Sunday, 26 February 2017

MINTY VEG YOGHURT SALAD (RAITA) AND A POST ON A HERB-MINT

MINTY VEG YOGHURT SALAD (RAITA)
AND POST ON A HERB- MINT

EDITED: This recipe was published in the local Newspaper of Airdrie "Here's the Scoop" on 31st March 2017.




Mint is a powerful herb, which has a freshening flavour. That is the reason; it is used in many modern products like toothpastes, chewing gum, mouth fresheners, chocolates, inhalers etc. In India, I have seen mint capsules (Pudin hara) are available for indigestion, which is a very effective medicine to calm stomach cramps.

 
This is a tender herb like coriander and basil. These tender herbs are not used, straight in the pot, while cooking or baking an item, because chances are excessive heat will cause the mint leaves to lose their colour, aroma and nutrients during the process of cooking. Their optimum benefits can only be obtained when they are garnished fresh on top of food.

 
Normally, we use fresh green mint leaves which are easily available everywhere. In the absence of fresh mint, dry mint leaves can also be used. Dried mint leaves give almost the same flavour and taste like the fresh ones. I use these dried mint leaves to garnish veg and fruit salads, yoghurt raitas, chats and drinks etc.

 
It is very easy to dry the mint leaves, they can be dried in the shade and don’t need to be directly in the sun. The best place can be the dining table because mint leaves need a shady area to dry out. If mint leaves are dried in the sun, the colour and aroma will not be sustained. I always dry extra mint leaves and keep it for future use, these dry leaves can last in a glass jar for many months. That's how I do it – after rinsing the leaves with the stems, I spread them on a kitchen towel in a shady area. Next day I transfer them on a kitchen paper, they can take around 2-3 days to dry completely.  When they are dried, I crush the dry leaves in small pieces and fill them in a glass jar. This can last on the shelf for many months.

 
In Indian cuisine, a very tasty and flavourful mint chutney is made with fresh mint leaves, which is a famous restaurant chutney, available and served in almost all Indian restaurants with fritters and samosas in India and abroad. Apart from the freshness, aroma and taste of this mint leaves chutney, it has a nice pleasing green colour.



It is also very easy to grow mint. If you are planning to grow some mint leaves, take some stems and put in a jar with some fresh water, change the water every day. Within few days you will see the roots in the jar, as you can see in my picture. Within a few days, you may see plenty of roots in the jar, then transfer them in a pot with some nice soil. Mint plant needs a lot of sunlight and dripping water, I mean the soil should always be moist. I had grown mint leaves, many times in my kitchen garden when I lived in Africa.




Apart from such a nice flavour, mint leaves have many health benefits, check this website-organic facts.net

 
This is a very simple but tasty salad or a side dish, in which I have just folded the fresh vegetables in yoghurt and added some spices and garnished it with fresh mint. 

 

RECIPE



INGREDIENTS



  • 500 ml Greek yoghurt
  • 100 grams cucumber (1/4 English cucumber)
  • 100 grams tomato (one medium)
  • 100 grams boiled potato (one medium)
  • 50 grams onion ( one small)
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed roasted cumin seeds
  • Few mint leaves to garnish



METHOD

  • Chop all vegetables except onions into small pieces
  • Finely chop the onion, and mix with other vegetables.
  • Mix salt, black pepper, cumin and Himalayan pink salt in yoghurt.
  • Fold yoghurt in all the vegetables and garnish with fresh chopped mint leaves and keep it in the fridge.
  • Serve cold. This can be served to 4-6 people as a salad or a side dish.

I am sharing this recipe as my blog post entry to Hearth and Soul blog party, Sunday Food and Fitness party, Sweet Inspiration link party, Cook blog share party, Healthy Living Link party.  Meat less Monday, and Fiesta Friday link party. co host  Indian curry  and Margy's blog and Eat your greens party   and with I am pinnable party  and with Healthy Living link party. and with Cook once and eat twice linky



















 

Sunday, 12 February 2017

BAKED STUFFED APPLE

BAKED STUFFED APPLE


Happy Valentine's day!

I am sharing this recipe for Valentine's day, so that you can cook this special sweet item, on a special day for someone who is really special to you and enjoy the day.



There is a proverb in English language, it says -An apple a day, keeps the doctor away, if that is the case then why not eat an apple in a style and use it in our recipes also, like this one which I am sharing and get more benefit of this nutritional fruit. Apple is actually used in many cuisines of the world, many baked and sweet recipes are made with it.

 
When I talk about apples and fruits in general, I really miss South Africa. In South Africa, many fruits are grown on a very large scale by commercial farmers, which are exported to many neighbouring countries like- Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Swaziland, Lesotho and Namibia. Even exported to other countries which are far from South Africa. In Calgary, Canada, I have seen South African oranges are sold in some of the shops. 

 
I remember, when I was in South Africa, our drive from Rustenburg to Pretoria, which is around 100 km, was so enchanting and cool because our eyes could see only orange orchards on the right side of the road, for kilometres and kilometres in our journey. And if the season is winter, those short orange trees were bending down with the weight of hundreds of oranges on them. The mixed colour of orange and green was really pleasing to the eyes.




When we drove from three sisters to Cape town, views near Cape town were breathtaking, beautiful green valleys, hills, rivers, mountains and vineyards. Most of these vineyards in valleys with elegant farm houses. On the sides of the roads there are many farm stalls, if you are traveling in a summer season, you will find those farm stalls selling fresh grapes straight from the farms at a very reasonable price. A lot of variety of grapes are grown in South Africa of beautiful colours of red, purple and green.

 

The majority of South African apples are grown in Elgin valley, in the Western cape. There are many varieties of apples are available there. My favourite type of the apple was “Pink lady”, which has attractive pink colour, exquisite taste and slightly oblong in shape while eating you can feel the crunch, crisp and sweetness of the fruit. Other varieties available were- gala, golden delicious, granny smith, Fuji, royal gala and much more.

 

Coming to the recipe, the original idea of this recipe I got from Winnie’s blog Something Sweet. Check here-winnish.net When I had seen this recipe I really liked it and bookmarked it to try soon. I thought I will give the Indian twist to the recipe when I made it this very, the very first time, it was a super hit in my house, and my family members were demanding again and again. Now I am sharing with my readers on my blog. 

 


RECIPE

INGREDIENTS



  • 4 large apples
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup mixed nuts of your choice
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 200 grams khoya/ mava
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoon desiccated coconut powder
  • 1/4 nutmeg or cardamom powder
  • 4 tablespoon roohafza sherbet or pink sugar syrup/squash.



METHOD


  • Rinse and dry the apples.
  • Cut out holes in apples for stuffing. Use a sharp knife remove the stem area than the seeds and make the hole in apples.
  • Grate the khoya.
  • Mix all dry ingredients with grated khoya and add milk.
  • In a fry pan, heat this mixture on a gas stove for few minutes till khoya is melted.
  • Stuff this mixture inside apples.
  • Heat the oven at 180 degrees C, bake these apples on a baking tray for 15-20 minutes till you see the apple's soft skin from outside.
  • Garnish with rooh awza sherbet and serve at room temperature.
 

I am sharing this recipe with Recipe of the week and with Sunday Food and Fitness and Meatless Monday and with Fiesta Friday and Sweet Inspiration Link party and with Hearth and Soul blog hop, and Cook Blog share and Meat up Monday Link party and Way wow link party. and with Real Food Friday and with Healthy Living link party and Plant based party  and with I am pinnable link party