Mini Summer Tarts

My sister and I were going to our cousin’s house for dinner, and wanted to quickly whip up something for dessert. We had leftover pie crust in the fridge, and some ripe peaches, and voilà: mini tarts!
We wanted to use a spice to brighten the flavor, and we thought of cinnamon (as it is a go to in western desserts), but ended up using cardamom instead (the perfect choice, as we would later realize!). Cardamom is used to flavor many summer desserts in India, like aamras (made from mangoes) and kheer. It has cooling properties, making it perfect for hot summers, and is even used in ayurveda as an antidepressant!
These tarts are perfect with a glass of cold milk, and make for a light, fruity summer breakfast.

All you need for these easy mini tarts is:
1. Store bought pie crust
2. Peaches and blueberries
3. Sugar
4. Butter
5. Ground cardamom seeds

First, we cooked the peaches and blueberries in butter in a pan on medium heat and added sugar and cardamom. We cooked these until they were soft and most of the liquid had evaporated (so that the tarts wouldn’t have soggy bottoms!).
We greased a muffin tin with butter, lined it with circles of the dough (which had been rolled out a little more, to about 1/4″ thickness after we took it out from the packet), and put in the peach and blueberry filling.
We used 2 peaches and a fistful of blueberries for 5 tarts.
(Yes, quite an irregular number, but we were working with leftovers!)

 

Comeback!

It’s been almost an year since I last posted something…. and also since I last cooked regularly. The first semester of college was hectic, to say the least, and though I often wanted to cook my own wholesome meals (unlike the food available on campus), I found myself not having the will power, or often the time, to cook in the perpetually dirty shared kitchen on my floor.
But now it’s summer… and I have a glorious amount of time, and most importantly, easy access to my own kitchen. Yay!

So in short, I’m going to be posting again! These might be mostly Indian recipes, because these were sorely missing for my life while I was on campus, but also because I enjoy them the most. There’s nothing more fulfilling than a meal of roti, dal, sabji and rice!

Nana’s treasure of recipe books

I am over at my nani’s (nani is the hindi word for grandmother) house for a visit, and one of my favorite pastimes while I’m here is reading through my nana’s (grandfather) old collection of recipe books.

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My nana was a man who enjoyed the finer things in life, food and cooking in particular, and would often prepare complicated dishes from different cuisines, even though he lived in India in a time when many ingredients from other cuisines were not easily available. My mother often warmly recounts stories of lavish parties with detailed menus of food and drink, but also of family dinners when nana would make everybody try new things.
My nana passed this love of food onto my mom, who then passed it onto me. I will always be happy that my mom was able to experience the intricacies of different cuisines even in a time when information wasn’t so easily accessible, as she was then able to share this knowledge with me!
So, back to the recipe books.

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Every time I visit, I make it a point to read through this collection, and it truly is a treasure. Old books of different cuisine full of detailed recipes and mouthwatering pictures, sometimes with ingredients I’ve never heard of, and always full of dishes I want to try.
I always want to take all of them with me, but only take two or three because I’m pretty sure my mother would not be happy paying the airline excess baggage fee!
Here are a few pictures:

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