On a cold sunday morning when I look out the window, its raining outside and the clouds are consumed by fog, my heart was seeking for a hot mug of coffee and some hot breakfast dish to go with it while I lay under the blanket:)
Suddenly a dish comes to my mind. A very dear friend had mentioned the dish and it stayed in my sub conscious for a while now….so quickly got up and turned on my coffee machine for a hot cup of coffee.
The steamed flattened rice in India, commonly known as Chura or Poha, is rice which is flattened into flat, light, dry flakes. This dish is very nutritious and is a great snack or great for breakfast/ brunch.
Meantime, for the STEAMED FLATTENED RICE DISH,
2 cups of flattened rice
3-4 green chilies finely chopped
1 teaspoon of Mustard seeds
1 teaspoon of turmeric
4-5 curry leaves
1 inch of ginger finely chopped
2-3 garlic cloves finely chopped
Salt to taste
1 teaspoon of lemon juice
1/2 cup of peanuts (optional)
Cilantro for garnish
Firstly, take a sieve and add the flattened dry rice flakes to it. Take a nonstick pan and add some vegetable oil to it under medium flame. Once the pan gets warm, add the mustard seeds and curry leaves and wait for it to splutter. Add finely chopped ginger, garlic,peanuts and onion to the pan and saute well. Add turmeric and salt to taste and mix well.
While that is cooking, let cold water run through the sieve with flattened rice flakes for about 3-4 minutes and make sure it is soaked completely. Transfer the wet flattened rice flakes to the pan with onions cooking and mix everything well. Now cover the pan with a lid for 5 minutes and let it cook. Remove the lid and let cook for 2 more minutes so all the water evaporates and gives a crunch to the rice flakes. Add lemon juice and mix well. Garnish with cilantro and serve.
Serve with a mint cilantro chutney or eat it as is!!!!Enjoy!
Tuesdays are always tough since my kids go for ice skating lessons and we end up coming back so late after their class. Tuesday nights – we usually end up making veggie quesadillas or pizzas. Its so much fun as they help me in the cooking process and are so excited to be a part of any small task that I have to offer them.
Yesterday was one such evening and my kids wanted Pizza. Now I knew I had some left over quinoa and some pasta sauce lying in my refrigerator. So I had an idea. I wanted to try a healthy spin and see if my kids would notice a little bit of cheating from my side! to try and get my kids to eat healthy.
I have a 30 minute pizza dough recipe that works wonders when you are hard pressed for time. But if you want to save that trouble you could certainly buy store bought pizza dough.
I tried to mix the left over cooked quinoa with the pasta sauce and also tried to pack it with flavour using some finely chopped fresh garlic and some dried basil. I smothered the flavor packed quinoa spread on the pizza base and topped it with some cheese and onions. I used one half for the kids and the other half i also topped it with some spicy jalapenos for the adults:)
Anyway all of us loved it. It was a big hit. The kids asked for more and i was one lucky happy mom! So i thought of sharing this idea with all of you.
I am also attaching a picture that I clicked before we dug in:)
When it gets cold during winter, I love to make hot soups from scratch at home for my family. One of my favorites is the fennel soup that i have already posted in my blog. The next one is Spinach Soup. I know a lot of you would not be excited about spinach 🙂
But my kids really like this soup since they dont see the actual spinach lol as its all mashed up and smooth.
So here goes the recipe:
Take about 1 cup of fresh leaves (de stemmed) thoroughly washed and throw it in a pot of salted boiling water for about 5 minutes. Then immediately transfer the cooked spinach onto a bowl of ice or ice cold water. This is called blanching and what does this is two things- 1) Helps to stop further cooking of the spinach and 2) Helps retain the bright green color of the spinach.
Cook 1/2 cup of lentils(yellow dal- Toor or Mung dal).
Blend the lentils with the blanched spinach in a blender.
I also add some Salt to taste, fresh ground black pepper, dried dessicated coconut powder toasted in a pan with few drops of oil along with cumin seeds and mustard seeds.
Enjoy this nutrition packed delicious green spinach soup.
I am guilty of not having been able to get back on to blogging for quite sometime now for various reasons. But not anymore! Being creative with food and coming up with healthy yet delicious food is what I am good at so here s another taken on a burger. Its my baked Brussel Sprouts burgers or kebabs as well call it in India when you stack the veggies up or in a skewer.
Brussel Sprouts – 6 of the small ones
Red Bell Pepper- 1 medium sized
Indian Cottage Cheese or Paneer chopped into cubes
(One can also substitute it with any firm cheese of their liking like mozarella)
Salt to taste
Fenugreek leaves for garnish
Fresh coriander seeds ( or you can use coriander powder)
First step– preheat the oven to about 400 degrees.
Second step– Cut the brussel sprouts in half , chop up the red pepper also in triangles so it is stackable.
Chop up the Indian cottage cheese or paneer into cubes.
Third step– Place all the above chopped veggies on a baking pan.
Fourth step– Drizzle with Olive oil and season it with salt by sprinkling over the veggies in the baking pan.
Fifth step– Bake at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes or so and flip the veggies and bake for another 10 minutes.
You will see the nice char on the veggies and the brussel sprouts turn out to be nicely roasted in the oven.
There is nothing like munching on roasted Brussel sprouts for a snack. It tastes heavenly and delicious.
Sixth step– Once you take it out of the oven the garnish with some freshly crushed coriander seeds and fenugreek leaves. Now mix well.
I have used a white long plate to plate this dish and have used a red pepper paste that I made at home to add a bit of color to the base of the plate.
Place one half of the roasted brussel sprouts at the bottom, stack the cottage cheese on top, then the triangle of red pepper(i like for it to stick out a bit so the color pops) and lastly cover the top with the remaining half of the roasted brussel sprouts.
You can do as many as you please depending on the number of guests if you are entertaining or keep it small if its for a small family dinner at home.
I hope you will try this and let me know your feedback.
Enjoy this healthy yet delicious bite and I shall be back with more:)
Recently I went to this restaurant which had some awesome Italian dishes of which their Roasted Fennel Soup blew me away! The soup was delicious and I made up my mind to recreate that dish excepting I did not want to use potatoes. The roasted fennel soup in the restaurant had potatoes which according to their Chef helps make the dish thicker in consistency and creamier.
I tried to recreate the same soup at home minus the potatoes 🙂 I would love to share this extremely delicious yet healthy dish with all of you today.
1 medium Fennel bulb with fronds
1 medium Onion4 garlic cloves
1 tsp lemon pepper powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp cayenne
2 tablespoon milk
1/4 cup vegetable broth
salt to taste
1) Take a baking pan and cover it with aluminum foil to avoid messy clean ups:) The first step is to chop the fennel bulb.
How to chop the fennel bulb?
Chop the fronds or the tiny spikey leaves off the fennel bulb. DO NOT THROW away the fronds as it is very flavorful and can be used as a pretty garnish for the soup.
Take off the outer layer or leaf from the fennel bulb and then cut in half. Similar to onions, fennel also have a core at the bottom that has to be removed carefully using a knife. I usually cut a V shape around the core and dice it out.
Now wash the rest of the fennel and chop evenly into small uniform pieces. Transfer the chopped fennel pieces to the baking pan covered with foil.
2) Dice a medium Onion evenly and transfer to the pan with chopped fennel pieces.
3) Chop garlic finely and transfer to the pan with chopped onion and fennel pieces.
4) Drizzle olive oil along with salt, cayenne, lemon pepper and garlic powder and toss to mix well.
5) Stick the baking pan in the oven at 360 F for about 45 minutes.
6) Once done, take it out of the oven, let cool and transfer to a food processor or blender.
7) Blend the pieces of baked and chopped fennel, onion and garlic along with vegetable broth.
8) Transfer the blended mixture to a pot and check seasoning and add 2 tablespoon of milk (to add creaminess to the texture) and wait till it boils.
9) Your roasted fennel soup is ready and you may garnish it with the fennel fronds.
I love baby eggplants but in India we always removed the skin and cooked it to a point where it gets mushy and it would drive me
nuts when my mom would insist that i eat this mushy eggplant curry with my rotis/bread. I wanted to come up with an eggplant dish that I would rather enjoy to eat than be forced to eat:(
So here goes people!
This is by far my best take on the Mighty Eggplant! and takes you less than 15 minutes to prepare this. Its an awesome dish to consider if you have guests coming over.
4-8 baby eggplants
Goat cheese crumbs
5-6 Basil leaves
Salt to taste
Lemon pepper powder 1/4 teaspoon
Garlic powder 1/2 teaspoon
Finely chopped onions- 1/4 cup
Habanero Mango Salsa( I sometimes make this at home using habanero peppers and finely diced mango cubes with onions and tomatoes but you can always find and buy a bottle of any salsa at the supermarket if you do not want to deal with the heat of habanero peppers)
Note: You can substitute any salsa depending on your or the guest’s tolerance to spice levels. BUT I strongly recommend this combination:) Trust me its delish!!!if you can tolerate spice or heat!
Cut the baby eggplants in half and place them on a baking pan lined with parchment paper(for easy clean up). Then sprinkle salt, black pepper, lemon pepper and garlic powder on top of each half to make sure that they are well seasoned. Then drizzle some olive oil on top of each half and top it with some chopped onions, 1/4 teaspoon of the habanero mango salsa and garnish with some crumbs of goat cheese and chiffonades of basil.
Stick this into the oven at 350 degrees F for about 20-30 minutes. Voila! I insist on a particular combination of salsa and cheese for this particular recipe since the habanero (heat) and the mango (sweet) in the salsa cuts the tanginess of the goat cheese and the flavors become so well balanced.