Caramelized Mini Banana slices with Basil & Sweetened Coconut flakes!

Caramelized Mini Banana slices with Basil & Sweetened Coconut flakes!

Have you heard of heaven on earth?????? This dish of mine exactly feels like  “heaven on earth”. Growing up as a child, my “PAATI” (nana/grandma) struggled to make me and my brother to get to eat fruits!!!!!! So she used to make this dish and it would be gone in one second:) Just like that…..

Fortunately or unfortunately:) History repeats itself. So I make this yummylicious dish for my kids as a snack (and guess who shares their snack????)and they wipe the plate clean and I mean CLEAN!!! Please try this with your kids and let me know if it worked???and I PROMISE IT WILL:) You can also serve this as a dessert if you are entertaining. Add a scoop of COCONUT ICE CREAM on top and its out of the world!!!!!! Also, if you have not-so-ripe bananas this recipe will sweeten them up and is a great way to use them.

This is how I make it:

I chop up my bananas into thin mini slices and throw in a pan not too hot with a tad bit of clarified butter in it! Trust me guys, these are small cravings and my blog always screams out Moderation so a little doesnt hurt. You can also add olive oil and I add some brown sugar and let it caramelize on a low flame for about 10 minutes. You dont want to burn the sugar so keep the fame low.

And you have Heaven on a plate! I plate mine with some basil leaves and sweetened coconut flakes- Delish!!!! Enjoy!!!!

With much love ………

Guilt free TEMPEH Burgers!

Guilt free TEMPEH Burgers!

Last weekend, I was at this brunch place in Montclair, New Jersey- Absolutely fabulous and I was thrilled to see their Vegan and Vegetarian selections on the menu.

After pondering over an extensive menu:) and the indecisive person that I am esp when it comes to food- I decided to try their Vegetarian Chickpea burger with baked Sweet Potato Fries. I must tell you this that during my stay at Double Tree in L A prior to filming Master Chef, I happened to order their Vegetarian burger made of chickpeas and it was falling apart/ crumbling to say the least and dry!!!!

This one that I tried at Montclair was phenomenal!!!! Moist, crisp, dense and came with onion, tomato, sprouts:) and pickle!

OK now, I was also thinking of coming up with a bunch of dishes with Tempeh and have been experimenting in my kitchen. Suddenly, after we finish brunch, I run across the street to WHOLE FOODS and my husband thinks I have lost it as always 🙂 I grab an organic slab of 5 GRAIN TEMPEH. Now many of you may wonder what TEMPEH is?

TEMPEH is made of natural culturing process with organic grains like soybeans, brown rice, millet, barley, rye, apple cider vinegar and tempeh culture (typically Rhisopus oligosporus)LOL (thats my inner Microbiologist speaking out). It is low in calories and a great substitute to meat due to its HIGH PROTEIN content. Tempeh originated in Indonesia and has a distinctive nutty taste and nougat-like textured.

The thing about TEMPEH I have learnt over the past few months is that it easily absorbs the flavors of the other foods with which it is cooked making it adaptable to many types of dishes.  I tried substituting TEMPEH with the Indian Cottage Cheese that I use in my traditional Curry and it turned out delicious!!!

According to my research- the soy protein in tempeh tends to lower cholesterol levels, while consuming protein from animal sources tends to raise them, since they also include saturated fat and cholesterol.

I can go on and on about health benefits and effect of TEMPEH on cholesterol ………After 3 days of trips to the park with kids, I decided to take a break today and cook up something with the Tempeh that I had picked at Whole Foods. I decide to make an awesome burger with TEMPEH. I love beets and so decided to use a beet sauce and bake some squash chips to go with my burger. The key is to season my tempeh with a bunch of my toasted spices and to use a binding agent !! The binding agent that I used in this case was CHICK PEAS and it turned out beautiful. I could use potatoes but chose to give Chick peas a shot! I use olive oil and use fresh GRAY SQUASH from my Farmers Market to bake some chips to go with my TEMPEH burger:)

A sneak peek from the auditions of Master Chef 3 at the warehouse!

A sneak peek from the auditions of Master Chef 3 at the warehouse!

I came across the auditions for Master Chef Season 3- the Open Casting Call at Flatotel in NY back in November 2011. I still remember the day that I had called my husband, who was at work to let him know that I had decided to give Master Chef 3 auditions a shot and he was like” Are you serious”?LOL

I said that I had already pre registered online and knew exactly what I wanted to cook for my Open Casting Call. I made my favorite 2 dishes- My Bell pepper stuffed with Paneer Pasanda(grated Indian Cottage Cheese with colored bell peppers in a creamy sauce) and Punjabi Kadhi with Peas Pilaf!!!!!Yum…

My husband and I woke up at 6 am that Sunday morning and drove to NY city with the kids:) since we live in West Orange, New Jersey! My husband dropped me at the audition and took both our girls to New York  Children’s Museum. I kept calling him to see if the kids were doing alright and little did I know that it was going to be “the most amazing day” that would change my life completely!

I was selected one of the top 100 contestants who made it to the elegant:) “warehouse” for filming MASTER CHEF SEASON 3 with the very famous judges- Gordon Ramsay, Graham Elliot and Joe Bastianich! It was so much fun to meet such  talented amateur cooks from all over the country and make wonderful friends along way……..

Check out the following link for a sneak peek from the warehouse where we (the top 100 contestants) meet the most amazing food GURUS for the first time ever!!!!! So much excitement and smiles- a day that I will never forget. Such an inspiring talk by the judges-  http://www.tvgrapevine.com/index.php/the-shows/fox/101-master-chef-2012/1116-masterchef-the-best-amateur-cooks

 

Tune in for more to my blog at http://curryliciousme.wordpress.com

Till then…..

 

Love and currylicious dishes from my kitchen to yours!!

 

My Mentors and Inspiration!

My Mentors and Inspiration!

I have to begin by thanking God to present me with the most wonderful opportunity to be a part of this amazing show called “Master Chef- Season 3” on Fox. It was such an honor to cook for great chefs like Gordon Ramsay, Joe Bastianich and Graham Elliot who are so encouraging. They are my mentors and I derive so much inspiration from them.

It has been so much fun to have met the most amazing group of 100 people who are talented and have such passion for food. I enjoyed every second of being on Master Chef- Season 3 and please read my blog for more updates as you watch the show.

Master Chef – Season 3 comes back with a two-night season premiere event on Monday, June 4(9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) and Tuesday, June 5 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX.

I was blessed to be chosen from the 30,000 hopefuls who auditioned at MASTERCHEF’s open casting calls all over the country,  as one of the Top 100 amateur chefs to be given an opportunity to cook my signature dish for the one and only Gordon Ramsay!!

Here goes the first press release/ announcement by Master chef where the top 100 contestants are revealed. You can spot me on Page 4 under New Jersey:)

http://tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com/2012/05/09/masterchef-serves-up-a-two-night-season-premiere-event-on-monday-june-4-and-tuesday-june-5-on-fox/133117/

Join me on this culinary journey where I share my experiences, some clicks with my friends and to see if this New Jersey mom of 2 little girls made it to the top 36?????

Tune in to my blog to look up my new posts filled with experiences from the sets of Master Chef once the show airs!