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Showing posts from January, 2016

Sprouted Green Moong Dal Pancakes & Fritters!

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Green Moong/Mung Beans are loaded with fiber and protein and sprouting them enhances these benefits several folds. They are a great source of vitamins and minerals and sprouting adds in live enzymes. Detailed health benefits can be read at this website.

Green Moong beans are also regarded very highly in Ayurveda. Its detoxifying properties cleanse the digestive organs of toxins and parasites. Green moong is also considered as miracle food as it ensures blood purification and strengthens the immune system.

How to Sprout Green MoongSprouting beans is a very easy process but it takes almost 24 hours to complete. So planning is the essential key. You can do this process with moth beans, fenugreek seeds too.Wash the green moong well. Soak in it a large container with lots of water for at least 8 hours. The beans will swell in size.After that, drain out the waterand leave the green moong for another 8 hours. At the end you will notice that the seeds have began to sprout. You can leave it long…

Curry Leaf Chutney and memories!

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Curry leaves have a very special place in my heart. Growing up, we had to often change our residence because of my dad's work. Once such apartment was on the ground level and came with a dense garden around it. The garden had far too many plants that it blocked the sunlight and also eased the passage of bugs into our house. My parents trimmed out most of the plants but retained the Curry leaf tree. Mom was very happy to have easy access to fresh curry leaves even though she only used it for tempering dals.
Soon some of the new neighbors started requesting for some curry leaves. They complained that the earlier resident had planted the tree and would guard it zealously, not sharing the bounty with anyone. My parents felt sympathetic and believed in the virtue for giving. They would graciously pluck a few springs and give it to all. Soon they got tired of doing it and asked people to pluck out the sprigs themselves.

Later we realized that entire branches of the tree were getting rip…

Easy Chicken Yakhni Pulao/Pilaf!

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Yakhni Pulao is one of the slow cooking gems in the North Indian Mughlai Cuisine. Its a mild but very flavorful rice and meat recipe decadent enough to be served on a special occasion. The meat (goat meat or beef) is cooked on low heat with spices to create a flavorful stock/broth(yakhni). Then a spice masala is made and the meat, rice and yakhni is added back to the pot and cooked on low heat again till ready.

I have always wanted to try this but elaborate slow cooking meals don't fare well on my busy schedule. Until i chanced upon this recipe which made it seem fairly easy. Using chicken in place of red meat halves the cooking time. I made it in a pressure cooker making it a one pot meal and fastened the whole process. It can also be made in a large heavy bottom saucepan. The whole process took about an hour but the meal is fit for a king. The flavors left us drooling for more...

Servings: 5-6 people

Ingredients:

For Yakhni (meat stock)
1.5 lb chicken, cleaned and cut into pieces (…

Celebrating 100th Post with Chocolate Cupcakes!

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Yippee! I made it to the 100th Post! It has taken me almost a year to achieve this and I am very happy that I have persevered through all my personal ups and downs in life. And this I believe is because MokshaFood has given me much more than I gave to it. Writing this blog has inspired me in so many ways and given my life a sense of purpose and direction. Every morning I wake up excitedly to check on my social media. I log on to my blog to see my visitors and what they like to read and comment about my post. Connecting with my audience has made this journey so much worthwhile.

I started this blog on a whim; I need to log my own cooking experiments and also share my passion for food with people. But I have explored and learned so much along the way - how to write, log recipes, food photography, food styling, networking, engaging in social media. Blogging has taken my love for food to a completely different era.

Now my whole day and life seems to be focused around food. Even my family an…

Mushroom and Chicken in Balsamic Sauce!

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Balsamic Vinegar is one of the ingredient gems of Italian Cooking. Its sweet and tangy flavors can enhance a salad, entree or even a dessert.
I had bought a bottle of Balsamic vinegar a while ago but still hadn't used it. The bottle I got was more tart than sweet so i couldn't just pour it over salad or avocado. I had to use it in making some sauce. Recently I chanced upon few recipes which combine chicken and mushrooms in balsamic sauce and thought it was perfect timing. I had all the ingredients in my kitchen just waiting for the magic to happen.

I made the recipe gluten free and egg free by coating the chicken pieces in rice flour and pan frying them. Also I didn't have thyme so i substituted with ajwain/ova - a spice similar in flavor which is very common in an Indian pantry. The pictures may not look appealing but the flavors are awesome.

I served the Mushroom and Chicken in Balsamic Vinegar with flavored rice and pan roasted garlicky green beans for a complete meal.

In…

Sri Lankan Pumpkin Curry!

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Sri Lankan Pumpkin Curry or Wattaka kalu pol! We love Sri Lankan food for its spicy red curries. But this recipe is refreshing different with the heat and subtle bitterness from mustard and fenugreek seeds complimenting the creamy coconut milk. It takes the mild and sweet Pumpkin onto a roller coaster ride of complex flavors.

The recipe is a multi-step process with lots of roasting and grinding but the final result was worth all the effort. I also made the roasted Sri Lankan Curry powder from scratch to get as close to the authentic flavors as possible. The flavors were so addictive that it left my mustard paste loving Bengali Husband asking for more.

This recipe is definitely a keeper. In fact we felt the spices and flavors would also go well with a hearty fish like carp, red snapper or mackerel.




Ingredients:
2 cups of pumpkin, cut in 1 inch chunks2 tablespoons of raw rice2 tablespoons of grated coconut1 tablespoon vegetable oil1 Onion, sliced finely2 green chilies, choppedSprig of Cur…

Peanut Sesame Ladoos/Balls!

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Wishing all my readers a very Happy Makar Sankranti!
This Harvest Festival is celebrated across India with different names like Pongal in the South of India, Lohri in Punjab, Bihu is Bihar and North East or Makar Sankranti in Gujarat and Maharashtra.

In Maharashtra, its customary to offer a tilgul - a crunchy sweet ladoo/ball made up of sesame and jaggery and wish by a funny saying "Tilgul ghya ani god god bola" which translates to have this sweet and speak sweetly.

Tilgul is made by adding roasted sesame seeds and roasted peanuts in a hot jaggery syrup and quickly rolling into balls/ladoos.  If made the right way its a sweet crunchy ball but God Forbid if it goes wrong, it turns hard enough to crack your tooth. 

To get them right, you need a special kind of jaggery called Chikki Gul which is available in the Indian Market during this time. Since i don't have access to this jaggery, i didn't want to risk my family's dental heath by trying the traditional ladoo.

Mom …

Shrimp Pulao/Pilaf in Coconut milk!

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Shrimp/Prawn Pulao/Pilaf is an easy one pot meal which is decadent enough to be served for a special occasion or to please guest. Whole spices and coconut milk give it a rich flavor. This recipe is devoid of any biryani masala or other spice powders usually used. Its Simplicity in it Tastiest form.

The recipe is mild in heat yet very flavorful. You can increase the heat by adding more green chilies or replacing the deghi mirch with red chili powder.

Serves: 4-5

Ingredients:


Shrimps /prawns – about 40 medium sized, 350 gms, cleaned and de-veined 1 tablespoon Oil1 tablespoon Clarified Butter/Ghee 2 Green Cardamom2-3 Cloves 3-4 peppercorns1 Bay Leaf 1″ Cinnamon Stick 1/2 inch Ginger3-4 cloves of Garlic2 Green Chilies 1 medium onion, finely sliced1 medium Tomato, choppedSalt – to taste1/2 tsp deghi mirch/paprika, used for just a mild color.Fresh or dried Mint Leaves – handful, chopped2 cups Basmati Rice, washed and drained 2 cups Coconut Milk/Cream (I used 70%)2 cups water




Directions:
Grind gin…

3 Ways to Get Your Kids to Enjoy Vegetables!

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As a mom, i understand the struggles faced to get your kids to enjoy and eat veggies. My daughter is a carnivore just like her dad and prefers meat and seafood. I have set aside mandatory 3 veggie days in a week which are usually met with groans and complains. 

Initially i tried desperate attempts to feed her veggies by pureeing or grating them finely and mixing them up in sauces or curries. But i realized its not encouraging healthy habits or helping her to enjoy vegetables.

Instead of putting up with fights at meal times, i came up with the following ways to introduce vegetables to her. My efforts are beginning to pay off. She has started opening up to new taste and at least trying the food before making an opinion about it. This, I believe, is a huge step forward. 



 1. Encourage them to cookMy daughter was always eager to help me bake cupcakes and cookies but didn't care much about savory foods. Once we happened to watch an episode of junior Master chef series and she got really…

Aloo Paneer Poshto with a twist!

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Aloo Paneer Poshto is a traditional Bengali vegetarian recipe in a new avatar. Writing a food blog has not only got my creative juices flowing, it has also inspired my daughter and husband to experiment with different flavors. This recipe has been created by my husband. And though i was skeptical at first, I now give him full credit for creating a delicious vegetarian recipe.

Potatoes and paneer(cottage cheese) are cooked in a poppy seed/khuskhus sauce flavored with cilantro and cashew nuts. This is more creamy and richer version of the humble aloo poshto. The cilantro gives a nice herbal kick.

This is a quick and easy recipe which can be whipped up when you need something special or unexpected guest arrive. 

Serves: 4-5 

Ingredients:
2-3 potatoes, chopped 1 cup chopped Paneer/cottage cheese2-3 tablespoons poppy seeds/khuskhus6-7 cashew nuts5-6 sprigs cilantro1-2 green chilies1 tablespoon mustard oil + 1 teaspoon1/4 teaspoon turmeric powdersalt to taste

Directions:
Blend together poppy seeds…

Lemony Foxtail Millets: Powerpacked Breakfast!

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Breakfast is the hardest meal of the day when you turn gluten free. Somehow i cant start my day with a muffin, cereal or a smoothie. I need a savory satisfying wholesome breakfast.

Fox tail millet are naturally gluten free, very mild in flavor and soak up whatever seasoning you add to them. After being inspired by a fellow blogger, I made these fox tail millet on the lines of lemon rice/ Chitranna- a famous South Indian dish. The lemony flavor perks up the millet while the peanuts and urad dal give a nice crunch.

Millet are very filling and little heavier to digest. The quantity looked enough for one but I could only finish half of it at breakfast. Enjoyed the leftovers with my evening tea.

Serves : 1-2

Ingredients:
1/2 cup fox tail millet1 cup water1/4 teaspoon mustard seeds1/4 teaspoon cumin seed1/4 teaspoon urad dal1 dried red chili1/4 cup peanutssalt to tastejuice of 1/2 a lime1 tablespoon oilchopped cilantro for garnish



Directions:
Wash the fox tail millet till the water runs clear.B…

Fiery Goan Chicken Vindaloo!

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Are the winter blues dragging you down?  Warm up with this fiery Goan Chicken Vindaloo. Traditionally made with Pork, Vindaloo is a classic fusion dish of Goa, influenced by its Portuguese rulers.

The name "vindaloo" is derived from the Portuguese dish carne de vinha d'alhos, a dish of meat (usually pork) marinated in wine and garlic.The Portuguese dish was modified by the substitution of vinegar (usually palm vinegar) for the red wine and the addition of red Kashmiri chili peppers with additional spices to evolve into vindaloo. Nowadays, the Anglo-Indian version of a vindaloo is marinated in vinegar, sugar, fresh ginger, and spices overnight, then cooked with the addition of further spices. (sourced from WIKI)

This recipe can be very spicy. You can control the heat by reducing the number of red dried chillies and just adding more deghi mirch powder or paprika to get the fiery color. The chemistry between the red chilies, garlic and vinegar is what creates the signature t…

Roasted Red Beet Chaat!

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Roasted Beet Salad may be the most popular trend but has anybody tried a Roasted Beet Chaat?  Chaats are Indian street snacks popularly craved for their sweet-spicy-tangy flavors. Roasted beets pair very well with Indian chutneys and this is one junk food your body will love too.

I always appreciated beets more for their color than their taste. After I was introduced to roasting them, there was no looking back. I regularly make roasted beet dip and beet salad but wanted to try something new. This Roasted Beet Chaat is the perfect way to start my New Years on a healthy note.

I made them two ways, one like a regular bhel with rice crisps, sweet tamarind and spicy mint chutney and the other like a chaat with yogurt, chaat masala, dried mint and cilantro leaves. Both ways it tastes awesome. You can add/substitute ingredients to change flavors.



Roasted Beet Bhel:
Handful of roasted rice crisps /murmura1 roasted red beet, de-skinned and chopped into chunks1 tablespoon yogurt1 tablespoon sweet t…