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Friday, June 29, 2007

Fresh Fruit Satay with Pina Colada dip

Come summer and I start looking for variety of fruits. I love all summer fruits or tropical fruits.

So many variety of fruits you get in summer, like melons, all kinds of berries, nectarines, peaches, plums, mangoes, cantaloupes etc. And all the summer fruits are truly refreshing and cooling.

It is very true that you should eat what is in season.
So here is my fresh fruit satay (a visual treat) with my sour cream pinacolada dip.
I call this satay because I have skewered the fruits on stick.
You can use any fruit you like.
I used combination of mangoes with strawberries and grapes with cantaloupe.

1 mango, 10 strawberries, half cantaloupe and 1 cup of grapes.

Just cut the fruit into bite size pieces and skewer them on wooden skewers or plastic skewers.
I wouldn't suggest metal skewers because fruits have some tartness and maybe sometimes the acid in the fruit reacts with the metal and give out an unpleasant taste.
For the dip I used Pineapple powder that I got from India (I think it's the pineapple juice that is freeze dried) and instead of fresh coconut I used the cream of coconut. It is a transparent creamy paste with coconut flavor and much better than the coconut milk. You get it ready made in a can now. Don't confuse it with coconut milk, it says cream of coconut. And the can has to be dipped in hot water before you use it as the cream solidifies when you don't use it, same as coconut oil. And since the cream of coconut is sweet, you won't be needing any sugar for your dip.

If you don't have the above things, you can use crushed can pineapple and freshly grated coconut.
Now for the PinaColada dip:
1/2 cup sour cream ( you can use low-fat or non-fat version)
4 tbsp yogurt ( low-fat or non-fat whichever you prefer)
4 tbsp pineapple powder or (8 oz of crushed pineapple from can)
3 tbsp of cream of coconut or 4 tbsp freshly grated coconut

Mix well till everything incorporates. Chill and then drizzle over the fruit and serve.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Green Garbanzo-Methi Sabji and Methi Parathas

I know you must be thinking there is too much
methi going on with all the recipes. I had plenty of methi growing in my backyard so thought about making different stuff.
I was lucky enough to find the Green Garbanzo at a local produce store.

They're in a green pod, like peas, just one bean to a pod.

For the green garbanzo and Methi sabji:

2 cups green garbanzo fresh or frozen
1 cup fresh methi leaves chopped
1 garlic clove minced
1/2 inch ginger julienned
1 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp haldi powder
1 tsp dhania-jeera powder
salt to taste
Heat oil and saute garlic till it is fragrant, then add the methi leaves, little bit of salt, haldi, chili powder, dhania-jeera powder and little bit of water, cover and cook the methi leaves for 5-7 minutes, then add the green garbanzo and 1/4 cup of water and salt to taste and cover again and cook for ten minutes or till the sabji is done.Garnish with ginger juliennes
I served this sabji with methi paratha, but you can serve it with roti and rice.

You want to know my secret I mix the above sabji with rice and add yogurt to it. Yum!

Methi paratha recipe

2 cups whole wheat flour
4 tbsp besan
1/2 cup yogurt
1 cup methi leaves chopped
1/2 tsp haldi powder
1 tsp chili powder
1 small onion minced
salt to taste

Combine flour, salt, chili powder, haldi, and oil and mix well. Now add the methi leaves, yogurt and minced onion and add sufficient water to make a semi-soft dough. Let the dough rest for 30 minutes. Now make balls out of the dough and roll them and fry them on a tava with oil.

Serve with the above sabji or any other sabji or just yogurt.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Avocado-Peach Salsa

As I promised earlier, here is the recipe for another salsa, which is really good with fajitas and burritos.
I wanted to serve the salsa in avocado shells but was so impatient to eat it that I just forgot.
The recipe goes like this:

Avocado-Peach Salsa
Makes about 2 cups

1 cup peeled diced peaches
1 large tomato seeded and diced
1 cup diced avocados
2 tablespoons diced red onions
1/4 cup diced jicama (optional)
1 small jalapeno, diced
1-2 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt

Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and mix well. Chill until ready to serve.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Cannellini Bean Dip

Cannellini beans are a very popular bean in Italy, particularly in Tuscany, where the people living there have been affectionately nicknamed, mangiafagiole, or "beaneaters".

They are however, also eaten throughout Italy, and many regions have their own traditional recipes for dried beans. Because it maintains its shape well when cooked and has a mellow flavor, the cannellini bean is excellent in many dishes, and can be used interchangeably with other white beans in many recipes. They appear to be white kidney beans, and if unavailable, you can substitute Great Northern beans, Navy beans or Borlotti (cranberry) beans in most recipes.

I thought of making this dip because my son loves all kinds of dip with pita bread and his favorite corn chips, yes corn chips!! he just loves it.
So here is the recipe, trust me you will love the creamy taste of this dip.

1 (15 ounces) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 clove garlic (if you prefer more garlic flavor you can add more)
1- 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 sprigs fresh mint leaves (optional)
6 sprigs fresh thyme leaves, stripped from stem (optional)
Coarse salt and black pepper

Pulse all ingredients in food processor until a smooth paste forms and transfer to a bowl.
Serve on bruschetta or with pita chips.
Mint and Thyme are optional, it does enhance the flavors though, but if you want to substitute you can use parsley or cilantro or if you want to kick it up a notch add basil for altogether a different flavor.

Methi leaves Kadhi

This is one of my favorite dish and I have been eating this since my childhood. So wanted to share it with you guys.

It's a tangy Kadhi with all the goodness of Methi leaves (Fenugreek leaves).

Yogurt mellows down the bitterness of the Methi leaves so kids really will have no problem eating this.
My 4 year old will just eat this kadhi by itself.
Sometimes he eats this kadhi with rice.

You will need:
2 cups chopped fresh Methi leaves (if using frozen Methi leaves, thaw it before making kadhi)
2 cups yogurt
2 tbsp Besan (gram flour)
1 tsp Green chili-ginger paste
3 cups water
1/2 tsp haldi
1/2 tsp chili powder
salt to taste

a pinch of hing (asafoetida)
2 whole red chilies
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp oil or ghee

Mix the gram flour (besan), curds and 3 cups of water till smooth, add the green chilli-ginger paste and salt and set it aside.Heat oil/ghee in a pan and add jeera, once its popped add the whole red chilies and hing. Now add the Methi leaves, haldi, red chili powder,and just a bit of water to cook the Methi leaves. Cover the pan and cook the Methi for 5-7 minutes on a medium to slow heat. Once it cooks add the yogurt-besan mixture and bring to boil, turn the heat to low and simmer for 5-10 minutes.

Serve with rice or phulkas and any dry sabji.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Nutmeg-Sesame Coffee cake

This is going to WBB#12-spice it up, introduced by Nandita of Saffron trail and hosted by Trupti of The spice who loved me. Thanks Nandita and Trupti for hosting this event.
I wanted something light yet rich and decadent to submit for this event. So came up with this cake. I had this recipe for a long time but just never got a chance to make it.
I don't remember from where I got this recipe but hey here it is.
All the richness in the cake comes from honey and tahini paste.
I have drizzled some maple syrup to give more pizazz!

You will need:

3 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup tahini (sesame seed paste)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
3 tbsp sesame seeds
2/3 cup water

How to:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a tube pan or a 9 x 13 inch baking pan.
In a medium bowl combine oil, honey, tahini, baking powder and nutmeg; mix well. Stir in flour, sesame seeds and water. Pour into prepared pan.
Bake in preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. But since oven temperatures vary from oven to oven, make sure you check the cake after 25 minutes and be around as this cake burns easily.
Enjoy with coffee or tea!!
Tahini paste is available in grocery stores. Go to the international food isle and you will find it.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Mushroom-Peppers Jalfrezi

I have this never ending love with mushrooms. Ever since I tasted mushrooms they are an inevitable part of my diet. Be it button mushrooms, Baby Bella, Portobello, Shitake, Crimini, Porcini, Enoki, Chanterelle, or Oysters. I love all kinds of mushrooms.

So I experimented this recipe.

you will need:

1 pack mushrooms (8 ounces) any kind (I used the button mushrooms)
2 green or any color peppers (I used red and green)
1 medium onion sliced
2 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
3/4 cup tomato puree
1 tsp jeera
salt to taste
4 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp chili powder (add more if you want spicy)
1/4 tsp haldi
1 tsp garam masala powder
1 tbsp vinegar
chopped cilantro to garnish

Heat 2 tbsp oil in a pan and saute mushrooms till they are cooked. You might need more oil because mushrooms will soak up oil like sponge. Mushrooms tend to release water when you add salt, so add a bit of salt and cook them till they are all dry and and set it aside.

Now in a different pan heat the remaining oil and add jeera after it splutters add the ginger-garlic paste and stir-fry for a minute, don't let it burn. Now add the tomato puree and all the spices except the garam masala. Saute till the mixture is dry and now add the sliced onions, and peppers and stir fry for 2-3 minutes till the onion and peppers are slightly wilted. Now add the mushrooms and stir fry till everything gets incorporated. Now add salt, vinegar and garam masala. Stir well, turn the heat off and immediately transfer the sabji to a serving bowl as you want to stop the cooking process. Sprinkle the cilantro and serve with roti or rice.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Peach Salsa

Some how I have always loved the tropical fruits. Be it Mango, pineapple, coconut, lemon, lime etc. That is why I have this recipe here for you. It's not a tropical fruit, but it has the flavor of it.

This is a real summer salad. Ya you can also call it a salad because of the combination of ingredients. It's cooling, refreshing and satisfying. The flavors are complex, but you will love it.

Peach Salsa

2 peaches, peeled and chopped, 1/2 cup peeled, chopped cucumber, 1 tomato chopped, 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh mint, salt to taste, 1 jalapeno chopped, 1 tbsp chopped cilantro, small red onion minced, 1 Tbsp. lime juice.

Combine all ingredients in medium bowl and stir to blend. Cover and chill 1-2 hours to blend flavors. Serve as a dip with tortilla chips, or serve with grilled meats .

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Mango Mania

I had good amount of mangoes on hand so I tried this two accompaniments which goes well with any Indian meal.

One is Trupti's version of Mango, Ginger, Garlic pickle and the other one is Mango-Onion Kachumber (relish).

I just followed Trupti's recipe for the pickle.

For Trupti's version follow this link

For the Kachumber (relish)

1 medium raw mango grated
1 medium red onion chopped finely or grated
1 tsp jeera powder
chili powder to taste
salt to taste
jaggery or sugar to taste

Combine everything together and set it aside for half an hour. Let the flavors come together and then serve with your usual meals.

Red onion gives a distinct flavor to this kachumber, which yellow onion doesn't, I think.
And also try to use jaggery which gives a nice balance of taste rather than sugar. And I used semi-ripe mango which naturally has sweet-sour taste.

Acorn Squash Puda

This was our Sunday brunch. I know I am kind of late in posting this.

I love this combination. It is so easy and simple to make. And yes I served it with orange marmalade and pineapple jam. Sounds wonderful isn't it?. Trust me it tastes good too.
I used

2 cups grated acorn squash
2 cups cornflour (makai atta)
1/2 cup rice flour
1/4 cup corn meal
1/2 cup besan
salt to taste
2 tbsp chopped green chilies
2 tbsp chopped cilantro
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup yogurt
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp haldi
Hot water as required
Oil for frying the pudas

First combine all the flours in a deep bowl. Add salt, spices and yogurt, and make a batter with hot water to a dropping consistency. I am asking you to use hot water because that will partially cook the cornflour and cornmeal. If you use cold water the pudas will taste gritty.

After making the batter add the lemon juice, chopped green chilies, onion, cilantro, and acorn squash. Mix well, adjust the seasonings.

Heat a non-stick pan and take a ladleful of batter and spread on the tawa and drizzle oil around the edges and cook on both the sides till brown and crispy.
Serve with your choice of chutney or jam or even ketchup.