Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Eggless pumpkin almond cake











Ingredients:

1 cup grated pumpkin

1st set - wet ingredients:
6fl oz evaporated milk(i.e 14 tbsp evaporated milk or 1/2 can of evaporated milk)
1/2 cup canola or flavor less olive oil (I used 1/4 cup canola oil and 1/4 cup vegan margarine)
1.5 cup milk

2nd set - dry ingredients:
2.5 cup unbleached all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
2 pinches of cardamom, cinnamon, dry ginger powder (use whatever u have in hand, even 1 or 2 of the above spice is fine)
1 cup dark brown sugar(you can use light brown sugar or white sugar too)
1/4 cup slivered almonds


Method:
Preheat oven to 350 degree Fahrenheit

Microwave pumpkin for 2 mins on high

Take 2 mixing bowls

Add 1st set to one bowl

2nd set to another bowl.

Mix all the wet ingredients so they are homogeneous

Mix all dry ingredients so there are no lumps. Use your hand or a whisk to check the lumps

Now add the wet ingredients to dry ingredients and gently fold, do not whisk. If very thick and cannot be ladled add 1 or 2 more table spoon of milk. The batter consistency is pretty thick something between general cake and cookie batter

Take a pan(I used a bundt pan) spray with oil spray like pam. and slowly transfer the the batter in the pan. The batter will not flow, so u need to spread it with the ladle.

Bake in the lower rack for 30 mins.
After 30 mins use a toothpick and if it is clean. Take it out cool for 20 minutes and slice.


Enjoy!!

OPTIONS:

You can use grated carrots or butter nut squash for this recipe.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Paneer in hariyali gravy

Today I tried created a hariyali gravy that resembles mirch masala frozen hariyali packets(I love it) after lot of recipe reading. i decided to modify Mallika Badrinath's palak cauliflower base to create my hariyali gravy.
I did make a lot of changes. The end result was just awesome.
If I want a green gravy...this is the one that will grace my table...absolutely fell in love.
Paneer lovers should try this.



Ingredients:


1st set
10 cashews
2 spoon poppy seeds
2 table spoon coconut(unsweetened)


2nd set
Spinach 1 cup
2 spring onion bunches green parts alone
green chili to taste
1/2 stalk celery diced(optional)

3rd set
1 green bell pepper diced into small pieces
1 zucchini diced finely
handful of green beans
1 onion minced
5 garlic cloves crushed

4th set
1spoon chili powder/cayenne (adjust according to taste)
1 spoon coriander
1 spoon kitchen king masala/curry powder(Kitchen king masala powder is available in any indian stores)
pinch of cardamom powder
salt to taste


Other:
1/4 cup milk
1 cup of diced and microwaved paneer
3 table spoon oil
handful of cilantro chopped finely

Method:

  1. Grind first set finely
  2. saute second set in 1 table spoon oil and set aside
  3. once it cools add it to first set and add the milk and grind into a fine green paste
  4. heat the remaining 2 table spoon oil, add a 3rd set and in medium flame saute nicely
  5. say after 5-10 minutes add the 4th set
  6. once raw smell goes, add cilantro
  7. Add the ground green mixture, keep in low for 10 minutes
  8. add paneer and serve hot with phulkas, naans or rotis
Note:
When I mean spoon, it is teaspoon

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Whole grain penne with garbanzo beans and zucchini


Ingredients:
1/2 pound whole grain penne cooked as per directed in the package
2 teaspoon sundried tomato pesto (as per Heidi's recipe or store bought)
1 table spoon olive oil
2 garlic cloves minced
1 can garbanzo's rinsed
1 medium sized zucchini sliced as half moons
2 table spoon shredded basil

salt and pepper to taste

Method:

Heat oil.
Add garlic an wait till they turn golden brown.
Add zucchini and wait for say 2- 3 minutes they will be caramelized on one side
Now add garbanzo's, salt, pepper and saute for a minute.
Add the cooked pasta with say 2 tablespoon pasta water, sun dried tomato pesto and basil.
cook in medium flame for 2-3 minutes till all flavors merge.
Serve hot or cold.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Cannellini beans stuffed portabellos



Cannellini Beans stuffed portabello mushrooms

Ingredients
3 big portabello mushroom caps or 6 white mushrooms big enough to be stuffed
1 big onion sliced into thin pieces
2 garlic crushed
1/2 tsp sugar
I can(454 gram)cannellini beans(Youca n substitue them with navy/lima or garbanzos)
black pepper to taste
salt to taste
2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary(1 teaspoon if it is dried)
2 tablespoons oil(I used olive oil)
2 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese

Method
Remove the stalks from mushroom.
Scrape the gills sprinkle some salt and pepper on the stalk side
Spray mushrooms with oil
I grilled them in Cuisinart grill, if you do not have a grill..spray your nonstick with oil place the mushroom on the pan and press it with a steel\/wooden spatula, so that it sizzles and cooks nicely

Now prepare the filling:
Take a non-stick pan
Heat 1 table spoon oil
Add onions , garlic , chopped herb, sugar, black pepper and salt to taste
keep it on medium flame and let it caramelize(onions will turn to nice light brown ...butterscotch color)
Drain and Mash the beans and keep ready.(Don't mash it into a paste,just a rough mash should suffice)
Once the onions caramelize, add the beans, cheese and mix well.Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the mixture.
Separate the mixture into 3 parts, place the mushroom stalk side up on a plate and mound on the filling. I served it with grilled asparagus. See Illustration

User Comments & Tips
If you are using regular mushrooms spread out the filling among the mushrooms.
You can serve it with simple salad or grilled vegetables.
You can even broil(say 6-8 minutes) or bake the mushroom in oven(350degrees F 30 minutes) after spraying it with oil.

If you prefer more tanginess you can substitue goat cheese for feta

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Jerk fried rice



This is my entry for Meeta's Monthly mingle on carribean cooking.

I have always loved jerk seasoning, but I usually use it to prepare jerk tofu. For this MM I wanted to create something with jerk seasoning with a twist, hence came the jerk fried rice. It uses not only jerk seasoning but the great combination of rice and red beans.

serves 4

Ingredients:-
2 cups cooked rice (I used basmati, you can use any type of rice, even brown rice would work great here)
1/2 cup red kidney beans soaked and cooked or 450 grams canned red kidney beans (make sure you have the red beans drained and washed in cold water before adding to the rice)
2 cups mixed vegetables( I used frozen stir fry vegetable blend)
1 red onion diced
3 cloves garlic crushed
2 inch ginger crushed
1 tablespoon of chopped green onion for garnish
3 sprigs of fresh thyme or 1 tsp dried thyme
4 tablespoon vegetable or canola oil
salt to taste

Jerk spice To Grind
1 inch cinnamon
3 cloves
6 allspice berries or 1 tsp allspice ground
1 tsp red pepper flakes 1/2 spoon..if not available use cayenne or red chili powder
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder

Method:-


  • Grind the jerk seasoning to a nice powder in a coffe grinder and keep separately.
  • Heat 2 table spoon of oil in a wide pan
  • saute red onion, garlic, ginger
  • when onions are caramelized, add vegetables ...saute for another 3 minutes on medium flame...if using fresh vegetables, saute in medium flame till the vegetables are cooked through.

  • Add cooked red beans and saute for another minute

  • Add ground jerk spices and thyme.Mix nicely.

  • Add the red kidney beans and saute for a minute.

  • Now add add the cooked rice, remaining 2 tablespoon oil and salt.

  • Mix slowly so that all the ingredients are mixed together nicely.

  • Garnish with green onions and serve hot



Note: It is also good for next day lunch. If you want more spice, increase the amount of red pepper and black pepper.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Simple curry sauce


The simple curry sauce is the one that I use as a base if I want a quick fixing north Indian curry. It is so versatile that with few canned ingredients, you can prepare it in a jiffy.
The sauce is very adaptable, you can increase tomato sauce or decrease or like wise increase or decrease the milk to get the taste you crave.
If you find the sauce too thin just mix 1 teaspoon of cornstarch in 1/4 cup water and add it to the sauce...and simmer for few minutes ...that will thicken the sauce.

Ingredients:
1 onion minced
1 garlic clove minced
½ inch ginger minced
2 table spoon oil /butter

2 tea spoon mild curry powder… I use kitchen king masala available in Indian stores or S&B available in ranch market/ lucky..(I would suggest to add 1.5 teaspoon first and add the rest of 1/2 teaspoon after you taste while simmering and feel it needs it)

¼ spoon cardamom (if you don’t have, use cinnamon)
1 can tomato sauce 8oz
1 can evaporated milk

3/4 tea spoon light/dark brown sugar
Salt and pepper/cayenne/red chili powder to taste

Method:
Heat oil/butter on medium heat. Add onion, garlic, ginger sauté till it turns light golden brown.
Now add curry powder sauté for another 30-45 seconds, add tomato sauce and mix well.
Leave it for a couple of minutes. Make sure you keep the flame medium or medium-low, as high flame will result in tomato sauce splutters
Add salt and pepper/cayenne/red chili powder. Stir well.
Now slowly add evaporated milk using one hand and stir using another. (This technique will prevent curdling).
Once the milk is fully incorporated…Add the brown sugar and heat for another 2 minutes.
Add Paneer or any poached/grilled meat or steamed or boiled vegetables …enjoy !!! My illustration shows cubed paneer.


Garnish with freshly chopped cilantro.

To have rich version you can always substitute evaporated milk with whipping cream and also add 1 table spoon cashew or almond butter along with curry powder. You can also use normal sugar or honey instead of brown sugar.

If you taste the sauce and feel it is slightly bitter, that means you have added more curry powder and your curry powder is strong. In this case add 1/2 spoon more of sugar and also increase the cream/milk till you get the correct taste.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Vegan sweet crepes with creamy filling




Sweet dosas/crepes are one of south Indian delicacy, here I have modified it to use wheat flour(traditionally all purpose flour is used) and also a vegan cream filling to resemble sweet crepes available in pancake houses.The cardamom spells Indian flavor but if you don not have it feel free to substitute with cinnamon.This is my entry for paajaka's Sweet series - Rice/Wheat sweets & Diabetic friendly sweets




Makes about 6 crepes



Ingredients
1/2 whole wheat flour - I used golden temple Atta

3 table spoon dark brown sugar - You can use any kind of sweetener

1/8 spoon of cardamom
use about 1 cup water and make a batter , if batter is too thick add more water to thin it down, so it has crepe/dosa batter consistency


Nicely blend the following with a hand mixer or fork:


4 table spoon tofutti - soy based cream cheese

1/4 spoon vanilla

1 table spoon sugar


You can any chopped fruits or berries to the above mixture




METHOD:
Lightly oil a omelet/tawa/crepe pan and prepare the crepe, it is prepared like rava dosa ,where you slightly pour the batter and rotate the pan to coat.


Use non stick pan only and use only medium flame.


Add a teaspoon of oil(it has to be tasteless like canola, if you use diary use ghee/clarified butter for enhanced flavor)around the crepe, I just sprayed canola oil spray, in about a minute or 2 it will be done.


Now add a dollop of tofutti mixture in the center and fold it into four.


Serve it with a fruit wedge.



If you are having tough time getting the crepes out of the pan try adding more oil or 1 tablespoon of rice flour to the batter.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Low fat spagetti primavera

















I have this Italian cook book of sunset publications sitting in my shelf for say 2 years. The one dish that has repeatedly captured me was their primavera which was said to be feasted by Botticelli models after their modelling...nice ah....but ...like the usual dishes it was prepared with butter and heavy cream.....I came up with my low fat version by substituting fiber enriched Ronzoni's thin spaghetti in a box for fresh egg pasta, whole milk and cornstarch for heavy cream.
I also threw in some my favorite vegetables. You can easily make a Vegan pasta primavera out of this but substituting milk with water/vegetable stock and 2 tablespoon plain Tofutti(soy based cream cheese). This is a very healthy dish as it has a cartload of vegetables.

Ingredients: (Serves 4)
8 OZ dried thin fiber enriched spaghetti(You can use any noodle like pasta, even wheat spaghetti will taste good, 80z is half the box of pasta available in unites states)
1 cup whole milk
1 spoon cornstarch
1/2 spoon dried basil
1/2 spoon pepper
2 table spoon olive oil
1/4 cup Parmesan
salt to taste

2 shallots diced
10 asparagus stalks cut into small pieces(I used frozen asparagus from Trader Joe's)
4 spring onion stalks, white green all cut into small pieces
1 orange bell pepper cut into thin strips
1/4 cup frozen peas
6 baby carrots sliced(I would suggest to omit these ..because they did not taste good in left overs...yes I ate the same thing for lunch the next day...yum)
1 small zucchini diced
1 pack Enoki mushrooms ..bottom trimmed(I got this from Asian market and since I had only this in the pantry..i used this..gave a pretty look... feel free to substitute with white button mushrooms , which was the ones used in original recipe)

Method:

Boil noodles according to package drain and keep aside
Take a wide pan. Heat olive oil in medium saute shallots when they glisten, add peppers, asparagus, zucchini, carrots, mushrooms. Saute till the vegetables are still in shape but cooked. I do it by closing it with a lid for say 3 minutes. You need to check with your cooking range though and also peek in between.... if you suspect charring, open and give a stir. Once veggies cook add peas and spring onions, basil, pepper and salt. saute for another minute.

Now mix cornstarch into the cold milk and pour it over the vegetables. On medium heat let it come to a slow boil.
Now add the spaghetti, and Parmesan mix well and serve. Note that I have used noodles and spaghetti and even pasta interchangeably for dish .

For vegan version microwave Tofutti for say 40 seconds, add vegetable stock or water and mix so they are incorporated. Add it instead of milk and let it bubble. You can adjust the amount of Tofutti as per your taste and use vegan Parmesan too.

Even though it may look daunting with lot of vegetables, it is very easy and quick. Put the noodles to boil, prepare the vegtables when the noodl es are cooking ...drian the noodles and then prepare the sauce...in this order it will come about quickly...

Monday, January 26, 2009

Tofu Chili Plate - Healthy Family dinner


I have been a passive blogger for about 3 years now. I started food blogging to distribute my recipes to my friends, but since last year after seeing so much activities going around the food blogs ...my new resolution this year was to make my blog active too.....I was thinking of a way to do it and then I came across Meeta's Monthly Mingle hosted this time by Michelle of WhatsCookingBlog...wow!!! what a way to start...so here I go with my contribution.


My healthy dinners are usually prepared on spot with the ingredients I have at hand and this was one of them...I hope you enjoy it as much as we enjoyed.



Ingredients:


1 block of super firm tofu or pressed firm tofu, cut into long thin strips

1/2 green cabbage shredded finely

20 grape/cherry tomatoes

4 long green peppers sliced thinly(I used cayenne peppers, you can use de-seeded Jalapeno if you cannot find cayenne peppers)

1 small spear of broccoli sliced thinly

1 shallot diced


1 table spoon of pine nuts(you can use any nuts you have at hand)


1/2 spoon cayenne pepper powder/ red chili powder

black pepper and salt to taste

1 spoon chili oil( if you do not have this, use normal oil and a pinch of chili /cayenne powder)


2 teaspoon oil

A non stick pan/wok



Method:

Heat the pan till it becomes really hot ...add oil to the pan
Now add shallots, peppers, cabbage, broccoli, cayenne powder and stir fry for say 3 minutes. The vegetables will start to wilt and your kitchen will start smelling like stir fry restaurant.

Now add the tomatoes, black pepper and salt ...saute for another 30-40 seconds and transfer into into a plate


In the same wok/pan add the chili oil and stir fry tofu with a pinch of salt. Add it to the stir fried veggies.


As the last step... in to the hot wok add the pine nuts and toast them till they start to brown slightly and add it to the plate.


Your healthy dinner is ready...eat it when it is hot and enjoy!.



Friday, January 23, 2009

Yellow squash sabzi

I had 3 yellow squashes that I bought on impulse when I visited the nearest grocery store. I left them in refrigerator for a week postponing the day to cook, I searched for various recipes using them I came across a pasta dish, a Mexican casserole extra...i had such big plans for the vegetable but at last I ended up cooking it into a simple sabzi...truth to be told I have no regrets...it was awesome...do try it.

If you do not have yellow squash use zucchini or Italian squash

Ingredients

3 yellow squash

1/2 spoon mustard
1/2 spoon spilt urad dal
3 table spoon olive oil

2 teaspoon onion powder
1 spoon garlic powder

3/4 red chilli powder
3/4 spoon corianderpowder
1/4 spoon cumin powder
1/2 spoon turmeric

salt to taste

1 table spoon chopped cilantro


Method

Dice squash into small pieces with the skin on.
heat 1 table spoon oil in a non stick pan, add mustard and urad when it starts spluttering
add the onion and garlic powder saute till they becomes light brown...don't burn it
dump the squash..and mix so that the spice powder coat the squash
now add turmeric, chilli, coriander, cumin powders and salt mix well.
close it with lid and leave it in medium flame for say 3-4 minutes.
then open the lid and let the liquids evaporate.
No need to add any water squash has enough water to cook by itself.

once all the water dries up add cilantro...mix well.

Serve with rice or roti.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Theratipal

Microwave Theratipal

Theratipal also known as paal kova or milk halwa is very famous dessert of TamilNadu, India.
This version is one of the simplest, Few years ago I came across this particular ratio in one of web page. So I did not invent the recipe, just listing it for my fellow bloggers to try.

Ingredients:

1 can condensed milk(Do not use fat free condensed milk..believe me I tried and the result was ...yuck)
3 spoon full fat yogurt
1 spoon ghee or clarified butter



In my microwave 1200 watts with power set to 100% this takes 6-8 minutes.
So adjust settings according to your microwave.

Take a microwave safe bowl and add all the ingredients, mix well.
Microwave it for 2 minutes, take it out mix well and microwave for another 2 minutes.
Do this till you get a crumbly kind of mixture. I will try to post a picture showing exact consistency...usually that is achieved at about 7 minutes.

Make sure you do not overcook. The correct consistency in other words is the one where there is no milk liquid but neither it is rubbery. If you tend to cook for long duration it will be burnt become rubbery .

Serve it hot or cold. I like serving it hot with vanilla ice cream.