August 11, 2015

Sundried tomato Focaccia with Sauteed Summer Veggies & Garden Salad for #BreadBakers

We are in love with Focaccia. After this Onion and Tomato version,  I keep getting requests for this bread again and again from the family . 

It goes pretty much as a snack, with a warm bowl of soup and even keeps well for 3-4 days when you can eat it with a bowl of salad for lunch. And that's exactly what I did : made a sunday brunch along with Apple-Broccoli Garden Salad and Sauteed Summer veggies like Zucchini, Squash and Bell peppers.

And then I got this lovely produce from my small green patch on the balcony. Surprisingly, the tomato plant had been there since 5-6 months without a lot of flowers / veggies. 

But come summer I had this wonderful basket of tomatoes that ripened. I used some of them as is and dried some of them to make this wonderful bread. 

Summer crop from my garden - I was very pleased :)))

And this makes its way to #BreadBakers - a group of bakers I have recently joined. This Month's theme is breads with summer produce - hosted by Pavani. And what better way to use the sun dried tomatoes - just a handful of that, and the rustic bread never looked better. Thank you, Stacy for this group. It sure is fun to join you all :-))

So, lets get to the recipe:

Prep time : 30 mins , standing + baking time : 2 hrs + 30 mins. Serves : 4

(A) Focaccia:

  • Stoneground Wholewheat Bread flour - 2 cups
  • Instant yeast - 1 TBSP
  • Salt - 1/2 tsp
  • Sugar - 1 TBSP
  • Olive Oil - 6 TBSP (divided use)
  • Warm water - 2/3 cup
  • Sun dried tomato - a big handful

(B) Sauteed Veggies:

  • Sliced veggies - Zucchini, Bell peppers, Onions - 1 cup
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Oil - 1 tsp

(C) Garden Salad with Brocolli ,Apple and Cabbage - recipe here.


(A) Focaccia :

  1. Proof yeast with warm water and sugar. Once done, add half the oil and salt and whisk well, now add flour in batches. Mix and knead till you get a smooth and elastic dough - about 12-15 mins.
  2. Place covered in a greased bowl till it doubles. Once it doubles, punch it down gently. Knead for few mins, and pinch out a sizeable portion of the dough (or the whole dough if you want a bigger bread) and roll into a rectangle or a square (I used my silpat baking mat so rolled it like a rectangle).
  3. Cover and let it rise.
  4. Towards the end of the second rise, soak the sundried tomatoes in hot water and squeeze them, Chop them if you like, but I used them whole.
  5. Make small dimples  on the rolled out bread, add few drops of olive oil into each dimple and place these sun dried tomatoes all over and press them gently into
  6. Bake in a preheated oven for 25-30 mins till golden brown and slightly crispy.

(B) While the bread is baked, saute the sliced veggies in a dash of warm oil over a medium grill (or pan). Season with salt and pepper and keep aside.  Similarly prep the salad too.

Serve hot with bread on the side. Any leftover focaccia can be warmed up next day and served with soup or served as a snack

#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on this home page.

We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.

If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send Stacy an email with your blog URL to

Breads using Summer Bounty:

July 19, 2015

Kabuli Channa Sundal | Chickpeas Steamed Salad | #MonsoonMojo

For the last day of Lentil based,  I chose chickpeas, simply because its one of my favourite legumes – oven roast them as nibbles, make them into tikki, toss it into a Chaat ,make Harira (Moroccon stew) or  Chole. Its very convenient cooking and storing this in bulk . Defreeze a portion and whip up a lovely healthy sundal (steamed salad) in no time at all.

And that’s exactly what we did.. Like I have mentioned here, kids love Sundals, and here’s adding one more to the list. This particular Sundal is generally made as offering to Ganpati (the Elephant God) during the annual Ganpati festical too, and as I was telling my kids thus, the elder one picked up this lovely motif and placed it right when I was to click the snap.. such a lovely thought .. Muah :-))

Make it, eat it. Sundals are that simple, yummy and proteinicious too – a perfect tea-time or an after-school snack. Its wonderful to munch on this hot Sundal during the monsoon and am sending this to my event & giveaway - #MonsoonMojo too along with Blogging Marathon. 

Some other varieties at home are:

Sprouts Sundal (Whole green gram sprouts salad)
Battani Sundal (fresh / frozen peas Salad)
Kadalai paruppu Sundal (split bengal gram Salad)
Konda Kadalai Sundal (black chickpeas Salad)
Avarekaalu Usli (hyacinth bean Salad)
Pachai Payiru Sundal (whole green gram salad)

Prep time : 5 mins | Cook time : 5-6 mins | Serves : 2
Cuisine : Indian, type – Vegan, can be made GF (Gluten free) too.

You would need:
  • Cooked chickpeas – 1 cup (if using canned, drain and use)
  • Salt – to taste (I generally cook chickpeas with a dash of salt, so I go easy here)
  • Oil – 1 tsp
  • Tempering : Mustard seeds, curry leaves, hing (asafetida – skip if want a GF version), green chillies 1 no, grated ginger ½ tsp
  • Garnish : chopped coriander leaves (1/2 tsp) and Fresh / frozen grated coconut (1/2 TBSP) , Lemon juice (1/2 TBSP) – optional

  1. In a pan, add oil. Splutter the tempering ingredients, sauté ginger and chillies. Now add cooked chickpeas, salt (if using). 
  2. Stir well but don’t let the chickpeas go mushy.
  3. Check for spice and salt. Finish with garnish ingredients and serve immediately

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

July 18, 2015

Vegan 3 Bean Burger ~ Proteinicious Dinner Ideas ...

I have been eyeing to make multi bean burger patties for a long time. Having experimented with beetroot ,potato patty varieties, this vegan 3-bean burger came about as a dinner experiment (albeit at the last hour when kiddo wanted to have something different for her dinner). So, I had to use what was on hand, and we liked it a lot. Go on, make your own combo – the protein filled patty is sure to be filling and healthy..

Prep time : 30 mins, cooking +standing time : 30 mins. Serves : 3

  • Boiled and drained yellow moong dal (split green gram) – ¼ cup
  • Boiled chickpeas – ½ cup
  • Masoor dal (whole brown lentils) – ¼ cup - parboiled and drained.
  • Onions – 1 large (split use)
  • Potato – 1 medium
  • Salt – to use
  • Turmeric – a dash
  • Garam Masala – 1 TBSP
  • Red chilli powder – ½ TBSP
  • Ginger paste – ½ tsp
  • Oil – 4 TBSP
For the burger:
  • Burger buns (store bought) – 3 nos.
  • Butter / Olive oil – 1 TBSP ( i used olive oil)
  • Tomato slices – few
  • Cucumber Slices - few
  • Lettuce leaves – 1 or 2 (fresh)

  1. Boil water vigourosly (about 5 cups) and divide into 2 different portions. Soak the yellow moong dal and masoor dal separately for 30 mins. Meanwhile pressure cook potato ,peel and mash lightly till fork tender.
  2. Now boil the dals separately till done and has a bite but not mushy. Drain the water completely.
  3. Add half the chopped onions, spices to the potatoes, drained dals , chickpeas and mash well. make a patties (tikki) – thick enough as burger patties . Shape into roundels, cling wrap and refrigerate for 15 – 20 mins.
  4. Shallow Fry them in 3-4 TBSP oil till they are crunchy on both sides.
To Assemble:
  1. Cut the buns horizontally into two. Grease the burgers slightly on both sides, Place the burger buns upon torn lettuce leaves, top with onion slices, tomato and cucumber slices. 
  2. Close with the top portion. Repeat with other burger buns. Slightly grill on a hot skillet for 2 mins.
  3. Serve immediately.

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

July 17, 2015

Aloo Choliya | Fresh Green Chickpeas Gravy | Sides for Roti

Winter produce brings in a lot of variety into the veggie basket like Purple Yam (Kand), Sweet Potatoes, Fresh Green Peas, Hara Choliya (Fresh Green Chickpeas) etc. While I generally make Oondhiyoo once or twice during the winters, today's post is with fresh Choliye that my maid got from her farm (yes, this post was to go up last winter, but was lying in the drafts to be revived now) and with potatoes this makes an amazing gravy. 

My colleague - Ms.P, who is from Chandigarh taught me this amazing dish, and since then I make this whenever I can get my hands on these beauties.. Just like raw shelled peas, we all love to munch on these as is - it's mildly sweet and has a crunch too. 

If you are keen, more info on this wonderful legume here 

So, lets get on to making this easy peasy dish while this goes to BM 54 under "Cooking with Lentils" theme all this week :-) Also goes to MLLA #85, hosted by Jagruti , event by Susan & Lisa

Prep time : 15 mins , Cooking time : 15 mins , Serves : 3 - 4 
Vegan Side dish for Roti / Indian Flatbread / Rice. Spice level : Medium
Course : Accompaniment, Cuisine : North Indian. 

  • Hara Choliye (Fresh Green Chickpeas) - 1 cup
  • Potato- 1 large
  • Cumin seeds / Jeera - 1/2 tsp
  • Oil - 1 TBSP
  • Salt - to taste
  • Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
  • Red chilli powder - 1/4 tsp
  • Coriander powder -1 tsp
  • Garam Masala - 1/2 TBSP
  • Jeera / Cumin powder - 1/2 tsp 

To grind:
  • Onion - 1 Large
  • Tomatoes - 2 medium
  • Poppy seeds - 1/2 tsp + 4-5 cashews (both soaked in warm water for 5-10 mins)
  • Green Chillies - 2 nos (adjust spice)
  • Ginger - 1/2 inch
  • Garlic - 1 or 2 medium pods
  • Cloves - 2 nos
  • Cardamom - 1 no.

Garnish : Coriander leaves, lemon juice (optional)

  1. Peel potato, cube and reserve in a bowl of water. Grind all ingredients under "To grind" to a smooth paste. 
  2. In a pressure cooker, add oil, splutter jeera, add this paste and saute well till it leaves oil, about 4-5 mins. Add the potatoes, shelled fresh Choliye, 2 cups of water, salt and pressure cook for 3-4 whistles.
  3. Let the pressure release slowly on its own. Open lid and lightly mash 1 or 2 pieces of the potato. 
  4. Now add the rest of the spices - turmeric, coriander powder, Garam Masala, red chilli, jeera powder. Add 1-2 tsp of water if its too dry. Let it simmer for 5-6 mins till the masala coats all the veggies and the legumes.
  5. Transfer to a serving dish, add the coriander and lemon juice and serve hot with rotis /Phulkas (puffed indian wholewheat bread)

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

July 13, 2015

Apple Crumble with Almond Flour & No sugar added Muesli Topping | Cooking with Fruits...

Fruits are fibre rich and most of them are high in Sugar themselves. While I mentioned that we prefer eating the fruits whole, here’s the last in the Fruit Cooking Series  - a simple , no brainer yet yummy recipe that’s great for potlucks and also for those who crave for a dessert, but are watching their weight (no! Not me L )

Apple Crumble with Almond Flour & No-sugar-added Muesli ToppingPerfect,light and very mild sugar : just what the doctor ordered after an appetizing meal. I made this single serve as we prefer it that way. You can make this in a large baking tray as well. And for those in love with Apple and Cinnamon (me , me , me :-)) this is like heaven calling out to you… 

If you prefer to make it totally grain free as the original version did, skip the muesli / Oats entirely and use just almond flour. This also goes to Harini’s Fruits Theme – Kids Delight, event by Valli, and also to Blogging Marathon.

Adapted from here and here, I made my own little variations. Serving this with Vanilla Ice Cream is totally optional, although the kids loved it that way :-)

Prep time : 10 mins, Cooking + baking time : 25 mins , Serves : 3

You would need :
  • Apples (Ripe and red variety) – 1 large – sliced with skin off
  • Brown Sugar - 2 TBSP
  • Honey - 1 TBSP
  • Lemon juice – 1 tsp
  • Butter – 1 tbsp (I used vegan)
  • Salt – a pinch
  • Cinnamon sticks – 1 inch (or use ½ tsp cinnamon powder)
For the Topping:
  • Oats / Muesli (I used sugar free Muesli) – 2 TBSP
  • Almonds - 1/2 cup
  • Honey - 1 TBSP
  • Chopped almonds – for topping

  1. Stew the apples on a low flame with 1/2 cup of water, butter, honey, brown sugar, cinnamon sticks till the apples become mushy and most of the water evaporates.
  2. Take out the cinnamon sticks if using, add lemon juice,cinnamon powder,stir and keep aside.
  3. Dry roast muesli and nuts for 1-2 mins till they turn warm, lightly powder them in a spice grinder and keep aside. Add Honey and make a crumbly slightly sticky topping mixture
  4. Grease the ramekins, add the stewed apples at the base, spread the almond-muesli on top. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 200C / 400 F for 8-10 mins or till the muesli turns golden brown.
  5. Slightly cool. Serve as it is or with a dollop of vanilla ice cream. 

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