Baked baby eggplant topped with onion, habanero mango salsa, goat cheese and basil

Baked baby eggplant topped with onion, habanero mango salsa, goat cheese and basil

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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.

Ingredients:

4-8 baby eggplants

Olive oil

Goat cheese crumbs

5-6 Basil leaves

Salt to taste

Black Pepper

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!

Preparation:

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.

Vegetarian Thai Green Curry

Vegetarian Thai Green Curry

I have been looking for a completely vegetarian green curry paste that I can use to make my thai green curry and finally found this awesome brand. Now i have to share this recipe with everyone:)

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The brand is Maesri Green Curry Paste and this is the only one that is completely vegetarian and contains no fish sauce. Yay! Once you get hold of this can, trust me you can make green curry in less than 20 minutes. This is an easy yet delicious dish to prepare if you are entertaining and you are pressed for time.

Ingredients:

1 Onion

1 Bell pepper

1 yellow squash

4-5 big florets of broccoli

1/4 cup of petite green peas

1/4 cup of green asparagus

2 cans of coconut milk (Chaokoh brand)

1 can of Maesri brand Green Curry Paste (from Asian or Korean supermarket)

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1 block of firm tofu

Canola oil

Salt to taste

Red pepper flakes

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon lemon pepper powder(optional- alternately use lemon juice instead)

Green Scallions for garnish

Preparation:

Chop all the vegetables like onion, bell pepper, yellow squash evenly so they cook evenly. Boil a pot of salted water and add broccoli florets, peas and chopped asparagus and cook for about 4-5 minutes. Then transfer to a bowl of cold water to retain the green color of the green vegetables and also to stop the process of cooking to retain a crunch.

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photo 3 (2)photo 4 (2)Chop the block of firm tofu into cubes.

TIP: Prior to this, always wrap the block of tofu in paper towel and keep something heavy over it for about 15 minutes. This helps drain the moisture from tofu making it crispy golden brown when thrown in hot oil.

Place a pan under medium heat and add 1 tablespoon canola oil. Transfer chopped cubes of tofu to the pan with oil. Add salt and crushed red pepper flakes for heat and toss well till the sides of the tofu cubes turn golden brown and crispy. Transfer the crispy cubes on to a paper towel to drain the excess oil.

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Now place a sauce pan under medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons of canola oil and transfer the chopped onion, bell pepper, squash along with broccoli, green peas and asparagus to the pan. Add salt, garlic and lemon pepper powder and mix well. Now add 2 tablespoons of Maesri brand green curry paste and mix so that it coats all the vegetables well.  Saute the veggies for another 3-4 minutes and then lower the flame. Add 2 cans of coconut milk and mix well. Switch off the flame once the coconut milk starts simmering under low flame. Add the crispy tofu cubes at the end so they do not break while tossing and mixing. Gently mix well.

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Serve with hot sticky rice or I usually serve it with basmati rice.

Cooking with 10 year old Anaya on her Birthday

Cooking with 10 year old Anaya on her Birthday

I have been postponing this post now for a long time simply because I wanted to sit down and write about this wonderful cooking experience with a 10 year old girl, Anaya.

anaya

Anaya is such a sweet, brilliant, creative 10 year old who loves to cook. On her 10 th birthday, her mom Shruti decided to host a birthday party where Cooking was the theme. Anaya was thrilled with her mom s idea and decided that she wanted to throw a party by cooking a meal for a bunch of her close friends at her home.


Shruti had found me on Facebook through one of our common friends and decided to call me to help Anaya prepare this wonderful meal for her friends. I was super excited, immediately got working on what Anaya and her friends liked to eat and what they didn’t care too much for and so forth.
I exchanged a couple of emails with Shruti, Anaya s mom who in turn checked with her daughter to see if all of us were in agreement:)
So here goes the menu:

For Appetizers, we decided to make
Paneer or Indian Cottage Cheese Quesadillas.

For the dip, we made fresh Guacamole with Onions and tomatoes and a hint of lemon juice!yum!

For Main course,

Penne pasta with broccoli and peppers in a Pink sauce.

Shruti also mentioned that Anaya loved mangoes so I decided to whip up a

Mango Smoothie with a wedge of strawberry!

We took about 2 hours to prepare everything. Anaya wore her apron and chef hat and looked like a Junior Master Chef:) in the kitchen. She loved to chop and sauté and mix and did such a wonderful job.

I am pretty sure she will be a great food critic when she grows up as she aspires to be one:)

What can I say? Anaya was thrilled to serve her friends with all the food that we cooked together and the kids simply loved it and were so appreciative.

I must certainly commend her mom of being so supportive and giving me and Anaya an opportunity as wonderful as this that I will treasure lifelong:)))

Thanks Shruti and Anaya for a great cooking experience in your wonderful home.

Cooking with 10 year old Anaya on her Birthday

Cooking with 10 year old Anaya on her Birthday

I have been postponing this post now for a long time simply because I wanted to sit down and write about this wonderful cooking experience with a 10 year old girl, Anaya.

anaya

Anaya is such a sweet, brilliant, creative 10 year old who loves to cook. On her 10 th birthday, her mom Shruti decided to host a birthday party where Cooking was the theme. Anaya was thrilled with her mom s idea and decided that she wanted to throw a party by cooking a meal for a bunch of her close friends at her home.


Shruti had found me on Facebook through one of our common friends and decided to call me to help Anaya prepare this wonderful meal for her friends. I was super excited, immediately got working on what Anaya and her friends liked to eat and what they didn’t care too much for and so forth.
I exchanged a couple of emails with Shruti, Anaya s mom who in turn checked with her daughter to see if all of us were in agreement:)
So here goes the menu:

For Appetizers, we decided to make
Paneer or Indian Cottage Cheese Quesadillas.

For the dip, we made fresh Guacamole with Onions and tomatoes and a hint of lemon juice!yum!

For Main course,

Penne pasta with broccoli and peppers in a Pink sauce.

Shruti also mentioned that Anaya loved mangoes so I decided to whip up a

Mango Smoothie with a wedge of strawberry!

We took about 2 hours to prepare everything. Anaya wore her apron and chef hat and looked like a Junior Master Chef:) in the kitchen. She loved to chop and sauté and mix and did such a wonderful job.

I am pretty sure she will be a great food critic when she grows up as she aspires to be one:)

What can I say? Anaya was thrilled to serve her friends with all the food that we cooked together and the kids simply loved it and were so appreciative.

I must certainly commend her mom of being so supportive and giving me and Anaya an opportunity as wonderful as this that I will treasure lifelong:)))

Thanks Shruti and Anaya for a great cooking experience in your wonderful home.

CPK Guacamole!served with tortilla chips

CPK Guacamole!served with tortilla chips

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Its been snowing all day, and I never complain since those are the days I spend some quality time with my husband and kids. I think the snow storm compels everyone to be bound home for safety, roads get nasty also so we all rather stay home safely unless it is something really important!!!

What a nice compelling way to bond with family? LOL! Today is such a day- my husband ended up working from home and he ‘s always attending calls and in meetings all day long. I decided to start the day late with brunch. So the menu was Homemade Waffles with Strawberries and syrup with powdered sugar dusting like the snow!!!! Then I made my husband’s favorite masala scrambled eggs with toast.

We watched a movie together and now its dinner time! I decided to recreate the Guacamole that is served with tortilla chips at California Pizza Kitchen under the Short eats menu for 5$. I have to be honest- I simply love it and am left craving for moreeeeeeeeeeeee.

I checked my refrigerator and had all the ingredients to recreate the recipe and the will, ofcourse:) so decided to go for it!

Ingredients

Avocado-1

Jicama- 1/2

Red/ Orange Bell Pepper-1/2

Black beans- 1/4 cup

Onion-1/2

Jalapeno-1

Sweet Corn- 1/2 cup

Lemon Pepper- 1/2 tsp

Garlic powder-1/2 tsp

Cumin powder-1/2 tsp

Lemon-1/2

Black pepper coarsely ground powder- 1/4 tsp

Cilantro leaves for garnish

Preparation:

I start by dicing Onion, Jicama, Bell pepper finely. I use frozen sweet corn, so I let water boil and thaw it by letting it sit in the boiling water for about 5 minutes or so. After 5 min’s, transfer the corn to a bowl of cold water. Then I take a bowl, peel the avocado skin, take all the avocado pulp and transfer in the bowl. I add all the spices, salt to taste and mix it as I mash the avocado well to incorporate all the ingredients together. Then I squeeze half a lemon and mix the lemon juice with mashed avocado. Add diced onions, jicama, bell pepper, jalapeno. Mix well. Transfer the corn and black beans at this point. Mix again and garnish with cilantro leaves. Enjoy!

Let me know if you liked this recipe.

Thanks and as always with much love from my kitchen to yours……