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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