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Thursday, 29 June 2017

Aloo Bukhare Ki Chutney / Fresh Plum Chutney


It is stone fruit season and one can find peaches, plums and berries in abundance in the local markets here in North India. Among all stone fruits, delicious and juicy plums are my favourite. Ripe fruit is juicy and has a sweet and tart taste with a pleasing aroma. Plums are low calorie power food packed with amazing health benefits. 

Plums are excellent source of vitamin A , Vitamin C ( Ascorbic acid ) , folate and vitamin K. The minerals present in them include potassium , fluoride, phosphorous , magnesium, iron , calcium and zinc. They also supply dietary fiber and offer very low calories .The health benefits of plum include relief from indigestion, influenza infection and anxiety related problems. The antioxidants in them help in treating osteoporosis , cancer, diabetes and obesity. Source: https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/fruit/health-benefits-of-plums.html


Apart from enjoying these seasonal beauties as a healthy snack and in salads , i use plums to make a flavorful chutney which goes well with Indian flat breads like chapati , paratha and as accompaniment with idli and dosa. The chutney can also be serve with roasted or grilled chicken or with cheese bread or simply as a spread over toast. This plum chutney is made by blending fresh ripe plums with Indian spices to give a flavorful preparation. Each bite of this chutney is a blast of flavors as it is sweet , tart , mildly spicy and bit sour all at the same time. The chutney is oil free and makes use of jaggery instead of refined sugar. The recipe can be easily doubled and the chutney remains good for about a week to 10 days on refrigeration.



  Preparation Time: 10 minutes
  Cooking Time: 15 minutes
  Serves : 4-5 servings

  Ingredients: Measurements used 1 cup = 200 ml
  • 6-7 Plums ( approx 250 grams) , quartered and pitted
  • 1/4 cup crushed Jaggery (add more if the fruit is tart)
  • 1 teaspoon red chilly powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry ginger powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric Powder (optional)
  • Black Salt to taste
  Method:
  1. In a sauce pan add the plum wedges and  crushed jaggery and heat over medium flame.



  2. Allow the jaggery to melt completely . The plum will cook and become tender in the juices. This may take about 8-10 minutes on low flame. Keep stirring in between to ensure the mixture does not catch the bottom.


  3. Once the plum is cooked properly , add all the spices ( red chilly powder, turmeric powder, dry ginger powder, cinnamon powder ) and black salt. Stir well.




  4. Cook the chutney for another 2-3 minutes on low heat and put off the flame. Allow it to cool down completely before transferring it to a clean , dry glass jar.


  5. Serve the delicious plum chutney with bread and cheese , with paratha or as a dip with grilled or roasted snack.


  Notes:
  • The recipe can be easily doubled. 
  • The amount of jaggery depends on the tartness of plums so adjust accordingly.
  • You can use black pepper powder instead of red chilly powder.
  • Whole spices like star anise, cinnamon stick and clove can be added to enhance the flavors of spices in the chutney.
For more similar recipes, do check my posts on


Sunday, 25 June 2017

Coconut Cookies Using Sviten- Natural Sweetener / Product Review


I am back from a well deserved break and a rejuvenating vacation. No no i did not visit any exotic holiday destination but still i feel so fresh and relaxed. Reason is that this time i decided to spent quality time with my in -laws and parents by keeping myself away from gadgets ( cell phones / laptops ) as far as possible. Believe me it is not that difficult and worth the happiness you see on faces of your family when you are completely with them. And then you have so much quality time to do what ever you wished to do. In my wish list was to visit my extended family and enjoy family gatherings and get together , enjoy nature walks , witness the beautiful Sunrise and Sunset almost daily and i am so glad i could do all of this. Kids were happy with the family picnics and outings. All and all a perfect break from daily routine. 

Now that i am back , it is time for some serious work. To begin with are these guilt free coconut cookies which i have made using Sviten - a natural sweetener. Just before i moved for my vacations, i received a pack of Sviten from Food Bloggers Council Of India (FBCI) to use the product and review it. I used the product for about 3 weeks as tabletop sweetener in my juices, smoothies, lemonades , tea , coffee and dips. Apart from this i used it to sweeten Indian desserts like payasam and kheer and also in baked goodies.


 Sviten is a brand name for a natural sweetener which is made from Stevia leaf extracts. The pack states that Stevia is a plant ( member of the chrysanthemum family) whose leaves are steeped, processed (extracted) to get Steviol Glycoside which gives sweetness which is 300 times more than sugar with no added calories. Sviten has no side effects as against artificial sweeteners and can be used by sports person and  calorie conscious people of all age groups. Sviten is diabetic friendly as it does not raise blood sugar levels. 

Pack Details : The pack comes with 50 handy sachets of Sviten sweetener . The sachets are easy to carry and each 1 gram sachet equals to 1 teaspoon of sugar.

Where can Sviten be used:  Sviten natural sweetener can be used to sweeten food , beverages and desserts.
  • You can use 1 or 2 sachets of Sviten to your favorite beverage , be it green tea , coffee ,lemonade or smoothie.
  • For baked desserts like cakes and cookies , i replaced 1/2 cup sugar with 12 sachets of Sviten sweetener.
  • Sviten can be used as a tabletop sweetener in payasam , kheer and dips as per the desired sweetness. 
                           

Benefit for weight watchers  and calorie conscious people: Stevia leaf extract is a highly- potent sweetener that has sweetness of about 300 times more than sugar so you need only very small amounts to achieve the level of sweetness you expect with sugar. Stevia leaf extract also has no calories because of the way our body metabolises the sweetener. Unlike sugar stevia leaf extract quickly passes through our digestive tract and is eliminated without being broken down for calories. 

Diabetic Friendly : Sviten does not raise the blood sugar levels and has no side effects as against artificial sweeteners so is diabetic friendly.

Drawbacks: Sviten imparts a characteristic after taste to the food or beverage it is been added to which should not be a concern when you are used to the product. Also anything in excess is of no use and it hold same with this sweetener. Sviten is a natural sugar substitute and should be used in moderation.

Where can we find Sviten sweetener : Sviten can be ordered on line from Amazon.com. You can click Here for the link to the site.

Recommendation: I would recommend Sviten natural sweetener to my viewers and readers , if you are looking for a sugar substitute which is natural, is diabetic friendly ,gluten free ,  safe for all age groups and is benefit for weight watchers and calorie conscious people. 

                         

Now coming to our recipe , i made these melt in mouth coconut cookies using Sviten natural sweetener. My papa is diabetic and i made these beauties on father's day so he could enjoy a guilt free sweet treat . The cookies turned out to be delicious, sweet and crunchy on outside and soft  from within and we could hardly make out any difference in the taste. 

 The cookies are egg-less and made using whole wheat flour. I replaced 1/2 cup sugar with 12 sachets  of Sviten in this recipe. These cookies can be easily made under 30 minutes with the ingredients that are easily available in our kitchen pantries. Serve them with tea or coffee or enjoy them as snacks or just to satisfy the sweet cravings.

Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 12 minutes
Serves: 9 cookies

Ingredients: Measurement 1 cup = 200 ml
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened desiccated coconut + 2 tablespoon 
  • 12 sachets of Sviten natural sweetener ( 1 gram each)
  • 3-4 tablespoon of clarified butter / ghee
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla essence
  • 4-5 tablespoon milk or as required
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • Pinch of salt

 Method:
  1. Preheat the oven at 180 degree Celsius for 15 minutes. Line the baking tray with a parchment paper. In a bowl take whole wheat flour , desiccated coconut, baking soda and salt. 


  2. To this empty 12 Sviten sachets and mix well.


  3. Add vanilla essence and clarified butter. Mix well to get a bread crumb like consistency.




  4. Now add milk little by little to get a semi soft dough.



  5. Make 9 equal balls of the dough and flatten slightly with your palms. Tap them over the desiccated coconut to coat them lightly. Arrange them on a lined baking tray keeping distance between each cookie.


  6. Bake the cookies in a preheated oven at 180 degree Celsius for about 12 minutes. To check for doneness just press the top of the cookies with a spoon . If impression is formed , the cookies are under done. Bake the cookies for 1-2 minutes more. Over baking may make the cookies hard .


  7. Serve the coconut cookies with a cup of tea or coffee and enjoy with your loved ones !




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