Green Falafel Meal Bowl – with lemon couscous and pita chips (Baked)

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Hello my dear wonderful readers!

How are you all doing today? I hope your weekend was fun. We had a quiet time this weekend. A little work but mostly lounging around the house and catching up on lost sleep. After my baking marathon in December, I decided to set new goals for myself with regard to my health. So I woke up early for a run and some work on the elliptical (cross) trainer and oh my god! My body hurts so bad!! hahahaha. Infact as soon as I got out of the gym I felt like I was walking on clouds 🙂 So funny. But on the bright side I could feel the blood rush to my face and now there is pinkish tinge that make me look, lets say “livelier” haha.

Anyway so today is Monday and we go meatless and eggless on Mondays. So this seemed to be the right post for today. This meal is so good and so healthy, you wont feel soo full and yet you would have the nutrition of a balanced meal.

The falafel is baked and not deep fried ( cause we did quite a lot of frying last few weeks) and I used a handsome amount of parsley, spinach, corinder and mint in the dish, to give the patty its nice green colour + they just taste really good. Served on a bed of lemony cucumber couscous along with some green salad and pickled beets which makes this dish just the best kind of meal that wont make you feel like you are missing out on anything.

Ingredients :-

 

  1. Boiled Chickpeas – 3 cups
  2. Spinach – 250 gms ( blanched )
  3. Flat Leaf Parsley – 1 cup
  4. Mint – 1/2 cup
  5. Fresh Coriander – 1 cup
  6. Garlic – 6 large cloves
  7. Pepper – 1 tsp
  8. Coriander Seeds – 1 tbsp
  9. Onions – 1/4 cup (finely chopped)
  10. Salt to taste
  11. Sesame Seeds – 3 tbsp
  12. Olive Oil – 1 tbsp

 

 

 

Instructions :-

 

  1. In the bowl of your blender, add all the ingredients
  2. Now with the speed on medium – blend to form a coarse mixture
  3. Scoop out a little and see if it holds shape – If not add 1 tsp of water and grind further
  4. Now pre heat your oven to 180
  5. Place a baking paper or silpat mat on the baking tray and set aside
  6. Using a small ice cream scoop or a table soon, slowly scoop out small balls and place on the prepared baking tray
  7. Using the back of a spoon push gently to flatten the tops
  8. Drizzle with olive oil just for the perfect crispness
  9. Bake for 20 – 25 mins or till they turn golden brown
  10. Once done, take them out of the oven and place to cool completely
  11. Serve with couscous or pita bread and with a salad of choice

 

 

 

 

 

Achari Murg Samosa – Samosa stuffed with chicken cooked in pickling spices

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Hello my Dear Wonderfull Readers!!

How are you all doing today? The weather here is slowly changing and the nights are getting colder. The evening’s are breezy and that is the perfect excuse to make hot samosas don’t you think? Traditionally, samosas are make with a potato based stuffing with a wide variety of spices. But today, I bring to you my perfect spicy twist to this much loved snack. Now given that it is only a snack, the idea of spending the least amount of time in the kitchen has to be a part of this recipe right? So I recommend buying samosa patty’s from your super market cause they save so much time!! So all you have to do, is make the filling, make the samosa cone and fry them!! So simple!

So firstly you need to know how to make the Achari Murgh. Now Achari Murgh literally translates to ” Pickled Chicken”. NO I am not going to ask you to pickle a chicken. We are going to cook the chicken in a medley of spices that usually are used while making pickles. The most prominent of these spices is the “KALONJI”. Samosas are the best sort of snack for a cold evening with a hot cup of coffee and this recipe is the right mix of spicy and crispy!

Ingredients for the stuffing :

  1. Chicken – 500 gms ( minced)
  2. Cumin Seeds – 1 tsp
  3. Methi Seeds / Coriander Seeds – 1/2 tsp
  4. Kalonji – 1/ tsp
  5. Mustard Seeds – 1 tsp
  6. Dry Red Chillies – 6 -8
  7. Oil – 2 tbsp
  8. Ginger Garlic Paste – 1 tbsp
  9. Green Chillies – 2 ( chopped fine)
  10. Salt – according to taste
  11. Chilli Powder – 1 tsp
  12. Lime Juice – 5 tbsp

Instructions :-

  1. In a large pan, add the minced chicken, lemon juice, ginger garlic paste and 1/2 tsp salt. Set aside to rest for 30 mins
  2. Once  you are ready to cook the chicken, heat oil in a large khadai
  3. Once the oil is hot, add the cumin seeds, methi seeds, kalonji, mustard seeds and dry red chillies. Fry till the red chillies get roasted and plump
  4. Then add the green chillies and the marinated chicken
  5. Add the chilli powder and cook till the chicken is cooked well and all the water has evaporated.
  6. Set aside to cool down

Ingredients to assemble the samosa :-

  1. Samosa Patti / pastry – 1 pack ( around 15)
  2. Boiled Potatoes – 1/2 cup
  3. Deep fried Onions – 1/2 cup *
  4. Coriander Leaves – 1/4 cup ( chopped fine)
  5. Mint Leaves – 1/4 cup ( chopped fine)
  6. Flour paste – add 2 tbsp of flour to 1 tbsp of water to form a thick paste (set aside)
  7. Oil – for deep frying

Instructions :-

  1. In a large bowl, combine the cooked chicken, boiled potatoes, mint, coriander leaves and fried onions. add salt to taste
  2. Using the samosa patti / pastry, fold to form a cone.
  3. Then stuff the cone with the chicken mixture
  4. Using the flour paste, seal the corners
  5. Deep fry the samosas and serve right away with spicy mint chutney

 

 

 

Pumpkin Khao Soi with sweet sticky Pork and Egg noodles – (soup)

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Hello my dear wonderful readers!!

How are you all doing today? I cannot believe its already November and the year is coming to an end. The air is a little chilly and I pulled out my baby’s jackets and I realized I have to buy him new ones 🙂 . How time flies.

Anyways, so this time I am back with a lovely creamy, bold soup. Now traditionally it is made without the pumpkin and usually it goes with chicken. But this time I decided to make the soup creamy and thick and give it a new dimension.  Hence the pumpkin.Trust me this soup is a meal in itself. You can make it completely vegan my omitting the pork but I wanted that little extra protein and so the addition of pork.

We absolutely love noodles at home. May it be rice, buckwheat, whole wheat, egg any sort, is always welcome. So the recipe calls of egg noddles but if you cannot get a hold of them then go ahead and use any noodle that you like. Just make sure that you add them just before you serve them in a bowl, or else they tend to absorb all the moisture from the soup and then just turn mushy. No one wants a mushy bowl of noodle soup right? This is not your typical noodle in a broth.

 

Preparing the Pork :-
Ingredients

  1. Pork – 400 gms ( lean fillet)
  2. Oil – 1 tsp
  3. Garlic – 1 tbsp ( choppped)
  4. Oyster Sauce – 1 tbsp
  5. Soya Sauce – 1 tsp 
  6. Brown Sugar / Palm Sugar – 3 tsp 
  7. Salt – to taste ( 1.2 tsp)
  8.  Pepper – 1.2 tsp 

Instructions :-

  1.  In a non stick pan, add the oil. When the oil is hot, add the garlic and cook till soft
  2. Then add the rest of the ingredients and cook on high for 2 min
  3. Then cover and cook for 5 min on medium heat
  4. Finally open the lid and cook till all the moisture is out 
  5. Remove the cooked pork from the pan and toss out any excess fat on the pan

To Prepare the Pumpkin

 

Ingredients :-

  1. Pumpkin – 4 cups (skin peeled, innards removed and chopped)
  2. Potato – 1 cup ( chopped)
  3. Ginger – 1 tbsp ( choppped)
  4. Salt – 1 tsp
  5. Water – 4 cups

Instructions :-

 

  1. In a large pot, combine all the ingredients and place on medium heat
  2. Cook till the pumpkin and potatoes are soft
  3. Once they are soft, spoon them out, into a blender
  4. Make a fine paste and set aside


To make the Khao Soi Paste :-

  1.  Dried Red chilies – 25
  2. Water – 1/2 cup
  3.  Garlic – 20
  4. Ginger – 2 tbp ( chopped fine)
  5. Cilantro leaves and steam – 1 cup ( packed)
  6. Shallots – 13 
  7. Turmeric Powder – 1 tsp
  8.  Coriander Powder – 1 tsp
  9. Garam Masala Powder – 1/2 tsp 

Instructions :-

  1.  Heat water till boiling point
  2.  Place all the dried chillies into the boiling hot water and let them soak for 30 mins
  3. Later in the bowl of a blender add all the ingredients along with the soaked red chillies and the water and blend to make a fine thick paste
  4. Set aside ( you can use as much as you want for this recipe and freeze the rest for later use)

Making and Assembling the soup 

Ingredients for the soup :-

  1.  Egg noodles – 250 gms 
  2. Oil – 2 tbsp
  3. Yellow Bell Pepper – 1/2 cup ( finely sliced)
  4. Red Bell Pepper – 1/2 cup ( finely sliced)
  5. Chicken Broth – 2 cups
  6. Basil Leaves – hand full 
  7. Lime Juice – 3 tbs
  8. Coconut Milk – 1 can 
  9. Coriander and lime for the final garnish 


 Instructions :-

  1.  In a large pot, heat oil 
  2.  Then add Khao Soi Paste and cook till the oil separates from the mixture
  3. Then add the pumpkin and potato mixture
  4.  Cook and combine for 2 mins .Then Bell Pepper and chicken broth
  5. As the mixture begin to simmer add the coconut milk. Again mix well 
  6. Mix well and bring to a boil again ( on medium heat)
  7. Once the mixture boils, add the basil leaves, lime juice and salt according to taste
  8. Cover and cook for another 5 mins and you are ready!
  9. While serving, first add the soup into a bowl, then add the noodles, the pork and finally garnish with some fresh corinader , lime and basil leaves! Yummm!!   

Ari “Rice” Muruku – Deep fried, crisp and with a touch of spice!

 

 

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Hello My Dear Wonderful Readers!

How are you all doing today? So my next recipe for the season is the Rice and Urad Dal Murukku. In case you have never had these before, let me tell you, this is the Indian version of a deep fried snack that comes in a number of variations that is a staple at your 4 o clock tea / coffee. Yes, we love to have a little some thing to “bite into” every evening. But of late these savory snacks have been reserved only to be savored during festivals such as Diwali etc. So I decided why not make a batch of these pinwheels. They are really easy to make but you do need a “Murukku Maker / Press” The theory is the same as a piping bag for cream, just that the mixture is tighter and thicker so you need a little more force when squeezing them.

These murukku makers are available in both brass and stainless steel. I have the brass one and they come with various ends / nozzles just like your piping tips. Best enjoyed with a cup of tea or coffee these Murukku’s can last 2 – 3 weeks if kept in an air tight container. Make sure to use a good brand of oil. I used rice bran oil and you are sorted for a long time 🙂

Ingredients :-

  1. Rice Flour – 3 cups
  2. Urad Dal – 6 tbsp
  3. White Sesame Seeds – 1 tsp
  4. Black Sesame Seeds – 1 tsp
  5. Red Chilli Powder – 1 tsp
  6. Pepper Powder – 1/2 tsp
  7. Asafoetida – 1/2 tsp ( more if you like it pungent )
  8. Salt – to taste
  9. Oil – 3 tbsp
  10. Oil to fry
  11. Water to bind ( depends on the quality of the rice flour)

Instructions :-

  1. Heat a heavy bottom Khadai and fry the urad dal till they start turning golden brown. Make sure to stir continuously or else the dal might burn
  2. Once they are ready , add into a blender and powder to a fine powder
  3. In a large plate/ even your kitchen counter, drop the rice flour, urad dal powder, salt, white and black sesame seeds, pepper powder and asafoetida. Give it all a nice mix with the tips of your finger to spread the ingredients evenly
  4. Then add the 3 tsp of oil and mix into the mixture till they almost resemble  bread crumbs
  5. Finally add water little bit at a time to make a nice tight dough. Remember all you need is the dough to come together
  6. Take small portion of the mixture and run it through the murukku maker to see if you are able to make nice round circles. If you find that the circle keeps falling or breaking then you need little more water in the dough
  7. Once you have your dough ready, heat oil in a khadai ( enough to be able to deep fry these wheels)
  8. Cut a baking paper into equal sqares and at the back draw circles of equal size. you can use these as a stencil to make all your murukkkus
  9. Now attach the start tip to the murukku maker and fill the barrel with the rice flour dough
  10. Slowly make round shapes of the murukku on your prepared baking paper
  11. Start from the inside and go round towards the outside
  12. Once you reach the outside, pinch the end towards the murukku
  13. Once you oil is nice and hot ( make sure the oil is always at medium flame not too hot and not too cold)
  14. Fry these in batches of 2 – 3 depending on the size of your khadai. Wait til they turn golden bown on both sides. Keep turning them when in the oil for even browning
  15. Lay them on kitchen paper tower to soak up the excess oil
  16. You Murukku is ready! Store in an air tight container

Easy Gulab Jamun

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Hello My Dear Wonderful Readers!

How are you all doing? Today, I finally got my Diwali lights out on the balcony and my son was super excited! He ran out onto the balcony saying “Wooow..so pretty! “. He was in his PJs and his little eyes twinkled in the reflection from the fairy lights. Hey do you follow me on Instagram? Cause if you do, then you can see the live photos of what I describe here. Search for A cupcake for love and you will find me. I share most of my day meals or finds on my Instagram handle and I would love to hear from you.

So Diwali is a few days from now and I did make a few sweets but I have been procrastinating and not putting up the recipes on the blog. To make amends I am starting with my ‘easy peasy’ Gulab Jamun. Now as we go move along you will notice that most of my Diwali sweet recipes include Milk Powder. This is the lazy mum’s easy way to make home made sweets, satisfy sweet tooth’s, not spend too much time in the kitchen and also enjoy the holiday. So I am not saying these are authentic in anyway, but you know what, they taste just as good and they guarantee satisfaction 🙂

So here is the recipe for my Milk Powder Gulab Jamun

Ingredients for the sugar syrup –

  1. Sugar – 1 cup
  2. Water – 1 + 1/2 cup
  3. Cardamom Powder – 1/2 tsp
  4. Saffron – 8 – 10 strands

Instructions :-

  1. In a heavy bottom pan, combine water and sugar
  2. With the heat on medium, slowly mix the water and sugar till it dissolves
  3. Then add the cardamom and saffron
  4. Now bring the mixture to a boil then reduce the flame and let it simmer till the mixture begins to thicken (around 10 mins)
  5. Continue stirring till the sugar and water mixture thickens ( dip a ladle into the mixture and see it it coats the back in a nice thick layer )
  6. Set aside

Ingredients :-

  1. Milk Powder – 1 cup
  2. All purpose Flour/ Maida – 2 tbsp
  3. Baking Soda – 1/4 tsp
  4. Oil – for frying (depends on the vessel)
  5. Milk – 1/3 cup
  6. Butter – 1 tbsp (melted and cooled)

Instructions :-

  1. In a large bowl, combine milk powder, maida, baking soda and mix well
  2. Then add the melted butter and combine well with the flour
  3. Finally add little milk at a time and slowly knead the flour to form a nice ball ( may be a little sticky but that’s ok)
  4. Leave it to rest for 10 mins
  5. During that time heat a heavy bottom pan with oil on medium ( use enough to deep fry)
  6. Finally make tiny lemon size balls with the milk powder mixture and set aside
  7. Slowly fry these balls on medium till golden brown
  8. After you have fried them, drop it into the prepared sugar syrup ( its best if the sugar syrup is warm)
  9. Let it soak for an hour and they are ready!

Matar Kachori – Spiced green peas stuffed into flaky deep fried dough

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Hello my Dear Wonderful Readers!!

How have you all been? it’s been so long right? I am not sure where I have to begin but let me tell you, the feeling you get when you make something for the blog and then the thrill of taking photos, oh I missed that!

It’s been a busy few weeks, it all started with my son spilling water over the mac book and leaving me handicapped for a  week. LOL. We were on the breakfast table going on about our normal everyday morning routine and suddenly all you remember is he was playing peek-a-boo and wuussshhh !! there was water all over the key pad. You know I have this routine where I wake up early just to make sure I can have a nice cup of green tea all alone and maybe blog too. But that day, both my son and the husband decided to wake up earlier than usual and everything went downhill from there!!

Anyways after paying  a hefty sum at the apple store they returned the mac to us, with a new key pad and all. Thank god. It was during that week that we took a quick trip, just the husband and me and oh how I have missed being a girl! You know what I mean, after we got married, and the house  and the baby, I haven’t had the time to think about anything else! I am sure if you are a mother too, you would understand. For a few days, I woke up whenever I wanted, I did not have to worry about making food or dealing with clutter or anything! just a few days and trust me all that it does it REJUVENATES YOU!!

Anyway after we got back, it was a week full of rains and Bengaluru was cloudy all the time! The true ‘Bangalore’ that I “oh-so longed for” during the sweltering heat the last couple of weeks. So that is when I decided it would be nice to make HOT HOT Kachoris! Now before you say that these are unhealthy cause they are deep fried, here is something you should know. I never make deep fried stuff at home and when I do, I make sure it’s not just for the three people here, I SHARE! 😛 So that means I always make a very small batch of these and I always make sure I share.

These Kachoris are flaky and crispy on the outside, and stuffed with spices and peas on the inside. There are many variations of the Kachori. You can fill them with onions, potatoes, different types of Dals ( lentils) etc. This is the basic version that incorporates greek peas, spices and I added caramelised onions (cause I love the taste of caramelised onions with flaky dough)! Traditionally served with a sweet tamarind chutney and a mint and coriander chutney these deep fried crispy Kachori’s are best enjoyed with your evening tea. (I usually serve it with coffee but you get the idea right!)

Also make sure you finish them right away or at least store them in air tight containers, but for the best experience, serve them just as you take them out of the oil!

 

Ingredients for the pastry :-

  1. Maida/ Flour – 1 cup
  2. Whole wheat Flour – 1 cup
  3. Salt – 1.4 tsp
  4. Baking Powder – 1.2 tsp
  5. Water – 1/2 cup ( or just enough to make a nice tight dough)
  6. Oil – 3 tbsp

 

Instructions for the pastry :-

  1. In a large bowl, add all the flour, whole wheat flour, baking powder, salt and give it a good mix with a whisk
  2. Then add the oil and mix with your hand till the flour resembles bread crumbs
  3. Now slowly add water, a little at a time to make a nice tight dough ( water may also increase or decrease depending on how fresh your flour is)
  4. Try not to over work the dough ( like you would do when you make bread) This will ensure that you have a nice flaky crust
  5. Once the dough comes together to form a nice ball, cover with a damp cloth and set aside to rest ( 10- 15 mins)
  6. Mean while you can get ready with the filling

 

Ingredients for the filling :

  1. Green peas – 250 gms ( I used the frozen kind but any would do)
  2. Onions – 1/2 cup ( finely sliced)
  3. Oil – 2 tbsp
  4. Asafoetida –  one pinch
  5. Ginger – 1 tsp ( paste)
  6. Chilli Powder – 1 tsp
  7. Turmeric Powder – 1/4 tsp
  8. Garam Masala – 1 tsp
  9. Coriander Powder – 1 tsp
  10. Raw Mango Powder/ Amchur Powder – 1 tsp ( heap)
  11. Jeera/ Cumin – 1 tsp
  12. Sauf / Fennel Seeds – 1 tsp
  13. Salt – 1 tsp  (or according to taste)

 

Instructions:-

  1. In a non stick pan, add oil. Once the oil is hot add the cumin seeds and Asafoetida. As soon as they begin to sizzle add the onions and fry till golden brown
  2. Then add ginger, chilli powder, turmeric powder, garam masala power, coriander powder and give it a good mix
  3. Next add the green peas.Stir well to ensure that the green peas are coated well with the spice mix
  4. Lastly add the fennel seeds and salt
  5. Cook till there is no water and the  mixture is dry
  6. Set aside to cool down
  7. Now if you want you could use the back of a spoon to mash up the peas so its is easier in the next step but I usually leave it like that so you get to bite into the green peas

 

Final assembling and frying the Kachoris :-

  1. Now take your dough that has been resting for so long. Divide it into 6 – 7 equal halves and roll into small balls
  2. Slowly roll out each of these balls into small coins (around 10 – 15 cms in diameter)
  3. Then using a spoon, add the cooled green peas mix to the centre of the rolled out coin
  4. Now slowly, bring the ends of the coin together to make a nice dumpling. ( the same technique you would use to make momos or stuffed parathas)
  5. Make sure you get all the ends together and there is not what your stuff will spill out
  6. Now place the dumpling back on your counter and slowly press down to flatten in out into small discs
  7. Again you wanna be very gentle with it so you do not have the stuffing tearing through the dough
  8. Once you have done this will all the balls, you are ready to fry them
  9. Pour enough oil into a deep dish to ensure that the dish is covered at least 70 %
  10. Turn the flame on to medium high. These kachoris are not fried on high heat, so make sure the flame is at medium high
  11. Now slowly add the flattened discs maybe 2 or three at a time ( do not over clutter or you will bring the temperature of the oil down and then it will take longer to cook and they might not puff up as required)
  12. Fry the kachoris till they are nice and golden brown and then set on a kitchen paper to absorb all the oil
  13. You kachoris are ready! Serve right away with sweet and sour tamarind chutney or mint and coriander chutney

 

Nadan Mutta Roast – Egg roast the Malayali Way (Kerala style)

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Hello my Dear Wonderful Readers!

So this week has been full of ups and downs, and I cannot begin to tell you how happy I am that it is coming to an end!! My camera and my phone died on the same day, my husband falls sick the next and then it got a little better and now I am just exhausted! So I really did not have time to invent or go through my recipe library. So this one is my simple Kerala style egg roast. It is so easy to make and this is my husband’s favourite egg recipe! The key ingredient is onion. Roast the onions well and you will add the most amazing flavour to the eggs.

I love curry leaves! In fact, I prefer them to coriander leaves. They just add so much more to a dish. This is partly because of my Malayalee roots. We add curry leaves to everything!! including our drinks. Ohh!! There is this drink called “Sambharam” (“flavoured buttermilk”) which is the best thing to beat the heat during these hot summer afternoons. I will have to make a post about that! Its just butter milk and a few spices with curry leaves but it is so good and refreshing (also good for hangovers, no kidding!!).

If you look at it, the traditional “Sadhya” is the most perfectly balanced meal  ever! It starts with rice and a green gram curry, move to sambar, and finally the yogurt based curry. All the way you have a array of vegetables and pickles to go along with it. Ok maybe the 4 different “Payasams” are not that healthy, but hey! How many people make it every day! My mum is a “Payasam” expert!! She can whip up a payasam in no time and it will taste just like the ones they serve you at the temples. Yes I do think that the real ingredient is love!! I may have digressed a little bit here. lol.

Ok so back to this recipe. This is your ideal week night,”I do not want take out, I do not want to make any thing too complex”, “Oh I want some spicy egg based side” – kind of dish.

Ingredients :-

  1. Hard Boiled Eggs – 6 -7
  2. Onions – 5 large – julienned
  3. Turmeric Powder – 1/4 tsp
  4. Chilli Powder – 1 tsp
  5. Pepper powder – 1/2 tsp
  6. Coriander Powder – 2 tsp
  7. Garam Masala Powder – 1 + 1/2 tsp
  8. Curry leaves – 14
  9. Coconut Oil – 3 tbsp
  10. Green Chillies – 4 ( slit into two)
  11. Water – 1 tbsp + 1/2 cup (optional)

Instructions :-

  1. In a large heavy bottom kadai / wok, heat oil
  2. Once the oil is hot, add the onions and half of the curry leaves  and fry till golden brown
  3. Then add the turmeric, chilli, pepper, garam masala powder and coriander powder and give it a nice mix. Add 1 tbsp of water to the mixture. This will prevent the spice powders from getting burnt
  4. Now add the green chillies and the eggs.
  5. Season with salt and give it a good mix. Mix gently so as to not tear the boiled eggs but make sure to coat the eggs well with the onion masala
  6. Cover and cook for 5 min
  7. Garnish with the remaining curry leaves and serve with hot Rotis or Rice

 

Chicken Gyro – From Scratch

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Hello my Dear Wonderful Readers!

How are you all doing? So remember how I had a post for my Tzatziki Sauce, well the primary reason to make that dip was this! These rolls are to die for and I am not saying that just cause I want you to try it. These rolls are the right combination of veggies, meat and sauce. Unlike many other wraps that are filled with oil clad fries, loads of cheese and deep fried meat, this wrap can actually be considered as a healthy option. At our place, we love having rolls and most of the time I end up making everything a wrap. Simple everyday dishes can be rolled up into a chapati or any other flat bread and make a delicious and quick snack or meal. I like making my own bread. In this case I made the pita bread and the sauce too. If you are going to make it, then I suggest you do the same.

  • Now one thing that you should always have in mind while making a wrap is that, you really want everything to be fresh. All your vegetables should be fresh and try to cut them up just before you make the wrap.
  • If you are using leafy vegetables like lettuce, spinach etc, after you wash them, make sure to dry them out completely. Use a large sieve or colander and let them dry completely before you use them in a wrap. Or else your wrap will be soggy and limp. No one likes a soggy wrap/ roll.
  • The meat should be cooked and ready to be plated. The reason I say this is that you do not want to add the vegetables on the bread and then begin to cook the meat, then you will just end up with a soggy roll.
  • In this recipe, its best to marinate the chicken overnight or for 3 hours. Cause apart from the Tzatziki thats the only thing that going to add flavour to the roll

Ingredients for the Chicken :-

  1. Chicken breast – 500 gms
  2. Oregano – 2 tsp
  3. Garlic – 2 tbsp (chopped)
  4. Yogurt – 1/4th cup
  5. Chilli Flakes – 2 tsp
  6. Apple Cider Vinegar – 4 tbsp
  7. Olive Oil – 4 tbsp
  8. Pepper – 1 tsp
  9. Salt – 2 tsp

Instructions for the Chicken :-

  1. In a large bowl mix all the ingredients except the chicken
  2. It might look like theres a lot of marinade but do not worry. Now add the chicken breast to the marinade and coat well
  3. Cover and set aside in the fridge over night / 3 hours
  4. When you are ready to fry the chicken, heat a pan with olive oil
  5. Cook each chicken breast separately one at a time, do not over crowd the pan or else these will be release of the water from the pan and the chicken will not have that golden caramelisation
  6. After all the pieces have been fried, cut the pieces into small bite size chunks (as shown in the photos)

Assembling the Gyro

Ingredients :-

  1. English Cucumber – 4 ( chopped to bite size pieces)
  2. Tomatoes – 4 (chopped to the same size)
  3. Onions – 3 ( chopped fine)
  4. Lettuce – 7 – 10
  5. Fresh Dill – 4 tbsp
  6. Chicken – as made above
  7. Pita bread
  8. Tzatziki Sauce

Instructions :-

  1. Place one pita bread in a plate
  2. Layer with lettuce leaves
  3. Then add tomatoes, cucumber, onions and chicken
  4. Sprinkle some fresh dill leaves and slowly pour some Tzatziki sauce over the chicken
  5. Roll from one end inwards and cover tightly with foil
  6. Serve right away

Kesar Badami Dhoodh – Almond milk infused with saffron

acupcakeforlove

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Hello my Dear Wonderful Readers,

It has been a crazy few weeks and I cannot begin to explain how time flies when you have a one year old at home! But amongst all the tantrums, chaos, food spilling and noise, we have our share of giggles, tickles, big wide smiles and lots of running around the couch. When most times I say oh I can’t wait for him to grow up, secretly I am saying ” I hope you never grown up”. Confused mum syndrome! LOL

So this is my favourite alternative to ice cold smoothies and juices. We usually serve it hot specially during the winter months but in summers it’s served cooooldd. My grandmother would take me to this “Bengali Sweets” shop close to home and we would have some rasmalai and one glass of this milk. I remember how she would hold my hand all the way from home to the shop. We walked slowly, looking at the blue and grey walls of the air force base, the shops and owners all waving their hands to my granny and she smiling back politely. To me, my grand mothers are the strongest and bravest women I have ever known! Even today given a chance she would walk all the way to the temple and back ( just after her hip replacement surgery). She still stays at the same house and when ever we go there, I turn to see if the old “Bengali Sweets” shop still stands and trust me, there is never a time that it isn’t crowded. The distinct smell of khoya and badam alway comes rushing to my mind as I think of the shop and the sweets there. This recipe encases a small piece of that old memory for me 🙂

Ingredients :-

  1. Milk – 1 ltr
  2. Almonds – 1 cup
  3. Saffron – one good pinch ( more like 1/4 tsp)
  4. Sugar – 4 – 5 tsp ( according to taste)
  5. Cardamom – 4

Instructions :-

  1. Heat a mug of water in the microwave and once it’s nice and hot take it out and drop the almonds into it
  2. Let it sit for a half hour. This helps to remove the skin easily
  3. Once done, simply pinch one end of the almond and the skin comes off easily
  4. Using a blender, blend the de-skinned almonds to a fine smooth paste. You could add a little milk to the almonds
  5. Now in a pot, add milk and bring to a slow boil
  6. Once it begins to boil reduce the heat and add the smooth almond paste, saffron strands, cardamom and sugar
  7. Stir the mixture a couple of times and let the mixture boil for another 10 mins
  8. Your saffron almond milk is ready. Before you serve the milk, use a spoon to fetch out the cardamom from the milk
  9. Serve hot right away or cool and chill in the fridge for later
  10. Garnish with dry rose petal and crushed pistachio for that regal feel!

Enjoy!!

 

Whole wheat Pav and Bhaji – Indian Street food

 

Hello my Dear Wonderful Readers!

How are you all doing? This week has been a week full of Indian food and I am in love with how my home smells like whole spices. It’s like you walked into a typical Kerala Restaurant that serves “Meen Curry” and “Kappa”. That reminds me, I need to buy some fish, this Malayali has been living for way too long without fish.

So I peeped into my fridge yesterday and it looked like some one else lived in my house for a week! NO really! I have no idea how I landed with half a head of cauliflower, 3 carrots and a few beans at the bottom of my vegetable tray. So obviously that wasn’t enough to make one separate dish with, then I decided to make a ‘kichidi’. Simply add some rice, dal and chop up all of the remaining vegetables in the fridge and put it all into a pressure cooker, give it 4 whistles and there it is! But then I had to remind my self that no one in my house was ill so why put the entire family through the horror of eating what resembles what my infant son would have had a few months ago?? So thats when I realised we could also add a few more vegetables and turn this into something everybody loves. Pav Bhaji. I am quite sure that this dish was invented by some one who wanted to clean their fridge out too! :p

Now the “Pav” part, that is the fun part. Cause its about making and baking the bread. I mean what is more relaxing than kneading dough, playing peek-a-boo with my son when the dough rises and that smell, ahh, that smell of sweet yeast when it bakes! yay!! So many people have a love affair with Indian spices, but for me, my best friend’s in my kitchen are “Yeast” and “Butter” These two ingredients make magic.

Now let me give you the definition of Pav Bhaji. Pav Bhaji is the ultimate balanced meal. Bread = good, tomatoes = good, potatoes = good, all the other vegetables = good, butter = excellent , spices = oh yeah!!

So this my friend is what I considered healthy street food.  You do need to buy the Masala from the shop. You can make it your self too, but no I do not know the recipe to that and I am not going to bother making it. Cause every shop has it! Like I just had to go to the shop that sells loose cigarettes and tic tacs and even they have it 😛 So do try it out and let me know how it goes. Btw people are going to tell you how you can add beetroots and raw bananas and al that, I say, try it like this and the next time go ahead and add your additions! Hey the world is your oyster!! And yeah I made my Pav with whole wheat flour just cause I think its healthier.

 

How to make ze  “Pav” / Bread

Ingredients :- 

  1. Whole Wheat Four – 2 cups
  2. Yeast – 2 tsp
  3. Milk – 1 cup ( warm)
  4. Water – 3 tbsp (warm)
  5. Sugar – 3 tsp
  6. Oil – 3 tbsp
  7. Salt – 1tsp

Instructions :-

  1. In a cup add the water and sugar. Stir to combine. Then add the yeast and set aside to foam
  2. While the yeast is feeding on the sugar, pour the flour and salt into the bowl of your stand mixer and fix the dough hook
  3. In another cup, add the milk and oil and give it a nice stir
  4. Now once you see the yeast has foamed well turn your mixer on and slowly add the yeast + water mixture
  5. Then add the milk + oil mixture and crank the speed up to medium and let the dough mix till it form a nice sticky ball
  6. While that happens, grease a nice big glass bowl and set aside
  7. Once the dough is ready, plop it onto a flour dusted counter and knead with your hand for 5 mins
  8. Then drop the dough into your greased glass bowl and set to rest
  9. You want the dough to double in volume and this could take 1 – 2 hours depending on how hot or cold your room is
  10. Once the dough has risen, punch the dough down wards to release the air and then roll out the dough into a nice long log. Then cut the log into 9 equal parts ( 9 coins)
  11. Prepare your baking tin with oil or butter and set aside
  12. Now roll these 9 coins into balls and set against each other as shown in the photos. Leave space between the balls cause they are going to sit for another 20 – 30 mins for a second rise
  13. Once you have all your balls roll out and into the pan, cover the pan with a warm wet towel and let it set in a warm place
  14. Pre heat your oven to 200C
  15. After 30 mins you will see that the balls have risen again. Take off the cloth and brush the top of the balls and sides of the pan with oil ( you could use butter too)
  16. Pop the tray into the oven and bake for 30 – 40 mins or till you see the top of the pav/ bread become nice and golden brown
  17. When you tap the bread it will sound like a hard knock but that’s just the crust.
  18. Take the pan out of the oven and set aside to cool
  19. Then take them out of the tray and cut into 9 pieces. Your Pav is ready!

 

How to make the “Bhaji”

Ingredients:  –

  1. Potatoes – 200 gms (cleaned, skinned and chopped)
  2. Cauliflower – 300 gms (cleaned and chopped to medium flowerets)
  3. Carrots – 200 gms (cleaned, peeled and chopped into bite size pieces)
  4. Peas – 100 gms (I used the frozen kind)
  5. Capsicum – 200 gms
  6. Beans – 200 gms
  7. Onions – 300 gms (chopped fine)
  8. Ginger Garlic Paste – 1 heap tbsp
  9. Cumin Seeds – 1 tsp
  10. Tomatoes – 250 gms (chopped fine)
  11. Coriander Leaves – ½ cup (chopped fine)
  12. Salt – to taste
  13. Pav Bhaji Masala – 3 tbsp
  14. Chili Powder – 2 tbsp (according to taste)
  15. Water – 3 -4 cups (depending on the vessel)

Instructions :-

  1. Firstly you wanna make sure that all your vegetables are of the same size, so that way they take the same time to cook
  2. In your pressure cooker add potatoes, cauliflower, carrots, peas, capsicum and beans. Pour as much water as required to soak the vegetables. Add 1 tsp of salt and cook for 3 whistels. If you do not have a cooker, just boil the vegetables till they are nicely cooked and mash-able
  3. While that happens, in a large kadai, heat oil and when the oil is hot add the cumin seeds. Add the chopped onions as soon as the cumin seeds begin to pop
  4. Fry the onions till they are pink, then add the ginger garlic paste and fry till the raw smell disappears
  5. Next add the chopped tomatoes to the onion garlic mix and fry for a minute. Then add the chilli powder and the pav bhaji masala and fry till you see oil leaving the sides of the mixture
  6. By this time your vegetables should be ready. Take them off the stove and mash the vegetable with a potato masher or the back of a nice big spoon. I like to bite little bits of potato and peas so I do not mash it all the way
  7. Now add the mashed vegetable to the tomato onions fry in the kadai and give it a nice mix