December 31, 2009

Happy New Year

new-year-cake

Happy New Year!

May the new year and decade bring good food, good health and good times.

December 30, 2009

This, that and other news...

It's been a while since I came here to post a new entry. I look at pictures, imagine various entries, but they fail to materialize.

So, instead of coming up with excuses, I am going to share some pictures of the food that we've enjoyed this month. There are many more pictures to share and hopefully the list of posts under "drafts" will get smaller in the coming year.

salmon-breakfast

We enjoyed a scrumptious brunch of smoked salmon, bagels, capers, avocados, tomatoes, scrambled eggs and cupcakes early this month.

butternut-soup

This was dinner during one of the busy December weekdays. Butternut Squash soup with fried onions on top, buttered toast and a simple tomato and avocado salad.

beans-w-quinoa

This was a weekend lunch, one of the few moments of relaxation. Aswin made this story-fry with black beans, peas and peppers and served it with quinoa. And yes, we had avocado on the side.

We also have some news to share. We are getting ready to welcome a new member to our family! I am due in January and at present am enjoying my vacation, getting the house ready and waiting.

I may not post as often, but will check in chance I get.

December 09, 2009

Bhelpuri for a sunny day

bhelpuri-2

After several "will it or will it not" moments, snow has covered the ground, temperatures have fallen and there is no denying that winter is here. The first snow, undoubtedly, is the prettiest. I looked out to our backyard today morning and there was this pristine blanket of white covering everything.

With winter knocking at our doors, it's time to post this recipe I made last month when we had some nice weekends. It was for a friends dinner party and everyone enjoyed bhelpuri.

Ingredients: (for 6-8 people)
4 cups of puffed rice
1 cup sev
1 cup of papadi’s broken
1 big onion - chopped
1 tomato - chopped
1 cup boiled chopped potatoes
2-3 cucumbers chopped
2 tbsp cilantro leaves, chopped
salt to taste

Green chutney
2 cups coriander leaves
1/2 cup mint leaves
5-6 green chilies
1 tbs lime juice
Salt to taste

Tamarind chutney
1 tspoon tamarind concentrate
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1/4 tsp salt

Method:
Mix puffed rice, sev, and broken papadi in a large bowl. Add onions, tomato, cucumbers, boiled potato. Then add green and tamarind chutney as needed. Mix well and garnish with sev and cilantro.

bhelpuri-1

Serve immediately.


You can store the extra green and tamarind chutney in an airtight container in the fridge for a couple of weeks.

November 24, 2009

Orange and Almond cake

cake-2

It was Aswin's birthday couple of weeks ago and that's usually when I search for a new cake recipe.

When I saw this
orange and almond cake recipe, I was intrigued. Whole oranges with rind and all... really. And no flour, how will almond flour hold up to the baking? These questions were swirling in my mind. But curiosity got the better of me and I decided to give it a try.

And I'm happy that I tried. It had a delicate orange flavor, mild sweetness and the softness of the cake floored me. We took the cake to the restaurant where we dined. After dinner, we enjoyed the cake with our friends with some vanilla ice-cream.

I had some extra batter and I made a couple of small ones which are in the picture.

Orange and almond cake (serves 6-8)
(from Fig and Cherry)

Ingredients:
2 medium naval oranges
3 eggs
3/4 cup caster sugar
2 cups almond flour
1/2 cup flour
1 tspoon baking powder

For the topping
1/2 orange juice
3-4 tbspoon honey
10-12 almonds - crushed

Method:

Preheat the oven to 335F. Grease the cake pan and set it aside.

Cut the oranges in half. Place the oranges in a saucepan, cover with cold water, bring it to boil and cook for 15-20 minutes. Drain (to reduce bitterness) and repeat. Coarse chop and remove seeds. It is important that the oranges are soft.

Place the chopped oranges in a blender with a splash of water (if needed) and pulse until smooth (It should make about 12 oz).

In a separate bowl, beat the eggs and sugar together until thick and pale. Add the orange, almond flour, flour and baking powder and fold to combine.Pour the mixture into the cake pan and bake for 1 hour or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.

Set aside to cool while you make the syrup.

Zest little of the half orange and then juice it. Add the honey to the orange juice and cook on low heat stirring constantly for about 2-3 minutes until it becomes syrupy. Gently poke holes all over the top of the cake with a skewer and then spoon over the syrup. Garnish with crushed almonds.

cake-1

Serve warm or at room temperature with some ice-cream.

Here are the previous birthday cakes:
Spiced Applesauce cake
Black Forest cake
Chocolate cake with whipped cream

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

November 18, 2009

Mulor Ghanto (Dry Radish Mix)

mulorghonto2

This is a easy to make. It came about when I told my parents that I had picked some fresh radishes from the Farmer's market. They suggested that I try making mulo'r ghanto and even gave me the recipe. I didn't know it was so quick and easy.

Mostly the prep time is for grating the radishes. After that it comes together quickly. It is a great accompaniment with some hot rice and dal.

Ingredients: (serves 2-4)
2-3 radishes (grated)
2 green chillies
1 dry red chilli
1/2 tspoon cumin seeds
1/2 tspoon nigella seeds
1/2 tspoon turmeric powder
1/2 tspoon coriander powder
pinch of sugar
1 tbspoon oil
salt to taste

Method:
Heat oil in a pan and temper it with cumin seeds, nigella seeds, dry red chilli, green chilli.

Then add in the grated radish, turmeric powder, coriander powder, salt and sugar and let it cook for 3-4 minutes. Then add in 1/2 cup water if you need to and let it cook for another 6-7 minutes closed lid till the radish is cooked and the water disappears.

mulorghonto1

Serve warm with rice.

November 04, 2009

Roasted Butternut Squash

baked-squash2

Do you have days when you want something just simple and hearty? I was in that mood this week. When we were at the Farmer's Market this weekend we picked up some butternut squash and I decided to roast it with maple syrup and chilli powder.

It was so good - sweet, meaty, salty and hot- all at the same time. The best part, it's simple to make and is a satisfying meal. We had ours as a first course followed by chicken curry and rotis. Yummy.

Ingredients:
1 butternut squash - cut in rounds
1 tbspoon maple syrup
1/4 tspoon red chilli powder
1/4 tspoon coriander powder
1/4 tspoon fresh black pepper
1 1/2 tbspoon olive oil
salt to taste

Method:
Mix all the spices with oil and syrup and coat it over the butternut squash pieces.

Preheat the oven to 350 deg F. Roast the squash for 40-50 min till the squash is cooked and tender.

baked-squash1

Serve warm.

October 27, 2009

Apple Dal

apple-dal2

I don't know where my day goes nowadays. I don't find enough time to post more regularly. Friends are beginning to comment, requests are piling up, so are the recipes and pictures. Here is a recipe that has been waiting it's turn for a year.

When my mother-in-law was here last year, she brought a bunch of Tamil food magazines. In one of them was this apple dal recipe. I wasn't sure how it was going to turn out when we made this for the first time. But it was such a simple recipe and the slight tart and sweet taste of apples really enhanced the lentils. It really captured the fall :)

Ingredients:
1-2 green apple (choose slightly tart ones)
1 cup cooked toor dal
1 medium onion - chopped
2 green chilies
1/2 tspoon each of mustard & cumin seeds
1/2 tspoon turmeric powder
1/2 tspoon red chilli powder
1/2 tspoon cumin seed powder
1/2 tspoon coriander seed powder
pinch of asaefotida
1/2 tspoon lemon juice
2-3 curry leaves
bunch of cilantro - chopped to garnish

Method:
Peel and dice the apples into medium cubes and mix it with lemon juice. Set it aside for 10-15 mins. Heat oil and temper it with asafoetida, mustard and cumin seeds. Then add in the green chiles, curry leaves and the onions.

Add the turmeric, cumin, coriander, and red chilli powder. Then add in the apples and let it simmer for 4-5 minutes. Then add in the toor dal, 1 - 1 1/2 cup water and let it cook till the apples turns soft.

apple-dal1

Garnish with cilantro and serve warm with rice.

October 16, 2009

Happy & Prosperous Diwali!

diwali-1

This Diwali, I made my comfort dessert - payesh. Recipe coming soon!

diwali-2

Have a safe and joyous Diwali!
Wishing you sparkly days filled with happy memories.

October 13, 2009

Two Bean Chili with Turkey Meatballs

chilli-2

It's supposed to be fall right? Just checking, because the temperatures have dipped below freezing at night and Aswin mentioned that there may be flurries this weekend. With everything around me pointing to winter instead of fall, it was time for me to bring out my slow cooker.

Well, my slow cooker is ancient. I bought it second hand several years ago when I was a student at a garage sale. And it has traveled with me everywhere. Instead of fancy settings, this cooker has only two settings - high and low. I have thought about getting a new one several times, but hesitate, because I am attached to this old one which has shared so many of my adventures.

I was going to make three-bean and realized that I had only two. So I made two bean chili and added some pre-cooked turkey meatballs at the end when it was simmering. It turned out awesome. Just what we needed to drive the chill away and pretend that it's still fall.

Ingredients:
1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into small cubes
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and cut into small cubes
2 carrots small cubes
1 yellow onion, coarsely chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 tspoon ginger grated
2 bay leaves
1 dry red chilli
1/2 tspoon red chilli powder
1 tspoon cumin powder
1 tspoon coriander powder
1 tspoon fresh oregano
1/2 tspoon dried parsley
1 can diced tomato
1 can tomatoes
1 can kidney beans
1 can black beans
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
2-3 cups water or broth
2 tbspoon oil
6-7 turkey meatballs cut in halves or quarters
chopped fresh cilantro leaves
lemon wedges for serving

Method:
I start this in a suacepan and end it there, but all the cooking happens in the slow cooker.

Heat oil and temper it with bay leaves and dried chilli. Add in the ginger and garlic and saute for a minute. Add in the onions and cook it for a couple of minutes till the raw smell goes away. Add all the spices and mix it together.

Now put this spice mixture in the slow cooker. Add in the vegetables, tomato puree, diced tomatoes, beans, and broth on top. Mix well and let it cook together. Alternately, you can cook it on stove top for 30-45 minutes on low heat till the vegetables are cooked and mixed well together.

I made a big batch of chili. So for dinner, I took out some, added pre-cooked turkey meatballs and let it simmer for 5-10 minutes.

chilli-1

Serve it warm with lemon and cilantro. Enjoy.

This is going to MLLA: 16th Helping hosted by Cook Sister. This was started by Susan of Well Seasoned Cook.

September 30, 2009

Doodh Pitla (with Butternut Squash)

g-pitla3

We had friends over for dinner a few weeks back, and it was one of the few days this past summer that actually felt like summer. I wanted to avoid making anything spicy, and decided to try my luck with a dish that I enjoyed as a kid. This is another tanjore marathi staple (and I'm sure there are variants out there in Tamil cuisine) typically made with pumpkins, with the milk serving to cut the spice levels.

Ingredients:
1/2 -1 cup Milk
1 small Butternut squash or pumpkin
Salt to taste
Chopped cilantro to garnish

To roast and grind:
1 tspoon cumin seeds: 1 tsp
6-8 Black pepper
2 dry red chillies
1 green chilli
1" Ginger - grated
1 tbspoon Chana dal
1.5 tbspoons Toor dal
1/2 cup Coconut - shredded

To temper:
1/2 tspoon Mustard seeds
1/4 tspon Asafoetida
1 tspoon Urad dal

Method:

g-pitla1

Chop and boil the squash and set it aside. Roast and grind the ingredients.

In a thick-bottomed pan, mix the paste with the boiled squash along with some water (as needed). Add salt and let this cook for 8-10 minutes on medium-low heat.

Temper with mustard seeds, urad dal, and asafoetida. Take this off the stove and slowly add 1/2 cup of milk (or more if desired) and mix well.

Add chopped cilantro and serve with hot rice.

g-pitla2

This treasured recipe pic is going to Heirloom:Click hosted by Jai and Bee at Jugalbandi.

September 25, 2009

Pujo season with Peanut Butter & Raspberry muffins

muffin-1

It's Durga Pujo season! And that means that it doesn't matter how busy I am, I always try to make something sweet during this time. When my parents were here last year, my mom made special meals to celebrate different festivals and painstakingly made narkeler nadu, sandesh and payesh for pujo and Diwali. Even though I wanted to do all that, the busy week left me with little time and energy. But, I had to make something sweet!

We had some extra raspberries in the freezer and I combined it with peanut butter to make peanut butter and raspberry muffins. How I came up with the combination? It was what was available at home and just a feeling that this would work. And it tasted great!

There's the sweetness of the muffins, the tartness of the raspberries and the lingering creaminess of the peanut butter.

Ingredients: (Makes 6-8)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 1/4 tbspoon peanut butter
1/4 stick butter, softened
1 egg
1/2 cup fat-free buttermilk
1/2 tspoon vanilla extract
1/2 tspoon fresh lemon juice
1 1/4 cups flour ( I used a combination of whole wheat & all-purpose)
1/4 tspoon baking powder
1/4 tspoon baking soda
pinch of salt
1 cup fresh raspberries
Cooking spray for muffin cups

Method:
Preheat oven to 375° F.

Mix the sugar and peanut butter together and mix. Then add in the butter and whisk till it's well blended. Add the egg next and whisk. Add buttermilk, vanilla, and lemon juice and mix until it combines smoothly.

Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Gently add in the buttermilk mixture and mix till it becomes smooth. Fold in raspberries and let the batter stand for 5-10 minutes.

Spoon batter into pre-coated muffin cups. Bake at 375° for 17-18 minutes or until muffins spring back when touched lightly in center.

muffin-2

Happy Durga Pujo everyone.

September 24, 2009

Keema Matar

keema1

This is another of Madhur Jaffrey's recipe from Quick & Easy Indian Cooking that I made recently with great success. I did make a couple of changes to bring down the heat and marinated the ground chicken for an hour.

I don't usually get ground meat. In fact, I've always hesitated about making keema (ground meat) as I don't know the source of my ground meat. But when I was at our Whole Foods, they mentioned that they'll do it using my choice of cuts. That was all I needed to hear. So, I chose a mix of chicken breasts and thighs.

While browsing for recipes, I came across Madhur Jaffrey's recipe and it sounded easy and delicious. So I decided to give it a go.

Ingredients:
(adapted from Madhur Jaffrey's recipe in Quick and Easy Indian Cooking)

1 1/4 lbs ground chicken (you can substitute it with any other meat, but remember to change the cooking time too)

1 medium onion - chopped
2" fresh ginger -grated
4-6 garlic cloves - grated

1 tspoon coriander powder

1 tspoon cumin powder
1/2 tspoon ground turmeric powder
1/2 tspoon red chilli powder
2 tspoons garam masala
2-3 tbspoon vegetable oil
1/2 tspoon cumin seeds

2 dry red chilles
2 dry bay leaves
1-2 medium tomato - chopped
1 c peas, fresh or frozen
1/4 c plain yogurt
salt to taste

2 tspoons fresh lemon juice

cilantro for garnish

Method:
Put onion, ginger, and garlic in food processor for a coarse past. Heat oil in a wide nonstick pan and temper it with cumin seeds, bay leaves and red chillies. Then add in the onion, ginger and garlic mixture. Stir and fry until it is somewhat brown.

Then add in red chilli, cumin, coriander and turmeric powder. Stir and mix the spices together. Then add in the tomato and yogurt at low heat and stir. Cook with closed lid until the tomato is soft and it looks like a good gravy.

Put in meat, salt and garam masala. Stir, breaking up any lumps, for 2-3 minutes.

Then add in 1 cup water stir and bring to low heat. Cover and cook on low heat for 20-25 minutes or until the chicken is almost cooked.

Add in lemon juice, and peas. Cover and cook on low heat for another 7-10 minutes. Garnish with cilantro and serve warm.

keema2

Tastes great with naan, chapati, parathas or rice.

September 13, 2009

Mango Soup (Aamras)

mango1

It seems like every time I post, I am explaining my long absence. This time I have none. I have lazed around, reading, traveling, making the most of the last few weeks of summer before the semester starts and our life goes back to the busy routine.

When I was at my sister-in-law's place, she made this delicious Aamras from Madhur Jaffrey's recipe book "From Curries to Kebabs" and it was absolutely fantastic! We had it with pooris and it made my day. Since then, I have already made it a couple of times for friends and it's been a success each time.

When you take the first bite, you taste the sweetness of the mango. Next, you get the tartness of yogurt and then the spices hit you subtly at the base of the throat. It's so delicious you can't wait to take the next bite and taste it all over again!

In my preparation, I increased the yogurt to one cup and omitted the curry leaves and green chillies.

Ingredients:
(From Curries to Kebabs by Madhur Jaffrey)

2 tbspoons chickpea flour
1/8 tspoon ground turmeric
3/4 tspoon cumin powder
3/4 tspoon coriander powder
1 cup plain yogurt
3 cups mango pulp (sweetened) from a can
1 1/4 to 1 1/2 tspoons salt
1/2 tspoon sugar, or to taste
1 tbspoon oil
A generous pinch of ground asafetida
1/2 tspoon whole brown mustard seeds
1/2 tspoon whole cumin seeds
2 whole hot dried red chilies
1/8 tspoon whole fenugreek seeds

Method:
Mix chickpea flour, turmeric, cumin, and coriander in a medium bowl. Then add very slowly, 1/2 cup of water, mixing with vigorously till there are no lumps left. Add yogurt, mixing it in with a whisk. Pour in the mango pulp and an additional 1-2 cups of water. Add the salt and sugar. Mix well.

Heat the oil in a thick, lidded pan and temper it with asafetida first and then, in quick succession, the mustard seeds, the cumin seeds, the chilies, and the fenugreek seeds. Take the pan off the heat.

Stir the mango mixture and quickly pour it into the pan. Stir. Put the pan over low heat and simmer over very low heat for 5-6 minutes, stirring regularly with a whisk or spoon as you do so. Take the pan off the heat, cover, and leave for at least 30 minutes to allow the spices to release all their flavors.

Strain it through a coarse strainer. Spoon out some of the smaller seeds — the mustard and cumin — from the strainer and stir them back into the soup to add some colorful flecks.

mango2

Serve it heated or chilled. I have been serving it chilled.

August 25, 2009

Fish Wraps with Mango Salad

fish-wrap1

When we recently had friends over for dinner, we decided to do something different. Instead of spicy curries in the hot weather, we made fish wraps and lentil soup. The dinner was lite, the conversation lively and it was a pleasant evening spent with friends.

I warmed up to the idea of fish wraps, and was really delighted with how it turned out. The combination was light and spicy, the fish was spiced right and the mango in the wraps provided the unexpected sweetness.

Ingredients: (serves 4-6)
For Fish:
1 tspoon garlic, minced
1 tspoon cumin, ground
1/2 tspoon fresh black pepper
1/2 - 2/3 tspoon salt
Juice of 1 lime
1/2 tspoon cayenne pepper, ground
6-7 fish fillets, fresh or frozen, thawed
3 tbspoon olive oil

mango salad

For Salad:
1 ripe mango chopped small
1 1/2 tomato chopped small
1 big cucumber
1 medium onion
1/2 can drained and washed black beans
salt to taste
2/3 tspoon freshly ground black pepper
1-2 tbspoon lime juice (depending on taste)

1 pack whole wheat tortilla wraps

1 pack fresh guacamole

Method:

For Fish:

baked-fish

Preheat oven to 350°F.
Whisk oil, lime juice, garlic, cumin, black pepper, salt and cayenne pepper in small bowl and coat the fish liberally.
Allow it to marinate in a fridge for up to an hour.
Then bake it in a tray for 20 to 25 minutes until fish is opaque and flakes with fork.

For Salad:
Mix all the ingredients and let it sit for 15-20 minutes for it to mix together.

Building the wrap:
Here is a nice trick I learnt for building the wrap. Sprinkle some drops of water on paper towel and put the tortilla on top. Then heat it in the microwave for 10-15 seconds. The tortilla turns out super soft and helps while building the wrap.

fish-wrap2

Spread the guacamole, then pile a few tbspoons of the salad in the middle, then put the fish on top and roll from one end to another.

Serve with chips, or soup.

August 19, 2009

Simple Beetroot bhaji

beetroot2

Since the Farmer's Market has opened I must say that we are eating much better. We pick up all kinds of vegetables because they look fresh, juicy and then come up with ways to finish them. For instance, tonight we had radish and green onion parathas with cucumber (from farmer's market) and tomato (from garden) raita. Everything in the market looks so good that sometimes I pick up enough to last a couple of weeks!

But that is not what I want to blog about tonight. I want to tell you about this simple beetroot bhaji we made a couple of nights ago. Yes, the beetroots were from the Farmer's market as well. You know that I am not terribly fond of beetroot and don't make them often. But these looked so fresh, and when Aswin said he had the perfect recipe, I had no hesitation in picking this bunch.

The bhaji did turn out simply delicious. The sweetness of the beets mixed with the pungent mustard seeds and spicy notes of chili powder was great. It went well with dal and steaming hot rice.

Ingredients:
4-5 beetroots cut in cubes
2 dried red chillies
1 tspoon mustard seeds
1 tspoon urad dal
pinch of asafoetida
few curry leaves
1/2 tspoon turmeric powder
1/2 tspoon red chilli powder
Salt to taste
1 tbspoon Oil

Method:
Heat oil in the pan and temper it with asafoetida, mustard seeds, urad seeds, curry leaves and red chillies.

Then put in the beetroots, turmeric powder, red chilli powder and salt, little bit water (1/4 cup water) and cook it on medium heat for 10-12 minutes till the water disappears and beetroots are cooked.

beetroot1

Serve warm.

August 10, 2009

Berry Cherry Weekend

After complaining for weeks about the meek summer, we were hit with a blast of heat this weekend. All complaining evaporated in the heat as we switched on all fans and looks for recipes to cool us down.

I had picked up fresh cherries from the Farmer's Market and we ate it all up in a variety of ways over the weekend.

Berry Cherry Smoothie
This was a refreshing change from the regular menus and was filling enough to keep us busy for a few hours.

berry-cherry-smoothie

Ingredients:
3/4 cup strawberry
1/2 cup pitted cherry
4-5 tbspoons honey (adjust with taste)
1 1/2 cup cold milk

Method:
This is the easy part. Blend it all together, and serve chilled.

Berry Cherry Compote (almost!)
I had plans of making cherry crumble with the rest of the cherries. But the idea of switching the oven turned me off. We had friends coming over for dinner, so I decided to make this simple dessert which went incredibly well with some ice-cream!

berry-cherry-compote

Ingredients:
2 cups strawberries (chopped in half)
1 1/2 cup pitted cherries
4-5 tbspoon honey
1 tspon brown sugar
juice of one lemon
1/4 tspoon zest
pinch of cinnamon powder

Method:
Unlike compote, this requires no heating. Mix it all together and chill for a couple of hours before serving. This gives enough time to mix it all together.

Serve with ice-cream.

July 30, 2009

Fresh Cherry Tomatoes

cherry-tomatoes

Finally, finally I get my first batch of cherry tomatoes. The good news is the squirrels here don't eat tomatoes. Yippee!

I have been picking 1-2 cherry tomatoes from the pot every week, but today when I was watering the plants, Aswin noticed that we have couple of handfuls of cherry tomatoes ready to be picked.

I cannot resit the urge to show the red and green pearls off. The picture is going to Jugalbandi's Click. This month's theme is Bi-color.

July 28, 2009

Spicy Whitefish Curry

fishcurry1

I recently picked up a couple of fresh whitefish fillets from Whole food recently. And on Sunday afternoon after cleaning brick patio of some moss, I decided to make some spicy fish curry. Who knew there's so much to do around the house?

The fish curry was quick and satisfied us after the yard work. The fish was lightly sauteed with turmeric, chilli powder and salt. And the curry was spicy with chillis and tangy with tomatoes. We had ours with hot brown rice that afternoon and leftover the next day with hot chappatis.

Ingredients: (serves 2)
1 fillet whitefish cut in 5-6 pieces.
1 medium red onion
1 tspoon ginger paste
1/2 can steamed tomatoes or 2 medium tomatoes
1/2 tspoon kala jeera (nigella seeds)
1/2 tspoon coriander powder
1/2 tspoon cumin powder
1/2 tspoon turmeric powder
1/2 tspoon chilli powder
2 green chilles slit
4-5 curry leaves
3 tbspoons oil
Salt to taste

Method:
Marinate the fish with turmeric powder, chilli powder and salt. Heat 2 tbspoon oil and shallow fry the fish on both sides for a couple of minutes.

In a pan, heat the rest of the oil and temper it with nigella seeds, green chilles and curry leaves. Add in the ginger and let it cook for a minute, then add in the onions and saute for 2-3 minutes. Then add in the tomatoes and cook with closed lid till it all mixes well together.

Add in all the spices, 1 cup of water and let it cook for 3-4 minutes. Then add in the fish pieces, adjust salt and cook it all together for another 2-4 minutes.

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Serve warm with rice.

July 20, 2009

Honey & Mango Frozen Yogurt

yogurt1

A month back I received an e-mail from Kristina at Stonyfield Yogurt's launch of Oikos. I have used Stonyfield yogurt for a while now, but was excited to try some of their new Greek yogurt. Soon, I got coupons for the Oikos Organic Greek Yogurt (along with a nice yellow bag.)

After the move, I picked up the coupons and went to the local grocery store. I was happy to see that it is readily available in stores, unlike Fage which we get at Trader Joe's. I picked up couple of plain and a couple of honey-flavored Oikos.

Before trying Oikos, I have used Fage greek yogurt and Oikos tasted similar - creamy, delicious, smooth. The only difference I found is Oikos has less calories without cutting on taste. From the website: oikosorganic.com
"called “yiaourti” in Greece, Greek yogurt is creamier than regular yogurt. Authentic Greek yogurt like ours owes its extra creaminess to a centuries-old straining process that removes the whey (liquid) from the yogurt.

I liked the plain flavors and we used it in raita, and a bunch of various dishes. But I couldn't wait to try the honey yogurt. I had fresh mangoes in the fridge and decided to make frozen yogurt. I tried it two ways.

yogurt3

The first one, I chopped mango into small pieces and Aswin didn't like the texture too much. I also didn't add much honey, so decided to make another batch, this time with pureed mango, more honey and result was stunning. The mild notes of mango, and honey brought out the slight tartness of the yogurt and made it a unique flavor.

Ingredients:
1 Oikos honey yogurt
2 slices of mango
3-4 tbspoon honey

Method:
Puree the mango and then mix it with the yogurt and honey. Once it's mixed well, it was ready to be chilled. Since I don't own a ice-cream maker, I did the David Lebovitz way - chilling it for 45 minutes and then mixing it, whisking it and putting it back in the chiller. I did that a few times and froze it overnight.

The yogurt is ready.

yogurt2

Serve when it's not melting.:) I forgot to serve after I took it out, and then rushed around to click a picture before it all melted away. Soon after the picture, the yogurt was gone in no time :)

July 15, 2009

My first friday morning@SELMA

Mandira and I had heard of Friday mornings@SELMA, a "local foods breakfast salon" here in Ann Arbor, but never had a chance to visit. Last week, thanks to a couple of friends - one of whom was the guest chef for the day - I had a chance to be part of a truly remarkable community working towards re-connecting our bodies and lives to regionally produced food. And SELMA - Soule-Eberwhite-Liberty-Madison-Affiliation - is much more:



So Friday mornings often involve breakfast, which at times attracts over a 100 people. It's all volunteer run and the food, needless to say, is delicious! The chef for the morning was Olivia who runs the blog From the Kitchen of Olivia. Here are a few pictures.

Selma1
Breakfast Menu


Selma2
My Breakfast

July 13, 2009

A-2 Farmer's Market #13

tamale

Like my previous Farmer's Market posts, I can show you a picture of the radishes, cabbage, cherries and chicken I picked up this past weekend. Instead, let me tell you about my new discovery!

I noticed a new vendor- Pilar's Tamales - with a big queue outside her store. Tamales? We were intrigued. So, we stood in line and picked up a couple to go. It came with small salad pickled in apple cider vinegar and fresh salsa.

Aswin picked spinach and feta tamale, which also had banana peppers and whole olives. And I picked up chicken tamale with had potato and cheese filling. With a fresh salad, it was scrumptious lunch!

July 07, 2009

Another move, another year...

home-pic1

It's been a busy few weeks. Between our sporadic posts, we were going to open houses, meeting with agents and visiting houses, yes, we were house hunting!

After seeing countless places, just when we thought we weren't going to find something, we saw a house that we liked. The next few weeks were a blur - painting the house, closing on paperwork, packing, moving and now unpacking.

We are now in the new house, unpacking and getting all the services back. I hope to be back full swing in a week. The picture above is of our new living room. :)

mysorepak

But before I go, another big announcement! Ahaar turned THREE :) Here's to another great year and thank you for your support, encouragement and friendship!

June 21, 2009

Fried Squash Blossoms

blossoms2

I bought some squash blossoms in the Farmer's Market and decided to make some as soon as I came home. Last year, I had some when my parents were visiting. At home, the batter is made of chaal bata (rice that is soaked and made into paste) and spices including mustard paste.

Since I was in a hurry, I used rice flour and spices available at home. No deep fry here, I shallow fried the flowers and the result was crispy on the outside and soft and almost sweet on the inside.

One thing to remember is to make sure you clean the flowers thoroughly and remove the stamens from the middle.

Ingredients: Serves 2
4-5 squash flowers
3 tbspoons rice flour
2 tbspoons chickpea flour
1 tspoon chopped cilantro
1/2 tspoon lemon zest
pinch of tumeric powder
1/4 tspoon red chile powder
1/2 cup oil (reserve some and add as needed)
salt to taste

blossoms3

Method:
Run the flowers under water, remove stamen from the middle and pat dry. Set it aside.

Now mix all the ingredients in a bowl with water to make a smooth mix/batter. It shouldn't be too runny. Soak the flowers in the batter for 2-3 minutes.

In the meantime, heat oil in a pan. As the oil heats, put the flowers one by one and fry each side 2-3 min on medium heat or till they are golden.

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Serve warm. We had ours with kichuri, salad and yogurt.

June 20, 2009

A-2 Farmer's Market # 12

a2#12

The A-2 Farmer's Market series is back! I have been going to the Farmer's Market for the last few weeks, but have somehow didn't get around to taking pics on time. So today before I left for the Farmer's Market, I left the camera on the table to remind me when I got back.

The weather's wonderful, and the farmer's market was packed as usual. I browsed different vendors and found that only one was selling tomatoes. So I picked a few from there. And along the way I also got some cucumbers, squash flowers, zucchini, thai chilli pepper plants and some flowers.

I also got my order in for some chicken.

Now I am off to fry some of those squash flowers today. With the next batch, I am going to try stuffing. Any suggestions?

Here are the previous ones from last year:
Farmer's Market #1
Farmer's Market #2
Farmer's Market #3
Farmer's Market #4
Farmer's Market #5
Farmer's Market #6
Farmer's Market #7
Farmer's Market # 8, #9
Farmer's Market #10
Farmer's Market #11

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