Monday, August 31, 2015

Beetroot Massala Chaas: Chakunder Ki Chaas: Indian Spiced Buttermilk

So here is the thing. I love beetroot, more because of the colour as I believe that beetroot has no particular taste and is quite bland. It is a vegetable that is less expensive and is loaded with good nutrients and that’s why I like to use it in my recipes a lot. Try this Beetroot Raita with Smoked Green Chilli or Beetroot Lassi.

Today's post is another beetroot recipe- Beetroot Chaas. It is the blend of spices with thick yogurt and grated beetroot and thus the health benefits are immense. Made with water and curd, this drink is perfect to soothe the stomach. As you drink it the cool buttermilk it tends to wash down the spices and calms an irritated stomach lining. Packed with electrolytes and lots of water, chaas is the best thing you can give your body to fight dehydration.  I have made Plain Chaas before and it is the basic recipe. This beetroot chaas was made by me 3 months back and the recipe has been lying in the drafts ever since then. Well, yes I have been really busy these days with full time hectic job and settling in the new flat- but I don’t want to complain about it at all. So let’s talk about this amazing healthy drink.

Beetroot Massala Chaas, a simple that is nutritious and has this beautiful pink colour. You can have this on a hot sunny day, after or before workout; as evening snack or just pair it with heavy lunch.  Basically this is such an easy peasy drink that I don’t know what to write here. Well, I added some dried mint leaves, homemade chaat massala and some salt but you can modify this drink as per your taste.  So here is how to make Beetroot Chaas, my way.

1 cup yogurt/dahi
2 cups cold water
4 tablespoons grated beetroot
1 teaspoon ginger juice/adrak
1 green chilli deseeded
1/2 teaspoon roasted cumin powder/bhuna jeera
Black salt to taste
1/2 teaspoon Homemade chaat massala
1 teaspoon dried mint leaves/sukha pudhina

Mix everything together in the blender Mix well till it is frothy.
Sieve the drink and serve.

If you don’t have dried mint leaves, use fresh. Just used 4-5 crushed mint leaves.
Green chilli is optional but it brings great taste.
You can use low fat or full fat yogurt.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Cheese Cookies :Eggless Indian Style Salted Cheese Biscuits

Nibbles- all time favorite thing. Easy quick and a perfect partner while watching tv, reading a book, spending some me-time or just like that. And better if it has cheese, I mean who can say no to cheese-y munchies? Cheese Cookies how does that sound? Recently when I was sent Primula Cheese to try and make some vegetarian dish out of it, I just could not wait. Within a minute I knew I wanted to bake cheese crackers. Flaky and crunchy bits of cheese- ah you getting the picture now.

Little about the Primula Cheese.

And here is how they make it:

It was sent to me in the cute cool blue colored bag, which by the way I loved. Light Cheese, Cheese with Chives and Original Cheese was in the bag. Let me tell you, I am totally enjoying these cheeses. I have had a thick layer on the toasted bread, dipped it in nachos, mixed it pastas, rolled in tortillas and I am totally hooked. I love all three so much that honestly I can’t choose a favorite one. Cheese in tubes- innovative isn’t it? Swirl it, spread it, melt it- do whatever and however you want but do try Primula Cheeses, I bet you will enjoy it to the core.

These cheese crackers are addictive and perfect for party or that happy hour time nibble. I used Primula Light Cheese and flavour it gives is earthy, oozing and perfect. I made these crackers a bit thick, more like biscuits or cookies and then paired with little drops of Chives Cheese and oh my god, it was like pair made in heaven.

1/2 cup All purpose flour/maida
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder
1 pinch black pepper powder
Salt to taste
3 tablespoons primula light cheese
Pinch baking soda
Pinch baking powder

Sieve all purpose flour, salt, red chilli powder, black pepper, baking powder and baking soda in a bowl.
Mix butter in the above bowl. Mix butter till you have bread crumbs like texture.
Mix cheese in it and form the dough. It should be medium soft dough.
Form the dough in the shape of log and cover with cling film and freeze for 1/2 hour.
Preheat the oven at 180C for 10 minutes. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Take the log out of freezer and cut in 1 inch thickness and arrange in baking sheet.
Bake for 8 minutes, flip the cookies and bake again for 8 minutes.
Cool on a wire rack.
Swirl Chives Cheese on cookies and serve.

You can use any cheese spread instead primula cheese.
Add little salt because cheese already contains salt.
You can add herbs like oregano, basil or rosemary.

Serving suggestions:
Serve with toppings such as tomatoes, olives or any veggies.
You can top these cookies with cheese, tomato or any chutney.

Disclaimer: I was not paid or told to write positive review. The post is based on my experience and is unbiased. Thanking Primula Cheese and OPR  for sending cheese  for review.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Muhammara: Red Bell Peppers and Walnut Dip: Turkish Dip: Middle Eastern Dip

A dip is the favourite thing in summer. Just have some nachos, crackers or toasted bread, serve it as starter, appetizer or a party snack. Keeping British summer in mind, I tend to change dip in my kitchen. But always a dip is needed for Friday up till the weekend. Some days are hot and then I craft quick refreshing dips like pomegranate yogurt dip, roasted kiwi dip or plain simple tomato salsa. Then there are milder windy days that need something spicy, and then I make roasted tomato dip or hot Indian garlic dip.

Today is another such day when I am sharing a spicy, hot and pungent dip. But this time it isn’t an Indian dip, it is a Turkish dip called as Muhammara. You remember my post about Turkey through my lens? It was there where I mentioned how I loved a spicy dip in Istanbul. Well, I almost forgot to search for its recipe, until one day I visited a Turkish restaurant near my house. I knew I had to make this at home pretty soon.

I tried to make it as authentic as possible without putting in my Indian brain and I was not disappointed. Anyone who loves spicy food will love this dip undoubtedly. It gets smoked taste from roasted bell peppers, crunch from walnuts and creamy texture from olive oil-over all it has everything you need in a dip. Forget hummus and chutney, give this dip a try and bring a little turkey in your home.

Author: Shweta Agrawal
Cuisine: Turkish, Middle Eastern
Serves: 4

4 large red bell peppers
2 sliced of bread
1/4 cup walnuts
2 whole dry red chillies
1 tomato chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil +2 tablespoons more
1 clove garlic
1/4 teaspoon cumin powder
1/4 teaspoon red chilli flakes
1 teaspoon sesame seeds to garnish (optional)

  1. Ground walnuts in the grinder into fine paste.
  2. Soak red chillies in water for atleast 1 hour.
  3. Preheat the oven to 220C/430F. Arrange the peppers on a large baking tray and let roast for 30 min, or until the peppers’ skin get covered with occasional black spots. Set aside to cool. When the peppers are cool enough to handle, remove the stems along with the seeds and peel off the skins.
  4. Put everything together in the blender or grinder or food processor and blend into smooth paste.
  5. Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a pan. Add blended paste in it. Mix for 2 minutes on medium heat.
  6. Serve with sprinkle on sesame seeds.

You can use ground walnuts as well.
This is a spicy dip, if you want to make it milder skip whole dry red chilies or chilli flakes.

Serving suggestions:
Serve with nachos, chips or crackers.
Ideally it is served with warm pita bread.
I served it with black olive focaccia. Will go well with any roasted bread.
Can be used as spread for sandwiches, wraps and pita pockets.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Aloo Gobi

Aloo Gobi or Cauliflower Potatoes Curry is a very popular Indian vegetarian side dish. No matter which of India you come from, I am sure there is a version to make this dish. South Indians like to throw in some curry leaves and coconut.  Bengalis like to use whole spices and mustard oil. Up in the north it is made using lot of garlic and tomato paste. In the western India it is more like an everyday curry made with simple steps.

Cauliflower also known as gobi, gobhi, phool gobi or fool gobi is a beautiful vegetable and my personal favourite. Enjoyed cooked or raw, cauliflower is a great addition to one’s healthy diet; it is affordable and is available year round. Cauliflower is an excellent source of vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, pantothenic acid, and vitamin B6. It is a very good source of choline, dietary fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, manganese, phosphorus, and biotin. Additionally, it is a good source of vitamin B2, protein, vitamin B1, niacin, and magnesium. Above everything it is not a boring vegetable like greens.

Looking for more cauliflower recipes? Check these out:

If you have ever searched for Aloo Gobi recipe, you would know there are hundred ways of making it and no one way is right of wrong. You can make it simple with minimal spices or make it very rich with whole spices. Today I share how to make Restaurant Style Aloo Gobi
Restaurant style curry is like a royal treatment given to a simple everyday curry. In it go whole spices and lots of patience. Cooked in slow heat where every spice penetrates its flavour in the cauliflower florets and potato chunks. Stop worrying about the steps listed in the recipe and just try this version because it is super easy and in the end all the efforts are worth it.

If you have made this before and you ended up with mushy curry just keep these things in your mind.
  • Cook cauliflower and potatoes before till they are half done.
  • Cook on low heat.
  • Never cover the pan. Let the steam out.
  • Do not add in water.
  • Mix salt in the end.
  • Stir with wooden spoon with light hands.

Author: Shweta Agrawal
Cuisine: Indian, Punjabi
Serves: 2-3

2 medium potatoes/aloo sliced
1 medium cauliflower/gobi cut into florets
1 tomato chopped
1 onion finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds/jeera
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds/rai
1 teaspoon minced or grated garlic
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder/haldi
1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder/lal mirch
1/2 teaspoon coriander powder/dhaniya
1/4 teaspoon garam massala
1 teaspoon lemon juice (see notes)
4 tablespoons oil
1 tablespoon ghee (optional)
5-8 tablespoon coriander leaves chopped
Salt to taste

Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a pan and cook cauliflower florets. Cook on low heat till they are half done. Empty the pan and set aside cauliflower.
Heat 1 tablespoons of oil again in the same pan and cook potatoes till they are half done. Empty the pan and set aside potatoes.
Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in the pan. Add cumin and mustard seeds, let it crackle.
Add in garlic and cook for 10 seconds. Add chopped onion and cook till onion gets soft.
Mix in chopped tomato, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, coriander powder and garam massala. Cover and cook till tomato becomes mushy.
In it add lemon juice. Also mix in cauliflower and potatoes. Stir lightly and cook on low heat. Cook for 10 minutes. Keep stirring after every 3 minutes. Cook till potatoes and cauliflower is done.
Add coriander leaves and ghee. Serve.

Add amchoor powder (dry mango powder) instead of lemon juice.
Adding ghee in the end adds in great flavour and aroma. Ghee is clarified butter available in any Indian grocery store. I used
You can make it without garlic and onions as well.

Serving suggestions:
Serve with any Indian bread.
Serve as side with lentils and rice.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Cheese Carrot Chilli Sandwiches: Guest Post

Long time back Rafeeda who blogs at The Big Sweet Tooth invited me to be her guest, I just couldn't say no. She has been a guest at her my blog before with her Vegetable Biryani. I have been so busy with my new job that I dont get time to visit any blogger friends but she is a working mom and still manages to visit everyone's blog and leave comments. Kudos to you Rafi.

Good Food: Good Friends: Good Life. Finger food or nibbles always reminds me of friendship, chats and gossips. That’s why I decided to share a sandwich recipe for her blog.

Cheese Chilli Carrot Sandwiches are cheesy, spicy and crunchy. Imagine dollops of cheese, hot green chilies and grated crunchy bits of carrots lay between bread slices –oh yes insanely delicious. Finally, grilled on a pan till crisp and golden on outside and oozing melting cheese from inside –perfect.

For those of you want to see the detailed recipe and notes-click to Rafi’s page.