Category Archives: Break Fast Recipes

Kanda Poha

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They talk about the circle of life where everything begins and ends at the same point. Well, you are witnessing the circle of blogging now.

The long story behind it is that we moved to US in July 2014 (I am not telling you the shorter version) and my blog took a hit as a result. I didn’t feel up to blogging and left it like that for many months.

One reason could be that in Chennai, I had everything set up for my blogging. A table by a sunny window, lots of wonderful wooden backdrops, a good collection of props and a proper storage for them all. And here, I was struggling with low light conditions, hardly any props and a huge lack of interest and imagination.

And I was too occupied with other things to try harder.

Jan 2015 looked like a  good time to ‘shake it up’ and get back. I signed up for BM and was all set for both the themes. This was one of the posts meant for that. But as it happens many times, life intervened and blogging took a backseat again. And now, a year later, the post is finally making out of the drafts.

So what began in January is ending in January finally. Just a year of waiting, but take a good look at the pictures. They haven’t aged a day, have they ;-)?

Last year, this was meant for Nashta theme, this year it is under Regional recipes – Maharashtra. Stay tuned for two more recipes from the same region this week.

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Pictorial: The recipe serves 2-3 people. 

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Wash 2 cups of poha and drain it. Set aside.

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Heat one tablespoon oil in a pan and add one teaspoon of mustard seeds, one dried red chili and a handful of curry leaves.

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Once the mustard seeds splutter, add one tablespoon of chopped cashew nuts or ground nuts.

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Add one medium chopped onions once the cashews turn slightly brown.

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Saute the onions until pink. Add salt and 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder, mix well.

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Add 1/2 cup thawed frozen peas. If you are using fresh peas, cook it separately before adding it.

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The drained rice flakes (poha/aval) goes in now.  Turn off the heat.

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Chop one tablespoon of cleaned coriander leaves, this goes into the dish along with juice from half a lemon. Mix well and garnish with 1 tablespoon of grated coconut (optional). This doesn’t need a side dish to go with.

Serves :  2-3

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups flattened rice flakes (poha or aval)
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 dried red chili
  • 5-8 curry leaves
  • 1 tablespoon peanuts or chopped cashew nuts
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/2 cup thawed frozen peas (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon coriander leaves, chopped
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 1 tablespoon coconut grated (optional)

Method:

  1. Wash 2 cups of poha and drain it. Set aside.
  2. Heat one tablespoon oil in a pan and add one teaspoon of mustard seeds, one dried red chili and a handful of curry leaves.
  3. Once the mustard seeds splutter, add one tablespoon of chopped cashew nuts or ground nuts.
  4. Add one medium chopped onions once the cashews turn slightly brown.
  5. Saute the onions until pink. Add salt and 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder, mix well.
  6. Add 1/2 cup thawed frozen peas. If you are using fresh peas, cook it separately before adding it.
  7. The drained rice flakes (poha/aval) goes in now.  Turn off the heat.
  8. Chop one tablespoon of cleaned coriander leaves, this goes into the dish along with juice from half a lemon. Mix well and garnish with 1 tablespoon of grated coconut (optional). This doesn’t need a side dish to go with.

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Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#60 

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Strawberry pineapple smoothie

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For a long time, I was under the impression that you cannot have most of the fruits if you have diabetes. So I was surprised to see many fruit based smoothie recipes for diabetes. A bit of digging in the net tells me that it’s about choosing your portions wisely and you don’t have to avoid fruits on the whole.

It was news for me. But as I am not diabetic, I wouldn’t preach much about the topic. I would rather trust my doctor than the internet on matters of health. This is a good after workout smoothie. After an hour of sweating in the gym, you really would have earned this. A full cup if you are not diabetic, half a cup if you are.

Shhh…..I drank mine without working out :D, but that’s a secret between you, me and the Internet- OK?

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Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup strawberries, sliced
  • 1/2 cup pineapple, skin removed and diced
  • 1/4 medium banana, sliced
  • 1/2 cup milk or Greek style yogurt
  • ice as needed

Method:

  1. Blend everything together until smooth.
  2. Serve 1/2 cup per person, with a piece of strawberry or pineapple on top.
  3. Makes about 4 servings.

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Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#60

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Cucumber sandwiches

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When we were kids, the concept of tea time was heavy tiffin like ada dosa, idli or upma. Because that’s the time you come back from school and you will be hungry enough to eat horse even! But as we grew up, the weekend tea time grew into a more elegant, enjoyable and lighter treat time. It was initially just biscuits and then slowly graduated to hot vadas, pakodas and stuff. Well, the treat lasted as long as some one else was in charge of the kitchen. My definition of tea time specials are ready-made snacks :D.

Anyway, I am trying to get back in shape blogging wise – so I thought its a good idea for me to start blogging 3 times a week. And the choice of theme for the second week is tea time snacks.

Most of the snacks that pair well with a cup of tea are deep-fried. I bear enough burn marks in my hands to be banned near hot oil. If I am really being honest, I may be a little apprehensive about it, but mostly I am too lazy to deep fry.But the story to the public (OK, just to my man) is that I am scared of oil and I stick to it ;-).

An easy tea time snack is a simple sandwich.  You would be surprised to know that these humble cucumber sandwiches are a popular tea time favorite! Read on for the ..erm…recipe (well, if you can call it that!)

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Makes 4 sandwiches

Ingredients:

  • 8 bread slices, crusts removed
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream cheese per sandwich (or more per taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon mayo per sandwich (or more per taste)
  • 4 thinly sliced cucumber pieces per sandwich
  • salt and pepper

*Instead of cream cheese and mayo, you can use butter

Method:

  1. Cut off the crusts of the bread. Slice cucumber into very thin slices.
  2. Spread cream cheese on one slice and mayonnaise on  another.
  3. Layer 4 cucumber slices on one slice. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Cover with the other slice of bread. Cut it into half and serve with tea.
  5. Make more sandwiches with the rest of the bread.

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Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 58

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Feta quesadilla

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“When in doubt, go to google” has become the lifestyle motto for many now. I also follow the tried and tested google path whenever I need some guidance. So when presented with an excess Feta cheese problem, I went to my faithful google.

Apparently, google can help me with almost anything in my life, but when it comes to feta cheese, it didn’t have any interesting suggestions for me. But the good thing is that, I have some sites to approach for the culinary problems in  my life. Foodgawker and now, in the last few days – Food52.com.

Looking at the paneer like texture of feta cheese, I didn’t expect it to melt. But it did! It’s nice to learn the little things and be surprised about it :-). Whatever other lessons I had learnt with this quesadilla is already forgotten. So my lecture gets over here.

Read on for this very simple (and very salty) quesadilla recipe with feta cheese.

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Recipe source: Food52.com

Ingredients:

For the salsa

  • 1 tomato, finely chopped
  • 1/4 of a medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 pod of garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons of coriander leaves, minced
  • salt and pepper, lemon juice for seasoning

For the quesadillas:

  • 6 small tortillas
  • 2-3 teaspoon Feta cheese per quesadilla (or per taste)
  • oil or butter
  • sour cream for serving

Method:

  1. For the salsa, finely chop the tomatoes, onion, garlic and coriander leaves. Season with salt, pepper and lemon juice. Refrigerate for the flavors to mingle. I took the shortcut method by crushing everything together in a mortar and pestle. I was out of coriander as well.
  2. For the quesadilla, heat oil or butter in a pan. Add the tortilla and generously top it with the feta cheese. Cover it with another tortilla on top and cook it carefully flipping in between. When the tortillas turn brown on both side and the cheese melts, take off the pan. Repeat with the other two sets.
  3.  Cut the quesadilla into quarters and serve with salsa and sour cream.

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This post is part of Blogging Marathon #58, a group blogging event. The theme for this week is Food52 contest winners.

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Spinach, chickpea frittata

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My kid’s lunch has always been light meals. In India, it used to be tiffin items like idli and dosa. Here in U.S., its replaced by sandwiches and quesadilla. Rice, especially prepared the Indian way, is his least favorite and so that meal needs to be served with precision. Hit him when he is weakest is my motto. So the plate of rice is presented to him when he gets back from school when he would be too hungry to have an argument over food.

But we all need a break now and then. So I break our food pattern every now and then with some meals like this frittata. With everything thrown together in a pot, its become an instant favorite of mine to make and my kid’s to eat.

Read on to know how this contest winner recipe from Food52 is prepared.

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Pictorial

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Heat oil and saute one small onion and 2 pods of minced garlic.

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Once the onions are pink, add one cup cooked chickpeas, 2 handfuls of roughly chopped spinach, one small diced capsicum and 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms.

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Add 1 teaspoon paprika and salt as needed.  Let the vegetables cook, mixing in between.

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Beat 5 eggs together and keep aside.

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Once the vegetables are done, add the eggs and mix gingerly allowing it to spread uniformly all over. Let the eggs cook and set over medium heat. Once the eggs are set (took over 10 minutes for me), you can grill this for a minute in the oven to get the golden brown top if you want to.

Serves: 4

Recipe source: Food52.com

Ingredients:

  • 5 eggs, beaten
  • one small onion
  • 2 pods of garlic, minced
  • one small capsicum, diced
  • 1/2 cup mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 handfuls spinach, roughly chopped
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • salt
  • 1-2 tsp oil

Method:

  1. Heat oil and saute one small onion and 2 pods of minced garlic.
  2. Once the onions are pink, add one cup cooked chickpeas, 2 handfuls of roughly chopped spinach, one small diced capsicum and 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms. Add 1 teaspoon paprika and salt as needed.
  3. Let the vegetables cook, mixing in between.
  4. Beat 5 eggs together and keep aside. Once the vegetables are done, add the eggs and mix gingerly allowing it to spread uniformly all over.
  5. Let the eggs cook and set over medium heat. Once the eggs are set (took over 10 minutes for me), you can grill this for a minute in the oven to get the golden brown top if you want to.

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Tomato tartine

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The image I had about French food was that it was elaborate and time consuming. With that image planted firm long back, I have never really tried to learn more about it.

It’s Valli’s Blogging Marathon that has me thinking about French cuisine and to my surprise, I find its not all that hard. There are quite a lot of recipes, with lots of vegetarian options, that you can try out. To save myself time from digging around aimlessly, I took out Dorie Greenspan’s book ‘Around my French table’ from the library.

The book contains recipes she has been served and she has served others when in France. Going through the book, it was a realization that food is kind of global now a days and the recipes have long left their roots to become part of other cultures as well. For example, hummus is as popular in US or France as it is in the Middle East. It’s not surprising to include it in a book because its become a part of daily lives there.

When referenced by their local names, the food appears to be ‘foreign’ than it actually is. Carottes rapees sounds very French. But if I tell you that its grated carrot salad with some amazing dressing, it sounds like something we can try our hands on. I bet you, to a foreigner, our simple homemade lunch or rice, rasam and thogayal  might sound a lot more complicated than it actually is!!

Anyway, coming to the recipe here – its a tartine. Tartines are open sandwiches. Dorie explains it well by mentioning that these are more of a concept than a single recipe. A piece of bread with one or more spreads and with one or more fillings on top and that’s your tartine.  It can be a heavy meal, a light one or something to nibble on…its upto you. The book has a recipe for tartine regime or dieter’s tartine, which has a low fat spread and a topping of seasoned tomatoes and cucumber. That’s the first recipe for you this week.

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Recipe adapted slighty from Dorie Greenspan’s book – around my French table

Serves : 1

Theme : French recipes

Ingredients:

  • 2 slices French bread
  • 2 teaspoon cream cheese*
  • 1 tomato diced into small cubes
  • 1/2 cucumber cut into small cubes
  • salt and pepper

*The book suggested fromage blanc or a substitute of cottage cheese+sour cream

Method:

  1. Slice the bread and grill or toast it.
  2. Spread the cheese over it.
  3. In a small bowl, mix the diced tomatoes and cucumbers with salt and pepper.
  4. Spoon this over the bread.
  5. Slice the bread in half or serve whole. Add a salad on the side and a its a mini meal!

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This recipe goes to Blogging Marathon 55, under French recipes.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 55

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Podi Idli

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A good way to start my day would be with idlis served with milagai podi (gun powder/idli podi). But sometimes, you can just put the two together and present it as podi idli.

This version doesn’t contain itself to the breakfast table, it sneaks into my kid’s and my husband’s lunch box also at times. It’s a perfect travel food, where in you don’t have to carry the main food and a separate side dish.

And the best part is you just have to use three ingredients… idlis, milagai podi and 2 teaspoons of oil!

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Pictorial:

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Cut the idli into even sized cubes and keep aside.

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Heat oil in a pan.

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You can either add the podi to the oil first and then add the idlis to it or do the other way around. Here, the idli has gone in first and the podi is added on top.

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Let the idlis get coated with the podi on all sides.

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Cook in low flame, turning now and then. Take off the heat when it reaches your preferred level of crispiness.

Recipe theme: 3 ingredients

Serves : 2

Ingredients:

Method:

  1. Cut the idli into even sized cubes and keep aside.
  2. Heat oil in a pan. You can either add the podi to the oil first and then add the idlis to it or do it the other way around. Let the idlis get coated with the podi on all sides.
  3. Cook in low heat for and flip over and cook all the sides until its crispy and has an even coating of podi on all sides. You can do this until you get the level of crispiness you want.
  4. Take off the heat and serve as such or with ketchup.

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Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 53 

Sending this post across to ‘Come, join us for Breakfast’

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Coconut bread – quick bread

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We all make mistakes. Sometimes big mistakes.

Mine was also big. A BIG pack of coconut flakes.

Now, if you know how to use it up, then it’s not a problem. But if you are short of ideas, the bag will totally weigh you down.

Thank God for the internet and the problem isn’t that big anymore. It’s one cup short now and I am taking it cup-wise now a days.

Scroll down for the recipe.

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Recipe source : Taste of home

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1.5 cups milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup flaked coconut, toasted

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F/ 180 C. Grease and line a loaf pan with parchment paper.
  2. Whisk the dry ingredients together in a big bowl (flour, baking powder, sugar, salt).
  3. In a smaller bowl, whisk the egg, milk and vanilla extract.
  4. Combine the wet and dry ingredients until just incorporated.
  5. Fold the coconut flakes and transfer the  batter into the loaf pan.
  6. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted in the middle of the loaf comes free of crumbs.
  7. Let the cake cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes before moving to a wire rack to cool completely.

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Smorgastarta – Sandwich cake

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This post goes to the facebook group Home Bakers Guild, as part of their Blogger Tuesdays

Hi all,

I am back. And you have no idea how glad I am to be back!

I am happy, because if it weren’t for the Guild and Blogger Tuesdays, my blog vacation would have become a blog break! It was already bordering somewhere there, but let’s not go there now. There will be a post, every Tuesday recipe the whole of this month. Let’s begin with that and slowly take it from there.

Like I wrote last week, we shifted to U.S. one and a half months back. Right from finding a steering wheel in the passenger seat in your car (they switched it, would you believe!!) to finding just empty space inside the closet (in India, you will have built-in shelves inside wardrobes), everything is different. None of the changes are big, but it’s been a deluge of small ones.

The inevitable question from everyone has been,”How do you find the place? Do you like it?”. It’s a simple query, but I find it the most difficult one to answer. Because I miss home the minute I hear it. Coming to think of it, I don’t even know which home I am missing – our house, my in-laws house or my parents’ house… food for thought!

But then, that’s life and you go where it takes you. And be happy about it. It’s different from what we have known all our life, but that doesn’t mean that it’s bad. It means that you need to open up a bit more.

And once you open up your mind, you might enjoy a different, but delightful experience. Not unlike the cake here.

Whoever thought sandwich can get dressed up like this!?

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Smogastarta is a popular sandwich cake from Sweden. It’s savory and is served chilled. It’s apparently served for birthdays, weddings, funerals and all sort of gatherings (says Wiki).

It’s really versatile…it can be an appetizer (small individual portions), lunch or even a wedding cake! It’s a non vegetarian dish by default, but again it can be easily adapted into vegetarian or a vegan avatar.

The sandwich filling options are endless. I tried my usual Nita Mehta cottage cheese filling. Egg salad would be good with this. A combination of potatoes and peas mashed along with some pudina chutney would be wonderful and filling as well. The ‘frosting’ recipes also vary a lot. It usually includes cream cheese, but I was happy with thick yogurt itself.

Do try out this cake. A truly ‘hatke’ (different) cake..

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Recipe source: the internet, Saveur

Ingredients:

  • Bread, home made or ready made. If baking at home, a 6″ round pan would be the best
  • Sandwich filling of your choice
  • Decorations : vegetables of your choice
  • Yogurt and mayonnaise for the ‘frosting’

What I used: 

  • Three slices of whole wheat bread, cut using a sharp lid
  • Filling 1:  (Recipe source: Nita Mehta’s Sandwiches book)
    • 2 tbsp cottage cheese or grated paneer
    • 1 tbsp tomato ketch up
    • 1/2 tsp ginger garlic paste
    • 1 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
    • salt and pepper for seasoning
  • Filling 2:
    • 2-3 tbsp finely chopped salad vegetable (lettuce, carrot, cabbage)
    • 2 tsp mayonnaise
    • 1 tsp thick yogurt
    • salt and pepper
  • Outer frosting:
    • 3/4 cup thick yogurt (this qty varies depending on the size of the bread)
    • 2-3 tbsp mayonnaise (this varies in proportion to the yogurt)
    • salt

Method: 

If you are baking the bread, follow the recipe and bake it in a 6″ round pan. Once it’s baked and cooled completely, level the dome and cut into one or two layers.

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Here, I have used a sharp dabba for cutting the bread into a circle. Three slices for two layers.

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Make the fillings. This is cottage cheese + ketch up + ginger garlic paste + coriander leaves. Mix and fill one layer.

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Fill the other slice also with filling of your choice.

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Make the ‘frosting’ recipe by mixing yogurt and mayonnaise. Add salt to taste. Check the seasonings and adjust per taste. Add this to the assembled sandwich.

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Coat the sandwich all over and decorate as per your wish. Since I was covering the bread all over with coriander leaves and cherry tomatoes, I was not striving for a smooth finish.

You can decorate with chopped cucumber, boiled eggs, lettuce, carrots…whatever you like and goes well with your sandwich.

Chill and server your smogastarta. Enjoy!

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Savory corn and pepper muffins

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This post goes to the facebook group Home Bakers Guild, as part of their Blogger Tuesdays.

This is Rajani here, I blog at My Kitchen Trials. Thank you for having me at the guild again as part of Blogger Tuesdays this month.

I blog because I love food. And food photography. But the main reason is I also like to think out loud. My loud mouth has gotten me into a lot of tight spots in real life, but thankfully that’s not happened much in the blog space till now.

I like to record the little things in my life, the everyday things that we love at that moment but soon gets forgotten in the rush of life. And at times, I like to talk about the big things too.

I was here in this forum for June Blogger Tuesdays with two posts. I posted them from my home in Chennai.I have traveled a long way from that time. Literally! I have crossed the oceans and traveled 10 hours back in time. I have come to another country, another continent, another world.

See….big things!!

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I boarded that flight to US in July mid (remind me to tell you that story some other time. Excerpts include a delayed flight from Chennai, raised BP, fight over checking in the cabin baggage, Olympic style midnight marathon at the airport to catch the connecting international flight and a literal last minute boarding).

The man, my dear husband, was already there a couple of months before in the US. The house hunting was over, the car was bought. The tough part was over, all I had to do was to step into the semi-set house, fix it up fully and start running it. A piece of cake, right?

What I didn’t know was when a man says the kitchen is already set, he might mean,”That’s where the salt is. That’s all one needs for cooking, right?”

You miss your comfortable home the most when you are standing in the kitchen with a big cabbage in your hand, wondering how to cut it because there is no knife or a cutting board.

You miss the simple things in life that you took for granted.

It snowballs and then you miss your family, friends and the fun you had back home.

It is a task to remind oneself that there are fun times ahead too, but that’s not the first thought that comes when you look at that cabbage in hand.

Relocating and starting from scratch is no cake walk, at least not for me. It’s been one day at a time, one meal at a time. But gets better everyday and it helps that we now have a knife and cutting board as well in the kitchen :-).

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For the recipe today, I have chosen a savory treat. It’s slightly adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking From My Home to Yours. You can view the recipe in the book preview as well.

I am trying a corn muffin for the first time. LOVED it would be an understatement. These were quite a different treat from the usual sweet bakes and the whole batch disappeared before I could even get a decent click! These freeze well, so you can make ahead if you want to.

See you all next week!

Makes : 12 

Ingredients:

Dry Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all purpose flour (or 1 cup flour + 1 cup cornmeal)
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp baking powder (yes, tbsp – not tsp)
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp chilli powder (or more, per your taste)
  • 3/4 spoon ground pepper powder

Wet Ingredients:

  • 1 cup buttermilk ( 1 blended 1/2 cup yogurt + 1/2 cup water and measured out one cup buttermilk)
  • 100 gm (1 stick) butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 large egg yolk ( I used an egg instead)
  • Water, as needed

Oher stuff:

  • 1/2 cup corn, frozen or fresh
  • 1 small jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped fine
  • 1/4 red pepper, seeded and chopped fine
  • 2 tbsp cilantro, cleaned and chopped fine

Method:

Heat oven to 200C/400F. Grease a muffin tray and keep aside.

Cut the butter into cubes and melt, set aside to cool.

In a large pan, mix the dry ingredients together. Ie, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, salt, pepper and chilli powder until well combined.

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Once the butter is cooled, add the prepared buttermilk and egg/egg yolk and mix well until combined.

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Add the wet ingredients to the dry. Whisk until combined. Don’t over mix.  I had to add some water also to get this consistency. If it happens to you as well, add water in tablespoons, until you get a lumpy batter. Don’t add too much water all at once.

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Add the corn kernels,  chopped red pepper, jalapenos and coriander leaves. Stir it in.  
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Divide the batter evenly into the muffin molds and bake for about 20 minutes or so, this time may vary from oven to oven. You can check whether the muffins are done by inserting a skewer or thin knife inserted into the middle of muffins. It is done if the skewer/knife comes out without any crumbs attached to it.

 

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Remove from the oven and let it cool down for 5 minutes in the pan itself. Carefully take them out and serve once they are warm. These can be cling wrapped and frozen as well.

 

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Grab one and have it as soon as it’s cool enough to pop into your mouth, else they will all be finished before you realize it!

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