Thursday, March 31, 2011

Vegan Mango Mousse

It was about 7-8 years ago I had Mango Mousse at a friend's home. I was so impressed that I immediately got the recipe and bought the ingredients and made it. Same day another friend stopped by and I offered her this new creation. This friend of mine is very much interested in trying out new vegetarian recipes but she did not eat mousse saying it has gelatin and gelatin is not a vegetarian. Later I started looking for a vegetarian/vegan jelling agent and it ended with Agar Agar Powder. Agar Agar powder is used as a jelling agent in Thai, Indonesian, Vietnamese cuisines. It is made from sea weed. Later I became vegan by choice and stopped using creme cheese or cool whip/whipping creme and started using silken tofu as a replacement. Here is the recipe that my 'non tofu loving' friends loved as well :)

2-3 mangoes
1/2 pack silken soft tofu (about 5-6 oz preferably organic)
1 orange
1/2 lime
2-3 tbsp sugar (adjust according to your taste)
1/2 tsp cardamom powder
2-3 saffron threads
3 tbsp agar agar flakes
1/2 cup water

Preparation - 
Peel and cut the mangoes into pieces throwing away the pit. Juice orange and lime. Place mango pieces, tofu, lime juice, orange juice, sugar, cardamom, saffron in a mixer jar and puree until smooth. Start heating water in a small vessel. Add agar agar flakes when water starts boiling. Let the water boil for 2 more minutes and add it to the pureed mixture. Mix it for another 2-3 minutes. and pour it in a nice shaped bowl. Place few mango slices as garnish and refrigerate the mold for at least 6-8 hours.

Run a wet knife around the mold when you are ready to serve. You can flip the mousse in a decorative dish and cut as you cut the cake. Or you can spoon the pieces. Garnish with mango slices before serving.

This is my entry for 'Mango Mania', Monthly Mingle Event by Meeta K of 'What's for Lunch Honey'.

Update: Mousse sets nicely when tofu, mangoes are at room temperature. 

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Thursday, March 10, 2011

Sabudana Khichadi

(Link To Marathi Recipe)
Lot of my friends find it difficult to make sabudana khichadi as it requires lot of judgment calls. How long to soak it, how do you soak it? Do I keep it in water whole night? 
Here is my post to demystify making Sabudana Khichdi -  

Here is how I soak sabudana -

  1. Wash 1 cup sabudana once
  2. Soak it in water covering the whole sabudana and and an inch of water above the sabudana level.
  3. Set the timer for 15 minute. 
  4. Remove most of the water from sabudana after 15 minutes.
  5. Cover the vessel and leave it for abut 6-8 hour.
  6. Just before making khichadi - fluff soaked sabudana with fork.
Khichadi - 
2 cups Sabudana soaked according above procedure
1/2 - 3/4 cup Peanut Powder (coarsely ground)
3-4 green chilies
Juice from 1/2 lemon
2 tbsp Oil
1 tsp Cumin Seeds
Salt per taste
1/2 tsp sugar

Preparation -   
 Wash and chop chilies. Heat oil in thick bottom kadhai (pan) on medium heat. Add cumin seeds and chopped chilies and fry for a minute or so.
Meanwhile mix salt, sugar with fluffed sabudana.
Add 1/2 of this sabudana to the pan and add peanut powder. Cover with  remaining sabudana. Slowly and carefully mix everything well.  Saute on medium flame for 3-4 minutes.
Now cover the pan and let it cook for 3-4 minutes. Mix it thoroughly, cover it once more if necessary. It might start sticking to the bottom. Do not worry about it. Just make sure that it doesn't get burnt. Mix it well. Sabudana pearls will start becoming transparent. That means khichadi is done.
Garnish with chopped cilantro and lemon juice. Mix it well and serve hot or warm. 

Tips - 
  1. If you want to add potatoes to this khichadi, I will suggest coarsely grating it and adding it to sabudana along with peanut powder. 

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Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Olan or Erissery

It was last September we got invited to celebrate Onam at a friend's place. We were greeted by traditional lamp in the front door decorated with nice flowers. Her house was decorated nicely. Traditional Keralite knick-knacks were scattered artfully throughout the house. Everyone was dressed in traditional white sarees and kurta-dhoti. Table was set with traditional Banana leaves. Kitchen counter was decorated and there was lot of food! Onam special food was prepared by my two friends. Let me remember what I ate that day -Avial, Sambar, Karela chips, Papad, Rice, Olan, Pachadi, brown Payasam, white payasam and few things I do not remember names of!! I had tasted all these things separately but it was my first time to taste all these delicious preaparations all at once. And oh boy! Was I full or what! It was all tasty homemade food with wonderful company. 


I decided to make everything that I ate there one by one by one. After making Pineapple Pachadi, I decided to make Olan or Erissery as my friend R calls it as. I decided to look for recipe in Ammini Ramachandran's Grains, Greens, and Grated Coconuts. I bought this book more than a year ago per ET's recommendation. I have made various things from the book include Pepper Rassam, Plantain curry. It is wonderful book to have in your collection. The recipes are authentic and Ammini's writing style is warm. Ammini's recipe calls for whole moong beans but according to R traditionally it is made with Red Cori (Azuki beans). So I decided to make it with Red Chori and Butternut squash and results were amazing. I cut down amount of coconut and used green chilies instead of red chili powder as suggested by another friend. I am not sure what to call it, Olan or Erissery, but its a something we love. 

Olan or Erissery

This is how I make it-

1 Cup Red beans
3 Cups Butternut Squash
1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder
2 tsp Cumin Seeds
4 tbsp Fresh Coconut (I used Frozen)
3-4 Green Chilies
Salt per taste
Water as needed

Seasoning -
1 tbsp Oil
1 tsp Mustard Seeds
2 Dried Red Chilies
10-12 Curry Leaves

Preparation -
Dry roast red chori for 5-6 minutes on medium heat. Wash it thoroughly. Add 3 cups of water, turmeric and salt. Cook it in pressure cooker until its fully done. about 15-20 minutes on medium heat.
Peel, remove seeds from butternut squash. Chop the squash into 1/2" pieces. Add squash, little water and pinch of salt in a heavy bottom pan. Cover and cook until its soft. It will take about 8-10 minutes.
Once the beans are cooked, mash them with spoon and mix it with cooking squash.
Grind cumin seeds, coconut and green chilies together to smooth paste with little water.
Mix the paste with cooking bean-squash mixture. Let it cook all together for few minutes.
Heat oil in small kadhai, add mustard seeds. Add broken red chilies and curry leaves after mustard seeds starts spluttering. Fry it for a minute or so and pour over cooking beans-squash. Mix welll.
Serve with rice or chapati.

Tip - 
  • If you cant find Red chori, you can use black eyed peas. 
  • Traditionally it uses pumpkin but I like flavor of butternut squash so I used it.
  • You can garnish finished dish with more coconut.
I am sending this to MLLA-33, event started by lovely Susan and currently hosted at Ammalu's Kitchen
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