Category Archives: Vegetarian

Dulce de Leche Ice cream

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It all started with churros. I ate these churros in Mazatlán and have been wanting to try the recipe. I decided to pair those churros with ice-cream to make a perfect sandwich. Since I was pairing with churros, I thought why not make Mexican inspired ice-cream.

So here is it, Dulce de Leche Ice cream. Dulce de Leche translated into ‘Sweet of milk’. We get it in a can here in the local Mexican grocery store. If you can not get your hand on one, you can easily make it from your regular condensed milk.  This has all the goodness of the condensed milk with enriched flavors as all the sugar is nicely caramelized.

How to make Dulce de Leche from regular condensed milk

Typically all ice-creams start with a custard base, which has eggs, milk and sugar. However this recipe is egg-less so vegetarians can also enjoy.

 

I got the original recipe from Epicurean but I decided to put my own twist. I love to add salt and heat to my desserts. So today I have decided to kick this ice-cream up a notch with Ancho chili powder. I love this and use it a lot in my many recipes. Ancho chili is a sweet pepper. It is the dried form of Poblano peppers.

 

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 can Dulce de Leche
  • 1/8 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp Ancho chili powder

Method

  • Bring milk and cream just to a boil in a 3-quart heavy saucepan over medium heat, then remove from heat
  • Whisk in dulce de leche ( save 3-4 tbsps) until mixed well
  • Whisk in vanilla & the Ancho chili powder
  • Cool the mixture stirring occasionally till its at room temperature
  • Freeze mixture in ice cream maker until almost firm.
  • Towards the end add the saved Dulce de leche. It will add nice streaks to the ice-cream
  • Transfer ice cream to an airtight container and put in freezer to harden, at least 1 hour.
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Nepalese Fiddlehead Ferns

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I love going to the farmers market no matter where I go. So when I walked to the ferry building in San Francisco yesterday, I decided to swing by the market and pick up something for dinner. I picked up some kumquats and Lisbon lemons. I went inside the building. That building is one of my favorite places to visit, yummy baked goods, flavorful olive oils, natural soap, ice-cream, so many fun things to try. 

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There is a shop that is  my favorite shop, they carry different kinds of mushroom among other interesting things. I visit them every time I go there.  Today I saw some morels, ramps and fiddlehead ferns. I was so excited because I have never cooked ramps or fiddlehead before. I bought them and planned my dinner around it.
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Today I saw some morels, ramps and fiddlehead ferns. I was so excited because I have never cooked ramps or fiddlehead before. I bought them and planned my dinner around it.
When I started reading about it I found out that even though Fiddlehead ferns are not common across India, the northern states of India use it when in season. In Kashmir region, these are pickled as well. You cook it with some dry spices with potatoes.
In Nepal it is used as well.  I remembered that when I visited Nepal in Feb 2015, I had eaten ‘ Neuro ko Tarkari’ and I had loved it . So today I decided to make a Nepalese recipe with these fiddleheads.
Like all other Nepalese recipe, it is very easy to make and quite simple.
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Ingredients

  •  3-4 cups Fiddlehead ferns
  • 2-3 tbsp Clarified butter/ Ghee
  • 1/4 tsp Fenugreek Seeds
  • 1/4 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/8 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 green chili chopped
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic chopped
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin powder ( optional)
  • 1/2 tsp coriander powder (optional)

Method

  • With a soft brush remove the brown fuzzy part from the ferns
  • Cut off the fat, tough stems ( just like asparagus)
  • Boil a pot of salted water and blanch the ferns
  • Chop roughly or leave it whole. I left mine whole since they were baby size
  • Heat ghee, when hot add fenugreek seeds, cumin seeds chili and turmeric
  • Add chopped garlic and saute lightly. Dont let the garlic burn
  • Add the blanched ferns
  • Saute for a couple of mins, add the ground spices
  • Serve as a side dish

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Pineapple sasave- sasam

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Summer vacations are even more focused on food in my household. We love making new dishes using abundant produce. We all look forward to elaborate meals on the patio accompanied with some jazz in the back ground. I have been meaning to blog this for a long time, but when I was planning the menu today, this just fit right in, so here it is

Last time when we visited India, we visited family in Goa. For those who dont know where Goa is, it is a western coastal state of India. Known for its beautiful vibrant beaches and amazing sea food, this state offers a great cuisine. Since Portuguese settled here, the goan cuisine is influenced by the Portuguese cuisine. There are  some recipes that are typical of the christian household and some that are more  Hindu cuisine. No matter which one you pick, it is great food for sure .

The family we visited, Didi who is the lady of the house, is amazing cook. She had made a spread that we enjoyed so much. Her home is also very beautiful, courtyard, brick walls, it is so inviting and warm. One of the recipes she made is Ananas Sasave- pineapple curry.

PIneapple

Pineapple

In summer, I love cooking with fruits and Pineapple goes so well with so many things. Tangy, sweet I love it in many dishes.

This dish has everything, a bit of sweet, a bit of sour, a bit of spice and everything nice. It is very easy to make and tastes good hot or room temperature. I love to eat it with piping hot rice and a dash of ghee. It is very easy to make, comes together in 15 mins.

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I made this as a part of the meal, prawn curry, raw banana Kaape, rice and papad.

Ingredients:

sasam ingredients

sasam ingredients

 

Paste

1 cup of fresh grated coconut

1 tsp of mustard seeds

1 small piece of tamarind

1-2 green chilies

For tempering

1 tbsp oil ( I used coconut oil)

1/2 tsp mustard seeds

1 pinch of asafetida

1 spring of curry leaves

1 dry red chili

Other 

3 cups of cubed pineapple

1 tbsp jaggery

salt to taste

Method

Make a fine paste of all the ingredients listed under paste. The finer the better, but use as little water as possible.

You can add water later, but try to grind with a little amount.

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Heat the pan and heat coconut oil, make sure you cook on medium heat otherwise the oil can smoke.

Add mustard seeds, asafoetida, curry leaves and dry red chilies. saute for a few secs, and add pineapple pieces. Add salt, stir and cook for a few minutes covered.

Add the ground paste and cook on low heat. Add jaggery and taste for salt.

Your sasave is ready.

This dish awakens all the senses, it is  a riot of flavors  in your mouth.

 

Goan Thali

Goan Thali

 

 

Soya Pyaaz Ki Seekh kabob

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I love summers. Abundant produce, long days and backyard barbecues. I love anything and everything that comes off the grill. The smoky aroma it imparts to the food is so appetizing. We have grilled all the way till October, even when it is raining with an umbrella in the hand, umbrella not for us but for the grill 😉

Today it was a gorgeous evening, the first moon was in the sky. It marks the beginning of Ramdan.  It was not too hot, prefect temperature to have a meal on the patio.


I love summer produce and can almost go vegetarian in summer but then the kabobs call my name, and I melt.

This recipe today sort of helps me be vegetarian on Monday. It is perfect for the #meatlessmondays and the grill.

I love watching all food shows but there are some favorites and master chef is one of them. I loved the indian version more because there was Vikas Khanna and there was Ranveer Brar ;). Recently I got a chance to meet with Vikas Khanna( thanks to a dear friend)


A local organization Women’s now is hosting a cooking competition  and Ranveer will be the judge, so now I can not wait to meet Ranveer.

Today’s recipe is based on his recipe. I made a few tweaks, it is a keeper


Ingredients

1.5 cup soya chunks or 1 cup granules

1 large potato

1/2 onion finely chopped

1-2 green chilies chopped

1 tsp Shahi Jeera

1 tbsp oil

1 tsp crushed coriander seeds

1/2 tsp red chili powder

1 pinch cardamom powder

1-2 drops of liquid smoke

A few mint leaves chopped

Cilantro chopped

Salt to taste

Method

  • Boil the potato, peel and mash well.
  • Soak the soya chunks in hot water for 15-20 mins. Drain and squeeze out excess water.
  • Pulse in the food processor to get a minced meat like consistency.
  • In a pan heat the oil, add jeera when the oil is hot. Sauté for a few seconds.
  • Add the chopped onions and chilies and sauté on medium heat till brown.
  • Add these onions to the soya mixture along with potatoes and rest of the ingredients.
  • Make patties and shallow fry in a pan or make long rolls and shape lo a kabob on a skewer. Cook till crispy outside.
  • Remember everything else is cooked so make sure you don’t let the kabob dry out.

I served it with a Rose-strawberry coconut smoothie with chia seeds, it seemed to somehow compliment the colors of the sky.

Leek, Potato & Goat cheese Galette with Pistachio Crust

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Last few days have been very challenging, I consider myself a very strong person but it is amazing how vulnerable one gets when they are emotionally invested. I know it will be alright eventually but right now it hurts.  I really needed to do something that takes my attention away. So I have started lifting weights and  decided to try at least one new  recipe every week.

I love love brunches. You can try different things than your usual lunch and you are not rushed to have everything ready. Perfect for lazy mornings and occasions like Mother’s day. On the occasion of Mother’s day, I am sharing this recipe that can be a perfect addition to your brunch table. You can make the prep ahead of time and then comes together in less than 15 mins.

I love nuts, and especially pistachios. I am in love with combination of  green, pink colors you see in these raw nuts. I recently made a nice torte with pistachio crust and it was a major hit at my work.  Todays recipe uses the nuts in the crust, giving it a unique toasty flavor and crunch.


I had seen this recipe on Bon Appetit and have been wanting to make it. I have grown fond of goat cheese recently and loved the contrast of the tangy, creamy goat cheese against the caramelized leeks and sweetness of honey.

Goat Cheese & Leek Galette with pistachio crustPistachio Galette

 

Ingredients

For the dough

  • ½ cup shelled pistachios
  • 2½ cups unbleached flour
  •  1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces

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Toppings

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1 large leek, halved lengthwise, white and pale-green parts only, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup  heavy cream
  • 4 ounces goat cheese
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  •  2/3 Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
  • 4 tablespoons coarsely chopped dill, plus more for serving
  • 2 large Yukon Gold potatoes, thinly sliced
  •  1 large egg, beaten to blend Honey (for drizzling)
  • Crushed szechuan peppercorns
  • Flaky sea salt (optional; for serving)_MG_3039

Method

 Dough

  • Pulse pistachios in a food processor until coarsely ground. Add flour, kosher salt, and sugar and pulse until combined.
  • Add butter and pulse until a coarse meal forms.
  • With motor running, slowly add ½ cup ice water and process until dough comes together.
  • Transfer dough to a work surface, form into a ball, and flatten to a disc.
  • Wrap dough in parchment and chill 30 minutes.

Topping

  • Preheat oven to 400º. Heat oil in a small skillet over medium-low; cook leek, stirring occasionally and being careful not to brown, until just softened, about 5 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, mix cream, goat cheese, and garlic in a medium bowl until smooth. Season with kosher salt and pepper. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment.
  • Transfer dough to a work surface and divide into 4 pieces.
  • Working with one piece at a time, roll out to an 8″ round.

Layer it up

  • Using an offset spatula, spread one-quarter of the goat cheese mixture on dough, leaving a 1″ border.
  • Top with 1 Tbsp. dill and a thin layer of potato slices. Drizzle with oil and season with kosher salt.
  • Top with one-quarter of the leeks. Fold edges over, overlapping slightly.
  • Carefully transfer galette to prepared sheet. Repeat with remaining dough and filling.
  • Brush crusts with egg wash. Bake galettes until crusts are golden brown and potatoes are soft, 30–40 minutes. If you want to make a vegetarian version, you can skip the egg and instead use some water mixed milk to brush the edges.

Cut slice

Original Recipe:

Goat Cheese, Leek, and Potato Galettes with Pistachio Crust

Savory butternut squash

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I have been making an effort to eat local and eat what is in season. To help with this initiative, I only shop at the farmer’s market as much as I can. The only exceptions are curry leaves and mango.

My kids sometimes complain that I always find some type of squash in the market, they are right, you will always find some kind of squash in the market. The butternut squash is typically available in fall. The market I go to, one farmer carries organic apples and different kinds of squashes. I love butternut squash since it holds its shape fairly well even after cooking.

When I was ready to cook this squash, my friend Hrushikesh posted this recipe. This recipe reminded me of the subji that is served as a Prasad ( a blessing) at a a very famous temple. I visited it when I was in 7th grade. I fondly remember sitting on the floor and eating this subji with thick whole wheat rotis on a plate made with dried leaves. I did not know what Bio degradable or compostable meant, now I appreciate that plate even more.

So I decided to try the recipe right away and the outcome was delicious. It can be easily tweaked to be eaten as a fasting food as well.

Savory butternut squash

Pumpkin Subji

Ingredients

3/4 kgs of pumpkin chopped in squares of about 2″ x 2″ (peels on)
3/4 cup  grated dried coconut
1 tbsp Poppy seeds ( खसखस )
2 green chillies finely chopped
2 medium sized dried chillies
1 tbsp  cashews chopped
10-15 fenugreek seeds
2 tsp Corriander powder
1 full stem of curry leaves
2 tbsp Raisins
1/2 cup of water

For tempering
1 1/2 tbsp oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
A pinch of asafoetida

Method

Peel the squash and cut in cubes.

If you are using pumpkin, you can leave the skin on as it helps keep the cubes intact and does not get mushy.

Heat the oil in a wok. When hot, add cumin seeds, turmeric powder and asafoetida.

Add the raisins, curry leaves, green & red chillies, cashew nuts, fenugreek seeds,poppy seeds and roast it for about 2 mins.

Now add 1 tsp of corriander powder (the remaining 1 tsp goes in at the end) and roast it for another minute or slow on a low flame.

Add a few drops of water if it starts to burn.

You can add more chillies if you like, since the squash has its natural sweet taste, sugar or jaggery is not required
Now add the cut pumpkin cubes, there’s no need to steam it as these cubes do get cooked well.

Add 1/4 cup of water and cover this with a lid for about 3-4 mins. Check after that add some more water and let it cook for another 4-5 mins or until done.

Add the roasted dry coconut & 1 tsp of Dhaniya powder.

Cook it till its done.

Serve it hot with roti or Teekhi puris.

 

Beets-oats tikki pattice

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It was a lazy Friday evening. Although it was gorgeous outside, all of us were super lazy. After a long day of work, that swing was calling out to me, it said come and relax with me with a nice book, may be a glass of wine. 

Recently I have been obsessed with Spanish music. I am trying to learn Spanish and listening to the famous Spanish songs helps. My favorite these days, ‘Quizas, quizas, quizas‘by Andrea Bocelli & Jlo, it oozes with romance and feelings of love & longing. The song was playing in the background, which made me want to just close my eyes and relive some very happy moments of the past couple of days. 

But it also made me long even more for those moments. 

I was willing to give into the temptation, that is when my stomach growled. It said, don’t you want something nice to go with that glass of wine and the book. 

I opened the fridge and there was pretty much nothing. I was ready to give up. I said today I am going to be bad and just eat popcorn or cereal or bread and jam for dinner. Just then I heard these beats call out to me, ” hey you got us from the market, remember? You can not ignore us.”  So I decided to make something with beets. Just then I rememberd the left over steel cut oatmeal from this morning. 

Suddenly I knew what I was going to make. 

  

Ingredients

2 beets

1/2 cup of cooked steel cut oats 

1 tsp red chili powder

1 tsp chaat masala

1tsp amchur powder

1/4 tsp ginger garlic paste

1 tbsp chopped cashews

1 green chili chopped

1 tbsp chopped cilantro

Salt to taste 

2 tbsp sooji or cream of wheat

Method 

Grate the beets and squeeze out the excess water. You can add that your smoothie or soups. 

Mix all the ingredients except the sooji and mix thoroughly. All the spice proportions are per our taste, you can change as you like. 

Take a plate and spread the sooji on the plate. 
Make lemon size balls with the beet batter and flatten it out. Make sure you wet your palms so that the dough does not stick. 

Dip the patties in the sooji and shallow fry till golden. Make sure you cook on a medium flame so the beets have a chance to cook.

  
Dips 

I love making these dips. They come together in minutes and are perfect for such appetizers. 

Smoky paprika dip-

Take one chipotle chili( I use the one from the can, that comes in the adobo sauce). Chop it fine and mix with yogurt. Add some roasted cumin powder and salt and the dip is ready. 

Mint- garlic dip-

Take chopped mint and one small crushed clove of garlic and add to a bowl of beaten yogurt. Mix well and add salt to taste. 

I am enjoying these with a glass of wine, my feet up on these pillows. What more can one ask for?