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Showing posts from January, 2014

How To Make Homemade Butter and Ghee

I have gotten some requests from my friends and readers to do a post on homemade butter and ghee. I have grown up seeing my grandma do this every day. She will put aside the day's remaining milk at night for fermenting to make yogurt. In the morning after all the breakfast rush is done, she will sit on the floor with a pot and churner to separate the butter from the yogurt. So now she has butter and butter milk. Once she collects enough butter over a few days, she will melt them and make ghee and store it. Did I mention that my grandma milked her own cow to get the milk? Of course I cannot go back to those days now, I meant the 'milking my own cow' part. I have developed my own way of making homemade yogurt, butter and ghee though I don't milk a cow. I buy non-homogenized organic whole milk instead.



My mom used to follow grandma (except for the 'milking cow' part) and make her own butter and ghee too. My mom-in-law used to follow a semi-urbanized way to make he…

Steamed Yam Noodles w/ Roasted Pepper Sauce

Do you like a warm bowl of pasta or noodles, and yet avoid grains? Let's do it, just make a bowl of steamed yam noodles or pasta and make your own sauce to go with it. You can have all the flavors you can think of in your sauce. I prefer my veggie pasta or noodles any day over a pasta made with wheat or other grains. I have it raw or just warmed or fully cooked depending on the kind of vegetable, and sometimes also depending on the weather outside. Since it is brutally cold outside, I prefer to have my yam noodles cooked and served warm. How about you?




Steamed Yam Noodles:

Yam/Sweet potato - 1 large Peel and slice using a Spirooli slicer. Steam till just tender for about 5-6 minutes.Also steam some veggies to go with the noodles.( I used 1 cup of cauliflower florets and 2 cups of baby spinach) 

Roasted Pepper Sauce:

Red/Orange bell pepper - 2Tomato on the vine - 1 Garlic - 3-4 clovesGreen chilly - 3-4 EV olive oil - 3 TbsSea salt - as per tasteNutritional yeast - 1/4 cup (Optional) 
He…

Lemony Hemp-Coconut Energy Bars

I am trying out an energy bar with hemp as a main ingredient for a close friend who was looking for a nut-free version of energy bars. This bar is packed with energy from pumpkin & chia seeds, protein from hemp, good fat from coconut & coconut oil and sweetened only with dates. It is mildly flavored with lemon juice and lemon zest. Best served for kids or adults as a breakfast on the run :-)



Raw hemp hearts - 1 cupRaw pumpkin seeds - 1 cupShredded dried coconut - 1 cupChia seeds - 1/4 cupMedjool dates - 12 - pittedCold pressed coconut oil - 6 TbsLemon zest - from a lemon Lemon juice - from 1/2 a lemonPink Himalayan salt - a pinch
Powder half of the hemp hearts into a coarse powder using a dry blender or food processor. Powder the pumpkin seeds into a coarse powder using a dry blender or food processor. Powder chia seeds using coffee/spice grinder. Add all these to a bowl. Add remaining hemp, coconut, salt and lemon zest. Mix well. Mash the dates using blender/food processor or j…

Green Mango Sauce for Raw Veggie Noodles

This is an Asian style raw green mango sauce inspired from Piccata sauce and raw green mango chutney, a great mix of Indian and Italian tastes :-). This is quick'n'healthy, and flexible to be made as raw for a raw 'noodles' sauce or almost raw for a cooked pasta sauce.




Ingredients:
Homemade coconut milk - 1-2 cups (depending on your desired consistency)Raw green(unripe) mango - 1 mediumGreen chilly - 2-3 (check spice level)Garlic - 3-4 clovesFresh ginger root - 1 Tbs (chopped)Sea salt - as per taste

Method:
Peel and slice mango. Reserve a handful of thin slices for garnishing your pasta or noodles.Roast garlic if you would like, I roast in a few drops of olive oil since I cannot handle raw garlic sometimes.Blend everything to a smooth and creamy sauce.Serve with your choice of raw 'noodles'.I served with a combination of raw jicama and carrot noodles. To make raw veggie noodles, I just slice them using my spirooli slicer and toss with a tablespoon each of raw apple…

Millet Kanji for a warm & nourishing breakfast

Kanji is a porridge made usually with rice. Also known as Congee in many parts of Asia. This was served as a staple breakfast when my parents were growing up back in Kerala. It is made by boiling the rice with lots of water till the rice is soft and porridge-like. My father's family used to serve this with fresh shredded coconut and sliced bananas, and optionally drizzling with ghee.  It is can also be made with different grains/cereals, including millets like little millet (chama) or finger millet (raagi). I am making it with pearl millet as it is easily available around here.

Ingredients:

Pearl millet - 3/4 cup Filtered water - 5 cups Sea salt - as per tasteCumin seeds - 1 tspShredded coconut - 1 cupCoconut oil - 2 TbsGhee - 1 Tbs (optional) 

Method:

Boil millet, along with cumin seeds in water till millet is soft.Add, salt, coconut, coconut oil and serve warm.Optionally drizzle ghee on each bowl.Enjoy on a warm winter morning !!Serves 3.


Homemade Popcorn, the old fashioned way !!

One of our closest friend and blog reader recently gave me an awesome live demo to make homemade pop corn. I had to share it here. We have not made pop corn in a long long time in our home because I have stopped using the microwave oven ages ago due to concern about it's effect on long term health, as well as spoiling the taste. We can talk about that in anther post later. Today, let us talk about pop corn made the old fashioned way, on a hot pan over a stove top. When I watched her do this, I wondered why did I not think about it? This is how we have seen corn being popped in movie halls, festival grounds, etc, back in India when we were growing up. Just pop the corn on a very hot surface of metal. Simple enough!!



So here is how the procedure goes. Whole thing is done under five minutes (just 2 more minutes compared to the microwaved version). Only other thing to take care is to buy organic dry corn kernels because most corn grown in the US is GMO corn and you definitely want to …

Baked Parippu Vada

Parippu Vada and chaya is a classic combination that any malayali will have a sentiment attached to. It is probably the most commonly found evening snack in malayali homes, tea stalls, railway platforms, you name it. It is a favorite in my family too, but we have limited the consumption since we generally limit deep fried snacks. Mainly because as you know, deep frying does not fall under quick'n'healthy and then I don't have the patience to make the vadas one by one and fry it. Now when 'the husband' comes up with some novel ideas you should be willing to try it, you might end up with some awesome end products like these. So this is just the same old favorite parippu vada (a.k.a dal vada or masala vada), just that instead of being deep fried, they are baked. The end result?
Nutritional value >> much more than the fried version
Taste >> awesome, just the same as the fried version
Texture >> pretty close to the fried version
Effort >> very mi…

Aromatic Kozhukkatta with Jasmine Rice

Believe it or not, we have around 10 different varieties of rice in our pantry, ranging from the brown to the red to the pink to the black :-). We also have a few varieties of white rice as well. We recently found out about this great product from Lundberg Family Farms. It is their Organic Jasmine Rice. Great product, good quality organic, non-GMO verified rice. If you can use enough, well you can save some money too if you buy in bulk from amazon. We get other rice varieties from them via Amazon. They are a sustainable farm that is fully nonGMO and with a lot of organic options.

You will love the aroma when you cook it just like that or use it in other steamed rice dishes like the Kozhukkatta. Kozhukkatta (a.k.a Modakam) is an Indian style steamed dumpling made with rice and some filling (usually sweet). My family makes the filling with jackfruit preserve and coconut, but since I have no way of getting jackfruit preserve in this part of the world, I substitute it with medjool dates. …

Pearl Millet Pongal

Happy Pongal to all of you who are celebrating it. I have some fond memories of Pongal from my short time in Chennai. Pongal is a harvest festival consisting of 4 days of celebrations, each day dedicated to different themes. I will be joining my Tamil friends and will be celebrating by making my version of pongal. As always my pongal will have some quick'n'healthy elements too. I am making pongal with pearl millet and whole mung this time. As always use as much organic ingredients as possible.



Pearl millet - 2/3rd cupWhole green mung beans - 1/2 cup Cumin seeds - 1 TbsBlack pepper corns - 1 Tbs (crushed coarsely) Fresh ginger root - 2 Tbs (julienned) Fresh coconut slices - 1/4 cup Raw cashew nuts - a handful Sea salt  - as per tasteGhee - 2 Tbs 
Soak mung and millet separately for 4-6 hours or overnight. Drain mung and coarsely grind (just a quick pulse to break them down)Heat 1 Tbs ghee and add cumin seeds and crushed black  pepper and saute for a minute or so till nice aroma c…

Akku's "Very Berry" Dessert Smoothie

Today, I am guest posting for my mom..
My parents usually do all the work for making me food, so I thought it would be a nice change to make a smoothie of my own. In the past, when making food or drinks, I have either gotten help or have used a recipe from somewhere else. One of the easiest things to make is a smoothie, especially when you have a high-speed blender. Of these, a fruit dessert smoothie, is one that can't really go wrong. Anyway, here it is:




Ingredients 1 over-ripe banana 4-6 frozen strawberries 1 handful of frozen blueberries 1 handful of frozen cherries 1 handful of frozen raspberries 3 tbsp yogurt handful of raisins* (optional, depends on how sweet you want it to be)

Directions: Put all ingredients into Vitamix and blend on high for about a minute. If you do not have a high-speed blender, you might have to blend for more than a minute. Keep blending till you get the consistency you want for the smoothie. (The consistency can be anywhere from the consistency of ice cream to t…

Natural Flu & Cold Remedy

It is flu season in the US and it usually peaks in February. This is also a time when kids catch cold and sore throats from friends at school, and in turn pass them to their parents who in turn does the same to their colleagues in office. We have been trying out home remedies based on concoctions I found on the web, you can find them here. My husband had a bad sore throat and so wanted me to make him one of them, and the one that interested him the most was the elixir for flu and cold, most likely because of the ingredients :-). So I decided to give it a try. It is packed with infection fighting ingredients like vitamin C, anti-microbial and  anti-fungal as it is made with pineapple, lemon, honey, ginger, garlic and chilly. After 2 shorts of it, he is feeling a lot better, and as he says, even if this does not make me 100% better, I love drinking it and feel 100% :-).

Pineapple is packed with vitamin C, along with a high concentration of antioxidants and bromelain, which helps with re…

Thai Style Spicy Chickpea Soup

Brutally cold temperatures are still hanging around here, though they are not welcome for long. We have been trying hard to fight the cold and trying to stick with our lunch salads, but looks like we have to give the salads up and start making some warm/spicy soups. A warm soup to keep us warm, and the addition of ginger, garlic and spices to help us fight any winter ailments. Thai style soup is an ideal choice for this purpose. As always use as much organic ingredients as possible.




Ingredients:
Chickpea - 3/4 cup (soaked overnight)Yellow onion - 1 (chopped)Veggies - 1 cup (chopped) Tomatoes - 2 smallSea salt - as per taste To grind:
Ginger - 2 Tbs (chopped)Garlic - 4 clovesShredded coconut - 1/4 cup Homemade nut butter - 1/4 cupRed Chilly - 2 (or more)Coriander seeds - 2 tspCumin seeds - 1 tspLemon juice - from a large lemon Before Serving:
Baby spinach - 1 cupFresh basil leaves - 1/2 cupDirections: Drain the chickpeas and cook them with 2 cups of water. Grind all ingredients under 'T…