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

A staple in my fridge these days are the three chutneys. We love chaat in our family and love to have pani puri and bhel anytime. Its ve...

Three Chaat Chutneys: Mint Chutney, Sweet Chutney & Garlic Chutney in 20 Minutes

A staple in my fridge these days are the three chutneys. We love chaat in our family and love to have pani puri and bhel anytime. Its very simple to make the chutney and store because it gives you the option to have chaat any time. The mint chutney is highly versatile. It helps out with making mint rice or when mixed with cream cheese it becomes a flavorful spread for sandwiches or wraps. Garlic Chutney is awesome as a base to make any Indian side dish that requires chilies and garlic. The sweet chutney can be used as a dip for samosa and chips. 

Mint Chutney:
Time: less than 5 minutes

Gadgets:
Blender
Cutting Board
Knife
Colander

Ingredients:
Cilantro - 2 big bunches cleaned
Mint - 1 bundle
Garlic - 1 pod
Green Chillies - 2 ( depending of the spice levels)
Salt
Ginger - 1 inch
Lemon Juice - 1/2 a lemon
Water - 2 tbsps
Sugar - a pinch

Preparation: 
Time: Less than 5 minutes.

1. Add the juice and sugar to the blender then the cilantro, mint chilies, garlic, ginger, salt and blend into smooth chutney. Add Water to pure it.
Note: The chutney will remain green and fresh because of the lemon juice.


Sweet Chutney:
Time:  15 minutes
Gadgets:
Blender
3 Saucepans
Colander
Measuring Spoons and Cups

Ingredients:                                         
Jaggery - 1 cup broken to smaller pieces
Water - Just enough to cover the jaggery
Tamarind - Lemon Size
Water - 2 cups
Dates - 1 cup
Water - enough to cover the dates
Cumin Powder - 1 tsp
Chili Powder - 1/4 tsp
Salt - a little

Preparation:

1. Place all 3 saucepans on the stove. Add  broken pieces of Jaggery to one with enough water to cover it allow for the jaggery to dissolve.

2. In the second saucepan add 2 cups of water and the tamarind and allow for that to boil for 8 minutes to remove raw smell of tamarind. Using the colander strain the tamarind juice. Add the jaggery liquid. Allow it to boil on medium.
( Note: Make sure to filter the jaggery liquid because it might have some residue in the bottom of the liquid)

3. In the third saucepan add dates and water and allow for the dates to cook for 5 minutes. Cool and blend the dates. Add the dates paste to the jaggery and tamarind water . Add salt, chill powder, cumin seeds and allow it to simmer for 4 minutes.

4. Cool and store in airtight container in fridge or freezer.


                  Spicy Garlic Chutney:
                Time: less than 5 minutes

Gadgets:
Blender
Ingredients:
Garlic - 5 Pods
Salt
Dry Red Chilies - 4 ( add more if you like spice or if the chili is not very spicy)
Sugar - a pinch

Preparation:
Time: less than 5 minutes
1. Add all the ingredients to the blender and make a smooth chutney. Store in airtight containers in the fridge or freezer.









13 Comments:

The reason for me to blog about this simple recipe with less than 4 ingredients is the reaction it brings out of everyone who tastes it. I...

Apple Salad In 5 Minutes

The reason for me to blog about this simple recipe with less than 4 ingredients is the reaction it brings out of everyone who tastes it. I have been serving it as a part of meals for years now and it had not struck me to blog the recipe until now. Whatever the type of food you have on your table, this simple salad will only take it up a notch. This is also an easy recipe to whizz up when you have unexpected guests. Its healthy, tasty, kid friendly, simple, easy and takes 5 minutes to make it. The next time you have an apple in your fruit bowl give this one a try. We just got ours from the farmers market this morning.


Gadgets:

Cutting Board
Knife
Veggie Chopped
Bowl
Spatula

Ingredients:

Organic Apple - 1 ( use what you have in your kitchen)
Fresh Cracked Pepper - as per your taste
Salt
Lemon Juice - Juice of 1/2 a lemon or lime


Preparation: 
Please prepare this salad just before you are ready to serve. If you cannot cut them before and add the salt and pepper just before serving.


1. Squeeze the lemon/lime juice into the bowl or container of the veggie chopped.
2. Slice the apple 1/2 inch slices and removing the core. Place in the veggie chopped and chop them.

3..Make sure you keep mixing the apples in the lemon/lime juice. This process will keep them from oxidizing and turning brown.
Note: I usually enjoy the apple with its skin, you may also remove the skin if you don't like it .

4. Add salt and fresh cracked pepper mix and serve.

14 Comments:

This is my favorite salad and I have not been able to get it right until now. The reason, the only place I might find it in the month of M...

Spinach Salad With Madarine Orange And Candied Walnut In 10 Minutes

This is my favorite salad and I have not been able to get it right until now. The reason, the only place I might find it in the month of March is Soup Plantation. There were years when I had missed having it. For years I have looked at many recipes and tried some of them, but a few weeks ago I found the original recipe and it had ingredients that were for maybe over 12 people. So a week ago my daughter and I made this for dinner. We did not take the whole recipe as such but substituted brown sugar in the place of white and came up with our own combination of ingredients. I love this salad because it has the sweet and savory thing going on in it and the combo of mandarin oranges and walnuts makes it most perfect.


Gadgets:

Salad Spinner
Bowl
Spatula
Measuring Cups and Spoons
Cutting Board
Knife
Baking Tray
Oven
Whisk
Kettle

Ingredients:

Organic spinach - 4 hand full
Mandarin Oranges - 2 cans drained without liquid
Red Onions - 1/3 of onion thinly sliced
Walnuts - 1 cup
Brown Sugar - 3 tbsp
Olive Oil - 2 tbsp
Orange Juice - 1 orange juice
Lemon Juice - 1/2  a lemon
Pepper
Salt
Brown Sugar - 1 tsp

Preparation:

1. Set the oven at 350 degrees. Turn on the kettle with some water. Once the kettle is ready, place the chopped walnuts in a bowl and add hot boiling water. Allow it to sit for less than a minute. Stain and add brown sugar, mix well and toss it on to a baking tray and bake for 8 minutes.

2. Wash the spinach and using the salad spinner drain the excess water.In a bowl add orange juice, lemon juice, oil, brown sugar, pepper and salt and whisk to combine.

3. Add the spinach, mandarin oranges, onions to a bowl and drizzle the dressing. Add candied walnuts once they are toasted and serve immediately. They stay fresh for a long time.



13 Comments:

Its that time of the year when I get to bake a birthday cake with strawberries and whipped cream. My daughter loves strawberries an...

Strawberry Cake With Whipped Cream Frosting Gelatin Free



Its that time of the year when I get to bake a birthday cake with strawberries and whipped cream. My daughter loves strawberries and its always something different every year around strawberries. The last two years the birthday girl has been helping me bake the cake for her party. This year she wanted to bake a simple white cake with whipped cream frosting. I helped her and she baked herself a very delicious cake.

The problem with whipped cream is that it needs stabilizing ingredient to keep it from getting out of control. Most recipes call for unflavored gelatin to be used to achieve this result. Being a vegetarian I was looking for alternatives. Agar Agar is a good one and is very healthy to use because it comes from seaweed. Corn starch and sugar are most commonly used in whipping cream. A new product I came across  is Whip it.

Whip it has dextrose, modified corn starch and tricalcium phosphate. It is Oetker product made in Canada. It comes in two packets and is available  at Cost Plus. It was easy to use and totally stabilized the whipped cream. So we made our much sought after strawberry cake with whipped cream frosting and had a lot of fun making it. 

We used the adapted cooks illustrated cake recipe from here but came up with our own frosting recipe. A special note about decorations. It was all my daughter's idea as to what we needed to do regarding the designs and medium of decoration. She came up with the idea of using chocolate chips which she thought was very cool.




Gadgets:

Spring pan 
Electric Mixer With Whisk Attachment
Bowls ( 2  glass and the other stainless steel)
Measuring Cups and Spoons
Spatula
Offset Spatula
Serrated Knife
Parchment Paper
Cardboard Cake Mats
Pastry Brush
Cutting Board
Knife


Ingredients:

Cake Ingredients:
1 tablespoon lemon zest and orange zest, freshly grated
1 cup sugar (7 ounces)
1-1/4 cups cake flour (5 ounces)
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon table salt
5 large eggs (2 whole and 3 separated), room temperature
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
2 tablespoons water
2 plus 1 teaspoons vanilla extract 
* Note: Changes we made to the recipe
Strawberry Liquid:
Strawberry Jam - 2 tsp
Water - 4 tsp
Sugar - 1 tsp

Whipped Cream For Filling:
Strawberries - 12 sliced
Heavy Whipped Cream - 1 cup
Whip it - 1 packet
Sugar - 2 tsp
Whipped Cream Icing:
Heavy Whipping Cream - 1 cup
Organic Strawberry Jam - 3  heaped tsp
Whip it - 1 packet
Sugar - 2 tbsp
Cake Decoration:
Strawberry - 12 large ones cut into circular discs
Semi sweet Chocolate Chips - 1/2 cup 


Preparation:

1. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees. Line a 9 inch spring pan with parchment paper, grease, set aside.
2. Add lemon  and orange zest and all but 3 tablespoons sugar in large mixing bowl, rub with fingers until sugar is slightly moist and takes on a pale yellow color. Add flour, baking powder, salt, whisk to combine. add 2 whole eggs and 3 yolks (reserving whites), melted butter, water and vanilla extract; whisk until smooth.
3. In clean bowl of standing mixer fitted with whisk attachment, beat remaining 3 egg whites at medium-low speed until frothy, 1 to 2 minutes. With machine running, gradually add remaining 3 tablespoons sugar, increase speed to medium-high, and beat until soft peaks form,about 2 minutes. Stir one-third of whites into batter to lighten; add remaining whites and gently fold into batter until no white streaks remain.
4. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake until toothpick or wooden skewer inserted into center of cake comes out clean, 25-35 minutes. Cool in pan 10 minutes, then invert cake onto greased wire rack; peel off and discard parchment. Invert cake again; cool completely, about 2 hours.



For Filling:

1. Keep the whisk and the stainless steel bowl in the freezer for an hour and get them very cold.

2. Add the heavy whipping cream, whip it and whisk until the cream starts to thicken. Add sugar and whip until you have stiff peaks.

 Whipped Cream Icing:

1. Remove the whipped cream for filling and transfer into a container until ready to use. Store in the fridge.

2. Add whipped Cream, whip it and whisk until it starts to thicken. Add the strawberry jam, sugar and whisk until it comes together and forms a stiff peak.

Icing & Decorating: 

 
Cut the cake into equal halves with a serrated knife. Place another cake board underneath the cut half and slide it under and transfer the cake onto the board. Using a pastry brush spread the strawberry liquid on the cut side of the cake to keep the cake moist. Spread the whipped cream filling and then layer it with sliced strawberries.

2. Spread the strawberry liquid on the other half of the cake. Place it over the strawberry whipped cream filled base cake. Transfer all of the whipped cream prepared for icing and spread it over the cake evenly.

3. Using the strawberries cut into circular discs decorate the cake and write happy birthday with chocolate chips.

11 Comments:

A very popular bean salad that I always end up making at family gatherings is the three bean salad. It can be made instantly with store bou...

Three Bean Salad In Less Than 10 Minutes

A very popular bean salad that I always end up making at family gatherings is the three bean salad. It can be made instantly with store bought can of beans or if you have the time try pressure cooking the beans individually with some salt. Since it involves black, kidney and garbanzo beans, it is loaded with protein and ideal for kids as a part of their lunch box menu. Posting this for my sister so that my niece Neha can enjoy this for her lunch. It goes very well with any kind of meal and perfect if you have to prepare before hand for parties.



Gadgets:

Glass bottle
Measuring Cups and Spoons
Bowl
Spatula
Cutting Board
Knife
Colander
Veggie Chopper


Ingredients:

Black Beans - 1 cup
Kidney Beans - 1 cup
Garbanzo Beans - 1 cup
Olive Oil - 3 tbsp
Honey - 3 tbsp
Lemon/ Lime Juice - 3 tbsp
Salt
Pepper - as per taste of spice
Bell Pepper ( red, green, yellow, orange) - a mix 1 cup
Shallots or Onions - 1/2 cup
Garlic - 2 clove minced and made into a paste with a little salt
Olive - 1 cup chopped the same size as bell pepper
Cilantro Mint, Chives, Parsley - 3 tbsp finely minced ( can have a combination or just one herb)
Green Chillies - 1 finely chopped


Preparation:

1. If using the can of beans place them in a colander,wash them well and allow it to drain before adding to a bowl.

2. Add the chopped veggies to the beans along with the herbs.

3. Add oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper, garlic,honey to a bottle, secure the cover tightly and shake the bottle until the oil, lemon juice and honey emulsifies.

4. Add the dressing to the beans and veggies mix. Mix and store in the fridge. Serve them on the side with any kind of food. Can also served in a burrito with sour cream  and guacamole but without rice.


14 Comments:

Every Valentines day we always try something new that we have never tried before. This year we tried making the Hasselback potatoes th...

Hasselback Potatoes



Every Valentines day we always try something new that we have never tried before. This year we tried making the Hasselback potatoes that is common to Swedish cuisine. The important thing is to use new or fresh potatoes that are almost egg size to get them to bake faster. It takes 10 minutes to cut them and an hour to bake them, so this is something that you can prepare only when you have the time. Next time you decide to serve something special for your guests or your family, try these potatoes. They are crunchy, delicious and very cute. I also found that they tasted fine when I microwaved them and served them for dinner the next day. These can be served as a part of the meal or as a bite size appetizer.



Gadgets:

Bowl
Baking Pan
Wooden Spoon 
Knife
Cutting Board
Wok
Measuring Spoons


Ingredients:

Fresh, New Potatoes of even size - 12
Butter - 1 tbsp
Olive Oil - 3 tbsp
Salt
Pepper
Garlic - 1 few pods
Sour Cream - 1/4 cup
Herbs- chives, cilantro - 1 tbsp


Preparation:


1. Place a fresh potato that fits the mouth of a wooden spoon.







2. Evenly cut the potatoes into slices making sure that you do not cut all the way through.







3.The idea is to hold all the slices together at the base. The wooden spoon helps in achieving this.


4. Soak the potatoes in water to keep them from turning brown.

5. Heat 3 tbsp oil and 1 tbsp butter in a heavy bottom wok. Then add the potatoes and allow them to get coated in the oil and butter for a few minutes.

6. Make sure that the oil and butter are well distributed into the slices. Remove and place it on a lined baking pan. Sprinkle some salt on each potato and bake in the oven at 425 degrees for about an hour.

7. The Potatoes will look crunchy and roasted. Remove from the oven and add various desirable toppings. If using garlic, mince the garlic and mix with oil, chill powder and salt before adding on top and put it back in the oven for a few minutes to remove the strong taste of garlic.

7 Comments:

Drafting a very satisfying menu for your guests or for your family could be challenging. We want to always make something special and enj...

Thair/Thayir Semiya / Yogurt Vermicelli / Dhai Semiya in Less than 10 Minutes

Drafting a very satisfying menu for your guests or for your family could be challenging. We want to always make something special and enjoyable. Sometimes we are in a fix when we are not sure what to prepare. Not only do we have a menu to think of but we need to get it done ASAP.  I have been there many times and I am always on the lookout to making something fool proof, easy and that which gets done in less than 10 minutes. Thair semiya is one such easy dish to prepare for the sudden guest or when you have very little time to put food on the table. It is a very common  side dish in south India and it is a perfect dish to serve at the end of the meal. Here is the recipe that I follow that never fails.



Gadgets:

Saucepan with a lid
Spatula
Seasoning ladle
Measuring Cups and Spoons
Colander
Bowl
Whisk

Ingredients:

Water  -4 cups
Yogurt - 2 cups ( if using Greek Yogurt like I did 1 cup)
Buttermilk - 1 cup
Roasted Vermicelli - 1 cup
Oil - 2 tsp
Mustard Seeds - 1 tsp
Asafoetida Powder - a few shakes
Cashew Nut - 12 broken into pieces
Raisins - 1/4 cup
Curry Leaves - a few
Ginger - 1 inch grated
Cilantro - 1 tbsp chopped
Salt
Green Chillies - 1 thinly sliced



Preparation:

1.  Boil water in the saucepan with some salt. Once it comes to rolling boil add vermicelli and turn out the heat and cover the saucepan with a lid for 5 minutes.

2. Drain over a colander and wash the vermicelli in cold water and keep thin soaked in cold water.

3. Heat the seasoning ladle with oil and asafoetida. Add mustard and allow it to pop. Add curry leaves, cashew nuts and raisins and allow for the nuts to get toasted and the raisin to plump up.

4. Add sliced green chilies and ginger after removing from flame and mix.

5. Drain the vermicelli well and add the seasoning from the ladle and mix well.

6. Mix butter milk, 1 cup water and yogurt with a whisk and add to the vermicelli and mix well. Add salt if needed and garnish with cilantro.

Note: If you have to serve this after many hours, add 1/2 the yogurt mix to the vermicelli and mix well. Just before serving add the rest of the yogurt mix.



12 Comments:

One of  my favorite grocery stores to shop is Trader Joe's. It has the whole picture of good food, ambiance, the smell of freshly br...

Grilled Eggplant Wrap: My Take On Trader Joe's Eggplant Wrap

One of  my favorite grocery stores to shop is Trader Joe's. It has the whole picture of good food, ambiance, the smell of freshly brewed coffee along with something yummy for customers to sample that makes it so comforting. I am interested in checking out their shelves and buying something that is new. I often try something interesting from their pre made food section. Last time I picked the grilled eggplant wrapped  in lavash bread with tahini dipping sauce. When I had it for lunch I decided to create my one version of this wrap. I picked up all the ingredients from TJ's to prepare this wrap for dinner. I substituted cabbage with tomato because I thought eggplant would pair well with tomatoes. 



Gadgets:

Grill pan
Wok
Cutting Board
Knife
Spatula
Bowls
Spoons


Ingredients:



For the Eggplant Wrap:

Eggplant - 1 big sliced into discs.
Garlic - 3 cloves thinly sliced
Parsley or Cilantro - 1 tbsp finely minced
Lemon Juice - a dash
Tomato - 1 sliced and deseeded ( Substituting for Cabbage)
Pepper
Salt
Oil - 3 tbsp
Cayan Pepper - 1/4 tsp
Whole Wheat Lavash Bread - 2



For Dipping Sauce: An alternative to tahini sauce

Non Fat Greek Yogurt - 1/2 cup
Garlic Powder - 1/4 tsp
Salt
Pepper - 1/4 tsp
Sun dried Tomatoes in olive oil - 1 tsp only of the sun dried tomatoes
Pistachios - 6 crushed

Preparation:

1. Cut eggplant into 1/4 inch discs and coat it with 2 tbsp of oil and place it on a heated grill pan.
2. Allow it to get grilled on both sides and allow to cool before cutting the eggplant into strips.

3. Heat the wok with 1 tbsp oil and add the sliced garlic, cayan pepper, black pepper, salt  dash of lemon juice, eggplant and mix well. Add salt to taste.






4. Add scallions and cilantro or parsley and mix well and remove from heat.
5. Place a lavash bread on a board. Add the eggplant in the center about 1/2 a cup and spread evenly along the center.
6. Place the sliced tomatoes over the eggplant and roll the lavash bread and cut diagonally in the center.
7. Place it on the grill to warm up and then serve it with the yogurt dipped sauce.

6 Comments:

Rasam a.k.a the juice or nectar is served in the second course of a meal in South India. It is a thin soup that helps digest the food that ...

Tomato Rasam In 10 Minutes Without Dhal

Rasam a.k.a the juice or nectar is served in the second course of a meal in South India. It is a thin soup that helps digest the food that we eat. It can be served as a soup or over rice / quinoa. If there is a comfort food for me it is rasam. It makes me feel at home and I make it more often than any other Indian food. There are so many different types of rasam's that are prepared, and everyone has a specific way they would love their rasam to taste or be. There are two ways according to me as to how the rasam is made. It is either thin (more liquid and less dhal) or with more dal in it. I always prefer the the less dal kind. This recipe is just being posted for my sister Sowmya. She has been on my back to post it and so today I decided to do just the same. Here is one version that I would love to share.





Gadgets:

Saucepan
Measuring Cup and Spoons
Kettle
Seasoning Wok.



Ingredients:

Tomato - 2 ( I am taking about a medium size tomato. Use what you have, I have made it with all kinds)
Water - 4 cups
Turmeric - 1/2 tsp
Asafoetida Powder - 2 shakes
Cumin Powder - 1 tsp
Freshly Craked Pepper - 1/2 tsp ( Add more for spice)
Jaggery or Sugar - a pinch
Cumin Seeds - 1 tsp
Garlic - 1 pod or 1/2 powder ( optional)
Salt
Ghee - 1 tsp
Mustard Seeds - 1/2 tsp
Asafoetida - a few shakes
Cilantro - 1 tbsp chopped


Preparation:

1. Pour 4 cups of water into your kettle and allow it to boil.

2. Meanwhile, take the 2 tomatoes and place them in the saucepan. Using your fingers crush the tomatoes into a pulp. You will have the skin of the tomato getting caught in your fingers. Squeeze and remove the skin. Please do not do it any other way.

3. Add salt, cumin, pepper, turmeric, asafoetida powder to the tomato and mix well.

4. Add hot water and heat the saucepan to medium high and allow the liquid to start to boil. Turn the heat to low at this point. Allow to simmer for 5 minutes or until you see haze of small froth on top of the rasam.

5. Heat the seasoning wok, add asafoetida, mustard seeds and cumin seeds. Allow the mustard to pop. Add this to the rasam. Season with cilantro and serve hot over rice or just drink.




8 Comments: