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Friday, May 30, 2008

Recipe Marathon: Day 14: Open Sesame # 1 : Score card!

I have a crown yet I am not the king
You cut my crown and feet off with a fling

I carry lots of eggs, yet I nothing but a veggie
Even with all that I am thin and long not pudgy

I am green and I am gooey
If u don't pay attention, I will make your dish go mushy and chewy

I do good to your health and to you brain
Which is what your elders told you without refrain
Now its up to you to think and guess
To who I am ...Cos I am good too and no less.

...this was the riddle on 'veggie' placed in BOX 1 of our first edition of Open Sesame contest.

...and those who guessed it correct and earned a total of 25 points are:

Kalai
Sailu
Divya Vikram

...Congratulations dearies!!! and Thanks for participating in Open Sesame..:D

Lets celebrate this moment with some yummy Tali Hui Bhindi... Shall we!!




Adapted from Madhur Jaffrey's 'World Vegetarian' (Pg No: 254)

Ingredients:

Peanut or Canola oil for shallow frying
2 dried hot Red chillies
1.5 tsp whole (brown) mustard seeds (I used black ones)
1/2 pound Okra (See the note below)
1 smallish Onion, peeled, halved lengthwise and then cut crosswise into thin slices.
Salt & Pepper to taste
2 cloves Garlic, thinly sliced into strips (My addition)

Note: If using fresh Okra, choose young ones, tails & tops removed and then cut on a diagonal into 1/8inch-thick rounds.
I used 1 packet of frozen okra and to reduce its mucilage, placed the entire contents on a baking sheet and baked them for about 15-20 minutes at 400 deg. Believe me, this tip worked well and the subzi came dry and yummy!

Preparation:

1. Put the oil in a frying pan and set over a medium flame. When hot, put red chillies and garlic. Use a slotted spoon to remove and transfer them to a small bowl.

2. Put the mustard seeds into a long-handled metal cooking spoon, hold it with a dish towel or oven mitt, and lower it into the oil. As soon as the mustard seeds begin to pop, a matter of seconds, remove the spoon, pouring back as much oil as you can into the frying pan but retaining the mustard seeds. Put them into the bowl with red chillies.

3. Now put the Okra and onion into the same pan. Stir and fry for about 5 minutes. Turn the heat down just a bit and continue to fry until the okra and onion are crisp.
The frying should take about 10-12 minutes. Remove the okra and onion with a slotted spoon and drain well on paper towels before putting in a serving bowl.

4. Sprinkle with salt, black pepper and the popped mustard seeds. Throw in the red chillies, toss to mix, and serve hot!

'S' is a scorpion and Okra is the veggie given for SCORPIO in Fortune Cooking Contest. Off this dish goes to Shriya and Nithu's event!

Likewise, there were 3 more boxes in Open Sesame contest, with a riddle in each of them... here they go!

Box 2: Riddle for Spice: Answer: Saffron
---------------------------------------------------

I am the queen or am I the King
A very little of me goes a long way

I am part of a team and we all cling
including me will make your dish yellow and gay

You can include me in all
All you have to do is to pinch and call
Tell me what you think of me and dont think twice
Cos I am royal spice of all and will cost u every single penny!

....Arundathi opted for Box 2 and BINGO, she get 25 points. Great job dear!

Box 3: Riddle for Grains - Answer: Millet
---------------------------------------------------

I am old and ancient and in many places a staple
health and longevity are wonders I wear like a lapel

My different forms give different taste
one form is enjoyed in the mornings - eaten in haste!
Another form is in form of soups and porridge
Or in forms of plain or stuffed breads

I thrive in the hot summers..But make you feel good and warm
I am good to people although many just use me for feeding birds and cattle in farms
I am just no mean and lowly grass with striking resemblance to maize
I have 'pearls' of wisdom to share if you want, to listen to me with grace

People with celiac turn to me
I give you fibre and irons, so rich i am for the world to see
Now sit tight and give it a hard thought - be clever be sane
to guess who I am, the highly nutritious and healthful whole grain.

... Box 3 was the most popular one and the score card for this box is as follows:

Uma - 15 points
Cham - 25 points
Madhuram - 25 points
Rachel - 15 points
Srivalli - 20 points

... I know this was a bit tricky riddle gurls, but I must say, Hats Off to U all, for taking it so sportingly and guessing it till u got it right!!

Note: To know more about scoring pattern : Click here.

Box 4: Riddle for fruit: Answer: Banana.
---------------------------------------------------

I am golden yet not pricey
I can sometimes blush red but am no shy missy

I go green but i am not jealous
I know many like me for which I am over zealous

Cook me raw, eat me ripe
I give no room for gripe
People become me when they are mad or furious
Oh well, says not me, but Oxford and thesaurus

Every stage and every part of this being is put to use and for giving flavour
Be it the feet, the hands and me being the fruit of its labour
I am crescent shaped but am no moon
Dont delay, Think hard and tell me who I am, soon..

... Surprisingly, nobody opted for this Box..!!

I want to take this opportunity to thank my dear friend Dhivs, who wrote these cute riddles, which made Open Sesame more interesting. Thanks sweety..:)

Check out here, - the yummy dishes whipped up by our participants with their surprise ingredients!

Coming up next in Open Sesame:
Voting will begin for each of these categories on June 1st to June 5th 2008 (until midnight EST), where each of the Dining Hall forum members get to choose their favorites.
The winner and their prizes will be announced the following day!.


So, stay tuned folks.. there are lots of fun moments ahead!

Recipe Marathon Day 14: Menu

Srivalli is up with her famous LunchBox series.
Arudathi cooked up some yummy Mushroom Rolls.
Ranji made a yummy looking Eggplant curry today!
Known for her cool named recipes, Dhivya is up with one more today!
Its just a cup of Hot Chocolate, says Laks - a die heart fan of Chocolate.
Swati is suffering from IPL fever and check out what did she made today.
Divya whipped up a yummy looking Orange cake for us.
Raaga made a delicious looking Raspberry Raisin Ring today.

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Lets help Bri...



Have a great weekend ahead.

Siri

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Recipe Marathon: Day 13: Food Art: Mango Mania...

This got me thinking.. I mean 'real thinking'! .

...what should I do?..

mango shaped cookies?..

mango scented candles?..

something with beads .. (Oh no! I am pathetic at stitching too!)..

..finally, I ended up drawing these..

....few illustrations with crayons inspired from a travel magazine which I happen to browse through some time back!


Off these go to Indira's Food Art series with 'Mango Manthram' as the theme. A special thank you to Indira for taking me back to my good old school days and making me realize that I can still sketch! Yeh Yeh Yeh!


Mango Maama(i)


Mango(Leaves) Ballerina


Chotu Motu Mango Bhaiyya



Mango Juggler



Mr.Mango Mermaid

Though, I love all of these, my favorite is 'Mango Ballerina'..:D.. which one is ur favorite..? I am just curious to know which one get maximum votes..*wink*...!!

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[EDIT]: For Recipe Marathon, I am supposed to blog about a 'recipe' today - a different variation of Cabbage Poriyal. U ask whats special with this dish?.. It has some unique ingredients which makes it spicier than usual bland variety.


Preparation:

Heat some oil in a wok, add in our usual tadka (Urad dal + Mustard seeds + Cumin seeds + Red Chillies), with some curry leaves. Let the, splutter and then add in boiled cabbage. Season with turmeric, salt, red chilli powder, sambhar powder, rasam powder and kandipodi.
Mix the contents well and cook for about 5-6 minutes. Serve hot.

Recipe Marathon: Day 13 - Menu
----------------------------------------

Arundathi made some yummy Mooli and Aloo Parathas today!
Laks whipped up cool and refreshing Mor Kootu. best for these hot summers!
Srivalli is upto some Chicken Masti!
Ranji made a yummy Chocolate Chip Banana bread.
Swati cooked up a combo of Aloo and Parwal.
Bhags says 'Go Healthy' today with her 'Oats bars'.
Divya made a yummy looking curry with Black eyed beans.
Dhivya whip up some cool Brown Rice patties with her leftovers.
Raaga made spaghetti with bechamel sauce.

Have a fun day ahead!

Siri

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Recipe Marathon: Day 12 - Tindora/Dondakaya Rice

If you like Tindora/Dondakaya as much I do, then this rice is for YOU!




Ingredients:

1 cup Rice
1 cup frozen Tindora (or freshly cut Dondakaya!)
Salt to taste
1 tbsp Vegetable Oil
1/4 tsp Turmeric
1 tsp Red Chilli powder
1 tsp Garam Masala
2 slit Green Chillies
few fresh Curry leaves
1 tsp Cumin seeds
1/2 tsp Mustard seeds

Preparation:

1. In a pressure cooker, heat some oil, add cumin seeds and mustard seeds. Let them splutter. Then add in curry leaves, green chillies and tindora. Cook for 4-5 minutes.

2. Soak rice for about 30 minutes. Add soaked rice to the pot and then season with salt, turmeric, red chilli powder and garam masala powder. Mix well. Cook for 2 whistles and Set aside.

3. Serve hot with any curry.

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Everyday, I get to know so many new food blogger friends and their cute comments about how much they devoured the recipes. So, I thought why don't I introduce these enthusiastic food bloggers to all of my readers, under the name 'My Food Blogger Finds'.

In my first edition of 'My Food Blogger Finds', let me introduce Rajani of 'Vegetarian in Me'.

More about Rajani: in her own words...

A part time writer, some time film maker, more than half of the time 'kitchen queen' and completely, wholly full time mother. That's me and somewhat my life. Living in the middle east and being a vegetarian - what are my choices? I am still figuring that one out! Meanwhile my kitchen is my playground - and I set the rules here. Well I didn't start the blog to vent and rant but essentially to share with others the magic I see in my kitchen (which occasionally does dish out chicken and fish for my vegetably challenged husband). And also to share, remember and recreate foods that I have eaten, smelled, read about - now and in the past. So if you are as gastronomically inclined as I am towards trying out something new, something different, something that kids will enjoy - especially if it involves no meat - here's where the action is!

Glad to know you Rajani and Welcome to the World of Food Blogging!
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Recipe Marathon: Day 12 - Menu
----------------------------------------

Srivalli
Bhags
Arundati - Cook-up Rice
Lakshmi
Divya Vikram
Ranji
Swati
Dhivya
Raaga

Have a great Wednesday ahead!

Siri

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Recipe Marathon: Day 11 - AWED: Eggplant Rice

I made this yummy yet simple Arabic rice dish from Seena's blog. She had learnt this from her aunt and I must say, it didn't disappoint me at all. When served warm, it was indeed a crowd pleaser...:)


Variation: I added some Garam Masala powder for that extra spicy flavor!

Hop on to Seena's Simple and Delicious blog to know how to whip up this recipe.


... and this is my entry to AWED: Middle Eastern event hosted by yours truly!..:)

Recipe Marathon: Day 11 Menu :
--------------------------------------

Srivalli
Bhags
Arundati
Lakshmi
Divya Vikram
Ranji
Swati
Dhivya
Raaga

Have a great Tuesday ahead!

Siri

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Recipe Marathon: Day 9 - Baked Home Fries

This is the simplest, quickest and healthiest brunch/snack one can ever make. Its simplest as it takes only fewest of ingredients, quickest because it can be made in flat 15 minutes max and healthiest as its a low-caloried recipe.

Without any await, here is the first look and the recipe follows:


Baked Home Fries
----------------------

Ingredients:

2 Russet Potatoes, quartered
1 tbsp Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper
1/2 medium sized Onion, thinly sliced
1 Green chilli, thinly slit

Preparation:

1. Preheat oven to 375 deg.

2. In a baking dish, spray the bottom with some oil, mix in potatoes, onions, chilli, salt and pepper.

3. Bake for about 10 to 15 minutes, flipping twice or thrice in between.

4. Tastes yummmy, when served hot!


This is my entry to 'Veg Head Carnival', hosted by Chef Erik!

Recipe Marathon: Day 9 Menu:
--------------------------------

Srivalli - Pearl Millet Jaggery Pancake
Bhags
Arundati - Cutlets
Lakshmi
Divya Vikram
Ranji
Swati
Dhivya - Masala Oil
Raaga

Have a great Sunday ahead folks.

Siri

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Recipe Marathon: Day 8 - Sunshine Punch

'Little Ms.Sunshine' - thats the title of my first post way back on August 24th 2007.

.. After 9 months of exhilarating food blogging experience, with 135 posts in my kitty,..I am back with little Sunshine again - this time with a punch!



Sunshine Punch
-------------------

Ingredients:

2 cups of Orange juice
1 lemon - squeezed
1 cup of Pineapple juice
Sugar - if needed
1/2 cup white Grape juice
fresh black grapes

Preparation:

Mix orange juice, lemon juice, pineapple juice and grape juice in a bowl. Add sugar if needed. Serve the punch in a glass and drop some black grapes. Serve chilled!

Recipe Marathon - Day 8: Menu
---------------------------------------

Srivalli made yummy Rava Upma, this saturday morning.
Raaga talks about her long lasting affair with soups and made one too!
Hot, spicy Chana Masala and roti - thats one yummy way to kickstart a lazy saturday!
Ranji made the ultimate summer cooler - Mango Kulfi
Divya made some yummy Chilli bajjis today!
Sip and Go Naked, thats the mantra of Swati this saturday night!
Dhivs made our famous Rajma Chawal.

...coming up more.

Have a great Saturday ahead!

Siri

Friday, May 23, 2008

Recipe Marathon: Day 7 - Egg Puffs

Monday evening 4pm

Two little kiddos jump from their school bus and run into the house. They freshen up and sit in front of the TV.......;)

As the clock ticks towards 4:30pm, the two little devils are involved in a crazy battle as to who gets the larger portion of the hot goodies that their mama would be getting in a short while from now!

U ask what? any guesses what they are......


...................Its a packet filled with some hot Egg Puffs..:D and this used to happen for almost 3 times a week for many many years... and we still fight!...:)


This is undoubtedly one of my fondest memories that I would cherish...and Off these yummy Egg puffs goes to Sarah's 'Tastes to Remember' event.




Egg Puffs with Spicy Onion Masala
------------------------------------------

Ingredients:

1 Puff Pastry sheet, thawed for atleast 30 minutes
4 hard boiled Eggs, cut into halves, lengthwise

For Onion Masala

1 tbsp Oil
1 medium Onion, cut into thin slices
Salt to taste
1 clove Garlic, minced
1 tsp Cumin seeds
1/2 tsp Garam Masala
1/8 tsp Turmeric
1 tsp Red Chilli powder
fresh Cilantro leaves

Preparation:

1. To prepare Onion Masala, heat oil in a pan, toss garlic, cumin seeds and onion, saute until golden brown. Then add salt, turmeric, garam masala and red chilli powder. Mix well and finally add the cilantro leaves. Keep aside.

2. Cut the thawed puff pastry into 6 squares each approximately about 3.5 inches wide by 5 inches long.

3. Place a spoonful of onion masala in the middle and then an halved egg, cut side down.

4. Fold the two ends of th strip, so that it encloses the egg (as shown in the pic). Seal the edges by applying very little water.

5. Preheat oven for 375 deg and Bake these for about 10-15 minutes. Serve hot with ketchup!


Wanna what are my fellow marathon runners are upto.. here is today's Menu:

Lakshmi cooked up Mint Rice for us.
Srivalli continues with her famous Lunch Box Series..
Arundathi made some yummy looking wontons.
When imaginations go wild, you can make just this.
Its pizza time folks.. hmm for a change lets have Papdi Pizza by Ranji.
Raaga whipped up some yummy Methi Mutter Malai!
Divya made sumthing sweet today - Rava Kesari.
Bhags is hooked to the family of Eggplant and made a yummy curry out of it.
Momos/Dimsums Steamed Veggies - never heard of it?. Swati made that today. check it out!


*****************************************************************************************************************
Tried & Tested # 8: Suganya's Arisi Upma



Have a great Friday ahead folks!

Siri

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Tomato Coconut Chutney

Life is precious and priceless, but one thing thats even more important is Love... true love.. Lucky are those who treasure it for life....:)

A short story...

There was a blind boy who hated himself just because he was blind, he hated everyone, except his loving girlfriend, she was always there for him, he said that if he could only see the world, he would marry his girlfriend.. .

One day, someone donated a pair of eyes to him and then he could see everything, including his girlfriend.

His girlfriend asked him, 'Now that you can see the world, will you marry me?'

The boy was shocked when he saw that his girlfriend was blind too, and refused to marry her.

His girlfriend walked away in tears, and later wrote a letter to him saying, 'Just take care of my eyes dear.' (She had donated her eyes to him)

Only few remember what life was before, and who's always been there ever...

What make our lives complete is such self-forgetful love and compassion and a feeling that you are 'someone special' ...to....someone special!

.. and I am lucky to find such true love and this is 'his' recipe..:D.. 'S' knows my liking (just as my love for Eggs!) for any kind of 'Tomato Chutneys' and he made this for me last weekend..:)

...do I have to say I felt special (Yah! for a chutney.. hehehe!) and it tasted yummilicious!



Tomato Coconut Chutney
--------------------------------

Ingredients:

2 Tomatoes (cut into chunks)
3-4 tbsp shredded Coconut
1 medium sized Onion, chopped
2 cloves of Garlic, minced
2-3 Green chillies
Salt to taste
a bunch of fresh Coriander leaves (more the better!)
1 tbsp Oil
1 tsp Urad dal
1 tsp Cumin seeds
2 Red Chillies
a pinch of Hing

Preparation:

1. Heat oil in a wok, add in urad dal, cumin seeds, red chillies and hing. When they start to crackle add garlic and onions. Saute for 2-3 minutes until soft and tender.

2. Now add chunks of tomatoes, green chillies with fresh coriander and cook for 7-8 minutes on medium-low. When they are mushy and pulpy, add shredded coconut and mix well.

3. Season with salt and turmeric. Turn off the heat and grind the contents until smooth, to chutney like consistency, adding water if needed.

This can be served with hot rice or even as a yummy spread!.. I top this on toasted bread and relish every bite of it..Yum Yum Yummy!!..:D

Being an ardent lover of fresh fruits and vegetables, I am sending this colorful chutney to Abby's 'Vegetables, Beautiful vegetables 2008' event, celebrating the national vegetarian week (19th to 25th May) in UK.

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These days, its raining awards in the blog-o-sphere and I am no exception..:D

notyet100 gave me 'You make my day' award. Thanks dear.

Each of my blog readers 'make my day' by their lovely and supportive comments. Thanks to one and all and I pass on this award to a dear friend of mine, who with her contagious smile truly make my day......complete and worthy!

Swati and Ranji, my co-marathon runners thought I was a Rocking!... Thanks dearies and I seriously lost count who received what. So, I dedicate this to all of my fellow bloggers who painstakingly cook, patiently take some drool worthy pictures and blog about them !..:D Happy Food Blogging folks!


Recipe Marathon Menu: Day 6 .. still going strong.. yeh yeh!

Arundathi made some utterly delicious Raspberry and Blueberry Muffins..
The Mela Queen whipped up Onion chapathis today!
Lakshmi blogs about how good Kashayam is..
Raaga made yummy looking Vegetable Focaccia.
Divya is up with Cauliflower-Peas Poriyal.
Ranji whipped up some Simple Jhovan
Want some Mint Coriander Chutney - Hop on to Swati's blog then!
Bhags made Baked Chapathi today!
Dhivs made some crunchy munchy Vegetable Chips!

*****************************************************************************************************************
Tried &Test # 7: Srivalli's Onion Tomato Sandwiches

My mama used to make just these yummy yet simple sandwiches when we were little and when Srivalli blogged about these, I felt very nostalgic as it reminded me of my mom and her tomato onion toasts!. (Oh ya, thats what my mama used to call them!..Love You and Miss You mom. )


Chao for now and Have a great Thursday!

Siri

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Recipe Marathon: Day 5 - Hash Brown Melt

We love Sandwiches and why not? A Sandwich could be an entire meal, ready to go anywhere - from lazy afternoon to picnics to poolside. From a quick weekend lunch to a daily routines, sandwiches are the easiest to make & take - the most portable meal there is..:)

The first sandwich was actually created by accident in 1762 - John Montagu, the 4th Earl of Sandwich was involved in a heated card game in which the stakes were high. So, he asked a servant to put some meat in between 2 slices of bread, so Montagu could eat his meal without getting his hands and cards dirty!.. thats one interesting anecdote for our Sandwich.. Isn't it!

I made these yummy Hash Brown Melt sandwiches yesterday and the very mention of these is mouth watery. This is the best entree for a casual meal - every bite to relish and a memory to cherish..:)


Adapted from here

Ingredients:

4 slices of white Sandwich bread
2 medium Potatoes, boiled and shredded
2 cloves of Garlic, minced
1 tbsp of Butter (or) Oil
Salt & Pepper to taste
1 Tomato, sliced into circles
2 slices of American Cheese (I used Fat Free singles!)
1 tsp Cayenne Pepper (or) Red Chilli powder (can be adjusted to taste)
1 to 2 tbsp of Mayonnaise (any flavored spread like Parmesan-Garlic spread can be used)

Preparation:

1. In a wok, heat butter, add garlic and onions. Saute until soft. Then add shredded potato, salt & pepper with cayenne pepper. Mix the contents gently and cook for 4-5 minutes. Keep aside.

2. Preheat the oven to 350 deg. In a baking sheet, place 2 pieces of bread smeared with mayo on each. Top these with the hash brown filling. then with slices of tomato and finally with a slice of american cheese.

3. Place cheese side up on the sheet and bake for 4-5 minutes (or) just until the cheese is melted.

4. Serve open toped as I did (or) top with the remaining pieces of bread.

Variation: You can add any kind of veggies like bell peppers to the hash brown filling and then top with cheese.


A sweet blogger friend of mine whom I got to know pretty recently (Thank to Dining Hall!) is Madhuram and she gave me a Good Chat Blog Award. I must say, she is one of the active members of Dining Hall and her constructive comments helped us a lot in making Dining Hall a better place. Thanks sweety....:)

... and I pass this award to some of my blogger friends with whom I chat a lot or would love to chat..:D. Though, Dhivs tops this list hands down, but Madhu was sweet enough to give her this award.

So, I pass this to :

Srivalli of Cooking 4 all seasons
Sra of When my soup came alive
Lathamma of The Yum Blog
Uma of Essence of Andhra (I haven't chatted with Uma yet, but she became a dear friend in a very short time and would love to chat along sometime soon!)

Hope you liked my Hash brown melt sandwich and off this goes to Anupama's Sandwich Festival.

Coming up....recipes from my co-marathon runners.. Stay tuned!

Lakshmi fooled us all today!.. find out how..:D
Arundathi made this simple yet yummy Bell Peppery curry.
Srivalli goes non-vegetarian today - Andhra Mutton Pepper Fry.
Dhivs made these utterly delicious appetizer : Fried Herb Mozarella
Swati cooks up my fav veggie combo - Aloo n Gobhi, balle balle!
Entertain urself with some delectable Carrot rice from Divya.
Ranji made my favorite chips of all - Banana Chips..:)
Bhags completed the race with her 'triangularly yours'..:D
Raaga made a yummy Pizza style Sandwich.

*****************************************************************************************************************
Tried & Tested # 6: Dhivya's Almondy Veggie Platter

Variation: Instead of Szechuan sauce, I added some cayenne pepper and a tsp of Garam Masala!. I really liked the crunch that almonds gave to the veggies. Yumm!


Thats it for today folks. Have a great day ahead!

[UPDATED 8/12/2010] - I am sending this as an entry to Alka's LYRO:Potato event.

- Siri

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Recipe Marathon: Day 4 - Moroccan spaghetti

There is nothing that can go wrong with the combination of spaghetti and chickpeas.. Isn't it! - both being everybody's absolute favorites. One such one-pot-meal is 'Moroccan Spaghetti' which is a fat free, vegan dish which tastes scrumptious and heavenly when served warm. Made for the first time, this dish got 100% attention and was devoured by all of us.

I am sending this dish to Susan's Beautiful Bones event. Thanks Susan for organizing such a great event with a cause that needs every woman's attention - Osteoporosis.


Little history about the Moroccan Cuisine, then we go straight to the recipe..:)

The foods of Morocco take great advantage of the natural bounty of a country where eating is both a practical and social ritual. The cooks in the kitchens of the four royal cities (Fez, Meknes, Marrakech and Rabat) helped to refine Moroccan cuisine and create the basis for what we know as Moroccan cuisine today. The midday meal is the main meal, except during the holy month of Ramadan, and abundant servings are the norm. The meal usually begins with a series of hot and cold salads which are followed by a stew. The heartiest plate, often a lamb or chicken dish, is next, followed by a heaping plate of couscous topped with meats and vegetables. A soothing cup of sweet mint tea is the grace note to this repast. It is not uncommon for Moroccans to eat using the first three fingers of a hand, and to use bread as a "utensil."


- an excerpt from here

Moroccan Spaghetti
--------------------------


Adapted from here

Ingredients:


2 tbsp Olive oil

1 onion, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, crushed

4 tbsp Tomato puree (or) crushed Tomatoes

1 tsp ground Cumin

pinch of Turmeric

1 (28-ounce) canned chick peas, drained and rinsed

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

about 150gms Spaghetti

fresh Coriander leaves, finely chopped

flaked almonds for garnishing (optional)

freshly ground Italian seasoning for garnishing (optional)


Preparation:


1. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan. Add the onion and garlic and gently fry until soft.

2. Add the tomato puree, cumin powder and turmeric and cook over a medium heat for about 5 minutes. Season the sauce with salt and pepper and add the chick peas. Mix the contents well and Cook for about 7-8 minutes. Keep aside.

3. Meanwhile, bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Add the spaghetti and cook - according to packet instructions - until al dente.

4. Drain the spaghetti and just toss it in warm olive oil and sprinkle some Italian seasoning on it, for more flavor. this step is totally optional.


5. While serving, first place a bed of spaghetti and then chickpea mixture. Garnish with fresh cilantro and flaked almonds. Serve warm.


Hope you all liked my little trip to Morocco...:)

Recipes posted by my fellow marathon runners.... on Day 4:

Srivalli came up with this really-new-to-me recipe - Kasara Kaya Vepudu
Lakshmi blogs about How to set Curd.
Dhivs whipped up a aromatic bread today. Hop on to her blog for a delectable treat.
Arundathi came up with two lovely dipping sauces for us!..
Swati made apni Neelam ji ki Teekhi aur Meethi Methi wali Kaddu ki Sabzi
Divya whipped up a healthy snack - Moong Dal Sundal today.
Ranji made yummy looking Methi Dosa with a guessing game.
Bhags is up with a comfort food with 'seven' veggies today: u ask why.. check it out!
Raaga whipped up a Vegetable Dosa today.

**************************************************************************************************************** Tried & Test # 5: Uma's Itsy bitsy potato

I must confess that I made this just for its cute name..:)... Thanks Uma - both for the recipe and the Nice Matters Award!


Have a great Tuesday ahead and cya again tomorrow with a new recipe!


Siri

Monday, May 19, 2008

Recipe Marathon: Day 3: A Middle Eastern Appetizer..

Middle Eastern cuisine is typically - 'Food of Many Nations' and their food is not fashionably trendy like many other cuisines, rather mostly influenced by their ancestral heritage.

...If you ask me, What has Middle East given us?

You would be equally surprised to know as I was that here, some 12,000 years ago hunters became farmers. Wheat was first cultivated, followed by barley, pistachios, figs, pomegranates, dates and other regional staples. Fermentation was discovered and used not just to make beer, but also to leaven bread. The barter system and the earliest writing systems were created here by the Sumerians. Commercial markets and commercial trade proliferated.

Thats the glory of Middle East and am glad that I chose 'Middle Eastern Cuisine' as the theme for this month's A.W.E.D. It was originally started by my dear friend Dhivya of Culinary Bazaar.

This is my chance to explore more about the cuisine and their traditions...:).



Any meal would start with an appetizer known as 'Mezze' and following the tradition, I made a Middle Eastern appetizer: 'Fatayer Bisabanikh (Spinach Pastry) Sambosic'.

Adapted from here

Ingredients:

1 Puff Pastry (thawed for atleast 30mins) (or) for an home-made dough:
1 cups of All-purpose flour
4 tbsp cup Olive Oil/Vegetable Oil
Pinch of Salt

For Spinach Filling:

2 cups of Spinach
1 medium Onion (finely chopped)
2 tbsp Olive Oil
1 tbsp Lemon Juice
Salt & Pepper to taste

Note: If you are not using a puff-pastry, Sift flour then mix with oil. Add remaining dough ingredients and mix well. Knead till dough is smooth.

Variation: One can add any kind of crumbled cheese to the Paneer filling to make the pastry more flavorful and wholesome..:)

Preparation:

1. Roll puff pastry/dough very thin and cut into circles.

2. Take some oil in a wok, Mix in all the filling ingredients. Saute for couple of minutes and Keep aside.

3. Now, put the filling mixture on each circle. Take each circle and close into the shape of three lines. Secure ends.

3. Preheat oven at 350 deg and Bake for 45 minutes, until brown.

4. Serve warm as an appetizer.



This is also my entry to Meeta's Monthly Mingle, this month guest hosted by dear Mansi with the current theme of Appetizers and Hors'Doeuvres.

Hope you all liked my Spinach pastry and this is my Day 3 of ongoing Recipe Marathon.
I will update the post with my fellow marathon runners recipes later today.

Srivalli is running strong and is back with some hot, fiery Majjiga Mirapakaya/Dahi Mirchi today!
Ranji began her race with sumthing sweet - A Blueberry Muffin!!
Lakshmi is ready with some warm Onion Kulchas. If you want some.. hop on to her blog right away!
Tired of having normal rotis for lunch, then try these Spicy Rotis, made by Dhivya.
Arundathi is all excited about her Grape Jam, which she made for the first time. Yeh!
Swati made the most yummiest stuffed bell pepper with makhani gravy I came across. Check it out.
Divya now makes some yummy looking Sour Cream Corn Cranberry Muffins..:D
Bhags finished the race today by making Vegetable stock..
Raaga blogs about her love for Jackfruit, and hence Raw Jackfruit curry.

*****************************************************************************************************************
Tried & Tested # 4: Nupur's Paneer Pilaf ( I used Tofu instead of Paneer)


Chao for now folks and Have a great Monday!

Siri

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Recipe Marathon: Day 2: Kosambari for MBP and 10 Picture Meme

With the warmer months coming soon, or for some of us, already here, Salad making can be a valuable asset. Why you ask? because when it's warm, most of us would rather be doing something other than cooking like relaxing in the sun, visiting with family and friends, or gardening. Isn't it! These form a nice accompaniment with lunch/dinner or even brunch. Salads are for everybody and for anytime of the day (atleast for me!..:D )



I happen to be very fond of salads not only because they taste good, but because they are so versatile. They can also be a complete meal by themselves.

..One such simple salad, which we Indians make very often make is Kosambari. and I made the same from Ashaji's blog. I followed her recipe without any additions and it tasted great!



My dear friend, Dhivya has tagged me for 10 Picture Meme and here are the ones which I like the most...

1. Stuffed Bell Peppers


2. Mor Kali


3. Gobhi ka kheema


4. Click: Love is in the Air


5. My first Dosa


6. Street Style Samosas


7. Boccadillos


8. Oven Baked Chickpea Falafel


9. Chocolate Sformato with Amaretto Whip cream


10. Mexican Wedding Cookies


Anybody who wanna play along this 10 Picture Meme with me is most welcome. ..:). Just let me know if you are doing it, so that I can enjoi your picture creations too!!

Wondering what are my fellow recipe marathon runners are upto... Here is todays' Menu:

Lakshmi started the day with her Coconut Dosa entry.
Home made Sambhar Powder is the best - thats what Srivalli made today!
Whats best on a lazy Sunday afternoon?.. Dhivya's Peas Pulao!
Swati blogs about yummy Bread Upma on her Sunday afternoon.
Never the Late.. Bhags made an aroma filled Coffee Cake.
Arundathi 'tasted n created' some Pierogies today.
Divya Vikram made a perfect evening snack: Vegetable Puffs.. yum!
Raaga made some yummy Chickpea Sundal for us.

Have a great Sunday ahead!

Siri

Recipe Marathon: Day 1: Baked Cauliflower with Puck's Marinara Sauce

Hey its 17th of May, and the first day of our Recipe Marathon. Ye Yeh! I am all excited about it and am ready with some yummy recipes to share with you all. Hope you enjoy them as much I did, preparing them for you.

Lets kick start with a Puck's recipe...;) - my fifth recipe of my weekly series: Straight Out of Puck's Oven .I made his version of Marinara Sauce just couple of days back and must say, it tasted yum.

Since then, I am adding it almost in every dish I make - pastas, pizzas, any dish that calls for a tomato sauce and the newest addition is this recipe which I made a bit differently - Whole baked cauliflower with Puck's Marinara Sauce!.

.. and I must mention that the whole of cauliflower was gone in seconds! Now, that an instant hit for me. What say!..:)

...here is the recipe...with some notes, tips and variations of the classic Marinara Sauce...




Adapted from Wolf Gang Puck: Make it Easy cookbook

Puck's Tip: When tomatoes are not in season, make this sauce with a good brand of canned tomatoes. Recipe-ready chopped and peeled tomatoes will speed things up considerably.

Makes about 4 cups

Ingredients:

2 tbsp of Olive Oil (Recommended: Extra Virgin Olive Oil)
1 small Onion, minced
3 Garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp Tomato paste
3 pounds Roma Tomatoes (or) 2 (28-ounce) cans tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced.
1/2 cup chopped Sun-dried tomatoes
1/2 to tsp sugar
Salt & Pepper to season. (Recommended: Kosher Salt)
1/4 cup Basil

Preparation:

1. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan or heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and saute until tender, about 5 minutes.

2. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute longer, or until fragrant. Add in the tomato paste, tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, sugar and salt & pepper. Cook, stirring often for 20 minutes or until the tomatoes have cooked down and the sauce is thick.

3. Taste and add salt & pepper if necessary. Stir in the basil.

Variation: If you want a smoother, lest rustic sauce, before stirring in the basil pulse in a food processor.

Baked Cauliflower with Marinara Sauce:
------------------------------------------------

1. Cut one whole cauliflower into just 3/4 slices. Boil the whole cauliflower florets in salt water for about 15-20 minutes, until properly cooked.

2. Remove and pat them dry. Preheat oven for 350 deg. Place the florets on a baking dish, season with salt & pepper and spray PAM, couple of times.

3. Bake for about 10-15 mins, until slight golden brown.

4. Place each of them on dinner plates, pour Puck's marinara sauce over them. Serve with some hot rice or eat as it is!


This is my entry to Cate's ARF:Tuesday!

Recipe Marathon Day 1 - Menu:

Bhags made some yummy Tomato Shorba.
Dhivs entertained with some crunchy Bhindi Jaipuri
Swati blogs about Dum Ka Murg Zafrani
Divya Vikram cooked up delicious looking Peas Kurma
Srivalli spiced up her kitchen with Chicken Semi Gravy.
Lakshmi made a yummy Sour Cream Cake for us!
Its Arundathi and her refreshing Kuwaiti Tea today!
Raaga is up with Masala Lauki Chana Dal

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Tried and Test Recipes # 3: Suganya's Mor Kali


Have a great Saturday ahead. meet you tomorrow again with a delicious recipe!

- Siri
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