Microwave Pita Pizza in 5 minutes

Anyone who knows to cook, always wants to try and make restaurant stuff at home in their very own healthier and tastier way. I’ve got this undying love for pizza, but the fact that it is cheese &  carb-loaded made me want to try a healthier version of it, using wheat pita, lesser cheese and zero-oil. 😀

The list of ingredients below calls for a non-veg topping of your choice, if required. I usually go for chicken, sausages or tuna, but you could use any kind of meat. When I have a lot of left-over chicken curry, so I shred the chicken and use. Here, I’ve used tuna.

Pita Pizza can be made at home in a microwave within a total of 5 minutes. Beat that! 😀

Ingredients:
Serves: 1

Pita Bread -1
Tomato Paste – 1 tbsp
Tuna – 4 tbsp                          //Any non-veg topping of your choice (optional)
Chopped Capsicum – 1 handful
Chopped Onion – a handful
Jalapeño – 1 (chopped)
Black Olives – 2 (chopped)
Mozzarella Cheese – as required
Oregano/Chili flakes or Salt/Pepper – according to taste

Step 1: Place the pita bread on a microwavable plate. Spread tomato paste over it.

Step 2: Top the pita with veggies, tuna, olives & jalapenos. Sprinkle mozzarella, oregano/chili flakes or salt/pepper  according to taste.

Step 3: Microwave for a minute or two, until the cheese melts. Enjoy hot.

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Note:

By ‘healthy’, all I am referring to, is the switch from the pizza crust to a healthier pita bread. Those of you who are against microwave-ing, could bake the same until the cheese melts. 

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Beetroot Halwa with Vanilla Ice-cream

When everyone tries the regular carrot halwa, wouldn’t you want to go for something different?
Beets are one of my favorite vegetables, especially because of its color and the sweet taste that they are renowned for. Serving beetroot halwa with vanilla ice-cream is my staple party favorite, because you just need to make a little and serving it along with ice cream is always a hit. The redness of the beets makes it a point to stand out and add to the beauty of the dish.
So pick a few of them from your pantry, and make sure you have the below listed ingredients to begin with.

Ingredients:
Makes about 20 scoops.

Grated beets – 4 cups
Butter – 2 tbsp
Cardamom pods – a few (4-5)
Cinnamon stick – 1
Nutmeg – 1
Milk – 2 cups
Sweetened Condensed Milk – as per taste
Sugar – if required (according to taste)
Mint leaves – to garnish

Step 1: Grate the beets. Microwave for 3 minutes to speed up the cooking process.

Step 2: Add the butter to a pan, and once its heated, drop the cardamom pods, cinnamon stick and nutmeg.

Step 3: After a minute, add the grated beetroot. Let it cook for about 5 minutes, after which you could add the milk.

Step 4: Let the milk boil while the beets continue to soften and cook in the milk.

Step 5: After 5 minutes, add in the condensed milk.

Step 6: Cover and cook until most of the milk has evaporated and the halwa attains the required texture.

Serve hot with ice cream.

Note:

  • Remove the cardamom pods, cinnamon and nutmeg while serving.
  • You could use sugar instead of condensed milk.

Tomato-Fish Rice

This is a very simple recipe that I came up with, when I had just started to cook. So obviously, its going to be super easy.

In the beginning, the main ingredient I added to anything and everything was tomato paste. It is still one of my favorite ingredients to add to a dish because I absolutely love the flavor it imparts.

Ingredients:
Serves: 2

Brown rice – 1.5 cup
Fish fillet – 3 pieces
Fish Masala – as required (I used ‘Eastern’)
Oil – 5-6 tbsp
Onion – 1 cup
Capsicum – 1 (chopped)
Ginger-garlic paste – 1 heaped tsp
Tomato Paste – 0.5 cup
Chilli powder – 1-2 tbsp (add according to how spicy you want your dish)
Salt & Pepper – to taste
Coriander leaves – a handful (chopped)

Step 1: Marinate the fish and let it sit for about 30 minutes.

Step 1: Boil the rice until cooked. Strain and keep aside.

Step 2: Pan-fry the fish in minimal oil. When its almost done, you can start scrambling the fish in the pan itself. Once done, transfer the fish to a plate.

Step 3: In the same pan, add a little more oil if required and saute the onions until translucent. Add in the chopped capsicum and cook for a while.

Step 4: Add tomato paste, ginger-garlic paste, chilli powder and mix well. Cook for 5 minutes or so until its raw flavor is lost.

Step 5: Now mix in the cooked fish, rice and coriander leaves. Serve hot.

You could add in more ketchup/hot sauce according to your taste.

Masala Chai

It’s starting to get a little cold in Saudi and I’m always relying on cups of tea and coffee to keep warm. I used to be this hardcore coffee lover who hated tea, but I had never tried Masala Chai back then. Recently, I happened to try it a few times and fell in love with it.

Here’s presenting my version of it. 🙂

Ingredients:
Serves: 2

Water – 1 cup
Milk – 1cup
Black Tea-bags – 3
Sugar – 2.5 tbsp
Cardamom – 4 pods (crushed)
Ginger – 2 inch piece (crushed)

Optional:
Pepper corns – 6-8
Cloves -5
Cumin – 1 tsp
Cinnamon – 1 small stick
 

Step 1: Boil 1 cup water along with the tea-bags, sugar, crushed cardamom and ginger.

(Adding the optional spices takes the masala chai to a whole new level. You could choose to skip it.)

Step 2: Add 1 cup milk and bring to a boil.

Step 3: Strain and serve hot.

Nutella Date Truffles

Dates are one of the most popular fruits of the Arabian Peninsula. It’s health and nutritional benefits are endless. In Saudi, you find dates all-year-round. Fresh dates are way softer and juicier, when compared to the packaged dry ones.

Imagine these healthy goodies with an “edible-seed” and coated with your favorite chocolate spread.
All you need is 10 minutes.

To make date truffles, fresh dates would be better, but you could go for the dry ones too.

If you choose to use the dry ones, it would be ideal to soften them by soaking the dates in warm water for about 5 minutes.

Ingredients:

Dates – 10
Cashew nuts – 10
Nutella / Chocolate Spread – to coat the dates
A coating of your choice- I’ve used: Oats / Chopped Mint Leaves / Coffee Powder / Shredded Coconut

Step 1: Replace each seed with a cashew nut, so its more like a date with an “edible-seed”.

Step 2: Roll the dates and shape them into perfect balls.

Step 3: Dip and coat with Nutella or a chocolate spread of your choice.

Step 4: Smear each truffle with a coating of your choice.

Healthy Red Fried Rice (using brown rice)

My husband is the kind that feels weirdly uncomfortable if he hasn’t eaten anything from out. So I make it a point to “try” and make our home-cooked meals as healthy as possible. On a regular basis, all I do is limit the amount of oil. But today, I made fried-rice, using brown rice. I added beets to make it look red and tempting.

Ingredients:
Serves: 4

Brown Rice – 2 cup
Oil – 4 tbsp
Chopped Onions – 0.5 cup
Ginger-garlic paste – 1 heaped tsp
Meat masala – 1 tbsp
Beetroot – 2 medium-sized
Capsicum – 1
Broccoli – 1 cup

Step 1: Boil the rice until cooked. Strain and keep aside.

Step 2: Chop all your veggies into tiny pieces.

Step 3: In a large vessel, heat some oil. Now saute the onions until translucent.

Step 4: Add in the mixed veggies along with the ginger-garlic paste and meat masala.

Step 5: Once the veggies soften, add in the rice, little by little, and mix well.

Bombay Mutton Biryani

Weekend Special! Every Saturday in Saudi (which is like Sunday elsewhere) Mom makes it a point to come up with something special. Today she decided to make some “Bombay Mutton Biryani”, and luckily, I got to watch while chopping up the onions and stuff.

Her key ingredient is this Bombay Biryani Masala by Mehran.You could follow the exact instructions on the back of this packet, or follow my Mom’s instructions.

Ingredients:
Serves: 4 

Basmati Rice – 2 cups
Mutton – 750 gm
Water – 1 cup
Ghee-1/2 cup
Oil – 1/2 cup
Chopped Onions – 4 cups
Raisins & Cashews – 1+1 handful
Garlic – 1
Ginger – 1
Tomato – 2
Yoghurt – 5 tbsp
Coriander leaves – 1 cup
Mint leaves – a handful
Bombay Biryani Masala by Mehran – 1 pack
Salt – to taste

Step 1: In a pressure cooker, add the chopped mutton with 1 cup water and salt to taste. Cook for about half an hour on medium flame. Remove the mutton pieces. You could make Mutton Broth-Soup using the broth.

Step 2:  In a non-stick vessel, add the oil and ghee mixture, and saute the onions until golden brown. Once done, remove the onions and stir-fry the cashews and raisins. Remove from oil and keep aside.

Step 3: Into this same vessel, add in the crushed ginger-garlic and saute until fragrant. Add the chopped tomatoes afterward. Cook until done.

Step 4: Add in 5 tbsp yoghurt, half-of-the-fried-onion-mixture, coriander and mint leaves, bombay biryani masala and the cooked mutton. Add salt to taste. Mix well & let it cook for another 4-5 minutes.

Step 5: Half-cook the basmati rice. Add this half-cooked rice over the mutton mixture. Cover and cook until the rice is completely done.

Step 6: Spread the fried onions, raisins and cashews on top. Serve hot.

For the Raita:

Onion – 1
Cucumber – 1
Mint & Coriander leaves – a handful
Yoghurt – 1 cup
Buttermilk – 0.5 cup
Salt – to taste

Chop the onion, cucumber and leaves into tiny pieces. Grab a bowl and mix all the ingredients together.

You’ll have to dig-deep for the mutton! 😀