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Monday, May 23, 2011

Like Lasagna or Rice Lasagna?? Inspirations from Aditi

Okie this casserole is inspired from my friend Aditi's recipe for leftover rice. This has been lying in my drafts for like 3 yrs now.... I know... I know this is the limit hmm. Anyways, I loved it so much that I made some changes and made it like a rice lasagna casserole dish. Hope you all enjoy the recipe. Do post ur valuable comments..:D

Ingredients :

Leftover rice - 2 cup (cooked..preferably basmat)
Onion - 1 medium chopped
Red Bell pepper - 1/4 cup chopped
Green bell Pepper - 1/4 cup chopped
Pasta sauce / marinara sauce - 1 medium can
Mushrooms - 1/3 cup chopped
Garlic - 2tsp finely chopped
Fresh/dried Oregano or mixed italian spice - 1tbsp
Salt to taste
Black pepper - 1 tsp
Potato - 2 medium (thinly sliced)
Black Olives - 1 cup (sliced)
Mozzarella Cheese - 3/4 cup
Red Chilli flakes - 1 tbsp
Butter - 2 tbsp

Method :

In a pan take some oil/butter and when heated add garlic. Add half the chilli flakes and stir fry for a min. Add the onion. Cook till it is slightly cooked. Add the pepper, mushroom and stir fry. Add the oregano, salt, pepper and marinara sauce and mix well. Get the sauce to a boil. Mix well and keep aside. The sauce should be slightly thick...dont add too much water.

Keep the sliced potato in water so that it doesnt become black. Sprinkle some salt on the plain rice and mis well...just for added flavour.

Preheat the oven to 325 degree F.

Grease a pie pan or casserole dish with butter. Put a thick layer of the rice covering almost 1/3 of the pan. Now pour half of the marinara mix on top of the rice. Now place the sliced of shopped potato on it. cover the whole pan with a layer of sliced potatoes, little cheese (1/4 cup) and few sliced olives.

Now repeat this process once more. On the top layer place the sliced potatoes, olives and the rest of cheese. Also sprinkle some crushed red pepper if u like.

Place the pan in the preheated oven and cook for 20 minutes. Please note that the timing given here is according to my oven... please keep checking on the lasagna in between. I additionally broiled it for 2 mins to give it a nice brown colour. Yumm!

Serve hot as ur evening dinner. This dish needs no accompaniment.Enjoy :) and do give me ur suggestion and views..:).

Friday, May 20, 2011

Instant Oats Dosai

Oats Dosai, originally uploaded by gems7882.

After the fried stuff something guilt free and healthy...:D I made this for our evening tiffin yday and DH loved it so much that it ended up being our dinner...:P

I have tried Oats adai earlier but this was my first time making Oats Dosai and I was pleasantly surprised. I saw this recipe in some blog....(i dont remember which one now... will update once I get the blog name) long time ago.... it was very simple recipe and something i thought can be esily altered to our taste. I have tried this recipe only from my memory of wtever I remember.....so suggestions are welcome.

Here goes the recipe

Ingredients :

Rolled oats - 2 cups
buttermilk - 1/2 cup
Onion - 1 small finely chopped (optional)
water - 3/4 cup
Rice - 2 tbsp
Ragi flour - 4tbsp
Green chillies - 2
Cilantro - 1/2 cup chopped
Hing /asafoetida - 1/2 tsp
Black pepper - 1/4 tsp
salt to taste
jeera - 1 tsp

Method :

Soak the oats and rice along with the water and buttermilk and leave for 20 minutes. Please note that the water/buttermilk mix covers the oast completely.

Blend this oats mix in a mixer along with the ragi after 20 mins. Blend it into a fine batter.

Now add chopped green chillies, cilantro, jeera, hing, salt, onions(optional) and mix well.

Heat a tava/ griddle and make pancakes / dosai. Serve it hot with chutney. I did with lime pickle..Yumm!

Basil Corn Pakodi

Basil corn pakodi, originally uploaded by gems7882.

Rain pouring outside ur window.... you sitting near the big window and enjoying the rains with a cup of coffee some hot pakodis and with sweetheart. what else do u need? hmmm. I enjoying spending such romantic evening with my DH. I remeber how we used to enjoy evening like this when we were newly married. Somehow as time passes we start skipping and then missing these little moments of together.

The weather in LA has become weird these days. It is sunny n hot one day and the next days its complete opposite - cold and chilly... brrr.... I wish I get back the pleasant and sunny LA weather..:(. But until then we r enjoying this weather too...:) with hot hot pakodis..:P

This pakodi actually started with sweet corn vada recipe which my Mom-in-law had shared with me. I wanted to try it as I had some fresh corn on cob. But as I was making this batter for the vada I came across some fresh basil in the fridge which was almost on its death bed.. hmmm so in an attempt to use it I decided to make a pakodi instead of vada and add basil to it. The pakoda turned out so good.... tasty. My DH simply loved it...its a keeper in my recipe book... Yumm!

here goes the recipe.


Fresh corn on Cob - 2
Green chilli - 2
Ginger - 1 inch piece
Cilantro - 1/2 cup chopped
Frozen corn kernel - 1/4 cup (optional but preffered)
Onion - 1/2 cup chopped
Fresh basil - 1/2 cup chopped
rice flour - 1/4 cup
Cumin seeds - 1/3 tsp
saunf (fennel seeds) - 1/4 tsp (optional)
salt to taste

Method :

Cut the fresh corn kernels off the cob. You can check how to do it here. Tip - Well instead of a bundt pan u can use a big bowl and place a very small inverted bowl inside it..:) thats how I did it.

In a blender add the fresh corn and all the other ingredients except the frozen corn kernels and onions.The batter should be thick. Dont add more than a tbsp of water (only if needed). If u mixture becomes too liquidy u can add some cornflour or rice flour.

Now to the blended mixture add the frozen corn kernels and onion and mix well.

Heat oil on a medium heat. Put small nuggets of the batter. Fry till they r crisp and golden in colour. Your tasty basil corn Pakodi is ready ! Enjoy with a dash of tomato ketchup...:)

Monday, May 2, 2011

CousCous Halwa & Maitri - the Friendship Chain

Yoo-hoo I am part of the Maitri team!! The MAITRI Friendship chain is a network of cooks from USA and Canada.

Every blogger who joins the chain is linked with another blogger. Every blogger sends a mystery food item to 2 other bloggers....who in turn try a recipe with the ingredient and later blog about it. The chain continues this way. You can read more about it here.

Anyways my blogger mate was Nancy of Kitchen Gypsies....who was very very sweet to send me this cute little palm pet..:) Thank u so much Nancy We are loving it..:) and a packet of the mystery ingredient which I recognised immidiately to be "Couscous". Thank u Nancy.

I am so sorry I couldn't write this post earlier as I was away for a tiny weeny vacation. Now that I am back to routine and re-freshed, the best way of getting back is by a sweet treat. Yumm!

When I got my packet of couscous... I did some research on it. Couscous is a North African dish and actually is semolina (which I didnt know until now :O). The name is derived from Berber seksu[2] (meaning well rolled, well formed, rounded). You can check Wiki if u want to know more about it.

The recipe that came in my mind was "Couscous Salad" or something like vegetable Upma. I was discussing the same with my friend Lavi of Displaced housewife....who pointed out that there are many very few sweet dishes ever made with couscous. Hmmmm! Interesting...So that how I came up with this Couscous Halwa. And I am so glad I tried this sweet. It was delicious and so so tasty.

Here goes the recipe.

Ingredients :

Couscous - 1/2 cup
Sugar - 1/2 cup (we dont like it too sweet. You can add more if u like)
Cardamom Powder - 2 tsp
Ghee roasted Cashews & Almonds - 2 tbsp (small pieces)
ghee - 1 1/2 tbsp
Milk - 1/4 cup
Water - 3/4 cup (u may not need all of it)

Method :

In a saucepan add ghee and roast the couscous in it for 7-8 mins on medium heat or until its golden brown in color.

Add cardamom powder, sugar to the couscous and mix well. Add milk+water mix and stir well. Cover and cook until the couscous becomes dry yet binded together (halwa consistency). Off the gas and serve hot or cold. The yummy couscous Halwa is ready to be devoured.:)

Try it and enjoy it....!

If u find this post and this MAITRI chain interesting....why not join us. ...:) More the foodies more the fun...:)