Friday, October 4, 2013

Happy Mahalaya with Chutney Tangri Kebab or 'Green' Chicken Drumstick Kebab


Today is Mahalaya. If you do a Google Search on "what is Mahalaya?" you'll get results such as, 

"Mahalaya marks the beginning of Navratri and Durga Puja."
"It is the end of Pitra Paksha and the beginning of the Devi Paksha."
"Mahalaya is the last day of the Pitra Paksha or the period when Hindus remember and offer homage to their deceased ancestors."
"It is the beginning of Durga Puja festival which is the major festival of Bengal."
~~~

Thursday, October 3, 2013

'Kala Chana' Salad or the Indian Chickpea Salad with Ginger Lime Dressing



Its pretty unusual, that I make something and it goes the on the blog the very same day, especially when here are quite a few post in the Drafts folder, desperately waiting to see the light of he day. 

Weekday lunch mostly mean previous night's leftover for me. When there are no leftovers, I toss up an easy salad. This 'Kala Chana' or the Indian Chickpea salad features pretty often. Its filling, easy, earthy, fuss free, nutritious, delicious and me and Sam simply love it. This can be made with the Kabuli Chana (Garbanzo/ Chickpea) too, but I find the earthiness of the Kala Chana (Indian Chickpea/ Brown Chickpea) a lot more enticing.


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Niagara Falls in Pics and Watermelon Salad with Arugula and Goat Cheese

The entire winter I had cribbed about snow and my desperate desire to be out in the warm sun. When Summer finally arrived (and it did arrived in a GRAND way), I was completely out of action. The only saving grace was our Niagara trip. 

We had a fabulous two day trip and created some priceless memories. Its difficult to put in words the true beauty and majesticness of Mother Nature in few words. At least for me. So I'll let the pics speak for themselves.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Gluten Free Peanut Butter-Chocolate Chip Cookie



Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chip. Utter these two words in a one breath and Lil Sid would gobble whatever you have to offer. He won't even mind the banana that you have sneaked in. Moreover, he'll gladly get on his stepping stool and follow your instruction to the T.

And this is why I am posting a "Cookie" recipe as my "Comeback" post after a hiatus of over two months.


Thursday, July 11, 2013

Kale Dal - Kale cooked with Yellow Lentils



If you have been following this blog, then probably you'd know that I am not a very consistent blogger. Often there is a long gap of 2-3 weeks between posts and then there are times when I do three back-to-back posts. 

I am consistently inconsistent.

Coming to the recipe, Kale Dal is not something that I cook on a regular basis. This is perhaps the second or the third time I made it. Kale came in my life pretty late, i.e. after I moved to the US.
Kale and I instantly connected the moment I saw it in my farmers market. Its such a pretty looking green. Its good to eat and good for you too and it often finds its way into my grocery cart.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Pesarattu - A Spicy Lentil Crepe from Andhra




Whenever I think of Hyderabad, I think of it fondly. 

It was the city where I started my married life; the city which opened my eyes to the real corporate world- the good, the bad and the ugly; the city which gave me great friends; the city where I started to cook for the very first time; the city where the idea to start a food blog first came to my mind.; the city where I conceived my child.

Hyderabad - you'll always be special!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Impromptu 4th of July celebration with Chicken and Beef Burgers












Pepperoni Pizza... spicy Buffalo Chicken Wings ...  juicy Burgers.... lovely Friends...

Perfect way to celebrate the American Independence Day!

The day however started on a completely different note.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Bacon Wrapped Green Beans Bundles




Aren't these bundles super cuties?

Lil Sid thought so too.

He devoured them in no time. Mommy isn't complaining.




After a long time I bought these Turkey Bacon on Lil Sid insistence. 

When we first moved to Cincinnati, we were addicted to Bacon. Not only the thick, fatty Porky ones, but also the leaner Turkey and the Canadian ones too. It just had to have the word Bacon and we would gorge on. We used to have it almost every day - as a salad topping, in our sandwiches and even as a crisp side to our regular "daal-bhaat". It had become the new 'papad' for us. 

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Apple and Fennel Salad

A blink and you miss an entire month! Is this good or bad... I don't know.

What I know is that, I have no recollection of the month of May 2013. The month just wheezed past and I realized it was June already. A lot was happening in too short a time, but that's another blog post.

It was Lil Sid fourth Birthday on 26th May and it was a very close private affair with only very close friends participating in the revelry. When I had asked Sid what he wanted for his birthday, he said he wanted a "pretty cake with lots of MnMs". And I obliged. I am not much of a baker and my frosting/icing skill is average or even below. But I dared this time to make two Mommy-made cakes for Lil Sid and some Mommy-made cupcakes for his friends in school.




Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Sweet Potato and Spinach Frittata



I cook frittata every week. Well, almost every week and sometimes even twice! That’s how much we love it. We are a egg loving family and have taken the punchline "Sunday ho ya Monday... Roj khao aande" (be it Sunday or Monday... Got to have Eggs everyday) quite literally.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Grapefruit and Avocado Salad


If the Fall and the super extended Winter saw me turn into a Soup-o-holic, the Spring and the Summer will bring out the Salad Addict in me! As the weather turns warmer, my body craves for fresh crunchy and light salads especially for lunch. And this wonderful, nutrient rich Grapefruit and Avocado Salad fits the bill perfectly.


Though I had heard both the names before, I started having both Avocado and Grapefruit after I set my foot on the US soil. I instantly connected with Avocado, but, it took a lot of coaxing from  various nutritionist to coax me to try Grapefruit.


Grapefruit (Citrus Paradisi) reminded me of Batabi Lebu or Pomelo (Citrus maxima or Citrus grandis), a fruit I was never fond of. Though Grapefruit is a lot juicer and sweeter than the Batabi Lebu, that you get back home, I don't like the bitter after taste they leave. Don't get me wrong, I love Guinness!!! And Karela (Indian Bitter Melon) and Neem Pata Bhaja (margosa, Azadirachta indica, a bitter leaf known for its anti bacterial and anti fungal properties) too..... But when its a fruit and its starts with the word 'Grape", its difficult to imagine a bitter taste.

A mental block I say.




I cannot not eat a grapefruit on its own, the way I gladly eat an orange. A sprinkle of rock salt, as Mom suggested, did not help either. But I wanted all its anti-oxidant properties, all its metabolism boosting capacity and all its cholesterol lowering abilities, but without its bitterness.

This recipe which I got from here, fits the bill perfectly. Since I have to be me, I could not stop myself from tweaking the recipe a little. I added some sweet clementines, tart cranberry  and some crunchy sunflower seed to finish it off. 


When you combine bittersweet Grapefruit with crisp Spinach, creamy Avocado, sweet Clementines, tart nuggets of dried Cranberries and crunchy Sunflower seeds, dressed in a spicy vinaigrette, you get one platter full of flavor explosion. I added some hot sauce (Tabasco) to my vinaigrette, which might sound a little audacious, but trust me few dashes of this fiery liquid, takes the salad to a whole new level.


Recipe Snapshot: Grapefruit and Avocado Salad

Serves: 2 serving
(1 serving = 3/4 cup)

What I used:
For the Salad:
Baby Spinach or Arugula - 1½ cups
(or any greens of choice)

Grapefruit - 1, peeled and segmented

Avocado - 1 peeled, pitted and sliced

Clementine - 1 small, peeled and segmented
or
Orange - ½, peeled and segmented

Cranberries - ¼ cup, dried (optional)

Sunflower Seed - 2 tbsp
(or Flax Seedor Almonds or Walnut)

For the Dressing:
Grapefruit Juice (reserved) - 2 - 3 tbsp

Raspberry or any other fruity Vinegar - 1 tbsp
(Red or White Wine Vinegar works well too)

Olive Oil - 1 tbsp
Hot sauce - 10 dash or to taste (optional)
Salt

Pepper



What I did:
The Salad:
1. Peel and segment the grapefruit and reserve any juices that might flow out. Do the same with the oranges. Peel and pit an avocado and slice them.

2. In a platter, arrange the green (in this case spinach) and top it alternately with grapefruit section and avocado slices. Also add the orange or clementine slices.

3.  Tip in the dried cranberries and the sunflower seeds.

4. Drizzle the dressing over the salad and enjoy!

The Dressing:

1. In a small bowl, whisk together the reserved grapefruit juice, vinegar, olive oil, hot sauce, salt and pepper. Drizzle over the salad and refrigerate the leftovers. 




Diabetic Platter:
Grapefruit is a citrus fruit with a high water content and a good amount of fiber, making it a great choice for people who are trying to lose weight or prevent or manage heart disease or type 2 diabetes. All grapefruits are a good source of vitamin C, and red and pink grapefruits also offer up a high dose of beta-carotene. Vitamin C and beta-carotene are antioxidants found in many fruits that help prevent arthritis, cataracts, and macular degeneration as well as help maintain healthy hair and skin. 

Caution: Because grapefruit and other citrus fruits are possible triggers for IBS and migraine headaches avoid them if they are problematic for you. Grapefruit and grapefruit juice can affect how some medications (most commonly cardiac medication and cholesterol medication) are absorbed and metabolized, so always speak with your pharmacist about your medication/grapefruit interactions. 

Source: http://www.joybauer.com/food-articles/fruit.aspx#grapefruit

Avocado is high in monounsaturated fats, which are generally considered among the healthiest of fats. Researchers have found that a diet high in monounsaturated fats and low in low-quality carbs may improve insulin sensitivity. Monounsaturated fats also improve heart health—an especially important benefit for diabetics, who are at increased risk for heart disease and stroke.

Source: http://www.joybauer.com/funnel/type-2-diabetes-results.aspx#slideshow
---

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Burnt Chili Garlic Cabbage Stir-fry

 

Of late I have been bitten by a bug. Its called lowcal-carbofication. And its infectious.

This is a condition where the affected is obsessed with the idea of how to convert a  High Calorie/ High Carb meal to a Low Calorie/ Low Carb meal, without compromising on the flavor or the taste. This is how it all began...

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Remembering Boro Mama with his favourite Aloo-Kumro Diye ChingDi Maacher Jhol: Tiger Prawns in Potato and Pumpkin Stew



This post was in my draft for a long time, with only the "Ingredients" and the "Process" jotted down and I was not sure how to start the post. Here I go... I just started the post!

I made this comforting Jhol (watery gravy or stew) as a part of out Easter Sunday lunch. This year, with so many Food Network Shows dedicated to Easter Brunches and Allrecipes.com bombarding my inbox with special Easter recipes, I was sure I had to be part of the festivities. I am sure last Easter Sunday and all those previous Easter Sundays, I must have had good food (every Sundays is a Good Food day for us), only that I was not aware that I was celebrating Easter Sunday!


So why is this simple, humble, everyday Prawn Stew so special when there are more exotic Prawn/Shrimp recipes that the Bengali cuisine boasts of? Its the man who loved this simple Jhol, that makes it so special.

Boro Mama (Sam's maternal uncle), a very well-read man of few words and a great sense of humor lost his battle to Lung Cancer three years ago on that very day (31st March). A strict disciplinarian, yet a doting father and uncle to his children and nephews and nieces, not to mention an ardent foodie. Though I did not get to spend a lot of time with him, he touched me with his wit, his vast knowledge, his warmth and abundant affection. Since we stayed close to his hospital, he had spent his last days with us. Every time I walked into his room, he greeted me with a smile and said, that he was feeling a lot better, though his pain and discomfort was clearly visible.




Being a food blogger, the best way to pay a tribute is through food. Boro Mama, a connoisseur of good food might have eaten in a variety of restaurants in and around Kolkata, yet it was always simple, home-cooked, comforting food that was close to his heart. Sam remembers Boro Mami (his wife) making this simple, runny but immensely flavorful ChingDi Macher Jhol with chunky potatoes and pumpkin and Boro Mama would sip the soupy liquid from his big bowl making a big SLURRRPPP sound, gesturing huge satisfaction. Then he would proceed to mix rest of the gravy and vegetable pieces with fragrant white rice and enjoy to the last bit.

Though I never had this jhol made by Boro Mami, since I am allergic to shellfish, I tried to recreate using my gut feel and my Mom's recipe as a base. Sam declared its delicious in its own rights but nothing compared Boro Mami's version. And for the records, I am not competing!


Shedding a tear for a man who lived life on his own terms and lived it well, would be dishonoring his memory. Lets practice what he preached and practiced, "Be happy and make others happy!"

May you continue to bless us and inspire us! SLURRRPP! SLURRRPP! 

Aloo-Kumro Diye ChingDi Maacher Jhol a.k.a Tiger Prawns/Jumbo Shrimps in Potato and Pumpkin Stew

What I used:
Tiger Prawns/ Jumbo Shrimps - ½ lb (use can use the head on variety too)
Potatoes - 2 medium sized cut into wedges (I used the red skinned variety and left a little bit of skin on)
Pumpkin - ½ lb, cut into chunky cubes
Whole Garam Masala Troika (Cardamom, Cinnamon, Clove) - 4-5, 1 stick, 4-5
Bay leaf - 1-2
Onion - 1 medium sized, grated
Ginger - 2 tsp, grated
Turmeric Powder - ½ tsp+more for rubbing on the prawns
Red Chili Powder or Paprika - 1 tsp
Green Chilies - 4-5
Ghee - 1 tsp (optional)
Oil - 2 tbsp + 2 tbsp
Salt




What I did:
1. Rub prawn/shrimp with turmeric and salt and let it rest for 5 minutes. Meanwhile peel and chop the potatoes and the pumpkin and grate the onion and the ginger.


2. Heat the 2 tbsp of oil in a wok/ khadai over medium eat. Lightly fry the prawns/shrimp, till they turn light orange and curl up a bit. Remove and keep aside.

3. Add the remaining 2 tbsp of oil to the same pan and temper it with the Whole Garam Masala Troika (Cardamom, Cinnamon, Clove) and bay leaf.

4. Add the grated onion, grated ginger, turmeric powder and red chili powder or paprika (if you are heat intolerant). Fry till the masala is cooked (2 min. approx). You would want to add a tiny splash of water to prevent the masala from sticking to the bottom of the pan and burning.

5. Add the chopped potatoes and pumpkins and coat with the masala. Add the salt and cover and cook for 5 more minutes. This will infuse the flavor of then masala in to the potatoes and pumpkin. The salt would draw out the moisture from the pumpkin and they will cook in its own steam.

6. Add a cup and a half of water and green chilies and bring to a boil. Then simmer till the veggies are tender.

7. Tip in the fried prawns/shrimps and let it cook for 3-4 more minutes. If you want more gravy add more water and adjust the salt. In case you want less of gravy, increase the heat and evaporate some of the liquid till you get your desired consistency.

8. Finish off with a teaspoon of Ghee or clarified butter. You might want to add a little gram masala powder. I didn't add because I did't want to overpower the delicate prawn flavor.

9. Enjoy with fragrant Basmati rice.



---



Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Bong Mom's Aam Kasundi Glazed Terrific Broiled Salmon


The moment I saw this recipe on Bong Mom's Cookbook, I knew that I had to make this on the first  given opportunity. 

Kasundi, a tangy, pungent Bengali Mustard Sauce, an accompaniment to the various fish fries, chops and cutlets, has a special place in most Bengali's palate. Ever since I can remember it had always been store bought affair at my place and never homemade. I think it has to do with the fact that I was raised in a Flat Bari (apartment), with a tiny Baranda (balcony) and limited access to the roof. 


Last week Cincinnati was blessed with two (19th and 20th) gorgeous days of sunshine. Unlike meringue, this recipe of Aam Kasundi has nothing to do with the levels of humidity. It would have tasted perfectly, had I made it on a cold, rainy or a snowy day. But the moment my living room was filled  with golden rays of the rising sun, I could literally smell the enticingly pungent Aam Kasundi wafting through warm rays. I just HAD to make it.

Raw mango is not a pantry staple for me and I did not have it. I had a lone Brazilian mango (leftover from the Black Bean -Mango Salsa) in my fridge. The best thing about these Brazilian mangoes is that they are not too sweet nor absolutely tart. They are khatta-meetha (sweet and tangy) and that's the way I like my mangoes. I was also out on yellow mustard and hence used only brown mustard instead of the the combination of yellow and brown mustard. Except for the mangoes, I have followed the instruction to the tee. Her recipe in her words:

From Bong Mom's Cookbook - Aam Kasundi

Soak in water
4 tbsp Mustard seeds ( a mix of brown and yellow
 gives the best color but I had only brown this time)

Grate a small mango to yield
3/4th-1 cup of grated raw Mango
(I did it in the blender)

In a blender jar add
strained mustard seeds 
grated mango
5 fat clove of garlic chopped
8-10 hot green chili chopped

With a splash of water make a smooth paste
Try to make the paste in one go instead of pulsing.

When the paste is almost done
drizzle 2-4 tbsp mustard oil (more is better but I went low)
a pinch of turmeric
salt to taste

Give a final whiz and your Aam Kasundi is ready 


                                                                                                                                               

My prized bottle of Aam Kasundi is the pride of my refrigerator right now. It stands tall, with its head held high amongst all the ketchup, salad dressings and Thai sauces on the fridge door. I have used it as salad dressing, as a dip for my fish and sticks, drizzled over my Palaong shaak bhaja (stir fried spinach) and Sam even added to his jhaal muri (a spicy concoction of puffed rice).

But the best way I savored the Aam Kasundi was when I slathered it over a fillet of salmon and broiled it and had with some Green Beans Salad for a quite lunch.

My weekday lunches are usually the leftovers from last night dinner and one particular cloudy day, I was not interested to have vegetable fried brown rice for lunch. Salmon was already thawing in the kitchen sink, since it was on the dinner menu that night. Now Sorshe (mustard) and Salmon are match made in a Bengali's culinary heaven. Some tangy mango and a garlic thrown in wouldn't do much harm, I reassured myself. Going by pure gut feel, I went ahead and slobbered my precious Aam Kasundi on a 6 oz Salmon steak and placed it under a broiler.


Six minute later I flipped and broiled again for another 5 minutes. Meanwhile I steamed my Green beans, chopped my onions and dressed my salad with balsamic vinegar. Minutes later I digged into the most Terrific Broiled Salmon I have ever tasted!


I have tried the same glaze for Tilapia too, which was also good. But Aam Kasundi glazed Salmon was the winner hands-down!


Recipe Snapshot: Bong Mom's Aam Kasundi Glazed Terrific Broiled Salmon
Serves: 1 serving


What I used:
Salmon Fillet/Steak - 1 
Aam Kasundi - 2 tsp (its 1 tsp a side)

What I did:
1. Preheat the oven broil Mode.

2. Double line a cookie sheet with Aluminium foil.

3. Slobber the Salmon fillet wit the Aam Kasundi. 1 tsp a side.

4. Place the salmon fillet and broil for 6 minutes. (it also depends on the thickness of the fillet)

5. Flip and broil the others side for 4-5 minutes.

6. Serve and enjoy.

Tip: Alternatively, the salmon fillet can be grilled too.






---

Friday, March 15, 2013

Lahsooni Kadhi - A Garlicky Yogurt Soup while the Sun plays Peek-a-Boo


The Sun God is playing a nasty game of Peek-a-Boo with me and I'm not liking it at all. After my Pea and Mint Soup post, the Weather Gods had pity on my poor soul and blessed me with a gorgeous weekend (Mar 9th and 10th) of sunshine and warmth. A generous favor, I'll be eternally grateful for.

Come Monday and the Sun hid behind the rain clouds and simply refused to show up. As things turned woeful, I cheered myself with a fabulous dinner. Tuesday was no better and it remained uneventful. On Wednesday, I got up praying for "no rain" and then what do I see... the trees, the cars and the roads, all covered in pristine white. It had snowed all night!


I was depressed, grumpy and cold. And to add more woes to my already sorry life, the heat stopped working. So what does a soup-o-holic needs at a time this? 

A bowl of piping hot and comforting soup!

But it was one of those days when, you need all the comfort and nourishment but don't want to chop veggies, thaw out the frozen meat or stand in front of the stove stirring your stock pot. For days like this you have Kichu Khon's Lahsooni Kadhi, a tangy, Garlicky Yogurt Soup!

Kadhi is a yogurt and chickpea flour based gravy dish to which vegetable fritters (Pakora) are often added. Its quite popular in the North-western and Western parts of India. You have different forms of Kadhi, based on the region of their origin, The tangy Rajasthani Kadhi, the sweet Gujarati Kadhi, the spicy Punjabi Kadhi (this one has onions) or the Sindhi Kadhi, with lots of fresh vegetables and no yogurt. Kadhi-Chawal or boiled rice mixed with Kadhi is considered a light, everyday meal and a comfort food for many.


Raised in a Bengali household, Kadhi was not frequently made in my house. I started having it during my first job when I had a Rajasthani boss, who would bring this regularly for lunch. However, her was a pure-veg version, sans onions and garlic and would have pakori (fritters) or papad (lentil wafers).
I never had nor heard of this amazing Lahsooni Kadhi, until Sharmila of Kichu Khon published it in her blog. I have made this a lot of times and we love it, including Lil Sid, who used to call it "Lellow Soup" even a few months ago. He now calls it "Yellow Soup".

This in an incredibly easy stuff to make and does not require the baby-sitting, most Kadhis needs. Its healthy too, because it does not require any tempering nor it has the calorie-rich, deep fried fritters in it. Its easy, simple and very, very comforting. I used Greek yogurt to make it tangier and to buff up the protein factor.


My afternoon was spent with the Kadhi, a comforter and The Help!
Dinner was a breeze too as I served the same Kadhi with boiled brown rice and my easy-peesy Brazilian fish balls. What a satisfactory dinner it was!




Recipe Snapshot: Lahsooni Kadhi - A Garlicky Yogurt Soup

Serves: 4 serving
(1 serving = 1 cup)

What I used:
Greek or regular Yogurt - 1 cups (I used the Greek one for the extra tang and bust of protein)

Chickpea Flour (Besan) - 1 tbsp

Garlic - 5-6 cloves, crushed by a pestle or the back oa a knife

Asafoetida (Hing) - ¼ tsp

Red Chili powder - ½ tsp or to taste

Turmeric Powder - ½ tsp 

Water - 4 cups (more or less depending on the consistency you want)

Salt - to taste

Cooking oil - 1 tsp

What I did:
1. In a big bowl, whisk the yogurt till smooth and free of any lumps. Add the besan (chickpea flour), turmeric powder, red chili powder, water and salt and mix well. (Be a little gentle on the salt. We can always add salt but cannot take it back.)

2. Heat oil in a deep pan or wok over medium heat. I recommend you use a non stick pan, so that the gravy will not stick at the bottom. Its also fine to use a regular pan, only you need to keep stirring it, every 3-4 minutes to avoid sticking at the bottom.

3. Add the Hing (Asafoetida) and the crushed garlic and fry till the garlic turns golden. (Not brown or black please!!!)

4. Add in the yogurt mixture and stir to incorporate.

5. Bring the heat to medium-low and let it simmer for 20 minutes or until the Kadhi is infused with the garlicky flavor and the crushed garlic is soft and tastes almost "candy like".

6. Tastes best when served piping hot.

7. Sip like a soup, or mix with rice with a side of spicy dry potato curry, it just awesome any which way.


Notes/Tip: The consistency of this soup/Kadhi depends on a personal choice. I like it thin and soupy. If you like your thick, reduce the amount of water. It also tastes good with roti or parathas.






A BIG Thanks to Sharmila for sharing her recipe. This had become a new family favorite.


Diabetic Platter:
Besan or Chickpea flour is low in saturated fat and a excellent source of Dietary Fibers and Protein. Its also low in carbohydrates when compared to whole what flour. Those looking for a low-carb, whole grain flour option, please give Chickpea flour a shot.  The dish hardly requires any oil. Its high on garlic, which contains Allicin, a naturally occurring antioxidant that may help improve heart health. Compounds in garlic also act as powerful antioxidants. There is some evidence that garlic may lower blood pressure and LDL-cholesterol levels — as well as decrease levels of homocysteine — a by-product of protein breakdown that causes inflammation and damages blood vessels. 

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Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Pan Seared Baja Fish with Mango-Black Bean Salsa on a Gloomy, Rainy Monday


This was our dinner yesterday, on a gloomy rainy Monday - Pan Seared Baja Fish with Mango-Black Bean Salsa and a piece of Dill-Buttermilk Cornbread

I have an uncanny knack of attuning my mood with the weather outside. My day started with a tea gone cold and a slightly burned toast. That set the tone. This was followed by a silly argument with a dear friend and a routine meltdown with my Mom. The rest of the day I spent sulking, sleeping on the couch and getting a shoulder sprain.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Pea and Mint Soup and a Long Wait for Spring


Officially, Spring is just weeks away but I guess the Weather Gods aren't aware of that. There is nothing remotely "green" around. Its still cold, grey and barren. Frankly, I'm tired of this cold and snow and I hate grabbing those bulky jackets, scarves and ear muffs on my way out. I would give anything... just anything to see a speck of green around me right now!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Chocomole - A Sinful Chocolate Pudding that's Actually Good for You!


A dessert as sinful as Chocolate Pudding and still good for you??? Is it too good to be true???

Well, not at all!!

Its the best thing that I have ever tasted so far, that I couldn't help sharing with you all.

Presenting "The Choco-mole" - A Chocolate Avocado Pudding!




First you have the creamy, buttery Avocado, which is a powerhouse of nutrients. Avocado is high in monounsaturated fats, which are generally considered among the healthiest of fats. Researchers have found that a diet high in monounsaturated fats and low in low-quality carbs may improve insulin sensitivity. Monounsaturated fats also improve heart health—an especially important benefit for diabetics, who are at increased risk for heart disease and stroke.


Then there is the lushous Dark Belgian chocolate, packed with antioxidants to delay the ageing process and to prevent you from certain cancers. Did you know, Dark chocolate helps keep your blood vessels healthy and your circulation unimpaired to protect against type 2 diabetes. The flavonoids in dark chocolate also help reduce insulin resistance by helping your cells to function normally and regain the ability to use your body's insulin efficiently. Dark chocolate also has a low glycemic index, meaning it won't cause huge spikes in blood sugar levels.


And this is perhaps the easiest and quickest dessert anybody had ever made. Dump all the ingredients in a blender/ processor and mix until well blended and its done! Chill for an hour or two before gobbling it all up.


This is the second time I mad this pudding and needless to say its a hit. You can never taste the avocado in there. Its smooth, lushous and decadent. Just the way a sinful pudding is supposed to taste.



Recipe Snapshot: Chocomole - A Sinful Chocolate Pudding
Adapted from: How sweet it is


Serves: 4 serving
(1 serving = 3/4 cup)

What I used:
Super ripe Avocado - 2 nos, pitted

Dark Chocolate (more than 70% Cacao) - 1.5 to 2 oz, melted

Unsweetened Cocoa Powder - 2 tbsp

Milk (Fat Free/ Coconut/ Soy or Almond milk) - ¼ cup
(I used Almond Milk)


Agave Nectar or Honey or Pure Maple Syrup - 2 tbsp (or to taste) (I used Agave Nectar)

Vanilla Extract - 1 tsp

Salt - a pinch


What I did:
1. Blend the avocado, milk, agave , salt and vanilla extract till smooth.

2. Add the melted chocolate and the cocoa powder and blend till incorporated and smooth.

3. Pour in individual cups and chill for an hour or two before serving!

Notes/ Tips: The Avocados need to be super ripe. The quality of the Avocados and its ripeness makes or breaks this recipe.





Diabetic Platter:
Avocado is high in monounsaturated fats, which are generally considered among the healthiest of fats. Researchers have found that a diet high in monounsaturated fats and low in low-quality carbs may improve insulin sensitivity. Monounsaturated fats also improve heart health—an especially important benefit for diabetics, who are at increased risk for heart disease and stroke.

Dark chocolate
helps keep your blood vessels healthy and your circulation unimpaired to protect against type 2 diabetes. The flavonoids in dark chocolate also help reduce insulin resistance by helping your cells to function normally and regain the ability to use your body's insulin efficiently. Dark chocolate also has a low glycemic index, meaning it won't cause huge spikes in blood sugar levels.


I am sending this chocolicious pudding to Sudeshna of Cook like a Bong's Holi - The Festival of Colors event, sponsored by CupoNation.

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