Cook's Hideout: May 2015

May 29, 2015

Noodley Pudding (Siwayan/ Semya Custard pudding) for Blog Anniversary

Month of May flew by really, really fast. It was quite a busy month jam packed with a lot of fun and food -- celebrated my birthday, Mother's day, met some blog buddies, took a painting class along with couple of friends, planted a raised bed garden and caught up with family and friends. I wish all months are this way -- even though it went fast, a lot of things have happened and most of the time is accounted for unlike some months were absolutely nothing happens in the whole entire month.
Noodley Pudding (Siwayan/ Semya Custard pudding)
Along with the other happy incidents, my blog completed 9 years and entered into it's 10th year of blogging. I don't think I even knew what I was doing or what I wanted to do with the blog 9 years ago when I started it. This space was my way of documenting my recipes, never thought I would last this long. Being a stay at home mom for the last 3 years, the blog has become my main hobby -- it gives me something else to think about other than the mundane everyday chores.

May 26, 2015

Cucumber Tea Sandwich

Blogging Marathon# 52: Week 4/ Day 3
Theme: Bookmarked Recipes
Dish: Cucumber Sandwich
Today's recipe is very very simple with just few ingredients. Many of you might even think that this sandwich doesn't really need a recipe post because it's that easy and simple.
Cucumber Tea Sandwich
All you need is green chutney, cucumber, cream cheese (or thick curd) and bread slices. With all the sandwich breads that I have been making, I was looking for simple sandwich recipes and I landed on this post by Sala @ Veggie Belly. Her clicks make you want to grab a sandwich right out of the monitor :-)

May 25, 2015

Korean Onion Bread (Yang PaBbang)

Blogging Marathon# 52: Week 4/ Day 2
Theme: Bookmarked Recipes
Dish: Korean Onion Bread from Varada's Kitchen
The second bread that I really wanted to bake right away was Varada's 'Korean Onion Bread'. It looked so colorful and interesting with the onion, pepper and cheese filling and topping. I remember seeing something similar in the local Korean bakery, which was another reason for me try it at home.
I made it for my Mother's day lunch and the entire loaf was gone by the end of the day. It looked and tasted delicious with the cheesy center and topping.
Korean Onion Bread (Yang PaBbang)
Original recipe had ham in it and Varada used red peppers instead. I think that was a brilliant idea because red pepper gave the bread a beautiful color and makes it taste hearty & yummy!!

May 24, 2015

Semolina Wholewheat Bread

Blogging Marathon# 52: Week 4/ Day 1
Theme: Bookmarked Recipes
Dish: Semolina Bread from Sandhya's My Cooking Journey
My theme for the final week of this month's marathon is 'bookmarked recipes'.  It is almost impossible to pick just 3 dishes from my ever growing list of bookmarks, so I narrowed my search to just breads. After the month long mega baking marathon from April, I have many breads and other baked goodies bookmarked -- I thought this will be the beginning of many I tried from those.
First up is Sandhya's 'Semolina Bread'. Her pictures really won me over and I immediately bookmarked it to try soon. I actually made the bread twice since she posted.
Semolina Wholewheat Bread
Semolina bread has been on my to-try list for a very long time. But most of the recipes I saw, needed a covered cloche or a special baking utensil. Also most of them looked very crusty and chewy. Since my family prefers soft, sandwich bread I never got around to try any of the recipes.

May 22, 2015

Kakarakaya Pachadi (Bittergourd Chutney)

I am not a big fan of spicy Indian style pickles. My mom makes sure she keeps me stocked with fresh pickles every year, but I rarely eat them. In my house, my husband is the major consumer of these spicy pickles. He also likes the simple chutneys made with vegetables, so I make them occasionally. They keep well in the fridge for 4~5 days.
Kakarakaya Pachadi
I saw this pachadi/ chutney recipe made with bitter gourd/ kakarakaya on a cooking show. Recipe is very simple to make and the method of making is quite interesting. Bitter gourd is usually cooked with lot oil for a very long time to reduce the bitterness, but in this recipe it is ground into a coarse paste and then cooked in little bit of oil until it is cooked through.

May 19, 2015

Poori with Besan Aloo Curry

Blogging Marathon# 52: Week 3/ Day 3
Theme: Weekend Special Dinners
Dish: Poori with Aloo Curry
Poori with aloo curry is a classic combination that I crave once in a while but rarely make at home. First thing I'm reluctant to deep fry anything and second I'm scared that my pooris won't puff up and will turn hard. So I decided to give pooris another try one weekend.
Poori with Besan Aloo Curry
I watched Vah Chef making pooris and gained some confidence. My pooris turned pretty good -- they were puffy, soft and didn't absorb too much oil. I made smallish pooris because I only have a small poori press :-) (The green contraption in the pic below).

May 18, 2015

General Tso's Tofu

Blogging Marathon# 52: Week 3/ Day 2
Theme: Weekend Special Dinners
Dish: General Tso's Tofu
Today's weekend special is a Chinese-American dish called General Tso's Tofu. It is the vegetarian version of General Tso's Chicken that is quite a popular item on Chinese fast food and restaurant menus in America and Canada. From what I read, this dish is unknown in China and is probably been introduced by one of the many Chinese chefs who came to America years ago.
General Tso's Tofu
In the original version, it is a sweet, slightly spicy and the chicken is deep fried. In this vegetarian version, tofu is used instead of the meat and it is baked until crispy.

May 17, 2015

Mumbai Style Pav Bhaji

Blogging Marathon# 52: Week 3/ Day 1
Theme: Weekend Special Dishes
Dish: Pav Bhaji
My theme for this week's blogging marathon is 'Weekend Special Dishes'. My husband travels quite a bit during the weekdays and he tries to be home during the weekends. So I try and make sure to cook something special for all of us.
Mumbai Style Pav Bhaji
Pav Bhaji was one such special dish that I made for our weekend dinner. To be honest, I probably ate a proper pav bhaji only once or twice in my life that too years ago. I still remember going to a tiny restaurant in India some 20 years ago and tasting my very first pav bhaji. It was quite spicy, but the soft pav and the butter made me fall in love with it. Growing up, we were not allowed to eat outside that much, so I never got a chance to eat it again.

May 16, 2015

Healthy Cilantro Rice (with Brown rice)

Recently I started watching a Telugu cooking show where the chef, a holistic nutritionist -- Sridevi Jasthi, shows recipes that incorporate whole grains, healthy fats and seasonally available ingredients. I like these kind of shows because they show a totally different perspective on cooking healthy everyday food.
Healthy Cilantro Rice (with Brown rice)
I have tried quite a few of her recipes and they have all turned out great. I will be posting them here periodically.

May 15, 2015

Sev Khamani

Time sure is flying right by, can't believe it is the middle of May already. It almost slipped my mind that it's time to post for this month's 'Indian Cooking Challenge' and I haven't even looked at the ingredients. I immediately looked at the recipe and my pantry & fridge to see if I had all the ingredients. I was only missing the pomegranate, I went shopping and bought it right away.
So the dish that Valli picked is this Gujarati snack called Sev Khamani. Recipe is from Vaishali's friend, so big thanks to Vaishali & Valli for picking this recipe.
Sev Khamani
Gujaratis have a knack of making delicious snacks & dishes with just about any ingredient. It's mind boggling the number of snacks and desserts they make. This is one such recipe where the dish uses crumbled up khaman dhoklas. I think it is a genius idea because my dhoklas end up crumbled most of the time anyway and this is a delicious way of reusing them into a completely new dish.

May 12, 2015

Indonesian Nasi Goreng for #Food of the World

We are going to Indonesia this month's #food of the world event. I made a very simple Indonesian dish called 'Nasi Goreng'. Nasi Goreng literally means 'fried rice' in Indonesia and it is simple rice dish spiced with kecap manis (sweet soy sauce), shallot, garlic and chili and is accompanied by other ingredients like egg or other protein.
Indonesian Nasi Goreng
Nasi Goreng is stronger and spicier compared to Chinese fried rice with the addition of kecap manis and other spices. It can be eaten at any time of the day and many Indonesians eat it for breakfast. It is also a popular choice for late night supper served by street vendors.

Shortcakes with Strawberry & Mango

Blogging Marathon# 52: Week 2/ Day 3
Theme: Seasonal Veggies & Fruits
Dish: Shortcakes with Strawberry-Mango 
For the final day of this week's marathon, I picked juicy strawberries and mangoes as my seasonal fruits. Spring brings in so many fresh and delicious produce that is very exciting to visit the farmers market or even the grocery store. So many varieties of fresh fruits and vegetables to choose, it is sometimes overwhelming. I feel like I have to buy everything because what if they are not there the next time I come to the store.
Shortcakes with Strawberry-Mango
We have been enjoying strawberries a lot this season. My daughter loves them and she's been eating them for snack almost every day. She feels so disappointed when I tell her that we are out of strawberries. So strawberries have become a regular item on my grocery list now.

Sri Lankan Seeni Sambol Buns for #BreadBakers

Theme for this month's Bread Bakers is 'Stuffed Breads' and I have bookmarked quite a few stuffed breads from our recent mega marathon. But luckily, Priya picked buns for this month's 'Home Bakers Challenge' and she had these amazing looking caramelized onion filled Sri Lankan buns on the list.
Sri Lankan Seeni Sambol Buns
Seeni Sambol is a Sri Lankan relish made with onions. (Seeni means sugar). This seeni sambol is a sweet, tangy and sour relish that is served with any savory meal or as a sandwich filling. So as the name suggests these buns are stuffed with seeni sambol or sweet onion relish.

May 11, 2015

Fresh Green Peas & Carrot Curry with Coconut

Blogging Marathon# 52: Week 2/ Day 2
Theme: Seasonal Veggies & Fruits
Dish: Green Peas & Carrot Curry
Fresh green peas in the pod are something I look forward to buy in Spring. They are super sweet and delicious. Even though peeling them is time consuming, I think well worth every minute for these little jewels.
I add these fresh peas in simple ghee rice, or jeera rice. I don't like to add too many spices and overpower the taste of the peas, so I usually keep the dish very simple.
Fresh Green Peas & Carrot Curry with Coconut
Today's dish is a dry curry with sweet green peas, carrots and some grated coconut. This is a very quick and easy dish that gets done in a jiffy. Fresh green peas hardly take any time to cook and if diced small, carrots don't take too long either.

May 10, 2015

Asparagus Tomato Dal

Blogging Marathon# 52: Week 2/ Day 1
Theme: Seasonal Veggies & Fruits
Dish: Asparagus Tomato Dal
My theme for the second week of this month's marathon is 'Dishes with Seasonal Veggies & Fruits'. First up is a simple dal with asparagus and tomato.
Asparagus Tomato Dal
Asparagus is a spring vegetable and I look forward to buying it when in season. Asparagus has a delicate flavor and is composed of 93% water. It is low in calories and very low in sodium. It is a good source of vitamins and minerals, dietary fiber, protein etc etc.

May 08, 2015

Tres Leche Cake (Vegan Recipe)

I have a rich, decadent and indulgent dessert today, Tres Leche cake or 3 milk cake. I made as a part of Mexican lunch I had with some of my blog buddies last weekend.
Tres Leche Cake (Vegan Recipe)
My husband is not a big fan of desserts like these, but I love them a lot. Since I can't make them for myself, I'm always looking for opportunities to make them. So when I decided on the Mexican theme for our blogger's lunch, I knew this Latin American dessert would be a great addition.

May 05, 2015

Parsi Falooda

Blogging Marathon# 52: Week 1/ Day 3
Theme: Parsi Dishes
Dish: Parsi Falooda
For the final day of this week's 'Parsi Dishes' I made this colorful dessert drink called Falooda. I wanted to make Parsi mawa cakes, but after all the sweet bakes from last month's marathon, I didn't want anymore extra calories. So the mawa cakes will have to wait for some time later.
Parsi Falooda
Instead I made this rich and delicious Falooda drink. I had falooda bookmarked to make for a very loooong time and finally got a chance to make it. I didn't really know Falooda was a Parsi dish until I started looking for Parsi dessert recipes. It is an Iranian cold dessert drink called faloodeh, consisting of thin vermicelli noodles mixed in a semi-frozen syrup made from sugar and rose water.

May 04, 2015

Parsi Style Crepes (Chapat)

Blogging Marathon# 52: Week 1/ Day 2
Theme: Parsi Dishes
Dish: Parsi Crepes (Chapat)
For the second day of this week's marathon, I made Parsi style Crepes. These are great to serve for breakfast or as an evening snack. They are thicker than a French crepe and thinner than a pancake. As Mother's day is fast approaching these crepes with berries is the perfect dish to serve for your mom.Parsi Style Crepes (Chapat)
I actually wanted to post the famous Parsi eggs & potato dish, Pateta per Eeda, today. I made the dish couple weeks back and clicked pictures too. It wasn't until I started to edit the pictures that I realized my potatoes were burnt and the dish looked awful. We are a potato and egg loving family, I guess our love for the ingredients blurred our eyes as we ate and didn't even notice the burnt bottom.

May 03, 2015

Vegetable Dhansak

Blogging Marathon# 52: Week 1/ Day 1
Theme: Parsi Dishes
Dish: Vegetable Dhansak
We are going to our regular 3 day schedule of Blogging Marathon this month and my theme for this week is 'Parsi Dishes'. Parsis, meaning Persians, are the followers of the ancient Persian religion known as Zoroastrianism. They emigrated to India from Persia to avoid religious persecution by the Muslims.
While looking for Parsi dishes, I came across this lovely post by Peri. She is a Parsi blogger and her blog has tons of delicious Parsi (and non-Parsi) recipes. In that explains, she explains the different between Indian and Parsi food and how parsi cuisine is unique. Do check it out more details.
For my first day, I made a very flavorful and spicy Dhansak. It is a hearty dish with lentils, vegetables and choice of meat (which I skipped, of course). It is flavored with aromatic spice blend and is usually served with Parsi brown rice and a kachumber salad (cucumber salad). I didn't make the rice, so served the dhansak with some roti.
Vegetable Dhansak

May 02, 2015

Fire Up your Oven Recap -- Baking Mega Marathon

Those of you following my blog, you probably already know what 'Fire up your Oven' means, it's the month long mega baking marathon we did as a group in April. It was so much fun baking 26 different dishes and posting them each day. What was even more exciting was the anticipation of what the other marathoners are going to post each day :-) 
I broadly divided my bakes into 4 categories -- Breads, Breakfast Bakes, Cakes & Miscellaneous. Here's a recap of all that I posted for the marathon.


May 01, 2015

Vegetarian Molletes - Mexican Open Face Sandwich

After all the sweet & savory bakes in April, I'm starting May with a baked Mexican open faced sandwich called Mollete. When I think of May, I think of Cinco de Mayo that is celebrated on the 5th of May. The date is observed to commemorate the Mexican army's unlikely victory over French at the battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. So May 5th means make Mexican food and enjoy!!
I was browsing through my 'Cookshelf -- Mexican' cookbook for some recipes and found this Mollete sandwich. It is a Mexican version of open faced sandwich that is filled with refried beans and cheese, then topped with a crunchy cabbage salad.
Vegetarian Molletes
Molletes are traditionally made with bolillos, a savory Mexican bread that is similar to a baguette but is shorter in length and has a crunchy crust and soft inside. I couldn't find bolillo in my neighborhood, so bought wholewheat crusty rolls and made the sandwiches with them.


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