Monday, December 17, 2007

Skinny Banana Pancakes with Walnut & Mascarpone Cheese Topping

Skinny, because I can't flip the other!
My friends think I'm lucky that frosted cakes or cream and sugar decorations don't tempt my fancy. Though I like to spend time admiring those kinds of edible works of art, I can't seem to cajole myself to eat more than a bite of them, I like 'em plain.

But Mascarpone is another story :) I like to keep a container of Mascarpone cheese with me at all times, if possible ;) It is something that I enjoy, and yes I know it is 75% fat or something like that :) Purists may scoff at my use of Mascarpone, but I'll let you in on a food secret of mine, after all, my blog, my rules ;) I like to have blob of mascarpone with some sugar as my quick shrikhand! I find it too irresistible :)

In this recipe I've mixed up mascarpone with some sugar and ground me on this one, try it and lemme' know ;)
Skinny Banana Pancakes with Walnut & Mascarpone Cheese Topping

Banana Pancake
1/3 cup all purpose flour / maida
1/3 cup whole wheat flour
2 tbsp semolina/sooji
2 bananas, mashed
2 tsp walnut powder
buttermilk to make the mix
1/2 tsp elaichi/cardamom powder
1/2 tsp baking soda/Eno fruit salt
pinch salt
Oil for shallow frying
1. Mix all to get a pouring consistency like a regular pancake.
2. Heat a griddle and spray some oil.
3. Pour 1/3rd cup of the mix and swirl the pan to spread the batter.
4. After 3/4 minutes flip the pancake and drizzle oil around the edges and cook till done.
5. Make all pancakes.
Walnut Mascarpone Topping
4 tbsp mascarpone (OR as per your liking)
2 tbsp walnut powder (coarse)
1 tbsp sugar (as per taste)
Mix all.
To serve:
Serve Banana Pancakes with a dollop of Walnut Mascarpone topping!

So, how do you like your Mascarpone cheese? :)

Monday, December 3, 2007

Red Lentil Soup with Fried Onion, Lime, Mint and Cilantro Dressing....

Red Lentil Soup has a lot many variations worldwide! One of the wonderful ways to dress up a bowl of hearty lentil soup is by adding crunchy fried onions mixed with lime juice and lots of chopped cilantro and mint, it makes for a burst of flavors!!! This one is an adaptation from the middle eastern way of cooking.
I use my trusted pressure cooker to finish off the job in a few minutes........ I mean, I like to think I've a! You sure can simmer it in a sauce pan!

Red Lentil Soup with Fried Onion, Lime, Mint and Cilantro Dressing....
1 cup Red Lentils/Masoor Dal
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
2 tbsp celery, chopped (optional)
1 tomato chopped OR 1 tbsp tomato paste
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp ginger, minced
1 tbsp oil/butter
1 tsp cumin powder
1tbsp coriander/dhania powder
salt & pepper to taste
4 tbsp fried onions
4 tbsp finely chopped coriander/cilantro leaves
2 tsp mint leaves, chiffonade
4 tbsp lime juice, use as per taste
1. Wash the lentils well and soak in water till you chop the vegetables and get the other ingredients ready.
2. Chop onion, carrot and celery. The mix of these three together is a base for almost all kinds of soups and is also known as 'the trinity' or 'Mirepoix' in French cooking! Don't ya love those fancy terms ;)
3. Heat oil, add the mirepoix and saute on medium till they soften. Take care not to brown the onions, that changes the taste of the soup.
4. Add ginger and garlic, saute 30 seconds. Add chopped tomato/paste.
5. Add drained lentils, spices and about 5/6 cups of water. Cook till done. It takes just one whistle in my pressure cooker, about 40 minutes in a saucepan. Add salt an pepper to taste.
6. Some people like to blend the soup, at this point, I don't. I like this soup a little on the runny side which helps take on the dressing flavors better, in my opinion. Do as you please :)
7. Now comes the incredible dressing part, which in itself is yummmmm :) Mix 1tbsp fried onions, 1 tbsp chopped cilantro, 1/2 tsp mint chiffonade and 1 tbsp lime juice, garnish over the soup and serve immediately.
8. The crispy onions and the tartness from the lime juice make for one amazing tasty soup! I won't recommend this soup without these two!
Definitely one of my favorite soups, serve with any bread you like for a delicious meal this winter or any season for that matter!!
You can add greens like spinach, kale etc when the soup is cooked and simmer till the greens wilt for an extra healthy serving :)
You can always omit the mint if you don't have access to it.