Corn and Spinach sandwich

Creamy Corn & Spinach Sandwich

You know how our minds are tuned to think of certain things certain ways but there is usually a simple, kinder explanation. If the woman in the house is sitting and scrolling on her phone, she must be whiling away time gossiping with friends, ignoring kids & household work. Or The woman may be relaxing after finishing her chores. If she dresses well, she probably doesn’t cook well or take care of the house. Or She likes to dress well. If she doesn’t dress well, she is a slouch. Or She is not really interested in dressing up. If she has had a successful singing career, she must have used the men around her. Or She may sing really well. If the guy doesn’t drink alcohol at the party, he is a loser, he must be scared of his parents/wife. Or He may not need alcohol to have fun. If the woman is drinking alcohol, she must be a rich, arrogant, bitch. Or The woman may need alcohol to get over her heartbreak, to get over Gemini Ganesan. If the woman watches movies all night, she is a no-good mother. Or That’s the only time she gets the remote. Vijay movies are a waste of time. Or This movie of Vijay is not great, but Vijay is a wonderful actor. Foodbetterbegood has only a few thousand followers. So it is no good. Or This little gem has not been discovered yet. If it is tasty, it can’t really be healthy. If it tastes bad, it must be good for me. Or Anything in moderation is fine. And if the body really needs the biryani, it probably knows best. Corn spinach sandwich may not at first sound like the healthiest option, not as healthy as Quinoa bowl or cabbage salad. However corn spinach sandwich actually has everything going for it. It is by far the tastiest way to eat spinach. Corn is everybody’s favourite and the creamy sauce is so light and easy to put together. Use whole wheat bread to up your fibre intake and a healthier option. There. You have yourself a healthy and tasty sandwich! Enjoy! Print Recipe Creamy Corn & Spinach Sandwich Light yet creamy, tasty yet healthy this corn & spinach sandwich is super quick to put together! Prep Time 5 minutes Cook Time 15 minutes Servings 4 sandwiches Ingredients 1 cup, packed Spinach, washed and...
Cucumber egg sandwich

Cucumber egg hung yogurt Sandwich

Waking up 40 minutes before the school van arrival is the status quo at home. I wake up with a start, shriek in panic which serves to wake up the kids and get them scurrying to the bathroom to escape from their crazy mother. I scrunch my hair on top of my head and go straight to the kitchen while frantically working out lunch ideas in my mind. I don’t always have a plan. Today was one such 40 minute frantic cooking session. I managed to make this egg-cucumber hung yogurt sandwich and a simple lunch and pack in time. I obviously did not have the forethought of leaving yogurt in the strainer overnight to make hung yogurt. I brute forced yogurt into hung yogurt in 20 minutes. I wouldn’t recommend that to you. This sandwich is so unbelievably easy and quick otherwise, it is great for rushed mornings, as a snack or as a last minute addition to a menu. This is an un-toasted sandwich, the kind you make with soft bread. I used soft whole wheat bread. I am calling this a healthy meal because there’s no butter and no toasting. I used hung yogurt instead of calorie laden mayonnaise and whole wheat bread instead of white bread. You’ll not miss the mayonnaise though. The hung yogurt is creamy and delicious. These sandwiches are best eaten as soon as they are made. Enjoy!   Print Recipe Cucumber egg hung yogurt sandwich Creamy, delicious cucumber egg sandwich with hung yogurt and none of the guilt! Prep Time 10 minutes Cook Time 20 minutes Servings 6 sandwiches Ingredients 12 slices Whole wheat bread, crusts removed1/2 cup Yogurt, strained overnight to thick hung curd1/2 Lemon, juicedSalt to taste3/4 tsp Black pepper powder1/2 tsp Sugar1 Organic cucumber, chopped4 Hard boiled eggs, chopped Prep Time 10 minutes Cook Time 20 minutes Servings 6 sandwiches Ingredients 12 slices Whole wheat bread, crusts removed1/2 cup Yogurt, strained overnight to thick hung curd1/2 Lemon, juicedSalt to taste3/4 tsp Black pepper powder1/2 tsp Sugar1 Organic cucumber, chopped4 Hard boiled eggs, chopped Instructions Line a strainer with a cheesecloth and place inside a container. Pour yogurt into the cheesecloth lined strainer and place inside the fridge. Leave the setup overnight. In the morning the liquid would have drained away and you should have thick hung curd in the strainer. Scoop the hung curd into a large bowl and...
Enchilada salsa verde

Enchilada Salsa Verde

One of my favourite scenes in the movie “Sindhu Bhairavi” is the one where J.K.B (played by Sivakumar) calls his wife (played by Sulochana) a “gnanasoonyam” because she ran her mixie on full throttle when he was passionately listening to music. Stung by his words, Bhairavi sniffles “Will Lata Mangeshkar make paruppu podi for you?” J.K.B feels even more contempt for his ordinary wife. I love this scene because it is beautiful and brutal and honest. On seeing this scene, if you pity Bhairavi for being a simpleton, you are just being a kinder J.K.B but still a chauvinist. If you see the simple truth in Bhairavi’s words you’ll realize that if the wives, mistresses, mothers did not make them their paruppu podi when they were travelling, if they did not remember to pack their jattis and lungis, if they did not steal the jeans away for washing once a month, if they did not pack their lunches, if they did not deal with homework, dinner and emails while they caught up on matches and Sunny Leone on whatsapp, if they did not remind them about their mother’s birthdays and anniversaries, if they did not fuss about making the dosai just the way they want it – crispy or browned on one side only, then the J.K.Bs will realize they don’t have the veshti for the kutchery, their stomach’s upset from eating out and they’ve run out of jattis. And if only women practice less perfection, women may finally find some time to listen to music, read the paper and have a conversation with a friend. I have tons of things I’ve been meaning to share on the blog here but haven’t got around to – Project50k (my weightloss journey), my trip to kodaikanal, a few stellar recipes I tried over the last few weeks and plenty of big small things. I’ll share these on the upcoming posts. Enchilada Salsa Verde I have a scrumptious enchilada recipe to share today. I knew I wanted to make Enchilada salsa verde when I saw lovely plump green tomatoes in the grocery store. I made a large portion of salsa verde that I used for this recipe. I still have a jar of leftover salsa sitting in my fridge. I took the lazy route to making this salsa as you would have come to expect from me. I didn’t roast the veggies. I...
Pesto paneer sandwich

Pesto paneer sandwich

When I hear some people complain that they’re too overwhelmed, that they’re overworked and super busy, I feel like Manick Basha caught amongst “Naanum rowdy thaan” rowdies. The real dons, the real rowdies, the worker bees go about their business like the professionals that they are. They don’t have the time nor the need to tell everyone how busy and important they are. I learnt though that this is not as obvious to the world. The world believes the “Naai Sekhars” more than “Manick Basha” or “Velu Naicker”. Strange world. When men tell me they’re too busy, I feel especially amused. Single men, you don’t even qualify. Really? You are busy whatsapping in the toilet for an hour, reading the paper, taking your own bath, dressing up yourself, eating, putting on shoes on your own but having somebody bring you your socks and going to work. By that standard, my 6 year old is overwhelmed and super busy too. What do ya call the mommies and wives who cooked two meals, packed several lunches, got the kids ready for school, made the morning coffees and teas, set up the washing machine, straightened up the house, did the morning poojai, bathed & dressed (nobody brought her socks or panties) and drove to work, worked all day, answered calls in between to tell folks where the cello tape is, where the cough syrup is, came back home, straightened up the home, cooked dinner, lost her temper during homework time and made up during bed time? I call them the real rowdies. The professionals. No snivelling, no complaining, no publicity, no projection. We simply get the job done. Next time some “Naai Sekhar” complains to you about how busy he is, remember who you are. Basha doesn’t go about telling people he is Basha, until it is time. Pesto Paneer sandwich I have an incredibly easy but flavour bursting pesto paneer sandwich recipe for all you real rowdies out there. Read on for the recipe.   The key to a good pesto is good olive oil and a generous amount of it. I love a good pesto (check out the pesto recipe here). I love it so much, I’d willingly slather it on toast, stir into stir fries and toss my pasta in it. I suddenly realized last week that I hadn’t made pesto in a long long time. I was in luck,...
Easy, delicious and filling mocha kottai quesadilla

Mocha Kottai Quesadilla & some fun new year resolutions

Wish you all a very happy, healthy and peaceful new year! Hope you had a good holiday break! Harder than waiting for the holidays is getting back into the grind after the break. I usually spend the last day of the holiday entirely on worrying that the holiday is getting over. In fact I feel better the next day when I am back to the daily grind. I am that serious a worrier. I am sharing a super easy, yummy mocha kottai quesadilla recipe and some of my family’s new year resolutions. Lists, lots of lists When I am anxious I make lists. It’s my way of allaying fears and resolving uncertainties. I made plenty of lists and lists of lists. Among the many lists was a list of books to finish reading, list of recipes from cookbooks that I have to try and resolutions for the year. I also drew up a weekly timetable to designate some time for writing, reading and cheating on my diet. When I did an inventory of the books, I discovered that I had 15 books that I had yet to read. I immediately added a resolution to my resolution list to not buy another book until I finished reading these 15. I think it’s a really good exercise because it helps you quantify your backlog. You can then estimate how much effort and time may be involved in actually reading them all. You’ll most likely over-estimate. You may not complete all the books within your expected timeframe. But it’s a good start. Kids’ resolutions I am not sharing my resolutions this year because I have something more interesting to share – Hasini’s resolutions. I had Hasini and Yuvan write down their own resolutions too. Hasini really took to it and went on to write 30 resolutions. What you see here is a small excerpt of that. What I loved about their resolutions was that they were all quite simply about having fun and feeling happy and doing your thing. I also discovered a thing or two about their interests I wouldn’t have guessed earlier. I didn’t know Hasini was into juicing or sun news. One of yuvan’s resolutions was for me to play cars with him every day. I was touched. I immediately added that to my own list of resolutions. Do ask your kids to write down their resolutions, plans, aspirations for...
chicken burger

Chicken burger

Me: “It is so hot these days. Summer is here.” Yuvan: “AC podu ma” (Switch on AC) Me: “Summer le nariye Vathal podalam” (We can make lots of vathals this summer) Yuvan: “Vathal pota summer poiduma?” (Will summer go away if you make vathals?) I guffawed. He smiled, pleased that he had cracked me up. He genuinely didn’t understand how my “vathal making” made any difference (“Nee vathal pota yenna podalena yenna?”). Yuvi and I have been at loggerheads for the past week and a half because of his exams. He wasn’t pleased that he was doing all the writing and I wasn’t. He swore that he’d make me write hundreds of pages just like he was writing (2 pages). After he put away his books, sharpened his pencils and put away his bag for the next day, he came up to me and gave me a sheaf of papers. He had drawn rows and columns and written an alphabet in each little box. He wanted me to write A, B, C, D… till Z and repeat in each of those sheets. I looked at his serious face seeking justice, revenge. I took the papers from him and started writing A,B,C. He wanted to eat burger, he told me – “With the leaf and sauce and chicken”. So I made chicken burger for him stacking cheese, onions, lettuce and chicken. He opened up the bun, took down the chicken cutlet, set aside the lettuce and made a deconstructed burger platter. He then ate his favourite parts – the chicken, bun, cheese, onion and sauce and left out the lettuce and tomato. He liked it, he said. Like most homes, I have one who likes burgers and two who don’t and one who abstains, two who like pasta and two who don’t, two who like chutney and two who don’t, two who like sambar rice and two who don’t, three who like Pongal and one who doesn’t. I manage with zero consensus on most dishes. I make do with coercion and blackmail (no movie, no colouring, no TV). Or I offer a more hated alternative which immediately makes this one look better – podi instead of chutney? Curd rice instead of sambar rice? Go ahead and make these chicken burgers with or without consensus. They’re easier than you think. The chicken patties are really simple to put together belying their crispy,...

Bombay Toast

I am officially jet-lagged. I am dozing away early evening, at night and waking up late too and finally that seemed to be acceptable. But someone told me that sleeping any time of the day is actually extreme laziness being passed off as jet-lag. I pretended to be falling asleep when ‘someone’ was still talking. I am very mature. I spent the last month in US of A but resisted the urge to change my Facebook location. Don’t worry guys – I made sure to visit Niagara. Indian travelling to east coast is not allowed back in India if they don’t produce their Niagara floaters. I did what I had to.   I ate my way through chicken salad sandwiches, quinoa bowls, Burritos, orange chicken, Japanese bento box lunches, pancakes, cheese burgers, Greek Gyros, pizza, Bao buns, eggplant parmigiana, pot-pies, ravioli, grilled chicken and Spanish tapas – and everything with a large order of fries and coke. I forget Bud light Lime. I lost myself in the food aisles of Walmart – ready to cook pot pies, Lasagne, pasta sauce in jars, canned beans, tortillas, minced garlic, pancake mixes, puff pastry, breaded chicken cutlets, biscuit mixes. Why would I chop vegetables, knead dough, roll out dough, soak beans? I lost reason for effort. I picked up some bare essentials as a back-up for hungry times, for lazy times. Strange that I went looking for garlic paste, ginger paste, garam masala and basmati rice for my back-up. I wanted to be equipped to make biryani when the need arose. Now that I am back in India I want to make croissants. I loved the stick sized butter and the tbsp. measurements on the wrapper. Third world me, I’d spend 5 whole minutes trying to mentally register all the snacks in the snack vending machine before choosing. I met some old friends, among the sweetest ones while I was there. Nisha made us dosa after crisp dosa along with a fiery hot chicken curry. It was around the first week when everything seemed all wrong – “The steering wheel is on the wrong side”  “The vehicles are on the wrong side of the road” “The restaurant tips will bankrupt me” “Stop making small talk with me – “check out person”, “store lady”. I have no ability for that.” I was sure I hated the place. It was around this time that we...

Chicken Kheema Pav Bhaji

Something I read yesterday on Facebook hit me hard –  “I am being forced to not eat meat to respect you. What if you’re forced to eat meat to respect me?” Bang on! Please answer, judgers, the right wing vegetarian converters and especially the born again vegetarian converts out to sermonize the barbaric chicken tikka eaters at the other end of the table. Before you call me names, before you judge, let me explain. I am a mostly vegetarian, occasional meat eater who can’t live without eggs. I am neither, yet I am both. I don’t think vegetarian food is tasteless. In fact I think it is vastly under-rated and I think it can be as tasty as the cook wants it to be. I never chastise vegetarians for uprooting living, thriving greens (keerai), leaves, roots and all, for yanking cute little carrot tops out of their homes, for coldly cutting off all water to the rice paddy fields to let the plants dry so that they can be killed (ouch)/ harvested. To me, a chicken’s life is as precious as a turnip’s as a cow’s as fenugreek greens’ as a dinasaur’s as a carrot’s. We are finding newer, more dangerous ways of one-upping one another, of being the more righteous group, the more moral group, the more correct group, the better group; in the food we eat, in the books we read, in what we speak, in the cartoons we laugh at, in how well behaved we have our women. Scary. Someone who today supports the meat ban in Maharashtra today, may have been shocked by the ban on AIB roast and may be outraged if alcohol is banned tomorrow. Many of us are missing the larger conformist angle because the particular conformist action now fits us, because “I am a vegetarian and I am better” or “because I can’t appreciate literary freedom, I can’t accept non-conformism even in a story, I need to burn the book, hound the author and make him promise to behave, to think proper, to write decent”.  I am pained that this one-upping had to move into what we should and shouldn’t be eating, and what others should be eating. I am as surprised as you are that this post turned out as sombre as it did. I needed to say this though. I love me my vegetarian readers and my meat eating readers. I...

Cheesy potato tomato sandwich

The day I work out, I feel I am obligated to have that Cadbury or eat Queen’s toffee at Ibaco. As compensation. And like that, I maintain status quo, never missing a chance to level it off. The other day after I’d done my 5 minute plank routine in 2 minutes and was resting face down, sprawled on the floor I discovered my long lost pen under the bed, a couple of hot wheels cars under the wooden almirah, Hasini’s time-table sheet, a comb, hair pins and a pencil. I closed my eyes, inhaled deeply and pretended I’d not seen any of it. I couldn’t interrupt my 10-minute rest time. I couldn’t crawl under, on my elbows and knees; that would be too much work.     I remember to not take the lift at office, I take the stairs. And when I take the stairs at office, I feel I must eat the masala vadai at tea time. I’ve become somewhat of an expert on energy conservation. I realize I am trying hard to maintain status quo. I am afraid of change. I realize I need to meet it head on. But I don’t trust myself. I cannot trust myself to add a touch of cheese, I will smother in cheese like I did with this cheesy potato tomato sandwich. I cannot indulge responsibly, I cannot eat a small square of chocolate. I have to compulsively finish that bar of chocolate. I cannot exercise portion control with biryani. Can anyone? So I joined a gym yesterday. I wanted to hand myself over to the instructor, tell him to work me all-out no matter what I say later, no matter the excuses I give. It was his duty to reduce me by 1/6th. I didn’t want to scare him the first day. I kept my mouth shut. This cheesy potato tomato sandwich is one of those healthy sandwiches that turned out a bit cheesy. If you’re master of your will, you can leave out the cheese. But I wouldn’t recommend that. Nevermind my recommendation if you are master of your will. I smear a thin layer of green chutney spread on bread slices, arrange sliced onions, sliced tomatoes and boiled, sliced potatoes, season with salt and pepper and top with a dash of cheese. I slather (you can lightly brush if you like) butter on both sides of the sandwich...

Fried Moong dal Toast

I am in ‘plan-B’ mode these days. I think I must make a decorated, layer cake for my dad’s birthday, then switch last minute to a brownie with frosting and finally make just the brownie. I buy loads of green chillies to make Mor Milagai but I can’t find Mor (buttermilk) anywhere. But I didn’t look for it. To think that just a couple of weeks back our fridge harboured not just tons of Mor and yogurt but other assorted wild cultures of I don’t know what (and I threw them out, peasant me. Sour-dough illiterate!). I make pizza dough, pizza sauce and even ready the toppings but don’t make pizza because I can’t find Mozzarella. My to-make vathal and oorkai (pickle) list are growing, summer is full blast on in Madras and I do nothing. I am waiting for yogurt to sour when there is no yogurt at home, for bananas to blacken but they get eaten up. I am there, yet not there. It’s there, but not there. I want to do, but don’t. I know many people who’d call this laziness. Maybe. I can’t wholly deny that, so I’ll accept it. So one morning I wake up to an idli-batter less fridge which means tiffen other than idli/dosai. I’d planned pesarattu or French toast but made Fried Moong dal toast instead. It is not my invention though. I remember a similar recipe in a Nita Mehta book that I am not able to locate now. I soaked moong dal in some hot water for 10 minutes (you can soak in regular water for 20-25 minutes) because I woke up late and I was in a hurry which is my normal state of things. I then ground the dal to a coarse paste, mixed in finely minced green chillies and fresh coriander leaves and slathered them on some bakery bread (these are smaller than your regular loaves and are usually softer) – both sides of each slice and then deep fried them till the edges are dark brown and crisp. I had a mild attack at the amount of oil the bread was taking up and I tried a skinny pan fried version with a couple of slices. I am sorry health freaks but deep fried toast was undoubtedly the winner – crispy edges and slightly chewy, crunchy dal coated inside. It was fantastic. I made this for...