Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Watergate salad / Pistachio Delight

This is one of the classic American desserts. I had it at my friend Mary’s house party and enjoyed this chilly refreshing dish. Her mom gave me this recipe. I have made few changes. Not many Indians have had this before, so whenever I have made this at my parties it was gone in a breeze. Below recipe serves about 15.
·         Crushed pineapple in juice – 1 Can (20 oz)
·         JELL-O pistachio instant pudding mix – 1 pkg (3.4 ounce)
·         Miniature Marshmallows – 2 cups
·         Chopped pistachio and walnuts – 1 cup
·         Heavy whipping cream – 1 quart or 32 oz.
·         Sugar – 1 cup
Method of Preparation:
~  Put whipping blades and whipping bowl in the freezer for 10 minutes.
~  Take it out and then pour the heavy whipping cream in it. Whip the cream for about 10 minutes or until the small spikes starts on the whipped cream. (these two steps are according to package direction to prepare the whipped cream)
~  Now add sugar, instant pudding mix and whip for another minute to mix it thoroughly.
~  Take out the whipping blades. Add drained crushed pineapple and nuts.
~  Now add the marshmallows and give it a stir. Chill for at least an hour before serving.

  • Original recipe called for COOL WHIP whipped topping that you find it in freezer section. I have used that before and it turns out quite good too. You could use about 2 cups of thawed cool whip. Reduce sugar quantity.
  • Original recipe has non-drained pineapple. But it made it watery the first time. So I now choose to gently remove the extra juice.
Sending this to Shilpa's Life Is Green Event

Monday, July 25, 2011

Cucumber Yogurt Salad / Cucumber Raita

Today picked lot of cucumber from my garden. This particular kind is so tasty that whenever I bite into one, I always think, “Cool as Cucumber”.

Well, after picking them today I thought I will add a quick raita alongside rice pulav rather than just slicing and serving them. I prepared the same dish that my sister Vandana made when she was here last summer. It was very different from what I had eaten before. And she is a master of presentation too. I tried to recreate the same and this recipe has been reviewed by her. :o)

·           Cucumber – 3 small ones
·           Yogurt – 2 cups
·           Chat masala – ½ tsp.
·           Mint leaves – ½ tsp. cut very fine
·           Salt to taste
·           Chili powder – ½ - 1 tsp.
·           Jeera / Cumin powder – ½ tsp.

Method of Preparation:
~  Wash and remove the ends of cucumber. Gently scrape of the skin if you don’t like it. Otherwise leave the skin on. Grate cucumber and squeeze out some of the water.
~  Beat the yogurt. Add chat masala, mint leaves and salt.
~  Add cucumber to the yogurt mixture. If you want to make it thinner, use the squeezed out water from cucumber.
To serve, decorate with chili powder and jeera powder. Top it with two leaflets of coriander.

Serves:  About 4 People
Prep Time: 5 to 7 minutes

·     If the yogurt is sweet then, add a tsp. of lemon juice for tanginess.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Honey Salmon Fry

I had Salmon first at a restaurant here in US. Later I realized it’s pretty commonly served fish around here. After reading that it’s high in Omega-3 fatty acids, high in protein and also a brain food, I wanted to give it an Indian twist. After couple of attempts, I came up with this easy recipe which became my son’s instant favorite.

  • Salmon small fillets – 12 pieces [Frozen Salmon fillets – 4 big ones can be cut into 12]
  • Garlic – 6 – 8 cloves paste
  • Honey – 1 tsp.
  • Tamarind pulp – 2 tbsp. (If from concentrate use ½ tsp.)
  • Italian seasoning – 1 tsp.
  • Chili powder – 1 tbsp.
  • Turmeric powder – ½ tsp.
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil to fry
Method of Preparation:
~ Defrost Salmon fillets. Clean and cut them into about 2 X 4 inch size. [Get the fresh fish fillets cut from the store]. Keep them aside.

~ In a separate bowl mix all other ingredients.

~ Apply this paste to the salmon and let it marinate for about half an hour.

~ Heat a skillet and add a tsp. of oil. Place fish fillets carefully. Close it with a lid. Let it cook for 2 minutes.

~ Open the lid and flip all the fillets. Continue to cook till fish turn pink and all the masala has cooked & dried.

~ Best served hot with some Rice, Rasam and Sautéed Asparagus.

  • To defrost the Salmon fillets, put it in water and keep it for an hour or so. DO NOT microwave.
  • Do not pat dry the fillets before applying the paste. It will make the fish dry.
  • Always remember to sanitize after handling the fish.
  • You can use lemon juice instead of Tamarind. About 1 tbsp. should suffice.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Asparagus with Cranberry

This recipe came out of desperation to finish dried cranberries before their expiration date. With it’s sweet and tangy taste it’s a sure winner. And ofcourse you could tell we love Asparagus. :o)
·         Asparagus – 1 bunch
·         Spring onions cut into small pieces – 1 cup (optional)
·         Dried Cranberry/ Craisins – ½ cup.
·         Chili powder – 1 tsp.
·         Lemon juice – 1 tsp.
·         Olive oil – 1 tsp.
·         Salt to taste
Method of Preparation:
~   Wash & trim the ends of Asparagus and cut them into small pieces.
~   In a heated pan with oil, add the asparagus and sauté on high for 5 mins.
~   Add spring onions and continue to sauté for 2 mins.
~   Now add chili powder, cranberries and salt to taste. Give it a good stir, switch off the heat & top it with lemon juice.
  • Do not close the lid after the dish is made. Wait till it cools down.
  • Do not overcook, it will make it soggy.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Karela Bhaaji/ Bitter gourd subzi

Believe it or not, Karela is one my son’s favorite vegetable. Since a baby he would relish on it. I like this vegetable as much, though I feel hubby eats it coz of its medicinal values. My mom would always prepare it in different ways, but my favorite was Konkani style karathe baaji. But when she came over 2 years back, she prepared karela in a different style and it was an instant hit. This recipe that follows is very simple and quick to make.
·         Karela/ Bitter gourd – 3 or 4 small ones
·         Cut Onions – 1 cup
·         Cut Tomato – 1 cup
·         Garlic – 1 tbsp.
·         Chili powder – 1 tsp.
·         Turmeric powder – ½ tsp.
·         Coriander powder – ½ tsp.
·         Grated Jaggery – 2 tbsp.
·         Oil to fry – 1 tbsp.
·         Salt to taste
Method of Preparation:

~  Wash and scrape the skin off on Bitter gourd. Cut open and remove all the seeds. Chop them into very small tit-bits.
~  Heat the oil in a pan and add bitter gourd. Fry them for 5 mins on high heat.
~  Reduce to medium heat and add Onion and Garlic. Add tomatoes and continue to cook. Fry until Onion is half done.
~  Now add all the dry masala powders and fry some more.
~  One all the vegetables are tender and cooked, add salt to taste and jaggery. Give it a mix and switch off the heat. Serve it with chapatti.

·   Add more jaggery if needed.
·   Let the baaji sit for some time before serving. That will make sure karela pulls in all the ingredients and does not taste too bitter.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Sautéed Asparagus

Asparagus is one of our favorite vegetable at home. When we moved to US, I was introduced to this wonderful vegetable full of Vitamins and minerals. First I wasn’t sure how to prepare it. Then one fine day I decided to come up with own recipe and try it. So picked up a fresh young asparagus bunch and tried the below recipe. My friends had come over in the evening and when I told them about my adventure, they all wanted to give it a try. Whole thing was gone in minutes.
I usually prefer to make this along with salmon. I feel they complement each other. I will be posting that recipe soon, so you too can enjoy them together.

  • Asparagus – 1 Bunch.
  • Orange juice – 1/2 cup ( Or use lemon juice 1 tbsp.)
  • Chili powder – 1 tsp.
  • Turmeric powder – pinch (optional)
  • Italian seasoning – 1 tbsp.
  • Oil/ butter to sauté – 1 tbsp.
  • Salt to taste

Method of Preparation:
 -   Clean the asparagus and trim the bud end. You don’t have to if you can tolerate eating them. I usually pinch the top off. For the root end, bend at the end to break the hard part. Then cut the good part of Asparagus into about 2 – 3 inches long.

-    Heat the oil/ butter in a pan. Add all the asparagus to the hot pan. Sauté them for 2 minutes on high temperature. Reduce to medium heat and close it with a lid and cook for another minute of two.

-    Once the color of the asparagus starts to brighten, add turmeric, chili powder and Italian seasoning. Fry for some more time and add salt to taste.
-    Pour the orange juice; continue to sauté for some more time and switch off the stove. The juice will almost dry up.

  • Shop for thinner, young Asparagus, otherwise they tend to be woody to eat.
  • If you are using gas stove, you might want to keep it till orange juice is soaked in. I have electric, so I tend to switch off early and leave it on there.
  • Don’t overcook the asparagus, they taste better when crispy. Consider the time it takes to soak in orange juice.
  • DO NOT put the lid on until it’s cooled down. Otherwise it will become soggy
I hope you will enjoy this dish as much as they do in my home!!

Fruit and Ice cream Delight

This is one of the easiest desserts. How many times have you had people over and got bored with keeping something different for dessert and ended up buying an ice cream. Well, this is a quick enhancement to that.

  • Vanilla / Strawberry ice cream
  • Fresh fruit assortment (Blueberry, Strawberry,  Apple, Mango, Oranges)
  • Honey
  • Almonds/ Walnuts to garnish.

Method of Preparation:
Cut bigger fruits into small chunks. Mix all the fruits together and keep it ready. Chop the nuts and keep it aside.
Serving - Place 2 scoops of ice cream in the serving dish. Top it with handful of fruits. Drizzle some honey and nuts. Voila, your exquisite dessert is ready to be served.

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