Guacamole

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Guacamole
(Serves 2-3)

Ingredients:-
1. Two ripe avocadoes deseeded
2. Two garlic cloves or two tsp garlic powder
3. One green chilli or to taste (optional)
4. One cup cilantro
5. Lime juice to taste
6. Salt to taste

Method:-
Scoop out the avocado flesh and discard peel. Mix all ingredients and pulse everything together in a food processor. Serve with tortilla chips.

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Mediterranean Tzatziki

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Mediterranean Tzatziki
(Serves 10)

Ingredients:-
1. Two cups strained Greek yogurt
2. One cup seeded cucumber shredded or diced
3. Two tbsp lemon juice or white vine vinegar
4. Two tsp garlic powder or two cloves garlic minced
5. One tbsp chopped dill or mint leaves
6. Salt to taste
7. Pepper to taste preferably white pepper but black would also be fine
8. 1/2 tbsp olive oil

Method:-
If not using strained yogurt, strain yogurt for 30min-3hours using a cheesecloth or coffee filter to drain out excess water. Skip this step if using store bought strained yogurt. You can skip this step also if you are in a hurry. Shred cucumber, mix some salt and keep aside. After 10 mins squeeze out excess water and mix this cucumber in the yogurt. Add garlic, lemon juice, mint/dill leaves, olive oil, salt and pepper and mix everything well. Mediterranean Tzatziki is ready to serve.

Tip:- This can be served with pita chips, veggies, can be applied on gyros, buns, breads etc to make yummy sandwiches/foldwiches. Remember to keep it refrigerated.

Homemade salsa

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Homemade salsa
(Serves 4)

Ingredients:-
1. 7-8 big ripe tomatoes, washed and chopped
2. One medium onion chopped
3. Two garlic cloves chopped
4. 1/2 cup cilantro washed
5. 1-2 jalapeƱos deseeded and chopped
6. Salt to taste
7. Sugar to taste (optional)
8. Lime juice to taste
9. 1/2 cup spaghetti sauce (optional)

Method:-
Blend everything together in a food processor. Store in an airtight bottle in the refrigerator. If adding spaghetti sauce, this will have a shelf life of a month. Else try finish in a week.

Tip:-
For a healthier version add parsley too and skip spaghetti sauce. Spaghetti sauce, however, gives a nice red color to it.

Tikkas (chicken and paneer)

Tikkas (chicken and paneer)
(Serve 4)

Ingredients:-
For chicken tikkas:- 1 lb boneless skinless chicken washed and cut into bite size pieces

For paneer tikkas:- one 14oz paneer (cottage cheese cube) cut into 1 inch pieces

For marinade:-
1/2 cup strained yogurt preferably whisked
1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp coriander powder
2 tsp tandoori masala
1 tbsp oil
Red chilli powder and paprika powder to taste
Salt to taste
Green chillies minced to taste
Lime juice to taste

Method:-
Marinate chicken and paneer separately in the same marinade preferably overnight. Thread in pre-soaked bamboo skewers and broil on high. Chicken needs to be broiled 10 minutes on each side and paneer needs to be broiled 10 minutes on one side and 7 minutes on the other side. Once fully cooked remove from oven and take out from skewers. Garnish with more lime juice and serve with onion rings and cilantro chutney.

Tip:-
For an added punch sprinkle some chaat masala on the tikkas.

For a nice color add some orange food color

Masala idlis

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Masala idlis
(A gluten free and yummy appetizer. Also yet another yummy excuse to eat your veggies)
(Serves 4)

Ingredients to make idlis:-
I cup coarse sooji (semolina)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup yogurt whisked
About 3/4 cup water or as needed
1 tsp Eno fruit salt

Method to make idlis:-
Mix semolina, salt, yogurt and water. Set aside for 30 mins. The batter will thicken as sooji absorbs water. Add some more water at this point. About 3/4 water will be used in all. Grease idli plates with oil. Add Eno fruit salt to the batter. Mix and pour into idli trays. If using a microwaveable idli stand microwave on high for about 3 mins. Wait for 5 mins and then open and take out idlis with hand. Microwave times may vary as every microwave is different. If making idlis in a pressure cooker idli stand do not put whistle on pressure cooker and put 1/2 cup water in the cooker before putting the idli stand inside. Steam for about 8-10 mins. An easy way to check if idlis are done is to stick a toothpick in the middle of the idli. If the toothpick comes out clean idlis are done. Else you need to steam more. If you do not have an idli stand, an egg poacher can be used.

Ingredients to season idlis:-
1/2 tbsp oil
1 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1 1/2 tsp white sesame seeds (optional)
7-8 curry leaves
4-5 green chillies slit (optional)
1/2 tbsp sambhar masala or to taste
Salt to taste
1/4 tbsp rasam powder (optional)
Lime juice to taste
Some water to sprinkle

Method to season idlis:-
Heat oil in a non-stick pan. Add mustard seeds, sesame seeds, curry leaves and green chillies. Toss for a minute or till seeds splutter. Add spices, idlis and salt. Mix lightly. Add lemon juice and sprinkle some water to incorporate all the spices. Set the idlis aside.

Ingredients to make salad:-
One medium onion chopped
2 cups veggies of your choice shredded (I like using bell peppers, carrots and cabbage)
Sambhar powder to taste
Rasam powder to taste
Salt to taste
Black pepper powder to taste
Lime juice to taste
1/4 cup water
1 tsp oil

Method to make salad:-
Heat oil in a non-stick pan. Add onions. When they turn translucent add the veggies, all spices and salt. Mix, add water and cover and cook for 5-6 minutes. When veggies are tender add lime juice and mix. Fold salad gently in the already prepared idlis. Serve hot.

Tip:-
Idlis can be made ahead for this recipe. Idlis can be refrigerated for 4-5 days or frozen for a month.
Idlis can also be bought from an Indian restaurant or store bought idli batter can be used to prepare idlis if making at home.
Roasted peanuts and dessicated coconut can also be coarsley crushed and mixed in these idlis for some crunch. To roast peanuts at home check link:-

https://eatlightstaylightweb.wordpress.com/2016/05/14/roasting-peanuts/

PS- Traditional recipe of idlis using rice, urad dal and fenugreek seeds coming soon

 

Tandoori shrimp in 1/2 tsp oil

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Tandoori shrimp

(Hot and spicy shrimp)
(Serves 2)

Ingredients:-
1/2 lb shrimp (approx 20 pieces, preferably cooked and de-veined ones, with or without tails)
1/2 tsp oil
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
2 tsp tandoori masala
1/2 tsp garlic powder
Lime juice to taste
Salt to taste

Method:-
Mix all ingredients in the shrimp.
Heat oil in a pan on high heat. Layer shrimp, cover and cook for about 2-3 minutes. Flip and again cover and cook for 2-3 minutes or till shrimp gets caramelized on both sides. Serve hot.

Dilli style aloo chaat

Dilli style aloo chaat
(A healthier version of this finger licking recipe)
(Serves 2)

Ingredients:-
5-6 potatoes
One tbsp ginger chopped
One tbsp oil
Green chillies chopped to taste
Two tomatoes preferably Roma tomatoes chopped
Chaat masala to taste
Salt if needed
Lime juice to taste
Cucumbers chopped (optional)
Cilantro chopped (optional)

Method:-
Par-boil potatoes. Cool and cube. Line a baking tray with foil. Spread out potatoes and ginger on it. Add oil. Broil on high for 15 mins on each side till crispy and golden. Transfer to a bowl. Add chaat masala, salt if needed and lime juice. Garnish with tomatoes, cucumbers, green chillies and cilantro.