Sunday, November 23, 2014

BROWN BUTTER PUMPKIN CAKE with CARDAMOM AND SAFFRON

Pumpkin Cake 1

HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE!

There are couple of reasons I am super hyped for this post.

One: Cardamom and Saffron, a match made in food world, is not only a favorite of mine but also of many.  Isn't there something great about it?.  Close your eyes and think of those two spices.  The warmth and the sweetness just engulfs you.

Two: This cake itself. I love me some pumpkin pie, but not the biggest fan of the  sometimes overpowering cinnamon.  When I asked the boys  about the dessert they wanted to eat for Thanksgiving, they said a quick and mutual reply.  We want you to use pumpkin, but not in a pumpkin pie.


Pumpkin Cake Ingredients 1 Pumpkin Cake Ingredients 2
Pumpkin Cake Ingredients 3
Pumpkin Cake Ingredients 5 

Pumpkin Cake Ingredients 5.5 Pumpkin Cake 6

Pumpkin Cake 5

This is an utterly delicious moist cake which is definitely my  kind of cake. Doesn't need frosting(if you do, I don't  mind;))  which is practically the easiest ever, and, it tastes so 'gourmet.'  It's a gorgeous,  nutty cake which is going to be a regular for our Year end parties. 

BROWN BUTTER PUMPKIN CAKE with CARDAMOM AND SAFFRON CAKE
A smooth, nutty, moist cake filled with spices and warmth.  It tastes better warm and even better the next day.  Travels well.

Bake at 320 degrees
prep time-10 minutes
bake time- 45-1hour
Serves-10

Ingredients:

1 cup all purpose flour
2/3 cup almond meal
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp freshly ground cardamom
1/2 tsp saffron threads
1 cup pumpkin puree(canned or fresh(better))
1 cup brown butter(2 sticks unsalted butter browned on low heat)
1 1/3 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
3 large eggs
lemon zest


Method:

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Sift all purpose flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and keep aside.  
2.  In a large bowl, add the brown butter, saffron.  Add the eggs and mix well.  
3.  Add the pumpkin puree, and mix well.  
4.  Add the sugar, mix.  Now, add the dry ingredients along with almond meal.  Mix lightly and do not over mix. 
5.  Pour in a greased pan and bake at 320 degrees for approximately 50 minutes. Check after 40 minutes, if the top is browning faster, reduce the temperature.  
Take it out and immediately sprinkle some lemon zest when it's hot. 
Let it cool and serve with some cool maple yogurt or light whipped topping. 

Note: I used canned pumpkin puree not the pumpkin pie filling. The fresh pumpkin puree is best.
Make Brown butter by slowly simmering unsalted butter until it turns lightly brown and use only the top and the dirt is left behind.
I've used cardamom, you could use any spices of your choice.


Pumpkin Cake 7

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Saturday, November 15, 2014

ZESTY AUTUMN VEGETARIAN PROTEIN SOUP

It was Friday night, and the kids didn't care what they ate.  All they wanted was to take a break, relax, and do nothing.  After a few days of binge eating and carb overload, we all had to eat a bit cleaner for a few days.  The good thing is, the kids love to eat healthy food, but only when it tastes good. When they help make it, it's even better! ;).  

I called them to come up with their own ingredients for a soup(little did they know I had it all planned).  The little one chose the vegetables, the teen chose beans, and we had a winning combo. I asked them to chop, clean, and organize. I had the base ready, and they put things together; it's that simple. They enjoyed it and were thrilled that they came up with it :).


Zesty Autumn Soup 1
Zesty Autumn Soup 2 Zesty Autumn Soup 2.1

This recipe was inspired by someone I saw on YouTube(don't remember whom) who was mentioning this grilled vegetable bean soup, and it stuck.  I'm glad it did, and it's a winning recipe in my book.  

And the boys said, "Mom, you have to blog about it!". "Yes I will," I said.  


 





ZESTY AUTUMN VEGETARIAN PROTEIN SOUP

Ingredients:
Vegetables for baking:

1 large yam- cut to 1/3 of an inch
1 large sweet potato sliced a bit thicker
3 carrots (cut lengthwise)
1 red bell pepper  (cut lengthwise)
1/2 onion (cut lengthwise)
5 garlic sliced   
1 tsp provencial spices
1/2 tsp salt
1tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp fresh black pepper
For the soup base:
1 tbsp olive oil
2 cups celery
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp provencial spice
3 tbsp sriracha(or accordingly)
1 can roasted tomato
1 can diced tomato with basil and oregano
1 cup cooked butter beans
1 cup cooked garbanzo beans
1 cup cooked red kidney beans 
1 cube vegetable bouillon mixed with water
4 cups of water
For Garnish:
finely diced onions
grated parmesan
avocado(optional)
roasted pepita seeds(optional
lemon
cilantro(optional

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Toss all the vegetables with the spices and oil, spread it on a baking sheet, bake for 20 minutes.  For the couple few minutes increase the oven to 450 to char the vegetables.
3. In a large soup pot, add oil, some cumin seeds and the chopped celery.  Fry for a minute and add the tomatoes to it.  Let it cook for 5 minutes and then add all the beans.  Let it simmer out for 20 minutes.
4.  Add the vegetables to the pot and simmer for 5 minutes and take it off the stove.  Serve hot or at room temperature with any garnish of your choice.

If you want it thicker or thinner, use water accordingly.
ENJOY!!


Zesty Autumn Soup 3

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Thursday, October 23, 2014

PUMPKIN FUDGE/HALWA/ BURFI

HAPPY DIWALI!!

It has been a while since I've posted and visited your page my friends.  Well, now glad to be back in this space to wish you all a beautiful and colorful year ahead.

This truly is the Festival of lights in many ways to our family.  We feel very blessed, especially this year.

Here's to everyone's great health and happiness with this yummilious fudgy twist on an Indian staple. Pumpkin Halwa.  I kid you not when I say it's better than the plain milk fudge/cake.  Try it to find out.






PUMPKIN FUDGE/Burfi


Takes 40-45 minutes to cook
1-2 hrs to cool.
Keeps in the refrigerator for a week
Make about 20 small squares

Ingredients:

1 16oz can of plain pumpkin puree
1/2 cup milk powder
1/2 cup of almond meal
1 cup of full cream milk
1 cup of white sugar
1 stick of butter melted and browned a bit(clarified butter
a pinch of saffron
1/2 tsp cardamom powder

Method:

1. In a thick bottomed pan, add the pumpkin puree, milk powder, almond meal and milk.  Mix well and cook of medium low heat until the mixture comes to a very thick consistency.  Make sure not to let the bottom burn.

2. Then add the sugar.  Mix and cook again at a low temperature for about 10 minutes or until it is thick again.
3. Add the clarified butter and mix again and cook until the mixture leaves the sides.
4. Add the cardamom powder and saffron.
5.  Mix well and pour it in a greased pan and top with sliced almonds.  Let cool and cut to pieces.
ENJOY!!



Your comment are like rewards, please take a moment to give your feedback. Copyright 2013 - 2014 Food Fashion Party

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

ALMOND AND SAFFRON VALENTINE PIES

ALMOND AND SAFFRON PIES

Friendship Day was the most popular college celebration I knew of when I was growing up.  Seriously, I never celebrated Valentine's Day until the last year of my graduation. It was so interesting and fun to see girls buying cards for their Valentine. They got so giddy over it!

On Valentine's Day, you could see girls dressed their best. They wait for their Valentine to come with red roses.  Few guys did come, and the rest were jealous.  The four(my friends and I) did not have much excitement on the day and tried to get past the day without being too embarrassed or annoyed. This happened for years.


So, the last year of college, my friends and I decided that we would give each other roses and cards. We wouldn't worry about these men who didn't deserve us. It was funnier than it sounds now.


In the morning of Valentine' Days, we all met a bit early and went out for coffee. We exchanged our gifts and flowers. Entering the college with flowers in our hands was a quite proud moment. I remember a few of other friends went winking at us, I guess they just imagine the flowers that we had we given by guys..:).  We carried on with what they thought and it was not a bad day to have virtual boyfriends.  It was fun.


ALMOND AND SAFFRON PIES ALMOND AND SAFFRON STUFFING FOR PIE


That was then, now I don't even believe that women or men should be showered with love/flowers and gifts on Valentines day alone.   
Here's a dessert which combines one of my favorite stuffing, which, by the way yum by itself. It is complete sweet heaven. Now, imagine that sweet heaven encased in a pie crust. Mmm!  It's one dessert, among a few others, which I am planning to make for a big party that I am hosting in a few days.


ALMOND AND SAFFRON PIE ALMOND AND SAFFRON PIE
Makes 10-15 pies
Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 22 minutes

Ingredient:

For the pie crust:
1 cup All purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 stick very cold butter cut into squares
2 tbsp vegetable shortening 
2 tbsp sugar
1 egg
pinch of salt
2-4 tbsp ice cold water

For the stuffing:


1 cup almond meal

1/2 cup milk powder
1/4 tsp crushed saffron
1/3 cup sugar(use it according to how sweet you want your desserts)
3 tbsp of milk
1/4 tsp cardamom powder
Egg wash to brush over the pie for the golden crust.


Method:
For the pie crust:


1. You can use a cuisinart or a standing mixer to make the dough.  Keep the butter in the freezer for 30 minutes before making the dough.  Add the flour, salt, sugar, egg and pulse for few seconds.  Add the butter and shortening and let the mixer run until everything is incorporated and you can see tiny specs of butter in it.  Add ice cold water a tbsp at a time and pulse until it all comes together to form a dough.  The dough will take anywhere from 2 to 4 tbsp depending on the temperature in the kitchen.  ONCE it all comes together, wrap it in a plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.


2.  Roll the dough, cut to any shape, stuff, crimp the edges with a fork and brush with some egg wash Cut a small slit in the middle to allow the steam to come out and bake the pies for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown in a 350 degree oven.  


For the stuffing:


1. In a microwave safe bowl add almond meal, milk powder, saffron, sugar, milk and cook it for a minute.  Take it out and stir it and cook for another minute.  It will take about 3-4 minutes to cook and it will be slightly thick.  Take it out and mix in the cardamom powder.

Cool and stuff it in the pie.

ENJOY!

___________________________________________________________

Note:

You can make the pie dough and wrap tightly and freeze it for a longer time.
The stuffing is great as a dessert on it's own with some icecream.
Make sure all the ingredients are cold when making a pie.
Do not over stuff the pies.



ALMOND AND SAFFRON PIE 1

Have fabulous Valentines day with your precious someone.  
 Copyright 2013 - Food Fashion Party

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

DOSA- A SOUTH INDIAN SPECIALITY

DOSA with PEANUT CHUTNEY(a perfect South Indian breakfast)

Imagine going to your in-laws' home for the first time, that itself is nerve wrecking(it was for me). How would you react if they ask you to make dosa?  It was quite overwhelming. At that time, I didn't know how to make coffee to save my life, leave alone the art of making a perfect crispy dosa.  I slowly made my way to the kichen, kept the flat iron pan, and started making my dosas. That was not so bad until my father-in-law came and said, "hold on, let me show you how to make a proper dosa"(in a nice tone).  My ego was hurt, and I was not a happy girl.

Back at my parents' home, we did make dosa, but it is not as popular as it is in some parts of Southern India. My hubby comes from Coimbatore, a place known for its idli and dosa.  Well, along the years, I've learnt much traditional cooking from my in laws, and I love their cooking style.


So, now when I go visit my in-laws, I do manage to ask my father-in-law how my cooking is, he never stops amazing me with his sweetest compliments as to how great a cook I am, but just next to his wife..;).



Dosa DOSA Batter



Dosa is a rice and lentil pancake which, to me, is similar to INJERA.  It's much easier to make dosa, which has to be fermented overnight, than Injera, which requires way more effort(I'm still working on perfecting it). There are many variations; it's made paper thin, thick and medium, stuffed, plain with egg, anything your heart desires.

Generally, I do not mess around with authentic and traditional recipes but this is one of those mixes I enjoy and I think it is a little bit better than the original.  Here goes, the most traditional breakfast in most South Indian homes.  The accompaniments are endless: coconut chutney, peanut chutney, tomato chutney, onion tomato chutney(my kid's favorite), sambhar, corinader chutney, potato and peas curry stuffing and much much more.


DOSA with PEANUT CHUTNEY(a perfect South Indian breakfast)1

I love my dosa crispy with my mom's peanut chutney and a little sugar sprinkled over it, which is exactly how my dad prefers it. It is freaky how similar our habits are to our parents.   

DOSA with PEANUT CHUTNEY

Ingredients:

DOSA

4 cups medium grain Indian rice(Sona Masoori)
1/2 cup green whole green daal(moong daal)
1/2 cup split white lentils (urad daal)
1/2 tbsp meethi seeds
Water to soak-4-5 cups
1/2 cup leftover cooked rice(any kind)
Water to grind-1/2-3/4 cups
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda

Method:
1. Wash the rice and lentils well until the water runs clear. Soak all the ingredients for the dosa overnight.  You have to soak this for at least 7-8 hours because the green lentil takes a bit longer to get soft.
2. Make 2 portions of the soaked grains, drain all the water. It will be hard to grind the whole thing at once. Grind the soaked rice and lentil with 1/2 cup of cooked rice in a heavy duty blender with water adding it little at a time until you achieve a semi-smooth consistency.  It should not be too pasty or too watery.  Take it out in a large vessel, add the salt, mix well and cover. Leave it in a warm place for 6-7 hours or until it ferments or rises an inch or two.
REMEMBER- In colder months it does not rise that well.  I turn on my oven at 200 degrees for 20 minutes, turn it off and keep the mixture in the oven overnight.  It does the trick.  DO NOT TURN ON THE OVEN WHEN THE MIXTURE IS IN.
3.  Once it ferments, add baking soda and baking powder, mix well and make your dosas on a medium hot griddle.  SERVE HOT with any sauce of your choice.
NOTE:MAKE sure to use a good heavy duty blender. 

PEANUT CHUTNEY
1/2 cup roasted peanuts without skin
1 cup grated coconut
4-5 whole red chillies
1/4 inch ginger
pinch of cumin
a very small piece of tamarind
salt
water needed to grind it -1/4- 1/2 cup

GRIND everything in a blender with water as needed until everything is well ground and not too smooth or watery.  You can temper it with some mustard seeds, curry leaves and asafoetida.

ENJOY DOSA WITH CHUTNEY!!

DOSA with PEANUT CHUTNEY(a perfect South Indian breakfast)2

I'm sure most of you have tried dosa, do you like it? Have you made it at hoem? Would love to hear from you. 
Have a great week!!

Copyright 2013 - Food Fashion Party

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

SAVORY WHOLE GRAIN WAFFLES

Whole Grain Savory Waffle
Whole Grain Savory Waffle 3

How are you'll doing? Hope you are keeping yourself warm and safe.  
What have I been up to?? 
Not a lot.  Watched a very bad movie, infact the worst Indian movie ever and it had the biggest cast.  
Ran 6 miles today after taking a break for a while, feels AMAZING.
Ohhh and by the way, watching episodes of STAR GATE.  I remember watching it long back.  Now on Season 2 and I am quite addicted now. After the boys are in bed, hubby and I watch at least four episodes, loving it.
And also made a huge batch of these waffles.

I am always impressed with my waffle machine, it never ceases to amaze me. I remember owning a waffle maker even before I knew a single recipe for a good waffle.  
Waffles are a staple in our home.  The kids can have sweet waffles everyday.  Every once in a while, I love to make these. I've put my waffle iron to good use, and quite shocked that it still serves me after years of tormenting it with spice after spice.

Whole Grain Savory Waffles Whole Grain Savory Waffle 2
Whole Grain Savory Waffles 5


SPICY WHOLE GRAIN WAFFLES

Ingredients:
1/2 cup finger millet flour(ragi)
1/2 cup black lentil flour 
1/2 cup chickpea flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp sugar
1 cup fat free milk 
1 egg
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 green chillies finely diced
2 whole carrots grated finely
optional-chia seeds, hemp seeds, flax seeds(2 tsp together)

Method:
1. In a large bowl, mix the millet flour, black lentil flour, chickpea flour, cornmeal, salt, baking powder, soda and sugar.  Keep aside.
2.  In a small mixing bowl, beat the egg, fat free milk, vegetable oil, green chillies and carrots.
3. Mix the dry and wet ingredients together well till incorporated.  You can add the chia, hemp and flax seeds and incorporate it.
Let the mixture sit in the fridge for 2 hours or overnight.
4. Bake it in a waffle maker or you can make small pancakes and cook at low temperature.  
ENJOY!!

Quick Note:
You can made thick pancakes out of the batter.  That is how we make in India.
I made a sandwich with alfalfa sprouts and some green and date chutney.  You can also serve it with some chana masala or chicken curry(yum).  
You can make this vegan by omitting the egg.  The result is pretty good.
You can substitute the fat free milk for unsweetened soy milk.
You can make the waffles and freeze it and toast whenever ready to eat. Let the waffles cool well before freezing. 
Serve with a gravy or make waffle sandwiches.
  


Whole Grain Savory Waffles 4 Whole Grain Savory Waffles 3
. Copyright 2013 - Food Fashion Party

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

CRISPY CAULIFLOWER AND BROCCOLI WITH ASIAN DRESSING

                                                                                                             
CRISPY ROASTED FLORETS WITH SPICY ASIAN DRESSING1

It has been a good couple of weeks. I am trying to get back on track with my workouts and a good healthy diet.  I've always been consistent with workouts, in fact I can overdo a bit but the results are definitely well worth it.  Although my parents beg to differ, they hate to see the skinny me.  Food, on the other hand is something I love too much to be eating less portions and healthy all the time.  So I have to come up with tasty alternative which are liked by all.  I am so glad that my boys are into salads and smoothies.  

This was our light dinner for the day, with a cantaloupe smoothie (cantaloupe, strawberry, and coconut water).   

I know I roasted the bazookas out of the broccoli, but trust me, they tasted like they were fried. You could make a big portion of the dressing and use it as a sauce to make your favorite stir fry, or you could just use it as a dip for appetizers.


CRISPY ROASTED FLORETS WITH SPICY ASIAN DRESSING 3

CRISPY ROASTED FLORETS WITH SPICY ASIAN DRESSING 2 CRISPY ROASTED FLORETS WITH SPICY ASIAN DRESSING

CRISPY CAULIFLOWER AND BROCCOLI WITH ASIAN DRESSING

Ingredients:

1 whole head cauliflower 
1 whole head broccoli
2 tbsp rice flour 
2 tsp corn flour
1 tsp salt

For the Asian Dressing:
1 tsp fresh grated ginger
2 tsp rice wine vinegar
3 tbsp sweet chilly sauce
2 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp honey
1/2 tsp chilly flakes
1 tbsp dark brown sugar
3 stalks scallions finely chopped
1tbsp corn flour
1/2 cup water
1 tsp sesame seeds for garnishing

Method:

1. Cut the cauliflower and broccoli to big pieces and wash well and dry very well.  IT has to be very dry.
2.  Take a large bowl and add the florets in it.  Sprinkle tapioca flour, corn flour and salt evenly on top of florets.  Cover the bowl with a pate and shake it out so the flours distribute evenly.  You could also use a Ziploc to mix it in.
3.  Preheat over to 420 degrees.  Bake the florets at for 20 minutes or until crisp and lightly browned.
4.  Mix all the ingredients for the dressing until there are no lumps.  Pour in a small sauce pan and simmer it for couple of minutes or until slightly thickened. Set aside and cool.
5. Arrange the roasted florets on a flat bottomed plate, pour  pour the dressing over, and garnish with sesame seeds.
ENJOY!!

CRISPY ROASTED FLORETS WITH SPICY ASIAN DRESSING15

Copyright 2013 - Food Fashion Party

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