Chia Fruit Parfait

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Chia fruit parfait is a great way to start your morning,  as it is filled with the goodness of fruits, yogurt, honey and walnuts!   Chia seeds are a superfood  containing omega-3 fatty acids, carbohydrates, protein, fiber, antioxidants, and calcium.  This  delicious and simple to make fruit parfait can also be a sweet way to end your meal if you need a dessert!

What you need:

4 tbsp yogurt

1 tbsp honey

1 tsp chia seeds

1/4 cup walnuts chopped

1/4 cup chopped dates

1 cup chopped fruits of your choice

How to make:

  1.  In a bowl mix the yogurt, honey and the chia seeds well.
  2. Take fruits of your choice and chop them into small pieces.  I used kiwi, apple, banana and pomegranate.

3.  In a serving glass or a bowl start layering the fruits first.  Next put a layer of the yogurt mixture.  Now add a layer of fruits again followed by a layer of the yogurt mixture.  Finally top the yogurt layer with chopped dates and walnuts.

4.  Serve chilled!

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Chili chicken

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An all time favorite dish in our family is Chili Chicken.  I love eating it in restaurants but was conscious of the fact that it was deep fried.  I decided to make it at home without frying it and it turned out delicious!  This quick and easy chicken can be paired with fried rice, noodles or had just on its own!  

What you need:

  • 500 gm boneless chicken
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp white vinegar
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper powder
  • 1 green capsicum cut into bite size cubes
  • 1 tablespoon tomato sauce/ketchup
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp corn starch
  • 5-6 green chilies sliced long 
  • 1/2 cup chopped spring onion 
  • 1 inch piece ginger sliced long and thin
  • Salt if needed
  • 2 tbsp oil 

How to make:

  1.  Cut the chicken into cubes of about 1 inch each.  Marinate the chicken in soy sauce, vinegar, red chili powder and pepper powder.
  2. In a wok, take 2 tbsp oil and heat.  Now add the slit green chilies to the oil.  Then toss in the marinated chicken.  Cook on low heat without covering till the chicken is done.

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3.  Throw in the bell pepper and spring onions into the wok.   Also add the tomato ketchup and honey.  You can add more soy sauce, if desired, at this stage.  Stir well and cook for 3-4 minutes.

4.  Now add 1 tbsp of cornstarch to the chicken and stir well till the sauce thickens and coats the chicken well.  Remove from heat.

5.  Finally add the sliced ginger to the chicken and cover it and let it sit for a few minutes so that all the flavors are absorbed.

6.  Serve hot with either fried rice or noodles.  Enjoy!

 

 

Fried plantains

 

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Fried plantain is a dish cooked wherever plantains grow, from Latin America through West Africa to East Africa and the Caribbean such as Jamaica, and in many parts of Southeast Asia.  This is a quick and easy snack which tastes delicious too!  This recipe was sent to me by Peter, my daughters fiance.  Thanks Pete!

What you need:

2  ripe plantains peeled and cut round

Oil for frying

1/2 lemon

Sea salt to taste

How to make:

1. Drizzle oil into frying pan just enough to coat the bottom of the pan and place on medium heat.

 

2.  When oil begins to shimmer, add plantains (work in batches), and fry for 1 and 1/2 minutes on one side, flip and cook for 1 minute on the other side.

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3.  Remove plantains from pan and drain the excess oil by placing them on paper towels.

4. Sprinkle with lime and salt. Enjoy!

Bhuna Murg (Roasted chicken gravy)

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Bhuna Murgh is a dry chicken curry which is flavorful and delicious besides being easy to make.  Bhuna means slow roasting the chicken along with the spices till it is tender and aromatic.  The key is to cook on a low flame without adding water.  This yummy dish tastes great with roti or naan.

What you need:

  • 500gm chicken on bone
  • 2 onions finely chopped
  • 3 tomatoes finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 1 inch ginger minced
  • 1 green chillies finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp pepper powder
  • 2 green cardamoms
  • 2 tablespoon ghee /oil
  • Salt to taste

How to make:

  1.  Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pan.  Then add the chopped onions, ginger and garlic to the oil and stir well for a 3 minutes.

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2.  Add the tomatoes, green chillies and all the dry spices to the onion mixture.  Stir well and cover and cook on a low flame for 3-4 minutes.  Saute well.

3.  Add the chicken pieces now and toss till they are coated well with the onion-tomato masala.

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4.  Let the chicken simmer on low flame for about 15-20 minutes till it is tender, stirring from time to time.

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5.  When the chicken is roasted well and has absorbed the flavors of the spices, remove from fire.  Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and lemon juice.

6.  Serve hot with roti or naan.  Enjoy!

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Pasta with shrimps and veggies

IMG_5956My friend Manisha in New Jersey is a great cook. Knowing that I did not want to eat anything heavy, she quickly rustled up this  easy and healthy pasta.  This wholesome pasta dish was colorful and full of nutrition.  I enjoyed it a lot and took some pictures while she was cooking.

What you need:

1/2 lbs shrimp, cleaned and shelled
4 cloves of garlic, minced (divided)
Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste
8 oz whole grain penne pasta, cooked per instructions
2 1/2 tbsp olive oil (divided)
7-8 mushrooms, quartered
1/4 red onion, sliced thinly
2 small baby bell peppers, sliced thinly 
10 snap peas
1 zucchini, diced
2 carrots sliced 
Crushed red pepper flakes, to taste
Parmesan cheese, shredded
Organic Pasta Sauce with olive oil, basil and garlic (I used Bertolli)

How to make:

  1.  Clean the shrimp and season them with salt and pepper.  Heat oil in a wok and add 2 cloves of minced garlic to the oil.  Toss in the shrimps in the hot oil and cook for 2 minutes each on either side. Now add some pasta sauce to the shrimps and stir well. Remove from pan and set aside.

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2.  Cook the pasta in salted water as per the instructions.

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3.  While the pasta is cooking heat 1 tablespoon oil in a skillet over medium high heat; add the last 2 cloves of minced garlic and cook.  Then add the mushrooms and let them sit, without stirring, for 2-3 minutes; Toss the mushrooms around  and then add the onion and bell pepper to the skillet, stirring occasionally, cook for 3-4 minutes; add the zucchini, carrots and snap peas and cook for 2 minutes;  Season with sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste. Remove the veggies from the skillet and set aside in a bowl.

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4.   Add the last tablespoon of olive oil into the skillet then toss in the pasta. Season well with sea salt, freshly cracked pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes, to taste.  Stir well and remove on to a serving dish.  Add the shrimps to the veggies and mix well.  Spread the veggies, and shrimp evenly on top of the pasta.   Sprinkle Parmesan and basil on top; Serve immediately. Enjoy.

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New York Diaries – Junoon

 

Eating choices in New York are limitless…….  Want a 15-course tasting menu at the latest trendsetting restaurant? A plateful of Chinese dumplings? The City has thousands of places featuring cuisines from around the world.

I was in New York last month, visiting my daughter Ria.  She had a lot of fun stuff planned – including a visit to Junoon, which is the flagship restaurant of star chef Vikas Khanna.  I am a big fan of Vikas and couldn’t wait to dine at his restaurant.

Junoon serves a 3 course ala carte meal.  The Menu was innovative and diverse with exotic sounding dishes like Tandoori Octopus, Saloni Macchi, Eggplant chaat etc.  Classic dishes with a contemporary take…..it would be difficult to decide.

Since we were sweating from the New York heat, we quickly ordered the refreshing Mumbai Margarita.   Then came the appetizers.  Eggplant chaat was amazing —-crispy round eggplants with yogurt tamarind chutney; And the Murgh tikka was tender and delicious, simply melting in the mouth.

For the entrees we chose Malabari Shrimp curry and the Murg Lababdar.  The Shrimp curry was easily the best we have had…literally to die for!  The Murg Lababdar was good but not excellent.

 

The grand finale was Ma’s Rice Pudding with almonds, puffed rice and caramelized bananas.IMG_6206

All in all Junoon was a nice dining experience and we enjoyed the couple of hours that we spent in its elegant dining room.  Thank you Ria for taking me there!

Baked sweet potato chips

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Who does not enjoy chips?  So here is a much healthier version – sweet potato baked chips which you can enjoy guilt free. My daughter, Ria, tried these out and loved them. She encouraged me to make them and they were easy, flavorful and nutritious.   These awesome chips require only olive oil, sea salt and pepper.  

What you need:

2 sweet potatoes (Shakarkandi in Hindi)

2 tsp olive oil

sea salt and pepper – to taste

Any other seasoning you like

How to make:

  1.  Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. Rinse and dry the sweet potatoes.  Cut them as thin and evenly as possible.  Know that chips that are too thick in parts won’t crisp up all the way. Still delicious, just not “chip” crispiness.
  3. Toss the slices in olive oil and add salt and pepper.  Spread evenly on a baking tray in a single layer.  Place the baking tray in the middle rack in the oven.

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4.  Remove once crisp and golden brown(about 35 mins).  But each oven varies so you will have to keep an eye on them.   Some may feel a little tender in the middle but take them out and let them rest for 10 minutes or so to crisp up before sampling. Serve immediately.

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