I’ve been visiting some organic stores in Bangalore and found the shop keepers promoting a lot of local food. Veggies and fruits are brought into the city from the nearby farms, twice in a week. I was happy to find free range eggs in some stores. I’m constantly been asked about where to buy free range eggs in Mumbai and I direct some to a supermarket or a local chicken shop.
A few days in Bangalore and I’ve been treating myself with some avocados, free range eggs, buckwheat flour and mangoes. Talking of mangoes, I bought some delicious organic mangoes (kesar and Ratna) in Mumbai from Ubay of Hari Bari Tokri. Hari Bari Tokri is an initiative to grow and eat local produced food. Know more about them here.
Free range eggs & delicious mangoes, I knew instantly that I’m going to make some Zabaglione for my family. One of my favorite and the easiest dessert is Zabaglione. It is a nice creamy Italian custard which sure is a party stopper. I mostly make this dessert non-alcoholic. Traditionally this dessert is made with marsala wine (similar to port). You can also substitute with some white wine or brandy.
You can top this custard with some crushed cookies, poached strawberries or caramelized pear. This time I’m using some farm fresh organic mangoes and making the best use of them! You can also use this custard in making a trifle with some sponge cake and seasonal fruits. I found this article for some handy tips.
5 egg yolks
200gms full fat cream
6tbs raw sugar
1tsp lemon zest
Seasonal fruit like mango, pear, strawberry
White wine or marsala wine (optional)
1. Bring a half pot of boiling water to a simmer and reduce the heat to low.
2. Place egg yolks, and sugar in a large, round-bottomed stainless steel bowl. This is the bowl that will go over the simmering water.
3. Add lemon zest to the yolk mixture.
4. Set the bowl containing the egg mixture over the pot of water. (The bottom of the bowl should not touch the water)
5. Whisk the custard mixture gradually adding in the Marsala wine until it is all in.
6. Whisk for about 10 minutes until the mixture froths up.
7. Once it reaches a thicker consistency remove the bowl from the boiling water and continue whisking for a bit to prevent the custard from sticking to the sides. Add cream and mix well.
8. Serve chilled with your desired topping. Serves 5.
Muffins are easy to keep for a week and can be had with your morning cup of coffee. I like to start my day with a muffin and some iced coconut sugar drink to beat the heat!
I used coconut oil for the first time in baking and liked the texture of my muffins. It does leave a slight coconut flavor but I have no complaints. Coconut oil is a good substitute for butter and vegan recipes. Some basic points to keep in mind for baking with coconut oil.
Wondering what coconut sugar taste or looks like? Read my post about it here with a cookie recipe.
100 gms of wheat flour
100 gms of amaranth flour
80gms of coconut oil
125-150gms of coconut sugar
2 overly ripe bananas
1tsp baking powder
1tsp baking soda
a pinch of salt
- Preheat the oven at 160 degree centigrade.
- Sieve the flours along with baking soda and powder.
- Mash the bananas in a bowl. Add coconut sugar, salt and oil and mix. Add egg and beat until mixed well.
- Combine the dry and wet ingredients gently and mix it with the help of a spatula.
- Pour the mixture into the greased muffin pan and bake for about 20-25 minutes or until its done based on your oven settings.
- Allow it to cool on a wire rack for about one hour.
- Store it in an air tight container for 2 days or refrigerate for a week. Makes 12-16 muffins.
- You can make an egg less or vegan version by mixing 2tbs of flax seed powder with 4tbs of warm water.
- You can choose to add nuts like walnuts or almonds.
- You could also top it with some cocoa nibs.
- Dark chocolate chips can also be added to these muffins.
What is pink mustard? No. Really?
I’ve been asked this question often by friends and consumers. A lot of them wonder why its not pink in colour…
I’m happy that pink mustard has fared well in terms of its branding & taste. Its been over a year and I’m glad that it received accolade from press, especially from Bangalore.
Customers and friends have been using pink mustard in their own way – on crackers, marinades for fish or meat, in brinjal fry or in mayo. But there is one recipe that kept me amazed is the cucumber raita made with vegan yogurt by Tongue Ticklers.
I recently had some friends coming over for drinks and wanted to make some easy and stress free nibble. I had some sausages lying in the fridge and used them up by mixing it with some pink mustard (doesn’t require any extra oil and you could add some crushed pepper), grill in the oven at 180 centigrade for about 10-15 minutes or until browned and ready to eat!
If you’ve been using pink mustard in your cooking… Do share your handy tips
Sunday is when I like to cook for my family. A well deserved lunch followed by a nap, well, sometimes. Instead of eating a heavy cream or fat based rogan josh in a restaurant, I chose to cook some at home and relish it with some homemade naan. Ah, sounds blissful doesn’t it?!
I stumbled upon this Pandit style recipe from a Kashmiri chef, who also owns a restaurant in Australia. One look at the recipe and I knew I got what I was looking for . This recipe is so easy and sure a winner! However, I encourage you to save some for the next day to relish it MORE!
Ingredients for Pandit style Rogan Josh
Adapted from “Thoughts from Ajoy”
1kg mutton (with bone), cut into desired size
2tbs vegetable oil
1-inch cinnamon stick
2–4 whole black cardamoms
4–6 whole green cardamoms
1tsp fennel seeds
1tsp ground asafoetida
1½ tsp dry ginger powder
salt, to taste
1½ tbs Kashmiri chillies, ground
2 cups whole-milk yoghurt, beaten
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp green cardamoms
½ tsp black cardamoms
¼ tsp cloves
½ tsp black peppercorn
½ tsp fennel seeds
½ tsp Kashmiri chillies
- Marinate mutton with all the ground spices and set aside for about 15-30 minutes.
- In a heavy-based saucepan heat the vegetable oil and add cinnamon and black and green cardamoms.
- Then add the cloves and peppercorns and increase heat.
- Add the fennel seeds and marinated meat and mix. Cook until meat is caramelised.
- Add the asafoetida and the ground ginger and cook for 1 minute.
- Add salt and the Kashmiri chillies and fold into the meat.
- Finally, fold the yoghurt into pan till it thoroughly coats the meat.
- Cover the pan and cook for about 1 hour, or until the meat is cooked and the rogan (red oil) comes to the surface. Serve hot with naan or steamed Basmati rice. Serves 4.
I adapted the recipe for homemade naan using only yeast form here. I used the skillet or tawa method. Naan is best when had hot, otherwise it may go hard or rubbery. You could also substitute the refined flour with wheat or any gluten free flour.
When I first came across organic spirulina pasta, I was a bit hesitant. Yes, I know that spirulina is good for your health, but my concern was the taste.
Spirulina pasta is a mix of both wheat & spirulina. Perfectly mixed to give you the correct taste of the spirulina without overpowering the spaghetti. The boiling instructions are clear on the packaging material. This pasta is not gluten free. Spirulina helps to fight against cancer, liver infection or allergic reactions.
Spirulina spaghetti can be cooked with any sauce of your choice. I’ve cooked this pasta with pesto sauce, tomato pasta sauce, roasted bell pepper dip or just olive oil, garlic & sun dried tomatoes – making it a perfect summer treat!
I’ve personally met Anandi, who started KOFPU (Kottakarai Organic Food Processing Unit) and creates some amazing products. She is a warm person and welcomes you with her contagious smile. She also runs a raw vegan restaurant in Auroville, dishing out some of the best vegan smoothies and raw chocolate bars.
At i2cook.com we also stock KOFPU’sorganic products like cashew butter, black sesame butter, neem leaf powder etc. We also stock locally produced cheese from Auroville like parmesan, feta, etc. Now, here is the best part … i2cook.com delivers all these products at your doorstep all across India.
This recipe is sure a keeper! It is easy to make for any occasion or for snacking. This dip can be had with pastas, crackers or can smeared on your sandwiches.
1 large red bell pepper
1tbs green olives, chopped
5-6 basil leaves, chopped roughly
2tbs olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
- Roast bell pepper on the stove top or oven. Discard the skin and the seeds. Chop roughly.
- Blend in all the ingredients into a course paste or use a mortar pestle.
- Spoon the prepared paste into the serving bowl and drizzle some olive oil on top.
- This dip can be refrigerated for about a week. Serves 2.
A crazy week of positives and negatives…
At the beginning of this week I was worried about the lemon curd which was lying in the fridge for quiet some time. Discovery of some kinda new allergy attack made my week depressing. So I decided that I had to take care of two things this week – 1. the lemon curd and 2. bring back the positive energy in me. I chose to bake!
I discovered my local chicken shop selling free range eggs, a little smaller but cheaper than the super market ones. I decided to make some lemon curd and perhaps some dessert too! This was about 10 days back, when I was positive and with no signs of allergy.
Last week I’ve been diagnosed of some allergy (not sure yet) and I had to drastically change my diet. Now I’m following a vegan diet (temporarily). I must admit that I feel much better now!
Lemon curd is so easy to make that you can really wow your friends or guests! In 15 minutes you have yourself a jar of deliciousness!
Ingredients for Lemon Curd with free range eggs
3 egg yolks
1 whole egg
1/2 cup raw sugar
1/2 cup lemon juice
4tbs salted butter
zest from 2 lemons
- In a pan, whisk together egg yolk and egg until combines.
- While whisking, pour in sugar, lemon juice and zest, and continue whisking until creamy and well incorporated, about one minute.
- Place over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the custard thickens and can coat the back of a wooden spoon, about 8-10 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the heat, and stir in the butter.
- Strain into a bowl or jar and chill in the refrigerator, covered.
- You can refrigerate for two weeks and you get about 150gms of lemon curd.
You can lick lemon curd straight up from the jar or slash it on your toast. Nothing can beat the satisfaction of a home made lemon curd! You can also use them in making bars, muffins or cakes. Don’t worry I have figured out the right recipe for you . When I first looked at this recipe, I knew that I’m going to feel positive again! It didn’t matter to me if I can eat it. But, all I knew is that I’m creating something divine!
Ingredients for Lemon Coffee Cake with Almond Streusel
140gms all purpose flour
80gms whole wheat flour
1stp baking powder
1tsp baking soda
100gms salted butter
150gms raw sugar
2 large eggs
zest of 2 lemons
50gms almond meal (coarse ground almonds with skin in a mixer)
25gms raw sugar
50gms salted butter
50gms whole wheat flour
- Make the streusel by combining the almond meal, flour, sugar and butter in a bowl. Mix until the streusel comes together into a course crumble. Chill in the refrigerator until later.
- In another bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder and baking soda.
- Cream the butter, sugar and lemon zest in the bowl until light and fluffy, for about 2 minutes. Add the eggs, incorporating them one at a time.
- Add the flour mixture to the wet mixture, alternating with yogurt.
- Put half the batter in the cake pan (8″) and smooth evenly. Drizzle about 75gms of the lemon curd on top, making sure to leave a 1 inch border from the inner and outer perimeter (to avoid the risk browning the edges of the cake). Top with the remaining batter, using a spatula to smooth. (I added more lemon curd in the center and due to it’s weight, my cake was a little sunken in the center)
- Pour remaining lemon curd on top, again leaving room around the perimeter. Spread the streusel on top.
Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until golden brown and toothpick inserted comes out clean. Allow it to cool completely. Serves 6. Best had with your evening coffee or with a dollop of vanilla ice cream.
So enjoy your cake with a lot of Vitamin C and positive energy!
I visited Taste of Mumbai yesterday, an international event which takes place in other parts of the world and for the first time it is happening in Mumbai. The spread of international or fusion food is something to experience. I had some sushi and some Spanish nibbles, which were really good. However, I did miss the real Mumbai taste of pav bhajji or keema pav or maybe even desi chicken. Kalyan of finely chopped also had similar thoughts.
The highlight for me at the event was meeting and winning (through a twitter contest organized by taste of Mumbai & HTCafe) Nadia Lim’s (winner of master chef New Zealand, second series) cookbook, Nadia’s Kitchen. The book not only focuses on eating healthy but also seasonal eating and the recipes in the book has been beautifully showcased.
If you have read my earlier post about free range chicken and how/why I like my chicken free range. The free range chicken works really well for Indian style curry. Try this recipe once to taste the difference between a broiler and a free range. You can also watch my recipe video shared at the end of this post
400g of chicken marinated overnight in curd, chilli powder, salt and turmeric powder
1 tbs oil
4-5 curry leaves
½ tsp of mustard seeds
1 tsp kachampuli/tamarind/kokum
- Add 1 tsp of oil. Add 1 tbsp of mixed spices – cumin, pepper, cloves, coriander seeds and dried chillies.Roast the spices.
- Add the onions. Toss them around until translucent. Add ginger, garlic and tomatoes. Do not overcook the ingredients.
- Add the grated coconut. Toss the ingredients around and add cinnamon powder. Turn off the gas and allow the mixture to cool for 15-20 mins.
- Blend the mixture into a fine paste.
- Add oil into a pan. Add mustard seeds and curry leaves.
- Add the prepared masala and some water to to lighten the gravy.
- Cover the pan with a lid and let it simmer on a medium flame for 20-25 mins.
- When you see a layer of oil on top of the masala, it means that the masala is ready.
- Add the chicken, salt and mix well.
- Let the chicken cook on a medium flame for 20-25 mins with the lid on.
- When chicken is cooked, add 1 tsp of kachampuli/ tamaring pulp/ kokam or any other souring agent
- Cook for another 2-3 mins and garnish with chopped coriander leaves. Serve hot with rice or chapatti. Serves 4.
I love grilled chicken in any form, plain or marinated. One of my favourite ways to eat chicken breast. Those striking lines looks so gorgeous. The best part about grilling is that you have to do very little prep to make your dish delicious and bask in the glory of your guests going ga ga over it!
Here is one such recipe which is not only easy but uses a different twist of ingredients. A warm peanut butter sauce is what makes this dish so worth while! Inspired by Thai. I’ve added ingredients which were easily available from my home garden like lemon grass and basil.
What makes this dish extra special is that I’ve plated it in a hand painted plate made by a dear friend of mine. You can find more such lovely hand painted stuff on her facebook page.
200gms boneless chicken breast
1tbs chopped lemon grass
4-5 kaffir leaves
1/2tsp chopped ginger
1/2tsp chopped garlic
1/2 cup peanut butter (I used i2cook’s organic peanut butter)
3-4 chopped Thai red chillies
1tsp tamarind paste
salt & pepper to taste
some oil for grilling (used a mix of vegetable & toasted sesame oil)
finely chopped basil for garnish
some fresh salad to serve (I served mine with sunflower leaves & cherry tomatoes)
- Cut the chicken pieces into desired size and pat dry.
- Blend the peanut butter, kaffir leaves, lemon grass, ginger, garlic, red chillies and tamarind paste with some water into a smooth paste.
- Add the prepared paste, salt and pepper to the chicken. Refrigerate for an hour or overnight.
- Grill the chicken pieces on both sides until cooked.
- Make the sauce by bringing the paste with a little water to a light boil. Take care not to make it runny and should have a sauce like consistency.
- Plate the grilled chicken topped with some warm peanut butter sauce, garnished with some chopped basil.
- Serve hot with some salad to add some crunch. Serves 2.
Some more peanut butter recipes.
I’ve been enjoying a lot of goodies from my friends and I can’t stop raving about them. I started a new section called what I don’t cook on facebook for showing off these yummy goodies
I’ve been doing a lot of baking recipes on my blog ever since I’ve got my new oven. But I promise you that the next one will be a non baked one. I couldn’t stop myself from sharing this one recipe which is not only healthy but so economical to make at home. They are a make ahead kind of a snack which can be made and had as a tea time snack and they also go brilliantly well with any dips.
The best part about these crackers are that you can tweak it the way you like. You can add some cheese or nutritional yeast flakes or flavor it with some pepper or herbs. You can also make them gluten free by using flours like amaranth, millet etc. Overall this recipe is a keeper
Ingredients for whole wheat seed crackers
100gms whole wheat flour (some extra for dusting)
2tbs sunflower seeds
1/2 tbs sesame seeds
1tsp flax seeds
1tbs olive oil
1tsp liquid jaggery or honey or agave syrup
1/2tsp salt or salt to taste
water for kneading
Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and knead it with some water into a dough. Dust the surface and roll the dough into a flat tortilla to your desired thickness. Make sure that the surface is even all round.
Cut into desired shapes and lay these crackers on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Bake them for 20 minutes at 150 degree centigrade. Turn them half way through the bake time for even baking. Allow them to cool completely before storing them in an air tight container. They should last for 10-15 days. I got about 25-30 pieces. You can double the quantity for more!
You might also like Oatmeal & flax seed crackers
I recently made some ginger and grape jam from Love Food Eat. I made this jam with local grapes from Maharashtra and the consistency of my jam is thicker and more deeper in colour; looks more like a blueberry relish. I’ve been having it with my crackers!