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!

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Chicken Lasagna.


500 gm minced chicken.

1 cup of shredded cheese. I used a ready mix of shredded mozzarella, parmesan and cheddar. You can use others if you like for eg: Ricotta cheese which goes well with the lasagna.

3/4 cup chopped onions.
1 cup of diced carrots.

1/2 - 3/4 cup of green peas.

1 tbsp of chopped garlic.
3-4 tbsp tomato paste/puree.

1/4 cup of chopped celery (I have not used it in the recipe though).
Some freshly crushed black pepper.
Barilla lasagna sheets. (I have used the one that goes into the oven directly and you do not need to boil them first. On the packet its written on pre cooking required).

3-4 tbsp chopped olives.

2 tbsp of oil.

There are 2 STEPS here:
STEP 1) Making the sauce.
STEP 2) Baking.

Lets first start with STEP 1) Making the sauce.
Marinate the chicken with salt, (stir well) and keep aside for about 20-30 minutes.

Heat oil and add garlic. (I have used a pressure cooker to cook the minced chicken, however you can use any open container).

Once the garlic sizzles a bit, add chopped onions.

Stir well and let it cook on a medium flame till the onions turn to a light brown color.

Add the marinated minced chicken.

And all the vegetables.

Stir well and add tomato puree.

Add about 1 cup of water and stir well. Break any chicken lumps that may have formed by pressing down with the back of the spoon.

Add salt, freshly crushed pepper and mix well.

Add more water if the consistency is too thick (just do not make it too runny or thin but there should be enough water so that the vegetables and chicken should get cooked without getting burnt).

Close the pressure cooker. Keep on a medium high flame for about 4 whistles and then on low for 1 or 2 whistles and then switch off the gas. Open the pressure cooker after about 15 to 20 minutes. Do not open immediately.

If you are cooking in an open container then turn the gas to low once it comes to a boil and allow to cook (covering with a lid) till the vegetables are soft and chicken has cooked, stirring in between and adding water if it gets too try or getting burnt or sticking to the bottom of the container.
When you open the pressure cooker see that the chicken prepared should not be too dry but should have a nice saucy consistency (and not too runny at the same time). This is very important or else the lasagna after baking will be dry. So here the consistency of the minced chicken sauce is an important point to keep in mind.

Now we can start with:

STEP 2): The baking part.
Pre-heat oven to 180 Degrees Celsius.
A) I have used a glass dish that can go into the oven. First make a layer of the minced chicken sauce on the base.

B) Now put the lasagna sheets on top of the sauce, cover the entire area and do not overlap the sheets.

C) Cover the sheets with the sauce again and top it with cheese. I have not added too much however you can add more (the cheese bit is as per your preference).

Now repeat these steps A),B),C) till you have used up all minced chicken sauce prepared.

On the top most layer I have added chopped olives and some freshly crushed pepper.

Cover with Aluminum foil. This is again important so the upper layer should not become too dry.

Put it in the preheated oven. Open and check after 30 minutes. The lasagna sheet should be cooked by now and the sauce should not be all dry if you have made it the right consistency.

Cut through and serve hot. You can add tobasco and some freshly crushed pepper to make it more spicier.

When I'm at a Chinese restaurant having a hard time with chopsticks, I always hope that there's a Chinese kid at an American restaurant somewhere who's struggling mightily with a fork. ~Rick Budinich

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Vegetable Stew

1/2 cup finely chopped onions.
1-2 green chillies
2 tsp grated ginger
2 tsp grated garlic

1/2 cup chopped carrots
1/2 cup chopped french beans

3/4th cup diced potato.

1/2 cup green peas.

1 can of coconut milk (165 ml).

Salt as per taste.
1-2 tbsp oil.

Heat oil on medium flame. Add the grated ginger and garlic once the oil becomes hot.

Do not burn or make the ginger and garlic brown. Let them just sizzle in oil a bit and then add onions.

Stir well. Cook on a medium flame and allow the onions to become soft or light brown.

Add carrots.

French beans,

Green peas,

And diced potatoes.

Stir well and add green chillies (chopped or full as per your preference).

Add salt as per taste and stir again.

Add some water now (around 100 ml).

Cover with a lid, lower the flame and allow the vegetables to cook (stirring occasionally in between to make sure there is enough water and that the vegetables are not sticking to the bottom or getting burnt. Add a bit of water accordingly and cook the vegetables till they become soft).

After about 5-6 minutes of cooking on low flame pierce a knife to see if the potato and carrots have become soft.

Now add the coconut milk and stir well.

Stir well, increase the flame to medium and bring to a boil. Let it boil for a minute or two and switch off the gas.

Vegetable stew is ready. Serve hot with rice.

Recipe Source:
My dear friend Shalini. Thank you so much Shalini for sharing this awesome recipe with all of us. It really is so yummy! I do hope every one enjoys this dish as much as I did.

Below is the recipe for Banana Stew. I have cut this recipe short.
It is almost same as the vegetable stew. The only difference is that instead of the vegetables I have used raw unripened bananas here.

To remove the skin use a peeler as shown below, as the skin is very tightly attached to the banana and you need to use a peeler to get rid of the skin.

Keep them in water or else they will turn black very fast.

Chop into medium size pieces.

Follow the same recipe as the vegetable stew.

Add some water to cook the bananas till they are soft.

Add coconut milk.

Boil for 1-2 minutes. The banana stew is ready.

Garnish with freshly chopped coriander and serve hot with Rice or Paratha.

We don't need a melting pot in this country, folks. We need a salad bowl. In a salad bowl, you put in the different things. You want the vegetables - the lettuce, the cucumbers, the onions, the green peppers - to maintain their identity. You appreciate differences. ~Jane Elliot