Sunday, December 26, 2010

Edamame Cutlets

Cutlets are typically prepared using meat or vegetables and interpreted differently across international cuisines. In Indian cuisine, one of the popular appetizers being vegetable cutlets is made using potatoes, peas, carrots, onions, green chillies and spices. Both sides of the cutlet is dipped in an all-purpose flour batter (mixed with sufficient water) or eggwash  and coated with breadcrumbs. It is lightly fried in hot oil. You can also shallow fry the cutlets to make it a much healthier option.

I like soy-based ingredients and use them frequently in my such ingredient being edamame (shelled soybeans).  You can use fresh or frozen edamame for this recipe. Mostly when I make these cutlets, I use soy nut powder (grind roasted soy nuts coarsely) for the coating. You can try different variations for the coating such as ground soy nut or coarse yellow cornmeal or just stick to the good old breadcrumbs. It can be served as an appetizer or also as edamame burger with onion, tomato & cheese slices on your favorite burger buns.


12 oz edamame (frozen shelled soybeans)
1 large zucchini, finely chopped
1 large red bell pepper, chopped
1 jalapeno, de-seeded and finely chopped
1 spring/green onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup cilantro leaves, finely chopped
Salt, to taste
1 1/2 tbsp paprika
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp garam masala powder
1/4 cup roasted sunflower seeds
1/2 tsp olive oil
Cooking spray, to shallow fry cutlets
1 cup coarse yellow cornmeal (for coating)


Cook the edamame according to the instructions on the package. Allow it to cool and grind the edamame (not too finely...its ok if you have some edamame pieces) to a coarse paste (slightly wet and sticky consistency).

In a pan, heat olive oil and add zucchini, red bell pepper and jalapeno. Sauté the vegetables until they are slightly soft.

In a bowl, add the ground edamame, sautéed vegetables, spring onion and cilantro leaves. Add paprika, garlic powder, coriander powder, garam masala powder, salt and sunflower seeds and mix them to blend all ingredients.

Use the edamame mix to make medium-sized round cutlets and coat them on both sides with cornmeal. In a nonstick skillet, on medium-high heat, coat with cooking spray and place 4 cutlets at a time and cook until slightly golden brown on each side. Serve hot with tomato ketchup or chilli sauce.

Makes 12-14 cutlets.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Hot and Sour Vegetable Soup

Hot and Sour Soup is popular among asian cuisines and is prepared either using meat or meat-free. It is typically made hot using spicy red peppers and sour using vinegar. This soup can be categorized as an Indo-Chinese version that contains ingredients such as mushrooms, tofu, bamboo shoots and vegetables in a broth flavored with spices. It can be prepared thicker than the traditional Chinese versions by adding cornstarch. A recipe so simple and quick without any compromise on taste.


5 cups vegetable broth
8 button mushrooms, thinly sliced
2 medium carrots, cut into thin strips
1/2 cup cabbage, cut finely
1/4 cup bamboo shoot, cut into strips (optional)
1/4 cup baby corn, cut into small pieces (optional)
4 oz soft tofu, cut into thin strips (optional)
1 tbsp fresh ginger, grated
6 tbsp reduced-sodium soy sauce (adjust to taste)
1 tbsp vinegar
2 tbsp chilli garlic sauce/paste (adjust to taste)
1 1/2 tbsp cornstarch, mixed in 1/4 cup water until no lumps
1/4 tsp ajinomoto (optional)
1/4 cup spring onions, finely chopped
Salt, to taste


In a stockpot, add the broth, vegetables and tofu and allow it to boil. Cook the vegetables on low heat until they are slightly soft.

Add the grated ginger, soy sauce, chilli garlic sauce, ajinomoto and vinegar. Adjust spices according to taste and add salt, if required.

Add the cornstarch paste to the soup and mix well. Allow it to simmer for 2-3 minutes until the soup turns slightly thick. I prefer it on the lighter side but if you like it much thicker, you can increase the amount of cornstarch to 2 tbsp until you get the desired consistency. 

Garnish with spring onions and serve hot.

Makes 3-4 servings.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Noodles with Spicy Peanut Sauce

Noodles with Spicy Peanut Sauce is an asian inspired recipe.  Its very similar to the sauce that is served with the Thai Salad but spicy instead. You can serve this noodles with or without veggies and it will still taste great. A simple, spicy and healthy recipe which you can make in no time.


6 oz whole wheat thin spaghetti or noodles
2 tbsp creamy peanut butter
4 tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup water
2-3 tbsp sriracha sauce (adjust according to your taste)
1 tbsp rice vinegar
2 spring onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup dry roasted unsalted peanuts, coarsely chopped
1/2 - 1 tsp fresh ginger, finely grated
1 cup steamed vegetables (optional)


Cook the spaghetti/ noodles according to the directions in the package by adding some salt and oil to the water. Drain and rinse with cold water.

In a bowl, add the peanut butter, soy sauce, water, vinegar, spring onion, ginger and sriracha sauce and whisk all the ingredients together until smooth.

Just before serving, toss the spaghetti/ noodles with 3/4 of the peanut sauce and top with vegetables. I know its good to eat veggies with every meal but don't add too can add some broccoli, sugar snap peas and carrots. I like mine without veggies as it brings out the flavors of the spicy peanut sauce. 

Drizzle the remaining sauce over the vegetables and spaghetti.  Garnish with spring onions and coarsely chopped peanuts and serve.

Makes 2 servings.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Peanut Butter Cookies

Every now and then, I crave for something sweet and usually resort to recipes that can be made easily. At times, I try to make vegan recipes to avoid the fat content. I made some peanut butter cookies and they turned out great...sure couldn't stop with one cookie. These cookies are a low-fat version when compared to the regular ones.


1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup oat flour
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup ground flaxseed
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp canola oil
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter (use crunchy peanut butter, if you like bits of peanuts)
Pinch of salt


Preheat oven to 350° F.  In a mixing bowl, add whole wheat flour, oat flour (grind the instant oats to a powder consistency), brown sugar, ground flaxseed, baking powder, baking soda and salt and mix well. Stir in the wet ingredients to the dry mix. Make sure that the ingredients are mixed well. If not, you can use your hand to knead the dough.

Drop a tablespoon size of the dough onto a cookie sheet (line with parchment paper) about 1-2 inches apart and flatten it. Bake the cookies for 12-15 minutes or until the bottom of the cookies are lightly golden brown. Cookies will be soft when out of the oven and firm up as they cool. Cool the cookies for 10 minutes and serve.

Makes 12-14 medium sized cookies.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Sweet Corn Vegetable Soup

Sweet corn vegetable soup is popular among the Indo-Chinese cuisine and is one of the simplest soup to make. It is a much lighter soup when compared to other soups and one of my favorites. This soup can be prepared using clear vegetable stock or water. Using a stock, gives it more body and makes it much more flavorful.


5 cups clear vegetable stock or water
1 can (10 oz) cream style corn
1 cup frozen sweet corn kernels
2 carrots, petite diced
1 cup green beans, finely chopped
3 spring onions, finely chopped
1 tsp vinegar
1 tbsp cornstarch (mix with 1/4 cup water)
1/4 tsp ajinomoto (optional)
Soy sauce, to taste
Salt, to taste
White pepper powder, to taste


In a stock pot, add the clear vegetable stock (or water), carrots, corn kernels and beans and cook the vegetables until they are done.

Add the cream style corn, vinegar, salt, pepper and ajinomoto and simmer for few minutes.

Now, add the cornstarch paste slowly and mix well to get the desired consistency. Add more water, if required. Garnish with spring onions and serve hot with soy sauce and chilli vinegar(finely chopped green chillies with vinegar and salt).

To make clear vegetable stock:


6 cups water
1/2 cup carrots, chopped
1/2 cup celery, chopped
1/2 cup cabbage, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tsp whole black peppercorns.
Few bay leaves
Few cloves
Salt, to taste


In a stock pot,  add water, vegetables and spices and allow to boil on slow flame for 25-30 minutes until all the flavors are infused into the broth. Strain the clear stock and use in recipes. It can be stored in the refrigerator for 2-3 days or frozen until you want to use it later (thaw before using).

Makes 6 servings.