I had whipped up this one day when Aditya had a hankering for bean burritos. With no pinto beans at home, I used the can of kidney beans I had on hand. He loved it, and I couldn’t have been happier to make something that takes less than 10 minutes to whip up from start to end. All you need is a can of kidney beans and rotis or tortillas on hand.
Aditya can be pretty particular about his food. The first time, I made these I had mashed the beans with a hand held blender. The beans were a smooth paste. The verdict was only ‘OK’.
‘The burritos at school have beans that are not all mashed up. You can see and taste the beans’, were the added on comments. So, now I just mash the beans with a masher. This way the bean filling is not a smooth paste but has some texture to it. When the beans get warm just press down with a masher a few times and it’s done. With a fork it will take a little longer.
- 1 can kidney beans
- 4 tortillas or rotis
- 1 tsp butter
- 1/8 tsp minced garlic, dried
- 3 – 4 tbsp water
- Salt , if required
- Rinse the beans and put them in a small pot over medium heat.
- Add 3 tbsp water, garlic and butter.
- Mash the beans with a fork or a potato masher.
- When the beans has a loose paste like consistency, remove from heat and allow to cool.
- Meanwhile heat the tortillas on a pan.
- Divide the beans into 4 sections.
- Spoon the beans on to the tortilla and roll into a burrito.
- Serve warm
This is a simple and easy curry I make to serve with puri’s or roti’s. Prep time for me is only about 5 minutes. I use my onion chopper to cut both the onions and potatoes. Then everything goes into the pressure cooker.
- 1 small onion, diced small
- 1 large russet potato, peeled and diced small
- 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
- 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
- 1/4 tsp turmeric
- 1 dried red chilli
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1 clove garlic crushed lightly , optional
- 2 green chillies split in half, optional
- 1/2 tsp salt or to taste
- 1 cup water
- Heat the oil in a small cooker on medium heat. First add the curry leaves to the oil. next add the mustard, cumin, red chilli and garlic.
- After 30 seconds or so add the onions and saute for a minute. Add the salt, turmeric and potatoes. mix well.
- Add the water and pressure cook for 3 whistles.
- Allow the cooker to cool down before opening.
- Serve hot with puri or roti.
This is a quick curry and the kids love chickpea curry in general. The chickpeas are like tiny balls, which first attracted my son to try the curry. To this day he still calls it balls koora (curry) and DD does the same now.
- 2 cans chickpeas
- 1 can chopped tomatoes
- 1 can tomato sauce
- 1 large onion chopped fine
- 1 tsp cumin powder
- 1 tsp coriander powder
- 1 tsp channa masala
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
- 5 curry leaves ( optional
- 2 tsp salt ( or to taste)
- 5 green chillies ( slit vertically)
- 3 tbsp oil
- 2 tsp ginger garlic paste ( or to taste)
- 1 dry red chilli
- In a large flat bottom pan heat oil on medium heat. add the red chilli, mustard and cumin seeds. After 30 seconds add the curry leaves.
- Next add the onions after another 30 seconds or so. Cook the onions till the start browning a bit.
- Add salt and all the various powdered spices. Add the tomatoes and cook for 5 min.
- Drain and rinse the chick peas and add them to the pan. Cook for another five minutes.
- Garnish with chopped cilantro if desired.
- Serve hot over rice or with roti.
Roti – also called Phulka or Chapati is very similar to the Mexican Tortilla. This was one cooking technique I was under the impression I would never be able to master. It did not mean that I gave up ……
Oh Ok ! I did give up for a while;… But only for a short while. The persistence has paid off though. I most probably still cannot make perfect rotis like the North Indian Pro’s who have grown up making rotis regularly, but the ones I make now don’t turn out crisp or get hard. They remain soft even after being refrigerated for a couple of days. Mostly the trick it seems is in how you knead the dough. The first thing I learnt was to use boiling hot water to knead the dough. Recently I had been told by a friend ( one of the Roti Pros as I call them) that hot water is not necessary, but I will stick to it, as it seems to have worked for me. My personal opinion is that the rotis taste a bit better when made that way. It had also made a difference in making the rotis stay soft.
The next thing I had learnt was that my dough was a bit too dry. I always ended up adding a bit more flour while kneading as I found the dough a bit sticky. The same Roti Pro friend had pointed out that my dough was a bit on the dry side. Since then I have modified the water to flour ratio and it sure has made a difference. Whole wheat flour tends to absorb more water so I usually let the dough sit for ten minutes after mixing in the water initially and knead again. The short resting period gives time for the dough to absorb the water and it is not sticky anymore to while kneading, thus eliminating the need to add more flour.
- 2 cups whole wheat flour ( plus extra for rolling out the rotis)
- 1 ¼ cups hot water
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Put the 2 cups of flour in a wide shallow bottom vessel or on a clean surface you would like to knead your dough on.
- Add the salt and olive oil and mix it into the flour.
- Make a well in the center of the flour and pour in a cup of hot water. Mix well with a spoon.
- Add more water a table spoon at a time until the dough comes together.
- If it is cool enough that you can touch the dough just bring together all the dough cover and let it rest for 10 min. If it is still hot, then use the spoon to do the same before resting it.
- After 10 minutes knead the dough for five minutes and then make equal sized balls of dough, a little smaller that a golf ball. This will make about 8-10 balls of dough.
- Cover and let the dough balls rest for another half hour at least.
- Heat an iron girdle on the stove on high.
- Flatten a dough ball slightly in the palm of your hand. Cover it well with flour by dabbing it in extra flour.
- Roll out the dough with a rolling pin. Keep rotating the roti during the rolling process to get a round shape.
- Reduce heat to medium under the girdle and put the roti on it.
- If the pan is hot enough small air bubbles should be visible on the rotis surface within 5 seconds.
- Flip it over on the other side for 10 seconds.
- Flip back again and now dab on the roti with a clean rolled up kitchen towel. Apply even pressure and dab all over it.
- The roti will start to puff up. A perfect roti would puff up all over. If you feel the other side need to cook a little longer flip over again for a few seconds before removing from heat.
- Remove immediately and serve hot.
- If you are going to serve them later stack them up and put them between to kitchen towels to prevent condensation or drying out.
- Rotis need to be kept covered always or they will dry out in a couple of hours.
- If you plan to refrigerate them put them in a Ziploc bag with a paper towel. The paper towel will absorb any condensation in the bag that might occur due to refrigeration.
I have been experimenting with a lot of different combinations for making whole wheat bread. I finally have one recipe whose texture and flavor I really like. AND the big bonus is that it passes muster with Aditya’s standards of a good bread he can eat. I make mine with fresh wheat flour ground at home. I also grind my flour super fine. In the recipe I am just going to mention whole wheat flour, but do keep in mind that type of flour used and how it was ground can make a difference in the end product.
- 4 ¼ cups Whole Wheat flour
- 1 ½ Cups Water
- 3 Tbsp Gluten
- 2 Tbsp Potato Flakes
- 3 Tbsp Sugar
- 2 Tsp Salt
- 2 ½ Tbsp I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter
- 2 ½ Tsp Active Dry Yeast
- ¼ Tsp Liquid Soy Lecithin
- Put Ingredients into the bread machine according to the Manuals instructions and knead the dough.
- Remove the dough from the machine, once the dough cycle is over. Shape it into a loaf to fit into your loaf pan
- Allow to rise for at least 1 hour up to a max of 3 hours.
- Bake in n oven, preheated to 350 degree F for 30 min or till done.
- Remove the bread from the oven and tent it with silver foil for 30 min to ensure a soft crust.
- Remove from pan and allow the bread to cool on a wire rack.
Yields one 2 lb loaf.
- You can finish baking the bread in the bread machine. There are 2 reasons why I don’t finish the baking in the bread machine.
- One- I am not too fond of the holes it leaves in my bread where the machine blades were.
- Two – My machine makes the bread too high to fit into the toaster properly.
- You can substitute I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter with oil, butter or Smart Balance.
- Potato flakes are optional, but I like the way my loaf turned out with them. The potato flakes act as a dough enhancer.
You can also knead your dough with your hands, a stand mixer of food processor. Just ferment your yeast in a ½ cup of warm water for 10 min before proceeding
By the end of day when I sit down to write the posts for my recipes I find my self dozing off in front of the computer. Rather than have recipes with a bunch of mistakes in them I am going to write summaries of posts I intend to write.
Mushroom and Spinach Omelet
An easy way for me to incorporates some veggies in the diet. When I make this for the kids or for breakfast, I skip out the onions. It’s always well done in the Indian style. Anything less than well done gives Aditya an allergic reaction to the eggs.
Fried Tandoori Catfish
Every time I go shopping and we pass the meat counter, Aditya begs me for fish. This is one of his favorite dishes. I pan fry the fish. The yellow tinge is due to turmeric. I always add turmeric to the marinade. Besides its color, turmeric is supposed to anti- microbial properties. This is a good bonus to inhibit microbial growth in raw meats, while they are marinating.
Whole Wheat Blueberry Muffins
Loaded with blueberries and low in sugar these were a delicious treat. I tried making them as healthy as possible, The recipe had called for whole milk and butter. I used 1% fat milk and I can’t believe It’s not butter instead. I had made some chocolate muffins too. Those were good too, but not as good as these. The berries added a natural sweetness and moisture to the muffins. I will have to modify the chocolate muffin recipe to add more moisture to them.
Shrimp is another of Aditya’s favorites. I actually baked these in the toaster over. They were marinated in a ginger, garlic and jalapeno pepper paste.
This photograph was taken with my Canon DSLR as compared to my previous ones in this post which were taken with my Sony Powershot , point and shoot camera. And I did not digitally enhance this image.
Chicken drumsticks cooked almost anyway are a favorite with the kids. These were marinated the same way as the shrimp and baked in the toaster oven.
Homemade Whole Wheat English Muffins
I love English Muffins, but don’t like how sweet the whole wheat ones available in the market usually are. For these I used the recipe for regular muffins and substituted all-purpose flour with my home milled wheat flour. These were great and the kids loved them too.
Chicken Kalmi Kebab Curry
This is my take on the Kalmi Kebab recipe. My Mom has a recipe for it which had soy sauce added to the marinade, as far as I remember. I like a good gravy too. This dish does not have a lot, and needs to be cooked until most of the liquid has evaporated. I marinated the chicken with ginger-garlic paste, yoghurt, lemon juice and soy sauce. The gravy was created with two medium onions chopped fine. The onions add a sweetness which goes well with the dish. I also added a lot of jalapeno peppers. I have stopped using the Thai chilies I usually use as the kids cannot handle the heat. The jalapeno’s give heat, but also adds a lot of flavor which I like.
Who doesn’t love Ice Cream? Hmmm!! Well I like it but don’t love it. My kids on the other hand love it. Ujwala is always begging to go to the ice cream shop.
” I want to go to the ice cream shop. Pleeeeease!!”
I felt pretty bad saying no to her almost every day. So I finally pulled out my ice cream maker and made a small batch. Both the kids loved it, but surprisingly she hasn’t begged me for more since then.
I am assuming she doesn’t feel the need to beg for it everyday as she knows mom can make it. Oh well !!! who knows what goes on inside the head of a two year old.
I have a Cuisine Art Ice Cream maker. The bowl needs to be put in the freezer for at-least 24 hours, before I can use it. The ingredients in the recipe itself are pretty simple.
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup evaporated milk
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- Assemble your ice cram maker as per the instructions.
- Add all ingredients to the bowl and run machine for about 25 minutes.
- Put the ice cream in a freezer safe bowl and put in the freezer for at least 2 hours.
Quinoa is the new health grain that is being touted a lot and I have to admit I love it. It is actually a pseudo cereal and not really a grain. If you want to eat healthier and you really don’t enjoy brown rice, I would suggest giving this a try.
- 1/4 cup onions chopped fine
- 1 cup quinoa
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 1/4 cup frozen peas
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- salt to taste
- In a pan heat oil and saute the onions.
- When the onions are translucent, add a pinch of salt to season the onions. Then add the quinoa and the broth. Stir well.
- Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cook covered on medium heat for 12 to 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile defrost and cook the peas in a microwave on high for 3 minutes.
- When all the water has evap0rated, turn off the stove, fluff the Quiona and stir in the peas. Cover and let ti stan for another 10 to 15 minutes before serving.
- Use a low sodium broth to reduce and sodium content and salting the onions can also be skipped.
- Serve as is or with a curry. Can be used as a substitute for rice.
Rava Laddu is a simple and easy to make sweet and Iwanted to make something special for Sankranthi. Most recipes, called for equal amounts of the main ingredients. But I find equal amounts of rava, ghee and sugar a bit too sweet for my taste. So I scaled down on the ghee and sugar.
When it comes to Upma, I have had to cave in and resort to the traditional way of making it with ghee only; and a lot of it at that. But the results are indeed delicious as a recent phone call from hubby confirmed it.
Adding some veggies is my way of making it a wee bit healthier and I can get my kids to eat more veggies this way.