Showing posts from February, 2014

Indo Chinese - Veggie fried rice and mushrooms in sweet and sour gravy

Almost everybody from India loves Indo-Chinese food which is the Indian version of Chinese food. The predominant flavors in this type of food are from ginger, garlic and soya sauce. Whats not to love about that. I, for one, love my ginger and garlic and in my opinion they just make everything taste better.
This is the perfect meal for a cold evening when you want something comforting, while making your taste buds sing.

Usually, Chinese food falls in the same category as greasy fast food. But by making it at home, it can actually qualify as a healthy meal. I have loaded up the fried rice with lots of vegetables (almost as many vegetables as the rice). Instead of deep fried manchurian, I used sauteed vegetables in a gravy.
Although, the meal is healthy, it does not skimp on flavor one bit. As long as you take care of the aromatics (ginger, garlic, onions) and the flavorings (chilies, soy sauce, vinegar), your dish will be satisfying and delicious while remaining healthy.

These recip…

Creamy Broccoli Soup (without cream or cheese)

I am thinking of trying a new soup every week for the last leg of winter. Last week, I made broccoli soup. There was a 2 for 1 sale for broccoli at my local grocery store. So I had 2 bunches of fresh broccoli that needed to be used up. Most of the broccoli went into this soup and the rest went into making broccoli paratha (along the lines of stuffed gobi paratha). I have to say, these two are our favorite ways of eating broccoli. No one in our house likes eating whole broccoli florets no matter how they are prepared. :)

I had garnished the soup with a bit of grated cheddar cheese but the soup itself was so creamy, we felt it was totally unnecessary. The pureed potatoes and broccoli add so much creaminess to the soup. I also added some whole milk to bring the creaminess up a notch and also take the "vegetabley" flavor down. The best part about the soup is the surprise spice hint of cumin. It is unexpected and really took the soup from great to delicious.

Creamy Broccoli Soup

Valentines for kids - Chocolate coated Pretzel heart treats

In my last post, I wrote that I made chocolate covered pretzel hearts as Valentines for my daughter's classmates last year. I thought today is the perfect day to write about them. They are a nice treat to snack on Valentines Day.
They are quite easy to make, infact it is not so much about making them as it is assembling them. I used a bag of small pretzels also called "tiny twists". They kind of look like tiny hearts.

I made my assembly line of pretzels, melted almond bark (white chocolate substitute) and red sugar sprinkles.

Going down my assembly line, I take a pretzel and dip it in the white candy coating. I use a fork to lift it out and let the excess drip back into the bowl. While the pretzel is still on the fork, I dip one side in the red sugar. Finally I lay the pretzel (sugar side up) on a foil lined sheet (for easy clean up).

When the almond bark starts to thicken, zap it in the microwave for half a minute or so till it gets nice and flowy again. Once I h…

Valentines for kids - Homemade Playdough (without cream of tartar)

This is 'Valentines Day' week and all the kids (rather their parents) must have put together the valentines to hand out to their classmates. Last year was the first time we were doing Valentines since my daughter started preschool. I always like to give homemade stuff whenever I can. Last year we gave pretzel hearts, which I might have to write about in a different post.

This year, we decided on play-dough. My daughter is a big fan of play-dough like most kids her age. I was thinking of making a homemade version ever since I saw about it somewhere on the internet. I finally got down to actually making it after just thinking about making the play-dough for months :)

I looked at several play-dough recipes and almost all used cream of tartar. I did try to find it at the grocery store. Maybe I wasn't looking hard enough because I could not find it. So I had to look for recipes without cream of tartar. I read somewhere that cream of tartar is an acidic substance which is th…

Lentil Soup (whole masoor soup)

I have been making a lot of soups the last few months. This lentil soup is my favourite soup to make and eat. It is comforting and filling like soups and lentils usually are. We love it with a slice of baguette and call it a meal. Today is one of those days that is perfect for this soup. It is cloudy, rainy and cold. I just soaked the lentils to make this for lunch and I am so looking forward to it.

I cannot stand the smell and taste of raw celery. The only place I use celery is in this soup (maybe a few other soups too!) because I think the soup just tastes perfect with the celery in it. I peel and very finely chop the celery so I just get the flavor of celery in the soup but not a chunk of it. I do the peeling and chopping for all the celery that I buy and place it in the freezer. So I have to deal with the smell of it just once and then I can just use the prepared celery from the freezer.

Lentil Soup

Ingredients:1 cupwhole masoor dal1onion1/4 cupfinely chopped celery3carrots3 large…
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