Thursday, April 26, 2012

Onion-Olive-Tomato Tango with Snackuits

The other day, I was delighted to hear from Priya, a fellow blogger and a wonderful human being about the event she was holding for her blog. The task sounded simple and I was upbeat about it. With a bit of imagination and good support from Priya, here I am with my recipe/review of Britannia’s snackuits. Would take this opportunity to thank Priya & Britannia for my post.

Binging, snacking whatever you want to call- I simply love it! You get the picture; I am not someone who shies away from a good snack even on a full stomach.  And every single bite I take, I have this twinge of unshakable guilt. What if you could enjoy snacking without a complete feeling of guilt? Well that’s how these snacks are positioned by Britannia- as a snacking guru, I got to taste these wonderful little flavorful snacks and here is my verdict-  I love it!

Britannia has a winner with these snacks considering the whole hoopla about health snacks in Indian market.Britannia’s effort to entice the audience with three international flavors- Italiano Pizza, Chinese hot & sweet, Swiss cheese and chilli will not go in vain. However, for me, what worked the most was the Italiano pizza flavor. I am partial to Italian food, perhaps! With a heightened sense of garlic, this snack was the most appealing of the three. And the least favorite is the Swiss cheese and chilli- Cause, this reminds me of sour cream and onion chips that’s already in the market. So, nothing special about it. Chinese hot & sweet has oriental flavor written all over it and I wouldn't mind emptying the packet in a jiffy. Would these flavors work for Indian market? Oh yes!  People may be partial to one particular flavor but these baked goodies are a hit 

So coming back to some whacky and funky ideas to gobble them up, oh I have some good suggestions-
You can dunk it in a sauce, crumble them in your salad, top them with veggies and spices of your choice or eat them plain. Flavors hit you at the right spot especially the Italiano pizza snack! 

 Since these biscuits are flavorful, they would work great in a onion-olive-tomato tango treat. Blends perfect with all the three biscuit flavors. 

Onion-Olive-Tomato Tango with Snackuits

  • 1 small red onion (chopped fine)
  • ½ cucumber (chopped fine)
  • ½ firm tomato (chopped fine)
  • sliced olives (black) 1 tbsp
  • 1 green chilli (optional)
  • ¼ tsp of roasted cumin powder 
  • Olive oil to blend all the ingredients

Since we are going to use tomato I would advise you to blend the biscuits towards the end. Otherwise it would get soggy and lose the essence. In a bowl, mix onion, cucumber, tomato, green chillies, olives together. Add cumin and olive oil. Before serving, add a packet of Britannia Italiano pizza biscuits, give it a good toss and watch it vanish in front of your eyes like magic!

You could be super creative and try out different things with these biscuits- Look who had fun of her own with these biscuits-

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Tulsi Tamatar Shorba

Tomato Soup with Basil and Coriander

I come from a family where picky eating was frowned upon. So, I pride myself as someone who can pretty much manage everything. The big exception is soups. I am a bit annoying when it comes to soups. I don’t like creamy soups and I am more in favor of broth based soups. I seldom try out soups in restaurant as most of them are cream based. So, to my big surprise, when I recently tried out this tomato soup at a hotel in Hyderabad, I loved it! The flavors were clear and lovely. Highlight of the soup was the inherent coriander flavor that just left a lingering burst of flavor in my tongue. I had to meet the chef to get my hands on the soup recipe. Lucky me, the chef was more than happy to share this recipe with me :) – I made subtle changes and though it’s not 100% copy of the soup I had at the restaurant but it still packs in a punch and is delicious.

Tulsi Tamatar Shorba

Recipe type: Appetiser, Entree
Author: Suchitra Vaidyaram
A broth based flavorful tomato soup with Basil & Coriander
  • 4-5 medium sized tomatoes (chopped)
  • 1 tsp Roasted cumin powder
  • 1 small carrot (chopped)
  • 4 cloves of garlic (crushed and chopped)
  • 1 small sized Apple (peeled and cut in cubes)
  • 50 grams Coriander roots (don’t use the leaves)
  • Salt according to taste
  • 3/4 tsp Kashmiri chili powder
  • Black pepper (dash of it)
  • Olive oil to saute (2 tbsp)
  • 1 tsp dried Basil
  1. In a pan, heat oil and add chopped garlic. Allow the oil to absorb the garlic flavor.
  2. Saute the garlic slowly and after a few seconds add the tomatoes, carrot, apple, salt, Kashmiri chili powder.
  3. Add water and cook them for 45 minutes till the vegetables get tender and mashed.
  4. Add the chopped coriander roots with pepper and cook for another two minutes.
  5. Blend the mixture using a blender and strain with a soup strainer if you want a clear soup.
  6. Else, you can keep the soup chunky and thick without straining it (that’s my preference).
  7. Heat the soup again and add Basil and adjust the salt according to your taste.
  8. Serve hot!
The original recipe handed by the chef had white pepper powder which i substituted to black pepper.
Chef had also asked me add honey (dash of it) towards the end to give it a glossy look- which I omitted.
The recipe also asks to use butter which i had to substitute to olive oil for health reasons.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Carrot & paneer Oats uttappam

Oats doesn’t have to be turned into boring porridge. Try these carrot and paneer oats uttappams instead.

It’s no secret – everyone knows the goodness of oats. But not many people know that it is versatile and can blend with almost any type of recipe.

If you are someone who looks at oats only as a porridge then it’s time you wake up and smell the roses. Out of many recipes in the a booklet about oats I recently received, these pancakes/uttappam caught my eye. A very simple recipe to make, but it tastes sumptuous.

Carrot and Paneer Oats Uttappam
Oats doesn’t have to be boring. Try these Carrot and Paneer Oats Uttappams.
  • For the Batter-
  • Oats – 1 cup
  • Wheat flour-1/2 cup
  • Water to blend
  • Salt- 1/2 tsp
  • Asafoetida powder (optional)- 1/4 tsp or dash of it
  • For the topping-
  • Grated Paneer 1/2 cup
  • Chopped green chillies -1 tsp
  • Curry leaves chopped- a few
  • Carrot- 1 (grated)
  • Additional-
  • Oil for greasing the pan
  1. Grind the oats in a mixer to a coarse powder.
  2. Mix all ingredients mentioned under batter together.
  3. Add enough water to the batter to get a thick pouring consistency. Beat well and keep it aside for 1/2 hour.
  4. Mix all ingredients mentioned under topping together. Set it aside.
  5. Heat a non stick pan/tawa. Grease the pan with oil.
  6. With the help of a ladle pour the batter on the pan and spread it a little into a round shape.
  7. Sprinkle the topping and cook the uttappam/pancake on medium/low flame till the edges turn golden.
  8. Flip the uttappam to other side and cook the other side.
  9. Remove from pan and serve it hot with chutney/sauce of your choice

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Black eyed peas

Black eyed peas are an excellent source of calcium, and rate high in terms of nutritious value. They also blend well with Indian spices.

Once, my friend admitted that her cooking choices depended on how easy it is to cook and clean up the kitchen after cooking. That set my mind thinking. I realised that sub-consciously, even I tend to pick up things that are easier to make than its nutritious value. ah… I know, that doesn’t get me any brownie points. Of late, I have tried to make a sincere attempt at picking groceries with nutrition in mind. My latest venture in this attempt is black-eyed beans. An excellent source of calcium, these peas rate high in terms of nutritious value. I also realised that it is comparatively easier to cook and they blend well with Indian spices. Ain’t that a bonus?

Indian Style Black Eyed Peas Recipe

Recipe type: Side dish
Author: Suchitra Vaidyaram
The not so popular black-eyed beans get jazzed up with Indian spices!
  • 1 ½ cups black eye beans (soaked overnight)
  • 1/2-tablespoon coriander powder
  • 1/2-tablespoon cumin powder
  • 1/2-tablespoon turmeric powder
  • 3/4-tablespoon garam masala
  • One chopped onion (big onion)
  • 3 big cloves garlic (crushed and chopped)
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 2 medium sized tomates (chopped)
  • 1/2-teaspoon cumin seeds
  • Dry red chili (2 pieces) -
  • Chopped coriander for garnishing
  • 1 spoon butter
  1. Pressure-cook the black-eyed beans till they are soft and tender.
  2. In a wok add some oil and once it gets hot put in the cumin seeds and dry red chilies (break them into pieces).
  3. As the cumin seeds start sputtering, add the onions and fry them till they are translucent. Add the garlic and ginger. Keep stirring for two minutes.
  4. Add chopped tomatoes and mash them a bit so that it becomes a good thick paste.
  5. Now comes the spices- put the turmeric powder, coriander powder, cumin powder and garam masala.
  6. Cook for around 5 minutes till the oil separates from the mixture.
  7. Add the boiled black eye beans with 1 cup of water and continue to cook till the beans blend well with the spices (which should take just around 5 minutes).
  8. Add salt, butter and cook for one minute.
  9. Before serving add chopped corriander and enjoy it hot with your rotis!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

The art of making Phulka

What is special about this flat bread is it is made on a gas flame and allowed to raise/fluff up without yeast or baking powder.

Phulka/pulka is an exciting variety of Indian flat bread. What is special about this flat bread is it is made on a gas flame and allowed to raise/fluff up without yeast or baking powder. The procedure looks pretty simple, but get this- it ain’t as simple as it sounds or looks. To get the bread to rise, you need perfect dough, which is perfectly rolled out into a circle. When I mean perfect, I literally mean the dimensions. In case you miss out on even a small aspect it just wouldn’t raise when you put it on the gas flame. It takes a lot of practice to get this right and not many can master it overnight. Now here is the best part- Phulka/pulka is great in terms of nutrition. Made from whole wheat it contains minimal calories (probably around 70 cal/per bread) and it can be eaten with any curry/dal of your choice. It is a staple food in North India and down south; you will hardly find this variety of roti/bread.

The art of making Phulka/pulka
Recipe type: Main
Author: Suchitra Vaidyaram
A healthier staple food in North India, these roti’s can be dunked in any gravy to fill your stomach!
  • 2 cups of wheat flour
  • dash of salt
  • water for kneading
  • a tsp of oil
  1. In a big bowl, mix the flour with salt and with the help of water start kneading the flour. Ensure you take time to do this and you don’t hurry up with this process.
  2. Don’t dump too much water and keep pouring water as when required to bring the flour to a dough consistency.
  3. Keep kneading till you get good, soft dough.
  4. Towards the end add a bit of oil to give it a glossy texture.
  5. Once the dough is ready, place it in a container with lid and store it in fridge.
  6. I have always found that when the dough gets to sit in the fridge for 5 to 7 hours it helps. I have never found success in using the dough immediately- it never fluffs up when put on flame.
  7. Take a small ball of dough and flatten it with a rolling pin.
  8. Ensure you roll it evenly. This step is crucial to the success of your roti getting fluffed up when you put on flame.
  9. Once rolled out, place it on a hot pan and allow both the sides to cook.
  10. You will notice that it starts to fluff up a bit.
  11. Now place one side of the roti on a high gas flame and allow it to bloat like a balloon. It happens within a second.
  12. With the help of tongs flip it to the other side.
  13. Allow it to fluff up for a second time.
  14. Don’t overdo and burn/char your roti.
  15. It should be done within seconds and removed from flame within seconds.
  16. Please be cautious when you are using the flame.


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