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Mediterranean

Lemon-Coriander Hummus….

Lemon-Coriander Hummus...

Hummus is a very popular dip in the Middle Eastern countries made from cooked chickpeas. This essentially needs a sesame seed paste known as Tahini. There are loads of flavoured hummus available in the market. It is a super healthy dip, made of fresh/boiled ingredients with loads of olive oil.

Lemon-Coriander Hummus......

Those of you who saw the recipe I posted yesterday would know that the Hummus recipe was coming up next. I made some homemade Tahini, as ready-made Tahini paste is hard to come by easily in India. You may find it is some exclusive stores in certain cities. Such exclusive stores which stock up of world foods is not close to the place I live, in Bangalore. Anyways it is a pretty simple recipe. One does not really need to go hunting for store-bought Tahini. It is ready in a jiffy. Check here for the – Tahini Recipe.

Ingredients for the hummus....

Now once you have Tahini ready, all you need is a can of chickpeas or you can soak a cup of chickpeas overnight & cook it till tender. The rest of the ingredients are pretty easy to find too. A small bunch of fresh coriander, juice of lemons, a few cloves of garlic, some coriander powder, extra virgin olive oil and some salt to taste… that is it.. blend them all together & your done..

Hummus is traditionally served with flatbread such as Pita or as a part of meze. It is also served as an accompaniment to falafel. You can also eat hummus with some tortilla chips & salsa, instead of the guacamole/sour cream on the side.

Lemon-Coriander Hummus...

I always used to pick flavoured hummus tubs like – Jalapeño hummus, Thai sweet chilli hummus, Red pepper hummus etc. from stores when living in the UK & eat them with crudités or with tortilla chips. You can even eat it as it is.. Both K &I love hummus as it is, it’s really really tasty & does not actually need an accompaniment with it, just dig in & I guarantee that you will lick your fingers clean..! 

Ingredients: (Serves 3)         Preparation Time: 10 mins

Ingredients for the hummus....
Chickpea’s – 1.5 cups
Note: You can pre-cooked canned chickpeas, washed & drained. Else you can also soak 3/4 cup of chickpea’s overnight, throw away the water used to soak the chickpea & cook it in fresh water till tender, drain away the water and use it for this recipe.
Coriander – 1 small bunch washed & roughly chopped, reserve some chopped leaves to garnish
Note: Let the stalks be, they add a lovely flavour
Garlic cloves – 3, peeled & roughly chopped
Tahini – 1 tbsp
Coriander powder – 1/2 tsp
Lemon juice – 2 tbsp of freshly squeezed juice
Extra virgin Olive oil – 3-4 tbsp or use as per required
Salt to taste

Method:
Throw in all the ingredients into a blender jar. Blend until smooth. If the hummus is dry, add some more olive oil. This is a pretty thick, shiny/glossy dip, very flavourful too. The Tahini adds a nutty feel & the lemon-coriander add its tangy bit & freshness…!

Garnishing:
Transfer to a serving bowl. Garnish with some olive oil & some chopped cilantro.

Serving Suggestions:
Serve it as a dip with some falafel & pita bread or with some tortilla chips or with crudités.

Lemon-Coriander Hummus...

 

 


Tahini… the nutty Middle Eastern dip/condiment.. !

Tahini/Tahina...

Tahini..

As most of you would know Tahini is widely used in Turkish, Greek and Middle eastern cuisines. Tahini is paste made of ground sesame seeds, which is served on its own as it as or it can used to make loads of other yummy dishes like – Hummus, Baba Ghanoush etc. Tahini is also known as Tahina is some regions.

Hummus always keeps playing on my mind.. but to make a good bowl of Hummus I can’t do without some Tahini. I finally got down to making some Tahini. As you know from my previous post I’m trying to eat healthy, exercise & get back into shape & lose those extra kilo’s from my vacation in Mumbai. Mumbai is truly a foodies paradise for sure..! Been filling myself up with Salads, boiled veggies, sprouts etc. A perfect dish at this time would be none other than a bowl of hummus with some crudités’. I will post the a yummy & fresh flavoured – lemon & coriander hummus soon, so as you have a recipe at hand once you make the Tahini. 🙂

Tahini..

Tahini has an awesome nutty flavour… While I made tahini, K got to work & added some powdered sugar to the food processor jar & licked the rest of the paste sticking to the jar. That made me think that tahini with some sugar would surely taste good with some bread just like peanut butter :D.

Tahini..

This is a no jazz recipe. You need to lightly toast the white sesame seeds so that the heavenly aroma of these seeds come out. Toasting can be done in an oven or simply on a skillet on the stove, grind the seeds with some extra virgin olive oil & salt to a paste. Consistency is totally up to you. Some like it thick & some like it a little runny. Add more olive oil if you want it a little more runny. Our goal is to make a thick yet pourable paste.

Ingredients: Makes about 4-5 tbsp of Tahini             Preparation Time: 15/25 mins
White sesame seeds – 1/2 cup
Olive oil – 2 tbsp
Salt to taste

Ingredients..

Method:
Oven Method:
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F/180 degree C. Spread the sesame seeds evenly on a baking tray. Toast the seeds for 5 minutes & then take the tray out & re spread them so that they toast even. Return to the oven for another 4-5 minutes. Take out the tray, cool the seeds & blend in a food processor along with olive oil & some salt to taste.

Skillet method:
Heat a skillet on low heat. Add the sesame seeds & toast the seeds by constantly tossing them around so that they don’t burn for 5 – 6 minutes. I wanted a rich nutty flavour. So I toasted them for about 8 minutes. Hence my tahini looks a darker brown in colour compared to the usual light coloured tahini.
Yes, that is it.. your done. 🙂

Serving Suggestions:

Tahini/Tahina...
Now, go ahead spread it on a slice of bread with some honey, sugar or use it as a savoury dip by mixing some lemon juice, crushed garlic & some herbs. Or make some Hummus just like I did & dug some crudités into it.. 😀

If you like this recipe, then you may also like –


Rosemary, Lemon thyme Focaccia..

Rosemary, Lemon thyme Focaccia..

Hiya.. I was back this monday from my vacation, but was still in the holiday mood so did not get much cooking done. Our trip was wonderful, even though the weather did not really help much we made the most of it. I got my dose of laughter to last me for a while, thanks to our friend Shomu. We visited the Roman Baths, the pretty town of Oxford, Swansea & Cardiff .. 🙂 If you follow me on Instagram you would have seen some of the pictures I posted.

Its getting chillier & its made me laze.. that’s the reason you have not seen a post from me..! I was really craving for some Focaccia last evening. I did the digging bit, found a perfect recipe. Made up my mind to get it done using some wholemeal flour, (guilt from all the calories I gobbled up during the vacation).. But nah.. I just could not get my stubborn butt to move & get the focaccia done & the lazy me kept wishing I had a twin sister who would get it done..! If wishes were horses huh!!

Freshly baked focaccia..

My love for Focaccia developed along with K.Back during the days when we were dating, we used to visit this particular Italian Bistro. They did not have an elaborate menu. They just had a few things to nibble on with your coffee & some salads, Panini’s along with some cakes. We tried focaccia & fell in love with it. I have meaning to bake a similar focaccia we used to eat back there, but then the store did not have aubergine which I very much-needed for it.

This recipe is adapted from http://www.inspiredtaste.net. I made a few modifications to suit my taste. The focaccia I baked looks more brownish rather than golden brown because I used plain wholemeal. Go ahead & substitute it with all-purpose flour if you wish.

Ingredients: (Serves 6-8)            Preparation Time: 150 mins
Plain Wholemeal flour – 350 gms
Garlic – 2 cloves, minced
Lemon thyme – 1 tsp, dried, you can use 1 tbsp of fresh thyme if you have it
Rosemary – 1 tsp, dried, again use 1 tbsp if you have fresh rosemary
Active dry yeast – 1 sachet
Honey – 1/2 tsp
Black pepper – 1/4 tsp freshly ground,
Warm water – 230 ml
Plain Olive oil – 110 ml
Salt – 1 tsp

Most of the ingredients..

Method:
In a saucepan, mix the olive oil, rosemary, lemon thyme, black pepper & minced garlic. Heat the oil mixture over low heat for 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Make sure the garlic does not change colour. Turn off the heat & let the mixture cool. The aroma is wonderful. The best part about this focaccia is you infuse olive oil with the flavours you want & you do not need to hunt stores for infused olive oil.

Olive oil infused with the herbs..

Just look at the colours.. its tempting already isn’t it? I could not wait for the finished focaccia. What a pity K wasn’t at home.. (Buhahahha – Evil laugh, sometimes its best to try new experiments without him around. Kidding, I just wanted to surprise him).. 

Now in a large bowl, mix the yeast with the honey & water. Stir a couple of times & let it rest for about 5 minutes.

Mix yeast, honey & warm water

Add about 140 gms of flour & half of the cooled olive oil mixture. Mix about 5-6 times, till the flour is moistened. Let this sit for about 5 minutes.

Add olive oil & flour..

Now add rest of the flour & salt. Mix till the dough comes together. Now knead the dough till its smooth. Oil the bowl & place the dough in the bowl & cover with a warm damp cloth & let it be for around an hour. Place the dough in as warm an area so that it helps it to rise.

Pre-heat your oven to 230 degrees C or 450 degrees F. Use half of the remaining olive oil to grease a 9 by 13 inch rimmed baking sheet. I used a slightly larger sheet hence my focaccia is a little flatter than usual.

When an hour is up & the dough has risen well, knead it again a couple of times, then transfer it to the greased baking sheet & flatten it out using your hands. Press down to make impressions on the top using your fingers.

Let it be for another 20 mins so that the dough rises again. Now add the remaining olive oil mixture over the top & spread it around using a pastry brush.

Bake it for 15 – 20 minutes in the centre of the oven or until the top is golden brown. I had a peak after about 5 minutes.. & wow what a sight.. the olive oil was sizzling & I wanted to enter the oven..! 

Note: Since I used a larger pan the dough was spread a little flatter, hence my focaccia was ready in 15 minutes. Also if you use the perfect pan, you can make deeper impressions with your fingers.. Since my bread was flatter I could not. Lesson learnt, next time I need to use the perfect tray.

The aroma is just brilliant. Makes you all warm & you crave for some creamy soup/pasta to go with it. Once done, let it cool on a cooling rack.

Just out of the oven..

Serving Suggestions:
Cut into pieces of the desired size & serve warm. They are yummy as is or they go really well with some Pasta or soup.

Rosemary, Lemon thyme Focaccia..

Tip: If you’re in a mood for a yummy focaccia pizza base, when the focaccia is about 12 minutes in the oven, take it out & top it with your favourite pizza sauce, toppings & cheese & return it to the oven till the cheese is sizzling & your pizza is ready. For a homemade pizza sauce idea check here.

The bread tastes best when warm & out of the oven. If you plan to save some for later, then it lasts for a couple of days in the refrigerator. Else you can toast the day old bread to use them as croutons for a salad or soup.

If you like this recipe, then you may also like – Bread rolls with an Indian flavour/Masala bread rolls.. they go perfect with Masala chai..Olive & Basil bread etc.


Herbed Mushroom Omelette..

Herbed Mushroom Omelette..

My favourite way to kickstart my day is with egg’s & some yummy mushrooms in it. K’s cousin has been complaining that I have not put up his favourite Mushroom omelette recipe yet, he has been asking me to post this from the time I started blogging.. The day’s finally come Akshay.. 🙂 this recipe is for you… 🙂

Herbed Mushroom Omelette..

I love preparing omelette’s for breakfast. Back in India it was almost like a ritual, almost every sunday was an omelette experiment day. When most of K’s cousins come over for a stay they ask me to prepare omelette’s for breakfast. I have experimented a lot with omelette’s. Will begin posting more omelette recipe’s soon.

This is an easy peasy recipe, just like most omelette recipe’s, anyone can give this a shot. That’s the beauty of omelette’s..

Ingredients: (Serves 2) Preparation Time: 10 mins
Eggs – 4, beaten well
Mushrooms – 4 medium-sized, washed & finely diced
Garlic – 1 medium-sized clove, finely chopped
Basil leaves – 3-4 medium-sized, finely chopped, you can use parsley if you wish to
Crushed Black pepper/Chilli flakes – as per your taste
Cooking oil – 1 tsp
Salt to taste

Some of the ingredients...

Method:
Heat a non-stick fry pan. Make sure the heat is set to medium.

Meanwhile, mix the basil, beaten eggs, salt, chilli flakes/pepper, mushrooms together in a bowl.

Tip:1. If you wish you can divide the mushrooms, garlic, basil into two equal portions. Beat 2 eggs at a time & prepare the omelette’s.
2. I usually mix the salt & spice powders with the mushrooms & other veggies that I add to an omelette so that the salt does not get concentrated in one area & gets mixed evenly. Then transfer this salted veggies into the egg. I have noticed that this way you do not get lumps of salt which you otherwise do when you add salt directly to the egg.

Drizzle some oil when the pan is hot & spread it around. Add half of the egg & mushroom mixture to the fry pan.

Spread the mushrooms around evenly..

Note: The mushrooms tend to get concentrate around one area most of the time. Use a fork & spread the mushrooms around evenly.

Tip: You can add some grated cheese at this point if you wish to & fold the omelette when the underside is firm & the top is almost cooked.

Lower the heat. Cover & cook for 3-4 minutes. I do not flip the omelette around, hence I cook it in low heat & allow the top to get cooked by covering the frying pan. If you want to flip the omelette please do :).

Just out of the fry pan...

Serving Suggestions:
Serve hot with bread. Enjoy.

Herbed Mushroom Omelette..


Tangy Chickpeas dip

Tangy Chickpeas dip with Pita bread..

The other day when I prepared some Chole I had some extra chickpeas left with me. Thought of preparing this dip with the leftover chickpeas. This dip is just delicious as a filler in sandwiches or with some pita bread or along with some crackers.

Just the right amount of lemon juice to kill the spice from the hot dried chilli’s with a hint of garlic, mint & olives…

Tangy Chickpeas dip with Pita bread..

Hummus has always been on my list of recipe’s to be posted. But since these leftover chickpeas from the chole were boiled with some turmeric I decided against using them to prepare hummus.

Ingredients: (Serves 4)       Preparation Time: 5 minutes (Does not include the time taken to soak & cook the chickpeas)
Chickpeas – 1 cup, boiled & cooked with some salt & a pinch of turmeric
Olives – 3, pitted, I used green olives for the dip & one black olive for the garnishing
Mint leaves – 3-4 leaves
Dried red chilli – 1
Garlic clove – 1 medium-sized, peeled
Lemon juice – 1 tbsp
Extra virgin olive oil – 4 tbsp
Salt to taste

Method:
In a blender jar add the cooked chickpeas, lime juice, olives, olive oil, garlic, mint leaves & the dried red chilli’s and blend into a coarse paste.

Ingredients to blend..

The paste should look like this when blended.

The dip almost ready..

I added another tbsp of olive oil since some the oil is left on the blender jar.

Add salt to taste & transfer to a serving bowl.

Garnishing:
Garnish with some black olives & with some extra olive oil on the top if required.

Serving suggestions:
Serve with some pita bread or some crackers. This dip also tastes good with some grilled veggies.

Tangy Chickpeas dip...

You may also chill it in the fridge for a while before you serve as the flavours blend even better when served chilled.

If you like Mediterranean dips do check – Tzatziki.

Also do check  out my Greek Souvlaki wrap with salad & tzatziki.

 


Tzatziki

Tzatziki...

This is for those who love Yogurt dips or fillers for wraps or salads. Tzatziki is a Greek or Turkish meze used as a sauce for Souvlaki or gyros.

Tzatziki

Tzatziki is made from thick strained yogurt, mixed with cucumbers, salt, garlic, olive oil along with some lemon juice mixed with some dill/parsley/mint. Tzatziki is always served cold.

Tzatziki

When I had first tasted tzatziki it had dill in it. In the recipe I will be posting today, I used mint. Also I used Greek set yogurt & added a pinch of crushed black pepper. Instead of lemon juice I used some red wine vinegar.

Ingredients: (Serves 4)       Preparation Time: 5 mins
Cucumber – Half portion of a medium-sized cucumber, peeled & de-seeded
Greek yogurt/ any thick-set/ strained yogurt – 250 ml
Red Wine Vinegar – 1.5 tsp
Garlic clove – 1, minced
Black peppercorns – A pinch, freshly ground
Extra virgin Olive Oil – 1 tsp
Mint leaves – 7-8, finely chopped
Salt to taste

Method:
Grate the cucumber and squeeze out any extra water out of it using your hand. Throw the water away. This is to prevent the tzatziki from getting watery as time passes by.

Take a big bowl, empty the yogurt, mixed garlic, red wine vinegar, grated cucumber,chopped mint, olive oil, ground black pepper, salt to taste. Mix well. Adjust salt if required.

Chill this in the fridge for sometime before you serve.

Mint Tzatziki...

Serving suggestions:
Serve along with some Pita bread or Souvlaki or gyros. For the Souvlaki recipe check – Greek Souvlaki wrap with salad & tzatziki.

Tzatziki with some Souvlaki...

Will taste good with any mediterranean starter.

If you liked this recipe, you may also like other dips like – Chunky Guacamole…Teekha Meeta Yogurt dipGreen Chutney/Mint Coriander chutney/DipTangy Chickpeas dip etc. 

 


Butter Garlic Mushrooms

Butter Garlic Mushrooms

I love the English breakfast because I get to eat mushrooms for breakfast with it. So, from this you would have gathered that i’m a huge fan of mushrooms.

This is a quick tasty starter. Anyone who likes mushrooms will like this. The blend of parsley along with butter and garlic is aroma therapy for my tummy. 🙂

Ingredients: (Serves 2)      Preparation Time: 10 mins
Mushrooms – 100-150 gms , washed and diced thick
Garlic cloves – 2-3  finely chopped
Butter – 1 tbsp (unsalted)
Mixed Italian Herbs – a pinch / Parsley – 1 sprig, finely chopped
Salt to taste

Method:
Melt the butter in a frying pan.

Saute garlic in butter

Add the chopped garlic and fry for around 2 minutes. Do not let the garlic turn brown.
Add the mushrooms and salt to taste.

Saute the mushrooms
Fry the mushrooms for about 10 minutes, till the water let out by the mushroom evaporates.

Serving Suggestion:
Garnish with the herbs/parsley and some crushed pepper/chilli flakes if you want to add a dash of spice to it.

I have used herbs as I did not have fresh parsley with me.

If you liked this recipe, do check out – Herbed Mushroom Omelette.., Smoked gammon steak in a spicy mushroom sauceMushroom Wraps, Pasta in Soya n Mushroom Sauce etc.