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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Potato Skins

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My third recipe for this theme of USA cuisine was supposed to be this awesome s’mores mug cake. The only mistake I did was to wait to make it till the last minute because, mug cake. How difficult can it be? Mix ingredients and microwave for a minute, duh! But then I tried to be smart and made some changes to the ingredients and then it crashed badly, like really badly. Then I figured I would stick to the recipe but found I was out of some ingredients. Yeah, mug cake can actually cause so much grief. Anyway I fell back on potatoes which is the ultimate saviour as also very American. The added benefit is that the daughter loves it and I figured a cool way to sneak in veggies inside all that cheese. So not everything ended badly!

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The original dish is potatoes, bacon and cheese. But I needed a vegetarian version of it and so I replaced the bacon with some vegetables and also some cheese with butter and landed with a super easy evening snack.

Recipe adapted from here

WHAT WE NEED

Potatoes 4

Garlic butter 2 tbsp

Onion, small 1/2

Tomato, small 1/2

Mozzarella, grated 4-5 tbsp

Salt

WHAT TO DO

  • Preheat the oven to 220C
  • Cut the potatoes vertically in half and scoop out the flesh as much as you can leaving just the skin and little flesh
  • Melt the garlic butter and apply it on both sides of the halves and scooped potatoes
  • Place it on a baking tray skin side down and bake for 10 minutes
  • Turn the potatoes over and bake for another 10 minutes
  • Finely chop the onion. Deseed and finely chop the tomato
  • Mix the two with salt and pepper or any other seasoning
  • Take out the potatoes and turn them over
  • Fill each half potato with the onion tomato mixture
  • Top it with grated mozzarella cheese
  • Bake for 2-3 minutes or till the cheese melts
  • Serve warm
  • Enjoy!

NOTES

  1. You can use plain butter or any other flavoured butter instead of the garlic butter
  2. The filling can be any vegetable of your choice like carrots, peas, corn, mushroom, etc. In that case you have either sauté it before adding it to the potatoes or bake it for 10 minutes with the potatoes but add the cheese in the final 2 minutes.

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This is my post for the Blogging Marathon under the theme, Cuisine of USA.

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Quick Bread – Zucchini Bread

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We had the children’s day celebration at our apartment complex for which they organised a drawing and colouring contest. Sounds good, right? But no. Parents were breathing down the necks of the little ones (read 8 to 10 year olds!) giving them detailed instructions on what they need to draw or the colour they need to use. My daughter made those sad puppy dog eyes making me feel like an ignorant negligent parent in contrast. I have been ranting ever since to all and sundry about how parents need to leave their kids alone to take their own decisions and make their own mistakes so that they can learn their own lessons. Then I found out that the kid whose mom gave the maximum instructions actually won the contest. Now I am in two minds – maybe I should have helped her afterall. She would not have been heartbroken about not winning. But then maybe this will help her deal with life better in the long run. Parenting is tough! Rant complete and I am feeling better already.

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Now on to the dish of the day. I luckily found zucchinis at the local supermarket much to my surprise. I grabbed it and simply had to make a zucchini bread. It turned out fabulous especially with all that cheese in it. Since it is a quick bread, I could eat some before the daughter was back from school and became competition. Yay!

I have begun to replace all purpose flour with wheat flour in most recipes except yeast bread where I think they make a significant difference to the airiness of the bread. In muffins, quick breads, etc. I can manage a reasonable amount of lightness to the dish with whole wheat flour. You could use all purpose flour in this dish just as the original recipe.

Adapted from here

Makes one 7″ loaf

WHAT WE NEED

Zucchini, grated                      3/4 cup

Whole wheat flour                 1 cup

Baking powder                        1 tsp

Baking soda                              1/4 tsp

Salt                                             1/2 tsp

Milk                                            1/2 cup

Apple cider vinegar                1 1/2 tsp

Egg                                              1

Olive Oil                                    1 1/2 tbsp

Cheddar cheese, grated         1/2 cup heaped

Mixed herbs                             2 tsp

WHAT TO DO

  • Preheat the oven to 180C
  • Grease and line a loaf tin with parchment paper
  • Squeeze the grated zucchini gently to release some liquid. I did not do it because I used whole wheat flour which absorbs more water and I did not want the bread to be dry. Squeeze out some liquid (around 2 tsp or so) if you are using all purpose flour.
  • In a bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together
  • In another bowl, combine the milk and vinegar. Any vinegar will do. I used apple cider vinegar
  • The milk will curdle a bit. Then add the egg and oil and mix well
  • Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix to combine ensuring no dry flour is left
  • Add the zucchini, cheese and mixed herbs and mix lightly
  • Pour the batter into the loaf tin and bake for 1 hour
  • If the toothpick inserted comes clean, the bread is done
  • Cool it for 10-15 minutes in the loaf tin and then unmould it on to the wire rack to cool further
  • Once it is completely cooled, (around an hour) slice and serve
  • Enjoy!

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This is my post for the Blogging Marathon under the theme, Cuisine of the USA.

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Khachapuri

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At first glance, the name Khachapuri does sound like a chaat available at Chowpatty beach in Bombay, somewhere between sookha puri and pani puri. But probe further and you discover that it is a traditional Georgian bread filled with cheese. In fact, it is the national dish of Georgia. It is usually shaped like a boat and filled with cheese, egg and sometimes few other ingredients. The crust is ripped off and used to dip in the cheese for a mouthful of bliss. Sulguni is the most commonly used cheese in Georgia but it is replaced with mozzarella and other cheese in other countries. Since it is a staple food in Georgia, the price of making the khachapuri is used a measure of inflation, called the Khachapuri Index. I am unable to think of any reason for why I should not migrate to this European country. Sigh!

I made a few changes to this dish because the husband and daughter are not big fans of cheese plus they need a spicy version of every dish. So I replaced part of the cheese with some fresh paneer / cottage cheese. Then I crumbled it and mixed some chilly powder, mixed herbs and salt into it. So, for the first time the husband asked for seconds and that is when I realized how much happier I was when he would not and I had all the delicious bread to myself.

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Country – Georgia

Recipe adapted from here

Makes 2 large breads to serve 3-4 people

WHAT WE NEED

For the dough

All purpose flour                            1 3/4 cups

Sugar                                                 1 1/2 tsp

Salt                                                     1/2 tsp

Instant yeast                                    1/2 tsp

Lukewarm milk                              1/2 cup

Lukewarm water                           1/4 cup

Oil                                                     1 1/2 tsp

For the filling

Mozzarella, grated                          1 cup

Fresh cottage cheese                      1 cup

Mixed herbs                                     1-2 tsp

Red chilly powder                           1/2 tsp

Coriander leaves                             5-6

Eggs (optional) (see notes)            2

 

WHAT TO DO

  • Mix the flour, salt, yeast and sugar in a large bow;
  • Add warm milk and water and knead till the dough is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes by hand
  • Add oil and knead again till the oil is absorbed, about 1-2 minutes by hand
  • Set aside the dough in a greased bowl and cover it till it doubles in volume, around an hour
  • Punch down the dough and press it a few times and set it aside for another 30 minutes
  • Crumble the cottage cheese and add the chilly powder, mixed herbs and some salt and mix well
  • Preheat the oven to 230C for 20 minutes
  • Take the dough and divide into 2 halves and roll out the first half into a 9″ circle
  • Spread the paneer mixture on the circle leaving an inch gap from the edges
  • Roll the circle from two opposite sides three times leaving a large gap in the middle
  • Pinch together the edges and shape like an ‘S’ to make it look like a boat
  • Fill the open section with paneer mixture and top it with mozzarella cheese and few finely chopped corainder leaves
  • Repeat the same procedure with the other half of the dough

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  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or grease it well with oil / butter
  • Transfer the two breads on the baking sheet
  • Bake for 15 minutes or till the top of the dough is nicely brown
  • If you are adding eggs, take out the bread from the oven and make a small hole in the cheese at the centre of the bread
  • Break open an egg at the hole and bake for another 5-6 minutes till the egg whites are set but the yolk is a bit runny
  • Take out and let it cool slightly
  • Using a fork, scramble the egg into the cheese and serve warm
  • Enjoy!

 

NOTES

  1. It is not mandatory to add eggs and can be skipped. If so then bake for 18 minutes instead of 15 minutes or till the top of the dough is golden brown. When I baked one bread without the egg, it seemed a little dry while eating. So, I suggest you mix 1-2 tsp of milk with the paneer when you add salt and spices. It should reduce the dryness.
  2. Instead of paneer, you can add feta cheese, farmer’s cheese, etc. I plan to add some veggies next time like mushroom, boiled corn, cherry tomatoes, etc to make it a little healthy
  3.  It is better to use freshly made paneer / cottage cheese. The store bought ones are usually dry and may not be the best option for this dish but maybe you can adjust the milk a little more and make do. I used paneer made from 1 litre milk and it was almost used up in this dish
  4. On hindsight, I thought it would be better to make 3 portions instead of 2 with the same dough which would result in a smaller size, more filling and less dough per person.

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This is my post for the Mega Marathon under the letter ‘K’.

 

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Italian Lunch Spread

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Anyone who has spent more than a few minutes on my blog or talking to me will know I adore all things cheese and all food Italian. I have been planning on making a full fledged Italian meal forever now but never got around to doing it. The Thali theme for this month’s Blogging Marathon finally forced my hand and I ticked an item off my bucket list.

Disclaimers first – This may not be an authentic Italian meal considering it is purely vegetarian except for an egg in the Eggplant Parmigiana. This would be the meal you would have in popular Italian restaurants in India. My limited research tells me the meal usually consists of –

Soup

Antipasti / Starters

Primo / First course – Usually a risotto or pasta

Secondo / Second course – Usually some meat or fish

Dolce / Dessert

I have made –

Mushroom Soup

Bruschetta – A simple and lip smacking starter that goes well with the soup

Pasta in Arrabiata Sauce for the First Course

Eggplant Parmigiana – A tasty baked eggplant dish topped generously with cheese

Mushroom and Capsicum Pizza with lots of Mozzarella cheese – I used a healthy pizza crust recipe with oats and wheat flour which results in a guilt free indulgence.

Vanilla Panna Cotta – An easy and quick dessert to round up the meal

The usual Italian meal also includes a cheese platter and seasonal fruits. I have omitted them and replaced that with a Pizza in typical Indian style because all we know about the Italian cuisine is pizza, pizza and some more pizza.

I have detailed the recipe for Bruschetta here which is a perfect answer to an easy and tempting starter and can be made quickly if you have unexpected guests.

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This is my post for the Blogging Marathon under the theme – Thalis.

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Corn and Capsicum Soup

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I believe this is the longest I have gone in my blog without a recipe including cheese. And how could we let that happen? Though this one doesn’t have cheese as a main ingredient, it does lend a lovely flavour to the soup and though it is optional, I would recommend it wholeheartedly.

This soup has curry powder as its main flavour. I did not have it in my kitchen and figured that it shares a lot of ingredients with our very own garam masala and so the substitution was made with delicious results. I have used only green capsicum but you could use a combination of green and red. Usually I wouldn’t mind if the vegetable stock is substituted with water but I would not recommend that here because the garam masala and stock blend well to flavour the capsicum and corn. So do take time to make or buy the stock.

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Serves 2

Recipe adapted from here

WHAT WE NEED

Olive oil                                    1 tbsp

Capsicum, large                    1

Onion, medium                     1

Garam masala                        1 tsp

Shelled corn                           1 1/2 cups

Vegetable stock                    1 cup

Milk                                          1 cup

Salt & Pepper

Cheddar cheese, grated      to garnish

 

WHAT TO DO

  • Heat oil in a saucepan
  • Chop and add the capsicum and fry for 2-3 minutes
  • Chop and add the onion and fry for 2 minutes
  • Add the garam masala and salt and mix well
  • Add the corn, pepper and vegetable stock and bring to a boil
  • Simmer for 5 minutes till the vegetables are cooked tender
  • Let the mixture cool and then blend it to a smooth puree
  • Add milk  and the puree to the saucepan and mix well
  • Bring to a boil and turn off the heat
  • Garnish with grated cheddar cheese
  • Enjoy!

 

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This post is part of the September Mega Marathon under the theme – Soups.

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Cheesy Potato Soup

 

I figured another soup recipe would be a good finish to this week’s marathon.  I was struggling to choose between a nutritious beetroot soup (a recipe that has been in the  ‘to do’ list for ages) and this creamy, cheesy, rich potato soup. Not much of a contest especially since it’s so much easier peeling and cutting potatoes as compared to beets. 
I adapted this from here deleting the bacon (obviously!) and also the cream and flour. I replaced the celery with coriander and voila! Rich, tasty soup is served. The daughter finished it up in a jiffy which is the ultimate stamp of approval.

So here goes –

Serves 3

WHAT WE NEED

Olive oil                                     1 tbsp

Onion, medium                       2

Carrot, small                             1

Coriander stalks                       8-10

Russet potatoes, medium     3

Milk                                              200 ml

Vegetable stock / water          300 ml

Cajun seasoning                       1 tsp

Salt

Pepper

Cheddar cheese, grated     to garnish 

WHAT TO DO

  • Chop the onions, carrot and coriander stalks finely.
  • Heat the oil and add the onions.
  • Once the onions are translucent, add the carrot and coriander stalks and mix well.
  • Was, peel and cut the potatoes into 1″ cubes.
  • Add the potatoes to the other vegetables and let ten cook for about 5 minutes.
  • Add the ilk, stock, Cajun seasoning, salt and pepper.
  • Mix well and cover to cook.
  • Let it cook for around 20 minutes till the potatoes are completely cooked.
  • Cool and blend to a smooth purée consistency with an immersion blender.
  • Warm the soup before serving.
  • Garnish with cheese 
  • Enjoy!

 

This is my post for the Blogging Maraton under Root Vegetables.

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