Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Avocado Shake

Avocados taste great raw, the most common variety being Hass. Avocados are mostly used in savory dishes but little did I know that in Brazil, Indonesia and Vietnam, they are widely used in dessert drinks. The avocado shake made in Vietnam (known as Sinh to Bo) uses condensed milk along with the sugary goodness. I decided to make a lighter version using soy milk. One more sweet treat for your taste buds...


1 large ripe avocado
1 cup soy milk or almond milk
Few ice cubes
1-2 tbsp agave nectar or honey (adjust to taste)
2-3 tbsp sliced almonds, chopped (optional)


In a blender, scoop the avocado flesh. Add soy milk, ice cubes and agave nectar and blend until smooth. Add more soy milk if you want a thinner consistency and adjust the sweetness to suit your taste (I used 1 tbsp agave nectar as I like mine less sweet). You can also drizzle some chocolate syrup on top or blend along with your shake. Garnish with chopped almonds and serve cold.

Makes 2 servings.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Apple Cranberry Quick Bread

Cranberries work well with baking recipes. Normally, I use them when I make home-made granola or orange-cranberry scones. Although, the only time I use apples is for fruit salads or when making apple crumble. I like using apple sauce for baking as it can be a good egg substitute. So, why not combine all these to make an apple cranberry quick bread ? The spices combined with the rest of the ingredients with just enough sweetness is a perfect anytime treat.


1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
1 medium apple, peeled,cored and cut into small chunks
6 oz unsweetened apple sauce
1- 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder (adjust to taste)
1/2 tsp nutmeg powder

For the streusel topping:

2 tbsp chopped pecans
2 tbsp all purpose flour
2 tbsp light brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
1 1/2 tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes


In a small bowl, prepare the streusel topping by adding the all purpose flour, light brown sugar, cinnamon powder, chopped pecans and mix well. Add the unsalted butter amd mix with the ingredient until it resembles a crumbly texture. Set aside.

In a bowl, combine the sifted all purpose flour, granulated sugar, salt, baking powder, cinnamon powder, nutmeg powder, chopped walnuts and dried cranberries. Mix all the dry ingredients well.

Add the apple sauce to the dry ingredients and mix well. Now, add the oil and stir until all ingredients blend together.  Add the diced apple pieces into the batter and mix.

Preheat the oven to 350°F.  Grease a medium loaf pan with cooking spray and pour the batter into the loaf pan and level out the top. Spread the streusel topping over the batter until fully covered. Bake for 50-55 mins. Insert a toothpick to check if it is baked all the way through.

Allow it to cool for 15-20 mins and cut into slices.

Makes 12 slices.

Lima Beans Curry

Lima Beans is a good source of fiber and high in protein. It helps regulate blood sugar levels and also lowers cholestrol. It can also increase energy levels by helping restore more iron. Well, I didn't know about these facts when I initially started cooking it, but I guess I can start using it more frequently hereafter. This is a recipe that I learnt from my mom and it seems to be a hit everytime I make it. So, give it a try!!


1 big onion, finely chopped
2 medium tomatoes, finely chopped
1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1 1/2 -2 tsp chilli powder (adjust to taste)
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
Salt, to taste
16 oz pack frozen lima beans
3 tbsp grated coconut
4-5 almonds
1/4 tsp fennel seeds
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves, finely chopped
Tamarind paste, to taste (optional)

For seasoning:

2 tbsp oil
5-6 cloves
4-5 small cinnamon sticks
Few curry leaves
2 tsp mustard seeds


In a pressure cooker, add the lima beans, chopped onions, tomatoes, ginger-garlic paste, chilli powder, salt, turmeric powder, plain yogurt and mix well. Pour enough water for it to boil (say 1- 1/2 cup). Pressure cook for 1-2 whistle.

Grind coconut, almonds and fennel seeds to a fine paste with little water. Set aside.

After lima beans cooks, add the ground paste and boil for 2-3 mins. Add tamarind paste, if required.

In a pan, heat oil, add cinnamon, cloves, mustard seeds along with the curry leaves. When the mustard seeds start to crack, pour the seasoning on the lima beans curry.

Garnish with cilantro leaves and serve hot with rice or rotis.

Makes 4-5 servings.