Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Oven Roasted Potatoes

It's hard to go wrong with potatoes. Baked, roasted, mashed, or fried, skin on or without, potatoes are an all time winner. Having had a few recent fiascoes in the kitchen, I decided to play it safe. Potatoes it will be, I said to myself. And off I went with the baby red potatoes that I had sitting on the counter, waiting to be devoured.
The ubiquitous Oven Roasted Potatoes Drizzled with Olive oil and Sprinkled with Herbs recipe, I knew, was one formula that equaled Sure Shot Success.

Not only are Oven Roasted Potatoes easy to make; they are versatile enough to be served in many forms - a delicious side to any meat or pasta, a snack with Chai, finger food, or just by it's own to nibble away when there is nothing better to do :)

Loaded with zesty herbs and roasted to perfection, the delightful crispy golden outside and soft, spicy inside wreaked a havoc of flavor in the taste department and was fulfilling and satisfying to the appetite. Try it for yourself!

No preparation needed. Serves 2.


1. Baby red potatoes, washed
2. Salt
3. Red chili flakes
4. Freshly ground black pepper
5. Basil
7. Oregano
8. Olive oil

1. Cut potatoes into wedges and place on an aluminum sheet. Leave the skin on.
2. Drizzle olive oil on the potatoes.
3. Sprinkle basil, oregano, red chili flakes, salt, black pepper.
4. Toss to perfection.
5. Bake for 30 minutes at 400 degrees in an oven.

Potatoes are ready to eat. Serve as a side or as finger food or another item at a BBQ party!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Beet soup

Isn't it easy to get bored in the mundane routine of life and also tired of the usual home cooked stuff? How often can you go out to try a new cuisine or do you ever have enough dishes on your cooking list to keep a variety indefinitely going?

I am constantly running out of ideas. Stretching out and experimenting with new things keeps me involved. Cooking something I have never before is fun and exciting. It keeps the kitchen as well as the appetite alive.

Last year, I discovered tarot root. This year, I found beet. Beet is one of those vegetables that has never been a part of our groceries. With it's deep blood red color, this vegetable intrigued me. I've been looking around for how I could play with this vegetable. I have found answers through people/blogs - juice, salad, and soup. Beets are loaded with vitamins A, B1, B2, B6 and C. The greens have a higher content of iron compared to spinach. They are also an excellent source of calcium, magnesium, copper, phosphorus, sodium, and iron.

Having had no past experience with beet, I decided to play it safe. I was warned of the hard texture of this veggie and wasn't so sure how it would taste so I decided to boil the beets and puree them into a soup. I am a soup lover.

Adapted from here.

1. Chicken or Vegetable broth
2. 1 onion, chopped
3. 3 spoons olive oil
4. Salt
5. Pepper
6. Rice vinegar (substitute with rice wine)
7. 1 mashed potato to counter the bitterness of beet.
8. 2 beets, boiled and chopped
9. Few cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
10. 1 spoon brown sugar (I used jaggery)
11. Green onion for garnishing
12. Sour cream for garnishing
13. Freshly ground black pepper
14. 2 tablespoons tomato paste. This is not necessary but I threw it in just because I love tomatoes!

1. Heat olive oil in a skillet.
2. Saute the onion and garlic in the oil until golden
3. Add the mashed potato, tomato paste, and beet.
4. Cook until tender.
5. Add the broth and bring to a boil. Keep stirring occasionally.
6. Add vinegar, salt, pepper, sugar.
7. Cover and cook on low heat for about 25 minutes. Allow the vegetables to soften.
8. Cool and set aside.
9. In a food processor, blend to a liquid.
10. Heat again
11. Garnish with sour cream and green onion.

Serve hot with garlic bread.

Verdict: Healthy, looks great, but we discovered that beet is not our favorite!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Dhania ki Chutney (Coriander Condiment)

Got a dish but not savory enough? Too bored of the usual main course you have for dinner? Need a kick to a side dish that's inadvertently gone bland? Want to top up your most delectable specialty with a wow factor? Want to add flavor without adding on calories?

Look no more. Coriander Condiment will solve all your problems. Dhania ki chutney peps up any main course, can be used as an accompaniment to any side dish or starter, covers up any culinary disasters and more than makes up for the blandness of a rather boring or healthy meal, accentuates your mastery (dish) without adding on calories, and adds color to bring out the presentation of a meal to make it look more appealing. But beware - this condiment can easily overpower all other food items with it's strong and unique taste. Be prepared for the condiment to take over as the main, and the main course to be devoured as a side! Coriander chutney will definitely be the limelight, when around!

1. 2-3 bunches of fresh Coriander leaves, washed and thicker stems removed.
2. Lemon juice.
3. 1 fresh green chili.
4. 1/2 Onion.
5. Few pods of garlic.
6. Cumin powder.
7. Salt

1. Blend everything together.

Refrigerate and then serve cold with papadum, pakoda, samosa, chaat (street food), stuffed parantha (Indian bread), or use as a spread on bread. You will either love or hate this condiment. There are no in betweens :)

Happy Holi, everyone!

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