Mayonnaise with free-range eggs

Homemade Mayonnaise has real flavour as opposed to the insipid taste of the jarred version. You can adjust the consistency, depending on what you are using it for. Stiff Mayo is good for serving with deep-fried and grilled food, while a loser mayo can be used as a sauce for seafood or hot or cold veggies.
Vegetable oil work best as they are tasteless and can be used for multipurpose mayo. Olive oil or any nut oil can be used to make more distinctively flavoured mayo. Most mayo, can be made by hand or in a blender, but mayo made with olive oil should be made in mortar pestle by hand, because the aggressive action of the blender or even a whisk, may compromise the flavour of the oil and may turn slightly bitter.

I will be sharing the blender method. Most recipes suggest to use only the yolk. It can also be made using solely egg whites, with no yolks at all, if it is done at high speed in a food processor. The resulting texture appears to be the same. I prefer to use the whole egg. The choice is yours šŸ™‚

2 whole free-range eggs
1tbs i2cook mustard
1tsp vinegar
250gm (approx) sunflower or any vegetable oil, even soy oil is good
salt & pepper to taste

Combine the eggs, mustard, vinegar in a blender. With the blender on the lowest speed, pour oil in a slow but steady stream through the opening in the top of theĀ  blender, blending until the mayo stiffens. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Mayo may break – that is the oil may separate out of emulsion and the mayo may turn loose and grainy( if the oil is added too fast at the beginning or the mayo is too stiff). If its stiff – just add water, vinegar and blend well. If the mayo breaks – justĀ  rework the broken mayo into another egg in a second bowl.

Plain mayo can be flavoured to create innumerable variations, by adding dry or fresh herb/herbs or by adding capers or finely chopped gherkins. You could also colour the mayo orange by adding saffron.

A lot of us wonder or are confused about what does cage-free birds or free-range eggs mean? Last month there was an interesting article onĀ  cage-free birds in BBC Good Food,Ā India in which it mentioned that, theĀ  cage-free birds are not cooped up in a cage unlike the commercial ones. In the commercial ones, the cages are placed in a row and stacked several tiers high. The cages are so cramped up that the living space is less than an A4 size paper. On the other hand,Ā  cage-free birds are not kept in cages and are allowed open access to the outdoors.

In rural setting, birds are allowed to forage in the backyard and in urban one they are allowed to roam freely within a large compound.
Free-range eggs are more expensive than the commercially available eggs. The well known brand, Keggs, based in Delhi, costs 55/- for half a dozen which is nearly triple the price. These eggs are at a premium cost since the egg production is not predictable andĀ  it is difficult to monitor how much feed each bird consumes. So at this rate the bird may lay an egg only once every two days.

There has been no scientific evidence to suggest that these eggs are more nutritious than regular eggs. Consuming free-range eggs is more of a conscience call.

In Mumbai, you can buyĀ  free-range eggs from Foodhall, at Palladium Mall, Nature’s Basket outlets and I’ve also spotted themĀ  at Jude’s Cold Storage, Bandra. You can also check with your local chicken shop if they could arrange for some locally.

This is my guest post at Natural Mantra’s blog.


Food Gifts for this Diwali

Diwali is all about food, food & only foodĀ  for me!Ā  It is the time of the year to let go of your calorie count and indulge šŸ™‚

Every Diwali I receiveĀ Ā  3 very common gifts – mithai (Indian sweets), assorted chocolates or just plain dry fruits. It’s not that I don’t like any of the above. But Diwali is special and requires some thought while gifting your close friends and family members. Don’t you agree?

I’ve divided the gifting options into two categories:

  • Homemade/Handmade by you
  • Create your own Food Baskets – assortment of some hand made and some store bought

Homemade/Handmade

I love the idea of doing it yourself for simple reasons –Ā  it’s different, made by you with love and your gift becomes the talk of the town šŸ˜‰

Orangettescandied orange peel dipped in dark chocolate

It’s the most delicious thing to be nibbling on. I’ve made these and they are really easy and you really can’t go wrong with them even if you are an amateur cook. You can negate the chocolateĀ  and gift them as plain ones too. They go great as a topping in salads or even on some of our Indian sweets – try using just the candied orange as a topping on gulab jamuns…..sounds yum right :).

Sesame Balls in ChocolateĀ  – til ke laddoo dipped in chocolate

These will really surprise anybody. The combination is different and sure is a hit – don’t worry I’ve tried and tested this recipe at the Farmer’s Market and it was a hit!

Herb or Spice InfusedĀ  oilsuse your favorite spice or herb to flavor your oils

Recently I spotted them at a dinner during the Food Bloggers Meet. I love, love and love them!

Pickles – every house has it’s own special variety

We Indians love our spicy, tangy pickle with our food. You can bottleĀ  them up in fancy bottles and proudly gift your in-house specialty, North – South doesn’t matter just add some spice this Diwali!

You can explore a wide ranging of gifting ideas depending on your personality. But remember whatever you gift, it sure does reflect your personality…….. So go ahead and put on your creative hats!


Few points to consider for your gifts:

  • If using glass jars, make sure you wash them properly and sterilize them.
  • You might want to include a card with instructions or ideas about how to use your fabulous gift. It might be completely new to the person whom you are gifting.
  • If using plastic bags, it’s advisable to use the food grade ones.
  • It’s always better to use biodegradable material for a safe and sound environment.

Create your own food baskets:

There are hundreds of combination that you can try while creating your own baskets. All you need is a good cane basket andĀ  some attractive colored papers. Again put on your creative hats and lets begin to create some interesting combos šŸ™‚

 


This was a basket created by me (all Organic) – a vanilla pod, homemade cinnamon salad dressing, homemade Indian fudge along with a recipe card for the dressing.

 

This is what I’m gifting this Diwali – i2cook’s Natural Peanut Butter & Mustard with colorful coasters from Freedom Tree.

Hope this post has given youĀ  ideas/inspirations to start with your own food gifts. I’m sure you will do a good job!

I would love to hear your gifting ideas too šŸ™‚