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Saturday, March 19, 2016

Vegan Thai Green Papaya Salad


Here is one more vegetable based salad, with raw papaya as the key ingredient. This is a vegan / vegetarian take on the Thai papaya salad, I had noted down sometime ago, whose source I could not recall now. It is light and yummy and can be served as a side dish. Blanched green beans and shredded cabbage can also go as add-ons. I had scaled down the recipe to serve two and so can be easily altered based on the needs. 

Ingredients:
2 tsp. soy sauce
2 tbsp. palm sugar / brown sugar
2 tbsp lime juice
1 or 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
Salt to taste
2 cup grated papaya
1 grated carrot
1 green onion
1 green chili
4 cherry tomatoes / 1/2 tomato, chopped
A handful of minced cilantro leaves
1 tbsp. peanuts

  Method:
* Peel the papaya, discard the seeds and grate it. Chop the green onions and chili finely. Cut cherry tomatoes if using into halves.
* Combine soy sauce, brown sugar / palm sugar, garlic cloves, salt and lime juice in a small bowl and whisk.
* Combine grated papaya, carrot, green onions, chili, tomato pieces and cilantro in a mixing bowl. Pour the dressing over and toss. Sprinkle peanuts and serve.


This is going to be a part of Blogging marathon #62 under the theme 'Light Salads' and check here to find out what other marathoners are cooking today.

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Friday, March 18, 2016

Kachumber


Kachumber is a vegetable based salad from the north Indian region which is quite simple and quick to prepare like a Mexican salsa. It uses the commonly available ingredients from an Indian kitchen, chiefly comprising of cucumber, tomato and red onions. Herbs and spices are thrown in to bring out the flavors associated with Indian palates.
 
Ingredients:
1 small cucumber, peeled and cubed
1 tomato, chopped
1 red onion, peeled and chopped
1 to 2 green chilies, chopped
A handful of mint and cilantro leaves, finely chopped
1/2 tsp. cumin powder (optional)
Salt to taste
Lemon juice to taste

Method:
* Combine everything in a mixing bowl and toss to mingle.
* Taste and adjust the seasonings if needed and serve immediately.



This is going to be a part of Blogging marathon #62 under the theme 'Light Salads' and check here to find out what other marathoners are cooking today.


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Thursday, March 17, 2016

Khamang Kakdi / Kakdichi Koshimbir




Khamang kakdi or Kakdichi koshimbir is a flavorful, cucumber based salad from Maharashtra region. It is very easy to put together and can be quickly made. If you are familiar with kosumbari, from the neighboring state of Karnataka then this is a similar one with few interesting add-ons like crushed toasted peanuts and sugar to it. This can be served as a side dish though I prefer to serve this alone to enjoy the flavors more.

Ingredients (yield 2 servings)
1 small cucumber / 1.5 cups finely chopped cucumber
3 to 4 tbsp. toasted peanuts
2 to 3 tbsp. shredded fresh coconut
2 tbsp. minced cilantro
1 finely chopped green chili
1/2 lemon / lime slice
Salt to taste
Sugar to taste
For seasoning:
1 tsp. ghee / oil
1 tsp. mustard seeds and/or 1 tsp. cumin seeds
1 sprig of curry leaves
A pinch of asafoetida powder

Method:
* Trim the edges, peel and chop the cucumber finely. Discard the seeds if mature.
* Coarsely crush the toasted peanuts using mortar and pestle.
* Combine cucumber pieces, crushed peanuts, coconut, cilantro, green chili, salt and sugar if using in a mixing bowl. squeeze the lemon juice to taste and mix.
* Heat oil in a small pan and add mustard seeds and cumin seeds. When the mustard seeds start to sizzle and pop, add curry leaves and asafoetida and turn off the stove.
* Add the seasoning to the cucumber mixture, mix well and serve.


This is going to be a part of Blogging marathon #62 under the theme 'Light Salads' and check here to find out what other marathoners are cooking today.

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Saturday, March 5, 2016

Coconut - Jaggery - Wheat Cookies

 
I had planned to bake another version of coconut cookies before this recipe or rather the color of the cookies caught my attention. These coconuts are on a bit healthier side considering that wheat flour and jaggery are used to bake these. I haven't baked with jaggery so far and thought probably this was a good recipe to start with and besides as I mentioned above, I loved how the cookies looked. However my cookies turned out light colored because of the pale colored jaggery I used. They taste a lit bit different compared to the sugar based ones but one get used to the flavor after having a cookie or two. The original recipe also uses ginger powder which I omitted but still the cookies are redolent with Indian style flavors. After trying out the cookies, I think the texture of the cookies would ave been better if the cookies are baked thinner than the chunky style.

Ingredients:
1 cup wheat flour / atta
1 tbsp. fine semolina
1/4 tsp. baking soda / baking powder
1/2 tsp. ground cardamom
3 to 4 tbsp. coconut oil *
1/4 cup shredded coconut **
1/2 cup powdered jaggery
1/4 cup coconut milk ***
12 cashews to garnish (optional) 

* Any neutral oil like canola oil or butter can be substituted.
** Fresh / frozen coconut can be used. Thaw if using frozen coconut before using.
*** Dairy / non dairy milk or water can be used in place of coconut milk. I had to add 5 tbsp. though the original recipe mentions to use 2 to 3 tbsp. milk.
Method:
* Preheat the oven to 325 degree F. Line a cookie sheet with foil, grease it and keep aside.
* Combine flour, semolina, baking soda and cardamom in a mixing bowl.
* Next add the oil and rub into the mixture until it looks crumbly.
* Add coconut and jaggery to the bowl and mix again thoroughly to combine.
* Finally add milk in increments and mix until the mixture comes
together.


 * Divide the mixture into 12 portions. Roll each one into a smooth ball and slightly flatten them. Garnish with a cashew nut if using.
* Arrange them on the prepared cookie sheet and bake them for about 20 to 25 minutes and the tops are not soft to touch. (I baked them for 25 minutes in the convection oven, turned off the oven and left the cookie sheet in the oven for few minutes to crisp up.)



This is going to be a part of Blogging marathon #62 under the theme 'coconut' and check here to find out what other marathoners are cooking today.

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Friday, March 4, 2016

Microwave Coconut Oatmeal

 
Everyone out there knows that oatmeal is one of the quickest and healthy breakfast options around and I don't need to reiterate the benefits of this humble dish. However oatmeal may get monotonous after certain point, if one sticks to the plain version despite the healthy goal dangling in front of our eyes. I usually keep rotating the variations for the same reason and today's version uses coconut. I finish off the preparation of oatmeal with a generous dose of coconut milk and use some fresh fruit and a sprinkling of sweetened desiccated coconut in place of the sweetener and the result is a tasty bowl of jazzed up oatmeal that can be prepared in a jiffy.
 
Ingredients: (1 serving)
1/2 cup old fashioned oats
3/4 cup dairy milk / water
3/4 cup coconut milk
2 tbsp. toasted desiccated sweetened coconut
1/4 cup chopped fresh fruit / dry fruits / nuts
Sweetener to taste if preferred

Method:
* Add the desiccated coconut to a pan and toast until it turns golden brown, stirring constantly to avoid burning. Remove from the fire and keep it aside.
* Meanwhile, add oats and water / dairy milk to a microwave safe bowl and place it in the microwave. Cook until the oats are done.
* Remove the bowl and stir in the coconut milk, toasted coconut, fresh fruit and sweetener if using. Serve immediately.



This is going to be a part of Blogging marathon #62 under the theme 'coconut' and check here to find out what other marathoners are cooking today.

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Thursday, March 3, 2016

Chikoo Coconut Milkshake


I would pick a chikoo milkshake any day over other fruit based drinks. It has remained my favorite for years and my son seems to have caught the vibe and he favors it too. For today's chikoo milkshake version, I tried substituting coconut milk for dairy which makes it a vegan option besides adding a flavor layer. I prefer using the frozen chikoo from Indian stores over the fresh variety available to me locally which seem to be only good to break one's teeth. Besides the frozen fruit lends the chill factor without the need of adding ice cubes and diluting the drink. This creamy and yummy milkshake makes a quick and vegan breakfast / brunch option. And of course, for the regular milkshake version, coconut milk can be replaced by milk.

Ingredients: (Yield 2 servings)
1/2 cup chikoo / sapota pieces (I used frozen fruit.)
1 cup chilled coconut milk or as needed
Sweetener to taste

Method:
* If not using frozen fruit, try to chill both the fruit and milk beforehand if possible.
* Blend all the ingredients to a puree and serve immediately. 
* If the fruit / milk is not chilled, add some ice cubes to the drink. 
 
This is going to be a part of Blogging marathon #62 under the theme 'coconut' and check here to find out what other marathoners are cooking today.
  
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