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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Egg starter

Today I am going to feature a recipe sent by a very good friend of mine, Rohan from Mumbai. He graciously accepted my suggestion and shared his recipe which is a starter. This starter can be served in any of the parties or potluck lunches and it is very easy to prepare.

See the recipe below.

Ingredients:

  • Boiled eggs 4
  • Tomato 1
  • Onion 1
  • Cheese 100 grams
  • Mayonnaise 2 table spoons
  • Chili flakes 1 tea spoon
  • Italian seasoning 1 tea spoon
  • Salt to taste
  • Coriander leaves

Processed with VSCO with g1 preset

Method:

Halve the boiled eggs  and take out the yolks. Keep the eggs aside.

Chop the onion and tomato into fine pieces.

Now in a bowl, add all the yolks which you removed from the eggs, and add salt, chili flakes, mayonnaise, Italian seasoning, chopped onion, chopped tomato, coriander leaves. Mix everything together with the help of fork.

Now fill this mixture in the eggs.

In a plate arrange all the eggs and grate any processed cheese on them.

Egg starter is ready.

It’s so easy that you can ask your kids also to take part in making this dish.

Spinach with Cottage Cheese

There is some kind of reluctance I have noticed towards using leafy vegetables in regular diet. With that being said, those who don’t eat vegetables like spinach or fenugreek are losing out a lot of important nutrients in their daily meals. I mostly prefer vegetarian food over non vegetarian because I am comfortable eating it without drooling over non vegetarian food :). So I like dishes like Palak Paneer which caters the requirement of my regular intake of protein and iron. Because palak or spinach is best source of Iron and paneer or cottage cheese is rich in protein.

The luscious paneer blends well with green spinach and it becomes a perfect dish for lunch or dinner. Look at the method of making classic Palak Paneer below.

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Ingredients:

Fresh Spinach 350 gms

Cottage cheese 200 gms

Onion 1 medium size

Garlic 3 cloves

Ginger 1 inch piece

Bay leaf 1

Garam Masala 1 table spoon

Salt to taste

Fresh cream 2 table spoons

Green chili

Lemon juice 1 tea spoon.

Water 2 cups

Method:

First, wash the Spinach thoroughly under the running tap water.

Now put the Spinach in the boiling water for a minute and then immediately remove it from hot water. In a separate bowl, take some ice and add water. Add the Spinach which you removed from the boiling water into the cold water. This process is called blanching.

In a skillet heat oil and add cottage cheese cut into dices. Shallow fry them till they become slightly golden on the surface. Remove them and keep them aside.

Now in the same skillet add little more oil and saute chopped onions and garlic till they become translucent. Add bay leaf also for flavor.

In the meanwhile, make a paste of Spinach, ginger and green chili in a mixer grinder.

Back to the skillet, add the garam masala and salt to taste. Saute it for a minute.

Now add the Spinach paste and reduce the flame. Add little water for gravy like consistency.

Add fried cottage cheese and simmer the gravy for a minute.

After a minute, remove the bay leaf, switch off the gas.

Serve the Palak Paneer in a bowl.

While serving, add little fresh cream for that extra richness and little lemon juice.

Serve this delicious dish with soft fulkas or jeera rice (tempered rice with cumin seeds).

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Look at the gorgeous dish, aren’t you tempted to make and have it? Let me know your feedback in the comment box below.

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Palak Paneer

Nutritious Multigrain Pancake

I love my evening time when I enjoy the ginger tea with some savouries and indulge myself in quality conversations with friends or family. However, mostly the savoury dishes are deep fried or oily, there are still few dishes which you can enjoy without bothering about the calories. Multigrain pancakes or  Thalipeeth (in marathi) is a very delicious snacks accompanied by tea.

I am sharing the recipe below.

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Multigrain pancake (Thalipeeth)

 Ingredients:

Multi-grain flour Bhajani (in Marathi) 1 cup

Onion 1

Green chilies 2

Turmeric powder 1/2 tea spoon

Red chili powder 1/2 tea spoon

Sesame seeds 1 tea spoon

salt to taste

Coriander or Mint leaves

Oil

Water 1 cup

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Method:

First, chop onions and green chilies finely.

In bowl take the multi-grain flour and into that add turmeric powder, red chili powder, salt, coriander or mint leaves (chopped), sesame seeds, onions, and green chilies.

Make a firm dough and on a wooden board flatten it by pressing with your palm.

Make a round shape flattened pancake and in between make a small hole.

Now heat a flat pan on gas and add oil once the pan is heated.

Once the oil is heated, carefully place the pancake in the pan.

Let it fry and cover it with lid. Reduce the flame.

After half minute, open the lid and flip the pancake side and pour the oil in the whole which you made in the pancake.

Once the pancake is nicely fried from both sides, serve it in a plate with curd or a dollop of fresh home made butter (unsalted).