Namaste and a warm welcome to all.

As you can see my blog is about food and recipes. I love eating and trying out new recipes all the time.

Very often we mum's think of healthy and interesting food options that we can make for our kids especially when they are back from school knowing that their lunch boxes never come back home empty. Hence I always feel its important to give them a healthy and wholesome snack once they are home. When my kid comes home from school I always try and give him some source of carbohydrate combined with proteins along with this, a fruit and milk, or puddings made from milk. Kids normally can't eat too much at one time, so the portions can be small but giving them a little from each of these food group ensures a balanced meal.

I have some interesting ideas that I'd like to share with you all. You might find some of my recipes very basic but I am hoping that my blog is helpful not only for Indians but for people all around the world! Indian food is quite popular and enjoyed by most, so hopefully you can attempt recipes from here and make it yourself now, in your kitchen. Please do go through my recipes and give it a shot at trying them. Let me know how things turned out and if you enjoyed your experience of cooking.... Feel free to get in touch, share your experience, leave a comment or ask any questions you may have. Thank you for stopping by and taking a look! I do hope its helpful.

Happy cooking!

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Chutney Tofu

300 gms Firm Tofu (chopped into squares).
2-3 tbspn green coriander chutney (or mint and coriander chutney).
1 tbspn Chaat masala (available at every Indian store).
1 tspn Lemon juice.
2 tbspn Fresh and finely chopped coriander.

Salt as per taste.
Oil for shallow frying.

Use good quality firm tofu. Chop them into thin slices and add the green chutney.

Add finely chopped coriander.

Add chaat masala.

Squeeze lemon juice.

Green chutney and chaat masala both contain salt. Hence be careful in adding additional salt. Taste a tiny piece of tofu and check if you need to add any additional salt as per your taste.

Stir gently. (The soft tofu will break and disintegrate into pieces when you stir. Hence its important to use a firm tofu in this recipe).

Heat oil in a non stick pan on a medium flame (you can also use a oil spray or just brush some oil in the pan).

Once the pan is hot put the tofu into the pan.

You can pour the extra chutney (from the container you used for marinating the tofu) on top of the tofu pieces in the pan.

Let it cook on a medium flame.

Add a few drops of oil on top of the tofu.

Flip onto the other side after about 6-8 minutes of cooking (adjusting the flame to low to make sure the tofu cooks well and does not burn).

Cook well on both sides. Serve as a side dish with lunch or dinner. If you like you can squeeze some more lemon on the tofu just before serving.

“The best and most efficient pharmacy is within your own system.” ~Robert C. Peale

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Bell Pepper Toasty

Whole wheat, multigrain or white bread slices.
1 Red bell pepper
1 Green bell pepper
1 Yellow bell pepper
(all cut into long strips or diced in squares)

Grated mozzarella cheese/parmesan cheese/cheddar cheese/feta cheese or halloumi cheese.
Cheese of your choice.
1 medium sized onion (cut into long strips or diced squares, whichever you prefer)

1 tspn chopped garlic.

1 tspn lemon juice
Few Green or black olives (chopped)
Freshly crushed black pepper
A dash of oregano or basil (whichever you prefer)
Sausages (optional - cut into round circular discs, you can shallow fry them before adding on top of the bread if you prefer).
1 tspn Olive oil for cooking

Heat oil in a saucepan on medium flame.

Once the oil is hot, add onions.

Add the garlic.

Stir for 1-2 minutes. And add the bell peppers.
(If you cut onions lengthwise then cut the bell peppers lengthwise and if you dice the onions into squares then dice the bell peppers as well. Basically cut them in the same way).

Stir on a medium flame for about 3-5 minutes and switch off the gas.

Add Salt.

Some fresh black pepper.

A dash of basil or oregano or a little of both (whichever you prefer).

Squeeze some lemon juice.

Stir well.

Put the slice of bread on a baking tray and top it with the bell peppers.

Add some sausages (this is optional so the vegetarians can skip this step).

Add some chopped olives. (you can also add any or a combination of two or more of the following: jalapenos, pickled cucumber, chopped gherkins, sundried tomatoes in addition to the olives)

I have added some parmesan cheese. As you can see I have used a peeler to get thin shavings of the cheese. I have added little but if you are not worried about the calories go ahead and add some more. I can't afford to although I am a complete cheese lover!

You can see the thin shavings of cheese here:

Preheat your oven for 10 minutes at 170 degrees F. Put the bread slices inside the oven and bake at 170 degree F for about 10 - 15 minutes checking in between till the bread gets crispy and the cheese on top melts.

Serve hot with tabasco, tomato ketchup or green mint and coriander chutney. They taste absolutely great and kids love it too.

You can also top the bread with the spinach that went into the spinach pita pocket (see recipe) and then add your olives and cheese and follow the same steps in this recipe. The difference will be that instead of the bell peppers you will be topping the bread with the spinach used for filling in the Spinach pita pockets.

****For those of you who do not have an oven put the bread in the microwave for about 30 seconds or more till you see the cheese melting. Once it melts remove it from the microwave and keep it on a non stick pan on very low flame till the bread becomes crispy. Of course you have to keep checking in between so the bread does not start to burn from the bottom. Its as good as the ones that come out from the oven. I hope you will enjoy these crispy toasties!

“Our bodies are our gardens – our wills are our gardeners.” ~William Shakespeare

Friday, 2 December 2011

Spinach Pita Pockets.

The Greeks call this spinach pie "Spanakopita" and the Arabs (Lebanese) call it "Sabanekh". The Greeks use a phyllo pastry, stuff it with a spinach preparation along with some feta cheese and bake it. The Lebanese make this pie with all purpose flour, roll it out, stuff it with spinach filling (they do not use any cheese) and then bake it. I have used ready pita breads in this recipe and filled the pita bread with the spinach preparation. I have made it the Lebanese way without any cheese. So here is the recipe.

Spinach. (Washed well and finely chopped. I have used 8 of those bunches shown below)

1 big onion (chopped in medium sized squares)

1-2 tbspn lemon juice.
Salt as per your taste.
1 tbspn Olive oil (and for brushing on the pita bread).
Ready Pita bread.

Heat oil.

Once the oil becomes hot add the onions.

Saute the onions on a medium to low flame till they become transparent.

Once the onions become transparent (do not over cook), add the spinach.

Saute till the spinach becomes soft (usually this does not take long) around 3-4 minutes.

Make sure there is no water in the spinach preparation. It should be dry. If there is any water cook it further to let all the water evaporate and then add salt as per your taste.

Add lemon juice. When you taste the spinach it should taste sour because once you stuff it in the pita the lemon taste will reduce. Hence add little bit of extra lemon juice. Here there has to be a right balance of the salt (add the right amount) and lemon(add a little extra) added.

Stir again so that the lemon and salt blend well.

Now cut open the pita bread (with a pair of scissors from around the circumference of the pita bread) and add a table spoon of the spinach filling inside each pita, flatten and spread the spinach filling well.

Heat a non stick pan. Add some oil.

When the oil becomes hot put the pita bread into the pan. Keep on low flame.

Brush the top side of the pita with some olive oil and flip it.

You can make them more crispier (keep them longer on the pan on low flame) if your family likes the crunch or just serve them once they are warm enough.

You can add some chopped olives, some jalapenos, pickled gherkin and/or crumble some feta cheese or cottage cheese when you are filling the pita with spinach. Though I made the very basic one (only with the spinach filling) it was still very delicious! Whichever one you decide to make I am sure you are gonna love it too!

“Your body is a temple, but only if you treat it as one.” ~Astrid Alauda