The fall season is here and that means it good bye to the hot and humid summer! (Agree, I am weeks behind in welcoming fall, but hey nevertheless). Fall or autumn is between winter and summer and it can be a mixed season with warm days and cooler days. In some areas nature does a beautiful show where in the leaves turn from green to vivid colors creating an awesome sight. It is a visual treat and a photographer’s delight.
The weather in Texas has cooled down considerably a huge relief from the relentless heat. It must be at least 20 F lower than the peak summer heat. The mornings and evenings especially have that cool crisp air denoting the arrival of the fall. It will be around the mid of November when we will start seeing the change in the colors of the leaves, before finally falling off.
And for my colleagues out there in the west coast, who minced no words praising the summer weather out there, while we were languishing here in the hot weather, I am looking at you. I know you don’t read my blog, but I am still looking at you. Just to set the records straight last Saturday early in the morning, I had to wear a sweater because it was so cold. And no, the temperatures here are not 100 +F at 10:00 PM in the night, they are way below that. Hmpf!
OK, now that I have cleared that out, let us move onto some better things. Eating an apple dish like an apple pie is considered a tradition, a way to step into fall and welcoming it with vigor. But I decided to make Apple crisp instead. Apple Crisps are popular during the fall as they coincide with the apple’s harvest time. Apple crisp is a simple baked dessert that combines fruit with a topping that is so hard to resist. The topping is made out of oats, butter, AP flour, cinnamon and topped over the chopped apples.
As if baking this dish was not easy enough, I decided to try this in the microwave instead. The topping turns out crispy, yet moist on the inside. It is so delicious that you can eat it as is (just like I did, when I pulled it out of the microwave). It is a simple and an easy to make dessert; you can substitute apples with other fruits of choice. It tastes best when served warm with vanilla ice cream or whipped topping.
Recipe Source: All Recipes
- 3 apples (peeled, cored and chopped)
- 3/4 cup of oats (quick cooking)
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup melted butter
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- ¼ cup shredded coconut (optional)
- ¼ cup chopped pecans (optional)
- Take a microwaveable deep cooking dish and spread the chopped apples in evenly.
- In another bowl, mix together melted butter, brown sugar, oats, flour, shredded coconut (optional), chopped pecans (optional) and cinnamon.
- Next sprinkle this mixture over the apples and spread it around.
- Then transfer this dish to the microwave and cook on high for about 10-12 minutes.
- This dish is done, when a knife pierced into the apples comes out fine and at the same time there is a toasy aroma of the crisp waffling through.
- Serve this warm with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream or fresh whipped cream and enjoy!
For the recent Ganesh Chathurthi, I asked the kiddo which sweet he wanted to eat that day, so that I could make it for him. “Yellow laddoo” he replied without a blink. It caught me by surprise as I did not get the usual “nothing” a characteristic reply, especially when I ask him about desserts. You see, unlike his mom, he is not a dessert person and the only dessert he loves is something which has chocolate in it like the chocolate chip cookies. And occasionally he might eat some yellow laddos aka Besan Ladoo.
I did not have the time to prepare the traditional Besan Ladoo as it was a work day for us and secondly we are trying to adjust to his new school schedule. Ever since he started his kindergarten, our weekdays have become even more hectic and packed. Along with the commute, work pressures, deadlines, house related stuff we now have to make time for his homework, reading journal and other extracurricular activities.
Not that I am complaining, but I am sure that as days go by we will adjust to the new routine and things will fall into place. For that day, however I did not have the heart to refuse his request and decided to make these Laddos in the microwave, quick and easy way.
Recipe Source: Bhaatukli’s Besan Ladoo
Makes: 9-12 medium ladoos
- 1 cup Besan flour (Gram flour/ Chickpea flour)
- 6 Tbsp Ghee (Clarified butter) [add more as required if unable to form laddos]
- 1 cup sugar (Powdered or fine sugar)
- 4-5 cardamom pods (skinned and powdered)
Note: Make sure that you are using a good quality of ghee; else the laddos will not have good flavor.
- Take a microwave safe bowl and add the Besan flour/gram flour and add 2 Tbsp of the melted ghee. Microwave this for about 2 minutes.
- Take it out and stir it well, add 2 more Tbsp of ghee and microwave for another 2 more minutes.
- Continue for couple of minutes more until it gets a dark yellow to brownish color. At this time you will begin to smell the wonderful aroma of the toasted besan waffling through.
- Note: Making sure that the besan is correctly cooked, is an important step. If it is undercooked, then it will leave an odd after taste and if it is overcooked then it will taste bitter.
- If you feel that it is dry, add a tablespoon more of ghee and cook for a minute. After the gram flour is toasted well, keep aside to cool.
- When it is still lukewarm add the cardamom powder and mix well.
- Next add the sugar to this and mix it very well. I prefer using hands as I feel I am able to control it better. I mix it from anywhere between 3-7 minutes so that the sugar blends in.
- Take small amount in your hands and try to shape them in the form of laddos. Garnish with raisin (optional).
- Note: if you are not able to make the balls as they are not holding together, then ad little more ghee and warm it.
Kismuri (Konkani word) is a side dish that is made of a mix of coconut, onion, chilli powder along with roasted ingredients like bittergourd, pappad etc. Karate is Konkani word for Bitter gourd and hence the name Kaarate Kismuri. No, not the martial arts Karate, I promise you there is no such thing involved in this recipe:-)
(Note: In Konkani, this is pronounced “Kaa ra the” with a soft ‘t’)
This is a very simple recipe, yet the taste is very appetizing. The only tough part is chopping of the bitter gourd finely and then frying it. Traditionally the bittergorud pieces are roasted/fried on the stovetop that is how my mom and MIL do it. But I take shortcut and do it in the microwave ( I know, lazy me :-)). Of course, if done in the microwave then it gets done in a breeze and does not require any baby sitting.
Even if you are not fond of bitter melon because of its bitter taste, then do not worry, the bitter taste is gone after roasting and all that is left over is scant bitterness along with the crunchy taste of bitter gourd pieces. While making this it also reminds me of the Bitter Gourd Chips that do not have any bitter taste in them.
The measurements provided here are approximate please modify as per requirement. The recipe is very forgiving and so one can adjust the taste by increasing or decreasing an ingredient. Want it spicy, then add more chilli powder, do not like sweet, then skip jaggery and so on.
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