Mom makes a mean mutton keema pulao. She’s fast, unfussy and does not follow recipes. Her repertoire of pulaos (pilafs) and biryanis is extensive yet each every single one is cooked from memory backed-up by instinct. On my last visit, as I watched her put together her mutton keema pulao, I felt a strong urge to share the recipe. Busy moms everywhere could use this tried and tested rice cooker recipe to whip up a special meal without spending hours in the kitchen.
March was a month of crashing mangoes. In the short burst of spring the air was filled with the sticky scent of mango blossoms. Within a few weeks the same branches are bent low with fruit, eager to shed their weight. Temperatures climb higher every day and we yearn for cold, liquid comfort for our parched throats. Happily, the bounty of sour, raw green mangoes is perfect for making big jugs of tangy, salty-sweet aam (mango) panna, a traditional, much-loved summer drink.
“Mom it tastes like Christmas”, said my 15-year-old taking his first bite of the millet cake. My experiments with millet recipes haven’t always been received with the same enthusiasm. Happily and hopefully, all that is about to change with this cake. I’m inclined more and more to bake with gluten-free flours, always seeking recipes where millet, nut and other healthier flours can replace regular flour. Many a millet recipe has gotten me excited, often ending in mediocre to disastrous results, but this one I can definitely put on my encore list.
Rose Zellmer wrote to me that she was keen to do a guest post on my blog. She recounts her food adventures on www.gimmetasty.com and aims to spread happiness through food.Her idea of doing a gluten-free cake sounded delicious and healthy and so here it is for all you cake lovers. She has included a small informative note on making your own gluten-free flour mix. Happy reading!
Living in a tropical country, apples are expensive. So it is special when they are available. My Gluten-Free Caramel Apple Cake, is highly anticipated by friends and family because it is not often that they have such a treat. I seldom make Gluten-Free Cakes but if I am expecting guests that I know can’t consume gluten, I make sure to have something that they can enjoy as well. I have used flax seeds as binders in the cake since there is no gluten.
A stash of pistachios, and a windfall of walnuts from faraway Tehran had me rubbing my hands in glee as I got ready to bake a birthday cake for my husband’s birthday. I had a rich, smooth, somewhat adult, cappuccino cheesecake in mind but I also wanted to use the newly-arrived nuts in the cake. A salted walnut praline seemed like the perfect crunchy crown for the creamy, java-infused cheesecake.
On some days I eat for comfort and on other days I cook to provide comfort. The embrace of food is real and close. And sometimes it’s okay to walk into its arms for succour. A particularly demanding week and long hours for the family, called for a dose of dolce on the weekend. I had a brown paper bag of beautiful scarlet apples and one of the most delightful apple recipes I’ve come across. Way easier than apple pie, I made a delectable Whole Wheat Brown Butter Apple Galette to lift our tired spirits.
Happiness is a slow, serendipitous lunch of grilled chicken in the dappled shade of the guava tree on a warm Sunday afternoon. With my foot firmly on the brake till Monday, my day dawned later than usual despite the robust renditions of the koels (cuckoos) residing in the fruit trees outside my bedroom window. Sunday papers read, floating on a ribbon of blues meandering through the house (from my better half’s eclectic music collection), the mood was smooth for a morning of leisurely cooking.
My Christmas was gluten-free. Every year, the holiday season leaves me feeling bloated from feasting on the holiday specials (and completely giving up festive food is neither possible nor probable). So this time, I tried to retain the quintessential flavours of the season by choosing lighter (and healthier) substitutes for ingredients that leave one feeling full and sluggish. I’m not normally on a 100% gluten-free diet the rest of the year, but yes, when there are parties to attend and dresses to fit into, it makes sense to turn into a gluten-free gourmand.
Glue. That’s what a bowl of oats meant to me growing up in boarding school. At breakfast, I could turn the bowl of porridge over my head and nothing. The gloop would hold its ground, strong and tenacious. I almost always never touched it. Oat porridge re-entered my life later on when I overcame my memories to try new oats recipes – both sweet and savoury. I’m partial to a bowl of savoury oats because I think it is incredibly versatile. It would so gladden my culinary cockles if this post encourages cooks to look beyond pre-flavoured instant oats (loaded with sodium and preservatives) to create their own imaginative oats recipes.
Baking a healthy cake like my wholesome Gluten-Free Chocolate Beetroot Cake, gives me bone-deep satisfaction. In the last few months, I’ve struggled to perfect the recipe for a gluten-free, xanthum gum-free, light, moist, healthy and unapologetically chocolaty chocolate cake. Past experiments resulted in a few disasters when the cake crumb alternated between sawdust and sand. So, now that I have nailed that dense, intense mouthfeel of a real chocolate cake, (think dark, dew-soaked rainforest soil), I’m taking a moment. Call me kooky but cooking, like spilt ink smudges runs into most aspects of my life, and sometimes makes me question the time, thought and precious elbow grease that I put into it. But on occasion, when an experiment yields a near flawless result, it all seems worth it.