Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Pasta Salad

I am a great fan of Pasta and more so, Pasta salads. I had read Jamie Oliver's version of Pasta salad sometime ago and found it interesting. I tweaked his recipe to include my favourite ingredients and the outcome was superb. This is one of the best meals that can be packed off for a picnic or an outing.


Ingredients:

Whole wheat Pasta twists
Cherry tomatoes
Sweetcorn kernels
Baby Corn
Mixed bell peppers (I have used Red and Yellow here)
Salt & Pepper
Olive Oil for the dressing

Bring a large pan of salted water to boil. Put in the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain and drizzle some olive over it.
Add the other ingredients, mix well and put it in the refriegerator. You may add some italian seasoning as well.
Enjoy your chilled pasta salad as a yummy snack or a meal.

This goes to Presto Pasta Nights started by Ruth of Once upon a feast and currently hosted by The Sweet Kitchen.

Friday, 11 September 2009

Awards Time


I am honoured to have received awards from our lovely friends in the Blogging community. PJ of Seduce your Tastebuds has passed on the Honest Scrap award and Shaista of Mixcalculations has sent me the other awards.
Thanks so much both, I am highly obliged to have received these lovely tokens from you.
I will follow up with the tagging and the rules.

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Low Fat Fruit Custard

When it comes to desserts, I think nothing can beat a simple 'Fruit custard'. This comes handy if you are on a diet and your taste buds demand a yummy low fat dessert. What can be better than lovely fresh fruits dipped in custard sauce? This custard goes well with Skimmed, semi-skimmed and Full fat milk.
My workplace canteen in Mumbai would make this once a week and I was sure to never miss that.
I have tried 'Bird's Eye' custard powder this time and it works well. Back in India, I was a fan of 'Brown & Polson'.

Ingredients:

Semi Skimmed milk
Condensed milk (Nestle Carnations Light condensed milk is Low fat)
Custard Powder
Peeled Fresh fruits of your choice (I have used apples, bananas and grapes)

Make a paste using custard powder and little cold milk. Keep aside.
Heat remaining milk and once it starts boiling, add the custard paste and keep stirring continuously. The milk will start thickening. Remove from heat. Bring it to room temperature.
Add condensed milk to this according to preferences. It gives sweetness and a wonderful flavour.
If you would like to use sugar instead, add it when you put the milk to boil.
Mix the peeled fruits in your custard and put this in the refrigerator.
Relish your chilled fruit custard!!!

Tips:

Do not use papaya. If it is not peeled properly, then the entire custard will turn bitter.
Avoid melons as they leave water.
Chickoo tastes amazing in custards.

This entry goes to 'FIL-MILK' event.

Thursday, 27 August 2009

Phodnichi Dal / Spicy Chana Dal

This is a traditional recipe that has passed on from generations. This dish is made in my house during the 'Gauri-Ganapati' festivities and is offered as 'Prasad'.
'Phodnichi Dal' is the marathi equivalent of 'Tempered dal'. Though I have feasted on this wonderful dish for years, it is only today that I called up my mom and took the recipe.
Today, being the first day of 'Gauri Pooja', I prepared this at home.

Ingredients:

Chana Dal (soaked for 3 hours)
Green Chillies - chopped
Curry Leaves (Kadipatta)
Turmeric Powder
Red Chilly Powder
Asafoetida
Salt to taste
Lime
2 tsp oil
Mustard seeds for tempering
Coriander / Cilantro for garnishing

Soak the Chana dal for 3 hours. Heat oil in a pan and throw in the mustard seeds, asafoetida, curry leaves and green chillies. Saute for some time.
Add turmeric powder, red chilly powder and the soaked chana dal.
Cover and cook. Sprinkle a little water in between.
Once the dal has cooked well, add salt and a generous dash of lime. Garnish with Coriander.
The lip smacking chatpata side dish is ready!!!

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Corn Flakes Chivda

Corn Flakes Chivda / Cereal Chivda / Diet Chivda is a healthier alternative to the traditional chivdas and farsaans available in the market.
My mom often prepares 'Bhadang' - a Maharashtrian style chivda made with Kurmuras. I have given a twist to her recipe to make this yummy cereal chivda.
Apart from Corn Flakes, you can try experimenting with other cereals that are not flavoured. I tried Kellogs Rice Krispies and it worked well. If your Corn Flakes or Kurmura are not fresh, roast them a little or microwave for a few seconds to bring back the crunchiness.
Ingredients:
Plain Corn Flakes
Kurmura (Puffed Rice)
Peanuts
Curry Leaves (Kadipatta)
Red Chilly Powder
Turmeric Powder
Asafoetida
Salt to taste
Very little sugar
Mustard seeds for tempering
2 tsp oil

Heat oil in a wok and put in the mustard seeds, asafoetida and curry leaves.
Throw in the peanuts and saute for some time. If you have roasted peanuts, no need to saute.
Add Red chilly powder, Turmeric powder and salt.
Remove from heat and put in the Corn flakes and Kurmura. Adjust salt and add a little sugar.
Once the chivda has cooled down, pack it in an air tight container.
This healthy Corn Flakes chivda is best had as a tea-time snack.
So, prepare a cup of hot tea, watch your favourite movie, munch on your 'chivda' and say Kudos to 'Guilt-free' snacking!!!
This entry goes to CFK: Evening snacks started by Sharmi of Neivedyam and currently hosted by Divya of Dil Se.

Friday, 21 August 2009

Pav Bhaji

The 2 words 'Pav Bhaji' are mouth watering, whether the dish is in front of you or not. One cannot resist the aroma of this dish when passing through one of those numerous 'Pav Bhaji' stalls in Mumbai. This is my favourite Fast food dish and am sure it's the same for every Mumbaite.
I remember reading somewhere that the dish is a brainchild of the mill workers in Mumbai, who needed a dish that was quick to eat and satisfying instead of the full fledged meals. So, the Roti / Rice was replaced by Pav and the Bhaji was a concoction of various vegetables.
I learnt the authentic version of this dish from my friends, Suvarna & Rohit, and made it today for some of my friends from Mumbai, who were coming over to my place. What better can you serve to fellow Mumbaites than the king of Mumbai street cuisine and a quintessential part of Mumbai culture?
So, here is the authentic version, twisted to make a low cal and low fat meal.

Ingredients:

4 Potatoes
1 small Cauliflower
1 small bowl Green Peas
2 Onions - chopped into fine pieces
3 Tomatoes - pureed
1 small Capsicum - chopped
Turmeric Powder
Ginger Garlic paste
Everest Pav Bhaji Masala (Beg, borrow or steal, but don't use any other brand)
Red Chilly Powder
Pav (Whole wheat Pav or White Pav, according to preferences. If you don't get Pav's in your country, replace with Burger Buns)
Butter (I have used Low fat butter here)
Lemon wedges
Coriander for Garnishing
Salt to taste
2 tsp oil

Boil the Potatoes, Cauliflower and Green peas in a cooker till 4 whistles. Alternatively, use a steamer. Once the veggies have cooled down, smash them and keep aside.
Heat oil, throw in your onions, saute them and follow it with some Turmeric, Ginger Garlic paste and Capsicums. Saute well. You can add salt to make the onions brown faster.
Now, put in your tomato puree. Once this has cooked well, add Red chilly powder and lots of Pav Bhaji Masala. Throw in your smashed veggie and adjust salt. Add a couple of dollops of low fat butter or skip it.
Roast your pavs on a tava using little butter.
Serve your Bhaji with chopped raw onion, lemon wedges, Coriander garnish and accompanied with Pavs.
The healthy, low cal Pav Bhaji is ready. Pav Bhaji is loaded with fats because of the butter content. If you reduce that and substitute with low fat butter, you can enjoy this guilt free fast food. The whole wheat pav's also increase the 'health' quotient' of the dish.

Friday, 14 August 2009

Bread Upma

A quickie dish that can be made with your old bread. When I get bored of making Sandwiches or Omelette's, the tangy 'Bread Upma' comes to my rescue.

Ingredients:
Bread slices (I have used Wholemeal Bread here)
1 small Onion - chopped
1 small Tomato - chopped
2 tsp Red Chilly Powder
1 tsp Turmeric Powder
A pinch of Asafoetida
2 tsp Oil
Cumin seeds
Curry Leaves / Kadipatta
2 Green Chillies -chopped
Coriander / Cilantro for garnishing
Little Curds (optional)
Lemon (optional)
Salt to taste

Cut your Bread into cubes. Heat oil in a Wok.
Once the oil is hot, add Cumin Seeds, Curry leaves, Green chillies and Asafoetida.
Saute the onion for some time and once it turns translucent, put in the tomatoes.
Do not cook the tomatoes much. Add Red chilly powder and Turmeric powder. Sprinkle salt.
Put in your Bread cubes, add a dash of lime and garnish with Coriander.
Transfer to a bowl and sprinkle some Curds on top.
Get ready for snack time!!!

Bharwan Bhindi / Stuffed Okra

I hardly make this dish because we don't get the lovely tender Okra here in London. Last week, I managed to spot some good looking Okra in Wembley and decided to make my favourite 'Bharwan Bhindi'.
Okra / Bhindi / Ladies Finger, as we call it, is a super veggie with very low calories (approximately 25 calories in half a cup) and a powerhouse of nutrients like Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Iron, Calcium and Fiber. So, those of you hitting the Treadmill to loose weight, include this wonderful vegetable in your diet.

Ingredients:

Tender Okra / Bhindi / Ladies Finger
2 tsp Red chilly Powder
2 tsp Coriander Powder
2 tsp Amchur Powder
1 tsp Cumin Powder
1 tsp Garam Masala
1/2 tsp Besan / Gram Flour / Chickpea Flour
2 tsp oil
Salt to taste

Wash the Okra and pat dry. Cut the edges on both sides and make a vertical slit. Keep this aside.
Put all the spices mentioned above in a bowl. Add little besan and a little oil to bind the masalas together and mix well.
Stuff the Okras with this mixture. Keep the remaining mixture aside.
Heat oil in a pan and saute the Okra. Do not put any water. Once the Okra is cooked, add remaining mixture and salt to the sauteed okra. The Okra should be crisp, do not overcook to avoid loss of nutrients.
Serve your spicy Okra with hot Chapatis!!!
This entry goes to 'Side dish for Chapati' event hosted by Viki's Kitchen.

Thursday, 13 August 2009

Bloglist

Discover delicious food on some of the blogs that I follow:

Cooking 4 all Seasons

Indian Vegetarian Kitchen

Kitchen Vibes

Yummy Food

Simple Stir fry

Stir fry is a super healthy dish that can be made in minutes. I make this frequently as a side dish or a salad. The mixed Bell peppers are very high in vitamin C, Brocolli, as we know, is one of the richest vegetable sources of iron, calcium & magnesium and the corns are good sources of Vitamin B.

Ingredients:

Mixed Bell Peppers (Yellow, Green, Red) - cut into thing long strips
Broccoli florets - chopped
Baby Corn - chopped
Sweet Corn
2 tsp Olive oil
Soy sauce for drizzling - to taste

Heat Olive oil in a pan. Saute all your vegetables. The crunch should be retained, do not make them soft.
Driizle Soy sauce over the stir fry. Soy sauce contains salt and gives a wonderful flavour eliminating the need for salt.
Tranfer to a dish and serve this power food as a crunchy side dish!!!

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Vangyache Kaap / Spicy Brinjal Slices

Vangyache Kaap is the marathi equivalent of Brinjal slices or fritters. If you dislike eating Brinjals, do try this dish. This is a Chatpata snack best served in the evening. If you don't have any one of the spice ingredients mentioned in the recipe, skip it and the Vangyache Kaap (Brinjal slices) will still taste good.

Ingredients:

Brinjal / Eggplant / Aubergine - chopped into round slices
Besan (Gram Flour / Chickpea flour)
Red Chilly powder
Coriander powder
Garam Masala
Cumin Powder
Amchur Powder
Chaat Masala
Salt to taste
Oil

Put Besan in a bowl, add all the spice powders and salt to taste. Do not add water.
Dip the Brinjal slices in salted water for 10 minutes.
Pat dry the slices, dip and press them lightly in the Besan mixture, so that both sides of the Brinjal get well coated with Besan.
Heat a Non stick Tava / Wok and shallow fry these Brinjal slices. Don't worry if the Brinjal pieces get browned, they will taste wonderful.
This snack requires little oil, covering the tava with a vessel when shallow frying will also reduce the need for oil.
Serve your 'Vangyache Kaap' hot with a gentle sprinkling of Chaat Masala!!!

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Veg Hakka Noodles

I generally use Ching's Secret's products for Chinese Cooking. Since, they don't do the Whole Wheat Noodles, I tried the 'Blue Dragon' noodles this time around. My recipes usually mention the healthier version of ingredients, however, you can customize them to your preferences.

Ingredients:

Whole wheat noodles (or your regular Noodles)
Cabbage, Carrots, Capsicums (all chopped into thin long strips)
Spring Onions
Olive Oil (or your regular oil)
Soy Sauce
Green Chilly sauce / Red chilly flakes
Black Pepper
Salt to taste

Cook your noodles according to package instructions. Run them through cold water, drizzle some oil and keep aside.
Heat oil in a pan. Saute all the vegetables. Let them retain the crunch.
Add soy sauce, green chilly sauce (or red chilly flakes) and sprinkle salt.
Remember that Soy sauce contains salt, so be careful while adding salt.
Toss in your noodles and saute for some time.
Transfer to a bowl, garnish with green spring onions and enjoy!!!

Monday, 10 August 2009

Rajma Spinach Wraps


This recipe has been adapted from Tarla Dalal's 'Cooking & More'. A wholesome meal that is rich in Vitamin A, Vitamin E, Folic Acid, Iron, Calcium, Fibre and proteins.

Ingredients:

Whole wheat Tortillas / Home made rotis / chapattis
Rajma (Kidney Beans) - soaked and cooked till tender
Chopped Spinach
2 tsp oil
Jeera / Cumin Seeds
Tomatoes
Onions
Ginger Garlic paste
Red Chilly Powder
Coriander Powder
Cumin Power (optional)
Garam Masala
Amchur Powder (Raw Mango powder) / Rajma Masala
Salt to taste
Green chutney (optional)

Soak the Rajma (Kidney beans) overnight. In the morning, put them in a cooker / vessel to boil. Till the Rajma gets cooked, do the chopping of vegetables.
Heat oil in a pan. Add cumin seeds, ginger garlic paste, onions and saute for some time.
Now, add the tomatoes. Once the tomatoes are cooked, sprinkle all the spices.
Put in the rajma and spinach leaves.
After everything has blended well, remove from heat.
Heat a tava / wok and roast the Tortilla or Roti on both sides. If using green chutney, apply it in the centre of the roti. Put in the Rajma Spinach filling and some raw onions.
Roll the roti to make a wrap. You can bind the wrap with a cocktail stick or simply fold with a tissue paper.
Enjoy the Indian style Burrito hot!!!
This entry goes to My Legume Love Affair started by Susan of The Well-Seasoned Cook.

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Kachha Poha Chivda / Dadpey Pohe

This one comes straight from my mother's kitchen. A quick tangy snack to pep yourself!

Ingredients:

Poha (Thin variety)
Chopped tomato
Chopped Onion
Cilantro / Coriander
Roasted Peanuts (optional)
1 tbsp oil
Red chilly powder
Asafoetida
Mustard seeds for tempering
Any pickle avaiable at home, preferably lime (to taste)
Salt to taste

Take a large dish to make the mixing of ingredients easy. Add poha, tomatoes, onions, roasted peanuts, and pickle.
Heat the oil. When the mustard seeds start dancing, put asafoetida and chilly powder. Pour this tempering over the mix in the plate. Add salt to taste.
Now, nicely mix the entire thing. Keep covered for 10 minutes. The tomatoes will leave water and your poha will become soft.
Garnish with coriander and serve. Voila! The tangy snack is ready in minutes!!!

Sprouted Moong Chaat

How about a tangy healthy chaat for breakfast or snacking? Sounds good, isn't it. I have used Moong sprouts here. You can use any sprouts like Matki (Moth beans), Kala Chana (Black chickpeas), Kabuli Chana (White chickpeas) or Chowli (Black eyed peas). There is an amazing increase in nutrients in sprouted foods when compared to the dry ones. In the process of sprouting, the vitamins, minerals and proteins increase substantially with corresponding decrease in calories and carbohydrate content. Now, enough of my gyaan, we'll kickstart the recipe.

Ingredients:

1 cup steamed moong sprouts
1 small chopped tomato
1 small chopped onion
Coriander / Cilantro
Lemon
2 drops of oil
Cumin seeds for tempering
Chilly Powder
Coriander Powder
Chaat Masala / Amchur powder
Usal Misal masala (optional)
Salt to taste (if required)

Steam the sprouts. Heat 2 drops oil in a pan. Add cumin seeds, red chilly powder and coriander powder. Toss in the spouts. Sprinkle some Usal-misal masala if you have, otherwise skip it.
Remove from heat and add the tomatoes, onions and coriander.
Sprinkle generous amount of lime juice and chaat masala.
If required, add salt.
Healthy sprouts chaat is ready! Kudos to guilt free snacking!!!
This entry goes to WYF : Breakfast event.

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Spinach Baby Corn curry

Bright green Spinach with crispy baby corn.....I remember having the yummy Spinach corn sandwich at Cafe Coffee day and decided to give a twist to our traditional Palak Paneer.

Ingredients:

1 Bunch Spinach
1 cup Baby Corn - cut into peices and lightly steamed
1 cup tomato puree
1/2 cup Onion finely chopped
3 cloves garlic chopped
2 Green chillies
1 tbsp Chilly Powder
1 tbsp Coriander Powder
1/2 tbsp Cumin Powder
1/2 tbsp Garam masala
1 tsp Jeera or cumin seeds
2 tbsp Oil
A piece of Lime
Salt to taste

Wash the spinach leaves and blanch i.e. put the Spinach leaves in boiling water for 2 mins and run it through cold water. This will retain the bright green colour of spinach.
Make a puree of the Spinach and green chillies.
Steam the Babycorn lightly, make sure that the crunch is retained.
Heat oil in a pan. Put in the cumin seeds. Saute the garlic.
Now add the onions. Add little salt, this will make the onions water and the onions will cook fast.
Put the Tomato puree and saute till the rawness has gone.
Now, add in the Spinach puree and steamed baby corn.
Sprinkle Coriander Powder, Garam Masala, Cumin Powder and Chilly powder.
Let everything blend well and cook nicely.
Finally, add salt and finish off with a dash of lime.
Relish this with hot Rotis or Parathas!!!

Friday, 31 July 2009

Mixed Vegetable Soup

For the fitness freaks, this one is for you... a low calorie soup with the goodness of anti-oxidants

Ingredients:

Chopped vegetables: 1 Tomato, Some cabbage, Lots of spinach, 1 carrot, 1 small potato, little cauliflower
2 cloves of chopped garlic
1 tsp olive oil.
Salt & Pepper to taste.

Heat Olive oil in the pressure cooker. Add the garlic and saute for some time.
Then add all your veggies and 2 cups of water. Cook for 3 whistles.
Once the veggies have cooled down, blend them. Add water according to desired consistency. You may leave some chunks, if you like it that way.
Add salt & Pepper to the blended vegetables.
Heat the soup and serve..Bon appetite!!!
This entry goes to 'Soup n Juice' event.

Dahi Alu

I learnt this lovely Rajasthani dish from my dear friend Suvarna, who is an excellent cook...

Ingredients:

3 boiled Potatoes
Whisked curd - Full fat or low fat according to individual preferences
2 tsp Ginger Garlic paste
3 tsp Coriander Powder
1 tsp Red chilly powder
1/2 tsp Turmeric
2 tsp Besan (Chickpea flour)
1 cup Tomato Puree
Cumin seeds for tempering
1 tsp oil
Salt to taste

Let's first make the Curds sauce. Whisk the curds, add little water and make it a smooth texture. Put corriander powder, little turmeric and little besan (chickpea flour) to avoid curdling. Leave this aside.
Heat oil in a pan. Add cumin seeds and once they start dancing, put the ginger garlic paste and let it cook till the raw flavour is gone.
Add the tomato Puree and once it has cooked, slowly put the curds sauce and keep stirring. Add the sauce little at a time. Remember to stir continuously to avoid curdling.
Add the boiled potatoes. Sprinkle chilli powder and salt according to preferences.
Enjoy this delicious Dahi Alu with Parathas or Naans!!!

Tomato Pasta

A quick delcious meal for the lazy bums like me....

Ingredients:

Whole wheat Penne Pasta (you can use the regular one)
1 tsp Olive Oil
Crushed Garlic
Red Chilly Flakes
Oregano (or any Italian seasoning)
4 Ripe Vine Tomatoes - chopped
Broccoli florets (optional)
Salt to taste

Boil lots of water in a large pan. Toss in your pasta. Let it cook for 10-12 mins. It should be cooked al dente (half cooked). Drizzle some olive oil over the pasta and keep aside.
Now for the sauce. Heat Olive oil in a pan. Put in the garlic, saute for some time and add the red chilly falkes. If you have broccoli, then add it at this stage.
Put the tomatoes and let them cook till it makes a saucy texture. Sprinkle lots of Oregano and salt to taste.
Add the pasta to the sauce and your yummy tomato pasta is ready!!! Serve it with a stir-fry.
You may add cheddar cheese, I have skipped it to make a low-cal pasta.

This entry goes to Presto Pasta Nights started by Ruth of Once upon a Feast and currently hosted by Katie of One Little Corner of the World.