cardamom turmeric chia seed pudding

cardamom turmeric chia seed pudding

How much chia pudding can I eat? Clearly, as last week would indicate, a whole lot. Let's just say this pudding was made twice, once to test and the second time to confirm. I'll be honest, I love, love , love chia for its texture in liquids, however, the health benefits are always the last thing on my mind when I gorge on chia puddings. I'm simply just thinking about my spoon being full! 

turmeric chia seeds

Cardamom and rose water are probably one of the two most common ingredients used in Indian desserts and I have a particular fondness for both since they remind me of all my favorite childhood desserts. Chia too, occupies a special place in my food memories as it is commonly used in an Indian rose flavored milk drink called falooda. This particular chia pudding recipe combines all of those delicious flavors that I love with a hint of turmeric. There are two ways to gorge eat this pudding, raw or boiled turmeric, either way it is delicious and soothing and comforting. You can eat this for breakfast or serve it as a light chilled dessert after a heavy meal, just make sure the spoon is large enough to scoop a big bite, every time. 

cardamom and turmeric chia seed pudding

I love spending a few minutes of my day reading other food blogs and sites, these people inspire and teach me and also make me very hungry. Here are some of my favorite recent reads that I wanted to share with you; 
  • Izzy from Top with Cinnamon shared this amazing Coconut Milk Ice Cream that's adorned with a beautiful green pistachio crumble.
  • I recently discovered Sini of My Blue and White Kitchen where she shared a Pulla/Swedish Cardamom-Spiced Sweet Bun recipe. She put cardamom in it so don't think I need to explain why I love this so much.
  • Phi of Princess Tofu made this spectacular Wild Onion and Stinging Nettle Soup, she also taught me a wonderful new hashtag for artichokes.
vegan cardamom turmeric chia seed pudding

cardamom turmeric chia seed pudding

yields: 4 servings

ingredients

1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/4 cup water (optional, see Note in step1)
1/4 cup chia seeds
1/4 teaspoon green cardamom, freshly ground
3 tablespoons sugar (adjust as desired)
4 cups almond milk, unsweetened
1 tablespoon rose water

1. Mix the turmeric and water in a small saucepan and heat on a medium-low flame for 2 minutes or until the water begins to just boil. Remove from stove and allow to cool. OR 
Note: You can also make the raw version of this pudding by skipping the heating step completely. Mix the turmeric in water and then proceed to step 2.
2. In a large mixing bowl, lightly whisk the turmeric water and the rest of the ingredients. Transfer the contents to a container with a lid, cover with lid and refrigerate overnight. Stir the pudding before serving and serve chilled.

spiced chilled almond milk thandai

Thandai

I'm guessing if it is as hot as it is here in D.C., you will probably be like me thinking of all sorts of ways to cool off. At this point, getting wet while watering the garden is turning out to be a pleasant experience! There are more convenient and better ways to chill in this hot and humid weather, one being this delicious drink from Northern India.

Thandai

, as it is commonly called is a chilled drink mildly laced with delicious fragrant spices served on hot summer days and during

Holi

- the festival of color. 

Almond milk and sunflower seeds
Thandai spice mix

All the spices ground to prepare the

thandai

are aromatic that contribute distinctive tastes but they somehow magically come together. The licorice-like taste of fennel with the green cardamom seeds provide the sweet flavor for the background to the drink while the peppercorn and cloves lend a refreshing taste. It is best to use good quality and fresh spices when preparing the blend to get a delicious tasting batch of

thandai

. I've modified and adapted the recipe from Julie Sahni's

Classic Indian Cooking

cookbook. 

Thandai glassful

Though, I have used almond milk to prepare the

thandai

, traditionally you would use chilled milk or water. However, I find the flavors of the spices to be much more delicate and balanced when almond milk or milk are used. I also prefer my final drink to be less sweet in taste and so I reduced the amount of sugar but feel free to add more sugar if you like it sweeter.

Chilled thandai

spiced chilled almond milk thandai 

yields:

8-10 servings

ingredients

2 tablespoons fennel seeds

a pinch of saffron (optional)

1 teaspoon green cardamom seeds

6 whole cloves

10 peppercorns

1 cup toasted watermelon or sunflower seeds 

4 cups boiling water

3/4 cup brown sugar

4 cups fresh almond milk, chilled 

1. Grind the fennel, saffron, cardamom, cloves, and cardamom in a coffee or spice grinder to a fine powder. 

2. Add the sunflower seeds along with half the water, ground spices, and sugar to a food processor. Blend to get a smooth paste. Add the remaining water and pulse for 5 seconds. 

3. Pass the mixture from the blender through a sieve lined with cheesecloth. Squeeze and press out as much liquid over a bowl as you can by wringing the cheesecloth as tight as possible. Transfer the liquid concentrate to a clean bottle and chill thoroughly in the refrigerator before use. 

4. Before preparing the drink stir the chilled concentrate (some separation might occur on standing which is perfectly normal). In a large bowl, mix the concentrate with the chilled almond milk before serving. Pour the thandai into chilled glasses containing 

crushed ice or ice cubes. The concentrate stays good for up to a week in the refrigerator.

rose and almond pot de creme


It's been a very, very busy week for the city. First, we had the annual 100th anniversary of the Cherry Blossoms and the opening of The Hunger Games. Thankfully, I got a chance to walk around the basin and wade my way through the throngs of tourists to catch a glimpse of the flowers before the rain jumped in. A day or two of good rain will wash the flowers off the trees, so luck was definitely on my side this year. Its definitely one of those things that should be on your bucket list, if you haven't already done it. I took some photographs of the flowers in the city to share with you.

 

"The Hunger Games" movie was great and we got great seats even though we faced a long line. All in all a successful week. With spring, also comes the attack of the squirrels and there is one nasty little guy that has been busy digging up my terrace to store whole peanuts. I am still surprised that this squirrel has found a source of whole peanuts with their shells in the city. So far, its been a close call just some digging and no bulbs or plants destroyed. I need to stop by my local gardening store to figure out what I can do to make him find my garden less attractive for his activities. It was so much easier with the dog, I had a little wall raised around the periphery of the garden and then trained him but this squirrel is a bit independent.


I haven't made this Indian themed creme de pot in a while and with the rain carrying off into the weekend, it made the perfect excuse for some dessert. There are several desserts in Indian and Middle Eastern cooking that use rose flowers and rose water as ingredients. They are sweet and fragrant and come in so many different beautiful colors making it a popular addition to food. This custard is a great dessert for a spring and/or  summer table.


This custard has a thin thick consistency which is delicious by itself but can also be served over fresh fruits. I prefer golden raisins because they are sweet yet milder than dark raisins.Technically, this is not really a pot de creme since there are no eggs or any baking involved but the custard is reminiscent of the pot de creme, so hence I decided to name it this way. There are two big surprises in this pot de creme, the first is the delicious layer of cream will form on the top of the custard as it cools. The second surprise is the layer of raisins at the bottom. The almond milk will give the custard a light and refreshing taste and reduces the richness of the cream. You must take care to prevent burning the custard while boiling the milk and cream because it will give a burned taste to the custard. If it does get a little burned, it is better to avoid disturbing the burned layer and remove it from the custard as quick as possible. This recipe is based loosely on a recipe from "Classic Indian Cooking" by Julie Sahni.


rose and almond pot de creme 

yield: 4 servings

ingredients

1/4 cup golden raisins
2 cups fat-free milk
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup almond milk
6 tablespoons rice flour
2 tablespoons rose water
dried edible rose petals to garnish

1. Sprinkle the raisins into a serving dish or into individual serving bowls. In a thick bottomed pot, bring the milk and sugar to a boil on a medium flame. Immediately reduce the flame to a simmer, and add the cream and almond milk. 
2.Whisk in the rice flour and stir continuously till the custard begins to thicken a little. The consistency should be slightly thick but not too much. Remove the custard off the stove and pour it into the bowl. Allow to cool, stir in the rose water and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 to 4 hours before serving. Before serving, garnish the top of the creme with the dried rose petals.