Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Samo and Amaranth flour aromatic Christmas Cake. [Black and White Christmas Edition # 153.]

Last year I had submitted image of spices for Christmas cake. It was last black and white event for the year 2013, I don't wanted to miss my participation so I had quickly gathered few spices and sent my image to Cindy. At that point I just knew that I will bake one cake for Christmas using the spices I spread in the submitted image. I could not bake the cake on Christmas but baked it on the last day of the year. It was wonderful wholesome aromatic cake with lots of good ingredients. I have not yet published the cake recipe, I will soon complete the draft and publish it. I owe my inspirations to bake this cake to Black and White Wednesday event and would like to thank Susan, founder of the event and Cinzia, organizer of the event and all the participants  who keep this event going.

Today I am submitting this last years cake image for the Christmas Edition of Black and White event #153 which is hosted by Lynne. Next BWW event will resume back on 7th January 2015, check here for host lineup.

Aromatic Christmas Cake with Samo and Amaranth flour.

Black and White Wednesday Event #153

Monday, December 15, 2014

Sprouted Masoor stir fry with Broccoli, Celery, Red Radish - [Indian vegetable-lentil Sattvik Stir-Fry.]

Mix and match of three veggies with sprouted Masoor Dal created this wholesome sattvik  vegetable and lentil stir fry. I seasoned it with ginger, cumin, hing, turmeric, spiced it up with green chillies, cooked in extra virgin organic coconut oil and garnished with fresh grated coconut. This is what I packed for today's lunch box with two organic whole wheat mini rotis. I have used one week grown  Masoor sprouts  in this stir fry.

Ingredients :- (serves four portions as side dish. )
  • 2/3 heaping Cup - sprouted Masoor Dal/ Red lentils
  • 2 tender stalks of Celery - sliced in half moon shape (1 Cup yield.)
  • 1 small broccoli crown - stems chopped and florets broken into tiny pieces. (1 heaping cup yield.)
  • 5-6 - Red radishes - sliced into thin rounds.
  • 2 T.spoon - extra virgin organic coconut oil
  • 1 Green chilli - finely sliced
  • 1.5 inch - square piece of ginger - grated over microplane.
  • 1/4 T.spoon - cumin / Jeera + 1 more generous pinch.
  • 1 pinch -  hing (asafoetida)
  • 1/4 T.spoon - Turmeric powder
  • 1/4 T.spoon - fine sea salt
  • 1/4 Cup - lightly packed fresh grated coconut.
  • 1/4 Cup - fresh chopped cilantro for garnish.
How to cook Sattvic vegetable & sprouted Red Lentil Stir fry.
  1. Prepping the Vegetables : Clean thoroughly  two small celery stalks, make sure all sand residue is cleared, slice them into 1/2 cm thick half moon shape pieces. If celery stalks are not tender, peel out thin layer using potato peeler. Separate stems and florets from  handful size crown of broccoli. Chop tender stems finely, cut florets into half inch size pieces. Rub and clean 5-6 red radishes well, slightly chop off both the ends, slice into thin round slices. Put spouted red lentils into small bowl filled with water for about 5-6 minutes, gently rinse under running water, drain and keep it aside.
  2. In a medium size pot heat 1.5 tsp coconut oil,  Add 1/4 tsp cumin and half portion of grated ginger, let sizzle for 15-20 seconds, stir for 10 more seconds then add sliced celery. Saute over high heat for 3-4 minutes by adding 2-3 tbsp water. Cook until  the water has nearly evaporated.
  3. Now add chopped green chili, a pinch of hing and 1/4 tsp turmeric powder. Stir and mix well then add chopped broccoli stems and florets. Cook on medium high heat by adding 1/4 cup water, stir at regular intervals, about 3 minutes. Add sliced red radishes, save some slices for last colorful garnish because in cooking process bright pink color of red radishes fades away.  Mix and cook for one minute. Reduce heat to medium.
  4. Next add  2/3 heaping cup sprouted masoor Dal, reserved grated ginger, 1/4 tsp fine sea salt,  mix and continue to saute over medium heat. Take one pinch cumin, sprinkle over veggies by crushing between two finger tips. (coarse cumin powder can be used.) If pan dries out add 2-3 tbsp water. After 3 minutes drizzle  1/2 tsp coconut oil,   Saute for 3 more minutes.
  5. Check and adjust salt level, check if veggies are tender enough. Add remaining red radish slices, sprinkle fresh grated coconut and cilantro. Shut off the heat, let stay over stove for some time, about 5 minutes before serving with rice or roti or enjoy bowlful of this stir-fry as a meal or use as Taco filling.

Adding Sprouts once Veggies are cooked.

3 veggies and Sprouted Lentil Sattvik stir-fry.

  One week grown Masoor sprouts.

Red Lentil Sprouts.

Recipe published on  3rd April,2016.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Mix vegetable Salad with Raw Mango, Ginger, Parsley Chutney dressing. [Chayote+Sweet Potato+Persian cucumber+Cranberries]

Today I am sharing one more salad recipe that I had prepared in April month to pack  in the lunch box. This salad was made  with available veggies and herbs in my kitchen. Sliced tender Persian cucumbers, julienned Chayote and Sweet potatoes were generously soaked with quick home made chutney dressing. Raw mango brought for the Vishu  Festival initiated me to skip vinegar and  prepare zesty salad dressing chutney. I coarse ground parsley, raw mango, green chilies, ginger in extra virgin olive oil, added little light agave nectar. This salad dressing chutney gave unique flavor to the salad. If you want  refreshing change from vinaigrette dressing salads try this chutney over salad, for more aromatic kick add fresh mango ginger.

Salad Veggies :
(Salad quantity servers one single full meal or 4 small servings as side salad.)
  • 2 small tender - Persian cucumbers ( sliced in two different shapes, rounds and sticks.)
  • 3 inch long - Sweet potato piece ( julienned ,1/2 cup)
  • 1/2 Chayote - seed removed, peeled and julienned, 3/4 cup)
  • 2 Tb.spoon - dried cranberries
  • 1 Tb.spoon - Extra Virgin olive oil

Ingredients for Salad Dressing chutney :
(Ingredients make little extra quantity dressing which can be used as chutney. I used it to make sandwiches.)
  • 1 Cup - tightly packed chopped parsley leaves (chop including tender stems.)
  • 2 green chilies - chopped
  • 1.5 inch - ginger piece - chopped
  • 1/4 cup - chopped raw mango pieces, heaping cup
  • 1/4 T.spoon - fine sea salt ( a pinch or two more to adjust salt level)
  • 1 Tb.spoon - Light Agave nectar or Honey.
  • 1 T.spoon - Lemon juice optional (use if  raw mango lacks sourness.)
  • 2 Tb.spoon - extra virgin olive oil

How to prepare Salad and Salad chutney dressing :
Preparing veggies.
Chop off both the ends of two Persian cucumbers, Slice one into 3-4mm thick round slices. Another cucumber slice lengthwise into 6-8 pieces, then cut them into one inch sticks. Transfer to a bowl.
Take half Chayote piece, peel the skin, remove seed and julienne. Transfer to a bowl.
Take a  3 inch long piece of sweet potato, peel the skin, julienne. Transfer to a bowl.
Preparing  Chutney Salad dressing.
Roughly chop handful parsley leaves including  tender stems. Peel 1.5 inch ginger piece, cut into small pieces. Finely chop green chilies. Cut out small piece from raw mango, peel the skin, remove seed portion, cut into small chunks to fill heaping 1/4 cup.
In a small blender jar combine, 1 cup tightly packed chopped parsley, chopped green chilies, chopped raw mango pieces, ginger pieces, 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, 1/4 tsp sea salt. Puree all into a coarse paste. Add 1 tbsp agave nectar, pulse for few seconds. (If mild sweetness is preferred, add half tbsp agave nectar, you can add more after salad is assembled.) Check the taste, it should be sour, spicy and sweet. If sourness is mild then add some lemon juice, adjust salt and sweetness as desired.
Assembling salad.
Place 4-5 tbsp salad dressing chutney over cut veggies, pour one tbsp olive oil. Add 2 tbsp dried cranberries. Stir  and toss to combine all well. Finally adjust taste by sprinkling some salt, lemon juice and agave nectar.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Sauteed mix vegetables Salad with raw Persian cucumber for lunch box. [Mix and Match of onion, celery, chayote, cranberries, corn, carrots,Cilantro & Tofu]

Today I wanted to pack salad for lunch box  but there was no lettuce in the fridge so I made  salad by preparing  a  partially sauteed veggie base with onion, celery, julienned chayote, tofu, cranberries, corn,  carrots, cucumber. Over that I added raw  Persian cucumber slices, fresh cilantro leaves, chopped tender cilantro stems, celery leaves. I packed this in lunch box with very  little salad dressing. This salad is good enough to eat  by itself without any salad dressing or vinaigrette, partially sauteed onion and veggie base makes it very flavorful. I saved little  salad quantity to take image and record this salad recipe, after taking images my daughter  enjoyed  this plated salad.

Ingredients :-
Serves  one as full salad meal with some left over,  Or serves 4 as side salad.
  • 1 small onion - finely chopped( 3/4 cup yield)
  • 1 tender celery stalk - sliced half moon shape (1/2 cup yield)
  • 1/2 Chayote - skin and seed removed , julienned. (3/4 cup)
  • 1 carrot - julienned or sliced into small pieces (1/4 cup)
  • 1 Persian cucumber - partly chopped enough to measure 1/4 cup. Slice remaining into rounds.
  • Frozen corn - 1/2 Cup (use fresh if available.)
  • 4 Tb.spoon - dried cranberries
  • 1  green chili - finely sliced.
  • Firm tofu block - around  80 gm, cut into  1/2 inch cubes (yield 1 cup) sprinkle tiny pinch of salt, toss to coat with salt.
  • 1/2 cup - Mix of chopped cilantro leaves and tender stems
  • 3/4 Cup - celery leaves (pluck leaves off the stalk.)
  • 1 T.spoon - cooking oil to saute onion and veggies.
  • 1 Tb.spoon - extra virgin olive oil to drizzle over salad.
  • 2 Tb.spoon - your choice of creamy salad dressing. (optional)

How to prepare semi-sauteed veggie Salad topped with raw cucumber.
  1. In a small saute pan heat 1 tsp oil, add chopped onions stir fry over high heat for 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add sliced 1/2 cup celery, 1/4 cup chopped cucumber, 1 chopped green chili, 4 tbsp dried cranberries, continue to saute over medium heat for 2-3 minutes.
  2. Next add julienned chayote, sliced carrots, 1/2 cup frozen corn,  sprinkle one generous pinch of salt, continue to saute for 3-4 minutes over medium high heat, stirring often. Taste and adjust salt level.
  3. Now add  salt sprinkled tofu cubes, gently mix all well.  Let it stay on stove for 2 minutes over medium low heat. Shut off the heat.
  4.  Transfer sauteed veggie mix in a medium size bowl,  allow to cool. Add sliced  Persian cucumber, chopped cilantro leaves and stems, celery leaves. Drizzle 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil. Toss to coat.. Another way to serve salad is arrange sliced cucumber, celery leave, cilantro leaves over the top or at one side like I have arranged in the image. Serve with creamy  ranch salad dressing or your choice of  cheese or  just enjoy plain salad.

Curry leaf plant containers invaded by Amaranth plants and grass. [Black and White Wednesday #138]

I have few containers with  small curry leaf plants, they all survived this passed harsh winter. After April month I took them out of  garage, within few days containers  were invaded by Amaranth plants and grass. It looked pretty so I let them grow until now. Soon I will clear all the pots so that curry leaf plants start growing freely, hope this year they all grow bigger and stronger. I am sending this black and white image to Susan at The Well Seasoned cook, who is hosting this weeks BWW #138. She is  also the founder of this event. Currently Cinzia of Cindystar looks after all admin duties. Next week Lynne will be hosting BWW #139  at Cafelynnylu.

  Black and White Wednesday Event #138

Friday, June 13, 2014

Pleasant morning after the thunderstorm in Triangle...Beautiful mess of fallen leaves around the home.

Yesterday evening we had severe thunderstorm with heavy rains, it lasted for about 20 minutes but did lot of damage around city. It dumped lot of tiny branches, leaves, tree bark pieces, pine cones, twigs around my home. Today morning when I opened the front door, I saw one tiny single Sweetgum tree leaf  resting on  the door sill (Umbartha/Dehleez). My door mat was covered with pine tree leaves, tiny twigs. It was a beautiful sight to watch. I strolled around home to see more  fallen leaves, they were  at every step. I took few  pictures with new point and shoot camera, Canon Power shot-110, scroll down to enjoy. What did I cook on this beautiful morning for lunch box and breakfast? Check the last image.

Sweetgum tree leaf.

Assorted fallen leaves.

Two insect made holes on the leaf reminded me
 of "Jadoo Alien" from movie Koi Mil gaya.

This big pine tree branch fell down in wooded portion near home,

fallen pine tree branch.

Chinkapin Oak tree leaf.

Sweet gum tree branch landed over front lawn.

 Sweetgum Tree leaves cluster on the road.

Tulip Poplar / Yellow poplar tree leaves landed over green weed, 
blanket (Oxalis /wood sorrel)Click image to see 4 tiny mushrooms.

sweetgum tree branch fallen on the road.

undrained standing water over lawn.

Small piece of  tree bark skin and scattered pieces of mulch.

Pine cone landed over front lawn.

Sweet gum tender fruit, I have collected dried ones during 
winter but this is first time saw green fruit.

I found  sweetgum  fruit hanging in the middle of leaves, kept
it  beside above fruit and took image.

while strolling around home I saw this contrail getting formed in the sky.

On this beautiful morning I prepared instant multi grain dosas/ crepes with flour combination of Buckwheat, Besan, Ivory Teff, and corn. I seasoned it with white portions of scallion onions,  tiny red shallots, cumin, green chilies, ginger. In the batter I used good quantity of yogurt. I packed them for lunch with Matki + Millet Usal and ate them  for breakfast with Chipotle hummus. I will make new post for detail recipe.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Snake gourd stir fry with Plums. [Stone Fruit based Tangy Indian Vegetable Stir Fry.]

Today morning I made stir fry with fresh, tender locally produced snake gourd  using two juicy plums. I  made saute base with  red onions and two red vine sweet mini peppers to have contrast color with light green snake gourd slices and  tempered it with split urad dal , curry leaves and  green chili. Pre-boiling Snake gourd kept colors vibrant and saved some cooking time. This is my first time to use Plums in vegetable stir fry, earlier I have cooked cauliflower with oranges  and  green beans with cranberries. This stir fry has nice sweet and sour taste and is packed with natural veggie and fruit flavor. This stir fry has initiated  few ideas to cook many more vegetable stir fries and curries using different  fruits, nuts and seeds. Following images are taken with Canon Power Shot -110.

Sliced Snake gourd / Podalangai/ Potlakaya/ Padavalkai

Ingredients : 
( Serves two with roti or one single generous stir fry serving .)
  • 150 gm - 1 small snake gourd, sliced thin in half moon shape (discard formed seeds, retain tender seeds as I did, refer above image.)
  • 2 Plums - chopped in 1 cm size chunks, seeds removed.
  • 2 Vine ripe mini Peppers - use red colors. cut into small pieces.(substitute with red or green colored capsicum. Use of mini papers  is optional.)
  • 1 small size - Red onion, sliced thin length wise. (yield - 1 heaping Cup)
  • 1 Tb.spoon - oil
  • 1 green chili - finely chopped
  • 1 Tb.spoon - split skinless Urad Dal / Black gram.
  • 1 Sprig - Fresh Curry leaf
  • 1/2 Cup - Fresh cilantro chopped
  • 1/2 T.spoon - Honey - Use if plums are sour. You may sprinkle little brown sugar or jaggery powder.
Adding pre-boiled snake gourd to sauteed onions and Plums.

Preparation - Padval Stir Fry with Plums.
  1. Slightly chop out both the ends of the snake gourd, cut in the center, make two parts then slit lengthwise. If you find hard formed seeds, remove them. My snake gourd was very tender so I retained inner seed pulp. Cut thin half moon shape slices by placing seed side on the cutting board. (Check image to see how tender pulp looks like.) Place sliced snake gourd in a medium side bowl filled with water, add two tiny pinches of salt, boil in microwave for 6 minutes. If snake gourd is not very tender, give few more minutes. I did this while onions were getting sauteed. Drain water, keep the bowl aside.(use drained water for other cooking, I don't add salt so that I can drink it up after it cools.)
  2. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a small saute pan over medium heat, add  curry leaves, chopped green chilies, sizzle for 10-15 seconds. Quickly add 1 tbsp skinless split urad Dal, stir with spoon for 15-25 seconds, add sliced onions as soon as dal turns one shade darker in color. Continue to stir fry onions over medium heat for about 7-8 minutes. In the mean time, you can finish pre-boiling sliced snake gourd.
  3. Add chopped plums and chopped vine ripe mini peppers, continue to stir fry over medium high heat, stirring often for about 4 minutes or until plums start to soften.
  4. Now add pre-boiled snake gourd  /padval slices to the pan, mix well, add  2 pinches of salt or little more as needed. Reduce heat to medium low, continue to cook for 3-4 minutes. Check sweet and sour level, if  sourness is sharp, add 1/2 tsp honey or brown sugar or jaggery. Shut off the heat, garnish with 1/2 cup chopped cilantro. If you have fresh grated coconut add that too.  Serve with rice, roti. Use in wraps, tacos or sandwiches.
Note : This stir fry can be done with all most all vegetables, I would try similar stir fry with Chayote, Turia, Cauliflower, Cluster beans, Tindora, green beans, Zuccini, Bell Peppers, Dudhi. Also baby potatoes, Bitter gourd and Egg plant. Do mix and match of veggies. This recipe can be further tweaked into creamy Kormas by adding  spices and  more ingredients.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Mini yellow colored Peppers, Broccoli and Green peas quick stir fry for lunch box.

Today made this stir fry with mini colored peppers, broccoli florets and green peas to pack in the  lunch box. No spices or masala powder is used, sauteed onions and hand full of fresh chopped cilantro and  one chopped green chili  is  used to build the stir fry  flavor base. Pre boiling broccoli florets in the microwave reduced  cooking time and enhanced  vibrant green glow of broccoli. This is quick vegetable stir fry packed with natural taste of veggies. Check similar stir fry subji recipe blogged earlier where I have used capsicum, broccoli, shelled edamame beans and tofu cubes.

Ingredients :
(One single generous vegetable stir fry serving or this is good for two servings as side dish in meals.)
  • 7-8  Broccoli florets - cut into an inch size pieces. (1.5 cup)
  • 4-5 Mini colored peppers - chopped into small pieces. (3/4 cup) (substitute - colored capsicum)
  • 1/2 Cup - frozen green peas
  • 1 small onion - finely chopped (3/4 cup yield)
  • 1 Green chili - finely sliced
  • 1/2 Cup - fresh chopped cilantro.
  • 1 Tb.spoon - oil
Method of preparing Stir fry :
  1. Slice mini peppers into small chunks. (I picked only yellow to have contrast with green broccoli.) Break broccoli florets into one inch pieces. Finely chop stem part, transfer to microwave safe bowl, cover with water, add 2 tiny pinches of salt. Microwave on high heat for 4-5 minutes.
  2. In  the mean time in a small saute pan heat 1 tbsp oil, add chopped onions, saute for 7-8 minutes stirring often with wooden spoon.
  3. Add sliced mini colored peppers and finely chopped green chili, continue to saute over medium heat for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Next drain pre-boiled broccoli, save water to use in other cooking dishes.  Add broccoli  in the pan, add frozen green peas. Mix well, add 1/4 tsp salt, fry over high heat for 2-3 minutes. Lower heat to medium  low setting, add 1/2 cup chopped cilantro, stir. Put off  the heat after 2-3 minutes.
  5. Serve with roti or eat by itself in a bowl by drizzling little salad dressing.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Weber Charcoal Grill, winter time images. [ Black and White Wednesday #115 ]

This week for Black and White Wednesday I am submitting image of  snow covered  Weber's Charcoal Grill. Last week we had 2-3 inches of snow in Cary, temperatures were too cold  so snow stayed around for 3-4 days, as a result schools were closed for four days. I took few snow images around home, Grill was  covered with fluffy snow. It was a beautiful natural contrast of black and white so thought of sending this image to BWW #115 to Siri who is hosting this week at Cooking with Siri. Susan of  The Well Seasoned Cook, is a founder of this event. Now Cinzia of Cindystar looks after admin duties for this event. Next BWW event #116, February 12th 2014 -Valentine's Day edition will be hosted by Lynne of cafelynnylu. For all  rules and future event details please check Cinzia's Post.

It has been a long time since I grilled something with  my weber's portable grill, as temperatures warm up I will get back to grilling. Scroll down to view more images of the grill taken during snow and fall season. I was collecting beautiful fall color leaves of sweet gum/ Liquid amber tree. Black grill lid was perfect background to spread  leaves and capture images. Check earlier  recipe post on grilled shrimp and mushrooms using Weber's charcoal grill.

Charcoal Grill covered  with snow. (Cary snow fall on 28th January, 2014)

Black and White Wednesday Event #115

Sweet Gum / Liquid Amber fall  leaves.
Images taken on 09/02/2013

Patio and Grill lid covered with snow - Image taken on 29th January 2014.