Happy Holiday season to all of you! By mid-december, everyone around here (at least in our neck of woods here in Connecticut ) seem to get into the holiday mood! Folks are taking days off from work just so that they can finish up their christmas shopping or just so they can hang out at home and take it easy. I feel so happy that I don’t need to take days off from work like other folks – you see I have been ‘off-work’ since when i quit my job earlier this year 🙂 . And what a wonderful and relaxing 11 months it has been! To tell you the truth, I have been in a ‘holiday’ mood through out the past year 🙂 I am loving every minute of it as well as am thankful to God for being able to enjoy this luxury.
Now ever since having gone paleo, warm oatmeal had gone out of my life too! I missed it a lot! Especially now in this cold, cold new england winter weather, I really started craving for something warm that I could slurp lazily in the mornings. And thus in desperation I created this recipe which I honestly didn’t need to try very hard.! Since I used to make tapioca coconut pudding regularly, this recipe was only a slight extension of that one where I decided to add tiger nut flour additionally. I was so glad I did. Addition of tiger nut flour tastes the texture of the pudding considerably. Before where it used to be a huge lumpy mass, now we have a coarse, gritty and more ‘porridge like’ texture! Plus the tiger nut flavor imparts it a delicious nutty flavor!
You may have the question ‘What is a tigernut?’. Well, it isn’t a nut, as the name implies. It is a small root vegetable that grows in Northern Africa and the Mediterranean. Tigernut flour is naturally gluten free and Paleo. And it offers those allergic to nuts an option for adding protein when baking and cooking. High in fiber, iron, potassium, protein, magnesium, zinc and vitamins E and C, tiger nuts were the primary food of our ancient ancestors who lived in East Africa between 2.4 million and 1.4 million years ago, according to a 2014 Oxford University study. One ounce of these crunchy root vegetables contains 40 percent of the recommended daily fiber intake1.
Wash the pre-soaked tapioca pearls thoroughly in water and drain the water. Repeat this 2-3 times until the water runs clear.
Add the washed tapioca pearls to a small cooking pot. Add the coconut milk and the water and the sea salt. Heat on medium heat until the mixture starts to boil. Then turn heat to low and cover and cook for 2-3 mins.
Open the pot and stir once.
Now add the tiger nut flour to the mixture and stir continuously on low heat until a porridge like consistency is obtained (about 1-2 mins)
Turn heat off and serve porridge warm topping with fresh or frozen berries/fruits and / shredded coconut.
After soaking the tapioca pearls should measure to almost 1 cup since they bloom/swell on soaking.
For toppings, you can use fresh or frozen berries or any other fruits!
Ooh..its December! I cannot believe it. How did we roll into December suddenly? Weren’t we enjoying summer just a few weeks back! Well at least it seemed like a few weeks back! And wait, it just seems like a few months ago that we welcomed 2017! And now you are telling me that we are ready to usher in 2018? The fact that 2017 went by so quickly seems especially strange to me since I quit my job in Feb 2017 and at that time (very naively I guess) thought that the year will pass by relatively slowly now that I did not need to juggle 101 things on one day! I guess I was wrong about that one! I mean I still ended up juggling 101 things -Hmm..maybe not 101 but 99 for sure 🙂
Oh boy, and that brings us into wintery world with cold, icy spells, snowy blizzards and worst of all ‘darkness at 4’ evenings to look forward to!. I hate that the most. I mean why do they have to pull back the clock? At least give us 1 more hour of brightness during the day! Is that so much to ask for!
OK OK …So all this only means one thing. There will be lots and lots of soup nights in the K household! Having the Instant Pot makes it even easier! Since you put everything that you fancy into the pot, start the timer and go your merry way…which for me means straight back under my blanket 🙂 And when the Mr and kiddos are ready, we will unplug the Pot and have our dinner. Some ‘deli bought’ fresh dinner rolls for them while I dive into a double large bowl for myself! My grain free diet is a good enough excuse for me to indulge shamelessly!
And one of our all time favorite soups is ‘Chicken noodle’. The ultimate in comfort food! And now finally I have a Paleo version of this soup! Dried Sweet Potato noodles to the rescue – TADA! If you read my post on Korean Style sweet potato noodles you will be familiar with these noodles. These are made from sweet potato starch and when you cook them they appear translucent and glassy. They are a little slimier than your regular flour noodles but they taste great. And I am really fortunate that my kids love them too. So I substitute these noodles for the flour noodles, add lots of veggies, some ginger, lots of sea salt, hardly any spices and you get this bowl of comfort that you do not want to share with anybody else!
Last time when I made this, I threw in a whole bunch of spinach towards the end and so we ended up having a green chicken noodle soup! No one cared or complained about the color. They were too busy slurping away! Seriously, guys this soup was so delicious and there are no spices in it! 100% AIP Compliant!
Set the Instant Pot to Saute mode. Add the oil. Let heat for 1 min and then add the onions, celery, and carrots. Stir fry for 2 mins. Then add the salt, ginger and garlic (if adding). Stir for another 30 secs. Then add the chicken pieces and the water. Close the lid on the Instant Pot and set vale to sealing position. Press Pressure Cook button and set time to 10 mins. Release steam carefully and once the valve goes all the way down, open the lid. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken pieces into a bowl. Let cool for a few mins and then shred the chicken pieces using your hands.
Add the chicken pieces back into the Instant Pot along with the noodles and the spinach and the parsley (if adding). Place lid and pressure cook again for 2 mins. Release pressure carefully and open the pot. Stir to mix spinach well into the soup, add freshly ground pepper(if adding) as needed and check for seasoning and serve soup warm!
Heat a large cooking pot with the oil. Let heat for 1 min and then add the onions, celery, and carrots. Stir fry for 2 mins. Then add the salt, ginger and garlic (if adding). Stir for another 30 secs. Then add the chicken pieces and the water. Cover the pot (leaving a small vent open) on low heat for 20 mins.
Turn heat off and open pot and transfer chicken pieces to a bowl. Keep aside to cool and then shred the chicken pieces.
Meanwhile, heat another large cooking pot with water. When it starts boiling, add the noodles to it and let cook for about 4 mins on medium heat. Then drain the noodles carefully using a large strainer. Rinse the noodles once with cold water.
Add the noodles to the soup pot along with the shredded chicken pieces and the spinach and the parsley (if adding). Cook on low simmer uncovered for 2 mins until the spinach gets cooked. Turn heat off and add freshly ground pepper (if adding)as needed and check for seasoning. Serve warm!
I have suggested using between 3/4 lbs to 1 lbs of chicken since the quantity of chicken is flexible - if you want more protein in your soup, you can add more chicken and vice-versa. This soup is really very forgiving - whatever way you do it, it will come out good!
While cooking on stove top, I recommend cooking the noodles separately since that is the best way to cook them - Rinsing once with cold water makes them a little less slimy.
Hey its Thanksgiving, people!. Cranberries need to be on the menu! Honestly speaking, cranberry sauce has never been my thing. I think all that sugar that goes in it is what puts me off. Because I really love cranberries – I really do! And like to use them in a lot of my curries! I make cranberry rasam often. And for the past two years, I became even more close to cranberries since I have been avoiding tomatoes. I find cranberries to be a perfect substitute for tomatoes in my indian curries and stews. In fact it is a perfect substitute for tamarind also which is another pantry item that I have stopped using now. So cranberries have been my ‘go to’ and pretty reliable friend 🙂
Now this cranberry and cherry sauce has been on my mind for the longest of times. I have been wanting to make a sugar free cranberry sauce and once when I was making a smoothie with cherries, this thought came to mind. I thought of combining it with cherries to balance the tartness with the sweetness of the cherries. And that did seem like a wonderful idea considering both cranberries and cherries are so high on nutrients. The nutrients in cranberries have been linked to a lower risk of urinary tract infections, prevention of certain types of cancer, improved immune function, and decreased blood pressure 1. And cherries are not far behind with their anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and cancer prevention properties2.
So my idea of combining cranberries and cherries seems like a perfect marriage made in heaven right? Well, my inclinations were certainly right. The combined flavor is a perfect balance of tart and sweet and the Indian in me couldn’t resist adding cayenne pepper and garlic for an additional kick:) I started by roasting the berries and the garlic and throwing them in a blender to make a smooth sauce. Then just a little bit simmering with some cayenne and fresh herbs – cilantro and curry. And a final tempering of mustard seeds in coconut oil! Yum!
It tastes fabulous as is and I can only imagine how good it would taste with roast chicken or turkey! I cannot wait to bring it to our Thanksgiving dinner! This will be a great dip for crackers and plenty of other savory stuff!.
Cranberry and Cherry Sauce || Cranberry and Cherry Chutney (Paleo, Vegan, AIP)
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
A smooth, sweet and tangy sauce made with cranberries and cherries and infused with cayenne and fresh herbs like cilantro and curry leaves!
1 1/2 cups cranberries (fresh or frozen)
1 cup cherries (fresh or frozen)
2 large cloves of garlic with skin on
About 3/4 cup water
About 3/4 tsp sea salt or per taste
1/4 to 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper or kashmiri chilli powder (per heat level desired; omit for AIP)
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves chopped
4-5 fresh curry leaves
For the tempering (omit for AIP):
2 tsp coconut oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds
Preheat oven to 400 deg F (200 deg C).
Line a baking tray with parchment paper and place the cranberries, cherries and the whole garlic cloves with skin on it. Bake at 400 deg F (200 C) for about 13-15 mins until the berries are roasted - dark skin on top. Peel the skin of the garlic away.
In a food processor or blender, blend the cranberries, cherries and the garlic cloves with some amount of water to form a thick smooth paste. Then add the rest of the water and blend again. Pour this blend into a cooking pot.
Place pot on low heat and add the salt, cayenne (if adding) and stir well. Let simmer for 5 mins on low.
Then add the fresh cilantro and curry leaves and let simmer for another couple mins and turn heat off.
For the tempering, in a small pan, add the coconut oil. When hot, add the mustard seeds. When they splutter add the fenugreek seeds. Continue heating on low until the fenugreek seeds all turn brown and turn heat off. Pour this oil garnish on top of the cranberry cherry sauce.
I can’t believe I am going to be completing one year on Paleo in another two weeks! When I first started on Paleo and that too with AIP in December of last year, I was very apprehensive about how long I could last without eating rice. Rice had been a staple for me – at least one meal a day for all my life! Considering my initial trepidation, I guess I did great! I was on strict AIP for only 4 weeks and after that I slowly started reintroducing spices. The ‘Indian’ in me was learning to live without rice but she definitely needed her spice! With my vast repertoire of Indian curries that use spices in varying proportions, with each blend having its own distinctive flavor, how could I stay away?
I however use very less quantity of spices than what a traditional indian curry might call for. But I definitely needed them! And as long as I could go back to my curries, albeit less spiced versions of them, I was good. And then began a quest for making some kind of bread with which I could sop up all the delicious curries! Cassava flour to the rescue and I started making cassava rotis/parathas/tortillas and was one happy mama!
Now only one thing remained. I needed something substantial for breakfast since I do not like to eat meat for breakfast. I don’t know why …perhaps just because I never did that before. And since eggs and oats were out too, I was left with very slim options. So even large bowls of smoothies couldn’t satisfy my appetite for breakfast. And that’s when I started making lots of other sides to go with the smoothies – plantains – boiled and pan fried, boiled sweet potato, mashed sweet potato, yucca mash etc etc. And then I rediscovered tapioca pearls and started making tapioca pearl pudding, tapioca sweet potato savory hash etc etc. If you check my instagram page, you can see all my creations there!
And finally last month I came up with this sweet potato and tapioca pearls pancake. In India, there is a similar recipe for a savory pancake where potatoes are used instead of sweet potatoes. So I decided to swap the potato with the sweet potato and tried different variations of the recipe to come up with something that was absolutely perfect for me. Crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. A slight drizzle of maple syrup or honey is all you need to make your breakfast perfect!
This pancake recipe is unlike other regular pancakes where you have a flowing batter. Here you get a dough and then you need to pat the dough carefully between plastic or parchment sheets to make a pancake shape. I have attached step wise pics so you can see the consistency of the dough as well as the detailed steps. Believe me, its not too hard once you get the hang of it. I make it literally every other day! This recipe below makes 5-6 pancakes which is like 2 servings.
Hope you try this and let me know how you like it!
If you like Indian food and like chicken then I can bet that you would have definitely tasted Tandoori Chicken:) If not, then you need to immediately rectify that! Tandoori Chicken probably helped popularize Indian cuisine in the rest of the world. And Chicken tikka masala where this tandoor baked chicken is dunked in a delicious creamy tomato gravy is every ‘curry’ and ‘chicken lovers’ dream curry.
I have made Tandoori style chicken numerous times over the years although I had never posted a recipe until now. I did post a Nepalese version of Tandoori Chicken sometime back which has tomato in the marinade. Usually I would just make Tandoori chicken by making a marinade in yoghurt with ginger, garlic, some coriander, cumin, cayenne and garam masala. I believe cumin and the ginger-garlic paste is what gives a Tandoori chicken its unique flavor. The chicken is nice and slightly crispy on the outside while really really moist and succulent on the inside. And it is just oozing with flavor!
Of late since I avoid dairy on my Paleo diet, I have been omitting yoghurt. And I have been using lemon juice instead to impart acidity to tenderize the meat. That works pretty great too. So last week as I was making a new batch, I remembered to take the pics and note down ingredients so I could post this recipe! The longer you marinate the chicken, the tastier your tandoori chicken will be! Also, tandoori chicken has a special flavor because it is baked in a tandoor (clay oven). So in my version, I tried to get a smokey flavor by broiling the chicken for a couple mins in the end.
The tandoori chicken tastes great with some plain white rice and dal (lentil curry). That’s how my family enjoys them. I either eat them with a salad on the side or make Chicken tacos using my homemade cassava tortillas. So so yum!
Tandoori Chicken || Indian Style Baked Chicken (Paleo)
Author: Indira Shyju
Recipe type: Main course, Appetizer
Chicken thigh pieces marinated in lemon juice and a blend of indian spices like cumin and garam masala and baked in an oven to get delicious baked chicken bursting with flavor
1½ lb chicken thigh pieces
For the marinade:
5 large garlic cloves
2 inch by 1 inch long piece of ginger
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp sea salt
¼ cup lemon juice
1 tsp kashmiri chilli powder
¼ tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp coriander powder
2 tsp cumin powder
2 tsp garam masala
1 tbsp olive oil
Extra Olive Oil for brushing on top
Clean the chicken pieces and cut into large pieces. Dab the chicken pieces using paper towels to remove moisture. Make light gashes on the chicken pieces so that the marinade can seep in.
Mix all marinade ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
Add the chicken pieces to the marinade and using your hands coat each piece generously with the marinade. Let the chicken pieces sit in marinade for at least 1 hour. Or up to 8-10 hours. (Transfer chicken to fridge if marinating for more than 1 hour)
When ready to bake the chicken, pre heat oven to 450 deg F (220 deg C).
Line a baking tray with Al foil and brush with oil. Lay the chicken pieces on the baking sheet. Bake at 450 F for 25 mins.
Take out tray and brush with oil and flip the chicken pieces and bake for another 15-20 mins until both sides are well cooked.
Remove tray from oven and turn oven to broil setting. Now place tray on top rack for 2-3 mins until there are slightly blackened smoked spots on each of the chicken pieces.
Take tray out of the oven and cover the tray with Al foil until serving.
Serve tandoori chicken with lemon wedges and sliced red onions!
I use Kashmiri chilli powder since it is mild as well as it gives great color. You could also substitute smoked paprika to get a good color! You could also grill this chicken on an outdoor grill. If you add charcoal that would give them a really good flavor!