkhute - Goan Vegetable Stew

The Daring Cooks challenge for April was a tough one for a vegetarian. Though our host Wolf was kind enough to discuss a vegetarian possibility for the classic Brunswick Stew, anyone can see this is a meat lovers recipe!! I considered making a version by simply dropping out the meats, but then it would really be no different from some sort of a mixed vegetable soup. Somehow that idea was not gelling with me but I did want to make a stew for this challenge.

Zucchini & Sweet Yellow Pepper Risotto

This post has a recipe from the Daring Cooks: March 2010. Though I did complete this challenge on time, I was travelling last month. Away from my home and computer, I was not able to put up the post. On return, I decided I'd post the challenges for March & April together this month. But just as luck would have it, my internet connection gave way last week and has been restored only this morning!!!! However, the Daring Kitchen Challenges are always so very tempting that I simply could not resist sharing my version of this recipe even at this late date.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Green Pea, Leek, and Broccoli Soup

This is my version of an all-time favourite. Traditional recipes of Leek and Pea Soup or Leek and Potato Soup are plentiful. I personally like the taste of broccoli in mine. This soup has a delightfully creamy taste balanced beautifully with a squeeze of lime and freshly minced cilantro.

Friday, April 9, 2010

My First Plants for 2010: Fragrant Lavender & Red Tulips

The whole of last week was so sunny and warm that on Sunday I practically ran to the garden centre for some seeds, prepared baby plants, and potting soil. And then wouldn't you know it - since Monday we have had rain, thunderstorms, and hold your breath, SNOW!!!! Not entirely surprising as I am of the firm belief that it always snow at least once in April - the last kick of winter and all that.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Orange Tian with the Daring Bakers

At last, a citrus dessert!! The 2010 March Daring Baker's Challenge was hosted by Jennifer of Chocolate Shavings. She chose Orange Tian as a challenge for this month, a dessert based on a recipe from Alain Ducasse's Cooking School in Paris.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Fresh and Creamy Cauliflower Soup

This is a deliciously creamy soup is a medley of cauliflower, carrots, and celery. Perfect for a chilly and rather rainy spring evening here in the North. Serve with a seasoned garlic and parsley bread for a nice and hearty meal.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Patta Gobhi aur Nariyal Tarkari | Sautéed Cabbage with Coconut

Fresh local cabbage will soon be in the market. Our Farmer's Market carries an amazing array of vegetables and cabbage is amongst the best I have tasted. It has the perfect crispness, just the right crunch on the bite and a delicately sweet taste. I wait every year for farm fresh cabbage to make this simple cabbage stir-fry. The trick to this recipe is to cook the vegetable uncovered on a medium heat.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

How Does My Garden Grow?

Its nice to be back, more so as spring is in the air!! Its warming up quite rapidly in this part of the world, the snow has all but disappeared, and fresh green shoots of grass have made a welcome appearance. We are expecting the temperature to be in the 70s the next couple of days and I can't wait to begin prepping my patio and pots for planting. So, here's a small trip down memory lane - flowers from last summer :) before I head back to getting the house in order after 3 weeks of break!!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Eggless Low Fat Tiramisu with the Daring Bakers

The February Daring Bakers Challenge was Tiramisu, a dessert I have always been partial to. Coffee is not a drink that ranks high on my list of preferred beverages. I never really enjoyed it and its never the first drink that comes to mind when I am looking for refershment. Yet I love the taste of lightly sweetened coffee in milk desserts, and chocolates!! And for that reason, Tiramisu is well-loved. And I was delighted to experiment with a low fat, eggless version of the same for this challenge.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Tamatar ki Chatney | Homestyle Tomato Chutney

The most amazing and fresh winter vegetables line the outdoor vegetable markets in Delhi. Beautiful cauliflower, okra, green peppers, spinach, radish, pumpkin, beets, red carrot, and of course, juicy red tomatoes!! The cheap and surplus of tomatoes in the market were always a motivation to make chutneys, preserves, and jams! Yes, I remember tomato jam from my schooldays, when my benchmate introduced me to home made tomato jam filled between slices of spongy white bread. But I digress.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Home Made Refried Beans

A staple of Mexican food, refried beans are by any standard a delicious indulgence. We love Mexican food here and I am always interested in creating healthful vegetarian alternatives to world foods that we try in restaurants every now and then. This recipe of refried beans has the authentic Mexican taste that goes so well with tortillas, tacos, rice, and dips. I used this recipe to make the refried beans for the Festive Seven Layer Dip.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Festive Seven Layer Dip with Home Made Refried Beans

Super Bowl Sunday had always been celebrated with a ritualistic fervour by my friends from across the pond when I lived in England. Somehow I never quite understood the enthusiasm. Most probably because I had not been exposed to the game, did not know the teams, or anything else about this annual event for that matter. I guess it was also because the time difference meant that the game one had to be awake past mid-night to enjoy the festivities - something my schedules would never permit.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Whipped Kiwi-Banana Frozen Yogurt

 
Kiwis are probably one of the prettiest fruits in the market. When I was growing up they were rarely seen in the fruit stalls of Delhi and Mumbai. My first memory of them is on chilled fruit tarts, sublimely green and rather exotic, sitting very prettily next to strawberries, and pineapples! When they first made an appearance in the local fruit markets, they were assigned a special place - imported and expensive. Interestingly they were also regularly confused with Chikoo or Sapota due to their dull brown-green skin!! The two fruits could not taste more different, though each is lovely in is own way:) I love the sweet-tartness of the Kiwi and when paired with banana, its simply divine.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Basbousa or An Egyptian Syrup Cake

Basbousa is the sweetest of sweet delicacies from Egypt and Lebanon. Soft, sticky, fragrant, and delightful is how I like to describe Basbousa. Basically, a Basbousa is a sweet semolina cake soaked in syrup redolent with lime and rose syrup! It is popular in eastern Mediterranean cuisines, and also widely available in various Middle-East countries where it is known as Hareesa. Though Turkish Delight, Halvah, Baklava, date pastry, and pistachios cookies are available in some stores or bakeries, you would have to find a speciality store for Basbousa.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Flowers & Falafel for Valentine's Day

Food from the Middle-East is delicious, nutritious, and above all full of variety for both a vegetarian and a vegan diet. It is a cuisine that I have enjoyed and shared for many years now. In London, I would head out every so often to one of the many Maroush restaurants, Ranoush, Beruit Express, or the local falafel sandwich shop for my weekly fix of falafel, olives, pickled vegetables, vine leaves, salads, hummus, and fresh baked pita! Now I regularly prepare a variety of middle-east style foods at home.

So when Michele proposed a Mezze meal for February, I was delighted. Michele kindly provided us (the Daring Cooks!) with 5 lovely recipes!! I chose to make the pita, falafel, hummus from her selection. And I added olives and seasoned cheese, a walnut-yogurt dip, and as it was Valentine's Day a dessert that I adore - Basbousa (An Egyptian Syrup Cake)!!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Avocado & Pepper Salad with Lime-Roasted Cumin Dressing


We are seeing a lot of avocados in the market this winter. Avocados are a beautiful pear shaped green fruit, a berry really, with a soft buttery flesh. They are seen most popularly in guacamole, but you can eat avocados in sandwiches, sushi, use it pureed to thicken curries, in milkshakes, ice creams, and desserts. In a salad, they are divine! Pick a ripe but firm avocado for this salad. For the dressing I used a classic lime dressing with olive oil and honey. The roasted cumin adds great flavour and depth to its taste.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Graham Wafers and Nanaimo Bars

The January 2010 Daring Bakers were presented with one of the most interesting challenges to date: Graham Wafers and Nanaimo Bars. Graham crackers are quite readily available in the supermarkets here and so are the English-style digestives - while the former is perfect for milk, the latter were made for a cup of hot tea! Both, of course, are quite commonly used as a biscuit base for pies and cheesecakes. As for Nanaimo Bars, I had encountered a version of these some time back in England, where goodie bags from Canada made some of my lovely Canadian friends ecstatic :)
Nanaimo Bars are a classic Canadian dessert created in Nanaimo, British Colombia. Pronounced as Nah-nye-Moh, these very rich yet addictively delicious bars have 3 layers: a base containing graham crackers, cocoa, coconut and nuts, a middle custard layer, and a topping of chocolate.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Ragi and Zucchini Chila | Finger Millet Pancakes


We like our breakfast around here - especially so on the weekends when its more relaxed and I can be more experimentative!! Newspaper in one hand, tea cup in another, sunshine streaming in the kitchen window. Newspaper you ask - yes, well we must be the last of a rare and quickly disappearing breed of newspaper subscribers - though I must admit we get only the weekend papers. But then - what's a weekend without the paper!!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Spicy Carrot, Spring Onion, & Black Sesame Rolls


After many many months I am back to baking regularly - breads, cookies, cakes, bakes, you name it!! Somehow I think winter and baking go really well together. The other day I had planned on Pav-Bhaji for dinner. Though I generally make my own pav bread - the store bought rolls just don't cut it - I wanted a to try a more nutritious version of the same. After a bit or research and some creativity, here is what I came up with!!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Creamy Sun-Dried Tomato & Jalapeno Dip

Pretzels, the snacking variety, have never been a big hit with me. Whenever I tried them, I always felt that they were too salty, to malty, too hard!! Of course the liberal use of MSG in snack products has kept me always away from most of them for a while now. And this includes many processed foods in the organic, vegan, and gluten free aisles in various markets. Shocking, isn't it?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Daring Cooks January 2010: Tofu Satay with Peanut Sauce

Satay or sate is a popular street food dish consisting of sliced and marinated chicken/other meats/tofu, skewered on the midrib of a coconut leaf, and grilled or barbecued over a wood or charcoal fire. These tasty morsels are then served with a variety of spicy seasonings and dipping sauces.

It is unclear where exactly Satay originated but it is very popular in most SE Asian nations including Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines and Vietnam. Did you know that Satay has multiple variations depending on the marinade uses, method of cooking and the dipping sauces provided!!!!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Cream Scones with Dark Raisins

Cream Scones are the ultimate treat!! A quintessential part of the tradition of English Tea they are often served with clotted cream and a variety of fresh fruit jams and lemon curd. The best cream scones in England are found in the summer in the many tea houses that dot the pretty villages of the Shire counties!! The very very picturesque Cotswold's is famous for its cream teas and probably the best place to enjoy a pot of afternoon tea, freshly baked scones, and home-made strawberry jam.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Pepper n Lime Cake with a Lime Glaze Icing

My first experience with an olive oil cake was when I made my very first Sauternes cake. The divine combination of the fragrant Sauternes wine and the spiciness of the olive oil just captured my imagination and subsequently my palette. Since then, I have rarely hesitated to experiment with olive oil in my baking. I developed this version of the olive oil cake a few weeks ago after two deeply frustrating attempts at following a recipe that was meant to give me a stunning chocolate cake!! Being an intuitive cook I just knew that something was not quite right - but then the recipe came from what is widely considered a well-trusted source. Anyway, after I chucked 2 cakes in the bin, I went back to my own judgement and vowed not follow recipes after all ;)

Friday, January 1, 2010

Tangy Orange and Fig Smoothie

The holidays this year were fun, busy, exciting, busy.... need I say more :) We had family and friends over almost every weekend in the last 2 months and the Christmas break was no exception. We had a falafel lunch on the 25th - I made parsley hummus, fresh falafel, and home-made pitas. The day before I made a gorgeous three fruit marmalade, and baked a beautiful and crumbly olive oil cake. Freshly squeezed juices and blended smoothie heaven - mmmmm - what more can one ask for at the end of a long, full, and exhausting week.

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