Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Green Grapes Raita - Seedless Green grapes in Mildly spicy yogurt

My inlaws are here with us, for a month-long vacation. While coming my Father-in-law got us a box full of Mangoes, Seedless grapes, ambika appalam and other essential sides like dried lotus root, vepillai katti, naarthangai urugai, though we get many of these here in all the indian stores, but to get them from chennai, has a different pleasure, un-explainable! :)
A box full of grapes, was too much to munch for us, so i tried making this yumm raita with it. Since it is seedless, it was easy to make, i wouldn't recommend this with grapes with seeds, to deseed them is such a pain. This raita has an amazing combination of sweet, sour and spice, a balanced dish of all 3 tastes. Pair this amazing raita with a spicy pulao/mixed rice. I served this along with a sumptuous south-indian lunch.  
Ingredients (serves 3-4)
1/2 cup seedless green grapes
3/4 cup hung curd
1 green chili
1/2 tsp shredded ginger
1/4 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp salt

Tempering
1 tsp oil
1/4 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp cumin seeds
2 red chilies, broken into two pieces
a sprig of curry leaf
Method
To make hung curd
  • Take 1 cup of yogurt, tie it in a muslin cloth and keep it over a tea-strainer and place a bowl underneath to collect the whey. Keep this inside the fridge. You can make this overnight, so you will have a thick, ice-cream like hung curd next day or atleast make it an hour ahead.
  • Take grapes, green chili, ginger and cumin seeds in a blender and pulse it 4-5 times. We don't want grapes juice, we just have to mash it.
  • Add this mish-mashed grapes to hung curd, mix well. Add salt and mix well.
  • Heat a small tadka pan, add oil given under 'Tempering', splutter mustard seeds, add cumin seeds, red chilies and curry leaves. Pour this sizzling tadka over the raita. Serve it along with rice.
Notes
  • As we will be pulsing the grapes before adding it to the curd, we need to first make hung curd, so our raita doesn't go runny. 
  • So, before making the raita, first make hung curd, i made this an hour before i made the raita, you can even make it overnight. 
  • After adding the pulsed grapes to the hung curd, it will return to normal raita consistency.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Buckwheat flour Banana Muffins - Vegan, Gluten-free

I never imagined that i would bake with ancient grains and flour mix when i first started baking. All i knew was all purpose flour/maida/white flour. But slowly with many disasters, i learned how to bake with whole wheat flour. Thanks to may baking groups i joined earlier to feed my baking enthusiasm. Now all my bakes are made of 100% whole wheat flour, i don't buy all purpose flour/maida these days. Now i have left almost all the groups, i m not able to handle deadlines these days. But the love for baking has never left, i try to bake atleast once a week, mostly during weekends, thanks to my folks who eagerly wait for my bakes, that keeps me motivated.
The love to bake with gluten-free flours started recently. I do get these flours easily, that is another motivation. I made a Barley flour muffins last year for #BreadBakers, i still remember how soft and fluffy those muffins were. I have used buckwheat substituting it for half the wheat flour in many bakes like this Banana Loaf with cream cheese center.
This recipe today is a revelation for me, i totally loved the texture of these muffins. I have made this recipe two times in a week now and i m definitely going to try more variations in this. Go ahead give it a try and let me  know

If you happen to try this recipe do tag me #icampinmykitchen and i would love to see your bakes.
Ingredients
1.5 cups of buckwheat flour
3 large bananas (i used dole variety)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp chia seeds (try using 1 tbsp flaxmeal)
1/2 cup brown sugar
4-5 nos of cardamom seeds
1/3 cup of oil
Method
  • Preheat the oven to 180C and grease a 12-muffin mould or line it with muffin liner.
  • Take flour, baking powder, baking soda in a wide bowl and whisk well for it to mix well, you can also sift the 3 ingredients together for a homogeneous mixture.
  • Take bananas, sugar, chia seeds and oil in a blender and blend smooth. Add this banana puree to the flour mix
  • Using a spatula, mix the dry and wet ingredients together. While mixing, move the spatula in the same direction.
  • Using a ice-cream scoop, fill each muffin hole with 2 scoops of batter. i got around 11 muffins, left hole last hole empty.
  • Bake the muffins in the preheated oven, for for 20-25 minutes or until done. Mine was done by 20 minutes. Remove the muffins from the oven, let it cool on a wire-rack for 10 minutes. Serve warm.

Thursday, April 06, 2017

Celery & Mint Lassi/Celery & Mint Yogurt smoothie

What, another smoothie? yeah, when you go for your yoga-workout around 8am, and come back home at 10, with an hour of workout and 40 minutes of walk,  you will be literally pouncing on every food item you find on the table. So, to not to spoil the sweat, i try to whirl up a smoothie as soon as i reach home. Since i have a good stock of turmeric, i make myself a Turmeric & herbs smoothie or sometimes a plain thinned buttermilk with salt and hing. 
This Celery lassi is something i tried today. The freshness of mint oomps the lassi, to another level. 
Ingredients (Makes 2 serves)
1 stick of celery, chopped about 1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 a lebanese cucumber
12-15 mint leaves
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1/4 cup of water (optional)
Method

  • Take chopped celery, cucumber, mint leaves, salt and yogurt in a blender. Blend smooth and frothy. Check the consistency of the lassi, if too thick, add 1/4 cup of water and blend again.
  • Serve immediately, garnished with a mint sprig. 

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Fresh Turmeric and herbs Yogurt Smoothie/Fresh turmeric lassi

Atlast, school reopens! I was so looking forward to this week. Both my kids have started with their routine. It is not like i don't like them at home, it is ok if it is a day or two,  more than that  they become crazy. No routine, eat,sleep, play and eat mom's brain. Every 2 hours, they want something to eat, because of boredom, how long will they be playing, watching TV?
Once they start school, everything will fall in place, eat time,sleep time, study time, and play time! Apart from this, i miss my workouts if they are at home. Which makes me dread long holidays! 
With school, summer too is arriving here. Though it is a breezy on and off, we can feel the heat mid-day! So, it is time for cool summer drinks and frozen treats.The first on my list is yogurt smoothies/lassi. They cool your body and also quenches your thirst. 
Today's recipe uses fresh turmeric root and ginger along with fresh herbs. The smoothie is so refreshing with a beautiful green color. I normally don't add salt to this, but have mentioned in case any of you prefer to add.  Try it and let me know how you liked it.
Ingredients (serves 2)
2 one inch piece of fresh turmeric root
1 one inch piece of fresh ginger
handful of fresh coriander leaves
2-3 sprigs of fresh mint leaves
1/2 a green chili
1/4 tsp salt (optional)
1/2 cup fresh yogurt (plain)
1/2 cup water
Method

  • Wash all the ingredients. Peel the skin of turmeric root and ginger root. 
  • Take all the ingredients together in a blender jar and blend until smooth and frothy and serve immediately

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Orange and Vanilla Chia pudding, Vegan Breakfast/Dessert Pudding

Its been long since i made something sweet for myself. When i say sweet, it is not one of those sugar-laden desserts, i prefer less sugar in my cup, not only me everybody in my family, prefer less sugar.  While thinking what to make, i remembered my Mango-musk melon chia pudding, with mango season arriving, this will definitely make appearance in our menu. 
In fact i have few Badami Mangoes ripening in my rice pot, i just smell them everyday to feel that energizing aroma of ripened mangoes!!
While going through my bookmarks folder for some inspiration, i landed here. Once i ticked all the ingredients in the list, I got to work immediately. It takes absolutely no time to make this pudding. Just dump everything, shake and refrigerate. After few hours, you have something sweet, delicious to snack on. 
I made this pudding vegan with coconut milk, and haven't added any sugar at all, we prefer it this way. Coconut milk itself, gives a sweet taste to the dish, and the orange segments added to it. 
Vanilla is what flavors this pudding and I would definitely recommend using a vanilla bean, it gives an amazing feel to the dish, if you don't have one, go on and use extract or flavor it some other spice you prefer. 
This recipe makes one single serving pudding for breakfast or 2 servings if served as a snack or dessert. 

Ingredients (serves 1 for breakfast, 2 for snack/dessert)
1/4 cup chia seeds
1 & 1/4 cup Coconut milk
1 vanilla pod or 1 tsp of vanilla extract
2 tbsp of honey/agave nectar/sugar/date syrup (i didn't use any)
zest of an orange
few orange segments 
1/2 tsp orange zest for garnish
2-3 tbsp of chopped walnuts
Method
  • I used a bottle to soak up the chia seeds in coconut milk. Why bottle? it is easy to shake, to break the gelled chia seeds, i feel it is a bit messy in a bowl. So, use a bottle with lid, so you can give a nice shake, shake before serving.
  • Take chia seeds in a bottle, i used 200grams empty nutella bottle. Add coconut milk and orange zest to it.
  • If using vanilla pod, cut open it vertically, scrap the seeds using a sharp knife, add that black gold to chia seeds. If using vanilla extract, add it now. I prefer vanilla pod, i used the last pod from my stash for making this pudding!
  • Now give the bottle a good shake.using a spoon stir well for the ingredients to mix well or else the chia seeds will settle at the bottom and not gel well.
  • Close the lid and let it sit in the fridge for a good 4-5 hours, overnight will be even better, the flavors will marry and mingle so well. 
  • Before serving, get the garnishes ready, spoon the pudding in 2 serve bowls, top it with fresh orange segments, zest and chopped walnuts. Serve immediately.
  • If serving for breakfast, just add all the toppings to the bottle and enjoy. It serves 2 if served as dessert or snack and one if served as breakfast.
If you want to try Mango-Musk Melon Chia pudding, you can find it here
 Mango-Musk Melong chia pudding

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