Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Dahi Vada

Dahi Vada
This is an ideal snack/mini meal for the summer months. Here's how I make dahi vada:

Wash and soak 1/2 cup udad dal and 2 tbsp. mung dal in water for atleast 4 hours. Then drain and grind with very little water to make a smooth paste. Take the paste in a big mixing bowl and add salt, little ginger paste and black pepper pwd. Whisk well for 5 minutes.

At this point if you drop a blob of the paste in a bowl of water, it should immediately float up. This means the batter is light and airy and well whisked.

Heat oil to deep fry the vadas. And keep a big bowl of thin buttermilk ready. Add a little salt and red chilli pwd to the buttermilk. Drop spoonful of batter in the oil and fry on medium heat till golden brown. Drain and immediately put the vadas in the buttermilk. Fry all the vadas similarly in small batches.

To serve - whisk cold yogurt (I like to use Fage) with salt and sugar till smooth. Put the vadas in the serving bowl. Top generously with the yogurt. Sprinkle some red chilli pwd and cumin pwd. Add a dash of green mint chutney and dates-tamarind chutney. Finally garnish with chopped cilantro. You can also add little shev on top. Serve immediately.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Beetroot tikkis

Beetroot tikkis
This is a fairly easy and quick snack to put together, especially when you use canned beet and potato flakes like I do.

Start with a can of sliced beets (not the pickled variety). Drain and put in mixing bowl. To this add a cup of potato flakes, salt to taste, 1 tsp of ginger paste, 1 tsp red chilli pwd, 1 tsp cumin pwd, handful of chopped cilantro, and 1 tsp chaat masala pwd. Mix well. Shape as desired. Pop in the freezer for about an hour. You can make and keep in freezer for use when you have unexpected company.

To fry - in a bowl take 1 tbsp. plain flour mixed with water to make thin paste. In another plate take bread crumbs. Dip each tikki first in the flour mix, then in the bread crumbs and shallow fry on pan with a tsp of oil till golden brown on each side.

Serve warm with chutney of choice - mint chutney, dates chutney or ketchup.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Purple cabbage salad

Purple cabbage salad
This salad is a great way to highlight the beautiful color of purple cabbage. I took 1/2 head of a small purple cabbage and thinly shredded it. Then I steamed it for just 5 minutes in the pressure cooker with the whistle off. I am not a fan of raw cabbage, hence steam it. Then I added other veggies like cucumbers, tomatoes, onions/green onions, colored peppers. I tempered the salad with cumin seeds and hing in ghee. Topped it all off with crushed roasted peanuts, chopped cilantro, salt, pinch of sugar and black pepper powder.

Tastes great by itself.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Puff pastry rounds

Puff pastry sheets come in handy for quick snacks/appetizers and are so versatile. I recently found a cute way to use these. The sheet is thawed, cut into about 8-10 circles, filled and folded to resemble petals or feathers.
In the picture below, I used some leftover pasta sauce, added oregano, garlic salt, seasoning mix and shredded mozzarella cheese. Smeared this mix on the puff pastry rounds and arranged them to resemble bird's feathers. I topped each with an olive. With a little more fine-tuning, this would make a cute thanksgiving vegetarian turkey I think.
For the body of the bird, I used larger squares of puff pastry and stuffed them with jalapeno (ends cut, deseeded and deveined) filled with cream cheese (I used garden veggie and added garlic salt and seasoning mix). Make sure the cheese is room temperature.
Bake the puff pastry per package directions.
Puff pastry bird
Puff pastry vegetarian turkey

jalapeno peppers with cream cheese

For New Years eve party, I used similar pasta sauce as above and arranged the petals in flower shape.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Diwali 2015

Rangolis including underwater one on bottom left

Neerja's rangolis using pen
Diya chaat
Hara bhara rockets

Italian breadstick sparklers

Rangoli salad

Savory pinwheels (bhuee chakra)

Sweet pinwheels

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Cherry Tomato Snackers

Cherry Tomato Snackers
These are bite size cherry tomatoes filled with seasoned cream cheese and topped with toasted almonds. They need a bit of work but are totally worth it!

Here's how I make Cherry Tomato Snackers:

Wash the cherry tomatoes, dry and slice each in half. Using a small melon baller, scoop out the seeds and pulp (you can use this in other recipes).

Take about 3 tbsp. plain cream cheese (thawed to room temperature) in a bowl and season with salt, pepper, paprika, dried mint and Costco no salt seasoning mix. Or use flavored cream cheese of choice and vary seasonings per your taste. Fill a small ziplock bag with this cream cheese mix and press into a cone.

Cut off a small end of the bag. Pipe the cream cheese mix into each cherry tomato half. Top with a piece of almond (I have used almonds toasted with little salt & pepper). Serve immediately
 either as is or on a bed of greens.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Yogurt-stuffed Mini Peppers

Yogurt-stuffed mini peppers
This recipe is adapted from Yogurt Culture recipe book that I browsed at the library. I loved it the moment I read the recipe and wasted no time in trying it out. I was so happy with the results, this one goes in my "favorites" list now!

Here's how I made the Yogurt-stuffed Mini Peppers -

3 tbsp. yogurt - hung in cheesecloth overnight in the fridge
1 tbsp. fresh mozzarella cheese - crumbled
Seasonings - salt, pepper, paprika and dried mint
1 tbsp. chopped walnuts
7 mini peppers
Olive oil for roasting peppers

To make filling combine the hung yogurt, mozzarella, walnuts and seasonings.

Wash the peppers and cut of the tops. With the sharp end of a peeler, scope out the seeds and lining.

Using a small spoon fill the peppers with the yogurt stuffing.

Heat oil in a pan and saute the peppers on medium heat, uncovered till browned on all sides, about 5 to 10 mins.

Serve warm as an appetizer or part of a meal.

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