Baking |Wholegrain Olive Oil Crackers & 3 Dips | Roasted Bell Pepper, Garlic & Walnut + Classic Garlicky Cream + Rocket Cashew Dip … hit the ball out of the park #tickettocheer

“What keeps me motivated is not the food itself but all the bonds and memories the food represents”
M Chiarello

Crackers & DipsWholegrain Olive Oil Crackers & 3 Dips…. for times like these when the game is up. Nothing unites the world better than sport and food. I think the two were meant to go hand in hand. Think world cup cricket, soccer, or then super bowl, and the first thing that comes to mind if food! OK, after the game of course! With the ICC  Cricket World Cup warming up nicely, it’s imperative to keep the food going!

Crackers & Dips Yesterday spent 20 minutes rolling out crackers … thin, crisp, delicious Wholegrain Olive Oil Crackers. Paired them off with 3 quick dips. Dips are an out and out game favourite, and I have gone with simple ones! A Roasted Bell Pepper, Garlic & Walnut Dip {earthy, smoky, finger licking good}, a Classic Garlicky Cream Dip {tangy, creamy, GARLICKY ... an all time favourite} and a seasonal Rocket & Cashew Dip {where sharp peppery leaves meet the sweetness of cashew nuts}. Ingredients for dipsDips are really really versatile to throw together. Make them using what you have on hand. Herbs, seasonal produce, cold pressed oils, garlic, garlic greens, onion scapes, legumes, citrus fruit, nuts, cheese, spices. Get creative and follow your taste buds. You will be surprised at how much you can create with so little! To thin them down you can add coconut milk, citrus juice, single cream, sour cream, buttermilk etc.

Wholegrain Olive Oil Crackers & DipsOnce ready, which is a matter of minutes usually, you can dip into them of course, or add them to your cheese platter. There’s so much more you can do. Slather sandwiches with them, toss them through a pasta, top grilled chicken or fish with dip. If you are more adventurous, them use them in a bread like the French Fougasse. I love that you can tweak the flavours as you like, and also that dips embrace local and seasonal produce whole heartedly!

Wholegrain Crackers & Dips  Why so many nibbles of late you might wonder? Well these are game days. Cricket, cricket and more cricket. From games you expect nothing and get the word, and from games you expect the world and hit rock bottom, the sports world is a funny place to be in. The cricket world cup down under has begun,and how! Talk sports and there is another huge thing in common …FOOD!

Wholegrain Olive Oil Crackers & Dips And that’s where we DIP! These are simple ones to rustle up. You could even do a  make ahead simple hummus that I just shared with oat & cheese crackers. On the side, you could go the healthy crudite way or whole grain crackers maybe. Else grab the bag of chips, nachos, pita chips…whatever. Dig right in. foodEvery major gaming event, be it the super bowl, soccer or the cricket world cup, churns up an appetite for food, yummy, good, delicious food. These dips will hit the ball out of the park … like South Africa did today! If you are deft in the kitchen, and love getting quick stuff together, then here are a few other options.Savoury Whole Wheat Hungarian KalácsThe India Pakistan thriller saw us polishing off  rustic Savoury Whole Wheat Hungarian Kalács Do a quick version with cooked chicken tossed in the rocket cashew pesto dip and cheese! Or skip the chicken and go vegetarian. Next was the India South Africa match. That saw a rerun of Oat & Wheat Cheese Crackers with a quick Hummus! Delicious times indeed!  Oat & Wheat Cheese Crackers & Hummus 8If you aren’t the cooking types, but certainly the eating types, then your best option would be a quick call to Food Panda to order your favourite food. It’s an online food-ordering service that makes it easy for customers to find their favorite food conveniently from home, work or on the road and get it delivered. It is now active in 30 cities in India and has over 4000+ restaurants available and the delivery of your food is free.

ticketThe nice thing is that during the Cricket World Cup,  Food Panda is running a “One child’s mid day meals collaboration” called Ticket to Cheer. ​In rece​nt months, the company has begun to get involved in helping for civic change of India, supporting NGO’s projects etc. This particular campaign is a novel concept. They are offering a platform where people can donate, in order to give mid-meals to 1.4 million kids for a whole school year. It’s certainly worth a shout out! As we cheer on our favourite teams, give Food Panda a cheer for the good work they are doing as well!

Oh and don’t forget to participate in the Philips giveaway here. Just a day to go!

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Also find me on The Rabid Baker, The Times of India

Baking | Oat & Wheat Cheese Crackers, and a quick Hummus #comfortfood #simple #savoury

“Comfort food….food that reassures. Is different things to different people.”
David Tanis

Oat & Wheat Cheese Crackers & HummusOat & Wheat Cheese Crackers, and a quick Hummus…for one of those days when you are tired, feeling under the weather and craving comforting food. For days like this only quick, simple and flavourful seriously works. For days like these, a food processor is your best friend. Nothing to beat a workhorse that does everything, takes the work out of the cooking or baking, pampers you unknowingly, and delivers like nothing else!

Oat & Wheat Cheese Crackers & Hummus I had a bunch of chickpeas left over as I boiled extra the other day while stirring up a quick chickpea curry. I always boil extra chickpeas as having some on hand offers plenty of quick rustle up food ideas. Salads for one. I made this layered savoury chickpea parfait often. Doubles up as a healthy, filling and quite delicious tiffin too!

Oat & Wheat Cheese Crackers & Hummus But I was in a mood for crackers. Just one of those strange days where I craved baking something savoury, and had an idea in my head. Working as a fit foodie makes me constantly strive for fun wholegrain alternatives to things. They got to be yum too. I used butter in these crackers, but I think you could easily use olive oil. I might throw in some ground nut meal too the next time to substitute some of the flour. Just a thought…and more ideas to work on!Oat & Wheat Cheese Crackers & Hummus The hummus happened as I was inspired by a quick hummus recipe that popped into my inbox not so long ago. I recall it having sesame paste as optional and it stayed in my head. There is nothing much to a hummus or chickpea dip. Just throw a bunch of ingredients into the faithful food processor, give them a whir. Balance flavours as you so desire.

Oat & Wheat Cheese Crackers & Hummus More garlic if you are like us, more lime juice too. Plenty of extra virgin olive oil, maybe fresh herbs. Skip the smoked  paprika if you don’t have some on hand, degi mirch {kashmiri mirch} or red chili flakes. I have to say though that smoked paprika adds some fine earthy, moorish flavours to the dip…

Wholemeal Crackers with Baba Ghanoush & Muhammara There are other dips you could try. A Quark, Garlic and Chives Dip, Baba Ghanoush or Muhamarra would be wonderful here too. Else if nothing else, some nice cheese, fruit and wine will complete your cheese board.

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Also find me on The Rabid Baker, The Times of India

Baking | Wholemeal Crackers with Baba Ghanouj & Muhammara … dips of delight!

“If it came from a plant, eat it; if it was made in a plant, don’t. ”
Michael Pollan

Wholemeal Crackers with Baba Ghanouj & MuhammaraWholemeal Crackers with Baba Ghanouj & Muhammara … certainly music to the ears and fun to make. The dips were finger licking good. The crackers turned out crisper than expected, a crackling good bite to them and quite low on fat. I was thinking nachos but though far from them, the crackers paired quite nicely with the dips!

Wholemeal Crackers with Baba Ghanoush & Muhammara 3I was fortunate to win Ritu Dalmia’s new cookbook “Diva Green: A Vegetarian Cookbook” from a giveaway @ Health Food Desi Videshi! Fortunate because the first winner failed to respond, and I was the ‘happily giddy’ or ‘giddily happy’ second in line. Sometimes it’s good to be second! The book’s a winner!

Wholemeal Crackers with Baba Ghanoush & Muhammara I LOVE everything about it, not least that it is a vegetarian cookbook. Ritu Dalmia has penned a beautiful culinary journey here. The recipes, the narrative, the connect, the eye catching photography by Anshika Varma, the variety and the innovation all grab your attention.

Wholemeal Crackers with Baba Ghanoush & Muhammara The book followed me everywhere for the first 3 days. Never tired of reading and rereading the food emotional connects. I wanted to try almost everything from it. Vegetarian cookbooks are never easy. This one is a labour of love with a light, breezy feel to it. Ritu Dalmia’s enthusiasm and energy are quite infectious.

Wholemeal Crackers with Baba Ghanoush & Muhammara Since I’m on an ‘eggplant’ discovery these days, got an eggplant roasting early in the morning. That Jordanian Baba Ghanouj was calling my name. I stuck some garlic cloves into the eggplant before roasting it. Learnt that from my mother in this delicious ‘Baingan ka Bharta‘ that she makes. I kept my fingers crossed that the kids would dig into the dip.

bell peppersAlongside I had bell peppers roasting in the Air Fryer. It roasts them beautifully! They were headed for another dip, the Muhammara. That was inspired by a yummy bowl we had at a friends place recently. Reminded me of a batch I had made ages ago. Wonder why it took me so long to make some again? Muhammara is absolutely delicious!

Wholemeal Crackers with Baba Ghanoush & Muhammara Soon I had bowls of Baba Ghanouj & Muhammara on either side. Time for crackers and I randomly threw in anything wholemeal. Wasn’t too sure the kids would like them as they were on the slightly harder side than the ones I normally make.Wholemeal Crackers with Baba Ghanoush & Muhammara Into the house and straight into the kitchen, the ‘famished as usual daughter‘ announced she liked the ‘green one‘ a lot. From someone who won’t touch eggplant with a bargepole that was tall praise indeed! She didn’t need to know what went into it, at least not for now!

MuhammaraThe son loved the Muhammara as expected as I added a dash of smoked sweet paprika. He LOVES the flavour. He enjoyed the Baba Ghanouj as well. Both of them loved the crackers too, and asked for seconds. That was a sweet surprise.

crackersYou could always make some of these – Olive Oil Crackers {my favourite}, Rye Cheddar Cracker & Pizza Dough Crisps, Seedy Crackers, Garlic & Herb Wholewheat Crackers

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Also find me on The Rabid Baker, The Times of India