Rubios and Baja Fresh are two restaurants that ‘the boy’ and ‘the girl’ often eat at during weekends. At Baja Fresh they love the mango salsa and at Rubios the Chipotle sauce is what makes them keep going back. One day ‘the boy’ says to the girl ‘how do these guys make this sauce?’ and ‘the girl’ takes it up as a challenge!
The language used in the label is ‘Telugu’, the main language spoken in the south Indian state I was born in which was recently cut up into two states thanks to greed, conflict and war. I was taught to write in this language since I was 10 and I was a reluctant learner. I don’t do justice to the language when I speak it but I understand it very well. I consider the state my birth place and it saddens me terribly to see it torn up.
I think I’ve mentioned earlier how Oats flour plays a significant role in our home. After having been introduced to it more than a year ago by my Mom, we’ve been using up boxes of Quaker Oats like nobody’s business. Warming up a glass of Lactaid and adding two tablespoons of the Oats flour and some honey and fruits makes for a pretty quick and delectable breakfast. If time permits, Oats dosa is an all time favourite and can be whipped up in no time.
I was inspired to make this dessert thanks to a going away gift i got from a coworker ~ a huge jar of mandeline almond paste. I looked up recipes of cookies, cakes and then wondered if I could use it in traditional Indian gravies and finally decided on making a different version of the famed Kaju Katli » behold the infamous Badam/Almond Katli!
As a south Indian I grew up eating these for snacks - Achappams - crispy, light, slightly sweet and fun! It wasn’t until recently that I found out that they were called Rosettes out here.
I never realized how much I would grow to love these weird tomato-ish looking fruit in such a short time. Mostly it was used for juicing with the juicing buddies and the fruit came straight from their family gardens. Recently a neighbor dropped by and game me some because, she said, her brother in law gave her so many, she didn’t know what to do with them all. I decided I’d make Persimmon Jam and then use that in a puff pastry! How ingenious is that!
Also I have been waiting a week for these beauties to ripen a bit more. Would it be weird if I offered some of the jam to the kind lady that gave me the fruit in the first place?
I have been trying out puff pastry bite size dessert ideas for sometime now. Apricot preserve, Pumpkin butter, pineapple jam, strawberry preserve, orange marmalade, chocolate sauce, cheese, spinach - you name it. In India I used to love the egg puff although not as much the mess it made while eating though. And i think that is one of my main reasons to make them bite size - no mess. These can be devoured by the dozen, can be made healthy(using whole wheat puff pastry) and are fast and easy to make as well.
I obviously had to pinterest all the little bite size treats i could. And I almost got lost deciding what I wanted to make. Finally i decided on giving these a try with what I had on hand before I went and splurged on fillings.
Pretty simple, right? These are as simple and straightforward as they look. The prep time is about 15 minutes and the cook time - about 30 minutes. Serve warm or cold, they are definitely a treat to the eye and the tastebuds.
Preheat oven to 375 F. Get puff pastry at the grocery store and thaw for about 10 minutes. Cut into desired shape and bake for 25-30 minutes. If you like to add egg wash to the top of the puff pastry, thats a good touch as well.
Once done, use a fork or your hand to make a small depression in the middle and add any pre-made topping you like!
Each of us deal with grief and loss in a different way. It might come as no surprise that I turn to food which is not necessarily a good thing. I decided though not to focus on the loss and instead write something about the person.
The one thing we had in common was that we loved food. I loved cooking(& eating) and he enjoyed eating. I come from a family that used to love non vegetarian food - a lot! It came as a big surprise to them when I stopped. For quite a few years after I stopped eating meat, I continued to cook it during family get togethers because people enjoyed it.
I remember making chicken fry and having it wiped clean by the lot. I remember making baked fish and my uncle insisting on checking if it was cooked every few minutes - by tasting it.
I have not cooked meat in a long while and have not eaten it either and so I decided to make a dish that we all loved eating and making regardless of the occasion. Chole, chickpeas in a tomato based gravy, eaten with rotis, puri or any form of flat bread or not, but always enjoyed by everyone.
I made a small modification and added a lot more fresh coriander than i usually would. The fresh greens added a flavor and color that was definitely a feast to the eyes and refreshing to the taste buds. This is not your typical chole and you will not find it at your local restaurant so if you’d like, give it a try. This recipe requires no finesse or knife skills but does require patience(waiting for the onion to almost caramelize for example) and ALL of the ingredients.
Garbanzo beans - 2 cups soaked overnight, cooked and drained (You could alternatively use canned garbanzo beans)
Oil - Canola or Vegetable or Coconut oil - 1 Tbsp
Onion - 1 Large roughly chopped
Tomatoes - 2 Cups roughly chopped
Garlic - 10 cloves
Ginger - same amount as the garlic roughly chopped up
Green chillis - 2
dry red chillis - 2 (Optional if you don’t prefer too much spice)
Curry leaves - 20-30 leaves
Coriander leaves - 2 bunches cleaned and separated
Salt to taste
How to go about it:
In a skillet, heat the oil and add the onion and garlic and ginger to it. Here is where the patience bit comes in. You need to cook it till the onion starts caramelizing about 15 minutes on medium high flame. (I put in a picture of how the onion should look, above)
This is when you add the tomatoes, chillis and the rest of the ingredients except one bunch of coriander leaves and coo till the tomatoes are real soft. Use the ladle to mash up the tomatoes and let the juice from the tomatoes cook everything else.
Turn off the heat and let this mixture cool just enough to put it into the grinder. Add the fresh coriander bunch that you kept aside earlier and grind to a smooth paste. You don’t want any unsightly lumps. Once the grinding is done add this to a sauce pan and add the garbanzo beans and cook covered for about 20 minutes and then uncovered for another 10 minutes. Make sure to taste and add salt if required. If you want this gravy to be a little less thick, feel free to add water.
I must advise that you be careful when this gravy starts to come to a boil because it will start spluttering quite a bit. Let it boil for a few minutes and you can turn it off and serve warm. Garnish with roasted cashews and coriander leaves.
This keeps in the fridge for upto 3 days and in the freezer for upto a week (it could keep longer but I haven’t tried longer than that)
Juicing is going strong. We meet up everyday almost at the same time and finish up in 30 minutes from prep work to clean up.
A lot of the juice buddies bring fruits from their garden. So luckily we’ve tasted guavas, persimmons, apples, grapefuits, avacados that are homegrown.
We also have adventurous juices with ingredients such as chia seeds, dragon fruit, pomegranate. Kale and beets have become a must have and we love the color they impart.
Sometimes thick, sometimes watery juicing updates are fun to share. I am slightly allergic to pineapple but I did taste it once and it was really good.
This was the drink with the persimmon in it. I loved it. The only persimmons I’ve tasted are from a long time ago and they were not really tasty. These were plump, soft and juicy perfect for juicing. I even saved up the seeds to try and grow them.
One of the simplest and healthiest dishes I’ve made. This vegetable literally takes care of itself. Olan is about simple ingredients, involves a simple cooking process and has a very rich flavor…
Cut up the winter melon, green chillies, ginger. Add curry leaves, salt, 1 tsp coconut milk and water and cook at medium heat for about 15 minutes or till it comes to a boil.
You’ll know its done when the melon pieces turn translucent. If you like taste it now and add salt if needed.
Turn off heat and stir in another tablespoon of coconut milk. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve.