Zucchini Bake

Hello lovely people!

Long time no see, I hope everyone is gearing up for the cooler months. I envision myself planning tea parties, making homemade soups, sipping on hot chocolate, stocking up on slow cooker, bakes and casserole recipes.

One such Zucchini bake recipe which was an instant hit at a recent potluck at a colleague’s place is what I would like to share with you all.

Zucchini Bake

Zucchini is relatively low in calories making it an ideal item to include when you are watching the scale. It is also high in folate, potassium and Vitamin A.

My earliest memories of eating zucchini are at a Mumbai eatery where I ordered Pasta Arrabiata with mixed vegetables. It had broccoli and some carrots along with some pretty unusual looking green strips. I enquired with the server about what were these green strips which made the overall dish rather pretty and delicious.

And that’s how I was introduced to this beautiful vegetable. I love eating zucchini stir fried with other vegetables on most occasions. However in stir fries I feel like the wonderful flavor of this veggie does not shine through.

Hence I decided to bake this on it’s own with the only exception being some cherry tomatoes and a couple of shallots.

Serves : 4

Ingredients
2 zucchini thinly cut in rounds
12 cherry tomatoes halved
3 cloves of garlic minced
a handful of shallots
Fresh thyme sprigs
Splash of balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup parmesan cheese grated
3 tsp olive oil
Sea salt to taste
White pepper to taste
1 1/2 tsp dried thyme

Line a flat baking sheet with foil and grease it well.

In a mixing bowl, add all ingredients except cheese and coat them well with oil and seasoning.

Zucchini Bake 1

Layer the zucchini neatly on the baking tray and sprinkle parmesan cheese.

Bake for 15 minutes at 170 degrees Celsius. I did not want to over do the cheese and baked it for a short duration so that the flavours of were given it’s due credit.

Serve with any pasta dish or good to be eaten on it’s own.

Until next time, happy cooking!

Green Beans & Carrot Sabzi

Green Beans is a very versatile ingredient and can be cooked in various ways. Steam, blanch, braise, roast, sautee – they really adapt well to different cooking techniques.

They are good source of antioxidants and cartenoids apart from being a powerhouse of Vitamin K. I picked up some lovely organic green beans from Waitrose after work, it was trimmed already and made them on one weeknight. I love the ease of using pre-cut vegetables at times.

Here’s a simple recipe of making them Indian style, I have just substituted the usual potato with carrots and given it a tangy twist.

The dish came out quite saucy and I served them with a side of Surati Dal and steamed rice.

Green Beans

Cooking Time : 20 minutes
Serves : 4

Ingredients

2 tsp canola oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 green chilly finely chopped
2 cloves garlic minced
1 red onion finely chopped
2 tomatoes finely chopped
300 grams french beans trimmed
2 carrots cut at an angle
1 1/2 tsp coriander powder
1/4 tsp red chilly powder
1 tsp chaat masala/ amchur powder
1 tsp tomato paste
Salt to taste

Blanch the trimmed beans in boiling and salted water for a couple of minutes.

Drain them while they still have a bite to them.

In a wok / wide pan, heat the oil and add mustard seeds, cumin seeds.

Once they splutter, add green chillies and follow it up with onions and garlic.

Once onions have browned a bit, add the chopped tomatoes and cook them for a few minutes.

Add the carrots and sauté them until they have slightly softened. Add beans followed by all dry spices, salt, tomato and tamarind paste.

Cook until the mixture is well coated and just about to leave a ring of oil on the sides.

Green Beans & Carrot Sabzi

Remove off heat and serve with fluffy rotis or dal-rice. Until next time, happy cooking!

Couscous Salad

I have busy first looking for one and then moving houses for the last few weeks now. It is such a tiring process.

But I had a lot of fun looking for new furniture, Nonetheless we finally moved in our new house this weekend and I wanted to make up for all wall of silence on my blog. So here I am, back to the Middle Eastern spread on the blog, sharing an easy recipe for the couscous salad.

Couscous Salad

This is a new favorite and an easy lunch box recipe. It gets ready quickly on weekday mornings. You can chop up the veggies while the couscous is resting.

Couscous is a healthy protein rich option and also low on calories. Add any veggies you love to eat on a given day and you have colorful lunch box which you co-workers would like to dig in.

Comes Together in : 15 Minutes max
Ingredients

1 cup couscous
1 cup boiling water
1 finely chopped cucumber
1 finely chopped red onion
2 finely chopped tomatoes
6 finely chopped baby radish
2 tsp olive oil
3 tsp tomato paste
Juice of 1 lemon or more as needed
Salt to taste
Freshly ground Black Pepper to taste
Handful of finely chopped dill leaves

In a wide bowl, pour boiling water over couscous and cover it with a lid for 10 minutes.

Let the couscous absorb all the water. After uncovering the lid, when all water is absorbed, use a fork to fluff the couscous and let it cool for a while.

Fluffy Couscous

You could also use vegetable stock to add flavors.

Couscous Tomato Paste

Add the tomato paste and with hands rub the paste in to the couscous.

Veggies

Add all veggies. Dress the salad with olive oil, salt, black pepper and dill leaves.

Couscous Salad1

Toss them well and let it refrigerate for a bit. Savour this on a hot summery afternoon!

Until next time happy cooking!

Caramelized Onions

I have found a new found love! I’m currently obsessed with caramelized onions. It all began with me reading a Roast Onion Tart recipe in a cook book and I was not sure if I’d like big chunks of onions roasted on a otherwise promising tart.

I thought why not try caramelized onions instead, it is a pantry staple. I love how slow cooking the onions alleviates the natural sweetness in the onions and lends such good flavors.

The best part is this is such an easy thing to make and stays well refrigerated for almost 4-5 days in an airtight container.

However honestly once I made this, it got immediately polished off with Besan Chilla Crisps topped with a layer of caramelized onions and then tomato thokku.

The flavors simply exploded giving us different textures. Sahil loved this to bits! It is a great weekend lunch option.

It’s really quite an easy recipe and comes together in 30 minutes. Make it over a weekend and enjoy the goodness all week long.

Cooking Time : 30 minutes

Ingredients
2 large white onions thinly sliced
1/4 tsp sugar
Salt to taste
2 tsp canola oil
Water as required (optional)

In a wide pan or kadhai, heat some canola oil on medium heat and add the onions.

Onions

Let them sizzle and once translucent add the salt and sugar and mix it well.

Let them stand for a while and keep mixing them ever 4-5 minutes. After the onions have browned a bit, add a little water at a time and deglaze the kadhai.

Caramelized Onions1

Cook to the point when the onions are close to disintegrating and have a beautiful brown color.

Caramelized Onions

Let the caramelized onions to cool down and transfer to a mason jar!

I hope you enjoy as much as my family did! Until next time happy cooking! 🙂

Pickled Onions

Some times me and Sahil go crazy while shopping for groceries. We have umpteen menus playing on our minds and we end up buying produce that does not get used at all.

We love to stuff our refrigerator with all kinds of cheese, fresh herbs, veggies, sauces, preserves, fruits and proteins. Opening the refrigerator and looking at the loot lovingly while deciding what to cook is my stress buster at the end of a tiring work day.

Last week we both shopped separately for groceries and ended up having kilos of red onions. Now what does one do when you have a sudden abundance of red onions! I say try this recipe which was inspired from BBC Good Food website I read sometime back. Somehow I am not able to find the link anymore on the website.

This recipe was tried after we had our fill of Onion Bhajjis and Pakora Kadhi twice in the same week.

I serve these pickled onions with Rajma Chawal, Parathas or Chole Kulche.

1 large red onion cut thinly in rounds
1/2 white granulated sugar
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
3 cloves garlic coarsely chopped
6 peppercorns
3 sprigs rosemary
2 dried red chilli

Par Blanch onions, I just soaked the onions in warm water for a few minutes. Don’t overdo at this step since you don’t want the crunchiness of onions to go away.

Red Onions

In a sterilized mason jar or pickle jar, add vinegar, salt, sugar, garlic cloves, peppercorns, rosemary and red chilli.

Pickled Onion

Give it a good mix with a spoon and add onions to the mixture. Close the lid of the airtight container and refrigerate for at least 24 hours.

Pickled Onions1

This stays well for a long time if refrigerated. The onions will have a beautiful pink hue after a day or two and is ready to be enjoyed!