Sunday, July 26, 2015

Strawberry Chutney: Indian Style Sweet and Spicy Chutney

Last weekend was super fun and those of you who are following me on Instagram or Facebook would know what i am talking about. Yeah, finally the wish to visit a farm and pick some fruits and veggies turned into reality. And i have gone crazy sharing pictures about the farm visit. Today's post is about that too. People, if you are near London, have car or not you must visit this farm called as Park Side farm. It is easily accessible by tubes as well and it one must to do thing in London on weekends. Whatever you want in a farm visit is there, a picnic area, push chairs, baskets, parking and above all the farm is so huge that you will never feel that there are too many people.

Clear sky and little breezy, looked like god was setting the mood for an amazing day. We picked strawberries, raspberries, plums, green onions, broad beans and French beans. You have many other options as well. Strawberries were just sooooo beautiful. Dark red in colour, sweet and perfectly ripe; waiting to be picked. Strawberries just replicate spring and summer for me.

Basically we got over excited and picked up too many strawberries. And we did consume it in too many forms. Mixed it up with no oil healthy granola and had it in breakfast. Blended with yogurt and made this amazing Strawberry Lassi. Dipped in chocolate ganache and had it like a dessert as well. Too much of strawberry in two days and it already started getting mushy. I had many ideas to use it, like make a syrup, jam or ice cream. But then when I was looking for the recipes I saw most of the recipes need lot of sugar, which was a no no for me. 

Looking for more strawberry recipes? Check these out:

Why make a healthy nutrient fruit so unhealthy by adding so much of sugar? Too much pressure on brain was applied and finally I turned these strawberries into spicy and aromatic Indian style chutney.

This in simple words in more like a jam but it is not over sweet; it is a mix of sweet and tang. Then I added in Indian spices such as fennel seeds and cumin seeds (saunf and jeera), both of them have great fragrant. The sharpness was added through slit green chillies, which just balances it all together. Also a little bit of ginger and lemon juice will do wonders to this chutney. But again, like most of the Indian chutneys this too can be made as per your taste and preference. Just play around and give strawberry chutney or pickle a try, skip jam that is loaded with sugar, that’s all I can say.

What to have this chutney? Well almost anything and everything. Pair it up with parathas, sandwiches, dosa, idli, kebabs, toast, khari, khakra, nachos, chips, crackers, biscuits, warps, frankies....yeah basically anything.

1 kg strawberries
3 tablespoons jaggery/gud
1 teaspoon fennel seeds/saunf
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds/jeera
1 teaspoon oil
1 tablespoon grated ginger
Juice from 1 lemon
3 green chillies slit
Salt to taste

Remove the stems from strawberries. Wash and pat dry.
Take a fork and mash strawberries roughly in a bowl.
Heat a pan and add oil.
When oil is hot add green chillies.
Add fennel seeds and cumin seeds.
Turn the flame to low. Add in strawberries and jaggery. Cook covered for 15 minutes.
After 15 minutes add in ginger, lemon juice and salt.
Cook again uncovered for 10 minutes.
Let the chutney cool down. It must become mushy and no water must be visible.

You might need to add more jaggery if strawberries are sour. Mine was over ripened so I used less jaggery.
You can use sugar instead of jaggery.
Store it in air tight container for 2 weeks in the fridge.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Beetroot Raita Withe Smoked Chilli : Beetroot Yogurt Dip

Summer: ah, synonymous with colors, brightness and freshness; the season that calls for cold salads, chilled beverages and quick cooking. This Beetroot Raita with Smoked Chili is one summery dip that sets up the complete sunshine mood – the tang of the yogurt, the sharp spike from charred chili and the beautiful pink color of beetroot.

Beetroot Raita can be paired with anything! Serve it as a side with Indian curries or parathas, or pair it up with rice dishes like pulav or briyani. Stuff it in pitta pockets with salads and kebabs, or just enjoy it like a dip for carrot sticks, crackers, nachos or chips.

It has everything that you need in a good dip- color, texture and just the right flavors. Bring it on, its summer time!
1 cup yogurt
1 medium size beetroot
1 green chilli
Salt to taste
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon chopped coriander leaves
1 cup water

Put 1 cup of water to boil. Add chopped beetroot in the water. Boil for 1 minute.
Drain the water and let beetroot cool.
Hold the green chilli with a pair of thongs and roast on open fire.
In a blender blend yogurt, beetroot, chili, sugar and salt until smooth.
Sieve the blended mix through sieve. This helps to give it that velvety texture.
Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.

You may need to add more sugar depending on how sour the yogurt is.
This can be made one day in advance.