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.

Millet Pancakes with Grilled Pineapple and Date-Tamarind Sauce

Amaranth is a psuedocereal, which simply means that it is a seed which acts like a grain. It has been cultivated for about 8000 years.  It contains all nine essential amino acids and is a protein powerhouse. It contains lunasin, a peptide believed to have anti-inflammatory and cancer-preventive diseases. It has a distinctive peppery taste with a pleasant aroma of grass. 

I combined amaranth flour with powdered oatmeal and coconut flour for these pancakes which are both vegan and gluten-free. It’s an ideal breakfast option and it’s quite filling as well. The grilled pineapple and the date-tamarind sauce paired beautifully with the pancakes. It was sweet, sour and salty, all at the same time! And very delicious.

This sauce is usually made in India to go with chaats, which are savoury snacks or hors d’oeuvre, available all across the country in roadside stalls, food carts, restaurants, etc. It’s a combination of several things blended with different chutneys and spices, sometimes with yogurt and topped with crisp vermicelli called sev and freshly chopped coriander leaves. It’s an amazing explosion of flavours in your mouth. 

You can mix the batter and let it sit overnight in the fridge to speed up the cooking process. Coconut oil exudes a wonderful aroma while cooking and it also complements the pancakes and pineapple. The spices are also quite subtle and you can taste them on your palate. A very simple and comforting dish.

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

Ingredients

11/2 cup old fashioned oats, powdered

3/4 cup amaranth flour

3/4 cup coconut flour

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp cardamom powder

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 tbsp flaxseed meal, mixed with 6 tbsp hot water

2 cups coconut milk/almond milk

Coconut oil

2 tbsp organic brown sugar (optional)

Salt to taste

For the pineapple

1 pineapple, cut into cubes

2-3 tbsp coconut oil

For the Date-Tamarind sauce

250 gms dates, seeded

75 gms tamarind

50 gms jaggery

1/4 tsp black pepper powder

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp cumin powder

Instructions

Prepare the pancake batter by mixing the oatmeal, amaranth flour and coconut flour with all the dry ingredients. Add the coconut oil and the flaxseed mixture and mix well. Add the coconut milk to the flour mixture, adding water if necessary to make a thick batter. Set aside.

Wash the tamarind well and combine it with the dates in a small pan. Add just enough water to cover them. Add all the other ingredients and cook over medium heat until the tamarind and dates are cooked thoroughly. Cool and blend into a paste. Strain and set aside.

Heat the coconut oil in a pan and add the pineapple pieces. Toss them in the oil, turning them if necessary until they are a golden brown in colour. 

Heat a non-stick pan and add some coconut oil. Pour the batter and spread lightly to make a thick pancake. Cook until the edges start browning and flip them over and cook the other side. Make all the pancakes and serve hot with the grilled pineapple and the date-tamarind sauce.

Tofu Kartoffelkuchen with Mango-Coriander Dip

Hello everyone. I was on a short holiday. I really missed posting on my blog. It was a nice change and I hope that you will like the recipes that I have tried recently.

The versatile and delicious potato is featured in this recipe along with Tofu. I loved the combination and the Kartoffelkuchen turned out to be a winner. Everybody loved it.

Continuing my experiments with mangoes, I decided to make a mango flavoured dip. I added pureed mango with other condiments to vegan mayo that I make on a regular basis. The result was heavenly. It was just perfect with the Kartafelkuchen.

The recipe for the vegan mayonnaise is from here https://lovingitvegan.com/vegan-mayo/ . However, I just use sunflower oil instead of the avocado oil. It’s rich, thick and creamy. I usually make this and store it in the fridge. It takes just a few minutes to make this and it’s much better than the store-bought mayo.

This is an excellent breakfast dish. This recipe makes about 10 4” cakes.

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PREP: 30 minutes COOK TIME: 30 minutes SERVES: 4-6

Ingredients

8 medium potatoes, grated

400 gms tofu

1 large onion, grated

1/4 cup fresh coriander, chopped fine

6 tbsp flour

2 green chillies, chopped fine

1 tbsp fresh ginger, grated

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp cumin seeds

1/2 tsp black pepper

1/2 tsp turmeric powder

Salt to taste

Vegetable oil

Mango-Coriander Dip

1 large mango, pureed

1/2 cup fresh coriander, chopped

2 green chillies

1 recipe vegan mayo (Please refer the website mentioned above)

Instructions

Blend the tofu in a food processor or blender. Mix all the ingredients together.

Heat a frying pan or skillet, brush with oil and spoon about 3/4 cup of the potato mixture on to the pan and flatten to about 1/2 inch thickness. Fry on each side until it is golden brown. Serve hot with the mango-coriander dip.

For the mango dip, place the coriander and the chillies in a blender and using a little water, make it into a fine paste. Add the mango and blend again until it is well combined. Add this to the vegan mayo and mix well.

Spicy Mushroom and Cheese Omelette

Happy New Year everyone! I was travelling and I am back to posting some tasty recipes that I made recently. This recipe is great for breakfast or brunch and even if you want to prepare something quickly for dinner.

Mushrooms and cheese are great together and as a filling in this omelette, they are an extra-special combination. The spicy mushrooms make this omelette different. They should be cooked until they are just al dentè. If they become mushy, then the result will not be the same.

I used Cheddar but you could use any strong melty cheese. I often make this omelette and if you try it, I guarantee that you would also do the same.

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PREP: 15 minutes COOK TIME: 35-40 minutes

Ingredients

6 eggs, beaten

150 g tasty cheese, grated

2-3 tbsp butter

Salt to taste

Filling

400 g button mushrooms

2 onions, cut into large pieces

11/2 tsp red chili powder

1 tsp turmeric powder

1 tbsp butter

Salt to taste

Instructions

Add enough salt to the eggs and set aside.

To make the filling, cut the mushrooms into large pieces and transfer to a large pan. Add all the other ingredients except the butter and cook over moderate heat until the mushrooms are just cooked. Do not overcook them. Remove from heat and add the butter. Set aside to cool slightly.

Heat a skillet or frying pan and add some butter to it. Pour in a third of the egg mixture and cook until the egg is almost set and golden underneath. Spoon some of the mushroom filling on one side of the omelette and sprinkle a third of the cheese. Fold over and cook for a few minutes until the cheese has started to melt. Remove from heat and set aside. Make the remaining omelettes in the same manner and serve hot with toast.

Mushroom and Mozarella Pizza Baguettes

Spicy mushroom on toast, topped with breadcrumbs and cheese is a delicious way to start the morning. It’s great for tea time as well.

I used French Baguettes, but you can use any type of bread. Wholemeal rolls split in the middle is also good. The tomato paste can be flavoured with some herbs and garlic powder. I used red chilli powder too.

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Avoid washing the mushrooms. Just wipe gently with a wet towel and slice them.

You can also omit the breadcrumbs and just top with mozzarella cheese. It tastes equally good.

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PREP: 20 minutes COOK TIME: 30 minutes SERVES: 4-6.

Ingredients

300 gms button mushrooms, sliced

6 shallots, chopped

11/2 tsp chilli powder

½ tsp turmeric powder

1 tbsp ghee/butter

½ cup tomato paste

½ cup breadcrumbs

½ cup mozzarella cheese

2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander/curry leaves

Salt to taste

Instructions

Pre heat the oven to 180 C.

Combine the mushrooms, shallots, chilli powder, turmeric powder and salt in a large pan and cook over a moderate heat until the mushrooms are soft and tender. Remove from heat and add the ghee or butter. Set aside.

Add the breadcrumbs, coriander and cheese together.

Split the baguettes in the middle and spread some tomato paste on the inside. Spoon the mushroom filling on top. Top with the breadcrumb and cheese mixture. Bake for about 10 minutes until the cheese melts and the breadcrumbs are lightly browned.

Rice Cakes with Chutney and Sambar

Rice cakes known as idli are the most popular Indian breakfast. Though idli is traditionally a South Indian dish, it’s the most popular breakfast eaten by millions of Indians everyday. The combination of rice with dehusked black gram dal (urad dal) makes it a complete protein.

The ground rice and dal is fermented overnight which breaks down the starch and is easily metabolized by the body. There’s no oil and they are steamed, which makes it easily digestible. Each idli contains 39 calories only. It contains no fat, no saturated fat and no cholesterol. Each idli contains 1 milligram of iron and trace amounts of calcium, folate, potassium and vitamin A besides the protein content.

It’s usually served with a variety of chutneys and Sambar, which is spiced cooked split pigeon peas and vegetables. Sambar is high on proteins, rich in antioxidants and contains fibre. It’s an ideal combination for weight loss. Tamarind is usually used in sambar but I usually prepare it without tamarind for idlis. You can use any vegetable in the sambar. Traditionally, drumstick is used in South India. 

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Every home would have it’s own way of preparing idlis and sambar. The rice used for idlis are par-boiled. Special rice known as idli rice is available. It’s small and round. Ready to use idli batter is also available. However, I prefer to make my own batter. There are special moulds available for steaming idlis on Amazon.

The same batter is used to make crisp pancakes called dosas. It can be stored in the fridge for up to a week.

Soft, fluffy, spongy idlis dunked in sambar and chutney – what could be a better breakfast?

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PREP: 40 minutes COOK TIME: 45 minutes (not including time required to soak the dal and prepare the idli batter)

Ingredients

For the idlis

3 cups par-boiled rice

1 cup dehusked black gram dal (urad dal)

2 tsp methi seeds (fenugreek)

11/2 tbsp salt

Instructions

Soak the rice and dal separately in plenty of water for 3-4 hours. Add the methi seeds to the dal while soaking. Drain the water and set it aside to use while grinding the batter. Grind the rice with a little of the reserved water until it is the consistency of semolina. Transfer the batter to a large bowl. Grind the urad dal with a little water until it becomes soft and fluffy. Add this to the rice batter and add the salt. Mix well. The batter should be thick but should be of pouring consistency. If it’s too thick, the idlis will be hard and if there’s too much water the idlis will be flat. Cover the bowl and leave to ferment overnight.

The following day, mix the batter well. Use a little oil to grease the idli moulds and spoon the batter into it. Steam the idlis for about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and cool for a few minutes before removing from the moulds.

For the chutney

1/2 cup roasted channa dal

1 cup fresh coconut, grated

½ tsp tamarind paste

3-4 dry red chillis

!/2 tsp asafoetida powder

A few curry leaves

Salt to taste

Vegetable oil

To temper

1/2 tsp black mustard seeds

1/2 tsp split black gram dal

A few curry leaves

Instructions

Heat about 3-4 teaspoons of vegetable oil in a small pan. Add the red chillis and the channa dal. Saute until the dal changes to a golden brown colour. Add the tamarind paste, asafoetida, curry leaves and salt. Add the coconut and mix well. Remove from heat. Grind the ingredients with a little water into a paste.

To temper the chutney, heat a teaspoon of oil and add the mustard seeds. When they stop popping, add the dal. When the dal becomes golden brown, add the curry leaves and transfer the contents to the chutney. Mix well and serve with the idlis.

For the sambar

½ cup split pigeon peas (tuvar dal)

½ tsp turmeric powder

1 tsp ghee

½ tsp asafoetida powder

1 cup potatoes, cubed

2 carrots, sliced thinly

½ cup shallots, sliced (sambar onions)

2 tomatoes, chopped

4 green chillies, slit lengthwise

Salt to taste

Vegetable oil

To temper

1 tsp black mustard seeds

1 tsp split black gram dal

A few curry leaves

Soak the dal in plenty of water for about 30 minutes or up to an hour. Soaking it longer will ensure that it cooks faster. Transfer it to a large pan and add the turmeric powder, ghee and asafoetida powder. Bring it to a boil and cook until the dal softens and is completely cooked. Remove from heat and mash well. Set aside.

Heat about 2-3 tablespoons of oil in a large pan. Add the onions and saute until they are cooked. Add the green chillis and tomatoes. Saute until the tomatoes are cooked. Add the vegetables and enough salt. Mix well and add about a cup of water. Cover and cook until the vegetables are tender. Add the mashed dal and mix well. Add more water if necessary and adjust the salt accordingly. Simmer gently for a few minutes. Remove from heat and temper the sambar in the same manner as the chutney. Serve hot.Rice Cakes with