Category Archives: Apppetizers

Avocado Banana Chaat

Chaat is a term describing savory snacks, typically served at road-side tracks from stalls or food carts in India, Pakistan, Nepal and Bangladesh- this from Wikipedia. Chaat to me is sweet, tangy and savory sensation put together to be had as an appetizer or snack. Most street versions have fried cracker bases or delicious potato centers.

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Well…Today is the day!!! My first time co-hosting  Angie’s Fiesta Friday #108 with the lovely Suzanne@apuginthekitchen .

If you don’t know it already Fiesta Friday is where to party every Friday. I joined it when I started blogging a couple of years back and it has been such a great support and platform to grow. Bring your dishes here and Link up your posts at Angie’s Fiesta and to both the co-hosts!

Do read the guidelines posted here….but the rules are really to have fun and enjoy visiting all the fabulous bloggers.

I wanted to make something quick and simple for my co-hosting responsibility ( and its been a really long week) so this quick appetizer was perfect. Now I am eager to spend all my time looking through the deliciousness everyone else brings to the party,

One of my favorite Indian fusion restaurants Rasika delighted me with a Avocado and Banana version that is a must try if you are ever in DC.

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Here is my take on serving up this amazing dish. You can never go wrong with Avocados can you? The nutrient rich bananas lightly browned bring a sweet dimension. Tamarin Chutney can me home made, I used a store bought version. A sprinkle of cumin, a dash of cayenne, a squeeze of lemon and there you have it! Ready in 10  mins.

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Avocado Banana Chaat

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 2 ripe avocadosAvocadoBananaChaat-1-6
  • 1 banana
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon tamarind chutney
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Fresh cilantro – chopped
  • Lemon juice
  • Banana chips for garnish

 

  • Use firm almost green bananas,  brown in coconut oil and cut in 1 inch pieces. Set aside
  • Cut the avocado into chunks and squeeze the juice of half lemon over it. Toss in 2 tabsp of tamarind chutney, cumin and cayenne. Chill.
  • Using a ring mold or a hollow can, place the avocado mixture at the bottom, cover with the bananas, sprinkle with lemon juice, another dash of cayenne and cilantro. Top with some banana chips to bring in the crispiness.

 

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Savory Cauliflower Cake

What a great addition to the vegetarian thanksgiving dinner… I was excited to see this recipe of a savory cauliflower cake when Johanne Lamarche of French Gardener Dishes posted it. Johanne in turn got the inspiration for this cake came from a recipe of Yotam Ottolenghi.

It’s wonderful how recipes transform as different people perceive them from their palates and senses. So my recipes is just another take at the cauliflower cake. I was looking for something to add to my vegetarian dishes for thanksgiving while the rest of the family enjoyed the turkey. I added some cumin and garlic to the dish along with lots of sage that I had fresh from my herb garden.

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Cauliflower Cake @food for the soul
CauliflowerCake
Cauliflower Cake @food for the soul

 

 

Cauliflower Cake

  • Servings: 10
  • Difficulty: moderate
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Ingredients

  • Small Cauliflower trimmed and cut into small florets
  • 1 leek chopped thinly
  • 2 tsp each of chopped rosemary, thyme, sage and parsley
  • 3 cloves garlic – minced
  • 1 cup spelt flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 cups Cheddar cheese grated
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan grated
  • 5 eggs – beaten
  • 1 heaped tbsp wholegrain mustard
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tsp nigella seeds
  • Olive oil
  • I have used a round spring foam pan, lined with parchment and oiled.

Caulicake1
Cauliflower Cake @food for the soul

Putting it together:

  • Add the cauliflower  to boiling water for about 3 minutes. Drain.
  • Add 2 tbsp of olive oil in a large pan, add leek and minced garlic and sauté gently until translucent and softened– . Stir in the herbs and saute a further couple of minutes.
  • Add cauliflower and stir until all the ingredients are well mixed. Set this aside.
  • Take a  mixing bowl, add the flour and baking powder, stir in the cheese and fold in the eggs, mustard and turmeric .
  • Mix very lightly and add the cauliflower
  • Mix lightly again using your hands or wooden spoons.
  • Pour the mixture into the baking pan and sprinkle the nigella seeds over it.
  • Bake in a 350 degree oven for approximately 40 minutes until golden. Serve warm or at room temperature.

The party is at Fiesta Friday and I am happy to share this.

Garden Tomato and Roasted Corn – Picnic Salad

Summer slowly winds down.. but in my garden the tomatoes are still vibrant, peppers still prospering, herbs still waiting to be picked. As we planned a picnic in the countryside,  I filled my basket with the garden goodness. This fresh tomato and roasted corn salad is packable for a good picnic. The orzo was a add on to give it some body, the herbs pull it all together.

The dressing? well there is no dressing, the sprinkling of olive oil, lemon zest and lemon juice is all you need to bring together the fresh herbs.

Tomato, Roasted Corn and Orzo
Tomato, Roasted Corn and Orzo

The flatbread is a yeast dough made with spelt flour. I cooked it in a 450 degree oven for 10 mins until browned.

Tomato, Roasted Corn and Orzo

Garden Tomato and Roasted Corn Salad

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:

Garden fresh cherry or any tomatoes – chopped

1 cup cooked Orzo

2 cups corn ( fresh or frozen)

1 and 1/2 cup chopped Herbs – Basil, oregano, parsley, thyme

1 tsp lemon zest

Juice of 1 lemon

1 tbsp good olive oil

1 finely chopped green chili pepper

Sea Salt and black pepper

Putting it together

Pour olive oil and sprinkle salt over the chopped tomatoes and put aside.

Roast corn in a pan with a tiny bit of olive oil and thyme leaves until the corn is browned and toasted, sprinkle some sea salt.

Cook Orzo for 7 mins ( or per directions on your package)

Add corn and orzo to the tomatoes, add all the herbs, lemon zest and lemon juice.

Add chopped green pepper.

Adjust salt and pepper to taste.

Pack it up with some good homemade spelt flatbread and goat cheese and you are set for a great picnic.

Tomato, Roasted Corn and Orzo
Tomato, Roasted Corn and Orzo
Tomato, Roasted Corn and Orzo
Tomato, Roasted Corn and Orzo

Late to the party at Fiesta Friday but was too busy enjoying the weekend. Thanks to co-hosts, Effie @ Food Daydreaming and Steffi @ Ginger & Bread.

Warm Fava, Feta and Tomato Salad

Who doesn’t like Fava Beans? I think a lot of people don’t but it may be just not having the right recipe.

Did you know that Fava beans are filled with nutrition and a great source of lean protein? Also known as broad beans, they have no saturated fat or cholesterol and contain a high concentration of thiamin, vitamin K, vitamin B-6, potassium, copper, selenium, zinc and magnesium.

This is another Mediterranean influenced dish which takes your palate through many surprising textures and tastes. The tomatoes are pan roasted in olive oil and garlic and a hint of red chillies which is the base of making this a warm salad. Make sure you get good Feta especially if you can make the trip to the local Mediterranean grocey store and explore the varieties.

Fava Beans with Roasted Tomatoes and Feta
Fava Beans with Roasted Tomatoes and Feta

You can serve is as a starter course with pita or as a side dish. It pairs well with a spicy main dish.

I am giving the measurements below but they really can be adjusted to taste as you go.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of shelled and cooked Fava beans ( I used the organic frozen precooked bag from the local store)
  • 4 Roma tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 chunk of Feta cheese cut in cubes
  • 1 cup Pitted Kalamata olives
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • Crushed Red chillies
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder(optional)
  • Chopped dill – approx 1/2 cup
  • Olive oil
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste

Putting it together:

In a large pan, add some olive oil, garlic and chillies and cook for a minute. Add the tomatoes and let them brown a little. They need to stay whole so do not over cook. Add the cooked fava beans, cumin powder(if using) and olives and heat through until combined

Add the Feta as you turn the heat off and combine. Mix in the chopped dill and salt/pepper. Serve at room temperature and enjoy!

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Cacik’ – Yogurt with Cucumbers and Dill

Cacık’ (JAH’- juck), or yogurt with cucumbers and herbs is a simple Turkish dish served as a salad or by itself with some bread on the side. Yogurt with cucumbers is also served in Indian food and called Raita. This particular Cacik recipe is different from Raita in that it uses a lot of Dill weed. Very close in taste to the Greek Tzatziki. The cooling taste makes it a perfect companion to spicy food. I served it for an appetizer followed by a Tagine dinner.

Cacik - Yogurt with cucumber
Cacik – Yogurt with cucumber

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of Yogurt ( beaten)
  • 1 tsp garlic paste
  • 1/2 cup chopped dill weed
  • 1 tsp chopped mint
  • 1 cucumber grated and pat dried in a towel
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

Putting it together:

  • Mix the yogurt with garlic and add salt and pepper to tasted.
  • Add dill, cucumber and mint. Adjust seasoning to your liking. Garnish with a sprig of parsley.

Does not get simpler than that 🙂