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Asian Inspired Coleslaw

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Asian Inspired Coleslaw

My Favourite Coleslaw with Asian Falvours

This salad recipe I have been wanting to post for a long long time. I am attempting blog in tandem with my  friend Preethi who writes at The Meal Algorithm. Nevertheless, it makes it to the blog on its good looks and subtle Asian flavours. I am big on Asian flavours in food. I try to replicate a lot of them (never claimed they were authentic) in my kitchen and some of them have made it to the blog like these Asian Rice Paper Rolls. I had not eaten anything so delicate and fresh till I made these. I was delighted that they are being served at a Chinese restaurant we patronise.  Or this Asian Raw Mango Salad I tried to replicate from memory and it turned out so good. Or even this Thai Noodle Salad

What I particularly like about this salad (apart from the fact that it is so so pretty) is that you get to eat your coloured vegetables and get your fibre fix for the day! the Indian apples are just coming out in the market, fresh beans and coloured peppers are also in abundance, all the reasons to make this. Toasted sesame seeds add a nice nuttiness to the dish and honey adds just a touch of sweetness.

Asian Inspired Coleslaw
Asian Inspired Coleslaw (makes 2 helpings)
Inspired from here 
1 cup finely shredded red/ purple cabbage
1/2 an apple, sliced fine
1/4 each of red and yellow capsicum, sliced into matchsticks
1/4 cup of fresh green beans, sliced into matchsticks and blanched for 2-3 minutes in hot boiling water
1 spring onion, sliced (green and white parts)
(can also use baby corn, blanched carrots, green cabbage, bean sprouts etc)
Toss all of the above in a largish bowl and set aside.
for the dressing
1 teaspoon vinegar
2 teaspoon tomato garlic /sweet chilli sauce (such as maggi/kissan)
2 teaspoon honey
1 green chilli, sliced fine (remove seeds if you dont want it too hot)
1 tablespoon warm water
Whisk all of the ingredients for the dressing in a small bowl with a fork, taste and adjust.
Pour the dressing over the chopped vegetables and toss well with light hands or a fork to ensure the dressing spreads evenly over the salad.
Garnish with 2 tablespoons of lightly toasted sesame seeds and fresh coriander leaves
This is a refreshing filling salad. perfect for those days when you want some colour and texture on your plate. the crunch of the vegetables is balanced with the sweet spiciness of the dressing. this is a versatile salad and the choice of vegetables can easily be altered based on whats lurking in your vegetable tray.

Baking ~ Multi Grain Bread Rolls Stuffed with Cottage Cheese and Herbs

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I made these yummy bread rolls and used it in an article on healthy eating I did recently for a publication. Healthy bread ~ did you just do an eye roll? Well they’re made from the same multi grain atta (flour) that is used for regular rotis (Indian flat bread) and the stuffing was a mix of low fat cottage cheese, low fat cheddar and a lot of vegetables and herbs, it was a good specimen to showcase how bread need not be treated as the enemy. Every time I see a blanket accusation that carbs are bad, or bread is to be avoided, I have this urge to dropkick the person who preaches this like the gospel truth. Eating every food group is essential; just don’t overdo the sugars and the white stuff and the refined stuff. Shunning any food group for reasons other than medical and upon medical advice especially for fad diets is ridiculous. While I am not qualified to comment on nutrition, I do follow what my common sense tells me to do.

Onto the rolls now… I’d been seeing the sweet version of bread rolls in the form of cinnamon rolls or pumpkin rolls all over the blogosphere (still not sure if that is a word) around autumn / Halloween and was tempted to try them out. Around Christmas, my namesake sends me a package with some baking supplies as a present. It also had a few sachets of instant yeast. Anyone who is baking with yeast inIndiawill tell you how difficult it is to find good yeast. The boxed stuff we get here needs to be proven and prayed over for it to rise well. But this was great yeast and I had to use it immediately. I made two versions, sweet and savoury that I will hopefully post quickly (hopefully). The average time I take to post a recipe here from the time I make it is …. Well I’d be ashamed to post the number here. Let’s just say it takes between a few days to a few years… yes I have posted posts that have been in drafts for say a year or more too and a lot of stuff still sits there…

Here is the recipe for the rolls. I used a commercially available Multi-grain chapatti atta which is 75% whole wheat and 25% assorted grain flour. Feel free to use all whole wheat flour or replace half with white/refined flour or Maida.

Cottage Cheese and Herb Stuffed Multi-grain Bread Rolls (makes 10 rolls)

Multigrain flour (regular atta) – 2 1/2 cups

Dry active yeast – 1 teaspoon

Olive oil – 2 tablespoons

Warm milk – ½ cup

Salt – ½ teaspoon

Sugar – 1 teaspoon

Chilli Flakes – 1 teaspoon (optional)

For the filling

Shredded Cottage Cheese – 1 cup ( I used home made paneer, crumbled)

Grated low fat cheese – ¼ cup (optional)

Shredded vegetables of choice – 1 cup (I used a mix of colored peppers, grated carrot, onion and finely chopped mushrooms)

Fresh herbs like mint, coriander, celery leaves or basil – ½ cup chopped fine

Salt to taste

Red chilli powder – ½ teaspoon

Mix all the ingredients together and set aside for use.

For the topping

Olive oil – 1 tablespoon

Garlic clove – 1 peeled and crushed

Sesame seeds – 2 tablespoons toasted

mix this together and set aside for use.

Method

In a bowl, mix the warm milk, sugar and yeast till the yeast is dissolved. Set aside for 20 minutes till it is frothy.

Mix the flour with salt and chilli flakes, add 1 tablespoon of the oil and the rest of the ingredients including the milk and mix well, adding water to make a soft almost sticky dough.

On a clean surface, dust some dry flour; knead the dough with your palms for about 5 minutes till it becomes elastic. Oil it with the remaining olive oil and put it in a bowl to rise for 1 hour, cover with a clean damp cloth/ cling wrap.

After an hour, take the puffed up dough, punch it down and knead again. Divide into two equal portions, on a floured surface with a rolling pin roll out into a ½ inch thick rectangle.

Mix all the ingredients for the filling together.

Spread half of the filling on the rolled out dough. Lift up two ends of the roll and roll it in gently to make a cylinder. Slice into 4-5 equal parts and place it in a greased baking tray. Repeat with the rest of the dough and filling.

Cover the rolls and let them rise for 30 minutes. Brush with the olive oil glaze, sprinkle sesame seeds liberally on top.

Bake in a preheated oven at 220 degrees F for 30 minutes till the tops are golden brown and a skewer inserted comes out clean.

Note: Oven temperatures and hence baking times may vary. Do a skewer test to check for doneness.

These rolls are best eaten fresh and warm from the oven. But they do keep well for a couple of days in the fridge. Just gently reheat before you serve them.

Peanut and Tomato Chutney

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I dont know how or why, but I have unwittingly eliminated fresh coconut from my pantry for the last few months. We stopped adding it to the araichavittu sambhar and the assorted poriyals. but what i miss most is to dip my idli or dosa into some nice tangy spicy chutney. there is only so much of kaaram podi / milagai podi i can eat. So a few days ago, taking advantage of the extra tomatoes at home, I made this chutney. Its delicious and worth the effort of roasting all the ingredients before grinding.

Peanut and Tomato Chutney (makes 5 generous servings)

1/2 cup peanuts, roasted without oil till the colour changes

1 cup chopped tomatoes ( i used the local variety)

3 green chillies, slit

2 tablespoon curry leaves

2 tablespoons coriander leaves

1 medium onion, roughly chopped

1/2 teaspoon cumin (whole)

a few grains of whole fenugreek seeds

a small marble of tamarind

salt to taste

1/2 cup water

2 teaspoons oil ( i used gingely oil)

for the tadka

a few curry leaves

1/2 teaspoon whole mustard seeds

1-2 dried red chillies

1/2 teaspoon urad / black gram dal

in a pan, dry roast the peanuts and set aside. heat one teaspoon of oil, add the whole cumin seeds and fenugreek seeds and fry a few seconds.  add the onions and green chillies and fry till the onions are beginning to change colour. add the tomatoes and fry till they begin to shrink. set it aside and cool it completely.

In the jar of the blender, add the peanuts, cooked onion and tomato, tamarind, curry leaves, coriander leaves, water, salt. Pulse till you get a smooth paste. remove to a serving bowl. in a small pan, heat the remaining teaspoon of oil. fry the urad/ black gram dal till it is pale golden, add the dried red chillies and wait for a few seconds till they begin to change colour. add the mustard seeds and allow them to splutter, finally add the curry leaves and turn off the heat. Pour this over the ground chutney. Mix and serve with idli or dosa. This can be stored in the fridge for upto 3 days.

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