Monday, June 30, 2008

Yummy Fried Plantains

Sweet-Fried plantain is one of the favorite snacks of me and Mr. B . We enjoyed savoring this dish several times in Cuban Restaurants in Miami. They serve this dish in the name "Plátanos Maduros" meaning Ripened Plantains.


Plantains - 2 (Firm and Ripened)
Sugar - 4 to 5 tbs
Oil - for frying

Method :

Peel the plantains and slice them into 1/8" thin rounds. Fry the plantains in oil, turning occasionally, until they are caramalized or turned golden brown for about 2 to 4 minutes. Sprinkle the plantains with the confectioner's sugar and serve hot.


I coated the plantains with little sugar before frying as the plantains weren't that ripe and I couldn't wait. Plantains will be very sweet if the skin is fully black and ripened. You can fry the plantains in Ghee too. I enjoyed this plantain (Nenthrapazham in TAMIL ) in the form of Ethakka Appam/Pazham Pori in Nagercoil.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Strawberry Pannacotta

Panna Cotta is a luscious creamy dessert originated in the Piedmont region of northern Italy. Panna Cotta is an Italian phrase which literally means "Cooked Cream" made by cooking together cream and sugar, then adding gelatin and cooling it. I chose this recipe as I had the heavy cream and pick-your-own Strawberries from Stultsfarm in the fridge.


Strawberries - 1/2 cup (about 16)
Powdered Sugar - 1 cup
Heavy Cream - 1 1/4 cups
Gelatin packet - 2

Sprinkle Gelatin powder in little cold milk , stir well and keep it aside. Blend the strawberry in the mixer with little milk until smooth, seive it through and discard the solids. Meanwhile heat a saucepan over medium heat. Combine heavy cream, sugar and strawberry liquid and cook it in low heat. Mix the hot cream into the gelatin. Mix it well. Pour the creamy gelatin mixture in equal amounts into four small ramekins. Refrigerate for 4 hrs . Top it with strawberry syrup and sprigs of mint before you serve .

Friday, June 20, 2008

Creamy pasta with Arugula and Parmesan cheese

I usually cut the Arugula from my herb garden every other week and my son adores any dish made out of it. Here is the pasta dish which I made with heavy cream and loads of parmesan cheese.

I made the dish the same way I made
Lemony Cellentani with Arugula except that I omitted
the lemon and added heavy cream and cherry tomatoes.

Jicama with Home grown Dill


Jicama - 1 cup cubed
Dill - a small bunch
Chili powder - 1tsp
Mustard seeds- 1/2 tsp
Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp (optional)


Microwave Jicama pieces for 5 minutes. Wash and chop the Dill weeds. Take a teaspoon of oil in a kadai, add the mustard seeds. Once the mustard seeds start to splutter, add Jicama pieces, turmeric, Chili and salt . Give a nice toss. Add the chopped dill weeds and cook for few more minutes.

Serve with roti and daal.

Mr. B and Junior B enjoyed like a snack. I and my sister preferred the salad over this.

Refreshing Jicama(Pronounced hee-kah-mah) - Cucumber Salad

Other Names: fan-ko (China), sankalu (India), sinkamas (Philippines)

Thank you all for your participation and guesses. It's nothing but JICAMA also called mexican potatoes or yam bean or Mexican turnip(Pachyrhizus erosus). It is a tuber that belongs to the morning glory family that hails from Mexico and South America. This vegetable is characterized as a cross between an apple and a potato. Jícama is very popular in Vietnam, known as 'cu dau' or 'cu san'.

Whenever I go for vegetable shopping (farmer's market, Wegman's, Shoprite) ,I have the habit of picking up some new stuff (could be anything) every time . I always wanted to buy this tuberous root in the grocery store but I was hesitant somehow to buy the odd rugged looking vegetable in the produce section. I never thought it could be eaten raw until recently. It's a great vegetable to serve raw on a crudité(raw) platter as it doesn't discolor like potatoes. It has crunchy white flesh inside tastes similar to that of water chestnuts, more aptly vaalaithandu (plantain stem) but sweeter. It can also be sautéed or boiled. I made couple of dishes using this.

Jicama has less starch and fewer calories than potatoe has. If you want to have a low carb and low calorie summer snack, go for Jicama-Cucumber salad. Jicama retains it's crispness even after it is boiled or sauteed. I think Jicama also belongs to the acquired taste vegetable category.


Jicama(Peeled and Julienned) - 1 cup
Cucumber(Peeled,seeded and Julienned) - 1 cup
lime Juice - 1 tsp -
chili powder - 1/4 tsp
corriander leaves(chopped) - 1 tsp
Kosher salt


Toss together Jicama,Cucumber and chili powder. Add freshly squeezed lime juice, chopped corriander leaves and salt and give a nice toss. Let the salad sit for 15- 20minutes to absorb the flavor. Serve this crunchy and refreshing salad on a hot summer day.

You can make variations to the salad by adding shredded carrots, papaya, beets etc.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Banana Nut Bread

All my family members, except my husband, treat our tummies with Idli,Dosa and what not for breakfast . Mr.B sticks strictly with cereals in the morning. He loves to eat any cereal that has a hint of banana. His favorite one is Post Banana Nut Crunch. I decided to make the Banana nut bread (he loves it) as an alternate to his everyday (boring, to me at least) cereals. I think it's o.k to make this once a week though it's not that healthy as cereal because of the fat added. I made the bread this weekend with the help of my two lovely kids (they volunteered). I altered a bit of the recipe that my sister printed it from net. The recipe is very simple if you have the ingredients handy in your pantry. The bread came out really good and moist. Here is the recipe of my first ever successful baking.


All Purpose Flour : 2 cups
Sugar : 3/4 of a cup
Eggs : 2
Salt : 1/4 tsp
Butter : 1 stick(softened)
Bananas : 3 ripened
Almonds : 1/4 cup(chopped)
Baking Soda : 1 tsp
Pure Vanilla Essence: 1 tsp


Combine flour and baking soda . Mix it well. You can sift both together to mix evenly. Add salt and sugar to the flour. Mash the bananas roughly and add to the flour . Add slightly beaten eggs , vanilla essence, half of the almonds and butter and mix them thoroughly. Be gentle with the ingredients. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a loaf pan with butter on the bottom and sides. Pour the batter into the pan and top it off with the remaining chopped almonds. Bake for an hour , or until the time when a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean. Set it to cool for 5 minutes. Turn the pan upside down gently and the bread slides off nicely from the pan. Enjoy the bread with a cup of tea.