Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Quinoa Salad loaded with Fava beans, fresh peas and Balsamic Vinaigrette

Quinoa Salad loaded with Fava beans, fresh peas and Balsamic Vinaigrette

Hope everyone had a lovely long weekend, mine was absolutely perfect. Dinner with girl friends, hikes with friends and get together with newly formed friends  and their families could not have wished for anything else. However in more than a decade that I lived in US this is the first time ever that it rained on Memorial Day, really strange weather.

Made this for salad over the holiday weekend, we have a small farmers market every Sunday next to our home and this week could not resist Fava beans, fresh peas and carrot. Found a recipe for Balsamic Vinaigrette and then next thing you know had a scrumptious salad lunch, so filling and delicious .

1 cup boiled quinoa
1 cup of shelled Fava beans
1 cup shelled fresh peas
1/2 cup fresh carrot grated and cubed
1 cup fresh lettuce shredded finely
1/4 cup red onion diced finely
1/4 cup garbanzo beans (optional)
1/4 cup feta cheese

For balsamic vinaigrette (source Amazon
1/4 cup cashew pieces
2 tbsp shallots
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tspn agave nectar
pinch of salt
few pinches of fresh black pepper

Process for balsamic vinaigrette
1. Grind cashews and shallots together in a food processor, then add the rest of the ingredients and blend till all the ingredients are well mixed.
2. Transfer into a container and refrigerate till ready to serve.

For roasting fava beans , peas and carrot

1. Heat a pan add tbsp olive oil
2. When oil gets warn add Fava beans, peas and cubed carrots
3. Add couple of tbsp of water and salt and cooked covered for about 5 minutes till beans turn tender.
4.Once cooked remove the cover and saute till beans caramelize.
5. Remove from heat and keep aside.
Now take a big salad bowl add quinoa, lettuce leaves, fresh tomatoes, roasted Fava beans, fresh peas and carrot, now add balsamic vinaigrette and toss till all the ingredients are well incorporated. Top with feta cheese and serve with a chilled beverage. Makes for one complete and delicious meal.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Pani Poori - Gol Gappa

Pani Poori - Goll Gappa

During spring break we were on an east coast trip, had a chance to meet up quite few friends.We stayed with one of our family friends close to DC, she and her family were such a sweet hearts and a generous hosts, the kind that make you feel right at home, had so much fun catching up .

The two days we stayed at their home we were treated to elaborate meals and much more, seriously being a generous host comes from the heart and I am grateful for having people like her in my life, Now when you have hosts who make pani poori for breakfast you know how much they care about you cause pani poori is a favorite of mine and my husband and we literally can have it breakfast,lunch or dinner, it was so delicious that writing about it makes me drool and wish she lived close by.

Tried to replicate the same at home, her version is from the city my husband and she grew up in Rourkela, key difference being pani/water is spicy unlike the sweet flavored version I am used too.

Pani poori is a classic street food in India, best part is every street stall that sells have a unique taste and you can never get tired of it.

Today’s recipe is semi homemade, I have used store brought Poori’s and sweet chutney and made green chutney and stuffing. Pani poori is very customizable that everyone has their own version stuffing which can range from sprouted green gram to boiled garbanzo beans to spiced potatoes.


To make spicy water
1 tbsp Cumin seeds
3-4 red chilies
MDH Pani poori masala
2 tbsp of tamarind paste
rock salt according to taste
2 tbsp chaat masala ( my favorite MDH)
1 cup of corriander/mint leaves
2 tbsp of jaggery or sugar

for Potato stuffing
3-4 potatoes boiled and peeled
2-3 green chillies slit very finely
1 cup red onions very finely sliced
1 cup grated carrot optionally can add boiled peas too
rock salt
chaat masala
finely chopped coriander leaves

process for making green chutney
1. Dry roast cumin and red chilies and grind into a fine powder.
2. Grind coriander and mint leaves into a fine paste
3. Now in a large container add ground mint and coriander paste, ground cumin and r.chili powder,chaat masala,rock salt, tamarind paste, pani poori masala,jaggery and then add 3 cups of water and mix well and keep aside.

Process for making potato stuffing
1. In a mixing bowl add boiled potatoes,onions,green chilies,grated carrots and boiled peas add all the dry ingredients and mix well using some elbow grease :)

Now the best part assembling
1. take a pani poori make a hole of the flaky side of the poori
2. Stuff potato filling and then add green chutney, sweet chutney , top off with green onions and tomatoes.

Now best part try to eat the whole poori in one bite, the culmination of various flavors just makes it so worth the wait.

Monday, May 23, 2011

The most important things in life

Stumbled upon on via etsy the above frame, this is the kind of poster I would blow up and have in my office or in the living room to be a constant reminder of what life is all about .....

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Fresh Farmer's Market Carrots Pickled

Pickled Carrots

Had a fabulous week last week at Stanford Graduate School Of Business, it's been a life changing experience. Met wonderful women from around the world with such energy,inspiration and the vibe was out of the world. I am so thankful to have gotten a chance to experience what I have experienced. One big take away for me was new friendships that I formed.

Well after that exciting week in Stanford its back to reality, getting ready for week ahead and usual chores. Sigh good things do come to an end after all.

With weather warming up farmers market was full of vibrant colors fruits and vegetables, freshly picked carrots had my name all over so picked up a bunch. Carrots were so tender, fresh and sweet that we finished half the bunch for an evening snack.

Today's recipe is my grandma's, she would make this with radish today substituted with carrot, uber simple yet very delicious.
2-3 fresh and tender carrots, sliced thinly
½ cup fresh lemon juice
2 tbs fresh ground pepper
1 thinly sliced green chili

tbsp on lemon rind.
Salt according to taste
Peel carrot and slice them thinly. 
Mix sliced carrot, chilies,lemon rind add lemon juice, pepper, salt , green chilies.
Allow carrots to marinate for about half an hour, the more the marination the better the taste.

Pickled carrots can be eaten as is or tastes excellent with roti's and naan as sides, carrots can be substituted with radish,onions or mango.

Wishing everyone a happy week ahead, I for sure need lots of energy to get through :)

Friday, May 20, 2011

Bite sized Low Fat Non-Fried Samosa Cups - Perfect Appetizer

Bite sized Low Fat Non-Fried Samosa Cups - Perfect Appetizer

Reposting as Blogger seemed to have lost my post.
This post was in drafts since February, made this for a play date for my first grader at home, you see with  my elder one we had a close group of friends and play dates were regular, it was a chance to meet up with parents in similar boat, talk about classes and various other activities  and just dealing with pains of being a first time parent, come second one he practically had been begging to call his classmates for a play date, trust me I know its unfair but hey I don't have the same level of enthusiasm second time on :).

So finally invited his friends over for a playmate and made these as appetizers, so here goes the recipe.

Ingredients - Today's recipe makes for about 12
Phyllo dough sheets - I brought the rectangular ones found in Indian stores

2 cups of boiled/canned garbanzo beans
1 cup peas & carrot frozen or fresh
1 big red onion sliced thin
2 medium sized potatoes cubed
2-3 green chilies - adjust according to taste
Dry spices
1 tbsp of fennel seeds
1 tbsp of corriander/dhania seeds
1 tbsp of chat masala
1 tbsp of coriander and cumin powder (optional)
1/2 tbsp of Amchur (dry mango powder)
salt according to taste

1. Carmalize finely sliced onions till they turn brown and keep aside.
2. Heat a pan add tbsp of oil, when hot add fennel,coriander, and cumin and coriander powder, saute for few seconds.
3. Now add all the vegetables  and add chaat masala, amchur and salt.Mix till all the masala's are well incorporated.

4. Spray cupcake pans with non-stick spray
5. Now place the phyllo dough in cupcake mould and make into a cup.
7. Now Add the filling to the Phyllo cups

8. Top with  caramelized onions

9. Pre heat over to 350 degrees and when ready place these Phyllo cups/pockets and bake for about 5 minutes after 5 minutes change the setting to broil and let the top caramelize.
Please adjust according to your oven setting, Phyllo dough gets burnt very quickly so keep a close watch.
Serve hot with ketchup, these cups reminds me samosa's we get  in theaters and on railway stations in south the dry kind, I used to love them as a kid and this came very close to the taste.

Well play date was fun kids and parents sure did enjoy theses appetizer.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Sometimes - Life Just Speaks For Itself

Image courtsey Blinks.of.life
Just a quick note as I am away from home for few days, the above picture describes exactly how I feel right now .

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Cheese Quesadilla A Tex Mex Favorite

Cheese Quesadilla A Tex Mex Favorite

Toady's recipe is one all of us at home enjoy for breakfast, lunch or dinner so simple yet very easy, best part so customizable you can spruce up Quesadilla with choice of vegetables, cheeses and exotic dips and sauces, Today's version of Quesadilla however is the very simple and takes less than 10 minutes to feed the entire family, so here you go

Fresh tortilla's
taco seasoning
choice of mexican sauces
shredded cheese my choice today mozzarella - pepper jack, mexican varieties will sure add more flavor
for dipping
Pico de gallo

1. Heat tawa (frying pan) when warm place tortilla and heat both sides.
2. Spread mexican sauce on one hall of tortilla and spread it with a spoon across.

3. Take a handful of shredded cheese and top the side that has sauce.

4. Sprinkle generous dose of taco seasoning.

5. Now fold the cheese side of tortilla with the other half and allow to cook on both sides for few seconds till cheese oozes out.

6. Remove from heat and slice it.

Best enjoyed when eaten pipping hot, dip it in salsa, pico de gall or guacamole makes for one delicious and comforting food.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Hearty Weekend Breakfast - Vegetable Upma

Hearty Weekend Breakfast - Upma

It's sunday evening and boy oh boy weekend did fly by quick,had a beautiful weekend weather could not have be any perfect than today. Finally seems like spring is in air. Saturday morning was as usual busy shuttling kids to various classes and had a fun filled get together with friends saturday night.

Woke up to a beautiful sunday morning, first thing first went to farmers market picked up some fresh produce.  I usually try to make indian breakfast on weekends as weekdays it's usually toast or cereal, with all the fresh produce from farmers market made vegetable upma with fresh tomato juice. It was just perfect for sunday morning breakfast/brunch.

1 cup Upma Rava 
1/2 cup fresh peas 

1/2 cup carrot cubed
1/2 cup small cauliflower florets
1 tomato cubed into small pieces
1/2 cup chopped green onion
1 red onion chopped finely
1 small potato peeled and cubed into small pieces
2 tbsp oil for thadka
1/2 cup of mixed nuts (cashew nuts, blanched almonds, pecans, peanuts)
2 tbsp ginger finely chopped
2 G.chilies cut finely
8 - 10 curry leaves
1 tbsp jeera
1 tbsp urad dal

1 tbsp channa dal
1 tbsp mustard seeds
Salt according to taste
1. Dry fry Upma rava for about a minute until raw smell is gone and keep aside.

2.Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a pan ,add jeera , urad dal, mustard ,ginger, g.chileschanna dal, nuts and curry leaves, saute for few seconds till mustard starts to splutter.
3. Now add onions ,potatoes , tomatoes ,cauliflower, peas and carrots, when onions turn translucent add 2 glasses on water add salt according to taste
4. Let water come to full boil then add upma rava and green onions and stir well.
5. Mix well and cook covered for 4-5  minutes.
6. Let is cool for 5 minutes this will make Upma fluff up.

Sprinkle lemon juice over hot upma and serve.

Vine ripe tomatoes from the farmers market were sweet, juiced them up for fresh tomato juice added  fresh lime juice and it was a match made in heaven. 

After a delicious breakfast all of us headed out to local farm to pick up plants it was perfect day for gardening and right time to plant. Got heirloom variety tomatoes, melons, cucumbers etc.. can't wait for the bounty in summer.
Wishing everyone a happy week ahead !!'

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