Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Spaghetti Aglio e Olio with Spinach

What fabulous weather we've been having for the past 5 days. Bright sun, clear skies, temperatures touching 25oC (77oF). Its very unusual for March in Scotland. I am not complaining though.

As I type this post, the weather man is saying that the brief spell of the good weather is coming to an end. Its going start getting cloudy, rainy, gloomy and cold. So much for the good weather. I hope we have a good summer unlike last year when we didn't feel it was summer. It was raining almost everyday.

This is another dish that can be made in a jiffy for a quick snack or a complete meal.This is a slight variation to my Spaghetti Aglio e Olio. I added thawed frozen chopped spinach, increased the amount of garlic and didn’t add the chilli flakes to the oil to make this child-friendly.

It's the peeling and chopping garlic that's time consuming. That's where my son helped me out on this one. Noooo. He didn't sit and peel the garlic layer by layer. I put each clove in the Pestle and Mortar and he would hit it till it crushed. I would take out the "yuck" (his word for the peel) and he would put it in my mini food processor. He then helped me pulse it to a fine chop.

After all that and getting excited at the thought of eating spaghetti, he didn't eat. I actually had to tell him stories and make him eat. He's not able to slurp it up - so I guess he needs more time. P and I enjoyed it with a generous sprinkling of Red Chilli Flakes.

Serves: 2


200 gms Dried Spaghetti (I used Whole Wheat) – cooked in salt water as per package instructions
100 gms Spinach - chopped finely
3 tbsp Chopped Garlic
2 tbsp Olive Oil
Red Chilli Flakes to taste

  1. Heat Olive Oil in a pan.
  2. When the oil is hot, add the Chopped Garlic and fry until the Garlic starts to change the colour.
  3. Add the Spinach and toss till the its cooked.
  4. Add the Spaghetti and toss well until it is coated well with the Spinach and Garlic.
  5. Add Chilli Flakes, mix and serve hot.

This goes to the following events:
Radhika's Let's Cook #13 - Greens
Srav's Cooking Concepts #8 - Vegan Diet
Kalyani's Holi Fest - Colourful Palette
Krithi's &Denny's Serve it - Stir Fried
Ayeesha's Healthy Morsels - Pregnancy
Srivalli's Kid's Delight hosted this month by Rujuta
Frugal Food Fridays hosted this month by Pigling Bland
Sumee's Bon Vivant Moments #2 - Savoury Items
Chef Al dente's Gimme GREEN
Saint-Patrick Challenge on Very Good Recipes

Friday, 23 March 2012

Garlicky Brussels Sprouts

I still remember my reaction when I first saw these tiny green things in the local super market. "Such cute cabbages." I wasn't so experimental with my cooking back then as I am now. Infact, I hardly cooked those days. So I left them as they were.

When we bought and shifted to our own(read decent) kitchen, my experiments started. I bought a bag of frozen Brussels Sprouts. I used to steam and eat them on their own or with a spicy sauce (Tobasco or similar). I really liked them. But then, I got fed up and finished the packet with great difficulty

Cut to present, I bought another bag of frozen Brussels Sprouts recently. Not wanting to steam them again, I decided to try this garlicky stir-fry and instantly loved it. It didn't need any sauce to go with it. It was tasty on its own. It's a quick healthy snack when the hunger pangs strike.

Coming to the nutritional value, these little green beauties are packed with Vitamins A, B, C, K to name a few, Folic Acid and other important vitamins & minerals. They have anti cancerous properties and are low in fat. These properties make it an ideal veggie that's good to include in almost everyone's diet. (Check with a doctor for individual conditions – I am not a nutritionist.)

A word of caution though - you really need to have a taste for these. Not a favourite with many. I am not sure if they are available in India. Any information on that will be useful.

Serves: 1

10 Frozen / Fresh Brussels Sprouts
2 Cloves Garlic - minced
1 tbsp Olive Oil
Pepper to taste
Salt to taste (avoidable)

  1. Heat Olive Oil in a pan.
  2. When hot, add the Garlic and fry till it starts changing colour.
  3. Add the Brussels Sprouts, Salt and Pepper and mix thoroughly.
  4. Cover and cook till they are done, adding little water if needed.
  5. Serve as a snack.
This goes to the following events:

Radhika's Let's Cook #13 - Greens

Srav's Cooking Concepts #8 - Vegan Diet

Kalyani's Holi Fest - Colourful Palette

Krithi's &Denny's Serve it - Stir Fried

Ayeesha's Healthy Morsels - Pregnancy

 Frugal Food Fridays hosted this month by Pigling Bland

Chef Al dente's Gimme GREEN

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Vegetable Fried Rice - an Indo-Chinese Recipe

Do you know what's more satisfying than cooking for your children? Its cooking WITH them. I have been experiencing this recently. My 3 year has taken an "interest" in cooking.

It started off with him running into the kitchen when I was cooking. If I was adding something to the pan, he would be like - "I want to do it.. I want to do it." I would let him add whatever it was - making sure he's well away from the fire.

Then one Sunday when my husband was working, I decided to make Vegetable Pulao and was chopping stuff for it. V came in and asked "What you making for me?" I told him I was making Vegetable Rice (Pulao) and he said he wanted to make it.

I thought he will just add one or two things and go away. But to my surprise, he actually added everything and stayed with me the whole time till I covered the pot to let the rice cook. After his dad came, he very proudly told him "I made vegetable rice."

Vegetable Pulao is something he always "helps" me with. The other day, when I told him I am going to make Vegetable Fried Rice for him that evening, he wanted to make it.

Now, whenever he's "helping" me, I keep all the ingredients in small bowls so he can just "throw" them into the pan without me fiddling with the spoons. If he feels the pan is getting hot when stirring, he holds my elbow and feels he's stirring.

Another thing I've noticed is he actually enjoys eating something he's made. At the same time, he's learning the different vegetables. What more can a mother ask for??? What do you cook with your children? Leave a note please.

Coming to today's recipe, it's a typical indo-chinese one that's available everywhere from the road side stalls to five star restaurants in India. I am specifying India as the fried rice you get in the UK is totally different.

This is ideal to use up any left over vegetables and rice. This is a basic version. You can add any sauces as you wish. I had to keep it simple as my 3 year old can't take too much spice. We had this with hot sauce but its tasty on its own too.

Serves: 2

3/4th cup Raw Rice - cooked and cooled(I used 3 day old rice that was in the fridge)
1/2 Onion - chopped
2 cups Mixed Vegetables - chopped(I used frozen mixed vegetables. I added 2 chopped mushrooms to it)
1 tbsp Garlic - chopped
1 tbsp Ginger - chopped
5 Spring Onions - finely chopped
1 tsp Soya Sauce
2 tbsp Vegetable Oil
Pepper to Taste
Salt to Taste
2 - 3 tbsp Chopped Spring Onion Greens for garnishing

  1. Heat a wok on high flame. When hot, add the Oil.
  2. When the oil is hot, add the Ginger and Garlic and toss till the garlic starts to turn brown. Take care the garlic doesn't burn.
  3. Add the Onion and toss for a minute.
  4. Now add the chopped vegetables and toss for another 3 - 4 minutes.
  5. Add the Spring Onions, Soya Sauce, Salt & Pepper and mix well.
  6. At this point, reduce the heat to low and add rice.
  7. Mix the rice well, cover the wok and leave it for a minute or two so the rice gets heated through.
  8. Garnish with chopped Spring Onion Greens and serve hot.

This goes to the following events:

Srav's Cooking Concepts #8 - Vegan Diet

Kalyani's Holi Fest - Colourful Palette

Jaya's Healthy Diet Food - Easy and Healthy Lunch started by Priya

Krithi's &Denny's Serve it - Stir Fried

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Soya Kheema Burgers for Blog Hop

I had a packet of Dry Soya Kheema in my cupboard from quiet a long time. I wasn't sure how to use Soya Kheema. I was searching for a Soya Kheema cutlet recipe to use it up. Al l the recipes I found used Soya

When Radhika paired me with Vaishali for this month's Blog Hop and I opened her blog, the Soya Kebab was on the first page. And it was using Soya Mince. Coincidence did you say??? Too much of it... So unlike other Blog Hops, there was no thinking twice as to which dish I would be making.

Tikkis in the pan
That said, it would've been tough to decide what to make from her blog if I hadn't been looking for this recipe for so long. All her recipes are drool worthy. Her crafts are very innovative and pretty. A special mention to her Floating Rangolis. I definitely want to try them for the next Diwali if I get a chance.

Another special mention has to go to her kitchen. So neat and so well organised. Vaishali, you've inspired me. If and when I move back to India and get to design my kitchen, I might use some of your ideas. Absolutely loved the practicality of it.

Coming to the recipe, I didn't use paneer or green chilli paste in it. I've also adjusted the spice measurements according to our taste. As you can see, I've assembled it in a different way as well.

Here's my version of it:

Makes: 3 burgers


For Tikkis
1 cup - dry Soya Mince
1 - big Potato - boiled, peeled and mashed
1 tsp Ginger Garlic Paste
1 tsp Kasoori Methi - crushed between the palms
1/2 tsp Garam Masala
1/4 tsp Chat Masala
1/2 tsp Chilli Powder
1/2 tsp Coriander Powder
1 tbsp Bread Crumbs
Salt to Taste
2 - 3 tbsp Oil (to shallow fry)

To Assemble
3 burger buns - cut in half - I used whole wheat
Tomato Ketchup / Hot Sauce
3 Cheese Slices (Vegans can avoid this)
1 Red Onion - chopped


For Tikkis
  1. Place the Soya Kheema in a bowl and pour boiling water over it till its fully immersed.
  2. Leave aside for 10 mins
  3. In the mean time, add the mashed potato and the rest of the ingredients (except Oil) under "For Tikkis" to a bowl.
  4. Once the soya is cold enough to handle, squeeze the water out of the mince and add it to the potato and mix well.
  5. Make tikkis of desired size and keep aside.
  6. Heat a pan, add oil and shallow fry the tikkis.
  7. Once done, start assembling the burger.
To Assemble
  1. Apply Tomato Ketchup / Hot Sauce on both sides (insides) of the burger buns.
  2. Spread about a table spoon of chopped onion on the base of the burger bun.
  3. Place the tikki on the Onions.
  4. Place the Cheese slice on the tikki.
  5. Close the burger and enjoy.

This goes to the following events:

Radhika's Blog Hop Wednesdays

Kokila's Dish it out – Sandwich / Burger that was started by Vardhini

Kalyani's Holi Fest – Colourful Palette


Thursday, 8 March 2012

Sweet Corn Roti

If you have noticed in my blog, I make rotis with pureed vegetables to make V eat that extra vegetable as he never used to eat any curry with rotis. He started to eat it with dal recently. But I continue to make rotis with vegetables as it doesn’t harm us to eat that extra vegetable. And ofcourse, V loves the green, pink etc rotis.

I wouldn't have even thought about making a sweetcorn roti if it wasn't for this month's Magic Mingle – Corn & Wheat. Kalyani hosts Magic Mingle every month and comes up with these amazing combinations of ingredients. To make something with both the ingredients pushes you out of your comfort level.

I liked the subtle sweetness the sweetcorn gave the roti. It so subtle, you could almost eat it like a normal roti with curries and still get the goodness of sweetcorn in your body. The photos might not be very appealing as it looks like regular roti but looks can be deceiving…

Makes: 9 - 10 rotis

1 cup Sweetcorn - cooked, pureed and strained - I used frozen
2 cups Chapati Atta
1 tsp Oil
Salt to taste
Water as needed

  1. Mix all the ingredients except oil together to form a pliable dough.
  2. Spread the Oil on the dough, cover and let it rest for atleast 20 minutes.
  3. Give it one final knead and make 9 - 10 equal sized balls
  4. Make rotis as you would normally do and serve with a curry on the side.
Note: Make sure you strain the sweet corn puree as will be small bits left. Children might choke on this.

This goes to Kalyani's Magic Mingle #3