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Showing posts from July, 2014

Kiddie favorites - Baked Mac n' Cheese with roasted corn

You know you're a crazy food obsessed blogger when you run out to pick produce one day before you have to clear out the kitchen fridge, just because there is a challenge out there for your best ideas for a savory dish with baked corn.
Yep, I'm talking about the challenge from Freedom Tree, A purveyor of fine Home Accents based out of Mumbai, along with the Indian Food Bloggers Meet that is happening later this week in Bangalore . The day before I left for Mumbai, the Indian Food blogger's meet threw open this contest  and it became the perfect menu idea for the day,.. except that I completely blanked out on flavor profiles and what to make. My first instinct was to make a savory flan like custard with the corn 'juice', but somehow practicality took over and I allowed my 8 year old son  to dictate the flavors to me.

Mac n' Cheese with Roasted Corn

You need:

3 ears of fresh corn, with the husk and silk removed
3 cups cooked elbow macaroni (boiled in salted water)

Dishes from my Other Blog - Deadly Desi Martini (a.k.a the Panakatini) - Day 207

Flavored vodkas are great, but they don't come nearly as close to infusing your own. This way, there is no limit to the different flavors that you can introduce to your mixed drinks. This is especially true if you want to introduce classic Indian flavors to your mixology experiments (Unless of course, Smirnoff decides to come up with these flavors overnight)!

I've tried experimenting with about 1/2 a dozen flavors of infused spirits, from fruits to a combination of spices. This drink, the Dirty Desi makes use of a vodka infused with cardamom & dried ginger. The proportions are flexible, I smashed up a 1 inch piece of dried ginger and 4-5 pods of crushed cardamon to 500 ml of vodka, Poured the spirits into a  bottle with an airtight stopper, like this one from Urban Dazzle. Let the spices steep uninterrupted in the alcohol for a week and then filtered out the spices.

The drink itself is inspired by a classic beverage described in the Rig Veda, The Panakam, a divine combina…

Rice crepes with a Plum & salted caramel filling - The Kitchchenaid India Plum challenge.

As a kid, one of my favorite treats was this lacy rice crepe that my mom would make occasionally, a thin batter of rice, ground smooth. It was  referred to as 'verrum arisi dosai ('just rice dosai', if you care for a literal translation), a rather temperamental dish, which is probably why it wasn't made that often. Or more likely, It disappeared faster than the time it took to make them. The dish was invariably served up with a spicy, tart smoked eggplant dip (gothsu) and my mom would say that it was served that way to make up for the bland mild flavor of the crepes. Although I never voiced it aloud, I always wondered why it was never served in a sweet version.
Fast forward *** number of years, and the crepes still remain a firm favorite that I gobble down alternately as a sweet and savory version with myriad varieties of fillings, Mushrooms, squash, pears, peaches..the list goes on!

So, when the organizers of the Indian Food Bloggers Meet, along with KitchenAid India

Breaking Bread with Friends - The Indian Food Bloggers meet & a recipe for Pain d'Epi

AAAH.. Summer holidays, the kids are out of school and my home looks like it gets hit by a daily tornado, that somehow magically manifests itself 2 1/2 minutes after I clear up a spot. On the bright side, The farmstands are all open with a bounty of fresh 'just picked' sun kissed produce. And, as my 8 year old phrases it, 'Mommy's going cuckoo about vegetables'. I need to keep him in my good books, since he is grown to be a valuable culinary consultant, with a near perfect sense of taste and flavors combinations.

Food seems to have drummed into me an alternate deep meaning to the term 'Home Sweet Home'. My vegetable patch (over ridden with weeds and seeds of plants that survived the intense winter last year) is almost like a pet that I look forward to taking care of every day, and there is a real tangible reward, a handful of strawberries, a couple of cucumber for the day's salad.

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Emotional attachment to the vegetable path makes it all the more harder…

Dishes from my Other Blog - Pan fried Fingerling potatoes with Garlic Scapes (Day 189)

Potatoes.. how can ANYONE not fall in love with them in Infancy? On second thoughts. if there is an answer to that, the subjective self centered part of me does not want to hear it!
Raghavan Iyer, A culinary idol of mine, recently mentioned that he was going to work on a book with Potatoes as the main ingredient, and this definitely kicked me out of my inherent laziness with working with these marble sized spuds (i.e, Peeling them after boiling) that had spent more than 2 weeks in my kitchen's Lazy Susan.
Summer is here, and so are the garlic scapes. I found these curly, wispy yet wiry beauties at my local Hillsboro farm. Garlic bulbs can be put aside for the winter, this is the time to relish the crisp garlicky flavor of these beauties. Simply dice and saute them lightly to bring out their flavor.

You need:
2 lb fingerling potatoes (I used a medley of Reds, Goldens & purple Peruvians)  boiled and peeled
3 tablespoons olive or sesame oil
1 teaspoon cumin
3 tender garlic scape …

Dishes from my Other blog - Farro Salad with a cilantro and mint dressing (Day 188)

What do you do when you want both semi junk and Healthy rolled into one..You make this salad.
I'm a sucker for Indian junk foods and my favorite has got to be the Bhel Puri. but plain puffed rice with just the veggies and none of the deep fried additions.. just does not cut it. The mouth feel textural factor is so crucial and using Farro was the perfect solution.

You need:
1 package pre cooked Farro (I used one pack from Trader Joe's)
1 cup dice heirloom tomatoes
1 cup diced kirby cucumbers.
1 cup diced Candy onions
1/2 cup fresh blueberries
1/2 cup fresh raspberries

For the Dressing:
1/3 cup Cilantro Mint chutney
1/4 cup EVOO
Juice of 1 lemon
1  tablespoon Honey
a couple of cracks of pepper
Salt to taste

In a small smoothie blender jar combine all the ingredients for the dressing (except for the salt), pulse until the mixture has a smooth creamy consistency.
Cook the Farro as per the instructions of the Package. Drain and combine with the diced tomatoes, cucumbers and Candy …

Summer Beckons.. With a bowl of 'Neer Moar' Sorbet in Hand!

Northern India especially the region of the Punjab, is known for its Lassi, a rich creamy frothy concoction of fresh, home made yogurt churned up and served with a pinch of black rock salt, or a sweet version with sugar and sometimes a hint of rose water. There are anecdotes galore about how rural households in the Punjab buy washing machines for the sole purpose of whipping up industrial quantities of the beloved beverage. (BTW, Mango Lassi is not a well known beverage in India)



Fast forward a couple of hundred miles down south towards states like Gujarat & Maharashtra and you have the Lassi's low cal lite version, the Chaas. They often make up for the light version by generously serving it up with deep fried morsels of chick pea batter known as 'boondhi' (boondh is the term for drops in Hindi ).

Wend your way further down south and you enter the domain of the 'Neer Moar' (literally translates as 'watery buttermilk). It was a time honored tradition to pla…