Leftover Queen – Beans and Carrots Grilled Sandwich

Yesterday we made beans and carrots sabzi. Unfortunately, we started too late to make it and by the time it was ready, half our dinner was over. We were really hungry after a long day at office and after cooking dinner….. So half the vegetable was left. Good thing was that it was the dry sort. HD said that we should throw it away cos I don’t like the smell of beans and he won’t eat the leftover anyways….but I had this brilliant idea about making grilled sandwiches for breakfast out of it. So we stored it in the fridge. Today morning, it served for tasty grilled sandwiches.

Preparation time – 20 mins

Servings – 4 pieces

Ingredients

1 cup leftover beans and carrots sabzi

8 slices of bread

4 slices of cheese

Salt and Pepper to taste

Oil

Lay a slice of cheese on a slice of bread. Spread 1 tblsp of beans and carrot on it. Add salt and pepper and top it with another slice of bread. Apply oil on both the bread pices and grill for 10 minutes. Serve with tomato ketchup.

Fruit Chaat – Health Recipe

Tired of eating same old apples and oranges and papayas for breakfast?

Got fruits rotting in the fridge cos no one is willing to touch them?

It is 4 O’clock in the afternoon and your stomach is rumbling. There is nothing tasty to eat…

Wanna whip up a dessert in a jiffy?

 

The answer to all the above questions is Fruit Chaat.

 

Take all the fruits you have got stored up. No limits to mix and match. No limits to what goes. Just take out those apples, oranges, grapes, bananas or anything else you have. Dice into small pieces. Make sure they are small enough to be popped into the mouth directly….no cutting required. You can add in papayas, kiwi, watermelon and just about anything you like here. Add a whole lot of healthy and nutritious nuts – cashews, almonds, raisins. Again, no bars on your choice. Sprinkle salt and castor sugar and top off with lemon juice. Mix thoroughly and refridgerate.

 

Serve chilled for best flavor.

Coconut Chutney

Coconut Chutney or Nariyal Chutney is a South Indian delicacy that goes will with idli and dosa. The chief ingredients are coconut and curd which are good for health providing fibre and digestion rich enzymes. Coconut chutney keeps good for a few days when refridgerated.

Ingredients

½ cup coconut, dessicated

½ cup curd

2 tblsp chana dal

1 tblsp urad dal

1 tblsp rai

1 tblsp oil

1 green chilli

Salt to taste

Roast chana dal till light pink and grind it with coconut, curd and green chilli. Add water to obtain consistancy of your choice. Heat oil in a pan and add rai. When it starts to splutter, add urad dal to make tadka. Add this tadka to the coconut chutney along with salt to provide extra taste. Refridgerate the chutney till further use.

 

Tip: If the chutney solidifies on cooling, add water or even better, curd water, to obtain the consistancy of your choice.

Rawa Idli

I made idli from scratch for the first time yesterday……yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyy :-) It was an experiment that reeked of failure but ended in success….he he he. For the first time I did not use Instant Idli Mix though I had bought it just in case of trouble. I thought I am in Chennai and I have never prepared a South Indian dish. So rawa idli, coconut chutney and sambar was the outcome. The preparation time is huge but if it is factored in the day’s schedule, idli is not too tough. It just requires prioritizing.

Ingredients

2 cups rawa (suji or semolina)

2 cups curd

2 tblsp salt

1 tblsp oil

1 tblsp urad dal

1 tblsp rai

2 tblsp broken cashewnuts

1 sashe Eno

Rawa Idli
Rawa Idli

Mix rawa, curd and salt and keep overnight to ferment. Add water if the consistency is too thick. Heat oil in a pan. Add rai and when that starts to splutter, add urad dal and cashewnuts and fry them till they turn slightly pink. Add this to the rawa mixture. Now the batter is ready. Just before you want to make idlis, add the Eno to it. This will keep the idlis soft. Oil the idli cups in idli-maker and pour 1 tblsp of mixture on each. Steam it for 15 minutes. Serve with coconut chutney and sambar.

 

Tip: Let the idlis cool before removing them from the idli-maker. This will facilitate easy removal and the idlis will not break. The effect of Eno will not last long so oil the idli-plates and then add Eno so you can prepare the idlis immediately.

Palak Paneer

Dad has one thing in common with Popeye…liking for spinach ;) He loves palak paneer…so much so that the dish has crept into the regular menu. And since I take after my Dad in so many ways (and Mom too as HD will justify), palak paneer is one of my favorite also. It seems almost royal when placed on the dining table and beckons everyone to dig in. Put some hot tadka on it and serve it with hot makke ki roti….beautiful.

Preparation Time – 30 mins

Servings – 2 people

Ingredients

250 gms palak (Spinach)

100 gms paneer (cottage cheese)

2 tomatoes

1 onion

1 green chilli

A small piece of ginger

3-4 garlic cloves

2 cloves

A small piece of dalchini (cinnamon)

2 tblsp oil

1 tblsp zeera

A pinch of hing

1 tblsp haldi

1 tblsp dhaniya powder

Salt and red chilli powder to taste

1 tblsp garam masala

Wash the spinach leaves properly and boil. Drain the water and set aside to cool. Grind the tomatoes, onion, green chilli, ginger, garlic, cloves and cinnamon in a mixer. Heat oil in a pan and add zeera and hing. When the zeera starts to splutter, add the tomato-onion mix and cook it on high till oil separates from it. Crush the spinach in a mixer to get a paste. Add this paste to the pan along with haldi, dhaniya powder, salt and red chilli powder. Cut the paneer into even sized 1 cm cubes and add to the spinach. Cook on high for 2-3 minutes and let it simmer for 7-10 minutes. Add 1 tblsp garam masala and mix.

 

Tip: Before serving, prepare a tadka of zeera and hing in ghee and pour it all over the palak paneer.

Vegetable Manchurian

We made Chinese for dinner yesterday. And by we I mean HD helped out. We split the chores. He made the gravy while I made the vegetable balls. He grated the vegetables for the manchurian and I made the noodles :D The system worked pretty well cos the end result was good enough for angles.

Ingredients

For Vegetable Balls

2 cups Cabbage, grated

1 ½ cups Carrots, grated

4 tblsp refined flour (maida)

1 ½ tblsp cornflour

4 garlic cloves

1 green chilli

Salt and pepper to taste

Oil to fry

Chop finely the cloves and green chilli and mix with the cabbage, carrots, flour and cornflour using a little water to bind. Add salt and pepper. Heat oil in a frying pan. Make small balls of the batter and fry them in the pan. Drain the oil and keep aside.

 

For Gravy

1 packet Knorr Vegetable Manchurian

1 cup Cabbage, grated

1 cup Carrots, grated

1 cup onions, chopped

Oil

Heat 2 tblsp oil in a pan and fry the onions till light pink. Add cabbage and carrots and fry them. Add 500 ml water and the Knorr Vegetable Manchurian powder. Bring to a boil and then let it simmer for 5-7 minutes. Add the vegetable balls and serve.

Vegetable Hakka Noodles

So I said to Hubby Dear, what shall it be tonight? Chinese or South Indian. He was okay with both so for lack of enough curd, I switched to Chinese. Menu included Veg Hakka Noodles and Veg Manchurian. Best part was HD helped with the preparation and that saved a lot of time. Between the continuous five minute power-cuts, we managed to whip up an amazing Chinese meal yesterday. Here I discuss the recipe of noodles. Please check the next blog on Veg Machurian.

Ingredients

1 packet Ching’s Veg Hakka noodles (or any other noodles that might be available)

2 cups Cabbage, chopped

1 cup capsicum, chopped

1 cup Carrots, chopped

1 cup Beans, chopped

2 large Onions

Oil

2 tblsp Vinegar

2 tblsp Soya Sauce

Salt and Pepper to taste

Boil 5-6 cups of water in a large container and add the noodles to it. Put the gas on sim and let the noodles cook for 5 minutes till aldent. They should neither be too soft nor too hard. Drain the water and run cold water on the noodles to remove excess starch. This will ensure the noodles do not stick to each other. Set aside.

The cabbage, capsicum and carrots should be chopped into thin pieces of 1 inch length. The beans should be chopped into very small round pieces. Dice the onions. Heat oil in a pan and fry the onions till pink. Add cabbage, carrots, capsicum and beans and cook for 5-7 minutes. Add the noodles, vinegar, soya sauce, salt and pepper. Ensure that the noodles mix properly with the vegetables. You can use two spoons for tossing the noodles. Cook on sim for 5 minutes.

 

Tip: Spring onions can be used instead of regular onions. Chop the white stem and fry with the other vegetables. Sprinkle the green leafy part on the noodles once they are done.

Pizza@Home

Pizzas are yummy. Italians might have just invented the best take-away dinner/snack/lunch/breakfast ever. In my post-grad, every Thursday was Pizza Night for my roomie and I, chiefly because the mess food sucked most on that day. Then we discovered the onslaught of exams and late night studies and pizza ordering became the rule of the room. Thankfully, I passed that phase but Pizza still beckons on Fridays specially when I have hit the gym every single day for the past 5 days and the weekend is round the corner….so enjoy. But that yummy pizza just screws up every effort for the past 5 days and is not really healthy to say the least. Here is a home-made pizza recipe that I am sure you will love and that will watch your tyres round your tummy while you watch it go down your throat at break-neck speed.

Ingredients

2 Pizza Base (available at any bakery)

2 tblsp butter or ghee

½ cup tomato ketchup

1  cup processed cheese, grated

1 large onion

1 large tomato

1 capsicum

Salt and pepper to taste

Spread butter on pizza base. Then spread tomato ketchup on it. Chop tomato, onion and capsicum finely.  Sprinkle cheese on the pizza base. On top of that, sprinkle onion, tomato and capsicum. Add salt and pepper to taste. Bake in microwave oven till the cheese starts to bubble and the base turns golden brown. Cut into slices and serve.

 

Tip: The pizza can be toated in a closed grill also. The toppings can be varied according to personal choice.

Stuffed Capsicum

I hate the smell of capsicum. It smells yucky and it tastes yucky. But when cooked, it tastes like one of the best things in the world. Generally people chop capsicum and prepare it with potatoes. However, if you want to serve a special dish and are not unwilling to put in a little extra hard work, stuffed capsicum is your best ally.

Preparation Time – 40 mins
Servings – 4 people

Ingredients
4 small-to-medium sized capsicums
5-6 potatoes
Oil
1 tblsp cumin seeds
A pinch of hing
Salt to taste
Red chilli powder to taste
1 tblsp Mango powder
1 tblsp Haldi
2 tblsp Dhaniya Powder
4 Cashewnuts
8 Raisins

Cut off the head of each capsicum and scoop out the insides. Wash the capsicums and steam for 5 minutes so that they blanche a little. Cooking time will significantly decrease.
Boil the potatoes and peel off the jackets. Mash them and mix in salt, red chilli powder, mango powder, handi and dhaniya powder. Heat 2 tblsp oil in a pan and add cumin seeds and hing. When the cumin seeds start to splutter, add potato mash and cook it properly.
Half – Fill each capsicum with potato mash. Place one cashewnut and two raisins in the middle and stuff the rest of the capsicum with potato mash. Heat 2 tblsp of oil in a pot and place the capsicums in it. Cover the pot and let the capsicums cook. Keep turning them so that they do not get burnt. If a side turns black, do not worry. Just scrape it off before serving.

Tip: Large capsicums can also be used. Prepare the usual way till stuffing the mash but when cooking the stuffed capsicums, cut them in half right down the middle before putting them in the pot.

7 Ideas for Main Course Potato Recipes

Potato is a staple diet in India. If nothing is available, just pick up a couple of potatoes and you will have a dish ready in a jiffy. Here I have consolidated a few potato recipes that can be used in times of need.

Dahi ke Aloo - Boil a few potatoes and cut into pieces. Prepare a curd gravy and cook the potatoes in it.

Aloo Zeera - A very popular side dish, it is nothing but chopped potato cooked in oil and zeera.

Aloo Tamatar - Potatoes cooked in tomato gravy. Variations are aloo-matar, aloo-paneer, aloo-mushroom and so on. You can add any ingredient you want with aloo.

Dum Aloo - You take very small potatoes for these. Boil and peel them. Cook in tomato-curd gravy.

Aloo Parathe - Prepare stuffing by mashing boiled potatoes and mixing in salt, chilli powder and chopped coriander. Use it to fill in parathe.

Stuffed Capsicum - Empty the capsicum from the inside. Roast potato mash and use it for stuffing the capsicum. Fry the capsicum in minimal oil.

Potato Raita - Chop boiled potato into small pieces. Mix with curd and add white salt, black salt, red chilli powder, roasted zeera powder and bits of pineapple. Served chilled.

So next time you see potatoes lying around in your kitchen, you will know what to do with them. Enjoy J

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