Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Samo and Amaranth flour aromatic Christmas Cake. [Black and White Christmas Edition # 153.]

Last year I had submitted image of spices for Christmas cake. It was last black and white event for the year 2013, I don't wanted to miss my participation so I had quickly gathered few spices and sent my image to Cindy. At that point I just knew that I will bake one cake for Christmas using the spices I spread in the submitted image. I could not bake the cake on Christmas but baked it on the last day of the year. It was wonderful wholesome aromatic cake with lots of good ingredients. I have not yet published the cake recipe, I will soon complete the draft and publish it. I owe my inspirations to bake this cake to Black and White Wednesday event and would like to thank Susan, founder of the event and Cinzia, organizer of the event and all the participants  who keep this event going.

Today I am submitting this last years cake image for the Christmas Edition of Black and White event #153 which is hosted by Lynne. Next BWW event will resume back on 7th January 2015, check here for host lineup.

Aromatic Christmas Cake with Samo and Amaranth flour.

Black and White Wednesday Event #153

Monday, October 13, 2014

Mix vegetable Salad with Raw Mango, Ginger, Parsley Chutney dressing. [Chayote+Sweet Potato+Persian cucumber+Cranberries]

Today I am sharing one more salad recipe that I had prepared in April month to pack  in the lunch box. This salad was made  with available veggies and herbs in my kitchen. Sliced tender Persian cucumbers, julienned Chayote and Sweet potatoes were generously soaked with quick home made chutney dressing. Raw mango brought for the Vishu  Festival initiated me to skip vinegar and  prepare zesty salad dressing chutney. I coarse ground parsley, raw mango, green chilies, ginger in extra virgin olive oil, added little light agave nectar. This salad dressing chutney gave unique flavor to the salad. If you want  refreshing change from vinaigrette dressing salads try this chutney over salad, for more aromatic kick add fresh mango ginger.

Salad Veggies :
(Salad quantity servers one single full meal or 4 small servings as side salad.)
  • 2 small tender - Persian cucumbers ( sliced in two different shapes, rounds and sticks.)
  • 3 inch long - Sweet potato piece ( julienned ,1/2 cup)
  • 1/2 Chayote - seed removed, peeled and julienned, 3/4 cup)
  • 2 Tb.spoon - dried cranberries
  • 1 Tb.spoon - Extra Virgin olive oil

Ingredients for Salad Dressing chutney :
(Ingredients make little extra quantity dressing which can be used as chutney. I used it to make sandwiches.)
  • 1 Cup - tightly packed chopped parsley leaves (chop including tender stems.)
  • 2 green chilies - chopped
  • 1.5 inch - ginger piece - chopped
  • 1/4 cup - chopped raw mango pieces, heaping cup
  • 1/4 T.spoon - fine sea salt ( a pinch or two more to adjust salt level)
  • 1 Tb.spoon - Light Agave nectar or Honey.
  • 1 T.spoon - Lemon juice optional (use if  raw mango lacks sourness.)
  • 2 Tb.spoon - extra virgin olive oil

How to prepare Salad and Salad chutney dressing :
Preparing veggies.
Chop off both the ends of two Persian cucumbers, Slice one into 3-4mm thick round slices. Another cucumber slice lengthwise into 6-8 pieces, then cut them into one inch sticks. Transfer to a bowl.
Take half Chayote piece, peel the skin, remove seed and julienne. Transfer to a bowl.
Take a  3 inch long piece of sweet potato, peel the skin, julienne. Transfer to a bowl.
Preparing  Chutney Salad dressing.
Roughly chop handful parsley leaves including  tender stems. Peel 1.5 inch ginger piece, cut into small pieces. Finely chop green chilies. Cut out small piece from raw mango, peel the skin, remove seed portion, cut into small chunks to fill heaping 1/4 cup.
In a small blender jar combine, 1 cup tightly packed chopped parsley, chopped green chilies, chopped raw mango pieces, ginger pieces, 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, 1/4 tsp sea salt. Puree all into a coarse paste. Add 1 tbsp agave nectar, pulse for few seconds. (If mild sweetness is preferred, add half tbsp agave nectar, you can add more after salad is assembled.) Check the taste, it should be sour, spicy and sweet. If sourness is mild then add some lemon juice, adjust salt and sweetness as desired.
Assembling salad.
Place 4-5 tbsp salad dressing chutney over cut veggies, pour one tbsp olive oil. Add 2 tbsp dried cranberries. Stir  and toss to combine all well. Finally adjust taste by sprinkling some salt, lemon juice and agave nectar.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Sauteed mix vegetables Salad with raw Persian cucumber for lunch box. [Mix and Match of onion, celery, chayote, cranberries, corn, carrots,Cilantro & Tofu]

Today I wanted to pack salad for lunch box  but there was no lettuce in the fridge so I made  salad by preparing  a  partially sauteed veggie base with onion, celery, julienned chayote, tofu, cranberries, corn,  carrots, cucumber. Over that I added raw  Persian cucumber slices, fresh cilantro leaves, chopped tender cilantro stems, celery leaves. I packed this in lunch box with very  little salad dressing. This salad is good enough to eat  by itself without any salad dressing or vinaigrette, partially sauteed onion and veggie base makes it very flavorful. I saved little  salad quantity to take image and record this salad recipe, after taking images my daughter  enjoyed  this plated salad.

Ingredients :-
Serves  one as full salad meal with some left over,  Or serves 4 as side salad.
  • 1 small onion - finely chopped( 3/4 cup yield)
  • 1 tender celery stalk - sliced half moon shape (1/2 cup yield)
  • 1/2 Chayote - skin and seed removed , julienned. (3/4 cup)
  • 1 carrot - julienned or sliced into small pieces (1/4 cup)
  • 1 Persian cucumber - partly chopped enough to measure 1/4 cup. Slice remaining into rounds.
  • Frozen corn - 1/2 Cup (use fresh if available.)
  • 4 Tb.spoon - dried cranberries
  • 1  green chili - finely sliced.
  • Firm tofu block - around  80 gm, cut into  1/2 inch cubes (yield 1 cup) sprinkle tiny pinch of salt, toss to coat with salt.
  • 1/2 cup - Mix of chopped cilantro leaves and tender stems
  • 3/4 Cup - celery leaves (pluck leaves off the stalk.)
  • 1 T.spoon - cooking oil to saute onion and veggies.
  • 1 Tb.spoon - extra virgin olive oil to drizzle over salad.
  • 2 Tb.spoon - your choice of creamy salad dressing. (optional)

How to prepare semi-sauteed veggie Salad topped with raw cucumber.
  1. In a small saute pan heat 1 tsp oil, add chopped onions stir fry over high heat for 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add sliced 1/2 cup celery, 1/4 cup chopped cucumber, 1 chopped green chili, 4 tbsp dried cranberries, continue to saute over medium heat for 2-3 minutes.
  2. Next add julienned chayote, sliced carrots, 1/2 cup frozen corn,  sprinkle one generous pinch of salt, continue to saute for 3-4 minutes over medium high heat, stirring often. Taste and adjust salt level.
  3. Now add  salt sprinkled tofu cubes, gently mix all well.  Let it stay on stove for 2 minutes over medium low heat. Shut off the heat.
  4.  Transfer sauteed veggie mix in a medium size bowl,  allow to cool. Add sliced  Persian cucumber, chopped cilantro leaves and stems, celery leaves. Drizzle 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil. Toss to coat.. Another way to serve salad is arrange sliced cucumber, celery leave, cilantro leaves over the top or at one side like I have arranged in the image. Serve with creamy  ranch salad dressing or your choice of  cheese or  just enjoy plain salad.

Curry leaf plant containers invaded by Amaranth plants and grass. [Black and White Wednesday #138]

I have few containers with  small curry leaf plants, they all survived this passed harsh winter. After April month I took them out of  garage, within few days containers  were invaded by Amaranth plants and grass. It looked pretty so I let them grow until now. Soon I will clear all the pots so that curry leaf plants start growing freely, hope this year they all grow bigger and stronger. I am sending this black and white image to Susan at The Well Seasoned cook, who is hosting this weeks BWW #138. She is  also the founder of this event. Currently Cinzia of Cindystar looks after all admin duties. Next week Lynne will be hosting BWW #139  at Cafelynnylu.

  Black and White Wednesday Event #138

Friday, June 13, 2014

Pleasant morning after the thunderstorm in Triangle...Beautiful mess of fallen leaves around the home.

Yesterday evening we had severe thunderstorm with heavy rains, it lasted for about 20 minutes but did lot of damage around city. It dumped lot of tiny branches, leaves, tree bark pieces, pine cones, twigs around my home. Today morning when I opened the front door, I saw one tiny single Sweetgum tree leaf  resting on  the door sill (Umbartha/Dehleez). My door mat was covered with pine tree leaves, tiny twigs. It was a beautiful sight to watch. I strolled around home to see more  fallen leaves, they were  at every step. I took few  pictures with new point and shoot camera, Canon Power shot-110, scroll down to enjoy. What did I cook on this beautiful morning for lunch box and breakfast? Check the last image.

Sweetgum tree leaf.

Assorted fallen leaves.

Two insect made holes on the leaf reminded me
 of "Jadoo Alien" from movie Koi Mil gaya.

This big pine tree branch fell down in wooded portion near home,

fallen pine tree branch.

Chinkapin Oak tree leaf.

Sweet gum tree branch landed over front lawn.

 Sweetgum Tree leaves cluster on the road.

Tulip Poplar / Yellow poplar tree leaves landed over green weed, 
blanket (Oxalis /wood sorrel)Click image to see 4 tiny mushrooms.

sweetgum tree branch fallen on the road.

undrained standing water over lawn.

Small piece of  tree bark skin and scattered pieces of mulch.

Pine cone landed over front lawn.

Sweet gum tender fruit, I have collected dried ones during 
winter but this is first time saw green fruit.

I found  sweetgum  fruit hanging in the middle of leaves, kept
it  beside above fruit and took image.

while strolling around home I saw this contrail getting formed in the sky.

On this beautiful morning I prepared instant multi grain dosas/ crepes with flour combination of Buckwheat, Besan, Ivory Teff, and corn. I seasoned it with white portions of scallion onions,  tiny red shallots, cumin, green chilies, ginger. In the batter I used good quantity of yogurt. I packed them for lunch with Matki + Millet Usal and ate them  for breakfast with Chipotle hummus. I will make new post for detail recipe.