Showing posts with label Side Dish. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Side Dish. Show all posts

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Life is Good with Coconuts, Ice creams or Shall I say Both !

Good Morning Folks, I have a question?
Do you all crave to "Eat Something - sometimes or most of the times" ?
I do and would rate myself quite high on scale of 1 to 10, very often. At the same time not sure exactly what I am are looking for ?... Then I close my eyes and  wish for a fairy with a magical wand to come and fill my table with the aromatic and refreshing dishes. The dish list is contingent upon the level of activity in my amygdala, sometimes feeling romantic and at times nostalgic, at times oozing out with energy and at times down with lethargy. I always wonder how these highs and lows of emotions nestle quietly in my mind. Then after a while get a straight call from the amygdala  craving for a 'typical food'. I think, its time for me to stop contemplating about my hunger waves to be in congruence or not to my mood waves and enjoy the last weave of spring. And at bottom of my heart I always want to keep the sprig of spring with me - be it summer or fall as I do get enchanted with the fresh flair of flowers, giving us ample reasons to lighten up the mood and relive our life !
Taking a break from life is good. It rejuvenates the mind and soul. Last week I took a break and went on a small vacation with family. We were thrilled to see the fresh coconut trees lined up across the streets and fresh fruits hanging like jewels on the top. the fresh coconut water served in the green shells makes it for the best summer drink. At that very moment I got the 'Aha' moment. Got the answer for a new thrilling recipe to share with 'All of You'.

Coconut Splendor...

This week I'm gonna share a recipe based on Coconut. Can you guess WHAT ?????? Initially got to make fresh coconut salsa to enjoy with idlis or Thai curry. But as the temperature touched to 80s, I was craving to have a soothing homemade dessert. After flipping through my old and new cookbooks, finally zeroed in to make a sizzling 'Coconut Ice cream'. The nutty icecream seems to be so light, fluffy, creamy, chewy yet appetizing.

Fresh Home made Coconut Ice Cream !

I got satiation only after eating the whole cup of ice cream :) , Not too bad - after all I deserve my cup after a little hard work that I did. So lets lets check out this recipe !

Ingredients:
Coconut Milk: 2 cups
Fresh coconut : 1/2 cup (finely shredded)
Heavy cream: 1/2 cup
Splenda: 1/4 cup (for less calories, else use sugar)
Vanilla essence: few drops
A pinch of salt

Coco Goodness !

Method:
The only difficult thing in this recipe to do is peel the coconut, with a little skill and caution and take out the coconut pieces.
Wash and dry the shell to serve the ice cream or dry nuts, later.
Finely shred or chop the fresh coconut with the help of grinder.
In a bowl, open the cans of coconut milk and add splenda (or sugar to taste).
Whisk the coconut milk and sugar.
Add a pinch of salt and just few drops of vanilla essence.
Now, its time to add the freshly chopped coconut  to our mix & blend it in a blender for 3-4 mins on high speed.
Once done, pour all the ingredients in the ice cream maker and churn it for 20-25 minutes (or according to the manufacturers instructions).
On completion. transfer ice cream into an airtight container and chill it for about half an hour for it to firm up.
The wait is over and ice cream is ready to be licked and loved.......!!!!!!!!
Scoop it out and serve in coconut shell, topped with fresh mint leaves.

Mmmmm...  Fresh & Chewy !

I am so glad to see the bowl of my first successful attempt at making coconut ice cream this summer.

Closing in From the Top ...

And so determined to make it more often. Learning and cooking new recipes is an amazing way to turn an ordinary weekend to a memorable weekend with your 'loved ones'. After all, it was so simple and too delish to relish on the special weekends !!!!!!!!!

Stay tuned for my special Fathers Day Recipe, coming soon !



You may also like: -
1. Fresh Home made strawberry ice cream
2. Luscious Avocado ice cream
3. White chocolate Matka kulfi





Sunday, May 13, 2012

Lentil Cake with Kiwis & a Strawberry Heart for Mothers Day.

"Mother's Day is a time for warm thoughts and fond memories, for expressing the feelings and words that often go unspoken, for letting those special people in our lives know that they are loved and appreciated - always". A Lentil Cake with Kiwis & a Strawberry Heart made with loads of luv especially for the Idol of love - A Mom. This is an ideal dessert for a mother who makes umpteen recipes to nurture her family with her deep reservoir of affection and love. Isn't it amazing to see how a mom juggles between different roles she plays. She swiftly goes from being an ideal mom to caring wife, from a perfect daughter to a loving sister, playing all these roles with an ease. Today is a special day to honor every Mom for being there for all of us, Always !!!

Featured on FoodBuzz Top 9 , 15th May 2012


This recipe is inspired by a very famous snack food from a state of Gujarat 'Dhokla'. I added hand full of more grain flours to the gram flour mix to make it more nutritive. Next I Topped it with garden fresh fruits (kiwi & strawberries) instead of coconut shreds. Can also top it with any of your favorites - blueberries or raspberries, all taste amazing and is an ultimate combo. Best of all An Instant Cake to Make & Gorgeous to Present to a 'mother - always on the go, who looks after her family 24/7 rain or shine.' 


Ingredients:
Gram flour: 1 cup
Oats: 1/2 cup
Semolina: 4 tsp
Rice Flour: 4 tsp
Lime Juice: 1/2 tsp
Lime zest: 1/4 tsp
Ginger Zest: 1/4 tsp
Sweet Bell Peppers: 4tsp (finely chopped)
Sugar: 1/2 tsp
Salt: 1/2 tsp
Yogurt:  11/2 cup
Eno (fruit salt): 1 sachet/1 tsp


Seasoning & Topping:
Water:  1 cup
Kiwi glaze: Made by combining 4 tsp of sugar to 1sliced kiwi. (Cook for 8-10 mintes on a low heat and add 2 drops lime juice, let it cool down, filter & use) 
Fresh slices of kiwi
Strawberry for topping


Method:
In a pan slightly dry roast the oats. 
Let it cool and grind with a mortar and pestle, else electric mixture.
Give a quick toss (1/2 minute) to gram flour, semolina and rice flour in the pan. Let it cool down.
In a bowl mix with a spatula moving it in a circular motion couple of times to allow for air circulation.
Add salt, sugar, lime and ginger zest, lime juice and finely chopped bell peppers.
Whip the yogurt with little water. (To avoid lumps in the yogurt and batter).
Gradually add yogurt to the seasoned flour mix, till both are well blended.
Spray a micro wave safe baking dish with little oil.
Finally add 1 tsp of Eno to the batter, it will rise immediately and pour it to the baking dish.
Bake it in a Microwave for 6 minutes. Leave it there for another two minutes.


"A Lovely home grown Strawberry Heart"


Cake Topping:
In a pan, warm up some water on medium heat and gently pour it on the cake.
The cake will soak up the water and will rise a little bit making it soft and spongy.
Top  up the cake with fresh slices of kiwi, kiwi glaze and a garden fresh strawberry :)))


Nutritious cake for all the beautiful moms on the go after their kids :)))))
Share this instant and oil free cake enjoy with your family :) 


Hugs and kisses to all the Beautiful Mom's of the blogging world, XOXO !







 

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Baked Cauliflower 'Tree of Life' for Earth Day

"Just as treasures are uncovered from the earth, so virtue appears from good deeds, and wisdom appears from a pure and peaceful mind. To walk safely through the maze of human life, one needs the light of wisdom and the guidance of virtue." {Buddha}. 

We all call it "HOME", we all call it "Mother", It is  'Our Planet Earth'.... ! The God created Earth. The earth is the common denominator which unites us all as human beings. And if we love God we need to love its magical creation, Earth or as we call it Mother Nature, becoz Nature blesses us with blissful life...!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

As we celebrated the annual Earth day on April 22, for the 42nd time, I feel blessed to live on the most beautiful planet of our galaxy "The Earth". Lets Pledge together to make it a green planet by contributing our every little bit to save it from global warming. In our personal quest to carve a distinct niche for ourselves, we start playing and manipulating with nature. No matter how much personal and professional success we acquire, at the end of the day and life, we need to have blue skies and river, fresh air and water and naturally organic food. For all this, we need to obey the Nature to live longer and merrier !!!

We get a beautiful lesson of life and continuity from our epics. Last night I narrated a story to my son about how Every day was a Earth Day for our ancestors and sages.  He questioned me,"How"?
I told, they woke up early and started their day with offering water to the first rays of sun and chanted mantras looking at the blue sky; then took a dip in the holy rivers, ate fresh and seasonal fruits/veggies  in their meals; and spend rest of their day in sowing and cultivating (to preserve natural resources). It is believed that those who plant a tree/shrub by themselves shall always find plenty of shade. I have seen my dad setting a personal example in front of us by doing his every best to conserve the environment and in turn to preserve our most precious asset "Earth". One fine day he got a Solar Cooker to optimize solar energy plus make nutritious food full of vitamin D. So as kids we used to hop around it like bunnies to fill our little bowls with 'Kheer'  (family Indian dessert) being cooked slowly and slowly using natural heat and energy. I still have reminiscences of the 'pure and distinct taste' over stove cooked Kheer.
Now hearing the whole story, my son said, I also want to have kheer made by solar system :)
This post of mine is dedicated to "My Dear Dad"!

"Cauliflower Tree" Symbolic of Life


This recipe is adapted and tweaked to pure vegetarian version from Vikas Khanna, Chef of Junoon restaurant in NYC. Through this post I wanna share the lesson of life we learn from nature. This Cauliflour recipe, commemorate with flowers, trees and principle of continuity in our lives !

Ingredients:
Cauliflower: 1 (makes for 2-3 trees)
Gramflour: 1/2 cup
Salt, chilli: 1/2 tsp (to taste)
Garam Masala: 1/2 tsp
Ginger powder: 1/2 tsp
Coriander salsa : 1 tsp (churning coriander, ginger and green onions)
Spring onion greens to garnish
Chilli tomato sauce to garnish

Cauliflower Trees symbolic of Life n Happiness
Method:
Wash the cauliflower in warm water with salt.
Completely dry it with paper towel, so it is free of any moisture.
Place the cauliflower on a chopping board. With a sharp knife cut 2 to 3 trees by cutting it vertically from the center.
Preheat the oven to 350 C.
In a bowl, mix gramflour with little water to make a thick paste and season with desired spices to taste. (salt, chill, garam masala, ginger, coriander salsa).
Place the cauliflower in a lightly greased baking tray.
Spray little oil/butter and coat it generously with the gramflour mix.

Baked Cauliflower Trees,  'Indian Pakoras'

Bake it for 15 minutes till it gets light golden color.
Garnish with micro greens and Chilli tomato sauce.

'DO IT WITH DIET GREEN '

After talking and cooking green whole day, we ended up having a tug of war for the last tree bite, all dressed up in the platter. And finally my little boy came and said, 'Shall I' :)))))))))))))

Enjoy cauliflower trees or shall I call baked version of Gobhi Pakoras, with a cup of Green tea :)))



You might also like: -
Tandoori Gobhi with a twist




Sunday, March 25, 2012

Foodbuzz 24X24 : A Tandoori Feast Party to Welcome Spring !

~~~ Spring is Nature's way of saying, "Let's Party!" ~~~
This quote by Robin Williams inspired me to start partying as spring is already in the air. The Plants are the first to feel the spirit and start blooming with happiness. The spring indeed  sets the mood to be merry and have loads of fun n frolic. I am so glad to welcome official onset of the spring (though enjoying warm sunny days for almost a month now)... Thanks to Steve Jobs for keeping us hooked to his itech world in the shady winters and stay tuned to our family n friends. But now its already spring and I like to go for morning walks  sans my ipod. Is time to enjoy listening to the natures music over your favorite numbers - the majestic rattle made by bells and chimes; chirping of the birds; quacking of the little ducks; blooming of flowers and bursting trees nodding to the fresh breeze in the air. The glowing grass with dew drops is perfect to step out and have power yoga in fresh air and doing some gardening with sowing seeds in my tiny pots. I simply love everything about spring and I'm Loving it more this season... !!!!!!!!

Spring is in the air... Yay !

So one thing is for sure that spring brings hope, happiness and lots of party time. It's time to spread love... ! It's time to relish food and cherish the moments spend with family and friends. This weekend I planned to have a small party with friends to welcome spring and a fabulous opportunity to join hands with passionate team of 24 bloggers across the globe during 24 hour period to make and share meals for Foodbuzz 24x24.  Here is the Menu of A Tandoori Indian Cook Out Party @ Home !


We started with Appetizers: -
Tandoori Achaari (pickled) Potatoes on a Stick


Who can resist this... raise your hands !!!


Recipe of Achaari Aloo (Potato) Kebabs:
Baby Potatoes: 10-12 (Washed and parboiled)
For Marinate :
Yogurt: 2-3 tsp
1/2 tsp Olive Oil
1 tsp Ginger garlic paste
Salt & Red chilli powder to taste
1/2 tsp Chaat masala
Achaari Masala: 1/2 tsp
Tandoori Paste: 1/2 tsp
Finely chopped Cilantro leaves

Method:
Wash and par boil a bowl full of baby potatoes.
Heat Olive oil in a pan. Add ginger garlic Paste & all the spices. Roast lightly for 5-6 minutes.
Add this mix to Yogurt in a bowl and gently mix to make a paste like consistency. 
Now put  the potatoes with jackets in the mixture and toss to coat all the potatoes well. If you want, you can peel the skin too.
Cover the bowl and keep in refrigerator for atleast 45 mins to 60 minutes. 
Take a wooden skewer and put the marinated potatoes. 
Repeat the process to make more skewers.
Spray oil on the grill and  slowly lay the skewers.
Turn the  skewers around after 5-6  minutes to ensure all the sides are grilled.
A dash of chat masala on skewers makes it little more tangy.
Enjoy with Fresh Mint/cilantro chutney...!!!


Mini Sweet peppers on skewers with a Healthy Diet of Greens
Fresh Lot of smoky mini peppers ready to go...

followed by some piping hot Grilled Tomato & Cilantro Shorba (Tangy Curried Indian Soup).
and a visit to Kiddie special snack bar

Kids loved these little Choco Eggs...

Moving on to main course: -
Stuffed Paneer Steak (Indian cheese marinated with spices, stuffed with mint sauce & grilled to perfection)

Love the color !!!


Recipe of Paneer Steak:
Paneer (Indian Cottage cheese): 250gms 
Fresh mint sauce (mint- coriander Chutney): 2 tsp
Tandoori Paste: 1 tsp
Sweet tamarind sauce to garnish
Cilantro to garnish
Chaat masala - dash to sprinkle on top

Method:
Thinly paneer into squares almost 1.5 inch X 1.5 inch. 
We need two squares to make one steak (2=1; 8=4).
Spread chutney on a paneer slice & place another slice on top of it. 
Gently coat it with tandoori paste.
Leave in refrigerator for min 45 mins.
Grill for 7-8 minutes on each side, till you get the smoky flavor.
Sizzle a dash of sweet tamarind chutney and garnish with cilantro.
Sprinkle some chat masala on top, & here you go...


Onion Kulcha - Oven roasted Indian bread served with Tangy Onion spiced chickpeas

These disappeared in no time !!!


For sides we had: -
Spicy Indian Fried Rice
Healthy Tomato Rice with spinach greens

And finally desserts: -
Gulab Jamun with Ice Cream - an all time fvt at all Indian Parties :)
Roasted nuts Panjiri Mix - we made a fresh batch for the occasion

Crunchy & Yumm... Best for last !!!
We had a great time having our friends over, cooking & eating with them. Hope you enjoyed this virtual feast. I plan to share some more recipes in coming posts. So watch the space.

Enjoy life churning your best self to the hilt till the sun rises with spring surprises for your dear ones. Take Care .........!!!!!!!!!!!  




Sunday, May 29, 2011

Stuffed Baby Egg Plant Curry or Bharwaan Baingan


These little baby eggplants also known as Brinjals or Baingan (in Hindi) when stuffed with this spicy gravy is a very popular Indian vegetable curry recipe. Various states in India have their own variations with minor twists, but the basic nature or method is the same. Obviously being from North, my recipe is influenced by Rich Punjabi Cuisine. During the prep these baby egg plants are slit and stuffed with a spicy masala and then left to simmer in a rich and spicy curry.



Ingredients: -

  • 6-8 small Eggplants (Baby baingan)
  • 1 Large Onion
  • 1 Tsp Ginger Garlic paste 
  • 1 green chilli finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp chickpea flour or besan
  • 1 tsp dry mango powder or amchoor
  • ¼ tsp turmeric/Haldi powder
  • 1 tsp corriander/dhania powder
  • 2-3 tbsp olive/cooking oil
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds or jeera
  • Salt to taste



Method: -
Wash and split the eggplants into four parts, while keeping them together at the stalk. Keep them aside.

Put all other ingredients except cumin seeds and oil, in a mixer/blender and make a smooth paste.
Fill the split eggplants with half of the paste.


Don't these little beauties look adorable ????

When life gives you Eggplants - Stuff'em !!!!

Heat olive oil in a pan, add cumin seeds and let'em spatter.
Let us start roasting our eggplants in the oil and cover till cooked, ensure that you t
urn the eggplants and cook well from all sides.

Smokkinnnn.......


Once both sides are cooked, put the remaining paste and cook for another 10mins on a low flame to prevent from burning.


Once cooked garnish with cilantro and serve hot with a Roti or Parantha. 

Can you Resist this ???

This dish was a star of our weekend Lunch.
Hope you give it a try & let me know how you liked it, cheers !!!





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