Blackberry Parfait

BM# 100: Week 2, Day 2
Theme : 3 
ingredient Dishes

Breakfast is not an elaborate meal at my place. It’s almost always a bowl of cereal or oatmeal. I like something with a bit of liquid in it than having to chew before you are completely awake (even if it’s 10 in the morning). The idea is I will close my eyes, drink it down and then wake up later when I have to deal with the day.

You can see why a yogurt based parfait would work well here. It ticks off all the boxes for me. There is smoothness from the yogurt, a bit of crunch from muesli or granola, bit of sweetness from the berries, there is color, there is contrast and most importantly, it is ridiculously easy to make. Any jam would work instead of real fruit too. A spoon of sugar or salt is allowed for this theme, so I decided to add it to the berries. It’s optional and if you are using a jam, you won’t need it anyway.

Scroll down for the recipe.

Ingredients:

    1/2 cup yogurt*
    3 tablespoons granola/muesli
    8-10 blackberries
    1 teaspoon sugar, optional

Method:

  1. Mix sugar with the berries and microwave for 20-30 seconds. Cool slightly and mash it down with the back of a spoon.
  2. Spoon some of this on the bottom of a glass. Top with a tablespoon of muesli or granola. Add some of the yogurt. Repeat the layers until it reaches the top. Mine was a small glass so it took only two layers of each.
  3. Top with muesli and serve cold.

Note:

*You can sweeten the yogurt as well with a spoon or two of sugar. I didn’t do it.

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

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Besan Doodh – Chickpea flour milk

BM# 98: Week 4, Day 1
Theme : Cooking for Two

Spring is here and there is a definite improvement in the weather. We are not ready to shed our jackets anytime soon, but its so much better already. And there is so much to look forward to – greenery, cherry blossoms, lighter jackets, sandals, walks outside….that feeling itself is heart warming. My son is not a fan of summer.  He associates summer with bugs and the tiny flies that roam over your head and go right into your eyes if you are not wearing bug repellent. Its too hot for him but the biggest disappointment for him is that there is no snow in summer! Let’s wait and see how his view changes some years from now :-).

Anyway, coming to this recipe here. Its a traditional winter recipe from Punjab. Its supposed to be a good cure for cold and cough. I had bookmarked it when I saw it in Suma’s blog Veggie Platter two weeks back. Even though the winter is on its way out, its still cold here and a hot cup of delicious flavored milk is still very much enjoyable. A pinch of cardamom adds so much of flavor, so does the almonds. If you prefer, you can reduce the besan flour a bit and add more crushed almonds to increase the flavor of almonds. I liked the original recipe as such and I didn’t make any changes.

Read on for the recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 teaspoon ghee, optional
  • 2 tablespoons besan (chickpea flour)
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoon chopped or crushed almonds
  • a pinch of ground cardamom
  • a pinch of saffron

Method:

  1. Heat ghee in a nonstick pan. Add the besan flour and saute for a minute or two until it starts releasing a nutty aroma and starts turning slightly darker in color.
  2. Add about half cup of milk and mix with a spatula. You are looking for a lump free smooth mixture. Add 1/4 cup more milk, if needed to get the smooth consistency.
  3.  Once you get a lump free and smooth roux like mix, add the rest of the milk, chopped nuts, cardamom, saffron and sugar. Let it come to a boil and reduce it to a simmer.
  4. Cook for a further 6-8 minutes or until the milk has thickened a little bit and the besan flour is cooked through. Take off the heat and serve in a cup.

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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

    Kenyan Masala Chai

    BM# 96: Week 4, Day 1
    Theme : Southern Hemisphere

    My search for recipes from some of the African countries brought me so close to home that I was really surprised! I saw the recipe for Githeri at Mireille’s blog. I wanted to read up a little more about it and my search took me to YouTube. Video suggestions that followed the Githeri recipe showed one for Kenyan Masala Chai. I was intrigued by the name and reading more about it, I realize that it’s derived from the Indian masala chai. This particular video is by Jikoni Magic and is very well explained.

    Tea plantations were introduced in Kenya in the early 1900s by the British and they are now a one of the leading producers in the world. Apparently the country is a mix of lot of cultures with the presence of British bringing in a lot Indians/Asians as well. I knew that before but still looking at a recipe so far away from home, yet so similar to what you make everyday is a rather pleasant feeling.

    There is no one single recipe for the tea. Some add spices, some don’t. It’s all adjusted to suit your personal preference. So make your own call when it comes to what you add to your tea. The base concept is to boil the tea leaves with milk and water. So check out this recipe, prepare it at home and take a sip from anywhere in the world!

    Serves: 4

    Ingredients:

    • 3 cups water
    • 2″ piece of ginger, peeled and chopped
    • 4 cardamom pods
    • 1″ piece cinnamon stick,
    • 1 teaspoon black pepper
    • 2 teaspoons black tea leaves
    • 2 tablespoons sugar
    • 2 cups milk

    *the spices and the sugar can be adjusted according to your taste preference. You can add more tea leaves for a stronger brew.

    Method:

    1. Simmer water with the spices, tea leaves and sugar for about 10-15 minutes.
    1. Add the milk and simmer again for 5 minutes, making sure that it doesn’t spill over. If you mix the froth that comes up on top, the tea will go back to a simmer.
    2. Take off the heat and strain using a tea strainer. Serve hot.

    Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing this BM#96