Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Eggplant, Heirloom Tomatoes and Olive Wraps

I am excited to post this wrap today. It has ingredients I do not normally combine. The summer has been very hot so far and no one is hungry for the same old recipes. Coming up with new combinations to the same recipes is a fun way to tackle the summer woes. I had bought a shiny fresh eggplant to make eggplant chips. I decided to present these in a wrap as opposed to having them as a side. I had heirloom tomatoes and they go well with eggplant. Next I chose olives and feta cheese. Not sure why I put these together other than a feeling that they would all go well together. The wraps made for a nice weekend lunch and were very filling.

I am not a fan of eggplant. It cooks up mushy and I have problems with mushy texture. My husband and daughter love it. When they feel like eating eggplant they buy, cook and eat it. I usually have nothing to do with the whole process. The only two recipes I make with eggplant are the eggplant chips with the large eggplant and the stuffed mini eggplants (bharli vangi).

You will need
whole wheat poli/chapati
20 eggplant chips (a large long eggplant)
2 large heirloom tomato, sliced
10-12 olives, sliced
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese

Using a large shiny fresh eggplant prepare the eggplant chips. You could skip the besan in the linked eggplant chips recipe and cook it sprinkled with salt, pepper and cayenne pepper. Keep aside. Slice the tomatoes, use heirloom tomatoes if possible. Slice the olives. You can use green or black olives.

Assemble the wraps. Heat the fully cooked poli on a hot griddle. This makes the poli less prone to tearing. Layer the eggplant over the bread. place the tomato slices and add the olives and feta cheese. Wrap it up and secure with a toothpick.


This is my entry for week three, day two of BM #90 for the theme Indian Regional. Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#90.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Pita Bread Wraps with Mixed Vegetables and Feta

Sometimes you put ingredients together just because you need to get a meal ready quickly and end up with something delicious. This wrap is one of those. It was not planned. I made the ultimate mixed vegetable salad for lunch and then we headed out to run errands. We got delayed and got home just before dinnertime. All I had was some leftover salad, some pita bread and some feta cheese. I put it all together in this wrap and it was all gone very quickly. Luckily I had the foresight to click pictures.

While there was no reason for this combo to taste anything but good, the flavors blended so well it was a total surprise. What started out as using up leftovers to make dinner turned into a keeper recipe.

I wanted to put the filling in the center of the unopened pita and wrap the pita around it but since the vegetables were diced into small pieces and not bound together very well I decided to cut the pita bread into quarters. This made it easy to eat. I guess any salad with a lot of blended flavors should work for this recipe.

You will need
3 pita breads
2 cups  Ultimate mixed vegetable salad 
1/4 cup feta cheese

Heat the pita bread on a griddle. Cut it into quarters. Stuff with the salad and sprinkle some feta cheese.


This is my entry for week three, day one of BM #90 for the theme Wraps and rolls. Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#90.

Thursday, July 12, 2018


Coleslaw is a very basic salad with few ingredients. It is near impossible to get this recipe wrong. It is also the first salad I tried in a restaurant and loved as a child. I have always loved the chilled crispy cabbage with the flavorful dressing. The little pieces of carrot peeking through an otherwise white salad. I like the slaw a little dry and not loaded with dressing. My daughter adores this salad too.

Last month I realized I did not have this recipe on my blog and decided to set things right. My daughter wanted to try it so we bought the cabbage and I waited. She got busy and the cabbage was used up for some other recipe. I shredded some more cabbage and waited for her to make the coleslaw. Finally this afternoon she brought out the mayo and other ingredients and we put this together. I am happy. I finally have coleslaw on this space. We enjoyed this salad with our dinner.

You will need
2 cups shredded cabbage (about 1/4 of a large cabbage)
1/2 carrot shredded
1/4 cup mayonnaise
juice of 1/2 a lime
salt and pepper to taste

Combine the last four ingredients and whisk until smooth. Mix in the shredded cabbage and carrot. Chill before serving.


This is my entry for week two, day two of BM #90 for the theme Summer salads. Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#90.

Sending this recipe to the Valli's Kids's delight event for Summer salads hosted by Sandhya.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Ultimate Mixed Vegetable Salad

This salad is put together like you would assemble a salad at a salad bar, a little of this and a handful of that. It reminds me of a trip I took a long time back with my Dad to Mumbai, India. It was a work trip to Gujarat via Mumbai and I had tagged along. In Mumbai we visited a new pizza place and they had a salad bar. I was in school then and had never seen a self serve salad bar before. I took my time choosing the ingredients and I loved it. When my daughter was little I frequently took her to the local salad place. Luckily she is not a picky eater and enjoyed the salad. I remember when she was five an elderly lady from the next table commented on how she and her husband were pleasantly surprised to see a little girl enjoying her vegetables. As a family we enjoy salads and love salads as lunch especially in the hot summer months.

I have been working on salads as meal substitutes for a while. I started with 4-5 ingredients and worked my way up. With my earlier efforts my daughter usually got hungry in a couple of hours. Which meant the salad was more a side than a meal substitute. Given the number of people in the house it is hard to keep a wide variety of ingredients. Finally I believe I have the ultimate mixed vegetable salad. With this salad I have reached my goal of a satisfying meal. It is great as packed lunch as it keeps you feeling full for a long time. If you have a child who loves vegetables and fruits you have to try this.

This is a complete meal in every sense. It is very nutritious and has a good mix of all the major food groups. The beans, broccoli and greens provide the protein. There is no oil but there are healthy fats in the avocado and the sunflower/sesame seeds. Vitamins and minerals in the colorful vegetables. And a healthy carb content. You could add cooked grain groats to increase the carbs if you like. This is our everyday lunch salad.

You will need (2 servings)
1 cup cooked Garbanzo beans or any beans of your choice
a handful each of 2-3 different greens, I used baby spinach, baby kale and baby arugula
a variety of vegetables, diced
at least 1 fruit, I used a pear, apple works well too
2 mushrooms, diced (optional)
1/2 avocado, diced (optional)

juice of 1/2 a lime
salt and pepper to taste
red chili pepper powder to taste (I skip it)

1 tbsp. sunflower seeds, raw and unsalted
1 tsp. while sesame seeds
1 tsp. black sesame seeds

If you are using dry beans, soak them overnight and pressure cook them until tender. Alternately, use canned beans. These are the ingredients I used today. Please note: the quantity of the vegetables shown here is not the quantity used in the recipe. I used only a handful of each of the vegetables.

I dice all the vegetables over the weekend and store it in the refrigerator. I pick and choose quantities of each as needed. The greens, onion, mushroom and fruit I dice as needed as they do not store well when diced.

Cooking vegetables: Diced mushrooms (if using), onions (can be left raw but I prefer them cooked), zucchini, greens beans (I did not use them today), and colored bell peppers. In a pan heat a little water and cook a handful of each of the vegetables. Cooking in water retains color and flavor without an oily coating.

Turn off heat and let them cool. You want the vegetables to be cooked but not mushy. They should retain their shape.

In a large bowl add the beans, avocado, raw vegetables like carrots, broccoli, fruit like pear or apple, the cooked vegetables and the greens.

Add the toppings like sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, slivered almonds or any seeds or nuts of your choice. Squeeze the juice of half a lime. Add salt and black pepper to taste.

Mix it all up and let it rest for at least 15-20 minutes. The salad is ready.


This is my entry for week two, day two of BM #90 for the theme Summer salads. Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#90.

Sending this recipe to the Valli's Kids's delight event for Summer salads hosted by Sandhya.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Watermelon, Olives and Feta Cheese Salad

This salad was an experiment. Everyone in my family loves watermelon eaten on its own. I rarely make anything with watermelon. On this space I have a cooler and a jello made with watermelon. Both were great but not made frequently. Then I saw the pictures of this salad. They are everywhere and I I had to try it.

I got a watermelon and cut it up into cubes. Luckily, I reserved a quarter of the melon to be cut later. By the time I got ready to make the salad the bowl of the cut up watermelon was almost empty. I had forgotten to tell the family that I needed it for a recipe. I chopped up the reserved quarter and forbade anyone from even looking at the sweet juicy fruit.

This salad has a very surprising blend of flavors with the salty feta, the olives and the sweet watermelon. I added mint as a garnish. If I make this salad again I would use a watermelon that is not as sweet and juicy as the one I had. In fact this salad would be perfect to use a watermelon that is not very sweet to eat on its own. There are no proportions to the recipe. Add the ingredients in the proportion that best suites your taste.

You will need
1 large bowl watermelon, cut up in cubes
6-7 olives, pitted and cut into slices
1-2 tbsp. crumbled feta cheese
2 mint leaves, as garnish

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl. Let it rest for a few minutes to allow the flavors to blend together. The salad is ready.


This is my entry for week two, day one of BM #90 for the theme Indian Regional. Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#90.

Sending this recipe to the Valli's Kids's delight event for Summer salads hosted by Sandhya.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Kobi Wadi (Pressure cooked Cabbage cutlets)

Kobichi wadi is a Maharastrian preparation of cabbage. It is a very healthy dish with besan used as the binding agent. As is the norm with Maharastrian cooking this dish has a perfect combination of sweet, sour, spicy and savory. It is a nice alternative to cabbage bhaji. A few years back I made this recipe for the family. My daughter loved the flavors and announced this was her favorite cabbage preparation. I make it frequently and everyone loves it.

Two weeks back my daughter wanted to try coleslaw. So we added cabbage to our grocery list. The only cabbages available were large but we got one. When I did my weekly vegetable prep I shredded half  the cabbage and stored it in the refrigerator. She was supposed to make the coleslaw. Last week my daughter had a 12 hour shift on her very first summer job. She was exhausted and took it easy the rest of the week. This past Saturday morning I found the shredded cabbage was still waiting. I decided to use it up and make our favorite Kobi wadi.

You will need

For the cutlet
1 small cabbage, shredded
2 tsp. tamarind paste
2 tsp. sugar
2 tsp. ginger garlic paste
2 tsp. chili powder
2 tsp. cumin seeds
1 tsp. turmeric powder
2 cups besan
salt to taste
water as needed

For the tempering
1 tsp. mustard seeds
1/2 tsp. asafoetida
1 tsp. turmeric powder
1 tbsp. olive oil

Prep two pans that can be placed in the pressure cooker. Oil the bottom and sides of the pan. Keep aside.

Add all the ingredients for the cutlets in a bowl.

Mix it all together with about 1/4 cup of water. Add more water only if needed. It will be sticky.

Divide into two portions. Place one half in the first prepared pan and spread it evenly to cover the bottom of the pan. Repeat with the second half of the cabbage mixture in the second pan.

Pressure cook. 3 whistles if you have a pressure cooker that whistles. Mine does not so I leave it for 10 minutes on medium-high heat after placing the pressure on the cooker. Turn off heat and let the cooker depressurize. Remove the pans with the cooked cabbage and let them cool. Then cut the cutlets into cubes.

Heat oil in a flat bottom pan and add the mustard seeds. When the seeds start to crackle add asafoetida and turmeric powder. Now add the cooked cabbage cubes.

Cook till the cubes brown at the edges. Serve hot as part of a traditional meal or as a snack.


This is my entry for week one, day three of BM #90 for the theme Indian Regional. Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#90.

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Cucumber Raita

Cucumber Raita has to be the easiest recipe. It is perfect during the summer heat. If you have spent any time on this space you will know I have a huge collection of cucumber yogurt salads from all parts of the world.

This raita is a little different from a cucumber koshimbir. The raita has more yogurt than solids and is better served as a side for rice based dishes. A koshimbir works well as a side to poli or Indian flatbread. In Maharashtra koshimbir can be made with or without yogurt. I tried to find the link to the yogurt based cucumber koshimbir and realized I do not have one on this space. Have to fix that soon. This is the Khamang kakdi another traditional salad made with cucumber.

My daughter loves to have a lot of raita on the rice. Adjust quantity per serving based on how much raita you like with your rice.

You will need (4-6 servings)
2 cups yogurt, do not use Greek yogurt
1 cucumber, diced fine
4-5 sprigs cilantro, minced
1/4 tsp. roasted cumin powder
1/4 tsp. paprika or red chili pepper powder
salt to taste

In a bowl whisk the yogurt till smooth. Add all the remaining ingredients and mix together. Adjust salt and heat based on taste preferences.


This is my entry for week one, day two of BM #90 for the theme Indian Regional. Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#90.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Basic Kadhi

Kadhi is a simple common everyday recipe in India. It is one of those recipes where every family has their own version. This recipe is a Maharashtrian version, the way my mother made it. It is warm and comforting on a cold winter day. It is also an easy way to use up yogurt. I had a lot of fresh and sour yogurt that I needed to finish. So I made it on a hot summer day. I usually make this Kadhi with khichadi and papad. Today I made it with poli and a vegetable side. You cannot go wrong. It works with most Indian recipes.

Weekend summer lunches can be challenging. I like to go out and hang out with my daughter but that takes time away from cooking elaborate meals. The only way out is to cook first thing in the morning. In any case the cats don't let me sleep in, they need attention at the same time everyday. The best part of cooking early morning is everything is done before it gets too hot. We get to go out and come back to freshly cooked lunch.

You will need (4-5 servings)
2 cups yogurt
2 tbsp. besan
1/4 tsp. red chili pepper powder, adjust to taste
1 tsp. sugar
salt to taste

For the tempering
1 tbsp. oil, I used olive oil
1 tsp. cumin seeds
a pinch turmeric powder
1 serrano pepper, chopped into 1 inch pieces
4-5 curry leaves

Whisk together besan and yogurt in a mixing bowl. Add red chili pepper powder, sugar and salt to the yogurt mixture. Transfer to a pan with 2 cups of water and bring to a boil. The liquid should be pouring consistency.

In a smaller pan heat the oil then turn off the heat. Add the cumin seeds and when they change color add the turmeric powder, curry leaves and chopped serrano pepper. Add the oil to the yogurt, stir and turn off heat.

Serve hot as it tastes best when hot. Store leftovers in the refrigerator and warm on the stove top before serving.


This is my entry for week one, day one of BM #90 for the theme Indian Regional. Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#90.