Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Vegetarian Chili

 For this weeks Blog Hop Wednesday by Radhika I was paired with Sumedha and this vegetarian chili is what I choose to try from her space.This spicy stew was tasty as anticipated and it was a  filling lunch and to top that it was perfect for this cold climate.
Soy granules Morningstar meal starters/ Ground Sausage Style Veggie protein from Trader Joe – 1     pkg. ( 14 oz/ 2 cups - .)
Onion – 1 medium size/ 1 cup chopped
Tomato – 1 medium size/ half cup chopped
Green bell pepper-1chopped
Garlic - 6 Cloves -  Finely chopped
Turmeric powder – ½ tsp.
Chili powder – 1½ tsp.
Taco seasoning  powder – 2 tsp. (½ oz)
Tomato paste – 1 Can
Kidney beans – 1 Can
Garbanzo beans – 1 Can
Oil – 2 tsp.
Water – As required/ about 4 to 5 cups.
Method :
In a large pan, add some oil and fry onion till translucent. Add garlic, soy and fry them on medium heat until soy  is cooked (about 5  to 9 minutes).Add salt just enough for this mixture.Now add turmeric, chilli powder, taco seasoning and saute for a minute. Add tomatoes ,bell peppers and tomato paste and continue to saute for another 3 minutes.Add a cup of water to this and mix  thoroughly.Now add kidney beans and garbanzo beans with their liquid and mix thoroughly. Adjust the water as required. [ Water should be little more water than soup consistency.]Simmer on low heat for 25 minutes. Then, open the lid and continue to boil for another 5 minutes.
 Serve  hot with cornbread.
Sending this over to Blog Hop Wednesdays

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Scallion'N Garlic Pancakes

Scallion pancakes are pan-fried bread. It has origins in the Chinese culture. Unlike a true pancake, it is made from dough instead of batter and is a lot like Indian parathas and other simple flat breads. I have used whole wheat flour instead of all purpose flour  and and alterd the filling to my taste.This would make a nice appetizer or a filling breakfast.
Whole wheat flour-1 &1/2 cups
 Luke warm water-2/3rd cup
Oil -1 tbs
Scallion/Spring onion-1 cup(thinly sliced)
Garlic-4 cloves(thinly sliced)
Chilli flakes-1tsp
Salt -1/4 tsp
Vegetable oil-2tbs
Mix flour, salt , water and oil together to make a soft dough (add more water if needed).
Knead the dough on a lightly greased surface to make the dough smooth and pliable.
Set the dough aside and cover with a damp cloth. Let the dough rest for at least ten minutes or more.
Divide the dough into 8 equal parts.
Mix all the ingredients listed under the filling.
Roll the dough out into a thin pancake about 1/4th inch thickness.Spread a thin layer of the filling over the pancake roll the pancake like a rug, wind the pancake into a spiral as if shaping a cinnamon roll, then tuck the loose end underneath.Roll out the rolled pancake to 1/8th inch thickness, pan-fry in a little oil on both sides until golden Slice into quarters or eighths and  serve.
Sending this over to Kaveri's  Herbs and Flowers in my platter event

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Chocolate Pecan Pie

Happy Thanksgiving to you all!
Here is one of the perennial thanksgiving favorites - the pecan pie with a twist.
Hope you would enjoy this one.
Once again, Happy Holidays to you all!
Recipe adapted from Tyler Florence
For the crust:
1¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp. sugar
¼ tsp. salt
8 tbsp. cold, unsalted butter, cut into medium cubes (about 16 pieces)
3 tbsp. ice cold water

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate
3 large eggs
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup dark corn syrup or sugar cane syrup (such as Steen's)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
11/2 cups pecan halves

To make the crust, combine the flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.  Mix briefly to combine.  Add the cubes of butter to the bowl and mix on low speed until the texture resembles coarse cornmeal and the largest chunks of butter are not much larger than peas.  Add the water to the bowl and mix on low speed just until the dough comes together.
Form the dough into a 1 " thick disc, wrap  with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for about 30 minutes or until chilled.
Heat the oven to 350 degree F .Roll the dick on a lightly floured work space into a 12 " circle.Fit this into the bottom of a 9 "pie pan .Trim the excess and crimp as desired.

To make the filling: melt the butter and chocolate in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, remove from heat and let cool. Beat the eggs in a large mixing bowl until frothy and then blend in the sugar. Stir in the syrup, vanilla, salt, and the melted butter mixture until well blended.
Arrange the pecans on the bottom of the pie crust and carefully pour the egg mixture over them. Bake until the filling is set and slightly puffed, about 45 minutes. Test for doneness by sticking a thin knife in the center of the pie, if it comes out pretty clean, you're good to go. Transfer the pie to rack and cool completely before cutting.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Sukhiyan / Sugiyan

This is a typical, traditional tea-time snack of Kerala. My memories of this are of my mother making these during our holidays, when we kids were always on the look-out for something to munch on. My mom used to make the Sukhiyan with sprouted moong-beans (green gram), to give us the added nutrients. But as I am not as good a planner as my mother used to be, I make things at a whim, without much pre-planning; so there is no question of using sprouted beans for my recipe. But if you want to , you can try this same recipe out with the sprouted beans as well, and it would come out equally good. This is a protein- rich snack good for growing kids.
Green gram /Moong bean - 1 cup
Jaggery - 1/2 cup or to taste
Cardamom powder - 1 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/8 tsp
All purpose flour  - 1 cup
Salt - A pinch
Cook the green gram in a pressure cooker with just  enough water, until done. Meanwhile melt the jaggery in 1/4 cup water,strain to remove any unwanted particles. Reheat the jaggery in a wide pan. When the jaggery syrup starts thickening, add the cooked green gram to this after draining the excess water   Add ghee to this when it becomes somewhat dry  cook until all the water is evaporated and the mixture leaves the sides of the pan. Remove from the stove, add cardamom powder and let it cool.
Mix all purpose flour, turmeric powder and a pinch of salt in water to make a thick batter. When the green gram mixture is cold enough to touch, make small balls out of it. Dip them in the flour batter and deep fry on  medium heat until the balls turn golden in color.
 Sending  this over to Priya's Cooking with seeds- Moong Beans event

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Crazy Corn / Cup Corn

 For this weeks Blog Hop Wednesday by Radhika  I am paired with Princy. As I  was going through her blog I came upon this  recipe which I tweaked a bit to suit me  and voila I  ended up with this yummy and healthy  guilt free snack.So those of you who are looking for a quick fix healthy snack look no further.
Frozen corn 1 cup
Butter- 1 tsp or as you need
Salt to taste
Parmesan cheese-1/2 tsp
Garlic powder-1/4 tsp
Smoked paprika powder-1/2 tsp
Pepper as you need
Lime juice- 1/2 tsp (optional)
Dash of your favorite dried herb
Microwave the corn for 2 minutes. Drain all the liquid using a strainer. Now mix the remaining ingredients well.
Sending this over to Blog Hop Wednesday

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Black Bean Soup

I prefer soups for lunch both during winter and summer. During summer, this helps us not to feel so thirsty, as with some other foods; and during winters, the warmth that a hot bowl of soup provides is unparalleled.  The black bean soup is one of my all time favorites as this is easy on your stomach yet filling enough. I got this recipe from Jay's cousin, when she threw a soup party. And ever since, this had been a staple at our house.
Adapted from How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman - serves 4-6
3 tablespoons canola or olive oil
2 medium onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder, or more to taste
2 15-ounce cans black beans, or 3 cups cooked from dry
4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
Juice of 1 lime, or to taste
2 Carrots
1/2 cup chopped Cilantro
1 green chilli
Sour cream or plain yogurt to garnish, or 1 egg
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a heavy soup pot over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic green chilies, coriander leaves, and carrots and chili powder and cook, stirring constantly, for an additional minute.
Add the beans, stock, and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a gentle boil, then simmer, stirring occasionally, for 15-20 minutes.
If using the egg, heat an additional tablespoon of oil in a non-stick skillet over medium-low heat in the meantime. Add the egg, cover, and fry slowly until the whites are completely set and the yolk is to your liking (I prefer it soft so it disperses into the soup).
To thicken the soup, purée it briefly with a stick blender, transfer half through food mill or into a blender, or just mash it by hand. Remove from the heat and add the lime juice. Adjust seasoning as necessary, garnish with cilantro and egg or yogurt or sour cream. Serve hot.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Homemade Pop-Tarts

There was a time in Aishwarya's life when she would only have as her school lunch, just a quarter of a pop-tarts - that too the store bought variety. She refused to have anything else. Going through the ingredients of this, I felt that I could make a better and healthier version, and this is what I ended up with.
Though her pop-tart days are over, she still take this for lunch some times, may be as a nostalgic reminder of her kindergarten days.
Recipe source: Bonappetit
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all purpose flour plus additional for shaping and rolling
1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
4 tablespoons ice water
12 tablespoons of preserves, we used strawberry and cherry
granulated sugar
For a photo tutorial on how to roll, cut and fill the dough, go over  here.

Whisk 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons flour, coarse salt, and sugar in large bowl. Add butter. Using fingertips or back of fork, blend in butter until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add ice water by tablespoonfuls, tossing until moist clumps form. Gather dough into ball. Divide in half; shape each half into disk. Wrap in plastic. Chill for 1 hour.

Line 2 large rimmed baking sheets with parchment. Working with 1 disk at a time, roll out dough on floured surface to about 13x11 inches. Trim to 12x10-inch rectangle, then cut into eight 5x3-inch rectangles.

Arrange 4 rectangles, spaced apart, on each sheet. Spoon 1 1/2 tablespoons preserves in row down center of each rectangle. Top preserves with second dough rectangle. Using fingertips, gently press all edges of each tart to seal; press all edges with tines of fork to double-seal. Using toothpick, poke a few holes in center of top dough rectangle.I love to sprinkle some granulated sugar on top of the tarts. Cover; freeze tarts on sheets at least 2 hours or for up to 1 week.

Position 1 rack in top third and 1 rack in bottom third of oven and preheat to 375°F. Bake frozen tarts uncovered until golden, reversing sheets after 15 minutes, 25 to 30 minutes total (some preserves may leak out). Immediately transfer tarts to rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Onion Bhaji / Onion Pakora

Onion Bhaji or Onion pakora is the Indian version of the onion rings. These are typically served as starters or as evening snack as an accompaniment to the Indian tea or coffee service. If you are thinking of trying this out, I would recommend trying it out on a cold or rainy day, as these can really lift your spirits up. Best to serve it hot, fresh out of the frying pan. While I was making it for this post, we finished the bulk of it by the time I could even click a photo...

Big Onion-4
Chick pea Flour/Gram flour-1  cup
Rice Flour-2tbsp
Chilly Powder- 3/4 tsp to 1tsp
Turmeric Powder-1/4tsp
Asafoetida powder-1/4 tsp
Salt- to taste
Baking Soda- a pinch (opt)
Water- as required
Cut the onion into fine slices.In a bowl mix chick pea flour,chilly powder,turmeric ,salt,asafoetida powder,rice flour,baking soda and  enough  water to make a batter the consistency of pancake batter . Heat oil in a pan for deep frying.Add the onion slices to the batter, coat them with the batter .Now drop the coated  onion in small portions in batches  into the  hot oil carefully once the oil  is around 180 C.Deep fry them till golden.  Remove from the oil and drain. Serve the hot pakoda  with  tomato sauce or your favourite dip.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Thick & Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

For this weeks Blog hop Wednesday by Radhika  Iam paired with Vidya ,those of you who haven't been to her space need to take a look of her wonderful space. She has tempting dishes all so presented well and to top that  her  photography is great. I choose this cookie recipe as I had been on the look out for a perfect bakery style chocolate chip cookie and I was well pleased with the outcome.
All purpose flour-2 cups+2 tbsp
Baking soda- 1/2 tsp
Salt-1/2 tsp
Butter- 12 tbsp
Brown sugar-1 cup(packed)
Granulated sugar-1/2 cup
Egg- 1 large +1 yolk
vanilla essence-2 tsp
Chocolate chips- 1 to 1 1/2 cups
Preheat the oven to 325 deg F.
Line the baking tray with parchment paper or lightly grease the tray.
Whisk flour,baking soda and salt together until combined,keep aside.
Beat butter and both the sugars together until combined.
Beat in the egg,yolk and vanilla essence .Now add the dry ingredients and mix well.
Now add the chocolate chips.
Measure almost 1/4 cup of dough and roll into a ball.Using your fingers split the ball into two.
Place the dough halves on the prepared baking tray ,with the uneven surface facing up.Place each dough halves  2 1/2  inch apart.
Bake until it turns light brown and edges begin to become crisp for about 15 to 20 minutes.
Allow the cookies to cool completely before removing.
Sending this over to Blog Hop Wednesday
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