Tuesday, June 29, 2010

"SoudZoukakia" - SmyRna Sausages

SoudZouKaKia(soo-tsoo-KAH-kyah). Huh???!!! Yeah,I know. The name is quite a mouthful.Almost all greek dishes are named that way.It also goes by the name SmyRna Sausage/Meatballs. This dish was brought to Greece by refugees from Smyrna, modern Izmir(Turkey). A typical Greek preparation made of spicy large and elongated meatballs with cumin, cinnamon and garlic, served in a characteristic tomato sauce.It is traditionally made with ground lamb but I have made this with ground turkey. Ground chicken would go equally well.
Sending this to Joanne's Greek-Themed Regional Recipes Event and to Presto Pasta Nights
  • Any Ground Meat - 1 1/2 pound ( I used Butterball Lean Ground Turkey)
  • Stale Whole Wheat Bread - 2 slices, crumbed
  • Onion - 1, large
  • Garlic - 3 cloves, minced
  • Mint - 2 tbsp, finely chopped
  • Parsley - 2 tbsp, finely chopped
  • Ground Cumin - 1 1/2 tsp
  • All Spice - 1/4 tsp (Cinnamon Powder can be substituted)
  • Salt for taste
  • Cracked pepper - 1 1/2 tsp or less
  • Egg - 1, whisked
  • Oil - 2 tbsp
  • Bertolli Organic Olive Oil, Basil & Garlic Sauce - 1 1/2 cups
  • In a large bowl, mix all of the above ingredients except the Bertolli Sauce and Olive oil.
  • Knead the mixture like a dough for 5 minutes.If the mixture is mushy add crumb of another slice of bread.
  • Refrigerate the mixture for an hour or so.
  • Divide the mixture into 25- 30 even balls. 
  • Shape each balls into oblongs(mini sausages).
  • Shallow fry the sausages in a wide bottomed pan in olive oil 2 minutes per side or till its evenly browned.
  • Mix the Bertolli sauce with a cup of water and add it to the pan.
  • Lid the pan and cool the sausages in the pan for 10-12 minutes.
  • Cook for 5 more minutes without the lid or until the sauce has thickened.
  • Serve it with any pasta of choice.
Makes 25-30 mini sausages.

  • A part of this can be frozen for up-to 2 weeks.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

TriColor "Rosemary and Garlic" Potatoes

"Rosemary is for Remembrance". It is believed that Rosemary improves memory power.Don't know if it is true, but it sure does add a great pungent flavor to potatoes, lamb, pizza and such.Rosemary combined with Garlic is a divine combo and you simply cannot go wrong with it.Potatoes infused with this combo of flavor is an excellent side-dish to pretty much everything.
  • Gourmet TriColor Baby Potatoes - 25#s
  • Garlic Cloves - 3, minced
  • Salt
  • Cracked Pepper - 1 tsp or more/less
  • Crushed Rosemary - 1/2 tsp, Fresh or Dry
  • Olive Oil - 1 1/2 tbsp
  • Fill a stock pot with cold water and add the potatoes. Boil the potatoes until tender(but firm).
  • Drain and cool the potatoes.Leave the skin on.
  • In a saute pan, warm the oil and add the minced garlic.Saute for less than a minute.
  • Add the potatoes, fry on a medium-low flame stirring occasionally until they are brown and crispy around the edges.
  • Add the salt, pepper and crushed rosemary and fry for 5 more minutes.
  • Serve warm with lamb or flavored rice

    Friday, June 25, 2010

    Raspberry Rose Pots De Creme

    When I saw this recipe in an episode of 'Giada At Home'("We will always have Paris"), I fell in love. I have been raring to give it a try but the mixed reviews about the recipe gave me pause.Many who tried it weren't happy with the flavor, texture etc etc. So with a bit of ambiguity whether to try or not to try, I went ahead and gave it a test-run with sweetened condensed milk rather than heavy cream and skipping the sugar altogether. Boy, am I glad I did. This turned out to be a very splendid dessert with the summer bounty - Raspberries and I didn't mind that the raspberry seeds were messing up the velvety texture of custard.
    Sending this as an entry for Sizzling Summer Contest held at Spicy Tasty.
    • Sweetened Condensed Milk - 3/4 cup
    • Whole Milk - 1/2 cup
    • Rose Water - 1/2 tsp
    • Egg Yolks - 4
    • Sea Salt - a pinch
    • Fresh or frozen and thawed raspberries - 3/4 cup, mashed
    • Place an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
    • In a medium saucepan, heat the sweetened condensed milk, milk, and rose water over medium-low heat until warm, about 4 minutes.
    • In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and salt until smooth. Slowly whisk in the milk mixture. Stir in the mashed raspberries.
    • Using a ladle, divide the mixture between 4-5 ramekins.
    • Place the ramekins in an large baking pan.
    • Pour enough hot water into the pan to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins.
    • Bake for 30 minutes until the custard is almost set.
    • Remove the pan from the oven and allow the ramekins to cool while still in the water, about 1 hour.
    • Remove the ramekins from the water and refrigerate for at least 2 hours until set.
    Makes 4-5 Servings.

    Note: Don't like the seeds in your dessert, pass the raspberry through seive before adding.

    Thursday, June 24, 2010

    Multi-Grain Mixed-Berry Muffins

    Muffins are an excellent choice for breakfast on the go.Even better if they are made of multi-grains and mixed berries.Here is a recipe for a healthier version that I adapted from here.
    Other muffins choices that you might like -  Wheat N Wheat Bran Sweet Potato Muffins, Cocoa, Banana, Apple-Sauce Muffins, Spiced Beet N Cocoa Muffins, Banana Berry N Nut Muffins, Pineapple N Walnut Mini-Bundt Muffins. Sending this entry to Bake-off Event held at Versatile Kitchen.

    • Rolled oats - 1/2 cup
    • Partly skimmed milk - 1 cup
    • All-purpose flour - 1 cup
    • Wheat bran - 1/2 cup
    • Baking powder - 1 tbsp
    • Salt - a pinch
    • Dark honey - 1/2 cup
    • Canola oil - 3 1/2 tbsp
    • Grated lime zest - 2 tsp
    • Egg - 1, slightly beaten
    • Mixed berries(Raspberries, Blueberries, Strawberries)  - 2/3 cup
    • Preheat the oven to 400 F. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper or foil liners.
    • In a large microwave-safe bowl, combine the oats and milk. Microwave on high until the oats are creamy and tender, about 3 minutes. Set aside.
    • In a large bowl, combine the flour, bran, baking powder and salt. Whisk to blend. Add the honey, canola oil, lime zest, oats mixture and egg. Beat just until moistened but still slightly lumpy. Gently fold in the mixed berries.
    • Spoon the batter into the muffin cups, filling each cup about 2/3 full.
    • Bake until the tops are golden brown  and a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean, 16  to 18 minutes.
    • Transfer the muffins to a wire rack and let cool completely.

    Makes 12 Standard-sized or 24 Mini Muffins.


    Wednesday, June 23, 2010

    Mutter Paneer - Skillet Peas and Paneer(Indian Cottage Cheese)

    Mutter Paneer - Everyone has their own version of this simple,easy and fabulous North-India dish. And this one is mine.Eat this delicious side-dish with Ghee(Clarified Butter) Rice, Lime Rice, Grapefruit Rice or Roti.I for one, eat it as is.
    • Sweet Pea, Fresh or Frozen - 2- 21/2 cups (12 ounces)
    • Paneer(Indian Cottage Cheese) - Cubed
    • Cumin Seeds - 1 tsp
    • Garam Masala Powder - 1/2 tsp
    • Chilli Powder  - 1 tsp (Optional)
    • Clove - 2
    • Milk - 1 cup
    • Oil - 3 tbsp
    • Salt for taste
    For the Gravy:
    • Yellow Onion - 1, large, peeled and roughly chopped
    • Ripe Roma Tomatoes - 2, diced
    • Garlic Cloves - 2
    • Ginger - 1/2 inch, peeled and diced
    • Peppercorns - 1/2 tsp
    • Cashew Nuts or Walnuts - 1/2 cup
    • In a saute pan, add a tbsp of oil and add all the gravy ingredients except the nuts. Saute until the onions are browned. Add the Nuts of choice and stir for a minute or two. 
    • Completely cool the mixture and grind it to a fine thick paste.
    • In the same saute pan(don't wash it after sauteing the gravy ingredients), add another tbsp of oil and add the cumin seeds. Now add the Paneer and shallow fry until lightly browned. Set aside on a plate.
    • To the same saute pan, add the remaining tbsp of oil and add the clove and peas. After a couple of minutes, add the ground paste.
    • Sprinkle salt, garam masala and check for taste. If needed, add chilli powder for more heat. Add the milk, lid the pan and let it cook on medium flame for 7-8 minutes.
    • When the gravy thickens, add the fried paneer and gently combine.
    • Serve hot with choice of Rice or Roti.

    Tuesday, June 22, 2010

    Noodle and Berry-Cherry Salad With Mango-Yogurt Dressing

    With the temperature soaring I am looking for ways to keep myself cool and spend as less time in the kitchen as possible.This is a very filling salad that is a cinch to make. I had some berries that were about to die on me. So this is what I came up with and this doesn't require you to sweat in the kitchen at all.
    • Rice Noodles - 2 cups, cooked
    • Sweetened Mango Pulp - 2/3 cup
    • Honey - 1 tbsp
    • Sugar - 1 tsp or more (Optional)
    • Thick Yogurt - 1/2 cup
    • Mixed Berries(Raspberry, Blueberry, Strawberry) - 1/2 cup, chopped
    • Cherry - 1/8 cup, chopped
    • In a bowl, whip the Yogurt,Sweetened Mango Pulp along with honey.Set aside.
    • In a serving bowl, add a portion of the cooked and fluffed rice noodles.
    • Pour the Mango-Yogurt dressing on tip.
    • Top with chopped berries and cherries. 
    • Serve immediately.
    Makes 2 Servings.

    • Right way to cook the rice noodles -  Bring plenty of water to a roiling boil in a stock pot/pasta pot. Switch off stove. Add the noodles to the hot water and let it cook for ~5 minutes. Drain it in a colander and fluff it with a fork.

    Sunday, June 20, 2010

    RecipeReplica: Gravy Chicken - Leafy Green & Fiery Red For Father's Day

    I dedicate this post to my dad and to all fabulous dads out there -
    Happy Father's Day 2010
    This day is extra special because this also happens to be the 100th Father's day.
    On this extra special day, I want to share a little about my dad - My dad is from a large family of Seven. He was born in a poor family to parents who didn't know much besides farming. Since he was the eldest, he had to be responsible not just for himself but also for his siblings..With such a heavy burden weighing on his young shoulders he had to step-up in life. And step-up he did by studying hard under street lights.Monetary help came from his teachers who recognized his potential. He was ranked 6th in All-India exam that got him an entry into the prestigious Indian Institute of Science(India's Ivy League)  for Ph.D program . Then he came here as a Post-Doc in the early 80s and moved up from there. While he attained new heights, he made sure all his siblings did as well. They are all highly-educated and well placed in high-paying jobs both here and in India to which they owe credit to none other than my dad. My dad is truly one of a kind and there aren't many like him..I am yet to see that kind of sacrifice and selflessness in this day and age.While he has his shortcomings,eccentricities and peculiarities, as all of us have, he still is very special and deserves to be put on a pedestal.

    About the recipe- Even though my dad's favorite is Onion Dosa/Uttappam(Indian Crepes) and seeds/nuts, he likes any chicken dish I make when he comes for a visit.Next time when he stops by, I am making this and Kross-Bred Kesari for him. As vouched by Deeba the Cilantro Chicken was truly delicious and totally irresistible. I only saw this recently at her blog and I just had. to. try. I don't have to introduce Deeba because almost every food blogger(with a penchant for baking) would have at one point in time or other visited her space because she has an awesome collection of 'cakes and bakes' and every picture in her posts are a visual treat - A revelation - Food Porn, if you will.Her blog is in the Top 100 food blogs this year. So definitely go check her space out for a double treat--Visual and a bonus -- Yes, there is also a  CSNStores $80 giftcard giveaway happening at her space that ends on 06/27/10.
    Now on to the recipe-

    Cilantro Chicken(Adapted from Deeba's Green Chutney Chicken):
    • Chicken Drumsticks - 8, skinned and slit at several spots
    For The Leafy Green Gravy:
    • Cilantro minus the stalks - 1 1/2 cups, packed
    • Onion - 1, large, diced
    • Cashew - 1/4 cups
    • Peppercorns - 1 tsp
    • Green Chillies - 2-3, vertically slit
    • Garlic - 3 large cloves or 6-7 small cloves
    • Ginger - 1/2 inch
    • Campari Tomato - 2 (Feel free to use any small- midsized tomatoes
    • Olive Oil - 1 tbsp + 1 tbsp
    • Clove - 2
    • Fennel Seeds - 1/2 tsp
    For The Marinade:
    • Yogurt - 3 tbsp
    • Turmeric Powder - a pinch
    • Cracked Pepper - 1 tsp
    • Salt - a pinch
    • In a Ziploc bag, add the roughly mixed marinade ingredients and throw in the cleaned + slit chicken drumsticks. Let it sit overnight.
    • In a really wide saute pan, heat a tbsp of oil and add fennel seeds, Garlic, Onion, Green chillies, Peppercorns. Saute until the onion is slightly browned. Now add the cashew nuts and saute for a couple more minutes. Add the ginger, tomatoes and stir until the tomatoes lose the rawness for about 7-8 minutes.
    • Switch off the stove and add the cilantro. Cool the mixture completely and grind to a fine paste along with salt and very little water. Check for taste.
    • In the same wide saute pan, add a tbsp of oil and heat it till it almost smokes.
    • Sear the marinated chicken for about 2-3 minutes per side. This keeps the chicken moist and juicy. 
    • Pour the ground Cilantro paste on top, add about 1/2 cup of water and lid the pan. Cook on medium flame for 15-20 minutes with occasional turning. 
    • Check for taste and switch off the stove once the gravy thickens.
    • Serve on top of hot rice. 
    Makes ~4 Servings.

        Although DH's "model hubby behavior" is debatable, he does strive to be a great dad to our pipsqueak. So he deserves a treat today as well. I plan on making multi-grain muffins for breakfast, Shrimp and Pineapple curry for noon and fiery chicken(MIL's recipe), my hubby's favorite for dinner with flat-bread.
        Recipe for this Fiery Gravy Chicken will be posted soon.

        Friday, June 18, 2010

        Stepped-Up Oatmeal with Dates and Mixed Berries

        Want your bowl of Oatmeal to go from Bleh to Yay?For starters, cook it in milk rather than in water and proceed from there! :). This recipe, besides tasting heavenly, is packed with awesome health benefits due to the anti-oxidant(slows down wrinkling) properties of berries, iron-packed dates and oatmeal for high fiber + gorgeous skin.The Honey dressing on the top is an added bonus for boosting your immunity system. Now this is what I call "A bowl of healthy deliciousness". Take a peek at the picture and I am sure you will agree.

        So how do you eat your oatmeal? I am always looking for ways to take my oatmeal up a notch. Your ideas will be greatly appreciated!

        Ingredients(For 1 Serving):
        • Steel-Cut Oatmeal - 1/2 cup
        • Dates - 4 seedless, chopped
        • Milk - 1 1/4 cups or more
        • Sugar - 1/2 tsp (optional, I skipped it)
        • Strawberry - 3, diced
        • Raspberry - 6
        • Blueberry - 10
        • Honey - 1 tbsp
        • Cook the Oatmeal either on stove-top or in a microwave with milk along with the dates and sugar if using.
        • Top it with all the berries.
        • Drizzle honey on top.
        • Serve hot with a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice.
        Makes 1 Serving.



        Thursday, June 17, 2010

        RecipeReplica: Cherry-Cherry Cake

        Why am I calling this Cherry Cherry cake? There is Cherry in the middle and Cherry on the top. Ha Ha. This recipe was bookmarked sometime in the winter from Sumi's Kitchen. It was very distressing to wait until the cherries hit the store shelves Then it it did and I couldn't wait..Since my hubby's birthday came around the same time it was double the fun. This cake gets "centum" for looking great and tasting great. Go check out her lovely space for more exciting recipes. I love her Dates, Prunes and Walnut Bread and Baked Fennel-Flavored Salmon Bites. I have already tried the Salmon recipe many times and the bread is on the must-do list. Hey,Watch out. I am on the hunt and your blog might be next for my next edition of "RecipeReplica".
        • Cherries - 60#s, halved and pitted.
        • King Arthur All Purpose flour - 1 1/2 cups
        • Baking Powder - 1 1/2 tsp
        • Eggs - 2
        • Brown Sugar - 3/4 cup
        • Butter - 1/2 cup (1 stick), melted
        • Whole Milk - 1/3 cup
        • Vanilla Extract - 1 tsp
        • Lime/Lemon Zest - from 1 Lime/Lemon
        • Salt - a pinch
        • 8 X 8 square pan or an 8" springform pan
        • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
        • Grease the cake pan. Grease the parchment paper and place it on the bottom of the pan.Dust lightly with flour.
        • Set aside 15-20 good-looking cherry halves.Roughly chop the remaining cherries.
        • In a big bowl, add the eggs, butter, sugar,vanilla extract. Mix using an electric mixer until its thick for about 3-4 minutes.
        • Add milk,lemon/lime zest, salt to the bowl.
        • In another bowl, sift the flour, baking powder. Add this along with the cherries to the egg mixture in batches and gently combine.
        • Transfer the batter to the pan and bake for 20 minutes.
        • Quickly arrange the saved cherry halves,cut side down on the top of the cake.
        • Bake for 15 more minutes or the top is golden brown.
        • Cool the cake on the cooling rack and serve at room temperature.
        Makes 6-8 servings.

        • Try substituting 1/2 cup APF with Whole Wheat flour for a dense version of this cake.
        • Push down the cherry chunks in the batter prior to baking so the top is reserved for cherry halves.

        Monday, June 14, 2010

        Cherry Cake & CSN Stores $80 Giftcard Giveaway, International readers welcome

        Like I promised in my previous post, this is my second giveaway sponsored by CSNStores. CSN Stores, the online mega-mall has over 200+ online stores in their network. Well, if you weren't lucky the previous time,maybe you could win it this time.International readers are welcome to participate and enter for a chance to win it for US and Canadian family or friends. Contest Ends June 30th and winner will be announced on July 1st.

        Here are the rules to winning the $80 CSNStores Giftcard(Excludes Shipping cost). Please read the rules Carefully:
        • Mandatory -  Pick your favorite Vanity, be it bathroom or bedroom vanity, lights or mirrors from Just Vanities and leave a comment. 
        • Mandatory - "Like" PanGravyKadaiCurry on Facebook. I have created a "new fanpage" just yesterday and I am looking for company.Click here or the blue decanter icon on the top right column to become a fan.Leave a separate comment.
        • Mandatory - Subscribe to PanGravyKadaiCurry's RSS feeds.Click the orange decanter on the top right column. Leave a separate comment.
        • Optional but highly desired - Follow PanGravyKadaiCurry "Publicly" (Additional 2 entries)
        • Optional but highly desired - Follow me on twitter (Additional 2 entries).
        • Optional but highly desired - Tweet about this giveaway ( Additional 1 entry for every tweet)
        Wondering what a $80 can buy? Recently, I won a $80 gift certificate at Creative Saga..After going back and forth with choices, I placed the order for these items ($80 bucks giftcard + 10 bucks extra) -Le Creuset Pans, Kaiser Fluted Tart Pans, Kaiser Springform pan, Mini Creme Brulee Pans(Set of  6), Creative Home Marble Rolling Pin, Oval Gratin Pans(Set of 3).

        So what are you waiting for?

        Now about the cake, I made this for DH for his birthday. The details about where I got this recipe and the recipe itself will be posted soon.

        Friday, June 11, 2010

        GastronomicGallivant: Turkish Borek, Bath/BedRoom Vanities and an upcoming GIVEAWAY

        Vanity is my middle name! That said, I have to say Powder room is my favorite room ever. Every night, sitting on an elegant little vanity stool,looking at myself in the mirror for minutes at a stretch and brushing my not-so-long hair gives me sufficient time to regroup and refocus my thoughts to mentally get ready for a brand new day. How about you? If I had a Sprawling Victorian Mansion that boasted at-least a couple of Powder Rooms, I would furnish them with the following Vanity from JustVanities(From the CSN Stores Network)-

        Doesn't this vanity set have an old-world charm? I certainly wouldn't mind sitting on that vanity stool,gaze into that beautiful mirror and maybe even pose "that" question to it-- Mirror, Mirror on the wall..I won't like the answer but still a girl can only hope.
        Love this gilded regency wall sconce.Certainly what I would want in my dream Vanity Room.

        The other Vanity room would have a set with modern spin, like the one below-
        A touch of class, to that room with this Paris Flea Market Chandelier-
        Tempted to add a powder room or renovate/refurbish an existing one? Check
        Also, stay tuned for an upcoming Giveaway post. Its bigger and better than the last time.

        Now onto the Turkish Borek Recipe-
        Borek - A Pastry made with Yufka leaves. Yufka leaves, at a first glance looks like a Yard-long finely-spun fabric. A turkish phyllo, if you will. I was taught how to make this in a Turkish cooking class. The taste of Feta Cheese and Spinach filling pastry will knock your socks off. Really good but also packed with calories. Can't be your go-to everyday meal for that very reason.
        Ingredients(For 10-12 people):
        • Yufka sheets - 6 (Availble in Turkish Markets) [Tip:Phyllo sheets may be used instead]
        • Milk - 1 cup
        • Thick Yogurt - 1 cup
        • Vegetable Oil - 1/2 cup
        • Eggs - 2, whisked
        • Feta Cheese - 16 oz, crumbled
        • Frozen Spinach -  2/3 cup, thawed and completely drained of moisture
        • 16" X 2" baking pan
        • In a bowl, add the cheese and spinach. Mix and set aside.
        • In a bowl, mix together the milk, yogurt, oil and whisked eggs. 
        • Arrange 2 sheets of Yufka leaves on the baking tray and sprinkle 4-5 tbsp of the above egg mixture.
        • Layer with 1 sheet of Yufka and sprinkle with 4-5 tbsp of egg mixture.
        • Sprinkle all the cheese and spinach mixture.
        • Arrange 2 more sheets of Yufka leaves on top of the cheese-spinach mixture and sprinkle 4-5 tbsp of the egg mixture.
        • Top with the last sheet of Yufka and pour the remaining egg mixture on top.
        • Let this sit for 20 minutes prior to baking.
        • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and bake until the top is browned like in the picture.
        • Cut it into squares or diamonds and serve warm as an appetizer or brunch choice.
          Serves 10-12 people.

          Note: No need to add salt as the Feta Cheese is Salty.


          Friday, June 4, 2010

          "Traffic Light" Smoothie

          Go - Slow Down - Stop.. No, just gas and go to have this glass of goodness. No need to follow the Traffic Light Signals to introduce your taste-buds to this sensational smoothie.Umm, you get that this is only a "figurative expression", right? Stick to the Traffic Rules.
          About a month ago, when I was searching for a unique smoothie recipe, I came across this one that made me want to try right away. Of course I put my own spin on it but stayed true to the "Traffic Light Concept". Let me tell you, the making of this smoothie is not as easy as it looks as its very difficult to prevent the bleeding of one layer to another unless its super thick. Let me also tell you, its super easy to fall in love once you get the taste of it. The buttery taste of avocado- followed by the sweet addictive taste of mango- followed by the subtle sweet taste of raspberry is irresistible. There is no need to add sugar as the banana and mango pulp does the job of sweetening the smoothie. Please feel free to use any fruit combo to make this.Enjoy it as much as I did.Other smoothie/drink recipes that you might like -Edward Cullen's Twilight Drink, Apple Banana Strawberry  Smoothie, Banana Kiwi Kooler, Black Berry Topped Mango Lassi, Nutella Berry Smoothie.

          Sending this as an entry for Sizzling Summer Contest held at Spicy Tasty.
          Also sending it to 5 Star Foodie's Smoothie and Shake Event along with Blackberry Topped Mango Lassi and Nutella Berry Smoothie.

          Also send this entry to Divya's Show me your Smoothie event.
          For the Green Layer:
          • Avocado - 1/2, diced
          • Skimmed Milk - 3-4 tbsp
          For the Amber Layer:
          • Sweetened Mango Pulp - 1/3 cup
          • Ripe Banana - 1/2, sliced
          For the Red Layer:
          • Raspberries - 1/3 cup
          • Banana - 1/2, sliced
          • Beet Extract - 2 tbsp
           For the Beet Extract:
          • Baby Beet - 1/2, diced
          • Beet Extract - Add 5-6 tbsp of water to diced beet and bring to a boil or microwave for 2 minutes.Cool the better steeped water and use it to make the red layer. Save the beet for making stock.
          • Blend the fruits separately and layer them in this order - Green, Amber and Red in a tall glass.
          Makes 1 tall serving.

          Traffic Light Smoothie on FoodistaTraffic Light Smoothie

          Wednesday, June 2, 2010

          GastronomicGallivant: SouthIndian Sundal With Lemon Juice, Zest and a Hint of Mint

          Lentils/Legumes is one of the most important staple food in India. They are rich in protein, plenty of fiber,almost no fat and excellent protein alternative for vegetarians/vegans. To top it is inexpensive, very tasty and certainly not at all wimpish.My favorite way to eat any legumes or lentil is in the form of a Sundal. Sundal, not SundIal, is a seasoned South-Indian dry curry made with boiled/pressure-cooked legumes/lentils as a star ingredient.There are gazillion ways to make it. I have some dozen favorite versions to make them.. my favorite version#1 being the Marina beach style sundal and then this and ten more.:)
          In South-India, Sundal is usually served at the beach or on auspicious occasions, like Navrathiri or at temples in bio-degradable cups.Yum!
          For this post, I have 2 different sundals made with chickpea and field beans. Enjoy!
          Pressure cooker comes in handy(not mandatory) to make this sundal dish. Every Indian Kitchen has one. It makes cooking certain foods a breeze. I got this little beauty the last time I went to India. Isn't it cute?While an ordinary pan will take some 2-3 hrs to cook the pre-soaked legumes, a pressure pan takes 10 minutes tops. Excellent way to save Gas/electricity, no? I don't wish to brag, but I have 2 more beauties in different sizes. I don't know what I would do without it. Rice, pulses, Lamb, Chicken and many more get cooked fastest in a pressure pan.
          Macy's has some excellent choices of Pressure cooker.I am going to get myself the FaGor "Elite" Pressure Pan next time.Pressure Pans rule! An excellent way to "go green" as they are a very efficient way to cook. Always read the instructions Carefully before operating. It takes some time to get over the fear and get a handle on how to cook with one. But after that, its a walk in the park. :) Now on to the recipe, which is a lot similar to the other version I posted many moons ago..

          This goes as a late entry to Susan's event, "My Legume Love Affair".
          • Chickpea - 1 cup, soaked overnight or Fresh Tender Field beans(No soaking needed)
          • Red/Yellow Onion - 1,small, finely diced
          • De-hulled Split Black Gram - 1 tsp
          • Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
          • Green Chillies or Dry red Chillies - 1 or 2
          • Curry leaves - A sprig 
          • Cilantro - 2 tbsp, finely chopped
          • Mint - 1 tbsp, finely chopped
          • Lemon Juice - Juice of 1/2 lemon
          • Lemon Zest - 1 tsp, for Garnish
          • Grated Coconut - 1 tbsp, optional 
          • Cumin Seeds - 1 tsp, optional 
          • Oil - 1 tbsp
          • Salt to taste
          • Pressure cook the Chickpea until it is tender.If using Fresh tender Field Beans, no need to pressure cook. Just boiling it for 10 minutes should do the trick.
          • In a pan, heat the oil and season with mustard. When it start spluttering, add the chopped onions, green chili(if using) and saute for 2-3mins.
          • Add the cooked, drained chickpea, curry leaves and mint. Toss gently to combine.
          • Follow up with salt, and toss for a minutes and switch off. 
          • Add the lemon juice and garnish with grated coconut,lemon zest,cilantro just be serving.
          Makes ~ 3 Servings.


          Tuesday, June 1, 2010

          GastronomicGallivant: Russian "All-Veg" Borscht

          Ever since I saw the movie Eastern Promises, I have been making Borscht(Soup) frequently. I have to say that Beet is not my most favorite vegetable.I like it, don't love it but I eat it anyway for all the health benefits it brings.I prefer the pureed version better than the chunkier version.
          • Beet - 1, large, peeled and diced
          • Potato - 1, medium, cleaned and diced (I used Purple potato)
          • Carrot - 1, medium, peeled and sliced
          • Red Onion - 1, small, halved and then quartered
          • Red Cabbage - 1/2 cup, shredded
          • Bay Leaf - 1
          • Vegetable Stock - 3 cups (Water may be used as well)
          • Garlic pods - 2 medium
          • Red Wine vinegar -  1 tbsp
          • Olive Oil - 1 tbsp
          • Sour Cream - For Garnish
          • Salt and Cracked Pepper - for taste
          • In a stock pot, add the vegetable stock/water, bay leaf, garlic pods, onions, diced potatoes, beets,sliced carrots and shredded cabbage.
          • Bring it to roiling boil with closed lid until the vegetables are tender for about 20 minutes.
          • Sprinkle salt and pepper.
          • Discard the bay leaf and puree with an immersion blender.
          • Add the vinegar.Enjoy it warm or cold.
          • Garnish with Sour Cream before serving.
          Makes 3 medium servings