Tag Archives: Blogging Marathon

Piperade

IMG_2243 

What I love most about this recipe is its name – Piperade!  Try saying it out and you will know what I mean. I tried learning how to pronounce it properly, but people are pronouncing it differently in different audios. So I am going to stick to my version – Pipparade :D!

Though the name is fancy and really interesting, the dish is a really simple one. It’s no more than sauteed onions and peppers with some tomatoes in it. What makes it French is the chilly that goes into it – Piment d’Espelette. A common substitute is cayenne pepper and that’s what I have used in this recipe.

The flavors include a combination of sweetness from the peppers and onions, heat from the chilly used and a little tartness from the tomatoes. But the sweetness dominates. This dish can be used in a variety of ways. One common way is to break an egg into it and bake/cook until its set. With a grilled piece of bread on the side, that would be a great meal for a busy day.

It can be a main dish, side dish or a condiment depending on how you serve it. It can be served over scrambled eggs, inside a sandwich, filling for rolls or even with rice – as one video suggested. My vote is for the grilled bread and baked eggs. But you make your choice :-). Read on for the recipe!

IMG_2232  

Pictorial: 

IMG_2210 

Blanch tomatoes by cutting a small ‘x’ in the base and then immersing them in boiling hot water for about 30 seconds or until the skin starts to kind of peel.

IMG_2215

Drain, peel the skin, dice finely and keep aside.

IMG_2211

Heat oil in a pan. Add the garlic and sliced onions. Saute until the onion softens.

IMG_2217

Add the peppers and saute until it softens a bit.

IMG_2219

Add the diced tomatoes, cayenne pepper, salt and mix.

IMG_2220

Cover and cook, stirring in between, until the peppers are done and tomato turn mushy.

IMG_2221

Take the lid off and check the taste and consistency. If it’s runny, you can let it cook until it dries up a bit. Else you can use it as such.

Recipe adapted from: Piperade

Serves 3-4 

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 pods garlic, chopped fine
  • 1 medium onion, chopped fine
  • 3 peppers in different colors, cut into 1″ long pieces
  • 4 tomatoes, blanched and peeled
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • salt as needed

Method:

  1. Blanch tomatoes by cutting a small ‘x’ in the base and then immersing them in boiling hot water for about 30 seconds or until the skin starts to wrinkle and peel. Drain, peel the skin, dice finely and keep aside.
  2. Heat oil in a pan. Add the garlic and sliced onions. Saute until the onion softens.
  3. Add the peppers and saute until it softens a bit.
  4. Add the diced tomatoes, cayenne pepper, salt and mix. Cover and cook, stirring in between, until the peppers are done and tomato turn mushy.
  5. Take the lid off and check the taste and consistency. If it’s runny, you can let it cook until it dries up a bit. Else you can use it as such.
  6. Serve as a sandwich filling, over rice, with baked eggs and grilled bread or as you prefer.

IMG_2244
This recipe goes to Blogging Marathon 55, under French recipes.

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

6 Comments

Filed under Side Dishes

Soupe au Pistou recipe

3

It was during a shopping trip together that my neighbor told me about this recipe that her mom makes. Dried beans,brown rice and mixed vegetables cooked like a soup in pressure cooker and served hot with salt and pepper. A light, yet filling and healthy, dinner for the whole family.

I picked up all the needed stuff for the recipe and back home I realized that it is a very close version of the French soup – Soupe au Pistou. This soup also has a mix of vegetables, dried beans and pasta (or even rice) in it. The only difference is that at the end, you add a spoon of Pistou (its Pesto minus the nuts) which adds a good flavor to the soup. Well, the pistou soup has to use some pistou in it, right!?

The recipe here, is adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s book – around the French table and I know I am going to try the version with rice as well later!

1

Pictorial

IMG_1971

Soak your choice of beans overnight or at least for four hours until the beans have doubled in size.

IMG_1973

I used one cup from the 16 bean soup pack.

IMG_1980

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil or butter in a pressure cooker or a thick bottomed pan. Add four minced garlic pods and one sliced onion and saute until the onions turn soft. Season with salt and pepper.

IMG_1978

Cut 1 carrot, about 10 french beans and one small potato into slightly big pieces. The choice of vegetables is up to you.

IMG_1982

Once the onions are cooked, add the vegetables. I had some sautéed mushrooms as well to be used up, so that also went in.

IMG_1983

Add about four cups of stock or water.

IMG_1985

Follow this up with 1/3 cup pasta, one cup of soaked beans, one tomato diced and 1/2 cup corn.

IMG_1986

Check the seasonings and adjust as required.  Add 1/2 teaspoon of dried Italian herbs ( I didn’t have the fresh ones in hand).

IMG_1989

Pressure cook for one whistle or cook in low flame until everything in the soup is cooked well. Once the pressure drops in the cooker, serve hot in a bowl with a spoonful of pistou (pesto without nuts).

Recipe source: Dorie Greenspan’s book – around my French table

Serves: 2 as a meal

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of beans of your choice, soaked overnight or one can of beans*
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil or butter
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 medium onion chopped fine
  • salt and pepper as needed
  • 1 carrot, cut into 1/4″ semi circles
  • 10-12 beans, cut into 1″ long pieces
  • 1 small potato, cut into 1″ pieces
  • 1/2 cup sautéed mushrooms (I had this, so it went into the soup)
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1/2 cup corn, fresh or frozen
  • 1/3 cup pasta of your choice
  • 1/2 teaspoon (or more) of dried Italian seasonings
  • pistou, at the time of serving ( You can use pesto as a close substitute)

Method:

  1. Soak your choice of beans overnight or at least for four hours until the beans have doubled in size. I used one cup from the 16 bean soup pack.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil or butter in a pressure cooker or a thick bottomed pan. Add four minced garlic pods and one sliced onion and saute until the onions turn soft. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Cut 1 carrot, about 10 french beans and one small potato into slightly big pieces. The choice of vegetables is up to you.Once the onions are cooked, add the vegetables. I had some sautéed mushrooms as well to be used up, so that also went in.
  4. Add about four cups of stock or water.
  5. Follow this up with 1/3 cup pasta, one cup of soaked beans, one tomato diced and 1/2 cup corn.
  6. Check the seasonings and adjust as required.  Add 1/2 teaspoon of dried Italian herbs ( I didn’t have the fresh ones in hand).
  7. Pressure cook for one whistle or cook in low flame until everything in the soup is cooked well. Once the pressure drops in the cooker, serve hot in a bowl with a spoonful of pistou (pesto without nuts).

2

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

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

6 Comments

Filed under Beverages

Tomato tartine

2

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.

1

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!

IMG_1934
This recipe goes to Blogging Marathon 55, under French recipes.

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

9 Comments

Filed under Any Time Foods, Break Fast Recipes

Brinjal puli kuzhambu

IMG_9826

In a family of three kids, I was the only girl. Now I have three nieces to give me company :-).

It’s sad that I am missing out a lot in their growing up stage, but like my son said yesterday – today’s technology is great. So thanks to the internet, I do get to see glimpses of their lives.

I was in Bangalore when my elder brother’s second daughter was born in January. And my younger brother’s daughter was born in May. We took a road trip to go see her after my son’s vacation started. We covered New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana and finally Illinois to see her.

The little kid in the family( my younger brother) has a little kid of his own now!

IMG_9819

The high light of the trip was of course my 6 week old niece and how she smiles. But on a side track , I picked up this recipe from my brother’s MIL. It’s a version of the regular puli kuzhambu, but this has enough vegetables and beans in it to contribute to a healthy dinner.

Serve this with a cup of rice and the dinner is done!

Pictorial:

IMG_9521

Heat 2 teaspoon oil in a pan and add 1 teaspoon of mustard seeds and half teaspoon of fenugreek seeds.

IMG_9524

Add 5-6 curry leaves, 3-5 pods of chopped garlic and 2 chopped small onions. Saute for 2-3 minutes.

IMG_9525

Add 3/4 cup of sliced radish. Saute for 2-3 minutes.

IMG_9526

Add 2 cups of diced eggplant. Cook for 3-4 minutes.

IMG_9528

Add 1 teaspoon tamarind paste (or use 2 cups tamarind water), salt and 1 tablespoon sambar powder in two cups water.

IMG_9530

Add this to the cooked vegetables.

IMG_9529

Cook two cups rajma or red kidney beans.

IMG_9533

Add that as well to the kuzhambu.

IMG_9535

Cover and let it cook for 5 minutes.

IMG_9540

Add 1 tablespoon of fenugreek powder at this point.

IMG_9544

Grind 1 cup coconut into a very smooth paste and add that to the kuzhambu. You can thicken the curry by using a paste of 2 tablespoon flour with 1/2 cup water instead of coconut.

IMG_9546

Let it boil for 5 minutes. Taste test, adjust seasonings and serve hot with rice.

Recipe source:  My brother’s MIL

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

for seasoning:

  • 2 teaspoon oil
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  • 5-6 curry leaves

for kuzhambu

  • 4-5 garlic pods, chopped fine
  • 2-3 small onions, chopped fine ( or 1/2 medium onion, sliced)
  • 3/4 cup sliced radish pieces
  • 2 cups diced eggplant pieces
  • 1 tablespoon sambar powder
  • 1 teaspoon tamarind paste
  • salt as needed
  • 2 cups cooked rajma(red kidney beans)
  • 1 teaspoon fenugreek powder
  • 1 cup coconut, ground to a very smooth paste with some water

Method:

  1. Heat 2 teaspoon oil in a pan and add 1 teaspoon of mustard seeds and half teaspoon of fenugreek seeds.
  2. Add 5-6 curry leaves, 3-5 pods of chopped garlic and 2 chopped small onions. Saute for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add 3/4 cup of sliced radish. Saute for 2-3 minutes. Add 2 cups of diced eggplant. Cook for 3-4 minutes.
  4. Mix 1 teaspoon tamarind paste in two cups water (or use 2 cups tamarind water) along with salt and 1 tablespoon sambar powder. Add this to the cooked vegetables.
  5. Cook two cups rajma or red kidney beans. Add that as well to the kuzhambu. Cover and let it cook for 5 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon of fenugreek powder at this point.
  6. Grind 1 cup coconut into a very smooth paste and add that to the kuzhambu. You can thicken the curry by using a paste of 2 tablespoon flour with 1/2 cup water instead of coconut. Let it boil for 5 minutes.
  7. Taste test, adjust seasonings and serve hot with rice.

IMG_9812
This recipe goes to Blogging Marathon 55, under healthy dinner recipes.

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

10 Comments

Filed under Side Dishes

Saboot masoor dal

masoor2

The kid’s first bicycle was a gift from my brother. He was in kindergarten then (the kid, not my brother – just thought I would clarify :D). There was no play area near our house at that point of time and so the cycle sat inside the four walls.

Then we moved to the gated community and there was enough space to use the cycle. So the cycle came out and with the training wheels on, the kid used it for a little while. Pretty soon after that, the macho man that my husband is,  took out the training wheels. The kid, all of 5 years then, needed someone to run along with him until he could ride by himself. But I refused to be that someone. So again, the poor cycle went back to the jailhouse.

A lot later, my husband spent a little time – may be an hour max.- one day and the kid never looked back..He just started riding. It did help that he was almost 7 years old and way too tall for the cycle. Anytime he felt he might fall, he could easily keep his foot on the ground. The cycle did get some good use after that and we were thinking of getting one appropriate for his age when we moved to U.S.

We did get him a cycle here this spring. Its a really tall one and yet he rides smoothly. The day he got the cycle, he let his dad test it out and every other kid who asked him. But when I asked for my turn, he hugged the cycle and had a really worried look in his face. “No”, he told me, “I can’t give you my cycle. You are heavy and you will break it.” Sigh….

Gone is the trusting little boy who looks at his mom as the super woman. Now we have a mini grown up man who takes his decision based on what he sees! Well, you know that is good when he looks at this meal and tell you that it looks yummy and healthy :-).

masoor3

Recipe source: A friend in Edison

Serves : 4

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cups saboot masoor dal
  • 2 teaspoon oil or ghee
  • 1 teaspoon jeera
  • pinch hing
  • 1 tsp ginger garlic paste
  • 3-4 green chillies, chopped fine
  • 1 medium onion, chopped fine
  • 1 small tomato, chopped fine
  • 1 teaspoon each chilli powder, coriander powder, garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • salt to taste
  • water as required to get the right consistency

Method:

  1. Soak the dal in water for half an hour and pressure cook with enough water until done. About 5 whistles or so. Once its done, let the pressure come down and keep aside.
  2. Heat oil or ghee in a pan and add jeera and hing. Once the jeera changes color, add the chopped onions along with ginger garlic paste (or minced ginger and garlic), green chillies. Let it cook until the onion changes color.
  3. Add the tomatoes and cook for a minute or two.
  4. Add all the spice powders – chili powder, coriander powder, garam masala and turmeric powder. Cook until the tomatoes are totally mushy. You can add a tablespoon or two of water if the curry sticks to the bottom of the pan.
  5. Add the cooked dal along with the water in which it was cooked. Season with salt and let it come to a boil.
  6. You might want to add more water to bring it to the consistency you want. Start with half cup and then take it from there.
  7. Check the seasonings and adjust according to your preference. Cover and cook for 4-5 minutes.
  8. Take off the heat. Serve with rotis, rice or even idli and dosa. I tried it with them all and it tasted yummy every time!

 

masoor4
This recipe goes to Blogging Marathon 55, under healthy dinner recipes.

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

10 Comments

Filed under Side Dishes

Tres leches II

IMG_8740

If I have to choose one character from literature I can identify myself with, it won’t be superman, spider man or wonder woman. That character would be Anne of Green gables. Not the later books where she grows up to be a sensible woman, but the first one where she is a simple yakkety yak and messes up a lot of things.

Anne gets her best friend Diana drunk by serving red wine under the assumption that it was raspberry cordial. Later she makes a beautiful layer cake for  Mrs. Allen whom she adores. The only thing was – instead of vanilla, she mixes anodyne liniment (a medicine) and the cake tastes awful. The sweet lady that Mrs. Allen is, she eats the cake to spare Anne’s feelings. But her guardian Marilla finds out about the disaster and Anne is mortified. I have had my fills of cake disasters to know what it feels like!

Now this cake is not Anne’s layer cake with liniment. It’s a different version of Tres leches cake, a much simpler one, I might add. This cake wasn’t a disaster as well. In fact it was a big hit, even I liked it a lot, which is becoming rare nowadays.

Coming back to Anne, its a wonderful book and a great read for kids and adults alike. I haven’t read all the books, but have read the first two books again and again. It’s almost like I don’t want her to grow up, instead happier where she is a kid..a feeling that crops up in real life also at times, I guess :-)!

IMG_8734

Recipe source: All recipes

Makes : 9X13″ cake

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour/maida
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup/1 stick/110 gms unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 5 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

The three milk syrup

  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 (12 fluid ounce) can evaporated milk (substitute cream or even skip this)

Frosting

  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Method:

  1. Heat oven to 350F/180C. Grease a 13X9 baking pan. I used an aluminium food tray with lid, making it convenient for travel.
  2. Using a hand or stand mixer, beat the softened stick of butter and with one cup sugar until its creamy and fluffy. Add all the five eggs and 2 tsp vanilla extract (ideally, one at a time, but you will be adding the flour later, so even if the mix curdles, its going to be okay) and mix until its incorporated well.
  3. Add 1 teaspoon baking powder and mix well again.
  4. Add flour in 1/4 cupful batches and keep mixing until its all well blended. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 30-35 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes free of crumbs.
  5. Once the cake is baked fully, take it out of the oven and let it cool completely.
  6. Prepare the tres leches syrup in the meantime. Combine the whole milk, condensed milk and evaporated milk together. Keep refrigerated until the cake cools down.
  7. Pierce the cake with fork all over. Add the prepared syrup over the cake.
  8. For a simple topping, whip the cream with sugar and vanilla extract until thick and spread on top. I went for rose swirls.

Note:

  • This cake needs to be refrigerated until the time of serving.
  • The syrup will ooze out and that’s the way its supposed to be.
  • Whipped cream with strawberries or cherries on top is one of the ways to decorate the cake.
  • The cake should be served on a plate or on a bowl because of the syrup.

IMG_8744

Linking this entry to Valli’s Kid’s Delight, hosted by PJ this month. The theme is ‘Cooking from Storybooks/TV shows’.

11 Comments

Filed under Cakes and Bakes, Sweets and Desserts

Palak Khichdi

IMG_9845

Most of my knowledge about Indian mythology is from Amar chitra katha, the Indian comics. Interesting stories presented with beautiful pictures,  never fails to hit the mark!

Not just mythology, you had a lot of history based, folk based and even humor based stories. Now, the last category holds a special place  in my heart. Stories of the funny Tenali Rama or the wisdom laced humor of Birbal always leave you wanting more!

This khichdi is inspired from a Birbal story. On their morning walk around a cold lake in winter, a debate gets started whether someone would be so crazy as to stay in the water for a whole night in return for a reward. To test this out, Akbar announces the challenge to the public and soon someone accepts it.

That guy spends the whole night in the cold water with some guards around him to ensure that he doesn’t cheat. The next morning, Akbar asks him how he survived the night and he replies that he focused his sight and mind solely on a far away lamp to get him through the challenge. Akbar gets irked by the answer and decides not to pay the reward on the grounds that the lamp kept him warm.

Birbal felt it wasn’t fair. To prove his point, he invites Akbar for lunch to his place. The food seems to take a long time to get ready. After a long wait, Akbar walks into the kitchen and sees that Birbal is preparing khichdi. The problem was that the pot was hung about 10 feet over the stove.

Akbar asks Birbal how is he planning to get the khichdi cooked, as the pot was so far away from the stove! Birbal smartly replies,”If a lamp 50 feet away can keep a guy warm in an ice cold lake, why can’t a pot full of khichdi kept 10 feet away get cooked in time?” Akbar understands his mistake and orders the reward to be paid.

And they went back to the palace for a wholesome lunch, I hope!!

I have no idea whether this story really took place or not, but its a popular story and the saying “Birbal ki khichdi” even came out of it.

So here I have for you food from kids literature : Birbal ki khichdi, prepared by moi :D.

IMG_9861

Pictorial

IMG_9835

Cook 1 cup rice and 1/4 cup moong dal with 4 cups water. Keep aside.

IMG_9828

Heat 1 tablespoon ghee and add 1 teaspoon jeera in it.

IMG_9829

Once it changes color, add 1 tablespoon chopped garlic to it.

IMG_9830

Add one big chopped onion and saute further.

IMG_9831

Once the onion turns pink add one chopped tomato and cook 2-3 minutes. Add salt and 1/2 tsp turmeric powder.

IMG_9832

Grind 2 cups of spinach with 2-3 green chillies and 1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste. You can add 1/2 cup coriander leaves and 1/4 cup mint leaves as well, if you want to.  Add this puree to the onion-tomato mix. Cook 3-4 minutes until the raw smell goes off.

IMG_9833

Add the cooked rice and dal mix and keep mixing until the color turns fully green.

IMG_9841

Add 2-3 cups of water till you get the consistency you desire. Take off the heat and serve with a dollop of butter on top. This dish pairs very well with yogurt and pickle.

Serves : 2-3

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup rice
  • 1/4 cup moong dal
  • 1 tablespoon ghee
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 1 big onion, chopped
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • salt

grind together

  • 2 cups spinach
  • 2-3 green chillies
  • 1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste
  • 1/2 cup coriander leaves
  • 1/4 cup mint leaves

Method:

  1. Cook 1 cup rice and 1/4 cup moong dal with 4 cups water. Keep aside.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon ghee and add 1 teaspoon jeera in it. Once it changes color, add 1 tablespoon chopped garlic to it. Add one big chopped onion and saute further.
  3.  Once the onion turns pink add one chopped tomato and cook 2-3 minutes. Add salt and 1/2 tsp turmeric powder.
  4. Grind 2 cups of spinach with 2-3 green chillies and 1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste. You can add 1/2 cup coriander leaves and 1/4 cup mint leaves as well, if you want to.  Add this puree to the onion-tomato mix. Cook 3-4 minutes until the raw smell goes off.
  5. Add the cooked rice and dal mix and keep mixing until the color turns fully green. Add 2-3 cups of water till you get the consistency you desire.
  6. Take off the heat and serve with a dollop of butter on top. This dish pairs very well with yogurt and pickle.

IMG_9872

Linking this entry to Valli’s Kid’s Delight, hosted by PJ this month. The theme is ‘Cooking from Storybooks/TV shows’.

9 Comments

Filed under Rice

Mashed potatoes

IMG_9315

Growing up, our life had this wonderful world of books. My mother read a lot and the house was always overflowing with books. It was natural for us to pick up reading given that we had a mom whose hands never seemed to be without a book. With a hectic life between her job and three kids at home, no wonder she drowned herself in a sea of books on weekends. On weekends, I remember her skipping her meals and even her bath, to finish whatever she was reading at that time.

Anyway, fast forward to the present and now, thanks to the schools in US, my son does read a little. He quickly understood that his bed time can be pushed by another half an hour at least if he picks a book! I can see him howling with his latest Calvin and Hobbes book or reading his dinosaur books with a lot of interest.

Charlie and Lola were part of our lives earlier. Though he has outgrown the book and the series, it still holds a good place in our hearts. “I will never ever eat a tomato” is the first book, a TV series followed. Lola is a 5-year-old picky eater and her 7-year brother Charlie fixes her a dinner. She doesn’t like peas, carrots, mushroom, spaghetti, cauliflower, cabbage, bananas or oranges or apples or rice or cheese…but she would never ever eat a tomato!

Charlie comes up with imaginative names – carrots becomes orange twiglets from Jupiter, peas are now green drops from Greenland, mashed potatoes are cloud fluff from top most peak in Mt. Fuji and so on. The dinner here is something Lola would run away from, unless Charlie steps in between.

Charlie and lola

Food theme: Food from kids’ literature/TV shows

Serves : 1-2 kids

Orange Twiglets from Jupiter/ Glazed carrots 

  • Match stick carrots, about 1/2 cup
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup (I didn’t have any)
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • a dash of salt and pepper,optional.

Melt butter in a pan and add the washed and cleaned carrot sticks into it. Saute for 2-3 minutes and add the sugar, maple syrup (if using) and salt and pepper. Cook, stirring in between, for about 5-8 minutes or until the carrots are cooked through. The cooking time will depend on the quantity and the thickness of the carrot sticks.

Green drops from Green land/ sautéed peas 

  • 1/4 cup frozen green peas, thawed
  • 1 tsp butter
  • salt

Melt butter in a pan and add the thawed peas and salt. Let it cook until done, about 3-5 minutes.

Cloud fluff from Mt. Fuji/ Mashed potatoes

  • 2 big potatoes, diced
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp milk

Cook potatoes in salted water and drain once cooked. Warm butter and milk together. Add this to the drained, steaming potatoes along with salt and pepper. Mash well using a wooden spoon, adding a little more warmed milk, if required.

Ocean nibbles from the supermarket under the sea/ Toasted bread sticks

  • No fish sticks, so I toasted a piece of bread and cut it into fingers.

Moonsquirters

  • Cherry tomatoes!!

Pink milk:

  • Ready made strawberry milk

IMG_9337

Linking this entry to Valli’s Kid’s Delight, hosted by PJ this month. The theme is ‘Cooking from Storybooks/TV shows’.

8 Comments

Filed under Side Dishes

Bitter gourd chips – Pavakkai chips

pavakka chips2

I love eating full meals from hotels in Kerala. The number of items may be less compared to a thali meal from Tamil Nadu, but they make that up with their taste and flavor. The platter mostly has rice, sambar, rasam, moru kachiyathu, 1-2 kinds of vegetable side dishes, pickle and pappad. Sometimes they serve this deep fried bittergourd on the side. Its the simplest of the dishes, but yet I can never get enough of it!

Who thought such a simple recipe would yield such delicious results! All you got to do is slice the vegetable, add chili powder and salt and then deep fry it. They fry it until its brown and there is not much of green. You might find curry leaves as well and even thin pieces of coconut in the dish.

I didn’t want to risk burning these, so I added a bit of rice flour for crispiness and took them out of the oil once they looked cooked and crispy enough to my eyes. These looked good enough to be served with tea, but somehow I liked the flavor a lot better with rice.

pavakka chips1

Ingredients:

  • 2 karela/bitter gourd/pavakka
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 2 tbsp rice flour (optional)
  • salt
  • oil to deep fry

*handful of curry leaves is a good addition to this

Method:

  1. Slice the bitter gourd into thin rounds. I spread them out on a paper towel evenly for drying.
  2. Add the bitter gourd pieces in a bowl, add the rice flour, chili powder and salt. Mix well with your hands. You can add whatever masalas you want to the bittergourd, I used only chili powder and salt.
  3. Deep fry until golden brown in oil and drain in paper towels. Once cool, store in an air tight container. Serve with rice as a side dish or munch on them with a cup of coffee. Personally, I prefer with rice.

pavakka chips3

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 54

13 Comments

Filed under Any Time Foods, Side Dishes

Apple fritters

IMG_9408

Apple fritters were the last thing in my mind until I saw these in Vaishali’s blog. I wanted to try a batch immediately, but as it always happens, procrastination somehow found its way in.

When I did try, I knew I didn’t want to try the round and sliced apple fritters. I could almost see the fritters ending up with two separate layers : one would be the apple and the other would be the batter. Trust me, it’s happened before. So I tried one that seemed more appropriate for my modest deep-frying skills.

These fritters got over fast, but I found them lacking in sweetness. Since I skipped sprinkling with confectioners sugar or rolling in the cinnamon sugar part, I should have increased the sugar to at least 1/4 cup. So in case you have tart apples and want to use them up this way, adjust the sugar according to your taste preference.

IMG_9430

Pictorial:

IMG_9389

In a big bowl, add 1 cup flour, 1 tablespoon sugar, 1 teaspoon baking powder and a pinch of salt. Whisk well. You can add a bit more sugar if you want it to be sweeter.

IMG_9392

Add two lightly beaten eggs, half cup milk, 1 tablespoon melted butter or oil to the dry ingredients and combine well.

IMG_9393

Add 2 cups peeled and chopped apples.

IMG_9394

Mix well to combine.

IMG_9401

Deep fry until golden brown in batches.

IMG_9405

Drain in paper towel and sprinkle with confectioners sugar and serve.

Recipe adapted from allrecipes.com

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar**
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • a pinch salt
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon oil or melted butter
  • 2 cups chopped apples
  • oil to deep fry
  • confectioners sugar for sprinkling

**Adjust sugar according to your preference.

Method:

  1. Whisk the dry ingredients together in a big bowl (flour, baking powder, sugar and salt).
  2. Add the lightly beaten eggs, milk and oil to the dry ingredients. Mix until combined well. You might have to add a tablespoon or two of milk if the batter is too dry.
  3. Now add the peeled and chopped apples and mix until everything is well and evenly combined.
  4. Heat oil to deep fry and add the apple batter in tablespoonfuls. Deep fry until golden in batches until the batter is used up.
  5. Sprinkle with confectioners sugar and serve warm.

IMG_9416

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 54

13 Comments

Filed under Any Time Foods