Gobi Pakora, an Indian Cauliflower Fritter

Aromatic spiced bouquets of cauliflowers are drenched in batter and lightly fried. The result is a classic Indian snack called Gobi Pakora.

I still remember very clearly the first time I went to an Indian restaurant. I was probably 16 and my friend, Helen 23, had suggested it. This lunch was probably the first defining exotic meal I had, one of the first bricks of a path I built that lead me down this blog adventure. So thank you Helen! I remember I played it safe and ordered Chicken Tandoori. But I fell in love. I am not sure what else I had that time but the following Indian meals often included today’s recipe, a staple snack or vegetable side dish, Cauliflower fritters known as Gobi Pakora.

gobi-pakora Tasty reading ahead, KEEP GOING… →

Cheesy Garlic Party Bread for the 5th Food Film Marathon

How do you get everyone running to the buffet table? Serve a pipping hot bread laden with fresh mozzarella, minced garlic, butter, and parsley.

Hosting home parties, the Canadian Thanksgiving, the upcoming arrival of Halloween, followed by the American Thanksgiving, and after that Christmas, New Year’s Eve and insert-your-local-holiday-here. It is that time of year to start prepping your menu plan and finding the perfect party recipes. You can never start too soon!

For me, the perfect party food is one that requires a small number of ingredients, one that is easy and quick to prepare – preferably ahead of time -, and that once you put it in the oven your guest are swooning over the smells coming from the kitchen. This Cheesy Garlic Party Bread absolutely checked all these boxes. It truly was the ideal contribution for my 5th Food Film Marathon which took place a couple of weekends ago.

Cheesy Garlic Party Bread

Tasty reading ahead, KEEP GOING… →

The Liver Experiment Week 4: Indian Liver Curry

This week for the 4th instalment of The Liver Experiment where I will try to acquire a taste for liver. Over a 10 week period I will cook, consume and post my experience once a week about trying to appreciate my food nemesis. If you want to know why I am doing this in the first place please read my Week 1 post. Again, thank you all for your comments and support. I am really enjoying the exchange with my readers with this series all over the social medias and comments. I hope my experiment will inspire you to try the same with your own personal food nemesis. And even if you are determined to hate liver for life I hope you will follow along throughout the whole series.

This week I prepared a most fantastic Indian Liver Curry with a recipe given to me straight from India!

liver curry 03

Tasty reading ahead, KEEP GOING… →

Ayurvedic Herbs: let me breathe, a tea for lungs and asthma

OK so I have not cooked all week. Working hard to get movement back in my wrist at physio (which is torture but going very well) and it was my birthday last week…so I was not the one cooking. Hence I think this is a great opportunity to publish my second post of Ayurvedic Teas. In m first post I gave you all the recipe for a very sedative tea when you are having a bought of insomnia.

Although I don’t have an official diagnosis since last late spring I often have asthmatic symptoms. This is due to my weakness in getting bronchitis. And I find with spring’s allergies my breathing can be more difficult. I now have a prescription pump but I wanted to see if I could get a little bit of natural help by researching my book The Yoga of Herbs for herbs that calm the excited lungs. Well I found a mix that worked. I have to warn you it has an odd aftertaste but it does bring relief. You can use it when you have a cough , bronchitis, asthma or anything related to the respiratory system.

Photo from www.satnam.eu

Ξ Asthma and Lung Tea Ξ

1/2 tsp Lobelia
1/2 tsp Mullein
1/2 tsp Hyssop
1/2 tsp Ashwagandha
1 cup of water

Put 1 cup of water in a pan and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and sprinkle the herbs on top. Cover and let steep for 15 minutes. Strain out the herbs. Ideally drink 3 times a day but.

I am lucky as in my city there is a store that sells such herbs by weight, but if you don’t have such a store there are great online stores like Mountian Rose Herbs which has a huge selection. Let’s take a quick look at the properties of each herb used:

Lobelia stimulates the nervous and respiratory system, helping one to take deeper and stronger breaths.  It is a relaxant and also helps with nicotine withdrawal.

Mullein is an expectorant (loosens mucous), has anti-bacterial properties and has an soothing effect on the respiratory tract.

Hyssop is an expectorant (loosens mucous) and can be used as a gargle for sore throats.

Ashwagandha, known as Indian ginseng, is well known for its restorative benefits and strengthens the immune system. It helps with chronic inflammatory disorders, like asthma.

Nee a crash course in Ayurveda? OK here we go. Ayurveda is a traditional form of medicine used in India which has been around for about 5,000 years. It is considered an alternative medicine in the Western hemisphere. In other words it can work but no doctor will know about it. Still today 80% of the population in India use Ayurveda. The main goal is to treat the mind, body and spirit as one. Treatments and practices include diet, exercise, meditation and massage. Each person has one of three main constitutions (doshas): Vita, Pitta or Kapha. Once you know your main one and which other may be unbalanced, you can prepare medicines to help heal your ailment according to your constitution. The book I mentioned above will help you figure it all out. I am only somewhat familiar with the herbal healing aspect of Ayurveda. The energy and medicinal quality of herbs or spices are classified and used to balance your doshas. For short term use this recipe should work what ever your dosha is.

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor nor am I a trained healthcare professional.  This post is for informational purposes only. This information should not be used as a substitute for a consultation or visit with a physician.

Ayurvedic Herbs: Knock you out and go to sleep sedating tea for insomnia

After a few lovely nights of insomnia this would probably be my drink of choice too! I am quite familiar with insomnia, we have been best buds (enemies ) since my teen years. I have tried every thing, no need to send me suggestions. Please, don’t! I have heard them all!

I recently had a particularly bad bought of sleepless nights …partly due to the cutting in half a certain prescribed medication. I needed to find some form of reinforcement. I recently mentioned in a post that I was playing around with herbal concoctions along the beliefs of Ayurvedic herbal healing. Well I am sharing here my first herbal tea. I know this is not exactly your normal recipe post but I am sure some of you will be more than happy to test this tea out.

Many people are content to drink a cup of  Chamomile tea to help them take a trip to slumber land. For me  Chamomile relaxes me but does not make me drowsy. I needed something that would literally SEDATE me. I researched my book The Yoga of Herbs for herbs that would knock me out. I was so thrilled with my mix, I really felt sedated within 20 minutes and fell asleep easily. I a,m always keeping a jar of this stuff around the house. I make big batches of the dried herbs. If you only want to make one cup used 2 tsp per cup of water.

Nee a crash course in Ayurveda? OK here we go. Ayurveda is a traditional form of medicine used in India which has been around for about 5,000 years. It is considered an alternative medicine in the Western hemisphere. In other words it can work but no doctor will know about it. Still today 80% of the population in India use Ayurveda. The main goal is to treat the mind, body and spirit as one. Treatments and practices include diet, exercise, meditation and massage. Each person has one of three main constitutions (doshas): Vita, Pitta or Kapha. Once you know your main one and which other may be unbalanced, you can prepare medicines to help heal your ailment according to your constitution. The book I mentioned above will help you figure it all out. I am only somewhat familiar with the herbal healing aspect of Ayurveda. The energy and medicinal quality of herbs or spices are classified and used to balance your doshas.

My recipe below is good for anyone if used occasionally so don’t fret about it not being good for your dosha balance.

Ξ Good Night Sedating Tea Ξ

1 1/2 tsp Valerian
1 tsp Passionflower
1 tsp Skullcap
1 tsp Lavender
1 liter of water

Put your water in a pan and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and sprinkle the herbs on top. Cover and let steep for 15 minutes. Strain out the herbs. This amount will be good for 3 days. About 30 minutes before going to bed warm up 1 cup and enjoy.

I am lucky as in my city there is a store that sells such herbs by weight, but if you don’t have such a store there are great online stores  like Mountian Rose Herbs which has a huge selection. Let’s take a quick look at the properties of each herb used:

Valerian: treatment of choice for anxiety and insomnia, sedative, muscle relaxant and aids in preventing panic attacks. The root is the part used and it is very odorous – good or bad, for you to decide. Just keep it in a hermetically sealed jar.

Passionflower: a gentle sedative that soothes nervous tension and alleviates insomnia.

Skullcap: calms excitability and anxiety, mild relaxant, enhances meditation and awareness.

Lavender: calming and soothing, sedative, and has balancing effects on the mind and body.

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor nor am I a trained healthcare professional.  This post is for informational purposes only. This information should not be used as a substitute for a consultation or visit with a physician.

Check out my other posts with home remedies for insomia or sleep problems:

Secret Recipe Club: Green Chutney

My the time is just going by way to fast, another month has gone by already and it is Secret Recipe Club time again. And this month was a real treat for me. What is the SRC? Basically you are assigned a fellow participant’s blog by the organizer and then you pick a recipe of your choice from that blog and make your version of it. But it is a secret, you cannot reveal whom you picked and what you made until the established posting date and time…. which is today! I can’t wait to see who picked me.

This month I was assigned a fabulous blog  called Sin-a-Mon and it is written by the wonderful Monika. Her blog mostly features Indian food. Have I mentioned how much I LOVE Indian food? Actually my first memory of going to an ‘ethnic’  restaurant was with a friend in my mid teens at an Indian restaurant. You could say this cuisine if the one that got my palate very curious to explore the unknown.

Green Chutney

Since then I have cooked quite a few Indian dishes but there where so many recipes n Monika’s blog I had never head of, I did not know where to start to pick one. I was really tempted to maybe try an Indian sweet as they are fabulous but finally I went for one of my favorite recipes, the Green Chutney.

I though it was an odd choice for me as the recipe is so simple to prepare. But I just could not help myself, I have never made my own. I remember buying Green Chutney once in a jar and I was so disappointed, the flavor was terribly bland and I could barely decipher a hint of coriandre. The idea of learning how to make my own, full of flavor, was too enticing.

Ξ Green Chutney Ξ

  • 1 Bunch of Mint leaves
  • 2 Bunches of coriander leaves
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 2-3 green chillies (more if u want it spicy)
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds powder
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • Something for the tang now here u have the following options
    • 1-2 tsp anardana
    • 2 tsp dry mango powder
    • 1/2 small raw mango chopped
    • 3 tbsp curd
    • 2 tomatoes
    • juice of 1 lemon (what I chose)
  • salt to tastes

Put everything in the grinder (food processor) and using just enough water to mix grind them to a coarse paste. That is it.

And look at that gorgeous green mix. I could not help eating little pieces of it all by itself. I adore coriander. I decided to try it on fish that was baked in the oven. It was sublime!

 

But what else can you do with this chutney? Well  come back a 12 pm EST to see another challenge due this same day where I will combine this recipe with another for the Crazy Cooking Challenge with Mashed Potatoes!