Lemon Yoghurt tea cake (healthy)

Since September 2020, we have been on a life style change phase. We are mindful of what we eat and workout with the wonderful BSA training group live from California. Their coaches have changed our eating habits permanently. After almost 30 pounds less and a new me (husband also distinctly less), this is a cake we vouch for when we want to have a tea and cake moment. It is yum!

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp grated lemon zest
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 cup walnut flour
  • 1/2 tbsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup Greek yoghurt
  • 3/4 cup blended dates and half banana (for sugar)
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (melted and cooled)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp baking powder

Method

Heat oven to 350 F. Grease and ready your 8 inch cake pan to bake the cake. Whisk together flour (both kinds), baking powder and salt. In another bowl add grated dates, banana and lemon zest, make sure the mix is blended and not lumpy. Add yoghurt, butter, eggs and vanilla extract. Stir lightly into flour mixture make everything smooth by whisking. Pour into cake pan and bake till tooth pick or fork comes out clean in 25-30 minutes.

Tip: You can add a little more of dates to have a sweeter cake! Decorate with any fruits as you will. Raspberries go well with it too.

Swedish knäckebröd

We are back after a long time since the summer to write about one of our fav crispy bread recipes, a tradition in Sweden- the knäckebröd. It’s very healthy and fibrous, made out of rolled oats, lentils, pumpkin and other seeds with very little oil in it. We have also been transforming our diet lately with lot of natural foods, fruits, veggies and complex carbs and thought of sharing this bread recipe. Hope you try it out!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup of dry red lentils (soaked in water overnight)
  • 3/4 cup of oat flour (we had rolled oats that we ran in the blender)
  • 1 cup pumpkin seed
  • 1/4 cup linseed
  • 1 1/2 tbsp chia or hemp seed
  • 1 1/2 tbsp psyllium husk
  • 1/2 tsp of kosher salt plus some extra to sprinkle on top when it’s done.
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 1/2 tbsp olive oil

Method

Preheat oven at 150 C. Wash and drain the lentils. Then mix all the dry ingredients with the lentils in a large bowl. Next, boil the water and oil for a little bit and pour over the dry mixture and let it rest for 10-15 minutes.

Next, flatten and roll out half the dough on a baking paper and cover with a baking paper to make it easy for rolling the top. It should flatten out nicely on the tray (see photo). Do same steps on another baking tray. Sprinkle some kosher salt on both trays. Let it stand on the counter for 20-25 minutes for everything to stick together before baking.
Bake one tray of crisp bread at a time in the oven, for about 50 minutes. Check to make sure it is completely dry and crunchy, if not add extra 10-15 minutes. Cool on counter before cutting and eating.

Steak with green peppercorn sauce

This recipe is three years old and we make it frequently at home. A first spotted it in food network in a recipe by Ina Garten. Since then, that recipe has undergone some changes as I have added pink peppercorns sometimes with the green and sometimes juniper berries. Both go with the wonderfully fragrant green peppercorns. For the steak, a good filet mignon or ribeye works great but any other cut goes with this rich creamy sauce.

Ingredients

  • 2-3 Shallots, finely chopped
  • 1 Carrot, sliced
  • 1 Cup red wine
  • Vinegar
  • 1 Cup cream
  • 1/2 Cube of stock or 1 cup stock any kind
  • 1 tbs Japanese soy sauce
  • 2 tbs Green peppercorns, finely chopped
  • 1 tbs Juniper berries, finely chopped (optional)
  • Steak
  • Starchy potatoes

Method peppercorn sauce

Fry the shalots and carrots until they are soft. Add wine and boil for a while. Add some water and strain out the vegetables. Add stock, cream, soy sauce, green peppercorns, (juniper, if you are using) and adjust the acid levels with the vinegar to taste. Reduce to a thick sauce. Taste for salt.

Method potatoes

Peal and cut the potatoes to wedges. Boil the wedges until they are slightly soft. Fry the wedges at 130C (265F) for 10min. Heat up the oil to 180C (350F) and fry until they are crisp and golden. If a fryer isn’t available, you can put all wedges in the oven with oil salt salt sprinkled, at 225 C or 440 F.

Serve steak (medium rare to medium for us) with potatoes and salad with a gorgeous peppercorn sauce on the side.

Tip: You can mix around pink peppercorns chopped with the green ones sometimes, as this time we used juniper berries. The sauce can still be superb with just the green peppercorns.


Quick Chilla

My early childhood in Calcutta had no chilla in the menu. Then whatever little time I have spent in North India, strangely I don’t recall having this delicious thing either. Only recently, a friend from Delhi told me about it and then I started looking for Gram flour in Sweden. We thought we got gram flour (chick pea flour) but turns out what we had was Grahammjöl which is this very coarse fibrous wheat flour, full of kernels. While making chillas today, I realized what I should have bought instead is called kikärtsmjöl (if you are looking for it in Sweden). For others, besan or gram flour will do. This was made with the grahammjöl and still very tasty. I recommend using the real gram flour if you are attempting this. Chillas are very nutritious and you can throw in any vegetables from home and we also debuted our home grown spicy green chili and cilantro in it. Serve hot, preferably with coconut or coriander chutney! Yum.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups gram flour (besan) or kikärtsmjöl if you are in Sweden
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 1 tomato chopped
  • 2 inch ginger finely chopped
  • Some spinach leaves (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • Tiny hint of fenugreek powder (optional)
  • Freshly chopped green chilli (we did 2, you can add 1 if you want to go easy on it)
  • Chopped cilantro leaves
  • Salt
  • Water for mixing

Method

In a large bowl, add the gram flour and turmeric and salt. Then add half a cup of water and start mixing well. Add more water as needed to make a smooth batter which shouldn’t be too runny. As the batter becomes smooth, add all the veggies, cilantro and chili and whisk very smoothly. At this point, the batter may need a little more water but make sure to add little and mix so that the mixture is not too liquid. As the batter consistency is reached, leave aside for 15-20 minutes. Heat oil in a pan, and pour and smear batter in rounds and fry. I was cautious about the oil and didn’t deep fry the chillas. Also made sure the pan was hot and then fried one side, put some oil on the sides and flipped to fry the other. Chillas are golden brown, fried in medium heat and delicious with any good chutney. The ingredients provided here make about 6 big chillas. If you don’t have chutney at home, they go well with a yoghurt, sriracha and hint of garlic dip also. Just an idea! Serve hot.

Quick Spicy Kebabs

My mother called me today and we were discussing food she used to make in the childhood. I asked her a kebab recipe she used to make in Calcutta and she told me everything in a big hurry without any ingredients measured. It’s the Bengali style of cooking she has taught me: “eyeball it” —She would say “and if it’s not right, learn and do it again.” Well, I learned and I’ll try to give you all some measurements for this delicious kebab.

Ingredients

  • 500 g minced lamb
  • 1/2 finely chopped large onion
  • 1 tbsp cumin powder
  • 1 tbsp coriander powder
  • 1 tbsp garam masala
  • 2 clove garlic chopped
  • 1.5 inch ginger finely chopped
  • sprinkle of mace powder
  • sprinkle of nutmeg
  • cilantro finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 table spoon besan (kikärtsmjöl in Sweden)
  • 2 fresh green chili chopped
  • black pepper
  • salt

Method

In a bowl, mix together all ingredients and blend well. As all ingredients are mixed add the besan. Make sure to mix really well, then form rounds and flatten with the palm of your hand to make the shape. Heat oil and in medium heat fry all kebabs. They should be golden brown in color. Serve hot with a cucumber mint yoghurt or salad. They are quick, delicious and go well with coriander chutney too.

Slow-cooked Chili Pork Belly

One of us loves pork more; the other likes her red and green chili’s. This recipe appeals to us both for those reasons and much more. It’s simple, hearty, and we usually eat it with rice and a quick salad. I am also celebrating my three years in Sweden today, so we cooked one of our fav pork dishes for dinner.

Ps: This recipe is not for the faint hearted and copious amounts of red chili, ginger and garlic make it absolutely wonderful! We also used our garden’s fresh cilantro for the first time this season.

Ingredients

  • 1.5 Lb Pork Belly, cut into medium size cubes
  • 2-3 Red Chilis (green is fine too, but it makes the dish hotter)
  • 4 cloves of garlic finely chopped
  • 2 inch ginger piece, finely chopped
  • Organic chicken stock (I used 2 cubes, aim for 2.5 cups)
  • 1 yellow onion sliced
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • Japanese soya sauce
  • Lots of fresh cilantro for garnish
  • Salt if needed (since the recipe has soya sauce)
  • Oil to cook

Method

First marinade the pork in a pan with soya sauce for 20 minutes. There should be enough soya sauce so each piece is covered. In a pan heat oil and fry all the pork and don’t leave any remnant soya sauce. Fry everything till the pork has changed color to a nice brown and the soya sauce evaporates to have oil floating. Set aside the fried pork. In the same pan, heat some more oil and sauté the chopped onion, garlic, ginger, red chilis (at this stage leave a little bit of fresh garlic and ginger for the end) . As the mix starts changing to golden, keep sautéing and when everything is fragrant and soft, add the red and green sliced bell peppers. Mix everything well, add the chicken stock and stir everything. Put the fried pork with any oils left in the pan into this mix. The whole thing should be stirred for 2-3 minutes and then left to simmer with occasional stirring. Make sure to scrape the bottom of the pan so nothing sticks. Cook for at least 25-30 minutes till the color is a gorgeous dark brown and check for salt. If the gravy is drying up, add some hot water to make sure it is not a dry dish. The pork is almost done now; sprinkle the left over fresh ginger and garlic on top and garnish with lots of fresh cilantro. Eat with hot rice and a salad!

“Panic Chicken”

Today was Swedish Mother’s Day! It was one of the loveliest days at the end of May, with clear blue skies and screaming greens. We had our first visitor in months— C’s mother came for a visit and I decided to cook something nice in honor of Mother’s Day. I started cooking a fiery pepper chicken with some red chillis, pepper and garlic. Half way through, C’s mom looked at my ingredients and wondered if she would be able to handle it. Yikes! I panicked. Rest was a journey of how to transform a fiery chicken to a creamy coriander garlic chicken. If I can say so myself, I’m totally impressed by myself today. And they were too, only didn’t know the story behind it.

Ingredients

  • 2 lb Chicken (thighs or with bones)
  • 2 tsp Tabasco sauce or any hot sauce
  • 1 big red chilli or jalapeño chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper chopped
  • 2 teaspoon flour
  • Freshly ground pepper (black and white)
  • Chicken stock (I only get cubes here, and used two)
  • 2.5 tbsp fresh cream
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • Fresh coriander (lots of sprigs and leaves) some finely chopped and leave some sprigs for final garnish
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil

Method

In a bowl put the chicken and mix: Tabasco sauce, chopped green pepper. Mix well and coat the chicken with it. Sprinkle some white pepper over it and set it aside. Next, in a pan, heat oil and sauté the garlic, red chilli, finely chopped coriander for few minutes. Put the onion powder in this mix and whisk in the flour quickly. Pour half the chicken stock (one cube for me) over this and blend everything very well so lumps don’t form. Keep whisking and if it gets too thick, pour hot water as per consistency. It was at this stage I had some trial and error going on since I had decided to transform the pepper chicken idea into something else. Add the fresh cream at this stage and make sure you keep stirring the sauce that is forming. Sprinkle some freshly ground black pepper in the sauce. Check for salt. Set aside from heat.

In another pan, heat some oil and put the whole chicken, green pepper and hot sauce mixture. Fry over medium heat till the chicken starts turning golden. Put the other half of the stock into the pan and keep stirring. As I mentioned, my chicken stock was in cube, so I had to blend it in hot water and pour over the chicken. Keep cooking in medium heat till you see the chicken is fully cooked. Transfer this whole pan into the pan that contains the coriander and garlic sauce. Mix really well and check for salt. Finish with some fresh coriander sprigs over it. The flavors of this dish are wonderful: garlic and coriander in a cream based sauce. On another day, I’ll cook the original pepper chicken I had intended. For today, I’m glad the people who ate this were happy and reached for second helpings!

Gulab Jamun (Indian sweet)

Gulab Jamuns are popular Indian sweets, very easily available in every corner of the country, but rarely made at home. My American son at 5 once asked me if I could make him some “rose berries”, a direct translation of gulab jamun. I had said, no, and that I would buy it from the store. That was in USA; in Sweden, I haven’t found the sweet anywhere close to me. I explained to C that it’s quite impossible to make it at home, and I miss eating it. He took it up, of course, as a challenge to make it from scratch. And here one fine day, I had somebody asking me if the “khoya” was okay (condensed milk till it solidifies, used for sweets)! I had never made khoya at home in my life. This was a treat and an exciting journey to see him make gulab jamun to perfection at home. They were delicious, with rose water and pistachios, just like the ones in India.

Ingredients

  • 2 qt Whole milk
  • 1/2 cup All-pupose flour
  • 1/4 tsp Baking powder
  • Milk
  • Pistachios, to garnish
  • 1.75 cup Granulated sugar
  • 1 cup Water
  • Some Green cardamon pods
  • Pinch of Saffron
  • 1.5 tsp Lime or lemon juice
  • 1 tsp rose water

Making the Khoya

Now is the time to bring out the pan and your patience, because this will take time. Pour the milk into a pan, preferably non stick and gently start to simmer the milk. The mission is to boil away everything, yes almost all the liquid and turn the milk into a solid dough. The thicker it gets the more you need to stir. When done, you can shred the khoya so it will be easier to mix with the flour. This stage can be done in advance.

Making the Gulab Jamun

Mix the flour and baking powder and add the khoya. This should be mixed into a dough and you might need to add some milk of the consistency goes too dry. Make sure not to add a lot of milk and see what the dough consistency needs. This dough needs to be smooth without air-cracks in them. Make small rounded doughs in your palm and keep aside. Again, make sure the small balls for frying are smooth.

Making sugar syrup for Gulab Jamun

Mix sugar and water and put on boil for few minutes. Before it boils, add cardamom, saffron, hint of lemon juice for acidity and rose water. Boil for 4-5 minutes. Your syrup is ready.

Frying the Gulab Jamun

Heat oil in a vessel to medium. We checked to see if the oil is ready by dropping a small piece of dough into it. If the dough rises slowly with bubbles then the oil is ready for frying. Also, at this point, make sure the syrup is warm for dipping immediately after frying the gulab jamun. In the heated oil, fry the small rounded doughs in a batch of 4, so there is enough space for them. Take out when they are golden and immediately dunk them into the hot syrup. After everything is fried and submerged into syrup, store in a cool place. It can be refrigerated for later use also.

Ghee or Clarified Butter

We tried searching for ghee in the stores here in Sweden but the only kind we found was no where near the the real ghee I have had in my childhood. South Asian grocery stores in USA have some good ghee, and I am told that Malmö and other large cities have grocery stores that might carry ghee, but the travel isn’t easy and we have been in a ‘do it yourself’ mode, so here it is- our version of ghee! Also, this is for our friend Peter, from Hungary, who loves ghee.

Ingredients

Two 500 g blocks of salted or unsalted butter

Method

In a large pan put the two blocks of butter and melt in low heat. As the butter melts, continue to a boil when things start foaming up a lot in the pan. This should take some good amount of time (make sure it doesn’t burn). The trick is to make sure to remove the pan from heat when you see the protein from the butter turning brown. Don’t let it turn too dark brown. Remove from heat and let the browned protein settle at the bottom. Pour the lovely caramel smelling ghee in a jar. This can be used as garnish in dal, Biryani, over toasts or as my Swedish partner in crime states, just eat a spoonful!

PS: I don’t waste the solids left at the bottom; my childhood memory consists of sitting in the kitchen and eating it with a spoon. I love the taste of the remnants left in the pan. Try it!

The creation of SvenssonGhosh Kitchen

Welcome to our site. I have been thinking of collating and putting together a space where all that we cook for ourselves and our families stays in one little corner. This pandemic has naturally made us rethink food in various ways, how to eat better, waste less and cut down on meat. These recipes are from over the years, offer nostalgia to childhood or are a testimony to time with family. We are a family with different transcultural experiences from three different countries and we try and live that through our food too!

The SvenssonGhoshs 🙂