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Spring on Your Plate

Apr/05/2024 / by Bindu Gopal Rao

Spring is when there is a bounty of fresh food and vegetables, and the time to have a plate that is bursting with color and health.

We curate three recipes that celebrate spring. With an abundance of fresh produce including artichokes, leeks, peas, spinach, apricots, plums, avocados, beetroot, rhubarb, radish, carrot, asparagus, and more, spring is much like its name all about bounty. So why deprive your plate? We curate these recipes to help you enjoy the season’s gifts in Interesting Ways.

Spinach Muthiya with Beetroot Raita and Grapes Coriander Chutney courtesy Shilpy Manglunia, Mom’s Desi Basket, Gurugram

This gluten free, sugar free recipe spinach jowar muthiya is a super healthy and tasty snack that can be prepared very quickly. It is served with coriander chutney which is naturally sweetened with grapes. The beetroot raita enhances the flavor of the dish by adding a tangy and refreshing taste. Overall, it is a great combo meal for the people who prioritize eating healthy and tasty food.

Ingredients

For the Spinach muthiya

  • 1.5 cups finely chopped spinach
  • 1.5 cups jowar (sorghum) flour
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • ½ tsp red chilli powder
  • ½ tsp coarsely grinded fennel seeds
  • ½ tsp coarsely grinded coriander seeds
  • 1 tbsp kasuri methi
  • 1.5 tbsp oil
  • 1.5 tbsp curd
  • Salt as taste
  • Pinch of baking soda

For tempering

  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 8-10 curry leaves
  • 4-5 green chilies chopped.
  • 2 tbsp grated fresh coconut for garnishing
  • 2-3 tbsp chopped coriander leaves for garnishing  

For the beetroot raita

  • 2 cups curd
  • 1.2 cup grated raw beetroot
  • ½ tsp roasted cumin powder
  • Salt and black salt as per taste
  • 1 tbsp chopped coriander for garnishing

For grapes and coriander chutney

  • ½ cup green grapes
  • ½ cup coriander leaves
  • 2-3 green chilies
  • ½ tsp jeera
  • 1.5 tsp sattu (roasted chana powder)
  • Salt and black salt as per taste

Method

  • To make the muthiyas, combine all the muthiya ingredients to make a smooth soft dough. Add little water if needed and let it rest for 10 minutes. Divide the dough in four equal parts. Spread some oil on your palms and shape each part in cylindrical form. Grease the steamer tray and steam the muthiya rolls for 20 minutes on high flame. Once cooked, cut the rolls into 2-3 inches long pieces. For tempering, heat the oil in a pan, add mustard seed and curry leaves. Pour the oil on muthiyas and garnish with green coriander and grated coconut.
  • To make the beetroot raita, take the curd in a bowl and whisk it until smooth. Add grated beetroot and all the spices mentioned. Mix well and garnish with coriander.
  • To make the grapes and coriander chutney, blend all the chutney ingredients in a blender to a smooth consistency. Add more water if required.

Blossom Mousse courtesy Mozanne Karbhari, Sous Chef, ITC Grand Central Mumbai

Ingredients 

For the Apricot confit 

  • Apricot Puree 100 grams
  • Sugar 100 grams
  • Glucose 30 grams
  • Pectin 2 grams
  • Sugar 10 grams

For the Avocado Cremieux

  • Cream 180 grams
  • Milk 180 grams
  • Sugar 80 grams
  • Egg Yolk 150 grams
  • Butter 50 grams
  • Gelatin 7 grams
  • Avocado Pulp 100 grams

For the Chocolate Marquise Mousse

  • Whole Eggs 200 grams
  • Egg Yolk 224 grams
  • Water 500 grams
  • Castor Sugar 170 grams
  • Callebaut 811 424 grams
  • Butter 350 grams
  • Cocoa Powder 70 grams
  • Gelatin 14 grams

For the hazelnut and dark chocolate praline

  • Castor Sugar 115 grams
  • Water 57 grams
  • Hazelnut 230 grams
  • Cocoa Butter 22 grams
  • Oil 23 grams
  • Callebaut 811 90 grams

For the hazelnut and chocolate streusel

  • Butter 92 grams
  • Sugar 92 grams
  • Hazelnut Powder 92 grams
  • Flour 92 grams
  • Cocoa Powder 15 grams
  • Chocolate 70 grams

For the glaze

  • Water 150 grams
  • Glucose 300 grams
  • Sugar 150 grams
  • Condensed Milk 200 grams
  • White Chocolate 300 grams
  • Gelatin 30 grams
  • Neutral Glaze 140 grams

For the sour cherry splash

  • Puree   1 liter
  • Castor Sugar 200 grams
  • Agar Agar 20 grams
  • Cold Glaze 200 grams

Method

  • To make the apricot confit, cook the sugar and puree together. Mix the pectin and remaining sugar and add to the puree. Cook till it sets. Pour onto a tray and let it set. Also set some of the jelly separately for use later.
  • To make the Avocado Cremieux, mix warm milk and cream together. Make a sabayon with the yolks and sugar. Mix the two together and cook further. Add the avocado pulp and the dissolved gelatin. Pour over the sour apricot confit and let it set in the freezer.
  • To make the Chocolate Marquise Mousse, soft whip mascarpone and cream together and keep aside. Melt chocolate and butter together, add cocoa powder and mix. Add the dissolved gelatin and keep aside.  Slowly start whisking the yolks and whole eggs. Make a one thread sugar syrup and pour the hot mixture over the eggs and increase the speed. Once the same is ready, mix all together in a cut and fold method. 
  • To make the hazelnut and dark chocolate praline, roast the hazelnuts. Make caramel and mix with the nuts. Take it out onto a silpat mat to cool down. In a mixer crush the caramelized nuts and mix with the rest of the ingredients to form a paste. Spread it thin between two sheets of parchment paper and let set. Cut and use as required.
  • To make the hazelnut and chocolate streusel, combine all the ingredients except the chocolate. Let the dough rest for a while. Grate it on a tray and roast it in the oven at 175 degrees centigrade for about 15 minutes. Let the mixture cool down and mix with melted chocolate.
  • To make the glaze, boil the sugar, water, and glucose to 103 degrees centigrade. Remove from heat and add chopped white chocolate and condensed milk. Add gelatin and blend.
  • To make the sour cherry splash, warm the puree, add castor sugar and agar agar and cook for about 15 minutes till it thickens. Pour the liquid onto a tray and set till it cools down. Blend the set sheet with cold glaze. And keep in the wok overnight. Use as desired.
  • To assemble, line the mold with the chocolate mousse.                                                                                                                               
  • Cut the insert (apricot confit and vanilla avocado Cremieux) and place it inside the mold. Cut the hazelnut and chocolate praline and place it on top of it. Pour the remaining mousse. Set the mousse in the freezer and let it set overnight. Glaze it red the next day.  
  • Put some streusel on the plate and place the mousse on it. Garnish as desired.                             

Grilled Carrots with Labneh courtesy Vidisha Bathwal, Paprika Gourmet

A healthy take on the seasonal veggies, teamed up with labneh and dukkah for the extra crunch, this recipe uses carrots, a spring produce to its maximum.

Ingredients

  • 500 grams labneh 
  • Salt and pepper to taste 
  • 100 grams Basil leaves 
  • 2 tbsp Olive oil 
  • 200 grams baby carrots 
  • 2 tsp dukkah or sesame seeds (store bought dukkah works)
  • 1 tsp honey 
  • 1 tsp chili oil with chili bits 

For the Labneh 

  • 500 grams full fat yogurt 
  • Salt 
  • Muslin cloth 

Method

  • To make the labneh, add the yogurt and salt to mix well, place in muslin cloth, and leave it to hang overnight in the fridge.
  • To make basil oil, add the basil, garlic, ¼ teaspoon of salt, and the olive oil to a food processor and blitz until completely smooth. 
  • Wash and peel the carrots thoroughly, par boil the carrots and drain it. Wash in cold water to stop the cooking process. 
  • Mix honey and chili oil in a bowl. 
  • In a sandwich maker, pan sear the carrots with olive oil, till the marks come on the body of the carrots. 
  • To assemble, take a platter, put the labneh, top it with charred carrots, drizzle with basil oil, drizzle with dressing and top with dukkah or sesame seeds. 
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