Eggplant Parmesan

The first restaurant I went in US is Olive Garden.I just love their food.They serve hearty soups /breads/salads and the mains and dessert, OK !!! I agree nothing new but just like any other restaurant. All I wanted to do was begin with a story of how and why I liked this particular dish  and I have nothing but where i ate it But I did try that recipe at home.

Ingredients :

Cooked Spaghetti 2 cups

Grated Parmesan Cheese 1 cup

For pasta Sauce

4 Chopped Plum tomatoes

1 can of chopped tomatoes

1/2 cup basil leaves

1/2 cup chopped onion

4 cloves of garlic

1 tbs tomato puree

1 tbs Olive oil

How I made the pasta sauce

Saute garlic ,onion and tomatoes in olive oil then add Tomatoes (canned) ,tomato puree,basil leaves.

Mash them into thick gravy

Season with salt and 1 tsp sugar

For Eggplant crisps

1 big Eggplant (Cut into thick discs)

10 cheese slices(I used pepper jack cheese)

2 plates

   1st plate :

1tbs All purpose flour(Maida)

Salt to taste

Mix them in water to make batter like consistency

    2nd plate 

1 cup bread crumbs

1 tbs chopped parsley

1 tbs chopped oregano (I used carom seeds(Ajwain) instead but used only 1 tsp )

1 tsp chopped thyme

salt and pepper to taste

Mix them all very well

Oil to shallow fry eggplant crisps

How I made the eggplant crisps

1. Take one eggplant disc ,dip in 1st plate then in second plate

2. Next  keep cheese slices on each side and dip it in 1st and again 2nd plate. Repeat if you want extra crispy.

2. Shallow fry discs one by one after prepping the eggplant in above method

Assembling 

  1. Take little pasta sauce on plate
  2. Place spaghetti and eggplant crisps
  3. Pour generous amount of hot pasta sauce
  4. Garnish with chopped parsley and generous amount of  Parmesan cheese
  5. I also drizzled little chilly infused extra virgin olive oil

IMG_20150310_203627581

A Greek touch

We went to Greece last year and had a wonderful time with luckily good food.
Though not much time to explore we had a good food in a king size quantities along with lovely salads

My favourites from the trip were the view from our balcony and the beach with clear turquoise blue water. I enjoyed watching my kids splashing and running in shallow beach

Jaanu was excited to see the transparent little fishes and she kept chasing them trying to catch at least one. After long try, she started getting tired and stopped chasing them  saying the fishes are actually looking for their mommy and they are running away from me ,what a beautiful way to say she is bored of chasing them .I just nodded , amused by her perspective.
My little boy was happy with sun bathing .He refused to sit under shade and preferred smothering himself in wet sand just like elephants put mud on their body to cool off
I must admit that this was quiet a long explanation for the reason behind me trying to make a Greek salad

Ingredients
1 English cucumber (medium size) chopped into bite size
3 plum tomatoes deseeded And chopped into bite sizes
Half red onion sliced thin
25 g feta cheese cubes
15 to 20 olives (of different variety)
Capers 2 tbps
Chopped parsley
Olive oil /oregano infused olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

How I made it

Mix all ingredients other than feta cubes as they crumble a lot (I like mine to retain their bite sizes)
Add salt,pepper, olive oil , chopped parsley and feta cheese

image

Apple jam

We had a visit to a farm as one of the gift for Ojas’s birthday.Generally our birthday celebrations are spending time together as a family than partying if you want to put it selfish perspective,I don’t want to take a hassle of managing more people right on this special day and as long as kids don’t wish for it we are not going to think about it.

So we thought may be visit to a farm will be something which my kids will enjoy and it will be nice personal and private moment as a family . In london, how much ever you plan a trip in advance ,it all depends on rain and luckily, that day was clear so we got ready in fractions of second and were there in the farm within 2 hrs.

Ojas ran into sticky dirty fields of apples,pears,spinach,broccoli carelessly splashing into puddles and wanting to put his hands in soil. Few passers by were encouraing him saying “soil is tasty ,common put it in ur mouth and trouble mommy” Jaanu, on the contrary made a fuss about getting dirty initially but somehow the red apples lured her and she started enjoying getting dirty.Ojas picked up everything he could see and threw them into basket.kids were really happy to do this . I know i cannot give them this big farm often to run around everyday and its best feeling when these moments falls into right place at the right time of our life .The gratification of silent observer despite being a part of it made my day and more importantly made my kids happy with big smiles.

We had two big bags of merchandise worth few £. The eldest in our family agreed for this farm trip with a bribe of making jam of what ever i buy over there hence it resulted in a post about me bragging about the apple jam.

Ingredients
5 big apples
1 to 2 cup sugar  (depends upon how much sweet one prefers )
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon

How i made it:
1.Peel and chop the apples in small peices and put them in icecold water to stop them from browning
2. Drain water and transfer them in a hard bottom pan
3.Turn on the heat and let them cook for 10 minutes
4.Add sugar,salt cinnamon and keep stirring
5.let it reduce till it becomes glossy (may be for 40 minutes to 1 hour in low flame)
6. After its completely cold transfer it to sterilised jars.

It was a success indeed.

image

image

Tri color Salad inspired from strada

Recently we relished this simple salad at Strada restuarant.
I love avacados or anything which has avacado so I tried to making the same at home and now it has taken a place in my little recipe book
I made little changes to tickle my tastebuds

Ingredients :
1 ripe Avacado
1 tomato
Blue cheese
Chilli infused olive oil
Salt and pepper
How I made it :
Cut avacado and tomato in long slices
Arrange them on plate
Crumble some of your favourite blue cheese(restauarnt didn’t use blue cheese )
Sprinkle salt and coarse pepper
Add dashes of chilli infused olive oil for little kick (adding this oil was also my choice )

image

Achari Baingan/ pickeled Brinjals

image

We went to a restaurant and vasanth asked me to taste brinjal recipe. The minute I tasted it I know I was going to try this making at home . so I did and hence the recipe.

Ingredients:
6 to 7 small brinjal
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp turmeric powder
2 small onions
3 tomatoes pureed
1/2 tsp red chilly powder
1 table spoon  mustard oil
Salt to taste

Spices to grind
1 tsp fennel seed
3/4 tsp fenugreek seeds
1 tsp jeera/cumin
3 tsp coriander seeds
4 dry red chillies
1/2 tsp kalonji (onion seeds)

How to prepare:
Slit the brinjal length wise and stuff little of salt and red chilly powder.
Sear the brinjals in little oil and take them out after some time
Add chopped onions, ground powder, garam masala
Add tomato puree, salt and water
Add seared brinjals and let it cook in low flame for 15 minutes
Add curd and chopped coriander to garnish
Tastes great with rotis or rice.

Stuffed Bread pakoda/stuffed Bread fritters

I love it when it rains. It brings back some old little tradition of my home. When ever it rained my mom used to make these fritters and serve along with roohafsa.I really enjoyed hogging at them sitting by the window watching it rain . I still remember the fresh smell of wet soil when it rained.. hm….old memories are always gold.

So here is my own version of it. The best part is that my H liked it.
Ingredients:
6 to 8 bread slices. Oil to deep fry.
Stuffing:
3 medium potatoes
1 tbs dried fenugreek leaves
2 tbs chopped coriander leaves
1 tsp finely chopped green chillies
Salt to taste
Mix all ingredients and mash the potatoes into them
Batter
1 cup gram flour
1/2 cup rice flour
2 pinch of asafoetida
Salt to taste
Water to make a thick batter
Make the batter by mixing all ingredients for the batter
How to prepare
Take 1 bread slice and spread the stuffing on one.
Place second slice on it and cut into half
Dunk them in batter and deep fry the same.
Repeat the process for remaining bread slices and stuffing.

image

Salads and summers !!

As the caption suggests  I am a lot into salads and why?  because there is no sign of end of summer other than apparel stores. Just that is not the reason well I love salads. I eat salad like salad, lunch, breakfast and dinner.
So here are few of my favorite ones which I eat often at my home sweet home.
Everything salad
I call this for a reason. It has ingredients which are my favorite. I love everything in it and so I call it the same.
Ingredients:
1 small Iceberg lettuce
1 medium carrot
1 large Tomato(deseeded)
1 small green bell pepper
1 small red onion
10 Black olives
Sharp cheddar shavings 1 tbsp
Dressing :
2 tsp honey
Half lime (juice)
Salt to taste
1/4 tsp ground pepper
Extra virgin olive oil 1 tbsp
Mix all the ingredients other than olive oil
Beat with a fork while  adding olive oil
How I made it
Chop all the veggies into bite size pieces and half the olives
Add the dressing just before serving.

image

Apple- cucumber salad
Ingredients:
1 medium apple (chopped)
1 medium cucumber (chopped)
2 tbsp Chopped roasted peanuts or chopped walnuts (I would choose)
1 tbsp Chopped parsley or cilantro
1 tsp sweet lime juice
Black salt to taste

Toss all ingredients together just before serving or mix and keep in refrigerator until serving
image

Bannana stem salad
I make this salad often and I like this salad only then all the ingredients are very very fresh .I don’t store this salad in refrigerator more than one day.
ingredients
1 medium banana stem chopped into small cubes and soaked in buttermilk(to prevent browning)
1 medium carrot grated.
1 small green bell pepper chopped.
1 tbsp chopped cilantro
2 tsp lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients and add lemon juice
Add salt and pepper to taste
image