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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Asparagus + Veggies White Sauce Pizza

I came across this recipe at our work farewell party for Lori T. {Miss you Lori :(}

Andrea L, brought this dish and it was a hit. She was very kind to pass hand written recipe to all staff members.

Of course, I had to try it, usually I always..always modify the recipes given to me (Niti M. would agree with me ;) and never follow them step by step.

However this time I followed it exactly as she gave it to me, okay wait...except that she had used squash and asparagus and my husband does not like squash so I substituted squash with green and red peppers.

You can use almost any veggies to make this pizza... like spinach or artichoke. You may add little Jalapenos to make it spicy, which surprisingly I did not use this time.

Also for crust you can use home made pizza dough or Pillsbury Crescent rolls (I don't like using this because the dough is little sweet) or you can use Pillsbury pizza dough.

I used ready made risen pizza dough from refrigerator section of local discount store Marc's. It was made my Corbo's bakery. I must say it was very good. However if you are in a hurry, you can even use Naan as the pizza crust.


* 1 pound loaf fresh whole wheat or regular pre-made or home-made pizza dough (or frozen, thawed)

* 2 tbl spoon butter

* 2 tbl spoon flour

* 1 cup milk

* 1/2 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese

* Dash of salt (not too much)

* 6 oz. mozzarella cheese, sliced or grated (I used four cheese pizza cheese)

* 1 bunch (1 1/4 pounds) asparagus, trimmed and cut in 3-inch lengths

* 1 small red pepper sliced

* 1/2 green pepper sliced

* 3 tbl spoon olive oil

* 5 large cloves garlic, thinly sliced

* 1/3 cup thinly sliced green onions


* Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

* Grease two large 15x10x1-inch baking pans, set aside.

* Divide the pizza dough in two rolls and on a lightly floured surface, roll pizza dough to a rectangle.

* Press dough to thin layer into prepared pans, pressing to sides.

* Prick dough all over with a fork. Bake for 6 minutes or until very lightly browned.

* Flip it over and take it out of oven, so you will be putting the white sauce on more brown surface.

* Meanwhile, for white sauce, in a small saucepan melt the butter on medium heat.

* Stir in flour turn to low heat.

* Cook and stir for 1 minutes.

* Slowly whisk in milk.

* Add dash of salt.

* Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly.

* Add Parmesan cheese; cook for 1 minute. (stir constantly)

* Spread the white sauce within 1/2 inch of dough edges.

* Top with mozzarella (I used four cheese Pizza cheese).

* Toss the asparagus, peppers, half of green onions, garlic with olive oil and roast about 4-5 minutes until desired tenderness. (please note that cook the veggies to desired tenderness as once you top them on the pizza and bake the pizza, pizza will quickly turn brown before veggies get cooked any further, I like mine little crunchy so I did not cook them too much on the skillet)

* Spread asparagus and peppers with garlic and green onions on cheese layer.

* Bake for 8 minutes, until browned.

* Sprinkle remaining green onions on top.

* Cool slightly, slice the pizza in to desirable serving size.

* Serve hot as an appetizer, light snack or light lunch.

Enjoy :)

Recipe Source: My lovely colleague Andrea L.

Photographs by Surekha.
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Sunday, March 11, 2012

Curried Pumpkin (Kaddu Ki Sabji)

I never liked Pumpkin as a child, until I was 12 years old when I went to a wedding in Agra and they had this curried pumpkin sabji on the menu.

I loved the slightly sweet taste of the pumpkin, sweetened with sugar or jaggery, seasoned with heat from the chillies, and with tartness from the raw mango powder, tempered with tangy, and slight herbal bitterness from hint of Fenugreek seeds.

I came home and told my mom that I have to replicate this recipe. My mom who always encouraged me to try new things, readily helped me assemble everything together.

From memory of my taste I cooked this side dish without adding any onions of garlic and I was so proud that it came out tasting exactly same as the one that I tasted at the wedding.

Since then I always have been making this dish especially after Halloween here when the pumpkins are in abundance here.

However this year somehow, I did not and then I saw yellow and green pumpkin pumpkin at the local Indian grocer, so it reminded me to make this and post this on my blog.

Here is my recipe:


* 2 pounds of yellow or white pumpkin (I used both) seeds removed, cut into 1" cubes (remove skin as you prefer)

* Water to boil/cook the pumpkin

* 1/4 cup of cooking oil (preferably Mustard oil for this recipe)

* 1 bay leaf

* 2 pods of dry red chillies

* 1 and half tsp fenugreek seeds

* 1 tsp cumin seeds

* 1 tsp on black mustard seeds

* 1/4 tsp of asafetida powder

* 1 tsp turmeric powder

* 2 tablespoons of Coriander powder

* 2 tsp red chilli powder

* 2 tablespoons of mango powder

* 1/4 cup of brown sugar (you can use granulated sugar or Jaggery)

* Salt to taste

* Fresh Cilantro leaves chopped for garnish


* Boil and cook the skinned and cubed pumpkin until tender.

* Drain some of the water, leaving about 1/4 cup of water in the pumpkin.

* Heat the oil in a pan.

* When oil is hot add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, and fenugreek seeds.

* When these crackles and turn light brown add asafetida, bay leaf and red chilli pepper pods.

* Stir for 15 sec and add all the dry spices and brown sugar.

* Mix well by stirring for few seconds.

* Add cooked pumpkin, season with salt.

* Toss with wooden spoon until everything is well incorporated.

* Cook for 2-3 min.

* Garnish with Cilantro leaves.

* Serve hot with Chapti, or Naan or Puri (recipes on this blog)

Recipe and Photographs by Surekha.
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Monday, March 5, 2012

Soya Nuggets Curry with Mushrooms and Potatoes

The Soya nuggets are TVP (textured vegetable protein) also known as textured soy protein (TSP), soy meat, or soya meat is a soy flour product and a by-product of extracting soybean oil.

These nuggets are made in irregular shapes, and available in dried forms at local Indian grocers.

They are tasteless and odorless. Soaked nuggets turn spongy, will absorb any flavors you dunk them in to.

In India they really became popular in 70s, and used to come in package called Nutri Nuggets.

Everyone is aware of the goodness of protein-rich soybean, however for vegetarian cooks it is a tough job to incorporate this goodness in the daily menu as many youngsters and even grown-ups shy away from goodness of this "wonder bean"

I made this curry this time with mushrooms and potatoes, but you can use peas, red or green peppers, or any other vegetables with soya nuggets. Only thing to remember is that you must to load it up with spiced gravy to make them flavorful and juicy.

This recipe yields ~ 8 servings.


* 2 cups of soya nuggets

* Salted boiled water to soak the nuggets

* 4 potatoes

* 1 (8 oz) pack of mushrooms

* 3 yellow onions

* 1 tablespoon of ginger garlic paste

* 5 tablespoon of oil of cooking vegetable oil (divided in two parts 2 and 3 tblspoon each)

* 2 bay leaves

* 2 pods of black cardamom

* 3 pods of dried red chili peppers

* 2 teaspoon of cumin seeds

* 1 teaspoon of black mustard seeds

* ½ teaspoon of Fenugreek seeds

* ¼ teaspoon of Asafetida powder

* 2 cups of crushed tomatoes from a can

* 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder

* 1 teaspoon of coarsely ground black pepper

* 1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper (or to taste)

* 2 tablespoon of coriander powder

* 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper powder

* 2 teaspoon of cumin powder

* 1 tablespoon of mango powder

* 1 teaspoon of garam masala

* Salt to taste

* 4 cups of water

* ¼ cup of chopped fresh cilantro leaves


* Boil potatoes, peel and cut them in cubes.

* Slice mushrooms and sprinkle some lemon juice so they dont turn brown (mine did)

* Dry roast the soya nuggets in a frying pan on stove, until light brown.

* Soak the roasted nuggets in salted boiling hot water for 30 min.

* Drain and squeeze all water from the nuggets, set aside.

* Heat 2 tablespoon of oil, when heated, sauté sliced mushrooms until light brown, add drained soya nuggets, and stir fry until light brown, set aside.

* Heat 3 tablespoon of oil in a pan.

* When oil is heated add cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds and when these crackle add asafetida immediately followed by bay leaves, chili pods and cardamom pods.

* Add ground onions, ginger and garlic paste.

* Saute until light brown.

* Add all the spices, stir and mix well.

* Add crushed tomatoes from can.

* Cook for 2 min stirring in between, then add mushroom and soya nuggets, mix well.

* Add potatoes and water. (you can taste and add additional spices if desired)

* Simmer and cook for 6-8 min on low-medium heat until gravy thickens a little.

* Garnish with chopped cilantro leaves.

* Serve Hot with Chapati or White rice.

Recipe and Photographs by Surekha.
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