Minty Mint Chutney

We Indians love all kinds of chutneys. Chutneys can be made with different herbs (like coriander or mint) or vegetables. It is an integral part of our meal. Back in India my grandmother and my mother used to grind herbs and vegetables on a flat stone mortar with a rolling pestle. And with all the spices added in the paste.Yum..an impeccable taste it used to be. The taste still lingers. ūüôā Chutneys are so versatile, you can use them in any cuisine. Use it boldly and freely on salads, subs, marination, tortillas, sandwiches even on pizza and quesadilla, etc. My husband LOVES to eat it on pizza.

There are many ways to make Mint Chutney.You can also mix some coriander leaves. Some recipe also calls for yogurt, but the shelf  life is not good. But when serving it, you can add some yogurt. Yogurt makes chutney creamy and shiny. In my recipe I have added some roasted Bengal gram lentils (from Indian store) but it can easily be replace by roasted peanuts.

Roasted Bengal gram lentils

Mint Chutney

Ingedients:
1 1/2 cup Mint leaves
2 Tblsp Roasted Bengal gram lentils OR Roasted peanuts
2-3 Small green chili(more or less)
1 tsp Sugar
1 inch Ginger
1 Tblsp lemon juice or more for more tanginess
2 tsp sunflower oil
1/4 cup cold water( more if needed to grind)
salt to taste

Method:

Mix all the ingredients and grind together to a fine paste. If needed adjust the seasoning with lemon, salt, or sugar.

I have used a mortar and pestle to grind it. It gives a coarse texture which I love a lot personally. It is great as a spread on sandwiches.

Roasted Bengal gram lentils

Roasted Bengal gram lentils

Mint Chutney

You can also grind it in a blender for a smooth texture. Both taste good.
Store it in an air tight glass jar or in a ceramic jar in a refrigerator. Do not store it in any metal or plastic containers or else the chutney will spoil. It will stay good for a week . And if stored in a freezer it will stay good for a month.

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Fresh Mint Lemonade

Summer is here. And we need to keep ourselves hydrated all the time. How about a twist on our good old lemonade? A very simple addition which is very refreshing and yummy too.

mint lemonade

Ingredients:

3 cups Water
1/4 warm water
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup honey(can substitute with sugar)
1- 1 1/2 tsp Pink himalayan salt( accordingly your taste)
20-25 mint leaves
1/2 inch fresh ginger

Method:

In a pot add warm water and honey and stir till honey dissolves. Crush mint leaves and ginger in a mortar to a fine paste with pestle.
Then in a serving pitcher add all the ingredients and stir well to incorporate everything.

Serve with crushed ice.

Aside

Easy Cinnamon Raisin Bread

I love baking breads and its smell all over my home. It is so satisfying when I feed my hungry kids fresh bread when they come from school. Cinnamon raisin is one of their favorite. I am sharing a very easy and hassle free recipe. It tastes equally yummy, soft and moist.

raisin bread toast
raisin bread

Ingredients:

2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup bread flour
2 Tblsp oil
1 tsp active dry yeast
1 1/2 Tblsp molasses/sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon powder( add a tsp more for extra flavor)
1 tsp white vinegar
1 1/4 cup lukewarm water(80-95 degree F)

Method:
If you have a Bread machine, follow the machine instructions and bake accordingly. The recipe makes one medium size bread.

By Hand:
Microwave raisins in 2 Tbls of water for 30-45 secs. The raisins will be plump and soft. Drain the water.
Mix all the dry ingredient except yeast.
Pour the water in a stand mixer bowl and sprinkle yeast and keep it stand for 10- 15 mins until the yeast has dissolved. Add oil, vinegar and molasses and stir.
Add all the dry ingredients to the water and stir them to combine. It will be a soggy dough but no worries. The flour will absorb water eventually. Let stand for 20-25 minutes.
After 25 mins use the dough hook to a mixer. Add raisins and knead the dough for at least 9-10 mins. If the dough is too sticky you can add lillte bit of extra flour. When the dough is ready it will be smooth and not soggy.

Alternatively, if kneading by hand, oil your hand. Push the dough forward and then fold the sides and tuck below.Knead like this for 5 mins. The dough will be sticky so extra flour will be needed.When it is smooth and not sticking dough will be ready.
Make a ball of dough and coat with oil. Also oil the bowl and keep the dough into a bowl. Cover the bowl and rest in a warm place until the dough doubles for about 90 mins.
Sprinkle little flour on counter and knead again slowly by pushing inwards from the sides. Roll it into a loaf. Oil the baking pan. Transfer the loaf into the pan.
Rest it for 40 mins for second time. When 20 mins of resting time passed , turn on the oven for 400 degrees to preheat. Brush lightly with oil. When the oven is ready turn down the temperature to 375 degrees. Bake for 30-35 mins in the middle rack. When the loaf sounds hollow when knocked, it’s done.

Let it cool in pan for 2 mins and then remove. It must be cooled completely before slicing.

Maggie Revisited (Instant Two Minutes Noodles)

Today when my daughter was coming from school she asked me in car, “Mom, Can I have Maggie for the lunch?” I was about to give her an explanation that¬†the ramen-like ¬†instant noodles were not nutritious and that I had prepared a healthy wholesome lunch for her. But, then I thought, hey it’s okay to give her something so yummy¬†once in a while.maggi 1

While I ¬†was preparing it, I suddenly started nostalgically humming, “Maggie Maggie- 2 mins”. Flashback! To… funny 80s television.

Here’s the original advertisement- Enjoy!! (Most Indians will relate ūüėČ )

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vaRsql3rCls

 

Indian Espresso Coffee

Espresso means coffee brewed with the force of small amount of water passing through the ground coffee beans. It is very thick in consistency. The average serving of coffee is as of a shot glass. But Indian espresso is totally opposite. It is made of whole milk, instant coffee and sugar.

In southern region of India, every house¬†has the brewing smell of coffee early in the morning. We Indians are very good¬†at adapting everything. We can adjust easily or can modify things efficiently. Lets go to the past…when India was colonized by British rule. They¬†started Tea plantations in the hilly areas of the eastern India. At that time Indians had never heard of tea– what is this damn thing? But, well, they planted it anyways.( Do not worry we are not studying history here he..he). People used to see the British madam brewing tea with water, serving their husbands in fancy tea sets. Hmmm… Maybe we should also try how does it tastes… So we came with a great idea… add little bit of milk and some spices and voila! It tastes so good, heavenly. Now, Indian chai is¬†world famous.

Similarly we gave coffee a new uplift… Coffee was brought to India by a traveling Sufi in the 17th century from Arabia. He was said to have started the first coffee plantain in southern India. Now southern India is one of the major exporter of coffee in world. Chikmanglur coffee is one of the finest coffee in India.

I am not making coffee by the traditional method where you have to stir coffee and sugar with spoon for 10-15 mins (that requires a¬†lot of muscle power). But now we have¬†so many modern gadgets, bless!¬†Don’t worry, it still tastes just as yummy!

Ingredients:

6 oz whole milk

1 Tblsp water

1-2 tsp sugar(as per taste)

2 tsp good instant coffee

Frother

Method:

Microwave water in a cup for 40-45 secs. Add coffee and whip with the frother till it’s double the amount. It should be frothy and all foamy.

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Boil the milk with sugar. Now add milk in a slow flow to the coffee mixture and with other hand keep whipping with the frother.

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When the coffee is all foamy and light, it is done. Sprinkle some coffee granules on top. Serve hot.

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Yummm!

 

My next post will be on Indian Tea.

Scrumptious Vegan Banana Bread

A very easy vegan/dairy free recipe.

 

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Ingredients:

3 ripe bananas

1 cup light/dark brown sugar

 1 1/2 cup wholewheat flour

1/2 cup unflavored oil(sunflower/safflower/vegetable)

1 Tblsp Flax seed meal blended with 3 Tblsp of  lukewarm water

1 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1 tsp allspice powder

1 tsp lemon juice

Method:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. 

Mash bananas properly. Sieve all the dry ingredients. In another bowl blend all the wet ingredients and then add all the dry ingredients. Gently fold the batter.If the batter seems too dry, you can add 2-3 tsp of water. 

Bake it in the prepared pan for 50 -60 mins. Check the bread by inserting toothpick, if the toothpick comes clean then it is done. If not then bake for another 5 mins. 

Cool and serve.