Crunchy Chickpea & Corn Cups

These savory appetizers are made with tortillas and are filled with either chickpeas or corn.

A tasty corn alternative for those who have a Trader Joe’s near by, is the Mexican Style Roasted Corn with Cotija cheese.

Make ahead: the cups can be baked up to 2 weeks in advance and stored at room temperature.

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Ingredients

Flour tortillas, to make the cups

Mini muffin pans

Chickpea filling:

1 cup chickpeas (approx 1 can)

3 tablespoons mint chutney

1-2 tablespoons oil

1/2 small onion, finely chopped

1/2 small tomato, chopped

1/4- 1/2  teaspoon red chili powder

1/2 teaspoon chaat masala (optional)

1/2 teaspoon coriander powder

3 tablespoons cilantro, finely chopped

1/2 teaspoon green chillies, finely chopped

1 teaspoon salt

Corn filling:

1 cup of boiled corn (or canned)

3 tablespoons cream cheese

3 tablespoons cilantro, finely chopped

1/2 teaspoon green chillies, chopped,

 

Preparation

Preheat the oven to 350. Spray mini muffin pans with cooking spray.

Cut out large circles from the flour tortillas (even easier with a cookie cutter if you have one) and press into the mini muffin pans.  Bake for about 5 minutes until light brown.  Remove from pan and cool on a wire rack.

Note: These can be made ahead and stored at room temperature in an air tight container for 2 weeks.

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Chickpea filling:

Heat the oil, add onions and saute till light brown. Add the tomato and cook for a minute.

Add the remaining ingredients and stir until mixed well. Cool until room temperature.

Fill into tortilla cups and serve.

Corn filling:

Heat the corn in a pan, add the cream cheese and cook on low till the cheese is softened over the corn.

Add the remaining ingredients. Cool until room temperature, fill cups and serve .

OR

1 packet frozen Trader JoesMexican style roasted corn with Cotija cheese.”

Prepare according to directions, cool until room temperature and fill.

 

 

 

 

 

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Green Masala Chicken

This dish is one of my regulars – it is quick and easy since you simply  blend the ingredients for the marinade together, and then grill. It incorporates veggies into the sauce so perfect for our family!

 

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Ingredients

1 teaspoon each, garlic paste and ginger paste
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 cup yogurt
1 teaspoon coriander powder
1 pound boneless chicken breast, cut in small cubes
1-2 green chillies
1/2  large green bell pepper
2 cups packed spinach leaves
1/2 cup cilantro leaves
2 tablespoons vinegar or lemon juice
1/2 medium onion, chopped, fried brown or  1/2  cup package fried onions (from the indian grocery store)
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 lime

Preparation

Marinade chicken with the first 5 ingredients.

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Blend the remaining ingredients except the lime, to a smooth paste, in blender or food processor.IMG_2923 (1)

Add this to the chicken and marinade for several hours or overnight.

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Skewer the chicken and grill for about 3-4 minutes or each side.

Squeeze the lime over the chicken and serve with slices of onion.

Sprouted Mung Bean Salad

The Mung (Moong) bean is small green bean commonly found in Indian and other Asian cuisines. It is one of the easiest beans to sprout- it takes about 3 days.  Mung bean sprouts can be used in sandwiches, added to leafy green salads or stir fried with vegetables and meats. My favorite way of eating these sprouts is to use them in this salad recipe below.

Mung bean sprouts are easy to digest and and high in protein, Vitamin B and fiber.

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Ingredients

1/2 cup dry green mung bean

1 large tomato, chopped,

1 medium cucumber, chopped

2 green onions, chopped

1 small green chili, finely chopped (remove the seeds)

2-3 tbsp chopped cilantro

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp black pepper (optional)

1 lime, squeezed

Preparation

Soak the mung beans overnight. The next morning, drain and rinse the beans, place in a sieve or strainer, cover with a lid or foil and place in a dark place such as inside a kitchen cabinet.

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In the evening, rinse the beans and put them back in the cabinet. You will see sprouts appear in a day or so – repeat this every morning until the sprouts are about 1/2″ long or more as desired. Refrigerate in an airtight box if not using it at once.

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Add the sprouts to a large bowl. Mix in the remaining salad ingredients, cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

NOTE: Some people prefer sprouts to have a softer texture. If so, add the sprouts to a large bowl, pour boiling water to cover the sprouts. After about 5 minutes, drain and cool the sprouts before adding the other ingredients.

Low Fat Chicken Malai (cream) Kabab

IMG_1320You are probably wondering how a recipe using cream could be low fat!  This a very popular kabab dish in Indian restaurants  and I decided to make a healthy version using lower fat cream cheese instead of heavy cream. It is very tender and flavorful and can be eaten as an appetizer or as a main course. I use the double skewers for grilling the chicken from Crate and Barrel. I love using them as they are easy to turn with chicken so the second side cooks evenly.

Ingredients

2 pounds boneless chicken breasts

8 ounce Neufchatel cream cheese (1/3 less fat)

2 tablespoon plain yogurt or milk

1 1/2 teaspoon garlic paste

1 1/2 teaspoon ginger paste

1 1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup lemon juice

1 cup cilantro finely chopped (thick stems removed)

2 -3 long green chillies, finely  chopped or ground

Preparation

Cut the chicken breasts into 1″ cubes.  In a large bowl beat the cream cheese, yogurt or milk till smooth.

IMG_1299Add the remaining ingredients and mix well. Add the chicken pieces to the cream cheese marinade. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.

Skewer the chicken pieces and place under the broiler (one rack from the top)  and grill for 4 – 5minutes. Turn and continue grilling  for another 4 minutes till the chicken is cooked.   

IMG_1302To serve, remove from skewers and serve with lemon wedges and thinly sliced onion rings. To prepare in advance: Thinly slice raw onion into rings and add to iced water. Keep until ready to use. The onion rings will remain crisp.

 

 

Starting with Broccoli Bread

Broccoli Bread

Cooking in America was quite an experience for me 40 odd years ago. I did not grow up learning to cook but I had some basic cooking lessons when I got my degree in a BSc in Home Economics . It certainly did not prepare me for everyday cooking! I had a lot of mishaps and trial and errors, and with the help of family and friends I became more confident and found cooking challenging. Fortunately, I enjoy cooking but I realized then that I did not want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen as there were so many other interests I could explore.

Finding quick, simple and short cuts to recipes became a challenge. I collected and tried out and adapted ingredients to  Indian recipes.  Broccoli Bread is one of them as it reminded me of  Dokhla (a savory snack from the Gujarat region of India). I also came up with a variation, using cabbage (see note below).

Broccoli Bread

Ingredients:

Ingredients

1  10 ounce box  frozen chopped broccoli

6 ounces of  fat free or regular Cottage cheese

1 small onion diced ( about 1/2 cup)

2 small green chillies, chopped

cilantro chopped ( about 1/2 cup)

1 teaspoon salt

4 eggs, beaten

1/4 cup butter, melted

1 Box Jiffy Corn mix ( or any other brand )

Broccoli Bread

Preparation:

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 ” x 13″ pan .

Set aside the corn mix.

Add all the ingredients in a large bowl and mix well.

Stir in  the corn mix and stir till well blended.

Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 25 minutes or till light brown.

Cool and cut into squares .

Variation:  Substitute 1 cup of finely shredded cabbage and add 1 -2 teaspoons of pickle masala instead of the green chilli .

Baked

Fresh out of the oven!

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