Cook's Hideout: January 2016

January 29, 2016

Granola with Cinnamon and Nuts

I always stop my husband from buying granola or granola bars and promise him that I will make them at home for him. But never get around doing that and he keeps asking me for them. After procrastinating for as long as I can, I finally made him this Cinnamon-Nut Granola from King Arthur Flour Whole Grain baking cookbook.
Cinnamon Nut Granola
This granola is a perfect balance of salt and sweet, crisp and crunch, fruit and nuts. Using butter to make the granola gives it a ton of flavor, especially in combination with cinnamon. But you can easily substitute vegetable oil or coconut oil for the butter. Varying the fruits and nuts in the granola is the fun part, so feel free to use whatever you have in your pantry.

January 26, 2016

Homemade flatbread

Blogging Marathon# 60: Week 4/ Day 3
Theme: Bookmarked Dishes
Dish: Homemade flatbread
For the final day of this week's BM under 'bookmarked recipes' theme, I made these soft and multipurpose flatbread. Recipe is bookmarked from Mel's Kitchen.
Flatbread made with yeast
I usually buy pita bread, but do take the time to make them at home sometimes. I also have couple of pita bread recipes on the blog already. They are like our very own naans but thinner and not as fluffy.

January 25, 2016

Pizza Mac and Cheese

Blogging Marathon# 60: Week 4/ Day 2
Theme: Bookmarked Recipes
Dish: Pizza Mac and Cheese
It was crazy snowy weekend in our neck of woods. I don't think I've seen that much snowfall in one day in all of my 15 years in the US. Storm stuck around the whole day Saturday and Sunday was spent in cleaning up the mess. Thankfully my husband was around for the shoveling, though I had to do my part too.
Vegetarian Pizza Macaroni and Cheese
Coming to today's recipe for BM, I bookmarked this Pizza Mac and Cheese from Food52. I made this dish 3~4 times in the past couple of months. You can guess why -- who doesn't like pizza and pasta separately, now if you put them together it is absolutely delicious. My son went gaga over this dish.

January 24, 2016

Easy Coconut Laddoo (using condensed milk)

Blogging Marathon# 60: Week 4/ Day 1
Theme: Bookmarked Recipes
Dish: Easy Coconut Laddoo (using condensed milk)
We are starting the last week of this month's blogging marathon and my theme for this week is 'Bookmarked recipes'. First up is an easy to make coconut laddoo recipe from Jyothi Rajesh's Curry Trail blog.
Coconut and Nut Laddoo
I bookmarked Jyothi's recipe the minute I saw it on FB. Her clicks were just amazing and adding rose syrup to coconut laddoo sounded so exotic. I made these cute little laddoos to bring to a friend's house.

January 22, 2016

Mysore Rasam Powder

Here's the recipe for the Rasam powder I used in this Mysore Rasam. Like I said in that post, I don't usually make spice powders from scratch. I know freshly homemade spice mixes add a lot of flavor to dishes but I get lazy to make them.
Homemade Mysore rasam powder
But when I saw this Mysore rasam in Dakshin cookbook by Chandra Padmanabhan, I was tempted to make the spice mix. Glad that I made it because this is one of the more flavorful rasam powder (I'm comparing it with the store-bought rasam powders).

January 19, 2016

Mysore Rasam

Blogging Marathon #60: Week 3/ Day 3
Theme: Regional Specials
Dish: Mysore Rasam
For the last day of Blogging marathon, I made another comforting dish from Mysore. I actually made this couple of months ago from 'Dakshin' by Chandra Padmanabhan and I fell in love with all the flavors that went into this.
Tomato Saaru
I don't usually make spice powders at home. MTR brand is one of my favorites and I buy their rasam, sambar and garam masalas. But I had to make an exception for this recipe and it definitely made a big difference. Fresh homemade masalas give so much flavor to the dish, I have to make an effort to make more fresh masalas going forward. That masala recipe is coming up very soon.

January 18, 2016

Pepper Gojju (Mysore style Masala curry)

Blogging Marathon #60: Week 3/ Day 2
Theme: Regional Specials
Dish: Pepper & Onion Gojju (Mysore style Masala curry)
For the second day of this week's BM, I made a lip smacking Mysore curry with peppers and onions. Highlight and the base of the dish is a delicious coconut gravy. 
Mysore style Masala Curry
This recipe is again from Vani's blog, Mysoorean. I made her Kattina dal and this pepper curry for a simple, comforting and delicious meal.

January 17, 2016

Mysore Kattina Saaru

Blogging Marathon# 60: Week 3/ Day 1
Theme: Regional Specials
Dish: Mysone Kattina Saaru
We are starting 3rd week of blogging marathon today and my theme for the week is 'Regional Specials'. I chose Mysore as my region and I have 3 delicious dishes from there.
Simple Toor dal Saaru
Vani who blogs at Mysoorean has a ton of authentic dishes from Mysore. After a lot of browsing on her site, I found this simple dal recipe that only needed few ingredients which was perfect because I only had a couple of veggies left in the fridge and it was time to go grocery shopping.

January 15, 2016

Pancakes with Multigrain Flour and buttermilk

Today I have a healthy and nutritious multigrain pancakes. I recently borrowed this 'Good to the Grain: Baking with Whole grain flours' cookbook from the library. I was hoping to find a bread recipe for this month's Breadbakers 'Breads with Ancient grains' theme. Unfortunately most of the recipes in this book had whole wheat flour in them.
Multigrain Pancakes
But I did find a few recipes that looked very good and these pancakes made with Multigrain flour is one of them. There is a master recipe for multigrain flour mix that can be made in large quantity and kept in the pantry along with your other flours. It can be used in place of or along with other flours in any of your baking recipes.

January 12, 2016

Thai Curried Noodles for #Food of the World

We are visiting Thailand for this month's Food of the World event. Thai cuisine is one of my favorite and I have tried and posted quite a few Thai dishes on the blog. I looked through my 'Buddha's Table' cookbook and found this Curried Noodles recipe.
Curried Noodles
This is a spicy and delicious dish that is perfect to serve on a chilly winter day. The list of ingredients is long but all of them are easily available in well stocked Asian grocery stores. I made a trip to my local Korean market to get the noodles and some other ingredients and I was set to make the dish.

Spanakopita Triangles (using Frozen spinach)

Blogging Marathon# 60: Week 2/ Day 3
Theme: Take-Away dishes from Metropulos, Santa Barbara
Dish: Spanakopita Triangles (with frozen spinach and no egg)
For the final day of this week's BM, I made these addictive Spanakopita. It is a very popular savory baked Greek pastry. Filling made with spinach, onion & feta is enclosed in a flaky filo/ phyllo pastry and then baked till golden. This has been on my to-try list for a very long time and I'm glad I can now strike it off of my list :-)
Greek Spanakopita
Filo sheets are a little difficult to work with. They are temperamental and if not treated properly they tend to tear apart. So make sure to keep them covered with a damp kitchen towel or paper towels to avoid that. My filo sheets came out of the box with rips, but once I buttered, layered and folded them, they looked just fine. So don't worry if your sheets start ripping, just keep going and all will be well in the end, you just have to trust me on this :-)

Spelt Sweet Potato Paratha for #BreadBakers

It's time for this month's BreadBakers' and the theme for this edition is Ancient Grains and is being hosted by Robin at A Shaggy Dough Story. Ancient grains are generally accepted to mean grains that have remained largely unchanged/un-hybridized over the last several hundred years, which means NO MODERN WHEAT. 
Spelt Paratha
I have to say this was probably the most challenging theme I have done for the BreadBakers. Finding ancient grains or even their flour was not the hard part, but finding a bread recipe with just ancient grains was hard. Also my family is not much into rustic breads, so my search for soft sandwich bread without any wheat flour turned up nothing.

January 11, 2016

Vegetarian Gyros with Jackfruit

Blogging Marathon# 60: Week 2/ Day 2
Theme: Take-Away dishes from Metropulos, Santa Barbara
Dish: Vegetarian Gyros with Jackfruit
Gyro (pronounced as jiro) literally means 'turn' in Greek. But basically it is a dish made of meat cooked in a vertical rotisserie and then served wrapped in a pita with toppings. Gyro is out and out meat centered dish and this vegetarian version is far far away from it's origins.
Jackfruit Gyros
All this talk about Gyro is because I'm cooking from a Greek take-out restaurant, Metropulos, in Santa Barbara for this week's BM and Gyro happens to be one of their specialties. But they make it meat and I made mine with jackfruit.

January 10, 2016

Greek Orzo Salad

Blogging Marathon# 60: Week 2/ Day 1
Theme: Take-Away dishes from Metropulos, Santa Barbara
Dish: Greek Orzo Salad
My theme for this week's blogging marathon is very interesting. Valli gave us a list of 10 best take-out restaurants in 3 travel destinations. We had to pick a destination and a restaurant from that list and cook 3 dishes for the week.
After a lot of browsing, I chose Metropulos restaurant from Santa Barbara. It is a fine foods market that sells amazing sandwiches, paninis and a ton of gourmet specialty food items. After reading about the place I have added it to my bucket list of places to visit :-)

January 09, 2016

Warm Millet Salad with Brussels Sprouts, dried Cranberries and Walnuts

I am trying to incorporate more whole grains these days and have been looking for some interesting recipes in my cookbooks and magazines. Found this hearty and delicious Millet and Brussels sprouts salad in Vegetarian Times magazine.
Millet Salad with Brussels Sprouts, dried Cranberries and Walnuts
Brussels Sprouts have become my latest favorite and I have been buying them almost weekly these days. Brussels sprouts look like mini cabbage and they have been popular in Brussels, Belgium, and have originated and gained their name there. They are excellent source of Vitamin C and Vitamin K.

January 05, 2016

Godhuma Rava Pongali

Blogging Marathon# 60: Week 1/ Day 3
Theme: Festival of the month Recipes
Dish: Godhuma Rava Pongali
I have another sweet dish for the last day of this week's marathon. Sweet pongali or Shakkara pongali is traditionally made for Sankranthi. Coincidentally in Tamil Nadu, sankranthi is called pongal which is also the name of a rice & lentil based dish.
Wheat Rawa Pongali
My sweet pongal slightly deviates from the traditional dish because I used godhuma rawa/ wheat rawa/ cracked wheat instead of rice. I think fine bulgur will be a good substitute for cracked wheat. Other than change in the grain everything else remains the same as the rice based version.

January 04, 2016

Jonna Rava Kesari with Fruits

Blogging Marathon# 60: Week 1/ Day 2
Theme: Festival of the month Recipes
Dish: Fruit Jonna Rawa Kesari
Today I have a sweet dish made with jonna rawa or jowar/ sorghum rawa instead of regular sooji or semolina. This recipe is from a Telugu cooking channel and even though I'm not into cooking fruits, this dish looked yummy on TV that I had to try it for myself.

Jowar Kesari with Fruits
Kesari is traditionally made with either sooji or godhuma/ wheat rawa. Using jonna rawa is a healthy substitute which gives a chewy texture to the dish. 

January 03, 2016

Barley Pulihora (Lemon flavored Pearl Barley)

Blogging Marathon# 60: Week 1/ Day 1
Theme: Festival of the month Recipes
Dish: Barley Pulihora
I'm starting the first marathon of the year with recipes for 'Festival of the month' theme. I picked the first festival on the Hindu calendar, Sankranthi or Pongal. Makar Sankranthi is a harvest festival is celebrated all over India and even Nepal. The day is believed to mark the arrival of spring in India. It usually falls on the 14th of January and sometimes on the 13th or 15th January.
Lemon flavored Pearl Barley
In AP, where I grew up it is celebrated for 3 days. The first day is called 'Bhogi' when at dawn, people light a bonfire with wood logs and other solid fuels, representing the disposal of old habits, vices and so on. In the evening, infants and children are showered with Regi pallu (Indian jujube fruit). This is believed to wade of any evil from the kids. It is a time for the family to get together.

January 01, 2016

New Year's Black Eyed Peas and Greens

Here's wishing you all very Happy and Prosperous New Year 2016!!
My first post for the year is this healthy Black eyed peas and greens recipe that is a take on Hoppin' John made in the American South.Eating legumes on New Year's day is a custom that many cultures around the world embrace. Lentils represent a wish for prosperity in Italy and Brazil. Black soybeans are on the menu for New Year's in Japan.Every culture has its own reason for the tradition, but it is a well known fact that beans are low in fat, cholesterol and calories, yet loaded with fiber, protein, vitamins and minerals.
Black Eyed Peas for New Year
In the south, black eyed peas are usually eaten on new year's. The peas represent coins, and are often eaten along side collard greens, which represent paper money. This recipe is from Vegetarian Times magazine and it uses kale instead of collard greens.


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