Healing Foods: Artichoke and banana flowers Round-Up & giveaway winners

Artichokes and banana flowers? I know that one of the two might still have a mysterious aura for some of you, but after seeing the 17 recipes for this month’s Healing Food series, I am sure that you won’t resist the temptation of discovering them…

You might however wonder what the connection between artichokes and banana flowers is.

The explanation is simple: initially I had chosen artichokes as theme for this month’s Healing Foods, but shortly after the announcement, I was informed that artichokes can’t be found in India…  So, I first came with cardoon, which is from the same species than artichokes, but it turned out that it was not available in India either… Mocha or banana flowers then came to my mind. Not only do they look and taste a bit similar but they required quite some time to trim and prepare, exactly like fresh artichokes…

I am very impressed by the quality and originality of  recipes sent by 11 talented ladies for this event and I would like to thank all of them for their creativity! You are awesome, ladies – vous êtes géniales, Mesdames! Merci beaucoup!

A big thank you to  Siri to have given me the opportunity to host this event during the month of March and to Pritya books who is generously giving away these two great books:

Cooking At Home With Pedatha: Awarded Best Vegetarian Cookbook in the World 2006, this book documents the culinary legacy of an illustrious Indian grandmother for posterity.


Sukham Ayu: Winner of Best Health & Nutrition Book in the World 2009 – Second Place, this beautiful book has been researched at KARE, an idyllic Ayurvedic research & rejeuvenation establishment near Pune.

There are still many artichoke recipes that I want to share with you but I ran short of time during March, so I could only post two recipes and repost 2 old ones. My future personal challenge will be to come up with a recipe for actually sweet artichokes… so stay tuned!

Before discovering who are the lucky winners of the books, let’s discover the round-up for the month of March:

The recipes are shown in the order I received them click on the pic or hyperlink to go to the recipe:

Johanna from “Green Gourmet Giraffe”  prepared artichoke muffins that she took  for a picnic at the zoo:

The preparation of  these Banana flowers chops brought back lovely childhood memories to Sukanya from “Saffron streaks” ,:

Janet from “The Taste Space” has been experimenting with variations of her recipes. I really enjoyed reading the creative process behind these beautiful Artichoke and Spinach Rice Paper Rolls with Lemon Rosemary Baked Tofu

Priya from “Priya’s easy and tasty recipes” – first experimented with artichoke calzone :


… and she liked this veggie so much, that she got inspired for two more recipes:

a very innovative artichoke and curry leaves chutney and…

and an equally innovative artichoke, potato and mushroom curry:

Nivedita from “Panfusine – Iyer’n Chef” was happily singing ABBA’s songs  and nearly choked of delight when she first tasted her artichoke masala vadai,

Did you know that artichoke existed in the Greek Mythology? Discover what happened to the beautiful Cynara  and enjoy these  delicious artichoke lasagna sent by  Ivy from “Kopiaste … to Greek Hospitality”  :

What about an Indo-Iranian fusion dish?

Malli from “Malli’s Mint and Mimosa” loves Iranian chelow kebabs and got inspired to prepare a vegetarian version using banana blossoms : check out her Iranian black bean Kebab with mocha :

Simona from  “Briciole”  is fan of  Italian artichokes, she prepared a hummus with artichoke, check her post to see  how many strands has the beautiful home-made challah bread she served with it…

Don’t be scared of fresh baby artichokes! Amy from “Savory moments” was nicely surprised on how easy it is to clean and trim them and she prepared these  delicious lemon and thyme braised baby artichokes:

Are you tempted to cook banana flowers but you are no sure on what is the edible part and how to extract it? Fear no more, Vijitha from “A Foodie in her cooking hat” has not only sent us this Banana Flower stir fry, she is also providing a thorough explanation on how to prepare the flowers.

Nawel from “Jeux d’épices et Saveurs” is proud to share the recipe of  “Artichoke, fava beans and dry tomatoes stir fry” , which will be featured next month in a French magazine. As her recipe was in French, the translation has been provided below the picture :

Ingredients for  4 servings
1 shallot
2 cloves garlic
280 g peeled frozen fava beans
4-5 frozen artichoke hearts
130 g chickpeas
5 sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil
1 tsp cumin powder
½ tsp strong or mild paprika
½ bunch chopped fresh cilantro
2 tbsp chopped parsley
2 ½  tbsp olive oil
100 ml water
Salt and pepper
Cut artichoke hearts into quarters. Cut the sun-dried tomatoes in three.
Peel the shallot and chop it finely. Peel the garlic cloves and crush them.
Heat the olive oil in a pan, on low heat and add the shallot.
Fry for 1 minute. Add the artichokes, beans, chickpeas, sun-dried tomatoes, herbs, salt and pepper.
Stir and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring regularly.
Add the cold water, stir and add the spices.
Cover and simmer over low heat for 10 more minutes.

And finally, voilà your Sweet Artichoke’s artichoke recipes….

An artichoke and chickpeas curry, that can be eaten cold as salad, which is really great when you have left overs… (here)

… a rather unusual way of eating artichokes, as filling for these savoury hazelnut sandwich cookies (here)

and,  from Sweet Artichoke’s archives:

I had celebrated my 100th post with an artichoke tapenade, which was also my first posted recipe with artichokes!

I did not come back from our trip to Roma with designer shoes or clothes, but with fresh Roman artichokes, bought at one of the local market… delicious in these pasta ai carciofi (here)

By now, I do hope that you are feeling hungry…. and tempted by these goodies….

It is my pleasure to announce the lucky winners of the two books:

*drums rolling….*

I first prepared an alphabetical list of all participants:

Then I went on http://www.randomizer.org:

which drew number 11 and number 8.

Congratulations to Vijitha and Priya!

Please send me your contact details at:  sweetartichoke@gmail.com

Earth Hour and Artichoke and Chickpea Curry – Earth Hour et curry d’artichaut et pois chiches

Today, Saturday 26 March between  8.30 and 9.30 pm your location time, it will be Earth Hour.

“Earth Hour started in 2007 in Sydney, Australia when 2.2 million individuals and more than 2,000 businesses turned their lights off for one hour to take a stand against climate change. Only a year later and Earth Hour had become a global sustainability movement with more than 50 million people across 35 countries/territories participating. Global landmarks such as the Sydney Harbour Bridge, CN Tower in Toronto, Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, and Rome’s Colosseum, all stood in darkness, as symbols of hope for a cause that grows more urgent by the hour. “(quoted from here)

Tonight, let’s pay respect and show love to our planet by switching off our lights for one hour and…

–          Have a romantic candle lit dinner with your loved one (s)

–          Prepare a dinner for your friends and let them have fun in the dark, guessing what is in their plates.

–          Or … whatever you like

For more information about Earth hour, please visit their website, here: http://www.earthhour.org

Without transition, I would like to share this delicious artichoke and chickpeas curry with you. What I really liked about it, is that it can be served hot, or cold, as salad, both being equally tasty!


Artichoke and chickpeas curry

ingredients for 3-4 servings as side dish or 2 servings as main dish

reciped adapted from here

250g cooked chickpeas

450g artichoke hearts ( I used half canned and half fresh small ones)

1 medium size onion

200g tomatoes

2 cloves garlic

2cm fresh ginger, peeled

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds

1/2 teaspoon cumin powder

1/2 teaspoon coriander powder

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper


80g yogurt

2 tablespoons fresh coriander, chopped

2 tablespoons parsley, chopped



If you are using fresh small artichokes, prepare them as indicated in one of my earlier posts (here) and keep them in a bowl of lemon water.

Put the tomatoes, onion, garlic and ginger in a blender and blend into a paste.

Heat oil in a pan. When it is warm, add the cumin seeds. When they start popping, reduce heat to medium and add the cumin and coriander powder. Stir well and fry for 1 minutes. Add the ginger-tomato-onion-garlic paste, salt, cayenne pepper, ground black pepper and a little bit of water (about 2 tablespoons). If you are using fresh raw artichoke, add them, too.

Cook on medium heat for 10 minutes.

Whisk in the yogurt, then add the artichokes, chickpeas and parsley. Stir well, cover with a lid and simmer for 10 minutes.

Sprinkle with coriander before serving.

Note: As I had left over, I transformed this curry into a salad, by adding baby spinach leaves and took it in my lunch box the following day.

I am sending this chickpea and artichoke curry to:

MLLA no. 33, hosted this month by Ammalu’s kitchen. MLLA is a monthly event celebrating legumes, created by Susan of the Well-Seasoned-Cook.


Healing foods: Artichoke, cardoon and banana flowers, and event created by Siri and hosted by me this month.

Curry de pois chiche et artichaut

Aujourd’hui, samedi 26 Mars entre 8h30 et 21h30, heure locale, ça sera Earth Hour, l’heure de la Terre.
«Earth Hour a commencé en 2007 à Sydney, en Australie où 2,2 millions de personnes et plus de 2.000 entreprises ont éteint leurs lumières pendant une heure pour prendre position contre le changement climatique. Un an plus tard Earth Hour est devenu un mouvement mondial avec plus de 50 millions de personnes dans 35 pays et territoires qui participent à cet événement. (traduit d’ici)
Alors ce soir, rendons hommage et montrons notre amour pour notre planète en éteignant nos lumières pendant une heure et …
– Préparez un dîner romantique aux chandelles avec celui (ceux) que vous aimez.
– Préparez un dîner pour vos amis et laissez-les s’amuser à deviner ce qui est dans leur assiette.
– Ou … ce que vous voulez !

Plus d’info sur Earth Hour, ici: http://earthhour.fr/


pour 3-4 pers. en accompagnement ou 2 pers.en plat principal

recette adaptée d’ici

250g de pois chiches cuits

450g de coeurs d’artichauts (j’ai utilisé moitié d’artichauts frais et l’autre moitié en conserve)

1 oignon de taille moyenne

200g de tomates

2 gousses d’ail

2cm de gingembre frais, pelé

1 cuillère à soupe d’huile d’olive

1 / 2 cuillère à café de graines de cumin

1 / 2 cuillère à café de cumin en poudre

1 / 2 cuillère à café de coriandre en poudre

1 / 2 cuillère à café de piment de cayenne

1 / 4 c. à café de poivre fraîchement moulu


80g yaourt

2 cuillères à soupe de coriandre fraîche, hachée

2 cuillères à soupe de persil haché


Si vous utilisez des petits artichauts frais, préparez-les selon les instructions données dans un de mes billets précédents (ici) et gardez-les dans de l’eau citronnée.

Mettre les tomates, l’oignon, l’ail et le gingembre dans un mixeur et mixer pour former une pâte.

Chauffer l’huile dans une poêle. Dès qu’elle est chaude, ajouter les graines de cumin. Quand elles commencent à sauter, réduire à feu moyen et ajouter le cumin et la coriandre en poudre. Bien mélanger et faire revenir pendant 1 minute. Ajouter la pâte de gingembre-onion-tomate-ail, le sel, le piment de cayenne, le poivre noir moulu et un peu d’eau (environ 2 c. à soupe). Si vous utilisez des petits artichauts frais et crus, ajoutez-les aussi à ce moment, coupés en 6 ou 8.

Cuire à feu moyen pendant 10 minutes.

Ajouter le yaourt tout en remuant, puis ajouter les cœurs d’artichaut, les pois chiches et le persil. Bien mélanger et couvrir avec un couvercle. Laisser mijoter pendant 10 minutes.

Parsemer de coriandre avant de servir.

Note: Comme il m’en restait pour le lendemain, j’ai transformé ce curry en salade, en lui ajoutant quelques pousses d’épinards à ce curry . Parfait pour une lunch-box que l’on prend au bureau ou en pique-nique !

Artichoke & hazelnut sandwich cookies – event & giveaway announcement – Biscuits noisette et artichaut – concours

(en français, plus bas)

Despite the name of this blog, this is only my third recipe with artichokes… (first one is here and seconde one : here).

I grew up eating artichokes “à la vinaigrette” (with vinaigrette dressing), which is the simplest way of eating artichokes: they are boiled and then eaten by plucking each leaf out, dipping it into the vinaigrette dressing and scraping the bottom of the leaf… plucked leaf after plucked leaf, one slowly reaches the heart of the artichoke… which is cut and mixed with some more dressing! “Un délice!” … This is the simplest way of eating artichokes, although I would not recommend it for a first date…

This month, as I am hosting an event about artichokes (please see below) I am planning to post a few artichokes recipes… they have just started to be available in the markets stalls and I find the small fresh artichokes totally irresistible!

Hazelnut sandwich cookies, stuffed with artichoke

for the cookies:
ingredients for about 30 cookies/15 sandwiches
75g wholewheat flour
50g hazelnut meal
50g parmesan cheese, grated
3 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 egg white
1 small chilli, finely chopped (optional)

artichoke spread for the filling:


10 artichoke hearts (canned or frozen)

1 tablespoon spread cheese (Philadelphia)

1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley

1 teaspoon olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

optional: 1 clove garlic, minced

First, prepare the cookies:

Preheat the oven at 200°C.

Combine all the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl.

Add the chopped chili and slowly stir in the oil. At that stage the mixture is rather crumbly.

Add the egg white and knead with your fingers until the dough is combined.
Roll it between two parchment papers or dust your working surface with flour and roll it, until very, very thin: 2 or 3 mm.

Cut out shapes and put on a baking tray covered with parchment paper.
Bake for 8-10 minutes, until slightly golden.

Put on a rack and allow to cool down completely.

Prepare the artichoke spread by putting all the ingredients in a blender and blend until a smooth paste.

Take half a teaspoon of the mixture and spread it on one cookie. Top it with another cookie and repeat the operation until all the cookies are used.

This recipe is my first entry to Healing Food: Artichoke, Cardoon and Banana Flower.

Event & Giveaway Announcement

Siri of Cooking with Siri has kindly let me host this month’s “Healing Foods” and the theme is… Artichoke.

Artichokes contain antioxidants, loads of fiber, vitamins B & C, magnesium and iron. Most interesting, they contain cynarine, an enzyme great for your liver and digestion, because it increases the bile flow.

Update as of 5 March 2011: As I am aware that artichokes are not always available everywhere, I extend the theme to:

  • cardoon, which are from the same family than artichokes.

Here is how it works:

1) Prepare any vegetarian dish (eggs and dairy products are allowed) with artichoke, or cardoon,or banana flower as one of its main ingredients.

2) Post the dish on your blog from today onwards. You can send as many recipes as you wish, but they have to be posted between 1st and 31st March 2011.If you wish to send archive recipes, they will have to be updated with the logo and linked to this event announcement page and to Siri’s page.  I would prefer you to discover new recipes, though…  🙂

3) Link your entry to this announcement page and to Siri’s “Healing foods” page and  use the logo below:

4) If you do not have a blog, you can directly send me your recipe with a picture at the email address indicated in the next section.

5)Email me at sweetartichoke[at]gmail[dot]com, indicating the subject as “Healing foods”, with following details:

Your Name:

Blog’s Name:

Recipe Name & url:

Picture of the dish

If you need inspiration or more information about artichokes, I highly recommend the Artichoke Blog (here).


The entries received will participate to a random drawing for the giveaway kindly organised by Siri. As mentioned on her page, the two lucky winners will win the following award-winning books :

Cooking At Home With Pedatha

Awarded Best Vegetarian Cookbook in the World 2006, this book documents the culinary legacy of an illustrious Indian grandmother for posterity.

Sukham Ayu

Winner of Best Health & Nutrition Book in the World 2009 – Second Place, this beautiful book has been researched at KARE, an idyllic Ayurvedic research & rejeuvenation establishment near Pune.

Both books will be shipped wherever you live!

Note: Siri and myself are not eligible for the random draw.

Biscuits aux noisettes fourrés aux artichauts

Malgré le nom de ce blog, ce n’est que ma troisième recette avec des artichauts … (La première est ici et la seconde: ici).

J’ai grandi en mangeant des artichauts à la vinaigrette, ce qui est probablement la manière la plus simple d’appréter les artichauts: ils sont bouillis et mangés en  arrachant les feuilles, que l’on plonge dans la vinaigrette et ensuite, on croque le bas de la feuille … feuilles après feuille, on arrive finalement au cœur de l’artichaut … qui est coupé et mélangé avec un peu plus de vinaigrette! “Un délice!” … C’est la façon la plus simple de manger des artichauts, bien que je ne le recommande pas forcément  pas pour un premier rendez-vous avec son amoureux…

Ce mois-ci, comme je suis la co-organisatrice d’un concours (voir plus bas) j’ai prévu de partager quelques recettes avec des artichauts … ils commencent à être disponibles sur les étals des marchés et je trouve les petits artichauts frais totalement irrésistibles!

Biscuits aux noisettes fourrés aux artichauts

pour les biscuits:

Ingrédients pour environ 30 cookies/15 sandwiches

75g de farine de blé entier

50g de noisettes en poudre

50g de parmesan râpé

3 cuillères à soupe d’huile d’olive

1 / 2 cuillère à café de sel

1 / 2 cuillère à café de poivre noir fraîchement moulu

1 blanc d’oeuf

1 petit piment, haché finement (facultatif)

Farce aux artichauts:

10 coeurs d’artichauts (en conserve ou surgelés)

1 cuillère à soupe de fromage à tartiner (type Philadelphie)

1 cuillère à soupe de persil finement haché

1 cuillère à café d’huile d’olive

sel et poivre pour assaisonner

facultatif: 1 gousse d’ail, hâchée
Tout d’abord, préparer les cookies:

Préchauffer le four à 200 ° C Mélanger tous les ingrédients secs dans un saladier.Ajouter le piment haché et l’huile. A ce stade, le mélange est assez friable. Ajouter le blanc d’œuf et pétrissez avec vos doigts jusqu’à ce que la pâte se forme.

Placer la pâte entre deux feuilles de papier sulfurisé ou bien farinez la surface de votre plan de votre travail et étalez la pâte jusqu’à ce qu’elle soit très, très mince: 2 ou 3 mm.

Couper des formes et mettre sur une plaque recouverte de papier sulfurisé.Cuire au four pendant 8-10 minutes, jusqu’à ce que les biscuits soient légèrement dorés.

Déposer sur une grille et laisser refroidir complètement.

Préparer la farce aux artichaut en mettant toutes les ingrédients dans un mixeur et mixer jusqu’à obtenir une pâte lisse.

Prendre une demi-cuillère à café du mélange et l’étaler sur un biscuit. Recouvrir d’un autre biscuit. Répéter l’opération jusqu’à ce que tous les biscuits aient tous été utilisés.


Siri de Cooking with Siri a gentiment accepté que j’organise l’édition de ce mois de “Healing Foods” et le thème est … les Artichauts.

Les artichauts contiennent des antioxydants, ils sont bourrés de fibres, de vitamines B et C, de magnésium et de fer. Plus intéressant encore, ils contiennent de la cynarine, une enzyme très utile pour le foie et la digestion, car elle augmente le flux biliaire.

Comme les artichauts ne sont pas toujours disponibles partout dans le monde, le thème est étendu aux cardons, qui sont de la même famille que les artichauts et aux fleurs de bananes, appelées en bengali “mocha”.

Voici comment cela fonctionne:

1) Préparer un plat végétarien (oeufs et produits laitiers sont autorisés) dont l’artichaut est l’un des ingrédients principaux.

2) Poster le plat sur votre blog à partir d’aujourd’hui. Vous pouvez envoyer autant de recettes que vous le souhaitez, mais elles doivent avoir été publiées entre le 1er et le 31 Mars 2011. Si vous souhaitez envoyer des recettes d’archive, elles devront être réactualisées avec le logo, un lien vers cette page et celle de Siri et mention de cet événement. Je préférerais toutefois découvrir de nouvelles recettes… 🙂

3) Mettre un lien vers cette page et celle de Siri, mentionnant “healing foods”. Ajouter le logo ci-dessous:

4) Si vous n’avez pas de blog, vous pouvez directement me faire parvenir votre recette avec une photo à l’adresse e-mail indiquée dans la section suivante.

5) Envoyez-moi les détails par email à:

sweetartichoke [at] gmail [dot] com, indiquant comme sujet Healing foods avec les détails suivants:

Votre nom:

Nom du blog:

Nom et url de la recette:

une photo

Les recettes envoyées vous feront participer à un tirage au sort permettant de gagner du livres de cuisine indienne ayurvédique, tous deux en anglais. (voir ci-dessus)