Sunday, 11 June 2017

BEETROOT BALLS IN CREAMY SAUCE/BEETROOT KOFTA CURRY

BEETROOT BALLS IN CREAMY SAUCE/BEETROOT KOFTA CURRY


When I visited the USA, the first time in 2009, I stayed with my daughter for one month, she told me to cook “Dum Aallo”, which is her favorite Indian curry in which baby potatoes are cooked in a creamy sauce. That time my daughter introduced me to a new ingredient called “half and half”, which is half cream and half milk and easily available in North America. I really liked it because this “half and half” is not so rich like full/whipped cream but still gives a creaminess and flavour to recipes like this one. So I used “half and half” in that baby potato curry, and everybody in the family enjoyed the curry. I was glad that I got the new ingredient which I can use in my cooking adventure.


The 2nd time I visited her again in 2010 when my second grandson was born. Before he was born, we were both shopping in a grocery store, and I thought of that ingredient (‘half and half’), which I had used a year before, but couldn’t recall its name and told my daughter to buy 50-50 milk. She asked with curiosity, “What is it, what do mean?” Then I reminded her, that in my last visit I used it when I made that baby potato curry. She laughed a lot and said, “Mom, that is called “half and half”. You see, at every new place, we learn so many new things and new names. I told myself, that I will try and remember all those new names in the future. Thank God, I didn’t use the name 50-50 milk in front of anybody. Now whenever I need some creaminess, aroma of the cream and that beautiful light creamy colour in curries or even in any other recipe, I use this fabulous ingredient called half and half.


Beetroot balls/kofta curry is my original recipe. Here, I would like to share with my readers, how I got the idea of this recipe. Last year in 2016, February, when I made cocktail kebabs for Darpan magazine's baisakhi issue, that magazine later published my recipe in their April issue. For those cocktail kebabs, I used spinach and beetroot to make the kebabs. I thought I can even make curry with these beetroot balls as I had already posted spinach balls with tomato sauce in 2015 on my blog which is one of my popular recipes on my blog. So that day I made some extra beetroot kebabs and made curry with the rest of them.


When I was planning to prepare this curry, I realised, I cannot use tomatoes because their red color will not match with the beetroot color, so I used half and half to give richness, taste and nice creamy color which can complement the beetroot colour. That curry was a total hit, I was happy because I made something, which is my own creation plus healthy, elegant and colourful for the family, as beetroot is considered to be a very healthy vegetable. I am always looking forward to learning new recipes which can use fresh and healthy vegetables like spinach and beetroot.

 


RECIPE
INGREDIENTS

  • 2 big beetroots (400grams)
  • 4 heaped tbs chickpeas flour
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp dhaniya powder(coriander powder)
  • 1 tbs oil for glazing and more oil for frying.

FOR CURRY
  • Two tbs oil
  • One onion finely chopped
  • One tsp ginger paste
  • One tsp cumin seeds
  • One tsp coriander powder
  • Salt and red chili powder to taste
  • Half litre Cream and milk mixture (Half and half)
  • One cup water


METHOD FOR BALLS/KOFTAS
  • Wash and cook beetroot in microwave for 6 to 8 minutes or boil in water till they are soft and cooked well
  • When cold, peel and mash further with a potato masher or in a food processor.
  • Dry roast chickpeas flour on a medium heat in a frying pan, till it is light brown; when cold, mix with mashed beetroot.
  • Add salt and pepper, mix well and make small balls with a little oil for glazing your palms.
  • Fry on a medium heat till it changes colour to a few shades darker.

METHOD FOR CURRY
  • Heat oil in a saucepan and add cumin seeds, when it changes the color to a few shades darker, add onion, ginger paste and roast till golden brown.
  • Add water and a half and half which is half cream and the half milk and let it boil.
  • Add beetroot balls and boil again, garnish with green coriander. Make sure that the beetroot balls should not release their red colour in the creamy curry, or balls can be added at the time of the serving.
  • Serve hot with naan, flat bread, dinner buns or rice,



Wednesday, 24 May 2017

BLUEBERRY AND STRAWBERRY PARFAIT

BLUEBERRY AND STRAWBERRY PARFAIT


3RD BLOG ANNIVERSARY



Three years have passed, time is flying. I am glad that I have reached this milestone, and I am looking forward to sharing and learning more with the help of this blog. When I started this blog, I never thought that blogging is so much fun. For me, the more I share recipes on my blog, the more I enjoy this journey of blogging.



This journey of blogging was really beautiful and I have enjoyed each and every moment of these three years, thoroughly. This joyful journey was not possible without the support of my family members, a big hug and big thanks to all my family members. Here I would like to give special thanks to my son-in-law for his time and patience in taking enormous and awesome photos for my blog. Check his website.


I would also like to thank all my friends, readers, followers and my blogger friends who always visited, checked my recipes and read my stories and commented on it. A big thank you for your continuous support not only on the blog but also on different social medias. Your support is my greatest treasure, which I want to keep with me forever, and looking forward to this enormous support in future too.


These three years have been more enjoyable also because of the three main publishers who have supported, trusted me and gave me the chance to publish about myself and my recipes. I really felt honored and would like to thank them once again.


On 26th February 2015, my story and two recipes were published in the “Airdrie Life” magazine of Airdrie Alberta. Later I shared those recipes on my blog. In April 2016, six of my recipes and my story were published in Vancouver-based “Darpan” magazine. Later I shared all those recipes on my blog as well. The third one is “Here's the Scoop” a local weekly, Airdrie newspaper of Alberta, who continuously supported me in these three years, where my recipes were published many times under the heading- “Recipe of the week”. Check all those recipes and my story under publications on my blog's main page.


I love all my recipes which I shared so far on my blog, and it is difficult to choose the best three recipes amongst them. But for me, it is more important to know the recipes that my readers liked the most. So here I want to mention my three most viewed recipes so far, which my readers really liked. My first most viewed recipe isSavoury baked cake”, in which I have used fresh fenugreek leaves, which is a very healthy herb; this recipe seems to have originated amongst the Indians of South Africa. One of my friends in Botswana introduced me to this recipe a long time ago.



My second most viewed recipe is Dry black chickpeas, a side dish and a post on a famous Indian blend of spices called “Garam masala”. This masala is used in many Indian and Asian cuisines in snacks, stews, dry and wet vegetables preparations and curry recipes.


My third most viewed recipe isInstant Naan”, which is the famous Indian baked flat bread, available throughout the world in almost all Indian restaurants. This is a very popular dish throughout Europe. North America and in many other countries. In my blog, I have shared many types of Indian flat breads but this one is the most popular one.



Coming to the recipe, this is a very simple but elegant recipe for a healthy breakfast, which is mainly just assembling the healthy ingredients together. I only made the compote with strawberries and sugar, which took only 5 minutes.

RECIPE

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 cup granola
  • 1 and 1/2 cup greek yoghurt
  • 2 tbs chia seeds and 2 tbs milk
  • 1/2 cup strawberries
  • 2 tbs sugar
  • 2 tbs water

METHOD

  • Soak Chia seeds in 2 tbs milk.
  • Chop strawberries finely.
  • Add 2tbs sugar, 2tbs water and heat in a saucepan; when mixed, add strawberries to make compote, cook for five to six minutes and leave it to cool.
  • Arrange in tall serving glasses; start with yogurt then strawberry compote followed by chia seeds, few blueberries and two tbs granola.
  • Repeat the same order again, this is served cold.
Two tall glasses can be served,

I am sharing this recipe as my blog post entry with Hearth and Soul blog hop and Meatless Monday. and with Cook blog share and I am pinnable party and with Cook once eat Twice and Fiesta Friday hosted by Lindy and Paula and sharing with Simple and in Season














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Friday, 12 May 2017

ORANGE AND DRIED BERRY CUPCAKES (EGGLESS)

ORANGE AND DRIED BERRY CUPCAKES (EGGLESS)

EDITED: This recipe was featured at "Cook blog share" blog hop on 23rd may 2017, check here



I love oranges and love using them in my recipes whenever possible. When they are in season, I make these fresh orange juice cupcakes. Fresh juice gives nice flavor and color to these cupcakes.



I make different types of cupcakes so that my grandchildren get to eat fresh and healthy homemade snack during lunch at school. The only problem when I make cupcakes for school is that I can not add any nuts in them because many kids at school are allergic to nuts. I think it is a common problem here in North America. Every year we get instructions from school authorities that even if your children are not allergic to nuts, they should not consume them in the morning before coming to school because it could be dangerous to nut allergic kids as they shake hands and share books etc in school.





After reading a lot of health benefits of avocado oil, I am in love with this oil. Before I was using it only in salads but now I have started using in all baked cakes and savory baked items as well. I bake eggless cakes or cupcakes where butter is already replaced by oil of any kind in many recipes so it is a good idea to use avocado oil instead of sunflower or any other oil.




These are tried and tested cupcakes, one of my friends gave me this recipe a long time ago. I used all-purpose flour before but these days I prefer using brown flour. In these cupcakes, I have used all healthy ingredients like brown flour, avocado oil, greek yogurt, fresh orange juice and brown sugar.




RECIPE
INGREDIENTS



  • 150 grams brown flour
  • 100 ml avocado oil or sunflower oil ( any oil of your choice)
  • 100 grams brown sugar or castor sugar
  • 200 ml fresh orange juice
  • 1/4 cup dried berries
  • 50 ml yogurt (half cup)
  • 1/2 tsp soda bicarbonate
  • 1 tsp baking powder



METHOD



Sieve brown flour and baking powder and soda bicarbonate in a bowl
Add sugar and mix well
Beat the yogurt with egg mixer and add orange juice and oil in a bowl
Slowly add the wet mixture to a dry mixture and continuously mix in a hand or stand mixture for around 10 minutes, and fold in the dried berries.
Heat the oven to 180 degrees C or 275 degrees F and grease the muffin tray
Pour the mixture up to 2/3 level in the cupcake molds
Bake for 20-25 minutes till the toothpick comes out clean
Serve hot or at room temperature


15-20 cupcakes can be made depending on the size you make

I am sending this recipe as my blog post entry to Matless Monday and Sweet Inspiration blog party and with Cook Blog share and Hearth and Soul blog hop  and with I am pinnable and bake of the week, and with Simple and in Season and with cook once eat twice
























Monday, 24 April 2017

FRUIT BOUQUET/ARRANGEMENT

FRUIT BOUQUET/ARRANGEMENT
THIS IS MY 100th POST

EDITED; - This recipe was featured in Hearth and Soul link party on 1st of May 2017. Check here-



I am glad to announce that this is my 100th post! As I floated joyously that I reached this milestone, my mind said, “Only 100? Oh no! I thought I was way ahead! This means I still have a long way to go!”. I took a deep breath and told myself, “No problem! I am ready for this”. My motivation being, I enjoy writing and sharing my recipes with an audience across the world.


When I started my blog in May 2014, all my near and dear, family and friends appreciated, encouraged and blessed me for this new venture. I still remember a friend who is more like a sister to me said, “Sadhna, you're doing a great job because you're sharing your knowledge with the world”. At that moment I didn't really believe it, but later I realized, what she said was true. This blog has given me the opportunity to share my knowledge with the world, and sharing is caring, so I am really happy. Being a teacher, by profession I did a similar job throughout my life, sharing knowledge with my students. LOL, once a teacher, always a teacher!


Well, now I am not only a teacher but a learner as well. I realised in my blogging journey, apart from sharing I am learning a lot. Not only new recipes, but many creative items and projects made with re-purposed junk since many of my blogger friends have DIY project blogs. Check out the blogs of my friends, Nikki- View from In Here, Michelle- A crafty Mix, and Mary-The Boondocks blog. Linda- Mixed Creations and Cathy-My side of 50. I have learnt so many other skills and aspects of improving my life, made a lot of friends, and am really enjoying this journey.


I believe that a person should never stop learning, no matter what age they are. Here, I would like to share a quote from the late Indian president Dr Abdul Kalaam.


Now after two and half years, I can say, I am really glad to share my recipes with everyone. I never thought this would be so enjoyable, as it gives me a feeling of great contentment. Though blogging is not a joke, a lot of effort is required; like cooking/baking a perfect item, taking awesome clicks of it and if possible of all the steps of cooking, writing the detailed recipe and a post about it. And, finally organizing everything and posting it on the blog. After this, another important task is to share it across different social media platforms to alert my readers about the new post. Now, that's a lot of work, isn't it?


Being my 100th post, I wanted to make something I could be proud of, something special which would be appreciated. That feeling of, “Wow, I did it so well!”. I thought for a few days and came to the conclusion that I would make a fruit bouquet/arrangement. I made this the first time on my daughter's birthday last year and bookmarked it to make a new one for my blog, so I found a golden opportunity to do so.


In 2009, when I visited the USA for the very first time and stayed with my daughter, on my birthday I got a fruit bouquet as a gift from my son-in-law. I was totally amazed and loved it. I truly appreciated the creativity of this company who made a business out of presenting something edible so creatively in the form of a bouquet. Later when I got an opportunity to make it myself, I couldn't believe that it was my own creation. You know, when you make something from scratch, you get that feeling of great accomplishment and gratification.


                                (This one I made last year for my daughter's birthday.)

Well, today I am glad to share it on my blog with my readers. It's really simple to make, and you only need lots of fresh fruits plus a few tools.

RECIPE

INGREDIENTS
  • One kg strawberries
  • Half kg grapes
  • Four kiwi fruits
  • Four small sized mangoes
  • 100 grams dark chocolate
  • 3-4 leaves of kale or any other big green leaves
  • You also need 8-10 barbeque sticks, circular cookie cutter, one bowl and some hard sponge.
METHOD

  • Fit the hard sponge tightly inside the bowl, so that it can hold the barbeque sticks firm with the fruits.
  • Wash all fruits and kale leaves thoroughly in running water.
  • Peel and slice kiwi and mangoes and with the help of a cookie cutter cut in circular shapes as shown in the bouquet.
  • Cut 5-6 strawberries in circular shapes.
  • Melt the chocolate in a double boiler, and coat around 5-6 strawberries and place in the fridge to set.
  • Arrange the kale leaves flat on top of the bowl.
  • Arrange all other fruits on the sticks as shown in the picture.
  • Right on top arrange the chocolate coated and uncoated strawberries.

This fruit bouquet/arrangement would make an ideal gift for any occasion.

I am sharing this post as my blog post entry for Meatless Monday, Cook blog Share and Hearth and Soul blog hop and with Cook blog share, with Healthy living link party, Sweet Inspiration link party
with I am pinnable and Fiesta Friday with Food bond and Not so creative Cook