Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Fruit Salad

We both love fruits and I make sure to have at least one serving of fruits every day. But sometimes only fruits are not sufficient and you have to find a way to have them different exotic way. Then the other day when I was craving for some nice dessert, I thought to experiment with fruits.

There are several versions of Fruit Salad. It can be as simple as just mixing variety of fruits or sophisticated rich creamy version. The most popular among we Indians/Gujaratis is to boil milk with sugar and little custard, chill it and add finely cut fruits when ready to serve. It has got liquid texture and served along with main course. The one I experimented is more like American version served after main course.

I'm happy that dessert can also be nutritious :)

Serves 4
Preparation Time: 15 Minute
Cooking Time: 5 minute + refrigeration time

1 cup whipped cream
1/4 cup vanilla pudding
2 cup cut fruits (I used apple, banana, strawberry and red grapes)
8-10 pc almonds
1/4 cup walnuts

1. Mix whipped cream, pudding and cut fruits
2. Toast almonds and walnuts at 300 F for 4-5 minute, roughly chop them and add to fruits mixture
3. serve chilled

This can be prepared in advance and it stays good in refrigerator for couple of days.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Methi Sakkarpara

Here I am with another Gujarati Snacks. Sakkarparas are diagonal shaped crunchy bites which are either sweet or spicy. I already have Methi Pooris and this recipe is somewhat similar except little changes in types and/or quantity of flours.

Preparation Time: 30 Minute
Cooking Time: 30 Minute

1 cup whole wheat flour
1/3 cup kasoori methi (Dried fenugreek leaves)
2 tsp rice flour
2 tsp gram flour
2 tsp millet flour
2 tsp oil
1 tsp sesame seeds
1/2 tsp red chili powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp sugar
2 tsp yogurt
Oil for frying

1. Mix all flours and sieve with oil
2. Add kasoori methi, spices, yogurt and knead a hard dough
3. Divide dough into balls and roll them into thin sheets
4. Let these sheets dry uncovered at room temperature for 1 to 1.5 hour
5, Cut them into small diagonal shape and deep fry on both sides until crispy and golden brown
6. Store in a tight container. They stay good for at least 3 weeks

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Three Cheese Manicotti

Nothing beats steaming dish of manicotti dripping with sauce and stuffed with cheese. Manicotti is a tube shaped pasta that can be stuffed with your choice of cheese and/or veggies and topped with marinara sauce.This has become our favorite dish at Olive Garden and sometimes we literally fight who would order this one. Though mostly we end up sharing :) 

There is no fixed book recipe to make this kind of pasta. In the simplest version, manicotti can be stuffed with ricotta cheese, salt and parsley. And then you can be as creative as possible by mixing different kinds of cheeses and veggies. I prefer veggies in stuffing to reduce amount of cheese - spinach, mushrooms and/or peppers can be used.

Makes 8 Manicotti
Preparation Time: 20 Minute + time to prepare sauce
Cooking Time: 45 Minute

1 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup mozzarella
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1 cup veggies of your choice (I used 3 kinds of peppers)
2 tbsp freshly chopped basil leaves
1/2 tsp olive oil
8 Manicotti
Salt and pepper

1. Boil manicotti and keep them aside
2. finely chop veggies
3. Heat oil in skillet, add basil and chopped veggies. Cook them uncovered till crisp tender
4. In a mixing bowl, mix ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese, cooked veggies, salt and pepper
5. Stuff manicotti with  cheese mixture
6. In a baking tray, spread 1/3 of sauce, place manicotti and top with remaining sauce and parmesan cheese
7. Bake at 350 F for 25-30 minute or until cheese has melted and started bubbling
8. Serve hot, leftover can be frozen. 

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


The other day when I was making Burritos/Mexican Pizza, I realized that I did not have Guacamole. But I did have avocado. We both love guacamole very much, not only with Mexican food but also with chips and crackers. It's a traditional Mexican Dip where ripe avocado is mashed using mortal and pestle along with onion, tomato and garlic. I neither had patience nor time to follow an authentic recipe, so I used food processor instead.  And I am really happy since now I do not have to be dependent on store bought guacamole.

Yields 2 cup
Preparation Time: 15 Minute
Cooking Time: NIL

2 ripe avocados
1/2 onion
1 tomato
Juice of 1-2 lime, as per taste
1/2 tsp cumin powder
2 cloves of garlic
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper **
2 tbsp coriander leaves

** Can be substituted with red chili powder

1. Scoop and dice avocados. Add salt, cayenne pepper, cumin powder and lime juice and keep it aside (retain the juice and use it later to grind)
2. Dice tomato and onion
3. Mix all ingredients and grind into a smooth paste

This homemade guacamole can be refrigerated for a week or so.