Archive | June, 2013

Goat Cheese & Scallion Parcels

22 Jun

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After the scorching Mumbai summers everyone impatiently awaits overcast skies and blustery rain showers. And fickle Mother Nature is typically generous with her annual torrential downpours in Mumbai. The cloudy skies cast an enchanting spell on the city drenching the parched ground and uplifting residents’ spirits.

The Mumbai monsoons play a bewitching role on an onset of my hankerings for deep-fried food.  In my mind, crunchy pakoras (various vegetables dipped in a gram-flour batter and deep-fried) and samosas (fried pastry with a savory meat or vegetable filling) along with aromatic cups of steaming ginger tea are part and parcel of a rainy day. A quintessential monsoon day had me dreaming of a cheese samosa and led to the development of these Goat Cheese and Scallion Parcels.

This recipe uses a few straightforward ingredients to create a scrumptious miniature treat of scallion specked creamy goat cheese in a crispy wonton parcel.  The dipping sauce provides the perfect piquant tang to the simple wonton parcels. These little munchies are a perfect rainy day treat for the family and yet graceful enough to serve at your next cocktail party. Continue reading

Raspberry & Chocolate-Chip Buttermilk Cake

10 Jun

Raspberry & Chocolate Chip Buttermilk CakeI was in love with Betty Crocker and Ducan Hines and then I cheated on them and hardly ever looked back, when I baked my very first cake from scratch. That cake was Deb Perelman’s (author of Smitten Kitchen) Raspberry Buttermilk Cake. Her straightforward recipe and the resulting moist, light and slightly fluffy cake was the catalyst to my love for home baking. Raspberry Chocolate-Chip Buttermilk Cake

In the last 2 years (yes that was the first time I baked a cake from scratch), I have tested several variations of this cake using various fruits and berries and also just using chocolate chips. My favorite version – this Raspberry and Chocolate-Chip Buttermilk Cake does not deviate too far from the original recipe. I reduce the fat content by using low-fat buttermilk and add a little more verve to the classic recipe by adding semi-sweet chocolate chips. This is a swift, easy and light cake for the summer months when raspberries are at their prime and occasions to entertain and impress are plenty! Continue reading

Lima Bean Hummus with Spiced Pita Chips

5 Jun

Lima Bean Hummus with Spiced Pita Chips“Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer” – Anonymous

Traveling far and wide is truly an enriching experience. The sights, sounds, smells and tastes along the way help us gain a broader perspective of the rest of the world. I cherish every trip I take and learn so much from my travels. While everything about travelling is exciting it’s probably evident by now that I particularly look forward to tasting the local food on my trips.

We recently spent 10 fabulous days in Athens and the Greek Islands. My favorite island on the trip was Santorini, the southernmost island in the Cyclades archipelago in the Agean Sea. It is renowned for its spectacular beauty, breathtaking views and fantastic Mediterranean cuisine.  The local cuisine is characterized by flavorful, fresh ingredients and bright colors typical of the celebrated Mediterranean diet. Santorini is specifically known for the fava, (vegetable similar to a split pea) and a type of cherry tomato that only grows in Santorini.

Oia, Santorini

Oia, Santorini

Santorini Sunset

Santorini Sunset

We tasted several types of hummus on our trip and specifically loved a fava bean puree hummus.

Fava Bean Hummus in Santorini

Fava Bean Hummus in Santorini

My Lima Bean hummus recreates the textures and flavors that that I loved about that hummus with a few modifications. I use dried Lima beans as they are extremely accessible and brighten up the flavors with Greek Kalamata olives and parsley. I pair my hummus with spiced pita chips that are crunchy bursting with flavor. It’s not always feasible to travel to Santorini but one can certainly taste a small piece of it with this dish. Continue reading

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