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Monday, November 23, 2015

Hasselback Sweet Potatoes just in time for Thanksgiving


Thanksgiving is right around the corner and if you are still vacillating about your dinner menu for that day , let me take take the sweat out of the side options atleast with this blog post. Don't these baked hassleback sweet potatoes seal teh deal for you appetizer wise? They are healthy , take minimum fuss to prepare and have Thanksgiving written all over them. Need more pitching ? How about the extremely healthy dip/sauce that goes with it ?Give it a try and you are bound to get compliments galore !! Please feel free to leave a thank you note later :-)

Ingredients -
3 medium sweet potatoes
1 tbsp unsalted butter
1 tsp olive oil
1 tbsp Italian seasoning
1 finely grated garlic
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
For the sauce -
1/3 cup non fat yogurt
1 scallion finely chopped

Method -
Pre heat the oven to 425 degrees F and line a baking tray with aluminum foil.

Wash the sweet potatoes and now make 1/8 th inch cuts 2/3 rd of the way through.
Take a small bowl and stir in it butter , olive oil ,salt , pepper and Italian seasoning.
Rub this mixture all over the potatoes , making sure to get in between the slices.

Bake it in the pre heated oven for close to an hour till the outside is  crisp and the inner parts tender. In my oven it took 55 minutes.(at half time , take out and run a fork or knife gently with some pressure across the top so that the individual slices get separated.
While it is the oven , prepare the dip/sauce by stirring the yogurt and scallions with a pinch each of salt and pepper.
Take out from then oven , cool and serve with the yogurt sauce.
Check out  other Thanksgiving meal ideas like these - Cranberry Upside Down Cake , Mexican Corn Bread and Southern Corn Bread.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Chocolate ladoos serve as Diwali mithai !


For us desi folks, festive season  means mithai and loads of it . We like it in such copious amounts and varying flavors and we are not ashamed to admit it . Not only do we like sampling it ourselves but also exchanging it with friends and relatives making the festive season even more sweeter. Our charitable side urges us to share the  mithai  with those unfortunate than us in keeping with the true meaning of the festive season . In short , it is the mithai which is the focal point of any south Asian festivity and especially so for Diwali . For it is then that it's sales go sky rocketing with the halwai wallas blocking the streets with their display of colorful mithai to which we humble folks unable to resist are simply drawn like bees are to the nectar of the flowers.
Alas, here in the US we do not have so many halwai walla's in our vicinity and as such  copious and multitude are not the words which we use to describe our festive mithai situation. But since our mithai craving is still as string if not more than our friends and family back home , we have to rely on ingenious ways to satisfy it.  Not being fortunate enough to have lots of domestic help, ease of making mithai and the process being less time consuming are important things to consider too. As such , imagine my joy when I came across this recipe of chocolate ladoos. Not only are they super ease to make but pack a load of deliciousness in every bite . The best thing of all, you can make copious amounts of it and distribute to friends in the true festive way we used to do back in India .

Ingredients -
3 cups grinded  Brownies ( made an eggless version of store bought mix using flax meal as an egg replacer )
1 1/2 cups shredded coconut 
1/2 cup condensed milk
2 tbsp cocoa powder
nuts to decorate (optional)

Note :Given quantities are approximate depending upon the consistency and thickness of the ingredients. You may need to add more coconut so that the batter cab be molded into laddoo form.

Method

Bake some eggless brownies . I used store bought mix which I baked eggless by substituting the eggs with flax seed meal. Replace each egg with 1 tbsp of Flax meal dipped in 3 tsp of water which is made to stand for 5-10 minutes till you get gum like consistency.
Once the brownies have cooled down , grind them or just mash them up. Add the rest of the ingredients(shredded coconut, condensed milk and cocoa powder ) , mixing them such you get a batter the right consistency to roll up into laddoos.
(See Note)
Decorate with cashews or shredded coconut .
Eat them to your hear's content and remember to share with friends and neighbors !