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

An alternative to coconut chutney is tomato chutney. If you google tomato chutney, you will see a lot of recipes showing up. There are onl...

Tomato Chutney That Stores Well

An alternative to coconut chutney is tomato chutney. If you google tomato chutney, you will see a lot of recipes showing up. There are only two options to making this recipe, either tomatoes are cooked and then made into a paste or they are made into a paste and then cooked. You will see some variations of these chutneys in various blogs. I have posted the first type here. The second version is my mother- in- law's recipe that I tried today. It was a winner and I decided to share the recipe. Apart from serving it for dosai or idli, they can also be used as a spread on bread, mixed with plain cooked rice to convert into tomato rice in a jiffy and served with roti or curd rice. Basically something you can store for a month if cooked and stored well. 

Gadgets:

Blender
Heavy Bottom Pan
Spatula
Measuring Spoons and cup


Ingredients:

Tomatoes -6 medium size ( ripe)
Onion- 1/2
Salt
Sesame Oil - 1/4 cup
Dry Chillies - 4 ( add more for extra spice)
Fenugreek Seeds - 1/2 tsp
Udad Dal - 1 tbsp
Channa Dal - 1 tbsp
Curry Leaves- a few
Asadoetida - 1/4 tsp
Mustard Seeds - 1 tsp


Preparation:

1. Heat the pan on medium high.

2. Blend the tomatoes and onions into a puree.

3. Add oil, followed by asafoetida, mustard seeds ( allow for them to pop), dry chilies, udad and channa dal and fenugreek seeds. Fry the dal in oil until they are golden brown. Add the puree and cook on medium. Please do give it a stir regularly.

4. Do not add salt until the chutney has thickened and all the water is absorbed with some oil starting to surface (10 minutes).

5. Throw in the salt and a cook it for few minutes. Remove the pan from heat, allow for it to cool and store in a bottle. This will sustain about to a month if stored right.


14 Comments:

Living out of India, kids growing up in this country want to eat other kinds of food apart from the regular Indian food that we prepare at...

Whole Wheat Vegetarian Lavash Wraps

Living out of India, kids growing up in this country want to eat other kinds of food apart from the regular Indian food that we prepare at home. To bring a balance and keep everybody happy, I decided to alternate between Indian and non- Indian food. This makes everyone happy and allows me to experiment in making different kinds of food. So, last night was the non- Indian night and  I made lavash veggie wrap  for dinner. It had a combination of cooked veggies, fresh veggies and bean salad. This made it a healthy wrap which was a complete meal in itself and it tasted great.  The partly warm wrap created an interesting feel and texture. This one is going to be a regular in my house for sure.



Gadgets:

Cutting Board
Knife
Vegetable Chopper
Plate
Iron skillet
Frying pan
Spatula
Measuring Cup and Spoon


Ingredients:

Makes 6 wraps

Avocado - 2 ( made into a chunky mix)
Romaine Lettuce - 1bunch shredded
Onion - 2
Red Bell Pepper - 2
Oil
Salt
Black Pepper Powder - as per taste
Cilantro - 1/2 cup chopped
Bean Salad - 1 cup
Jalapeno - 1/4 cup
whole Wheat Lavash - 6


Preparation:

1. Heat the pan with some oil. Add in the chopped onions, bell pepper, salt and pepper. Cook the vegetables for a few minutes, until they look well done.

2. Lightly warm the lavash bread. Place it on the plate.

3. Add the tablespoon of the avocado in the center of the lavash and spread it.

4. Top it with shredded lettuce, bean salad, cooked veggies and more lettuce.

5. Roll the lavash bread to resemble a burrito and serve them warm along with some salsa or sour cream.



7 Comments:

If your kid is in elementary school, it is a challenge to pack the lunch box. It always comes home unfinished especially if it is not cool...

Orzo Pasta Salad

If your kid is in elementary school, it is a challenge to pack the lunch box. It always comes home unfinished especially if it is not cool enough. When questioned about the untouched lunch, I always got answers like,"no time to eat" or " I wanted to play". This becomes a major issue when they return home from school. With a hungry stomach that is low on sugar, we have to deal with tantrums or a very emotional child. To fix this problem and to encourage my daughter to eat her lunch, I engaged her in preparing her lunch. By allowing her to make choices regarding her lunch a major problem got resolved. Last week, she suggested that I make orzo salad for her lunch. It passed the "cool" test and has become one of her favorite pasta salad that was lunch box worthy. Here is how it was prepared:


Gadgets:

Big bowl
Saucepan
Spatula
Colander
Measuring cups and Spoons
Cutting Board
Knife

Ingredients:

Orzo Pasta - 1 1/2 cups
Water - as recommended to cook the pasta
Salt
Sun Dried Tomatoes in Oil - 1/2 cup
Cherry Tomatoes - 1 1/2 cups cut into halves
Black Pepper - as per taste
Garlic Powder - 1 tbsp
Pine Nuts - one fist full
Fresh Basil - a few leaves thinly sliced


Preparation:

1. Cook the pasta as per the instructions in the cover. Wash the pasta in cold water and drain. 

2. Add the pasta to a big bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients and give it a toss. 

3. Check to see if the salt and pepper taste is fine. Add the pine nuts and basil. Toss and serve.

12 Comments:

 People think okra is a very complicated vegetable to cook with. If you mess it up, you might end up with a gooey mass on your stove. I th...

Bhindi Masala / Okra in Masala

 People think okra is a very complicated vegetable to cook with. If you mess it up, you might end up with a gooey mass on your stove. I think the easiest way to work with okra is to add lots of oil and almost shallow fry them or broil them and make them low fat. What if you do not have an oven, then this is an alternative method that works. I actually did something by accident and ended up with delicious bhindi masala, with okra intact. When we generally start making any masala base, we always cook the onions first. Well, I did the opposite. Cooked the okra first and then the rest. I kind of liked the outcome of my mistake and decided to post it.

Gadgets:

Frying pan with lid
Measuring cups and spoons
Spatula
Cutting Board
Knife


Ingredients:

Bhindi/ Okra - 3 cups ( cut into 1 inch pieces)
Onions - 1 big thinly sliced
Tomato - 2 cut into chunks
Garlic - 1 tbsp
Ginger - 1 tbsp
Cumin Powder - 1 tsp
Coriander Powder - 1 tsp
Chilli Powder - 1/2 tsp
Turmeric Powder - 1/2 tsp
Cilantro - 1 tbsp
Salt
Oil - 2 tbsp


Preparation:

1. Heat the frying pan with some oil. Add the okra and roast the okra by covering the pan with a lid and  keep giving it a mix often. When the okra gets roasted add the powders and salt and roast it for a few minutes.

2. Add the sliced onions and cook them until tender. Remember to cover the pan with the lid.

3. Then add the chunky tomatoes and and give it a toss. Garnish with cilantro and serve it hot.




19 Comments:

Birthday's are great occasion to prepare sweets and cakes. In India, payasam/ kheer is prepared on our star birthday's and I use...

Gulab Jamun

Birthday's are great occasion to prepare sweets and cakes. In India, payasam/ kheer is prepared on our star birthday's and I used to always look forward to it. These days, I always opt to baking a cake and leave the traditional sweets for Indian festival or celebrations. But, yesterday I decided to make gulab jamun in the place of cake, added a few candles and celebrated my brother in law's birthday. He loves gulab jamun's and so does everyone in the family. This recipe was adopted from the cook book, "The food of India". I used the mawa milk powder instead of non fat milk powder suggested. This adds a lot more flavor to the gulab jamun than the regular milk powder. It was super easy to prepare and they disappeared in one afternoon.


Gadgets:
Frying Pan
Slotted Spatula
Measuring Cups and Spoons
Bowl
Heavy Bottom Pan



Ingredients:

Sugar - 2 cups
Water - 3 cups
Saffron - a few pinches
Cardamon - a few pods powdered
Mava Milk Powder - 1 cup
Self Raising Flour - 2 tbsp (to prepare at home: Add 1 cup APF + 1 1/4 tsp Baking Powder + 1/2 tsp
Salt)
Cream of Wheat/ Rava - 2 tbsp
Ghee - 2 tbsp
Milk - 3 tbsp
Oil - enough for frying.


Preparation:

1. In a heavy bottom pan add sugar and water allow to come to a boil. Reduce the heat and let it simmer for 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat, add saffron and cardamon powder.

2. Add all the dry ingredients ( milk powder, self raising flour, rava ) and  mix well with your fingers. Add ghee and rub it into the mix. add a powdered pinch of saffron. Add milk and make it into a stiff dough.

3. Make balls by lightly rolling them without pressing them too hard and keep aside. The balls must be the size of a quarter.

4. Heat the oil on medium heat, add a tiny bit of the dough into the oil to see if it ready for frying. If the dough surfaces up easily reduce to heat to a little over low.

5. Drop a few balls at a time and using the spatula keep twirling the oil and moving the balls. When they turn golden brown add them to the syrup. Allow them to soak well, cool and serve them.


22 Comments:

Most women would be thrilled shopping for clothes and shoes. These days, I feel the same when I visit the farmers market. I appreciate all...

Stuffed Italian Red Pepper : A Makeover With Leftovers

Most women would be thrilled shopping for clothes and shoes. These days, I feel the same when I visit the farmers market. I appreciate all the hard work that goes into growing the produce we consume. They might be priced higher than the regular grocery store but, it gives me great satisfaction to meet the people who grow the produce. They are so cheerful, very generous and friendly. It is very relaxing to visit the farmers market every weekend and pick the veggies and fruits that my family and I enjoy for the rest of the week. This week, the peppers were very fresh and colorful and I picked a few to prepare stuffed peppers.

The peppers are useful as they act as an edible bowl or pockets. The colors they come in make them absolutely appetizing and photogenic. When it comes to stuffed peppers, there are a zillion recipes out there.The recipe is with the leftover rice and sauteed veggies, toasted bread, cheese and cherry tomatoes. 


Gadgets:

Baking tray
Cutting Board
Knife
Measuring Cups and Spoons
Frying Pan
Spatula
Table spoon
Aluminum Sheets to line baking tray


Ingredients:
Makes 6 Stuffed Peppers

Cooked Rice - 1 cup
Sauteed Veggies ( Potatoes, Onions, Garlic, Salt, Black pepper powder and Chilli Powder) - 2 cups
Toasted Bread Slices - 4 cut into small cubes
Cilantro - 1/2 cup chopped
Cherry Tomatoes - 1 cup cut into halves
Cheese - 2 tbsp per red pepper ( shredded kind)
Oil - 1 tbsp

Preparation:

1. Heat the frying pan. Add the sauteed veggies, cilantro and rice and give it a mix. 

2. Add cherry tomatoes and bread to the rice and veggies. Remove from heat.

3. Cut the top of the peppers, remove the seeds from inside the peppers.

4. Add the cheese first as they will reach the narrow passage of the peppers easily.
5. Add some shredded cheese to the rice and give it a mix. 

6. Stuff the peppers with this mix and cover the pepper with a lid. 

7. Smear some oil in your palm and coat the pepper's skin and place on a lined baking sheet. 

8. Bake for 30 minutes at 400 degrees F. Serve hot.



14 Comments:

The produce at the farmers market looks so colorful and bountiful this time of the year. I love the array of peppers they sell, and I just...

Cocktail Peanuts South Indian Style

The produce at the farmers market looks so colorful and bountiful this time of the year. I love the array of peppers they sell, and I just could not ignore the red peppers. After great thought I grabbed a few and decided to make something interesting with them. I was warned that they were spicy. They were fresh, but otherwise I did not see them any better than any other chillies that we use normally. But still, I sliced them with great care and decided to use them in the preparation of cocktail peanuts. A perfect snack to serve with cocktails or hot cup of tea.


Gadgets:

Kadai or Frying Pan
Measuring Cups and Spoons
Cutting Board
Knife
Plate
Microwave

Ingredients:

Raw Peanuts - 1 1/2 cups
Chillies ( I used Red Chillies) - 6 thinly slices
Salt
Chilli Powder - as to the amount you would like the spice
Asafoetida - 1/2 tsp powdered
Turmeric Powder - 1/2 tsp
Oil - 2 tbsp
Curry Leaves - a few
Cilantro - 1 tbsp finely chopped



Preparation:

1. Heat the frying pan with oil. Add the peanuts and allow it to get toasted on low flame. This will take some time.

2. Add turmeric, asafoetida, salt and chillies. Give it a toss for 3 minutes.

3. If you feel that you would like more spice add chilli powder at this point. Mix it well.

4. Transfer into plate and microwave for a minute to get the perfect crunch.

5. Garnish with curry leaves and cilantro.

6. Can be served cold or hot with any cocktail.

18 Comments:

A few summers ago I enjoyed watching Jacques Peppin prepare interesting food on PBS. I thought his kale chips were very cool to prepare. A...

Spiced Crispy Kale Chips

A few summers ago I enjoyed watching Jacques Peppin prepare interesting food on PBS. I thought his kale chips were very cool to prepare. After almost two years, I decided to make it for my brother in law. I think that it would be a perfectly healthy snacks for him to munch on with his weekend drink. So last week we got a bundle of kale from the farmers market, and this morning they were made into crispy chips. In the past, I have baked the kale without any additives, but this time, I decided to spice it up and convert  it  into a perfect snack.



Gadgets:

Baking Tray
Cutting Board
Knife
Kitchen Towel
Oven


Ingredients:

Kale - 1 bunch
Salt
Olive Oil - Enough to coat the kale
Chili Powder - as per requirement
Garlic Powder - a big sprinkle


Preparation:

1. Wash the kale and dry it well with a kitchen towel. Coat it oil , salt and chilli and garlic powder. 

2. Set the oven to 200 degrees F and bake it until crisp for about 2 hrs. 

3. Enjoy!

8 Comments: