Friday, December 2, 2016

Spinach and Corn Cheese Sandwich

The initial days of anything is hard...be it work, or motherhood or relocation into a new place or a business, say anything. So was my initials days at work. Those days of training, we hardly slept, ate or talked to family.  After having nothing for breakfast, because our days started early, we were spared just half an hour for lunch to be grabbed from a cafeteria filled with hungry people. Guess what, half an hour would be just spend in the queue to order food, forget about having it.





The Amul stall was our rescue those days. We would have a cheese filled sandwich which was easy to fill our stomach and would be ready in minutes times, or else get to pack it back to our desk. And not to forget one of those chilled shakes that we would grab to wash down the sandwich. The taste have lingered around for like years now, because its already 10 years since I had one of those sandwiches from Amul. And now when I go back to their stalls now, I don't find sandwiches on their menu. Sad.


But life now is much different. Back then we would be in hostels without access to kitchen, but now we own one and could recreate most of the stuff out there.Yay! And its much relaxing to just sit at the comfort of your home, while the toddler is asleep and enjoy your sandwich than to worry about handling a toddler at the Amul stall, who may be(may be, because you can never be certain) having a bad day and would create a scene, which would take all your time in settling him down while the sandwich is getting cold. So, given below is how I satisfy my tastebuds of the long forgotten taste of the yummy sandwich.



Ingredients
  1. 6 slices of bread
  2. 3 slices of cheese
  3. Butter as required
For the stuffing
  1. 3 cups of chopped spinach
  2. 3/4 cup of corn
  3. 1 tsp of butter
  4. 2 tsp of all purpose flour
  5. 1 cup of milk
  6. 1/4 tsp of oregano
  7. 1/4 tsp of dried parsely
  8. A pinch of Basil powder
  9. A pinch of Thyme powdered
  10. A pinch of dry garlic powder
  11. A big pinch of chilly flakes
  12. 1/4 tsp of pepper powder
  13. Salt as required

Method

Making the Stuffing

  • In a pan, take the butter and melt it. Add the all purpose flour and mix it well in the butter. Add milk and let it come to a boil. Reduce the heat to low. 
  • Add the ingredients 6-13. Give it a mix.
  • Add the chopped spinach and corn. Give it a mix. Cook it untill the milk reduces and forms a creamy mixture. Switch off the heat.

Assembly of sandwich
  • Evenly distribute the mixture on all the slices of bread. 
  • On one slice(already spread with the stuffing), place a slice of cheese. Top it with the stuffing spread side of another bread slice. Do the same for remaining slices.
  • Apply butter on the outside of each sandwich.
  • Heat a pan. Once hot, reduce the heat to low. Place the sandwich on it. Press it with a spatula, to make the stuffing stick to the bread slices and don't fall apart when flipped. Let it cook untill the bread slice toasts well and the cheese melts. Flip and toast the other side of the sandwich.
  • Serve it hot with a drink of your choice.
Tips
  1. I haven't applied any butter on my sandwich, to keep it a little light as its already loaded with cheese. But applying butter helps to give it a brown toasted colour and makes it tastier.
  2. If using salted butter to make the stuffing, make sure you add less salt when adding other ingredients. Else the stuffing would taste salty.
  3. You could use fresh parsely, basil, thyme and garlic. I am just lazy to clean/peel and chop them and tend to use the store bought dry version.



Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Pumpkin and carrot soup

Pumpkin is everywhere now. The malls, supermarkets, the spooky carved pumpkin in our neighborhood. So why not make use of their availability in plenty and include it in our menu in the form of sweet and savory dishes. My lil one considers it to be a halloween whenever I get a pumpkin :) and loves to carry it for me till it is billed and may be till home too if I let him to. My toddler is in for help always...well most of the time. This time I made some soup for the men at home out of pumpkin.





Soup is so comforting during the winter. Esp. if you have been down with cold because of the change in weather. Every sip of it seems to be so soothing for the sore throat.


Jacob loves soup and lil one takes on the same from his father. So even though I am not a big fan of soups, I make it often now. This is one quick recipe to try this winter while the pumpkins are in season now.






Ingredients
  1. 1 tbsp of Ghee or butter
  2. 1 tbsp of sliced shallots 
  3. 2 cups of cubed pumpkin 
  4. 1 cup of cubed carrots
  5. Black Pepper to taste
  6. 1/2 tsp of oregano
  7. 1 cup of Water
  8. Salt to taste 
Method
  • In a pressure cooker, heat the ghee or butter. Add the chopped shallots to it and sauté it for a minute. Now add the pumpkin and carrots. Add salt and give it a stir. 
  • Add water to it and pressure cook it. 1 whistle on high heat followed by 2 whistles on medium heat is what took me to get it cooked well. Let the pressure subside. Open the pressure cooker and let it stand open for about 5 minutes. Transfer the cooked pumpkin and carrots to a blender and blend it to a smooth paste. 
  • Transfer it back to the pressure cooker or a pan and bring it to a boil. While it boils add required amount of black pepper powder and oregano. Adjust the consistency of the soup as required. Turn off the heat. 
  • Serve it hot with a scoop of thick yogurt and some croutons or some garlic bread.

Tips
  1. You could cook the pumpkin and carrots in a pan. I have used the pressure cooker for the ease of cooking. 
  2. You could use olive oil instead of butter or ghee as a healthier option. 
  3. You could choose to add cream to the soup if you wish to. It would make it thick and heavy. 







Saturday, November 5, 2016

Lemon Rice

As much as Jordan hates plain rice, he is a big fan of seasoned or flavoured rice. So to make my life easy from feeding him for hours and going crazy, I depend upon these flavoured rice for our meals. If its flavoured rice, there would be a happy and silent toddler eating his own food rather than a cranky toddler whom I have to feed.





Lemon rice had been one flavoured rice that my mom used to make for our train journey to our home town. For a 4 day train journey, this lemon rice was a must in our food bag. We used to love having it. Now when it is a train journey, you may not have too many sides to have a lavish meal. But this lemon rice with some pickle was more than enough to tickle our taste buds and make it the most loved meal of the day.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Tahini Dip / Sauce

Tahini dip - perfect dip for falafels, pita bread, crackers etc. It goes well as a spread for chapathis too. Such a humble dip with just minimal ingredients and little effort that goes into it, is a must try. 












You could make it in a jiffy that you would never feel lazy to start making it. And before you know it the dip would be ready.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Falafel - Shallow Fry Method

Deep fried falafel are the best anytime. These shallow fried falafel are for those days when you feel guilty of having hogged over so many fried stuff in the recent past and would want to keep a watch on the diet but yet relish what you like.









Usually falafel doesn't require any cooking of garbanzo/chickpea. But since I am using the shallow fried method I chose to cook them. These are just simple to make and are not that heavy as the fried version. Which means you could eat one or two extra to get yourself full, if that is what you are looking forward to.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Kalan

We don't make Kalan very often to go with our daily meals. But for Sadya, it is a must. And when you get to have it just once or twice a year, it gets special. Onam is fast approaching and you may want to add it to your already huge list of items for Sadya, if not already.






Raw banana curries are not very well appreciated by my family and that is the very reason why we don't make it often. But if you love raw bananas, don't restrict it for just Sadya alone. Add it to your daily menu items. They are yumm.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Olan

Olan is one thing that we make only for onam. So, I say it is as one onam sadya special dish. However, there is no such restriction that you should make it only for onam. Having it with some hot and steaming rice on any other day is equally mind blowing. 










Here is the recipe for our onam sadya special olan. 

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Beetroot Thoran / Beetroot Stir fry with coconut

Thoran is so close to heart, for a Mallu. I love stir fries too but something with coconut in it, is so heavenly. I remember being a beetroot hater as a kid. But now when I think of it, I feel so foolish of myself to have avoided a beautiful and yummy veggie for all those years. So to make it up, this veggie makes its appearance on our menu quite often, now. 




And nope, this veggie just doesn't limit to savory stuff, but they make a great ingredient in cakes and halwas too. This beetroot thoran is just one way they are being served at our place. If you would want to try it, here is the recipe.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Pavakka Kichadi

Bitter gourd and me have had issues for long and till date it has not changed but yeah resolved a bit with time. I love it fried, in the form of Kondattam. So these bitter gourd are not frequently seen in my kitchen.



But when Onam comes and you have to make a khichadi, I get these and make it this way. It has a bit of frying involved which makes it less bitter, so we get to enjoy it with the sadya. This is how I make it.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Pineapple Pachadi


Pineapple is not a usually visitor at our home. I am allergic to it and Jacob hates to clean it up and eat it all by himself. So we hardly get it. But, last Onam, I thought of making Pachadi out of Pineapple to include in our sadya menu. So, Jacob gets it all cleaned and diced, ready to eat and I get to enjoy it as pachadi for our sadya. I am allergic to pineapple as such but not its flavours, so I enjoy pineapple pachadi(its gravy), of course in limits.







I couldn't stop photographing them. So, pardon me if you find it a picture heavy post.










Pachadi is a must on onam sadya menu to make it complete. So why not try this pineapple pachadi this onam. Here is the recipe for it.


Ingredients 

  1. 2 cups of pineapple, peeled and cut into small cubes
  2. 1/2 tsp of red chilly powder
  3. 1/4 tsp of turmeric powder
  4. 1 tsp of sugar
  5. 1 cup of grated coconut
  6. 1/2 tsp of cumin seeds
  7. 1 tsp of mustard seeds
  8. 2 green chillies
  9. 5-6 tbsp of yogurt
  10. Salt to taste 
For tempering
  1. 1/2 tsp of mustard seeds
  2. 2 shallots sliced
  3. 1 sprig of curry leaves
  4. 2-3 dry red chillies 
Method

  • In a pan, add the pineapple, red chilly powder, turmeric powder and salt. Add water  so that the pineapple remains immersed. Cook it till the pineapple turns tender. Now add sugar to it and let it cook for another 2 minutes. 
  • Meanwhile, run the mustard seeds in a grinder jar to break them open. Then add the grated coconut, cumin and green chillies to it and grind it into a paste by adding little water to it.
  • When the pineapple is done cooking, drop this coconut mixture to it and mix it well. Continue cooking for another 5 minutes. Turn off the heat.
  • Let it cool down just a little. Then, add yogurt to it and mix it well.
  • In another pan, heat the oil. Once hot, add the mustard seeds and let it pop. Add the shallots, curry leaves and red chilly and fry them. Pour it on top of the cooked pineapple and stir it. 
  • Serve it with rice. 
Tips
  1. You could avoid sugar in pachadi since the pineapple already add some sweetness to the curry. But If you like it sweet then go for sugar.
  2. Do not add yogurt to the pachadi when it is piping hot. It would curdle. Let it stand for a couple of minutes after you take it off the heat, before you add yogurt to it.