Monday, 25 February 2008


This time when I travelled home , we forgot to book a vegetarian meal on the flight.As a result I had a faint idea that I would be actually fasting for the whole of 9 hours of that flight, my daughters did find something to eat ,but were quite intrigued by the meat balls and spaghetti served to them.In spite of me telling them to eat were not ready to eat it.Anyways when I got back it was at the back of in my mind how to make this stuff at home.I could not use meat balls but I am sure veg balls too would actually make taste as good.

Pasta has been elusive dish in our house ( I do not enjoy it as much as the others so do not make it often ).When I started looking for some pasta came across that there were Long and short Pasta types.. Long ones like,Fettuccine,noodles - Tagliatelle, linguini - linguine, Spaghetti, Spaghettini and many others I am struggling to pronounce.Short pasta types can have a variety of shapes and are easier to eat than long pasta.butterflies - farfalle ,conchiglie - shells ,elbow shell- Pipe rigate, penne - pen points, pennete and mezze penne..... helix - fusilli orecchiete

Chinese noodles are a better option for me... easy to cook and no fuss of sauce and stuff... .The Lasagna is all time favourite but then I don't get it right at all... stopped making it... Spaghetti is one thing which i can really do well, but when I got the sauce part... usually used the ready made pasta sauces.... This time seeing the meatballs triggered off to make vegetarian balls so that I can make it look more tempting to the eyes and tasty on the tongue too....
The Search Engine brought up so many recipes that I just could not think of any one suitable one.There were so many different ways of making the Veg balls. I actually did not have many ingredients at home .. But had to make them at that moment , lest I lost the mood to cook them at all.With the few ingredients I had i tried and really turned out tasty..... sharing that recipe with you... which you might really like and try out....



250 gms of Spaghetti
For the Sauce:

Tomatoes/tomato puree (I used canned tomatoes) – ½ kg
Garlic – 3-4 cloves, finely chopped.
Spring Onions - Half a bunch chopped fine.
Chilli powder – ½ tsp
Vegeta Powder - 1 tsp...( had mentioned about it earlier.It adds taste not a main ingredient)
Freshly crushed black pepper – 1 tsp
Olive Oil – 1 tbsp
Corn flour - 1/2 tbsp
Salt to taste

For the VEG Balls:
Grated cabbage– 1 cup
Grated Potatoes - 1 cup
Grated carrots - half cup
crushed Tofu or paneer -half a cup
Rice flour - 1 tbsp
wheat flour/all purpose flour – 1 tbsp
Bread crumbs – ¼ cup
Salt to taste
Oregano – 1 tsp
Cooking soda 1/2 tbsp
Pepper powder – 1 tsp
Oil – to deep fry


To make the sauce:

Wash tomatoes, blanch with just enough water . Remove, dunk into cold water and peel.Blend them in a blender/mixer to make a puree , alternatively can use canned tomatoes or tomato puree to make it easier...

Heat olive oil in a pan and add garlic to it saute for a minute and then add spring onions, sauté for a minute and then add the tomatoes to the garlic, sauté for 6 to 8 minutes.

Add chilli powder, vegeta powder and salt, let it cook covered for about 15 minutes, adding a splash of water in between if needed.

In half a cup of cold water dissolve the corn flour and add it to the sauce and let it cook.

It should cook to a thick sauce consistency.It thickens quite quickly.

Add the crushed pepper just before taking off the flame.

2.Making the spaghetti:

While making the sauce , cook the spaghetti with a dash of olive oil in more than enough water.Drain the extra water when the spaghetti is done... You will know that is done by breaking g one strand.cover the spaghetti pan with a lid to avoid it drying and keep it warm.
(All the spaghetti packs found in stores have directions to cook them. Cook as per directions )

3.Making the balls:

In a deep pan or Kadai,,, heat the oil.... mix all the above ingredients(expect the oil ) for the Veg balls in a bowl.
Mix them well using only enough flour and bread crumbs to bind all the vegetables . Deep fry these balls and place them in a shallow bowl. Add the sauce on the balls and let the balls soak up sauce.

4. To Serve
To serve place a layer of cooked spaghetti in a shallow bowl.Add the balls and top them up with the sauce .

Add some crushed pepper and some shredded cheese.. to garnish it... Yummy

I am sure you will enjoy this recipe too...I had a great weekend... Wishing you all a lovely week ahead too...Do say hi and leave a few words, makes me happy to see people taking time to write comments.

Tuesday, 19 February 2008

My French toast

Not eating eggs puts us in some disadvantage of making delicious cakes and some dishes which apparently are very tasty , to name some , Anda burji, French toast and omlette…It is only that I never gave a chance to egg to enter my kitchen.. though I might as well try to make these dishes using my own veggie ingredients..Well in a way of vegetarinising the dishes , I did make do with Paneer Burji and Sooji ka chilla , but always the French toast remained quite elusive.

A search on the internet on French toast gave me good info about how the toast originated. It says “French toast originated as a way to use day-old or stale bread (some breads and especially French bread become stale after one day). Whereas a stale, crunchy bread might seem unappetizing, soaking the bread in eggs and frying it solved that problem”.In medieval Europe it is supposed to be have known as pain perdu. Germany: armer Ritter (literally, "poor knight") Interestingly, it is also said it was known as german toast (used ina few countries even now) then changed to French toast during world war I given the anit –german sentiment.. well whatever it is called. I could not eat it given that egg had to be used.

When I lived in Romania ,I did learn a few excellent typical romanian dishes like Sarmale, gogosi and mammaliga. A friend of mine ( Romanian ) said she made frigãnele as it is known there without egg using cornflour and salt as crust during their lent period. Tried that, Alas it didn’t turn out real good on the palate it was good but not good enough… my woes continued with trial and error with quite a few recipes till I finally got the things right way of making the toast.What would I have done without so many lovely food blogs!!!!!!


Few slices of sandwich bread
1 cup Fine semolina (rava)
2 cups of water
1 Onion(finely chopped)
2 Carrots (grated)
2 Green chillies (finely chopped) (optional)
coriander leaves (shredded)
cinnamon powder
pepper powder
salt to taste
oil/butter to roast.

Mix Semolina, Chopped onions, grated carrots, chillies coriander leaves ,cinnamon powder and salt.I did read in a recipe that butter milk enhances the taste I did not have so I used normal water.Just about to the consistency of slightly thick batter..
Cut the Bread slices into two ( shape is left to your creative skills).
Dip the cut bread in the above mixture and roast on a a hot skillet .
Add butter or ghee to enhance the taste of the toast. I used oil for ours and butter on the kids toast.
Sprinkle the pepper according to the taste and serve hot with ketchup or mint/chilli chutney.

It was amazingly tasty.. was a bit hit as well with my children..
There goes another one for you to try, if you have not known about it till now..

Saturday, 16 February 2008


Having the girls home for the Half term holidays was welcome. It meant I could actually give them some good healthy traditional Indian breakfast, time and attention. But that also meant that I should keep them busy to be away from the Idiot Box all day long. I seriously believe that more than one hour of screen time really makes children sluggish.It is not easy to keep them occupied for 12 hours a day inside the four walls, the weather does not allow much to play outside but still walking and skating did take up sometime of the day,but still they had to be kept occupied. As a process of this week long engagment I browsed to get some baking recipes where a found a fairly simple EGGLESS CHOCOLATE CAKE recipe...I am mighty delighted as a vegetarian I am not too fond of using Eggs..., but I do eat cakes which contain egg, as long as I dont see them being used (hypocritical mind).

Well, I gave them the ingredients and with very little help of mine they baked this lovely cake.. two little sweet chefs who managed to make and gobble it up for lunch... Thanks to the digi cam I could take pictures for keep sakes and some software touch made them a photo dairies too.. The recipe was fairly simple but I did try to make a few changes in them to suit my taste.I am quite pleased with the outcome enough to post it here with my girls photosession....they need a boost too !!!!!!!

It is a fairly simple process making this cake, with few ingredients and fewer
steps to follow the happiness on their faces made the whole effort (of cleaning up the mess later) worth while.
Some pictures here with details I added at their behest...
Photobucket Photobucket


Photobucket Bake a  Cake



3 cups self raising flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 cup cold milk
1/4 cup butter /margarine
2 cups sugar
1 bar of chocolate to break and add as bits.
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup cold water(as and when required


Preheat the oven for 15 minutes

Mix 1/2 cup cocoa with 3 cups of self raising flour in a small bowl,
(add bits of chocolate for a rich and crunchy taste )

In a jug, dissolve two tsp of baking soda in a cup of cold milk

In a large bowl cream two cups of sugar with 1/4 cup butter or maragarine. Add milk and flour alternately to the creamed mixture and whisk until thick.. add cold water to get intended consistency.

Pour the batter in a greased cake tin or pan and cook at 200 degrees for 15 minutes.

Allow the cake tin to cool and with a knife smoothly loosen the sides...

Serve warm with some cold coffee. Yummy!!!! who can resist this?????

Tuesday, 12 February 2008


I had not tasted a Wrap till a friend of mine made yummilicious tikka wraps, they were paneer tikka wraps,Iloved the idea of wraps .But then I am not too fond of paneer either, so did not bother to ask the recipe either... after coming here my girls fell in love with a wrap made in Gregg’s, who dutifully stopped a few months ago.. That was the only veg wrap which is available around here.....

While walking in the market over the weekend, was wondering what they could eat out other than the usual Pizzas or the bean burger... so decided to make some Wraps myself remembering the filling which was there in Gregg’s one... to my astonishment it did turn out really tasty and was very filling as a dinner ...though my elder girl doesn’t like to eat Rajma... calling it a red mean bean did the trick. So we came up with the MEANY RED BEANY WRAP...
It is a very tricky nice way of making kids have thier veggie intake without a fuss....



Tortilla wraps (available in all stores)

Tomato Ketchup

Green chutney to taste
(I used Natco Bombay sandwich Spread It is quite spicy and tasty, giving me the Indian taste i like in my food)


For 8 wraps
1 onion (sliced elongated)
2 carrots (grated thick)
1 capsicum (thin and sliced elongated)
1 Potato (grated thick)
Half cup of sliced cabbage
Few cobs of baby corn... cut into slices
1 can of Red kidney beans or 1 cup of Boiled Red kidney beans (rajma)
fresh cucumbers sliced or Pickled cucumbers (Gherkins)

Spices or Masala used:
Pepper and
Vegeta powder
(I use the VEGETA veg stock powder... it has lovely aroma and helps to hold the mixture...)

I used this powder often in many other dishes too. I got hooked to it while in Romania.... easily found in the Asian stores...If you want then have a look at it in this website.


In a pan, add a spoon of oil when hot add the half the cut onions and capsicum. When they are sautéed, add cabbages, grated carrot and grated potatoes, baby corn. Add a spoon of the Vegeta powder and close the pan with a lid,after a few minutes add The kidney beans and let it cook for some time'. Turn the heat off after 5 minutes and leave the lid on for the steam to cook the vegetables...

(Cottage cheese pieces can be added as a variation.. my girls like shredded cheese slices also in it)
How to Wrap

On a hot flat girdle (tawa), heat the Tortilla wraps to a reasonable warm heat...

1. place the hot wrap on a serving place and add the sauces and chutneys intended... arrange a layer of above filling in a line in the centre of the wrap... and add the fresh vegetables, gherkin slices and cheese slices.

2.fold both the ends of the wrap so that the filling is secured...
3.roll the wraps from opposite sides overlapping and forming a pocket.

4. Place the rolled on the hot girdle for a few minutes

5.Serve hot as whole or cut into two...

It turns out really tasty, I do make wraps with different vegetables but this was the first I used kidney beans... my sisters keeps saying she fills with some nice Mexican rice... and they are as yummy as burritos,, need to try it out too.....waiting for your comments and feedback...

Enjoy your day friends....

Wednesday, 6 February 2008

Mini Pizzas, my way...

My daughters have amazing energy and are on thier feet all day long.According to my Appaji (father) they are either perpendicular or parallel to the ground, there is no position in their vocabulary as sitting anywhere at all...Which is very true too.. they are always in search on things to do, to say and to move around.. children are supposed to be so anyways...When they get back from school they are ready to devour me if I do not actually give them with some snack or the other.It is not thier fault either.. they do carry quite small quantities in thier lunch box so they are quite hungry , but then within minutes of eating they are ready to get into another activity as though they were never tierd at all.Thankgod they are not finicky and do try anything and eveyrthing and then decide whether they have liked it at all.

This time I decided to make a dish which I had tasted and liked... My friend Vani makes them amazingly delicious.. though I cant make them as yummy I did try my own way through it.....

It came out well and since it is easier to make I thought you all might as well try it out.



1 baugette roll or 10 bread slices

2 spoons of all purpose flour(Maida)

1 cup milk

2 spoons cornflour

1 onion - chopped finley

1 capsicum - chopped finely

1 cup - chopped beans, carrots, peas and corn mixed

salt to taste

oil - 1 tsp

Powdered pepper to taste.

Butter to smear

Grated cheese (I use strips of cheese slices when I dont have grated cheese)


In a pan heat the oil add the chopped onions and capsicum when it is done add the vegetables ,add some salt... let it steam cook by covering the pan. In the cup of milk mix the flour and add it the cooked vegetables...I when it is quite thick add the cornflour(mixed with half a cup cold water) .Keep stirring till it gets to the consistency of a thick paste.Add pepper powder and
Cut the baugette into thin slices and if you are using bread cut the bread slices into 4 squares each . smear the slices with butter .Top the slices with on spoon the above mixture like a scoop,sprinkle some grated the tip with piece of coloured bell pepper(capsicum).Grill them at max temperature for about 10 minutes till the cheese gets to a golden brown colour.

Hot mini pizzas are ready to be served .Enjoy them with some tomato ketchup. And Phew!!! my girls liked it I survived the litmus test should say......

will be back soon with another dish... thanks for all who have been supporting me.