Monday, December 29, 2014

15 minute Rasmalai!

So if you know me well, you would know that I'm not a huge fan of traditional Indian sweets. There's a handful of them that I really enjoy and rasmalai is one of them. It was my one and only major sweet craving while pregnant (apart from frozen yogurt). But too bad I didn't know this recipe existed back then.. probably a good thing LOL.

If you do make this recipe for a party, don't reveal the secret and it's simplicity to your guests. Yep, it's that good and that easy.

This past Diwali, I made this recipe for the first time and the entire batch disappeared pretty quick.



Ingredients:

-  1 can of ready made rasgolla (I am partial to Haldirams)
-  1/2 cup condensed milk (adjust for desired level of sweetness)
-  2 cups of whole milk
-  Few strands of saffron
-  Cardomom seeds (5-6)
-  Toasted chopped almonds or pistachio to garnish

Method:

1.  Drain the rasgollas from the can and squeeze out all the extra syrup. Use a lemon squeezer if you have one, or else just gently place a large can or heavy pan over a plate of rasgollas and drain out the syrup.  The rasgollas can crumble if you place too much weight so be careful! This is the hardest step of the process, I promise!!

2.  In a large pot, combine the condensed milk and regular milk, cardamom and saffron and bring to a gradual boil.

3.  Add the drained rasgollas and simmer for 5-10 minutes.

4.  Add chopped nuts for garnish and enjoy warm or cold!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Gingerbread Cheesecake Bites

I was looking for an easy party holiday dessert to take to my husband's work Christmas Party last week when I stumbled upon this thanks to PINTEREST!!! I'm not a Pinterest-aholic by any means but I go on every once in a while when I'm bored of my recipes and want to venture into something I've never made before. Usually I'm pretty successful :)

This one is particularly GENIUS because it has only 4 ingredients!
  • Storebought premade gingerbread cookie dough - found in the refrigerated section of your grocery store
    • OR (as in my case), gingerbread cookie dough mix in a box- usually needs egg, water and butter to make the dough
  • 4oz cream cheese
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups powdered sugar







Method:

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2.  Once you've made the cookie dough according to package directions, make 1 tsp balls and place them in a mini cupcake lined tin.

I even used some festive ones :)



3.  Use the back of the teaspoon (back dipped in flour) to press the dough to form a cup.

4.  Beat cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla and get it into a ziptop bag , with the end cut ready for piping.

5.  Fill the cups about half or a little more than half way up the top.  Sprinkle with red sugar glitter and bake for 10 minutes.








Kerala Style Egg Curry



This has very quickly become a family favourite as well as an easy dinner party dish.  What makes this different from any other egg "curry" is the ground coconut paste and freshly ground coriander and fennel seeds.  It goes great over steamed rice or phulka rotis.

Ingredients:

-  5 eggs, hardboiled and halved
-  1/2 cup onion chopped
-  1 tsp coriander seeds
-  1 tsp fennel seeds
-  2 dried red chillies
-  6 curry leaves
-  2-3 Tbsp ground fresh coconut (use fresh and not the dried). You can find fresh ground coconut in the freezer section of the Indian grocery stores.
-  1/2 tsp turmeric
-  1 tsp tomato paste (optional)
-  1 inch ginger grated
-  1/2 tsp garlic minced (optional)

Method:

1.  In the spice grinder, freshly grind the coriander seeds, fennel seeds, red chillies and coconut. To make a paste later, add some water to this and give it a buzz. The coconut should be mixed in well with the spices to make a smooth paste.

2.  Heat 2 Tbsp vegetable oil in a pan and sautee onions.  Add ginger and optional garlic and curry leaves at this point and cook for a couple minutes. Then add the turmeric and the coconut paste with ground up spices. Add some water to thin it out and let this come to a simmer for about 5 minutes.  YOu can add optional tomato paste to this mixture but I like it much better without the tomato.

3.  Add the hard boiled eggs and continue to simmer on low for another 10 minutes. Add salt to taste and then serve over rice or with chappatis.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Coleslaw Obsession!!

Just a really quick post from me about my latest coleslaw obsession. I'm telling ya, I've probably consumed a small head of cabbage myself this way. I've had it instead of my usual tossed mixed veggie salad lately and it's so delicious!!! My kid just likes to see the food processor go wild shredding cabbage ... haha

I use Bobby Flay's coleslaw dressing (modified somewhat).

What can't you get enough of this summer?


Nutella Brownie Bites- 4 ingredients!










4 ingredients can lead to one perfect little dessert bite.

-  1 cup Nutella
-  10 Tbsp flour
-  2 eggs
 - Crushed almonds or sprinkles to top
(couple pinches of salt)- freebie :)

Mix all of these and spoon into mini muffin pan with pretty liners.

Bake at 350F for 15-18 minutes.

Serve at your next party and become everyone's best friend :)

Friday, July 25, 2014

Fried Mini Idlis






First off, yes these ARE mini idlis, not fried potatoes!

They make a perfect party food or a snack. And if you have extra idli batter on hand, they are super quick to make too. I made them recently for a picnic and they were a big big hit, even with the kids. You can adjust the seasoning to your palette.

Ingredients:

-  Steamed mini idlis, already prepared., cut in half.
-  couple pinches of cayenne pepper
-  1/2 tsp mustard seeds
-  1 tsp urad dal
-  1/4 tsp turmeric
-  5-6 curry leaves
-  1 tsp (non spicy) california chilli powder
-  2 Tbsp canola oil
-  1/2 onion small dice
-  salt to taste

Method:

In a sautee pan, first temper the mustard seeds, urad dal and curry leaves in hot oil.

Next, sautee remaining ingredients over medium high heat tossing occasionally . When everything is combined well and the idlis have browned somewhat, remove from heat and serve.


Friday, July 18, 2014

Spicy Creamy Dip (with a twist)





Here is a super easy yet crowd pleasing dip for a party or a potluck. My husband came up with the combination so he definitely gets all the credit. It's so easy no recipe is needed. It's mayo free, so perfect for summer BBQs! In fact ,it will make a great spread ON your burger!

Mix together the following and chill in the fridge until it's time to serve.

-  1/2 cup jalapeno cream cheese
-  1 cup sour cream
-  2-3 Tbsp hot salsa
-  1/4 cup of finely chopped sundried tomato

Season with salt if needed.

Serve as a dip for crudite or tortilla/pita chips.

Veg Hakka Noodles



Hakka noddles is that popular Indo-Chinese stirfried noodle dish with a spicy kick. I maake it often enough when I have most of the ingredients. You can be relatively flexible with the combination of veggies but you almost definitely need cabbage, scallions, bok choy and .. yes, mushrooms!!  It comes out real easy and only takes a few minutes to prepare. You can easily substitute angel hair pasta if you don't have the actual hakka noodles.

Spice mixture for the sauce: Soy sauce, grated ginger and garlic, rice wine vinegar,  tomato paste, black pepper, sesame oil, chilli flakes.  In a pinch you could add Sriracha sauce and leave out the chilli and garlic individual ingredients.

I don't have exact measurements, I sort of winged it that day. :) Sautee all the vegetables on medium-high heat and then add sauce mixture and toss with cooked noodles.  Top with fresh sprouts if you have them on hand.


Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Vegetable Chutney



I am probably the worlds biggest fan of chutneys and thogayals.  They are super easy to whip up and  are so forgiving.. any vegetable combination usually can work. This particular one has chayote, roasted red pepper, tomatoes and onion.

Start off by sauteeing veggies over a fairly high heat. You want a bit of char on the veggies as char=flavour. Add in your seasonings like channa dal, urad dal, salt, red chillies, a bit of garlic if you so incline. Add a couple spoons of puli (tamarind paste) I have a homemade thogayal podi made by my mother in law that I use for things like this. SAutee everything for 10 minutes .. move the veggies around the pan often so they don't totally burn. Alternately you could broil veggies in the oven and then blend but I like this method better.

Once everything is semi cooked, transfer to a blender and puree till smooth or semi-smooth. Peanuts are a great addition and gives good body to the chutney. Garnish with scallions and a tadka of curry leaves, urad dal and mustard seeds.

It goes great wtih rice, chappatis or dosa and you get your veggies in. Make it spicy and it will stay for upto a week.

Superbowl Chilli and Quesedillas




We love eating chilli during the fall and winter. I make it quite a bit because I almost always have ingredients on hand.. The colder the weather, the spicier the chilli! They go great with a side of cheese quesedillas. We didn't go to any Superbowl parties this year..  We watched the game upstairs in the recently finished media room put together from start to finish by R himself! Needless to say we also had chips/salsa and beer. 

Ingredients: 

- 1 small can of chipotle roasted tomatoes (or use regular tomatoes and add chipotle peppers)
-  1 can black beans
-  1/2 cup frozen corn
-  1/2 onion chopped
-  2 celery sticks diced
-  2 small carrots diced
-  1 tsp minced garlic
- 2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder 
- 1/2 tsp oregano
- 2 Tbsp southwestern chilli powder

Method:

1.  Sautee onions, garlic, chilli powder and oregano and all the vegetables for 5-10 minutes over medium heat
2.  Add chipotle seasoning or chipotle peppers 
3.  Add the can of tomatoes, black beans and about 2 cups of water and bring to simmer.
4.  Simmer uncovered for 20 minutes. Add the cocoa powder and stir. 
5.  Season with salt as desired.
6.  Ladle into a bowl and garnish with sour cream and cheese. 


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