Spice Chronicles http://www.spicechronicles.com Where Spices Meet the Seasons Fri, 23 Jun 2017 02:51:44 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.5 71035130 Rhubarb Raspberry Almond Cake (Gluten-free) (Accidental) – Recipe Redux http://www.spicechronicles.com/rhubarb-raspberry-almond-cake-gluten-free-accidental/ http://www.spicechronicles.com/rhubarb-raspberry-almond-cake-gluten-free-accidental/#respond Fri, 23 Jun 2017 02:51:44 +0000 http://www.spicechronicles.com/?p=4768 We visited friends on Saturday evening and I almost feel like I snatched the last good day, for a while at least. I remembered rhubarb from our garden and sought out to cobble up a cake to go. The Rhubarb Raspberry Almond Cake happened because, I love baking with almonds. I have lately been working...

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Almond, Rhubarb and Raspberry CakeWe visited friends on Saturday evening and I almost feel like I snatched the last good day, for a while at least. I remembered rhubarb from our garden and sought out to cobble up a cake to go. The Rhubarb Raspberry Almond Cake happened because, I love baking with almonds. I have lately been working with using some chickpea flour in my regular cake mix. It blends in quite nicely and adds a good protein boost. My typical mixture has been 1 part all-purpose or whole wheat pastry flour, 1-part chickpea flour and 1-part almond meal. While making this cake, I closely followed this recipe fairly closely with my newfound mix. I added added ginger and forgot to add in AP flour. Well a gluten-free cake was born. Who knew?

Accidentally or not, this month’s recipe redux theme was cake.

The texture was dense but really quite flavorful and comforting.

Most of you blog readers know, while I have a lot of naturally vegan and gluten-free recipes on my site they are just that, naturally so! I love chickpea flour or besan. It is quite the workhorse in my house and a lot of other Indian homes. From savory fritters, to sweet fudge it works for almost everything in our household.

This cake was a perfect and spontaneous creation, I did manage to get a couple of shots before I whisked it away for a calm and peaceful evening with friends. Here is my Instagram shot, taken of the evening. Peaceful and simple, just what the heart desires sometimes. I have to confess it took me away from my crazy busy project, which I need to get back to today. I also have planned by evening cooking that should hopefully tide me into the week. On tap, I have cauliflower with fenugreek, goan style salmon curry and eggplant pilaf. I just made the pilaf with mint instead of purslane and it tasted all kinds of fragrant.

Today was a good Monday, as Mondays go. Here is wishing everyone a balanced week? May the summer gods be with you. I have promised someone I will be getting out some recipe, and maybe I will by tomorrow. Wondering do you make self-promises that help you accomplish things?

Rhubarb Raspberry Almond Cake (Gluten-free) (Accidental)

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

A beautiful pink gluten-free cake.

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1/2 pound rhubarb stalks
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries
  • 1 cup chickpea flour
  • 1 cup almond meal
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¼ cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon slivered almonds

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Butter an 8 or 9 inch cake or tart pan. Slice rhubarb in half lengthwise (quarter if very large).
  2. Set aside 8 of the prettiest pieces aside for the top of the cake; chop remaining rhubarb into small pieces.
  3. Place the softened butter and sugar in bowl and beat until fluffy. Mix in the chopped rhubarb and the raspberries. The raspberries will break and offer the mixture a pretty pink color.
  4. In a separate bowl mix the chickpea flour and almond meal with the baking powder.
  5. Beat the eggs with the yogurt.
  6. Add the flours with the egg mixture in batches to the butter mixture. Mix until well incorporated. Pour into the greased pie pan. Carefully arrange the rhubarb stalks over the cake. Sprinkle the slivered almonds over the cake.
  7. Place in the oven and bake for about 35 minutes, until the cake is set and deep pink and fragrant.
  8. The cake will be a dense and earthy cake.
  9. When cooled remove from the pan and cut into wedges and serve.
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Viceroy Publik House-Bringing the Raj to Stamford http://www.spicechronicles.com/viceroy-publik-house-bringing-raj-stamford/ http://www.spicechronicles.com/viceroy-publik-house-bringing-raj-stamford/#respond Sun, 11 Jun 2017 03:51:25 +0000 http://www.spicechronicles.com/?p=4752 Viceroy Public House is a whimsical attempt to capture moments of the British Raj. Or stated differently, it is an attempt to recapture the British love affair with Indian food, the pub scene and all things fun. It is often difficult to marry two different influences in the menu, but Viceroy is certainly giving this...

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Viceroy Public HouseViceroy Public House is a whimsical attempt to capture moments of the British Raj. Or stated differently, it is an attempt to recapture the British love affair with Indian food, the pub scene and all things fun. It is often difficult to marry two different influences in the menu, but Viceroy is certainly giving this a brave, bold and well balanced  effort.

Waldorf Salad

Publik House, “Pub” for short, was artfully designed by the British, dating as far back as the 1300s. Its focus was that of a gathering place where beer and cider were merely offerings within the pub’s social or political confines. Today, it is still a gathering place with it’s own general of pub-style food.

Menu

The menu brings classic items like onion pakoras or bhajis as they are more commonly called in the UK, and fusion findings such as a decadent Lobster Tikka Mac and a Mulligatawny Soup, that has stolen my heart and taste buds forever.

Tikki Mac

 

My version is pretty good, but you should visit Viceroy to check out the original. The general relaxed fun vibe offers something for everyone including a formal dining room that is good for a quieter dining experience.

Owner  Ramya Lakshman had commissioned restaurateur and music aficionado Eric Monte to bring an interesting English/Indian experience to the bi-level townhouse at 211 Summer Street.

Yard Fowl

The crowd working with Viceroy are a happy chatty bunch, very excited about their eclectic baby. When visiting try to grab someone to fill you in about the history and concept. On a fun night, grab a mike and sing along if you fancy karaoke it. With summer on its way, get out and get your self a cold one with spicy chutney speckled noshings to balance your palate.

The chefs

The kitchen team of chef’s teven Bianchini and Kallingapuram Sarith are a formidable kitchen duo, and we should expect more kitchen magic from them as the menu evolves and settles in.

Viceroy Publik House

211 Summer Street

Stamford, CT

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Muligatwany Soup http://www.spicechronicles.com/muligatwany-soup/ http://www.spicechronicles.com/muligatwany-soup/#comments Sat, 10 Jun 2017 14:34:04 +0000 http://www.spicechronicles.com/?p=4746 This very Anglo Soup – a gorgeous, coconut and spice infused Muligatawny Soup was inspired by my visit to Viceroy. More about that here, but, this was one of those rare concoction that fuelled me to make them right away! I received the recipe from the chef, who explained the recipe just the way a...

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Muligatawny SoupThis very Anglo Soup – a gorgeous, coconut and spice infused Muligatawny Soup was inspired by my visit to Viceroy. More about that here, but, this was one of those rare concoction that fuelled me to make them right away! I received the recipe from the chef, who explained the recipe just the way a good Indian cook would. A pinch of this and a dash of that! You get the picture.. This version of Muligatawny Soup is vegetarian and uses coconut milk instead of heavy cream.

June has crept over our garden, and suddenly I find it filled with all kinds of good stuff, which I shall certainly expound on more as the weeks and months go by. At the cost of sounding clichéd, we are living in a country that thinks it is a circus. This is when rustling up a comforting bowl of soup helps. A comforting bowl with notes of childhood embedded in its lovely heady creamy complexion.

Muligatawny Soup

 

A note on the mulligatawny – this is a mild creation that was a British attempt to civilize spicy pepper water. This particular variation is vegetarian loaded with squash and mellow with loads of butternut squash and rich with a splash of coconut milk.

Coconut Muligtawny Soup

The key was to add the coconut milk towards the end. This resulted in a rich and deep taste without too much fat. Along with the curry leaves my variation is speckled with loads with garden fresh cilantro. I am along with other things learning to work and plan around three meals everyday, courtesy the houseguest we are hosting. It has generated a different level of planning and order in my kitchen. And lot of kitchen noshables, breakfast and snacks of course are very closely aligned in an Indian kitchen.

Muligatawny Soup

As summer looms upon us, we are getting ready for transitions and other changes. Some big and some small. I have been settling into a new set of work situations, mostly good and mostly busy. In time for all things bright and beautiful we have a sunny cheery bowl of soup.

Muligatwany Soup

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 50 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

A bright and flavorful vegan take on mulligatawny soup. This one is a keeper.

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup of red split lentls
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • 1 large tomato diced (about 1/2 cup)
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 6 cups of water
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon red cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 2 cups of cubed butternut squash
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 8 to 10 curry leaves
  • 4 tablespoon chopped cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • Sliced almonds (optional to garnish)

Instructions

  1. Place the lentils, ginger, tomato, garlic, water, turmeric, red cayenne pepper and salt in a large pot and simmer for 35 to 40 minutes, stirring occasionally. The lentils should be very smooth and soft.
  2. Add in the squash and sugar and cook for 8 minutes.
  3. Add in the coconut milk.
  4. Heat the oil and add the mustard seeds and curry leaves and cook until the mustard seeds begin to crackle.
  5. Pour this over the soup and cook on low heat for another 3 minutes. Stir well.
  6. Add in the cilantro and lemon juice. Serve the soup garnished with almonds.
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Maple, Coconut, Tapioca Pudding with Mangoes with a pause… http://www.spicechronicles.com/maple-coconut-tapioca-pudding-with-mangoes/ http://www.spicechronicles.com/maple-coconut-tapioca-pudding-with-mangoes/#respond Fri, 02 Jun 2017 03:40:26 +0000 http://www.spicechronicles.com/?p=4734 Maple Coconut Tapioca Pudding with Mangoes was waiting to be made in my kitchen. For a while. This weekend, I needed comfort! And there it was a tapioca pudding with all may favorite flavors rolled into one. This tapioca pudding was stalled just a little by a pause. An extended pause!  Do you every find...

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Maple Coconut Tapioca Pudding with MangoesMaple Coconut Tapioca Pudding with Mangoes was waiting to be made in my kitchen. For a while. This weekend, I needed comfort! And there it was a tapioca pudding with all may favorite flavors rolled into one.

This tapioca pudding was stalled just a little by a pause. An extended pause!  Do you every find yourself using a pause in life as an excuse for procrastination? Catching that extra bit of breath? Sneaking in more time than otherwise needed?

I had promised myself during a rough phase last year once life evened out I would pay it forward. So far, I have been keeping my promise in small doses, little amounts the best that I can. One of these escapades has been to help a small local non-profit with their financial universe, taking them to the next level.

Mango Tapioca Pudding

That has taken up a lot of my time, but, in this current climate all of this seems even more important. It is so important to invest in something that reverses the negativity and brashness of the times that we live in. Maybe I am naive, but I believe that we as people can influence the world.

Coconut Tapioca Pudding with Mangoes and Raspberry

And then for days, when we are a just a little bit down and low, there is this super comforting creation that I call my Maple, Coconut and Tapioca pudding with Mangoes. It really is an accidental creation featuring most of my favorite flavors. It is delicate, beautiful and a breeze to put together. Especially if you are using tiny seed tapioca.

And now without much ado, here is the recipe.

Maple, Coconut, Tapioca Pudding with Mangoes with a pause…

Prep Time: 1 hour

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

A comforting dessert that is colorful, simple and vegan.

Ingredients

    For the Fruit Layers
  • 1 medium sized mango, peeled and cubed
  • 1 cup of fresh raspberries
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • For the pudding
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 cup tiny seed tapioca
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • To finish
  • Sliced Almonds
  • Fresh Sprigs of Mint

Instructions

  1. Puree the mango with 1/4 cup maple syrup and set aside.
  2. Coarsely mash the raspberries with 1/2 the maple syrup and set aside. Find 4 glasses or bowls to arrange the dessert, parfait style and divide the mango mixture into 4 parts and place on the bottom of the bowl.
  3. To prepare the pudding heat the coconut milk with the almond milk and bring to a simmer. Add in the tapioca and the brown sugar and cook for about 5 to 7 minutes, until the tapioca is soft and thick.
  4. Let the mixture cool for about half an hour.
  5. Pour evenly over the mango mixture.
  6. Top with the raspberry mixture and chill.
  7. Garnish with sliced almonds and mint and serve.
http://www.spicechronicles.com/maple-coconut-tapioca-pudding-with-mangoes/

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Creamy Vegan Linguini with Loads of Veggies http://www.spicechronicles.com/creamy-vegan-linguini-with-loads-of-veggies/ Mon, 15 May 2017 18:35:21 +0000 http://www.spicechronicles.com/?p=4710 This recipe was something I had developed for my vegan cooking class, at the Hilltop Hanover Farm. I have to confess, I was totally bowled over by the creamy indulgence and rich depth of flavor this dish offered. I had some extra hummus on hand and tried using this as a sauce. The results were...

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Creamy Vegan LinguiniThis recipe was something I had developed for my vegan cooking class, at the Hilltop Hanover Farm. I have to confess, I was totally bowled over by the creamy indulgence and rich depth of flavor this dish offered. I had some extra hummus on hand and tried using this as a sauce. The results were quite incredible. Rich tasting, well-seasoned and satisfying!

It has actually taken me some time to get my act together and post this recipe. We will be having a house guest for the next few months. It is the first time, I am hosting someone for so long, outside of my mother and mother-in-law and one way or the other this will teach me how to plan. At least, so I would like to believe.

Vegan Linguini

As with everything, I still lust and pine for that eternal well planned life. It started with the days of the palm pilot, yes, believe it or not I actually had one of those. I will confess, probably if I spent less time in the kitchen my life would be simpler. My hours in the kitchen are attributed to more than just the creativity that fuels this site. I enjoy cooking, and consequently we do not have a culture of take out in our household. The closest thing with have to take out routine is Sushi on Mondays. That is because the kids do piano lessons pretty close to their favorite Sushi spot.

It is for days when you want to cook, and want to make sure the family is well fed that this pasta dish comes in handy. It will fill and fit into all your favorite nutritional boxes. It will bring to your table a dish that is rich tasting, satisfying and full off the goodness of a balanced palate of veggies.

Creamy Vegan Linguini with Loads of Veggies

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

This pasta is made with a deep rich sauce using hummus as a base. They pasta is made with a chockful of vegetables, garlic, sun-dried tomatoes. The sauce is rich and soft. There is just one caveat you need to eat it fairly quickly. The sauce thickens as it settles and unlike a traditional cream based sauce this does not work well for the pasta.

Ingredients

  • 10 oz dried linguini
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon freshly chopped garlic
  • 1 tablespoon freshly chopped rosemary
  • 4 scallions chopped, white and green parts separated
  • 1 cup of chopped broccoli florets
  • 1 cup of mushrooms, thickly sliced
  • ¼ cup chopped asparagus
  • ½ cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained
  • ½ cup hummus, homemade or store bought
  • ¼ cup toasted almonds or pine nuts
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ½ cup chopped cilantro

Instructions

  1. Heat plenty of water in a large cooking pot. Add in 1 teaspoon of salt. Bring to a boil and cook the linguini for about 7 minutes, until al dente. Reserve about 1 cup of the water and drain.
  2. In a large wok or cooking pot, heat the olive oil and add in the garlic and gently toast until fragrant for about 45 seconds. Add in the red onion and sauté for about 2 to 3 minutes.
  3. Add in the rosemary and the scallion greens and cook for another minute.
  4. Add in the broccoli, mushrooms and sundried tomatoes and cover and cook for 4 minutes.
  5. In the meantime, mix the hummus with the reserved cup of pasta water.
  6. Add the linguini to the broccoli mixture and toss well. Add in the hummus sauce and mix well. Add in the scallion greens, almonds or pine nuts, red pepper flakes and the chopped cilantro and mix well.
  7. Serve immediately.
http://www.spicechronicles.com/creamy-vegan-linguini-with-loads-of-veggies/

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Hummus and Lox Tartines for summer snacking http://www.spicechronicles.com/humus-lox-tartines/ Mon, 15 May 2017 02:36:53 +0000 http://www.spicechronicles.com/?p=4715 Where have the past few weeks gone? Thank goodness, for all that Sabra Hummus I received or I am not sure if I would have ever had a hiatus and decided to blog. Yes, this recipe is for a recipe redux contest and by posting it I am entering a competition. We love hummus, what’s...

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Where have the past few weeks gone? Thank goodness, for all that Sabra Hummus I received or I am not sure if I would have ever had a hiatus and decided to blog. Yes, this recipe is for a recipe redux contest and by posting it I am entering a competition.

We love hummus, what’s not like about this rich creamy plant based spread? I created this tartine yesterday, which being May 13th happened to National Hummus Day!

Hummus and Lox Tartines

We went out for lunch today, for what was a very crazy busy day. I guess, with a semi permanent house guest until October, life will just continue that way. As for mother’s day, the teen is going to make sure that I get a run for my mothering dime. As they say, big child bigger problems… I miss that sunny cherubic young girl who wowed the world with her confidence.

Yet, in the glimpses of this child woman, in the corners of life, in little nooks and crannies, I see potential and belief that keeps me hoping and waiting for the future. In some ways, I certainly see myself. I also realize that is the mothering journey – a journey of faith, hope and belief.

Hunnus and Lox Tartines

Last evening, as the rain poured and poured, I cobbled up these bagels and lox inspired tartines. The tangy hummus was the base of these open-faced sandwiches allowing me to slather a generous amount. I subbed the cream cheese for a blend of goat cheese and Sabra Tzatziki dip, allowing a cooler healthier variation.

Hummus and Lox Tartines

I also did a purely vegetarian version using sun-dried tomatoes instead of the smoked salmon, but again was considerably thrilled with the results. It makes for a wholesome nutritious snack and a light meal in and of itself. As for the brand of Sabra Hummus used – knock yourself out and try all five, we did and our favorites were the classic and the supremely spicy.

Humus and Lox Tartines

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 6 minutes

Total Time: 26 minutes

A beautiful Mediterranean inspired take on Bagels and Lox, these hummus and lox tartines are easy, healthy and tasty.

Ingredients

  • 1 whole grain baguette, sliced thinly
  • Olive oil to drizzle
  • 1 cup of sabra hummus - classic or supremely spicy
  • 6 oz smoked salmon aka lox
  • 1/2 cup sabra tzatziki
  • 1/4 cup goat cheese
  • Thinly sliced red onions
  • Thinly sliced red or yellow bell pepper
  • capers
  • chopped dill

Instructions

  1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Spread the slices of the baguette and drizzle with olive oil. Heat and toast for about 6 minutes, until just crisped.
  2. Remove and spread each slice with hummus.
  3. Top with small amounts of smoked salmon, tzatziki and goat cheese.
  4. Add thinly sliced red onions and bell pepper.
  5. Sprinkle with capers and dill and enjoy!
http://www.spicechronicles.com/humus-lox-tartines/

 

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Cilantro Black Bean Burgers over Polenta Cakes and Guacamole http://www.spicechronicles.com/cilantro-black-bean-burgers-over-polenta-cakes-and-guacamole/ Sun, 23 Apr 2017 03:24:25 +0000 http://www.spicechronicles.com/?p=4696 This months recipe redux theme is about using leftovers. This is something very close to my heart. I am always fighting the struggle of cooking just enough with having a stocked fridge. One of my staples are some kind of cooked legume. This contributed to the birth of these Cilantro Black bean Burgers. The general...

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Cilantro Black Bean BurgersThis months recipe redux theme is about using leftovers. This is something very close to my heart. I am always fighting the struggle of cooking just enough with having a stocked fridge. One of my staples are some kind of cooked legume. This contributed to the birth of these Cilantro Black bean Burgers. The general get-up of this recipe seems complex, but other than cobbling the polenta cakes, the rest of the meal comes together quite quickly.

I topped them with our favorite guacamole. While the meal took a bit of time, I made all of it with what I had on hand.

I had polenta that I needed to put to good use, hence the base of polenta cakes. This would be just and good and flavorful over regular burger buns. The black beans added a deep and smoky character to these burgers, making for a very satisfying meal. The next few months promise to be crazy and busy, guaranteeing that I shall be living in interesting times.

Black Bean Burgers with Lime and Cilantro

Despite all the crazy pace of things, I managed to squeeze in my first farm class, it was a vegan class and seemed appropriate for earth day. I have also made another variation of this recipe, as sliders and promise to update with slideresque pictures, assuming that the weather improves. I need to wrap up today and get my eight hours of beauty sleep before the weekend slips away.

Among other things, I am excited that I made my first batch of decent idlies in a long time, and of course made a killer vegan pasta for class. Am I the only one who gets excited with cooking successes? Actually, lots of simple things impact me and make my day. I find they are easier and more attainable that the harder, steeper things. After all, little drops do indeed fill a bucket. Of course, in terms of things being eventful it looks like my life’s bucket just might run over.

Cilantro Black Bean Burgers over Polenta Cakes and Guacamole

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

A open faced black bean burger with lime and cilantro served over gluten-free polenta cakes.

Ingredients

    For the Polenta Base
  • 3 cups of water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup polenta (cornmeal)
  • Oil for shallow frying
  • For the Black Bean Burgers
  • 1 and 1/2 cups of cooked black beans
  • 1 medium sized red onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped mushrooms
  • 1 tablespoon freshly chopped jalapeno (one jalapeno pepper)
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons chickpea flour
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • To serve
  • Guacamole
  • Sliced red onions

Instructions

  1. Bring the water, salt and black pepper to a boil and the polenta and cook for about 12 to 15 minutes, until the polenta has a thick porridge like consistency. Pour the potenta on to a flat greased surface spreading to about 1/2 an inch thickness and let it cool for about 30 minutes, while you work on the black bean burgers
  2. Using a round cutter cut into small 3 inch circles.
  3. Heat the oil for shallow frying and add the polenta cakes and cook for about 2 to 3 minutes until golden on both sides.
  4. Let it rest.
  5. Mash the black beans and mix with the red onion, chopped mushrooms, jalapeno, lime juice, ground cumin, smoked paprika, salt and chopped cilantro. Add in the chickpea flour. Shape into small burgers to match the size of the polenta cakes or slider buns.
  6. Place in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.
  7. Heat the olive oil on a flat skillet, add the burgers in a single layer and cook for about 3 to 4 minutes on each side.
  8. To serve and assemble, place a burger over a polenta cake. To with a little guacamole and sliced red onions.
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Giant Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookie http://www.spicechronicles.com/giant-chocolate-chip-oatmeal-cookie/ Thu, 20 Apr 2017 02:59:12 +0000 http://www.spicechronicles.com/?p=4688 This morning I had super baking success in the form of a Giant Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookie Cake. It is no secret that I am not much of a baker. So, baking success makes me super giddy sort of happy. The inspiration this morning was many sorts of things. It was Aadi’s 12th birthday, so something...

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Giant Chocolate Chip Cookie This morning I had super baking success in the form of a Giant Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookie Cake. It is no secret that I am not much of a baker. So, baking success makes me super giddy sort of happy. The inspiration this morning was many sorts of things. It was Aadi’s 12th birthday, so something sweet was in order. We have pretty much been celebrating from Friday, so much for a solemn good Friday! Actually the weather has been so amazing! It has been difficult to feel solemn in any shape or form.

Starting from the fact, that this was an impromptu and unexpected holiday, everything else seems to be falling right in place today. Imagine, if you are woken by this sight, first thing in the morning. Wouldn’t you look out at the clear blue spring sky and count your blessings?

So, this giant Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookie Cake is an amazing find, adapted from the recipe here, it was so easy and quick to put together, I actually made two variations – one with Oatmeal and one without.

Giant Chocolate Chip Cookie

Of course, as luck would have it the kids and hubby liked the version with oatmeal and I sort of liked the sans oatmeal variety. Ok, I liked them both, but preferred the sans oatmeal version a teeny bit more.

Giant Chocolate Chp Cookie Cake

I also had no all purpose flour, so I ended up using whole wheat pastry flour, tiny bit more score for healthy.  Other things going for this cookie cake are that it feels like a cake but gets done really quickly (about 20 minutes). It also really tasted great with a glass of milk, almost making it a possibility for breakfast, at least I can hope? As you know, nothing makes me happier than adding to my meager collection of baked desserts, especially an easy breezy addition.

Giant Chocolate Oatmeal Cookie

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

A lovely easy to make giant chocolate cookie cake.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup softened salted butter
  • 1/2 cup brown turbinado sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons white chocolate chips (optional)

Instructions

  1. Grease a 9-inch round cake pan and pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large mixing bowl add the softened butter, sugar and eggs and mix well.
  3. Add in the vanilla extract.
  4. Mix in the whole wheat pastry flour, cornstarch and rolled oats and the baking powder and baking soda and mix well. Add in the milk and mix to form a soft dough.
  5. Stir in the 3/4 cup chocolate chips and the white chocolate chips if using.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and sprinkle the remaining chocolate chips over the top.
  7. Bake for about 20 minutes, until the giant cookie is golden and cooked through.
  8. Remove from the oven and cool slightly and serve.
http://www.spicechronicles.com/giant-chocolate-chip-oatmeal-cookie/

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Polenta Upma with Spring Veggies http://www.spicechronicles.com/polenta_upma_spring_veggies/ http://www.spicechronicles.com/polenta_upma_spring_veggies/#comments Tue, 18 Apr 2017 00:38:44 +0000 http://www.spicechronicles.com/?p=4680 I have lately realized, to conquer the dinner or mealtime game in a busy household, we need to be strategic. This polenta upma with spring veggies is all about this strategy. My latest brainwave is ensure that with every thing I am trying, I get more than one meal’s worth. So, I had cooked a...

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Polenta UpmaI have lately realized, to conquer the dinner or mealtime game in a busy household, we need to be strategic. This polenta upma with spring veggies is all about this strategy. My latest brainwave is ensure that with every thing I am trying, I get more than one meal’s worth. So, I had cooked a pot of polenta for polenta cakes. I will tell you what I did with those cakes one of these days. I hashed up the leftovers into this upma.

Bright and golden, polenta upma is just what one needs for a bright breakfast on a busy morning. You might say it is Saturday, but Saturday is run around, skip around day with the kids. Polenta and Semolina have a lot in common, both in terms of taste and texture. Hence, polenta fits in beautifully in this upma. This is essentially a polenta version of this dish! When you sub with polenta, you even can excuse yourself from feeling guilty about adding an egg over the dish. Eggy or eggless is your call!

Naturally, since it is spring, and we harvested our first round of asparagus, this polenta upma is vibrant with the brightness of spring vegetables.

Polenta Upma

I have already mentioned about my pantry clearing escapades, so, among other unnecessary things I find myself deluged with 3 and half pounds of polenta. Which brings me to my pantry clearing lesson one, make sure you organize your dry pantry staples in clear containers. That way it is pretty easy to see what is on hand. If it does not have a home, it probably does not belong there.

I wish I could bail out of the bus trip planned to St. Louis, with the kids and the robotics families. The kids would have a fit, if I suggested such. Here’s to the upma as I add more crazy to a busy month.

Polenta Upma with Spring Veggies

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

A polenta cooked in the style of upma, this polenta upma is a perfect cheery morning dish.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons raw blanched peanuts
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 teaspoon whole mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon yellow split Bengal gram lentils (sold as channa dal)
  • 1 teaspoon whole white lentils (urad dal)
  • 1 medium sized onion, finely chopped
  • 2 whole dried red chilies, crushed
  • 10 to 12 curry leaves
  • 1 or 2 curry leaves
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and diced
  • 1 cup finely chopped asparagus
  • A handful of fresh peas
  • 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 and 1/2 cups cooked polenta
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (about 1/2 lime)
  • 2 tablespoons freshly chopped cilantro

Instructions

  1. Dry roast the peanuts until golden and set the peanuts aside.
  2. Heat the oil and add the whole mustard seeds and wait until the seeds begin to pop. Add in the lentils and cook for a minute.
  3. Add in the onion and saute for 3 to 4 minutes.
  4. Add in the chilies and the curry leaves and mix well.
  5. Add in the carrots, asparagus and green peas and mix well.
  6. Mix in the salt and the turmeric with the polenta and water. Cover and cook on low for 10 minutes.
  7. Remove the cover and cook a little longer until the polenta has a loose but thick texture. It should be thicker than a porridge.
  8. Add in the lime juice and cilantro and mix well. Stir in the peanuts and serve hot.
http://www.spicechronicles.com/polenta_upma_spring_veggies/

 

 

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Chicken Bhartha – Shredded Slow Cooked Chicken http://www.spicechronicles.com/chicken-bhartha-shredded-spiced-chicken/ http://www.spicechronicles.com/chicken-bhartha-shredded-spiced-chicken/#comments Fri, 14 Apr 2017 02:40:14 +0000 http://www.spicechronicles.com/?p=4666 Chicken Bhartha is a slow cooked rendition of chicken. A dish where the meat is cooked to a “fall off the bone” consistency. Essentially, it is a Bengali style moghlai dish. That is code word for the fact that it was cooked in days where time is abundant. Now, there is that version and then...

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Bengali Chicken BharthaChicken Bhartha is a slow cooked rendition of chicken. A dish where the meat is cooked to a “fall off the bone” consistency. Essentially, it is a Bengali style moghlai dish. That is code word for the fact that it was cooked in days where time is abundant. Now, there is that version and then there is my cheater version that tastes pretty darn good. There were no real leftovers from our Sunday family dinner, that my friends is very good, cheater schmeater good!

Spring has finally sprung, I am relishing these beautiful coolish days. I am back on the train track. It has just been a little tricky getting back to my original mode of productivity. As always, it is interesting getting to learn a new neighborhood.

Chicken Bhartha

In my dreams I shall be able to load and complete all the wonderful recipes that I have compiled, slowly but surely. That last month has been a truly delicious one. The next few weeks, promise to be hectic, but probably pretty and beautiful ones. There is a trip to St Louis, stuck in the middle of almost everything.  We are planning a group trip riding in a bus no less.

Chicken Bhartha

I have embarked on a pantry rearranging project.  It is amazing to see how much unnecessary dried items I have stock piled. It is good to be well prepared, but 6 pounds of besan or chickpea flour might be just a little bit too much. Interestingly enough, I have realized that clearing out a dried pantry is much harder than a fridge clearing exercise, at least will be in my case. I can only imagine my mother’s horror if she comes and takes a look at everything that I have piled. She is almost the opposite in her stocking and storing philosophy. But, for today, we are ready for my cheater Chicken Bhartha. And in case you are looking for more to do with shredded chicken, here is another to ponder on, as for a good roast chicken, feel free to try anything that catches your fancy.

Chicken Bharta – Shredded Slow Cooked Chicken

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

A fragrant almost traditional way to use up leftover chicken.

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup blanched almonds or cashews
  • 1/4 cup yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons canola or grapeseed oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 2 medium sized onions, diced
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon red cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground garam masala powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 ripe tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves)
  • 1 and 1/2 cups of cooked coarsely shredded chicken
  • 1 teaspoon rosewater
  • Chopped green chilies to garnish

Instructions

  1. Grind the almonds or cashew nuts with the yogurt and set aside. This needs to be done with care to ensure that it is smooth and creamy. Set this aside.
  2. Heat the oil and add in the cumin seeds, when they sizzle add in the onions and saute for about 8 to 10 minutes, stirring frequently until the onions are softly wilted and turning golden brown.
  3. Add in the ginger and the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes.
  4. Add in red cayenne pepper, garam masala, ground cumin, ground coriander, salt and stir well.
  5. Add in the tomatoes and cook the tomatoes until soft.
  6. Stir in the fenugreek leaves (you can leave a little for garnishing if you wish), and add in the chicken with 1/2 cup of water. Simmer for five minutes and stir in the ground yogurt nut paste and cook for another minute.
  7. Sprinkle with the rosewater.
  8. Garnish with the reserved fenugreek leaves and green chilies and serve with flatbreads.
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