Saturday, 22 August 2015

CRISPY POTATO FRITTERS/ CRISPY BATTATA WADA/ AALOO KE PAKODE


When I first arrived in Africa in 1980, we landed in the city of Nairobi. My husband and I stayed in a 3 star hotel for one week, in that hotel there was nothing to eat except meat for main meals, we did not even get plain rice. There was some sort of shortage of rice there, so they were giving rice only once a week. There we survived only on breakfasts because bread and butter were available at the breakfast table only.
We were very new in the city, we had no idea of the place. One morning we went to the city center and asked people about Indian restaurants etc, there we met some Indians. Later they helped us by bringing home-made vegetarian food for us to our hotel.


This was my first foreign tour and Kenya was the first country I visited in my life. Without knowledge of local ingredients, we were walking for the first time on the streets of Nairobi, I saw some pathway vendors selling onions and potatoes. That was a big relief for me. I thought atleast something I will get here to eat!


Potato is a type of vegetable which is used in almost all world cuisines and is also available every where in the world. Even in a remote area of Africa or Asia potatoes can be easily available. In Indian cuisine a variety of dishes are made with potatoes. I particularly like this significant character of potatoes that they can be mixed and matched with many other vegetables when making curries and side dishes. We, food bloggers and foodies will definitely need this type of vegetables with which we can play around and invent new things.


RECIPE

INGREDIENTS
  • 4 big boiled potatoes
  • 100 grams grated paneer(optional)
  • 1 cup chickpeas flour(besan)
  • salt and chilli powder to taste
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • pinch soda-bi-carb
  • oil for frying
METHOD
  • Grate boiled potatoes and add salt papper and grated paneer.
  • Mix well and make small balls shape and keep it aside.
  • Make a thick batter by adding water in chickpeas flour together with salt, pepper,cumin seeds and soda-bi-carb.
  • Heat oil in a wok or frypan, when oil is hot, take potato balls one by one and dip in chickpeas batter and slip in the oil and fry lightly all the balls.
  • Take balls out of the oil, when still warm flatten them with your palms using kitchen towel.
  • Fry again in the hot oil to make them crispy.
  • Serve hot with any chutney of your taste.
Around 20-25 potato fritters can be made depending on the size you make.

I am sending this recipe as my blog post for the week with Full plate Thursday, and with Fiesta Friday, and with My two favorite things on Thursday, and Food and Fitness Friday., and with Wordless Wednesday, and with Meatless Monday and What'd you do this weekends, and with Hearth and soul blog hop and Tuesday Tutorials, and with TastyTuesday, and with Waywow linkup party  and Great Idea Thursday.
















Wednesday, 12 August 2015

LOW FAT VEGETABLE BAKE

LOW FAT VEGETABLE BAKE


Normally people think that teaching is a very easy job because teachers get lots of holidays and their working hours are less compared to other civil servants, etc. They have no idea how tough the teaching job is inside the class room itself, when dealing with different student characters and personalities, we have to treat them with love and care, and it is not easy to explain the subject matter and discipline them, till they are satisfied and understand the concept. Apart from the class room work we have to do a lot of work outside the class room, which takes extra time and is more effort-demanding like preparing lessons, lesson plans, marking scripts, homework planning, involvement in co-curricular activities, staff and departmental meetings etc., the list is endless!


When I was working, one day, I had a long day in school. After teaching in the morning from 7 am to 1 pm, there was a staff meeting which started at 2 pm and finished around 6.30 pm. In those long meetings when we teachers were checking time again and again, I remember, my Headmaster (principal) reminded us jokingly by saying “Teachers!! Remember, you are 24 hours government servants, I suppose you will be marking homework when you get home!!”, and we used to reply “Oh no!”.


When I reached home after 6.30 I had neither the energy nor any mood to cook anything. Unwillingly I opened the fridge and was disappointed to see that there is no leftover food in the fridge. To my big surprise I found lots of fresh vegetables in the fridge, then I realized, maybe my husband brought them while coming back from work. That is when this recipe rescued me, in this vegetables bake, just cut and mix-match any vegetables and put it in the oven and one pot meal can be ready in around 45 minutes.


This is also a wholesome meal as it is loaded with vegetables; there is some protein in the form of cream cheese and grated cheese. Carbohydrate is there in potatoes. So here you go less labor and a tasty full meal is ready.


This is another good example of low fat cooking. Instead of making white sauce (roux) with butter, as is usually done in an au-gratin, I have used low fat cream cheese as a substitute and it tastes very good. I’ve replaced a carb-fat with a protein, always a better substitute.


I have used very little grated cheese on top only for garnishing so that it looks good and it still tastes good.

RECIPE

INGREDIENTS

  • 400 grams boiled and slices potatoes
  • 200 grams cauliflower florets
  • 200 grams green beans cut lengthwise
  • 200 corn kernels ( fresh or frozen)
  • 200 grams onion sliced
  • 400 grams tomatoes sliced
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1 tbs mustard seeds (ground)
  • 150 grams low fat cream cheese + 4 tbs milk
  • 150 grams low fat mozzarella/cheddar grated cheese
  • 1 tbs dried parsley
  • 2 tbs oil

METHOD

  • Heat oil in a fry pan, add mustard seeds, fry onion till golden brown, add beans and corn with salt, leave it to cook for 5-8 minutes.
  • Heat oven on 180 degree C.
  • Mix cream cheese and milk thoroughly.
  • In an oven tray layer the potatoes, sprinkle some salt.
  • Now layer the vegetables, pour cream cheese mixture.
  • Layer with tomatoes, sprinkle black pepper and salt and put it in the pre heated oven for 10-15 minutes.
  • Sprinkle grated cheese and parsley and cook for another 5-8 minutes.
  • Serve hot with some salad of your choice.

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

BLUEBERRY SMOOTHIE (Lassi)

BLUEBERRY SMOOTHIE (Lassi)


Canada is a country of berries, we get many types of berries in plenty in their season. To name a few of them-strawberry, blueberry, raspberry, blackberry, black mulberry, cranberry etc. I am not only enjoying them as fresh fruits, but am using them a lot in my kitchen and testing and making a lot of new recipes out of them.


These berries were not available in some places of Africa,where I lived for many years. We only got them tinned or canned. In Canada, I see them freshly available in the shops. Some of the berries I have seen for the first time in my life!


Where you live influences the kind of fruits and vegetables available there. Like I remember, when I was in Kisumu, Kenya in 80's I really missed apples, which are easily available in many parts of the world, but not there. Only very small (lime) size apples were available in the winter for a very short period of time. Maybe now, because of modern transportation they are available in kisumu also today.


Blueberries available here are not only yummy, they are full of nutrients as well, and I have read many articles on them being good for the health of women. In this smoothie I have used frozen blueberries, because smoothies are consumed cold, it is very easy to use the frozen ones, they needs to be taken out from the freezer 30 minutes before you use them.



RECIPE

INGREDIENTS

  • 200 grams blueberries (frozen or fresh)
  • 400 ml yoghurt
  • 2 tbs sugar
  • 2 glasses of cold water
METHOD

  • Thaw or wash blueberries properly.
  • Put yogurt, water and sugar in a blender and pulse for few minutes.
  • Add blueberries and pulse again for few minutes.
  • Serve chilled.
    5-6 glasses can be made.