Cook's Hideout: May 2012

May 31, 2012

Grilled Eggplant Sandwich with Tomato Pesto (Chutney)

This month, my blog completed 6 years. I wanted to celebrate by making some sweet, as is the Indian tradition, but lack of time has let me down. But I wanted to celebrate in my own way by making my favorite eggplant sandwich (you know I'm all about simple pleasures :0) ). Actually I was looking for recipes to make for Dish It Out: Eggplant &Tomatoes event and this one seemed like the perfect fit for both the event and the celebration.

This is a very simple sandwich with toasted bread spread (rather generously) with the tomato pesto (chutney) and layered with grilled eggplants, onions and lettuce. Pesto was so good that I was eating that by spoonfuls before I made the sandwiches.
If outdoor grilling is not your thing, veggies can be grilled on stove-top grill pan or roasted/ broiled in an oven or even sauteed in a saute pan. If you don't like eggplant (but why wouldn't you eat an eggplant......hmmmm), then you can substitute with zucchini or peppers. Don't let anything stop you from making this yummy sandwich, especially the pesto.

I used canned fire-roasted tomatoes for the pesto, but if you have abundance of good fresh tomatoes, then slow roasted tomatoes would taste excellent too. Pesto recipe is a fusion between Italian pesto and Indian chutney, you will see why from the ingredients and the method I used to make it. This is a great accompaniment to many Indian dishes like idlis, khichdi and even plain rice.

May 30, 2012

Eggplant-Tomato Kurma (Vankaya-Tomato Kurma)

I'm hosting this month's Dish it Out event on my blog this month and the 2 ingredients I chose are Eggplant & Tomatoes. Eggplant is my all time favorite veggie and that was the first thing that came to my mind when the event creator, Vardhini, asked me to choose ingredients for the event. I didn't want to miss this chance of making new dishes with  my favorite veggie. 

The last day to submit your entries is TOMORROW, MAY 31st. Please rush in your entries before the end of the day tomorrow. 

The first dish I tried is this delicious kurma. I found the recipe for Tomato Kurma in Mallika Badrinath's "100 Gravy varieties" cookbook and I added the eggplant to make this creamy gravy curry. Here's how I made this dish:

May 29, 2012

Broccoli Pulihora (Lemon Rice with Broccoli)

Peanuts are one of my son's favorite and he loves Lemon rice (pulihora) with lots of peanuts. So to make traditional pulihora a little more nutritious, I added some cooked broccoli. My son seemed to like it with some extra crunch from veggie straws.
Being from South India where rice is the staple food, rice features in almost all of the meals. Growing up, we used to have left over rice made into pulihora (lemon rice) or daddojanam (curd rice) or aloo bhath (potato rice) and the list goes on and on. 

This is my last dish under "Breakfast" theme for blogging marathon #16. As usual it was fun running the marathon and looking forward to the next one that is coming up in June in a new format. Big thanks to Valli for organizing these marathons and coming up with interesting and challenging themes.

May 28, 2012

Waffles with Chocolate Malted Syrup

Going back to work after a long weekend is quite an effort. Weekends always seem to be so short, but I'm happy that I got to do some cleaning and arranging things around the house and make some dishes for the blog. We also watched "Men In Black 3" in the theater, an evening show with our son for the first time. We took him to the afternoon shows since they are less crowded, but this time we took a chance. He slept after watching the previews and may be about 15minutes of the movie (oh. well......)

I was raking my mind on what breakfast to make for blogging marathon this morning and I asked my son if he wanted pancakes or waffles. He said he wanted chocolate waffles and added that he would help me make them too. 

A quick google search landed me on this recipe from Williams Sonoma, I had all the ingredients on hand except for semi-sweet chocolate, so I used a combo of unsweetened and milk chocolate. Waffles came out perfect and the chocolate sauce is to die for. I'm looking forward to use the sauce on ice-creams, pancakes, bananas,.....
I added half a measure of whole-wheat pastry flour and used Vanilla soy milk instead of regular milk.

May 27, 2012

Aloo-Gobhi Paratha (Potato-Cauliflower Stuffed Indian Flatbread)

I can't help but smile when I try to translate Indian dish names into English. Take this post's title itself, even though the English name conveys what the post is about, it still seems funny to spell out the full dish name, it's almost like constantly calling someone with their first & last name. 

Today I have "Aloo-Gobhi Paratha" on the breakfast menu for day 5 of BM# 16. This is quite an elaborate dish for my breakfast standards, but this being the long weekend, I decided to treat the family with a hearty breakfast. After eating 2 of these delicious parathas, we were all ready for a shopping spree and fun in the sun.

May 26, 2012

Cream Scones with Chocolate & Coconut

For Day 4 of BM# 16, I made these scrumptious cream scones for breakfast. Scones are British quick breads that are leavened by baking powder. They are quick to make and need cold butter & cream, so they can be made in the morning for breakfast with no prior prepping.

Recipe is adapted from Everyday Food Magazine. Scones are best eaten the day they are baked. To make ahead, freeze unbaked scones in a single layer and then store in a zip-top bag for up to 2 months. To bake, brush frozen scones with cream, sprinkle with sugar and bake at 375°F for 25 minutes.

May 25, 2012

Mixed Vegetable Upma

For Day 3 of BM# 16 under "breakfast" theme, I made a super simple and comforting upma. Growing up, I was not a big upma fan. But now that I'm older and wiser, I realized how quick and easy making upma is and the dish can be dressed up or down as per the occasion.

As I was looking for breakfast recipes in Mallika Bhadrinath's "100 Tiffin Varieties", I found this vegetable upma variation. I thought the addition of tamarind with mixed vegetables was interesting and decided to give it a try. This upma is slightly spicy and tangy and a great variation to regular plain upma. Definitely worth a try!!

May 24, 2012

Five Grain Cereal with Dried Fruit

For Day 2 of BM# 16 I made this healthy and delicious 5-grain cereal with dried fruits. We just came back from our vacation to Disney World in Orlando, Florida and I can't seem to forget the oats that I ate for breakfast in the resort for almost everyday. It was just simple cooked oats and they would add your favorite toppings on it -- either fresh berries/ dried fruits/ nuts etc. It was very filling and would keep me going until afternoon.

So when we got back I wanted to make something similar but more hearty and healthy. I found the recipe for this 5-grain cereal in "Cooking Light - Way to Cook Vegetarian" cookbook. Recipe makes about 10-12 servings, I made me a whole batch and stored it in an air tight container in the fridge, this way I can make my bowl of cereal whenever I feel like it.

May 23, 2012

Idlis (made with Par-boiled rice) and Peanut Chutney

I’m back for another round of Blogging marathon, BM# 16. Thanks to Valli for organizing and coming up with some very interesting and challenging themes. My theme for this week is “Show your Breakfast”. I have a variety of breakfast dishes lined up for this week. 

Breakfast in my house on a weekday is usually quick and simple – toast with peanut butter and jelly/ veggie cream cheese/ butter and jelly/ nutella or some Swiss Oats or quick-cooking oats. My policy is not to turn on the stove on weekday morning and only utilize the services of my trusty microwave and the toaster oven. On the weekends, the story is not drastically different: we usually end up waking up late and I’m the kind of a person who would rather have an early lunch than late breakfast, so we end up having a quick cereal or skipping breakfast altogether.

So when I saw that one of the themes for this month’s BM is breakfast, I thought it would be a nice change to treat my family with a hearty breakfast over the weekends (for a change). For Day 1, I made some good ol’ idlis – every south Indian’s comfort food. I’m sure there are a million ways/ recipes for making idlis, but I’ll go ahead give mine anyway. I started making idlis with par-boiled rice (idli rice) and found that they turned out much softer and fluffier. 

Here is the recipe that I usually use, but when I saw Nupur’s post with a different proportion of par-boiled rice, I wanted to try that too, to see the difference. I’ve to say there is a big difference in the texture and I would probably use my new measurements going forward. Check out Nupur’s post for mouthwatering chutney and restaurant style sambar recipes.

May 01, 2012

Dish it Out Event Announcement-Eggplant & Tomatoes

"Dish it Out" is a monthly blog event started by Vardhini of Cook's Joy. I will be guest hosting it for this month and my choice ingredients are "Eggplants & Tomatoes". Being a eggplant lover, I want to see what all of you  can dish out with Eggplant and Tomatoes as star ingredients.

So go ahead, start cooking with these 2 ingredients and send in your entries to me by May 31st.

Here are the rules:
  • Eggplant and Tomatoes have to be the star ingredients in the dish. You can use other ingredients, but we should be able to taste the aforementioned ingredients.
  • Only Vegetarian dishes are allowed. Eggs are allowed in Baking ONLY.
  • Use of the Logo is appreciated.
  • Link to Vardhini's Dish it Out announcement and this announcement are mandatory.
  • Archived entries are accepted as long as they are updated with the above links.
  • If you don't have a blog, you can send in your entries via email.
Send your entries to with below details:
  • Your Name
  • Your Blog Name
  • Dish Name
  • URL for the recipe
Big Thanks to Vardhini for giving me this opportunity to host the event. Looking forward to all your delicious entries.



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