Sunday, August 31, 2008

Tomato Pasta Salad

This is a recipe from food network.It is a light meal in which you mix cooked pasta with tomato salad.Since everything was there I gave it a try with little adjustments.


Pasta : 1 cup
Tomatoes: 2 big
Lemon juice: 1 big lemon
Lemon zest: 1/2 lemon
Oregano:1/2 tsp
Pepper:1/2 tsp
Salt:as per taste
Olive oil: 2 tspn
Ricota cheese: 2 tbsp(crumbled or cubed)
Coriander leaves: for garnish

Cook the pasta as per the instructions.I used bow tie or farfalle even though the recipe was meant for fusili or cork screw pasta.

While pasta is being cooked,in a bowl,add chopped tomatoes,oregano,pepper,salt,zest and juice.The recipe did not have oregano,but I added it.Mix well.

Add the cooked pasta to this bowl, and toss.Add crumbled or cubed ricotta cheese,olive oil and garnish with coriander/cilantro leaves.Serve.

It is very tasty and next time I am going to try this adding other veggies as well.Hope you too try this.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Cinnamon Pecan Rolls

Cinnamon has been my favourite spice ever since I started cooking.It has a distinct flavour that makes it stand apart and it is widely used in spicy gravies and sweet dishes as well. In everyday cooking I use cinnamon for curries or rices but cinnamon rolls is a recipe that I tried out as an tribute to my favourite spice.I enhanced it by adding chopped pecans but flavour comes from cinnamon and cinnamon only. I found this recipe at epicurious and was excited that this was eggless.I used only half of the quantity specified but they turned out well.


All Purpose flour: 1and 3/4 cups
Cinnamon ground: 1 tbsp
Salt:1/2 tsp
Yeast: 1 envelope
Warm water:3/4 to 1 cup
Sugar: 7 tbsp
Vegetable Oil: 1/2 tbsp+ needed to grease
Unsalted Butter (room temperature):1 stick
Pecans: 1 cup chopped/crushed/halved
Cloves: 2(Optional)


In a large bowl,combine warm water and 2 tbsp of sugar and yeast.Set aside till it foams. To this foamy mix,add vegetable oil and salt.Then add little by little flour to this and knead to form a dough.I had actually used only half cup of water to foam the yeast and I added extra water as needed after adding the flour.Also knead taking your time as the effect shows on the rolls.The dough will be smooth and elastic.

Take another bowl,lightly grease it with vegetable oil and put the dough into this.Rotate the dough so that it is covered with oil on all sides.Cover the bowl with a plastic wrap and then a kitchen towel and keep it in a warm area till it doubles in volume.This will take minimum 1 hr.

Preheat the oven to 325F.In a bowl add butter,remaining sugar and cinnamon and cream together.You can add 1or2 cloves powdered to this mix.Clove is said to enhance the cinnamon flavour.But this is optional.Chop or crush or half pecans and keep aside.I coarsely crushed the pecans in the blender and I think this made it easier while rolling.

When the dough is ready and doubled ,flour a working surface and put the dough there.Do not punch down the dough.While taking out itself it may become almost normal size(mine did)but its okay.Roll the dough into a rectangular shape.It should be around 1 to 11/2 inch thick.Spread the butter-sugar-cinnamon mix evenly on the rectangle.You can leave little edges free of the mix for easier rolling.On the mix sprinkle the pecans.You can actually add any nuts you want or even a mix of them.

Starting from the longest side roll up the dough to form a log.Here a trick I used is stretch and roll.Doing this enhances the roll or so Ihave seen.This is optional.Seal the edges and pinch the seam.Cut into equal pieces.The original recipe was for 12 big rolls.I halved the measurements and cut mine into 12 medium rolls.

Take a rectangular baking dish and grease it.If you've the butter-sugar-cinnamon mix remaining,then spread it all over the dish.Top this evenly with the pecan crushed and place the rolls cut side down on this dish.Cover this with a plastic wrap and keep in a warm area till it becomes light and puffed, for 30 minutes.

Keep the pan in the center of the oven and bake at 325 F for 30-35 minutes or until the top becomes golden brown.If the rolls stick together or to the pan gently release them.Cool on a baking sheet.Serve warm or at room temperature.

Fresh from the oven...

Another look..

As far I am concerned Cinnamon is the best spice in the whole world.It has got health benefits as many household remedies are around it.More about Cinnamon here and here.It has rare side effects as well eg: Cinnamon oil has been connected to the causation of miscarriages.

Anyway Cinnamon Pecan Rolls are going to Sunita's World for Think Spice:Think Favourite "Think Cinnamon" to tantalize her Kitchen with a mouth watering aroma as she celebrates the first anniversary of Think Spice Event.CONGRATS Sunita,Enjoy the Cinnamon Pecan Roll.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Lemon Sides

This is a recipe that everyone knows and enjoys.It is nothing but pickling lemon.Everybody has their own way of pickling lemon.I am not a pickling person but this is a very simple recipe .Here I am not adding any spices apart from ginger and green chillies. This also serves as an easy/basic method for making pickles.But we can use it as such as a side with rice(hence the name) and it increases the appetite of even dieters and is especially good when you are recovering from illness and your tongue has lost all its taste. Here's the recipe.


Lemon:2 or 3 big
Green Chillies: 3 big or as per taste
Salt:2 tsp or more
Ginger: 1 big piece.


Clean lemon and steam them for few minutes.This will sort of soften them and this is required if you have got a thick skinned lemon(rough skin).Else you can omit steaming and simply cut them.Once they are cool, cut them into quarters.Take a clean sterilized jar and add the lemon pieces.Top the pieces with salt.

Chop the green chillies and ginger.Add these to the lemon pieces in the jar.If you want you can top this with juice from another lemon, but it is optional.Cover the jar tightly with its lid.You can shake the jar to mix everything together,but otherwise also is fine.It looks like

Keep the jar in the pantry for 7-10 days,by which time they would have absorbed all the flavours and you can see water/juice in the jar. It looks like this

Open the jar and with a clean spoon,pick the lemon pieces.Serve/Sqeeze them over rice.They would be very soft and you can chew them as well.

Also if you have omitted steaming earlier,but still find that it is thick skinned,you can steam few pieces before serving.Once opened it is better to store the jar in fridge.

For making quick lime pickle,you can take a few of these pieces in a clean bowl,steam it if you had omitted it earlier,then add chilli powder to them and mix well.Top with sesame oil.Serve.

Now the lemon side goes to AFAM:Lemon started by Maheshwari of Beyond the usual and currently hosted by EasyCrafts of SimpleIndian Food.

The lemon side picture also goes to Click: Citrus of JugalBandi with a title of Pickling Lemon

Hope you too enjoy the lemon sides.

I have been tagged by SriLekha of Me&My Kitchen. Thanks Sri.The rules are

(a) List these rules on your blog.

(b) Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog.

(c) Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs.

Well I already did (A).

B)7 facts about me:

  1. I am a housewife,currently in US but settled in Bangalore.

  2. I am a very pessimistic person,coz I feel thinking bad first helps us to enjoy the good things/thoughts in life.

  3. I have a 3 yr old daughter.

  4. I am single child to very unlucky parents.(unlucky to have me).(He! He! Its a joke,sorry ! and laugh pleaseee.)

  5. I am a lazy person when it comes to fitness,but I am shapely(well 0 is a shape)

  6. I am a strict vegetarian.

  7. I work best under pressure.

C) I love to tag,

  1. Lubna of Kitchen flavours,

  2. Paru of Brindavan Recipes,

  3. Aparna of MyDiverseKitchen,

  4. SunshineMom of TumyumTreats,

  5. EasyCrafts of SimpleIndianfood,

  6. Vegetable Platter,

  7. Divya of DilSe

Paru has also awarded me a "Good Job" award. THANKS PARU.It means a lot to be appreciated.

Enjoy the sides.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Puri &Aloo Matar

In the mid-80's there was a pressure cooker ad that showed a small girl waking up and telling her mother that she wants 'garam garam puri aur alu matar'(hot puri and potato&peas gravy) for breakfast.After seeing this ad, me,who was a small girl at that time was so fascinated that I demanded puri and alu matar to my mother almost all the time.I do not know from where she got this recipe but she made it and it was tasty and I got addicted to this breakfast. Later of course,I gave it up siting that deep fried puris are not healthier but sometimes cravings led me to it.You see it is a comfort food for me now,and I relish puris much better with this than the staple aloo masala popular in SouthIndia.

There are many other recipes for the potato & peas gravy,but my mom's always takes me back to the childhood days and it always goes with puris and puri only.So here's the recipe.



Wheat Flour: 1 cup
Salt: 1/2 tsp
Cold water: as needed to form a dough


In a bowl mix flour and salt and adding water little by little form a firm dough.Make small balls out of dough and roll in a floured surface to small circles and deep fry in hot oil till it puffs up.

Aloo Matar:
Peas:1/2 cup
Onion: 1
Cinnamon:1/2 inch piece or equivalent powdered
Cardamom: 2 or 3 pods
Cloves:2 or 3
Chilli powder:1/2 tspn
Turmeric powder:1/4 tspn
Jeera(Cumin):1/4 tspn
Green chillies:2 medium
Tomatoes: 2 medium chopped
Yoghurt: 2 tspn

Grind together chopped onion,cardamom,cloves,jeera and cinnamon.
Heat oil in a pan and stirfry the paste.As soon as the raw smell goes,(halfway through the frying)add slit green chillies,chopped tomatoes,yoghurt salt and chilli and turmeric powders.Continue to stirfry on low heat till oil separates.The chillies and chilly powder can be adjusted as per your taste.Add cubed aloo(potato),peas and water to this and cook till done.Adjust salt after adding potatoes and peas. Serve with puris.

This weekend comfort breakfast goes to WBB:Combi Breakfasts, started by Nandita of SaffronTrail and currently hosted by Latha of MasalaMagic

Awards,Friendship & Meme

I have been awarded the "Wylde Woman Award" again,this time by Srilekha of Me&My Kitchen.

THANKS A LOT SRI.Its my second but as precious.

I have also been tagged first by Lubna of Kitchen Flavours with a friendship poem

We need friends for many reasons,all throughout the season.

We need friends to comfort us when we are sad,and to have fun with need friends to give us good advice,
We need someone we can count on,and treat us nice.
We need friends to remember us once we have passed ;sharing memories that will always last.
Spread the poem of friendship.

1. Everyday Life 2. Words of Love 3. Sheng's Simple Thoughts . . . 4 My Wonderful Life ....5. Can of Thoughts 6. Designs By Vhiel 7. Vhiel's Corner 8. Anything and Everything in Between 9. A Mother's Stuff 10. 11. My Receipes 12. Vblogger 13. thefootloosechef 14. Yummy Food 15. CurryLeaf 16.You

I love to tag SriLekha,Vegetable Platter, Paru ,Srivalli

Paru has also tagged with a a MeMe:

The rules are:
The rules of the MeMe are the following:

  • Pick up the nearest book
  • Open to page 123
  • Find the 5th sentence
  • Post the next three sentences
  • Tag 5 people and acknowledge the person who tagged you.

The book is Family Circle Magazine
The page is "Better Healthcare Handbook"
The 5th line: the incredible shrinking doctor's appointment
next: with time at a premium,learn how to make the most of your 11 minutes in the examining room
7th: ace any health exam
8th :When to get a second opinion

Thanks Paru,now I am tagging,
Vegetable Platter
Divya of Dilse
Divya of Culinary Bazaar

It was exciting doing the MeMe..Hope you too are.!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Savoury Granola

I hate oats but somehow I have them in my pantry all the time.So this time,I decided to turn them into something different.The granola bar is a good option but I also found a savoury one with J&B. I followed the Jugalbandi recipe(Click here for the original) with little changes and ended up eating the most of it.Here's the recipe.

Rolled oats:1 cup
Maple syrup :1 tspn
Pecans: 1 tspn
Chilli Powder:1.5 tspn
Vegetable oil:1 tbsp
Salt:a pinch
Vanilla extract:1/2 tspn
Dried fruitbites:1 tbsp


Mix all the ingredients except fruit bites in a bowl and spread as a layer in a greased baking sheet.Bake on a pre-heated oven for 25 minutes at 300F,stirring every 10 minutes so the mix browns evenly.Take out and when cooled garnish with dried fruit bites or fruits of your choice.

I avoided the coconut in the original recipe and also used maple syrup instead of pomegranate molasses.You can even add cashews,almonds or figs or little dried fruit bites to the mix while baking.I used more chilli powder than syrup but this can be adjusted as per your taste.

Serve as a snack or in a trifle or parfait with yoghurt and fruits.(I did not nothing simply ate them as such).

The sweet and spicy taste makes oats more palatable.So this granola travels to spice up Zlamushka's Kitchen for the Tried and Tasted event where Jugalbandi is the featured blog.

Saturday, August 23, 2008


I first came to know about Arepas from FoodNetwork.Arepas is a LatinAmerican tortilla-like dish served with fried plaintains and refried beans.Second time I came upon Arepas is when I signed up for Taste&Create.Myamii has given an easy recipe using Arepaflour(Click here for the recipe),but some research and I found that it can be made with yellow cornmeal.So I gave it a try and heres it.

Yellow Cornmeal:1 cup
salt:as per taste
Hot water:as needed to the dough

In a bowl,mix salt and yellow cornmeal.Now add hot water to this this little by little and form a dough.To be honest,I added more water and got a crumbly dough.So I let the dough rest for 15 to 20 minutes so that it becomes a bit firm.This can be skipped if your dough is firmer.

Make small balls out of dough.Use your hands to flatten it a bit and cook the flatbread on a skillet or a tawa on both sides.

Now Myamii gives details on how to flatten it using a tortilla press,plastic wrap and hand.I found using the hand is better especially if your dough is crumbly.But it is easier with hands.I find that the entire process is similar to making of akki roti(Karnataka roti) except that we are using rice flour for akki roti and arepaflour/yellow cornmeal for arepas. But It was tastier than expected.

Serve with refried beans.

This is another entry to Taste &Create.

This easy to make Columbian flat bread also goes to Weekend Breakfast Blogging:Combi breakfasts started by Saffron Trail and currently hosted by Latha of MasalaMagic

Simple Sharjah Shake

In Kerala we get something known as Sharjah Shake.I do not know whether you get that in other states or even in "Sharjah".I do not know anything about how it got its name but it is very tasty.Its nothing but the shake made with green ripe bananas(Butter Plantains) abundant in Kerala (similar to yellow bananas in US).The recipe was a secret at first but it seems now almost anyone know it.Anyway I too was in dark but let me present my version with pride.

Yellow ripe bananas/Green Bananas/Butter Plantains: 1
Milk: 1 cup (Chilled/Frozen)
Cardamom powdered: 1 pinch
Cinnamon powdered: 1 pinch
Sugar: 1 to 2 tspn
Chocolate syrup: 1/2 tspn


Peel and chop bananas. Put all the ingredients in a blender and puree.Serve in tall glasses.
Now the shake is best when the milk is frozen or atleast chilled.The cardamom is better powdered else they would remain as specks at the bottom of the glass.If you do not mind that then use crushed cardamom,which I did.Similar with cinnamon,but I used powdered.

The chocolate syrup if used more will give a brown colour to the shake.Adjust as per your desire.

The syrup can be homemade or store brought.I made at home mixing unsweetened cocoa with sugar and boiling till thickened.Adjust the sugar with the amount of chocolate syrup.

Now if you don't have syrup or too lazy to make your own,then replace it with 1/2 tspn of chocolate horlicks/bournvita/viva/drinking chocolate/cocoa mix or any other chocolate/cocoa mixes available at home.But using unsweetened cocoa may sometimes give a little sourness to the shake.

Now this is my version of the shake. I have seen/heard versions with anjeers,dates and other dry fruits added to it while blending.These make it more thick and healthy.

But yes,Mine is healthy too.And tasty.Because my daughter who drinks nothing but strawberry milk and hates bananas had one whole glass.....HURRAY.

So this simple shake makes its way to Srilekha's Icecream&Milkshakes event where she is celebrating her 200th post.CONGRATS!! Srilekha

Friday, August 22, 2008

Strawberry Banana Sorbet & My First Award

Dearest Lubna of Kitchenflavours has passed me the Wylde Woman Award and I am very thrilled.Its my first award you see.The rules of the award are:

  1. You can give it to one or one hundred or any number in between - it's up to you. Make sure you link to their site in your post
  2. Link back to the blog site Tammy can go visit all these wonderful men and women and remember the Purpose of the Award: To send love and acknowledgment to men and women, who brighten your day, teach you new things and live their lives fully with generosity and joy.
I love to pass this award to:

To celebrate I made a Strawberry Banana Sorbet from J&B of JugalBandi. I followed the recipe (Click here for the original)without many changes.Here's mine.


Strawberry(frozen/fresh): 8-10


Sugar: 1 tspn(optional)

Lemon Juice:1/2 lime


Microwave the strawberry & banana for 1 minute and then puree in a blender.Pour into a bowl or tray and freeze for 4 to 5 hours. Take out from the freezer and thaw for 15 minutes and then blend again in the mixer and freeze for 45 minutes again.Now this is my own addition to the recipe.But this blending again makes the sorbet more creamy and smooth.

Thaw again for few minutes and serve in scoops.JugalBandi team served it in chocolate shells.But I did not have any.(I tried making but ......)So I scooped it in wine glass pour chocolate syrup on it and put in a lone rolled-up wafer.Enjoy this in hot summer anytime of the day.

Now this Sorbet travels before it melts to Aparna of My DiverseKitchen for MBP:FruitFare started by Coffee and currently hosted by Aparna

This also travels to Zlamushka's Kitchen for the Tried and Tasted Event where JugalBandi is the chosen blog.


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Refried Beans

This is again a recipe from For the love of food who is my partner in Taste&Create.This is a Columbian refried beans and can be served with Tortillas or Arepas.Click here for the original recipe.I did not have pinto beans, so I substituted with Red Kidney beans.To make it a bit more spicy, I have added red pepper flakes as well.Here's the recipe:


Red Beans:1/2 cup
Carrot:1 medium
Onion:1 medium
Red Pepper Flakes(Optional):1 tspn
Salt&Pepper:as per taste


Soak the beans overnight and cook in a pressure cooker adding salt.

Heat oil in a wide pan,add red pepper flakes and then chopped onions and carrots.Saute for a minute and add the cooked beans.Mix well and adjust salt and add pepper. Cook on low fire for 10-15 minutes till done.If needed mash a little bit. Serve with white rice,tortillas,Arepas(Columbian flatbread) etc.

This is my second entry to Taste & Create by Nicole.

Goli Bajje/Mangalore Bajji

This is a Karnataka dish that I relish very much.Here I have twisted it a bit and added onions to enhance it.Here's the recipe

All Purpose flour:1 cup
Buttermilk:1/2 cup
Ginger:1 inch piece
Onion:1 medium
Green chilly:2 medium
Baking soda:1/2 tsp
Salt:as per taste
Coriander leaves/cilantro: few sprigs


In a bowl mix together flour,soda,finely chopped onion,green chillies,coriander leaves,ginger together.Add buttermilk to it to make a thick batter of dropping consistency.

Heat oil in a frying pan and deep fry spoonfuls/palmfuls of batter in batches till golden brown on both sides. I put palmfuls and from the picture below I think you can make out the maps of several countries.
Serve with ketchup as a tea time snack.

This is not the traditional way of making goli baje,but my version.Anyway this goes to SWC:Karnataka hosted by Anisheetu

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Apple Pie

I had extra apples in my pantry and I came across this apple pie recipe from Shivapriya and the incident that led to its making.I had all the ingredients and decided to make it though with certain changes.


Pie Crust:
I used readymade pie crust mix to make two 9" crusts.

Apples:2 big
Butter:1/2 tbsp cold unsalted and cubed
BrownSugar:2 tbsp
Cinnamon powdered:1/2 tspn
Nutmeg:1/2 tspn
Cornstarch:1 tbsp
Lemon Juice:1/2 lemon

Crumble Topping:
Flour:1/2 tbspn
Cinnamon:1/4 tspn
Oats:1/4 tbspn
Butter : small piece,unsalted and cold

Brushing the top
Milk: 1-2 tspn
Cinnamon-sugar mix:1-2 tspn


Prepare pie crusts using the package directions.

Wash,Peel and chop apples into bite sized pieces.I used golden delicious apples as they are a bit tart.In a bowl mix together,apple pieces,lemon juice,brown sugar,cinnamon,cornstarch and nutmeg.The cornstarch is added to absorb the juices a bit and prevent overflowing during baking.

In another bowl mix the flour,brown sugar and old-fashioned oats.You can crush or roll oats prior to mixing.Cut or shred the cold,unsalted butter into this and mix well.The original recipe had no oats,but I added it.I had already made plum crumble with the oat-flour crumble topping so I gave this pie the same as well.

Fit a rolled out pie crust into a pie pan and fill with the apple mix. Top this mix with cold unsalted butter cut into cubes.The original recipe calls for mixing the apple filling with unsalted butter at room temperature.But mine was cold.So I cubed it and topped the apple mix with it.

Top the apple-butter layer with crumble topping. It will look like this.

Cover the pie with the second pie crust.You can cover it partially using criss-cross pattern or you can completely cover it and put slits for the steam to escape.I did the latter.

Brush the pie with milk and sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar mix.

Now bake the pie first at 425F for 12 to 15 minutes and then at 350F for 50-55 minutes.

Cool and cut into wedges.Serve as such or with ice-cream or whipped cream.

This delicious pie is my entry for MBP:Fruitfare,started by Coffee and currently hosted by Aparna of MyDiverseKitchen.

Eggplant Parmesan

When I joined Taste and Create,little did I knew that I will be partnered with Myamii herself.I used to view that blog ocassionally.We were like miles apart.Or atleast it felt so until I saw Eggplant Parmesan.I had earlier made Eggplant Parmigiana, so this dish put me at ease.

I followed the recipe given but with slight changes.Click here for the original

Eggplant pieces:4 to 5
Bread Crumbs:1 cup
Flour:2 tbspn
Water-1/3 cup
Mozzarella shredded:1/2 cup
Marinara sauce
Tomatoes: 2 to 3 big chopped/crushed
Dried Oregano:1 tsp
Dried Thyme:1/2 tsp
Dried Basil: 1 tsp
Tomato Puree: 1/2 cup
Onion: 1 small
salt&Pepper:1/2 tsp each


Marinara Sauce:
Heat Olive oil,add chopped/minced onions and saute till soft.Then add all other ingredients for the sauce and cook until it thickens.

Heat the oven to 400F.Cut the eggplant into round pieces or long strips. Apply salt on them and leave them for 15 minutes. Squeeze the eggplant pieces and this removes the bitterness.

Heat oil in a pan or fryer.I made a thin paste of flour and water and used this instead of eggwhites in the original recipe.I dipped each eggplant piece in this paste and then rolled them in bread crumbs and deep fried them.Allow them to cool in a paper towel.

I used cheese flavoured italian bread crumbs.If you are using unseasoned then add the pepper,salt,oregano/italian seasoning and parmesan cheese to it before rolling the eggplant pieces.

Take a baking dish and layer marinara sauce on it. I made my own marinara using Myamii's recipe with a little twist.On top of the sauce put eggplant pieces.Top the eggplant with shredded Mozzarella and grated Parmesan .Repeat the sauce-eggplant-cheeses till all the eggplants are done,ending with cheese.Bake at 350F for 30-35 minutes or till the cheese melts. Cut into wedges and serve.

The baking part is optional.But I tried it just like that.Anyway this is my first entry to Taste & Create and THANKS Myamii for this wonderful recipe and a wonderful event.Hope I have not twisted the recipe too much.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Kale Dal

This is actually a recipe for Dal Palak that I saw on TV sometime back.But I had only kale with me and I substituted it for palak.It was tasty.Here goes the recipe.

Kale:1 cup chopped
Toor Dal:2 tbspn
Green Chilly:1
Chilly Powder:1/2 tspn
Jeera(Cumin):1/2 tspn
Ginger:1/2 inch
Garlic:1 clove
Asafoetida:1 pinch
Salt:as per taste


Chop kale,onion,ginger and mince garlic.Slit green chilly.Cook Dal in a pressure cooker.

Heat oil in a pan.Add jeera,asafoetida and greenchilly.As jeera splutters,add onion,minced garlic and ginger.Saute.As it turns brown,add chilly powder,salt and dal.Mix well and saute.If you are adding the dal water,bring to a boil and /otherwise add chopped kale.Add little water as kale +salt releases water,but dal absorbs this.Boil till kale is cooked for a few minutes.Adjust salt.Serve with rice.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Italian Grinder

Grinder is an Italian Sandwich or sub.It usually contains meat,cheese and sauce.I got a vegetarian recipe which I have used here. We can say it is same as a subway sandwich.More about grinders here.

Zucchini:1/4 cup
Broccoli:1/4 cup
Marinara Sauce:1/4 cup
Italian sandwich Rolls: (medium sized): 3 atleast
Oregano: 1 tspn(optional)
Salt & Pepper :as per taste
Red Pepper flakes:1tspn
Mozzarella cheese shredded :1/4 cup


Chop the zucchini and broccoli into bite sized pieces.Heat oil /unsalted butter in a pan.Saute the cubed veggies adding the salt,pepper and oregano or italian seasoning and red pepper flakes till they are cooked.Add the marinara sauce.Mix well and saute till the sauce is heated.Keep aside.

Take a bread roll and put a spoonful of this mix on it.Top with shredded mozzarella cheese and close the roll.Do this for each and every sandwich roll. Fold each sandwich in aluminium foil and bake in pre heated oven at 350 for 10-12 minutes.

The final product is this

and when opened looks like this

Serve as an evening or breakfast snack or quick lunch by adding more vegetables and longer footlong rolls.

This can be prepared early and warmed just before serving.

This easy to make sandwich is my entry to WTSIM:Summer Edition (picnic recipes) hosted by Eva:The PassionateCook along with CookSister! and SpittoonExtra

This also goes to A.W.E.D Italian hosted by DK of CulinaryBazaar as a vegetarian snack


This is rustic Italian tart. It has got a rough look compared to pie or tart.It is usually made with fruits,but I saw a vegan crostata with leftover vegetables by Giada de Laurentiis in Food Network and decided to go for it.I did make some changes though.

The GDL recipe(goes here) uses mascarpone cheese and butter in the dough,but some research and I found that the dough can be made with olive oil only. Here's my recipe

Crostata dough:
All Purpose Flour - 1 cup
Olive Oil - 1.5 tbspn
Salt: 1/2 tspn
Ice-cold water :as needed to form a dough

Kale :1/2 cup
Onion:1 small
Corn Kernels: 2 tbspn
Oregano: 1 tspn
Salt & pepper :as per taste
Shredded Mozzarella :1/4 cup

Mix together flour,salt and oil using ice-cold water in a bowl.Do not knead much.Just mix such that a crumbly mixture forms.Pack this dough into a plastic sheet or ziploc bag and press to form a circle or round with hands and chill in the fridge for 20 minutes.

Chop onions,carrots and kale.Heat oil in a pan.Add the chopped onions,carrot and kale and saute.Add salt,pepper and oregano.Instead of oregano,you can add any seasoning you like.Also you can add any vegetables you want.The GDL recipe specifies shallots,mushrooms and other leftover vegetables.Cook till kale wilts. Allow to cool.Once cooled mix with mozzarella cheese.

Making a crostata:
Preheat oven to 400F.

Take out the chilled dough and roll it out into a big disc with 1/2 inch thickness.I rolled it into a big circle and then checked the size by putting in my pie pan.It should be a bit more longer(or is it wider?) than the pie pan.This is because after filling the crostata you will fold over the edges over the veggies.

After you get the required size,keep it in a greased circular baking dish and then fill it with veggie -cheese mix.Spread evenly all around the circle leaving a little border.After filling slowly fold the edges of the dough over the veggies forming a crust.Brush the folded edges with milk or oil/butter for getting a brown 'crusty' look.

Bake for about 20-25 minutes.

Cool and serve by cutting into wedges. The dish after baking was tasty but some part of the folded crust was too "crusty" but still tasty.

After cutting into wedges

The dish is very tasty and instead of cutting a big crostata into smaller wedges we can make smaller crostata for individual servings.Veggie crostata can be served as appetizers and fruit crostatas as dessert.

This dish goes to A.W.E.D Italian hosted by DK of Culinary bazaar as a vegetarian snack/appetizer

This Italian dish also goes to Independence Day Event hosted by Pooja of CreativeIdeas 'coz India also has the same three colors of Italian flag and like this dish is a medley of people,languages and ofcourse recipes

Friday, August 8, 2008

Microwave Bread Croutons

This is the easiest dish possible in microwave. I had run out of croutons and got this easiest recipe.I tried out with just one slice of bread and it was delicious.Thus I am blogging it.

Bread cubed: 1 cup (Any bread can be used)
Dried Oregano:1/2 tspn
Garlic clove:1 crushed
Olive oil:1 tbspn
Salt:as per taste

Microwave the bread cubes for 1-2 minutes on high power till they become dry.

Crush the garlic clove and roast till golden brown in little oil.Add this to the bread cubes.Add oregano,pinch of salt and remaining oil to the dry cubes.Mix well till they are completely coated with oil and oregano. Microwave on high power for around 2 minutes.

The bread cubes will become hot and crisp.Serve with soup or salad or as a snack.

If prepared in large quantities store in an airtight container.
The timing varies with microwave and depends on the quantity as well. For larger quantities 1-2 minutes extra may be taken.

Garlic salt and/or onion powder can be used instead of crushed garlic.
Any seasoning can be used apart from oregano.

Oregano is basically an Italian-Greek-American herb and has got health benefits as well.It came to US during World War II and was known as pizza herb. It has got antioxidant properties as well.It is known as "Ajwain" in Hindi/Urdu.
Along with garlic it enhances the taste of basic croutons and tingles the taste buds.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Yam Kosumbari

This is like a salad or dry side dish with rice.Kosumbari is actually healthy side dish and can be made with carrots,urad dal,sprouts etc.This one is made with yam pieces.

Yam pieces:1/2 cup
Salt:as per taste

Roast &Grind
Coriander seeds:1tspn
Red chilli:1
Green Chilli:1
Tamarind :1/4 berry size

Coconut scrapped:1/2tspn


Cube the yam pieces. Mix with salt and keep aside.

Heat oil in a frying pan and deep fry the salted yam pieces.Squeeze them first and the put into oil.Keep aside and let them cool.

In a kadai,dry roast tamarind,coriander seeds and red and green chillies.You can also use tamarind concentrate for this.Grind/powder the roasted ingredients and mix this powder with the fried yam pieces.Garnish with coconut scrappings or roasted shallots/small onions.

Serve as a dry side dish with rice.

Beet Sukke

This is a Konkani dish .Sukke means 'dry' in Konkani.This is one of the easiest dishes to prepare and goes as a dry curry with rice.

Beetroot:1 cup
Coconut scrapped:2tspn
Red Chilli flakes:1tbspn
Salt:as per taste
Chana dal:1 tspn
Mustard:1/2 tspn

Peel,wash and grate beetroot in a bowl. Add coconut scrapings,red chilli flakes and salt to the grated beet.

Heat oil in a pan.Add mustard.As it splutters,add chana dal,saute till it starts to brown,add the beet mixture.You can add a little or no water to this as beet when mixed with salt gives out water.Cover and cook for few minutes.Serve as a dry side dish with rice.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Peas and Tofu Masala

This is a mattar paneer recipe I have been using since a few years.This was given to me by my sis-in-law and I simply replaced the paneer with tofu and got the same tasty result.Here's the recipe

Tofu cubed:1/2 cup
Peas (frozen/fresh):1/2 cup.
Red Chilly:2 medium
Green Chilly:1
Cardamon,Cloves,Cinnamon:1/4 tspn each
Aniseeds:1/2 tspn
Tomatoes:2 medium
Onion:1 big

In a pan heat oil,add chopped onions,whole red chillies,whole green chilly and cinnamon, cardamom,cloves and aniseeds (You can crush the spices if you want before adding.) and cubed tomatoes.Stirfry till the mix starts cooking and oil separates, about 3-4 minutes. Cool and grind the mix.

Thaw the peas.Cube the tofu chunk and if you want roll it in little cornflour and shallow fry in little oil or oil and butter mix.I find tofu lighter than paneer.So I did this inorder to strenghten it.You can use the cubed pieces directly as well.

In a pan add very little oil,add the ground paste,saute again till it starts to brown and then add peas,tofu pieces,salt,water and cook till done.You can add more water for a thinner gravy.Serve with rotis.

This is my entry to JFI-Soya hosted by Sia of Monsoon Spice;


Quick Cauliflower

Normally I cook cauliflower with star anise or red pepper flakes as normal poriyal or upkari as we say in konkani.But being bored with the same thing I chose to do this.This turned out tasty and here's it.


Cauliflower flowerettes:1 cup
Onion:1 small
Lemon juice:1 tbspn
Turmeric: 1tspn
Ginger:1 inch piece
Green Chilly:1 medium
Mustard seeds:1 tspn
Salt& Pepper:as per taste

Chop the cauliflower into bite sized pieces and clean them by immersing for a few minutes into salted water.Drain. Mix in a bowl,cauliflower,turmeric ,a little water and salt.

In a pan,heat oil,add mustard.As it splutters, add onion chopped,finely chopped ginger.Saute. As it turns transparent, add ground pepper,slit green chillies.You can adjust the pepper with green chillies and can avoid either of these by increasing the amount of other.Mix well add cauliflower mixed with water,salt and turmeric.Boil.Add lemon juice.Mix well and cover and simmer till the water evaporates and cauliflower gets cooked.

Plum Preserve

This recipe I did after being inspired by Cham's microwave apricot preserve.I had plums in my pantry and wanted to try out something.I was vary as how they would turn out.So most of them went into Plum Crumble and remaining into this preserve.

Rep Ripe Plums:1/2 cup
Sugar:1 tbspn
Cinnamon powder:1/4 tspn


Clean the plums and peel and chop them and remove the pits.In a microwave bowl,add and mix these ingredients.Microwave on high for 2 minutes.Then takeout and mix well.Microwave again for a few minutes.Check the microwave after every 1 minute and mash the big pieces if any.Take out and let it cool when all the water has evaporated.Once cooled store it in sterilized jars and refrigerate.Mine was over the same day as I had used a very small quantity and it was delicious.

This goes to SunshineMom for Food in Colors:Red

And also to EasyCrafts for WYF:Color

Thanks for visiting my Blog

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