Friday, November 27, 2009

Veggie Seekh Kebab with Yoghurt dip

Most of the foods we cook at home are high in fiber and have high insulin sensitivity.Chickpeas, green and leafy vegetables, cinnamon, dry fenugreek appear very frequently on our dinner table. We made these crispy healthy kebabs for a week day dinner. Bursting with the goodness of vegetables these kebabs were a real low carb and low fat treat.


1 cup dry green chickpeas (green chana), soaked overnight
1 cup finely chopped cabbage
1 cup finely chopped green beans
1 cup frozen spinach, thawed
1 small red onion, finely chopped
1 tsp ginger paste
1 tsp garlic paste
1 Tbsp coriander powder
1 Tbsp chaat masala
1 Tbsp garam masala or pav bhaji masala
1/4 cup thick yoghurt
2tsp red chilli powder
1 Tbsp olive oil
salt to taste

1. Coarsely grind the soaked green chickpeas in a food processor.

2. Heat oil in a wide skillet. Add onions and sauté till translucent.

3. Add ginger-garlic paste. Sauté till fragrant and add the green chickpeas.

4. Add the veggies one by one and sauté well.

5. Add coriander powder and masalas.Let is cook for about 5 minutes.

6. Switch off the heat. Let it cool.

7. Add yoghurt and salt. Taste and adjust the spices as per your taste.

8. Pre-heat oven 400F.

9. Line a cookie sheet with a foil and spray it with an oil spray.

10. Take about 2 Tbsp of the vegetable mixture and shape it like an elongated ball.

11. Place the cookie sheet in the oven and bake for 10- 12 mins till the top of the kebabs looks crispy.

12. Roll the kebabs and spray some oil spray and let them bake for another 10 mins.

13. Serve with Yoghurt Dip

Yoghurt Dip:1. Add a tsp of mint-cilantro chutney to 2 tbsp of yoghurt.Beat well. Add salt to taste.

This my entry to Health Nut Challenge 3.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Our Summer Garden

We were in for a sweet surprise after we returned from Germany. Our lawn was greener than ever and our vegetable patch was bursting with veggies and herbs. I had planted some veggies in  early July after I returned from India. I know July is kinda late  but for my love of gardening I would not let the summer go without working in the yard :)  I left to Germany  on 4th August and these babies were without our constant love and attention till we got back to US on 15th Oct. I did not expect these to survive the hot Indiana Summer. Thanks to our kind friends, neigbours and the lawn service provider our  lawn and veggie patch were immaculate :)
I try new veggies/herbs every year. In the last few years I have had luck with carrots, peas, beans,dodka(ridge gourd),mint,basil,peppers,jalepenos,cucumbers,harbora(garbanzo),cilantro,spinach ,methi (fenu greek) and rosemary. I love using fresh herbs in Pastas and Curries. My indoor herb garden gives me a steady supply of  mint, basil and chamomile. This year my local store was selling Thyme. It was a single stalk when I bought it. I planted it outdoors and  it grew well. I replanted it indoors and its doing well. I have been using the thyme in roasted veggies, soups and pastas and they taste wonderful.

We have been using all the home grown, chemical free veggies these days.So far we have made Mooli Parathas, Mooli Sambhar  with the radishes.

I made a bottle full of green chutney fo rthe chaat with the Mint. I dried the rest to use it during the winter. I  use the basil in soups and Thai dishes. I freezed the basil leaves.

We also relished the Okra in the form of subzi .

I got exactly 20 pods of harbora which I shared with a very special buddy.

I still have raw tomatoes and wondering what to cook with these. Any ideas? Kannadiga style Tomato chutney or Salsa Verde may be ?

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Kokum Sarbat

I am not a cola girl. I would any day trade pop for a glass of Nimboo pani (Lemonade), Jal Jeera ( a cumin flovored drink) or fresh fruit juice. Last Sunday was a beautiful day.It was 72 F outside ( If you live in the Midwest you know why it is a big deal  :) ) and a perfect afternoon to laze on the patio sipping  something refreshing while watching  the Falls colors in the backyard . The first time I tasted Kokum Sarbat  was about 5 years ago and have fallen in love with this drink since then. Sometime its amazing how something so simple can taste so wonderful :) A can of Kokum syrup is always on my " Things to buy in India" shopping list. The family who introduced me to this drink is from the Konkan region.Fortunately,these cans are easily available in Belgaum (the friendly shop owner told the cans come from Goa, Amboli and Sawant Wadi)and that's where I buy mine. .

( Kokum Aagal is the marathi name for Kokum juice/unsweetened syrup)

1 Glass water with ice
2 Tbsp kokum syrup (unsweetened)
1 tsp any sweetener ( I used jaggery)
1 tsp corainder powder
salt to taste.

Mix and serve chilled.

This is my entry to this month's event Think Spice-Think Coriander Seeds  hosted by Priya.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Baked Gobi Manchurian - Crispy Cauliflower florets in spicy sauce

Rahul loves Chinese food. He can eat Fried Rice any day. In BadSalzDetfurth, Germany there are very few Chinese restaurants and the food there is "just Ok" types . So on Wednesday, when we were in mood for some oriental food ,we had no option but make a Chinese feast at home. However, I have been watching my diet and therfore wanted to keep the fare healthy. Well! There are also some smart ideas to make junk food healthy. After watching Food Network (my favorite channel after HGTV) for thousands of hours I have learnt a trick or two ;). I have seen Ellie Krigger use the baking technique in recipes that call for deep frying. I decided to apply her technique to our all time desi favorite “Gobi Manchurian”.She uses baked potato chips in her recipes to get the crispier effect but I prefer to use rice flakes. The rice flakes I used  are not "poha" which are used in the famous Maharashtrian favorite,"Kanda Pohe". I used the  rice flakes meant for "Lal Chivda ", another crunchy snack from the Karnataka-Maharashtra region.The rice flakes I used are similar to the  toasted  rice cereal  such as Kellog's Rice Krispies  minus all the preservatives .
The result was delicious. I did not miss the grease and could eat the healthy delight to my heart’s content. Here is my guilty free version of “Gobi Manchurian”

1 medium-sized cauliflower broken into florets

Coating for Florets
2 tbsp all-purpose flour

Rice flake mixture
1 cup rice flakes
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper

Dipping batter
1 cup low fat buttermilk (less sour is preferable)
2 tbsp all-purpose  flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp chilli powder

(a)1 tbsp all-purpose flour
    1 tsp red chili powder
    1 tsp salt
    3 tbsp water

(b) 2 tbsp canola oil
     1 medium-sized onion, finely chopped
     1 tbsp garlic, finely chopped
     1 tbsp ginger, finely chopped
     1 tbsp green chili, finely chopped
     1/2 tsp black pepper
     2 tbsp Soy Sauce
     2 tbsp ketchup
     1 tbsp chili sauce

1 tbsp fresh coriander leaves, finely chopped for garnish
1 tbsp green onion, finely chopped for garnish


1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

2. Spray a baking sheet slightly with oil and set aside.

3. Sprinkle the cauliflower florets with water and lightly cook it in the microwave for about 2 mins. Make sure the florets are crunchy and not overcooked. Place the florets on a paper towel to absorb the excess water.

4. To make “Rice flake mixture” -Place rice flakes in the bowl of a food processor. Add 1 tsp chilli powder, 1tsp salt and ¼ tsp pepper. Process into crumbs. Now transfer to a shallow bowl and set aside.

5. To make “The dipping batter”- In another bowl, combine buttermilk, 2 tablespoons of flour, 1tsp salt, and 1 tsp chilli powder and set aside.

6. Place 2 tbsp of all purpose flour in a sealable plastic bag, then add florets, and shake to coat.

7. Now dip one floret at a time into the “The dipping batter”, then dip into “Rice flake mixture” and place on baking sheet. The easy way to does this is to create a well of crumbs. Place the floret in the center and cover the florets with the crumbs. This method works great to evenly coat the florets.

8. Spray canola oil evenly over the coated florets and bake for 20 minutes, or until coating is crisp. Remove from the oven and set it aside.

9. To make the “gravy” :

o (a) In a bowl combine together 1tbsp all-purpose flour, 1tsp red chili powder, 1tsp salt and 3tbsp of water to make a sauce of medium consistency. Whisk well to ensure there are no clumps.

o (b)Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a pan. Add the chopped onions, ginger, garlic and green chilies. Fry for a minute till fragrant and then add pepper, soy sauce, ketchup,chili sauce and salt. Let the mixture cook for 2 minutes.

10. Now add the “gravy” and mix well.Add the baked cauliflower florets and cook for another 2-3 minutes.

11. Garnish with chopped spring onions and coriander leaves.

I am sending  this snack to Light Meal Event.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

British style apple chutney

I love the chicken wings with Mango Habanero sauce from BWW. I also love red tamarind-date chutney used in chaats and hot and sweet Thai sauce. Great! But I cannot eat these very often because of the high sugar content.My doctor once told me the human body doesnot process the fruit sugars in the same way as it processes the regular white sugar or artificial sweeteners. He told me fruits eaten in moderation were good for IR patients.I use apple sauce in cakes and cookies to reduce the sugar and fat content.This time I decided to make some something hot and sweet. I had seen an episode on Food TV long time back and the British chef made an steak and served with apple chutney. I don't remember the name of the show or the host or the exact ingredients. So I used my intuition to come up with a healthy recipe.Apples becomer sweeter when cooked and therefore very little sugar is required to make the chutney.I love to use the chutney over grilled Shrimp or use as a spread for sandwiches. Btw, Chutney is the British name for "Chatni".Most of the Indian Chatni's are made (actually pureed )with fresh ingredients and are not cooked. Anyways here is a anglo version of Chatni.

2 medium size apples, cored and chopped

2 Tbsp onion,finely chopped

1 tsp fresh ginger,grated

4 cloves,powdered

1 tsp chilli powder

1 tsp cinnamon powder

1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg

3 Tbsp dark brown sugar

salt to taste

Mix all the above ingredients in a heavy bottomed pan and cook the mixture for about 5 mins. Mix again and bring it to boil.Stir again and cook for another 15 mins till the mixture thickens.

Switch off the heat and let the chutney cool for a while before you store it in a glass jar.The chutney stays well for a week when refrigerated.

Chipotle Chicken,Corn and Apple chowder

We are still catching up with work,home chores,and ofcourse all the unpacking.We finally received our missing bag. According to the NorthWest Airlines the bag was sent back to Amsterdam after we checked it in Detroit after going through the customs. I wonder why? Anyways, I was elated to get the bag because thats where the stash of german choclates were put :)
There is a week long "Apple fest" going on in my office. I wish I had a little more spare time and I could participate on all days. On Sunday I wasn't feeling too well. So Rahul did not let me step into the kitchen. But on Monday I made "British style apple chutney" and on Tuesday I made this soup. This soup was not the first choice. I wanted to make the "Apple Squash soup" but someone else brought it on Tuesday. I decided to make "Chipotle Chicken-Corn-Apple chowder". This soup is one of my favourites - thick creamy soup bursting with flavor and nutrition. It is very low fat and does not require any heavy cream or cream cheese. It also doesnot require store bought broth becuase all the flavor comes from the cumin and garlic.One happy meal!!

2 cups frozen Corn, thawed

1 cup chicken,small cubes ( You can replace chicken with your fav cooked beans if you are a vegetarian)

2 medium size Apples,cored and chopped. I did not peel the skin (I used the red delicious variety)

1 medium size onion,finely chopped

1 Tbsp Garlic,finely chopped

1 cup mini red peppers,finely chopped

1/4 cup cilantro,finely chopped

3 dry Chipotle chillies

1 tsp Garlic powder

2 tsp Cumin powder

1 Tbsp Lemon juice

1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive oil

2 cups water (more or less to get the desired consistency)

salt to taste

1. Heat a stockpot on medium flame. Add 1/2 tbsp oil. Now add onion and saute till it becomes soft.Now add garlicand saute till it turns light brown.

2. Now turn the heat to the lowest level. Add the chillies and saute again for about a minute.

3. Add 1 cup of corn and saute well for 2 minutes. The corn changes color and looks golden brown.Now add the apples, cumin powder and stir well. Close the stockpot with a lid and let the mixture cook for about 3 minutes.

4. Switch off the heat and add 1 cup of water and let the mixture cool.

5. In the mean time heat the remaining oil in a pan.Once the oil is hot add the chicken.Once the chicken is cooked add the garlic powder. Saute for about 3 minutes.

6. Puree the corn apple mixture in batches and transfer the puree to the stockpot.

7. Place the stockpot on a medium flame and add the cooked chicken. If the consistency is too thick add some water. Let it simmer for about 5 mins.

8. Add the remaining corn to the soup.Keep about 1/4 cup of mini peppers and 1tbsp cilantro aside for garnishing and add the rest to the soup.Add the lemon juice too.

9. Add salt to taste and taste the soup.Adjust the spices (cumin/garlic powder) to your taste.

10.Garnish with peppers and cilantro and server hot.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Happy Diwali !!

After an eventful trip to Europe we got back to the states on 15th Oct. When I say eventful I really mean it. We witnessed a major car pile up on the Autobahn and could have easily been part of it if we had left to the airport about 3-5 minutes earlier. We are grateful we are back home safe and sound. Diwali was around the corner and I could not wait to get some action started in the kitchen. Diwali is probably the only time we deep fry food at home. For us diwali is the time to make traditional sweets and savouries using family recipes and share it with loved ones. Every year we try something new and this year it was going to be "besan Ladoos" and "Chakli".I also made "Jilebis" (my second attempt) and "Mango Barfi"(my brain child). The latter two would rate 5 on the scale of 10 but the first two will surely score 9 out of 10.There is always room for improvement!!

Fortunately, Laxmi Pujan was on Saturday. We spent the whole day in the kitchen making one sweet after another and it was so much fun. We called friends and family to wish and exchanged tips on the Fharal preparations. In the evening after the Laxmi Puja we shared the goodies with friends and neighbors.Later in the evening we went to our friend's house for dinner and a get-together.On Monday I packed the goodies to work and shared it with my co-workers.They enjoyed it.Overall,it was a wonderful Diwali and I hope you had a good one too.

(PS: It is a busy week.I'll post the recipes over the weekend)