Tag Archives: appetizers

Dave’s Amuse Bouche. Goat Cheese Wrapped in Seaweed.

Amuse bouche is a complimentary, bite-sized portion of savory food served before a meal or in between courses at a restaurant.

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When I invited our friends Dave and Rose to come over for dinner one evening to show us how to make pasta and tiramisu that they had learnt on their Italian holiday in Tuscany; Dave brought an interesting amuse bouche – goat cheese wrapped in seaweed.

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This was a very unique amuse bouche because I would never think to combine an Asian flavor like seaweed with a western flavor like goat cheese. Dave’s amuse bouche was a delectable little bite that packed a ton of flavor. Here is the recipe.

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Goat Cheese Tart with Sundried Tomatoes

This is a recipe I got from watching Barefoot Contessa’s show on Food Network.  Ina Garten was making a beautiful goat cheese tart with thinly sliced zucchini.  It looked positively gorgeous. But I am not a big fan of zucchini – no offense to zucchini fans. This recipe also called to make a homemade pastry crust – and I am not a fan of that either.

I decided to take Ina Garten’s recipe and make it my own. I used a store bought frozen piecrust (the kind you have to roll out) for the goat cheese tart, and instead of zucchini I used a jar of sundried tomatoes as my topping.  To turn this delectable tart into a meal – I served it on Sunday evening with a tossed green salad as part of my Sunday Salad routine.   Continue reading Goat Cheese Tart with Sundried Tomatoes

Raita. Indian Yogurt Side Dish with Tomatoes and Onions

Raita, an Indian yogurt side dish is very popular in our house. If the family could have it every day with their meal they would.  It’s basically yogurt with raw vegetables such as tomatoes, onions, cilantro and cucumbers along with some spices.  In many Indian households raita is used to soothe the palate when the main Indian meal is too spicy, as the cool yogurt raita helps to neutralize the heat of chili.

Continue reading Raita. Indian Yogurt Side Dish with Tomatoes and Onions

Cabbage and Onion Pakoras

Pakoras are deep fried Indian fritters made with chickpea flour and chopped veggies. I haven’t made pakoras in ages, mainly because I stopped deep frying foods at home years ago in an effort to eat healthier. But somehow a couple weekends ago I was craving homemade pakoras. I’ve had pakoras at Indian restaurants many times, but there is something about having homemade pakoras that is  – well, let’s just say like anything homemade, it has a taste onto it’s own. Continue reading Cabbage and Onion Pakoras

Veena’s Tomato and Caramelized Onion Chutney

My friend Veena is an outstanding South Indian cook.  Anything and everything Veena makes is delicious. Her vegetarian dishes are in a league of their own. Chutneys, appetizers, idlis, curries, sweets, you name any Tamil food and Veena can make it taste amazing. Here I have chosen to share with you her Tomato and Caramelized Onion chutney that she served with some idlis when I visited her one day.
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Padmini’s Red Bell Pepper Chutney with Roasted Peanuts

If you like peanut butter and bell peppers like I do, you will love this chutney. The red bell peppers in this chutney give it a nice sweetness, while the roasted peanuts add a nutty fragrance and creamy texture. My friend Padmini made this red bell pepper chutney when my Dad and I went to her place for lunch one day. She served this chutney with some idlis, and it was so unique and delicious that I asked Padmini for the recipe to share and she passed it on. Try this chutney with idlis, zucchini fritters, carrot fritters, black-eyed pea fritters, or you can have it as a dip with fresh veggies and crackers.  Here is the recipe. Continue reading Padmini’s Red Bell Pepper Chutney with Roasted Peanuts

Devi’s Carrot Chutney

My friend Devi is an amazing cook. She has to be, since she has been cooking her entire life for her family, extended family, and friends for more than 50 years. There are so many recipes she shares with me, but most of them go over my head, as I’m usually not writing them down. But this carrot chutney recipe I did write down, that’s because I’ve been having it at her place for years now whenever she invites me over for lunch. The menu is almost always the same – her fluffy idlis, delicious lentil sambhar, and her two chutneys – coconut chutney and carrot chutney.  Everything is as expected scrumptious, but her carrot chutney is always the star of the meal.

It’s hard to describe the taste of Devi’s carrot chutney, let me just say that when you have it you can’t stop eating it. You can have it with toast, with crackers, mix it into rice, have it over chicken or fish, on a burger, and of course with idli or dosa; any way you eat it, it will be delicious. Here is the recipe. Continue reading Devi’s Carrot Chutney

Rava Idlis. Steamed Semolina Dumplings

There is something about eating hot-steamed idlis for brunch or lunch that just brings a smile to adults and kids alike in our family. Idlis are a staple in every South Indian home and made very often. The most common idlis are made by soaking lentils and rice together and blended into a batter, then fermented over night, and steamed into dumplings. These are called rice idlis.

There are easier versions of idlis to make in an instant however. My favorite idlis are rava idlis or semolina idlis. These idlis are made with roasted cream of wheat or semolina soaked in yogurt to form a thick batter, and then steamed.

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