Honey Roasted Almonds 

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Today, we have a quick almond snack. This is the second day of the week in which I will be posting recipes of protein rich nuts and seeds. The daughter loves almonds and this made her eat them all the more. What more to ask for!

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Protein – Almonds

Recipe from here

WHAT WE NEED

Honey                             2 tbsp

Cinnamon powder       1/4 tsp

Almonds                         1  cup

Salt                                   1/4 tsp heaped
WHAT TO DO

  • Preheat the oven at 175C
  • Heat the honey in a microwave safe bowl for 1 minute on low power
  • Add the cinnamon and almonds to the honey and mix well
  • Line a baking tray with parchement paper
  • Spread the almonds on parchment paper
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes
  • Take the tray out once after 6 minutes and give it a shake
  • Let it cool completely
  • Transfer it to a bowl and mix with salt
  • Enjoy!

NOTES

  1. Let the almonds cool completely before transferring to the bowl. I did not wait long enough and the skin on the almonds came off. While it did not make an impact on the taste, it did not look very pretty.

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This is my post for the Mega Marathon under the theme, ‘Protein Rich Dishes’.
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Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 80

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Corn and Tomato Crostini with Cashew Cheese

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Ever since I started baking and reading about baking bread, I have fantasised about baking with bread flour. But t is not available in India and so that idea continued to stay in my fantasies. Though many people say that it doesn’t make much of a difference, I wanted to try it out once. Whenever any friend or relative would travel from the West and ask me what I want, my answer was invariably bread flour and rye flour. The response was mostly eye rolling, sighing and shaking heads in disappointment. Due to many reasons, I couldn’t be successful in this endeavour till one day the husband had to make a 2 day trip to Amsterdam. 

He was not pleased because it took him more time to travel than he would spend there. But I was not going to give up on this chance. I pleaded, coerced and bullied (mostly bullied) him to promise me to get bread flour.  He finally did when he figured he couldn’t get away this time. When he returned I grabbed the suitcase from him and almost tore it open. His exasperation coupled with jet lag was a sight to behold. He also got me some amazing waffle strudel which was one of the most delicious things I tasted. So extra brownie points for that!
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Finally I decided to bake a Boule with it for the Bread Bakers International Breads theme. You have to see the bread flour expanding to fill the bowl. It is so airy and light and has such a beautiful crust and crumb. I am in love and waiting for the husband’s next trip to Europe. Fingers crossed.

So I made some delicious and simple cashew cheese to go along with it. Then I figured I could make a crostini with corn and the cheese and translate that to a protein rich dish. Since I have used bread flour, that is also high in protein which is the icing on the cake. You can try this with any other bread like a baguette or even regular sliced bread. But a homemade bread does give an awesome flavour to it. This is a quick recipe for a breakfast or snack and can be made with whatever veggies no toppings you have on hand. I have used cashew cheese, the recipe for which will be posted next week. But you can use goat cheese or paneer or any other spread like hummus or baba ghanoush. It is all completely left to your imagination.

Protein – Corn and cashew cheese

Makes 6 slices

WHAT WE NEED

Bread slices                       6

Sweet corn, shelled          1/2 cup

Cherry tomatoes                10-12

Cashew cheese                    2-3 tbsp

Mixed herbs                         1 tsp

Fresh coriander                   2-3 stalks

Olive oil

Salt
WHAT TO DO

  • Preheat the oven to 175C
  • Brush the bread slices with olive oil and place them on a greased baking tray
  • Bake for 6-8 minutes. If you want it very crisp, bake for a minute or so longer
  • Cook the corn in a vessel with hot water for 6-8 minutes till it is well done
  • Drain the water from the corn
  • Cut the cherry tomatoes into halves
  • Mix the corn, cherry tomatoes, finely chopped coriander, mixed herbs and salt
  • Take out the bread slices from the oven
  • Spread some cashew cheese on the bread slices
  • Top it with the corn tomato mixture
  • Enjoy!

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This is my post for the Mega Marathon under the theme, ‘Protein Rich Dishes’.
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Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 80

Karamani Kuzhi Paniyaram

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Since we were good yesterday and had some nutritious mung sprouts soup, we can indulge ourselves today with this crispy kuzhi paniyaram or fried dumplings. Usually this is made with leftover idli batter but since we are on a protein rich theme, we shall make this with cowpeas / one eyed peas / lobia. The husband and daughter loved it so much that they can’t believe they weren’t given this delicacy all this time.

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My mother saw this recipe on TV by one of my favorite chefs, Venkatesh Bhat last month. She remembered my protein rich theme and immediately called me. I was so happy with this recipe because it shows that protein rich need not always be only healthy food but can also be fun. This is a lovely snack for a rainy evening, which is what we have been having in Bangalore for the past week or so. When I made this with some cardamom tea, the husband was ecstatic and the daughter gobbled quite a few within minutes.

The only time consuming part is the soaking of the cowpeas for 6-8 hours. The rest of the procedure is as easy as they come. An additional equipment you will need is an appe pan (as shown in the image below)

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Once the cowpeas are soaked, all you need to do is grind it with onion, green chillies, curry leaves, ginger and grated coconut. I had the coconut all ready but forgot to add it and so I omitted it. It tasted fabulous even then.

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Protein – Cowpeas / One eyed peas / Lobia / Karamani

Recipe from Samayal Samayal TV show

Serves 4

WHAT WE NEED

Cowpeas                                   1/2 cup

Onion, medium                       1

Curry leaves                            1 sprig

Ginger                                       1″

Green chillies                          1-2

Grated coconut                       1 tbsp

Salt

Ghee / clarified butter           to fry

 

WHAT TO DO

  • Wash and soak the cowpeas in 4 cups of water for 6-8 hours, till it can be mashed by your fingers
  • Drain the water and transfer the cowpeas to a mixer / blender
  • Roughly chop the onion, curry leaves, ginger and green chillies and add to the blender
  • Blend all the ingredients together with little water. The batter needs to be of consistency similar to the idli batter
  • Heat the appe pan and add ghee to each cavity of the pan till it almost half full with ghee
  • Once the ghee is sufficiently hot, use a spoon to drop batter in each cavity of the pan till it is full till the brim
  • When the sides of the paniyaram start to brown, use the backend of a spoon to gently turn it around to the other side
  • It should be completely cooked within a minute or so
  • Take it out of the pan
  • The paniyaram will be crispy on the outside and cotton-like light on the inside
  • Serve hot with ketchup or any other chutney or dip of your choice
  • Enjoy!

NOTES

  1. According to the original recipe, the onion, ginger, curry leaves and chillies were to be fried in a teaspoon of oil and added to the cowpeas after it was ground to a batter. I did not do so because it would be an additional pan to clean and the daughter is not a huge fan of curry leaves and keeps pulling it out of all dishes to discard. You could do it for a good bite and more pronounced flavours.
  2. If you end up adding a little too much water while blending, add 1-2 tbsp of rice flour or semolina to thicken the batter

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This is my post for the second day of the Mega Marathon for ‘Protein Rich Dishes’.

 

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Potato Burger

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After the yummy paneer burger, I have a more classic version today which is a vegetarian’s go-to option – Potato Burger or as McD calls it here Aloo Tikki Burger. I have made the patty for this one countless times but never as a burger style. Usually we make it as aloo tikki and have it with chutney or ketchup as an evening snack. I figured I could put this into a bun and make it a delicious burger with some mayonnaise and cheese.

I am no fan of lettuce and I so I have avoided it in my recipes but you can add it if you like. I am probably one of the few people who likes to eat capsicum raw. So, for some green, I have included a slice of capsicum in this burger instead of an onion. If you leave it out, I will totally understand. This patty recipe is from my mom and a family favorite. So here goes –

Makes 2 burgers

Potatoes, large, boiled                            2

Bread slices                                                2

Chilly powder                                             1/2 -1 tsp

Garam masala                                            1/2 tsp

Coriander leaves, finely chopped        2-3 tsp

Salt

Oil for shallow frying

Burger buns                                                2

Mayonnaise                                                2 tbsp

Tomato slices                                             2-3

Capsicum slices                                         2

Cheese slices                                              2

 

WHAT TO DO

  • Peel the potatoes and mash them to ensure no lumps are left
  • Take some water in a plate and soak the bread slices in the water, one by one
  • Squeeze out the water and add the bread slices to the mashed potatoes and mix well
  • Add the chilly powder, coriander leaves, garam masala and salt and mix well to form a patty dough
  • Divide the dough into two and shape each part into a patty the size of your palm
  • Heat some oil in a pan
  • Place the patties on the oil and fry them till both sides are golden brown
  • Remove from the pan and set aside
  • Cut the burger buns horizontally into two and toast them lightly, if you like
  • Apply some mayonnaise on the lower half of the bun and place the patty over it
  • Top the patty with tomato and capsicum slices and place a cheese slice on top
  • Cover the cheese slice with the top half of the bun
  • Serve with ketchup
  • Enjoy!

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This is my post for the Blogging Marathon under the theme – Burgers.

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Check out the Blogging Marathon page for other marathoners doing this BM.

McD style Paneer Burger

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Saying that I love paneer is similar to saying that the earth is round. Known undisputed fact. I include it in most dishes I make and it only turns out better. Ever since McD introduced the paneer burger, it is the only thing I order when we eat there. So when I picked the burger theme for this month’s Blogging Marathon, my first thought was the amazing paneer burger which has been on the cards for a while now. The only problem I have with the McD version is that it is too spicy for my taste. So I modified that part and made a fabulous mildly spicy version. I made this while the husband was on tour and so enjoyed it all on my own in dairy heaven.

I made this burger from scratch including baking the burger buns and making paneer at home. Totally worth the effort! I will post the burger buns recipe soon. This recipe is only for making the paneer patty and assembling the burger. So here goes –

Recipe adapted from here.

Makes 1 burger

WHAT WE NEED

Paneer slice                                   1 * 50 gms

Quick cooking oats                      3 tbsp

Chilly powder                                1/2 tsp

Cornflour paste                             2 tbsp                   

Mayonnaise                                     1 tbsp

Chilly sauce                                      1 tsp

Oil for deep frying

Tomato slice                                       1-2

Onion slice                                          1

Salt

Burger bun, lightly toasted             1

WHAT TO DO

  • Take the quick cooking oats in a blender jar and blend it to a powder.
  • Mix the oats powder with salt and chilly powder and keep it in a flat plate or bowl
  • For the cornflour paste, mix 2 tbsp of cornflour with 1-2 tsp water to make a paste that can be coated on the paneer
  • Heat the oil 
  • Take the paneer slice and coat it with the cornflour paste
  • Once it is fully coated, put the paneer in the plate of oats and coat it on all sides thoroughly 
  • Slip the paneer slice into the hot oil and fry till turns golden brown
  • Take it of the oil and set aside

Assembling the burger

  • Cut the burger bun horizontally and toast it, if you like it that way
  • Else, simply cut the burger bun and place the two slices side by side
  • On the lower half, place the paneer patty and top it with tomato and onion slices
  • Mix the mayonnaise with the chilly sauce and add it on top of the onion slice
  • Place the top half of the burger on the mayo 
  • Serve with tomato ketchup
  • Enjoy!

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Notes –

  1. For a more spicy version, add tobasco sauce with the mayo and increase the chilly powder to 1 tsp while mixing it with the oats powder
  2. For a more authentic taste, you can add cayenne pepper powder instead of chilly powder
  3. I am not a fan of lettuce and so I usually avoid it. You can place the lettuce on the burger bun and place the paneer patty on it if you like.

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Check out the Blogging Marathon page for other marathoners doing this BM.

Dahi ke Tikki

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I think it is pretty obvious by now that I am a die-hard fan of Venkatesh Bhat, the chef at Accord in Chennai. His cooking show ‘Samayal Samayal” is the only show I watch without fail. The best part about his show is that he makes most dishes seem easily achievable and cooking a pleasure rather than a chore it usually becomes. Another amazing aspect is that his recipes work so well. I have tried quite a few of them and had amazing results.

This recipe was shared on his program last year and I had bookmarked it for a very long time. The main ingredient for this tikki is hung curd which was not easily achievable during my Malaysian days. Once I got full fat milk in Bangalore, I was reminded of this dish and got to it at once. I used the curd set from full fat milk (Nandini Gold) and the results were yummy and soft tikkis, almost melt in your mouth. I would urge you to make smaller tikkis than I did because it is quite filling and tough to eat one entire tikki of this size at one go. I made 6 tikkis but I am guessing 8 or 9 would have been more manageable. So here goes –

Makes 8-9 medium sized tikkis

WHAT WE NEED

Hung curd                         250 gms

Paneer                                100 gms

Roasted gram                   150 gms

Ginger garlic paste          1-2 tsp

Green chillies                    1-2

Coriander leaves              small bunch

Almonds                             6-8

Cashew                               5-6

Raisins                                6-8

Salt

Ground pepper

Cornflour for dusting

Ghee for shallow frying

WHAT TO DO

  • To get hung curd, take 900 ml or 1 litre full fat curd in a cheesecloth, tie it up and let it hang in a vessel overnight or 6-7 hours in the refrigerator. The entire water content of the curd needs to drip out and the remaining curd in the cheesecloth is the hung curd and should be around 250 gms.
  • Use a blender or mixer and reduce the roasted gram to a fine powder
  • Grate or crumble the paneer till it has no large or small pieces and can be easily mixed into a dough
  • Combine all three of the above ingredients with ginger garlic paste and salt and make it into a fine dough.
  • Add freshly ground pepper and mix it again
  • Set the mixture aside for 10-15 minutes
  • Finely chop green chillies and coriander leaves
  • Add the almonds, cashews and raisins to the blender and make them into a coarse mixture
  • Mix the dry fruits with the chillies and coriander leaves
  • To save time, you can add the chillies and coriander leaves to the blender with the dry fruits and make it to a coarse paste
  • Dust your hands with cornflour and divide the curd mixture into 8 or 9 parts
  • Dust each part with a little cornflour. Make a small depression in the middle and add some of the dry fruit mixture into it and seal it shut
  • Pat it on both sides to make a circular flat tikki
  • Repeat the process till you have 8-9 stuffed tikkis ready for frying
  • Heat 2-3 tbsp ghee in a pan and then simmer the gas
  • Add the tikkis and fry them in batches or all at once depending on the size of your pan
  • After a minute or so, use a spatula and lift the tikki off the pan to ensure it does not stick on it
  • Turn the tikki over after 3-4 minutes and fry the other side. Take the tikki from the pan once both sides are golden brown in colour
  • Serve with some mint chutney
  • Enjoy!

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This is my entry for the Cooking from Cookbook Challenge hosted by Srivalli.

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Cheesy Ropes

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This week’s theme at the Blogging Marathon is tea time snacks. This reminds me of this awesome samosa kachori shop in Bangalore which was very close home. Usually the husband would walk to the store around 4 pm during weekends and get fresh and hot kachoris (for me) and samosas (for him) and we would have those with tea. I miss that shop and the owner who was one of the few people in Bangalore who spoke to me in Hindi and we would spend time chatting whenever I went there much to the husband’s dismay because he cannot understand why people need to talk to each other.

Now that we are in a non-samosa kachori place, it falls to my lot to come up with tea time snacks. I, as always, try to minimize work, vessels used and calories, in that order. I saw this particular recipe in a cookbook I bought in Kuala Lumpur. It has easy baking recipes for simple dishes like carrot cake, etc. This recipe is very easy but not so good on the calorie front. But, one cant have everything, everytime, right?

So here goes –

WHAT WE NEED

Butter                                   60 gms

Cream cheese                   60 gms (softened to room temperature)

Egg                                        1

Salt                                        ½ tsp

Pepper                                 ½ – 1 tsp

All purpose flour             180 gms’

Baking powder                 1 tsp

 

WHAT TO DO

  • Preheat the oven to 175 C
  • Cream butter and cheese
  • Beat in the egg and add salt and pepper
  • Sift in the flour and baking powder
  • Combine to form a soft dough
  • On a lightly floured board, roll out the dough and cut into strips.
  • Hold one end of the strip in each hand and twist in opposite directions to form a spiral shaped strip
  • Place on an ungreased baking tray and press the ends lightly on the tray
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes or till golden
  • Transfer to a wire rack to cool
  • Store in an air tight container and enjoy it with tea!

 

NOTES

  1. The original recipe suggests using white pepper powder. I did not have it and so used garlic pepper. It gave an additional flavour and was good.
  2. On cutting the dough into strips, you could cut the strips into halves which would make smaller ropes which are easier to handle and eat.
  3. Makes yummy finger food for toddlers. Mine has been gobbling them up like there is no tomorrow.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for other Marathoners doing this BM

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