Strawberry Nutella French Toast Rollups

Love strawberries: Check

Love Nutella: Slurrp-check

Love french toast: Check check check!

So time to take it to another level, right?

I had a super big bag of strawberries (remember my visit to Prahran market and the bargain dollar deals?) and wanted to do something other than milk shakes, cakes , pancake toppings, etc etc, and I found this really yummy looking recipe for French Toast Rollups, by Christy at The Girl Who Ate Everything (I love that name, seems like we could be really good friends :D ). As complicated as it sounds, it actually takes like 15 minutes to assemble, prep, cook, and serve. Voila!

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The steps to get this delectable treat onto your table are quite simple:

  1. Take a few slices of bread (regular, wholemeal, brioche, challah, whatever you like), trim the crusts
  2. With a rolling pin, flatten out the bread slices so it’s easier to stuff and roll
  3. Spread on  Nutella on the slice
  4. Add the strawberries to one side of the slice
  5. Roll in the bread to form a roll up
  6. In a bowl, prepare the egg and milk mix to dunk the roll ups in, it is French toast after all
  7. Heat a pan with some butter
  8. Dip each roll in the egg and milk mix and fry in the pan, until is lightly browned
  9. To add onto the delectable-ness, you can also keep a bowl of powdered (not icing) sugar, or cinnmaon powder mixed with sugar, and roll the roll-ups immediately in them post cooking
  10. Pick ’em up with your hands, and nom nom nom….rollups6.jpg

 

Now I did pretty much everything above except for a few variations:

  1. I don’t like wasting food plus I really like the crust, so I did not trim the crust (that’s why my french roll ups look like a sausage roll, methinks)
  2. No dipping in sugar for the roll ups for me; Was happy with the end product just the same
  3. I used boring wholemeal bread so the roll ups are a little thicker and probably could have added tons more Nutella, but hey, to each his own. The plan was to use up the berries, not dunk myself in Nutella
Flatten out the bread with a rolling pin
Flatten out the bread with a rolling pin
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Spread Nutella. Stuff strawberries. Roll up bread. Ignore my scratched chopping board.
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Trimming the crusts would have definitely made for a prettier picture. But hey, I wanted to have my crust and eat it too ;)

So here a few links for this tasty TASTY treat, and a few variations that I got my eyes on (cream cheese and banana anyone, or is it just me?!)

  1. Christy’s version from the Girl Who Ate Everything: She alternated stuffing with strawberries and nutella,  and strawberries and cream cheese, yum yum yum.

Like I always say, make it, and make it NOW

Dal, Palda, and Rice

Aah, the Himachali favourite. Ralli mili daal, palda, and rice. Slurp Slurp Slurp.

Ralli mili daal is a mixture of 2 dals, split urad and channa. Soaked overnight, cooked the next day until it is all soft and thick, and tempered with onion, garlic, jeera and the all-important desi ghee.

Palda is a simple sabji that is cooked with a little excess masala and oil, because right before serving we add curd to it. One can make this with potatoes, cauliflower, peas, carrots , whatever you like. I personally love it with potato and peas, or cauliflower. The taste of that slightly crispy, salt, turmeric, and oil infused sabji with the khatta curd. Yum yum yum.

For me, this combination is what rajma rice is to Punjabis, or maybe poha to Maharashtrians. A constant feature of our dining table, and ready in a jiffy.

My mom would make it for karva chauth, and diwali dinners every year, and boy, her pahaadi family never got sick of it. And never will.

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Secret: we call it daal bhath palda at home (bhath is pronounced phuth). But you have to hear us say it to know how musical it really seems.

Try it. You will love it too.

Read on for the recipes:

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For the dal:

 Ingredients

  1. 1/2 cup chilka urad dal, soaked overnight
  2. 1/2 cup channa dal, soaked overnight (You can mix the dals and soak them together)
  3. 1/2 an onion, finely diced
  4. 2-3 garlic cloves, finely diced
  5. turmeric, 1/2 tsp
  6. red chilli powder, 1/2 tsp
  7. pinch of hing (asafoetida)
  8. 1 tsp coriander powder
  9. 1 tsp garam masala
  10. 1 tsp of grated fresh ginger
  11. 1 tbsp ghee
  12. 2 green chillies, sliced
  13. 1 tsp jeera
  14. salt, to taste

Method

  1. In a pressure cooker, boil the soaked dals with the turmeric, salt, hing, and ginger. I usually cook it for about 3 whistles on high heat, then lower the heat and let it cook for 10-15 minutes more, and turn off the gas
  2. In a small pan, heat the ghee, and add the jeera, onions, garlic, and green chilly
  3. Once the onions are browned, add the coriander powder, garam masala powder
  4. Add the tempered masala to the dal in the cooker
  5. Adjust seasoning to taste

 

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For the palda

Ingredients

  1. 1/4 Cauliflower/2 Potatoes, chopped to small pieces, or peas, 1 cup
  2. 2 cups curd
  3. 1-1.5 tsp tumeric powder
  4. 1 tsp red chilli powder
  5. 1.5 tsp jeera
  6. 1 tsp coriander powder
  7. 1/2 tsp garam masala powder
  8. 2 tbsp mustard oil
  9. salt, a little more than usual (the curd will absorb the salt, so extra is needed)

Method

  1. In a pan/kadhai, heat up the mustard oil until it starts to smoke up
  2. Add the jeera and all other dry powders (turmeric, chilli, coriander, garam masala, salt)
  3. Add the vegetable(s)
  4. Cook the vegetable(s) until soft
  5. Turn off the gas
  6. After about 5 minutes, add the curd and mix through.
  7. Adjust seasoning to taste
  8. It is preferable to add the curd right before serving the food. In case preparing much before the actual meal time, heat up the dish, and then add the curd after turning off the gas.

 

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Creamy Avocado Egg Salad

We got a new plant and it’s all pink and green. I thought Arjun would never agree, but voila, he <3’ed it too. Yay. It’s just the most gorgeous thing ever. I love it. And hopefully we are taking good care of it: watering it, sunning it, even talking to it.

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We are buying plants now. Wow.  Whole new grown-up territory.goes and wolves down 2 bags of fairy floss  There, that feels more like it.

Any suggestions on what we should name it, if any?
Any suggestions on what we should name it, if any?

Anyhoo, I had been craving a good egg salad for a while now. The last I had it was when I was in Derby, and I used to just pick up a pack of standard retail store egg salad – all mayo, raisins, mustard, boiled egg, and an assortment of other trimmings that made it what it is. Sounds ugh now, but I used to devour it like crazy then.

But fairy floss candy aside, my taste buds have now evolved. To the extent that I actually DON’T like mayonnaise anymore. Especially store bought egg mayo. I love garlic aioli in certain places, and I am sure the home made version of mayo is always awesome (never made it myself). But I just didn’t want to make an egg salad with mayo.

So Google baba helped me find out that a good substitute for mayo is greek yogurt and/or avocado. Awesome-saucesome.

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The first time I made this salad, I didn’t have any yogurt around and ended up using a spoon of garlic aioli (Australian for garlic flavoured mayonnaise). So even though it was tasty and all, I wasn’t satisfied. But then I made this recipe with greek yogurt  and what a difference it made.

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When made, this recipe will last for a good 3-4 days in the fridge in an air-tight container. Seal it as tightly as possible as with the avocados, there is a tendency to brown. However, if you are not using the avocados, this will last for a day or so more with no browning.

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Read on, and make at the earliest:

Ingredients

  1. 4 boiled eggs, chopped to whatever degree of fineness you like
  2. 1/2 avocado, mashed
  3. 1 tomato, diced
  4. 1 cup spring onions, diced
  5. 2 tbsps greek yogurt
  6. 2 tbsps feta cheese, optional
  7. 1 tsp dill
  8. 1 tsp oregano
  9. salt, pepper to taste

Makes 4 sandwiches, or 6 single toast servings easily

Method

Combine all ingredients in a bowl. (If you are boiling eggs as you are chopping and adding, add tomatoes in the end, as it leaves some water.) Spoon onto toasted bread. Layer it up with spinach, lettuce, some ham maybe. Serve and enjoy.

Note: Adding avocado is completely up to you. It just makes the salad a tad bit creamier. In case you want to make this without the avocado, please do increase the yogurt by 1 tablespoon or more.

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Let me leave you with some more egg salad recipes. Take your pick what you want to cook with. Maybe mine, maybe theirs :)

http://www.yummly.com/recipes/egg-salad-julia-child

Bon Appetit!

Overnight Oats with all things Yummy

Aah, the bliss of having my own space.. err… OUR own space. I get to display all my cute knick knacks plus collect all the polka dotted goodness the material world has to offer. We are so excited about setting up our bar, our living room, and even the bathroom (we both love bathrooms… phewww and hooray!!)

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The moving in adventures continued with us getting our furniture into this house the last weekend. We did it all on our own and with the help of some super awesome friends , and I couldn’t be prouder. Setting up the space, lifting and moving heavy things around, plus post-road-trip-and-holiday-with-friends hangover (more on that coming soon), has got us both itching to get back to our healthy (mostly) eating habits. Plus, out of all my groceries, the first thing that came to my hand was the packet of oats and it was like a sign from the good carbs heaven up there.

I know what you’re thinking, when she has no recipes, she just goes ahead and posts about oats.. danganabit, they are so easy to work with :) Remember these super yummy Chocolate Oats? Have you made them yet?

But trust me, this is like the easiest breakfast recipe ever. And so pretty…. sigh

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Overnight oats; also called Bircher muesli in some menus; the big deal about them is that there isn’t any cooking involved and you prep them the night before, and enjoy them the morning after.. ta-da…

All you have to do is mix up the oats with some milk in your serving bowl/cereal bowls, add your choice of toppings, and leave it overnight in the fridge. Come the morning, take out the bowl, heat up or eat cold. It takes like 5 minutes to prep the night before, and gets you an extra 20 minutes in the morning. Whoopie!

I loved this bowl of oats
I loved this bowl of oats

And just as it is with milk and regular cereal, the oats bowl is your oyster. Add whatever toppings you like and make your own oat-y goodness.

I tend to take 1 cup of oats (either kinds is fine, traditional or quick cooking), add about a cup and a half of milk to it. To this, I add pumpkin seeds, dried cranberries, dried fruits, dark chocolate chips, goji berries, chia seeds, dates, and leave it overnight. In the morning, it’s all soft and delicious, to which I add some fresh banana and other fruits (strawberries, blueberries). It’s such a massive bowl of breakky goodness that it keeps you feeling full and positively energetic till lunchtime.

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And I can’t stress enough as to how much of a time saver Overnight Oats is. All you busy people (working or otherwise, men or women) try it (in case you have been living under a rock, and not tried it yet, and even otherwise).

You won’t regret it.

Ciao bella!

I am linking this post to the super awesome party happening at Angie’s blog, and celebrating moving in stories and the weekend vis-a-vis her fun link party Fiesta Friday.

 

”Fiesta

Saigon Street Eats

Food-Tastic Find: Poached Chicken Pho
Serving Size: 2 health freaks returning from the gym
Price: $10 for a medium bowl, and $12.50 for a large bowl
Taste: 5 – hit out of the ball-park food-tastic 

Sometimes I am just glad I come back from work late. Because that’s when I step out and discover the lovely eating joints on the street I live. Remember Las Chicas? Right next to my house and what a delight. And so just the other day, when I got back from work at around 8 pm (sacrilege in the city of Melbourne, I say!) and the choice was between a quick  bowl of Indo-Mie (instant noodles), or ordering pizza, I voted no for both (am quite the authoritarian in food choices at home :) ) and we stepped out on to our friendly neighbourhood Carlisle Street.

We reached Saigon Street Eats, situated on the far end of Carlisle Street. Guests are seated on a sharing basis as the place is popular and space is sparse. The menu is displayed on a blackboard, you decide what you want to eat, and place your order at the cash counter. From the counter you get a view of the open kitchen where you can see the cooks working away merrily. There are sounds of chopping, some laughter, and wonderful smells pervading all through. The menu itself is quite simple.

Saigon Street Eats Menu (Google Images)
Saigon Street Eats Menu (Google Images)

Main course options were:

  1. Rice Paper Rolls with fillings like grilled salmon, grilled beef, Vietnamese omelette, grilled chicken
  2. Pho (pronounced Fur, with the r silent) – medium or large bowls of Vietnamese broth with rice noodles, and bean sprouts, and you could chooses toppings like shitake mushrooms with fried tofu, chicken/prawn/beef spring rolls, poached chicken, poached fish, poached chicken with quail eggs.
  3. Bun (pronounced boon) – Vietnamese salad comprising of vermicelli, bean sprouts, finely grated fresh vegetables like carrots, lettuce, cucumber, and a small handful of mint leaves. The dressing was a mildly sweet and zesty lime and chilli sauce served separately. And for the toppings you could choose between fried tofu, grilled chicken, grilled beef, chicken/prawn/beef spring rolls.
  4. Banh Mi Rolls: Multiple filling options served in freshly baked French baguette bread rolls

We knew were going to have a bowl of Pho for sure and while I really wanted to have the mushrooms and tofu combination, the mister loves his chicken soup. So we went for a medium bowl of poached chicken pho. I ordered the prawn spring rolls bun, hoping it was more zesty than sweet. And coz I wanted to have some salad for dinner and feel good about myself (especially after the decisive no to noodles and pizza)

What He Ate

 

 

What She Ate

The service was delightfully super-prompt, and the food came in super-big-bowls. And the taste did not disappoint. The bun  was extremely light and zesty, with the right amount of crunch and flavour. Fresh salad for a sticky, hot summer day. And the prawn spring rolls were so crisp. Super yummy and so flavourful. The bowl of pho however was simply awesome. It was served with a small serving of bean sprouts on the side with a wedge of lemon and chilli oil. Mix it all up together and we were in Saigonese heaven.

The tagline says food like how our mama makes it and I have to completely agree. Thank you, late work nights. And thank you Saigon street eats for introducing me to the subtle flavours of Vietnamese home food.

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Babru

Today I am sharing a Himachali breakfast recipe that uses just 4 ingredients and makes the yummiest desi crepes you will ever have in your life.  Made with wholewheat flour (atta), jaggery (gur), fennel seeds, and water, Babrus are himachali crepes/pancakes (depending on how thick you make them).

Growing up, my brother was quite the fussy eater. Won’t eat rice, veggies, dal, won’t drink milk etc etc. My mom would figure out innovative ways to get him to eat his veggies, but if all else failed she would either feed him chapattis with ghee shakar (ghee and raw sugar), or ghee and our homemade masala namak (Mint and Coriander salt). He would devour those. Another of his favourites was babrus. Mom used to make the most perfect babrus and it was, more or less, a birthday breakfast for him. I tried making these for him for his 22nd birthday, for the first time ever in my life, and voila, they turned out pretty damn good, if I may so myself. Ok, I just did. :P

These are more crepe-like pancakey in form and consistency, one has to be careful of not adding too much jaggery or else the mixture becomes sticky while being cooked. You can also substitute sugar in case you don’t have jaggery, but the subtle sweetness get enhanced with the jaggery rather than sugar.

Since everything in our households is about balancing out sweet with sour, the sweet babrus are mostly served with unsweetened curd and Galgal pickle. (Wish I had some of that pickle with me,my nani had this awesome recipe.. sigh)

Hope you enjoy making it as much as I always do.

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Ingredients

  1. Whole wheat flour (Atta): 1 cup
  2. Water: 1.5 cups
  3. Jaggery (gur): 3 tbsps
  4. Fennel seeds (saunf): 1 tsp

Method

  1. Boil the water
  2. Add the jaggery to the boiled water and stir to mix it in
  3. In a mixing bowl, take the atta and add the fennel seeds to it
  4. Add the water-jaggery mix to the atta slowly, to make the batter
  5. I call this the ek-taar test: Pour a little mixture into the bowl (like shown in image) and if the batter falls in a single stream, then its dissolved properlybabru6
  6. Take a non stick pan and keep it on medium heat
  7. Now taking a ladle of the batter, pour on pan, top off with another ladle-ful and spread it out into a circle (like dosas)
  8. When one side is cooked a little, drip a little ghee on the babru, on the sides and the center
  9. After a minute, flip the babru over to cook the other side
  10. Once both sides are cooked, fold it over and serve warm; The ideal consistency for a cooked babru is like a thin crepe-ish dosa. Not crisp, but soft.

Note: The final product didn’t turn out that gorgeous enough, but in my eagerness to share the recipe and the post, I just folded the oddly shaped, slightly crisp, and twisted babrus to make them look pretty for the pictures.. Don’t worry, even if they break, don’t turn out round, become thick or too thin, they will taste super wonderful. Trust me. try it. Now.

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Choliya

Pahadis from Himachal use curd in a lot of our dishes. There is Mandra, where curd and ghee are used in equal proportions and it’s a dish fit for kings, ~ mostly cooked in special occasions, it’s not an everyday feature in households (too heavy duty for roz ka khaana). We also use curd to make Palda, where one can cook any sabji ~ aloo, aloo gobhi, aloo matar, gobhi, gajar matar~ and then add curd in the end; this is a dish that serves as an accompaniment to dal and rice and it’s pretty much a regular weekly feature in my house at least. We also have a curd soup (closest match) called Redu that my brother loves. In all his cranky years of not eating anything, Redu (ray-do) was the one thing he would gladly guzzle by the gallon.

However today I wanted to share the recipe for another curd-based dish that we call Choliya. When I was staying with my dad, back in Pune, I was responsible for weeknight dinners and weekend lunches, and Choliya was one dish I cooked every other week; a) Coz I loved it, and b) it was super simple easy-peasy. I remember having it every other week, in summers, when I stayed with my nani, and she cooked it in the most divine manner possible. SLurrrrp.

Choliya is essentially mashed black chickpeas, cooked in mustard oil and curd, and is served with rice. The more khatta (sour) the curd, the more the flavour of the cooked mash and mustard oil stands out. It’s a simple recipe that uses basic ingredients, but offers an alternative to eating dal with rice, or cooking black chickpeas in regular onion tomato masala. I love it.

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Read on for the recipe:

 Ingredients

  1. 2 cups kala channa (black chickpeas), soaked overnight
  2. Mustard Oil: 2tbsp
  3. Spices for regular tadka:
    1. Coriander powder: 1.5 tsp
    2. Garam Masala powder: 1.5 tsp
    3. Salt, to taste
    4. Red chilli powder: 1 tsp
    5. Turmeric: .5 tsp
  4. Methi seeds (Fenugreek seeds): 1 tsp
  5. Mustard seeds: 1.5 tsp
  6. Curd: 2-2.5 cups
  7. Coriander leaves, for garnish

Method

  1. Boil the soaked channas, either by cooking them in a pressure cooker (3 whistles should suffice), or by boiling them in a saucepan. The channas should be soft enough to mash with a regular spoon/ladle
  2. Mash the boiled channas
  3. Heat the mustard oil until it leaves its mustardy smell.. burn baby burn
  4. Add the mustard seeds and fenugreek seeds, they will splutter a bit so do be careful
  5. Add the mashed channa and cook until it starts leaving oil. This should take about 5-10 minutes. Roast it well.
  6. Once cooked, add the regular spices (salt, haldi, dhaniya powder, garam masala, red chilli powder). Cook for a minute
  7. Now to this, add the curd and keep stirring until the mixture comes to a boil (The stirring helps in not letting the curd split)
  8. Once it boils, simmer it for 3-4 minutes and turn off the gas
  9. Garnish with coriander leaves, and serve with rice

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Groove Train

Food-Tastic Find: Spaghetti Alla Groove
Serving Size: 3 hungry souls/2 hungry hippos
Price: $19
Taste: 5 – hit out of the ball-park food-tastic for me
Spaghetti Alla groove

 For the love of the perfect pasta dish, I could eat as many carbs at dinner time as my body could take. And then some more.

In most of the mainstream cafes which serve global food offerings, I am mostly

~ disappointed by red sauce dishes (less garlicky, less salt, less flavour, mostly tomato-ey)

~ over-stuffed by the super heavy white sauces that make me think am consuming a bowl of cream or cheese for dinner

~ reminded of Maggi noodles with the only oil and garlic pasta dishes.

But at the Groove Train this week, I had a completely scrumptious and taste bud-delicious pasta dish which is going to make me keep going back for more.

I ordered the Spaghetti Alla Groove which is described as spaghetti served with a creamy pesto sauce served with chicken, avocado, spring onions, and shavings of parmesan cheese. And seriously, what is it with the food portions in some of these places. The dish came in this mammoth sized bowl, big enough to serve 3 semi-hungry people, and 2 SUPER-hungry people. Man, there goes my calorie count for the day, I am thinking. One bite of the pasta and I just shut down the calorie counter. All systems down.

It was this lightly cheesy yet smokey flavoured sauce. I just couldn’t get over the smokiness. Plus that subtle hint of the pesto, coupled with chunky bites of avocado and chicken. Slurrrrrrrrp. I really wanted to know how the chef had cooked this dish but didn’t bother asking. Maybe on my next trip.  Right now, I was totally shoving the dish down, it was so tasty.

Have any of you tried this dish before? If you have you know what I am talking about. Isn’t it just yumm-azing?! Let’s meet up for a spaghetti alla groove hogathon night at Groove train one of these days.

Till then, happy dreams of food y’all.

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Buddhas Belly

Food-Tastic Find: Roti Stack
Serving Size: 3 hungry souls/2 hungry hippos
Price: $14
Taste: 4 (Scale of 1 to 5 peeps, where 5 is hit out of the ball park good, while 1 being a complete food flop)

Stepping into Buddhas Belly for a weekend brunch, I was initially a little hesitant. A loungy bar on Chapel Street, we had always visited this place for weeknight happy hour wine. But my food-tastic moment happened when I had this dish called Roti Stack. Essentially a fusion take on Eggs Benedict, this dish is made up of scrambled eggs, sautéed mushrooms and spinach, covered in hollandaise sauce, stakced in 3 layers of roti (flat breads made of wheat flour, more like an Indian paratha than the Malaysian roti chinai). My first bite of this instantly sent my taste buds back home because it felt I had taken a bite of parathas served with Amul butter. (Oh, Amul butter, how I miss thee! No other butter comes even close).

The stack itself is a simply wowsome. With each bite, you get some egg, some mushrooms and that super smooth and creamy hollandaise sauce. The only thing I did not like was the tomato relish that it gets served with. Kind of like a tomato chutney it was slightly sweet, with a sprinkle of cinnamon. A little too sweet for my liking.

The portion size being quite generous, I gobbled up the healthy stuff (eggs, spinach, mushrooms) but just couldn’t’ finish all the rotis. This is a dish that can be easily split between two not so hungry people.

We ate a ton of other things at the bar, chicken parma, big breakfast, veg burger, plus had the usual round of cappuccinos, milkshakes and iced coffees, all of which made me rethink my earlier opinion of Buddhas Belly being just a drinking joint.

But the roti stack ~ what a dish.

Buddha's Belly on Urbanspoon

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