Mar 29, 2012

Quick and Easy: Fried Rice and Veg Manchurian


Full of vegetables.. some fried components..but overall a good satisfying meal that we won't feel too guilty about eating on a busy weekday evening. This was one of the quickest meals I made the other day when all I was planning to do was sweet corn soup which is my husband's favorite. Well just the soup wouldn't have been enough so thought of making fried rice but then thought if I am anyways going to take out vegetables and chop them why not make Manchurian too to go with it. In the interest of time I of course didn't follow the regular recipe and made some quick adjustments. All of it was ready within 20 minutes and I felt like I was competing in 'Chopped' and had the  veg were the ingredients in the basket :) If you have a food processor in hand and all vegetables then it shouldn't take more than half an hour to get it all done. I luckily had a frying pan with oil in it ready to go so it made it even quicker

Fried Rice


1 cup Basmati Rice 
2 Carrots depending on size
1 Green pepper
1 Spring onion bunch
4 cloves garlic
2 tsp chilli sauce
1 tsp soy sauce
salt to taste
black pepper

Get the rice going in a rice cooker or in a pan with boiling water. Chop the carrots and green pepper finely. I just put all of it in the food processor. Heat a wok with oil and add the garlic once oil is hot enough. Garlic has to get fried well for the flavor to come out. Add the vegetables and the finely chopped spring onion. Saute for few minutes and once rice is done drain all the water from the rice and add to the wok. Add salt, sauce and pepper and let it cook for some time. Add some spring onion for garnish and its done :)

Vegetable Manchurian

1/2  Cauliflower
1 Green pepper
1 Carrot
1/2 Red onion
2 tsp Tomato ketchup
2 tsp Soy sauce
1 tsp Red chili sauce
1 bunch of spring onion
2 cloves of garlic
1 inch ginger
4 tbsp corn flour
salt to taste
black pepper 

Add all the vegetables except for spring onion in the food processor including garlic and ginger and finely chop them. Heat oil in pan and add part of the vegetable mixture. After few minutes add salt, soy sauce, ketchup and chili sauce if you prefer. Once that is cooking use the left over vegetable mixture and add some corn flour, salt, pepper and very little soy sauce and get it to a consistency which can be made into balls and fried. Fry the Manchurian balls over medium heat and once done add to the gravy. If needed add some water. In case the gravy looks dilute you can always thicken it using corn flour and water mixture, but make sure to be very careful while adding it as it can make it very thick. Add finely chopped spring onion as garnish and you have a quick meal ready !

Palak Raita

Since the beginning of this year I have been trying to have a well balanced full meal at home at least for dinner time which is usually Chapati with some subji or daal along with a side of salad or raita. But most of the days I find myself fighting for time and end up combining two of them in one and doing a daal with a veg like palak or methi. Palak puree is one thing I always have in the fridge these days as its a go to vegetable for my son and easy enough to mix in anything. I even freeze small cubes of spinach puree if I have extra. Coming back to the point my son loves yogurt and on days when he isn't wanting to eat anything else yogurt comes in handy and at least fills up the need of protein and fat. So, the other day when I was getting the yogurt out from the fridge for him I saw the spinach puree by its side and decided to mix it up and add some salt, a pinch of sugar, some jeera powder and I had in front of me a toddler enjoying his yogurt :) Well since I had some left, I did the same for us and we enjoyed it too as spinach raita! I love how it tasted and such an easy and tasty way of including spinach in the diet ..hope you will like it too!



1 cup yogurt
1/2 cup of puree spinach -bunch of fresh spinach blanched and pureed
1 tsp jeera powder
1 tsp sugar
salt to taste

a pinch of red chilli powder (optional)

Well the method is very simple and as you probably already guessed it. Just mix all the ingredients in a bowl and enjoy the raita. Sprinkle some jeera powder or red chilli powder on top to add to the color.

A quick variation to this would be to add some peanut powder to it and add red chilli powder and leave out the jeera powder for a Maharashtrian version of 'Palakachi dhyatli koshimbir' !

Mar 27, 2012

Cranberry Pistachio Biscotti

Coffee/Tea time is one of the most enjoyed times at our house. Whether it is the steaming mysore coffee with lots of milk or masala chai. We always have some snacks o accompany the drink Parle G, rusks, chakli being the favorites. So in the search of a perfect dunking goodness I came across this recipe for biscotti which fits our tastes buds perfectly by being not too buttery and not too sweet while still maintaining the slight crunch even after dunking in coffee. Biscottis are traditionally Italian cookies which are twice baked. The first time I made I didn't have any pistachio in hand so I used almonds instead which worked well too. This is a pretty simple recipe and one of the easiest things to bake. I followed this recipe by Stephanie Jaworski and made just slight modifications which are listed below. Ever since I was introduced to her website by a friend I have been a big fan of hers and love all her videos. You will probably see lot more of her recipes with slight twist in this blog. 


2/3 cup granulated white sugar
2 large egss
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking powder 
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup pistachios, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup dried cranberries 

One thing I learnt that is important in baking is having stuff like eggs and butter at room temperature helps a lot. For this recipe first we need to beat the sugar and eggs on high speed until the color turns a bit pale, and starts looking fluffy. Add the vanilla extract and mix. On the side whisk together the dry ingredients and add to the egg mixture. Now we add the nuts and the cranberries and make sure its all evenly mixed. 
Once done roll the dough into a log shape 12 inches and 4 inches roughly and place it on a baking sheet for about  18-20 minutes until firm to touch. This is where the original recipe calls for 25 minutes but the first time I kept for 25 minutes it turned out to be too hard. Remove and let cool. Cut slices and place the biscotti cut side down and bake is again for about 8-10 mins on each side. This is the twice baking part.  And then you have the dunking goodness ready to be dunked in coffee or just enjoyed by it self. Remember since we didn't add any butter or oil in this recipe it is bit more crunchier which is why it is perfect with coffee. 

First Post

After debating with myself for quite some time whether to start a blog or not I finally decided to go ahead and do it. This blog will be a way to share my adventures with cooking/baking and also the regular daily weekday dinners/lunches. Being promoted to a Mom recently my cooking skills have taken new turns and am constantly thinking about how to make food healthy and interesting plus easy to eat and less mess to clean :) Like I said I will be sharing my recent experiences in the kitchen and hope that the blog will make me want to keep trying out new things ! Hope you all enjoy the journey of 'tastes unlimited' with me.