Showing posts with label Breakfast. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Breakfast. Show all posts

Monday, August 11, 2014

Rose Lassi

Lassi/buttermilk  has been my favorite beverage since my childhood, be it salted and mildly spiced or mango or kesar (saffron), you name it and I will gulp it down like a meal. My better half likes to sip his lassi over the course of the meal, savoring the taste with every bite of food. I am more of the gulp kind, I love to have my mouth fill up with gulps of lassi goodness. As a result I end up making a meal out of it and I’m not ashamed to say I have stolen multiple sips from him after I have happily had mine. I have been seen ordering multiple glass of lassi for myself :), you tend to get judged when you do things like that at a fine dining place. But in the comfort of your own home, you could be drinking lassi from a hose or your blender jar…it’s a perk you enjoy with only homemade lassi. 

This lassi is made from gulkand. Gulkand is a sweet preserve made from rose petals. It is available at any Indian grocery store and has a beautiful rose aroma. It has some great health benefits, I am not going to get into the details of that but let’s just say it tastes amazing and is really good for you. 

#Lassi, #Buttermilk, #FlavoredButtermilk, #FlavoredLassi, #RoseLassi, #GulkandLassi


#Lassi, #Buttermilk, #FlavoredButtermilk, #FlavoredLassi, #RoseLassi, #GulkandLassi
#SimiJoisPhotography
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Friday, July 18, 2014

Mysore Masala Dosa

So many memories are flooding in as I write this post. Our home was the official headquarters of dosa, or should I call it the dosa factory. All my friends will vouch for that and to many of them my mom was a friend and a confidante more than a mere ‘aunty’. In India we do not call elders by their name, so every friend’s mom is an aunty. Now that I think of it, I would always bring in friends from school and it was understood that they would be having lunch at my place. When I turned 16, my mom threw me a surprise party,  she invited all my friends and had a huge poster of sweet sixteen up in the living room - which she painted herself.  We must have been some 20 kids - dosas for 20 giggly teens is not an easy task. Can you imagine, I do not have a single photograph from it, but everything is crystal clear in my mind…I remember it like yesterday.  A baby pink poster with a pink rose (hand painted) and sweet sixteen painted on it. My teen turns sixteen next year, am not sure if anything can top what mom did for me…life is such a full circle. I can’t imagine that so much time has gone by. As I make dosas for my teen and her friends, I always think of my mom and her kitchen, her 1000 watt smile, that can light up a room even today - she has never frowned, it’s always smiles, in good times and otherwise. She did have her share of anger - but frown, hardly.  Life has always smiled back at her. Her smile is still as young as probably when she was sixteen. 

To me dosa is not a mere south Indian delicacy, it’s memories, it’s soul food ….it’s the key to Indian hospitality. Probably that is why my family thinks  it’s one of the things I make best. (if I may say so myself). Probably some where I feel the need to keep up with my mother’s standards of not only making perfect dosas but of hospitality, of  serving food with a smile, that shines from within. 

I have tried to capture dosa so many times but I have never really been  satisfied, am not as happy… I might redo the post with better pictures. I don’t think it is even possible to capture this amazing delicacy. Crisp on the outside and soft on the inside, when you bite into it, you can taste the crunch, the sweet-sourness of the fermented lentils, the rich aromatic flavor of ghee (clarified butter). Close your eyes, use your hands to break into the dosa and feel the texture, put it into your mouth, the crisp crunchy dosa, the sweet and spicy chutney, the potato filling….culinary ecstasy! I can be really dramatic :)

#MysoreMasalaDosa #HomeMadeDosa #ButterDosa #Recipe


#MysoreMasalaDosa #HomeMadeDosa #ButterDosa #Recipe


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Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Nutmeg Pear Cake

#SpicyPearCake #NutmegPearCake #PearCake #FruitCake


#SpicyPearCake #NutmegPearCake #PearCake #FruitCake
This recipe has been on my mind since a couple of weeks. Finally found the time to bake this. Adorable right!. It was absolutely delicious, the nutmeg and pear were perfect spice-fruit pairing. I love pears, not only eating it but capturing it on camera too, it’s such a sexy fruit.

Camera reminds me, the last whole week was spent on exploring the possibility of a website to showcase my photography. I am not sure, being the procrastinator I am have been sitting on the idea for a couple of months now. My better half and some of my friends are pushing me in that direction. I have been doing some food photography assignments here and there and I usually send people to my flickr/pintrest account and blog to see my work….! Maybe it is time to build something more professional looking than the blog. I will still keep the blog, can’t live without it. Any input, suggestion, recommendation, will be awesome ! I am excited, as I have some decent images to showcase, but wish someone would do the work for me ;)

Returning back to the recipe, this recipe is a keeper, it’s not overtly sweet so you can serve some  warm spicy maple syrup with it, along with some whipped cream. For me it was good as is, it was so moist, I did not want to add any garnish to it. I just loved the cake and will definitely be baking it very often. I really wish I could have you taste this… I guess you will have to just gawk at it till you bake one yourself !!

#SpicyPearCake #NutmegPearCake #PearCake #FruitCake

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Thursday, February 6, 2014

Granola Bars


#GranolaBars #HomemadeGranolaBars


#GranolaBars #HomemadeGranolaBars


#GranolaBars #HomemadeGranolaBars

Granola for snack, granola on the go, granola before a workout, granola after a work out, we consume a lot of granola bars in our household. So I have many variations on the bar that I like to try, I still buy the store bought ones for on the go, as they are individually wrapped. One thing I need to learn and get into is wrapping my food better, I hate it to just be put in a zip lock, I want it to look desirable, not sad. Something I will definitely be exploring this year. Some people really know how to package gifts, especially edible gifts. They are done to a perfection, all you want to do is open the wrapper and devour it. Delicate, feminine things always catch my eye, and I really admire people who have a keen eye for finer details. As far as I am concerned, I stick to the basics,  no extra frills. Maybe it’s time to explore that a bit …any pointers in that direction, will be awesome. 

Before I forget, a lot of people ask me about the smoke. Yes! it’s real. 
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Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Almond Butter


#AlmondButter #HomeMadeNutButter #HealthyNutButterRecipe
#AlmondButter #HomeMadeNutButter #HealthyNutButterRecipe
I feel like a million bucks today, I have been playing with almond butter and trying to photography it since morning…I know a lot of you might wonder,  there is no major styling, nothing fancy, what is the fuss all about. First of all it’s a rich texture and oily…all the nasty reflections, then the whites were not  white, in simpler words the white balance was off and I was getting all kinds of color cast…finally I got it ( I hope). I really hope my better half does not read this post, I think it is karma getting back at me, remember how I ranted in my last post about ‘him’ using auto WB. (looks sheepishly at her key board) 

A little honey and this could be easily transformed into a meal ;).  I love almonds and use almond butter regularly in my smoothies, baking and even in my curries. I usually do not make a whole lot, a cup usually lasts me a fortnight. The reason why  I am doing a separate post on almond butter, it’s easier to tag in the recipes. It’s a great option for vegan baking/cooking.  

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Friday, December 13, 2013

Old Fashioned Gingerbread

#GingerBread #OldFashionedGingerBread #QuickAndEasyGingerBread

#GingerBread #OldFashionedGingerBread #QuickAndEasyGingerBread
Super easy and packed with flavor is written all over this bread. Actually it’s more like a cake. It is not like the conventional bread, it’s a bread disguised as a cake. Not every dessert lives up to this reputation.  I still remember my last year’s soufflé  that fell apart. My nephew was visiting and he has quite a sweet tooth to say the least and you know ‘finally teen’ can live on dessert and honey, that might have been reason enough to try a new dessert, but it was also the holidays, so there was more than one reason to indulge. We were excited anticipating a French delicacy. I don’t know what went wrong, we had such terrible soufflé, it was probably, not probably but surely the worse thing I have ever made. So much so that even the name soufflé evokes very strong emotions lol! But fear not am not going to be baking an exotic delicacy, am going to stick to SIMPLE. This old fashioned gingerbread is easy and most of the ingredients are already in your pantry…almost as good as mix and bake. If you are going to go and buy the boxed ready version of this am going to personally come over and make you bake this… ! With a cup of coffee or mulled wine it is d e v i n e.  I did not just tell you that I made a meal out of this (sheepishly) 
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Monday, August 19, 2013

Peach Sorbet - without an ice cream maker




It's been a quite weekend, last weekend before school starts. I have been having mixed feelings, I am so used to 'finally teen' being home, that it is just hard for me to have her gone for 8 hours. High school now, before you know it it will be four years and she will be off to college. Am going to miss this kid, she's a keeper, such a wise little thing! She has always been like that, even as a first grader, she had called in a family emergency meeting and told us that she does not like her school and wanted to go some other school. Am so glad we listened, we moved her to the  public school, she loved it. Well, am sure I will be sobbing my heart out after four years, but I really don't want to be that parent,  it is very hard then for the kids to move out and find their calling. For now let's see how high school goes, I think it is one of the most beautiful chapters in life. I loved high school and made some great friends and have still kept in touch with them.

The above picture of the sorbet has 'finally teen' modeling for me. I posted this on a photography forum and was asked to find a different 'hand model' someone with fancy nails... 'finally teen' was quite offended.  I love this picture, the nails are not perfectly manicured and painted to match the food, but it is real. Well, isn't that what our blogs are about? We eat the food we photograph and we manage with the limited resources we have, not all of us have the best lights, well most of us don't, I think none of us have a stylist. Sometimes, I find the commercial food photographs too perfect, almost unreal. Well, it just could be me, 'grapes our sour' maybe I can't click as well as they do. But I do gravitate towards more realistic photographs, that explains why V.K Ress is one of my all time favorite photographers. I would love to hear your thoughts? Do you like realistic or prefer picture perfect meals?

Moving on, I have been planning to get an ice cream maker for a couple of weeks now... Unfortunately,  the only space I have left is the garage;  between my props, gadgets and endless pots and pans, I have almost taken over half of the house. The reason I say almost and half is because my other half has his hobbies and his wood cutting machines, his soldering iron and endless tools from home depot have taken over the other half. To top it our teen is a lover of books... does that say it all ? I have to find a place to keep my ice cream maker, before I get it. I just hate counter clutter, so that is ruled out. Before summer went by, I just had to post something frozen, I thought sorbet was the easiest bet and then I saw a great sorbet recipe on Neel's site. Well, he used an ice cream maker, so a little google search brought me here and that is how I got my frozen dessert
.

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Friday, July 26, 2013

Caramelized Peach with Berry Compote



I feel like the 'energizer bunny' after 4 weeks of bliss.  I am so excited to get back to routine, my family finds it strange that am working at jet speed to get the house back in order, so I can start doing what I love. Vacation was awesome 6 places in 4 weeks...met some amazing people ( post coming soon), family get-together that were memorable and lip smacking food. I think in all these years of my travels to India, this one has been special and memorable. Walking in the rain in Coorg, horrible terrible hair-days that would send finally teen and me in endless bouts of laughter, shopping on the streets of Bangalore with my husband's aunt, shopping with my sister in the unbearable heat of Delhi, eating roasted corn and getting drenched on Marine drive....the list is almost endless.

Finally teen had a friend over today and I wanted to make some thing special for them.  Well there is no free lunch, so had her friend model for me ;) After all the excess calories I have gained, you might think I might go easy... well, had to make something from the gorgeous peaches I bought yesterday ! The compote goes very well with the peach. I was so excited to see that my small basil plant had grown into a nice big bush in just 4 weeks, the basil flavor really worked well with the dessert, better than mint which was my first choice. 

Hope you are all having a great summer. Hugs to all of you and thank you for emails and messages on fb. 
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Friday, June 14, 2013

Enjoying the outdoors :Puff pastry sticks and berry lemonade


I must have read 'The Prophet' a zillion times and every time I read it there is something new I discover...  The book is truly timeless. This is one of my favorite quotes from the book and I almost have it to memory now.

“Let there be spaces in your togetherness, And let the winds of the heavens dance between you. Love one another but make not a bond of love: Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls. Fill each other's cup but drink not from one cup. Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf. Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone, Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music. Give your hearts, but not into each other's keeping. For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts. And stand together, yet not too near together: For the pillars of the temple stand apart, And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other's shadow.” 
― Kahlil GibranThe Prophet

Whenever I read these lines I think of a eagle in flight, free from any bondage, she flies not because she has a destination but she flies because she has wings that give her joy. There are always some people in our lives who give us that lift, to take flight.  The open skies have always enchanted me, be it star gazing at night or hot summer afternoons with impeccable blue skies...a meal or a snack under open skies is so romantic. It makes me realize how beautiful the world around me is, it helps me open my mind and realize what true flight and freedom is.

A simple snack,  walking on the grass with bare feet, lying on the sheet and watching tree tops... small things packed with life's biggest treasures. Here is a simple puff pastry sticks and berry lemonade packed with big fun !!

This is such a simple recipe, that I am wondering if I should post this... anyhow I am going to share it.

Recipe....
Puff pastry sheet, thawed, rolled out and cut in thin strips.

Mix garam masala, salt, garlic powder, chili powder into 4 tbsp of olive oil. Brush the seasoned oil on the pasty, twist it up for a nice shape and bake for 10- 12 min at 375 F or until golden brown. Let cool and serve.

For the berry lemonade 

Blend a cup of berries of your choice, squeeze 1 lime and add sugar, chaat masala and some salt. Now add some ice cold water - makes around 7-8 cups, instead of water if you add some sprite or a shot of vodka,  it takes it to a whole new level of awesomeness.



 Happy Father's day to all the awesome dads out there !



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Monday, June 10, 2013

Idli-Sambhar



There are some marriages made in heaven and one should never try and mess with that. Idli-sambhar is absolutely one such pair. Am not sure if my photography has done justice to this pair. These pictures were taken in April, when I was attending the LFP challenge and for some  reason it got lost in the zillion pictures that I have. When my better half told me last week that I should not have space issues for a couple of years at least  ( referring to the  iMac with 1tb of space, that he got me last year), it was a panic moment and I began a  ruthlessly spring clean  my Mac...and guess what I found :) I have mixed feelings about  the rustic styling, I am happy with it but am not sure if the whites of the idlis are real white, I could  have done a better job. But this blog is a journey, so I did not want to trash the photographs as it is part of my memories doing the LFP - 30 day food photography challenge. So here it is, the idlis not as perfect white but the recipe is perfect.

If you have never had idlis: they are steamed lentil and rice pancakes, the dough is fermented overnight, it is extremely healthy and sambhar is a spice curry made with vegetables and a coconut gravy.  I Made the sambhar with red pearl onions and tomato.

For the idli you will need an idli stand for steaming the dough. There are a lot of stands in the market, I have a simple one, you can go in for something fancy but I like to keep my traditional dish simple.


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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Sun-dried Tomato Pesto






Absolutely love Pinterest and can spend a lifetime there... being a visual person, I always get inspired from beautiful photography, art and inspirational quotes. I was pinning on Pinterest and my eye caught some beautiful inspirational words....

"The privilege of a lifetime, is being who you are" - unknown. 

" You can be the ripest, juiciest peach  in the world and there is still going to be somebody who hates peaches. " - Dita Von Ceese

It triggered a series of thoughts....and I always like to pen my emotions...here is an excerpt from my diary....

It's amazing how I have evolved in the last few years. Done things I thought I would never do because I am not that young or just the fear of negative response from people around me. I don't live on validation.... Ok! a whee bit of a people pleaser. It's not as bad as it sounds- I like to see people happy, ok! Dad was strong-minded  and a very straight forward man - but on the social aspect I was trained (subconsciously) by mother  - great with people management. Somehow she always knows what to say and say it in a way that the message is well received and she's successful in communicating her pleasure or displeasure.  She's a charmer and knows how to use her words well. I guess, I did not inherit that quality and am a bit like dad (all the training from mom, did not do much). Also, married to a man who uses his words wisely but diplomacy is not in his vocabulary. ( lol! makes me laugh at the things he says sometimes) He's a great life coach and always tells me to live my life as an exclamation not an explanation. Can't thank you enough for this ! In this journey, I have realized that there are some people who have pushed me and I have made stronger bonds with them - ( they even do prop shopping for me and gift me things they buy for themselves ). I would not like to talk about the nay sayers, their existence does not bother me  - they exist in their world and me in mine and these two world don't meet.  Even thou, it is important to keep people around us happy but not at the cost of your own self. You really can't live your life trying to please everyone....! As dad would say "....have a dream, follow it, don't trample anyone for your dreams but don't get trampled either....." 

Not everything I write in this space is related to what's cooking....but it is almost always followed by a recipe or at least a photograph of food . :) Today, am sharing an all time favorite pesto recipe. It is a very versatile chutney and you can whip so many variations and each one absolutely delish. You guys are going to love this!

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Thursday, April 11, 2013

Phyllo savory pastry




I had written up a post yesterday, all I had to do was upload the pictures and hit publish...but...if only things are as predictable. Hmmm.... Last night before going to bed, I was reading about feedburner and mail subscriptions etc... somehow I ended up reading about other bloggers ranting about the demise of google reader. Ya! I know we have been reading a lot on that. Well, I ended up checking my subscribers.... and :( ! It's really my turn to rant now.... I am aware that my 341 is probably a trickle in the big picture....and life does go on, but ....!! Well, for the record I did have nightmares about the 341 people knocking on my front door asking me for an explanation ....and me, hiding behind my wicker chair. There was no logical ending to the dream....in the morning I woke up repeating 341 multiple times in my head ! A cup of coffee and I was a happy camper ! 

Now, am not going to reinvent the wheel, not that am capable off. Before, I pour and entangle myself into endless tech website ...and end up with more nightmares. If anyone of you know what to do, or if you are doing/done a blog post on this, please leave me a link. Any advice is welcome, pl don't tell me to read up on it ! And if you are one of the 341 - we need to fix this, I really need some inputs..plzz!

Phew! with that out of my way, am glad to be back to something I understand and love doing .....Since some of you have asked me to post the recipe after reading this post. Here it is ......the pastry  is absolutely delicious and we loved it....hmm! am not sure if my other half got to taste it :( ! I planned a very small batch and we kind of, did a lot of tasting to perfect it ;) The pictures are a bit blah! It was just one of those days when my creative juices were sucked by the black hole.

I had a small argument will finally teen, I thought Parmesan pairs very well in this dish...however, finally teen prefers feta and ricotta, reminding her of the traditional spanakopita pastry. So, it's absolutely your call and your taste buds that you are answerable too. And btw, finally teen was asking me if anyone has asked about her....have not mentioned her on the blog in a while! ;) She has gotten over the British ascent and her 'thing' for now is operas and classical music ...endless hours of it...it's truly endless. My evenings are spent, watching the IPL ( cricket) with my other half or listening to soprano ...so if am baking more than my usual, you know where that is coming from.

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Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year

Well, 2012 has been a year full of surprises! It's been quite a year, with both its ups and downs. Looking back, it has been a year of tremendous learning and growth - I've connected with some amazing people and made some good friends, thanks to Facebook and the blogging community. I've absolutely loved being a part of The Daring Bakers, The Daily Meal, and some exciting blog events - I've enjoyed working on the challenges, recipe reviews, and the traditional exchange sponsored by Kikkoman - the slideshow is on my Facebook page. I must confess, am no social network snob and love connecting on Facebook and other social media - nah ! not addicted ;) I am looking forward to a great 2013, with some exciting work and a lot of learning! Thanks for all of the support, guys - from the tech support with my endless FB questions to the feedback, recipe help, encouragement and appreciation!!

These are some of my favorite posts!! It was really hard to pick just a handful - I love everything I cook - but I somehow managed!!! Cheers to 2013, everyone - a year filled with lots more on our plates.




Masala bread   
Fruit chai 
Battenburg cake 
Filled pate a choux swan 
Tamarind rice 
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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Pumpkin and fenugreek flatbread/Paratha with pomegranate in yogurt raita


Parathas always take me back in time, when I lived in Delhi. Anyone who has ever lived or visited Delhi will know about the famous 'Gali paranthe Wali' or ' Parathe Wali Gali' in Chandni  chowk. The world's best place for stuffed Indian flat bread...hands down! I don't think there is any other place that can be a close contender.  I do not recommend you to peak into the kitchen...lol don't ask why ! But you got to eat there with your eyes focusing on just the food, not the kitchen....and yes if you do have a sensitive digestive system....let's say your palette will thank you but I don't guarantee anything else. I have never had issues eating there, but you make your call.  Most of the stores only serve vegetarian parathas not even onion and garlic. Big history for a small narrow gali (lane) . Chandni chowk dates back to Shah Jahan era (1670), the first paratha shop in the gali was opened in 1870. Till date the parathas are shallow fried in pure ghee. Some of the recipes dates back to a century - that is what I have been told. You will find all kinds of filling - from cashew n almonds to the more common potatoes. I do recollect Anthony Bourdain feasting on some of the parathas @ CC, then again am not sure, maybe it was Rajasthan. Anyway Paratha gali is surely a haven for paratha lovers with some history .....

While this one is an original from my kitchen, I could not help but think about the paratha gali and different exotic parathas they serve there. Flaky, juicy and full of flavors.  The sweetness and mushiness of pumkin with the mild bitterness and crunchiness of fenugreek leaves and the spices makes this a perfect combination.  I went a little easy on the ghee, but if you don't believe in the philosophy of less is more....go for it!!It's worth the extra calorie :)) 
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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Banana Bread - Super Moist

Before I rattle on my daily musings - I really hope everyone on the east coast is safe ! It's amazing how we fret for small things....on the face of catastrophe like this everything seems so small. Am speechless at the amount of damage sandy has caused.  Praying for your safety ! 

"The words of the tongue should have three gatekeepers.
-Arab proverb

Before words get past the lips, the first gatekeeper asks, "“Is this true?"” That stops a lot of traffic immediately. But if the words get past the first gatekeeper, there is a second who asks, "Is it kind?" And for those words that qualify here too, the last gatekeeper asks, "“Is it necessary?" "
 
I wish there were gatekeepers to the amount we eat too, since we polished the whole loaf in a day.  Now all I have is guilt to show and some pixs! This one is an absolute winner ...you got to try it. Very very moist . At first,  "Finally Teen" made a face and when I threatened to give the bread away, she reluctantly tasted it - claiming banana bread was her LEAST favorite and questioning my judgment on  my choice of recipe for the day. Well, she was an important part in the mystery of the vanishing loaf, to say the least. ( raising brow)  So mission for the week - to actually go and buy over ripe banana and action replay over the weekend!  My other half was our partner in crime and equally responsible along with the two of us and we were short of licking the crumbs.....




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Friday, October 19, 2012

Chickpeas Sundal


Am looking forward to winter - never been a great fan of the grand old man....but the idea of hot coffee, Christmas lights - pies and tarts are just igniting the romantic within. This year has been a mixed bag..... Learnt so many valuable lessons, grew so much as a person. My physical and mental capacity far exceeded my expectations.  Slow small steps do lead to giant leaps. Connected with some awesome people through the blog and learnt how some people are so giving.  Life is but once - if you live it well, once is enough. And eating is a big part of living well :))  what's cooking in your kitchen today ?? Well am making a simple Chana/Chickpeas sundal, for those who don't know what am talking about -a cup of  gazibo bean salad. Fresh and tangy!!

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Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Empanadas Gallega - Daring Bakers Challenge, Sep 2012

 
 

 

Patri of the blog, Asi Son Los Cosas, was our September 2012 Daring Bakers’ hostess and she decided to tempt us with one of her family’s favorite recipes for Empanadas! We were given two dough recipes to choose from and encouraged to fill our Empanadas as creatively as we wished!

This week DBC, am really late -Thanks DB for the one week grace. No more delay, shall we go straight to the recipe then....


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