Sunday, March 29, 2015

Sweet Potato Spice Cake

Sweet potatoes are a staple in my kitchen. The other day, I had some left over sweet potato (the orange flesh variety) and I decided to bake a cake with the cooked flesh. Sweet potatoes are pretty versatile vegetables and I wanted to make a breakfast type of a cake, with almond meal for added protein value. The end result was a surprisingly moist cake that was highly appreciated by the family. This recipe will be a keeper. Try it out! You can make this cake gluten free by substituting the whole wheat pastry flour with amaranth flour (toast the flour prior to using it for a nice, nutty flavor).

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup almond meal
1/4-1/2 cup canola oil
1/4-1/2 cup maple syrup (to suit your palette for sweetness)
1 tsp cinnamon powder
1/2 inch fresh ginger grated
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 egg
2 small, red-skinned orange flesh sweet potatoes cooked (steamed or baked)

Combine all the dry ingredients including the cinnamon. Beat the egg in a separate bowl and then add the oil, followed by the maple syrup.Now, add the vanilla and freshly grated ginger to the wet ingredients. Mix well and add the dry ingredients slowly to the wet ingredients. Mix gently and pour the batter in a greased oven safe cake tin or glass bowl. Bake for about 35 minutes at 350 F or until a fork comes out clean when inserted into the baked cake.

Cool and cut into wedges. Serve with vanilla ice cream if you like but we ate it straight for breakfast!


Sunday, March 22, 2015

Parsnip and Methi Pulao

I stumbled upon this combination of vegetables for a pulao when I wanted to do something different with rice. I absolutely love the taste of parsnips and decided to whip up a fragrant pulao with it! My friends really enjoyed it and it tasted really good with a spicy hot pickle or yogurt. I ate it on its own, I don't like to have the yogurt or the pickle overpower the delicate taste of the parsnips.

1 cup of basmati rice, washed
2 parsnips peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
1 cup of methi (fenugreek) leaves, washed
1-2 bay leaves
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/8 tsp red chilli powder (adjust to your spice level)
2 1 inch sticks of cinnamon
4 cloves of garlic peeled
1 small yellow onion finely cut
2-3 tbsp canola oil
Salt to taste

Heat oil in a skillet and sputter the cumin seeds. Toss in the bay leaves, cinnamon sticks and onion. Saute until the onions turn a light golden brown. Now add the garlic, red chilli powder, and turmeric, followed by the methi and parsnips. Stir and mix. Finally add the rice, combine all the ingredients and add water (2.5 cups of water). Stir in the salt to taste, Bring to a boil, then cover and cook on low to medium heat until the rice and parsnips are cooked through.

Serve hot with pickle or yogurt.


High Protein "No Added Sugar" Ladoos

I have been meaning to post, really, but have been busy with a zillion other things. We all are, I know. So today, after a nudge from my good friend, I am back with some more healthy recipes. I made these ladoos using almond meal, so that one can get all the natural goodness of almonds. I used soaked dates and figs to sweeten the ladoos and the end result was a ladoo that was an instant hit. For those of you who do not know what a ladoo is, let me explain. It is a rolled up, ball shaped snack that can be nutritious and filling when one gets those in-between-meals hunger pangs. Try this recipe and let me know how if you like it! By the way, you can make it gluten free if you like by substituting the semolina with millet (Ragi) flour. I have tried it and it turns out just as great.


1/2 cup each of Ragi/Amaranth flour, Almond meal, and Semolina (Rawa)
10 dates and 4 figs soaked in half a cup of warm water for about 1 hour
1 tsp cardamom
2-4 Tbsp of ghee


Dry roast all the three flours together in a skillet with the ghee until light golden brown on medium to low heat. Add the cardamom to the roasted flour and mix well. Puree the soaked dates and figs in a food processor. Pour this puree onto the roasted flour in the skillet and turn on the heat on low. Mix thoroughly and add about a half a cup of water to bring the flour together. Continue heating until the mixture is just cooked (about a minute). Turn of the heat. Once cooled, roll into small balls. Store at room temperature. Should be consumed in five days or so.