Category Archives: Food
Cheese, whole milk, elaborate process, whisking. This recipe is an exact antidote to that.
One pot prep. Healthy. No added sugar. And Varun approved to boot.
Cornmeal, pumpkin and applesauce come together in these muffins to create a naturally sweetened muffin which is great for breakfast with eggs ( or just coffee), after school snack or with chili for dinner.
It has fiber, good carbs and protein.
And did I say no oil, sugar or butter.
They freeze well in an airtight container and are perfect to be made on weekend when your toddler naps or when he wants to help in the kitchen and you are ok with a little mess.
Microwave when needed for a minute for a healthy snack with a pat of peanut butter or as is.
Cornmeal Pumpkin Muffins Recipe
- 1 cup cornmeal
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 cup applesauce
- 1 large egg
- 2 teaspoons sugar for dusting on top (optional, incase you need things to be a little sweet)
- 2 – 3 tablespoons chopped almonds, walnuts for crunchy topping.
1. Pre-heat oven to 350 F. Line a muffin pan with paper cups.
2. In the meantime, mix all the dry ingredients ( cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt) in a large bowl or a stand mixer.
Dump pumpkin puree, applesauce and egg in the same bowl.
Mix well for couple of minutes ( by hand) or a minute, if using a mixer on low-speed.
3. Scoop the mixture in paper cups.
Dust with sugar. Sprinkle chopped nuts.
4. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes till a tooth pick inserted comes out clean.
Enjoy warm or frezee for later.
The other thing besides Dahi vada, I was craving during last couple of weeks of pregnancy was a good old fashioned pudding. Made from scratch at home with love.
Creamy, chocolately, that leaves a thick drape on back of the spoon that you want to lick.
Puddings are really easy to make. But most recipes call for cream and corn starch; which I never don’t have on hand.
When I am at Whole Foods, I pause at the fresh cream bottles, thinking that I can make a pudding with this today. Those Straus cream bottles are very inviting. In their cute shape, they sit right next to the milk gallons begging to be brought home. And made into pudding.
But at 25% fat ( albeit good fat), I don’t really give into temptation and walk away as quickly as possible.
Recently, I came across a Tyler Florence recipe using whole milk ( which is what we have switched to given the milk powder and other additives in low fat milk), I decided to give it a try.
Low in sugar, this is a healthier version of chocolate pudding that you can otherwise make.
Flour can be used in a pinch as a substitute to cornstarch.
The result was a silky, creamy pudding as rich as the one made with cream.
If you are craving a special treat this weekend, give this a try. You probably have everything you need in your house to make it right now.
Its bound to surprise you with its ease and its taste. And its something you wouldn’t mind your kid indulging in.
1. Don’t use fat free or 1% milk for this. The resulting pudding will be thin and you may not like the texture.
2. Don’t skimp on whisking. It will reward with a smooth lump free pudding.
Semi sweet Chocolate Pudding Recipe
- 1 1/2 cup whole milk + 1 table spoon milk
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1/3 cup cocoa powder
- 1 1/3 tablespoon flour
- 3 large egg yolks, at room temperature
- Vanilla from 1/2 bean, split and scraped ( or 1 teaspoon extract)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Whipped Cream ( I didn’t use any but sounds delicious)
- Grated Chocolate
- Sugar tossed raspberries or strawberries
- Mix 1 1/2 cups of the milk, sugar, and the cocoa powder in an saucepan. Bring it to a simmer, over medium-high heat, whisking intermittently to avoid scorching the milk. Remove from the heat and keep aside.
- In the meantime, whisk eggs, flour and table spoon of milk, salt and vanilla in a bowl ensuring there are no lumps in the mixture.
- Add a tablespoon of chocolate milk from the saucepan to the eggs. Whisk till incorporated. Repeat with another 2 – 3 tablespoons of milk, adding one tablespoon at a time. This ensures that the eggs don’t get scrambled when added back to the chocolate milk mixture.
- Add eggs- milk mixture to the saucepan. Whisk it with the remaining milk and cook over medium-high heat. Whisk constantly until pudding comes to a full boil. Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer, and continue whisking until thick, about 2 or 3 minutes more.
- Pour the pudding into 4 ramekins. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
Garnish with chilled whipped cream, raspberries or strawberries or grated chocolate.
[ I wrote this post last week before the baby’s arrival; am simply posting it today. We are at home, resting, nursing and catching up on sleep. Will resume blogging soon!]
Pushpa: Le Dahi Vade kha le.
Urmila: Nahi mann nahi kar raha.
Pushpa: Arre Dahi Vade khane ka mann nahi kar raha. Agar kisi ladki ka Dahi Vade khane ka mann nahi karta to do cheeze ho sakti hai,
- ya to woh dheere dheere ladki se ladka ban rahi hai…
- ya to usse PREM ho gaya hai
Ek din mujhe bhi Dahi Vade khaane ka mann nahi kiya, teen din baad pata chala ki mujhe Bunty se Prem ho gaya hai 🙂 (and bluntly blushing)
Bol ri! Kya naam hai unka?
Urmila:(sharmate hue) Lucky naam hai…
[Don’t worry if you don’t understand the dialog exchanged in Hindi above. The humor will be lost in translation.It doesn’t really impact the recipe or why you should make it. You should make this recipe to get a taste of India, regardless of movie scene that recommends it.]
This is a classic scene ( copied from being desh blog) from a very popular oldie- goldie Hindi movie “GolMaal”. Its hilarious in its reasoning.
Dahi vada’s have been on my mind lately. At least since mom is here. And they always remind me of GolMaal.
There is a reason why these are not on the menu of any and every Indian restaurant that you have visited. Unlike Saag Paneer, Chole or Alu- Gobi, dahi vada’s are tricky, need a lot of patience and muscular strength.
The lightest,fluffiest melt in your mouth vadas are made solely by whipping the batter with your hands. Whip and whip till you feel that your arms are going to fall off. And then some.
Then this fluffy batter is deep-fried in hot oil.
Once golden brown, they are dunked in a buttermilk bath to soften the core and then immersed in cool tangy yogurt sauce. It is served with a variety of spices – cumin powder, red chilli powder and a tangy tamarind chutney.
But once made and chilled, they are these lightly puffy yogurt soaked lentil balls that you will fight over.
One bowl or serving will never be enough. At least plan on 2 to 3 servings per person.
This is one recipe that is worth the effort. Every single time.
Here is mom’s recipe below.
Dahi vada Recipe
- 3/4 cup urad dal (black lentils)
- 1/4 cup moong dal
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon minced ginger (optional)
- Pinch of asafoetida (optional)
For buttermilk bath
- 1/2 cup curd
- 3 cups water
- Salt to taste
- 1 teaspoon cumin powder
- 1 teaspoon ginger paste
For the Dahi ( Spicy yogurt sauce)
- 3 cups thick yogurt
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 – 2 teaspoons red chilli powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin powder
- Salt to taste
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- Tamarind – date chutney (store-bought, to taste)
- Green chutney (store-bought, to taste)
- Finely chopped cilantro ( for garnish)
1. Wash both the urad and moong dal well ( at least 7 – 8 times in plenty of water) till the water runs clear. It will be milky at first and then run clear.
Soak dal in plenty of water for at least 5-6 hours to overnight.
2. Discard water from the dal and finely grind it with as little water as possible. Set aside the dal batter for 1 – 2 hours.
3. In the meantime prepare the buttermilk bath. Whisk all the ingredients listed till you get a thin batter. Set aside in a large shallow bowl.
4. Heat oil in a wok on medium-high heat.
Add salt and ginger to the dal batter. Whisk the batter with hand for at least 10 minutes in a flat plate. Whisk and whisk some more till you feel the batter to be light and fluffy.
4. Fry small golf ball sized vadas in hot oil till golden brown. Test one vada to ensure that the vada is cooked evenly through the center. If not, lower the heat and cook till they are golden brown.
6. Soak the vadas in buttermilk bath for at least 2 hours. Remove the vadas from the buttermilk bath and keep aside covered. They can be kept at room temperature.
7. Prepare the yogurt sauce by missing all the ingredients and adjusting to taste. Keep the yogurt in the refrigerator to chill till ready to serve.
8. When ready to serve, layer the vadas in serving bowl. Pour the yogurt sauce over the vadas.
Garnish with chutneys and cilantro.
Serve with additional bowls of chutney, cilantro, cumin and chili powder to add per taste.
We have been on the healthy eating bandwagon since earlier this year. It was our only New Year Resolution, if you will.
And although there have been occasional slips ( French-Creole food from Brenda’s, Fish curry from Gajalee and Vada-Pav from DOSA), largely we have stuck to the game plan. More veggies, moderate amount of protein, no sugar, no artificial processed foods and whole natural fat.
After nurturing years of sweet tooth, its hard to go without a sugar fix. Thankfully two deserts have come to our rescue. Ricotta stuffed strawberries and Oatmeal-applesauce cookies.
Made with all natural ingredients both these desserts are naturally sweet. Now I know, sweet is a very relative term. My parents can’t have their cuppa of tea without a teaspoon or two of sugar in it. That’s their baseline. For me, more than half a teaspoon sugar makes it too sweet.
Thanks to the south beach diet and the palate cleansing, we can actually taste the natural sweetness in vegetables – tomatoes, bell peppers and even squashes. Sadly that means we find traditional desserts at restaurants too sweet.
To indulge in our sweet tooth while still maintaining the diet, I made us some ricotta stuffed strawberries. I know strawberries are not in season but I got them on sale at Whole Foods so there they were. I am sure the ricotta would go well with grilled peaches, pineapples or whatever fruit is in season.
This is a recipe where ingredients shine – so don’t buy the prepackaged ricotta which is grainier but get some freshly made ricotta. Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s and other natural food markets carry them next to fresh guacamole,salsa etc. Or make it yourself. There are tons of recipes online.
I used to always think that bloggers who ask to get premium ingredients are snooty – but really after having this I change my mind. The fresh ricotta melts in your mouth. I added a little bit of maple syrup and Meyer lemon juice to the ricotta to brighten this further but it was good even as is.
A take on strawberries and cream, this is one dessert that I think we can make over and over again especially once spring brings fresh seasonal berries.
Ricotta Stuffed Strawberries Recipe
- 10 – 12 strawberries, washed and core removed
- 1/2 cup fresh ricotta cheese
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon juice from Meyer lemon
- 1/2 teaspoon zest of Meyer lemon
1. With a light hand, core the strawberries and scoop out the flesh. Save it to make some strawberry jam.
Set them aside in a serving dish.
2. Whip the ricotta cheese with 1 tablespoon maple syrup, lemon zest and juice. Taste and add more syrup if necessary. Whip again.
3. Using a small spoon (or pastry bag if you really want to be fancy and make swirls), spoon the ricotta cheese in strawberries.
Refrigerate for couple of hours at least. Garnish with Meyer lemon zest. Serve chilled.
I am on a smoothie kick these days. Mostly because they are so easy to make.
Once I have fruits and veggies on hand, it’s just mix and match and then whirl in my Magic bullet. Single container. Easy cleanup. Tasty. And filling.
I learnt recently that home-made smoothies are healthier than juicing as we retain the fiber in the smoothie v/s discarding the pulp. The fiber makes them filling and low glycemic index.
I mean seriously whats not to love.
I saw pear and ginger combination on Pinterest recently. Had it on hand and this came about.
If a recipe can be so-called, then here it is.
P.S. If you are looking for more smoothie inspiration, just check out Pinterest Smoothies board. There are tips and tricks, combinations and beautiful photos.
Pear Ginger Smoothie Recipe
- 1/2 red pear , washed and roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup coconut milk, chilled
- 1/2 cup fresh spinach leaves, washed and chopped
- 1/2″ knob of fresh ginger root, peeled and finely chopped
1. Swirl everything in the blender till well mixed.
Are you on a smoothie kick? Which flavors are your all time favorites???
I am craving spicy food these days.
Pohe (flaked rice), spicy fish curry, chicken wings with hot sauce, spicy soups, curries and dal. The list is endless. Thanks to mom being here and her cooking; its easier to indulge in the spicier palate.
Yesterday, we made these cornmeal pancakes for breakfast. After routine of eggs, toast and oatmeal; they were a refreshing change.
The pancakes themselves were not too spicy ( though you can kick up heat a notch if you will easily with more green chilli peppers) but with homemade pickle it sure did hit the right note. I suppose some garlic chutney would go well with it too.
I wanted to add grated zucchini or cucumber to them but we didn’t have any on hand so made them plain. This looks like a good vehicle to sneak in some veggies. I made a couple of small-sized ones for Varun. He ate the bits without cilantro so next time I will chop them super fine so he gets in his veggies for the day.
Savory Cornmeal Pancakes Recipe
- 1/2 cup corn meal
- 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup yogurt
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
- 1 – 2 spring onions finely diced
- 1 green chilli pepper finely diced
- 1/2 cup cilantro finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon oil
1. In a large bowl, mix cornmeal, flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside
2. In another bowl, beat the egg with milk. Add yogurt and beat well so there are no lumps.
3. Add the milk-yogurt mixture to the flour mix. Add ginger, garlic, chilli pepper and cilantro. Mix well. Taste and adjust seasonings. Set aside for 10 – 15 minutes.
4. Heat oil in a non stick girdle. Ladle 1/4 cup of the mixture on to the girdle when hot. Cook on each side for a couple of minutes till golden brown.
Serve warm with sour cream, pickle or yogurt.