Baking | ‘Upcycled’ Butterscotch Blondie Pudding … when things go wrong as they sometimes will!

“The proof of the pudding is in the eating.”
Miguel de Cervantes

Upcycled Blondie Pudding‘Upcycled’ Butterscotch Blondie Puddingand whatta strange name might this be? It’s natural to wonder but you know, things happen. So I was baking YET ANOTHER BATCH {I can bake these in my sleep now} of the kids favourite blondies, and then there was an emergency. Not an emergency emergency, but one that required me to hurriedly nip out of the house to get some work done. I seldom leave while I am baking. The blondies were about done, like 5 minutes to go. I peeped in, and then thought, nah, not done. Should give them an extra 10 minutes!

Upcycled Blondie Pudding Well that’s the difference between Wholegrain Butterscotch Blondies and the‘Upcycled’ Butterscotch Blondie Pudding! Just ten minutes. TEN! Got back, they were done, cooled… and I thought, oh dear, slightly over done. The boy readied to sink his teeth into gooey, moist blondies, and was disappointed. “Ummm, NO. What did you do? You messed them up. Same taste, not gooey Mama.” It was a ‘shove the blondies down his throat now‘ sort of a moment, but I desisted.

Upcycled Blondie Pudding They sat there in the box for a few days. ‘He‘ didn’t even look at them. The dog did. Often. I was tempted to, but I couldn’t give sweet to the poor pooch. I debated what to do, then eventually ran out of patience, and thought, that’s it. Trash ‘em! As luck would have it, just that day Ruchira swung by. We were in the kitchen and the box caught her eye. ‘What’s that?’ ‘Ruined batch of blondies.’ ‘Whatchya gonna do with them?’ ‘Chuck them. Overbaked.  Too dry!’

Upcycled Blondie Pudding She took a little nibble, eyes shining said, ‘Upcycle them!’ We both dissolved into puddles of giggles as we had spent all morning discussing up-cycling furniture.  Oooh whatta good great idea that was. And that is just what I did the next morning. Such fun. Just the very name ‘Upcycled’ Butterscotch Blondie Pudding gave me the energy and soon I had sweet little glasses of up-cycled dessert!

Upcycled Blondie PuddingThey were a HIT! A simple vanilla pastry cream brought together in the Thermomix in under 10 minutes. Crumbled blondies and butterscotch chips. The pastry cream smothered the dry blondies in it’s love, and the end result was love at every bite!addictive good. The spoon scraping the bottom of the glasses was the sweetest sound ever! Can’t wait for another over baked batch!

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Food Diaries | DALS THE WAY TO GO … 3 Quick Dal Recipes Made With Less Water

“If you take more of your protein from vegetable or plant-based foods, good studies have shown that you will live longer.”
Professor Jeya Henry

Dals, 3 Quick Dal Recipes Made With Less WaterThe pure comfort of that bowl of dal, the nostalgia engulfs me each time I smell the aroma of onions being fried in clarified butter. Such is the power of food, and in my opinion, these protein rich dals / lentils offer deep deep comfort in every bowl. The humble khichadi is the meal on the go at our place, with dollops of home made yogurt and kumquat green chilli pickle. Did I forget a liberal drizzle of ghee? Yes please!

DalsLiving in India, dal was synonymous with meals when we grew up. From the bowl that I loved, to many that I didn’t, the dal journey has come a long way. There was dal served on the many long train journeys from Delhi to Bangalore as we were growing up, to diluted iquidy dals served in the Officers Mess where we dined often. There was the piquant luxurious ambi wali dal in UP during the summer. Working at the airport in the late 1980’s saw many a midnight meal after flight departures at dhabas that dotted the vicinity. Nothing could beat the comfort of that dhaba dal with the fresh tandoori roti. Pure magic. As always, dhabas in India never disappoint.

Dals From the dhaba to Bukhara, as small bowl of Dal Bukhara and there is born another memory. This one is a truly indulgent dal, one which is a  tradition in itself, a dal simmered over slow coal fires all night long, a world renowned dal. My memories of this dal go back to the late 80’s and early 90’s … the taste lingers on.

DalsThat’s the power of food, and the power of dal. Yet another dal milestone came by way of home science in school. We mastered the Moong Dal with Spinach, and post marriage this was the only dal I cooked, day in and day out. It’s the only one I was confident about. I am sure the house was FED UP with my lack of creativity but no one said a word. The only other alternative I offered was Moong Masoor Dal, a quick 5 minute dal that my mother often made. I still make that a lot. I love the flavours. A tadka of zeera, garlic and hari mirch complete it.

DalsNow my dal repertoire has grown with many years of food blogging and traveling across India. I love the pure comfort of dals from Uttar Pradesh to the genius use of dals down south. Every part of India celebrates this macro nutrient or power house of protein in their own special way. From a finger licking good haleem, to a Parsi dhansak, to moong dal dhoklas and cheelas, the more you indulge in this cheapest form of protein the better. Dress it up, sizzle it, grind it to perfection, simmer it to luxury, or soak it into a salad, DALS THE WAY TO GO!

DalsTo mark World Water Day, I’m here with Tata I-Shakti dals to serve you three easy dal recipes that require minimum water to wash since they are unpolished. They cook faster too. The recipes use very little water in ingredients. One simple salad inspired by a typical Koshambri a dear friend made a few months ago, though his was with carrots, radish and peanuts. DAL 3 ways with Tata I-ShaktiThe bhune masale wali masoor dal is an old UP favourite which has been stepped up using seasonal greens, rocket in this case, as I have it growing in abundance. The peppery leaves add interesting flavour to it, and reduces the requirement for extra water. The third is a really quick coconut based dal chutney that I learnt when I was in Bangalore recently.

DalsAll these recipes are dal based, so naturally protein and fibre rich. With their high fibre content, pulses lower cholesterol levels and protect the heart. They are also an important source of iron and vitamin B in a vegetarian diet.  Pulses are typically low in fat, contain no cholesterol, and are high in folate, potassium, iron and magnesium. They also contain beneficial fats and soluble and insoluble fibre. According to the World Health Organisation, dals are a healthy substitute for meat, which has more fat and cholesterol.

DalsDo you have a favourite way of doing dal? I’d love to know.

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Also find me on The Rabid Baker, The Times of India

Feature | The GOQii way of life, or rather, the GOQii lifestyle #BeTheForce #BeSummerReady … & a giveaway

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.”
Lao Tzu

GOQiiNumbers have meant nothing to me. So far I mean. The number game and number crunching was meaningless. From how many blog visits, to blog rank, to page views, for me all unnecessary. Then I hit 10K!! Yes I fell into the number race and how! That 10 thousand refers to the number of steps I hit on Pi Day, the 14th of March!

GOQii

This 10K is a special 10K and I owe it to GOQii Life. What is GOQii Life you might wonder. It’s a fitness program with a cool GOQii band with a complete 360 degree experience to stimulate your body, mind and soul and helping you make a permanent shift to a happier life through a healthier lifestyle.

Healthy foodFor folk like me who want to get to a healthier lifestyle{read including exercise}, this is a GREAT campaign. It’s not about dieting to kill yourself, it’s not about going on a no carbs diet The campaign is about a lifestyle change, a change supported by a company that credits you with karma points. Karma points that you earn while you walk and meet your own set goals. To give back to society, GOQii translates those points into money and donates it to a charity of your choice. A win win situation no matter how you look at it. A GOOD FEEL to it too!

GOQiiI began timidly as with anything new. Exercise and me are old enemies but my new pair of Sketchers stare at me all day. With renovation on at home, a million other targets to meet, recipes to be developed, grocery, dog, laundry all seem the perfect excuse to shy away from exercise. I know I got to embrace this too…but heck, it’s a tall order!Ingredients for dips

Wholegrain Olive Oil Crackers & DipsActually was a tall order until I ‘met‘ Elena, my sweet online coach. Was it music to my ears when, after a long chat understanding my daily diet, she said “Wow, aren’t you a healthy eater despite being a food blogger! You don’t need changes to your diet. What would you like to achieve, what are your goals?”Summer Ready with GOQii Ahemto begin that dreaded walk at least I muttered, ‘those shoes‘ staring me in the eyes! She said, Great, I’ll nudge you once in a while. She did more than that. She motivated me, and on a day that I was dog tired, I reached out for those shoes. I had been on my feet all day, I had hit 7.5K steps …yet 10K called my name. Stepped out, it was raining. Almost turned back, but then I just walked on. And on & on. Then came back and took the dog for a walk. Suddenly there was whirring on my wrist. 10K. YES!! I was so thrilled.

GOQiiI aim to get there 3 times a week. Today I did 9K, and then thanks to Elena a 10 minute stretching video was duly followed! In addition we touch base every morning, she showers me with tips, small changes that I might incorporate – lime, walnuts, breathing exercises …so much! The thing is that you feel accountable when the app is by your side. Accountable to yourself really!

GOQiiSo if I can do it, so can you! I’m telling you if this bag of lazy exercise bones can reach for the fitness band every morning instead of the smart phone, you can too. Do it. There’s a app with it that helps you go along syncing your daily food intake, steps, calories burnt, water too. Which reminds me. I’m drinking 200% more water than before! Yay!

GOQii #BeSummerReady #BeTheForceAnd some of this beautiful fresh water too. Make it, keep a jugful next to yourself, sip along all day long, then make another batch. it’s just flavoured water. Lime, mint, strawberries, kumquats … anything to get me ready for the summer! Are you in? Make a splash!

GOQii twitter contest @vindeeI’m running a contest on twitter to give away a band. Join right in. All you need is to send in a healthy recipe to @GOQiiLife on twitter. Here’s the thread or find it on my timeline @vindee

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Also find me on The Rabid Baker, The Times of India