Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Boterkoek | Dutch Butter Cake

Recipe Source: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/boterkoek-dutch-butter-cake/

Serving: Makes 1 8 inch round cake

1. All-purpose flour - 1 1/4 cup
2. Butter, softened - 1/2 cup
3. Sugar - 3/4 cup
4. Egg - 1 beaten
5. Baking powder - 1 teaspoon
6. Almond extract - 1 teaspoon
7. Almond slices - 1/4 cup

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).  Grease a 8 inch round cake pan.

2. Mix together all-purpose flour and baking powder and keep it aside.

3. In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add beaten egg, reserving a teaspoon of it to brush over the top.  Stir in the almond extract.  Add the flour and baking powder mixture and combine well with a wooden spoon.  The dough will be stiff.

4. Press evenly into the greased pan.  Press almond slices into the top and brush the top with reserved egg.

5. Bake in the preheated oven for about 30 minutes, or until the top is golden brown.

Linking this recipe to "International Food Challenge", an event by Sara.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Tomato Chutney

This is one of the easiest and tasty side dishes for dosa/idli.

Serves: 2

1. Tomato - 2
2. Onion - 1
3. Garlic - 4 cloves
4. Dried red chillies - 2 or as per spice level
5. Oil - 2 teaspoon
6. Mustard seeds - 1/2 teaspoon
7. Curry leaves - few
8. Salt to taste

1. Heat a teaspoon of oil in a pan and add dried red chillies.

2. Add garlic cloves, diced tomatoes, onion and salt to taste.  Saute until tomatoes turn mushy.  Turn off the heat and allow it to cool down.

3. Grind the mixture into a fine paste without adding water.

4. Heat a teaspoon of oil in a pan and splutter mustard seeds. Add curry leaves and transfer the tempering into chutney.

Serve with dosa/idli

Spaghetti Squash Pasta

In one of my earlier posts, I had given an introduction of Spaghetti Squash and different ways to cook this low-calorie vegetable. You can find that post here.

Once you have the stringy pulp removed from this squash, you are ready to make pasta out of it.

Serves: 2

1. Spaghetti Squash - 1 medium size
2. Olive oil - 1 tablespoon
3. Italian seasoning - 1 teaspoon
4. Vegetable of your choice - 1 used capsicum and spinach
5. Onion - 1 medium
6. Garlic - 3-4 cloves
7. Grated cheese - optional
8. Salt to taste

1. Follow either microwave or conventional oven method to remove the stringy pulp from this squash. Instructions are given in this post.

2. Heat oil in a pan and add Italian seasoning and saute for a minute.

3. Add finely chopped garlic and onion, fry until onions turn translucent.

4. Add the vegetable of your choice and salt to taste and cook until vegetables are well done.

5. Now add spaghetti squash and cook covered for 5 minutes.

6. Turn off the heat and top it with some grated cheese.

Beetroot Dosa

Beetroot Dosa
Serving: Makes 8 dosa

1. Dosa batter - 2 cups
2. Beetroot - 1 medium sized
3. Oil for greasing dosa

1. Wash and cut beetroot into small cubes.

2. Grind the beetroot in a blender into fine paste and mix it in dosa batter.

3. Heat a skillet on medium-high. Pour around 1/4 cup of batter and spread into thin circle. Smear little oil if required and cook on both sides.

Serve these beautifully colored dosa with your favorite chutney and sambar.

Stir fried Cabbage with Eggs

Serves: 2

1. Cabbage shredded - 2 cups
2. Eggs - 3
3. Green chilli - 1
4. Oil - 1 tablespoon
5. Salt to taste

1. Heat a tablespoon of oil in a pan and add shredded cabbage. Add salt to taste and slit green chillies.

2. Saute for couple of minutes and then add 3 eggs. Stir continuously and fry until the eggs are well cooked.

Serve as a side dish for chapathi or rice. 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Vegetable Uttapam

Serving: Makes 8 dosa

1. Dosa batter - 2 cups
2. Onion - 1
3. Green chilli - 1
4. Carrots grated - 1
5. Mix of capsicum, tomatoes, spring onions - 1/2 cup
6. Coriander leaves - 2 tablespoon chopped
7. Salt to taste
8. Oil - 1 tablespoon

1. Mix together finely chopped onion, green chilli, grated carrots, coriander leaves and mixed vegetables. Add salt to taste.

2. Heat a skillet and spread 1/4 cup of dosa batter into a small circle.

3. Spread the vegetable mix over dosa and sprinkle little oil. Cook on both sides.

Serve hot with your favorite chutney and sambar.

Dal Curry

Serves: 2

1. Toor dal - 1/2 cup
2. Tomato - 1 large
3. Onion - 1
4. Green chillies - 2
5. Dried red chillies - 2
6. Cumin seeds - 1/2 teaspoon
7. Mustard seeds - 1/2 teaspoon
8. Asafoetida - 1/8 teaspoon
9. Turmeric powder - 1/2 teaspoon
9. Oil - 1 teaspoon
10. Salt to taste

1. Wash and pressure cook dal for 5-6 whistles and keep it aside.

2. Heat oil in a pan and splutter mustard seeds. Add cumin seeds, asafoetida and dried red chillies and fry for a minute.

3. Add thinly sliced onion and slit green chillies and saute until onions turn light brown in color.

4. Add turmeric powder and diced tomatoes and saute until tomatoes are mushy.

5. Once tomatoes are cooked, transfer this to cooked dal. Add salt to taste and enough water to get desired consistency.

6. Turn on the heat and cook for 5 more minutes.

This easy dal curry can be served with rice or chapathi.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Spaghetti Squash

My quest to try new vegetables continues and here comes this interesting veggie: Spaghetti Squash. Just as the name says, the edible part of this squash is like spaghetti or vermicelli.  The outer skin is quite hard.  It contains seeds which are very similar to that of pumpkin.

This squash is rich in many nutrients including vitamin A, potassium, folic acid and beta carotene. It is low in calories with around 42 calories per 1 cup serving(Source: Wikipedia).

Replace your regular pasta with this spaghetti squash to get a low calorie dish.

Cooking spaghetti squash:
You can cook the spaghetti squash in microwave or conventional oven.

Conventional oven:
If you are doing it in your conventional oven, then preheat the oven to 300 deg F.  Place a parchment paper in baking tray and add 1/4 cup of water. Cut the squash into two and place it in baking tray with the cut side facing down. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hr depending on the size of your squash.
Conventional oven method is time consuming.

Microwave method:
A quick and easy way is using microwave oven.
Pierce a knife through the squash at multiple location for the steam to escape from inside of your squash. This step is important and must not be skipped to avoid any danger of your squash exploding inside your microwave. Microwave on high power for 6-10 minutes. The outer skin should be soft, that's when it is ready to take out from microwave oven.

Allow the squash to cool down and cut into half.  Remove the seeds using a spoon. Scoop out the flesh using a fork. This spaghetti is now ready to go into your pasta dish.

Spaghetti Squash cooked in microwave oven

Removing the flesh using a fork
Spaghetti Squash ready to go into your favorite pasta

Friday, December 12, 2014

Shortbread Cookies

Its Christmas time and its time to bake some cookies. Shortbread cookies are rich, flavourful and have crumbly texture. These just melt in your mouth and are a huge hit in my family. 
These cookies have originated in Scotland. The traditional way of making shortbread cookies includes 1:2:3 proportions of sugar, butter and flour(Source: wikipedia). 

Recipe Source: JoyOfBaking

Yields: 24 small cookies

1. All-purpose flour- 1 cup
2. Unsalted butter at room temperature - 1/2 cup
3. Powdered Sugar -  1/4 cup
4. Corn Flour - 3 tablespoon
5. Vanilla essence - 1 teaspoon
6. Salt - 1/8 teaspoon
7. Raisins/Candy Sprinkles - for decoration

1. Cream butter and sugar until smooth using a hand mixer.

2. Add in vanilla essence and beat again.

3. Add in all-purpose flour, corn flour and salt and mix well to form a soft dough.

4. Cover the dough with a plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.

5. Preheat oven to 350 deg F. Place parchment paper in baking tray.

6. Roll the dough on working surface, cut into desired shape using a cookie cutter and transfer into baking tray.

7. You can decorate them with either raisins or candy sprinkles or just leave them plain.

8. Bake for 10-12 minutes until edges turn light golden brown in colour.

9. Cool on wire rack and store in airtight container.

Submitting this recipe to Priya's "Shh Cooking Secretly Challenge". For this month's challenge I paired with Niloufer Riyaz who gave me raisins and corn flour as my secret ingredients.

Aloo Palak | Potatoes with Spinach

Serves: 2

1. Potatoes - 2 medium
2. Spinach - washed and chopped - 2 cups
3. Cumin seeds - 1/2 teaspoon
4. Turmeric powder - 1/4 teaspoon
5. Red chilli powder - 1 teaspoon
6. Coriander powder - 2 teaspoon
7. Asafoetida - a pinch
8. Oil - 2 teaspoon
9. Salt to taste

1. Wash and cut potatoes into small cubes.

2. Heat oil in a pan and add cumin seeds. After they crackle add asafoetida powder and cut potatoes.

3. Sprinkle salt to taste. Cover and cook until potatoes are soft and well cooked.

4. Add turmeric powder, red chilli powder and coriander powder. Saute for a minute and then add chopped spinach.

5. Stir fry for 3-5 minutes and turn off the heat.

This dish can be served with chapathi or as a side dish for rice.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Quinoa with Veggies

Serves: 2

1. Quinoa - 1 cup
2. Onion - 1 medium sliced
3. Mixed vegetables finely chopped - 1 cup
4. Green chillies - 1-2
5. Italian seasoning - 1 teaspoon
6. Oil - 1 teaspoon
7. Salt to taste

1. Wash and boil quinoa in 2 cups of water. Cook on medium flame until all the water evaporates.

2. Heat oil in a large pan and add the Italian seasoning.

3. Add thinly sliced onion and saute until they turn translucent.

4. Add chopped mixed vegetables, slit green chillies and salt to taste. You can add potatoes, green beans, carrots, green peas and capsicum. Saute until vegetables are cooked.

5. Finally add cooked quinoa, mix well and turn off the heat.

Radish Sambar | Mullangi Sambar

Radish sambar is a delicious South Indian sambar with radish as the main ingredient. You can either use small red radish or large white ones.

Serves: 4

1. Radish - 1 cup washed and sliced
2. Toor dal - 1/2 cup
3. Onion - 1 medium
4. Tomato - 1 medium
5. Turmeric powder - 1/4 teaspoon
6. Red chilli powder - 1 teaspoon
7. Sambar powder - 2 teaspoon
8. Tamarind paste thick - 1 tablespoon
9. Coriander leaves - for garnishing
10. Salt to taste

For tempering:
1. Oil - 1 tablespoon
2. Mustard seeds - 1 teaspoon
3. Fenugreek seeds - 1/8 teaspoon
4. Curry leaves - few
5. Dried red chilli - 2
6. Asafoetida - a pinch

1. Wash toor dal and pressure cook for 4-5 whistles.

2. Transfer the cooked dal in a large saucepan and add sliced radish, sliced onion, diced tomato, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, sambar powder and salt to taste. Add around 1 cup of water for the vegetables to cook. Turn on heat and cook until radish is soft and well cooked.

3. Add tamarind paste and mix well. Turn off the heat.

4. For tempering, heat oil in a small pan and crackle mustard seeds. Then add fenugreek seeds, dried red chilli, asafoetida powder and curry leaves and turn off the heat. Add the tempering into sambar.

5. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot with rice/dosa/idli.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Dal with Turnip Greens

Serves: 2

1. Toor dal - 1 cup
2. Turnip Greens - washed and finely chopped - 2 cups
3. Tomato - 1 large
4. Onion - 1 medium
5. Garlic - 2-3 cloves
6. Green chilli - 1 or as per spice level
7. Turmeric powder - 1/4 teaspoon
8. Red chilli powder  - 1/2 teaspoon
9. Mustard seeds - 1/2 teaspoon
10. Oil - 2 teaspoon
11. Salt to taste

Turnip Greens

1. Heat oil in a pressure cooker and splutter mustard seeds.

2. Add sliced onion and fry for 2-3 minutes.

3. Add chopped tomatoes, slit green chilli and crushed garlic.

4. Add washed toor dal, turmeric powder and red chilli powder.

5. Add enough water to cook the toor dal(around 1 and half cup).

6.Finally add chopped turnip greens and salt to taste.

7. Pressure cook for 4-5 whistles until toor dal is well cooked.

Serve with rice. 

Lemon Pickle | Naranga Achar

1. Lemon - 6-7 no.
2. Mustard seeds - 1/2 teaspoon
3. Red chilli powder - 1 1/2 tablespoon
4. Fenugreek powder - 1 pinch
5. Asafoetida - 1/8 teaspoon
6. Garlic - 6-7 cloves
7. Vinegar - 1 tablespoon
8. Salt - approx. 5 teaspoon
9. Oil (preferably gingelly/sesame oil) - 2 tablespoon

1. Wash and cut each of the lemons into small wedges.

2. Put the lemon pieces in boiled and cooled water and add around 4 teaspoon of salt. Transfer into an air tight container and keep in refrigerator for around 5-7 days. This makes the lemon absorb the salt and makes the lemon peel tender.

3. After the resting period, drain and discard the water completely.

4. Heat oil in a pan and splutter mustard seeds. Add garlic slices and fry for couple of minutes.

5. Reduce the flame to low and then add asafoetida, fenugreek powder, red chilli powder and salt(around 1/2 teaspoon).

4. Turn off the flame immediately and add the lemon pieces.

5. Add vinegar and allow the pickle to cool completely. Store in a air tight glass container.

Tofu Roast

Serves: 2

1. Extra Firm Tofu cubes - 1 cup
2. Red chilli powder - 1/2 teaspoon
3. Turmeric powder - 1/4 teaspoon
4. Garam masala powder - 1/8 teaspoon(optional)
5. Oil - 1 tablespoon
6. Salt to taste

1. Take tofu cubes in a mixing bowl and add red chilli powder, turmeric powder, garam masala powder and salt to taste. Mix well and set aside for atleast 10 minutes.

2. Heat oil in a pan and add the marinated tofu. Cook on low-medium flame until tofu turns light brown in color.

This can be enjoyed as a snack for tea or can be served as a side dish with rice/chapathi. 

Monday, December 1, 2014

Afghani Bolani

Bolani is a flat bread originating from Afghanistan. These flat breads have vegetable filling and they are either fried or baked.

The original recipe uses all-purpose flour for the dough and they were shallow fried in oil. I modified a bit by using whole wheat flour and cooked on a skillet by drizzling little oil.

These bolanis are very similar to Stuffed Indian Parathas.

Recipe Source: Weaving Life

Serving: Makes 6

For dough:
1. Whole wheat flour - 2 cups
2. Oil - 1 teaspoon
3. Water at room temperature for kneading
4. Salt to taste

For filling:
1. Potatoes - 2 medium
2. Cilantro - 1/2 cup chopped
3. Scallions - 1/2 cup chopped
4. Olive oil - 2 tablespoon
5. Salt and pepper to taste

For cooking:
1. Oil - 3 teaspoon

1. For the dough, mix together flour, a teaspoon of oil and salt in a large mixing bowl.

2. Add water little by little and knead to form a soft dough. Rest the dough for atleast an hour.

3. Pressure cook peeled potatoes for upto 2 whistles. Mash the cooked potatoes.

4. For the filling, mix together mashed potatoes, cilantro, scallions, 2 tablespoon olive oil, salt and pepper.

5. To make bolani, take a small portion of dough and roll into thin circle(just like you make chapathi).

6. Take 1/4 cup filling and spread on one half of the circle leaving around 1/4 inch border at the edge for sealing.

7. Fold them in half and press to seal the edge.

8. Heat a skillet on medium flame and cook the bolani on both sides until you see nice brown spots. Drizzle around 1/2 teaspoon of oil while cooking.

Serve warm.

Linking this recipe to "International Food Challenge", an event started by Sara and this month's host being Pavani of "Cook's Hideout".