Monday, March 27, 2017

Lotus Root Curry - Kamalkakdi Ki Sabzi

I have never made lotus root curry or ‘Kamalkakdi ki sabzi’ until that day. I was going through the vegetable aisle of our grocery stores here and came across these fresh lotus roots. I got intrigued and purchased it, thinking that I will make a semi-dry curry out of it. Now here in Malaysia, lotus root is extensively eaten in soups and noodles stir /fry preparations. In UP, India, it is known most commonly as ‘Kamalkakdi’ and Kamalkakdi ki sabzi is a staple food in cold winter months. You can even make a simple stir/fry preparation with cumin seeds and dried red chilly. Lotus roots are great source of dietary fibres, they are bit crunchy and has a delicate flavour. It is also known as ‘Renkon’ in Japan and ‘Lian Ou’ in Chinese. ‘Renkon’ Chips are very popular snack in Japan. Young Rhizomes are added to salad but more mature rhizomes needs proper cooking. Lotus root should be cleaned thoroughly of mud in water.

Here is how we made Kamalkakdi ki sabzi/or Lotus root curry.

Lotus Root curry (Kamalkakdi ki sabzi)

Recipe requirements
  • 1-2 whole lotus roots – approx. 400gm
  •  2 medium size potatoes
  • 5 fat cloves of garlic
  •  2 medium size onion
  • ½ inch ginger root
  • 1 large size tomato

For tempering and seasonings
  • 1 tsp of turmeric powder
  •  2 tsp of red pepper powder
  •  1 and half tsp of coriander powder
  • ½ tsp of cumin powder
  •  1 tsp of salt or as per taste
  • ¼ tsp of sugar
  • 3-4 dry red chillies
  • 1 tsp of cumin seeds
  • 5-6 tbs of mustard oil
  • 1 tsp of ghee
  • 1 tsp of garam masala

  • Clean lotus roots properly in water. Peel the outer skin and slice them in rounds of about ¼ inch thick pieces. Leave them for a while in water and then clean it thoroughly with water again.
  • Put a big pot with ample water to boil. Add salt and the lotus root slices and cook them for about 15-20 mints. Or alternately you can pressure cook them for two whistles.
  • Heat up a fry pan, add 4 tbs of mustard oil, and add in cumin seeds, dry red chillies.
  • Now add in finely chopped onion, ginger, tomato and chopped garlic into it.
  • Keep on stir/fry for about 7-8 mints at medium high flame.
  • Now add in turmeric powder, red pepper powder, coriander powder, cumin powder and salt. Add in sugar as well. Sprinkle little bit of water and keep on stir/fry.
  • Take this fried masala out and pulse through a grinder to get a smooth ‘masala paste’.
  • Add in about 2 tbs of mustard oil in a fry pan.
  • Add in potatoes pieces preferably c ubed. Fry the potato pieces evenly. Take them out.
  • Now add in the above prepared ‘masala paste’
  • Add in chopped/sliced lotus root  and fried potato pieces now. Mix lotus root pieces very well with spices.
  • Add in 2 cups of water. Cover and cook for 15-20 mints at med-low flame or till the lotus root pieces are cooked well.
  • Add in ghee and garam masala at the end. Give a final mix.
  • Take out and serve in a bowl with rotis or rice whatever way you prefer eating.

Happy Cooking Friends and you all have great week ahead.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Mint Alfalfa sprouts Cherry tomato and Roasted Chicken Salad

A healthy snack can be a salad as well. This mint, alfalfa sprouts and roasted chicken salad fits in to this category perfectly. If you have some-left over chicken you can use up in this salad as well. Alfalfa sprouts are considered rich in minerals and have multiple health benefits. Mint leaves gives a nice aromatic flavour to this salad. This salad can be paired up with Mexican Burritos as sides or you can make them as main dish as well, just increase roasted chicken pieces to add lean proteins in to this salad.

Here is how you can assemble the salad

Mint Alfalfa sprouts Cherry tomato and Roasted Chicken salad
Serves- 2-3
Recipe requirements
  • 5-6 mint twigs
  • About half cup of alfalfa sprouts
  • About quarter cup of garlic sprouts
  • 1 cup of cherry tomato or 12-15 cherry tomatoes cut into half
  • 1 cup of roasted chicken small bite-size pieces

  • Take out fresh leaves from mint twigs. Clean mint leaves, alfalfa and garlic sprouts well in water.
  • Chop mint leaves finely. Chop roasted chicken in to bite size pieces (I have used chicken breast portions from  this  roasted chicken recipe).
  • In a big mixing bowl, add in mint leaves, alfalfa and garlic sprouts.
  • Add in cherry tomatoes cut in to half to the above.
  • Add in roasted chicken and mix well all.
  • Adjust seasoning with salt.
  • Add in 1 tsp of olive oil and toss well.
  • Serve and enjoy with some burritos or quesadillas as sides.

Happy Cooking Friends 

Monday, March 13, 2017

Easy Blueberry Cheesecake Recipe

We have been craving for some cheesecake for a long while now, so thought of assembling this blueberry cheesecake. Last time when I went for grocery shopping, saw these fresh blueberry and I couldn’t stop myself from buying these little cute blue gems. This recipe is no-bake cheesecake recipe. Although I happened to bake the crust/base only just to firm up a bit, so technically it’s a no-bake cheesecake recipe. I had chocolate biscuits, which I end up using for the base. Another great substitute can be Oreo biscuits as base and who doesn’t like Oreos. Traditional cheesecake is made with any salty biscuit or crackers. There are many variations, you can even use strawberry in place of blueberry with this same recipe to make Strawberry Cheesecake.

Now to the recipe

Easy Blueberry Cheesecake
Recipe requirements
For the crust
2 and half cups of chocolate biscuits crumbs/ Graham Crackers crumbs
4-5 tbs of butter
For the filling
400 Gms of cream cheese
200 ml of whipping cream
3 tsp of agar-agar powder
100 Gms of blueberry
5-6 tbs of caster sugar
For the top glaze
2 tsp of agar – agar powder
5-6  heaped tbs of sugar
1 cup of blueberry

For the crust/base

  • Make crumbs of chocolate biscuits either running through in grinder or pressing with rolling pin. In a big mixing bowl, add these crumbs and butter and mix well.
  • Now take 9 inch round baking pan or any other vessel you will be using to make/set cheesecake.
  • Rub about a tsp of butter evenly on baking pan and add all the biscuit crumbs, pressing gently to even out the surface. TIP- you can use Oreo biscuit crumbs as well for a delicious base.
  • Put in to bake for 5 mints at 175 Deg C. Take out and let it cool a bit.

For the cheesecake frosting

  • Now in a separate and clean mixing bowl, add in cream cheese, whipping cream reserving about 50 ml of cream. In a separate cup take this 50 ml cream and add in agar-agar powder. Microwave it for about 30 sec. We require lukewarm cream, just enough to dissolve the agar –agar powder. Let it come to room temperature and cool a bit.
  • Keep on folding cream cheese and whipping cream. You can use mixer as well. Now add in blueberry if you like chunks in the top frosting of cheesecake, otherwise you may skip. Add in the agar-agar and cream mixture and slowly mix in all. TIP- you can use Greek style thick yogurt in place of cream cheese to make it lighter, the taste will be little different, but will be less in calories.

For the top blueberry glaze

  • Meanwhile make the blueberry top glaze. Put a melting pot on cooking and add in blueberries and sugar and let it cook for about 7-10 mints. Crush blueberries with spatula and add in agar-agar powder. Cook further 2-3 mints and take out. Let it come to room temperature.
  • After the base is cooled, add the cream cheese +whipped cream mixture over the baked crust. Even out the surface with a clean knife.
  • Now add the blueberry top glaze, even out the surface and let it set and cool a bit.
  • Leave the blueberry cheese cake to cool and set in fridge for about 7-8 hrs or overnight.
  • Take out and cut slices and enjoy delicious blueberry cheesecake.

Wish you all a very Happy Holi. हैप्पी  होली !
May festival of colours bring you loads of happiness and enjoyment in your life.