Sunday, November 28, 2010

Nacho Casserole

Here is an easy recipe to use up your tortilla chips thats taking up your cupboard space.This is so easy that a nine year old can put it together in no time and tastes restaurant style.

2 cans of 15oz chili
1/2 a bag of Mission (or any brand plain)tortillas
2 cups shredded Mexican cheese or cheese of your choice
Cooking oil spray


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Microwave the chili till it's  hot and bubbly. Spray a medium-sized casserole dish with cooking oil. Make a layer of crushed tortilla chips at the bottom of the dish. Next, add half of the heated chili. Then add a layer of shredded cheese. Repeat these 3 layers: chips, chili, cheese. Make sure each layer covers the previous layer completely. When you finish with the last layer of cheese, if you desire you can garnish with a layer of peppers or tomato slices. Bake  the casserole in a 400 degree oven for 15 minutes .Serve hot with a dollop of sour cream.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Pecan Pie

Happy Thanksgiving! In our house we get into the Thanksgiving mood only when we make this Pecan Pie (not that we are thankless people without it :-). This is that dish that I make only for Thanksgiving ; not because its a dish that requires lots of effort or anything but because I wanted my daughter to associate something  with each celebration. And as vegetarians we since can't have a turkey, I choose Pecan Pie to embody the Thanksgiving spirit.This recipe is originally from and I have been using this recipe for the past 4 years with a few minor changes.

3 eggs
1 cup corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups pecan halves
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown Sugar
1/3 cup butter (melted)
Pie crust(I use a 10 and 1/2 deep dish pie pan)

Beat eggs lightly with an electric mixer or fork until combined.Stir in corn syrup, sugar, butter and vanilla extract.Chop the pecans.Pour chopped pecans in an even layer on the bottom of the unbaked pie shell.  Pour the syrup mixture over the top of the pecans.  Allow to stand about 20 seconds to let pecans float to the top.Bake in a 350 degree preheated oven, for 50minutes or until knife comes out clean. Cover edge of pie crust with aluminun foil for first 25 minutes of bake time, then remove for remaining 25 minutes, to prevent the crust from burning.


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Sweet-n-Savory Haricot Verts

This is a recipe I got from Ocean Spray. I loved this recipe as it had the right combination of spiciness and sweetness that we all liked. Another point I liked about this was that it had all the ingredients like almonds, cranberries and beans that my daughter likes and is very attractive to the eye with the combination of green and red. If you want a change from the routine cranberry or bean dishes, you should definitely give this a try.


1/4 cup sherry
1/4 cup Cranberry Juice Cocktail
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/2 cup blanched almonds, toasted
10 ounces fresh or frozen green beans
1 small onion, sliced
2 tablespoons water
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cloves garlic, sliced
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon cumin seed
1 teaspoon curry powder
4 ounces Dried Cranberries


If using fresh green beans, cook in salted boiling water for 3 to 4 minutes or until just tender. Drain; rinse in cold water.

Combine onion, water and salt in large skillet. Cook over medium-high heat until water evaporates. Add beans, garlic, butter, cumin and curry powder; stir to coat beans. Stir in dried cranberries, sherry, juice cocktail and pepper. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook for 5 to 10 minutes or until liquid evaporates and mixture is heated through. Sprinkle with almonds.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Cheese Straws

'Global Kadai' by Cilantro is a food blogging event, showcasing Global Flavour in an Indian version'I made these cheese straws with an Indian twist adding cumin,sesame,chilli and onion powder.My family loved this Indian version.Try this cookie and I am sure you would get hooked to this crunchy cookie or straws .
4 oz sharp cheddar cheese, room temperature, grated
4 oz salted butter, room temperature
1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp Chilli powder
1 tsp sesame seeds
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Add all the ingredients to a food processor except  sesame seeds pulse till everything is mixed together.Mix in the sesame seeds.
Transfer the cheese-butter mixture to a cookie press or as I did to a murukku press
Pipe the mixture directly onto a large baking sheet; average 3 to 4 inches in length.
Bake for 10 minutes or until lightly tanned.
Cool on a wire rack.
Serve as is.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Coconut Cookies

This is one of my Mom's recipes.This is a very easy recipe to make. My brothers and I used to make this when we were little elementary schoolers. If I were to rename this cookie I would call it a quick cookie or something like that. It would take around 3 minutes to prepare this and 15 minutes to bake. And another nice thing about this cookie is that its an eggless cookie. This cookie is for those of you who wants something quick & eggless.
All purpose flour-100gm(approx 7/8th cup)or( 3/4 cup +2 tbs)
Sugar-60gm(1/4 cup)
Butter/Margarine -100gm(7 tbs)
Dry coconut powder-50gm(1/2cup)
Cardamom powder/Vanilla essence-1tsp
Knead all the ingredients together to a smooth and soft dough. Divide the dough into small equal portions( I made 24 cookies using this recipe). Arrange on a baking tray .Bake at 350 F for 15 minutes. Let the cookies cool and then serve.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Yogurt Parfait with homemade Granola

Yogurt Parfait can be had as a breakfast,snack,or as a dessert.This is such a versatile dish you can use any fruit or any type of granola with this.Granola recipe below is from Allrecipes.Its an easy recipe that can be made even on a busy days.

2 cups vanilla yogurt
1 cup granola
Fruits of your choice
In a large glass, layer 1 cup yogurt,fruits and 1/2 cup granola. Repeat layers.
Ingredients for Granola
2 cups old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup shredded coconut
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup raisins

In a large bowl, combine oats and coconut; set aside. In a saucepan, combine brown sugar, oil, honey and cinnamon; bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and stir in vanilla. Pour over oat mixture; stir to coat. Spread in a large shallow baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees F for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cool. Add raisins. Store in an airtight container.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Idiyappam or String Hoppers or Noolappam

Though some call it Idiyappam,in our part of Kerala we call it Noolappam, maybe because it resembles a string ("noolu"). Its usually taken for breakfast or dinner along with a spicy curry. It is also served with sweetened coconut milk. This is Kerala's take on noodles or Pasta.

Roasted rice flour-1 cup
Warm Water-1and1/2 cups
Ghee or oil -1 tsp
Boil 1 and 1/2 cups of water along with salt and ghee.Mix the rice flour with the water
Knead into smooth dough. Insert the dough into the idiyappam press.
press it on  greased plate or idly moulds. Add grated coconut on top of the idiyappam.
Steam this in a steamer for 8-10 minutes.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Kerala Egg Roast

This is a simple egg curry usually made in our house as an accompaniment to Pathiri,Appam or Idiyappam. Since typically these are taken with sweetened coconut milk, having this curry along with that adds a spiciness to the otherwise sweet overall taste - making the mix of sweet and spiciness that we all love.


Hard-boiled egg – 4
Onion (sliced) – 2 cups
Green chilly (sliced) – 5
Tomato (sliced) – 1
Red chilly powder – 1 tsp
Coriander powder – 1 tsp
Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
Garam masala – 1 tsp
Ginger-Garlic paste – 1 tsp
Coconut milk -3 tbs optional
Curry leaves
Coriander leaves


Heat three teaspoons of  oil to it add curry leaves and ginger-garlic paste. Stir and when it gives a cooked smell add sliced onions. Sauté till the onions turn brown. Add green chillies. Saute for a minute. Add coriander powder, chilli powder, turmeric powder and garam masala mixed with a tablespoon of water. Stir well for a minute. Add 3 tablespoons of water or coconut milk.  Now add salt and the sliced tomatoes. Cook for three minutes or till tomatoes are cooked.Add boiled eggs and cook for another three minutes.

Garnish Egg Roast with coriander leaves and serve hot.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Microwave Baked Potato

This is a quick fix snack that you can have without much guilt.This is a healthy hot snack which can be had at any time.All three of us love this .Take my word this will be loved by both young and old .
Russet Potato-1 large
Chilly flakes
Scrub the potato.Cook on full power in the microwave for 5 minutes. When the potato is soft, remove from the microwave, remove the skin and  cut into little cubes. Season with salt and pepper,if you want it little more spicier you can also add chilly flakes.Your healthy 5 minute snack is ready.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Tomato Souffle

For this month's sweet punch challenge we were given a sweet and a savory dish to choose from. With Navrathri,Halloween and Diwali around the corner I thought it would be better to cook the savoury dish  over the sweet one. I did tweek this recipe a bit. Instead of 3 tbsp of tomato paste I added only 2tbsp and it was sour enough to my liking. Then I  added 1 tsp of vegetable base along with the egg yolks. Another thing that I would do next time would be to reduce the bread crumbs that is packed in the ramkins as they were still dry and not to my or my family's liking. The recipe didn't mention about the oven temperature so I baked at 350 F but had to bake for 35 minutes. The final verdict I got from my tasters is a double thumbs up and that this recipe is a keeper. 

Recipe source : Australian Woman's Weekly via Maria's Menu

Bread crumbs – 1/2 cup, firmly packed
Butter – 45 gm (I used 2 tbs) 
Onion – 1 medium, finely chopped
Plain flour (maida) – 2 tbsp
Milk – 1 cup
Tomato paste – 3 tbsp
Basil – 1 tbsp, finely chopped (optional)
Eggs – 3, separated
Grated Cheese – a handful ( I used mozzarella)
Grease 4 souffle dishes (1/2 cup capacity), sprinkle with breadcrumbs. Melt butter in small saucepan, add finely chopped onion. Stir over low heat for 2 mins ( or MW on HIGH for about 2 mins). Cook until onion is soft, it doesn’t have to become brown. Stir in flour and stir over medium heat for a minute. (or MW on HIGH for a min). Remove from heat, gradually stir in milk, bring back to heat and stir over high heat until mixture boils & thickens & reaches a thick sauce like consistency. (or MW on HIGH for about 3 mins).
Transfer to large bowl, stir in tomato paste & basil leaves. Cover the dish & let it stand for 5 mins. Beat egg whites in a small bowl until soft peaks from. Add egg yolks to the onion & milk mixture & mix well. Fold the egg whites into the mixture in 2 batches. Pour the mixture evenly into the prepared dishes. Sprinkle the grated cheese on top. Bake in the preheated oven for 20- 25 mins or until lightly browned. Serves 4.

Healthier version: use brown bread crumbs & low fat milk. Also use yolks of only 2 eggs & white of 3 eggs. Use only lesser qty of butter, I used only 15 gms of butter.

Notes: The above qty serves 2 adults (main course) served with garlic bread or soup. You can use any oven safe dish to prepare this. The consistency  of this dish is more like a pudding. I didnt have basil with me, so I didnt add. The original recipe doesnt add any spices, but you can add crushed pepper while cooking onion, if you wish.
Substitute for tomato paste:

Friday, November 5, 2010

Besan Paare (Spicy Crackers)

Happy Diwali to everyone. For this Diwali I made Besan Paare, but this is not my recipe but taken from Manjula's Kitchen -
We had it along with Gulab Jamuns which I made using the Gits Gulab Jamun mix.
Happy Diwali Everyone!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Cauliflower 'N Pea Korma

Cauliflower,potatoes and peas are very versatile vegetables.These vegetables go well with any type of cuisine.This is a curry using all these vegetables in an Indian style.This Korma goes well with rice and Indain flat breads.
Cauliflower-1medium size
Peas -1cup
Potato-1/2 cup
Onion -1
Tomato -1
Green chilli-2
Ginger&garlic paste -1tsp
Chilli powder -1tsp
Garam masala-1/2tsp
Corriender powder 1tsp
Oil -1tbs
Coconut -3tbs
Cashew nuts -3tbs
Fennel -1tsp
Cumin -1tsp
Curry leaves-few sprigs
Cilantro few
Cut the cauliflower into small flowerets. Pressure cook the cauliflower,potatoes, peas together with salt & turmeric for 1 minute.
Heat a kadai, add oil and cumin and when it splutters add onions,ginger and garlic paste. Saute till it turns to a light brown.
Then add tomatoes & slit green chillies.Meanwhile make a paste out of coconut, cashewnut and fennel adding 1/4 cup of water.
When the tomatoes are cooked add the chilli powder ,corriender powder and garam masala powder & saute it for another 2minutes & then add the cooked vegetables.Check the salt and add more if needed & add 1cup of water along with the ground coconut and cashew paste. Cook for another 5 minutes in medium heat.Garnish with Cilantro and serve hot.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Acorn Squash Soup

On days I  am feeling not so well and not in a mood to follow a recipe I just put few ingredients together and come up with something .Today was one such day, but the final outcome was so good that I thought I should write it down before I forget about this.
Acorn squash - 1 medium sliced 
Vegetable broth-2 cups
Garlic powder-1/2 tsp
Cumin powder-1/2 tsp
Green chilli-1
Pepper-as required
Salt -as required
Milk -1 cup
Basil leaves-4 to 5
Saute the onion in a heavy bottom vessel using 1 tablespoon oil or butter along with the green chilli and squash. Add the broth to this and cook till the squash is well cooked. Puree the squash and return to the vessel. Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil.Garnish with basil and serve hot.
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