Stir fried mushroom and bell peppers with mixed herbs

Who doesn’t like the subtle aroma of mixed Italian herbs especially when you are only interested to eat something which is flavorsome? I just love mixing herbs in dishes which are stir fried and served mostly as starters. The best part of herbs is they don’t overpower the real flavors of the main ingredients like vegetables or chicken or any other kind of meat. In fact herbs enhance the taste of any dish by adding their sheer magic to it.

Bell peppers and mushroom is a really good combination I ever came across in my entire cooking journey so far. So let’s begin with the recipe and see how you can also prepare the same and share the joy with others.

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Ingredients:

  • Bell peppers 1 yellow and 1 red
  • Button Mushrooms 6
  • Mixed herbs 1 table spoon (Thyme, Rosemary, and Oregano)
  • Garlic 4 cloves
  • Salt to taste
  • Black pepper 1 tea spoon
  • Lime juice of half lime
  • Butter 2 table spoons
  • Olive oil 1 table spoon
  • Spring onion ½ cup
  • Coriander leaves for garnishing

Method:

Wash the mushrooms thoroughly under running water.

Chop the mushrooms, bell peppers, spring onions, and garlic.

In a skillet, put butter and olive oil and heat it. Now add garlic and sauté till it become a little bit soft.

Now add mushrooms in the butter and garlic and stir properly. Add a little salt so that mushroom will leave water and gets cooked in the same moisture.

Now add bell peppers and spring onions, salt, black pepper and yes most importantly mixed Italian herbs.

Cover the skillet with a lid for 5 minutes till the vegetables are cooked.

After five minutes, open the skillet and serve the dish but yes before serving don’t forget to adding dash of lime juice and garnishing the dish with coriander leaves.

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Green peas with crumbled cottage cheese

Today when I was planning to cook a dish using green peas and cottage cheese for lunch, I had only one thought in my mind and that was making Mutter Paneer. But then another thought crossed my mind that was making Mutter Paneer is so mundane! With this thought I pondered a bit more and then got an idea to make Green peas with crumbled cottage cheese or Paneer. It is a slight variation of  Mutter Paneer and you don’t need many ingredients to prepare the same.

See the recipe below:

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Ingredients:

  • Green Peas 100 gms
  • Paneer 100 gms
  • Cumin seeds 1 tea spoon
  • Red chili powder 1 tea spoon
  • Turmeric powder 1 tea spoon
  • Garam Masala 1 tea spoon
  • Ginger and Garlic paste 1 table spoon
  • Tomato 1
  • Coriander powder 1 tea spoon
  • Oil 1 table spoon
  • Butter 1 table spoon
  • Salt to taste
  • Sugar to balance the taste
  • Lime juice 1 tea spoon

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Method:

Peel the green peas and keep them aside.

Halve the tomato, remove the seed part and cut into long slices.

Now in a wok heat oil and butter and then add cumin seeds.

After the cumin seeds are spluttered, add the green peas and cover the wok with a lid.

Reduce the flame of the gas and let the peas cook on slow fire.

After 5 minutes, open the lid of the wok and see if the peas are tender.

Now add all the dry spices one by one and also add the ginger and garlic paste.

Add salt and sugar for taste.

Now add chopped tomato and 2 -4 table spoon of water so that all the spices are we coated with peas and tomato.

Now crumble the paneer with your hand and add that into the peas and mix everything together.

After 5 minutes, switch off the gas and add lime juice in the dish and serve hot.

Egg Shakshuka

The best part of being a foodie is that you try different kind of cuisines and dishes from different continents which are popular among various ethnic groups. Middle East is one such region in the world where dishes combine the flavors from countries like Israel, Lebanon, Morocco, Syria and Egypt. This region also gave the world the best ingredient and that is Olive. Believe me dishes made in the olive oil are considered the most nutritious and delicious as well.

I know one such recipe which I make quite usually when I am bored of eating the normal Indian food. Egg Shakshuka! This dish stole my heart when I tried it in one of the restaurants which serves food from Middle East region. I did little research on the internet and found the perfect recipe to make Egg Shakshuka. Sharing the same below.

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Ingredients:

  • Eggs 2
  • Onion 1
  • Garlic 2 cloves
  • Tomatoes 2
  • Tomato puree ½ cup
  • Red bell peppers ½ half cup
  • Olive oil 2 table spoons
  • Red chili powder ½ tea spoon
  • Sugar 1 tea spoon
  • Salt to taste
  • Chopped spring onion leaves for garnishing

Method:

First in a thick bottom skillet heat olive oil.

Now add chopped onion and garlic and let them turn translucent.

Now add chopped tomatoes and add salt, sugar and red chili powder. Stir everything and cover the skillet with a lid.

After five minutes, remove the lid and add tomato puree. Stir well and after 2 minutes add finely chopped bell peppers. Cover the skillet with lid again for 2 mins.

Now make two wells in the gravy and crack two eggs in each. Without disturbing the curry let the eggs cook. You can cover the skillet with lid to let the cook bit faster.

After 5 minutes remove the lid and Shakshuka is ready to be served.

Before serving the dish garnish it with spring onion leaves.

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Glazed shallots – a perfect accompaniment

Shallots or Madras onions contain a distinct flavor in comparison with the regular Indian onions. In south India these shallots are grown in large fields and are used regularly in the daily meals, especially in the Sambhar.

I like eating them just like that with a little salt and lime as an accompaniment with Dal and Rice. But there is another interesting version I found recently and really fell in love with this simple recipe. Glazed Shallots can be served in lunch or dinner along with salad or you can have it with any spicy non vegetarian dish as an accompaniment.

Here is the recipe!Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

Ingredients:

  • Shallots or Madras onions 8-10
  • Brown sugar or regular sugar 1 table spoon
  • Freshly ground black pepper 1 table spoon
  • Fresh lime juice 1 table spoon
  • Oil and butter 1 table spoon each
  • Water 1 cup

Method:

In a thick bottom skillet heat butter and oil.

Once the oil and butter is heated, add peeled shallots.

Stir them till their skin become a little brown.

Now sprinkle the brown sugar and stir again.

Now add water enough to cover the shallots.

Cover the skillet with a lid for atleast 20 mins. In between keep checking the shallots. Don’t let them overcook.

After 20 mins you will see sugar has caramelized and it has engulfed the shallots with a gorgeous glaze. Switch off the gas.

Sprinkle freshly ground black pepper and a dash of lime juice.

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Roasted almonds and Apple salad

This daily rush and fast paced life sucks out the fun of enjoying your tiny bites and makes the food so boring. Fret not! You still have a ray of hope in terms of making your food a little interesting and that’s the whole purpose of my blog.

If I say that an apple a day keeps the doctor away, I know you will say we all know that and there is nothing new in what I am telling you, agreed! But what if I say an apple if used in a salad with other interesting ingredients doesn’t only keep the doctor away but also make your skin glow and cheerful.

So here it is, presenting Apple and Raisin salad with Greek yogurt.

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Roasted almonds and Apple salad

Ingredients:

  • Apples 1 ½
  • Almonds a handful of
  • Raisins a handful of
  • Greek yogurt ½ cup
  • Salt to taste
  • Sugar 1 spoon
  • Black pepper ½ tea spoon
  • Mint leaves

Method:

Wash the apples thoroughly under running water.

Now chop the apples into bite size pieces.

Chop the almonds vertically and roast them.

In a bowl add chopped apples, roasted almonds, Greek yogurt, raisins, salt, sugar, and black pepper. ( I have used Greek yogurt but you can use any normal curd available in the market, ensure that it is thick. You can also use hung curd instead. Choice is all yours).

Mix everything gently and put the bowl into the fridge for atleast half an hour.

While serving, garnish the salad with mint leaves and sprinkle little bit of chopped roasted almonds for that extra crunchiness.

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Stir fried Broccoli with Indian spices

As we all know Broccoli is not an Indian vegetable, it reached India just a few years ago. But we Indians are good at adapting new things and use them according to our taste. Broccoli is a close cousin of  Indian Cauliflower. There are differences but yet there are quite a number of common characteristics.

I have used Broccoli with Indian spices and tried to give it a Desi touch. Let’s have a look at the recipe.

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Ingredients:

  • Broccoli 200 gms
  • Onions 2
  • Garlic 5 cloves
  • Ginger julienne 1 table spoon
  • Kitchen king masala 1 1/2 tea spoons
  • Red chili powder 1 tea spoon
  • Turmeric powder 1 tea spoon
  • Coriander powder 1 table spoon
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil 2 table spoons
  • Water 1/2 cup
  • Cumin seeds 1 tea spoons
  • Lime juice 1 table spoon

Method:

First, wash the broccoli and chop into small florets.

Boil the water and then put florets in the boiling water for about 5-10 mins.

Now remove the water and keep the broccoli aside.

Chop the onions into thin slices.

Cut the ginger into thin julienne.

In a wok, add two table spoons of oil and once the oil is heated, put cumin seeds and let them splutter.

Now add chopped onions and let them become translucent.

After that add chopped garlic and stir well till it becomes a little brown.

Now add broccoli florets and stir well.

Add all the dry spices now, red chili powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder, kitchen mix masala and stir well.

Add salt, add half cup water, and cover the wok with lid.

Let it simmer for like some 10 minutes.

Now open the lid and check if  the broccoli is tender. If yes, then switch off the gas.

Now add the lime juice and garnish the dish with ginger julienne.

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Serve the stir fry Broccoli with parathas or chapatis or you can just have it as a warm salad as well.

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Raw Turmeric Pickle – A winter delight

I am back from my 3 week long year-end break. Being away from the mundane daily routine and taking some time out for yourself always helps to rejuvenate and gives boost to the moral as well. But this time when I had gone on the vacation, my mind was constantly looking for something new which I had never tired before. So I decided to make pickle! Pickles are very interesting accompaniments which bring out charm in your meal.

Winter is such a delightful season when you get the ingredients like raw Turmeric. Raw turmeric has distinct flavor and a mesmerising aroma. For a change, making pickle of raw Turmeric gives a different experience to your palate.

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Ingredients:

  • Fresh raw Turmeric 200 gms
  • Oil 6 table spoon
  • Salt 2 table spoon
  • Ready made pickle masala 4 table spoon
  • Lime juice from 1 and 1/2 lime

Method:

First heat the oil in a wok and once the oil is heated, keep it aside to cool it down a bit.

Now wash the fresh turmeric under running water and pat dry with kitchen napkin.

Now peel off the skin of Turmeric. Remember that it leaves yellow stain. So if you want to avoid the yellow stains on your palms, apply oil beforehand.

Chop the turmeric into vertical small pieces.

In a bow mix the ready made pickle masala, salt, oil and chopped turmeric.

Mix everything and add lime juice.

Store the pickle in the glass jar. Put it in the sun for two days so that spices gets mixed with pickle very well.

Try this pickle with any kind of paratha or even with plain chapathi.

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Carrot Burfi – Dense Milk and Carrot Based Sweet Confectionery

The best thing about festivals is they make the whole atmosphere around so lively and energetic that you get drowned in that feeling. It is the Christmas week and I wanted to treat myself with some dessert, mostly a cake! But since me yet to hone my baking skills, I decided to prepare something offbeat. As it is winter season, I thought of making something out of red carrots other than usual Gajar Halwa (Carrot Halwa). So let’s begin with the recipe of making Carrot Burfi.

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Ingredients:

  • Carrots 300 gms
  • Milk 200 ml
  • Sugar 5-6 table spoons
  • Clarified butter or ghee half tea spoon
  • Cardamom powder ½ tea spoon
  • Rose essence or rose water a few drops
  • Almonds 6 nos

Method:

First wash the carrots and peel off their skin. Grate them and keep them aside.

In a wok, put milk, add sugar, and let it boil for 5 mins and then add grated carrots.

Now you really have to try your patience as you have to stir this mixture till it becomes dry but yet moist. Ensure that the mixture doesn’t stick to the bottom.

Once the milk evaporates and you see that the carrots are cooked properly, switch off the gas. Now put cardamom powder and rose essence for flavor.

Now grease a plate or tray with ghee or clarified butter and spread the carrot mixture evenly on it.

Let everything cool down on room temperature and then put the tray or plate in which you have spread the carrot mixture into the fridge to set.

After an hour or so, take the tray out and make the square cuts in the carrot mixture to give it a burfi like shape ( To be very frank I didn’t even have enough patience to do that. Everything was looking so mouthwatering!). Now stick the almonds on top of each burfi to embellish these small pieces of heaven.

Ah! while cooking my house was filled with the wonderful aroma of cardamom and rose and when I ate these burfis bite by bite they kept on reminding me how awesome they taste.

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Coconut delight – A refreshing drink

Basically I am a tea loving person and I can go gaga over my affection towards tea. But tea is not the only drink which refreshes my fatigued body, I like a lot of cold drinks as well. One drink which is made using fresh coconut milk and a sour fruit called kokum is a must try drink especially during the summers. In Konkan region of India, this drink is served as an accompaniment with any spicy meal.

Kokum improves the digestion and helps alleviating diarrhea. It is also used as a substitute of tamarind in few of the dishes.

So let’s see how coconut milk and kokum can help you to keep your calm in the summers.

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Ingredients:

  • Coconut milk 1 cup
  • Dry Kokum 3-4 pieces
  • Garlic 1 clove
  • Green chili ½
  • Salt to taste
  • Mint leaves

Method:

First grate the fresh coconut and squeeze to extract the milk out of it. You can use the ready-made coconut milk extract as well.

In a bowl soak the dry kokum in hot water till it releases all juices and after 15 minutes, remove the kokum from the bowl. You need to use the juice of kokum which remains in the bowl.

Take one clove of garlic and half green chili, and little salt and smash everything in the mortar (if you have) or crush it using a wooden spoon.

Now in a glass or tumbler, add the coconut milk, little kokum juice, and add the crushed chili-garlic in it. Check the salt, if you think it is less, add more. I prefer using a pinch of sugar to balance the taste.

Stir everything well and add mint leaves.

Serve chilled.

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Special Tomato Omelette

When I think about comfort food there is only one thing that crosses my mind and that is eggs! I can have eggs in breakfast, lunch and dinner. Be it in any form I love their versatility. Weekend mornings when you don’t have to rush to work, you can take some time to enjoy the cozy breakfast. And when I say cozy breakfast then a quick omelette comes to the rescue. Try Special Tomato Omelette this weekend and break the monotony of having your regular breakfast.

See the recipe below.

Ingredients:

Eggs 2

Tomato 1

Green chili 1

Salt to taste

Coriander leaves

Oil or butter

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Method:

Beat the eggs with the help of fork add pinch of salt.

Chop the tomato finely and remove the seeds. Removing seeds helps to make the omelette batter not to become watery.

Finely chop the green chili

Now heat a thick bottom pan and add oil or butter once the pan is heated.

Saute chopped tomato and green chili with a pinch of salt in the pan for a minute, take it out and keep it aside.

Now in the same pan, add the egg batter and reduce the flame of gas.

Let it cook for half a minute when you see it is getting fried from the sides and in the center it is set, add the sauted tomato on the omelette and fold it. After few seconds, serve the omelette in a plate and garnish it with fresh coriander leaves.

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