Cook's Hideout: February 2013

February 28, 2013

Kerala Kappa/ Tapioca Masala

I love to try anything vegetarian ingredient at least once. When I saw Nags' post for Kerala Kappa Masala, I wanted to try this new veggie, Tapioca. I'm trying this Tapioca Masala recipe from Edible Garden, who is hosting the Kerala Kitchen cookout this month.
I've seen it in the farmers market and wondered how this strange looking veggie tasted, but never dared to buy it myself. I don't remember seeing this veggie back home and my mom thought it looked like 'karra pendalam', but she wasn't sure. 

February 26, 2013

Vegan Breakfast - Tofu Broccoli Scramble & Home Fries

Blogging Marathon# 25: Week 4/ Day 3
Theme: Breakfast on the Run
Dish: Tofu Broccoli Scramble & Home Fries
After 2 days of indulging in something sweet for breakfast, I thought it was time to have a spicy breakfast and that too a Vegan Diner brunch style. Of course the whole meal comes together in less than 30 minutes. Recipes are from Vegan Brunch cookbook by Isa Chandra.

February 25, 2013

Banana Bread Oatmeal

Blogging Marathon# 25: Week 4/ Day 2
Theme: Breakfast on the Run
Dish: Banana Bread Oatmeal
If you had asked me to eat something sweet for breakfast about 12 years ago, I would have said "No.. thank you". But in the past dozen years or so that have lived in the US, my tastes have definitely changed a LOT. I think I've become more open to tasting and I want to try a flavor combination before actually deciding whether I like it or not. 
This oatmeal is sweet, but not overly so. Actually it totally depends on how sweet you want your oatmeal. It is super simple and fits perfectly in the Breakfast on the run theme. Also the add-ins are totally customizable to your own taste.

February 24, 2013

Sourdough Waffles

Blogging Marathon# 25: Week 4/ Day 1
Theme: Breakfast on the Run
Dish: Sourdough Waffles
Breakfast in our household is the least thought out meal of the day. It's usually toast or cereal or a granola bar. So for the last week of BM# 25, I decided to try recipes for "Breakfast on the Run". Valli wants us to make dishes that take less than 30 minutes to make from scratch or 15 minutes if assembled. 

February 19, 2013

Paneer Vegetable Frankie

Blogging Marathon# 25: Week 3/ Day 3
Theme: Cooking with Alphabets - A, L, F
Dish: F for Frankie
Frankie is a famous Mumbai snack. It is nothing but a delicious wrap stuffed with meats and vegetables. Frankie's been on my to-make list for a long time now. Not sure why I didn't make it earlier --- since it's so simple to make and all the ingredients used are always in my pantry. 
Frankie is very versatile and can be made entirely with meat or just vegetables and if you skip the egg wash for the wrap, they can be completely vegan too.

February 18, 2013

Chocolate Lassi

Blogging Marathon# 25: Week 3/ Day 2
Theme: Cooking with Alphabets - A, L, F
Dish: L for Lassi
Today's dish was a no brainer for me, when I thought of what to make under letter 'L', all I could think was "Lassi". Lassi is a popular and traditional Punjabi yogurt based drink that is made by blending yogurt and water with Indian spices. Lassi can be savory or sweet.
My son loves the sweet and delicious Mango lassi and we order it every time we are at an Indian restaurant. For today I wanted to make a lassi that is slightly different. Well ok, the main reason I wanted to use something strongly flavored like chocolate was because the homemade yogurt I was using had a slightly burnt taste to it (while boiling milk for the yogurt, I burnt it at the bottom making the whole yogurt get that smoky burnt flavor). No other mild flavors like mango or strawberry can disguise that taste, so I took the chocolate route.

February 17, 2013

Amti (Maharashtrian Dal)

Blogging Marathon# 25: Week 3/ Day 1
Theme: Cooking with Alphabets - A, L, F
Dish: A for Amti
My theme for this week of BM# 25 is "Cooking with Alphabets" and I picked "A, L & F". So for the next 3 days I'm going to make dishes that start with these letters. For the first day, I have "A for Amti".

February 12, 2013

Goda Masala Pulao with Kokum Kadhi

Blogging Marathon# 25: Week 2/ Day 3
Theme: Cooking from a Book
Dish: Goda Masala Pulao with Kokum Kadhi

Cookbooks are great resource when you are looking for a recipe with a specific ingredient. It can be an ingredient that is used daily and needs to be transformed into something new or a completely new ingredient that you are not familiar with and need ideas for a dish. I recently saw "Goda Masala" at the Indian grocery  and bought it on impulse with no specific dish in mind. As I was looking through the cookbook "Sukham Ayu" for a dish to make this week, I saw this one pot dish "Goda Masala Pulao" and made it right away to use the new spice powder I bought.

February 11, 2013

Kathrikkai Rasavangy (Eggplant Lentil Curry)

Blogging Marathon #25: Week 2/ Day 2
Theme: Cooking from a Book
Dish: Kathrikkai Rasavangi

Being an eggplant lover, I'm always in the lookout for some good baby eggplants whenever I visit the India grocery. I usually get very upset if they don't have good looking fresh eggplants, because the thought of not eating Indian style eggplants for at least another month makes me a little cranky. (I know I'm weird about my beloved eggplant).
On my latest visit to the Indian store last week, the first store I went into had really bad, almost rotten eggplants. But luckily being in New Jersey, there are more Indian groceries in the same street to shop around. Fortunately the second store had some fresh looking eggplants that I bought without a second thought.

February 10, 2013

Cucumber Sweet & Sour Chutney (Keera Dosakaya Pachadi)

Blogging Marathon# 25: Week 2/ Day 1
Theme: Cooking from a Book
Dish: Cucumber Sweet & Sour Chutney (Keera Dosakaya Pachadi)
My theme for week 2 of BM# 25 is "Cooking from a Book". Like a lot of you reading this post, I have a ton of cookbooks that I have bought over the years. I find a million reasons to buy a book and I see myself cooking through the entire book before buying. But once the book comes home, it sometimes gets neglected.  I have to say I do refer to my cookbooks when I'm in a rut to make something.

February 05, 2013

Quinoa Chocolate Cake (Gluten free)

Blogging Marathon #25: Week 1/ Day 3
Theme: Baking with Whole Grains
Dish: Quinoa Chocolate Cake
Chocolate is one of our household favorite ingredient. So when I plan to bake something sweet, I usually look for recipes with cocoa or chocolate chips. For the "Baking with Whole Grains" theme, I hit a jackpot when I searched for Quinoa Chocolate cake. I was hoping to find a recipe which used cooked quinoa, but what I found was this amazing gluten free chocolate cake that used only cooked quinoa and no flour at all.

February 04, 2013

Wholewheat Oatmeal Bread

Blogging Marathon #25: Week 1/ Day 2
Theme: Baking with Whole Grains
Dish: Wholewheat Oatmeal Bread
Wholewheat Oatmeal bread has been on my to-make list for a while now. For some reason the combination of wholewheat and oats sounded delicious. So when I saw the theme "Baking with Whole Grains", I knew right away that I have to give this combo a try.
I found this amazing bread recipe on King Arthur Flour site (my go-to site for all things baking). When I saw that the recipe had 117 reviews and most of them with 5 stars, I knew that thiswais going to be a fantastic recipe. I wasn't wrong, this is probably the BEST bread I've ever baked in my short baking career. For all newbie bakers, this should be the first bread to try, so you can build your bread baking confidence.

February 03, 2013

Wholewheat Naan with Spicy Corn Curry

Blogging Marathon #25: Week 1/ Day 1
Theme: Baking with Whole Grains
Dish: Wholewheat Naan

I cannot believe it is February already, my 3 year old niece cutely said yesterday that January is "all done". I also can't believe that it is the Silver Jubilee/ 25th edition of Blogging Marathon. I'm very happy to be a part of this super charged group. I'm really excited to see that as a group we have successfully completed 25 editions together even though I did not get to do all 25 of them myself. Huge thanks to Valli for being the brain behind the marathons and spearheading the offline discussions and coming up with challenging themes each month.
For the 1st week of Blogging Marathon# 25, my theme is "Baking with Whole Grains". I made Naan with wholewheat flour or atta. Naans are usually made with maida (all purpose flour) and are baked in a tandoor or the oven, but I used atta (wholewheat flour) and cooked them on the stove instead.
I'm going to keep the post short since my mom is going back to India tomorrow and there are few last minute errands to run. Catch you all tomorrow with another dish with whole grains.


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