Spicy stuffed sweet peppers-Indian style!

What’s not to love about eating healthy oven baked multicolored peppers on a pleasant summer evening with a good group of friends! Add a dash of Indian spices to the anti-oxidant goodness of the peppers and the heart healthy olive oil drizzled on top, and you have a winner. And then there is always the full fat cream cheese version you can make in case you like indulgence!  These delicious small bite size goodies are bound to be a party hit and will leave you craving for more!!

ImageIngredients:ImageColored sweet peppers 1 pk – about 30 will make 60 pieces

Fat free cream cheese – 8 oz

1-2 Jalapeno peppers – finely minced

Cumin powder 1 tsp

Coriander powder 1 tsp

Red chilli powder – 1 tsp

Bread crumb powder – 2 tbsp

Olive oil ( spray preferable ). If not, useImagea basting brush to gently coat the peppers.Image

Soften the cream cheese by keeping it out of the refrigerator for 30 mins before you start the filling. Add the minced Jalapeno into the softened cream cheese. Fold in the cumin and coriander powder into the cream cheese and set aside.

Slit the peppers lengthwise and de-seed them. Spoon in the spiced cream cheese into the peppers and lay them in rows on a baking sheet. Be careful to not over stuff the peppers and the cream cheese will overflow and melt when heated. Sprinkle bread crumbs generously over the prepared peppers. Drizzle olive oil over the peppers.

The tricky part is to not over cook or under cook the peppers. Start at 250 degrees for 10 mins, then move onto 300 for 10 more mins, watching very carefully so the stuffed cream cheese does not bubble up and spill over. Broil on low for about a minute at the very end.  Serve warm.


Mint Juice

ImageThere’s no better way to cool off on a hot summer day with some fresh home made Mint juice. I grow plenty of fresh mint in my backyard and try to use in mint juice and mint – watermelon juice. Plus I throw in a host of other pro-digestive ingredients which makes this drink far more healthy than the sugary store bought juice or sodas!

Ingredients: Serves 2

Mint leaves – 1 small cup

Sugar – 2 tbsp or Jaggery 2″ cube

Salt- a pinch

Ginger – 1/2 tbsp shredded

Lemon Juice – 1 tbsp

Elaichi ( Cardamom powder ) – 1/4 tbsp optional

Grind the mint leaves into a paste using small amount of water. Filter the paste in order to get rid of the pulp. Then combine the rest of the ingredients, add more sugar or jaggery if needed. Set aside in a bowl. Seve after an hour of refrigeration.

The same juice can be made with Cilantroe- Mint combination also. A pinch of Jeera ( cumin ) powder  can also be added for additional taste!

Baked Sabudana Wada

The first time I remember eating sabudana wada was at the Rangashankara cafe in Bangalore. This place used to be our favorite haunt during weekends when we would come to watch plays at the Rangashankara theatre. Me and my colleagues would often drop by for lunch on weekdays when our office was closer to this place. We always ordered the sandwich and akki rotti! The akki rotti was made in a kadai and sooo much like the way amma makes it! Anyway back to sabudana wada, the yummy,crunchy sago patties were to die for.  I was always scared to try making anything with sago. I had read too many blogs where attempts to get the perfect soaking of the sago pearls would go horribly wrong. It took another taste of sabudana kichdi at a friend’s house and the exact way to soak these sago pearls from her MIL before I ventured to do it on my own!

The recipe for sabudana khichdi and wada are about the same. If you are trying to make kichdi but it ends up becoming too watery in consistency, just add a bit of rice flour, make patties out of these and bake or fry them to make yummy wadas.

Living in a carpeted apartment, i dislike the smell of oil engulfing the place, so baking is the perfect solution.

Ingredients : Serves 4

1 cup sago pearls : Soak it for about 6 hours

1 potato cooked and mashed

2-3 green chillies finely chopped

1/2 cup chopped coriander

1/2 cup roasted and coarsely ground peanuts

1/2 tablespoon lime juice

Salt to taste

1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds/jeera

2 tablespoons of rice flour

Cooking spray or 2 table spoons of oil

Drain the soaked sago pearls and combine the rest of the ingredients and mix well. The consistency should be such that you are able to make lemon size balls out of them. If the dough is a little watery, add some more flour.  Once you make a ball, flatten it out like a patty. Grease a baking tray with oil and place the patties about an inch apart and spray cooking oil on each of them or brush with oil. Bake at 350 F for 30 mins by flipping the patties every 10 minutes or bake until crisp.

Serve hot with mint and sweet chutney or tomato ketchup.

Vegetable Kebab

It is summer outside which means it is time to grill!! My friends and I have a string of outdoor parties in the summer and one of our favorite dishes to make is veg kababs. Try this simple yet mouth-watering recipe and you will sure love it. Great way to eat vegetables of all kind too.

Slice all the vegetables of your choice into little circles. I generally use red, green and yellow peppers, Zucchini, Potato, Onion, Mushrooms and Red onions.If you are too lazy to cut the veggies, you can use the store-bought pre sliced ones too.

Arrange them within the skewers by gently poking holes through the middle. Drizzle some olive oil ( the olive oil spray works best) and
sprinkle chat masala or any standard mixed spice seasoning powder. Sprinkle red hot chilli flakes for that extra fire!

Grill at 350 degree for about 15-20 mins and it’s ready!

Tip: For extra added taste, you can also add paneer or Tofu if you want to keep it healthy.