Saturday, March 23, 2013

Sundried tomatoes in olive oil

Europe is not a great place for a vegetarian.Most of the times I end up eating only Pasta and Pizza.I avoid eating out and therefore experiments in the kitchen go on and when something really nice works out I pen it down here. However during my last holiday in Italy completely changed my opinion of this. Italy is a paradise for vegetarians. Sun, fun and lots of good food is all I need to make a wonderful holiday.I came back home with loads of  spices and wonderful memories. I had some sun dried tomatoes and was wondering what to do with them. I asked V, an Italian colleague and this recipe comes from her. So here's an authentic Italian recipe I loved.

I used:
Sun dried tomatoes
Olive oil
loads of garlic
All greens
Mixed herbs
Capers (if you can find)
Dry red chillies
A clean and dry glass pot/bottle

I soaked the tomatoes overnight in warm water. The next day drain away the water and pat dry the tomatoes to remove all traces of water. Chop them finely. I a dry bowl, Mix the tomatoes with finely chopped garlic. Use as much garlic as you like. Add the greens like basil leaves, rosemary thyme etc, fresh or dried. I used a bit of both. Add capers, a spoonful of them. I added some salt and dry red chillies to give it a Indian feel. However the original recipe does not include them. Everything you add in here should be water free otherwise it wont last long.
Fill in the contents of the bowl into a glass bottle and add add olive oil to cover the contents of the bottle.Remove any air spaces. These tomatoes last for a week or so.They can be eaten on the side with pastas or pizzas or even with some mildly spiced rice.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Broccoli Soup

Its already May and its still cold and rainy :(  No sign of the spring yet :(  The cold and windy evenings kindle a need for warmth and happiness. Happiness is relative, bits of appreciation stuck to pieces of caring serve just right. So now to kindling some happiness i.e. get some appreciation :) 

 Broccoli soup  is one of my favourite mood lifters and I can hog it without being guilty of the calories.My little S enjoys this soup and I feel like a triumphant Mum feeding him vegetables.

What I use?
1 broccoli cut into small florets
2 Potatoes Peeled and and cubed
Cream as much as your conscious permits
Oil, 1 spoon.

How I cook it?
Boil 2/3 of the broccoli florets along with potatoes in water.
Cook the vegetables.
Once they are done using a blender blend to fine paste.
Adjust the consistency of the soup with water.
Add some cream. Salt and pepper.

Before serving
Heat a pan and add one spoon of oil add the 1/3 broccoli florets and stir on high flame until slightly brown and crisp. Add salt and pepper as per taste.

How I serve?
Pour the soup in a bowl and add the crisp broccoli just before serving.

The crispiness of the topped broccoli blends perfectly with the creaminess of the soup. Its almost a complete meal with some garlic bread on the side.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Boondi Raita

    I have been thinking lately of how good, old times were. Certain shade of  a colour, a chuckly laugh, smell of a perfume, a televison jingle, a light drift of breeze, all these evoke memories, not knowlingly though but it gives me a sense of reunion with my childhood days.I am more over surprised only to find so many memories related to food.When S and I returned from school only to find Mom had a long day at work and it was then our experiments in the kitchen started with a need to feed ourselves. This need needed no time to turn to our hobby. Later on during my college and then when I started work I was always happy when S would be home earlier than me.Some brunch would  definitely be waiting for me. My amateur cook has progressed to be a wonderful ratatouille and a handsome young man.Missing you a lot S!! specially because you are back home and I am not!!
Boondi raita is something I learnt to make in those days. After a no of permutations, combinations I have settled down of this recipe now.
I use

1 bowl of Boondi, boondi is small round beads of chickpea flour deep fried in oil. I buy it from the Indian grocery stores here.
1 bowl of yogurt. Mix sugar and salt according to your taste. It should be sweetish-salty to taste.Add green chilli-cumin seed paste as per your liking. More if you like it spicy.
Mix the boondi and yogurt mixture. The yougurt should be slightly more as the boondi should absorb the yogurt. You can also add 3-4 spoons of water to get the right consistency. Refrigerate for 3-4 hours.

Sometimes the all yougurt is absorbed and the raita turns dry. In this case one can add more yogurt or yogurt and water miture to get the right consistency.Earlier I used to soak the boondi in warm water to get the boondi soft immediately and then squeez the water out but this gives it a watery taste which I unlike. The refrigerated one is more richer in taste.In case you are in a hurry and dont have the time to refrigerate use a mix of yogurt and warm water. Soak the boondi in it and then squeez out the liquid, then adding the yogurt and spices as mentioned above.

Well once the boondi is soft sprinkle red chilli powder, pepper, cumin-corriander powder and finely chopped corriander. This raita should be served chilled along with Pulav or Biryani.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Corn stuffed buns

"One a penny two a penny hot cross buns" was a nursey rhyme I hummed in my childhood days.What I remember evidently  is the picture next to the poem in the book, an English lady wearing  a cap and holding a basket overflowing with  round ball like bread. I happened to see buns which instantly reminded me of that picture carefully saved  in my memory. The  dutch name read " mini witte Bolletjes" meaning small white balls. I bought it (I dont know why? probably because it connected to me or may be  because it brought  back those lovely carefree childhood days).

When I was back home I wondered what to do with this bread  and this recipe evolved itself. On a sunny weekend afternoon V and I relished on these buns after a day's hard work in the garden

 I Used

Small round bread....Process the bread to make place for the filling as shown in the picture. One can cover the bread with lid or leave it open(like a bread basket).

For the filling:
1 finely chopped onion
1 cup corn canned or frozen
1 cup finely chopped mushroom
1/2 cup capsicum finely chopped.

Grated Cheese as much as you like

Italian herbs
tomato ketchup
chilli saus/ tobasco sauce
1Spice cube

 2-3 spoons of oil 

Heat the oil, add the onions, when they turn soft add the capsicum followed by the mushrooms and the corn.When the veggies are cooked add the spices as per your taste and cheese.I used Gouda  and loads of it. Mushrooms, corn and cheese is one of my favourite combinations.

When the stuffing is ready fill it in the  bread and grill it in  the oven untill the base is crisp.For a more crispier version, I toasted the bread on a griddle before adding the stuffing and then bake again after adding the stuffing.This makes a lovely  brunch or even a party starter.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Tomato Tandoori Masala

The spring has arrived here and last weekend we had our first barbecque of the season.V prefers the Indian version, tandoori style but we also like the dutch version with satesaus for accompaniment. Well the moral of the story is that I had some tandoori paste remaning and wondering what to do with that. I had read the recipe for tomato bharta on Vegetable platter  which was the inspiration for this recipe.It turned out to be an awesome recipe for a simple and spicy meal.Well I used
  1/2 cup left over tandoori paste
  3-4  tomaotes with 4 slits.
  1 finely chopped onion.
  2-3 spoonful of peanut paste.
  1 tsp garam masala (if using)
  Cilantro to garnish.

 I slit the tomatoes and marinated them in the paste for 15-20  minutes. Meanwhile I chopped the onions and stir fried them in 2 tsps on oil until they turned transluscent and pink then add the tomaotoes and cooked them on low flame untill they turned mushy. Once the tomatoes are cooked its time for peanut paste and salt. Garnish with cilantro and serve. I served them with rotis but I guess it could be served with jeera Rice or other mildly spiced rice as well.

Rice Dhokla

This recipe is a  "day after party" special. I use left over rice to make this Dhokla and I learnt it from my aunt. It can be served as a side dish or  it can be meal in itself for breakfast as well.
I used:
1 cup rice
2-3 spoons of chickpea flour
2-3 finely chopped green chilles
1/2 tsp grated ginger
1 spoon Mustard seeds
1/4 spoon asoefoetida
1/2 cup yogurt
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
Cilantro to garnish

Mix the rice, yogurt, half of the gren chilles, ginger  and chickpea flour, salt and mash well. Heat 2-3 spoons of oil in a pan and add the mustard, asoefoetida , turmeric powder , green chillies and add the rice mix and stir well untill the chickpea flour is chooked. The mix should be cooked and should leave the sides of the pan, also the mix glistens when the chickepea flour is cooked.
Oil a tray and pour the mix and flatten with the base of the palm of our hand.Cut into squares and remove them when it cools.Transfer into a plate and again heat 2 spoons of oil and add mustard seeds. one can add a spoonful of  seasame seeds as well.and pour over the dhokla. Garnish with cilantro and serve.
The yogurt gives it a typical sour taste expected in dhoklas and the dont miss on the two tadkas as it only enhances the flavour of this recipe.This is my entry for the Jivha Breakfast -March 2010 hosted by Suma Gandlur of Veggie Platter which  was intiated Indira of Mahanadi cooking with conciousness.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Methi Thalipeeth

Thalipeeth is a traditional Mahrarashtrian bread.A combinations of dals are washed, sundried , roasted to make a flour.Since different dals are used here, the nutrient value obvious increases.Normally the thalipeeth flour is made back home in the summer months  and stored to use as requored. I altered this recipe to the availabilty of ingredients available here.I used the flours directly as it is not possibile here to grind the dals etc.

I used
2 tablespoons of each  rice flour, wheat flour, Nachni/ragi flour, jowar flour, bajra flour, rava, makki flour (not cornflour)
2 cups chopped methi. One can substitute methi with palak/spinach or corrainder. Whatever is available.
1tsp each of chilli powder and jeera corriander powder.
1 finely chopped onion.
2 green chilles finely chopped.
1/2 tsp of turmeric powder.
1 tbsp of oil.
Mix the above using apporpriate amount of water to knead a dough.

Divide the dough into balls sized of an orange.Smear a plastic paper with oil and the flatten the dought with your fingers to form a circle.Heat a griddle and smear with ghee/ butter. Hold your hand below the plastic and transfer the thalipeeth  gently on the griddle and take off the plastic. fry teh thalipeeth until golden brown and serve with  raw onions and green chilli and this goes well with a dollop of ghee too.