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Appetizers

Appetizers/ Continental/ Entertaining

Spinach Mushroom with Green Garlic Sauce

I love surprises! And a surprise where I discover that I don’t have to cook after coming home from work sounds delicious to me. I do get such lucky moments occasionally when Swapnil decides to cook and I play his sous chef role. He is a great cook. He rarely follows recipes but he literally plays with his favorites vegetables and especially spices. He is very intuitive when it comes to food combinations. This spinach mushroom was a result of his experirments and it was yooummmy!!

spinach_mushroom

Spinach Mushroom with Green Garlic Sauce

Spinach Mushroom with Green Garlic Sauce

One word, Yummy!

Ingredients:

Instructions:

  1. Wash and chop mushrooms in big pieces. Wash spinach and keep it aside.
  2. Heat oil in a wide pan. Add chopped garlic.
  3. Add chopped onion and sauté it well until it turns translucent.
  4. Add chopped mushrooms and don't stir them a lot. Else they will start releasing water. Let them become softer.
  5. Add spinach, greens of green garlic and also sesame seed. Mix well.
  6. Stir in Italian seasoning and some salt.
  7. Add hot and sweet ketchup as per your taste and mix it well.
  8. Let it steam for a minute and then serve it hot!

sauteed spinach mushroom

Appetizers/ Entertaining/ Snacks/ Winter Special

Sweet Potato & Beetroot Kebabs

 

This recipe is inspired from Sweet Potato and Beetroot balls from Archana’s Kitchen.  A quick, healthy, nutritious snack that looks beautiful and taste wonderful. I just described a kids-friendly recipe, didn’t I? I will be making these for halloween party coming up soon.

Sweet Potato & Beetroot Kebabs

It tastes great with tangy tamarind chutney or hot-n-sour sauce or you can also try with salad with lots of greens!

Sweet Potato & Beetroot Kebabs

Sweet Potato & Beetroot Kebabs

A delicious healthy kids-friendly snack 🙂

Ingredients:

Instructions:

  1. In a small pan, heat some oil and add chopped onions. Fry them until translucent.
  2. Add garlic paste, green chilies and let them fry for a minute.
  3. Add grated beetroot and let it cook for 5 minutes.
  4. Add cumin-coriander powder, turmeric powder, chaat masala and some salt. Mix well.
  5. Add mashed sweet potatoes and mix well.
  6. Heat Paniyaram Pan and add a few drops of oil in each pocket.
  7. Make small balls and cook them from both sides in the pan. It takes about 10 minutes.
  8. Serve hot with chutney.

Appetizers/ Breakfast/ Gujarati/ Quick n Healthy/ Snacks

દુધી ના મુઠીયા / Dudhi na Muthiya / Steamed Bottle Gourd Fist Cakes

A Diet Friendly Recipe

Moist and fluffy inside; golden crispy outside; the Muthiya make a perfect pairing with a cup of tea! ‘Muthi’ means fist in Gujarati and it’s called Muthiya because the dough is turned into cylindrical shape using fist.

Spinach Dudhi Muthiya

Made with whole wheat flour and grated dudhi with very little oil, since the dough is steamed and then sauted in a typical Indian tempering, this dish is perfect for those who are on a “diet”.

I love Spinach and Cilantro in my Muthiya, it adds moisture and flavor and color. So I actually made Dudhi Palak (Spinach) Muthiya but Spinach is completely optional.

Dudhi Na Muthiya

Dudhi Na Muthiya

A Diet Friendly Recipe

Ingredients:

Instructions:

It might look like a big list of ingredients but almost everything is straight from your pantry so it does not much time to prepare it.

  1. Wash and peel bottle gourd and grate it. Squeeze out excess water in a separate bowl. We can use it if needed.Shredded Dudhi
  2. In a medium bowl, mix all ingredients together and knead to make soft dough by adding water if required. You can also use the juice we just squeezed from the grated dudhi. Also add 1 tsp of oil and knead again.
  3. Now divide it in 3-4 parts. Apply some oil to your palms and using your fists shape it in cylindrical rolls.Dudhi Muthiya in progress 1
  4. Place these rolls in a steamer and let it steam for 20 to 25 minutes.
  5. Once done, remove from the steamer, let it cool slightly. Then cut it into equal sized small pieces.Dudhi Muthiya with tadka
  6. If you want to make tempering, in a frying pan, heat some oil.
  7. Add mustard seeds and sesame seeds. Add the pieces and saute on a medium flame for a few minutes.
  8. Serve hot!

 

 

Appetizers/ Indo-Chinense/ Quick n Healthy/ Superfoods

Tofu Stir Fry

Tofu and I share a strange relation. Whenever I see it in a store I feel inspired to use it in some recipe interesting recipe and a thought of having protein rich food encourage me to buy a packet but then it sits in my refrigerator until I start reminding myself to use in a recipe and finally it ends up in some Thai Curry with other vegetables.

When my friends came over for coffee (without any prior notice) I had noting to offer except for coffee. It was pouring outside and I was thinking of batata wada but deep frying and again cleaning that mess was too much of work … When I saw tofu in the fridge it reminded me of this super simple recipe I had seen on my favorite show. This was enough reason to try it out.

tofu stir fryThe original recipe makes dry stir fry with just some seasoning and no vegetables,I changed it to add some basil leaves and more sauce.

Tofu Stir-Fry

Tofu Stir-Fry

Super quick recipe to enjoy the amazing benefits of Soy!

Ingredients:

Instructions:

  1. Drain liquid from Tofu package, cut it into larger pieces and press out excess liquid.
  2. Cut it into bite sized pieces.
  3. In a non-stick skillet, heat some oil.
  4. Add finely chopped garlic and green chilis. (Is you are using Chili sauce skip green chilis). Also add onions.
  5. Add a pinch of salt and stir fry it for 15-20 seconds on medium heat. Make sure that garlic doesn't burn.
  6. Add cut tofu and stir fry again for a minute or so.
  7. Now add soy sauce and tomato chili sauce, sugar and black pepper. Toss it for a minute and allow it to thicken and coat tofu pieces.
  8. Add basil leaves and if seasoning is fine, take it out.
  9. Serve it hot.

Tips

  • Strain out the liquid completely.
  • If you have time, pound garlic, green chilis and spring onions together with a pinch of salt and use it as a sauce.
  • Deep frying tofu will add extra depth.

 

Appetizers/ Entertaining/ Mediterranean/ Snacks

Baked Falafel with Cucumber Dip

Healthy can be Yummy!

There was a time when I had Falafel wrap from Dish N Dash at least once a week. I really miss this place. Falafel was on my list for a long time but “deep-fried” and “cleaning-after-deep-frying” were the main reasons to put it off. This weekend I decided to give it a shot and instead of frying I baked flattened falafel balls and here is the result –

It takes much less time and it’s a no-mess recipe. Definitely a keeper. I served these falafel with cool cucumber dip.

Baked Falafel

Baked Falafel

Easy, Healthy and Delicious!

Ingredients:

Instructions:

  1. I did not use canned Garbanzo beans, hence I soaked them overnight in water. Next day I cooked them in a steamer until you can smash them with a fork. Don't overcook else it will form a paster when you grind them. If you are using canned beans, skip this step and instead just drain the water and follow along.
  2. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  3. In a food processor (DO NOT use grinder / blender), add chana (garbanzo beans) and roughly chopped cilantro and pulse it few times until you get roughly chopped mixture. Be careful not to over blend it.
  4. Now take the mixture in a medium mixing bowl and add all other ingredients which include finely chopped onion, finely chopped garlic and olive oil and other spices and salt to taste. Add lemon juice and mix well.
  5. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and grease the paper with few drops of oil. Alternatively, you can use the cooking spray but it's not needed.
  6. Drop one table spoon of mixture on the sheet leaving enough space to spread the mixture.
  7. With your fingers, slightly flatten the balls on the baking sheet. 
  8. Since these are baked and not fried, only the flatten sides with become crispy so if you want go ahead and make them thinner.
  9. Bake these for 15-17 minutes until their bottom becomes golden brown. Once done, they slide out easily. 
  10. Take them out and turn each falafel and bake the other side for another 10 minutes.
  11. Serve hot with tahini, hummus or cucumber dip. 

Linking it to Foodomania’s Christmas Cook-Off Contest

Appetizers

Cucumber Dip

Cucumber with yogurt is always so refreshing. Here is  under-10-minutes recipe for a quick, satisfying dip.

Cucumber Dip

Cucumber Dip

Or a mini version of cucumber koshmbir

Ingredients:

Instructions:

  1. Wash the cucumber and cut both the side.
  2. If you prefer, peel the skin off. 
  3. Grate it using a grater.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk yogurt with sugar and salt.
  5. Add other spices and mix well.
  6. Add grated cucumber and mix again.
  7. If you like, add finely chopped cilantro.
  8. Serve cold!
Appetizers/ Entertaining/ Gujarati/ Snacks

Masala Khakra

Crunchy tasty bite

A very easy-to-assemble dish, goes well with any potluck menu or as a quick appetizer for your Indian party. Make it byte sized and enjoy at your next cocktail party.

 

It’s very easy but very tempting –

A good packet of Khakra - my favorite is Deep Khakra
finely chopped tomato
finely chopped onion
finely chopped cilanto
chaat masala
red chili powder
salt
lime juice

Chop onion, tomato and cilantro and mis together chaat masala, red chili powder and salt and some lime juice. Make sure you spread this masala on the khakra just before serving to avoid soggy khakras. Deep packet comes with a special masala an that works very well with this dish.

Appetizers/ Gujarati/ Snacks/ Superfoods/ Winter Special

પાલક મેથી ના મુઠીયા / Palak Methi na Muthiya

“They look green, so they must be healthy!”

I must admit, I love Gujarati Farsan. Khaman, dhokala, shev-khamni, khandvi, locho, muthiya, mathiya, handva …. so much variety and so yummy!

Muthiyas caught my attention because these can be made healthier as compared to other fried items. They get the name from the way they are made using feasts. Muthiyas can be made with different vegetables. Here is my version of spinach and fenugreek muthiya. They taste slightly bitter and I think that’s the best part. My neighbor once said “they look green, so they must be healthy!”.

Ingredients –

2 cups spinach leaves, finely chopped
1 cup fenugreek leaves, rough chopped
1 tbsp ginger paste
4-5 green chiliis finely chopped
3-4 tbsp besan
1 tbsp semolina (rava)
1/2 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp sugar
For seasoning -
2 tsp oil
1 tsp mustard seeds ( rai / sarson)
1 tsp sesame seeds (til)
1/4 tsp asafoetida (hing)

Method –

Wash and rinse spinach and fenugreek leaves, leave them in a colander to be completely drained.

In a mixing bowl, mix everything together to prepare dough. Start with few tsp of water and add floor or water as needed. You can also use whole wheat floor together with besan. The stickiness of the dough should be similar to roti dough. Make cylindrical shaped rolls. Cut them into pieces if your steamer pan is smaller.

I used a colander over simmering water to steam the dumplings, but you can use any steamer you like. Grease it with some ghee or oil and steam these dumplings until toothpick comes out clean. It takes about 20 – 25 minutes but also depends on the size.

Once done, let them cool for 10 minutes before you cut them into smaller pieces.

In a frying pan, prepare tadka with cumin seeds, mustard seeds and sesame seeds. Add the muthiyas and mix. Remove them in a minute or so. Sprinkle some roasted fennel seeds on top. Serve them with ketchup or green and tamarind chutney.

Side Note –

Fennel seeds are not at all traditional to any Muthiya recipe, but I love the byte with fennel seeds.

Sending this to Healthy Diet~ Veg Side Dishes by Priya

And to “Healthy Diet – Breakfast” by Priya’s Versatile Recipes hosted at Roshni’s Kitchen.

Appetizers/ Continental/ Entertaining/ Winter Special

Deviled Eggs

With Easter just around the corner, this is a great time to try this  deviled egg recipe. These are cute, little, very tempting and especially go well for a potluck party and take no more than 5 minutes when you have boiled eggs ready!

The tricky part is getting the perfect hard boiled eggs and lengthy part is to peel the eggs but my ‘Pro Tips’ section has covered both the tricks so stay tuned!

This is a slightly modified version of classic recipe with a spring twist that comes from fresh cilantro. You can subbed cilantro by any fresh herb of your choice. Let’s get started.

Deviled Eggs

Deviled Eggs

Ingredients:

Instructions:

  1. Place eggs in a wide saucepan and cover with cold water, cover the pan.
  2. Bring to a boil for 10-12 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and let them sit for another 10 minutes.
  4. Remove the shells slice them half lengthwise.
  5. Scoop out the yolks into a separate bowl. Add mayo, mustard (I didn’t use any mayo or mustard in the photo’d version), salt, pepper and mash it together to make it smooth (yep, i skipped it too). Mix it with finely chopped cilantro/chives and finely chopped scallions.
  6. You can now pipe in the mixture back into the egg halves using a plastic bag or a simple spoon or watermelon scooper. Sprinkle with little pepper and/or paprika on top.
  7. Serve cold.

Classic European version always have mayo and mustard.

Pro Tips –

How do I know if an egg has gone bad?
Here is a simple test. Immerse an egg into glass of water and if it sinks it’s good to eat. If it floats, it’s time to throw it away!

Perfectly Boiled Eggs –
1. Use a wide sauce pan and cover the eggs by at least one to two inches of cold water. Using cold water and gently bringing it to boil prevents eggs from cracking.
2. Vinegar can prevent egg white running out from any cracked eggs but this is generally not needed.
3. Add 1/2 tspn salt when the water starts boiling. (For geek cooks – salt raises the boiling point of water so add salt only after water starts boiling and always cover the pan to save some energy :) This makes peeling shell easier.
4. After 10-12 minutes, remove from the heat and keep it covered for another 10 minutes.

I saw this video on Facebook which has a trick for how-to peel an egg instantly. Haven’t tried it yet, but let me know if it works for you.

Happy Easter!
Happy Egg Hunting!

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