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.
Jackfruit is known as the wonder fruit because of it's numerous uses and benefits. Jackfruit was once, the staple food of Coorg, when paddy was not sufficient for consumption. Jackfruit trees are commonly seen in Coorg, to provide shade to cardamom or black pepper. The coffee plantations, bordering forest areas face the problem of elephant menace due to their fondness for the fruit.
I’m happy to announce that I’m a guest author on Natural Mantra’s blog. Their blog focuses on organic, & sustainable living. Natural Mantra is also an online store, that combines natural, organic and eco-friendly products. And they have also listed i2cook products so hop on to their site to place an order online.
My first guest post is on a very yummy treat - Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Balls made from i2cook’s peanut butter. Creamy, sweet peanut butter filling covered with a thin layer of chocolate. Doesn’t it sound ‘YUMMY’. This is a simple recipe which can be enjoyed by both parents and kids for this Christmas. So go on to Natural Mantra’s blog for the yummy recipe
Recently food bloggers in Mumbai celebrated the Terra Madre Day – an annual event celebrated on December 10 every year by the Slow Food network around the world. The objective of this day is to underline the importance of eating locally.
I participated in the event by making something sweet. Whenever we had any functions at home, we always had the maharaja/cook prepare malpua with rabri which is one of my favourite Indian desserts. I was short on time and wasn’t sure about how the malpuas will turn out, so I decided to make shahi tukda/shahi tukra with rabri.
Shahi tukra is a rich dessert which originated from Hyderabad. There is no compromise on this dessert. If you want to enjoy the dessert for its true essence please don’t compromise on the ingredients.
You can serve the dessert either the traditional way by cutting the tukda in triangles or you can bottle them up like the way I did or even serve them in a nice fancy glass.
Warning: this dessert is not suited for the weak-hearted!
2ltr creamed milk or buffalo milk (I used Govind’s organic milk)
5tbs raw sugar (organic – Conscious Foods)
1tsp pure vanilla powder (organic, available at Naturally Yours )
4-5 slices Brown or white bread
ghee for frying (organic from Eco fresh, available at Naturally Yours)
1 cup raw sugar (organic – Conscious Foods)
1/2 cup water
1/2tsp vanilla powder (organic ,available at Naturally Yours)
2tbs chopped almonds/pistachios
Optional: 4-8 clean bottles or any fancy glass
Heat the milk in a heavy bottom pan on low flame. Keep stirring and allow it to boil and thicken. It will take about 1.5hrs for milk to thicken. Add sugar and allow it to blend and melt into the condensed milk. This will take another 10 minutes. Add vanilla powder and mix well. Allow it to cool.
Cut the bread slices in triangles or stripes. Meanwhile keep the sugar syrup ready and should have a syrup like consistency. Let the syrup boil on low flame. Heat ghee and deep fry the bread until dark brown. Take care not to burn them. Even a lightly burnt bread will hamper the taste and spoil the dessert. Once done, transfer the tukda into the slow simmered sugar syrup. Stir it well so that the sugar is well coated. Take it out of the pot and allow it to cool.
Place the tukdas into a tray and pour the rabri and sprinkle some almonds. Refrigerate for 2 hours before serving.
If using a bottle or a glass – break the tukdas into medium sized pieces and pour rabri and sprinkle some almonds. Layer them in two and they work great visually.
Christmas & new year is around the corner and please please hop on to Dalal Enterprises and order their great meal (strictly for non-vegetarians) . My ‘star’ dessert also included. I’m also taking dessert orders and have created a page with all the details. So hop on to order!
Turkish cuisine is one of my favourites . I visited Istanbul in the year 2009, and found instant connection to the place. Since last year I started experimenting with Turkish cuisine and my first experiment was Lentil Kofte.
Turkey is the land of yummy kebab, seafood and baklava. Turkish kebab is longer, flatter and a little bland compared to our Indian ones. It is one of the cuisine that I love to explore to the maximum.
My husband and I have a Salon dinner – a networking dinner called Coral(you can see the FB page for more information) every week we explore new cuisines. One of the week I had chosen Turkish and was in search of a simple dessert which is quick,easy and at the same time traditional. I came across Tony Tahhan’s blog showcasing Muhallebi, which is a sweet milk & rice flour pudding dating back to the Ottoman period. The rice pudding is traditional scented with orange blossom water and garnished with cinnamon powder, pistachios or almonds. I twisited the flavouring by adding rose water but forgot to add cinnamon powder
This was served at the Salon Dinner and it was an instant hit! Go ahead and note down the ingredients for this easy pudding which can be made in minutes.½ cup rice flour
3 cups whole milk
4 tbsp sugar pinch of salt
1 tbsp orange blossom water / rose water
pomegranate seeds (optional)
In a saucepan, whisk together rice flour, milk, sugar & salt until dissolved. Keep stirring with a wooden spoon on a medium flame until the mixture comes to a simmer. To check for the mixture to be cooked, do a simple test – when you can make a line with your finger without the liquid coming together, bingo!
Once the spoon test is cleared, turn off the heat and add orange blossom water or rose water and mix well. Pour into individual bowls of your choice (I used the famous Indian tea glasses) and garnish with almonds or pistachios, pomegranate seeds and dusted cinnamon. Serves 6 in medium sized dessert bowls.
Warning: This is going to be a long read, so please stock up your coffee & cookies…..
Santa greeted me first by saying Namaste, when I visited him in 2009 in Rovaniemi (Finland), Santa’s official address. The Santa park has it’s own post office from where you can post greetings to your loved ones sitting anywhere in the world. Rovaniemi is the land of reindeer and yes I got to try out reindeer meat with wild berries and I know I sound like a carnivore now….
This Christmas, I’m remembering my wonderful holiday and would like to share some of my happy times!
I would also like to share with you a double treat of sweets that I made from sesame seeds that I received from iherb, for being selected as one of the winners among ten in SOS Challenge in the month of October, hosted by Diet, Dessert & Dogs and Affairs of Living.
I’m heading home for this holiday season to Bangalore and looking forward to some travelling and exploring new recipes.Since it’s Christmas time and you would want to gift some cookies, cakes or nibbles and I have come up with two easy to make recipes that would be easy to pack and can last up to a week even without refrigerating. So here it goes…
Sesame Chikki (Til ke Chikki)
4cups of sugar
1cup hulled sesame seeds
1tsp lemon juice
2tsp cardamon powder
Heat sugar in a pan and just when it’s melted and before it’s crystallizes, add lime.Once the sugar is fully melted, add sesame seeds, cardamon powder and turn of the gas. Mix well. Grease back of a plate or tray and spread the prepared mixture while hot. Allow it to set for an hour. After an hour, you will be
able to break the pieces easily. Break them into desired sizes and store them in an air tight container. I got about 30-35 medium sized pieces.
Sesame & Chocolate Balls
2cups hulled sesame seeds
1cup dessicated coconut
1/2 cup honey
2tsp cardamon powder
50gms dark chocolate
Mix all the dry ingredients except for the chocolate in a bowl and mix well. Make small balls and keep them aside. Melt the chocolate in a bowl (microwave it) and dip the balls one by one, until it is fully covered with chocolate. I prefer to have a thin layer of chocolate rather than thick one. Allow it to dry and refrigerate for an hour. Store them in airtight containers either at room temperature for a week or refrigerate until they can last. I got about 25 pieces.
My tastebuds: I’ve had sesame chikki before and they are not my favourites. Sesame & Chocolates balls has been tried out for the first time with the intention to clear my fridge before I head start out on my travel. This recipe seems to have become an instant hit with me and hubby.
Wish you all Merry Christmas!!!
My sweet craving since my last post seems to be continuing……
Orangettes are strips of candied orange peel dipped in dark chocolate.This is a great recipe and makes your house smells good too.They can be tedious to make but I can assure you that the hard work does pay off; in a very sweet and fruitful way…..
4 cups water for sugar syrup
250gms dark chocolate
Slice the ends off of the oranges, score the peel from one end to the other, and remove the peels off the oranges.Slice the peels into thin strips and trim the edges.
Using a medium size pot, place the peels in boiling water and blanch them for a few minutes. Rinse the peels, and repeat this process a second time (it’s best to use cold water again for the second time to repeat the process). This is done to remove the bitterness of the peels.
Prepare the simple syrup by combining the water and sugar in a pot. Bring the syrup to a simmer, place the peels in the pot, and simmer for 20 mins. Once the peels have cooked, remove them from the pot, and place on a rack to cool and drain.
Melt dark chocolate over a double boiler or microwave. Just heat the chocolate in short intervals in the microwave, stirring and checking the temperature after each time. If you go over the max. temperature, just add small pieces of the original solid chocolate until it drops back down to the max. temperature.Dip the candied orange peels in the chocolate, remove them quickly, and let them cool on a piece of parchment paper. Allow it to rest for an hour.
Store and refrigerate orangettes in an airtight container or pack them up to gift your loved ones. This recipe serves about 30-40 orangettes.
This recipe is adapted from here.
My tastebuds: I loved them! Even now I’m biting into one while writing this post.
This is my submission to Gulten-Free Holiday, hosted by Tasty Eats At Home, to Choco-Delite’s Event, hosted by Taste Buds, to AWED – French, hosted by Priya’s Easy n Tasty Recipes and Chefinyou and to The Chocolate Fest, hosted by Cook-curry nook.
What do you do when you have a sweet craving, do you give in? I know eating fruits is better than eating chocolates, cakes, muffins….but there are times when you really want more than a fruit to satisfy you…..I was reading an article on how not to give into sweet craving and one of the tip that it shared was to read the label on the packet, the label does make you realise the amount of sweet it contains and that can help you stay away from it….
Hmmmm makes me wonder whether it will really work; especially at a time when you have only sweet on your mind. I did go through this phase a few days back and I thought of making something home-made and at the same time something healthy too…Sweet Potato Halwa is definitely lite and does satisfy your sweet tooth….well it did mine
4 cups grated sweet potato (cleaned, pealed and not cooked)
1/2 cup black jaggery (you can add more if you like yours sweeter)
2tbs ghee/coconut oil
1tbs cardamon powder
1tbs desiccated coconut for garnish
Heat oil/ghee in a pan and add the grated potato. Constantly keep stirring on medium flame, until they have turned golden brown. Add jaggery, raisins, cashews, cardamon and keep stirring on medium flame, until the halwa is cooked. Garnish it with desiccated coconut and serve hot or at room temperature. Serves 4.
My tastebuds: Jaggery gives a strong flavour and it’s hard to say whether you are actually eating sweet potato.
Passion fruit juice has always been one of my favorite. I like the flavour and the sweet fragrance of the fruit. I recently visited my mother-in law and got to taste her freshly grown passion fruit. Strangely, not many people know about the fruit as it is rarely found in any super markets in India; at least I’ve never seen anyone selling it here. I’ve always tasted them fresh from the garden. I came back home excited with a basket-full of passion fruit and an urge to try something totally different.
Passion fruit is rich in vitamins A and C and a good source of potassium and iron. The seeds are high in fibre.I used to throw away the seeds, thinking that they may be bitter, without even tasting them. Only recently, I discovered that the seeds are not bitter and also have a nice crunchy taste.
If using the pulp and seeds simply cut in half and spoon out the flesh. To extract the juice, scrape the pulp and seeds against a sieve with a wooden spoon (if you want to omit the seeds). A lot of fruit are needed for a little juice, but a little juice goes a long way.A syrup made by boiling down the diluted juice with a little sugar further intensifies the flavor and makes a wonderful fruit salad dressing or cocktail ingredient.
I was inspired to try this recipe in one of the websites, taste.com and liked the entire blend of flavours. I have made some changes in comparison to the original and the result turned out to be tasty and visually appealing.
125ml mango juice
1 tbs caster sugar
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 vanilla bean, split, seeds removed
4 large passion fruit, pulped
2 bananas, peeled and chopped
1 cup sweet cream
Extra cinnamon for sprinkling
In a small saucepan, heat mango juice, sugar, cinnamon and vanilla until simmering. Add couscous, cover and set aside. Stir with a fork to separate the grains.
Divide the couscous into 4 portions. Using 200ml glasses, place a layer of passion fruit and banana in the base of each glass followed by couscous then a layer of sweet cream. Repeat the layers finishing with a layer of sweet cream.
Sprinkle with cinnamon and allow it to set for 4-5 hours or overnight. Serve cold. Serves 4.
My tastebuds: Passion Fruit & Couscous trifle is a pleasant surprise. Every bite transforms you to a world of flavours.
This is my submission to this week’s Weekend Herb Blogging, hosted by A Food Lover’s Journey.
I like the simplest things of using just clay or ceramic diyas; they light up the house beautifully and dramatically or welcome your guests with simple rangoli and a diya at the entrance.
I also used some lights (mirchi lights) from the previous Diwali and managed to create a romantic atmosphere in my living room (I made used of the throw-away wine bottle). These lights are commonly seen in Mumbai for decorating balconies. One more item commonly seen are the colourful lanterns used outside everybody’s balconies. There are all kinds of Indian and Chinese lanterns widely available during this season.
It is also the time when you gift your special ones. One best thing would be to gift some really good gift hampers – an assortment of various products. Nature’s Basket has some really cool gift hampers this Diwali. You might want to check them out and get some ideas. You can also go to Crawford Market and buy your own assorted products and create you own basket. That sounds like really good fun and it’s a personalised way of gifting.
And of course a time to eat and share some good food. Every festival is celebrated with sweets and what a better way to start Diwali with Kheer.Kheer is everybody’s favourite and easy to make. It is a rice pudding which requires the right consistency. Kheer is not complete without cardamom and Kesar again is optional. Tri-flavoured kheer has a vanilla twist to it. Thats right..a vanilla, cardamom and kesar flavoured kheer. A beautiful blend of these flavours keeps you guessing on every bite, whether it’s vanilla or kesar or cardamon…..Enjoy the fun- filled flavours and Happy Diwali!!!
1 litre milk
1/2 cup Basamti rice
2tsp vanilla extract
2stp cardamon powder
2tsp kesar soaked in warm milk
1cup sugar ( you can add more for your liking)
Almonds for decoration
Wash and soak the rice for about an hour. Heat milk in a pot. Add vanilla extract before the milk comes to a boil and enjoy the vanilla fragrance taking over your kitchen. Add soaked rice (without any water) to the boiling milk. Let the milk and the rice cook on medium flame for about 20minutes. Add sugar and let it cook for 15minutes.You will see that the whole grain rice would have become half it’s size. It kheer is almost done and you will also notice the thick consistency. Add cardamon and turn off the gas.
Let it cool. Serve cold or at room temperature, garnished with kesar and chopped almonds.
This is my submission to this month’s event Celebrate Sweets – Kheer, hosted by Taste of Pearl City and Nivedita’s Kitchen, to Virtual Party Snacks hosted by Ruchika Cooks and From My Home Kitchen and to this week’s Blogadda Diwali Moments.