Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Tofu Caramel Custard Pudding

As I mentioned in my previous post, we are a dessert loving family. I always wanted to try making a dessert using tofu. I have seen many recipes in the past for chocolate pudding using tofu as main ingredient. But since Arun is not a huge fan of chocolate pudding I thought I will make a vanilla flavored pudding. That's when I thought of caramel custard pudding. My last attempt was a major disaster. I have been thinking of making it again. So I decided to try one using tofu.

I used silken firm tofu and used gelatin to get the pudding to set. Tofu makes it a tad bit healthier even though the pudding has sugar in it.

The caramel is prepared at a low flame as the chances of it getting burnt is very high.

Tofu Caramel Custard Pudding

Firm silken tofu 1 12.3 oz packet (I used organic mori-nu brand tofu)
Sugar 1 cup divided
Vanilla 2 tsp
Knoxx unflavored gelatin 1 tbsp
Water 2 tbsp

Keep small bowl or ramekins ready.
In a heavy bottom pan heat sugar on low flame. Keep stirring to avoid sugar from getting burnt.
When the syrup turns a golden color remove from flame and pour into the prepared vessels.
Tilt the bowls and make sure the caramel coats everywhere.
Blend tofu, sugar and vanilla in a blender until a smooth paste is formed.
Heat water and add gelatin off the flame. Mix to dissolve gelatin.
Add this to tofu paste through a strainer to remove any undissolved gelatin.
Mix and pour to the prepared pudding dishes.
Refrigerate for minimum 6 hours or overnight.

When I checked the pudding after 6 hours I could see that when I tilt the bowl contents were moving around. I was disappointed thinking it didn't set. There was no other explanation. Caramel had hardened at room temperature. So it was weird that it is moving around now. Nevertheless I decided I will check it out and took it out from the refrigerator. That's when I noticed that the pudding has set perfectly. Hurray! :)

Since the caramel was already melted the pudding was all ready to come out. But still inverting it to a plate was a bit tricky. I placed a plate on top of the bowl and inverted both plate and bowl together. Viola my pudding looked smashing in the caramel sauce!

The texture was amazing and pudding tasted delicious. Nothing hints tofu in this pudding. Moreover its much easier to make. This recipe is definitely a keeper.
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Sunday, June 15, 2014

Oven Roasted Spicy Chickpeas

We are a snacking couple and a dessert family. That is a dangerous combo. So I am making efforts now to prepare healthy snacks at home. I found this recipe for roasted chickpeas and it brought back memories of masala peanuts that we get in bakeries in Kerala.

I was inspired by this recipe. But since we like it spicy I used chilli powder, cumin and salt instead of Cinnamon and sugar. It is easy to make. I made this from dried chickpeas ( after soaking in water overnight and cooking it in a pressure cooker). But you can always use canned chickpeas/ garbanzo beans. That would make the process even more easier.

The key to getting crunchy chickpeas is to get rid of the mositure. I cooked my beans in the evening and let the water drain. Later I pat dried the chickpeas and also left it covered with paper towel overnight.

Oven roasted spicy chick peas


1 (15-ounce) can chick peas (garbanzos)
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon chilli powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cumin powder


Preheat oven to 400F degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
Rinse and drain the chickpeas very well to remove the starch. Spread them out onto prepared baking sheet and pat very, very dry. The drier the chickpeas, the crunchier they will be. The skin of the bean may peel off as you pat them dry. That is ok. You may remove the skins or leave them on.
Once 100% dry, place chickpeas into the oven and roast for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, remove from the oven and drizzle with olive oil. Using a large spoon or spatula, mix the beans around to make sure they are all evenly coated. Mix chilli powder and salt and sprinkle over beans. Mix around very well to heavily coat each bean. The beans will be flavorless, so you want to make sure each one is thoroughly coated. Place back into the oven and roast for another 15 minutes.
Leaving the chickpeas inside, turn the oven off and crack open the door slightly. Allow the chickpeas to sit inside as the oven cools down for 30 minutes. This will help them get crunchier as opposed to sitting at room temperature.

These came out to be super crunchy and tasty. All three of us liked it. I made it only mildly spicy as I knew Ritu would also want to munch on these. I stored it in an air tight container and they stayed fresh for 3 days.

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Sunday, June 8, 2014

We are speaking sentences!

This is a random post on Ritu's talking skills. The way she talks with all hand gestures is fun to watch. It is super cute and at times makes us laugh quite a bit. So I am listing some of them here:

  • Usually, while rolling out chappathis, I give Ritu some dough to keep herself busy. Last night after playing with it for a while she gave the dough to me and said 'kanjufin cow'. I couldn't understand her and she kept on repeating it. It suddenly occurred to Arun that she might be asking 'Can you find cow?'. Now that made half sense. I usually make cow, pig, dog faces from the dough for her. So she wanted me to make a cow with the dough. Usually she just says the animal name 'cow' and I would get it. This day she was trying to use a newly learnt sentence. I am assuming her teacher would have asked her 'can you find ---' while reading picture books to the kids. So these days all questions start with ' can you find'.
  • Ritu loves to see everything I do in the kitchen. Last day I was adding spagetti to a pot of boiling water and she exclaimed, "Pasta swim".
  • There is a recent Malayalam movie 'Kili poyi'. Arun keeps singing the title song which is 'oh oh kili poyi'. Ritu has this habit she picked from school of saying 'oh ho' when something goes wrong like her toy falling down. So now her oh oh is always followed by 'kili poyi' in a tune that is funny and cute to hear. We always end up laughing whenever we hear it.
  • Ritu loves her bath time. The water from the hot water tap takes few minutes to turn warm and she doesn't like the cold water. So when she says 'thanuppu' (cold) I will ask her to wait for sometime and then ask her 'eppazho' (now?). She uses 'eppayo' at many occasions now, few I am not even sure whether its applicable.

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