Grape Chutney

Sweet Chutneys are an important condiment in Indian cuisine.In recent years they’ve reserved their place in the global arena too, satisfying the sweet salty cravings of many.Who doesn’t love a good mango chutney!The sticky shiny texture and that sweet aroma is enough to make you start craving for a spoon instantly.Indian chutneys are made in various different ways depending on the region you are from.Mom always makes it using Panch Phoran (Indian five spice) consisting of a mix of aromatic seeds like cumin,nigella,fennel,black mustard and fenugreek.The spice mix is easily available at your local Indian grocers.

Red Grapes

The recipe I have for you is a Red Grape Chutney that tastes as good as it looks.Its a great way to use up all those extra fruits lying around.You could use any fruit you desire to make your chutneys.Cranberry chutney is a firm favorite during Thanskgiving.The process is fairly simple as you only need a few ingredients to bring it all together.The whole process takes about 20 mins and you have a mouthwatering home-made chutney waiting to be devoured.

Grape Chutney

The dark color and the amazing flavors from the spices and the ginger is just pure joy.You can taste the smoky, salty, sweet all together.I love to spread it all over my toast for a delicious breakfast or a snack :).Enjoy!

Grape Chutney 2

Grape Chutney

Ingredients

  • Red seedless grapes-2 cups
  • Panch Phoran (Indian five spice)-1 tsp
  • Fresh crushed ginger-1/2 inch
  • Brown sugar-1/2 cup
  • Oil-1 tbsp
  • Water-2-3 tbsp
  • Salt-1 tsp

Instructions

  1. Wash the grapes and cut them in half.
  2. In a pot heat the oil and add the panch phoran.
  3. Once it crackles lower the heat and add the ginger.Stir for about half a minute.
  4. Add the grapes,brown sugar,salt and water.
  5. Cover and cook on medium heat for about 15-20 minutes or until the grapes are fully cooked.
  6. Mash it all up with a masher.
  7. Taste the seasonings.
  8. Allow to cool.Store in the referigerator for a week.Enjoy.

 

 

 

 

Healthy Pumpkin Coconut Squares

You might be thinking that I’m on a Pumpkin high these days.And to be honest I am.Right from the savory to sweet, I just can’t seem to get enough of Pumpkin.And that is why ‘fall’ is such a beautiful season.I get to enjoy Pumpkin goodness to my heart’s content.The recipe I have for you today was an experiment that just turned out to be spot on in terms of flavors,texture and a healthy treat.Don’t you just love when that happens?

Healthy Pumpkin Coconut Squares 5

My pumpkin squares are extremely easy to make and taste incredible.My kids just couldn’t wait to finish these off and I had to request them to let me take the pics first!I’ve used Almond Flour here and Agave instead of sugar that makes this a healthy indulgent treat using minimal processed ingredients.Making this couldn’t be any easier since the whole mixture literally requires just a mixing bowl and spoon.

Healthy Pumpkin Coconut Squares

The pumpkin pie spice flavors remind you of the gorgeous season we’re in right now and the pumpkin coconut combo works its magic.The squares need a little chill time in the fridge to set and to be cut into squares and all ready to be gobbled up.Enjoy.

Healthy Pumpkin Coconut Squares

Ingredients

  • 1 15oz Can of Pumpkin puree
  • Almond flour-3/4 cup
  • Shredded Coconut-1/2 cup plus some to sprinkle over the top
  • Agave syrup-1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp
  • Pumpkin Pie spice mix-1 tsp
  • Baking soda-3/4 tsp
  • Salt-1/4 tsp
  • 2 large eggs
  • Butter or cooking spray, for greasing the pan

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease a 9x9 baking dish with cooking sray or butter.
  3. In a mixing bowl mix all the ingredients making sure they're clump free.
  4. Transfer into the greased dish and smooth the top using a spatula.Sprinkle some shredded coconut over the top.
  5. Bake for 40-45 minutes until the edges are golden.
  6. Cool completely and chill in the fridge before cutting into squares.
  7. Enjoy.

 Recipe Adapted from The Detoxinista

 

 

Pumpkin Risotto with Cardamom and Cumin

It’s the time to enjoy warm dishes on cold nights.Aromatic spices like Cinnamon, Nutmeg,All spice, Cardamom are used widely in various dishes .I had a carton of Pumpkin puree forlornly waiting to be picked up and I thought that now would be a good time to use it.A nice warm Risotto came to mind and I wanted to give it a slightly different treatment this time.

Pumpkin Risotto with Cardamom and Cumin

 

I used a little bit of  cumin and cardamom to spice it up a bit.Cardamom is widely used in sweet and savory dishes in Indian cuisine and I thought it would blend in nicely with Pumpkin.I wasn’t disappointed at all since the Risotto was lipsmackingly delicious!The cumin and cardamom gives a lovely smoky flavor to the Risotto and the pumpkin adds a vibrant color to the dish.You first taste the spice and then the sweetness from the pumpkin along with the creamy parmesan cheese just brings in a harmonious balance all across the dish.

Pumkin Risotto with Cardamom and Cumin

The twist doesn’t end there.Instead of using parsley or sage I’ve used finely chopped mint to garnish the dish and the flavors are incredible.Try it to believe.You’ll be glad you did.

Pumkpkin Risotto with Cardamom and Cumin

Ingredients

  • Arborio Rice-1 1/4 cup
  • Pumpkin puree-1 cup
  • Onion-1 medium diced
  • Garlic-2 cloves minced
  • Cardamom pods-2
  • Ground Cumin-1 tsp
  • Chicken or vegetable stock-3 cups
  • Grated parmesan cheese-1/2 cup
  • Salt-to taste
  • Butter-3 tbsp
  • Fresh Mint-for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a wide bottomed pot heat the butter and add the onions.Saute until translucent.
  2. Add the garlic and saute for another minute.
  3. Add the arborio rice and stir for a couple of mins.
  4. Add the cumin and cardamom.Mix.
  5. Add the pumpkin puree and continue to stir.
  6. In a separate pot heat the stock or water.
  7. Add the warm liquid ladle by ladle into the rice mixture stirring continously until all the liquid is absorbed (for 20 mins) and the risotto is cooked through.Check the seasonings.
  8. Add the grated parmesan cheese and garnish with chopped mint.
  9. Enjoy.

Leek and Potato Soup

“Here comes the morning chill
the leaves falling on the ground so still
the beaming sunshine
the soft breeze
kissing me softly on my cheeks
as I sit down by my window
staring at the wonder
of nature in all its splendor
Of birds singing
Of trees swaying
to the tune of the soft Autumn wind”

-Soni

Leek and Potato Soup

Today we got a glimpse of Autumn when we woke up to cooler temperatures for the first time this season and I instantly decided that I had to make soup for dinner.It just seemed the perfect day to enjoy some warm soup to warm us up.I was also reminded that I had some gorgeous leeks that needed to be used and Leek and Potato Soup came to mind.

Leek and Potato Soup 2

I love the simplicity and the delicate balance of flavors that this soup has to offer.Leek and potatoes are a classic combination and with minimal ingredients its just the perfect food to warm and comfort you on a cold night.I’ve tried to make it healthier by omitting cream and just going with 2% milk and water combo.You could also use stock instead of water.Its ready in no time and is always popular with kid and adults.Enjoy!

Leek and Potato Soup

Ingredients

  • Leeks-2 bunches cleaned and chopped
  • Large potatoes-2 peeled and diced
  • Onion-1 small chopped
  • Butter-2 tbsp
  • 2% Milk-1 cup
  • Water-1 cup
  • Salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. In a pot heat the butter and saute the onion until translucent.
  2. Add the leeks.Saute for another minute.
  3. Add the potatoes, milk, water, salt and pepper.
  4. Once it comes to a boil, cover , reduce the heat and continue to cook for about 15-20 minutes until the potatoes are fully cooked.
  5. Check the seasonings.
  6. Carefully transfer into a blender or use a hand blender and blend until all smooth.
  7. Garnish with your favorite herb and serve hot.

 

Aloo Asparagus (Potato and Asparagus)

 

Aloo Asparagus

Asparagus is not very commonly used in Indian cooking simply for the reason that its not grown in India.However, for people living here its abundantly available throughout spring and summer.I love using Asparagus in my Indian cooking and try and experiment with it in different ways.This recipe I have for you today uses Asparagus with Potatoes.Typically this dish is made using just potatoes,but teaming it with Asparagus was a brilliant idea and was a hit even with my kids!

Aloo Asparagus

The potatoes go in first since they take a little longer to cook.Once you see them turning golden and cooked more than halfway you can add the Asparagus.This dish is called ‘Bhujia’ and is a staple in the states of UP and Bihar in India.Its a simple dish that requires minimal ingredients and tastes great with some roti/chapati/naan along with some dal (lentils) for a simple weekday supper.Enjoy!

Aloo Asparagus 2

Aloo Asparagus (Potato and Asparagus)

Ingredients

  • Potato-3 medium peeled and diced
  • Asparagus-1 bunch
  • Cumin Seeds-1 tsp
  • Crushed Garlic-1 tsp
  • Red chili or paprika-1/2 tsp
  • Turmeric-1/2 tsp
  • Salt-to taste
  • Oil-3 tbsp

Instructions

  1. Trim the tough ends of the Asparagus and chop them into 1/2 inch pieces and dice the potatoes.Wash and pat dry.
  2. In a skillet heat the oil and add the cumin seeds.
  3. Once they splutter, add the potatoes along with the turmeric and some salt.Lower the heat to medium and cover.
  4. Keep stirring every few minutes until more than halfway cooked and add the asparagus.
  5. Add the crushed garlic,red chili/paprika,salt and mix well.
  6. Cook for another 6-8 minutes.
  7. Enjoy!