Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Vegetable Fried Rice

Everyone must be relaxing after the Christmas now. Another three days and a new year begins. Wishing you all a Happy New Year in advance. Now coming to today's post, I had to blog hop to Kavi of Edible Entertainment. She has a cute little space. Mostly step by step pictures which makes the reader easy to remember and follow. I chose this Veg Schezwan Rice. Though I didn't had all the ingredients that she had specified I went ahead. It turned out really good. Thanks Kavi for this wonderful recipe. Below is all the veggies I used, be creative change it up.

Serves: 4 | Prep Time: 15 min | Cooking Time: 10 min.
  • Cold Rice - 2 cups
  • Olive Oil - 1 tsp.
  • Garlic - 6 pods - sliced lengthwise
  • Bell pepper - 1/2 - Seeded & lengthwise
  • Carrots - 1 cup - cut in matchstick size
  • Cabbage - 1 cup - cut lengthwise
  • Peas - 1 cup - Steamed ahead of time
  • Baby Spinach - 1 cup
  • Chinese Chili Sauce - 1/2 tsp.
  • Chinese Garlic Chili Sauce - 1 tsp.
  • Worcheire Sauce - 1 tsp.
  • Salt to taste

Method of Preparation:

~ Prepare rice ahead of time, best fried rice comes out of the cold rice. I used cold rice from previous day.
~ Heat oil in a wok. Add garlic and saute.
~ Keep the heat on high. Add pepper and carrots and saute for few minutes.
~ Add all the remaining veggies and saute for few more minutes. All the veggies should retain their crunch, so don't overcook.
~ Add all three sauces, very little salt to taste. Mix in with veggies.
~ Reduce the heat and add the cold rice to veggies. Mix well and take it off from heat.

Tip: Add some ketchup for kids to reduce the heat.

Check out my previous blog hop entries

This is off to Radhika’s blog hop event.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Radish Sauté/ Moolangi Palya

Moolangi or Radish used to be the vegetable that can smell while cooking. But tastes great and good for health. It’s known to reduce jaundice, piles, urinary disorders problem. If you want to know more read this article here. I love it in spicy sambar and this simple sauté.

Prep Time: 10 min. | Cooking Time: 20 min.

  • Moolangi/ Mooli/ Daikon/ White Radish – 1 big one and two (About 2 cups)
  • Onion – 1 small
  • Garlic – 4 pods (minced)
  • Chili powder – 1 tsp.
  • Turmeric powder – 1 pinch
  • Coriander powder – ½ tsp.
  • Jaggery – 1 tsp.
  • Coconut – 1 tbsp. (grated)
  • Mustard Seeds – ½ tsp.
  • Urad Daal/ Black split gram – 1 tsp.
  • Curry Leaves/ Kadipatta – 1 spring
  • Oil – 1 tsp.
  • Salt to taste 
Method of Preparation:

~ Wash and clean the radish. Peel the skin off and cut them into smaller chunks.
~ Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds.
~ Once they splutter, add Urad daal. After frying for few seconds add Curry leaves.
~ Now add onion and garlic, fry till onion is translucent.
~ Add turmeric, chili and coriander powder, fry for few minutes and add the radish.
~ Add a tbsp. of water, mix everything thoroughly and close the lid to cook for about 5 to 7 minutes. Check in between to make sure it’s not burned down. :o)
~ Once radish is almost done, add salt to taste, jaggery and grated coconut. Mix well and switch off the heat.
~ Serve it with roti’s or as a side with rice and daal.

Instead of jaggery you can substitute with ½ tsp. of sugar.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Wheat Butter Pecan Cookies

So officially I completed over 50 posts! Can’t believe it though. I initially started this blog as my diary to note down. I thought later probably it will be useful for my kids or I can point it to my friends who would always ask me for recipes. I didn’t realize that my culinary skills would interest people out there and I would make numerous friends in this blogosphere. Many of other bloggers have become part of my life I feel. So thank you for being there and being so supportive.

Today is also special since it’s my wedding anniversary. So I thought of posting something sweet for my hubby. He’s the one who wipes the plate clean when it’s sweet. Any dish with little hint of sweet is always an instant hit with him. So here I present to you my eggless wheat butter pecan cookies.

I can't really remember recipe source but I think it must have been something I had read in a magazine. It has evolved many ways now to come to perfection. Whenever I have prepared the cookies, they have vanished as though I never did them. My DS usually lurks around to check when I am pulling out the cookies to place on the rack. Then he attacks them and gives me sweet smile before dashing out, so I don’t stop him. I make variations to add different kinds of nuts in them, coz this is my best chance to get any kind of nuts in my kids. So you can leave out the nuts part, or use what you like.

  • Wheat Flour – 1 Cup (You can substitute with All-purpose flour/ Maida)
  • Pecan – ½ cup (I finely ground pecans to hide it with flour.J)
  • Sugar – ½ Cup (Adjust according to your taste. Lesser the better for us.
  • Vanilla Essence – 1 tsp. (Optional – I sometime use Vanilla/ Almond)
  • Melted Butter – ½ cup
  • Salt – ¼ tsp.

Method of Preparation:
~ Preheat the oven to 350 F [About 180 C]  
~ Sift the Flour, Pecan powder, Sugar and salt together in a mixing bowl.
~ Add melted butter and essence to this mix and make soft dough.
~ If it’s not coming together completely, add a tsp. of milk.
~ Make big balls out of the dough, roll it out using rolling pin and cut them to desired shapes.
~ Tip – If you don’t have cookie cutters, get creative; use small round/ square lids, cut templates and use knife to cut around. Or just use hand to make small balls and flatten them gently.
~ Line the baking sheet with foil, spray some butter (I use Olive Oil spray) and place the cookies.
~ Bake these in oven for 15 to 20 minutes until cookies turn golden brown. [Depends upon your oven type, temperature and thickness of the cookies]
~ Take out the cookies out of oven and put it on the rack after 2 minutes to cool.
~ Enjoy before they vanish. :o)  


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Tuna Kabobs

I am in India! Yes! I am sure my four weeks of vacation will zoom past me before I know it. My blog will be put on a slow gear for some time during this period. But nevertheless I wouldn’t have missed my blog hopping for anything. So I have planned ahead for these and here is my bloghopping for the day from Neha’s From My Heart.

Going through her blog, I thought I would try the baking something. Since I have never given bread a try, I zeroed on her banana bread recipe. But since my DH is a big fan of banana walnut bread, I modified it and fell flat on face. I did try a different banana walnut recipe and will be posting that soon. Coming back to blog hop I later tried her Tuna Kabob.  Oh they were just so good. It was very easy to prepare and we couldn’t stop snacking on it. So had to quickly take picture. I had never tried tuna in a kabob style so it was really refreshing.

I mostly stuck to her recipe making very few changes. Since I had made double the quantity of what is mentioned below, we had some leftovers for dinner. I simply heated them up and rolled it inside chapati and voila, kiddie wraps were ready.

Prep Time: 10 min. Cooking Time: About 7 to 10 min for a panful.


White Tuna in water (no salt) - 1 Can
Onion – small ( about half a cup finely chopped)
Egg - 1
Potato – 1
Chaat Masala – ½ tsp.
Bread Crumbs – ½ cup
Green Chili – 2 (finely chopped)
Cilantro/ Coriander Leaves – handful.
Ginger – Lime size (grated)
Garlic – 3 pods (grated)
Oil to shallow fry
Salt to taste

Method of preparation:

~ In a microwave safe bowl cook potatoes. Grate and place in a mixing bowl.
~ Discard the water in tuna and add to the potatoes.
~ Add all other ingredients except oil and mix well. I used hands to give it a nice mix.
~ Make small patties out of the mixture and shallow fry on both sides.
~ Serve it hot with some green mint chutney and ketchup.

Note: Keep check on salt since tuna tends to be saltier.

Check out my previous blog hop entries

This is off to Radhika’s blog hop event.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Green Tomato Chutney

I am posting many chutney’s and dips, coz we all love these little relishes at home. Also, the last few tomatoes in my veggie garden weren’t gonna get chance of ripening coz cold front. So that means we picked them when they were green. One of the numerous dishes I did with them was ofcourse this chutney.

Yields – 2 cups| Prep Time: 5 min.| Cooking Time: 15 min.

Green tomatoes – 10 (about 1 ½ cups when chopped)
Green Chilies – 2
Cumin seeds – 1 tsp.
Flax Seeds – 1 tsp. (optional)
Mustard Seeds – ½ tsp.
Sesame Seeds – ½ tsp.
Coconut - 1 tbsp.
Salt to taste
Oil – 1 tsp.

My DD picking up Green tomatoes & Chilies for me!

Method of Preparation:

~ Clean and chop tomatoes. Place it in a microwavable bowl with 1 tbsp. of water and microwave high for 10 min (with two intervals)
~ In a pan, heat oil, add mustard seeds.
~ Once they splutter, add cumin seeds, sesame seeds and flax seeds.
~ Fry for few seconds, and add green chilies.
~ Now add the microwaved tomatoes and continue to cook for few minutes.
~ Switch off the heat and let it cool.
~ Grind the cooled mix with coconut & salt to a smooth paste.
~ Enjoy with some rice and sambar. It can be served with Dosa or Chapati too.

- You can skip microwaving and cook tomatoes later on cooktop.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Spicy Gingery Strawberry Raspberry chutney

Did the name interest you? Well, I wanted to just keep it without ginger, but with all words ending with a “Y” I added gingery. :o) Strawberries and raspberries are almost going out of season. We always get those big boxes from Sam’s and the last few remaining start to soften and then kids don’t want to eat. I try not to waste them and do jam or sauce out of them. Below is one of spicy chutney that I do with these berries. I didn't really get or taste this recipe anywhere. I was just playing around with making sauce out of the fruits. This spicy variation made the cut and I was happy to have noted down so I could recreate it every time. Make variations with your favorite fruit and try it. This can be used to top toast, just as a side relish with rice, with roti or even with dosa.

Yields: 2 cups| Prep Time: 10 min. | Cooking Time: 20 min. ~ 25 min.

  • Strawberry - 1 1/2 cup
  • Rasberry - 1/2 cup
  • Water - 1/2 cup
  • Ginger - 1 lemon size - paste 
  • Pitted Dates - 1/2 cup *
  • Sliced almonds - 1 tbsp. (optional)
  • Salt to taste (<1 tsp.)
  • Sugar - 1 tbsp. (Increase if you like it sweet)
  • Red chili powder - 1/2 tsp.
  • Lemon juice - 2 tsp. (Skip it if the fruits are sour)
 Method of Preparation:

~ Wash and clean the berries. Pit the strawberry. Chop both of them coarsely.
~ Place berries, ginger and water in a pot and cook on low heat.
~ Once the berries are half way done (about 10 min.), add all the remaining ingredients and continue to cook.
~ The sauce with thicken and all the fruits should be nicely cooked. Switch off the heat and leave it to cook.
~ Put them in clean air tight glass jars and store it in fridge. Start using after 1 or 2 days. It will stay for a month or so.

* - I usually have the softer variety of dates, so I add them half way through. If they are harder, add it earlier so they cook and soften.
- Tastes best when it sits for a day or two.
Enjoy! :o)

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Avocado & Bell Pepper Muhammara - Syrian Dip

Time sure flies. Whether you like it or not it goes on ticking. I am loving it, coz next weekend I will be visiting India. Yey.!! We had booked our tickets in April and I remember thinking, oh, that's a long way to go. But here I am trying to go through last minute shopping and packing. I might have completely ignored my blog if it wasn't for blog hopping event by Radhika of Tickling Palates.

This week I am paired with Ayeesha's Taste of Pearl City. I have known her since I started blogging. Her "Anyone Can Cook" series are great for beginner cooks who are looking for some easy to do recipes. With so many things going around me, I decided to pick an easy recipe too and I found it in Muhammara. For original recipe and other great recipes visit Ayeesha here.

Muhammara is a syrian dip, which can be used to top warm biscuits (US kinda biscuits), pita bread, pita chips, toast or crackers. I think they are wonderful with Kebabs and Grilled fish or vegetables too. The original spicy muhammara doesn't call for avocado, but since Ayeesha had used it I gave it a try too, actually doubling it.

Avocados are not only rich in fiber, potassium and Vitamin E, it is also contains a good dose of heart-healthy mono and polyunsaturated fats. Looking some more online to give information to my readers I came across this study find on world’s healthiest foods - Recent research has shown that absorption of two key carotenoid antioxidants—lycopene and beta-carotene—increases significantly when fresh avocado is added to diet. What does that mean to us? These carotenoids are fat-soluble and would be provided with the fat they need for absorption from the addition of avocado. So show some love for these beauties.. :o)

I love making Guacamole with it, Muhammara was a good change. Also, since they are so creamier, I didn't have to use olive oil in the recipe. Read on and try this simple recipe and tell me what you would like them on. 

Serves: 6| Prep Time: 5 min. | Cooking Time: 25 min. (for roasting bell peppers)

  • Red Bell Peppers – 2 [Or 2 Canned roasted Bell peppers. I used one red and other green one from my veggie garden. That's why it's more greener in color than red. ]
  • Avocado - 2
  • Bread crumbs – ¼ cup
  • Walnuts – ¼ cup – Coarsely chopped
  • Molasses – 1 tsp. (Original calls for pomegranate molasses. I had cane sugar one, which tasted perfect)
  • Red Chili flakes – 1 tsp. (Or Cayenne pepper – ½ tsp.)
  • Cumin/ Jeera powder – ½ tsp.
  • Lime juice – 1 tbsp.
  • Olive oil – 1 tsp. for roasting.
  • Salt as needed.

Method of Preparation:

~ Skip this part if using canned roast bell peppers. Preheat the oven to 375 deg. F. In a baking dish, place washed and cut into half bell peppers (cut side down). Apply olive oil on top (you could use olive oil spray). Roast for about 20 minutes. Then turn the broil on and continue to roast for another 5 min.

~ After the bell peppers are cooled down, remove the roasted skin and place it in a blender.

~ Cut the avocado’s lengthwise. Hold both sides and twist in opposite direction, to pull out one without the seed. Now poke a knife in the seed, twist to remove the seed. Spoon out the flesh into blender.

~ Add all other ingredients in and blend until smooth. Yummy dip is ready to be devoured!

Check out my previous blog hop entries


This is off to Radhika’s blog hopping event.

I am also entering this for Ayeesha’s event Eat Well Live well. If I win the giveaway I would love to add this Cuisinart blender to my kitchen

I wanted to also thank my fellow blogger Christy and Julie for sending these awards my way. :o)



Sunday, November 27, 2011

Vegetable Shahi Kurma

As I have previously announced to the world mentioned (several times over and over) that I am a huge fan of coconut based recipes, here is another recipe of mine with fresh coconuts in it. I really love the rich flavour of spices in it. Whenever I make this, the whole house fills with nice aroma. I would love to call this shahi kurma, coz of it's richness & glory. :o). I have changed it up from my mom's version. It's very close to saagu that kannadiga's make (I think). It goes really well with Indian flat breads, especially pooris. Try this one out and let me know what you think of it.

Serves: 6 | Prep time: 20 min. Cooking Time: 30 min.

Mixed vegetables – 5 cups (carrots/broccoli, cauliflower, yellow carrots - I used frozen)
Onion/ bell pepper (optional)
Potatoes – 2 big ones (About 1½ cup)
Bay leaves
coconut milk/ heavy cream
Garam masala - 1/2 tsp.
haldi - 1 pinch
Salt to taste

For Green masala
Green chilies - 4
Coriander leaves - 1 cup
Mint/ Pudina leaves - 1 spring (optional)
Ginger - lime size
Garlic - 5 cloves

For Coconut masala
Freshly grated coconut - 2 tbsp.
Cashew nuts - handful
Poppy seeds - 1 tsp.
Cumin/ Jeera seeds - 1 tsp.
Clove/ Lavanga - 3

Method of Preparation:

Preparing for Kurma –
~ Clean and Cut all the vegetables. Cut potatoes in square cubes and place it in water with some salt.
~ Microwave frozen vegetables on high for 5 to 7 minutes.
~ Dry roasts everything under coconut masala and keep aside to cool.
~ Using a blender or food processor, make a paste of everything under list of Green masala. Take it out in a bowl and set aside.
~ Now grind all the dry roasted ingredients, make a fine paste using little water. Take the paste out and keep it aside.
~ Clean the grinder with some water and set it aside to cook vegetables later.

The Making
~ In a heavy bottomed vessel, heat some oil and add bay leaves.
~ Add Onions and fry till translucent.
~ Add in the green masala paste and fry till the raw smell is gone.
~ Drain the water from potatoes and add it in the pan. Fry for a minute and add the coconut masala paste. Mix thoroughly and cover the pan. Cook until potatoes are little over half done.
~ Now add the microwaved vegetables and water from cleaning the grinder. [If you are using fresh vegetables, it’s better to half cook the vegetables separately and add it at this point]
~ Mix all the ingredients gently and add salt to taste.
~ After cooking for about 5 minutes, add coconut milk, reduce the heat to medium, cover and continue to cook until all the vegetables are done.
~ Serve it hot with puri/ chapati’s.

Sending this to Radhika's Let's Cook - Mughlai Cuisine event, Pari's event hosted by Janaki called Only Curries , Kavi's HCC - Lunch event,and Sreelu's Thanksgiving Recipes

Thursday, November 24, 2011

French beans with Mushroom

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Beans is one of the main sides that is served during thanksgiving. But I am making my beans special with mushrooms. This is a variation to my previous preparation of French beans with Artichoke. Mushroom and beans combination turned out to be great and very different in taste. Whenever I have prepared this it was instant hit. Espcially for the fact that the green beans have their color intact. This what I am taking for thanksgiving potluck at our friend's place today. So enjoy the holiday, count your blessings and show your gratitude to your loved ones. :o)

Serves: 6 | Prep Time: 5 min. | Cooking Time: 15 min.

  • French beans     – 1 Lb. (About 2 ½ cups)
  • Mushrooms  – 3 Lb. (About 4 cups when chopped)
  • Onion               – 1 medium (About 1 cup. Finely chopped)
  • Garlic               – 1 tbsp. (Finely chopped)
  • Cumin seeds     – ½ tsp.
  • Olive Oil           – 2 tsp.
  • Salt                 – to taste
For Sauce -
  • Chinese Chili Garlic Sauce – 1 tbsp. (or more if you like it hot :o))
  • Lime juice    - 1 tbsp.
  • Besan/ Chick Peas flour – 2 tbsp.
  • Tomato Paste (1 tbsp.)/ Tomato Ketchup – 2 tbsp.
Method of Preparation:
Prepare Beans -
~ Heat a pot of water with salt to bring it to boil (around 4 cups).
~ Wash and trim the ends of beans. Cut them two inch long.
~ Put them in the boiling water and cook for about 7 minutes on high. (Until the raw smell of the beans goes away and little froth starts around the beans and settle in 2 minutes.) Do not overcook and make the beans soggy.
~ Drain the water and immediately rinse the beans with a cup of cold water. Keep it aside.

Prepare Mushroom
~ Wipe and clean mushroom with a wet paper towel. (You can wash, but be sure to dry them well; they soak quite a bit of water when washed)
~ Discard the hard stem part and chop mushrooms in chunks.
~ Heat oil in a pan and add cumin seeds and garlic.
~ Once they splutter, add Onion and fry until translucent.
~ Increase the heat and add mushrooms. Fry for few minutes on high, (about 5 min.) reduce the heat and cook mushroom till half done.
~ In a small bowl add everything that’s under sauce, and mix to make a paste. If required add very little water.
~ Make space in the middle of the pan between the mushrooms and add the sauce that you prepared in above step. Cook the sauce while constantly stirring.
~ Mix it all up with mushrooms.
~ Once cooked mushrooms reduce in size, so now add the salt and switch off the heat.

Putting it all together
In a serving dish, place beans at the bottom. Pour hot mushroom gravy on top. Cover tightly with a lid or foil and leave it for atleast 15 minutes or until ready to serve. Mix it up and serve it warm.

Sending this to Radhika's winter carnival event and Sreelu's Thanksgiving Recipes
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