Monthly Archives: November 2011

Yogurt Parfait

Keeping Mum.

Keeping to the point.

Hubby says I yack a lot!

Proving I am not.

He says I start off with something and then deviate and end up with something totally different.

I don’t!

When I am discussing Yogurt Parfait, I stick to Yogurt Parfait. I don’t discuss other things.

So unfair of him to say that I don’t finish what I start!

And my brothers support him. Such betraying family!

And I don’t yack too much. Only twice as much as any other woman.

Women have a need to talk. But we don’t deviate from the point!

We always complete what we start, which was…. which was…which was…Er..

Well, Keeping MUM!

Ingredients:

  • Yogurt                    :             1/2 cup
  • Granola                  :             2 tbsp
  • Grapes                    :             1/2 cup (or fruit of your choice)
  • honey                     :              2 tsp

Method:

  1. In a tall glass or a bowl, add a layer of thick yogurt.
  2. Add grapes and granola. Add another layer of yogurt.
  3. Keep repeating the layers and top it off with granola and grapes.
  4. Add a teaspoon of honey and serve immediately. (Else it becomes soggy, ask my husband!)
  5. You can use store bought thick yogurt (try flavored) or you can strain the homemade curd using a coffee filter. Water drains off and you get thick curd. I didn’t do it, so the yogurt covered the grapes layer.
  6. You can replace granola with wheat flakes or corn flakes and/or use any fruit of your choice.
  7. You can also check out Banana Peanut Butter Granola for another quick snack option with granola.

Linked to:

20 Comments

Filed under Any Time Foods, Beverages, Soups and Salads

Masala Papad

When its a holiday, kiddo wakes up a bit extra early. If it was 6 AM yesterday, it was 5 AM today! Yesterday was a black day, no power through out. Luckily today, I was at least able to microwave the milk before the power started doing the ON/OFF dance.

Outside the house, there is a river flowing (no exaggeration there!). Water all over the road, covering the bumps and pits making it dangerous to drive. Still hubby prefers going to office than spending a day at home, he says its more relaxing there!

Holiday for schools, so my neighbor Mittu (6 year old girl) and my son playing and screaming and making enough noise to wake the dead!

Non stop rain and intermittent raging winds making normal day difficult. Reminding us that Nature has a big say in our lives, a lesson which we easily forget.

Rain outside and masala papad inside! There was no power when I started making these, but made these in a jiffy when power came in for a few minutes in between.

Ingredients:

  • Papad                         :        1 no. per person, or 4 mini papads per person
  • Onion                          :        1 small, chopped
  • Tomato                      :         1/2  small, chopped
  • Coriander leaves   :         1 tbsp
  • Green Chili               :         1, seeded and chopped
  • Chaat Masala           :         1/2 tsp or per taste

Method: 

  1. Microwave the papads till done (about 30 sec each for both sides)
  2. Combine the chopped onion, tomatoes, chilis, coriander leaves and add chat masala per taste. You can add lemon juice or salt, if you like.
  3. Add this salsa to the papad at the time of serving.

Linked to:

17 Comments

Filed under Any Time Foods

Banana Peanut butter Granola

Relaxing and taking the day easy means for most people, spending the day watching TV. No, not for me. I find watching TV nerve racking. Why? Because there are too many remotes!

With almost all the homes now having the DVD player and the Set Top Box, there are three remotes to handle if you want to watch TV.

After switching ON everything, I pick a remote randomly and then click.

Oh oh, the Set Top Box is switched off. Try with another remote, this time I would have switched off the DVD player. Last try and yes, the television comes to life. Only, it has a blank screen with absolutely nothing on it!

Oh, the Set Top Box was switched off! Now, which remote was it? Oops, wrong one – DVD player now switched on! Try again, oh, now TV is switched off!

By now, even the remote wish for watching something would have extinguished.

At this stage someone would help me with the remote(s). The TV would finally come to life – with programs in it.

And that’s when you realize its just not worth the effort!

All you have is news channels showing ads, skinny ladies wearing hankies and dancing to some weird sounds (they call it music now a days), women making fashion statements in MIL – DIL drama serials, people screaming or talking and passing it off as music! No, Thank You.

I guess I am much better off with my laptop. It has internet, it has games, it has recipes and it can play movies of my choice.

And it has just ONE on/off switch!

Now, for an uncomplicated recipe, that can be made in a jiffy and healthy to the boot. Put in a sandwich or have it as such, these are a great treat.

Ingredients:

  • Banana                                                    :         1 per person
  • Peanut Butter                                       :         1 – 2 tsp
  • Granola /Whole wheat cereal        :         2 tbsp

Method:

  1. Slice the banana into 1″ thick rounds.
  2. Spread a little bit of peanut butter on them using a bread knife (not spoon, its a mess!).
  3. In a plate, take about 1- 2 tbsp granola. Lightly press the peanut butter side of the banana over it so that the granola sticks to it. Serve.

Linked to:

20 Comments

Filed under Any Time Foods

Healthy Guilt Free Snacks

Irony of life: There I was, looking for healthy, guilt free snacks and reading through two diet books and ordering one online.

And my friend comes home bringing two kilos of chips and two kilos of some other fried items!

Now, tell me honestly, which one is more tempting? Carrot sticks or fried chips?

Yeah. I thought so too.

So walking the treacherous path of balance. A bowl of chips and fruits side by side.

And the fruits are all still in the bowl!

In the snacks bowl,

  • Papaya
  • Cucumber Sticks
  • Granola
  • Grapes
  • Green Peas
  • Walnuts
  • Apple
  • Pistachios
  • Orange
  • Banana
  • Almonds
  • Carrot Sticks
I saw a similar arrangement in the web, so tried this out.

Linked to:

21 Comments

Filed under Any Time Foods

Veg Rice

I remember the first time I packed my son’s lunch box. I had packed rice with sambar, a vegetable side dish and a little bit of curd rice. A junior version of what I pack for my hubby’s lunch every(single)day.

In the evening, the lunch box came back exactly as I had packed in the morning. Even the spoon was spotlessly clean – he hadn’t even eaten a single mouthful!

‘I don’t like the smell’ he declared. Hmph..

In the next few days I found out that given a choice, he would happily go to school without taking any lunch or snacks. School was all about friends and playing, not about food, was his mantra.

Finally, a deal was made. Our breakfast now gets packed as his lunch. So Tiffin items like idly, dosa and chapati are tolerated with grace in his lunch box now. But when it comes to rice, its a war!

‘No rice, its smelly and it keeps falling down’, argues the kid. (Hmph…..! It was a ‘Hmph… time’ for about a month before he started finishing his lunch)

So finally, the recipe here is the only way rice is allowed in his lunch box. A dry mix of rice and vegetables (I skip tomatoes), packed with his favorite dip – tomato ketchup!

Now we have a happy mommy and a happy kid, like they show in the ads!

Ingredients:

  • Rice                                   :             1/2 cup, cooked
  • Onion                                :             1 small, chopped
  • Carrot                               :             1 small, chopped or grated
  • Sweet corn/peas          :             a handful
  • Capsicum/Cabbage     :             1-2 handfuls, chopped
  • Oil                                       :            1 tsp
  • Salt and Pepper

Method:

  1. Heat the oil in a pan, add the onions and carrots and saute till it changes color. Add the cabbage, capsicum and cook for another 3 minutes till its soft. Add frozen sweet corn and frozen peas. Saute till everything is cooked properly.
  2. Add salt and pepper, mix the rice in and take off the heat.
  3. Pack in a lunch box, serve with tomato ketch up.

Linked to:

8 Comments

Filed under Rice, Pasta

Nutty Omelet Rice

This month beginning we had an invite from a relative for some function happening in their house. I was wondering why they would invite us, given that the last time we went there, we nearly brought the house down.

It was all nice and calm and everyone was in great spirits when we went to their place. We were greeted warmly and then were sitting for the function to start. My father was reading the newspaper, mom and me were sitting quietly next to him. Everything was calm and quiet.

That’s when mom went to the bathroom. Unfortunately, the bathroom tap broke into two when she was inside and a powerful jet of water was coming from the broken pipe.

It was a mini Titanic in there. Water everywhere – in the bathroom, in the corridor, threatening to enter the bedrooms! The groom’s dad wearing his costly pattu mundu stepped in and took charge of the situation. He got drenched to the skin in less than a second.

The plumber was called. Buckets were brought in. Things lying down were moved to the bed. Mops and cleaning everywhere. Someone rushed to close the valve for water connection. In short, lots and lots of action!

Spotting the right valve can be a bit of a problem in a large apartment complex! One person was purely dedicated to the answer the ‘Is the tap closed now?’ phone call from the roof top.

And finally they found the valve and closed it. The water stopped coming. In all the taps, of course. But less water was hardly a problem at that point! The plumber got to work and things were fine soon.

The function started soon after that. And my father slowly emerged out of the newspaper. He had no clue of all the commotions  happening right next to him! He has a little bit of a hearing problem.

So when they invited us again for another function, I was reflecting…..sometimes nutty things happen when you least expect them, right?

Recipe adapted from the book ‘The Vegetarian Kitchen

Ingredients:

  • Basmati Rice                           :               1 cup
  • Onion                                         :               1 small, chopped
  • Red Capsicum                        :                1 medium, chopped
  • Veg Stock Cube                     :                1
  • Water                                        :                 1 1/2 cups
  • Soya sauce                              :                 2 tsp
  • Chilli Flakes                            :                 1-2 tsp, per taste
  • Peanuts                                    :                  a handful, roasted with a bit of salt
  • Peas                                           :                  a handful, frozen
  • Eggs                                           :                  2
  • Oil                                               :                  1 tsp
  • Salt & Pepper

Method:

  1. Wash and clean the rice. Keep it aside.
  2. Heat oil in a pan, add the chopped onions and capsicum and saute for 2-3 minutes till the onion starts to brown. Add the chilli flakes, rice and saute for another minute or two.
  3. Add the stock cube to the water and mix thoroughly. Add salt, but after checking the level of salt in the stock cube. Add it to the rice and cover and cook for 10 – 12 minutes till the rice is done. (I usually do this in the microwave or rice cooker).
  4. Take off the heat and add the soya sauce and peanuts.
  5. In a separate pan, make omelettes with the eggs. Once done, roll the omelette into a tight roll. Cut into 8 – 10 pieces.
  6. Place the rolled omelette on top of the rice. Serve the rice on its own or with tomato ketch up and chilli vinegar.

Linked to:

6 Comments

Filed under Rice, Pasta

Lunch Box Affair

Can you see me shouting ‘Hooray’ with joy, doing somersaults, grinning foolishly, being extremely happy in general? That’s because my four days of misery without the internet is over!

When the guy from Airtel called up on our landline and informed us that the problem is fixed, I was so happy that I would have given my daughter in marriage to him! Well, lets say its a good thing for me (and the telephone guy) that I don’t have a daughter.

Oh, How I missed seeing ‘No new messages’ on my mail box! I so really missed marking the promotional mails that fill up my inbox, as spam. God, life without the net is a real horror story, and a boring one at that too!

The minute the net came, I sat in front of the laptop, to catch up with the huge bundle of emails I was sure I would have got. I wasn’t disappointed, the eBay, Shop Your World and other sites hadn’t forgotten me at all. They didn’t mind being ignored by me for the past couple of days. Ah…loved deleting them without even reading.

So I am back to blogging too! Here is my post for Srivalli’s Blogging Marathon which is entering the tenth edition now.  I missed the first four days (no net, no post!).

I have chosen the theme Lunch Box recipes, and here is my entry for the fifth day : Roti with a simple cabbage salad (Sambharo) and yogurt.

Ingredients:

  • Chapatis                 :         3
  • Cabbage                 :          2 cups, shredded
  • Carrot                     :          1, grated
  • Lemon Juice        :          1- 2 tsp
  • Green Chillies      :          2 -3, per taste
  • Mustard seeds     :          1 tsp
  • Asafoetida             :          a pinch
  • Curry leaves         :          a sprig
  • Oil                             :           1 tsp
  • Salt

Method: 

  1. Microwave the shredded cabbage and carrot together for 3 minutes, till its 3/4th cooked.
  2. Heat oil in a pan, add the asafoetida, mustard seeds, curry leaves and green chillies. Once it all splutters, add the carrot cabbage mixture and salt. Cook for a minute or two till its all well blended.
  3. Take off the heat, add lemon juice. Check the seasonings and adjust.
  4. I packed this and a small bowl of yogurt as a side dish for rotis for hubby’s lunch.

Linked to:

7 Comments

Filed under Beverages, Soups and Salads, Flat breads

Veggie Burger

Diwali vacation is over and now I am looking forward to the Christmas vacation. We have joined some 250 other passengers in the long Waiting list ticket queue, hoping and praying that by some miracle, our tickets would get confirmed!

For Diwali, when we were travelling, my son was screaming ‘Jungle Jungle, forest forest!’ every time a cluster of trees pass by. Apparently, ‘lots of trees’ mean jungle and anything more than two trees are ‘lots of trees’! Kiddo was excitedly looking for lions and tigers inside these ‘jungles’ consisting of three of four trees.

Sigh…..city bred kids!

The memory of the train travel lingers even after we reach my mum’s place. He would pick up two big buckets, one each for me and him. And then, the fun starts!

He would walk in front of the house, screaming ‘Vadae Vada, Vadae vada’ and I have to walk after him yelling ‘Samosa Samosa Hot hot Samosa’. The neighbors there look upon the scene amusingly, while I defend my embarrassment with a bold ‘Isn’t this cute?’ attitude.

The vada and samosa buckets are joined by a small jug and a coffee tumbler now, and we have added ‘Chai Chai Garam Chai’ and ‘Kappii Kaaapppiii’ shouts to wash off the vadas.

One of my cousin’s dream job was to become a ‘coffee boy’ in a railway platform. The attraction was the repeated and rhythemic ‘Kappi Kappi Kappi Kappii’ chanting! Ironically, he is now working in the Indian Railways, but thankfully not as a coffee boy, but in a much better job.

Time for Radhika’s Blog Hop Wednesday, and this week I am paired with Vaishali of Ribbons To Pastas. I made these wonderful veggie burgers from her blog.

I have used the King Arthur Flour’s recipe for Burger buns. No modifications except skipping the egg. You can find the recipe here.

Ingredients for the Tikki:

  • Oats                                           :           1/2 cup (Quaker)
  • Beetroot                                  :            1 small
  • Carrots                                     :            2 small
  • Potatoes                                  :            2 large
  • Green Chillies                        :            2
  • Lemon Juice                          :            1 – 2 tsp, per taste
  • Garam Masala                       :            1/2 tsp
  • Salt
  • Oil to shallow fry

Method: 

  1. Peel and cube the vegetables. Pressure cook them for 3-4 whistles until its cooked completely.
  2. Mash the cooked vegetables and combine with the other ingredients. Shape into tikkis of 3 – 4″ diameter.
  3. Heat oil in a pan, shallow fry the tikkis and keep aside. Makes about 8 tikkis, depending on the size.

For the Salad, 

  • Cabbage                                   :            1 cup, chopped
  • Onion                                        :            1 small, chopped
  • Tomatoes                                :            1, chopped and seeded
  • Mayonnaise                           :             1/2 cup
  • Chilli Flakes                           :             1/2 tsp
  • Tomato Ketch Up                :             4 tsp
  • Chilli Sauce                             :             2 tsp
  • Salt
Combine everything and check the seasonings and adjust according to your taste. Start with half cup mayo and add more if required.

Assembling: 

  1. Cut the burger buns into half.
  2. Add a generous layer of the prepared salad.
  3. Place the tikki over the salad.
  4. Add a cheese slice(if using) on top of the tikki.
  5. Wrap in a cling film and warm for 30 sec in MW before serving.

Linked to:

10 Comments

Filed under Any Time Foods

BWW – Squeezed!

Linked to Susan’s Black and White Wednesdays.

3 Comments

Filed under Black and White Photos

Pav Bhaji

Its time for Tina’s Crazy Cooking Challenge again and this time we are searching for the Ultimate Mashed Potatoes recipe.

Potatoes are cooked in an Indian household in every possible manner. We have them as side dishes for rice, in curries for rotis, as stuffing for rotis and sandwiches, for snacks as cutlets or deep fried beauties like bondas …the list for dishes using potatoes is literally endless!

In short, we are fine with potatoes as long as they are in the ‘main supporting role’ for the dinner. But they are not really liked as main dish. So if I am serving Baked Potatoes at home, I better keep the restaurant’s take out number handy. Chances are I am going need it!

So when the challenge recipe was Mashed Potatoes, I knew I would have to serve it the Indian way. I was thinking of a hundred recipes where mashed potatoes are used, but finally settled on Pav Bhaji. The main tool for preparation of this dish is the potato masher.

Pav Bhaji is the ultimate street food, where the bread (Pav) is served with spicy mashed potatoes (Bhaji). It is so popular that it is now featured in almost all the restaurant menus. Pav Bhaji is so filling that it can be had as a meal as well. With the Pav bread so easily available in supermarkets now a days, making this dish at home is also common now a days.

Traditionally the main ingredients are tomatoes and potatoes, with bell peppers or cauliflower thrown in at times. But when making this at home its common to add a lot of vegetables, since its a good way to sneak in vegetables.

I am a big fan of Aparna’s blog and I have chosen the recipe for Pav Bhaji from her space. You can read a lot more about this dish at her blog.

Ingredients for Bhaji:

  • Potatoes                            :          3 big, cooked and mashed
  • Mixed Vegetables         :          3 cups, cooked and mashed (Optional)
  • Onion                                 :          2 big, chopped
  • Tomatoes                         :          3 medium, chopped
  • Ginger Garlic Paste      :           2 tsp
  • Pav Bhaji Masala           :          1 – 2 tbsp
  • Chilli Powder                  :          2 tsp
  • Coriander Leaves         :           3-4 tbsp
  • Oil                                       :           2 tbsp
  • Butter

Method: 

  1. Cook the potatoes, mash them roughly and keep aside. We will be mashing them a lot more when we are cooking.
  2. Cook the vegetables (I used carrots, cauliflower and beans), mash them and keep aside. In case you are skipping the vegetables, you can cut the rest of the ingredients by half.
  3. Heat oil in a wide pan. Add the onions and cook until they start to brown. Add the ginger garlic paste and cook for a minute more. Add the chopped tomatoes and cook until they are soft.
  4. Add the pav bhaji masala, chilli powder and salt. Cook for a 2-3 minutes and then with a potato masher, mash the onion-tomato mixture till they are totally pulpy.
  5. Add the mashed potatoes and vegetables. Mash thoroughly till the gravy becomes thick. You can add water in 1/4 cupfuls, if the gravy appears to be dry before the veggies are mashed.
  6. You can keep mashing until the bhaji is totally smooth or you can stop when the veggies have been mashed to your level of preference. Do a taste test and adjust seasonings accordingly.
  7. Add the chopped coriander leaves, 1-2 tbsp of butter and mix. Bhaji is ready to be served.

Aparna has adapted a recipe for soft white dinner rolls for the Pav here.

Ingredients for Pav: 

  • All purpose flour               :          3 1/2  - 4 cups
  • Yeast (Instant).                  :           1 1/2 tsp
  • Milk                                         :           1 1/2 cups
  • Butter                                     :           1 1/2 tbsp
  • Sugar                                      :            2  tsp
  • Salt                                          :            1 tsp
  • Butter                                     :            1 – 2 tbsp for brushing the top

Method:

  1. Combine the flour, yeast, sugar and salt in a big bowl. Whisk.
  2. In a small pan, heat the milk and the butter (1.5 tbsp) together, whisking now and then, till the milk is lukewarm.
  3. Mix the lukewarm milk- butter to the flour and knead till you get a soft elastic bread dough.
  4. Form a ball, cover and leave the dough in a greased bowl to rise till doubled in size. About 1 -2 hours.
  5. When it becomes double, punch the air out, knead for a minute and divide the dough into 15 equal portions (I got 14). Shape them into balls and place them in a greased rectangular baking pan, leaving about 1/4″ between them. I got 4 rows each of 3 balls and one final row with two dough balls. Cover and let it rise for another 30 min.
  6. Bake in a preheated oven at 225 C for 10 minutes till they start browning. You need to take them out, brush them with melted butter and then put it back for another 5 minutes.
  7. Take the rolls out and cool them in a rack.
  8. I brushed some butter on the rolls as soon as they came out of the oven. You can see the butter bubbles on top!

Assembling and serving: 

  1. In a pan, heat a tsp of butter. Cut two pieces of Pav (the bread roll) across and then place them the cut side down in the heated butter. When they becomes slightly brown, take them out and place them in a plate.
  2. Add some bhaji (the spicy mashed potatoes gravy) and some chopped raw onions side by side.  Cut a lemon in half or quarter and place it next to the onions. You can add some chopped coriander leaves and a dollop of butter if you want to, on top of the bhaji.
  3. Squeeze the lemon and add it to the raw onions and bhaji while eating, it tastes delicious. Enjoy!
Note:

Ideally you have to keep mashing until the bhaji becomes a thick smooth gravy and you cannot differentiate the vegetables in it. But since we like it a bit crunchy, I stop mashing before the veggies become too smooth.

I rushed through the dough raising time, so it didn’t raise as much as it should have. I was under the attack of too many hungry people!

You can watch a video of the authentic Pav Bhaji making here (Courtesy Aparna’s Blog).

You can check out here to see the fellow bloggers take on Mashed Potatoes.

Linked to Bake Fest also.

14 Comments

Filed under Break Fast Recipes, Cakes and Bakes, Side Dishes