Oats Vegetable Tikki

Oats Tikki

Oats Vegetable Tikki 

I am a huge appetizer fan and usually love to serve a variety whenever I have dinner parties or friends over for chai.

On one such occasion, I served this crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside tikki. Patties, cutlets or tikkis are a staple snack in Northen parts of India. Aloo Tikki is mostly featured in the appetiser section in most Indian eateries and serves as a base for many chaat items.

Move up towards western India and Mumbai has aloo tikki’s popular cousin Ragda Pattice. The spicy chutneys the tikkis are usually served with make it a medley of flavours. Sweet, tangy, spicy and crunchy what more would you need!

These are fairly quick to assemble and make and perfect way to use up leftover boiled potatoes. Since I wanted to feel less guilty, I added some oats and vegetables to them. Adding oats also helped up the crunch factor in the tikkis.

Cooking Time : 10 minutes
Serves : 4

Ingredients
1 cup rolled oats + 1/4 cup ground oats
2 potatoes boiled and mashed
2 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp cumin powder
2 tsp dried mango/ amchur powder
1/4 tsp paprika powder
1 tsp minced ginger
2 green chilled finely chopped
1 red onion finely chopped
2 carrots grated
1 tsp wheat bran
1/4 cup bread crumbs
2 tsp finely chopped coriander leaves
Salt to taste
Canola Oil for shallow frying

Grind the oats. In a bowl, add all the ingredients and mix them well.

Now with greased hands, make 12 equal portions and roll out in flat tikki (cutlet) shape.

Dust them in a plate with equal portions of ground oats and breadcrumbs.

Shallow fry on each side until they acquire a even brown color. Serve immediately with coriander mint chutney.

Let me know if you liked this recipe and any variations I can try the next time.

Until next time, happy cooking!

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!

Shakshouka

Shakshouka is a savoury North African dish made of poached eggs in tomato based sauce. This happens to be Sahil’s favorite order when we go out for breakfast. Either Shashouka or spinach salman omelette or Fritatta.

So this is my feeble first attempt at making him his favourite breakfast earlier last month. I have just kept the recipe very simple. If you do have any shakshouka recipe please pass it on, I will like to very much give it a try.

Shashouka

Serves : 2

Ingredients
3 tsp olive oil
1 white onion finely chopped
3 tomatoes finely chopped
1 red pepper finely chopped
1 jalapeño pepper finely chopped
3 cloves garlic finely chopped
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp red chilly powder
1 tsp chilli-garlic sauce
Handful of feta cheese crumbled (optional)
2 tsp tomato ketchup
2 eggs
Salt to taste
Freshly cracked black pepper to taste
Handful of basil leaves torn

In a pan, heat oil and add onion and cook them until they are translucent. Add garlic and cook it for a minute.

Follow this up with red pepper and jalapeño, cook them until they have softened a bit. To this add tomatoes, red chilli powder and cumin powder and cook until the mixture is cooked well. Add seasoning and the sauces.

Crack open 2 eggs on top of the mixture and cook them with a lid covered over medium heat.

Once the eggs have cooked, take the dish off heat and serve immediately with crusty bread.

Until next time, happy cooking!

Mumbai Diaries – Dhokla

I came back to Dubai earlier this week after a 20 day long vacation in Mumbai. It was good fun meeting family and enjoying delicious meals from my mum’s kitchen. How I miss it!

I will start chronicling now on my travel diaries in the blog as well and this is the first of the many to come, let me know your thoughts on the same. The series will have my experiences while travelling to a destination and not necessarily a recipe to go with it. Again I am no expert at writing about travel but being a professional travel writer’s wife, I have come to love travelling even more over the years now.

Going back to my trip to Mumbai, it was such a fulfilling experience when I cooked for my family one evening. I made some pasta, oats spinach tikkis and dhokla.

Dhokla is popular Gujrati snack and quite nutritious at it too. Weight watchers can rejoice since this recipe goes easy on the calories too.

The dhokla turned out much better than usual, must have been my grandma watching over me and giving her expert tips when she saw me mixing the batter or tempering the dhoklas later.

I could see a glint of pride and her smiling ear to ear when I made the tempering and not get deterred by the crackling and popping of mustard seeds. This stuff used to always scare me and I had burnt my wrists a few times panicking over the popping mustard seeds in hot oil.

How things change! We just looked at each other and that moment melted my heart, it was simply beautiful.

Dhokla

Ingredients
Dhokla batter

2 cups gram flour
3 tsp canola oil
2 tsp green chilli paste
1 tsp ginger paste
1 sachet eno (fruit salt)
3/4 tsp lemon juice
Salt to taste
1 1/2 cup water
Handful of freshly chopped coriander powder
Pinch of red chilly powder (optional)
Freshly grated coconut (optional)

Tempering
3 tsp canola oil
2 tsp mustard seeds
2 tsp cumin seeds
10-12 curry leaves (optional)

In a mixing bowl, sieve the gramflour and add salt, eno, chilli, ginger paste and mix well.

Add water, little at a time and blend all the ingredients together. The consistency of the batter needs to slightly thick and hence add water as per requirement. Do not pour all of the water instantly.

Add oil and mix well, this helps give the batter a good sheen. Do not let the batter sit on the side for long after it has been made.

In a steamer, boil water and add the batter to greased plates in the dhokla stands. Fill the plates with the batter only to half the capacity since once steamed, the batter will rise.

Steam for almost 10-15 minutes with the lid on. Always set the steamer on medium heat, high flame will dry out the dhoklas and the end result won’t be soft and spongy.

Just like we check cakes, use a toothpick to check if the dhoklas have been cooked throughout after 10-12 minutes. If the toothpick comes out dry, remove the dhoklas off the heat.

Let it cool for a while and then un-mould them from the plates and cut them in diamond / square shape.

To make the tempering, heat oil and add mustard seeds and cumin seeds. Once they crackle, remove from the heat and with a spoon spread it over the dhokla pieces. I wish I had curry leaves that day so I could have added them to the tempering but we were too lazy to venture out and get some. Aren’t holidays all about lazing around and not stressing over the little things ?

Garnish the dhoklas with a generous sprinkling of freshly chopped coriander leaves, a pinch of red chilly powder and serve with green chutney and tomato ketchup.

I also like garnishing with freshly grated coconut but again it was not available and we gave it a pass.

This is one special post, for me this is not much about the recipe here but about my experience that one rainy evening in Mumbai spending some quality time with my loved ones.

Here’s to my family who taught me cook with love! Happy cooking! 😀

Coffee Speculoos Ice cream

A dinner party is a great time to dish up something new and keep the options exciting for the guests.

I usually bake cakes on such occasions. Like Julia Child quotes – “A party without a cake is just a meeting”. However this time around friends called to say they would be bringing in some cake.

I have been waiting to experiment with frozen delights for quite a while now. This summer I want to perfect the art of making granitas, ice creams and sorbets. So this is the very first recipe amongst the more to follow.

I came across this fantastic coffee ice cream recipe on Food52. I just made slight changes to the recipe and here I present my version. I lowered the cinnamon and increased the coffee content plus did add some speculoos!

My guests loved the icecream very much and honestly I did not manage to click any good pictures. We were already halfway through the icecream container when I hurriedly clicked one.

Coffee & Speculoos Icecream

Serves : 8

Ingredients
750ml heavy cream
4 tsp + 2 tsp speculoos chocolate powder to make the swirl pattern
125 ml brewed coffee
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 cans of condensed milk
1 tsp coffee powder

Pour heavy cream and condensed milk in a bowl and use electric whisk until the mixture is has started to thicken.

Coffee & Speculoos Icecream2

I wanted a really strong flavor of coffee in the icecream hence I used 3 teaspoon of Dark Roast Davidoff coffee and brewed the same. To further intensify the flavors, I added another teaspoon of the coffee powder and it sure did pack a punch!

Add cooled coffee, cinnamon, coffee and speculoos powder to the mix and whisk again until the mixture has blended well together and is super thick in consistency.

Coffee & Speculoos Icecream3

Pour in airtight container and sprinkle some speculoos powder on top. Now with help of three toothpicks held together, get swirling.

Coffee & Speculoos Icecream1

Freeze overnight and don’t be too tempted to eat spoonsful of the ice cream mixture right then!

The swirls looked lovely after the ice cream had freezed. This is a no-churn ice-cream hence does not take much time as well.

Coffee & Speculoos Icecream

Serve with a smile and see your party come alive. It was a very rewarding feeling seeing my friends smile while taking every spoonful! 🙂

Mediterranean Frittata

I hosted a brunch earlier last month for Sahil’s colleagues. Now the usual dilemma I face is that amongst my friend circle is that I am the sole vegetarian. While they enjoy the vegetarian fare I lay out, I don’t want my guests to miss their non vegetarian dishes.

So in instances like these I choose eggs, they come in handy. I am comfortable baking with eggs and hence decided to make a savoury dish for my lovely guests.

Frittata happens to be Sahil’s favorite after Spanish omelette or Shashouka hence I made these. I have these phases wherein I get obsessed with certain ingredients and simply can’t get enough out of them. Currently sundried tomatoes top this list hence I decided to give the Frittata a Mediterranean twist and added them to the mix.

It was World Baking Day yesterday and it is only right to post about something which I baked recently.

Fritatta

Yields : 12 portions

Ingredients
6 organic eggs
1/2 cup finely chopped Kalamata Olives
1/2 cup finely chopped sundried tomatoes
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
1/2 tsp white pepper powder
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese + 2tsp for garnish
Handful of feta cheese crumbled
Sea salt to taste

Preheat the oven to 175 degrees. In a mixing bowl, whisk the eggs lightly and add all the remaining ingredients.Season well.

Now to a greased muffin tray, add a spoonful of the mixture and top it with some mozzarella cheese as a garnish.

Bake for 10-15 minutes and remove them from the muffin tin. Serve immediately.

However these re-heat well also so are a good option for breakfast the day after.

Until next time, happy cooking!

Aloo Pyaaz Paratha

This post is me paying homage to my Punjabi genes. What’s more Punjabi than a butter laden Aloo Paratha ?

They also happen to be part of my favourite childhood memories. Mum used to give us different types of parathas for school lunches. This was a way my mum used to incorporate vegetables in our diet. The most common fillings were curried potatoes, carrot mint, gram flour pickle, paneer (cottage cheese), mix vegetable. I have even had lauki (bottle gourd) bhurjee paratha. Yep! that’s how creative she got once.

Quick note to self – Should share my grandma’s recipe for Lauki Bhurjee!

It’s amazing that how after all these years as a kid fussing over these and looking at these menu options as annoying. Life takes a full circle and here I am, reminiscing and longing for those same old things. How I crave these in my office lunch.

My mum has a grin on her face when I Skype her and say that I miss those methi theplas (Thin Fenugreek Flatbreads) and Gobi (Cauliflower) parathas she makes. I insist she feed me these when I go back home.

So when mum was the gobi parathas and methi thepla making queen, I found the best aloo parathas made by Bahadur Bhaiya. He is a star when it comes to making these flaky pockets of joy.

Doused with butter and relished with mango pickle and cold yoghurt, this meal is what epicurean dreams are made of. See here:

Paratha

Think I got carried away, ask any one hailing from Punjab and they would tell you how critical it is to find an eatery or a person who dishes out delicious parathas.

No trip of ours to Delhi is complete without a visit to the epic “Parathane Wali Galli” in Old Dilli. It’s a ritual me and Sahil follow religiously, we have to go to Old Dilli for a paratha breakfast.

There gorge on aloo pyaaz parathas, papad parathas (yes! there is such a thing), bedmi aloo, Daulat ki Chaat, Jalebi with Rabdi, Malai Kulfi Falooda and the works!

Ahh! Just the mere mention of these delicacies make me salivate. Let’s move on to the recipe.

Ingredients
Makes : 6 Parathas

For Stuffing:
3 potatoes boiled and mashed
1 large onion finely chopped
1 brunch spring onion stems finely chopped
Handful of finely chopped fresh coriander / mint
1 tsp carrom seeds
1 1/2 tsp anardana powder
2 green chillies finely chopped
1/2 tsp red chilly powder
2 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp freshly grated ginger (optional)
1 tsp chaat masala
Salt to taste

For Parathas:
Whole wheat dough
Canola oil for frying

For the stuffing, boil potatoes in salted water. Peel them and proceed to mash the potatoes with help of a fork once they have cooled down.

Mashed Potatoes

Add all the dry spices, onion, green chilly, coriander, mint to the mashed potatoes and mix them well.

Aloo Paratha 1

Make small balls from the rested wheat dough and roll it out on a lightly floured surface.

Aloo Paratha 2

Add the potato stuffing in the centre, seal the dough ball and flatten it out.

Aloo Paratha 3

Aloo Paratha 5

You could also use your finger tips to flatten the dough ball.

Aloo Paratha 4 5

Heat a tawa, lightly brush some oil on the surface and place the rolled out paratha on the tawa.

Cook it well on one side and flip over, brush some oil on both the sides and edges as you allow the paratha to get a even brown color.

Aloo Paratha

Serve straight from the tawa to the plate with a generous dollop of butter, mango pickle, mint chutney, pickled onions and raita.

Aloo Paratha 4

That’s how butter soaked the paratha is for husband extraordinaire Sahil.

Until next time happy cooking!