March 19, 2008

GREEK EASTER BREAD/ TSOUREKI PASCHALINO

Susan from "wild yeast blog" is hosting this month's "Baking bread day #8" with a beautiful theme of "celebration breads". I am sending her a fragrant Greek Easter Bread/Tsoureki Paschalino to celebrate Easter. Thanks for hosting Susan!:)
Bread baking day event is started by Zorra, who is also celebrating her birthday this month.
"I wish you a very happy birthday Zorra, celebrate and have fun!!"


Easter in Orthodox Greek tradition:
According to author Gary Van Haas ;
"The solemnity of Holy Week in the Greek Orthodox Church ends with the commencement of Easter celebrations, where it glorifies the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. In Greek religion, every Sunday is dedicated to the Resurrection of the Lord, but one hundred days also are dedicated to Easter, 50 before its actual preparation, and another 50 after it in commemorating the glorification of the Lord. Easter is therefore considered, the "Feast of Feasts". On Holy Saturday, the ceremonies of whole week come to a close as people begin to break their fasts, savoring specially prepared dishes like 'margeiritsa' soup, made of lambs innards. The rest of the day is spent preparing for next day's big lamb feast at the Easter Sunday celebrations".

Although we personally do not have Easter celebration at home, I thought I would bake Greek Easter bread for this event and gift the large bread to a friend who celebrates Easter. Easter for Greek Orthodox falls this year on April 27th and for others including USA, Easter is celebrated on March 23rd . Easter bread is traditionally baked with red Egg which represents new life, is one of the delicacies they bake on holy Thursday before Easter Sunday. This sweetish bread is also delicious for breakfast or with Feta cheese for lunch. Enjoy!:)

Greek Easter Bread:
Greek Easter bread also called Tsoureki Paschalino in Greek, meaning Easter Bread. It's another eggy bread beautifully shaped and very fragrant with Aniseeds to bake for Easter. I just had one problem with this recipe, my colored Easter Egg disappeared in the center after the bread is baked, so I stuck a few Dove milk chocolate Eggs on top, had to rescue my poor Easter bread from a sunken Easter egg!:D
It's better to add the colored egg on the top after you bake the bread instead of baking the bread with egg inside it! Of course you can always learn by my mistakes so you don't have to go Easter egg hunting in the deep center of the bread like I did!! Hahaha!!

Greek Easter Bread, Mardi Gras bread and Twister Bread:
These are all made with one dough but you can bake two huge Easter bread loaves with this recipe too instead of making three! And yes, DO NOT try to take photos by a huge window on a very sunny day! ;D

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This recipe for Greek Easter bread is adapted by "Williams-Sonoma" Kitchen library book called "Breads". I made one traditional Easter bread and two other shapes just to keep it interesting, it's up to you decide what you want to do. You can also freeze the half of the dough for later too! Click on the collage below to make it bigger to see the step by step pics.

To bake this bread, you need:
Spice mix:
1 bay leaf, (remove this after boiling the spice water)
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon,
1 tsp crushed aniseeds,
1 tsp grated lemon zest,
1 cup water.
Liquid:
1/2 cup milk,
1/2 cup unsalted butter.
To add:
3 large eggs beaten,
1/2 cup sugar,
1 tsp salt,
1 pack or 2 1/4 tsp of Quick Rise Yeast,
4 cups of unbleached bread flour,
2-2 1/2 cups or less wheat bread flour as needed. (or just use 6-7 cups plain bread flour)
To top:
2 hard boiled and dyed red eggs (for two loaves,1 egg for each loaf),
or few chocolate eggs to top if you don't want to use hardboiled eggs,
1 egg+ 1tsp water to glaze,
2 tbsp sesame seeds to sprinkle on top.
Some colorful sugar for Mardi Gras bread! :D

To bake the bread:
1. In a bowl, mix the first 5 ingredients (spices+water) and heat for 2 minutes in the microwave, and discard the Bay leaf. Let the mixture cool to 110-115 F or until lukewarm. (Yeast will die if it's too hot or will not rise if colder than 110F!)
2. Heat milk and butter together for a minute in the microwave until it's lukewarm or 110 degrees. (Same applies here too, keep the temp at 110-115F)
3. On an electric stand mixer bowl with flat beater or by hand, beat the eggs first and then add milk mixture and spice mixture, then add in the sugar, salt and yeast.
4. Gradually add in 5 cups or more of bread flour until it becomes a soft dough and change to dough hook. Keep adding flour if needed up to 2 more cups or less and knead the dough until it's not sticky and pulls away from the bowl for 6-7 mins.
5. Brush the dough ball with oil, cover the bowl and let it rise to double in a warm place for an hour. When it doubles, punch down, place it on the counter.
6. Cut 1/5 of the dough and keep it separately. Shape the rest of the dough into two 8" loaves and place them on to two baking sheets, cover. (just make one loaf if you are using the other half of the dough for other shapes)
7. Cut 1/5 of the dough into 8 parts for 2 loaves and roll each part into a long rope, twist pairs of ropes together to make four twisted pairs of ropes.
8. Place 1 red egg on each loaf in the center (or save to add later) and criss cross two ropes over each egg and tuck in the end of the ropes underneath the loaf. Cover both loaves and let it rise for an hour.

Preheat the oven to 350F.

Egg wash:
9. Beat one egg with water for egg wash and brush the egg mix on the loaves and sprinkle both loaves with sesame seeds and bake them until golden brown for 35-45 minutes, or until it sounds hollow when tapped. Transfer the loaves to a wire rack to cool. Store in a airtight bag and keep it in the fridge to reheat, if you are not using the bread immediately. Best when freshly baked!

Note: Add the colored egg on top to serve or place a few Chocolate eggs on warm bread for a yummy gooey treat. My son ate a slice topped with Duncan Hines chocolate frosting! :D

To make Mardi Gras Bread and the Twister bread!
For colorful Mardi Gras bread:
With half of the above dough, cut into half. Shape one to a round loaf, brush with egg, sprinkle colored sugar on top, place a chocolate egg in the center. Cover and let it rise to bake.

For Twister bread: With the other half of the dough ie 1/4 th of the whole dough, roll into about 16" rope, fold in half in the middle and twist the rope around itself and seal the end. Place a chocolate egg on top in the center groove and let it rise to bake later.

Freeze: You can make one Easter bread loaf with half the dough, freeze the other half of the dough for another day! That's it, hope you try and enjoy this Easter bread! :)

Another look:

cb1

Happy Easter and happy Holi cerebration to all of you, have a fun and peaceful holiday. Enjoy the Spring, I will see you all again in May!:))

March 17, 2008

DOSA GALORE; RAVE DOSE, MOONG, MASOOR AND BROWN RICE ADAI WITH KARELA MASALA!


My Dosa galore post goes to "Dosa Mela" and to Srivalli from "cooking for all 4 seasons", who calls herself a "dosa freak" and is calling all of us to send her loads of dosas!!:D
I added two more new dosas to your list Sri. Enjoy them all to your heart's content my friend! Hahaha!




Rave dose, restaurant style!!
I accidentally found this recipe or the way of making restaurant style Rava dosa while I was surfing on the net one day. Vahchef Sunjay Thumma, has become my favorite chef on the "youtube" world since then for showing us the authentic dishes as they cook in the restaurants. His way of making rava dosa absolutely fascinated me. Just look at the result! (Click on all the photos to enlarge them to see better pictures)

rave dose
I was skeptical at first. When I tried his way sprinkling the very thin dosa batter with a lacy pattern using your hand on a electric griddle, which is perfect to make a huge, thin, crispy rava dosa, I was in for a delightful surprise! It looked exactly like they serve in the restaurant, crispy and tasted delicious. I changed the recipe a bit, added the dry spices instead of fresh to keep the batter smooth and easy to sprinkle, didn't use the raw onion. Here is how I made it with some changes of my own, I thank chef Thumma for showing us the secret of restaurant style Rava dosa and other dishes too!:)

To watch Vahchef's "Rava Dosa" video demo, click here.
The Vendy award (award for the best street Vendor of New York)2007, runner up; The dosa man, Tiru kumar!! Watch him here and here and here!

To make Rava dosa:
1. Mix 1 cup fine rava/Semolina/cream of wheat, 1/4 cup plain flour, 1 cup rice flour, salt, 1 tsp of cumin powder, 1/2 tsp each of garlic pd, ginger pd, chilli pd, 1 tbsp onion pd with enough water (3 or more cups) or buttermilk to make a very thin batter with buttermilk consistency. (Watch the video to see how thin and how to sprinkle the batter on the griddle).
2. Heat the non-stick electric griddle on moderately high/375F to 400F heat, sprinkle the batter with your hand or use a plastic Mustard or Ketchup bottle to squeeze the batter out like I did (cut the tip off if the hole too small) and let it get crispy golden on the bottom, no flipping required. Drizzle oil or ghee on top. Serve right away. (Mix the batter well or shake the bottle every time you use it. Rava tends to sink in the bottom)

Tastes excellent just with thin and spicy coconut chutney to dip in. I served it with Sambhar, coconut chutney and some homemade ghee. Hope you try.

Spicy green Moong, Masoor dal and brown rice Adai:
I love Adai because of the ease of making them without fermentation and very nutritious as well. I keep adding different pulses and beans, this is one of those with Masoor dal, green Moong and brown rice. It has a beautiful pinkish green color inside. Adjust the spices to your taste.



To make Adai:

1. Soak 1/2 cup whole green Moong in water overnight. Next morning, add 1/2 cup Masoor dal (split red lentils) and 1 cup Brown rice to the same water and let it soak for 2 hrs.
2. After 2 hrs, drain the water and grind all these in batches with enough water, 1 tbsp cumin seeds, 1/4tsp turmeric, 2-3 red dry chillies or chill pd, salt, few curry leaves until you get smooth batter of pourable consistency.
3. Take the batter out into a bowl, add 1 tbsp chopped cilantro and a pinch of baking soda.
4. You can use this batter right way to make dosas or chill in the fridge to use later. Add soda just before making dosas.
5. Heat a iron tawa or non-stick griddle, add some oil, spread a ladleful of batter to a circle. Drizzle some ghee or oil on top, flip and cook both sides until crisp and golden.

Serve with red Chutney powder (
roasted dry coconut, red chillies, garlic or garlic pd, salt, hing, cumin seeds, ground) and ghee.

Now presenting my Dosa/Pancake/Griddle cake/Crepe Museum!! ;D


These are all the Dosas, Crepes, pancakes, griddle cakes I have made and posted in both of my blogs so far, I am sure I will make some more of these in future!:D

Alrighty, let me link to each of them; from top left to right. Have fun! :)

1. Kerala Aapam (Rice-coconut milk pancakes),
2. Roti Jala (Malaysian flour pancakes),
3. Mysore Masale Dose,
4. Avalakki dose (Flattened rice flakes pancakes),
5. Thari dose (crushed rice-coconut milk steamed pancakes),
6. Thatte dose, plain and with veggies and dal (savory plate pancakes),
7. Uddina bele-Menthya dose (Urad dal-fenugreek seeds dosa),
8. Uttappa (vegetable pancake),
9. Rava dose (Semolina/cream of wheat pancakes),
10. Adai (Brown rice and multi dal dosas),
11. Adai masale dose (spicy brown rice dal dose),
12. Spicy Corn-Zucchini griddle cakes,
13. Zucchini pancakes,
14. All American pancakes,
15. Butternut squash griddle cakes,
16. Soy flour-veggies pancakes,
17. Patishapta (flour-coconut pancakes),
18. Chocolate Crepes,
19. Halasina hannu dose (Jackfruit pancakes),
20. Kayi-bellada dose (Molasses-coconut pancakes).

Are you still awake?! WAKE UP!! Hahaha!!

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Karela Masala
is my second entry to Pooja of "creative Pooja" blog's "Vegetable of the week" event. She has chosen "Bitter Gourd/Karela" as her vegetable for this month. You can have this too from me Pooja!:))





Karela/Bitter Gourd masala:
I somehow manage to eat few tbsps of Bitter gourd dish every time I make Bitter Gourd dishes although when cooked and balanced with spices, it won't be as bitter to taste. My husband loves Karela dishes, so I do buy just two of them to cook whenever I can get them in the Indian store. This Karela masala dish comes with a delicious gravy, goes well with rice rottis usually or rice if you can handle it! :D


To make Karela masala:
1. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a non-stick pan. When hot,put in 1/2 tsp mustard seeds, 1 tsp cumin seeds, few curry leaves, 1 red chilli.
2. Add in 1 medium onion,chopped, fry for 2 min. Add in 2 finely chopped garlic, 1/4 tsp turmeric pd, pinch of salt, stir fry for a minute.
3. To this, add 2 cups of slightly peeled and chopped Bitter gourd pieces and fry until it gets a reddish color on the edges. Add salt and 1 tbsp tamarind juice.
4. Pour in 1/2 cup tomato sauce or 2 chopped Tomatoes, 1 tbsp coriander seeds powder, 2 tsp cumin seeds powder, 1/2 tsp chilli pd,
1 tbsp or more to of powdered Jaggery. stir fry and simmer until oil shows on top. Add some water it's too thick and simmer again.
5. Adjust the heat and sourness in the gravy, tastes good the next day. Add 1 tsp of ghee on top and few tbsps of chopped cilantro, mix and serve.


Long beans Kootu, Eggplant Pachadi, Karela Masala served with plantation style Akki/rice rotti:


Recipes for the other dishes you see on the Thali are here:
For Yardlong beans Kootu dish, click here or you can use this kootu masala to cook with Yardlong beans too. Yardlong beans are also called Mangaluru beans in Kannada.
For Eggplant chutney/Pachadi/bajji recipe, click here.
To make coffee plantation "style" Akki/rice rotti, click here.

That's "all" I have this week, Phew! :D

March 13, 2008

ARUSUVAI AND A KARELA STIR-FRY

Latha N from "The YUM blog" started the "Arusuvai Friendship Chain" in India and Latha from "Masala Magic" continued the Arusuvai friendship chain in USA. Mandira from "Ahaar" passed on the friendship chain to me. It was very nice to receive a "Arusuvai Surprise" from her. Thank you for thinking of me Mandira, I welcome and cherish your friendship as always!:)


Arusuvai:
Arusuvai, as Latha N says "is about sending along a surprise ingredient as a gift to your friends, for them to prepare something tasty with it, share the recipe, and pass on other surprise ingredients to more people.
Arusuvai
means six tastes (aru=six, suvai=taste) in Tamizh and is used to refer for Tasty preparation with six tastes - inippu/ thithippu (sweet), orappu/ karam (hot), kassappu (bitter) , pulippu (sour), uppu(salt), tuvarpu (tastes that one gets in raw leaves)".
Beautiful, isn't it? My thanks to both Latha N and Latha for starting and continuing this wonderful friendship chain in India and USA, hope it spreads to Europe and Africa too! :)

My Arusuvai surprise:
We had just come home exhausted from the usual Saturday shopping but on a very unusual rainy, windy day last week and there was this package from Mandira waiting for me which made me smile instantly. I was so thrilled to see the envelope although I knew it was in the mail and was expecting it soon! :)
She has sent me a beautiful card, a pack of most delicious Badam Halwa (Almond Halwa) which gave me a pleasant sugar high for a while and a very fragrant pack of "mystery" masala!
Are you curious to know what it is now or can you guess the powder just by looking at the rice dish? If you have no clue, then click on the link below to find out! ;D
Thank you so much Mandira. We loved the badam halwa and aromatic Mystery powder too. I made a Paneer-rice dish and a egg gravy from your mystery masala, both are yummy as you can see. Hugs to you my friend, my kids say thanks to you as well!
Little note: I had to say "No, thanks" to few blogger friends few months ago when they offered me "Amish bread starter friendship chain", only because I had just gone thru' LASIK surgery and didn't feel up to it since I couldn't focus on nearer thing for the first few weeks. Thanks for thinking of me girls. You will always be my friends regardless, you know that! :)

Here is my Arusuvai "Mystery masala" from Mandira of "Ahaar":

Egg curry with mystery powder:

To make simple but aromatic Egg curry:
Hard boil about 8 eggs, peel and slash each on one side to open slightly. Keep them aside.
This dish serves 4.
1. Heat 2 tbsp oil and 2 tsp of butter, fry 1 large onion, ground to coarse paste for 3 mins, until transculent. Add 2 tsp ground ginger paste, stir fry for a minute, until oil shows on top.
2. Add 1 tbsp or more of "mystery" powder, 1 tsp coriander powder, 1/2 tsp paprika or Kashmiri chilli pd, salt, 1/4 tsp turmeric. Stir for few seconds.
3. Pour in 2 cups of Tomato sauce, 1 cup of water or chicken stock. Let it simmer on low heat gently until sauce thickens slightly for 15-20 mins. Adjust the salt and heat.
3. When done, add 3 tbsp chopped cilantro and eggs. It tastes better the next day. Serve with rice and salad on the side.

For this rice dish; I followed the same method as Mandira has made it in her blog but added Paneer instead of Fish. For the recipe, check out here.

Delicious "Mystery" Paneer-Saffron Basmati "layered" rice dish! Can you guess the name of this dish now? Okay, it's Paneer Biryani!! :)


Being layered or should I say I "tried" to layer the rice and masala! :D

Aroma was divine in the kitchen while I was making it, thanks Mandira.

Mandira's Biryani Masala:
1" cinnamon, 4 cloves, 3 green cardamoms, 1 black cardamom, 1 Bay leaf, 1 tsp fennel seeds, 1 tsp coriander seeds, 1/2 tsp cumin seeds, 1-2 dry red chilli, 1/4 nutmeg, grated. Roast and powder.

Passing on the Arusuvai:
I have extended my Arusuvai friendship chain to two of my dear blog friends, Maheswari and Vanamala. Thank you for accepting Arusuvai from me girls, hugs to both of you and hope you enjoy my "surprises" too! :)

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Karela stir-fry
is my contribution to Pooja of "creative Pooja" blog's "Vegetable of the week" event although it has become monthly event now. She has chosen the yummy "Bitter Gourd/Karela" as her vegetable for this month. Thank you for hosting Pooja!:))



A quick and delicious Bitter gourd stir-fry:


To stir-fry Bitter gourd:
1. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a non-stick pan and 1 tbsp butter or ghee. Add 1/2 tsp mustard seeds, 1 tsp cumin seeds, few curry leaves, 1-2 dry red chillies.
2. When they are reddish, add in 1 medium finely chopped onion, stir fry until soft, for 2 mins, add in 2-3 garlic, finely chopped.
3. After a minute, put in 2 cups of Bitter gourd or two of them, cleaned and peeled the outer skin slightly, seeded and cut in to 1/2" cubes.Stir this until they are reddish without adding any water.
4. When it's cooked 3/4th way, add 2 tbsp tamarind juice, 1 tbsp Coriander seeds powder, salt, 1 tsp or more chilli pd, 1 tbsp or more Jaggery or brown sugar. Keep stirring until you see the oil on top.
5. Adjust the taste. When done, it should be hot, sweet, tangy and slightly bitter in the end, a perfect marriage of Arusuvai taste with all flavors explained above!!:)

This stir-fry tastes great with Parathas, dosas or rice rottis. Hope you try.

"Dosa Mela" and another Bitter gourd dish next! Yes, I am rushing with posts so I can squeeze in 2 more before the 20th!! ;D

March 10, 2008

TURKISH IBRIK, MASOOR DAL KHICHDI

Turkish Ibrik is my "Show us your Metal" entry to Jai and Bee of "Jugalbandi" blog's "Click" event with the theme of "Metal" this February. My thanks to all the judges this month and JaiBee too!:)


About Ibrik:
Ibrik is long handled Turkish coffee pot which is traditionally used to brew coffee in Turkey. It was originally used to make coffee on hot desert sand but can be used on stove top too. It comes in different sizes, from 1 cup like this pot to large capacity as well. Ibriks are made of copper, brass and stainless steel. This particular genuine Ibrik from Istanbul is a gift from somebody. I tried making coffee once in this pot and now it sits pretty on my fireplace mantle! You can buy the modern Ibriks here and how to make Turkish coffee in Ibrik is here.

Turkish Ibrik, my entry to "Click" Metal:

Turkish Ibrik1
Camera used:
Cannon PowerShot SD 600
Digital ELPH

Another look:

TI

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Masoor dal Khichdi,
cooked in the Microwave is my entry to "Microwave easy cooking" which is hosted by Srivalli of "Cooking 4 all seasons" with a theme of "Rice dishes" this month. Thanks for hosting Sri!:))



About Khichdi:
WIKI says "Khichdi literally means mish-mash or hodge-podge mixture, is an Indian dish that contains a combination of rice,one or more lentils and spices. Khichdi is commonly considered to be a North, East, West India's comfort food served with Kadhi and was the inspiration for the Anglo-Indian dish called kedgeree".
In southern part of India, we make a somewhat similar dish called BisiBele Bhath or Sambhar Rice which has even more and different ingredients than this dish and is our own style comfort "Khichdi" of the south! :)

Microwave Masoor dal Khichdi:
Khichdi is a mixture of rice and various dals cooked with flavorful spices, usually it's thinner and wetter than the usual Pulao or Biryani. Cooking Khichdi in MW is relatively easy since it's a one pot dish. Every MW is of different power strength, so you will have to make that judgment for how long to cook and how much water to add to the rice and dal mix, so it cooks evenly until soft.Adjust the spices to your taste. This is how I made it.


To make the Khichdi in the Microwave:
You need:
1 cup long grain rice, 1/2 cup Masoor dal (red lentils) washed and drained, 1/2 cup 1/2" cubed Carrots, salt, 2 cups or more water and 1/4 cup Tomato sauce or 2 tbsp Tomato puree, more or less according to your liking.
(You may soak rice in 2 cups of water for 15 mins before adding this to the MW bowl if you like)
Season:
1 tbsp oil, 1/2 tsp mustard seeds, 2 tsp finely grated or ground ginger.
Spice powders:
1 tbsp Coriander seeds pd, 1 tsp Cumin seeds pd, 1/2 tsp Garam masala, 1/2 tsp or more Kashmiri chilli powder, 1/4 tsp turmeric powder.
Garnish:
1 tbsp chopped Cilantro, 1 tsp Ghee, cucumber slices or cucumber Raita.
How to make:
1. Take a glass bowl, big enough to hold 4 cups of liquid. Add oil, microwave for 1 min on high.
2. Now, add all the seasoning ingredients, cover and heat for 30 seconds or more until ginger gets reddish color. Open and add spice powders, mix well.
3. Add rice, lentils, Carrots, water and cook without covering the bowl for 6-8 mins on high/100% power. Make sure rice and lentils are almost cooked before adding tomato. Cook for few more mins if not done, adding more water if necessary.
4. Pour in the tomato sauce, salt, mix well. Cover the bowl with the plate this time and cook at 50% power for 4 or more mins until everything is completely cooked and still little wet in texture, not very dry.
5. Take the bowl out, adjust the salt and heat. Add in cilantro, mix the Khichdi well.
Serve with Cucumber slices or Raita and a tsp of ghee added on top. You can serve this with Pickle, papad, or plain yogurt too. Tastes better after few hrs but tends to get a bit drier as it cools. Enjoy!:)

Arusuvai next!:)

March 4, 2008

PEAR-BLACK BEANS SALSA AND A BALANCED BREAKFAST

Pear-Black beans Salsa is my contribution to "A Fruit A Month", which is started by Maheswari of "Beyond the Usual" blog. Raaga from "The singing Chef" is guest hosting this month for AFAM and her fruit of choice is "Pears". Thanks for hosting Raaga!:)


Pears:

The English word pear is probably from Common West Germanic pera, it belongs to Apple family. Pears have been cultivated in China for approximately 3000 years.Pears can be consumed fresh, canned, as juice and dried, juice made into jams and jellies and fermented Pears are called Perry, a type of Cider.
Pears are the least allergenic of all fruits.Pear wood is one of the preferred materials in the manufacture of high-quality woodwind instruments and furniture.It is also used for wood carving, and as a firewood to produce aromatic smoke for smoking meat or tobacco.

Pear and Black Beans salsa:
Here is an easy and spicy Salas mad with Pears, Black Beans, corn etc. It can be served as a side dish for any main meal or on it's own on a bed of Lettuce.

How to make Salsa:
1. Chop one red and one green firm Pears into 1/2" cubes, add to a big glass bowl.
2. Add in 1 cup/can yellow and white corn, drained, 1/2 can of Black Beans drained and rinsed, 1 cup finely chopped Tomato, 1 JalapeƱo finely chopped, 1 tbsp Lemon juice, 1/2 tsp Cumin powder, 1/4 tsp Garlic powder, salt, pepper, 1/4 cup Celery, 1/4 cup red onion, finely chopped, 3 tbsp Cilantro, 1/8 tsp Chilli flakes, mix everything.
3. Adjust the spices and salt, chill in the fridge until ready to serve. Makes excellent lunch wrapped in Lettuce.

Enjoy the spicy, tangy and sweet Salsa!

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A balanced breakfast of Omelet with spicy Pear-Black Beans salsa and toast is my contribution to Mansi from "Fun and food", who is hosting WBB this month with "Balanced Breakfasts" theme. "Weekend Breakfast blogging" event is the brain child of Nandita from "Saffron Trail". Thank you for hosting Mansi, I kept my promise!:)

A balanced breakfast:
A low calorie,low fat, nutritious and balanced breakfast should supply us with a good combination of protein, healthy carbohydrates, fiber. One should always start the day with a nutritious breakfast which helps us with better concentration and problem-solving skills throughout the day, controlling hunger pangs and binge eating around noon. People who eat breakfast are more successful at losing weight and also maintaining that weight loss. Breakfast is specially important for growing kids who go to school which helps them to concentrate better. So, here is a balanced breakfast from me. Little spice in the morning kicks you in gear faster too!:D

Omelet/Omelette and Toast with Black Beans, Pear and Corn Salsa:
Any leftover fruity, spicy Salsa from above recipe also makes a well balanced and satisfying breakfast served with toast and fluffy Omelet! This serves one.

To make this breakfast:
1. Heat 1/2 tsp butter in a non-stick pan. Add 1 tsp milk and one extra large egg, beat with pinch of salt, add to the pan.
2. Scrape the bottom with a wooden spoon gently and then let it settle and cook on medium heat. 3. Flip gently and cook the other side. Place it on plate, add 3 tbsp of Salsa in the middle and fold the Omelet over. Grind a little pepper on top.
4. Garnish with Cilantro sprig, and serve with toast and Orange juice.

That's it! You are good to go until noon!! :)