Archive for the ‘International’ Category

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As a child, I would have never thought in my dreams that I would grow up and do any kind of baking. It was that science which would be better left untouched. I remember my mother used to bake simple no-frill cakes on special occasions and she used to literally force me to help her. I cant tell you how much I hated being helper to my mom in the kitchen especially while baking.Those days we didn’t have any hand mixer or blender at our house to mix the batter and we had to mix it with a simple spatula. That was a very hard job to do as my mom use to make cake with malai(If interested in malai you can read more here wiki) and mixing it in a smooth mixture was a tedious thing to do. I use to run away as soon as mom would start baking. Such was the fright!  And now I am here trying to bake my own breads and buns. I am surprised with the transformation since now I am trying to bake so many different things. There is always something to learn and I am certainly proud that I am ready to experiment or try new things. The fresh smell of baked goodies motivates me to try various things.

Coming back to the recipe I wanted to bake a burger bun since long. This multi grain burger bun and tofu patty makes a complete hearty and healthy meal. These buns are fresh and many  times better than the store bought buns as it is healthier due to use of multi grain flour and less sweeter. They taste so delicious that you can eat as-is without any patty or other toppings. Once you bake at home you will never look back to the store bought ‘unhealthy’ buns. The patty I made contains black bean and tofu which is not only healthy but also very yummy. You can enjoy the buns with any patty of your choice

Ingredients :-

For Whole Wheat/Multigrain  Buns :-

Whole Wheat/Multigrain Flour
1.5 Cups
All purpose flour
1.5 cups
Baking Soda
1/2 teaspoon
Salt
1 teaspoon
Active yeast
1 1/2 teaspoon
Warm water
1.5 cups
Sugar
2 teaspoon
Olive/Vegetable Oil
3 tablespoon

For Black Bean and Tofu Patties :-

Black Beans, boiled and drained
1 Cup
Extra Firm Tofu
1 block
Green Bell Pepper/Capsicum, finely chopped
1/4 Cup
Onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup
Garlic Powder
1 teaspoon
Black Pepper Powder
1/2 teaspoon
Garam Masala Powder
1 teaspoon
Bread Crumbs
1/4 Cup
Salt
to Taste
Oil, For frying
As needed

For Assembling the Burger :-

Multigrain Buns
8
Onion, Cut into roumdels
1 medium
Tomatoes, Cut into roundel
2 medium
Tomato Ketchup
As required
Mayonnaise
As required
Cheese Slices
As required
Avocado Slices
As required

 

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Method :-

For Whole Wheat/Multigrain  Buns :-

  • Warm the water in microwave. It should be lukewarm.
  • Take half cup of water in a bowl and add sugar and yeast to it. Mix it well and keep it aside until it starts frothing. It will take about 10 minutes.
  • In another big bowl take wheat flour, all purpose flour, baking soda and salt and mix it until well combined.
  • Add olive oil, yeast mixture to it and knead it well. In between you can add some warm water if the mixture seems dry.Make a smooth and soft dough.
  • Place the dough in a large greased bowl and cover it with dampen tissue paper or kitchen towel in a warm place for about 1 and half hour. By that time dough should have risen to double size. If not keep it for half an hour more.
  • Punch the risen dough with your hands and knead it for 2 minutes. Divide the dough into 6-8 equal parts depending on how big you want.Shape them into smooth balls. Sprinkle some sesame seeds on top and brush it with olive oil.
  • Place the balls into greased tray  equal distance and keep them in warm place so that they can rise again in double size. This method is proofing. Don’t forget to cover the dough balls with dampen towel.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degree fahrenhite/ 180 degree Celsius  and bake the buns for about 25 minutes or until the top is lightly browned.
  • Take it out and keep the tray on wire rack. At first the buns will seem hard but they will turn soft as soon as they cool down. Enjoy it with your favorite patties or just like that.They taste so good on own.

For Black Bean and Tofu Patties :-

  • If using raw black beans soak them for about 2-3 hour and blanch them or cook in pressure cooker for 10 minutes.
  • Heat 1 teaspoon oil in pan. When hot add chopped onion and green bell pepper. Saute it for about 2 minutes and take it out in a bowl and let it cool.
  • Add half of the tofu and boiled beans in food processor and process it for a coarse mixture.
  • In the bowl which you put sauteed vegetables add the tofu and black bean mixture. Also crumble the remaining tofu and add it in this mixture.
  • Add the garlic powder, garam masala powder, black pepper powder and salt to the mixture and combine it well. Refrigerate it for about half an hour.
  • Take out the mixture from freeze when you are ready to make patties. Add bread crumbs to the mixture. Divide the mixture in equal parts and shape them into patties
  • In a griddle add about 1 tablespoon of oil and place the patties into it when oil is hot.
  • Cook evenly on both sides and keep it aside

For Arranging the Burger :-

  • In the same pan in which you made patties add the onion roundels with some dash of salt and drizzle of oil and cook for 1 minute.
  • Cut the burger buns horizontally into half and toast them on the griddle.
  • In a small bowl mix the mayonnaise and tomato ketchup to form homogeneous mixture.
  • Put mayonnaise ketchup mixture in both part of toasted buns. Add tomato roundels and put a pinch of salt and peppercorns.
  • Place the patty on top of it and then add avocado slices. On top add the sauteed onion roundels and place the other half of toasted bun on top.
  • If you want to add cheese slices place it on top of patties. I didn’t want the cheese so I skipped it.

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Notes :-

  • Proofing is very important for the buns. Proofing means the final rise of dough before baking. So don’t skip it.
  • You can even brush the buns with melted butter to get shiny crust.
  • You can use canned beans instead of fresh if you are running out of time.
  • If patty doesn’t hold the shape you can roll them in bread crumbs before grilling.

 

 

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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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Burger! It’s mostly termed as a junk and unhealthy food but it can be as healthy as any food depending on the condiments and ingredients you pick and choose. A homemade burger, or for that matter any dish, can be tailor-made depending on individual choices. Like for example if you want to skip mayonnaise you can add homemade guacamole (instead of store bought since I like it fresh) which is not only healthy and natural but delicious too. I have attempted to make the burger as healthy and yummy as possible that you will probably not miss the burger from your favorite joint. Am I exaggerating? Nope, cause it tastes damn delicious and is full of healthy & nutritious ingredients which will make you forget all the guilt you have of burger. It’s free of trans fat, chemical & preservatives which you get in frozen burger patties. Here I have not used any cheese or mayonnaise, but of course if you are making this for kid you can’t omit cheese as its good for them. The key ingredient of this dish is soy granules which is made from soy beans and is protein rich. The Soy beans assist in controlling blood sugar and cholesterol levels. Besides the popular Tofu (Bean Curd), Soybeans are consumed in direct and indirect way in Indian and Asian cuisine. In most Indian grocery stores in the USA, you will be able to find Soy sauce, Soy nuggets, Soy granules, etc. So what are you waiting for. Do try this and let me know how you find it.

Ingredients :-

Soy granules 1 cup
Burger buns 4
Oil 4 teaspoons
Salt to taste
Onion 3 medium
Green Chilies, Chopped 2
Tomato Ketchup 6 tablespoons
Mustard Paste 2 tablespoons
Cilantro, finely chopped 2 tablespoons
Potatoes, Boiled and grated 2 medium
Fresh whole wheat bread crumbs 1/2 cup
Red Chili Powder 1 teaspoon
Tomatoes, Sliced 2 medium

Method :-

  • Roast the Soy granules for 4-5 minutes on medium heat until lightly roasted. Allow it to cool.
  • Soak the granules in sufficient water for 10 minutes. Squeeze the water out and put it in a bowl. Keep it aside.
  • Chop one onion and cut other two into roundels.
  • Heat two teaspoon of oil in a pan. Add chopped onion and green chilies and saute.
  • Add soy granules, two tablespoons of tomato ketchup, one tablespoon of mustard paste, salt, chopped cilantro and continue sauteing till dry.
  • Remove from heat and transfer into a bowl. Keep aside to cool it slightly. Add boiled and grated potatoes, bread crumbs and mix properly. Divide the mixture into four equal proportions.
  • Take one portion of the mixture and shape it into patties. Roll it into some more breadcrumbs and keep aside. Similarly make rest of 3 patties.
  • Heat little oil on a griddle pan. Place the patties on the pan and cook it both sides until golden brown.
  • Separate onion roundels into rings. Heat two teaspoons of oil in a pan and saute the rings until golden brown. Drain and set aside.
  • Cut the burger buns. Heat a tawa/griddle and roast the burger buns. Apply the remaining tomato ketchup to the burger bases, place some tomatoes roundel, caramelized onion rings over it and then place the patties over it.
  • I didn’t have lettuce so I sauteed some broccoli florets with garlic in one teaspoon of olive oil and placed it in top of patties. These broccoli are also side dish for burgers.
  • Similarly prepare rest of the buns. Apply mustard paste to the top half of the burger bun and place over it.
  • Secure with a toothpick and serve hot.

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Notes :-

  • Amount of chilies depend on your taste so you can increase or decrease accordingly.
  • Here I have used sauteed broccoli as side but if you want to go traditional but healthy way you can make baked potato wedges.
  • To make the burger even more healthier you can use one parboiled grated carrot to the mixture. 

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Being mother is hard, fun, challenging and life changing. Each day you learn so many things from your child, from the circumstances, etc., you hardly get time to enjoy yourself by having your own personal time. When things are tough, you have to find alternate ways of keeping yourself busy and overcome unwanted / unpleasant situations. Luckily, there is food to the rescue. I eat or make food when I feel sad, overwhelmed, exhausted, happy, etc. Creating something new and healthy gives inner satisfaction to my soul. Sometimes they do not turn out as I wanted (and I get mad) but slowly I start analyzing positives and learn from mistakes.

Coming back to this post, it’s one of the most delicious dishes and can be made in a jiffy. This recipe makes good use of the leftover rice (brown or white) which otherwise might be sitting idle in refrigerator. I always like fresh ingredients hence using fresh corn in this recipe will make it taste even better. The patties can form base for many dishes like burgers, wraps, sandwiches, subs etc. I have used them in the form of a wrap and it becomes the wholesome dinner/lunch OR can be enjoyed as snacks with a hot cup of tea.  You can even add grilled shredded chicken or scrambled egg to make it more hearty and meaty. The combination is endless so get your creative mind rolling and try it on. It also works well with picky toddlers/kids who likes specific type of food.

Ingredients :-

For Corn Rice Patties/Cakes:-

Fresh boiled corn/Canned corn kernels 1 and 1/2 cup 
Oil 4 tablespoons
Onions, chopped 2 medium
Cilantro, finely chopped 2-3 tablespoon
White/Brown rice, boiled 1 and 1/2 cup
Potatoes, peeled and boiled 2 medium
Salt to taste
Green chillies, finely chopped 2
Crushed red chillies 1/2 teaspoon
Fresh bread crumbs 1 cup

For Wrap/Roti

Whole wheat flour 1 cup 
Oil 1 tablespoon
Salt a pinch

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Method :-

  • If you are using fresh corns take out the kernel and boil it until soft. Discard the extra water.
  • Heat 2 tablespoon oil in a nonstick pan. Add onions and saute it until onion turns light brown.
  • Add the corn kernels and saute for 2-3 minutes.
  • Take out the onion corn mixture in a bowl.
  • Add rice, mashed potatoes,salt, green chilies, crushed red chilies, cilantro leaves and mix well mashing the contents slightly.
  • Add the fresh breadcrumbs and mix well. Keep the mixture aside for 10-15 minutes.
  • Heat 2 tablespoon oil in another non stick pan. Divide the mixture into equal parts and make oval or round shape patties/cakes out of it.
  • Place the patties on the second pan and cook each side till both sides are equally golden.
  • Serve hot with any sauce, salsa or tomato ketchup. 
  • For oven spread the patties in a baking sheet and spray a little oil over them.Then cook them in a preheated oven of 350 degrees Celsius for 15 minutes.
  • If you want charred effect broil it both sides for 2 minutes each.

For wraps :-

  • Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and knead into a soft dough using enough water. Keep aside.
  • Divide the dough into four equal portions and roll out each portion into a round circle approx of 8 inch diameter using a little flour.
  • Heat a non-stick griddle and lightly cook the rotis/wraps on both the sides. Keep aside.

Assembling :-

  • Cut julienne of a medium onion.
  • Just before serving warm a roti on griddle.
  • Place the roti/wrap on a clean, dry surface and spread one teaspoon of green chutney, ketchup or any of your favorite sauce or salsa on the wrap/roti.
  •  Arrange 2 patties/cakes in a row in the center of the roti/wrap
  • Spread some onion julienne over the patties.
  • Roll the wrap tightly and serve it hot.

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Notes :-

  • Instead of rotis you can try this rolls with soft tacos.
  • You can even deep fry the patties/cakes.
  • Amount of chillies can be increased or decreased according to your taste. 
  • If you like the taste of mint leaves you can add some of it in patties.
  • Here I have used yogurt sauce for the rolls. If you want you can follow the recipe for yogurt sauce here Falafel – The Healthy Way

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Ah! It’s been such a long time, since my last post was published 7 months ago. I have been consistently inconsistent in publishing recipes in 2015 (its typical me). We traveled a lot in 2015 and it was very difficult to keep up with posting recipes(Again one lame excuse). Last year I striked-off one item from my bucket list of visiting Switzerland. It was my dream since I was 10. The mesmerizing beauty and yummy food (especially cheese and milk) made this trip very awesome. Now coming back to my post, this is a very easy-peasy recipe. Once you make the pesto its very easy to assemble the sandwich.  I personally like basic pesto a lot since you can make endless dishes out of it. I hope and wish to write more dishes this year :). For basil pesto you can find here https://love2experiment.wordpress.com/2015/05/28/baked-pesto-pasta-muffins/

Ingredients :-
For Sandwich :-

Basil Pesto
1/2 cup
Bread Slices
8
Tomato, cut in roundels
1 small
Onion, cut in rings
1 small
Zucchini, cut in roundels
1 small
Eggplant, cut in roundels
1 small
Mozzarella Cheese, Shredded
1/4 cup
Salt
to taste
Black Pepper Powder
to taste
Garlic Powder
1/4 teaspoon
Olive Oil
as required

For Roasted Baby Potatoes :-

Baby Potatoes 8-10
Cherry Tomatoes
4-5
Crushed black Peppercorns
1 teaspoon
Sea Salt
to taste
Olive oil
2 tablespoon
Basil Pesto
1/2 cup

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Method :-

For Sandwich :-

    • Marinate the zucchini and eggplant with salt, pepper, 1 teaspoon of olive oil and garlic powder.
    • Heat the grill pan and spread one teaspoon of oil uniformly.
    • Grill the zucchini and eggplant on both sides till they are 3/4th done.
    • Spread the pesto on each bread slices uniformly
    • Now arrange the grilled eggplant, zucchini, onion rings and tomato roundels uniformly on 4 bread slices.
    • Spread mozzarella cheese equally on the four bread slices
    • Cover it with rest of the four slices.
    • Spray oil on panini press/Sandwich maker and grill the sandwiched till well toasted and golden in color.
    • Enjoy it hot with ketchup.

For Roasted Baby Potatoes :-

    • Preheat oven at 350 degree Fahrenheit.
    • Marinate potatoes with sea salt, 1 teaspoon of olive oil, crushed peppercorns in a cake pan and mix well
    • Put the pan in preheated oven and bake for 40-45 minutes.
    • Remove the cake pan from oven.
    • Add the basil pesto and cherry tomatoes to it and bake it again for 5 minutes
    • Transfer the mixture into serving platter and serve immediately

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Note :-

  • You can add red chili flakes for roasted potatoes if you want to make it spicy.
  • You can use any grilled vegetables as you like.
  • You can even parboil the potatoes and then give it a quick stir fry before adding pesto.
  • You can use potato instead of baby potatoes. Take four of them and cut it into wedges.
  • You can use any pesto other than basil. It can be homemade or ready made. But I guarantee once you try it on your own you will never turn towards the ready made ones.

 

 

DSC_0581Sometimes I look for recipes which are fun as well as easy to make and one of the first things which comes to my mind is ‘Pasta’. Most of of the people like Pasta and there are so many variations of Pasta dishes made across the world. Macaroni and cheese is favorite amongst kids so I thought to give it a try by baking macaroni cheese pasta made in muffin pan with pesto and lots of veggies. This can be eaten as a snack, for lunch box or as a dinner. You can put veggies of your choice. The muffin pasta contains many layers and the aroma which comes out of this dish will surely remind you of  a pleasant SPRING day with fresh scent all over. In this recipe, I have mixed the boiled macaronis with homemade pesto. You can skip making pesto but, personally, I like (any type of) pesto such as Basil, Parsley, Cilantro Lime, Sun dried tomato, etc. I have made basil pesto but you can use any type of pesto or even pizza sauce. So what are you waiting for? Just try this recipe for your kids, family or friends. I am sure no one can eat just one and they will thank for trying this recipe. 

Ingredients :-

For Basil Pesto:-

Basil Leaves, Gently packed 2 cup
Garlic cloves, Roughly chopped 2  large
Walnut, Toasted and chopped 1/2 cup
Olive oil 1/3 cup 
Parmesan Cheese, Grated 1/2 cup
Salt 1/2 teaspoon
Black Pepper Powder 1/4 teaspoon
Lemon Juice 1 tablespoon

For Macaroni Muffins:-

Small Macaroni Pasta 1/2 cup
Basil Pesto 1/4 cup
Mozzarella Cheese, Grated 1/2 cup
Parmesan Cheese, Grated 2 tablespoon
Bread Crumbs
1/4 cup
 Olive Oil
3 tablespoon
Chopped Vegetables 1 cup or As needed
Oregano/Italian herb 1 teaspoon
Salt to taste
Chilli Flakes, Optional 1 teaspoon

Method :-

  • Place basil, olive oil, walnuts, garlic and salt in blender and blend it until mix well.
  • Add Parmesan cheese and blend until smooth. Keep it aside.
  • Preheat the oven at 375 degree Fahrenheit/ 190 degree Celsius.
  • Boil macaronis as per package instructions. I generally add 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 teaspoon of salt in the water so that pasta doesn’t stick to each other.
  • Drain it and keep it aside for cooling.After it cools down mix it with pesto and mozzarella cheese.
  • Grease a muffin pan with olive oil and dust it generously with bread crumbs. Tap off the extra breadcrumbs if any.
  • Fill the muffin pan with macaroni cheese mixture till half of the muffin holder size.
  • Top it with vegetable of your choice. I used red and green bell peppers(capsicum), blanched spinach, blanched broccoli, onion and tomato
  • Top again with mozzarella. Then evenly add Parmesan on each muffin holders.
  • Sprinkle bread crumbs on top of cheese and drizzle some olive oil on top of it.
  • Bake it for 15-18 minutes or until golden crust is formed.
  • Cool down for few minutes and spoon out carefully.
  • Enjoy it with side of Tomato/any soup and bread sticks or Enjoy it alone.

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Notes :-

  • You can blanch the vegetables in the same water in which you have boiled the pasta
  • You can even use spaghetti or noodle for this dish.
  • Don’t forget to dust the pan with breadcrumbs as it will help in holding the shape and crusty texture. Otherwise muffins will become soggy due to the water released from vegetables. 

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What came first – Chicken or Egg? A million dollar question? But who cares as long as we are getting the delicious recipes out of it. The middle east cuisine is one of my favorite and I love it very much. The love for Shawarma, Hummus, Falafel, Tahini, Pita, Baklava gets me drooling. The word Shawarma comes from the Turkish word Cevirme which means to rotate. The process of cooking Shawarma involves shaving off the meat stack with a large knife (an electric knife or a small circular saw), dropping to a circular tray below to be retrieved. The recipe I have tried is an easy version of Shawarma style of cooking by grilling the chicken. Its easy and takes ~ 30 minutes of total cooking time (10 minutes for assembling ingredients and marinating & 20 minutes for cooking). The marination time of course depends on you. The more time you leave chicken for marination, the tastier and juicier the dish will be. The cooking can be done either by grilling or broiling in the oven and hence it can feed lot of people at the same time during parties. The chicken can be served with Pita bread as a wrap or sandwich or can be served with flavored rice and salad. Most of the spice used here can be easily found in your pantry especially an Indian pantry like cumin seeds, coriander, paprika or red chilli powder. So what are you waiting for? Gather all your ingredients and try this for a hearty dinner. I am sure you will make again and again.

Ingredients :-

For Marinade:-

Greek Yogurt/Hung Curd 1/2 cup
Cumin Powder 1 teaspoon
Coriander Powder 1 teaspoon
All spice/ Chicken Masala 1 tablespoon
Garlic paste 1  tablespoon
Paprika 1 teaspoon
Red Chilli Powder to taste
Salt to taste
Olive oil 1 tablespoon
Lemon Juice 1 tablespoon

For Shawarma Wrap:-

Chicken Thighs
1 pound
Green Bell Pepper, Sliced
1/4 cup
Cucumber, Sliced
1/4 cup
Onion, Sliced 1/4 cup
Tomatoes, Sliced
1/4 cup
 Yogurt Sauce, Recipe below
2-3 tablespoon for each Pita
Hummus 2-3 tablespoon
Pita Bread
2-3
Salt to taste

For Yogurt Sauce:-

Greek Yogurt
1/2 cup
Lemon Juice
1 tablespoon
Olive Oil 1 tablespoon
Garlic, Finely Chopped
1 clove
Parsley, Finely Chopped
1 tablespoon
Cilantro/Coriander Leaves, Finely Chopped 1 tablespoon
Black Pepper Powder
1/4 teaspoon
Salt to taste

Method :-

  • Combine all the ingredients mentioned under Marinade section in a big bowl.
  • Wash and pat dry the chicken with tissue paper.
  • Cut long stripes out of it.
  • Now add the chicken stripes in the marinade bowl and give it a good mix.
  • Refrigerate the chicken at least for 1 hr or for whole night.
  • Now grill the chicken on a grill pan or on griller if you have any. You can also bake it in oven for 15-20 minutes at 350 degree Fahrenheit and then broil it on both sides for 3-5 minutes depending on your oven heat.
  • Meanwhile combine all the ingredients under Yogurt sauce and give it a good mix. Refrigerate it until use.
  • Now warm the pita bread on pan for 2-3 minutes.
  • Cut the pita bread into half.Now you can see pockets of it
  • Spread the yogurt sauce in the pockets of pita bread.
  • Arrange the sliced vegetables into it and then add chicken strips.
  • Enjoy it with side of hummus.

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Notes :-

  • You can use chicken breast instead of thighs.
  • It can also be made beforehand for a large number of people. You just have to warm it in oven before serving.
  • You don’t need any oil for grilling as marinade already had oil in it and chicken thighs has its own natural fat.
  • If you don’t like the raw taste of onion and bell pepper you can saute or grill it.

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From past couple of weeks, I have been little busy and lazy preventing me from posting recipes on regular basis. So, I decided to cook and write about something unusual yet delicious food dish. I was always curious and wanted to try Spaghetti with meatballs in restaurants but I don’t eat meatballs so thought of creating my own (vegetarian) version of it. In this recipe, I replaced meatballs with Cottage Cheese (popularly known as Paneer in India) balls cooked in tomato sauce tossed over perfectly cooked Spaghetti. Me & my hubby love pasta which encourages me to try different types of pasta inspired dishes. My hubby, especially, prefers pasta cooked by me instead of Italian restaurants :). Pasta does not always have to be full of cheese and fat. It can be extremely healthy and balanced to nourish your body and at the same time tasty and delicious to satisfy your taste buds. So enjoy this healthy and exquisite meal on any evening and make your day worth it.

Ingredients :-

For the cheese balls :-

Paneer/Cottage Cheese 1 cup/ 250 gm
Bread Crumbs 1/4 cup
Salt
to taste
Dried Parsley Leaves
1/2 teaspoon
Dried Oregano Leaves
a generous pinch
Red Chilli Powder
1/2 teaspoon or to taste
Cilantro, Finely Chopped
2 tablespoon
Olive Oil
2 tablespoon

For the tomato sauce :-

Tomatoes, Roughly Chopped 3-4
Onion, Chopped 1/2 cup
Salt
to taste
Olive Oil
1 tablespoon
Dried Parsley Leaves
1 teaspoon
Dried Oregano Leaves
1/2 teaspoon
Garlic, Finely Chopped
1-2 tablespoon
Tomato Sauce
2 cup
Chilli Powder
to taste
Bay Leaf
2

Method :-

For the cheese balls :-

  • Preheat the oven at 350 degree Celsius.
  • Mash the paneer/cottage cheese with the help of fork and add everything mentioned except olive oil.
  • Mix it well and divide the dough into 12 equal parts.
  • Roll the divided dough into medium sized balls.
  • Spray these balls with olive oil spray and place them in a baking dish.
  • Bake the balls for 15-20 minutes or until balls become nice golden  in color.
  • Keep them aside.

For the tomato sauce :-

  • Heat a pan and add olive oil to it.
  • Add bay leaf and garlic. Saute it for 1 minute.
  • Add onion to it and saute it for 2-3 minutes.
  • When the raw smell of onion disappear add the chopped fresh tomatoes and salt and chilli powder. Let the tomatoes cook down,
  • Then add the tomato sauce, dried parsley leaves and oregano leaves and let them cook for a good 30-40 minutes.

Arrangement :-

  • Boil the spaghetti as per instruction in box and keep it aside
  • Pour the sauce in serving dish and drop the cheese/paneer balls into it.
  • To assemble spoon out a serving of spaghetti on a serving plate and add a generous serving of tomato sauce along with one or
    two Cheese/paneer balls. Enjoy it hot.

paneerballsspaghetti

Note :-

  • The sauce tastes best the next day. So, you could make the tomato sauce the previous day and use it for the dish the next day.
  • You can even make sauce in bulk and can store it in freeze for 1 week.
  • You can even saute the spaghetti with some olive oil and Italian herbs as I do it.
  • You can sprinkle some more cheese on top of it while serving. I like it without cheese.
  • You can even add spinach or any other chopped vegetables to your paneer/cheese mixture.

Focaccia

Recently, I have started to experiment making dough and baking different kinds of bread. Generally recipes for making bread requires Electric Stand Mixer which is a big investment. The good news is that the dough can be made using hands which is comparable to the one created by a machine or food processor. Baking a bread needs lot of technique, practice and attention to small details. Focaccia is a flat oven baked Italian bread, not unlike a very thick crusted Pizza, which may be topped with herbs or other ingredients. You can also top it with vegetables, meat and/or cheese. Focaccia is one of the most popular and most ancient breads of Italy and is very easy to make. Its dough is similar in style and texture to that of pizza and consists of flour, oil, water, salt and yeast. It is typically rolled out or pressed by hand into a thick layer of dough and then baked in an oven.

Ingredients

For Focaccia :-

Whole Wheat Flour
1 cup
All purpose flour
1 1/2 cup
Warm Water
1 cup
Milk, warm
1/4 cup
Dry Yeast
1 package
Salt
2 teaspoon
Olive Oil
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon
Onion, Thinly sliced
1 large
Tomato, cut into slices
1 medium
Mixed Italian Herbs
2 teaspoon
Sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon
Parmesan Cheese, Grated
1/3 cup

For Roasted Potatoes :-

Potatoes, Cut into cubes
1 1/2 cup
Olive Oil
2 tablespoon
Dried Sweet Basil Leaves
1/4 teaspoon
Dried Oregano Leaves
1/2 teaspoon
Dried Parsley Leaves
1/2 teaspoon
Lemon
1 tablespoon
Crushed Red Chilli Peppers
as per taste
Salt
as per taste
Garlic, crushed
1

Method :-

For Focaccia :-

  • In a small bowl, stir together yeast, milk, and sugar. Let rest until yeast dissolves and bubbles form on top, about 10 minutes.
  • Take a medium vessel and add flour, olive oil, salt, Italian herbs and yeast mixture into it and knead it so that mixture binds well.
  • Now take the semi kneaded dough into well floured surface and knead it until dough is smooth. It will take about 5- 10 minutes.
  • Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a kitchen towel or plastic wrap, and let it rest in a warm place until dough doubles in size, about 1 hour.
  • Preheat oven to 450 degree Fahrenheit.
  • Knock back the risen dough. Divide the dough into 2 equal portions. Sprinkle some flour and roll into round discs. Arrange them on a aluminum baking sheet placed in a baking tray and press with your finger tips to make small dents.
  •  Drizzle the dough with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Let rest until the dough becomes puffy, about 20 minutes.
  • Place the sliced onions and tomatoes equally in both of the rolled discs.
  • Place the tray in the preheated oven and bake for fifteen to twenty minutes or till the breads gets cooked and turn light brown.
  • Eat them warm and fresh.

Focaccia1

For Italian Style Roasted Potatoes :-

  • In a medium bowl mix all the ingredients .
  • Add the potatoes to the bowl and mix it well so that all potatoes are covered.
  • Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray it with oil.
  • Bake on 450 degree for approx 15-20 minutes or until the edges of potatoes are browned.

Note :-

  • In cold days I put the dough covered with wet cloth under the sun to get the yeast activated.
  • I have used peeled potatoes but it taste best with skin.
  • You can also sprinkle some Parmesan cheese on top of baked potatoes.

Focaccia and Roasted potato

Asparagus Souffle

Posted: June 8, 2013 in Baked, French
Tags: , ,

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My love for mother nature and its colors inspired me to cook something “green”! Colors depicts different aspects of life like sadness, joy, fear, warmth, anger, etc. This dish with bright color and bold flavor is dedicated to mother nature. After hearing Souffle for the first time, I was very skeptical about it as it sounded little weird but when I came to know more about it, I was very impressed with the preparation style and end product. Traditionally, Souffle is a French dish. Its lightly baked cake with egg yolk folded in beaten and fluffy egg whites and mixed with your choice of ingredients. You can have serve it as a savory item or as a dessert. After baking is done, its fluffy look and texture is really amazing but it slumps in about 10 minutes. In this recipe, I have used Asparagus as the main ingredient and loved the texture, color, and taste of this beautiful dish. I have adapted the idea from allrecipes.com

Ingredients :-

Asparagus, trimmed and chopped
1 bunch
Unsalted Butter
2 tablespoon
All Purpose Flour/Maida
2 tablespoon
Cold Milk
1 cup
Kosher Salt
1 teaspoon
Cayenne pepper
to taste
Garlic, Minced
2 clove
Eggs, Separated
4
Mozzarella Cheese, Grated
1/2 cup

Method :-

  • Cook asparagus in a saucepan of boiling water until bright green but still crisp, about 2 minutes. Transfer asparagus immediately to ice water to stop the cooking process. Drain and set aside.
  • Heat a pan over medium heat and add butter to it. Whisk in flour and stir until mixture becomes paste-like and light golden brown. It will take about 2 minutes.
  • Whisk milk into butter-flour mixture, bring to a simmer and cook until thick, 2 to 3 minutes. Season with salt and cayenne pepper.
  • Place milk mixture, garlic, and asparagus in a blender and puree until smooth.
  • Pour asparagus mixture into a large bowl; stir in egg yolks and Cheddar cheese.
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  • Generously butter 4 (6-ounce) ramekins,
  • Beat egg whites in a large glass or metal mixing bowl until soft peaks form. Lift your beater or whisk straight up: the egg whites will form soft mounds rather than a sharp peak.
  • Stir half of egg whites into asparagus cheese mixture until just combined. Gently fold remaining egg whites into mixture.
  • Fill prepared ramekins about 3/4 full and place on a baking sheet; bake in the preheated oven until edges are golden brown, about 20 to 25 minutes

IMG_0693

Note :-

  • Original recipe called for white Cheddar cheese. But I had Mozzarella at home so i used it.
  • In the original recipe only half garlic clove was used. But as I love more of garlic so I increased it.
  • You can try this with any pureed vegetables like broccoli, spinach, artichokes etc.
  • To make it bit more spicy you can increase the quantity of Cayenne pepper and can also some curry powder to enhance the taste of it.