June 25, 2017

Bolivian Purple Cabbage Salad with Broccoli | Vegan & GF salads | Easy Salad recipes

Another salad from Latin American Cuisine, this had overtones of sesame - and a nuttiness that we liked. Unlike yesterday's Pineapple Strawberry salad, today's dish is served warm, and somehow both me and the husband prefer warm salads to cold ones. 

So, if you are a fan of salads too, make this one for a potluck or weekend dinner. We had this with some Carrot Almond Soup and roasted garlic focaccia that made for a lovely meal. 

Prep time : 15 mins, cook time : 5 mins ; serves : 2 ~ 3

Shredded purple cabbage - 1 cup (1 cup = 250 ml)
Broccoli florets - 1/2 cup
Roasted bell peppers - 1/3 cup
Minced garlic - 1/2 tsp
Onions - cut lengthwise - 1/4 cup

Dressing:
Sesame seeds / sesame oil - 1 TBSP
Salt & pepper  - to taste
Balsamic vinegar - 1/2 tsp
Brown sugar - a dash 


How to make:

Warm the sesame oil a bit (not till smoking), switch off & add this to a bowl along with the rest of the dressing. Whisk well and keep refrigerated. 
In the same pan, add the minced garlic, broccoli florets and toss with a little salt on a low flame till the florets are coated with a garlicky glaze but are still warm and crunchy (max 2-3 mins).
In a large bowl, add the purple cabbage, roasted bell peppers , broccoli, onion and toss well.
Just before serving, add the refrigerated dressing and serve warm on the side.

June 24, 2017

Cuban Pineapple - Strawberry Salad | Vegan and GF Salad recipes | Summer recipes

Summer meals are salads mostly for us. While its not exactly summer in my country, it is so for most of the northern hemisphere. So, here is a quick salad thats apt for those potlucks / parties . With no slaving at the stove, this is a great make-ahead dish too. 

I adapted this from here, and substituted the protein (chicken)  with moong sprouts (yes, I promise - next time it shall be a larger portion :)) We loved it a lot and sure to make it the next time we have ripe sweet pineapples which are a must for this salad.

Funnily enough, my elder one who doesn't like pineapples dug into this salad. Its quite catchy on the eye with its vibrant colours and I particularly liked this salad for the addition of scallions and some other flavouring.

Prep time : 15 mins , serves : 2

What you need
Pineapple cubes - 3/4 cup
Cubed strawberry  - 1/4 cup
Cucumbers (seedless) - cubed (1/4 cup)
Red peppers - 1/4 cup - I subbed with onions
Sprouts - 2 TBSP
chopped scallions - 1 TBSP
Chopped cilantro  - 1 tsp
dressing : Lemon juice 3 tsp +2 TBSP warm olive oil + 1/2 tsp ground cumin+ 1/2 tsp salt

In a large bowl, stir together lime juice, oil, salt and cumin until blended.

Add pineapple chunks, cucumber, cilantro, onions, sprouts and scallions; toss to mix and coat.
Chill and serve.

This week we have Latin American Cuisine so sending to BM #77

June 13, 2017

Quick Multigrain Almond bread for #Breadbakers | Eggless Quick Bread

We have Cindy hosting this edition of #Breadbakers with the theme "baking with Nuts and Nut flours" and I was almost undecided till the last week of signing up as to what to make, but when I came back from my short visit to my sister's place n New york, I had this pack of almond flakes picked up at Trader Joe's - well, there it was : problem solved. But we were off yeast for some weeks now, so a quick question to the host, and quick bread it was 


This is undoubtedly (if I may say so, myself), the best ever quick bread I have baked in so many years. I experimented a bit with one recipe, tweaking a couple of the ingredients, and what I got was a wonderful loaf (actually one mini loaf too) which was sheer indulgence, and ... healthy too !

Thank you Cindy for hosting and Nandita (source of the recipe). If you like, you could make this with eggs and All purpose flour, but we preferred to be multigrain, so read on to see what substitutions worked for this bread which works well as a breakfast, snack box or  a delicious tea time treat :)  

Prep time : 15 mins, Bake time : 35 + 12 mins (may vary from oven to oven) ; Makes : 12-15 medium slices.

Dry Ingredients:

  • Wholewheat flour - 1/2 cup (1 cup = 200 ml)
  • Ragi / Finger miller flour - 1/2 cup
  • All purpose flour - 1/4 cup
  • Almond flour - 1/4 cup (roasted and ground)
  • Baking soda - 1 tsp
  • Salt - 1/2 tsp

Wet ingredients:

  • Rice bran or any neutral oil - 1/2 cup
  • granulated sugar - 1/2 cup ( i used palm sugar - original recipe asked for 3/4 cup, but 1/2 cup worked for us)
  • Vanilla extract - 1 tsp
  • 1/2 cup thick yoghurt (if you dont have greek yoghurt, drain normal yoghurt in a muslin cloth or fine sieve overnight in the refrigerator) - you can use 2 large eggs in place of the yoghurt.
  • 3 very ripe bananas (medium size - Elaichi variety or 2 normal sized golden bananas)

Topping:

  • Roasted almond flakes
  • Bittersweet chocochips (optional)


Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 170 deg C for 10-12 mins, and line a loaf pan {Pavani - thanks for your gift :), the green coloured pan you gifted me worked wonderfully well}
  2. Sieve the dry ingredients 3-4 times over and keep aside .
  3. In a food processor (I used a blender), mix all the wet ingredients and blend it till real smooth. transfer to a large bowl,
  4. Slowly add the dry flour mix to the wet ingredient mix in batches and slowly fold in to avoid any dry streaks. Add a tsp or two of milk or warm water if needed to smoothen the batter.
  5. Gently pour into the lined pans, and top with almond flakes. I topped the kids' bread with chocochips too :)
  6. Bake for 45 - 50 mins (or till a skewer comes out clean) - for me it took 35 mins + 12 mins (I turned down the oven to 160 for the last 12 mins to prevent burning).
  7. Cool on a wire rack, and slowly un mould once it comes to room temperature. Wait for a few more hours (I know, its torture!!) , and it slices neatly for a quick afternoon tea treat or for breakfast

My notes:
1) Although this bread uses banana, theres no smell of bananas at all. 
2) use of finger millet flour and almond flour are totally optional. But we loved the nuttiness from that. The original recipe uses  WWF, APF and Oat flour. The next time I make this, I am aiming to make this completely GF using only finger millet flour and almond flour :)
3) I used 2 tsp of warm water to loosen the batter a bit, but that depends on the mix of flours you use. 

    

This month's BreadBakers' theme is Breads with Nut Meals and Nut Flours inspired bread, hosted by Cindy at Cindy’s Recipes and Writings.  

Enjoy all these creative breads using nut meals and nut flours from The Bread Bakers Group!

 #BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. You can see all our of lovely bread by following our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated after each event on the #BreadBakers 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 foodlustpeoplelove@gmail.com.
 
BreadBakers

June 12, 2017

How to make Sour Cream at home | Easy condiments

This is the final in the condiment series this week. Although not much of a recipe, I would like to record this for posterity and also to encourage to make most store-bought condiments at home. Similar ones I have made is Pulikaachal , Tomato Thokku, Arrabiata Sauce, Schezwan Sauce, Papaya Ginger Jam,  Muhammara & Baba Ghanoush (yes thats also available commercially these days!). 

During my short visit to the US, I saw that people really dont have the time to cook and prefer to pick up ready made stuff and assemble them at home for a quick meal. 


This is one condiment that can be made with readily available ingredients at home - Sour Cream is used as a dip with crudites, fries or most finger food. I find the store bought ones synthetic in taste, so prefer to make this at home. My girls love this with some fries (of course!) and even with tandoor kebabs. 

Do give it a try and let me know how you liked it. Greek yoghurt is preferred for this, but I strained homemade yoghurt in the fridge over 24 hours and got a thick bowl of creamy curd which I used. 



Prep time : 5 mins, Zero Cook., Makes: approx 100 ml 

Ingredients:
Greek yoghurt - 1 cup
Lemon juice  - 1/2 tsp
Vinegar - 1/4 tsp (more if you like)
Salt and pepper - to taste

How to:
Mix the yoghurt into a thick and creamy consistency with lemon juice and vinegar, If you like it a little more runny, add few more drops of either lemon juice or vinegar. 
Add salt and pepper to taste and mix well. 
Keeps for upto 5 days under refrigeration. 

Add ons : You may add pickled olives, gherkins or even red chilli flakes. 

June 11, 2017

Chow Chow Chutney | Chayote Squash dip ] Vegan & GF

No it's not the Chinese Chow, it's a veggie !! Chayote Squash as its called in English (& I am watched over my spellings today by the elder one , so no mistakes :-)), is a bland veggie which lends itself to so many dishes in South Indian cooking -  Sambhar, Kootu (spiced lentil-veggie gravy), Masiyal (veggies cooked in dal) , Poriyal (dry saute), and today's Chutney. Its super easy, and delicious. As its not available frequently, we hoard it like gold during the season, making every concievable dish till the season lasts.

So, after yesterday's Amla pickle, we have another condiment today - Chow-chow Chutney or a vegan +GF dip & is onion-garlic free too that goes well with anythign from Idli / Dosa/ Pongal/ Rice/ Chapati etc.  What's more, its plant based, and healthy too ! So, if you are a fan like me, or keen to explore a new veggie, get on and make this chutney.


Check out 20+ varities of chutney here to pep up your dinner / breakfast :)


Prep time : 10 mins | Cook time : 10 mins | Serves : 3

Course : Accompaniment, Cuisine : South Indian
Serve with : Hot rice + Rasam or Sambhar



Ingredients:


  • Chayote Squash / Chow-Chow / பெங்களூர் கத்திரிக்காய் / ಸೀಮೆ ಬದನೇಕಾಯಿ - 1 medium (choose tender ones without any thorns on the skin)
  • Urad Dal - 2 TBSP
  • Channa Dal - 1 TBSP
  • Dry Red Chillies - 4-5 (adjust spice)
  • Grated coconut - 6 TBSP
  • Tamarind - 1 small roundel
  • Jaggery grated - 1 tbsp
  • Oil - 1 TBSP + 1 tsp (for tempering)
  • Salt - to taste

Tempering:

  • Urad dal - 1/4 tsp
  • Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
  • Asafoetida - a pinch (skip for GF version)


Method:


  1. Wash and peel the Chayote squash. Wash and cut the peel into thin strips and keep aside. 
  2. De-seed and cube the squash into bit size pieces. 
  3. In a pan, heat oil, add the Urad dal, let it brown a bit, add channa dal, let it brown too. Now add the red chillies, chopped squash and the peel too. Saute on low heat for 8-10 mins till the veggie wrinkles a bit and the peel wilts. Add the tamarind towards the end of the sautéing.  Switch off the heat and let it cool.
  4. Grind the above with the coconut , salt & jaggery. Add little water (1 tsp at a time, and a max of 4 TBSP) to bring to a slightly consistency.
  5. Heat 1 tsp oil, crackle the mustard seeds, urad dal and asafoetida. Pour this tempering over the chutney and serve immediately. Keeps for 2-3 days under refrigeration. 




June 10, 2017

Nellikai Uppinakayi | Gooseberry pickle | Vegan and Gluten free

Returning to blogging & especially to Blogging Marathon after a long break, I have chosen condiments for this week. The first of these is a family favourite  - almost like an heirloom recipe. Gooseberry pickle or Nellikayi Urga (or uppinakayi as its called in Kannada) is a favourite with my sister especially. 

I am grateful that I live in a city where this wonder food is available almost 8-10 months in a year. We generally make nelli Pachadi (yoghurt based dip) , Quick Amla PickleSugarfree Amla MocktailToday's pickle is not quite instant but develops an intense taste and flavour after sitting for more than a week. 

Prep time : 15 mins, Makes : approx 200 gms of pickle

Keeps for 6-8 months under refrigeration


Ingredients:

  • Amla / Nellikai / Gooseberry - 200 gms (or about 8 large gooseberries)
  • Salt - about 50-60 gms (approx)
  • Red chilly powder - 20-25 gms
  • turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Asafoetida - a generous pinch (about 1/4 tsp) - skip for GF version
  • Oil - 4 TBSP
  • Methi seeds / vendhayam - 2 tsp
  • Mustard seeds - 2 tsp
  • Lemon juice - 1/4 cup


Method:

  1. Wash and pat dry the amla. 
  2. In a steamer, steam the whole gooseberries for 6-7 mins till just soft but not mushy. Drain the water if any. Let it dry for 1 hour on a sterile plate. 
  3. In a pan, heat oil, splutter mustard seeds & methi seeds, once they crackle, switch off the heat. 
  4. Add the turmeric & asafoetida. Add the gooseberries, mix gently. this mixing would gently break the gooseberries into small chunks. Cook for 2-3 mins in the retentive heat. 
  5. Now add the red chilli powder and mix gently. Slowly add the lemon juice and mix well. 
  6. Transfer to sterile glass jar and keep aside for a wekk, stirring it twice everyday with a clean & dry wooden spoon.
  7. Serve as required using a sterile clean spoon everytime.   




May 31, 2017

Paneer Alu Paratha | Cottage cheese & potato flat bread | Easy School Lunchbox recipes

Its been a real break for my blogging but some events do keep me busy. As much as I would love to blog everyday, I am taking the changes in my life in my stride and try to do justice for events I have signed up for .

One of this is the Ssshhh cooking secret challenge. I was paired with mayuri who gave me paneer and potato for the stuffed theme for this month's edition.
While I had many ideas for this theme,family vacation took away a lot of planning and I ended up making this yummy paratha (stuffed wholewheat flatbread). 

My elder one is crazy about alu paratha (made in typical Punjabi style) which I shall blog in detail sometime but for now this potato - paneer paratha is something that appealed to both the kids (pl excuse the pics they were taken just before dinner and the sweltering kitchen left me exhausted to style the food before clicking). 

Other Parathas on this blog that you may check out are 


However this makes for an excellent lunchbox / dinner option - with some yoghurt, pickle and a salad you can have a balanced meal.


Prep time - 30 mins; cook time - 20 mins ; makes - 6-8 medium parathas 

For the outer dough 
Wholewheat flour - 2 cups
Salt - 1/2 tsp
Warm water - as needed
Oil - 2 tsp

For the Filling / stuffing : 
Boiled potato - 1 large - peeled and crumbled fine
Grated paneer / cottage cheese - 1/4 cup (approx 2 tbsp)
Garam Masala, roasted cumin powder, amchur(dry mango powder), red chilly powder - to taste
Salt -to taste
Chopped coriander / cilantro - 1 tsp
Chopped green chilly - 1 tsp (optional - I didn't add)
Turmeric - a pinch
Oil - to pan fry the parathas


How to :
Make a dough with flour, oil, salt. Mix well and add warm water as needed and make a semi soft pliable dough. Cover and rest for 30 mins
Meanwhile, mix all the ingredients for the stuffing and keep aside. Preferably add salt and mix just before you stuff them into the parathas else they may leave water. 
Pinch out small portions of the dough. Flatten them or roll them out with some dry flour into 3-4 inch circles. Take 1-2 tsp of the stuffing and place it on the rolled dough. Gentle cover all sides of the stuffing and roll out into thickish parathas. 

Pan fry them on a hot tava / skillet till they are cooked on both sides. Serve hot with chilled yoghurt & pickle 

April 30, 2017

Watermelon Quinoa Salad with Lime & Chilli Vinaigrette

Sshh Cooking Secret Challenge is a wonderful FB group where a central theme is picked each month and ingredients are exchanged virtually between paired bloggers. I was paired with Priya Suresh and she gave me Watermelon and Quinoa. My husband is very fond of watermelon and feta salad and the addition of Quinoa gave a nutty twist to this unique salad.

It's a simple salad that's apt for the scorching summer days, and it can easily be a complete meal for one.  It's also great for potluck parties. So, go on and make this one, and let me know what other salads you love !

Prep time : 10 mins, Chilling time : 15 mins ; Serves : 1




Salad:
Cooked Quinoa - 1/2 cup
Watermelon cubes - 1 cup (200 ml)

For the vinaigrette : 
Lemon juice - 1/2 TBSP
Honey / maple syrup - 1/2 tsp
Red chilli flakes - 1/4 tsp
Salt - to taste
Crushed pepper - 1/8 tsp
Fresh Orange juice - 1/4 cup



To make:
Mix the quinoa and watermelon with a fork and chill for 15- 30 mins. 
Before serving,whisk all ingredients of the vinaigrette,toss the salad with the same & serve immediately.

Notes:
a) One can skip honey for a completely vegan version.
b) Ingredients for the Vinaigrette is optional, go with what catches your fancy.
c) This was moderately spicy for me, but you could add or delete any ingredient of your choice.

April 11, 2017

Fingermillet Rosemary Focaccia for #Breadbakers

I admit I didn’t get to think beyond Focaccia when the hostess @AnshieDhar for #Breadbakers announced “Breads from Italy” for this month’s edition. I kept going back and forth between Ciabatta and Pane Bianco only to land firmly on Focaccia every time :) 

What’s more, I found my name calling when I saw a packet of fresh rosemary - a rare sight, we only get dried rosemary flakes- in the supermarket (and there it was telling me to use it in a flavourful bake!)

Focaccia remains our family’s fav bread (apart from pizza which gets a nod every weekend !),but I got to make some twists adding some finger millet flour and then it came about to be a beautiful bread that we munched with some pasta. The next day I quickly toasted some for breakfast (morning rush, hence no pics of that toast!), and loved the nutty flavour from the finger millet and the aroma of the rosemary that was so enticing. If you are keen, check out 3-4 varieties of Focaccia here.  

The little one kept asking me why the bread was a tad dark , and when I mentioned I had added Ragi (aka fingemillet), the elder one freaked out (typical teen !! arghh) but nevertheless dug into the bread even on the second day ! All in all, a winner, and thanks to Anshie Dhar who is hosting this theme this month.  The only change I would make next time is add a little more salt and maybe some more spices to perk it up.



Without any more delay, lets get on with the recipe. 

Prep time : 15 mins, Standing time : 1 hr + 45 mins ; Baking time : 30 mins

You would need:
1 cup = 200 ml here
  • Wholemeal bread flour - 1 cup  (I had a pack of M&S whole meal bread flour which worked beautifully here)
  • Finger millet flour - 1/2 cup
  • All purpose flour - 1/4 cup
  • Warm water - I used about 2/3 cup to 1 tsp less than 1 cup (depends on the flours you use)
  • Sugar - 2 tsp
  • Instant Yeast - 1 sachet (7 grams)
  • Salt - 1 tsp (I used 1/2 tsp but would recommend 1 tsp)
  • Dried Italian spices - 1/2 tsp
  • Chilli flakes - 1/2 tsp
  • Fresh (or dried) rosemary - few sprigs - for topping 
  • Olive oil - 1/4 cup (more or less depending on your flours)
Method:

  1. Take warm water, sugar. Mix well. Add in the yeast and let it proof (I prove my yeast every time although its instant). 
  2. In a stand mixer (I used my Kitchen Aid), add the flours, spices, salt. Mix well. Add the proofed yeast,give it a mix with a wooden spatula and let it rest (without kneading) for about 10 mins - this standing time helps absorb the water better than trying to knead immediately.
  3. Now add half the oil, and start kneading on a low speed, gradually increase the speed and knead on speed 7-8 for about 10 mins till you get a smooth, slightly sticky  and a smooth surfaced pliable dough.
  4. Place the dough in a oiled bowl and cling wrap / drape a wet kitchen towel. Keep the bowl in a draft-free place and let it rise. As I used wholewheat and finger millet flours, the dough didn’t exactly double.
  5. Once risen (mine took about 55 mins), punch it slightly. In a prepared baking tray, spread the dough to all corners till you get a thickish 7*7 square bread. Cover and proof once again till slightly risen.
  6. Towards the end of the 2nd rise, preheat the oven to 200 C  / 400 F.
  7. Mark small dimples on the surface of the risen dough, place the rosemary sprigs and brush generous olive oil onto the bread, also covering the dimples. 
  8. Bake for 22-25 mins until golden brown, mine took about 28 mins, I then turned it to broil for 2-3 mins to get a nice textured focaccia.
  9. Cool on a wire rack and slice / tear off the focaccia. 
  10. Keeps for upto a week under refrigeration or longer if frozen.

#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 foodlustpeoplelove@gmail.com Links :-

March 14, 2017

Irish buttermilk soda bread for #Breadbakers | Easy Quick breads

It's lovely to be back amongst the #breadbakers group. Having missed out on the previous editions, I was keen to bake bread for this month. St.patricks day bakes and breads is being celebrated this month as a theme , hosted by Wendy and I present this quick to make Irish soda buttermilk bread. Wiki tells me "Saint Patrick's Day, or the Feast of Saint Patrick (IrishLá Fhéile Pádraig, "the Day of the Festival of Patrick"), is a cultural and religious celebration held on 17 March, the traditional death date of Saint Patrick (c. AD 385–461), the foremost patron saint of Ireland." 

It uses bicarbonate of soda as a leavening agent and buttermilk is a welcome egg substitute. Altho traditionally shaped as a boule, I made it in a loaf pan and it came out pretty crumby. The only change I would make next time is use a smaller loaf pan so that the height of the loaf is better.

All in all, we loved it as a toast the next morning . I should also learn to wait for the loaf to cool down n get better slices ; guess baking after a really long break took the better of me :)) 

Let's see how to make it. Adapted from here, 

You would need 

Self raising flour - 170 g
maida / Plain flour - 170 g
Salt - 1/2 tsp
Soda (aka baking soda) - 1/2 tsp
around 250 - 270 ml of buttermilk (not too runny or too thick either)
  1. Preheat the oven to 400F/200C
  2. Tip the flours, salt and bicarbonate of soda into a large mixing bowl and stir.
  3. Make a well in the centre and pour in the buttermilk, mixing quickly with a large fork to form a soft dough. (Depending upon the absorbency of the flour, you may need to add a little milk if the dough seems too stiff but it should not be too wet or sticky.) - I used a stand mixer n surprisingly the dough came together very quickly - probably in under 3-4 minutes. 
  4. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead briefly.
  5. Form into a round and flatten the dough slightly before placing on a lightly floured baking sheet. This is where I turned the dough onto a loaf pan (the 9*5 pan was very large for this quantity so I would use a smaller pan next time) 
  6. Cut a cross on the top and bake for about 30-32 minutes ; (I made a few slashes on the top, but guess they weren't deep enough ) or until the loaf sounds hollow when tapped. Cool on a wire rack.


#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. You can see all our of lovely bread by following our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated after each event on the #BreadBakers 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 foodlustpeoplelove@gmail.com.
BreadBakers
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