Sunday, June 19, 2011

Fruit Bouquet to Dear Father

Happy Father's day. Cut, carve and arrange all your favourite summer fruits and make any day special. This is inexpensive compared to online or store orders. This is perfect to gift on special occasions or a healthy centerpiece for a table setting.


The fruit bouquet requires few skewers, a base (I used a small basket), a paring knife, flower shaped cookie cutter, Styrofoam or a lettuce head and fruits like honeydew, strawberries, grapes. Use your imagination and creativity for different shapes and fruit combination/arrangements. Involve your kids and have fun.














Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Mofongo


               Dear Foodies, its has been a long time since I added new recipes. The reason being I am a new mom now and held up with my little princess. But this time, I would like to share with you my trip to Puerto Rico and mouth watering recipe of 'Mofongo' I had in Old San Juan, PR. The basic ingredient is green plantain, which is mashed and fried. This reminds me of  Vazhaikai podimas ( mashed green plantain) popularly known and served in the south indian cuisine. Old San Juan is beautiful with El Morro fortress, colorful colonial architecture, coconut shell jewellery and crafts and you are bound to find tasty and happening restaurants.
               I had Mofongo in a restaurant called Barrachina in Old San Juan. The surrounding beauty of a colonial building is over two centuries old with an interior courtyard and birthplace and home of the world famous Piña Colada, where don Ramón Portas Mingot first made the famous drink in 1963.


Some of the pics captured during our trip.

View of the beach from El Morro Fort

Bell Tower - El Morro Fort

Colorful buildings with beautiful balconies, Old San Juan


Usually this dish is served with pork or chicken .Since, I am a vegetarian I like to have with lots of grilled or sauteed vegetables or a sauce prepared of vegetable stock and pureed tomatoes. This is my version of making it with slight variation.

Serves 2

2 raw green plantain
2-3 cloves of Garlic
1/4 cup of Olive oil plus 1 Tbsp
1 tsp of Cumin
2 tsp of paprika powder
1 tsp of Turmeric powder
salt to taste

For the sauce

4 tbsp Tomato puree
1/4 cup of vegetable stock/ water.
salt and pepper
Chopped cilantro to garnish






Wash and cut the ends of the plantain and peel the skin lengthwise and cut into about 1 inch chunks. Heat water in a vessel and add 1 tbsp of oil, salt and drop the cut plantains and cook until soft and drain excess of water.Mash the cooked plantains with mortar and pestle or a potato masher. In the meantime, peel,crush and mince garlic pods.In a medium flame, heat oil in a skillet, add cumin seeds, minced garlic, turmeric, paprika powder and mashed plantains. Allow to shallow fry the contents and mix altogether till the mixture becomes golden brown and crispy.




For the sauce, heat a  medium skillet, add the pureed tomatoes and when bubbles start to appear, add the vegetable stock or water. This process is to just thin the sauce.Add little salt and pepper.





To serve mofongo, shape into molds using a simple cereal bowl. Fill and pack the mixture into the bowl. Place a plate inverted on top of the bowl. Transfer the contents of the bowl into the plate to form a beautiful dome shape.Drizzle some sauce on top of mofongo and garnish with finely chopped cilantro. 

This crispy plantain and tangy sauce is perfect a combination to please your taste buds. 

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