Thursday, July 28, 2011

Kebab vegetables with Paneer | Indian Appetizers

Tandoored food items are always in my favorite list. Any dish which is cooked directly under fire has a unique smoked flavor which is unique and makes it even more tasty. Though grilling or barbecueing goes hand in hand with meat or fish, vegetables and paneer also make a very good grilled food. So here, I present grilled vegetables with paneer. Feel free to use any vegetables of your choice and the options are endless..

Barbecue sticks - 8
Paneer - 200 g - cubed
Red bell pepper - 1 - cut into 1" pieces
Onions - Cut into 1" pieces
For the kebab paste:
Curd/Yogurt - 1/4 cup
Salt - 1/2 tsp
Tandoori masala - 1 1/2 tbsp (available in Indian grocery stores)
or a mix of the following
Chilli powder - 3/4 tsp
Chaat masala - 2 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Cumin powder - 1 tsp
Mix the ingredients for the marinade to a paste. Smear the paste to the cubed veggies, mix well and allow it to marinate for a minimum of 1 hr to 4 hrs. Soak the barbecue sticks in water for 30 mins. Preheat the oven to 400 F. Line a baking pan with aluminium foil with a overhang on two opposite sides. Pin the marinated veggies in the skewer alternating with paneer. Do not overcrowd the skewer. When done place the skewers on the rims (with foil overhang) of the baking sheet. Grill in the oven for 30 mins, turning once in between. Done-ness can be checked with the light charring of the vegetables. Serve hot sprinkled with lemon juice. 

Sending this to Serve It - Grilled event happening at my space.

Also sending this to Akila's Dish Name Starts with K

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Kadai Mushroom | Indian Curry Recipes

Mushrooms is one of my favorite vegetables. I love its simple flavor and 
meaty texture very much that I grab a box whenever I go for grocery shopping. I try to sneak in mushrooms in every possible dish from pastas to omelets, but every now and then I make mushroom as a side dish for rotis. Did you know mushroom is a great side for curd rice? Try it next time and you will love it. I have tried Kadai Mushroom from Denny's space for a  couple of times but managed to get some clicks this time.

Original Recipe here
Mushroom - white or button - 1/2 lb - cleaned and quartered
Green bell pepper - cut into 1" pieces - 1/2 cup
Onions - chopped - 1 cup
Tomato - big and ripe - 2 - quartered (Use canned crushed tomatoes if desired)
Garlic - finely chopped - 1 tbsp
Ginger - finely chopped - 1 tbsp
Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
Garam masala - 1 tsp
Chilli powder - 3/4 tsp (use 1 tsp if using Kashmiri chilli powder)
Coriander powder - 1 tsp
Cumin powder - 1 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Oil - 1 1/2 tbsp
Crush the tomatoes in a blender until coarsely crushed, do not make a puree. Pulsing for a couple of times would do the trick. Heat oil in a wide pan and splutter the cumin seeds. Add the chopped onions and fry until golden brown. Add in the ginger and garlic and saute for about a minute. Add all the spice powders and fry until a nice aroma comes out. Add the crushed tomatoes and salt and allow it to cook until the oil floats on the top. Add the quartered mushrooms and allow to cook in medium heat for about 5 mins. Do not overcook the mushrooms as it may shrink, we still want it to be meaty. Add the green bell peppers and another 1/4 cup of water and allow it to cook for another 5 mins. Serve hot with rice or roti.

Sending this spicy and meaty low calorie dish to Dish it out - Mushrooms & Onions event by Vardhini and Kalyani and to Let's Cook - Subzis for Rotis event by Radhika.

Also linking this to Bookmarked Recipes every Tuesday event by Aipi & Priya.
Also sending this to Akila's Dish Name Starts with K

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting | Cupcake (Icing) Recipes

Carrot cake cupcakes are another easy to make bakes, which are as tasty like any other cupcakes. These are so flavorful and aromatic with the addition of ground cinnamon. This is my DH's favorite kind of cake and he always picks up a slice for himself whenever we visit our local bakery. I never dared to bake one by myself, given that he loves the bakery version why take a risk. When I was planning to make something for Carrots event at Reva's blog, I asked him for suggestion for the dish to make with Carrots. His immediate reply was "Carrot Cake!!". So I gained up my courage and started to bake it. Made it as little cupcakes because I think they are cute and are of perfect portion. So if you are searching for a simple, moist and bakery style carrot cupcakes try this and you will love it.

Makes 10 cupcakes
Adapted from here
For Cupcakes:
All-purpose flour/Maida - 1 1/4 cups
Baking powder - 3/4 tsp
Baking soda - 1/2 tsp
Cinnamon powder - 1 tsp - 1&1/2 tsp
Salt - 1/4 tsp
Carrots (grated) - 1 1/2 to 2 cups
Light brown sugar - 1 cup (Can replace with white sugar)
Eggs - 2 (room temperature)
Oil - 3/4 cup
Vanilla - 1 tsp
For the Filling and Frosting:
Light Cream cheese - 4 oz - 1/2 cup
Butter - 2 tbsp (room temperature)
Powdered Sugar - 3/4 cups
Vanilla - 1 tsp

Preheat the oven to 350F/180 C. Line the muffin tin with liners. Sift/Whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon. Mix the carrots and combine well until the carrots are coated well with flour. Take sugar in a big mixing bowl and mix eggs adding one at a time using a hand mixer or whisk. Add oil in a steady stream while mixing continuously until well combined. Add flour mixture in four additions, folding well after each addition. Do not over-mix, just mix until everything is combined scraping the sides and bottom.
Spoon the mixture to the muffin liners, approximately 1/3rd cup of batter for each muffin cup. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. To check for done-ness, a toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean. Allow the cupcakes to sit in the muffin pan for 5 mins and then transfer the cupcakes to a cooling rack to cool completely.
To Fill and Frost the cupcakes:
Beat together the cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add the powdered sugar slowly while mixing continuously. Cream until smooth about 2 minutes. Transfer the cream cheese frosting to a piping bag/ziploc bag fitted with nozzle. Take the cupcake and puncture the center with the nozzle until three-fourth way down. Now squeeze and pull the piping bag upward, when still squeezing. When you reach the top of the cupcake, make circular or any desired patterns to cover the top.

1. You could add nuts and/or raisins as desired. I preferred to have it simple. 
2. You could add nutmeg, allspice and pumpkin spice if desired. If using add 1/4 tsp each.
3. You could substitute all or part of the AP flour with whole meal or whole wheat flour. 
4. I used light cream cheese and ICBINB. You could use regular cream cheese and butter as desired.
Sending these beautiful cupcakes to Veggie/Fruit of the month - Carrot event by Reva and Priya and also to 'Only'-Baked event by Pari and Harini-Jaya.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Barley Upma | Upma Recipes

Barley is one of the super whole grains which has loads of health benefits. I recently discovered pressed barley or barley flakes which is so easy to be added or replaced to the regular dishes made at home. Pressed barley can be substituted for rolled oats or quick cooking oats or poha(aval). You can find it in any Asian supermarket. It has a slightly nutty texture with an amazing taste and above all very healthy. I also make barley pongal, substituting barley for rice.

Pressed Barley - 1 1/2 cups
Onion - chopped fine - 1/2 cup
Curry leaves - a few
Oil - 2 tbsp
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Urad dhal - 1/2 tsp
Green chilli - 2 or 3 - slit lengthwise
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Lemon juice - 1 tbsp

Cover barley flakes in water just until covered. Soak for 15 to 30 minutes and drain any extra water. If the barley is not soft enough, cook in a microwave oven for about one minute. Heat oil in a kadai and add the mustard seeds. Add urad dhal, curry leaves and green chilli. Add the chopped onions and turmeric powder. Saute until the onions turn translucent and add salt and the barley flakes. Mix and let the barley cook in medium heat. When done, add the lemon juice, remove from heat and mix. Serve hot.

Sending this to Healing Foods - Whole grains event by Siri; Healthy Protein and Fiber Whole Grains by Anu; Fast Food not Fat Food event by Priya and Vardhini.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Masala Dosa / Masal Dosai / Fermented Rice crepes with Potato filling | Idli Dosa Recipes

Masala Dosa. The name itself would make many of our salivary glands work more. This is one famous and common dish in South India. Dosas filled with savory potato misture, which is favorite among any dosa and potato lover. Still remember the holidays when grandma prepares the masal dosas with lots of love and care and we cousins sit in a circle and wait for our turns for dosa.
Dosa batter - 4 cups
For the Masala:
Potatoes - 3 medium
Onions - Thinly sliced - 1 cup - Can add more if desired
Green chillies - 3 or 4 - Slit lengthwise and cut into half
Curry leaves - a few
Ginger paste - 1/2 tsp
Garlic paste - 3/4 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Besan/Gram flour/Chickpea flour - 1 heaped tbsp
Water - 1/4 cup
Oil - 1 tbsp
Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
Urad dhal - 1/4 tsp
Cut the potatoes in half and boil them with 1 tsp of salt. I pressure cooked these for 3 whistles. When done, peel and cube them. Heat oil in a pan and let the mustard seeds splutter. Add urad dhal, curry leaves and green chillies. Mix well, add the chopped onions and saute until soft and translucent. Add the ginger-garlic paste, turmeric powder and the cubed potatoes. Mix well. Add the besan to water and mix until there are no lumps. Add this mixture to the potatoes and add 1/2 cup of water and salt to taste. Mix well and allow it to boil until the raw smell of the besan disappears and the mixture thickens. When the masala is in semi solid state, remove from heat. Allow it to sit for about 5 minutes.
Heat a dosa griddle. Take a ladle full of dosa batter (approx 1/3 cup) and drop in the griddle. Using the ladle, spread the batter in circular motion to make thin dosas. Spray some oil if desired. Allow it to cook. When all the batter on the top is steamed (you should not see any raw batter), use a spatula and flip. After 20 secs, flip back. Take about 2 to 3 tbsp of the masal mixture and spread as a line in the center of the dosa. Now fold the dosa in a 3 fold pattern or a roll. Remove carefully using a spatula to the plate. Serve hot with any favorite chutney. Coconut chutney is a great combo in general.

Sending this to Show me your Dosa event by Divya and LGSS-Potato event by Vatsala.

Also sending this to Signature recipes event by Saras.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Indian style - Oven Roasted Baby Potatoes | Indian Appetizers

I always look for simple and easy ways to prepare side dishes, which are healthy and tasty too. Ever since I prepared Dum Aloo with the baby potatoes, I fell in love over them and never miss to grab some when I go grocery shopping. This time I planned to keep it simple by roasting it in oven with Indian flavors. These oven roasted baby potatoes serves dual purpose of being a simple and excellent side for rice or a great party appetizer.

Baby potatoes - about 15 to 20 (I used yellow) - halved/quartered per wish with skin on
Olive oil / canola oil - 1 to 1 1/2 tbsp
Madras Curry powder - 3/4 to 1 tsp (available in Indian grocery stores) 
Garlic powder - 1/4 tsp
Salt - to taste

Preheat the oven to 400 F. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray some oil. Mix all ingredients in a bowl and transfer to the baking sheet. Arrange without overlapping. Bake for 20 mins. Flip the potatoes over and bake further for 10 mins. How simple and easy is that? You can't stop munching 'em.
Sending these lovely roasted baby potatoes to DNSW-I event by Akila; Only Baked event by Pari; Fast Food not Fat Food event by Priya and Vardhini; Kid's delight - Mini Bites event by Srivalli.

Also sending Idly Fry - Chinese Inspired and Idli Podi to Akila's event.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Ragi Kaara Biscuits / Finger Millet Savory Cookies | Cookie Recipes

Ragi or Finger Millet is a very healthy wholegrain rich is amino acids, protein and fibre. In India, Ragi is a widely used grain made into rotis, dosas, idlis, porridges (koozh), mudde and puttu. It is consumed for its wholesome goodness and it is a great energy producer. Being so good for health it is sometimes not desirable for the palate. But as you know all that is healthy can absolutely be made tasty too. And here comes the healthy and tasty ragi savory cookies. 
Recipe adapted from Shanavi's space
Ragi flour / Finger Miller flour - 3/4 cup
Wheat flour - 3/4 cup
Sugar - 1 tbsp
Baking powder - 1 tsp
Salt - 3/4 tsp
Butter - 1/2 cup + 1 tbsp (or margarine/shortening)
Plain Yogurt - 3 tbsp
Green chillies - 3 or 4 - chopped fine
Basil leaves - from 4 twigs - chopped fine (Can use any herb like mint/cilantro/parsley)
Preheat the oven to 400F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Sieve the flours, sugar, salt and baking powder. Whisk the butter until light and add the chopped green chillies, basil and yogurt. Add the flour mixture slowly, while still running the hand mixer on low speed. When it comes together, knead to a soft dough with your hands. Divide the dough into 4 parts. Flour a board and roll the dough to a 1/4" thickness. Use a cookie cutter to cut into desired shape. Transfer to the cookie sheet and place with 1/2 " distance. Repeat for the rest of the dough. Bake the cookies for 15 to 20 mins or until the edges are brown. Mine took 18 mins. Transfer to a cooling rack. When cooled, store in an air tight container. Perfect accompaniment for tea/coffee.
Sending these scrumptious and delicious cookies to Kiran's Cooking with Whole Foods-Finger Millet event hosted by Denny of Oh Taste N SeeHealing Foods - Whole Grains event by Siri guest hosted by Simona, Let's Cook - Breaktime Snacks event by Radhika and to Only - Baked event by Pari guest hosted by Harini-Jaya of Tamalapaku.

Also sending my Ragi Dosa to CWF - Ragi and Healing Foods - Whole grains event