Flourless Chocolate Cake

Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem

I texted my brother and said that this was a flourless, butter/oil-less, sugar-free chocolate cake, he texted back and said "If nothing, what's in there? "Yeah, it has very few unusual ingredients. It is a gluten free, sweetened with dates and made with canned chickpeas. It is not like a flour cake. It is more like a cheese cake. Extremely soft, super moist, dense yet light- a guilt-free dessert! Nothing but goodness in it. I have adapted it from www.cookingwithalia.com.



Ingredients:

Chickpeas- 1 can (drained)
Hot water-1 cup
Eggs-2
Salt-a pinch
Baking Powder-1 tsp
Dark Chocolate-8 oz
Dates-8, pitted.



Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 360 deg F.

2. Soak the pitted dates in hot water for 10 minutes.

3. Melt chocolate over a double boiler and set aside.

4. Put all the ingredients into the jar of a good blender., the chickpeas, the melted chocolate, soaked dates along with the water, salt, baking powder, the eggs and blend until you get a smooth mixture.

5. Grease a pan and line it with a parchment paper and pour the mixture in and bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes.

6. Turn off the oven and let the cake sit in the oven for 10 minutes.

7. Take the cake pan out of the oven and place it on the counter top and allow it to cool completely.

8. When cooled, invert the cake onto a serving platter, cut into pieces and enjoy!

Rice Paper Chicken Roll

Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem

While I am still not fully convinced about the benefits of a gluten-free diet, I am enjoying exploring gluten-free recipes. These delicate rolls are made with crispy edible rice paper, always found in the Asian section of any Grocery Store. The paper is dipped in warm water for a brief moment to soften it up and make it pliable. A mixture of sauteed vegetables along with chicken or fish can be used as a filling and the paper is rolled up and the filling is secured inside of the beautiful sheer wrap. Read on and see how I made it.



Ingredients:

Rice Paper- as needed
Warm water-as needed

For the filling

Bell peppers-2 cups, cubed
Chicken-2 cups, cubed
Salt-to taste
Lemon Juice-as needed
Black Pepper powder-to taste
Fresh Cilantro- a few tbs, chopped
Ginger-garlic Paste-1/2 tsp
Oil-as needed

Directions:

1. Heat oil in a pan and saute the bell peppers, sprinkled with salt and pepper on high heat for a few seconds.

2. Transfer the bell papers to a bowl and set aside.

3. Heat some more oil and saute the chicken along with ginger-garlic paste, salt, and pepper powder until done and transfer the chicken to the bowl of bell peppers.

4. Drizzle the lemon juice and add the fresh cilantro to the chicken mixture and toss to combine the ingredients and set aside.

5. Take a wide mouthed bowl with warm water and dip one rice paper for 5 seconds.

6. Once softened, place it on a clean and dry plate.

7. Spoon out a 2 tablespoons full of the veggie mixture onto the center of the paper.

8. Grab one edge of the paper and bring it over the filling.

9. Fold in the two side flaps and roll the entire paper up securely.

10. Garnish with cilantro leaves and serve with a sauce of your choice.

11. Enjoy!



Popped Amaranth Grain

Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem

Amaranth grains are really small and beautiful looking grains, loaded with nutrition. As a child, I have seen amaranth grains being given to our love birds, have eaten  popped amaranth brittle and also eaten amaranth leaves in stir-fries. When I found these tiny grains at our local health food store, I bought them and called my Mom to ask her for the possibilities of cooking them. She gave me a long list and I am gonna share them with you as I keep trying them out.

For now, here is a how-to post on making your own popped amaranth. It takes only few seconds to pop this grain and you could get creative and incorporate this goodness in your daily diet.



Ingredients:

Amaranth Grain-as needed

Directions:

1. Heat a steel pot with tight fitting lid( preferably a glass lid to see the seeds pop) on high heat.

2. Add a table spoon of the grain into the pot and cover it with the lid and shake the pot around until you hear the popping sound.

3. When the popping sound stops, remove the lid and transfer them to a plate.

Notes:

- The grains pop too quickly, so act quickly or you will end up with burnt grains.

-Secure the pot with a lid or you will have a big mess to clean up:)




Instant Rawa Idli (Steamed Semolina Cakes)

Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem

Idlis are steamed savory cakes, mostly made with fermented batter consisting of soaked rice and black lentils. These happen to be a common breakfast item in South Indian households and is enjoyed by people from all over India. It is served with a chutney or sambar, which is a spicy and flavorful lentil soup.

This  recipe for the semolina idlis is a variation of the original recipe for the rice and lentil idlis. They are made with semolina and yogurt and can be made instantly. There is a secret ingredient that cuts out the long fermentation time and creates a bubbly batter in seconds and makes the idlis pillowy-soft. It is an effervescent fruit salt called the Eno salt,  that can be bought from most Indian stores.

Ingredients:

Semolina-2 cups
Yogurt-1 cup(beaten)
Water-1 cup
Salt-to taste
Asafoetida (hing) -1/2 tsp
Eno Salt-2 tsps
Oil-1 tbs
Mustard seeds-1 tsp
Cumin seeds-1 tsp
Chana daal (bengal gram)-1 tsp
Urad Daal(black gram)-1 tsp
Curry leaves -12-15


Directions:

1. Heat oil in a big pan and add the cumin seeds, mustard seeds, and allow them to sizzle and crackle.

2. Add the chana daal and urad daal and stir them around for few seconds until they turn a darker color.

3. Put the curry leaves in and allow them to turn darker.

4. Putt the asafoetida in and immediately put the semolina in and stir and roast it until you smell a nice aroma and it turns a nice light golden color.

5. Turn off the stove and transfer to a plate and allow to cool completely.

6.When the semolina is completely cold, add the yogurt, water and salt and mix well and set aside for five to ten minutes until the batter thickens.

7. Heat water in a big pot and grease the idli mold.

8. Put the eno salt into the batter and mix it one last time to incorporate the salt into the batter.

9. Quickly pour the batter onto the idli molds and and lower it carefully into the pot of boiling water and cover with a lid and allow them to get steamed for ten minutes.

10. Turn off the stove and remove the idli mold from the pot and let it sit outside for a few minutes.

11. Demold the idlis and serve hot with chutney.

12. Enjoy!





Homemade Almond Milk

Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem


Almonds are rich in nutrients including fiber, calcium, magnesium, vitamin E, iron phosphorus and many more and is cholesterol and lactose free. That makes it very beneficial and is very versatile. You could add it to you coffee, tea, oatmeal or just about anything. It is beige in color, has a subtle nutty flavor and is creamy without the cream:)

Making your own almond milk at home is so rewarding. You get to drink the meal without any kind of stabilizers or added ingredients and also use up the almond meal for a number of things. You could add it to smoothies, make desserts, or use it to thicken your gravies.

Ingredients:

Almonds-2 cups (soaked overnight and rinsed)
Water-4 cups

Directions: 

1. Use a good blender and blend together the soaked almonds and water until it reaches a very smooth consistency.

2. Strain the almond mixture using a fine strainer or a cheese cloth.

3. Press the almond meal and get all the almond milk out.

4. Pour it into a clean glass container and refrigerate.

5. Enjoy!



Notes: 

- Almond milk is highly perishable. It must be used up within two to three days

- The almond meal can be dehydrated and used as almond flour

-The longer the almonds are soaked, the creamier the milk will be

-Blend a plump medjool date or two if you wish to sweeten the milk






Breakfast Oatmeal

Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem

With all the benefits oatmeal has to offer, it makes me look for a number of different ways to make them and add a variety to the options I have. I prefer my oatmeal to be on the thicker side, not overly sweet and mild in flavor. I am hooked to this oatmeal for now. What's your favorite way of eating oatmeal?

Ingredients:

Rolled Oats- 1 cup (Soaked in cold water over night and rinsed)
Whole Milk-2 cups
Salt-a pinch
Medjool Dates-2-3 pitted and cut into small pieces
Coconut Oil-1 tbs
Shredded coconut-1 tsp (toasted)


Directions:

1. Bring milk to a boil and add the soaked oats and allow them to cook for two minutes.

2. Reduce the heat and allow them to simmer for a few minutes.

3. Turn off the stove and sprinkle on the salt, add the pieces of dates, give it a mix  and cover with a lid and let it rest for five minutes until the dates soften.

4. Transfer to a serving bowl, pour the coconut oil on top and sprinkle the toasted coconut.

5. Enjoy!





Chocolate Chip Cookies



Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem

Yes! Finally I made the chocolate chip cookies. Cookies that are crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside with one or two melt-in-the mouth chocolate chips in every bite. They looked out-of-the world good and tasted amazing. These cookies are a child's all time favorite snack or dessert and the store bought ones have simply unacceptably long and crazy ingredients. So, here you go....try making your own and you will never buy them from the store again.


 

Ingredients:

All purpose flour-2 1/4 cups
Salt-1 tsp
Baking soda-1/2tsp
Butter-1 cup Softened
Eggs-2 large
Chocolate Chips-2 cups
Cinnamon powder-1 tsp
Turbinado Sugar-1 1/2 cups

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 375 deg F.

 2. Add the salt, cinnamon powder and the baking soda to the flour and mix well to combine and set aside.

3. Put the butter and and sugar into the bowl of a standing mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment and beat on medium speed until the mixture turns fluffy.

4. Add in the eggs and run the mixer until the ingredients get incoporated.

5. Slowly add the flour mixture and run the mixer until just combined.

6. Turn off the mixer and stir in the chocolate chips with a rubber spatula.

7. Line a cookie sheet with a parchment paper.

8. Use an ice-cream scooper to drop the cookie dough onto the lined sheet two inches apart to allow them to spread while baking.

9.  Put the cookie sheet into the oven and bake for 9- 12 minutes or until cookies turn golden brown.

10. Turn off the oven and transfer the cookies to a  cooling rack and allow them to cool completely before you dunk them into a cup of warm milk.

11. Enjoy!





Notes:

1. I have used Ghiradelli semi-sweeet chocolate chips.

2. You may add vanilla flavoring in place of cinnamon powder.

3. If turbinado sugar is hard to find where you live, feel free to use a cup of brown sugar and half a cup of white sugar.

4. If you do not own a standing mixer,  all of the procedure can be done with a wooden spatula in a round big bowl.










Mango-Banana Smoothie



Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem

Yet another mango recipe:) Nothing too complicated with hard-to-find ingredients. Just a creamy, refreshing and cooling smoothie for a lazy afternoon.  All you need is some super-ripe bananas, a ripe mango some milk, some honey to sweeten and a good blender. And you can whip it up in less than a minute.

Ingredients:

Mangoes-2  (peeled, pitted and cubed)
Banana-1( over-riped, peeled)
Honeyor sugar- to taste
Milk-1/2 a cup (chilled)

Directions:

1. Put all the ingredients into your blender and blend until smooth and creamy.

2. Pour into serving cups.

3. Enjoy!



Mango Salsa

Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem

After a spell of long and severe winter, everything about Spring looks beautiful. The sunrises, sunsets, blooms on trees, the brighter sunlight during the day and the sights and songs of birds, bunnies  hopping through the yard and all. This change around me has renewed my  interest in cooking and the variations I could make in the food we eat at home.

I had bought some mangoes (kent) which were rather firm and were a little tart. When left on the counter top for a couple days, they turn super soft and are fiber less. I chopped them up and made a mango salsa. It was super delicious, vibrant in color, fresh in flavors, crunchy in bite, chunky in texture. It could be served in a number of ways. Along with a regular meal, with tacos, with tortilla chips or  on the side with some grilled fish.

Ingredients:

Ripe mango-1 big ( peeled and cut into small cubes)
Tomatoes-2 small (de-seeded and cut into small cubes)
Onion-2 tbs ( diced)
Salt- to taste
Lemon juice-2 tbs
Jalapenos-1 tsp,(chopped)
Cilantro- 2 tbs( chopped)

Directions:

1. Put all the ingredients in a bowl.

2. Toss them together and refrigerate for and hour to allow the flavors to  blend well.

3. Transfer to a serving bowl.

4.Enjoy!

Creamy Chicken Curry (I am back!!!)

Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem.

I am finally back to blogging after a very long and unintended absence. I have missed posting my own recipes as well as reading yours.

My deepest regards to all those readers who have emailed me personally and checked on me.  Thank you all once again from the bottom of my heart.


To break the silence on my blog, I am sharing with you,  a recipe for a Chicken Curry that is a breeze to put together, when you have very little time to cook. It tastes super delicious, is all creamy without the actual cream. Below are the ingredients and the way I cooked it.

Ingredients:

Chicken-1 whole cut up
Salt- to taste
Kashmiri mirch powder-as desired
Turmeric powder-1 tsp
Ginger-garlic paste-2 tsps
Cashews-2 tbs (dry roasted and ground to a fine paste)
Yogurt-1/2 cup (whisked)
Curry leaves- 10-12
Oil-2 tbs
Water- as needed
Coriander powder-1 tbs
Garam masala-1 tsp

Directions:

1. Heat oil in a big pot.

2. Add the pieces of chicken and cook until it changes color and starts to turn brown.

3. In a bowl add the yogurt, cashew paste, salt,  kashmiri pepper powder, turmeric powder, ginger-garlic paste, curry leaves, coriander powder, garam masala and mix them all to gether and make a paste.

4. Pour the yogurt mixture into the pot of chicken and give it a stir and cover the pot with a lid and cook on medium heat and cook for 10 minutes.

5. When you will see oil float on separate itself from the thick gravy, add enough water to get a desired consistency and cook on low heat for a couple more minutes.

6. Turn off the stove and transfer to a serving bowl.

7. Enjoy!