Showing posts with label Weeknight meals. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Weeknight meals. Show all posts

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Lentil, quinoa and wheat fritters or savory pancakes

It is  crisp on the outside and soft inside, beautiful texture, whole sum, flavorful and super easy to make. I forgot to add - it is like a super food, really healthy. You can call this fritter or a savory pancake too. Created by your truly . If you do use this recipe or blog it, please link back, it takes lots of effort to develop recipes and I love link backs. :)
Lentil Quinoa, Fritters Savory, Pancakes, Healthy. Vegan, Simi Jois Photography
Lentil Quinoa, Fritters Savory, Pancakes, Healthy. Vegan, Simi Jois Photography

Lentil Quinoa, Fritters Savory, Pancakes, Healthy. Vegan, Simi Jois Photography
Am looking at my kitchen and wondering at the mess. I am not interested in spending my evening cleaning up the mess I just created, but I guess I have no option.  Rewind a decade ago and I  was a clean freak - proper things in proper place, all labeled, everything well organized. Somehow the mess does not bother me any more. Yesterday, I was shooting glass refection ( don’t ask why) and my neighbor just walked in. Instead of being embarrassed by the mess, I pulled the white diffuser cloth from the chair and made room for her to sit and we enjoyed a coup of tea over a bit of gossip ( a bit of gossip here and there is really healthy). Am so proud of myself, I have evolved. You think I am exaggerating - NO! My father-in-law once told me he does not like to sit in one place in my house,  he’s afraid I might dust him and probably place him with  curios. Thankfully that never happened, but my love for super clean has been replaced by reality check.

Evolved I have and somewhere I think it is all because I have found a creative outlet that I identify with. I have discovered myself. Small things don’t bother me, I don’t feel the need to prove myself to others - I just want to enjoy the journey. Wow ! I sound like a perfect angle….well, far from it. It was in September that I baked a cake for hub’s birthday - it was a new recipe and it fell apart and I did throw a mini tantrum that I was the worst cook ever. ( looks sheepishly )

Thankfully this is NOT a failed recipe and I just love it - total added bonus that it is super healthy.

Lentil Quinoa, Fritters Savory, Pancakes, Healthy. Vegan, Simi Jois Photography

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Saturday, January 24, 2015

Instant Rava Idli - the big Indian breakfast

#RavaIdli #InstantIdli #IndianBreakfast #Indian #SimiJoisPhotography

#RavaIdli #InstantIdli #IndianBreakfast #Indian #SimiJoisPhotography
As I entered the chatra ( marriage hall) I could smell jasmine, roses and sandle wood incense in the air. I fixed the pleats of my red and green kanjivaram sari, as my husband whispered to me, “ you are over dressed” . “ Absolutely not, this is a South Indian wedding, there is nothing called overdressed” was my quick response. I loved the scent of jasmine lingering in my hair, every traditional south Indian woman loves to adorn her hair with jasmine flowers, and I am no exception. We found a seat by a distant relative ( that’s the only face we recognized ) and sat there. Everyone seemed busy and occupied ….the bride’s father was busy talking to the guy serving kapi (coffee). A few cousins of the bride were shouting from the elevated stage like platform of the wedding, asking someone something in a tone of urgency. The old aunty next to me ( in India every elderly lady is an aunty and elderly man an uncle) was busy explaining her relation to the bride to another lady. The uncle next to my better half was telling my husband about his brother’s wife’s sister’s son who is also in Chicago and they are looking for a bride to fix an alliance.

In my twenties, I found it a waste of time and money…these lavish weddings….something changes when you hit the magic forties. I was soaking in all the colors, aroma chatter, and was loving every moment of the experience. From traditional kanjivarams to the most modern styles, it was all here, teens to elderly grandmas - all draped in rich colors of silk. My eyes were feasting, after living in the west for a long time ( especially midwest) you forget what color is….

The kapi man approached us and I was quick to take a glass of coffee. ( In South of India coffee is served in six ounce steel glass). It was pipping hot and absolutely delicious a perfect blend of coffee and chicory, I wanted a second, a third and a forth. It would look rather rude and greedy to take seconds and thirds I thought. Before I could plan for a strategy to pick up another glass, a man approached with a smile, “ breakfast banni” ( please come for breakfast) hubs and I exchanged smiling glances and got up, walking slowly to the dining hall….

There were rows of tables with fresh banana leaves and a glass of water ( talk of biodegradable disposable ) a few people were sitting and we found space near some young kids in there late teens. Hot rava idlis, chatni, kesari bhaat, hot upma and coffee… this is the stuff life is made of. As the server approached me he gave me a generous helping of 3 idlis and a lot of chutney…I did not refuse, I wanted it all. It is part of an Indian wedding to eat well to your hearts content, hospitality at its best, people asking for seconds thirds and forth with endless gallons of coffee.

Back on a cold winter snowy morning, when everything around me looked white, so pristine and beautiful. I thought of the colors, the idlis and the coffee. Frantically looked thru my recipes and found a handwritten recipe of rava idli. My sister had written it up for me ( Picture below) the year I got married, it seems like yesterday….

#RavaIdli #InstantIdli #IndianBreakfast #Indian #SimiJoisPhotography
Ilva, Sophia and myself are back with a similar themed post, this is our first one for 2015. Do visit their blogs to read about their favorite breakfast and gawk at the amazing images.

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Thursday, October 30, 2014

Seasonal Soup for Autumn

#Soup, #FallSoup, #AutumnSoup, #ComfortFood, #Recipe

#Soup, #FallSoup, #AutumnSoup, #ComfortFood, #Recipe

This is going to be a picture heavy post, I have been going crazy with fall colors and fallen leaves. Every time my husband and I go for a walk, am stopping for pictures ….everytime! He even asked me, don’t you get bored of taking the same picture…my response the light is different, it’s not same. I don’t think he gets it but pretends otherwise. You don’t want to mess with ’the wife’

Just yesterday, my family was looking for me, I thought I had told them that I will be in the yard, but apparently no one heard. The beautiful tree in our backyard was calling my name  …I was there for 10 minutes but I was told that it was 40. I have never been good with numbers :)  I did not know I was being photographed.  Here is me taking pictures of the beautiful tree.

This month Ilva, Sophia and myself thought of doing a soup for the monthly post that we do together. I am horribly terribly late ( by a week ) Ilva and Sophia already posted their’s, you must check it out. Absolute yumminess. Thanks girls for your patience and hope to do it on time in November.

#Soup, #FallSoup, #AutumnSoup, #ComfortFood, #Recipe

#Soup, #FallSoup, #AutumnSoup, #ComfortFood, #Recipe #Soup, #FallSoup, #AutumnSoup, #ComfortFood, #Recipe

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Thursday, October 9, 2014

Simple everyday pilaf

#PilafRecipe #SimpleEverydayPilaf #IndianPilaf #Recipe #SJPhotography
 Neel from Learn food Photography hosted a free food photography work shop sometime in September, like last year I took the plunge.  I met some amazing photographers and made some good friends, after all it was 30 days of working together and lots of inspiration and interaction. There are about 500 plus members in this group and somehow you  end up ‘connecting’ with some people.

 I met Krystallia through this workshop and by met, I mean, met online. We seem to like similar images,…I don’t know what it was, but we became friends.  Krys asked me to do a guest post on her blog ‘My Cooking Secrets’ , we started brainstorming about ideas, The time difference of eight hours did not come in our way, we were chatting till midnight. I asked her to tell me a little about herself,  other than photography,…. “My favorite moto is ‘’DO NOT WASTE FOOD, there is always a way to CREATE a dish from scratch’’. Seriously it was like my mom talking, I grew up on that….wasting food was unheard of and you eat what you get. I knew why we had become friends, we talked about a lot of things about Greek food, about real food, local foods and why we both started blogging, she said, “I didn' t set out to be a food photographer, let alone a blogger. I was previously an executive secretary and account assistant. When I got married and moved to Malta I focused on what I loved most. To create recipes, promote the Greek cuisine and inspire people to cook. My blog was the perfect way to combine my creative interests, yet it made me feel incredibly happy, so I ran with it.” Two women thousands of miles apart, who have never seen each other ( Krys, better put up a profile picture on FB), yet had so much in common. At the end of the day we are all the same under the skin and we relate to similar emotions. Krys is so passionate about her food, it percolates to her blog. Her enthusiasm and passion is surely contagious. Thanks so much Krys for your friendship and all the energy you bring to the blogging world.

Krys had a few questions…over to her to read the informal chat.

#PilafRecipe #SimpleEverydayPilaf #IndianPilaf #Recipe #SJPhotography

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Monday, September 8, 2014

Wild Black Rice n’ Pumpkin Masala

Browsing through the grain section of the grocery store, my eyes fell on long shiny black rice, that was labeled wild rice. I was drawn to it like an artist is drawn to paint. I felt it with my hands, it was slippery and shiny and had extremely long grains, for a minute it looked too perfect, as though it was pieces of ebony that were hand polished. It made it’s way home with me and it lay on the pantry shelf for weeks. I was beginning to get skeptical, even thou I cook brown rice but my true love is pure white basmati:long aromatic grains of rice. A girl who likes her rice pure white, has here in her hand deep black shiny rice. Being attracted to black shiny long grains is one thing, eating it is another.

I took the plunge and put out some water to boil. Waited for 20 minutes, it smelled nothing like white rice. Very, very strong nutty aroma, and when I say strong, I mean really very strong. Something, told me this was not for me, with lot of inner courage I tasted the almost raw rice that was boiling away on the gas stove, I loved the crunch. First there was a crunch then a bit soft…. The aroma of the rice boiling in the water, grew on me, but definitely not my favorite. The taste: I really liked. It sat on the gas stove for 40 minutes, and barely cooked. Out came the pressure cooker and in went the rice - 3 whistles later there was nutty, aroma-less black rice. It’s has a strong flavor, so for me it is definitely not the main ingredient in the dish.  It really pairs well with pumpkin and together they can make a great tasting side. One cups makes almost two and a half cups, so keep that in mind when you cook it. 

#BlackWildRice #PumpkinNWildRice #Recipe #MasalaWildRice
#BlackWildRice #PumpkinNWildRice #Recipe #MasalaWildRice

#BlackWildRice #PumpkinNWildRice #Recipe #MasalaWildRice

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Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Curried Noodles

#CurriedNoodles #SpicyNoodles

My friends often think that, as a food blogger, I never run out of creative ideas. My teen is the luckiest as there is always something new cooking in my kitchen. Well, to tell you the truth, my home is like any other home on this planet. Every day, the same question is repeated: "What’s for dinner?" After my response, I usually hear a disgruntled plea to eat something different (read "better"). Yesterday’s favorite is today’s "boring", so it’s not an easy game to win, and I’m sure that all my readers can relate to that. There is a good amount of thought involved in creating a menu, and this process can seem daunting at times. Yes, I love to whip up a meal from scratch, but then there are days when you really don’t want to spend a lot of time in your kitchen. This definitely does not mean that you compromise on taste. My ardent fans and strongest critics are my teen and my better half as they propel me to pursue new adventures in the kitchen. I was really excited when Campbell approached me to develop a recipe from their cooking soups or make one from their existing list of recipes.  If you have picky eaters at home, you need to check out you will be pleasantly surprised by the options available.

I went on to check out the website and I was happy to find numerous options for everyday meals. When I started browsing through the recipes, my mind started to churn out creative ideas.  I felt like the possibilities were endless, and I eventually came up with a recipe. Creamy curried noodles made from the Cream of Celery soup by Campbell. I got a thumbs up from my "ardent fans." Don’t forget to check out Campbell's kitchen.

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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Baked Aubergine

#BakedAubergine #BakedBrinjal  #BAkedSpicyBrinjal  #BakedPasta  #BAked VEggiePasta

#BakedAubergine #BakedBrinjal  #BAkedSpicyBrinjal  #BakedPasta  #BAked VEggiePasta

Aubergine or eggplant, remind me of my childhood. I have loved roasted eggplant  (baigan ka bharta) with my rotis. Coming back from school on cold winter afternoons, baigan ka bharta and hot rotis was a treat that I would not miss. The smell of wheat roasting on the girdle is still fresh in my mind. The charm to sit on the kitchen ledge, feet dangling, with fresh food and stories to probably my most cherished memory from childhood. Every time I go back, I try to re-live that's not half as magical as then. Homework was never my priority, it was eating lunch, narrating my stories to mom and then running off to Parul's house. Sunset was like a silent bell that beckoned me to get home. Almost always, before dad could get home...and then the realization of reality aka homework.

Finally teen is not crazy about  baigan ka bharta, however this is one of her favorites. I really don't blame her, if I were given a choice between the two, even thou am a die hard bharta fan, it would be very hard for me to pick one. You could just roast the eggplant without dunking it in pasta sauce, or cook in the pasta sauce. I occasionally break an egg on the roasted eggplant and boy! that's awesome too.

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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Tomato Fettuccine and Cherry Tomato Starters

This week has been really busy, I have a pile of things that I need to complete and unless I get super human powers overnight, there is no way it will get done.  I have some 8 posts in the draft and I have not had time to sit down and pen the write-ups, it is my dream to have some publish ready post in the draft for busy hectic weeks.   It is not going to be a reality any time soon.

Let me ignore the mile long to-do list for now, am excited to share this recipe with you guys, yesterday I got some fresh organic tomatoes from Wholesum Harvest and I was super excited to photograph these beauties and to use them. Tomatoes indeed make my world go round, it's just the perfect subject for photography, they are bright, they take light so well... you cannot go wrong with it. Since, the time I had seen Deeba's ( from Passionate about Baking) home-grown tomatoes in the LFP ( Learn Food Photography)  community my heart was set on capturing these cuties. Some of these pictures are inspired by Deeba, Thanks Deeba !  Also, thanks to  Wholesome Harvest for giving me the opportunity to use these organic produce.  I got  two varieties cherry and tomato on the vine (tov) which is their signature tomato. No guesses on why it is there signature tomato. It is from their brand new greenhouse in Amado, Arizona. These tomatoes are fresh, juicy and full of flavor, and organic. Enjoyed cooking and eating!

I made two three recipes from them. With the cherry I made a cute cheery, mozzarella and basil starter. I had seen these a while ago on Pinterest.

The second one is a fettucini made from a dried tomato pesto and fresh tov.

The third one, is a simple salad with tomatoes, basil and a vinaigrette of balsamic, curry powder, brown sugar and olive oil. Unfortunately, I do not have pictures as I ate the salad up, it was so tasty and tempting ( sheepishly). It started with one bite and before I knew it...  I wanted to take some shots today, but too many things going on, so I will take some pictures as soon as I can and update it on the post.

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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Baked spinach curry

I love greens and if you tell me to eat them everyday - I certainly can ! As a matter of fact, I love all veggies and was never really a picky eater...I need my food to look good and yes taste good  (duh!). Am glad I don't have picky eaters at home, but very critical people ( raising an eyebrow) by very I mean very....!! They ( I mean both of you two people, who read my blog and live with me - yes BOTH  ) critical only in the context of food. The bright side, when something is super delicious, they shower me with compliments that could last for weeks and it get's embarrassing when we are outside and even after repeated pleas to dial in down ...they don't ! I know it's cute but a bit embarrassing when we are out.  Yesterday, when I baked them the spinach n eggs, they loved it - just makes me so happy.  I was a bit skeptical at first finally teen said "I love it, am not sure dad will"  but looks like this baked dish is here to stay in my household, hope you guys enjoy it as much as we did and they are going to rave about it for days or even weeks :)

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Friday, November 16, 2012

Tamarind Rice / Puliyogare

For once, I am kind of sad that it's Friday! Have had week long Diwali celebrations, followed by my special day. Thanks to my family and friends, for making my day extra special. I am glad to be surrounded by people who love me for who I am... tons of phone calls, texts, emails and surprise 'ringings' of the doorbell. I am so thankful!

It's amazing that what started as a food blog has become such a huge part of me. My week is incomplete if I do not share my jabbering with you. At first I thought that I was not going to blog about my big day but then... my fingers just typed and when I read it, I could only smile.When I started the blog, I did not know what to write, what to share, and how much to share. Now, writing here is like talking to a best friend. I am so glad, I found my voice. Thanks, guys, for hearing me jabber. And no, I am not sharing my age ;)

Going back to what's cooking...Puliyogare is a family recipe that has been passed down to me by my mother and my mother-in-law. It is one of those recipes that brings back memories and does tie all the generations together. It used to be my dad's favorite and it is also "finally teen's" absolute favorite. A dish that all of us enjoy as a quick weeknite meal and it is almost always a part of elaborate spread during festivals or wedding in the south of India. There are so many recipes that come to my mind when I talk about heritage dishes or family recipes.....but I think this one wins hands down. Am sure a lot of you have different versions of the same things, please feel free to leave a link, I would love to see the variations. 

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Friday, July 6, 2012

The Vegi burger cook-off and grapefruit-cranberry-lemonade

Summer, grill and burgers are almost synonymous. OK, not synonymous, but you get the idea. It has been over a 100 degrees for the past couple of weeks here in  Midwestern USA. No matter how much we love summer and food, there was no way my other half was going to go outside and grill (well, neither was I). Now, it is a different story as to how he can go out  and fly his RC planes on even the hottest of days. But then again, neither was I in the mood to play the perfect sous chef, moving in and out the house. Mr other half loves to have things at arm's length when he is cooking and insists that I, as the sous chef, wait on him. You get the picture. It's just easier for me to do it! So, I got my cast iron grill pan out and no one was sweating!
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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Frankie/kathi rolls

Mumbai has always had a special place in my heart, I have never lived there but spent a good chunk of my summer vacations in Mumbai - every year,as far back as I can remember.  My mother's family home was always filled with people, good food and the sound of chatter. We had so much to share,  there was never a dull moment . Despite the heat, we would always be outside, shopping or eating.  I don't think any one of us realized how hot it was, the cool evening breeze with the smell of the sea is something I can never forget and brings back great memories. Day or night - Mumbai streets are full of life - this one to the city - that never sleeps :) :)

Street food - bhel, pani puri, kachori, samosa...  you name it. The first time I tasted Frankie was in Mumbai and absolutely fell in love with this spicy roll.....since then must have consumed a few hundred dozen of them - still can't get enough.

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Thursday, February 23, 2012

Hot Asparagus Soup and a cold

It does not feel great if you are down with a cold, specially if you have lost your voice  - for a person like me who thinks verbal expression as a medium of art, its not the best thing. The only things that are making me feel somewhat better are hot soups, chais and sympathy calls from friends and family. Well it sounds worse than it is - literally I sound like a frog with laryngitis. After looking around for some quick soup recipes, found this one here, tweaked it a bit for my taste. The result - nice creamy soup, quick to make and a meal on a cold day like today. 

1 pound fresh asparagus
1 large chopped white onion
2 cups vegetable broth
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp all purpose flour
salt to taste
ground black pepper
1 tsp lemon juice
1/4 cup parmesan cheese (optional)
spring onions finely chopped for garnish (optional)
pinch turmeric - good for cold
chili oil for garnish (optional)

In a saucepan saute the onions and asparagus, add 1 1/2 cups vegetable stock, salt and lower the heat, cover til the onions and asparagus are cooked.

Put the vegi mix in the blender and puree until smooth - texture shld be creamy. Use caution using hot liquids in blender.

In the same sauce pan roux* the flour with butter. Add 1/2 cup of vegi broth and the puree vegetables, whisk some lemon juice and pepper and garnish with Parmesan or spring onions or some chili oil. Serve hot!!

Roux (pronounced "roo") is a thickening agent for soups and sauces with roots dating back more than 300 years in French cuisine.
Made by cooking a flour and oil paste until the raw flavor of the flour cooks out and the roux has achieved the desired color, a properly cooked roux imparts silky-smooth body and a nutty flavor while thickening soups and sauce. - taken from

To make a roux - heat butter in a saucepan, lower the flame add the flour and roast the flour - you will get rid of the raw flour smell. Make sure it is white, ( you cld have a darker color roux - but not for this soup). Enjoy !! Have a wonderful weekend :)

Joining at the "soup it up" party hosted by Nupur and  Kalyani  And "Gimmie green" hosted by Chef Al dente- all the best for your first blog event :)

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Monday, February 20, 2012

Pongal - Rice and lentil porridge

Thanks to my sister for designing the new header.Thank you sista. Flashback to childhood, I remember as a child I was always asked to go to my sister for homework help and seriously I always felt it was like timeout - some how, she made things look harder then it was. I don't now how when or where things changed and now when ever am in doubt I  reach out to her, somehow she makes things look so simple. It is amazing how perspective change with time.  And thank God they do.

 I have never been a picky eater but neither  the kind to be pleased with everything on the table and I was very vocal about my disappointments. It amazes me to think - pongal which was top on my list of  "what I don't want for dinner" has moved to the other side.I enjoy the one pot meal - it's a wonderful meal for a busy weeknight. Love the way it turns out in a crock pot.

For those of you who are new to this - pongal is a  savory rice and lentil porridge, a traditional South Indian delicacy, named after the festival Pongal -  It is a  four-day festival of thanksgiving to nature, which takes its name from the Tamil word 'pongal' meaning "boiling over" signifying abundance and plenty.  It is celebrated in the month of Thai (January-February) Jan 14th to be specific, during the season when rice and other cereals,  are harvested. 

There is a sweet version of pongal too, but for today savory is the flavor of the day !! Served with some tomato chutney . 

For Pongal 

1 cup Rice
3/4 cup Moong daal (split)

For seasoning
1/2 tbs crushed black pepper
3-4 cloves
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1-2 green chili split
3-4 curry leaves
2 tbsp ghee or more :)
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp asafoetida
salt to taste

Wash the rice and daal and roast it in 1 tbsp of clarified butter or ghee. In a crockpot add the rice and daal with 4 cups water and salt.

In a small sauce pan add the remaining ghee, add mustard - here it pop add the cumin , cloves, pepper crushed, green chili, curry leaves and asafoetida in the order. Add it to the crock pot and turn it on to high - 4 hrs !!  If you like your pongal more on the dry side reduce the water and the cooking time, I prefer mine, a porridge consistency. Serve how with a dollop of ghee and tomato chutney.

Finally spring seems like it is almost around the corner or is it ? Am yearning to get to the yard and get my hands dirty - literally. But for now I look at the frozen tomatoes from last season, this is the last batch I have, tucked away in my freezer. Frozen or fresh whatever you prefer.
2 large tomatoes finely chopped
1 tsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard
1 tsp cumin seed
1 tbsp rasam powder
1 tbsp crushed jaggery or  brown sugar
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp tamarind juice
salt to taste

In a sauce pan add the oil followed by mustard - here it pop, add cumin, green chili and curry leaves add the chopped fresh tomatoes or frozen along with salt and jaggery and bring to a boil. Close the lid and simmer for 10-15 min . Add the tamarind, stir and serve with pongal.

Submitting for the event - walk through memory lane  hosted by Gayathri. Thank you !!

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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Akki Rotti - A south Indian flat bread.

 I don't know about others but am addicted to akki rotti, have had it for bfast , lunch and a snack and yes all in one day. :) :) ( sheepish ) Those of you who are familiar with this crunchy, spicy n savory flat bread from Karnataka will agree with me - there is NO way you can stop after one meal that is !! For the others you got to try it to know what am talking about. Love it in the cold winter months with a cup of filter coffee.

Had a friend over last week, we were planning to go out for lunch - till she complained that she has not tasted anything from my blog for ages,  well had to whip up something fast. After throwing a few names of dishes, without hesitation she picked akki rotti akki rotti it is coffee, chit chat, hot steaming savory flat bread . No place like home and nothing like home made !!

You will need

rice flour - 2-3 cups
red onions - 1 big finely chopped
bunch of fenugreek leaves finely chopped and steamed
cumin - 1 tbsp
green chilies 4-5 or as per taste - i like mine spicy
dessicated coconut 1/4 cup
cilantro small bunch finely chopped
salt to taste

 Mix all the above with water till you form a smooth dough, everything except the oil. In a shallow preferably round pan - which is COLD pour 1 tsp oil, take a round ball of the dough ( tennis ball size) using your fingers pat the dough on the pan evenly till it covers the surface area of the pan, make sure it is thin and even. Now turn on the heat on high and close the pan for 2 min, open the pan and make sure the bread is cooked nice and crunchy, turn - leave for a min or so. Serve with butter and chatni pudi  or just plain butter and don't forget the hot coffee!!

When you make the next rotti make sure you wash the pan with cold running water, so the pan is cold and you don't burn your fingers while patting the dough.

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Wednesday, October 19, 2011


"October is the fallen leaf, but it is also a wider horizon more clearly seen. It is the distant hills once more in sight and the enduring constellations above them once again. " (author- unknown) We have had more sunny days in October with temp in 80s then ever..... !! I loved it ...walking barefoot on the neatly manicured law ....watering my chrysanthemums ( they got dry that's how warm it was).  I love October as much as I love summer ....the changing colors and a little nip in the air oh so has been extra special with the warm sunshine....did I say i am spoilt !
The last weekend was fun packed with birthdays and parties spending time with friends. I Love it when I am in the company of good food and great friends. Friends ......who love you for who you are and you are just comfortable with them..!! This one is for - MY FRIENDS - giving me constant encouragement for everything I do or want to do. I know you guys love bruschetta :) :)

 You will need

1/2 a loaf of sour dough bread  sliced- serves 4-6
tomatoes ( these were home grown so extra special)
Basil dried or fresh
pepper jack cheese or cheese of your choice
marjoram ( you'll love the sweet aroma )
evov 5-6 tbsp
freshly ground pepper
spring onions- optional
roasted pineapple topping or habanero -(home made or store bought) - for topping

Pre-heat oven to 375F. Spray olive oil over baking sheet, arrange the sour dough slices.Drizzle some olive oil on each slice. Layer the cheese on each followed by tomatoes, spring onions and the spices. Bake for 12-15 min or till cheese begins to just melt. Cool on rack. top it with some habanero and fresh ground pepper. Serve warm as a snack or as a starter with your favorite soup.

  Bruschetta (pronounced "brusketta") is a wonderful way to capture the flavors of ripe home grown tomatoes, fresh garden basil!

Home grown tomatoes :)
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Monday, September 26, 2011

Oats Pilaf

I am glad summer is over and I am back trying to get back to routine. Even though I love summer, nothing gets done during summer.  This year even more as my sister was visiting me  ...(explains my long absence from blogosphere). It was wonderful was like running a marathon, shopping, cooking, eating out, sightseeing, more shopping and endless chit chat. Now that she is back having big time withdrawal symptoms....can't wait till I see her again......and we do our shopping marathon. :) :) !!

Well I did a lot of cooking this summer but unfortunately there was no time for pictures and when I did take pictures they were not the best to say the least. The most disappointing was a wonderful upside down pineapple cake I baked, so colorful......well...... :( : ( will have to wait till I bake it again!  The Oats Pilaf is something new I tried and the verdict - will make it again!!

1 cup : old fashioned oats
1/3 rd cup : bell peppers chopped in small cubes
1/3 cup : onion finely chopped
1/3 rd cup : other vegetables like carrot peas, beans : finely chopped - optional
3/4 cup butter milk ( very watery consistency)

1 tbsp: oil
1/2 tsp :mustard seed
1/2 tsp cumin seed
salt to taste
juice of 1/2 lime
1/2  tbsp biryani masala

In a saucepan heat oil, add mustard and let it splatter now add cumin and after the cumin is fried add the onion and roast till it is golden brown add the bell pepper and the rest of the vegetables -  saute, add the butter-milk bring to a boil, add the oats and let it boil for 2-3 min, close the lid and let it sit for 5-7 min. make sure there is no more water left then add salt, biryani masala and juice of lemon stir well and garnish with cilantro :) serve hot

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