Cheesy Spinach and Corn Discs

Cheesy Bread Disc

Once upon a time Prince Bread fell in love with a beautiful girl. She was fair with soft skin and everyone’s heart would melt looking at her. The prince with his heart pounding, asked her name and she blushed, quietly saying “cheese”. He kissed her and they lived happily ever after.

Yeah I know it’s a cheesy story. But what to do, the evergreen romance of bread and cheese needs its place in history.

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Ingredients

 

20 whole wheat Bread slices
Olive oil
For stuffing
1 cup of sweet corn
1 bundle of chopped spinach
1/2 pkt of cream
3 tbsp of (American bagel) chilli Oregano cream cheese
(you can also use amul cheese spread)
2 cheese slices cut into little squares
1tsp chilli flakes
1/2 tsp basil,
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
For butter spread
2 tbsp chilli garlic butter
2 tbsp cream cheese

Method

1) Mix together the ingredients for the butter spread.

2) Take two round cutters, one bigger in size and the other two sizes smaller than the first one. Using the bigger size cutter, cut all the bread slices into discs. Take half the cut discs and using the smaller cutter, cut rings.
3) On the bread discs, apply a generous layer of the butter spread. Put a bread ring over the disc and press to seal all the edges.
4) boil the corn with some salt. When nearly done, put in the chopped spinach and shut the gas. Let it sit in the hot water for 5-10 mins. Strain.
5) Mix the corn/spinach with all the other ingredients under filling. Mix well.
6) Take 1 tablespoon of the filling and fill it neatly in the centre of the ring. Repeat the process for all the discs and rings.
7) Preheat oven at 180 C. Apply oil lightly using a brush on the edges of the ring. This will prevent the bread from drying. Bake in the oven for 8-10mins or till the bread gets a light golden colour. Serve hot.

 

Idea inspired by Pari Vashisht
Pictures by the fabulously talented Nidhi S Raj

Mangalorean Pineapple Menaskai

 

Menaskai – A perfect balance of sweet, sour and spicy.

Pineapple Menaskai

Any traditional occasion and this dish makes a star entry. Eagerly awaited as it comes towards the end of a sit down banana leaf meal just before the desserts. I know many a family member who can travel distances for this curry.

The best meals are at a Muth and the array of dishes being served seems never ending. For some reason 3 gravies are served with the rice. First the rasam, after a while Sambhar and in the end the Menaskai. If caught unawares, with the supersonic speed they serve, u will be forced to eat the rice with the first gravy. We are pros now and make 3 mounds of the rice to savour each curry or quickly cover the leaf with our hand to stop them from pouring anything else except the Menaskai.

 

Pineapple Menaskai

This curry can also be made with Mango or Karela and is the perfect balance of sweet, sour and spice.

 

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Ingredients

1 cubed pineapple – no core

1 lemon size tamarind ball soaked in water

1/4 cup jaggery

7-8 dried bedki chillies

2 tsp urad dal

Half freshly grated coconut

1/2 tsp mustard

3 tsp black til

To temper
Oil, 5-6 karipatta, 1/2 tsp urad dal and 2-3 chillies

1) Cut pineapple into cubes, boil along with tamarind water and jaggery. Only half cook
2) Roast red chillies, urad dal, mustard and dry grind it in the mixer
3)  Roast black til lightly. Add to the Chilli mix and grind it
4) Add some water and grind this masala with half coconut to a fine paste.
5) Add the masala to the pineapple. Adjust consistency by adding water
6) boil on low flame till the the raw coconut smell is gone. About 5-10 mins and the pineapple is soft
7) give tadka with ingredients mention under tempering. Serve with rice

It has to be a good balance of sour, sweet and spicy. Add salt at the end after tasting.

Sholeh Zard – A persian delicacy

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A chance meeting with a girl called Nidhi S Raj on a Facebook forum forged a bond for life.Met her recently where we exchanged a secret ingredient amongst friends and guess what – I got her beautifully wrapped package of dried rose petals. We had a week to make something with this ingredient and I knew it had to special.

Spent a few days researching and finally zeroed in on 2 dishes. Decided to go ahead with this fantastic Persian dessert ‘SHOLEH ZARD’ or saffron flavoured sticky rice pudding. Read a few recipes on this dish then went on you tube to get a better idea. Sat through a Persian video of a mom and daughter making it (didn’t have subtitles). Gave up. Then found an English one and literally dozed off watching the boring video.

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The entire cook took 2 hrs but the final result was awesome. The sweetness of the dessert balances well with the nuttiness of the almond. This dessert will leave your guests pleasantly surprised. This dessert is special to me as it has been featured in various social media sites like FoodTalkIndia, Rediff.com and also got published in the ‘Being Woman Magazine

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Ingredients:

1 1/2 cup basmati rice, uncooked
8 cups water
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups granulated sugar
1/4 tsp crushed saffron
2 TBS hot water
1/4 cup melted butter
3 TBS almond slivers
1 heaped TBS dried rose petals Powder
1 tsp ground cardamom
1/4 cup rose water
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 TBS crushed dried rose petals and pistachios
Saffron threads

Instructions:

1) Soak 1 1/2 cup basmati rice for 30 mins.
2) Gently wash the rice by stirring the rice in the water with your hand. This helps wash some of the starch out. Pour out the water and repeat 5-6 more times till the water runs clear.
3) Drain washed rice and place in a non-stick vessel with 8 cups water and salt
4) Bring it to a boil, skimming the white foam from the surface as it forms.
5) Cover and simmer over medium heat for 30 minutes or until rice is completely soft.
6) Stir in sugar, Cook for 20 more minutes, stirring constantly.
7) While rice is cooking, combine in a small bowl 1/4 tsp crushed saffron and 2 TBS hot water.
8) After rice has cooked for 20 mins, add saffron, melted butter, almond slivers, 1 tsp ground cardamom, 1/4 cup rose water.
9) Cover and simmer on low heat for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally until mixture has thickened to a pudding.
10) 15 mins before shutting the gas, add rose petal powder and mix well.
11) Pour saffron pudding into a shallow serving dish or spoon into individual serving bowls.
12) Garnish with saffron thread, cinnamon powder, Crushed pistachios and dried rose petals
13) Chill in refrigerator until set, about 2 hours.
Serve cold.

Recipe inspired by Laura Bashar

Pic courtesy Nidhi S Raj

Here I Come

A relatively new entrant in the world of cooking and a debutant in the blogging world. A passion that has been ignited and will keep burning bright. My attempts at cooking involves a lot of traditional and international cuisine. Love to introduce a twist in my cooking as often as possible. Hope you enjoy the recipes.