January 25, 2013

Carrots with Red Pepper Hummus

Wow! Finally I made  my hummus...my Sweeeet redpepper hummus.Few days back my colleague and I went to  Jason's deli . We  went there  to try their  salads because we heard a lot about their salad bar and just seen about everyone enjoy it in my office.And true to what I heard and saw, the salad bar was really quite  excellent with an amazing assortment of  veggies , pastas ,dressings, nuts  and all kinds of healthy stuff. On top of this the service was very friendly.This is where I eat this hummus and fell in love with it. I definitely wanted to try this at home and browsed a gazillion recipes in the Net and most hummus recipes were more or less like the one I have below. Some recipes called for anywhere between 1 to 3 cloves of garlic.But I felt even 1 clove of garlic was too pungent.So my suggestion would be to use just a half garlic clove.


chickpeas- 16 oz
tahini paste- 2 tblsp(Storebought or homemade--Toast sesame seeds just for few min in a fry pan and make a paste with enough vegetable oil. Tip: Need not toast until sesame seeds turn brown.)
garlic- 1/2 clove
olive oil - 1/4 cup
roasted red peppers - 2 nos(lenghty red  peppers)
salt - 1/2 tsp
blackpepper- 1/2 tsp

Blend all the above ingredients in a food processor or blender to a smooth,creamy texture.
Serve with vegetables like
carrot sticks,
yellow or red peppers or more snacks like tortilla chips


January 16, 2013

The Italian Cook Book The Art of Eating Well by Maria Gentile

Foodies Read Challenge 2013
I dont know why I picked this book..may be this book was a Kindle freebie:-) Nah! Before I picked this book I had been to the library to see if I could find some good books and after much browsing and walking on the library floors I excitedly collected all my much hopeful books and went to the counter to be thrown into a surprise. Hmm.. I was asked to become a paid member. Suddenly I became a non resident. Anyway long story short I gave up all those books and ended up with my Kindle freebie book. Anyway that's the short story behind my first challenge book called 'Italian Cooking Art of Eating' by Maria Gentile . This cookbook is based from the 1920's or 1919 to be exact. It made  a pretty good read for a silent Friday evening . Learnt few Italian words if not a whole lot of recipes because most of the recipes were meat based and since I am a vegetarian it was incredibly hard for me to really bury myself into this book like I do with other vegetarian books.Most of the recipes were short, unembellished, cut the chase kinda recipes and would make perfect sense to the veteran Italian cook.

Some recipes that struck a chord with me,

Fried Eggplants(Melanzane Fritte)
Stuffed Tomatoes(Pomodori Ripieni)
Basic sauces like Tomato Sauce(Salsa di Pomidoro)
Some fruit based desserts ,puddings,cakes and syrups also  made an interesting read

Here are a few Italian  fun foodie words..to tickle your brain!!

Soups- Zuppa
Vegetables -
peas-Piselli/Spinach-Spinaci/Tomatoes- Pomodori/Onions- Cipolle/Cauliflower-cavolfiore/Cabbage- cavolo/Eggplants-melanzane
Omlette-frittata/ frying-fritto,Fried-fritte/Paste- pastella/Oven- forno/Icecream -gelato/Sauce- salsa

January 10, 2013

Foodies Read Challenge - Sous Chef Level

" Foodies Read sounds like a very interesting challenge to me and I am going to go to the library this weekend to  pick  some good food books and get started to read... Thanks Vicki for hosting this CHALLENGE! My list is currently empty but my goal is to read a food book a month and post about it!!! So here goes!! Interested bloggers and non-bloggers are welcome to join the bandwagon with me...



December 29, 2012

Idli Time

I have been making Idli for 10 years now  and it is suprising that I didn't post this recipe much sooner.  Anyway that being said,I have been thinking to finish this year with a good blog post  and all of a sudden Idli pops  in my mind not because of the fluffy Idli batter sitting in my fridge :) or if it is the easiest thing to make for dinner...Sh!!

Here's how I make the Idli


Idly rice -4 cups
Urad dhal - 1 cup
Fenugreek seeds -10
poha or  rice flakes - a handful
salt - 3 tsp

Soak the rice and dal separately in water  overnight. Add the fenugreek and poha to the dal itself. Next day grind the dal to a frothy texture for about 30 min in a  grinder with sufficient water. Transfer to a big stock pot(I use 8.0 Qt/7.6Ltr). Grind the soaked idli rice for about 45 min to a fine paste making sure water is added at intervals until the end as rice has a tendency to become thick if less water is added or too thin if more water is added, so the right amount of water should be added to the rice while grinding. Add salt during the grinding process itself. Once the rice has reached a fine consistency it is time to transfer it  to the vessel with the dal. Use your hand to mix the rice and dal batter. Leave the batter out in the big vessel to ferment until next day if it is summer or 2 days if it is winter. Cold winter temperatures does not help with the fermentation process,  but what I have discovered is using Tupperware containers helps  fermentation greatly during winter.


March 26, 2010

Sprouted Mung Bean Curry

Soaking beans and sprouting them requires a bit of patience or a bit more patience to get it right. I had tough time sprouting my mung beans because of the quality of beans. From one cup of beans, I got only a half cup's worth of fully soaked and sprouted beans ie about 2 cups of sprouted beans. Well the rest of the beans went right into the trash. Anyway a very good recipe that inspired me to make this curry is from the very popular online cooking show 'ShowmetheCurry'. I have modified this recipe according to the ingredients in my pantry and the result was a very yummy,delicious and a tasty curry that I am going to experiment with other sprouted beans varieties too.
sprouted mung beans - 2 cups
curry leaves - 4 leaves
salt - to taste
Masala paste
mustard -1/4 tsp
fenugreek- 5 or 6
pepper corns - 6 or 7
red chillies-3
tomato -1
In a frying pan add little oil and heat it. Now add the above ingredients in the given order. Add to the blender when they are all well fried. Proceed to step 2.

step 2
hing- a pinch
turmeric-1/4 tsp
sweet onion - 1 med
Wipe the frying pan clean and now add little oil.Heat the oil. Add hing,turmeric and the chopped sweet onion.Saute well and combine this 'step 2' mixture and 'step 1' mixture in the blender. Add 70z (I used half of 13.5oz can which is 6.75 oz )of coconut milk to the blender and blend the ingredients to a fine paste. Keep the masala paste aside.
Cook sprouted mung in the pressure cooker for 2 whistles. While cooking, add half a cup of water to the sprouts. Dont add more, since it will make the sprouts mushy. When the sprouts are done, add the paste ,water(about 2 cups approx), few curry leaves and salt to taste. Simmer the curry for about 5 to 7 min. Delicious curry is ready to serve along with rice or chappathis.
I am so happy that this post will be eligible for Susan's MLLA (My Legume Love Affair)Event, hosted this month by Sowjanya of Ruchikacooks.

March 15, 2010

Navarathna Kurma

This is a kurma that I make quite often at home. My hubby likes this kurma with rice very much and a combination which I totally detest. I can consume this kurma with almost any tiffin item like puri,dosa or chappathi but I just can't imagine eating with rice. But one thing that completely excites me is that Iam sending this post to Nupur's Blog bites event. This is an event that challenges bloggers to use pressure cookers,rice cookers and slow cookers and attempt recipes from another blog. Here is my humble attempt at doing just that. I have followed the recipe from Solai Chidambaram madam's blog.(Pls click the link to go to the recipe) She has a huge collection of veg and non-veg Chettinad recipes and a huge fan base too. My hubby found this website and asked me if I could make this kurma for him and after reading this recipe I wanted to do this immediately because of the easy way she explains this recipe. And here goes the recipe....

Masala Paste

Coconut grated-4 to 5 table spoons or half coconut
Chutney dhal-1 tablespoon
Poppy seeds-1 teaspoon (optional)
Garlic-6 pods
Ginger-a small piece
Cinnamon-1 small piece
Fennel seeds-1 teaspoon
Green chilli-6(according to taste)
Keep the kadai in the stove. In a teaspoon of oil add the cinnamon, cardamom, clove and fennel seeds. Then add all other items one by one and coconut at the end. Fry in medium fire for 3 minutes. Grind it to a smooth paste.

In a pressure cooker heat some oil. Season oil with spices like cinnamon, cardamom, clove and fennel seed. Add chopped onion(1) and tomato(1) pieces.Saute well.Add vegetables of your choice.Do not add more than 1 1/2 cups of veggies. Pour some water along with some salt and a tsp of chilli powder. Close the pressure cooker and cook until the steam escapes or until the veggies are cooked well. It is time to add the ground paste with a cup of water along with remaining salt.Add cauliflower and cooked peas now.Cook for 5 min and if you feel the curry is thick add water to dilute it or just leave it as such. This is such an easy dish that can be prepared less than 30 min.

February 25, 2010

BBJ (Blue Berry Jam) Toast

These are the same blueberries I was talking about a few days back while making my Blueberry crumble cake. I got them on sale and now I can buy them whenever they are on sale because I can make two perfect items from these bluey blueberries. One is the crumble cake and another is this glossy jam which uses a whole lot of blueberries. I am waiting to find a good recipe for blueberry muffins too but still havent formulated one or even browsed for one. If you guys come across one good recipe please do pass me the link.. My toddler son just loves muffins..especially banana nut muffins.Those are his favorite. Whenever I make it, I dont have to give it to him,he helps himself by opening the fridge and taking it. I have to just nuke a little.So friends, if you find a good recipe for blueberry muffins please do pass it on to me.

blueberries - 1 pint
sugar - 1 cup
juice of half a lemon
  1. Grind blueberries to an almost smooth paste.
  2. Heat a stockpot. Add blueberries and sugar to the stock pot.
  3. Now let the mixture heat up and bubble slowly for about 15 min making sure the temp is med. The reason for keeping medium temp is taking care not to burn the jam.
  4. Now add the lemon juice and let it bubble for another 20 - 25 min.
  5. Remove from heat and after few min the jam will be set.
  6. While making bread toast, apply a layer of butter on the bread,then spread the blueberry jam for a nice,delicious taste.