Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Past event contributions

As I have mentioned earlier, in my non-blogger days I had participated in a few food blog events. I am posting all those contributions here in order to keep a track of them.

Bell Pepper Quesadilla & soup - Contributed to VoW-JFI -Bell Peppers event at Pooja's My Creative Ideas

Quesadilla, as you may know, is a part of the Mexican cuisine wherein veggies, cheese, meats etc. are stuffed between tortillas. The restaurant version is loaded with cheese, especially for a vegetarian like myself, this dish does not provide a balanced meal. Hence I started making it at home with more healthy options. Now we like the home-made version better and rarely have it in the restaurant. It is pretty easy to put together, hence a popular weeknight dinner in my home. I make several different types of fillings, for this event, it was the mixed bell peppers one. The accompanying soup is just an extension of this dish. Here's how I made it:

1 medium onion - chopped
1 each - green, red, yellow and orange bell pepper - chopped
1 15 oz. can of black beans - drained & rinsed
2 heaped tsp. cumin-coriander pwd.
2 tsp. oil

Heat the oil. Saute the onion till pink. Add the bell peppers. Saute 5-7 mins. Add the black beans, cumin-coriander pwd and salt. Mix well. Cook 2-3 mins. more. I like the smoky aroma that the mixture exudes at this point.

For making the quesadillas -

5 tortillas ( I used Mission brand Multi Grain tortillas)
Tabasco hot sauce
Shredded cheese ( I used Kraft Mexican style four cheese blend)

Fill half of each tortilla with 2-3 heaped tbsps of the mix. Drizzle few drops of Tabasco hot sauce per taste. Top with shredded cheese per taste. Fold each tortilla over into half. Roast on a skillet with 1-2 drops of oil until brown spots appear on both sides. I myself like it a bit charred, so I dry roast it on medium-high. Then cool it for a few seconds, cut into 2 or 4 wedges and serve.

I almost always make this accompanying easy soup with the quesadillas. Take about 3 to 4 tbsps. of the above mix. Add 3 to 4 tbsps of any store-brand salsa and about 2 to 3 cups of vegetable broth or water. Mix and simmer until heated thru. To serve, pour in a bowl & top with few crushed tortilla chips.

Tricolor salad - Contributed to Theme of the Week - Saffron, White & Green event at Pooja's My Creative Ideas

For the Independence Day 2008 event, I sent her a tri-color salad. The basic idea was from a recipe I had copied down a while back. I think it is from a cookbook by Nita Mehta, but I'm not 100% sure of that. Anyway, I did change it based on what I had on hand.

Its a pretty simple dish. Here's how I made it.

2 medium carrots - grated fine
1 c. macaroni - boiled with a little salt
2 tbsp. rajma - I used the canned variety
1 small green bell pepper - chopped fine
few sprigs of cilantro
1 green pepper - deseeded & chopped fine
3 cups plain yogurt
1 tsp chaat masala
Salt, sugar & Pepper to taste

Tie the yogurt in a fine muslin cloth & hang it to drip for 2 hrs. (The whey can be collected in a bowl & used for kneading roti dough.) To this creamy yogurt, add the chaat masala, salt, sugar & pepper to taste. Divide into 3 equal portions. Mix the grated carrots into one portion, boiled macaroni into the second and the chopped peppers & cilantro into the third.

Arrange the three layers in order to resemble our tiranga. Dig a hole in the center of the macaroni layer & fill with rajma beans for the chakra.

Soy Pulav - Contributed to JFI - Soya event at Sia's Monsoon Spice

1 cup basmati rice - washed & drained
1 small onion - chopped
1 cup soy granules - soaked in warm salted water for 10 mins., then drained
1 cup frozen peas & carrots
1 small tomato - chopped
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp ginger - garlic paste
2 tbsp yogurt
2 tsp cumin-coriander pwd
1 tsp red chilli pwd.
1 tsp garam masala pwd.
Few mint leaves & springs of cilantro
1 tbsp oil
2 tsp salt

Heat the oil. Add cumin seeds. When they sizzle, add the onion. Saute for 2-3 mins on medium high. Then add the ginger - garlic paste. Again saute a bit, add tomatoes & the frozen peas & carrots. Mix the masala powders, chopped mint & cilantro in the yogurt and add to the veggies. Give it a stir. Then add the rice and soy granules. Add about 2 cups water & salt. Bring to a quick boil on high, then reduce to medium low. Cover with a tight lid & cook for about 15 mins until rice is done.

Methi rice & Curd rice - Contributed to Rice Varieties Event at EC's Simple Indian Food

Methi Rice (Menthesoppu Anna learnt from my maternal aunt) -

1 cup rice - I used basmati and cooked it in the pressure cooker. Then cooled it by spreading on a plate.
2 bunches methi - The methi bunches I found in the Indian store that day were pretty small, hence I used 2. Wash and chop these.
For tempering - 2 tsp oil, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, hing, turmeric, udad dal.
1 tblsp. jaggery
1/2 tsp tamarind paste
1 tsp dhana - jira pwd.
2 tsp sambar pwd. (home - made or store - bought)

Heat the oil. Add mustard seeds. When they splutter, add cumin seeds, then hing, turmeric, udad dal.Fry for a min. Add the chopped methi leaves. Add about 1/2 c. water, jaggery, tamarind paste, dhana - jira pwd., sambar pwd. and salt. Cover and cook for 10 mins. Then add to the rice, mix well. Let this sit for 1/2 hr so the rice absorbs the flavors.

Curd rice (Also my maternal aunt's speciality) -

1 cup rice - I used basmati and cooked it in the pressure cooker. Then cooled it by spreading on a plate.
Heat 2 tsp oil. Add mustard seeds. When they splutter, add cumin seeds, then 2 broken dry red chillies, 4-5 curry leaves, 1/2 tsp ginger paste, 1 tsp udad dal. Fry for a min. Pour this on the rice. Add the yogurt, salt and sugar to taste. I also added some buttermilk to thin it out a bit. Add some fresh shredded coconut. Mix and refigerate until ready to enjoy. This is a lifesaver on a hot day.

Dal Palak Roti and Tofu Roti - Contributed to Roti Mela at Cooking 4 All Seasons

Dal Palak Roti

Tofu Roti

Dal Palak Roti -

This combines the goodness of lentils and spinach to make the everyday roti more flavorful. I made the dough using 1 cup whole wheat flour, 1/2 cup pressure-cooked moong & tur dals, 1/2 cup palak puree, salt, 1 tsp dhana-jira pwd, 1/4 tsp red chilli pwd, 1/4 tsp amchoor pwd. Spices can ofcourse be adjusted to taste. No/very little water is needed to form the dough. Then I rolled out the rotis and roasted on the skillet with a drop of oil on each side. This made 7 rotis. I served this with chanya-chi-amti (brown chana curry).

Tofu Roti -

I got this idea from a friend who, during her pregnancy, would add tofu while kneading her roti dough. For this roti I used 2 cups whole wheat flour, 1 12oz. packet firm tofu (drained), 4 tbsps kasuri methi, salt, sugar, dhana-jira pwd, red chilli pwd. Made a soft pliable dough (again - no/very less water in required). Rolled out and roasted the rotis with a drop of oil on each side. This was served with red chard & potato subji and cucumber-onion-tomato raita.

Coconut - ricotta burfi - Contributed to AFAM - Coconut at Tasty Palettes

1.5 cups dry shredded coconut
Part skim ricotta cheese - 15 oz. tub
1.5 cups milk - mava powder
1.75 cups sugar
1/4 tsp cardamom powder

Cook the ricotta cheese in a large non-stick frying pan on medium heat for about 8 mins., stirring frequently to avoid burning/sticking. At this point it loses most of its moisture and becomes like khoya (mava). Add the milk - mava powder. Mix well and cook another 5 mins. Add the sugar, mix well. The mixture will become liquidy again. Cook another 10 mins., stirring often. Add the coconut, mix and cook another 5 mins. Mixture will be quite thick at this time. Pour on to a greased thali. Pat down with a spatula. Let it cool completely. Then cut into desired shapes. Enjoy right away like I did or refrigerate!

Scrambled Tofu & Couscous Upma with Edamame beans - Contributed to Express Breakfasts Event at The Singing Chef

Scrambled Tofu

Couscous Upma with Edamame beans

Scrambled tofu -

Heat 2 tsps olive oil, add 1 tsp jeera seeds, then 1 small chopped onion and 1 chopped green chilli. Fry this for a few mins. In the meanwhile, drain 1 14 oz. packet of firm tofu and roughly chop it. Add this to the onions, increas the heat to high and saute the tofu for about 5 - 7 mins till all the water that the tofu leaves dries up.Then add turmeric, salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with chopped cilantro.

Couscous upma with edamame beans -

Soak 1 cup dry couscous in warm salted water for 5 mins. In the meanwhile, heat 2 tsp oil in a non-stick fry pan, temper with mustard seeds, cumin seeds and hing. Then add 1 small chopped onion, 2 dry red chillies (broken), handful of broken cashew pieces. Next go in about 2 cups of frozen edamame beans (soy beans) and few tblsps of water. Cover and cook this for about 5 mins. Then mix in the soaked couscous, salt, sugar and lemon juice. Garnish with fresh shredded coconut and chopped coriander.

Chilli Paneer Sandwich - Contributed to the Sandwich Event at Food-n-More

The basic idea for this sandwich is from a cookbook by Nita Mehta. I had noted down this recipe from my friend a while back, can't recall the name of the book. It is called Chilli Paneer Footlong in that book.

For my sandwich, I did make quite a few modifications (for the ingredients I had on hand). Here's how I made it.

4 slices of 12-grain bread (store brand)
Shredded mozarella cheese
1 spring onion - chopped

For the tomato spread -
1 large clove of garlic - chopped
2 tomatoes - chopped
1 tbsp regular ketchup
1 tbsp Maggi Hot & Sweet Ketchup
1/2 tsp ova/ajwain
1/4 tsp Degi mirchi pwd
1 tbsp olive oil
Salt, pepper

For the chilli paneer -
1 cup paneer cubes (Store-bought paneer, cut into small cubes)
1/2 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp Degi mirchi pwd
Salt, pepper

I marinated the paneer cubes in the above mix for about 1/2 hr, then shallow fried them in 2 tbsp olive oil.

Prepped the tomato spread by heating oil, adding garlic, frying till light brown, then adding all the other ingredients and cooking few mins.

To prep the sandwich, I butterred the slice lightly & grilled in on my grilling pan, then laid on some of the tomato spread, topped with the paneer, shredded cheese & finally garnished with some spring onion slices. I left it open-faced & served a simple salad of greens, cucumber & shredded carrots on the side.

BTW, I relaced the tomato spread with pizza sauce for my 4-yr old daughter, who loves paneer, but has not yet gotten used to the heat in our food. She loved her mini pizza!


easycrafts said...

Have added up your link to the roundup..

Meera said...

All the entries look awesome!!

Supriya said...

Meera: Thanks for visiting & encouraging me.

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