Roasted Makhana/ flavored Fox Nuts

BM# 102: Week 4, Day 2
Theme :
One bowl recipes

Makhana / Foxnut / lotus seeds make a tasty and healthy snack. Though you can find flavored ones from Indian stores, it’s very easy to make it at home. The advantage is that you can try more flavor options per your taste.

When I saw Priya Srinivasan’s post, I knew have to give it a try. I have never made these at home before. The effort is minimal, especially if you are roasting the makhana in microwave. I don’t think you save a lot of time when it comes to stovetop vs microwave, since you will have to do multiple batches in microwave to avoid overcrowding. But there is more ease to doing this in a microwave than stovetop.

The flavor options are up to your imagination, it can be as simple as salt and pepper or you can make even caramel or wasabi makhana version. Anything that works with popcorn, would work here as well. So it’s all up to you.

Read on for the recipe.

Ingredients:

    100 grams makhana
    1/4 teaspoon red chili powder
    1 teaspoon oil
    Salt as needed

Stovetop method:

  1. Heat 2 teaspoons of oil in a pan. Add makhana, lower the heat and roast makhana for about 10 minutes or until makhana is crispy and crunchy. You’ll have to keep stirring in between to prevent burning.
  2. Add the chili powder and salt and mix it in. Remove from heat and serve in a bowl.

Microwave Method:

  1. In a microwave proof plate, layer the makhana without crowding. I had to do the 100gm packet in three batches.
  2. Microwave for one minute, stop and mix everything and microwave for another minute. Repeat this two more times until all the makhana is roasted.
  3. Now heat oil in a deep pan. Add the salt and chili powder. Add the roasted makhana and mix carefully. Since it’s weightless, it tends to jump off the pan, so use a deep pan or be careful while stirring/mixing.
  4. After a minute of sautéing, turn off the heat. Let it cool in the same pan before storing in an airtight container.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing this BM#100

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Almond Pulp Energy Bites

BM# 97: Week 2, Day 2
Theme : Vegan recipes

I feel blessed that no one in my family has any food allergies. When my niece was born, there was a doubt whether she was lactose intolerant, but thankfully she wasn’t. They had switched to almond milk for a while but now everyone is back to normal milk and a normal diet.

For a lot of Indians, vegetarian diet is not a big deal but switching to a vegan diet is not easy. Given the affinity for yogurt and ghee, it’s a difficult switch. Growing up, me and my brothers never used to drink milk. No coffee, no tea and no milk with the malt based drinks like Boost or Bonvita. But we used to have a lot of yogurt and ghee everyday. My brothers still don’t drink tea or coffee but I started that habit about a decade back.

For whatever reasons you are choosing a vegan diet, milk is the first thing that we miss. Now a days there are so many dairy alternatives you can pick from the supermarket aisle or even better, make your own nut milk at home. Like the almond milk here. And the residual pulp can be made into a healthy bite with dates and oats.

Read on for the recipe.

Almond milk

  • 1 cup almonds
  • 4 cups water*
  • Method:
    1. Soak almonds for at least 10-12 hours or up to 2 days.
      Drain the water and grind the almonds with 4 cups of water until the nuts are completely mashed up and very smooth.
      Strain using a filter lined with a cheese cloth. I used a handkerchief for this.
      Gather the cheesecloth around the almonds and twist and squeeze out as much of milk you can.
      Refrigerate the almond milk in a sealed container and use with in 2-3 days.

    Note:

    *You can reduce the milk to 2 cups for a thicker almond milk.

    *You can add a tablespoon of maple syrup along with the almonds for a sweetened version.

    *The almond pulp can be added to oatmeal,

    Almond Pulp Energy Bites

    Recipe source: Simple Sweet Vegan

    • 3/4 cup oats
    • 1/4 cup chia seeds
    • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
    • A pinch of salt
    • 15 dates*
    • 3/4 cups almond pulp leftover from making almond milk

    Method :

    1. Pulse the oats, chia seeds, cocoa powder and salt in a food processor until they resemble sand.
    2. Add the almond pulp and dates. Pulse until everything combines and forms a ball.
    3. Take it out and use a tablespoon to scoop out the dough and roll into a ball. I got about 15 balls of this size.

    *You can soak the dates ahead in hot water for sometime if you prefer. That would make breaking it down a little easier. Drain and use in the recipe.

    *You can add a tablespoon or two of almond milk or water to combine everything if the dough doesn’t stick together.

    Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing this BM#97

    Instant Pot Ginger Almond Oatmeal

    BM# 97: Week 2, Day 1
    Theme : Vegan recipes

    When I bought Instant Pot almost three years back, a friend of mine told me that I would stop using my regular pressure cooker shortly. I didn’t believe her for a single minute – How could I? I had been using my stove top pressure cooker for almost 2 decades! There was not a single day I wouldn’t use the cooker. So…No. No way that I would stop using my stovetop cooker.

    Fast forward a couple of years and I can see what she meant. I have ditched my stovetop cooker for its electric counterpart. The only time I use the old one is when instant pot is not free.

    I have resisted buying cookbooks for instant pot till now. Between the library and the internet I have never felt a need for it. But these books always have a long waiting period at the library. And now, there are so many Instant pot cookbooks just for Indian cooking that I finally felt compelled to buy one :D. I ended up buying The Essential Indian Instant Pot Cookbook and I absolutely love it.

    This recipe is from the book and I have made it with homemade almond milk to make it vegan. Pressure cooking oats is not something I have done before and I couldn’t believe how creamy it turned out to be. I have already made this a couple of times and I love the taste and the texture a lot. Ginger, almonds, saffron and cardamom with oats…oh it’s delicious!

    Recipe source: The essential Indian Instant Pot

    Ingredients:

      1 cup rolled oats
      2.5 cups almond milk, divided
      1 tablespoon brown sugar
      1 teaspoon grated ginger
      1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
      A pinch of saffron
      A pinch of salt
      1 tablespoon each almonds and walnuts

    Method:

    1. Add a cup of water inside the instant pot and keep the trivet inside.
    2. Keep 1 cup of milk aside. Add everything else into a steel bowl or Pyrex bowl that will fit inside the instant pot. Give a stir to combine everything and place the bowl in the trivet.
    3. Secure the lid and make sure it’s in sealing position. Set the timer for ten minutes in Manual setting. Let the pressure release naturally.
    4. The oatmeal would be thick. At the time of serving, add in the reserved cup of milk and mix everything. Serve with a teaspoon of maple syrup if desired.
  • Note:
    • You can use pot in pot method or cooking everything directly in instant pot.
    • If using regular cooker, about 8 whistles would do.

    Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing this BM#97

    Pinwheel crepe and fruit skewers

    crepe_pinwheel2

    BMG # 82: Week 3, Day 1
    Theme : Crepes
    Recipe: Crepe and fruit skewers

    Like I mentioned in yesterday’s post, the batch of crepes helped me make three different kinds and this is the second one. The idea is from Kathryn Hawkins’  book Crepes, Waffles and Pancakes. The only modification I made was to spread a little jam to the crepes before threading them onto the skewers. This was a delicious and fun treat, I will try this again for sure. My husband, who doesn’t like to eat anything sweet, loved this one. This can definitely be a fun appetizer for parties or a quick snack that makes a good impression.

    I used the fruits I had (which also happened to be what the book recommended), but this would work with any combination of fruits. The bright red strawberry along with the green kiwi and yellowish guava was a good visual treat too. I followed the low fat honey crepes recipe for the crepes.

    This recipe goes to Cooking from Cookbook Challenge Group and Blogging Marathon. Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing this BM#82 

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    Ingredients:

    For the crepe

    • 1 cup milk
    • 1/2 cup plain flour
    • 1 eggs
    • 1 teaspoons honey
    • 1 teaspoon oil
    • a pinch of salt
    • butter to grease the pan

    For making two fruit skewers

    • 1 crepe from above recipe
    • a teaspoon of jam, optional
    • 2 strawberries, halved
    • 1 kiwi, sliced
    • 1 small guava, sliced or sweet mango slices

    Method:

    1. Mix all the ingredients for the crepe using a wire whisk or blend in a mixer to get a lump free batter. This quantity makes about 8 crepes 6″ diameter in size. I used only one of those for the fruit skewer.
    2. To make crepes, heat a 6″ non stick skillet or pan. Spread a little butter to the base of the pan to grease it. Spoon 1/4 cup crepe batter and swirl/rotate the pan so that the batter coats the base. Try to avoid the batter going to the sides/walls of the pan. Cook until the batter is not wet anymore and the sides turn slightly brown. With a silicone spatula, carefully flip it over and cook the other side. Take off the pan and keep it on a plate. Make more crepes until the batter is used up.
    3. Take a crepe and spread a little jam or nutella and roll it up. Cut into 1″ thick pieces.
    4. Thread this pinwheel crepe with the different pieces of fruit onto a long bamboo skewer. Serve immediately.

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