Beetroot Pulav/Fried beet rice

Beetroot Fried Rice

1-IMG_4125I don’t know if it is a cultural thing or a motherly thing that I always ask my children what they ate if they did not have home made lunch. When I ask my son, invariably he says, “FOOD”! But I still prod with questions to get all the details. While talking to friends, I include the inevitable question what their culinary experiment was and most friends ask me in return. I have seen my mother discuss with our neighbours about the food they cooked. Maybe it is to draw inspiration or cook a copycat version of it. It always helps!

Recently, I was on a phone chat with a friend and asked her what she made for lunch. She mentioned making beetroot rice. She also packed it for her son’s lunch as he likes to deal with something that can be spooned easily. I thought it was a cool idea. So I tried the same but spiced it up with tikka masala to add some oomph to it.

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Fried rice coloured with beetroot and infused with the flavours of tikka masala and coconut

Beet root is a great colouring agent that overpowers and colours everything added to it and makes this rice look attractive. I made this pulav mainly for visual delight but slyly for all the hidden benefits. I added broccoli at the end of the preparation to add a little contrast. My dear son who considers rice as empty calories and doesn’t get charmed by beets commented, ‘It tastes pretty good!’. Wow, that was a big stamp of approval! So I decided to post it.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Basmati rice
  • 1 medium beetroot
  • 1 red onion
  • few broccoli florets
  • 1 tomato
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cloves
  • 1/2 inch piece cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp ginger, garlic paste
  • 1 tbsp Tikka masala (recipe at the bottom of the post)
  • few mint leaves
  • 2 green chillies
  • salt
  1. Wash and drain rice.
  2. Fry rice in butter to get a coating around it.
  3. Transfer it to a pan or rice cooker and add 2 cups of water and cook.
  4. When it is done allow it to cool.
  5. Heat coconut oil in a pan and add cumin seeds to splutter.
  6. Add bay leaves, cloves and cinnamon to it and fry for 1 minute.
  7. Fry onion in the same pan to a golden colour adding a pinch of salt.
  8. Next add ginger-garlic paste, slit green chillies and turmeric powder.
  9. Puree tomato and add that to the pan and fry well until water evaporates and oil appears on the sides.
  10. Add grated beetroot to it.
  11. Fry for 5 minutes for the raw smell to disappear and a nice aroma to develop.
  12. Add coconut milk and boil.
  13. Sprinkling tikka masala, salt and mix well.
  14. Gently add cooked rice and coat each grain with the dark purple mixture.
  15. Cut broccoli into small florets, sprinkle some water and a pinch of salt and microwave on high for 2 minutes.
  16. Add this to the beet pulav for a pop of green.
  17. Garnish with mint leaves and serve with curd raitha.

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Tikka masala spices

    • 3 tsp coriander
    • 3 tsp cumin
    • 3 tsp garlic powder
    • 1½ tsp ginger powder
    • 3 tsp paprika
    • 1 tsp red chilli powder
    • 2 tsp garam masala

Mix all these ingredients and store it in a jar and use as needed.

A combination of theses spices make the pulav stand out by adding extra flavour. Tikka masala infuses an additional aromatic punch and turns ordinary rice into a special meal. I have plans to use it in other fried rice dishes too. This spice mix can be used in recipes like  Chicken tikka masala, Butter chicken and mixed vegetable curries.

 

Posted in Coconut, Fried, Main dish, Rice, Vegetarian | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Basil garlic cheddar biscuits/Hot spicy scones

Cheesy Scones

1-bbiI was cleaning up some clutter when I came across a calendar with a Garlic cheddar biscuit recipe and I tried it out earnestly. It did not work out at first and tasted horrible. Normally, I try making a small batch, like half of the recipe before I am sure about some recipes. Intrigued by the texture and rise in the biscuit, I wanted to try it out differently and did not want to give up. It was a good decision though! I guessed, the culprit in the recipe was cream of tartar and green onions. So I changed some ingredients and completely avoided those two. I used buttermilk instead of milk and basil, garlic powder to add flavour.

It turned out impressive! So I made a big batch as I am expecting some guests. It was a triumph and I want to gloat a little by sharing this recipe with all of you. This will make a good snack and a fine finger food with any sweet wine.

1-IMG_3924-001Ingredients

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp granulated sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp chilli flakes
  • 1 tbsp dried basil or chopped fresh basil
  • ¼ cup cold unsalted butter
  • ½ cup shredded Cheddar cheese
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  1. Preheat the oven to 450°F
  2. Grease a large baking tray with butter.
  3. In a bowl combine the flour, baking powder, sugar, salt and chilli flakes.
  4. Using a knife cut cold butter into tiny pieces.
  5. Mix it with the flour until crumbly.
  6. Stir in cheese dried basil and garlic powder.
  7. Slowly add buttermilk, stir with a fork, until the dough comes together.
  8. On a floured surface knead the dough 3-4 times until it holds together.
  9. Roll out to 1½ cm thick disk and cut into circles using a round cookie cutter.
  10. Re-roll scraps to make more.
  11. Place the cut biscuit dough on the prepared baking sheet with space for expansion (about 5 cm).
  12. Bake for 12 minuted until it starts to brown.
  13. Brush biscuit top with melted butter and bake for 2-3 minutes until golden brown.
  14. Best served warm.

This recipe makes about 20 biscuits. It flakes and crumbles pleasantly. Add chilli powder according to your preference to have it subtle or more pronounced heat. Use it warm or warm it before serving as it can be stored in the freezer for months. 1-IMG_3930 1-IMG_3950 It can be rolled into larger pieces and used as breakfast biscuits. Slice it in the center and add fried eggs and lettuce or some bacon strips. It will make a great snack with tea too.1-IMG_3969My husband generally avoids buttery treats but I spoil him with some of my baked bites. Normally, I tempt him but he holds his stern determination to avoid high fat snacks. And he is not a fan of anything made with cheese! After eating this biscuit he came for seconds! Glory to hot scones!

Posted in Baked, Breakfast, Cookies, Not just for kids, Snack | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

No bake torte – my 100th post

        POST

cutIt is amazing how time flies! I started this blog just for fun but soon was hooked by it. This is my 100th post and cannot substantiate how much I have learned or how some readers have become close friends. It was incredible! Thank you everyone for all the love, encouragement and suggestions. Hugs and kisses!

I enjoyed getting in touch with so many like minded people out there! This is a real milestone and I thank everyone for reading, commenting and keeping me motivated.  I have taken it slowly and experimented exclusively for the kick of it. There were times when I sat scratching my head not able to decide on a good recipe, feeling lazy, uninspired and eventually jumping up with sparks of enthusiasm discovering something that worked out differently. It was an awesome journey and I have enjoyed every minute of it.

100th postTo celebrate this occasion and to say a huge “THANK YOU”, here is my easy unbaked torte that is addictive and approved by family and friends.

There is no one source for this recipe…it was a mixture of what I read, saw and tasted…all put together.  The cookie layer is not just a single type of cookie but odd cookies those are not eaten and less sweet rejects, combined together. (Do a pantry hunt for some mismatched cookies at the bottom of your cookie jars.) It was a free flowing thought and I even made the last layer after a day as it did not look good with the white chocolate layer alone. I would say there is no strict measurements too, but can use this as a guide. Increase or decrease ingredients and add more dry fruits and nuts. How interesting!

Tasty double chocolate torte!

Ingredients

  • 3 cups crushed cookies
  • 2 cups dates chopped
  • few dry figs chopped
  • 1½ cup almond chopped
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 2½ tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 cup frozen blue berries
  • 2 cups chopped white chocolate chunks
  • 2 cups chopped milk chocolate chunks/semi-sweet chocolate
  1. Crush cookies in a ziplock/plastic bag using a rolling pin.
  2. Throw it in a blender with chopped dates, figs, almonds and maple syrup.
  3. Add cocoa powder and pulse in a blender to mix well. (It has to be sticky to roll into a ball.)
  4. Take a removable bottom baking pan/ spring form cake pan (7 X 2 inches).
  5. Cover the bottom with parchment paper for easy removal.
  6. Spread the mixture on the parchment paper and level the top.
  7. Keep this in a fridge until the chocolate is ready.
  8. Melt white chocolate chunks in a double boiler (see notes).
  9. Sprinkle frozen blue berries on the cold cookie layer and pour the white chocolate. (It hardens immediately after hitting the frozen berries so no leveling required.)
  10. Put it back in your fridge and allow it to firm.
  11. Melt chunks of chocolate using the double boiler method.
  12. Pour this over the white chocolate layer quickly before it hardens in the bowl.
  13. Firm it by cooling in the fridge.
  14. Remove the bottom of the baking pan and peel off parchment paper.
  15. Cut them into any fancy size pieces and enjoy.

Notes:

  • Double boiler – Place a container with water and boil the water, reduce heat and simmer. Place a bowl that fits on top without touching the water. Add chocolate into the top bowl and let it melt by the steam from the water below.
  • I found a ceramic bowl and silicon spatula make it easier to pour.

doubleIMG_3196IMG_3209Torte1c p

1to This is a high calorie treat…so indulge with caution! When you are celebrating something, you can go unchecked and wild!

I dedicate this torte to all my readers who made this blog a sweet venture! Love you all!!!

 

Posted in Cake, Dessert, Not just for kids, Torte | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 35 Comments

Broccoli and spinach soup

Fiber packed soup thickened with oats flour

Soup is a simple meal addition that makes life easier and food nutritious. Spinach and broccoli could be difficult to eat raw but when you beat them into a pulp it is enticing. The sure way to grab some attention and feed picky eaters is to fill these healthy vegetables in a soup bowl. I personally don’t enjoy raw broccoli so I had to make a soup to include this wonderful vegetable in my diet.  It is a good starter/appetizer or a full meal accompanied by a protein rich salad.

1soupBroccoli and spinach contain vitamins and minerals that make them nutritional powerhouses. Low in calories and high in fiber, these vegetables fit well into any diet plan. Soups are normally quite filling and help in consuming less food and so very good for weight watchers. They are not just there to heal the sick but also to maintain a sound body and  prevent illness.

This green soup is hearty and healthy with the added goodness of roasted garlic and oats. It has a pleasant flavor with visual and textural appeal. The aroma of this soup simmering on stove top is an attractive invitation to pull everyone to the table.

roasted garlicRoasted garlic

  1. Chop off the tail portion of entire bulbs of garlic and drizzle some olive oil.
  2. Wrap them in aluminum foil and roast in an oven preheated to 400º F for 25-30 minutes.
  3. When it is soft to touch and starts browning remove from the oven.
  4. Cool it and squeeze out the contents into a container and store for weeks in the refrigerator.

This can be added to many dishes including pastas and garlic bread.

Ingredients for soup

  • 1 big head of broccoli
  • 1 small bunch spinach
  • 1 tsp roasted garlic
  • 1 small white onion chopped
  • 1 tbsp oats flour (more if you want it thicker)
  • 1 tsp lime zest
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • few sprigs of lime thyme
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1/2 lime squeezed
  • 2 tbsp fresh cream
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  1. Break broccoli into small florets and remove most of the stem.
  2. Sprinkle a little salt and water and microwave for 2 minutes on high.
  3. Blanch spinach in hot water and dip it immediately in icy cold water.
  4. Chop it into smaller pieces.
  5. Heat olive oil in a pan and saute chopped onion.
  6. Add roasted garlic and oats flour and mix well.
  7. Then, add vegetable broth to it and stir well for oat flour to dissolve.
  8. When it boils add lime zest, leaves of lime thyme, broccoli and spinach.
  9. Simmer for a few minutes and add salt. (Store bought broths generally have a lot of salt unless it is low sodium broth, so salt after tasting.)
  10. Remove from heat and add lime juice.
  11. After it cools, puree using a hand blender.
  12. Garnish with lime thyme and fresh cream.
  13. Serve it hot or cold sprinkling the right amount of pepper.

Broccoli soup

SoupI am linking this post to the event ‘Soups with SS’ hosted by Shruti @ Cooking with SJ and Sonal @ Simply Vegetarian 777

Soups

Posted in Side dish, Soup, Vegetarian | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Sun colada/Pineapple cocktail

Pine apple coconut cream rum cocktail

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Pinacolada brings memories of Hawaii, the sand, wind and waves. If everything cannot be remade, at least the drink can be recreated. This is invariably the best chilled drink you’ll ever have. I have made certain variations as I wanted to deviate from the milky white, classic Piñacolada. This indulgent sipper is best served outdoors on a patio while the sun gently kisses the skin or at the poolside for the best experience.

Rum is made from sugar cane. Molasses that is left after making sugar from cane juice, is fermented with yeast and distilled to make light rum. It takes 24 hours for experts to make it. As it can blend well with other fruit flavours it is widely used in cocktails. Medium bodied Golden rum also called Amber rum is mellow and smooth as it is aged for several years. Heavy bodied Dark rum will be fermented for many weeks and aged in oak casks for extended periods. They are coloured naturally by caramelized sugar.

Making cocktails is an art of precision as the bartender has a recipe for every drink and they are creative in concocting new imaginative combinations! To get the right flavour, skilled mixologists have a few trick up their sleeves. The elegance they employ in mixing these drinks is a show of its own. There are thousands of recipes and no wonder mixologists are called bar chefs.

Cocktails can also be created by anyone following the exact measurements in a recipe because they are balanced to get the best flavour. Changing the quantity of each ingredient result in a variety of flavours and as a home mixologist I have tried mine. In this Summer Colada everything is combined in a blender. It creates a drink with a smooth consistency that can be served to please all the senses.

1 drinkIngredients

  • 3 cups diced fresh pineapple
  • 1 oz coconut cream (2 tbsp)
  • 1 oz heavy whipping cream
  • 6 ice cubes
  • 4 cubes raw sugar
  • 2 oz golden rum
  1. Crush pineapple, sugar and ice until smooth.
  2. Stain to remove any coarse particle.
  3. Add coconut cream and whipping cream to it.
  4. Finally add 2 oz rum to it for an adult version and whiz once.
  5. Serve it immediately.

glass Mix everything except rum for a kid friendly version. Add sugar depending on the sweetness of the pineapple.

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Posted in Drinks, Not just for kids | Tagged , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Paruppu and oats vada/Fried lentil patties

Masala vada with a little spin!

1 p vThe weather has been wonderful, not too hot and pleasant to everyone’s satisfaction. That prompted me to go wild and soak in the goodness of the Sun and feel its bliss. So excuse me! Last week I did not post much because of this silly reason. Oh come on, let me blame it on the weather and not my laziness.  Summer has its share of other attractions like travel, visitors, parties and shopping. Food that needs less preparation or eating out has been the norm lately.

Parties being the part of the game, I schedule all my invites to the summer months. When guests come, I have a stash of vadas that can be made earlier at leisure and frozen. Reheated, they are crispy finger food/starters for any occasion along with a welcome drink. It works like a charm!

There are two kinds of vadas, the urad dhal/black lentil and the channa dhal/chick pea vadas. For some strange reason, Urad vada also called Methu vada is far more favoured by many. It can be soaked in curd/yogurt and other preparations like sambar and rasam. It can also be served with breakfast or lunch and can be eaten just dipping them in chutney.

Masala vada, split chick peas vada is made by adding spices and doesn’t need any accompaniment but would be tastier with chutney. I have rarely seen people say ‘no’ to these vadas. I normally buy them for an in-car snack while on an afternoon drive.

I can swear that the tastiest vadas I have eaten are from the corner of our street in Coimbatore. There was an old lady just like in the fable, making vadas in a most unhealthy junction of the street. Did they taste yum? If I cannot forget those vadas after all these decades, then you can easily deduce!

I made these by adding a little oat meal for a change. Why? A bit more nutrition conscious, hehe! These vadas with the addition of green leaves like spinach or methi, are called Keera vadas.

lentil vadaIngredients

  • 1 cup channa dhal/split chick peas
  • 1/4 cup oats
  • 2 green chillies
  • small piece ginger
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
  • salt
  • 1/2 medium red onion
  • few curry leaves
  • few coriander leaves
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  1. Wash channa dhal andsoak for at least 4 hours.
  2. Add chillies, curry leaves, chopped onion and ginger to the drained split chick peas.
  3. Crush those in a blender to a coarse mixture without adding any water.
  4. Let there be some some dhal not crushed to provide an appealing texture.
  5. Add oats, salt, fennel seeds and chopped coriander leaves and mix well.
  6. Make the mixture into small balls and flatten them by patting with the fingers.
  7. Heat oil to a smoking point and slide the patties carefully into the hot oil one at a time.
  8. Fry a batch of 5 vadas at one time as more patties will lower the oil temperature.
  9. Lower to medium heat and cook on both sides by gently turning the patties.
  10. Serve them piping hot with tea.

mix

balls

1 vadThese vadas turn crispy on the outside and retain the soft cooked dough inside. I love this for the crunch as it a comfort snack and the best street food.

Tea shops sell them as an evening snack with tea or coffee. It is also an all time snack in South India. There are many hard core fans for this vada. I am one! You never know if you will be addicted too. So take a spicy bite!

Posted in Fried, Not just for kids, Pack-and-go lunch, Snack, Vegan, Vegetarian | Tagged , , , , , , , | 24 Comments

Kovakka Mezhukkupurtti/Ivy gourd stir fry

Spicy Tindora stir fry

1 fry

Kovakka or Tindora is my favourite vegetable. I consider it as one of the tasty gourds and never fail to buy it if I happen to see it while shopping. Ivy gourd is a less consumed vegetable but it is so delicate and has a subtle taste that is pleasant to the palate. It  looks like a tiny cucumber with its seeds and high water content. It is rich in minerals and also has medicinal values. The tender ones are the best and can be eaten raw. When it is fully ripe it turns red and gets very tough. The stage in between when they are fully grown and not ripe is the best time to cook them.

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1 cut

My mother’s kitchen garden has a medley of all kinds of vegetables but I am very partial to Kovakka. She has some growing at the right season and when visiting I love to go and pick them. If  not available at home, I would hit the nearest market to get a batch of these as our whole family unanimously admires it. My mother cooks it differently by adding grated coconut at the end of her simple preparation. I like it a bit spicy and this is my choice. I had this in a wedding feast and liked the combination of strong flavours to enhance the simple gourd.

This stir fry is pretty easy, but a great side dish for rice and flat breads like chappati and paratha. Oh, I can eat it just like that without any help!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Kovakka/ Ivy gourd
  • ½ tsp red chilli powder
  • ½ tsp cumin powder
  • ½ tsp coriander powder
  • ¼ tsp turmeric powder
  • salt to taste
  • 1½ tbsp coconut oil
  • few curry leaves
  • ½ tsp mustard seeds
  • ¼ tsp cumin seeds
  1. Wash Ivy gourd and cut each one lengthwise into four pieces.
  2. In a non stick pan, heat coconut oil
  3. When hot splutter mustard and cumin seeds and add curry leaves and fry it.
  4. Drop chopped Ivy gourd pieces and saute on medium heat.
  5. Add all the powders and salt and stir it a few times to infuse Kovakka with the spices.
  6. Cover the pan and cook on low heat.
  7. Allow Kovakka to cook in the oil and its own water until  it is tender but still crunchy.
  8. Serve it hot.

 

1 cc1 stirfryIvy gourd is mainly used in Asian cuisine. So you can find it in Indian and Asian markets. I am sure any vegetable lover will fall for it!

 

 

Posted in Fried, Side dish, Stir fry, Uncategorized, Vegan, Vegetarian | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Photography Styling Challenge # 12

The last title for the Photo Styling Challenge is ‘Personal’. I feel sad that this Challenge is coming to an end because it was a good chance to learn. I joined very late but had a wonderful opportunity to try and take better photos. It was amazing to connect with others who showed great interest in this Challenge.

June challenge seemed to be easy but trying to get photos other than oneself was quite a task. My first photo is a selfie taken on a trip to Collingwood last weekend.IMG_1754

The following photos are very special as I was honoured by this bird that chose a tree in my front yard to raise a family. I was watering some flowers and heard a bit of a commotion and raised my head up and looked at that spot. My eyes met a pair of very cautious, ready to attack mother Robin’s eyes. From that moment I kept my distance but  I was fascinated to watch them grow. 1 nestlingsAll these photos were taken from my living room through the closed window without disturbing the hatchlings. Yes, I got the focus on the baby!

1 robin nestThey were hungry all the time and the restless mother would bring chewed worms and drop in their mouths.

1birdWithin two weeks they were ready to fly changing from hungry helpless little ones into downy fledglings. When I checked this morning all three were ready to fly and soon two disappeared except one still thinking twice and by mid day it was gone too.

1 robinLife so delicate but precious! This is why I like Spring and Summer.

1 photo This is a picture of a picture. The original was taken way back when kids were younger. I carried it everywhere I went and had a special place for it in my home. I decided to include this as it is our little family just like the robin’s.

This photo looks just plain and simple but I took almost half day to get it. The glass on the frame caught light glaring on different parts of the photo and it also reflected everything in front, including the camera. Finally, I managed to click at an angle from above to get some clarity. It still has a reflection at the bottom. Sometimes it is the simplest thing that makes us work hard.

Hope I have done some justice to this Challenge. Every picture was a discovery of some sort and I enjoyed it thoroughly. I wish this ending will lead to a new beginning.

Please check the ideas and clicks from all the other bloggers.

 

Posted in Photos, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 8 Comments

Brazilian cheesy bread/Pão de Queijo

Soft little pillow buns

The story starts like this…on an impulsive buying spree, I had bought some tapioca flour  not really knowing what to do with it. I shoved it into a dark corner of the store room. Soon I was questioned why it was sitting in the pantry and occupying valuable real estate! So I tried to find a recipe to use my whimsical flour efficiently.

Tapioca/Cassava is close to all Malayalis’ heart and stomach. We love eating tapioca steamed, boiled, fried and grilled and still cannot get enough of it. In Kerala tapioca is called Kappa, although it has got nothing to do with the Greek alphabet! We consume Tapioca in every form, from fresh to dried and in many dishes. In the heat of Summer, these roots are washed, sliced with the skin intact, par boiled, then sun dried and stored. I have seen big sacks of these stashed in a special room called ‘Nilavara’, a store room, in our ancestral home. These dried slices of tapioca are soaked and cooked with black beans and spicy coconut mixture mainly during Monsoon season when food is scarce. The thought of that dish is making me drool right now!

Tapioca is good source of starch and used lavishly when fresh from the farm. Dried slices of tapioca is coarsely powder to make puttu and a fine powder to make Ada, a sweet dessert. As I had some ilayada recently, I wanted something different.

1bgTapioca being North Brazilian in origin, I trusted them to have a good recipe to use my tapioca flour and I was not wrong! I saw these soft mini buns here – Brazilian-Cheese-Bread  and fell for it. When I tried out, it was unbelievable! I screamed ‘Eureka’, on my first trial! This puffed bread is crispy outside and chewy, soft inside. I halved the ingredient as I was not sure of the outcome…but it just amazed me!!!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup tapioca flour
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • ¾ cups cheddar cheese
  • salt
  1. Combine milk and oil and boil on medium heat until bubbles appear.
  2. Add salt to tapioca flour and mix well in a large bowl.
  3. Remove the milk from heat and add tapioca flour to it when still hot.
  4. Mix it well and it will turn sticky and gelatinous.1 dou
  5. Transfer the dough to a mixer while still warm and mix it at medium speed.
  6. Cool it until warm to touch.
  7. Whisk the egg in a small bowl and add to the cooled dough.
  8. Mix everything in the mixer.
  9. Next, add cheese into it and beat until well mixed and the dough turns stretchy.1do
  10. Preheat oven to 450° F.
  11. Oil a non-stick baking sheet or use parchment paper on a baking tray.
  12. Dip two spoons in water and scoop the batter and put it on the baking tray as small mounts.
  13. Place it apart with allowance for expansion.1bake
  14. Turn down the heat to 350° F before baking.
  15. Bake it in the center of the oven for 20-25 minutes.
  16. Remove from oven when they have puffed with the dried outside starting to brown.
  17. Eat them when they are warm.

1 bked I got 14 puffed tapioca breads using my ingredients. It can be stored in the refrigerator for 1-2 weeks. Warm it in a convection oven before eating to get the combination of hard crust and pillowy, soft center. It is crunchy and cheesy when eaten warm. If eaten cold it is elastic and not very pleasant.

1 biteThe original recipe used Parmesan cheese but I used cheddar as I was too lazy to change and go shopping. I realized that adding an extra pinch of salt makes it tastier. Parmesan being a stronger cheese must give it a slightly different flavour.

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Posted in Baked, Breakfast, Gluten free, Not just for kids, Side dish, Snack, Vegetarian | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Tulip festival and Beet root/carrot pickle

Spring and its beautiful colours blow my mind every year. Last week I travelled to Ottawa, the capital city of Canada, where big decisions for the country are made in the Parliament house. Ottawa hosts the Canadian Tulip festival from May 9th to May 19th. This is to commemorate the friendship with Netherlands after Princess Juliana gifted 100,000 tulips to Ottawa for the protection given to the Royals during world war II and the role of Canadian troops in their country’s liberation.

I went to Dow’s lake where about 300,000 flowers are to bloom. This year Spring arrived late and some Tulips were still in buds. There are 6 other locations but I took a bus from the hotel and got lost and travelled up and down most of the time. When I reached Commissoner’s park by Dow’s lake it was around mid day and spent my time there.

ottawa tulip

Princess Juliana in flowers

1tuli1t1tulip  IMG_9930 1tuThen on the way back, we stayed at Kingston. Our Kingston hotel was close to Lake Ontario and had a beautiful view.

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Kingston City Hall

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Kingston at night

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Lake Ontario from our hotel room

IMG_0021On the way back, we visited the Big Apple Farm that has a variety of apple products so I bought apple cider and apple crumble.

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Giant apple pies are stacked in the bakery behind.

I tasted a variety of food while I visited all these places. The most memorable one was a roasted vegetable sandwich and salad for dinner. They had pickled beets in arugula salad and I liked the pickled beets. As I have salads included in my lunch these days I thought beets and carrots would be a great addition. Pickling them would make my everyday work lighter as I cook them a little to soften.

Beetroot/Carrot pickle is a simple recipe but it is handy when making a quick salad.

Ingredients

  • 2 large beets/carrots
  • 2 tbsp salt
  • ¼ cup vinegar
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • few cloves
  • water
  1. Cut beets into long pieces.
  2. Cook them until soft. (I microwaved for 2 minutes on high, beets and carrots in separate glass bowls).
  3. Boil water, add salt and sugar.
  4. Clean mason jars and lid, dip them in hot boiling water.
  5. Fill the jar with beet root pieces.
  6. Add vinegar and cloves.
  7. Pour hot water with salt and sugar into the jar.
  8. Close with the lid and allow it to cool on the table.
  9. This can be kept aside for a day on the table and can be used the next day.
  10. If it is to be stored for a long time, immerse jars in boiling water to sterilize.
  11. Follow the same procedure for carrots.

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1pi

When I returned from the trip my Tulips were in bloom.

Throw a few of these vegetable pieces in any salad to make it colourful and extra nutritious. Once opened, the jars can be stored in refrigerator for future use. After 4 days I opened the jars and the veggies were ready for my salad.

 

 

 

Posted in Preserve, Salad, Vegetarian | Tagged , , , , , , | 11 Comments