Monday, October 31, 2022

Brown Butter Pumpkin Sage Pongal

Brown butter pumpkin sage Pongal, as the name suggests is a delicious meal with tons of flavor from the nutty brown butter, hints of sage perfectly balanced with pumpkin and the black pepper. The added pecan in the bite makes it special for the holidays.

Pongal is a classic and festive food in South India. This can be called a South Indian risotto but without any wine. There is a sweet and savory version of Pongal. I grew up having a fair amount of Pongal and I make it often in our home. Though I like both the versions, the savory Pongal ranks a teeny tiny bit higher, as this can be a meal by itself and could be a side. 

It is made with rice, yellow split moong dal and flavored with cumin, black pepper, ginger, asafetida, curry leaves and a lavish amount of ghee. And of course with cashew nuts. This is made for special occasions as well as for a quick meal. This is divine!!! If you like the sound of the flavors, be sure to check here for different Pongal recipes.

Coming back, this particular recipe uses the amazing, delicious, and nutritious pumpkin. Though I love to use pumpkins in sweeter form like in these loaves, muffins, or cookies, I love to use them in savory and spicy recipes. Do not forget that pumpkin is delicious in breads, flatbreads, and rolls too! The sweet pumpkin works perfectly well with the spicy heat and tastes yum! 

The yellow split moong dal is easier to digest, cooks faster, and is one of the common dals we use most of the days. This dal has an amazing protein profile adding to the nutrition. It also doesn’t require any soaking. This is also the dal we use in our traditional Pongal recipe.

Sage has a bitter flavor like Methi and it tastes yummy with pumpkin. I have used sage instead of curry leaves, as it pairs well with the ingredients used. Also using locally available herbs and produce are budget friendly too. Sage with potatoes, pumpkins, rice, or pasta creates a wonderful medley of flavors, and if you haven’t tried it, better try now! 

 Brown butter…. Smells heavenly! During my younger days, I have never tasted brown butter and when I tried it two decades back, I loved it! On and off I make brown butter pasta for a quick and tasty meal, and sometimes with pumpkin. 

Pecans are used in this recipe. This Pongal screams the flavors of the fall season. Pecans and pumpkins par well like in these delicious loaves. Feel free to swap with cashews or any other nuts if you prefer. 

Pumpkin and brown butter are best buddies and when used in this Pongal recipe instead of regular ghee, gives top notch flavors!! Who can deny the bowl of divine flavors combined together. 

This brown butter  pumpkin sage Pongal can be served as a delicious side or as a comforting meal. This is easy to prepare and is best to serve hot or warm. Just reheat and serve if you made it ahead, but it is easier to make this in a lesser time making it a great option. This serves 8-10 as a side, and four as a main meal. If you are serving this as the meal, pair with this Instant Pot Tiffin Sambhar or this cranberry coconut almond chutney, pecan chutney, or plain coconut chutney. Leftovers, if any, can be stored in the refrigerator for a couple of days. Microwave the pongal and serve.

Welcome to Holiday Side Dish Week 2022 hosted by Heather from Hezzi-D's Books and Cooks. This year we have over 45 side dishes to help you plan your holiday meals. Make sure to scroll down this page to check the delicious sides we shared today. Thanks, Heather!

If you are looking for some delicious sides, here are a few that would become your favorites.

Serves 4 - 10

Rice - 3/4 cup
Split yellow moong dal - 1/4 cup
Shredded pumpkin - 1 and 1/4 cup
Salt - 1 and 1/4 tsp
Butter - 6 to 7 tbsp
Pecan - 1/3 cup
Sage - 8 to 10 leaves
Whole black pepper - 3/4 tsp
Cumin - 1 tsp
Black pepper powder - 1/4 tsp
Asafetida - 1/4 tsp
Ginger - 1 tsp, finely chopped


Add the rice, dal, water and shredded pumpkin to the Instant Pot bowl. Switch it on in rice mode. Once it is done, after a few minutes, the pressure can be released manually or if you have time, wait for natural release.

When the rice is almost done, heat a heavy-bottomed pan with butter over medium flame. It would melt and in about 5-7 minutes, the milk solids would begin to separate and turn into brown color at the bottom. Do not let it burn.

Add the cumin, whole black pepper, and let it bloom for 40-50 seconds. Next add the pecans, ginger, black pepper powder, asafetida, and sage, and fry for 20-30 seconds.

Pour this on to the rice, add salt, and combine thoroughly.

Serve hot or warm with chutney or sambhar.

Monday Holiday Side Dish Recipes:

Saturday, October 22, 2022

Vegan Stir-Fried Cauliflower

This is a vegan, delicious, healthy, low-calorie, keto stir-fried cauliflower that is easy to make with pantry staples. Simple spices make this cauliflower stand out in flavors.

If you are on a low-calorie diet, or looking for a delicious side, this cauliflower will not disappoint you. The perfect crisp tender cauliflower with simple spices is a great side to serve with rotis or cooked grains. This is often my go to choice to make for a healthy side as it is quicker to make. The prep time is only for chopping the cauliflower to florets. If you buy the florets, that saves time. There is no onion or garlic to chop and hence very easy to make. The spices give immense flavor to this side. This can serve 2-4 servings as a side. This can be had as a meal by itself for a person. This can also be a delicious holiday side.

As holidays approach, I am thinking of adding more healthier foods on the menu. Lighter and healthier foods are always the best in managing a healthy weight, especially around the holiday times, as we would have fun entertaining with friends and family. Christie is hosting an event with the theme "Lighten Up", and this delicious stir-fried cauliflower is my share for the event. We share Recipes From Our Dinner Table! Join our group and share your recipes, too! While you're at it, join our Pinterest board, too!

Cauliflower is one of the amazing veggies and it is my favorite one too. It is hard not to buy one and come home when I go grocery shopping. It can be made in different ways. Here are a few recipes that you would like for sure.


Cauliflower florets - 4 cups, medium sized
Tomatoes - 1/2 cup, chopped
Water - 1-2 tsp
Salt - 3/4 tsp
Turmeric - 1/4 tsp
Cayenne - 3/4 tsp
Oil - 2 tbsp
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Dried red chile - 2-4, torn
Cumin - 3/4 tsp
Asafetida - 1/8tsp
Curry leaves - 1 sprig
Cilantro - 1 tbsp, chopped


Heat oil in a pan over medium flame, add the dried red chili and mustard seeds. When it splutters add the cumin fry for 30 seconds, and add the asafetida and curry leaves. Next, add the cauliflower florets and mix. Sprinkle water, cover and cook for 4-5 minutes.

Add salt, turmeric, and the tomatoes, and mix. Cover and cook for 2-3 minutes.

Add the cayenne, mix, and cook uncovered for 1-2 minutes.

Garnish with cilantro.

Serve as such or as a side with flatbreads.

Lighten up the Holidays

Wednesday, October 19, 2022

Pizza Skull Bombs

These are the most delicious pizza bombs that are shaped like skull, and are the perfect ones to go in your Halloween menu. These will be a hit with kids and adults. The red marinara and green pesto mimic blood and zombie blood, and the melting, stringy mozzarella  make these the amazing and fun Halloween food.


Life happens and we need fun and easy recipes to make our Halloween entertaining easier. That’s why I am suggesting these pizza skull bombs. I have given the recipe for pizza crust to make 12 pizza bombs. The dough can be made ahead and refrigerated for 24 hours if you have a time crunch. One pound store bought pizza dough can also be used in this recipe.

These are regular pizza bombs but baked in a skull shaped pan giving the shape. I have used a silicone mini skull pan for baking these. I had seen the metal skull pans last year, and when I planned to shop, they were all gone. I found these silicone one. The bake was lighter in color and I would update the results about the baked pizza color once I tried these with the metal pan.



Who doesn’t love pizza? Especially, kids go nuts over pizza. Melting and cheese oozing pizza bombs are always a super hit. These are a meal by itself, and the kids would be more than happy with these. Now, that’s a warning that you might have to make more of these!


Why are these the apt ones for Halloween? The red marinara sauce mimics the blood and the basil pesto would be zombie blood. A little of the sauce and cheese may ooze out while baking, and this gives the effect of blood. Either marinara or pesto, or a combination of both can be used. You can make half with marinara and half the pizza bombs with pesto. It is totally your personal choice. Since these are shaped like a skull, with the red and green sauce, these sound an ideal candidate for Halloween party food.

I have been sharing stuffed Halloween recipes for this week ‘s Blogging Marathon, and this is my final recipe for this week’s theme. Earlier, I had shared Palak Paneer Zombie Intestine and Samosa Mummies. Be sure to try these recipes and let me know how you loved them.


I am also linking this to Thursday Favorite Things, Full Plate Thursday, 


If you are looking for Halloween recipes, check out the following 


Mummy JalapeƱo Poppers


Deathly Dracula Drink

Mini Jack-o-Lantern Naans


Halloween Cupcakes 


Palak Paneer Zombie Intestine


Samosa Mummies 




Makes 12


All purpose flour- 2 cups plus 2 tbsp

Salt - 1 tsp

Sugar - 1 tsp

Water - ⅔ cups plus 1 tbsp

Active dry yeast - 1 tsp

Olive oil - 1 tbsp

Marinara sauce/ basil pesto - 12 tbsp

Mozzarella cheese sticks - 3



Activate the yeast with war sugar water. In a bowl, add the flour and salt, mix. Add the yeast mixture and olive oil, knead to a smooth dough. 


  Apply oil, cover, and set aside to prove for one and a half hour, 

After the first proving, add the transfer the dough to a floured surface, knead, chaffe the dough.

Divide into 12 equal portions.

Rioll each dough portion into 4-5" diameter. Place a tablespoon of marinara, and/or pesto. Cut the mozzarella cheese into 4 portions. Add the cheese into the center.


 Gently gather the ends and roll into a spherical shape. Place it on the skull baking cavities.


Bake at 375 degrees F for 15-16 minutes.

Cool for a couple of minutes, serve.

Tuesday, October 18, 2022

Samosa Mummies

These are delicious samosa mummies that are appetizers for Halloween parties. These can be made easily using ready to use crescent roll dough. Did I say that these are stuffed with cheese?

Why should you make these samosa mummies? Well.....

First and foremost reason is that these are the best appetizers/snacks ever!

Very tasty and addictive.

Stuffed with cheese.

Easy to prepare with crescent roll dough.

The samosa filling can be made ahead to entertain easily.

These mummies are also kind of cute than scary, and will definitely be an inviting appetizer for Halloween.

It is possible to list more reasons but this gives the jist. 

I may have received samples and the opinions expressed are my own. 

Life can be super crazy at times or many times. Well, it happens. So, baking need not take a toll on you. Anolon baking sheet makes life easier giving amazing results making you forget everything else. Anolon baking sheet transfers heat uniformly giving uniform baked results. Plus, the handles are amazing and I love that. If you haven't tried it yet, I would highly recommend you to get one. 

These samosa mummies are stuffed with cheese. Samosa and cheese sounds great! The ooey-gooey melting cheese with a soft paneer block at the center is a winner! It is out of this world! The melting cheese with the paneer center creates the effect perfect for Halloween. It looks as if its internal organs are gooey. I have used Mexican cheese blend. Substitute with shredded mozzarella, Jack cheese, cheddar, or habanero jack for flavor variations. 

I highly recommend mashing the potatoes. A 1X1/2-in block of paneer has to be stuffed in the center along with a tablespoon of shredded cheese. Chunky potatoes will not help in shaping after stuffing. Mashing the potatoes and then making the samosa filling is the perfect and ideal way to get successful stuffed samosa mummies. Adjust the salt and heat levels as per taste requirements. Any herbs of your choice can also be used for flavor preferences.

If you are wondering what sauce to serve with, well, it is the all time hit green chutney and ketchup. These sauces pair very well with samosa. They also give the perfect effect of blood sauce and green  zombie chutney effect. Don't you agree?

 Like I said before, crescent roll dough makes it easier. The store-bought crescent roll dough has multi-purpose uses. When you have it on hand, fixing an appetizer, meal, or even dessert (this chocolate crescent roll) is easier. This samosa wreath made with crescent roll dough is the perfect holiday appetizer for any gathering. Similar to the wreath, the same can be made into delicious appetizer for Halloween with cheese stuffed inside.

Samosas are always loved here. Well, who doesn't? It is the perfect and addictive snack and is also a classic street food. Samosas can also be served in different avatars with the same addictive effect. These muffins make a perfect on the go breakfast/snack! Puff Pastry Samosa Pinwheels are great appetizers for any party. In any form, it is a crowd pleaser, and these mummies are no exception.

This is my second share for the "Stuffed Halloween Recipes" theme for the Blogging Marathon. This Palak Paneer zombie Intestine was my earlier share and check the blog tomorrow for another delicious Halloween recipe.

I am also linking this to What's For Dinner, Sundays on Silverado, Wonderful Wednesday, and Happiness is Homemade.

Makes 8

Crescent roll dough - 1 8-oz. tube
Potatoes - 2 and 1/4 cups, mashed
Salt - 3/4 tsp
Onions - 3/4 cup, chopped
Cumin - 1/2 tsp
Cumin powder - 1/2 tsp
Coriander powder - 1/2 tsp
Cayenne - 1/3 tsp
Garam masala - 1/2 tsp
Turmeric  - 1/4 tsp
Oil - 1 tbsp
Green chili - 1. finely chopped
Ginger - 1/2 tsp, finely chopped
Cilantro - 2 tbsp, finely chopped
Shredded cheese - 8 tbsp
Paneer - 8, 1X1/2-in. cubes
Whole black pepper - 16 (for eyes)


Boil the potatoes, mash, and set aside.

Heat oil in a pan. Add the cumin and fry for 30 seconds. Add the onions, ginger, green chilies, and saute for 3-5 minutes. Add the mashed potatoes, peas, salt, turmeric, cayenne, garam masala, coriander, and cumin powder. Mix thoroughly and cook for 2-3 minutes. 

Remove from the flame, add cilantro, mix, and set aside to cool.

When the mixture is cool, divide it into eight portions. Take a portion, flatten it into a disc of about 5-in diameter. Add half tablespoon shredded cheese, one piece of paneer chunk, top it with another half table spoon of cheese. Carefully gather the ends, seal it into a oblong shape.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Open the crescent roll container, and unfold the dough. Cut the dough in the perforation.

Place a cheese stuffed samosa filling on one piece of the dough. Reserve a tiny ball of crescent roll dough from one of the ends to make eyes. Wrap the dough on the bottom side and around the sides. Make strips with the remaining long portion of the dough and wrap them around the samosa filling to a mummy shape.

Divide the reserved portion of the dough into two tiny pieces, roll, and place them on the samosa mummies for eyes. Push in a black pepper at the center of each of these tiny dough balls to make eyeballs.

Place the mummy samosa on the baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining portions.

Bake for 17 minutes, until the top turns golden.

Serve with ketchup or green chutney.