Monday, 23 April 2018

Dry Fruits Yogurt Bites

Yogurt is a healthy choice regardless of whether you choose Greek yogurt or regular yogurt. Greek yogurt has surged in popularity in recent years and with some good reasons. What differentiates Greek yogurt from the regular yogurt is that Greek yogurt has been strained to remove the whey. As a result, Greek yogurt has a creamier, thicker texture and rich flavor. In addition, the removal of whey results in a healthier yogurt with less sugar, less sodium and more than twice the amount of protein than the regular yogurt. So Greek yogurt is high in protein, vitamin B12, yet low in sugar and lactose. This also promote a healthy digestive system.






Well the 141th theme for Foodie Monday Blog Hop is decided as 'Yogurt dishes'. So I have prepared some easy peasy bite sized dessert using Greek yogurt as my contribution for the theme, Dry Fruits Yogurt Bites. Some other yogurt based dishes which are already posted in my blog as :



This dry fruit yogurt bites are so simple and easy to make. Even kids also can be involved to prepare this. No cooking is needed to make these bites. Just mix yogurt, honey and chopped dry fruits, pour in ice cube trays and freeze until frozen well. Since Greek yogurt is used, hence this is a healthy dessert. Hot sunny days are here, so this is a perfect option to grab without any cooking, just pop out from ice cube trays and gulp 😉. The dry fruits used can be varied depending upon choice, even any chopped fruits can be opted as well. So do try these dry fruit yogurt bites and give your valuable feedback either in the comment box below or tag me as #firsttimercook on Instagram. Lets go in details. 




Preparation Time : 10 mins  |  Cooking Time : 0 mins  |  Freezing Time : 2-3 hrs


Ingredients :        

Ingredients
Measurements
Greek yogurt
1 cup
Honey
As per taste
Dry fruits (chopped)
(cashew, pistachio, almond, walnut)
½ cup

Method :
  1. In a large mixing bowl, take yogurt and honey.
  2. Mix using a hand whisk / spoon till everything well incorporated.
  3. Then add chopped dry fruits and again give a quick mix.
  4. Pour into ice cube trays and keep in freezer for 2-3 hours or until frozen.
  5. Pop out from ice trays and serve immediately !



Notes :

  • Choose dry fruits as per choice.

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Dry Chilli Jackfruit

Jackfruit is an exotic fruit grown in tropical regions of the world. Jackfruit has a spiky outer skin and is green (unripe) or yellow (ripe) in color. One unique aspect of jackfruit is its unusually large size and also this is the largest tree fruit in the world. This makes an excellent meat alternative in vegetarian and vegan recipes due to its texture, which is comparable to shredded meat. Particular season of jackfruit is during the summer. The consumed part of jackfruit is the flesh and the seed which are edible both when ripe and unripe. It can be used for sweet as well as savory dishes. Also jackfruits are high in nutrients and antioxidants and have a number of health benefits including improved blood sugar control, reduced the risk of heart disease, reduced the risk of viral infections etc.





Among all the varieties of dishes prepared using jackfruits, today I have come up with an Indo-Chinese version of Jackfruits as Dry Chilli Jackfruits. This is almost similar to any Indo-Chinese chilli recipe, prepared with raw jackfruit pieces. I have prepared this chilli variation as a dry one without any gravy. The key ingredient here is the shallow fried jackfruit pieces. These can be deep fried too 😉 But before shallow frying, first the raw jackfruit pieces are cooked a bit till soft, coated with a batter which is neither thin nor thick consistency and then shallow fried. 




Then the fried jackfruits are tossed in a sauce consisting of finely chopped ginger, finely chopped garlic, soy sauce, tomato sauce, chili sauce, sugar, onion and capsicum cubes. The whole dish overall gives a sweet and spicy flavor. This dry chilli jackfruit can be served as a starter or appetizer. Also this tastes ideal when served along with fried rice or noodles or plain roti too. So do try this dry chilli jackfruits and give your valuable feedback either in the comment box below or tag me as #firsttimercook on Instagram. Lets go in details.


Preparation Time : 15 mins  |  Cooking Time : 25 mins


Ingredients :        

Ingredients
Measurements
Jack fruit (chopped and deseed)
2 cup
Maida (all purpose flour)
4 tbsp
Corn flour
2 tbsp
Ginger garlic paste
¼ tsp
Onion (1 inch cube)
½ cup
Capsicum (1 inch cube)
¼ cup
Green chili
2 no
Garlic (finely chopped)
1 tsp
Ginger (finely chopped)
½ tsp
Spring onion (chopped)
2 tbsp
Red chili powder
¼ tsp
Black pepper powder
¼ tsp
Tomato sauce
2 tbsp
Chili sauce
1 tsp
Soy sauce
1 tbsp
Sugar
¼ tsp
Oil
As needed
Salt
As needed
Water
As needed

Method :
  1. First in a deep non-stick pan, heat enough water. 
  2. Add the chopped jack fruit, salt and cook over medium heat for 12-15 minutes or till jack fruit pieces turn a bit soft. Do not over cook, the pieces should cook till soft.
  3. Drain the water using a strainer and transfer the jack fruits into a plate. Keep aside.
  4. In a mixing bowl take maida, corn flour, ginger-garlic paste, red chili powder and salt.
  5. Add water and make a smooth lump free batter which will be neither thick nor thin consistency.
  6. Add jackfruit pieces and mix gently so that these are coated well with the batter. Keep aside for 5-10 minutes.
  7. Now in a pan heat oil and shallow fry these coated jackfruit pieces tossing in between.
  8. Fry till the jackfruits turn golden and crisp. 
  9. Transfer to a plate and keep aside.
  10. Now into the same pan, add oil and turn on heat.
  11. Add the finely chopped garlic and saute for a few seconds.
  12. Add the finely chopped ginger and saute on high for a few more seconds.
  13. Next add onion cubes, capsicum cubes and stir fry for 2-3 minutes over high heat.
  14. Then add shallow fried jackfruit pieces and mix everything well.
  15. Now add tomato sauce, chili sauce, soy sauce, pepper powder, sugar and salt.
  16. Saute over high heat till everything incorporated well.
  17. Sprinkle some chopped spring onions and give a quick mix.
  18. Turn off heat and serve hot along with roti or fried rice or noodles !




Notes :

  • Do not over cook the raw jackfruit pieces, the pieces should cook till soft.


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Monday, 16 April 2018

Cold Brew Coffee with Cardamom flavor


Coffee is one of the most consumed beverages in the world. Really there can't be any adult in this whole world that has never tried coffee 😉. Well, moderate amount of drinking coffee is safe and 2-3 cups a day may have some health benefits according to some research. Though fruits and vegetables have tons of antioxidants, still the human body absorbs the highest antioxidants from coffee. Coffee has also been shown to reduce the risk of many diseases including type 2 diabetes, liver disease, colorectal cancer, Alzheimer's and skin cancer too.





Hmm, this time the Foodie Monday Blog Hop team has come up with 140th theme as 'Coffee'. So keeping that in mind, I have prepared a no-cook beverage using coffee which is completely vegan as Cold Brew Coffee with Cardamom flavor. I always love the combined flavor of cardamom / cinnamon with coffee. This time I have opted to the cardamom one.



Many may get confused between iced coffee and cold brew coffee. Well, in iced coffee the coffee is brewed hot, poured over ice and served cold. Where as in cold brew coffee, the coffee is steeped in refrigerator or room temperature water for an extended period of time (at least 12 hours or more), filtered out and results in a coffee concentrate which is then poured over ice cubes or mixed with water / milk and served. In cold brew coffee, since the coffee is never heated up so the acids and oils (that make any hot coffee a bitter taste) are never released which finally results in a smoother taste.





The whole process is so simple, easy to make and yields a much refreshing beverage. Grind the coffee and cardamom coarsely, combine with water, allow to steep for at least 12 hours or more, strain and pour over some coffee ice cubes. So the only time consuming part is the steeping time. At least 12 hours or more is required to infuse the coffee and cardamom flavor into the cold water. So finally a strong, concentrated brew is created. This brew can also be refrigerated in an airtight jar for 1 week. If you are a coffee lover, then definitely you'll love this cardamom flavored cold brew coffee as compared to any iced coffee. So do try this cold brew coffee with cardamom flavor and give your valuable feedback either in the comment box below or tag me as #firsttimercook on Instagram. Lets go in details.




Preparation Time : 5 mins  |  Steeping Time : 12 hrs  |  Cooking Time : 0 mins


Ingredients :        

Ingredients
Measurements
Coffee bean
½ cup
Cardamom pod
1-2 no
Water
2 cup
Coffee ice cube
few

Method :
  1. Take coffee beans and cardamom seeds in a blender jar and make coarse powder.
  2. In a large bowl, put the coarse coffee powder and water.
  3. Using a spoon, stir well.
  4. Cover the bowl with a lid and keep in refrigerator for at least 12 hours or more depending upon the desired strength of the brew.
  5. Then take another large bowl and place a plain strainer over it.
  6. Now put a cheesecloth over the strainer and strain the coffee.
  7. Finally take the serving glass.
  8. Put some coffee ice cubes into the glass and then pour the strained coffee.
  9. Serve and enjoy !




Notes :

  • Coffee ice cubes can be prepared as : Pour some coffee brew into ice cube tray and freeze until solid.
  • If coffee filter is available with you then there is no need of plain strainer and cheesecloth. Directly filter the coffee using the coffee filter.
  • Sugar can be added depending upon the natural sweetness of the coffee. I always like my cold brew coffee without adding sugar.
  • Along with coffee ice cubes, some plain water also can be added to get a little diluted cold brew coffee.
  • The strained coffee can be refrigerated in an airtight jar up to 1 week.

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Friday, 13 April 2018

Amba Nimba Jhola | Mango Neem Bud Curry

Finally the summer is in full swing !! With the high mercury level, the scorching sun has the potential to drain us out completely. By ignoring this, many feel dehydrated during these months and experienced low energy level. So, it is important that we should take extra care during this hot season. From eating right to following certain lifestyle changes, we can beat the hazardous impacts of summer. Apart from drinking lots of water, a special summer diet consisting of light and healthy food would ensure a cool mind as well as a cool body. So there must be a big NO to all oily and junk foods which are not at-all digested easily during these hot days.





In Odisha, the summer season is also bit hectic one. People are used to have Pakhala, a watered rice with curd / some tempering over it during summers. This fermented rice is the perfect dish to beat the heat and give a refreshment to the whole body. Since summer gets started from around mid of the month March, so 20th March is celebrated as Pakhala Dibasa (Universal Pakhala Day) by all Odias to welcome summer season with Odisha’s traditional food. Also some people prefer to have kanji which may be torani kanji or dahi kanji or sukhua kanji etc. This kanji is also a good body coolant during these days. 



    Well, here I have come up with a sour dish using neem buds and raw mango which is known as Nimba Amba Jhola. During starting time of summer months, mango trees are loaded with so cute cute mangoes which are neither too big nor small. Also the seed of these mangoes are bit tender. And this type of mangoes are mainly used in this dish. Along with neem buds and mango, I have also added some colocasia (arbi), potato. Some fried badis (sun-dried lentil (black gram) dumplings) are also added at the end to give a crunch in the dish. This sour dish and a bowl of steamed rice is a pure bliss for me during hot sunny days !!! The whole process is so simple and easy to make. So do try this Amba Nimba Jhola or Mango Neem Bud Curry and give your valuable feedback either in the comment box below or tag me as #firsttimercook on Instagram. Lets go in details method of preparation of this sour dish.


    Preparation Time : 15 mins  |  Cooking Time : 15 mins 


    Ingredients :        

    Ingredients
    Measurements
    Neem bud (fresh / dried)
    2-3 tbsp
    Mango (raw) (medium)
    2 no
    Potato
    1 no
    Colocasia (medium)
    2 no
    Badi
    5-6 no
    Red chili
    2 no
    Cumin seed
    ¼ tsp
    Mustard seed
    ¼ tsp
    Turmeric powder
    ¼ tsp
    Coriander powder
    ½ tsp
    Mustard oil
    2 tbsp
    Salt
    As needed
    Water
    As needed



    Method :
    1. First take all the neem buds / nimba kadhi in another bowl and pour some water.
    2. Thoroughly wash and clean the buds. 
    3. Finally strain the buds using a strainer and keep aside.
    4. Now heat 1 tbsp mustard oil in a pan, then add washed and clean neem buds.
    5. Fry over medium heat till crispy texture.
    6. Take out of the pan and keep aside in a plate.
    7. Wash and peel colocasia (arbi), potato and cut each into 4 pieces lengthwise. (I have not peeled the potatoes)
    8. Put all the chopped potato, colocasia in the pressure cooker along with some water and cook for 1 whistle.
    9. Next wash and peel raw mango and cut into 4 pieces lengthwise. Discard the seeds and keep aside in a bowl.
    10. Heat rest mustard oil in a pan.
    11. Shallow fry the badis till golden brown in color. 
    12. Transfer to a bowl and keep aside.
    13. To the same pan, add cumin seed, mustard seed, red chili and allow to splutter.
    14. Next add chopped raw mangoes and saute well.
    15. Sprinkle turmeric powder, coriander powder, salt and give a mix.
    16. Add 2 tbsp water, mix well and cover for 3-4 minutes over low-medium heat.
    17. Then add boiled potato, colocasia pieces and 1 cup water. Give a stir.
    18. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes more.
    19. Finally add fried badi and turn off heat.
    20. Serve hot this nimba amba jhola with steamed rice !




    Notes :

    • If neem buds are dried ones, then proceed directly from step-4.
    • I was run out of badis, so I have not added these. But do add to get crunchiness in the dish.

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    This 'Amba Nimba Jhola' is contributed for 46 Healthy Wellthy Cuisines where the theme is 'Summer Comfort Food'. Here are more similar recipes shared by our Healthy Wealthy Group members as Dahi aam pohaCurd rice and mango salsa buddhaMalai paneerMambazha pulissery / ripe mango yogurt curry, Dahi wali dry bhindi.

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