Monday, 19 November 2007

Leftovers - Spinach & Potato Roll

One of these days I was determined to make a meal with whatever ingredients I had at home i.e. no running out to the shop and buying some missing ingredient. Oh well, okay - I'll admit! I was being lazy about planning a proper meal and just wanted something warm to eat with whatever I had at home.

I had -
Spinach leaves - half a packet
2 medium sized boiled Potatoes (leftover from the day before)
1/2 slab of store bought Paneer
1/2 a medium Red Onion
An open packet of Garlic & Coriander Tortilla
2 green chillies
Chopped Garlic - in the bottle
Sandwich Masala (contains Jeera, Black salt, Black Pepper, Fennel, Tuj, Clove, Badiyan, Sindha Namak, Amchur, Chilli, Salt)

The experiment begins -
I washed the spinach leaves thoroughly. Diced the red onion and green chilli and sauteed lightly in about 2 tsp of olive oil. I then added the spinach leaves for about a couple of minutes until they started to wilt. I then added in about 1/4 cup of water and poured the mixture into the blender and pureed it. Next, I chopped the potato and paneer into small cubes and sauteed lightly with a tsp of garlic, 2 tsp of Coriander powder and 2 tsp of the Sandwich masala. I could have used the more commonly available Chaat masala but had the bottle of untested sandwich masala lying there and it seemed to just beg me to use it ;) ..Anyway, I added salt to taste, scooped the spinach mixture into the pan and heated it all together for another 2 minutes. I then warmed the tortillas in a separate pan, put one in a plate, spooned some of the paneer/potato mixture into the tortilla and rolled it.

Honestly, I was thinking...should have smashed the potato instead of cutting ...and that spinach may just taste horrible looks dry from the ends but if I stuff more in, it will fall out. So, I added a little cheese to the ends of the roll and was very skeptical about the taste! turned out delicious! Not too 'spinachy', not too runny, a little spicy and while a proper paratha would have tasted better, the tortilla did just fine! Did not really need the cheese either. Whew...sometimes I can cook :)

Monday, 5 November 2007

Blackberries - Are they cupcakes or muffins?

Firstly, referring to the title - I started to make cupcakes but since there is no icing, do they become muffins? Am sure there is a technical difference between both (other than icing) but honestly, I have not done a 'Google' search on it yet..I should :)!

Secondly, I wanted to use blackberries in my next recipe and since I don't eat the fruit much, I emailed my friends asking them how they liked to eat the berries....plain, with ice cream, yogurt etc... I received a variety of responses and one friend replied saying with yogurt. Fair enough. Sometime later she tells me her friend likes them in muffins. Makes sense. We exchange a couple of emails, I finally send her my idea for a new recipe... and that's when she emails me back from her BLACKBERRY telling me she thought all this time it was a joke and that I was asking how people would like to 'eat' their Blackberrys i.e. those technical gadgets that most of us can't seem to live without once we get them. Gosh, maybe not so funny now but it cracked us up that day, so had to share :)

Now lastly, am usually slow to post but reading Kate of Aaplemint's recent post inspired me to get a move on posting, as I too have been trying to avoid sweets (healthy recipe to follow in next post..this one is more abt the story). Anyway, what the abstinence from sweets leads to is a hubby who complains that he no longer gets dessert! So, I thought ..why not...let's bake but not eat...can't be that bad. Oh it was baaad....
I made blackberry cupcakes (let's just call them cupcakes for now) and they smelt like all baking does, heavenly and then - I had no clue how they tasted or turned out!! Well, okay. I had a tiny bite. And this time, let's call it a muffin so I don't feel too guilty abt the tiny bite. Besides, what's a tiny bite out of a mini cupcake..oops muffin?! Anyway, no self-tasting and a sweet hubby who had been denied homemade desserts - I needed additional opinions! Thus, a poll was taken at work and looks like the recipe was just fine! Obviously, there were a lot of suggestions that there be a weekly sample tasting session and that I should not stop baking since there are willing testers available Monday through Friday!!! Seriously !!! :)

Okay, enough stories!! Here is the recipe..not earth shattering and definitely not the 'new' one I had suggested to my friend, just a simple, comfortable one...

150g butter, softened with extra for greasing
50g caster sugar
200g self-raising flour
4 eggs beaten
2 tbsp milk
1 tsp almond extract
6-7 blackberries, roughly chopped
Makes about 15 cupcakes

Pre-heat the oven to 150 degree Celsius. Generously grease the non-stick muffin pan. Cut the butter and place in a large mixing bowl with the caster sugar. Beat with an electric whisk until pale, fluffy and combined. Sieve the flour into the mixture and add the eggs and beat together. Stir in the milk, almond extract and the chopped blackberries. Spoon the mixture evenly into the holes in the muffin tin. Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25minutes or until cakes are light golden. If you want to make a large cake, cooking time increases to about hour and half. If the top starts to look dark but the skewer does not come out clean when inserted in the centre, lightly cover the top with foil.

Sunday, 4 November 2007


Bananas going to go bad, very thirsty, lots of milk at home - what do you get? Banana Smoothie.

2 Large Glasses :
2 Bananas
2 Tbsp Honey
1 Glass of COLD milk

Run through the blender and taste. Add in more honey (or sugar) if you want it sweeter and add in some more milk if you want it thinner.

The picture above - little more than two glasses of smoothie made - one glass for me and one for hubby... Well, one glass never survived to be had by hubby! I was really thirsty and before I knew it ..there were a couple of small refills and all that was left ... fit into a tall shot glass which only looks huge next to my KLM houses!

Friday, 2 November 2007

Mung Sprouts...yummy??

If you mentioned Mung Bean Sprouts to me before I moved to London, I would had made a long face and said 'yech'..or something like that! I know, they are a great source of protein but I never really had them growing up and when I did (if I did??), they did not make much of an impression. Things have obviously changed since I am dedicating this post to Mung Bean Sprouts!

Soon after we moved to London, a friend took us to a Indian store in Southall. The place was huge, full of Indian goodies and next thing I know, my husband and our friend are having this animated conversation over Mung Sprouts. Seriously, I am staring at the guys and wondering if they've lost it. Am looking at the sprouts thinking, what is this stuff?! Anyway, to cut to the chase, they brought home two packets, cooked it, added in a bunch of stuff and it ended up being one of the most delicious healthy snacks I have had! So, I am now a convert and love making the following recipe whenever I want a healthy, low carb (am guessing), yet filling and tasty meal...gosh that is a tall order, isn't it?!

230 gm Mung Bean Sprouts
1 Medium Boiled Potato
1 Medium Red Onion
1 Medium Tomato
2 Green Chilies (dependant on taste)
2 table spoon Chaat Masala
1 teaspoon Red Chili Powder
1 1/2 teaspoon Dhana Jeera Powder (Cumin & Coriander powder)
1 1/2 Limes (juiced)
Salt to taste

Boil the sprouts in water for about 20 minutes on a medium flame until the sprouts are soft but with a slight crunch. Remove from heat, strain the water out and move the sprouts to a large serving bowl. While the sprouts are cooking, chop the potato, onions and tomato into small squares. Dice the chilies and add all chopped ingredients to the cooked sprouts. Add in the Chaat masala, red chili powder, Dhana Jeera powder, lime juice and salt to taste. Mix well with a spoon and eat away! Hope you convert like I did.