Oven roasted carrot soup

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If you want to make anything delicious, I suggest you roast it in the oven. Tomatoes, yes…onions, yes….carrots, yes….sweet potato, yes….garlic ,yes. I think I have made my case. Roasting in the oven gives the dish a lovely aroma and an explosion of flavours that are otherwise not unearthed. I know I have two more carrot soups on my blog (here and here) but do you really believe there is a finite number of carrot soups in the world? Like I said before, carrots are able to marry any other vegetable easily and so the flavours to be explored multiply exponentially. Carrot’s natural sweetness can be balanced with any spicy flavouring and result in a magical soup. So try this one too and raise your glass to the humble carrot.

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Recipe adapted from here

Serves 3

WHAT WE NEED

3 medium to large carrots

1 medium sized onion

2 cloves garlic

1 tbsp olive oil

1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper

1/2 tsp ground cumin

2 tomatoes

2 tbsp curds / yogurt

Salt

WHAT TO DO

  • Preheat the oven to 200C
  • Peel and roughly chop the carrots
  • Roughly chop the onion
  • Add the garlic, olive oil, cumin, pepper and some salt and mix well
  • Place on a baking tray and bake for 25-30 minutes till they start turning brown
  • Turn the tray once during the roasting to ensure equal roasting on all sides
  • Take out the baking tray and cool slightly
  • In the meanwhile, soak the tomatoes in hot water for 10-15 minutes
  • Peel the skin, deseed the tomatoes and purée it
  • Add the roasted vegetables to a mixer / food processor and blend to a smooth mix
  • Add the purred vegetables and the tomato purée to a pot and mix well
  • Stir in the yogurt and adjust for salt
  • Let it simmer for 10 minutes or so till it is hot
  • Serve hot
  • Enjoy!

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This is my post for the Blogging Marathon under the theme, ‘One vegetable three ways’.

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Creamy Carrot Sandwich

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I don’t know about you but in my house, the carrot gets a bit of a step-motherly treatment. I take it for granted, don’t give it too much of importance, use it as a filler in combination with other vegetables and its presence solely dependent on the quantity needed and never stopping to consider its feelings. Basically, it always plays a supporting role and never gets its due limelight.  So when I picked this theme of one vegetable in three ways, I figured it would be nice to hero the carrot for once.

Since the husband is travelling I am having a dairy overflow – too much curd and too much milk. So, I figured I could make some hung curd and have a fabulous sandwich with it. It turned out creamy and delicious with the daughter happily munching away and I have been patting my back ever since.

Serves 2

WHAT WE NEED

8 slices of bread

1 carrot, grated

Hung curd from 1/2 litre curd

1 tsp chilly powder / curry powder / mixed dried herbs

Butter to toast the bread

Salt

 

WHAT TO DO

  • Toast the bread slices with butter
  • In a bowl, mix together the hung curd, grated carrot, spice powder and salt
  • Apply the carrot mixture on a slice of bread generously and cover it with another slice
  • Repeat the same for the remaining bread slices
  • Enjoy!

 

NOTES

  1. Though it is not mandatory to toast the bread, it is recommended because the bread otherwise is unable to hold it together and gets soggy due to the hung curd

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This is my post for the Blogging Marathon under the theme, ‘One vegetable three ways’.

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Cheese Masala Dosai

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The biggest difference I find between my previous working for a corporate self versus working for the home is that I used to crave for weekends then and now I absolutely dread them. I had Monday morning blues then and now I have Friday night chills. I simply can’t wait for the Monday morning when I can pack up the husband and daughter and let out a relieved sigh. The biggest worry for the weekend is to balance everyone’s taste and health, manage to spend time with them and also manage some respite for me. Not easy I tell you.

So this dish happened in one of the weekends when I wanted to eat masala dosai but had no potatoes or patience to make one. So I simply chopped up some onion, tomatoes and capsicum, topped it with loads of cheese and was rewarded with pleas for seconds and satisfied sighs. Miracles happen!

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Serves 2-3

WHAT WE NEED

3 cups Dosai batter

1 large onion

1 large tomato

1 large capsicum

2-3 green chillies

1 sprig curry leaves, finely chopped

2 tsp oil + for making dosais

Lots of shredded cheese

Salt

WHAT TO DO

  • Finely chop the onion, tomato and capsicum
  • Heat 2 tsp oil in a small pan
  • Add the green chillies and onion, tomato and capsicum and mix well
  • Add salt and let it cook till it is cooked well and the liquid from the tomato has almost dried out
  • Set aside
  • Heat a tava and pour a ladle full of batter on it
  • Spread it in concentric motion and make into a dosai
  • Add oil to the end of the dosai and let it cook
  • Add one spoon of the onion mixture on top of the dosai and spread it
  • Top it with as much shredded cheese as you want
  • Use the spatula to loosen the dosai and fold it into three
  • Repeat with the rest of the batter
  • Serve warm
  • Enjoy!

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This is my post for the Blogging Marathon under the theme, ‘One protein three dishes’

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Cheese & Garlic Scones

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When I made a Hi-Tea combo couple of months ago, my favourite of the lot of dishes was the Cheese and garlic scones. These are super easy to make and taste so good. It is one of the few baked dishes that even my husband liked and asked for seconds. I have made it several times since and it has been appreciated by kids and adults alike. This makes for a quick and easy snack with all ingredients easily available at home. I do think of adding some vegetables to it but then I feel maybe some dishes should be left just for taste instead of trying to healthy-fy everything all the time.

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Recipe from here

Makes 8 scones

WHAT WE NEED

1 cup All purpose flour

1 1/2 tsp Baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 cup shredded cheese

1-2 garlic cloves, finely chopped or grated

1/2 cup Milk

WHAT TO DO

  • Preheat the oven to 220C
  • Mix the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl
  • Add the shredded cheese and garlic to the bowl and mix well
  • Make a well in the middle of the flour and pour in the milk except for 2 tsp of milk
  • Bring together all the ingredients and form a dough
  • Do not overmix
  • Grease a baking tray and transfer the dough to the tray
  • Pat it into a 1″ thick circle and cut into 8 wedges
  • Brush the balance 2 tsp milk on the dough
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes or till the top gets brown spots
  • Cool for 10 minutes
  • Serve warm with butter

NOTES

  1. I have tried this dish with cheddar cheese, pizza cheese (mix of cheddar and mozzarella) and matured goat cheese and it works beautifully with each one
  2. I found the goat cheese (matured) slightly bland in comparison to the other two and so I sprinkled some dried rosemary to enliven it

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This is my post for the Blogging Marathon under the theme, ‘One protein three dishes’.

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Cheese & Oats Paniyaram

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So I am back after a month though it seems like ages. In March, I had a very different perception of how April and May would turn out considering it is the daughter’s vacation time, but it wS hectic and chaotic in wholly different ways. Right from having a oil splash accident to help organise the brother & sis-in-law’s baby shower to help playing nurse to the father-in-law, this summer has me running in circles. Now it’s hardly any time left for school time and to begin the routine again.

In between all this activity the husband managed to travel for work and wearily asked me if I would need some rye flour or gluten again. Seems like he has finally resigned to fate, which is nice! I was kind and asked him to only pick up some cheese since he was in Amsterdam. He did and has been asking me to add cheese to everything I make. So when I picked this theme of ‘One protein three dishes’, I knew it simply had to be cheese. So here is the first of my three ‘cheesy’ dishes which is a quick and comparatively healthy snack for adults and kids alike.

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Recipe adapted from here

Serves 3-4

WHAT WE NEED

1 cup Quick cooking oats

1 small sized carrot, grated

2 tbsp Rice flour

1 tbsp Semolina

2-3 tbsp shredded cheese

1-2 green chillies, finely chopped

1″ ginger, grated

1/2 tsp Baking soda

Few coriander leaves

Salt

Oil

Water

WHAT TO DO

  • Heat an appe pan with 2-3 drops of oil in each cavity
  • Mix all the ingredients except baking soda and oil
  • Add enough water for the batter to be thicker in consistency as compared to idli batter
  • Add baking soda and give it a quick mix
  • Pour the batter into the appe pan till it is almost full
  • Cover and cook in simmer for 2-3 minutes
  • Once the top part seems cooked, turn it over with a spoon and cook uncovered for 1-2 minutes
  • Take it off from the pan and repeat for the remaining batter
  • Serve with chutney or ketchup or mayonnaise of your choice
  • Enjoy!

NOTES

  1. I used matured goat cheese but cheddar should also work just as well
  2. Green chillies and ginger can be reduced or omitted if making for kids

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This is my post for the Blogging Marathon under the theme, ‘One protein three dishes’.

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Hi Tea

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This is the final post in this week’s Thali series. My sister-in-law gifted me a cupcake / hi tea stand and I have been planning to use it in the blog for ages now. I didn’t want to miss the chance this time and so I figured making a hi tea spread for the Thali theme would be just perfect. Hi tea is a British tradition of drinking tea sitting on high back chairs at the table with a spread including cold cut meat, fruits, breads, crackers, etc.

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This hi tea spread includes –

1. Iced tea (because it it summer now)

2. Regular black tea & milk

3. Cheese and Garlic Scones

4. Walnut Cake Slice

5. Masala Chai Mini Muffins

6. Dry fruit biscuits

7. Pistachio and chocolate biscuits

8. Peas & Carrot Finger Sandwiches

9. Cucumber & Mayonnaise Finger Sandwiches

8. Jam

9. Honey

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Here is a quick recipe for the masala chai muffins –

Makes 16-18 mini muffins

WHAT WE NEED

3/4 cup Whole wheat flour

1/2 cup Granulated sugar

1/2 tsp Baking powder

1/4 tsp Baking soda

Pinch of salt

1/2 cup Masala chai / tea ( no sugar)

1 tsp Vinegar

2 tbsp Oil

WHAT TO DO

  • Preheat the oven at 190C
  • Mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl
  • Mix the oil, masala chai and vinegar in another bowl
  • Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix well to combine
  • Line a mini muffin tray and pour the batter up to 3/4 full for each muffin mould
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes or till the toothpick inserted comes out clean
  • Cool for half hour
  • Enjoy!

This is my post for the Blogging Marathon under the theme, ‘Thalis’.

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Karnataka Breakfast Thali

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After a sumptuous Karnataka lunch yesterday, today is the turn of its amazing breakfast. I am a breakfast person, i.e. I can eat breakfast for lunch and dinner too. This breakfast is one of the most amazing things you can ever taste. Each dish is a full fledged breakfast dish in itself and put it together and you have a king’s feast.

Unfortunately I don’t get the authentic breakfast in the area I stay because (in the husband’s words) ‘We stay in the Delhi part of Bangalore’. It is easier to find golgappas here as compared to an Iyengar Bakery. To find the awesome dishes Bangalore dishes, I have to travel to the other end of the city which is near impossible thanks to the traffic. Tragic, right?

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So, though I haven’t eaten this breakfast combo anywhere in the city, this blog post serves as a plea to the restaurants in Bangalore to make a combo like this and have it as an all day meal for poor craving souls like me.

This Thali contains –

Thatte Idli – It is the softest, spongiest and melt in your mouth level delicious idli. Made with rice and urad dal, it is a feast in itself

Benne Dose – The butter dosa Bangalore is most famous for. Eat it and do not go near a weighing machine for a week, mostly for your own peace of mind

Khara Bath – I know I will be trolled for this but it is the tastier version of upma. I cannot stand upma but I can have khara bath every day of the week

Kesari Bath – Again, it is the easier tastier version of the regular boring kesari. Bathed in ghee, it can’t get better than this.

Sambhar & Chutney

Filter Coffee – Like a breakfast is complete without it!

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Here is a quick recipe for Thatte Idli. It can be made easily if you have the idli batter ready. Do try it and thank me later!

Makes 2 Idlis

WHAT WE NEED

1 1/2 cups   Idli Batter

1/8 tsp Baking soda

Pinch of Sugar

WHAT TO DO

  • Mix the idli batter with baking soda and sugar and set aside for 15 minutes
  • You can use the thatte idli plate if you have. Else, grease any flat plate (with walls) or the lid of any stainless steel box
  • Heat a larger pan or cooker with water of around 1″ deep
  • Place the plate in the pan / cooker
  • Pour in the idli batter on the plate and steam for 10-12 minutes
  • Turn it off and let it remain as is for another 5 minutes
  • Take the plate out and unmould it
  • Serve hot with sambhar and chutney
  • Enjoy!

 

NOTES 

  1. I have tried this with home made as well as store bought idli batter. It works well in both cases
  2. Instead of greasing the plate and pouring the batter, you can place a piece of banana leaf on the plate and then pour the batter. This makes the unmoulding easier

 

This is my post for the Blogging Marathon under the theme, ‘Thalis’.

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Mixed Vegetable Sagu – Karnataka Special Meals

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I am back to Blogging after what seems like ages though it’s actually been just a month. This week I will be posting three different thalis or combo menus. When Valli announced this theme, she was benevolent to allow us to post one recipe from our previous thali menus. So when I checked on the few thalis I posted, I realised I had not posted this awesome recipe of the mixed vegetable sagu from the Karnataka special meals I posted a while ago. The amazing thing about this sagu is that it has quite a few vegetables, is delicious, quite easy to make and best of all it goes with poori, dosa, rotis and rice. So what I do is make a big batch of it for a Saturday / Sunday and have it for breakfast with dosa, for lunch with rice / poori and for dinner with rotis. The meals seem different but involve less effort from my end and I can enjoy the weekend too. Yay!

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The Sagu is not very spicy and so works well with kids too. If your kid loves coconut like mine does, it is a perfect way to sneak the vegetables in. Sagu is a also made with potatoes only but I love the mixed vegetable option better because I eat way too many potatoes as is. So here goes –

Serves 4-5

Recipe adapted from here

WHAT WE NEED

2-3 Carrots, medium size

4-5 Cauliflower florets

1 Potato, big

8-10 French beans

1/4 cup green peas

1 Onion, big

1 Tomato, big

1 tbsp Oil

1/4 tsp Mustard seeds

1/2 tsp Urad dal, split and skinless

1 sprig Curry leaves

Salt

To grind

1/2 cup Grated coconut, loosely packed

1″ Ginger, skinned and finely chopped

3-4 Garlic cloves, chopped

1 tsp Cumin seeds

1 tsp Coriander seeds

2 tbsp Roasted gram

1 tsp Poppy seeds

2 Green chillies, chopped

1″ Cinnamon

2-3 Cloves

1 Cardamom, green

2 tbsp Coriander leaves, chopped

WHAT TO DO

  • Chop the carrots, potato, beans and cauliflower florets
  • Add salt and steam them for 12-15 minutes or and set aside
  • Take all the ingredients specified under ‘to grind’ above and grind them to a fine paste with little water and set aside
  • Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds
  • Once it splutters, add the Urad dal and curry leaves
  • Chop the onion and add it to the pan
  • Once the onion is translucent, add the chopped tomato and let it cook till the tomato is soft
  • Add the cooked vegetables and ground paste
  • Add a little water if necessary. The Sagu needs to be at a thick gravy consistency
  • Adjust for salt and let it come to a boil, around 7-10 Minutes
  • Simmer 2-3 minutes and turn off the gas
  • Serve hot with rice, roti, poori or set dosa
  • Enjoy!

This is my post for the Blogging Marathon under the theme, ‘Thalis’.

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Kimbula Banis | Sweet Buns

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My usual modus operandi in any country theme is to look for the breads available there and try to bake atleast one such dish. I chanced upon this awesome sweet bun recipe and knew I had to make it. It is simple, tasty and makes for a perfect snack for kids.

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This dish is supposed to look like a crocodile and hence the name ‘kimbula’ which means crocodile. So usually these buns are longer and bigger. But I wanted to give these for my daughter’s snack box and so made them smaller and figured these could work as baby kimbula rolls. What say?

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Recipe adapted from here

Makes 15-18 buns

WHAT WE NEED

170 gms All purpose flour

20 gms Milk powder

1 egg

4 gms Instant yeast

15 gms Brown sugar

25 gms Sugar + for sprinkling on top

12 gms Unsalted butter

65-70 gms Warm water

 

WHAT TO DO

  • Mix all the ingredients together, except water
  • Add the water slowly to form a soft and pliant dough
  • Knead for 2-3 minutes and keep covered in a bowl till it doubles in volume. It should take around 1 hour
  • Take out the dough and roll it with a rolling pin to a long rectangle
  • Cut the dough into small triangles with a dough scrapper or knife
  • Roll each triangle from the broad side to the narrow side
  • Line a baking tray with parchment
  • Transfer the rolled dough to the baking tray and set aside for half hour
  • Preheat the oven to 180C
  • Sprinkle sugar generously on top of the dough buns
  • Bake for 20 minutes or till the top is golden brown
  • Serve warm
  • Enjoy with some tea!

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This is my post for the Blogging Marathon under the theme, ‘Sri Lankan Cuisine’.

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Kadala Thel Dala | Stir fried Chickpeas

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The second dish for the Sri Lankan cuisine theme is a popular snack called Kadala Thel Dala which is quite similar to the sundal prepared in Tamil cuisine. One main difference is the addition of onion to this dish which is not usually added to sundal but which makes this a simple yet delicious bowl of snack.

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Serves 2

Recipe adapted from here

WHAT WE NEED

1 cup boiled chickpeas
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1 sprig curry leaves
1/2 tsp chilly powder
1 tsp vegetable oil

WHAT TO DO

  • Heat the oil in a pan
  • Add mustard seeds and cumin.
  • Once the mustard seeds pop, add the curry leaves and onion and fry for 3-4 minutes or till the onion turns golden brown
  • Add the chickpeas, salt and chilly powder
  • Fry for another 2-3 minutes.
  • Serve hot.

NOTES

  1. Soak the chickpeas overnight in sufficient water and pressure cook for 3 whistles and then use in this recipe
  2. The onion will cook faster if sliced very thinly

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This is my post for the Blogging Marathon under the theme, ‘Sri Lankan Cuisine’.

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