Archive for the ‘Snacks and Breakfast’ Category

Seems like I come out and post when Giants get some action 🙂 What a game it was –and this comes from a newbie to the game! They had their line up and I have mine 🙂 In my mind one half of the bun that’s little squashed is the Patriots QB 😉

It’s been a while that we have given up our unhealthy eating habits. Just because I pledge to eat better doesn’t make me taste dead either. It just compels me to be more creative to figure out ways to make my favorite junk foods a healthy choice. So now when I crave spicy buns, I couldn’t anymore drive to Hot Breads. A while ago this post coerced me to try out spicy buns at home. But I had to figure out a healthy bun recipe with whole grains. Sure enough I did and it turned out great. When I made these for a family visit they literally flew off like hot cakes 🙂

If you are not way into healthy eating you can try this with totally all of all purpose flour. My bet is it will yield you more fluffier flaky buns. The difference is same as in white bread being flaky and whole wheat bread being dense. Many times I have no energy or time to make low fat paneer. So if you are in that boat, be sure to check your local Indian stores. Derle Farms who first bought desi natural dahi now have a low fat paneer which works just fine for me.

For a printer friendly recipe click here

What you need

For Bun
2.25 cup whole wheat flour
.75 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoon active dried yeast
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup butter
1/2 teaspoon salt

For egg wash
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon water

For Stuffing
12 oz Low fat paneer cut into small cubes
One medium red onion finely diced
One medium green capsicum finely diced
1/2 teaspoon ginger garlic paste
3-4 green chilies – finely chopped
1 tablespoon red chili powder – use to your hotness level
1/2 tablespoon garam masala powder
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt to taste

How to make
In a pan heat oil on medium heat.
Add green chilies and fry for a minute.
Add diced onion and sauté till it turns pink
Add ginger garlic paste
Sauté the mixture for a minute
Add diced capsicum and continue to cook till it’s almost done.
Now add salt, chili powder and garam masala and sauté for another minute or two.

Dissolve yeast in couple tablespoon of water. Let it bubble up
Melt the butter.
Heat milk and stop before it starts boiling.
Mix flour, sugar and salt in a mixing bowl.
Add butter, milk and bubbled yeast to the flour mixture
Lightly Knead the dough until you have smooth and shiny surface.
Cover bowl and let rise in a warm place for about 2 hours or until dough is doubled

Punch down the dough and knead gently.
Divide dough into 16 equal sized balls.
Flatten each ball in your palm
Fill it with completely cooled filling.
Now get all the edges of the dough together and seal the bun neatly and smoothly.
Gently rotate the bun repeatedly until it forms a smooth ball.
(Once the edges are sealed you can gently keep pressing and rotating with both palms)

Lightly Grease a cookie sheet or a baking dish with olive oil or baking spray.
Place the rolled bun on the dishes with distance in between.
Cover the buns with an aluminum foil tent.
Make sure there is room for the dough to rise and edges are sealed so the dough doesn’t dry on surface.
Let the buns rise in a warm place for about an hour or the bun almost doubles up in size.

Beat the egg yolk and water together.
Using a pastry brush egg wash the buns on the upper surface.

Pre heat oven to 375F and bake the buns for about 20- 25 minutesI mix the dough and then make the filling so it’s cooled and ready to be stuffed by the time dough has risen up.


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For all those who personally know me and are wondering if I became a crazy football fan overnight don’t sweat – no I didn’t ! 🙂 Now that I have let cricket go a long time ago I need to find a following. So figured why not get on the train that my hubby is already on? And like the broadcaster who quoted Eli Manning– “if you are in it you might as well win it” (‘enjoy it’ suits my state).
And I wish they squash the undefeated patriots on February 3rd.

Having said that prayer, if you were wondering where I was for over a month? I was busy getting pampered by visiting family then pampering family that visited me and later just busy crunching year end numbers! I was talking with Shilpa and she gave me much needed nudge to get out of the daily grind and get back in touch with any creative side that I have…

While I am trying to do that this egg bake kept popping up many times – may be because I ate it few times in the busy time when I became a football follower 🙂
This is originally a Pillsbury recipe . My sister adopted that with changes she wanted. I make it the way she makes it. Why invent a wheel when you have one that runs just fine? This is a guaranteed crowd pleaser. I have made it several times for people who were just eggetarians to who were carnivores. It hasn’t failed me once. Also it is a good make ahead breakfast / brunch. So works very well with me when I stay up into the wee hours of the morning, talking with or getting drunk with family or friends. I personally love to eat and serve a hearty breakfast, but I will never sign up to cook individual omelets for a crowd.

You can make it with vegetables of your choice and add ham / bacon or shrimp if you want. Just make sure not to add watery vegetables like tomato etc which will just make a soggy bake.

Click here for Printer friendly recipe

What you need
14 oz. shredded Colby-Monterey Jack cheese blend (I use anything that I have on hand except mozzarella)
1.5 tablespoons olive oil
1/3 cup sliced green onions
1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
1 (8 oz) can Sliced Mushrooms, drained*
10 eggs
2 tablespoon whole wheat flour
1 3/4 cups milk

*you can substitute with fresh mushrooms, then you will need to saute mushrooms first till all moisture is gone.

How to make
In medium skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add bell pepper and mushrooms.
Cook until onions bell peppers are tender and all moisture from mushrooms has evaporated.
Add onions and cool for another couple of minutes.
Spray 13×9-inch glass baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
Sprinkle half of cheese evenly into sprayed baking dish.
Arrange cooled vegetables over cheese in baking dish.
(If you are using any ham / bacon or shrimp layer them on top of vegetables. Ensure that bacon and shrip are cooked and cooled)
Sprinkle remaining cheese over vegetables.
Beat eggs in large bowl.
Add flour, and milk to eggs; blend well.
Pour over mixture in baking dish.
(If you are making ahead then cover; refrigerate overnight.)
Heat oven to 350°F.
Uncover baking dish; bake at 350°F. for 55 to 65 minutes or until mixture is set and top is lightly browned.
Mixture is set when a tooth pick inserted in the center will come out clean and not wet.
Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
To serve, cut into squares. Optionally you can Garnish with parsely .

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A few days ago Mansi invited me for AFAM (A Fruit A Month) event. My crazy schedule doesn’t encourage me much to keep up with all the events that I want to, but then I couldn’t be discourteous and ignore the invitation away as well. I also wanted to make something to take to work on Halloween. Keeping up with the theme of the season wanted that to be pumpkin.With limited time on my hand here is my ingenious (?) idea to use one recipe to conquer two purposes if you will : )

            Some Peachy facts that I gathered via Google: Peaches originated in China and spread to the west during silk trades. In China it’s believed that peach has mystical characters and brings luck, abundance and longevity. Peaches have very thin and sensitive skin and bruise easily – hence I believe the expression “bruises like a peach”. When selecting peaches, don’t look at the blush on the sides, but look at the area close to the stems. Green color near the steam indicates that they may have been picked too far before their prime to ripen properly, while creamy yellow holds the promise of a succulent treat.
A medium size peach has about only 35 calories. Peaches are great sources of Vitamin A as well as C and E. They are also a good source of fiber. Peaches are rich in phytochemicals which act as antioxidants, ridding the body of free radicals.

            I have adapted couple muffin recipes to make this one. I use alternative ingredients like whole wheat flour instead of all purpose flour and low measures of butter and oil to make it a healthier version.
Recipe here makes about 18 regular size muffins. Since I had to stretch the number I made mini muffins.
Instead of Ginger, nutmeg and cinnamon powder you can  use one tablespoon of pumpkin spice powder if you have that in the pantry.

            Here is a peachy Boo ya’ all : )

What you need
2 1/2 cups  whole wheat flour /all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg powder
1 teaspoon ginger powder
2 teaspoon cinnamon powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/8 cup vegetable oil
2 cup finely chopped peeled peaches
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour / whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 tablespoon butter to room temperature,
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

How to make
In  bowl, sieve flour, sugar, nutmeg, ginger and cinnamon powder, baking soda and salt.
In a large bowl, combine eggs, pumpkin and oil.
Mix in in dry ingredients.
Fold in peaches.
 Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups 3/4 full.
For topping, combine sugar, flour, cinnamon and walnuts.
Mix in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
Sprinkle small spoonful over each muffin.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until muffins re done.
Cool in pan for about 5 minutes and remove to a wire rack for cooling.

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I have a very funny story behind this one. When I was very young (talking about when I was 6-7 years), me and my siblings would visit my aunts in Maharastra every summer. I remember eating these rolls during those visits. Then as my elder siblings got busy with their studies our visits stopped. Now after many years, a few weeks ago one night I was sitting and watching TV and out of no where had cravings for Khandvi. I could try and make it, but there was one problem- I didn’t know what it was called!? So I called my sis, described what was I craving for but neither did she remember eating them (she isn’t weird like I am 😉 ), nor did she know the name. It was too early in India to call anyone and ask for the name. What do I do now? Of course plunge into Google. Since it’s a popular Gujarathi / Maharastrian dish, it doesn’t take much expertise in Google pics to land the name. Name led me to recipe which led me to making it. It turned out pretty well and very close to what I remembered but wasn’t the same.
Then I called my mom as soon as it was a decent time back home, she understands my desperation of cravings which pop out from nowhere 🙂 She called my aunt and then I had the recipe which I had tasted many years ago 🙂 Ah! The simple pleasures of life!

What you need
For Rolls

1 cup Gram flour
1.5 cup sour buttermilk
1 cup water
1 teaspoon all purpose flour / maida
1 teaspoon cumin powder / jeera powder
1.5 teaspoon green chili paste
1 teaspoon ginger paste
Pinch turmeric powder
Pinch sugar
Salt to taste

For Tempering
1/2 cup grated coconut fresh / frozen
4 tablespoon finely chopped coriander leaves
2 tablespoon oil
2 tablespoon dry roasted sesame seeds
2-3 green chilies finely sliced
1 teaspoon mustard seeds

Pinch of asafetida / hing

How to make
In a bowl mix all the ingredients of the rolls without any lumps
Take the mixture in a thick bottom vessel and on low flame cook for 7-8 minutes
If you don’t have a non stick or thick bottom vessel then take 2 teaspoon oil, heat it before the mixture is added.
Keep stirring continuously while it is cooking
Turn off the heat
Don’t let the mixture cool off
Immediately With a large ladle spread the mixture as thin as possible (ideally it is as thin as couple of paper sheets) on the back of a big steel plate or a thick plastic sheet
Let it cool for a while
Cut the spread out into about 1 – 1.25 inch wide strips
Carefully roll the strips and lay them on the serving dish with the end side down In a tempering ladle or vessel heat the oil
Add mustard seeds and asafetida
When mustard starts to crackle add sesame seeds and green chilies
Turn the heat off
Spread the tempering evenly on the rolls
Garnish evenly with grated coconut and coriander leaves
My Aunt’s Trick
If you are looking at cutting the oil for the tempering and to avoid the oily feel in the mouth here is what you can do: when the tempering has cooled a little add few drops of water to it and mix well. Apparently this will also enable for an even spreading of tempering.

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Ganesha came and he went as well and I am here yet to post recipe of anything that I made for him!
No, I have not just been busy eating all the goodies. It’s just been a pesky life with things popping up here and there crying for my attention.

I decided to go with the recipe of Anarse in my Ganesha’s series simply because I have eaten them after may be 10 long years! Also, I love them very much :). In Karnataka, during Ganesha time people exchange sweets and savories (still home made in small towns), like it’s done during diwali. We would get Anarse from many family friends and relatives and I would eat them all, even if some were very greasy. That’s how much I liked them.
Ananrses are the semi sweet absolutely heavenly tasting delights. It’s made with rice flour in a quick way in Karnataka. My mom tells me that maharastrians have a labor intensive way of making them. Is there is difference in taste? Of course there is. I remember eating what my ajji (mom’s mom) had made when I was may be 7 years old, and it sure did taste better. I neither had the time nor the means (apparently rice is hand pounded to a powder in the other version) so had to quench my desire of anarses with what I could make. It did turn out great considering it was my fist attempt.

What you need
1 cup jaggery (chopped into small thin pieces)
1/2 cup firmly pressed fresh / frozen coconut (coarsely ground with very little water)
1 1/2 cup rice flour
2 tablespoon ghee
1 cup water
About 1/3 cup poppy seeds

How to make
Mix jaggery, coconut and ghee and bring it to boil on medium heat.
Don’t over boil. It should be in almost water consistency – thin syrup.
Now add rice flour to it.
Stir and mix well without lumps.
Cook the mixture for about 3-5 minutes stirring continuously till soft dough is formed.
The dough should just a little softer than chapatti dough consistency.
Take away from the heat and allow it to cool.
Take the poppy seeds in a thin layer in a wide mouthed shallow bowl (katori).
Make about 1.5 inch diameter balls of the cooled dough.
Press the dough in the palm to make it a flat circle.
Put that onto the poppy seeds and press firmly so poppy seeds adhere to the dough.
Take a thick plastic cover / or flexible chopping board and put the dough poppy seed side down.
With moist hands press the dough to make it about a 3 – 3.5 inch size diameter circle.
Deep fry these to golden brown in either ghee or vegetable / sunflower oil with poppy seed side on top.

DO NOT turn the poppy seed side down in the frying pan – it will make the poppy seeds come out and oil will start burning soon.

DO NOT make the anarse too thin, this will make the anarse very hard.

DO NOT fry them till them till they turn dark brown, this will make the anarse very hard. I always feared that it’s a complicated recipe and I would mess it up. I was very wrong – it wasn’t that bad at all.

I edited the name to include Sajjappa even though its traditionally made with rava.
When I asked my mom in law for the widely used name for the recipe, she told me that it could be sajjappa.

Thanks to reminder from Roopa from My chow chow bhath, I am sending this entry to Latha’s Yum blog for the Ganesha Chaturthi event.

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We love to nibble on spicy Jalapeno poppers. I don’t so much prefer the store bought ones, for they are very mild, deep fried and hence loaded with extra fat, breaded which makes them carb heavy.So I definitely had to come up with a healthier version if I wanted to accommodate them on my plate without much of guilt. 🙂

This is my entry into JFI for August hosted by Saffron Trail.

These chilies are hot and you definitely need gloves if you wish to keep your hands cool. If incase you did set your hands on fire make sure to check my tips section to see how you can soothe your hands.

What you need
12 Jalapeno Peppers
1 cup shredded cheddar Jack cheese
1/4 non fat cup sour cream
6 prosciutto slices cut in half (thus yielding 12 wraps) / you can also use bacon instead.
If you like zucchini, you can make thin slices of them with a vegetable peeler and use instead of prosciutto.

How to make
Make a slit in the chilly carefully so as to not to cut the chilly into two.
With your figure tips put a little pressure on top and tip of the chilly so you can widen the slit.
Remove the seeds and ribs from the chilly – you can use a small spoon to core the ribs and seeds.
Chilies should now will look like this:popper1.jpg
With a spoon put a small dollop of sour cream and spread it so it coats all the inside walls.
My logic in doing so is that it will help melt the cheese evenly.
Now fill a spoonful of shredded cheese and press firmly.
Wrap around a prosciutto and secure with a tooth pick.
If You want to go vegetarian use the zucchini slices for wrap around or continue to grilling without a wrap.
Heat the grill on medium high, spray a few spritz of oil and grill these for about 3-4 minutes.
Turn and grill on the other side for 3-4 minutes.
Timing may vary, but Jalapeno’s should be cooked, so that they are soft to touch and have few blisters.
Now turn the heat to low and cover with a foil tent and allow the cheese to settle for about 2-3 minutes.
When not grilling them on the grill, I just use a grill pan that I can use over the cooking range.
With a grill pan it takes a little longer to cook. A work around could be to grill the plain cored chilies a bit then cool, stuff and wrap them and re grill them.

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My sister keeps talking about these paneer sandwiches that her kids and kid’s friends love a lot. She is a busy bee managing zillion activities with her fulltime job and still somehow cooking delicious meals every time. She will slave in the kitchen for hours to prepare yummy delights and then say “oh it can cook quickly 🙂 ”. But she made these and served them while having a phone conversation with me. So I had to believe that these do turn around quickly and I had to try these Paneer Sandwiches this time she mentioned it.

What you need
1 Medium Onion (Red) chopped medium
8 oz Corn (canned / frozen) – Dry on a paper towel to rid off all moisture
12 oz Paneer – cut into small pieces about 1 cm x 1cm
12 Bread Slices
2 Teaspoon oil
3 Teaspoon chili Powder
1.5 Teaspoon Garam Masala Powder
Pinch turmeric powder
Salt to taste

How to make

Heat oil in a pan on medium heat.
When oil is heated add chopped onions and fry for a minute.
Add the sweet corn and continue frying for another 2-3 minutes till corn is cooked.
Add chili powder, garam masala powder, turmeric powder.
Continue frying for another minute, keep stirring to ensure the mixture doesn’t stick to the pan.
Add paneer pieces and cook for a minute.
Turn off the heat.
This is how the mixture will look like.


Place a spoonful of above mixture on a bread slice, spread evenly, cover a slice on top.
Grill the sandwiches in a sandwich grill.
If you don’t have a sandwich grill, you can heat a griddle on medium flame and put a drop of oil on the griddle.
Place the stuffed sandwich on the griddle and place another heavy pot on top.
Turn sides after couple of minutes.

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