Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Cauliflower Stir-Fry in 3 easy steps

My fridge always has cauliflower as its one of our all time favorite veggies and its available all year round. Its delightfully fragrant even when tossed with just mild spices. Its disappointing when I hardly find any cauliflower items in an Indian restaurant's menu except Aloo gobi and sometimes Gobi Manchurian. I do try quite a few gravy dishes with cauli, but this one is our most favorite Cauli dish. After getting used to the salads , I now even enjoy them raw. I just love the sculptural beauty itself. But it was saddening when I read recently that newspapers are now reporting that cauliflower has joined the list of least-loved and the sales have also slumped down - because people think its difficult to cook and less interesting when compared to broccoli. I thought that was strange because I think it is a wonderful vegetable and can produce great culinary effects.

Here is a quick and easy recipe with cauliflower. Drizzle some oil, throw in the cauliflower along with salt and a tsp of chilli and corriander powders. Cook in low heat, then raise the heat until brown. There you go! Delicious cauliflower stir-fry is ready. Really, thats all you need to do. Tastes awesome with Rotis as well as any rice dish.


  • Cauliflower florets - 3 cups

  • Chilli powder - 3/4 tsp

  • Corriander powder - 1.5 tsp

  • Oil

  • Salt


  • Heat oil in a wide non-stick pan. Toss in all the ingredients together and fry until they are mixed well.

  • Add about 3 tbsp of water and cover in low heat until cooked. Open and stir-fry once in a while.

  • When fully cooked, raise the heat, add 1 tbsp oil and fry until they are browned.

I enjoy this best with rotis.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Chocolate Chip Muffins

Its the first day of spring! And to celebrate I'm sharing a wonderful recipe that came out delicious from my oven this evening. Since it was raining most of the day today I couldn't finish my outside chores as planned. Stuck at home, I was in a mood to bake some goodies this evening. Baking usually doesn't excite me if it requires more than the minimal effort. But its so good to know that my daughter has a great liking towards baking unlike me. To sustain her interest, I nowadays bake with her frequently and try some easy recipes in oven. Today, we tried this together and she was totally excited and amazed with the outcome.

Since I hadn't eaten any chocolaty dessert in a while, I was inclined towards baking something chocolaty today. After scouring the internet, we decided to try this Chocolate chip muffins as its my daughter's favorite and I also wanted to use the mini non-stick muffin pan I had recently bought. This is a recipe that I found in foodnetwork.com. A very simple recipe that can be put together in a few minutes. I exactly followed the recipe from the below link:

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Egg and Onions Stir Fry

The tragedy in Japan is quite disturbing. Though the residents of Japan have already experienced their share of quakes through the years, 8.9 magnitude is quite high and followed by a tsunami is deadly. Its saddening to see the videos during the moment of the quake and the minute the tsunami hit. For the people there, the psychological trauma probably overweighs anything else. Hope the people of Japan bounce back from this tragedy soon.

Well, the weekend is gone already! We headed up to Milwaukee, WI this weekend for a change. It was indeed cold. Yes, it sounds wierd to head north and be in a colder place at this time of the year. But just to get away from our regular weekend routine and driving for 2 hrs, checking in a hotel, enjoying an Irish breakfast early in the morning and visiting the Milwaukee museum -- all these make the weekend totally special. No doubt I enjoy a hot breakfast accompanied by hot coffee on a cold morning. This morning, we were hunting for a good breakfast place and spent almost half-an-hour just driving up and down the downtown streets looking for a traditional breakfast place. When almost ready to give up, we sighted this small corner coffee place which looked ok from outside. We decided to give it a shot and I should say - we had an awesome breakfast! The place was small and cozy with original Irish setup. The people running the restaurant were dressed traditionally like Irish. They had a variety of choices and I made up my mind to try the Brazilian breakfast - a bowl of Vanilla and Strawberry yogurt mixed with fresh berries, granola, raisins and topped with sweet mango slices. Wow - that was super delicious! A simple, healthy and delicious way to get the day started! I enjoyed it with a cup of coffee and was totally charged for the day ahead. The mango sure adds a kick! I'm sure I'm going to try this recipe at home many times in next few weeks.

Alright, coming to this recipe.. This is one of my favorite egg recipes that I have tasted back in India in local restaurants. This was mostly available in road-side eateries that serve Parottas and Chalna and this egg stirfry is served as a side dish. Its called "Muttai Vengaya Varuval" in the menu. After I moved here, this dish was out of my mind until recently I suddenly remembered how much I used to enjoy this dish before. I tried this recipe just from the taste I remember - and surprisingly it came out pretty close to the original. Seems like I still have not forgotten the taste and its been lingering in the back of mind all these years! Another simple yet flavorful egg dish got added to my menu this week!

  • Eggs - 4
  • Shallots or Pearl Onions - 20 to 25 (You can substitute with 2 medium Red Onions)
  • G.chillies - 4 small (I make it hot, you can adjust to your preference)
  • Tomato - 1 small
  • Black Pepper powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
  • Urad dal - 1 tsp
  • Asafoetida - a pinch
  • Curry leaves - few
  • Corrainder leaves - a handfull
  • Salt as required
  • Hard Boil the eggs, remove the shells, cut the eggs into half vertically.
  • Mix the pepper powder and salt together and apply it to the eggs on the yolk side.
  • Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan and place the eggs with yolk side down on the pan. Let it brown for a min and gently turn them over to the other side. Brown for a minute. Remove them to a plate.
  • In the same pan, add 1 tbsp oil, season with mustard seeds, Urad dal and Asafoetida and fry for a min. Add curry leaves.
  • Then add chopped onions and g.chillies and fry until onions are well fried.
  • Add chopped tomatoes and fry until they lose shape. Adding more tomatoes changes the texture of the dish. So just 1 small tomato is sufficient to bring the taste.
  • Add very little salt (the eggs are already roasted with salt) and mix well.
  • Now add the eggs and gently stir-fry with the mixture until no moisture is left and the dish is completely dry and well fried.
  • Garnish with corriander leaves.
Enjoy with any rice dish.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Chicken Sliders - A Party Favorite..

I very much enjoy the free samples given away at the food stores. Those little treats taste so good that sometimes I get too tempted and buy them. But when I make the same dish at home it somehow it doesn't taste the same to me. Especially, burgers. I have tasted mini pieces of veggie and chicken burger patties in the stores and used to love the flavor and juicy texture. I buy them right away but when I try the same product at home, there is something missing. Probably its just my speculation, but there's some magic to the tiny bites given at the store. After several tries, I just gave up buying the patties and just enjoy the samples for a moment and leave the place.
I've never made burgers from scratch at home either as I'm a little intimidated in the process of making the burger patties. But when my brother-in-law made this awesome burger for New year 2011, I realized its not that intimidating and actually its quite fun to make burgers. He really made it with lot of passion giving attention to even minor ingredients and it was all worth it. It came out awesome and was a big hit in our party. The specialty is the unique stuffing insie the patties. It turned out to be very flavorful with a soft and juicy texture. Thanks to him for this delicious recipe! He mentioned that this recipe is a combination of two recipes, the “Inside Out Burger” and the “Jalapeno sliders” from Food Network's website and modified to give an Indian twist.

  • 6 slices turkey bacon, cut into bite size pieces (you can substitue with green bell peppers)
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
  • 2 pounds ground chicken or lamb
  • 1 large Shallot, chopped fine
  • 1.5 teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
  • 4 ounces Monterey pepper jack, cubed
  • 12 mini burger buns
  • 2 tablespoons olive
  • 2 jalapenos sliced, for serving
  • 1 cup creme fraiche or mayonaise
  • 8-10 curry leaves, chopped fine
  • Place the bacon in a large saute pan and cook until crispy, about 5 minutes. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and reserve 1 tablespoon of the bacon fat in the pan.
  • Add the mushrooms and cook until caramelized, about 5 minutes. Set the mushrooms aside to cool in a bowl.
  • In a large bowl, combine the ground chicken, curry leaves, shallot, black pepper, salt, and Worcestershire. Separate the mixture into 10-12 equal portions. Divide each portion into 2 separate patties.
  • Combine the cheese into the cooled mushrooms and bacon mixture. Take 1 patty and top with a few ounces of the filling.
  • Place another patty on top and pinch around the edges to make sure that the filling is totally covered. Make the rest of the patties the same way.
  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Over medium-high heat, heat a large skillet with oil.
  • Once hot, add the burgers and cook for 2 minutes per side. Place the pan into the oven and cook for 4 to 6 more minutes for medium burgers. Alternately, you could cook the burgers on the skillet itself for 7mins each side or till they are cooked.
  • Lightly spread creme fraiche on both sides of buns. Place burgers in middle and pick it with a jalapeno.
You can enjoy these mini burgers as appetizers in any party.