Orangettes

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 oranges
6tbs sugar
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.


Sweet Potato Halwa

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 raisins
2tbs cashews
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.

This is my submission to this month’s, SOS Kitchen Challenge, hosted by Diet, Dessert and Dogs and Affairs of Living.

Sweet Potato on FoodistaSweet Potato


Beet Puri

We have had all kinds of puris..haven’t we? How about some beet ones…I tried these first from a lady, who was my daily tiffin provider for lunch; a common practice in Mumbai to carry home-cooked tiffin/lunch to work.Though I’ve never had this in my packed tiffin; I happen to get a taste of it from her kitchen. I really liked the idea of adding beet in puris and visually they look great. It’s definitely an eye catcher on your dining table.

2cups wheat flour
1cup beet purée (boiled & puréed in a blender)
2tbs roasted sesame seeds
salt to taste (optional)
any refined or groundnut oil for frying

Take  flour and mix beet purée make a soft dough. I opted out the option of adding salt as beet already contains sodium  and I prefer to use less salt in my cooking.Once you’ve got the dough to the right consistency, add 2 tbs of oil and continue to knead. The dough will become silky in texture. Cover with a damp cloth now and keep aside in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.

Remove from refrigerator and divide the dough into golf ball-sized portions.Roll round balls and roll it into a circle using a rolling pin (roll each ball into a 5″ circle). For convenience, roll out as many Puris as you like, stacking them, ready to cook with a layer of cling film between each Puri.
Roll into a circle of desired thickness and take care not to make it too thin. Heat the oil for deep frying in a thick-bottomed flat pan on a medium flame.
Deep fry the Puris one at a time, pressing very gently on each side with a slotted spoon. This will help the Puri to puff up! Fry one the first side till golden then turn over and fry the same way on the other side. Drain on paper towels and serve hot.
Serve them with any vegetarian curry or your favorite pickle. I served mine with Peas curry (will share the recipe soon). I got about 15 puris.

A handy tip: For foods like gujias, samosas or puris, that are made of or have an outer covering/wrap of flour-dough and need deep-frying, prepare in advance and chill them in the refrigerator. This way when you do fry them they will consume less oil and therefore have a lower fat content!

My tastebuds: I’ve always eaten beet fresh and never in any fried form. I liked the combination of the sesame seeds and beet. Few bites of the seeds, gives it a nice flavour.

This is my submission to this month’s event, Food Palette – Red, hosted by Torview and to Complete My Thali, hosted by Torview and Joy of Cooking.  


Sea Princess Hotel Restaurant – ‘Shagun’

The waves of Juhu beckon the wealthiest to the nonchalant strides of mumbaikars. One such wave that has been on the shores of Juhu is the Hotel Sea Princess. A sea facing hotel that stands on the affluent fare Juhu Tara Road of Mumbai.

The sea princess has an entrance that is covered in short steps rather than a horizon stretch lobby that comes with old world charm.

 
Shagun: Shagun means a good occasion in Sanskrit. That is what it was when we walked into the restaurant décors with a rich moghul feel encased in a combination of red and gold. I particularly liked the live ghazal music that was neither too loud nor too soft. The songs were enchanting and what was even better, it was LIVE!

While the multi-page menu makes it difficult to choose, the food is a perfect theme fit into the moghul décor. The soup comes in great quantity with just the right spice. ‘Tomato Pudina soup’ can warm a tummy to anything that comes its way.

The food is served in regular white cutlery and clean white waiter sleeves to ensure hygiene as a compliment to the affable staff. The starters in veg can be quite a miss on the taste buds. ‘kebab e gulzar’ keeps your taste buds confused on feeling the warmth of the kebab and nothing else, while the ‘murg malai paan’ is a saviour on the starter platter.
The main course had really nothing that caught my attention except for stretching my muscles on a piece of roganjosh, resulting in more josh less mutton. ‘Paneer Lababdar’ can only be pronounced while munching on the less than sufficient flavour of this paneer.
Take a ‘dal peshawari’ for every bite of conversation as this is a great place for a family chat over a jal jeera or scotch. The scotch keeps you in the mood for ghazals and the inebriation will create a taste for less than spicy food.
If you would like to sweeten the ambience further try the ‘moong dal badam’ halwa that gives you a perfect blend of sweetness and satisfaction.

Passion Fruit & Couscous Trifle

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
100gms couscous
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.


Mixed Salad with Peanut Dressing

I’m not a big fan of peanut butter and this is not the famous Indonesian salad, Gado Gado. My visit to the Farmers Market on Sunday, motivated me to prepare a pest-free salad. I do give some credit to the lady selling salad at a food counter in the Farmers Market for cropping the peanut dressing idea……
I’ve used peanuts before in a dry powdered form; but never have I used it as a paste. Though I have tasted peanut chutney  and raita made of chutney, which is mostly coconut and mint based, common in South India; but never have I thought of using it in a salad.
There are no restrictions on what kind of veggies you would like to use…go ahead and use anything that you like or prefer.

2 cups of finely chopped Purple cabbage
1 cup of finely chopped red pepper
1 cup boiled of sweet potato, cut into pieces(optional)
1 cup boiled sweet corn
4-5 stems boiled asparagus, chopped into big pieces
1/2 fresh mint leaves

for the dressing
4tbs roasted peanuts (with or without skin)
1tbs soy sauce
1tbs tahini
1tbs honey
1tbs sesame oil
1tsp chilli flakes
1tbs red wine vinegar
salt to taste

Blend all the ingredients for the dressing in a blender into a fine paste. Take all the veggies in a bowl and mix with the prepared dressing. Keep some dressing aside to use while serving. Serve cold or at room temperature, topped with the remaining dressing. Serves 2.

My tastebuds: I liked the crunchiness and the nice saucy mixture to the salad. Although, a rare combination which was never tried or tasted by me.

This is my submission to this week’s Souper Sundays hosted by Kahakai Kitchen and to Heart n Soul, hosted by Girlichef.


Gluten Free Sweet Potato Kebabs

Who does’nt like Kebabs!!! Everyone of us have eaten some kind of kebab, living in any part of the world.Kebabs have always been my favourite.
Kebabs first originated in Persia. Kebab comprises mostly of meat and vegetables, which are either grilled, roasted or deep fried. Kebabs can also be made in tandoor which tastes really good. The meat or veggies are usually marinated with spices and curds for hours and then placed in skewers and cooked.

After my successful attempt at the chickpea and sweet potato salad, I knew that I could try something different with the left overs (sweet potato from the salad). I took it up as an experiment  to create a vegetarian kebab out of sweet potato, which is not only gluten free but vegan too.

4 cups of boiled, mashed sweet potato
1 cup finely chopped onions
1tsp ginger-garlic paste
1/2 cut fresh mint leaves
2tsp finely chopped green chillies
1tsp garam massala
2tbs chickpea flour
2tbs cashew pieces (cut in half)
2tbs raisons (optional)
4 tbs refined oil/olive oil/coconut oil/butter (I used olive oil)
salt to taste

Heat  1tbs of oil in a pan and add chopped onions, ginger-garlic paste and dry fruits. Let the onions turn soft. Turn off the stove and allow it to cool.
Take mashed potatoes in a bowl and mix all the dry ingredients along with the prepared onion mixture. Add green chillies and mint leaves.Mix them well and allow it to set it for an hour.
Take the mixture and shape them in any desired shape or size of your choice. Preheat the dish for 2minute in the microwave. Arrange the shaped kebabs in the heated dish and drizzle some oil (I used about 1.5 tbs of oil). Set the microwave option to grill mode for 15 minutes. After 15minutes, turn the kebabs on the other side and drizzle some oil. Set the microwave again on grill mode and microwave it for 15minutes. Once done, serve hot with mint chutney and some cut onions rings. I got about 10 pieces.

My tastebuds: The tingly sweet taste of a typical sweet potato doesn’t disappoint you. I however felt that I could have used a little bit of chilli powder to add that little spice.
This is my submission to this month’s SOS Challenge – sweet potato, hosted by Diet, Dessert & Dogs and Affairs of Living, to this month’s destination – Afghanisthan, hosted by My Kitchen, My world  and to Thanksgiving dishes hosted by gluten free easily.Sweet Potato on FoodistaSweet Potato