March 24, 2013

Aval Laddu

We are visiting India for 2 weeks while enjoying the mango season, not-so-hot weather and, little pleasures like freshly made rice flakes from local farmers. These simple treats are made with simple and local ingredients. Red rice flakes from a local farmer and fresh coconut from our backyard.


Aval (Red rice flakes) - 1 1/2 cups
Shredded fresh coconut - 1 1/2 cups
Jaggery - 3 medium blocks - make syrup with 1 cup water
Chopped almonds & raisins - handful
Cardamom - 2 crushed
Clarified butter- 1 Tbs.

Mix everything together. Sauté over medium heat till any extra moisture is evaporated. While still warm, make balls. Makes about 12 - 15 laddus. 


March 9, 2013

Raw Strawberry Avocado Chocolate Mousse


This is a real quick dessert using no refined sugar/flour. This is raw, wholesome and can please kids and adults. Who will not like a chocolate mousse if there is no guilt involved? To top it all, it is ready in five minutes :)

Strawberries - 3/4 cup frozen
Medjool Dates - 5 pitted
Raw Cocoa Powder- 2 Tbs.
Avocado - 1
Strawberries - few fresh for topping

Add frozen strawberries and dates to a blender and blend at high speed stirring frequently until fine and smooth.
Add cocoa powder and continue to blend till mixed well.
Add avocado meat and just blend at a lower speed just till mixed well and everything is nice and creamy.
Serve immediately topped with strawberries. Enjoy!



March 8, 2013

Chickpea Spinach Salad With Chia Seed Honey Mustard Dressing

We are so proud of ourselves. We ate salad, (mostly raw) for every lunch of this week. Today we wanted do away with grains and just eat beans. That is how I came up with this salad. The soaked and lightly cooked chickpeas were so filling and awesome that we did not miss the grain at all :-)

Chickpea Spinach Salad:
  • Chickpea - 3/4 cup (soaked overnight)
  • Spinach - 2 cups
  • Artichoke hearts - 1 cup (I used frozen thawed - but fresh is recommended)
  • Tomato - 1 
  • Red onion - 1 
  • Green chilly - 1
  • Cilantro - 1/2 cup (chopped)
  • Boil chickpea with 1/2 cup of water for 4-5 minutes - I just wanted it lightly cooked.
  • Chop onion and green chilly and saute in a teaspoon of coconut oil till the raw smell of onion goes aways. (I love onion, but cannot handle raw onions :-)
  • Chop Spinach, tomato and cilantro.
  • Toss everything together - serve with dressing.
Chia Seed Honey Mustard Dressing:

This one is from a fellow blogger (Eat the Rainbow). I did not change much from her recipe, just that I used lemon juice and skipped apple cider vinger.
  • Chia seeds - 2 Tbs.
  • EV Olive oil - 2 Tbs.
  • Lemon juice - from a large lemon
  • Medjool Dates - 2
  • Organic honey - 1 Tbs.
  • Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp.
  • Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
  • Black pepper - 1/2 tsp.
  • Sea salt - 1/2 tsp
  • Filtered water - 1/2 cup
  • Blend everything in Vitamix at high speed for 1-2 minutes or till you get a creamy dressing.




March 5, 2013

Raw Papaya Mango Salad

To eat raw, you don't need to use complex equipments (high speed blenders, dehydrators, etc.) or  complex ingredients/techniques. This simple salad can be put together with ingredients that grow in your backyard. That is if you live in Kerala or somewhere tropical where you can grow mangoes, papaya and coconuts in your backyard :-). I don't have that luxury living in the cold New England area. So whenever I get fresh raw mango and papaya from the local Indian store, I make this salad. 

  • Raw papaya - 1 cup - peeled and grated
  • Raw mango - 1 cup - peeled and grated
  • Shredded coconut - 1/2 cup
  • Green chilly - 1 - chopped fine
  • Virgin coconut oil - 1 Tbs. - melted
  • Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp - crushed
  • Sea salt as per taste


Toss everything together, let it sit for 5-10 minutes - enjoy the fresh-raw-crunchy salad.

Note: If the raw mango is not sour, you might want to add a tablespoon o lemon juice.

March 3, 2013

Date-Coconut Filled Kozhukkatta


This one is a traditional breakfast recipe that is made in our homes for festival days as an offering to God. The traditional recipe is a steamed rice ball with a jaggery and coconut filling inside. This is also made with jackfruit preserve (Chakka varattiyathu*) and coconut filling. I usually make it by using dates instead of the jackfruit preserve. This time, I also replaced 3/4 of the white rice with red rice. Sri Lankan Red Rice is less polished, and has much more bran and minerals. Hence, it is a lot more nutritious than white rice.

* Chakka varattiyathu: 
During the jackfruit season in Kerala, there will be plenty of ripe jackfruit and a family will not be able to consume all of it. What they do is preserve it by adding jaggery and ghee. This can be enjoyed during rest of the year just like that, or used as filling in dishes like this one. It can also be sent as a gift when family or friends visit you :-)

Here is the recipe: 
    • Rice - 1 cup (3/4 c red and 1/4 c white) - Soaked for 6 hours or overnight.
    • Sea salt - 1/2 tsp.
    • Coconut oil - 1 Tbs.
    • Fresh shredded coconut - 1 cup 
    • Medjool dates - 10 
    • Cardamom - 6 (peeled and crushed)
  • Grind soaked rice with about a cup of water and salt into a fine batter. 
  • Cook the batter over medium flame stirring continuously till you get a dough-like consistency. Add coconut oil and mix well. Remove from flame and keep covered till it is cooled down.
  • Meanwhile, chop dates and mash it well with back of a spoon. Or you can use your blender to give it a quick mash. Add shredded coconut and crushed coconut. Mix well. 
  • Divide the rice dough and date coconut mixture into 12 portions each and make balls with them rolling on your palm. You will have rice balls of about about size of a lime and date balls of about half the size. 
  • Apply coconut oil on your palm so that dough does not stick. Press the rice ball on your palm to flatten it. Put the date ball in the middle, fold up from the sides to close the ball again. Roll again nicely into nice and smooth ball. Repeat with the rest of the balls. 
  • Boil water on a pasta boiler or any other steamer, place the filled balls and steam for 12-15 minutes.
  • Serve warm. Enjoy!!!


Quinoa Salad With Kale & Roasted Butternut Squash

It is difficult to eat cold raw salad in winter. So we try to eat lightly cooked salads like this one. This one is very nutritious, quick and easy to put together.

Quinoa:

Quinoa - 1/2 cup
Cook with 3/4 cup of water and let it cool

Roasted Butternut Squash:
Butternut squash - 1 cup (cubed)
Sea salt - 1/4 tsp.
Red chilly powder - 1/2 tsp.
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp.
Coconut oil - 1 tsp.

Mix the spices and coconut oil - rub the butternut squash cubes with the the spice mixture - spread them on a baking sheet and broil (450 deg) for 12 minutes in toaster oven.

Sautéed Kale:

Kale - chopped (1 cup)
Garlic - 1 clove - crushed
Sea salt - as per taste
Coconut oil - 1 tsp.
Pumpkin seeds - 1/4 cup

Heat oil and saute crushed garlic till slightly golden - add chopped kale and saute for a minute - add salt and pumpkin seeds and remove.

Salad:
Toss everything together - optionally add raisins, chopped apple and a tablespoon of lemon juice.