Thursday, March 27, 2008

Fig and date halwa

This was a very middle eastern inspired halwa. It turned out to be super sweet and uber yummy like most middle eastern desserts. Next time I'm going to try reducing the amount of sugar because the figs as well as the dates are both laden with sweetness.

5 big dried figs (chopped)
8 medium dates (pitted and chopped)
1/2 a stick butter
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup dried shredded coconut
7-10 Elaichi(cardamom)

1) Add the frozen butter stick in a non stick pan to melt slowly on medium
2) Meanwhile make a coarse wet paste of the dates , figs and half the coconut.
3) Add Sugar to the butter, take care not to burn it, cook for 3-4 mins
4) Add the paste and elaichi powder
5) Just when the butter gets incorporated in the halwa add the rest of the coconut
6) Serve warm or cold.

So this was my a fabulous meal> I hope to create something similar soon.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Feast of love V - Vinegar and tamarind sauce

This was a watery sauce that I served with the fish. It was extremely tangy and went well with the fish which although spiced were mild. Even with plain rice the sauce tasted amazing. Although I prepared it impromptu with any recipe in mind I'll just jot down the ingredients with out the proportions .

White vinegar
Lime juice
Tamarind extract ( Its dark paste available at most desi or oriental stores)
Grape juice ( I used welch brand )
Ginger (1 inch piece cut into slivers)
Green chillies (cut into a thin pieces)
Red chilly powder

Mix the ingredients in a proportion that suites your tastes. Chill and serve.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Feast of love part IV - Tandoori fish

The main dish of my meal was a simple tandoori flavored fish. I marinated the fish for about 4-5 hours which resulted is mild fishy odor with a great tandoori smokiness. Although I'm not a big boxed masala person but in certain preparations they really enhance the flavor, tandoori dishes for instance.


6 big pieces of trout
3 tablespoon yogurt
1 Tbls spoon salt (the marinade has to be salty)
2 Tbl spoon Shaan tandoori masala (love this brand it has food color already added)
1 tblspoon dhanya zeera powder
1 tblspoon green chilli paste
1/2 tbls spoon redchilli powder

1)Take all the dry ingredients and green chilli paste and mix it with enough yogurt to form a semi dry paste its shouldn't be too runny just wet enough to coat the fish.

2)Marinate the fish in a closed container in the refrigerate for as long as 6-8 hours.

3)Pre heat your oven to 350'

4)Take a flat baking sheet lined with aluminum foil and grease it with oil

5)Place the fish pieces on the sheet and dribble oil over it.

6)Bake it for 30 - 45 mins just before serving.

My next post will be about the tangy sauce to go with it.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Feast of Love Part III - Vegetables in garlic butter


Second on my feast of love series is a very simple yet very delectable dish that can be eaten as a side too. It's got elements from Italian cooking as well as southern cooking.Its a blend of vegetables lightly baked in garlic butter seasoned with just salt, parsley and pepper.

Mushrooms chopped 2 cups (I used baby portabello , you can use regular shitake or a mixture )
Potato - baby, fingerling, yukon 1 cup chopped
Broccoli cut - 1 cup
cauliflower florets - 1 cup
parsley chopped - 1/4 cup
garlic - sliced - 2 table spoons
garlic powder 1 tsp (If you dont have this add extra garlic slices)
Butter - 3 table spoons
Salt - to taste
black pepper - freshly ground - to taste

Take all the vegetables, wash them add a little water and microwave them till for just a few minutes , the crunchiness should be intact.

Meanwhile set the oven to 350' , place a glass baking dish big enough for the vegetables add butter , parsley and garlic slices to it and place in the oven as it preheats.

Add the steamed vegetables in the melted butter and cook for 10 mins.

Toss the vegetables and add salt, garlic powder and fresh pepper.

Let it cook further for 15 mins, add more butter if required.

The aroma will lets you know that the dish is done !!!


.................all steamed up

Feast of love Part II - Tomato juice ceviche

I've had ceviche a few times being an essential component of Caribbean and Mexican food. Ceviche is essentially seafood marinated in sour juices served in single servings. The shrimp oyster or fish in most cases is raw but I decided to roast my shrimp before marinating. So here goes my tomato juice ceviche.

Ingredients - for two servings
2 Tbl spns - small shrimp or if you have large shrimp chopp them up
2 tbl spns - tomato juice from a can of diced tomatoes
2 tspoons - diced tomato piece
2 tsp - white vinegar
2 tsp - lime/lemon juice
pepper to taste
salt to taste

Roast the shrimps on a hot very non stick pan in order to minimize the smell.
mix all the ingredients in a small sealable box
Add extra salt and pepper if u want it stronger
Refrigerate for 3-12 hours
serve in small bowls or a china soup spoon

You should have a taste for raw seafood to enjoy this,you can also add more vegetable like cucumbers to dilute the fishy taste.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Feast of love Part I


I decided to take our weeknight dinners to a different level this week. By preparing a gourmet four course meal of fusion dishes. I had been watching a lot of food network and browsing loads of food blogs lately so I decided to come up with a meal with each course inspired by a different cuisine. The end result was fabulous and I felt really proud of myself.
The appetizer a tomato ceviche chilled till the last moment which was mexican inspired of course, followed by a side of herb and butter vegetables which was my southern influence, the main course was tandoori fish which is indian but served with an interesting thai inspired chutney along with light cinnamon and cardamom pulao. The dessert was an middle eastern food inspired date and fig halwa.
Watch this space in the coming posts for these recipes !

Monday, March 10, 2008


Me and my husband IJ did our groceries from costco this weekend. Our neighborhood grocery publix was proving to be a little expensive so like a samajhdaar housewife I suggested costco. I'd heard that they have bulk items at low prices so with the help of a well wishing friend who had the store membership we embarked upon a 30 minute drive followed by an hour long shopping round that resulted in us bringing home mattress sized kitchen towel pack, gallons of mouthwash and a bag of sugar that we could use beyond the rest of the year. Ok it wasn't all bad, after a point I did get used to the big sizes, but what I did not like was that the store was not convenient at all, I had to hunt around the whole expanse for a box of yoghurt which I did not find although I found the flavored yoghurt in some corner nowhere close to the milk. Also there was no concept of low fat or fat free and most of items I know which have a fat free version were displayed in their full fat glory. I've been living in the US for close to three years now the northwest earlier and now Miami. Back as a student my haunt for food was walmart or winco I never thought I'd say this but I miss the full grocery small town version of walmart. In a nut shell costco is great when you are a) doing supplies for household stuff like paper towels or laundry detergent b) you are a family of 4 or more heavy eaters c) or if you throw enough dinners and lunches to feed the whole town. The only thing I was really excited about getting home was Eckhart Tolle's A New earth at a bargain price!!

Unrelated but significant; my recipe got published on the JHIVA for ingredients event check it out here

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Banana Pecan cake

Banana isn't a fruit that one would associate with romance, but this valentine's day when its all about stawberries and cherries I opted for this banana cake for the sake of practicality, I later made up for the lack of chocolate in this recipie by adding a drizzle of hershey's syrup and making some frosted strawberries and coconut truffles on the side.
I took the recipie from the food network website and made some changes to scale it down . Here goes what I did exactly

Butter, for greasing pans
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
1 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder (original recipie said baking soda)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 eggs, beaten
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2large ripe bananas, mashed into a liquidy consistency with no lumps
1 cup chopped pecans
1 teaspoons vanilla extract

Butter cake pan; set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a mixing bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Add the eggs and oil and stir just until the dry ingredients are moistened; do not beat. Stir in the banana, pecans, and vanilla. Divide the batter among the prepared pans and bake for 30 minutes in intervals of 1o mins each , or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool the cake layers in the pans for 10 minutes, and then turn them out onto a rack to cool completely.

Feast on your labour of love !