Appetizers/Snacks

Sun Dried Tomato and Black Olive Puree

Sun dried tomato and black olive puree

I made this purée for an italian dinner party and it was an elegant crowd pleaser!  Filled with loads of  flavors which are distinct, dense and absolutely delicious.. you can not go wrong with this recipe, its simple and easy to make… This puree is great served as a dip/spread along with a sliced baguette or pita chips.

Ingredients:

15 sun fired tomatoes packed in oil, drained

8 large black olives, pitted

1 medium garlic clove

2 tbsp whole fresh parsley leaves

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

salt

1 loaf Italian bread cut into 24 pieces 1/2 inch thick

Method:

Place the sun-dried tomatoes, olives, garlic, parsley and thyme in the work bowl of a food processor or a blender . Pulse, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed, until all the ingredients are coarsely chopped. Pulse in oil, 1 tbsp at a time to form a smooth but a still slightly coarse paste.

Scrape the purée into a small bowl. Add salt to taste.

Preheat the oven to 400 degree F. Place the bread slices on a baking sheet. Bake, turning the slices once, until they are lightly browned  and crisp.  Place the toasted bread slices on splatter and spread 1 generous teaspoon of the purée over each slice. Serve immediately.

Sun dried tomato and black olive puree

Standard
Appetizers/Snacks, Cakes n bakes

Desi Pizza (Indian style pizza)

 

Desi Pizza

I was first introduced to this so called “desi pizza” when I was 17 years old… One of the chaat center near my place in India made this pizza. We all were going crazy for this and one day I realized that they were not making any tomato sauce for the base nor were they making a pizza base but added tomato ketchup on a Italian style bread!. This is the most simplest of all desi pizzas I have had and just got reminded of it and baked it at home!

Ingredients:

1 loaf Italian bread

1 finely chopped onion

1 chopped bell pepper

24 oz fresh mozzarella cheese

Tomato ketchup

Mint chutney

To make mint chutney:

Coriander/ cilantro – 10 to 12 strands

Mint leaves – 1 cup

Green chillies– 2 to 3

Cumin seeds- 1 Tsp

Sugar- 1/4 Tsp

Blend everything together with little water and make a thick paste.

Method:

Preheat oven to 350 degree F. Make half-inch thick slices of the bread. Arrange the slices on cookie sheet and spread 1-2 tbsp of tomato ketchup on the slice following by mint chutney.  Add 2 tbsp of onions and bell pepper on top and sprinkle grated mozzarella cheese generously on top of it.

Desi Pizza

Bake for 12-15 minutes or until the cheese melts.

Desi Pizza

 

 

Standard
Appetizers/Snacks

Vegetable cutlet

Vegetable cutlet

 

vegetable cutlet

The last two weeks had been crazy for me and I have not been able to blog nor visit any of my bloggers site. My husband was out-of-town for a week, well this is not new to me! But I had to drop my son and pick him up from the Montessori, which is my husband’s job as the montessori is very close his office. So dropping him off and driving to my workplace took me more than an hour and a half each way and  I was actually spending more than three hours on the road everyday, which was very tiring and exhausting after working for 8 hours (I know a lot of people who commute long distances for work and I bow to them!!!). Then coming home and spending some time with my kiddo, feeding and putting him to bed completed my day….Having guests at home the next week kept me even busier. All in all no time to BLOG!!!

Now that I am free of few things, I present here a delectable appetizer which is very popular in every Indian restaurants and chaat houses….

Ingredients:

Mixed vegetables- 1 cup chopped and boiled (I used beans, carrot and peas)

Potato- 1 cup (boiled)

Cilantro- 1/2 cup

Red chilli powder- 1 tsp (adjust the spice level according to your taste)

Coriander seeds- 1/2 tsp

Ginger garlic paste- 1/2 tsp

Turmeric- a pinch

Lemon- 1

All purpose flour- 4 tbsp

Bread crumbs- 1/2 cup

Salt

Oil for frying

Method:

Peel and grate boiled potatoes. Heat a tablespoon of oil in a pan and add cumin seeds, once it splutter add turmeric, ginger garlic paste, sauté for few seconds and add grated potato, chilli powder, chopped cilantro and mix well. Squeeze as much as water as you can from the boiled vegetables and then add it to the potato mixture. Then squeeze some lemon for more taste. Sauté until the remaining water evaporates, for about 2-3 minutes.  Add salt and adjust the spice level at this point. The patties is the one which gives a great taste for the cutlet when fried. Allow the mixture to cool.

Meanwhile.. in a frying pan, add enough oil to fry the patties and turn on the heat. Put all-purpose flour and breadcrumbs in two different dishes  mix water to all-purpose flour and make a thick batter and keep it ready. Divide the mixture into equal small portions and flatten them into desired shape with 1/4 inch thickness.

Vegetable patties

 

Dip the patty first in all purpose flour batter and then coat it completely with bread crumbs and fry in the heated oil until golden brown. Enjoy with ketchup  and mint chutney.

vegetable cutlet

vegetable cutlet

 

 

 

 

Standard
Appetizers/Snacks

Cream Cheese Puffs

Cream cheese puffs

These are delicious melt in the mouth rolls. I found this amazing recipe from www.compulsivefoodie.com. Asmita has shown this recipe in a very simple and easy to follow video.  I will definitely make it again 🙂 Original recipe can be found here http://www.compulsivefoodie.com/2012/08/06/cream-cheese-puffs-2/

Ingredients:

Pillsbury Crescent roll- 1 box

cream cheese, at room temperature-4 ounces

garlic powder-3/4 tsp

red chilly powder-1/4 tsp

 finely chopped cilantro-1 tbsp

Method:

In a bowl, mix cream cheese, garlic powder, red chilly powder and cilantro . Keep aside.

cream cheese puffs

Cut out a wax paper or parchment paper, open the crescent roll, split it into 2 halves and join the perforated lines together and apply the cream cheese liberally on one side.

cream cheese puffs

Roll this and close both ends. Roll this in parchment or wax paper and keep aside . Do the same with the remaining dough and take both the rolls and place in the refrigerator for 2 hours.

cream cheese puffs

Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees, cut the rolls into 4 or 5 pieces, and place them on a cookie sheet or baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes. Remove and let it cool for 2 minutes. Transfer to a serving platter and serve with sauce of your choice. Enjoy!

cream cheese puffs

Standard
Appetizers/Snacks

Onion Pakoda

onion pakoda

Having rain in California is a relief to all of us here. Well, we are not completely out of drought situation but something is always better than nothing. There was nothing much for us to do outside, while it was raining. My son was taking his afternoon nap, and it was the best time for me to watch a movie with my husband on a weekend! While my husband was browsing the movie list on Netflix, I thought I would quickly make some of these pakodas and munch them while we watch it. Movie was decided, pakodas took a little time for frying but we could wait… Pakodas turned out crispy and crunchy, and we were all set to watch the movie!

Ingredients:

Onion – 1 cup (sliced very thin)

Gram flour- 1 cup

Rice flour-1/4 cup

Curry leaves- 4 to 5 leaves

Baking powder- 1/2 tsp

oil- 2 tbsp

Green chillies-1 (minced)

Red chilli powder- 1 tsp – 1 1/2 tsp (according to your spice level)

Cumin seeds- 1/2 tsp

salt- to taste

Oil for deep-frying

Method:

Slice onion into very thin strips.

IMG_3369

Mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl. (add red chilli powder according to your spice level) Add onion, minced chilli and 2 tsp oil to this mixture and combine everything well.

onion pakoda

Sprinkle very little water (1 to 2 tbsp) and mix.  Mixture should not come to a dough consistency, it should just come together when pressed gently.

Heat oil in a frying pan and take a ping-pong ball size mixture in your hand, press very gently and drop into the oil slowly.

IMG_3376

Fry until golden brown and remove and place them on a paper towel. (Do not shape or press the dough mixture too hard while dropping into the oil). The long strips of onion slightly coated with flour gives a wonderful crunchy texture.

onion pakoda

Enjoy with tomato ketchup or just plain!

Standard
Appetizers/Snacks

Besan Paare (Spicy gram flour crisps)

Besan Paare

I am always happy to find something crispy to munch with my tea in the evening after work. So I make sure I prepare few snacks over the weekend so I can enjoy it for the rest of the week. Many people use all-purpose flour and gram flour but I have used half of whole wheat flour, half of all-purpose flour with gram flour this time and it came out nice and crispy.

Ingredients:

Besan, (gram flour)- 1 cup

Whole wheat flour- 1/2 cup

All purpose four- 1/2 cup

Fine semolina- 2 Tbsp

oil- 4 Tbsp

Salt- 1 1/4 tsp

Red chilli flakes- 1 1/4 tsp

Cumin seeds or carom seeds( ajwain)- 1/4 tsp

water- 1/2 cup or as needed

Oil to fry

Method:

Mix all the ingredients by adding little water at a time, make it into a soft dough. Rest the dough for 10-15 minutes in a damp cloth or paper towel. Knead the dough for 2 minutes and divide into 4 equal parts.

1-IMG_5230

Mean while heat the oil in a pan over medium heat.

Roll the dough into 9 inch circles which are a little less than 1/4 inch thick.

2-IMG_5231

Prick the flattened dough with fork all over so it does not puff while frying.

Cut them into 3 inch long pieces or into a shape that you want.

3-IMG_5234

4-IMG_5236

Make sure the oil is hot enough and add the paare’s into the frying pan just enough so you can turn them and fry all of them equally. Fry until they turn golden brown on both sides and allow it to cool. Munch it with your hot favorite drink!

Besan Paare

Standard
Appetizers/Snacks, Cakes n bakes

Zucchini parmesan crisps

Zucchini crisps

Winter season always calls for quick and hot starters or snacks in my house and this is one of them. At the beginning I got few batches which got a little soggy. After going through the web, I started preheating the baking sheet too and then started layering the zucchini and they turned perfect and crispy.

Ingredients:

zucchini- 2, medium

olive oil- 1 Tbsp

1/4 cup- bread crumbs

1/4 cup- grated parmesan cheese

1/8 tsp- salt

pepper to taste

Method:

Preheat the oven to 450 degree F. Mix all the ingredients expect zucchini in a bowl.

2-IMG_5253

Slice the zucchini into 1/4-inch thick rounds.

1-IMG_5251

Then dip the zucchini rounds on both sides and layer them on the preheated baking sheet which has been greased with cooking spray.

3-IMG_5254

Bake them until they are brown and crispy for 28-30 minutes and serve immediately!

Zucchini crisps

 

Standard