Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Mediterranean Pizza

I am back with a recipe for pizza this time. But this recipe is not for a pizza that is made with refined flour and a sauce that is high in sodium. This pizza breaks all rules by using whole wheat pita bread for the base and hummus for the spread. In short, this recipe is just perfect for a light summer meal.

This mediterranean Pizza is a fun way to enjoy new flavors. If you have some Pita bread and hummus stocked, then this Pizza can be put together in minutes. 

After making this pizza, I have become a huge fan of mediterranean flavors. Combining hummus with the sweet bell peppers, olives, sun dried tomatoes and tangy feta cheese creates a wholesome mix of colors and flavors.

This is one of those recipes that is kid friendly. My Pizza obsessed Purvi tasted this and said it was the best Pizza she had ever tasted. The only sinful ingredient in this pizza is the mozzarella cheese. Other than that, the pizza is really nutritious and delicious!!

Mediterranean Pizza recipe:
Preparation time: 30min
Baking time: 10mins
Serves- 4-6

6"Pita breads- 4
Olive oil to brush the Pita breads
Hummus- 3/4 cup
Sliced yellow, red and green bell pepper- 1 cup
Sliced Olives- 1/4cup
Sun dried tomato- 1/4 cup
Feta cheese- 100gms
Mozzarella cheese- 100gms
Salt and pepper to taste
To serve
Chili flakes and dried Oregano

  • Brush the Pita loaves with some olive oil and toast them in the oven till they are warm. 
  • Remove and spread 1-1/2 to 2tbsp of hummus evenly on each bread. 
  • Scatter the sliced bell peppers, olives, sundries tomatoes all over. Sprinkle some salt and pepper over the vegetables.
  • Mix both kinds of cheese and spread evenly over each loaf.
  • Preheat the oven to 200 C and Bake the prepared pizzas for 4-5 mins or till the cheese melts.
  • Cut the pizza into wedges and serve with chili flakes and herbs.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Spicy Tomato Orange juice

Tomato juice was a favorite beverage of ours during my teenage years. During the scorching summers in my home town, my sister and I would drink gallons of tomato juice. We would just dunk six or seven tomatoes in the blender jar. Add water, just pour sugar straight of the container, gave the blender a whirr and whipped a mean sugar loaded tomato juice. We would pour the juice in tall glasses and drink it up to the last drop and then smack our lips with delight. Gosh!! This juice always manages transport me back to my teenage days.

After I moved out of my home town, I somehow stopped drinking tomato juice. With time, I even forgot about this beverage. But thanks to S, I started drinking this juice all over again. It was during our flight to India. I saw S request the air hostess for tomato juice with salt and pepper. When I heard his request, I saw him with a quizzical look. "How does it taste?" I asked him. "Haven't you tasted tomato juice with salt and pepper?" he asked back. When I said I hadn't he asked the hostess to give another glass of tomato juice with salt and pepper. I took a reluctant sip and boom!!! It had the most amazing flavors. It was salty, spicy, tart, and a tad sweet. It was like falling in love with the tomato juice all over again. After that, I stared making spiced tomato juice from time to time. 

A few days back, I decided to experiment and include some citrus flavors into this drink. The inclusion of orange and lemon juices, gives a subtle citrus flavor to the drink. It does enhance the taste but doesn't over power it. I also added some cumin seed powder and some paprika powder for some smoky flavor. And I was pretty impressed with the outcome. Even if I may say so myself. 

What I like most about this drink is that, it can be had anytime of the day. It makes a perfect drink to be served during a brunch or as an aperitif. But I think this can be an ultimate drink for a healthy breakfast. The vibrant colors and flavors are sure to wake up every cell of your body.

Spicy Tomato Orange juice Recipe:
Preparation time: 30min
Cooking time- 10min
Serves- 6-8

Tomatoes- 1Kg
Oranges- 3
Juice of 1/2 a lime
Sugar- 1tbsp
Salt toaste
Paprika powder- 1tsp
Pepper powder- 1/2tsp
Roasted cumin seed powder- 1/2tsp
Mint leaves to garnish


  • Blanch the tomatoes in hot water for 5mins or till the skin splits open.
  • Using a slotted spoon, transfer the tomatoes to a large vessel containing cold water. Once the tomatoes are cool enough to handle, peel the skin and chop them in half.
  • Blend the peeled and halved tomatoes along with 3/4-1 cup of water in a blender till the mixture is smooth. Strain the juice and set aside.
  • Extract juice from the oranges and set aside.
  • Combine the orange, tomato and lime juices in a large pitcher. Stir in the salt, pepper, sugar, cumin and paprika powders and mix well. Chill the juice for at least an hour.
  • Pour the juice into individual glasses. Garnish with mint leaves and serve immediately.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015


In Arabic, The hummus literally translates to Chick peas. And It makes sense. Doesn't it? For this humble dip has chick peas or the Garbanzo beans as the main ingredient. What I have for you today is a recipe for the basic hummus. It has some everyday ingredients like lemon juice, Garlic, herbs and  salt. And it tastes amazing just like that. This wonder dip/ Spread is like a blank canvas. It can flavored or dressed with all kinds of herbs and spices. Or, the chick pea itself can be replaced with other beans or vegetables. So the variations with which this dip can be made is endless.

Hummus is my new found love. Until a few days back, I used to think that hummus was a flavorless, bland dip. I am not sure why I thought this. But sadly, I did. I tasted this dip at a friends place a few weeks ago and I was shocked by how delicious it was. A few days after that, I made a small batch of this dip and had it with my sandwiches consistently for a week. That's how obsessed I was. 

After I began making this dip, I realized that hummus is a power packed dip. The health benefits is mostly because of the chick peas which is the main ingredient. Apart from being protein rich, the garbanzo beans are rich in fiber as well. They calorie count is relatively low and they are known to reduce cholesterol levels. The Tahini which is nothing but ground sesame seeds is a rich source of calcium. It is filled with Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids that is vital for brain development. So you see. Hummus is much more than a tasty dip it is a condiment with numerous health benefits. 

So dip it, spread it and top it. What I have given you is a basic recipe for the hummus. Do you have any other version for this condiment? Do share them with me. For I would love to give your version a try

Hummus Recipe:
Preparation time: 25min+soaking time
Cooking time:nil
Makes- 2cups

Chick peas-250gms
Tahini paste- 3tbsp
Lemon juice- 3-4tbsp
Cumin seed powder- 1/2tspn
Salt to taste
Garlic- 3 cloves
Coriander leaves- 1tbsp, finely chopped
Olive oil and Chili flakes to garnish


  • Soak chick peas in enough water for 6hrs or overnight.
  • Pressure cook the soaked chick peas for 5-6 whistles or very soft. Drain and cool. Reserve the drained water.
  • Place the chick peas in a blender or food processor with the tahini paste, salt, Lemon juice, Garlic, and coriander leaves and blend till the hummus is coarsely pureed. 
  • Add 3-4 tbsp of the reserved water and blend till smooth. 
  • Transfer the ground paste to a serving bowl and adjust the salt and lemon juice.
  • Pour olive oil over the prepared hummus and sprinkle chili flakes. Serve at room temperature with Pita bread.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Strawberry Fool for mother's day

I am not sure what is foolish about this elegant and super simple strawberry dessert. Except maybe, for the name. The fool is a very popular and common english dessert. The word fool is was originated in the 16th century to describe pureed fruit with custard or cream. The most popular fruits that were used were apples and Rhubarb.

In my version of the fool, Fresh strawberry compote is folded with whipped cream. And then there is also the custard that is prepared separately. The custard and the whipped cream are then spooned in layers in a clear glass tumbler or flute so that the pretty bands of red and white are seen through. 

I had made this dessert a couple of weeks back and the recipe has been in my drafts since then. Since mother's day is round the corner, I think this is a perfect time to share the recipe. 

It's a perfect dessert that is a breeze to make and yet makes you feel incredibly pampered. The strawberry fool is fluffy, fruity and bursting with berries. It's a lovely light dessert that can be had after a meal. Or when you craving for a dessert that is not overtly sweet.

Strawberry fool recipe:
Preparation time: 20min
Cooking time: 15min
Serves- 4

For the custard:
Milk- 250ml+2tbsp
Custard powder- 2tbsp
Sugar- 3tbsp
For the strawberry compote:
Strawberries- 200gms, hulled and sliced
Sugar- 2tbsp
Other ingredients:
Whipping cream- 250ml
Icing sugar- 2tbsp
Strawberries- 3-4, for garnish

For the custard:

  • In a bowl, mix the 2tbsp of milk with the custard powder to form a smooth paste and set aside.
  • In a pan, Bring 250ml of milk to a boil. Add the custard mixture and sugar and allow the mixture to simmer on low heat. Keep stirring the mixture till the mixture has thickened. 
  • Remove the mixture from heat and allow to cool.
For the strawberry compote:
  • Place the strawberries and sugar in a sauce pan and cook over medium heat till the strawberries release their juices and the mixtures turns pulpy. Continue to cook until the juice turns into syrup and the strawberries break down. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
To assemble the Fool:
  • Whip the whipping cream and icing sugar till soft peaks form. Gently Fold in 3tbsp of the compote and mix leaving it partially swirled.
  • Spoon 2tsps of strawberry compote in four wide mouthed tumbler or dessert glass. Top the compote with 2-3tbsps of custard. Drizzle a tspn of compote over the custard and top it with 2-3tbsp of the whipping cream.
  • Allow the fool to chill for an hour or two. Garnish with sliced strawberries and serve immediately

  • If the whipping cream that you are using is sweetened then you can omit the sugar.
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