Archive for the ‘Breakfast’ Category

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There are times when days feel long, tiring, or hectic and you really do not want feel like doing anything. You would expect someone to make a good meal for you or at least you want to cook something very quick. Luckily for those long days, Shakshuka comes to the rescue. You may or may not have heard this name before. I have eaten this dish (with different variation) few times in Pune (India). In short, this dish is a variation of an Indian egg curry without boiling eggs. Eggs are poached in flavorful juices of tomato and spices. Shakshuka is believed to be of Jewish, Tunisian or Middle Eastern origin. I have tried three versions of this dish – with feta cheese, with coconut milk and a combination of both. This is best enjoyed with bread but you can have anything like rice, roti, naan, pita bread along with it. The variation I made from the original dish is to cook eggs for a long time as I don’t like runny eggs but the original dish requires the egg to be runny and less cooked.

Ingredients :-

Eggs, large 6
Onion, large finely chopped
Red bell pepper,finely chopped
Garlic cloves, thinly sliced 3
Fresh Ginger, grated 1 tablespoon
Black Pepper 1/4 teaspoon
Green Chilies, Chopped 2
Tomatoes, finely chopped 4-5
Garam Masala 1/2 teaspoon
Coconut Milk 1/2 cup
Cilantro, Finely chopped 2 tablespoons
Turmeric powder 1/2 teaspoon
Paprika 1/2 teaspoon
Olive Oil 2 tablespoon
Salt  to taste
Parsley leaves, dried or fresh 1 tablespoon

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Method :-

  • Heat oil in a pan over medium heat. Add onion and bell pepper and saute it until soft.
  • Add ginger, garlic and green chilies and saute for 2 more minutes.
  • Add turmeric, black pepper, paprika and garam masala and cook it for 1 minute.
  • Add tomatoes and keep sauteing until the tomatoes get fully cooked.
  • Add coconut milk and stir it gently. Let it simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Add salt according to your taste and give it a quick stir.
  • Make well for each egg and crack the egg one by one directly into the simmering sauce. Lower the heat to medium low, cover the pan and cook the eggs until they have a faint layer of white over the yolks. I cooked it for more five minutes until the eggs are fully set. 
  • Garnish it with cilantro and dried parsley leaves over the top and enjoy it warm with any kind of bread or rice you want.

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Notes:-

  • You can even bake this dish once you put egg in it. For that preheat the oven to 375 degree Fahrenheit and use a oven proof skillet to cook the dish. Cook it for about 10 minutes.
  • You can add any type of cheese on top of it but feta cheese goes best with this dish.
  • Spiciness of the dish can be modified according to taste. I like to have this dish with some sprinkled red chilies on it.

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While browsing through the food pictures from last year, I came across above picture and thought to post it on the blog. Its not one of the best pictures I clicked but I did not get time to bake this cake again for new pictures. There are too many dishes to experiment with and hence most of the times I am not able to re-create my old recipes. I love this cake for its sweet and tangy taste. The sweetness comes from blueberry and tangy taste comes from fresh squeezed orange juice. In the picture you can see how hastily I cut the cake before it cooled down. I am just like that – impatient. I couldn’t wait for the cake to cool down to have a good slice as I wanted to taste it so badly. That will be my advice and tip for any cake – make sure that the cake is not hot/warm and is cooled before cutting the slice from it. You will get the best slice of cake if kept in freeze for at least one hour.You can relish this cake with a cup of milk, coffee or tea. This cake can be a prefect gift to someone you love, someone special like mom as mother’s day is nearby. 

Ingredients :-

All purpose flour 1 and 1/2 cup minus 3 tablespoon
Blueberries 1 cup
Orange juice 1/2 cup
Orange zest 1 tablespoon
Sugar 1 cup
Baking powder 1 and 1/2 teaspoon
Baking soda 1/2 teaspoon
Salt 1/2 teaspoon
Yogurt 1/2 cup
Cornstarch 3 tablespoon
Oil 1/2 cup
Vanilla essence 1 teaspoon

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Method :-

  • Preheat oven to 350 degree Fahrenheit.
  • Coat a 9×5 inch loaf pan well with non-stick cooking spray or butter. You can even line the bottom of pan with parchment paper.
  • Wash the blueberries and pat them dry with a kitchen towel. Add some all purpose flour to the blueberries once they are dry and give a good mix. Keep it aside.
  • Sieve the all purpose flour/maida along with cornstarch/cornflour twice to ensure the even mixing.
  • Mix yogurt and sugar in other bowl and add baking powder and baking soda and let it rest for 2-3 minutes so that mixture turns bubbly and frothy.
  • After the mixture turns frothy add oil, vanilla and orange juice to it. Mix well.
  • Add the flour mixture one tablespoon at a time to the wet mixture and mix well. Do not over mix.
  • In the end add the blueberries and orange zest and fold them gently.
  • Put the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake for 45-50 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  • Allow to cool it on wire rack. Let it completely cool before slicing and serving.

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Notes :-

  • You can use orange flavored orange yogurt to enhance the taste
  • You can use cranberries instead of blueberries or mix of both as as both goes well with orange 
  • If you see the top browning too fast loosely cover the cake with aluminium foil.

sesame bread 1

Sometimes, I feel lazy to cook a wholesome meal but still want something quick, easy & light to eat. In such situations, sandwiches rescues me as it fills up the tummy and is very easy to make. Sandwiches are scrumptious, healthy, requires less cooking effort, and wholesome food. There are various types of sandwiches made around the world. In this recipe, I have tried my hand on a different type of sandwich called as ‘open sandwich’.  Technically, sandwiches are closed or clubbed between two breads but lets try something else. Its an excellent recipe for breakfast or snacks which will probably be loved by different age groups, especially kids. This crispy sandwich can be relished hot with chutney or sauce. I have tried my hand on a healthy version of sandwich by using whole wheat bread and vegetables. I hope you’ll like it.

Ingredients :-

Whole Wheat Bread Slices
4
Potato, boiled and mashed
1 big
Mushroom, finely chopped
1/2 cup
Garlic paste
1 teaspoon
Ginger Paste
1 teaspoon
Salt
to taste
Cilantro
1 tablespoon
Carrot, finely chopped
1/2 cup
Green bell pepper, finely chopped
1/4 cup
Tomato, finely chopped
1/2 cup
Onion, finely chopped
1 medium
Sesame seeds
1 tablespoon
Black Pepper Powder
1/2 teaspoon
Lemon Juice
1 teaspoon
Dried Parsley Leaves
1 teaspoon
Red Chilli Powder
1/2 teaspoon
Olive Oil
1 teaspoon + 1 tablespoon

Method :-

  • Heat the oil in a pan and add onion to it. Saute the onion on medium flame till they turn translucent.
  • Add ginger, garlic paste and saute it for 2-3 minutes till the raw smell disappears.
  • Add the chopped mushroom, carrot, green bell peppers and saute it for 3-4 minutes till all vegetables are 3/4th done.
  • Add chopped tomatoes, parsley leaves, red chilli powder, black pepper powder,lemon juice,salt and mix it well.
  • Turn off the heat and let it cool. Divide this mixture into four equal portion.
  • Add salt, cilantro and black pepper powder into mashed potatoes and mix it well.
  • Apply butter to bread slices. Put 1 portion of the mixture into bread and spread it evenly.
  • On top of this mixture spread the mashed potatoes evenly and sprinkle generous amount of sesame seeds on top of it.
  • Repeat this for all bread slices.
  • Place each open sandwich slice on a non-stick tava (griddle) with the topping facing downwards and cook, using ¼ tsp of oil, till the topping turns golden brown in color.
  • Turn over and cook till the other side turns golden brown in color.
  • Cut each bread sandwich into 2 equal portions diagonally and serve immediately with ketchup or chutney. Enjoy it hot!

sesame breadNote :-

  • You can also bake these sandwiches in a preheated oven for 4-5 minutes.
  • If you want you can add cheese on top of it. That will taste more delicious.
  • I have used whole wheat but you can try this with any type of bread.

ravaidli1

South Indian food like Idli, Dosa, Uttapam are amongst my favorite breakfast items as they are nutritious, low in calories and filling. I remember, as a child, these dishes in our home were treated as delicacies. Even when we use to go out for dinner (rarely) my 1st choice would be sada (plain) dosa (savory crepes). I am certainly in love with this cuisine for its health benefits (one year to ninety years old can have it as its easy on digestion) and delightful taste. Idlis are soft, savory cakes which you can enjoy with sambhar (Spiced lentil veggie soup) and any type of chutney. Normally idlis are made from a fermented batter of rice and skinless split black gram (dhuli urad dal) which requires at least 2 days of preparation. Specifically, Rava idli is very easy, quick and handy to make as you can find most of the ingredients easily in your pantry. It is made of semolina (cream of wheat/Rava/Sooji) and acts as a savior when you don’t have any regular idli batter in hand. So lets start with the recipe.


Ingredients :-

Semolina/Rava
2 cups
Sour Curd
1/2 cup
Coconut Oil/any other
3 tablespoons
Fresh Coconut, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons
Urad Dal (Split skinless black gram)
1 teaspoon
Chana Dal (Split Bengal Gram)
1 teaspoon
Broken Cashews
1 1/2 teaspoon
Mustard Seeds
1 teaspoon
Green chillies, seeded and chopped
3-4
Curry Leaves
4-5
Ginger, finely chopped 1 inch piece
Salt
To taste
Fruit Salt (Eno) 1 tablespoon
Water
1 Cup

Method :-

  • Dry roast the semolina/rava in a heated pan.
  • Combine the semolina, curd, water, 2 tbsp of oil and salt together in a bowl. Whisk it continuously so that there is no lump. Keep aside for 30 minutes.
  • Heat the remaining 1 tbsp of oil in a small pan for seasoning. Add the urad dal, chana dal  and cashews. Fry it till they turn brown in color. Add mustard seeds.
  • When the seeds crackle, add the coconut, green chillies and curry leaves and saute for a few seconds.
  • Pour this  seasoning over the semolina batter and mix well.
  • Add the fruit salt and sprinkle a little water over it. When the bubbles form, mix it gently.
  • Pour spoonfuls of the batter into greased idli moulds (don’t let the batter fill till the brim) and steam on medium flame for 8 to 10 minutes. Check by inserting tooth pick in center of idli. If it comes out clean then its cooked.
  • Serve hot with any chutney of your choice. Below I have mentioned one of the chutney which goes well with this dish.

ravaidliwithchutney

For Onion Tomato Chutney

Ingredients :-

Onion (Preferably red onion), chopped
1 cup
Tomato, chopped
3/4 cup
Red chillies
3-4
Ginger, chopped
2 teaspoons
Oil
2 teaspoons
Salt
to taste
Curry Leaves
5-6
Mustard Seeds
1 teaspoon
Urad Dal (Split skinless black gram)
1 teaspoon
Chana Dal (Split Bengal Gram)
1 teaspoon

Method :-

  • Heat 1 tsp of oil in a pan. Add half of the curry leaves and  red chillies followed by the onions.
  • Add some salt and fry till they become translucent.
  • Add the chopped ginger followed by the tomatoes.
  • Fry till they become soft and remove from the heat.
  • Let it cool and grind it to a fine paste.
  • Heat other teaspoon of oil in a pan.
  • Add rest of the curry leaves and red chillies and saute it till fragrant.
  • Add urad dal and chana dal and let it brown.
  • Add mustard seeds and let it splutter. Switch off the heat.
  • Add the tempering/seasoning to the chutney and serve with idlis.

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Notes :-

  • If you don’t have eno use 1/4 – 1/2 tsp of baking soda. In this case, the batter needs to be fermented for minimum of 25-30 minutes to raise.
  • I always prefer using eno compare to soda since it soothes the stomach. It is available in any Asian/Indian store.
  • Curd should be sour enough to make good tasty idli otherwise it tastes bland.
  • You can add grated carrot, peas or chopped cilantro/coriander to add more flavor.
  • To get Idli with cashew visible on top first place one roasted cashew in each moulds and pour batter on top.
  • Consistency of batter and adding eno plays a major role in soft and fluffy idli.
  • You can drizzle some drop of ghee (clarified butter) on idlis while serving.
  • Idli moulds can be found in any indian store.