March 31, 2009

Announcing Tried and Tasted, April 2009 – Lisa's Vegetarian Kitchen


Tried and Tasted is an event which started by Zlamushka who blogs at Zlamushka's Spicy Kitchen. The aim of this event is to showcase one blog, every month, allowing fellow food bloggers to thoroughly explore the featured blog and choose one or more recipes to "try and taste" in their own kitchens.

This month I have the opportunity of guest hosting Tried and Tasted right here and the pleasure of introducing Lisa's Vegetarian Kitchen as the featured blog. Her blog is one I follow regularly and I am sure, that most of you would also need no introduction to Lisa's blog.
Lisa is based in London, Ontario in Canada and has been vegetarian for the last 18 years. She loves Indian food and she says, "If you want to know what sensible vegetarians eat, Lisa's Kitchen is the place to be."

I am a vegetarian and I can assure you that that Lisa has a very wide collection of vegetarian recipes from various parts of the world just waiting to be discovered and put to test in your kitchen (if you haven't already done so). Either way, this is the perfect opportunity to thoroughly explore what she has been cooking so far.



To be a part of Tried and Tasted, just do the following.

1. Cook one (or more) of Lisa's recipes, staying as true to her recipe as possible, and post about it between the 1st and the 30th of April, 2009. Re-posting Lisa's recipe is not required, though if you did make any changes it would be nice to know what changes you did make and why.

2. Please link you’re your post to Lisa's recipe post, Zlamushka's original event announcement and this particular post. This is important as it would be unfair not to give credit where it is required and also to avoid copyright issues.

3. Then please send me an e-mail with the following details at mdk[dot]aparna[at]gmail[dot]com

Your name:


Your location:


The name of your blog:


The url/ link of your post:


The url/ link of the Lisa's post which you tried and tested:


A 300 pixel picture of your preparation

4. The deadline for submissions is the midnight of the 30th of April (your time wherever you live). Please feel free to use the event logo along with your post. You will find a smaller version on the right hand column of my blog.

5. Non-bloggers are most welcome to be apart of this event. Please send me details of what you tried from Lisa's blog with a picture, if possible, and I will be happy to include it in the round-up.


I will be away from Goa from the beginning of April till the 8th and then again for about a week, around the middle of the month. I will not be able to acknowledge your mails till I get back, so please bear with me. I am posting this announcement today as I will be away from tomorrow. Please note that this event runs from tomorrow, the 1st of April to the 30th of the month.
Looking forward to seeing what you all cook up from Lisa's Kitchen.

I will post the round-up of the "tried and tasted" versions of Lisa's recipes by the end of the first week of May.

Do look out for the round-up of the previous edition at Sweatha's Tasty Curry Leaf where the featured blog was Suganya's Tasty Palettes.


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March 29, 2009

Green Tomato Relish And Click: Wood


We really like tomatoes here, even Akshaya does provided she cannot see the pieces of tomato in the dish. And when the tomatoes in question are green, it gets even better and I'm constantly trying new ways to cook them. I have already tried using them in many dishes in a combination with other vegetables as well as some where green tomatoes play the stellar role such as Green Tomato Khorma, Green Tomato Pickle and a Green Tomato And Onion Curry.




Here is one more recipe starring the green tomato. This relish has a delightful flavour that comes from the slight tang of the green tomatoes coupled with the warmth of the spices.



Ingredients:


1 kg green tomatoes, finely chopped

1 1/4 cups sugar (adjust to taste)*

1 tsp salt

1 1/2 finely chopped fresh ginger

1 stick cinnamon

3 cloves

1 star anise


*I used sugar this time, but I'm very sure that jaggery or brown sugar would be better and that's what I'll use next time.



Method:


Put the chopped tomatoes, sugar, salt, ginger and whole spices in a heavy bottomed pan. Mix everything together, cover the pan and keep aside for about 3 to 4 hours (or even overnight, which is what I did).

The sugar would have dissolved in the tomato juice, and there will be quite a bit of liquid in the pan. Place the pan on the stove and bring the contents to a boil. Turn down the heat to medium and allow to simmer until most of the liquid evapoprates to leave very little syrup and a thick relish.
Remove the whole spices, allow the relish to cool and bottle.


The cinnamon in this recipe brings me to CLICK which is a monthly food photography event hosted at Jugalbandi. This month's theme is "Wood".

The cinnamon quills on my kitchen shelf reminded me that the deadline for submissions was round the corner and it was time to do something about it.
I took quite a few pictures, uploaded them and then forgot about them till a couple of days back when I saw posts on various blogs talking about submissions to the event!

The thrill of having found a subject for my pictures disappeared somewhat in my not being able to decide which one to send in. Well, its easy to pick an outstanding one, but when all are more or less in the "neither here nor there" category, what does one do?




Decisions!!!
The deed has been done and the above picture goes off to Bee and Jai for CLICK. If you haven't been there, you really should if you do not want to miss some awesome photography.




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March 27, 2009

Buono Appetite! It's Lasagne Verdi Al Forno from Emilia-Romagna: Daring Baker Challenge March 2009


It's my Daring Baker Challenge time and the March 2009 challenge is hosted by Mary of Beans and Caviar, Melinda of Melbourne Larder and Enza of Io Da Grande. They have chosen Lasagne of Emilia-Romagna from The Splendid Table by Lynne Rossetto Kasper as the challenge.

Before I go any further, I would like to mention that we Daring Bakers now meet at a new address. Do drop by there to take a look at our very trendy new home, where there is a public forum for non-Daring Bakers too.

Lasagne (this is the plural form of the word and how the Italians refer to this dish, though the singular "lasagna" is more popularly used) is an Italian sheet pasta though everyone knows it as the delicious layered preparation in which this pasta is used.
Lasagne Al Forno means "lasagne baked in an oven" and this version is green (hence the "verdi") because it has spinach.

Lasagne is a dish that has successfully transcended borders and is today made around the world, albeit with many variations from the Italian original. Even within Italy, there are many variations and each region has its own lasagne tradition. Yet, many people consider the lasagne as it is made in the Emilia-Romagna region in central Italy to be the best and the standard against which all other lasagne are measured.
Lasagne from this region uses pasta which is coloured green with spinach puree, béchamel sauce flavoured with nutmeg, a hearty meat and tomato ragu and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.




We like pasta and the thought of making lasagne at home was a bit daunting, especially as my one and only previous attempt at it was gnocchi which was an abject failure. So I put that memory on the backburner and decided to give this pasta a chance.

Going through the provided recipe it didn't seem too difficult. The important part seemed to be to roll the pasta out as thin as possible, and I quote "the sheet should be so thin that you can clearly see your hand through it and see colours"!

The provided recipe was for a non-vegetarian version and we were free to use alternatives to suit our dietary choices. We were required to make hand-made pasta sheets, a béchamel sauce, a ragu (or alternative sauce) and follow the given instructions to assemble and bake a lasagna.



My Lasagne Making Experience:


The Lasagne Sheets:

Following my usual style of "cook eggless if possible", I used Bryanna's eggless version to make my delightful green spinach pasta sheets.

I halved the given recipe and used the food processor to make the dough. It really cannot get any easier than this. I cooked fresh spinach, pureed it and then used it in the dough. This gave my dough a beautiful uniform green colour.



Inspired by a fellow DB's suggestion, I divided the dough into smaller pieces, shaped them into rough squares, rolled them out and then cut them into strips. Rolling out the pasta into thin sheets thin wasn't a problem, even though my rolling pin is a small wooden one which is tapered at the ends. I guess the practice from years of regularly rolling out chapattis does make all the difference!




The pasta turned out thin enough for me too see my hand through it but I'm afraid I saw no colours through it. In the above picture, it looks as if I have suddenly developed green webbed fingers!
The camera has become an indispensable part of my kitchen accessories ever since I started blogging, and with this challenge, looks like our dining chairs have joined in!!!




I let my pasta sheets dry for about 10 minutes and then cut them into strips. I put the strips into an airtight box, separated by waxed paper, and refrigerated them till the next day when I used them.


My Sauces:

I made the Béchamel sauce using the provided recipe. As the provided ragu recipe was non-vegetarian, I substituted this with my own version of Marinara sauce and stir fried finely chopped eggplant and zucchini sautéed with a bit of oil and seasoned with salt, pepper and mixed dried Italian herbs.


Assembling The Lasagne:

I cooked the refrigerated pasta sheets in boiling water for about 3 to 4 minutes, ddabbed them dry on a kitchen towel and then used them for the lasagne.

I had the marinara sauce in the freezer, so I thawed that and warmed it a little. I made the béchamel sauce prior to assembling the lasagne.

I followed the provided layering instructions, starting with a layer of the béchamel sauce, a layer of the pasta sheets, another layer of béchamel sauce, a layer of marinara topped with sautéed vegetables, a thin layer of grated cheese, repeating till the sauces and vegetables are used up. The last layer was a thin layer of béchamel sauce topped with a generous amount of grated cheese.

I couldn't find Parmesan here so I used Mozarella instead. I did think of using Paneer (a soft Indian cheese) as well, but my daughter loves Mozarella so that was the way I went with the cheese.
I baked my lasagna for 50 minutes (an extra 10 minutes) and left it to cool for about 20 minutes before cutting it to serve.


Verdict:

Even though I had a feeling that my home-made lasagna wouldn't turn out right I was very happy to be proved wrong. It was quite good and I was happy with the way the lasagne turned out.

Using as little of the sauces to make very thin layers is definitely a defining part of this preparation. It allows one to savour the flavours in the lasagne. It also prevents one's lasagne from becoming a "gloppy" mess!

One usually sees lasagna served with bread and salad in most places, but I'm not sure how it is served in Italy. Our lasagne was a full meal by itself.

I still haven't decided whether I will make this again, but I have a feeling I probably will with different vegetables and cheese just to see how the flavours pair up. This sheet pasta can also be used to make cannelloni and ravioli so I might just experiment with those too, when time permits.

And don't forget to visit my fellow lasagne bakers.


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March 26, 2009

Almond Pâté Crostini and A Memorable Weekend


The Almond Pâté Crostini has nothing to do with the memorable weekend, but I will talk about the latter first. If you like some humour served along with your soup, then you should visit When My Soup Came Alive. This is where Sra, a good friend of mine, blogs. I met her, as I have quite a few good friends, after I started my food blog.

Last week, she was in Goa on a work related trip and had some to time to spare. So she came down and we had what my husband jokingly refers to as a "YWCA" weekend. My husband was away on work so it was just the three of us ladies. Akshaya definitely qualifies for "young".
And considering that the average age of our ruling class of politicians is about 70 years, and that many of the leaders of the "youth wings" of our political parties average 50 years of age, Sra and I are very young!

That aside, we spent an enjoyable time taking it easy and talking about a variety of things, food included. My bookshelf (cookbook section) also has one more book, from her, called Cakes And Slices. So keep an eye on this space for some lovely cakes I shall be baking from it.

Now to the matter of the Crostini.
This month's featured blog at Tried and Tasted is Suganya's Tasty Palettes. Her blog is one of the first few food blogs I discovered and enjoy following regularly. Though I did want to "try and taste" something from her collection of recipes and post about it, I almost didn't make it this time. Life keeps happening (add some bouts of inertia or laziness, call it what you will) and this very nearly didn't happen.

So I decided I would look for something on Suganya's blog which was unusual, yet would take up very little of my time and effort. That's when I found her Almond Pâté.




Pâté is a paste of seasoned finely chopped or ground meat. It can be served in many ways, including as a spread on toasted bread.
Crostini means "little toasts" in Italian and is made with small pieces of toasted bread dressed with an assortment of toppings. So almond pâté crostini makes for a very unusual, tasty and vegetarian appetizer or snack.

Suganya's version of pâté is vegetarian and made from almonds. I followed her recipe except in three instances. The first thing that I did a bit different was to lightly toast the coarse almond meal.
The next thing was that I didn't have fresh herbs (other than coriander and mint, which I couldn't use here), so I used dried parsley and rosemary.
And last, I didn't have any mayonnaise. So I substituted with a mixture of 2 tbsp thick yogurt + 2 tbsp light cream + 1 tsp lemon juice and 1 tsp sugar.




I made my crostini by toasting circles of brown bread, spreading it with the almond pâté and topping this with a slice of green tomato, a thin square of paneer (an Indian soft cheese) and some chopped green bell pepper (capsicum). And they were absolutely delicious.

I have discovered a new spread I really like and am going to make frequently. I used this pâté to make sandwiches for my daughter's snack box for school and she came back asking "What did you put in my sandwiches today? I loved it!" I guess that says it all.

This my submission to this month's Tried and Tasted hosted by Sweatha of Tasty Curry Leaf.


On another note, BloggerAid is a growing group of international food bloggers determined to make a difference in aid of world famine. The love of food and community that brings them together drives the compassion of its members to reach out to the world to help those less fortunate. Banded by a mission of helping to make a change in a world where starvation affects such a profound number of people, they will raise money and awareness for the hungry in communities both at home and abroad.
Here are some ways in which you could contribute. One of the ways of contributing at BloggerAid is to contribute an original recipe towards the Cookbook project. BloggerAid plans to publish a Cookbook with selected contributed recipes, to be on sale on Amazon by December 2009. The last date for this is the 31st March, 2009.

100% of the profit from the sales of the cookbook will be directed to School Meals, a program that targets children and education through The World Food Programme (WFP), which is the United Nations frontline agency.




My contribution to the Cookbook project are these partially soft, partially crunchy Savoury Cashewnut Masala Cookies. As required by BloggerAid, for recipes submitted to them, I am not posting the recipe but only a picture of them. If they do get chosen for publishing, you may find them in the book. If they don't make it, I promise I shall post the recipe here.


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March 24, 2009

Strawberry Blackpepper Sorbet



A sorbet has to be among one of the easiest frozen desserts to make. What can get better than putting all the ingredients in the blender, puréeing everything and sticking it in the freezer? A great dessert when the temperatures are rising slowly and the last place anyone would want to spend more time than necessary is the kitchen.

And it gets better when your dessert is not only bright and beautiful to look at, it is also low in calories. Well, the nutritional information accompanying the recipe says one serving is just 93 calories with 3% from fat. According to this source, the fat is from the strawberries! And these guys say strawberries can help promote weight loss.

Be that as it may, what prompted me in the direction of this sorbet was my same old strawberry story! I had strawberries that needed using up.

This particular recipe is from Cooking Light of June, 2005 and featured at My Recipes. I had earlier seen quite a few mentions of strawberries and black peppercorns being an interesting combination in desserts, and this sorbet seemed a good chance (and effortless way) to try it out.

I am not posting the recipe here, as I used the original one (just halved it to make 6 servings) with no changes.





Let me just say that if you like strawberries (there are plenty of people who don't, and I was one of them till recently) and you don't mind a slight tang to your sorbet, then this one is definitely for you. As for the peppercorns, you can't really taste them except as a very slight after-taste at the end of every spoonful. It maybe a flavour that needs some getting used to, and personally I liked it.

This is my entry to Sunita's Think Spice, Think..... being hosted this month by Divya of Dil Se… where Pepper is centre stage.


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March 22, 2009

Cumin Flavoured Whole Wheat And Barley Flour Rolls


Whole wheat and all purpose flours are probably the most commonly used flours when it comes to baking. In my native south Indian community (and most of the meals I cook are this style), we traditionally use very little of either in our cooking. Rice flour (arishi podi) and chickpea flour (kadala podi) are the flours we routinely use, and never for baking.

Our cooking style includes stove-top cooking methods like steaming, stir-frying, and deepfrying but baking is not part of it. For our grandmothers and many of our mothers (in the earlier days, anyway) an oven was unknown in the kitchen.
As for bread, it was only bought when one was ill with a fever or some such thing! In fact, many Indians of my generation would have childhood memories of bread as something they were given when they were ill and so, even today, not be very fond of eating.

Many of us (at least, in urban areas of the country) right across India now regularly cook and eat food which is not necessarily reflect our ethnic backgrounds. So chapathis and parathas (originally north Indian food) are as much a part of our meals as rice and sambhar.
As a result whole wheat flour (and to a lesser extent all purpose flour) has a permanent place in my kitchen. I have also added other grain flours (such as bajra/ pearl millet, jowar/ sorghum, barley, makai/ corn) which have long been used in north India to make very tasty and nutritious flatbreads.




Experimenting a bit with a couple of flours (didn't want to get too adventurous as I had no guarantee this was going to be successful) and some cumin resulted in a slightly dense but tasty bread rolls.



Ingredients:


1 cup whole wheat flour

3/4 cup barley flour

1/2 cup all purpose flour

1 3/4 tsp dry active yeast

1 tbsp milk powder

1 tbsp oil

1 tbsp honey

1 tsp salt

1 1/2 tsp cumin seeds



Method:


Mix the honey and yeast in 3/4 a cup of warm water till the yeast dissolves. Allow it to prove (about 10 minutes or so).
Put all the other ingredients in a bowl (or food processor) and mix well. Add the yeast mixture and enough water and knead (or process) to make a soft dough that is very soft but not sticky. Shape the dough into a ball and place in a greased bowl, rolling the dough ball to cover it with a film of oil. Cover and allow the dough to rise till double.

Gently deflate the dough and divide into 6 portions. Shape into rolls, place on a greased baking sheet and cover them, allowing them to rise a little (about 20 minutes). Brush them with milk and bake at 190C for 25 to 30 minutes till they're brown.
Cool on a rack.
This recipe makes 6 rolls.

These rolls make a nice snack when filled with thin slices of tomatoes, cucumber and cheese. They also go very well with soup, especially creamy vegetable or lentil soups.

This goes off to Ben of What's Cooking? for his Homemade Bread and to Susan for YeastSpotting.



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March 20, 2009

Avarakkai Poduthuval/ Thoran (Green Hyacinth Beans with Coconut)


This is one more way of cooking certain vegetables representative in our traditional Palakkad Iyer style. I make some sort of "poduthuval" or the other for lunch on most days. A "poduthuval" (or "thoran" as it is known in Malayalam) is a dry vegetable preparation to which a mixture of crushed coconut and green chillies is usually added after the vegetable has been cooked. This is not strictly the "thoran" as it is known in Kerala, in which onions are sometimes addeed.

I read somewhere that the name "poduthuval" comes from "podi" (meaning powder, of the spicy kind) and "thuval" (meaning to sprinkle) and that is the origin of this dish. There is, however, no spice or lentil powder in this type of preparation, though it is possible that a plentiful supply of coconuts in Kerala could have resulted in the adaptation of the original version to this one.


Avarakkai Poduthuval


This poduthuval can also be made without the final coconut-green chilli addition, if you do not like coconut or want to avoid using it. If that is so, then just slit a couple of green chillies lengthwise and add it along with the beans while cooking.

However, a poduthuval (or thoran) is just not the same without the coconut. Certain vegetables, especially hyacinth beans (avarakkai) and cluster beans (kothavarakkai), which have a faintly bitter or strong taste when cooked, need the coconut addition.


Avarakkai (Green Hyacinth Beans)


In this post I have made my poduthuval with "Avarakkai" or Hyacinth beans (also known as Lablab beans). There are different varieties of Hyacinth beans and the one commonly found in our markets are green or very deep green. They're also known as "Sem" in Hindi and "Vaalpapdi" here, in Goa.


Cabbage Beans Poduthuval (without coconut)

Some other vegetables which taste good as poduthuval include French beans, yard long beans (payar/ achingya), cabbage, carrots, banana stem (vazhai thandu), banana flower (vazhaipoo), raw plaintain skin (vazhai tholi), raw jackfruit (chakkai), bread fruit (idichakkai), amaranth leaves (keerai).
Certain vegetable combinations like cabbage and French beans, carrots and French beans, cabbage and carrots also lend themselves well to making poduthuval.



Ingredients:


1/4 kg avarakkai (green hyacinth beans)

1/4 tsp turmeric powder

salt to taste

2 tbsp fresh grated coconut

2 green chillies


For tempering:


1 1/2 tsp coconut oil (or sunflower oil)

1 tsp mustard seeds

1 1/2 tsp black gram lentils (urad dal)

1 sprig curry leaves




Method:


Wash the beans, and string them. Trim off both ends of each bean and then finely chop the beans. If there any beans which are a bit mature, shell them and discard the pods.
If you are using the microwave to cook your vegetables, like I do, then cook the beans till they're done. And then proceed as described below*.

In a pan, heat the oil (coconut oil gives an authentic flavour and taste) and add the mustard seeds. When they splutter, add the black gram lentils and sauté till they brown. Now add the curry leaves, stir once and add the beans. Stir fry the beans for a couple of minutes, then add half a cup of water. Add the salt and turmeric powder and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat and allow the beans to cook till done and the water has evaporated completely.

*If you microwaved your beans, then add the beans where mentioned above. Just don't add the water for cooking. Sprinkle a handful of water, add the turmeric powder and salt and make sure the beans are well coated and seasoned and sauté till the little water there was has evaporated completely.

Take the cooked beans off the heat.
Now run the grated coconut and the green chillies in the jar of your mixer grinder, a couple of times, without adding any water. You will have crushed mixture of the coconut and chillies, with flecks of the green chillies showing. Do not grind to a paste.
This crushing releases the flavours/ juice in the coconut and the chillies. Add this to the beans and stir well to mix.

Serve warm with rice, a vegetable in gravy preparation like sambhar, rasam or pulissery.


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March 18, 2009

Honey Oatmeal Quick Bread


It seems it is the season of quick breads on many a food blog right now, with St. Patrick's Day this month. "Quick breads" is also the theme for Bread Baking Day (a.k.a BBD) this month.
A quick bread is different from yeasted breads in that chemical leaveners like baking powder and/ or baking soda or cream of tartar are used instead of yeast. So there is no long process of proofing or rising involved here and hence the name "quick" bread.

Quick breads can be made using the muffin method (mixing the dry and wet ingredients lightly), the creaming method (creaming the sugar and fat as for cakes) and the biscuit method (cutting chilled fat into flour as for pie crusts). It is important not to work the dough or batter too much, no matter what method is followed to make quick breads.
Muffins, cornbread, panckes, waffles, scones (or biscuits), certain fruit breads including the banana bread and soda bread are all quick breads.





Looking for a quick bread to bake for BBD, I decided I wanted to make something "hatke". In Hindi, the word "hatke" means "away from the trodden path" or "different". Not Irish soda bread (not this month), not fruit muffins (I just made some strawberry muffins and zucchini bread, and I don't like banana in bread), no scones or biscuits (want to keep the fats down) or waffles (I should post one of mine) but something "hatke"!

If you were somewhat familiar with the Bollywood (the world of Indian popular cinema) actor lingo of sometime back, "hatke" used to be a favourite expression of many an upcoming actor. Whenever they were asked about their character/ part in a particular movie, many actors would say it was "hatke" meaning different from the usual run of the mill movies everyone else was doing. What this "hatke" would invariably translate as was that they were doing the same old stuff Bollywood was churning out in huge numbers, but that their costume or make-up was different!!




And I must say, my "hatke" story here is somewhat Bollywood style!!! My quick bread didn't turn out all that different either. If you look carefully at the recipe, you will find that it really is a mega muffin posing as a bread.
I found the recipe at Eating Well and I tweaked it slightly to make it eggless and added some raisins. If you are careful to ensure that the batter is not over-mixed, this recipe produces a reasonably light and soft bread. And no one would believe it has oats in it because you just can't see it in the bread.


Honey Oatmeal Quick Bread


Ingredients:


1 1/3 cup whole wheat flour

1 cup + 1 1/2 tbsp rolled oats

1 cup all purpose flour

2 1/4 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

1 cup plain low fat yogurt

1 cup low fat milk

1/4 cup oil

1/4 cup mild flavoured honey

1 tbsp powdered flax seed + 3 tbsp warm water




Method:


Place all the dry ingredients (the first 6 ingredients above, keeping the 1 1/2 tbsp of oats aside) in a bowl and whisk a couple of times to mix them well. 

In another bowl, whisk together all the wet ingredients just enough to mix them. Make a well ion the dry ingredients and pour the wet mixture into it. Very gently mix the two together, taking care not to over mix. The batter will be quite thick and lumpy.

Scrape this batter into a greased loaf pan and sprinkle the 1 1/2 tbsp of oats on top. Bake the loaf at 190C for about 45 minutes till the top is brown (not dark) and a skewer/ knife inserted into the loaf comes out clean.
Cool the loaf in the tin for about 15 to 20 minutes and then turn it out on a rack to cool completely. Slice and serve.
This bread tastes better the next day. Its excellent, when toasted and buttered, along with a cup of coffee or tea.


This is my submission to BBD # 18 which is guest hosted this March by Mansi of Fun & Food Blog. My bread also goes to Roma who is hosting Indira's JFI with Wheat as the ingredient.




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March 16, 2009

Whole Wheat Cocoa Bun Burgers With Chickpea Vegetable Patties


Cocoa in burger buns? Seems a little odd to you? Not to me, it doesn't. The thought of adding some chocolate flavour in buns without the sweetness and fat, seemed too good to pass up when I first saw them at Palachinka, Marija's beautiful blog. And when she describes these buns as "incredible", I have to agree.
They do really well (in my opinion) as burger buns also, if you're willing to take a chance and do a bit of "out of the box" thinking where burger buns are concerned.

I have made Marija's Whole Wheat Cocoa Buns a couple of times now. The last time I made them, I slightly tweaked (which is the one on this post) her recipe and I liked this version too. While she suggests trying the buns with dulche de leche, I thought this tweaked version would make good burger buns.




As for the patties, I just put together what I had on hand the particular day I made them as a snack for tea. Whenever I soak chickpeas, I always add a little more than I need. I cook them, then drain and freeze the extra chickpeas for later use so I almost always have some in the freezer.

I also froze the left over patties and used them with these buns to make vegetable burgers. Use whatever you would like inside your vegetable burgers. My burger has some lettuce (surprisingly, considering we don't really like lettuce but I had some I needed to use up), onion, tomato, sweet and sour mango chutney and cheese. This makes my vegetable burger reasonably strong in the "healthy" department too.


Whole Wheat Cocoa Buns (adapted version):




Ingredients:


2 cups whole wheat flour

1 3/4 tsp active dry yeast

1 tbsp honey

1 1/2 tbsp dark cocoa powder

3/4 tsp red chilli powder

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp salt

2 tbsps milk

flax seeds for sprinkling



Method:


Dissolve the honey and yeast in 1/2 a cup of warm water and allow to prove.

Mix all the other ingredients, except the milk and flax seeds, in a bowl or food processor bowl. Add the yeast mixture and enough water to mix into a smooth and elastic dough. Shape the dough into a ball and place in an oiled bowl, coating the dough with the oil, and cover. Allow to rise till double in volume.

Gently deflate the dough and divide into 6 equal portions. Shape each portion of dough into a bun. Brush the buns with milk and sprinkle with flax seeds. Cover wit a towel and allow the buns to rise a bit, for about 20 minutes.

Bake at 190C for 35 minutes till the buns sound hollow when tapped. Since the cocoa would give the buns a brown colour, it would be a bit difficult to judge how brown the buns would have become.


Chickpea (Garbanzo Bean) and Vegetable Patties (Cutlets/ Kebabs):




Ingredients:


1 medium onion, finely chopped

1/2 tsp ginger paste

1/2 tsp garlic paste

1/4 cup finely shredded cabbage

1/4 cup grated carrots

a small hanful of sweet corn (frozen)

1 big boiled potato

1 1/4 cups cooked chickpeas

1 tsp coriander powder

3/4 tsp cumin powder

1/4 tsp turmeric powder

1 tsp chilli powder (adjust to taste)

1 tsp garam masala

2 tbsp chopped coriander leaves

salt to taste

a little oil for pan frying the cutlets/ patties



Method:


Mash the cooked chickpeas and boiled potatoes very well, so no lumps remain. Keep aside.

Heat 1 1/2 tsp oil in a pan, and sauté the ginger and garlic pastes and the onion till it turns translucent and soft. Add the spice powders and 2 tbsp of water and continue cooking over low to medium heat, for a minute. Now add the cabbage, carrot and sweet corn and sauté for another minute, on high heat. Turn down the heat to medium and add the mashed chickpea-potato mixture and salt. Mix well, and finally add the chopped coriander leaves. Take off the heat, and make sure the kebab/ cutlet/ patty mixture is well mixed.

Once the mixture has cooled a bit, divide it into 8 equal portions and shape each into kebabs/ cutlets/ patties. If you feel the mixture is too crumbly and difficult to shape, you can add a tbsp of chickpea flour (and a tsp of water, if required) to the mixture and mix well. These kebabs/ cutlets/ patties will be slightly soft, but should not fall apart easily.

If you use a non-stick heavy pan, you just need to lightly grease the pan to cook the cutlets/ patties. Cook them 3 or 4 at a time, until golden brown and slightly crisp. Then turn them over and similarly cook them on the other side too.

You can also lightly brush the cutlets/ patties with oil and either grill or bake them. Use them in vegetable burgers and serve with oven baked potatoes (optional) for a filling meal. They can also be served as a side dish to a main meal.

If you make the kebabs/ cutlets/ patties slightly smaller, you can serve them as appetizers or a snack, with tomato ketchup or coriander-mint and sweet and sour tamarind chutneys.
This recipe makes 8 patties, approximately 2" each.


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March 15, 2009

Strawberries + Chilled Milk = Strawberry Milkshake!


I have found this to be the easiest way to have one's quota of some fruit and milk. My daughter has a few favourites when it comes to fruit. You could count her favourites on the fingers of one hand and still have a couple of fingers to spare! While milk is not exactly on her list of favourites either, she is more willing to drink milk than eat fruit.






So early on, I figured out one way to make her have both, happily, was to blend both into a milk shake.
This is also the perfect thing for summer and warm weather, which is almost all the year round for us. Sometimes, I make the milkshake in the morning and keep it in the fridge so it's ready whenever needed during the day. Milkshakes are also excellent to take care of mid-morning or evening hunger pangs as they're filling, nutritious yet light. Ice-creams/ gelatos are another favourite fruit and milk combination, but take more time and effort to make.

I also have to admit that milk is not one of my preferred beverages either, though we all love plain yogurt and its more glamorous avatars (read lassi, frozen or fruit yogurt and spiced buttermilk). And now that my doctor tells me that the best way to ensure meeting my requirement of calcium is having 2 servings each of milk and yogurt a day, milkshakes have become more frequent in our home.





Making a milkshake (strawberry, this time) requires about 5 minutes of time, the basic 3 ingredients (+ any flavouring you may like) and a blender. There's nothing new or unusual about this recipe, just something that is a regular in my kitchen.


Strawberry Milkshake
 
 
 
Ingredients:


2 cups hulled strawberries

3 glasses of chilled milk (I use skimmed milk)

sugar to taste

1 tsp vanilla extract



Method:

Put all the above ingredients together and blend till smooth. Pour into glasses and serve.

You can make any milkshake using a fruit of your choice and changing the flavouring to suit the fruit. You can also use a combination of fruit to make a milk shake. Another variation on this shake is cold coffee. Just add about 1/4 a cup coffee decoction instead of the strawberries.


Since this milkshake is pink (a very light pink, I know), this goes to Harini's FIC being hosted by Priya of Priya's Easy N Tasty Recipes.

 
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March 13, 2009

Eggless Carrot Cake With Chocolate Ganache


I have been seeing carrot cakes on many food blogs and food sites over the past year or so but this beautiful carrot cake at No Special Effects really caught my eye. That cake made me decide I too wanted to bake my own carrot cake, even though I didn't use Mark's recipe when I finally did bake one. The only reason I did not was because I wanted a recipe which did not use pineapple.

An abundance of winter carrots at the market set me searching for a recipe I could use. The only problem (for me) was that all the recipes seemed to use one, the other or all of these ingredients – pineapple or coconut, eggs and a lot of oil. I wanted to avoid the first two in my cake and wanted to bring down the third (oil) to a minimum!




Then a couple of months back someone at the Daring Bakers forum, asked for suggestions for a moist carrot cake. Audax Artifex (yes, that's his name and he's a fellow DB) provided a carrot cake recipe from Celebration Cakes by the Australian Women's Weekly.

I adapted that recipe a bit and also made it eggless. One thing I liked about this cake (apart from its taste) is it takes just about 10 minutes to make up the batter (not counting the time required to grate the carrots). This recipe requires no beating or whipping. In fact, this uses more of a "muffin" technique, so end up with a lovely cake with very little arm exercise!

I know that carrot cakes are usually covered with cream cheese frosting, but we are not fans of frosting on the whole and sprinkling powdered sugar also seemed a very "sweet" idea. So I decided to cover my carrot cake with a chocolate ganache.



The result was a moist yet firm chocolate covered cake. The cake was a bit dense (naturally) but with a nice crumb, and not too sweet. This cake improves in flavour the next day, and keeps in the fridge for about a week.



Ingredients:


1 cup all purpose flour

2/3 cup whole wheat flour

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon powder

1 tsp grated nutmeg

2/3 cup brown sugar (I used demerara)

2 cups loosely packed grated carrots

1 tsp vanilla extract

2/3 cup oil

1/4 cup chopped walnuts

1/4 cup golden raisins

1 tbsp flax seed powder + 4 tbsp warm water

1/2 cup plain yogurt

1/4 cup orange juice


For the chocolate ganache:

1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate

1/4 cup milk chocolate

100ml cream (25% fat)

1 tbsp butter



Method:


Mix the flax seed powder and the warm water and whisk well for about half a minute. Keep aside. After about 10 minutes, the flax seed mixture will become thick and viscous.

Sift the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices together into a bowl. Add the sugar, grated carrots, raisins and walnuts and mix everything so that the carrot, walnuts and raisins are well coated with flour.

In another bowl, lightly whisk together the oil, flax seed mixture, vanilla extract, yogurt and orange juice. Make a well in middle of the dry ingredients and pour the whisked liquid ingredients into this. Gently stir till combined. Do not over-mix.

Scrape the cake batter into a lined and well-greased 8" cake tin and bake at 190C for between 1 and 1 1/2 hours. If the top of the cake is browning too much, cover the cake with aluminium foil half way through the baking.

Once the cake is done (an inserted skewer/ knife should come out clean), take it out and leave it in the tin for about 20 minutes. Then remove and let it cool on a rack.
Once the cake has completely cooled, prepare the ganache.

Chop the chocolate and put into a bowl. Add the butter to it. Heat the cream, stirring constantly, over medium heat until you can see the steam rising from the cream. Pour the cream over the chocolate. Keep stirring the chocolate and cream together until the chocolate dissolves completely and ganache is smooth. If you feel the ganache is becoming thick, just place the bowl over simmering water and stir it. The ganache will thin, but be careful not to get any moisture into it.
Now pour the ganache over the cake and decorate as you wish. I used candied chocolate covered cashewnuts and candied carrot curls.
This recipe makes one 8" cake.

Also featured at Chefs.com



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March 11, 2009

Vellarikkai Puli Pachadi (Cucumber In A Tamarind Coconut Gravy)


I have mentioned before that our traditional meals (lunch) consist of rice served with a main dish of vegetables in gravy, accompanied by a dry (or semi-dry) vegetable preparation. There are time tested combinations of gravy and dry (or semi-dry) vegetable preparations. One could try experimenting with new combinations but nothing comes anywhere near the old tried and tested combinations.
Rice served with mulagootal and a thogayal or a puli pachadi is one of these. I have already posted the first two preparations and it is the turn of the puli pachadi now.

A pachadi is a semi-dry (or semi-wet, with very little gravy) vegetable preparation. In Palakkad cuisine, we have two types of pachadis. One is a Puli Pachadi (which is the subject of this post) and the other is a Thayir Pachadi (made with yogurt) also referred to in some homes as Kichadi (not the rice and lentil preparation somewhat like Venn Pongal).




Puli pachadi, with its spicy and tangy overtones with just a hint of sweet, is the perfect accompaniment to the slightly bland mulagootal. This puli pachadi can be made with vegetables like okra (vendakkai) or eggplant (katharikkai) or pumpkin (mathan), but for this post, I've made it with a vegetable we call "vellarikkai' (or vellarikka in Malayalam).




I searched, a lot, for the English name for this vegetable and came up with Indian Cucumber, English Cucumber, Lemon Cucumber and Yellow Indian Cucumber! After looking at the various pictures, none of these seem to be the same as "vellarikkai" except perhaps the yellow Indian cucumber.
This link tells me that vellarikkai is a cucumber whose botanical name is Cucumis sativus L. and belongs to the CUCURBITACEAE family. My vegetable seller calls it "Sambhar Khakhdi" which basically means cucumber used in sambhar.




This vegetable is definitely a part of the cucumber family, and is has a green and yellow/ orange striated pattern on the outside which becomes less green as the cucumber matures. It is white on the inside with slightly larger seeds than the usual cucumber we use in salads. This cucumber is not eaten raw, but cooked.
Does anyone know the English name for this vegetable?

Here is the recipe I use to make this vellarikkai pachadi.



Ingredients:


2 cups sliced vellarikkai (thin, about 3/4" by 3/4" pieces)

tamarind, the size of a big grape

1/4 tsp turmeric powder

1/2 tsp powdered jaggery (or sugar)

salt to taste


For the coconut paste:

3 tbsp fresh grated coconut

1/2 tsp mustard seeds

2 or 3 green chillies

1 sprig curry leaves


For the tempering:

1 tsp oil

1 tsp mustard seeds

1 1/2 tsp black gram lentils (urad dal)


Method:


Soak the tamarind in 1 cup of warm water and keep aside for about 15 minutes. Then, using your fingers, rub and squeeze the softened tamarind to extract the pulp into the water. Remove the solid part of the tamarind and pour the tamarind water into a pan.

Add the vegetable pieces, salt and turmeric powder and stir a couple of times. Bring to a boil and then simmer till the vegetable is cooked. The whitish coloured vellarikkai pieces will turn translucent when cooked.

I usually do this part of the cooking in the microwave (about 7 to 8 minutes at 100%). I cook the vegetable in the tamarind water without the turmeric and salt as I find that turmeric discolours my microwave. So I add the seasoning after microwaving and on the stove-top.

In the meanwhile, grind all the ingredients for the coconut paste with a little water to a smooth paste (not watery, like you would for a chutney), and keep ready. You can leave out the curry leaves from this paste and add it to the vegetables while they cook. I add it to the paste as it lends a lot of flavour, and it doesn't have to be picked out from the pachadi while eating.

The amount of water in the cooked vegetable would have reduced to about 1/4 a cup. Now add the jaggery and the coconut paste. Mix well and let it come to a boil. Take the pachadi off the heat after a minute.
Pour the pachadi into a serving dish. Prepare the tempering by heating the oil and adding the mustard seeds. When they splutter add the lentils and stir till golden brown. Pour this into the pachadi. Stir the tempering into the pachadi just before serving.
Serve this pachadi warm, with rice and mulgootal or mulagushyam.

I am sending this across to Neha of Tasty Recipes who is hosting this month's AFAM featuring the Cucumber.




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March 9, 2009

Dhal Puri And Curried Potatoes – Caribbean Style


We enjoy good food so long as it is vegetarian. While we have always tried to go beyond the boundaries of the food we have grown up with, food blogging has really opened up a whole new world of food and cuisine. The past year has been an adventure involving trying out new recipes or re-inventing familiar ones, though not always with success I must add.

Cynthia's Taste Like Home, a blog I read regularly, has been my window to Caribbean cuisine. Caribbean cooking is true "fusion" cuisine with a lovely mix of French, Spanish, Dutch, Indian and African flavours. Due to this, I find it very easy to identify with a lot of the vegetables and fruits she uses in her cooking. What is more interesting to me, is that many dishes which seem familiar to me as an Indian, have taken on a new identity with very different flavours.

When I first saw Cynthia's Dhal puri post, I thought of deep-fried unleavened dough (which is what Indian puris are) stuffed with lentils (dhal). In fact, in my traditional Palakkad cooking, we make a stuffed roti with a jaggery-sweetened lentil filling. On reading her post, it turned out that this popular Caribbean street food was more like seasoned lentil stuffed parathas (which are stuffed north Indian flatbreads).

I bookmarked the post with plans to try that out but somehow never got around to it! This is the story with my long list of bookmarked recipes which seems to be growing like Jack's Beanstalk (but no ogres here)!!
When Meeta announced that she was taking her Monthly Mingle to the Caribbean this month, it seemed like a good time for me to revisit that bookmarked dhal puri.

So I first did some reading up on the dhal puri. The one thing that struck me was that dhal puri differed slightly in how it was made and eaten in different parts of the Caribbean, which is a group of many different islands.
Rather than my discussing the varieties and differences to a roti in the Caribbean (because I'm sure to get it wrong), I would definitely suggest a visit to Musings On Roti at Lifespan Of A Chenette.




Then I wrote to Cynthia asking for her recipes, and she very graciously sent me her recipes for Dhal puri and Curried Potatoes. I knew it wouldn't be difficult to make them as I am used to making stuffed parathas and the technique for filling both parathas and dhal puri were the same.

I was expecting a recipe similar to one for parathas, but I was surprised to see a few differences as far as the ingredients for the dough and filling were concerned. The method of mixing, kneading and preparing the dough, on the other hand, reminded me of the way the cooks make dough for "porottas" in roadside food stalls in Cochin!
Similarly, while all the ingredients for the Curried Potatoes are what I routinely use in my cooking, I found Cynthia's combination quite different.




According to Cynthia, dhal puri is usually served a dab of achar (typical Indian style pickles) or sour ( a tamarind, mango and bilimbi chutney).
I read somewhere (couldn't find the link) that dhal puri is also served with curried potatoes, chana or curried chicken.

We had a satisfying dinner of dhal puri with curried potatoes, my version of sour (which was a store bought sweet and sour mango chutney) and some plain home-made yogurt.

As Cynthia has just had her "My Caribbean Cookbook" published, she has requested that her recipes not be posted for reasons I'm sure everyone will appreciate. So you will only find my pictures of both the preparations at this post.
You can find more details at Cynthia's dhal puri post, including pictures and a link to a slide demo of how to make dhal puris.
This is my contribution to Meeta's Caribbean Mingle.

I'm using this post to acknowledge some awards passed on to my blog by two fellow bloggers. Ivy of Kopiaste and Rosie of Baking Cakes Galore both feel that this blog deserving of the awards they have passed on to me. Thank you so much. I have put up the awards on my "Appreciation Badges" page.

And now one little exciting piece of news (for me anyways).
I opened my inbox this morning to find a mail from Johanna, The Passionate Cook telling me I had won a prize. Johanna hosted the February edition of Waiter, There's Something In My…… with "Hot Puds" as the theme.



The Gaajar Ka Halwa I posted last month was my submission for the event and it has won me two of Mary Berry's cookbooks – Traditional Puddings and Desserts & Supper For Friends. It was a great way to start my day.


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March 6, 2009

FIC: Painting It Orange – The Round-up (contd......)



This is the continuation of the round-up to the Orange edition of Harini's Food In Colors which was hosted here, this month. This post presents entries under the categories of Snacks/ Tiffin, breads, Cakes and Sweets & Dessert.


SNACKS/ TIFFIN:

Carrot Dosa from Jayasri of Samayal Arai (Bristol, U.K.).This traditional dosa takes on an attractive orange hue from the carrots in it and is served with mint chutney.


Elekosu(Cabbage/Pattagobi) Rotti(roti) from Archy of Archy's Recipe Book (Kansas, U.S.). Her mother-in-law's recipe, this preparation combines coconut with the crispness of rice, spice of chillies, sweetness of jaggery, and the tang of tamarind.


Ribbon Pakoda from Shoba of Anubhavati-Tastes Of My Kitchen (St. Louis, Missopuri, U.S.). A traditional snack made from chickpea flour, this favourite very often features as part of festival food and is good as a carry along snack too.


Butternut Squash Fries from Tigerfish of Teczcape-An Escape To Food (California, U.S.). A low carb, low fat and guilt-free way to enjoy some very tasty and spiced fries. Couldn't get better than this, I guess.


Cauliflower Lollipops from Poornima of Tasty Treats (California, U.S.). Deep-fried spicy florets of cauliflower and hot tea can beat the blues when stuck at home on a miserable rainy evening.


Easy Bhujia Chat from Shoba of Anubhavati-Tastes From My Kitchen (St. Louis, Missopuri, U.S.). This snack is the result of trying to find that perfect balance between healthy and snacking when cooking for her family.


Pav Bhaji from Aquadaze of Served With Love (Singapore). This popular Indian street food, which is a spicy mixture of vegetables served with bread rolls, started as a quick fix lunch for Mumbai textile mill workers on a short lunch break.



BREADS:

Orange Cranberry Scones from Sowmya of Creative Saga (Singapore). Memories of making scones during school vacations and an abundance of oranges resulted in these very colourful scones.

Eggless Carrot - Cranberry Muffins from AnuSriram of Chandrabhaga (U.S.). These moist and spiced muffins are delicious and healthy too.


Sweet Potato Roti from DK of Culinary Bazaar (U.S.). Made from a friend's recipe, these flatbreads are the yummiest she's ever had and she describes them as "moist, delightfully chewy and tasting like heaven".


Carrot Buns from Renuka of Fusion (Tamilnadu, India). She baked these delicious buns in an effort to wean her kids away from their preferred chocolate bakes.


Banana Apricot Muffins from Cristie of Edible Antics-Having Fun With Food (Wisconsin, U.S.). She baked these muffins for son's kindergarten class where the school requirement was for a healthy treat that was low-fat and low-sugar and the kids only demand was for taste!




CAKES:

A Carrot And Orange Cake from Asha of Aroma (U.S.). A very moist cake, flavoured with orange juice, with an unusual spice twist in the form of fennel seeds, topped with orange cream cheese frosting.


An Orange Cake With Orange Glaze from Jayashree of Sinful Indulgence (Bangalore, India). A great way to use up those extra oranges, the best part of this tea time cake is the Orange glaze!


A Tutti Fruitty Cake from Happy Cook of My Kitchen Treasures (Belgium). This adaptation of a bookmarked recipe turned out a soft and beautiful cake full of candied tutti fruity.


An Orange Almond Torte from Greg Henry of Sippity Sup- Serious Fun Food (Los Angeles, California, U.S.). He collects recipes and will beg, borrow and occasionally steal them! Having tolerant friends helps and this recipe for a flourless, butterless torte is from one of them.


A Carrot Cake from Andreea of On (Glorious) Food And Wine (Brussels, Belgium). Although used to carrots in savoury preparations, a sudden craving for carrot cake got her baking the perfect carrot cake.


A Lactose-free Orange Roulade from Ivy of Kopiaste (Athens, Greece). She made this roulade especially for this event and kept improvising as she went along to make a beautiful roulade with an original recipe.


An Orange Cake from Poornima of Tasty Treats (California, U.S.). This is one cake she bakes frequently and it is light, spongy and delightfully flavoured with orange.




SWEETS & DESSERT:

A Persimmon Maple Syrup Salad from Priya of Priya's Easy N Tasty Recipes (Paris, France). This delicious salad has just two ingredients and makes for a very healthy dessert.


Mango Kesari, also from Priya of Priya's Easy N Tasty Recipes (Paris, France). This is a semolina dessert which is normally made without fruit. This mango version was quite a hit with her family.


Butternut Squash Halwa from Medha of Cook With Love (Canada). The natural sweetness of butternut squash lends itself very well to this twist on a traditional Indian sweet.


Carrot Halwa from Hemamalini of Salt To Taste (New Jersey, U.S.). As she says, this is one dessert where the colour of the carrots lends itself beautifully to the finished, fragrant preparation.


Rawa/ Sooji Kesari from Vidhas of Appetizing Recipes (Chennai, India). One of her favourites, this sweet is also her mother-in-law's signature dish.


Gajar Halwa from Trupti of Recipe Center (U.S.). Here is one more carrot halwa and this is Trupti's version. I guess its is obvious how popular this dessert is.


Boondi Laddooos from Sanika of Spicy & Tangy.....Sweet & Yummy!!!! (Sheffield, U.K.). These chickpea flour fritter balls can be a bit labour intensive, but are every bit worth the effort.


Rawa Kesari (Sojji) from Sukanya of Sukanya's Musings (Singapore). This sweet made from rawa (semolina) is usually very rich, but this a low-fat yet tasty version of the original.


 Microwave Oats-Mango Kheer from Priya of Priya's Easy N Tasty Recipes (Paris, France). Here kheer, the traditional Indian pudding-like dessert, gets healthy with a very novel addition of fibre rich rolled oats.


Amaretti And Blood Orange Semifreddo from Anne (Food Froggie) of A Food Froggie In Paris (Paris, France). A perfect yet light way to end a dinner, this half frozen mousse dessert is made from scary sounding but elegant looking Blood Orange.


Jackfruit And Banana Halwa from Lakshmi of Taste Of Mysore (Singapore). Made from two fruits which are favourites with her family, this fudge like confection is easy to make and retains the fruit flavours.


Gajarachi Kheer (Carrot Kheer) from Preeti of Khaugiri. Another preparation that makes the most of carrot season here, this dessert is also a good way to get younger children to consume milk and carrots.

A Pumpkin Crème Brulee from Priya of Priya's Easy N Tasty Recipes (Paris, France). A classic French dessert made of a rich custard base with a caramelized sugar layer on the top, this version is made with pumpkin puree.


Ravai Kesari from Vidya of Vidya's Creations (Virginia, U.S.). She and her husband have confirmed sweet tooths (or should I say teeth?) and this semolina sweet is one of their more frequent desserts as it can be made very quickly.


Kadalai Paruppu Poornam from Jayashree of The Rapturous Raconteur (Mumbai, India). She loves this sweet preparation so much that it represents comfort food to her. The name "poornam" in some Indian languages means completeness and that is what Jayashree feels this dish is.


Gajar Ka Halwa/Carrot Pudding from Preety of Preety's Kitchen (Fremont, California, U.S.). Rich in dry fruits and nuts, This traditional pudding also happens to be her all time favourite.

Bhoondi Laddoo from Lakshmi of Kitchen Chronicles (Germany). She learnt to make these home-made balls of little chickpea fritters and sugar from her sister-in-law and was surprised at how well they turned out.


Kesari from Kayal of Kayal's Kitchen (Bangalore, India). Several attempts in the kitchen, and perseverance finally paid off as she finally mastered the art of making this delicious semolina sweet.


Avalakki Pineapple Kesaribhath (Beaten Rice Pineapple Kesaribhath) from Sushma of Savi-Ruchi (Singapore). A low fat pineapple flavoured version of this traditional sweet is what she makes to cater to her husband's sweet tooth.


An Orange Carrot Frozen Yogurt from Yasmeen of HealthNut (Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.). Fresh carrot and orange juice make this healthy frozen dessert even more delicious, as was proved by her little boys polishing it off with the strawberry cobbler the yogurt was served with.

Some Mini Peach Tarts, also from Yasmeen of HealthNut (Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.). These delightful little tarts contain the goodness of butter and are topped with a soiced peach filling.

Gaajar Halwa from Ankita of A Veggie's Cookbook (Virginia, U.S.).Another version of the hugely popular (as you would have realized by now) Indian dessert made of carrots, sugar and milk flavoured with cardamom.
An Orange Lime Granita from Sukanya of How Am I Doing? (New Jersey, U.S.). Watching a lot of chefs, especially Giada De Laurentiis, on the Food Network inspired her to create this granite from her favourite punch recipe.

Gajar Ka Halwa (Carrot Halwa) from Lubna of Yummy Food (Bangalore, India). This moist and warmly coloured dessert is truly celebratory fare.


Gajar Ka Halwa from Sunshinemom of Tongueticklers (India). One more carrot halwa (dessert) but this version is low-fat and vegan and comes from the creative brain behind this event.

And with that, we come to the end of this Orange edition of Food in Colors. See you all the next edition of FIC at Priya's Easy N Tasty Recipes, where Priya has chosen "Pink" to be the colour for March.

Given the number of entries, I might have just inadvertently left out someone from this round-up. So if you have sent me a mail for this event, and your name isn't here, please leave a comment at this post and I shall add you to the round-up at the earliest.


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