Friday, 17 November 2017

Creamy Spinach Cheese Macaroni

Recently one of my friend went for routine health checkups and was detected with iron deficiency. Though doctor advised her on supplements, she was curious on how she can easily include natural iron sources in her and her kids diet. It is then we were talking about various iron rich vegetables, grains and dry fruits and after hearing most of the names, she became more anxious as how can she make kids have Spinach or beetroot or dates or oats !!

Interesting I have many recipes on kitchenkatta including these ingredients which I shared her. And as her LO also likes macaroni, I decided to share this interesting recipe with her which my LO enjoys for long time. 

Incidentally that is when I came across this Indiblogger and Livogen Iron Chef contest and thought, wow, perfect timing and platform to share this recipe!

So well without a much delay now let me share you this quick and easy Creamy Spinach Cheese Macaroni recipe.

1. 1 cup macaroni pasta
2. 1/2 cup fresh spinach leaves
3. 1/4 cup processed cheese
4. 1 tbsp maida
5. 3-4 tbsp milk
6. pinch of fresh ground black pepper
7. 2 tbsp of butter
8. 1/2 tbsp pasta seasoning
9. Salt to taste

1. Clean and wash spinach leaves and grind it to fine paste using water as needed. Keep the paste thick. No need of blanching as we are going to cook the puree. Keep it aside
2. Boil 2 cups of water in a pan, add pinch of salt and 1/4 tbsp butter
3. As the water starts boiling, add macaroni to it and let it cook. Keep checking so that you do not overcook macaroni
4. Pour macaroni in a strainer and quickly poor room temperature water over it. is helps halt the further cooking of macaroni due to steam. Keep aside
5. Now heat a pan, add butter and as it melts add 1 tbsp maida. Fry it by quickly stirring and add milk to it. Make sure no lumps are left. The mix will start thickening very fast, so make sure it does not become too thick
6. Add spinach puree to it and let it cook well. The raw green colour of spinach will turn to darker green which indicates it is cooked
7. Add cooked macaroni and mix well
8. Add salt, pasta seasoning, black pepper and mix well.
9. Finally add shredded processed cheese and turn off the flame as cheese starts melting
Mix well and serve your hot iron rich creamy spinach cheese macaroni!

Also check out my other iron rich recipes by clicking below:

If you like this Creamy Spinach Cheese Macaroni do share it with #livogenironchef and let's fight iron deficiency together!!

Friday, 3 November 2017

Moong Daal Appe

Here is another way to include pulses in your meals in easy and interesting ways. I like to explore using day to day ingredients in unusual ways and this is one such recipe where the appe are made with yellow moong daal and trust me they make a feeling breakfast or snack

1. 1 cup yellow moong daal. Soaked overnight and drained
2. 1 tbsp ginger paste
3. 1 green chilli chopped
4. 2 tbsp fresh coriander leaves
5. 1 small oninion chopped
6. 1 tbsp Eno fruit salt
7. 1/2 tbsp turmeric powder
8. Salt to taste
9. Oil for cooking
10. Water as needed

1. Mix soaked moong daal, ginger paste,green chilli, coriander leaves , saltand turmeric powder and grind it to fine paste using little water at a time.
2. Make batter of idly/cake cosistency
3. Add chopped onion and mix well
4. Keep aside for 15 mins
5. Add Eno fruit salt and mix gently
6. In Appe pan, add little oil and add the prepared batter in each section of pan. Cover and cook for 2-3 mins.
7. Turn and drizzle with oil. Cook for another 3-4 mins till appe are light brown on all sides. You can also insert a fork in appe and check if it comes out clean to ensure appe are fully cooked.

Serve hot with tomato ketchup

Sunday, 15 October 2017

Meetha Paan - home made meetha paan

After a satisfying meal, a paan is must in many Indian households even today. Though paan stalls are common around in any art of India, making a paan at home is one of the fun filled affair, with ladies of household coming together and making the special paan for their better half!
Today I share the little secrets of making meetha paan that is also a very good for digestion and a great mouth freshener. The betel leaves I have used are from my MIL's kitchen garden. Betel leaves are also easily available in market.

1. 8-10 betel leaves (as much paan you want to make. Also I have used 2 per meetha paaan as these were small in size)
2. 4 tbsp Gulkand
3. 2 tbsp saunf (fennel seeds) 
4. 1 tbsp ajawain (carom) seeds 
5. 2 tbsp meethi supari powder (Mix 2 tbsp saunf, 1 tbsp ajawain and 2 tbsp Jeshthamadh/Mulethi/Yestimadhu powder ground together. Though called supari, it does not really have the supari/betel nuts in it. This mix can also be taken as mouth freshener after meal )
6.  8-10 Cardamon
7. 8-10 cloves
8. 2 tbsp dry coconut powder
9. 1/2 tbsp edible lime/chuna
10. 1/2 tbsp kattha/catechu
11. Tuti-fruti and cherry (optional, I have not used)

1. Wash and clean betel leaves and arrange each leaf separated and places upside down, with darker green part facing down. Remove stems if hard.
2. Apply very little chuna and kattha on the betel leafs. Be careful to use very less of both chuna and kattha and if more it may lead to mouth ulcers.

3. Now add a little of each Gulkand, saunf, ajwain, meethi supari powder, cardamon, cocomut powder, tuti-fruti if using, on each paan

4. Carefully make a cone shape by folding both the sides of the paan and cover it from top by folding the top potion. Place a clove carefully tuck inside to close the paan. You can also add a cherry with help of toothpick on each paan.

Your homemade meetha paan is ready to be consumed!

Saturday, 7 October 2017

Lauki Halwa - दुधी हलवा (without condensed milk)

Simple and quick halwa that makes a great traditional dessert and also can be consumed during fasting. You can also make it beforehand and store in fridge and serve cold or after reheating. I prefer cold one, but if you don't want the frozen ghee bits, you can also reheat and serve.

Also in this halwa, we will not use any condensed milk, but just regular full cream milk. I avoid using condensed milk in sweets, due to its very high sugar content. Also ready availability of regular milk is another reason.

1. 1 medium sized lauki/दुधी (such that you get lauki grate of 1 big bowl)
2. 1 cup full cream milk (use your regular milk unless it is low fat)
3. 2 tbsp cashew pieces
4. 2 tbsp kish-mish
5. 5 tbsp ghee
6. 3/4 cup sugar

1. Peel and grate lauki. Press with hand and remove the juice. Discard the juice. Grated lauki should now just be damp and no juice in it.
2. Heat 1 tbsp ghee in a deep pan and fry cashew pieces till golden brown and keep aside. In same ghee fry kish-mish and keep aside
3. Now in same pan add grated lauki and roast it on low flame stirring continuously. After it becomes some more dry in another 3-4 mins, add the remaining ghee and keep roasting.
4. Once the lauki starts changing color and starts becomes translucent, add sugar and mix well.
5. Continue to cook, stirring always till the moisture evaporates
6. Add milk now and keep stirring. Slowly the milk will start to get thick and will show up in the halwa. Keep cooking till milk thickens completely
7. Off the flame and add fried cashew and kish-mish and mix gently

Serve hot or store in fridge for chilling!

Friday, 22 September 2017

Muliki Besan wali subji - Mulyacha Korda or Bhugara (मूळयाचा कोरडा / मूळयाचा भूगरा )

Radish or muli primarily used in salads or parartha stuffing, but it also makes interesting main course. As you would see in many of my recipes, this also can be prepared with few day to day ingredients. This is mainly due to the region I belong to is usually very hot and scarcity of water, where we did not have regular supply of fresh vegetables in past. Though in recent times the situation has changed, in traditional foods one can easily find the impressions of past.  

1. 2 mediums size white radish
2. Half cup besan( bengal gram flour)
3. 1 green chilli chopped
4. Few Curry leaves
5. 1/2 tbsp Rai
6. 1/2 tbsp jeers
7. 1 tbsp turmeric powder
8. 2 tbsp red chilli powder
9. 1tbsp amchoor powder
10.1/2 tbsp sugar
11. Salt to taste
12. 4-5 tbsp oil

1. Peel and grate radish/muli. Press with hand and remove excess water. Don't make completely dry and same moisture we will use for cooking.
2. In a pan dry roast tell it is golden brown and starts releasing aroma
3. Lower the flame and add salt, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, sugar, amchoor powder and mix well
4. Keep this mix aside to cool
5. In another pan, heat oil and add rai and jeera to it. As it crackers add curry leave and chopped green chilli
6. Add radish, cover and cook till reddish  done
7. Now at the roasted besan mix to cooked radish. Mix well and if if sabzi is too dry sprinkle little water with your hands. Cover and let it cook for few minutes with moisture.

Served hot with paratha or phukla..

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Saturday, 16 September 2017

Mexican flavored Tomato poori - Lunch box series recipe #11

These simple poories make a great snack or lunch box item for all. To make it more flavorful and give it a unique taste from regular poories, I used Mexican seasoning and it turned out too be a very good combination with tomato puree.
You can pack these poories as it or with tomato ketchup or a simple tomato-curd rita. These poories also taste great with Guava chutney, recipe can be found here

1. 2 medium sized tomato, select nice red ones
2. 1 cup whole wheat flour
3. 1 tbsp Mexican seasoning mix or all purpose seasoning
4. 1/2 tbsp chilli flakes
5. 1/4 tbsp red chilli powder
6. 1/2 tbsp sesame seeds
7. Salt to taste
8. 1/4 tbsp sugar
9. Oil for deep frying

1. Dice the tomato and make fine puree using mixer
2. Mix whole wheat flour, seasoning, chilli flakes, chilli powder, sugar, sesame seeds and salt together
3. Add tomato puree to this mix slowly as needed and knead a stiff dough. Add water only if needed, otherwise knead the dough only in tomato puree
Apply 1/2 tbsp oil and knead it well, cover and keep aside for 10 mins
4. Divide into equal portions and roll in to small poories
5. Deep fry poories till golden brown

Tasty tomato  poories are ready..Cool to room temperature before packing in box.

Kitchen Gyan: Adding small amount of sugar to any poories dough helps poori stay puff for longer 

Sunday, 10 September 2017

Spinach Dhokala - Palak Dhokala - Lunch box series recipe #10

Goodness of spinach added to simpleness of dhokala!
Simple addition of pakal/Spinach makes this dhokala healthy and also colorful.
As my LO demanded again something new for his school lunch box, I opened up this kept secret recipe :) and he simply loved it! 

1. 1 cup chopped palak
2. 2 cups besan (gram flour)
3. 2 tpsp rava (suji)
4. 2 tbsp oil
5. 1 tbsp sugar
6. Salt as per test
7. One sachet of Eno Fruit salt (Use lemon flavour or plain(blue packet) only)
8. Salt to taste

For tampering:
1. 1 tbsp rai (mustard seeds)
2. 1 tpsp oil
3. 1 tbsp sesame seeds 
4. few curry leaves

1. In a mixer jar, and palak and little water and puree the palak well. No need to blanch as we are going to steam the dhokala. 

2. In a bowl mix besan, rava, 2 tbsp oil, 1tbsp sugar and salt and pakal puree. 

3. Add water slowly while continuously mixing so that lumps are not formed. Make a batter of pouring consistency

4. Grease idli mould or deep plate with oil and keep ready. In cooker keep sufficient water for heating. I have made mine in idli mould.

5. Add Eno Fruit salt to above batter and mix gently

6. Quickly pour the Dhokala mix in the greases plate or in the idli mould using laddle

7. Steam dhokala for 10-12 minutes

8. Open and carefully check by inserting a knife, it should come out clean. If so the Dhokala is cooked

9. Take out the Dhokala plate and let the steam evaporate.

10. Now prepare the tampering. Heat 2 tbsp oil and add rai and as it crackles add sesame seedns and curry leaves Turn off the flame quickly

12. Spread tampering on the Dhokala 

Healthy and tasty Spinach/Pakal dhokala are ready to be packed..

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