Naan Pizza

Naan Pizza recipes have been around for a while & I’m joining the bandwagon. If only I had known how easy this meal would be. I had dinner on the table in under 30 minutes, and it was really delicious!

Naan Pizza

I’m all for convenience and used store bought naan but you make it from scratch if you like. (You can try this Naan recipe here with over 1500 reviews!!) As for toppings, our pizzas show ground turkey but you can use any protein of your choice – tandoori / rotisserie chicken, shrimp, paneer, tofu or even just veggies like mushrooms, broccoli, tomatoes, onions, etc. The recipe below is more of a guide and can be customized as you like.

My kids preferred a plain base, but you can start by spreading a spoon of pizza sauce, green chutney, etc before topping with meat, veggies and cheese.

Serve a fresh salad with Cilantro-Lime Dressing to make an easy and tasty summer meal. Click here for recipe.

Cilantro Lime Dressing

Naan Pizza

For meat / paneer topping:

  • 1 lb ground meat OR drained & crumbled paneer or tofu
  • 3 tbsp onion powder (or 1 medium onion, chopped)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder (or 1 tsp garlic paste)
  • 1 tsp ginger powder (or 1 tsp ginger paste)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1/2 tsp cloves powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp coriander (dhania) powder
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder (or to taste)
  • salt
  • lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp oil

1) Heat oil in a wide pan on medium flame.

2) Add all the spice powders and quickly stir for a few seconds, allowing it to get frothy or ‘bloom’ (If using fresh onion, ginger & garlic – add them to the oil first and saute till just starting to brown. Then add the spice powders.)

3) Add the ground protein and mix well with the spices. Continue cooking on medium-high heat, stirring frequently to break up lumps and ensure even cooking.

4) Cook about 10 minutes and adjust salt. Top with lemon juice. Remove from heat and set aside.

For the pizza:

  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (if you can lay hands on AMUL cheese at the Indian store, definitely use it.)
  • 4 fresh / frozen naans of your choice (I used frozen garlic naan from Trader Joe’s)
  • 1 small red onion – finely sliced (optional)
  • green chili and mint / cilantro chutney (optional)
  • few sprigs of cilantro – finely chopped (optional)

1) Preheat the oven to 400*F

2) Lay naans on a baking sheet and top with 1 tsp of sauce or chutney of choice.

3) Spread a 1/4 of the topping mixture on the naan and spread evenly. Top with sliced onions if desired.

4) Now top with 1/4 cup cheese and place in the oven for about 3-4 minutes till cheese is melted.

5) If you want a crunchy crust (delicious!), remove the pizza from the baking sheet and gently slide directly onto the oven rack; cook for another 2-3 minutes.

6) Carefully slide onto serving plate and top with fresh chopped cilantro before serving.

(My son enjoyed it with a drizzle of Maggi Hot & Sweet sauce.)

[Gas Grill Method: preheat grill on high for 10 minutes. Lightly brush each naan with oil and grill for about 30 seconds per side. Remove to a plate and reduce grill heat to medium-low. Top naan with your choice of ingredients and grill covered for another 5-6 minutes till cheese is melted.)

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Eggless French Toast

With Mother’s Day around the corner, I thought I should share some breakfast-in-bed ideas that dad and the kids can whip up easily. This recipe is a change from the usual pancakes /PBJ / store bought muffins, etc. They can be made either savory or sweet, and are vegetarian. The basic recipe idea comes from both my grandmother & Show Me The Curry, and I have adapted it to suit our tastes.

Eggless French Toast

Eggless Savory French Toast

  • 1/2 cup besan (chickpea flour)
  • 1 Tbsp rice flour
  • 1/8 tsp baking soda
  • 2 Tbsp fine sooji (if all you have is regular sooji, give it a quick whir in the blender)
  • 2 Tbsp yogurt
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp green chilli (finely minced) OR chilli powder
  • 1 Tbsp cilantro (finely chopped)
  • 1/4 tsp ginger paste (optional)
  • 1/2 – 3/4 tsp salt (to taste)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 4-5 slices of day-old sandwich bread

Eggless French Toast

[Here’s my grandma making french toast 🙂 ]

1) Sift together besan, rice flour & baking soda into a flat-bottomed wide dish.

2) Add all the other ingredients (except bread) and stir well till no lumps are left. (Add a teaspoon or two of extra water only if absolutely necessary to make the paste smoother.)

3) Place your griddle / shallow frying pan on medium heat to preheat.

4) Soak each slice of bread in the besan mixture for a few seconds on each side.

5) Lightly grease the griddle and cook the bread on medium-low flame, flipping over as each side is crispy and golden. Add a few drops of oil around the bread as it cooks on each side to keep it from getting dry.

Alternately, add a teaspoon of butter on the griddle and cook the bread in it – it’s delicious!!

6) Repeat till all slices are done and serve with ketchup / hot & sweet sauce.

Eggless Sweet French Toast

  • 1/2 cup besan (chickpea flour)
  • 1 Tbsp rice flour
  • 1/8 tsp baking soda
  • 2 Tbsp fine sooji (if all you have is regular sooji, give it a quick whir in the blender)
  • 2 Tbsp yogurt
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla / cinnamon powder / orange zest

1) Follow the same cooking method as above.

2) Serve the toast topped with maple syrup, fruit slices, or jam.

Serve MOM these French Toast slices with Blueberry Yogurt Parfait (click here for recipe) and hot tea or coffee.

Blueberry Yogurt Parfait

Blueberry Yogurt Parfait

 

For regular French Toast recipe, click here.

Read my Mother’s Day post from 2014 for instructions on how to make a Cupcake Bouquet.

These French Toast slices will keep well for lunch boxes too – just add a side of veggies and fruit for a complete meal.

Eggless French Toast

 

Oats & Palak Roti (Oats & Spinach Flatbread)

Oats & Palak Roti (Oats & Spinach Flatbread)

My cousin had eaten these rotis at a friend’s house and she shared the idea for this recipe with me a while back. I finally decided to give it a try and luckily my proportions worked the first time around. We liked these rotis so much that I had to go to bed with a ‘light dinner’ because my husband and teenager decided to have some of my share too. I even made an extra batch of the dough since I had all the ingredients and utensils out. They were soft & pliable, and as it had spices mixed in, a pat of butter/ghee, or a cup of yougrt was all that was necessary as an accompaniment. I definitely see myself making this not only for meals at home, but also for short trips so I can avoid all the temptations at the rest area and fast food joints (am I the only one who can’t resist fries and pastries at rest areas?!?!).

Also check out the recipe for Spinach Cottage Cheese Roti.

Oats & Palak Roti

(Oats & Spinach Flatbread)

(makes 8 rotis, 6-7 inch wide)

  • 1 1/2 cups oats (make a powder in the blender)
  • 1 1/2 cups wheat flour
  • 1 big onion (finely chopped)
  • 3 cups spinach leaves (washed, drained and chopped fine)
  • 1 1/2 – 2 tsp salt (or to taste)
  • 2-3 tsp roasted cumin powder
  • 2  – 2 1/2 tsp chilli powder (or to taste)

1) Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl using only 1/2 cup water.

2) Knead well and sprinkle few drops of water only if necessary. The onion will release moisture and the dough will come together just fine with half cup water.

3) The mixture will be sticky at this point; cover and set aside for about an hour.

NOTE: If using a food processor (my preferred method), add all ingredients into the bowl and attach the lid. While machine is running, slowly drizzle the water through the feeder and run it till the dough comes together. Remove to a bowl and shape. Cover and set aside for about an hour.

4) The dough must now be soft and pliable. Divide into 8 balls.

5) Heat a heavy griddle on medium-low flame.

6) Pat each dough ball into thin discs on a lightly greased silicone sheet or heavy duty foil sheet.

Oats & Palak Roti (Oats & Spinach Flatbread)

7) Lightly grease the griddle and invert the roti with the foil onto it.

Oats & Palak Roti (Oats & Spinach Flatbread)

8) After few seconds, gently peel off the foil or silicone sheet and increase heat to medium-high.

9) Cook roti on both sides for 2-3 minutes till done, drizzling a few drops of oil on each side if necessary.

10) Serve hot.

MAKE AHEAD TIP: I mixed the dough the night before and used it in the morning, and it worked just fine. I even half cook each roti and cool completely on a rack. Then refrigirate in a freezer bag / air tight container till ready to eat. Finish cooking with a few drops of oil when ready to serve. This technique has made weekend brunch time so much easier – I get to relax with my tea and still serve a tasty & nutritious meal :)).

Vegan Black Bean Burgers

 

 

Vegan Black Bean Burger

 

Back after several weeks of absence, but I’ve been trying out a whole bunch of new recipes. Unfortunately, that was not the goal for starting this blog. It was to whittle down my collection of recipes; not add more to my stash! Anyway, some were a hit and some were a miss. These vegan black bean burgers were definitely delicious and nutritious. I made a dozen and froze them – they came in handy for quick dinners, after-school snacks, my lunch, even as a salad topping. Served here with homemade (and freezable) guacamole.

 

Vegan Black Bean Burgers

(Serves 4)

  • 2 cups / 16oz can black beans (drained well)
  • 1 small onion (chop fine)
  • 2 jalapeno peppers (chop fine) – [can use red-chili powder instead]
  • 3 garlic cloves (minced)
  • few sprigs cilantro (chop fine)
  • 1/2 medium red or green bell-pepper (chop fine)
  • 1Tbsp flax meal mixed with 3 Tbsp water (substitute with 1 large egg if not vegan)
  • 1/2 cup instant oats / cooked brown rice/ quinoa (pick any one)
  • 1 Tbsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)

1) Mix all chopped vegetable in a bowl and set aside. Alternately, put everything in a food processor and pulse till fine.

 

 

 

 

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2) Stir flax meal and water well to make sure there are no lumps. Let it sit for a few minutes. (If using egg, whisk gently with a fork and set aside).

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3) In a large bowl, mash the black beans with a fork (I used the food processor and found that it was too ‘smooth’).

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4) Add vegetables, flax meal, cumin powder, salt and oats/rice. Mix well and adjust taste if needed.

5) Using lightly oiled hands, shape into 4 patties about 1 inch thick. [I lined the lid from a peanut butter jar with plastic wrap and shaped my patties in them. It goes faster if you are making a big batch.]

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6) Invert onto wax paper squares and chill about an hour on a cookie tray until firm. Alternately, these can be frozen on the cookie tray and saved in zip lock bags for later use. Make sure to keep the wax paper between the patties for easier handling.

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7) To cook, lightly spray a skillet with oil and cook on medium heat about 6-8 minutes per side. Serve on buns, inside pocket pita, sliced on top of a salad, or just by itself.

NOTE: The beans must be well drained as they will not hold if it has too much moisture. In the event that the patties are too soft, add a little more oats/rice to bind.

 

 

 

Vegetarian Mexican Lasagna

Vegetarian Mexican Lasagne

 

This is one of the easiest, and most versatile recipes you can have on hand. You can add any combination of filling, and adjust spices to your liking. Just follow some basic proportions for sauce and filling, and you are all set. I have shown how the stuffing can be adapted for other quick meals.

I use spicy seasonings and use cheese without scrimping. My meat loving family does not complain when I serve this for dinner, and a batch will serve two meals. Thank god for leftovers!

Vegetarian Mexican Lasagna

(Serves 6-8)

  • 1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained
  • 1 (7 oz) can corn, drained
  • 1 cup red pepper (chopped)
  • 1 cup cooked spanish / plain rice
  • 4 cups (32 oz) salsa
  • 2 Tbsp Taco seasoning
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 5-6 large tortillas
  • 2 cup mexican blend shredder cheese
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro

1) Preheat oven to 350*

2) In a large bowl, mix together the black beans, corn, red pepper, rice, taco seasoning, cumin, 1/4 cup cilantro, and 1 cup salsa. Set aside.

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3) Cut tortillas into 2-3 inch strips.

4) In a 9X13 pan, pour 2/3 cup salsa on the bottom.

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5) Top with 1 layer of tortilla strips, 1 1/2 cups of the rice & beans mixture, and 2/3 cup cheese.

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6) Repeat layers with 2/3 cup salsa, 1 layer tortilla strips, rice & beans, and 2/3 cup cheese. Finally, add another layer of tortilla strips on top of the cheese, add 2/3 cup salsa, and top with remaining cheese. (Layers from bottom of pan: salsa, tortilla, rice & beans, cheese, salsa, tortilla, rice & beans, cheese, tortilla, salsa, cheese)

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7) Cover tightly with foil and bake 35-40 minutes till cheese is bubbly and it is completely heated through. Allow to sit for few minutes uncovered before serving.

 

NOTE: Substitute any combination for filling – meat, beans only, brown rice, quinoa – but use 4 1/2 cups total. You can reduce the amount of cheese too, but use at least some between layers for the whole lasagna to “set”.

 

VARIATIONS: Like I mentioned earlier, the same stuffing and cheese can be used to make burritos and quesadillas. I make breakfast burritos with a similar version of the stuffing mixed with scrambled eggs. Individually rolled and frozen in a freezer bag, I can pull a few burritos out the night before to thaw in the refrigerator, and microwave at breakfast time. Freshly rolled ones make a good lunch box addition.

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Here is a  link on how to easily roll a burrito http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGjJSFysbis

To make a quesadilla, lightly spray a tortilla with oil and place on a preheated griddle on low. Add filling and cheese on one half and fold over. Turn heat to medium and brown both sides, gently pressing down. Serve with salsa and sour cream.

Black Bean Quesadilla

 

Red Pepper Chutney

This is an Indian style Red Pepper Chutney that my mother-in-law serves with rice, but it goes wonderfully with idli, dosa and roti. It is also great as a dip and as a sandwich spread. Red bell peppers contain twice the Vitamin C as regular green bell peppers, and are considered potentially cancer-fighting due to the antioxidants in this vibrant colored fruit.

Red Pepper Chutney

  • 2 tsp oil
  • 1 tsp black mustard seeds
  • 1/4 tsp asafetida (hing)
  • 1 Tbsp udad dal
  • 4-6 red chillies (broken in half)
  • 1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds (methi)
  • 1 small sprig curry leaves
  • 1/2 tsp tamarind paste
  • salt to taste
  • 3 red bell peppers – chopped

1) Heat oil in a wok / kadai on medium flame. Add mustard seeds and wait for it to pop.

2) Add hing, udad dal, red chillies, fenugreek seeds, and curry leaves one after the other, waiting a few seconds in between each ingredient.

3) After all ingredients are roasted and the udad dal is golden, add the chopped peppers and salt, and stir fry for 7-10 minutes on medium- high, uncovered, stirring often. (While the peppers must not be raw, it does not have to be overcooked.) Roast well.

4) Turn off stove and allow to cool.

5) Blend ( as fine or coarse as you like – I make my fine) with tamarind paste and adjust salt to taste.

NOTE: The peppers tend to release a lot of moisture while cooking and the udad dal helps bind the chutney together when blended. This is not a paste-like / jelly-like chutney, but more like a dip. If you prefer, you can increase the udad dal quantity.

 

Honey Wheat Bread

This is a delicious & EASY bread I make for weekend brunch or after-school snacks. Turns out nice and moist, and makes the house smell wonderful. Unfortunately, I can’t remember which book I copied the recipe from – hence can’t give the author their due credit.

HONEY WHEAT BREAD (10-15 servings)

  • 2/3 cup powdered milk
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 2 Tbsp canola or vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 2  1/4 tsp active dry yeast (1 envelope or 0.25 oz)
  • 3 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup flour

1) Dissolve powdered milk with warm water in a bowl.

2) Add oil, honey, salt, yeast, and half of both flours.

3) Beat on low speed for 2 mins with an electric mixer.

4) Add the remaining flour and beat on low till combined.

5) Place dough in a greased 4-5qt slow cooker.

6) Cover and cook on high for 2-3 hours.

7) When done, remove stoneware from slow cooker  and let it stand 5 mins. Invert on to serving platter while still hot.

8) Serve with honey butter or jam.