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Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Mango Avocado Salsa

A colorful salsa recipe representing the fresh summer bounty, though late winter and spring seasons are still colliding in our neck of the woods. As any salsa recipe, this one too is a quick one and all one need to do is dice the ingredients and mix.
The mangoes I had were somewhere in between sour and sweet tasting and were perfect in this dish. I skipped the tomatoes so that the mango flavor would be more prominent in the dish though tomatoes add an a extra flavor layer. Mash the avocado for a mango based guacamole.
1 avocado, diced
1 small mango, diced
1/4 cup finely diced red onion
1 finely diced small tomato (Optional. I didn't use any.)
1 green chillie, seeded and finely chopped
Roughly chopped cilantro (as much as needed)
1 lime / lemon
Salt to taste

* Add everything except lime juice and cilantro to a mixing bowl and stir to combine.
* Add lime juice according to taste and finally stir in cilantro.
* Serve immediately.
This post goes to Blogging marathon #76 and check out the page to read what ot marathoners are cooking.


Friday, May 19, 2017

Golden Nugget Carrot Muffins

I had bookmarked these muffins from here sometime ago to try. These muffins are simple to prepare and are loaded with a generous sprinkling of nuts, raisins and of course carrot. These tasted good, accentuated with cinnamon flavor and would be a great addition to any breakfast / brunch or picnic table.

I ended up baking two batches as I forgot to turn off the oven accidentally during the first time and they ended up baked for double the recommended time. Those are the ones in green muffin liners which had tops turned crispy and to my surprise, they tasted still good with a crunchy top when eaten warm. And of course they softened by the next day. I baked a second batch which are in the blue muffin liners, remembering to sprinkle some extra nuts and raisins over the tops.

I halved the recipe and got around 7 to 8 muffins. I omitted the ground ginger from the recipe and used an egg substitute in place of the egg. The muffin batter was dry and I had to increase the quantity of liquid than the original recipe. And also I replaced half the quantity of water with fat free yogurt. Skip yogurt for a vegan version. 

Ingredients: (Yield 6 - 8 muffins)
1 cup + 2 tbsp. all purpose flour
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
6 tbsp. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 cup raisins & chopped walnuts + Extra for sprinkling
2 tbsp. + 2 tsp. oil
1/2 cup water (I replaced half quantity with yogurt.)
1 egg substitute (I used Ener- G egg replacer.)
1/2 cup grated carrot

* Preheat the oven to 400 deg F / 22 deg C. Grease the muffin tray or line them with paper liners.
* Combine all the dry ingredients including raisins and nuts in a mixing bowl.
* Mix water, yogurt if using, oil and egg substitute in another bowl.
* Stir in the wet ingredients into dry ingredients. (If the batter appears too dry, add extra water in small increments.) 
* Fold in the carrot, gently stirring to combine.
* Spoon the mixture into muffin cups until almost full. Sprinkle some raisins and nuts over the tops, if preferred.
* Place the muffin tray into the preheated oven and bake until a tooth pick inserted at the center comes out clean, about 20 to 22 minutes.
* Remove the pan from the oven and cool.
This goes to Blogging marathon #76, under the theme 'Picnic Recipes'. Check out the page to read what other marathoners are cooking.


Thursday, May 18, 2017

Cornmeal Cookies (Ivory Coast)

Initially I had planned to participate in the 'baking' themed April mega marathon and I had diligently prepared the list. I even baked some when it dawned on me that I was the one who was going to end up eating all those goodies if I made it through the list. The kid who supposedly was to devour them and share the calories with me was away from the home and the kid who was at home wouldn't look at the sweet stuff unless it is laden with chocolate. And so, I finally gave up the idea of baking marathon though I ended up baking a few dishes for the first time. 

These simple, sweet cornmeal cookies from Ivory Coast was one of them and they would be a great pick for a picnic menu. I actually tried these cookie two times, halving the recipe both times. The first time, I tried to shape the cookies by patting the dough into perfect circles and they spread like crazy while baking though they held the shape. The second time, I dropped dough by spoonful and they were chubby (as shown in the pictures) while the first batch ones were thinner and bigger. These crispy, crunchy cookies fall under the easier to prepare variety cookies.
Source: Here

Ingredients: (Yield 50)
1 & 1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
5 to 6 tbsp. butter
1/2 cup + 2tbsp. sugar
1 flax egg or 1 egg substitute
1 tsp. vanilla extract

* Mix 1 tbsp. flax meal and 3 tbsp. warm water in a small bowl and keep aside for five minutes.
* Preheat the oven to 350 degree F. Grease a cookie sheet or line with parchment paper / aluminum foil and keep aside.
* Combine flour, cornmeal, salt and baking powder in a bowl.
* Beat butter and sugar together in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Add the egg substitute and vanilla and beat again. Slowly add the dry ingredients from the above step and mix well.
* Drop dough in spoonful onto the prepared baking sheet and bake for about 15 minutes or until they are done.
This goes to Blogging marathon #76, under the theme 'Picnic Recipes'. Check out the page to read what other marathoners are cooking.


Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Raw Mango Rice / Maavinikaayi Chitranna

A rice dish would be a commonly prepared main dish when thinking in terms of a south Indian picnic. Until a few decades ago (or even now in many households), the spicy tamarind rice and the soothing yogurt rice combo would be blindly packed for lunches during any outdoor activities. The dishes would be prepared and relished without any second thought. The spicy tamarind based paste used for the tamarind rice can be prepared ahead and all that needs to be done on the picnic day is to mix it with cooked rice. It doesn't spoil at least for a couple of days even during the high summer temperatures, even when not refrigerated. While the yogurt rice is cooling and soothing, during the hot, sultry days.
And coming from that kind of background, I could not stop myself today from posting a rice dish as a part of this week's BM theme of 'picnic dishes'.  Besides, I thought of celebrating the sudden summer temperatures we are encountering this week after the 40s (around 4 deg C) we were freezing in last week. And what is a better way to celebrate the warm weather than a 'mango' that is almost synonymous to Indian summers? And the combo of rice and raw mango lead to this dish which is simpler than a pulihora preparation but nonetheless delicious in it's own way. This is prepared along the lines of 'kaayi saasive anna' from Karnataka and uses the extra step of grinding some ingredients and sauteing the paste.

Click on the recipe names below if interested to access the recipes of the rice dishes mentioned in the post.
Green Mango - Coconut rice
Tamarind rice / Pulihora
Yogurt rice / Daddhojanam
Kaayi Saasive Anna / Coconut - Mustard Rice
Green Mango Rice / Maamidikaaya Pulihora
Ingredients to grind:
1 cup firmly packed, peeled and grated raw mango
1/4 cup grated fresh coconut
3 red chillies + 1 green chillie
1/2 tsp. mustard seeds
1/2 tsp. to 1 tsp. jaggery powder

Other Ingredients:
3 tbsp. oil
2 tbsp. peanuts
1 tsp. split chickpeas / chana dal
1 tsp. black gram / urad dal
1 tsp. mustard seeds
Few curry leaves
1/8 tsp. turmeric powder
2 pinches of asafoetida powder
4 cups cooked rice
Salt to taste

* Spread the rice on a wide plate and allow it cool. Once cool, break any rice lumps if present.
* Keep a handful of grated mango aside and grind everything under 'ingredients to grind' to a slightly coarse paste, adding a little water.
* Heat oil in a saute pan and add peanuts, split chickpeas, black gram and mustard seeds. When the peanuts turn golden brown, add curry leaves, turmeric powder and asafoetida powder. Saute for about 10 seconds and add the ground paste. Saute the paste on medium flame, constantly stirring until the raw smell leaves, about 4 to 5 minutes. Next add the remaining mango gratings and salt and cook for a minute.
* Now the rice from the first step can be added to the pan and mixed or the cooked raw mango stuff from the above step can be added to the rice plate. Mix well so that the rice grains are coated well with the paste. Taste and adjust the seasonings if needed.
* Serve warm with lentil wafers or potato chips.

1. Use south Indian style rice for this preparation, where the cooked rice grains could be seen individually. I used sona masuri rice and pressure cooked it with a rice and water ratio of 1:2. 
2. Let the rice cool before adding it to the pan since the hot rice will turn mushy when stirred.
3. If the raw mango is not sour enough to your taste, lime or lemon juice can be added to the dish at the final stage as needed. Or a tiny ball of tamarind can be added while grinding the paste.
This goes to Blogging marathon #76, under the theme 'Picnic Recipes'. Check out the page to read what other marathoners are cooking.