Category Archives: International Dishes

Tropical Fruit Crepes with Chocolate Drizzle

 

 

I have never had or even heard of “crepes” when I was growing up.  After I came to US, with the internet and so many recipe websites, blogs and recipe books I started making dishes that are not native to my place.  Initially I was into pancakes but as time went by I got a French cooking book as a gift.  That’s where I saw my first crepe recipe – a simple crepes with orange sauce – nothing fancy.  I started reading that and it was explaining how to swirl the pan to coat the crepes into a thin layer.  After reading that recipes, I wanted to make my own crepes and with that my crepe craziness started.  I started with simple crepes and overtime came up with ideas for filling and sauces.

With the weather warming up, I thought this would be the best time to make some crepes with tropical fruit filling.  Since I could not find any good quality fresh mangoes, I used frozen ones.  When it comes to pineapple, I am a bit lazy to peel and cut them and remove all the corky and thorny stuff.  So I used canned pineapple.  But if you can get the fresh fruits, I would say it will taste really amazing.

 

Ingredients:

Crepe:

  • ½ cup all purpose flour
  • ½ almond milk
  • ¼ water
  • ½ teaspoon orange extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon butter melted
  • Pinch of salt

Fruit Filling:

  • 2 cups cut mango cubes
  • ½ cup pineapple chunks
  • Little water
  • Sugar (optional)

Orange Sauce:

  • Juice of 2 large oranges
  • ½ teaspoon butter
  • 1 teaspoon dark brown sugar

Topping:

  • 2 tablespoons flaked coconut toasted until lightly browned
  • Powdered sugar for sprinkling
  • Chocolate sauce

Method:

Crepes:

  • Sift flour into a large bowl and make a well in the center
  • In a different bowl whisk together egg, melted butter, almond milk, water and orange extract
  • Gradually whisk the egg mixture into the flour and mix until the batter is smooth and free of lumps
  • Let stand for 30 minutes
  • Heat a small crepe/non-stick pan and brush lightly with butter.
  • Pour a little batter into the pan and swirl quickly to cover the base of the pan in a thin layer
  • Cook for about 30 seconds or until the edges begin to curl. Turn and cook the other side until lightly browned.
  • Transfer to a plate and cover with a towel.
  • Repeat with the remaining batter to make about 10 crepes. Stack the crepes between grease proof or parchment paper to prevent sticking.

Fruit Filling:

  • In a small saucepan add cut mangoes and pineapples and add a little water and cook until slightly mushy. Drain off any excess water and cut the fruits into tiny pieces.
  • If you prefer you can add a little bit sugar to enhance the flavor.

Orange Sauce:

  • In a small saucepan add butter and brown sugar. Once hot add orange juice and cook on very low flame until to sauce consistency.  Adjust the amount of brown sugar according to orange’s tartness.

To Assemble and Serve:

  • Place a spoonful of fruit mixture one-third from the edge of a crepe.
  • Fold the crepe into a cone leaving a little bit fruit mixture exposed.
  • Drizzle orange sauce around and on top of the crepes
  • Top with toasted coconut and sprinkle with powdered sugar
  • Drizzle with chocolate sauce

Yields: 10 Crepes

Kollu (Horse Gram) Chutney

kolluChutney

Kollu or Horse gram in English which I have never heard of until I came to the United States.  I believe it is quite common in India but no one knows this lentil in my family or town.  I saw this lentil in one of the Indian grocery stores and bought a packet which has been sitting in my cabinet for more than 6 months.  I have been searching for kollu recipes to finish off this bag.  Finally I saw few recipes and I took them and modified it according to my taste.  It was the first time I ever tasted some thing made with Kollu.  I have to say I kind of liked taste of Kollu it but wouldn’t say “Oh it was so great…”

This side dish is very easy to make and of course it is Vegan.  All together it took only about 20 minutes for me.  I used this as a Chutney with Idli.  I think it can also be used as a side dish for Dosas.

kolluChutney1

 

kollu

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup kollu
  • 1 tablespoon channa dal
  • 1 teaspoon urad dal
  • 3 tablespoons shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 3-4 dried red chilies
  • 1 clove garlic
  • Tamarind extract
  • Salt to taste
  • ¾ cup water at room temperature
  • For tempering: oil, curry leaves, ¼ teaspoon hing, mustard seeds.

Method:

  • Dry roast kollu on low flame until a nice aroma emits. Transfer to a dish and let cool to room temperature.
  • In the same pan, dry roast chana dhal, urad dhal, garlic, and red chilli together for about 3-4 minutes on low flame. Let cool
  • Add all the roasted kollu, roasted dals, garlic, chili to a food processor with water, salt, and tamarind and puree until smooth. It can be slightly granular which will give a nice crunchy taste as well.
  • Transfer the chutney to a serving bowl.
  • Add a little oil to a skillet and when hot add mustard seeds.  Once mustard seeds start spluttering add curry leaves and hing and fry for about 30 seconds.  Remove and add to the chutney and mix well.

Note: I have not given the exact amount of tamarind to be used.  Tamarind is sold as a ready to use paste (in bottles) or as tamarind pulp in packets.  If you are using tamarind paste, you can add it directly to the food processor with other ingredients. If you are using tamarind pulp, you have to add a small amount of pulp to a small bowl and add warm water to soak.  Then you have to squeeze it with your finger to extract the juice.  So depending on what you use, you may have to adjust the taste while grinding.

Coconut Almond Granola with Matcha Yogurt

 

 

Here is a quick and easy breakfast – if you are in a hurry to run to work or to run errands, here is what you can do (actually that is what I do).  Have a bag of granola in your office or home.  May be keep a small carton of plain yogurt in your office fridge as well.  When you run out of the door make sure to grab some berries and nuts.  That’s all.  Once you are settled just mix and match the ingredients to make your wholesome breakfast.  That is how I eat breakfast on a week day.  But I take my yogurt in a small rubber maid container.  You might be wondering why?  Because I always make yogurt at home.  Home made yogurt has a distinct taste and flavor as opposed to any store bought yogurt.  Trust me, I have bought several brands of yogurt including the organic ones.  But none came close to a home made yogurt.  I will be posting a recipe on that soon.

So back to this recipe.  Recently when I went to Trader Joe’s they were giving samples of their organic toasted coconut granola.  I tried and bought a bag.  Until now, it has become my favorite granola. Unlike other brands this one has so much of ingredients in there, especially they are so generous about each ingredients. To mention a few lot of dried flaked coconut, toasted chopped almonds etc. Below is an image of that bag.  Now I am so hooked to this granola, I have been buying only this one for the last few months.

Now to the matcha green tea powder.  I have heard a lot about this green tea powder. But I thought to give it a try after reading a blog from Vegan needs  for a breakfast smoothie which used the matcha green tea powder.  So I tried it with my special granola bowl. It was heavenly delicious.  I topped with blueberries and goji berries.  But you can use other berries such strawberries, raspberries or even blackberries.  Since the granola had a lot of nuts, I did not use any nuts.  If you prefer you can top with your favorite nuts. In the recipe below I have not given the amount for the topping since I will leave it up to you.

 

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup coconut granola
  • 1/3 cup plain yogurt
  • ¼ teaspoon matcha green tea powder
  • 1 teaspoon agave nectar
  • Blueberries for topping
  • Goji berries for topping

Method:

  • Mix yogurt, Matcha powder, and agave nectar together
  • Set aside about 1 tablespoon granola. Put the rest of the granola in a small bowl
  • Pour over the yogurt and sprinkle with the reserved granola
  • Top with blueberries and goji berries
  • Serves: 1 serving

Walnut Cake

I have to say, this is one of the best cakes I have ever made.  It does not require any butter or baking powder.  So the egg whites that is beaten to a frothy consistency make this cake looks as if it has risen when baked.  The cake is very dense but soft.

 

 

 

 

Ingredients:

  • 6 large eggs at room temperature
  • 1 cup castor sugar
  • ½ cup all purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoon each nutmeg and cardamom powder
  • 1 ½ cups ground walnuts

Method:

  • Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease a 9 inch spring form pan and set aside
  • Separate eggs. Beat eggs yolks and sugar until light in color.
  • Add flour and spice mixture and add ground walnuts and mix well.
  • In a separate dry bowl beat egg whites with an electric mixer until stiff and form peaks when the whisk is removed from the beaten egg white
  • Fold beaten egg whites to the cake batter and mix carefully until well incorporated
  • Pour into the prepared pan and bake for about 45 minutes. Cool on wire rack
  • Once the cake is completely cooled to the room temperature, to decorate place a paper doily on top of the take and sprinkle with powdered sugar. Remove the paper doily carefully not to spill over any of the remaining sugar on the paper.

Apple Stacked Crepes with Orange Sauce

 

I enjoy making crepes and have posted many crepe recipes on this site.  But among all, this is the most delicious crepes I have ever made.  Even though it took about an hour and 15 minutes to complete the whole process, the end results is absolutely worth it.  The filling is absolutely fantastic – cooked apples combined with the almond mixture.  Also heating the crepes in the oven gives an extra crunchiness to this recipe.  Hope you will enjoy this recipe as well.

 

 

 

 

Ingredients:

For the Crepes:

  • ½ cup all purpose flour
  • 1 egg at room temperature
  • ½ cup milk or almond milk
  • ½ oz butter melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Filling:

  • 1 large (any tart apple such as granny smith)
  • ½ teaspoon brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoon butter
  • ½ cup ground almond or almond meal
  • 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar (powdered sugar)

Orange Sauce:

  • Juicer of 2 large oranges
  • ½ teaspoon butter
  • 1 teaspoon dark brown sugar

 

Method:

Crepes

  • Sift flour into a large bowl and make a well in the center
  • In a different bowl whisk together egg, melted butter, milk, and vanilla extract
  • Gradually whisk the egg mixture into the flour and mix until the batter is smooth and free of lumps
  • Let stand for 30 minutes
  • Heat a small crepe/non-stick pan and brush lightly with butter.
  • Pour a little batter into the pan and swirl quickly to cover the base of the pan in a thin layer
  • Cook for about 30 seconds or until the edges begin to curl. Turn and cook the other side until lightly browned.
  • Transfer to a plate and cover with a towel.
  • Repeat with the remaining batter to make about 10 crepes. Stack the crepes between grease proof or parchment paper to prevent sticking.

Filling:

  • Peel and core apples. Cut them into very thin slices and chop into about ½ inch diagonal pieces
  • Add butter to a skillet and once it starts sizzling, add brown sugar. Add apples and cook until browned and slightly crisp on the outside.  Transfer to a small bowl.
  • Mix ground almond and confectioners’ sugar in a separate bowl.

Orange Sauce:

  • In a small saucepan add butter and brown sugar. Once hot add orange juice and cook on very low flame until to sauce consistency.  Adjust the amount of brown sugar according to orange’s tartness.

Assemble and Serve

  • Place a crepe on a large heatproof plate or even a cookie sheet. Spread evenly with apple and sprinkle generously with the almond mixture.
  • Continue to fill and layer until all the crepes are stacked. Sprinkle the left over almond mixture evenly.
  • Preheat oven to 350 F
  • Cover the stacked crepes with aluminum foil and heat in a preheated oven for 10 minutes or until lightly crisp.
  • Place cooked crepes on a serving plate and cut into four pieces. Place either 2 pieces or just one piece and sprinkle with orange sauce.

 

Coconut Banana Bread

 

It’s been so long since I published any recipes.  I have to say, I haven’t tried any new recipes as well for a while.  It’s been hectic with a new job and then a lay-off, looking for a job etc.  Finally I thought, I have to get back on my normal life and start cooking and baking.  But I didn’t want to make anything complicated and came up with this banana bread.  I found this recipe in the “Better Homes & Gardens” website and modified a little bit.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 cup mashed banana (2-3 bananas)
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup lite coconut milk
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • ½ cup macadamia nuts
  • 2 tablespoons shredded coconut

 

Method:

  • Preheat oven to 350F. line a 9×5 loaf pan with lightly greased parchment paper.
  • Chop ¼ macadamia nuts into fine pieces and chop the other half roughly into big pieces.
  • In a large bowl sift together flours. Mix in baking powder, baking soda, salt and pumpkin pie spice.  Set aside
  • In a separate bowl lightly beat the egg. Add coconut milk, sugar, cooking oil and mix well.  Fold in mashed bananas in incorporate it well into the coconut milk mixture
  • Slowly fold the banana mixture into the flour mixture and mix until just combined.
  • Add dried ingredients in to the banana mixture and mix well.  Do not over mix
  • Add ¼ cup of roughly chopped macadamia nuts and mix
  • Pour batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle with the coconut and reserved almond and bake for about 50 minutes.
  • Half way through baking, cover the top of bread with an aluminum foil to avoid any browning of coconut and macadamia nuts.
  • Cool on wire rack until it becomes room temperature.

Vegan Stuffed Peppers

stuffed_PepperPlate

A few years back when we went to Greece, I had the opportunity to try some awesome Greek food. Me being vegetarian I had no problem finding vegetarian food.  One of the items I enjoyed was the stuffed peppers (and of course stuffed tomatoes).  I had been thinking of making this so delicious food, some how it went to the back seat all these years.  Finally, with the holidays coming in I thought to give it a try so that I can share it in my blog.  I hope you will enjoy this delicious and full of nutritious dish.

Note: In Greece, they were using brown rice but I thought to give it a twist and use Quinoa since Quinoa is so nutritious and no carbs.

stuffed_Peppers

 

stuffed_PeppersCheese

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup Quinoa
  • 1 ½ cups vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic chopped
  • 2 cups sliced mushroom (like button or portabella)
  • 1, 14 oz can diced tomatoes drained
  • 3 cups baby spinach
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 large red bell peppers (you can use orange or yellow as well)
  • 1 ¼ cups vegan (soy based) cheese

Method:

  • Bring quinoa and vegetable broth to a boil in a covered saucepan and reduce heat to low and simmer until all liquid is absorbed – about 10-12 minutes. Let stand covered
  • Preheat oven to 400 F.
  • Add oil to a skillet and add onion and garlic and sauté for about 2 minutes. Add mushrooms and sauté for another 5 minutes until mushrooms are tender.  Stir in tomatoes, spinach, salt and pepper and cook for another minute or 2.  Add quinoa and ¼ cup of cheese, stir to combine.
  • Cut bell peppers lengthwise. Carefully remove and discard seeds and membranes.  Keep the stems intact if possible
  • Sprinkle a little bit salt inside each half and fill with quinoa mixture.
  • Place in a baking tray and cover with aluminum foil and bake for about 30 minutes. Remove baking tray from oven divide and top stuffed peppers with remaining cheese and bake uncovered for about 10 minutes or until peppers are crisp and tender and cheese is browned.