Eggless Thumbprint Cookies

Cookies ~ Soft or Crisp, Warm or room temperature, Chewy or not, is a universal dessert that can satisfy everybody. With various flavors from chocolate chip to nutty almond the options are endless. I generally avoid baking because baking requires meticulous preparation, mixing and baking of ingredients when I generally measure ingredients by eye-ball method. But cookies is something my children would like to get involved. They enjoy rolling a small portion of the dough with their tiny rolling pin, or cut out shapes using cookie cutters. It is such a family bonding time for us. Plus, who does not like home-made baked goodies as a thank you gesture?
It’s simple, delicious and speaks volumes. We had so much making these cookies and my kids picked out their flavor for the center filling – raspberry! They even made their thumbprints in the center for the filling which I thought was so cute. I believe that by getting them involved like is a great way to introduce cooking and appreciation for food at an early age. Ok, enough said, let me share the easy recipe.

Thumbprint Cookies

Thumbprint Cookies


Ingredients:

2 sticks butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
A pinch of salt
1 tbsp flaxseed soaked in 3 tbsp water (optional)
Jam

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line your baking sheet with parchment paper or use PAM non-stick baking spray. Using a mixer, cream together the butter and sugar, then add the vanilla. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix until incorporated. Whisk the salt into the flour and gradually add to the butter mixture, add flaxseed and mix. Check for adjusting sweetness per your taste and adjust.
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Sprinkle your surface with flour and with a rolling pin, roll until the dough is about an 1/8 of an inch thick. Using a star or any shape cookie cutter, press into the dough and cut cookies. Place on a baking pan, press with your thumb in the center for filling jam.
Bake cookies for about 8 to 10 minutes or until bottoms are just barely golden. Remove cookies from oven. If thumb prints look shallow in the center, press a little more again and then fill each with approximately 1/2 teaspoon jam. Bake for an additional 3 to 4 minutes, or until jam melts slightly and edges of cookies are lightly golden. Transfer cookies to wire racks to cool.
Enjoy them or gift them in a gift bag with a ribbon of your choice.

Eggless Thumbprint Cookies ~ Perfect for any season

Eggless Thumbprint Cookies ~ Perfect for any season


NOTE: The jam will set and harden slightly after cookie completely cools down.

Posted in Desserts, Thumbprint Cookies | Tagged , | 3 Comments

Thai Red Curry

Oh let it snow, let it snow, let it snow… well, it does not snow where I live but certainly a cold winter. I like to sit next to the fireplace, cuddled inside a blanket and sip some hot tea. Who wouldn’t like that comfort? Winter also calls in for healthy eating for me since not eating healthy is an easy choice considering the fact that its so cold outside and less walk in the parks etc unless I am committed in going to the gym, which surely am not. And winter is also a season of festivities and parties – potlucks, wines, beer and so much fun. Every year I host christmas party at my place and call family over. It really feels festive to have people around rather than being alone. Kids look forward to this party you know why, the presents. The unwrapping of each and every present gives them so much excitement and watching them unwrap brings me chills. That smile on those innocent faces is worth a million bucks!
Ok, coming back to food, now I wanted to make something quick and easy yet flavorful and healthy and kids and adults will like it. Parties should be fun and not be stressful for me so I was thinking what to make and after giving considerable thought I narrowed it down to Red Curry. It’s spicy, tasty, has tofu, tons of chunks of vegetables in a savory coconut sauce. I am so glad I made it because everyone loved it. Here is the recipe to a easy breezy recipe.

Thai Red Curry

Thai Red Curry


Ingredients: (For about 12 people)

– 1 Big red bell peper
– 2 Cups broccoli florets
– 2 medium size carrots
– 1/2 extra firm tofu
– 2 medium size zucchini
– 1 8oz. can baby corn
– 10 String beans
– Thai Red Curry paste (Mae Ploy or Thai Kitchen brand)
– 14 oz light coconut milk
– 1 tbsp vegetable oil
– Salt per taste
– 4 cups rice

Thai Red Curry

Thai Red Curry


Directions:
Wash and chop all vegetable in big chunks, say about 2 inch pieces. In a wok, heat oil, then add the vegetables except zucchini. Sauté for about 5 minutes, then add about 1 tbsp of red curry paste, sauté for about 2 minutes. Now add the coconut milk, bring it to a boil, simmer, cover and let it cook until 3/4th done. Now add the zucchini, let it cook. Add salt, taste and add more curry paste as per your taste. Before turning off the stove, add tofu, mix and cover it with a lid. Just before your guests arrive, turn on your rice in the rice cooker so that you can serve it hot with the scrumptious thai red curry.
Thai Red Curry

Thai Red Curry

Posted in Main Course, Thai Red Curry | Tagged , | 12 Comments

Multigrain Childa

Winter is here and with walks in the neighborhood or to the park gets tough, eating healthy all the more becomes essential. Of course going to the gym is always an option or finding time for yoga is good, but with two little kids and now a stay at home mom, makes it very challenging to find time. Fortunately I have a treadmill that I try to run as many days regularly as possible. Cool winters and warm fireplace calls for good comfort food but healthy too. How do we balance the taste, comfort with a healthy option? There are plenty of options. They are easy and so versatile to fit your family lifestyle, taste and such. One such dish for me is childa, kinda like a pancake or crepe which is made out of batter and pouring on hot iron skillet or even a non-stick pan. My mom always always made healthy choices for us growing up and so thinking in those lines is not a battle for me. She made childa usually with 2 lentils varieties and rice, onion topping and a side of coconut or tomato chutney. I just made some changes to it to fit my family needs.

Lentils, Oats, Brown rice and Quinoa

Lentils, Oats, Brown rice and Quinoa


Ingredients:

1 cup yellow lentil
1 cup pink lentil
1 cup yellow mung lentil
1 cup oats
1 cup brown rice
1 cup quinoa
1 small onion finely chopped
1 bunch beet leaves finely chopped
A small piece of ginger (optional)
2 dried red chili or green chili or per taste
Oil for cooking
Salt per taste

Directions:

Wash and soak all ingredients including the red chilies except the vegetables. In a mixer grinder or food processor grind all except the vegetables coarsely, add water if necessary.

Batter ready to be cooked

Batter ready to be cooked

Batter on the iron skillet cooking.
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If using green chilies finely chop that and add it to the batter along with salt, onions and beet leaves. Heat a iron skillet to medium high and pour a ladle full of batter and spread it. Drizzle some oil around it and let it cook for about 2 mins, flip and let it cook for another 2 mins or until gold brown. Serve hot with any chutney, I served mine with Coriander and Onion chutney.

Multigrain childa served with chutneys

Multigrain childa served with chutneys

NOTE: You can add any vegetable either inside the batter for ease or as a topping. You can use grated carrot, chopped spinach, cabbage, even eggplent if finely chopped. I used black quinoa jus because I had it. You can add other types of lentils as well.

Truly a multigrain with green leafy beet leaves and onions

Truly a multigrain with green leafy beet leaves and onions

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Witch’s Finger Cookie

Boo!!! The days are getting shorter, darker, colder each day. The leaves fall down and not much of noise around. I hear the crinkly noise when someone keeps foot on the fallen dried leaves. I wonder who is it? Who is it? It’s that time of the year when we decorate the house with strange, weird, creepy things. We celebrate the ghost, skeleton, blood, tombstone figurines everywhere. We adorn ourselves with scary clothes, strange hair do’s, yucky makeup. It’s that time of the year when we let children eat unaccounted number of candies (well, not literally!). It’s when little boys love to become super heroes and little girls all become princess of some sort. We use pumpkin like no other time of the year in every possible way – from painting, carving, decorating, games, cooking, baking and more. Yes, I am talking about Halloween. One of the festival celebrated by all age groups with almost no boundaries for scariness. It is so much fun to dress up and go around the block and do Trick or Treat. I am dressing up my kids as little monster and a super hero. But it did not stop there, I wanted to bake something quick as always you know it by now. I came across Giada De Laurentiis, my favorite Food Network chef/host’s recipe for this Halloween which I am sharing today. Do not use store bought sugar cookie dough, I tried it, they expand way too much.

Witch Cookie finger read to baked

Witch Cookie finger read to baked

Ingredients:
Vegetable oil cooking spray
1 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
A pinch of salt
1/4 cup (/12 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1 tbsp Flax seed mixed in 3 tbsp of water
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
14 large sliced almonds
1/4 cup raspberry jam
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Directions:

Preheat the oven to 325F degrees. Cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with vegetable oil cooking spray. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside. In the bowl beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a spatula as needed, about 2 to 3 minutes. Beat in the flaxseed mixture until smooth. Gradually beat in the flour mixture until a dough forms.

Using about1 1/2 tablespoons of dough at a time, roll the dough between your palms into 5-inch-long fingers about 1/2-inch thick. Firmly press a sliced almond into the end of each finger to make fingernails. Make several horizontal cuts, about 1/4 inch deep and 1/2 inch long, in the center of each finger to make knuckles. Press the dough on either side of the cuts to shape the knuckles. Arrange the fingers on the prepared baking sheet and bake until light golden, 16 to 18 minutes. Transfer the fingers to a wire rack and cool completely.

In a small saucepan, heat the jam over low heat until warm, about 2 minutes. Dip the blunt ends of the fingers in the warm jam and arrange on a platter.

Witch Finger Cookies ~ Dare to eat it! Boo!!!
Witch Finger Cookies ~ Dare to eat it! Boo!!!

NOTE: I modified the recipe a little bit and also eliminated the use of an egg, replaced it with flaxseeds.

Posted in Desserts, Snacks, Witch Finger Cookies, Witch Finger Cookies | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Mighty Kale Paratha

OMG, its been a long time since I sat down to pen on my experiences from my kitchen. Life is very busy with two kids and I have also been reading up and learning photography. Check out my sample work at ©Piah Photography. So if you live in the bay area and like my work that I have been learning, practicing and perfecting, contact me. Ok, photography aside, did you realize that my previous post was also about Kale and starts with “Mighty”? That’s because truly Kale is a mighty vegetable, so nutritious, so superior, so exceptional that I had no way getting around with the post without having to name it with the term “Mighty”. And I promised that I will tell you another way to make use of Kale and such is this recipe. I am sure you will enjoy it. Once you can make this recipe, you can use the same for Spinach and other greens. How versatile!

Mighty Kale Paratha with Aloo Saag

Mighty Kale Paratha with Aloo Saag


Ingredients:
1 Bunch Kale
1 tsp Ajwain
Vegetable or Canola Oil
Salt per taste
1 tsp Garam masala (Optional)
1 tsp red chili powder or per taste
2 Cups Whole Wheat or MultiGrain Flour
Flour for rolling

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Directions:
Remove the thick rib from the centre of the kale. Just fold the kale such that the leafy ends touch each other and rib is on one side. Use a knife and cut it out. Finely chop the kale. Add this to the flour, add all the spices, 1 tsp oil and knead it well. Use water if necessary to knead. Let it rest for about 10 mins. Heat a flat pan, let it be on medium high flame. Take some dough, about a spoonful roll it into a ball in between your palm. Dip it in the flour and using a rolling pin, roll it. Use flour as needed and roll it until you get the desired size and thickness. Put it on the pan, let it remain for about a minute, flip it. After the bottom side starts to brown just a little, drizzle some oil on the top, flip it again and press it all over for it to brown and crisp a little, flip again and repeat the same. Serve hot with some plain yogurt and aloo saag. Heaven is just bites away!
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Posted in Main Course, Mighty Kale Paratha | Tagged | 6 Comments

Mighty Kale Sandwich

Hello there my friends, it has been a while since I posted but this post is going to make up for it. It is super easy, super delicious and super nutritious. Yes, I am talking Kale. Do you know why it’s called a might kale? Here are some of the reasons – source wikipedia.

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Kale is very high in beta carotene, vitamin K, vitamin C, and rich in calcium. Kale is a source of two carotenoids. Kale, as with broccoli and other brassicas, contains sulforaphane (particularly when chopped or minced), a chemical with potent anti-cancer properties. Along with other brassica vegetables, kale is also a source of indole-3-carbinol, a chemical which boosts DNA repair in cells and appears to block the growth of cancer cells. Kale has been found to contain a group of resins known as bile acid sequestrants, which have been shown to lower cholesterol and decrease absorption of dietary fat. Steaming significantly increases these bile acid binding properties. I buy kale every week. One bunch is used for sandwiches, another one.. shhh, that’s my post for the next time. In the meanwhile eat up your kale, enjoy its benefits, get out, exercise, socialize and enjoy the summer.

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Ingredients:

1 bunch kale
1 medium onion sliced and then cut into half
Alfalfa sprouts
Salt per taste
Freshly ground black pepper
Olive oil
Multigrain bread
Cheese slices of any kind

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Directions:

Remove the center thick rib from kale using a knife, then chop it like a chiffonade. Heat a grill pan, drizzle about 1/2 tsp olive oil, sauté the onions until it starts to brown just a little, sprinkle some salt, black pepper and remove it from the pan. now drizzle another 1 tsp of oil, add kale, sprinkle salt, sauté until it looks a bit wilted down, may be in about 5 mins. Let it cool. Place a cheese slice on a bread, handful of kale, onions and alfalfa sprouts. Top of with another slice of cheese and close it with bread. Place this on the grill pan on low heat, place a heavy bottom pan on top so that the cheese will slowly melt and also seal the sandwich without burning the bread. Turn the bread to toast it on the other side and you will see beautiful grill marks. Your job is done. Delicious grilled sandwich is ready all year around. Dip it with some hot sauce for extra flavor.

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Paneer Methi Paratha

Paneer, who doesn’t like it? It is filling, creamy, cheesy, protein packed of course some fat too, all in one which can satisfy anyone. Ask any non-Indian, most likely they will answer that they have had palak paneer. Its super easy to make from scratch at home, recipe here. It’s so versatile that both savory and sweet dishes such as Sandesh could be prepared. It could be used as cheese cubes along with other vegetables, as an appetizer in tandoori paneer, or as a stuffing in breads which I will share here. I also marinate in yogurt/ginger/garlic/chili paste mixture and grill it. It tastes fantastic with all those flavors and the smoky smell that comes grilling. It’s bland but in a good way because it can absorb the flavor and spices that you add to it or the sauce it is soaking in. Nowadays low fat versions of paneer are available in the supermarket and thats what I use for my family so that I can advantage of it’s versatility, its nutrients, wholesomeness without feeling guilty of eating too much fat.

Paratha ready to be cooked

Paratha ready to be cooked

Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins
Makes: 12 approx.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup grated paneer 
  • 1 bunch methi (fenugreek leaves) finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1 tsp ginger minced
  • 1 tsp chili powder or per taste
  • 1/2 tsp ajwain seeds
  • 1/2 tsp coriander powder
  • Salt per taste
  • Oil or ghee for cooking
  • Green chili (optional)
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour

Hot Paneer Methi Paratha

Hot Paneer Methi Paratha served with raita


Directions:

Mix the spices, ginger, garlic, paneer, methi with some salt and taste. Adjust for seasonings. Add finely chopped green chilies if needed. Add the ajwain seeds, some salt, 1 tsp oil and a little water to the flour and knead well to form a dough a little stiffer than a pizza dough. Take some dough and roll in between your palms to form a ball. Using a rolling pin, roll it about 3- 4 inches in diameter. Place a spoonful of the mixture in the center, bring all the outer edges of dough to close the stuffing. Roll it again until the desired size which is about 13 – 15 inches or per your desired thickness. Heat a pan, and place this rolled out paratha for about 1 min or so and flip it. Cook for another minute or until you see brown spots underneath and then flip again. Drizzle from oil or ghee, about 1/2 tsp, press with a spatula all over, flip and again press until you see it golden brown spots. Serve hot with some mango pickle and raita.

Hot Paneer Methi Paratha

Hot Paneer Methi Paratha

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Triple Delight

Triple Delight ~ For your Valentine

Triple Delight for your Valentine

Triple Delight for your Valentine


Valentines Day is probably the most known in the world. Kids or Adults, everyone celebrate this day in their own special way. It’s a great way to take that time to thank the people who you love and care. My 4 year old son made a card for me which was so cute that I’m his valentine and I’m his world. Those are so precious to me and brought tearful joy. People take the time on this one particular day if not any other to remember the special ones that are near and dear to their heart. I started of my day by making a very simple dessert which ofcourse involves no baking as usual yet looks and tastes fantastic. It requires time as it involves jello, gelatin free jello. Make it and serve it and see for yourself what a light dessert this is yet packed with texture and flavor and surely a crowd-pleaser. Oh, did I say that you make this in advance?
Raspberry Jello Set

Raspberry Jello Set


Ingredients:
Cool cups vegan jello – 2 flavors
Pudding
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Directions:

Follow the instructions on one of the jello and prepare it first. I used raspberry and orange jello. Pour the raspberry at the bottom of the serving bowl just 1/4th or as much as you like to serve your guests. Refrigerate it for at least 2 hours. Make the pudding as per the instructions, i used vanilla. Pour it on top of the set jello after 2 hours or more. Let this pudding set for at least 30 mins. Follow the instructions on the other jello and prepare it. Pour the Orange jello. Let it set for at least 2 hours. Shave some dark chocolate with a vegetable peeler before serving. Tastes heavenly. Very light, very delicious, very easy. Only requires time. Everything takes only minutes to prepare and pour. Looks stunning too!

Triple Delight for your Valentine ~ Happy Valentines Day

Triple Delight for your Valentine ~ Happy Valentines Day

NOTE: You can find cool cups in health food stores such as whole foods market.

Posted in Desserts, Triple Delight | Tagged | 5 Comments

Eggless Rainbow Muffins

The cold windy days is keeping all of us away from outdoors much as we need. To me, this also translates into eating out less to avoid wearing those layers and layers of heavy jackets to keep ourselves warm. It’s good that we eat more healthy since we avoid restaurant food and I also get to experiment with new recipes and use my family as taste testers and critics. As you may know by now I am a non baker and I hate baking. For me food has to be a no-brainer, easy, eye-ball and adjust but baking requires a lot of meticulously measured ingredients, time sensitive etc which is just not for me. I salute those who have the skill to bake and I am happy to eat the end baked product. I wish that one day I will also find baking as easy as cooking. Hence you will see most of my dessert recipes are bake free with the exceptions of muffins and cupcakes. And when my family craves for a dessert, muffins, cupcakes are very easy to put together. They require very less ingredients and less time consuming and comes out perfect every single time and my 4 year old is super happy. This chilly morning I tried to put a twist to my old fashioned muffins with one extra ingredient and believe me, more than my little one, my husband was like “wow”.

Rainbow Muffins

Rainbow Muffins


Ingredients:
* 1 1/2 cup flour
* Any edible food coloring
* 1 tsp baking soda
* 1/2 tsp salt
* 1 cup sugar
* 1/2 cup vegetable oil
* 1 cup water
* 2 tsp vanilla extract
* 2 tsp white vinegar
Before and After adding edible food color

Before and After adding edible food color


Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Place paper cups inside muffin trays
2. Combine all dry ingredients.
3. Mix the vegetable oil water and vanilla extract in a separate bowl and then pour them into the large the dry ingredients. Stir until mixture is smooth and without lumps.
4. Add the vinegar and stir.
5. Divide the batter into as many food coloring as you want to use, I had 4 so i divided into 4 equal parts.
6. Mix a drop or so of the one food color into one divided batter portion, the other food color into another and so on and mix.
7. Pour a spoonful of one colored batter into all muffin cups, followed by other color and so on.
8. Fill the cupcake pans 2/3 full.
Muffins ready to be baked

Muffins ready to be baked


9. Bake in the preheated oven for about 15 – 20 minutes.
10.Remove from the oven and let it cool for sometime.
Freshly Baked ~ Rainbow Muffins

Freshly Baked ~ Rainbow Muffins


11. Open the center and see the rainbow colors and enjoy.
Eggless Rainbow Muffins

Eggless Rainbow Muffins


TIP: Insert a tooth pick into the center of the muffin and remove. If it comes out clean, then the muffin is completely cooked, else bake it for another 5 mins or so.

Posted in Desserts, Eggless Rainbow Muffins | Tagged , | 11 Comments

Dal Dhokli

Rajasthan is a state that is rich in culture, vibrant in colors, plenty of temples particularly Jain temples, heavy in tourism and the list keeps growing. The folks dance is amazing and people are very caring and loving. I love all of the aspects of this unique state but in particular its rich flavorful food; food that is rich is spices and the techniques are mind blowing. One has to experience it to know its true value and I am lucky to have gotten several opportunities because of my ancestry and my husband also hails from this beautiful state. I am going to share a all in one dish that is a complete meal. For a long time I thought this recipe was tedious and time consuming and by now you know I do not like to stand for hours and prepare anything. For me food has to simple and stress free. This is a easy recipe and fast if you already have cooked toor (yellow) dal else it will take just another 15 extra minutes and nothing more.

Dal Dhokli

Dal Dhokli

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup diced carrots
  • 1/4 cup diced potatoes
  • 1/4 cup diced onions
  • 1/4 cup diced peppers
  • 1/4 cup diced string beans 
  • 1/2 tsp rai
  • 2 tsp oil
  • Red chili powder per taste
  • 1 tsp dhania powder
  • salt per taste
  • 1 cup cooked toor or tuvar dal
  • Lime per taste
  • Chopped Onions and cilantro for garnish 
Wheat flour cut into diamonds

Wheat flour cut into diamonds

Dal Dhokli ready to be cooked

Dal Dhokli ready to be cooked

Directions:

Add a little salt, red chili powder and a little water to the flour and knead it well so that it could be rolled. Take a small ball from kneaded flour mixture and using a rolling pin roll it a little bit thicker than a usual phulka or tortilla. Cut it lengthwise and then width-wise to get diamond shaped pieces. In a pressure cooker, heat oil, add mustard seeds until they splutter followed by onions. Then add all the vegetables, sauté for a couple of minutes, then add the cooked dal and the spices. Add the cut pieces into the dal making sure not to put one over the other too much or overcrowd the cooker. Taste and adjust seasonings, bring it to a boil, pressure cook it for 2 whistles and serve hot with a squeeze of lime, a little ghee, chopped onions and cilantro. Tastes so darn good. Vegetables, protein and wheat all in one meal and trust me this is the ultimate dish. Hope your family enjoys it.

Fully satisfying ultimate dish ~ Dal Dhokli

Fully satisfying ultimate dish ~ Dal Dhokli

TIP: If the dal dhokli becomes thick, add just a little bit hot water to a good consistency that you like.

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Palak Chakli (Murukku)

Rain rain go away come again another day – remember this song from good old childhood days? I am singing this song pretty much every single day as it is raining everyday. Not much could be done outside and if I decide to go to the mall its crowded due to Christmas festivity or if I take my kids to play areas, it is also packed as everyone is indoors. Thanks to the rain for making every indoor place where I can possibly go is overly crowded. But that paved me way for trying out some new recipe while I am home. Recently my sister got me these crunchy mouthwatering palak chakli’s from India and before I knew they were gone; they were so darn good. I used my time to recreate it and I must say for the first time, they were pretty good.

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Ingredients

  • 2 cups rice flour (sifted)
  • 2 tsp. urad dal flour
  • 2 – 3 tsp melted butter
  • 1/2 bunch palak
  • 1/2 tsp hing
  • 1/2 tsp jeera seeds (optional)
  • Salt to taste
Bite Size Palak Chakli

Bite Size Palak Chakli

Directions:

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl. Grind palak with little water into a fine paste. Add this paste little by little to the mixed ingredients to form a stiff dough. Now, either can use the murukku maker using the 1 star attachment or if you don’t have one simply use a pastry bag with a small star tip attachment ( 0 or 4 tip size) depending on the thickness you prefer, add the dough into it and press onto a plastic sheet in a circular shape with as many spirals  and the desired size has reached. Now carefully remove it from the plastic with your hands and  drop it into hot oil. Fry until cooked from inside and then remove and drain them onto paper towels.

Super Easy, Super Tasty, Vibrant ~ Palak Chakli (Murukku)

Super Easy, Super Tasty, Vibrant ~ Palak Chakli (Murukku)

NOTE: Drop a small amount of dough into hot oil and test if the dough rises to the top before adding actual chakli

Posted in Snacks | Tagged , | 16 Comments

Quinoa Edamame Pulao

Winter is here and we all know what it can do to us. Any guess? Well, if not you, there used to be when I used to exercise less, felt lethargic, and to top it off I craved for unhealthy foods which soothed my soul. Have you encountered this at all? I feel like sitting in my PJ’s all day with a cup of coffee and munch something fried or make quick junk meals that don’t serve much purpose. Yes, that phase was short-lived and life has changed; I am not single in the city anymore nor am I in my teens where I probably could afford to cheat with food here and there 🙂 I have huge responsibilities and my life revolves around my family with 3 BFF’s- my husband and 2 kids. I am truly blessed that they are in my life and my kids teach me to a better parent everyday. They inspire me each and everyday to cook healthy super fast yet tasty meals and this recipe evolved the same way. Hope your family enjoys it too.

Quinoa Edamame Pulao

Ingredients:
1/2 cup Basmati rice
1/2 cup Quinoa
1/2 cup shelled Edamame
2 green onions finely chopped
1 medium potato diced
1 tsp jeera
2 tsp oil
3 cloves
1 small piece of cinnamon stick
1 cardamom pod
1 green chili or per taste
Salt per taste
1/2 tsp ghee (optional)

Mouthwatering Super Easy ~ Quinoa Edamame Pulao

Directions

Soak rice and quinoa for at least 30 minutes. In a pressure cooker, heat oil, add jeera, cinnamon stick, cloves and sauté. Add potatoes, green chili and mix well. Remove water from the rice quinoa mixture and mix them well with potatoes to coat all the spices well. Now measure twice the amount of water to rice quinoa mixture and add to the cooker. Add salt, remove cardamom seeds from the pod, crush and add it too. Mix well, bring it to boil, cover with lid and pressure cook with one whistle sound on medium flame. Turn off stove. Once the pressure settles, open the lid and add green onions, edamame, and ghee, gently mix, cover it for about 5 minutes. Remove lid let it stand for another 15 minutes before mixing again so that rice remains separate and does not turn mushy. Adjust for seasonings and enjoy.

Super tasty and healthy Family favorite ~ Quinoa Edamame Pulao

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Spooky Bites

Trick or Treat? When I first came this country I had no idea what this phrase meant. When a couple of little girls came to my home and knock the door and said Trick or Treat, I looked confused and thought for a minute and said, Treat please. I literally thought if they were asking me whether I want a treat 🙂 and they were in silence for a bit, as almost all of us would say treat and hand them candies. Then their Mom briefed me and we burst into laughter. I could never forget that experience and still remember those little girls facial expressions. From then on, I make sure to have enough candies for all the hungry ghosts, creepy creatures and others whoever stops by. But as years passed and now that I have my kids, I started to think why load them with sugar, why not make something fun and interesting with them and they can eat it, that way mom does not feel much guilt of the pile load of candies in their Halloween baskets? I made these spooky faces which I searched the internet from go.com. I added my own twists but the end result was a super hit among my kids.

Spooky Face


Ingredients:

Bread (I used multigrain)
Cream cheese
Ketchup
Hummus
Carrots
Cheese slices
Grapes
Bell pepper
Olives
Green Onions
Broccoli or Cauliflower

Yummy Spooky faces


Directions:

Using a cookie cutter or even a round lid, cut out from the bread. Apply ketchup, hummus or cream cheese as per your liking. Then cut thin slices of carrots and green onions and arrange as spooky hair. Also cut out teeth from carrot and cheese slice for teeth. Cut olives for eyes and grapes for tongue. Cut a thin strip for mouth from bell pepper. You can use broccoli or cauliflower for brain. Involve your kids in this and they will have a lot of fun.

Happy Halloween

Posted in Snacks, Spooky Faces | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Chickpea Tagine with Couscous

On a cold day when the sun shy’s away and powerful dark thick clouds is what you see anywhere you turn around, there is not much one could do and it’s absolutely true with me. I crave for something hot, soupy yet filling and without much fuss. I also need to juggle my time between 2 kids who keep me on my toes and preparing food that is fast. I needed something that is well rounded with flavor, spices, vegetables, protein etc. I remembered watching America’s Test Kitchen on TV a few weeks back in which they had demonstrated for Chicken Tagine. Ofcourse, being a vegetarian I took the recipe, modified it a little and made it a vegetarian as Chickpea Tagine which is also a true Moroccan dish. We served it to family and friends and needless to say, they all wanted it another time.

 

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Ingredients:

For Chickpea Tagine

  • 1 carrot 
  • 3 small potatoes cut into 4
  • 1 small onion
  • 1/4 cup green olives
  • 1/2 cup chickpeas cooked
  • 3 cans of diced tomatoes in juice 8oz
  • 1/3 cup cauliflower florets
  • 1 zucchini 
  • 2 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1/2 tsp minced ginger
  • 1/2 tsp of paprika
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp red chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
  • Salt per taste

For Couscous

  • 1 boxed couscous
  • 2 shallots chopped
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • 1/2 tsp fresh coriander
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp lemon zest
  • Salt per taste

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Directions:

Chop the vegetable into bite size chunks so that they don’t melt away. Heat a heavy bottom vessel, add olive oil. Sauté onions, ginger garlic and add the spices, and toast for a few seconds. Then add the vegetables, sauté for a minute, add a little water, cover with lid and let it cook. When the vegetables are half cooked, add the tomatoes, salt, bring it to a boil, add lemon zest, simmer and let it cook until the vegetables are softened. Taste and adjust for seasonings. Finally garnish with coriander and a drizzle of olive oil.

In another vessel, add olive oil and sauté the shallots and garlic. Now add the couscous and toast them for about a minute or two making sure they don’t burn. Add 1:1 couscous and water ratio, salt, mix, bring the mixture to a boil, turn off the stove, cover it with a lid and let it sit for about 15 minutes. Fluff it with a fork and garnish with coriander before serving.

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MultiGrain Veggie Open Faced Sandwich

Life is super darn busy with 2 little boys keeping me on my toes all from dawn to dusk. I have no time to sit and sip a cup of tea or watch my favorite cooking programs or read a book. Nevertheless it has been very rewarding and thankful for my little ones and my life in general. Life has changed for the better in every possible way but some basic necessities always remain and one critical thing is food. My older son tells me that he wants to eat this, eat that and it actually makes me want to make for him and when he says “Yummy Yummy hai” in Hindi, my hearts melts and pounds with immense joy. For the most part he eats whatever I serve him at times he asks for something different which makes me come up with something easy and cheesy for him and one such recipe is this sandwich. It’s a great way to add multigrain, vegetables and calcium (cheese) all in one sandwich.

Preparing Open Faced Sandwich


Ingredients:
1 zucchini grated
1 green pepper diced
1 roasted pepper in jar or homemade
1/4 cabbage thinly sliced
Butter
Whole grain bread
1 small garlic clove minced (optional)
Cheese of your choice
1 tsp olive oil
Salt per taste
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Ready to be baked ~ Open Faced Sandwich


Directions:
Heat oil and sauté zucchini, cabbage, bell pepper and garlic. When the vegetables are almost cooked, add salt and pepper, let it cool. Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Apply butter on each slice of bread. Place some vegetable mixture, then some roasted peppers cut thinly on top. Sprinkle some shredded cheese. I used my favorite fontina cheese. Line a baking sheet with aluminium foil and place the bread and bake it for about 3 minutes or until the cheese melts and corners of the bread are golden brown. If you want the cheese to be brown, you can broil it for a minute or less.

Fresh, Hot from the Oven ~ MultiGrain Vegetable Open Faced Sandwich


NOTE: If you do not have roasted peppers in the jar, you can use fresh peppers or even substitute with grated carrots while cooking other vegetables. You can also add red pepper flakes or jalapenos for extra kick if you like.

Posted in Main Course, MultiGrain Veggie Sandwich | Tagged | 6 Comments