Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Papaya Salsa

It's as simple as can be.
I used a food processor cos I wanted to finish making it fast. You can dice everything and put it together too.

I used
2 cloves of garlic
2 tbsp of diced red onion
3/4 of an orange Serrano Pepper
1 handful of yellow cherry tomatoes
1 and 1/2 cups of cubed papaya
2 tsp lemon juice
2 tsp vinegar
Salt about 1/4 tsp (a little more of u need)
2 tsp chopped Cilantro 

Assemble your food processor
Start with the garlic 
Chop that
Then add each of the above one by one 
And pulse for a 10 secs
Garnish with chopped cilantro

Tastes great as a side for Nachos, Tacos, Butritos. 

Tip: i added a whole Serrano Pepper and it turned out a little more spicy than I expected it to be. Depending on the sweetness of the papaya, adjust the amount of the pepper and the amount if Lemon Juice. 
You can add half or 3/4 th of a regular tomato instead of the yellow tomatoes.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Tofu Lasagna

Total time 1 hour
Prep time 30 minutes
Oven time 30 minutes
Rest time 30 minutes atleast. 

There are a lots of versions of lasagna on the web. My daughter loves lasagna and is lactose intolerant. So I set about trying some recipes. 

I have to mention Anu Srinivasan here (http://oystersandlemons.wordpress.com/). Was talking to her and she suggested to add some almond milk to the tofu while making the Bechamel Sauce. I took her suggestion and tried making it the traditional way of making the sauce. Then I made some more changes to the recipe. 

My version of the Bechamel sauce doesn't involve the stove cos I thought no point in firing up the stove if I blend the tofu and milk in the food processor itself. Since it's all already cooked and it's going to go in the oven for 30 minutes, that is enough to get it nice and thick. So I will call it tofu Sauce

This is a kind of a mixture of many recipes. Pretty easy but a little time consuming. It takes about 25 minutes to make the vegetable sauce. 5 minutes to make the tofu sauce.

As a first step, boil the lasagna according to instructions on the box. I haven't tried the oven ready lasagna. I always use the ones that need to be boiled.

I made 12 strips for this recipe. You will use 11 approximately.  I put one extra if one breaks. 

It will be easier if you have a food processor or a hand blender or a regular blender.

For the vegetable sauce, you can use any veggies you want. I add mushrooms sometimes. My daughter loves celery so I always add that.  Today I have added

1 zucchini
4 stalks of celery
1/2 of Chinese Eggplant
2 cups of spinach leaves
5 tomatoes (2 beef steak tomatoes  and 3 Roma tomatoes)
1 Onion
6 cloves of garlic 
3 tablespoons of olive oil
1 tsp of oregano
1/4 of paprika
1 tsp of sea salt
3 heaped tsp of tomato paste (optional)

All the vegetables have to chopped into small pieces so that it will be easy to eat the lasagna.

If you have a food processor, just chop the tomatoes and put it in and purée that.

In a heavy bottomed pan, on a medium to high flameadd the oil and when that heats up, add the chopped garlic and onion. In about 4 mins they should be getting translucent, now add the chopped Zuchchini, Eggplant and celery and keep stirring. After about four minutes add the chopped spinach and the salt. Let it all mix and stir for a minute. Now add the puréed tomatoes, and the paste. Mix it well and reduce the heat a bit. Add the oregano and paprika, mix well and let It simmer for 10 mins.

For the tofu Sauce

You need two packets of Firm tofu 
Some lactaid. (I have used almond milk also)
Bit of salt
Bit of crushed red pepper (so it won't be too bland)

Wash the food processor if you want your 'tofu sauce' to be white. 
Just drain the tofu, no need to completely drain
Chop them in to big pieces and add to the food processor
And while it's running add the lactaid, salt and crushed red pepper and run until it becomes thick and creamy. 
Your tofu sauce is ready!!!

Now you can start assembling!!

Preheat the oven to 400 F.

I have used 3 small Pyrex glass containers and one really small glass container. 
You can choose to make it in a bigger pan. I like to make it like this cos you end up having leftovers and this way you can just put it in the freezer. Once it's to room temperature that is. 

Since these containers are small I have cut the strips in to two.

For every Pyrex container you will use 6 cut strips.
Start with two spoons of sauce in the bottom

*Layer 2 strips, 2 spoons of sauce, 2spoons of tofu spread them*
On top I just put a bit of veggie shreds, they are lactose free.

Put all of them in the oven for 30 minutes. (I have already put one in the oven)
Let it rest for a good 45 minutes, it will be easier to cut the lasagna.

I guarantee that you won't miss the cheese. 
This recipe is lactose free!
It can be vegan is you use almond milk or soy milk instead of Lactaid.
And use Soy cheese instead of the lactose free cheese.
Cheese is optional.
I usually serve it with a nice homemade dinner roll :)

Wednesday, July 2, 2014



(Ribbon Bakoda pictured with kesari)

Ribbon Bakoda is also called ribbon for obvious reasons! It's an easy to make snack. It's crunchy, salty and deep fried. Now how can it not taste great!
I followed the recipe from Meenakshi Ammal's 'Samaithu Paar' which translates to 'Cook and See'. It is a bible for Tambrahm Cooking.
Here goes!
You need
Oil to deep fry and this 
Gadget called achu for pushing the dough on to the oil. It's available for $15 dollars at any Indian store. It comes with different achus to make all kinds of snacks from the book!
I have two kinds, the one on the left is easier to handle. The one on the right is a traditional achu.

The dough you make has to be made a little dry but not too dry. 
You need:
2 cups Kadala Mavu(Besan/Chickpea flour)
1 cup Arisi Mavu (Rice flour)
1 1/4 tsp Salt
1 heaped tsp Kara Podi (Chili Powder)
3 pinches  Perungayam (Asafoetida)
1 tablespoons Ghee or Unsalted Butter
Put the salt and chili powder in 1/4 cup water and let the salt mix well in the water

Mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl
Add the salt and chili powder to this
Keep some extra water on hand and knead until the dough becomes a bit thick like puri dough

In a thick bottomed pan, add oil.
On a medium flame, let the oil become hot.
To check of the oil is ready insert a wooden spoon in, you should see bubbles coming out or put a small ball of dough in the oil and you should see it rise to the top. 
Keep the flame in the same temperature.
Put the dough in the achu and push some out in to the oil.

It's done when it's a nice golden brown all over. 

Makes a great evening snack!
In my house we also have it as a side for curd rice!! 

Make sure you have time to make the ribbon once the dough is done. 
Is the dough rests for a while the Bakoda might become oily

Monitor the oil temp through out. If the oil gets too hot then the ribbon will become black.