Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Cottage Cheese in Spinach Curry/Palak Paneer

Palak Paneer is a popular vegetarian North Indian preparation, specifically originating from the province of Punjab. Palak means spinach in hindi and paneer meaning cottage cheese. If you would like to have a go at home-made cottage cheese, then click here. Palak paneer is a good way to get kids have their spinach. My little girl is so fond of cottage cheese that she will first finish all the cubes up and then she will look at everyone else's plate and ask for their cottage cheese!

How do you like to have cottage cheese? Do share.

1 big bundle spinach leaves

1 large onion

1 large tomato

1 heaped tbs dry fenugreek leaves/ kasoori methi

1tbs ginger-garlic paste

1tbs evaporated milk/ Khoya

1/2cup milk
salt to taste
Some oil
Dry spices-
1/2 tsp ground cumin powder

1/2 tsp ground chilli powder

1/4tsp garam masala

For cottage cheese-

200gms cottage cheese


  • Chop off the roots of the spinach and wash clean adding salt. Then chop the spinach.
  • Roughly chop the onions and tomatoes.
  • Cut the cottage cheese into long cubes and keep aside.
  • Heat oil in a pan and saute the onions with the ginger-garlic paste.
  • Add the dry fenugreek leaves/ kasoori methi. Enjoy the aroma as you stir in the leaves.
  • Add the chopped tomatoes and cover the pan and allow to cook.
  • Stir the mixture so that the juices blend.
  • Add the chopped spinach, cover and cook.
  • Once the spinach is done, stir in the evaporated milk.
  • Cool the mixture and puree it. Add milk to lighten it.
  • Heat the pan again with the puree. Add the dry spices and salt to taste. Add milk to get curry consistency.
  • Once the curry begins to bubble add the cubed cottage cheese.
  • Serve hot with rotis, or rice.

Other spinach recipes you might like are-

Spinach Rice

Pasta in Spinach Cream Sauce

Spinach and Lentil/Palak Dal

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Chayote with Grated Coconut/Thoran

Chayote (pronounced chai-yo-tay) is a member of the cucumber and squash family which seems to be available in our markets throughout the year. Though it is eaten both in raw or cooked forms, it is actually a fruit. In both forms it is a good source of amino acids and Vitamin C. It is also low in calories, sodium, contains no cholestrol and is a good source of fibre. You can peel it or prepare it with the skin on. The seed is tender and edible as well.

The mild flavour makes it very versatile to be used in a variety of recipes.

The kind of preparation that I have used is with grated coconut and is commonly known as "thoran" in South India. Here's how I prepared it.

2 chayotes
1 onion sliced
5 cloves of garlic
1 sprig of curry leaf
1 green chilli slit
1/4 tsp ground tumeric
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1 tbs grated coconut


  • Wash clean, and grate the chayote.
  • Slice the onions, chop the garlic fine and slit the chilli.
  • In a pan heat oil and splutter the mustard seeds.
  • Add the curry leaf, onions, garlic and chilli and saute.
  • Add the grated chayote, ground tumeric and salt, mix well. Cover and cook. Do not cook the chayote till soft, there should be minimal cooking to leave the crunchy texture.
  • When done add the grated coconut.
  • Take off the heat and serve warm.
Have you experimented with Chayote? How do you like it? Waiting to hear from you.
You can also check Chayote Sweet/Halwa

Chayote on Foodista

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Vermicilli Milk Dessert/Seviyan Kheer/Payasam

Vermicilli Milk Dessert is also known as Seviyan Kheer in India. In South India it is famously known as 'payasam'and is an integral part of a wedding or festival spread which is traditionally served on a banana leaf. It can be used as one of Baby's First Foods, since it is soft and cooked in milk. The condensed milk provides the required sweetness, no addional sugar is required.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Vermicilli Upma

Upma is a typically South Indian breakfast preparation. Upma can be prepared with a variety of ingredients. I have already covered Oatmeal Upma. Vermicilli can be fun for kids and at the same time all the veggies included give a headstart in the morning. It's simple to prepare and colourful- orange carrot, green peas, white coconut.. If you do not have grated coconut you can also use finely chopped fresh coriander to garnish.

1 cup roasted vermicilli
1 1/4cup water
1 onion finely chopped
1/2 carrot grated
1/2 cup green peas
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 inch ginger

1small green chilli(optional)
1tbs grated coconut
salt to taste

  • If the vermicilli is not roasted, roast it in a tsp of ghee, till its brown.
  • Chop the onion and chilli fine and grate the carrot and keep aside.
  • In a pestle crush the ginger.
  • Heat oil in a pan and sputter the mustard seeds.
  • Add the onion, chilli, and ginger and saute lightly.
  • Add the green peas and grated carrot, cover and cook.
  • After the veggies are cooked add the water and salt to taste. Bring to a boil.
  • Once the water is boiling, reduce the flame to simmer and add the vermicilli, stirring all the time.
  • Make sure the vermicilli is cooked and there is no more water left in the pan.
  • Turn off the flame, garnish with grated coconut and serve hot.
  • To enrich it for kids add a tsp of ghee/clarified butter and serve.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Children's Day(India)-Special Guest Post- The Garden of Love

The 14th of November is celebrated as Children's Day in India.
All of this month we have special events, competitions and shows for kids all over the country.
I have a very special guest; my very first guest,- on this occassion. - Mary Moh from Keep Learning Keep Smiling. Though I've known Mary only for a short while, her love for kids and wisdom in parenting issues are noteworthy. She always has a kind an encouraging word for all her fellow bloggers and her blogging story is an inspiration to me.

Do visit her blog and you will find many recipes that are healthy and fun for kids. Some of her recipes that I have on my wish list are Sweet Potato Doughnuts, Lemon Bars, and 9Layered Coffee Rice Pudding and the Thai soups to name a few. I am sure you will enjoy this lovely post so aptly named " The Garden of Love" prepared by Mary in her unique style-She has a way of making the toughest looking recipe so simple.and desirable. With the food she also presents the "food for thought".

Children’s Day Love, Fun And Special (India)

The Garden Of Love

Today is Children’s Day in India. It’s a day to remind us to LOVE children, have FUN with them and tell them they are VERY SPECIAL!

Children Are Very Special

The thought of children always warms my heart. They are very SPECIAL indeed. When I was requested by Shirley to be her guest blogger, I thought it was heaven on earth. That was such an honour and just what clicks in my heart immediately. It brought back lots of sweet memories of my wonderful time with my own children while they were young and also with other children that I taught in church and in school. They have all been such a blessing to me.

The Wonder Of Children

There’s so much beauty in children. Their hearts are so simple. They have great potentials to achieve. They are able to achieve more than what we think or ever imagine. Children have always surprised me by what they think and do. I marvel their humility, sincerity, innocence and intelligence. Adults, especially parents play a vital role in discovering and developing these potentials through consistent nurturing, training and teaching, topped with lots of encouragement and motivation.

Red radishes represent LOVE

The Garden Of Love

One of the best ways to love children is to serve them healthy food. In this post, I want to share a beautiful, healthy recipe to celebrate Children’s Day today. I named this special dish, ‘The Garden of Love’. The life of a child is like a garden that needs to be tended and cared for. Left neglected and weeds soon grow and worms start to eat away the plants. If we don’t make time to invest and make sacrifices for our kids, it’s just a matter of time that they will most likely become a real pain in the neck. But if we spend quality time with them to teach, train and nurture, they will do us very proud one day.

It would be a lot of fun to get children involved in this recipe. The easiest to teach children is when you play and have fun with them. That’s what I did all the time when my children were small. Talk to them about how to have a beautiful life. You can tell them the first step is to obey mommy and daddy.

Here’s ‘The Garden Of Love’ recipe to share:

Ingredients A

250g chicken breast meat (diced small)
2T water
3/4t chicken stock granules
1T corn flour
1 small sweet potato (peeled, cut and steamed)
Peels of 2 red radishes (for garnishing)
Green vegetables (washed and cooked)

Peeled radishes
Peel 2 small, red radishes. Cut the peel into short thin strips for use as decoration.

Minced meat rounds

Put chicken meat, water, chicken stock granules and corn flour into a processor and process until fine. Remove and make into 12 rounds. Flatten them and arrange them on a steaming plate.

Patties with garnishing

Arrange the radish peels on top and steam with high heat for about 6 minutes. Remove and arrange on a plate with the sweet potato rounds in the centre. Arrange green vegetables on the outer edge. I used a very tender, green leafy vegetables called ‘bo chai’ which is a Chinese term. It’s quite like spinach leaves. You can use broccoli too.

Chinese ‘bo chai’
Ingredients B
1/2C water
1/2t chicken stock granules
1t corn flour
dash of turmeric powder

Mix everything together and pour into a small pot. Let it come to a boil. Pour over the patties and serve.

Note: Each step you assemble this lovely dish, you can relate it to life, how you need to take time to build up your life to become a beautiful life.

Do you love food decoration? Do you love cooking or baking with children? What are the common topics that you share with children? Please share, add and comment in the comment box below.

Quote of the day……
“You have to love your children unselfishly. That is hard. But it is the only way.”
Barbara Bush, former U.S. First Lady

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Roasted Eggplant in Spices/Baingan Bhartha

The eggplant/ aubergine/brinjal is also known as the "king of vegetables".
Roasted Eggplant in Spices/ Baingan Bhartha is a famous, delicious, spicy North Indian eggplant preparation.
For the procedure you can check this video by vah-chef Sanjay Thumma- a very animated chef who enjoys his cooking.
I've toned down the spice to make it comfortably edible for all.

1 eggplant
2 tsps cumin seeds
15 cloves garlic
1/2 inch ginger
1 green chilli

1 large onion
3 tomatoes finely chopped
fresh coriander
salt to taste

Dry spices-
1/2 tsp ground cummin
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground tumeric


  • Oil the eggplant, with a fork poke a few holes in the skin and grill it on high for an hour.
  • In a pestle pound the garlic and ginger and keep aside.
  • Chop fine the onion, tomatoes, chilli, and fresh coriander separately and keep aside.
  • Heat oil in a pan and sputter cummin seeds.
  • Add the onions and saute, add the garlic, ginger and chopped chilli and saute lightly.
  • Add the chopped tomatoes and dry spices, mix well. Cover and let it cook.
  • When the eggplant is ready and cool enough to handle, peel and hack the flesh.
  • Now add it to the cooked spices and add salt.
  • Mix well and garnish with fresh coriander.

Serve hot with phulkas.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Spinach Rice

Spinach Rice another delicious and nutritious way to get your kids to eat their spinach. I have used Enriched Spinach Puree again for this dish. I served the rice with poppadams. If your kids are like mine, the poppadams will be over long before they've even started on the rice!!!


1 cup rice
2-3 tbs Enriched spinach puree
1/2 cup grated carrot
1/2 cup shelled peas
1 chopped onion chopped
2 tsps ghee/clarified butter
1tbs grated cheddar cheese
5 cloves of garlic chopped
2 small cinnamon sticks
6-8 whole peppercorns
3 cardamoms
salt to taste
1 tsp lemon juice


  • Cook the rice and keep aside.
  • In a heavy bottomed dish heat 1tsp ghee, add the chopped onions and garlic and whole spices and saute till you begin to get the aroma of the spices.
  • Add the peas, and grated carrot and cover and cook.
  • After the veggies are cooked add the cooked rice, and Enriched Spinach Puree, and salt and mix.
  • Switch off the heat and add the lemon juice.
  • Top with grated cheese or ghee and serve hot with poppadams.

You can also check

Pasta in Spinach Cream Sauce

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Beetroot Cutlets

Beetroot Cutlets, no surprises that this could be one of the easiest ways to get anyone to eat the beets. If you havent already read the Health Benefits of Beetroot make sure you do.
The chopped onions and coriander add that extra crunch. Beetroot Cutlets can be served as a starter, or in between meals snack or you can make an extra large one and sandwhich it as part of the school lunch.


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