Thursday, 2 June 2016

Round-up for Legume Love Affair 95 of May 2016

Round-up for Legume Love Affair 95 of May 2016

I am delighted to present the round-up of MLLA, which I hosted for the second time in the month of May 2016. Special thanks to Susan of  "The well seasoned cook" who conceived this idea in 2008, and later to Lisa of Lisa's kitchen for taking care of Susan's baby for a long period of time, because of them this event is still on, and I got the chance to host it again.

I would like to thank all the bloggers who shared their recipes in this MLLA event for May 2016. Now onto some delicious recipes of this month. This month MLLA received ten recipes in all. Out of them, three were on red kidney beans, a popular legume which is used/cooked in many cuisines of the world. All the recipes shared were amazing and it was difficult to choose which is the best.

The most clicked post was Vegan gumbo by Janet of The taste space. This is a Zucchini and quinoa cajun stew, in which the main legume is red kidney beans. This is an interesting and an amazing recipe, which I would love to try soon.

My favourite post was Crock-pot cheesy salsa by Joy of Joy love food. This is a delicious cheesy dip with black beans, which is full of flavours and was cooked in a slow cooker.

Other posts were in the order they were posted. First one was Mixed lentil vadas by Mayuri of Mayuri's Jikoni. A very good snack in which she used five lentils and lots of aromas, which can be enjoyed with evening tea. She also gave the recipe of coconut chutney.

Next is a very interesting recipe of Lentil Schnitzel by The veg hog, this is a new recipe for me. Schnitzel looks healthy and tempting. In this recipe, she used three lentils with some vegetables and served with mashed potatoes and creamy mushroom.

Next is Mung masoor khichdi by Jolly homemade recipe. This recipe is simple and nice, it is a comfort food, which is a combination of protein and carbs in one bowl. In this recipe, she cooked two lentils together with rice and tempered with garam masala.

Next is Mung bean and quinoa in spicy broth, by Johanna of GreenGourmet Giraffe This is a very healthy and tasty dish. In which you will find flavours of cumin seeds and black pepper, which is served with colourful vegetables. This is a full plate meal.

Next again is a very interesting and unique recipe of Miso Minestrone by Shaheen of Allotment 2 kitchen. Shaheen has a treasure of vegetarian recipes, I always find new recipes on her blog. In this recipe, she used frozen edamame, peas and broad beans. combined with spinach and mushrooms.

Three recipes were very similar to red kidney beans curry, which in Hindi we call Rajma curry. This curry is a famous north Indian dish, very popular in the state of Punjab, India, which is normally enjoyed with rice.
First one is rajma rice. I really liked the idea when Jeena of Jeena's Kitchen prepared this dish, in which she cooked together beans and rice as a main dish, which is a full meal of protein and carbs together. In this, she used cinnamon and bay leaf flavours with other ingredients.

Next is a is rich Punjabi rajma curry by Nupur of The Veggie Indian. In this dish, she used garam masala and full-fat milk to give richness, taste and flavour. She wrote a very nice post on the importance of protein in our diet.

Next is Rajma Chawal by Asiya of Yummy Indian Kitchen. In this post, red kidney beans curry and rice are cooked and served separately. She used nice flavours and spices to make it rich, tasty and flavourful.

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

THANDAI WALI KULFI (Indian Ice cream with nuts and flavours)

(Indian Ice cream with nuts and flavours)

This is the 2nd Anniversary post of the blog.

Some journeys don't have endings, they lead to new beginnings. These are the journeys that lead to great adventures !” by Alex Haditaghi.

I totally agree with the above quote and can say that, that is what exactly I am feeling after two years of this blogging journey. This journey so far has been so exciting and thrilling, that I look forward every day to writing my post, and interacting with all my wonderful readers. And now I am ready to take my culinary blogging experience to much higher levels by learning different types of cuisines and sharing it with the world.

I cannot believe two years have already passed, since I started this blog. When I first started this blog, I never thought that it will bring me so much joy. And after two years, I can say, I have thoroughly enjoyed this journey of blogging. It is giving me a lot of delight, a feeling of accomplishment and self-satisfaction.

Like it is said that “The journey should be as beautiful as the destination”. Now I can say that this journey of blogging is really beautiful, and I am so much involved in the journey, that right now, I do not want to think about the destination. Normally, the journey can be made beautiful, either by the places/things or people you meet on the way. In my case, this journey is beautiful because of the beautiful people, I met here. So here I would like to thank all the people I met in this journey- all my blog readers, visitors those who visit my blog, my fellow bloggers, everyone who come, read and comment on my creations.
One more thing I would like to mention here is that, after completing two years of blogging, I can proudly say I have many friends now, to whom I met only through this journey of blogging. They are so many that it is difficult to mention all the names. But still, some have really touched my heart, someway or the other. So here, I would like to mention a few names.

The first one is Nikki, her blog is not about food but about living life better, where she covers so many aspects of life. I met her around one year ago. She is a veteran blogger, who started her blog 6 years ago. She has a vast knowledge of blogging and internet, which she is ready to share with everyone. She is very good at heart and always ready to help others, even if she has to go an extra mile for it. She is always encouraging, supporting and appreciating new bloggers like me. She has also started a Facebook community for new bloggers, to help them in getting recognition for their work.

The second one is April and her blog is about family, travel, food and style. She has been my friend for the past two years. From day one, she helped me in many ways including appreciation of all my creations and by encouraging me to do a good job as a blogger. I met her with the blog hop party, “Hearth and soul blog hop” which she is running for more than five years.

Next is Jessica, her blog is about healthy living style. She is giving tips, on her blog to lose weight, which she herself experienced and lost 50 lb. She is a very good friend of mine. She is also a veteran blogger, who not only has a most beautiful face but also a beautiful heart. She helped me in my journey of blogging many times without even asking. She recognized my potential and always appreciated and encouraged my work.

The next one is again a veteran blogger, Lisa, and her blog is about vegetarian food, with emphasis on spicy Indian and whole food. She is a veteran vegetarian from last 23 years and produced more that 1000 unique vegetarian recipes on her blog. Even after one year of blogging, she gave me the chance to host “My legume love affair”, which is a monthly ongoing blog hop since 2008. The same blog hop I am hosting again in this month of May 2016.

The next is Angie and her blog is about food and gardening. I met her through the blog hop “Fiesta Friday” which she is hosting from the last 120 weeks and still continuing. She is always giving a chance to new bloggers to co-host the event and get experience. These types of blog hops support new bloggers by sharing and learning from each other and making new friends this way. She gave me the chance to co-host Fiesta Friday in the month of December.

Now coming to the recipe of Indian styled ice cream (Thandai Kulfi), which is rich, yet a healthy ice cream with an awesome taste. This is healthy because it is loaded with nuts like almond, cashews, pistachios, pumpkin and poppy seeds. It is flavoured with cardamom, fennel seeds and saffron. Yum, you can imagine the taste, when all these ingredients, are combined together with milk and served chilled on a plate.



  • 750 ml Milk
  • 12 Almonds
  • 10 Cashews
  • 15 pistachios
  • 5 green cardamom
  • 1and 1/2 tbs pumpkin seeds (white)
  • 1 and 1/2 tbs poppy seeds
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 5 black pepper
  • 1 tin condensed milk and more sugar to taste
  • 5-6 threads of saffron

  • Soak all dry ingredients except saffron, for 6-7 hours or overnight.
  • Boil milk on low-medium heat and reduce it to half, it may take two hours.
  • Make the paste of soaked ingredients in a blender, mix it together with saffron threads, in the milk and boil for 10 more minutes.
  • Add condensed milk and let it cool.
  • When cold fill in kulfi molds or Popsicle molds and freeze.
  • Serve chilled as shown in the pic.

Saturday, 7 May 2016


This is a guest post from my daughter Rachna on mother's day

Rachna :
For Mothers’ day, I thought what better way to celebrate it than to take over the responsibility of writing a post on her blog. As a former food blogger myself, I know what a responsibility it is to run a food blog, but also what joy and excitement it brings! This blog is like another baby of my mom’s, she relishes in all the posts she writes, blog events, anniversaries, and competitions she takes part in. And this baby is turning out to be a treasure box repository of recipes and how-to advice, that I hope to refer to whenever I need to cook something special. To contribute to that repository is an honor and I hope I can do that more often. Now onto my first contribution post on Aquafaba.

Eggs add a lot of qualities to a dish, especially a baked recipe. Mostly it adds a spongy texture to cakes, gives the sponge body, form, and shape. Egg whites also have the quality of foaming and increasing in volume, once air is incorporated into them. But for those following an egg-conscious diet/vegan, it has always been a challenge to replace eggs with a suitable plant-sourced replacement ingredient, one that would bring about the same desired qualities. For the most part,there are several egg replacement options for cake sponges, like bananas, condensed milk, applesauce, yoghurt-cream combinations and then you have the store bought egg replacer. Most cakes come out fine with some or all these alternatives, but there was no ingredient that could mimic the foaming of egg whites until now!

There have been some experiments with flax gel foams, but some trials are proving it to be less reliable, sometimes the foam collapsing when exposed to any heat, and that it may not be recommended for French macarons. And then we have aquafaba! You know how sometimes things are just in front of your eyes, and you don’t realize the importance/quality of them until someone else shows it to you, aquafaba such a thing. Aquafaba is the water that most beans are boiled in (or come with the beans in their tins) and lots of times discarded. DISCARDED, yes!! It’s like a colleague from work (who has a background in the oil and gas industry) was once telling me, when they first discovered natural gas, it was a byproduct of petroleum extraction. Upon its discovery they didn’t know what to do with it and so they burnt it up in flares for several decades before figuring out a way to extract it and use it. And now it is a precious bio fuel that the earth is running out of. What a waste!

There’s a sense of blasphemy associated to that, realizing you were discarding something with such wonderful qualities! A lot of people were throwing it away and not knowing its amazing capability to foam up. And off course, we can’t discuss aquafaba without thanking the French chef and software engineer respectively, Joel Roessel and Goose Wohlt, who discovered its ability to foam. Since his discovery in Dec 2014, there have been many experiments going on with aquafaba by ardent foodies and many online resources on this, and also a facebook discussion page on Aquafaba – Hits and Misses! So of course when I first read about it, I had to go make some of my own, and since dried chickpeas is always available in my pantry, I decided to make mine from scratch. And I made the basic meringue out it. And it came out great and was really yummy! 

Since aquafaba is such a new discovery, there are many claims and experiments going on and many are shared online, and I will share all my research tips that I have read that I feel are credible - with an asterisk (*).
  1. Soak about 3 cups of dried chickpeas overnight or for 6-8 hours. Add enough water for the beans to soak, as they will quadruple in size.
  1. Discard the water they were soaked in, as this water is said to contain toxins that cause bloating and gas for some after consumption. (* However, some people are reporting a thicker aquafaba when using the soaked water for boiling the chickpeas).
  1. Boil the chickpeas in at least 6 cups of water in a pressure cooker until the chickpeas are well cooked. This depends on the type of pressure cooker, I cooked them 10mins on high and then 15 more minutes on medium flame. If you don’t have a pressure cooker, they will probably cook at least an hour on medium high flame in a regular pot. (* Some people are reporting success cooking the chickpeas in their slow cookers, and getting a good amount of aquafaba).
  1. Once chickpeas are done, drain the chickpeas in a sieve and leave them dripping for a couple of hours. This will drip out all the aquafaba you need. (* Some people are recommending to cool and refrigerate the chickpeas for a few hours in the liquid they were boiled in, and then drain them in a sieve – so as to extract more aquafaba, but I have not tried this)
Alternatively, skip the previous 4 steps and open two cans of unsalted chickpeas, and drain them for a few hours. I decided not to do this as I didn’t want any preservatives in my aquafaba.
  1. If the aquafaba is not part jelly like it may be too ‘dilute’. Here you need to guess it thickness, it should look like regular egg whites, if too water, just heat it up and reduce some of the liquid until you see it jelly like. I had about 300ml that I boiled down to 185ml (boiled off about a third of the water). When it started looking like jelly like or egg whites, then I had the aquafaba for the recipe.

Aquafaba Meringue

I decided to make the basic meringue before trying something more complicated like French macarons and pavlova.
  • 185ml Aquafaba
  • ¾ cup icing sugar
  • 1/5 tsp cream of tartar
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract

  • Start with the aquafaba and cream of tartar and start whisking it in a stand mixer. You could use an egg beater if you don’t have a stand mixer. (* some people are saying it may take a little longer for the aquafaba to start foaming up compared to egg whites, so be patient – certainly do not beat this with a whisk and your bare hands, you need am electric beater or stand mixer)
  • The aquafaba will begin to foam. When it reaches soft peaks, add the vanilla and continue beating, add the sugar bit by bit until the mixture froths up into stiff white peaks. Continue beating, until you can pick up the bowl and turn it upside down and the mixture will not fall off. (This is tricky – if the foam is not ready, it might start sliding off the bowl)
  • Once it reaches stiff peaks bowl-upside-down-it-doesn’t-fall-stage, then you can pipe shapes into a parchment paper lined baking tray or just spoon dollops of it on a tray and bake in a preheated 200F oven. Bake them for about 2 hours. If they are smaller then they may be done in 1.5 hours and if they are bigger than usual, then maybe keep them in for 2.5 hours. This also depends on if like them softer and chewier then keep them for a lesser time or if you want them crisper then keep them for a bit longer.
  • Once done, let me them cool completely and then peel them off the parchment paper. They are ready to keep and can be stored in an airtight container for a couple of weeks.
I am sending  this recipe as my blog post entry with Meatless Monday, What do you do this weekend and Sunday foot and fitness party, and with Happy healthy and green party,   and with Hearth and soul and with Cook blog share, 
and with Tasty Tuesday and with Welcome home wednesday party  and with Way wow link party., and with full plate thusday   And with Real Food Friday and with My Two fav things on Thursday.    and with Bake of the week,
And with Fiesta Friday and w and with Sweet inspiration link party