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food

  Smoked Eggplant Walnut Truffle Dip

“In fine, the truffle is the very diamond of gastronomy.”
Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin

Smoked Eggplant Walnut Truffle Dip … earthy, rustic, nutty, slightly tangy, creamy, smoky delicious. Some things come together with small beginnings, and for strange reasons. This dip was no different and found it’s origins in a wizened old forgotten pomegranate that I discovered while cleaning out the fridge. Also popped out a bowl that held an eggplant I had roasted 2 days ago, a small carton of Greek yogurt, and the plan was made.Eggplant Walnut Smoked Truffle Dip & pomegranates It was going to be a Smoked Eggplant Walnut Truffle Dip which would use up all the goodness that lay forgotten in the fridge. Also a chance to use some fabulous Black Truffle Sea Salt from Olive Tree Trading, a special product that really shines when used. It might be an expensive product, but a little goes a long way. On pasta, on toast, over dips, on artisan bread, in pasta sauce, over popcorn, on salads; really steps up the flavours!

Smoked Eggplant Walnut Truffle Dip With it of course some really really good quality extra virgin olive oil from the same company, a product that speaks for itself. As always, a dish is only as good as it’s ingredients and this Smoked Eggplant Walnut Truffle Dip was just that. You could always use sea salt but a black truffle sea salt is a noticeably charming addition, quite different.Olive Oil & Black Truffle Sea SaltThe rest of this Persian inspired dip has humble origins, almost staple pantry ingredients. How can you go wrong with eggplant {or baingan as locally called}, walnuts, garlic, yogurt and olive oil? Not possible right? Smoked Eggplant Walnut Truffle Dip

Smoked Eggplant Walnut Truffle Dip And the good thing is that if you blend it smooth, picky eaters can’t figure out what’s in this pâté like dip. It’s a win win; a delicious one at that too. Serve with wholegrain crackers, crudites etc. Great as a sandwich spread, with crusty wholegrain bread, etc.

Smoked Eggplant Walnut Truffle Dip
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A simple recipe with humble origins, this Smoked Eggplant Walnut Truffle Dip is a great addition to the party table. Serve with wholegrain crackers, crudites etc. Great as a sandwich spread, with rustic wholegrain bread, etc.
Servings Prep Time
3-4 minutes 5 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
30 minutes 15 minutes
Servings Prep Time
3-4 minutes 5 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
30 minutes 15 minutes
Smoked Eggplant Walnut Truffle Dip
BigOven - Save recipe or add to grocery list
Yum
Print Recipe
A simple recipe with humble origins, this Smoked Eggplant Walnut Truffle Dip is a great addition to the party table. Serve with wholegrain crackers, crudites etc. Great as a sandwich spread, with rustic wholegrain bread, etc.
Servings Prep Time
3-4 minutes 5 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
30 minutes 15 minutes
Servings Prep Time
3-4 minutes 5 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
30 minutes 15 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: minutes
Instructions
  1. Wash and pat dry the eggplant. Make 4-6 slits around and tuck in unpeeled garlic cloves.
  2. Roast over a low open gas flame, or in oven until charred all over and soft.
  3. Place in a bowl covered, until cool enough to handle. gently peel the charred skin off, squeeze out the garlic from pods. {This can be done a couple of days in advance and refrigerated}.
  4. Place all ingredients in bowl of processor or blender and process until smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning.
  5. Transfer to a bowl, drizzle generously with good quality extra virgin olive oil, sprinkle over some black truffle salt, garnish with pomegranate pearls. Serve with wholegrain crackers, crudites etc. Great as a sandwich spread, with rustic wholegrain bread, etc.
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Rich Spiced Hot Chocolate

“A land of promise, a land of memory, a land of promise flowing with the milk and honey of delicious memories!”
Alfred Tennyson

Rich Spiced Hot Chocolate might well be the simplest thing to enjoy this season. It’s simple things that matter, and with recipes like these, ingredients are of prime importance. You can’t go wrong if you use good quality ingredients. This Rich Spiced Hot Chocolate is just that. Indulgent too. Made with Premium Milk from Mother Dairy, single origin couverture chocolate, dark cocoa, vanilla beans and spices from South India, it’s hard to go wrong. The milk was the biggest surprise though!Rich Spiced Hot ChocolateIt’s the best milk I’ve ever had! Words of praise from a dairy lover at home, one who lives to enjoy a chilled good glass of milk. The genes are the same. I love everything dairy too, but I am always surprised by how advanced his taste-buds are. One sip of the newly introduced Premium Full Cream milk from Mother dairy swiftly knocked his current favourite from another brand right off. It’s so good that I don’t even need flavouring mama he exclaimed!Mother Dairy Premium MilkThis new variant from Mother dairy which has the highest FAT content of 7% along with 9% SNF is ideal for those looking for a rich milk diet and also for folk like us who enjoy making home-made sweets, ghee and curd. It offers 15% extra malai {cream} in comparison to full cream milk. For someone like me who makes clarified butter / ghee at home every weekend, this new variant is ideal. I increasingly use clarified butter or ghee in baking now, and as my preferred medium of fat in cooking now that winter is here. The greens use mustard oil, and almost everything else goes the ghee way! Tadka is always ghee, the ‘icing on the cake’! Sarson ka Saag, Mustard GreensThink little ghee cakes, think shortbread with ghee, think stuffed radish and cauliflower parathas, and think dollops of melting homemade sweet butter on hot sarson ka saag! After all in India, Ghee is equivalent to love. Finger licking good stuff this! There is just so much you can do with this indulgent product. I can only imagine setting Greek yogurt at home now. Also simmering a rice pudding into creamy goodness, maybe a tapioca pudding or a chocolate oat pudding too.

Rich Spiced Hot Chocolate

Rich Spiced Hot ChocolateWith a traditional Indian households still enjoying the top of milk cream for so many reasons, the malai that the premium milk yields is impressive. Just 2 litres boiled, cooled and chilled overnight offered almost a cup of malai. This Dark Chocolate & Walnut Wholewheat Cake is a nostalgic favourite with ‘top of the milk cream’ or ‘malai’. It brings back memories of  the quintessential ‘malai’ or ‘top of the milk cream’ cakes from yesteryear. Decades ago, every Indian household use to boil milk, collect the top of the milk cream, use some as is and  make sweet butter of the rest. The more adventurous ones used to bake a delicious homey comforting cake with ‘malai’.Dark Chocolate & Walnut Wholewheat Cake, Malai CakeThen the mind wanders into more delicious spaces like a lighter panna cotta, maybe a Vietnamese coffee. The possibilities are endless as I grabbed the few remaining pouches from the kid who is happy to guzzle down his new favourite. To prove my point to him that the milk makes things oodles better, I quickly stirred him a Rich Spiced Hot Chocolate. With winter around the corner, this drink is a winner, a simple winner! It’s a great hit with kids and adults alike. In summer I’d do a chilled version in bottles which is equal fun and very addictive!Masala Kadhai DoodhThen to dive into the past, how can I not make my husbands childhood favourite, a Masala Kadhai Doodh. This is where dessert meets milk, a quintessential Indian favourite, a concoction you would find across North India. It’s simple, it’s bursting with goodness and flavour AND a big hit always. It’s quite similar to a thandai, infinitely customisable.Masala Kadhai DoodhMasala Kadhai Doodh is simply simmered with a powdered nut & spice mix in a large kadhai or wok for the flavours to steep and milk to thicken. Only with this high fat content milk, the time to thicken is substantially decreased. I used a mix of almonds, melon seeds, cardamom, nutmeg, a pinch of turmeric and saffron.Gajar ka halwa, Rich Indian Carrot PuddingWe are a dairy loving home, and I set yougurt at home everyday. With quite a welcome high fat content, Mother Dairy’s Premium Milk yields far tastier home made yogurt, paneer, quark etc. It is also far easier to use in puddings, traditional kheers, halwas. With winter here a gajar ka halwa is calling my name. Simmered in this beautifully thick milk, I can only imagine how good the end result will be. What would be your favorite way to use this?

Spiced Rich Hot Chocolate
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Good quality ingredients and a simple simmering results in this indulgent Spiced Rich Hot Chocolate. Use a full fat milk like Mother Dairy Premium Milk for best results.
Servings Prep Time
2 5 minutes
Cook Time
30 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 5 minutes
Cook Time
30 minutes
Spiced Rich Hot Chocolate
BigOven - Save recipe or add to grocery list
Yum
Print Recipe
Good quality ingredients and a simple simmering results in this indulgent Spiced Rich Hot Chocolate. Use a full fat milk like Mother Dairy Premium Milk for best results.
Servings Prep Time
2 5 minutes
Cook Time
30 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 5 minutes
Cook Time
30 minutes
Instructions
  1. Place milk, star anise, cinnamon, vanilla bean and sugar in a heavy bottom pan and simmer for 15-20 minutes for flavours to steep.
  2. Add the chocolate and cocoa powder, stir often to mix, and simmer gently until the chocolate melts.
  3. Sieve and serve immediately, else steep for an hour, then reheat and sieve before serving.
Recipe Notes

Note: You can add a shot of Baileys irish Cream for an adult version. You can also add or remove spices as required. This also makes a nice chilled spiced chocolate milk. Stir well or sieve before serving.

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Terra vegetable chips ... & dip

“The preparation of good food is merely another expression of art, one of the joys of civilized living…”
Dione Lucas

Terra Chips might well have been the answer to my savoury cravings. Might also be the answer to fun and exciting snacking options especially for kids! As the weather cools down, as I travel a bit, there is always need to leave something nice, fun, different for the kids at home. They constantly feel peckish and there is only so much I can bake / cook! Last week I was in Bangalore for a shoot. Was quite happy to leave these beauties from Terra Chips as a treat for the hungry monsters that live at home!

Beets & Terra vegetable chips Yes I’ve bought a microwave gadget that allows me to make dehydrated chips at home from scratch. Yes I can and have made beet, sweet potato, apple chips at home. That was when I was a supermom and could do everything and more. Sadly, time flies and and energy doesn’t last forever. For times like these how wonderful to have on hand chips made from real whole vegetables! That’s Terra Chips for you, made up of all the fun and most colourful root vegetables you can think of. Each chip quite literally handcrafted with a unique character of it’s own.Terra vegetable chips Think the humble beet, exotic purple potato, much loved sweet potato, batata, bright carrot, earthy parsnip, kabucha, coconut, plantain and then think of all the great crisp taste you get in every bite. Our absolute favourites were the blue potato and sweet potato chips. I paired these colourful, almost fascinating beauties with a tomato & black truffle salt dip, and a garlicky quark & green onion dip. The quark dip is simple. Smooth whisked quark, extra virgin olive oil, minced garlic and salt. The other recipe is below. So much yumminess and such a great hit.Beets & Terra vegetable chips When you have vegetables this crisp, rustic and earthy with flavours that explode in your mouth, you know they’ve got it right. The kids had a brilliant time crunching through each, guessing which veggie it might have originated from, figuring out the spice mix. We had sea salt & Mediterranean in our lot, both equally good.Terra vegetable chips ... & dipThe colours have me fascinated, the camera working overtime, It’s hard to put either the camera or the bowl of chips down. I’ve always enjoyed dehydrated fruits and vegetables. These made with exciting roots that go beyond the humble potato have me smitten! Try these with either of these two dip, else with another favourite, the Persian Roasted Eggplant Walnut Dip on the blog.

Terra vegetable chips Tell me what your favourite dip to pair with these #TERRAadventures might be!

Tomato Black truffle Sea salt Dip
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Tangy and deeply flavourful, this dip keeps for long and goes well with chips. Use as a sandwich spread or pizza sauce too.
Servings Prep Time
2-4 people 5 minutes
Cook Time
10 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2-4 people 5 minutes
Cook Time
10 minutes
Tomato Black truffle Sea salt Dip
BigOven - Save recipe or add to grocery list
Yum
Print Recipe
Tangy and deeply flavourful, this dip keeps for long and goes well with chips. Use as a sandwich spread or pizza sauce too.
Servings Prep Time
2-4 people 5 minutes
Cook Time
10 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2-4 people 5 minutes
Cook Time
10 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. Heat oil in pan. Add green onion, celery and garlic. Saute until soft.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients and simmer gently until tomatoes are soft, pushing gently with back of spoon. Taste and adjust seasoning if required. an add a small dash of lime juice if desired.
  3. Cool and serve with chips
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