This post has been long over due and I cannot express how much I’ve been pushing myself to write this post. Settling down in a new home and office at the same time can be very exhausting. I’m slowly getting my life back to normal and enjoying meeting new people and learning something new every day.
I happen to know about Martha’s preserves through a friend of mine and was curious to meet the face behind such lovely products. Every product which comes out is dear to every entrepreneur and setting up a business coming from foreign land is not an easy task. Meet Martha Kohlhagen. She makes awesome marmalade and sauces which gives you a taste of a true artisan product sans preservatives.
Martha’s Preserves operates from a 20 acre farm at Bannerghatta. Martha stays and works from her farm. They are a team of 10 dedicated individuals dishing out 10 plus yummy products like pomegranate and orange marmalade, lemon curd, caramel sauce, chocolate fudge, onion relish etc. Martha has a background in food technology and uses her grandmother’s recipe to make these delicious products. She does keep the Indian taste in mind and has created products like chilli pineapple jam. Martha aims to produce quality products without comprising on taste. She says that it takes a lot of care and planning to sort fruits and make seasonal products. Martha plans to increase her reach to other cities too.
What really impressed me about Martha’s preserves is that they not only make unique combinations but also have sauces like caramel sauce, chocolate fudge sauce on offer that make life simple. Some ice-cream and a combo of these two sauces makes for a stellar dessert. However, for those who like a little more salt in their caramel sauce can add some sprinkles of sea salt to round up on the flavours. Martha’s Preserves are a Gourmet range, hence be prepared to shell an extra buck for these artisan products but trust me when I say they are worth it!
Since the time I’ve moved back to Bangalore, I’ve been enjoying avocados. My mom’s neighbouring garden produces some of the best and creamiest avocados that I’ve ever had. Long live thy neighbour! Avocado mousse is so easy to make and can be made guilt-free. The natural creamy texture of the avocado makes all the difference and you won’t miss any cream in your dessert. If you don’t have Martha’s chocolate fudge at home, you could use cocoa powder or dark couverture chocolate (melted). You can also spike your dessert with a teaspoon of brandy! This dessert allows you to play with ingredients and feel free to experiment by adding rolled oats, cashew butter or hazelnut with different flavours or textures.
Ingredients for avocado & chocolate fudge mousse
1 big size avocado, scooped into a bowl
2 tbs of Martha’s chocolate fudge sauce
1/2 tbs maple syrup or honey
1/2 tbs coffee decoction
nuts or cocao nibs for garnish
- Add all the ingredients in a mixer except garnish and make a fine paste.
- Pour the mousse into the desired serving glasses or bowls. Garnish with some nuts and cocao nibs. Refrigerate for minimum of two hours before serving.
- Serve chilled. Serves 2-4.
Note: I layered my serving glasses with some caramel sauce at the bottom to give my dessert a surprise element.
Martha’s Preserves is available at Foodhall.
Festivals are all about eating…Aren’t they?! 🙂 Today, is the last day of Ganapati visarjan and I thought why not share a simple recipe of one of my favourite and versatile ingredient “coconut sugar“. I’ve made cookies, caramel sauce, kheer and decided to make something new again. Coconut sugar has a very dominating flavor of coffee like caramel. I made use of the ingredients that I had at home and decided to make some coconut sugar ladoos for the festive season. I have used poha or beaten flat rice to make these gluten free ladoos. Just with four ingredients, these ladoos are not only easy to make but can be made in just 15 minutes flat!
2 cups beaten flat rice or brown poha
1/2 tsp cardamon powder
2 tbs of chopped cashew
1 tbs of raisins
1/2 cup ghee
1 cup coconut sugar or more according to your taste
- Lightly toast the flat rice until light brown.
- Allow it to cool and grind in the mixer until fine like powder
- Heat ghee and coconut sugar in the pan until the ingredients melt.
- Add this warm mixture to the flat rice powder with some cardamon powder.
- Mix well until combined.
- Take a tablespoon of mixture in your palm and round them into a ball.
- These balls tend to be soft in nature. Be careful to place them on a plate and allow it to sit for half an hour before transferring into a container. They become firm after a while. I made 20 ladoos. Store in an air tight container upto 15 days. I’ve noticed that they taste better after two days.
I hope I have convinced you enough about this versatile sweetener. You can buy coconut sugar here…
Caramel is generally made by adding butter and cream to caramelized sugar. I’m sharing a vegan recipe of caramel sauce here. You heard it right! It tastes equally good or I can say even better. The secret ingredients in this caramel sauce are coconut sugar and coconut milk. Coconut sugar is better than refined sugar and the coconut milk gives right amount of fat for a great texture.
The low glycemic index (GI) of coconut sugar is 35 (around half of white sugar) and has led some to claim that it’s a good sugar substitute for people with diabetes. It has a high mineral content compared to other sugars and is a rich source of potassium, magnesium, zinc and iron. You can use coconut sugar 1:1 in any way you would use regular sugar, including coffee, baking or cooking. More benefits and details in my previous post about this wonder sugar.
How does coconut sugar taste? It does not look, smell, or taste the way one would expect it to (like coconut). It actually looks, smells, and tastes like brown sugar with the slightest hint of caramel.
Although this recipe is fairly simple, it does require some understanding of the caramelization process. When sugar is heated to the point of melting (with or without water), it begins to color and caramelize. If left as is, it will solidify into a hard mass. If water is added, it becomes a thin sauce. If water and fat are added, the caramel develops body and texture. Adding water will make the caramel bubble up- Caramel is extremely hot and can do serious damage, so be careful.
1cup coconut sugar dissolved in 1/3 cup of water
1 cup coconut milk (I used homemade)
1/4 tsp vanilla powder or extract
1/4 tsp sea salt
Mix all the ingredients in a pan. Place it on a stove top, on low flame. Allow it to simmer for 30 minutes, until thick or till desired consistency. Stir occasionally and keep a keen watch on the sauce. Once done, allow it to cool before transferring into a bottle. Remember, that the sauce will thicken after cooling. You can refrigerate up to 3 weeks.
Serving suggestions: This sauce is so good and tasty to use it as a dip for fresh fruits, crepes, waffles, ice-creams, trifles, cakes, cookies, chocolates or best had straight from the bottle 🙂
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. In order to avoid the menace of animals, many farmers started removing immature fruits and throwing them, leading to wastage. Due to this, the department of agriculture in Bangalore has initiated ‘Jackruit Mela’ to bring together all the farmers and build awareness.
In Kerala, no fertilizer is applied and it also has the potential to be identified as one of the promising fruits grown organically. Although there is large number of indigenous varieties of the fruit grown in the state, systematic documentation regarding the varieties is yet…
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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.