SIMPLY BEING

Tag: coconut (page 1 of 2)

Sesame Coconut Cookies

I chanced upon Love Food Eat a while ago and, I am sure, like most visitors, fell in love with Chinmayie’s gorgeous photography and drool-inducing recipes. Her recipe for Kashayam was a hit! It is my morning beverage of choice, coupled with a slice of toasted multi-grain spelt bread. I also loved her recipe for Sprouted Horse Gram Curry.

Here are the results from the latest cooking experiment, inspired by Love Food Eat’s recipe for Vegan Sesame Coconut Cookies.

Sesame Coconut Cookies

Sesame Coconut Cookies

I adapted Chinmayie’s recipe, adding in my own substitutions and proportions. The end result is a mildly sweet cookie, crumbly in texture and hearty in flavor.

Ingredients

2 cups spelt flour
2/3 cup of sugar (I used a variety of organic cane sugar)
1 cup dessicated coconut
1/4 cup of roasted sesame seeds
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
3/4 cup melted coconut oil
1/4 cup of sunflower seed butter

Method

  • Combine all the dry ingredients and mix well.
  • Pour the wet ingredients one by one mixing slowly till the dough comes together. Let the dough rest for 10-15 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven at 350 F.
  • Line the baking tray with a parchment paper. Place a small amount of dough between your palms and press to make cookies.
  • Place them on the baking tray leaving a little gap in between the cookies.
  • Bake for 10-15 minutes just as the bases starts to brown.
  • Let the cookies cool completely.
  • Store in an airtight container and enjoy.

Notes

  • I used spelt flour in place of whole wheat flour.
  • The original recipe called for a whole cup of sugar but I only used 2/3 of it. My version resulted in mildly sweet cookies.
  • I began using 1/2 cup of coconut oil but the dough felt too dry, and so I added another 1/4 cup.
  • I had no cinnamon and used cardamom instead. I thought it would be a good spice to add to the sesame-coconut combination. Unfortunately, the flavor wasn’t even discernible. Next time, I will add double the amount.
  • I had a bottle of sunflower seed butter in the refrigerator that I used in place of tahini paste (as called for in Chinmayie’s recipe).

Raw Carob-Walnut-Coconut Fudge

Some desserts are destined for greatness. Take this one, for instance.

“The rich notes of coconut oil combine with the mild sharpness of carob to create a creamy and delicious raw fudge that is punctuated by little bites of walnut, the faintest whiff of vanilla and a smidgen of sea salt.”

I suppose that is how a seasoned food blogger would describe this dessert. Am I a seasoned food blogger? Not really. So I am simply going to say that this is a delightful little piece of sweet heaven. The taste is so memorable that I was reminded of it throughout my morning yoga and meditation. It lingered on in my mind, my taste buds, my nose… 🙂

Did I also mention that it is gluten-free, raw and vegan?

This excellent recipe came to be via AllGoneVegan. Oops, I made a slight change. I used carob powder in place of raw cacao and I am glad to say that the fudge does not suffer from the substitution, not even a little. I love it. In fact, it makes me doubly happy that I can avoid that hefty dose of caffeine.

Raw Carob-Walnut-Coconut Fudge

Notes

The fudge set in an hour or so. The coconut oil in the recipe is what makes it firm, I think.

After a couple of hours, I took the block of fudge out of the freezer, cut it into bite-sized pieces and put them in a plastic container. Back it went to the freezer and that’s where I stored it.

The coconut oil grants the fudge firmness but when you bite into a piece, it dissolves into a rich creaminess… Full marks for texture!

I think I’ll make this again and again… All my friends loved it unreservedly. I might add in a few raisins next time.

The flavor of coconut oil isn’t intense but it is unmistakeable.

Food, Rituals, and Kale and Coconut Dal

Rituals make our food more flavorful (NY Times)

Rituals make our life flavorful. They add detail to our mundane existence, making it extra-special. Food and the act of eating benefit greatly from little rituals. In traditional Indian homes, these rituals can run into long minutes (even hours!). They have their own significance and they add sacredness to an act that we undertake three times a day, every day of our life (yes, I realize that I am immeasurably blessed to be able to state that fact so blandly).

At my home, my parents were fairly casual about these rituals, so I didn’t grow up with many of them. However, I have incorporated a few into my daily meal routine. For instance, I chant the following verses before I begin a meal.

brahmArpaNaM brahma haviH brahmAgnau brahmaNA hutam ।
brahmaiva tena gantavyaM brahmakarmasamAdhinA ।।

(The act of offering is Brahman. The offering itself is Brahman. The offering is done by Brahman in the sacred fire that is Brahman. He alone attains Brahman who, in all actions, is fully absorbed in Brahman.)

annadAta pAkakartA taThA bHoktA sukhI bhava, sukhI bhava, sukhi bhava|

(The giver of food, the cook and the one who consumes it… may you be happy, may you be happy, may you be happy!)

Meal combinations don’t exactly constitute rituals, I know, but they gave a certain predictability to our kiddie days. Most often, Sunday lunches used to feature steaming white rice, tangy tomato rasam spiced with tamarind, fresh green cilantro, cumin and mustard seeds and sweetened with jaggery, leafy amaranth dal ground with coconut and cumin, a vegetable dish of green beans and suran (Elephant Food yam in English – who knew!).

I don’t have access to amaranth leaves, so I used Mummy’s recipe to recreate the dish using kale instead. Here is my take on a leafy dal and coconut concoction that made my childhood Sundays perfect in every way possible.

Ingredients
4-5 stalks of dark green lacinato kale, chopped
1/2 cup toor dal
1/2 cup coconut (fresh or frozen)
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
2 1/2 teaspoons cumin seeds
1 green chilli
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon urad dal
1-2 dried red chillies
1 teaspoon oil (for tadka)

Method

  • Cook toor dal in the pressure cooker for two whistles until soft. Turn off the heat
  • Blend the coconut and cumin seeds into a smooth paste, adding adequate water to gain the right consistency.
  • Open the pressure cooker lid, drop in the chopped greens, turmeric and green chilli. Add a cup or so of water, turn the heat on and let the mixture cook. Stir intermittently. You can keep the cooker covered so as to hasten the cooking time.
  • Add salt to taste.
  • When the kale is cooked (tear off a little piece and check the taste and color), turn off the heat.
  • Add the coconut-cumin paste. Mix well.
  • Warm the oil for tadka. Add mustard seeds. As they begin spluttering, add red chillies and urad dal. As soon as the urad dal turns brown-red in color, turn off the heat. Add the mix to the kale-coconut dal. Stir well.
Kale-Coconut Dal

Kale-Coconut Dal

Notes

This is a simple yet hearty dal that ranks high on taste, nutrition and flavor. If your palate appreciates heat, go ahead and increase the number of red chillies in the preparation.

Fresher the kale, better it will be in terms of taste and texture. I have noticed that kale turns drier and tougher as it sits.

My preferred way of cooking dals, beans and legumes is in a pressure cooker. I add boiling water to the washed dal (2:1 proportion of water to dal), shut the pressure cooker with its lid, turn on the heat. As the steam begins to rise out of the top, I cap the whistle on. When the first whistle blows, I reduce the heat. Then I wait for another whistle. Right after the second whistle, I turn off the heat. In case of beans or legumes that are harder, I might wait for additional 2-3 whistles. This method is followed by my mother as well. I have seen that it results in soft and well-cooked dals.

Serve a bowl of this dal with steaming brown (or white rice), a smidgen of ginger pickle on the side and tuck in.

Coco-Roons Raw Choco-Coconut Brownies

Going to T J Maxx is always an adventure. I never know what unexpected treat I am going to find in the food aisles. Last visit, I espied a packet of raw brownies, courtesy Coco-Roons. Raw, gluten-free, organic, vegan, soy-free… oh Yum.

Raw Brownies

Raw Brownies

The raw coconut brownies have a satisfying crunch to them. The slight bitterness of the chocolate is offset by the pleasant richness of the coconut flakes. if you are a fan of the chocolate-n-coconut combination, you will love this little nugget of goodness. Each brownie packs a solid punch. In fact, I could easily be satisfied with half a brownie; it is that rich and chocolatey.

Raw Brownies from Coco-Roon

Raw Brownies from Coco-Roon

And then you read the list of ingredients.

Raw unsweetened coconut, Raw almond flour, raw cacao, unfiltered maple syrup, raw cold-pressed coconut oil, vanilla extract, Himalayan crystal salt.

Awesome!