special occasions

Sweet & Sour Kachoris for Holi…..

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Pic courtesy Google

Holi is a spring festival also known as festival of colours, and sometimes festival of love. It is an ancient Hindu religious festival which has become popular with non-Hindus in many parts of South Asia, as well as people of other communities..
The festival signifies the arrival of spring,a season of joy and hope, end of winter, and for many a festive day to meet others, play and laugh, forget and forgive, and repair ruptured relationships.

Gujiyas , mathri, kachoris, sweets and other Deep fried snacks are prepared & once you eat one, you’ll always go back for a second. The festival is filled with so much fun and frolic that the very mention of the word ‘Holi’ draws smile and enthusiasm amongst people.

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Sweet & Sour Gujarati Kachoris

Every bite of these Crispy, flaky roundels with a delectably sweet,Sour and spicy filling of seasoned moong dal is worth a fortune!
I cannot emphasise enough how good lentils are with sweet,hot and sour flavours

The secret to perfect kachori is to ensure the pastry is short, yet pliable enough to wrap thinly enough around the filling without creating holes which may break them whilst frying. Take care to deep-fry these kachoris on a very slow flame to ensure even cooking and also to make the crust nice and flaky.

Taking these Sweet and Sour beauties to Sonal’s holi collective ..
Do check her blog Simply vegetarian777 for finger licking good vegetarian food …
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Sweet & Sour Gujarati Kachoris

serves 8-10 people

Ingredients
Cooking oil for deep frying

For Dough
1 1/2 cup APF/ Maida
2 Tbs Suji / Coarse semolina
Salt as per taste
2 Tbs ghee / clarified butter ( room temperature )
2 tbs cooking oil
Cold water as needed

TO PREPARE THE DOUGH
1.Mix together all the dry ingredients.
2.Rub in the ghee and oil until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs.
3.Add enough cold water to form soft dough. Wrap in cling film and refrigerate it for one hour.
Lets prepare the filling while the dough is resting

FOR THE SWEET AND SOUR FILLING
1 cup dry yellow moong dal ( soak the dal in water for 3-4 hours))
1/4 cup grated coconut ( I used dried grated coconut )
2 tsp red chili powder Or as per taste
2 tsp coriander / dhaniya powder
1 tsp jeera / cumin powder
2 tsp fennel seeds / Sauf powder
2 tsp ginger powder
1/4 cup seedless raisins / kishmish ( i chopped them a little )
1/4 cup chopped cashews / kaju
1/4 cup chopped peanuts Optional
2 tbs sesame seeds / til
2 tbs sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tsp hing / Asafoetida
Salt as per taste
2-3 tbs oil

Procedure
1.Place the soaked and drained daal in a blender and grind
it into to a coarse paste.
2.Heat oil in a pan and add asafoetida and dal paste .
3.Cook it on medium high heat for 3-4 minutes.
4.Add sugar, ginger, chilli, cumin, coriander, and fennel powder and mix it well.
5.Now add sesame seeds, raisins, and coconut, salt and lemon juice.
6.Cook it for 10minutes or till all the water evaporates and the lentil is cooked.
7. Now add the chopped up cashew and peanuts and let it cook
for 4- 5 minutes.
8. Remove the mix from the stove and let it cool completely
9. Divide the stuffing into 20 equal parts and form each part into a firm balls

To prepare the Kachoris

1.Remove the dough from the fridge and knead it a little
2.Divide the dough into 20 pieces and make small
balls .
3.Now roll the balls into small discs to fit in the filling .
4.Place a ball of the stuffing in the centre and pull the
dough around it and make small roundels.
5.Roll the ball gently between your palms ensuring
that it is sealed properly.
6.Repeat for the rest and leave the prepared kachori
for around 10 minutes on the kitchen counter to dry out a little.
7.Heat enough oil in a wok to deep fry the kachori .
8.Each batch needs to be fried on a medium low flame for around15- 20 minutes until golden brown in color..
9.Remove from the oil and drain completely..
I like to serve these with fresh coriander chutney, tamarind and date chutney or fig chutney.

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Cooking is like love: It should be entered into with abandon or not at all.” — Harriet van Horne

Asian Tofu Salad….

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Asian Tofu Salad … Diabetes Friendly Thursdays

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Creating Recipes with a Cause!
I am a proud DFT blogger. To learn about DFT, Click on the picture above ..

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March is the month of start of Spring and cleansing of house and yards and discarding the old and welcoming the new. Let’s begin the onset of spring with some healthy PROTEIN PACKED Salads!

In our house We eat Salads as one of the regular rotation for lunch especially during summer months . My kids love to add loads of leafy greens along with carrots , cucumbers fresh mushrooms and other fresh vegetables and sprouts in their salads along with grilled chicken, shrimps, or fish.. I myself love to Sprinkle some nuts or seeds on top, add a few dried cranberries, some avocado chunks to take it to the next level and they’re filling enough to make into a main dish.

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Today I bring to you one of our favorite Asian flavors inspired tofu salad The slices of protein-rich tofu that top this salad is lightly seasoned in low sodium soy sauce and chili flakes and grilled to give it a bold, rich flavor Plus, they’re filling enough to make into a main dish.

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Asian Tofu Salad…

Makes 1 serving
Serving size 1 cup + 4 slices of tofu

Ingredients for the salad
1/4 cup shredded Red Cabbage
1/2 cup shredded lettuce of your choice ( I used iceberg )
1/4 cup carrots cut into matchsticks
50 grams pat dried tofu cut into 4 ( marinade all over in 1 tsp soy sauce or chili sauce and grill it )
1 tsp oil ( I used peanut oil )

For the dressing
1 tbs unsalted dry roasted peanuts
1 tbs juice of a lemon
1 small date
A pinch or two chili flakes optional
1 tsp fresh ginger

Method
Blend all the ingredients under dressing to a smooth paste . If the dressing becomes too thick then add a little water or low sodium soy sauce to thin it out .

The Salad
1. Heat a medium size skillet and add 1 tsp oil .
2. Once the oil is hot add all the ingredients for salad and toss for a minute EXCEPT GRILLED TOFU .
3. In a serving bowl add the tossed Salad , Top with tofu and serve with the salad dressing on the side .

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Lets look at the benefits of the ingredients used in making this Salad..

Red cabbage
Eating cabbage is an inexpensive way to add vitamins K and C, as well as antioxidants, to your diabetes-friendly diet. Cabbage also contains manganese, fiber, and vitamin B6. This low-carb veggie is at its peak in the fall and early winter. Pick a head that’s firm with shiny leaves. When you get it home, put it in the refrigerator. Cover it with plastic wrap once it’s cut to slow down the loss of vitamins. Experiment with recipes that use this low-carb vegetable raw as well as cooked.

Lettuce
The glycemic index estimates the effect of a food on your blood sugar levels, with foods having a low score being less likely to cause spikes in blood sugar levels than those with a high score. Lettuce have very low glycemic index scores, according to the American Diabetes Association, so you don’t have to worry about them greatly increasing your blood sugar levels.

Carrots
Rich in the antioxidant beta-carotene, vitamin A, B, C and K, magnesium, folate, and dietary fiber, carrots are bright in color and provide a sweet taste. Carrots are a good choice if you have diabetes as their carotenoid and vitamin A content helps protect your eyes from diabetic retinopathy or damage to the blood vessels in the eye from long-term diabetes. Carrots are a great low-carb, crunchy snack.

Tofu

The Joslin Diabetes Center recommends that adults get 20 to 35 g of dietary fiber each day, especially if they are diabetic, as fiber slows down the absorption of carbohydrates. Tofu has an excellent balance of the nutrients required to lower blood sugar levels in type 2 diabetics. CalorieKing.com states that a fourth of a block of firm tofu only has 117 calories, but also 7 g of fat, 12.8 g of protein and almost 1.9 g of fiber. Tofu can be grilled, baked, used in a soup or in a stir-fry dish.

Disclaimer
I am not a nutritionist or dietician. My knowledge and information is based on my research and reading from different resources. Please consult your doctor or dietician before making any changes to your diet.

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FOR MORE DIABETES FRIENDLY SALADS RECIPES,CLICK ON THE LINKS BELOW

Sonal’s Kosumbari, raw mung salad

Apsara’s Edmame Salad with Hemp Cilantro Dressing

Suchitra’s Horsegram/Kulith Kosambari

Swati’s Grilled Chicken & Quinoa Salad

Sarika’s Nam Sod

Cooking is like love: It should be entered into with abandon or not at all.” — Harriet van Horne

Samosa Galette ….

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Samosa Galette ..
Galette is a term used in French cuisine to designate various types of flat round or freeform crusty cakes usually filled with a sweet or savory filling..

Samosa galette is less fussy than a traditional samosas and offers crisp crust. The flavors can be kept hot , medium or mild according to your taste and mild it can be a great way to introduce Indian dishes to your family and friends ..

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So lets Transform one of the most favorite Indian street food into this Galette which is so much easier than making the traditional, triangle shaped samosas which are deep fried.

Bringing these super easy and delicious galettes to Angie’s Fiesta Friday #108 which is comhosted this week by Suzanne @ apuginthekitchen and Zeba @ Food For The Soul.to share with fellow bloggers ..
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1 box Pie Crust OR frozen puff pastry
OR
For the home made crust

For the pastry:
1 1/4 cups (160 grams) all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
8 tablespoons (115 grams) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces and chilled
1/4 cup (60 grams) plain yogurt / curd
2 teaspoons (10 ml) fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup (60 ml) ice water
1 tablespoon milk (for brushing the dough right before baking)

Ingredients For the filling
4 medium potatoes
1 tablespoon oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 teaspoon coriander seed, crushed
1/4 cup chopped onion
2-3 finely chopped green chiles or to taste
¼ cup frozen peas, thawed
2 teaspoons ginger, grated
2 teaspoons cumin powder
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon red chili powder
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3 tbs cilantro leaves, chopped

Directions

To Make The dough:
1.Stir the flour and salt together in a large bowl. Sprinkle bits of butter over dough and, using your fingertips, work it into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse meal, with the biggest pieces of butter the size of tiny green peas.
2. In a small bowl, stir together yogurt , lemon juice and water and add this to the butter-flour mixture.
3. With a wooden spoon, mix in the liquid until large lumps form. Pat the lumps into a ball.
4. Create a disk with the dough, wrap it in plastic wrap then let it rest for an hour or up to 2 days.

Lets Prepare The Filling Now

1. While the dough rests, boil water and cook potatoes until they are fork tender .
2. Once cooled, peel the potatoes and roughly chop them.
3. Heat oil in a medium pan over medium heat. Add the cumin and coriander seeds and cook until they start to pop.
4.Add onions to the pan and saute until it starts to brown. Add green chilies and ginger and saute for a minute more.
5. Stir in the cumin, garam masala, turmeric, salt and potatoes, .
6. Cook until heated through. Add the lemon juice and cilantro .
7. Let the fillings cool completely.

To Make The Galette

Preheat the oven to 375F.
Roll the dough to 1/8th inch and transfer into a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Gently spread the filling on top of the rolled dough
Fold the pastry edge up and over to create a 2-3 inch border. Gently brush the top with milk.
Bake for 45-50 minutes until slightly brown.
Transfer the pan to a rack and let the galette cool. Serve it warm or at room temperature.

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Cooking is like love: It should be entered into with abandon or not at all.” — Harriet van Horne

 

Suran / Jimikand / Elephant Foot Yam Kofta Curry …

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Suran/Jimikand/Elephant Yam Kofta Curry..

Today I bring to you one of my Mom’s recipe which I love and can eat any time .. Suran Or Elephant foot Yam koftas tastes like lamb koftas or meatballs when cooked with the Spices used in Non-Vegetarian Cooking. Infact no one will miss non veg if served these delectable koftas and people will not stop wanting them again and again ..
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Koftas originated from Middle East, it being a variation of the more known meatballs in the Western countries.
Koftas in India are usually served cooked in a spicy curry/gravy and are eaten with boiled rice or a variety of Indian breads. In Iran, Iraq and Azerbaijan, koftas are served with a spiced gravy, as dry variations are considered to be kebabs.

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Here are some nutrient information of yam.

Elephant foot Yam is an edible tuberous plant and has the protein content same as in the potato.
It is very low in Saturated Fat, Cholesterol and Sodium. It is also a good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin C, Potassium and Manganese. The tubers are believed to have blood purifier property.
Yam generally has a lower glycemic index than potato.

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THIS IS HOW i made it ..

Cook time : 30-45 mins
Serves : 4

For The Koftas
300 grams peeled , boiled and drained Elephant foot Yam /Jimikand ( Suran ) ( I used 1 pack frozen Yam from Indian store )
1-2 finely chopped green chillies
1 tsp finely grated ginger
1 tbs finely chopped cilantro / coriander
1 tsp Red chili powder
1 tsp Garam masala powder optional
1/4 cup Besan / gram flour
Salt as per taste
A pinch of Hing
Oil for deep frying

Method
Mash the boiled and drained yam well and add all the ingredients under kofta except for oil .
Mix well and make small oval or round balls and deep fry them in a frying pan .

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For The Gravy

1 large onions
2 medium sized tomato
1 tbs ginger garlic paste
1 Bay leaf
4-5 cloves
2 whole black cardamom
1 inch cinnamon stick
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp garam masala powder
1 tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp jeera/cumin seeds
salt as per taste
1 tbs cooking oil
coriander/cilantro leaves for garnishing

Method
1. Grind onion, tomato, ginger garlic into a smooth paste.
2.In a big enough pan heat 1 tbsp oil and add jeera / Cumin seeds.
3.Once the jeera splutter add cinnamon , cardamom,cloves, bay leaf and let them bloom for a minute .
4.Add the ground paste . Saute till the raw smell goes off .
5.Now add salt, turmeric powder, half of red chili powder , coriander powder, garam masala powder and sauté till the oil separates..
6.Add water to get the required consistency of the gravy you want .
7.Reduce the heat and let the gravy boil for 10 mins on medium flame .
8.Once the required consistency of gravy is acquired switch the stove off .

Just before serving, arrange koftas in a serving bowl, pour hot gravy on top , garnish with finely chopped coriander leaves . Serve hot with steamed white or brown rice, chapathis, naan or parathas and a salad on the side to make it into a complete soul satisfying meal .

“Cooking is like love: It should be entered into with abandon or not at all.” — Harriet van Horne

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Here is another version of Jimikand / Elephant foot Yam curry by Sonal ….

Jimikand Curry By Sonal Gupta

Chocolate Cherry Bundt Cake …..

Chocolate Cherry Bundt Cake …..

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I just cannot believe I have been blogging for last 2 yrs . Two years ago today I posted my first blog post. It was scary and exciting and honestly I had no idea what would come of it..

I think the biggest lesson I learned from this experience is that you can get better at anything. I’m a much better at taking pictures and a writer now than I was 2 years back but still have a lot of room to grow. I can’t thank my friends and readers enough for their support. I really appreciate each and every reader and their comments and encouragement helps me keep blogging.

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What better way for a chocoholic like me but to celebrate with a exquisite rich chocolate cherry bundt cake complete with rich chocolate glaze

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Ingredients

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup pure cocoa
1 1/4 cups white sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup unsalted butter ,melted
1 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 (21 ounce) can cherry pie filling

Method
1. Preheat the oven at 350*F
2. In a large mixing bowl whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, cocoa and sugar. Mix well with whisk.
3. Add eggs, melted butter, milk, vanilla extract and cherry pie filling mixing well each time with a spoon.
4. Pour into a well sprayed bundt pan or any pan of your choice
5. Bake in preheated oven for 55 to 60 minutes until center is cooked.
6. Let cake cool before taking it out from the pan.

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FOR THE CHOCOLATE GLAZE
3/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  1. Combine sugar, cream and butter in pan on top of stove.
  2. Bring to boil and cook for a minute.
  3. Remove from heat and add vanilla and chocolate chips.
  4. Stir with spoon or whisk until chips are melted.
  5. Put this glaze in a small pitcher and drizzle over bundt cake
  6. Decorate with a few cut up cherries on top ( optional )
  7. If frosting becomes too thick add a little milk and heat about 15 seconds in microwave.

NOTE
You can even use market bought chocolate cake mix along with a can of cherry pie filling to make the bundt cake , just follow the instruction in the back . Once the cake cools down glaze the cake …

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Cooking is like love: It should be entered into with abandon or not at all.” — Harriet van Horne