Orange and Banana Smoothie

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Winter is almost fading away and its getting bright and sunny here in Bangalore. And its time to bring back the juicers and blenders into the kitchen again. I have had a wonderful winter this year. Family visiting us, lots of Indian winter food cooking in the kitchen, overload of ghee and pure indulgence. And suddenly now I feel there is a spate of drought in my kitchen and my house. Its a signal saying that its time to go back to old ways, old ways of cooking (less ghee) and old ways of eating (eating healthy). And here comes my favorite smoothie to my respite. This Orange and Banana Smoothie is all about freshness and yumness.

While the freshly squeezed orange juice adds the much need zing to the smoothie, the mini bananas adds the natural sweetness to this charming beauty. The flax seeds provides the nutrients and the pure vanilla extract the amazing flavour to this smoothie. Gets ready in no time and full of goodness that you ought to fall in love with it.

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RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (For 2 people)

  • 3/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 2 medium bananas, frozen for 10 minutes
  • 1 tbsp flax seeds
  • 1 tbsp rolled oats, lightly toasted and cooled
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp maple syrup/ agave
  • 1/2 tsp orange zest, to garnish
  • few mint leaves, to garnish
  • 4 – 5 ice cubes, optional

METHOD:

  • In a blender put orange juice, roughly chopped frozen bananas, flax seeds, yogurt, oats, vanilla extract, maple syrup and ice cubes and blend it until no lumps are there.
  • Transfer this to a glass, garnish with some orange zest and mint leaves are serve.

Enjoy!

Spiced Semolina Cake with Orange Drizzle

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Simple ingredients, quick recipe and an addictive cake – this Spiced Semolina Cake with Orange Drizzle is juts about that. Its getting quite cold back in Bangalore and all I am craving for is nuts and spices for the extra warmth. And then its December where I don’t need any additional excuse to make homemade cakes. My kitchen smells amazing – some nuts and fruits soaking in booze at one end, cookies baking in the oven, fruits being converted into jam on the stove top, cake cooling down and cream getting whipped up elsewhere. Amidst all this its me – an excited soul who is loving every bit of this scene in my kitchen.

Suddenly my mum calls and tells me she made this amazing semolina cake loaded with nuts. Ah! My to do baking list just increased slightly and I set to make this cake since I had everything stocked up at home. The crumbly cake loaded with the goodness from different seeds is a perfect accompaniment during tea time. Garnished with toasted nuts and a tangy orange drizzle, I have got my go to recipe whenever I want to bake something quickly. Delicious, moist and super easy. Try it now!

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RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (Makes a 8 inch cake)

  • 1 1/4 cup semolina
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature + extra for preparing the baking tin
  • 1 cup light brown sugar (you can use granulated white sugar too)
  • 2 tbsp icing sugar
  • 1/3 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1 tsp orange zest
  • 1/4 cup yogurt
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom powder
  • 2 1/2 tbsp mixed seeds (I used pumpkin, melon, flax seeds and chia seeds)
  • 1/2 cup blanched almonds
  • 2 tbsp unsalted pistachios, roughly chopped
  • few strands of saffron
  • pinch of salt

METHOD:

  • Preheat your oven to 200 C for atleast 10 minutes. Spread the blanched almonds on the baking tray and allow it to toast for 8 – 10 minutes or until just slightly brown.
  • Once done, take it out of the oven and allow it to cool completely.
  • Again Preheat your oven to 180 C for atleast 15 minutes.
  • Take 2 tbsp of milk and soak the saffron strands in it for sometime.
  • Meanwhile take the cake mould, slightly butter and flour it and keep it aside.
  • Now in a bowl whisk melted butter and brown sugar until a smooth mixture is formed. To this add semolina, whole wheat flour, salt, , orange zest, cardamom powder, mixed seeds, saffron soaked milk, curd and milk and fold in gently until well combined.
  • Allow this mixture to rest for 5 – 10 minutes.
  • Lastly add baking powder and baking soda and fold the mix gently until just combined.
  • Transfer the mixture to cake mould and allow it to bake for 30 – 35 minutes until a skewer inserted comes out clean.
  • Take it out of the oven and allow the cake to cool completely.
  • In a bowl take fresh orange juice and add icing sugar and stir until completely dissolved.
  • Take the cake, generously drizzle the orange juice mixture. Garnish with toasted almonds, pistachios and dig in.

Stone Fruit Galette

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Looking for a dish to adorn your sunday brunch table or a nice rustic dessert to make your weeknights exciting – this rustic stone fruit galette is the simple answer. It is goodness bundled into a fuss free easy pie which lets you enjoy the tone and the produce of the season. It’s a perfect way to show off the perfectly ripe and juicy stone fruits available in the market.

I am always enchanted by the rustic galettes. They are so appetizing and pretty to look that I want to eat the whole thing almost instantaneously. The wonderful colorful fruits are wrapped in a flakey rustic pastry, baked in no time and topped with sugar – oh so tempting! They are definitely less demanding than a pie and stunningly sumptuous. I heard someone say that its a lazy people’s pie. I am happy to be called lazy if the result is so deadly delicious.

I can’t rave enough about the versitality and the awesomeness of these galettes. Once you make then, they will become your best comfort food. A perfect farewell to the juicy and ripe stone fruits!

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RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (For 8 – 10 people)

For the pastry:

  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour + extra for dusting and rolling out
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 20 gms granulated white sugar
  • 115 grams unsalted butter, cut into 1 inch cubes and chilled
  • 6 – 7 tbsp ice cold water
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten

For the filling:

  • 300 grams of plums, seed removed and cut into wedges
  • 450 grams of peaches, seed removed and cut into wedges=
  • 3 tbsp of granulated white sugar (you can add 1 tbsp more if the stone fruits are sour)
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract or 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • pinch of salt
  • orange skin segments (optional)
  • mint leaves, to garnish (optional)
  • 1 tbsp icing sugar, to garnish (optional)

METHOD:

  • In a bowl take all purpose flour, whol wheat flour, sugar and salt and whisk it. Now add the cold cubes of butter.
  • Using a pastry blender or two forks, cut the butter into the flour until it forms coarse crumbs. It is okay to see small chunks of the butter.
  • Now add the ice cold water a couple of tablespoons at a time and bring together the dough.
  • Dust the kitchen top with flour and transfer the dough on it. Add more water if needed and bring it together to make a ball. Cling wrap it and refridgerate it for an hour atleast.
  • Meanwhile you can make the filling. Take the stone fruits in a bowl. Add sugar, vanilla or almond extract and salt and mix it.
  • Preheat your oven to 220C for atleast 15 – 20 minutes. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and keep aside.
  • Once the dough it chilled, take it out and roll it out to 15 inch circle. Transfer the pastry to the baking sheet.
  • Top the pastry with the fruit mixture (you can also layer it piece by piece) leaving 2 – 2.5 inch gap from the edges.
  • Fold the edges over the peaches gently or make pleats if necessary.
  • Take the lightly beaten egg and using a pastry brush, brush on the folded edges which will give it a nice golden color.
  • Allow it to bake for 25 – 28 minutes at 200C or until golden crisp brown.
  • Once done, transfer it to a wire rack and allow it to cool completely. Garnish with icing sugar, orange skin segments and mint leaves.
  • Slice and enjoy!

 

 

 

 

Double Chocolate Scones

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You don’t need a weekend to have a lavish breakfast loaded with baked goodies and you definitely don’t need a holiday to indulge guilt free. Everyday is another day to rejoice and enjoy everything that you eat (but yes, moderation is the key!). Off late I have been having a quest for sumptuous scones and what better than to bake chocolate scones on #WorldChocolateDay.

While I was baking these, a friend asked me what exactly is a scone. To which I replied, it is a quick bread or probably a quick cake or a quick biscuit. I guess you understood what I was hinting towards. It is a bit of everything which you can make in no time and its oh so good!

These scones are everything a perfect scone should be – tender, moist, fluffy, flaky and packed with white chocolate chips and dark chocolate chunks. It’s not perfect in shape like the ones you get in some cafe, but it’s slightly more rustic. A perfect tasty treat to enjoy your breakfast or your evening tea party!

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RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (Makes 8 scones)

  • 240 grams flour + extra for dusting
  • 25 grams Dutch processed unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 100 grams granulated white sugar
  • 150 ml whole milk
  • 80 grams unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes
  • 2 large egg, room temperature and lightly beaten in separate bowls
  • 2.5 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp orange zest (optional)
  • 1/3 cup dark chocolate chunks
  • 1/4 cup white chocolate chips
  • pinch of salt

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METHOD:

  • Preheat the oven to 160 C for atleast 15 minutes. Meanwhile line a baking sheet with parchment paper and keep aside.
  • In a bowl whisk 1 egg lightly. Add milk and vanilla extract, whisk it and keep aside.
  • Take a bowl, add flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder and orange zest and whisk it slightly. Now add the cold cubed butter and using a pastry blender or 2 forks, cut the butter into the flour until crumbs are formed of the mixture.
  • Add the milk mixture into the flour mixture and fold in until the ingredients are just combined.
  • Add the chocolate chips and chocolate chunks and fold in until evenly distributed.
  • Lightly flour the kitchen top and transfer the scone dough and knead it a few times. Make sure not to over knead it. the dough should look slightly rustic.
  • Take a rolling pin and roll out the dough into a circle with 8-9 inch diameter.
  • Take a knife or cutter and cut the dough into 8 even sized triangles.
  • Transfer each triangle to the baking sheet. Brush it with a lightly beaten egg and bake the scone for 15 – 18 minutes, until a tooth pick inserted comes out clean.
  • Once done, transfer it to a wire rack and allow it to cool and you can serve it just as is or with whipped cream.

It’s Happy World Chocolate Day so time to bake and enjoy!

 

Citrus Summer Salad

 

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Summer is the time when market is full of vibrant produce, great flavors and then the kitchen is brimming with freshness. Yes, its unbearably hot but these handful of things makes summers worthwhile. And when you can make a bright and cheerful salad in almost no time, you have got your cure to beat the heat! This Citrus Salad is soul soothing and bursting with flavors. This salad wins hands down in my list of summer recipes.

The salad has simple and bold flavors leaving you absolutely refreshed. The sweet -tangy oranges, the fresh and zingy grapefruit slices, the salty feta cubes, slightly roasted beets and olives makes this salad all peppy and full of goodness. The honey-lemon vinaigrette makes it all irresistible. Every bite has loads of punch and zing to it making you feel rejuvenated to face the heat again!

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RECIPE

METHOD: (For 2 people)

For the salad:

  • 1 medium sized grapefruit
  • I large orange
  • 1 medium beet
  • 1/4 cup green whole olives
  • 2 tbsp fresh basil leaves, chopped into thin slivers lengthwise
  • 2 tbsp of feta cheese, cut into small cubes
  • 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds (optional)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • salt, to taste
  • black pepper, to taste

For the dressing:

  • 1/2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp lemon zest
  • 1/4 tsp fresh mint leaves, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 tsp fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped
  • salt, to taste
  • freshly crushed black pepper, to taste

 

METHOD:

For the salad:

  • Put the orange and grapefruit in the fridge for about 15 – 20 minutes until they are firm. This helps to cut circular rings easily.
  • Once of the fridge, cut circular rings (as shown in the pricture), remove the seeds gently and trim the skin of the fruits without deforming the circular structure.
  • Preheat the oven to 220C for 10 minutes
  • Meanwhile, scrub the beets to remove any dirt and pat dry it.
  • Now generously coat the beets with olive oil, salt and pepper. Cover it tightly with a foil and put it in a baking tray into the oven for atleast 30 minutes. (If you want completely roasted beets, then roast for 45- 50 minutes or until tender)
  • Once roasted, cut into chunks and keep aside.
  • Now in a serving tray/platter first plate the citrus fruits, then the roasted beets and then randomly plate feta cheese, slivered basil leaves, olives and pomegranate seeds.

For the dressing:

  • Combine olive oil, honey and lemon juice in a bowl using wire whisk until just combined
  • Now add the remaining ingredients and whisk it until just combined. Store it in the fridge until just ready to use.

Drizzle the dressing onto the salad and enjoy!

 

 

 

 

Dark Chocolate Truffles with Orange Liqueur

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Craving for some seriously yummy dessert, have a get together house party or need to gift a gorgeous gift to someone with a personal touch, the answer is all in this recipe – Dark Chocolate Truffle with Orange Liqueur. Truffles are indeed pure bliss – perfect for every occasion! With thanksgiving hangover and after party this weekend and Christmas right around the corner, truffles is THE way to have a sweet end to the celebration with friends and family.

I always thought it’s difficult to make it until I tried my hands on it. They look beautiful, it sounds exotic, its delicious and yes, it’s really simple to make. The concoction of flavors is endless, so you can make what you like the best. They are complete show stopper with their decadent flavors and their wow visual appearance.

Some combinations are made in heaven and are classic, dark chocolate and orange is one of them. The richness as well as the bitterness from the dark chocolate keeps you wanting for more. The infusion of orange zest and liqueur makes you fall in love with it. So switch on your creativity button, infuse your favorite flavors and make these small one bite wonders because LIFE WITHOUT CHOCOLATE IS BORING! (Even my lil one wants to dive into it)

Share your favorite truffle combination and your recipes on our Facebook or tag us at #plateandpalate and @plateandpalate on Instagram.

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RECIPE

Ingredients: (Makes 12 truffles)

  • 130 grams dark chocolate ( I used 60% dark chocolate)
  • 60 ml cream ( I used Amul fresh cream)
  • 1 tsp orange zest
  • 1 tbsp orange liqueur (I used Grand Marnier, you can use Cointreau)
  • cocoa powder, for coating

METHOD:

  • Roughly chop the dark chocolate and place it in a saucepan.
  • Melt the chocolate using the method of double boiler. Make sure you stir the chocolate every now and then.
  • Once the chocolate has melted by 90%, in a separate bowl heat the cream on medium heat for a minute.
  • Now add the orange zest and liqueur to the cream and heat  the cream for another minute or two.
  • Since the chocolate should have melted by now, pour the cream mixture over the melted dark chocolate and whisk till combined.
  • Cool slightly and refrigerate for atleast 4 hours (or overnight). Make sure you cover the bowl with a lid when you place it in the refrigerator.
  • Now make small balls and refrigerate for another 20 minutes or until firm.
  • Coat the balls evenly with cocoa powder. Place each truffle in a sieve and dust off the excess cocoa.
  • Place it in the fridge for another 15- 20 minutes and  your truffles are now ready to consume.

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Enjoy and I bet no one can eat just one… (so you can double the recipe also)!

 

Rainbow Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette

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The start of October means the start of festivals all across India. There is an aura of happiness and wafting aroma of excellent food everywhere. I indulge to my hearts content, however I try to reset my day by eating something healthy, atleast one meal a day. The idea of eating healthy and delicious food got me to make this Rainbow Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette. It was inspired by a salad I ate at Yoga Cafe in Mumbai – simply soul satisfying!

This Rainbow Salad is indeed a treasure trove of the freshest fruits and vegetables that I picked up from a local grocery store. The vibrant colors and textures of the ingredients, makes it a picturesque plate of food where you want to dig in. The crispiness from the home grown lettuce leaves to the fresh explosion of pomegranate pearls and orange segments is blissful. The alfalfa sprouts ornate the dish beautifully and add a nice earthy feeling to it. While the tomatoes add the juiceness to the dish, the smokiness comes from the char grilled peppers. Assimilating these ingredients might be time consuming at times however the outcome is great too. The feta cheese (one of my favorite cheese) adds the creaminess to the powerhouse salad and all this is well brought together with a simple balsamic vinaigrette. Remember to drizzle the dressing right before you eat it.

Yes, I am a salad person but I get bored eating the same salads again and again. However this is one salad where you can experiment with different ingredients – add some, delete some and never get bored. Eat this colorful salad, eat healthy, stay healthy!

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RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (For 2 – 3 people)

For the salad:

  • 25 grams of Alfalfa sprouts
  • 10 – 11 pieces lettuce leaves
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 6 orange segments, deseeded
  • 1 medium sized red pepper
  • 1 big tomato, deseeded and cut lengthwise
  • 40 grams feta cheese, cut into small cubes
  • 10 pieces toasted walnuts (optional)
  • 2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

For the dressing:

  • 1 tbsp Balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tbsp Extra virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp Chili Flakes
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 4 basil leaves, roughly chopped
  • 6 mint leaves roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp brown sugar (optional)
  • salt, to taste
  • freshly grounded black pepper, to taste

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METHOD:

  • For the dressing, mix all the ingredients in a glass jar/container. Shake well and keep it in the refrigerator for atleast 30 minutes.
  • Meanwhile brush the red pepper generously with olive oil and keep it on a naked flame so that it chars. Turn the side every 2 minutes to get a even char on the red pepper.
  • Once its grilled, put it in a bowl with cold water. Peel the skin and cut it into thin strips and keep aside.
  • Take a bowl or a platter, place the lettuce leaves. Randomly place half the grilled peppers and tomatoes on the leaves.
  • Now scatter the alfalfa sprouts and the remaining tomatoes and bell peppers.
  • Garnish with pomegranate seeds, orange segments and feta cheese cubes.
  • Right before eating drizzle the vinaigrette, toss it and enjoy the salad.

Stay healthy, stay happy!

 

 

 

Pearl Barley Salad with Lemon- Honey Vinaigrette

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This oh-so-delicious salad is wholesome and packed with so much flavor. It’s become my absolute favorite since it requires nothing exotic. Its full of ingredients that is always available in our pantry.  The crunch from the veggies, the freshness from the fruits and the zing from the vinaigrette makes you want to go back for more.

Certain ingredients have such strong memories (not good ones!) attached to them that it becomes so difficult to get over it. One such ingredient is pearl barley. As a kid my mum used to give me barley water since it boosted your immunity and kept fever at bay. I hated the sight of it. And suddenly times have changed. Being a mum myself, I wanted to introduce barley to my son but definitely not the way I had it. I wanted it to be more interesting, colorful and appealing. I was contemplating between a barley soup versus barley salad. Seeing a whole array of fresh produce in my fridge I had to toss up a salad. My husband, my lil one and me – we all loved it. I keep making iterations to this recipe and its simply amazing. Its vibrant, its fresh and its delicious.

So when you face time crunch and yet want to eat something interesting, this is the recipe to fall upon. Be healthy, be happy – keep enjoying this salad!

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RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (For 2 – 3 people)

For the salad:

  • 1 cup cooked barley
  • 1 raw mango, diced into small cubes
  • 1 medium red bell pepper
  • 1 large tomato, cut into small cubes
  • 1/3 cup basil leaves, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup lightly toasted pine nuts
  • 2 tbsp dried cranberry, roughly chopped (optional)
  • 3 orange segments for garnishing (optional)

For the dressing:

  • juice of 1 1/2 medium sized lemon
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp dried mint
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • salt, to taste
  • freshly grounded black pepper, to taste

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METHOD:

  • In a glass jar/bottle combine lemon juice, olive oil, honey, dried mint, lemon zest, salt and freshly grounded black pepper. Put the lid and give it a good shake until all the ingredients are combined.
  • Place it in the fridge for atleast 15-20 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, take a cooking brush and brush olive oil on the red bell pepper. Put it to roast on the gas flame.
  • Make sure all the sides are well charred. Once that is done, remove it from the flame and put it in a bowl filled with ice water.
  • Deseed it, remove the skin partially and chop it into small cubes, similar to how the other ingredients have been chopped.
  • In a bowl combine diced raw mango, red bell pepper, tomatoes, basil leaves, cranberry and 1/2 toasted pine nuts and keep aside.
  • Take the serving plate, put a generous amount of pearl barley in the center. Place the vegetable and fruit mixture on top. Garnish it with toasted pine nuts.
  • Just before serving, take out the dressing from the fridge, give it a good shake and drizzle it over the salad and dig in!

Enjoy!

Fresh Orange Muffins

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Having a plethora of oranges at my home, all I could think of is orange muffins, orange cupcakes and orange cake. The freshness and the zesty flavor from the oranges is a delectable treat. These are versatile little sweet treats where can you experiment with different fresh fruits to create beautiful desserts.

With amazingly sweet oranges available in the market, I end up eating a couple of them everyday. Getting bored of eating oranges, I wanted to incorporate this citrus wonder into my desserts to satiate my quest for oranges. The unbelievable orange flavors and aroma is so pleasurable that it doesn’t cause sweetness overload. Its old fashioned but superbly appetizing. Life is better when you get a fuss free, quick and mouth watering recipe to try this in this festive season. So why wait, get your baking spoons out and start now!

RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (Makes 12 muffins)

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour/ all purpose flour (you can even take 1/2 cup whole wheat and 1/2 cup all purpose flour)
  • 1 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup flavorless vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 2 tsp orange zest
  • 1 tbsp cornflour/ corn starch
  • candied orange, for garnishing (optional)
  • chocolate sauce, for drizzle garnishing (optional)
  • icing sugar, for garnishing (optional)

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METHOD:

  • In a bowl mix whole wheat flour or all purpose flour along with baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon powder and cornstarch.
  • In another bowl first take oil and add sugar and whisk well until the sugar is dissolved completely.
  • Add orange juice along with oil and orange zest and mix well.
  • Now add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and fold until everything is mixed well.
  • Fill the muffin liners with the batter. Fill upto half only.
  • In a preheated oven (preheat for atleast 15 minutes), bake the muffins at 180 C for 22 – 24 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted comes out clean.
  • Once its baked, cool it and then dust with icing sugar or drizzle chocolate sauce or garnish with candied orange and serve.

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Enjoy this sweet treat with your tea!