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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Cinnamon Toasted Panettone and Persimmon Mini Trifles

Toasted Pannetone and Persimmon trifles-4

These super easy trifles combine the 2 of my new found love. Panettone and Persimmon. I've had Panettone many times before, but I wasn't too keen on it .... until this year. I've gobbled up copious amount of panettone this month. I have no idea why. But it just tastes delicious this year. May be I have developed a taste for it now.

Toasted Pannetone and Persimmon trifles-3 

Toasted Pannetone and Persimmon trifles-1

Toasted Pannetone and Persimmon trifles-5

My favourite part is biting into the candied citrus peels and raisins.

I've discovered Persimmons only after coming to Europe and have always loved them since. My son calls it “Mango's cousin” and enjoys it as much as I do.

The idea of these trifles took root in my mind one day and all I had to make was custard and assemble them. They can be put together in a few minutes.Cinnamon adds a nice touch. This dessert can be served warm or chilled.


Cinnamon Toasted Panettone and Persimmon Mini Trifles

Yield – 2 to 3

Ingredients -

2-3 Persimmons cut into cubes, chilled or at room temperature
4-5 large Panettone slices
Butter to toast the panettone slices
vanilla custard (store bought or make your own. See notes)
2-3 tbsp whipped cream or crème fraiche
1-2 tsp cinnamon powder
a few pistachios

Method -

Butter the panettone slices, sprinkle some cinnamon on both sides and toast the slices on a hot griddle or toaster until they are slightly brown.
Cut the slices into cubes/squares.
Assemble the trifles. First a layer of pannetone pieces. Then spoon some custard. Next a layer of persimmon cubes. Top with more pannetone and finish off with whipped cream. Garnish with a pistachios and sprinkle a pinch of cinnamon.

Notes –

I prepared the egg free custard using custard powder(I used Birds custard powder), sugar and milk. You could also use a pudding mix or store bought ready custard. Chill/warm the custard as you would like to have it.

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Thursday, December 12, 2013

Potato and Coconut soup with Coriander Cashew Pesto

With temperatures hitting subzero, a bowl of soup is a treat these days.
But we enjoy our soup all year round. Usually Sunday nights are soup nights. Sunday lunch is quite elaborate and traditional and we prefer something light for dinner. A bowl of soup accompanied with homemade bread or salad makes a hearty comforting meal. I simply love that combination.

Potato coconut soup-1

I have happily swapped by evening tea for soup many a times. It was also my favourite snack for those sudden bouts of hunger during my pregnancies.

This soup doesn't need a long list of ingredients. Just some pantry basics. 
It is also a great way to use up leftover boiled or mashed potatoes. The soup could of course be had sans the pesto. But the pesto complements the creamy soup well and adds loads of flavour. So I highly recommend it

Potato coconut soup-3

Potato coconut soup-2

Potato and Coconut Soup with Coriander Cashew pesto

Serves 2-3

Ingredients -

3-4 medium potatoes, boiled and mashed
half cup coconut milk + a few tsps extra for garnish
1 small onion
2 cloves of garlic
1 cup vegetable stock/water
1 packed cup of coriander leaves, stalk and all
handful of cashew nuts
2 tsp olive oil + extra for garnish
1-2 green chilli
chilli flakes for garnish

Method -

Prepare the pesto
Grinder coriander, cashew, 1 tsp oil and green chilli until a slightly coarse paste forms.

Make the soup
Heat 1 tsp oil in a large saucepan and fry the onions until transparent.
Add garlic, potatoes, vegetable stock, salt and bring to boil. Turn heat down and simmer for 2-3 minutes.
Puree with a hand mixer or blender and return to saucepan.
Add the coconut milk and bring to boil again. Switch off heat.
Serve hot with a dollop of coriander cashew pesto, garnish with chilli flakes, coconut milk and olive oil.

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Friday, November 15, 2013

Delhi style Pumpkin stir fry

My recent holiday to India has sure made me lazy. I was spoilt by my family and got away without doing any chores. Its been weeks and am still reminiscing about the wonderful time I had.

Delhi Style Pumpkin-6

Delhi Style Pumpkin-7

But its time we got back to business. With my little girl starting to walk, she is busy exploring the world…the kitchen cabinet and drawers being her favourite!! And the little boy starting kindergarten, they do keep me on my toes and our meals are getting simpler. Elaborate cooking is limited to weekends and special occasions.
This stir fry or sabzi is easy but full of flavour. The pepper and nigella seeds  especially render a very unique flavour. Ive used butternut squash here. But any variety of pumpkin should work.

Delhi Style Pumpkin-1

Delhi Style Pumpkin-3

Delhi Style Pumpkin-4

Delhi Style Pumpkin-5

Delhi style Pumpkin stir fry

Adapted from Madhur Jaffrey's World Vegetarian

Yeild - 3-4 servings

Things you need -

1 small butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and cubed
1 tsp whole pepper corns
1 tsp nigella seeds(kalonji)
1 tbsp oil
1-2 dried red chilli(or use a tsp of paprika powder)
1 tsp cumin seeds
half tsp fenugreek seeds
half tsp fennel seeds, optional
salt, as per taste
1-2 tsp sugar
1 tsp amchoor powder(dried mango powder) or juice of half a lemon

How its done -

1. Heat oil is a non stick pan on medium-high heat.
2. Put the cumin seeds, nigella seeds, fennel seeds, fenugreek, peppercorns and red chillies.  Stir for a few seconds and add the pumpkin. Stir for a minute.
3. Reduce the heat to low and cook covered for about 20-30 minutes stirring frequently until the pumpkin is tender.
4. Add salt, sugar, amchoor powder and stir gently.
5. Sever hot with flatbread or as a side dish to any rice.

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Monday, November 4, 2013

Poppy seed kissed Sweet Pumpkin fritters


I havent grown up eating much of pumpkins. Dad was never too keen on this vegetable. Mom never bothered to cook much with it. But occasionally she did make these sweet fritters. These are called Gharge or Ghargi in Maharashtra and north Karnataka.
All these years I almost forgot about this delicacy. Last week we visited a farm hosting a pumpkin harvest event. I couldnt resist buying the bright orange beauties and went a little overboard with it. I had pumpkin soup and a few other savoury dishes in mind. But a craving for some thing sweet(its diwali right!) got me thinking about these gharge.



They are crisp on the outside and soft and chewy on the inside. These little bites can be quite addictive. The poppy seeds are optional however I highly recommend using them for a unique nutty flavour. I made these over Diwali weekend and we snacked on them over tea time.
A very Happy Diwali to all who celebrate it!!
So, what did you make this Diwali?


Poppy Seed kissed Sweet Pumpkin fritters

Yield – 16-20 pieces

Things you need -

2 packed cups grated pumpkin (any sweet pumpkin variety will do. I used Red Kuri)
1 cup powdered jaggery or light brown sugar (see notes)
1.5 cups whole wheat flour
1-2 tbsp poppy seeds, optional
oil for deep frying + extra for moulding the fritters
half tsp cardamom powder
2 tbsp ghee/clarified butter

How its done -

1. In a heavy bottomed vessel/pan , heat the ghee and add the grated pumpkin to it. Stir for a minute or two.
2. Add the jaggery and cardamom powder and mix well. The mixture will start to turn mushy. Keep stirring occasionally on medium to low heat until moisture has evaporated and a smooth and sticky mixture has formed. This takes 20-30 minutes.
3. Allow the mixture to cool down. Add the wheat flour little at a time to the pumpkin jaggery mixture and knead it into a dough.
The dough consistency has to be tight enough to form balls. Make golf sized balls and slightly flatten them with your palm. Use a few drops of oil on your palm to help you with this.
Sprinkle some poppy seeds on both sides and press lightly so that the seeds stick to the surface of the fritters.
4. Heat oil in a frying pan. Lower heat to medium-low and deep fry the fritters until golden brown. Transfer them to a absorbent kitchen paper towel to discard excess oil.
5. These taste best a day on from preparation. They can be stored in an air tight container up to a week.

Notes -

Brown sugar can be substituted for jaggery. It may take slightly more time for the moisture to evaporate. So cooking time may vary.
You may also add 2-3 tbsp of rice flour to the wheat flour. This makes them extra crispy.

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Friday, October 25, 2013

Palak Paneer – A Guest Post by Sowmya of Messy Kitchen Stories

This space has been quiet for some time now. A lot of travelling, family, friends kept me busy. Finally we are back from our long vacation. We ve packed in so many memories in the last 2 months that I am struggling to get beyond my holiday inertia. While I take my time to get back to my old routine, my sweet friend Sowmya of Messy Kitchen Stories happily agreed to share a recipe on my space.


Sowmya was my first friend in the blogoshpere. When I discovered her blog, I was smitten. We got to know each other(virtually of course) and we shared similar interests in food and photography. So it was great to chat about our experiences, doubts.
I am grateful to her for doing this post for me. Over to Sowmya now!
Hello all..
Shruti was the first person who emailed me and shared her experiences with me and fascinated  me with her warmth and talks. Always full of curiosity and energy, she was my first friend in blogging world. Her character and personality reflects on her pictures,words and recipes .. so colourful , lively and mouth-watering. I was honoured when she asked to guest post on her blog while she is on vacation .Thank you so much Shruti !!
Now coming to the recipe, Palak Paneer is an indian classical dish comprising of soft paneer cheese in a spinach gravy. It needs no introduction - the quintessential north Indian dish that everyone loves.


Palak Paneer

Ingredients: (Serves 2)
  • 2-3 tbsp of Oil
  • 10-15 cloves of Garlic
  • 1 tsp of Cumin seeds
  • 4-5 Green Chillies, finely chopped
  • 2 Medium sized onions, sliced
  • 1 Cup of Fresh yogurt
  • 1 tbsp of coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp of turmeric powder
  • 1/4 tsp of black salt
  • salt to taste
  • 200gms of cottage cheese (paneer)
  • 2 Cups of Spinach (Blanched,boiled and pureed)
  • 1 tbsp of freshly ground coriander paste
  • 1/2 lemon, squeezed and juiced
Method :
  • Wash the spinach leaves thoroughly under running water to remove dirt and stones. Fill a large pot with water and bring to boil. Add spinach leaves to boiling water and allow them to cook for 30 secs,until the leaves turn bright green.Remove the spinach leaves from pot with strainer ,draining the excess liquid. Place the leaves immediately in a large bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process. Drain the excess water and squeeze the excess water out of spinach and puree in a blender and set aside
  • Heat oil in a pan on medium high. Once heated, add cumin seeds and finely chopped garlic till slightly light brown.
  • Next, Add sliced onions and finely chopped green chillies ,cook until it turns translucent
  • Reduce the heat to low, Add a cup of yogurt , coriander powder, turmeric powder and black salt and salt required . Heat on low flame for 3 mins.
  • Cut the paneer into cubes and set aside. Always place the cottage cheese in hot water for 10 mins before adding to the gravy. It always helps in softening of cheese.
  • Add the pureed spinach to the yogurt mixture and some fresh coriander paste for fresh taste. Check for spices and salt and cook well for 3-4 mins on low flame.
  • Add paneer cubes to the gravy and cook for another 1 min and switch off the heat.
  • Squeeze some lemon juice over it before serving.

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Thursday, September 5, 2013

Kadhi Pakodi - Guest Post by Asha of Food Fashion Party

Have you ever met someone and felt an instant connection with them? As though you've known them for a while? Thats what I felt when I first interacted with Ash. Ash is the author, photographer behind Food Fashion Party where she shares her awesome recipes ranging from healthy salads to indulgent treats. She is a wonderful down to earth and approachable person and is always so reassuring.

I am thankful to her for taking time to post on my blog.

So over to Ash!


Thanks Shruti for giving me this opportunity.

My boys have long list of food they want to learn  from macaroons to a simple south Indian meal.  The best part  of getting the kids to cook is how much fun they have with it and they enjoy eating it without any complaints:) and their compliments are the sweetest.
This is one of those dishes we cook together, one whips the buttermilk when the other mixes for the pakodis, it's a team effort.
I hope you enjoy the simple kadhi(yogurt gravy) as much as we do.


Kadhi is a North Indian dish eaten with rotis or rice.  Made with chickpea flour and buttermilk, it's a pretty healthy dish. Pakodi or Fritters are added to the yogurt gravy to make it special.  I used spinach and corn to make it heartier and a bit healthier(well if you consider fried healthy;).  The only thing I've done different is roasted garlic and used that in the gravy, and let me tell you, it makes it so unique keeping the original flavor intact.





For Pakodi:
2 cup packed chopped spinach
1 cup corn
1 cup garbanzo bean flour/besan
1 tsp red Chili powder
1 tsp salt
some water to mix this to a thick mixture
Mix all this very well, with water and the mixture has to be thick like a fritter consistency.  Use small icecream scoop to make uniform fritter, fry it on medium high heat and keep aside.

For Kadhi:
1 whole garlic (roasted)
2 cups thick yogurt
1/2 cup garbanzo bean flour/besan
1 cup water
1/2 tsp red chili powder
1/2 tsp garam masala
1 tsp dried meethi leaves
1/2 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp turmeric
1 tsp black mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
some curry leaves
1 tsp vegetable oil


1. Wrap the whole garlic in aluminium foil and roast it in a 400 degree oven for 30 minutes.  Alternatively you could roast the whole garlic over flame very very carefully.  You could also leave it on the grill, but the close the top and grill for 15 minutes.  Once done, remove the meat of the garlic by squeezing the top and you will have some sweet garlic paste.
2. Whip the yogurt well until it reaches a buttermilk consistency.  
3. Add flour/besan and water to the yogurt and beat very well.  Add salt and keep aside for an hour.
4. In a large heavy bottom pan, add oil, add mustard, cumin, curry leaves and let it cook for a bit.
5. Reduce the heat to medium low and add the garlic paste, red chili powder, turmeric, garam masala and fry for 30 seconds, making sure not to burn the spices. 
6. Add the yogurt mixture to the pan and mix it well.  keep stirring the mixture, at all times the temperature of the heat to be medium or low. 
7. The mixture will slowly thicken and let it simmer for 20-30 minutes
8. 8. Crush the dried meethi leaves and add it to kadhi.  Switch of the flame and add the pakodi in it and let sit for an hour before serving and Serve hot with rotis or rice.

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Friday, August 23, 2013

Easy Mushroom curry with Radish Asparagus Raita

Mushroom masala-2

Like eggplants, mushrooms are detested by my husband and my little boy. In fact, hubby would
choose to stay hungry over eating any dish made with these vegetables. I, on the other hand love mushrooms. I can eat them in any form. I am hoping my baby girl would grow up to follow my
tastes.That would strike a balance!


But until then, it means I get to cook and savour them alone. This ‘’curry’’ is one such dish which has been in my drafts for a while now. I make no claims that this is an authentic Indian curry. But is certainly delicious, comforting and easy to make.
I take full advantage of kids not eating this and add some extra chillies to it. The cool raita makes a wonderful accompaniment to it. The walnuts add a lovely crunch. With steaming white rice, it makes a hearty meal.


Radish Asparagus raita-1

Mushroom Curry

Serves 1-2

Things you need -

200 gms Mushrooms, washed, and quartered I used mushrooms. Any variety will do.
half a Red bell pepper, sliced
1 medium tomato, chopped
1 small onion, chopped fine
150 ml coconut milk
1 tsp garam masala
2-3 green chillies, slit lengthwise or chopped. Go easy on them if you want a less spicy version
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp + 1 tsp oil
water as required
half inch ginger, grated
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced fine
a few coriander leaves, lemon wedges for garnish

How its done -

1. Heat 1tbsp oil in a pan or skillet. Saute the mushrooms for about 5 minutes until tender. Keep mushrooms  aside.
2. In the same pan, heat a tsp of oil, Add onions and fry for 3-5 minutes on low/medium heat. Add ginger, garlic and green chilli for the last 2 minutes.
3. Add bellpepper and fry for a minute. Add tomato and cook for a few minutes until soft and mushy.
4. Add the mushrooms, garam masala, salt, sugar and mix well. Saute for 2 minutes.
5. Add coconut milk and a bit of water to lighten the consistency if you like.
   Bring to boil and switch off heat. Garnish with coriander leaves.

Radish Asparagus Raita

Serves 2

Things you need -

2-3 spears of Asparagus cut into inch pieces. Discard woody/hard end
2-3 radishes, sliced
1 cup or 250 ml yoghurt
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar

For tempering -
half tsp mustard seeds
half tsp urad dal
a few curry leaves
1-2 small dried red chillies, optional
1-2 tsp oil
a few coriander leaves 
1-2 tbsp coarsely crushed toasted walnuts

How its done -

1. Mix the first five ingredients together in a bowl.
2. Heat oil in a small pan. Add red chillies if using and mustard seeds. Once they start to spultter, lower the heat and add urad dal and curry leaves. Take off from heat and pour onto the raita. 
Garnish with coriander leaves and crushed walnuts.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Tandoori Grilled Vegetable Sandwich

Texture Tandoori grilled veggie sandwich-1

Hello friends! How have you all been? This  space has been quiet for some time. Well, Ive been busy having fun and being lazy. No morning stress..…a true relaxed vacation. Lots of first time experiences ..Little boy busy learning to play cricket …the little girl got her first tooth! A lot of old memories being relived ..the indian monsoon…childhood favourite dishes being savoured. More on that later.
But for now I am sharing a recipe from my drafts which I made a few days before leaving for India.
The tandoori vegetables and paneer add loads of flavor to this sandwich. The coriander mint chutney is a perfect match for the tandoori vegetables. Like the veggie tortila wraps, these too make a great portable meal.

Tandoori grilled veggie sandwich-3

Tandoori grilled veggie sandwich-2

Tandoori Grilled Vegetable Sandwich

Yield - Makes 1 medium sized sandwich

Things you need -


Sandwich Bread . I used Ciabatta
1 small zucchini
half a medium eggplant, sliced vertically
200 gms of paneer sliced
1 medium sized bell pepper, sliced
1 small red onion, sliced into rings
few rocket leaves, optional
2 tbsp oil
tomato ketchup, optional
1-2 tsp butter

For the marinade
3-4 tbsp thick yoghurt
2 tbsp tandoori masala powder.  See recipe below.
1-2 tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp garlic paste
salt as per taste

For the mint coriander chutney
handful mint leaves
handful coriander leaves
1-2 green chillies
1 clove of garlic
1 tsp salt
1tbsp lemon juice

How its done -


1. Mix the yoghurt, tandoori masala powder, chilli powder, ginger garlic paste, salt in a bowl. Marinade the eggplant, zucchini, bell pepper and paneer slices. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours.
2. Meanwhile prepare the mint coriander chutney by grinding all the ingredients for chutney. Keep aside.
3. Grill the marinated vegetables and paneer slices on a griddle/broiler until done for about 3-5 minutes on each side.
4. Slit the bread into 2. Butter both slices and lightly toast it if you like. Apply the mint coriander chutney and tomato ketchup if using. Place the grilled vegetables, paneer, onion rings, rocket leaves in between the bread slices. Serve with more ketchup if required.


Tandoori masala powder

Recipe loosely adapted from here.

Things you need -


half cup dried red chillies
1/4 cup coriander seeds
1 tbsp cumin seeds
half tbsp pepper
half tbsp cloves
2-3 cardamom pods
1 tsp fenugreek seeds
2 inch stick of cinnamon
1 tsp ginger powder
1 tsp garlic powder
half tsp turmeric powder

How its done -


1. Mix the red chillies, coriander seeds, cumin, pepper, cloves, cardamom, fenugreek, cinnamon in a pan and roast them on low flame until fragrant. This tales about 2-3 minutes. Take care not to burn them.
2. Grind the roast spices along with the ginger, garlic and turmeric powder in a blender or mixer until smooth. Store in an airtight container.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Black Forest Pancakes {Egg-free} – a guest post for Yummly

Black Forest Pancakes-3

Black Forest Pancakes-4

Past couple of weeks have zoomed past. A lot happening. Our much awaited vacation time in India has finally arrived. Shopping, packing, 3 flights spanning  across 2 continents, 2 very tired kids and even more tired parents.  We have finally landed in India and currently enjoying all the attention and pampering showered by our family and friends. 

Black Forest Pancakes-1

Black Forest Pancakes-8

On a complete different note, I am very excited to share one of my recipes on Yummly blog today. My idea of a luxury breakfast that would also pass as a dessert. Black forest pancakes - A treat for chocolate lovers. I made these, few weeks ago taking full advantage of a fresh batch of cherries that I bought. Do hop over to Yummly to check out the recipe.

Black Forest Pancakes-5

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Easy Veggie Summer Tortilla Wraps with spicy Chickpeas and Feta

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Veggie tortilla wraps-3 

Eating outside amidst nature is one of the pleasures of summer. With days getting longer and temperatures soaring high, picnics are on the rise. My little boy enjoys eating outside and insists that we do that everyday! We mimic a picnic in our balcony at times when we cannot go out. He is a big fan of sandwiches and wraps and they make a perfect accompaniment to our impromptu picnics. Throw in some cheese and he can eat it every single day.
These wraps can be made in a jiffy and make great a portable meal. The spice levels can be adjusted to suit your tolerance and make an ideal snack for kids too.

Veggie tortiall wraps-1

Veggie tortilla wraps-5

 Veggie tortilla wraps-7

Easy Veggie Summer Tortilla Wraps with Spicy Chickpeas and feta

Yield - Makes 4 wraps

Things you need -

4 flour or corn Tortilla wraps
100 gms chickpeas, soaked overnight and boiled or use canned ones
2 medium sized tomatoes, deseeded and chopped
1-2 cloves of garlic, minced fine
1 tsp chilli powder (adjust as per liking)
1 tsp cumin seeds
salt, as per taste ( remember feta is quite salty)
a pinch of sugar
1-2 tsp vegetable oil
100 gms feta, crumbled
half cup or 100 gms thick yoghurt
handful mint leaves, chopped
chilli flakes or chilli powder for garnish
1 spring onion, chopped
5-6 pitted olives, chopped, optional
a big handful of shredded lettuce
coriander leaves for garnish

How its done -

1. Heat the oil in a pan. Add cumin seeds. Once they start to splutter add garlic and cook for a minute. Add tomatoes, chilli powder and cook until mushy.
2. Add chickpeas, salt and sugar and cook for 2-5 minutes. The mixture needs to be dry with minimum moisture. Take off from heat, allow it to cool and keep aside.
3. Meanwhile whisk the crumbled feta, yoghurt and mint together in a bowl to form a smooth mixture. Garnish with chilli powder or chilli flakes if you can handle the heat.
4. Heat up a griddle or a non stick pan and warm the tortilla slightly for a minute. Allow them to cool down.
5. Place the tortilla on a board or plate and evenly spread a spoonful of feta-yoghurt-mint mixture. Now top with the chickpeas, spring onions, lettuce, olives if  using and some coriander leaves. Fold or roll the tortilla, secure with a string or napkin.
6. Stays crisp up to 2 hours. After that, the wraps might get soggy, but still tastes great though!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

3 Legume Rice

3 legume rice-1

Very often ..I have quite a few items in my pantry that lurk for days and months ..and yes I will be honest..some of them go up to a year too. Raise your hand if this happens to you.

- I have atleast 4 kinds of sugar.. demerara ..muscovado, light brown..castor ..vanilla..and jaggery and some of them have been used just once.
- all kinds of sprinkles one could ever find ..for a cake decorating emergency
- the whole batch of papads and fryums we bought from our last trip to India and havent even consumed half of it.
- the golden syrup can that was an impulse purchase thinking what if I never find it when I need it
- 3 different brands of malted chocolate ..dark, white and semisweet?!!!
and I could go on..

They are all bought with good intention but eventually I forget they exist only to be discovered by me past their expiration date. Or buy 5 kinds of legumes because I believe we should be eating more of them but fall short of ways(and time) to use them up. Sadly most of them end up in the bin.

3 legume rice-3

3 legume rice-2

But In spite of this we go in an autopilot mode every weekend and go grocery shopping. Of course we need our fresh veggies, fruits and dairy but we still manage to get a few items which might end up on a list like the one above.
So since past few months, every 2-3 months I have been trying to review and really use up what we have before filling up the pantry. This legume rice is one such dish. I have used black chickpeas and green peas but any legume should work. The peanuts add an interesting flavour. The method of preparing this rice is similar to that of upma(a south indian savoury porridge using roasted semolina) where the rice is roasted before being boiled and is called akki usali in Karnataka. This is a mild rice dish with no spices and goes well with dal or any curry or raita.

This concept of an `eat down` was inspired by Nupur`s Whats lurking in your kitchen series. Nupur`s One hot Stove(OHS) is one of my favourite blogs and I have been following it for years. It has been an immense resource for me and I see it nothing less than an encyclopaedia. From the best Pav Bhaji recipe to Flylady ..from to some wonderful books to some great baby food recipes …they were all introduced to me via OHS. I was also introduced to MLLA(My Legume Love Affair) through her website and I have been participating every month since I started my blog. MLLA was started by Susan of The Well Seasoned Cook and is now run by Lisa of Lisas kitchen. I am thrilled that this months edition of MLLA is being hosted at One Hot Stove and this recipe is my entry for it.


3 legume rice-4

3 Legume rice

Yield – serves 4

Things you need -

1.5 cups rice, preferably basmati
1/4 cup peanuts
1/4 cup green peas
1/2 cup chickpeas, soaked in water overnight and boiled. Alternatively use canned ones.
1/4 cup grated carrots. finely chopped potatoes, green beans, grated cabbage etc all work well
1 medium red onion, sliced
juice of half a lemon
2-3 green chillies, slit lengthwise
1 inch ginger, grated
salt as per taste
1 tsp cumin seeds
half tsp mustard seeds
handful curry leaves
1-2 tbsp vegetable oil
4 to 4.5 cups hot water
coriander for garnish
grated or shredded coconut for garnish, optional.

How its done -

1. In a heavy bottomed pan, roast the rice on medium heat until it starts to turn slightly brown. Take off from heat and keep aside for later.
2. In the same pan, heat oil and add mustard seeds, cumin seeds. Once they start to splutter, add curry leaves, onions, ginger, peanuts and green chillies and sauté for a minute.
3. Add about 4 cups of hot water, salt, vegetables like carrots etc, chickpeas and bring it to boil. Now reduce the heat and add the roasted rice and mix well. Increase the heat to medium-high, cover with a plate or lid and allow the rice to cook. Half way through, add the green peas and stir. Add more water if required.
4. Once rice is cooked, switch off heat and add the lemon juice and fluff the rice. Garnish with coriander and coconut.
5. Serve hot/warm with any curry or dal, raita or just plain yoghurt.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Egg-less No-churn Butterscotch ice cream with Almond praline

Butterscotch ice cream-5 with text
Butterscotch ice cream-4

Butterscotch ice cream-3

Butterscotch ice cream-1

What's your favourite ice cream flavour? With some many flavours available the odds are that you would have trouble pointing out one. But if you grew up in the early 1980s in India like me, the ice cream flavours known to me then, could be counted on my fingers. There was chocolate, vanilla, strawberry(no idea if it really had strawberry, but it was pink though), pistachio, mango and butterscotch. That's it. I particularly remember one brand of ice cream called `Yummy ice cream` which produced ice cream in tiny plastic boxes which my mum reused to store bits and bobs.

Butterscotch ice cream-8

Butterscotch ice cream-9

Butterscotch ice cream-2

I spent quite some of my childhood years in Goa and ice cream was limited to certain family outings. A trip to the beach mostly or a restaurant. The choice of ice cream was fixed. I always stuck to vanilla, my sister was fascinated by the pink `strawberry ice cream` , Mum never ordered ice cream and dad had butterscotch. Always. He never had sweets. But could never resist butterscotch ice cream (and Mysore paak). The butterscotch ice cream had a lovely pale yellow hue and was topped with crunchy nuts..almost like praline.

Its been years I ve heard of Yummy ice cream now. I have no idea what happened to it. I wanted to try and recreate the butterscotch ice cream..with the crunchy topping of course. A google search lead me to this butterscotch sauce recipe from David Lebovitz. I incorporated the same method as I used in my earlier Vanilla ice cream recipe.

The result was great. The salty, sweet flavours of butterscotch embedded in creamy ice cream combined with the crunchy praline took me back to the Goan beaches.
Its such a co-incidence that I made this on fathers day. A perfect dessert loved by Papa for fathers day.

Butterscotch ice cream-10

Butterscotch ice cream-7

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Egg-less Butterscotch ice-cream with Almond praline

Yield – about 1 litre

Things you need -

For the ice cream
50 gms salted Butter ( or use unsalted butter and add 1 tsp of salt )
1 cup or 180 gms Brown sugar
100 ml single cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
250 ml single cream
250 ml heavy cream or double cream
250 ml milk
3 tbsp cornstarch or custard powder
a pinch of salt

For the almond praline -
handful Almonds
1 cup Sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup water
half tsp salt

How its done -

Prepare the Butterscotch sauce – Makes about 200 ml
1. In a heavy bottomed saucepan, combine butter, sugar and quarter of the single cream and place it on medium high heat. Stir continuously until the butter has melted and a smooth mixture forms.
2. Now stop stirring and reduce the heat and allow it to simmer for 2-3 minutes.
3. Switch off heat and stir in the rest of the single cream.
4. The sauce can be stored in a jar. Once refrigerated, it needs to be reheated on low heat for a few minutes before using to loosen the consistency.

Prepare the ice cream -
5. Whisk together the cornstarch, salt and milk ensuring no lumps are formed and place it on low-medium heat stirring frequently until the mixture thickens and starts to coat the back of a spoon. Switch off heat, stir in the vanilla extract and allow it to cool completely.
6. Add the heavy cream, single cream and about 150 ml of the butterscotch sauce to the custard mixture and mix well.
7. Fold in 2-3 tbps of almond praline(recipe below) and freeze for a an hour or two. Then top the ice cream with a few more tablespoons of praline and freeze again overnight.
8. Serve with butterscotch sauce and more praline if you like it.

Prepare the Almond Praline-
Adapted from here.

1. Place sugar in a saucepan and add some water just enough to wet the sugar evenly.
2. Place on medium-high heat and do not stir.
3. As the mixture starts to caramelise, swirl the pan to ensure even caramelistaion.
4. Reduce heat and once the mixture turns amber in colour or dark orange, remove from heat, stir in the almonds, vanilla and salt. Pour the mixture evenly like  a sheet over a tray lined with parchment paper. Allow it to cool and harden. This takes just a few minutes.
5. Break the praline sheet coarsely. Place it in a yip lock bag and crush it with a rolling pin. Alternatively use a blender or food processor to powder the praline. Stor in an air tight jar for up to 3-4 weeks. Do not refrigerate.

Notes -

The butterscotch sauce and heavy cream form a silky texture and eliminate the need to churn this ice cream. Hence no ice cream machine required!
The praline and butterscotch ice cream can be used as garnish over other ice cream flavours like vanilla, chocolate or over cakes or yoghurt too.