Thursday, 15 September 2016

RAINBOW FRUIT SALAD AND A POST ON A SPICE- HIMALAYAN PINK SALT

RAINBOW FRUIT SALAD AND A POST ON A SPICE- HIMALAYAN PINK SALT



Himalayan pink salt is used a lot in Indian cuisine, it is considered to be the best salt for cooking, because of its amazing taste and health benefits. In the Hindi language, it is called “kala namak or sendha namak”. In English, it is also called rock salt which is still hand mined in Punjab, Pakistan. It is also produced in other Asian countries like India, Bangladesh and Nepal. It comes in powdered as well as crystal forms.


Since my childhood, I have used this salt, because it was always available in my mum's kitchen. In my mum's kitchen, it was readily available on the dining table, for us, to add on top of salads and drinks if required to be added on top . I remember, in my childhood, when we brothers and sisters had a mild disturbance in our stomach, my mom would say, “ Take a pinch of kala namak (pink salt) and drink a glass of water, you will be fine.” I used to think, how come this salt can work as a medicine but it worked for us. In that era, in India, mum's were using their tradition knowledge, which was based on Ayurveda to treat small problems at home.


Ayurveda is an ancient Indian science of healing naturally, with the help of plants, herbs, spices and other natural things. This Himalayan pink salt has a specific place in Ayurveda, where it can be used for treating high blood pressure, balancing our body's acidity and alkaline, and can effectively detoxify human body. 


This salt is used in Indian and south Asian cuisines as a condiment in many dishes like raitas, fruit salads, chutneys, chats, pickles etc. This salt has a distinctive flavour which can be really enjoyed when it is added to the dishes which are ready to eat. For example- fresh veg salads, fruit salads, different types of raitas, (when we add cut or diced vegetables in yoghurt) and in many chutneys, dips, pesto and chats for garnishing on top. Since is it considered to be a cooling spice, it is also added to beverages like lemonade, orange squash or different types of savoury lassis (savoury yoghurt drink). It is also sprinkled on chips and fritters. If it is used during the process of cooking, we may still enjoy the health benefits but the aroma of the salt can disappear during cooking. Chat masala which is an Indian blend of spices, black salt is the main ingredient in it.


This pink salt is appreciated by some vegans in dishes to mimic the taste of eggs for example to season tofu. This pink salt is considered as a cooling spice in Ayurveda and is used as a laxative and digestive aid. This salt is also used to treat hysteria and for making toothpaste by combing it with other mineral and plant ingredients. ( Source- Wikipedia)



 Note-  I am not adverting any pink salt.This is a picture for  my readers.



It is considered to be the purest salt which is used in culinary, therapeutic and cosmetic uses. Check this website.


Coming to the recipe of no cooking and no baking. This fruit salad can go with any meal as a side dish or can be eaten as a starter.


RECIPE

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 English cucumber
  • 1 big apple (200 grams)
  • 1 big pear (200 grams)
  • 200 grams strawberries
  • 100 grams blueberry
  • 1 big mango ( 200 grams)
  • Half sweet melon ( 200 grams)
  • 2 bananas medium size
  • 2 kiwi ( 200 grams)
  • Himalayan pink salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp dry mint
  • 1 tbsp chat masala ( optional)

METHOD



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)

THANDAI WALI KULFI
(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.



RECIPE

INGREDIENTS

  • 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
METHOD


  • 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.