Baked sweet potato chips

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Who does not enjoy chips?  So here is a much healthier version – sweet potato baked chips which you can enjoy guilt free. My daughter, Ria, tried these out and loved them. She encouraged me to make them and they were easy, flavorful and nutritious.   These awesome chips require only olive oil, sea salt and pepper.  

What you need:

2 sweet potatoes (Shakarkandi in Hindi)

2 tsp olive oil

sea salt and pepper – to taste

Any other seasoning you like

How to make:

  1.  Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. Rinse and dry the sweet potatoes.  Cut them as thin and evenly as possible.  Know that chips that are too thick in parts won’t crisp up all the way. Still delicious, just not “chip” crispiness.
  3. Toss the slices in olive oil and add salt and pepper.  Spread evenly on a baking tray in a single layer.  Place the baking tray in the middle rack in the oven.

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4.  Remove once crisp and golden brown(about 35 mins).  But each oven varies so you will have to keep an eye on them.   Some may feel a little tender in the middle but take them out and let them rest for 10 minutes or so to crisp up before sampling. Serve immediately.

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Mango Ice Cream

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Summers are here early and in full swing!  Mangoes are also available in the market now!  Its the time of the year to make cool and refreshing ice cream.  Take a look at my easy and lip smacking 4 ingredient mango ice cream made without an ice cream maker.  You will surely want to try it out!

What you need:

1 mango diced

1 cup milk

1 cup condensed milk

1 cup cream

A few pistas finely cut for decoration (optional)

How to make:

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1.  Take the diced mango, milk, condensed milk and cream in a blender and churn it well into a smooth mixture.

2.  Pour into the tray/jar in which you want to set the ice cream.  I used jars.

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3.  Keep with the lids on  in the freezer for at least 8 hours.

4.  Garnish with chopped pistas.  Enjoy delicious and cool ice cream!

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Paella

 

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My daughter and her fiance Pete,  are majorly into cooking these days. I love hearing about all the exciting recipes they try out.   One of their really hit recipes is  the classic Spanish dish of Paella, which Pete recently made.  This Paella has a bit of everything in it and is flavorful, nourishing and looks colorful besides being really delicious.  

What you need:

* Herb Blend:

1 cup chopped fresh parsley

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 large garlic cloves, minced

* Paella:

1 cup water

1 teaspoon saffron threads

3 (16-ounce) cans fat-free, less-sodium seafood broth

8 jumbo shrimp (about 1/2 pound)

1 tablespoon olive oil

4 skinned, boned chicken thighs, cut in half

2 links Spanish chorizo sausage (about 6 1/2 ounces) or turkey kielbasa, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices

2 cups finely chopped onion

1 cup finely chopped red bell pepper

1 cup canned diced tomatoes, undrained

1 teaspoon sweet paprika

3 large garlic cloves, minced

3 cups uncooked Arborio rice or other short-grain rice

1 cup frozen green peas

8 mussels, scrubbed and de-bearded

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

How to make:

1. To prepare the herb blend, combine the first 4 ingredients, and set aside.

2. Combine water, saffron, and broth in a large saucepan. Bring to a simmer (do not boil).

Keep warm over low heat.

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3. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large paella pan or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken; sauté 2 minutes on each side. Remove from pan. Add sausage; sauté 2 minutes. Remove from pan. Add shrimp, and sauté 2 minutes. Remove from pan.

4. Reduce heat to medium-low. Add onion and bell pepper; sauté 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

5. Add tomatoes, paprika, and 3 garlic cloves; cook 5 minutes.

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6. Add rice; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly.

7. Stir in herb blend, broth mixture, chicken, sausage, and peas.

8. Bring to a low boil; cook 10 minutes, don’t stir once the broth has been added.

9. Add mussels to pan, nestling them into rice mixture. Cook 5 minutes.

10. Arrange shrimp, heads down, in rice mixture, and cook 5 minutes or until shrimp are done. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup lemon juice.

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11. Remove from heat; cover with a towel, and let stand for 10 minutes. Serve with lemon wedges, if desired.  Enjoy!

 

Cilantro chicken/Chicken hara dhaniya

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Having bought too much cilantro/ hara dhaniya (which I really love), I decided to use it to make chicken. Cilantro leaves are also known as Coriander leaves in India and are widely used in Indian cooking for garnishing and in chutney.   Cilantro chicken is prepared with chicken pieces delicately cooked combined with the freshly ground mixture of cilantro leaves, curry leaves and green chilies.  This tastes great with hot roti or naan.

What you need:

500 grams chicken

10 Cashew nuts

1 bunch cilantro(hara dhaniya) leaves

8-10 curry leaves

3/4 cup yogurt

1 tbsp garlic ginger paste

2-3 finely chopped green chilli

2 tbsp oil

salt to taste

1/2 tsp turmeric powder

1 tsp coriander seeds 

1 tsp cumin seeds

How to make:

  1.  Take cilantro (hara dhaniya), curry leaves and green chillies and blend to a fine paste in a blender.
  2. Take coriander seeds and roughly grind them.
  3. In a pan take some oil and heat it.  Add the cumin seeds.  Once they start spluttering, add the ground coriander seeds.  Give it a stir and then add the ginger garlic paste.
  4. Make a paste of the cashew nuts with a little water.  Add 1 1/2 tsp of this paste to the pan. Also add the haldi powder and mix really well.
  5. Now add the cilantro (hara dhaniya) mixture to the oil and stir very well.Cook on medium heat till the oil starts separating(about 5 mins).  Add salt.

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6.  Now throw in the chicken and stir well.  Add 1/2 cup of yogurt.  Cover and cook on low heat for 10-15 mins.till the chicken is tender.IMG_3785 Uncover and cook for another 5 mins so that the gravy is of thicker consistency. Enjoy with roti/nan!

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Chocolate log

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This easy 4 ingredient chocolate log is loved by both kids and adults alike!  Over the years, this is the one thing my children have always asked me to make whenever they come home….whether they are 15 or 30! This quick recipe requires no prep and is very simple to make.

What you need:

1 packet Marie biscuits (the big size)

1 tin condensed milk

4-5 tbsp cocoa powder

1 cup walnuts chopped into smaller pieces 

1/2 cup grated coconut (optional)

How to make:

  1.  Take the Marie biscuits and throw into a blender.

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2.  Add the condensed milk and the cocoa powder and blend till a lump has formed.

3,  Remove the lump from the blender.  Add the walnuts and mix well.   

4,  Roll out  some foil and sprinkle it with grated coconut or powdered sugar.  Form the lump in the shape of a log and roll it along with the foil.

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5.  Freeze the log for a few hours and then cut into chocolate rounds!  Enjoy!

Kadai Paneer

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Kadai is a kind of wok which is similar to the chinese wok.  Cooking the paneer (cottage cheese) in masala in the Kadai gives the dish its name Kadai Paneer.  This dish can be made both dry or with gravy.   This spicy and tangy dish gets its flavors from the roasted kadai masala and tastes very good with naan, roti and rice.

What you need

250 gms Paneer (cottage cheese) cubed

1 medium bell pepper julienned

1 tsp ginger garlic paste

2 medium onions finely chopped

4-5 tomatoes pureed

2 tbsp cream (optional)

1 tbsp kasuri methi

1/2 tsp garam masala

salt to taste

Cilantro leaves for garnishing

2 tbsp oil

For Kadai masala

  1.  4-5 kashmiri whole chillies
  2. 5 tsp coriander seeds

How to make:

  1.  Roast the kadai masala(coriander seeds and red chillies) ingredients on a low flame till they turn aromatic.img_1568
  2. When the spices cool, coarsely grind them in a blender.

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3.  Heat the oil in a pan and add the ginger garlic paste.  Saute for a couple of minutes and then add the chopped onions.  Stir well till the onions turn translucent.

4.  Throw in the ground kadai masala and mix well.  Now add the tomato puree and cook on a low flame, stirring from time to time.  Saute well till the oil leaves the side (about 7-8 mins).

5.  Add the bell pepper now and simmer on a low flame for 2-3 minutes.

6.  Add 1-2 cups water and salt and simmer the gravy for another 5 mins.  Add the paneer cubes and the kasuri methi and cook for another 2-3 minutes.  You can add cream now if you want to.  Mix it gently into the gravy.

7.  Sprinkle garam masala and cilantro leaves on the kadai paneer and serve hot with roti, rice or naan. Enjoy!

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Rava Fried Fish

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With the children coming home for the winter break, I wanted to try out rava fried fish.  Rava which is also known as sooji or semolina, is used for coating the fish .  It is quite awesome as it gives a nice crunch to the fish and doesn’t become wimpy very soon.   The fish turned out delicious with a nice tangy and spicy flavor.  Needless to say the kids enjoyed it!

What you need:

1/2 cup Rava(semolina)   

Basa fish 3 fillets
   
1 tbsp Ginger garlic paste 
   
1 tsp Red chili powder 
   
2 lemons quartered
   
1/2 tsp turmeric powder

1 tsp chat masala

2 tbsp oil

Salt to taste

1 onion cut int0 rounds

How to make:

  1.  In a bowl, take ginger garlic paste, chili powder, salt and 1 tsp oil and mix well.  Coat  the fish fillets (cut into smaller pieces) well with the paste.

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2.  Heat the remaining oil in a non stick pan.  Roll each fish piece in rava and shallow fry all of them.

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3.  Drizzle some chat masala and lemon juice on the fish fillets and serve hot with some sliced onions and chutney.    Enjoy!

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