Mayo – Hung Curd Sandwich

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Hello folks! Everything around me looks so festive and merry. The beautifully adorned Christmas tree in every nook and corner of the street, the colorful lights hanging everywhere, the cafes beaming with lots of freshly baked goodies and not to forget the conversations going on everywhere as to how one is celebrating Christmas. Amidst the endless baking going on in my kitchen, I feel I need a small break to make something comforting and simple. Hence we have a Quick Homestyle Sandwich Alert!

Sometimes all I need is a simple sandwich to feel good. Chop some basic ingredients, slather it on yoru favourite bread, toast it and you’re done. I made these Mayo and Hung Curd Veggie Sandwich for breakfast a few days back and it was yummy! Chopped few veggies, mixed it with hung curd and mayo, seasoned it, toasted my bread and my breakfast was done. I felt like a superstar. Save this recipe now because you can use all your teeny weeny leftovers to get this delish homestyle sandwich. No frills, no fancies – only goodness!

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RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (Makes 4 sandwiches)

  • 8 slices of multigrain bread (you can also use white sandwich bread)
  • 4 tbsp of store bought mayoniesse
  • 1 cup hung curd (you can also plain Greek Yogurt)
  • 1 large onion, finely choppeed
  • 1/2 cup bell peppers, finely chopped
  • 3/4 cup grated carrot
  • 1/3 cup corn kernels, boiled and cooled to room temparture
  • 1/2 tsp chili flakes
  • 2 tsp freshly parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp coriander leaves, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • salt, to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste

METHOD:

  • Take mayo and hung curd in a bowl and whisk it until combined. Now add onion, bell peppers, grated carrot, corn kernels, chili flakes, parsley, coriander leaves, salt and black pepper and mix it well.
  • Put a gridle pan on medium flame. Meanwhile take one slice of bread and generously fill it with the mixture you have made in the first step. Make sure to leave some space towards to the edges will putting the mixture.
  • Take another slice of bread and place it on top of it.
  • Take a little butter and put it on the pan. Place the sandwich on the griddle pan and let it cook for 1 minute – 90 seconds. Meanwhile lightly butter the bread on the top.
  • Carefully turn the bread over and let the sandwich cook on the other side for 60 – 90 seconds.
  • Once cooked and golden brown on both sides, take it off from the griddle pan and place it on the kitchen top. Diagonally cut it making sure the mixture doesnt ooze out of the slices of bread.
  • Serve immediately with ketchup or as is.

Corn, Broccoli and Cauliflower Bake

 

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Looking for a perfect partner for this winter? We have an answer for you. Look forward! Winters makes me snuggle into cozy jackets and blankets. It makes me feel lazy and I wish if my personal robot could accomplish all my to do list. The struggle starts right from waking up early in the morning and continues till the end of the day where I have gorged on some extra comforting food that I can almost feel the needle of the weighing scale moving no longer by grams each day, but kgs.

Winter calls for some doozy meal makeover to the commonplace dishes. Freshest of produce available in the market, it gives everyone an option to paint their own canvas, create their own paintings. As I mentioned earlier my association with winter food is Soups, Casseroles, lots of dry fruits and lots of cheese! Mum often threw the veggies she loved (which obviously I loathed) into a glass baking container, garnished it with cheese and into the oven. This recipe draws inspiration from her famous Au-Gratin. The creaminess from the white bechamel sauce, the goodness from the winter produce and cheese crust – all ties together to bring a delicious family meal. Just about the easiest and the tastiest thing you can ever make when the weather makes you want to work less.

Chop chop, crank up your oven and enjoy this hearty bowl of awesomeness now!

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RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (For 2 – 3 people)

  • 1 cup corn kernels, blanched until tender (I used frozen corn, you can use fresh too)
  • 150 grams broccoli florets, blanched until tender
  • 200 grams cauliflower florets, blanched until tender
  • 50 grams unsalted butter
  • 4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 40 grams all purpose flour ( you can also use whole wheat flour)
  • 1 1/2 cup of milk, room temperature (you might slightly more based on your white sauce consistency)
  • 1 tsp of dried mixed hers (I used dried oregano and dried basil)
  • 1 tsp dried chili flakes
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 cup processed cheese, grated
  • 1/ 2 cup cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • pinch of sugar
  • salt, to taste
  • freshly grounded black pepper, to taste
  • few sprigs of micro greens, for garnish

METHOD:

  • Preheat your oven to 170 C for atleast 15 minutes.
  • Take a saucepan on low flame and put in 40 grams unsalted butter into it. Once the butter melts, add 3 cloves of finely chopped garlic and sauté.
  • Now add the flour and keep stirring and cooking the mixture to avoid the flour from burning. This would take about 1.5 – 2 minutes.
  • Now add milk slowly and keep stirring to avoid forming lumps. You can add a 4 – 5 tbsp of water if the consistency is becoming too thick.
  • Bring it to boil on medium flame. Add processed cheese, mixed herbs, chili flakes, sugar, salt and freshly grounded black pepper. Mix well and keep aside.
  • Meanwhile take the remaining butter in a saucepan. Saute garlic cloves, pinch of chili flakes and dried oregano. Now add the bread crumbs and sauté for 30 – 40 seconds and keep aside.
  • Take a baking container. I used a borosil baking tray dish. Put 2 – 3 tbsp of white sauce. Then layer it with the blanched veggies (corn, cauliflower and broccoli) and then pour the remaining white sauce mixture.
  • Garnish with cheddar cheese, Parmesan cheese evenly (leaving one table spoon of each aside).
  • Now layer with the panko bread crumb mixture evenly and sprinkle over the remaining cheese.
  • Put this to bake for atleast 20 – 22 minutes or until the crust starts to bubble and turns golden brown.
  • Take it out of the oven, garnish with micro greens and dive in!

Goodness Salad

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My simple salad is calling me yet again! This salad has everything I love – fresh produce, colorful ingredients and a sweet zippy dressing. I often end up making salads at home because I am cognizant of the ingredients that go into it, about its freshness and quality. Being allergic to a few cut vegetables, I refrain from ordering salads at restaurants, until I am extremely craving for one (and also ready to face the repercussions).

This quick salad makes you land in a win -win situation because is healthy and amazingly delicious.  Vibrantly flavoured, each element in this dish has immense character. The smokiness from the beets and corn, the creaminess from hung yogurt, the freshness from the microgrees (my new love) and those salted caramel walnuts – enough said! All of this with a honey mustard dressing, it can’t get any better.

Easy and yummy – welcome to my version of healthy eating!

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RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (For 2 people)

For the salad:

  • 2 large beet
  • 20 pieces walnuts
  • 1 large corn cob
  • 3 cups microgreens, nicely cleaned
  • 1/3 cup hung curd
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp sugar

For the dressing:

  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1/2 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp minced shallots
  • 1/4 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp chopped basil leaves
  • salt, to taste
  • black pepper, to  taste

METHOD:

  • Preheat the oven to 220C for atleast 10 minutes. Meanwhile line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Take a beets and wash and scrub it with water to remove all the dirt. Pat dry it using a kitchen towel.
  • Place the beets in a foil, coat the beets generously with olive oil. Sprinkle 1 tsp of salt. Cover it tightly with aluminium foil and put it in the oven to roast for 1 to 1.5 hours.
  • Meanwhile char grill the corn on the flame. Take a sharp knife and remove the corn kernels from the cob and keep aside.
  • Take a saucepan and put the sugar and let it melt. Once it starts to melt add the walnuts and 1/2 tsp salt and using a spatula start coating the walnuts and turn off the heat. Take the walnuts off the pan and keep aside.
  • Add the remaining salt to the hung curd and mix it and keep aside.

For the dressing:

  • Take honey, mustard, lemon juice and

Caramelized Onion, Roasted Pepper, Corn and Olives Crostini


Good ideas strike to me when I am about to go to sleep, ideas hovering through my mind so that when I wake up the next day I have my to do list ready. When its about food good ideas strike when  bits of different ingredients are kept in the fridge and I have a sudden urge to finish it all. The first idea that clicks in my mind when different vegetables are stocked is crostinis. I love them, period!

I love the whole idea of having a crostini station – sweet and savory crostinis, different experimental toppings, a glass of wine and loads of chitter chatter with family and friends. Its easy to eat and then its definitely delicious. So as my in laws came over to celebrate my little one’s first birthday I was planning a long, lingering brunch menu which definitely had crostini in it. The bright and fresh veggies, the toast slathered with cheese and herbs was a complete winner during the brunch. They thoroughly enjoyed it. The sweetness from the caramelized onions with a hint of balsamic vinegar, the bold smokiness form the roasted peppers and the crunch from the baby corn all complimented well to create a wonderful brunch dish. All you need is an extra step to experiment with different ingredients and then something spectacular will be made in your kitchen.

RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (For 4 people)

  • 1 medium red bell pepper
  • 1 medium yellow bell pepper
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 15 pieces baby corn , boiled and halved lengthwise
  • 1/4 cup sliced black olives
  • 1 large tomato, thinly sliced, lengthwise
  • 1/2 cup cream cheese
  • 2 1/2 tsp dried mint
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp chili flakes
  • 2 tsp dried basil
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp crushed garlic (optional)
  • salt, to taste
  • freshly grounded black pepper, to taste
  • 1 french baguette loaf

METHOD:

  • In  saucepan, heat half  butter. Once heated add in the thinly sliced onions and sauté until they turn light golden.
  • Add the sugar and balsamic vinegar and sauté for a couple of minutes on medium heat until sugar is dissolved and onion is brownish (not burnt) in color.
  • Take it off the heat and keep it aside.
  • Take the peppers, brush it with olive oil and put it on a naked flame, medium heat until each side is black.
  • Take it off the heat and dip it in a bowl with cold water.
  • After 5-10 minutes, take off the skin, cut it length wise into thin slices. Remove the seeds.
  • In another saucepan, heat olive oil. Add chili flakes and sauté for 30 seconds. Add garlic and sauté for a minute.
  • Add baby corn, roasted pepper, olives, tomato and caramelised onion and mix well.
  • Add salt, basil, oregano and freshly crushed black pepper and mix well.
  • Take a griddle pan, put some butter on it on medium heat and toast the thin slices of baguette or half bread slices until its golden brown and crisp.
  • Meanwhile take cream cheese in a bowl and mix it with dried mint and keep aside.
  • Once the baguette is done, take it off the heat, slather it with generous amount of cream cheese mixture.
  • Top it with a generous amount of veggie mixture. Garnish with fresh basil leaves or parmesan shaving or fresh boccocini in the side.

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NOTES:

  • You can use multigrain bread in case you dont find a french baguette.
  • You can use ricotta cheese with mint for the base of the crostini.
  • Toast the bread/ baguette slices in a toaster in case you don’t have a griddle pan.
  • Add roasted capsicum for more color.

Enjoy your day! 

My mum’s favorite – Homemade Pizza

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This post and recipe is dedicated to my mum who has been a big inspiration for my cooking. She always encouraged me to try new things in the kitchen whenever I wanted to, taught me the basics and helped me at every step. She tasted some of the worst dishes I cooked just to teach me how to become better with each coming day. She has been my pillar of strength and support. Till date when I am confused what to cook with the ingredients in my kitchen or when things go wrong while cooking, she is just a call away to guide me. Thank you my super wo(MA)n. Thank you for blessing me always, teaching me the nuances of cooking and making me more confident each day as a cook, as a woman, as a wife and as a mother. You are my guiding star!

And now its time to show her how much have I grown in this journey. I know  you love pizzas, not the ones in the Italian restaurants or the ones that is home delivered, but the ones that is made and baked in the home kitchen. I am not with you on this mother’s day but through this post I am virtually going to be with you. Hope you enjoy and like it.

Keep this recipe up your sleeve since it requires absolutely no effort to make it. It does not require any exotic ingredient. The freshness from the basic ingredients is the key to this recipe. So as I celebrate this mother’s day baking some yummylicious pizza, surprise your mom with this homemade delicious pizza.

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RECIPE:

INGREDIENTS: (For one  8″ pizza base)

  • 1 eight inch ready pizza base (you can use whole wheat option too)
  • 1 medium sized onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 large capsicum, julienned
  • 1/2 large yellow bell pepper, julienned
  • 1 tomato, cut into strips
  • 1/2 cup boiled sweet corn kernels
  • 1 large Jalepeno, cut into thick slices
  • 10 – 12 olives, pitted and sliced
  • 1/2 cup tomato puree (you can also make fresh tomato puree)
  • 3 -4 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 3/4 cup processed cheese, grated (I used Amul processed cheese)
  • 1/3 cup mozzarella cheese, grated
  • 4 tbsp tomato ketchup
  • 1 tbsp chili flakes (you can adjust this depending on how spicy you want)
  • 1 tbsp oregano
  • few fresh basil leaves
  • salt, to taste
  • freshly grounded black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

METHOD:

  • In a saucepan, take some olive oil and once heated nicely add chilli flakes and sauté for a minute or two.
  • Now add in the sliced onion and sauté for a couple of minutes.
  • Just before the onions begins to turn translucent, add capsicum and bell peppers and mix it well.
  • When the vegetables are semi cooked (around 50%) cooked, add sweet corn kernels and tomato strips. Mix all the veggies well.
  • Now add oregano powder, 3 tbsp tomato ketchup and salt. Mix it well with the veggies. Be gentle and do not mush the vegetables.
  • Add in the salt and 1/2 rd cup of processed cheese and mix well.
  • Quickly add the olives and jalepenos , and within 2 – 3 minutes take the entire of the stove.
  • Make sure to preheat the oven at 250 C (that is the max my oven allows) for atleast 10 to 12 minutes. (In case you can crank up further, try to heat it up to 275C – 280C )
  • In a bowl add the tomato puree, crushed garlic, remaining tomato ketchup, a pinch of salt and a pinch of freshly grounded black pepper. Mix it well and spread it on the pizza base.
  • Evenly spread the topping mixture prepared earlier. (Make sure that the veggies are not completely cooked while preparing the mixture. They should be 75% cooked)
  • Combine the processed cheese and mozzarella cheese in a bowl and spread it over the pizza generously.
  • Put it to bake for around 12 – 15 minutes. Once baked, take it out cut it with a pizza cutter, garnish it with some torn basil leaves and your pizza is ready to eat.

Enjoy!

Quesadilla

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Quesadilla is an easy one dish snack as well as a weeknight meal where you can use some leftovers to create a yummy dish. I grew up eating a “desi” (Indian) version of quesadillas probably this was the most interesting way my mom could get me into eating some veggies. On moving to San Francisco, from eating traditional Mexican fare to modern interpretation of Mexican cuisine, I am in love with Mexican cuisine, more specifically Quesadillas.

There is no particular recipe to making a perfect quesadilla. It all depends on what you like. If you are cheese lover then go for a cheese quesadilla or when you want to go the healthy route then load your quesadillas with veggies. Try this dish and enjoy the flavors of Mexican food.

RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (Makes 4 pieces)

  • 1 capsicum, diced into cubes
  • 1 1/2 yellow bell pepper, diced into cubes
  • 1 1/2 red bell pepper, diced into cubes
  • 3 medium onions, diced into cubes
  • 1 cup boiled sweet corn kernels
  • 2 cup mushrooms, sliced (optional)
  • 1/2 cup black olives, pitted and sliced (optional)
  • 1 avocado, sliced (optional)
  • 1 cup roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese, grated
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1 cup processed cheese, grated
  • 2 medium green chili, finely chopped
  • 8 flour/whole wheat/ corn flour tortillas
  • 1 1/2 cup sour cream
  • oil for frying
  • salt, to taste
  • fresh grounded black pepper, to taste
  • 1 1/2 tbsp red chilli flakes
  • 1 tbsp oregano
  • 1 tbsp tomato ketchup
  • spring onions, chopped for garnishing (optional)

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METHOD:

  • In a sauce pan heat some oil. Once the oil is heated, add green chili and half of the red chili flakes. Sauté for 10 – 15 seconds.
  • Add onion and then sauté until its translucent.Add the bell peppers and capsicum and sauté.
  • Add boiled corn kernels, mushrooms and tomatoes and sauté for 15 – 20 seconds. Add salt, tomato ketchup, oregano, grounded black pepper and remaining chili flakes and mix well. Put off the gas and keep the mixture aside.
  • Heat a skillet/ non stick pan to medium high heat. Put a little oil in the pan and spread it around. Take one tortilla and place it in the pan for 30 – 40 seconds until its very light brown. (make sure you do it only on one side of the tortilla). Do the same for one more piece.
  • Take the cooked side of one tortilla and spread 1 1/2 tbsp of sour cream. Spread a generous amount of the vegetable mixture on top of the sour cream. Sprinkle a few olives and avocado slices.
  • Next spread some amount of mozzarella, cheddar and processed cheese on top of the veggies.
  • Lastly place another tortilla with the cooked side facing down on top of the cheese. Seal the tortillas with a bit of oil or water.
  • Cook it on medium flame until its crisp and brown. Once cooked cut into 4 triangles. Garnish it with spring onions.
  • Serve it hot with salsa or guacamole.

Crostini

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Here goes the recipe for one of my favorite and easy to make appetizer for my friends and family – Vegetable Crostini. The ingredients for this dish is easily available or probably available in your pantry right now too.

The crunch of the toasted bread with the sweetness from the cooked vegetables and the aroma of the fresh herbs all together creates a flavorsome experience. I do not follow this recipe completely especially when it comes down to the ingredients. Whatever veggies is available in my kitchen and whatever herbs are fresh in my kitchen garden, I toss those things to make crostini. So feel free to add the vegetables of your choice.

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My mom used to make this little wonder so that I would eat different kind of vegetables in an interesting and beautiful way. Now when I cook this for kids party, then completely enjoy it. Believe me, this is one of the quickest things you can cook when you have unexpected guests over at your place and then will simply love it.

So now with the season of festivals is at its full swing and time is less for you, be sure to make crostinis and enjoy your snack time with family.

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RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (For 4 – 6 people)

  • 1 french loaf (or any bread loaf, example: baguette, multi grain, etc)
  • 1 green bell pepper, thin and long slices
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, thin and long slices
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, thin and long slices
  • 1 small onion, thin and long slices
  • 1 cup corn kernels, boiled
  • 1 tomato, long slices
  • 6 – 8 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 12 – 15 basil leaves, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 tsp chilli flakes
  • 3 tbsp tomato ketchup
  • Salt, to taste
  • Freshly crushed black pepper, to taste
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • Mozzarella cubes for garnishing (or grated mozzarella)

METHOD:

  • In a bowl mix butter, half of the crushed garlic cloves, 5 – 6 finely chopped basil leaves and 1 tsp of dried oregano.
  • Cut the bread loaf into thin slices. Spread this butter mix on to the bread slices.
  • Toast bread for 5 – 6 minutes at 180 C.
  • Meanwhile, take olive oil in a pan and heat it. Add the remaining crushed garlic. Sauté it until it turns a little brown.
  • Add onion and sauté it until translucent. Add the bell peppers and sauté it. Do not cook for long as it will become soggy.
  • Add half of the tomato ketchup along with chilli flakes and oregano. Give it a quick mix.
  • Add the corn kernels and tomato and mix well. Put in the chopped basil leaves and the remaining ketchup and allow it to cook for a couple of minutes.
  • Add salt and crushed black pepper, to taste.
  • Take that mix and put it on the half baked bread loaf. Put a couple of mozzarella cubes on each bread (or grated mozzarella on the slices).
  • Bake it for 8 – 10 minutes in the oven at 180 C, until the cheese melts.
  • Serve it hot with tomato ketchup.

Enjoy the crostini and Happy Diwali to everyone!