ironamma

A new wave of vegetarian cooking!

Archive for the category “Holidays”

Lime Tart Delight

Festivities have started! Time to polish those sweet making skills……..Bring out the pans, the whipping cream, and let’s have a party! One of my dearest friend put together an awesome potluck Diwali Party. My contribution was a lime tart and it was wonderfully greeted with hungry smiles!

INGREDIENTS:

Crust:

  • 1 1/2 cups graham crackers crumbs (food process)
  • 5 1/2 tbsp butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup ground almonds

Filling:

  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk (14 oz)
  • 1/2 cup lime juice (use Florida key limes for their tartness and aroma rather than the Persian ones that are readily available)
  • 1 tbsp grated lime zest

Topping:

  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 tsp grated lime zest
  • Fresh berries – blackberries and raspberries; lime wedges

PREPARATION:

  • Food process graham crackers, butter, ground almonds and sugar. Pulsate to mix.
  • Press onto the bottom and sides of a greased 9″ tart pan.
  • Bake at 325* for ~ 15 min or until the edges are lightly browned.
  • In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks, milk, lime juice and zest. Acidic reaction between the lime juice and condensed milk will cause it to thicken.
  • Pour over crust. Continue to bake for 12 – 14 min.
  • Cool on wire rack until warm enough to handle to transfer to a serving plate. Tart crust should be warm to remove from the tart pan intact.
  • Refrigerate for at least 2 hrs
  • In large bowl, beat cream until it begins to thicken
  • Add sugar; beat until stiff peaks form
  • Fold in sour cream and grated lime peel
  • Spread whipped mixture over tart
  • Then garnish with the berries and lime wedges

*Note:

  • Yield: 12 servings
  • Nutrition facts: 1 slice = 288 calories
  • Try; fold in 2 tbsp coconut powder for the topping spread
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Stacked Apple Ring Pancakes

Lightly dusted with sugar and cinnamon powder makes these apple ring pancakes scrumptiously mouthwatering! You don’t have to drench them in syrup to make them tasty. Take this healthy snack to the ballpark and see your team win! Go Giants!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 large apples 1/4″ slices – remove core with a cookie cutter (I used large Fuji apples that are very sweet)
  • 2 cups Bisquick pancake mix
  • 2 tbsp oil (I used grape seed oil)
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar or agave
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 1 1/3 cups whole or 2% milk
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp rose water
  • 1 egg (optional – I did not use)
  • 1 tbsp powder sugar for dusting
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon for dusting
  • Extra oil or butter
  • Extra Bisquick for dredging

PREPARATION:

  • Whisk together Bisquick, oil, sugar, salt, milk, vanilla extract and rose water in a large bowl.
  • Heat and grease griddle with oil on medium.
  • Sear apple rings on both sides for few mins. Make sure it retains its crispness.
  • Dredge the apple rings in Bisquick flour.
  • Then dip in the pancake batter and cook on the greased griddle on medium low.
  • Spray or sprinkle oil on the top side before flipping to cook.
  • Stack the cooked rings and dust it with sugar and cinnamon powder.

*Note:

  • Use this recipe to make fritters. Follow all the steps except searing the apple rings.
  • Deep fry them in canola oil on medium.
  • They taste like doughnuts with more of apple taste inside.
  • Use the egg in the batter.
  • Try pineapple, Asian pear or other fruits.

Ironclad Review #2! Krusteaz Pumpkin Spice quick bread!

In the spirit of October my daughter and I decided to rendezvous at a good friends place. As we walked in Ashwini Srivatsan had a plan up her sleeve. She had been in the kitchen planning to bake something delicious. 30 minutes after catching up we got a whiff of delicious pumpkin spice aroma from her kitchen. In another 30 minutes she pulled it out of her oven and settled it to cool. As soon as it was cool she cut it and it was a race to get a slice as we all hoarded the kitchen.

The Ironclad Review for the Krusteaz Pumpkin Spice quick bread is an even bigger 4 knives out of 4. You can use the batter as bread, cookies, or even pancakes. What’s wonderful is that the batter is not too sweet, and the spices are even keeled throughout. It cooks fast and slides right off the pan for a clean finish. This will be a great addition for a Halloween get together. Spread the aroma of Pumpkin Spice in seconds and enjoy!!

Kheer Medley / Pudding

Indulge! Bal Gopal’s Favorite!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 gallon (3.8 L) milk – 2% or whole milk (I used 2%)
  • 1 cup jasmine rice or Basmati – microwave uncovered in 2 cups of water for ~15 min
  • 1 1/2 cup makhana (also known as foxnut) – mix with 1 tsp ghee or butter and spread out on a plate to toast in the microwave for ~40 sec (then break into half)
  • 1 1/2 cup paneer – crumble like large curds of cottage cheese or make fresh by bringing 1/2 gallon whole milk to a boil, then pour vinegar little at a time until the milk curdles. Wash the large curds with water few times to remove sourness and drain in the cheese cloth.
  • 1/2 cup wheat vermicelli – mix with 1 tsp of ghee or butter and toast in microwave for 1 1/2 min (check every 30 sec)
  • 1/2 cup yellow raisins and few munakka (big raisins – wash and remove seeds)
  • 1/4 cup almond – soak and remove skin (cut in half or slivered)
  • 1/2 cup pistachio and cashew – round cut
  • 1/4 cup shaved coconut – toast in microwave 1 1/2 min (check every 30 sec)
  • 2 tbsp chironji (seeds of Buchanania lanzan plant) – wash
  • 1 big piece of ginger – smash just enough to keep it intact
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 tsp cardamon (grind the seeds and saffron in the mortar)
  • 1/4 tsp saffron
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg (optional)
  • 1 tsp rose water
  • 1/2 tsp kewara
  • 1 1/2 to 1 2/3 cup sugar – or add sweeteners of your choice (better options available in the market)
  • 1 can evaporated milk (optional)

PREPARATION:

  • In a sauce pan heat 1 tbsp butter and lightly toast almonds, pistachios, cashews, chironji and raisins – then add the cardamon/saffron until the smell comes through. Keep it aside.
  • Bring milk to a boil on medium heat by stirring constantly so it does not burn. Can also microwave in a big glass bowl for ~20 min or more.
  • Add ginger – stir for 10 min.
  • Then add cooked rice, makhana, paneer – stir for 15 min.
  • Add evaporated milk,vermicelli, sugar and toasted mixture for another 15 min.
  • Remove ginger piece.
  • Reduction by 1/4 is sufficient as it thickens when it cools.
  • Last add coconut, rose water and kewara.
  • If the pudding thickens just add little milk.

Garnish:

Garnish with powdered pistachio and verk (thin silver leaf) or top it of with your favorite berries and fruits or favorite sweets – gulab jamun, burfi, laddu, chumchum, halwa, cake, pie, muffin, etc. I have tried the kheer with chocolate cake and loved it.

Notes:

  • Can also add tapioca pearls if desired.
  • Rice (coarsely broken) – soak and cook directly in milk, but need to stir constantly to avoid burning the milk. Otherwise, microwave for intervals of 15 min and stir each time.
  • I prefer using milk than evaporated milk so that the flavors of all ingredients come through in the pudding.

Gujiya (Kadubu) – Puffed Fried Sweet Pastry

Festive season is upon us. Time to make sweets and bake. Gujiya is a puffed fried pastry stuffed with different fillings and usually made during festivals of Ganesh Chaturthi, Holi and Diwali. This is a traditional recipe that I remember making with my mother as a child.

INGREDIENTS:

Dough:

  • The dough is made similar to a pie crust but using less butter/ghee/oil. Buttering or oiling the flour is called moin in Hindi.
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour (maida) Or 3 1/2 cup maida to 1/2 cup fine cream of wheat (suji) – sieve the flour
  • ~ 8 tbsp ghee (clarified butter) or soft butter or vegetable oil (1 cup flour to ~ 2 to 2 1/4 tbsp moin)
  • ~ 1/2 cup cold water – use enough that will require to make firm dough so that when frying it does not form bubbles on the shell (usually in baking I will fork the crust or shell gently)
  • 1/8 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tsp sugar (optional)
  • – Vegetable oil for frying
  • – Glue/binder – mix 1 tbsp all-purpose flour and 1tbsp water

PREPARATION:

Dough:

  • Sieve and mix flour with ghee, salt and sugar nicely by rubbing between the hands, then add cold water little at a time to make a firm dough. Cover the dough with a damp cloth and keep aside. When the filling is ready, knead the dough once more.

INGREDIENTS:

Filling:

  • ~ 2 1/2 cups Khoa/Mawa (concentrated milk solids)  – available at the Indian stores
  • 1/4 cup cream of wheat (suji) or besan (garbanzo flour) – optional
  • 2 tsp ghee
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • ~ 4 tbsp broken cashews – or slice round
  • ~ 2 tbsp broken pistachio – or slice round
  • 1 tbsp melon seeds – usually cantaloupe or honey dew melon
  • 1 tbsp charoli/chirongi nuts
  • ~ 4 tbsp golden raisins
  • ~ 1/4 cup grated coconut – unsweetened desiccated or fresh grated
  • 1 1/2 tsp cardamom seeds – grind it in the mortar
  • Pinch of clove powder (long)
  • 2 tsp rose water
  • 1/4 tsp saffron (make powder by rubbing between the palms of your hands) – optional

PREPARATION:

Filling:

  • Heat ghee in a pan on medium low and add cream of wheat for a min. Then add nuts, seeds, raisins, cardamom, coconut and khoa. Stir for few minutes until khoa mixture turns light golden. Turn off heat and mix in the sugar and rose water. Don’t have to over cook the khoa mix as it will cook during frying.

GUJIYA PREPARATION:

  • Divide the dough into 4 parts and make a log one at a time. Keep the rest of the dough covered with the damp cloth. Cut the log into ~ 1″ pieces to make balls. Press and roll each about ~ 4″ in diameter circle (puri size and thickness should be thin). Brush half edge of the circle with glue and place about ~ 1 1/2 tbsp of filling on that side. Cover the filling by the other half and press the edges firmly. While rolling don’t flour the surface, roll and lift in a circular fashion and repeat the process until 4″ circle. Use little oil to help roll.

Edges:

  • Make a decorative edge by pinching and folding all the way and press lightly just above the edge so that the gujiya doesn’t open when frying. Or cut the edges with a cookie cutter or fork it depending on time and desired aesthetic.
  • Using a mold may be easier for some.

Frying:

  • Heat canola oil on medium. Test it by putting a small piece of dough and when it sizzles to the top, the oil is ready for frying. When gujiyas sizzle and float to the top, turn them over and repeat a few times until golden brown for about 10 min. Slow fry so that it cooks inside and out.
  • Place the gujiyas on a plate with a paper towel to absorb the extra oil. Cool before serving, but some do like it hot.  Handle the gujiyas with care as they are very delicate.

Garnish:

  • Glaze in quick dip in warm sugar syrup or brush it on one side to garnish with powdered pistachio. Put the glazed gujiyas on the rack.
  • Sprinkle with powered sugar.
  • Cover with verk (silver leaf)

*Note

  • Sugar syrup – 1 cup sugar + 1/2 cup water – Bring it to boil (230*) on medium high heat to get one thread strand.
  • There are so many different variation of  fillings from sweet to salty –  fruits, nuts, chocolate, cheese, etc. This is a traditional recipe made during  festivals.
  • Don’t overwork the dough as it tends to spring back at the time of rolling.
  • Homemade Khoa – 1 cup milk powder + 1/2 cup whipping cream + 2 tbsp ricotta cheese – Stir and cook cream, milk powder and ricotta on medium heat in a pan until moisture evaporates and sightly golden. Also when the aroma comes through and the mixture is soft and runny indicates that it is ready. Don’t make it crumbly!

Pumpkin, Pumpkin and more Pumpkin (Pasta)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 10 0z/~250 g Gemelli spiral pasta (100% organic durum wheat semolina) – cook pasta in boiling water for about 11 min with 1/4 tsp salt, drain, but keep 1/4 cup of the liquid
  • 2 cups Brussel sprouts – cut in halves and microwave covered for 4 min in 2 tbsp water
  • 6 cups pumpkin scrap threads (looks like spaghetti) – microwave uncovered to reduce for 3 min
  • 5 garlic cloves – slice
  • 2 jalapeno – thin julienne cut
  • 4 tbsp fresh fenugreek leaves (methi) – finely chop
  • 2 tsp pasta seasoning blend (available at Traders Joe’s)
  • 3/4 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tsp red chile flakes or to taste
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes – cut in halves (optional – if tartness desired)
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 tbsp Parmigiano Reggiano cheese – grate or shave

PREPARATION:

  • Heat oil in pan on medium heat. Add garlic, jalapeno, fenugreek, red chile flakes and saute for 2 min.
  • Add Brussels sprouts and sear, then add pumpkin for few minutes.
  • Add pasta, salt, pasta seasoning and stir for few min – then add little of the pasta liquid.
  • Turn off heat and add cherry tomatoes.

Garnish:

  • Top it with Parmigiano Reggiano cheese.

*Note:

  • Vegan – Don’t add the cheese.

Halloween Pumpkin Pudding with Spooky Blackberries

Happy Halloween!

Don’t be a scaredy cat this holiday and settle for mere  mortal treats.  Tonight IronAmma dares you to find a new way to dine on the guts of pumpkins and raven eye blackberries!  BUT! Be wary the ghosts of boring pumpkin pies!  For this Hallow’s Eve your dessert beckons for new blood and tricks.  BOO!!!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese

  • 1 1/2 cup milk (can use cream or evaporated milk depending on how rich desired  – I used milk)
  • 2 cups cooked pumpkin scraps* (Preparation:*Scrape the inside of a pumpkin that has a fibrous texture to get pumpkin scraps. Then place 3 cups of the pumpkin scraps into the microwave covered with 4 tbsp butter and 4 tbsp honey for 4 min)
  • 2 cup caramelized pumpkin scraps* (Preparation:*Scrape the inside of a pumpkin to get 3 cups pumpkin scraps and then place in the microwave covered with 1/2 cup brown sugar for 4 min)
  • 1/2 cup frozen mixed berries
  • ~ 4  big slices of rustic sour dough bread, any baguette or 6 pieces of raisin bread

  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice (optional)
  • 1 /4 cup real maple syrup (use 1/3 cup for more sweet)

PREPARATION:

  • Whisk the eggs in a bowl.
  • Blend 2 cups cooked pumpkin+milk+maple syrup on medium speed and last pulse in the ricotta.
  • Mix pumpkin blend+spices with eggs.
  • Pour the mixture in the buttered or canola sprayed 3 quart casserole dish.
  • Break the bread into big pieces, place and soak them in the casserole dish.

  • Top it with the berries and caramelized pumpkin.
  • Cover with saran wrap and refrigerate for ~ 15 min to soak.
  • Preheat oven to 350*. Bake for 40 min. Insert a knife and when it comes out clean, the pudding is ready.
  • Cool and top with whipping cream.

*Note:

  • EGGLESS (Eegan) – Add ~3 tbsp of corn starch or use fruit pectin (Kraft brand). There are many egg replacers (egg substitutes) in the market that can be found in the aisle of allergen free products and mixes. Also, online!

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