Cook's Hideout: 2016

August 09, 2016

Quinoa Mango Salad for #Food of the World

This month's country for 'Food of the World' event is Senegal, a country located in West Africa. I wasn't familiar with Senegal or Senegalese cuisine until I started looking for recipes for this event. I made this simple quinoa salad with mango from here.
Senegalese Quinoa Mango Salad
Since Senegal borders the Atlantic Ocean, fish is a very important component in the cooking. Most other meats are also popular except for pork due to the nation's large muslim population. Peanuts are the primary crop of Senegal along with couscous, white rice, sweet potatoes, lentils and various vegetables.

Jalapeño Bread for #BreadBakers

This month for Bread Bakers we are baking with Peppers. Our host for the month Sue of Palatable Pastime wanted us to bake a bread with some sort of pepper -- fresh, dried, ground, hot or sweet. So my entry is this spicy and delicious Jalapeño Bread.
Indian Style Jalapeño Bread
My sister buys this bread at a local bakery and it is very soft and very tasty. I've tasted it once or twice at her place, but don't really remember how it looks or tastes. When I was thinking of making the bread, I asked her to take a video of the bread. She took the time to buy a fresh loaf and with the help of my BIL made a video showing the cross section of the bread.

July 26, 2016

Homemade Chocolate Fudge Sauce

For the final day of this week's marathon under 'bookmarked recipes', I have this delicious Chocolate Fudge sauce. I made it couple of months ago and finally got a chance it post it here.
Chocolate Fudge Sauce
 Recipe is from Brown Eyed Baker. This chocolate sauce keeps for a very long time in the fridge and is great to drizzle over ice cream or fruit or pound cake or just eat it by the spoonfuls.

July 25, 2016

Quinoa-Lentil Falafel

Blogging Marathon#66: Week 4/ Day 2
Theme: Bookmarked Recipes 
Dish: Quinoa Lentil Falafel from Food52
Today I have a yummy variation to traditional falafel. This is made with quinoa and lentils instead of chickpeas and fava beans. I bookmarked the recipe from Food52. Original recipe used whole mung beans but I subbed them with some French lentils.
Falafel with Quinoa and Chickpeas
These falafel are baked and are healthier than the traditional deep fried version. Adding quinoa makes them more substantial and filling. Along with quinoa and lentils, chickpea flour or besan is added to bind the falafel and also to impart a nutty flavor.

July 24, 2016

Lemon Rasam

Blogging Marathon#66: Week 4/ Day 1
Theme: Bookmarked Recipes 
Dish: Lemon Rasam from Nalini
We are starting our final week of blogging marathon today and my theme for the week is 'Bookmarked recipes'. For the first day I made this simple yet very tasty Lemon rasam from Nalini's blog.
Tangy Indian style Lemon soup
Nalini made it for the April mega marathon and I bookmarked and made it right away. It took this long to post the recipe here. Rasam in our households is made with tomato and tamarind. Toor dal or any kind of dal is not usually added. Our version is rather watery and is usually eaten along with a thicker dal.

July 19, 2016

Avocado-Palak Roti

Blogging Marathon# 66: Week 3/ Day 1
Theme: Kid's Delight -- Lunch Box Recipes
Dish: Bean Burrito with Potatoes
For the final day of this week's marathon, I have a healthy roti for the kids lunchbox. I was planning to make Nalini's Avocado roti but then had some baby spinach in the fridge that needed to be used up, so that's how these avocado-spinach rotis were born.
Avocado Spinach Flatbread
Avocados are very healthy and provide nearly 20 essential nutrients, including fiber, potassium, vitamin E and folic acids. I like it quite a bit but my husband is allergic to it, so I usually eat it by myself but never make it for the family. But I wanted to at least see how the kids like it.

July 18, 2016

Potato Rice for Lunch box (Aloo bhath)

Blogging Marathon# 66: Week 3/ Day 2
Theme: Kid's Delight -- Lunch Box Recipes
Dish: Potato Rice with Spice powder 
Both my kids love potatoes and can eat it every single day without getting bored. I'm the one getting bored to make them the same potato curry. So when I saw this recipe on a cooking show, I noted it down and made it for my kids.
Spicy Potato Rice
This rice has crispy fried potatoes mixed with a homemade spice powder. The use of lentils (dals) in the powder adds some protein to the dish. Serve it with some yogurt for a filling meal.

July 17, 2016

Bean Burrito with Potatoes

Blogging Marathon# 66: Week 3/ Day 1
Theme: Kid's Delight -- Lunch Box Recipes
Dish: Bean Burrito with Potatoes
We are starting a new week of blogging marathon today and my theme for this week is 'Kid friendly-Lunchbox dishes'. I am hosting Valli's Kid's Delight event this month with the same theme. Packing lunches for my kids is quite a task since they are quite picky and it gets really challenging to come up with dishes they would eat in school.
Kid friendly Rice and bean Burritos
Both my kids have very different tastes. My son likes pasta, sandwiches or wraps to school whereas my daughter prefers rice with broccoli, brussels sprouts, carrot etc. With such varied tastes, it becomes so difficult to make something that both of them would enjoy. Luckily until last year, my little one was going to school only 3 days a week, but come September she will be going full time, which means packing lunch for both for the whole week.

July 13, 2016

Announcing Kid's Delight~Lunch Box Recipes

I am hosting Valli's Kid's Delight event this month and the theme for this month is 'Lunch Box Recipes'. Cooking for my kid's lunch is one of the toughest things for me. I am always at a loss of ideas on what to pack for them. So I'm asking all of you to please share your kid approved lunch box ideas, so that packing lunch is not going to be a chore but a fun experience.
Any and all lunch ideas are welcome (only restriction being they have to be vegetarian -- eggs are allowed). Here's a few things you need to know:
  • Cook any kid approved Lunch box dishes with and post in your blog between July 15~August 15, 2016.
  • Link to this post and Valli's Kid's Delight announcement post is mandatory.
  • Old posts need to be reposted with links to this post and Valli's Kid's Delight event announcement post.
  • Do not have blog, but want to contribute, then email me your recipes to I will post them on my blog and include them in the round up.
  • Multiple entries are allowed, in fact they are encouraged.
  • Only Vegetarian dishes please, eggs are allowed.
  • Use of logo is optional.

Here's how to send in your entries:
Email your entries to before end of day August 15, 2016 with the following information:
  • Your name
  • Blog name/ Blog URL (if applicable)
  • Entry Name
  • Entry URL (if applicable)
  • Include a brief description of the dish and how he/she enjoyed it
  • I can take the pictures from your posts, but if you have disabled right clicking in your blog, please send me a picture of at least 580px wide. Non-bloggers please email me a picture along with your recipe details.
Looking forward to all your entries.

July 12, 2016

Laotian Eggplant with Tomatoes for #Food of the World

We are visiting Laos this month for the Food of the World event. I made this Laotian Eggplant with Tomatoes and Mint recipe from Vegetarian Times magazine.
Eggplant with Tomatoes and Mint
Laos is a landlocked country bordered by Myanmar and China to the northwest, Vietnam to the east, Cambodia to the south and Thailand to the West. I've heard about Laos, but had very limited knowledge of the country or the cuisine. A little googling later, I learnt (from Wiki) that steamed sticky rice is the staple food of Laos and they eat more sticky rice than any other country in the world.

Thai Tofu Pizza on Spelt Crust

Blogging Marathon# 66: Week 2/ Day 3
Theme: Pizza
Dish: Thai Tofu Pizza on Spelt Crust
For the last day of this week's marathon, I have an interesting pizza recipe. The base is a No-rise spelt flour crust and the topping is spicy peanut sauce with crumbled tofu. I was in an experimenting mode and found these recipes -- crust recipe from Vegan Richa and Thai tofu topping recipe from Nasoya -- and wanted to give them a try.
No-rise Spelt Pizza with Thai Tofu Topping
No rise instant pizza crusts seem to be the common theme for all three days this week (check out the instant-pizza crust and chickpea flour crust). This spelt flour pizza base doesn't need any rising time and is ready to roll once you have the topping done. Richa's original recipe has BBQ tofu topping, but I used the Thai style peanut-Tofu instead.

Maple Pecan Scones for #BreadBakers

For this month's Bread Bakers, we are baking with natural sweeteners. I looked high and low for yeast bread recipes using natural sweeteners but couldn't find one that I wanted to try. Finally found the recipe for these Maple-Pecan Scones in Vegetarian Times Magazine.
Scones with Maple syrup and Pecans
Our host for the month Mayuri (Mayuri's Jikoni) wanted us to bake using natural sweeteners like maple syrup, honey, blackstrap molasses, dates, coconut sugar etc. These are healthier and tastier alternates to refined sugar, high fructose corn syrup and artificial sweeteners.

July 11, 2016

Chickpea flour Pizza with Pesto

Blogging Marathon# 66: Week 2/ Day 2
Theme: Pizza
Dish: Chickpea flour Pizza with Pesto
After yesterday's Instant pizza recipe, I have another instant pizza today too. This one's made with chickpea flour or besan. The crust tasted a lot of cheela to me, but instead of cooking on the stove top, the crust here is baked in the oven. Apparently this chickpea crepe is also associated to France where these are called Socca and are a popular street food usually served with frosty-cool rosé.
Socca Pizza with pesto
As I was looking for instant pizza bases, I found this Socca Pizza recipe on Cookie and Kate blog. The chickpea base in baked under the broiler until set -- so the longer it bakes, the more crispy and browned the pizza gets.

July 10, 2016

Saag Pizza (Indian Style Spinach Pizza)

Blogging Marathon# 66: Week 2/ Day 1
Theme: Pizza
Dish: Indian Style Saag Pizza
We are into 2nd week of blogging marathon and my theme for this week is 'Pizza'. With the kids home on summer vacation, I knew they would be very happy if I made some pizza at home, so picked the theme. First up is a Indian style pizza topping on an Instant pizza crust.
Instant Pizza Crust Recipe
I have quite a few pizza recipes on the blog and most of them are traditional crusts that need at least 3 hours to up to 18 hours of rise time. So I wanted to try a crust recipe that doesn't need too much time to make. This recipe from Mel's Kitchen worked out perfectly. It needs just 10 minutes of rise time and then you are ready to make pizzas.

July 05, 2016

Vankaya Perugu Pachadi (Eggplant in Yogurt gravy)

Blogging Marathon# 66: Week 1/ Day 3
Theme: 3 Veggies that are Fruit
Dish: Vankaya Perugu Pachadi
For the final day of this week's theme '3 veggies that are fruit', I have a dish made with eggplant -- you know I can't miss an opportunity to try and post a new recipe with my favorite veggie. I watched this yogurt based eggplant dish being made on a Telugu cooking show.
Eggplant in Yogurt gravy
I planted a few eggplant saplings in my backyard this year and they just started to flower and grow. My daughter counts the flowers and the tiny eggplants everyday. Hopefully I'll have more eggplant dishes for you this summer.

July 04, 2016

Tomato Cheese Sandwich with Pesto

Blogging Marathon# 66: Week 1/ Day 2
Theme: 3 Veggies that are Fruit
Dish: Tomato Cheese Pesto Sandwich
Tomato is probably the most popular vegetable that is in fact a fruit. Today I have a simple sandwich recipe that needs just a few ingredients but tastes absolutely amazing -- Tomato Cheese Sandwich with Pesto.
Caprese Sandwich with Pesto
This dish doesn't really need a recipe. Assemble the ingredients listed in the name, pile them on bread and enjoy as is or if you like the cheese melted and the bread toasted, then grill the sandwich. I like it toasted, so that's how I served it.

July 03, 2016

Creamy Cucumber Gazpacho

Blogging Marathon# 66: Week 1/ Day 1
Theme: 3 Veggies that are Fruit
Dish: Creamy Cucumber Gazpacho
Can't believe it's July already and half the year passed off so quickly. We are starting a new edition of blogging marathon today and my theme for this week is dishes made with 'Veggies that are fruit'.
Gazpacho with Cucumber
Technically speaking fruit is a part of the plant that develops from a flower. It is also the section of the plant that has seeds. Other parts of the plant are considered vegetables -- like stems, leaves or roots. Good example of  'veggies that are fruit' are cucumber, eggplant, tomatoes, peppers, squash and so on. But from a culinary point of view, vegetables are more savory and fruits are sweet.

June 26, 2016

Peach Ice Cream (Eggless Recipe)

Blogging Marathon#65: Week 4/ Day 3
Theme: Bookmarked Recipes 
Dish: Peach Ice Cream
I didn't know that peach ice cream existed until I had it at a dairy farm last summer. It tasted so fresh and full of peach flavor. I was looking for an opportunity to make it and when I saw peaches on sale in our local grocery I bought and made this yummy ice cream.
Eggless Peach Ice Cream
When buying peaches, look for fruit that smell like what you want them to taste like. One good thing about peaches is that they ripen even after they have been picked. So you can buy them slightly ripe and finish ripening at home. But make sure to buy peaches that are heavy for their size but are not too hard (these will never ripen).

June 25, 2016

Coconut Peanut Sesame Chutney

Blogging Marathon#65: Week 4/ Day 2
Theme: Bookmarked Recipes 
Dish: Coconut-Sesame Chutney from Priya
I'm always looking for different chutneys to serve with idli, dosa or upma. So when Priya did a whole month of Dosa-chutney recipes for the mega marathon, I knew I will have a lot of interesting chutneys and dosas bookmarked to try. 
Coconut Sesame Chutney
I really wanted to try her jackfruit savory dosa and the breadfruit peel chutney, but haven't had a chance. Do check Priya's space from some amazing Indian and International dishes, her bakes are out of this world.

June 24, 2016

Rose Milkshake

It's officially Summer in our neck of woods and the temperatures are slowly rising. So this colorful and refreshing Rose milkshake is just perfect for the season. Recipe is from a TV cooking show.
Rose Milk shake
It wasn't until recently that I got to know that my mom likes rose milkshake. We were talking on the phone a few weeks ago and she was telling me about how she used to drink it when she was little. I wish she had told me that while she was in US, I would have made this for her. Next time she visits us, I know what to make for her.

Wheat flour Kuzhi Paniyaram

Blogging Marathon#65: Week 4/ Day 1
Theme: Bookmarked Recipes 
Dish: Wheat flour Kuzhi Paniyaram from Sandhya
We are starting the last week of blogging marathon today and my theme is 'Bookmarked Recipes'. This happens to be one of my favorite themes because it gives me a chance to try some of the recipes that I bookmarked. First up are these delicious Wheat flour Kuzhi Paniyaram from Sandhya.
Instant Paniyaram
Sandhya made these instant paniyaram for the mega marathon and they looked too good to pass up. So I bookmarked them and tried them right away. Paniyarams are usually made with leftover idli batter, but this instant version uses atta (or whole wheat flour) and doesn't need any fermenting.

June 19, 2016

Chettinad Beet Kola Urundai (Indian style Beet Croquettes)

Blogging Marathon# 65: Week 3/ Day 3
Theme: 1 Vegetable -- 3 Dishes
Dish: Beet Kola Urundai
For the final day of this week's marathon, I made these delicious Chettinad style Beet kola urundai. Some of my BM friends have made them during the last mega marathon and I thought they were very interesting but I wasn't sure how they would taste.
Indian style Beet Croquettes
These urundai can be made by soaking and grinding dal like in Gayathri's recipe. But I wasn't really prepared to make this dish the day I made them, so went with Nalini's recipe for an instant recipe which uses ground roasted gram to hold them together.

June 18, 2016

Beet and Quinoa Salad

Blogging Marathon# 65: Week 3/ Day 2
Theme: 1 Vegetable -- 3 Dishes
Dish: Beet and Quinoa Salad with Spinach
I have another salad with beets today. This one's with quinoa, carrot, edamame and other delicious and nutritious super foods.
Colorful Beet & Quinoa Salad
Recipe is from Cookie & Kate. Original recipe suggests using spiralized beets and carrots. Spiralized vegetables are quite a craze these days. I have one, but I haven't figured out how to use it yet. But grating the vegetables give the same salad almost same texture.

June 17, 2016

Sweet Milk Ice Cream

Here's a recipe for ice cream that tastes like the kulfi we are used to eating in India. This recipe for Sweet milk ice cream is from King Arthur catalog. It is one of the few recipes that I made the same day I saw it.
Ice Cream without Eggs
Fortunately I had all the ingredients on hand and the ice cream base came together in no time, though I had to wait overnight to freeze and make the ice cream. This recipe is made from a predominantly milk base instead of a custard base (with eggs) but it is creamy and almost gelato-like. The tapioca starch takes the place of the eggs to stabilize the base, lending it a rich, creamy texture to the finished ice cream.

Indian Style Beet Salad

Blogging Marathon# 65: Week 3/ Day 1
Theme: 1 Vegetable -- 3 Dishes
Dish: Indian Style Beet Salad
We are starting a new week of blogging marathon today and my theme for this week is to pick 1 vegetables and make 3 dishes. My favorite eggplant and the family favorite potato were fighting to get into the spotlight this week, but I wanted to give the less favored Beets a chance, so this way I can add new recipes to my repertoire.
Beet Salad with Peanuts and Cashews
I am not a big fan of beets but at the same time I don't completely dislike it. The whole family is against it -- the color doesn't attract them at all, I think it actually make them go the other way. Anyway my husband liked this beet salad that I made during the detox diet (I guess he was forced to like it after eating the same dishes 3 days straight), so that is one of the main reasons for picking Beets for the week.

June 14, 2016

Egyptian Ghorayebah or Ghreybeh Cookies for #Food of the World

For this month's Food of the World event, we are going to Egypt. I have a ton of vegetarian Egyptian recipes bookmarked that I wanted to try for today, but then I ended up making these easy-to-make 3-ingredient cookies.
Ghorayebah or Ghreybeh
I met some of my blog buddies last month and I was wondering what to take for them. Then I googled for Egyptian cookies and these Ghorayabeh or Ghreybeh came up. Like I said the recipe only has 3 ingredients and is very easy to put together with ingredients straight from the pantry. Some of the recipes had cardamom, but I kept it plain. If you want add a little ground cardamom or vanilla to flavor the cookies.

Wholewheat Sweet Rolls with Mango Filling for #BreadBakers

We are baking with stone fruit for Bread Bakers this month. Our lovely host Mir, asked us to bake a bread with any kind of stone fruit, in any form, fresh, dried or juice. There are quite a few fruits to pick from like peaches, plums, apricots, nectarines and mango.
Sweet Rolls
With so many fruits to choose from, I was initially confused on what fruit to choose and which bread to bake. But finally decided on baking these sweet rolls with fresh mango. I flavored them with a little bit of ground cardamom instead of cinnamon.

June 12, 2016

Easy Bananas Foster with Homemade caramel sauce

Blogging Marathon#65: Week 2/ Day 3
Theme: 1 Sauce -- 2 Dishes
Dish: Easy Bananas Foster with Homemade caramel sauce
For the final day of this week's marathon, I have a very simple and very delicious dessert with banana, caramel sauce and vanilla ice cream. It is called Bananas Foster and is a dish that was created in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Traditionally bananas are cooked in butter and sugar until browned and then alcohol (rum or banana liqueur) is added and ignited. This cooking process of adding alcohol to a hot pan and creating a burst of flame is called Flambé (which means flamed in French). This dish puts on quite a show when served this way. But today's recipe doesn't have any alcohol or the special effects in it.

June 11, 2016

Almond Rice Pudding with Homemade Caramel Sauce

Blogging Marathon#65: Week 2/ Day 2
Theme: 1 Sauce -- 2 Dishes
Dish: Almond Rice Pudding with Salted Caramel Sauce
I LOVE rice pudding but hardly ever make it because of my husband is not fond of milky desserts. When I saw this rice pudding with caramel sauce, I was initially skeptical to try because I feared it was going to be too too sweet. But it was probably the best rice pudding I ever made.
Rice Pudding with Caramel Sauce
I had some almond milk that needed to be used, so I used it to make the rice pudding. You can use regular or other non-dairy milk. But the creaminess of the dish might suffer a little bit with some of the milk alternates.

June 10, 2016

Methi Tomato Paneer

This Methi-Tomato Paneer curry recipe is from a Telugu cooking show. It is a simple curry with very simple ingredients, methi, tomato and paneer. It is a great side dish for rice or roti.
Methi Paneer for Rotis
I planted my little vegetable garden few weeks back and the saplings have slowly started to grow. My methi plants are also slowly grwoing. Hopefully I can get to cook with my own methi leaves soon :-)

Homemade Caramel Sauce

Blogging Marathon#65: Week 2/ Day 1
Theme: 1 Sauce -- 2 Dishes
Dish: Caramel Sauce
We are starting a brand new week of blogging marathon today and my theme for this week is '1 Sauce -- 2 dishes using that sauce'. I clarified with Valli if the sauce had to be savory and she said sweet sauces are also fine. I made this caramel sauce couple of months back and it has been in my drafts. So posting the recipe for caramel sauce today and I have 2 absolutely decadent recipes using this sauce coming up in the next couple of days.
Foolproof Caramel sauce recipe
Making caramel has always intimidated me, I burnt quite a few pans and quite a bit of sugar that I even stopped trying. But then happened to see this easy to make caramel sauce recipe on Food52 and I gave it a try.

June 05, 2016

Chocolate Pudding Pops

Blogging Marathon#65: Week 2/ Day 2
Theme: Kid's Summer Vacation Recipes
Dish: Chocolate Pudding Pops
So for the final day of this week's blogging marathon, I have any sweet treat for the kids. The recipe for these Chocolate pudding pops is from Nupur's blog and I knew I would make them as soon as I saw her post.
Chocolate Popsicles
Both my kids son love chocolate and these pops are perfect afternoon treat for a warm summer afternoon. They are very easy to make, make some chocolate pudding, pour into molds, freeze and serve.

June 04, 2016

Lemonade Concentrate

Blogging Marathon#65: Week 2/ Day 2
Theme: Kid's Summer Vacation Recipes
Dish: Lemonade Concentrate
Whenever my son thinks he needs money to buy something from school, he asks if he can open a lemonade stand. My answer is always is 'go ahead, but don't ask me to make the lemonade'. He doesn't really get the concept that he has to spend money first to earn later.
Lemon Lime Concentrate
But I wanted to make him lemonade anyway because my husband bought 2 huge bags of limes and lemons and as they say when life gives you lemons (and limes), make lemonade. Which is exactly what I did :-)

June 03, 2016

Homemade Sambar Powder

I usually use store bought Sambar powder and MTR brand happens to be my favorite. But recently I ran out of it and couldn't go to the Indian store to buy more. So that is when I made this homemade sambar powder from Dakshin cookbook by Chandra Padmanabhan.
South Indian Spice Powder
Freshly made sambar powder is very flavorful and adds a lot of taste to the dish. It can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Here are some sambar recipes on the blog for some inspiration.

Baked Maple Doughnuts

Blogging Marathon#65: Week 1/ Day 1
Theme: Recipes for Kid's Summer Vacation
Dish: Baked Maple Doughnuts
We are starting a brand new month of blogging marathon today and my theme for the first week is 'dishes you would make for kids during their summer vacation'. That's quite a long name for a theme :-) but that is how difficult it is to feed hungry kids when they are at home.
Maple Donuts
I asked my kids what they would like me to post for this week and they gave me a few options, so for the next 3 days I've 3 dishes that are kid friendly and approved by my kids.

May 28, 2016

Vegan Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Filling and Ganache for Blog Anniversary

I started this blog in 2006 to share the recipes I was trying at home and at the time I wasn't even thinking of how long I would keep doing it. I am actually surprised that I have been doing this for 10 years already. So here's a chocolate cake recipe to celebrate the occasion.
Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Filling and Ganache
Even though I remember about the blog anniversary, with everything else going on in life, I wasn't actually planning on making anything special. But the BM group pushed me to get off my lazy behind and make this delicious chocolate cake. This is dedicated to the BM group, all my blogging buddies, my readers and my family who inspire me to keep blogging. Thank you all for your support without which this wouldn't have been possible.

May 27, 2016

Pasta Salad with Black Beans (Vegan recipe)

Memorial day is right around the corner and if you are looking for a dish to make, then here's an easy to make and tasty Pasta Salad with black beans and veggies. It's completely vegan, if you use vegan mayo but if you have regular mayo then go ahead and use it instead.
Vegan Pasta Salad
I am always looking for opportunities to try new dishes, so last weekend I took this pasta dish when I went to meet my blog buddies, Sushma, Rajani, Usha, Mir and Amara. The good thing about this dish is it can be made ahead of time and chilled until ready to serve, which makes it a great dish to make for picnics. barbecues or for take along lunches.

May 26, 2016

Leeks Sambar

Blogging Marathon#64: Week 4/ Day 3
Theme: Mega BM Bookmarked Recipes 
Dish: Leeks Sambar from Vidhya
For the final day of this month's marathon, I have an interesting sambar made with Leeks from Vidhya's blog. I bookmarked it the minute I saw it on her blog and made it once I got my hands on some leeks.
Sambar with Leeks
Leeks belong to the 'Allium' family along with onions and garlic. They have a mild onion-like taste and are crunchy when eaten raw. But they get soft and mild when cooked. I buy leeks quite often and make pasta sauces or dry sautes with them. Vidhya's leek sambar sounded very interesting and delicious.

May 25, 2016

Thai Pineapple Fried Rice (Khao Pad Sapparot)

Blogging Marathon#64: Week 4/ Day 2
Theme: Mega BM Bookmarked Recipes 
Dish: Pineapple Fried Rice from Mireille 
For Day 2 of bookmarked dishes I have a sweet, sour and spicy Thai Pineapple fried rice from Mir's blog. I have seen pineapple fried rice recipes on any food blogs but I wasn't sure how the sweetness of the pineapple would taste in a savory rice dish. So never tried to make it at home before.
Khao Pad Sapparot
But when I saw Mir's dish, I wanted to give it a try. I had all the ingredients on hand and my husband was travelling so I took a chance and made it for myself. I have to say I really liked this dish. The sweetness from the pineapple is actually complemented by the spicy curry powder and the saltiness of the soy sauce.

May 24, 2016

Alasanda Vada (Black eyed Peas croquettes)

Blogging Marathon#64: Week 4/ Day 1
Theme: Mega BM Bookmarked Recipes 
Dish: Alasanda Vada from Suma 
Can't believe we are starting the last week of this month's blogging marathon today. May seemed to have zoomed right past us. My theme for this week is 'Bookmarked dishes from last month's mega marathon'. It is an impossible task to pick just 3 dishes to make from more than 600 delicious dishes (24 bloggers * 26 days), but we have to start somewhere, right??
Black eyed Peas croquettes
So for the first day, I made these Alasanda vada aka blackeyed peas vada from Suma. I actually made it right after she posted it on her blog. I had some oil leftover from frying these nimki and so I decided to use it wisely and make these yummy vada.

May 20, 2016

Vegan Rich Chocolate Mousse

Today I have a rich chocolate mousse recipe that is guilt free and sooo delicious. The secret ingredient in this mousse is soft silken tofu. I was initially skeptical about using tofu in a dessert because I've had some really bad experiences with tofu based desserts years ago and I have not gone back to it till now.
Chocolate Mousse using Silken Tofu
I saw this recipe in Vegetarian Times magazine and wanted to give it a second chance. I was pleasantly surprised how chocolaty and creamy this mousse turned out and there was no tell-tale sign of tofu. I made this last weekend to eat as a movie night treat and both my kids absolutely loved it.

May 19, 2016

Wholewheat Chocolate Chip Cookies

Blogging Marathon# 64: Week 3/ Day 3
Theme: Wholewheat Dishes
Dish: Wholewheat Chocolate Chip Cookies
So for the final day of 'Wholewheat dishes', I have my kids absolute favorite cookie, Chocolate chip cookie. They were so happy when I made them and I was happy that they are made with wholewheat flour are a little more nutritious than the ones with all purpose flour.
Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies
Whenever I'm making any baked goodies for the family, I usually sub at least half of the all purpose flour with white wholewheat or wholewheat pastry flour. I don't care if the texture suffers a little bit with the substitution but I feel better serving the family something that is a little more nutritious than just empty calories. My next focus is in cutting down sugar -- lets see how that one goes.

May 18, 2016

Puffed Wheat, Almond and Coconut Granola Bars

Blogging Marathon# 64: Week 3/ Day 1
Theme: Wholewheat Dishes
Dish: Puffed Wheat, Almond and Coconut Granola Bars
Day 2 of 'Wholewheat dishes' and I'm using it in puffed wheat form today. My husband has been asking me to make granola bars at home for quite some time, so I tried these granola bar recipe from Cooking Light magazine.
Granola Bars with Puffed Wheat & Almonds
Recipe calls for goji berries which I have never used before. I bought some from the bulk section of Whole Foods -- they are quite expensive, but they are supposed have many health benefits. If you can't find them, then use any other fried fruit that you like.

May 17, 2016

Rajasthani Dal Dhokli

Blogging Marathon#64: Week 3/ Day 1
Theme: Wholewheat Dishes
Dish: Dal Dhokli
We are starting our 3rd week of blogging marathon today and my theme for the week is 'Wholewheat Dishes'. For the first day I made a hearty and comforting dish popular in both Gujarat and Rajasthan, Dal Dhokli. This has been on my list of dishes to try for a very long time and finally got a chance to try it out.
Spicy Dal Dhokli
Dal dhokli is a filling one pot meal where dhoklis aka Indian style wheat pasta :-) are simmered in dal until cooked through. From what I read, Rajasthani version is slightly spicier than Gujarati version. I tried the spicy version and it was amazing, both my kids loved it too. I told them this how close an Indian dish can get to Italian pasta and they were very happy to try.

May 13, 2016

Vegan Lemon Cupcakes

We are cruising past May with jest speed, last weekend was my birthday and Mother's day. We had a fun weekend getaway to Connecticut and a beautiful Mother's day party at a dear friend's house. Hope you guys had a good Mother's day. But make sure to appreciate your mom not just on her special day, but every day of the week -- she deserves it :-)
Lemon Cupcakes
I made these cute little mini lemon cupcakes for Mother's day last weekend. It is a variation of the basic vegan vanilla cupcake recipe, but instead of vanilla flavored with lemon zest and pure lemon extract.

May 12, 2016

Italian Piadina Sandwich with Roasted Vegetables

Blogging Marathon# 64: Week 2/ Day 3
Theme: Cook from 1 European Cuisine -- Italian
Dish: Italian Piadina Sandwich
After posting 2 well known Italian dishes (Risotto & Pizza), today's Italian dish is not very popular outside of Italy. It is a thin flatbread called Piada or Piadina and is typically made in the Romagna region. The flatbreads are then filled variety of cheeses, meats, vegetables and also with sweet fillings like bananas and Nutella. These are sold as soon as they are made in specialized kiosks called piadineri.
Vegetarian Piada Sandwich
Traditional piada are made with white flour, lard or olive oil, salt and water. I subbed some of the white flour with wholewheat flour and the lard with vegetable shortening. These piada are very much like our kulchas and are leavened with baking powder. These are rolled out very thin unlike the kulchas that are a bit thicker.

May 11, 2016

Easy to make Pizza Dough with Italian Vegetarian toppings

Blogging Marathon# 64: Week 2/ Day 2
Theme: Cook from 1 European Cuisine -- Italian
Dish: Pizza Dough with Italian Vegetarian toppings
Pizza is probably the most popular Italian dish all over the world. Each country conveniently customized the toppings to appeal to the local tastes -- like the spicy toppings in India and the extra cheesy toppings in America. But from what I heard, Italian pizzas are not overloaded with cheese or toppings and are usually made with light and refreshing tomato sauce instead of a slow simmered heavy tomato sauce that the American pizzas tend to use.
Easy Pizza
I've a few pizza recipes on the blog already, but wanted to try a new pizza crust recipe from King Arthur flour. They say this is the 'easiest pizza you will ever make'. After making it I can assure you that it is in fact very easy to make this pizza.

May 10, 2016

Afghan Cookies for #Food of the World

It seems like Super Tuesday today with 3 posts back to back. It's time for Food of the World monthly event and we are exploring the beautiful island country of New Zealand this month. I really had no clue what the food in New Zealand looks like. Even though it is one of the countries that I think I was very familiar -- blame it on the cricket matches I used to watch as a kid (they were quite a tough team to beat at the time).
New Zealand Cornflakes and Cocoa Cookies
So I googled and found out that New Zealand cuisine is largely based on local ingredients. Similar to it's neighboring country Australia, New Zealand cuisine is a diverse British based cuisine. Historical influences came from Maori culture, the indigenous polynesian people of NZ.

Flax Oat Wheat Dinner Rolls for #BreadBakers

It's time to bake for Bread Bakers again. Our host for this month is Deepthi who blogs at Baking Yummies. She wanted us to make either yeasted or quick, sweet or savory rolls. I had quite a roll recipes that I wanted to try on my Pinterest board. Finally narrowed it down to these Flax-Oat-Wheat dinner rolls.
Wholegrain Dinner rolls with Oats, Flax and Wheat
These rolls are hearty and have an earthy taste with the addition of oats, wholewheat and ground flax seeds. These are perfect whole grain alternate to the soft and squishy white dinner rolls. They are great to make for cookouts or for your everyday dinner.


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