Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Whole Wheat Pizza...

Health-up your pizza with whole-wheat, tomatoes, olives and bell peppers. 

There were days, in my good old past when I was absolutely hooked to pizza. Honestly, if Dominoes were thinking of bringing in some promotion/discount/offers, probably, I would have been the first person to receive that by mail. Now, I try to stay away (sorry, you don’t win a prize for guessing why). With so many alternate healthy options in the market, I realized, pizzas can be done in a healthier way! This is my first ever attempt at making a whole wheat pizza and I have to admit, it doesn’t taste different. It tasted sumptuous and if you don’t overdo the cheese, it can be a much healthier option. For my first attempt, I tried to play safe by mixing whole wheat flour and all purpose flour together. Next time, I might get more innovative and try just the whole wheat. Easy to make and sumptuous to taste, what else can you ask for?

Whole-Wheat Pizza
Pizza doesn’t have to be unhealthy always.
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp quick-rising yeast
  • warm water
  • olive oil- 1 tbsp
  • salt-1/2 tsp
  • sugar-1/4 tsp
  • Good Pizza sauce-
  • Toppings- 2 small onions (sliced), 1/2 cup sliced black olives, 1 tomato chopped, 1 green bell pepper sliced
  1. Dissolve yeast in a small cup of warm water and sugar. Allow it to rest for 5 minutes in a corner.
  2. The yeast would start frothing up.
  3. Combine whole wheat flour and all purpose flour with salt in a big bowl and make a small well in the middle.
  4. Pour the yeast mixture and slowly start mixing the flour.
  5. With the help of warm water knead the flour into a smooth dough.
  6. Add around a tbsp of olive oil to make the dough smooth and elastic.
  7. Store the dough in a fresh bowl and cover it with damp cloth. Allow it to raise for an hour.
  8. After an hour or so, when the dough has doubled in size simply punch out the air from it and gently knead it on a floured surface.
  9. Roll out the pizza and drizzle some olive oil on top.
  10. Spread pizza sauce and desired toppings- I used sliced onions, sliced black olives, sliced green bell peppers and chopped tomatoes.
  11. Top it with shredded mozzarella cheese and season it with salt and pepper.
  12. If need be, drizzle in some olive oil.
  13. Bake the pizza in a preheated oven till the base is crisp and golden (15-20 min, @200 deg celsius)

Get a good pizza base sauce from the store or you can make it at home by sautéing tomato puree with garlic in olive oil. Add salt and black pepper to season and bring it to a sauce consistency.
You can caramelize your onions with bell peppers and olives for topping (optional).
Published  @ Honest Cooking -

Monday, December 19, 2011

Kidney Beans in a Rich Garlic Sauce (Rajma)

I have prepared the red kidney beans so many times but this one had to be different. With a good amount of garlic pumped in, the gravy was sumptuous and went well with the Sunday lunch. Inspiration? from a local restaurant nearby. The usual red kidney beans was served with a garlic kick and if that wasn’t enough, they had added whole garlic cloves which just melted with the kidney beans and tasted heavenly! Since then my mind was buzzing to recreate the dish at home. What a way to enjoy the Sunday lunch with kidney beans cooked in a rich garlic gravy…Also called Rajma, this is a popular north Indian dish that can be prepared within a short span of time and goes well with rice/rotis. The recipe can be tweaked in a number of ways to suit your palette.

Kidney beans in a rich garlic sauce

Red kidney beans cooked in a rich spicy Indian gravy with an inherent touch of garlic.
  • Red Kidney beans- 1 cup (soaked overnight in water)
  • Onions (finely chopped)- 2
  • Tomatoes (pureed)- 3 (medium tomatoes)
  • Garlic cloves- 8-9 (crush and chop -4, retain the rest)
  • Grated ginger (1/2 tsp)
  • Red chilli powder- 1 1/2 tsp
  • Coriander powder- 3/4 tbsp
  • Garam Masala powder- 1 tsp
  • Ghee (clairified butter)- for cooking (roughly 2 tbsp)
  • Salt according to taste.
  • Chopped coriander leaves (for garnishing)
  • Cumin seeds – 3/4 tsp
  • Kasoori Methi -dry leaves crushed (Fenugreek leaves-dried) (3/4 tsp)
  1. Pressure cook kidney beans (with 4 cups of water) till they are soft and melt in your mouth (retain the water you use for cooking the beans).
  2. In a pan, add ghee and as it melts pop in the cumin seeds.
  3. As the seeds begin to sputter, add bay leaves and onions.
  4. Fry the onions till they become golden brown.
  5. Add crushed garlic and ginger and saute them for a couple of minutes.
  6. Add pureed tomatoes and continue to cook on a medium flame.
  7. Add coriander powder, garam masala and red chilli powder and cook till the oil leaves the masala.
  8. Add the remaining garlic cloves- do not chop or crush them.
  9. Add the cooked kidney beans to this mixture and add the water you retained.
  10. Adjust salt according to taste and allow the beans to cook and blend in with the masala.
  11. Allow the mixture to cook on a low flame for 10-15 minutes.
  12. Add dry kasoori methi (fenugreek leaves) leaves and give it a quick toss.
  13. Add chopped coriander leaves for garnishing and serve hot with rice!
Published  @ Honest Cooking -

Friday, November 11, 2011

Chocolate chip cookies

It’s fika time, folks! Introduced by my former Swedish colleagues, I caught on to this lovely tradition pretty fast. Fika is both a Swedish verb and noun (pronounced “fee-ka”) that roughly means “to drink coffee/tea” usually accompanied by something sweet (source- wikipedia). It’s customary to invite friends and colleagues for coffee along with deliciously baked goods. Now, I can’t drink a cup of coffee without anything sweet. so, I baked these lovely cookies to accompany my coffee and satisfy my sweet craving. This chocolate chip cookie recipe is pretty simple and can be baked in batches and stored for about week. I found this recipe from a book titled “baking with passion” by Dan Lepard and Richard Whittington. Here I am, enjoying some freshly baked cookies with a hot cup of coffee – Loving it!
A simple chocolate chip cookie recipe to enjoy together with your cup of coffee. Welcome to Fika time.
A simple chocolate chip cookie recipe to enjoy your cup of coffee!
  • 200 grams all purpose flour
  • 85 grams caster sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 80 grams unsalted soft butter
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 100 grams dark chocolate- cut in small chunks or chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 180 degree celsius.
  2. In a bowl sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
  3. In another mixing bowl cream the butter with the sugar until light and fluffy.
  4. Beat in the egg to this mixture.
  5. Fold in the flour followed by chocolate pieces using a spatula- the dough will be stiff.
  6. With the help of your hands roll walnut-sized pieces of dough and place them on buttered baking trays.
  7. Leave space in between the cookies to allow room for spreading.
  8. Bake for 20 minutes or until the edges are firm but the center is soft.
  9. Remove and allow it to cool.
  10. Enjoy with a steaming hot cup of coffee!
Yields about 15 cookies!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Garlic & cumin flavored lentils...

Cooking lentils is fun. I love trying out different ingredients with lentils and my all time favorite is lentils with garlic- Garlic flavor works like magic with lentils. No matter how much you love eating from outside and trying different restaurants, there are times when you want to eat a simple dinner at home, nothing fancy….Garlic dal/Garlic lentils is my comfort food and I can cook them without much sweat.  The recipe is simple & would leave you wanting for more. Nothing else to dilute the garlic flavor- no fancy ingredients- just plain old garlic sauteed in butter (clarified butter) with a hint of cumin.
You can always improvise the recipe and add onions or tomatoes and cook the lentils with garam masala. But if you are fond of garlic and want the flavor of garlic to shine through, then this recipe is a winner!

Garlic & Cumin infused lentils


  • 1 cup toor dal (yellow Pigeon peas)
  • 1 cup mung dal (mung bean/ golden gram)
  • 8-10 garlic cloves (chopped)
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • Clarified butter/butter for cooking
  • 2 green chillies (chopped fine)

  1. Pressure cook the lentils till they are soft.
  2. In a pan add butter and once melted add cumin seeds.
  3. As the cumin seeds begin to sputter saute garlic & green chillies.
  4. Add the cooked dal/lentils mixture to the pan and cook on a low flame for few minutes. (add a bit of water to make it soupy).
  5. Adjust salt according to taste and serve hot with chopped coriander for garnish.


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