Sunday, December 21, 2014

Baked Chicken and Cheese Taquitos


Here's one from my drafts from 2012!
Technically this is a flauta, since I used flour tortillas (apparently corn tortillas are used in taquitos). But since the terms are interchangably used and I have always called these taquitos, taquitos they are! You can skip the chicken and add some finely chopped jalapenos for a vegetarian version.
Wishing you all a very happy holiday season! Merry Christmas to all who celebrate it!



Ingredients:

4 flour tortillas
2 oz reduced-fat cream cheese, at room tmperature
1/2 cup cooked, shredded chicken (if using)
1 tsp onion, minced
1 garlic pod, minced
1/4 cup monteray jack cheese, shredded
1/4 cup cheddar, shredded
Guacamole and salsa for dipping
Cilantro for garnish

Method:

Preheat oven to 400. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray.
Combine cream cheese, onion, garlic, chicken and the two cheeses.
Microwave tortillas for 10 seconds to soften. Spoon about a tbsp of the mixture in the tortilla and roll it up. Place it seamside down on the prepared tray.
Repeat for the remaining tortillas and bake for 15 minutes until crisp around the edges.
Serve with guacamole and salsa.

My no-fuss guacamole recipe - scoop pulp of 2 avacados, squeeze half a lime and season with seasalt. Mash and mix well until smooth. Guacamole is ready!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Egg Bhurji with Boiled Eggs - Chopped Boiled Eggs in Indian Spices

Egg Bhurji is generally eggs scrambled in Indian spices and veggies. This version of Egg Bhurji was made with leftover boiled eggs from a dinner with friends. Makes for a good breakfast with some toast on the side. We had them with whole wheat flatbreads. I made them a little runny, almost like Akuri, but a drier version with more onions would be great as well.



Ingredients:

4 Eggs, hard boiled and chopped
1 medium red onion, diced
1 large tomato, chopped
1 green/serrano chile, chopped fine
1 tsp grated ginger
1/2 tsp each cumin and coriander powders
1 tsp red chilli powder (or to taste)
1/2 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp sugar (optional)
1 tsp cooking oil
salt to taste
chopped cilantro for garnish

Method:

Heat oil in a pan. Add a few pinches of all the powders to season the oil.
Add chopped onion and fry for a minute.
Add ginger and green chile and saute for 30 seconds.
Add chopped tomatoes and cook until soft.
Now mix in all the spice powders and season with salt and sugar.
Add chopped eggs and let cook for 10 minutes on low.
Pour into serving bowl and garnish with cilantro.
Serve with bread of choice.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Soft Idlies Using Idli Rava

Until a few years ago, I had the toughest time with making idli. They were a hit or miss, I never quite got the batter right and fermentation was a whole other issue. Till I made my mom's never-go-wrong recipe for soft idlies, that is. The recipe for idli I'm posting today is simpler, coz it uses idli rava (powdered parboiled rice) and you only have to grind the urad dal. Less fuss, less grinding.


Ingredients:
2 cups Idli Rava
1 cup Split Urad Dal
1 heaped tsp thick Poha
Salt and Water for batter

Method:
Soak urad dal for 4 hours.
Add poha to the soaked dal 5 minutes before grinding.
Soak idli rava separately in a tall vessel, in 4 cups of water 15 minutes before grinding the urad dal.
Now grind the ural dal + poha mixture, adding a little water, until smooth.
Mix it along with the soaked idli rava, adding salt. Add water, if needed, to make a smooth slightly thick batter.
Allow to ferment for 12-14 hours. The dough would have risen and air bubbles formed on top.
Grease and pour into idli moulds and steam for 15 minutes.
Serve hot with coconut chutney and sambar.


Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Achari Paneer Tikka - Grilled Paneer in Pickle Marinade


One of the good things about belonging to many foodie groups is all the inspiration you get to try out new dishes or twists to old ones. Of course, it's also true that more often than not, I remain inspired without really acting upon it! Not this time, though. This Achari Paneer Tikka comes from a post where a group member mentioned using pickle oil to make chicken tikkas. I went one up and used the actual pickle itself in the marinade. The result was a soft, succulent and spicy paneer tikka, with the lightly charred flavor from the grilling that I so love! Very simple, this and makes for a great appetizer, even for those unexpected guests!



Ingredients:

1 8oz block of paneer, diced thick

For the marinade:
1/4 cup thick yogurt, whipped
1 tbsp spicy pickle of your choice (I used Priya Mango Thokku)
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp each cumin powder and coriander powder
1/2 tsp crushed kasuri methi
1 tsp mustard oil

Method:

Mix all the ingredients for the marinade together. No need to add salt since there's enough of that from the pickle!
Marinate the paneer cubes for 30 minutes.
Pre-heat grill to medium and cook for 8-10 minutes, turning every few minutes until lightly browned on all sides (most, in my case!)
Or if using oven, place marinated paneer on a lined cookie sheet. Pre-heat oven to 350F and bake for 20 minutes, turning the paneer in between for even cooking.
Serve with mint chutney.

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Tinde ki Sabzi - Indian Apple Gourd

Ever since I came across this recipe for Bharwan Tinda by Chef Sokhi, I have been waiting to try it out. So I was all aflutter when I saw frozen tinda at the grocery store and happily picked it up, only to find that they were pre-cut :( No chance of stuffing it, so I turned the recipe to a sukhi sabzi instead. Very flavorful and took a short time in the pressure pan.



Ingredients:

1 12oz packet frozen cut tinda, defrosted (about 8-10 tinda, quartered)
1 medium onion, sliced
1 medium tomato, chopped
1 tsp red chili powder (or to taste)
½ tsp fennel powder
1 tsp cumin powder,
1 tsp coriander powder
½ tsp turmeric powder
½ tsp amchur/dried mango powder
1 tsp garam masala
1 tbsp cooking oil
Salt to taste

Method:

Heat oil in a pressure pan/cooker. Season oil with turmeric powder and ½ tsp red chilli powder.
Add sliced onions and fry until translucent.
Mix in all the remaining ingredients and add 3-4 tablespoons of water.
Close lid and pressure cook for one whistle.
Garnish with chopped cilantro (did not use here) and serve with rotis.


Sunday, September 14, 2014

Weekend Gupshup

I'm feeling chatty today, so be warned! :)

I have managed to gain 4.5 lbs in the past one month! A combination of stress-eating and lack of any exercise regimen are the reasons. I don’t mind the weight as much as the flab. It would have been nice had it all distributed evenly but of course, life doesn't work way! It seems like all of the 4.5 lbs headed straight to my mid-region. Now I have my nephew’s wedding coming up in late October and I really, truly need to flatten the abs by then. After all, I have those saris to wear and a long evening dress that needs to sit right. Zumba has been great for me in the past to tone the core. So zumba twice a week and circuit training once is what I managed last week. I'll be happy if I can sustain this for the coming week. Food-wise too, I'm trying to keep my immense love for breads and rice at bay. Below is typical of my weekdays the past week - heavier breakfast (this was egg whites with veggies and cheese), salad for lunch with a wheat roll and some pita-hummus for snacking.


Of course, I can't sustain this the whole week - well, not without getting cranky anyway. So to stay sane and keep others sane (see, I think of others too!) , some days looked like this! From an Indian restaurant in my small town that serves lunch thali - good stuff!



One of the stress causers is also the fact that I’ll be travelling alone to India for a week, leaving my two babies behind with their Dad. Right now, they’re all confident and planning on all the fun they can have. No Mom going “ don’t do this”, “don’t do that”, “drink your milk”, “bedtime -now!”, you see. Miss M also reassures me that she will help with taking care of her younger brother. The little fellow just wants some chocolate from India in return. The Dad is all chilled too, right now. My BIL once took care of three kids under 4 by himself, for over 3 weeks. This should be more easily manageable.

Fingers crossed for all being well and going well. Have a great week ahead, folks. And thank you for listening.

Sunday, September 07, 2014

Aloo Sabzi with Rasam Powder - Diced Potatoes in South Indian Spice Powder


Can you believe it's September already?! Time is just rolling by so fast. Currently I feel like my life is on fast forward, with each day flitting by on super-speed and not much to show for it. Work has been busy, with extra hours most days and even working some Saturdays. To manage that, my kids' activities have been put on hold and blogging has taken a back seat. So I've missed quite a few tags and memes, which I hope to get to soon. My sweet friend Sunila Vig, a poet, writer, yoga teacher, a foodie and who has been my sounding board for years, passed me the Sunshine Award. Thank you, Suni! Do visit her blog here and be sure to check her inspiring A-Z series.


My cooking, when it does happen, has been restricted to simple stuff like this aloo sabzi, with just a few ingredients (for Indian cooking, that is). Anything potatoes works with the kids and this one, with rasam powder, kept the grown-up palates satisfied too.



Ingredients:

2 large potatoes, diced
1 small onion, choppe
1 tsp ginger-garlic paste
1.5 tsp saaru pudi/rasam powder (or more, depending on the heat you want)
1 tbsp lime juice
chopped cilantro for garnish

For the tadka:
2 tbsp cooking oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp turmeric powder

Method:

Heat oil in a pan and add the jeera/cumin. Allow it to sizzle and then add turmeric powder and let sit for a couple seconds.
Toss in the chopped onion the g-g paste and fry until onions lightly golden.
Add the diced potatoes and fry for 5 mins.
Add the rasam powder, salt and cook for another 5 minutes, until the potatoes are cooked completely.
Finish with lime juice and chopped cilantro.
Serve as a side with rice and rasam or with soft tawa rotis.