“Lentils are friendly—the Miss Congeniality of the bean world.”
Laurie Colwin
There’s been much talk of pancakes & Lent across blogs this past week. My mum mentioned some nice savoury pancakes made out of chickpea flour that she ate at a friends house the other day. The very thought appealed to me, & yesterday, when I was out of ideas of what to cook, I thought I’d try my hand at some pancakes, but using soaked lentils instead of flour. The equation sounded funny. Pancakes + Lent = Lentil Pancakes!!! LOL! Made these very simple & very delicious savoury moong bean pancakes stuffed with a mild cottage cheese filling. We enjoyed them with an explosive red chili garlic chutney which comes from South India. Oh yes, & before I forget, the old platter is one that my mother gave me. It’s from her childhood, & I love it’s rustic feel.The flavours came together very well. The kids however wouldn’t touch the chutney with a bargepole, so they had them like crepes, rolled with a cheese spread within! If you like, you can omit the asefoetida. MOONG BEAN PANCAKES

1 cup moong dal beans; soaked for 2-3 hours in tepid water
A generous pinch asefoetida (hing)
Salt to taste
1 small piece of ginger; minced
1/2 bunch of fresh coriander; finely chopped
1 green chili; finely chopped
250 gms cottage cheese; grated
1 small bunch fresh coriander leaves; finely chopped
1-2 green chilies; finely chopped
2 spring onions with greens; finely chopped
Salt to taste

  • Grind the soaked dal with just enough soaking liquid to form a nice thickish batter. Not too thin. Add the chopped coriander, green chili & minced ginger with salt to taste, & beat together well.
  • Mix the ingredients for the filling, check seasoning & reserve in a bowl.
  • Heat a non-stick pan. On high heat, put about a 1/4 to 1/2 cup pf batter onto it, swirl it round with the back of a spoon in concentric circles, spreading the batter outwards, till it is thin & uniform. Put a few drops of oil around the edges.
  • Once the edges begin to brown, flip it over & cook the other side too. then put 2-3 tbsps of filling. Fold over & cook for a minute. Serve hot with a chutney, or as a roll with cream cheese within.
  • Makes 8-10 pancakes.

These pancakes are off to My Legume Love Affair, which is the brainchild of Susan of The Well-Seasoned Cook. Each month she features legumes such as beans, peas, lentils, pulses, peanuts, as the central ingredient. The event for March is hosted by the Laurie @ Mediterranean Cooking in Alaska. There you go Laurie, this one’s for you!

This recipe is also being sent to Original Recipes @ Culinarty for Lore’s ongoing event.

“The things we now esteem fixed shall, one by one, detach themselves, like ripe fruit, from our experience, and fall . . . The soul looketh steadily forwards, creating a world before her, leaving worlds behind her.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
FRUIT & CHEESE…one of my favourite combinations or magical partners! This was the best way to introduce my kids to fruit when they were young. Worked like magic! Cut to now; add some carbs & you end up with a well-balanced, delicious appetizer!
Entrees, appetizers, finger-food…a fascinating ‘cuisine course’ for me, largely unexplored. I always edge on the temptation of falling fall back on familiar ground when it comes to short eats. With blogging comes new energy, new ideas & loads of left-overs to experiment with. Have been exploring this finger-food front on & off. The potato canapes left me with a small amount of leftover cheese topping, & the fridge that was being cleared out, left me with a 1/4 jar of mango chutney & some pineapple slices. When we visited Chennai in the South of India in June this year, the son fell in love with pineapples. Arrrrgh…of all the tough fruits to fall in love with; what was wrong with a banana? So, the other day, I picked up this pineapple at the bazaar, & decided to tackle it. A picturesque fruit, beautiful to look a, however quite POKEY & hard-work!! For me, half the joy disappeared as it wasn’t too easy to cut the silly fruit. The angst was short lived; when you taste the juicy freshness of pineapple, life becomes worthwhile again. My Le Cordon Bleu Cook’s Bible sat next to me guiding me towards the how to cut this fruit! That achieved, I moved on to make some multi grain canapes. I rolled the multi grain slices as thin as I could with a rolling pin, then cut out 2″ circles with cookie cutters (of course, when I needed it most, the fluted cutter had done the disappearing act). Brushed them lightly with olive oil, & toasted them in the oven at 180 degrees C for about 10 minutes till they were nice & crisp. If you are short on time, you can use salted cookies instead like Monaco that we get here, or probably Saltines or something. That done, it was time for the toppings. I cut some cottage cheese with the same cookie cutter & sliced it finely to line some of the bases (you can also use cheese slice cut-outs instead).The cheese toppings are the left-over from my previous post. A blend of grated cottage-cheese, cheddar & a little low-fat cream, piped out over the fruit. Choices of toppings…hmmmmm…infinite. I’ve chosen fruit toppings, but use your imagination. Put on savoury stuff if you like…the sky’s the limit! I used apricot relish on some. It’s a great & versatile chutney that goes well with Indian food, with roasts, with grilled food, & on canapes. Line the base with a slice of cheese (optional), top with a teaspoon of relish, pipe some cream cheese over, grind pepper over the top…& you’re ready to roll!! Recipe for APRICOT RELISH here.Another great combination is pineapple & cheese. Refreshing & delectable!

My third choice was mango chutney, which I was trying to finish up. It’s a finger-licking good relish, a recipe I got from Meeta @ What’s For Lunch Honey? You can find the recipe for MANGO CHUTNEY here.

I did another a few days later just to see how a potato & corn salad in a garlic-sage butter would taste. What do you think? Mmmmmmmmmmm…fabulous!

A short while ago Kellypea @ Sass & Veracity was invited to participate as contributing writer for the fabulous Blissfully Domestic, & is also celebrating her 100,000th visitor to her very impressive blog. There’s a party on there, so I’m sending these delicious bites to Kellypea. Hope these bowl Gordon Ramsay over, Kellypea, sending him to tastebud heaven’, & he doesn’t yell at me!!! LOL!!

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“The potato, like man, was not meant to dwell alone.”
Shila Hibben

Read a post by Michelle @ Bleeding Espresso about Gina DePalma, 2008 Bon Appetit award-winner for best Pastry Chef. Life is becoming just so unpredictable. A few months ago, Michelle found that Gina was diagnosed with ovarian cancer and was undergoing a whirlwind of treatment. So a few of the girls (from the Dolce Italiano contest held last year) got together to do something for Gina.

In honor of Gina DePalma, author of Dolce Italiano: Desserts from the Babbo Kitchen and Executive Pastry Chef of Babbo Ristorante in NYC, who was recently diagnosed with ovarian cancer, Sara of Ms Adventures in Italy, Jenn of The Leftover Queen, and Michelle of Bleeding Espresso, announced…
O Foods for Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month
September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month

Check out Michelle’s post HERE. The announcement can also be found at the bottom of my post. Join in, spread the word, start thinking about food that starts or ends with the letter O (e.g., oatmeal, orange, okra, octopus, olive, onion, potato, tomato). You’ve got until the 30th of September, 2008. Please check Michelle’s post for all the details. My entry follows with the humble POTATO.

Made these potato canapes the other day. Had read an interesting post of how to make potato crisps, fatless, in the microwave recipe some time ago. Tried my hand at them for the want of nothing better to do one morning; they were delicious. Like the olden days, the hub rejoiced as he crunched a mouthful. I went on to clear out the fridge, despairing at the small portions of cheese etc in little containers, & then the beautiful sage arrived. One thing led to another…& in my attempt to use up all the leftovers , these pretty canapes were born. They made for a handsome bite & were delicately flavoured with a blend of cheese & sage. Feel free to substitute the cottage cheese for any other soft cheese or cream cheese. Everything tastes good on potato!



Potatoes – as many as you like (I used 2 & got about 35-40 crisps)
Oil – 1-2 tsps
Sea salt & freshly ground pepper
  • Scrub the potatoes well, & slice them as thinly as possible.
  • Lightly oil a microwave proof plate & spread the chips out, taking care they don’t overlap.
  • Microwave on high for 5 minutes, turn over & do the same for another 5 minutes. They should be quite dry now or done (depends on the amount of moisture the potatoes have). Carry on doing the same for short bursts of 2 minutes, till the crisps are crunchy & done.
  • Season with sea salt & freshly ground pepper. Store in an airtight box.

For the topping:

Cottage cheese : 100 gms, grated
Cheddar – 50 gms, grated
Low fat cream – 2 tsps
Salt to taste
Freshly ground pepper
Finely sliced sage leaves
  • Blend the cottage cheese + cheddar + cream till smooth. Season with salt.
  • Pipe the mixture out on the crisps with a star nozzle, grind pepper over the cheese, garnish with sage & serve immediately.

O Foods for Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month

September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. In honor of Gina DePalma, author of Dolce Italiano: Desserts from the Babbo Kitchen and Executive Pastry Chef of Babbo Ristorante in NYC, who was recently diagnosed with ovarian cancer, Sara of Ms Adventures in Italy, Jenn of The Leftover Queen, and Michelle of Bleeding Espresso are asking you to donate to the:

Ovarian Cancer Research Fund (via

and then, out of the goodness of your hearts and to be eligible for the O Foods for Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month Contest, please do the following:

1. Post a recipe to your blog using a food that starts or ends with the letter O (e.g., oatmeal, orange, okra, octopus, olive, onion, potato, tomato) and include this entire text box in the post;


2. If you’re not into the recipe thing, simply post this entire text box in a post on your blog to help spread the word about the event and Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month.


3. Then send your post url [along with a photo (100 x 100) if you’ve made a recipe] to ofoods[at]gmail[dot]com by 11:59 pm (Italy time) on September 30, 2008.

We will post a roundup and announce prize winners on October 3.


  • 1 Recipe Prize for best “O food” concoction: $50 gift certificate to Amazon;
  • 1 Awareness Prize for only publicizing event: Copy of Dolce Italiano cookbook.
  • ———

From the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund:

  • Ovarian cancer is the leading cause of death from gynecologic cancers in the United States and is the fifth leading cause of cancer death among U.S. women; a woman’s lifetime risk of ovarian cancer is 1 in 67.
  • The American Cancer Society estimates that 21,650 women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer in the U.S. in 2008 and about 15,520 women will die from the disease.
  • The symptoms of ovarian cancer are often vague and subtle, making it difficult to diagnose. There is no effective screening test for ovarian cancer but there are tests which can detect ovarian cancer when patients are at high risk or have early symptoms.
  • In spite of this patients are usually diagnosed in advanced stages and only 45% survive longer than five years. Only 19% of cases are caught before the cancer has spread beyond the ovary to the pelvic region.
  • When ovarian cancer is detected and treated early on, the five-year survival rate is greater than 92%.

Please donate to the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund

and help spread the word!

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