Category Archives: Easy to make dishes

Paneer Kathi Rolls

ashuskitchen recipe -Paneer Kathi Rolls
ashuskitchen recipe -Paneer Kathi Rolls

The food packed for the school lunchbox should be nutritious, healthy, balanced and most importantly appealing to the kids. It is always challenging to manage to pack food keeping all these factors in mind, especially if the kids are foodies and very picky in taste. My kids, like most kids love Paneer, it is a good source of Vegetarian protein. It is one of the best ingredients to make recipes that are quick, easy to make as well as nutrient packed. Sharing here today one of the many recipes of Paneer that I make in my kitchen, an extremely easy and yummy roll that is best for school lunch, as breakfast or a wholesome snack for a brunch or picnic or travelling. My Jr. does not like it if I pack the vegetables and roti or paratha seperately, and hence the Wrap or Rolls always are a welcome food item.

Almost all households with kitchen have the basic spices and condiments handy, using the fresh ingredients like the paneer, green coriander, spring onions, fresh peas the rolls have a softer and more juicy filling and are very tasty. If fresh paneer and peas are not available then we can make use of frozen one, as I have done for this one. Having lived in Vadodara I am very fond of using Amul products in my kitchen and hence I sometimes get the frozen paneer packet to stock up the fridge for moments when I cannot get the fresh paneer from the stores. I am sure most of you too must be using Amul products, and have eaten Amul butter and Cheese since childhood.

INGREDIENTS: (Makes 8-10 Rolls)

Paneer: 250 gm

Mutter/ Fresh Green Peas : 100 gm

Mixed Bell Peppers : 1 cup finely chopped

Onion/Spring onion: 1 Small

Oil: 2 Tbsp

Ginger Garlic paste: 1 tsp

Coriander Powder: 1 Tbsp

Red Chili Powder: 1 Tsp

Garam Masala Powder: 1 Tsp

Chat Masala Powder: 1 -2 Tbsp (as required)

Salt : To taste

Tomato: 1 small (Optional)

METHOD:

Defrost and dip the frozen paneer in hot water, this makes it softer. Drain and dry on a kitchen tissue roll. Grate or crumble the cubes and keep in a plate.

Heat a Kadai and put 2 tsp oil into it. Add the finely chopped onion.

Then add the ginger garlic paste, saute and then add the peppers and green peas. Cook for 3-4 minutes, fresh peas do not take long to cook.

Then add the paneer crumble and sprinkle all the dried spices and salt and mix well. Turn off the heat and lastly add the teaspoon of the garam masala powder.

The filling for the roll is ready.

Take the chapati and apply the parsley or Basil pesto if you have it handy, then take a tablespoon of the paneer filling and lay it on the chapati, sprinkle pinch of chaat masala and roll the chapati carefully and tightly so that the filling does not spill out.

Roll out this size Chapati
Roll out this size Chapati
ashuskitchen recipe-Paneer Kathi Roll
ashuskitchen recipe-Paneer Kathi Roll

Make all the rolls and keep them in the grill machine for couple minutes so that the rolls become crispy on the outside and retain the shape.

Cut the rolls and serve with a dip or simply pack them as is for the school or office lunchbox.

NOTE: The tomato can be finely chopped and spread over the filling if the rolls are eaten instantly or otherwise can be added to the Paneer filling when it is being cooked.

For making the chapati follow the fulka recipe here. I made the roti a bigger size than the Fulka and applied oil/ghee on top of the roti and cooked it on the Tava/fry pan and not puffing it on the gas stove as for Fulka.

For the Parsley or Basil pesto follow the recipe here.

You could avoid using the pesto and apply coriander mint chutney too if that is handy. I always keep these pesto handy in the refrigerator and hence I can make the rolls at any given time as all the ingredients are readily available in my kitchen.

This recipe was saved to draft and was supposed to be on the blog earlier in January, but I completely forgot about it. I had made these rolls for my daughter when she was attending a Concert in Abu Dhabi on the New Year’s eve 🙂 .

Hope you like this Zhat -pat recipe of mine and try it out in your kitchen.

Enjoy!

ashu.

 

 

 

Parsley Pesto

Ashu's-Parsley Pesto/Chutney
Ashu’s-Parsley Pesto/Chutney

Today sharing with you all my Parsley pesto recipe, I have started making this only recently, from the last 2-3 years. I have always loved the Basil pesto in all the dishes that it is used, but it is not easily available in the nearby stores around my residence. Parsley is abundantly seen in every vegetable selling supermarkets, hence always on hand, and always in the list of purchased vegetables. While staying in India I always made the coriander chutney or coriander-mint chutney for any savory snacks, but this is one pesto that is equally loved by my kids. It has a strong and distinct flavor and has a different taste and hence quite a change for us from the regular green coriander and mint chutney (dhania & pudina).

Parsley has been added to my food list and cooking only after I started living here in the UAE. Parsley is used in many dishes in the middle east. It is seen in salads, well known being the Tabbouleh in which it is mixed with Bulgar wheat (will keep that as a separate post for future) :).

The recipe I am sharing is how I make this Parsley pesto in my kitchen, adjusted to our taste preferences and hence the selection of ingredients too. This may not be the traditional way of making the pesto. I used the pistachio nuts the first time I made this, pine nuts were not in my kitchen pantry, and hence have continued using them every time I make this pesto. The taste, different flavors and texture of the ingredients makes the dip a much relished condiment in my house, kids love it with sandwich, flat-breads, and toasted baguette slices. You can add it to your egg omelette too. When my elder sister visited my place this year, she too loved the dip, hence this post is also for all my family and friends who would like to use Parsley in regular meals but might have double thoughts whether to use or not because of its strong flavor. Go ahead and try it out and see if you like the taste. Parsley is a very good antioxidant, also good source of Folic acid, Vitamins C and A etc.

PARSLEY PESTO/CHUTNEY

INGREDIENTS:

Parsley: 1 bunch

Pistachios: 50 gm (increase the quantity if you want more nutty taste)

Green Chili: 2 small (Adjust it to own taste prefrence)

Garlic: 3 cloves

Olive oil: 3 Tbsp

Lemon: 2 Medium-sized

Salt: To taste

METHOD:

Clean and wash the Parsley leaves. Chop them roughly.

Put the chopped parsley leaves, chilies, garlic and pistachio nut in a mixer pot and grind to make a smooth paste.

Ashu's-Parsley pesto
Ashu’s-Parsley pesto

Add the lemon juice and olive oil after every few whisks, it becomes easier to grind to paste. Finally add the salt and give the final whisk. Remove the contents into a bowl, check the taste and adjust if more lemon or oil is needed.

Ashu's-Parsley Pesto
Ashu’s-Parsley Pesto

We can add the extra oil, if required, when using as a dip.

Ashu's-Parsley Pesto
Ashu’s-Parsley Pesto
Ashu's- Parsley Pesto
Ashu’s- Parsley Pesto

The above picture shows what was made for dinner last Sunday along with the Parsley pesto as a dip, I will make that as the next post, so do visit to find out what the new recipe would be :). Our weekend starts, wishing you all a good day and a happy weekend to those who reside in this part of the world.

Enjoy!

ashu.

Sweet Corn Chaat/Salad

#ashuskitchen- Sweet Corn Chaat/Salad
ashuskitchen- Sweet Corn Chaat/Salad

Salads are an essential part of the regular Indian meal. Most meals do have some or the other type of salad, chutney, koshimbirs, raitas etc as a component of the Indian Thali.  Foodies who love salads would understand how one is drawn towards the salad table at the buffets. I am very fond of salads and lately have been adding dried fruits too to my salads, it helps us to eat the daily intake that should be part of our food. Fiber is the undigested part of our food that is present in the whole grains, vegetables and fruits, whole pulses or legumes etc. that provide us with the essential roughage or bulk and thus aid in proper bowel movement and helps to prevent constipation .

I won’t be wrong if I write that for most Indians the word Chaat results in instant tingling of the taste buds and sudden mouth-watering moments. Chaats are blend of sweet, sour and spicy taste with the savory factor added too. It is a dish that creates a happy riot in the mouth with the over production of saliva by the salivary glands and one is left drooling till the Chaat vendor serves the ready dish in our hands.

When I am looking out to make easy, yet interesting, menu options at home from the ingredients that are almost always available in the refrigerator, I came up with this simple, refreshing, mouth tantalizing dish that I am sharing with you all.

One can call it a Chaat or Salad as I have added the sweetcorn for the fiber and its sweetness, crunchy salad vegetables, threw in some dried berries to give out the sweetness, sprinkled the lemon juice for the sourness, added the green chili/red chili powder for the spice, added the nuts for the nutty crunch in the bite and lastly sprinkled with the savory food-the fine Sev. I made this as a light dinner menu and served with lot of fine Sev sprinkled on top and savory Papdi and hence I called it Sweetcorn Chaat. If I avoid the Sev, then I would call it a salad and serve it with roasted Papad along with meals.

Sweetcorn Chaat/ Salad:

INGREDIENTS:

Sweetcorn: 2 Corn cob (Boiled)

Bell Peppers: 1/2 each Red/Yellow/Orange

Cucumber: 1 Medium-sized

Onion: 1 Medium-sized

Tomato: 1 Medium-sized

Fine Sev: 100 gm

Mixed nuts: 30 gm (Almonds, Pistachios, walnuts)

Dried Berries: 2 Tbsp (Blueberries/Cranberries)

Raisins: 1 Tbsp

Lemon: 1 Medium-sized

Green Coriander: 1 Tbsp finely chopped

Green Chilli: 2 or Red Chilli powder 1 Tsp

Salt: To Taste

Pepper: 1 Tsp

Chaat Masala: 2 Tsp

METHOD:

Boil the corn in a Pressure cooker, 2 whistles. (I used raw corn and hence preferred to boil it in cooker). Then remove the corn from the cob.

Sweetcorn Chaat
Sweetcorn Chaat

Finely chop all the salad vegetables (bell peppers, cucumber, tomato, onion, green coriander, chili as shown in the picture below.

Salad vegetables
Salad vegetables

Take a big glass bowl, add the boiled corn, the cut vegetables, the dried chopped nuts, the dried berries, raisins, the seasonings, chopped chilli and green coriander, sprinkle the lemon juice and then mix/toss all the ingredients. Check the seasoning and adjust according to ones taste. I have also added sliced almonds. (I oven roasted the Almonds, coarsely chopped and then added.)

Mix all the ingredients of the Corn Chaat in a glass bowl.
Mix all the ingredients of the Corn Chaat in a glass bowl.

Just before serving add the fine Sev on top and give the final toss and serve along with papdi.

Sweetcorn Chaat
Sweetcorn Chaat

This chaat tasted so yum and ended up becoming the dinner menu. As one can note the salad is full of fiber and hence it becomes filling for the tummy. The fresh berries might not be regularly available at home, as here in the UAE it is not locally produced. We all are aware of the importance of including the berries in our diet and I keep the dried ones handy, works well to toss them into lot many dishes. These dried berries and raisins impart the necessary sweetness to the chaat, hence we do not need to add any sweet chutney which is essential for any chaat preparation. If one has mint and coriander chutney handy, one could also use that or the freshly chopped herbs too work well as they add the required freshness. Do give this sumptuous healthy dish a try to enjoy with each bite the different flavors and texture of this delicious Sweetcorn Chaat or salad from ashuskitchen :).

I wanted to share a healthy, nutritious snack menu with you all and hence the post for this March month. Do also give importance to include some part of physical activity in your daily schedules, apart from eating healthy meals.

Eat well and stay fit :).  Enjoy!

ashu

 

Green Papaya Paratha

#Ashuskitchen- Raw Green Papaya Paratha
#Ashuskitchen- Raw Green Papaya Paratha

Greetings from Ashu to all the readers. It has been a sudden unexpected absence from this online space of mine and  I sure missed posting new posts. Starting this new day of March with one of my healthier recipes, Green Papaya Paratha that uses raw papaya as the main ingredient of the recipe.

Parathas are a common menu item in the Indian household, a well accepted food by all, be it the kids, young or old folks. One can have any number of possibilities or types of parathas. It is one of my favorite dishes to make for breakfast, nothing beats the hot stuffed parathas and achar/pickle on a chilly winter morning. I have very fond memories of the yummy parathas that I used to make in the winter months during my stay in North India.

Breakfast happens to be the most essential meal of the day and hence one should try and make sure to eat a wholesome, healthy one on a regular basis. The necessity to make a nutritious breakfast made me try out this different paratha, making use of the raw papaya that I had got from the market. Papaya fruit has lot of health benefits. It is a rich source of antioxidants and phytonutrients that work against free radicals, is great source of Vitamins A, B, C and K, a good source of fiber, also has the digestive enzyme Papain and thus helps in digestion too. It is also rich in calcium and some other minerals. The taste of grated raw papaya is also very refreshing and one can make use of it to make many dishes, but here I incorporated it to make the filling of the parathas and with little addition of oil, the crispy and hot parathas were heartily devoured. If you have not tried this paratha then I suggest you to try once and then decide.

Many a times one is faced with taking care of a sick loved one and is faced with the question to what type of food to include in the regular diet. This Paratha would make an excellent snack or meal menu option as it is wholesome, with vegetable that has fiber, vitamins, is good for digestion and as is a regularly made food item in Indian houses hence one does not have to put extra efforts in its preparation. When cooking for family or loved ones, do make the food with a smile and add loads of your love to it.

 Recipe for Green Papaya Paratha:

INGREDIENTS:

Raw Green Papaya: 1 Small

Green Chilli: 2

Green Coriander: 1 Tbsp

Sesame seeds: 2 Tbsp

Carrom seeds: 1 Tsp

Wheat Flour: 250 Gm

Water: 1 Glass

Oil: 50 ml

Turmeric: 1 Tsp

Red Chili Powder: 1 Tsp (Optional)

Salt : To Taste

Chaat Masala: 2 Tsp

METHOD:

Wash and dry the raw papaya. Cut into half and remove the seeds if any. Grate both the halves of the papaya and put in a bowl.

Finely chop the green chilies and green coriander and add to the bowl of grated papaya.

Add sesame seeds, carom seeds, red chili powder, salt, turmeric, and mix all the ingredients of the bowl.

Grated Papaya with masala
Grated Papaya with masala

In another bowl make a medium-soft dough of the wheat flour using water. For method of making wheat flour dough click here.

Make lemon-sized balls of the dough. Take a dough ball and roll out a small round puri and add the raw papaya filling, close the edges and again roll to make a circular Paratha.

IMG_3956

IMG_3958

IMG_3959

Heat a Frypan or Tava on the gas flame and cook both side of the paratha, apply oil as per taste.

Cook paratha golden brown
Cook paratha golden brown
Apply oil and Cook paratha on both side till golden brown or crispy.
Apply oil and Cook paratha on both side till golden brown or crispy.
Green Papaya Paratha/Flatbread
Green Papaya Paratha/Flatbread

Once the parathas are ready, one can sprinkle Chaat masala powder over them and serve with either a yogurt raita or a mint yogurt chutney or Tomato Ketchup.

IMG_3965
Green Papaya Paratha

Enjoy!

ashu.

 

 

 

 

 

Gongura Chutney

This post is of one of my favorite chutneys. I cannot stop myself from buying this leafy vegetable whenever I see it on the leafy section of the supermarket. I love the way my mother cooks this particular greens. She adds a lot of oil and onions and makes it as a Sabzi, I use less oil in my cooking, but I still love her style of cooking this recipe. Here I am posting my adaptation of my mother’s recipe, I make a chutney of the sabzi by blending it all to fine paste in the mixer pot so that I can bottle it up and use whenever I wish. Initially after coming to this place, on couple of occasions I purchased the Gongura pickle of Priya brand, but not anymore. I like my chutney recipe the best, as I always add a healthy twist and try and make the recipe to my specification and liking.

One does not get to see this leafy bunch very regularly on the stands, but it is available, and hence I never let go of the opportunity when I see it in the market. I have seen bigger bundles of these greens sold in Indian markets, but here have to do with small bunches of leaf stems that make up the bundle. But something is always better than nothing, and hence the chutney version of cooking this greens.

As not all days of the week see us with pleasant moods, sometimes our moods do become sour on some pretext or other, in same context not all leafy greens are sweetish or pleasant to taste. This particular green is very sour in taste, and it is for this reason I like to make a chutney of this and eat along with rice and dal combinations whenever I wish to eat plain and simple food. It adds the necessary tang to the taste buds. Also, it goes well with some parathas too.

Kenaf or Gongura leaf
Kenaf or Gongura leaf

When my mother was visiting me, she gave me this tip of how to reduce the sourness from the leaves.

How to reduce the sourness from the Gongura leaves: Heat water in a bowl and put the Gongura leaves in this boiling water and cook just for a minute or so, and then drain away the water. The longer the leaves are boiled, the less the sour taste. Mother usually boils it for more than a minute, but as the leaves are few in the bundles sold here, I just give it a minute to boil and then drain. This reduces the extremely sour taste of the leaves.

INGREDIENTS:

Gongura leaves: 1 small bunch

Onion: 1 small

Green Chili: 2 no.

Garlic cloves: 2-3

Cumin: 1 Tsp

Flax seeds: 1 Tsp

Oil: 2 Tbsp

Salt: To taste

METHOD:

  1. Blanch the leaves to reduce the sourness. Chop the onion, garlic cloves and green chilli.
  2. Gongura Chutney ingredients
    Gongura Chutney ingredients

     

  3. Heat a pan on the gas stove and add 1 Tbsp oil in it. Add the cumin and flax seeds, then add the green chili, garlic and onion. Cook till the onion is pinkish, then add the blanched Gongura leaves and season with required amount of salt.
  4. Gongura sabzi
    Gongura sabzi

    Cook for few minutes so that the salt is mixed properly with the leaves and all the water, if any present,  is dried off, and then put off the flame. Remove the contents into a bowl. Once cooled, transfer to a mixer pot and  blend to get a fine paste.

  5. Empty the contents into a storing jar and add all the remain oil to it.
Gongura Chutney
Gongura Chutney

This is my version of making this simple and delectably tangy chutney.

I have yet to use these Gongura leaves to make any other vegetarian or non-vegetarian recipes in my kitchen. I have seen  and drooled over the Gongura prawn recipe pictures and hence I do have thoughts of trying to incorporate these leaves into one of my prawn recipes to find out how it would taste. May be I should also try and make a dal using these leaves. I will try some more recipes of Gongura in the coming New year and make posts, my New year plans, hence sharing my thoughts with you all here.

Lastly, just as we find tips and tricks of reducing the sourness in the vegetables, in the same way let us try and reduce or eliminate the sour moods that engulf us on some days and make each day a pleasant one. A herculean task to change ones bad mood, but one can always try, right? On this thought I end my last post for this November month. Wishing you all a great start to the new month of December from tomorrow.

ashu.

 

Olive Oil & Mint Dip

IMG_5779
Olive Oil & Mint Dip

This recipe was the invention of the day I made Vegetarian Dough Balls, recipe 2. I prefer to call it my Desi twist to the Videshi oil.

Olive oil is one of the favorite oils that I use in my cooking. It is added to most of the chutneys and freshly ground Pestos that I make. I loved the slight minty taste giving to the olive oil by adding freshly made Pudina chutney, brushing this oil or serving it as a dip with the Dough balls was loved by all.

Sharing with you all here a very simple, but a distinctively flavorful dip. We can prepare ahead and keep the Pudina Chutney ready in the refrigerator and mix it with Olive oil to make this quick dip and apply it over bread, parathas, or serve with any savory baked dishes or also apply to toast and grab a quick snack at any time. Mixing this with freshly cut salad vegetables and tossing it makes a quick yum vegetable salad. The choice is yours on how you can use it, give it a try.

INGREDIENTS:

Olive Oil: 100 gm

For Pudina Chutney:

Fresh Mint: 1/2 Bunch (100 gm)

Green Coriander: few springs (25 gm)

Green Chili: 1 or 2

Garlic: 1 Clove

Salt: To taste

METHOD:

  • Clean the mint and coriander bunches and wash the leaves.
  • Grind the garlic, green chili, mint and coriander leaves together in a mixer pot and get a smooth paste. Add salt as per taste.
  • Take the olive oil in a bowl.
  • Take 1 tbsp. of the mint and coriander chutney and mix it with the oil.
  • Our Olive oil with Pudina chutney dip is ready.
IMG_5777
Mix the Pudina Chutney with the Olive oil

I used this dip with the Dough Balls.

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Vegetarian Dough Balls with Olive oil & Mint Dip

 

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Vegetarian Dough Ball with the dip.

Have fun trying out the dip in your kitchen.

ashu

Spicy Mushroom

From ashuskitchen
From ashuskitchen

The food cooked in my kitchen has a good mix of spices that are used in most Indian households. The kitchen masala box is the most essential or rather my magic box that is opened for adding its contents to each dish that I am preparing, and a good amount of turmeric, chili powder, coriander powder, garam masala etc. gets used on a daily basis for making the vegetables or non-vegetarian food of the day. I add turmeric to all the sabjis and dals that I make, but of course with some exceptions like the Dal Makhni and some legumes etc.  I have always marveled at the magic of the different spices and herbs in our Indian cooking that makes each dish so unique and different. India being a big country comprising of different states, with the methods of cooking  varying from region to region, it sure is my pride to belong to this wonderful nation. The south style of cooking varies from the Maharashtrian style, the state from where I belong. Having moved residence within few states of India since the time I got married, yeah you can say the time since I started cooking on a daily basis, resulted in a little bit of adaptation of cooking styles of those particular regions. Having lived in Gujrat I was able to learn the Gujrati cuisine, new dishes for me then, from my friendly neighbors, now they have become part of my frequently cooked menus, with the Undhiyo a vegetarian delicacy made during the winter season being the most favorite.  Similarly, living in the north of India, the cold weather during winters saw me making a whole lot of paratha varieties that were definitely never eaten during my own growing up days. The point to emphasize here is that travelling from one place to another definitely enriches our lives as well as benefits our food habits, we get to learn a lot and include a lot of variety in our regular home menus. So those who all love travelling do keep venturing out to new destinations, and those who have not moved from place to place then folks it’s high time that you need to start exploring new places.

Let us get cooking our today’s recipe. The Spicy Mushroom is my method of cooking and giving them the perfect spicy taste that works best as a filling in rolls, wraps, and even Sandwiches.  The mushrooms used are the ones that are abundantly seen in the supermarkets here.  The spices used are all easily available at home, used in my daily cooking. This is a very easy and Zatpat cooked sabzi, and this is one of the many that is made for kids school lunch, which they have always loved eating.

INGREDIENTS:

Mushrooms-1box

Oil-1 Tbsp

Chili Powder- 2 Tsp

Coriander & Cumin powder- 1 Tbsp

Salt-To taste

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METHOD:

Wipe the mushrooms clean with a damp cloth or kitchen towel. Dice them or cut them into small size.

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Heat oil in a pan or Karahi on the gas stove. Add the mushrooms and sauté, the gas flame should be on high. This helps to dry the water that is seen while cooking mushrooms.

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Then add the spices and salt, and cook till all the water is dry. Cooking on high flame with continuous stirring helps to dry the water and the mushrooms get cooked fast without becoming too soggy and limp.

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Mushrooms do not take long to cook and after adding the masala care should be taken as to not burn the spices by reducing the flame of the gas stove to medium, if required. The sabzi is ready once all the spices are mixed with the mushrooms . Remove the karahi from the gas stove and empty the contents into a bowl. Our spicy mushroom filling is ready for use.

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Tips: The mushrooms could be used as filling in Roti Rolls/Wraps, along with other salads, chutneys, or sauces. Check the Fulka/Roti recipe here. It can be eaten along with plain roti, ghee roti or parathas too.

Do look out for my future post of how I make use of this spicy mushroom filling for my breakfast dishes. Until next time, have a great culinary experience friends.

Enjoy!!

ashu

 

 

Egg Frankie Roll, a healthy Wrap.

My greetings to all who are reading this post. Finally I am back home here after a 20-day vacation to India to escape the harsh summer days of the UAE and to enjoy the rains in my hometown. With the schools re-opening after a gap it is back to packing nutritious lunch for my Jr. The Egg Frankie is one of the favorite lunchbox food in my household.

When living in a multicultural place with many nationalities and the subsequent presence of different cuisine restaurants and food outlets, with kids having specific food liking, it is a balancing act for this mother to give them as much healthy food as possible and also not to deny them convenience food/junk food that all kiddos are so much fond of. I have tried packing their lunch boxes with as healthy and always fresh homemade food with a lot of varieties of Wraps, Frankie, Parathas, Sandwiches, Burgers etc as snack time food or main meals and hence wish to share my recipes here with my Co-sisters, family members and all other readers who have small kids and who wish to introduce some new menu for the daily eating.

Wraps are the best on-the-go food item that can serve as a snack or main meal of the day. Being an Indian, and habituated to eating a complete balanced meal of rice, dal, roti and sabji during both the main meals of the day, I find Wraps as quite filling for the tummy and can become a complete meal with the addition of some accompaniments. The inside filling of the Wraps can be of anything, and this opens up a whole lot of food choices and combinations for us to decide and make use of. The whole family loves eating vegetarian, as well as non-vegetarian Wraps.

I first happened to eat this egg Frankie during my school days in the Coffee shop of my schoolmate. I had never even heard of it before as mother never made it. Her family had newly moved from Delhi and they had opened up a small Coffee and Frankie outlet. Egg rolls, as they are also known as, are very common sight on Delhi streets. The shop sold the best egg and chicken frankies then, freshly made in front of us and occasionally I would parcel them en-route home from school. Now I make these myself in my kitchen and my kids never say no to a frankie breakfast or for the school lunchbox. It is absolutely easy to prepare and the best in taste.

Let us get making these super yum breakfast-Egg Frankies. For the Wraps, I use the whole wheat flour dough for making the roti. You can look up the roti recipe here. One can use refined flour dough too, but I try to keep it as healthy a choice as possible.

INGREDIENTS: To make the dough Rolls: Click link to follow Fulka recipe to make rolls.

Whole wheat flour or Refined Flour: 2 Cups
Water: 1 glass, sufficient to make a medium-stiff dough
Eggs: 3
Onion: 1
Tomato: 1
Optional: Bell peppers-1
Lemon-1
Oil- 2 Tbsp

Seasoning:
Black Pepper powder: 2 Tsp
Chaat Masala: 1 Tbsp
Salt: To Taste

Makes 4-5 depending upon the roll size and thickness. The roll should be bigger and thicker than Fulka.

METHOD:
Make thin slices of the onion and tomato. The bell peppers should also be thinly sliced. Try and keep them the same length as the tomato and onion slices. Season the slices with salt, pepper powder and chaat masala.

Ingredients for making the Frankie rolls.
Ingredients for making the Frankie rolls.

Break the eggs into a bowl, season with salt and pepper and beat using a whisk. keep this ready.

Follow the Fulka recipe, and roll out the dough to make a 8”-9” chappati (own preference). Heat a fry pan and put the chappati and cook on both sides, then pour the beaten egg mix on the roti and as the egg gets cooked add the oil.

Roti with beaten egg
Roti with beaten egg

Flip the egg part down and apply oil to top part of the roll, take care not to burn the egg. Flip the roll and let the bottom part get bit crisper, then remove from pan. Make all the Frankie rolls and keep.

Prepare the roll with the onion tomato filling.
Prepare the roll with the onion tomato filling.

Squeeze lemon juice, sprinkle salt, pepper, and chaat masala on the Frankie roll. Put the seasoned onion,tomato, and bell pepper slices on the Frankie and tightly roll it.

Egg Frankie Rolls
Egg Frankie Rolls

NOTE: One could use finely chopped green chilies or sprinkle red chili flakes on the frankie roll to make them more hot in taste. Adding Tandoori Chicken (for recipe click here) chunks inside the roll also makes them very tasty.

Tip: The bottom surface of the Frankie roll should be made a bit crisper, this makes the roll taste best and adds a crunch to the bite.

SERVING: Cut the roll into two by giving a slant cut using a sharp knife, and serve with either Tomato or Chili sauce.

I loved bringing this recipe to the blog, and hope you too would enjoy making it in your kitchen. Until the next post, here is wishing you all lots of happiness.

Ashu

Dry Bhindi/Okra Masala

Greetings from ashu to all my lovely readers who keep me connected to the blog on a daily basis, in spite of me not being regular in my blog postings. It is an overwhelming feeling and gives me a  sense of satisfaction to view that  maybe someone out there is trying out my style of cooking😃. Thank you folks.

June month saw me visiting my homeland for the wedding of my dearest nephew, a tall handsome young man. It was a week full of fun time with my ever-increasing family, the innumerable wedding functions, grand meals, the dancing, and not to forget all the decking up in lovely saris etc. Weddings in my family have always been grand affairs and the trend still continues even for this generation of kids. All in all it was a fantastic time spent with the whole extended family. The month also brings with it the advancing Monsoons to my homeland, the much awaited rains after a harsh summer. Living in this part of the world where there is scant rainfall and extreme summer months, the home bound trip during the harsh summers is always most cherished. The parched dry land gets soaked in the heavy downpour of rain, petrichor emanating from the ground makes it a heavenly experience. The markets are flooded with fresh stocks of seasonal fruits and vegetables, the foodie in me is on a drooling junket all along.  Though it turned out to be a short trip, but I enjoyed some fantastic food dishes, Amrakhand being one of the most favourite. I will be posting my homemade Amrakhand recipe as July post, do look out for it.

Today I share here my way of preparing dry Bhindi masala(Ladies’ finger) recipe with you all. This recipe is on my list as one of dishes when I plan a vegetarian meal or as a vegetable portion while planning a non vegetarian dish. It is extremely simple and is one of the easy-to-make-dishes. When buying the Okra do select the small variety as they can be kept full length and not cut into small size. In case small variety is not available then take which ever you get and try to cut even sized portions.

Preparing the vegetables before starting to make the dish is convenient and  prevents burning of the ingredients that are in oil.

INGREDIENTS:

Okra: 250gm

Onion: 1 Medium

Garlic: 2-3 cloves

Turmeric: 1/2 Tsp

Salt: As per taste.

Oil: 3 Tbsp. (As per preference, but it is always healthy to eat as less oil as one can)

Dry Masala:

Chaat masala Powder: 1Tbsp

Red Chilli Powder: 2Tsp

Dry Coriander Powder: 1Tbsp

Cumin Powder: 1Tsp

Garam Masala: 1 Tsp.

METHOD:

Wash, clean and pat dry the okra with a kitchen towel. Cut and discard both the ends of each okra and give a slit to it so we can apply dry masala paste to the insides. Peel and slice the garlic. Slice the onion.

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Take a small bowl, put 1 tbsp oil and add and mix the dry masala powders with it. (Mix these with oil-chaat masala, coriander powder, cumin powder, little red chilli powder, salt, pinch of turmeric, and the garam masala.)

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Apply this masala paste inside the slit okra and keep aside for 10-15 min.

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Heat a Kadai or pan on the gas stove. Add the remaining oil to the kadai.  Add the sliced garlic, onions and saute till the onions are pinkish in colour. Add the chilli powder, turmeric, and salt. Then put the prepared okra and cover the kadai or pan for 2-3 minutes with a lid and remove the cover.  Cook the okra on slow heat for 10-15 min or till they are just soft. Once done empty into a serving bowl and garnish with freshly chopped green coriander.

Tip:  One could also sprinkle some red pomegranate pearls on top as garnish to give it a more inviting look.

Dry Bhindi Masala
Dry Bhindi Masala

Each kitchen has its unique way of preparing the vegetables, though the ingredients might be same but a difference in method results in different taste, and this is my favourite method for preparing the small okra. I prepare a lentil combination or Dal Tadka to go along with this dish as a lunch or dinner time meal. Do give it a try and leave a comment if you like it.

Happy Cooking and enjoying each meal of the day.

ashu

Idli Fry-my Italian combination

 

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Idli , a personal favourite breakfast food that made my Sunday mornings special, as a child. It is something that I prefer even now for our weekend breakfasts, with the full family in attendance. But it also happens to be something that is on a ‘Not to Eat’ list of my daughter, so even though me and hubby would look forward to this breakfast she would always be absent from the breakfast table on these days under some pretense.

Idli’s are made up of a fermented batter of ground rice and Urad dal (Black gram), are a complete balanced food, rich in protein, one of the best breakfast foods. They are usually served  with Chutney and Sambar that makes it a wholesome balanced meal, the Sambar is made with lentils that has vegetables added.

This particular recipe was made as an attempt to make my daughter give the idli’s a try. As she never relished the plain steamed version, hence I used some pizza topping ingredients and made this dish and served to my hungry kiddo as her evening snack. She simple loved the taste, and thus this simple recipe was created. It is simple and hence young kids who are interested in cooking can also try this out. The left over Idlis can be best used in this way.

INGREDIENTS:

Idlis: 4 number

Olive oil: 1 Tbsp

Red Chilli Flakes: 1 Tsp

Parmesan Cheese: 2 Tbsp(grated)

Salt & Dried Oregano Herb: As seasoning.

Mozzarella Cheese: Optional

Note: Any cooking oil of choice can be used. The cheese used also can be of choice, but using Parmesan was my choice.

METHOD:

Steamed Idlis cut into small
  1.  Cut the idlis into small cubes.
  2. Heat a pan on the gas flame and add the cooking oil to it. Add the idli cubes to the oil and toss till the cubes become crisper.
  3. Sprinkle the chilli flakes, salt, oregano herb and toss well so that the idli cubes get coated.
  4. Grate the Parmesan cheese on the idlis and give it final toss. Then switch off the flame of the pan. The yummy idlis are ready to be served with a tangy chilli sauce.
With grated Mozzarella cheese on top.
With grated Mozzarella cheese on top.

This simple yet nutritious food can be served in many ways. Here I have made my kiddos favourite recipe as the first one on Idlis, many more posts will be posted as my upcoming posts, as and when I make them in my Kitchen. Until then if you find this interesting then do give it a try.

Wishing you all happy and healthy eating days!

Enjoy! 🙂

ashu

 

 

 

 

Mixed Fruit and Vegetable Salad

IMG_6426The month of March brings with it the Indian festival of Holi, which is a  festival of colours that creates an atmosphere of fun and joy all around. This festival, a celebration of arrival of Spring, brings together people of all age groups enjoying throwing and splashing colour and water on each others. It is one of my favourite, and I definitely had lot of fun moments this year too.

Friends, just as the colours in Nature marvels our mind and soul, a couple brush strokes of paint on a white canvas brings out life in form of a picture, so does the different coloured vegetables and fruits in our diet work their wonder on our body. They are power packed sources of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, dietary fibres etc. adding bulk and fullness. Just with mixing of couple raw vegetables and fruits we too can create something wonderful in our kitchen to give us a reason to raid the refrigerator without a guilt, on a hot summer afternoon. My food plate has to have a splash of colour in terms of the food choices and today sharing here one of my favourite salads, a very colourful one for the sight that definitely draws our attention and tickles the taste buds with its combination of sweet and tangy flavours. The combination of fruits and vegetables added purely depends on personal taste, and one could make it as versatile as one wants it to be. To get a nutty taste do not forget to throw in some dried nuts of  choice.

INGREDIENTS:

Bell peppers: 1/2 Yellow, Green, Red, Orange

Carrot: 1 Small

Cucumber: 1 Medium

Strawberries: 3-4

Blueberries: a handful

Grapes: few (preferably seedless)

Apple: 1/2

Orange: 1

Pomegranate: 1

Nuts: Almonds or Walnuts: A handful.

Salt and Pepper- For seasoning.

Olive oil: 1Tsp

METHOD:

  1. Wash and towel dry all the vegetables and fruits.
  2. Remove the pearls from the pomegranate.(Click Here to see how to do it) Remove the skin of the apples and orange.
  3. Cut all the vegetables and fruits into small even size and put into a bowl. Mix the pomegranate pearls into this.
  4. Sprinkle sliced almonds or any roughly crushed nuts of choice into the bowl mix. Add the olive oil.
  5. Season with salt and pepper and toss all the ingredients together to mix properly so the different flavours are infused together.

I like the salad cold and hence use all vegetables and fruits that are just taken out from the fridge. Use fresh fruits and vegetables to get the crunch in the bite. One could also add sliced pistachios or cashewnuts. Chat masala can also be added, but I prefer only salt and pepper.

Go ahead, try eating this fresh salad after a good workout😉, you will definitely feel refreshed.

Enjoy!

Shrimps Stir Fry In Schezwan Sauce

Hello to my dear friends, family, and all the readers of this post. Starting this month’s blog post using Shrimps as the main ingredient of the dish, a favourite food at my place. Most of the non-vegetarian eaters would agree with me that shrimps are one of the very tasty seafood varieties. They are smaller in size and taste sweet and this stir fry recipe brings out the best of the sweetness of the shrimps and fiery taste of the chillies in the sauce. My household, as well as many others in my family have a typical cooking style for seafood, mine is mostly influenced by the curry that I have grown-up eating since childhood. After marriage, the time when I started cooking, I have developed a favouritism to the Goanese style of making seafood curry, something that is relished a lot with plain, hot steamed rice.

Different culinary experiences have influenced change in the choices and taste buds of the family, something that I find is good but sometimes equally challenging, especially on days when this chef has no mood of cooking. Yes friends, you have read it correct, I too have moments when I shut down my kitchen as the chef in me wants a break 😉. But with the abundance of variety of junk food around to woo and tempt, and spoil the eating habits of the young generation, the mother in me has to dish out dishes that can appeal to the kids and make them come back for more. My cooking is my way of ensuring to the young minds that home cooked food can be innovative, appealing, restaurant style and at the same time tasty too!

This weekend was a seafood special in my kitchen, so Thursday evening I was at the Fish Market buying the choicest of fish from the fish vendor, I have always done my seafood purchasing from this one person since living in this place. The best part of buying from the same vendor is that he knows what type of fish we buy and always gives the best stock, and as you would all agree that fresh food always tastes yum. As I was driving home with my load of the three varieties of seafood I was making plans to cook something different from the shrimps. My kids are fond of shrimp fritters that I make, my modified version of the recipe I ate at my Aunt’s house first time. I had planned to make and it would have been posted here now, but something else got cooked and now that fritter recipe would be shared as a future post. (Do keep visiting the blog for the other recipes mentioned that would be posted sometime soon)

This easy stir fry recipe was super hit with my Jr. who could not stop coming back for more of it. It could be served as an appetizer or side dish with noodles, or enjoyed as the main dish of the meal like my Jr. did.

SHRIMPS STIR FRY IN SCHEZWAN SAUCE

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INGREDIENTS:

Shrimps: 400 g

Onion: 1 Medium

Bell Pepper: 1 nu.

Ching’s secret Schezwan Sauce: 1 Tbsp IMG_6111

Oil: 1 Tbsp

Salt: To taste.

METHOD:

  1. Peel, devein, and wash the shrimps clean. Pat them dry and keep in the refrigerator till we prepare other vegetables.
  2. Slice the onion and bell pepper.
  3. Heat the cooking oil of choice, I used extra virgin Olive oil. Add the sliced onion and bell pepper and sauté. Then add the shrimps. Sprinkle salt as per taste.
  4. Add the Ching’s secret stir fry Schezwan sauce to the pan and toss all the ingredients so that it gets evenly coated. Cook for a couple of minutes keeping the pan on high flame so that the sauce is coated well and the shrimps look cooked and bit grilled.IMG_6057
  5. Remove the pan from fire and empty the contents on to a serving plate and serve hot with a tangy spiced salad using chat masala or ketchup if you prefer a more sweeter taste.

The sauce added can be adjusted to ones preference depending on the chilli taste required in the dish. The shrimps or prawns do not require long cooking as this makes the flesh tough and that alters the taste and eating experience. Stir frying of food  by mixing it with spices, or herbs, or sauces of choice adds a different dimension to the same old regular ingredient. Adding vegetables to the meat adds the crunch in the bite and also one could play around with varied tastes using different vegetables. Adding the onion and bell pepper gives out a more sweeter taste to the sweet shrimps and the chillies in the sauce make it hot at the same time.

Happy cooking and tasting this simple, yet satiating recipe. See you all soon with a new post.

 

 

 

 

Sprouted Moong (Green Gram) Tikki

IMG_2013Sprouted Moong Tikkis: This is another of my highly nutritious, healthy and low-fat recipes. These tikkis can be made in minimal oil to reduce the fat calories. I like the taste of the sprouts and hence kept the list of ingredients minimal in the recipe.

Sprouts are the vegetable source of proteins in our diet, and are also rich in fiber, vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants. The sprouting process makes the seeds, lentils easier to digest.

Ingredients: Sprouted Green gram: 1 Bowl

Onion: 1 Small

Cumin: 1 tsp

Green Chilli: 2 no

Oil-1 Tsp

Salt  to taste.

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Method: 

Coarsely ground the sprouted moong and green chillies in a mixer bowl and empty it in a bowl.

Chop the small onion finely, and add it to the coarsely ground moong. Dry roast the cumin and add to this mix.

Season the moong mixture with salt.

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Heat a fry pan on the gas stove and add 1 tsp oil for greasing the pan. Scoop spoonful mixture and put in the pan, give it a shape of tikki. Cook the tikkis on medium to slow flame, and evenly on both side by turning it.

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Serve it hot with green chutney or any sauce of choice, though I prefer to eat them plain.

These healthy tikkis can be served as a power-packed breakfast dish or as one of the dishes for a brunch menu on weekends.

Enjoy!!

Sprouted Moong (Green Gram) Salad

IMG_0398Greetings from Ash to all my friends, the readers. Finally I am back to my home, after a hectic and fun-filled holiday to enjoy the heavy monsoon.  Though I had planned to continue to write post during the vacation, but that could not happen. Here I start posting today, post vacation, with my recipe of a quick, crunchy, and nutritious salad that we all enjoy eating.

Family holidays mean long, elaborate meals with siblings and all the extended families, quick easy weight gain, but then these are the special and cherished moments, and are always looked forward too. Won’t you all agree with me on this?

Let us start making this healthy nutritious salad now.

INGRIEDENTS:

Sprouted (Green gram) Moong-1 BowlIMG_0389

Onion: 1 Small

Tomatoes: 1 Small

Lemon: 1/4 (Medium-sized)

Green Coriander: Few sprigs for garnishing.

Salt & Pepper: To Taste

 

 

 

 

METHOD:

1.Chop the onion and tomato finely.

2.Take a salad bowl and put the sprouted moong, tomatoes, onion, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Mix all ingredients together.

3.Garnish the salad with finely chopped coriander leaves.

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SERVING OPTION: The salad can be served with rolled roasted papad.

Enjoy the crunchy, fibrous and healthy salad along with your meal to add the necessary dietary bulk to your diet.

Oats and Bottle Gourd Fritters, my healthy breakfast recipe.

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We all are aware of starting the day with a good breakfast. To make it a healthy breakfast we need to make a dish that is balanced, having all the nutrient components. The dish in this post is one such that provides us with the carbohydrates, proteins, fats, Vitamins & minerals, and also has dietary fibre. Dietary fibre is essential to the daily diet as it adds bulk, providing the necessary roughage needed for our normal bowel movement and emptying.

The recipe is simple, uses cooking oats and grated bottle gourd as the main ingredients.

INGREDIENTS:

Bottle Gourd- 1/2 small (1 bowl grated)

Oats- 1/2 Bowl (8-10 tsp)

Carom seeds- 1/2 tsp

Sesame seeds- 1 tsp

Green chilli- 1Small, finely chopped

Green coriander & garlic paste- 1tsp (can also use chopped coriander and crushed garlic clove)

Olive oil- 1 ml (used just to grease the pan)

Salt- To taste.

METHOD:

Wash the bottle gourd and grate it. Add carom seeds and sesame seeds, finely chopped green chilli and 1 tsp of the green herb paste.

IMG_9506Add the oats and salt and mix all the ingredients together. The juice of the grated bottle gourd is sufficient to mix the oats and make a dough-like mixture.

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Divide this mixture into 4 portions. Heat a frying pan on medium flame of the gas stove and add 1/2 tsp Olive oil or whichever cooking oil you use.

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Flatten out each portion of the mixture into the pan and cook, turning over and using the left over oil. Cook till it is golden in colour and crispy.

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Once done, remove the fritters on the serving dish that is kept ready. They can be served with yogurt and mint dip/chutney. These should be eaten hot to enjoy the delicious taste and crispiness.

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This is one of the many healthy dishes that I cook for breakfast. It is essential to use less quantity of fat in our diet. Any change in our diet pattern does not happen overnight. But if one wishes, then it is never too late to start eating healthy food, cooking it with all the necessary ingredients and taking care that it is appealing to the sight and tasty for the taste buds.  A little effort of eating healthy on a daily basis is beneficial in the long run.

Happy cooking this dish. Looking forward to your interaction in the form of comments.

Enjoy!

 

 

Colourful Rice: My Healthy Recipe

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Looking at a plain white sheet of paper might not be interesting to the sight, but just add some colour to this blank sheet of paper using dark green, red, yellow, orange, and pink crayons and then take a look at the same white sheet. The coloured sheet would look interesting and more appealing to the eye. This was just for making you picturize the dish that I am going to be posting today.

A bowl of plain rice might not be a very interesting option to eat for any meal. But by just adding vegetables of vibrant colours to the rice not only adds colour, flavour, and texture but make it so engaging to the sight. For me the food that is served at the table has to be inviting to the people and should provide contentment.

Let’s get making the plain boiled rice an interesting, appealing, and an eye-catching option so that when you eat it, you would like to try making it more often.

INGREDIENTS:

Boiled rice – 2 Medium bowl (approximately 100 g raw rice that is boiled)

Bell Peppers- ½ of each- Green, Red, Orange, and Yellow.

Onion- ½ (Medium-sized)

Broccoli-3-4 Florets

Boneless Chicken pieces-6-7 (or as required)

Olive oil- 1Tbsp (any oil that you use for cooking as required)

Seasoning– Salt, pepper, Chilli flakes, and dry Oregano herb.

Garnish– 1 Boiled egg

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Preparation of Vegetables & Chicken: Cut the chicken into cubes. Bell peppers should be chopped and onion should be diced. Chop the broccoli florets.

Note: The chicken and egg are the protein part of the dish. Vegetarians can replace the chicken with Soy chunks or Paneer (cottage cheese), or Tofu.

Method:

Heat a Wok or skillet or Kadai and add the cooking oil to it.  Add the chicken cubes and sauté, season with salt and pepper.

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As the chicken gets cooked, put all the cut vegetables into the wok and sauté just enough so the raw taste goes. The vegetables should be crunchy to bite. Season with salt and pepper.

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Put the boiled rice and mix well with the vegetables, season with salt, pepper, chilli flakes and oregano. Mix well and serve hot.

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Our colourful rice is ready to be served at the dinning table for all to enjoy. I made it this afternoon for lunch and ate with dal fry. It can be enjoyed as it is or any dal preparation would go well with it.  Dal Fry recipe I will post on a later date.

Keep visiting for some interesting versions of the different dishes that I cook in my Kitchen.

The health benefits of the coloured vegetables and fruits in our diet will be posted in a separate post shortly.

Enjoy!

Coconut Barfi

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Sometimes we plan something and it does not happen, well this is what happened with this post. This post was due last week and it so happened that it got unnecessarily delayed, but better late than never.

Once on my grocery shopping spree I randomly put a tin of Nestle’s sweetened condensed milk into my shopping cart, thinking I will use it to make something sweet. The tin was placed on the first rack of the fridge and was completely forgotten. Last week one of my kids suddenly ask me to make coconut barfi, listening to this remark was definitely music to my ear, never has this kind of demand come up and that too for the barfi, it’s something they never wanted to eat and hence I stopped making it altogether. So when this demand came, I had to make it soon before some other demand cropped up. I got the grated coconut and finally the condensed milk tin saw the daylight, was removed from the fridge to use in the recipe.

I have to share, I have never used condensed milk ever to make coconut barfi/laddoo. I followed method using milk, sugar and it was a lengthy one. I am pleased with the way this recipe turned out, hassle free, and so fast. So this is yet another one of the Zatpat dishes, a homemade Indian dessert. Go ahead and try making this sweet, delicious, and effortless recipe.

COCONUT BARFI:

INGREDIENTS:

Fresh Coconut-1 1/2 (grated)

Ghee-2 tbsp

Sweetened condensed milk-1 tin (I used 3/4th tin)

Green Cardamom (ground)-1 tsp

For Garnish– Nuts of choice-Pistachios/Almonds/Cashewnuts.

METHOD:

  1. Heat a thick bottom pot/kadai on medium heat and then add ghee. Once the ghee melts then add the grated coconut and cook for 10 minutes or so, using spatula to continuously stir, till the raw taste of the coconut is gone. This prevents the coconut from getting burnt and gives an even colour.
  2. Add the sweetened condensed milk to the coconut and mix it well. Adjust adding the milk according to your preferred sweetness.
  3. Cook it on medium/slow flame till the coconut and milk mixture is sticky enough to form barfi.
  4. Add the ground cardamom powder and coarsely crushed or chopped nuts of choice and mix well.
  5. Grease a square brownie tin or a round plate and spread the coconut mixture evenly on it and let it cool and get set.
  6. Cut the set mixture into small even-sized squares/barfi shape and serve.

This can be served as dessert/mithai after a meal or along with snacks. I found making this to be extremely easy and less time consuming. As the tinned condensed milk was sweetened, so one can add as per sweetness preferred. I did not use the whole tin, 2-3 spoonful milk was still left at the bottom of the tin. The Barfi was prepared within 30 minutes, and almost half of it was consumed within minutes of making it, a fast disappearing item if one is fond of sweets!

Enjoy!

 

 

 

Vegetable Hakka Noodles

 

IMG_8210Hakka noodles; it is one of the first few recipes that I had learned when I started cooking. Hakka Noodles, the name itself starts a tingling in the mouth, is a dish that is wholesome and loved by all; the best part is though it looks very complicated, is the easiest to cook. Well, I guess I write easy for almost all the recipes that I make/post, but trust me and try them, and find out for yourself whether it is easy or difficult to make. Do let me know the feedback.

Going by the look of the dish, it does look time consuming for a first timer, but the noodles will be ready to eat within 30 minutes, provided you have all the ingredients handy. Once the vegetables are cut, then it does not take much time.

This can be enjoyed as part of Chinese meal or as a brunch menu too. I make it as breakfast menu. The noodles serve as carbohydrates, oil as fat, vegetables as fibre and vitamins & minerals, eggs (if we include in the ingredients) add to the protein and fat content. Non-vegetarians can include chicken and/or eggs to the dish. The choice of ingredients depend on the personal taste and liking. We can add mushrooms and baby corn too; I add when they are stocked in the fridge.

For this post I have used Chings Veg Hakka Noodle (150g) packet and the total vegetable portion was also kept 150g. The picture of the ingredients given below will give the idea of the vegetable quantity used. Let’s get cooking this yummy dish. Kids, and adults of all ages will love it!

VEG HAKKA NOODLES:

INGREDIENTS:

Chings Vegetable Hakka Noodle- 1 pkt 150 g (boiled)

Total vegetables- 150 g- Carrots, Green/Red/Yellow Bell pepper, French beans, Spring onions(for garnish), Cabbage. (All the vegetables should be finely shredded)

Chilli Sauce-1 tsp (5g)

Soy Sauce-1 tsp (5g)

Aji-no-moto- 1/2 tsp

Green chilli- 2

Garlic cloves-2-3

Salt/Pepper for seasoning.

Oil-2 Tbsp

METHOD:

  1. Boil the noodles and pour few drops of oil on them, toss, and keep ready to use.
  2. Shred finely the cabbage and all the vegetables. It is important to shred the vegetables fine so that they get cooked fast and the overall dish should look appealing.
  3. Heat a wok, add oil and fry the vegetables adding one at a time. Add first the garlic, green chilli, carrots, French beans, peppers, and finally the cabbage as it takes the least time to cook. The vegetable that takes more time to cook needs to be added first. I like the flavour of garlic and hotness of chilli in the vegetables, hence I add them first to the hot wok. (Follow the given order of adding vegetables to the wok.)
  4. Note: The vegetables should be cooked just enough to remove the rawness, they should have the crunch, hence all the vegetables are to be cooked  keeping the Wok on full gas flame, with continuous stirring.
  5. Season all the vegetables with salt and pepper.
  6. Add the boiled noodles to the vegetables, add both the sauces, and give it all a good stir so that all the ingredients gets mixed.
  7. If eggs are to be added, make a scramble of 2 eggs and add it to the noodles or omit this step.
  8. Finally sprinkle Aji-no-moto on the noodles, mix it well. Garnish with shredded/finely chopped green onions, and serve hot.

The chilli sauce added is as per choice. Vinegar- too can be added if preferred.

 

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Feta Cheese and Spinach Calzones

IMG_7472Pizza loving people like me and my family can never say no to a Calzone, the folded form of a pizza. The first time I saw Calzone mentioned was in the menu card in Pizza Hut. Anything that I like has to be compulsorily cooked in my kitchen, obviously it has to be as per my specification and taste. Thus the seed for Calzone making was planted in my mind.

One afternoon, my son’s friends were home for a school assignment, I made these feta cheese calzones as snacks for them and they turned out to be an instant hit with the kids. From then onwards it is a baking dish that the kids look forward to. After writing the homemade pizza post, this recipe has to follow. Surprisingly it is not a very difficult dish to make, but does need some planning in advance for the dough making. I use the pizza base dough for making the Calzone. The filling can vary according to our taste and preference. I like to make it using feta cheese and spinach. Feta cheese is the brined salty crumbly cheese which perfectly goes with boiled/steamed spinach. As the cheese itself is salty, no seasoning is required in the mixture. Let’s get making the yummy Calzones.

FETA CHEESE AND SPINACH CALZONES:

INGREDIENTS FOR THE BASE:

Refined flour(Maida)- 3 cups (300g apprx), Active dry yeast: 5-7 g (1 tsp heaped), Water: 30 ml (lukewarm), Sugar : 10 g(2 tsp), a pinch of salt, Oil: 2 tbsp Olive oil.

METHOD TO MAKE BASE:IMG_7618

Mix salt to the refined flour. Take water in a bowl and heat to make it lukewarm and dissolve the sugar in it. Add the active dry yeast to this bowl of water. Cover the bowl and keep aside to let the yeast dissolve and the liquid to become foamy.

Take 3 cups/bowl of refined flour in a big bowl. Mix the foamy liquid of yeast with the flour. Add 2 tbsp olive oil to the flour. Mix the flour, and form a soft sticky dough of the flour. Knead the dough and place it in an oiled bowl and cover with a plastic wrap/cling and keep aside for 45-60 min approximately or till the dough rises to double its size. Knead the dough again for couple minutes to make it soft. This soft dough is used to make the calzone. (Check the homemade pizza post for detailed pictures.)

FILLING INGREDIENTS:

Feta cheese- 100 g IMG_7974

Spinach- 150-250 g

I steam the spinach in my rice cooker for couple minutes instead of boiling the leaves in water. This retains the dense green colour of the leaves and also the nutrients and vitamins. For this little quantity of spinach 2-3 min of steaming is enough.

METHOD TO MAKE CALZONE:

  1. Preheat the oven to 220 C.
  2. Take a small portion of the pizza base dough, make a ball and roll it to form a circular base for filling the feta cheese mixture. Try not to roll the base too thick, it tastes better with a medium thin coat.
  3. Place the filling -mixture of crumbled feta cheese and roughly chopped spinach. Close the ends using water or milk to seal. I used a mould to get small perfectly shaped calzones.
  4. Brush the top with egg wash or milk, it gives a nice shine to the top coat. (I have used egg)
  5. Bake the calzone in a pre- heated oven at 220 C for 20-25 min or till they are evenly baked on both sides. After 10 minutes of putting them in the oven, turn them over to ensure both sides are evenly cooked.

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If you have reached reading till the end, I am sure you would agree with me that it is a very easy recipe. Go ahead and try it out and find out if your family loves it as much as my kids love it.

Serving  Tip: Serve these yummy calzones with hot green chilli sauce or Tabasco sauce.

Enjoy!

Mutton Chops

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Mutton chops coated with herbs and boiled mashed potato, a dish that was first tasted during childhood. I relished only the outer potato coating then, and this hasn’t changed even today. My elder brother had first bought these home from an eatery that was famous for its mutton chops in our hometown. Today, I make them in my kitchen, according to my taste, and the family loves this preparation. It is an easy dish, but needs slow cooking and hence lots of patience before one can finally put them in the mouth and relish. Slow cooking ensures the meat is cooked completely. The potato coating holds all the juices coming out of the marinated chops when they are being cooked.

Mutton Chops: (Recipe for 4 chops)

Ingredients: Mutton chops- 4 (cleaned, washed, and dried on paper tissue to remove water)

Green chillies-2 nos.

Garlic- 4 cloves

Cumin seeds- 2 Tsp

Herbs-Coriander and Mint

Red chilli powder/salt/turmeric- As per taste.

Potato- 2 Big size (Boiled and mashed)

Breadcrumbs- 1Bowl (approximately 2-3 large dried bread slices)

Oil- 2 Tbsp

Method:

  1. Boil the potatoes and mash them.
  2. Grind the chilli, garlic, herbs, and cumin to fine paste.
  3. Apply the ground green masala and seasonings to the chops and let them stand for 30 min for marinating.
  4. Mix some of the ground green paste with the mashed potatoes and season it with salt.
  5. Take some of the mashed potato and coat the marinated chop so that it is completely covered with potato.
  6. Coat the potato coated chops with breadcrumbs. Firmly press with hands so that the potato and breadcrumbs tightly hold the marinated chop. If this coating is loose then it might break in the pan.
  7. Heat pan with oil and cook the coated mutton chops.
  8. Cooking should be done on a slow gas flame, turning the chops on all sides so that even cooking is possible.

The pictures below will illustrate how to make the chops. Go ahead, try making them and do share your experience with me.

Enjoy!!

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