Feb 28, 2011

Cranberry Grapefruit Jam

I love making jams at home. You get to control the amount of sugar and also avoid the addition of "hard to pronounce" ingredients in it. I never knew making jams can be so easy! Our jams are always homemade and I make them with various seasonal fruits available. Some of our favorites include the Pomegranate jam, Plum Jam and Orange Marmalade giving a variety to our morning breakfasts!

I had a huge bag of cranberries lying around in my freezer since December. After making some crumbles and muffins with fresh cranberries, I had frozen the remaining pack. When clearing out my freezer, I knew I had to finish those cranberries before they start dying! I had some fresh grapefruits in hand and quick Google Search gave some jam results with grapefruit and cranberry! And hence this healthy jam was born!! Who can deny a breakfast with a jam packed with Vitamin C, fiber and antioxidants. The cranberry gives a nice color to the jam and it reminded me of the mixed fruit kissan jam back in India.

Recipe Source: My Recipes
Grapefruit - 3 medium sized
Water - 1 cup
Fresh or frozen cranberries - 2 cups
Sugar - 2 cups ( can be replaced with honey or agave nectar to make it more healthier)

Carefully peel the grapefruit and take separate the flesh from the grapefruit reserving any juice. If you would like to make a marmalade instead of a jam, you could also add about 3 tablespoons of the grapefruit rind.

Combine the grapefruit sections and water in a large saucepan and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat to medium, and simmer 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add cranberries, and cook 10 minutes.

Stir in sugar and cook for 30 more minutes or until slightly thickened, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and allow to cool 10 min.

Do not worry, if the jam does not have jelly consistency. Cranberry has pectin and will set in the next 24 hours when poured into a glass bottle and allowed to set.

Pour into jars or airtight containers. Allow to sit at room temperature for a few hours. Store in refrigerator for up to 3 weeks or in a freezer for upto 6 months.

Enjoy with toast!

Feb 25, 2011

POM Spiced Tea Cake

Last month, I was contacted by the fine folk at POM wonderful, wondering if I would be interested in sampling POM. I immediately agreed since we are huge fans of POM and it is a must in our shopping list during our trips to Costco. They sent me eight cute little bottles. We drank several of them and I reserved a few of them to try out some recipes. I made this spiced tea cake from the POM website and it tasted delicious with tea without any frosting. I also believe it might taste great with a simple cream cheese frosting. POM is an amazing source of antioxidant without any compromise on taste.

If you dont have access to POM, you could extract juice from the pomegranates and sieve out the seeds and use it in this recipe.

Recipe Source: POM Wonderful
POM Juice - 1/2 cup or juice from 2 pomegranates
Granulated sugar - 1 1/2 cups
Butter - 2/3 cups
Large eggs - 3
Whole milk - 1/2 cup
All Purpose Flour - 2 1/4 cups
Cinnamon - 2 teaspoons
Baking powder - 2 teaspoons
Nutmeg powder - 1 teaspoon
Powdered cloves - 1/2 teaspoon
Ground ginger - 1/2 teaspoon
Salt - 1/2 teaspoon

Preheat oven to 350 degree F.
In a mixer, cream together sugar, shortening and eggs (batter should be slightly lumpy).
Add pomegranate juice and milk; beat for 2 minutes.
Sift together flour, cinnamon, baking powder, nutmeg, cloves and salt.
Add flour mixture to the creamed sugar and shortening mixture. Mix to combine.
Pour into greased Bundt pan.
Bake 50 to 60 minutes or until cake tester inserted into cake comes out clean and free of crumbs.
Slice after cooled completely.

Did you know that you could make jam with Pomegranate? Check this out!!

Feb 21, 2011

Simple Greek Salad

This is a classic and easy salad with a very simple dressing made at home. Made with simple and delicious ingredients and makes summer/spring scream in your mouth with all fresh ingredients. This can be accompanied with any meal and gives a great start to your meal.

Lettuce/greens - I used an artisan spring mix from Costco
Cherry tomatoes - 10
Cucumber - 1
Black olives -5
Goat cheese - 1 tablespoon (can be replaced with feta cheese)

For the dressing (makes 1 serving)
Apple cider vinegar - 1/2 tablespoon
Extra Virgin Olive Oil - 1 tablespoon
Honey - 1/2 teaspoon
Salt and pepper to taste

To make the dressing, combine all the ingredients together and whisk away until well combined. You can add fresh herbs to the dressing if you like. I just wanted to keep it simple.

Slice the olives and cucumber into thin slices. In a bowl, assemble a bed of lettuce and top it with cherry tomatoes, olives, cucumbers and sprinkle the goat cheese on top. Drizzle the dressing on top and toss. Chill the salad by wrapping the bowl with a plastic wrap and leaving in the fridge for about half an hour.

Enjoy you healthy delicious salad.

Feb 12, 2011

Valentine's Day Recipes

Everyone is pretty excited about Valentine's Day! Even though we don't celebrate Valentine's Day as such, I make it a point to cook something cute and romantic just to make the day memorable. Here are a few such recipes which are easy to make, look pretty and appealing!

Valentine's Day is all about hearts and these little heart shaped cookies take you back to your childhood where "little heart" biscuits where a treat to munch on! Sorry, the picture doesn't do any justice to the recipe. This picture was taken long back when i had zero photography skills :( These taste really delicious with that hint of lemon!

Gulab Jamuns are our all time favorite! And the picture talks for itself. Who can ignore these luscious gulab jamuns!

No one would like slaving around the stove cooking an elaborate meal or dessert. This two-minute coffee cake sure gives a quick fix to your coffee and dessert cravings in just under two minutes!! Yes two minutes! Go dig in!
 These clafoutis sure look romantic with all those cherries in there! Do check them out. Makes a great dessert after a sumptious meal!

Coconut and sugar cannot go wrong!  This pretty looking sweet coconut puffs looks exotic and makes a tasty snack along with your evening tea!
These blueberry muffins are delicious just by themselves or slathered with some butter! Give your other half some goodness with these blueberry muffins!
Chocolate and nuts in the form of cookies can never go wrong. these cute little cookies can be made in the shape of hearts and these would definitely woo your other half!

 Moving on to some savory dishes, these cheese stuffed jalapenos make a great appetizer for any meal!
These soft pretzels resemble hearts and they are cute to be rejected by anyone!
These italian bruschettas look pretty dressed up with the tomato sauce, cheese and a basil leaf. They look so gourmet!
This is one healthy fingerfood with all the goodness of asparagus!!
This has always been a hit at my place. It is an indianized version made with curried potatoes and other veggies.
What are you cooking for your Valentine?

Feb 7, 2011

Veggie/Fruit of the Month - Potato Roundup

Hello Friends,
Here I am with the roundup of Veggie/Fruit of the Month Potato. Thanks Priya for giving me the opportunity to host this lovely event. Also, I extend my thanks to my fellow bloggers for sending in their delicious entries. I have categorized the entries into sweets, appetizers, side dishes and main dishes. Hope you enjoy them!

Neetu Srivastava - Aloo Halwa
Harini-Jaya - Aloo Burfi/Potato Fudge

Appetizers/Finger Foods
Ayeesha - Potato Rolls
Shobha - Cheesy Potato Slices
Neetu Srivastava - Aloo Tikki Stuffed with Green Peas
Vatsala - French Fries Chat
Deeksha - Aloo Masala Chaat
Kavita - Mixed Platter of Fritters
Krithi - Fiestaa Potatoes
Shobha - Potato/Aloo 65
Jaleela Kamal - Simple Potato Chips
Priya - Oats Crusted Banana Blossom Cutlets
Anamika - Cheesy Bread Rolls
Kankana - Potato Bread Tikki
Dr.Sameena Pratap - Oats Potato Cutlet

Side Dishes
Shri - Potato and Red Chard Subji
Seema - Potato Pumpkin Subzi
Seema - Potatoes Coated with Semolina and Tawa Fried
Chaya - Sweet potato peanut butter sauce
An Escape to Food - Aloo Matar
Krithi - Spicy Potato Fry
Denny - Panchphoran Potatoes
Denny - Aloo methi masala
Priyanka Bhattacharjee - Colorful Mash
Priya - Potato and Fresh Lilva Beans Stir Fry
Neeraja - Aloo Stir Fry
Anita Patel - Aloo Masala
Honeybee Cooks Jackfruit - Methi Aloo Sabji
Usha - Potato Fry
Swetha - Aloo Methi
Radhika - Aloo Gobhi
Tahemeem - Potato Fry

Main Dishes
Mythreyi - Roasted Potato Medley
Bizzy B Bakes - Potato Gratin
Chaya - Cheddar Potato Soup
Krithi - Masala Sambar
Krithi - Methi Aloo Paratha
Satya - Stuffed Idlies
Neeraja - Mixed Vegetable Korma
Ambreen - Sliced Potatoes in thin gravy
Reva - Masala Dosai
Santhosh - Dum Aloo
Seema - Alu Bharta 
Kavita - Dum Aloo
Priya - Nilgiri Potato Kurma
Priya - Tangy Potato Rasam
Priya - Aloo Paratha
Harini - Jaya - Aloo Paratha
Ayeesha - Potato Kibbeh
Priya Srinivasan - Aloo/Potato Roti
Priya Mahadevan - Fingerling Potato and Cheese Casserole
Vidhya Venugopal - Potato Gnocchi in Spinach Sauce
Ambreen - Egg and Potato Curry
Nandini - Kadappa
Padmini - Aloo methi ka Saag
Dhivya Shankar - Chettinad Style Potato Kurma

Feb 4, 2011

Broccoli Dal

I stumbled upon this recipe a while ago and had bookmarked it to try. Recently, I have switched to a low-carb diet in order to lose some weight and this looked like a great soup to have for lunch. TH enjoyed it along with rice and a vegetable stir-fry. I adapted the recipe and cooked the dal in an indian way using the pressure cooker. It is a great way to sneak in broccoli and make kids eat their share of veggies. The end result was a bright green and yellow colored with a hint of garam masala. Makes a hearty lunch all by itself or along with some rice or rotis.

Broccoli florets - 1 1/2 cup
Toor dal/Masoor dal - 1 cup
Onion - 1 medium sized
Turmeric powder - 1 teaspoon
Garam Masala - 1 teaspoon
Tomatoes and coriander leaves for garnish
Oil - 1 teaspoon
Mustard seeds - 1 teaspoon
Urad dal - 1 teaspoon
Jeera/Cumin seeds - 1 teaspoon
Red chillies - 2
Lemon juice - 2 tablespoons
Salt to taste

Wash the broccoli florets and pulse them in a mixer into a coarse mixture.

In a pressure cooker, heat the oil and add the cumin seeds. Add chopped onions and saute till they turn translucent. Add the dal and saute for a minute followed by the coarse ground broccoli.

Add about 3 cups of water and pressure cook until you get 3-4 whistles.

Open the pressure cooker and mash the dal well with the back of a ladle. Add the turmeric powder, garam masala and lemon juice. Switch on the stove and bring the dal to a boil. Simmer until desired consistency is obtained.

Stir in the lemon juice and garnish with tomatoes and coriander leaves.

Serve warm along with rice, roti or by itself as a soup.
This is my entry to Show Me Your Soup event hosted here at Dil Se..

Feb 2, 2011

Chettinad Thakkali Kuzhambu / Chettinad tomato curry

I still remember amma serving hot, hot dosas along with freshly made coconut chutney and this spicy, tangy tomato curry for breakfast even on busy weekdays, when all three of us were running around getting ready to school. Gone are those days when we used to have a proper South Indian breakfast every morning. Those breakfasts have been replaced by quick cereals, oatmeal and toasts. Though we have quick and healthy options for breakfast now, I still crave for these delicious South Indian breakfasts and make it a point to make them once in a while. I made this last weekend along with crispy dosas. They taste great along with idlies and also with rice when made in a thicker consistency. You can also check out my other version of thakkali kuzhambu - here

Chettinad cuisine is one of the spiciest and the most aromatic in India. Chettinad cuisine is famous for its use of a variety of spices. The dishes are hot and pungent with fresh ground masalas. They also use a variety of sun dried meats and salted vegetables, reflecting the dry environment of the region. This chettinad thakkali kuzhambu is one such curry made with ripe tomatoes with a hint of coconut.

Ripe, medium sized tomatoes - 4
Medium sized onions - 2
Green Chillies -  4
Curry Leaves - 1 sprig
Tarmarind Extract - 1/4 cup
Turmeric Powder - 1 teaspoon
Pepper Powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Jaggary / Brown sugar - 1/2 teaspoon (optional)
Oil - 2 spoons

Ingredients to be ground into a coarse paste:
Grated fresh coconut - 2 tablespoons
Khus khus/Poppy Seeds - 2 teaspoons
Dried Red chillies - 4
Ginger - 1/2 inch
Jeera/Cumin seeds - 1 teaspoon

In a kadai/saucepan, add one spoon of oil and add all the ingredients to be ground. Saute on medium heat. Take care it doesn't burn. Grind it into a coarse paste.

Blanch the tomatoes and remove the skin. You could do this using a microwave.

Chop the onions lengthwise. Slit the green chillies vertically.

In a saucepan, add the remaining oil and saute the onions, green chillies and curry leaves until the onions turn translucent. Add the ground masala and fry for about two minutes until the raw flavor goes away.

Add the blanched and peeled tomatoes. Cook for two more minutes until the tomatoes get well cooked. Add the tamarind extract, salt and jaggary if using and bring it to a boil. Simmer for about 5 minutes until it reaches the required consistency.

Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot with idlies or dosas.
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