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Friday, February 14, 2014

Apple berry salad

This is a very nutritious and yummy salad that you can make with any kind of berries and apples at home. It is my own creation. Last time I used blue berries instead of strawberries and red baby romaine leaves and it was as good as this one. You may also add dried cranberries if you wish. As for the nuts I used almonds and I don't think any other nuts would go well with this salad. The almonds, sesame, sunflower and poppy seeds I feel is a good combination and should not be replaced with anything else in order to enjoy this salad. Also the apples have to be sweet and I used Fuji apples.

Well here's the recipe:

Fuji apple - 1
Strawberries or blueberries - a few
Baby romaine lettuce - a few leaves
Almonds - 6
Blue poppy seeds - 1/2 tsp
Sesame seeds - 1/2 tsp
Sunflower seeds - 1/2 tsp

Lemon juice - 2 tsp
Frank's red hot - 1/2 tsp
Honey - 1 tsp
Olive oil - 1 tbs
Cumin powder - 1/4 tsp
Salt and Pepper 

1. Wash and thinly slice the apple and cut the slices into smaller bite size pieces.
2. Slice the strawberries as well. If you have blue berries, just throw them in.
3. Mix together the apple and strawberries. Sprinkle over, the sesame and poppy seeds. Chop the almonds and set everything aside.
4. Prepare the dressing by mixing together all the ingredients and whisking the mixture well.
5. First drizzle a little of the dressing on the romaine leaves and arrange them on a salad plate.
6. Then drizzle some more dressing on the apples and berry mixture. Mix well.
7. Put the apple and berry mixture on top of the arranged baby romaine leaves.
8. Throw in the sun flower seeds and chopped almonds on top, drizzle the rest of the dressing and enjoy.

Salmon Cutlets

Fresh Salmon/Trout de-boned and minced - 1lb
Potato boiled and mashed - 1 medium size
Onion chopped -1small
Green chilly or Jalepeno - 1 small or half
Garlic clove - 1 small
Salt and Pepper
Turmeric - 1 tsp
Parsley chopped - a few leaves
Corn flour - 1 tbs
Olive oil - 1 tbs
A dash of lemon juice.

1.Mix together, minced salmon, chopped onion, fresh green chilly or jalepeno, parsely, salt and pepper and a dash of lemon juice.
2. Add corn flour, turmeric, salt and pepper to mashed potato, blend everything together with your hand and add it to the salmon.
3. Mix well and make small round balls, then flatten them on the palm of your hand and set aside. You can make 8 cutlets altogether.
4. Shallow fry all of them in one tbs olive oil on medium heat in a non-stick or cast iron skillet. Drain on paper towels.
5. Serve them hot with ketchup, chutney or chilly sauce. Enjoy!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Zafrani Falooda

I have made different types of zafrani falooda many times before but this one was a big hit. I also gave it a new dimension by cutting it into different shapes with cookie cutters. The rich and creamy texture with the flavour of the saffron and the soft crunch of the slivered almonds on top is so soothing to the senses and the taste is just divine!

Here's the recipe.

Whole Milk (3.2%) - 1.5 litres
Whipping cream or half and half - 1 cup
Condensed milk - 1 can
Agar Agar (china grass) - Half the quantity of a 42gm pack
Sugar - 1/4 cup or as per taste
Saffron - a pinch
Slivered almonds - 2 tbs sliced


1. Boil the whole milk in a big pot. Add the condensed milk, sugar and whipping cream or half and half and let it simmer for sometime. The whipping cream gives a smooth and creamy texture. Health watchers can use skimmed milk and cream, but have to compromise on the taste as it will not be as rich and smooth as this one.

2. Meanwhile cut half of the agar agar from the sheet. Rinse it in water. Boil 1/2 a cup of  water, immerse the agar agar in it, lower the heat and let it dissolve. Give it a stir to blend well.

3. Let the milk boil a bit by raising the heat, then lower the heat and slowly pour the dissolved agar agar mixture into the pot through a strainer while stirring continuously. This is to avoid lumps.

4. After adding do not raise the temperature as it will curdle the milk. You have to be really careful at this stage. The temperature should be constant. Sometimes lowering and then raising the temperature again and again also affects the texture and all the effort goes down the drain with the curdling of the milk and you can do nothing about it.

5. Use a wooden spatula and do not scrape the bottom of the pan as we do not want the any browned milk shavings from the bottom swimming in the milk. This gives a bad appearance to the falooda.

6. Dissolve the saffron in 1tsp of warm water after powdering the strands in a mortar and pestle. Blanch the almonds, sliver them and keep aside. Keep a dry 10 - 12 inch stainless steel walled plate or a pie plate ready.

7. Allow the milk to boil again after adding the agar agar for just one or two mins on medium heat and then pour it immediately into the pie plate. After a couple of minutes when you see a film of layer on the surface it is time to sprinkle the slivered almonds on top so that they just stick to the surface and sit there. Let the falooda set at room temperature in a cool place away from the heat source.

8. Once it is set, dip a toothpick in the saffron solution and make a design on the falooda or just dab it with a brush or the back of a spoon here and there as I did to give it some color .

9. Chill it in the fridge for a couple of hours.

10. Cut into either diamond shapes with a knife or into any desirable shapes with a cookie cutter and enjoy.


You can find Agar Agar (china grass) in any asian or indian grocery store.