Month: April 2010

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kadhi

Gujarati-Style Mango Buttermilk Kadhi

Summer may not have graced the UK yet, but it has made a secret appearance in my kitchen. Yesterday I was given a huge box of Alphonso mangoes which are now filling my house with a beautifully sweet and fruity aroma. So with mangoes abundant, what was I to cook? I was scouring my favourite blogs on a mission to seek out an innovative recipe using perfectly ripe mangoes. I was thrilled when I found a South Indian recipe for Mampazha Pulissery by Namitha from Collaborative Curry. Not only did the fruity recipe sound delicious, but the pictures were so striking that I had to rush to the kitchen and feed my curiosity more or less immediately. I admit that I’m a bit of a recipe mutineer, and I almost never follow instructions to the letter *slaps wrist*. As mouth-watering as Namitha’s recipe sounded, I had to incorporate aspects of the traditional Gujarati way of making Kadhi into the recipe. Kadhi is the Gujarati name for the almost-sacred buttermilk soup loved by every Gujarati I …

rose-agaragar

Rose, Milk and Honey Agar-Agar

Enjoying the beautiful sights, smells and sounds Spring-time brings? I’ve been admiring the swift emergence of cherry blossoms, marigolds and daffodils scattered about everywhere I look. I’ve been detecting the scent of invigorating freshly cut grass through the gentle breeze, and waking up to birdsongs. Okay, I admit that the birdsongs can get really annoying when I’m recovering from a long night of studying and writing, or worrying about studying and writing. I love cooking with flowers and this has to be one of the easiest flower desserts ever. Layers of rosewater and milk and honey are set together with agar-agar concealing real rose petals. Striking and delicious you say? Agar-Agar is a flavourless product derived from seaweed and is usually used in Japanese kanten. It sets much firmer than your average vegetarian gelling agent (such as vegetarian gelatine), and thus has a denser texture. Spring is the perfect season to experiment with floral cuisine, so keep your eyes peeled for any edible flowers you can cook up a storm with (obviously not a real …

Eggless blueberry cheesecake

Eggless Blueberry and White Chocolate Baked Cheesecake

Blueberries are just coming into season here in the UK so when I spotted a stack of boxes containing the little blue jewels I knew I had to have some. Berries remind me of everything summery and cheesecake is one of my favourite desserts. Eggless baked cheesecake is a rare and delicious treat, which I only make once in a while. I’ve been using Kurma Dasa’s wonderful recipe for years and the finished product is always breathtakingly yummy. As a child I used to read my mum’s copies of Great Vegetarian Dishes, Cooking with Kurma and Quick Vegetarian Dishes like they were storybooks; of course, admiring the stunning pictures was the most captivating and exciting part. As I grew older I was able to cook and sample the vast array of dishes showcased in these most treasured books, and the original version of this eggless baked cheesecake was one of the best I had ever tasted. Since then, I have been experimenting with the countless flavour combinations that there are. Blueberry and white chocolate? Win. …

eggless-creme-brulee-dish

Eggless Crème Brûlée

Firstly, I’d like to apologise to the French for this recipe. I can only imagine the kind of chaos an eggless banana and cardamom crème brûlée would cause. It’s not even the cool sort of chaos. I’ve been working on this recipe for eggless crème brûlée for a while now and I think it’s about time I unveiled it before your hungry eyes. You’re probably thinking that this dish is notorious for being laced with eggs and that I’m a total nutcase for thinking otherwise. But trust me… It can be made beautifully without. Otherwise I wouldn’t be typing this right now. Eggs add a certain richness to crème brûlée which I reinterpreted as ‘banana’. Cute. I mean that I replaced the eggs with pureed banana which adds a velvety texture to the custard, along with a subtle banana flavour. I added cornflour to act as a setting agent just as eggs help set the custard in a usual crème brûlée. So you don’t have to worry about your custard turning into scrambled eggs when …

wear-your-food

Wear Your Food: The Winners!

I have decided that the intial plan of selecting a winner from the three recipes that came top in the poll should be flushed down the loo. The entries were too good. The top THREE (not two) contestants will ALL recieve prizes for the fantastic recipes they sent in. Of course the winner, Mr P of Delicious Delicious Delicious will be receiving the gorgeous candy shop charm bracelet and the TWO runners up; that is Sharmilee of Sharmi’s Passions and Mathea of Peas Love Carrots will be sent their mystery prizes. You think I’m going to ruin the element of surprise by telling you what the mystery prizes are? No chance.  P.S. Muchos love to everyone who entered. You are superstars!

springtime-kofta

Springtime Kofta!

s After falling in love with paneer kofta, I decided that I wanted everyone to be able to enjoy my recipe for soft, delicious kofta in that silky sauce- minus the paneer. I know that paneer isn’t to everyone’s liking due to its high fat content and trust me, you will never miss the paneer in this recipe. Those with high cholesterol should steer clear of saturated fats which is why I have used angelic olive oil in this recipe. Almonds, like all nuts contain natural oils (the good kind) which contribute to the sauce’s rich and creamy consistency. I love using pureed nuts in place of cream in Indian sauces, as they deliver wonderful buttery textures and flavours. I like to call it ‘cheating the system’. Having said this, it is also important to remember that if you have high cholesterol, to always eat these good fats in moderation. I created this Springtime Kofta recipe with spiced green bananas in a beautifully silky pea and almond sauce for those who love rich foods, but …

Cosmopolitan Chicks for Easter?

Today’s Daily Express contains rainbow chicks. I’m not actually a newspaper reader minus the occasional read of The Times online. I seem to prefer television news, a.k.a the lazy woman’s global events guru. I digress. My mum told me that there was a little story about rainbow chicks in the Daily Express today. Being the curious cat I am, I immediately went to check it out online. Isn’t the internet desperately convenient? Let me introduce you to the rainbow chicks that are available in some Asian markets. I seriously thought they were jellybeans in a box when I saw this picture from afar. Image from http://www.express.co.uk/ They are said to be injected with dye at the ovum stage and they miraculously hatch in the colour of the owner’s choice. It all seems a little too easy to me. I appreciate the fact that they look cute, but aren’t all chicks cute regardless of colour? Owners continue to inject eggs in order hatch these vibrant chicks and catch the attention of passers-by. The article states that there has …

pandan-burfi

Get your Microwave Mojo On!

I have an ambivalent relationship with burfi. This milk-based Indian sweet pushes my ‘crave’ button at the strangest times… for which I resent it completely. Then when I take a bite of this dense ‘any-flavour-tastes-good’ fudge, I am a chubby six year old again. A bit like the Indian, female version of Augustus Gloop. I love to visit Indian sweet shops, with their vast arrays of burfi in every colour and flavour you can imagine. Well, almost. So you can keep your Chocolate Factory, Mr Wonka. In my twenty-one years I’ve munched my way through a fair load of burfi and not once have I come across pandan burfi. It’s such an obviously delicious combination that I can’t believe nobody has made it yet. Have they? Enlighten me. Indian fudge and the South East Asian equivalent of vanilla combined in a mega fudge? Win. I feel a revolution coming on. So what if I go on to tell you it can all be done in a microwave? Would you laugh in my face and push …