Sticky Sesame Cauliflower

Hello everyone. I’m not able to post as often as I wish because of some health issues. I do miss it though.

I love Sticky Cauliflower but the original recipe has a lot of oil. This one requires less oil and the cauliflower is baked without compromising on the flavour. I used a mixture of breadcrumbs and panko breadcrumbs and they tasted great. The soda gives the batter a very light texture. It’s not very time consuming either. You can prepare the sauce while the florets are baking. I reserved some of the sauce and spooned it over the steamed vegetables while serving.

I used broccoli and carrots to garnish but you can use whatever vegetables you have. A healthy alternative and one that the whole family will enjoy. Do give it a try.

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PREP: 40 minutes COOK TIME: 25-30 minutes Serves: 4

Ingredients

For the crumb mixture:

1 cup dry breadcrumbs

3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs

2 tbsp flour

1 tsp cumin powder

1/2 tsp pepper powder

1/2 tsp red chilli powder

1 tsp salt

For the batter:

1 cup flour

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp fennel powder

!/2 tsp red chilli powder

1 bottle soda/sparkling water

Salt and pepper to taste

For the sauce:

1/4 cup orange juice

1/4 cup sweet chilli sauce

1/4 cup vegetarian oyster sauce

2 tbsp sesame oil

1 tsp soy sauce

2 tsp sriracha sauce

2 tsp vinegar

1 large cauliflower, broken into florets

3 tbsp olive oil

Thinly sliced green onions, grated orange zest and lightly toasted sesame seeds

Steamed broccoli and carrots

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 200C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Combine all the ingredients for the crumb mixture and mix well. Set aside.

Combine all the ingredients for the batter. Use just enough soda to obtain a thick batter for dipping the florets. It should coat the florets but should not be too thick or too thin. Dip the cauliflower in the batter and then in the breadcrumb mixture. Repeat for all the florets and place them on the baking sheet. Drizzle some olive oil over them and toss to coat. Bake for 25-30 minutes until the cauliflower is tender and golden brown. Turn the florets midway if necessary.

Meanwhile, combine all the ingredients for the sauce in a small pan and cook over low heat until just warmed, about 5 minutes. Transfer the florets to a large bowl and spoon about three-fourths of the sauce over them. Toss gently to coat them well.

Serve the florets on a large platter with the steamed vegetables of your choice. Sprinkle the orange zest, green onions and sesame seeds on top.

Spinach and Mushroom Roulade

Hello everyone. I was on a short vacation and it was such a relief to be away from the heat and humidity in Chennai. However, I’m back home and here’s my first post.

Eggs are the star in this recipe. Did you know that eggs have been used in the kitchen since Greek and Roman times? Early Egyptians, Persians, Romans and Greeks considered eggs to be a symbol of the universe and continuing life and represented the sun of spring. Though I missed posting for Easter, it is spring now and it’s always wonderful to cook with this classic ingredient.

This delicious roulade is perfect for breakfast and brunch. It’s crisp on the outside as it is baked twice. The air is trapped inside and so it rises again on the second baking. It is fluffy and moist on the inside. 

This is actually a swiss roll soufflé. It is easy to make and the filling is flavorful and tastes really yummy. You can use any ingredients that you have in your pantry for the filling and whatever cheese you have as well. I used Parmesan and Mozzarella but Cheddar also works well. Goat’s cheese is also a tasty alternative.

PREP: 20 minutes COOK TIME: 30 minutes SERVES: 4

Ingredients

11/4 cups milk

1/2 cup flour

2/3 cup butter

100 gms Parmesan cheese

4 eggs, separated

21/4 cups fresh button mushrooms, sliced

275 gms spinach leaves, chopped roughly

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 tbsp green chillis, chopped finely

1 tsp garlic powder

3 tbsp creme fraiche

100 gms Mozzarella cheese

Salt and ground black pepper

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 190C. Line a swiss roll tin with parchment, making sure that the edges rise above the sides of the pan.

Place the milk, flour and 1/4 cup butter in a large saucepan and bring it to boil over low heat. whisking continuously until thick and creamy. Simmer for about 2 minutes and then mix in the Parmesan and half of the mozzarella. Cool for 5 minutes and then beat in the egg yolks. Season with salt and pepper.

Whisk the egg whites in a glass bowl until soft peaks form. Fold the whites into the cheese mixture. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin, level gently and bake for 15 minutes until the top feels just firm. Remove from the oven and cool for about 10 minutes.

Dust a sheet of parchment with some of the remaining mozzarella cheese and carefully invert the roulade onto the paper. Remove the lining from the base and carefully roll it up in the paper and set aside to cool completely.

To make the filling, melt the rest of the butter in a pan and reserve about 2 tablespoons. Add the cumin seeds and then the green chillis and garlic powder. Add the mushrooms and cook for about 3-4 minutes. Cook the spinach in a separate pan until it wilts and then add it to the mushrooms. Be careful not to cook the mushrooms or the spinach too much. Stir in the crème fraiche. Season and cool. Preheat the oven to 190C.

Unroll the roulade and spread the filling. Roll it up again and place it on a baking sheet. Brush with the reserved butter and sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Bake for 15 minutes until risen and golden. Serve immediately.

Cauliflower and Broccoli Crust Pizza

Since both Broccoli and cauliflower have the same origin, I decided to combine them in this delicious and healthy crust for pizza. You can have pizza everyday if you make it this way. It’s really simple. 

The health benefits of cauliflower and broccoli need no introduction. I used a small quantity of low fat mozzarella cheese mixed with the base and on top. Just shape the dough, top it with tomato sauce and your favourite toppings. 

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The base will not be as firm as regular pizza dough but it’s delicious. 

This recipe makes about 6-8 slices of pizza.

PREP:  25 minutes  COOK TIME:  30 minutes

Ingredients

1 medium cauliflower

1 medium broccoli

2 eggs

1/2 cup + 3 tbsp low fat mozzarella cheese, grated

!/2 cup tofu, cubed

1 tbsp soy sauce

1 tbsp peanut butter

1 tsp red chilli flakes

5 tbsp tomato sauce

1 small onion, sliced

Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

Prepare a baking tray by lining it with parchment. Preheat the oven to 200 C.

Combine the soy sauce and peanut butter. Add the tofu and mix well. Set aside.

Remove the stalks from the cauliflower and broccoli. Reserve them for something else like soup. Steam the florets until they are tender. Blitz them in a food processor and strain through a cloth. Make sure that all the water has been removed. 

Break the eggs into a bowl. Add the salt, pepper and chilli flakes. Beat well and add the cauliflower mixture to it. Add 1/2 cup of the grated cheese and mix well. Turn out on to the baking tray and shape into a round or square with the help of a silicone spatula and the back of a spoon. Make sure that the edges are slightly higher. Bake for about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and spoon the tomato sauce on the base and spread it out. Add the onions, tofu cubes and any other toppings that you like. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top and bake for 10 minutes until the cheese has melted.

 

 

 

 

Baked Sweet Potato Fries with Curry Dip

Crispy and sweet-salty, you can snack on these fries without feeling guilty; Dip them in flavourful curry and runny egg yolks – yummy!

Sweet potatoes are really good for you. They contain vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fibre. They are easy to add to your diet and very delicious.

You can toss them in whatever spices you have on hand after they have been baked. I just added sea salt because the curry dip had a lot of spices. We had them for dinner with fried eggs and bread. A simple and filling meal.

It’s very important to slice the sweet potatoes as thinly and uniformly as possible. They will crisp up more. Tossing them in the cornflour is essential as it adds to the crispness. These fries are great with burgers, soup and Mexican food.

PREP: 30 minutes COOK TIME: 30-40 minutes

Ingredients

500 gms sweet potatoes, sliced thinly

3 tbsp+ 2 tsp olive oil

2 tsp cornflour

Sea salt to taste

4 tbsp fresh curry leaves, chopped finely

For the curry dip

2 cinnamon sticks

2 cloves

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 tsp black pepper

2 tbsp coriander powder

1 tsp red chili powder

1 tsp turmeric powder

5 tbsp fresh coconut, grated

5 tbsp shallots, sliced thinly

1 large onion, sliced thinly

1 large tomato, chopped

Vegetable oil

Salt to taste

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 220 C. Line a large baking tray with parchment paper.

Toss the sweet potatoes in the olive oil so that they are well coated. Sprinkle the cornflour over them and mix well so that they are evenly distributed. Place the sweet potatoes in the baking tray without overcrowding them too much and bake for 15 minutes. Flip the fries and bake for another 10 – 15 minutes until they are crispy and golden brown. Cool slightly and sprinkle a little sea salt on them and toss well so that all the fries are coated with the salt. Reserve some salt to sprinkle on top just before serving.

Heat 2 tsp of olive oil and fry the chopped curry leaves until they turn crispy. Add half to the fries and mix well. Reserve the remaining for garnish.

To make the curry dip, heat two teaspoons of oil in a small frying pan and saute the cinnamon, cloves, pepper and cumin. Add the shallots and saute for another 2-3 minutes. Add the coriander powder, red chili powder and turmeric powder and mix well. Add the grated coconut and remove from the heat. Cool and grind to a fine paste with a little water.

Heat three tablespoons of oil in a wok and add the sliced onions. Saute until they are cooked and add the tomatoes. Cook them until they are softened and add the ground paste and salt to taste. Mix well and add about 2-3 tablespoons of water. Cook the paste for about 5 minutes and add 1cup of water and mix well. Cook for some time and simmer on low heat until the oil floats on top. Adjust the consistency by adding more water if necessary.

Serve the fries with fried eggs and bread. Sprinkle the remaining salt and curry leaves on top before serving.

Cabbage rolls

I’m sure that anyone who is serious about cooking will have made this recipe at some time. I have been wanting to make these Polish Golabki rolls for quite some time. Cabbage rolls are delicious. Instead of the meat, I used mushrooms and soy (TVP), with some spices to make the filling. This filling goes very well with naan, flatbreads etc.

The core of the cabbage has to be carefully removed, so that the leaves easily come apart after it has been steamed. A large sized cabbage weighing around 3 pounds is best which makes it easier to work with, though you can use a smaller one as well. Another trick is to trim the veins of the cabbage leaf if they are too thick. Just use a sharp knife to trim it slightly. That makes it easier to fold over the filling.

It really doesn’t take too long to make this recipe and the cabbage leaves are quite easy to roll. It’s best to leave the rolls overnight in the fridge and then fry them the next day just before serving. You have to be careful not to add too much liquid before baking as that makes the rolls soggy.

This recipe makes around 16-20 rolls.

PREP: 40 minutes COOK TIME: 25 minutes

Ingredients

1 large cabbage, core removed

2 cups soy chunks (TVP)

1 cup fresh button mushrooms, chopped

1 large onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 tbsp fresh ginger, grated

2 tsp coriander

1 tsp chilli powder

1 tsp cumin powder

1 tsp turmeric powder

1 tsp garam masala powder

2 tomatoes, chopped

1 cup long grain rice

2 tbsp olive oil

3-4 tbsp tomato puree

Salt to taste

Instructions

Lightly grease a 13×9 inch baking pan.

Bring a large pan of water to a rolling boil and immerse the cabbage, core side down in it and simmer for 10 minutes. Using two large flat ladles, take the cabbage out of the water and place it on a baking tray core side on top. Using two forks, separate the leaves near the top so that it cools off. Keep the water in which the cabbage was cooked. If the core is not soft enough, you might need to cook it for a few more minutes.

Soak the TVP in hot water for 15-20 minutes. Drain and squeeze well. Process briefly to a flaky consistency.

Heat the olive oil in a pan and add the garlic and onions. Saute for 4-5 minutes until they just start to brown. Add the ginger and mushrooms and cook until the mushrooms are slightly softened. Add all the spices with about 2-3 tablespoons of water and mix well. Add salt and the tomatoes and cook until the tomatoes are mushy. Add the soy meal and keep it covered until it is cooked thoroughly. Remove from heat and set aside to cool. Add the rice and mix well.

At this point, preheat the oven to 180C.

Separate the cabbage leaves reserving the outermost ones to use as a topping. As you get toward the centre, you may want to use a sharp knife to cut the core to separate the leaves. If you find the leaves at the centre too firm to roll, just pop them into the boiling water for another 5 minutes and let it simmer gently. Meanwhile, lay the cabbage leaf on a marble slab and place about 3 tablespoons of the filling toward the edge of the leaf, roll once and fold in the sides and roll once more (like a burrito). Make all the rolls this way and place them seam side down in the baking pan in a row.

Take about half a cup of the cabbage water and mix the tomato puree in it. Pour this over the rolls and cover with the broken cabbage leaves. Cover with foil and bake for about 11/2 hours. Cool and refrigerate overnight. Remove the cabbage leaves and brown them in a little olive oil just before serving. Serve with sour cream.

Potato Pizza with Pumpkin Pesto

This pizza is for potato lovers’ – that includes everyone, I think! I haven’t yet come across anyone who doesn’t like potatoes. The wafer thin slices of potato is such a sensation to eat with the pumpkin pesto. Even people who don’t like pumpkin much will absolutely love this pizza. It’s a refreshing change from the usual tomato sauce.

Just as I skipped the tomato sauce, you can also experiment with a variety of shapes. It’s fun to try different pizza shapes and I chose to go with a rectangle shape. Pizzas are so versatile and you can try so many different variations on them.

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I made the pizza dough from scratch as I always do. Please refer to my earlier post Paneer Tikka Pizza for the recipe. However, if you’re pressed for time, you can always use a refrigerated dough or a readymade base.  I also made the pumpkin puree by steaming the pumpkin and then pureeing it. Whipping up the pesto just takes a few minutes and it tastes so good. I also used a mandoline to slice the potatoes wafer thin.

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I layered the cheese under the potatoes and the result was a lovely, creamy mouthful of pumpkin pesto, cheese and potatoes in every bite. I hope you try this out – it’s perfect for family get togethers. This recipe is suitable for one 12 inch pizza.

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PREP:  30 minutes  COOK TIME:  30-40 minutes 

Ingredients

1 pre-baked pizza crust

500 gms potatoes, peeled and sliced thinly

200 gms mozzarella cheese, grated

2 tsp dried thyme

1 tsp salt

For the pumpkin pesto

1 cup pumpkin puree

1/4 cup cashewnuts

2 tbsp lemon juice

2 tbsp olive oil

Salt to taste

Instructions

Place a pizza brick, unglazed terracota tile or baking sheet in the oven. Preheat the oven to 220C.

Place all the ingredients for the pesto in a blender or food processor and process until thick, about 30 seconds.

Place the pizza base on the heated brick or pan. Brush the base with a little oil and then spread the pumpkin pesto on it. Sprinkle the grated cheese on top and season with a little pepper. Place the potato slices on top and garnish with the thyme. Drizzle some olive oil on top and bake for 30 minutes until the pizza is cooked (if the dough has not been pre-baked). If it’s pre-baked, then 15-20 minutes should suffice.