Mexican Cuisine. · Salads/ Recipes for the Calorie Conscious.

Vegetable Enchiladas.( Corn Tortilla rolled with filling baked in Chilli Pepper Sauce/ Tomato Salsa)

Ingredients:

1 Medium Onion sliced thin.

2 Carrots sliced thin.

1 Medium Bell Pepper.

2 Medium Zucchini.

1/2 Cup Corn.

1 Bunch Cilantro.

1/2 Cup Salsa.

1 Can of Chilli Enchilada Sauce./ Tomato Salsa.

8 Spinach Tortillas. (Plain ones can be used too)

Handful of Mexican Cheese.

2 Tsp Mexican Blend Seasoning.

Half  a Lemon`s Juice.

PREPARATION:

  • Slice all the veggies thin and place them on a greased tava . Sprinkle salt and pepper and mexican blend seasoning and mix in well.
  • We do this step instead of roasting in an oven as that might make the veggies soft, while we want to retain its crunchiness.
  • Roast  the carrots, zuchinni and the onions until they are brown and  carmelized and delicious.
  • Remove from tava  allow to cool and sprinkle chopped cilantro and  lemon juice.

  • Keep the greased baking pan ready and layer the base with the enchilada sauce / tomato salsa.
  • You can use the chilli sauce which is a light green colour, or as a variation you could use the store bought medium chunky salsa.
  • Now take all the tortillas and warm them on a tava like you would do a roti and set them aside.
  •  Take a tortilla, scoop out some guacamole and spread it all over the face of it.
  • This would serve as the base on which we would add the flavoured roasted veggies .

  • Scoop out the veggies – roasted onions, carrots, zuchinni, corn, cheese and cilantro on to the tortilla and tightly roll the tortilla and place it face down on the sauce in the pan.

  • Continue and finish with all the tortillas and place them one after the other in the pan.
  • Sprinkle some more cilantro over the rolled tortillas and pour out all the remaining salsa/ chilli sauce.
  • Add mexican cheese and some salsa and bake for 30 minutes until the tortillas are all cooked well and the cheese bubbles.

  • Serve hot with refried beans and guacamole.
  • I made Enchiladas with 8 tortillas and froze  three portions for lunch for TH.
  • Typically you could serve them one of them on a platter with the following sides:

Refried Beans.

Sour Cream.

Guacamole.

Shredded Lettuce.

Roasted Veggies.

  • This would make a filling meal by itself as it has a variety of ingredients with various textures. Your share of carbs, protein, and vitamins all in one go!
  • I made two batches – One with the chilli pepper sauce and the other with regular medium tomato salsa. Both had very different tastes and textures yet with all the gooodness rolled in one!

Brisk Breakfast · Snacks & Tiffin Items

Spicy Chettinadu Cauliflower Masal Dosa.

Cauliflower Masaal Filling

They say the best cooking comes out of planning with little or no ingredients in the pantry with little time left…and this was just the case with me. I had a big bunch of cauliflower florets and dosa batter and I was wondering If I should try and make a spicy masaal for dosa. I had no potatoes so I knew I pretty much had no luck there! If there was any hope of making any filling with the cauliflower I had to mash it up. I also needed some form of a binding agent so I knew tomatoes…I remember having cauliflower masal with pieces of cashews dunked in them but decided to make it in to a paste. Armed with this basic knowledge and inspired feverishly by Anu I attempted this spicy Cauliflower Dosa and I was in heaven. The masal as it gets cooked smells so amazing that I couldn’t wait to taste it on the dosas! Tasted even more amazing the next day as a filling for sandwiches! Its an amazing side for rotis and parathas….Try it and then  there is no looking back…I mean really…

INGREDIENTS:

1 Cup Finely chopped Onions.

2 Medium Vine Tomatoes chopped finely.

1-1 1/2 Cups Shredded Cauliflower.

8 Pods Garlic peeled and cut in half lengthwise.

2 Tsp Ginger.

2 Green Chilies slit lengthwise.

Curry Leaves.

1/4  Tsp Turmeric.

1/2 Tsp Red Chilli Powder.

1/2 Tsp Dhania Powder.

1/2 Tsp Vethal Kuzhambu Powder or Sambar Powder.

1/2 Tsp Rasam Powder.

1 Tbsp Cashew ground to a powder.

Salt.

Seasoning:

Mustard, Curry Leaves, 1 Tsp Cumin Seeds, 3 Red Chilies.

PREPARATION:

  • In a flat bottomed pan, add 2 tsp of oil and when hot pop in mustard seeds and cumin. When they splutter away to glory add in the red chilies, curry leaves and the hing.
  • Now add the flavorings  – Garlic, Ginger, and saute well until the garlic turns a dull brown.
  • Keep your flame on medium low so that the garlic does not burn.
  • Toss the diced onions and wait until they turn translucent ,  follow up  with chopped tomatoes and the cashew paste.
  • Give it a good mix.
  • Now add the shredded cauliflower to the kadai and mix well.
  • Spices form the base for the defined taste of this masaala filling  and we add all of them next –  Turmeric, Red Chilli Powder, Sambar Powder, Rasam Powder and salt.
  • Stir in all the spice powders and allow to cook well until the contents turn mushy.
  • Pick out your favorite ladle or masher and mash the  contents well until they fuse to form a homogeneous mixture.
  • The onions, chilies, cauliflower and the tomatoes simply become one mushy goodness!
  • Add a spoon of ghee at this stage and allow it to complete the cooking. I found that adding the ghee at this point completely enhances the flavor to a different level!!!
  • Garnish with chopped cilantro and transfer to an air tight vessel.
  • This is a great filling for Dosa, chappatis and parottas, or bread to make yummy sandwiches.

ASSEMBLING THE MASAAL DOSA:

Spread the Cauliflower Masaal on the Dosa.
  1. Keep the dosa batter ready and turn on the tava and grease the tava pan.
  2. With the help of a dosa ladle or a little cup. scoop out a portion of the batter and slowly spread the dosa to a thin layer. This is important as we do not turn it around and cook it on the other side.
  3. Add oil or ghee and immediately spread out the cauliflower masala as a thin layer over the dosa.
  4. Allow a couple minutes to cook and gently pry  out the dosa. Fold it in half and serve on the platter with delicious Andhra Tomato Chutney or Coconut Chutney.
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Naivedhyams/ Festival Offerings. · Sweets

Semiya Payasam – (Sweet Kheer made with milk and semolina garnished with ghee roasted cashews and cardamom)

Many incidents in life are special to each one of us on account of either the people, the places or the event itself. Festivals are a major part of my childhood memories as the significance of these festivals almost always make an impact on you. All hindu festivals teach us to be good, to uphold high moral values, to share and to thank hte Lord for all that he has given us. We thank Him for a good crop, for a good harvest, rainfall, and to promote the welfare and health of the people in the family. All festivals almost had amma making Semiya Payasam for me, as it was a rank favourite. Although it had very minimal ingredients, I loved this particular dessert as it was very simple yet wholesome. Today I am sharing this recipe with you as made by my mom!

INGREDIENTS:

3 Cups Milk ( 1 1/2 Cups Whole Milk and 1 1/2 Cups 1 % Milk)

1/4 up Vermicelli.

1 /2 Cup Sugar.

Cardamom Powdered.

Handful of broken cashew.

Handful of sultanas or raisins.

Saffron strands soaked in warm milk.

Ghee according to requirement.

PREPARATION:

  • In a kadai add 2-3 spoons of ghee and add the raisins and cashews that you have measured out. Fry slowly until the cashews are golden brown and the raisins have plumped up. Set aside.
  •  In the remaining ghee , toss in the measured amount of vermicelli. Allow to saute on a slow flame until you feel the aroma.
  • Slowly add the milk and allow to cook on slow flame.
  • This is the stage that leaves pretty much the rest to imagination as far as cooking the vermicelli in the milk. This should roughly take around 20 – 25 minutes depending on how thick you would want the milk to reduce and how cooked you prefer the vermicelli.
  • Add the measured sugar amount to the kadai and allow to boil further for another 5-6 minutes. Again there are variances in the brand of sugar as well as type of sugar  so vary the amount depending on taste – I prefer the sugar to be just right and not too sweet.
  • Now add the cardamom powder,fried cashews and raisins and add the saffron strands soaked in milk and give it a quick mix.
  • Serve Semiya Payasam hot or chilled.

HINTS:

  • Some people add a pinch of edible camphor to this for aroma and taste.
  • Optionally add a few drops of rose water for a completely different taste.
Side Dishes for Rotis/Dosas/ Naan.

Kashmiri Aloo Dum ( Baby Potatoes in spiced yoghurt gravy)

The humble potatoes are what makes the most exotic and richest of dishes and this is very very true. A potato can literally take so many forms – fries, chips, rings, add it to a couple herbs and cheese and you make a casserole, indianise it with spices and make alu dry fry,Alu rassewale which is a gravy form, cook it and add couple veggies and spices roll it in bread crumbs and you get amazing Cutlets, add it to your kadhi, stuff it with cheese and you get stuffed potatoes, or simply bake it in its skin and enjoy it with salt and butter like the english do! Its amazing that this root tuber can do so much and is so versatile. Aloo Dum itself has a variety of versions and this Kashmiri Aloo dum is inspired by the Great Chef Sanjeev Kapoor and of course, there is my blogger friend Aipi of  USMasala. Try it and then there is no looking back!

INGREDIENTS:

1 Pound Baby Potatoes.

3 Bay leaves.

1 Stick Cinnamon.

3-4 Cloves.

2-3 Elaichi Pods Powdered.

1 Tsp Jeera.

1 1/2 Tbs Fennel Powder/ Powdered Somph.

1 Tbsp Dhania Powder.

1/4 Tbsp Ginger Powder.

1 Tsp Red Chilli Powder.

1/4 Cup Water.

1 Tbsp finely chopped garlic.

2/3 Cup Yoghurt Well beaten.

2 Tbsp Cashew Powder.

1 Tsp Sugar.

1 Tsp Kasuri Methi.

1/2 Tsp Garam Masala Powder.

Salt.

Turmeric.

PREPARATION:

  • I love my little electric rice cooker and use it to steam cook veggies. I experiment cooking aloo with it and I love that I can control the amount of cooking on any vegetable. I dont have to wait for a whistle and ten minutes!!! So I prick my baby potatoes with a fork, and toss them in water with a little salt and cook them well, but retain their firmness. Set aside.
  • In a flat bottomed kadai, add 2 tbsp of oil/ ghee and pop in the whole masalas – jeera, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and allow it to fry in the oil for a couple minutes.
  • Dissolve the fennel powder, dhania powder, ginger powder and 1/2 tsp red chilli powder in the 1/4 cup of water and mix it well.
  • Add it to the sizzling oil in the kadai and stir in vigorously and wait until the oil seperates which should take a couple minutes.
  • Now add the beaten yoghurt to the kadai and stir it well bringing down the heat a bit and to be careful not to break the components of the yoghurt.
  • Now add 1 cup of  water and allow for the mixture to simmer for about 5-10 minutes.
  • Add the boiled potatoes, the remaining 1/2 tsp red chilli powder, salt, garam masala, kasuri methi, sugar and cashew powder.
  • Mix in all the ingredients well and allow to cook on slow flame for about 15-20 minutes.
  • When the oil seperates from the gravy and  you see a homogenous consistency switch off the flame  and garnish with chopped cilantro.

Side Dishes for Rotis/Dosas/ Naan.

Aloo Achari (Steamed Potatoes tempered with pickle spices)

Its been three wonderful months of vacation back home with family in India….We had a wedding in the family, my sisters and it was the best time of my life, as also some of the most emotional moments too. The kids enjoyed spending time with uncles, aunts and their grand parents and I enjoyed going to favourite restaurants and placesI love. It has been an amazing three months of fun and family times.  This was someting I made for TH when I came back to the US and he loved it. This has been a subzi that has been long due for posting and I thought I need to simply start off the blogging break with this one!

I remember having this particularly spicy aloo achari when I was training for a few days at Pune. Lunches were a wonderful spread with Fragrant Peas Pulav, cucumber raita, steaming hot Aloo Parathas with curd and Achar and this amazing Aloo Achari. I had it once again at a wonderful restaurant in Bangalore,  The Orchid Metropolitan`s weekend buffet. And then I fell for the spicy sweet tanginess in this dry subji combined with the fact that its made with everyone`s favourite – Potatoes…What could ever go wrong here? It was a marriage made in heaven. The chef there was kind enough to let me know how its made but I am sure he would add his years of experience in making this dish. It does have a long list on ingredients, but the wonderful taste, makes it well worth the while.

INGREDIENTS:

Whole Baby Potatoes or Fingerling Potatoes – 20-22 ( I used regular aloo cut in to slightly big cubes and cooked)

1 Onion finely chopped.

1 Tomato finely chopped.

1 Tsp Methi Seeds.

1/2 Tsp Mustard.

1 Tsp Somph or Fennel Seeds.

3  Dry Red Chillies.

1/2 Tsp Kala Namak.

1 Tsp Sugar.

1 Tsp Jeera.

1 Tsp Ajwain.

1/2 Tsp Kalonji (Onion Seeds).

1/4 Tsp Turmeric.

1 Tsp Red Chilli Powder.

1 Tsp Coriander Powder.

Salt to taste.

2 Tsp Vinegar.

2 Tsp Ginger Garlic Paste.

1/2 Cup Water.

Cilatro to garnish.

PREPARATION:

  • Cook the baby potatoes in little water adding a little salt. Poke each baby potato with a fork or a tooth pick.  This allows the salt to permeate the baby potatoes and helps in uniform cooking.
  • Pat dry and set aside.
  • In a coffee grinder, powder – 1 Tsp Methi Seeds,

1/2 Tsp Mustard,

1 Tsp Somph

3 Red Chillies

to a coarse powder. Set aside.

  • Heat a kadai and add oil when hot, add jeera, kalonji seeds, ajwain  turmeric , and the powdered masalas.
  • Allow a few minutes to saute and immediately add the chopped onion and tomatoes. Take particular care that the ground powders do not burn in the oil.
  • Saute for a couple minutes and add the boiled baby potatoes (cubed potatoes) and stir in well.
  • Now add 2 tsp of ginger garlic paste, salt, kala namak, red chilli powder, coriander powder, and sugar and mix well until the aloo is coated in the powders.
  • Add the vinegar and a 1/4 cup water and cook until the subzi turns dry.
  • Add a squeeze of lemon juice and garnish with chopped cilantro.