Saturday, July 26, 2014

Day 207 - Deadly Desi Martini (a.k.a the Panakatini)

Flavored vodkas are great, but they don't come nearly as close to infusing your own. This way, there is no limit to the different flavors that you can introduce to your mixed drinks. This is especially true if you want to introduce classic Indian flavors to your mixology experiments (Unless of course, Smirnoff decides to come up with these flavors overnight)!

I've tried experimenting with about 1/2 a dozen flavors of infused spirits, from fruits to a combination of spices. This drink, the Dirty Desi makes use of a vodka infused with cardamom & dried ginger. The proportions are flexible, I smashed up a 1 inch piece of dried ginger and 4-5 pods of crushed cardamon to 500 ml of vodka, Poured the spirits into a  bottle with an airtight stopper, like this one from Urban Dazzle. Let the spices steep uninterrupted in the alcohol for a week and then filtered out the spices.

The drink itself is inspired by a classic beverage described in the Rig Veda, The Paanaka, a divine combination of flavors from ginger, lime and cardamom. I love to serve it up as a chilled, slightly fizzy martini.Maybe it just stems from the fact that I love martini glasses, the conical shape the long stems, evokes the classy 'Bond'ish aura. Well since is is a contest organized by two classy entities, The Indian Food Bloggers meet and, what better than to serve up a Martini  with classic Indian flavors!

Deadly Desi Martini - The 'Panakatini' (Makes 1 serving)

You need:
3 fl oz Cardamom & ginger infused vodka
Juice of 1 lime + the rind cut up into pieces
seeds from one cardamom pod, crushed
1-2 teaspoon Dark brown sugar or powdered jaggery
3 oz Ginger beer
Ice as required.

Combine the infused vodka, lime juice, the rinds, the crushed cardamom and the sugar in a cocktail shaker and muddle the mix together until the jaggery is dissolved. Add ice and ginger beer and shake the mix to combine. Strain out into a martini glass, garnish with a slice of lime and serve.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Day 206 - Lentils with Swiss Chard

Its quite frustrating when you have to make do with sub optimal Wi FI speeds and a terrible jet lag especially when you want be up to par with a daily blog.. but that's the way its going to be,if you want to have a vacation. Its a literal interpretation of  'You can't have your dish & eat it too'.

This was on my menu last week, Lentils prepped with fresh ground spices and plenty of Swiss Chard, freshly picked from the veggie patch. totally vegan with an added extra element. Almond flour left over from making a batch of almond milk.

Recipe to be linked as soon as I can. Stay tuned.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Day 204 - Ginger Basil Mojito mocktail

As I must have said earlier, I've been completely going nuts with all the contests that are being organized by Indian Food Bloggers Meet and Urban Dazzle. This is just one of many.. stay tuned for the rest of the week!

Ginger Basil Mojito Mocktail

You need:

Juice of half a lime + the rind cut up into strips
1 teaspoon sugar
6-8 mint leaves
1/2 teaspoon fresh squeezed ginger extract
2 tablespoons Thai Basil simple syrup
Pinch of sea salt
Lime flavored seltzer or plain club soda
Ice as required
a spring of mint leaves for garnish

Combine the lime juice, sugar, salt, ginger extract, mint leaves and the rind of the lime together in a cocktail shaker and muddle the mixture until the leaves are all mushed up. Stir in the Thai basil simple syrup, add some ice and shake well. Strain out in to a double old fashioned glass and top up with ice cubes and  the club soda. Garnish with the sprig of mint and serve.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Day 202 - South Indian style purple cabbage slaw

I'm pretty sure I've posted a recipe for the traditional Carrot Kosmalli Salad. Well,  this is in the same vein except that the carrots are replaced by shredded Purple Cabbage. The head must have been sitting on my kitchen counter for a month or so, and the outer thicker leaves gradually wilted away, leaving behind a modest sized heart. These inner leaves were much more delicate and I loved the way they released their juices when the salt & lime juice was added.

You need:
1 small head of purple cabbage, shredded
1/2 cup sliced onion or shallot
1/2 cup diced heirloom or cherry tomato
Juice of 1 lime
1 green birds eye or serrano chili diced
2 tablespoons oil
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
Salt to taste
Chopped Cilantro for garnish

Combine and toss the cabbage, onions & tomato together in a bowl. Heat the oil until its almost smoking and add the mustard seeds, once the seeds sputter and pop, toss in the green chili and stir. Pour the hot oil over the cabbage mixture, mix and drizzle the lime juice. Season with Salt and chill in the refrigerator for the flavors to combine.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Day 201 - Sauteed Swiss chard stems with Peruvian potatoes

Harvested a huge bunch of Swiss Chard from my vegetable patch and fell in love with the brightly colored stems. Turns out they're perfect for roasting and stir frying and so paired them with a bag of purple peruvian potatoes I had on hand.The seasoning is via scorched green chilies and ginger. I love the smoky green aroma of the chilies coupled with the accompanying heat.

You need:
1 lb Purple Peruvian fingerling potatoes
2 cups Swiss chard stems
2 tablespoons oil
1 teaspoon Cumin seeds
2 large serrano chilies sliced diagonally
1 teaspoon minced ginger
Salt to taste
Cilantro for garnish
Lime juice for drizzling

Boil & peel the Peruvian potatoes and cut each spud into two. Heat the oil in a cast Iron skillet and add the Cumin seeds. Once they 'split', add the chilies & minced ginger and stir until the chilies emit a smoky aroma.
Add in the potatoes and the chard stems, sprinkle salt and allow the vegetables to cook up until the potatoes begin to turn golden. Transfer to a serving dish and garnish with the cilantro prior to serving.

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