Chili Garlic Toast


Chili Garlic Toast is a popular tea-time snack. Either have it for breakfast or have it during snack time. This toast is very simple and easy to make. Ever since I made this toast at home, my hubby stopped ordering garlic bread from the popular pizza joint. It tastes so good, that we can eat it just like that. You can also try the Onion parmesan toast recipe on my blog.


Garlic has lots of health benefits. Consumption of garlic lowers blood pressure and improves cholesterol levels, thus protecting the heart. It is loaded with anti-oxidants and thus it is used in treating common cold. Since it tastes delicious, you can add it to the food you cook in various ways, just like how we added it to the toast.

To make the chili garlic toast, you need some slices of bread, butter, finely chopped or minced garlic and finely chopped green chilies. Mix the chopped garlic and chopped chilies in herbed butter, apply on the bread and grill using a Panini grill press or in an OTG. You can top this with grated cheese and serve. But I preferred having it without cheese.


You can pack it in the lunch box too. If you are making this for kids, you can reduce or avoid the addition of green chilies. Serve this with tea and ketchup or jam or with your favorite soup. You can also serve this toast with salads.


Parties become more exiting when this toast is served with soup. You can make this sesame potato toast or French toast and serve it as starters too.

Ingredients:                                              Prep. Time: 15 Minutes, Serves: 2
6 tablespoon herbed butter
10 garlic pods, minced
1 green chili, finely chopped
4 multi-grain bread slices

Procedure:
1) Melt butter in the microwave for 30 seconds. If it is already melted, then skip this step.
2) Add minced garlic and finely chopped green chili to the melted butter.
3) Apply on one side of bread and grill it on a Panini grill press for 5 minutes or until it is crispy.
4) Garnish with Italian seasoning and serve hot with ketchup.

Note: I have used butter to which garlic and herbs was already added.
If you are using plain butter, you can add ½ tablespoon of Italian seasoning to the same and then add minced garlic and chopped chili.
You can garnish with grated cheese too before grilling the bread.
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Corn Salsa

Corn Salsa is a healthy and nutritious dish which is made with corn kernels. Add different vegetables like chopped onion, chopped tomatoes, chopped bell peppers and chopped carrots (optional) to this. Then garnish with lemon juice, salt and red chili powder. I love this corn salsa a bit spicy, so I added chopped green chili and red powder to this Mexican salsa.


Corn kernels themselves offer a wealth of nutritional benefits. It contains dietary fiber which helps to decrease the cholesterol in the body. It also contains Vitamin B6 which decreases the risk of heart disease and vitamin A which promotes eye health. Along with corn kernels, other vegetables like bell peppers, carrots, tomatoes and onions are added which all promote good health as they are all rich in vitamins and minerals.

This salsa makes a healthy option for breakfast as you can have it with your pancakes by topping it instead of butter. You can also serve this as a side for lunch or dinner. It is great as a healthy snack. Kids love it too. You can reduce the spiciness mentioned in this recipe but omitting the green chili and red chili powder while serving it to your kids.


You can serve this salsa topped on bread during parties too. It is always a winner everywhere. When I took this salsa in my lunch box to office, my lunch mates went gaga over it and loved it. My hubby simply ate it for breakfast and kid loved to have it stuffed inside 2 slices of bread as a sandwich.



Try this recipe and be healthy.
 Ingredients:                                          Serves: 4, Prep. Time: 20 Minutes

 1 cup yellow corn kernels
 1 medium sized onion, finely chopped
 1 tomato, finely chopped
 1/2 green capsicum/bell pepper, finely chopped
 1/2 yellow bell pepper, finely chopped
 1/2 red bell pepper, finely chopped
 2 tablespoon finely chopped Delhi carrots
 1/2 lemon
 1 small green chili
 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder
 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
 1/4 bunch coriander leaves, finely chopped
 1/4 teaspoon salt

 Procedure:
 1) Boil the corn kernels by adding 3 cups water for 15 Minutes.
 Drain the water.
 2) In a mixing bowl, mix all the vegetables.
 3) Garnish with chopped coriander leaves, lemon juice, olive oil, red chili powder and salt.
 4) Serve this Corn salsa as sides for lunch. You can also have them as a healthy snack.

 Note:
 Simply use this corn salsa as a stuffing for sandwich too.


 For more recipes with corn, click here.
 For more salads recipes, click here.
 Check this recipe for delicious mango salsa.
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Broccoli And Aloo Lifafa Paratha

Broccoli Aloo Lifafa Paratha – the name itself makes you think what the recipe is? You might be wondering what a lifafa paratha is right. Well today’s recipe not as complicated as it sounds. Lifafa means an envelope in Hindi. This envelop contains the stuffing which in our recipe is made with broccoli and potato or aloo. We will read more about how the stuffing is made later. After stuffing the lifafas we shallow fry them on a tava with ghee or clarified butter.

broccoli aloo lifafa paratha

This recipe is one of the healthiest as it contains the health benefits of broccoli, potato and whole wheat flour. I have used Vivatta – chakki atta in this recipe which is one of the healthiest whole wheat flour. Apart from this, broccoli helps us to lower the cholesterol. Broccoli helps to detoxify our body and helps to improve the much needed vitamin D. Similarly potatoes apart from containing carbohydrates, contain phytonutrients which promotes health. They also contain vitamin C which prevents cell damage. They promote brain health as they are rich in Vitamin B6. Eating potatoes in a controlled way can help us maintain health in a number of ways.

broccoli aloo lifafa paratha

So having this paratha for breakfast gives us enough energy and nutrition to kick start our day. You can also serve this for evening snacks or dinner with pudina chutney or raita as it makes a wholesome meal. Since it looks very attractive, kids love it. You can pack it in the lunch/snack box.

Delight your guests by serving these broccoli aloo lifafa parathas as they are sure to win their hearts.

broccoli aloo lifafa paratha

My daughter loved this recipe and she herself told me to pack it in her tiffin so that she can show it to her friends that she can eat a envelop paratha :) After eating these lifafa parathas, hubby got home even more broccoli and kept in the fridge hinting to make more of these.
Ingredients:                               Serves: 6, Prep. Time: 60 Minutes

For the dough:
1 cup Vivatta Whole Wheat flour
2 teaspoon Oil
Water - as required
broccoli aloo lifafa paratha¼ teaspoon salt

For the stuffing:
2 cups broccoli florets with the stem
2 medium sized potatoes, boiled
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon chopped coriander leaves
1 tablespoon garam masala
½ tablespoon black pepper powder
Juice from 1 lemon                                              
Salt to taste                                                 Ghee for shallow frying as required                                                                          
Slurry for sealing the sides:
1 tablespoon cornflour
1 tablespoon water


Procedure:

1) First make the dough ready by mixing the whole wheat flour with water, oil and salt. Remember that while adding water, add little at a time and keep on mixing with your fingers till dough of semi-soft consistency is reached. Cover and keep the dough aside for 30 minutes. When the dough is resting, make the stuffing ready.

2) Make the slurry ready by mixing the cornflour and water in a small bowl or katori.

3) Grate or mash the boiled potatoes. Keep aside.

4) Add broccoli to boiling water and boil it until soft. On cooling, discard the water and using a masher mash it.

5) In a mixing bowl, add the grated boiled potato, mashed broccoli, cumin seeds, garam masala, black pepper powder, chopped coriander leaves and salt. Mix everything nicely using hands. Add lemon juice and again mix well. Keep it aside.

6) Now let us start making the lifafas.

7) Make 6 small balls of equal size from the dough. The size of the ball is normally bigger than a table tennis ball and smaller than a tennis ball.

8) Spread some dry flour on the rolling board and flatten the ball into a round shape using a rolling pin, just like how we flatten dough for making a roti.

9) Heat a tava/ griddle and semi-cook the flattened roti on both sides.

10) After fine bubbles start appearing on the roti, remove it from the tava and spread one fistful of stuffing right at the center and spread it around leaving ¾ inches from the sides.

11) Now apply the slurry made from cornflour at the edges where the stuffing is not present.

12) Now start folding the roti in which the stuffing is added to make a lifafa or envelop.

13) Fold the two opposite sides first. Start with one side and bring it to the center. Then bring the opposite side and slightly overlap the first folded side. Then fold the remaining two opposite sides. The stuffing should be completely sealed. After folding, it looks just like an envelope.

14) Now heat the tava, spread 1 tablespoon ghee and cook the stuffed lifafa on both sides till they appear golden brown.

Note: Serve the hot lifafa parathas with ketchup or chutney. You can also serve them with raita.            

For more breakfast recipes, check here.
For more paratha recipes, click here.

For recipes with broccoli, click here and for recipes with potato click here.

broccoli aloo lifafa paratha
To know more about Vivatta, check this page: http://bigbasket.com/pb/vivatta/
Check Vivatta's Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/vivattaworld
Follow Vivatta on Twitter: https://twitter.com/ChakkiAtta

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Goan Cashew Curry | Kaju Tonak | Cashew Masala


Another delicious dish from the western coast of India or the Konkan region is the Goan Cashew nut curry or Kaju Curry. This dish turns out really tasty or I should say heavenly. The dish is normally made using the best quality Goan cashew nuts and served as a vegetarian delicacy in Goan weddings and parties.

goan cashew curry

The Goan Kaju curry is made by following the traditional style of Goan cooking which consists of roasting grated coconut along with onion, garlic and spices. Later this is grinded by adding tamarind and turmeric powder. Tamarind is used as a souring agent in most of the Goan dishes. Traditionally the grinding of roasted grated coconut mixture was done using a big mortar and pestle or on a grinding stone and those curries tasted heavenly. But nowadays people grind using the mixer or grinder.

The ground gravy is then added to stir fried onion, tomatoes and capsicum. Some people even add boiled potatoes here, but I did not use it. After this the soaked cashew nuts are added to the gravy and simmered. The taste of cashew nuts makes the curry rich. Since I have added tomatoes to the curry I have used only ½ marble sized tamarind ball.

goan cashew curry

Cashew nuts are good for health as it is packed with energy, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. They are rich in calories and protect the heart by lowering the bad cholesterol in the body. However it is recommended to eat cashew nuts in limited quantity. Anything in excess is not good right?

In Goa we get “bibe” in summer which we love to eat as it is. This Kaju curry tastes great with those “bibe” or raw cashew nuts. We also get cashew nuts directly from the cashew fruit. These are roasted on charcoal. Then the outer shell is crushed using a stone or “khalbatyacho dando” meaning pestle. The cashew nut which lies inside tastes awesome. I went into a flashback of the past where the smell of roasting raw cashew nuts with shell intact would fill the atmosphere… Gone are those days…

goan cashew curry

Serve this curry for parties along with bread or rotis. You can also have this curry with jeera rice or veg pulao. This curry is considered as a replacement for vegetarians who normally don’t eat Chicken dishes during the parties. Also do try the Mushroom xacuti (coming soon) which we make in a similar way.
Ingredients:                                    Prep. Time: 60 Min's, Serves: 4
1 cup grated coconut
1 cup cashew nuts halved
1 medium sized tomato, finely chopped
2 medium sized onion, finely chopped
1 capsicum, diced
5 garlic pods, chopped
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon jeera seeds
3 dry red chilies/ byadgi red chilies
5 peppercorns
2 cloves
1/2 marble sized ball of tamarind
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
4 tablespoon oil
1 tablespoon chopped coriander leaves for garnish
Salt to taste

Procedure:

Step 1: Soak the cashew nuts into hot water for atleast 30 minutes. Drain and keep aside.

For the gravy:

Step 2: Heat a kadai and add 2 tablespoon oil. When the oil heats, add ¾ of the finely chopped onion and fry till the onion turns pinkish.

Step 3: Now add chopped garlic and stir till the raw smell of garlic goes away.
Step 4: Add the spices like coriander seeds, cumin seeds, peppercorns, cloves and dry red chilies and fry till they turn brownish on low heat. Do not burn.

Step 5: Add grated coconut and roast till it turns brownish and switch of the gas. Add turmeric powder and tamarind ball, stir and let it cool down.

Step 6: After cooling, grind the above mentioned grated coconut mixture by adding 1 and ½ cups water to make a thin paste. Add more water if needed, but don’t make the gravy very watery. Keep it aside after grinding.

Step 7: Now heat the same kadai which will be empty and add 2 tablespoon oil.

Step 8: To this add onion and fry till it turns pinkish. Add chopped tomato and fry till tomato turns mushy.

Step 9: Now add diced capsicum and stir fry for 10 Minutes or till capsicum softens.

Step 10: Now add the gravy from the mixer and stir well.

Step 11:Add cashewnuts to the gravy in the kadai.

Step 12: Stir and simmer for 10 Minutes. Adjust salt to taste.
Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.


Note: Serve hot with rotis or bread.
You can serve it with Jeera rice or veg peas pulao too.

You can try other main course recipes, click here.
Click here for more tonak recipes.

goan cashew curry
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itsPotluck App - Order Dishes, Share Recipes, Share Pic'ed (Food Photo) With A Click

Nowadays lots of apps are available on the play store. There are plenty of apps where you can order food online. But have you seen an app which has online ordering, food photos and recipe sharing together?


itsPotluck is an unique app available on Android and iOS platform related to food. Using this app not only food bloggers but also non-tech savvy users like homemakers can share their recipes, create their blog and also share pictures. Today I shall share with you more about this awesome app.

The name itsPotluck symbolizes the nature of sharing and enjoying food with one another. itsPotluck started with a website where Indian food bloggers were sharing recipes. I was one of the first food blogger to share recipes on this website. Now they have grown and they have a publishing platform for home cooks to launch their food blog and create a collection of recipes. So home cooks can easily document recipes, click pictures and share with friends.

They are further expanding by allowing home cooks to create a store front and turn their passion into business. With the app, home cooks within an area can be discovered and you can order online and even get food delivered. The app also gives a notification regarding new dishes in the area.


You can download this app on your smartphone from the playstore. Once you download the app you will see 3 features – Order Dish, Recipes and Pic’ed. At the left you will see 3 lines, which when clicked shows a menu which also has login/register, help and share the app to social media.


Recipes:
Clicking on the recipes tab lists all the recipes submitted by food bloggers. There is an option to search for recipes and also add new recipes by logging in. After logging in it displays an editor where you can enter recipe title, recipe details, food category- whether veg/non-veg, food type – Indian/Thai/Italian, etc., dish category – whether appetizers, main course, drinks, etc. and recipe tags. 


You can even click a picture with your smartphone and attach with the recipe and submit. I wish the login from Facebook was available on the app. I had difficulty when I forgot password. I had to login to website and retrieve the password.


Pic’ed:
Using this feature you can take a picture of the food and share with your friends. Simply add the picture either from gallery or click with camera and add, add a title and picture detail. After adding a picture you will get a message that the picture is submitted and you will also get a mail in your inbox.


Order dishes:
When you click on this, it first shows you India and Ahmedabad to search for dishes. You can use your current location as per GPS settings.


After which it selects your location, EG Bengaluru. Click on search dishes. Currently this feature works only in Ahmedabad but will start working in other places soon. 


Click on filter on right n select recipe type green or red and dish timings and submit. The results are displayed as per search.


You can opt to become a home cook, by clicking on menu on left. Just enter details n submit. They will get back to you.


You can even SHARE your recipes and pic'ed, or even dish deals directly from the app or website, on to networking sites or via message/email.

My account takes you to settings like it lets you edit profile, change photo, change password , sell food online, check your orders, check for notifications, check submitted pictures in my pic’ed, check videos in my videos n recipes in my recipes.


Also they have the itsPotluck website where you can submit blog, order online, recipe and pic’ed. This platform is aimed at addressing the love for Indian food. All the features which are on the app are available on their website.



Download the app on android smartphone: 

Download the app on apple smartphone: 
https://itunes.apple.com/tz/app/itspotluck-order-home-cooked/id960681474?mt=8



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HongKong Restaurant, Bangalore - A Restaurant Review

Sometime back in Sept 2015, I received an invite for the opening of MasterChef Sanjeev Kapoor’s  signature restaurants HongKong and Yellow Chilli in Bangalore. It was a great opportunity for me to meet the MasterChef, but due to my office I could not attend that event. I still regret. But they wanted me to visit their restaurant and taste the food there. 


The hotel is located on Church Street, Bangalore. We decided to go there by Namma Metro as our daughter had never traveled by metro before. We boarded the metro at Byappanahalli metro station and within 10 Minutes we reached M G Road. We took the second exit which opened towards Church Street and just opposite to the Metro station was the Restaurant. The decision to travel by metro helped as we escaped the Bangalore traffic.


When we reached the restaurant, we were greeted by the staff and allotted a table. 

Ambiance:

The ambiance at the restaurant had the Chinese theme. The décor and the walls were colored in red and black. The restaurant was dimply lit and hence it gave a very cozy feeling. The instrumental music playing in the background was a bit loud.


Service: 

I really liked how the staff here greeted us. The head chef explained the menu well. The staff is prompt, friendly and constantly keeps tab on when to serve the food. Even if little food got spilled on table, they cleaned it immediately and ensured that the table is extremely neat. 


Food:

We ordered some mocktails to settle down. My daughter loves lychee and hence she ordered Blue sparkle which is a mocktail made with lychee juice and non-alcoholic blue curacao.

Blue Sparkle
Hubby ordered Fresh Virgin Mary which had plump Italian tomatoes blended in a special house mix.

Fresh Virgin Mary
I ordered Dare Devils which was refreshing mocktail with crushes fresh pomegranate mixed with pomegranate juice, lemon juice and sparkling water. All the 3 mocktails were refreshing and good.

Dare Devils
Next we ordered soup. We ordered the traditional Thai Tom Yum soup. It was a tangy soup made with lemon grass and lemon juice and had shrimps added to it. It was one of the tastiest soup I ever had.

Tom Yum Soup
My daughter ordered chicken sweet corn soup.

Sweet Corn Soup
After the main course we ordered some assorted dimsums. Dimsums stuffed with broccoli, basa fish, prawns, cheese and spinach were sserved .They were soft, melt in mouth and were one of the best dimsums I ever had. What I liked the most is that this restaurant does not use MSG or mono-sodium glutamate or ajino moto. Also they do not use artificial colors in dimsums. The colored dimsums were all made with colors from the vegetables. Like the red ones made with beetroot and green with spinach and broccoli. All the dimsums were made with wheat starch and potato starch. No corn starch was used as it is not good for health. 

Dimsums
The dimsums were served with 3 types of sauces namely Chili tomato sauce, scaling sauce and ginger sweet soya sauce. The chili tomato sauce is Chef Sanjeev Kapoor’s favorite sauce and was good. The scaling sauce was delicious and we loved to eat the dimsums with the scaling sauce.

Sauces
Followed by the dimsums we ordered Curried fish satay and Gai Yang from Charcoal grills. The Curried fish satay – batons of fish marinated in green Thai curry paste was extremely good. Fish was grilled to perfection, was soft and we loved it. Gai Yang - chicken cubes skewered with Thai herbs was also good, but I loved the fish more. These charcoal grills were served with peanut sauce and Thai salad.

Charcoal Grills
For the main course we had Mongolian noodles, Basil and mint rice, Stir fried Chinese exotic vegetables – semi gravy and Fish XO sauce.

Mongolian Noodles

Stir fried Chinese exotic vegetables – semi gravy
Fish XO sauce
Basil and Mint Rice
The Mongolian noodles were awesome and both the curries were delicious. The Fish XO was delicious which had sliced fish cooked in dried shrimp sauce. I just loved it. Mint basil rice was bit on less spicy side. We had ordered this for the kid and she liked it. The stir fried vegetables were yummy with crispy vegetables cooked to perfection.

I was surprised when the desserts arrived. The chef surprised us with a yummy dessert – Fruit Toffee bucket which is a homemade fruit toffee sundae which had deep fried assorted sugar caramel coated fruit pieces. This was served with vanilla ice-cream and garnished with chocolate sauce. We just loved this dish.

Fruit Toffee Bucket
Soon after the meal, the owner of the restaurant took us to Chef Sanjeev Kapoor’s signature restaurant Yellow Chilli which was opposite to HongKong restaurant. As opposed to HongKong, The Yellow Chili was a brighter place and served Indian food. But you can order food from both the restaurants. If you visit yellow Chilli and want Chinese food from HongKong you can order that too which is something that I liked the most.


My Verdict:

The ambiance, service and food is excellent. 
The staff really cares for all the guests. 
The quality of food was worth the cost mentioned for the dishes on the menu. 
The quantity of the dishes was perfect for 2. Since this is a restaurant which serves indo-Chinese food, we really loved the fact that the food was made without ajino-motto and artificial food colors. The food was not oily too. There were no signs of oil left on the plate. 
I am surely going to visit the place often and I recommend it to you all too.

Cost: Rs.1400/- for 2

Address: 
HongKong
2nd Floor, Building 3, MSR Westpark,
Off Brigade Road, Church Street, Bangalore

Note: I was invited to HongKong to review the restaurant. All views and opinions expressed here are my own. This is not a paid review.

Zomato

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Strawberry Salsa

Since the strawberries are in the market, I go to the local grocery store to purchase packets of strawberries simply to munch and to try different recipes. Today’s recipe is a simple one – Chunky Strawberry Salsa. This recipe is inspired from the Mango Salsa recipe.

strawberry salsa

You can have this salsa for breakfast or top it on pancakes or your regular oat meal and have. We loved eating it with oat meal for breakfast. It gives the much needed nutrition needed to kick start the day. You can also serve it during lunch as a salad or have it in the evening as snacks with a glass of strawberry milkshake.

strawberry salsa

It is healthy as strawberries are rich in Vitamin C and are packed with antioxidants. They promote overall health as they are rich in folate, potassium, manganese, dietary fiber, magnesium and other nutrients. Consumption of strawberries helps fight cancer, helps make the skin wrinkle free, promotes eye health, regulates blood pressure and fights bad cholesterol. These are few health benefits that I have listed, but there are many more. Hence don’t miss them this season when you can get plenty of strawberries. You can eat them in a variety of ways – make strawberry jam or add them to kheer and make phirni.

strawberry salsa

Ingredients:                                          Serves: 4, Prep. Time: 5 Minutes
10 strawberries, finely chopped
½ yellow capsicum, finely chopped
1 medium sized onion, finely chopped
2-3 lettuce leaves
5-6 mint leaves, chopped
½ teaspoon black pepper powder
Juice from ½ lemon

Procedure:In a mixing bowl add all the ingredients and mix.

For more recipes with strawberries, click here.
For salad recipes, click here.


strawberry salsa

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