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

After eating out a week or two while traveling, the need to have some home cooked food became a necessity.  I was very grateful that I had...

Olive Rice With Cherry Tomatoes

After eating out a week or two while traveling, the need to have some home cooked food became a necessity.  I was very grateful that I had access to a little cute kitchen that made me cook something that would satisfy my craving for spicy home cooked food. With limited pots and pans at my disposal, I wanted to prepare one pot meal that was healthy. As they say, necessity is the mother of invention, I had to use up food before heading back home. The left over olives, a basket of cherry tomatoes from the local farmers market, a bunch of spices and rice needed to be taken care of. Then came the idea of making olive rice. Had no clue as to how it was going to turn out, but then, how bad can a combo of rice, tomatoes and olives taste? Not Bad at all! It tasted just as I had hypothesized and was a big hit. I wished I had some pine nuts to make it exotic. But, we still enjoyed this on the spur creation and I wanted to blog about it. It tasted perfect with some cucumber raita and roasted potatoes on the side. A colorful and perfect meal for a bunch of hungry travelers.


Gadgets:

Pan or Stock Pot with lid
Cutting Board
Knife
Measuring Cups and Spoons


Ingredients:

Basmati Rice - 1 cup
Water - 2 cups
Black Olives - 1 cup cut into half lengthwise
Onion - 1 thinly sliced
Garlic - 3 cloves sliced
Ginger - 1 inch thinly sliced
Cherry Tomatoes - 2 hands full cut in half
Red Bell Pepper - 1/2 thinly sliced
Chives - finely minced for garnish
Turmeric Powder - 1/2 tsp
Chilli Powder - 1 tsp ( please adjust as per spice levels)
Cumin Powder - 1 tsp
Coriander Powder - 1 tsp
Salt - ( Please add a little only as the olives will bring in the extra salt)
Mascapone cheese/ Sour Cream/ Yogurt/ Cream Cheese - 1 tbsp
Olive Oil - 1/4 cup
Lemon Juice - a dash

Preparation:

1. Clean and soak the rice for 30 minutes in water.

2. In a pan add oil , allow to warm and then add garlic, ginger and onion with a pinch of salt. Allow for the onions to cook. Add the bell pepper and cook.

3. Drain the water and add the rice to the veggies. Give it a good mix. Then add the turmeric, cumin, chilli and coriander powders along with some salt. Mix well for 30 seconds. Then add water and mascapone cheese and mix for the mascapone cheese to blend in the water. Add a dash of lemon juice.

4. Bring the liquid to a boil and when the rice starts to jump around in the water, reduce the heat  to low and cover the pan. In 10 minutes the rice will be cooked.

5. Remove the rice from the stove, add the olives and give it a gentle mix. Add the tomatoes and distribute it around the rice. Throw in some chives. Serve it hot.


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When I visited the Schloss Burg castle  near Wuppertal, Germany, I was at a souvenir store and instead of looking at the regular stuff,...

Curly Roasted Potatoes : Using The Potato Spiral


When I visited the Schloss Burg castle near Wuppertal, Germany, I was at a souvenir store and instead of looking at the regular stuff, I was checking out all the little tools they had. The curly potato maker caught my eye. It came in a box that was as small as an sandal wood incense box. The tool resembled a knitting needle with some attachments at the end. The potato curler was too simple to look at and I was skeptical about buying it initially. But, I am glad I bought it and I am really happy with the end product. I love the texture the curls create in the potato. I did not think that it needed frying. The potatoes were gone as soon as I served them with ketchup and mascapone cheese. An awesome gadget find, most welcome in my kitchen.

Product Info: www.triangle.tools.de



Gadgets:

Frying pan or Kadai with Lid
Spatula
Measuring spoon
Potato curler
Bowl
Kitchen Towel

Ingredients:

Medium Size Potatoes - 10
Olive Oil - 1/4 cup
Chili Powder - 1 tsp (or as per taste)
Salt
Turmeric Powder - 1/2 tsp
Chives - For garnishing
Water - half a bowl
Chives - for garnish


Preparation:

1. Wash the potatoes. Lengthwise insert the curler needle into the potato and start turning the needle. At some point the potato will get cut by the sharp round blade that creates the uniform curls. Keep spinning the potato until the needle pokes through the other side and the curls have all been cut through. It will resemble a spring or slinky.

2. Place the curly potato into a bowl of water, until all the 10 potatoes are curled. Then drain off the water and wipe them in a kitchen towel.

3. Heat the the kadai or pan. Add oil, the spices and salt, add the potatoes and give it a toss, allowing for the oil and spices to coat the curls.

4. Cover and cook, but keep stirring every few minutes to uniformly roast the potato.

5. When the potatoes are roasted, add in the chives as garnish and serve with sour cream or mascapone cheese or ketchup.






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If you get a chance to buy red currants at the local store or market, please do not pass on them. In my visit to Wuppertal, Germany I c...

Red Currants Chutney


If you get a chance to buy red currants at the local store or market, please do not pass on them. In my visit to Wuppertal, Germany I could not walk past this ruby like berries, that were red and transparent. They looked so gorgeous in the day light and I decided to buy a basket of them from the farmers market. Our friends warned us that the red currants were sour and a good way to have them was to toss them in sugar. I was very excited to taste them. It has  a thin skin, but juicy middle, with sesame like seed in each currant that was kind of nutty. True to the nature of the currants, they were sour and I had to wink every time I popped one into my mouth. With a whole basket to go through, I decided to make something different with it. I had access to a tiny kitchen with pots and pans and this was what I prepared. It has the sweet, salt, sourness and spice thing going on in the chutney and I liked it a lot. Perfect with some yogurt, roasted nut and corn flakes if you want them to be served fancy or with some yogurt rice, the best.


Gadgets:

Pot
Spatula
Storage Bottles.

Ingredients:

Red Currants - 1 basket ( 500 gms)
Water - Enough to soak the berries
Sugar - 1 cup
Chili Powder - 1 1/2 tsp
Salt


Preparation:

1. Rinse the red currants, remove the stem and throw them into a pot with water. They will cook fast with each currant popping and creating a sauce.

2. At this stage, if you have colander please pass the sauce through it and remove the seeds from them.
( Most people might find it irritating especially, if it gets stuck to teeth. I did not because, I did not have one for use at the kitchen.

3. Add the filtered sauce back into the pot, add sugar, chilli powder and salt. Allow it to cook, until they start to thicken.

4. Close the pot with a lid and allow it to cook on low for a few minutes to allow the chilli powder to cook and for the sauce to thicken.

5. Check to see if you like the taste and then add salt, sugar and chilli powder. Cool and store in a bottle and place it in the fridge.

12 Comments:

When I think of summer vacation as a child, I always remember playing with my cousins and my sisters. The whole household was always very ...

Molaga podi Topped Pizza / Spicy Lentil Mix Topped Pizza

When I think of summer vacation as a child, I always remember playing with my cousins and my sisters. The whole household was always very busy and it felt very comforting. We were always wanting to munch on some snack for which, we were always shooed away from the kitchen. Sometimes, to have a snack we used to get some left over rice after lunch and mix it with oil and molaga podi or idli powder and enjoy a few mouths full of it and feel so delighted. My sister and cousin could handle the heat in the idli powder, but not me. I used to have a stomach problem almost instantly and I would vouch that I would not have them anymore. But, I always went back to the molaga podi sadham.

These days I sprinkle it over home made roti, store bought naan, pita bread, flat bread, topped with cheese for a snack in the afternoon with my tea or when I want a spice fix while watching late night television/ movie. Absolutely addictive for me, because the molaga podi with warmed up bread and melted cheese hits the spot. Next time try using the molaga podi in an unique way.



Gadgets:

Microwave
Griddle or Tava
Plate

Ingredients:
Molaga podi - 1 tbsp or more as per taste
Roti / Naan / Pita / Tortilla/ Pizza Base/ Paratha - 1
Grated Cheese - as per requirement



Preparation:

1. Place the bread of your choice on the plate. Add the toppings and place it in the microwave and allow it to cook until the cheese starts to melt.

2. Meanwhile heat the tava on medium high. Remove the bread and place it on the tava, to remove any moisture that might have formed in its base. Allow it to toast a little until it gets a little dry and enjoy the gooey, molaga podi pizza.

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This summer has been an adventure filled one. Travel and meeting with family and friends has been in our cards. Last week when I was vis...

Pal Payasam/ Rice Kheer/ Rice Pudding In Crock pot

This summer has been an adventure filled one. Travel and meeting with family and friends has been in our cards. Last week when I was visiting my sister I made pal payasam on great demand from my niece and my daughter. Over the years, I have been making the payasam in the crock pot and it never fails me. For Krishna Jayanthi, I thought it would be great to post on pal payasam.


Happy Krishna Jayanthi!!

When ever I think of pal payasam, I am reminded of Guruvayur, where they serve it as prasadam. Apart from preparing it for prasadham, it happens to be a very popular dessert in Indian restaurants. An easy way to prepare it with very little effort but get the best result is by using the crock pot. Its awesome when you have to make it for a party or a get together. Adding a bunch of ingredients to the crock pot takes a few minutes. For many hours the crock pot cooks the rice individually and thickens the milk. When I have to make it on large scale, I start preparing it the previous night and the payasam is ready when you wake up in the morning. Here is my go to recipe for pal payasam for celebrating the birth of Krishna.

Gadgets:

Crock pot
Measuring Cups and Spoons

Ingredients:
Serves: 4
Time: 5 hours on high setting

Milk ( 2% or more) - 4 cups
Water - 1/2 cup
Rice - 2 fist full
Non Fat Condensed Milk - 1/2 cup ( add more if you like it sweeter)


Preparation:

1. Rinse the rice in water and add to the crock pot. Add half cup water and milk. Turn on the crock pot. If you are doing it over night, set it on low else set it on high. Took me 5 hours for the above recipe.

5. Once the rice is cooked ( 4 and half hours), add the condensed milk and allow it to cook for half an hour. Serve warm or cool it and chill it in the fridge and serve.




18 Comments:

Last week was Varalakshmi Viradham, a celebration of goddess Lakshmi. As a child, I used to be so excited to watch my Amma decorate the fa...

Kumkumapoo Pal/ Saffron Milk: Warm Milk Infused With Saffron

Last week was Varalakshmi Viradham, a celebration of goddess Lakshmi. As a child, I used to be so excited to watch my Amma decorate the face of the Amman ( Lakshmi) and draped her in the half saree. On the day of the pooja, modhakum, payasam, vadai etc were prepared which we enjoyed. But, what I always looked forward to was the warm saffron milk or kumkumapoo pal that Amma made. It was prepared as prasadham the next day in the evening after the goddess it kept in a rice basket. Amma used to add a bunch of ingredients to make the saffron milk. It is very comforting and this is what I prepared.




Gadgets:

Milk Cooker or a Heavy Bottom Pot
Spatula
Ladle
Motar and
Measuring cups and spoons

Ingredients:

Milk - 4 cups
Saffron - a few strands
Ginger - 2 inches in big pieces lightly mashed
Cardamom - 4 pods
Edible Camphor - a tiny pinch
Sugar- 6 tsp ( adjust sugar as per taste)

Preparation:

1. Heat the milk and allow it to come to a boil while mixing if using a pot. Add sugar, saffron, powdered caradamom, camphor, ginger and allow it to boil on low heat for a few minutes to infuse the spices.  Remove the ginger pieces. Serve it hot.



14 Comments: