Mahanandi

Living in Consciousness ~ Indi(r)a’s Food and Garden Weblog

Yogi Diet ~ Chestnut Kosambari

Chestnut Kosambari

During the years we lived here I ate many salads but none was better than the ones prepared at home with fresh ingredients. The homemade have crisp texture and full flavor, thanks to the no wait between kitchen and dining table.

The following is a new one I have prepared for our meal today. Roasted chestnuts, watermelon, lettuce and yogurt -pepper dressing. The taste was so special and it has made me think about a suitable title. As far as I know, Andhra meal doesn’t have a salad component. But Karnataka and Maharashtra meals have. Kosambari or Koshimbir, they call them. Usually eaten as a light snack or as a part of full course meal, Kosambari is prepared with fresh vegetables, lentils, legumes or nuts with coconut, lemon or yogurt dressing. My meal fits the profile. Why title salad for everything, when we have such beautiful sounding name “Kosambari”? My yogi diet with fresh ingredients will be Kosambari from now on.

Chestnuts, Lettuce, Yogurt and Watermelon

Chestnut Kosambari ~ Recipe
Roasted chestnuts (Snack section, Chinese grocery)
Lettuce
Watermelon
Homemade yogurt
Black pepper and salt to taste
Roughly chop chestnuts, lettuce and watermelon to bite-sized pieces.
Take them in a bowl and combine.
Whisk yogurt with pepper and salt. Pour over the chopped ingredients.
Toss and serve immediately.
Enjoy the chestnut kosambari as a light mid-day meal.

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Previously on Yogi Diet:
Yogi diet with Alasandalu
Salad Synergy for Spring with Boiled Peanuts

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Yogurt, Chestnuts (Marrons), Lettuce greens (Tuesday March 25, 2008 at 3:37 pm- permalink)
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The New Home of Mahanandi: www.themahanandi.org

Artisan Food ~ Chestnut Lentil Soup


The days are getting longer already. Like the plants for sunshine, the appetite seems to hunger for variety. So I came up with this chestnut lentil soup idea for our meal yesterday. To my delight, it turned out to be the right kind of food at the right time.

Roasted chestnuts from Chinese grocery, and red lentils from Indian grocery are added, and the combination was simmered together with vegetables and spices. The lime juice, like a ray of sunshine, livened up the preparation. I served the chestnut lentil soup to friends and family. Chestnuts are complete strangers to few, but they seem to capture the sense of taste easily in that relaxed company. The verdict was:

“This wholesome food makes a gourmet delight to humble appetite of a dieting attitude.”


Artisan Food ~ Chestnut Lentil Soup

Artisan Food : Aim and Purpose

How it Works: After payment via Paypal, PDF file will be emailed to you to download the recipe. For any questions about the recipe or the download process, please email me at mailmahanandi@gmail.com .

Chestnut Lentil Soup PDF

Details:
Artisan Food: Chestnut-Lentil Soup
Ingredients: Roasted Chestnuts, Red Lentils etc.
Skill level: A tad kitchen experience required
Labels: Vegetarian, Diet-friendly
Price: $3.00
Format: PDF


Buy Now

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Artisan Food : Aim and Purpose
Previously in Artisan Food : Avocado Annam

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Food needs to be in the right company at the right time to feel right.
Thank you for the goodwill, and for readily embracing the Artisan food.

~ Indira

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Masoor Dal (Red Lentils), Chestnuts (Marrons), Artisan Food (Monday February 25, 2008 at 2:16 pm- permalink)
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The New Home of Mahanandi: www.themahanandi.org

Chickpea ~ Chestnut Chili (Chole)

Due to severe winter storm and repair works, internet service at our place got disconnected last Thursday. Four days of no Net, and I survived. Sincere thanks to my dear friend Anjali for keeping the Mahanandi alive with her gorgeous Kokum and Sol Kadhi photo-article, and to my dear husband Vijay for taking time from his busy schedule to check on the website during my absence.

Instead of worrying about IS/ISO certification for Mahanandi to appease the latest blight - the “quality concerned” visitors, I simply spent time on things that really matter, which of course invariably led to food. One of the recipes that I prepared last weekend was very unusual and rather substantial meal with chickpeas and chestnuts.

Chickpea chili with chestnuts happened due to my desire to experiment with chestnuts. I like chestnuts, and I can get quality chestnuts, already roasted, shelled and packed at low prices here in Seattle. The local Vietnamese and Chinese grocery shops offer a delightful variety of packed chestnut goodies ready for consumption. I was little bit anxious during the chili preparation, being the first time and all. But the sweet tasting, starchy chestnuts simmered happily in tomato-onion sauce, and made good companion to chickpeas. I am glad I tried this Indian inspired chickpea-chestnut chili or chole.

Chestnuts and Chickpeas

Recipe:

1 tablespoon peanut oil
Pinch each - cumin and mustard seeds
1 cup diced onion
3 cups finely chopped juicy tomatoes
2 cups chickpeas, cooked to tender
1 cup roasted or boiled chestnuts, cut to bite sized pieces
1 tablespoon CCCC powder (aka garam masala)
½ teaspoon each - red chilli powder and salt
¼ teaspoon - turmeric
Lemon juice or amchur to taste (for tangy flavor)
Chopped herbs to taste - cilantro or dried fenugreek

Heat oil in a deep skillet or saucepan. Add cumin and mustard seeds. When seeds start to pop, add the onion. Saute to gold. Stir in the juicy tomatoes. Cook them on high heat to mush.

Add chickpeas, and chestnuts. Also stir in the seasoning, the CCCC powder, chilli, salt, turmeric, and lemon juice or amchur. Add about one to two cups of water. Mix. Simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes.

Garnish with herbs and serve the chickpea-chestnut chili or chole hot, with a dollop of yogurt or raita on the side with chapati or paratha.

Chickpea-Chestnut Chili with Chapati
Chickpea-Chestnut Chili (Chole) with Chapati and an Orange

Note:
CCCC Powder - Cumin, Coriander, Clove and Cinnamon Powder
Chili with one ‘L’ is American version of our kurma. Chili contains tomatoes, beans, meat and/or vegetables with spices, and sometimes rice is also added.

- Indira

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Chickpeas, Chestnuts (Marrons) (Monday January 28, 2008 at 8:36 pm- permalink)
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The New Home of Mahanandi: www.themahanandi.org

Yogi Diet ~ Chestnut Guggullu

(Photo Purchase Keyword: Chestnuts)

Chestnuts and Coconut
Chestnuts and Coconut

A cup of steam-roasted chestnuts
Finely chopped small red onion
A tablespoon of fresh grated coconut
Green chilli and salt to taste
Few minutes of skillet saute
My version of Yogi Diet and a sufficient meal

Chestnuts
Chestnut Guggullu

for metronaturals, steam-roasted chestnuts in snack size packets are available at Viet-wah.

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Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Coconut (Fresh), Chestnuts (Marrons) (Thursday January 10, 2008 at 4:50 pm- permalink)
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The New Home of Mahanandi: www.themahanandi.org

Boiled Chestnuts

Boiled Chestnuts

Due to my craving for something I have never tasted before, the chestnuts have leaped from roasting skillet into the steaming pot on New Year’s Day at my home.

The chestnuts that appear during winter season here have been a fascination for me for the last couple of years. I like roasted chestnuts. This year I ventured into boiling and cooking with chestnut territory. The boiling process is similar to how we do with fresh crop peanuts in India. But with chestnuts we have to score and then steam. Once the shell softens, drain the water. Peel the outer covering and enjoy the tender chestnut inside. Boiled chestnuts taste almost like boiled peanuts (and jackfruit seeds san the smell). Sweet, nutty and starchy, with aroma typical of boiled nuts.

For our New Year’s Day meal, I prepared a chestnut and date yogurt. Finely chopped few dates and boiled chestnuts and then added them to yogurt. A sprinkle of salt. There it is, a fine and exotic side dish welcoming the 08.

Boiled Chestnuts and Finely Chopped Dates with Yogurt
Boiled Chestnuts and Finely Chopped Dates with Yogurt

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Dates (kharjuram), Yogurt, Chestnuts (Marrons) (Wednesday January 2, 2008 at 7:44 pm- permalink)
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The New Home of Mahanandi: www.themahanandi.org

Chestnuts

Chestnuts

Chestnuts, with a plus shaped cut, Chestnuts, Prepped for Roasting

Roasting Chestnuts in an Iron Skillet on Stovetop (Almost done)

Shelling the Roasted Chestnuts

Chestnuts
Roasted Chestnuts (kuri) ~ Satisfying Sweet Snack to Warm up on Cold Winter Days

How to roast chestnuts on stove-top:
Method in detail
Holiday Treats ~ Roasted Chestnuts

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Chestnuts (Marrons), Revisiting Old Recipes (Thursday December 13, 2007 at 2:05 pm- permalink)
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The New Home of Mahanandi: www.themahanandi.org

Holiday Treats ~ Roasted Chestnuts

Chestnuts Prepped for Roasting
Kuri Chestnuts Prepped for Stove-Top Roasting

Yay, with thanksgiving, the season of chestnuts is here!

I have already written how I was introduced to chestnuts here in US and how much I look forward to fresh chestnuts every year. The season is short, only 3 months. November, December and January is when you see fresh chestnuts in the market here. Also it is traditional for street vendors to roast chestnuts over charcoal fires and sell them in small quantities. See the image here. If you happen to find them in local winter festival fairs, do not miss a chance to taste them. You will be hooked like I did. I can compare the experience of fresh roasted chestnuts to murmura hot off from the munta in winter exhibition fairs-India.

Although they have a nut in the name, Chestnuts are anything but classic nuts. They are not oily like other nuts and they taste good. I gathered from the web that chestnuts have the lowest fat content of all major edible nuts, contain quality protein and no cholesterol. And they are high in carbohydrates, can be compared in nutritional value to brown rice.

In an article last year, I have written about roasting chestnuts in detail. Check it out. If this is your first time with chestnuts, do not forget to make a ‘+’ cut on one side of chestnut with a sharp knife (like shown in the image above), in order to avoid bursting the shell during cooking. Also use infrequently used cast iron skillet for roasting. My two tips.

Roasted Chestnuts
Roasted Chestnuts (kuri) ~ Satisfying sweet snack to warm up winter days

How to roast chestnuts on stove-top: Method in detail
Kuri chestnuts purchased at Uwajimaya (asian grocery shop, Seattle)

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Chestnuts (Marrons) (Friday November 24, 2006 at 2:09 pm- permalink)
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The New Home of Mahanandi: www.themahanandi.org

Chestnut-Almond Cookies

For Indian recipes, I can’t and won’t break the tradition and I will always follow the elder’s footsteps in preparing food. I believe the ingredients they use for a particular recipe have been chosen for a reason, and the steps they followed to make a recipe work are methodic, implicitly giving a perfect taste and nutritional boost.

But when it comes to western food, since I ‘m not used to making these traditionally, I feel very free to experiment. Also I believe most of ‘traditional’ recipes that I see in magazines and TV shows are the stuff that they makeup as they go, to promote some food ingredients or products following the corporate orders. When food ingredients have their own associations and mega budgets to promote and influence peoples opinion in their favor with advertisement blitzes, I am not sure how traditional most of these recipes are, though they proclaim otherwise.

Chestnut cookies first posted by Mine of Teatime then submitted to cookie swap event by Ulrike of Kuchenlatein, captivated me mainly because they sounded real authentic, traditional and old world. When I saw the beautiful photographs, I so wanted to try these cookies. I changed few things here and there, going all the way to make them rustic pure. Use of molasses in place of powdered sugar, turned the cookies golden brown instead of creamy white. I tried decorating cookies differently, but it didn’t come out as I expected. Except for that one gaffe, the cookies turned out to be mouthfuls of wholesome goodness. Thanks Mine and Ulrike for sharing this wonderful, traditional recipe.

Molasses, All purpose flour, Almonds, Roasted Chestnuts, Clove, Cardamom, Cinnamon

Recipe:

2 cups of almonds, soaked in water overnight, then skins removed
15 chestnuts, roasted, then shells removed
1 cup of all purpose flour
11/2 cups of molasses
(Molasses is an acquired taste, difficult to like. Sugar/honey works fine too)
2 egg whites
1 inch cinnamon, 1 clove, and seeds from 1 cardamom pod - finely powdered together

Powdering Almonds and Chestnuts in a Food Processor Almond-Chestnut cookies all ready to go into oven
Powdering Almonds and Chestnuts in a Food Processor…Almond-Chestnut cookie dough, ready to be baked

Preparation:

Powder the almonds and roasted chestnuts in a food processor to a smooth powder. Make it easy on the motor and do it in batches. In a vessel, take egg whites and beat them until they turn to foamy white. To these egg whites, add molasses and cardamom-cinnamon-clove powder. Mix and stir in all purpose flour and almond-chestnut powder. Mix them thoroughly. Shape the dough into a log, wrap it in a wax paper and store it in the freezer, until the cookie dough firms up. I had to keep it overnight in the freezer.

Preheat the oven to 350° F. Remove the hardened cookie dough from the freezer, cut it into 1 to 2 inch rounds crosswise. Place them neatly in rows on a greased or parchment paper lined baking tray. I egg washed the tops and sprinkled some brown sugar on top of each cookie, my idea of decoration, not so successful, I have to say.:) Place the baking tray in preheated oven and bake them at 350°F for about 20 minutes.

Believe it or not, they tasted like, do you know the South Indian sweet “Ariselu“, exactly like that. Roasted chestnuts and molasses gave a special and characteristic taste to these cookies, a first for us and we liked them very much.

chestnut cookies
Chestnut-Almond Cookies

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in All-Purpose Flour(Maida), Almonds, Molasses, Chestnuts (Marrons) (Tuesday December 13, 2005 at 7:16 pm- permalink)
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Roasted Chestnuts

My first experience of roasted chestnuts was at a local winter fair. Team of two, wearing funny costumes in addition to roasting the chestnuts, were doing juggling, whistling holiday tunes. And they were handing out free samples; all to attract the customers. We tried the free sample… surprise, it was not like any nut I tasted until then.
Chestnuts (Marrons)
The first word that came out of my mouth was ’sweet potato’. Roasted chestnut tasted more like a roasted sweet potato, than a nut. When opened from the shell, they were warm to touch, had a starchy, crumbly texture, a unique sweet smell and buttery sweet taste. We were sold and we bought both roasted chestnuts for the ride home and raw ones to tryout at our home. They also gave us a pamphlet about how to roast chestnuts, different methods and some tips and recipes etc.,

From then on, every winter, we look forward to chestnuts. These winter holiday treats are not that expensive compared to other nuts. 2 dollars something for a pound and few roasted chestnuts fill you good. I am going to leave the cultural significance and nutritional value of roasted chestnuts to the storytellers and experts. I am sure you are going to see many more posts/paeans about chestnuts in future weeks from food blogosphere.:)

Roasting Chestnuts in an Iron Skillet on Stovetop (Almost done)

How we do the roasting: First we make a cut in the shell of chestnut, with a sharp knife. This is to release the steam from inside, which builds up during the roasting process. Otherwise, each one will explode just like pressure cooker whose valve is blocked. So take time and make a cut or a hole in each shell.

Turning them once in a while, roast them in an iron skillet. It’s better to use the skillet that you don’t normally use for regular cooking. Roasting process is not good for the vessel. I accumulated several iron skillets in my quest to find the right one. The brand new one, with no patina, I use it to for roasting not only for chestnuts also for peanuts.

Do the roasting, on medium high heat, for about 15 to 20 minutes or until the shells are all black and cracked. When done to perfection, you can easily open the shell, the chestnut inside is gold in colour and piece of chestnut has rosy hue and sweet to taste.
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Roasted Chestnuts (Marrons)
Pure, simple and satisfying - roasted chestnuts on a snowy winter day.

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Chestnuts (Marrons) (Monday December 12, 2005 at 9:11 am- permalink)
Comments (34)

The New Home of Mahanandi: www.themahanandi.org