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Friday, November 29, 2013

Almond Spice Muffins

Hi folks! 

Happy Holidays! :-)

This is my latest gluten-free, vegan and Ekadasi-friendly muffin recipe, specially posted for my friend Loka as a thanksgiving gift. :-)  She loved these so much it made my day! Makes approx 20 delicious moist fluffy muffins.

3 cups ground almonds
1 cup buckwheat flour (not considered a true grain)
1 heaped TBSP baking soda
4 TBSP cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp ginger powder
1/4 tsp sea salt

1/2 cup chopped candied ginger (Trader Joe's)
1 cup orange flavor cranberries (Trader Joe's)

Mix all dry ingredients. Add in cranberries and candied ginger. 

Blend together the following til smooth:
2 banana's
1 TBSP vanilla essence (optional)
1 1/2 cup maple syrup
3/4 cup safflower/sunflower oil
 Approx 1 cup of water

Pour this into the dry ingredients and mix evenly. Fill into paper muffin cases in a muffin tray. Sprinkle tops with a dash of brown sugar.

Make sure you lightly oil the muffin tray to avoid burning the muffin cases and muffins while baking. Bake for approx 35 mins in a pre-heated oven at 380 degrees Fahrenheit.

Remove from oven and allow to cool. Offer with love and serve with tea, or however you desire. Very more-ish!! :-)

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Semolina Dhokla

Hey folks,

So I'm back! :-)

Its raining outside like there will be no tomorrow, and has gotten cold here in D.C., changing seasons. makes me just want to curl up and hibernate!

Today I cooked breakfast for everyone at my local Krishna temple. I wanted to make something new for me, and so I took the opportunity to learn how to make semolina dhokla from Radha Bhavini - one of the resident ladies here. I like dhokla and I've wanted to know how to make it for the longest time, so I'm all excited about this recipe.

Dhokla is a traditional Indian snack from Gujarat - it can be made in different ways, but the quickest version is basically a steamed semolina bread. It reminds me abit of cornbread, not sure why because they dont taste anything alike. Anyways, its yummy, super quick to make and easily digestible.

This recipe make approx 60 generous pieces of dhokla. Serves approx 15-16 people (3-4 pieces each).

4 cups semolina
4 cups thick yoghurt
2 tsps Eno fruit salts (a raising agent available in Indian grocery stores)
2 TBSP shredded fresh ginger root
1/4 tsp chili powder
3/4 tsp tumeric powder
1/4 tsp sambar/chat masala
1/4 tsp cumin powder
1 TBSP salt or to taste
1 1/2 cups water (or as required to make the batter - if the yogurt is runny then you wont need much water).

Freshly chopped cilantro
Approx 2 TBSP mustard seeds
Approx 2 TBSP sesame seeds
1/2 tsp hing
Approx 2 TBSP ghee or oil
Approx 1 cup water

Set up a steaming rack. We used a big pot 1/3 filled with water and a round wok ring inside to set a baking tray on top of for steaming the dhokla. Bring water to boil. Oil the baking tray - should be at least an inch and 1/2 deep. 

Mix semolina with spices and salt. Add in the fresh ginger. Mix all well. Mix in the yoghurt and water as required to make a semi thick batter - should run from a spoon easily enough. if you make it too runny add more semolina.

In the last possible moment at the Eno salt and mix. Pour into the baking tray and set on the steaming rack immediately. Cover the pot to trap the steam inside. After 15 minutes it should be ready. Remove from heat.

While the dhokla is steaming prepare the dressing. Heat ghee or oil. When hot add in mustard and sesame seeds. When they begin popping add in the hing for a couple seconds and remove from heat. (Some people like abit more spice and add whole green chili's into the oil too).

Swirl it over the dhokla, and use a spoon to gently spread it out evenly. Take approx a cup of water into the pan you used for the dressing and sprinkle over the dhokla. This helps prevent it from drying out. Sprinkle fresh cilantro over the top.

Allow to cool. Then cut into squares and serve with a chutney, as part of a meal, or as is. :-)

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Creamy Mango Strawberry Vegan Cheesecake

Hey Im back! :-)

This awesome vegan cheesecake is soooo creamy and delicious and you would never know its vegan! :-) This is the approx recipe because I eyeballed it for the most part.

 Serves 8 very generous slices - it is very more-ish - so watch out! :-)

Mango layer - blend all of it til creamy smooth:
4 cups frozen mangos
21/2 -3 cups organic raw cashews, soaked overnight and drained
3/4 - 1 cup pure organic maple syrup 

8 TBSP organic virgin cold pressed coconut oil (melted)
2 TBSP fresh lemon or lime juice
11/2 tsp pure organic vanilla extract
Pinch of sea salt

 Strawberry layer - blend all of it til creamy smooth:
4 cups strawberries
21/2 -3 cups organic raw cashews, soaked overnight and drained
1 cup pure organic maple syrup 
8 TBSP organic virgin cold pressed coconut oil (melted)

2 TBSP fresh lemon or lime juice
11/2 tsp pure organic vanilla extract
Pinch of sea salt

 Base - tastes like larabar - really yummy as is:

1 cup organic toasted walnuts or pecans crushed
1/2 cup organic toasted almonds crushed
11/4 cup organic mejool dates, pits removed
1 tsp organic vanilla essence
A pinch of sea salt

Mash base ingredients into a nice bar like consistency and spread out in a spring form pan base.

 Pour on Strawberry layer, freeze til firm. Then pour on mango layer and swirl on some maple syrup on top. Freeze overnight. 

Remove from freezer approx an hr before serving to allow to thaw abit. Open spring form pan and cut into slices. I put waxed paper on the base of my spring form pan because I dont like to scratch the non stick coating. Keep in fridge or return to freezer if there is extra after serving because it will melt just like ice cream.

Offer with love! Yummmmmmmy! :-)

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Mock Choc Orange Burfi

Hari Haribol folks!! :-)

Just got done making a bunch of sweets and having fun experimenting in our local temple kitchen. :-)

Today I made a quick burfi which came out really yummy, just have to share it with you. Palaka Prabhu told me that this burfi tastes like tootsie rolls...I have never eaten them so I have no idea, but he liked them alot.:-)

Burfi is a very traditional Indian sweet made by cooking down milk til it becomes solid, and then adding sugar and flavor at the end. Its a delectable dessert but is also time consuming to make. So short-cut burfi is a good alternative when you are pressed for time and or patience! :-)

This burfi recipe of mine is lovely and chewy, yet still soft enough not to pull out your tooth fillings! The orange flavor melds so well with the carob, its quite delicious and though not chocolate, I'm happy to call it mock choc because it comes close enough! I'd love to put toasted hazelnuts into this sometime. :-)

Makes 60+ squares. Total cooking time is approx 20 mins.

5 sticks butter
Approx 51/2 - 6 cups brown sugar to taste
7 cups skim milk powder
1-2 cups pure carob powder to taste
1 cup whole milk
1 tsp pure orange essence
1/2 cup fresh zest from 2 large oranges and 1 lemon
1-2 cups dried cranberries or cherries
1-2 cups chopped walnuts/hazelnuts (optional - I didnt add them this time, but its a good combination flavor-wise)

Melt butter in a heavy bottomed, wide pot, on medium low heat.

Add in sugar and bring to a boil. (I like to boil it for a few mins to give a caramel flavor).

Add in milk, orange essence and orange and lemon zest. Mix, then whisk in the carob powder and cranberries.

After a few minutes whisk in the milk powder. The pot should be on a low flame at this point to avoid burning. You can turn the heat back up when everything is evenly mixed. Cook down and keep scraping the bottom of the pot with a wide spatula. It should be done after about 10 mins.

Pour onto a buttered tray. Smooth out with a stick of butter and a flat spatula or large knife (non serrated).

Mark the lines you want to cut it at. When a little firm cut into squares. Place in fridge for an hour to firm up. Then recut the llines you made earlier and mark any designs you want on the surface.

Offer with love and honor with joy!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Lemon Glazed Valentines Day Donuts

It is such a beautiful day! The sky is blue, the sun is shining, the air is fragrant and the birds are singing and this pleasing atmosphere is giving fresh life to everything and everyone.

It is Vasant Panchami today - the first day of Spring - according to the Vedic calender. So on this day in our local ISKCON Krishna temple, Radha Krishna are dressed in yellow garments to celebrate the beginning of the spring season. :-)

It also happens to be valentines day! On an occasion such as this I wanted to make something special for Krishna. Oh Lord, wilt thou be my valentine?! ;-)

These lemon glazed donuts were my little offering to the Lord for His afternoon snack. I converted the basic batter recipe from a non-vegetarian version I found the on the back of the donut tray, and embellished upon it to make my own version of baked donuts. The creme is my own creation entirely with the inspiration of the Lord in my heart. I hope you enjoy making them. Makes 18 medium sized baked donuts.

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup wholewheat flour
1 scant cup brown sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg (optional - you can also use cinnamon or another sweet spice instead)
1 TBSP fresh lemon rind
1 tsp sea salt
3/4 - 1 cup plain yogurt
2 TBSP double cream
2 TBSP oil ( I use safflower usually)
Water as needed to make a medium thick batter

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Mix all the dry ingredients. Add in the wet ones using a hand whisk to mix everything evenly.
Oil the donut tray cavities and spoon in the batter til 3/4 full.

Optional extra: Fill bottom of donut cavity 1/4 full with an oat crumble and fill the rest with the donut batter.

Bake briefly - 10 mins is enough - or til the donut springs back when you gently press it with you finger.
Allow to cool for a few minutes and then they should come out of the tray fairly easily - if not just upturn the tray and give it a little knock! :-)

Lemon glaze:
Juice of 2 big lemons and 1/2 a juicy orange
3 1/2 cups powder sugar
a pinch of yellow food coloring

Mix evenly til smooth. Dip the donut into the glaze and set on a tray. Re-coat with more glaze when dry.

Carob/Chocolate walnut butter creme filling:

3/4 cup double cream
Approx 1 1/2 cups carob/cocoa powder
Approx 2 1/2 cups powder sugar
1/4 tsp pure orange essence (or vanilla essence)
1 cup toasted walnuts, crushed small - keep 3 TBSP aside for garnishing
A handful of small strawberries, washed, trimmed. Cut a small V into the top so when sliced they look like hearts.

Blend the cream til it becomes butter. Drain off the liquid and add the other ingredients. Blend til evenly mixed. It should be thick. If not add a little more powder sugar and or carob powder.

Spoon the creme into the donut centers and sprinkle with some crushed walnut pieces. Stick a little strawberry heart into the creme, and voila, lemon glazed donuts are ready. :-)

Offer with love and honor with joy! Haribol! :-)

Sunset this evening..Isnt it glorious? Krishna says in Bhagavad Gita; "Know that all beautiful, glorious, and mighty creations spring from but a spark of My splendor," and this beautiful sunset is a reminder of the Lord who is the source of all creativity.

When we offer our talent and creativity in His service with love - that is the perfection of our life. Thank you to everyone who has enabled me to follow this path up to now. I am grateful for the opportunity I have been given to aspire to re-awaken that dormant loving connection - which we all have with the Lord - within my own heart. May we all find our original lover, our original perfect valentine within our own hearts. :-)

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Savory Heartcakes

So this recipe is here by special request of my friend Devaki. I made it as part of a supper offering this week. Again, please remember the measurements are approximate since I used my hands to measure and made it up as I went along - according to the ingredients I had at hand.

These pancakes, or heartcakes - so called because I made them in heart shapes - are very versatile and can be made with all manner of veggies and spices. Sometimes I use pureed tomato's in place of water, chopped olives are great too.

Makes 12 medium small pancakes.

1 1/2 - 2 cups sprouted wheat pancake and waffle mix (Arrowhead mills)
1/2 cup finely chopped celery heart
1/2 cup fresh cilantro chopped fine
2-3 small fresh green chilies chopped fine (optional)
a pinch of sea salt and blk salt (- you know, the pink salt that smells like sulpher)

A dash of the following spices, according to your taste:
turmeric powder
blk pepper
coriander powder

Oil or butter to pan fry.
Enough water to make a thick batter.

Mix all ingredients evenly. Heat a griddle on medium low heat, grease it and place small scoops of the batter on to cook. Turn with a pan knife after 3 minutes or so (should be nicely browned on the turned side). Add a knob of butter to the cooked side.

I made some of these in heart shapes by pouring a scoop of the batter into a heart shaped cookie cutter placed directly on the griddle. Gently remove the cookie cutter when its time to turn the pancake over. Its a little more time consuming and you have to clean the cookie cutter between pancakes. But it looks pretty and is worth it if you have the time to spare! :-)

Offer with love and honor with joy! :-) Great served hot with a little yoghurt.

Chocolate Cake Donuts

Hi folks!

Its been a loooong time, my life got too busy to blog, but finally some new recipes are going up. :-)

My new kitchen toy has been donut trays which I chanced upon in Michaels, and so, as you can probably guess, one of my latest experiment crazes has been making baked donuts. Its been a lot of fun playing around with recipes and ideas.

Today I made chocolate donuts with a strawberry rose icing. They came out lovely, moist and chocolaty ..mmmmm!! This recipe is still an evolving one, but I like it enough to share it with you! :-)

BTW, I really like using rosewater in my sweets, but if you aren't a fan, just leave it out.

Amounts of ingredients are all approximate since I eyeballed everything. Makes 15 donuts or so..

2 cups organic sprouted pancake and waffle mix (Arrowhead Mills)
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 1/4 heaped cups of unsweetened organic cocoa powder ( I used Rapunzel)
1 tsp aluminum free baking powder

Mix the above evenly.

1/2 cup safflower oil
1 1/2 TBSP double cream
1 cup pure maple syrup
1 1/ 2 TBSP pure vanilla extract
Water - enough to make a thick batter.

Add the above to the dry ingredients. Mix well and spoon into an oiled donut pan. I fill the cavities approx 3/4 full otherwise they turn into little cakes instead of donuts.

Bake in a preheated oven at 415 degrees Fahrenheit for approx 10-12 mins - its done when the surface of the donut springs back up when gently pressed with a fingertip. If you bake them longer it they will become rather hard - I gave a batch of burnt ones to the squirrels - squirrelnuts, haha!

Remove from pan after it has cooled off for a few minutes. The donuts should just fall out easily when you give the up-ended pan a tap on the counter.

Dip in icing and arrange on a plate. I double dipped mine after the first coat had soaked in abit. And then, since I had extra icing I drizzled more on there you can see them drenched in 3 coats of strawberry icing. :-) You can also garnish them with sprinkles, toasted nuts, strawberry pieces or whatever you like.

Offer with love and honor with joy! :-)

1 1/2 cup organic big juicy strawberries, washed and beheaded
1 1/2 cups powder sugar
1 TBSP pure rosewater
1 tsp pure vanilla essence

Blend everything til smooth.

Lunch today! :-)