Hello my wonderful readers,
How are you all doing today? So today I am here with a simple no fuss snack thats is easy on the waist line and doesn’t feel like a salad at all. So every Friday my husband likes to unwind with a glass of scotch and he insists that I make some thing to go along with the drink. Inevitably I end up making something deep fried. So to change things up and keep it healthy, I decided to make these roasted Brussels sprouts and potatoes and they were a HIT! They take close to no time to prep and once they are in the oven all you have to do is give them a toss in the half way through the baking time just to make sure they crisp up evenly.
The garlic and the rosemary boost the taste and flavour of the veggies.
- Brussel Sprouts – 500 Gms
- Onions – 2 large ( sliced)
- Garlic – 10 cloves
- Rosemary – 4 to 5 sprigs
- Potato – 2 ( cut to wedges ) (cut them thin so they take the same time to cook as the rest of the ingredients )
- Pepper – 1/2 tsp
- Himalayan Pink Salt to taste ( use regular if not available )
- Olive oil for a generous drizzle
- Pre heat your oven to 200C
- Clean and cut the Brussels sprouts. Prep the onions, potatoes and rosemary
- In a large bowl combine all the ingredients listed above
- Arrange the same onto a baking tray
- Drizzle olive oil and pop the tray into the oven. Bake for 40 mins or till the Brussels sprouts are crisp on the outside and the potatoes are cooked well
- Make sure to turn the veggies around, half way through the bake, to ensure that they cook evenly
- Once done, serve right away . We like it a little crisp and brown on the outside.
- You could also grate some cheese on top of the roasted veggies
OLD POST – NEW PHOTOS 🙂
Hello Wonderful readers!
So you know how i have been going on and on about how cold its been and how we haven’t been able to step outside cause of the continuous rains. Its actually been more than a week since the rains started and it just doesn’t seem to stop. I was hoping it would rain continuously on the days after Diwali but that did not happen. Those two hours of no rain was filled with the horrendous sound of fire crackers bursting right up the road. It really doesn’t make sense to me. Yes when I was a little girl I loved to burst crackers with friends on Diwali but once I was in high school we never burst them. And it wasn’t like my parents hated it but I understood how bad the side effects are. A close friend of our family lost her husband during Diwali cause of the harmful gases that are emitted during that time. Asthma patients have it really bad during that entire week and so does poor little “pepper” (my lhasa apso) who also has a tough time with all the noise and smoke during Diwali time. That being said I do love lighting lamps around the house and filling our dinning tables with all sorts of sweets. My father LOVES bengali sweets and we make it a point to make as many as we can and buy more 🙂
Well its the week after Diwali, the days are short, cloudy, cold and chilly! The nights are ice cold. My son looks like an apple in the winter cold and he sleeps a lot. Thats why I have the time to make and post photos off late 😛
So we have been making and ordering lots and lots of soup and I decided why not share my simple roasted tomato soup. Its really simple and you do not really need to be there when it all happens. We have it with toasted bread but if I could I would love to have it with a grilled cheese sandwich. But each to their own. This one is my simple recipe.
- Tomatos – 6 – 7 ( ripe and red) all and any kind – red, black, cherry etc
- Garlic – 10 – 12 ( use 2 entire pods cut in the middles for bolder flavor)
- Rose Mary – 1/2 tsp
- Thyme – 1/2 tsp
- Chilli Flakes – 1/2 tsp
- Pepper – 1 tsp
- Salt – according to taste
- Vegetable Stock – 2 cups ( more if required)
- Olive oil – to drizzle over the tomatoes before roasting
- Basil and cream for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 180 C and line a baking tray with foil
- Now cut into 6 equal halves and cut the garlic into 2 halves
- Then add all dry spices – rose mary, thyme, oregano, chilli flakes and a little salt ( you add more later so just add a little at this stage)
- Now mix well to distribute the spice evenly with the tomato and garlic
- Spread the tomato and garlic over the foil evenly and make sure there is space between them to roast evenly
- Pop the tray into the oven and roast for 25 – 30 min ( the skin will begin to shrink and sizzle)
- Once the tomatoes and garlic are ready in a pan add 1 tsp of oil and add the roasted tomato mix
- Pour the vegetable stock. Close and cook for another 15 – 20 mins
- Add pepper and salt and season to your desired taste
- Finally transfer the mixture into a mixture and blend to required consistency
- If you do not like thick soups then bend for little longer that 10 mins and then push the soup through a soup strainer
- Serve hot with bread or grilled cheese sandwiches
Hello my dear wonderful readers,
How are you all doing today? My little boy is down with a fever again and now I am here taking care of him and spending all my time by his side. Over the weekend we took him to a fun play pen and the next day he came down with the cold. This is the second time this is happening after taking him to the same place and the only logical reason would be that he got it from some other kid at the play pen. How do I feel about the fact that parents bring their sick kids to a public area? Well personally I make sure my son is not around other kids when is unwell and if I know he is about to fall sick or is just recovering from one, I inform the family or friends I am about to meet. Well but that’s just me right? So now he is down with terrible cold, running nose, lots of sneezes and needs constant attention. All the while I find comfort in reassuring myself that this is the way his immune system does its job and grows stronger. So lets see.
The weekend was also a surprise cause after many many years, I made a new friend. A wonderful woman, who I can relate to in so many ways and its not often that you come across someone who you can just pour your heart out, the first time you meet them right? So all in all, the weekend was AWESOME!! It was also nice to leave the boys and have a little girl time after a looooooonnnggg time! Just to have a coffee and talk girl to girl and also hear out loud many things I have said to myself but never put to practice, was such a relief!! LOL..
Since the little one is unwell, I wasn’t able to get much cooking done. So, this recipe is my life saver. If you are Indian, then you know that there is noting simpler, comforting and wholesome like a big bowl of Dal and Rice / Chappati. This recipe can be used for a wide array of lentils. The simplest and most common combination is the one I have used in my recipe (below). The use of a pressure cooker just makes it faster and easier. But if you do not have a pressure cooker, you just need a pot with a lid and cover and cook till the lentils are mushy and soft to touch. Traditionally, Ghee / Clarified Butter is used instead of oil, but you could use any oil that you are comfortable using.
- Toor Dal / Pigeon Pea – 2 cup
- Masoor Dal / Red Lentils – 1 cup
- Oil / Ghee – 1 tbsp + 3 tsp
- Cinnamon Stick – 1 one inch stick
- Cloves – 4
- Green Cardamom – 4 ( bruise with the back of a spoon)
- Cumin Seeds – 2 tsp
- Asafoetida – 2 pinches
- Garlic Cloves – 5 Large
- Dry Red Chillies – 4
- Onions – (finely chopped)
- Tomatoes – (finely chopped)
- Ginger Garlic Paste – 1 tsp
- Turmeric Powder – 1 + 1/2 tsp
- Chilli Powder – 1 tsp
- Salt – as required
- Water – 4 cups
- Coriander Leaves – 3 tbsp
- In a large bowl, combine both the lentils and wash thoroughly in running water. Then soak in water for 15 mins
- Now in a pressure cooker or large bowl, add 1 tbsp of oil. One the oil is hot, add the jeera / cumin seeds (1 tsp)
- As soon as the cumin seeds begin to crackle, add the cinnamon stick, cloves, cardamom, red chillies (3) and asafoetida
- Once the chillies plump up, add the onions. Fry till the onions are pink and almost translucent
- Then add the ginger garlic paste and fry till the raw smell disappears
- Next add the chopped tomatoes, turmeric powder and chili powder
- Now cook till the tomatoes are cooked through (do not wait for it to fry )
- Once the onion tomato paste is ready, add the soaked lentils. ( Discard the water it was soaked in)
- Add the water and 1 tbsp of salt
- Cover and cook for 3 whistles or till the lentils have cooked through
- Once the lentils have cooked through, in a small pan, add rest of the oil. Once the oil is hot add the rest of the cumin seeds, red chili and garlic cloves. Fry till the garlic is golden brown
- Pour over the cooked lentils and garnish with the chopped coriander leaves
- Serve right away along with hot rice or chappatis
Hello my dear wonderful readers,
So I know you are thinking it’s still cold and why on earth would I wanna put up a post with a cold drink. The fact is that it is nice and cold during the nights but the days are getting equally warm. In fact by 2 in the afternoon we have our fans on and my son is usually sweating by then. Also I realized that it is equally important to stay hydrated during cold times as in summer.
This cucumber mint juice is the perfect way to stay hydrated and cucumber by itself has many healthy benefits. There is always a simple cucumber salad with all our meals and some days we have this drink instead of an aerated drink. We discourage our little one from having soft drinks and beverages so we replace them with juices such as watermelon or lime or even a strawberry milkshake. So this juice was not well received by the little one but we enjoy it every now and then. Its simple to make and it all goes into a single bowl so not much of a recipe per say.
You could also add cumin powder or chilli powder at the end just to give it a different kick. I just use honey cause I love sweet drinks and this is my go to drink when I am in need of a clean refreshing juice.
- Lime – 2
- Water – 4 cups
- Cucumber – 3 (sliced and extra for garnish)
- Ginger – 1 inch knob
- Honey – according to taste
- Mint – 1 cup (packed)
- In the bowl of your blender / juicer, add the juice of 2 limes
- Then add all of the above ingredients
- Blend till the ginger has also blended with the juice. Add more honey if required at this stage
- Pour into glasses and serve right away
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 :–
- Chicken – 500 gms ( minced)
- Cumin Seeds – 1 tsp
- Methi Seeds / Coriander Seeds – 1/2 tsp
- Kalonji – 1/ tsp
- Mustard Seeds – 1 tsp
- Dry Red Chillies – 6 -8
- Oil – 2 tbsp
- Ginger Garlic Paste – 1 tbsp
- Green Chillies – 2 ( chopped fine)
- Salt – according to taste
- Chilli Powder – 1 tsp
- Lime Juice – 5 tbsp
- 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
- Once you are ready to cook the chicken, heat oil in a large khadai
- 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
- Then add the green chillies and the marinated chicken
- Add the chilli powder and cook till the chicken is cooked well and all the water has evaporated.
- Set aside to cool down
Ingredients to assemble the samosa :-
- Samosa Patti / pastry – 1 pack ( around 15)
- Boiled Potatoes – 1/2 cup
- Deep fried Onions – 1/2 cup *
- Coriander Leaves – 1/4 cup ( chopped fine)
- Mint Leaves – 1/4 cup ( chopped fine)
- Flour paste – add 2 tbsp of flour to 1 tbsp of water to form a thick paste (set aside)
- Oil – for deep frying
- In a large bowl, combine the cooked chicken, boiled potatoes, mint, coriander leaves and fried onions. add salt to taste
- Using the samosa patti / pastry, fold to form a cone.
- Then stuff the cone with the chicken mixture
- Using the flour paste, seal the corners
- Deep fry the samosas and serve right away with spicy mint chutney
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 🙂
- Rice Flour – 3 cups
- Urad Dal – 6 tbsp
- White Sesame Seeds – 1 tsp
- Black Sesame Seeds – 1 tsp
- Red Chilli Powder – 1 tsp
- Pepper Powder – 1/2 tsp
- Asafoetida – 1/2 tsp ( more if you like it pungent )
- Salt – to taste
- Oil – 3 tbsp
- Oil to fry
- Water to bind ( depends on the quality of the rice flour)
- 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
- Once they are ready , add into a blender and powder to a fine powder
- 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
- Then add the 3 tsp of oil and mix into the mixture till they almost resemble bread crumbs
- Finally add water little bit at a time to make a nice tight dough. Remember all you need is the dough to come together
- 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
- Once you have your dough ready, heat oil in a khadai ( enough to be able to deep fry these wheels)
- 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
- Now attach the start tip to the murukku maker and fill the barrel with the rice flour dough
- Slowly make round shapes of the murukku on your prepared baking paper
- Start from the inside and go round towards the outside
- Once you reach the outside, pinch the end towards the murukku
- Once you oil is nice and hot ( make sure the oil is always at medium flame not too hot and not too cold)
- 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
- Lay them on kitchen paper tower to soak up the excess oil
- You Murukku is ready! Store in an air tight container
Hello My Dear wonderful readers!!
How are you all doing today? Its a long weekend and we have been having the best time ever! The new house is shaping up and I am down to my final two boxes to unpack! yay. Before we moved here, I would save up the carboard boxes of the new gadgets and electronics we would buy and my reason was quite simply, “cause it will come handy when we move”. But for the first time in my life I am saying “hey throw it, we are not going any where, are we?” . The sheer happiness of buying your own place and making it home. I still haven’t figured where I want all my paintings and photos to go up on the walls but hey, that is the fun part right? setting up your own place and doing it up the way you like it and not worrying about what your house owner would say 😛
The best part about the new place is the fact that my kitchen now has lots more counter space. That means, more space for making bread. lol!! My earlier kitchen was always a choice. There where decisions made every time a dish was made. But now I absolutely love it here
That brings me to my recipe. I always loved making dosa and idilis for breakfast. They are super easy to make and the boys love hot crisp dosas with ghee or cheese early morning. So this time I decided to share my mums dosa batter recipe and methods with you.
1. Par Boiled Rice – 1 cup
2. Regular Rice -3 cups
3. Split Black Gram – 1 cup
4. Methi / Fenugreek Seeds – 2 tsp
5. Salt – according to taste
6. Water – as given in instructions
Instructions to make the Batter –
1. First the rice – Mix both kinds of rice and the fenugreek seeds. Wash in running water till the water runs clear. ( first it will be milky white, but 3 – 4 good washes will give you nice clean rice with no mucky white water)
2. Second the Split Black Gram – Wash the dal the same way as the rice till the water runs clear
3. Soak – Soak the rice with 3 and 1/2 cups of water
4. In another bowl, soak the split black gram in 1 cup of water
5. Let them soak for 6 – 8 hours ( usually this is done on a sunday early morning so by evening it is ready for the next step
6. After soaking, grind the rice and the gram separately. You could use a food processor too but you want to make sure that the batter is nice and fine
7. Finally once you have both the rice and the gram in a batter , combine the two in a big container ( make sure that the container is only 60% full once you have poured both the rice and the gram batter. Give the batter a quick mix and set aside to ferment
8. Now typically this step is done over night. But do give it atleast 10 hours in a warm place. I have seen that if the temperature is above 25C the batter ferments faster and the batter is much better
9. After the given time your batter is ready! Add salt just before you start making your dosas
Instructions to make the dosa
1. First grease your pan / tava / griddle with coconut oil lightly . Then spoon some of the batter onto the centre of your pan. Make sure you use a nice long spoon with a round base that will help spreading the batter evenly around the pan
2. So after pouring the batter in the centre of the pan using the back side of the spoon, push the batter outwards in a circular motion. ( Do Check out my INSTAGRAM Account for a quick video on how to do this part)
3. After the batter is evenly spread, add a few drops of coconut oil around the dosa and wait till you see the edge and the thin sides, turn brown. That is when you have to turn the dosa over.
4. Once the other side is done too, you are ready to serve!
Serve with hot sambar, coconut or peanut chutney or with chutney powder (locally known as podi)!
Hello My Dear Wonderful Friends!
How are you all doing today? Yay, its almost the weekend and I can not wait for Saturday. Its been raining all week and my little boy is down with a cold, so I decided to make warm food and to begin my day with lots of nutritious fruits to keep me going. Pineapples help build and secure your immune system. They are anti inflammatory and also help in digestion. Kiwi also helps build immunity and is a good source of Vitamin C and then there is mango. Do you really need a reason to add mangoes in anything?? 😛
This time I used coconut water cause I wanted this smoothie to feel like a cocktail! ha.. so much for a clean mind and a clean diet! lol. The thing is, when you make smoothies every day, you really do not wanna get bored and our world is full of different kinds of fruits and vegetables and the permutations are endless! That being said, there are certain smoothies I just do not make, like pineapple and oats = yuck! Orange + yogurt = run to the bathroom!! etc!
All this fruit talk is making me hungry! OK, so I am going to run along and make some thing to eat while you check out my recipe for this refreshingly fresh and jazzy smoothie!!
- Mango – 2 cups
- Kiwi – 3
- Pineapple – 1 medium size
- Coconut water – from one large coconut ( add more if you do not like it thick)
- Palm Sugar – 1 tsp ( optional)
- Skin the mango and cut the fresh mango into large chunks and chuck right into the blender
- Then cut the kiwis into two and using a spoon scoop out the flesh
- Slowly slice off the skin of the pineapple and cut into small chunks
- Add all the fruits into the blender
- Finally break open a fresh coconut and add the water to the smoothie ( if you can use the flesh of the coconut as well)
- Give a good mix
- Serve into individual glasses with a slice of pineapple on top
Hello my Dear Wonderful Readers!
How are you all doing today? I found peaches at the nearby market and I decided why not use them in a fresh morning smoothie. As I took a walk down the market aisle, I realized that the number of mangoes are dwindling, therefore I decided to make the most of it while its still available. That brings me to the topic of canned food. Now for one, unless its an order to make a cake without a seasonal fruit or when I need to add a cheer to a cocktail, I stay clear of canned food. Simple cause I worry about the preservatives in the can. Food was never meant to last as long as it does when it is canned. So why add more preservatives and chemicals to your diet right? That’s why I prefer using fresh fruits in my smoothies. Also if I want an element of cold or frozen, I cut up the required fruit and freeze it over night so my smoothies are thick and creamy. That being said some times when I need to make a tuna salad in a hurry (once in 6 months!) I do grab a can of canned tuna. Nothing substitutes fresh, seasonal fruits. So if you are planing on making a smoothie tomorrow, I suggest you pick up the least expensive fruit in the market, that means they are in season and they will only make you healthier!
So this smoothie is a mixture of fresh peaches, mangoes and oranges. Now if you want you could add water or yogurt but I do not like the combination of milk or yogurt with citrus fruits. It just does not work! ( for me). And this smoothie is a really thick smoothie, almost like ice cream. I did not add any liquid cause I wanted more fruit this time.
- Fresh Peaches – 4
- Mangoes – 3 cups ( cubes and frozen)
- Oranges – 2 large
- Ice Cubes – 5 – 6
- Cut and core the peaches.
- Cube the mangoes and freeze over night for a creamy thick consistency ( its ok if you do not have frozen mangoes, fresh mango works too)
- Juice 2 large oranges ( use the pulp too)
- Add all the ingredients into a blender along with the ice cubes. Blend according to the blender instructions and serve with a slice of fresh cut orange.