Guava empanada

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There are many times when I spend a good amount of thought and time looking up recipes and cooking elaborate meals. But there are other times, when cooking is all about putting together a couple of things and coming up with an enjoyable treat. This one belongs to the latter category. The recipe was inspired from the book The Cuban Table by Ana Pelaez and Ellen Silverman. I had the guava paste and the frozen empanada discs. I skipped the cream cheese and overcame my fear of deep frying to make this treat.

I wasn’t sure whether its actually a recipe, given how simple it is. I am glad I took pictures despite my hesitation because sometimesI feel that life is complex as it is. We really need to remind ourselves of the simple enjoyments in life in as many ways as possible. So enjoy a good evening with a sweet jam in a salty pastry served with a hot cup of tea!

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Ingredients:

  • ready made Empanada discos
  • ready made guava paste
  • oil to deep fry

Method:

  • Defrost the empanada discs by taking them out about 20 minutes from the freezer. Once they are defrosted, stretch it a little by rolling them out using a rolling pin.
  • Cut a piece of guava paste to fit comfortably inside the disc. Fold the empanada in half and seal the edges with a fork. Repeat with the rest of the discs.
  • Deep fry in hot oil without crowding the pan or bake for 20-25 minutes until browned.

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This recipe goes to Cooking from Cookbook Challenge Group.
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Easy Chana chaat

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3:00 PM is panic time at my place. My son comes home by 4. Usually I give him rice and veggies leftover from our lunch. But there are times when I would have managed an easy lunch somehow and then there won’t be anything left for him to eat. Even though I know that he comes by 4, I choose only 3 PM to start panicking. I am cool as cucumber until then.

On one of those days, I made this quick chana chaat using canned beans. If you can plan ahead you can always soak and cook chana. The chutneys takes only a few minutes to make or you can always use ready made ones. I have used the recipe from Vaishali’s space. Ideally you use only sweet chutney for this, but I added a teeny tiny bit of green chutney too. My son loves the sweet chutney a lot. I make paani puri with aloo filling with ready made puris too, but for today’s post, it is the chana chaat.

Chaat in general is not exactly healthy, but this particular one is definitely healthy. There is no deep frying involved, its just cooked chana with chutneys, spices and a bit of yogurt. I added a spoon of ready made sev for a bit of crunch, but its not enough to make the healthy factor go away.

Here is the recipe.

Ingredients:
For the green chutney:

  • 1 cup coriander leaves
  • 1/2 cup mint leaves
  • 1 green chili (or per taste)
  • juice of a lemon
  • salt as needed

Grind everything together to a fine paste. Some people add ginger and garlic as well when grinding. You will need only a teaspoon or so of this chutney, so you can skip this if you want.

For the sweet chutney:

  • 1/2 cup of tamarind pulp
  • 1/2 cup jaggery
  •  a pinch each chili powder, garam masala and hing
  • salt as needed

Mix 1 tablespoon tamarind paste with half cup of water to get 1/2 cup of pulp. Or soak a small gooseberry sized tamarind ball in 1/2 cup water for 15 minutes and then extract the pulp and discard the fibrous bits. Bring the pulp to a boil with jaggery (or sugar). Add salt and the powders. Taste test and adjust if needed. Let it cook until it thickens a bit. Take off the heat and once its cooled down, use it in the chaat.

For the chaat:

  • 1 can garbonzo beans, drained
  • 1/2 small onion, chopped finely
  • 1/2 small tomato, chopped finely
  • 1/2 small potato, boiled
  • handful of chopped coriander leaves
  • 1 teaspoon chaat masala, ready made
  • lemon juice and salt as needed
  • a tablespoon of sweet chutney
  • a teaspoon of green chutney
  • a teaspoon of sev, optional

Method:

  1. In a bowl, add the drained and washed beans, onions, tomatoes, coriander leaves, potatoes, chili powder, chaat masala. Mix it in carefully and add lemon juice and salt to taste. You can add more or less chaat masala according to your preference. Add some sweet chutney and green chutney. Serve with some sev on top.

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Egg and Cheese Chutney Sandwich 

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Some of the regular dishes at home never make it to the blog. It could be that I feel it’s too simple for a blog, but these recipes are gems as well. So here I am today with an oft repeated lunchbox or brunch recipe at my place. It’s not a recipe as such, to be honest, but it’s a tasty dish that’s quick to put together. 

My family loves egg and cheese croissants from Dunking donuts. But it was my friend Purnima who served it as a sandwich with an Indian touch to it. Bread toasted in a bit of butter with a chutney that packs flavor with my favorite egg and cheese combination….it’s delicious! 

The egg and cheese combination as a filling works out good for tortilla or roti as well. Covering the pan while cooking on a low heat helps the cheese melt better. 

Read on for the pictorial and recipe.  
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Serves 1

Recipe source: My friend Purnima 

Ingredients:

  • 2 slices of bread 
  • 1 teaspoon readymade green chutney/sandwich chutney 
  • One slice of cheese 
  • One large egg 
  • A little Butter for greasing the pan

Method:

Heat a little butter in a pan. Crack an egg, season with salt and pepper. let the bottom cook. Flip it over using a silicone spatula. Let the top cook too. 

Once you flip it over, add a slice of cheese on top. The heat will melt it slightly. 

Meanwhile Spread some green sandwich chutney onto the bread slices. Slowly remove the egg and cheese from the pan and carefully keep it on the bread. 

Spread some butter in the pan if you wish. Return the bread with the egg filling back to the pan. Cover and cook in medium to low flame for a few minutes until the bottom is golden brown. Flip over and cover and cook  until the top also turns golden. You can add sriracha or any other hot sauce also along with the green chutney on the sandwich. 

Pack for the lunchbox or serve with ketchup for a hearty brunch with a strong cup of coffee. 

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Chocolate peanut butter energy bites

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Oh please don’t be surprised! I did mention in yesterday’s post that I made the energy bites a couple of times. This was a variation of the recipe I tried. But don’t worry, this is the only variation for now. 

For this recipe, I kept the quantity of the base items – oats, peanut butter and honey -the same as yesterday. The rest is just whatever I had in my pantry that day!

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I had some dates that needed to be used up, so those were chopped and soaked in hot water for sometime. After draining and squeezing out the water, it came to about 1/4 cup. To avoid the water content, I would just chop them up or pulse them in a blender and add the next time. These didn’t last for a long time, so I needn’t have worried about the moisture from the dates. 

To make it a chocolate version, I added a little unsweetened cocoa to the mix. The raw taste of cocoa felt a little strange initially. I did get used to it, but maybe I will add Nutella or hot chocolate for the chocolate flavor the next time. 

Read on for the recipe. 
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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup oatmeal
  • 2/3 cup peanut butter*
  • 2 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup butterscotch chips
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup dates, soaked in hot water (about 8 dates)
  • 2 Tablespoons sunflower seeds
  • 2 Tablespoons honey
  • 2-3 tablespoons desiccated coconut, optional 

*You can start with 1/2 cup and then add a couple more tablespoons extra if needed.

Method:

  1. Add all the ingredients to a bowl. Mix with a silicon spatula until everything is combined well.
  2. Using your hands take a small portion of the mix and roll into a ball. If the dough is sticky, refrigerate for a few minutes. Once you are done with all the dough, roll them over a thin layer of desiccated coconut to coat it. Refrigerate the balls to set firm. 
  3. I got about 20 balls with this set of ingredients.

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