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Showing posts from October, 2014

Sweet Pumpkin Boli (Puran Poli)

Deepavali (Diwali) traditions can be different for different people as India is so very diverse and each state and region has their own legend, tradition and tastes. Our Deepavali tradition have evolved a lot from what we have grown up with to what we do now. For my family, Deepavali (like many other festivals) was celebrated in a low-key way. We did an oil massage and took bath early in the morning, my father would get us a box of assorted sweets and that was about it. My husband's family also did not celebrate Deepavali elaborately, but since they were all big foodies, they had some traditions with the dishes that they made for Deepavali. They make a special breakfast with vadas (deep fried lentil doughnuts) and boli (sweet stuffed flat bread). After we moved to the US, we have kind of made a mix of these along with a few others into our family's Deepavali traditions. Traditions like wearing an Indian attire to work, sharing Diwali goodies and going out for lunch to an Indi…

Choco-Nut Laddus

It is that time of the year when people all over the world start the holiday season. Indians celebrate Diwali irrespective of which part of India they come from, or which part of the world they live in. Different parts of India have different versions of the legends behind the celebrations and the traditions associated with it. One that is common to most must be celebrating Diwali with sweets. There are a variety of sweets made for Diwali depending on geography and the local resources. This time my Diwali sweet has a global touch to it as it has ingredients that come from different parts of the world. Almonds from California, organic peanuts from India,  organic cashews from Vietnam, organic dates from Tunisia, organic coconut palm sugar from SE Asia and a pure form of organic cacao paste from Peru.. yes I made laddus with cacao this time. I was in fact a little afraid if it might turn out to be more of a truffle than a laddu, but I am very happy with the end product. It is a good mix…

Spiced Hot Apple Cider

My son has been asking me to make this hot cider that he had at school. I kept denying because I was not going to cook apple, since cooking will get rid of all vitamin C, and more nutrients might be lost during straining of the pulp. This apple season though, I thought of making it once for his sake. I have to say I am totally sold. The infused spices along with the mildly sweet, sour & crisp apples makes it a perfect formula for a fall evening. I am not claiming this to be a totally quick'n'healthy drink, but if you live in the New England area, and enjoy the fall season, then you definitely should give this a try :). It is so soothing and can be had anytime of the day, best for a cool evening. 

Apples - 3 (I used 3 different kinds Empire, Gala and Mutsu)Raisins - a small handfulCinnamon stick - 1(crushed)Cloves - 4-5Ginger - 2 TbsFiltered water - 3 cupsDirections:
Add cubed apples, along with the spices, raisins and water into a soup pot or pressure cooker. Coo…

Hot'n'Sweet Beets Pickle

There is a lot of buzz around probiotics these days. Probiotics in simple terms is good bacteria, which is pro-life (no, not the political term, but the real meaning of it). Probiotics are important for your gut health, digestion and improving immunity; to name a few. There are a lot of ways in which you can include probiotics in your food. Probiotics are used across the world by many traditional cultures. Most traditional foods from around the world had their probiotics, just that we might not have thought of them in that manner. Some of the most common foods include yogurt, sauerkraut/kimchi (both are fermented cabbage preparations used across Europe and East Asia), Kefir (used in Eastern Europe and South America), Miso (Fermented Soy used in Japan and east asia), Kombucha (fermented green tea) and a variety of pickles.

Being from India, I know that the Indian diet has a lot of probiotics as part of our daily diet. First and foremost would be yogurt, which has the good milk culture. …

Hearty Bottle Gourd Soup

Bottle gourd is another neglected vegetable just like ash gourd. Also known as churakka, lauki, sorakkaai in different Indian languages, it is very popular in Indian cuisine. Just like ash gourd, it is simple in taste and comes loaded with nutritious and medicinal properties and is a highly recommended vegetable by Ayurveda. Besides, it reduces fatigue and keeps you fresh, it is rich in thiamin, vitamin C, zinc, iron and magnesium.  Also, bottle gourd fights constipation as it is fiber rich, and bottle gourd juice being alkaline helps with acidity, indigestion and ulcers. Just like ash gourd, it is low in calorie and has high water content  which makes it very diabetic friendly. Today's recipe is yet another simple hearty soup that is great for the fall weather. 

Ingredients  For Soup: Bottle gourd - 1 small or 1/2 medium. Fresh ginger root - 1 tbspGreen chilly - 2-3Turmeric powder - 1/2 tspSea salt - as per tasteFresh homemade coconut milk (recipe here) - 1 cupFor optional Garnishi…

Banana Oatmeal Breakfast Bread

Do you have a bunch of overripe bananas in your fruit basket at the end of the week that you don't to throw away? You can be creative and find endless uses with them. You can freeze them to make smoothies or ice creams. Or you can make these quick breakfast bread squares. You just need overripe bananas and rolled oats. You can play around with other additions. Just takes about 30 minutes to mix them up and bake.

Overripe banana - 3 mediumRolled oats -1 cupDried shredded coconut - 1/2 cupBaking soda - 1/4 tspSea salt - 1/8 tspGround cinnamon - 1 tsp
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.Powder half of the oats to a fine powder using your dry blender or coffee grinder.Powder remaining half to a coarse meal using your dry blender or coffee grinder.Transfer to a bowl, add all dry ingredients and mix well.Mash the bananas with a fork and add to the dry ingredients and mix well.Line a half sheet cookie tray with parchment paper and spread the batter to about 1/2 inch thick…

Almond Fig Barfi

Barfi or katli is any Indian sweet lover's weakness. Problem with them is that they are too sweet for even barfi fans like my husband. That too sweetened with (who knows what kind of and how much) refined sugar. You could use a healthier version or a pure form of sugar. Even better would be if you could make a quick'n'healthy alternative for the barfi itself. These awesome barfis are made with homemade almond butter and sweetened only with dried figs. It is sweetened just enough to satisfy your sweet tooth and at the same time you get the nutritional benefits of figs. Above all, you won't believe it is so easy to make !!

Almonds - 2 cups (or 1 cup almond butter)Pink himalayan salt - a pinch (for the almond butter)Figs - 2 cups (chopped)Cardamom - 4-5 (skin removed and powdered)Virgin coconut oil - 2 Tbs (optional)*

Make almond butter with the nuts. Get recipe here: Add chopped figs to a high speed blender jar or food processor jar and process till…

Ash Gourd Mint Juice

In my last post, I talked about raw ash gourd (kumbalanga/wax gourd/winter melon) being 96% water. That makes it an apt vegetable to juice. I have been trying all different combinations of juice with ash gourd in the mix, but here is the one which is a keeper. Ash gourd juice sweetened slightly with apple and refreshingly flavored with fresh mint. 

Ash Gourd - 2 cups (cubes)Apple - 1 or 1/2 (for sweetening)Mint - 3-4 stemsLemon -1Himalayan pink salt - a pinch
Peel and cube ash gourd.Peel lemon and cut into quarters.Cut apple into cubes. Juice everything using a juicer. Serve with a pinch of himalyan salt.If using a blender, blend everything except lemon. Strain, add squeezed lemon juice and serve with a pinch of himalyan salt.This makes about 3 cups of juice. Enjoy !!