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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Tofu Tikka Masala

It was a lousy spring evening and I was feeling so lazy. I didnt even wanna get up from the couch to open the door. Hmm somedays I do get this attck of laziness but then as we have to eat and cook I have to push myself to go to the itchen and start working...phew!.

That particular day hubby was graceful enough to offer to make some snacks for us...:DAnd he came up with this. I personally dont like frying much, but when ur getting things done for u without doing anything... the best thing is to keep quiet and enjoy hehehhe:P I am a devil na? hehehe

Anyways going to this recipe, it turned out so nice and tasty, a very good Appeatiser.

Ingredients :

Firm Tofu - 1 pack
Corn flour - 1 tbsp
All purpose four - 2 tbsp
Red chilli powder - 2tsp
Salt to taste
Pepper - 1 tsp
Kitchen king Masala - 1 tsp (optional)
Oil for frying

For Garnish:
Chaat powder
Onion slices

Method :

Open up a Tofu packet and drain out the water. Squeeze the water out of the Tofu. Wipe it with a kitchen towel to remove any excess water. Cut the Tofu in cubes and keep aside.

In a big bowl add the AP flour, corn flour, Red chilli powder, salt, pepper and kitchen king masala. U can Also add a tinge of soya sauce to it if u desire. Add very little water and make into a smooth paste. see that its not tooo watery.

Add the tofu cubes to this mix and coat all the tofu cubes with the batter. Leave aside for 5- 10 minutes.

Heat oil in a kadhai. Add the tofus to the oil and deep fry. See that the tofu doesnt stick to each other while frying. Once golden brown in colour, remove from out and drain out on kitchen towel so that all the excess oil is removed.

Now for serving. You can serve this anyway u want. I put these on a toothpick along with a piece of onion and sprinkled some chaat powder on it. Serve it hot along with some Tomato Ketchup.

U can even make chili tofu out of these or even tofu manchurian. We made chilli tofu with the leftover tofu but forgot to take any snaps :P hehhee. Enjoy this dish and have fun!

Yummy Tofu Tikka masala :D enjoy!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Jalapeno Pretzels - Baked

Who doesnt love pretzels and specially if its an Jalapeno Pretzels.... hehhe I can see all the spicy food eaters shaking their heads along with me. I was first introduced to this pizza with handle at Wetzel's Pretzel here in Los angeles. I normally cant eat jalapenos much, but when it comes to this I can keep hogging with tears running down my cheeks yet wont stop :P...hehhee. I instantly fell in love with it. From then, whenever I go for shopping I make a point to grab one of these. Its so filling and tastes so good.

I found out recently that not just Wetzel's Pretzels but almost all the pretzel centres in USA have these Jalapeno pretzels. I recently had one in Aunt Annie's. It was not as good as Wetzel's but yeah, it was Jalapenos okie :P

Did u know that soft baked pretzels r very very famous in Pennsylvania. U can find it in almost all stores and mall there? Well I didnt know but I remember seeing that in some show. Anyways now u wants to know about the origin right? Lets talk about this recipe... I combined the procedure and ingredients from 2-3 sites to get my own pretzel recipe. I got a bit confused with the yeast quantity..( I didnt see the amount of water I have to use to mix the yeast....hmmm :( and ended up with a watery dough... and then again ended up adding more flour and yeast hehhe) hence I didnt get the perfect knot on the pretzel and it looks all merged up :P

Well did u know that the calorie content in an Aunt Annie's pretzel is 310 and its very high in sodium? Thats coz they r normally fried. Hmmm yeah seeing that I felt y not trying making our favourite at home, thats way I know what I am putting into it... good or bad ;) So here is my recipe. I have used All purpose flour for this recipe... But u can make it even with wheat flour for making it more healthy...:D

Wooo can u see the baked Jalapenos on that one.... I am sure that will make u drool over this one :) Isnt it??

I somehow dont like plain pretzels. I need the cheese and the butter grease on it for me to appreciate its genuine quality... hehehhe:P Anyways here goes my recipe. I took some tips from Divya's Dil-se blog too. Thanks Divya.

Ingredients :

Active dry Yeast - 2 1/4 tsp
All pupose flour - 3 cups
(If using Wheat flour - 4 cups )
Sugar - 1 tsp +1 tsp = 2 tsp
Luke warm water (for yeast) - 1/2 cup
Salt - 1 tsp
Olive oil - 1 tbsp
Baking Soda - 1 tsp

Options for caramalising the pretzel..

Milk - 1/2 cup
Baking soda - 2 1/3 tsp &
Hot water - 1 1/2 cup
Eggyolk - 1
and 1 tbsp of water
Maybe some sugar solution (check the video to understand about these toppings :D)

Other toppings:

Butter - 1 tbsp
Cheddar cheese - 1 cup
Jalapeno thinly sliced - 1/2 cup
Garlic powder (optionla)
Kosher salt

Method :

In a measuring cup take 1/2 cup like warm water and add 1 tsp sugar and yeast to it and mix well. Keep aside till the yeast froths well.

In another bowl add all the dry ingredients like the flour, salt, sugar and mix well. Slowly add the yeast mixture and knead the dough for 8-9 minutes. The dough will be elastic which is okie...:) Mix well until smooth :). Add a tsp of olive oil on the dough and mix well so that the oil coats the dough well and that the dough doesnt stick to the bowl. U can even use a fresh greased bowl instead...Cover with a cling wrap and keep aside for 1 hour or so.

Preheat the oven at 450 degree F.

After 1 hour u can see that ur dough has doubled in size. Now make small tennis ball size rounds and keep aside. It will make around 11 balls. Take each ball and roll it into a long medium thickness thread and twist to form the famous pretzel shape. You can either form a knot or else u can place the ends across on each side...:) You can refer to this site for tricks for this step. You can check this video to know more about shaping the pretzels and making the colour nice and golden brown :D

Now that ur pretzels r shaped now comes the turn for the topping. Before we start with the topping we have to think how we r going to make out topping stay on oyr pretzels and also how to get that caramalised brown colour on our pretzels.

Commercially they use a product called lye which is very corrusive and as we r trying to making something healthy (before than store bought stuff) we dont wanna handle anything that damages our tissues right? So what else can we use. I have given different options in the ingredients and also the video that I shared tells u in detail what all can u use. For this recipe I have used Baking soda alone. we can combine it wil Egg yolks to make it more golden. I skipped it...:)

In a bowl take nice hot boiling water. Add baking soda to it and mix well with a spoon. Add the shaped pretzel in the water and leave it for like 30-40 seconds. Leaving it for this much time is important orelse ur pretzels wont get that golden colour...:) Take it out and place it on a lined cookie tray. Use lined tray to make it low cal... greasing is no way better right?

Now garnish ur pretzels with some kosher salt, sliced jalapenos and top it with some cheddar cheese as garnish. U can add garlic powder if u wish. Now ur pretzels r ready to be baked. Put them in the oven for 8-10 minutes. Once the pretzels become golden on top u can take them out and serve hot...:)

Hope u enjoy these pretzels.

I have tried to share as much information possible so that u can enjoy these lovely pizza with handles at home...:) Do leave ur comments and suggestions :D

Monday, July 20, 2009

Tomato Rice by Hubby :D

Ohh.... I did I forget about this one. I had posted a very touching post about how my hubby had cooked for me when I was sick and promised that I will post the recipe soon and conviniently forgot about it.... hehehe:P here is the link to that post...

Well thanks to my lovely friend Meenakshi, who reminded me about this and asked me to post the recipe, I am going to complete this ode to my sweet hubby....) who took such good care of me... when I needed him the most...:) Love u Sweetheart !

So here goes the recipe.

Ingredients :

Basmati Rice - 2 cups
Tomato Puree - 1 can or Fresh tomatoes - 5 medium finely chopped
Roasted salted Peanuts - 1/2 cup
Onions fiely chopped - 1
Jeera - 1 tsp
Ginger, finely chopped - 2 tsp
Green chillies - 5 slit lenghtwise
Curry leaves - 1 sprig
Turmeric powder - 1 tsp
Coriander powder - 2 tsp
Garam masala - 2 tsp
Fresh corinader leaves
Asafoetida - a pinch
Salt and Pepper to taste
Lemon juice
Oil - 3 tsp

Method :

In a kadhai take oil. Once the oil is hot add the jeera, once that splutters add the green chillies, ginger, curry leaves and peanuts. Stir for a minute and add the onions and turmeric powder. Stir fry till the onions r transparent. Add the chopped tomatoes and cook till they r tender. Add the garam masala and coriander powder and stir fry. At this time u can go ahead and add the asafoetida, salt and pepper. Stir fry till all the water is almost gone.

Add the rice to this mixture and stir fry for sometime. If u feel the mixture is too tight add a spoonful of oil and mix again. see that the rice is roasted a bit..:) Keep stirring so that the rice doesnt burn. Now u can put 2 cups of water to this and close with a lid and let it cook on medium low flame orelse u can just empty all this into a rice cooker (if putting in the rice cooker add a tsp of lemon juice to this. The lemon juice helps the rice to remian seperate) and let it look. Hubby did the later as its much easier. U can do either.... both the ways it will taste good..:)

Once the rice is cook but yet not mashed up, remove from flame. garnish with fresh corinader leaves and lemon juice. Mix well and serve hot with raita.:)


Monday, July 13, 2009

Vegetable Lasagna rolls

We both love lasagna but I somehow never attemped to make it at home, maybe coz I somehow cant just have lasagna for my meal. hehehh Yeah I know its funny but thats the main reason. I have seen that lasagna is easy to make but yields a large quantity at a time. As I didnt wanna have just lasgna for dinner I was thinking how I can minimize the bulk quntity that a original lasagna recipe produces...:P. And Tada...! I landed up with this recipe...:D

I remember seeing some recipe like this in the new menu of Olive garden.We were almost tempted to order it and then we realised it has beef in it and stopped ourselves...:P It happens so often with vegetarians that u love the picture on the menu and r so tempted to try and then all ur desires r dampened by the waiter who informs u that all this time u were actually drolling or a chicken/ deef or any other meat dish... hmmmm. Thats what literally happened with us that day....:(

I thought y not try it out at home in our own vegetable version...:D So here we present to u - Vegetable Lasagna Rolls :P - Nothing non-veggie about it ;) hehehe ) . Hope u try it ad enjoy it as much we did....:) This makes a very very good appeatiser too and yet is so filling :D

Ingredients :

Lasagna sheets - 15
Spinach frozen - 2 cup (thawed and water squeezed out)
Shredded parmesan Cheese - 2 tbsp
Sweet corn kernels - 1 tbsp
Olive oil - 3 tbsp
Garlic cloves - 4 finely chopped
Ricotta Cheese - 3/4 cup
Chopped mushroom - 1 cup
Dried / fresh oregano - 3 tsp
Dried / fresh Basil - 2 tsp
Mozerella cheese shredded or sheets - 1 cup
Salt & Pepper - according to taste
Store bought Prego sauce / marinara sauce - 4 cups

Method :

Preheat the oven to 450 degree F.

Boil the water in a big vessel. Add salt and oil to the water. Now add the lasgna sheets. See that u use fresh and good quality lasagna sheet as old sheets will break into pieces when ur trying to roll it.

Firstly make the filling as u have to work fast once the noodles is done. Orelse u can work simultaneously when the noodle is cooking.
In a big bowl add the ricotta cheese and cream it well. Add the thawed spinach, garlic,mushrooms, oregano, basil, salt, pepper and mix well. Finally add the parmesan cheese and corn kernels and mix well. Keep aside.

Cook the Noodles until its tender enough to roll yet firm to bite. Drain the water and arrange the noodles seperately on a foil sheet, so that it doesnt stick together.

Grease a 13X9 inch glass baking dish with olive oil. U can use any glass baking dish..but I prefer this one..:). Pour 1 cup of prego sauce and spread it evenly on the baking dish.

Work on 4 noodles at a time on a flat surface. Spread 3 tablespoon full of the cheese and spinach filling evenly on each lasagna sheet. Starting at one end roll each noodle like a jelly roll. Now lay the roll on the Baking dish, seam side down. Roll all the noodles this way and arrnage them in the baking dish. See that the rolls dont touch each other. Pour 2 cups of prego sauce evely on top of the rolls. Garnish with pepper, mozerella sauce and some oregano which is optional. Cover the dish tightly with an aluminium foil and bake for about 20 minutes until the sauce bubbles a bit.

Uncover the baking dish and bake again for 15 minutes or till the cheese on top becomes golden brown in colour. Off the oven and let the lasagna stay in for 10 minutes. Serve hot with the left over prego / marinara sauce.

Variation : I didnt use the mozarella cheese for the topping / garnish as I was trying to reduce the intake of cheese. Instead I topped each roll with a blob of feta cheese... which was okay in taste.:)

Hope u enjoy making these lasagna rolls as much as I did...:) Its a real confort food and I no more get overwhelmed buy this Lasagna...:P


Vermicelli Pasta or Semiya Upma

Vermicelli originates from Italy and means "Little worms" by literal meaning...:) It is a type of pasta...just like spaghetti but is much thinner than Spaghetti. This type of pasta was introduced in italian cooking in the 14th - Century.Thats the history of Vermicelli.

Its a long journey from Italy to India. In India vermicelli is known as Semiya or Sevaiya. Onother big difference in thos vermicelli pasta and the semiya that we get in india is the flour it is made of. Vermicelli pasta is made of durum wheat whereas Semiya is made of semolina.

Anyways the other day I get to our local grocery shop and got this weird looking string kinda thing...which did look like semiya but was in a coil shaped compared to the normal broken form of the semiya we get back in india. But anyways I bought it, and ended up making this pasta upma.....for this u need....


Vermicelli Pasta - 1 pack

Onions - 1 finely chopped

Green chillies - 3 slit lenghtwise

Curry leaves - 2 twigs

Jeera - 1 tsp

Peanuts - 1 cup

Salt to taste


Ghee - 1 tsp

Lemon juice

Coriander leaves for Garnish


Cook the vermicelli pasta as directed in the package. drain and keep aside.

In a kadhai or a thick bottomed vessel add the oil and heat it. Now add the Jeera seeds and allow it to splutter. Add the green chillies, curry leaves and onions and saute well. Once the onions r transparent, add the peanuts and sauter for 5 mins.

Finally add the cooked vermicelli and mix well. Add salt and toss it once more.Remove from flame and garnish with coriander leaves and lemon juice. Top it with a spoon of ghee for the ultimate taste. mix and serve hot :) If u wish u can skip the ghee too..:)

It makes a great brunch meal or evening tiffin...:) Its our lunch time favourite...:D


Friday, July 10, 2009

Herb Potato

Nowadays I have become very fond of these red potatoes.... I used to use golden or russet potatoes but now I like these red potatoes for my dailiy cooking. I got to know few facts about these red potatoes and I would be glad to share it with u all...:)

How do u select a good quality red Potato? : Good-quality red potatoes will be firm, smooth skinned and have a bright red color to it. They should have few eyes, and those few eyes should be shallow. I also found a nutrition chart for a Red potato. 1 medium sized potato has around 120 calories. It is fat free , Very low in Sodium, Cholestrol-free, Source of Fibre and High in Vitamin C.

This recipe is something I make whenever I have some fresh herb at home and I need to finish it off. I make a large quantity of these as both me and my husband love it. So here goes the recipe...

Ingredients :

Red Potato - 6 medium

Fresh herbs - whatever u have.... how much ever u have (I used thyme, rosemary, sage and majoram)

Dried basil - 2 tsp (optional)

salt to taste

Fresh mint / corinader - 2 tbsp

Pepper - 2 tsp

Lemon juice - 1 tbsp

Olive oil - 2 tsp

Method :

Par boil the red potatoes. See that u dont make them muchy. They should be cooked yet a bit crisp. let the potatoes cool.

Clean and finely chop all the fresh herb.

Prepare the dressing. In a big bowl add the lemon juice, salt, olive oil, black pepper and mix well. Add the chopped herbs to this and mix well. Keep aside.

Chop the potatoes in quarters and put them In an big serving bowl.

Add the dressing to it and toss well so that all the potatoes r coated with the dressing...:) . garnish with chopped mint or coriander. Serve cold...:)

Enjoy as a side salad....:)