Thursday, April 3, 2014

Rice and Beans Casserole

Mexican flavored rice or one pot meal for your week night dinner, meatless Mondays.
This week's theme is - clean out the pantry night. It could not come at a better time for me as I am in the process of emptying my pantry and using up all the left over stuff. We are planning to move to a new place and I would become regular once I am settled there.Until then please allow this woman and her man to bicker and gnaw each other's heads :)).

Long grain rice or any white rice (uncooked) - 1 cup (wash well and drained completely)
Olive oil - 1 tbsp
White onion -1/2 chopped
Garlic flakes - 4 chopped
Garlic powder - 1 tsp
Roma tomato -1 diced
Cumin powder - 1tsp
Chipotle pepper- 1 (canned) chopped
Salsa - 1/2 cup or 1/4 tomato sauce
Water / chicken /veg broth -2 cups
Salt to taste
Dark red kidney beans - 1/2 to 1 full  15 oz can if u like,drained
Coriander leaves - few,chopped

1. Heat olive oil in a medium sized pan add onion,garlic  saute till it becomes transparent then add  rice and continue till the rice becomes crisp, nutty and slightly brown add all the rest of the ingredients except beans and coriander leaves.Bring it to boil then reduce flame,cook it covered for 20-25 minutes. Until completely cooked and dry not mushy.Do not lift lid in between.
2. Add the red beans mix gently until distributed evenly sprinkle coriander leaves.
Fluff the rice with fork. Serve warm with any meat side dish or just guacamole.

Here are other ideas for cleaning out the pantry from Food Network friends:
Feed Me Phoebe: Artichoke Hummus
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Spaghetti and Meatballs
Red or Green: Sea Bass with Spicy Asian Ginger Sauce
Jeanette's Healthy Living: Quinoa Citrus Mango Avocado Black Bean Salad
The Heritage Cook: Chile Tortilla Soup
Cooking With Elise: Glorious Greek Salad Dressing
Devour: Clean Out the Pantry Night
Weelicious: Greek Nachos
Virtually Homemade: Garlic Rosemary Pizza Crust Bites
Domesticate Me: Fiesta Baked Eggs with Farro and Black Beans
Taste With The Eyes: Mom's Vintage Potato Salad
Elephants and the Coconut Trees: Rice and Beans Casserole
The Sensitive Epicure: Salmon and Brown Rice Casserole (Gluten-Free)
Daily*Dishin: Spicy Chipotle Chicken Pasta with Crunchy Roasted Black Beans
FN Dish: Pantry Clean-Out Sides

Hope to catch up with all my blogger friends a s a p.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Indian Spiced Potatoes

A flavorful and aromatic side dish or starter with potatoes.
Spice has always attracted the rich and poor alike, many battles were won and lost for it since centuries. Are u fascinated by the fact that how in the ancient days merchants  conducted  long distance trade in different countries  ! How much hardships they would have undergone to protect spice from looters. Spices were regarded as currency in those days and  Indian coasts were rich in spices which attracted maritime trade from all over the world.
The spiced potatoes is a happy marriage that happened as a result of  spice trade and barter during ancient times between the Indians and Europeans.
History is full of answers on how the dishes originate.

Every family has their own recipe and masala powder combinations change slightly from region to region but the basics remain the same.

The trick to get the potatoes evenly cooked is by steaming it. The masalas are diluted in water and cooked(never add spice powders to oil it will simply burn) 
Red potatoes - 10 small (any potato is fine)
Garlic -2 flakes
Ginger - 1" piece
Kashmiri chili powder - 1 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1 tsp
Masala powder - 1-2 tsp ( you may use store bought but I prefer homemade  - given below)
Salt to taste
Coriander leaves - chopped

Masala powder :
Whole red chili - 1- 2
Black Pepper - 1 tsp
Cinnamon - 1/2 " stick
Cloves-3 -4
Cardamom -1
Coriander seeds - 1 tbsp
Fennel seeds - 1/2 tsp
Cumin -1/2 tsp

1.In an empty pan (without any oil) dry roast the spices for 2-3 minutes in low heat. This helps the spice to release oils when powdered. When it cools down coarsely powder it in coffee grinder.
2.Put the masala powder in a small bowl  along with chili powder,turmeric powder and salt  add 1/4 cup water  mix well and keep aside.
3..Meanwhile  cleanly wash (need not peel skin) and steam the potatoes in a steamer (do not boil potatoes in water for this recipe) until a knife can be inserted effortlessly.(not  mushy) .Cut into when it cools down.
4..Crush the ginger garlic and shallots coarsely.Heat a non stick pan with just 2 tsps of oil and saute the crushed ginger mix until golden brown now add the masala paste from step 2 and stir until the raw smell of spices goes off and browns well (work on very low flame) . Add the steamed potato into this masala mixture and gently mix until all the pieces are coated in spices. Leave it for another 4-5 minutes then switch off flame.
Sprinkle chopped coriander leaves.
Serve along with  rice as a side dish.

Hope you like it.

Here are other awesome ideas from Food Network friends:
The Heritage Cook: Potato, Bacon, Green Chiles and Cheese Casserole 
Feed Me Phoebe: Bangers and Spinach Mash with Cider Onions
Dishin & Dishes: Sweet and Savory Potato Stacks
Big Girls, Small Kitchen: Potato-Chickpea Masala with Cilantro Chutney
Weelicious: Potato Fans
Haute Apple Pie: Sweet Potato Shepherd's Pie
Taste With The Eyes: Truffled Poached Egg, Asparagus and Truffle Vinaigrette, Black Truffle and Potato Stack
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Warm Pan Fried Potatoes and Greens Salad
Red or Green: Smashed Sweet Potatoes with Chipotle
In Jennie's Kitchen: Crispy Oven Fries
The Sensitive Epicure: Healthier Twice Baked Potato Skins
Elephants and the Coconut Tress: Indian Spiced Potatoes
Jeanette's Healthy Living: Healthy Bacon Egg Potato Breakfast Casserole  ‎
Virtually Homemade: 
Bacon Parmesan Hasselback Potatoes
Mashed Potatoes, Reinvented
FN Dish: 
10 Potato Picks (Recipes)

Friday, March 7, 2014

Kumbalangayum Muringakaiyum Mangayum Aviyal / Ashgourd Avial / Guest Post for Cooking with Sapana

This is a guest post for Sapana behl of  Cooking with Sapana. A passionate blogger who can effortless cook any type of cuisine. She has 400 plus recipes to her credit in just one year.
When Sapana asked me for a guest post I was little worried because she has successfully made even chatti pathiri( a typical Kerala dish) which I know most malayalees have not even attempted for the fear of becoming flop. She is a cooking marathon runner who posts two recipes on most days and I feel ashamed to say I find it hard to post two recipes a week :))
So here is a very easy to make aviyal, my favorite one that brings back a lot of fond memories.


Kerala is known for aviyal, a medley of vegetables with crushed coconut.

The traditional aviyal / avial has a lot of different vegetables which is the only one made for feasts.But it can be made with other combinations for everyday meal with seasonal fruits and veggies.The basic rule remains the same of adding raw curry leaves and raw coconut oil as seasoning if someone accidentally does that it is considered grave mistake :)) The mangoes and jack fruit season is like a celebration at our place and used in most dishes made during that time. Jackfruit seed is often used in this aviyal and I don't mind diving into the dish and gobbling them...

Please head over to Sapana's space for the reipe click here

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Pepperoni Pizza Puffs / Pizza Muffins

Pizza puffs are the new rage all over the social media. If you haven't heard of it I encourage you to try it at least once. For all the vegetarians and all those observing Lent please omit the pepperoni and  go for the veggie option  like in the normal pizza. Just make sure to chop it fine.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Inside Out Grilled Strawberry and Cheese Sandwich

If melting cheese is your comfort food then here is something sweet and savory....

Crispy crunchy caramelized cheese on the outside and warm melting gooey cheese inside with the sweetness of strawberry.