Monday, 23 January 2017

608. Vegetable Mulligatawny Soup

Happy Republic Day

   When one thinks of English food, usually fish and chips, shepherd pies with mushy peas or a roast with yorkshire pudding comes to the mind.But England's most popular food are not chips, scones, crumpets or yorkshire pudding but its chicken tikka masala. British food scene changed ever since the East India Company touched the shores of the Indian Subcontinent in the mid 18th Century. Everything from cocktails to soups to main dishes and desserts changed. Not only did the British assimilate a lot of the local spices and methods of cooking but they in turn introduced a variety of dishes to the locals which got adopted and changed to suit their taste buds.

   Curry houses became fashionable during the Victorian era as British officers and their wives or mothers took back new variations of the British food.In 1861 Isabella Beeton  added a recipe of the 'curry powder' in her book 'Book of Household Management.' The word curry is derived from the Tamil word 'kari' which means a sauce or relish for rice.Spices blended together was given the name curry powder which to date is used commonly by the British and their former colonies but not so commonly used in the Indian Subcontinent.
 
  During the British Raj (British rule in the Indian Subcontinent), the cooks or khansamas innovated new dishes which combined some local flavours with those of Britain and Europe and vice versa. Thus during that era chutneys, salted beef tongue, kedegree, ball curry, fish rissoles, cutlets, chops, foogath, pantheras, mulligatawny soup etc. became very popular. The fusion between the local and British food gave birth to the Anglo Indian Cuisine.
  Its also during the British Raj that Dak Bungalow cuisine and Railway cuisine was born. Dak Bungalows were resting places for the Britishers when they toured. The cooks or khansamas would have to quickly prepare meals for them with whatever was available.If they travelled by rail, they usually relaxed and dined in the plush first class where dishes like Railway mutton curry were prepared for them. Some of the famous dishes cooked back then and still prepared today by the Anglo Indian community are Dak Bungalow Chicken, Hawildar's Dal Tadka, Dimer Dalna and Jhalfrezi to name a few.Anglo Indian food developed around Calcutta added mustard and mustard oil to their preparations and in the south coconut milk and curry leaves were used. Check out Bridget White Kumar's blog site for more information about the Anglo Indian Cuisine and recipes.
  The British have long left the Indian Subcontinent but we can still  find some Clubs serving steak pies, bread and butter pudding, mulligatawny soup, beer batter fish, mutton ball curry, country captain chicken. They still observe the 'propah' English etiquette while using the facilities.
   
  To celebrate this year's Republic Day our #FoodieMonday #Bloghop group decided to prepare colonial inspired cuisine. My contribution towards this #76 theme is a curry house staple, mulligatawny soup.This soup was created by the cooks or khansamas for the British Officers and Memsahibs who enjoyed the traditional peppery Tamil rasam but would only eat it as a soup course. So the popular  Tamil pepper water or pepper broth millagu thanni gave birth to a soup where curry powder, apple, chicken broth were added to it.
  Today Mulligatawny soup has many variations. Different lentils like split pigeon pea or split puy lentils are used to add a slightly thick base. Variety of vegetables like carrots, potatoes, onion, celery, cauliflower are added along with either chicken or meat pieces. The curry powder is made according to the taste of ones palate. Some prefer to have a wholesome soup with chunks of vegetables and meat while others puree it into a thick soup.
   Being a vegetarian I made a vegetable mulligatawny soup. I read up many recipes by fellow bloggers and chefs and no one recipe was what I wanted to prepare. So I took a bit from most and developed my own concoction of the soup, not too spicy, not too thin or thick, used vegetables that were available and voila, a nutritious, healthy and filling soup was dinner for hubby and me.






VEGETABLE MULLIGATAWNY SOUP
4 servings

2 tbsp split puy lentils (masoor dal)
2 tbsp split pigeon pea lentils ( tuvar dal)
1 small potato, peeled and diced
1 medium carrot, peeled and diced
1 onion chopped
1 tomato chopped
½ green apple, diced
½ cup coconut milk
4 cups vegetable stock or water
1 tbsp butter/virgin coconut oil
1½ tsp salt
1 tsp ginger paste
1 tsp garlic paste
½ tsp coarse pepper powder
2-3 tbsp tamarind paste
2-3 tbsp chopped fresh coriander

Curry powder:
½ tsp turmeric powder (haldi)
1 tsp coriander powder (dhania)
½ tsp cumin powder (jeera)
¼ tsp red chilli powder


  1. Mix the spices for the curry powder and keep on the side till required.
  2. Wash and soak the lentils in 1 cup warm water for 30 minutes.
  3. Cook the lentils either in a saucepan over low heat or in a pressure cooker. Let it cook till done or for 2 whistles.
  4. Heat butter over low heat in a saucepan.
  5. Add all the vegetables and saute for 1-2 minutes.
  6. Add ginger and garlic.
  7. Add the curry powder and mix well.
  8. Add the cooked lentils along with the water.
  9. Add the remaining water and salt.
  10. Let the soup simmer over low heat till the vegetables are cooked.
  11. Add tamarind paste, pepper powder and coconut milk. Mix well.
  12. Garnish with coriander and serve it hot with bread rolls or naan.
Tips:
  • Use vegetables of your choice.
  • You may use either of the lentils.
  • Adjust the spices according to your taste.
  • If ready made tamarind paste is not available then you will have to soak the tamarind in hot water for 20-30 minutes. Then press it through a sieve to get the paste.
You may want to check out the following British inspired recipes:

brown bread trifle

mango fool
banoffee pie dessert
Sending this recipe for the following event:

Blog Hop

Monday, 16 January 2017

607. Moong dal and Spinach Handvo (Green Gram and Spinach bake)

Time is flying

  Imagine, we're into the the 3rd week of  the new year. Time flies. We barely breathe a sigh of relief over the weekend and Monday arrives. #FoodieMonday #Bloghop group decided on #Bitesizefood as the 75th theme. It's a pretty versatile theme as we could make any bite size food right from breakfast to dinner. We normally associate bite size food with appetizers or  starters. But did you know that its a fun way to serve you normal breakfast, lunch, tea time snack or dinner in small sizes? It also in a way helps you control portions if your are dieting. Mini pizzas, mini tacos, mini burgers or sliders as they call them these days, mini vada pavs, mini uttapams, mini pav bhajis, mini parathas. You name it and you can make cute little things. 
   For this bite size food theme I decided to make a healthy, gluten free, rich in protein moong dal and spinach handvo. I baked the handvo in muffin cups and some of it I cut into small squares. Serve these cute little beauties as a starter, for cocktail parties or serve them as a snack or as a healthy lunch with some salad.
   We all know that green grams or moong is one of the superfoods for vegetarian. Its high in protein and minerals like potassium, manganese, copper, folates, magnesium and Vitamin B.Its easy to digest moong dal (split green grams) and light on the stomach. Moong helps to lower cholesterol and high blood pressure.Helps to decrease PMS syndromes. Helps to boost immunity and fights against infections. 
   Spinach we all know is a good source of fiber, rich in Vitamin K, iron, folate, Vitamin A, calcium, potassium, manganese, magnesium and so many other healthy nutrients. 
    I am still trying to cook healthy this year, so far so good. This nutrient packed handvo was devoured in no time as our dinner meal. 
   Here's the recipe to make a healthy treat for your family.










MOONG DAL AND SPINACH HANDVO
makes 16 pieces in muffin cups 

1 cup green moong dal (split moong dal/green grams) with skin
2 cups finely chopped spinach (lightly packed)
¼ cup finely chopped spring onion
1 tsp ginger paste
1 tsp green chilli paste
1 tsp ginger paste
¼ cup natural yogurt
1 tbsp lemon juice
½ tsp cinnamon powder
¼ tsp clove powder
1 tbsp oil
½ tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
½ tsp mustard seeds (rai)
 apinch of asafoetida
1-1½ tsp salt
¼ tsp soda bicarbonate (baking soda)
1 tsp sugar(optional)

For topping:
1 tsp mustard seeds
1-2 tbsp sesame seeds
1 tsp oil

extra oil for greasing

  1. Wash and soak the moong dal in warm water for 2 hours.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  3. Grease the muffin cups lightly with oil.
  4. Grind the soaked dal(with the skin) without any water into a paste, not too coarse or too fine.
  5. Add  ginger, garlic, chilli pastes, salt, sugar if you are using any, spinach, spring onion, yogurt, cinnamon, clove powders and lemon juice. Mix well.
  6. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a small pan over low heat. 
  7. Add mustard and cumin seeds. Let them sizzle for a bit. Add asafoetida.
  8. Immediately add the hot oil mixture into the moong dal mixture.
  9. Add the soda bicarbonate and mix the mixture very well.
  10. Spoon the batter into the muffin cups, filling them ¾ full.
  11. Sprinkle sesame seeds over the batter.
  12. Bake for 20-25 minutes or till a toothpick or fork inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  13. Let the handvo cool in the muffin cups for 15-20 minutes. 
  14. Heat 1 tsp oil in a small pan. Add the mustard seeds and let them crackle.
  15. Take the pan off the heat.
  16. Remove the handvo from the cups or tray and arrange  on a serving plate. Spoon a bit of the crackled mustard seeds on top of each handvo piece.
  17. Serve with chutney or tomato ketchup.
Tips:
  • If you want to serve small squares of handvo for a cocktail party then bake it in a tray 8' X 8' for 30- 35 minutes. Let it cool in the tray and then cut into small squares.
  • Serve handvo with a salad to make it into a healthy lunch or dinner.
  • This is a good dish for vegetarians as its full of protein.
  • Add other vegetables of your choice.
You may want to check out the following:
buckwheat uttapams
veggie mini taco boats
 baked samosas
Sending this recipe for the following event:

Blog Hop

   

Friday, 13 January 2017

606. Chocolate Sesame Fudge

Happy Uttarayan

Guest post for Pushpita Aheibam

    Come fly a kite 
    And watch it sail
    Across the sky,
    Waving its tail.
    By Jean Warren

   Once again it Uttarayan or Makar Sankranti. Uttarayan is the Gujarati name for the festival celebrated all over India. Be it Pongal, Lohri,Magha Saaji,Suggi,Ghughuti or any other name, it basically celebrates the transition of the sun from the Tropic of Capricorn which is in the south part of the world to the north. It marks the ending of the winter solstice. The festival is also dedicated to the Sun God. It marks the end of the evil Poush (Kamudta) month. It is believed that Bhisma Pitah in spite of being on a bed of arrows and in grave pain, waited for the sun to be in Uttarayan to willingly die. Its also the period when the Gods awaken from their deep slumber. This festival is celebrated with a feeling of anticipation, joy and jubilation. 
   
  Gujarat celebrates this festival over two days. The next day its called Vasi Uttarayan, meaning stale Uttarayan. I have no idea why its called Vasi Uttarayan. Usually during this festival most Gujarati homes prepare Undhiyu (winter vegetables cooked in with spices in an earthen pot), tal sakri (fudge made with sesame seeds and jaggery) or tal ladoos. The people of Gujarat celebrate this festival by flying kites. Its a time when relatives and friends meet outdoors, and all ages and gender enjoy flying kites in all sizes from the rooftops. Friendly competitions are held as to who can sustain their kite in the air for the longest time. The threads are sometimes laced with broken glass so it becomes easier to cut an opponents kite. Kites are made from very light paper and bamboo. Before Uttarayan, kite making becomes like a cottage industry for many homes.
  
   The skies all over Gujarat are doted with a variety of colours. It is believed that many years ago kite flying was enjoyed by the Kings and Nawabs who showed off their prowess and was a form of entertainment also. Trained kite fliers were employed. Slowly kite flying became popular with the masses. Ahmedabad, the kite capital hosts the International Kite Flying Competition during Uttarayan.
  
   During this joyous and vibrant festival, Pushpita a food blogger at Ei Gi Chakhum invited me to do a guest post. Pushpita, I'm so honoured for giving me this opportunity. In five years since I started blogging, this is my second guest post. 
  
   So what do I say about Pushpita? Well, she's a friend I haven't met as yet face to face (which hopefully one day I will) but we meet constantly on our Foodie Monday whatsapp group. I met her when she joined the group just a few months after me. She's a very friendly, helpful, caring and warm person. An economist by profession, her love for food led her to blogging. Through her blog she's opened up a whole new world for me through her speciality dishes from the North Eastern part of India, especially Manipur. Friendship with her proves that age is no bar, she's way younger to me but that does not stop us from sharing happy and sad moments. Please do check out her blog Ei Gi Chakham.
   Coming to today's special recipe for Uttarayan, I've already made the famous tal sakri so I decided to make a fusion version. Since its auspicious to have tal (sesame seeds) and gur( jaggery) on Uttarayan, I made it using tal and gur but its not too sweet and its healthy as I've also added cocoa powder to it. Its a simple and quick recipe. So read on to find out how to make chocolate sesame fudge.





CHOCOLATE SESAME FUDGE
Makes 12 -16 small pieces

½ cup white sesame seeds (tal)
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
¼ cup grated jaggery (gur)
3 tsp ghee or coconut oil
1 tbsp milk
½ tsp cinnamon powder (taj)
½ tsp cardamom powder (elachi)
¼ tsp or less red chilli powder

  1. Grease a 6"X6" with a little ghee.
  2. Grind the sesame seeds in a grinder till it begins to become like a paste.
  3. Remove the ground sesame seeds into a bowl.
  4. Add cocoa powder, cinnamon powder, cardamom powder and chilli powder to the ground sesame and mix very well.
  5. Add jaggery and  ghee into a thick bottomed pan. Heat the mixture over low heat, mixing it all the time till the jaggery melts and begins to bubble and froth.
  6. Add milk and mix.
  7. Add the melted jaggery mixture to the sesame mixture. Mix it well.
  8. Transfer the mixture into the prepared tin. Pat it down evenly.
  9. Sprinkle sesame seeds over the fudge and press it down gently with your fingers.
  10. Let the fudge set for 2-3 hours. 
  11. Cut into squares with a sharp knife and serve.
Tips:
  • This fudge is a great treat for those who want to eat healthy but crave for something sweet.Its not sweet at all.
  • If you want to make a sweeter fudge take half unsweetened cocoa and half sweetened cocoa.
  • Adding red chilli powder is optional. I added it as it reminds me of the chilli chocolate.
You may want to check out the following:


oats and nuts ladoos
tal and mixed nuts ladoos
tal sakri



   

   

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

605. Amaranth Flatbread#BreadBakers

Amaranth Flatbread#BreadBakers

Healthy Start

 Happy New Year to all the members of the wonderful, wonderful group Bread Bakers. I'm so glad to be part of a group where we learn so much about not only different breads and techniques but get to know each member more through their blogs, culture and festivals.
  Pavani of Cook's Hideout wanted us to begin the new year with some healthy breads. A great theme Pavani, can't wait to check out what other participants have baked. I decided to use amaranth as my healthy ingredient. I made Amaranth Flatbread for the first time and it turned out so good. I'll probably use that as a pizza base or make a focaccia next time. I made an apple salsa to go with the flatbread and the family enjoyed it as a starter with some wine.
  Amaranth is not a grain but rather a grain like seed. We use the green leaves to make curry or a dry vegetable coupled with egg plant or lentils. Amaranth or rajgira as its known in Hindi is used to prepare food during fasting days which demand a grain and pulse free diet. Amaranth seeds can be used like rice to be served with curries, lentils etc.Its a great replacement for oats as breakfast. Amaranth can be used in the seed form or as a flour.
  Amaranth is gluten free, helps to lower cholesterol, has anti inflammatory properties, helps to lower blood pressure,is a rich source of protein (ideal for vegetarians), is rich in lysine(helps the body absorb calcium, produces energy and helps build muscles), good source of fiber, boost immune system, is a good source of Vitamins A,C, E, K, B5, B6 and is a rich source of minerals like calcium, magnesium and copper.
  To work with amaranth flour, one needs to add another flour or boiled potato(sweet potato or tapioca) to make it more pliable. I added wholewheat flour, another healthy product. Check out my easy recipe. Amaranth flatbread had a nutty, earthy taste and is not heavy on the stomach.










AMARANTH FLATBREAD
Makes 2

1 cup amaranth flour (rajgira)
1½ cup wholewheat flour (atta)
1 tsp mixed dried herbs
½ tsp salt
1 tbsp honey
1-1¼ cup warm water
2 tsp instant dried active yeast
2 tbsp olive oil

extra flour either amaranth or wheat flour for dusting
extra olive oil for greasing


  1. Sift amaranth flour, wheat flour and salt together.
  2. Add dried herbs and yeast and mix well.
  3. Add honey to 1 cup warm water and stir it well.
  4. Using the required amount of water, make a dough.
  5. Let the dough rest covered, for 15 minutes.
  6. Dust the work top with some flour.
  7. Knead the dough for 5-10 minutes until its smooth.
  8. If it sticks to your hand use small amounts of the measured oil.
  9. Grease the bowl with some oil.
  10. Shape the dough into a big ball and place it in the bowl.
  11. Cover it with a wet cloth or cling film and let it rise till its nearly double the size.
  12. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  13. Dust the work top again with flour.
  14. Knead the dough gently  and divide it into 2 parts.
  15. Roll each part into a ball.
  16. Using a rolling pin or your hand, roll/pat it out into a 8-9" diameter circle.
  17. Grease a baking tray lightly.
  18. Place the flatbreads on the tray.
  19. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until it is light golden in colour.
  20. Let the flatbreads cool down a bit on a wire rack.
  21. Cut into wedges and serve with your favourite dip, cream cheese or salsa.
Tips:
  • Use the flatbread as a pizza base.
  • If the flour sticks too much to your hands, add a bit more flour or use oil to knead the dough.
  • To make apple salsa, chop a big apple finely. Add one small finely chopped onion, a few mint leaves, 2-3 tbsp lemon juice, salt, pepper and chilli flakes. Mix well and serve.
  • Can use a frying pan, griddle or tawa to cook the flatbreads.
Check out the Healthy Breads that our fellow #BreadBakers have baked this month:
#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. You can see all our of lovely bread by following our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated after each event on the #BreadBakers home page.

We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient. If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send Stacy an email with your blog URL to foodlustpeoplelove@gmail.com.

BreadBakers

Monday, 9 January 2017

604. Khamiri Green Peas Puri

2017 -BEGINNING WITH OBSTACLES

   Just as the new year began, like everyone we prayed for a peaceful, trouble free and happy year. Well, happy we are as positive things in ours lives make us happy. However, the year hasn't really begun too well for hubby and me. From the time we left India, we're facing problems one after the other. 
  First obstacle - I go to my bank in Mumbai to get one of my debit cards activated. Tried it out at an ATM and it worked. Then the tech savvy in charge of cards informs us that our cards have a raised limit. He tinkers on the computer and tells us all is well. We are happy and leave the bank. Next day early morning at around 5 am hubby and I use our cards to pay for breakfast at the airport and they don't work! Can you imagine if we had tried to purchase something with more value or required the cards to pay for some emergency? Still getting sorted out!
  Second obstacle - Flight delay for over 2 hours for a trip that usually takes only 45 minutes! Instead of getting home at 2.30 pm, we reach at 5.30 pm.
  Third Obstacle - We unpack, freshen up. Hubby is on the ipad and I was watching TV. Both kept on saying its time to go to bed, but we were glued to our seats for sometime. There was power fluctuations which is normal in this part of the world so we just ignored it. Suddenly, I see sparks coming out of a socket behind hubby's massage armchair. Before we could even get up to switch it off, the socket behind the TV caught fire! It began to flare up so quickly. Luckily we put it off-- hubby kept on beating it with a thick cloth. Now we have a fire extinguisher in the house. Need to look for the old blanket which might be somewhere in the cupboards. Whole night no power, its really humid and hot. So we decide to go to our beach apartment to spend the night. The water in the apartment taps does not come out in force,but we just go to sleep. In the morning when we get up, there's water and sand everywhere in the corridors and stairways. We were told that a huge water tank on the roof top burst! Got home, had an electrician to sort out the problem which actually was a faulty trip switch at the main board downstairs. Scary!
  Fourth obstacle - Our househelp of so many years (over 18 years) decides that 6 weeks of holiday was not enough for him. He doesn't turn up for work. When I called him to ask when he will come, I got the answer " I'm sick, so don't know when I'll come!" Usually he will indicate when he'll be back.
  Fifth Obstacle - Yes still not over, when I put the clothes in the washing machine, and none were soiled badly or had sand. The wash comes out with tiny pieces of some plastic bits much like synthetic leather and sand grit! Check all the pockets again, found nothing.Still a mystery where it came from. Still got the bits of black stuff at the bottom of the machine. Ran it on cleaning mode but it didn't go away. Now to sort this out, need a vacuum cleaner!


 Enough of obstacles. In spite of all the obstacles I still managed to get my #74th theme on peas ready for #FoodieMonday #Bloghop. Blogging relieves stress for me. My moment of happiness.We were suppose to use only fresh peas for whatever we chose to prepare. When a fellow member Kriti suggested peas I knew immediately that I would prepare a saved Tarla Dalal recipe - Khamiri Green Peas Puri. What's so different about this puri from the normal pea puris you may ask? Well, khamir in Mughal language means yeast. The dough for this puri is prepared using yeast. The texture of the end product is a soft but slightly spongy puri. I made a few minor changes to the recipe but the end result was delicious. Ideal breakfast treat.Check out the recipe.









KHAMIRI GREEN PEAS PURI
Makes 8
Recipe source : Tarla Dalal

For the dough:
1 cup plain flour (all purpose flour)
½ cup wheat flour (atta)
½ tsp salt
½ tsp sugar
½ tbsp ghee
1 tsp instant active dried yeast
⅔-¾ cup warm water

For the filling:
1 cup boiled fresh peas
1 tbsp oil
½-¾ tsp salt
½ tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
1 tsp ginger paste
1 tsp green chilli paste
1 tsp lemon juice
¼ tsp sugar
¼ tsp clove powder
¼ tsp cinnamon powder
2-3 tbsp chopped fresh coriander

oil for deep frying
extra ghee for greasing
extra flour for dusting

Preparation of the dough:
  1. Mix the flours, salt and sugar in a big bowl. 
  2. Add ghee and rub into the flour.
  3. Sprinkle the yeast over the flour and mix.
  4. Form a dough using warm water.It should not be hard or too soft.
  5. Knead the dough for 5 minutes till its smooth.
  6. Grease the bowl with some ghee. 
  7. Shape the dough into a ball. Place it in the greased bowl. 
  8. Cover the bowl with a cloth or cling film and let the dough rise for 1½ hours till its double the size.
Preparation of the filling:
  1. Mash the boiled peas lightly.
  2. Heat oil in a pan over medium heat.
  3. Add cumin seeds. When they begin to sizzle, add the mashed green peas.
  4. Add salt, green chilli, ginger, sugar and mix well.
  5. Take the pan off the heat and let the mixture cool down a bit.
  6. Add cinnamon and clove powders, coriander and lemon juice.
  7. Mix well.
Final preparation:
  1. Knead the risen dough gently. Using a bit of flour, divide the dough into 8 equal parts. Roll each part into a ball.
  2. Divide the filling into 8 parts.
  3. Take one dough ball and using your fingers and thumb form a small basket or cup shape. 
  4. Put one part of the filling in it.
  5. Pinch up the seams to close the cup with the filling.
  6. Flatten it a bit between your palms.
  7. Using a little bit of flour, roll it into a 4" diameter circle.
  8. Repeat steps 3-7 with the remaining dough and filling.
  9. Heat oil in a wok or frying pan over medium heat.
  10. When its hot slide in one of the puris and fry it, turning it over often till its light golden brown in colour.
  11. Serve with a hot cup of coffee or masala tea.
Tips:
  • Use fresh peas to get a nice green filling.
  • Adjust the spices according to your taste.
  • Warm up the leftover puris in the oven for 5-10 minutes.
  • Fry the puri over medium heat and not high heat as you don't want the dough from the inside to remain raw.

You may want to check out the following:
kachoris
pea kofta curry
Sending this recipe for the following event:

Blog Hop



  

Monday, 2 January 2017

603. Exotic Fruit Salad

HAPPY NEW YEAR

   Write it in your heart that every day of this new year is the best day. 
    
    A new year has begun, time to reflect on what we achieved last year, what we didn't and  what we would like to achieve. Like every year I continuously make a resolution to lose weight, which so far I haven't; not get so emotional if my kids don't call regularly, which is pretty difficult to stick by and have more patience with my hubby's weird, out of this world ideas. However, I still get angry and try to retaliate them with all my energy :) 
   This year I've not made any resolutions as I forget about them even before the 15th of January. Desserts, chocolates, good fried food, chaats still tempt me to no end. Perhaps I will try and take baby steps or make small mindful changes every day. However, it can only work if I continue with the change and not forget about it after a day. Lets see how it goes.
   But changes I do want. I want to go into 2017 loving myself more. I want to stop pleasing others. I want to think about me and my hubby more. I want to do what I feel I should. I don't want others telling me what I should be doing. I am old enough to know what is right and what is wrong. For me that's going to be like a major makeover. No seriously, after certain events that took place last year, I want to break the shackles of pleasing everyone. As hubby dear often reminds me that I should follow my heart. 
   It is also important to thank our past years and learn from it. Its the past that has allowed us to move to the new year. Its also a time to thank God for all that we have, good health, home, family and friends.
   So here's wishing you all a year which will bring you good health, peace, happiness, more family time, prosperity, success in all you want to achieve, new friends and continued friendship.
   Our 1st Monday of 2017 theme for #FoodieMonday#Bloghop is New Year. This is the 73rd theme. We had to prepare anything that we think is fit to welcome the New year into our lives. New beginnings mean celebrating with something sweet. However, after the wedding, Christmas, hubby's birthday celebrations I really didn't want to add more sugar into our bodies. I decided to make something that is naturally sweet and healthy - a fruit salad. You may think what's so unique about a fruit salad, but for me it is. I don't get dragon fruit in Mombasa so I decided to make a fruit salad using it. Saw the dragon fruits at a local veggie shop in HSR Layout, Bangalore and decided that I must use it for my next post. The other fruits I used are in season here and am enjoying them every day.
So here's my naturally sweet post to celebrate the New Year.








EXOTIC FRUIT SALAD
Serves 4

1 dragon fruit
12 strawberries
1 cup grapes
a few fresh mint leaves
1 cup of pomegranate seeds/arils

For the orange reduction:
1½ cups fresh orange juice
1 tsp cornflour


  1. To prepare the orange reduction, mix orange juice and cornflour in a thick bottomed pan.
  2. Put the pan over medium heat and let the juice become hot.
  3. When it begins to simmer, reduce the heat. Let it simmer for 7-10minutes till it becomes a little thick.
  4. Let it cool down completely.
  5. Scoop out the flesh from the dragon fruit. 
  6. Cut the grapes into half.
  7. Tear the mint leaves.
  8. Hull the strawberries and cut into half or thick slices.
  9. Mix the fruits and mint leaves together in a serving bowl.
  10. Pour the orange reduction over the fruit salad and serve.
Tips:
  • Use any fruit of your choice.
  • Make it colourful so that it is appealing and kids will want to reach out for it.
  • Can serve the fruit salad with some ice cream or drizzle fresh cream over it.
  • Use basil leaves instead of mint.
You may want to check out the following:

Fruit Tartlets
Fruit Jelly
amaranth fruity pudding
Sending this recipe for the following event:


Blog Hop
   

Monday, 23 January 2017

608. Vegetable Mulligatawny Soup

Happy Republic Day

   When one thinks of English food, usually fish and chips, shepherd pies with mushy peas or a roast with yorkshire pudding comes to the mind.But England's most popular food are not chips, scones, crumpets or yorkshire pudding but its chicken tikka masala. British food scene changed ever since the East India Company touched the shores of the Indian Subcontinent in the mid 18th Century. Everything from cocktails to soups to main dishes and desserts changed. Not only did the British assimilate a lot of the local spices and methods of cooking but they in turn introduced a variety of dishes to the locals which got adopted and changed to suit their taste buds.

   Curry houses became fashionable during the Victorian era as British officers and their wives or mothers took back new variations of the British food.In 1861 Isabella Beeton  added a recipe of the 'curry powder' in her book 'Book of Household Management.' The word curry is derived from the Tamil word 'kari' which means a sauce or relish for rice.Spices blended together was given the name curry powder which to date is used commonly by the British and their former colonies but not so commonly used in the Indian Subcontinent.
 
  During the British Raj (British rule in the Indian Subcontinent), the cooks or khansamas innovated new dishes which combined some local flavours with those of Britain and Europe and vice versa. Thus during that era chutneys, salted beef tongue, kedegree, ball curry, fish rissoles, cutlets, chops, foogath, pantheras, mulligatawny soup etc. became very popular. The fusion between the local and British food gave birth to the Anglo Indian Cuisine.
  Its also during the British Raj that Dak Bungalow cuisine and Railway cuisine was born. Dak Bungalows were resting places for the Britishers when they toured. The cooks or khansamas would have to quickly prepare meals for them with whatever was available.If they travelled by rail, they usually relaxed and dined in the plush first class where dishes like Railway mutton curry were prepared for them. Some of the famous dishes cooked back then and still prepared today by the Anglo Indian community are Dak Bungalow Chicken, Hawildar's Dal Tadka, Dimer Dalna and Jhalfrezi to name a few.Anglo Indian food developed around Calcutta added mustard and mustard oil to their preparations and in the south coconut milk and curry leaves were used. Check out Bridget White Kumar's blog site for more information about the Anglo Indian Cuisine and recipes.
  The British have long left the Indian Subcontinent but we can still  find some Clubs serving steak pies, bread and butter pudding, mulligatawny soup, beer batter fish, mutton ball curry, country captain chicken. They still observe the 'propah' English etiquette while using the facilities.
   
  To celebrate this year's Republic Day our #FoodieMonday #Bloghop group decided to prepare colonial inspired cuisine. My contribution towards this #76 theme is a curry house staple, mulligatawny soup.This soup was created by the cooks or khansamas for the British Officers and Memsahibs who enjoyed the traditional peppery Tamil rasam but would only eat it as a soup course. So the popular  Tamil pepper water or pepper broth millagu thanni gave birth to a soup where curry powder, apple, chicken broth were added to it.
  Today Mulligatawny soup has many variations. Different lentils like split pigeon pea or split puy lentils are used to add a slightly thick base. Variety of vegetables like carrots, potatoes, onion, celery, cauliflower are added along with either chicken or meat pieces. The curry powder is made according to the taste of ones palate. Some prefer to have a wholesome soup with chunks of vegetables and meat while others puree it into a thick soup.
   Being a vegetarian I made a vegetable mulligatawny soup. I read up many recipes by fellow bloggers and chefs and no one recipe was what I wanted to prepare. So I took a bit from most and developed my own concoction of the soup, not too spicy, not too thin or thick, used vegetables that were available and voila, a nutritious, healthy and filling soup was dinner for hubby and me.






VEGETABLE MULLIGATAWNY SOUP
4 servings

2 tbsp split puy lentils (masoor dal)
2 tbsp split pigeon pea lentils ( tuvar dal)
1 small potato, peeled and diced
1 medium carrot, peeled and diced
1 onion chopped
1 tomato chopped
½ green apple, diced
½ cup coconut milk
4 cups vegetable stock or water
1 tbsp butter/virgin coconut oil
1½ tsp salt
1 tsp ginger paste
1 tsp garlic paste
½ tsp coarse pepper powder
2-3 tbsp tamarind paste
2-3 tbsp chopped fresh coriander

Curry powder:
½ tsp turmeric powder (haldi)
1 tsp coriander powder (dhania)
½ tsp cumin powder (jeera)
¼ tsp red chilli powder


  1. Mix the spices for the curry powder and keep on the side till required.
  2. Wash and soak the lentils in 1 cup warm water for 30 minutes.
  3. Cook the lentils either in a saucepan over low heat or in a pressure cooker. Let it cook till done or for 2 whistles.
  4. Heat butter over low heat in a saucepan.
  5. Add all the vegetables and saute for 1-2 minutes.
  6. Add ginger and garlic.
  7. Add the curry powder and mix well.
  8. Add the cooked lentils along with the water.
  9. Add the remaining water and salt.
  10. Let the soup simmer over low heat till the vegetables are cooked.
  11. Add tamarind paste, pepper powder and coconut milk. Mix well.
  12. Garnish with coriander and serve it hot with bread rolls or naan.
Tips:
  • Use vegetables of your choice.
  • You may use either of the lentils.
  • Adjust the spices according to your taste.
  • If ready made tamarind paste is not available then you will have to soak the tamarind in hot water for 20-30 minutes. Then press it through a sieve to get the paste.
You may want to check out the following British inspired recipes:

brown bread trifle

mango fool
banoffee pie dessert
Sending this recipe for the following event:

Blog Hop
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Monday, 16 January 2017

607. Moong dal and Spinach Handvo (Green Gram and Spinach bake)

Time is flying

  Imagine, we're into the the 3rd week of  the new year. Time flies. We barely breathe a sigh of relief over the weekend and Monday arrives. #FoodieMonday #Bloghop group decided on #Bitesizefood as the 75th theme. It's a pretty versatile theme as we could make any bite size food right from breakfast to dinner. We normally associate bite size food with appetizers or  starters. But did you know that its a fun way to serve you normal breakfast, lunch, tea time snack or dinner in small sizes? It also in a way helps you control portions if your are dieting. Mini pizzas, mini tacos, mini burgers or sliders as they call them these days, mini vada pavs, mini uttapams, mini pav bhajis, mini parathas. You name it and you can make cute little things. 
   For this bite size food theme I decided to make a healthy, gluten free, rich in protein moong dal and spinach handvo. I baked the handvo in muffin cups and some of it I cut into small squares. Serve these cute little beauties as a starter, for cocktail parties or serve them as a snack or as a healthy lunch with some salad.
   We all know that green grams or moong is one of the superfoods for vegetarian. Its high in protein and minerals like potassium, manganese, copper, folates, magnesium and Vitamin B.Its easy to digest moong dal (split green grams) and light on the stomach. Moong helps to lower cholesterol and high blood pressure.Helps to decrease PMS syndromes. Helps to boost immunity and fights against infections. 
   Spinach we all know is a good source of fiber, rich in Vitamin K, iron, folate, Vitamin A, calcium, potassium, manganese, magnesium and so many other healthy nutrients. 
    I am still trying to cook healthy this year, so far so good. This nutrient packed handvo was devoured in no time as our dinner meal. 
   Here's the recipe to make a healthy treat for your family.










MOONG DAL AND SPINACH HANDVO
makes 16 pieces in muffin cups 

1 cup green moong dal (split moong dal/green grams) with skin
2 cups finely chopped spinach (lightly packed)
¼ cup finely chopped spring onion
1 tsp ginger paste
1 tsp green chilli paste
1 tsp ginger paste
¼ cup natural yogurt
1 tbsp lemon juice
½ tsp cinnamon powder
¼ tsp clove powder
1 tbsp oil
½ tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
½ tsp mustard seeds (rai)
 apinch of asafoetida
1-1½ tsp salt
¼ tsp soda bicarbonate (baking soda)
1 tsp sugar(optional)

For topping:
1 tsp mustard seeds
1-2 tbsp sesame seeds
1 tsp oil

extra oil for greasing

  1. Wash and soak the moong dal in warm water for 2 hours.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  3. Grease the muffin cups lightly with oil.
  4. Grind the soaked dal(with the skin) without any water into a paste, not too coarse or too fine.
  5. Add  ginger, garlic, chilli pastes, salt, sugar if you are using any, spinach, spring onion, yogurt, cinnamon, clove powders and lemon juice. Mix well.
  6. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a small pan over low heat. 
  7. Add mustard and cumin seeds. Let them sizzle for a bit. Add asafoetida.
  8. Immediately add the hot oil mixture into the moong dal mixture.
  9. Add the soda bicarbonate and mix the mixture very well.
  10. Spoon the batter into the muffin cups, filling them ¾ full.
  11. Sprinkle sesame seeds over the batter.
  12. Bake for 20-25 minutes or till a toothpick or fork inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  13. Let the handvo cool in the muffin cups for 15-20 minutes. 
  14. Heat 1 tsp oil in a small pan. Add the mustard seeds and let them crackle.
  15. Take the pan off the heat.
  16. Remove the handvo from the cups or tray and arrange  on a serving plate. Spoon a bit of the crackled mustard seeds on top of each handvo piece.
  17. Serve with chutney or tomato ketchup.
Tips:
  • If you want to serve small squares of handvo for a cocktail party then bake it in a tray 8' X 8' for 30- 35 minutes. Let it cool in the tray and then cut into small squares.
  • Serve handvo with a salad to make it into a healthy lunch or dinner.
  • This is a good dish for vegetarians as its full of protein.
  • Add other vegetables of your choice.
You may want to check out the following:
buckwheat uttapams
veggie mini taco boats
 baked samosas
Sending this recipe for the following event:

Blog Hop

   
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Friday, 13 January 2017

606. Chocolate Sesame Fudge

Happy Uttarayan

Guest post for Pushpita Aheibam

    Come fly a kite 
    And watch it sail
    Across the sky,
    Waving its tail.
    By Jean Warren

   Once again it Uttarayan or Makar Sankranti. Uttarayan is the Gujarati name for the festival celebrated all over India. Be it Pongal, Lohri,Magha Saaji,Suggi,Ghughuti or any other name, it basically celebrates the transition of the sun from the Tropic of Capricorn which is in the south part of the world to the north. It marks the ending of the winter solstice. The festival is also dedicated to the Sun God. It marks the end of the evil Poush (Kamudta) month. It is believed that Bhisma Pitah in spite of being on a bed of arrows and in grave pain, waited for the sun to be in Uttarayan to willingly die. Its also the period when the Gods awaken from their deep slumber. This festival is celebrated with a feeling of anticipation, joy and jubilation. 
   
  Gujarat celebrates this festival over two days. The next day its called Vasi Uttarayan, meaning stale Uttarayan. I have no idea why its called Vasi Uttarayan. Usually during this festival most Gujarati homes prepare Undhiyu (winter vegetables cooked in with spices in an earthen pot), tal sakri (fudge made with sesame seeds and jaggery) or tal ladoos. The people of Gujarat celebrate this festival by flying kites. Its a time when relatives and friends meet outdoors, and all ages and gender enjoy flying kites in all sizes from the rooftops. Friendly competitions are held as to who can sustain their kite in the air for the longest time. The threads are sometimes laced with broken glass so it becomes easier to cut an opponents kite. Kites are made from very light paper and bamboo. Before Uttarayan, kite making becomes like a cottage industry for many homes.
  
   The skies all over Gujarat are doted with a variety of colours. It is believed that many years ago kite flying was enjoyed by the Kings and Nawabs who showed off their prowess and was a form of entertainment also. Trained kite fliers were employed. Slowly kite flying became popular with the masses. Ahmedabad, the kite capital hosts the International Kite Flying Competition during Uttarayan.
  
   During this joyous and vibrant festival, Pushpita a food blogger at Ei Gi Chakhum invited me to do a guest post. Pushpita, I'm so honoured for giving me this opportunity. In five years since I started blogging, this is my second guest post. 
  
   So what do I say about Pushpita? Well, she's a friend I haven't met as yet face to face (which hopefully one day I will) but we meet constantly on our Foodie Monday whatsapp group. I met her when she joined the group just a few months after me. She's a very friendly, helpful, caring and warm person. An economist by profession, her love for food led her to blogging. Through her blog she's opened up a whole new world for me through her speciality dishes from the North Eastern part of India, especially Manipur. Friendship with her proves that age is no bar, she's way younger to me but that does not stop us from sharing happy and sad moments. Please do check out her blog Ei Gi Chakham.
   Coming to today's special recipe for Uttarayan, I've already made the famous tal sakri so I decided to make a fusion version. Since its auspicious to have tal (sesame seeds) and gur( jaggery) on Uttarayan, I made it using tal and gur but its not too sweet and its healthy as I've also added cocoa powder to it. Its a simple and quick recipe. So read on to find out how to make chocolate sesame fudge.





CHOCOLATE SESAME FUDGE
Makes 12 -16 small pieces

½ cup white sesame seeds (tal)
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
¼ cup grated jaggery (gur)
3 tsp ghee or coconut oil
1 tbsp milk
½ tsp cinnamon powder (taj)
½ tsp cardamom powder (elachi)
¼ tsp or less red chilli powder

  1. Grease a 6"X6" with a little ghee.
  2. Grind the sesame seeds in a grinder till it begins to become like a paste.
  3. Remove the ground sesame seeds into a bowl.
  4. Add cocoa powder, cinnamon powder, cardamom powder and chilli powder to the ground sesame and mix very well.
  5. Add jaggery and  ghee into a thick bottomed pan. Heat the mixture over low heat, mixing it all the time till the jaggery melts and begins to bubble and froth.
  6. Add milk and mix.
  7. Add the melted jaggery mixture to the sesame mixture. Mix it well.
  8. Transfer the mixture into the prepared tin. Pat it down evenly.
  9. Sprinkle sesame seeds over the fudge and press it down gently with your fingers.
  10. Let the fudge set for 2-3 hours. 
  11. Cut into squares with a sharp knife and serve.
Tips:
  • This fudge is a great treat for those who want to eat healthy but crave for something sweet.Its not sweet at all.
  • If you want to make a sweeter fudge take half unsweetened cocoa and half sweetened cocoa.
  • Adding red chilli powder is optional. I added it as it reminds me of the chilli chocolate.
You may want to check out the following:


oats and nuts ladoos
tal and mixed nuts ladoos
tal sakri



   

   
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Tuesday, 10 January 2017

605. Amaranth Flatbread#BreadBakers

Amaranth Flatbread#BreadBakers

Healthy Start

 Happy New Year to all the members of the wonderful, wonderful group Bread Bakers. I'm so glad to be part of a group where we learn so much about not only different breads and techniques but get to know each member more through their blogs, culture and festivals.
  Pavani of Cook's Hideout wanted us to begin the new year with some healthy breads. A great theme Pavani, can't wait to check out what other participants have baked. I decided to use amaranth as my healthy ingredient. I made Amaranth Flatbread for the first time and it turned out so good. I'll probably use that as a pizza base or make a focaccia next time. I made an apple salsa to go with the flatbread and the family enjoyed it as a starter with some wine.
  Amaranth is not a grain but rather a grain like seed. We use the green leaves to make curry or a dry vegetable coupled with egg plant or lentils. Amaranth or rajgira as its known in Hindi is used to prepare food during fasting days which demand a grain and pulse free diet. Amaranth seeds can be used like rice to be served with curries, lentils etc.Its a great replacement for oats as breakfast. Amaranth can be used in the seed form or as a flour.
  Amaranth is gluten free, helps to lower cholesterol, has anti inflammatory properties, helps to lower blood pressure,is a rich source of protein (ideal for vegetarians), is rich in lysine(helps the body absorb calcium, produces energy and helps build muscles), good source of fiber, boost immune system, is a good source of Vitamins A,C, E, K, B5, B6 and is a rich source of minerals like calcium, magnesium and copper.
  To work with amaranth flour, one needs to add another flour or boiled potato(sweet potato or tapioca) to make it more pliable. I added wholewheat flour, another healthy product. Check out my easy recipe. Amaranth flatbread had a nutty, earthy taste and is not heavy on the stomach.










AMARANTH FLATBREAD
Makes 2

1 cup amaranth flour (rajgira)
1½ cup wholewheat flour (atta)
1 tsp mixed dried herbs
½ tsp salt
1 tbsp honey
1-1¼ cup warm water
2 tsp instant dried active yeast
2 tbsp olive oil

extra flour either amaranth or wheat flour for dusting
extra olive oil for greasing


  1. Sift amaranth flour, wheat flour and salt together.
  2. Add dried herbs and yeast and mix well.
  3. Add honey to 1 cup warm water and stir it well.
  4. Using the required amount of water, make a dough.
  5. Let the dough rest covered, for 15 minutes.
  6. Dust the work top with some flour.
  7. Knead the dough for 5-10 minutes until its smooth.
  8. If it sticks to your hand use small amounts of the measured oil.
  9. Grease the bowl with some oil.
  10. Shape the dough into a big ball and place it in the bowl.
  11. Cover it with a wet cloth or cling film and let it rise till its nearly double the size.
  12. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  13. Dust the work top again with flour.
  14. Knead the dough gently  and divide it into 2 parts.
  15. Roll each part into a ball.
  16. Using a rolling pin or your hand, roll/pat it out into a 8-9" diameter circle.
  17. Grease a baking tray lightly.
  18. Place the flatbreads on the tray.
  19. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until it is light golden in colour.
  20. Let the flatbreads cool down a bit on a wire rack.
  21. Cut into wedges and serve with your favourite dip, cream cheese or salsa.
Tips:
  • Use the flatbread as a pizza base.
  • If the flour sticks too much to your hands, add a bit more flour or use oil to knead the dough.
  • To make apple salsa, chop a big apple finely. Add one small finely chopped onion, a few mint leaves, 2-3 tbsp lemon juice, salt, pepper and chilli flakes. Mix well and serve.
  • Can use a frying pan, griddle or tawa to cook the flatbreads.
Check out the Healthy Breads that our fellow #BreadBakers have baked this month:
#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. You can see all our of lovely bread by following our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated after each event on the #BreadBakers home page.

We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient. If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send Stacy an email with your blog URL to foodlustpeoplelove@gmail.com.

BreadBakers

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Monday, 9 January 2017

604. Khamiri Green Peas Puri

2017 -BEGINNING WITH OBSTACLES

   Just as the new year began, like everyone we prayed for a peaceful, trouble free and happy year. Well, happy we are as positive things in ours lives make us happy. However, the year hasn't really begun too well for hubby and me. From the time we left India, we're facing problems one after the other. 
  First obstacle - I go to my bank in Mumbai to get one of my debit cards activated. Tried it out at an ATM and it worked. Then the tech savvy in charge of cards informs us that our cards have a raised limit. He tinkers on the computer and tells us all is well. We are happy and leave the bank. Next day early morning at around 5 am hubby and I use our cards to pay for breakfast at the airport and they don't work! Can you imagine if we had tried to purchase something with more value or required the cards to pay for some emergency? Still getting sorted out!
  Second obstacle - Flight delay for over 2 hours for a trip that usually takes only 45 minutes! Instead of getting home at 2.30 pm, we reach at 5.30 pm.
  Third Obstacle - We unpack, freshen up. Hubby is on the ipad and I was watching TV. Both kept on saying its time to go to bed, but we were glued to our seats for sometime. There was power fluctuations which is normal in this part of the world so we just ignored it. Suddenly, I see sparks coming out of a socket behind hubby's massage armchair. Before we could even get up to switch it off, the socket behind the TV caught fire! It began to flare up so quickly. Luckily we put it off-- hubby kept on beating it with a thick cloth. Now we have a fire extinguisher in the house. Need to look for the old blanket which might be somewhere in the cupboards. Whole night no power, its really humid and hot. So we decide to go to our beach apartment to spend the night. The water in the apartment taps does not come out in force,but we just go to sleep. In the morning when we get up, there's water and sand everywhere in the corridors and stairways. We were told that a huge water tank on the roof top burst! Got home, had an electrician to sort out the problem which actually was a faulty trip switch at the main board downstairs. Scary!
  Fourth obstacle - Our househelp of so many years (over 18 years) decides that 6 weeks of holiday was not enough for him. He doesn't turn up for work. When I called him to ask when he will come, I got the answer " I'm sick, so don't know when I'll come!" Usually he will indicate when he'll be back.
  Fifth Obstacle - Yes still not over, when I put the clothes in the washing machine, and none were soiled badly or had sand. The wash comes out with tiny pieces of some plastic bits much like synthetic leather and sand grit! Check all the pockets again, found nothing.Still a mystery where it came from. Still got the bits of black stuff at the bottom of the machine. Ran it on cleaning mode but it didn't go away. Now to sort this out, need a vacuum cleaner!


 Enough of obstacles. In spite of all the obstacles I still managed to get my #74th theme on peas ready for #FoodieMonday #Bloghop. Blogging relieves stress for me. My moment of happiness.We were suppose to use only fresh peas for whatever we chose to prepare. When a fellow member Kriti suggested peas I knew immediately that I would prepare a saved Tarla Dalal recipe - Khamiri Green Peas Puri. What's so different about this puri from the normal pea puris you may ask? Well, khamir in Mughal language means yeast. The dough for this puri is prepared using yeast. The texture of the end product is a soft but slightly spongy puri. I made a few minor changes to the recipe but the end result was delicious. Ideal breakfast treat.Check out the recipe.









KHAMIRI GREEN PEAS PURI
Makes 8
Recipe source : Tarla Dalal

For the dough:
1 cup plain flour (all purpose flour)
½ cup wheat flour (atta)
½ tsp salt
½ tsp sugar
½ tbsp ghee
1 tsp instant active dried yeast
⅔-¾ cup warm water

For the filling:
1 cup boiled fresh peas
1 tbsp oil
½-¾ tsp salt
½ tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
1 tsp ginger paste
1 tsp green chilli paste
1 tsp lemon juice
¼ tsp sugar
¼ tsp clove powder
¼ tsp cinnamon powder
2-3 tbsp chopped fresh coriander

oil for deep frying
extra ghee for greasing
extra flour for dusting

Preparation of the dough:
  1. Mix the flours, salt and sugar in a big bowl. 
  2. Add ghee and rub into the flour.
  3. Sprinkle the yeast over the flour and mix.
  4. Form a dough using warm water.It should not be hard or too soft.
  5. Knead the dough for 5 minutes till its smooth.
  6. Grease the bowl with some ghee. 
  7. Shape the dough into a ball. Place it in the greased bowl. 
  8. Cover the bowl with a cloth or cling film and let the dough rise for 1½ hours till its double the size.
Preparation of the filling:
  1. Mash the boiled peas lightly.
  2. Heat oil in a pan over medium heat.
  3. Add cumin seeds. When they begin to sizzle, add the mashed green peas.
  4. Add salt, green chilli, ginger, sugar and mix well.
  5. Take the pan off the heat and let the mixture cool down a bit.
  6. Add cinnamon and clove powders, coriander and lemon juice.
  7. Mix well.
Final preparation:
  1. Knead the risen dough gently. Using a bit of flour, divide the dough into 8 equal parts. Roll each part into a ball.
  2. Divide the filling into 8 parts.
  3. Take one dough ball and using your fingers and thumb form a small basket or cup shape. 
  4. Put one part of the filling in it.
  5. Pinch up the seams to close the cup with the filling.
  6. Flatten it a bit between your palms.
  7. Using a little bit of flour, roll it into a 4" diameter circle.
  8. Repeat steps 3-7 with the remaining dough and filling.
  9. Heat oil in a wok or frying pan over medium heat.
  10. When its hot slide in one of the puris and fry it, turning it over often till its light golden brown in colour.
  11. Serve with a hot cup of coffee or masala tea.
Tips:
  • Use fresh peas to get a nice green filling.
  • Adjust the spices according to your taste.
  • Warm up the leftover puris in the oven for 5-10 minutes.
  • Fry the puri over medium heat and not high heat as you don't want the dough from the inside to remain raw.

You may want to check out the following:
kachoris
pea kofta curry
Sending this recipe for the following event:

Blog Hop



  

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Monday, 2 January 2017

603. Exotic Fruit Salad

HAPPY NEW YEAR

   Write it in your heart that every day of this new year is the best day. 
    
    A new year has begun, time to reflect on what we achieved last year, what we didn't and  what we would like to achieve. Like every year I continuously make a resolution to lose weight, which so far I haven't; not get so emotional if my kids don't call regularly, which is pretty difficult to stick by and have more patience with my hubby's weird, out of this world ideas. However, I still get angry and try to retaliate them with all my energy :) 
   This year I've not made any resolutions as I forget about them even before the 15th of January. Desserts, chocolates, good fried food, chaats still tempt me to no end. Perhaps I will try and take baby steps or make small mindful changes every day. However, it can only work if I continue with the change and not forget about it after a day. Lets see how it goes.
   But changes I do want. I want to go into 2017 loving myself more. I want to stop pleasing others. I want to think about me and my hubby more. I want to do what I feel I should. I don't want others telling me what I should be doing. I am old enough to know what is right and what is wrong. For me that's going to be like a major makeover. No seriously, after certain events that took place last year, I want to break the shackles of pleasing everyone. As hubby dear often reminds me that I should follow my heart. 
   It is also important to thank our past years and learn from it. Its the past that has allowed us to move to the new year. Its also a time to thank God for all that we have, good health, home, family and friends.
   So here's wishing you all a year which will bring you good health, peace, happiness, more family time, prosperity, success in all you want to achieve, new friends and continued friendship.
   Our 1st Monday of 2017 theme for #FoodieMonday#Bloghop is New Year. This is the 73rd theme. We had to prepare anything that we think is fit to welcome the New year into our lives. New beginnings mean celebrating with something sweet. However, after the wedding, Christmas, hubby's birthday celebrations I really didn't want to add more sugar into our bodies. I decided to make something that is naturally sweet and healthy - a fruit salad. You may think what's so unique about a fruit salad, but for me it is. I don't get dragon fruit in Mombasa so I decided to make a fruit salad using it. Saw the dragon fruits at a local veggie shop in HSR Layout, Bangalore and decided that I must use it for my next post. The other fruits I used are in season here and am enjoying them every day.
So here's my naturally sweet post to celebrate the New Year.








EXOTIC FRUIT SALAD
Serves 4

1 dragon fruit
12 strawberries
1 cup grapes
a few fresh mint leaves
1 cup of pomegranate seeds/arils

For the orange reduction:
1½ cups fresh orange juice
1 tsp cornflour


  1. To prepare the orange reduction, mix orange juice and cornflour in a thick bottomed pan.
  2. Put the pan over medium heat and let the juice become hot.
  3. When it begins to simmer, reduce the heat. Let it simmer for 7-10minutes till it becomes a little thick.
  4. Let it cool down completely.
  5. Scoop out the flesh from the dragon fruit. 
  6. Cut the grapes into half.
  7. Tear the mint leaves.
  8. Hull the strawberries and cut into half or thick slices.
  9. Mix the fruits and mint leaves together in a serving bowl.
  10. Pour the orange reduction over the fruit salad and serve.
Tips:
  • Use any fruit of your choice.
  • Make it colourful so that it is appealing and kids will want to reach out for it.
  • Can serve the fruit salad with some ice cream or drizzle fresh cream over it.
  • Use basil leaves instead of mint.
You may want to check out the following:

Fruit Tartlets
Fruit Jelly
amaranth fruity pudding
Sending this recipe for the following event:


Blog Hop
   

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