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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

3 drinks to cool off the summer with

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Carrot milkshake-1 600

Salted caramel and apple shake-1 600

There were days when the only cool drink we had was the good old nimbu pani(indian lemonade), or paanaka(a sweet drink from Southern India made with jaggery) or the tradtional lassi or banana milkshake made by mom. Aereated drinks were never a part of the grocery list and was limited to an occasional party. But that, when we were growing up.
Thanks to  the internet and globalisation there is no limit to variety of drinks we have now. We still try to stay away from aerated drinks as far as possible.

 I try to incorporate a smoothie or a milkshake into breakfast these days. These 3 drinks have some kind of fruit or vegetable in them.

The Carrot milkshake is the only way my little boy eats his carrots. I steam them before pureering them because I believe it gives a creamier texture. The hint of caradmom in it reminds me of gajar ka halwa(carrot pudding)!

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The blueberry lassi is the easiest, no cooking, boiling what so ever. Just plain blueberries, yoghurt and sugar.

Blueberry lassi-1    Blueberry lassi-2

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I love salted caramel. I can eat it right out of the jar. Anything with caramel is a winner for me.
Last autumn I had made an apple tart with salted caramel glaze from here. This milkshake is inspired by that. The salted caramel sauce did take a few attempts to get it right. The important part is to not stir the mixture while it is caramelising and not to leave it on the heat for more than the prescribed time. Else we might end up with burnt sugar. This one is loosely adapted from David Lebovitz` s recipe.

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Blueberry Lassi

Makes 1 tall glass

Things you need -

half a glass blueberries
3/4 glass yoghurt + 1/4 glass water (or use 1 glass of buttermilk instead)
sugar as per liking

How its done -

1. Put all ingredients into a blender and whizz for a few minutes.
2. Serve with ice cubes.

Carrot Milkshake

Makes 1 tall glass

Things you need -

2 medium sized carrots, cut steamed or boiled in water for 2-3 minutes *
half a tsp cardamom powder
sugar as required
3/4 glass , about 180 ml cold milk **

How its done -

1. Puree the carrots in a blender.
2. Add milk, cardamom, sugar to the puree and whizz in the blender for a few seconds.
Notes -
* Steaming or boiling them makes the consistency creamier and smooth. You can also eliminate this step.
** This drink can also be had warm. Just replace cold milk with warm milk.

Salted caramel and apple milkshake

Makes 1 tall glass

Things you need -

1 medium apple, cleaned, cored and cut
2 tbsp salted caramel sauce + extra for garnish ( store bought or home made. See recipe below)
3/4 glass or 180 ml milk
few ice cubes ***

How its done -

1. Blanch the apple pieces in boiling water for a minute or 2. Drain and keep aside.
2. Puree the apple and add milk, ice cubes and 1 tbsp of salted caramel sauce. Whizz in the blender and serve with more ice cubes and drizzle with salted caramel sauce.

For the salted caramel sauce -

Makes about 200 ml

Things you need -

1 cup or 180 gms brown or regular sugar
half stick or 4 tbsp or 55 gms of salted butter *
a pinch of salt . (Sea salt or fleur de sel is better)
150 ml single cream ****

How its done -

1.In a heavy bottomed vessel or saucepan place the sugar, butter, salt and a quarter of the cream on high heat and stir well until a smooth mixture forms and butter has melted.
2. Leave the mixture to caramelise. This will take 5-8 minutes. be patient. Do not stir.
3.Once the mixture starts to caramelise or starts turning into an amber colour, swirl it if required. i.e to facilitate even caramelisation. Do not stir.
4. Reduce heat to low and allow it to simmer for 2 minutes. Switch off heat and add the rest of the cream.
5. Allow it to cool before using. Store in a clean jar. To use the sauce, reheat in a microwave for a few seconds or place the jar in hot water for a few minutes or reheat in a saucepan on low heat to loosen the consistency. **

Notes -

* You can substitute for salted butter with unsalted butter and half tsp of salt. Do not use rock salt. It leaves a salty residue in the sauce.
** The measurements for the sauce makes more than what is required for a glass of milkshake. You can use the sauce over ice creams, cakes or cookies to add pizzazz.
*** This drink can also be had warm. Skip the ice cubes and use warm milk instead.
****Heavy cream is used to make salted caramel sauce. I used single cream and it still came out fine. If you wish, you could use heavy cream.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Coconut Lemon Sorbet with tropical fruit salad

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Now that summer is almost here, I am contemplating whether or not to buy an ice cream machine. I am tempted to buy one. There is nothing like home made ice cream and it seems like a best choice for kids compared to store bought ice cream. The little boy would be delighted. But again I am reminded of the alarming rate at which our cupboards and cabinets are filling up ever since we had kids. The kitchen is no different. The cabinets are just waiting to burst open. The kitchen counter is flooded with all sorts of gadgets. Baby bottle warmer, bottle sterlizer, vegetable name it and we have it. My newly purchased props are not making it easier. In fact our basement has reached its humble capacity too. All this ..even before Lil miss P has started crawling.

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But not having an ice cream machine doesn't stop me from making ice cream. Especially after how delicious the vanilla ice cream turned out..there is no way I am going to stop. The key to making good ice cream or sorbet without a machine is the manual churning that is required to be done to break down the ice crystals(see recipe for details). The more times you do it, the creamier the texture. Its requires some serious exercising of your arms :-) This is also where all those hours you spent in the gym would pay off.

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This coconut and lemon sorbet is very easy to make, with just 4 ingredients, if you include water as one, that is. Coconut and tropical fruits always pair well and that is just a perfect way to enjoy this sorbet. I've used a combination of fruits unable to decide on one. But it would taste just as great with just one fruit too.

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Coconut Lemon sorbet with tropical fruit salad

Makes about half a litre

Things you need -

500 ml coconut milk
juice of 1 large lemon
zest of half a lemon or more if you like the sharpness of it
half cup or 175 ml water
half cup or 65 gms sugar *
To serve, mix of chopped tropical fruits of your choice

How its done -

1. Boil the water and sugar together until the sugar dissolves completely. Now reduce heat slightly and allow it to simmer such that a syrup forms. i.e the mixture thickens slightly and coats the back of a spoon. Switch off heat and keep the syrup aside and allow to cool completely.
2. In a large bowl, Whisk the syrup, lemon juice and zest together until well incorporated.
3. Add the mixture to the coconut milk little by little and mix well with a large spatula or balloon whisk. Adjust the quantity of the lemon-sugar syrup until the desired sweetness is achieved.
4. If you own an ice cream machine, just freeze as per manufactures instructions. If you don't own an ice cream machine, transfer the contents to a freezer friendly container and freeze. Every 2-3 hours take out the  container and churn the mixture for 5-10 minutes using a spatula to break down the ice crystals. This ensures a smooth texture. Do this 3 to 4 times before allowing the mixture to freeze overnight.
5. To serve, take the sorbet out of the freezer 15 minutes prior to serving. Dip the ice cream scoop in warm water for easy scooping. Serve with tropical fruits.

Notes -

* The measurements for sugar make this sorbet just about sweet. Adjust the quantity of sugar as per your liking. DO not forget to increase the quantity of water accordingly while making the syrup. The ratio is 1 to 1.
- You could also make ice pops instead. In that case churn a few times before transferring to ice pop moulds. Or skip the churning realising that the texture of the ice pops might not be that rich or creamy.

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