Friday, November 23, 2012

Plantain muffins

Foodies love fresh food. Seasonal. Local. So do the older generation. My father still goes to the local bazar to see what has come up on a daily basis. I on the other hand, shop for a week in advance and then try to stash everything into my inadequate refrigerator.Sometimes the more hardy ones don't even get house space in the fridge. Which brings me to ask, how many of us are actually cooking with vegetables which are "just ready"? Just the other day I chucked out a cob of corn. The kernels themselves looked appeallingly yellow, but there were fungal streaks on the husks which made me think of ergot and ensuing convulsions and hallucination. The plantains used in the following Plantain muffin recipe were hardly fresh. They were bought with the intention of using unripe, but ultimately they started taking on a yellow hue. That's when I decided to make them into muffins. The recipe was created in a slapdash manner. Nothing was actually measured, so what I am writing down now is really an approximate value.
The muffins themselves all that could be wished for; fragrant, moist and dare I say, even healthy.

2 ripe plantains, mashed
8 Tablespoon grated coconut
4 Tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon cardamom, ground
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/ teaspoon baking powder
1 egg, beaten
1/3 cup groundnut oil

Preheat oven to 180 degree centigrade. Oil a muffin tin. This mixture makes 8 muffins. Mash the plantain. Add the coconut, sugar, cardamom, flour, baking powder and mix them well. With a mixer, beat the egg and then mix the oil until frothy. Tip the egg mixture into the dry mixture and fold in to just wet all the dry ingredients. Spoon the batter into the moulds and bake for 20 minutes. Serve warm.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Piedmontese pepper

Food crosses boundaries. Take the instance of chillies all over the world. Neither of the main items in this dish are remotely Italian, yet they have appropriated it very successfully! The dish is simplicity itself and hardly deserves a recipe. Its two colour tone also appealed to me. I saw it in The Good Cook and made some changes and now the Piedmontese Pepper has an Indian version! I used green pepper rather than red ones, normal tomatoes instead of cherry ones and anchovy paste in place of the  fish itself as shown in the programme.

Bell pepper, green - 2, halved and cleaned
Tomatoes - 4, quartered
Garlic clove- 4, peeled and sliced
Anchovy paste - 1 teaspoon
Basil leaves - 6, some shredded
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar

Preheat oven to 180 centigrade. Halve and clean the bell pepper. Coat them with the anchovy paste. Put a few slices of garlic. Roll the tomatoes in salt and sugar once cut. Fill in with the quartered tomatoes. Add the rest of the garlic in between the tomatoes. Add  shredded basil. Bake for 10 minutes. Take out and decorate with the rest of the basil leaves.