Green apple pickle


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Green apple pickle

Ever crave for instant mango pickle, but realize it is not the season for raw mangoes?? Here’s one recipe that you can use as a substitute for raw mango pickle and can be made instantaneously since green apples are ubiquitous throughout the year. They taste almost as good as raw mango. This comes very close in taste to “dhedeer uppinkai” that we all love at South Indian weddings.

Ingredients:

Green apple- cut into 1” thin pieces

1 tbsp each of mustard powder, methi (fenugreek)powder, turmeric powder, red chilli powder

Fresh squeezed lemon juice from 1-2 medium sized lemons

Oil, 1 tsp mustard seeds and pinch of hing ( asafoetida) for tempering

Salt to taste.

Cut the green apple into 1”pieces. Add all the above ingredients except salt and let it stand overnight in the refrigerator. Few hours before you are ready to serve, temper with mustard seeds in oil and add salt and lemon juice per taste. If you need extra spice, fine chop some green chillies and add them into the oil when you temper the mustard seeds. You can stock up the excess, refrigerate it and use it for upto 1 week.

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2-bite marshmallow pops!


If you are ever hosting a baby/bridal shower and need to make a quick party favor, try this one. Even if you are not, and want to engage your kids in a fun family culinary session this summer, this idea still works great. Takes 20 minutes to make a batch of 20 and uses simple ingredients that live in the pantries of most households with kids. Add your own wrapping touches and you ‘ll have one of those fancy hand-made-personalized gift type deals, for a fraction of cost! Tried this for a shower recently and these sweet treats a hit with kids and adults alike.

You will need:

Marshmallows ( Giant ones are better)

Chocolate chips ( meltable semi sweet or dark chocolate chips, I love the Ghirardelli dark ones!)

Sticks ( The ones from the craft isle or small straws will also work)

Rainbow sprinkles ( The best about this recipe per my 7 yr old!)

 

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Gently pierce a giant marshmallow into the end of a stick/straw. While you are doing that, get a double boiler (with steam) started to melt the chocolate chips in. As the chocolate melts, dip the marshmallow half way through into the molten goodness, spinning it gently so all sides are evenly coated. Roll the chocolate covered mallow in the rainbow sprinkles. You could use a block of thermocol to make the sticks stand upright, if you don’t have one on hand, just lay them on wax paper and let  it dry for 10-15 min. Have fun dipping and drying! Wrap them in your own fancy way, add favor tags etc, etc.. or enjoy as is!!

Grilled bellas with Sriracha…aah!!


Grilled bellas with Sriracha…aah!!!

If you tired of seeing fried appetizers at every party ( like me☺)here’s a healthy one to kick start your next party.

Good part about this recipe is, you can use your imagination to create any kind of filling that goes into the mushrooms.

Even better part is this recipe takes the best hot sauce in the world, Sriracha! Just load it up with cheese and the savoury Sriracha sauce and all is golden!.

Ingredients: ( Serves 6-8)

Portobello mushrooms about 4

Topping#1: Tofu (extra firm) 1 block, Spinach 1 cup ,Seasoning ( Italian herb or any generic seasoning)

Topping #2: 1 cup Roasted red peppers, 1 cup chopped onions, toasted pine nuts and handful cilantro

Sriracha hot sauce ( any hot sauce will do, but no sauce tickles your taste buds like this one!!)

Mozzarella cheese 1 cup

Oilve oil spray

Method:

Wash the mushrooms, trim the stem and scoop out the undersurface clean with a spoon. In a pan, sautee the tofu, spinach with the seasoning and salt added. Then, gently fill in the tofu and spinach into the mushroom till the cleaned out brown bed is covered.

Instead you can also lightly sautee finely chopped red bell peppers and onions and load them into the mushroom. You can sprinkle some toasted pine nuts and cilantro too.

If you are feeling lazy (like I was the first time I made them) you can just spray olive oil and then add dollops of sauce directly from the bottle onto the loaded mushroom. If you are in a more energetic mood ( like I was when made them for the second time), using a basting brush to coat a mix of olive oil and hot sauce onto neatly halved mushrooms. Finally top the mushrooms with cheese, generously.

If you are in a hurry, you can directly bake them in the oven at 350 deg for about 30 min. If you happen to have sometime on hand, the better way is to wrap them real tight in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 4 hrs prior to baking. The latter method is better as the toppings have more time to soak in the oil and sauce, adding more flavor. Add a dash of extra Sriracha sauce on the side while serving.

Tip: If your mushrooms leave out a lot of water like mine did, gently soak up the excess water using the ever faithful super absorbent Bounty tissue!

 

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Kesar kulfi


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Kesar kulfi

 

A sweltering hot day in summer always calls for a cool sweet treat to beat the heat! This is one easy recipe that can be put together in 10 minutes, provided you have the right ingredients on hand. Having seen this being made a few times now ( by my husband who owns the recipe), I can guarantee this will be a party favorite.

 

Ingredients: ( Makes about 15 small cups of kulfi)

 

Condensed milk – 1 can 14 oz

Evaporated milk – 1 can 28 oz ( Whole milk is obviously better, but you can use 2%, just to be a lil guilt free!)

Almonds- ½ cup, about 4 oz ( You can use slivered or sliced ones)

Unsalted pistachios – ½ cup, 4 oz ( optional)

Saffron threads 1 tbsp

Cardamom – 4-5 shelled

Whole wheat bread – 2 slices ( Yes, bread is the secret ingredient in Kulfi to bind everything else and give it the texture)

Whipped cream – 2-3 tbsp ( Cool whip works best)

Plastic Cups – 4 oz

Ice cream sticks

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Blend all the above gently in a blender till the nuts are crushed well. Pour into small 4 oz cups. Refrigerate for about 2.5 hrs in the freezer. Insert ice cream sticks when it is about semisoft in consistency and let if freeze for a couple more hours. After cooling for about additional 3 hours, these irresistible goodies will have lick me written all over them!

 

 

 

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Date and almond rolls


I don’t know about you readers but I need my daily fix for dessert after lunch. And yes, it is always after lunch..Considering my big sweet tooth, I can’t afford to have desserts with butter, sugar and all the good stuff in them 😉 So typically my after lunch dessert varies from a piece of dark chocolate, cranberries, raisins, dried apricots etc. Date rolls are also perfect for satisfying these cravings for sweets! They also make a good snack ranging from 50-60 calories a piece and they are so easy to make!

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Ingredients :

1 box of Mejdhool dates(3.5 lbs) cut into thin pieces

1.5 cups of almonds

1 and half tablespoon of ghee

1/2 cup grated dried coconut

 

In a thick bottomed wide vessel, add ghee and dates and mash the mixture till the dates breakdown and mix together. After they are mixed well, add the almonds and stir.  Remove from heat and allow to cool, till they can handled.  Shape the mixture into logs. Spread the dried coconut on a plate and roll the logs over the coconut ensuring they are well coated.  Refrigerate for 4-5 hours and then cut into rolls.

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Set Dosa


Set Dosa is a dish that is something very unique to Karnataka. It is never on the menu in restaurants here in the US and so has me craving for this now and then. With the in-laws visiting us, it was the perfect opportunity to learn and savor this recipe of my mother-in-law. Apart from the Mysore masala dosa, this one is a crowd-pleaser, especially because the dosa turns out soft and spongy. The sponginess comes from the use of puffed rice when grinding the dosa batter.

Set dosa tastes best with some coconut chutney and vegetable kurma or sagu. This is one of those guilty pleasures that takes me back to the Darshinis of namma BengaLooru. Without further ado here is an ode to namma BengaLooru.

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Ingredients : Serves 4-5, makes around 12-14 dosas.

4 cups rice

1 cup puffed rice/mandakki/kadle puri

1/2 cup urad dal

1/4 cup methi/fenugreek seeds

1/2 cup poha/beaten rice/avalakki

Rinse the rice, urad dal and methi seeds thoroughly and soak them for about 5-6 hours. During the last 2 hours of this process, soak the avalakki and puffed rice.

Grind it to a thick batter with water to a thick pouring consistency. Ferment the batter overnight.

Heat a tava,  and pour a ladle full of batter, do not spread the batter too thin or else you will not get spongy dosas. Spray oil and flip the dosa once it is thoroughly cooked.

Lauki Thepla/ Doodhi Thepla


First of all, my apologies for being away from the blog for so long. Both sis and me have been caught up with mundane duties of domestic lives. I will try and make up for not posting in a long time, now that I seem to have a bit of time on my hands.

Lauki thepla is an authentic Gujju recipe which I learnt from A’s nanny. Theplas are a staple in Gujarati diet and it is a good way to incorporate veggies in kids meals. You can substitute lauki with a lot of other veggies of your choice. I have used radish, methi leaves, beetroot, carrot to name a few. If you plan to use carrot or beetroot, make sure to cook the grated carrot or beetroot a little before mixing the dough. Since these vegetables don’t have a lot of water content in them, it helps to keep the thepla moist. You can also control the amount of oil you add while mixing the dough. Adding more oil makes the dough more pliable and very soft. I chose to add a little less than recommended but the theplas still turned out yummy!

ImageIngredients : Makes about 16-18 theplas

1 medium sized lauki/doddhi/sorekai/bottle gourd

2 cloves of garlic minced finely.

1 teaspoon red chilli powder

2 teaspoons garam masala

2 tablespoons oil and more for roasting

1/2 cup chopped cilantro

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

Salt to taste.

2-3 cups of whole wheat flour

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Grate the lauki with the skin using using the bigger size of the greater so that lauki gets shredded coarsely. Transfer to a bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients and the flour. Knead till everything comes together. There is no need to add water while kneading as the lauki has enough water content to bing the dough. Divide into lemon-sized balls.

Dust the rolling pin and the surface generously with flour and roll the dough into theplas which are about 6″ in diameter.

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Heat a tava, and roast the theplas till they are thoroughly cooked. Brush with oil on both sides while cooking.

Enjoy with yogurt and a dash of pickle. I ate mine with flax seed chutney powder for which I will be posting the recipe soon!