Cucumber and Apple Salad

Some time back I posted about my layered Veg Biryani. In that post, I wrote that I paired the rice with a delicious salad. ┬áSo, this post is going to be a healthy and easy-to-make salad recipe. I decided to go with my most staple salad ingredient – cucumbers. To give sweetness and crunch, I paired them with some lovely red apples. These ingredients also provide necessary fiber to the body and are refreshing to eat. I like to grate some nuts (walnuts or almonds) as garnish and make it a wholesome spoon of nutrition.

Recipe Details :
Serves: 3 pax
Time: 15 mins
Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients :

  • 3 cucumbers, cut in crescents
  • 1 apple, cut in crescents
  • 1 tbsp white vinegar
  • 5 walnuts, grated
  • 1/2 tsp pepper powder
  • 2 tsp honey (optional)

Cucumber and apple salad

Cucumber and apple salad


Method:

  • Cut the cucumbers and apples into crescents and keep them aside.
  • Take a bowl and add the white vinegar, honey and pepper powder and whisk the dressing well.
  • Add the cut ingredients to the dressing and mix them nicely.
  • Garnish this salad with grated walnuts.
  • Refrigerate it for 20 mins before serving.

Chocolate and Date Lollipops

Some goodies take you right back to your childhood. When I was planning for a picnic party, I knew that I wanted to have lollipops in the dessert course. The very idea of eagerly opening the lollipop wrapper and tasting it thrilled me. I also happened to have a nice box of dates lying around and I decided to use it as as the base. I added chocolate and walnuts for taste and texture. The lollipops turned out to be delicious with none of the main ingredients overpowering each other. This is bound to be a hit with both adults and kids.

Recipe Details :
Makes: 8 lollipops
Time: 30 mins
Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients :

  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 6 seedless dates
  • 8 whole walnuts
  • 1/8 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp hazelnuts crushed (optional)

Chocolate and date lollipops

Chocolate and date lollipops


Method:

  • In a mixer, pulse the dates, walnuts and vanilla extract to form a soft dough. Do not add any other liquid to this mixture.
  • Take some of this mixture in your hands and gently roll into a ball.
  • Once you are done rolling the entire mixture, place the lollipops in the fridge for some time to firm up.
  • In the meantime, take the chocolate chips in a bowl and heat them in the microwave for 75 secs. These 75 secs should be in steps of 30 secs, 30 secs and 15 secs. Stir the mixture using a small spoon in every step and ensure that the chocolate has completely melted. There should not be any chunks. Let it rest for 5 mins.
  • Roll the lollipops in the melted chocolate. If you find this hard to do, you can use a basting brush instead. For this, dip the brush in the melted chocolate and coat the lollipops evenly. This gives an even finish and does not smudge the chocolate.
  • When the chocolate coating is still wet, gently sprinkle or roll the lollipop to the finely crushed hazelnut.
  • Keep the newly coated lollipops on absorbing paper and solidify in the refrigerator for 3 hours.
  • To serve, remove from the fridge and skewer them. I wrapped them using cling wrap and tied them with an attractive coloured ribbon. If refrigerated, they can be stored for 4-5 days.

Tips :

  • While making the date-walnut dough, use the pulse setting.
  • Between pulses, make sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  • If you find the mixture is too sticky to work with, add more walnuts and process or store in the fridge for a few minutes before rolling.
  • Be careful while melting the chocolate. Mixing the chocolate between the heating phases helps to create a smoothly melting chocolate.

Stir Fried Radish Salad with Walnuts / Mooli Salad

For its health benefits and the array of dishes it can blend into, radishes have always caught my attention. Since it is low in calories and high in nutrients, radish forms a good salad component. This is a crisp and spicy cooked salad which goes amazingly with daal & rice or rotis. The unusual combination in this salad turned out to be the ground walnut toppings which added the nice crunch to the whole dish. This recipe is definitely featuring on my repeat list.
Recipe for Stir Fried Radish Salad with Walnuts / Mooli Salad

Serves : 2-3
Ingredients :

Radish, chilli and ginger at prep time

Radish, chilli and ginger at prep time

  • 2 cups grated radish
  • 4-5 chopped green chillies
  • 2 tsp of freshly grated ginger
  • 2 tsp crushed walnuts
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/4 tsp asafoetida
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 2 tbsp of freshly chopped coriander
  • 1 tsp of lemon juice (optional)

Stir fried radish with walnuts

Stir fried radish with walnuts


Method:

  • Peel the radish and grate it with a thick grater (as shown in pic)
  • Heat oil in pan and add asafoetida and cumin seeds. I used olive oil for preparing this dish.
  • When the cumin seeds splutter, add freshly chopped green chillies and grated radish.
  • Stir fry these ingredients for 3 mins on a high flame.
  • The radish by nature will release moisture as it cooks. Keep stirring till all the moisture is removed. At this stage, add salt and grated ginger. Stir fry for another 3 mins.
  • Move the cooked radish into a bowl and let it cool down slightly.
  • Add chopped coriander, crushed walnuts and lemon juice (optional) at the end. This can be served hot or cold.

Tips :

  • Keep continuously stirring the radish in the initial stage.
  • If you do not prefer higher spice levels or the radish has an inherent strong spicy taste, then reduce the chillies and/or ginger
  • Make sure your walnuts have not expired since most of the times they would have just been lying around for ages.
  • The easiest way to make crushed walnuts is to pulse them (2 – 3 times) in a mixer