Oct 30, 2010

Pizza Mummies

Pizza dough -1
1/4 cup pizza sauce
Pitted black olives,
mozzarella string cheese
few spring onions chopped for eyes (optional to make it tweeky)
·        Preheat oven to 350*.
·        Cut the ready pizza dough to round shapes using a cookie cutter.
·        Lay them on baking sheet and toast them. Remove them when they are slightly toasted and crisp.
·        Spread a tbsp of pizza sauce on each slice.
·        Set 2 olives slice in place for eyes and put a spring onion in between to make it tweeky.
·        Pull string cheese into pieces and lay on pizza slices under the "eyes" layering them to look like mummy wrappings. Don’t put too much cheese, leave some gaps.
·        Bake for 8 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Halloween Special

“Happy Halloween” everyone….Well, this is my son’s 3rd year of Halloween and now he roughly knows what Halloween means…”candy.” My main concern this year for Halloween was getting real healthy food down my son’s throat before the big sugar gets to him.

I do try to stop him from consuming massive amounts of chocolates, but it's just no fun if a grown-up is hampering their joy at every turn. Halloween is their turn to party, HARD. They'll be easier going individuals and they'll love you more. :-). Then I had to make some cupcakes for his preschool friends and I enjoyed baking them, but most of all, my son enjoyed seeing me prepare and relished the cupcakes. I also, made some pizza mummies using pizza dough and it came out really delicious and yummy.

Stuffed Bell Peppers

I have also loved to look at those lovely red bell peppers at the supermarket and this time I opted to buy these from the farmers market and made these stuffed bell peppers finally today. I generally make stuff tomatoes but this has become my fav now. Bell peppers are also called Shimla Mirch or Capsicum in India. Capsicums are not only colorful and pretty to look at, they are also rich in Vitamins A and C, are low in fats, and are richer in iron, zinc and thiamine! And what better way to enjoy these delicious peppers than in the form of Stuffed Capsicum Baskets with a tangy Sauce!

Ingredients for stuffing:
3 small-sized bell-peppers (any color)
3 medium potatoes boiled & peeled
1/2 cup onion finely chopped
1/2 cup feta cheese
2 tbsp oil
1/2 cup cilantro
 salt - to taste
1tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
1tsp anardana powder or pomegranate powder
1 tsp garam masala

For the Gravy
2 cups yogurt
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup tomato puree
2 tbsp oil
2 tsp grated ginger
1tsp garlic paste
1/2 tsp garam masala
1 tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 bay leaf
salt to taste
1/2 tsp cumin seeds

Slice the bell peppers in to half and remove all the seeds. Boil the Bell-Peppers in water till tender. Cover and cook for about 10 mins or until they are tender and soft, but retain their shape.

Prepare the Stuffing
Add redchilli powder, anardana powder, garam masala, lemon juice, salt, cilantro to the boiled potatoes, mash them evenly. Take a pan, add 2 tbsp oil and saute the finely chopped onions. When they turn soft and glazed, add them to the potato filling mixture. Mix well and stuff the boiled capsicum with this filling.

Preparing the Gravy
Beat the 2 cups yogurt with 1/4th cup of water and whisk it well.
Heat 2 tbsp oil in a pan, add cumin seeds, and when they start spluttering, add the bay leaves, ginger, garlic paste and the tomato puree. Add all the dry spices for the gravy in the list above, and saute for about 2-3 mins. Add the blended yogurt to this mixture and cook everything on medium-flame for 8-10 mins. Keep stirring.

Baking the Bell-Peppers

Grease a baking pan with non-stick spray. Apply a thin layer of oil to the outside of the stuffed bell-peppers. Now place them at least 2-inches apart on the baking sheet.

Once the gravy is thick enough, remove from flame and allow to cool a little. Drop one heaped tbsp of the gravy on top of each capsicum. Add rest of the gravy all around the bell peppers. Sprinkle the feta cheese on top and bake.

Preheat oven to 375 deg F and bake for 35 mins or until the outer skin becomes broiled and thoroughly cooked. When a tooth-pick passes through the skin without much effort, you know that the peppers are roasted and cooked.

Garnish with cilantro. Serve these Baked & Stuffed Bell Peppers with Chapatis or Paratha’s and Jeera Rice! Makes for 3 to 4 people.

Oct 25, 2010

Vegan Chocolate chip cookies

Any vegetarians who are missing those classic homemade chocolate chip cookies, well now you can indulge without the need for the dairy, eggs, white sugar, or even refined flour if you choose. These cookies can even be made whole wheat pastry flour. One other bonus: these are super-easy to make! I am so happy I found this recipe and tried it.

1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1⁄2 tsp baking soda
1⁄4 cup unrefined sugar(powdered)
1⁄4 tsp salt
1⁄3 cup maple syrup
1 – 1 1⁄2 tsp vanilla extract
1⁄4 cup canola oil (a little generous)
1⁄3 cup chocolate chips
·        Preheat oven to 350°.
·        In a bowl, sift in the flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Add the sugar and salt, and stir until well combined.
·        In a separate bowl, combine the maple syrup & vanilla extract, and then stir in the oil until well combined.
·        Add the chocolate chips to the dry mixture and stir.
·        Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture and mix well. (Do not over-mix).
·        Take 1tsp spoonfuls of the batter and make balls and flatten & place on the baking tray.
·         Bake for 11 minutes, or until just golden (if you bake for much longer, they will dry out). Let cool on the sheet for no more than 1 minute, then transfer to a cooling rack.
Makes 9-12 large to average sized cookies
Note: Unbleached all-purpose flour produces a more classic cookie taste and texture, but you can use whole-wheat pastry flour and still get a delicious cookie.

Oct 20, 2010

Set Dosa

I first tasted set dosa in Bangalore. I never ventured to try them at home until a few months ago when I found the set dosa and sagu (vegetable kurma) recipe in the internet. My first try came out really well and I finally settled at this one. I am glad I found this recipe; this is my all time fav which I don't miss out in eating when I go to Bangalore.


2 cups rice
1 cup parboiled rice (cooked rice)
3/4 cup urad dal
3/4 cup poha/rice flakes
1 tsp methi seeds
11/2 tsp salt or to taste
 Pinch sugar (optional)

1. Soak raw rice, parboiled rice, urad dal and methi seeds in enough water for 6 hours. Separately soak the poha or beaten rice for 1-2 hours.
2. Grind all the ingredients along with poha adding enough water to form a pouring consistency. Leave it overnight to ferment.
3. Add salt & a pinch of sugar just before preparing the dosa and combine well.
4. Pre-heat a non stick tawa till really hot & pour 2 laddles of batter quickly (do not spread the batter) and let it cook gradually over medium heat. It should look like a thick pancake.
5. Flip the dosa over (this is optional) and let it cook further for less than a minute or till it is slightly roasted. Serve hot with chutney and sagu.

Oct 17, 2010

Poha Chivda

Poha/ chivda is a great snack to be eaten during tea time or well anytime of the day. My Mother In Law makes this dish quite often & is one of my hubby's fav snack. It is easy to make & crispy, delicious to munch anytime of the day. 


3 cups thin beaten rice (thin poha)
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 to 2 green chillies, finely chopped or sliced
4 to 6 curry leaves
1 tbsp unsalted peanuts
2 tbsp roasted chana dal (dalia)
1/4 tsp turmeric powder (haldi)
a pinch of asafoetida
1 tsp powdered sugar
a pinch of citric acid (nimbu ka sath)
1 tbsp oil
salt to taste 

1. Heat the oil in a pan. Toss in the mustard and cumin seeds. Let them crackle.
2. Add the green chillies, chana dal & the peanuts. Fry on medium/low level for about 2 minutes or till the peanuts are golden brown in color.
3. Drop in the curry leaves, asafoetida and the turmeric powder. Fry for 1/2 a minute. Stir in the beaten rice/poha and toss on medium level for about 3 minutes or till it is well coated with the oil and spices.
4. Sprinkle salt, citric acid and sugar to taste and toss to mix on high level briefly till well heated through. Remove from heat.
5. Let cool and store in an airtight jar. It can be stored for almost a month.

Oct 13, 2010

Vegetable Manchurian in gravy

Vegetable Manchurian is a popular dish everywhere nowadays.In this recipe i have made the vegetable dumplings & later simmered in a soya tomato sauce based gravy. Relish this Veg Manchurian with fried rice or just as a starter.

     1 cup Grated Cabbage
     1 cup Grated Carrots
     1/2 Onion grated
     1 cup grated cauliflower(optional)
     1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste or grated ginger & garlic
     1/2 cup boiled rice
     2 tbsp all purpose flour
     1/2 tsp salt
     Oil for deep frying
Gravy Ingredients:
     1 tbsp Soya Sauce
     3 tbsp tomato sauce
     1 tsp ginger garlic paste
     1tsp Salt or to taste
     1 tsp Pepper Powder
     1 chopped green chillies
     1/2 cup chopped onions
     1 tbsp Cornflour
     2 tbsp olive oil
     1 cup water or vegetable stock
     2 tbsp spring onions for garnish


   1. Mix grated cabbage, carrots, onions & cauliflower and squeeze all the water out from them.
   2. Mix 2 tbsp all purpose flour, ginger garlic paste and little salt to it.Add the boiled rice and smash it well for a gud binding.
   3. Make small ping pong balls (like koftas) to this above mixture.Bind the koftas well, if they are not tight it will break in the oil while frying.
   Tip: if it breaks add a little more all purpose flour to bind the vegetable mixture.
   4. Heat the oil in a kadhai and deep fry the balls till golden brown, drain and keep aside.

   5. Now in a separate pan heat 2 tbsp oil.
   6. Sauté ginger-garlic paste, green chillies and onions.
   7. Add water, salt, pepper powder,tomato sauce,soya sauce and stir well.Add a tbsp water to the corn flour & mix it in the gravy for thickening.
   8. Gently add the fried balls to the gravy.
   9. Cook the vegetable manchurian for 3-4 minutes and serve hot garnished with spring onions.

Oct 6, 2010

Dahiwale Aloo ki Subzi

Potatoes are my all time favorites. I love them any way you present it. But when it comes to adding yoghurt to any dish it becomes more delicious than ever. This dish is very simple, delightful & mouthwatering.

5 to 6 peeled baby potatoes
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp fennel seeds (saunf)
1/4 tsp asafoetida (hing)
1 bayleaf (tejpatta)
3 cloves (laung)
1’’ cinnamon (dalchini)
3 to 4 curry leaves (kari patta)
1 slit green chilli
2 tsp chilli powder
1 1/2 tsp coriander-cumin seeds (dhania-jeera) powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder (haldi)
1 cup yoghurt (dahi), beaten
2 tbsp ghee
salt to taste
coriander leaves for garnish (dhania)

•    Heat the ghee in a pan and add the cumin seeds, mustard seeds, fennel seeds and asafoetida. When the seeds crackle, add the bay leaves, cloves, cinnamon, curry leaves and green chilli and sauté for a few seconds.
•    Add the peeled baby potatoes, chilli powder, coriander-cumin powder, turmeric & salt & sauté till the masala coats the potatoes evenly.
•    Add ½ cup of water and bring to a boil. Prick the potatoes to see if they are cooked.
•    Add the curds and bring to a boil while stirring continuously so that the gravy does not split.
•    Garnish with the coriander & serve with roti, naan or puri’s