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Gluten Free

“Fussing over food was important. It gave a shape to the day: breakfast, lunch, dinner; beginning, middle, end.”
Robert Hellenga

Fruits with Cream & Granola Parfaits … couldn’t be a better way to begin the morning. All this while I thought granola was just one of the best ways to start the day, so I made that a lot. It was simple. Granola + Milk + fruit = done! Then along came cream, an idea crossed my mind and breakfast got a makeover, a fun and colourful one at that. The parfait is showing up as dessert at home too now, made with just cream, no dahi! Folk who know me, know of my love for dairy. Everything and anything dairy hits a home run for me, and that speaks pretty much for everyone at home.The neat little tetrapacks of Mother Dairy cream  have changed the way I work in the kitchen, cooked and baked. The ease, the taste, the quality stepped up what I do in the kitchen in exciting ways. I am sure if you are like me, and love to cook and bake, your pantry’ll never be without this handy staple. It literally finds its way into everything I make, especially sweet!So when Mother Dairy Creams asked if I’d like to take do a few recipes for #CreamOfAllFood and taking over their instagram handle for a week, I could hardly say no. There was nothing I’d have liked to do better! Mother Dairy products have been a part of my growing up years, bringing up the kids, my kitchen, my culinary life. This was just going to be an extension of what I enjoy doing most – experimenting in the kitchen.A ton of ideas tumbled out of my head. I settled for this one first – Fruits with Cream & Granola Parfaits because I love the idea of layered desserts, cakes etc. Because the family had just returned from NYC and one of them described a delicious parfait they had for breakfast there. Because I had a sackful of granola at home that someone had sent as a gift. Because I love fruit in food, and lastly, I love playing with my food recipes…

One thing led to another. Some twitter conversations later, before I knew it, I was baking granola for the parfaits. I have always been charmed by doing things from scratch, granola being one of them. I find it difficult to understand why you wouldn’t bake something so simple at home? Please try baking some once, and you’ll do it over and over again. It makes life simple, you feel great, the kids get addicted to it, you can use it for energy bars, for breakfast…and for dessert too. Throw some into smoothies, scatter it over fruit salad or ice cream, or just munch on some as a snack. It is so customisable too. That done, a nice big batch smiled at me as I thought of putting the parfait together. It’s the simplest thing to do. As things go, I love the edge of subtle indulgence these Fruits with Cream & Granola Parfaits offer. There is little guilt for two reasons. No, make that three! Maybe more!!Cream is good fat. The granola is 100% wholegrain, glutenfree and home made. Last but not the least,the parfait has a generous portion of seasonal fresh fruit in there. And so many more reasons to enjoy this. Dahi/yogurt, honey, chia seeds … thing good gut bacteria and protein, think natural sweetener, think superfoods that are also called seeds of life. Above all, think S I M P L E !!So wait no further. I played out the recipe on Instastories the Mother Dairy Instagram handle that I’m taking over this week. This was #InstaCookingClass #1. Catch me there, or on the Mother Dairy FaceBook page later this week . Love to hear if you liked it {or not}, what recipes you might like to see in future, and what you’d like to make with the #CreamOfAllFood!

Fruits with Cream & Granola Parfaits
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Dessert for breakfast! Fruits with Cream & Granola Parfaits where wholegrain homemade granola meets creamy goodness and colourful seasonal fruit.
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 5 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
0 minutes 15-30 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 5 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
0 minutes 15-30 minutes
Fruits with Cream & Granola Parfaits
BigOven - Save recipe or add to grocery list
Yum
Print Recipe
Dessert for breakfast! Fruits with Cream & Granola Parfaits where wholegrain homemade granola meets creamy goodness and colourful seasonal fruit.
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 5 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
0 minutes 15-30 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 5 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
0 minutes 15-30 minutes
Ingredients
Fruits with Cream & Granola Parfaits
Homemade Granola
Servings: servings
Instructions
Fruits with Cream & Granola Parfaits
  1. Whisk the cream &and yogurt until smooth.
  2. Add honey. Whisk again.
  3. Stir in chia seeds. Leave to stand for a while.
  4. Layer... Granola, cream mix, honey, fruit... and& repeat!
  5. Tip: Use a piping bag or ziploc to pipe in the cream mix to make it neat.
  6. Tip: Use any seasonal fruit you enjoy eg Banana Strawberry Parfait, Black Forest Parfait, Banoffee Parfait.
  7. Tip: Great idea to make a parfait bar and get kids to 'build their own' colourful parfaits
  8. Tip: Use more cream, less yogurt and turn this into a dessert with the cream.mix, fruit & nuts!!
Easiest Homemade Granola
  1. Preheat the oven to 160C. Line a large baking dish with parchment.
  2. Stir together all the dry ingredients EXCEPT the dried cranberries and chocolate chips in a large bowl. {Tip: Use the mixer bowl from The Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer as it is convenient to use and very big}.
  3. Whisk the honey into the olive oil.
  4. Pour the wet mix over the dry mix, and give it all a good stir.
  5. Turn it into the prepared pan, press down lightly, and bake for approximately 45 minutes until light golden brown. Stir 2-3 times while baking.
  6. Once baked, stir in the dried cranberries while still hot, and chocolate chips once cool.
  7. Store in an airtight container.
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“Some foods are so comforting, so nourishing of body and soul, that to eat them is to be home again after a long journey.”
Eli Brown

Bhune Murgh ki Biryani  … fragrant, rich, flavoursome yet very homey. This one pot layered biryani was indeed a surprise, a biryani that cooked up quiet well for once. I have a love/hate relationship with making biryanis, often ending up in a puddle of tears. They never come out the way I’d like them to look and taste, and I had all but given up. This one recipe has given me immense confidence!It’s thanks to this cookbook from Notion Press, A Culinary Journey for the Love of Biryani, that I tasted success. Yet I want to talk about Notion Press first as they offer the novel concept of self publishing in India. It is startups like these that are changing the way books are created. Notion Press is a publishing platform for authors from India that helps create, publish, and distribute print and eBooks. In an attempt to make publishing as easy as possible, they offer a variety of customized publishing solutions. I’m already tempted to say the least, but now, back to the cookbook on hand.I love the feel of a good cookbook and the cover image and design had me immediately interested. Don’t judge a book by the cover they might say, but that’s exactly what I did. It’s a warm , yet beautifully styled cover which tells the story to perfection, spices and all. I couldn’t find credits for the image {maybe I missed it}, but I sorely missed more images within. A single image is not enough to whet my visual appetite…The paper feels good. Quality is important and it’s been taken care of well. The biryani cookbook offers over 100 ‘tantalizing’ recipes, and I have to agree since what I cooked was very promising indeed. Co-authored by Tanuj Singh and Varuna Mathur, it has a good narrative. The foreword is a great read, followed by notes to the readers; light-hearted warm, very homely, very interactive. It leads you to the kitchen and gets you playing with pots and pans almost immediately!
I bookmarked a few recipes, and have to say that the book is not error free. I  think perhaps with self publishing, the onus lies on the content writer, not the publisher. The book would improve with better editing and grammar checks. A couple of recipes skipped the meat altogether. The ingredients are not uniform across the book; sometimes in weight, sometimes a measures, other times a number. Also some capitals, some not is a bit of a distraction. Most importantly, the number of servings are missing across the book. The new cook will certainly be at sea as he/she attempts to guess how many mouths the recipe caters to. And of course, more pictures please. That said, the book is still a keeper!
Finally zeroed down to the Bhune Murgh ki Biryani, trying to play it safe, well aware of my past biryani disasters. The introduction had me smiling. “If ingredients could make a dish, this is one of the top variants in the list. With rice being cooked in cardamom, and chicken in whole spices, cashew and khus khus paste provide that richness and a crunchy edge to the dish thereby rendering it as a pretty common home-style“.For me it turned out to be pretty uncommon and quite a lot of fun. As they say in the notes, the book is “about perceiving cooking as an emerging process with no guidelines, no limitations but loads of creativity and fun.” That was so me, and just what I did. I took shortcuts to the steps, for eg, added whole cardamom to the water to cook rice in. I ground the onion and cashew together with the poppy seeds. I browned the onions first and then cooked the chicken in the same wok and remaining fat to simplify things. I finally baked the biryani layered in a ‘lagan‘ or Indian copper pot in a low oven for about 45 minutes. It still worked well.I am proud to say I have salvaged my reputation quite a bit with this Bhune Murgh ki Biryani from the book. Needless to say, I am already itching to try another one. I find biryanis most comforting, a one pot meal that hold eternal charm, hold nostalgic memories, and are ever so satisfying. The book also includes a few biryani recipes from around the globe which are interestingly unique in their own ways – Durban Biryani, Irani Biryani, Nasi Biryani, Swahili Biryani to name  few. It’s a good book to have on hand. Cuts out the work for weekend lunches! Oh and it offers a variety of pilafs, vegetarian biryanis  and accompaniments too.
My next biryani might be the Kashmiri Biryani or the Matka Murgh Biryani. Perhaps the Sri Lankan Muttom Biryani or Kolkata Biryani. Gosh, the book actually spoils you for choice! You can find it here – A Culinary Journey for the Love of Biryani

Bhune Murgh ki Biryani {roasted chicken biryani}
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The Bhune Murgh ki Biryani is a one pot comfort meal, rich, flavourful and homely. The flavours tease the palette and the chicken is beautifully spiced. It turned out to be deliciously good, and quite a keeper from the biryani cookbook. Be light on the spices if you are cooking for the first time, or like mild food. {Minimally adapted from 'A Culinary Journey for the Love of Biryani'}
Servings Prep Time
4-6 people 15 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
1 hour 15 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4-6 people 15 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
1 hour 15 minutes
Bhune Murgh ki Biryani {roasted chicken biryani}
BigOven - Save recipe or add to grocery list
Yum
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The Bhune Murgh ki Biryani is a one pot comfort meal, rich, flavourful and homely. The flavours tease the palette and the chicken is beautifully spiced. It turned out to be deliciously good, and quite a keeper from the biryani cookbook. Be light on the spices if you are cooking for the first time, or like mild food. {Minimally adapted from 'A Culinary Journey for the Love of Biryani'}
Servings Prep Time
4-6 people 15 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
1 hour 15 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4-6 people 15 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
1 hour 15 minutes
Ingredients
Rice
Bhuna Chicken
For frying onions
For layering dum
Servings: people
Instructions
Rice
  1. Wash and soak rice for an hour. Meanwhile, boil some water in a vessel and add salt and green cardamom to it. {I used whole cardamoms}. Once the rice is 3/4th cooked, drain it and keep aside.
Fried onions
  1. Heat ghee in a deep wok and fry the sliced onions until golden brown. Drain and reserve. Use remaining ghee for cooking chicken, adding more if required. {This is what I did. The instructions are missing from the recipe}
Bhuna Chicken
  1. Heat ghee in a deep kadhai/wok and add grated ginger, garlic, whole red peppers and carom seeds. As the garlic gets brown, add the onion paste and fry. Mix in the cashews and khus khus paste and continue to fry. Sprinkle garam masala powder and Kashmiri red pepper powder and mix it well. Cook until the fat starts showing at the surface, adding water occasionally as required.
  2. Add the chicken pieces and let them cook over high flame till the chicken is cooked. Stir as needed. {I cooked over high heat for 5 minutes, then covered and simmered for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until done}.
Layer the dum {slow cooking}
  1. Once the chicken is cooked, add the rice to cover the chicken masala. Sprinkle the saffron and milk mixture on it along with some ghee and fried onions. Cover the lid and cook on 'dum' for 15 minutes. Serve hot.
Notes
  1. I layered the chicken masala and rice for final 'dum' {slow cooking} in a heavy bottom metal 'lagan' / pot, dotted it with ghee, sprinkled over the soaked saffron and milk, topped it with fried onions, and sealed the mouth with heavy duty aluminium foil. Baked it at 150C for an hour.
  2. I reserved some fried onions for garnishing, and served the biryani with a garlic raita/spiced garlic yogurt.
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“Creativity is contagious. Pass it on.”
Albert Einstein

Red Wine Strawberry Jelly with orange whipped cream … such a delicious way to end 2016, and ring in the new year! Have a great new year. HNY 2017.

Catch you on the other side. This one’s short & sweet!

Red Wine Strawberry Jelly with orange whipped cream
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Light, fun, easy to make, and a visual delight, the Red Wine Strawberry Jelly with orange whipped cream is a great make ahead dessert. Visually exciting and flavours that pop, berries work really well in this recipe!
Servings Prep Time
6 people 5 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
10 minutes 4-5 hours
Servings Prep Time
6 people 5 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
10 minutes 4-5 hours
Red Wine Strawberry Jelly with orange whipped cream
BigOven - Save recipe or add to grocery list
Yum
Print Recipe
Light, fun, easy to make, and a visual delight, the Red Wine Strawberry Jelly with orange whipped cream is a great make ahead dessert. Visually exciting and flavours that pop, berries work really well in this recipe!
Servings Prep Time
6 people 5 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
10 minutes 4-5 hours
Servings Prep Time
6 people 5 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
10 minutes 4-5 hours
Ingredients
Jelly
Cream topping
Servings: people
Instructions
Jelly
  1. Warm 100ml juice and pour over the gelatin in a small bowl. Stand for 5 minutes for gelatin to soften.
  2. Put the remaining juice and star anise in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Take off heat, and stir in the wine, followed by the softened gelatin.
  3. Divide the strawberries between the serving glasses/bowls. Strain the jelly mixture and pour into the glasses over the strawberries. Refrigerate for 4-5 hours until set and chilled.
Cream topping
  1. Whip the cream, sugar and orange zest at high speed {with sugar if desired} until medium peaks form.
  2. Top the set jelly with piped whipped cream.
  3. Garnish with sliced strawberries and chill until ready to serve.
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