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Showing posts from July, 2013

Wild Rice & Moong Dhokla w/ Roasted Garlic Tomato Basil Soup

Today morning, when I soaked wild rice and moong, I had not decided what to make with it.  I was planning to make something to go with my Roasted Garlic Tomato Basil Soup. Then I remembered a long pending trial (of making Dhokla) and decided today is Dhokla day:).

Dhokla is a Gujarati steamed dish made with fermented batter and one or more types of lentils. The varieties I have tasted at restaurants or at pot-lucks are made with either store bought Dhokla mixes or with chickpea flour. I don't buy any store bought mixes for sure, and I also restrict the kinds of prepared flours that I buy. I try to make flours myself as much as possible. I also believe in the nutritional benefits of soaking and sprouting whole grains and lentils, as they will be more alive as they sprout, which will bring out more live enzymes and nutrients. Hence try to make use of soaking as much as possible and then grinding to make my batter.

I have seen a bunch of recipes which make Dhokla from scratch using one…

Bulgur Wheat - Green Tomato Salad w/ Quick Avocado-Lime Dressing.

Green tomatoes are very 'summer-like'. As soon as I saw some at our local farmer's market, I bought them, as I wanted to make a summer salad. I also have two tomato plants in my modest patio garden, of which one is taking forever to ripen. So I might lose my patience and pick them too soon :-)

I love eating bulgur wheat. Just remember to soak it the previous night and you'll have it ready to make salad with the next day. This is a very simple and flexible salad with bulgur. You can also replace bulgur with quinoa or millet if you want a gluten free version. To complement this salad, I made a quick and simple dressing with avocado, jalapeño and lime.

Bulgur wheat - 1/2 cup -soaked over nightGreen tomatoes - 2 - largeJalapeño - 1-2Cucumber - 1 smallAvocado - 1Spinach -  2 cupsFresh basil - 1/2 cupSea salt - as per tasteFresh lime juice - from half of a limeVirgin coconut oil - to drizzle
Slice each green tomato into about 8 slices. Slit open jalapeños. Spread both on a baki…

Carrot-Apple-Cocoa 'Cake' with Cashew Orange Cream

Carrot cake must be one of the most tried out and tweaked recipes in my kitchen. That was when we were not so 'careful' about the ingredients used in our cooking. Even when we were not into our new normal (the healthy, wholesome lifestyle), I have always tried my best to make my carrot cakes healthier, by making it egg-less, dairy free, refined-sugar free and refined-flour free. I believe that carrot has its own crunchiness, flavor, juices, and natural sweetness. We just need to add a few ingredients to complement these without loosing any flavor or sweetness. That is what I have tried. The idea is nothing new to the raw food world, but I would personally rank this as one of the best raw desserts I have made. You can think of it as a fusion between carrot cake and carrot halwa. In a way, you can say that the 'East meets west in the raw food world' :-)

Carrot-Apple-Cocoa 'Cake' Organic carrots - 2-3 Organic raw almonds -  1/2 cup Organic Apple - 1Organic raw coco…

Nutty Cocoa Munchkins (Raw, Vegan, Gluten Free)

My son called these munchkins. These are small energy balls packed with wholesome, organic, plant based, raw ingredients and can be put together in less than 10 minutes, while staying well on the shelf or refrigerated for a week or so. These are good alternatives to any store bought munchkins or snack bites.  Now if you are thinking that you can buy those organic, raw energy bars, I would say these would work much better economically as well :-)

I make batches of these munchkins/energy balls most weekends, varying the nut proportions and flavors, so that my son has a nutritious and tasty snack after coming back in the evening from school or the summer camp. He loves to have this with his serving of organic homemade almond milk.

Raw almonds - 1/4 cupRaw shredded coconut - 1/4 cup Raw sunflower seeds - 1/4 cupRaw peanuts - 1/4 cupRaw goji berries - 2 Tbs.Chia seeds - 1 Tbs.Himalayan salt - a pinchRaw cocoa powder - 2 TbsCinnamon powder - 1 tspMedjool dates - 5 Add ingredients 1 thru 7 i…

Patra Reinvented In a New England Malayali Kitchen

The most recent food find in our kitchen is the use of collard greens as steamer to replace banana leaves. While I was growing up in Kerala, there were many dishes that were made using banana leaves. Banana leaves were used for multiple purposes. Sometimes banana leaf would act as a liner for the steaming vessel, and times rice dough is spread on banana leaf to make steamed dumplings (Ilayada). Some other times we make a basket out of banana leaves and pour fermented rice-lentil batter, and steam to make the steamed rice cakes. We recently thought of using collard leaves for some of these recipes. Every week we get fresh bunches of organic collard leaves from our local farmer's market. So I am exploring possibilities to use collard leaves this way. The advantage of using collard leaves is that the leaf itself is edible :).

The recipe for today though interestingly is not something from Kerala, but is something inspired from a Gujarati recipe. This is Patra reinvented in my kitchen.…

Millet Dosa (Crepe) Wraps

Being summer time, my son needs packed lunches for his summer camp, so for me it is also the time when I have to come up with new lunchbox ideas. I want to send him food that is satisfying, nutritious, interesting for him, and at the same time should have the convenience of an easy packed lunch. So here is something new that I have added to that menu.

I used to send him Chapati wraps (whole wheat rotis) in previous years. These days we are trying to avoid gluten from our diet as much as possible, so I wanted to substitute the whole wheat chapatis with a gluten free option. This is basically dosa wraps, just that the dosa is made with millet as it provides firmness to the dosa, which is essential for a wrap, along with all the nutritional benefits of millet.

I generally make a spread or chutney, and add some greens, or roasted veggies to make my wrap. I am adding the basic spread and greens recipe below, but this can really be customized. Spinach generally goes very well with this wrap…

Spicy-Pistachio-Goji Berry Energy Balls (Raw-Vegan)

This is another variation of the energy balls that I had posted before. The highlight in this one is the combination of goji berries and red chilly pepper. The hot, red chilly goes very well with the sweet'n'sour goji berries, but you could also be creative and try other spices. I am sure ginger or nutmeg would work very well too. I myself, might just take a handful of goji berries and munch on them while I am reading or cooking, but this way the whole family is eating them too, and they should because goji berries are so good for everyone.

Organic raw pistachio   - 1/2 cup (shelled) Organic raw sunflower seeds - 1/2 cupOrganic raw goji berries - 1/4 cup Red chilly pepper -1-2 (I use the Thai hot variety, adjust based on spice level)Mejdool dates - 5 Himalayan salt - a pinch
Add the nuts/seeds and goji berries to a dry blender (or food processor) and pulse on low speed till everything very coarsely pulsed.Remove half of the coarse ground mixture and transfer to a bowl.Continue p…

Ambrosia Fruit Salad (Raw-Vegan)

The name 'Ambrosia' sounds very divine and soulful, and translates to the 'food of gods'. Still, I never thought of making an Ambrosia Fruit Salad because of the ingredients that a goes into one. If you look up for Ambrosia salad on the web, you will find everything from whipped cream, marshmallows to loads of refined sugar as part of the ingredients, the gods would run away seeing that :).

When I found one of the fellow bloggers Quincy@Shugurcan posted a raw-vegan ambrosia sometime back, that sounded really interesting and it called for only wholesome and light ingredients. That is how I decided to make it and now it is on our breakfast menu. Yes, breakfast !! I believe that if we use the right kind of organic, wholesome, plant based ingredients which include good fats, good sweeteners and contains mostly fruits, then yes, why not have the dessert for breakfast :-)

Organic pineapple - 1/2Organic apple -1Oranges - 2Organic raw cashew nuts - 1/4 cup (Soaked for few hours…

Lavender Coconut Milk Ice-cream

Guess what we got from Guy's Eco-Garden this weekend? My first bunch of organic Lavender. I was so excited on getting it, what a pleasant fragrance it had. When we visited the farm a few weeks ago, the lavender was still on the fields and they looked so good on the field. Guy had told us those were edible and that we would be getting them for sale in a few weeks time.

The lady from the farm suggested that I could make lavender cookies and I looked around on the web for other ideas too. There are a lot of cheesecakes, cakes and cookies in both vegan and diary versions. I wanted to pair it with something I was comfortable with and that is how this idea of bringing together the Asian and European flavors came to my mind. The result was a very flavorful, tasty and aromatic ice-cream that is pleasing to the eye, nose and tongue. This is a light ice-cream which could be enjoyed on a summer day :-).

Homemade coconut milk- 2 cupsFresh/Dry organic lavender flowers - 2 Tbs.Organic banana - …