Monday, April 17, 2017

Bharleli Mirchi or (Aloo Bharwan Mirch) - Potato stuffed Anaheim Peppers

If you love spicy food like me, you will love this dish as much as I do. Actually, the Anaheim peppers you get here are not all that spicy, they just lend a mildly spicy and peppery flavor that goes really well with the potato stuffing. This is also a great party dish if you want to make something exotic.

Ingredients: Anaheim Peppers - 5-6 (any other large variety will do as well), Potato - 4-5 - boiled, turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp, ginger-garlic paste, Coriander powder - 1 tsp, Cumin Powder - 1 tsp, Mango powder - 1/2 tsp, Red chilly powder - 1/2 tsp, Mustard seeds - 1 tsp, Asofoetida - 1/4 tsp, Ginger/garlic coarse paste - 1 tsp, garam masala - 1 tsp, Salt - as per taste, Cilantro - 2 tbsp finely chopped, Oil - 2 tbsp

Procedure: For Stuffing: Boil and peel potatoes and mash them finely. Take oil in a pan and add mustard seeds and when they splutter, add asofoetida, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, coriander powder, cumin powder, mango powder and mashed potatoes, Add garam masala, mix well and add salt.Stuffing is ready.

Stuffing the chillies: Slit the Anaheim peppers only on the top half of the pepper, so that it forms a pocket for stuffing. Stuff the filling into it with so that it fills the pepper entirely. Press down it gently to make sure that it is not loose.

Cooking the stuffed peppers: Take oil in a shallow pan and add the stuffed peppers one by one. Cover the pan and cook for 2 minutes. Flip the mirch/chilli peppers over and cook till they are a little brown and done on all sides. Garnish with cilantro.

Delicious Bharleli Mirchi/Bharwan mirch or Potato stuffed Anaheim peppers are ready. Enjoy your spicy creation!!

Till my next post, take care everyone!!

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Tindora Cashew Masala (Ivy gourd cooked in spicy masala and Cashews)

Tindora or Tondla or Ivy Gourd is a rather plain vegetable with no special flavor of it's own. No one in our family is particularly fond of this vegetable. My little one was really sad the other day when I told him that I was about to make that vegetable for dinner. His sadness inspired me to add some exotic flavor and ingredients to make it really appealing to everyone's taste buds. The result was amazing and this vegetable is now "second favorite on his list" :) Nothing can topple Kale with Tofu, at least for now. Here is the recipe:

Ingredients: Tindora or Tondla or Ivy gourd - 1 packet about 300 gms (I used the frozen packet from local Indian grocery store), grated coconut - 5-6 tbsp, onion - 1 medium chopped, cumin seeds - 1 tsp, fennel seeds - 1 tsp, coriander seeds - 1 tsp, Ginger/garlic crushed - 2 tsp, mustard seeds - 1 tsp,Asafoetida - 1/4th tsp, Oil - 4-5 tbsp, cashews - broken - 1 tbsp, turmeric powder - 1 tsp, red chilli powder - 1 tsp, garam masala - 1 tsp, salt - as per taste, sugar - 1 tsp, lemon juice - few drops, chilli and cilantro for garnish, 

Method: Take a pan and add cumin seeds, fennel seeds and coriander seeds and dry roast them. Set them aside. In the same pan, add 1-2 tbsp oil and fry chopped onion till it turns golden brown. Add crushed ginger/garlic (crushed - 1 tsp) and fry for a minute. Then add grated coconut and fry for 2-3 minutes. Add the dry roasted seeds to this at the end and grind to a smooth pasted upon cooling. Take another pan and add 2 tbsp oil. Add mustard seeds and when they crackle, add asofoetida, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, sugar, salt, garam masala and ground masala to it. Fry for 3-4 minutes till oil leaves the masala. Then add the frozen Tindora or Ivy gourd to this.Cover and cook for 4-5 mins on medium heat. When tindora is soft, add broken cashews and cilantro. Mix well and cook for another minute or two. Tindora Cashew Masala is ready to serve! 

Well, our whole house was filled with the aroma of spices and everyone was really eager to try out the new exotic dish. I am really glad that this experiment was a huge success. The best reward was the smile on my little one's face  - priceless :)

Till my next post, take care everyone.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Achari Makai Tamatar Subji (Corn and Tomato Vegetable in pickling spices)

This Bhaji was a result of a random kitchen experiment that was very successful, so it made it to the blog :) That particular day, we had returned from a trip and had nothing on hand but frozen corn and some leftover tomatoes. I decided to add flavor to the bhaji by adding pickling spices and presto, this recipe was born. It tasted absolutely yummy and was certified blog worthy by my family [read guinea pigs :) - sorry family]. Well here is the recipe:

Corn - frozen or fresh ( 1 cup), Tomatoes - 2 medium chopped, Onion - 1 medium chopped, Ginger/garlic - 1 tbsp crushed (1/4th inch ginger and 4-5 cloves of garlic), Oil - 4-5 tsp, Methi/fenugreek seeds - 1/4th tsp, Fennel seeds - 1 tsp, cumin seeds - 1 tsp, asofoetida - 1/4th tsp, turmeric powder - 1 tsp, red chilli powder - 1/2 tsp, apple cider vinegar - 1 tbsp, sugar - 1 tsp, salt - as per taste, garam masala - 1/2 tsp, cilantro chopped - to garnish.

Method: Boil the frozen corn for 5-8 mins till tender, (fresh corn will require less cooking time), take oil in a pan add methi seeds, fennel seeds, cumin seeds, and chopped onion. Fry till onion is golden brown. Add chopped tomatoes and saute till cooked, then add turmeric powder and red chilli powder, sugar and apple cider vinegar. Saute for 1 min and add boiled corm, Add garam masala and salt to taste. Cover and cook for 3-4 mins on medium heat. Add cilantro at the end. Yummy Achari Makai Tamatar Sabji is ready. Enjoy with Chapati or as a side dish with rice.

Till my next post, take care everyone!

Monday, March 13, 2017

Spinach Tortilla Pinwheels

Today I am sharing a recipe I had whipped up for our office St. Patrick's day potluck lunch. This recipes feeds a lot of people with little effort. To fit in with the green theme, spinach tortilla was the natural choice. I love the southwestern veggie mix that you get in the frozen section of local grocery store. Used that for the filling along with other flavors I love and was ready with a yummy dish for the potluck. Here is the recipe. 

Ingredients: Spinach Tortilla - 3-4 large size, Southwestern veggie blend - (Black beans and chopped - red pepper, green bell pepper, corn, Anaheim peppers) - you can use your own veggies in case you don't have this blend - 2 cups, green lettuce leaves chopped - 1/2 cup,  Cream cheese - 1 16 oz tub, Ranch dressing - 1/2 cup, Sriracha sauce - 1 tsp, Chives fresh or dried- 2-3 tsp, Garlic powder - 1 tsp, black pepper - 1/2 tsp, taco seasoning - 2 tsp, salt as needed. Plastic wrap - to wrap the tortillas.

Method: Cook the southwestern blend as per instructions on the packet. If using your own beans and veggies, cook till everything is soft but not mushy. Bring cream cheese to room temperature. Blend with ranch dressing with a whisk or hand mixer. The mixture should not be too runny. It should only be soft (pliable). Add Sriracha sauce, chives, black pepper, garlic powder, taco seasoning and salt (if needed) and whisk. Add the southwestern veggie blend and chopped lettuce to that mixture and blend everything together. Apply that mixture to the tortillas. Roll them up and wrap them in plastic wrap. Chill overnight (or for 3-4 hrs of short on time). In the morning, cut them up in desired size pieces and serve cold.

This recipe is really versatile and could be made with any other type of tortilla. It is great for picnics or other potlucks too.

Happy St. Patrick's Day to all my readers. May your lives be touched by a little Irish luck :)

Till my next post, take care everyone.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Dahi Vada (Dahi Wada) or Dahi Bhalla

Dahi Vada is my family favorite. We just can't get enough of the cool and refreshing vadas that simply melt into your mouth. The sweet and tangy tamarind and date chutney adds to the burst of flavors in the mouth. So today I am sharing the recipe for this amazing dish, that is especially popular around the colorful Holi festival in Northern India just as Puran poli is ever so popularly made for Holi in Maharashtra.


For Vadas: Urad dal - 2 cups, Moong dal - 1/2 cup, green chillies - 2-3 (optional), Cumin seeds - 1&1/2 tsp, asofoetida - 1/4th tsp. Salt to taste, Oil for frying.

For Dahi mixture: 5 to 6 cups, yogurt, 1 teaspoon, roasted cumin powder, salt to taste, sugar - adjust as per sourness of dahi or yogurt, Cilantro - for garnish, red chilli powder - to garnish (optional) and some boondi to garnish (optional), Chaat masala (optional) - few sprinkles to garnish and add chatpata taste.

Procedure: Soak Urad dal and moong dal in 8 to 10 cups of warm water for 6-10 hours - preferably overnight. Next morning, drain the dal and add green chilies, cumin seeds, asofoetida, little salt and and blend it until smooth.  The batter should not be too runny. You should be able to form vadas. Add water accordingly while blending. Whisk the batter and set it aside for 30-40 mins in a refrigerator.

Heat enough oil in a pan or a kadhai. Slide the batter balls into the hot oil as per desired size of vadas. Fry them on medium heat till golden brown on both sides to ensure that they are well cooked. Drain them on an absorbent towel and then soak them in water for 1-2 mins. Give them a gentle squeeze and remove the oil and them put them in yogurt mixture.

Procedure to make yogurt/dahi mixture: Take yogurt/dahi in a bowl , add water depending upon the thickness of the dahi you desire to make. Add sugar, cumin powder and salt to taste and whisk well.

Garnish with chopped cilantro, red chilli powder, boondi and chaat masala and serve.

Serve with Tamarind Date chutney

Procedure to make chutney: Soak 15-20 dates in warm water for 20 mins, grind with 1 tsp tamarind pulp, 2 tsp jaggery, 1 tsp cumin powder, 1/2 tsp red chilli powder, 1/4th tsp chaat masala and salt to taste.

Enjoy!! Happy Holi to all my friends.Till my next post, take care everyone. 

Monday, February 27, 2017

Rava Idli with Mint Chutney

Whenever my kids desire to eat idlis and there is not enough time to go through the whole fermentation process associated with making the traditional idlies, rava idli saves the day. My kids love to feast on the soft, spongy idlis that are ready in a jiffy. They are definitely more flavorful than the traditional idlis and are diabetic friendly too since we do not have to use rice to make them.

Rava Idli Recipe:

Ingredients: Coarse Rava - 2 cup, Yogurt - 3/4 cup, Water 1&1/2 cup (adjust as needed), Salt to taste Eno Fruit Salt - 1 tsp (or baking soda - 1/2 tsp),Cilantro chopped - 2 tbsp (optional), Oil for greasing idli maker.

For Tempering: Oil - 2 tsp, Mustard Seeds - 1 tsp, Urad dal - 1 tsp, Chana Dal - 1 tsp, Asofoetida- 1/4 tsp, Green Chillies - 1 or 2 finely chopped (completely optional), Broken cashews - 2-3 tsp (completely optional)

Method: Heat a pan and add 2 tsp Oil, then add mustard seeds when hot till they splutter. Add rest of the tempering ingredients. Then add the rava and roast everything till light golden brown. Let it cool. After it cools, add yogurt, salt, water, cilantro and mix everything. Now add in yogurt and water and mix well till it is of the right consistency. The batter should not be too thick or thin. At the end add the eno fruit salt or baking soda and mix. Fill in the greased idli moulds and steam it for 10 to 12 mins on medium high heat.

Remove the idli stand and let it cool for 5 mins. Now dip a thin spoon in water and gently unmould the rava idlies.

Serve with mint or any other chutney of your choice.

Mint Chutney recipe:

Ingredients: Mint leaves - handful , Cilantro - handful, shredded coconut - 3-4 tbsp, Dalia (orroasted chana dal) - 5-6 tbsp, green chillies - 3-4 (adjust as per desired level of spiciness), salt to taste, few drops of lemon juice.

For Tempering: Oil - 2 tsp, Mustard Seeds - 1 tsp, Asofoetida- 1/4 tsp

Method: Grind all the above ingredients in a mixer and pour tempering over it.

Serve with Rava Idli.


Till my next post, take care everyone.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Healthy Vegetarian Italian Salad - Valentine's Day special!

The day of love otherwise known as Valentine's Day is upon us. Instead of going to overcrowded, noisy restaurants, sometimes it is better to spend quality time with your significant other at home and enjoy a hearty and healthy salad along with chocolates and wine :)

Ingredients: Mixed baby greens - 2 handfuls,  Baby spinach - handful, Mixed peppers (orange, yellow and red) - cubed 15-20 pcs total, green bell pepper - 1 cubed, Cucumbers - 3-4 cubed, Grape tomatoes - 15-20 halved, Olives - 1 can, onion (optional) - 1/2 sliced, Italian cheese mix - 3-4 oz (about 3/4 the packet), Ranch dressing - 1 bottle - 16 oz - any brand of your choice (I used yogurt based ranch), balsamic vinegar - few drops, crushed red pepper - 1/4 tsp, black pepper to taste, Croutons - to garnish.

Procedure: Wash and chop all the vegetables according to instructions above. Mix Ranch dressing, balsamic vinegar, crushed red pepper and black pepper in a separate bowl. Take a big bowl and assemble everything together. Garnish with croutons. Healthy and delicious salad is ready. Chill and serve.

I made a tomato heart decor specially for Valentine's day :) 

Happy Valentine's Day everyone.

Till my next post, take care.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Simple and Healthy greens - Kale and Tofu Bhaji

This bhaji or vegetable is the simplest and healthiest one that you can ever make. It can be prepared in less than 20 mins start to finish and is totally delicious and good for you. Kale can be substituted with any other green like Swiss Chard, or purple kale, it tastes just as good. It has all the healthy nutrients and vitamins and plant based soy protein that you body needs.

Ingredients: Kale - 1 bunch, Garlic- 5-6 pods, Tofu - 12 oz extra firm, Oil - 3-4 tsp, black pepper - 1/2 tsp, salt to taste and few drops of lemon juice.

Method: Clean, wash and chop the Kale or any green that you are using. Crush the garlic pods. Heat oil in a pan and and add 1/2 tsp crushed pepper and crushed garlic. Immediately add the chopped greens and cover and cook for 3-4 mins on medium heat. Cube the tofu and add that to the greens. Cover and cook for 3-4 mins. Add salt to taste and lemon juice. Delicious bhaji is ready. Eat with Chapati or fill it in Pita pocket or roll it in Lavaash bread or eat as a side dish with rice. It is really versatile, simple and tasty.

Till my next post, take care everyone!

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Healthy Whole Wheat Cracker Chaat Bites

I have yet to meet a person who does not love '#chaat'. It is an immensely popular street item India. Like most of you, Chaat is totally my weak point.  I can munch on it endlessly day after day :)

But the typical chaat items are loaded with empty unhealthy calories. So I created this simple and easy to throw together but totally healthy and tasty chaat item to satisfy everyone's chaat cravings in a jiffy. Best part is you do not even have to make any chutney for this - that easy breezy.

It makes for a great appetizer/snack for potluck and parties too. 

Superbowl is coming up soon, makes for great occasion to try it out :)

So here is the recipe:

Ingredients: Ritz or any other brand whole wheat crackers 8-10, chopped onion - 1/2, chopped cucumber - 1/2, chopped tomato - 1/2, cilantro chopped - 3-4 tbsp, chaat masala - 1/2 tsp, paprika/red chilli powder - 1/4 tsp, cheese - 1 cheese single cut into 8-10 parts, Siracha hot sauce - as needed, Sev (Indian sev) for garnish.

Assembly: Take a plate and arrange crackers and sliced cheese pieces on top of it. In another bowl, mix all the chopped veggies, chaat masala and paprika/red chilli powder. Do not add salt. The chaat masala, cheese and the cracker already have enough salt. Spoon the mixture on top of the crackers and cheese. Add a drop or two of #Siracha. Garnish with Sev.

Serve immediately. The chaat bite just bursts into a medley of sweet, savory, tangy, pungent, spicy flavors in your mouth and you are instantly transported to taste heaven. Enjoy!!!

Till my next post, take care everyone.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Pesarattu (Lentils dosa) with Tomato Onion Chutney

This dish brings back nostalgic memories of breakfast in Hyderabad when we used to visit our grandparents for summer vacation. It is a very filling and popular traditional Andhra dish.

I make it with a slightly different twist to the traditional recipe. I mix various dals (lentils) to pack a punch of protein and put a mix of brown and wild rice (1:1 ratio) to make it healthier and diabetes friendly.

Ingredients for Pesarattu Dosa:
Yellow Moong dal - 1 cup, Green Moong Dal - 1/4 cup, Chana dal - 1/4 th cup, Urad dal - 1/4 cup, Brown rice - 1/2 cup, Wild rice - 1/2 cup, Ginger - 1/2 tsp, Garlic - 5-6 pcs, Curry leaves - 8-10, Green chillies - 2-3 (depending on your taste), cilantro - 3-4 tbsp, cumin - 1 tsp, salt to taste, oil for making the pesarattu dosa. Onions - chopped, green chillies - chopped, cilantro chopped - for garnish.

Procedure to make Pesarattu dosa:
Soak all the lentils and rice (preferably overnight, or at least fpt 6 hrs), Finely grind the mixture along with the other ingredients like ginger, garlic, green chillies, cilantro, cumin and salt in a mixer. There is no need to ferment this mixture unlike traditional dosa. Heat a pan, add few drops of oil, put a big ladle of batter and spread it evenly. Cover and cook for 2 mins till it is brownish on the bottom, add a layer of onions and some chopped green chillies (optional) on top, flip and cook for a minute. Pesarattu is ready for stuffing (see stuffing recipe below).

Upma stuffing for Pesarattu dosa:

Ingredients for Upma: 
1 cup rava (preferably fine semolina, sooji, cream of wheat), Water -  2 cups, Urad dal - 1 tsp, Chana Dal - 1 tsp, Tempering - 1tsp spoon mustard seeds, Asofoetida - 1/2 tsp, green chillies (as per desired spice level), ginger - grated 1/2 tsp,  5-6 curry leaves, oil - 3 tsp. I do not add onions to the upma I use for stuffing. I like to keep it simple.

Procedure for making Upma stuffing:
Dry roast the upma rava for 5-6 minutes till light brown and keep it aside. Heat the oil in a pan. Add the mustard seeds and let them splutter. Now add asofoetida, urad dal, chana dal, green chillies and curry leaves. Saute for 1/2 minute and add 2 cups of water and bring it to boil. Then  add the upma rava slowly and stir continuously to avoid lumps.Cover and cook for 3-4 mins. It should be nice and soft Cook for 2-3 additional minutes and set aside. Use this to stuff the above pesarattu dosa.

Serve with Tomato Onion Chutney.

Tomato Onion Chutney:

Ingredients for Chutney:
Onion - 1 chopped, Tomato - 2 medium chopped, Urad dal - 1 tbsp, Chana Dal - 1 tbsp, Cilantro - 3-4 tbsp, Green chillies - 3-4, Ginger - 1 tsp, Garlic - 4-5 pods, Dry shredded coconut - 2 tsp (optional), oil - 2 tsp, salt to taste. Tempering - 1 tsp spoon mustard seeds, Asofoetida - 1/2 tsp, turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp, red ciilli powder - 1/2 tsp,  5-6 curry leaves, oil - 2 tsp.

Procedure for Chutney:
Dry roast urad dal, chana dal and shredded coconut (each separately) till light browna and put aside. Put 2 tsp oil in a pan and roast onions till brown. Add ginger, garlic, cilantro, green chillies and saute for 3-4 mins, then add tomatoes and saute for 5-6 mins till everything is cooked. Add the previously roasted dals and coconut. Cool and grind in a mixer. Add the tempering (For tempering: Heat the pan and add oil. Add the mustard seeds and let them splutter. Now add asofoetida, turmeric powder, red chilli powder and curry leaves.) Mix and serve with Pesarattu.

Here is another version without Upma filling........... we ate this with coconut/peanut chutney.

Enjoy this protein packed delicacy for breakfast, lunch or dinner :), Till my next post, take care everyone!