Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Vegetable Chop

Ending the year with a very popular snack, vegetable chop. So 2014 is ending within less than 24 hours, its already time for me to look back and forward simultaneously. 2014 was a bit busy on work front, so I took a lil break from this space, but I am trying my best to have my regular presence here, as I love it so much.

My lil munchkin is growing up! She claims herself as a "big girl" and I keep saying, please do not grow this fast, my dear. Please Slow down!

I made many new friends this year, and also rekindled friendship with friends whom I have not met for last 15 years, probably.

So, now to this snack. Its a sort of vegetable croquette and this is the perfect time to make it for a afternoon snack with tea or coffee. Or just for it.

Ingredients: (Makes 10 chops)

Beetroot - 2 medium
Carrot - 1 large or 2 medium
Potato - 1 medium or 2 small
Green Peas - Fistful
Cauliflower - 1/2 cup florets (I did not have any this time)
Green Chilli-1, chop it fine
Breadcrumbs- 1 cup (I made mine, but you can use store bought)
Egg - 1 large
Oil- 1 tablespoon to saute the veggies, and 1/2 cup to fry them

Spice Blend
Cardamom - 3-4
Cinnamon - 1/2 inch stick
Fennel seeds - 1/2 teaspoon
Cumin seeds - 1 teaspoon
Red Chilli - 1 or according to the taste
Dry roast all the spices in medium heat, take care that it does not burn. Blend them to fine powder.

Cut all the vegetables in small pieces and boil them till tender but not too mushy. Boil them for 10 minutes, turn off the heat and keep them in hot water for another 5 minutes. Drain them well.

While the vegetables are boiling, you can dry roast the spices and blend it. If you are using homemade bread crumbs, you can make it now. Here is what I did. I toasted 2/3 breads (day or two old), tore them and blended them with a pinch of salt.

Here is how it looks. Seriously, you can feel the difference in the taste. If you want you can add any dry herbs of your choice to the crumbs and mix well.

Once the vegetables have cooled down, smash it with a spoon. Heat oil in the pan, add the smashed veggies, and saute it for a while, 4-5 minutes. Add salt and the roasted and blended spice mix to it, add chopped chilies, and saute it for a minute or two more.

Arrange your breadcrumbs and a beaten egg in two different bowls. Make croquettes of any shape, dip in egg and then coat evenly in the breadcrumbs. Dip in the egg mix again and coat once more with the bread crumbs.

Put in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Heat 1/2 cup oil in a deep pan and fry the croquettes until golden. Take care not to heat up the oil too much, that will burn these beauties.

They taste so good! Have them with tea or serve them with chopped onions and a splash of mustard or any sauce of your choice.


Wishing all my friends and who stops by this space a very happy and prosperous year 2015. Stay happy and blessed.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

No Bake Peanut Butter Cookie

Hey friends! I hope you are done with your holiday shopping, baking, buying gifts, wrapping gifts and thousand and one activities that this season demands. I know, I know, its too much of work loaded in few days. And then you remember that you have not done the cookies for Santa! No worries, this year I will make these no bake cookies for the jolly ol man to snack. They are super easy, sugar free and yes they are no bake. These are perfect for that tiny 3 o'clock hunger, or post workout snack. 

And did I tell that they are less than 5 ingredients? You cannot go wrong with these.


Peanut - 1/4 cup, roasted
Peanut butter - 1/4 cup, (I used creamy one)
Dates - 10-12, pitted
Sea salt - A pinch

I roasted the peanuts on dry pan and skinned them, mostly.

Pulse the peanuts in your food processor,  2-3 minutes, till they are smooth but chunky. 

Add the dates to it and pulse for a minute or two. You might need to scrap of the sides. It can be too sticky, so you can add a tablespoon or two of warm water.

Add the peanut butter and give a pulse. Mix all well and pulse once more.

Word of caution, do not put all three together and pulse. It gets very difficult and sticky. yes, I did that first time and learned my lesson.

Take a tablespoon of this mix, roll in a ball in between palms and press it flat in form of cookie. Keep in refrigerator for 1-2 h to harden a bit.

This usually makes about 10-12 cookies of the size shown, but I may have ate almost half of it.

 Its delicious!

 Serve it with warm milk for yourself or for friends and family and yes of course for this old man too.

Happy Holidays to all my friends! 

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Aditi's Aloor Dum or Spicy Potato Curry

What a wonder technology can do! Recently few of us friends from school grouped up in Whats app and got connected after long 10-15 years. We are separated from one another by cities, countries and even continents. But that does not stop us from sharing our minds, happiness and frustrations from each other. We are picking up from where we left 15 years back. We are getting introduced to each others kids, better halves and to our many hidden and new talents.

One such friend in the group is Aditi. She is beautiful, homemaker and mother to a gorgeous 10 year old girl. She also runs a small business of home cooked food from her home. How then can I resist to ask her to write a guest post for me? She presented a recipe for aloor dum, spicy Indian potato curry. Being cooked so often at our household, I have been planning to share for so long in my blog but somehow could not make it. Thanks to Aditi, here I have a recipe for Aloor Dum now in my space.

Here is Aditi and her experiences of cooking, 

In her own words....

I was born and brought up in a small family with my brother, parents and grandparents in Calcutta, India. My parents and my grandmother were fabulous cooks and their's specialty was vegetarian dishes that to NO ONION GARLIC. Born in a Bengali household I was brought up on a hearty dose of fish curries, shondesh and rasogolla. My cooking started when I was just 9 years old when my father had a heart surgery. As a little helper to my granny, always used to be next to her with an inquisitive eye. Later part of my life i learnt making them from my own ideas.

My life changes after my grandparents and my father’s death and my mother illness. So me and my brother end up to take care of the family and studies together. Cooking was an on and off business.

I got married but my in-laws were in a different city.With great shock I came to know that my hubby is a wonderful cook and love to experiment with food.  So I compelled to start cooking again and slowly revived all my memories and also started gaining interest. I moved to Dubai around 12 years back got my little angel  who is now 10 years is too a big time foodie. My life adventures took me to different corners of India and then to lot of places around the world. In this journey I met different people and my inner instinct force me to learn lot of their dishes. I combine all these disparate learning's to bring a variety to the table.

I believe cooking is not a chore but a form of art and off course a stress busters. It satiates all of our senses and not just of our taste buds.


Potatoes - 1 kg or 12-15 baby potatoes
    Oil - 3 to 4 tbsp (mustard oil preferably)
    Bay leaf/tej patta -1
    Whole garam Masala - 1 inch  cinnamon, 2/3 cardamom, 2/3 cloves
    Asafoetida - ¼ teaspoon 
    Garam masala powder - 1 teaspoon 
    Red chilli  -   
    Kashmiri red chili powder - 1/2 teaspoon (or according to taste)
    Cumin -      2 teaspoon
    Cumin powder - 1 teaspoon
    Ginger paste -  2 Tablespoon 
    Turmeric powder - 1/2 teaspoon
    Yogurt - 2 Tablespoon
   Tomato - 1 medium, chopped
    Cilantro - 4 tablespoon, chopped fine
    Sugar and salt as per taste
    Water - 2-4 tablespoon, warm

Rinse the potatoes very well and parboil the potatoes in a steamer or pressure cooker with salt. Drain out the water and let it cool down for a while. Peel off the skin and dab turmeric powder to it.

Heat 1 and 1/2 tablespoon oil and add whole cumin seeds and asafoetida. When cumin seeds starts cracking, add the potatoes. Fry well till it becomes golden brown.

Heat remaining oil in a kadai, add dry red chilli, whole jeera, tej patta, asafoetida and whole garam masala. Let it cracks well add chopped tomatoes and sauté well.

Add ginger paste and sauté till oil started leaving.
Now add all dry masalas - red chilli powder, haldi cumin powder salt sugar and sauté well.

Add yogurt and sauté till it starts leaving oil.

Add potatoes, little green chillis, coriander leaf, garam masala powder and little water. Cover it with a lid and let it boil for 5 mins.

Remove the lid and put off the gas when it becomes semi thick gravy.

Garnish with Garam masala powder and coriander leaf.



Thanks Aditi, for the yummy recipe.