Thursday, July 26, 2018

Stuffed Bell Peppers with Classic Mashed Potato Recipe


Bell peppers, stuffed with the combination of mashed potatoes, fresh herbs and topped with cheese, makes for an excellent midweek dinner option.


Crispy tender bell peppers, stuffed with the combination of mashed potatoes, fresh herbs and topped with cheese, makes for an excellent midweek dinner option.


The stuffed bell peppers also known as stuffed capsicum, are perfect for weeknight meals. You can serve them as an appetizer or as a side dish. This colorful, light and flavor-packed recipe, can be made under 30 minutes. It can be roasted both in a grilled pan or in an oven. I used a classic filling of mashed potatoes and also sauteed onions along with it, as it adds a whole lot of flavor to the filling.

This recipe will make you fall in love with the earthy flavors of bell peppers. The relishing flavors of the stuffed bell peppers are just heavenly divine.

They are cheesy, lighter and healthier than the most of their counterparts. Also, this is the simplest version of stuffed bell peppers because i used very little ingredients and spices this time, focusing on putting a meal together without much fuss.

Stuffed peppers are very versatile, you can do anything with them. There are plenty of options to explore, just make them according to your own taste and preferences. Feel free to be adventurous with the veggies, herbs and spices. With every filling you use, the bell peppers will bring out a delicious flavor out in a palate.

There are different colors of peppers available in the market, you can chose any one of them. Each will bring out, different flavors while cooking. Also, try to pick up the small peppers for this dish, so that they can easily stand on the pan while roasting. If you are using larger ones, you can trim the bottom slightly to create the flat surface and use them.

To prepare the dish, preheat the oven to 320 degrees F. Spoon the potato filling in the bell pepper and arrange them in the baking tray, and, roast it for 10-12 mins until it's evenly cooked. Then, top it with cilantro and cheese and place it back in the oven for another 2 minutes till melted, to make it more indulgent.

If roasting directly on a gas stove, heat a non-stick frying pan and spray oil. Place all the stuffed capsicums in a pan, cover with a lid and reduce the stove to low. Let them cook for 10 mins. Keep rotating in between so that they get cooked from all sides. Top it with cheese, and roast it for 2 more minutes and serve with rice or on its own!

Do try this recipe, I'd love to hear how it turns out for you!

Stuffed Bell Peppers with Classic Mashed Potato Recipe


Serves: 4 people
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Author: The Food Root

Ingredients


3 potatoes, boiled and mashed
4 bell peppers, deseeded (green/red/yellow)
1 onion, finely chopped
1 tomato, finely chopped
2 tsp butter
1/2 inch ginger, grated
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tbsp salt or as per taste
1/2 tbsp black pepper
1/2 tbsp chilli powder
1/2 tbsp cumin powder
handful of coriander leaves or cilantro
shredded mozzarella (optional)

Method


1. Steam or boil potatoes without making them mushy. Mash them with potato masher, leaving some texture. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Keep aside.

2. Cut the tops of the bell peppers and deseed them. Cook the bell peppers, uncovered in boiling water for 5 minutes, drain well or microwave them for about 3 minutes before stuffing them with the filling.

3. Heat butter in a pan, add ginger and garlic and stir-fry until fragrant. Add chopped onion, cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes. Next, add chopped tomato and cook for 2 minutes. Then, add salt, black pepper, cumin and chilli powder. Mix everything well. Add mashed potatoes and cilantro, stir it nicely and cook them until done on low flame.

4. Spoon the potato mixture in a capsicum till it's neck and stuff them tightly.

5. Preheat the oven to 160 C/320 F. Arrange the stuffed capsicum side by side, in one single layer onto a pre-heated baking tray by lightly brushing it with oil. If the peppers won’t stand, trim the bottom slightly to create the flat surface. Roast it for 10-12 mins, or until it's evenly cooked. If they turn soft and tender, they are done.

6. Top it with cilantro and mozzarella cheese and place it back in the oven for another 2 minutes till melted and enjoy!

Notes


1. If roasting directly on a gas stove, heat a non-stick frying pan and spray oil. Place all the stuffed capsicums in a pan, cover with a lid and reduce the stove to low. Let them cook for 10 mins. Keep rotating in between so that they get cooked from all sides. Top it with cheese, and roast it for 2 more minutes and serve!

2. Since we are baking the mashed potatoes you might want to use a dash of more salt than what you generally use, as bell peppers try to dominate any dish.

3. You can top it with a bit of cheese to make it more indulgent.


Friday, July 6, 2018

Paneer Nugget Casserole


A combination of soya nuggets and paneer (Indian cottage cheese), studded with capsicum, tomatoes and peas, and, flavored with a medley of aromatic herbs and spices.

Paneer Nugget Casserole that we made for lunch today, turned out so yum that i wanted to share the recipe with you all, right away!

This is a healthy, quick and easy side dish that combines the meaty texture of soya nuggets and paneer (Indian cottage cheese), studded with capsicum, tomatoes and peas, and, flavored with a medley of aromatic herbs and spices. You can enhance the flavor of this dish by adding some lime juice and coriander or mint. It tastes phenomenally well with freshly made lacha paratha and fried rice.

Soya are a great source of high quality protein, and are rich in vitamins and minerals. It's a nutrient rich plant protein that has all the essential amino acids, and make an excellent substitute for the meat-based products. You can buy the packet of soya nuggets in an Asian market, and, if you don't have an Asian market near you, you can easily find them online. Soya nuggets can be added in variety of dishes like biryani, pulao, manchurain, soya chunks curry and other stir fry dishes. They are soaked in hot salted water, until, they are soft and fluffy. Once soaked, drain and squeeze out all the excess water from them and they are ready to cook. Soaked soya nuggets should be kept in the refrigerator and used within 3 days.


Paneer Nugget Casserole is an open-end recipe and it's variation are endless. You can always toss in few extra veggies and add brightness to your recipe. I always try to make it differently, depending on what is available at my home.

Paneer, is the star ingredient of this dish. It gives a very mild and a rich creamy texture to this dish. You can either buy paneer from the market or make your own. It should be kept in the refrigerator and used within 2-3 days. I always pan-fry the paneer, so that, it retains it's shape as it cooks, soaks up the flavor, and, doesn't melts.

Paneer Nugget Casserole is an open-end recipe and it's variation are endless. You can always toss in few extra veggies and add brightness to your recipe. I always try to make it differently, depending on what is available at my home. Just keep the texture fairly chunky rather than finely chopping as it contrast well with Paneer and Soya Nuggets. You can control your spice level, mix in your favorite veggies and make it according to your taste preferences and requirements. So just follow your tastebuds and enjoy!

PANEER NUGGET CASSEROLE


Serves: 3 people
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Author: The Food Root

Ingredients


1 cup soya nutri nuggets
100 gms paneer (Indian cottage cheese), cut them into 1/2 inch cubes
1 large bell pepper, sliced and deseeded, cut them into 1 inch square pieces
1/4 cup peas, fresh or frozen
2 medium-size tomatoes, finely chopped
4 small green tomatoes, should be firm, and feel heavy in your hand, cut them into half (optional)
1/2 inch inch ginger, peeled, grated
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 green chillies, finely chopped
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1/4 tsp chilli powder
1/4 tsp garam masala
1 tsp salt or as per taste
1 tbsp lime juice (optional)
2 tbsp olive oil
chopped coriander leaves, garnishing

Method


1. Soak the soya nuggets in hot salted water for 10 minutes. Once they are soaked, wash few times, drain and squeeze out all the excess water from them and keep aside.

2. Heat oil in a pan, gently add paneer, a pinch of salt and pan-fry them for about 3 minutes. Flip them over and let the other side also fry and keep aside.

3. Next, roast capsicum for 2 minutes. Keep stirring to avoid burning. After 2 minutes of roasting, transfer it to a bowl.

4. Now, heat oil in the same pan, and, add grated ginger, followed by chopped garlic cloves. Give it a stir and cook for 1 minute.

5. Add the chopped tomatoes over medium heat. Cover and simmer over medium-low heat for 3-4 minutes or until the tomatoes are soft and well cooked.

6. Add the green tomatoes, sprinkle the salt, turmeric and coriander powder. Stir and cook for 3 minutes. Then, add peas followed by cumin and chilli powder. Stir and cook for 2 minutes.

7. Add the soya nuggets and the roasted capsicum. Cook for about 2 minutes or until the nuggets and capsicum are softened.

8. Add the roasted paneer cubes into the pan. Mix it together to coat the spice on paneer cubes. Cook for 2 minutes.

9. After 2 minutes, check for salt and add any, if required. Now, add some garam masala at the end and continue to cook for another 2 minutes.

10. Squeeze some lime juice and sprinkle chopped coriander leaves, give it a mix and serve hot.

Notes


1. You can add your favorite veggies or whatever is available at home. The idea is to make the dish more colorful and delicious.

2. Remember to pan-fry the paneer, so that, it retains it shape as it cooks, soaks up the flavor and doesn't melts.

3. Just keep the texture fairly chunky rather than finely chopping as it contrast well with Paneer and Soya Nuggets.

Sunday, June 3, 2018

5 Best Food Places In Shimla You Must Visit

Breathtaking landscapes, colossal mountains, luxurious valleys, quirky, fun, eccentric cafés and restaurants, Shimla has everything to charm you with it's timeless beauty and delightful culinary experience.

The famous Mall Road is the local hangout spot for everyone coming to Shimla. It is filled with delicious dining options, where residents and tourists can enjoy a vast array of diverse cuisines. Chic ambiance, cosy interiors, gorgeous views, scrumptious food and a well stocked bar - these places have it all. Highlighting the best of these lively eateries, here is our take on the Shimla's 5 best food places!

Cafe Simla Times


Enjoy the perfect weather with good food, chilled beer, live music and outdoor garden lounge seating at Café Simla Times.

Enjoy the perfect weather with good food, chilled beer, live music and outdoor garden lounge seating at Café Simla Times. Known for it's Indian, Italian, Mexican, Chinese and Thai cuisines, the place is relatively new but has gathered lots of positive reviews. This beautiful cafe has classy and visual appealing decors, with plenty of hanging lanterns. The restaurant serves some of the best wine in Shimla and have music nights to make your trip more fun. There is also an outdoor seating arrangement where you can take in the breathtaking view of the beautiful townIt's mostly crowded during peak dinner hours, still, the wait time isn't usually more than 15 minutes. I'd recommend a reservation if going with more than just a couple people.

We tried their famous woodfried pizzas, smoothies and cocktails.


Cafe Sol


Cafe Sol serves some of the exquisite Mexican, Thai and Italian dishes. Make sure to try this place for a quick bite.

Located amidst the busy street, Café Sol is certainly one of the best places to eat in Shimla. Offering the exquisite variety of Mexican, Thai and Italian dishes, it's a beautiful restaurant with well decorated interiors. Whether it's breakfast, lunch or dinner, it's a perfect spot to sit back, relax, and converse over food and drinks. part of Hotel Combermere, it provides an incredible sight of the beautiful landscapes of Himachal.

Greek salad and lemon cheesecakes are a must try at Cafe Sol.

Embassy


Cafes in Shimla are endless but Embassy is our top pick. Run by an old couple, this quirky cafe has got something for every foodie. It's one of the oldest cafe in town, and serves some of the best coffee and delightful munchies on Mall Road. This place has prominent and beautiful wooden interiors. The vibe is very warm, cosy and upscale rustic, perfect for relaxing with a good book or chilling with a good company. It has hundreds of handwritten messages and posters, stuck all over the walls.  The open balcony gives you a view of whole town and looks mesmerizing at night when the town lit up.

The most sought items have to be their carrot cake and walnut pie.

 Eighteen 71 Cookhouse & Bar


With options of Indian, Continental, a live food counter and fresh in house bakery products, Eighteen 71 serve guests with lip smacking food and cocktails.

The Eighteen 71 welcomes you with classy interiors, an extensive menu complimented with cheerful smiles on the staff's face. It's among my favorite dining option in Shimla with good food, live music and drinks. Portion sizes are good and so is the quality of food. For people who want to have a drink with their friends, this top notch restaurant also has a well stocked bar. With options of Indian, Continental, a live food counter and fresh in house bakery products, they serve guests with lip smacking food and cocktails. 

Their tantalizing variety of vegetable focaccia, mushroom galouti kebab, and interesting cocktails cannot be missed.

Cecil


Rich with history, the Oberoi Cecil embodies old-world elegance with its opulent ambiance and rich decor. The beautiful ambiance complimented by chandeliers, bay-windows, wood paneling, floral arrangement will remind you of the British era. With comfortable seating, a glass wall gives you a stunning view of the entire city outside. Besides serving the exquisite range of international, pan-Indian and local Himachali cuisines, the chefs are always willing to prepare the other dishes on request. Each dish is creative, producing bold and complex flavors. You can make a prior reservation or just walk in, if you are a house guest at the Cecil.

We had a taste of falafel and pita in addition to dham and madra, the traditional Himachali cuisines and recommend it to all.

The list of best 5 food places doesn't end here. These were just my personal favorites which I would highly recommend to anyone visiting Shimla.