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Thursday, July 30, 2020

Baked Vegetables

This recipe is close to my heart as I evolved it to get my daughter to eat veggies. She used to be a fussy eater when it came to vegetables so I evolved this method to make her eat some greens. And it worked like magic on her. You can make it too to make your kids eat vegetables. Not just kids but grown-ups also will drool over this one. Firstly take vegetables of your choice e.g today I have made with  carrots, corns, french beans and red bell pepper as these were lying in my fridge . You can also add broccoli, mushrooms and peas subject to availability.  Boneless chicken can also be added . It tastes super. Saute these vegetables with garlic and add them to white sauce, with chilli flakes and oregano. Top it with cheese, oregano and chilli flakes . It is then baked in oven till the cheesy layer on top melts. The creamy soft vegetables wrapped in melted cheese just disappear in the mouth. This nutrient dense dish with so many flavours makes it irresistible. A bowl of veggies which normally liked by few turns into a dish which is desired by everyone. 

This dish is not at all spicy, so kids can enjoy it immensely. Serve this along with garlic bread. 

We need:

  • 2 Cups of finely chopped vegetables. 

  • 10 cloves of garlic finely chopped

  • 1 Tbsp cooking oil

  • 1 Tbsp of grated Ginger

  • 2 Tbsp All purpose flour ( Maida) 

  • 2 Tbsp Salted (Yellow) butter. 

  • 1Tsp Black pepper powder

  • 1 Tsp Chilli flakes

  • 1 Tsp Oregano

  • 1 Tsp Pizza Seasoning( optional) 

  • 350 ml Milk

  • 1/2 Tsp Cinamon powder( optional) 

  • ¼ Tsp of Nutmeg powder. 

  • 2 Tbsp grated Mozzarella cheese. 

  • Salt to taste. Approximately 1 Tsp

Here we go:

  1. Heat a pan and add cooking oil to it. When the oil is heated add finely chopped garlic to it. Saute it for a minute. But the garlic should not change colour. 

  2. Now add finely chopped vegetables to it. Saute it for two minutes. 

  3. Add ginger and salt to it. Vegetables will release water after the salt is added. 

  4. Cover the pan and let the vegetables cook in its own water. It will take 5 min on low flame to get the vegetables done. Meanwhile stir it two three times to cook them evenly. . Switch off the flame when veggies become soft but not mushy. Keep aside. 

  5. Now let us make white sauce. Heat a pan and add butter to it.

  6.  As soon as it melts add all purpose flour to it. Mix well. Saute till the raw smell of flour goes but the colour of flour doesn't change. 

  7. Gradually add milk ( at room temperature). While adding milk keep on stirring it with a whisker, so that no lumps are formed. Add milk in batches. Soon the mixture will turn into smooth white sauce. Keep on stirring otherwise it will stick to the bottom. 

  8. Add black pepper powder and cinnamon powder to the sauce. Grate a nutmeg with a fine grater and add ¼ tsp of it to the white sauce. It enhances the taste of the dish. 

  9. Now is the turn to add previously sauteed vegetables to the white sauce. Mix well. 

  10. Add oregano and chilli flakes. Keep on stirring to combine the flavours. 

  11. Cover it with a lid. Let it simmer for 5 minutes. Keep on checking it in between. When the mixture looks homogenous, switch off the flame. Mix well. 

  12. Take this out in a baking dish. Spread some grated mozzarella cheese on top. Sprinkle chilli flakes and oregano on it. 

  13. Bake it in a preheated oven on 180 degrees for 8 min or until cheese melts and form a layer. Take out from oven and serve hot with Garlic bread. 

Cooking Time 30 minutes
Serves : 3


If you want to keep it light you can add steamed vegetables also and skip sauteed vegetables. The taste will slightly differ. 

Do not burn the butter otherwise the taste and colour of the dish will be spoiled. 

Vegetables should not be mushy. Switch off the flame as soon as they are just done. 

Use a whisker while adding milk to avoid lumps. The spoon will not serve the purpose so use whisker while incorporating milk. 

Be careful about the quantity of salt. We have added salt to the vegetables and there is salt in cheese and  butter too. 

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Moong Dal Idli. Tasty & Healthy

The South Indian dal idli has undergone many avatars, e.g oats idli, rava idli , urad dal idli and many more. Continuing the tradition, we are bringing to you moong dal idli with vegetables . Goodness of protein and fibre both. It is very moist and yummy. Paired with Coconut chutney, it completes any meal of the day. I love to have it for breakfast. You can prepare coconut chutney in advance and in 10 min you can prepare batter and cook it in a steamer or microwave while getting ready for your day. I found it Convenient dish for my breakfast in terms of cooking. Moreover it is healthy and nutritious too. It has protein, carbs and fibre and healthy fats.. If you skip curd and add lemon juice instead for the fermentation, it is Vegan too. As we all know coconut oil is heart healthy. The tempering of chutney as well as batter is done with coconut oil. And that makes it a perfect breakfast to start a perfect day. So what are we waiting for? Let us start with this nutritious dish. 

We need:

For Idli

  • 1 (100 gm) cup Moong dal( yellow lentil) 

  • ½ cup thick curd 

  • 1 cup chopped vegetables of your choice. 

  • 1 tsp Mustard seeds ( Rai) 

  • 2 Tbsp chopped Curry Leaves

  • ½ Tsp Baking Soda

  • 1" Ginger piece

  • ¼  tsp Black peppepepper

  • 1 tsp Turmeric Powder

  • Salt to taste

For Tempering Idli

  • 2 Tsp Coconut oil

  • 1 Tsp Mustard seeds

  • A pinch of Asafoetida. (Hing) 

For Coconut Chutney

  • 1 cup Fresh grated coconut

  • 5 pieces Cashew nuts

  • ½ " Ginger piece

  • 2 pieces Tamarind

  • 7 to 8 curry leaves

  • Salt to taste. 

For tempering Chutney

  • 2 Tsp Coconut Oil ( or any) 

  • 1 Tsp Mustard seeds ( Rai) 

  • 2 to 3 Red chillies Whole

  • 3 to 4 Curry Leaves. 

Method for preparing Coconut Chutney;

  1. To a grinder add coconut, cashew nut, ginger, tamarind, curry leaves and salt to taste. Also add ¼ cup water. Grind to a fine paste. Add more water if required to adjust the consistency. Take out in a serving bowl. 

  2. Heat a small pan. Add coconut oil to it. When oil is warm add mustard seeds( rai). When it starts spluttering, add whole red chillies . When the chillies are roasted add curry patta to the pan. When curry patta starts wilting, switch off the flame. Pour this tempering over the coconut chutney. It is ready to serve with steaming idlis. 

Method for preparing  Idli:

  1. Wash moong dal( yellow lentil) till the water runs clear. Soak it overnight or at least for two hours. 

  2. Chop finely all the vegetables of your choice. Here I have taken carrot, capsicum and beans. To this add chopped curry leaves. 

  3. In the morning drain all the water from the lentil . Take a grinder jar. Add yellow lentil, ginger, salt and black pepper powder. Grind to a paste. Don't add water,  instead add curd if required to grind the dal. I have added green chillies. But if you don't want, you can skip. Add turmeric powder to get beautiful yellow colour of the idli. 

  4. Take out this batter in a bowl and add all the chopped vegetables and curd. Add salt. Mix well. 

  5. Take a small pan and heat it. Add 1 tbsp coconut oil or any oil of your choice. When heated add 1 tsp mustard seeds (rai) . When it starts spluttering add it to the dal batter. This adds taste and Softness to the idli.

  6. Add Baking soda and leave for 10 minutes. 

  7. Meanwhile Take a deep vessel( according to the size of the idli stand). The stand should fit in the vessel. Add water to it and put the vessel or steamer on a high flame. The level of water should be lower than the idli stand. 

  8. Grease idli mould. 

  9. Now fill the batter in the idli mould and keep in the vessel / steamer to steam. Keep the flame on low.

  10. It will take 15 minutes to cook idlis. Take a toothprick and insert it in idli. If it comes out clean, it means the idli is cooked  . Switch off the flame and take the mould out of the steamer. Let it rest for 3 to 4 minutes. Take out idlis from the mould and serve hot with coconut chutney.

  11. Take out idlis from the mould and serve hot with coconut chutney.


For soft and spongy idlis don't forget to temper it with hot oil and mustard seeds. 

The batter should be of cake batter consistency. 

If by chance you have put extra water in the batter, nothing to worry just add 2 to 3 tbsp of semolina ( sooji) to it. Let it rest for 5 minutes. The sooji will soak extra water. 

Saturday, July 18, 2020

Quick Masala Chicken

Masala chicken is usually loaded with lots of onion and tomatoes. But my quick masala chicken is devoid of both. There is an interesting story behind this recipe. On  Saturday evening after a hectic day at the office, I came home tired. Usually I make something special on Saturday evenings to celebrate the weekend. My dear hubby had taken out chicken from the refrigerator and thawed it . And I was in no mood to cook . So I thought let me churn out a recipe which can be made quickly and will tingle the taste buds too. I went to the kitchen, looked at the chicken and I had a Eureka Moment! I always store peeled garlic and grated ginger in a Tupperware container in my fridge. And those were the saviours. I made ginger, garlic and green chilli paste; marinated the chicken in it along with lemon juice in sarson ka tel (Raw Mustard oil) . Usually I smoke Mustard oil before using it in any recipe. But as I told you I was too tired that day so used it as it is. But the taste it gave to the chicken was amazing. Simply finger licking good. (Excuse me for using the KFC phrase). The recipe I made to simplify my dinner turned out to be everyone' s favorite. This inspired me to share my quick recipe with you, Spicy and Quick Masala Chicken . 

We Need

  • 600 gm Chicken

  • 10 cloves Garlic

  • 2" Piece Ginger

  • Juice of one lemon

  • 1 Green Chilli

  • ½  Tsp freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 Tsp Red Pepper Powder

  • 1 Tsp Turmeric Powder

  • 1 Tsp Kasmiri Chilli Powder 

  • 2 Tbsp Raw Mustard oil /without smoking/ straight from the bottle

  • 2 Tsp of cream or Malai. 

  • Salt to taste

  • 2 Tbsp of Chopped Coriander for garnishing. 

Here We go :

  1. Wash and clean Chicken. Put diagonal cuts on the surface of the chicken. 

  2. Add ginger, garlic, green chilli and lemon juice to a grinder and make a paste

  3. In a mixing bowl add mustard oil, turmeric powder, red chilli powder and salt. Mix everything together. The spices will turn into a beautiful red colour because of raw mustard oil. 

  4. Add ginger, garlic , green chilli and lemon juice paste to the oil and spices mix. Also add malai or cream. Mix everything together. 

  5. Now Add chicken pieces and mix thoroughly so that every chicken piece is coated with spices. 

  6. Marinate it for half an hour. 

  7. After half an hour, heat a pan and add marinated chicken to it. Mix well and cover. Keep the flame on low. Let it simmer. 

  8. Occasionally keep on turning the chicken so that it doesn't burn on any side. Add Kashmiri red chilli powder after 10 minutes of cooking. We will slow cook it for around 15 minutes or till done. 

  9. When the chicken is done add chopped coriander and switch off the flame . 

  10. Serve it along with any salad and enjoy Quick Masala chicken. 

Preparation Time 10 min. 
Marination Time  30 min
Cooking time 20 min. 

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Hummus with Red Bell pepper

Hummus with Red Bell pepper. 

Hummus is a popular middle Eastern dish. It is a savoury spread made with boiled chickpeas , tahini, lemon and garlic. It is available on all leading stores. But I believe in fresh food so here I am sharing the recipe with you. Fresh homemade foods are hygienic and without Preservatives. Since they are Made in our own kitchen, we can adjust the flavours according to our own taste. I have made it today with Tahini. It can be made without Tahini also. But 

It is very easy to make and nutritious too. You can use it as spread on your sandwiches or you can eat it with Pitta bread. Options are various. So let us get started. 

We Need:

  • 100 gm Chickpeas

  • 1 Small Red Bell pepper

  • 3 Green Chillies

  • 1 tsp Lemon juice

  • 8 Garlic Cloves

  • 1 tbsp Cumin Powder

  • 1 Tsp Black Pepper powder

  • Salt to taste

  • 2 Tbsp Sesame seeds

  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil

Here We go:

  1. Soak Chickpeas overnight. In the morning put them in a pressure cooker along with salt. Cook upto 8 whistles. When pressure releases, put them in a sieve to drain water. Don't discard the water. 

  2. Put on the gas flame and roast Red bell pepper over it. 

  3. Dry roast Sesame seeds in a pan. When they turn pink, put them in a grinder jar and grind them to a powder. Add olive oil to this and grind again. Now you get a paste and this is Tahini. It can be stored upto several months in refrigerator. 

  4. Add boiled and drained chickpeas, Tahini paste, salt, roasted bell pepper, Green chillies,garlic cloves, olive oil, black pepper powder , lemon juice and cumin powder to the grinder jar. If consistency is thick, you can add 2 tbsp of water in which chickpeas were boiled. Grind everything to a paste. 

  5. Hummus is ready. Spread them. On sandwich, stuff them in pitta bread and Enjoy s healthy spread. It holds good in refrigerator for four to five days. 

Sunday, July 12, 2020

Yellow Dal Tadka

Yellow Dal tadka is also an integral part of Punjabi cuisine. After heavy meals in the afternoon this dal becomes an instant choice of my family for dinner. The simplicity of this dal is unbeatable. You can pair this  Dal with Boiled rice  for a simple meal. For a side dish you can serve Baigan Tawa Fry. This will taste awesome. 

Yellow dal tadka in Punjab is made with Dhuli moong dal and Malka Masoor sabut combined together in equal quantity. In some recipes Dal Masri ( Red lentils split) is used. But I prefer to make it with Malka Masoor Whole( red lentils whole) . It tastes much better. Today we are going to make it in an easy way. On week days when you are tired , keep dal on one flame and boil rice on another. In 25 to 30 min a healthy dinner is ready. Try it and do let me know how you relish it. 

We Need

  • 50 gm Dhuli Moong Dal

  • 50 gm Malka Masoor Sabut. 

  • 2 medium Tomatoes

  • 1 Tsp Haldi

  • Salt to taste

For Tempering

  • 8 garlic pods ( chopped finely) 

  • 1 medium onion chopped finely

  • 1 Tsp Zeera (cumin seeds) 

  • ½ Tsp Red Chilli Powder

  • 1 Green Chilli optional

  • 2 Tbsp Desi Ghee

  • 1Tbsp Chopped Green Coriander

Here We go

  1. Wash both lentils in water thoroughly till the water runs clear. Soak for 10 min. 

  2. Puree the tomatoes in a blender jar. 

  3. In a pressure cooker add Both the lentils, 4 times water of the quantity of Dal, pureed tomatoes, Turmeric powder and salt. 

  4. Pressure cook on full flame upto 4 whistles. Let it cool. When the pressure releases on its own, open the pressure cooker and check consistency. Add water if required. 

  5. For Tempering, take Desi ghee in a tadka pan. Warm it on slow flame. Add jeera seeds( cumin) .

  6.  When they start Spluttering, add garlic and onions. Saute till they turn pink in colour. Avoid browning as it will spoil the taste of the dal. 

  7. At this stage add red chilli powder and chopped coriander. Saute for 10 sec only. 

  8. Add this tempering to the prepared dal and close the lid. 

  9. Open it after 2 to 3 minutes and serve . Put 2 Tsp of Desi ghee on top before serving. It will enhance the flavour of the dal. Serve it with chapati or rice and enjoy the taste. 


While making the tempering avoid burning the Jeera ( Cumin) as it will spoil the tastetaste of the Dal