Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Pizza Pinwheels

Soft, homemade dough with delicious toppings and melted cheese makes pizza a super tasty meal. Everyone from kids to adults will like this to the core as these pizza pinwheels are small, bite sized, appetizing pieces and will be vanished within seconds.

I usually make veggie or chicken pizza every alternate weekend for my daughter who is a big fan of Italian dishes like the pasta or pizza. Instead of buying from shops, I make them at home using homemade sauce or store bought as time permits. These Pizza pinwheels I made them for the first time when I saw these small cuties on a cookery show on some channel. I thought, next time instead of making a pizza, will try out making these pinwheels by rolling the pizza dough. I am thrilled with how well they turned out. These can be stored in the freezer without baking and when needed, thaw them and bake as required. Pizza Pinwheels are a super easy snack which can be served to kids as an after school snack or to guests.

More than 10 varieties of sauces are available. So you can experiment with any sauce of your choice. You can add your own choice of toppings and can make them in big or small sizes. If kids are involved in the making, they will enjoy thoroughly. Try this out and let me know.
For Pizza Dough:
  1. All Purpose Flour- 2 Cups
  2. Yeast- 1 tbsp
  3. Sugar- 1 tbsp
  4. Salt- as required
  5. Warm water- ¾ Cup/ required enough to knead the dough
  6. Olive Oil- 2 tbsp
For Toppings:
  1. Capsicum- 2 nos
  2. Onions- 1 no
  3. Chicken Sausage- 7- 8 nos
  4. Mozzarella Cheese- 1 Cup

  1. Combine warm water and yeast and let it sit for some time until the yeast bubbles up.
  2. Add in oil, salt, and sugar. Mix the flour using the above-made yeast mixture slowly until it becomes a sticky dough.
  3. Continue mixing for another 5- 6 minutes and cover with a cling wrap and let it sit for 15- 20 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Chop the onions, capsicum and cut the sausage into small round discs.
  5. Flour the countertop and roll the dough into a large rectangle.
  6. Top it with the homemade pasta sauce and spread to all the corners. Spread the chopped onions, capsicum and sausage on top and cover with mozzarella cheese.
  7. Starting with one of the long sides of the rectangle, roll the dough tightly, pinching the seams to close at the end. Slice into 1” sections using a sharp knife.
  8. Place the pin wheels on a baking tray and bake for about 12- 15 minutes.Serve hot along with marinara or ketchup.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Ummachi's (Mom’s) Coriander Mutton Curry

Mom’s mutton curry is one of my all time favorite dishes which I love to the core. As we grew up in Andhra, we add coriander leaves in almost all the dishes. I love the taste and aroma of these leaves, but my husband who is very picky in eating veggies doesn’t like these leaves at all and so I have to sneak these leaves in biryani by grinding them. I like to add them to all the curries but thinking about him I skip adding these.

When my mom makes these dishes she uses the homemade garam masala and the homemade ginger- garlic paste which she makes and stores. The scintillating aroma of these fried spices fills the house. She also had a kitchen garden, in which she grows almost all the vegetables possible. My dad who is very interested in gardening helps her. In between the vegetable plants, there used to be always these coriander plants which she grows by sowing seeds. She used to add them to curries. As she plucks the leaves, they will grow twice faster.The smell of these homegrown plants is awesome. I try different methods in gardening but some will grow and some won’t. I didn’t get her green thumb.
It’s time for the monthly challenge and this time it is to prepare something using meat and so here I am with my all time favorite dish, in which the main ingredient is coriander leaves, which I added by grinding along with tomatoes and sauteeing for almost 15- 20 minutes. In the recipe, I have added the leaves along with mutton pieces. Try this amazing dish and let me know.

  1. Mutton- 2 lb
  2. Oil- 1 tbsp
  3. Onions (sliced)- 2 nos
  4. Tomatoes (sliced)- 2 nos
  5. Ginger and Garlic Paste- 2 tbsp
  6. Green Chillies- 4 no
  7. Grated Coconut- ½ Cup
  8. Khus Khus/ Poppy Seeds- 2 tbsp
  9. Red Chilli Powder- 1 tbsp
  10. Coriander Powder- 1 tbsp
  11. Turmeric Powder- 1 tsp
  12. Garam Masala Powder- 1 tsp
  13. Coriander/ Cilantro Leaves- ½ Cup

  1. Heat oil in a pan and stir fry the sliced onions. When they turn translucent add the ginger and garlic paste.
  2. Saute well till the raw smell disappears. Add the tomatoes, meanwhile, grind the coconut and poppy seeds by adding a little water till it becomes a paste.
  3. Add the red chili powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder and garam masala powder.
  4. Fry for a minute and add the ground coconut- poppy seed paste.
  5. Mix well and add the washed and drained mutton along with coriander leaves and required amount of salt.
  6. Pressure cook for about 5- 6 whistles or till the mutton gets cooked well. Enjoy with hot steamed rice.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Homemade Clarified Butter/ Homemade Ghee

I have been absent from my little space for a couple of days, as I have been on a small vacation to Disneyland with my family. My 9-year-old daughter is a big fan of Disney princess and so before the school started we thought of visiting the place and I realized that more than my daughter I enjoyed the most. My childhood dream of seeing all the princess and visiting the famous castle all came true. I was super excited. Whole two days we thoroughly enjoyed the rides, meeting princesses and Disney characters, watching shows, fireworks and the musical fountain.

Back to today’s post. Many of my friends asked me to post this and so here I am with a recipe which will be very helpful to almost everyone who can have pure and aromatic clarified butter/ ghee at home.
As a kid, I saw my mom making ghee from scratch. It’s a long process of taking cream from boiled and cooled milk which is stored in a stainless steel container in the refrigerator till the container fills to the brim. She whips the cream well till it forms butter and melts the butter in a deep bottomed vessel to ghee. On the day of making ghee, the house will be filled with the nice aroma of clarified butter, which would stay the whole day.

This process looks tedious to me and as we buy skimmed milk, I cannot take the cream out of it. So I started buying ghee from stores, and when my parents visited me or when I go home, she gives me a big jar of homemade ghee. When we came to the US, I didn’t like the taste or the aroma of the store bought ghee, so decided to make this at home using unsalted butter, which I buy in a bulk for baking.
This process is so fast and we can make homemade ghee within no time. But nothing like moms. It is much better to make it at home, rather than spending so much for a small bottle. Try this out and let me know.
  • Unsalted Butter- 8 sticks/ 4 Cups

  1. In a deep bottomed sauce pan heat the unsalted butter on a low- medium flame. It will start to melt and makes spluttering noise.
  2. A thin layer of foam will form on top. After about 10- 15 minutes on a low flame, switch off and keep this aside till slightly cooled.
  3. Strain this through a fine mesh sieve into clean bottles. It would be a nice golden yellow color.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Baked Pearl Spot Fish in Kerala Spices/ Baked Karimeen pollichathu/ Meen pollichathu

Baked fish or karimeen pollichathu is a traditional Kerala delicacy which I would love to eat in restaurants in Kerala. This is my all time favorite, which is available in different shapes, varieties, and sizes in different restaurants. We can make these at home, but whenever we get this pearl spot fish, we will end up making a Kerala curry or fry. Rarely we will do this pollichathu on special occasions.

Keralites love for fish is well known. Meen pollichathu is one classic dish which will be loved by all and this one is made using a fish which is called as “karimeen” or “pearl spot fish”. We can make this pollichathu with other varieties of fish but this pearl spot tastes delicious for this type of preparation.

“Karimeen” is the name of the fish and “pollichathu” means burnt or fried. It’s been 2 years since we ate this pearl spot fish. Here in the US, very rarely we can see any pearl spot fish in frozen section.We will get all other varieties of fishes in the Indian store, but this time luckily we got it and the first thing that came to my mind is to make this dish, which we didn’t have for 2 long years.

In this “ meen pollichathu” fish is first fried and then wrapped in foil along with the onion masala and baked till done. Instead of baking, we can roast on a pan. We can directly roast the fish without frying as I did in my earlier post of karimeen pollichathu.
Traditionally the fish is wrapped in banana leaf and then fried. The banana leaf gives a unique flavor to the fish which penetrates into the fish and the aroma of the banana leaf is divine which makes the dish more appetizing and mouth watering. Here as it is difficult to find a banana leaf, I used aluminum foil. Try this out and let me know.

  1. Pearl Spot Fish- 4 nos
To Fry:
  1. Red Chilli Powder- 4 tbsp
  2. Turmeric Powder- 2 tsp
  3. Salt- as required
  4. Ginger and Garlic Paste- 1 tbsp
  5. Oil- 2 tbsp
For Gravy:
  1. Onions (chopped)- 2 nos
  2. Tomatoes (chopped)- 3 nos
  3. Lemon Juice- 1 tbsp
  4. Curry Leaves- few
  5. Pepper powder- 1 tbsp
  6. Oil- 1 tsp

  1. Clean, wash and pat dry the pearl spot fish well. Make slits on both the sides of the fish. Keep this aside.
  2. Mix the red chili powder, turmeric powder, ginger- garlic paste, and salt, by adding a little water. Smear this masala paste on the pat dried fish and keep this aside for 30 minutes.
  3. Shallow fry the fish in 2 tbsp of oil just for about 5- 7 minutes on flipping both the sides and drain them on a kitchen towel.
  4. Meanwhile, for the gravy, heat oil in a pan, add the chopped onions and stir fry till it becomes translucent.
  5. Add the chopped tomatoes, when they turn mushy, add the lemon juice and the above made remaining masala paste. Stir well till everything gets combined well.
  6. Add the curry leaves along with pepper powder and salt. Mix and switch off the flame.
  7. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  8. Take an aluminum foil to wrap the fish. Place 2 tbsp of the above-made gravy in the middle of the foil, place the fried fish on the gravy and place another 2 tbsp of the gravy on top of the fish, Place a lemon wedge on top and wrap the fish using foil.
  9. Repeat with the remaining fried fish and bake for about 20- 25 minutes on a baking tray. Enjoy with hot steaming rice.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Whole Wheat Pasta with Roasted Pepper and Chicken Sausage

One of the best things to have a food blog is that I get a chance to try different varieties of dishes so that I can feed my blog. This is one of the recipes which I was thinking to make for so long, as I was not sure about broiling. One day I tried and this is the result.

Broiled Bell Pepper
Pasta is one of the most preferred dinners on any day in my house. My kids, even the small one, love the pasta made in any sauce. They love Mac and Cheese a lot. So I make sure that they get all the healthy nutrients by adding lots of veggies. By adding different varieties of cheese and herbs, we can make the pasta more delicious and flavorful.

In this recipe, I broiled the bell peppers till it becomes soft and the skin came out easily. We can also roast these bell peppers on the stove top. These freshly roasted peppers will give the pasta a nice smoky taste. I have mixed both penne and fusilli pasta. We can also add cooked chicken pieces instead of sausage. As my kids love to eat the small round discs of sausage I add them a lot. This recipe takes less time to prepare and can be enjoyed by all.

Here I have added the chopped garlic at first so that the garlic flavor is infused in the oil and the pasta will be full of flavor. Hope you all like this. Try this out and let me know.
  1. Whole Wheat Penne & Fusilli Pasta ( cooked and drained)- 2 Cups
  2. Red Peppers- 3 nos
  3. Chicken Sausage ( sliced)- 1 Cup
  4. Onions (chopped)- ½ Cup
  5. Garlic (chopped)- 3 tbsp
  6. Olive Oil- 2 tbsp
  7. Tomatoes (chopped)- 3 nos
  8. Dried Oregano- 2 tbsp
  9. Dried Basil- 1 tbsp
  10. Salt- as required
  11. Black Pepper Powder- 2 Tsp

  1. Broil the red peppers in the oven, high for about 10 minutes, rotating in between. When done keep this aside and remove the charred skin when cooled. Slice into pieces.
  2. Heat oil in a pan, add the garlic. Let it simmer for some time, till the flavors are infused in the oil. Add the chopped onions and stir till becomes translucent.
  3. Add the sliced sausage, stir till it becomes brown. Add the chopped tomatoes, mix and close with a lid and let this simmer for 5- 10 minutes. By this time the tomatoes will become mushy and everything gets blended well.
  4. Add the dried oregano and dried basil. Mix, add sliced red peppers, salt, and pepper. At last, add the cooked penne pasta, stir to combine and close with a lid. Allow the pasta to cook in the pepper sauce for about 5 minutes. Serve hot.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Swedish Chokladbollar (chocolate balls)

Chokladbollar is a Swedish dessert which we usually find in almost all the IKEA shops in the form of chocolates, not like these round balls. The chocolates from IKEA tastes so unique and fully packed with flavors. I came around this dessert when I was checking for some other recipe on the net and this name caught my attention. I researched about this dessert and found out to be very easy, less time consuming and very healthy and nutritious chocolate balls.

It was like love at first bite. These are one of the easiest treats which can be prepared along with kids. This does not require any baking. In this, the powdered oats are mixed with all other ingredients, shaped and rolled in desiccated coconut. The fun part is to roll these cuties in sprinkles or sugar or anything else of our choice. The amount of sugar may vary according to one's preferences. Try this and let me know.

  1. Oats- 1 ½ Cups
  2. Butter- ½ Cup
  3. Sugar-¼ cup
  4. Cocoa Powder- 3 tbsp
  5. Vanilla essence- 1tsp
  6. Desiccated Coconut- 1 Cup

  1. In a food processor, add all the ingredients except desiccated coconut and blend to a coarse powder. Make sure the butter is mixed well.
  2. Roll the mixture into 10- 15 round balls and roll them in the desiccated coconut.
  3. Refrigerate before serving and enjoy.

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