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Chili Garlic Sauteed Vegetables ~ Sandwich

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Sauteed Vegetable Sandwich

Sauteed Vegetable Sandwich

This has to be the month of sandwiches for me. After detesting dry bread with cucumber and tomato slices, I have become a sandwich fiend with a vengeance. There is nothing better than a good sandwich made with fresh bread. Generally I do not like the bread to be slathered on with either butter or mayonnaise. Just a little to get things going and add flavour.  This sandwich filling has three of my current favourites ~ mushrooms, olive oil and a readymade chilli garlic paste which is handy to have in the fridge.

I add this paste to curries, dal, pasta sauce, vegetables and even spinach for a nice kick. It is not too spicy and yet lends a wonderful depth to the vegetables. Am sure this can be made at home, I just picked it up on a whim of my now aimless supermarket trips and am (for a change) making good use of it.

I used onions, sliced mushrooms and a little bit of bell peppers. Am sure zucchini, thin strips of carrot, and even slices of eggplant will taste terrific in this. The key is to add a lot of onions  and saute them on a medium flame till they are sweet from the caramelization, but not brown or crisp.

A box of these sauteed vegetables in the fridge will make it easy to rustle up pasta, a roti wrap or even as a vegetable side on a busy weeknight.

Sauteed Vegetable Sandwich

Sauteed Vegetable Sandwich

Chili Garlic Sauteed Vegetables ~ Sandwich (Makes 2)

4 slices                       Bread of choice, lightly toasted

1 medium                   Onion, sliced (about 2/3 cup)

1 cup                          Vegetables such as bell peppers, mushrooms, zucchini, spinach etc, sliced

1 tablespoon              Extra virgin olive oil

Salt to taste

1 teaspoon                 Chilli garlic paste (or grind together one clove of garlic with 1 ripe red chilli)

a handful of fresh herbs such as coriander or basil

1 teaspoons               Salted butter

  • In a flat pan, heat the oil and add all the vegetables. Saute on medium heat till the vegetables have wilted and the onions are translucent(about 2 minutes).
  • Add the chilli garlic paste, salt to taste and the fresh herbs and mix well.  Continue to saute till the liquid from the vegetables has almost dried off. At this point, the onions should be a deep brown and still soft. Turn off the heat and cool.
  • On a medium hot tava, toast the bread lightly and apply the butter.
  • Place the sauteed vegetables in a thin layer, top with the other slice of bread and press down lightly. Toast for 1 minute on each side, ensuring the filling does not come out.
  • Slice diagonally and serve warm.

Note: these vegetables can be stored in the fridge in an air tight container for upto 5 days to make a quick meal tossed with cooked pasta or in a wrap.

 

{Vegan MoFo 2013} Thotakura Vepudu (Amaranth Leaves Stir Fry) ~ Andhra Style Recipe

In my maternal home, we always had a variety of greens growing in the yard. It was uncommon for us to buy any greens for the table, but for spinach which didn’t grow. We had tonnes of Amaranth, atleast 5-6 varieties of it, Malabar Spinach (three kinds), drumstick leaves, night shade spinach and some other stuff which are not commercially grown. My mother would step out, pluck enough for either a quick stir fry or a dal, step back inside and cook the greens all inside of 20 minutes. the taste of fresh greens is a treat and cannot be replicated by commercially grown greens one bit.

This dish was made from the fresh amaranth leaves I picked from my container garden. Its a glorified name for the assorted pots and old recycled buckets i have up on my terrace where I am attempting to grow a few vegetables and herbs. The bonus was this amaranth. It sprouted on its own because of the seeds present in the soil that was purchased. Each morning I go upstairs, sometimes with my dog Sage, sometimes just a cup of coffee, look around to see what seeds have sprouted, which plant is flowering or fruiting and get anxious if i see a pest or a plant wilting.

This is a very simple recipe, that gets done in no time. You can replace the amaranth leaves with spinach or any greens of your choice. Usually, we add chopped garlic to the greens to increase its flavour. this dish is a good accompaniment with steamed rice and dal / sambhar or roti.

Thotakura Vepudu

Thotakura Vepudu

Thotakura Vepudu (Andhra Style Amaranth Leaves Stir Fry – Serves 2)

Fresh Amaranth Leaves (Thotakura)               4-5 cups, tough stalks removed, washed, drained and chopped

onion                                                                          1 medium, chopped

Garlic Cloves                                                             2-3, skinned and chopped

oil                                                                                 1 teaspoon

salt                                                                               to taste

mustard seeds                                                       1 teaspoon

Whole cumin seeds                                              1 teaspoon

Green Chilli                                                              1, slit lengthwise

In a pan, heat the oil, splutter the cumin and mustard and add the chopped garlic. saute for a minute till aromatic, add the chopped onions and green chilli and fry till the onions are translucent. Add the washed, drained and chopped amaranth leaves and saute the greens a few times. the leaves will sweat and a lot of water will be released, which on a medium to low flame needs to be evaporated, stirring occasionally. Cook for about 4-5 minutes till the pan is almost dry but not sticking. Add the salt, taste and adjust. Switch off the heat and serve up with rotis or steamed rice and dal.

 

 

{Vegan MoFo 2013} Kerala Style Vegetable Ishtu Recipe

Kerala Style Vegetable Ishtu

Kerala Style Vegetable Ishtu

Kerala Style Vegetable Ishtu is the perfect accompaniment to Paalappam. It is a classic breakfast dish. The vegetable ishtu is a medley of vegetables simmered in the naturally sweet coconut milk. There is no holy grail in recipes and each one does what they like best. I have blogged a recipe for Ishtu earlier when I wrote the recipe for another favourite of mine, Idiappam or String Hoppers. Here is the current favourite version of ishtu, the addition of caramelized onion on the top, adds a nice depth to the flavour of this dish.

Kerala Style Vegetable Ishtu

Kerala Style Vegetable Ishtu

Kerala Style Vegetable Ishtu (Serves 4)

Mixed vegetables – 2 ½ cups, cut into small square pieces (carrot, potato, cauliflower, beans, peas)

Onion – 2 medium, 1 to be chopped roughly, the other to be sliced in semi circles and set aside.

Green chilli – 1, slit lengthwise

Oil – 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon

Whole Garam Masala – 1 star anise, 2 one inch sticks of cinnamon, 2 cloves, 4-5 pepper corns, 1 cardamom split open

Curry leaves – 1 sprig

Salt to taste

Coconut Milk (Thick) – 1 cup ( I used coconut milk from a carton)

1 tsp finely chopped / julienned fresh ginger

½ tsp sugar

Coconut Oil – 1/2 te

Method:

In a pan heat the oil and fry the sliced onions till golden brown on a gentle heat. Remove the onions onto a plate and set aside. Continue to add the star anise, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom and pepper corns in the same oil, after a few seconds add the julienned ginger, chopped onion and green chilly.

When the onions turn transparent, add the vegetables, ½ a cup of water, salt and cover and steam for about 7-8 minutes till the vegetables are tender, cooked but not mushy.

Add the coconut milk, ½ cup of water (or adjust according to the consistency of gravy desired), simmer for a minute.  turn off the heat and let it stand for atleast 10 minutes before serving.

Heat the vegetable oil and coconut oil together, add curry leaves and allow them to sizzle, add the caramelized onion to this and take off the heat. pour this over the ishtu just before serving.  Serve with Idiappam or Paalappam

Baked and Grilled Vegetables with Taco Seasoning Recipe (Step by Step Pictures)

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Baked and Grilled Vegetables with Taco Seasoning

Baked and Grilled Vegetables with Taco Seasoning

I made this for lunch yesterday. My friend A was to come over and she always enjoys what I make. Unfortunately there was a mishap and her darling pooch Happy was injured and had to be rushed to the hospital and she couldn’t come. Happy has had a fracture and will undergo surgery on the weekend, send him your love and good energies. A, this is for you.

This is a simple recipe to bake and grill vegetables. I use the En Papilote method which means ‘in parchment’ ~ the food is put into a pocket made of parchment, aluminium foil or any other oven proof material and baked. While a lot of recipes for baked vegetables will do it open spread out on a baking dish, I find that the flavor of the seasoning is deeper and the vegetables cook more evenly this way. After cooking the vegetables covered in foil for a while, I remove the foil and grill them for a bit to char the edges. The result is deep flavors of seasoning, sweetness of the vegetables and crispy ends! Totally yummy!

My friends J & B love vegetables made this way. I never posted the recipe here because there is no way one can make grilled and baked vegetables look good! It’s such a good way of eating vegetables that I decided even if there were no good pictures, I had to post the recipe here.

I used whatever vegetables I had on hand. This is a very forgiving way of baking and grilling and almost any kind of vegetable tastes good.

Baked and Grilled Vegetables with Taco Seasoning Recipe (Serves 3-4)

4 Cups of Vegetables cut into medium wedges ( use assorted colored peppers, potato – sweet and regular),  onion, broccoli, cauliflower, carrot, green beans, zucchini etc)

salt to taste

3 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 teaspoon Taco Seasoning (or a seasoning of your choice)

1/2 teaspoon Red Chilli Powder (or Sweet Paprika)

1 teaspoon Dried Oregano

6-8 cloves of garlic, peeled

Method

Wash and pat dry the vegetables. Cut them into medium wedges.

Vegetables with Taco Seasoning

Vegetables with Taco Seasoning

Mix the vegetables with the rest of the ingredients except the salt in a large bowl, check the seasoning and add salt to taste.  Let it stand for 10 minutes while you pre heat your oven to 200 C

Place a large piece of aluminium foil in your baking tray, enough to be fastened into a pouch once the vegetables are arranged.

Seal the edges of the foil to make a pouch

Seal the edges of the foil to make a pouch

Layer the vegetables onto the foil covered baking tray and close the ends to form a pouch.

Bake at 200C for 20 minutes. Wear Oven gloves and take the baking tray out of the oven, carefully with a knife open out the closed pouch.

Baked and out of the oven

Baked and out of the oven

Wear oven gloves and be very careful as the steam is very hot and you can scald yourself. 

Turn on the grill of your oven, turn the foil downwards from the baking tray, place the vegetables back into the oven and grill for 5 minutes till the edges of the vegetables are beginning to char.

Grilled after baking

Grilled after baking

Remove, rest the vegetables for 5 minutes before serving.

Celebrate the Monsoons ~ Fresh Corn Papdi Chaat

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The arrival of the monsoons, my favourite time of the year, sees cart loads of fresh corn being sold all over the city where I live. The easiest and most tempting way to eat it is freshly roasted and slightly charred over hot coal, rubbed down with red chilli powder, salt and lemon. Most people would have at least once in their life, stopped their vehicle in pouring rain to get a freshly roasted bhutta to savour.

Fresh corn is extensively used in Indian cooking, from the bhutta malai curries of the north to Makai sabzi in Rajasthani cuisine, to crispy vadas of the south and of course there are cutlets, salads and pulavs. I have a list of recipes to try while fresh corn is still available. Use a sharp knife to remove the kernels from the cob, or peeled sweet corn that is readily available if you would prefer.

Fresh Corn Papdi Chaat

Fresh Corn and spices on a crisp papdi

I made an easy chaat using store bought papdi. You could substitute crispy savoury tart/ canapes shells, toasted baguette or even indian khakras or papad depending on which part of the world you live in, or what you have handy.

Fresh Corn Papdi Chaat

Fresh corn, cucumber, tomato, onion and spices on a crisp papdi

Fresh Corn Papdi Chaat (serves 2)

Fresh Corn Kernels               1 cup

Onion                                       1 small, finely chopped

Tomato                                    1 small, finely chopped, pulp removed

Fresh Coriander                     1 small bunch, finely chopped

Cucumber                                ½ small, peeled, deseeded and chopped

Papdis                                      1 small packet (any super market will have it in the snack section)

Fine Sev                                   1/2 cup

Salt and red chilli powder       to taste

Chaat masala                           1 teaspoon

Lemon juice                             ½ teaspoon

Steam the corn kernels for 3-4 minutes, rinse and drain. Set aside to cool.

Chop all the ingredients as mentioned and put them in a bowl.

Add the fresh coriander, lemon juice, red chilli powder, salt and chaat masala.

Place the papdis on a plate, spoon one spoon of the corn mixture onto each papdi, top with the fine sev, garnish with some more fresh coriander and serve immediately.

Am attempting to post soups and salads this whole month. In my mind, this qualifies as a very nice Indian Salad!

 

Some of the other corn recipes on this blog are:

Corn Bread

Corn Croquettes

Corn Pulav

Makai ki Sabzi

Dosa Spring Roll

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Dosa Spring Roll

Dosa Spring Roll

A few weeks ago, I was browsing for recipes that use Dosa batter and found Dosa Spring Rolls. I am a bit of a skeptic when it comes to giving food a Chinese makeover. For too many “items” including Chaat have gotten a Chinese makeover with disastrous results (according to me). I prefer mixing wheat or oat flour into leftover dosa batter and making dosas, or making appams with chopped vegetables and seasoning. The spring rolls looked easy enough to make and I am not one of those people who will talk without trying out something at least once. I had to try it. The fact that it made it to the blog means it got a thumbs up, for variety and ease of preparation.

I saw this on Nag’s blog and from what I see a lot of people have made and liked it. So if you are looking for a way to glam up your dosa, add vegetables and sneak them into the diets of unsuspecting or fussy eaters in your family, or just a nice light dinner option, make this.

Dosa Spring Roll

Ingredients (Serves 4)

Dosa Batter                             2 cups

Oil                                            2 teaspoons

Cabbage                                  ½ Cup, shredded fine

Green Capsicum                     ½ cup, cut into juliennes

Carrot                                      1, chopped fine

Onion                                       1 medium, sliced finely

Salt and Pepper to taste

Ginger Garlic paste                  ½ teaspoon (optional)

On a hot pan, add ½ teaspoon of oil and add the ginger garlic paste (if using) and sauté for a minute.

Add the rest of the vegetables and sauté on medium heat till the cabbage is just wilting. The vegetables should be crisp and retain their colour. Remove from the heat.

On a dosa pan, add one ladle of batter and spread as thin as possible to make a 6 inch dosa. Drizzle oil and fry till golden brown.

In the centre add 2 tablespoons of sautéed vegetables and roll like a spring roll. Remove onto a plate, cut using a sharp knife into 2-3 pieces.

Repeat with the rest of the ingredients. Serve hot with sauce or chutney

Vegetable Overload Khaara Bhaath

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K likes his upma plain and simple with a coconut chutney, I like it full of vegetables. We make peace at home by alternating between the two. Since I have sole custody of the kitchen, I play dirty sometimes!

I had some purple cabbage lying about and I added this to the upma. I loved what colours landed up on my plate!

Vegetable Overload Khaara Bhaath (Serves 2)

Semolina (Bombay Rava)                   1 cup

Assorted Vegetables                           11/2 cup

(Use a combination of cauliflower, cabbage, potatoes, peas, carrots, etc)

Vegetable Oil                                         1 teaspoon

Salt to taste

Curry leaves                                          a few

Fresh Coriander leaves                    a few sprigs

Mustard Seeds                                     1 teaspoon

Urad dal                                                 1 teaspoon

Green Chilli                                          1-2 slit, (adjust according to taste)

Onion                                                     1 chopped

Tomato                                                 1 chopped

Method

  1. Heat a pan and add the oil, splutter the mustard seeds and add the urad dal. Fry till the urad turns golden. Add the slit green chilli and curry leaves and sauté for a few seconds.
  2. Add all the vegetables including the onions and tomato and cook stirring for a few minutes till the tomatoes begin to turn mushy.
  3. Add 11/2 cups of water and salt and bring it to a boil. Lower the heat, using both hands, add the semolina in a steady stream with one hand and stir the mix with the other hand.
  4. Ensure there are no lumps in the mixture. Cover and let it cook on low heat for 5 minutes. Take off the heat and leave covered for a few more minutes. Fluff with a fork and serve hot with a coconut chutney or pickle.
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