Radish Beans Salad / Mongra Salad

Radish Beans Salad / Mongra Salad

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Summers are on while the spring is rapidly vanishing alongwith my veggie greens. So while it’s the time to bring in the beans and gourds in the garden, it’s the time for final harvesting of lettuce, radish etc. some of which have been purposely allowed to bolt. After the radish bolts into white flowers, they develop small beans or pods which are extremely yummy and pungent if harvested in proper time.

This salad is prepared with a handful of radish beans, some green chickpeas, some freshly harvested beetroot and some lettuce. It is so refreshing while I am dug up in my subjects and keeps my burning tummy cool and healthy. Very similar in yumm quotient as the sassy egg chaat which I shared sometime back. I have it for breakfast as well as a 4 pm meal and I bet you will not miss trying it at least once since it’s so simple. So read on, try on and party on 🙂 !!

 

…need to know (food details)

  • Number of people served : 1 to 2
  • Preparation time : 5 minutes max.

….and we need (ingredients)

  • Radish Beans, Mongra, 1 cupful : Regular radish plants bolts after the root has ripened (i.e. it grows buds and generates flowers). These flowers then falls off giving way to the beans or pods (hindi : mongra). While it is cooked in dishes as a pungent veggie, I enjoy it well in my salad.
  • Beetroot, 2 average sized, 3/4th cup : High in fiber, Vitamin C and manganese to help in immunity, bones, liver, kidney etc. We harvest a decent amount of beet from tubs and sacks in our garden every year. We use the leaves and the stalks as well besides the meaty root.
  • Lettuce, Loose leaves, 1 plateful : Lettuce is amazing in summers (though hard to find in this season). It’s so hot in Delhi in summers that all my lettuce dries up (if any is left) by early march itself. It has over 90% water and very low fiber. It gives us Vitamin C, potassium, calcium to us adding the mild peppery and crunchy flavor to the salad.
  • Green Chickpeas, 1 cupful : Green chickpea is less available as against it’s dried counterpart which  is a rather popular pulse in Indian kitchens. However, if you can get hold of green chickpeas you have better than peas fresh ones at hand. Raw, crunchy, and high in proteins, fibers and folate and anti-oxidants you would supplement them for peas any good day. 
  • Chaat Masala, 1 teaspoon : Again, one of the most popular Indian seasoning for salads etc. Chat masala is typically made by dry grinding coriander seeds, cumin, carom seeds, rock salt, mint, mango powder and a few other things. Again, besides all the digestive and other heath benefits, the chat masala brings in the ‘Xing’ factor.
  • Salt to taste : Regular table salt would do in this.
  • Lime juice, 1 teaspoon : Sour and acidic, with a good amount of citric acid, we add lemon here not just to enhance the sour essence but also to use it’s hydrating and digestive qualities.

….time to cook ‘n roll (preparing instructions)

  • Get a large light bowl. Large to make space for all veggies and light, so it allows sufficient tossing.
  • Line up the bowl with lettuce and sprinkle salt across.
  • Add the veggies, mix them (beet, chopped in 1/2 inch cubes, radish beans and the green chickpeas) and toss them in the bowl.
  • Squeeze the lemon juice and sprinkle the chaat masala. Toss the salad well to your satisfaction.
  • There you go !!

Storage : Please do not. It looses the crunch .

Missing Something ? : You can grate some mild pepper like jalapeno if you so seek.

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Pinwheel Tiffins (Apple, Beetroot, Carrot Pinwheels)

Pinwheel Tiffins (Apple, Beetroot, Carrot Pinwheels)

Thanx a lot for the tremendous support  this wonderful new initiative from my loved one. Do check this out too and follow, there will surely be great posts rolling here .. 

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I have always admired the wisdom of the traditional homemakers due to their practical ability to churn out the right dishes for the right moods and within the handful of ingredients in the kitchen. They are the real goto folks who spare not a thought before getting their hands moving and with a confident smile on their faces clearly projecting “I know whatsup and I’ll take good care”. 

This little snack has been a treat for many a parties, gatherings and tea sittings and has never failed to win an applause. These are so quick and simple to prepare that you can almost make them while having tea with your guests. It uses the intrinsic flavors of the core ingredients and allows them to blend with any herb that can be dry mixed with it. These look so much like the Tricolor Tiffins  which I made earlier. Read on and have a great tea time snack recipe or a kids tiffin recipe ready !!

 

…need to know (food details)

  • Number of people served : 4 to 5 pinwheels each !!
  • Preparation time : 15 minutes max.

….and we need (ingredients)

  • Carrot, grated, 1 cupful : Carrots are high source of iron and anti oxidants and have sweet and earthy flavor . Color of the carrots do not matter here. Just don’t let them be black ones.
  • Cheese, grated, 1/3rd cup : With all the calcium and protein benefits, cheese here is added for it’s creamy texture and nutty essence.
  • Table salt : Keep it low. I suggest less than a pinch per pinwheel. This would enhance the flavor of other seasoning.
  • Pepper, ground : Good proportion of salt and pepper are great anti oxidants too.
  • Oregano, dried : With .Bitter and pungent oregano is a great antioxidant and hence should be added to fried food. It also has anti fungal and antibacterial qualities. Interestingly, oregano when dried dose’nt loose much essence. 
  • Bread slices, 6 to 8 : No specific reason why I chose wheat bread. It’s just the one that we use at our place and that was what I had with me then. BTW, wheat bead is said to have all the great nourishment of  whole wheat like fiber, protein, antioxidants and iron.

….time to cook ‘n roll (preparing instructions)

  • Combine the grated apple/ carrot/ beetroot with salt and keep aside overnight in a fridge. This will make the grated mix shed water which can then be squeezed off and drained.
  • To the squeezed off grated mix, add the dried herb/ oregano.
  • Trim the bread slices by their edges. Now roll them hard using a rolling pin such that it becomes a thin yet single pieces. Meaning, that single bread slices should not be broken while rolling.
  • Now spread the grated cheese on this slice well to cover.
  • Lay out and spread the grated mix on this slice well.
  • Pick up one length of the slice and start rolling tightly. Some surplus mix might falls off. Let it fall.
  • Once these slices have been rolled you may pin them with tooth picks to keep them together and prevent them from opening and falling apart.
  • If your slices are big then you may want to chop the pinwheels into smaller width ones.
  •  Enjoy !!

Storage : Nil . The bread will get stale if kept longer than an hour.

Missing Something ? : You may add dried parsley to the grated mix.

Cobia in Celery & Tangerine Butter

Cobia in Celery & Tangerine Butter

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Since long have I fancied using these pretty looking citrus fruits in my kitchen. Tangerines have often been relegated to dish washing levels only in my household. So I tend to leave them alone on their twigs, at least they sit pretty like little round perennial flowers.

This is my attempt to conjure a fillet recipe with handful of my garden harvest in late winters. You will have to cook it and enjoy it to believe in it’s amazing lingering taste. Happy Cooking !!

….need to know (food details)

  • Number of people served : 2 will do.
  • Preparation time : 20 minutes.
  • Serving size : 1 to 2 fillet each.

….and we need (ingredients)

  • Cobia (motha) fillet, 500 grams : This is a delicious fish indeed however (like most marine fishes) has a lot of mercury content hence moderate offering to kids is suggested. It is a pleasure to eat since it has little or no bones and just one central bone running across like surmai. It is white and flaky and good for fillets since it’s not very oily. Cobia is rich in Omega 3, vitamins and minerals.
  • Sea Salt, 1/2 teaspoon : Use coarse sea salt for authenticity and it’s minerals.
  • Table Butter, 1 tablespoon : Regular table butter would be in this.
  • Tangerines, 8 to 10 : A tangerine is a hybrid between orange and a mandarin. But I guess the poor guy never really took off in size 🙂 . But it is high in Vitamin C and is great for skin and fighting arthritis and healing cuts and bruises. They look very pretty since even a potted one can give loads of fruits in winters and a grounded one gives scores of them in season.
  • Celery, small bunch of about 100 grams : I grow celery for around 5 months in a year and they grow well in tubs, bags and small planters. They have one of the healthiest foliage & excellent antioxidant. It gives good bitter pungency to the stock. 
  • Sesame Oil, 1 teaspoon : Sesame improves blood pressure, burns fats and is a good source of iron. It enhances the nutty flavor in the dish.

….time to cook ‘n roll (preparing instructions)

  • Harvest some tangerines. Must be all orange and ripened. Peel off and squeeze juice into a small bowl. Seeds are large and the fruit is small. DO NOT get frustrated with your attempts 🙂  .
  • Melt the butter and mix the tangerine juice in it well.
  • Lay the cobia fillets in an aluminium foil.
  • Drench the fillet very well with the tangy butter mix now. If required then poke and puncture the fillets with a fork well to make the butter go well inside the fish.
  • Wash well and chop the celery in 1 inch stalks and sprinkle over the fillets. The butter will make them stick on.
  • Cover wrap the fillets with aluminium foil.
  • Heat the sesame oil in a non stick pan and heat on medium flame till it starts fuming.
  • Place the fillets (wrapped in foil) in it and cook covered for 15 minutes turning twice thrice.
  • Serve hot and steaming.

Storage : You cannot store them, they’ll loose their texture !

Missing Something ? : You can serve some rinds alongwith the fillets. They’ll add to the tangy essence !!

Broccoli Stalks Pesto Dip

Broccoli Stalks Pesto Dip

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I have always confessed the satisfaction of preparing ketchups, dips, pickles etc. since they make flavors last beyond their seasons and last several treats as well. . This one is slightly different from the Basil Pesto I shared earlier by way of the green dominance of broccoli stems/stalks. This is a uniqueness that I am proud to preserve (i.e. the broccoli stems). Recall the recipe of Cream of Celery Broccoli Stalks . Here, I just use the same power packed, nutritious stems of broccoli to prepare this fritter (pakora) accompaniment common at our place, just like the ajwain chutney recipe. Read on and enjoy the treat !!

…need to know (food details)

  • Number of people served : dip along and dip a long !!
  • Preparation time : 15 minutes max.

….and we need (ingredients)

  • Basil, sweet or Thai, 3 cupfuls : In this I used sweet or Genovese basil leaves which I pluck-wash at my garden. Basil is the “King of Herbs” for many reasons. It is a strong anti oxidant. It fights virus, bacteria and other microbes in the body. I grow 4 to 5 types of basil in my garden and am always looking for new things to do with it.
  • Olive Oil, 1/3rd cup : Keep the oil light so as not to interfere with the flavor of your dish either in odor or in taste. Besides, olive oil is a great antioxidant, anti inflammatory, is good for heart and weight management.
  • Garlic, minced, 1 teaspoon : You will hardly find any of my recipes missing garlic. Pungency is the reason why we use this allicin rich clove which combats sickness and common cold.
  • Pink Salt, 3/4th teaspoon : I prefer coarse Himalayan pink salt here since it is extremely healthy.
  • Cheese cube, 100 grams : With all the calcium and protein benefits, cheese here is added for it’s creamy texture and nutty essence.
  • Walnuts, 1/2 cup : Walnuts have a good amount of good fats called polyunsaturated fats or PUFA. They have Omega 3 and decent amount of minerals like iron, zinc, calcium and Vitamins like E & B loaded in them. In taste they add a distinct earthiness and nutty essence.
  • Broccoli stems, shaved, 250 grams : Broccoli’s health benefits and earthy flavors are amazing, esp. for kids. I use a rather peculier portion of the plant. The stems. I use the insides of the soft broccoli stems by peeling off the hard outer skin. It tastes like cucumber. you may also use it in salads and many other preparations.

….time to cook ‘n roll (preparing instructions)

  • Wash well and break the basil. Breaking works better than chopping the basil. Chopping is said to be detrimental to the flavor.
  • Wash and dry the walnuts since they are quite dusty when fresh.
  • Grate the cheese and mix with olive oil loosely.
  • Shave off the broccoli stems using only the inner less fibrous meaty part. It would seem quite like a cucumber.
  • Now add all ingredients in a kitchen grinder and make a paste of it. I would prefer not to add water to loosen it to your requirement, instead ad 1 teaspoon of olive oil.
  •  There you are !!

Storage : Good for storage for upto 3 months at optimum temperature .

Missing Something ? : You can replace the walnuts for groundnuts and even better with pine nuts for max authenticity.

Neem Begun

Neem Begun / Neem Eggplant

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I am sharing this one which I cook in guilt only. Reason being, it is a bitter veggie and most would not understand as to why this should be made at all. But bitter can be tasty as well, right ! Think of so many things which make bitter an edible flavor. The story of this vegetable lies in the state of Bengal where I believe every 4th vegetable is an eggplant 🙂 .  Soft, new, near fluorescent leaves of the neem tree are used for this since they are yet edible.

The neem is a must found plant in any home in India that has a garden. It falls under the category of Tulsi, Curry patta etc. in terms of existence, character and virtue. Eggplant or the Brinjal is such a delicious veggie too. I grow at least 4 different types in my garden and enjoy them throughout the year. Remember this snack that is really popular in my house, the Eggplant Chops !

I am guilty of cooking this one since my kid obviously would never eat it 🙂 , but this is a loaded with nutrition dish. Try out, but only with your mature taste buds !!

…need to know (food details)

  • Number of people served : 2 tablespoon per person would be a good serving
  • Preparation time : 20 minutes max.

….and we need (ingredients)

  • Eggplants / Brinjal / Begun chopped, for this dish I prefer long ones with thin tall slices, 3 brinjals : I  Eggplant or aubergine or brinjal or “begun” as the bengalis would refer to it (this being a bengali dish) is extremely rich in fiber, Vitamin C, potassium and help in liver health, blood cholesterol, heart health and many others. As already stated, I love growing this hardy plant all across the sunny portion of my garden though the white flies trouble me a lot. It is mildly bitter in taste which fades after cooking and the texture is interestingly spongy !
  • Mint sprigs, 1/4th cup or 3 tablespoons when chopped : Mint is chopped well from our garden since they are extremely easy to grow. They are slightly bitter and sour with an umami essence. It is great for digestion and is a great anti oxidant.
  • Neem leaves, broken, fresh 1 tablespoon: The virtues of neem are not a few but a list. It is wonderful for skin, hair, blood, ulcers, stomach, teeth and gums and getting rid of intestinal worms. Though neem is one of the most bitter edibles in the garden yet the new leaves that we harvest here are a bit better with extremely mild sweetness embellished in the otherwise first layer of bitterness. Not for kids though !
  • Red chili powder, 1/2 teaspoon : Red chili powder has a sharper, earthier essence then the fresh green ones. It is a good source of Vitamin C, A and E hence beneficial for skin and hair.
  • Turmeric powder, 1/3rd teaspoon : Turmeric gives a great orange color and a mild bitter taste to the pickle here. It is a wonderful antioxidant and anti inflammatory. I grow them in tubs in my backyard. They test your patience coming up, but they are amazingly pretty as a plant.
  • Salt, to taste, use simple table salt here : Bitter Regular table salt works best here. So regular treated and mineral controlled it is.

….time to cook ‘n roll (preparing instructions)

  • Wash the brinjals well and slice them along the length, as in the picture.
  • Mix the turmeric powder, the red chili powder, the salt and 1 teaspoon mustard oil.
  • Coat the eggplant slices with this mix paste.
  • Now heat a teaspoon of mustard oil in the pan.
  • When it starts evaporating, add the chopped neem leaves and the chopped mint leaves and stir for 30 seconds on medium flame.
  • To this add the sliced and spiced brinjal and stir well so as to mix with the sauteed leaves.
  • Add 4-5 tablespoons of water and cook while stirring for  5 to 8 minutes till your required stage of cooking is reached.
  • Now take off the flame and serve hot garnished with some more chopped mint leaves. There you are !!

Storage : You’ll either love it enough to gobble it immediately or you wont appreciate the bitterness and wouldn’t want to store anyways 🙂 .

Missing Something ? : Some mild ground mustard paste can be used in the marinate.

Beet Stalks Pickle With Ginger Garlic

Beet Stalks Pickle With Ginger Garlic / Chukandar Ka Achaar

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This one is another of my indigenous garden to kitchen experiments that created the “MCMH Original Recipe” . Read on and try to believe it. You know that I am an avid gardner too. The effort that takes to create vegetables and flowers out of dry seeds is only next to parenting a child. So when it’s the time for fruitation, you would want your produce to be used to it’s maximum and respect every element edible or otherwise usable. This is exactly what made me use beet stalks in many ways. remember the beet stalk fries

Do try this one and I promise you’ll stand out unique when you discuss about it in a group. Enjoy !

…need to know (food details)

  • Number of people served : Several happy lip smacking faces 🙂
  • Preparation time : 15 minutes max.

….and we need (ingredients)

  • Beet Stalks (stalks + leaves) chopped, 2 cups : Amazing earthly tasting veggie with high level of immunity boosting Vitamin C and with other benefits to bones, liver, kidneys etc. So what are the stalks that i use here. Pluck a beetroot plant off the ground. Most popularly used is the bulbous root, then there are the leaves which are a great alternative to spinach. Finally there are 1/4th to 1/2 inch thick stems which may vary from 4 to 7 inches in length which lie between the root and the leaves. I am using that here. I know we use to throw them away forever long back as we knew. But it is the healthiest and tastiest part of the plant as i have discovered. 
  • Garlic chopped, 1/2 cup : You will hardly find any of my recipes missing garlic. Pungency is the reason why we use this allicin rich clove which combats sickness and common cold.
  • Green Chilies, 3-4 large, slit & deseeded : Fresh green chilies from my garden add to the fresh heat and mild bitter component while adding benefits of eyes and skin.
  • Coarse Salt, 1 tablespoon : Use a rough pink salt, it is a good sodium and magnesium provider. Also aids in digestion and dissolution of food particles.
  • Peppercorns, 1/2 teaspoon : Hot and mildly pungent, black pepper is good for digestion, skin, respiration and is a good antioxidant too. On tables across the world salt n pepper are partners in relation.
  • Yellow Mustard Seeds, 1 teaspoon : Mustard tastes from sweet to sour, bitter to steaming hot. But it’s great for digestion and respiration and strengthens bones and teeth. I use it here for the bitter sour essence.
  • Cloves, 4 to 5 : Cloves is extremely beneficial for it being anti cancer, anti diabetic, pain killing and breath cleansing properties. It has a distinct pungent, bitter essence.
  • Bay Leaf, 2 : Bay leaf is great for joints and skin and are packed with Vitamin A & C and many other minerals like iron, potassium and manganese. They are pungent and bitter in taste. I grow bay leaves in my garden so I can tell you that the fresh ones and dried ones are quite different. Use the dried ones only please. Bay leaves can grow into small trees giving lifetime supply 🙂
  • Star Anise, 1 : It has a strong licorice essence and helps in digestion.
  • Red Chili Powder, 1/2 teaspoon : Dried red chilies have a sharper, earthier essence then the fresh green ones. They are a good source of Vitamin C, A and E hence beneficial for skin and hair.
  • Vinegar, White, 1/2 cup : Vinegar preserves the flavors in my dishes very well, so I don’t mind frequenting it. Prime reason for it’s preservative qualities are the amounts of acetic acid and anti bacterial present in it. And yes of course, the sour essence is brought out very well with vinegar. It is an amazing preservative.
  • Heeng, Asafoetida, 1 pinch : Heeng controls blood flow and sugar level and further adds pungency.
  • Jaggery, 100 grams : Jaggery is an amazing anti oxidant and helps the body fight against infections. It is like a buttery liquid sugar and is good to mix in food in powder or liquid forms.

….time to cook ‘n roll (preparing instructions)

  • In a hard bottomed pan or a skillet, heat the Jaggery Vinegar and 1/2 teaspoon Salt and cook for 3 minutes on medium till it gets dissolved into a solution. You may take a couple of more minutes if required. Now set this aside for cooling.
  • Now in another pan, heat some oil (2 tablespoon of any vegetable oil would do).
  • Add 1/2 teaspoon salt and mustard to it on medium. Stir till it sputters.
  • Add veggies to it one by one starting with chilies and cook for 2 progressive minute each.
  • Add all the dry and whole spices now and cook till the spices are well immersed.
  • Now set down and bottle once cold.
  • In this bottle, now pour the vinegar solution made earlier.
  • Secure the bottle cap well and shake hard to mix everything inside well.
  • Place this bottle in sun for 10 days to sun bake well, while remembering to shake it before every sunbath 🙂
  • You have your most unique pickle ready !

Storage : You can enjoy this for around 12 months for sure, if you do not gobble it all before so.

Missing Something ? : You may add some whole curry leaves to the pickle to give an amazing South Indian recall.

Cheesy Island Floats

Cheesy Island Floats

This one was long overdue. One of the most exciting moments for me was when a couple of years ago, my kiddo decided that he wanted to make some treat by his own for his visiting friends. Believe me, this little treat when offered by him to me was the tastiest morsel that I could ever have had. The magical ingredient ( aka LOVE ) was oozing from this. His creativity went beyond the dish or the recipe, it went as far as naming his dish too. He named it the Cheesy Island Floats since they certainly looked so. Read on, be inspired and enjoy !!!

…need to know (food details)

  • Number of people served : Amongst a bunch of hungry kids, No Limits 🙂
  • Preparation time : 10 minutes

….and we need (ingredients)

  • Mozzarella cheese, 1 tablespoon : Soft and creamy, mozzarella is a hit with the kids. It is high in calcium hence great for the bones of kids.
  • Sweet corn kernels, 2 tablespoon : Rich with iron, folic acid, vitamin b12 etc. sweet corn kernels are great for women and kids and generally beneficial in diabetes, energy and vision. Monsoons are a great time to make your kids have a lot of kernels in any form. I grow baby corns which start giving cobs just before monsoons and till late falls. 
  • Tomato pulp, 2 tablespoon : Wonderful anti oxidant and full of beta carotene, tomatoes are amazing and tangy and the favorites of kids. These too come from my garden 🙂 , so easy peasy to use.
  • Coriander sprigs, with soft stems, 8 – 10 : Rich with iron, manganese, magnesium and fiber, coriander has a sweet orangey zest. Kids love this garnishing too.
  • Monaco salted biscuits, 6 to 8 : A very popular salty biscuit which is omni present at our place 🙂

….time to cook ‘n roll (preparing instructions)

  • Mash and mix tomato pulp, sweet corn kernels and the cheese. Heat mildly and cook if you want for 2 mins on medium flame.
  • Allow it to cool then spread generously over the single biscuits in a row.
  • Top these with another biscuit to form crispy small sandwiches.
  • Punch the coriander sprigs within the upright biscuit sandwiches to make them appear like small round islands with a groove of trees over it.
  • Do not wait. Serve quickly and enjoy !!

Storage : No way Jose 🙂

Missing Something ? : Change your cheese, add some pepper. This is an Original MCMH Treat 😀  !!

Tricolor Tiffins

Tricolor Tifins

The Tuesday was busy with business squabbles. Works were stuck, moods were clogged and then came a time one realized that tomorrow was Independence Day. Must be some little treat to match the moods. Then I came across some wonderful Independence Day treats that my fellow bloggers had created that I was extremely impressed. and just couldn’t sit back.SO I dug into the kitchen cabinets to check out all that I could lay my hands upon and lo behold ! I have in platter some great treat for all within a jiffy. Do try and enjoy 😀

…need to know (food details)

  • Number of people served : 3 to 4
  • Preparation time : 15 minutes
  • Serving size : 2 to three rolls each

….and we need (ingredients)

  • Wheat bread slices, 4 :  No specific reason why I chose wheat bread. It’s just the one that we use at our place and that was what I had with me then. BTW, wheat bead is said to have all the great nourishment of  whole wheat like fiber, protein, antioxidants and iron.
  • Crude pesto : You would say, NOW ! thats not an ingredient. But look ! I’m not really selling a recipe here, it’s a treat snack for the JIT (Just In Time) moment. I prepared this by just blending 2 cups lime basil from my garden with crushed mixed nuts, 5 cloves of garlic with 2 cubes of cheese in 2 teaspoon of olive oil.
  • Flax seed chutney : It’s a more or less of a fixed condiment in my refrigerator now. Recall my recipe for this yummy and healthy chutney. Click here

….time to cook ‘n roll (preparing instructions)

  • Cut off the edges of the bread slices. I never liked them anyways 🙂
  • Roll them hard with a rolling pin into 2 mm thick slices. If they are crispy, I suggest you move them in the microwave for 15 seconds. If they are crisp, they will crack either while rolling or while serving.
  • On one slice spread the flax seed chutney well.
  • On the other slice, spread the pesto dip.
  • Place one atop the other such that there is a layer of bread between both spreads.
  • Now roll them into tight rolls.
  • Now you a long roll with you. Chop it into 1 inch or 2 inch smaller rolls and serve with tea. Be appreciated 😀

Storage : You can store for 1 heating (if they manage to escape the treat 🙂 )

Missing Something ? : Try putting some dried oregano as a outer seasoning. Will seem good. Also, you may add red chili powder to the flax seeds chutney.

Chicken with Grilled Fruits (Apple, Leek & Asparagus)

Chicken with Grilled Fruits (Apple, Leek & Asparagus)

Sometimes you end up making great mistakes. I once kept cut fruits in the microwave to prevent them from attracting flies while made my tea. Then the doorbell rang and I forgot all about the fruits. In 15 minutes, by stroke of chances, I ended up grilling the cut fruits in the oven. These were some pineapple and pear cubes. A few minutes of grilling gave such surprisingly lip smacking results that I made it up in my mind to do regularly with dishes. Here, I grilled up some cut apples and asparagus alongwith my homegrown leeks. The grilled fruits completely took over the fragrance and flavor of the chicken. Do try and enjoy 🙂  !!

 

….need to know (food details)

  • Number of people served : 2 to 3
  • Preparation time : 25 minutes

….and we need (ingredients)

  • Chicken pieces, 1/3rd chicken, would be around 400 grams : I spent a good amount of my time in Punjab state. Chicken is the prime meal most of the time there. I had an instance, when said that I did’nt want to have non veg on a specific day, and abrupt came the reply from my host then, that it’s not no veg – “It’s just chicken” 😀  . Chicken obviously is a popular white meat loaded with nutrition especially proteins. 
  • Apple cubes, shaved, from 1 apple : Apple or pear any one can be used here. They have similar tastes on cooking, have similar prebiotic benefits and high iron content. 
  • Leek, 1/2 inch pieces of 1 full leek : I grow leek in my garden. It grows super easily in any garden and requires minimum taking care. They are milder and more flavored than an onion. It is also very healthy for blood vessels, bones, heart, digestion, vision etc. I am always inclined to use leek for the sweetness instead of red onions and also the leaves of these leeks. 
  • Vegetable oil, 1 tablespoon + enough for cooking : Use any vegetable oil. We are using butter in this dish so a light odorless oil would be sufficient. This would suffice in marinate and pan frying of chicken.
  • Salt : I used Himalayan pink rock salt. It’s almost 5 times more expensive than my table salt. But hey, very little of it is required, so why not. It is supposed to be the cleanest salt on the planet today with amazing benefits like regulating water content, maintaining ph balance in the body, strengthening the metabolism in us. Tastes a bit coarse, so that works out for me too.
  • Mixed herbs, 1 tablespoon : It’s a dried mix of basil, parsley, oregano and rosemary. Not my first choice since most of my herbs come from my garden
  • Black pepper powder, to taste : Hot and mildly pungent, black pepper is good for digestion, skin, respiration and is a good antioxidant too. On tables across the world salt n pepper are partners in relation.
  • Garlic cloves, 5 : Pungency is the reason why we use this allicin rich clove which combats sickness and common cold.
  • Asparagus, 1 inch pieces of 2 asparagus : With a nice earthy and crunchy texture, asparagus regulates blood sugar levels and has high content of fiber, Vitamin A, E, C & K.
  • Chicken stock, 1/2 cup : A well made chicken stock doesn’t allow the other flavors, spices, herbs and ingredients to overpower the flavor of chicken in the dish. I like making many stocks, do check out how I made some mutton stock published earlier.
  • Sugar, 1 tablespoon : Regular table cane sugar.
  • Vinegar, 1 tablespoon : Vinegar preserves the flavors in my dishes very well, so I don’t mind frequenting it. Prime reason for it’s preservative qualities are the amounts of acetic acid and anti bacterial present in it. And yes of course, the sour essence is brought out very well with vinegar.
  • Butter, 2 tablespoon : Good butter has high soluble fats which are a better grease than margarine. It gives a mild salty taste to the fillet. BTW, India is the largest producer of butter in the world. Nice trivia 🙂 

….time to cook ‘n roll (preparing instructions)

  • Grind the garlic cloves and mix pepper, dried mixed herbs, 1 tablespoon oil and salt. Marinade the cleaned pieces of chicken and set aside.
  • Heat rest of the oil in a shallow pan. Add the chicken to it and stir for 15 to 17 minutes. Be sure that the chicken is done as per your requirement. Now take this off the flame.
  • To the same pan (chicken removed), add some butter (1/2 tablespoon) and heat till it melts. To this add salt pepper (a pinch each) and add the chopped asparagus and apple. Saute’ for 4 minutes and take off the flame and set aside.
  • Now take the pan and heat the remaining butter (1 & 1/2 tablespoon) in it. Add the leek, sugar and salt in it and stir for 2 minutes. Add vinegar to this and let it cook for a minute more.
  • Pour the chicken stock in it and cook well till the fluid is reduced to half.
  • Time to decorate your platter. Place the chicken first. Pour the stock cooked right now over it and then top it up with the stirred apple & asparagus.
  • Be pleased with your work since everyone else is going to be 🙂

Storage : A day or so max. Not that it doesn’t store well, it’s just that the texture of the dish changes.

Missing Something ? : This is a complete indigenous attempt, so you are free to add your favorite seasoning. Remember NOT to garnish this chicken.

Rock Lobster in Garlic Sauce

Rock Lobster in Garlic Butter Sauce

I am self-confessed seafood fanatic. Based out of a location in India which may be one of the furthest points in the country away from sea, this can be sometimes challenging. So when ever I decide to conjure up a seafood dish, I make sure it counts. Seafood cooking doesn’t take much time, what is expended is the process of cooking and the right flavors for it. This dish is downright spectacular in taste and you’ll find forks scooping out every bit of it and scaling off the platter in minutes after you serve it ! So cook on !!

….need to know (food details)

  • Number of people served : 2 to 3
  • Preparation time : 30 minutes

…..and we need (ingredients)

  • Rock lobster 1 (about 500 to 750 grams) : The rock lobster is a very light food and hence good to help weight loss. It is also readily available around the year in the local fish market.
  • Lemon juice of 1 lemon : Besides the Vitamin C benefits to the hair and skin the lemon juice takes away the brackish smell off the seafood.
  • Olive oil 4 tablespoon : Light, odourless, this is the best drizzle oil for most sea and tropical foods. Believe me it’s not so light in benefits. Olive oil is a great antioxidant, helps the heart and is anti inflammatory too.
  • Kosher salt or Sea salt 1/3rd teaspoon : Away from the table salt, these salts are good with meats and bring out the flavors best.
  • Garlic chopped cloves 5 to 6 : Very few of my dishes skip garlic 1. due to its amazing health benefits & 2. because it provides the right amount of pungency with almost every veggie and meat. All hail the ‘King Pungent’ !
  • Black pepper crushed 1/4th teaspoon : Hot and mildly pungent, black pepper is good for digestion, skin, respiration and is a good antioxidant too. On tables across the world salt n pepper are partners in relation.
  • Butter 6 to 7 tablespoons : Butter is the best grease for a grill. While some oils also do the trick but nothing separates the meat from the bones like butter.
  • Chopped parsley and tomatoes 4 tablespoon : Parsley is the best mouth freshener and tomato is the right natural condiment with seafood.

….let’s cook ‘n roll (preparing instructions)

  • Every step in this dish is a chef’s delight. Starting with the buying of a lobster and preparing it for cooking.
  • When you have a lobster at hand, start with splitting open the lobster through its head to its tail and scooping out the tomally (i.e. the greenish-yellow stuff inside). I have a full blog on how to cut and prepare a lobster for cooking. That blog will tell you the specifics on splitting and preparing a lobster.
  • Now place the lobster open side up on a platter and sprinkle sea salt and ground pepper on it. Drizzle olive oil over it and place inside a preheated microwave oven.
  • Move the lobster in the grill (microwave) for 2 minutes only and then take out the platter.
  • Now dress the lobster with butter and garlic and place the platter back in the grill.
  • Move the lobster in the grill for 7 to 10 minutes more. By then the butter would be well melted and greased within the lobster.
  • Take out now and dress with tomatoes and parsley and serve hot.

Storage : Naaaaaah !!

Missing Something ? : You can’t miss anything here. There are just 3-4 primary ingredients. 1 iteration that can be done is that during the final minute of grilling you can dress and garnish the platter with tomatoes and parsley to make them mildly cooked.