June 26, 2013

Butter Gulkand Chilli Sandwich | Easy Lunchbox recipes

Today's post – Butter Gulkand Chilli Sandwich - is the last in Kids Delight Series for BM # 29 - and its a delightful yummy sandwich with Gulkand (Rose Petal Preserve) and chillies (Bell pepper minced). It came about more as a last minute stuff when I had run out of most essentials when we came back from vacation last month and all of us were hungry to the core. Thankfully we had picked Brown Bread on our way back home, so this was a quick to make and filling sandwich. I have used minced and deseeded chillies for me and S, and diced bell pepper for the kiddo. 

The earthy sweetness of the Gulkand (one of my favourite preserves - there is a story to this, next time for sure) and the heat of the chillies were totally married to each other, and S, who generally doesnt like bread or sandwiches for breakfast actually complemented me on the combo (little did he know I made this for a lark, hoping it would be accepted).. Its also a great variation from the usual Sandwiches at any Kid's party, and a break from the usual Jam and Cucumber Sandwiches is always welcome, isnt it ?

Sending this across to :Kids Delight - Party Ideas,another event at my blog -Healthy Me, Healthy Us, & Nupur's Whats with my Cuppa 2

In case you have missed any previous posts under this theme (Kid's Delight) or "Cooking with Colours", posted last week, here is a quick snapshot

Cooking with Colours :

Kids Delight:

Now, lets go to today's post.
Prep time : 10 mins | Grill Time : 10 mins | Serves : 3

  • Brown Bread Slices - 8
  • Butter Gulkand - 1/2 cup 
  • (Slightly warm 2 TBSP butter and in the same pan, add Gulkand. Switch off the flame and mix the two together - it must be of a spreadable consistency)
  • Onions minced - 1 TBSP (optional)
  • Butter / Ghee - to apply on the bread (optional - I didnt add)
  • Salt - to taste ( we used actually just a pinch for each set of sandwich)
  • White Pepper Powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Minced and Deseeded Chillies - 1 or 2 TBSP
  • Minced Green Bell Pepper - 3 tsp (for kids)

Slightly trim the bread.
Divide the Butter Gulkand into 2/3 and 1/3 portions : To the 2/3 portion, add the green chillies, and to the other, add diced bell pepper
If using additional butter, apply them on one side of each bread. On the other side, spread 1 tsp or more of the Butter Gulkand till it spreads well. Leave a margin around the edges. Sprinkle requisite salt and pepper powder.
Heat a tava. Bring the two slices together sandwiching the Gulkand and slightly toast the buttered side on both the slices for 1-2 mins.
Cut and serve immediately.

June 25, 2013

Cheesy Peppery Toast | Quick Kids Snacks

Kiddo's mood once she returns from a rather long day at school varies according to the kind of subjects she had that day - if its art, she is bubbly, if its a subject she particularly doesnt like, she is grumpy and rejects all healthy foods like Upma or Dosa for an evening snack. Today's post - Cheesy Peppery Toast - is cool and quick for any occasion - be it an after school snack or a  party you are hosting. Trust me you cant go wrong with such a fuss-free and quick to make snack. Lets proceed. Sending this to Day 2 of BM #29 & also to event at my blog - Kids Delight - Finger Food for party

Prep time - 10 mins | Cook time : 5 mins | Serves : 4

  • Fresh white or brown bread - sliced and trimmed slightly - 8 slices
  • Processed grated cheese - 1/2 cup (I used Amul processed cheese)
  • Bell Pepper - 1/4 cup - cut into strips
  • Onion - 1/4 chopped fine
  • Tomato - 1/4 cup - deseeded and chopped fine
  • Salt - to taste (rem, cheese also has salt)
  • Pepper powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Tomato ketchup - 4 to 5 TBSP
  • Olive Oil - 1 to 3 TBSP (for light toasting)

Same topping can be used on Cut out Pizzas, Bruschettas or Savoury Biscotti. Feel free to add any more toppings as you please-Minced Olives, green and yellow bell peppers, Mushroom, Baby corn. You may also use Mozarella cheese instead of normal processed cheese to get stringy cheesy mini Toasts.
I havent used Butter at all for these toasts. You may add it if you please.

For the Topping : 
Mix all ingredients except Tomato Ketchup, Olive oil & bread and make it into a thick mixture. Keep aside for 3-5 mins till onions water. Mix again 
To Assemble: 
Cut the trimmed bread into any shape you want (I made it as roundels). 
Tip : Flatten out the bread once with a rolling pin before applying the topping - it helps even out the bread
Heat a tava or skillet, now add tomato ketchup on top and spoon in 1-2 tsp of the topping.Spread evenly till it covers the bread slice
Repeat for all bread slices. Slightly roast till the bread turns crispy. Drizzle remaining olive oil and serve immediately.

June 24, 2013

Quick Onion Vadas | Kids Snacks Ideas | How to make Onion Vada

Planning for a kid's party ? Dhokla, Idli, even Mini Pizza seems to be boring for kids these days for their #birthday, which is why these Quick Onion Vadas are not only relished by kids, but also adults alike. Really quick to make, all you need are few ingredients, and you will have your lil guests eating this #snack to their hearts content :) You could go the longer way by soaking Urad Dal and making these, but for my kid's party this year, I used readymade Idli Atta - and that makes it even softer and foolproof. 

Toss in a few veggies (or just onions) of your choice, and you have a winner on hand. Sending these piping hot vadas to BM # 29 Week 4 under Kids Delight Theme - Finger Foods, an event that am hosting here at Sizzling Tastebuds. Team these with Green chutney or just plain sauce, and you are set. so lets get cracking then ! Also sending to Nupur's Whats with my Cuppa 2, Soumya's CWS - Urad Dal,, event by Priya, and to Monsoon Temptations

Prep time : 15 mins | Frying time : 10 mins | Serves : 4
Serving Suggestions : Mint Chutney or Tomato Ketchup

1) If not using readymade Idli batter, soak 1 cup of Urad dal with 1 tsp of rice abnd ½ tsp of Methi for 6-8 hours, soak grind and ferment to Idli batter consistency and then use. In that case, add roasted sooji instead of Rice flour while making the Vadas
2) Make sure the Idli batter has not turned sour (that is, use as fresh a batter as possible)

  • Idli Batter - 2 cups
  • Finely Minced Onion - 1/2 cup
  • Minced Green chillies - 1/2 tsp (optional)
  • Coriander leaves - 2 tsp
  • Curry leaves - few
  • Minced Ginger - 1/2 tsp
  • Rice flour / Roasted Suji (semolina) - 2 TBSP ((this is to bring in crispiness 
  • Salt - to taste (remember, Idli batter also has some salt)
  • Fennel / Saunf seeds - 1/2 tsp
  • Crushed black pepper - 1/2 tsp (optional)
  • Oil - to deep fry (about 1/2 cup)

1) Dry roast semolina if using for 1-2 mins and keep aside
2) Mix all the ingredients except oil and rest for 10 mins
3) Heat oil to medium heat, not smoking. Test for right temperature by dropping in a pinch of the batter – it should rise to the top and turn golden brown
4) Spoon out small portions of the batter into the oil, and fry them in batches on low-medium heat till they turn golden brown.

5) Drain on absorbent paper and serve hot.

June 19, 2013

Thengai Barfi | Coconut Fudge

Thengaai barfi (or coconut fudge) brings forth so many childhood memories. Of grandmom picking the coconut from our own backyard and lovingly grating mounds of coconut and stirring it over a low flame wit sugar and adding the ghee roasted raisins and cashew, cooling and cutting into pieces – the wait would kill us, and we would grab each other’s portion and try to relish the delicacy for a long time – It might be a simple dish, but sometimes, the memories associated with it is too profound to put in words.... Oh !! Can't believe she is gone for over a year now.. I miss her terribly more so when I (try to) recreate those memories through food.. Today's post is for u, my dear grandmom J

I had already tried an earlier version with jaggery , coconut and cashew here, and when mom took this quick-to-make sweet to another level with the addition of a teeny weeny drop of Vanilla, I thought it was heaven come to earth. I love both Cinnamon and Vanilla flavours a lot, and try to use them prudently in most bakes and Indian sweets. Given that Elaichi is not so liked at home by S, vanilla infused barfi is something you must try at home the next time you make this at home, Am sure your family would love this.

Sending this over to BM # 29 Day 3 under colour White and events running at my blog “Healthy Me, Healthy Us" and "Kids Delight - Finger food". Also to Soumya's Authentic Indian sweets event

Prep time : 15 mins | Cook time : 15 mins | Makes : 15 medium sized Barfis

Only freshly grated coconut works best for this.
Sugar that I used gave mildly sweet fudge, adjust sugar to taste. Do not add more sugar than the coconut measured (I measured by cup, rather than weight) – you would end up with a crystalline fudge that hardens quite a bit later.
No ghee or milk is required for this barfi, except to grease the plate, and if preferred 1 tsp to fry the raisins and cashews (I didn’t add it this time)

  • Freshly grated coconut – 1.5 cups
  • Sugar – 1 cup
  • Vanilla essence – 1 drop
  • Green Cardamom powder, if adding– ½ tsp
  • Ghee / clarified butter – to grease the plate

1) Powder sugar with green cardamom. In another blender, coarsely make a paste of the coconut without any water. Grinding coconut is optional, but it gives an even texture to the barfi and doesn’t come apart
2) Grease a plate with little ghee. Keep aside
3) In a non stick pan, add the sugar. Once it starts melting (abt 1 mins), turn flame to medium high and add the ground coconut and stir continuously till the coconut is mildly roasted and mixes well with the powdered sugar
4) Keep stirring now on low flame, till it starts leaving the pan , and comes together as a lumpy mass (and is semi dry) – should take about 8 – 12 mins. Now add vanilla and give it a quick stir.
5) Once the semi dry texture is obtained, transfer immediately to the greased plate, and with the help of an oiled spatula or rolling pin, roll it into a ½ inch thick square.
6) Cool for 10 – 15 mins and mark out squares and once completely cool, cut out the pieces.Store in air tight container (or in a refrigerator). Keeps well for a week.

June 18, 2013

Masoor Dal Sundal | Whole Red Lentil Salad

I make Sundals (cooked /steamed salads) quite often in my kitchen – not really waiting till Navaratri (Indian Festival), when its made for 9 days at a stretch as an offering to the Gods. For those days when you don't feel like making rasam or sambhar, this protein filled salad makes for more than your daily protein requirement . What's more the sprouted and cooked legumes provide enough amino acids in growing kids - esp to strengthen bones n aid in immunity. Takes lil or no oil, low on salt and the spice addition is optional - what more do you want from healthy food ?

Today's colour for BM#29 is brown - another of my personal favourites - and whole masoor dal Sundal is not only fibre rich but is quite filling as a meal by itself (which Is what I pretty much what I had for a late lunch, and it lasted me for few hours).... Preparing this Sundal is similar to the Channa dal or chickpea version, only thing to note is that this wholegrain takes a little longer to cook. So soak it in hot water and its done :-)) Also sending it to event at my space - Healthy Me, Healthy Us

Notes : You may also sprout this legume and use it in Sundal - in that case, take care not to cook it fully, else the goodness of sprouts is lost : you may alternatively boil in slightly salted water till al dente.

  • Whole masoor dal - 1/2 cup
  • Oil - 1/2 tsp
  • Salt - to taste
  • Tempering - mustard seeds, grated ginger, green chillies, asafoetida
  • Grated coconut - 2 tsp
  • Coriander and curry leaves - few

1) Wash, pick and soak whole masoor dal overnight in hot water
2) Next morning drain the water and pressure cook with half salt for 3-4 whistles tll cooked but not mushy
3) Drain excess water from cooked legume.
4) In a pan, heat oil. Splutter mustard seeds, hing and rest of the tempering. Add cooked masoor and remaining salt.
5) Adjust salt and spices. Sauté fr 2-3 mins till dry
6) Add coriander and curry leaves and serve.

Optional addition : 1 tsp of Lemon juice after you take it off the fire.


June 17, 2013

Round up of MLLA # 59 hosted here, and the winner is.....

Truly loved hosting the 59th edition of MLLA, brain child of Susan and wonderfully supported now by Lisa. Thank you, Lisa & Susan for this great opportunity. 29 protein filled vegetarian and vegan entries.

Before we get to the round up and the winner of the giveaway, a heartfelt thanks to all those who sent in their wonderful entries.... For an event of this size, its only natural to meet so many new friends, who I shall visit soon (sorry for being so late, but I was away on a vacation and caught up in personal stuff couldnt visit you then...)...Thanks again, and hope you would continue to keep in touch with me on this blog and participate in the events happening at my blog too :)

...And.... (drumroll)...... the winner of the giveaway is Medha for her Kolkata style Ghughni :-)) Congrats Medha, Lisa would be in touch with you for the giveaway... I bet that Ghughni would be totally lipsmacking :-))

thanks all for your wonderful entries... And now to the yummy round up..


Menthya Kattina Saaru | A rustic fenugreek-lentil broth from Karnataka

Nature offers us such a vibrant food palette – from deep greens of Spinach to Orange-yellows of Squash to fuchsia pink of beetroot, its a riot of colour on our plate. And a wonderful way to celebrate that is to dedicate one colour per day to a dish. Isn't that a fantastic idea?

So, lets get to see the colour green in all its vibrancy in today’s dish – Menthya Kattina Saaru.
Today’s dish is rustic in its approach, but divine in taste. Translating this dish from the native Kannada “Menthya Kattina Saaru” would mean Fenugreek Broth... but that doesn’t do justice. 

For those brought up in the Bangalore and / or Karnataka, Kattina Saaru (the essence of the lentils along with the sautéed fenugreek) is bliss, and this is one hallmark dish of both grandmom and mom. Naturally, I love it to bits, and so does sis. The essence of this Saaru (or Rasam / thickish broth) is that masala with a generous hint of asafoetida (skip for GF and proceed with the rest of the recipe) teamed with earthy flavours of fresh coriander and cumin seeds and lots of freshly grated coconut. This is a thicker consistency than the usual rasam, and it thickens a bit after sitting, so switch off while still still like a slightly thick broth. 

And the best part, like Kuzhambus (or thick tamarind based gravies),this tastes great the next day, which is precisely the reason why I ask mom to make double the quantity so that I could have it the next day too.  

Goes very well with sautéed greens (use Fenugreek / Agathikeerai) , hot rice and a dollop of ghee. Similarly pairs well with Ragi Mudde (steamed Finger Millet Dumplings). For that complete meal, end with a glass of spicy buttermilk and you would know what I am talking about.

Prep time : 20 mins | Cook time : 20 mins | Serves : 4 generousluy
Difficulty level : Medium | Spice level : Medium
Serving suggestions : Hot Steamed rice or Ragi Mudde (Finger Millet dumplings)

Tips /Notes : Fenugreek leaves (methi) works best for this dish. Do not substitute with spinach or any other greens. A great medicinal substitute and with exactly the same procedure would be Agathi Keerai (Agathi Soppu or Sesbania Grandiflora). Only with Agathi Keerai, you might want to add a little more jaggery as the leaves are quite bitter, but they make a brilliant dish.

  • Fenugreek leaves – 2 large bunches (or once sorted – 6-7 large cups)
(the amount of fenugreek might baffle you, but trust me it shrivels quite a bit)
  • Salt – to taste
  • Toor Dal – ½ cup – soaked in hot water for 20 mins
  • Turmeric – ½ TBSP
  • Oil – 2 tsp
  • Jaggery – ½ TBSP
  • Tempering : Oil, mustard seeds, Red chillies (broken)

Masala paste:
  • Fresh coconut – ½ cup
  • Tamarind – a tiny roundel
  • Red chillies – 3 (adjust spice)
  • Cumin seeds – ½ TBSP
  • Raw Rice – ½ TBSP
  • Coriander seeds – 2 TBSP
  • Hing / Asafoetida – a generous pinch (simply skip for GF)

1) Pick, sort, wash and chop the fenugreek leaves. If using frozen, thaw till it reaches room temperature.
2) In 2 tsp of oil, roast all ingredients of the masala paste except coconut and keep aside. The
In a large pot, bring 6 cups of water to a rolling boil. Add the turmeric and the soaked dal. Once the dal is half cooked, add the fenugreek leaves and boil till the dal is done (it should flatten out in your fingers, but not be mushy).
3) Drain the water well and retain both the leaves-dal as well as the water. Mash the mixture slightly so that all water drains out.
4) Once the dal-leaves mixture is cooled, take 2 ladlefuls of it, and along with the coconut and the roasted ingredients of the masala, make a smooth paste. Reserve the rest of the dal-mixture as it is.
5) In a wok, heat oil and prepare the tempering. Once the chillies slightly sizzle, add the ground paste, salt & jaggery. Saute for 2 – 3 mins, add the rest of the dal water now. Let the mixture simmer on low-medium flame for 6 – 9 mins till it thickens a bit (the rice and the coriander in the masala paste will help it do so).
6) Once a nutty,earthy aroma comes. Switch off the stove and transfer to a serving bowl. Add a dollop of ghee and close the lid.
7) With the remaining cooked dal-leaves mixture, prepare a dry curry exactly like this curry. Temper with mustard, fresh coconut and asafoetida
8) Serve the Rasam and sautéed greens for a wholesome healthy experience !

June 15, 2013

Hosting "Kids Delight - Party Ideas" event : 15th June - 15th July 2013

Parties ! And who doesnt like them :-)) Be it Kitty parties or Kids' birthday parties, anniversaries or baby shower. Parties are something all of us would love to attend, and host in equal fervour. So, all this month (from 15th June - 15th July), am hosting Valli's Kids Delight event with Party Ideas as a theme pitch in with your best party ideas that are kid approved too - in short, all those you would love to put up for a party and those that kids would love to gobble up. 

Thanks Valli for this opportunity...

from Pizzas to Mini Frankies to Mini Idlis to Finger Sandwiches, the list is endless. Do link your entries and let's have a party. 

June 3, 2013

Hosting "Healthy Me and Healthy Us" event for June 2013

Feels good to be back hosting an event for Priya Mitharwal's Healthy Me, Healthy Us event for June 2013. Thanks Priya for this opportunity. Although am late by a day in announcing this event as my vacation extended quite a bit more than expected, inviting all you health freaks to link up Healthy, Eggless & Vegetarian Entries all this June.

I shall recap the requirements for this event directly from Priya's event announcement . Meanwhile use the Linky Tool provided below to link to this event. If you are a non-blogger, do email me your recipe so I could include it in the round up.

Look forward to all your entries 


Lets look at some real good sources of Healthy Food

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