Tuesday, November 21, 2017

The tooth extraction special!

I've been making too many rounds to the dentist lately, and the evening before my first extraction, as I was walking around the grocery store, I was struck with a massive, irrational panic that I won't be able to eat for a long time. So I bought a lot of food, and then the morning of, I spent an hour cooking soups to get through the rest of the day.

Spinach Soup:
Heat some oil (and a small knob of butter), add chopped ginger, garlic and white onion. Saute till soft. Add baby spinach, and saute. Also add one chopped tomato, salt, and lots of pepper. Add some water and let it cook for a bit. Once cool, also add a handful of fresh mint leaves, some milk and a dash of lime. Blend using the hand blender. (The mint gives a great flavor! Thanks to Tarla Dalal)


White pumpkin and daal soup:

If I have more of this often, I bet I would lose a lot of weight. It was also delicious. In the instant pot, heat oil, add cumin, onions, ginger and garlic (heavy on the garlic). Saute till lightly brown. Add washed green mung daal, and lots of big chunks of white pumpkin (the kind used in making sambhar). Add turmeric, red chilli powder, coriander powder, salt and water, and put on "porridge" mode. After it's cooked, blend with a hand blender. Eat it with some yoghurt. Super hearty (and nutritious, and tasty too!).

Papaya + Orange juice + honey + lime juice. Blend. This tastes good (but I'm not allowed acidic food now, so I'll wait another day or two, or L. will finish it).

Other ideas for days when the teeth are not too happy:
Instant oats
cream of rice
Different kinds of khichdis
Apple sauce
hallah bread
creamy peanut butter and seedless jam
mashed potatoes
cooked sweet potatoes
Soups: Mashroom, cauliflower, butternut squash, carrot and coconut, peas, almond
Smoothies/milkshakes: banana and protein powder,  banana and peanut butter
Smooth guacamole

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Special "Everyday" recipes

Here's a couple of recipes that add a little something extra to "everyday" recipes:


Methi Malai Paneer.
I actually used "malai paneer" for this recipe and also added green peas.
Finely chop and clean methi. In a pan, heat some oil and saute for a couple od minutes. Take it out and set aside. In the same pan, heat some more oil/ghee, add cumin, bay leaf, cardamom, cloves and cinnamon. Add chopped ginger garlic onions and saute. Add turmeric, red chilli, corriander powder. Add tomato sauce and saute. Add methi, sugar salt, milk (and cream optional). I also added some cashew paste to make it creamy, since we dind't have cream. Add Paneer, green peas, a pinch of garam masala. Simmer for a couple of minutes.  


Saunf wali Hari Ghobi

Heat oil, add saunf, bay leaves, ginger and tomato (I used fresh + sauce). Saute for a bit. Add turmeric, red chilli powder, corriander powder, salt, also add yoghurt, and green chutney (with mint). Add ghobi and let it cook covered for a few minutes. L. missed having potatoes in it, so next time, I'll add that too.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Diwali Peda

1 pack Nanak khoya (defrosted). Big glass bowl, 2 mins in microwave. Stir. 1 min in the microwave. Stir. A pinch of saffron soaked in milk. Stir. 1 min in the microwave. Stir. Let cool will slightly warm. Blanch, peel and slice a few pistachios. 1 cup sugar (regular white cane sugar..not the Indian kind) and a big pinch of cardamom powder. Stir until the sugar starts to dissolve. Grease palms with ghee. Prepare pedas and garnish with slices of pistachios. Refrigerate after they set.


Friday, September 8, 2017

Guest Post: Onam Sadya

Onam Sadya Menu:
Plate Preparation:
Salt, ginger pickle, ? chutney, banana chips, fresh banana, fried kerala papad, plantains, cabbage Thoran, Avial
Course 1:
Rice, Parappu, ghee, 
Course 2: 
Rice, Sambar
Course 3: 
Rice Kalan
Course 4 : 
Brown payasam
Course 5:
Pal Payasam 


Cabbage Thoran:




2 plantains (ripe) 
1/4 tsp turmeric powder 
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1 cup water

Cut plantain length wise, remove the black part. Cut into cubes. Boil with the turmeric powder and chilli powder and water and you cook. Keep stirring. Add a bit of salt. Keep it aside. 

1 cup grated coconut (frozen). Microwave. 3/4 cup is also enough
1 tsp cumin
5-6 whole black pepper
1 tsp ghee + 1/4tsp fenugreek. Roast well. Raw smell should go away. 

Grind the masala to a smooth paste. 

Now pour the coconut paste to the cooked plantains. Add salt.  Put this on the stove. Let it come to a boil. Check for salt. 

Add 1 tsp jaggary.  

Turn off the stove. Take it off the gas. 

Beat 2 cup curds. Add to the pot. Check consistency. 

Heat Ghee, add mustard seeds, red chillies, curry leaves. Pour over the kalan. Serve cold. 

Serve with Rice. 

Brown Payasam:

1 cup yellow moong daal. Dry roast well till it turns brown. Don’t leave unattended. Then wash well. Now add to the pressure cooker with 2 cups + a bit more water. 1 or 2 whistle. Turn off the stove. 1 to 11/2 cup jaggery. Cut into pieces. In a separate bowl, take 2 cups of water, boil, add the jaggery, let it melt. Then strain the syrup (if required). Take a thick bottomed vessel on the stove on a medium flame. 2 tbsp ghee. Add the cooked daal into the ghee. Add strained jaggery. Now keep stirring until everything is mixed well. Add thin (2nd milk) coconut milk. Then let it boil. 

5-6 Dry roast cardamom, remove the cover, and grind with sugar. 

Manthra brand dry ginger (soonth) - 1 pinch. 

Now add cadmom powder and soonth into only a part of 1st coconut milk and then add to the main pot. Stir well. All on medium heat. Cook for about 5-10 milk. 

Now add the first milk. Now no boiling. Remove from stove. 

In a nonstick pan, add 2 spoons a ghee, bring to medium flame, add golden raisins, roast (do not let it burnt)..now add 5-6 cashew pieces (split in halves). Should not get burnt. Add to the payasam as a garnish. Do not mix. 

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Pantry Cleaning Chocolate Hazelnut Cake

Not sure if I can replicate this recipe, given that I was throwing in all sorts of leftovers, but here's a rough description of what I did:

- Butter and flour a 10" spring form pan.
- Toast about a cup of hazelnuts. Keep aside a handful for garnish, and grind the rest coarsely in a food processor. Remove and keep aside.
- In the food processor, mix 1 stick soft butter and about 3 tbsp sugar. Now add 4 egg yolks and mix until pale and fluffy. Add 3 squares of melted ghiarardeli semi sweet chocolate (that's all I had), 1/2 container of hazelnut chocolate spread (that's all I had left), a table spoon of chocolate liquor (have something sitting around for a while in the fridge). Blend everything in the processor.
- In a stand mixer, beat the 4 egg whites. Add some of the egg whites to the chocolate mixture to lighten it, and then add it to the egg white bowl and slowly fold. Also fold in half pack of white cake mix (yeah, I know, it's all very approximate), and the nut powder.
-Add this mixture to the cake pan, and bake for about 35-40 mins at 350-375.
- Once cool, drizzle with melted chocolate (also leftover), and garnish with roughly chopped hazelnuts.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Make ahead Summer meal

Some friends were visiting on a Friday evening, so I prepped the night before, and the meal came together beautifully. The awesome produce at Whole Foods helped too.

Corn Salad

Watermelon Feta Salad

Lavash Pizza with Mushroom and Gorgonzola

Spinach manicotti

Ladies finger with peach, raspberries and yoghurt

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Lemon Almond Cake

Here's an easy, casual cake, which can add a special touch to a nice, relaxed evening with friends. For me, the recipe really worked when our friend, D. said that it reminded him of his childhood in Spain.

Here's the original recipe, but I made a whole bunch of tweaks:

I added some flour, baking powder and almond extract, got rid of the cinnamon and added a lemon glaze and sliced almonds. Here's what I did:

Preheat oven to 375. Butter and flour one 9 inch cake pan. Separate 4 eggs. Beat the yolks with a pinch of salt, and 2 Tbsp sugar until pale. Add the zest of about 4 lemons, a small dash of almond extract (~1/2 tsp), 1 1/3 cup almond flour,  2 Tbsp flour, and 1/4 tsp baking powder. Remove this thick paste (almost dough-like consistency) in another container. Clean the mixer bowl and whisk really well. Beat the egg whites and 1/8 tsp cream of tarter until soft peak forms. Add about 5 Tbsp sugar and beat until stiff peaks. Mix about 1/3 of the whites with the yolk and almond mixture to lighten it up. Now fold it back into the whites gently and transfer the batter to the prepared pan. Bake in the 375 oven for about 25 mins (cake tester comes out clean). Cool on a wire rack, after a few minutes, remove from the pan and cool further.

Mix the juice of one lemon with about 1 cup of confectioner's sugar to get a thick glaze consistency. While the cake is still warm, transfer it to the serving plate with the bottom of the cake on top. Spread the glaze evenly on the top and let drip on the sides (some of the glaze will get absorbed by the cake). Once it cools a bit further, sprinkle sliced almonds all over the top, so they stick to the glaze. Cool completely and serve at room temperature.