Monday, February 26, 2007

Veggie patties in spicy gravy ~ Leftover Tuesdays Event

The moment I came across Rachels Bite Leftover Tuesdays Event at Dining Hall I was so excited and immediately decided to send in an entry. It's so true that we can make so many innovative recipes out of leftovers instead of eating them 'as is'. I had some leftover veggie patties from our burger dinner and had frozen them. I made a tasty and spicy gravy for the patties and had them with rotis. I got the gravy recipe idea from Foodie's Hope where Asha had posted a recipe for Malai Kofta. Here is my version.

For the recipe for Veggie Patties click here and here.

Leftover veggie patties ready to be defrosted

Gravy for veggie patties
Ingredients2 big onions
1 tsp ginger garlic paste
2 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp fennel seeds (saunf)
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
1/2 tsp paprika
3/4 cup tomato sauce
1 tsp garam masala powder
A pinch of turmeric
A pinch of cardamom powder
A pinch of nutmeg
1 tsp of tandoori masala powder
8 to 10 cashews
2 tsps kasoori methi
1/4 cup of milk or half and half
Salt to taste
Oil as needed
Cilantro for garnish

Method1. Chop the onions and sauté in a 1 tsp of oil until transparent and set aside.
2. Dry roast the coriander seeds, fennel seeds and cashews.
3. Grind the roasted spices and cashews along with the onions, ginger garlic paste, red chilli powder, paprika, tomato sauce, garam masala powder, turmeric, cardamom powder, nutmeg and tandoori masala powder to a smooth paste.
4. Pour oil in a pan, add the paste and kasoori methi and fry the paste till the oil comes out.
5. Add the milk and mix well.
6. Add salt, mix and set aside. If you want the gravy to be thin, then simply add some more water or milk and bring to a boil.
7. Defrost the veggie patties and place in a bowl.
8. Pour the gravy on the patties and serve with rice or rotis.
9. Garnish with cilantro.

Leftover veggie patties in spicy gravy

Friday, February 23, 2007

Veggie burgers ~ MBP ~ February 2007 ~ Finger foods

Here is my second entry for Coffee's MBP event. I simply fell in love with this recipe as it has tons of veggies and cracked wheat. Most of the store bought patties have rice (I guess used for binding the veggies together) and mushrooms (I am not a great fan). This recipe is from Anita's blog 'A Mad Tea Party'. I pretty much followed the same recipe. I used wheat buns to go along with the veggie patties. To serve as a starter you can quarter the buns (to get 4 bite-sized pieces). This is a must try recipe.

Veggie patties

Variations to the recipe

I steamed the cabbage and peas. I skipped the beetroots too. I served the burger with tomatoes and onions and garnished with a dash of Sriracha Hot Chilli Sauce. Tasted yummy.

Vegetable burgers

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Blueberry~Almond~Chocolate clusters

Mmm. These chocolate clusters are delicious. I was watching Ellie Krieger's program on Food TV last week and she made this wonderful sweet treat. It seemed so easy, that I immediately wanted to try it out. The only variation I did was to use dried blueberries instead of dried cherries. Click here for the original recipe. Here is my version.

12 oz of dark chocolate, coarsely chopped (I used the Trader Joe's brand. The original recipe calls for only 6 oz of chocolate but I used almost 12 oz as I felt it was not enough to coat the nuts)
1 cup toasted almonds, coarsely chopped
1 cup dried blueberries, coarsely chopped

1. Before you begin, line a baking sheet with wax paper (as you don't want the chocolate mixture to solidify before you transfer to the wax paper). Toss the almonds and blueberries in a bowl and set aside.
2. Set up a double boiler on the stove. Melt half the chopped chocolate in the top of the double boiler. Check the end of this post on how to set up a double boiler. Or click here to learn more.
3. The heat on your stove should be on the lowest setting as this will help the chocolate maintain its shiny texture. Also make sure the water in the bottom pan is not touching the top pan.
4. Stir the chocolate until it starts melting.
5. Once the first batch is melted, move the double boiler from the heat and stir in the remaining chocolate until melted. If you find it is not melting then move it back to the stove, but under a low flame.

Chocolate melting on the double boiler

6. After the chocolate is completely melted, add the chopped almonds and blueberries and mix well.
Nuts added to the melted chocolate

7. Take a tablespoon of the chocolate mixture and gently drop it on to the wax paper.

Chocolate clusters ready to go into the refrigerator

8. Refrigerate for 15-20 minutes.
9. Remove from the fridge and store in an airtight container at room temperature. Do not store chocolates in the fridge as they lose their color and become pale or white.

Bluberry~Almond Chocolate Clusters

How to set up a double boiler
1. Fill a large pot with about 2-3 inches water.
2. Place a glass bowl on top of this pot. Use one that sits comfortably and does not touch the bottom of the pan.
3. Keep the flame on medium low and heat the water in the bottom pan. The heat from the bottom pot will melt the chocolate in the top pot.
4. Lower the flame way down before adding the chocolate.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Dahi Batete Nu Shak

This is a mildly spiced, tangy potato curry that is marinated in yogurt and spices. This is my entry for Nupur's - 'A-Z of Indian vegetables' cooking event. This contribution is for the letter 'D'.

1 lb Potatoes
1 cup yogurt
1 tsp ginger garlic paste
1 tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp coriander powder
A pinch of turmeric
Salt to taste
Oil as needed

1. Boil the potatoes, peel the skin and cut into cubes. You can use baby potatoes for this recipe. I used the regular ones.
2. Mix the curd, ginger garlic paste, red chilli powder, turmeric powder and coriander powder.
3. Add the potatoes to this yogurt mixture and set aside for at least 1/2 hour or more.
4. Pour oil in a pan and transfer the potato-yogurt mixture, add salt and sauté on a medium low heat until the potatoes absorb the yogurt and become brown on all sides.

Dahi Batete Nu Shak
Adapted from Sanjeev Kapoor's recipe

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Blueberry Pecan Coffee Cake

Happy Valentine's Day!

I wanted to bake an easy and low fat cake for Valentine's Day. I found this recipe at Baking Sheet and was very happy with the outcome. This coffee cake is light and fluffy and has no butter. Try it out and I am sure you will be happy you did. You can check out the original recipe here. This is also my contribution to Creative Pooja's theme of the week - Valentine's Day. And here is my version.

1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup finely ground, toasted pecans (I used a little less)
3/4 cup sugar
3 tsp egg replacer (dissolved in 4 tbsp water)
1/2 cup egg substitute (I used egg beaters)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen
Confectioners’ sugar for serving

Method1. Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt and set aside.
2. In another bowl combine pecans, sugar, egg replacer mixture and egg substitute and whisk until the mixture is smooth.
3. Add vanilla and beat on high for about a minute.
4. Combine the flour slowly until well incorporated.
5. Toss the berries in all purpose flour until well coated and add to the prepared mixture. Gently fold in the berries into the cake batter.
Valentine hearts ready to go into the oven

6. Bake at 375 degrees for about 20 to 25 minutes or until a tester comes out clean. You can pour the batter into a loaf pan too. I used heart-shaped moulds as I was baking for Valentine's Day.
7. Cool the cake and dust with confectioners’ sugar.

Bluberry Pecan coffee cakes dusted with confectioners' sugar

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Puffed wheat snack

Health recipe!
Traditionally made with puffed rice, Vaggani is a popular breakfast recipe back at my in-laws house. Vaggani is a super simple recipe that fills you up and still makes you feel light (even if you have overeaten!). I wanted to find a low-cal version of the same and stumbled upon wheat kurmura (puffed wheat) at the Indian store. I was thrilled to see it and the next thing I did was to make the wheat version of this recipe. The original recipe does not call for peanuts. But, when I had the leftovers for lunch the next day I added some roasted peanuts and it was good. So, here is the recipe.


1 cup of puffed wheat (remember this reduces by half when you soak in water)
1 medium onion
1 medium tomato
3-4 green chillies
1 tsp mustard
1 tsp each urad dal and channa dal for seasoning
A pinch of turmeric powder
2 tsps of instant paruppu podi
Salt to taste
A few curry leaves
Chopped cilantro for garnish
Oil as needed

1. Put the puffed wheat in a colander and place under running water just for about 5 seconds or until completely soaked. Remove immediately and set aside. Do not soak in water!
2. Add mustard, dals, green chillies, curry leaves in a pan and sauté them.
3. Add chopped onions and sauté until soft.
4. Next add the tomatoes (chopped finely) and cook until tender.
5. Transfer the puffed wheat to the pan, add turmeric powder and salt.
6. Then add the instant paruppu podi and mix well till the powder is incorporated with the puffed wheat.
7. Garnish with cilantro.

Puffed wheat snack
Serve hot

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Cabbage pappu

This is my first attempt at making cabbage pappu. Of course, we use cabbage for kootu but never used it for dal/pappu. Also, when I searched the web for this recipe there were very few sites that had the recipe for cabbage pappu. So, here is my version with inputs from a close friend. It turned out delicious!


1 1/2 cup chopped cabbage
1 cup channa dal
1 tsp jeera
4 or 5 pods of garlic
1 medium onion chopped
A few curry leaves
3 or 4 red chillies broken
1 tsp mustard
A pinch of turmeric powder

1. Pressure cook the dal, cabbage, jeera and 3 pods of garlic with a pinch of turmeric powder.
Cabbage and dal ready to be cooked
2. Fry the mustard, finely chopped garlic (2 or 3 pods), curry leaves and red chillies.
3. Next add the onions and sauté until soft.
4. Slightly mash the dal-cabbage mixture with the back of a spoon and add to the onion mixture.
5. Serve hot with rice.

Cabbage pappu served with rice

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Carrot cupcakes and a Meme

I love carrot cakes. Whenever, I go to IKEA I don't eat anything from the Cafe except the carrot cakes. But, it is such a huge piece that I would feel full half way through the piece of cake. So, I searched the web for a carrot cupcake recipe and stumbled upon Martha Stewart's recipe. The cupcakes were a great success as they turned out moist and delicious. I used the egg replacer instead of eggs and they still turned out yummy. Here is the recipe. Supriya of Spice Corner and Maheswari of Beyond the Usual have tagged me for this Meme.


For the cupcakes
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons orange juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tsps of egg replacer dissolved in 4 tbsp of warm water (or use 2 large eggs)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups shredded carrots
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

For the icing
8 ounces cream cheese (room temperature)
3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/4 tablespoon vanilla extract


For the cupcakes1. Combine the sugar, vegetable oil, orange juice, vanilla extract and the egg replacer mixture.
2. Stir in baking powder, baking soda, allspice and salt and mix well.
3. Add the flour and mix well.
4. Next stir in carrots and walnuts and mix till it is well blended in the batter.
5. Place paper cups in a mini muffin pan and distribute the batter evenly.
6. Bake at 350° F for about 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted.
7. Cool completely before frosting.

For the icing
Combine the cream cheese, confectioners' sugar and vanilla extract in a bowl. Beat until smooth. You can either use a whisk or an electric beater.

Carrot cupcakes with cream cheese icing
Recipe adapted from
Here are the 5 things you don't know about me:

1. I am a writer. I started off my writing career in India as a business journalist and went on to become a consultant writer for many IT companies. I continue to do freelance writing now.
2. Always wanted to do a PhD in Human Resources. I love to interact with people.
3. I am extremely organized. I get very upset when there is clutter around me. For instance, if my daughter throws her toys all over the house, I will not be at peace with myself, until I clean up everything.
4. I am also a perfectionist. I have my own way of doing things and, of course, to perfection.
5. I will never go on rides - like the ones in Six Flags. I remember going on the giant wheel, though, when I was a kid. I was on the tora-tora ride at one time and I remember screaming all through the ride.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Baked methi biscuits ~ MBP Event ~ February 2007

Health recipe!

Here is my first contribution to Coffee's MBP February 2007 theme - Appetizers/Starters. I tried out the baked methi biscuits recipe from Shammi's - 'Food in the main' blog and they were very good. Click here to get the recipe.

Methi biscuits ready for the oven
The only variation I made was sprayed the biscuits with Pam fat-free spray before putting them into the oven. I baked one batch without the spray and felt the biscuits were dry. I added ajwain too. Serve the methi biscuits as a starter with a dip of your choice. Or simply, have them with a cup of hot coffee or tea. They are very healthy and light too!

Crisp baked methi biscuits

Monday, February 05, 2007

Strawberry-Banana dessert ~ AFAM ~ February 2007 ~ Strawberry

Health recipe!

This dessert is almost like a smoothie except that I added applesauce and cardamom. And instead of serving in a glass, I served it in ice-cream cups. The applesauce adds a rich and creamy taste to the dessert. This is my entry for Maheswari's AFAM Strawberry event. Click here to read about the health benefits of strawberries. With Valentine's Day round the corner, I am waiting for strawberry recipes from fellow bloggers. I am sure there will be some great ideas coming up!

1 ripe banana
6 or 7 fresh strawberries
1/2 cup apple sauce
2 tsp sugar
3 tbsp plain non-fat yogurt (can add vanilla or strawberry yogurt too)
Whipped cream for topping (optional)
2 strawberries for decoration
A pinch of cardamom powder
A few tsps of milk (if required)

Method1. Peel the banana, clean and dice the strawberries and put in a blender.
2. Add the apple sauce, sugar, yogurt and cardamom powder and blend to a smooth paste. If you feel the mixture is too thick you can add a few tsps of milk. Ensure it comes out thick and creamy.
3. Transfer into serving cups and decorate with sliced strawberries and whipping cream.


Serving size - 1 cup
Number of servings - 2

Friday, February 02, 2007

Green pea soup

Health recipe!
This is the first time I made green peas soup and it came out very well. Sweet, creamy and delicious, this soup is what you should have on a cold winter day. You can serve it with a slice of toasted pita bread or regular wheat bread. This is my entry for Creative Pooja's vegetable of the week - Green Peas.

2 medium onions
1 clove of garlic
1 10 oz box of frozen green peas
1 tsp of dried oregano (use fresh if you have it on hand)
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tsp of oil (use can use butter)
2 cups of water

1. Pour oil in a pan and sauté the onions until they become translucent. Be careful not to burn them otherwise the soup will taste bad.
2. Next add the garlic and sauté.
3. Then add the oregano and mix well.
4. Add the frozen peas and two cup of water. You can add vegetable stock, but water is good enough. Let it simmer for a while until the peas become soft.
Green peas and onions cooking on a low flame

5. Let the mixture cool. Once cooled use a hand blender and puree the soup.
6. Add salt and pepper to taste and enjoy!
Note: The soup by itself has a creamy consistency. If required, you can add milk or half and half/heavy cream to enrich the flavor. This is purely optional.

Delicious green pea soup
Serving size - 1 cup
Number of servings - 3 or 4

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Kohlrabi sauté (Noolkol)

Health recipe!
Yes, the vegetable in the picture is Kohlrabi or popularly referred to as Noolkol in South India. I bought the Kohlrabi from an Asian store. I hardly find it in the Indian store anymore. Kohlrabi is a lesser known and quite an unpopular veggie and I guess many of us don't even use it regularly. I remember eating a lot of Noolkol back in India.

Fast facts: Kohlrabi is also known as 'cabbage turnip' as it is actually a member of the cabbage family. You can eat it raw or cooked. Kohlrabi is low in calories and high in dietary fiber, and hence, makes an excellent part of any diet. It is also loaded with potassium and vitamins. Click here to read more about this amazing vegetable.
I made a simple curry out of kohlrabi and it goes great with rice and sambar or rasam. Here is the recipe.

3 kohlrabies
1 tsp of mustard
1 tsp of urad dal
1 tsp of channa dal
2 or 3 red chillies (you can use green too)
A few curry leaves
Grated coconut (optional, I did not use it)
A pinch of turmeric powder
Salt to taste
Oil as needed

1. Peel the skin and chop the kohlrabi into small cubes.
2. Pour oil in a pan and season with mustard, urad dal, channa dal, red chillies and curry leaves.
3. Add the chopped kohlrabi, turmeric and salt and cook covered until the vegetable becomes tender.
4. Garnish with fresh grated coconut (optional).
5. Serve with sambar or rasam and rice.
Kohlrabi curry
Serving size - 1 cup
Number of servings 4 or 5