Thursday, December 18, 2014

Baked Potato Wedges/ "Fries"

Baked Potato Wedges "Fries"
 Fries seem to be everyone's guilty pleasure. This baked version used only 2 tsp oil to make it guilt-free. Needless to say it is a favorite snack in our home.

Here's how I make these Baked Potato Wedges or "Fries":

8 baby potatoes
2 tsp olive oil
Salt, pepper to season

Wash the potatoes, dry well and cut each into 4 wedges. Again pat the wedges with a paper towel to thoroughly dry them. Pour 2 tsp olive oil and mix to coat wedges. Spread on a baking sheet and put into a 400F oven.

After 15 mins, turn the wedges over. Bake another 15 mins. Immediately season with salt and pepper. I have also used little ready made seasoning mix from Costco in the pic below. This is optional, you can use any additional seasoning of choice - Mrs. Dash, paprika, garlic pwd etc.

Serve hot/warm, with tomato ketchup.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Cucumber - Pomegranate Raita

Cucumber-Pomegranate Raita
This is my daughter's favorite kind of raita. The delicate cucumber and slightly crunchy, tangy pomegranate seeds go very well together I think.

Here's how I make this simple Cucumber-Pomegranate Raita:

Take 1/2 cup yogurt (I use Trader Joe's plain low fat or any of the low fat ones from the Indian store). Add salt, sugar and black pepper pwd to taste. Whisk. Add 1/2 cup thickly grated cucumber, 1 tbsp pomegranate seeds and 1 tbsp roughly chopped peanuts. Make tempering by heating 1 tsp ghee, then spluttering 1/4 tsp mustard seeds in it, then add 1/4 tsp cumin seeds, pinch of hing and 1 or 2 chopped green chillies. You can also add 2-3 torn up curry leaves. Add tempering to the raita. Stir gently.

Garnish with more pomegranate seeds and chopped cilantro.

Goes well with any spicy curry, biryani, masale bhaath etc.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Mini Mixed Veggie Utthappa

Mini Utthappa
Utthappa is a soft spongy slightly thickish Indian pancake. It can be made plain or topped with one or more finely chopped veggies. Mixed veggie utthappa is my hubby's favorite breakfast item. And ever since I bought an electric griddle, making multiple mini utthappa at once on it is my favorite weekend morning task.
Here's how I make these Mini Mixed Veggie Utthappas:

Dosa Batter -I use store bought (Shasta or Devi brand available in Indian store). Add salt if required.

In a separate bowl take finely chopped veggies of choice - in the above picture I have used red onions, tomatoes and green bell peppers.
Heat griddle to 350F (or if using regular pan heat on medium heat). Drop a ladleful of dosa batter for each utthappa/pancake and spread into a circle about 3 to 4 inches in diameter. Drizzle little oil around the utthappa. Sprinkle the veggies on it. There is no specific quantity here, use less or more per your choice. In about 5 mins, the lower side will have browned lightly. Flip over, drizzle little more oil around and cook another 5 mins, pressing gently on the utthappa with a spatula.

Take off heat and serve hot with chutney of your choice. Here I have served with simple coconut chutney which I prep by grinding:

1/2 cup frozen shredded coconut (thawed)
2 green chillies
handful chopped cilantro
5-6 curry leaves
1 tbsp roasted chana/gram
1 tbsp roasted peanuts
Salt, Sugar and Lemon juice to taste

Grind with little water to get desired consistency. Temper with mustard seeds and hot oil.

These Mini Mixed Veggie Utthappas go to the Breakfast event at Srivalli's Cooking 4 all Seasons.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Hash Brown Potato and Veggie Soup

Hash Brown Potato and Veggie Soup

Shredded hash brown potatoes are a staple breakfast item in my home. So when I came across this hash brown soup recipe in a recent issue of Relish magazine, I was intrigued. The idea of enjoying the same comforting breakfast flavors in a warm soup for lunch on a cold, windy day appealed to me very much. So I adapted the original recipe to incorporate the veggies and spices I use to make the breakfast version.

Here's how I made Hash Brown Potato and Veggie Soup:

Heat 2 tsp olive oil in a pan.

Add handful of chopped onions, green bell pepper and zucchini and 2 cups shredded hash brown potatoes. Saute for 5 mins stirring occasionally.

Then add 2 cups vegetable broth. Cover and bring to a boil on medium heat.

In the meanwhile, whisk 1 tsp plain flour in 1/2 cup milk till smooth.

Add this to the soup keeping heat on low/medium low. Season with 1 tsp salt. 1/2 tsp black pepper pwd, 1 tsp seasoning mix of choice (I used Kirkland brand No Salt Seasoning Mix) and little red pepper flakes. Stir well and boil till slightly thickened.

Take off heat, stir in 1 tsp yogurt.

Serve hot/warm, garnished with green onions, red bell peppers, grated cheese and more red pepper flakes.

I enjoyed this soup with a bowl of salad.

This Hash Brown Potato and Veggie Soup goes to the DIO - Soups and Salads event at Cooks Joy.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Mixed Vegetable Pickle

Mixed Vegetable Pickle
This recipe is courtesy of our dear family friend Mrs. Adgaonkar.

Here's how I make Mixed Vegetable Pickle:

1/4 cup cauliflower flowerets - mini size
1/4 cup carrots - chopped fine
1/4 cup peas - I use frozen, which I thaw and dry thoroughly with paper towel
1 tsp julienned ginger
1 clove garlic - chopped (optional)

Take these in a big glass bowl.
Add 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp red chilli pwd and 1/4 tsp asafoetida pwd.
Dry roast 1/4 tsp mustard seeds on medium heat for 3-5 mins, keep aside to cool.
Dry roast 1/8 tsp methi seeds for 2-3 mins, keep aside to cool.
Dry roast 1/2 tsp sesame seeds till lightly browned, keep aside to cool.
When cooled grind all 3 to fine pwd and add to veggies.
Heat 2 tbsp oil, cool completely and add that to the veggie + masala mix.
Lastly squeeze 1/2 lemon over the mix.

Mixed Vegetable Pickle is ready to eat.

I store this in a glass bottle in the fridge, it lasts for a month.

Monday, December 8, 2014

"Cup" cakes - eggless

"Cup" cakes - vanilla and chocolate
 These are literally cakes made in the 1 minute! They come in handy when you have an immediate craving for something sweet and don't want to take a lot of trouble just for one person. Or if you find yourself hosting an impromptu get-together of kids (or adults for that matter) and want to impress everyone by giving them a choice of flavors for dessert.

Here's how I make these eggless "Cup" cakes"

Take 3 tbsp classic yellow cake mix (store bought) in a cup. Add 3 tbsp milk. Add flavor of choice - in the first set of pics below I made vanilla cake by adding 1/4 tsp vanilla essence. In the next set of

pics, I added 1 tsp cocoa pwd and few mini chocolate morsels for the chocolate cake. I also make mango flavor by blending about 1 tsp mango pulp or puree with the 3 tbsp milk; or pistachio flavor by blending pista essence with the milk.

Once you add the milk and flavor of choice, mix gently to incorporate. Make sure there are no lumps.
Microwave on high power for 1 mins. Set it on the counter to cool for 5 mins and enjoy!

This is so easy, you can involve kids and have them make their choice of these "Cup" cakes.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Pharasbi - Batatyachi Bhaji (Green Beans and Potato Stir Fry)

This is a simple, healthy and tasty stir fry of finely chopped green beans and red potatoes in Maharashtrian style, with a slight twist in the garnish.

Here's how I make Pharasbi - Batatyachi Bhaji:

Make tempering - In a kadai or heavy bottom pan, heat 2 tsp oil, add 1/2 tsp mustard seeds. When they stop spluttering, add 1/2 tsp cumin seeds, 1/2 tsp udad dal, 1/4 tsp asafoetida, 1/2 tsp turmeric pwd and few torn up curry leaves. Stir for 1 min.

Add 1 heaped cup of finely chopped green beans and 1 small red potato, chopped thinly as for kachrya. Add 1 tsp salt or to taste, 1 tsp coriander pwd, 1 tsp cumin pwd, 1 tsp goda masala, 1/2 tsp red chilli pwd or to taste, 1 tsp gul (jaggery). Stir well. Add very little water, couple tbsps only. Cover and cook on medium heat. Stir occasionally. Add couple more tbsps water when needed to prevent burning. The veggies should get cooked in about 10 to 12 mins. Take off heat.

For the garnish - grind together about 3 to 4 tbsp shredded fresh coconut (I use frozen shredded coconut available in Indian grocery stores which I thaw either on the counter top or in microwave), handful of roughly chopped cilantro, 1 tsp cumin seeds and 2 tsp lemon juice. Mix into the cooked bhaji. This garnish adds a nice kick to the bhaji.

Serve hot with polis. Goes well with varan - bhaath too.

This Pharasbi - Batatyachi Bhaji goes to the In My Veg Box - Green Beans event at Full Scoops. 
This event was started by Citrus Spice.

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