Sandwich Platter


Yes, I still exist and so does the blog. I took a break for a couple of months to take car elf some other stuff in my life. Not that I completed everything I wanted to do in these two months but I am significantly more in control than I started out. In these two months, the daughter started kindergarten and has to be woken up at 6 am every morning. Thank you for your sympathies. My mom is turning 60 and so we did a little pre-celebration for that with a trip to Coorg. By the time I coordinated with the entire family of only 6 people and planned the trip, the white hairs on my head quatrupled. Then my father-in-law turned 70 last month. You see where this story is going and why I didn’t blog.

This week’s theme is about my favourite meal – breakfast. One of the few things I enjoy since exchanging my money paying job for tantrums and yells paying job is a leisure breakfast. I pack off the husband and daughter and sit down to relish my breakfast while scrolling through the social media feeds or listening to some melodious tunes while watching the clouds darkening and hoping for a quick rain. This week’s theme is ‘Weekend Breakfast’ which is a class of its own. Before the daughter was born, our weekend breakfast was a routine trip to the nearby Udupi restaurant. We even ordered the same items every week. The husband would choose poori sabji while I would have set dosai and kurma which would be washed down with s strong dose of filter coffee.

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Since I love bread and therefore sandwiches, I make different types of sandwiches for breakfast on a weekend. This gives us a chance to experiment and also the daughter gets to taste new stuff regularly. The humble sandwich lets us experiment with everything from the type of bread to the spread and fillings. It can be a hearty nutritious meal or a tasty drooling treat.

The sandwich platter is accompanied by fruits and some saffron milk for the kid and some fresh lime juice for me. This platter has –

  • Grilled Potato sandwiches with a spicy coriander chutney
  • Hummus sandwich with tomatoes and cucumber
  • Grilled cheese and tomato sandwich
  • The classic – Bread butter jam

You have a choice to either grill or toast your bread or have it plain. The spread can be anything from coriander or mint chutney to hummus or cheese spread. The fillings can be the usual tomatoes and cucumber or potatoes or healthy like beetroot and carrots. These sandwiches can be had with mayonnaise or ketchup.

 There are hardly any recipes in these sandwiches, just a simple assembly of readymade / raw ingredients. The new thing I tried was grilled halloumi cheese with raw tomato slices inside lightly buttered toasted bread. One thing to keep in mind is that halloumi is a very salty cheese and you don’t need any extra salt for the sandwich.

For the hummus sandwich, I used plain bread to which I applied a generous dose of hummus. Then I placed tomato and cucumber slices to complete the sandwich.

I made the bread butter jam because I wanted backup for my daughter in case she didn’t like any of the others. Usually I get the unsalted butter to room temperature and then mix one part butter with one part jam of my choice to form a smooth mix. Then I apply it on the bread. This is usually the first bread I make and set it aside for 10-15 minutes which makes it so much more delicious. This time I used pink guava jam which was loved by us all.

The only thing I made was the spicy coriander chutney. I used it along with boiled and mashed potatoes seasoned with salt and pepper. Then I grilled the sandwich to a crisp treat.

 So here is the recipe for the chutney. I am not sure of the source of this recipe. I have been making it for a long while now. If I am not mistaken, it is from Sanjeev Kapoor’s website. This is a quick, no cook, no coconut chutney perfect for a spicy sandwich.

WHAT WE NEED

Bread slices                                2

Green chillies                            1-2

Coriander leaves & stems        8-10

Salt

Water

WHAT TO DO

  • Tear the bread into 4-5 pieces and put it in a blender
  • Cut the green chillies and add it to the bread. If you do not want a very spicy chutney, you can add 1 chilly else go for 2.
  • Wash and tear the coriander and add it to the bread
  • Add salt and requisite water to blend all the ingredients to a smooth paste
  • Generously apply on bread slices and add the veggies of your choice to make a spicy sandwich
  • Enjoy!


This is my post for the Blogging Marathon under the theme, ‘Weekend Breakfast’.
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Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing this BM

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Aloo Gobhi

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Some dishes are very fancy in method and name while others are simple and pure bliss. I never did quite imagine I would be in raptures about the very traditional, very classic and as old as earth dish, aloo gobhi. Plain old potatoes and cauliflower, if made right, can make you float in the air with the feeling of all is going to be right in your life. Isn’t that strange about food? Some meals comfort you and make you a little more optimistic and charged up to fight the world again. This is totally that kind of meal.

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We have Chef Venkatesh Bhat to thank again. I am simply in love with his recipes which are simple yet heavenly to taste and pick me up when I am feeling low. The daughter’s song of the month is ‘Raindrops and Roses’ from the movie, Sound of Music. So when ‘the dog bites, when the bee stings, when I am feeling sad’ I simply remember Venkatesh Bhat’s recipes and then I don’t feel sooooo bad. This is turning into a fan mail rather than a recipe post. So without any more ‘jollu’ I shall embark on the recipe. You can watch all his recipes on hotstar.com under the show title of Samayal Samayal in Vijay TV. Only thing is you need to understand some basic Tamil to get it. So here goes –

Serves 3

WHAT WE NEED

Potatoes, large                  2

Cauliflower, medium      1

Onions, medium              2

Green chillies, slit           2

Cumin seeds                      1/2 tsp

Ginger garlic paste          1 1/2 tsp

Tomatoes, medium         2

Turmeric powder             A pinch

Red chilly powder           1/4 – 1/2 tsp

Garam masala                  1/2 tsp

Cumin powder                  1/4 tsp

Kasoori methi                   2 tbsp

Water

Salt

Oil for deep frying

Ginger juellines to garnish
WHAT TO DO

  • Par boil the potatoes and set aside. 
  • Cut the cauliflower into florets and steam them. I usually steam the cauliflower florets in an idli plate for 5-7 minutes
  • Peel and dice the potatoes into medium sized cubes
  • Heat oil in a deep pan for frying
  • Once the oil is hot, drop the potatoes and cauliflower florets and flash fry till there is a crisp coating on the two vegetables. If this step is not done the final dish will be in a mashed consistency like a filling for samosa. If you need the potatoes and cauliflower to retain their shape and form, then this flash frying is essential.
  • Take them out of the oil and set aside
  • Heat 2 tbsp oil in a pan and add cumin seeds and slit green chillies
  • Once the cumin seeds splutter, add the onions and fry till they turn golden brown
  • Add the ginger garlic paste and sauté till it turns golden to dark brown
  • Add the chopped tomatoes, turmeric powder, red chilly powder, garam masala, cumin powder and mix well
  • Fry for 2 minutes and then add 1/2 cup water and salt and cover to cook
  • Soak the kasoori methi in water for 3-4 minutes
  • The water in the pan should have almost evaporated by now. Add the potatoes and the cauliflower and toss well
  • Squeeze dry the kasoori methi and add to the pan
  • Garnish with ginger juellines
  • Serve warm with hot rotis or phulkas
  • Enjoy!

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This is my post for the Blogging Marathon under the theme – Make a meal.

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

Rajma Paratha

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Every cloud has a silver lining and this paratha is my silver lining to the disastrous attempt of a croquette that I tried. I was excited after seeing the recipe for Kidney beans croquettes on Venkatesh Bhat’s show. It is a recipe for a rajma and potato tikki filled with dried figs. Sounds tempting? I bought the rajma and went about the entire process diligently. It was all good till we suddenly decided to eat out that day and the next leaving me no time nor neccesity to make these croquettes. Feeling sorry for myself, I dumped the mixture in the fridge and forgot about it for a day or so.

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Lately, the daughter has taken to deciding the daily menus which is good but her choices only revolve around pancakes, curd rice and roti. So when she asked for a paratha I had a brain wave. I packed the rajma mixture into whole wheat flour and called it Rajma Paratha. What say? So here goes –

Makes 8-9 Parathas

WHAT WE NEED

 Rajma / kidney beans               100 gms

Onions, medium size                   3

Green chillies                                 2

Fresh coriander                            10-12 stalks

Potatoes, medium                        2

Coriander powder                         3/4 tsp

Jeera / Cumin powder                  1/4 tsp

Garam masala                                1/2 tsp

Bread slices                                     2

Wheat flour                                      2 cups

Water

Ghee / clarified butter to make parathas 

Salt
WHAT TO DO  

  • Soak the kidney beans in water for half hour and drain the water.
  • Thoroughly wash the potatoes
  • Pressure cook it for 10-12 whistles in 2 cups water along with the potatoes and set aside for 20 minutes
  • Finely chop the onions and coriander.
  • Slit the green chillies vertically, deseed and finely chop them
  • Run the bread slices in a blender to get bread crumbs
  • Mix the wheat flour with requisite water and salt to make a soft dough for the parathas and set aside
  • Take out the kidney beans and potatoes from the cooker, drain the water and mash them thoroughly to ensure no lumps are left
  • Add the coriander powder, cumin powder, garam masala and salt
  • Add the onions, green chillies and fresh coriander and mix well to form a dough
  • Add the bread crumbs and mix well
  • Divide the mixture into 8-9 parts
  • Divide the wheat dough into 8-9 parts and use your hands to form smooth dough balls without any cracks
  • Take one of the dough balls and roll it out like a roti 
  • Place the kidney bean mixture in the centre of the roti and fold in the roti from the outside to form a tight large ball of dough. 
  • Roll out the stuffed dough into a medium sized paratha
  • Heat a tava and place the paratha on it. Cook it on both sides till it has golden brown spots on either side. It should take around 3-4 minutes
  • Take it off the heat and add little ghee on top and spread it on the entire paratha
  • Repeat the process for the other dough balls as well
  • Serve hot with any raita and pickle of your choice
  • Enjoy it on a cold winter day!

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This is my post for the Blogging Marathonunder the theme – Make a Meal.

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

Potato and Corn Chowder

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Honestly, I cannot believe that I completed the Mega Marathon in time. It was a challenging month with the moving in to the new house and settling down and blogging daily. Of course, in my mother’s words -“You could simply have done it next month.” But it is hard to explain as to why doing my first mega marathon is important. It is Very Important and I did it!!!

I have two thank yous to give out – one to my blender which worked tirelessly the whole month blending my soups and secondly to my new maid who just could not understand why the blender needed to be used everyday. In her (translated) words – “Didi, you are just three of you in the house. How do you come up with so many vessels and why is the blender used daily?” After I explained food blogging to her, her daily comment was “Aaj phir se photo? (Clicking food pics again?)” Well well.

I had so many recipes bookmarked for the soup edition. I wanted to do at least one pasta soup, one in a bread bowl and one chocolate too. But I couldn’t manage them. Hopefully I will get to these soon. All in all, I had a fabulous time making and savoring these soups and clicking and blogging about them with some truly amazing people around the world.  So here is my final soup of this Mega Marathon –

Serves 3

Recipe adapted from here.

WHAT WE NEED

Olive oil                          1 tbsp

Onion, medium            1

Garlic cloves                  3

Potatoes, medium       3

Corn, shelled                 1 cup

Vegetable stock            3 cups

Salt & Pepper

 

WHAT TO DO

  • Heat the oil. Chop and add the onion and garlic cloves
  • Peel and cut the potatoes into cubes.
  • Add the potatoes once the onion is translucent and saute for 2-3 minutes
  • Add the corn, salt, pepper and vegetable stock and cook till the potatoes are fully cooked
  • Let the mixture cool and then blend it to a smooth puree
  • Transfer it back to the pan and bring to a boil
  • Serve hot
  • Enjoy with some bread or crackers!

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This post is part of the September Mega Marathon under the theme – Soups.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 68

Hash Brown

   

In my daughter’s universe, the importance given in descending order are hash brown, her father, her mother. She gobbles them up whenever she sees them and you can get her to do anything with this inducement. So here is the recipe for her favorite dish in the world –

Makes – 6-8

Recipe source – here

WHAT WE NEED

Russet potatoes, large              3

Egg, large                                      1

All purpose flour                        2 tbsp

Oil                                                   1/4 cup + for coating

Salt & Pepper

WHAT TO DO

  • Preheat the oven to 175C
  • Coat the potatoes with oil, poke them with a fork on all sides
  • Sprinkle liberally with salt and bake for 25 minutes
  • Remove the potatoes from the oven and allow to cool
  • Once the potatoes are cooled, refrigerate them for an hour or till they are cooled
  • Shred the potatoes on the largest hole in the grater and put them in a large bowl
  • Add salt and pepper
  • Beat the egg and add to the potatoes and mix gently with a fork or spoon
  • Add the flour and mix
  • Make about 6-8 patties around half inch thickness
  • Heat the oil and place one or more patties in the oil depending on the size of the pan
  • Once the bottom side turns into golden brown, turn over to the other side and fry till golden brown
  • Enjoy!

This is my post for the Blogging Marathon under the theme – One vegetable three dishes
 
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Check out the Blogging Marathon page for other marathoners doing this BM. 

 

Another way to bake potatoes

 

My two and half year old daughter has been pretty involved in bake-a-thon with me. Her eyes sparkle when I switch on the oven to preheat it and she runs around screaming -‘Amma, cake, bread’ irrespective of what is being baked.

The best part was the husband asking her – ‘what is Amma doing?’ She replies ‘cooking’.

The husband exclaims – ‘That’s nice. I am hungry and I want to eat.’ That’s when the daughter calmly explains to her father – ‘No Appa. Amma cooking, take photo and eating is only after photo. Please wait.’ The husband’s expression was priceless. 

  

This easy version of baked potato is a must try. It’s a lot crisper than hassle back potatoes and less effort than au gratin and hash browns.

I happened to comes across this recipe just as I was wondering what to come up with for today’s post.

So here goes –

Makes 9 stacks

WHAT WE NEED

Potatoes, medium size       3

Olive oil                                    1 1/2 tbsp

Parmesan, grated                  2-3 tbsp

Thyme, dried                          2 tsp

Salt & pepper

WHAT TO DO

  • Preheat the oven to 190C
  • Grease a muffin tray
  • Slice the potatoes into thin roundels.
  • In a bowl, take olive oil, 2 tbsp of Parmesan and 1 1/2 tsp thyme
  • Add the potatoes and mix well to coat all the slices
  • Add salt and pepper and mix
  • Arrange in stacks in a muffin tray
  • Bake for 35-40 mins till the edges and top are golden brown.
  • Take it out from the oven and garnish with the remaining Parmesan and thyme.
  • Enjoy!

  
  

NOTES

  1. You can stack the potatoes as high as possible in the muffin tray. The potato slices will shrink on baking and the stacks will appear smaller than when you put them in the oven.
  2. Preferably put the larger slices in the bottom so that they hold the stack well.
  3. Grease the muffin tray liberally else the potatoes will stick.

 


This is part of the
Bake-a-thon 2015 


 

Yummilicious Hasselback Potatoes

I am in forever need of items that lend themselves easily to cooking for one. Lunch is a solitary affair and if there is something more boring than eating alone it is cooking for one. My perfect lunch would be tasty, easy and quick to make. So when I came across this recipe for hasselback potatoes, I knew I had struck gold.

INGREDIENTS

Potatoes                     3

Butter                         2 tbsp

Rosemary                  1/2 tsp

Thyme                        1/2 tsp

Red chilly powder       1/4 tsp

1. Preheat your oven to 200C

2. Wash the potatoes thoroughly.

3. Make cuts to the potatoes but do not cut it through

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Melt the butter and coat the potatoes with half of the butter using a brush. If you choose, you can add the herbs and chilly powder right away else you can wait and add it at half time. If you are using salted butter, then you won’t need additional salt. Else, add salt as well to the melted butter before coating.

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Bake it at 200C for 30 minutes in a greased tray or pan.

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It should have attained some crispiness and the slices would have started to separate as you can observe in the picture above. It will be easier to apply the herbs and chilly powder at this stage. You can use the brush and coat the individual slices as well.

Apply the balance butter on the potatoes and bake for another 25 minutes. After 25 minutes, remove and add grated cheese to the potatoes and bake for 5-7 minutes

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Once the cheese is melted and appears brownish, remove from the oven and cool.

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If you are not adding cheese, then bake it for 30-35 minutes the second time instead of 25 minutes.

My potatoes were very crispy at the top end and soft at the bottom (uncut) end. I liked it that way. If you don’t, then turn the potatoes on its head and bake for the last 15 minutes.

If you want them to be crispier then bake for an additional 10-15 minutes. The thinner the potato slices are crispier it would be.

Easy and yummy! Can’t get better than this.

Happy Baking!