Category Archives: Milk and Milk Products

Click- Bicolour

Standard

Bi colour is the theme for the click event at Jugalbandi for this month. Thanks Jai and Bee for the oppurtunity to be one of the judges for this month.

Finding a bicolour entry has been a challenge. After a long time, I have started to cook regularly but bicolour foods weren’t easy to come by or didn’t photograph well. I made palappams, a cherry clafouti, paneer curry but nothing photographed well.

I finally settled on this paneer. This is some home made paneer with black pepper added to it.

paneer for click

Whole milk paneer with crushed black pepper- White & Black entry for CLICK bicolour.

Beet and goat cheese salad- farmer’s market inspired.

Standard

It’s been a while since we did some real cooking. Or some real food shopping. The visit to the farmer’s market this weekend was such a joy for us. After some shopping, we enjoyed a light breakfast in the park. It was a few miles drive from where we live, but we combined it with other errands we had to do in the area.

This salad was inspired by the beautiful bunch of baby beets that came home with us. We also had some really great goat cheese from the market. The combination was inevitable.

For the salad:

The beets were roasted .

We left a bit of the tops on and peeled the skin after roasting. Make sure you scrub the beets well, if baking them whole. Also added some fresh thyme, rosemary, and a splash of balsamic vinegar.

Quarter the beets, combine with goat cheese and greens. Drizzle some olive oil. Salt and pepper, of course.

Enjoy!

It was really good and it is a great way to enjoy the real taste of beets.

Mango Ginger Smoothie – JFI Ginger

Standard

ginger.jpg

For the life of me, I coud’t find a dish that screamed ginger. Kerala Fish Curry was in my plans for a while, but then I couldn’t find decent fish. Today I landed on this recipe, and as fate would have it, I am contributing to JFI Ginger. Hurrah!!

Ginger is indispensable in an Indian household. Shown below is a patch of ginger growing at my home in Kerala. Usually there are a few patches of ginger growing close to the house. When you need ginger, take your digging equipment and unearth fresh ginger. The wonderful smell of ginger on your hands is pretty amazing. Of course, as a kid I hated the chore of having to get out and dig the ginger out of the soil. Now, I wish I had some freshly dug ginger.

ginger-plants.jpg

Original recipe here

I followed the recipe exactly, except for using greek yogurt and cold milk.

Ingredients

Yogurt – half cup

Chopped ripe mango – a handful ( I used frozen mango)

Sugar or honey – 2 tbsp or adjust to taste

Low fat milk ( cold) – 1/2 cup

Crushed ice- half cup/handful

Fresh ginger- 1/4 – 1/2 tsp based on your taste. I used a thin slice and chopped it into thin strips.

Powdered cardamom – a pinch

Method:

Just mix everything in a blender. If too thick, add more milk or cold water.

ginger-smoothie.jpg

Adding fresh ginger to mango lassi was new for me. I liked it, but I suspect it could take getting used to.

Hugs to Rosie for hosting JFI Ginger amidst her move.

Tags: , ,

Phirni- Glad I found you!

Standard

pistachios.jpg

Ashwini did a great job of hosting JFI- coconut. Amond the 70+ dishes my eyes were on this white concotion in a cute cup. It was called Phirni. I had no idea what the heck Phirni was until that moment. I was so into Phirni after reading the post that I was searching for more info on phirni on the net. But Ashwini had it all covered in her post. It is indeed a Mughlai dish. I also see it listed as a Kashmiri dish, a Punjabi dish and is also very popular in Rajasthan. How did I miss this delicacy so long?

The Phirni looked so fresh and so full of clean flavors, I just had to try it. Better late than never.

I used a mix of almonds and pistachios for the dish. For the recipe I consulted both Ashwini’s and Roopa’s recipes!!

I understand this dish is served in small terracotta dishes as is shown here . I think I will try to get some when I visit India next time.

As Ashwini mentioned , it tasted much better the next day! This definitely is a keeper.

Tags:

Rasmalai and a lesson for life!

Standard

rasmalai-top.JPG

 

As a kid, I used to be an avid helper in the kitchen. My sister hated cooking (still does), and so when I started helping out in the kitchen it was a happening event. People were impressed at my interest in cooking, and aunties and ammachis visiting our place would shower praises on me! “Look at her. Everyone should be like her”, they would say. My sister didn’t mind these as long as she didn’t have to cook, and I shared everything I made with her.

One of the first things I loved making was the semiya payasam. Nothing much to it..add ghee, brown the semiya, add sugar, milk…eat! But this was enough to impress my family and so I grew up thinking I was a great cook. When I finally started cooking on my own, especially desserts, none of them would succeed. But I never accepted failure and would still try to make the most complicated sweets from scratch. After a series of failures, I finally realized last month that I am not so good at making sweets as I imagined myself to me. RP’s recipe was there to help me out. Boy! did it help..I served these couple of times and the compliments poured in. But all credit goes to RP and Priya.

And now Deepavali…I knew it was Deepavali because our new Indian neighbors had decorated their house with lights. It was beautiful! But I had an exam to study for and I forgot all about it. Then I located the JFI event which was happening and I had missed it too. I had left a comment at Vee’s blog mentioning how I missed it and maybe I will participate next year, and Vee send me a reply saying I still had time. Wish everyone was so nice when it comes to deadlines ( People at my college could learn from you, Vee!)

So thanks to Vee, I am blogging about my inflated pride and how I turned to being a realist…and also the rasmalai! This rasamalai not only helped me find a new easy dessert recipe, but also made me realize it is okay to take short cuts. Not everything needs to be made from scratch!

Recipe sources: RP’s blog, Priya’s blog

Ingredients:

Ricotto chesse ( I used the medium size one, part skim)

Sugar- according to taste

Rose water- a few drops
Half and half, milk- a cup each
Strands of saffron

Crushed cardamom-2

Pistachios for garnish

Pan: A muffin pan

I didnot measure any ingredients, you really don’t need to. Just adjust sugar to your taste and depending on the number of rasmalai make the sauce.

Method

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a bowl, mix ricotta cheese, sugar and rose water and mix using a spoon. Do not have to spend much energy using a whisk as all it needs is a light mixing. This helps to keep the texture of the ricotta cheese.

When you add the sugar, it is very possible that you might end up eating quite a bit of ricotta ( Why? Because it is so damn good) . So if you are having guests over and do not have more ricotta to add later, I recommend taking small bites to test the sugar.

Spoon the mixture into a muffin pan. No need to oil the pan. Just scoop it in and place in the preheated oven.

img_3569.JPG
All this will be done in less than 5 mins…now onto the sauce

Combine half and half with milk ( a cup each will work). Put over medium flame. Add sugar, rose water and a few strands of saffron. Keep stirring often till the milk mixture is thick enough to be poured over as a sauce. Not too thick, a little on the runny side. Let this cool. The white mixture will be yellowish when done because of the saffron strands.

To test if the ricotta is done:

When you peep into the oven after 10 or 20 min, you might see a very gooey mess. Don’tpanic. I am telling you this because I did. I was convinced the dish was not going to work and started to panic. Anyway after about 40min, I inserted a tooth pick and it came out clean. Take the muffin pan out and let the ricotta cool. There might be some water that looks like it seperated from the ricotta, but that is fine.

Once cooled, run a spoon around each ricotta to seperate it from the pan. You can invert the whole dish into a plate or take out each one carefully. If you start taking them out when still warm, they might crack. It needs time to settle.

img_3575.JPG

Pour most of the sauce over the ricotta and keep in the fridge to cool. You can use the rest of the sauce to pour over the dish just before serving. The sauce was so good as it is and be sure to resist the thought of drinking it all!

rasmalai.JPG
To assemble:

In a serving dish, place a ricotta ball. Pour the sauce over it. Decorate with pistachios.

Tips:

Be ready for gasps, especially if your guests have never had rasmalai! Be ready for second helpings!

Green Blog Project _ Radish Pachadi ( radish in yogurt)

Standard

b2.jpg

Finally after days of eyeing them, I finally decided to uproot some of my radishes. Aren’t they pretty? Radishes are very easy to grow and hardly any maintenance. They mature very fast. These were grown in some organic garden soil with no fertilisers whatsoever. I plucked out 5 plants today to make some pachadi.

Radish in ground a2.jpg

Pachadi in Kerala, or atleast in Kottayam is a mix of fried stuff( onions, ginger, chili and/or any other veg. like carrot,beetroot ) added to yogurt. The dish is spicy and hot, and is a wonderful side dish.
These red radishes arec2.jpg not usually available in Kerala. So, this happens to the first time I am using radish in a pachadi. The whole process takes about 10min and is quite healthy too.

Recipe

Radishes cleaned and cut into small pieces 5 small or half cup

Few radish leaves cut into thin shreds

Onion diced fine 1/4 cup,Chilies 2 or 3 finely chopped, Ginger 1/2 tsp chopped, coriander leaves-i tbsp roughly chopped

Oil 1.5 tsp, mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp, salt 3/4 tsp(variable)

Yogurt half cup or more

d1.jpg

The method is really simple. Heat a small pan on medium heat. Add oil, crack the mustard seeds. To this add onions,ginger and chilies. Stir till it is soft and turns slightly brown (4 mins). Add radishes and leaves, cook for 2 more min and remove from fire. The radish will be just cooked and still have a bite to it. Sprinkle the coriander just before you remove it from the stove.You can let it cool or store it in the fridge if not using immediately.

When ready to serve, take the sauteed ingredients andmix with yogurt. Adjust salt depending on the sourness of the yogurt. Serve immediately. If you let it sit for some time, the yogurt gets a purple hue from the radishes. It is beautiful!

e.jpg

I had this with rice accompanied by rasam from SH.

My submission for LG‘s Green Blog Project.

Lamb chops with mint yogurt sauce- recipe

Standard

Creating a beautiful plate of food is immensely satisfying for the eyes and mind. On a weekend day, we decided to take our dining at home to a fancier level and that is how this dish was born.

Lamb chops are always elegant and is one of the easiest meats to cook. The strong flavor of the lamb can stand up to strong flavorings. This recipe for lamb chops is from the cookbook: Gourmet Meals in Minutes. The beautiful picture of the lamb chops on its cover is what made me buy the book.

abs.jpg
Recipe

Mint yogurt ( recipe from Starchefs, Chef Thomas John at Mantra, Boston)

1 cup fresh mint leaves, well rinsed and tightly packed

1 cup cilantro leaves, as above

2 cloves garlic

1/4 cup onion, chopped

salt, to taste

1/4 cup raw mango, pitted and sliced

2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice

1/2 cup plain yogurt

Blend all ingredients in a blender. I used only half of the above measurements for two people.

Lamb chops( Broiled)

8 lamb chops

3 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce

1 tablespoon each of Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, veg.oil and chopped rosemary.
Freshly ground black pepper half tsp or more to taste

Thyme 2 tsp.chopped ( I used a tsp. of dried thyme) – optional

Salt and pepper to taste

Method

Combine soysauce, mustard, Wostershire sauce, veg. oil, pepper, rosemary, thyme into a ziplock bag. Add the lamb. After squeezing the air out, seal the bag and turn to coat the lamb with the marinade. Refrigerate for 30 min.

Preheat the broiler. Remove the chops from the marinade. Brush off excess marinade off the bones or else it burns under the broiler. Season the chops with salt and pepper.

Broil the chops 5 inches from the heat until done. 4 min on each side for medium , and about 6-7 min for well done. Remove and cool for a few min and then plate. If desired, you can pan fry the chops before putting under the broiler.

To plate

Create a base using the mint yogurt. Place 2 lamb chops in an intercrossing pattern or side by side as seen in the picture.

Use a tuna can with top and bottom removed. Fill the rice into this to plate rice in a circular shape. If you have another side dish, place it on the side of the lamb chops.