July 5, 2015

Grilled Cheese Sandwich | Cooking for One

Sandwiches are a quick and easy on-the-go snack, and more so a filling meal for those living alone (bachelors etc) or those in Hostels / Dorms. After Buttery Lemon Corn, Microwave MasalaPeanuts under the Blogging Marathon Cooking for One / Hostel Cooking Series, today is the last with a quick and yummy Grilled Cheese Sandwich. Team it up with some salad and / or soup on the side and you have a filling meal for lunch or dinner time. 

I usually keep it simple with Bread, Cheese, Pepper and a little butter. But if one fancies, you may add any veggies even to the stuffing to make it healthier. Makes for a great school lunchbox too, dont you think ? Off we go to make this...

Prep time : 10 mon, Grill time : 5 mins , Serves : 1  (Makes 2 sets)

  • Bread slices - 4 nos
  • Butter (salted) - 1 TBSP
  • Cheese Slices - 2 nos
  • White or Black Pepper Powder - a dash

  1. Slightly toast the bread, Slather little butter on the top slices, apply a cheese slice, sprinkle some pepper powder, Close with the other buttered slice. Repeat for other set of breads...
  2. Grill on a hot tava / Grill pan with a little more butter if needed till done and crisp. Cool a bit, cut into desired shape and serve.
  3. If using as a lunchbox item, cool and wrap tightly in a foil. 

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

July 4, 2015

Microwave Masala Peanuts | #MonsoonMojo | Tea Time Snacks

Peanuts, aka the poor man’s cashewnuts, are anyone’s favourite (barring those with nut allergies). We use this generally to season with tempering for any flavoured rice or in chutneys or in chikkis (brittle) as a base. Sometimes I used to dry roast a couple of handfuls for the kids and they used to snack it with jaggery.

Till I saw so many,many versions of these Masala Peanuts – deep fried to roasted to microwaved avatars, till I HAD to make them. These masala peanuts, wrapped in newspaper cones bring back childhood memories of munching them on way to school picnics or on long Sunday evening walks with dad.

I chose one recipe but somehow the instructions didn’t work for me and instead chose this recipe and it worked like magic with the peanuts disappearing before I could click them properly…

Second in the series after Coriander Butter Lemony Corn for BM # 54 are these Masala Peanuts. Needless to say, these and some books and a cup of tea are perfect for Monsoon evenings. While I am sending these to my event – Monsoon Mojo and giveaway – do link up similar monsoon treats here.

Prep time : 10 mins, Microwave time : 6 to 8 mins (depends on the quality of peanuts and microwave settings) | Makes : approx. 150 gm of Masala peanuts

Adapted from here

  • Shelled peanuts – unsalted preferably if store bought – with skin on – 1 cup
  • Rice flour – 1 TBSP
  • Gram flour / Besan – 2 TBSP
  • Salt – to taste (about ½ tsp)
  • Red chilli powder – ½ TBSP (adjust to taste)
  • Cumin powder – 1/3 TBSP
  • Amchur / Dry mango powder – ¼ tsp (optional)
  • Turmeric powder -1/4 tsp
  • Oil – 2 TBSP
  • Chat Masala – for topping

  1. Soak the peanuts for just 1-2 mins, and let it drain immediately in a colander / sieve.  They should remain moist but not get mushy or soak longer.
  2. In a large bowl, add the peanuts and all the spice powders, salt. Mix well. Add oil in batches and with the help of spoon or fork or your fingers so the masala spreads evenly. Let it remain for 2 mins to soak up the flavours.
  3. If needed sprinkle really small quantities of water to bring them together (I didn’t use any water)
  4. Grease a microwave safe plate lightly, spread these coated peanuts taking not to overcrowd (or too much overlapping)
  5. Micro for 900 (high) for 2 minutes, then change the setting to 600 W for 3+3+2 minutes, checking and spreading the nuts (if they form lumps / stick together). Keep an eye before the last 2 min cycle - they burn pretty fast.
  6. So micro till you get full crispy nuts.
  7. Cool slightly , add chat masala while still warm and store in an airtight container

How to use:

Munch on them as is, or add raw onions and chopped green chillies, a dash of lemon juice and munch as a peanut chaat J  blisssssssss !!!

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

July 3, 2015

Coriander Butter Lemony Corn | Hostel - Dormitory Treats | #MonsoonMojo

Staying in a hostel or a dorm has its own advantages and demerits too – you stay away from naggy moms,busy dads and naggy siblings. But in the midst of all that freedom, you crave for home cooked food and even little treats like Maggi or Ramen noodles make one smile J 

I have never stayed in a hostel or a dorm, but my cousin who is away for his Post Graduation in Paediatric Surgery tells me rather horrific tales about working for 18-24 hours straight in ER rooms or on emergency and has to contend to just cups of tea or small nibbles for sustenance.

Some hostels / dorms prohibit cooking in the rooms, while some allow for small pleasures like a hot plate, a microwave , a common refrigerator etc.  So, this week would see me dishing out small and quick to make treats in the comfort of hostel room with minimum appliances and ingredients.

First of these is this super yummy Coriander butter Lemony Corn.  It’s a total comfort to dig into a steamy cup of this super tempting corn in the hostel or even while watching TV / movies, and especially during monsoon. Most theatres / malls in Mumbai sell this and is always a favourite with both kids who love corn a lot.

So checkout this quick dish as it makes way to BM#54 under Hostel / Dorm Food and my own event “Monsoon Mojo”. If you have any monsoon special treats, do link up to this event using the hashtag #MonsoonMojo. Check the details here.

Prep time : 10 mins, cook time : 10 mins, serves : 1 -2
  • Sweet Corn – fresh or frozen (I used it directly from the corn ear) – 1 cup
  • Coriander leaves – few – chopped fine
  • Butter – 2 TBSP
  • Salt – ¼ tsp (avoid if the butter is salted)
  • Chopped green chillies – 1 or 2
  • Chat Masala – ¼ tsp
  • Red chilli powder – ¼ tsp
  • Lemon juice – 2 tsp
  • Sugar – ½ tsp (optional)

  1.  Mix finely chopped coriander with butter and wrap in a butter paper or leave it in a chilled place, preferably the refrigerator. Chilled butter works best, but if you don’t have a refrigerator, mix well and add while serving.
  2. Microwave the corn with a pinch of sugar and salt and 2 cups of water for 9-10 mins till cooked but not mushy. In the absence of microwave, boil them in slightly salted water for 10-12 mins. Drain.
  3. In a bowl,  add the boiled and drained corn, chillies, salt, lemon juice, chat masala, coriander butter (chilled or otherwise)
  4. Serve immediately.

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

July 1, 2015

Monsoon Mojo - a new event announcement.... #MonsoonMojo

Monsoons are officially here in India, at least in the parts that receives its share between June and September.

Monsoon for me brings back memories of Paper Boats made on lazy wet afternoons left sailing in the muddy waters outside our home... of huddling around my grandmom and the kitchen when she fried steaming hot pakoras with various veggies... to my sis, it was about cupping her hands around a hot steaming cup of coffee or tea... ahh !! so simple and romantic...

Rain clouds come floating in, not to muddy my days ahead, but to make me calm, happy and hopeful.” ― Rajuda

What better way for foodies to share and create their favourite monsoon treats - Hot Soups, warming Casseroles, Crunchy bhajias, crunchy popcorn, steaming dals, piping hot filter coffee / tea, baked treats, spicy biryani,  - anything vegetarian / eggless / vegan that you and your family love during the monsoon.

So, join me and the rest of the foodies as we celebrate the Monsoon Mojo for 75 days starting today.. The event runs from 1st July - 15th Sep 2015. 

Whats more ? 

For one lucky winner randomly chosen, there's a surprise giveaway. The winner shall be announced post the completion of the event.. 

Here's how to participate:

1) Post your entries between 1st July - 15th Sep 2015 (Pacific time) with monsoon treats as a theme of any dish you would generally associate with monsoon, with a linkback to this event announcement. 

Important: The event is called #MonsoonMojo on the blogosphere - be sure to mention this hashtag in all your post (Title)  to qualify for an entry.. for eg: if you are sending an entry for Onion pakoras, make sure the title of your post says "Onion Pakoras #MonsoonMojo ".  

2) The entries have to be eggless , vegan or vegetarian. Any number of fresh entries per blogger is accepted

3) Max of two archived entries per blogger, updated with this link announcement is allowed.

4) use of the logo is optional in your post, although highly recommended

5) Use the linky code below to link your entries. Please note a link back in your post to this event announcement is mandatory to link up. 

6) If you have any issues / clarifications or you are a non-blogger and still would like to send in your entries, mail me at momchef77(at)gmail(dot)com 
{i.e momchef77@gmail.com}

Look forward to all your yummy entries.. 


June 26, 2015

Zero Cook Dates Energy bars

For the last in the series both for this month as well as this week's theme of cooking from my paired blogger - Sandhya - I chanced upon these Energy bars which she had made recently. A great snack to have between meals or for the kids when they come back from school or any outdoor activity.

I had made something else for today from my blog, but I had to make it for the kids. We all liked it for 4 major reasons : it was sugarfree, zero cook, nutty and healthy. 

If you still need a reason to make this, scroll down to the recipe below.  Sending this to BM # 53 under bookmarked recipes.

Prep time : 15 mins | Zero cook Setting time : 24 hours | Makes : about 18 bars (Medium sized)
Keeps : up to a week under refrigeration

  • Almonds  - 2/3 cups
  • Dates - about 10-15
  • Figs / Anjeer - about 3-4 nos
  • Pistachios - 2 TBSP (optional)
  • Raisins - two handfuls
  • Walnuts - 2 handfuls
  • Candied amla (gooseberry) - 2 tsp (totally optional)
  • Cardamom powder - 1/2 tsp (optional)
  • (Yup ! no sugar at all :-))

Stage 1: 
  1. Roast the almonds, walnuts separately (microwave for 30-45 seconds) & cool. This step is optional but recommended. Lightly pulse them separately in dashes for 3-4 seconds till they are coarsely powdered but still have a bite. 
  2. Deseed the dates and pulse the amla (if using) lightly for 5 -6 seconds. chop the anjeer / figs into small bits.
  3. Now without adding any water puree the dates and amla into a coarse paste (if you have a food processor, you can process all ingredients at one go, but as I was using my mixer grinder, I had to add the wet / sticky ingredients & dry separately. Whichever appliance you are using, be sure to scrape down after every pulse - dont grind). 
  4. Now add the powdered almonds and walnuts and pulse once more to mix more (you dont want the almond to become butter so do it in spurts). Using a plastic spatula, mix the dry and mix several times. 

Stage 1 pics 

Stage 2 pics
Stage 2: 
  1. Now add the raisins, figs and give it a vigorous blitz. mix well til the oil from all the dry fruits mix and give you a good mass to work with. 
  2. Transfer the semi wet mass onto a lightly greased parchment and roll with a rolling pin as shown in the pics. Make a thickish square, seal the parchment well and place in a refrigerator for a day or two (I placed it for 18-20 hours). Cut into squares and serve. 
  3. It keeps well for over a week under refrigeration. 

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