Oats Frittata (Oats Uttapam)

Oats Frittata (Oats Uttapam)

This is my version of vegetarian frittata and I can bet this is one of the healthiest breakfast options. You can call it oats uttapam if you like. I like oats for breakfast but I don’t like the sweeter version. It is very quick to make and you can add different vegetables and play with the flavors. I have added the veggies I like. You can also add sun-dried tomatoes, fresh tomatoes, and grated carrots, fresh herbs like parsley or coriander.

The batter needs to be thicker like uttapam batter. Oats will absorb water when you keep the batter for long time. You can check the consistency before making the frittata and add little water. Make sure the tava(griddle) is not too hot or the frittata will break.

This frittata is not only very healthy but also keeps you full for long time.  You can eat it with ketchup if you like. Another good option is to add some Parmesan cheese to the batter if you want a cheese frittata. If you try this out and like it, do share the feedback/pics. Happy eating!

Oats Frittata (Oats Uttapam)

Ingredients

Makes 2

  • ¼ cup oats (I use Quaker’s quick cooking rolled oats)
  • ¼ cup semolina
  • ¼ cup mixed vegetables chopped (red, yellow and green capsicum, onion, broccoli)
  • 1 tbsp rice flour
  • ¼ tsp oregano
  • ¼ tsp pepper powder
  • 4-5 olives chopped
  • 1-2 pinches chilli flakes
  • Salt to taste
  • 8-10 fresh basil leaves chopped
  • 1 pinch soda
  • 1 tbsp fresh yogurt
  • ½ cup water

Recipe

Grind the oats and semolina to a coarse powder. Add yogurt, ½ cup water, salt, and rice flour. Mix well and keep it aside for 10-15 mins. Add rest of the ingredients and mix well. If the batter is too thick add little water.

Heat a thick tava (griddle) pour half of the batter and spread like a pancake/uttapam. Spray or drizzle some olive oil around and on top of the frittata.

Let it cook for 1-2 mins till it is brown and crispy. Flip and cook the other side for 1 minute.

Serve hot.

Leftover Roti Snack

 

Leftover Roti Snack

What started as a snack made from leftover rotis, is now a regular breakfast item in my kitchen. I make extra rotis the previous night to have this breakfast. It is spicy, crunchy, healthy, and quick.

Fresh curry leaves add more crunch and flavor to this snack. Tear/crush the curry leaves a little to get more flavor from them. Only thing you need to take care of is to cook this on low flame and eat it while it is hot and fresh. It tends to get chewy if left for too long after cooking.

You can enjoy this snack with a hot cup of chai (tea) or coffee. I enjoy it as it is. Hot, crispy and flavorful.

Leftover Roti Snack

 

Ingredients

Serves 2

  • 5 rotis
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • ¼ tsp cumin seeds
  • ¼ tsp mustard seeds
  • 4 cloves garlic chopped
  • 10-12 curry leaves
  • ¼ tsp asafoetida
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 2 tbsp buttermilk
  • Salt to taste

Recipe

Tear the rotis into small pieces. Heat oil in a kadhai or thick bottomed pan. Add cumin seeds and mustard seeds. Once the seeds pop, add curry leaves and garlic. Sauté for 30-40 seconds on low flame.

Add asafoetida, turmeric, chilli powder, and salt. Give it a very quick mix and put the roti immediately and mix well to coat the mixture on rotis. Sauté for 1 minute on low flame. Add the buttermilk and mix well. Sauté on a low flame for 2-3 minutes or till the roti is crispy.

Serve hot with tea.

Berries Parfait (Berries Shrikhand)

Berries Parfait (Berries Shrikhand)

This Diwali, east meets west i.e. shrikhand meets Parfait. I am a big shrikhand fan but it has to be home made. My grandmother makes the best shrikhand. It’s not extremely sweet or heavy like the shrikhand you get in stores. I am a parfait fan too; especially the strawberry parfait. When I saw fresh cranberries at the grocery store, shrikhand parfait was the first thought to cross my mind. I bought lot of them and put them in the freezer for next dessert.

You can also use blueberries and raspberries for this dessert. Berries are not only rich in antioxidants, but are low in calories and yummy too. I wanted to cut the sour taste of cranberries with the sweetness of strawberries and black currant. I used fresh strawberries and black currant juice for the berry compote.

For the shrikhand part, you can either use hung yogurt or use the Greek yogurt which is ready to use. I used my grandma’s method and hung fresh yogurt in muslin cloth for 5-6 hours to let all the water drain. But the Greek yogurt works equally well if you want a quick dessert. Sugar and lime juice in this recipe depend on the taste of berries. Since I was using black currant juice and the strawberries were sweeter, I used less sugar. You can store the extra compote in refrigerator and add it to yogurt and make a quick dessert.

This time I gave a miss to the cocoa powder for dusting and used my favorite memory boosting spice – Cinnamon to add the nutty flavor to the fresh cream. You can layer it in shot glasses, square glasses, or any other way you want. Make sure to chill it for at least 2 hours before eating or serving.

Berries Parfait (Berries Shrikhand)

Ingredients

Serves 2

For Shrikhand

  • 2/3 cup hung yogurt or Greek yogurt
  • 1 ½ tbsp. Icing sugar or powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla essence

For Berries Compote

  • ½ cup chopped strawberries
  • ½ cup cranberries
  • ¼ cup blackcurrant juice (I used Ribena)
  • 2 tbsp sugar (if the berries are very sour add 1 more tbsp. sugar)

Garnish

  • 1 tbsp finely chopped strawberries
  • Whipped cream (appx 4 tbsp)
  • ½ tsp cinnamon powder

Recipe

Whip together the shrikhand ingredients till you get a smooth and creamy mixture (approximately 2 minutes) and chill for 1 hour.

Put all the Compote ingredients in a pan and let in boil on low flame till you get a thick sauce like consistency (approximately 12-15 minutes should be good enough). Keep stirring in between. Let it cool completely.

Now layer the dessert glass with alternate layers of compote and shrikhand, start with a layer of compote and end with a layer of shrikhand. Top with a layer of chopped strawberries and pipe or spoon some whipped cream and dust it with cinnamon powder.

Chill for at least two hours before serving.

If you are using the ready to pipe whipped cream, you can add the whipped cream just before serving.

 

Corn Fritters (Makkai Ke Pakode)

Corn Fritters (Makkai Ke Pakode)

Corn fritters or Makkai ki pakodi is a one of my favorite childhood snacks. This snack belongs to the pre-MacDonald era when people did not eat out a lot and Sundays were relaxing leisure time with family. We would wait one full week to eat the Sunday special snack or meal. I might be biased as I love corn but this just tastes amazing during the rainy season which is also the season of corn.

These fritters are made using the corn on the cob you get during rainy season. I have not tried this with the sweet corn yet. As kids we used to help our mom take the corn out of the cob and demand more fritters for the help 🙂

These fritters are very quick to make and do not require lot of ingredients. The fresher the corn, better the taste. Shelling the corn is the only time consuming task for these fritter. You can buy the frozen corn too if you are short on time. Only thing you need to take care of is not to let the corn turn to a paste while grinding it. It should be just crushed lightly.

You can enjoy these fritters with a hot cup of tea. You can serve them with mint chutney or ketchup or the classic tamarind chutney. I just like them hot and crispy without any dip.

Corn Fritters (Makkai Ke Pakode)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup corn kernels
  • 2 green chillies
  • 4 tbsp gram flour (Besan)
  • 1 tbsp chopped coriander
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil for frying

Recipe

Grind the corn, green chillies and salt very coarsely. It should be like slightly crushed corn.

Add gram flour and chopped coriander. Check for salt and spice at this stage. You can add ½ tsp of red chilli powder if the green chillies are not very spicy.

Heat enough oil to fry the fritters. Grease your palms with little oil. Take little mixture at a time in your hand and shape it like small patty and fry it in hot oil on low to medium flame till its crispy and golden brown. Drain on a tissue or absorbent paper and serve hot.

Broccoli Sauce Pasta

Broccoli Sauce Pasta

Pasta is as dear to me as idli or Panipuri. I can eat it as all the three meals in one day and will still be happy to have it again the next day.  The first time I had pasta was in Cardiff. My friend Deepak’s mom had come down from Moscow for his birthday and she introduced me to pasta and taught me how to make it. There is no looking back since then. I experiment a lot with pasta and this is one of my experiments gone right.

This sauce goes well with Fettuccine pasta but I had only Penne at home and craving for pasta wins over all other preferences hands down – always!  It tasted good with Penne pasta too.

I like the red sauce more as it is healthier and closer to the spicy Indian flavours. White sauce is more of a comfort food. Only problem with the white sauce is that you have to eat it right away. The left over or cold pasta doesn’t taste as good as the red sauce pasta tastes the next day. To avoid myself the guilt of eating so much of refined flour and cheese, I try to compensate by adding something healthier. This time it was Broccoli (I just LOVE Broccoli) and I loved it.

Make sure to serve this pasta hot. Reheating is not recommended as the refined flour will get stickier and the sauce will get thicker too.

Broccoli Sauce Pasta

Ingredients

Serves 2

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic chopped
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes
  • ½ tsp pepper powder
  • ½ broccoli (steamed and chopped)
  • 3 tbsp plain flour (maida)
  • ½ cup milk
  • ¼ cup cheese (I use mild cheddar cheese)
  • 10-15 leaves basil chopped
  • 3 cups of pasta cooked al dente
  • Salt to taste

Recipe

Heat olive oil in a pan. Add garlic, oregano and chilli flakes. Sauté for 30-40 seconds. Add onions and cook for 2-3 mins till the onions are translucent. Add flour and sauté for 2 mins. Add milk, pepper, basil leaves, broccoli pieces, cheese, and salt and cook for a minute and switch off the gas. Cool slightly and blend everything to a smooth sauce using a blender or mixer.

Put it back on low flame and check for salt, seasoning, and thickness. If the sauce is too thick you can add some milk or water at this time. Add pasta and toss it well and switch off the gas.

Serve immediately.

 

Grilled Bell Peppers and Chick Peas Salad

Grilled Bell Peppers and Chick Peas Salad

This is a quick, healthy, and filling salad. Chick peas or garbanzo beans are a dieter’s delight. They are rich in fiber, protein, and iron. Mint and lettuce add flavor and crunch to this salad. Grilled veggies give it a nice smoky flavor. Best way to roast or grill the vegetables would be to grill them on a charcoal or normal gas flame directly. You can roast/grill them in an oven too.

This is an ideal evening snack or you can even make it as a side dish for any meal. I prefer to eat this cold as a complete meal instead of a side dish.

Grilled Bell Peppers and Chick Peas Salad

Ingredients

  • 2 cups boiled chick peas/garbanzo beans
  • ½ red capsicum grilled peeled and chopped
  • ½ green capsicum grilled peeled and chopped
  • ½ tomato grilled, peeled, and chopped
  • ¼ lettuce torn into small pieces
  • 2 tbsp chickpeas mashed
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp mint powder
  • ¼ tsp white pepper powder
  • ¼ tsp lime juice
  • 2 tbsp basil finely chopped
  • 1tbsp fresh mint leaves finely chopped

Recipe

For the dressing, mix olive oil, salt, mint powder, white pepper powder, lime juice, mashed chick peas, and basil. You can change the quantity of salt and pepper as per taste.

In a bowl mix boiled chickpeas, roasted capsicum, tomato, and lettuce. Pour the dressing and mix thoroughly. Garnish with chopped mint leaves. You can serve this salad warm or chilled.

 

Aalu Matar (Potatoes and Peas Curry)

Aalu Matar (Potatoes and Peas Curry)

Potato is the most versatile of vegetables. It is a staple diet of most of the middle class vegetarians.  You can combine it with any vegetable. This was the most common curry in our lunch box. There was a time when I hated aalu ki sabji. My mom makes at least 8-10 varieties of aalu sabji. Aalu fry, jeera aalu, aalu matar, aalu tamatar, aalu beans, dahi vale aalu and the list goes on. I finally made friends with potato when I went to Cardiff for studies. There were 4-5 variety of potatoes available and I started experimenting with this vegetable.

The food marathon that I went on after my wedding had this aalu matar following me at every house and I again started running from aalu ki sabji. Finally, when I am out of India again Aalu matar has become my friend again.

Aalu Matar (Potatoes and Peas Curry)

Ingredients

  • 2 potatoes peeled and cubed (Russet potatoes are good for this curry)
  • ½ cup fresh/frozen peas
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • ¼ tsp mustard seeds
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • ¼ tsp asafoetida
  • 6-8 curry leaves
  • 2 inch piece of ginger grated
  • 2 green chillies finely chopped
  • 1 small onion finely chopped
  • 1 tomato finely chopped
  • 2 tsp red chilli powder
  • 2 tbsp coriander powder
  • ¼ tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 tbsp chopped coriander
  • 1 1/2 cups water

Recipe

Heat oil in a pressure cooker. Add cumin and mustard seeds. Once the seeds pop add asafoetida, curry leaves, ginger, and green chillies. Sauté for 30-40 seconds. Add chopped onions and cook for 1 min or till the onions are translucent.

Add tomatoes and salt and cook for 1-2 two minutes on a slow flame. Add turmeric, red chilli powder, coriander powder. Mix well and cook for 1 minute. Tomatoes should reduce to pulp by now and leave oil. Add peas and potatoes. Add 1 1/2 cups water and close the lid and pressure cook for 3 whistles.

Once the pressure is released open the cooker and check the curry for seasoning and adjust salt or spice accordingly. Add chopped coriander and mix.

Serve with hot puri, roti, or jeera rice.

Masala Rice

Masala Rice

I call this a leftover makeover dish. Leftover rice has multiple uses and this is the most popular one at my home. Recooking it with  simple everyday spices and seasonal vegetables or herbs gives rice a completely new look and taste.

Every family has a different version of this rice. My mom adds a twist to this simple dish with the seasonal veggies (anything from green beans, potatoes, peas), I add tomatoes or lime juice, my mom in law adds coriander powder and I have seen my friend add a dollop of curd in the end. You can experiment with lots of flavours and vegetables and add your own twist to this quick but delicious recipe.

At my home, we eat it as breakfast or when we don’t like the lunch/dinner menu. It can be eaten with curd, pickle or simply without any accompaniment. I like it with basic curd raita.

Masala Rice

Ingredients

  • 2 cups leftover rice
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • ½ tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
  • ½ tsp asafoetida
  • 8-10 curry leaves
  • 2 green chillies slit
  • 2 inch piece of ginger grated
  • 2 dry red chillies
  • 2 tbsp or handful of groundnuts
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 tsp coriander(dhaniya) powder
  • ½ tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp lime juice
  • Few springs of coriander finely chopped
  • Salt to taste

Recipe

Heat oil in a thick bottomed pan. Add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, and asafoetida. Once the seeds pop, add curry leaves, grated ginger, green chillies and dry red chillies.

Add groundnuts and sauté for a minute. Add onions and sauté till the onions are translucent.

Add rice, turmeric, red chilly powder, coriander powder, garam masala, and salt. Mix thoroughly and cover and cook for 3-4 minutes. (You can add chopped tomatoes at this stage if desired and cook covered for another 3-4 minutes).

Add lime juice and coriander leaves and switch off the gas.

Serve with curd or pickle.