Roasted Chickpea Salad

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Almost the entirety of my 20s, I believed that cabbage was to be eaten only in one way, the way Maharashtrians make a simple Cabbage Saute. There was no way I would have believed that several years later, I would devour Cabbage in its raw format such as this salad. This Salad is great as a meal or as an accompaniment to a wonderful soup such as Butternut Squash soup is its cold where you live or Avocado Cucumber Soup if its rather Hot where you live.

Serves 1 for Lunch or 2 as a side salad

Ingredients:
  • Purple Cabbage chopped 1/2 of small head
  • Chickpeas 1 can rinsed
  • Cherry Tomatoes about 12
  • Onion chopped 2 Tbsp
  • Corn Tortilla 2
  • Adobo Chipotle Chili powder – 1 1/2 tsp
  • Olive Oil 1 1/2 Tbsp
  • Cucumber cut small (optional) – 1 mini
  • Cilantro for garnish
  • Salt and Pepper as needed

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Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Remove Chickpeas from the can and rinse them well. Gently pat with a Kitchen towel to remove excess water and spread on a cookie sheet. Sprinkle Adobo Chipotle Chili on top and mix well using your hands. Pour over the Olive Oil so that all of the chickpeas are coated. Place in the oven and bake for about 20 to 25 minutes until medium Crisp.
  2. Cut Purple Cabbage, Cucumber, Onion and Tomatoes and set aside.
  3. Remove the Chickpeas from oven when done.
  4. Place the Tortilla in the oven. Let the oven be in the off stage. Remove after about 5 minutes when its crisp. Cut Strips.
  5. Mix all the ingredients above and garnish with Cilantro.
  6. You can eat the Salad as is or pour choice of dressing such as Cilantro Vinaigrette or Thai Peanut Dressing

Enjoy.

xo

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Rose and Cardamom Lassi

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My previous post of Persian Love Cake had wonderful flavors of Rose water, Cardamom, Orange Zest and Saffron. I decided to take two of those to make this another magical creation. The Lassi is infused with delicate Rose petals and dew drenching flowery aroma of Cardamom. 

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Did you know, India used to be the largest producer of Cardamom before the spice was introduced to Guatemala before World War I when Guatemala became the largest producer. It is one of those exotic spices which can be used in Sweet as well as Savory dishes.

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Ingredients
  • Buttermilk 2 cups Low fat
  • Cardamom 2 pods
  • Rose petals about 10
  • Ice few cubes
  • Sugar 1 Tsp

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Directions:
  • Remove seeds from Cardamom and grind them using spice grinder or mortar and Pestle.
  • In a mixer, add Buttermilk, Cardamom seeds, Rose Petals, Ice Cubes and Sugar. Mix until Rose petals are thoroughly blended.
  • Serve garnished with Rose petals.

Enjoy

Xo.

Persian Love Cake

This beautiful creation has an equally enchanting story behind it. A girl fell in love with a Prince and she made this cake to charm the Prince. This Cake now serves as a symbol of undying love. The cake is filled with aromatic Persian flavors. It is infused with Cardamom and delicate Rose scented Frosting. 

The cake itself appears to have two separate versions. One is Almond meal based and another is Angel food cake. I went with Angel food cake variety as I like the lightness of it.

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I made this cake for one of our Valentine’s themed parties. In February, all the parties seem to have the same Valentine’s theme so our Valentine’s day stretches a whole month long.

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Ingredients:

Cake:
  • Cake Flour 1 cup
  • Granulated Sugar 14 Tbsp or little less than a cup
  • Baking Powder 1 1/2 tsp
  • Salt 1 pinch
  • Eggs 3 separated yolk and whites
  • Canola Oil 1/4 cup
  • Water 6 Tbsp
  • Cardamom seeds whole from 5 cardamoms
  • Lemon zest from 2 large Lemons
Frosting
  • Whipping cream 2 cups
  • Powdered Sugar 2/3 cup
  • Rose Water 1 1/2 tsp
  • Saffron Threads 2 pinches
Candied Rose Petals
  • Petals from Roses about 20 small
  • 1/2 cup powered Sugar
  • Egg white from 1 large egg

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ab1

Photograph by: Abhijit Bhatwadekar

Directions:

Make the Candied Rose Petals the night before making the cake.

Beat the egg whites in a bowl. Using pastry brush, brush the petals on each side with egg whites. Sprinkle the sugar on each side and let dry overnight on a drying rack.

To make the Cake,
  • Preheat the oven to 325ºF. 
  • Cover the bottoms of 2 8 inch cake pans with parchment paper and spray the sides with cooking spray
  • In a large bowl, mix Cake flour, Baking powder, Salt and 1/2 of granulated Sugar. Keep aside.
  • In a different bowl, whisk Egg yolks, water, Canola Oil, Lemon zest and Cardamom Seeds.
  • Add Egg yolk mixture to the dry flour mixture and mix thoroughly. Do not over mix. Do not use stand mixer.
  • In a stand mixer, beat Egg whites until soft peaks form. Start at a medium speed and then turn to faster speed.
  • Mix Egg whites into the Flour mixture. Again, mix it with spatula and do not use Stand mixer.
  • Divide the mixture into 2 Cake pans and bake for 22 to 25 minutes.
  • When done, take out and let them cool in the pans for at least half hour before turning out on cooling rack.
  • Let cool completely. Wrap in the plastic wrap and keep in the refrigerator for couple of hours to make frosting easier.
Frosting
  • Divide the Heavy cream. Take 1/2 cup in a microwavable bowl. Add Saffron and microwave for 40 seconds. Mix and keep in the refrigerator to cool.
  • In a stand mixer. beat remaining cream, Powdered Sugar and Rose Water until soft peaks form.
  • Add the cream with Saffron once chilled and beat thoroughly.
To Assemble,

Place first cake on a platter, spread Whipped cream in a smooth layer. Top with second cake layer. Spread remaining Whipped cream on the top and cover the sides. Top with Candied Rose Petals and Pistachios if desired.

Enjoy.

xo.

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Recipe adapted from Epicurious.com

 

Banarasi Aloo

Valentine’s frenzy is over in all the blogs by now. Everyone is probably thinking about Easter already but I am enjoying the warmish weather that is blessing the land of Midwest these days. The upcoming week-end is promising to be a whopper 61. I can’t stop thinking about the activities I should plan. Oh, but wait, I think I might be working though since I am on call this week-end. Bummer. Neverthless, it would be nice out and I am sure we would get in a trip to the park for sure.

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I have made the Banarasi Aloo recipe countless times with lots of variations. In the beginning, I used to make it the traditional way by frying the potatoes. Eventually, I found this healthier option without compromising the taste. Hope you enjoy it as much as my family does.

b2

Ingredients:

  • Potatoes about 5 medium size
  • Tomatoes 3 medium size (I used Roma tomatoes)
  • Ginger Garlic Paste 1 tsp
  • Cashew nuts about 15
  • Cumin seeds 1 tsp
  • Fennel seed powder 3/4 tsp
  • Chili Powder 1/2 tsp
  • Cardamom 6 whole
  • Fenugreek leaves dried (Kasuri Methi) 3 tsp
  • Honey 1 tsp (increase if your tomatoes are too tangy)
  • Oil 1 1/2 Tbsp
  • Salt per taste
  • Vegetable broth 2 cups

Directions:

  • Boil and peel the potatoes. Cut them in about 2 inch pieces. If they are bit on the softer side from boiling, make larger pieces.
  • Roast tomatoes on open flame until skin is charred.
  • Puree Tomatoes and Cashew nuts in a blender.
  • Heat Oil on medium flame. Add Cumin seeds and let them crackle.
  • Add the whole Cardamom.
  • Add the potatoes and saute gently for 4 to 5 minutes. Don’t move them around too much. If you move them too quickly, they will stick to the bottom.
  • Add Ginger Garlic paste and cook for a minute. I usually add it on the side of the pan directly touching the bottom. It’s my little trick to avoid using several pots and pans.
  • Add the Tomatoes – Cashew Nut Puree and Fenugreek leaves and let it cook for a 3-4 minutes on low to medium flame.
  • Add Fennel seed powder, Chili Powder, Honey and Vegetable Broth. Cook for about 10 minutes gently simmering. Add salt per taste.
  • Serve warm with Roti or Rice.

Enjoy. 

xo

 

 

Basil Fried Rice

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When you look at the list of ingredients, you are going to think this sounds like a Thai Fried Rice then why didn’t she say so. Well, look at it again. It says, Duck Sauce. Duck sauce is Chinese-American sauce so I couldn’t call it Thai Basil Fried Rice. When I started making the rice, I mentally scanned my pantry and thought I definitely have some Oyster sauce in the fridge. I made the Rice and then started taking out the sauces and…. no….Oyster…Sauce. Frantically thinking about options, I figured I could use, Duck sauce. The result was great though so you are seeing this recipe.

Also, just for my worried vegetarian friends, Duck sauce is not made of Duck. It is just a sweet and sour sauce, originally made to go with Peking Duck. That is where it derives the name from.

t3

Serves 2 and a Toddler (just being specific)

Ingredients:

  • Jasmine Rice cooked about 2 1/2 to 3 cups
  • Onion 1 medium cut in thin strips
  • Red Pepper 1 small cut in thin strips
  • Basil leaves 1 1/2 cups
  • Eggs 2 beaten
  • Garlic 2 large cloves minced
  • Duck Sauce 3 Tbsp
  • Soy Sauce 3 Tbsp
  • Fish sauce 2 Tbsp (skip if you are a vegetarian and increase quantity of Duck Sauce and Soy Sauce to make up)
  • Sugar 1 tsp
  • Salt as needed

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Directions:

  • Mix Duck Sauce, Soy Sauce,  Fish Sauce and Sugar and keep aside
  • Heat the woke on medium high heat. Add Oil and heat.
  • Add Onions and saute for a minute.
  • Add Garlic and saute until cooked but not burned
  • Add Red pepper and cook until almost done. It should still stay crisp.
  • Add the sauce mix and let it warm through.
  • Add the cooked Rice and using one fork in each hand, quickly but gently mix the sauce and rice together.
  • When mixed and hot, remove from heat
  • Add the Basil leaves. Keep some of them torn and some of them whole and mix again.
  • Check for Salt and add as needed.
  • Serve warm with a simple salad

Enjoy.

xo

t3

Sesame cookies

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On Makar Sankrant, one of the favorite festivals of Maharashtrians, traditionally a sweet is made out of Sesame seeds and Jaggery. Since almost everyone makes this sweet, I figured I should try something different this time. Sesame Cookies were on my list of recipes to make since last year. This was a perfect occasion to post them.

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Although the Festival is over, if you have leftover sesame seeds that you don’t know what to do with, give these a go.

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Ingredients:

Makes about 20

  • Bread Flour 1 1/2 cups
  • Almond Meal 1/2 cup (optional – Substitute with All purpose Flour if you don’t have it)
  • Sesame Seeds 3/4 cup
  • Butter 1 Cup (at room temperature)
  • Granulated Sugar 3/4 cup
  • Eggs 1
  • Confectioner’s Sugar to sprinkle
  • Vanilla Extract 1 tsp
  • Almond Extract  1 tsp (Optional – Substitute with Vanilla Extract)
  • Baking Powder 1/4 tsp
  • Salt 2 pinches
  • Milk – any type for dipping – 1/2 a bowl

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Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (175 degrees Celsius)
  • In a bowl, mix Bread Flour, Almond Meal, Salt and Baking Powder and keep aside.
  • In a stand mixer, Cream Butter. Add Granulated Sugar to Butter and mix on medium for couple of minutes.
  • Add Vanilla and Almond Extract and Mix for 30 seconds.
  • Add Egg and mix for another 2 minutes.
  • Now start pouring the dry ingredients very slowly while Mixer is on lowest setting.
  • Stop once every while to let mixer do its work
  • Once you finish pouring, let the mixer run on medium setting until dough is formed.
  • Take the dough out and knead for a minute if you can and feel that it needs to come together.
  • Set up a station with dough. a small bowl of Milk and a bowl of Sesame seeds.
  • Make the dough in equal pieces of flattened disks about 1 1/2 inch in diameter. Dip each disk in the Milk and then roll into Sesame seeds to completely cover with Sesame Seeds.
  • Place on a cookie sheet and bake on the middle rack for 17 minutes. Do not let the sesame seeds brown.
  • Once out of the oven and slightly cooled, sprinkle with Confectioners Sugar.

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Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pomgranate

Brussels Sprouts is one of the prime Winter vegetables. Full of slightly bitter flavor that can be combined with sweetness of almost any fruit. Brussels Sprouts should never be eaten raw in my opinion otherwise you will not touch it again. Roast it in the oven and the sweetness will come forward. Here I combined it with ripe Pears and sweet and tart Pomegranate. Result is amazing with my favorite dressing. 

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Ingredients:

  • Brussels Sprouts about 20
  • Pomegranate 3/4
  • Pear 1 medium
  • Balsamic Vinegar 1 Tbsp
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil 2 Tbsp for dressing and 2Tbsp for drizzle
  • Maple Syrup 1Tbsp
  • Salt per taste
  • Pepper per taste

b7

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 375 F.Cut Brussels Sprouts in half and place cookie sheet.
  • Drizzle with Olive Oil and bake for about 20 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and set aside.
  • Mix Vinegar, Oil, maple Syrup, Salt and Pepper and set aside.
  • To serve mix Brussels Sprouts, Pomegranate seeds and small cut pear. Pour over dressing and mix.

Enjoy.

xoxo

 

 

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