November 30, 2008

An Ode to Alice - Veggie Finger Sandwiches

I still remember the day, I read 'Alice in Wonderland' lying flat on the floor, for the first time when I was 10yrs old. I have read it many times since then and now for 'The book that makes me cook', I have to cook a dish inspired by it. I had these huge plans to make 'Orange Marmalade' with a tag 'EAT ME' and a juice with says 'DRINK ME'. But, I fell sick again at the very last moment, so I ended up preparing these simple 'Veggie Finger Sandwiches' as an evening tea snack! :D

Curiouser and curiouser the prose it did seem,
As day became night and the moon it did beam.
I huddled ’neath covers as white as the snow,
And my love for this tome did continue to grow.

With Rabbit and Dormouse and Hatter and Queen,
And White Knight and Cheshire Cat whose body unseen
Remained in my nightmares for nearly a year.
But yet there was more I learned I had to fear…

For then in the sequel appeared a most hideous
Beast indescribable, the mem’ry insidious!
I read the adventure, and each tick of the clock
Gave life to this beast, the famed Jabberwock!

With vorpal sword in hand the beamish boy
In bravery did slay, oh, what glee, ah, such joy!
Of an age I reflect as the decades have spanned
’tween now and my first reading of Alice and her Wonderland.

~ by Ruthann Logsdon Zaroff

Veggie Finger Sandwiches

Bread slices
Basil pesto sauce (store bought)
Tomatoes, sliced
Onion, sliced
Cucumber, sliced
Carrot, long wide strips (using a peeler)


Spread the basil pesto sauce of each of the bread slices. Arrange all the veggies and place the final piece of bread on top.
Cut the sandwich into quadrants and insert toothpicks into them. Serve on a platter with any dip in the middle..:)

I will update the post with links of my other friends who made 'Alice' inspired goodies soon.

Sandwiches for my Mad Tea Party
Aparna: Orange Marmalade Cake


November 24, 2008

Weekend Herb Blogging (WHB) # 159 Roundup

Hosting Weekend Herb Blogging was my long lasting wish, which became a reality this week. I received some yummy entries from every part of the globe and I wanna Congratulate Kalyn for successfully running this event for 3 successful years..:)) and now the baton is passed to lovely Haalo.

Without further ado, lets dig into this week's recipes...

Note: the entries are arranged in no specific order.

Name: Cheryl
Location: VA, USA
Recipe: Harvest Apple crisp

Name: Jerry
Location: Canada
Recipe: Balsamic Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta

Name: Cinzia
Location: Italy
Recipe: Biological dishwashing liquid

Name: Kalyn
Recipe: Pressure Cooker Vegetable Soup with Giant White Beans, Ham, and Bay Leaves

Name: Pam
Location: Australia
Recipe: Basil French Toast

Name: Virginie
Location: France
Recipe: Cocoa & Red Wine Biscuits

Name: Haalo
Location: Australia
Recipe: Blood Orange and Black Radish Salad

Name: Laurie
Location: Alaska
Recipe: Pork and Quince Stew

Name: Yasmeen
Location: USA
Recipe: Veggie Sprouts Noodles

Name: Heather
Recipe: Zirbenz Pine Liqueur

Name: Haley
Location: USA
Recipe: Conchiglie al Pomodoro

Name: Anna
Location: Australia
Recipe: Oysters with Horseradish & Parmesan

Name: Susan
Location: USA
Recipe: Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Pears

Name: Gay
Location: Philippines
Recipe: Thai Fried Rice

Name: Maria
Location: Greece
Recipe: All about Pumpkin

Name: Lisa
Location: Canada
Recipe: Chickpea Pumpkin Burgers

Name: Ning
Location: Philippines
Recipe: Oyster and Spinach Stir Fry

Name: Marija
Location: Serbia
Recipe: Herbed Chicken Skewers

and finally my entry to this week's WHB....

Baked Eggs with Vegetables (Adapted from here)


2 cups of Veggies: I used coarsely chopped - yellow squash, zucchini, string beans, carrots, bell peppers, tomato, onion
2 eggs
1 clove of garlic, very finely chopped
1-2 tbsp Olive oil
Salt & Pepper
fresh Coriander


1. Preheat oven for 375 deg.

2. In a mixing bowl, mix veggies with garlic and olive oil. Then season with salt & pepper. Transfer the contents in an oven-proof dish and bake for 10-15 mins.

3. When the veggies and almost cooked, slip the eggs over them and again bake them for 5-15 mins, until the yolk is cooked.

4. Serve. We had this, as-is as a one pot meal one night and it was definitely a refreshing change for us, especially when we were bored of rice or roti for our dinner.

Happy Thanksgiving folks!


November 16, 2008

Announcing Weekend Herb Blogging # 159

Its my pleasure to guest host Weekend Herb Blogging, here at my place. The event has gone through successfully for three long years now and it is in its 4th year..:)

Hearty Congratulations Kalyn and three cheers to you ..:D

Here I (re)present the rules for WHB:

1. Entries to Weekend Herb Blogging must be posts written specifically for WHB. i.e the entries cannot be passed on to any other event except the photos used in the posts can be submitted to photo events like DMBLGIT.

2. Weekend Herb Blogging entries should have the goal of helping people learn about cooking with herbs or plant ingredients.

Only two types of entries will be accepted:

* Recipe posts where a herb or plant ingredient is one of the primary ingredients in the recipe.

* Informative posts that spotlight one herb or plant ingredient, particularly including information about how they are used in cooking.

Naturally, posts can be a combination of both these criteria.

3. Posts must contain the phrase Weekend Herb Blogging with a link to the this post and Haalo's blog. Inclusion of WHB logo in your posts is optional.

4. The posts may be written anytime during this week but you must email me with WHB in the subject line by November 23rd 2008 to info(dot)siri(at)gmail(dot)com:

3pm Sunday - Utah Time
9pm Sunday - London Time
8am Monday - Melbourne (Aus) Time

You can also use this converter to find out the corresponding time in your location.

5. In your email please include the following information:
  • Your Name
  • Your Blog Name/URL
  • Your Post URL
  • Your Location
  • Attach a photo of size 300px X 300px.
6. The roundup will be published Sunday Night or Monday at max.

Lets start cooking then....

Have a great week ahead.


November 9, 2008

Sooji Halwa

This is the yummiest of all Indian desserts and its so simple to make. When refrigerated properly, it stays fresh for atleast 3-4 days.


Sooji Halwa


2 cups Sooji (Cream of wheat)
2 cups Sugar
1/2 cup Nuts, finely chopped (I used cashews, raisins and almonds)
8 cups of water
1 tsp Ghee


Step 1: Heat a tsp of ghee and roast the nuts, until golden brown. Set aside.

Step 2: In a sauce pan, bring water to boil and add sugar. Stir well. On a medium-low flame, slowly add sooji, while stirring it constantly so that it doesn't form lumps.

Step 3: Cook for 4-5 minutes and now add half of the roasted nuts. Mix well.

Step 4: Take a flat bottom bowl and evenly spread rest of the nuts at its bottom. Spread the halwa on them and press. Turn it upside down on the serving plate. It looks so beautiful topped with raisins and is in the shape of a cake..:)

This is how I served for Diwali potluck party at my work place.

DK, Valli, Ranji, PJ, Curry Leaf, Medha, Priya, Bhawna, Raaji, Ruchii, Anu, Kamala, Roopa, Divya Kudua, Rekha, Divya, Lakshmi, Raaga, Lakshmi Venkatesh, Sripriya, Karuna, Roochi,Kamalika, Pavani, Viji


November 8, 2008

RM 2: Tofu Fried Rice

I made some yummy 'Tofu Fried Rice' today and Off this goes to Valli's Rice Mela..:D

Tofu Fried Rice (Adapted from here)


2 cups of uncooked rice
1 cup of Tofu, cut into chunks
1 medium Onion, finely sliced
1 Tomato, finely chopped
2 Garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup Milk
1-2 Bay leaves
1/8th tsp Turmeric
1 tsp Garam Masala
1/2 tsp Chilli powder
Salt to taste
2 tbsp Oil


Step 1: Par boil rice and Set aside.

Step 2: In a sauce pan, heat oil and add bay leaves with onion & garlic. Saute until golden brown. Mix in tomatoes now and season with salt, turmeric, garam masala and chilli powder.

Step 3: On a medium-low flame, add milk, stirring occasionally. Cook for 5-6 mins. Finally add the tofu pieces and cook for couple of mins. Set aside.

Step 4: In a separate saucepan, evenly spread a layer of tofu mixture (just the gravy, w/o tofu pieces) and then top a layer of rice. Alternate likewise. Make sure the topmost is a layer of rice.

Step 5: Cover cook for 10-12 mins on low flame without stirring. Serve.

RM 2 runners along with me: Check them out..

DK, Valli, Ranji, PJ, Curry Leaf, Medha, Priya, Bhawna, Raaji, Ruchii, Anu, Kamala, Roopa, Divya Kudua, Rekha, Divya, Lakshmi, Raaga, Lakshmi Venkatesh, Sripriya, Kamalika, Pavani, Viji


November 7, 2008

RM 2: Black eyed bean Quinoa with Caramalized Onions

This is my second recipe that I experimented with Quinoa, this time with beans...:)

Black eyed bean Quinoa with Caramalized Onions


1 cup cooked Quinoa (Cook as per package instructions)
1/4 cup fire roasted Bell peppers (store bought)
1 tsp Olive oil
1/2 can Black eyed beans
1 tomato, finely chopped
Salt & Pepper to taste
1 tsp lime juice
1 tsp toasted Sesame oil (optional: for garnishing)


1. Heat oil in a wok and saute tomatoes and bell peppers for 2-3 mins. Add beans and season with salt & pepper. Cook for 5-6 mins on a medium-low flame.

2. Add cooked quinoa to the bean mixture and mix contents well. Cook for 3-4 mins until the flavors blend together.

3. Finally garnish with toasted sesame oil and lime juice. Serve hot with caramelized onions.

Caramelized Onions:

Cut 1 medium Onion into thin juveniles and separate the layers. In a wok, heat some oil and add onions all at once. Toss them using a spatula and cook for 5-6 mins on a medium flame, until they reach a dark brownish glaze *. Season slightly if desired. Serve warm.

*One can sprinkle some water (when done) to deglaze the onions.

Check out my other marathon runners:

DK, Valli, Ranji, PJ, Curry Leaf, Medha, Priya, Bhawna, Raaji, Ruchii, Anu, Kamala, Roopa, Divya Kudua, Rekha, Divya, Lakshmi, Raaga, Lakshmi Venkatesh, Sripriya, Kamalika, Pavani, Viji


November 6, 2008

RM 2: Tangy Okra Stew

Today's dish is one of my all time favorite side dishes and I end up making this atleast once a week. I love the tangy taste of tamarind and the addition of Okra which gives it a distinct taste which is very hard to resist..:)

Tangy Okra Stew


1 cup cut Okra pieces
1 medium Onion, finely chopped
1/2 Tomato, finely chopped
1 tsp Tomato paste
1 tbsp Tamarind pulp
Salt to taste
1/8th tsp Turmeric
1 tsp Chilli powder
1 tsp Canola Oil

For Tampering:

1 tsp Urad dal
1 tsp Mustard seeds
1 tsp Cumin seeds
a pinch of Hing


Step 1: Heat oil in a wok, add the ingredients listed for 'tampering'. Add in onion & tomatoes. Saute for couple of minutes.

Step 2: Add tomato paste and tamarind pulp to the onion-tomato mixture and cook for 2-3 minutes. Season with salt, turmeric and chilli powder. Stir the contents well.

Step 3: Finally mix in the okra pieces and cook for 3-4 minutes on medium-low flame. Then add about 2 cups of water and adjust the seasonings if needed. Cook for 5-6 minutes.

This dish tastes yum with a some rice and ghee! Enjoi..:)

There are 24 members running along with me in Recipe Marathon 2. Do check out what they cooked up for us today!

DK, Valli, Ranji, PJ, Curry Leaf, Medha, Priya, Bhawna, Raaji, Ruchii, Anu, Kamala, Roopa, Divya Kudua, Rekha, Divya, Lakshmi, Raaga, Lakshmi Venkatesh, Sripriya, Kamalika, Pavani, Viji


November 5, 2008

Quinoa Vegetable Pancakes

It was my project manager at work place who introduced 'Quinoa' to me and I must confess that I was least interested in the beginning. But as the proverb goes - "Necessity is the mother of Invention", I ran out of rice this weekend and had to experiment with this substitute.

A little of Quinoa (KEEN-wah):

Image credit

Quinoa is a not-so-common item in an American kitchen, which is technically not a true grain, but is the seed of the Chenopodium or Goosefoot plant. When cooked, it has a slightly crunchy texture and a nutty flavor. Studies show that the health benefits of Quinoa are abundant as they are rich in amino acids and essential proteins, much better than 'carbs' that we usually take through rice. Its a great choice for vegans and relatively a high source of calcium, iron and vitamins.

I tried couple of recipes out of Quinoa and all of them turned out to be super-delicious, to my pleasant surprise ofcourse.

Here is one such dish, 'Quinoa Pancakes'..:) - a great way to start out to use this unknown grain..:D

Quinoa Pancakes


1 cup Veggies (finely chopped): Zucchini, Bell peppers, Onion, Tomatoes
1 cup cooked Quinoa * (look for it in any local grocery stores)
1 egg
1 cup All purpose flour
Salt to taste
1/4 cup Milk
2 tsp Olive Oil

*(Cook as per package instructions. I used my rice cooker with 1 part Quinoa to 2 part water proportion.)


Step 1: Heat a tsp of oil in a wok and saute all the veggies for 3-4 mins. Set aside.

Step 2: In a mixing bowl, combine egg and milk . Add flour and water stirring into a fine batter with a consistency of a pancake batter. Season with salt and add a tsp of olive oil.

Step 3: Finally add in quinoa & veggie mixture and mix well.

Step 4: Heat greased griddle and pour a small batter. Tip to spread out (or) spread with a spoon.

Step 5: Cook one side for 2-3 mins on a medium-low flame and turn over to cook the other side.

Serve hot!

See what my fellow marathon runners are upto:

DK, Valli, Ranji, PJ, Curry Leaf, Medha, Priya, Bhawna, Raaji, Ruchii, Anu, Kamala, Roopa, Divya Kudua, Rekha, Divya, Lakshmi, Raaga, Lakshmi Venkatesh, Sripriya, Kamalika, Pavani, Viji

signing off,

November 4, 2008

Grilled Toritillas

A mainstay of a typical Mexican diet and named by Spanish conquistators is - a 'Tortilla'. Today, I am gonna share a quickie brunch on any lazy day. A wide variety of flavored tortillas are available these days and I bought a pack of tangy tomato last weekend.

Grilled Tortillas


2 (Tomato or any other) Tortillas
3 tbsp of Refried bean paste
Cheese blend
1 tbsp Hot Salsa mix


Evenly apply a tbsp of refried bean paste of one side of a tortilla. Then, layer with some hot salsa mix. Finally top it with some cheese. Fold and grill for 2-3 minutes. Serve hot!

Check out my other marathon runners too..:)

signing off for now,

RM 2: Vermicelli Pulihora and a winner..

There came a time, he realized, when the strangeness of everything made is increasingly difficult to realize the strangeness of anything.

~ James Hilton

The above lines perfectly depict my current mood...:). I wanna be in 'Shangra-La' today. wondering what I am talking about? Shangra-La is a fictional, mystical valley described in the book - 'Lost Horizon', a book by James Hilton. It contains all of the classic ingredients of paradise.

Who doesn't dream of such a place which is simultaneously placid and intellectually invigorating - I am dreaming one all day today!. A place made for the heat and the heart where both live in happy unison to a ripe age! That would be so perfect!..:D

Ok enough of my boring talk, coming to the third recipe in my 'Breakfast & Brunch' category: 'Vermicelli Pulihora'

Vermicelli Pulihora


2 cups of uncooked Vermicelli
1/8th tsp Turmeric
Salt to taste
2 tbsp Tamarind pulp

For tampering:

1 tsp Oil
1 tsp Urad Dal
1 tsp Mustard seeds
1 tsp Cumin seeds
2 whole Red chillies


Step 1: In a large sauce pan, boil water and cook vermicelli for couple of mins. Drain the water in a colander and Set aside.

Step 2: Heat oil in a wok and add the ingredients listed for 'tampering'. Saute for couple of seconds and then add tamarind pulp. Season with salt and turmeric. Mix well.

Step 3: Cook the tamarind mixture for 2-3 minutes in a medium-low flame and finally add cooked vermicelli. Mix the contents well and adjust seasoning if needed.

Step 4: Serve hot and it taste better the next day!


MBP: Say Cheese giveaway winner...

Thanks to one and all for casting your vote for MBP: Say Cheese giveaway. 100 people participated in the poll and we have a clear winner. She is

... Divya Vikram of Dil Se with 42% of votes (Results in my left sidebar)! and she made these yummy Cheese stuffed Jalapenos. Congratulations dear..:DD

Click here for the complete MBP roundup!

See what my co-marathon runners are upto...
signing off for now,

November 3, 2008

RM 2: Batate Poha

The next dish in my 'Breakfast & Brunch' series is 'Batate Pohe'.

Poha is flattened or beaten rice which have a tendency to swell when added to a liquid, in my recipe its 'water'. The addition of potato gives a distince taste to the recipe and makes it an wholesome experience..:).

Batate Poha


1 medium Potato, boiled, peeled, mashed
2 cups of Poha (flattened rice)
1 medium Onion, finely chopped
1/2 Tomato, finely chopped
1/8 tsp Turmeric
2 tsp Canola oil
2-3 whole Red Chillies
a pinch of Hing
Salt to taste
1 tsp Ural dal
1 tsp Mustard seeds
1 tsp Cumin seeds (Jeera)
1 tsp of Lemon juice (optionl: for garnishing)


Step 1: Wash pohe in water, drain in a strainer. Set aside.

Step 2: In a wok, heat oil and add urad dal, mustard seeds, red chillies, cumin seeds and hing. Saute them for a minute or so.

Step 3: Now add mashed potato, salt and turmeric. Finally add pohe and mix well. Let it cook for couple of more minutes on medium-low flame.

Serve immediately garnishing with some lemon juice.
Check out what my co-marathon runners are upto...

November 2, 2008

Vegetable Frittata Muffins

When DK told me about the new (optional) twist for Recipe Marathon 2, of posting recipes based on a theme , I was so apprehensive to stick to one, owing to my tendency of easily getting bored of the stuff I make. But, at the very last minute, I have decided to have two weeks of November theme-based.

"Rather go to bed supper less, than run in debt for a Breakfast ".

~ Benjamin Franklin

This week I will be posting all recipes for 'Breakfast & Brunch' category. These are those unique ones, which I have always envisioned to make someday and the best part - they are healthy and easy-breezy recipes.

....Its a known fact that I am an ardent lover of eggs, for their rich protein content and unique taste. The inspiration of my first recipe is Anu's post, which she made from Stephanie's blog.
I have added a serving of veggies to these muffins and they make truly an amazing and healthy breakfast!

Vegetable Frittata Muffins (Adapted from here)

Makes 10 mini frittata muffins


5 large Eggs
1/4 cup Milk
1/2 medium Onion, finely chopped
2-3 pieces of finely chopped store-bought fire-roasted Bell Peppers (or) one can easily substitute with normal ones.
1 Tomato, finely chopped
1 small Garlic pod, finely minced
1/2 medium Zucchini, grated
1 tsp Olive oil
Salt & Pepper
1/2 cup Cheddar Cheese


Step 1: In a large mixing bowl, whisk eggs and milk together. Set aside.

Step 2: Heat olive oil in a wok, saute first onions until golden brown, then add in peppers, tomato and zucchini. Cook for couple of minutes.

Step 3: Add the sauteed vegetables to egg mixture and mix in salt, pepper and grated cheese.

Step 4: Preheat oven for 350 deg and grease the muffin pan with some olive oil. Fill three-fourths with egg mixture and bake for 20-25 minutes. Serve hot.

Off these go to dear DK's AWED:American event...:)

Wanna check out what my fellow marathon runners are upto:

DK, Valli, Ranji, PJ, Curry Leaf, Medha, Priya, Bhawna, Raaji, Ruchii, Anu, Kamala, Roopa, Divya Kudua, Rekha, Divya, Lakshmi, Raaga, Lakshmi Venkatesh, Sripriya, Viji

Have a great week ahead folks!


November 1, 2008

'Say Cheese' Roundup and a giveaway!

Today is the first day of Recipe Marathon 2, a brainchild of my dearest friend, Dhivya and I am all set to blog the entire month of November. There are 14 more enthusiastic blogger friends who have joined us this time and I hope we have loads of fun and some ever-lasting friendships during our journey...:)

..I would like to kick start RM 2 with a 'long due' roundup of MBP: Say Cheese and I apologize for the delay.

Finally, its done and I also have a surprise giveaway, which you would know about at the end of this post! Stay tuned...:)

Many thanks to these lovely ladies who sent their yummy creations to the event.:D

Dhivya: 'Cheese Baked Pasta Shells' from Frugalmom's blog.

Yasmeen: 'Lemon Ricotta Almond Cake' from Gluten-Free Bay blog.

Yasmeen: 'Cheese Apple Souffle' from Nami-Nami blog.

Uma: Bread Rolls from Medhaa's blog.

Sweatha: Cheesy Bell Pepper Rice from Mansi's Blog.

Sweatha: Cheese Pennies from Nupur's blog

Swati: Potato Cream Cheese Methi Parathas from Sunita's blog.

Swati: Palak Paneer from Sia's blog

Rachel: Cheese Scones from Cynthia's blog

Priti: Wholegrain Pancakes from Anita's blog

Lakshmi: Kalakhand from Sandeepa's and Cham's blog.

Tee: Microwave Kalakhand from Sandeepa's blog

Jayashree: Cheese Garlic Biscuit from Cham's blog.

Easy Crafts(EC): Cheese Dosa from Srivalli's blog.

Divya Vikram: Cheese stuffed Jalapenos from Food Workshop.

Divya Vikram: Spinach Cheese Swirls from Dhivya's blog.

Divya Kudua: Pizza from Shilpa's blog.

Cham: Kalakhand from Sandeepa's blog.

Bhagyashri: Tomato Herb & Cheese Bread from Mansi's blog.

Please do let me know if I missed any entry, would be more than glad to add to the list.

Now coming for the fun part:

A surprise giveaway for one participant who get maximum votes. Please see the left side bar, to vote for your favorite entry. The poll is open till November 4th 2008 6:00pm (EST).

The winner will be announced the very next day (November 5th 2008)!

Belated Halloween wishes to one and all.

Do check what are my fellow marathon runners are upto:

DK, Valli, Ranji, PJ, Curry Leaf, Medha, Priya, Bhawna, Raaji, Ruchii, Anu, Kamala, Roopa, Divya Kudua, Rekha, Divya, Lakshmi, Raaga

signing off,

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...