Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Indian Diwali Dessert: How to make Besan ke Ladoo (Indian Chickpea Flour Sweets)




In honor of Diwali, the Hindu Festival of Lights, I did some experimenting with Ladoo recipes and made two different batches of a popular Indian dessert called "Besan ke Ladoo."  Both recipes use besan (chickpea flour), sugar and ghee (clarified butter.) The traditional recipe contains cardamom and is rolled into larger roughly 2-inch balls, while the ladoos in "Americanized" recipe are half the size (roughly 1-inch).  They don't contain any cardamom, but instead have a pinch of salt and are decorated with colored sprinkles.  Try them both and let me know what you think!

Classic "Besan ke Ladoo"
Makes 10-12

2 cup besan (chickpea flour)
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup ghee
3-4 freshly crushed cardamom pods (or 1/4 teaspoon powdered cardamom)
10-12 cashew nuts or almonds (for garnish)

Add besan to a pan and roast it over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the color starts to darken slightly and the besan gives off a slightly nutty scent.   This should take approximately 10-12 minutes. Add the ghee and continue roasting for another 3-5 minutes. Remove the pan from the stove and let cool for a few minutes, then add the sugar and cardamom. Stir until it is completely mixed.  Once the batter has cooled off enough to touch without burning your hands, use your hands to shape the batter into 2-inch balls.  Garnish each ladoo with cashew nuts or almonds and enjoy!


Bombay Blonde Salted Mini "Besan ke Ladoo"
Makes 10-12

1 cup besan (chickpea flour)
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup ghee
Salt to taste (roughly 1/8 teaspoon)

Add besan to a pan and roast it over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the color starts to darken slightly and the besan gives off a slightly nutty scent.  This should take approximately 10-12 minutes. Add the ghee and continue roasting for another 3-5 minutes. Remove the pan from the stove and let cool for a few minutes, then add the sugar. Stir until it is completely mixed.  Once the batter has cooled off enough to touch without burning your hands, use your hands to shape the batter into 2-inch balls.  Garnish each ladoo with colored sprinkles, and, if you really want to get fancy, place each mini ladoo into a gold foil mini cupcake liner. Enjoy!



Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Have You Tried... Papad?


If you've ever eaten at an Indian restaurant, chances are, you were served papad!   Papad are like tortillas, only they are made out of ground lentils (or in some cases rice flour) instead of corn or flour. Papad are often served as an accompaniment to a meal, or as an appetizer with tamarind, coriander or mango chutney.  My favorite brand is Lijjat, or as I like to refer to it: the one with the crazy pink bunny! I especially love the "Punjabi Masala Special Papad" which has tons of black pepper, adding bit of kick to every bit!

There are several methods of cooking papad.  The first is to deep fry them for a few seconds until they bubble up.  The second is to cook them over an open flame (you've got to watch them carefully here, so they don't burn!), and the third, newer method, is to cook them in the microwave for 10-20 seconds at a time until they bubble up.  I actually prefer the last method because I have an electric stove, so I can't cook them on an open flame and I also like that they don't turn out greasy!
This is a great item to pick up from an Indian grocery store because very few people actually make them from scratch!  In fact, when I lived in India, I asked everyone I knew for a papad recipe and they all told me that they just buy them from the store!  Apparently it's a bit of a time consuming process to make them (just like how most people don't make corn tortillas from scratch).  You have to grind the lentils into a flour, mix the ingredients and then lay them out to dry in the sun for several days.  In doing my research for this post, I actually came across a angry response to a papad "recipe" on Epicurious which basically gave instructions on how to cook the pre-made ones from the store!  I agree with "A Cook from TEXAS," that it would be nice to find an actual recipe for papad!  That said, I guess I have my work cut out for me!  Wish me luck!

Friday, June 6, 2014

Fashion Friday: Pastel + Neon


Lately I've been experimenting with mixing my pastels and neons together.  I recently bought a new pastel purple colored dress from H&M and decided to pair it with this neon orange belt (from a different dress) and my neon orangey-red shoes with two super cute neon pink Ban.do Mini Pom Poms attached... which totally add to the fun and playful vibe of the outfit!  And of course, no outfit is complete without a pile of Mr.T's gold chains!  I've got the fam visiting me in LA so I'm super excited for this weekend!  Happy #FashionFriday everybody!





Dress: H&M // Shoes: Marc Fisher // Neon Pink Mini Pom Poms: Ban.do // Gold Glitter Bobbi Pins:  Ban.do // Necklaces: H&M // Rainbow Rings: Forever21 // Gold Flower Ring: Flannery Good

Photography by Amy Durham!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Candy Cocktails- The Book!

Four years ago my sister Flannery and I started a cocktail and fashion blog called Fashionably Bombed.  From the very beginning we created a list of goals that we wanted to accomplish and writing a book was at the top of the list!  Today is the official release date of our book, Candy Cocktails and I'm so proud and excited to see all of our hard work come to fruition!  This being my very first book, I didn't know what to expect, especially when it came to overall aesthetic of the book.  To my amazement, Candy Cocktails is even prettier than I had originally envisioned!  It contains some of my favorite candy cocktails from the blog (like the Bubble Gum Mojito) and a ton of brand-new candy cocktails (like the Sour Grape Sidecar and the Salted Chocolate Margarita)!!!  One of the most exciting things for me is that I can now officially say that not only am I a published author, but I'm also a published photographer too!  The publishing company chose my photo of our bubblegum martini to go on the cover!  Click on the image below to see Candy Cocktails on Amazon.com!




Monday, June 2, 2014

Indian Mango Lassi Recipe

I drove back from Fresno to L.A. this weekend and the temperature outside was exactly 99 degrees!  I don't mind the heat actually, but, I sure was thirsty for a mango lassi!  I stopped along the way to buy some mangos, yogurt and fresh mint.  When I reached home to L.A., I quickly whipped up a batch and then rushed up to the rooftop to take a photo before the sun set (apologies for the limp mint garnish...I guess it was too hot in the trunk!).  This was the best mango lassi I've ever had!  It was even better than the version you find in Indian restaurants. The secret, if you can call it that, is to use fresh mangoes (the smaller yellow ones, not the big red ones which have too many "threads" in the pulp), instead of the canned mango pulp that most restaurants tend to use.  Trust me, it's totally worth the "effort" to cut up fresh mangos!  And when you make it at home, you can sweeten it to your own taste using what ever kind of sweetener you like!  If you like the taste of restaurant style mango lassis, then I would add a little more sugar, as they tend to be more on the sweet side.  





Mango Lassi Recipe
Makes 2

2 mangos, peeled and seed removed (makes 1 cup of mango pulp when blended)
2-3 tablespoons sugar (or other sweetener, such as honey)
1 cup yogurt
1/4 cup milk (this is optional, but it makes the consistency thin, like the restaurant version)
2-3 ice cubes (optional)
1 cardamom pod, casing removed and seeds crushed (optional)
1 sprig of mint to garnish

In a blender, blend mangoes, until they are throughly liquified.  Next add yogurt, milk, sugar and cardamom.  Lastly you can add a few ice cubes to the blender if you would like it to be colder, but this step is optional.  

Pour your mango lassi into a glass, garnish with a sprig of mint and enjoy!




Friday, May 30, 2014

Fashion Friday: Summer Playsuits!

I'm super excited for summer!  Something about the longer days and the warm weather transports me back to "summer vacation" mode.  And no other item of clothing says summer vacation to me than a playsuit!  I mean it's got "play" in the title, so you kind of have no choice but to have fun while wearing one! I'm planing on wearing mine to the beach this summer, but first I have to decide which one to buy! With so much variety in color and style, I might just have to get more than one!  Check out the playsuits I've been eyeing so far and let me know which one you like!


1. Topshop
2. Glamorous
3. AX Paris
4. Own The Runway
5. Topshop
6. Love

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Have you tried "Achaar" (Indian Pickle)?

During my latest Indian grocery store adventure, I picked up a few pre-packaged items.  One of which was an Indian pickle, or achaar, as it's called in Hindi.  Indian pickles typically consist of fruits or vegetables that are exposed to direct sunlight and pickled in salt, oil and a variety of pickling spices.  One of the most popular types of Indian pickles is aam ka achaar, or mango pickle.  I've always been a fan of sour flavors, so perhaps this is why I'm drawn to this particular type of Indian pickle, which is made from very tart unripe mangos.  The Northern Indian version of mango pickle includes spices like red chili powder, turmeric, fennel seeds, fenugreek seeds, black mustard seeds and nigella seeds.  Oh, and I almost for got the most important ingredient... tons of salt!

Achaar goes great with parathas or just as a condiment along side an Indian meal.  I've also recently discovered that it also goes well with some American dishes too, like grilled cheese sandwiches! So give it a try and let me know what you think!  What's your favorite type of Indian pickle?  What do you like to eat it with?