Monday, December 30, 2013

Yule Log Cake - Buche de Noel




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So what if Christmas is over... It is the spirit of Christmas that matters and should stay with us... That said it is never too late to bake this Yule log cake for New Years day perhaps :)

Recipe Adapted from: Joy of Baking

For the cake: 

Ingredients: 

1. Eggs - 6 large, separated
2. Semi sweet chocolate chips - 4oz
3. Granulated white sugar - 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp
4. Pure vanilla extract - 1 tsp
5. Cream of Tartar - 3/4 tsp
6. Butter - for greasing the pan
7. Cocoa - for dusting the pan

Preparation: 

1. Bring all the ingredients to room temperature. This is very important as it helps the batter to rise to a good volume.
2. Line a 17X12 inch jelly roll cake pan with parchment paper. Butter the parchment paper and dust with cocoa.
3. Pre-heat the oven to 350 F.
4. Melt the chocolate chips in a microwave or double boiler and keep aside.
5. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the egg yolks and the sugar until it becomes creamy and pale yellow in color. The mixture should be light and fluffy and should fall back as thick ribbons when you raise the beaters. This should take about 5 mins.
6. Add the vanilla extract and melted chocolate and beat to just combine.
7. In another clean mixing bowl with the whisk attachment beat the egg whites until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and the 2 tbsp of sugar. Beat until stiff peaks form.
8. Fold in the egg whites in small amounts into the egg yolk mixture in quick wide strokes until fully incorporated. Try not to deflate the batter.
9. Spread the batter evenly in the baking sheet and bake for 15-17 mins. The cake should spring back when gently pressed.
10. Cover the cake with a clean slightly damp towel to prevent drying out while cooling.

Filling - Chocolate Whipped Cream 

Ingredients:

1. Heavy whipping cream - 1 cup
2. Cocoa - 2 tbsp
3. Confectioner's sugar - 3 tbsp
4. Vanilla - 1/2 tsp

Preparation: 

1. Chill the whisk attachment and the mixing bowl (preferably stainless steel as it retains the temperature for longer) with all the ingredients listed above in the refrigerator for at least an hour prior to using.
2. Beat the cream mixture until stiff peaks form.

Assembling the cake: 

1. Once the cake has cooled, spread the whipped cream evenly. Gently start rolling the cake from one end, from the longer or the shorter end depending on how long you would want the cake to be. If you are planning to use stumps as well on the log, it would be better to roll from the longer side.
2. Peel away the parchment paper as you roll the cake. Try to roll the cake as tightly as you can. Use the parchment paper to pull in the cake and make the roll tighter.
3. The cake might crack as you roll. This is totally alright as this would give a more natural log like appearance and you would be covering this in frosting anyway.
4. You could cut about 3 inches from the 2 ends for the stumps, depending on how many stumps you need.
5. At this point, you could cover the cake in the pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate while you prepare the frosting.

Chocolate Ganache Frosting to cover the log

Ingredients: 

1. Heavy cream - 1 cup
2. Semi sweet chocolate - 4-5 oz
3. Sugar - 1 tbsp

1. Mix all the 3 ingredients in a heavy bottom saucepan and heat at medium low temperature mixing with a whisk until the chocolate is fully melted and the mixture is smooth.
2. Refrigerate, stirring every 5 mins, until the frosting cools down and reaches the right consistency (like Nutella) to ice the cake. This would take about an hour.

Frosting the cake: 

1. Attach the stumps on the log using a little bit of icing and cover the log in the frosting using a small metal spatula. At this point you could transfer the log to a cake stand or serving platter by lifting the cake carefully using a long knife or a serrated bread knife.
2. Upon covering, run the tip of a fork over the log to give it a log like texture.
3. You could give it more life by adding some greens, cherries, cranberries or meringue mushrooms.
4. Dust with confectioners sugar to complete.
5. Refrigerate for at least 2 hrs before using.

Enjoy! :D










Thursday, December 19, 2013

Buckwheat Banana Pancakes

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These healthy, gluten-free pancakes made with buckwheat flour, have a wonderfully warm and earthy flavor, perfect for winter mornings.

Yield : 6-8 pancakes


Ingredients: 

1. Bananas - 3, mashed to a pulp

2. Egg - 1
3. Extra Virgin Olive Oil - 2 tbsp (You could substitute with butter for more flavor.)
4. Milk - 1 cup
5. Pure Vanilla Extract - 1 tsp
6. Sugar - 3 tbsp
7. Sea Salt - 1/4 tsp
8. Buckwheat flour - 1 cup
9. Baking powder - 1 tsp
10. Cinnamon - 1/8 tsp
11. Blueberries - 1 cup  (If using frozen blueberries, do not thaw them)
12. Honey or Maple Syrup

Preparation: 

1. In a large mixing bowl, mash the bananas into a pulp form. Add the ingredients 2-7 one at a time mixing in between.

2. Add the baking powder and 1/4 cup of buckwheat flour at a time. Mix throughly until fully incorporated.
3. Add the cinnamon and blueberries and give it another mix.
4. Season the griddle with butter or cooking spray on a low - medium flame. If you are using butter, make sure that the butter does not get burnt.  
5. Pour a ladle full of batter onto the pan. Cook for about a minute or until small bubbles form on the top. 
6. Turn the pancake and cook for another 1 min until brown and cooked through. 
7. Remove from the pan and keep warm. Repeat with the remaining batter. 

8. Serve with honey or maple syrup. 

Enjoy! :D 


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Shrimp Green Beans and Mushrooms over Israeli Couscous

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A quick and easy weeknight meal. Hope you all will love this one!

Yield: 2 servings

Ingredients: 

Israeli couscous or Pearl couscous- 2 cups
Chicken broth - 2.5 cups
Onion - 1, chopped
Garlic - 2 cloves, finely chopped
Shrimp - 1 lb (peeled and de-veined)
Green beans - 2 cups, Chopped to 2 inch pieces
Cremini Mushrooms - 2 cups, chopped
Tabasco Sauce - 4 tbsp + 1 tsp
Dry white wine - 1/2 cup
Olive oil - 2 tbsp + 1 tbsp
Freshly ground Black pepper - As desired
Salt - To taste

Preparation: 

1. Marinate the shrimp in Tabasco sauce and keep aside.
2. Bring the broth to a boil in a pan. Add the couscous, simmer for 5 mins, remove from heat and keep closed for 10 mins. Fluff with a fork and keep aside.
3. Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a pan. Add the marinated shrimp and fry on each side for about 2-3 minutes on each side. Sprinkle some salt and black pepper. Transfer to another bowl and keep aside.
4. In the same pan, add a tbsp of oil. When the oil heats up, add the garlic and onions, saute for a few seconds. When the onion sweats, add the chopped mushrooms and green beans. Mix well, cover and cook for about 5 mins stirring occasionally.
5. Remove the pan from heat, add the shrimp, tabasco sauce and white wine followed by some freshly ground pepper and salt.
6. Put it back on the heat, mix well for about a minute or until the wine gets reduced.
7. Remove from heat and serve over the top of the couscous.

Enjoy! :D


Friday, November 15, 2013

Shrimp and Pesto Fusilli

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Recipe adapted from: Epicurious.com
Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients:

1. Fusilli - 1 lb
2. Fresh Basil leaves - 1 cup
3. Cilantro - 1 cup
4. Green onions - 5-6 stalks
5. Walnuts - 1/2 cup
6. Garlic - 2 cloves
7. Lime juice - From one lime
8. Salt - To taste
9. Jalapeño - 1
10. Extra Virgin Olive Oil - 1/4 cup + 2 thsp (for frying the shrimp)
11. Freshly ground black pepper - As desired
12. Salt - To Taste
13. White wine - 1/2 cup
14. Grated parmesan cheese - 1/4 cup

Preparation:

1. Prepare the pasta according to the packet directions, drain and keep aside.
2. Add the ingredients 2-10, plus some salt to a food processor and process to form a coarse puree. Keep aside.
3. Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a pan. Add the shrimp. Season with some salt and black pepper. It should take only about 2-3 minutes on either side (medium-high heat) for the shrimp to get cooked.
4. Remove pan from heat and add the white wine. Once the wine gets reduced (about 30 seconds), add the pesto and give it a mix.
5. Add pasta and toss to coat. Sprinkle additional salt and pepper if desired.
6. Serve with grated parmesan cheese.

Enjoy! :D


Monday, October 28, 2013

Double Chocolate Banana Muffins

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Recipe adapted from: Taste of Home
Yield: 12 standard size muffins

Ingredients:

1. All purpose Flour ( Unbleached and unbromated) - 1.5 cups
2. Dutch processed cocoa - 1/2 cup
3. Baking powder - 2 tsp
4. Salt - 1/4 tsp
5. Evaporated cane juice (sucanat) - 1/2 cup (Can be substituted with brown sugar)
6. Egg - 1
7. Extra Virgin Olive Oil - 1/2 cup
8. Milk - 1/2 cup
9. Pure vanilla Extract - 1 tsp
10. Ripe bananas mashed - 3
11. Chocolate Chips - 3/4 cup (I used Guittard Extra Dark Chocolate chips with 63% cacao mass from Whole Foods)

Preparation:

1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a muffin pan with cupcake liners.
2. Mix all the ingredients 1- 5 using a wire whisk in a bowl and keep aside.
3. In a large mixing bowl, mix the egg and oil well.
4. Add the vanilla extract and mix.
5. Add the milk and flour mix one by one, in parts until fully incorporated.
6. Add the mashed bananas and chocolate chips and fold in with a spatula. Do not over mix.
7. Transfer the mix to the muffins cups.
8. Bake for 15-20 mins or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
9. Sprinkle some brown sugar over the muffins for some sparkle.
10. Transfer muffins to a wire rack and let cool.

Enjoy! :D










Monday, October 21, 2013

Orzo and Chicken Sausage stuffed Bell Peppers

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Recipe Adapted from: Taste of Home 
Yield: 6 servings

Ingredients: 

1. Green Bell Peppers - 6
2. Orzo - 200g
3. Pasta sauce - 1 jar
4. Olive oil - 3 tbsp
5. Salt - To taste
6. Chicken sausage - 200g
7. Garlic - 2 cloves, finely chopped
8. Onion - 1, finely chopped
9. Celery - 1 stalk, finely chopped
10. Jalapeño - 1, finely chopped
11. Summer squash - 1, finely chopped
12. Basil - 1/2 tsp
13. Oregano - 1/2 tsp
14. Black pepper - 1/2 tsp
15. Shredded mozzarella cheese - 1 cup


Preparation: 

1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
2. Cut the top portion of the peppers, remove the seeds and ribs. Keep them aside.
3. Cook the orzo according to the packet instructions and keep aside.
4. Remove the sausage from the casing and mash them and keep aside.
5. Heat oil in a pan. Add the minced garlic and mix for about 30 seconds.
6. Add the ingredients 6-14 and mix well. Cover and cook for about 7-10 mins until the sausage is cooked.
7. Add the pasta sauce, check for salt and let boil. Remove from heat and keep aside.
8. Boil some water in a saucepan (enough for the peppers to sink). Place the peppers in the boiling water for 2 mins, remove and place them in the baking dish. Fill the peppers with the stuffing and place them in the oven.
9. Bake for 15 mins, take them outside, top with the shredded cheese and bake for another 15-20 mins until the top is nice and brown.

Enjoy! :D



Monday, September 30, 2013

Eggplant Stir Fry

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Ingredients:

1. Eggplants - 2, chopped lengthwise ( I used Asian eggplants)
2. Olive oil - 2 tbsp
3. Garlic - 2 cloves, finely chopped
4. Onion - 1 small, finely chopped
5. Turmeric - 1/4 tsp
6. Cumin powder - 1/4 tsp
7. Black pepper - 1/2 tsp
8. Curry leaves - 1 sprig

Preparation: 

1. Heat olive in a pan. Add the chopped garlic and onion. Saute for a few seconds till the onion sweats.
2. Add the turmeric, cumin and black pepper.Mix well.
3. Add the chopped eggplants and mix in well until all the pieces are coated with the spices.
4. Cover and cook for 5-10 minutes on medium flame.
5. Add the curry leaves, some more freshly ground black pepper, a drizzle of olive oil, mix and remove from heat.

Enjoy! :D

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Raisin Butter Cookies

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Yield: 15- 20 cookies

Ingredients: 

1. Butter - 65 gm, cut into small cubes (At room temperature, soft to the touch)
2. Brown Sugar - 65 gm
3. Egg - 1 (At room temperature)
4. Almond Extract - 1/8th tsp
5. All purpose flour - 100 gm, sifted
6. Raisins - 1/2 cup

Preparation: 

1. Cream butter and sugar.
2. Add the egg and almond extract and beat on medium speed for a minute.
3. Add the flour 1/4 cup at a time and continue mixing until all the flour is incorporated.
4. Mix in the raisins with a spatula.
5. Transfer the cookie dough completely to a plastic wrap and flatten it into a rough rectangle and refrigerate for at least 2-3 hrs, until firm.
6. Preheat oven to 350 F.
7. Place the chilled dough between two baking sheets, roll out the dough to 4-5 mm thickness.
8. Remove the top baking sheet and bake the dough for 10-15 minutes until golden.
9. Cut the cookies into smaller rectangles when it is still warm.
10. Cool on a wire rack and transfer and store in an airtight container.

Enjoy! :D



Green Peas Pulao

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Yield: 4-6 servings

Ingredients:

1. Basmati rice - 2 cups, washed in a few changes of water and soaked for 30 mins to an hr
2. Oil or Ghee - 2 tbsp
3. Cumin Seeds - 1 tsp
4. Dry Red chillies - 2-3
5. Cinnamon stick - 1 inch piece
6. Green cardamom, 3-4 lightly crushed
7. Onion - 1 small, chopped lengthwise
8. Garlic cloves - 2-3 small, finely chopped
9. Green chillies - 3-4, finely chopped
10. Cilantro - 1 cup, finely chopped
11. Frozen peas - 1 cup
12. Garam Masala - 1/2 tsp
13. Salt - To taste

Preparation: 

1. Heat oil/ghee in a saucepan. Add the cumin seeds, red chillies, cinnamon stick and cardamom.
2. Add the chopped garlic and onion. Mix until the onion sweats, 2-3 minutes.
3. Add the peas, green chillies, cilantro, garam masala and salt. Mix well and cook for 2-3 minutes.
4. Add the rice and mix lightly until it gets coated with the masala.
5. Add about 3 1/2 cups of water. Cover and cook for 10- 12 minutes.
6. Open and fluff gently with a fork.

Enjoy! :D



Meen Kulambu - Fish in Tamarind and Tomato Sauce

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Ingredients:

1. Fish - 1lb, cut to small pieces (I used salmon for this recipe)
2. Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
3. Fenugreek seeds - 1/4 tsp
4. Ginger - 1 inch piece, finely chopped
5. Garlic - 3-4 cloves, finely chopped
6. Onion - 1, finely chopped
7. Tomato - 1 medium size, finely chopped
8. Kashmiri chilli powder - 1 tsp
9. Coriander powder - 1 tsp
10. Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
11. Tamarind - 1 Indian gooseberry size, soaked in 1/2 cup of water
12. Curry leaves - 1 sprig
13. Cilantro - For garnish
14. Oil - 2 tbsp (preferably coconut oil)

For the marinade:

Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Red chilli powder - 1 tsp
Salt - As desired

Marinate the fish with all the above ingredients and refrigerate for an hour.

To grind to a paste: 

Tomato - Large, 1
Green chillies - 3-4
Shallots - 5-6
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp

Grind all the above ingredients to a fine paste in the grinder without adding water and keep aside.

Preparation: 

1. Mash the soaked tamarind to a pulp and keep aside. Remove seeds if any.
2. Heat oil in a clay pot (if you have one, or a regular saucepan). Add mustard seeds, followed by fenugreek seeds.
3. When they splutter add the chopped ginger and garlic and saute for a minute.
4. Add the chopped onions. Saute for a few minutes until they sweat.
5. Add red chilli powder, coriander powder and turmeric and saute until the raw smell goes away.
6. Add the curry leaves and chopped tomatoes and cook until the tomatoes get mashed.
7. Add the tomato paste and tamarind paste, mix well and let boil.
8. Once the curry boils, add the fish pieces one by one, a little water if necessary, cover and cook for 15- 20 minutes or until the fish gets cooked.
9. Garnish with chopped cilantro.

Enjoy! :D





Monday, August 26, 2013

Blueberry Jam

IMG_2179 IMG_2180 Blueberry picking

Yield : About 16 oz
Recipe adapted from: Driscoll's 

Ingredients:

1. Blueberries - 4 cups
2. Honey - 1/3 of a cup
3. Lemon juice - From half a lemon
4. Lemon zest - From half a lemon

Preparation:

1. Add the blueberries, honey, lemon juice and lemon zest over medium- high heat on a heavy bottom saucepan and bring to a boil.
2. Boil for about 15 minutes until most of the water evaporates, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching.
3. Pour the hot jam into hot or sterilized glass jars leaving a quarter of an inch of headspace.
4. Make sure that there are no air bubbles, close the lid and immerse into a pan of boiling water (water level should be 1 inch above the jar) for 10 mins and remove.

Note: This jam thickens as it cools down. I did not add any artificial pectin to this recipe and it still turned out to be a good jelly.

Enjoy! :D






Friday, August 23, 2013

Red Currant Trifle Pudding

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Yield - 2 servings

Ingredients: 

1. Red currants - 1/2 pint
2. Berries (your choice) - 1/2 pint (I used blackberries for this recipe)
3. Angel food cake - 2 cups, cut up into small pieces (homemade or store bought)
4. Vanilla pudding - 1 cup
5. Sliced almonds - 1/4 cup

Red currant sauce Preparation:

Boil red currants with 2- 3 tbsp sugar in heavy bottom saucepan over medium heat to form a thick sauce. This would take 5 - 10 minutes. Keep aside.

Vanilla pudding Preparation: 

Milk - 1 cup
Cornstarch - 1 tbsp
Vanilla extract - 1 tsp
Sugar - 2 tbsp

1. Combine milk, cornstarch and sugar in a heavy bottom pan. Heat the milk mixture over medium-high heat stirring continuously. Make sure there are no lumps from the cornstarch.
2. When it begins to thicken add the vanilla extract, mix well for 2-3 more minutes and remove from heat.
3. The pudding will thicken as it cools down.

Assembling the pudding: 

1. In a glass bowl or a trifle bowl, layer the cake pieces, followed by vanilla pudding, red currant sauce and berries. Repeat the layers.
2. Add some sliced almonds for some crunch.
3. Chill for 4 hrs before serving.

Enjoy! :D


Ethappazham Pulissery - Ripe Plantain Curry in Yogurt and Coconut Sauce

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Ingredients:

1. Ripe plantains - 2, cut horizontally
2. Yogurt or buttermilk- 2 cups
3. Grated coconut - 1/2 cup
4. Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
5. Green chillies - 3-4
6. Cumin seeds - 1/4 tsp
7. Oil (preferably coconut oil) - 2 tbsp
8. Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
9. Dry red chillies - 2-3
10. Curry leaves - 1 sprig
11. Salt - As desired
12. Sugar - 2 tbsp (Or depending on the ripeness of the plantains)
13. Fenugreek seeds - 1/4 tsp

Preparation:

1. Boil the ripe plantains in approximately 2 cups of water with turmeric, sugar and a pinch of salt in a traditional clay pot (manchatti) or a saucepan until its cooked and tender.
2. Meanwhile, blend the coconut, green chillies and cumin seeds with very little water to form a smooth paste. Keep aside.
3. Whip the yogurt with some water and salt to the desired thickness and keep aside (This step can be omitted if you are using buttermilk. Just add a little salt to the buttermilk.).
4. Add the coconut paste to the cooked plantains and let boil for a few seconds and remove from heat.
5. Now, add the yogurt slowly mixing continuously. Keep aside.
6. For tempering, heat coconut oil in a small pan. Add mustard seeds followed by fenugreek seeds and red chilles. When they splutter, add curry leaves and pour the tempering over the curry and mix lightly.
7. Serve warm with rice.

Enjoy! :D 

Friday, August 16, 2013

Spicy Shrimp Roast with Cherry Tomatoes

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We picked up these awesome cherry tomatoes from a nearby farm. They are just too good. Even though I am not a fan of eating raw tomatoes, I just could not stop eating them.. Too good.. :)

Ingredients:

1. Shrimp - 1 lb
2. Cherry tomatoes - A handful, halved
3. Ginger - 1 inch piece, grated
4. Garlic - 3-4 cloves, finely chopped
5. Onion - 1 big, chopped lengthwise
6. Lemon juice - 1 tbsp
7. Turmeric powder - 1/2 + 1/4 tsp
8. Red Chilli powder - 1/2 + 1/2 tsp
9. Garam masala powder - 1/4 tsp + 1/4 tsp
10. Black pepper powder - 1/2 + 1/2 tsp
11. Oil (preferrably virgin coconut oil) - For shallow frying + 2 tbsp for roasting
12. Salt - As desired
13. Curry leaves - 1 sprig
14. Green chillies - 3-4, chopped

Preparation:

1, Marinate the shrimp with lemon juice, 1/2 tsp turmeric powder, 1/2 tsp red chilli powder, 1/4 tsp garam masala and 1/2 tsp black pepper powder and salt in the refrigerator for 4-5 hours or overnight.
2. Heat enough oil in a heavy bottom pan for shallow frying. Fry the shrimp (About 2 mins on each side should suffice) and keep aside on a paper towel to drain out excess oil.
3. Heat another pan. Add 2 tbsp oil. Add the chopped ginger and garlic.
4. When the raw smell goes away, add the chopped onion. Saute until it gets lightly browned.
5. Add the remaining turmeric powder, red chilli powder, garam masala and black pepper powder.
6. Mix well until the spices are roasted.
7. Add the tomatoes and mix for a few minutes.
8. Add the shrimp, mix, add a few teaspoons of water if necessary, cover and cook for 5 minutes.
9. Add the chopped green chillies, curry leaves, mix and remove from heat.

Enjoy! :D



Red Radish Roast

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Ingredients:

1. Red Radish - 2 bunches (thinly sliced)
2. Onion - 1 cut lengthwise
3. Garlic - 2 cloves, finely chopped
4. Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
5. Oil - 2 tbsp
6. Salt - As desired
7. Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
8. Red Chilli powder - 1 tsp
9. Amchur powder (Dry mango powder) - A pinch
10. Curry leaves - 1 sprig

Preparation:

1. Heat oil in a wok or a pan. Splutter mustard seeds.
2. Add the chopped garlic and mix for a few seconds. Add the chopped onion and mix until they turn lightly brown.
3. Add the turmeric and red chilli powder.
4. Saute for a few seconds or until the raw smell of the spices goes away.
5. Add the chopped red radish, mix well, cover and cook for 10-15 mins.
6. Add the mango powder, curry leaves, mix and remove from the heat.

Enjoy! :D 

Friday, August 9, 2013

Pasta e Fagioli (Pasta and Beans)

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Ingredients: 

1. Pasta (I used Pipe Rigate for this recipe) - 150 gm
2. Red kidney beans - 3 cups, cooked
3. Onion - 1 diced 
4. Carrot - 1, cut into small cubes
5. Red bell pepper - 2 cut into small cubes
6. Garlic - 3 cloves, finely chopped
7. Tomatoes - 1 cup canned, no salt added tomatoes 
8. Basil - 1/2 cup freshly chopped 
9. Fresh rosemary - 1 sprig, finely chopped
10. Chicken stock - 4 1/2 cups
11. Grated Parmesan cheese - 1/2 cup
12. Extra Virgin Olive oil - 3 tsp 
13. Freshly ground black pepper - To taste 
14. Salt - To taste 

Preparation: 

1. Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat. 
2. Add the onion, carrot, red bell peppers and garlic and cook until the onion is tender. 
3. Add the tomatoes, basil, rosemary and salt and pepper and mix well. Cover and cook for 5 minutes until some of the liquid from the tomatoes has evaporated. 
4. Add the beans and chicken stock. Bring to boil, reduce to a simmer and cover and cook for 15 mins or until the liquid thickens. 
5. Return to a boil add the pasta and cook uncovered for 10 minutes or until the pasta is firm tender. 
6. Serve topped with grated parmesan cheese and some freshly chopped basil. 

Enjoy! 

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

It is all green back home ....

Just wanted to share a few pictures I took during my recent trip to my home country Kerala, India .. This is for all who miss the green back home.. All the green fields, monsoons, smell of wet soil and coconut trees... Revisiting some childhood memories.... 

Peppercorn vines just beginning to bloom... 


Chikoo fruit or sapodilla.. 


Banana plant... 



Baby papaya .. All healthy and free of any genetical modification... Grows in almost every backyard back home... Papaya trees' popularity has increased recently as papaya leaves hold an answer to curing dengue fever..


Yup.. That's how we get our non GMO, non homogenized, unpasteurized raw milk free of antibiotics and hormones back home.. And yes, from grass fed cows... !! How cool is that...!! :D After washing, these bottles are filled with water and kept near the gates of every household and by the time you wake up in the morning, voila.. ! Its filled with milk already by the milk man... 


Panikoorka plant or Indian borage is a common sight in most southern homes - mostly used for treating cold cough and fever in children.. 


And the wonderful ylang ylang tree with flowers.. The whole area smells wonderful when there are fresh blooms .. 


Some common flowers and plants found in most homes... 












Still holding on to those droplets from the rain.. 


Green moss filled brick fences ... 





This plant is called 'Mashi Thandu' - previously used by children to clean slate... I do not think slate is by children anymore though.. It was also used to demonstrate the water uptake of plants in school .. A stem of this plant inserted in blue ink turns blue after a few hours.. 


This is called 'Chorian Thumba' - causes some serious itching when touched.. :(


A baby pomegranate ... 


Gambooge Tree .. 



Ginger plants ... 


Spideyyy... This one jumped from the web right after I clicked that picture... Ahhh.. Lucky me..!


Kadachakka or Breadfruit tree.. 


Wet chembu leaves right after a rain...  


Tulsi or Holy Basil plant... 


For all 'chakka' or jackfruit lovers.... I hear they dont taste as good as they should now because of the monsoons.. I hate chakka anyway... :D 


Mukkutti poo - An ayurvedic medicinal plant with tiny beautiful yellow flowers is used to cure many ailments in traditional medicine... 





KaatuKaduku or Asian spiderflower - another medicinal plant that grows in the backyards.. 


I am not sure what this plant is .. I guess this is some wild taro plant... Help? 



Our own 'Communist Pacha' - used to cure cuts, snake bites and many other ailments .... 



Thumbapoo... Another medicinal plant ...


Luvikka Tree - The fruit 'Luvikka' is used in pickles... 



Custard Apple Tree... 



Chembakkapoo..... :D 


All organic, cage free, natural diet, free range hens ... :D 


Coconut trees and fields ... 








Thats my favorite - The 'Touch Me Not' plant... ! 




 Grass fed, hormone free, free grazing cattle... All organic ... :D


An after party scene??? Empty bottle in the fields... ;)


Braal (Dragonhead or snakehead fish) fry's ... They just show up in the fields filled with rain water... Missing Fried Braal fish anyone? :(


 Yup... My timepass.... :D 




:D :D :D 






 
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