Friday, November 30, 2012

Meatball sub sandwich

Tonight's Menu
Chicken meatball sub
Grilled multi-coloured peppers
Wine Pairing: Fruity Zinfandel
OR Beer

Chicken meatball sub with grilled peppers

Robustly flavored meatballs and a hearty tomato sauce makes for a wonderful sandwich filling. And if you top it with melted cheese then it becomes heavenly. During the chilly months try this hot sub sandwich instead of cold cuts. Pair it with grilled veges, oven fries or a crunchy coleslaw. These are great for entertaining, use mini burgers and place one meatball with sauce topped with cheese for a 2 bite sub. Kids will love this too. Meatballs can be made in advance and frozen.

Meatballs
Ingredients: makes about 25

1 lb minced lamb or chicken
1 egg
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
1/2 cup grated parmesan
1/2 red onion grated fine
4-5 cloves garlic minced
1 tsp each dried basil and parsley
salt and red pepper flakes to taste
  1. Preheat the oven to 400F. 
  2. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix with hand till well combined but not over mixed. 
  3. Place them in a greased baking sheet, spray with a little oil and bake for 15-20 minutes till golden brown and cooked through. Keep aside.
Marinara sauce for the meatballs
Ingredients:

2 tbsp olive oil
4-5 crushed garlic cloves
1 red onion chopped
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 can (28 oz) of crushed tomatoes
2 large fresh tomatoes roughly chopped
salt and black pepper to taste
1/2 tsp each dry basil and oregano
  1. Heat oil in a pan at medium heat and add onion, garlic, crushed red pepper and dry herbs. Cook till onions brown a little. 
  2. Add tomatoes and seasoning. Bring to a bubble and simmer for 15 minutes.

Chicken meatball sub with grilled peppers

Assembling the subs
Ingredients:
4-6 crusty whole wheat sub rolls
2 cups shredded cheese (use your fave variety)
  1. Combine meatballs and marinara sauce. Pile them on to the sub rolls, at least 4 per roll. 
  2. Top with shredded cheese and place them under the broiler for a few minutes to melt cheese. 
  3. Serve with grilled multi colored peppers or Coleslaw or Funky fries.



You might also like these burgers

Indian style burger

Greek lamb burger


Moroccan chicken burger


Chicken slider


Jerk Chicken burger


Fish burger


Thai chicken burger

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Naga Morich


Comes with a warning, handle with extreme caution


Naga Morich meaning 'snake or serpent Chile’ is an apt name for this ferociously hot variety of pepper. It is believed to be very closely related to its Indian cousin, the Bhut jolokia (Bih jolokia). In recent tests, one Naga Morich pod registered 1,598,227 Scoville units. 
I had 2 plants of this growing in my backyard and after sharing with neighbors and friends I ended up with a small jar of this firebomb. After harvesting I sun dried these for 3 weeks and then pulsed in my grinder. This will last me a whole year.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Khasta Kachori (Urad dal stuffed) with Potato curry


Dal stuffed kachoris
Khasta kachori is the essential hearty and heavy breakfast food of northern India, specially the streets of Uttar Pradesh. It is available at all halwai shops and street vendors in the mornings, enticing everyone with its rich and spicy aroma of deep frying and hing tadka. 
This dish is in the category of "make it once in a blue moon, or special ocassions" in our house, yet it is so sinfully delish that I had to share the recipe with you. 
If you are having it as a meal then pair it with aloo ki subji with hing tadka (UP style). If you are indulging in it as a snack then pair with mango pickle or green chutney.


Dal stuffed kachori
Ingredients: makes 12-15

Oil for deep frying
2 cups flour
2-3 tbsp ghee or vegetable oil
salt to taste
1 tsp ajwain seeds
For the stuffing
1 cup urad dal soaked overnight
1-2 tsp oil
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp fennel seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
pinch asafoetida
salt to taste
1/2 tsp turmeric
2-3 fresh green chillies finely chopped
1 inch fresh ginger grated
Make the dough - Take the flour in a bowl and add salt and ajwain seeds, mix. Add ghee and mix well so that the flour resembles fine bread crumbs. Now use as little water as possible to make a stiff dough. Wrap in plastic wrap and keep aside for 20 minutes.
Make the stuffing - In the meantime make the stuffing. Drain out all the water from the soaked dal and grind it coarsely in a food processor.
In a dry grinder coarsely grind coriander seeds, cumin seeds and fennel seeds.
In a pan heat 2 tsp oil and add the coarsely ground spice to it along with asafoetida. Let them roast for 30 seconds.
Add green chillies, ginger and ground dal. Mix well and reduce heat to medium. Add all the other spices and mix well. Cover and cook for 5-7 minutes stirring once in the middle till all the water absorbs and dal is cooked.
Let cool and crumble all the lumps. Now we are ready to stuff the kachori.
Heat oil in a deep pan enough to deep fry, to a medium high heat.
Divide the dough into 12 to 15 balls. Flatten one and roll into a small poori. Place a large helping of stuffing in the center and seal it by bringing the edges together. Make it into a ball. 

Aloo Subji (Potato curry)
Ingredients:

4-5 large potatoes
2 tsp oil
pinch asafoetida
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 inch ginger grated
salt to taste
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
2 tsp coriander powder
red chilli powder and salt to taste
3 large tomatoes puréed
fresh coriander chopped fine for garnish
Peel and boil potatoes. Roughly chop them and keep aside.
Heat oil in a pan and add asafoetida and cumin seeds. Add the potatoes and all the spices and mix well to incorporate the flavour. Cook while stirring on medium heat for 2-3 minutes.
Add puréed tomatoes and cook for another 4 minutes.
Add 1/2 cup water and bring the whole concoction to boil. Simmer for 2-3 minutes till the desired consistency in achieved.
Garnish with fresh coriander.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Date and nut rolls (खजूर की बर्फी)

Date and nut rolls
Dates are a great way to lower the fat content in any dessert. Along with being a good source of iron, they provide a buttery texture when cooked.

This vegan recipe is oh so simple and quite healthy. You really don't miss anything in this. Make sure to add all four types of nuts as they all contribute greatly to the flavor. Sesame seeds give it that hmmm.. touch. Some people make this recipe by putting all the ingredients in a food processor and making a smooth textured mixture. I like the chunky texture of dates and nuts and so I avoid using the processor. Chopping and cooking the dates in a small amount of water makes it easier to shape the log and incorporate the nuts. Try either way and find your favorite method to make them.
These rolls look fabulous and taste even better. A must try.

Mixed dates and nuts into a log

Ingredients:about 18-20 slices
1 1/2 cup chopped pitted dates
1/4 cup Walnuts
1/4 cup Almonds
1/4 cup Pistachios
1/4 cup Cashew Nuts
2 tbsp sesame seeds
1-2 tsp water
  1. Chop nuts into small pieces and dry roast them for 1-2 minutes on medium heat. 
  2. Dry roast the sesame seeds for half a minute and keep them aside. 
  3. Heat a nonstick pan and add water and chopped dates. Stir fry the dates crushing them with a wooden spoon on medium heat for 5-7 minutes. Do this till they become soft and pulpy. 
  4. Take away from heat and add the nuts and mix them well. 
  5. Remove this into a plate and allow the mixture to cool a bit (so you can manipulate it with your hands). Rub a little water in your palms and make a cylindrical shape out of the mix. 
  6. Spread the sesame seeds on a flat surface and roll it in this. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for one hour. Cut into round slices. 
  7. Keeps well for several days in the fridge.


Friday, November 9, 2012

Kalakand (कलाकंद )


Kalakand barfi
Kalakand is a soft,moist delicious dessert very popular all over India specially during festivals and celebrations. Traditionally its made by boiling milk down to half its volume and combining it with paneer or cottage cheese, a tedious and long process. But a much simpler microwave version of the recipe takes about quarter the time and comes out as delicious. I have written down both recipes and have also tried both. The results are almost same. Try this recipe during the festive season this year and enjoy.

HAPPY DIWALI EVERYONE

The traditional method
Ingredients:

2 litres Milk
1/2 to 3/4 cup Sugar
1/3 tsp cardamoms powder
chopped nuts to decorate (pistachios, almonds)
1/2 tsp. Citric acid dissolved in 1/5 cup water
  1. Bring 1 litre of milk to boil. Add the citric solution as it comes to boil stirring constantly. 
  2. Switch off heat once the paneer(curdled cheese) settles down. Sieve through muslin cloth, press out excess water, keep aside on a plate. Do not knead. 
  3. Put the remaining milk in a heavy pan and boil till it reduces to half its volume. You have to be careful to not let the milk boil over or burn from the bottom. So after it boils, reduce heat and stir continuously. 
  4. Once the milk reduces, add paneer and boil till the mixture thickens. Stir continuously. 
  5. Add sugar and continue to cook, stirring all the while till it softly thickens into a lump. Remove from heat. Stir in cardamom powder. 
  6. Pour the mixture in a greased tray, sprinkle chopped nuts on top and press them down to help them stick. 
  7. Cover and allow to set either in the refrigerator for an hour or on the counter-top for a few hours. Cut into small squares and serve.

Kalakand mixture ready to be set

The microwave method
Ingredients:

15 oz Ricotta Cheese
14 oz Condensed Milk
2-3 drops of Rose Essence
1/3 tsp Cardamom Powder
Chopped Pistachios and almonds
  1. In a microwave safe large dish, mix the Ricotta Cheese and the Condensed Milk well. Mash down all the lumps with a help of a whisk. 
  2. Cook in the microwave for 5 minutes uncovered. 
  3. Take out and mix well. Make sure that you loosen the edges. 
  4. Back in the microwave 3 more minutes, uncovered. Take out and mix. 
  5. Microwave for another 10 minutes, uncovered taking out and stirring every 2 minutes. 
  6. Once done, mix well. Stir in the powdered cardamom. 
  7. Pour the mixture into a greased tray. Press down and flatten the mixture. 
  8. Sprinkle chopped nuts on top and press them down to help them stick. 
  9. Cover and allow to set either in the refrigerator for an hour or on the counter-top for a few hours. 
  10. Cut into small squares and serve.

Kalakand barfi
The third inbetween method
Ingredients:

11/2 litre milk (full fat)
1/2 tsp. Citric acid dissolved in 1/5 cup water
14 oz Condensed Milk
2-3 drops of Rose Essence
1/3 tsp Cardamom Powder
Chopped Pistachios and almonds
  1. Bring 1 litre of milk to boil. Add the citric solution as it comes to boil stirring constantly. 
  2. Switch off heat once the paneer(curdled cheese) settles down. Sieve through muslin cloth, press out excess water, keep aside on a plate. Do not knead. 
  3. In a microwave safe large dish, mix theabove paneer and the Condensed Milk well. Mash down all the lumps with a help of a whisk. 
  4. Cook in the microwave for 4 minutes uncovered. 
  5. Take out and mix well. Make sure that you loosen the edges. 
  6. Back in the microwave 2 more minutes, uncovered. Take out and mix. 
  7. Microwave for another 2-4 minutes, uncovered taking out and stirring every 2 minutes. 
  8. Once done, mix well. Stir in the powdered cardamom. 
  9. Pour the mixture into a greased tray. Press down and flatten the mixture. 
  10. Sprinkle chopped nuts on top and press them down to help them stick. 
  11. Cover and allow to set either in the refrigerator for an hour or on the counter-top for a few hours. 
  12. Cut into small squares and serve.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Seviyan (vermicilli) veggie Upma

LUNCH IDEAS FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY




Upma is a hot breakfast food originally from southern India made with semolina. This recipe is a variation of the semolina upma and uses vermicilli or seviyan instead. Upma can be eaten for breakfast or lunch(as we do) and is a wholesome dish full of tonnes of veggies. 
This version of upma is something that I make often. It requires very little effort and time and tastes delicious. Kids love it and enjoy it even in school (just omit the peanuts for a nut free version for school, instead use roasted chana dal). 




Ingredients: serves 4
Thin, whole wheat Vermicelli- 2 cups
Vegetables like carrots, peas, green beans, potato- 4 cups (I sometimes use frozen mixed veggies)
Oil- 2 tbsp
Salt to taste
Mustard- 1/2 tsp
Hing or asafoetida – A pinch
Curry leaves- 2 sprigs
1 tsp urad dal
2-3 Red whole chilli
1 inch fresh ginger slivered Green chilli- 1, chopped fine
2 tbsp raw peanuts
Coriander leaves to garnish
  • Heat 2 tsp oil in a thick bottomed pan. Add the vermicelli and shallow fry till golden brown, about 2 minutes, and keep aside.
  • Heat rest of the oil in the same pan and add the mustard seeds. 
  • Once they crackle, stir in the asafoetida, urad dal, red chili, peanuts and curry leaves and fry for a few seconds.
  • Add the vegetables and fry on high heat for 2 minutes. Add ginger, green chili and salt and continue frying for 3 to 4 minutes more
  • Add about 2 1/2  cups of water, bring to a rolling boil and allow the mixture to simmer for a minute.
  • Add the fried vermicelli, mix and cook on medium high covered for 4-5 minutes, occasionally stirring to avoid burning.