Paneer Vegetable Paratha

Vegetable Paratha stuffed with cottage cheese

Vegetable Paratha stuffed with cottage cheese

This super healthy nutritious Indian bread is a regular fare in my den. I indulgently serve copious amounts of white butter with this delicious power packed paratha. Whole wheat flour combined with a host of grated-minced fresh veggies and subtle spices, enhanced with a filling of Cottage cheese/ Paneer — doesnt get healthier than this?!! Does it.

For picky kids, with bird like appetite, this is a good wholesome meal, where you can sneak in veggies that you want your kid to eat and not get into another food brawl.

Protein Power in Paneer

Protein Power in Paneer

To make 4 parathas:

Ingredients

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 1 small carrot, grated
  • 3-4 florets of cauliflower/broccoli, grated
  • 6-7 french beans, minced
  • a small bunch of fenugreek leaves, minced
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp carom seeds/caraway seeds, called ajwain in hindi
  • salt to taste
  • 200 gms crumbled paneer
  • ghee or oil to roast the paratha
  • 2 tbsp of curds – optional
  • To serve: Fresh curds and home made white butter

Method

In a big mixing bowl, combine the grated minced veggies along flour, and salt, turmeric, carom seeds. Mix well and make a dough. Usually, the salt secreted and the natural water content in the veggies is enough to bind the flour to the vegetables to make a dough, but if in any case, it refuses to bind, then add small table spoons of curd/yoghurt accordingly. The dough should be semi soft in texture. And if by chance it refuses to bind because it is too liquidy, then add more flour.

Now, this kind of dough need not rest, you can immediately roll them out. But what I like to do for best results is refrigerate the dough for an hour or two, and then roll them out into small rounds, fill with a tsp or two of crumbled paneer and then roll out again into bigger rounds( with the help of some flour). Now carefully, pick these and transfer to a hot tawa/griddle. Roast on both sides using little oil/ghee.

Serve hot with white butter and bowl of curds. There!! A nutritious healthy meal, ideal for any time…. breakfast or lunch or dinner or in your lunch boxes!

Nutrition camouflaged in Taste

Nutrition camouflaged in Taste

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Kiddie Pasta

Mushroom, Green Olives and Penne in white sauce.

Mushroom, Green Olives and Penne in white sauce.

Beautiful fresh white button mushrooms, pickled green olives and piped penne in a smooth creamy white sauce with minimal seasoning is all that it takes to put smiles on grumpy faces.

Today, when I refused to bow down to Milee’s absurd gambits for some more TV time, she resigned to her room with a sullen face. With a few pretty neat tricks up my sleeve, I just knew how to win her back. All mother’s have secret weapons. Yea, ask anyone.
Mine was to dish up this simple concoction of Milee’s favorite veggies, pickled olives and pasta. I avoided the tomatoes and extra heat to spare us another brawl. Needless to say, she licked it clean.

Comfort food.

Comfort food.

This recipe is so quick, you’ll be surprised. I was serving the drama queen in a matter of 15 minutes. If you are not a mushroom fan, substitute it with another vegetable of your child’s choice.

To make one serving —

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup boiled penne, or any pasta of your choice
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 6-7 white button mushrooms, diced
  • 8-9 pickled green olives, sliced
  • 1/2 tsp whole wheat flour or all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 tsp italian seasoning
  • salt, pepper powder and red chili flakes to taste
  • 1 tsp grated cheese

Method

Since I was short on time, I followed these simple steps to quicken my pace.

  • For the pasta, put water to boil. Add salt and little oil.
  • Heat oil in a pan, meanwhile, quickly chop the onions and mushrooms.
  • check on the water, if its boiling, then add the pasta. To avoid the pasta turning into mush, always add pasta to boiling water.
  • Once hot add the onions and mushrooms.
  • Saute till almost done.
  • Add the flour, let it coat the veggies.
  • Check on the pasta, when almost done, switch the flame off, cover with lid and keep aside.
  • Now, add milk to your floured veggies.
  • Mix well into a smooth creamy white sauce, adjust the milk accordingly.
  • Add in the seasoning, salt, pepper and red chili flakes.
  • Now, strain the pasta and add to the white sauce.
  • Stir in grated cheese and sliced olives.
  • Give it a final mix.
  • Serve with love!
Tangy olives and chewy mushrooms. Yumm

Tangy olives and chewy mushrooms.Yumm

Kiddie Delight.

Kiddie Delight.

Pasta Corn Rolls

Pasta, with yellow corn, red and green bell peppers in a creamy white sauce with a cube of cheese in the center, is one the best appetizers ever. Its rich, with a crisp golden exterior and a wonderful creamy soft interior. Wow. One bite into it, and you’ll want more.

Whats good about this recipe is, you can make the filling and the roll in advance. Refrigerate the unfried croquettes. Deep fry when you want to serve. They will be crisper and crunchier.

I made these the other day as an entrée, when husband called his friend over for dinner. They vanished in no time, and the main course was left mostly untouched.

Crisp Pasta Rolls

Crisp Pasta Rolls

Ingredients

  • 1 cup pasta, any kind, penne, fusilli, shell, macaroni, any type would do – boiled well, more than al dente.
  • 7-8 bread slices
  • 1/2 cup corn, boiled
  • 1/2 cup chopped bell peppers of different colors, red, yellow, green, orange.
  • 2-3 green chilies, minced.
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 1 glass of milk
  • 1/2 tsp oregano powder
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 red chili flakes
  • 3 tbsp of finely chopped coriander leaves — I love this!
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • Optional: 7-8 small cubes of cheese
  • oil for frying
  • Ketchup to serve with

You can go easy on the spice – green chilies according to your taste. We like our food a little spicy, so I added 3 minced green chilies. Along with the bread, cream, pasta… the whole thing might get bland if you don’t add a little bit of extra spice and salt.

Method

As mentioned earlier, the pasta needs to be boiled well, in fact a little over. Now strain and keep aside. In a pan, heat butter, saute the green chilies, bell peppers and corn. Once 3/4th done, add flour and mix well. Let the flour coat the vegetables. Now to this add milk, and mix well, to get a smooth white sauce with vegetables. Keep stirring on high flame, till it gets thick. Now add the boiled pasta, along with oregano, red chili flakes and salt. Throw in the chopped coriander and mix well. Keep on flame till it thickens and becomes semi solid mass. Now, cool the mixture.

Take a bread slice, dip it water, quickly remove and press the excess water out. Take care not to break the slices. Now take a tbsp of the filling, place it in the middle of the wet bread slice, and then wrap the bread over the corn pasta mix. Use your fingers and palms to make a tight oval-shaped ball. Press firmly. Keep aside. Now do the same with the rest of the bread slices and pasta mix.

Optional: If you are using cheese cubes also, then take a small cube, place the cube in the middle of the filling which is placed on the wet bread slice. Then close the whole thing up. This ensures, the cheese is in the middle of the pasta which is enclosed in crunchy golden bread. Ooooh!

Yet to be fried.

Yet to be fried.

I usually refrigerate the neatly pressed rolls for a couple of hours.
When you need to serve, heat oil in a kadai. Remove the rolls from the fridge, and deep fry in hot oil, on medium flame till golden brown and crisp.
Using a sharp knife, cut each roll into equal halves, arrange on a bed of lettuce along with some salad by the side. If you have used cheese, when you cut the roll, spot the melted cheese surrounded by the bell pepper corn pasta, in a case of crisp fried bread. Wow, it doesn’t get any better than this!
Serve them hot with ketchup and any other dip you like.

Deep Fried till golden brown

Deep Fried till golden brown

All those colors!

All those colors!

Potato Fry

Crispy fried, slightly spiced.

Crispy fried, slightly spiced.

All kids love potatoes(Alu in hindi), and my Milee is no exception. She trips on french fries, alu parathas, alu puri and various other creations.
Here, in potato fry, you don’t need copious amount of oil to make your tuber tasty.
This recipe is simple, mildly spiced and sauteed in minimum oil.

Ingredients

  • 3-4 medium sized potatoes, peeled, and diced into small cubes.
  • 1-2 tsp oil
  • 1/4 tsp red chili powder and salt to taste
  • Optional: juice of 1/2 a lime

Method

In a broad pan, heat the oil. Add the chopped potato cubes. Fry on sim flame till the potato is roasted well from all sides.
Key is to slow saute the potatoes for a slightly long time.
Remove in a bowl, sprinkle red chili powder, salt and lime juice. Toss well. Serve with rice or rotis or just plain as a snack.

Disappears in no time.

Disappears in no time.