Sunday, December 28, 2014

Cranberry Almond biscotti

A wonderful recipe for biscotti, from the fantastic Smitten Kitchen blog. I made small adjustments to the recipe, as noted here. The cranberry almond combination is a winner and I will be making this again. I was worried it was too crumbly, but in the end, the texture was fine. My biscotti were a little tubby, but they were delicious!


3 C flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/3 tsp salt
1/2 C or 8 Tbsp butter, at room temperature
3 eggs
1 C sugar
1 Tbsp orange zest
1 Tbsp vanilla
1/4 tsp almond extract

1 C slivered almonds
1/3 C dried cranberries

Whisk together butter, sugar, eggs, zest, vanilla and almond extract. Sift flour, baking powder, salt and add to the butter/sugar mixture. Stir until combined and all the flour is incorporated well. Add the almonds and cranberries and mix well to combine.

The dough is sticky. Work with your hands if needed. Transfer to a floured work surface and add small amounts of flour as needed. Shape into 2 logs.

Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease cookie sheet  and place the logs with about 2 inches clearance from the edges and from each other.

Bake for 25-30 minutes, until lightly browned. Allow to cool completely.

Slice on a bias with a serrated knife and lay flat on the same baking sheet. Bake on one side for 8 - 10 minutes and flip them. Bake them on the other side for 6-7 minutes before removing from the oven and cooling completely.

Store in an air tight container.

Mine came out slightly crumbly. I knew this was going to be an issue when I tried to slice the log after the first bake. I think this might be because I used slightly less butter than the original recipe called for.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Homemade Mixture

Searching for a snack with a satisfying crunch on a weekend afternoon, I tried yet another recipe from the wonderful Nupur's blog. Honestly, I have lost count of the number of recipes I have tried from her blog! Well, as they say, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and all that! I feel truly lucky to live at a time when the internet facilitates the sharing of wonderful ideas.

It all started when I spied a bag of puffed barley at a grocery store and was struck by how it resembled Pori or Puffed Rice. I was also momentarily seized by a feeling of virtuousness. "We shall have no more store bought fried snacks at home!", I decreed to R. I shall make a healthy mixture that we can snack on using this undeniably healthy puffed barley.

I tasted the puffed barley upon returning home and it was nothing like Pori. In fact, it tasted awful. A bit like rotting cardboard, I thought to myself. But I had to salvage this gigantic bag! I quickly found inspiration in Nupur's Chivda and Bhadang recipes and decided to combine the two.

I have to say, since that first time, I have made this Mixture 3 times. We usually run through it pretty quickly. And you do end up feeling virtuous after eating a bowl of this Mixture.


2 T sunflower oil
1 t mustard
1 t saunf
10 - 15 curry leaves
1 t red chili powder
1 t sugar
1 t turmeric
2 C poha
1/3 C raw peanuts
1/2 C dried cranberries or raisins
1/2 C Pottu Kadalai or Roasted Gram
1 C store bought Sev
1 C puffed barley
Salt, to taste

Heat the oil in a large pan, preferably wide and not very tall. Add mustard seeds and once they have popped, add the peanuts and curry leaves. When the peanuts begin to turn light brown, add the poha and turmeric and stir well. The poha will absorb all the oil and get toasty.

Another way is to roast the peanuts separately and add them after the poha has got toasty. Add the red chili powder, salt, Pottu kadalai and puffed barley at this point and continue to roast for 2 minutes, stirring frequently.

Add the sugar, dried cranberries and store bought Sev.  Allow to cool completely before storing in an air tight container. It stays fresh for about a week, by which time we usually finish it.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Soba noodles with Lime Cilantro Pesto

Resuscitating this blog after years..

Having moved next to an Asian food market, I'm discovering many interesting ingredients and experimenting a bit. I once ate cold Soba noodles with a dipping sauce (which was mostly soy sauce with garlic and scallions) at a Japanese restaurant and found it to be a delicious summer lunch. Since then, I have been trying to use Soba noodles more. Inspiration struck when I ate a Cilantro Pesto pasta salad at Sweet Tomatoes - I decided to combine Cilantro Pesto and the Soba noodles.

This is a delicious cold lunch and tastes even better the next day. It also requires very little prep work - the Pesto is easily prepared in the blender and a bunch of vegetables can be chopped while the noodles boil.

The washing of the soba noodles once cooked takes a few extra minutes ( they need to be rinsed several times in cold water to remove the starch ) but the results are worth the effort.

Cilantro Lime Pesto:

1 bunch of cilantro, leaves and stems, roughly chopped
2 big cloves garlic, smashed and roughly chopped
1 inch piece of ginger, minced
1/3 C sunflower seeds, toasted
1/2 tsp red chilli flakes
1/2 tsp black pepper, ground
1-2 T oil (toasted sesame or canola)
2 limes, zested and juiced
salt to taste
Add some pasta water to loosen up the paste

1 package of soba noodles, cooked and rinsed at least 2 times in cold water

2 cups of carrots (thinly sliced) and broccoli (steamed in the microwave)

Grilled Tofu for some Protein

1 bunch scallions: thinly sliced

Toss all together. Yum!!