It seems hard to believe that I’ve been blogging for five years now. July 18th marks the 5th blogiversary of my little blog. It is also my husband’s birthday. My blog was officially launched on the 12th but to not forget my blogiversary, I changed the publish date of my first post to his birthday. So to mark this double whammy of a celebration, I made this chocolate cake.
I still remember the day I published my first post as if it was just yesterday. Back then, I had no idea about the existence of this wonderful food bloggers world. Having grown up in the 70’s and gone to college in the 80’s…. My generation has not seen the world of emails, hangouts, social media and smart phones. So it amazes me that I am part of something that I had never originally imagined. Being a blogger is one of the best things that has ever happened to me.
Living in Canada, I find myself often dreaming about Indian summers. Of heat and aam ka panna, of mangoes and mulberries, of kakari (indian cuke) and tinda. While a common summer vegetable in South Asia, tinda is not all that known in western world. But with the growing demand for ethnic vegetables a lot of Canadian farmers are successfully growing such exotic vegetables and make them available to local food stores. Tinda belongs to gourd family and is known by different names as Apple Gourd or Indian Baby Pumpkin.
Tinda is a very versatile vegetable that can be used in a variety of preparations. It is commonly added to lentil stews, curries, for making koftas, or very often cooked in a stir-fry. The ones those are small and tender are usually cooked whole, with a four-way split in the middle and filled with spices. The result is so enticing, that it is difficult to express in words.
My summer lunches revolve around salads like this one, made with grains, garden fresh vegetables, some sort of protein and fresh herbs or greens. I do try to keep things interesting so as not to eat the same thing all the time, but I admit I’ve become a little obsessed on this particular one lately. It is full of flavor, refreshing and filling, with a satisfying mix of textures from the fresh cucumber, juicy & ripe grape tomatoes, sweet green chickpeas and the chewy wholegrain sorghum.
If there is one fruit that I can’t wait for to come in season, then it would be mango. Now that it is end of June and mangoes are at their peak in my neck of the woods, sharing a dessert with you made sense. Mango ‘malai’ was one of many typical summer desserts for me and my siblings while growing up. It was quick, easy and the taste? Oh so heavenly! I picked up a few manila mangoes and decided to make this treat for my family. That first spoon took me right back to my childhood.
Crepes are popular not only in France but elsewhere in the world where they go by other names and adaptations. India has dosas and cheelas, Russia has blini and Italy has crespelle. Generally, French crepe batter is made from all-purpose flour, eggs, milk, and butter, but I took the liberty to skip all of them and used whole grain gluten free flour and coconut milk instead. This is the perfect egg free, gluten free, dairy free, soy and corn free recipe for a savory and sweet filling.