|Location: Sunset Cliffs, San Diego, CA|
Enjoy your weekend!
I'll be back with recipes & more photographs next week.
|Cheetah - enjoying the Sun's warm rays|
|let me go play with my friends!|
|Mr.King Kong deep in thoughts|
|Up, Down, Left, Right!!|
Meerkats - a photographer's dream, they just love the attention. These guys were standing guard, completely in sync with each other, while the others in the group were busy digging.
Muhammara - Roasted Red Pepper & Walnut DipYield - 2 cupsPrep time-20minsCook time - N/AIngredients:
- 3 - Roasted Red bell peppers
- 1/3 cup - Walnuts, gently toasted
- 1 - garlic clove, crushed
- 4-5 chunks of fresh bread
- 1.5 Tbsp pomegranate molasses
- 1 tsp - Tomato paste (optional)
- 1 Tbsp - lemon juice/lemon vinegar
- 1 tsp - Aleppo pepper or Crushed Red pepper flakes
- 1 tsp - Cumin powder (toasted and ground cumin seeds)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Salt and pepper
Bring together all the ingredients except the oil in a food processor or blender jar and process until combined. Gradually stream in olive oil until you get a creamy, smooth consistency. Taste test for balance of flavors adjusting proportions to suit your tastes.Notes: You can use store bought or home made roasted red peppers here. Roasting red peppers is quick and easy on a gas burning stove, if not coat them lightly with oil and broil in the oven for 8-10mins.
- Take great care while roasting the walnuts always using medium low heat and tossing them frequently until you can smell them and they are lightly browned.
- You can also add a few chunks of onions to this dip and increase the amount of garlic. I'm not a fan of either in their raw form and so avoid using much.
- A few more recipes for dips - Cannellini Bean Hummus & Tomatillo Salsa Verde
I added a brand new page for a Glossary of Indian ingredients mentioning English/Telugu/Tamil/Hindi names where possible. Do take a look and share your suggestions! A link to the page is now included in the Tabs right below the header
|last weekend began with me being stuck in a plane, as usual! This time it was due to a sudden afternoon thunderstorm in Denver, CO. But atleast I got to see a few rainbows, there was also a double rainbow after this...|
|and then the whole family transformed into Mizzou Tigers supporters to kick off the college football season.|
|My brother went to school here and the gorgeous campus always leaves me wanting to stay back.|
|by evening the temperatures had cooled down and it was time for barbeque|
|We decided to keep it all vegetarian - burgers with grilled veggie patties, grilled marinated veggies, corn (bestseller!) and zucchini. Dessert was grilled pineapple slices. And we also had a scrumptious bean & corn dip with chips. All I did was photograph and eat everything :)|
Lentil & Bean BurgerYield - 8-10Prep time - 45minsCook time - 30 minsIngredients:
- 2 cups – Brown/Green lentils, picked and rinsed in multiple changes of water
- ½ cup – Chickpeas, pre-soaked and cooked with a bay leaf and a few cloves
- ¼ cup – Walnuts, roasted and coarsely chopped
- ¼ cup - each of onions, carrots, green/red peppers, finely diced
- 1-2Tbsp - Cornstarch or ½ cup – Potato, mashed and boiled
- 2 Tbsp – Harissa paste
- Salt & Pepper to season
- ½ cup – Bread crumbs
- 1 Tbsp – Sesame seeds
- 2-3 Tbsp – Vegetable Oil
- In a saucepan combine lentils (reserving ½ cup) and 2.5 cups water along with a couple of cloves and a bay leaf. Bring it a boil, lower the heat and simmer covered for about 25-30 mins until done. About 10mins in, add the reserved ½ cup of lentils and continue to cook. At the end of cooking time when the initial batch of lentils are tender & yield when pressed between your fingers, the ½ cup added later will retain some bite and add texture to the burger. Drain the lentils into a colander and set aside to draw out any leftover cooking liquid.
- In the mean time, heat 1 Tbsp of oil and sauté finely diced onions, peppers and carrots until slightly softened. Add salt and red pepper flakes to taste.
- To a mixing bowl add the cooked chickpeas and mash them completely using your hand or a potato masher. Add salt, pepper, harissa paste, cooked lentils, sautéed veggies and mash them together to form a dense mixture. If you feel that it’s a little loose add corn starch, a Tbsp at a time or mashed potato as needed to get the desired consistency. You should be able to form a patty that holds together.
- Mix bread crumbs, sesame seeds,a little salt and pepper and spread evenly on a plate. Coat the formed patties lightly on both sides with this mixture and arrange them on a plate to rest.
- Once all the lentil patties are formed cover the plate with a plastic wrap and refrigerate for 15-20mins. This will help the lentil mixture to bind and hold together when cooked in the next step.
- Heat a cast iron/non stick sauté pan with some oil and working in batches of 2-3 patties at a time crisp them slightly on both sides until the breadcrumbs are golden brown and toasted. Since all the ingredients in the mixture were pre-cooked a few minutes on each side will do.
- Use the patties to assemble a burger or cool completely and transfer to freezer bags and freeze for later.To assemble the burger - Toast your choice of bread/buns with olive oil/butter. Stack a burger patty and a few spoonfuls of the carrot salad and you are done. You can add mayo, lettuce or pickled onions, but I liked it without them.Notes: You could add sautéed spinach, chopped sundried tomatoes, and substitute other toaste nuts for the walnuts here. I usually tend to use Kaiser rolls or ciabatta for the burgers. Instead of the carrot salad you can stack grilled/sautéed veggies like zucchini, yellow squash, pepper and onions to create the burger and make a light spread using yogurt and harissa paste.
Tapioca Pudding with MangoesServings: 2-3Prep time: n/aCooking time: 30-40minsIngredients:
- 1/2 cup - Tapioca pearls
- 1/2 cup - ripe Mango, peeled & diced
- 1/4 cup - Coconut, freshly grated
- 1 can - Evaporated milk
- 2-2.5 cups - Milk (Whole milk for a richer version, I used 2%)
- 1/3 - 1/2 cup - Sugar
- 2 - Cardamom pods, de-seeded
- Pinch of salt
Notes: Evaporated milk is milk with 60% of its water content removed and is unsweetened. If unavailable, begin with 3 cups of regular whole milk and reduce it by half by cooking on medium-low heat and stirring frequently to avoid burning the milk solids.
- In a saucepan, bring together evaporated milk and 1.5 cups of milk. Cook on medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the mixture reduces by a third, about 15 mins.
- In the mean time, soak grated coconut in a few tablespoons of water/milk and grind to a coarse paste. Using a mortar & pestle coarsely powder the cardamom seeds, adding a little granulated sugar to help grind them.
- Once the milk is reduced and thickened, add the tapioca pearls and cook for a few minutes. Add sugar, coconut paste and cardamom powder next and stir gently to incorporate the ingredients.
- As the pearls cook they will thicken the payasam so add more milk as needed to get the desired consistency. They take only a few minutes to cook and will turn translucent when ready.
- Finally finish off with a pinch of salt and taste to check for balance of flavors. You want just a subtle hint of salt when tasting the pudding, nothing too obvious.
- Turn off the heat and serve warm/cold garnished with diced ripe mango. As the payasam cools, it will thicken and set-up, so if you want a looser payasam/pudding add more milk right before serving.
If you have coconut milk on hand you can add it right after the tapioca pearls to enhance the coconut flavor.