Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Flavours: Mum's Firecracker Open Chicken Sammies

I love getting e-mails (comments) and messages from my readers and blogger friends. I especially love those e-mails telling me that they tried one of my recipes and found it to be delectable.

Today's dish is one of the simplest sandwich recipes you can find. Passed down to me by my mama, this dish is sure to get onto your list of "Simplest Recipes". No creamy cheesy filling, no extravagant ingredients, just pure hazzle-free sammies full of flavour. They are packed with tender shredded chicken breasts, sweet browned onions, ripe juicy tomatoes and spiced with a little green chillies and pepper.

I love all day meals, and sandwiches, I believe, fall in that category. This is a really simple dish which can be prepared in a few minutes. All you need is a little chicken and some bread! Don't you love dishes with just 4 to 5 ingredients?! I absolutely adore them and I'm always ready to make them at anytime. This is an absolute life saver when you have unexpected guests or when laziness creeps up to you!

Kids will definitely enjoy this treat. I have seen so many parents struggling to feed their little ones and I think this dish will be a good idea and you can enjoy seeing them devour it in minutes! Now, won't that be a pretty pretty sight?!! :)

If you are avid picnic goers and are not one of those extravagant picnic packers, these yum chicken sammies will make a perfect dish to go into your picnic baskets. A warm sunny Saturday afternoon with loaded backpacks on mountain bikes, heading off for the afternoon to one of your favourite spots, these sandwiches will be devoured in a jiffy!

You can always be creative with the filling like using vegetables, egg, beef, lamb and chicken. I will try posting some more similar recipes with different fillings in later posts. You could also serve this up as simple wraps instead of sandwiches. Today, I have for you Mama's home-style chicken sandwiches. And what's better? This dish uses very less oil. Less oil, less fatty! And I think healthy eating is so important these days with changing lifestyles.

I prepare these sandwiches quite often but have always failed to take pictures because they were gone before I was able to take pictures! Today, however, I managed a few though and I hope you enjoy them as much we did!

Enjoy these with a bowl of piping hot creamy onion soupchicken soupspicy pumpkin soup or any soup of your choice. Happy cooking and happy eating!


Chicken breast (cut into cubes) - 250 gms (refer notes)
Green chilli - 1
Pepper - 2 tsp
Salt - to taste
Big Onion - 2 (medium)
Tomato (finely chopped) - 1 (medium)
Chicken stock - 3 to 4 tbsp
Bread slices - 8 to 10


Take a pressure cooker and add chicken pieces along with a pinch of salt and pepper and a little water into it. Cover and cook till chicken is tender and juicy. Remove the stock/liquid (you can use this as stock that has to be added later into it) and keep aside. Shred the chicken pieces and keep aside.

Heat oil in a pan and add green chilli and onions and saut'e till onion reduces and turns golden brown. Add finely chopped tomato and saut'e for a few minutes till tomato becomes soft. Add the shredded chicken along with pepper and salt and saut'e for a few minutes. Now add chicken stock and stir on medium flame for a few minutes till all the liquid evaporates. Once done, switch off flame and keep aside.

Lightly butter the bread slices and toast them on the griddle or a frying pan. Place the chicken filling on top. Keep warm in a pre-heated oven. (refer notes)

Serve warm.


1. If you don’t have boneless chicken breasts, don’t worry, you can use chicken with bones. But remember to shred the chicken off the bone. Either way, it tastes the same.

2. It isn’t necessary to place the sandwiches in the oven, you can serve it straight from the stove too.

Recipe Courtesy: Mum

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Puttum Motta Roastum/Steamed Rice Cakes and Egg Roast

Ummmmm! What can be more comforting than this? Hi Y’all! Here is the roving foodie from wonderful Bangalore. I am having a fantastic time and eating like a hog :) So many types of cuisine to go through that one just forgets about that slim waistline!! Not so good I know :(

Well I did a make a nice breakfast for my loving hubby over the weekend. Decided to spoil him with breakfast (he generally doesn’t get such luxury most mornings, poor thing!) This is what I served up, piping hot steamed rice cakes with coconut and gorgeous egg roast. What could possibly be more spoiling than that?! Reju, my hubby loved it and licked his plate clean.

Eggs in a delicious onion and tomato based gravy paired with steamed rice flour is the dish of the day. It is one of the most popular breakfast combos in Kerala. We are a rice people, as you might have guessed, so much that we have some version of it for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Incidently, things have changed. Roti's and parathas (Indian breads) have taken it's place either for breakfast or dinner in most families.

The steaming puttu (steamed rice flour) spreads it's aroma at home transforming me to the cool early mornings back home at Kerala. Bustle of activity outside where the very health conscious are onto their brisk walks, the loud horn of the umpteen number of vehicles and whistle of boiling milk in our neighbours home. These dishes are synonymous with life in Kerala.

Some other combinations for the steamed rice is black channa curry or pappad, ghee, sugar or boiled green gram with coconut and sugar. Of course, you can always make your own combinations as you go and make an entree of this steamed rice flour with a side dish of your choice.

I have been wanting to share this recipe with you for a long time and I think Tuesday is a good time to share it with you. Make this treat at home over the weekend and help your kiddies experience the aroma and taste of a Kerala home while you revoke some memories of old times that bring a smile to your face. Happy cooking and eating!!! :)

For Puttu


Rice flour (puttu podi) - 1 cup (refer notes)
Grated Coconut - 8 to 10 tbsp (refer notes)
Salt - a pinch
Water - as required


Making the flour ready is the trickiest part in this simple preparation. Take the rice flour in a wide mixing bowl and add salt into it. Slowly start adding water, mixing the flour with your hand and breaking the small dough balls with your finger tips. You could stop adding water when you hold a fistful of dough, it stays together, making a lump with the shape of your fist. The longer the time you take to reach this, the better and softer will be the puttu.

Keep the dough covered for atleast 15 minutes.

Boil water in a pressure cooker. When the steam starts coming, take the puttu maker (puttukutti) {refer notes} and spoon in a tablespoon of grated coconut, followed by 2-3 tablespoon of prepared dough. Repeat with coconut and rice dough (flour) till you reach the top, finishing it with a tablespoon of coconut.

Keep this on the top of the pressure pressure cooker and let the steam come through the top. Reduce the heat (make sure steady steam is still present) and cook till done. This takes 5 to 6 minutes approximately.

Serve warm with Egg Roast, Black Chana Curry, Pappad, Fish/Chicken curry, Beef fry! Yes the combinations are many and they all taste yummmm!!!! Enjoy.

For Egg Roast


Eggs (hard boiled; cut into halves) - 2
Big onion (finely chopped) - 2 (medium)
Tomato (finely chopped) - 1 (big)
Garlic (finely chopped) - 2 to 3 cloves
Ginger (finely chopped) - 1 small piece
Curry leaves
Garam masala - 3/4 tsp
Pepper - 1/4 tsp (adjust as per spice tolerance)
Kashmiri Chilli powder - 1 tbsp
Coriander powder - little less than 1/4 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Coriander leaves (finely chopped)
Water - 1/4 cup
Salt - to taste
Oil - 2 tbsp (preferably coconut oil)


Heat oil in a wok and add chopped ginger, garlic, onions and curry leaves. Saut'e till onions turn golden brown. When onions have browned well, add garam masala, pepper, chilli, coriander and turmeric powders and saut'e till raw smell disappears. Now add chopped tomato and salt and stir till oil separates. Add water and bring to a boil. When the gravy starts boiling, turn the flame to sim, add boiled eggs and close for 2 minutes.

Switch off flame and garnish with coriander leaves.


1. Rice flour (puttupodi/puttu powder) is available in all Indian stores. But in case it isn't available, here is how you can prepare your rice flour at home:

Soak 1/2 kg raw rice (pachari) in water for 4 hours. Drain, dry well in sun and grind to a fine powder. Dry roast the flour and store in an air-tight container.

2. You can reduce the amount of coconut used in this dish to make it healthier. But of course, as always, coconut definitely enhances the flavour.

3. Puttu is generally made in a Puttu maker. (also available in Indian stores) If you don't have one, don't worry, you can make this in a steamer too. But you do not get the shape, though the taste is the same. But in case you are using a steamer, make sure the dough has more water content and you must mix in the grated coconut also into this. Coconut usage is much more if you are using this method.

4. You could use either the white rice flour or red rice flour for making puttu. I have used the white variety here.

Recipe Courtesy: My Mom

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Delicious: Spicy Roasted Pumpkin & Carrot Soup

Gosh! It's been almost six months since I have been part of the blogosphere. It was towards the end of July when I first started with Culinary Experiments of an Amateur and I must say that this blog has made so many things possible for me. It gives me that little glow every time I think about them, though I did not realize at the time that what had started out as a bit of fun would turn out to be addictive passion! Besides the fact that I am learning so much everyday about picture-taking, I have to say I have become more experimental with my cooking too. I do not shy away from complicated sounding recipes anymore. As a matter of fact I take this on as a challenge and in the end I am totally amazed at how it turned out. And when everything turns out well for me, I just cannot wait to share it with you.

You! That is the biggest bonus I was rewarded with this blog. I got to know many of you. Through your comments, mails and blogs it was just plain fun being in touch with you. The best thing about it is that I look forward to more of it this year. Just getting to know people through their blogs and sharing a common passion in food brings us all so much closer. I would have never thought that this was such a fantastic social community. So thank you everyone, you guys rock. :)

Getting back to today’s dish. Rustic and easy. Often I crave the simple dishes. There are certain food combinations that simply work extremely well together. One of them are pumpkin and carrots. Both have a sweet flavour and the crunchiness of the carrot is a wonderful contrast to the juicy softness of the pumpkin. Add a bit of green chilli and adequate seasoning you've got an explosive flavour.

Roasting both the pumpkin and carrots is like a beautiful love affair. The sweet harmony of flavours that are intertwined with each other is incredible.

After checking out my pantry and refrigerator, I started forming a recipe in my head. This soup is so easy to make: roasted veggies, extra-virgin olive oil, onion, and a hint of pepper, salt and green chilli and Bingo! The flavour you get is a lovely mix of roasted veggies and seasoning, just waiting to be enjoyed. I am a lover of soups and thus ended up making a little extra for the glutton in me!! :)

I'm sure everyone has their own pumpkin soup recipe that they swear by. It will be interesting to see the various versions for pumpkin soup and the secret ingredients that are added into it!

When I saw Donna Hay's pumpkin soup recipe on her show on the Lifestyle channel the other day, I had to try it. But of course, I made a few changes of my own to give it that twist and more so to suit our palate. It's easy, delicious, and has a different level of flavour. The aroma of the fresh juicy pumpkin is intense and the flavour pure and powerful. Not watery or insipid like it's often the case but a beautiful light consistency. A healthy and refreshing soup for all those weight watchers out there. Do give it a try and you'll see what I'm talking about.

Once the veggies are pulled out of the oven and the sensational aroma of roasted pumpkin fills the kitchen, all I do is throw in everything into a large pot along with some chicken stock and puree. How easy is that?

So, today I present to you the wonderful, totally nourishing and the very comforting, Roasted Pumpkin Soup. There is certainly no fixed recipe for a pumpkin soup and you are free to play with the flavours as you like it. Enjoy!


Pumpkin - 1 (pie pumpkin)
Carrot – 1 (medium)
Onion (finely sliced) – 1
Green chilli (slit lengthwise) – 1 or 2 (adjust as per spice tolerance)
Chicken Stock – 2 ½ to 3 cups
Cinnamon – 1 inch stick
Clove – 1
Salt – to taste
Cracked pepper – to taste
Brown Sugar – 2 tsp
Olive oil


Preheat oven to 200 degrees celcius. Cut pumpkin into medium sized chunks. Scoop out seeds. Clean carrot and cut into medium size chunks. Place pumpkin (cut side up) and chopped carrot on a greased baking tray. Drizzle with olive oil and salt and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until golden and roasted through. (best way to know if the pumpkin is cooked – check and see if fork tender)

Once the pumpkin has cooled slightly, scoop the pumpkin and keep aside.

Heat oil in a saucepan and saut’e sliced green chillies, cinnamon and clove for a few minutes. Add sliced onion along with brown sugar. Saut’e till onion turns golden brown and is caramelized well. Add the roasted pumpkin and carrot and stir for a few minutes. Now add the chicken stock to the saucepan and bring to a boil. Puree with a stick blender or a normal blender. Place the saucepan back on the stove and turn onto a medium heat. Heat through for a few minutes. Add enough salt and cracked pepper.

Serve piping hot.

Notes: To give it that oomph! factor, garnish it with fresh cream.

Friday, 20 January 2012

Pineapple and Banana Yoghurt Gelato - Donna Hay Inspired

Music that helped me cook: Chammak Chalo from the film Ra One starring Sharukh Khan and Kareena Kapoor.

With the holiday season well behind us and under our, slightly tighter belts, it's time to tuck into January's bountiful harvests. And January offers copious varieties of fresh and rich produce, waiting to be turned into cosy and comforting recipes.

Bangalore is cold with chilly winter breeze and what better way to blend in than a nice cooling and refreshing ice cream! My hubby used to be a huge ice cream eater which resulted in me venturing into ice creams too. (well, I'll let you onto a li'l secret, I hated ice cream since I was a kid. I know, I know, that's highly abnormal, but it's true!) Anyway, that didn't last too long because of the tremendous amount of weight we were putting on! But recently I was watching Donna Hay - Fast, Fresh and Simple (yipee we both have the same first names!) and was drawn to this yummy gelato recipe. Donna Hay's original recipe calls for fresh ripe mangoes but since mangoes are a seasonal fruit and will require a few more months for fresh produce, (I'll definitely be trying that soon) I thought why not experiment with fresh juicy pineapple.

Pineapples, in addition to their delicious taste and intoxicating smell, has many nutritional benefits. They contain useful digestive enzymes, several essential minerals, vitamins and fibre. They are also low in calories, rich in carbohydrates, fat free and versatile. Raw, juiced, cooked or canned, pineapples offer tremendous nutritional value.

Anyway, putting aside the heavy duty stuff, they make you feel fresher and by the way, taste fantastic.

I'm sure many of you out there simply adore ice cream and slurp ice cream kilowise. But after a while, the calorie meter definitely puts you off. But what would you say if you made healthy yet tasty yoghurt gelato (low-fat ice cream, you may say) at home?! Sound good? Well I'm sure this one is going to be different. As especially when there are kids and hubbies who enjoy yummy cool ice cream and you really DO want to treat them to ice cream but DO NOT want to feel guilty about the additional sugar they take in. This way you can control what goes into their dessert and have no guilty conscience whatsoever! Of course, you can experiment with different flavours, especially fresh berries like strawberry and such.

Soo... back to the gelato. I chose to do a yoghurt gelato instead of custard to keep with the low-fat, healthy theme. I chopped pineapple and banana and pureed it along with thick yoghurt to add flavour in the ice cream and to accentuate the texture. You could also fold in some pineapple juice for extra flavour.

I'm almost embarassed by how easy this recipe is. All you need is chopped fruit, lovely thick store-bought yoghurt and a blender or a processor. Now, how easy is that?! The recipe itself is quick and a glance at the ingredient list shows it to be a very starightforward and fuss-free dish. Do not let that fool you though. The gelato is simply exquisite and offers a great mix of refined flavours. It's meltingly luscious texture makes your mouth water. This was my very first attempt at making gelato and, I tell you, it was so easy and such a perfect quick dessert or little in between snack.


Bananas (peeled & chopped) - 2
Pineapple (peeled, cleaned & chopped) - 1 (big)
Thick & Natural Yoghurt or Vanilla Yoghurt - 1 cup
Sugar - 3 1/3 tbsp (optional)


Place the banana and pineapple in a sealed container and freeze for 2 to 3 hours or until frozen.

Place the frozen fruit, chilled yoghurt and sugar (optional) in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Serve immediately as a refreshing smoothie or place in a sealed container and freeze. After freezing allow to soften for 5 minutes before serving.

To give the dish that glamorous look, you can top it up with lovely caramelized nuts or praline.

So here is my take on Donna Hay’s Mango & Banana Yoghurt Gelato with a twist of my own.


1. You can also use low fat yoghurt instead of full fat or vanilla yoghurt and avoid using sugar.

2. You can also avoid the bananas and go with just chopped pineapples and yoghurt.

Monday, 16 January 2012

Fried Rice - The Quintessential Comfort Dish

I have always thought of fried rice as the quintessential comfort food. Think of it - a bowl of steaming white rice cooked to just the right consistency, filled with bits of meat and vegetable. No wonder fried rice is one of the world's most popular dishes!

For the home cook, the beauty of fried rice is that it is very adaptable. Like chow mein, it's perfect for those nights when you're cleaning out the refrigerator and want to get rid of any leftover meat or veggies.

The credit for the recipe goes to my wonderful mom, always my patient and sincere guide, not just in cooking, but everything! Chinese was always a favourite among our family when we were growing up and I think the reason for that ardent love for Chinese food came from my mom. She spent a good amount of her early years in Brunei, an independant sultanate on the northwest coast of the island of Borneo in the South China Sea. She would always make our mouths water with detailed and colourful descriptions of the food she used to eat there, (steaming bowls of wonton soup, spicy noodle soup laksa, skewered satay, chow mein wrapped up in lotus leaves and much much more...) especially at the awesome street food joints! She always described them as "Almost Heavenly"! And thus evolved this fervent passion for Chinese food at our home.

Weekends were always mama's specials, and she used to cook up a storm in the kitchen. Chinese food was definitely part of that special menu almost every week! Oh, how I miss those yummy delicacies!

So anyway, today I have for you my mum's version of Chinese fried rice, and I cooked it for no special reason, but just out of pure whimsy! But I must tell you, it took me quite a few attempts to get this dish "almost perfect"! I particularly like this dish, because the home-made version helps to keep oil usage at a bare minimum and thus making it quite healthy. This is also a great way to make your kiddies eat a balanced whole meal of veggies and meat.

And now that we have established the convenience of making fried rice for me let me also say I quite like this dish. Anyway, I will not keep you with anymore rambling. Let's get to the point alright! Here you go, my mum's version of yummy Chinese fried rice. Enjoy.


Basmati Rice - 1 cup
Water - 2 cups
Chicken (boneless; cooked with a pinch of pepper & salt; shredded) - 1 cup
Eggs (beaten) - 2
Carrot (finely chopped) - 1
French Beans (finely chopped) - 3 to 4
Shallots/Small/Pearl onion (finely sliced) - 6 to 7
Spring Onion (stem; finely chopped) - 7 to 8 stems (chop leaves keep leaves aside for later use)
Garlic (coarsely crushed) – 2 cloves
Green chillies - 1 or 2 (adjust as per spice tolerance)
Cracked pepper - ½ to 1 tsp (adjust as per spice tolerance)
Salt - to taste
Chilli Garlic sauce - 1 1/2 tsp
Soy sauce - 1/4 to 1/2 tsp
Green Chilli sauce - 1 tsp
Chicken stock - 4 tbsp (or half a cube of chicken stock cube)
Spring Onion leaves - for garnish
Ajinomoto - a pinch (optional)
Refined Oil


Parboil the rice with water and a pinch of salt. Drain and keep aside. (be careful not to overcook the rice)

Heat oil in a wok and add beaten egg into it. Fry till cooked well. Remove, cut into strips and keep aside. (or you can just scramble it and keep aside)

Into the same wok, heat some more oil, and saut'e green chillies till colour changes. (this is to create an aromatic infused chilli oil which helps enhance the flavour of the dish) Add crushed garlic, finely sliced shallots and chopped spring onions into it saut'e till onions turn transparent. Add the veggies with a pinch of salt and stir. Cover and cook for a minute. After a minute, adjust the flame to low and add the parboiled rice. Add enough salt and cracked pepper and fry on a high flame for a few minutes. (make sure you continuously stir throughout this process to avoid rice sticking to the wok) Now lower the flame and add all the sauces and saut'e till a high steam comes. (saut'e slowly to avoid breaking the rice) When the high steam appears, add the chicken stock and saut'e on a high flame for 2 minutes. Now add the shredded chicken and stir well for a minute. Add the fried/scrambled egg and combine well. Throw in the ajinomoto (optional) and stir well till it is melted into the rice. Finally, add the chopped spring onion leaves and toss well. Switch off flame.

Serve hot with gobi manchurian (for vegetarians), chilli beef or a yummy chicken dish preferably Chinese, for the hardcore non-vegetarians.


1. You can add other veggies and meat into the dish too.

2. Be careful while adding salt because the soy sauce and ajinomoto (if you are using it) has salt in it too.

Source: Mama

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Lasooni Dal Palak - Garlicky Lentils with Spinach

Dal curry always awakens fond memories from my childhood days. Any form of dal always remain my favourite and my mum was always an expert at her beautifully cooked lentils. Spinach dal or dal palak was one of her specialities, and as children we used to slurp it all up.

Dal, in most Indian cuisines, is a side dish that goes both with rice and roti. As most dishes, it is cooked differently from state to state. However, it is a must-have in a "Thali". My mouth waters whenever I think of a good lunch thali from my favourite vegetarian restaurant. I particularly like this form of dal because it uses very less oil and thus is a great dish for all those weight watchers out there!

This simple dal palak is lip-smacking good. It was my first attempt at making the curry and I have to say, it was Yum! Light, delectable, easy dish, I should say. The aroma from the garlic and the fresh green colours of the spinach makes this an absolutely irresistable dish. And for those of you who don't relish spinach, this is a great way to eat your greens. I read some recipes online and also watched a cookery show that showed similar recipes and I knew what I had to do. I have tried to recreate some of that magic with this dish myself and hope you will enjoy it too. Piping hot phulka rotis, some yummy lasooni dal palak and a cool cucumber raita, and there you have your wholesome meal!

The curry is so good, that if you are not careful, you will never get to eat it with rotis or rice because you would already have had it as soup. Mmm...!


Toor/Arhar Dal (washed & drained) - 3/4 cup
Fresh Spinach (washed & coarsely chopped) - 1 bunch
Garlic (finely chopped) - 1 tbsp
Big Onion (finely chopped) - 1 (medium size)
Tomato (finely chopped) - 1 (medium size)
Ginger (finely chopped) - 1/2 tsp
Green chillies (slit lengthwise) - 3
Cumin seeds (jeera) - 1/2 tbsp
Turmeric - 1/2 tsp
Red Chilli powder - 1 tsp
Ghee/Oil - 1 tbsp
Coriander leaves (finely chopped)
Salt - to taste


Pressure cook the toor/arhar dal with 2 green chillies, 1/4 tsp turmeric powder and enough water till soft. Once cooked, mash and keep aside.

Heat ghee/oil in a pan and splutter cumin seeds. Once they start popping, add chopped garlic and ginger and remaining green chillies and saut'e till raw smell disappears. Once the raw smell disappears, add finely chopped onion and fry till golden brown. Add chilli powder and remaining turmeric powder and saut'e till raw smell goes away. Now add the chopped tomatoes and salt and saut'e till soft and oil separates. Add the coarsely chopped spinach and toss till it reduces in quantity. (a few minutes approx)

Now add the cooked lentils into the spinach mixture and mix well. Once it starts boiling, switch off flame and garnish with freshly chopped coriander leaves. Cover and keep aside for 10 minutes.

Serve hot with roti/chapathi/rice.

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Crunchy Corn and Raisin Delight

Winter has been pretty cold this time in Bangalore and though I like the cold, I'm really feeling a little blue being wrapped up with multiple layers of clothing all the time! So, in an effort to evoke some summer time cheeriness, I decided to go with a light, refreshing and fruity salad for dinner last night.

So many times in our blogs, we try to reach for the stars in flavours, in creativity.. showcase our talent by doing something different from the many, many blogs out there... that it really does feel like a competition sometimes. One that can consume your time without remorse and turn into an obsession bordering an addiction. But today, I just kept all those ideas aside, and decided to go for a simple salad/raita which is a staple in my home.

Crunchy Corn and Raisin Delight - simple yet delicious enough to forget about the cold winds billowing outside. You can of course be creative and do some toying with flavours to suit your palate. I have used corn in my version of this salad, but some finely chopped apples, fresh juicy grapes or any other fruit will do the job and keep the flavours balanced! The natural sweetness of the corn, raisin and carrot clubbed with the pungent and bitter yet sweet onion gives this salad a pleasing flavour.

I got this recipe from my sister, Sharon's father-in-law who always prepares this raita when they invite us so lovingly for a meal at their home. Mary aunty and Georgechayan (that's what I call them) are very dear to me and I dedicate this post to them. Thanks Georgechayan and Mary aunty for always being so wonderful. And this comes from my heart, love you both very much. :)

Though this recipe makes use of simple ingredients, the outcome is oodles and oodles of flavour! We have this raita very often and I always wanted to post this on the blog but it just didn't work out. I love this salad because it's very simple to make - refreshing and tasty!

Anyway, it did put a smile on my face and I almost believed summer is here (which was the idea!) So I would say, the salad was a success! Do try it and see how it pleases you too. Enjoy!


Thick Yoghurt (or Greek Yoghurt) - 1 cup
Big Onion (finely chopped) - 1/2 an onion
Carrot (grated) - 1
Corn (or any other fruit) - 4 to 5 tbsp (add more if you like the crunch)
Golden Raisins - 4 to 5 tbsp (add more if you like the sweetness)
Salt - to taste


Cook the corn and leave to cool. (thaw, if using frozen corn) Clean raisins and soak for 10 minutes in water. Drain and keep aside.

Beat the yoghurt lightly till smooth. (be careful not to beat it briskly, make sure you keep the texture and consistency of the yoghurt intact) Add the salt and mix well. Now add the chopped onions, grated carrots, cooked corn, and raisin and combine well.

Serve chilled with Rotis/Pulav.

Notes: If you are using apple instead of corn, make sure you add it just before serving to avoid discolouration of apple thus spoiling the overall appearance of the salad.

Source: Georgechayan

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Grilled Carrot & Cheese Sandwich

Bread is perhaps the longest running love affair through the ages for chefs and gourmands alike. The feel of biting into a piece of generously buttered bread (if freshly baked, even better!) ... Oh! no pleasure greater for the taste buds! The best thing about bread is it's versatality. Across the world, every culture has some form of it. Bread allows so much of scope to play with different flavourful fillings, spreads and such.

Guess what I have today to make a neat and simple sandwich? Freshly grated carrots and cheese! Well the idea of making these sandwiches was to experiment with flavours that famous street food joints deliver. They have such simple dishes that require absolutely no time at all yet are a treat to the palate. I remember eating yummy grilled mixed veggie and cheese sandwiches sometime back in Bangalore. Oh! they were heavenly. Rich and oozing with cheese!

And today's carrot and cheese sandwiches are a take on those yummy sandwiches I had sometime ago. Oh, boy! never did a spur of the moment idea turn out so well. I haven't added too much cheese just so to keep it light, healthy and fresh. But in case you like your sandwiches oozing and bursting with cheese, feel free to add more! It's well spiced and hot and will go into a wrap or sandwich bread and make a pretty good breakfast, lunch or snack!

This easy and delicious dish can be made in minutes and is the perfect meal.


Bread Slices – 8 to 10
Carrot (grated) - 5
Cheese (grated) - as desired
Tomato (finely chopped) - 1
Big Onion (finely chopped) - 1
Fresh Coriander leaves (finely chopped) - 7 to 8 tbsp
Cumin seeds (jeera) - 1/2 tsp
Chilli powder - 1/2 tsp to 3/4 tsp (adjust as per spice tolerance)
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Garam Masala - 1/2 tsp (add more if you like the taste)
Butter - just enough to spread on the bread slices
Oil - 1 to 2 tsp


Heat oil in a pan and splutter cumin seeds. Add finely chopped onions and salt and saut'e till onions turn light brown. Once onions have browned, add turmeric powder, chilli powder, and garam masala and saut'e till raw smell disappears. Now add the chopped tomatoes and saut'e till tomatoes turn soft. Now add the grated carrot and cover and cook for 1 minute. After a minute, remove the lid and add freshly chopped coriander leaves (add more salt if necessary) and keep stirring till carrot is cooked well and excess water evaporates. Once done, keep aside.

To prepare the sandwich, take bread slices and lightly butter them.

Place the buttered bread slices on the grill/toaster, spread 1 or 2 spoonfuls of the carrot mixture onto it. (make sure you evenly spread the mixture to all sides of the bread slices) Grate cheese onto the carrot mixture. Place buttered slices of bread on top of the filling and grill for about 3 to 4 minutes (follow your grill/toaster cooking instructions), allowing the cheese to melt and to give the bread slices that extra crisp.

Once done, remove from the grill/toaster and serve with a sauce/ketchup or chutney/dip of your choice.

And there you go, Grilled Carrot & Cheese Sandwiches! Enjoy!

Notes: For the healthier version, you can avoid cheese and have it just as it is.
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