Friday, 27 January 2017

SWEET POTATO PUDDING

SWEET POTATO PUDDING

EDITED : This recipe was featured at Healthy Living Link party on 9th February 2017, Check here.


 In my long stay in Africa, and before in India, I had only seen one colour of sweet potato flesh, that is white, with light brown skin colour, like potatoes. This off-whitish colour was a bit drab to use in recipes and because, as I’ve mentioned before, I do not use artificial food colour in my cooking, it was not very exciting. To my big surprise, when I came to Canada, I have seen two more colours of sweet potato flesh that is orange and purple, their skin colour ranges from shades of white and yellow to red, purple and brown.

 
I was glad that now I can have a variety of colours of this healthy vegetable to try and test in my kitchen. I really liked cooking with the orange coloured ones, because orange gives a warm feeling and it looks particularly good on sweet items like this pudding. Though the purple colour of sweet potato is also fine, but the colour is not that appealing for some items, which I make, like soup. Now whenever I buy sweet potatoes, the first thing I see is the colour of its flesh.

 
These days, sweet potatoes are ranked as having the highest nutritional value among other foods. It is considered as the best complex carbohydrate, and people are encouraged to use more sweet potatoes in their diet. It is considered as one of the healthiest carbs. Check this website

 
 
I used this recipe many times before and made this pudding with white sweet potatoes. But this time I really enjoyed cooking this pudding (with orange sweet potatoes), because of its colour. Using orange sweet potato is a different experience for this recipe, because this colour gives life to this pudding or maybe, I am the one who is attracted by this colour.

 
While I was planning to prepare this pudding, my daughter suggested, to use jaggery instead of white sugar, because jaggery can enhance the colour, aroma and taste of a sweet item like this one. Jaggery is used in Indian cuisine a lot in many sweet recipes.

  
For those readers who do not know jaggery, it is the traditional raw form of sugar which is golden in colour. This is a concentrated product of sugar cane which is used in Asia, Africa and South America. Jaggery contains many minerals which are healthy and not found in white sugar. (Source Wikipedia)

 
In Hindi, we call it ‘Gur’, in different languages different names are there for jaggery. In north India, people eat a small amount of jaggery after dinner in winter, not only to satisfy their sweet tooth but also to get the health benefits of it. There are many health benefits of eating jaggery in winter. You can check 15 health benefits of jaggery in this website.

RECIPE

INGREDIENTS

  • 200 grams orange sweet potato
  • 500 grams full-fat milk
  • 100 grams jaggery or brown sugar
  • 20 grams sliced pistachios
  • 200 ml sweetened condensed milk

METHOD
  • Wash, boil and chop sweet potatoes in small pieces or grate it.
  • Boil milk in a heavy bottomed pot; let it reduce to half the amount.
  • Add sweet potato and leave it to boil till it is thick enough like pudding.
  • Add jaggery and mix well, boil for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add condensed milk and boil again.
  • Garnish with pistachios.
  • This can be served hot or cold, depending on the taste.

Sunday, 15 January 2017

BLACK-EYED BEANS STUFFED BELL PEPPER

BLACK EYED BEANS STUFFED BELL PEPPER

 EDITED: 1. This post was featured at Real Food Friday on 19th January link party, check here
 2. This post was also featured ar Heart and Soul blog hop on 28th Jan 2017, check here 
3.  This recipe was also featured at Sunday food and Fitness party on 29th January 2017, Chek here

Lentils play an important role in Indian vegetarian cuisine because they are the main source of protein for vegetarians. Being vegetarian, I also use them a lot and make sure that at least, I serve them in one meal to my family. Though we also get protein from other sources like milk, yoghurt, cheese etc, but the amount of protein which we get from the lentils is much greater that other sources.


In my kitchen, around 20 types of these lentils and beans are used. On top of that, I also mix and matched them to give variety in food and taste. To make curries and stews, in some lentils, vegetables are also added, in this way I get more than 20 types of lentil preparations. These lentil curries and stews we as a family enjoy either with rice or Indian flat bread or naan etc. 

 
Apart from curries and stews, in Indian cuisine, many varieties of snacks and traditional sweet items are also made with some particular type of lentils or lentil powder, in which chickpeas flour is the most common one.

In my blog, you will find many lentil based recipes, in which the main ingredient is either lentil itself of lentil powder or paste. In this journey of blogging, I found a blog hop/party, called "My Legume Love Affair", based on the main ingredient lentil, which was started by Susan of “The well seasoned cook” in 2008, and later taken care by Lisa of “Lisa’s Kitchen”, which had already completed 100 months, amazing isn’t it. I took part in this blog hop many times whenever I had prepared the recipe accordingly. And luckily I had hosted the even twice, one in November 2015 and the other one in May 2016.



Black eyed beans are used in many cuisines of the world. When I was in Botswana I have seen my African colleagues were growing these beans in their gardens and selling them. I gave the recipe of beans-curry to many of my colleagues to try a new version of these beans.

Coming to the recipe, I have also added whole green mung beans in it, which are also very healthy. This is a whole meal recipe because it is quite filling, with a lot of protein in it, as beans and cheese are used in it. This can be served with toasted/ garlic bread with a salad of your choice.



 

RECIPE

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 red/orange or green bell pepper of medium size
  • 1/2 cup whole black eyed beans
  • 1/2 cup whole green mung
  • 200 grams potatoes (2 medium size)
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • 2 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 2 tablespoon oil for coating the bell pepper
  • 200 grams grated mozzarella/ Cheddar cheese

METHOD

  • Rinse, remove the stem of the pepper, cut half way through, put it aside.
  • Wash and rinse both the lentils together 3-4 times in clean water. Put in pressure cooker with 2 cups of water, add salt and boil for 5-7 minutes after the whistle on a medium flame. Leave it to cool.
  • Boil the potatoes, chop finely or grate the boiled potatoes.
  • In a big bowl, add potatoes and boiled lentils, salt, black pepper, dry coriander powder and mix thoroughly. The filling is ready.
  • Take all the bell peppers and coat the outer skin with oil. Stuff this filling in all the peppers. Heat the oven on 200 degrees C.
  • Arrange them standing in a tray. Cook the pepper for 20 -25 minutes till the pepper is tender from outside.
  • Individually on each pepper sprinkle the cheese on top leave it for another 5 minutes so that cheese can melt and change the colour.
    Serve hot as soon as it is out of the oven. This is a full meal, can be served with toasted/garlic bread or dinner bun, with any drink of your choice This can be served to 4-6 people.

    I am sending this recipe as my blog post entry with Real Food Friday and Fiesta Friday and
    The Sweet inspiration party and Meatless Monday and with Hearth and Soul blog hop and Cook blog share and with My legume love affair with Lisa's kitchen and this month hosted by Rafeeda
    and with Way wow link party.  and  Sunday food and fitness party and Brag about it link party, 
    and Healthy Living link party .










     



     


     


     

Monday, 2 January 2017

MALAI CHOP ( BENGALI SWEET)

MALAI CHOP ( BENGALI SWEET)

Wishing all my readers a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year.

This is my sixth recipe which was published in the Vancouver-based Darpan magazine. Check the online link here.

  

Darpan magazine has been a part of Vancouver media Industry for the past 11 years. The magazine which releases once in two months, cater to Indians, Canadians, and Indo-Canadian readers and covers topics ranging from renowned Indian and Indo-Canadian personalities, entertainment, politics, global Indians to lifestyle related topics like health, food, tech, travel, and much more.


The Bengali cuisine of India is famous for many sweet items which are mainly made with milk/chhena (fresh cottage cheese), amongst them rasgulla and rasmalai are famous throughout India and abroad. Bengalis from eastern India know a great deal about sweet making, and their sweets are not very rich in calories  because they are not fried in ghee/oil compared to some other sweets of north India.


 

There are so many varieties of rasgullas and Malai chop is one of them, which tastes and looks awesome too. This being an elegant sweet dish for parties or family gatherings, can be prepared in advance and kept in the fridge, and served cold. 


 

If made from scratch, this recipe can be very tricky. I’ve reduced the complexity and simplified the recipe to make it much easier to produce. Satisfy your sweet tooth with the recipe of this Malai chop.



RECIPE



INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tin of cham cham/ rasgulla ( I used ready-made chumchum tin of haldiram) 
  • 200 grams fresh cream (whipping)
  • 100 grams homemade chhena * or grated paneer
  • 100 graams khoya/mava
  • 5-6 tbs Roohafza sharbat
  • sliced cherry

Chhena can be made very easily at home. Boil one-liter milk, once it starts boiling, add one tbs vinegar to separate milk from whey, drain and remove the watery whey. Leave the milk solids in a colander for 30 minutes to drain all the water.  Now Chhena is ready.



METHOD



  • Open the tin and slit cham-cham or rasgula into half, lengthwise and arrange on a serving tray.
  • Take cream in a bowl, add Roohafza and mix well with egg beater/stand mixer with a beat attachment for 5-10 minutes till it forms soft peaks (like you do in making Chantilly cream).
  • Now add chhena or paneer, and fold gently, add khoya and fold gently till they dissolve well with cream, taking care not to overbeat the cream.
  • Fill the cream mixture in piping bag with a star or any tip of your choice.
  • Decorate on the top of cham-cham or rasgulla, any design you like, place sliced cherry on top for garnishing.


    I am sending this recipe as my blog post entry to Cook blog share and Meatless Monday and Way wow blog hop and Hearth and soul blog hop And Fiesta Friday and Sweet Inspiration party