- Very healthy recipes from the kitchen to the table in minutes

 Instead of the spinach I used swiss chard to make lasagna for dinner today.I loved the flavor and taste of this lasagna. It received a bi...

Swiss Chard Lasagna

 Instead of the spinach I used swiss chard to make lasagna for dinner today.I loved the flavor and taste of this lasagna. It received a big thumbs up from our in house food critic, my daughter. She wanted me to post it today in my blog. This lasagna happens to be very light and less cheesy. Maybe that is why we all went for seconds.  If you would like your kids to have swiss chard, maybe lasagna is a good way.



Gadgets:

Frying Pan
Spatula
Cutting Board
Knife
Measuring Spoon and Cup
Lasagna Tray

Ingredients:

Makes 12 pieces

Lasagna No Boil Sheets - 1 1/2 boxes
Ricotta Cheese - 24 tbsps
Marinara Sauce - 2 bottles
Olive Oil - 3 tbsp
Onions - 2
Swiss Chard - 2 bundles
Garlic - 4
Garlic Powder - 1/2 tsp
Salt
Pepper
Cheese - (4 cheese Italian blend Cello from Costco) - 2 cups


Preparation:

1. Slice onions and finely shred the swiss chard. Heat olive oil in the pan. Add onions allow the onions to get cooked. Add salt and swiss chard. Cook until the swiss chard gets tender. Add minced garlic and pepper and cook for 3 minutes. Allow to cool.

2. Set the oven to 375 degrees F.

3. Pour some marinara sauce in the lasagna pan, just enough to roughly cover the bottom ( 1/2 cup or so). Layer the no boil lasagna sheets. Add the swiss chard mix evenly on top. Spoon in 12 tbsp of ricotta evenly so that each portion gets a tbsp. Lightly flatten the ricotta. Pour some marinara sauce and sprinkle some cheese.

4. Repeat step 3 again.  Place one more layer of lasagna sheets. Add marinara sauce and the rest of the cheese evenly. Sprinkle garlic powder ( 1/2 tsp or so)

5. Cover with the aluminum foil and place in the over for 35 minutes. At the end of the 35 minutes, remove the foil and allow for the lasagna to bake for 10 minutes, until all the cheese has melted.

6. Remove from oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.









6 Comments:

Had no clue that days have passed before I posted in my blog. Flu is a mean thing that takes away all the thrill from the holidays. Well, ...

Mooli Paratha / Radish Paratha

Had no clue that days have passed before I posted in my blog. Flu is a mean thing that takes away all the thrill from the holidays. Well, I am recovering and I wanted to post the spicy mooli paratha that I made for dinner. There are many ways to making this paratha. The cooked version, and the uncooked version. I prefer to make the cooked version. I like it because,  it saves me from having a mess when it comes to assembling the paratha. The mooli or radish tends to secrete a lot of water and the addition of salt does not help it either. A very effective way to handle this problem is to cook the moli and allow all the water to disappear and have a dry filling. I love the taste of this paratha and love to share it here.


Gadgets:

Bowls
Box Grater
Knife
Cutting board
Peeler
Pan
Spatula
Measuring Cup and Spoon


Ingredients:

Stuffing:

Radish/ Mooli - 4 ( makes 4 cups of grated radish)
Cilantro - 2 tbps chopped
Salt
Turmeric Powder - 1/2 tsp
Chilli Powder - 1 tsp ( adjust as per taste)
Coriander Powder - 2 tsps
Lemon Juice - a dash
Oil - 2 tbsp plus extra for making paratha
Roti Dough - 8 portions of golf ball sized dough

Preparation:

1. Peel the skin off the the radish and grate it in a box grater. (Note: I prefer this over the food processor  grater, because it keeps the radish crisp). 





2. Heat the pan with some oil. Add the raddish and start to cook it. The quantity will shrink. At that time, add the spices, salt, lemon juice mix well and cook until all water disappears. ( Note: I like to make the filling a little spicy).


3. Add cilantro as garnish and allow for it to cool.




4. Take the dough, roll and flatten it to 5 inch circle. Place the cooled filling inside, wrap the dough around the filling.




5. Roll it out into an 8 or 9 inch paratha. Heat the iron griddle to medium high.





6. Cook the paratha on both sides, add oil on both size and serve it hot with raita or fresh yogurt. 





11 Comments:

I woke up this morning to a light drizzle followed by heavy rain. I immediately made up my mind to make a pot of soup for dinner along wit...

Vegetable Soup For A Rainy Day

I woke up this morning to a light drizzle followed by heavy rain. I immediately made up my mind to make a pot of soup for dinner along with freshly baked bread. To most people rain is not a good weather condition, but for my daughter and me we celebrate it. She loves to drink hot chocolate while I love my chai. Sometimes, I love to bake or make warm food that nourished our soul. Inspired by a soup recipe in the local news paper, I decided to add some of the spices mentioned there to prepare my soup. Plenty of veggies, garbanzo beans and warming spices, I think I have found a soup that I would make often for supper to lunch.


Gadgets:

Cutting Board
Knife
Stock Pot / Pan

Ingredients:

Leeks / Onions - 1 cup sliced
Carrots - 1 cut into small cubes
Celery - 4 stocks chopped
Potato - 3 Skin pealed and cut into chunks
Beans - 12 cut into 1 inch pieces
Bell Pepper - 1 cut into chunks
Butternut Squash - 2 cup pureed ( or soup)
Dried Dill - 1 tsp
Tomato - 1 big 
Coriander Powder - 1/2 tsp
All Spice Powder - a pinch
Garlic Powder - 1 tsp ( or more as per taste)
Pepper - as per taste
Salt
Garbanzo Beans - 1 can
Olive Oil - 2 tbsp
Water - 2 cups


Preparation:

1. Heat the pan with the olive oil. Add leeks and cook until they are soft. 

2. Add celery, carrots and give it a toss and cook it for 5 minutes. 

3. Add butternut squash puree and cook for 5 minutes along with water.

4. Add the rest of the veggies (other than the tomatoes) along with salt, pepper, turmeric, coriander, garlic  and all spice powder. Cover and cook for 5 minutes or until the veggies are done.

5. Add the tomatoes and garbanzo beans give it a stir and allow for it to cook for few minutes. 

6. Taste the soup to check for salt. Serve it hot with some toasted bread.




9 Comments:

Happy Diwali! Its that time of the year, when I usually get super motivated to prepare sweets, but this year, not so much. I stuck t...

Mixed Nut Fudge

Happy Diwali!


Its that time of the year, when I usually get super motivated to prepare sweets, but this year, not so much. I stuck to my usual sweets that I have blogged. For a while I have been thinking of preparing mixed nuts based burfi. The nuts used in my recipe are pine nut, walnut, cashew nut, almond and pistachios. I have been reading about how walnuts can taste bitter in a burfi and the safe way to fix was to soak the nuts. Soaking the nuts not only helped using walnuts, but also helped in removing the brown skin from the pistachios. My intention was to prepare a mixed nut burfi, but it required a lot of sugar. So I converted them into a fudge. It was loq on sugar but the nutty flavors came through.


Gadgets:

Heavy Wok
Spatula
Molds
Measuring Cups
Bowls
Blender

Ingredients:

Nuts ( Cashew, pine, almonds, pistachios and walnuts) - 1/2 cup each
Sugar - 1 1/2 cups
Saffron - a generous pinch
Milk - 1/4 cup
Hot Water - Enough to soak the nuts


Preparation:

1. Add the pine nuts, cashews and walnuts in a bowl. Add pistachios and almonds in individual bowls. Pour hot water into these 3 bowls and allow for them to soak for an hour or more. 
2. Remove the almond and pistachio skin.

3. Drain all the water, add the nuts into a blender and blend then into a lightly coarse mixture by adding some milk.

4. Heat the heavy bottom pan on medium, with 2 tbsp of ghee, add the nut paste and mix it well for 2 minutes. Add the sugar and mix well. Allow it to cook and sprinkle in the saffron.

5. Cook until the nut mixture comes together. Remove from heat and allow to cool. 

6. Make into the desired shapes and serve them, but I love it pipping hot.



I had a lot of fun making shapes with my wooden spoon that I had in my kitchen. It was as if I had a chance to play with play dough. The only difference here is, it is edible.


If you have similar type of molds, it would be a great idea to sprinkle some corn starch into the mold to remove the fudge like textures easily.

Make a ball of the nut fudge that would cover the mold.

Flatten it to cover the mold.

Tap the wooden spoon on your board. The mold nut fudge pops out. Dab  a little of the corn flour on the base to keep it dry.

12 Comments:

Deepavali is around the corner and its the time of the year to indulge in sweets and savories. Though most of the goodies are available in...

Cilantro Flavored Cereal Mixture / Chivda / Chex Mix

Deepavali is around the corner and its the time of the year to indulge in sweets and savories. Though most of the goodies are available in stores these days, I still like to make something at home for my family and friends. Everybody is getting so health conscious and prefer baked instead of deep fried goodies. For me, the only reason I like making savory crunches, is to enjoy them with sambar or thair sadham on Deepavali day. It is the perfect thing to have after eating a lot of sweets on that day. This year, I have decided to make cereal based mixture, but it has a lot more of cilantro flavor to it and its baked. A trip to Trader Joe's and Target can get you set to prepare the mixture. 


Gadgets:

Measuring Cups and Spoons
Seasoning Wok
Spatula
Cookie Tray

Ingredients:

Rice Chex Mix - 2 cups
High Fiber Cereal - 2 cups
Corn Flakes - 2 cups
Rice Crispies - 2 cups
Roasted Unsalted Cashew Nuts - 1 cup
Roasted Unsalted Peanuts - 1 cups
Roasted Unsalted Slivered Almonds - 1 cup
Asafoetida - a small piece
Curry Leaves - 2 Strands 
Cilantro - 1/2 bunch dried
Chili Powder - 1/2 tsp ( as per taste )
Turmeric Powder - 1 tsp
Oil - 1 tbsp
Salt very little


Preparation:

1. Set the oven at 220 Degrees F. In a big bowl, add all the cereals, nuts and give it a mix.

2. Heat the seasoning wok with oil, add asafoetida, allow for it to get fried well. Add curry leaves,  cilantro, turmeric and chili powder. Cook until the cilantro get toasted a bit.  Remove from heat and transfer to a blender.

3. Blend the mix. Add this mixture to the cereal mix and keep mixing well. Transfer to a cookie tray and spread evenly.

4. Place in the oven and allow to get toasted for 30 minutes. Add salt if required. Remove, cool and store in an air tight container.

13 Comments:

Sometimes mistakes lead to something unexpected. Last Saturday, I was on the way to preparing Tiramisu and totally goofed up with the w...

Microwavable Sweet Cream Fudge / Palgova


Sometimes mistakes lead to something unexpected. Last Saturday, I was on the way to preparing Tiramisu and totally goofed up with the whipped cream. I did not know what I was thinking, when I added sugar to the cream that my daughter and niece were taking turns whipping. The cream went back to becoming sweet cream and I was disappointed that I did not look to see if cream was whipped enough before I added the sugar. So I closed the lid on the whipped cream bowl and stored it in my fridge. I thought that I could make a milk based sweet, which my daughter and niece would enjoy. After all, they were working hard whipping cream and I messed it up for them. But, all that ended in a good thing. I ended up making palgova in the microwave. Online, I found at showmethecurry.com, something similar in their chocolate burfi recipe. So, I was happy that I was on the right track but, this recipe is a little different. I added yogurt and cream of wheat/rava to the whipped cream in order to create the texture I was looking for. It also made a substantial amount of palgova, which surprised me.

NOTE: There are a lot of recipes with condensed milk, which I have used a lot in the past for making milk based sweets. But, what I found using the whipped cream is that the flavor and color of the palgova is very different. In a way, it allows one to adjust the amount of sugar that can be used in this recipe. The whipped cream version, came close to the little packets of palgova I used to enjoy as a kid. So I am kind of very happy with this one. Please do give this a try and let me know what you all think.


Gadgets:

Microwave safe bowl ( large)
Measuring Cups and Spoons
Spatula
Cling wrap


Ingredients:

Heavy Cream - 1 pint or 2 cups
Sugar - 1 cup
Mava Milk Powder by Deep - 3 cups
Yogurt ( Greek Style) - 2 tsp
Cream Of Wheat /  Rava - 2 tbsp


Preparation:

1. Mix all the ingredients except yogurt in a microwave safe bowl and microwave 2 minutes initially. Mix and microwave for 5 minutes. Add yogurt to the mix  and microwave it for about 5 minutes.(depending on the power of your microwave). The mixture will thicken into a very thick sauce.  If you cook past this stage you will see a lot of grease coming out of the mix. So please stop before that. Remove and allow to cool.

2. Take 1 tbsp of the portion and place it in a cling wrap or you can set them in a tray and cut into squares. Make small parcels to give as gifts.

Note: If I have to do this different, I would add milk powder and whipped cream and cook them well with some yogurt. Then I would add sugar in the end. I think that would keep the color lighter.

17 Comments:

Dosa is a gluten free crepe that is very popular in the south of India. It is such a comfort food and each individual has an opinion as to...

Grilled Cheese Dosai

Dosa is a gluten free crepe that is very popular in the south of India. It is such a comfort food and each individual has an opinion as to how they like their dosai's cooked. Crisp dosai is what I enjoy, while I know a lot of people who like it soft like a crepe. Being particular about the texture of dosai is one thing, what gets stuffed inside a dosai is another thing altogether. The common stuffing's are cauliflower, potato, onion, tomato etc, but my daughter loves hers with cheese. She calls it the "grilled cheese dosai" and enjoys it with ketchup. Claims that is the best combination and I am always happy to make what she enjoys. Fusion cooking is what I call it. It just struck me that, the grilled cheese dosai can be served as bite size appetizers on a cold winter day and it would taste awesome.


Gadgets:

Iron Griddle
Spatula
Measuring cups and spoons
Plate

Ingredients:

Dosai Batter - 2 ladles 
Cheese - 3 tbsp
Ketchup 
Oil / Ghee - 2 tbsp
Heavy Pan


Preparation:

1. Make 8 inch soft dosai's on the iron griddle. Cook on both sides, remove and place them in a plate.

2. Sprinkle 3 tbsp of cheese on half of the dosai, fold the dosai to resemble half a circle

3. Set the iron griddle on low. Place the cheese filled dosai back on the griddle and put a heavy pan on top. Toast it well on both sides, until it gets crunchy and golden brown and the cheese starts to melt and ooze.

4. Remove from heat, cut them into mini triangles and serve it hot with ketchup.

Note: If you want to serve this for a party, make the triangles and place in the oven heated to 220 degrees F, so that they stay warm.


9 Comments:

A few days ago I made adai using Organic Tru Roots Sprouted beans. Without the addition of rice the adai turned out soft. It was deliciou...

Sprouted Bean Crepes / Sprouted Bean Adai

A few days ago I made adai using Organic Tru Roots Sprouted beans. Without the addition of rice the adai turned out soft. It was delicious and tasted like a regular adai. Apart from using the sprouted beans in salads, another option is to make adai with them.



Gadgets:


Iron Griddle
Spatula
Bowl
Measuring Cups
Blender/ Mixer

Ingredients:

Organic Dry Sprouted Beans - 1 cup
Long Grain Rice - 1 cup
Ginger - 1 1/2 inches
Cilantro - 1/2 a bunch
Turmeric Powder - 1/4 tsp
Salt
Dry Red Chillies - 2
Asafoetida Powder - 1/4 tsp
Curry Leaves - a few
Oil -Enough to cook the adai/ crepe                                                         Hot Water - Enough to soak

                                                      Preparation:

1. Wash the sprouted beans and long grain rice and soak in hot water for 30 minutes.

2. Add the soaked ingredients into a blender along with red chillies, ginger, cilantro, turmeric and asafetida powder, salt and curry leaves.


3. Blend them well into a coarse batter.

4. Heat the iron griddle, make crepes/adai cook on both sides and serve it with some butter, cilantro chutney or coconut chutney or ketchup and enjoy them hot off the griddle.

9 Comments:

For over months, I have been thinking of making the macadamia nut fudge/ katli, but never got around to making it. The macadamia nuts we...

Macadamia Nut Katli/Fudge


For over months, I have been thinking of making the macadamia nut fudge/ katli, but never got around to making it. The macadamia nuts were a gift from Hawaii, and we had a cup and a half of the nuts left for me to prepare the katli. After doing a lot of research on how katili's are made, I finally decided to go with the no cook recipe version that is commonly used in making cashew katli. This recipe can be  prepared in less than 10 minutes. I was so happy with how it tasted and the texture was spot on, soft moist and chewy. Macadamia is a nut that has a high fat content. So, I decided to cut them into 3/4 inch cubes and enjoy them guilt free.


Gadgets:

Blender / Mixer
Measuring Cups and Spoons
Plates
Bowls
Cutting Board
Rolling Pin
Knife
Microwave


Ingredients:

Roasted Macadamia Nuts - 1/2 cup
Milk Powder - 1/2 cup
Powdered Sugar - 1/2  cup plus 1 tbsp
Hot Water - 1 to 2 tbsp
Saffron - a generous pinch
Cardamon - 4 pods powdered


Preparation:


1. Blend the macadamia nuts and milk powder in the blender. If you just blend macadamia nuts, it starts to get very oily, so the milk powder helps to keep it dry.

2.  Microwave the powdered sugar for a minute to get it warm.  Make sure to remove the lumps in the sugar. Add the nut mixture to the sugar, using your fingers make sure to mix well so that they are well combined.

3. Finely crush the saffron and add to the mixture along with the cardamon powder and mix well.

4. Add 1 tbsp of boiling water to it and try to make a dough. If you feel the need for another tbsp add 1 tsp at a time, until it comes together into a firm dough. ( 1 tbsp = 3 tsp)

5. Sprinkle a tbsp of powdered sugar on the cutting board. Place the macadamia nut dough on it and flatten it.

6. Roll the dough so that you make a thick layer of 3/4th inch. Cut into 3/4th inch cubes. Store and enjoy.






17 Comments:

At Trader Joe's you get two types of lavash bread, the regular one made with white flour and the other one with whole wheat. I had a f...

Baked Lavash Crackers In Chaat Flavor

At Trader Joe's you get two types of lavash bread, the regular one made with white flour and the other one with whole wheat. I had a few left over lavash bread from making the wrap, so I decided to make lavash chips with an Indian chaat flavor to it. Not only is it  super easy to make, but it gets done in 10 to 12 minutes and is the perfect low calorie snack, appetizer anytime. Baked lavash bread can be served with  spreads like hummus, baba ghanoush, sour cream dip, tomato chutney or guacamole. But, I liked the idea of using the sweet and spicy chutney on the lavash bread. Apart from using them as crackers, the baked lavash is a great alternative to deep fried papadi. Topped with some boiled potato, garbanzo beans, onions, more chutney and yogurt it would make a perfect base for papadi chaat. So next time you have a big party or like to have a snack watching a football game, this one can come handy



Gadgets:

Cutting Board
Measuring Cups and Spoons
Knife
Lined Baking Tray

Ingredients:

Lavash Bread - 3
Sweet Chutney - a few Tbsps ( 2 -3 )
Spicy Chutney - a few Tbsps ( 2-3)
Fresh Crushed Pepper 
Chilli Powder - a dash
Chaat Masala - a pinch or two



Preparation:

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Mix sweet and spicy chutney and spread it over the lavash bread. Sprinkle the pepper, chilli  and chaat power.

2. Cut it lengthwise into strips and cut each strip into half. Place them on a lined ( either aluminum or parchment paper) baking tray. 

3. Bake for 6-8 minutes ( depending on the oven type). They must come out crispy. Serve with hummus, sour cream dip or any other kind that you enjoy. 





13 Comments:

If you happen to eat a full course meal in south India, you never start your meal without rice, paruppu (lentil) and ghee on your plate / ...

Paruppu Sadham / Lentils With Rice

If you happen to eat a full course meal in south India, you never start your meal without rice, paruppu (lentil) and ghee on your plate / banana leaf. It is one of my favorite parts of the meal because it reminds of my childhood. Every baby grows up eating this everyday. Why? Because, it is a complete meal in itself served with some veggies on the side. Lentils bring in the protein, rice has the carbs, ghee has the fat and the veggies on the side adds the fiber to the meal. This is a vegetarian's comforting and nourishing food. This also happens to be what my family enjoys the most. I absolutely have to keep some paruppu or lentils on the side for them to enjoy it before they go on to the rest of the meal. So I decided to share this on my blog. Here is the recipe if you are just going to make paruppu sadham for 2 people.


Gadgets:

Pressure Cooker
Bowl
Measuring cups and spoons
Rice Cooker

Ingredients:

Thoor Dal - 1/4 cup
Water to cook thoor dal - 1/2 cup
Turmeric Powder - a pinch
Rice - 1/2 cup
Water to cook rice - 3 ( or depends on the instructions)
Ghee - 2 tsp
Salt


Preparation:

1. Clean the rice with water 3 times. Add the required amount of water as per the instructions. Pour some water into the rice cooker. Place the bowl of rice and water cover and cook until its done.

2. Pressure cook the lentils with water and turmeric powder.

3. When rice and lentils are cooked, mix both rice, ghee, lentils and salt and mix well, when hot and serve it hot with veggies.

15 Comments:

Of all the sundal's/salad's out there this one happens to be one of my favorite. I make them with and without onions  depending on...

Peanut Salad/ Sundal/ Kadala Sundal

Of all the sundal's/salad's out there this one happens to be one of my favorite. I make them with and without onions  depending on the occasion. During navarathri celebrations, I make them to offer it to people who come for the kolu. But, if I am serving it for a party to go with cocktail, I make it extra spicy with onions. The peanut sundal cannot be made in an instant. Some prep work is required before the peanuts are cooked and made into sundal. Soaking time for sundal can go anytime between overnight to a minimum of 5 hours. My sister who is a pro at cooking tells me that the texture of the soaked peanuts matter. If you do not soak it long enough, they may appear to be well cooked initially but when made into a sundal, it might not taste cooked. So please soak it well before cooking the peanuts. On taking her advice, I soaked long enough and made this simple sundal for a snack.


Gadgets:

Bowls
Pressure Cooker
Measuring Cups and Spoons
Frying pan
Spatula
Cutting Board
Knife

Ingredients:

Raw Peanuts - 1 cup
Onion- 1 small finely cubed
Green Chillies - 2
Curry Leaves - a few
Cilantro - a few strands finely minced
Ginger- 1 inch cut into cubes
Coconut - 1/4 cup
Salt
Asafoetida Powder - 1/8 tsp
Mustard Seeds - 1 tsp
Turmeric Powder - 1/4 tsp
Oil - 1 tsp
Water - Enough to soak the peanuts and cook the peanuts


Preparation:

1. Soak the peanuts in sufficient water over night or at least 12 hours.

2. Pressure cook the peanuts with some salt on high to a whistle and then reduce it to low and allow it to cook to 3 whistle. Allow for the pressure to release and then open the pressure cooker and drain the water.

3. Heat a frying pan with oil. Add asafoetida, mustard seeds and allow for it to pop. Add onions, green chilies, ginger and curry leaves. Cook until onions are well done. Add coconut and give it a stir. Add turmeric powder and blend it in.

4. Add peanuts and mix well. Add some salt if needed. Garnish with cilantro and serve it hot as cocktail peanuts or as a snack.

Note: If you are trying to prepare the onion free version, omit onions in the 3rd step and follow the above recipe.


7 Comments: