Saturday, January 30, 2010

My New Book - Lots of Inspiration!

Have I told you about my fetish for books? Well, I'm easily smitten by craft books or food books that have these beautiful, colourful photographs. How I love flipping through the pages and marvelling at the colours and composition! I admire beautiful things - pretty stationery, interesting home decor, books, shoes...
I have quite a large collection of craft books as it once used to be my fancy. I would simply buy anything that made my eyes twinkle with admiration (and make M's eyes roll in exasperation!). I'm still that excited girl when I'm in a book store and M knows me now :) And that's exactly why he smiled and said 'okay' when I held up a book at him and gave him that familiar 'can I please?' smile. It's a book on Indian food and has gorgeous, gorgeous pictures, I love it! (I'd seen it at my cousin's before and had it in mind). Anyways, it's called 'the food of india' and is by Murdoch Books. Here, take a lil peek at it - 


It has a really good collection of recipes and most importantly, awesome food photography...



There are also some interesting and quaint little shots of people and places all over India. I'm surely gonna try most of the recipes and will be back soon with some to share with you :)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Spinach 'n' Onion Frittata

This is great for a lazy Sunday breakfast or as a quick back-from-work snack. M loves this :) It's very easy and can be dished up in a jiffy. The best part about a frittata is that you can improvise with almost anything at hand. Like when I made this, I only had frozen cubes of spinach and half an onion. Lucky me, it turned out that good!

Here's what you need - 

3 eggs - this should be enough for two I guess, but since I'm not a big fan of eggs, M was more than happy to give in to gluttony, hehehe.

sliced onion - again this depends on how much you want. Half a cup should be plenty.

finely chopped spinach - I used one frozen cube

1 clove of garlic, crushed

1 tspn cheese (any kind really, grated or crumbled) This is optional, the frittata will still turn out good without it.

1/4 tspn red chilli flakes

salt, pepper and any dried herbs to taste - I used about 1/4 tspn dried basil

Method - 

Heat a pan/griddle and lightly spray it with oil or butter.
Throw in the crushed garlic and the red chilli flakes and toss around till the flavours are released.
Put in the sliced onion and saute until slightly brown.

Meanwhile, in a bowl, whisk together the eggs, cheese, spinach, basil, salt and pepper.
Pour the egg mixture into the pan and cook on medium heat. Use a spatula and move the mixture around lightly.
Once settled, turn the heat down, cover and cook for about 5-6 minutes.
The frittata will have risen and will be soft and fluffy. Flip it over and cook the other side for about a minute or so.
Slide into a plate and serve warm with tomato or chilli sauce.

This recipe is very very flexible. You could use some mushrooms, potato, zucchini, etc.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Spicy whole Moong Fritters

My latest agenda is to utilise all but a few basics from my pantry. The reason for this drastic measure is that I'll be going to India soon (yay!) and I want only the bare essentials in stock till I'm back. That way M will be spared the following dramatic scene: 
(think Indian soap opera background music!)

M opens the kitchen cabinets reluctantly to make some 'simple daal' as I would've coaxed him to. He gasps in exasperation at the twenty something jars of lentils and other condiments. Then, muttering some incomprehensible things under his breath, he reaches for the nearest jar and starts the daal cooking process with what seems like, any, lentil (psst! insider information: it's urad daal!!!). 
Well, I think I can safely leave the rest of the scene to your imagination :)
So, I was saying...I'm looking at cooking with 'whatever-is-in-my-cabinets' at this point. I found a tall Tupperware canister, half full with green whole moong. So, robotically, I washed and soaked it, confident that I would have thought of something by morning. And I did! I made these crispy, spicy vades (deep fried lentil fritters).


Heres' what you need - 

2 cups whole green moong (hesarukaalu) soaked overnight
1/4 cup cornflour or rice flour
3 green chillies (increase or decrease according to your taste)
a small chunk of ginger
a handful of fresh coriander
1/2 tspn whole cumin (jeera)
1 small onion, finely chopped
a pinch of hing (asafotieda) and turmeric 
salt to tatse

Grind soaked moong, chillies, ginger, coriander and cumin to a coarse mixture. (use little or no water)
Transfer into a mixing bowl and add cornflour/rice flour, chopped onion, hing, turmeric and salt and give it a good mix.

Heat oil in a wok. 
Scoop out about a spooonful of the moong mixture with your fingers. Flatten it into a sort of patty using your thumb and forefingers before dropping it into hot oil.

Fry until light brown and crisp. Now, you need to be patient with these. You want them crunchy and crisp on the outside and fluffy and well cooked on the inside, so you need to fry them on medium flame.

If you are the type who'd tch!tch! at the deep frying bit, you could even pan fry them on a skillet with a fraction of the oil :)

So, I'm gonna take off now and continue my jars 'n' bottles scouring mission. Will be back soon with some more 'must-finish-somehow' recipes!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Culinary Adventures in California: #1

Amidst all the fun and excitement on our holiday was food, glorious food! There were so many great places we ate at and some we simply loved. One such place was The Cheesecake Factory.
Food: Great
Ambiance: Great
Dessert: My Oh My! Cheesecake galore! Yummmmy!

We had avocado egg rolls for entrees, was so good. The bread and dips were so good too that I didn't have much room left for mains. I tried the soup and salad combo and it was awesome. And then, the chance to get into cheesecake heaven! So many different ones to choose from and the cheesecake fan that I am, I wanted to have some of everything, then, we settled for a slice of the classic cheesecake and a butter pecan. So so good :)

Sunday, January 3, 2010

I'm back!

Hey there! Happy New Year!
We're back from our wonderful and memorable holiday in California. We had a great time! There's a lot I want to share about the food we tried there. Will tell you more about it in my next few posts.

This new year, I want to stay fit and eat healthy. So wish me luck :)

Will be back soon.


Blog Widget by LinkWithin