Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Roasted Baby Carrots and Broccoli

Crunchy roasted baby carrots and broccoli are best option to snack on healthily. Give those French fries a miss for some time!


A long vacation takes heavy toll on my blog! This had happened before and has happened again. No matter how hard I wish to be regular in my blog during the family vacation, it never materializes. Is this any kind of syndrome I am suffering with?

Finally we are back to the regular life and regular (read ‘monotonous’) routine. Everything is in real bad shape starting from my pantry to the laundry! And to bring back things in order, I have to wait till weekend! 2 more days to go! Pheww!

This week’s meals are all kind of makeshift arrangements without any fresh produce - majorly resorting to one-pot meals. Storing my cupboards with uncountable number of packets of pastas and bottles of sauces have finally paid!


I could hardly concentrate on anything after any vacation and a long one is worst of all! Neither am I getting energy for my office work, nor to cook. So I finally decided to charge myself up by coming back to my blog and share a recipe which was due for long.

This one may not even qualify as a ‘recipe’ recipe! But I still wanted to share this only because I myself was so happy to see how easily we can create some amazing flavors with minimal effort. Fresh produces have their own magic which we only have to adapt rightly.

We got these super fresh baby carrots and broccoli from a farmers’ market and I wanted to make something super healthy with them. I had heard that roasted broccoli tastes awesome; so I decided to combine both to create a beautifully colored palate.


I loved the smoky flavors of roasted carrots and broccoli. These will go best as a side with some roasted chicken or steak; or you can simply munch them on as a snack with your favorite dip!

Roasted Baby Carrots and Broccoli

 Serves 4

Ingredients

  • Baby carrots – 10 to 15
  • Broccoli -2 heads
  • Oregano – 2 tsp
  • Olive oil – 2 tsp
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Cut the broccoli into medium sized florets. 
  • Lightly peel the baby carrots. 
  • Wash the vegetables really well and pat them dry as much as possible.
  • Put the veggies in a large bowl and add the salt, pepper, oregano and olive oil.
  • Give all of them a good mix. I use my hands; you can use two large spoons by all means!
  • Preheat the oven to 190 degree C. 
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 
  • Lay the vegetables in single layer on the line baking sheet. 
  • Drizzle some more olive oil on top and grill in the preheated oven for 30 minutes or until the vegies are charred and cooked through but still retain a crunch. 
  • Serve on the side with your favorite meat.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Anjum Anand's Rogan Mushroom

The rich and aromatic rogan mushrooms are the prefect vegetarian take on the ever popular mutton rogan josh! The flavors of the spices blend perfectly with the texture and freshness of the mushrooms.

Rogan Mushroom

Are you a mushroom lover like me? If you are, then you are gonna love my today’s recipe!
This is Rogan Mushrooms from one of my very favorite chefs – Anjum Anand. I had adapted many of her recipes in my kitchen and all of them have turned out great but this one deserves special attention.

Rogan Mushroom


When I saw this recipe for the very first time in one of her books, I was not very sure about how it would turn out; mainly because the preparation of rogan josh involves a lot of spices and I was confused if the spices would overpower the actual flavors of mushrooms.

But I decided to give it a try simply because it was my favorite chef’s recipe! And thank God I did! This was so darn good that I was literally cursing myself for not making this before!

The original recipe calls for mix of assorted mushrooms like button, oyster and shitake but I used only button mushrooms since they are our favorite because of the soft and spongy texture.

Rogan Mushroom


These button mushrooms absorb the aromas of all the spices beautifully making their smooth texture all the more tasty and delicious. I insist you to give this a try and you will thank me and of course Anjum for this!

Rogan Mushrooms

 Serves 2

Ingredients

  • Dried red Kashmiri chillies – 2 to 4
  • Vegetable oil – 6 tbsp
  • Cloves – 4 to 6
  • Green cardamom – 6 to 8
  • Black cardamom - 1
  • Cinnamon stick – 2 inch
  • Mace – 1 to 2 blades
  • Black peppercorns – 10 to 12
  • Onions – 2, small, finely chopped
  • Tomatoes – 2, large, quartered
  • Yogurt – 3 tbsp
  • Garlic – 5 cloves, peeled
  • Fresh ginger – 2 inch piece
  • Coriander powder – 2 tsp
  • Cumin powder – ¾ tsp
  • Turmeric powder – 1/3 tsp
  • Garam masala – ¾ tsp
  • Salt to taste
  • Unsalted butter – 2 tbsp
  • Button mushrooms – 350 gm [original recipe called for mixed mushrooms like shiitake, chestnut and oyster but I used only button mushrooms which is our favorite!]
  • Handful of chopped coriander leaves

Instructions

  • Roast the dried chillies in a dry pan until slightly darkened, shaking often. Break in half and shake out the seeds, then grind to a powder.
  • Heat 4 tablespoons of the oil in a large non-stick skillet or wok. Add the whole spices – green and black cardamoms, cloves, cinnamon sticks, mace and black peppercorns – and fry for ten seconds.
  • Add the chopped onions and cook until they have browned well.
  • Meanwhile, blend together the tomatoes, yogurt, garlic and ginger until smooth.
  • Add the above paste to the skillet with the ground spices – coriander, cumin, turmeric and garam masala.
  • Sprinkle some salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the masala has completely reduced and starts releasing oil back into the pan.
  • Continue to cook on medium-high heat, stirring often, for four to five minutes.
  • Add one and a half cups of water, bring to the boil, simmer for three to four minutes, then keep warm.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon of the remaining oil and half the butter in a separate large frying pan.
  • Add the mushrooms, sprinkle over a pinch of salt and sauté for approximately 10 minutes until they turn golden brown around the edges and cooked through.
  • When the mushrooms are done, add them into the prepared sauce and stir well. Check and adjust the seasoning if necessary.
  • Add a little water if the sauce has turned too thick; the sauce should be of coating consistency but not too clingy.
  • Simmer for another three to four minutes and then serve hot, sprinkled with the chopped coriander.
Rogan Mushroom



Sunday, January 4, 2015

Chicken Hariyali Kebab

The super-succulent hariyali kebab brings in the right amount of freshness with a tantalizing sensation to your taste bud after the overload of sweetness! 


I started my blog this year with something very sweet & beautiful and I dearly hope that you all liked it!

Those cute little chocolate cupcakes still reappear in my dreams; but I thought following up the sweet start with something which is little more enticing to the taste bud. But unfortunately these may not be very pleasing to eyes and you simply have to trust me on this!



These hariyali kebabs are as deceptive as a successful conman and I bet you will agree with me if you have ever tasted these! These green kebabs are succulent and juicy with an amazing combination of the freshness of coriander and brightness of mint.

We are kebab-lover in general and I am trying to excel my skill in kebab making. Chicken tikka is my husband’s favourite and mine is good ol’ Tandoori chicken.

I was a bit reluctant to give this green one a try - majorly because I was worried how it would look and what if my readers do not find it tempting enough!

But I was so wrong! I should have made these long back! These tender green kebabs are so awesome that you will still love them even if you are not a green-lover!

Chicken Hariyali Kebab

 Serves 4

Ingredients

  • Boneless chicken breast – 400 gm
  • Thick yogurt – 3 tbsp
  • Lemon juice – 2 tsp
  • Coriander leaves – 1 cup, tightly packed
  • Mint leaves – ½ cup,
  • Spinach leaves – ½ cup, chopped
  • Ginger – ½ inch piece
  • Garlic – 6 to 8 cloves
  • Green chilies – 1 or 2, thinly chopped
  • Red chilli powder – ½ tsp
  • Turmeric powder – ¼ tsp
  • Coriander powder – 2 tsp
  • Garam masala powder – 1 tsp
  • Melted butter – 1 tsp
  • Vegetable oil – 2 tbsp
  • Salt to taste
  • Bamboo skewers – 8 to 10

Instructions

  • Wash the chicken breast and cut into bite size pieces. 
  • Add salt, melted butter, lemon juice and red chilli powder on the chicken pieces rub well. Keep aside for 10-15 minutes.
  • Combine the spinach leaves, coriander-mint leaves, ginger, garlic and green chilies into a blender and grind into a smooth paste.
  • Now add the yogurt and powdered spices into the ground green paste and coat the chicken pieces very well in it. 
  • Cover the marinated chicken and keep it aside at least for 2 hours so that chicken gets the flavors of green paste and spices. The yogurt will also tenderize the chicken.
  • Soak the wooden skewers in normal water for about 4-5 minutes to prevent them from burning in the oven.
  • Thread the pieces of chicken onto the skewers and brush some more oil on top of them.
  • Preheat the oven at 180 degree C for 10 minutes.
  • Place the chicken skewers in the oven and leave to grill for about 10 minutes on each side. 
  • Keep checking and turn the skewers after first 10 minutes to cook evenly from all the sides.
  • Serve hot with lemon wedges and spicy green chutney.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Chocolate Banana Cupcake

These choco-banana cupcakes are very soft and moist and guilt-free at the same time as it doesn’t have any butter in it; but the rich chocolate icing may give you that guilt-bite!

Chocolate Banana Cupcake

Hello Friends! It’s a brand new year with brand new hopes and dreams! And here I am wishing you all out there a very successful New Year in whatever you aspire to achieve!

Today is the very first day of the New Year and I, for obvious reasons, decided to start with something sweet! Sweet things make sweet memories. So my sweet delicacies are not only for the hope of a good year ahead; but also to recap the sweet memories of the one which has just passed.

Chocolate Banana Cupcake

While I retrospect my last year, I feel that overall it has been good to me; if not great!

There has to be ups and downs; else life is not worth living; but I would have been a happier person if I could have stopped some ‘down’s to happen. But that’s that!

I believe with every passing year, we become stronger (and wiser? I wonder!) to control our lives in a better way than before.

Chocolate Banana Cupcake Recipe

Last year has been quite busy for me and I love being busy.

Whenever I am not pressed with some complex analysis, I will be found in the kitchen doing something or the other. My tiny kitchen attracts me like anything and I can’t resist it.

Chocolate Banana Cupcake


These cupcakes are the result of such idle times of mine when I had nothing else to do and I can’t be thankful enough for that yummy joblessness!

These are just so yum that you can’t stop at one. They have a very light and fluffy texture with a soft and moist crumb.

To put is simply, every bite of it is better than the previous one. Moreover these are so easy to make that you will fall in love with very easily!

Recipe adapted from Joy of Baking

Chocolate Banana Cupcake

Chocolate Banana Cupcake

 Makes 12 regular sized cupcakes

Ingredients

For Cupcakes
  • Granulated white sugar – 1 cup (200 gms)
  • All-purpose flour – 1 cup (130 gms)
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder – ⅓ cup (35 gms)    
  • Baking powder – ¾ tsp
  • Baking soda – ¾ tsp
  • Salt – ¼ tsp
  • Egg – 1, large
  • Mashed ripe bananas – ½ cup, about 1 medium sized banana
  • Warm water – ½ cup (120 ml)
  • Milk – ¼ cup (60 ml)
  • Vegetable or any flavorless oil like canola or corn oil – ¼ cup (60 ml)
  • Pure vanilla extract – ¾ tsp
For Chocolate Frosting
  • Unsweetened chocolate – 90 gms, coarsely chopped
  • Unsalted butter – ½ cup (113 gms), room temperature
  • Confectioners (powdered or icing) sugar – 1 cup (120 gms), sifted
  • Pure vanilla extract – 1 tsp

Instructions

For Cupcakes
  • Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius and place the rack in the center of the oven.
  • Line 12 regular-sized muffin cups with paper liners or brush some oil into them.
  • In a large bowl whisk together the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt until well combined.
  • In another large bowl, whisk together the egg, mashed banana, water, milk, oil and vanilla extract.
  • Now make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour over the wet ingredients mixture.
  • Mix well using a whisk to make a homogeneous batter. The batter will be quite thin. You won’t need any electric mixer for this.
  • Scoop the batter equally into 12 muffin cups using an ice-cream scoop, about 3/4th full, and bake for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean. 
  • Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack before frosting.
For Chocolate Frosting
  • Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.
  • Take the butter in a large bowl and beat it using a hand mixer until smooth and creamy for about 1 minute.
  • Add the sugar and beat until it is light and fluffy for about 2 minutes.
  • Beat in the vanilla extract.
  • Add the melted chocolate and beat on low speed until well incorporated.
  • Increase the speed to medium-high and beat until frosting is smooth and glossy for about 2 -3 minutes.
  • Pipe the frosting on top of the cooled cupcakes making your favorite design. 
Chocolate Banana Cupcake



Thursday, December 25, 2014

Creme Caramel with a Dash of Coffee

The classic Crème Caramel with a hint of coffee goes to a whole new dimension. The rich & smooth texture of this caramel custard will never fail to brighten up your day!


During my last week’s hectic schedule, I was continuously exploring what special to make for Christmas and finally I decided to make this classic Crème Caramel!

But I will be honest with you! My caramel was perfect only on my fourth trial.

This is one recipe which made me so frustrated that it became a do-or-die situation for me.

I became so insane that I couldn't get a peaceful sleep until and unless I could make a perfect caramel first  and then a perfect crème caramel custard which comes out of the ramekin keeping its perfect shape intact. [Oh that’s too many perfect is one paragraph!]



Among zillions of recipes of crème caramel on the web, I decided to follow the one from SORTED Food mainly because I loved how their crème caramel came out finally and also the idea of adding coffee was a winner!

This crème caramel had surely caught me!

Out of the four, my husband could only manage one and that too after I scooped out a couple of spoons before he could snatch the plate. Trust me – this is addictive! So don’t make it too often! ;)


Creme Caramel with A Dash of Coffee

 Serves 2

Ingredients

For the caramel
  • Granulated/caster sugar – 125 gm
  • Water – 2 tbsp
For the custard
  • Milk – 250 ml
  • Double cream – 250 ml
  • Vanilla extract – 1 tsp
  • Instant coffee powder – 1 tsp
  • Whole egg – 2
  • Egg yolk – 3
  • Granulated or caster sugar – 125 gm
Instructions
  • Preheat the oven to 160°C.
  • Before starting with the caramel, keep 4 ramekins ready on a deep baking tray.
  • Put the water and 125 gms of caster sugar into a small saucepan and bring to a boil, but do not stir. Simmer on a medium heat for about 5 minutes until it turns a brown caramel color. [No matter how tempted you are, DO NOT STIR! I did that mistake three times in a row!]
  • Then pour the caramel equally between 4 ramekins. Allow this caramel to cool and set.
  • To make the custard, put milk, cream, vanilla and coffee into a saucepan and bring to a boil. Mix until the coffee dissolves. Turn off the heat let it come to room temperature.
  • Take a large bowl and whisk the 3 egg yolks, 2 whole eggs and sugar together into it.
  • Pour the boiled coffee cream mix slowly over the eggs and whisk continuously until all the cream is incorporated.
  • Pour this creamy mixture into the ramekins and fill almost to the top.
  • Pour boiling water into the tray around the ramekins, about half way up.
  • Place in the oven carefully for 40 minutes until the center is just set and it is firm to touch. Cool to room temperature, cover with Clingfilm and keep in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours to set.
  • After couple of hours, run a knife around the inside wall of each ramekin; put a plate upside down on top of the ramekin covering the custard fully and then flip it upside down.
  • Give it a firm shake over the plate to release it. Enjoy the smooth and reach coffee crème caramel and enjoy your Christmas!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Stir-Fry Noodles with Veggies

The warm bowl of crispy stir-fry noodles with lots of favorite veggies is the ultimate comfort food on a hectic day. I love the assortment of colors which you can customize depending on your mood!

Stir-Fry Noodles with Veggies

Last week has been a disaster! The disaster was in terms of my cooking! Whole week we had to survive on ‘take-aways’ which is unbelievable! 

Being a person who loves to cook and have good food at home, I was falling into parts every time I was dialing the number to place the order! A couple of times it is still okay; but for the whole week! Sob sob!!

Stir-Fry Noodles with Veggies

The reason of this sudden tragic period was nothing but insane amount of work to be finished too fast! The left-over of last week's whim is still continuing this week but the situation has definitely improved a bit. 

That is also because it’s Christmas time and all our official counterparts in all over the world are gearing up for their annual holiday time!

Stir-Fry Noodles with Veggies

This is the best time of the year for me! No, not because my birthday falls around the same time, ;)! 

Because I feel there is something merry in the air around this time and everyone feels happy. With that happy note, here is my today recipe – stir-fried noodles with veggies.

This one was one quick meal I prepared during this hectic time. 

Stir-Fry Noodles with Veggies

The primary reason was, it is done way too quickly and the secondary reason was, I love stir-fried noodles. 

My love for noodles is not new; the only outside food I used to demand during my childhood was noodles; be it in any form or taste. I haven’t still grown out of it and still in awe of this super-tasty crispiness!

Stir-Fry Noodles with Veggies

Stir-Fried Noodles with Veggies

 Serves 2

Ingredients

  • Noodles – 200 gm
  • Dry red chilli – 2
  • Onion – 1, large, thinly sliced
  • Garlic paste – ½ tsp
  • Carrots – 3, medium, julienned
  • Green beans – 10 to 15, cross-cuts
  • Red bell pepper – ½ of a large or 1 small, cut into long strips
  • Yellow bell pepper – ½ of a large or 1 small, cut into long strips
  • Egg – 2
  • Sunflower oil – 4 tbsp
  • Light soy sauce – 1 tbsp
  • Green chilli sauce – 2 tbsp
  • Tomato ketch up – 2 tbsp
  • Chilli vinegar – 1 tbsp
  • Sugar – ½ tsp [optional]
  • Salt to taste

Instructions

  • Boil the noodles as per packet instructions. Drain and rinse in cold water. Set aside to cool down completely. [Never stir-fry hot noodles as it may become soggy. I expedite the cooling process by keep the drained noodles in the refrigerator till I am ready to stir-fry!]
  • Cut the vegies into long thin strips. [I used those vegies which were handy at that time in my pantry. You can add you own favorites!]
  • Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a wok and stir fry all the vegetables, except this onions and garlic, on high heat till cooked. Season with salt and set aside.
  • Make scrambled eggs and set aside.
  • Now it’s time to assemble all components; so keep everything ready and add the remaining oil into the wok.
  • When the oil is super-hot, add the dried red chillies, garlic paste and sliced onions. Stir-fry them till golden brown for about 2 minutes.
  • Add the soy sauce, chilli sauce, ketchup and vinegar. Season with salt and pepper and keep stirring so that everything mixes well. [Go little easy on salt since all the sauces are already salty.]
  • If you are using sugar, add it now and let it dissolve completely.
  • Now add half of the boiled noodles and half of the fried veggies and using two forks mix them with the sauce evenly.
  • Then add the remaining noodles and veggies and mix everything well. Turn off the heat and serve immediately.
  • Garnish with fresh cilantro or spring onions. [I had to skip it since I didn’t have them in my pantry.]
Stir-Fry Noodles with Veggies

Monday, December 8, 2014

Cumin Potato with Pomegranate Seeds

Cumin Potato with Pomegranate Seeds

My today’s recipe is quite short and sweet. Cumin potatoes with pomegranate seeds. Yes, I agree, the name is long but the recipe is not! It just takes 10 minutes to pull together and serves as a perfect appetizer.

Cumin Potato with Pomegranate Seeds

Cumin potato literally translates to Jeera Aloo which is a popular recipe in India. Jeera as in cumin and aloo as in potato. My husband has quite mysteriously fallen in love with this dish after trying it at some random place!

So it became a challenge for me to create a better version of the same and here it is!

Cumin Potato with Pomegranate Seeds


This appetizer has quite a punch in it and I love the crunch which comes from the sesame seeds. It’s also a good way to incorporate such healthy elements into our diet.

And with pomegranate seeds, it becomes a level higher in terms of nutrition. But the best part is - hubby dearest loved it way more than what he ate outside! At least that's what he made me believe and I am happy with that!

You can also check out popular Indian potato recipe- Dum Aloo

Cumin Potato with Pomegranate Seeds

Cumin Potato with Pomegranate Seeds

 Serves 4

Ingredients

  • Potato – 500 gms, boiled
  • Pomegranate – ½
  • Sunflower or any other flavorless oil – 4 tbsp
  • Black mustard seeds – ½ tsp
  • Cumin seeds – 4 tsp
  • Sesame seeds – 2 tsp
  • Curry leaves – 8 to 10
  • Red chili powder – 1 tsp
  • Cumin powder – 2 tsp
  • Coriander powder – 2 tsp
  • Turmeric powder – 1 tsp
  • Fresh coriander leaves – ½ cup, chopped
  • Lemon – 1
  • Salt to taste

Instructions

  • Cut the boiled potatoes into 1 inch cubes. Set aside.
  • To remove the pomegranate seeds, place it over a large bowl with cut-side down and hit with a back of a spoon (you can use your rolling pin also!), catching the seeds in the bowl. Set aside.
  • Heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the mustard seeds and let them crackle for a minute over medium heat.
  • Then add the cumin seeds, sesame seeds and curry leaves and stir-fry for a minute until fragrant.
  • Next add the ground spices – red chilli powder, turmeric powder, cumin powder and coriander powder.
  • Stir in the cubed potatoes and season with salt to taste. Mix well.
  • Stir-fry everything on high heat for 4 to 5 minutes until all potatoes are coated well with spices.
  • Remove from heat and stir in the chopped fresh coriander leaves and pomegranate seeds.
  • Sprinkle the lemon juice and serve hot!
Cumin Potato with Pomegranate Seeds