Simple and Quick Potato Sandwiches!

>>  Monday, September 22, 2008

Sunday breakfast was different from the usual this weekend. Every Sunday, its always Poori that adores the table along with different gravies. But since we had an outing planned and hubby dear insisting on not eating pooris, I thought given the time and scope, Sandwiches were the best bet. I was reminded of the many varieties, that I used to make for myself, during my early years of cooking. I have always been very fond of bread and experimented with different varieties. But hubby dear was not so keen bread in the early years, as its tagged as a food to eat during illness. Only the last decade, has seen a great change in approach, to many towards bread.

Now hubby dear prefers bread for most days and on top whole wheat loafs. We discovered a bakery near our house, from which we get our bread fresh from oven. Given my distance with baking these days, getting freshly baked loafs are a boon! So having decided on sandwich, I remembered Mint stuffing that I used to love, then I knew I may not be able to convince Konda to eat this. These days she has been such a darling, eating most things when I tell her that I am saying she eats without fuss in the blog. So resorted to that tagline, she even said she wanted to see where I mention that!

Since there was a time constraint, I pressure cooked potatoes before leaving. We went for a temple visit and we really enjoyed seeing the kids being so religious. Three of them were having their hands folded and ready to prostrate in front of every deity. We planned for a picnic at the temple place for the twins as we thought they will eat fast in a new place. So I was running around them, to feed. Finally after they finished their breakfast, we returned home. As expected the rest of the folks were hungry the moment we reached. So fixing their sandwich was a matter of minutes job.

Konda really enjoyed eating and was trilled at the crispy sandwiches. I made these in sandwich maker, but I normally make it over the pan, which comes out equally crispy.

Preparation time : 15 mins

Ingredients Needed:

Potatoes - 3 medium
Bread Slices - 12
Onions - 2 medium
Green Chillies - 2 long
Mint leaves - 4 -5
Salt to taste
Garam Masala - 1/4 tsp (opt)
Oil - 1 tsp
Ghee - for greasing the bread slices.

Method to prepare:

Pressure Cook Potatoes to tender. Cool and peel the skin. If you have potato masher, use it to mash it to a smooth paste. You can use your hands to mash if its well cooked.

Heat a pan with oil. Sauté the onions, finely chopped green chillies. Fry till the onions are pink. Then add the mint leaves and fry for another 2 mins.

Then add the cooked mashed potatoes, salt and garam masala if you are using.

Simmer for 2 mins. Allow it to cool.

Meanwhile, if you don't like the sides of the slices, trim them

Then top a slice with the aloo stuffing, spread well. Then press another slice over it. Grease both sides with ghee and roast either on hot tawa or in a sandwich maker.

Serve with Tomato ketchup.

Note: Remove the chilies from the stuffing for the sandwiches that you are serving your child.

The mint adds a nice zing to the sandwich. Enjoy with choice of your likings.

These are very quick and ingredients needed are not much. So another simple recipe for the Bachelors and a tasty breakfast for kids.


Mixed Vegetable Curry ~ A Bachelor's Guest Post!

>>  Tuesday, September 16, 2008

When I wanted to start Spice your Life, I only wanted to concentrate on Parenting and Kids. But I was getting so many requests for Bachelor's recipes, I thought I might be able to cover it in this blog. Now what's more interesting and encouraging than getting a post from a bachelor, who is going to showcase the dishes he prepared on his own.

Sanjay Keswani is from UK and is Alka's brother in law. Now what more proof do I need to know, that recipes from Sanjay would be awesome. Alka's blog is a great resource on Sindhi cuisine and her pictures are breathtakingly beautiful. I am not kidding you can check it out yourself. So I jumped the gun when she said her BIL cooks.

Ok I don't want to crowd his post, lets go straight to see what's been simmering in our bachelor's kitchen! I have not modified anything.

Mixed Vegetable Curry - By Sanjay Keswani


Onions 3
Tomatoes 2
Green chillies 2 or more
2 or more cups of chopped Mixed vegetables like cauliflower,potatoes,sweetcorn,peas,carrots etc)
Turmeric powder 1/4 tspn
Coriander powder 1 1/2 tspn
cumin powder 1/4 tspn
Garam masala powder 1/2 tspn
Kitchen king masala(optional) just a pinch
Oil 1 tbspn(or less if cooking in nonstick pan)
Salt as per taste


Peel and chop onions finely(A daunting task)
Take 1 tbspn oil in a nonstick pan or handi
Sauté onions in this oil till they turn brownish in colour
Add tomatoes and all dry masalas and fry well
Add small chunks of potato,mix properly and then add water
Add salt ,mix properly and let it cook for sometime till potatoes are half done
Then add all other vegetables(The frozen pack of mix vegetables available in UK is very handy and also get cooked fast,but you can use fresh vegetables cleaned and chopped,and saute them for few seconds before adding them to curry)
Let the vegetables cook,on minimum flame and adjust consistency of curry as per your requirements
Garnish with coriander leaves and serve with Rotis or Pita bread or even bread.

All bachelors out there, do try this as its sure Sanjay enjoyed his meal.


Making breakfast interesting for kids ~ Mini Breakfast dishes!

>>  Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Getting kids to eat is always a constant complaint I hear from most mothers. Young adults, as most of us, are most interested in junk food rather than healthy food based on vegetables or lentils.And including fruits in their diet is even more difficult. My daughter, who is now 7 years old, has always been very picky eater. She was only on milk till she was 6 months, then when it was time start weaning, we started including dal and fruits. We tried Nestum Rice, Farex but she didn't like them. Finally we settled supplementing her diet with Cerelac. She was on Cerlac for almost till she was 10 months old.

Its been the same with my twins.We took the twins for monthly checkup which involved vaccines and discussions on their diet. I was more lucky that the doctors were my Dad's colleagues. I felt the difference because friends used to say they were never told on such things. That's when I thought I should record all these informations to help young mothers better. My twins are now 23 months and its been a journey of sorts when it came to their food habit. Luckily they were not so fussy with food, when compared to my daughter. The reasons could be that since she was the only child then, she had almost attentions of five adults. Now with the twins, since we were boggled with so much work, we just about went taking care of them, though the attention was no less, it may not have been so intense as the first and only child gets.

I plan to write about the food habits and how we managed. Suggestions and ideas on those will be most welcome. For now let me kickstart this with a simple topic on making food interesting and exciting for young adults of age group 3-10 years. No matter which age group they belong, if the child knows that the food is prepared specially for him/her, tends to take interest in eating it. I have found this works always atleast with my daughter. Till she was about 3 years, we used to prepare dal specially for her, which she used to eat without fuss. We tried different ways to include vegetables. Sometimes it worked, sometimes not.

When she started going to school, she had to take packed lunches. I literally used to get nightmares, thinking what to pack. So Amma got these mini idli moulds, which was really exciting for my daughter. She used to ask specifically for those idles. I even sent two plates for my SIL kids and was happy to know they were packing these with gusto!

What you see in this post are few of the breakfast items that I make in small size, to make them look more interesting.

Simple Dal powder smeared with ghee over the mini idlis or mini Dosas make it so interesting. I even allow my daughter to make the dosa while I am overseeing it. I don't normally allow her, but am planning to involve her more going forward.

Small Pooris are so much interesting, though it might be hard to roll them out, my daughter proudly says she ate 3-4 pooris.

Trying to give small servings in frequent intervals makes it more easy for the kids, rather than forcing them to eat three full meals. And making it more interesting by doing these and also involving them, makes things easy for us.

Looking forward to your ideas on this topic. Do share with me what you do with your kid's breakfast!


Potato Masala ~ Delightfully Simple Feast!

>>  Friday, September 5, 2008

Poori Kelangu is a term that evokes fond memories! I never knew this term almost until few years back and when I heard this being referred it almost reflected the attachment this dish has for many. It was in the hills of Kodaikanal that I heard the potato masala served with Pooris, being referred as Kelangu. The road side shops excelled in serving hot pooris with yummy kelangu. The chill mornings did nothing but added more joy being treated with this combo for a breakfast.

Pooris on Sundays have always been the way at home for many years. I guess almost ever! Only for a while it got alternated with Appam. But we are back on track. At parents place, its always Potato Masala or Channa Masala or Pessarappu Kura. I have continued the tradition after marriage. Though I don't really like potato much, this simple dish is something that's much cherished.

The first in the series for simple quick dishes for Bachelors, is Potato Masala. Of course, this is well known to all. Still I have tasted so many different varieties. It was to my utter disbelief I found recently that I had blogged on this simple dish. I make this in different ways and I believe all of them are simple, yet this variety gets done in 10 -15 mins of time. This is almost the same way its done for Masala dosa, yet sightly different when its accompanying Pooris.

Another thing that I am very particular is, the amount of Onions added. I like more of Onions in the potato, that it could well be called an Onion dish. Plus I like it as juliennes. It gives a distinct taste to the dish when you munch on the onion chunks while you sap up the hot pooris in it. This version is not very spicy, so makes it a great Kids dish too!

Preparation Time : 10 mins
Cooking Time : 10 mins
Serves :

Ingredients Needed:

Potatoes - 250 gms
Onions - 250 gms
Green chillies - 4 long chopped in middle
Cashew Nuts - 5 whole
Curry leaves - 5-8 leaves
Mustard Seeds - 1/4 tsp
Salt to taste
Oil - 2 tsp
Turmeric a pinch
Water - 1/2 cup

Method to prepare:

Wash and cut the potatoes to half. When you are pressure cooking Potatoes, its always best if you chop them in middle and cook. This way it gets cooked fast. Once its done, peel the skin and roughly mash them. You will have small to big chunks of pieces.

Chop onions as juliennes. Heat a pan with oil. Add mustard seeds, curry leaves, then add cashew nuts. Saute well. Add onions and fry for 2 mins in high flame.

The Onions should not turn brown. When it starts turning pink, add the salt and turmeric. Mix well.

Then add the potatoes and combine all together. Simmer for 2 mins. Then add the water and bring to boil.

It should not be too thick or running. Since you mash few potato pieces to almost paste, it will give thickness to the gravy.

Serve with deep fried delights, there is no words to describe this yummy combination. Puffed Pooris served with this yummy potato masala, sure makes you giddy with delight!


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