Guest post: Comfort food & corn chowder recipe

“A man is what he eats” – Ludwig Feuerbach

We all have different choices when it comes to comfort food. Comfort foods are usually simple and have a nostalgic feel to it, depending on culture and taste. It is something which we all have grown up on or find it most easy to digest on a tiring day. Some would treat comfort food as therapeutic depending on factors like stress or health. We always associate food to circumstances and comfort food is one amongst them. We also indulge in festive foods albeit occasionally. What is so special about comfort food? Why am I stressing on it so much….

Go on to Natural Mantra’s blog to read more…..

Corn chowder –  comfort food


Jackfruit – a wonder fruit & a recipe

 

Natural Mantra

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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Lets spin some salad!

I’m excited to share with you my experiences with food and kitchen gadgets. It’s sometimes difficult to make the right choice when it comes to even buying a bottle of jam or mustard from a retail shelf. There is so much of variety in the market that as consumers it becomes a bit confusing. I go through it all the time. So I decided that every time I get my hands on  a new product, I will test it out and let you know about it 🙂

I’ve been looking for a salad spinner since a year and never knew that it is  available in India. Until recently I chanced upon Home Collective’s FB page, selling salad spinners.  I was super trilled to discover. Life is simple now!

Salad spinners are not only meant to make your life easier but they also help salad leaves to last longer and give crunchiness to your leaves..The beauty of this product is that it is designed so simple that it is not complicated at all to handle. It is a very simple gadget to have in your kitchen, provided you are a salad eater like me :).

 Pros

  • It does not require any electricity, which means that you can spin your salad manually
  • It is  easy to handle and use
  • Easy to wash and dry
  • You can even spin your herbs in smaller quantities too
  • You can use delicate fruits like strawberries, mulberries.

 Cons

It is a little bigger than I thought and requires some storage space in your shelf/cupboard.

Available at Home Collective & The Gourmet Company (online store), India.

psst…Did I tell you that I won a salad spinner recently for entering my salad in a contest- Spinach, Strawberry & Ricotta cheese Salad.

If you want your salad leaves to last for a week and are a bit fussy. Then, there is another way of drying your salad leaves and they say it works!

My first salad with  my new salad spinner. ooohhh I’m so happy 🙂
Hop on to Natural Mantra’s blog to view some salad tips and the recipe –  Chickpea Salad with Lime & Mustard Dressing.


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 🙂

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 the  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 – just  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 on  cage-free birds in BBC Good Food, India in which it mentioned that, the  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,  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 and  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 buy  free-range eggs from Foodhall, at Palladium Mall, Nature’s Basket outlets and I’ve also spotted them  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.


My guest post on Natural Mantra

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 🙂