Jun 29, 2011

Cucumber Sandwich with basil-mint-cilantro chutney

Picnic food would be incomplete without sandwiches. And cold sandwiches to cool you down would be the best. This sandwich is made with cucumbers and smeared with some cream cheese and basil-coriander-mint chutney. It is very simple to make and can be made ahead and left to chill in the refrigerator till you enjoy them. Make these sandwiches along with other delicious and simple to make picnic food like desi omelet, kale chips, 10 minute banana bread, marble cake, falafel-pita sandwich and wash them all down with this gorgeous blueberry lemonade.

For the blogging marathon, I was paired with Harini and I had to make something from her blog based on the picnic theme. I chose this basil-mint-cilantro chutney and made simple cucumber sandwiches with the chutney. The chutney paired the cucumbers really well and made a great evening snack. This can also be packed as lunches for kids. I made the chutney with my homegrown basil and cilantro harvested fresh from my garden!

Ingredients for the Chutney
Recipe Source: Tamalapaku

Basil - 1 cup
Mint - 1/2 cup
Cilantro/Coriander leaves - 1/2 cup
Tamarind paste - 1 teaspoon
Green chillies - 2
Oil - 1 teaspoon
For the seasoning - Mustard seeds(1 tspn), urad dal(1 tspn), channa dal(1 tspn), red chillies(1), hing(1 pinch)
Salt to taste

In a small pan heat the oil and do the seasoning with the mustard seeds, urad dal, channa dal, red chillies and hing. Once the dal turns brown in color, add the basil, cilantro and mint. Saute for a minute until the leaves wilt.

Allow it to cool and blend it together with the tamarind paste, green chillies and salt without adding any water.

To assemble the sandwiches
Cut the edges of the bread and slice them into triangles. Smear some cream cheese/butter on both sides, followed by 1/2 a teaspoon of the prepared chutney on each slice. Place 3 or 4 sliced cucumber rounds and place another slice of bread on top to make a sandwich.
Sending these sandwiches to Sandwich Mela and to the Giveaway by Ruchika Cooks

Jun 28, 2011

Blueberry Lemonade

Picnics during the summer would be incomplete without some summery juices and lemonades. This is a no brainer recipe for lemonade with a few blueberries floating which provide just the right amount of tanginess and color to your ordinary lemonade. Also, your lemonade will have an antioxidant punch from the blueberries! This can be served during parties and during picnics and can be made in no time. They can also be made ahead and stored in a pitcher in a refrigerator. The blue color increases with time.

I found this idea to make blueberry lemonade when i was browsing for recipes to use up my berries. i made these using frozen berries. They taste great when made using fresh berries. The lemonade can also be made using different berries like raspberries, strawberries, cranberries etc.

Ingredients (serves 2)
Lemon juice, freshly squeezed - 3 tablespoons
Sugar - 3 tablespoons
Ice cold water - 2 glasses
Blueberries, fresh or frozen - 3 tablespoons or more


  • In a bowl, stir together the lemon juice, sugar and water until the sugar dissolves completely. 
  • Add in the blueberries and with the back of a spoon, just press a few blueberries, so that the blue color dissolves into the water. 
  • Adjust sweetness and pour into a glass with ice cubes and enjoy!

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#6

Jun 27, 2011

Marble Cake

This is one pretty cake which does not require any frosting and it looks beautiful and tastes great by itself. It is very similar to the zebra cake except that the cake has a marbled effect and not the perfect black and white lines. It is fun to have a random mix of chocolate and plain vanilla cake in each bite.

Recipe Source: Joy of Baking
Maida/All purpose Flour - 2 1/4 cups
Unsalted butter - 1/2 cup at room temperature
Granulated sugar - 1 1/4 cups
Eggs - 2
Semisweet Chocolate, chopped roughly - 2 oz or about 55 gms
Brewed coffee - 1 tablespon
Vanilla Extract - 2 teaspoons
Sour cream/Yogurt - 3/4 cup
Milk - 1/3 cup
Cinnamon powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Baking powder - 1 tablespoon
Baking soda - 1/2 teaspoon
Salt - 1/4 teaspoon

Preheat oven to 350F.

Melt the semisweet chocolate and brewed coffee in a double boiler (Bring water to a simmering boil in a saucepan. Place a the semisweet chocolate and brewed coffee in a stainless steel bowl and place the bowl in the saucepan with water). Once the chocolate melts, remove from the heat and set aside. Alternatively, you could microwave the chocolate and coffee together for about 30 seconds.

In a bowl, sift together the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon.

In another bowl, cream together the butter and sugar using a hand mixer/electric mixer until soft and fluffy or about 2 to 3 minutes. Add eggs, one by one and continue beating. Slowly add in the vanilla extract and sour cream and beat until well incorporated.

Slowly add in the flour mixture and milk by alternating them and continue beating, until you have added all the flour and milk.

Once the batter is ready, pour half of the batter into another bowl and add the melted chocolate into one half and mix thoroughly.

Grease a bundt/loaf pan and pour the batter into the pan alternating with a spoon of chocolate and vanilla batter. Using a spatula or a spoon, draw some swirls in the batter to give a swirling effect.

Bake in the preheated oven for 50 to 60 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for about 10 minutes and slice the cake.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

This cake makes a great snack at picnics and this is my post for the Blogging Marathon with the theme Picnic Food. Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#6

Jun 26, 2011

Kale Chips!

Are you someone who hates kale? Then you should definitely try these crispy, crunchy, delicious kale chips! I have been seeing these kale chips a lot around the blogosphere and I had to try it. Kale is a chock full of Vitamin A, C, calcium and iron. I grabbed a bunch of kale from my farmers market to make this chips and some salad. But I have been staying away from kale salads, fearing it might have some strong taste. But when I made these chips, I knew I am going to make these very often! They are so addictive like potato chips!

The recipe is so simple. I kept it simple by adding olive oil, salt and apple cider vinegar. The vinegar gave some tanginess to the chips. The chips also taste great with just olive oil and salt. You could also make several other variations - pepper, rice vinegar, balsamic vinegar, canola/vegetable oil, nutritional yeast, flax seed meal, garlic salt, italian seasoning etc.

Kale - 1 bunch
Olive oil - 1 tablespoon
Apple cider vinegar - 1 teaspoon
Salt to taste

Wash the kale and dry them well with paper towels. The leaves should be dried completely. If wet, the kale would just be steamed instead of turning into chips.

Tear the kale leaves into bite sized pieces leaving the thick vein or inner stalk.

In a bowl add the kale and drizzle some olive oil, vinegar and salt to taste. Using both your hands, massage the kale well, so that the seasonings blend well with the kale leaves.

Preheat oven to 350 F.
In a baking tray, line with parchment paper or spray with some non-stick cooking spray and line the kale leaves in a single layer. Do not over crowd the pan as it might result in steamed kale and the chips might not turn crispy.

Bakein the oven for about 10 - 15 minutes depending on the oven. Keep checking after 10 minutes to see if the chips have become crunchy and crispy. Mine took around 12 minutes to turn crispy.

Enjoy! Store in an airtight container.

This is my entry for the Blogging Marathon with the theme Picnic Food. This would be a great healthy snack to munch on during picnics. Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#6
Also sending this to Quick and Easy Recipe Mela.

Jun 25, 2011

Desi Omelette

Anyone who has travelled by trains in India, must have come across this omelette made with onions and tastes great even if it is not that warm. they are great during trips and picnics. They taste great all by themselves or wrapped between toast and served as a sandwich. Makes a filling and nutritious breakfast or even as a quick snack. The omelette can be tweaked several ways by adding your favorite veggies, herbs and cheese. I kept it simple this time and just added onions and green chillies. This is exactly not a recipe and the quantities if the ingredients can be varied according to ones likings.

Ingredients (serves 1)
Eggs - 2
Milk - 1 teaspoon
Onion - 3 tablespoons finely chopped
Green chilly - 1 finely sliced
Butter/oil - 1 teaspoon
Salt and pepper to taste

In a bowl, break the eggs and add the milk. Using a whisk or a fork, beat the eggs and milk until it turns frothy.

Heat a skillet, add the butter or drizzle some oil.

Add the chopped onions and green chillies. Saute for a minute until it turns soft. Spread the onion-chilli mixture evenly on the skillet.

 Now pour the egg-milk mixture into the skillet. Take the skillet in your hand and give a quick swirl, so that the egg forms a nice round omelette.

Cook for about a minute and flip the omelette using a spatula. Cook the other side for one more minute and season with salt and pepper.

Serve warm. if you are planning to pack this for a picnic, wrap the omelette immediately using aluminum foil and serve with some bread as a sandwich. You could also spice up the omelette sandwich with some ketchup or hot sauce.

Variations: Various vegetables like mushrooms, spinach, asparagus, bell peppers, tomatoes, chopped ginger, chopped cilantro, dill, thyme, oregano, grated cheese etc.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#6

Also sending this to Quick and Easy Recipe Mela.

Jun 24, 2011

10 Minute Banana Bread

I bake banana breads often, atleast once a month. I make sure we have a few ripe bananas left just to make this banana bread. i have experimented different banana bread recipes, but this one has been a recent favorite and a regular at my kitchen these days. It is so simple and takes about 10 minutes from the start till it gets into the oven.

Picnics are all about food and snacking. A fresh loaf of this banana bread makes a great picnic snack. it can be stored easily and sliced just before enjoying. Also makes a great quick and filling breakfast/snack with some coffee or tea. This is my second post for the blogging marathon!

Ingredients (Yields 1 full sized loaf or 2 small loaves)
Recipe Source: www.thefreshloaf.com

Bowl 1
Butter - 1/2 stick or 5 tablespoons
Eggs - 2
Ripe bananas - 2 or 3
Sugar - 2/3 cups

Bowl 2
Maida/All purpose flour - 11/3 cup
Salt - 3/4 teaspoon
Baking soda - 1/2 teaspoon
Baking powder - 1/4 teaspoon
Cinnamon - 1/2 teaspoon (optional)

Walnuts - 1/2 cup (optional)

Preheat oven to 350F.

In a bowl combine all ingredients listed under 'Bowl 1' and using a potato masher, or a fork or a spoon mash the bananas well. The banana should be mashed well, but a few chunks here and there should be fine.

In another bowl, combine all the dry ingredients listed under 'Bowl 2.'

Then, combine the wet and dry ingredients together and stir in the chopped walnuts.

Pour the prepared batter into a greased loaf pan and bake until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

It take 40 minutes for small sized loaf pans and 50 minutes for large loaf pans approximately, depending on ovens.

Remove from the oven and allow the loaves to cool for about 10 minutes before removing it from the pan and slicing the bread.

Serve warm or cold. This bread also freezes well when wrapped in foil and stored in a ziploc bag.

Jun 23, 2011

Falafel-Pita Sandwich

Summer is ideal for picnics! Beaches, parks, riverbanks, trails, campsites are ideal for picnics. Picnics would never be complete without food and snacking! I have chosen the theme - Picnic Food for my blogging marathon this week. Yes, I will be continuously be posting recipes everyday for a week all revolving around the theme Picnic Food!

Food taken for picnics are dishes that taste great even when served cold, spill-proof and great eaten without the use of much cutlery. This falafel-pita sandwich is great for such situations. they can be made ahead and wrapped in plastic or foils and makes great picnic food. The falafels can also be prepared individually and then sandwiches can be assembled with the pita bread and the sauce just before eating.

Here is a simple and easy recipe for making great falafel-pita sandwiches. I have used hummus and greek yogurt as the sauce in this sandwich. Any kind of sauce can be used. I bought most ingredients from the grocery store except for the falafels which I made at home.

I used the kuzhipaniyaram pan to make the falafels more healthy with less oil. Falafels are traditionally deep fried. I have also tried baking the falafels. But we loved this version better.

Ingredients (makes 4 sandwiches)
For the falafel
Dried garbanzo beans - 1 cup/16 oz. can of chickpeas
Onion - 1 medium sized
Garlic cloves - 2
Fresh parsley/coriander leaves - 2 tablespoons chopped
Coriander powder - 1 teaspoon
Cumin powder - 1 teaspoon
Chilli powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Salt to taste

For the sandwich
Falafels - 8
Pita bread - 2
Cherry tomatoes - 12 (or) Regular tomatoes - 2
Onion - 1/2 cup chopped (optional)
Cucumber - 1
Greek yogurt - 4 tablespoons
Hummus - 4 tablespoons

To make the falafels
Soak the garbanzo beans overnight or atleast for 5 to 6 hours. Drain the chickpeas and pressure cook for about 10 minutes. If using canned garbanzo beans, you can skip the above step.
In a blender add the cooked and drained chickpeas along with all the ingredients listed under falafel and grind to a coarse mixture.
If using the kuzhipaniyaram pan, drizzle a little oil in each hole and place a lemon sized ball of the falafel mixture. Slightly press with the back of a spatula.

Cook on low heat for about two minutes on each side. Do not cook on high heat, because the outsides might brown too quickly and the inside might remain uncooked. Remove the falafels once cooked and allow it to cool. You can make these falafels ahead and refrigerate or freeze leftovers for future use. The falafels stay good in the freezer atleast for a month.

Alternatively, you can also make the falafels by deep-frying or baking them.

To assemble the sandwich
Take a pita bread and slice it into two equal pieces. You can toast the pita on a pan for a minute. this step is optional.

Open the pita pocket carefully, and smear one tablespoon each of the greek yogurt and hummus. Place two falafels in each sandwich. Top with your favorite toppings - cherry tomatoes, sliced onions, sliced cucumbers, coriander, parsley etc. You can also use tzatziki or tahini sauce as toppings.

Enjoy your falafel-pita sandwich!

Jun 22, 2011

Show Me Your Dosa!

After a little break from the Show Me Your.. series, I am here with another theme. It is going to be dosas this time. Dosa is a staple breakfast in South India. You can never find any home without a grinder to make dosa batter. Even people moving abroad, never forget to pack a grinder along with their luggage. It is that famous!!

Dosa is a fermented crepe made with rice and black lentils. The dosa is rich in carbohydrates, contains no salt, sugar or saturated fats and its constituent ingredients of rice and lentils mean that it is gluten-free and contains protein. The fermentation process increases the vitamin B and vitamin C content. There are various ways of transliterating dosa: dose, dhosha, dosay, dosai, dhosai, tosai, thosai, or dvashi. There are several different kinds of dosas made with different grains and legumes. Dosa can also be made healthy with brown rice and beans.

Here are some guidelines for the event:
Blog about your favorite dosa and email me the following details to divyablogs[AT]gmail[DOT]com on or before July 31, 2011:
Recipe name:
Recipe URL:
Attach a picture of your final dish:
Feel free to use the logo.
Link your blog post to this event announcement.

Archived entries are allowed. But please link back to this announcement.
Non-bloggers can email your recipe and picture to the above email address.

Looking forward to all your delicious dosa entries!

Jun 17, 2011

Show Me Your Muffin - Roundup

Need Muffin or Cupcake recipe ideas?

Check out all these delicious muffin/cupcake entries i received for Show me Your Muffin event, with banana muffins topping the list! I received the maximum number of banana muffins. Needless to say, it is everybody's favorite. Thank you friends, for sending in all your delicious entries!

Priya - Eggless Orange Poppyseeds Muffin
Krithika - Eggless Bottlegourd muffins

Priya - Eggless Lemon Poppyseeds Muffin
Priya - Vegan Kiwi & Cornmeal Muffins

Shylaja - Wheat flour banana muffins
Priya - Vegan pineapple Muffins

Sumi - Sweet Potato Muffins
Shylaja - Whole wheat oats and dates muffin

Sravani - Papaya muffins
Sumi - Apple Cinnamon Muffins

Denny - Flax Banana Muffin
Veena - Eggless mango Muffins

Radhika - Mom's Sweet Muffins
Vidhya - Upside down double apple muffin

Radhika - Banana Nut Muffins
Sravani - Crunchy Banana Muffins

Meghna - Mango Macadamia Muffin
Vimitha - Chunky Chocolate Cupcakes

Gayathri - Eggless chocolate cupcakes
Gayathri - Eggless spiced nutty muffins

Deeksha - Orange Muffins

Divya Vikram - Eggless Banana Walnut Muffin
Neetu - Orange Muffins

Thanks again, for all your entries!
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