August 30, 2011

Poha Idli

This is a healthy, easy to make dish that I got from Tarla Dalal's recipe here that I had bookmarked some months ago. I was first amazed to see that poha was used in Idlis too (as we generally use it in Set dosa etc). But trust me, this reduced the Urad dal dependance a lot, as also was light and fluffy. I slightly tweaked the recipe by adding 3 handfuls of rolled Oats too, and the taste was very very similar to the normal Idlis that we make with rice and Urad dal. This is also great for weight watchers as the rice quantity is greatly reduced, and diabetics also can have 2 - 3 of this for their normal brekafast as Oats reduces the glycemic content quite sharply.

August 29, 2011

Palak Paneer Parathas with Tomato Chilli Relish

Two weeks of Blogging Marathon ends today, and am very excited to have been part of this event !! Today's post came about as I was thinking how to make something new and special for kiddo's lunchbox : When I opened my refrigerator this morning, both palak (spinach) and paneer (Cottage cheese) caught my eye. And then I remembered kiddo prefers not to have gravy in her lunchbox (for no matter how careful you put in the gravy, its bound to spill out and ruin the bag right?) This healthy breakfast is totally mess free and is loaded with the goodness from both Palak and Paneer. 

Can't get easier and healthier right ? 


Update : Sending this to Vardhini’s Cooking with Whole Foods – Spinach, event by Kiran

August 28, 2011

Paruppu Podi ~ Mixed Lentils Spice Powder

Necessity is the mother of Invention .Truly applies in a kitchen , where all elements of a typical corporate world - Supply chain, inventory management, housekeeping, human resources, budgets, planning, entertainment, resource allocation - all happen simultaneously and endlessly !! One of these days, when we were tired of making sabjis, and wanted to have something quick, I thought of making Paruppu Podi (mixed lentils spice powder).. While Molagapudi / Molagapodi (accompaniment to Idli / Dosa) is used with Idlis or Dosas , Karivepalai Podi ~ Curry leaf Spice Powder and Paruppu Podi tastes divine with plain steamed rice and a drop of sesame oil (for kids, you could use ghee / clarified butter). I make this podi (spice powder) in small batches always , to ensure it stays fresh.. This is a very easy recipe and goes to the following events, apart from Blogging Marathon (Day 6) under "Cook with 5 ingredients or less" theme. Checkout my fellow marathoners here.


August 27, 2011

Katrikkai Pachadi ~ Eggplant Raitha

Need a super healthy, iron and calcium rich, quick to make dish ? Look no further - Presenting Katrikkai Pachadi (Eggplant Raitha / Baingan Raitha). This is one of our family's favourite and goes great with Vangibhath or even hot rice.. I am presenting my mom's version here. Hope you would also like it . Only important point to note is that use firm brinjals, especially one with very less seeds. 


Update : Also linking to Beulah’s Eggplant event, hosted for Nayna.


Sending this to Blogging Marathon - Day 5 for Week 2 under "Cooking under 5 ingredients" or less as also Valli's Condiment Mela and Nayna's Southindian flavours This is an excellent side dish for Molagu Kozhambu + Rice combo (Rice with Pepper Tangy curry). Check my friends from BM here.


Other Raithas you can may like:
Prep time : 10 mins. Cooking time : 15 mins. Serves : 3

Ingredients:
  • Firm brinjals (round variety - purple) - 4 nos (medium sized) or 1 no - very large
  • Thick slightly sour curd / yoghurt - 2 cups
  • Grated Coconut - 2 TBSP
  • Salt - to taste
  • Tempering : Oil (1 tsp) + cumin seeds (1 tsp) + curry leaves + 1 chilly(opt.)
Method:
1) Wash and quarter the brinjals. Sprinkle a dash of salt and place in a colander / steamer in a cooker. Steam for 1 whistle. Cool.
2) Whisk yoghurt well with a wire whisk free of all lumps.
3) Take the brinjals from the cooker / steamer and deseed completey. Fluff very very lightly with a fork. Take care not to turn the brinjals mushy.
4) Now, prepare the tempering by spluttering cumin and curry leaves and chillies and add it to the curd. Now add the fluffed brinjal and mix very lightly only once. Adjust salt and other seasonings (garnish). Mix coconut once more and serve immediately or chilled with any Pulav / Vangibhath / flavoured rice . Yum :)

August 26, 2011

Ginger Peanut Chutney


Two of my favourite ingredients coming together for an awesome chutney - now, it couldnt get better than this right ? And the best part is, no coconut too ! It went very well with Poha Idli (recipe coming soon!) and thus I added a new chutney to my menu too :-) Let's get quickly to this post - Ginger Peanut Chutney.  Sending this to Valli's Condiment Mela as well as BM Day 4 under "Cooking with 5 ingredients or less" theme along with Nayna's event - South Indian flavours.

See what my friends from BM are dishing out here.


Update : Sending this to Priya Mahadevan’s The Big Chutney Chowdown

This goes with any typical South Indian breakfast -  Idli / Set DosaKanjivaram Idli / Rava Idli /Oats Dosa

Other Chutneys you might like ..

Quick to make, it requires just 3 -4 ingredients, apart from the tempering of course. Let's make it then..

Ingredients:
  • Ginger - 1 inch
  • Green chilly - 1 no / Red chillies - 2
  • Peanuts - 1/4 cup
  • Fried gram / Pouttu kadalai - 2 tbsp (opt.)
  • Salt to taste
  • Tempering : Oil (1 tsp) + mustard seeds + curry leaves
Method :
1) In a pan, heat 1 tsp of oil and roast the peanuts well. Add the grated ginger and the chillies and fry once more. If using fried gram, turn off the stove and warm it a bit. Toss and cool.
2) First dry grind the mixture without any water. Add salt and 3 -5 TBSP of water and grind again to a smooth chutney.
3) Prepare the tempering with oil + mustard seeds + curry leaves and pour on the chutney.
4) Serve with any South Indian breakfast options listed above.. 

August 25, 2011

Instant Healthy Dhokla

Today is the 3rd day of BM with the theme - Cooking with 5 ingredients or less, and I present Instant Dhokla. Its a breeze to make this, and kids as well as adults will relish this. I haven't used chillies / ginger or even tempered this as I was making it for kids, but feel free to add in the same for a spicier version. This dish is as good for breakfast as it is for an evening snack too and a healthy appetiser : zero oil + baking combo doesnt get any healtheir ..

Lets get on with the recipe, shall we ? Sending this to Day 3 of Blogging Marathon as well as Radhika's Scrumptious breakfasts event and Srav's event on Appetisers.

Check out my friends from BM here.


Prep time : 10 mins. Cooking time : 20 mins. Makes : 8 - 10 medium sized cubes.

Ingredients:
  • Gram flour / Besan - 1 cup
  • Semolina / Suji - 2 tsp
  • Eno salt - 1.5 tsp
  • Sugar - 1 tsp
  • oil - for greasing + coriander leaves for garnish.

Method:

1) Mix gramflour, semolina and water and make it to a batter of pouring consistency (Idli batter types)
2) Grease the plate to be used for steaming (Use flat Idli stand / dhokla stand).
3) Place the thali on a stand in the pressure cooker with adequate but not more water and heat the water.
4) Now add eno to the batter and mix it well.
5) Pour the batter immediately to the greased plate
6) Cover and steam on high flame without whistle for 13 - 17 mins till done
7) Cool and cut into desired shapes.
8) Mix sugar in 1/2 tsp of water till it dissolves. Apply this solution on the top of the cut pieces and garnish with coriander.

Optional topping : Temper with mustard seeds + curry leaves + asafoetida. Add grated coconut for garnish

August 24, 2011

An entry to Black n White Wednesdays by Susan

Susan is such a wonderful cook, host to many wonderful events including the famous MLLA event, which has a host lineup longer than one to the latest Michelin rated restaurant :-) I chanced to see her new and exciting event  - Black and White Wednesdays through some of the blogger posts, and was intrigued by the theme. You may check more details here. In my first lineup to her wonderful event, posting some b/w pics from my veggie basket. This series is titled "Curry in a hurry" - because I was doing exactly that-  cooking a curry in a hurry.. and these pics go to Susan's event this wednesday ... Hope you enjoy it as much as I did clicking them - vintage style ..



Payiru Sundal ~ Green gram steamed stir fry ~ Moong Dal Sundal

I have often wondered what the English equivalent of Sundal is .. (Sundal in Tamil / Husli in Kannada). While curries are generally used to denote anything between Sambhar, Rasam and Kootu even extending sometimes to Poriyals, can we also then define what a sundal is, in English?? May be my dear readers will enlighten me... Coming to today's post, I have made a very simple Payiru Sundal with green gram sprouts. This Sundal can be made even without sprouting too, but somehow these sprouts are very common in my family, even with kiddo liking some dishes made out of it (need to see how long this 'like sprouts' flavour lasts....)

Quick to make, the procedure for making this and other gram Sundals is almost the same, and 9 (nine) varieties of this is generally made as Naivedyam for the Goddess during each day of Navratri. Also Sending this to my own event - Fasting foods (Vrat Ka Khaana special) along with Blogging Marathon # 8 - week 2 under "Cook with 5 or less ingredients" theme as also Flavours of the South event You could also make this for a very healthy & filling evening snack.Let's get on to the recipe.... Check out my other blogging friends here. Other dishes using Moong Sprouts that might interest you are:

August 23, 2011

Krishna nee begane baaro... Happy Janmashtami to all !

Wishing all my readers a very happy Krishna Janmashtami.. While I just logged on after a longggg hectic day,shall post the recipes made for the naivedyam soon. Before sigining off, some pics from the event at my house this evening and a link to all those who love the eternal song - Krishna nee begane baro by Unnikrishnan.. unmatched, melody personified. Further for those spiritually inclined on the importance of celebrating Janmashtami, check this very interesting link here..

God bless all my readers with happiness and cheer all year long
Cheers,
Kalyani



Ragi Besan Ladoo ~ Finger Millet and fried gram flour ladoo


The 2nd week of blogging Marathon is here, and am excited to present this week under the theme- "Cooking with 5 ingredients or less" . For more details on how you can join BM and what my other friends are dishing out, click here. I must say BM is an addiction worth having :-) In the first of this new series, I present one lovely blog post adapted from Suma that I had been meaning to make for sooooo long, and finally it is here - Ragi Besan Ladoo.


August 22, 2011

Lemon Bittergourd pickle ~ Nimbu Karele ke aachaar

Can't believe how fast time flies - its the last day of the first week of BM. I truly enjoyed this "No Fire Cooking" .I am sure you also read with delight my previous 6 posts under this theme ---- Beetroot Peanut relish, Jaggery Poha ~ Sweet Flattened rice ~ Sihi Avalakki, Funny face Sandwich (Whole wheat Butter free Sandwich), Sugarfree Fruit Ginger Mocktail , Fruit Chaat with Honey and Nuts


Looking forward to tomorrow for the next week of BM under a new theme. Till then, presenting today's post - a tangy mouthwatering pickle that mom makes - Lemon Bittergourd Pickle (Nimbu Karela ke Aachaar). Of course, it needed tempering, but who was to wait that long ! Had this with some cooling curd rice and it was bliss !! The bitter gourd didnt taste bitter at all, and liberally spiced with Maa Inji (Mango Ginger), this was 7th heaven come to earth.. As I write this post, can't wait till dinner time, when another helping of this divine pickle becomes inevitable. This goes straight to : BM Day 7 along with Valli's Condiment Mela and Flavours of South event so, here goes the recipe...

You may also enjoy these pickles:


Prep time : 45 mins + pre-prep and soaking time. Makes : About 150 gms. Keeps well under refrigeration for 6 - 9 months.

Ingredients:

Lemons (ripe and juicy) - 12 nos - quartered or 1/8 pieces.
Lemon juice - 9 - 10 TBSP
Salt - to taste (approx 2 TBSP) - adjust to taste
Bitter gourd - 100 gms
Maa Inji (Mango ginger) - 100 gms

Masala ingredients (Please adjust to personal taste / preferences)

Red chilly powder - 4  tbsp (Kashmiri variety)
Red chilly powder - 2 tsp (khaaram / hot variety/ tikha lal)
Mustard powder - 1 TBSP
Methi powder - 2 TBSP

Method:
1) Wash and pat dry the lemons, mango ginger and bitter gourd.
2) Cut lemons into quarters or 1/8 (if using large size lemons). Lightly scrape bitter gourd and cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces. Scrape, peel and cut manga Inji into small thin discs of 2 cm dia.
3) In a large DRY glass bowl, mix all the three ingredients. Now slowly add the masala powders one by one and with a DRY wooden spoon. Mix well.
4) Add salt to taste, and mix again. Keep covered for 3 - 4 days, stirring twice a day.
5) On the fourth day, add lemon juice and stir well. Transfer to a sterilised glass container or a ceramic container. Serve with curd rice.

Notes: 
1) For tempering : Sesame Oil - 4 TBSP. Mustard seeds - 1 TBSP, Asafoetida / hing - 1/4 tsp. Prepare the tempering. cool completely and then add to the pickle before serving.
2) For masala powders, ensure you dry roast the methi and mustard separately and cool them. Grind and store.

Round up - Part 2 of Indian Mithai Mela, and an award to the top three contributors

Happy to announce the second and final part of the round up of Indian Mithai Mela. You may check the first part here. Thanks to all my foodie friends for your participation. Also, a special appreciation to top three contributors to this mela and they deserve a special mention - check out the details at the end of this post.

Appreciate your time and also look forward to more and more of this to my Ongoing events too - Vrat ka Khaana (Fasting Foods / Festival specials) and Healthy Lunchbox Ideas with Carrots(ending Aug 31st).

Enjoy the round up :-)

Cheers,
Kalyani

Richa from Ambrosia gives us this delectable  Roti Chapati with ghee

Sangee Vijay has sent in three yummy entries : Malai Peda, Pineapple Peach Kesari & Suzhiyam

Renuka has sent in six yummilicious entries : Pistachio Rose Coconut Barfi , Doodh peda, Churma Ladoos, Rava Ladoos, Besan Ladoos, Puran Poli


Cooking Foodie has sent Amazing Gali Sev , also called Sukhi Sevaiya
Aparna has sent in my all time favourite - nankhatis
Shobhana from Jelly belly has shared this recipe for drool worthy Jalebis
Nandita from Paaka Shaale also celebrates her first blog anniversary with yummy mysore pak

Khushi of A Girl's Diary has sent in 4 amazing home made delicacies : Rasgulla, Malpua, Gujiya and Gulab Jamun

Akheela sends in a microwave version of Milk Peda
It's microwave time again with Usha's delicious Carrot Halwa
Sree valli sends us this uniquely shaped and tasty Mini Kajas
Pradnya sends in home made Mohanthal

Deepika Jain sends me three delicious entries - Badam Halwa, Chawal Aur Makhaane ka kheer and Rasmalai

I have linked all the entries received (and linked) to this event. In case of any discrepancy about non-linkage, please do get in touch with me, and I shall update ASAP. Please note that ONLY linked entries have been included in this roundup.

Now, for the special award:

Special thanks and a special award to my top contributors - Sukanya from Saffron Streaks, Renuka from Cumin and Cardamom and my dear friend Sangee who always supports me with a bunchful of delicious recipes for every event ! Thanks friends, without your support, this wouldn't be possible...Looking forward to a whole lot of new recipes for my present and future events too !! Thanks again :-) Please do accept a small recognition of your contribution enclosed here.

August 21, 2011

Beetroot Peanut relish

One of the most important life defining moments has been attending the 7 day course by the Isha Foundation on Inner Engineering  - a subtle feeling, a stirring within - all to be experienced and cannot fathomed with mere words.. If you are wondering what the connection of Isha Foundation is to today's post - I had this dish for the first time during the Isha Foundation's Inner Engineering Course. Two rather varied ingredients coming together to create a magic of a relish that was far beyond any description. You may have this as a stand alone snack or include it as a salad as part of a buffet. Its tangy sweet taste will sure leave your palates tingling. Let's get on to the recipe - Beetroot Peanut Relish. You may also temper it with a oil + mustard + cumin, but tastes just about the same even without the tadka / tempering.. Sending this to Day 6 of Blogging Marathon under "No cook Dishes". Check out my friends from BM here.

For more dishes using Beetroot including knowing more about its health benefits, check out :


Prep time : 10 mins + soaking time. Serves : 3

Ingredients:
  • Beetroot - 1 medium
  • Raw Peanuts /groundnuts / Verkadalai - a handful or may be 1/8 cup
  • Grated coconut - 1 TBSP
  • Chaat Masala - 1/2 tsp
  • Green chillies - 1 no
  • Lemon juice - 1/2 TBSP
  • Salt - to taste
  • Coriander and curry leaves - a few sprigs

Method:
1) Wash and soak the peanuts for 2 -3 hours (or overnight if you are pressed for time) in tepid water.
2) Wash, peel , halve the beetroot. Wash the halves again under running water continuously for 2 -3 mins to let all the red stains wash off (imp for a salad). Grate into fine threads.
3) Drain the washed peanuts. In a bowl, mix peanuts, grated beets, coriander, curry leaves,chaat masala, lemon juice and mix well. Add deseeded and minced green chillies to this and toss once.
4) Add the grated coconut and salt and serve immediately. You may add a dash of grated ginger or fresh pepper powder to spice it up :-)

August 20, 2011

Jaggery Poha ~ Sweet Flattened rice ~ Sihi Avalakki

First, a new name for my blog - Sizzling Tastebuds --- well, had been tinkering for a makeover for some time now, and decided to launch it today ... Friends, do take a look around, and let me know how you liked it :-)

Today's post - Jaggery Poha (Sweet flattened rice) or Sihi Avalakki (Kannada) is considered Lord Krishna's favourite . In a story from Hindu Mythology, Krishna's friend Sudhama carried this sweet poha with him while he visited his friend in Mathura asking for a favour to rid him of his poverty , and the Lord obliged him so. As the famous saint Purandara Dasa sang 400 years ago in Kannada , "oppiDi avalakkiya tanda avanige/avaninge oppikoTTeyO bhAgyava " (meaning : for the devotee who brought you a handful of flattened rice, you opened up a galaxy of riches).. My grand mom used to make this for Gokulashtami (Janmashtami) as a part of the naivedyam (naivedyam = offering to God) along with 20-30 other bhakshanams (savouries/snacks) ! Hats off to the inimitable energy of that wonderful lady :-) On the happy occasion of the forthcoming festival, I present this wonderful and saatvic dish...



August 19, 2011

Cheesy Snacklets

One of the positive fallouts of Blogging Marathon is that each day is a challenge, and its getting exciting. Working on the No Fire Cooking theme has really got me thinking :-) I guess for all bloggers who are doing / about to do this theme is that the first instinct while cooking is to put on the microwave / stove / OTG. And am sure salads and cool beverages have been done to death, and with the continuous downpour that we have here, soups and snacks have taken centre stage.And its a further challenge as I try not to deep fry to, and today's post - Cheesy Snacklets - came about. Of course, kiddo assisted me putting all the snacklets on the tray and waited patiently till I clicked the pix, and then jumped right in ! You can play around with the toppings with veg / non veg options and am sure these make for great appetisers for kiddies' birthday parties and potluck parties too :-) Have it with a cup of steaming tea , and the afternoon seems magic.

Sending this to : Sukanya's Monsoon medley and Srav's event on Appetisers, Kamalika's No cook event apart from Blogging Marathon - Day 4.

Check out what my friends are upto here

Prep time : 10 mins. Makes : 10 - 12 snacklets

Ingredients:
  • Monaco / any salted biscuits - 10 to 12.
  • Grated cheese - 2 TBSP
  • Crumbled panner - 3 TBSP
  • White pepper powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Red chilli powder - 1/2 tsp (opt.)
  • Oregano - 1/2 tsp
  • Tomato - 1/2
  • Onions - 1/8
  • Capsicum - 2 strips
  • Saunf Chutney / Bhelpuri chutney /any tangy sauce - 1 tsp
  • Salt - to taste (opt.) as the cheese is sure to contain salt.

Method:
1) Deseed and finely dice tomatoes. Mix to this finely diced capsicum, onions and red chilli powder.
2) Crumble panner and mix with grated cheese. Add oregano and white pepper powder and mix well.
3) Add to the paneer-cheese mixture the veggies and stir once with spoon. Topping is ready
4) Apply the saunf chutney or any tangy sauce on the salted biscuits. Spoon 1 tsp of the topping on this and serve immediately.

August 18, 2011

Funny face Sandwich ~ Wholewheat butterfree Veg Sandwich

Okie - first the disclaimer. The title, design and name of this post was decided not by yours truly but by kiddo - after all, its her dish : Yup, she made this, and clicked the picture too :-) (Like I said in the beginning of this Blogging Marathon , I would work with kiddo to make no fuss no cook dishes with her - and that's exactly what we did last afternoon after school). She decided she would make it - I negotiated that it couldnt come with butter (cheese was ok) and no extra sauce to go with it .She being the master negotiator at home (aren't all kids!?) said that was ok as long as she made it fully and even clicked it (so, if you feel that the pics have a little less focus, you know why).
 Bottomline, we enjoyed working together, and that's the best part of the collaboration. She even named it the Funny Face Sandwich. So, here's the recipe for no butter healthy sandwich. I again made it this morning for myself (of course, sans all the frills) and it was a wonderful and filling breakfast too , wholewheat bread at that. So sending this to Day 3 of Blogging Marathon under 'No Fire cooking' series (you can check my other friends here) and also to Radhika's Scrumptious breakfasts and Kamalika's event 

Let's get on to the recipe...

Prep time : 20 mins. Makes: One Triple Decker Sandwich

Ingredients, to go:
  • Wholewheat bread - 3 slices
  • Cheese slice - 1 no.
  • Tomato - 1 large
  • Cucumber - 1 small
  • Capsicum / bell pepper - 1/2
  • Onion - 1/2
  • Salt - a pinch
  • White pepper powder - 1/2 tsp

Method:
1) Cut the veggies into thin roundels / strips. Deseed tomatoes, else the sandwiches get soggy.
2) On a bread slice, arrange some of the veggies, layer half a slice of cheese, sprinkle some salt and pepper.
3) Cover with another bread and repeat the process till you get a triple layered sandwich.
4) Press it down lightly so its easy to cut and bite into.
5) Decorate with remaining veggies into any funny face you want (in fact let your kid do it - its truly enjoyable). Serve it with any salad or wafers to up the kid's delight quotient:-)

Notes:
1) I have not used butter / ghee / sauce / green chutney to make this in a breeze. Do feel free to add it in.
2) As the cheese slices already contain salt, we coudl reduce / omit the salt topping., In fact, when eaten with a little ketchup / sauce on top, even that salt can be excluded !





August 17, 2011

Sugarfree Fruit Ginger Mocktail

Mocktails & brothy soups in my family is usually the prerogative of hubby - he can whip up the most amazing of mocktails and healthy soups with whatever ingredients - my kid still swears by his cucumber soup (the 'secret' ingredients which he is yet to reveal). I guess like most men who love to cook, S never has any fixed quantity in his ingredient list - he always says one needs to understand how a particular ingredient functions, and use it accordinly to pep up or tone down a dish :-) Sounds simple, isnt it ? Even more simpler and tastier is today's post - Sugarfree Fruit ginger mocktail. Come to think of it, I hadn't posted a single drink / cooler / mocktail in my blog yet, and both the Blogging Marathon and Blog Hop Wednesdays (which coincide today) helped me devise one .. This is based on this recipe by Prathima (my paired blogger), although I have tweaked the recipe quite a bit. So, after the super healthy Fruit Chaat from yesterday, this is the 2nd day's post for No Fire Cooking theme .. Also sending it to Radhika's Healthy Breakfast event

Check out my fellow bloggers from Blogging Marathon and Blog Hop Wednesdays here

Here comes the recipe...



Prep time : 10 mins. Serves : 2

Ingredients:
  • Sweet Lime /. Mosambi - 2 nos.
  • Apples - 1 no (large)
  • Ripe Pears (yellow variety) - 1 no.
  • Papaya - 1/8 cup (opt.)
  • Ginger - 1 inch
  • Grated Coconut - 1/2 tsp
  • Saffron - few strands
  • Crushed Ice - 1/2 cup
  • White pepper powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Chaat Masala - 1 tsp
  • Honey - 2 tsp (opt.)
Method:
1) Soak saffron strands in 1/4 tsp warm milk or water for few mins.
2) Wash, peel and dice all fruits.
3) Puree the fruits with crushed ice & ginger till they are almost done.
4) Now add the saffron, honey and more water as required and puree once more
5) Strain and add white pepper powder, chaat masala. Mix well.
6) Serve in tall chilled glasses and enjoy the goodness of a sugar free mocktail :-)

August 16, 2011

Fruit Chaat with Honey and Nuts

Back with the Blogging Marathon (BM) this week with No Fire Cooking. When Valli announced BM#8, I jumped at this theme as I was planning to get my 6 year old to get me to help put together her own breakfast and some snacks for some time now . Kids , especially girls I guess have this insatiable curiousity with the kitchen and they want to help out carrying out small chores in the kitchen. With BM and through this week, I would work along with my daughter and help make and taste small no-cook dishes .. Hope you enjoy this journey as much I am looking forward to it..

August 15, 2011

Low Calorie Basil Chilli Cheese Toast

Some recipes are like dowry - one is accustomed to it since childhood. Some grow on you. Many more - you love to hate at first and then hate to leave them, while they work like magic on you over a period of time. Chilli cheese toast (called CCT in my family) fitted into the latter category . Bottom line - I hate cheese (yes, people like me exist on Planet Earth). S and kiddo love to experiment with different cheese varieties while on vacation (or at home, for that matter)., while for me, its another variant of milk - period ! Cheese strings dangled from Pizzas is still a must-no for me (I prefer it to be loaded with veggies though), but this dish - CCT - has rather grown on me, thanks to it being a standard fixture at our local club, where kiddo wants to go often (more to eat than to swim or play).


So, while today's program to visit the club was washed out due to heavy rains, the only way to pep her up was to try it at home (yes, try it : While I wanted to make this many times at home earlier,this was my maiden venture,and boy ! I didnt want to fail :-) ) .. As the kiddo looked on expectantly, even helping me clear the kitchen counter after the toasts were sent to bake (what a sweet and rare gesture), I was hoping that this would be a moderate success ! One bite into the smoothy creamy CCT on the rather crusty bread slices , and I was hooked !! The basil -cheese combo is sure to perk up your senses ! :-) Even mom who is not into cheese had a bite and the verdict was unanimous - Yeh Dil Maange More :-) (Want more) !! Try this out, and am sure this will be a hit at any party or as a favourite finger food with kids too

Now, lets get on to my version of Low Cal Basil Chilli Cheese Toast....yes, one with no butter too :-)

This goes straight to :


Prep time : 10 mins. Baking time : 12 - 15 mins. Makes : 8 to 10 CCTs (halved triangle shapes)

Ingredients :
  • Bread Slices (White or Brown) - 10 slices, although White bread renders this better
  • Cheese - 2 to 3 cubes (or use 3 TBSP processed cheesy spread)
  • Melted Ghee - 1/2 tsp (yes!)
  • Capsicum (Bell Pepper) - 1/2
  • Green Chilli - 1 (opt.) - I did not use it as this was for the kiddo
  • Basil - 1 tsp
  • Red chilli flakes - 1/2 tsp
  • Oregano - a dash (opt)
  • White pepper powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Salt - optional (As the cheese cubes /processed cheese is already salted, please add with caution)

Method:
1) Grate the cheese cubes. Add finely diced (1/2 mm sized) bell pepper, basil, red chilli flakes, pepper powder and mix well. If using chillies, deseed them , dice and add. Mix again. If using cheesy spread, mix the pepper and the dry herbs and then spoon in the cheesy spread
2) Dip ur finger in the melted ghee and grease the slices
3) Spread a spoonful of the cheesy mixture on the bread slices
4) Pre heat oven to 180 C. Spray cooking oil on a baking tray (or just about brush them with oiled fingertips - you dont need any more oil, trust me).
5) Cut the cheesy slices into half (diagonally) on the baking tray. You may cut them later too, but it bakes faster with smaller pieces.
6) Bake for 8- 9 mins at 200 C and then for 2 - 4 mins on grill mode till the cheese slightly melts.
7) Serve hot with Tomato ketchup :-) We had this with steaming cups of green tea while enjoying the monsoons :-)

August 14, 2011

Tiranga Shimla Mirch Sabji ~ Bell pepper Stir fry

Playing along the fever around the 64th Indian Independence day , presenting a simple to make, yet tasty dry curry with all the colours of the Tri-colour : Hence the name Tiranga (tricolour) :-) Capsicum (bell pepper) along with Potatoes and Carrots come together in this tasty curry that goes perfect with Rotis and Rice alike.
This is a wonderful curry even for lunchboxes for kids too, and am sure kids would love the spicy combo of the veggies. Sending this to my own event - Healthy Lunchbox Ideas (Carrots) and Radhika's Sabjis for Rotis. Let's move to the dish, shall we ...
 

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