Category Archives: Snacks

Quick Dinners – Grilled Vegetable Sandwiches, Guacamole and Vegetable Noodles

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It has been a pretty hectic week in our household, what with parent teacher conferences, school, extra curricular activities and work! Working in a much globally connected world is good and bad! Good because you get toΒ socially connect with anyone, anywhere at anytime…and bad because then you have to work at all odd hours to accomodate multiple timezones 😦 And all that translates to -Take outs and Quick fix dinners πŸ™‚

Here are a couple of quick fix dinners that have been cooking at my home this past week:

Grilled Veggie Sandwiches

Delicious Grilled Veggie Sandwiches

Delicious Grilled Veggie Sandwiches

This is a version of what I learnt from my Delhi/Noida days. Noida is popular for the little “Sandwich/Maggi Noodle” Roadside carts that is typically located outside office or college buildings. I have not seen these little carts/roadside vendors in any other part of india. On a cold Delhi winter day, a hot veggie sandwich or a plate of spicy hot maggi noodles with plenty of vegetables is divine. Just standing by the carts watching the “Maggi waala Bhaiya” (translating to “Brother who makes Maggi” in Hindi πŸ™‚ ) make these yummy sandwiches, I soon picked up the recipe and tried it at home. My family loved it and ever since, it has been a regular on our dinner menu!

For the sandwiches:
2 cups of Mixed Vegetables – I use shredded cabbage, grated carrots, chopped tomatoes, chopped bell pepper/capsicum, chopped onions.

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Green Chutney – Combine a handful of Mint leaves, Spinach leaves, Cilantro, 1/2 a tomato, 1 small onion, 1 small Garlic(optional), green chillies, ginger and salt to taste. Blend into a smooth paste and keep aside. This green chutney stores in the refrigerator for atleast 1 week.

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In a pan, heat 2 tbsp oil. On high heat, add the chopped veggies all together. Stir fry on high for 2 minutes. Add salt to taste, pepper to taste and 1/2 tsp of the above green chutney. Mix well. Stir fry for another minute. Turn off the stove and keep aside.

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To assemble: Take 2 slices of bread (I use honey wheat, you may use a bread of your choice). Spread green chutney on the insides. Place 1 tbsp of stir fried veggies on one slice. Sprinkle with grated cheese (optional). Cover with the other slice and grill the sandwich using a panini press/sandwich maker. Alternatively, you can grill on a hot griddle or tava. Grill both sides until golden brown. You may use butter to grill, it will make the sandwich tastier πŸ˜‰

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Tasty Grilled Veggies Sandwiches

Tasty Grilled Veggies Sandwiches

Guacamole
I just realized that we buy and go through a lot of Avocadoes at home! Typically we use it in smoothies or sandwiches, but ever so often we make fresh guacamole at home and that is so delicious. Very simple and easy to make.

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Yummy Guacamole

Yummy Guacamole

Combine the inside of a whole Avocado with 1/2 a chopped tomato, 1 small garlic (optional), 1 small chopped onion, cilantro, 1 chopped green chilli, salt to taste and some lemon juice. Using a mortar and pestle combine all of the ingredients into a thick paste that is coarsely mashed together. Alternatively you can use a food prrocessor and pulse all of the ingredients together. Remove into a serving bowl and serve fresh with chips on the side.

Sandwiches, Chips and Guacamole – A wholesome, delicious combination for a weekday dinner!

Tasty Sandwiches, Blue Tortila Chips and Fresh Guacamole :-)

Tasty Sandwiches, Blue Tortila Chips and Fresh Guacamole πŸ™‚

Diya’s Delicious Spicy Vegetable Maggi Noodles

My daughter Diya is turning out to be an amazing cook. Just the other day when I was too tired she offered to make us spicy vegetable maggi for dinner. Even though I helped her some in cutting and chopping up the vegetables, she pretty much did it all on her own! So here you go..Diya’s special recipe for an Indian Favourite.. Masala Maggi πŸ™‚

1. Chop veggies of your choice. She used Onions, Green chillies, Tomatoes, Bell Pepper and Potatoes (we did not have an carrots or green beans at home).

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2. In a pan, heat some oil. Add the chopped onions and green chillies and saute.

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3. Add the remaining veggies and saute

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4. Add 1/2 tsp Turmeric powder, 1/2 tsp Sambar powder, salt to taste and some garam masala powder

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5. Saute until well blended

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6. Add 3 cups of water and cook the veggies for a few minutes

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7. Add the Maggi Seasoning and allow to boil for a minute or two

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8. Add the Maggi Noodles and boil. Mix well and cook for about 3 minutes.
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9. Garnish with Chopped Cilantro

DSC_043110. And serve hot πŸ™‚

Spicy Vegetable Maggi Noodles

Spicy Vegetable Maggi Noodles

 

Yumm!!

Yumm!!

Happy Weekend Folks!

 

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Paneer Kati Rolls

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Life is always about the little things, Good food, Good friends, Good times and making good memories…..This weekend we had an impromptu evening with friends and I decided to make Kati Rolls which are hugely popular with my kids.
On the menu was Chips and Salsa, Paneer Kati Rolls, Chole and Bhatura, Samosas and a potluck of dishes made by my wonderful friends – a mixed Vegetable Rice, Onion Raitha, Curd Rice, Fruits..

Party Time!!

Party Time!!

The Paneer Kati Rolls were a huge hit..I did a google on Kati Roll and read that this street food originated in Kolkata India. Very similar to a Wrap with a filling, the Kati roll is typically made with Paratha bread – either Flour or Wheat. India has reinvented the kati roll with innumerable fillings what with Kofta, Aloo Matar, Chicken Tikka, Shammi Kabab, Egg, Achari Paneer etc. This street food is now popular all over the country…several kati roll only joints such as Kati Zone in Bangalore, The Kati Roll Company in New York and not to mention the various local street vendors have popularized this quick, grab and go food to the ever expanding working middle class population.

I personally favor this dish for its versality. You can personalize it with a filling of your choice and is a quick lunchbox dish that is not messy and easy to eat.

You will need:

Parathas or Tortillas – Flour or Wheat. You can either make Parathas at home or for ease of use, you can use store bought parathas or Tortillas. I use Tortilla Land brand uncooked tortillas. Prior to use I toast them on a hot griddle/tava with a little oil.

Paneer Filling

Paneer Filling

For the Paneer Filling:
2 cups Fresh Paneer – Cubed or Scrambled
2 Onions – Chopped lengthwise
2 Tomatoes – Cubed
1 cup Capsicum/Bell Peppers – Cubed, I just used a mix of red, yellow, green and orange bell peppers..you can use whatever is handy
1 Grated Carrot
2 green chillies – Chopped lengthwise into thin slices
1 small piece ginger – Chopped lengthwise into thin slices
Turmeric powder
Red chilli Powder
Coriander or Dhaniya Powder
Garam Masala Powder (or Kitchen King masala)
Salt to taste
Chopped Cilantro
1 tbsp Fresh cream (optional)
2 tbsp Oil

Method for filling: In a pan, heat the oil. Add the chopped onions and saute until golden brown. Add the chopped tomates, grated carrots and bell peppers. Saute for 2 or 3 minutes. Add all the powder ingredients and mix well. Add the chopped green chillies and ginger. Mix and saute for a minute. Then add the paneer and mix well. Add, fresh cream, chopped cilantro and 1/2 tsp garam masala and mix well. Keep aside to cool.

For the assembly:
1 Tomato – Chopped into small cubes
1 Carrot – Grated
1 Capsicum/Bell Pepper – Chopped into small cubes
1 Large Onion – Chopped into small cubes
Chopped Cilantro
Green Chutney/Mint Chutney – Combine Fresh Mint, Cilantro or Coriander Leaves, Green chillies, Chopped onion, Chopped tomato, Spinach, Ginger, Garlic and Salt to taste. Grind into a smooth paste with some water. This chutney stays good refrigerated for over a week.
Tomato Ketchup
Lite Mayonaisse
Fine Sev (Optional)

Method: Take a cooked tortilla or paratha, Spread 1 tsp of the green chutney, spoon 1 large tbsp of the panner filling in the middle, top with chopped tomatoes, bell pepper, onion and grated carrot. Squeeze some mayo and tomato ketchup, top with chopped cilantro and sev. Close the bottom end and then the sides in. Wrap the bottom end tight with a foil such that top end is open. Serve with chips on the side πŸ™‚

Paneer Kati Roll

Paneer Kati Roll

It seems like a lot of work to get all of the above together. But believe me, once you have the filling and green chutney made it is super simple and quick to put together. You can make the chutney and filling and store in the refriegerator and put it together in a jiffy whenever needed.

Enjoy!

Weekend Cooking – Bhel Puri

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This weekend was busy with catching up on a lot of household chores. Cooking was actually not one of my priorities – we made do with Cereal and Oats for breakfast, a quick sandwich meal on Saturday and a quick one pot Vegetable Pulav on Sunday. On Saturday evening though I did make a quick snack for my daughter – Bhel Puri – A very popular Indian street snack..simple to put togther if you have all the ingredients handy. Life is much easier nowadays with several brands of Bhel mixes available in the market. I still prefer making my green and sweet tamarind chutney’s at home. Somehow the store bought varieties are a little stale to taste. These chutney’s can be made and stored ahead of time to be used whenever you need to make a quick snack.

 

Delicious and Crunchy Bhel Puri

Delicious and Crunchy Bhel Puri

You will need:
Muri or Mamra – 4 cups (I usually roast the mamra in a pan without any oil for a few minutes on a low flames. This makes the mamra crunchy, especially if it is soft or stale and has been sitting in your pantry for a while.)
Roasted Peanuts – 1 handful
Roasted channa dal (chutney dal) – 2 tbsp
Any spicy mixture – 1 tbsp (optional)
1 medium Onion – Chopped fine
1 medium Tomato – Chopped fine
1 small Potato – Boil, peel and cube
1 small Carrot – grated (I did not have any at home that evening, but I usually add this in my bhel , it tastes great and is veyr nutritious)
Salt to taste
1/2 tsp Red chilli powder
Green Chutney – 2 tbsp (or according to taste) – Recipe below
Sweet Tamarind Chutney – 1 tbsp (or according to taste)- Recipe below

For Garnishing: Chopped cilantro and Fine Sev (store bought)
Method: Mix all of the above in a large mixing bowl. Garnish with sev and chopped cilantro. Serve immediately.

Yummy Bhel Puri

Yummy Bhel Puri

For the Green Chutney:
1 small bunch Cilantro – Wash
1 small bunch Fresh mint leaves – Wash
1 handful spinach leaves – Wash
1 medium Onion – Peel and Chop
1 medium Tomato – Wash and Chop
5 Green chillies – Wash
1 small piece ginger – Wash and Peel
Salt to taste

Grind all of the above into a smooth paste with some water. This chutney stores for 1 week in the refrigerator and can be used as a spread on any bread/roti also.
For the Sweet Tamarind Chutney:
2 large Golf ball sized Tamarind – Soak in 4 cups of water
4 Pitted Dates – Soak with the tamarind
3 tbsp Jaggery
1 small piece ginger – grated
1 tsp red chilli powder
1/2 tsp Amchur or Dry Mango powder
2 tsp Black Salt or Kala namak
In a blender, grind the grated ginger, soaked dates powdered jaggery together. Squeeze the tamarind pulp from the soaked tamarind. Add the jaggery, date and ginger paste to the thich tamarind pulp. Add black salt, amchur and red chilli powder. Boil on stove top until the sweet chutney is thick and reduced to half the quantity. Cool and refrigerate. This can be stored for atleast 2 to 3 weeks in the refrigerator.

Will be posting my Mixed Vegetable Pulav recipe shortly πŸ™‚ Thanks for stopping by.

Back to Blogging with a tribute to Indian Street Food!

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So Life has happened in the past couple of years..its been crazy hectic and somehow in all this I have learnt some of Β the meaning of life and how to slow down πŸ™‚

We are back in America now..had some wonderful years in India, lots of learning, made some awesome friends and lived life to the fullest!! I miss India and all my folks and friends out there; But I am happy to be here, back among the familiar and some lovely friends and learning to appreciate the things that this wonderful country has to offer πŸ™‚

Ok now that said, not sure how many people read my blog anymore..I know I have not visited here in ages πŸ™‚ But hopefully now with a little time on my hands and a passion for cooking and blogging I hope to be a regular..

I’d like to start my first post with reference to a picture I captured on my phone just before I left Bangalore…

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If you are familiar with Bangalore, then you are familiar with the Blue Street Stalls that are popular for the mouth watering “Chaat” – specifically “Masala Puri” – which is basically some crispy fried puris topped with spicy peas mixture, green and tamarind chutneys and garnished with onions and sev (available in the Indian stores)…

Just watching these street vendors dish out this hot spicy masala puri is a pleasure in itself..and then waiting for him to serve you that plate is mouthwatering, what with the huge crowds that patiently wait at the stall watching this guy spoon out the piping hot masala gravy and the peas onto the plate, wondering when it will be their turn! There’s usually always a secret ingredient that goes into this dish that makes it taste as authentic and as Bangalore as ever. This type of chaat is not available in the North of India or in the West (Mumbai, Pune) which are by themselves a foodie’s paradise.

From some older pictures on file I have a small picture tutorial on how we can make this at home…

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The pictures are pretty self explanatory.. the only additional thing that the street vendors add is a gravy that is kept hot – Saute chopped onions, tomatoes, garlic, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, star anise lightly in oil. Cool and add some boiled peas tho this and grind into a smooth paste. Add salt and water and cook on stove top until hot.

Serving:

Step 1: Crush fried puris/papdi onto a plate

Step 2: Top with boiled Peas. Soak dried peas overnight. Pressure cook next day with enough water, turmeric, soda. Once cooked, add to this some salt, garam masala powder and boil on stove top for a few minutes.

Step 3: Top with some green chutney (grind mint, cilantro, ginger, tomato, onions, salt and green chillies with some water into a smooth paste) and with some tamarind chutney (usually available in the Indian stores; for homemade – Soak some Dates and a a big golf sized ball of tamarind in warm water for about an hour; sqeeze out the pulp, to this add 1/2 tsp red chilli powder, grated ginger, brown sugar/jaggery and some salt. Cook on stove top until this thickens. Cool and Store).

Step 4: Top with the spicy hot gravy from above.

Step 5: Top with chopped onions and grated carrots (optional)

Step 6: Top with Sev (again available at the Indian stores); garnish with chopped cilantro and serve hot.

For Indians living abroad especially in smaller cities where Chaat or any Indian street food is hard to find sometimes we have to satisfy our food cravings by cooking all these ourselves! And nothing can be as satisfying as a meal that is put together with a lot of labor of love !!!

Thanks for stopping by πŸ™‚