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.

Spinach and Paneer Gnocchi

Fluffy, light as air gnocchis with the goodness of greens and cottage cheese. What could be better?

This recipe has been adapted from a book called ‘Great Greens’. I love to experiment with different spices. My palate is not suited to bland food. Besides spices are very good for the health.

The nutrients in spinach strengthen the body, contain calcium, iron, Vitamin K and folic acid. Even children will love these tasty gnocchis.

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You can also substitute ricotta cheese if you don’t have paneer. The dressing gives it the extra flavour to make it absolutely delicious. They just disappear when I make them at home for dinner.

 

PREP:20 minutes plus chilling COOK TIME: 20-25 minutes SERVES:4

Ingredients

  • 750 g fresh spinach, washed and trimmed
  • 200 g fresh paneer (cottage cheese)
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 green chili, chopped
  • 2 flakes garlic, chopped
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 50 g Parmesan cheese
  • ½ tsp nutmeg, freshly grated
  • 50 g plain flour, plus extra for shaping
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Dressing

  • 75 g butter
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder


To serve

  • 125 g Parmesan cheese, grated

Instructions

Place the spinach in a pan with the cumin seeds, green chili, garlic and 1 tablespoon water. Cover and cook for a few minutes until the leaves are wilted and tender. Increase the heat to drive off any remaining water. Squeeze dry and leave to cool.

To make the gnocchis, place the spinach, paneer, egg yolks, Parmesan, nutmeg, salt and pepper in a blender or food processor. Puree until smooth. Turn into a large mixing bowl, sift over the flour and mix to form a dough. Cover with clingfilm and leave in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.

Using well-floured hands, take small pieces of the gnocchi mixture (about 15 g) and shape them into 24 ovals or egg shapes. As each gnocchi is made, place it on a lightly floured tray until ready to cook.

Bring lightly salted water to boil in a large pan, reduce the heat to simmer and poach 5-6 gnocchi at a time for a few minutes until they puff up and rise to the surface. Remove with a slotted spoon and pile into individual warmed dishes.

Melt the butter and add the chilli powder. Take it off the heat immediately. Spoon over the gnocchis, sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese and serve hot.

 

 

 

 

 

Rainbow Frittata with Coconut Cream

Fresh, light and delicious – this frittata ticks all the boxes. Easy to prepare with ingredients that anyone more or less has in their pantry. The plus is the high content of fibre and protein.

This is especially important for people of all ages, who have greater nutritional needs. The combination of lentils with veggies, eggs, cheese and coconut make it a remarkably healthy dish. You might want to skip the take-out and prepare this tasty dish instead.

I got this recipe from a book called ‘Cooking Vegetarian with Flair’. However, I have made a few changes to it. The addition of the spices make it more tasty.

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I used the packaged sweetcorn kernels and also extracted the coconut cream from freshly grated coconut. The mung dal helps to set the frittata and the eggs give it an airy softness.

The benefits of coconut are widely known and the flavoured coconut cream is the perfect combination.

Rainbow Frittata with Coconut Cream

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup dried yellow mung dal, soaked in water overnight
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 onion sliced
  • 2 potatoes, peeled and grated
  • 2 carrots, grated
  • 2 Zucchini, grated
  • 125 gms sweetcorn kernels
  • 3 tbsp fresh coriander, chopped
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • ½ tsp red chilli powder
  • ½ tsp cumin powder
  • 100 gms Cheddar cheese, grated
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Coconut Cream

  • 125 ml coconut cream
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp fresh mint, chopped

Instructions

Drain the mung dal and place in food processor or blender with eggs and process until smooth. Place the mixture in a large mixing bowl.

Heat 1 tbsp oil in a fry-pan and cook the onion gently for 3-4 minutes. Add potatoes, carrots and zucchini and cook, stirring for 5 minutes until the vegetables soften and they are fairly dry. Add the vegetables to the mung dal mixture along with the sweetcorn and fresh coriander. Mix and season to taste with salt, pepper, turmeric, cumin and chilli powder.

Heat the remaining oil in a large fry-pan, add the vegetable mixture and sprinkle with cheese. Cook over a low heat for 5-8 minutes or until just firm, shaking the pan occasionally to ensure that the frittata does not stick. Place the pan under a preheated grill for 3 minutes or until the frittata is browned on top.

To make cream, place the coconut cream, lemon juice and mint leaves in a screw-top jar and shake well to combine. Invert the frittata onto a plate, cut into wedges and serve with coconut cream.

Paneer Tikka Pizza

The recipe that I have given below is one that I have been making for years. It’s one of the best pizza recipes that I have come across. It was given to me by my friend.

It requires some effort and planning. I usually make the tomato sauce and the topping a day earlier as this saves me a lot of time. The tomato sauce is really delicious. Thick and really luscious. You can use it as a pasta sauce, for making wraps, in sandwiches and lasagne. I use this for almost all the Italian dishes. It also keeps well in the fridge for about a week.

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I have used Paneer Tikka as a topping. But you can use any topping of your choice. You can also add capsicum to the paneer and onion.

I like to make the base a little thick. It somehow tastes better – well, according to me anyway! But then again, this is a matter of choice. I used instant yeast but the active dry yeast also works well.

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You can also double the recipe. It works very well, especially if you’re having a party.

I usually use a mixture of Cheddar and Mozzarella because I like the strong taste that Cheddar cheese imparts to the overall flavour.

My children tell me that this is the best pizza they’ve tasted! Surprises me, but it’s nice to hear it.

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Paneer Tikka Pizza

Ingredients

  • 150 gms plain flour
  • 200 gms plain flour
  • ¾ cup warm water
  • 1 tsp instant yeast
  • 5 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp salt

For the tomato sauce

  • 2 kg firm tomatoes
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp red chili powder
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp ketchup
  • Salt to taste

For the Paneer Tikka

  • 200 gm paneer
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 tbsp kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves)
  • 1/2 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp ginger garlic paste
  • 3 tbsp curds
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • Salt to taste

For the topping

  • 100 gms Mozzarella cheese, grated
  • 100 gms Cheddar cheese, grated

Instructions

Cut the onion into large pieces. Marinate the paneer with the onions and all the ingredients for the Tikka and set aside for an hour or overnight.

Dissolve the yeast in the warm water. Take the 150 grams flour in a large bowl and make a well in the centre. Add the yeast mixture, salt and oil. Mix well. The mixture will be sticky. Add the remaining 200 grams flour and mix well.

Knead the dough for 20 minutes until it is extremely soft. Leave it covered with a damp cloth for 2-3 hours, until it doubles in bulk.

Make an incision at the top of the tomatoes in the shape of a plus (+). Immerse the tomatoes in boiling water for 2-3 minutes until the skins peel off easily. Peel, drain and puree the tomatoes in a blender. Heat the oil, add the garlic and chilli powder. Add the tomato puree immediately and bring it to a slow boil on moderate heat. Simmer until it is really thick. It should not be runny. Add the salt, brown sugar and ketchup. Set aside to cool.

At this point, you can pre-heat the oven to 220 C.

Knock down the dough and divide into 2 portions, depending on how large you want the pizza to be. Roll out the dough, using a little flour, into a circle about ¼ inch thick. Leave it in the pan for 15 minutes to rise.

Spoon a little tomato sauce on the pizza base and spread it thickly. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes until the base is cooked. Add a little Paneer as topping, spreading it around the top. Sprinkle the cheese on top and bake for another 5-10 minutes until the cheese has melted. Serve hot.