Mini Pizzas Served on Toasted English Muffins

This might not seem like much of a recipe but these little mini pizzas are easy to prepare and make for a most satisfying brunch or evening snack. When the craving hits, you just don't want to be bothered ordering pizza and instead just want an essentially homemade cheesy bite. If you want a truly homemade version, you might consider making your own English muffins from scratch ahead of time and have them on hand when you need a fix. If you want to spice things up, you may also consider my Spicy Sun-Dried Tomato Sauce or perhaps my Gingered Tomato Sauce. Any extra sauce that you don't need for the mini pizzas will keep in a sealed jar in the fridge for a few days.

english muffin mini pizzas

The possibilities for these satisfying bites are endless. Consider using goat cheese instead of the cheddar, some sliced onion and perhaps some herbs.
Mini Pizzas Served on a Toasted English Muffin

4 - 6 english muffins, sliced in the middle
pasta sauce
shredded extra old cheddar cheese
freshly grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
pitted Kalamata olives, sliced
Jalapeno peppers, seeded and sliced into rounds
red chili powder flakes


Toast the english muffins.

Cover each round with pasta sauce, top with cheddar cheese, Parmesan if using, olives, Jalapenos and red pepper flakes. Transfer to the oven rack and broil until the cheese is melted - about five minutes.

Note: Just in case you are over zealous with the toppings, you will want to ensure you have an oven liner or a strip of aluminum foil on the rack below the pizzas just in case the cheese spills over. Us cooks know what it is like to have a spill over in the oven and what a mess it can be to clean up.

This recipe can be increased or decreased as desired.

mini pizzas
Other quick savory treats to please your palate from Lisa's Vegetarian Kitchen:
Devilled Curried Eggs
Goat Cheese Olive Balls
Wine Inspired Popcorn
Lisa's Spicy Nachos

On the top of the reading stack: blogs that I have been meaning to keep up with.

Audio Accompaniment: A tribute to Alvin 'Kojo' Brown. Nice chillin' music. Apparently he was a mentor to Black Uhuru among other reggae musicians.

Fennel and Grape Tomato Frittata with Goat Cheese

Thick, sturdy Italian omelette pies loaded with almost any sort of vegetables, herbs and cheese, frittatas are an easy way to make a special breakfast or lunch on the weekend. The otherwise strong flavour and aroma of fresh fennel (which makes it one of my favourite vegetables to chop) is mellowed in this frittata by sautéing in butter until just soft, but leaving just a hint of crunchiness. Paired with the sweetness of sautéed grape tomatoes and the creamy saltiness of fresh goat cheese rounds, the fennel becomes a modest star of this colourful and delicious frittata.

fennel

Any assortment of fresh herbs to your taste will add a little springy step to this frittata — I used a blend of rosemary, thyme and parsley, but basil or dill would make delightful choices as well.

Fennel and Grape Tomato Frittata with Goat CheeseFennel and Grape Tomato Frittata with Goat Cheese
Recipe by
Published on December 23, 2011

A simple and sturdy egg "pie" with mellow and slightly crunchy butter-sautéed fennel as well as sweet grape tomatoes and creamy and salty goat cheese

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Ingredients:
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • 1 fennel bulb, trimmed, cored and sliced
  • 1/2 pint (12-16) grape tomatoes
  • large handful fresh herbs, finely chopped
  • 8 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 8 oz goat cheese, sliced into rounds
  • fresh ground black pepper
Instructions:
  • Preheat an oven to 350°. Butter the sides of a large cast-iron or oven-safe non-stick, and melt the remaining butter over medium-low heat. Add the onion, fennel and grape tomatoes and sauté for 5 minutes. Toss in the fresh herbs and continue to sauté until the onion and fennel are soft, about 5 minutes.

  • Meanwhile, break the eggs into a large bowl, add the salt, and beat well with a whisk. Turn up the heat to medium and pour the eggs over the vegetables. Let the frittata cook undisturbed for 4 minutes to let the bottom set.

  • Arrange the slices of goat cheese on the frittata. Transfer the skillet to the preheated oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or until the eggs are set in the centre, which you can test with a cake tester. As soon as the frittata is set, turn on the broiler and move the oven rack up to the top level. Broil for 2-3 minutes or until the top is browning nicely.

  • Remove the pan from the oven. Run a rubber spatula around the edges of the pan to loosen the sides, then slide onto a large serving plate. Cut into wedges and serve hot with a black pepper grinder on the table.

  • Wrap any leftovers in aluminum foil and reheat later at 350° for 12-15 minutes.

Makes one 10-inch frittata or 4 - 6 servings
fennel Frittata

Other frittatas from my vegetarian kitchen that you may enjoy:
Potato, Onion and Stilton Frittata
Greek Feta & Olive Frittata
Asparagus and Feta Cheese Frittata

On the top of the reading stack: cookbooks

Audio Accompaniment: Brian Eno Neroli

Indian-Style Spicy Cream of Corn Soup


Visit the Indian Food Glossary for information on the ingredients in this recipe
Indian-Style Spicy Cream of Corn Soup

Split and skinned urad dal is a fast-cooking and easily digestible protein, with a mild flavor and creamy texture when cooked that makes it a perfect base and added nourishment for quick on-the-go cream soups. The slightly floury taste of cooked urad dal also pairs beautifully with spicy seasonings and tangy and sweet flavors — ideal, in other words, for a fast and simple Indian-style cream of corn soup with tomatoes and spices. Warming, nourishing and easy to assemble, this is a great soup for a light cold-weather lunch or dinner when you haven't much time. And as with many other spicy soups, the flavors of leftovers develop overnight into an even richer tasty bowl.

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Skillet Corn Bread

I made this cornbread for my father-in-law and brother-in-law and it was a hit. Taking it easy on Christmas gifts this year, but what better way to say I love you then to present homemade food? Does not matter what time of year it is for that matter. This cornbread can be made in a cast-iron skillet or a loaf pan, but I would recommend that you use a trusty cast-iron skillet that is seasoned properly. All you need to do to season a cast-iron skillet is to grease the pan with some oil and chuck it into the oven for about an hour at 300 degrees. Let the pan cool and wipe off excess oil.

Skillet Corn Bread

I adapted this recipe from Once Upon a Tart by Frank Mentesana and Jerome Audureau. If I was to visit New York, I would be sure to stop by their bakeshop and cafe for some most delicious eats and I would bring my dear friend Susan too. In addition to tarts, they serve mouthwatering soups, sandwiches, salads, condiments, quick breads and cookies. All of the recipes I have tried from this beautifully illustrated informative book have worked out perfectly. I think this cookbook is out of print and that is a shame. If your wallet is stuffed with cash, the used copies are truly worth the money.

I have always been looking for blue cornmeal and finally found some at a local health food store. Made from whole blue corn and with a slightly sweet flavor, this is surely a staple to have on hand in addition to yellow cornmeal. I will be exploring this hard to find grain often.

Yet another idea for your Christmas dinner.

Skillet Corn BreadSkillet Corn Bread
Recipe by
Adapted from Once Upon a Tart
Published on December 19, 2011

A moist and delicious cornbread cooked in a skillet — with a beautiful soft texture like a cake and a wonderful blue and yellow cornmeal taste with a little mellow sweetness and gentle jalapeño heat, this cornbread is a great choice for an afternoon tea, and could almost be served as a guilt-free dessert

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Ingredients:
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/3 cups whole milk
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 1/3 cups unbleached white flour
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour or spelt flour
  • 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup blue cornmeal
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 - 3 jalapeños, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Instructions:
  • Grease a cast-iron 9- or 10-inch skillet or a 9 × 5 loaf pan with a generous amount of butter. Preheat the oven to 450° (it will keep you warm as you mix up the ingredients).

  • In a large bowl, whisk the egg together with the milk and melted butter.

  • In another medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flours, cornmeal, sugar, jalapenos, baking powder and salt.

  • With a spatula transfer the dry ingredients to the batter and gently fold, taking care not to over mix as you incorporate the mixture so that the flour is mixed throughout. Transfer the batter to the pan of your choosing, level with the spatula, and bake in the middle rack of the oven for 20 - 30 minutes until the bread is browned and separates slightly from the side of the pan. Insert a cake tester until is comes out clean and you are done. Cool on a wire rack and serve warm or at room temperature.

Makes 6 servings
Skillet Corn Bread

Other cornbreads from Lisa's Vegetarian Kitchen you are sure to enjoy:
Classic Cornbread
Yogurt Cornbread
Jalapeno Spoon Bread
Cornmeal Johnny Cake

On the top of the reading stack: Dostoevsky - "The Diary of a Writer"

Audio Accompaniment: B3yond

Beet, Orange, Olive Salad with Goat Cheese and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Winter time calls for nourishing soups but salads are always an ideal accompaniment to warming soups, such as this intensely flavored and colorful salad. The combination of sweet beets contrasts so well with the sharp flavor of the oranges, olives, sun-dried tomatoes and goat cheese. You may wish to use feta instead of the goat cheese, though you would want to be sparing with the salt and perhaps use fewer olives. The inclusion of oranges in vegetable salads is a relatively new idea for me. I was smitten with the idea when I tried some of the salads that my Dad makes. There is usually always a salad to go along with dinner with his meals. I also always recommend making your own salad dressing as it takes no time at all, you avoid all of the preservatives that are typically included in store-bought versions, and you save money too.

beet salad

This unusual salad would be a lovely addition to your Christmas dinner table. For vegetarians a feast could consist of this salad accompanied by a refreshing tomato and corn chowder, my mushroom nut loaf in golden puff pastry, and a beautiful Christmas pavlova for dessert. After opening your gifts, you may wish to devour some of my famous rum balls, but do take care as they are addictive and might fill you up before the main feast. Perhaps the rum balls are better served on Christmas eve, though every family has their own traditions.

The pantry is always full when I go home for Christmas to visit my Dad, and when my Mom was alive it was even more packed. Mom and I always prepared some snacks, simple as cheese and crackers and cookies (of course shortbread cookies) to serve as we opened our gifts and enjoyed each other's company. Not a lavish affair and only the close-knit family, but my goodness my Mom would be talking about Christmas for the next year the following day and in early January! She spoiled my brother and me to the point of embarrassment really. I am glad she got some pleasure from the occasion, and she was such a treasure, though visiting my family is precious anytime of year. I miss my Mom and think of her often during the Christmas holidays and dream about her loving presence all of the time.

Beet, Orange, Olive Salad with Goat CheeseBeet, Orange, Olive Salad with Goat Cheese
Recipe by
Published on December 17, 2011

A nourishing and colorful winter salad with the robust flavors of beets, oranges, radicchio, olives, sun-dried tomatoes and goat cheese

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Salad:
  • 5 small beets
  • 2 medium oranges or 4 - 5 clementine oranges
  • 1 medium radicchio, sliced
  • 1 small red onion, sliced
  • 3 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 cup black or kalamata olives, pitted and halved
  • 4 - 6 sun-dried tomatoes, soaked in hot water for 20 minutes, and drained
  • 1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese + a few more tablespoons for garnish
Dressing:
  • dash of balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons Camelina, olive or nut oil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste
Instructions:
  • Roast the beets in a 400° oven until fork tender — about 1 hour depending on the size of the beets. When the beets are cool, remove the skins and cut into wedges. Transfer to a large bowl.

  • Meanwhile, soak the sun-dried tomatoes in hot water for 20 minutes, then drain and chop.

  • Peel the oranges and remove the pith. Separate the segments of the oranges and transfer to the bowl with the beets. Now add the radicchio to the bowl, along with the onion, parsley, olives, sun-dried tomatoes and goat cheese.

  • In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegars, oil and seasonings. Add to the salad and gently toss. Add more oil if necessary. Garnish with crumbled goat cheese.

Makes 4 - 6 servings
beet olive goat cheese salad

More salads from Lisa's Vegetarian Kitchen you are sure to enjoy:
Beet and Feta Salad
Curried Quinoa Salad with Lentils and Sun-Dried Tomatoes
Fried Saganaki with Halloumi on a Greek Tomato Salad with Kalamata Olives

On the top of the reading stack: The Cat's Table by Michael Ondaatje.

Audio Accompaniment: Dropsonde by Biosphere

Chickpea Flour Pissaladières with Caramelized Fennel & Onions


Pissaladières are simple but stunning little savory pies from Provence in the south of France that are traditionally topped with little more than caramelized onions, anchovies and olives, befitting the bounties of the coastal Mediterranean region. Well, no anchovies for me, thank you, but for the sake of creativity and tastes pissaladières can also be considered a kind of pizza, even if the natives might disagree.


But even omitting anchovies from any conception of a Provençal pizza, I still craved the simple elegance and joyously intense flavors of Mediterranean ingredients, and the inspired pairing of pungent saltiness with sweetness suggested by the placement of anchovies with caramelized onions. So in place of anchovies, this version of a pissaladière has plenty of full-flavored good quality Kalamata olives and some generous rounds of fresh soft unripened goat cheese, while the sweetness comes from caramelized fennel as well as onions, in addition to some colorful roasted grape tomatoes.

Pissaladières are also typically made with a bread dough, but I loved the idea of making little savory pancakes from chickpea flour as a base for these "pizzas", as suggested in Yotam Ottolenghi's beautiful and inventive cookbook "Plenty". Quite honestly, the aroma of these pancakes alone is so inviting you'll be tempted to eat them without any topping at all. You can easily find chickpea (garbanzo bean) flour in Italian, Middle Eastern, Indian or Asian grocers, or at many natural food stores.

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Chana Saag (Chickpea and Spinach Curry)


Visit the Indian Food Glossary for information on the ingredients in this recipe
chana saag

One of my readers requested a version of chana saag — or chickpea and spinach curry — because she was not able to find one that pleased her palate. I did some research and came up with this most tasty version. This was my first time making it and chickpeas and spinach are always a perfect combination. My dinner guests were most pleased with the result. Don't let the number of ingredients discourage you from trying this popular Punjab dish that is really quite simple — and it is especially wonderful with corn flour roti.

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Gluten-Free Dietary Advice

Many people suffer from food allergies and intolerance to certain foods. One of the most common ailments that can strike is celiac disease which means an inability to consume products with gluten, also known as an allergy to wheat which is typically a genetic disorder though many of those who have trouble digesting gluten do not necessary have celiac disease. Celiac disease is when the absorptive surface of the small intestine is damaged due to gluten because it is unable to tolerate and absorb nutrients. It is best to consult your doctor or holistic practitioner if you are having problems with digestion related to gluten products. I myself do not suffer from this condition, but I certainly often prefer gluten-free products as they are easier to digest. Thankfully there are lots of options for those who cannot tolerate gluten and they don't have to sacrifice flavor, taste or nutrition either. Even treats can be enjoyed and markets and restaurants are finally offering up delicious alternatives. Many good quality breads are available without preservatives and wheat. Though often denser in texture, I really prefer these breads though I can eat almost anything without a face.

There are plenty of gluten-free grains that are digestible such as quinoa, rice, millet, gram flour (besan or chickpea flour), buckwheat, corn and teff which can be used as substitutes for wheat flour and consumed as side dishes or for breakfast. Oats may also be consumed, though there is some controversy whether or not oats are acceptable and it seems it would depend on the individual and whether cross-contamination occurs during processing of the oats. Oats should be pure and uncontaminated. It is important to check labels when buying processed food, but sometimes the labels are not always accurate unfortunately, so it is best to go with a trusted grocer and avoid processed foods as much as possible.

Other important sources of gluten-free foods include beans and legumes, the grains I have mentioned above and natural sources of sweeteners such as honey and sugar, such as xylitol. Fruits, vegetables, meats and most dairy products are also a healthy choice that won't upset the system. Most oils are also suitable and healthy for those afflicted with celiac disease. Feel free to spice up your dishes too.

I will offer up a few of my own gluten-free recipes to my readers:
Gluten-Free Honey, Lemon, Poppy Seed Cake
Chocolate Cocoa Brownies with Dried Cranberries and Chickpea Flour
Makki Di Roti (Griddle Cooked Corn Bread)
Spicy Quinoa Nut Loaf
Quinoa Soup with Corn

quinoa soup with corn

Some resources you may want to check for more information and recipes for those suffering from gluten-free allergies:
Diet, Desserts and Dogs
Gluten-Free Goddess
Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free
Wheat Free Meat Free

Mushroom, Lentil and Barley Soup

Winter is the time for warming and nourishing soups to make a comeback in the kitchen, the kind of soups that make you feel like you're being coddled and looked after — even if you had to make the soup yourself! But, I like to cook and enjoy the fruits of my labour. A steaming bowl of this easy-to-make soup is just the kind that makes us feel safe and comforted on a cold day, loaded with hearty vegetables, earthy green lentils, sweet pearl barley, and plenty of home-cooked goodness in a warm and inviting mushroom broth. A meal in a bowl, especially when served with a vegetable dish.

If you are concerned about your weight, which surely effects your overall well-being and health, you should consider incorporating more vegetarian dishes into your diet, especially whole grains and legumes and of course fruits and vegetables. It is a well known fact that excess weight increases the chances of heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, high blood pressure and back problems, to name just a few of the hazards of excess weight. Exercise and a healthy diet are of upmost importance.

Mushroom, Lentil and Barley Soup

Mushroom, Lentil and Barley SoupMushroom, Lentil and Barley Soup
Recipe by
Published on December 7, 2011

A warm and nourishing winter comfort soup loaded lentils, barley, vegetables and mushrooms

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Ingredients:
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced or crushed
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried red chili flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 12 oz. white mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 large carrot, sliced
  • 1 large potato, chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 3/4 cup dried green lentils, rinsed
  • 1/2 cup pearl barley, rinsed
  • 5 cups water or vegetable stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
  • fresh ground black pepper
Instructions:
  • Heat a large saucepan or soup pot over medium heat. When hot, add the olive oil, wait a few moments, then swirl to coat the pan. Add the onion and garlic, and sauté for 2 minutes or until the onion just starts to turn translucent. Toss in the chili flakes, curry powder and thyme, and stir once to coat the onions.

  • Turn up the heat to medium-high and add the mushrooms with a 1/4 cup of the water. Sauté for 5 minutes, then add the carrot, potato and celery, and sauté for 2 - 3 minutes. Stir in the lentils and barley, pour in the water or vegetable stock, and add the bay leaf. Bring to a low boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 20 - 30 minutes or until the vegetables, lentils and barley are tender.

  • Remove from heat, discard the bay leaf, and season with salt and pepper. Serve hot.

Makes 6 servings
Mushroom, Lentil and Barley Soup

Other warming soups from Lisa's Kitchen:
Beet, Barley and Black Bean Soup
Sweet Potato Squash Soup with Pinto Beans and Chard
Chickpea and Cabbage Soup
Indian-Style Split Pea Soup

On the top of the reading stack: cookbooks

Audio Accompaniment: Trentemoller

Bitter Melon (Bitter Gourd) Sambar


Visit the Indian Food Glossary for information on the ingredients in this recipe
bitter gourd

May the fruit of the bitter gourd reside in every morsel of mine
~ from "Kshema Kutuhalam", an ancient Ayurvedic text as quoted by Jigyasa Giri and Pratibha Jain

If you've grown up in North America, there's a very good chance that you've never eaten bitter melons, if in fact you've even heard of them — and that would be a shame. Also known as bitter gourds, bitter melons have a fresh crunch that tastes like something between zucchini and cucumber — except, of course, far more bitter. But while deserving of their name, bitter melons are also powerhouses of nutritional and healing benefits that are highly esteemed in India and much of Asia, where the vegetable is considered a tonic for stomach complaints and the listless appetites of the elderly and the sick. Also considered to have anti-viral, anti-anemic and even anti-diabetic properties, you don't need to be suffering any maladies to enjoy a rich source of iron, beta carotene, calcium and potassium and good source of fiber, phosphorus and vitamins A, B1, B2, B3 and C that should give bitter melons a prominent place in any nutritionist's dossier.

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Tropical Fruit Christmas Fruitcake


Dark, rich, chewy and moist, this may be the best Christmas fruitcake you've ever had — I can say it's by far and away the tastiest I've ever eaten. I've never been very enthusiastic about the store-bought fruitcakes that are always passed around at Christmas — loaded with sickly sweet and artificially-preserved sticky fruit bits, and usually dry by the time they're cut, they seem to fail on the promise that a rich dried-fruit cake ought to be able to deliver, and deserve the fruitcake jokes that get passed around with the same frequency. But I'm always willing to overcome my food prejudices — developed in so many cases in response to store-bought versions of various recipes — with a home-cooked edition using quality ingredients along with a little twist of my own.

Christmas Fruit Cake

And so with the classic Christmas fruitcake. Starting with a highly rated recipe from Alton Brown of the Food Network, I looked out the window at the cold grey autumn skies of southwestern Ontario and decided that a Christmas spent on a warm tropical island would be far preferable than the local rendering — freezing temperatures, snow shovels, and dirt-smudged city snow aren't quite what the Irving Berlin standard had in mind, I think. Using dried tropical fruits and nuts instead of the traditional currants, raisins, sultanas, glacé cherries and almonds seemed like just the twist I was looking for to let a warm sunny breeze blow through the windows of my mind.

Like good wines and cheeses, one of the secrets to making your own great fruitcake is to let it age, tightly sealed and kept moist with periodic brushings of rum or brandy. If possible, plan to bake your fruitcake at least a couple of weeks before sharing — but even cooled and served the same day, it will still be delicious.

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November Indian Vegetarian Recipe Roundup


Visit the Indian Food Glossary for information on the ingredients in this recipe
My regular readers will know how much I adore Indian cuisine, even though I am not of Indian descent myself. So for November, I invited readers to submit one of their favourite Indian recipes, with a randomly drawn winner from the entrants receiving a free copy of 660 Curries by Raghavan Iyer. This book is a treasury of wonderful Indian recipes from traditional to modern and fusion styles, suitable for beginners and experienced cooks alike, and is used constantly as a reference in my kitchen.

A very special thanks to all who submitted their recipes. I have shelves full of cookbooks but, as far as I am concerned, one can never have enough inspiration in the kitchen. And here are the submissions:


Up first is Lisa of We Don't Eat Anything with a Face. Paneer, mushrooms, spices, chickpeas, coconut and nuts and vegetables are all included in her dish. How could I resist this Paneer and Vegetable Tikka Masala?


Janet of The Taste Space is up next this mouthwatering Indian Eggplant and Lentil Curry (Dal Bhat Meets Baingan Bharta). Though roasting the eggplants created a lot of smoke, this one-dish meal was certainly worth the trouble and effort.


Divya of Dil Se has me craving dinner right now with a Mushroom Biryani. Spicy too, this will not fail to please mushroom lovers like myself.


From Claudine of The Kathmanduo we have this delicious Channa Masala Hummus. I love hummus, and this inventive Indian-style take on it has my tummy rumbling.


Privish of Killer on the Plate offers up this most tempting Spicy Stuffed Okra dish. This is a vegetable I need to make more often. Such a lovely presentation too.


Nayna of Simply Food submits one of my all-time favorite Indian dishes, Dal Makhani. Creamy, healthy, rich in protein and packed full of flavour, everyone should try a dal makhani at some time.


From Adam and Theresa of Keen on Food we have this gorgeous and very tempting Stuffed Eggplant Poriyal adapted, I was happy to hear, from one of my favourite cookbooks. I can never resist South Indian recipes, and this reminds me that I need to explore eggplant more often.


Tangy and spicy, this beautiful Spicy Dahi Aloo, or potatoes cooked in yogurt, from Laavanya of Cookery Corner won't fail to please fans of Indian cuisine. And I don't know anyone who doesn't love potatoes.

mattar paneer

My contribution for this event is another one of my all-time favourites, and an Indian classic. Mattar Paneer is a staple dish in any home that serves Indian food, and when I go out for dinner this is also one of my favourite menu choices.


Akheela of Torviewtoronto treats us to this Ivy Gourd Stir Fry. I've yet to try ivy gourds — small Indian summer squashes — but this would be a great place to start.


Now here is a Millet Bread from Vaishali of Ribbons to Pastas. Green chutney is of course an essential condiment to go along with this Leele Doongri ne Kadhi ane Rotlo. This innovative creation surely tempts my palate.


Geetha of Sun Moon and Tomatoes presents this lovely Kappa Curry (Tapioca in Roasted Coconut Sauce) inspired by her mom. This South Indian dish is sure to please your palate.


From Richa of Hobby and More, here is a delicious vegan and gluten-free Kaju Katli, or Indian Cashew Fudge. A perfect treat to share with friends and family to celebrate this month's Indian festivals.


Deepika of My Life and Spice certainly has my mouth watering for this Nargisi Kofta. Another beautiful dish, Deepika certainly dresses this one up. The spice mixture sounds just divine. Stuffing a paneer or chenna cheese shell with raisins and apricots is a brilliant idea.


Paneer cheese is one of my favourite foods, so how could I resist this Butter Paneer Masala from Reeta of mykaleidoscope. This is also one of my favourite restaurant dishes, but so much better when homemade in your own kitchen.


Here we have another paneer dish from Val of More Than Burnt Toast. I made Saag Paneer myself recently, and it is always a favourite. I am so happy that I inspired this dear woman to learn more about Indian cooking.


Another one of my favorites from Sweatha of Tasty Curry Leaf. A winter warmer indeed, you will have to try this Mulligatawny Soup. Adapted from another of my favourite cookbooks, this is a curry-flavoured soup from South India similar to South Indian rasams. Yum.


Sundried Tomato Chutney from Usha of Veg Inspirations. Wonderful flavours, and pictures of pretty flowers as well. I do so love sundried tomatoes and what a great creation. I am craving this just right now.


Usha of My Spicy Kitchen presents an Okra Stir Fry that will not fail to please us vegetarians. Simple and easy but surely not lacking in flavor, this is a dish I would enjoy anytime of year.


Sweet Soma of eCurry presents this tempting Pan-Fried Cauliflower with Yogurt and Soy Sauce. Inspired by her Grandmother, this Indian fusion Chinese dish is sure to please and it is easy to prepare. Wholesome and creative.


Lynds of Vanilla Clouds and Lemon Drops offers up some gorgeous Spicy Chickpea Fritters. Certainly the best Indian food is made at home and I can't wait to try this dish.


Priya of Easy N Tasty Recipes never fails to please. This one-pot meal of Soya Chickpeas Dumplings & Tomato Pulao will most certainly please and nourish hungry tummies. The possibilities are endless.


Oh, more paneer! Mansi of Fun & Food Cafe has me craving this Kaju (Cashew) Paneer Masala. You can never go wrong with cooking with paneer, in my opinion, and your dinner guests will never be disappointed — that is for sure.

Thank you again to all my readers who submitted these fantastic Indian recipes. I hope everyone finds something here to try.