Kesar Badam, Fig & Honey Ice Cream revisited

Summer is in full swing and we are loving it..I love patio dining. The other day we ate at one of these Tapas bars.. lots of good Tapas, my kind of munchies, small portions but a variety of ingredient. We loved most of the Tapas except one- the one with Goat Cheese. That was the first time I was eating Goat Cheese. OMG, it did smell like Goat. I felt like I was sitting and eating with dozens of goats around me. The next time I come across Goat Cheese, I know my answer - "No, Thank you very much!!"
After the goaty Goat Cheese adventure there was not much space left in my tummy, though my tongue kept complaining about the 'goatiness' of the whole affair. What better way to wind up the day than home made Ice Cream. (We all love home made Ice Cream so much that I cannot eat Turkey Hill anymore, H-D is still a distant runner up :). This home made Ice cream is Mom-Certified, given that Mom is such a picky eater: I am a happy lark)

This time it was Fig and Honey and Kesar Badam.
Basic recipe is here  Also, I substituted Turbinado sugar for white sugar, the flavour was only awesome but I needed to use only about 8-10 tbsp of sugar rather than 10-12 tbsp. Less the better, Hooray to Turbinado Sugar.

Fig and Honey

Stage 1:
Refer to the basic recipe, reduce the quantity of sugar to 8 tbsp. Prepare the basic recipe as given and freeze till almost set.
Stage 2 :
Remove and beat in 2-3 tbsp of Honey and pureed dried figs. (Soak half a cup of dried figs in warm water for 20-30 minutes. Drain and puree it in a food processor.) Proceed with the recipe.

 Kesar Badam

Stage 1:
Add 1/4 tsp of saffron to the basic ice cream mixture, preferable before the milk is hot. Proceed with the recipe as given.
Stage 2:
Toast and chop 1/4 Cup of Almonds into very fine pieces. It should almost be half almond meal and half fine slivers. Stir into the mixture during the second stage. Follow the recipe.

Enjoy the summer :)

Soppina Chutney / Mixed greens Chutney

There are days when I do not want to use either the pressure cooker or our staple Toor Dal. Especially summers means an inherent preference for something light. On such days I go for dishes like Chutneys and Mosaru Shale. It does not need long hours in front of the stove. For Soppina Chutney, assorted greens can be used including Spinach, red spinach, Sorrel, Basale etc. Zucchini or Ridge gourd gives this chutney some texture and body.

We will need,
Spinach 1 lb (washed)
Sorrel, Basale, red Spinach etc  1 lb (washed)
Ridge Gourd or Zucchini   1 large (washed & roughly diced)
Onion   1 medium diced
Garlic 4-5 cloves
Green Chillies 5-8 (adjust according to taste)
Salt to taste
Peanut oil  3-4 tbsp
Lemon juice (optional)

  • Heat half a  tbsp of oil in a thick bottom Kadai. Throw in the diced onion, garlic and green chillies. Toast it till the vegetables are golden in colour, about 10 minutes. Remove and set it aside.
  • In the same Kadai, heat the remaining oil and throw in all greens and the ridge gourd/ zucchini. Cover and cook till the greens are wilted and the ridge gourd/ zuccchini is cooked, about 20 minutes.
  • Allow the mixture too cool. Once cooled, transfer the mixture along with the toasted onions, garlic and green chillies to a food processor and pulse till the mixture comes together but still is chunky.
  • Adjust salt and lemon juice if desired.Serve with hot rice and ghee.

Batani Usli Spiced green peas

Summer in right around the corner here in the East Coast.. Summer brings fresh local produce aka vegetables and fruits. It is like a huge celebration to see so many fresh vegetables. Now that fresh green peas has already started hitting the markets, it is definitely time to dish up some Usli- a winter favorite back home.

We will need,

Green Peas  3 cups
Onion  1 large
Garlic   3 cloves
Ginger  1/2"
Green Chilies   7-10 (depends on how spicy one likes )
Expeller pressed groundnut oil  4 tbsp
Cumin seeds    1/2 tsp
Fenugreek seeds 1/4 tsp
Mustard seeds  1/4 tsp
Curry leaves a handful
Fresh Coconut  1 cup (yes that is awfully lot! but it is required)
Salt and Lime juice to taste

  • Clean and wash the green peas and set it aside. 
  • Combine onion, garlic, ginger and green chillies in a food processor and whiz it till chunky , think of Salasa like consistency.
  • Heat oil in a thick bottom pan. Once it is hot throw in the mustard seeds, curry leaves followed by the onion garlic mixture. Cook till the mixture is almost golden. Keep stirring it often else it is stick to the bottom.
  • Throw in the Green Peas, add a little water, cover and cook till the peas are almost cooked. 
  • Toast the fenugreek seeds and Cumin on a hot skillet and crush it into a coarse powder. 
  • Stir in the fenugreek powder, coconut and salt into the peas. Simmer till everything is combined. Say about 10-15 minutes.Adjust lime juice and remove from heat.
  • Serve it with Akki rotti.
This recipe goes to the MLLA 36 hosted by aqua started by beloved Susan  

    MLLA 35 Round up

    Hosting MLLA 35 was a wonderful experience. Thanks a lot Susan for giving me this opportunity. All the 42 entries were exciting, each in its own way.  Different ingredients, different cooking styles, different cuisines but the end results always delightful. So here we go with the roundup. Such diversity amongst the entries, it was quite difficult to segregate them into groups, then I decided to go along the trodden path and style it like a restaurant menu.. Soups, Starters, Main Course, Sides and Dessert. So here we start with soups.

    Raven Johnson's Hot and spicy Lentil soup is lentils and vegetables simmered with an array of spices, hardy and super comforting. Janet's Stew has colourful yams simmered with black beans in a medley of spices and orange juice, perfect for a rainy day.
    Heather's 'Tuscan bean soup' is hardy sumptious and flavoured with balsamic vinegar.. Chick-flic, Tuscan Bean soup and the TV remote is what a gal needs!! Libby sends us a heart warming bowl of soup made with lentils, spinach, potatoes, tomatoes and herbs in her 'Kitchen Sink Soup.

    Priya sends us 'oats crusted rajma balls' a delightful snack gorgeously served Kebab Style. Rajji 's 'Kala Channa Salad' is Cooked chickpeas spiked with Amchoor and a host of other spices, onions tomatoes gives this dish a 'Chat' like appeal. Mangocheeks innovative combination of lentils and chard wrapped in wonton skins to make cute potstickers. Akhella Deep fried Tofu, coated with mild seasonings like pepper, garlic and soy sauce good enough to seduce the tastebuds of the mightiest tofu-haters. Lakshmi sends us a perfect weekend breakfast of Idlis and crunchy Vada and Kanchipuram Idlis, which says heaven in one bite. Srivalli  presents an Indian twist on the baked beans on toast, this is spicy Rajma on smoothered between two slices of warm bread. Raksha offers the perfect evening snack, the well loved and appreciated 'Pakoda'. Harini's 'Channa Dal Fry' is something of a cross between the traditional south Indian Usli and the north Indian Channa Chat, it is a winner nevertheless. Valerie's unconventional humous is made of Edamame and Adzuki, a perfect accompaniment for fresh vegetables. Susan's 'Bindaetteok' is a pancake spiced with kimchi. Raji's 'Chole Bature' is one of the most popular street foods of north India, chickpeas simmered in spices served with crispy Bature. Adam Keen has sent us a 'vegan Spanish Tortilla'.I never imagined a vegan omlette like creation that can be so satisfying and packed with the goodness of soy and yeast. This Tortilla looks good for breafast-lunch-dinner-anything in between..
    Nandita sends us beautiful pictures of the king of all Kannadiga meals, BBB is rather elaborate to make from scratch but worth every effort. Though BBB cannot be called a starter I am forced to include it here because other categories are full :) Vaishali sends us 'Bean Burgers'. It is the time for burgers, cute and adorable, these are a breeze to whip up.

    Check out these sumptuous curries.
    Priya's 'Green Tomato Kootu' is made with home grown green tomato which makes the dish tangy and great. Meghna sends us her forever comforting 'dal' to be served with steamed rice :). Kritika Very thoughtfully uses watermelon rind, combining it with Adzuki beans to end up with a delightful stew. Claire presents her rich vegan 'Makhani' gravy with soulful tofu to be served over Lemon rice. Harini sends us her 'Channa Dal over Rice' a hardy combination of tomatoes and split chickpeas. She has also sent us her Alu Ginger Pappu and Pindi Miriam which is a mixed vegetable and dal stew. Rupali combines the goodness of dal and spinach, can it sound more comforting than that!! Priya Sreeram's 'Cholar Dal' is channa dal in a spicy gravy spiked with coconut' a Bengali favorite. Valli sends over 'Gujarati Dal', a comforting combination of Dal and tomatoes…. Vanessa tempers her dal with fragrant fenugreek seeds to end up with 'Lentils with fenugreek seeds'. Renu sends us my favorite Kannadiga style Chickpeas preparation, what we call "Kadalekalu Huli", serve it up with 'Ragi Mudde'!!!

    We also received some wonderful side dishes. Salads, pastas and what not! Here goes the side dishes. Janet sends us a summer salad.What says 'summer' better than starwberries? Here is a salad combining the season's best strawberries, Edamame and asparagus.She also sends us her Mango BBQ beans .Summer is almost here and so are BBQ Bean, this is the perfect marriage of Mangoes and beans BBQ style.
    Caffettiera's 'Risi-e-pisi' is a creamy concoction of rice and peas an Italian comfort food with butter and Parmesan. Lubna's 'Kandi Podi' is a blend of spices that heats up the palate just enough to brighten up any meal. A must for Andhra style meals
    Lisa's 'Refried Beans' is a definite crowd-pleaser loaded with spices including the unconventional asafotida. Abhirami sends us her 'Paruppu Thuvaiyal'. It is Moongdal toasted till fragrant, mixed with spices and ground into a chutney. Chitra's 'Black Urad Dal Rice' is rice cooked with roasted Urad Dal, fragrant and delectable. Richa has sent sauteed 'Cluster Beans' A popular dish down south this is cluster beans sauteed with some whole spices, tomatoes and lemon juice. Kalinda's 'Pasta-e-fagioli' is a super hit combination of beans and pasta with lots of spices.

    Now for the desserts. Surprisingly enough there were only two entries on this

    Raji's 'green Peas Kheer' is a heart warming mother's day presentation that is an absolute delight. Sravani celebrates her 50th post with Bobbatlu /Obbattu which has celebration all over.

    And here are the winners...

    Adam Keen
    and the winner of the draw for the US resident is

    Congrats Adam and Heather.. Thanks to all you folks for participation..I had a great time doing this round up. Hope you all had a nice time being part of MLLA 35.