Pumpkin Goodness: Recipes That Go Beyond Pie

 

 

Fall is in the air and there is no better place to experience it, than here in Toronto.There are various shades of tinted amber, brilliant yellow and bright orange everywhere. I sit by my window and look out with a heart filled with gratitude as I admire nature’s canvas, painted ahead of me. The air is crisp and the falling leaves now bid adieu to summer.

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Muhammara: Roasted Red Bell Peppers & Walnut Dip

This bright and super flavourful dip is a show stopper and a crowd pleaser for sure.Smoky flavours of roasted red bell peppers combined with a hint of garlic,a burst of lemon juice and olive oil mingle together to make up this delightful Middle Eastern Mezze. If your taste buds are sharp enough you will detect the slightly coarse texture that is brought about by the addition of breadcrumbs and coarsely ground walnuts.

This classic dip traces  its origins to Aleppo Syria,and now a popular accompaniment with most Levantine cuisine.

A key ingredient that lends a vibrant colour to this dip is Pomegranate Molasses.I do believe the brilliant red tones and the tartness of this deeply flavoured Muhamarra ,lies in the addition  of the molasses.I’ve been impatient to make this for quite awhile now and glad that I  went ahead and made some. Continue reading

Tangy Onion Chutney & A Lazy Sunday Morning

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Yes and that’s how most Sunday afternoon’s land up being at our home.Lazy and with no  great plans for at least the earlier half of the day.Most often I declare that the Kitchen’s Closed .I  say this with every reason as,between getting a lot of meals together,cooking for my classes and all the recipe development and experiments that go on  through the week,I’m ready to have someone else do the cooking for me.

Well this past Sunday was an exception. We were out most of the previous days at various lunches & dinners and wanted the comfort of a simple home cooked meal. We all crave that especially as it a mix of nostalgia of one’s mum’s cooking,perhaps a childhood favourite or just something easy and hearty that evokes a sentiment of feeling totally comfortable at home.

Both the dear husband and son are quite fond of a South Indian fare.Now I did have some Ragi (finger Millet) dosa batter that was made up a day earlier.Well all I really needed was a filling and a dip to go along with it.I choose to go with an absolutely  easy and tangy Onion Chutney and a quick and easy Potato as the accompaniments with the Dosa.

Oh well ,I did land up in my kitchen on a Sunday and it didn’t turn out as Lazy as I expected it to be.All the same very worth  it as our lunch turned out be a delicious and a very satisfying one.The Not so Lazy Sunday ended on a perfect note with a discovery of a new recipe for my repertoire.

Do you cook on Sunday? If yes do share your Sunday special recipes with me. I’d love to hear from you.

Till then…Happy Cooking Always.

 

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Tangy Onion Chutney:

Ingredients:

  • 3 Medium Onions (chopped or sliced)
  • 2-3 dried Red Chillies
  • 1 small piece tamarind
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon roasted Cumin powder
  • 7-8 curry leaves (lightly roasted)

For the Tempering:

  • 1 tablespoon Oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon Mustard seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon Urad Dal
  • Dash of Amchur powder
  • 5-6 Curry leaves

Directions:

  1. Finely grind the Onions,red chilies tamarind,cumin powder and curry leaves into a fine paste.
  2. Heat some Oil and temper with mustard seeds, urad dal and curry leaves.
  3. Now add the ground paste and fry well for about 8-10 minutes or till the chutney does not seem raw.
  4. Add in a dash of amchur powder

Beetroot Hummus

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Hummus in Arabic literally translates to mean chickpeas. That’s exactly what this mezze is all about.A combination of crushed chickpeas, tahini (sesame paste) some lemon juice,garlic and olive oil…And Voila a delicious dip to serve with grilled meats,crisp pita or even some chopped vegetables.

How about Jazzing up your favorite Hummus recipe with the goodness of beetroot? I’ve used some beetroot puree into a batch that I made up earlier this week.

The beetroot totally livened up the hummus and gave it a wonderful texture, sweetness  and a gorgeous color of course.The base recipe for the Hummus is pretty much a standard one. It was almost all gone and I had to reserve some to take a quick picture for this blog post.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup boiled chickpeas ( or tinned)
  • 2 tablespoons Tahini
  • 1 pod garlic (crushed)
  • 2 tablespoons Olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup yogurt
  • 1/4 cup pureed beetroot ( 1 small beetroot boiled and pureed)
  • sprinkling of sumac

Directions

  1. Put the chickpeas into a food processor and blend for a minute.
  2. Now all  ingredients (except yogurt ) and blend further for 3-5 minutes till the mixture is smooth.
  3. Place in a small bowl and whisk in the yogurt.
  4. Drizzle some more Olive oil and sprinkle some sumac or zaatar powder.
  5. Garnish with some chopped parsley.

Coriander Pesto with Toasted Walnuts

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Ah Pesto! 

Move over Pine nuts and Basil as fresh coriander and toasted walnuts blend together to make this wonderful and easy Pesto.This is an absolutely delightful treat in my kitchen.Heart healthy pesto has a variety of uses. Toss it into your favorite pastas, slather some on your morning toast,drizzle some over a salad and even use it as a marinade over some chicken or fish.

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Here is just about the easiest way of making a fabulous Pesto.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups fresh coriander leaves (stalks removed and chopped)
  • 1 clove garlic (minced)
  • 50 grams walnuts (lightly toasted)
  • 1/3 cup (35 grams) fine Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup Olive Oil
  • 1 teaspoon chopped basil (optional)
  • 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Directions:
1.Lightly toast the walnuts on a pan.

2.Now combine the Coriander leaves Parmesan,Walnuts,Garlic and grind in a food processor.

3.Gradually keep pouring the Olive oil in a steady stream.

4.Season with salt and pepper and add in the lemon juice.

5.Transfer to an air tight container and add a little more olive oil.

6.Consume with a week. Best if refrigerated.

Some of my favorite Recipes that call for Coriander Pesto:

  • Boiled Fusilli or Penne tossed in some olive oil and minced garlic.With a couple of tablespoons of Coriander Pesto. Garnished with Parmesan shavings and pepper.
  • Roasted baby potatoes tossed with some Coriander basil, mixed with arugula leaves and with an  olive and balsamic vinegar dressing.( Served warm)
  • Ditch the usual pizza sauce and use some of this pesto as your base.
  • Use as a sandwich spread or in a Panini.
  • Marinate either Chicken of Fish with Pesto,Olive oil, salt and pepper.Perfect for grilling.