Sunday, October 30, 2011

Bread Upma

Whoever buys bread from Sam’s, would appreciate this recipe. Because there we HAVE to pick two big loafs for bread. I try not to buy them there, but you know how sometimes you think you can finish it off and by the time you are onto your second one, you are literally pushing it close to the expire date.. So instead of wasting that nutritious multigrain bread, I make this upkari so I get my family to finish it up. J
Serves: 4 | Prep Time: 10 min. | Cooking Time: 15 min.

Bread – 6 slices (I use multigrain/ whole wheat bread)
Shallots – 1 bunch ( Can substitute with medium size onion)
Tomato – 1 medium
Red chili powder – 1 tsp.
Turmeric powder – 1 pinch
Cumin seeds – 1 tsp.
Mustard seeds – ½ tsp.
Chana Dal/ Bengal Gram Dal – 1 tsp. (optional)
Urad Dal/ Black Gram Dal – 1 tsp. (optional)
Peanuts – handful (optional)
Salt to taste
Sugar – ½ ~ 1 tsp.
Olive oil – 1 tsp.

Method of Preparation:

~ Toast all the breads at a mark 3 in a toaster. Cut them lengthwise into 1 inch wide strips. Cut these strips again into 1 inch wide chunks.

~ Wash and cut shallots, keep green tender parts separately.
~ Wash and cut tomatoes.
~ In a pan, heat oil and add mustard seeds.
~ Once mustard seeds splutters, add cumin seeds.
~ If using add peanuts and the dal’s and fry for some time.
~ Add root white portion of the shallots and fry for a minute.
~ Add tomatoes, turmeric, chili powder and salt to taste. Cook until tomatoes are done.
~ Now add breads chunks, mix it up with the masala and add sugar and green shallots and switch it off.
~ Yummy snack is ready to be devoured. J

Sending this to Amy’s “Love your Food, Don’t waste it” event

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Pumpkin soup

Once the fall season starts we have too many pumpkin’s sitting around house. Kids go pumpkin picking from school, then with friends and we end up with lots and lots of them. We carved a few, cooked a few. Here is a pumpkin and spinach soup that I tried after my son asked me for one. It was quite tasty with all the pepper and spices. Loved its vibrant color.
Hmmm, can you smell the crispy leaves basking in beautiful afternoon? But fall always passes by too quickly.  I wish it stays in 70s temperature always. I love beautiful fall colors. Ahh.. with no such luck and cold coming in yday, try this hot soup to relish at home instead.

Serves: 3 | Prep Time: 10 min. | Cooking Time: 20 min.

Brother pumpkin & Sister pumpkin hanging out together

  • Pumpkin – 2 cups - Peeled and pressure cooked / pumpkin puree
  • Spinach/ Palak - 1 cup (coarsely chopped)
  • Diced Tomatoes & chilies (mild) - 1 (Ro*tel brand - 10 oz can )
  • Vegetable/ Chicken broth - 14.5 oz can (or Water)
  • Onion - 1 medium
  • Garlic – 2 pods
  • Pepper powder – ½ tsp.
  • Thyme powder - 1 tsp.
  • Heavy cream - 2 tbsp. 
  • Olive Oil – 2 tsp.
  • Salt to taste

One of the pumpkin is almost wilted from direct sunlight
Method of Preparation
~ In a pan, heat oil and add onion, garlic and fry till translucent.
~ Add spinach and cook for few minutes until spinach wilts.
~ Add diced tomatoes and chilies, pumpkin puree and mix it all together. Switch off after 5 minutes.
~ After this is cooled, puree it in a blender.
~ Now heat this puree in the same pan, add chicken/ vegetable stock, pepper powder, thyme powder.
~ Check the salt and add to taste. Bring the soup to a boil.
~ Switch off and add heavy cream and give it a nice mix.
~ While serving you can add some more cream and some mint leaves to garnish.

Sending this to Vardhini's Halloween Fiesta event.
Dee's Pumpkin blog hop
Kalyani's 100 Days Global Food Festival
Srivalli's Soup's and Salad Mela

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Mango Mousse (Eggless)

Happy Diwali everyone.! Hope this diwali brings sparkles in everyone's life.

This Mango Mousse is a great dessert for any occasion. I thought I will blog about this yummy dish today to celebrate Diwali. Who wouldn’t want to try this tropical fruit dessert right? My friend Soujanya had made a dessert with Mango. This was about 7 yrs ago when I had met her. Later I kept making changes to her recipe. Every time it has turned out exotic and of course tons of compliments.  The ease of it’s preparation always pulls me back to this dessert. J

I took these pictures when I made this for my DD's parent-child work day at her school. It's a fun day with all parents joining forces with teachers and kids to get the things done around the school. We helped in preparing and planting the tulips (my FAVOURITE flowers!). We had so much fun that day. Now coming back to the delicious mousse....
Serves: 10 to 12 | Prep Time: 10 min.

·         Mango pulp – 1 can
·         Cream Cheese – 16 Oz. pkg.
·         Unflavored Gelatin / Agar-Agar (I used Knox brand gelatin)
– 2 small packets (1/4 cup gelatin)
·         Heavy whipping Cream – 1/2 pint.
·         Sugar – ½ to 1 cup (depending upon your sweet tooth)
·         Water – 2 cups
Method of Preparation:
~ Thaw Cream cheese for about an hour.
~ Put the stainless steel beaters and a bowl in the freezer for 15 minutes. (You can skip this. But having cold bowl helps whip the cream quickly)
~ Take out the bowl, add heavy cream, use electric beater at medium speed to whip the heavy cream. Once it starts to froth, add cream cheese and continue to beat until nice spikes are formed.

~ Fold in Mango pulp and sugar into this mix.
~ In a separate small bowl take ½ cup of cold water. Sprinkle the gelatin powder on top of the cold water and let it stand for a minute.
~ Pour 1½ cup of hot water on top of the gelatin and mix it by gently stirring. Make sure no lumps are formed.
~ Add this gelatin mix to the prepared mango mixture and give it a gentle stir.

~ Pour the mixture into bowl and refrigerate for at least 5 to 6 hours for it to set.
~ You can serve it topped with some whipping cream or fruits or just plain mousse.  

·         Alternatively you can set them in individual small serving cups.

Update - Some tips of substituting -
~ If you don't care for mango, you can use any other fruit pulp
~ In India you get Amul's Cream, which is very similar to heavy cream that I have mentioned above.
~ You can skip Cream Cheese if not available (I know, it's difficult to get this in India & also the same quality), but double the gelatin qunatity.

Sending this to Radhika's Diwali Special - Sweets & Savories event,
Pari's Only Sweets & Desserts hosted by Gayathri
Denny & Krithi's Serve it Series
Srav's Festive Food
Sameena's Diwali Sweets
Kalyani's 100 Days Global Food Festival

Saturday, October 22, 2011

French Beans with Artichoke Hearts

Ok. I heart this dish! I created this because there were two big bags of French Beans sitting in my fridge. I didn’t wanted to do beans subzi (just pure laziness of not wanting to cut the beans!!) Also they don’t come out great as would do with Indian style of beans. Then I remembered crispy green beans fry at TGIF. It was super tasty, but I wasn’t going to calorie load my green beans! Then peeking into pantry I eyed Artichoke hearts. I thought “Why not?” and started putting stuff together. It turned out super delicious with fresh taste of beans intact. Try it out and let me know if you liked it as much as we all did. This can be served as an appetizer or as a side to rice and daal.
Serves: 6 | Prep Time: 5 min. | Cooking Time: 15 min.

French beans     – 1 Lb. (About 2 ½ cups)
Artichoke Hearts – 1 can
Onion               – 1 small (About ½ cup. Finely chopped)
Garlic               – 1 tbsp. (Finely chopped)
Cumin seeds     – ½ tsp.
Chinese Chili Garlic Paste – 2 tsp.
Olive Oil           – 2 tsp.
Salt                 – to taste

 Method of Preparation:
~ Heat a pot of water with salt to bring it to boil (around 4 cups).
~ Wash and trim the ends of beans. Cut them two inch long.
~ Put them in the boiling water and cook for about 7 minutes on high. (Until the raw smell of the beans goes away and little froth starts around the beans and settle in 2 minutes.) Do not overcook and make the beans soggy.
~ Drain the water and immediately rinse the beans with a cup of cold water. Keep it aside.

~ Drain the water from Artichoke hearts and fill it up with cold water. Keep it aside. (This takes out some of the vinegar in the artichokes. I washed and filled water twice.)
~ Heat oil in a pan. Add cumin seeds and garlic. Sauté for few seconds.
~ Add finely chopped onions and fry until onion starts to turn pink.
~ Add chili garlic paste. Sauté until everything blends in.
~ Drain the water out of artichoke & coarsely chop them. Add it to the fried onions.
~ Add salt and continue to cook for another 3 to 4 min. Switch off the heat.


~ Arrange the drained green beans in a serving dish. Evenly pour the onion/artichoke mix on top of the beans. Cover the serving dish with foil or plate. Let them hang out for at least 15 to 30 minutes.
~ Mix them well and serve it warm.

French beans have less thread on the side than the green beans. So just trimming the edges is sufficient.
You can use microwave to cook beans, but sometime they tend to get collapsed if done on high.
On the side lines:
Asked my DH to give a name for this dish, so I can post it. He thought immensely for few minutes and said “Beans with Artichoke?” :o)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Microwave Coconut Burfi

This is one of the fastest recipes I came up with the other day. It was Dushera morning, DH not in town, had to get one kid on the bus and drop another one to daycare & also reach office on time… But I wanted to make something quick to offer to God for the morning puja, so pulled out condensed milk and started to put things together. It turned out nice and when I took it over to friend’s place that weekend, was asked for recipes by one and all.

Prep Time: 2 min. | Cooking Time: 10 ~ 12 min.
  • Desiccated coconut powder – 1 cup
  • Mawa/ Khoya/  Milk powder – 1 ½ cup
  • Condensed Milk / Milkmaid – 1 can
  • Cardamom powder – ½ tsp.
  • Almond flakes – ½ cup
Method of Preparation:
~ Pour condensed milk in a microwavable bowl. Add coconut powder, milk powder & cardamom powder and give it a stir.
~ Microwave high for 4 minutes.
~ Take out the dish (be careful, the dish will be really hot at this point) and gently mix everything.
~ Crush the almond flakes in hand and mix it in.
~ Microwave for another 3 or 4 minutes at 1 minute interval. Each time mix it thoroughly. You can see that it all starts to come together.
~ Grease your hand with ghee
~ Alternatively, you can grease a plate and flatten the mix in it and cut in burfi shapes.
~ Delicious burfi’s are ready in minutes. Seriously I took more time to write this post than do burfi. J
sending this to Radhika's Diwali Special - Sweets & Savories event
Anu's Diwali - Festival of Lights
Kushi's My Diwali - My Way
Pari's Only Sweets & Desserts hosted by Gayathri

Denny & Krithi's Serve it Series

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Kadi/ Yogurt Curry

This week blog hop came early. Because of Diwali we all blog hoppers decided to take break on that day and do it a week earlier. After three wonderful weeks of blog hop this week I had to hop to PJ aka Padmaja of Seduce Your Tastebuds. I was in big dilemma because she has a tons of recipes wanting to be tried. After days of looking through her wonderful recipes and not having time for any elaborate preparations I chose her Guajarati Kadi  For one thing my DH loves Guajarati food and this kadi is one of his favorites. I didn't change the ingredients, just a little bit change in the way of preparation. Do visit her to check out all the other recipes.

Serves: 6 | Prep time: 7 min. | Cooking Time: 20 min.

  • Yogurt – 2 cups
  • Gram Flour/ Besan – 2 tbsp.
  • Ginger – Lime size
  • Green Chili – 2 or 3
  • Sugar – 1 tsp.
  • Turmeric powder – 1 pinch
  • Curry / Kadipatta Leaves – 1 spring
  • Salt to taste

For tempering
  • Oil - 1 tsp.
  • Mustard Seeds - 1 tsp.
  • Cumin/ Jeera Seeds - 1 tsp.
  • Dry Red Chili - 1
  • Asafetida/ Hing powder - 1 pinch
  • Coriander leaves - to garnish

Method of Preparation:

~ Grind green chilies and ginger together.
~ Add gram flour, yogurt, sugar, turmeric powder to the grinder and run the mixer for a minute so everything gets incorporated without any lumps.
~ In a heavy bottomed pan heat this mix and curry leaves. Add little more water than the required thickness and let it come to boil on a low to medium heat.
~ Add salt to taste. Keep checking in between to make sure it doesn’t burn in the bottom.
~ It took me about 20 min. to bring to boil on a low heat (until the raw smell of the flour goes away)
~ Switch off the heat.
~ Prepare a small kadai or pan for tempering. Heat oil, add mustard seeds. When it splutters add Cumin seeds, Asafetida, Red chili.
~ Pour it on top of kadi and close the lid.
~ Serve it garnished with coriander alongside steamed rice, or you can drink like soup J

My previous blog hop entries

This is off to Radhika’s blog hop event.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Hummus with Roasted Peppers

Some of these dips, sides and salads are real easy to put together and of course nutritious too. So, long time back, one day I gave Hummus a try. First time it was really dry and I didn’t really enjoy it since it wasn’t smooth. Later when I bought a food processor (I LOVE my Cuisinart food processor btw! I make my chapati / paratha dough in it ALL the time), I did the below recipe. And it turned out great. Please adjust the oil if you think it’s dry. But usually below recipe should give you a smooth creamy hummus.
Serves: 6 | Prep Time: 5 min. | Cooking Time: 2 min.

·         Chickpeas – 1 can
·         Orange (or any other color) bell pepper – ½ cup
·         Garlic – 2 cloves
·         Extra virgin Olive Oil – 1/2 cup
·         Lime juice – 1tbsp.
·         Pepper – ½ tsp.
·         Salt to taste

Method of Preparation:
Best is to prepare in a food processor, it hard to get the right texture in a blender. Nevertheless it still tastes great. :o)
Wash and cut bell pepper into strips. In a hot pan, add a tsp. of oil and sauté them until it becomes soft (about 3 minutes).
Once cooled, transfer them to food processor bowl. Add drained and washed chickpeas, garlic, and salt. Start the processor. As it starts to blend, add lime juice.
Now, slowly add oil from top (in the mixer also you can do the same from top once everything has come together). Switch off the processor in between to check on the consistency. Once you are satisfied with smoothness, stop the food processor; take out the hummus in a serving bowl. Don't you LOVE that color!. Enjoy it with any kind of chips, for layering inside pita bread or for a sandwich.

Sending this to Suma's MLLA event via Susan's event

And to Kalyani's Global food event

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Baby Corn Gravy/ Baby Corn Masala

Another week, another day... But am excited coz it's Wednesday & a blog hop day. For details about blog hop, click here. This week I was scheduled to blog hop to Jayashree's Mom's Corner. She's a versatile blogger trying out some new and some old, tried and tested recipes. I had hard time making up my mind what to prepare out of so many choices. Then dish with baby corn, which is my kids favourite (who doesn't love those tiny perfections!!) made the cut. Baby corn is such a versatile vegetable that can be used in many dishes. Our home favourite is baby corn manchurian. It's hard to find fresh ones here, so I usually keep canned baby corn in my pantry all the time. For original recipe visit Jayashree here. Now off to this delicious recipe..

Serves: 6 | Preparation Time: 20 min. | Cooking Time: 30 min

  • Baby corn - 2 Cans ( About 25 to 30 baby corns)
  • Onion - 2 medium ( 1 1/2 cup) - Slit lengthwise.
  • Cashew - 1 heap tbsp.
  • White Sesame Seeds - 1 tsp. (optional)
  • Cumin/ Jeera seeds - 1 tsp.
  • Ginger - 1 tbsp. (Grated)
  • Garlic - 1 tsp. (Grated)
  • Tomato - 3 medium
  • Turmeric Powder - 1/2 tsp.
  • Chili powder - 2 tsp.
  • Coriander / Dhaniya Powder - 1 tsp.
  • Coriander leaves - 1 tbsp.
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil - 1 tbsp. 

Method of Preparation:

~ Wash and cut baby corn into 1 inch length small chunks. Place it in a microwave safe bowl. Add a cup of water. Microwave high for 5 min. Mix and microwave again for another 4 min.
~ Heat oil in a pan and roast sesame seeds and cashew nuts. Add Onion and saute till onion starts to turn pink. Take it off from heat and grind it into fine paste after it cools down.
~ Wash the tomatoes and puree them in a mixer/ food processor.
~ In a heavy bottomed pan, add 2 tsp. of oil.
~ Add cumin seeds and roast. Add ginger and garlic and continue to roast.
~ Add the onion paste and mix all together and let it cook for another 5 minutes.
~ Add turmeric, chili and coriander powder and fry for a minute.
~ Add the prepared tomato puree to this. Continue to cook until oil starts to separate from the dish. (It took me about 10 minutes on electric cook top)
~ Add the microwaved corn along with water to this mix. Gently mix the corn in the gravy. (Add more water if you want it more thinner. The above portion was good for roti side dish consistency.)
~ Add salt to taste.
~ Simmer for another 5 to 7 min. to get the desired thickness.
~ Sprinkle with chopped coriander leaves. Mix and switch off the heat.
~ This can be served hot with chapati/ Roti/ Nan/ Puri. If you make it more thinner version, it will work as a curry for Rice.

- If you are not using the microwave to cook corn, boil some water and add the corn in them. Cook for about 6 minutes.

This is off to Radhika's Blog hop Wednesday.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Daali Thoy / Tur Daal Konkani Style

Daali thoy is a classic Konkani style daal. Almost all Konkani kids grow up learning this one first I think. It’s my favorite kind of daal, not only because of the simplicity it has to offer, also coz I remember my childhood slurping on the hot daali thoy and rice. Though it’s same recipe as what my mom does, I feel I miss her touch in that.

Serves: 4 | Prep Time: 10 min. | Cooking Time: 10 min.


·         Toor Dal/ Tuvar Dal / Split pigeon peas – 1 cup
·         Green chilies – 3 – 4 - Slit
·         Turmeric – ¼ tsp.
·         Ginger – 1 tsp. finely chopped
·         Oil / ghee – 1 tsp.
·         Mustard seeds – ½ tsp.
·         Hing / Asafetida – a pinch
·         Curry leaves
·         Red chili – 1
·         Salt to taste

Method of preparation:

~ Wash Toor daal and pressure cook with green chili, turmeric, some drops of oil and ginger.
~ Take out the cooked daal in a pan, add water to get required consistency. Add salt and bring it to boil.
~ In a small pan, heat the ghee, add mustard seeds. Once it starts to splutter, add asafetida, red chili and curry leaves. Add this tadka to the daal and switch off. Nice aromatic daali thoy is ready! Serve it up with hot rice and pickle.

Linking this to Ayeesha's Any One can cook for the ease of preparation and time taken.
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