Saturday, December 12, 2009

Bean Toast

This makes for a quick and healthy breakfast. The idea is from a Lentil Toast recipe in one of my collection of cookbooks. That recipe used puy lentils. I did not have those on hand, also I wanted to make it a quicker version, hence replaced it with a can of cannelini beans.

Here's how I made these bean toasts:

1 can cannelini (white) beans or any other per your taste - drained & rinsed
1 tsp oil
1 clove garlic - minced
1/4 cup finely chopped onions
1/2 tomato - finely chopped
handful of frozen chopped spinach
salt & pepper to taste
Bread slices - I use multi-grain bread

Heat the oil. Saute the onions for 5 mins until lightly brown. Add the garlic, tomato, frozen spinach, beans, salt & pepper. Saute another 5 - 10 mins. Use this mix on toasted bread as I did above to make an open faced toast. Or fill between 2 slices of bread and toast in a sandwich toaster. The mix is also dry enough to use as a filling in parathas.

This Bean Toast is off to the MLLA-18 event at Cooking 4 All Seasons.
This event was started by Susan The Well-Seasoned Cook.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Puff Pastry Mini Samosas

These samosas are always crowd pleasers. Here's how I make them:

1 sheet of Puff Pastry (I use Pepperridge Farm) - thawed for 40 mins on the counter top

For the samosa stuffing:

2 big russet potatoes - boiled, peeled and cubed into 1/2 inch to 1 inch pieces
Handful of frozen peas
1 tbsp oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp ginger paste
Seasoning to taste - red chilli pwd, garam masala, salt

Heat the oil. Add the cumin seeds. Fry a few seconds, then add the ginger paste, potatoes, peas and seasonings. Mix well. Cover & cook on low heat 5 - 10 mins. Samosa stuffing is ready. Cool this to room temperature.

To make the samosas:

Divide the thawed puff pastry sheet into 3 parts along its folds. Divide each part into 4 and roll into a ball. You should have 12 puff pastry ball in all - this will make 24 mini samosas.
Roll each ball into a thin circle. You can use some all purpose flour to help with the rolling. Cut each circle into half.

Working with each semi-circle, roll it into a cone shape. Use a little water to seal the edges. Put about 1 - 2 tsp of the samosa stuffing into the cone and seal the mouth with some water.

Place the prepared samosas on an ungreased baking sheet. Keep them covered with a damp towel while working with the rest of the samosas.

Preheat oven to 400F. Bake the samosas for 15 mins., turning over mid-way.

Serve hot or warm with ketchup and/or chutneys.

These mini puff pastry samosas are off to the WYF: Tea time snacks event at Simple Indian Food.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Pav Bhaji

Pav Bhaji is a popular street food in Mumbai, my hometown. To me, it represents the quintessential nature of the city - a mishmash of different veggies (u can literally throw in any) with an end product that has something for every kind of palate.

Here's how I make it:

1 tbsp Amul butter or vegetable oil
1 big onion - chopped
1 big green bell pepper - chopped
4 juicy tomatoes - chopped (u can substitute with tomato puree too)
1 tbsp ginger paste
1 tbsp garlic paste
3 - 4 big potatoes - peeled and chopped
1 cup cauliflower flowerets
1 cup frozen peas and carrots mix
Salt & sugar to taste
1 - 2 tsp red chilli pwd
2 - 3 tbsp pav bhaji masala (I use Everest brand)

Heat the butter/oil in a pressure pan. Add chopped onions and fry till lightly browned. Add the bell pepper and fry another 3 - 4 mins. Add the ginger and garlic pastes, fry 1 min. Add the tomatoes. Fry well for 5 mins. Add the potaotes, cauliflower, peas and carrots along with the masalas and seasonings. I usually add about half the given quantities at this stage. Add about 2 cups of water, close the pressure pan and cook for 2 - 3 whistles. When the lid can be opened and the bhaji has slightly cooled, reheat it gently while mashing all the veggies together with a potato masher. This bhaji is typically eaten well - mashed. Check & adjust the seasonings at this stage.

Serve hot garnished with chopped onions and cilantro, with a lemon wedge on the side. And ofcourse with well butterred and roasted pav.

(All the veggies mentioned above can be rough chopped. I just throw them in my food processor one after another.)

(Though this bhaji is easiest made in a pressure pan, u can make it in a regular pot too. Just use boiled potatoes, cauliflower, peas and carrots in this case.)

(This will serve 4 - 5 adults.)

This Pav Bhaji is off to the RCI - Mumbai event at Kitchen Chronicles.
This event was started by Lakshmi of Veggie Cuisine.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Chickpea Salad

These kinds of salads rule my lunch box these days. They are a snap to put together in the mornings and the flavors are well blended by lunch time. The original recipe, from Vegetarian Times, was for Tacos stuffed with this salad, but I just omit the tacos.

Here's how I put it together:

1 can of chickpeas - drained, rinsed and microwaved for 2 mins
1 cup of salsa per your choice
1 avocado - sliced
1 tsp lemon juice
Salt & pepper to taste
Other seasonings as desired like Mrs. Dash, hot sauce etc.

Toss all these together. Carry the lettuce separately. Just before eating, toss the lettuce with the salad.

This Chickpea Salad goes to the Show Me Your Lunchbox Event at Divya's Dil Se.

Chickpea Croquettes

This recipe is from a recent issue of Vegetarian Times. I have recently started subscribing to this magazine, so hopefully will be posting more of their wonderful recipes.

Here's how I made them:

1 15 oz. can chickpeas - rinsed & drained
1/2 cup gram flour (besan)
2 tsp cumin pwd
1 tsp chilli pwd
1/2 tsp salt or to taste
1/2 cup onions
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic - minced

Microwave the chickpeas for a couple of minutes to slightly soften them. Add all of the other ingredients along with upto 1/2 cup hot water to the chickpeas. (In response to Sra's comment, I am adding here that at this stage the chickpeas, due to being microwaved and also due to addition of the hot water, do get ever so slightly mashed, but do retain their shape). Combine well. Shape into croquettes/tikkis. Shallow fry on a non-stick griddle with a drop or two of oil until golden brown on both sides.

I served these with a Greek Salad topping as in the magazine. To make the topping, combine chopped cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, green onions, lemon juice, feta cheese, salt & pepper.

These Chickpea Croquettes are off to the Legume Love Affair being hosted by Sra of When my soup came alive. This event was started by Susan The Well Seasoned Cook.

Sabudanyachi khichadi

This is a popular Maharashtrian "fasting" dish. We had it for breakast this morning. Here's how I make Sabudanyachi khichadi:

2 cups sabudana - wash it well in 2 - 3 changes of water, then put the washed sabudana in a broad vessel and add enough water to just cover it. Leave this for about 4 hrs or overnight. Just before proceeding to make the khichadi, first separate out the sabudana by running your fingers thru it.
1 potato - boiled, peeled and cubed
1 tbsp ghee (or oil if you are not "fasting")
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 green chilli chopped
2 tsp salt or to taste
2 tsp sugar
2 tbsp lightly crushed roasted peanuts
1/2 tsp red chilli pwd (optional - some people avoid this while "fasting")
2 tsp Lemon juice

Heat the ghee in a non stick kadai. Drop the cumin seeds, then the chopped green chilli. Saute 2 mins, add the potatoes, saute another 4 - 5 mins. In the meanwhile, mix the salt, sugar, red chilli pwd and crushed peanuts with the sabudana. Add this to the kadai. Cover and cook on low or medium low heat, stirring occasionally, for about 10 mins. The sabudana should become a bit transparent by then. Add the lemon juice. Mix well and turn off the heat. Serve hot/warm.

Bharli Bhendi - stuffed okra

This is a good dry side dish for rotis. Here's how I make it:

Tender okra - about 40 - 45 nos.
2 heaped tbsp gram flour (besan)
2 tbsp dry shredded coconut
1 tbsp peanut pwd.
Salt 1 tsp or to taste
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp amchur pwd.
1/4 tsp turmeric pwd
1/2 tsp red chilli pwd
pinch of asafotida
1 tsp coriander pwd
1 tsp cumin pwd
1 tsp fennel pwd.
1 tsp goda masala
Few tsp water

Wipe the okra with a wet cloth, cut the tops and tails off and half slit open each okra.

To make the stuffing - heat 2 tsp oil on medium low and lightly fry the gram flour until aromatic. Add all the other ingredients listed above from the dry shredded coconut to the goda masala. Saute on low heat for 2 mins. Take off heat. Add a few tsp of water to bind the stuffing.

Bharli bhendi masala stuffing

When the masala stuffing has cooled slightly, fill about 1/4 tsp in each okra. Cook the okra in about 2 tsp oil in a non-stick wok, with cover, on medium low heat for about 15 mins till they soften. Serve hot with rotis.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Baingan Bharta with Paushtik Roti

Here's how I make my Baingan Bharta:

1 egglant
1 cup chopped onions
1 cup chopped tomatoes
1 tsp ginger paste
1 tsp garlic paste
2 tsp oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
Handful of frozen peas
1 tsp coriander pwd
1 tsp cumin pwd
1/2 - 1 tsp red chilli pwd
1/4 - 1/2 tsp garam masala
1/4 - 1/2 tsp Kitchen King masala
1/2 tsp amchur pwd
Salt to taste
Sugar to taste - optional
Chopped cilantro to garnish

Wash the eggplant, smear some oil all around it, make 4 slits around the length of it and bake @ 400F for about 1 hr, turning every 15 mins. It should be nicely softened and oozing with some juice by then. I use a foil around the eggplant while baking, its easier for clean-up plus hold the juice in.

After it cools down, peel off the skin (it should easily peel away). Chop the eggplant flesh finely. I use my mini-chopper for this.

Heat 2 tsp oil and fry the cumin seeds for 1 - 2 mins. Then add the chopped onions, fry for 7 mins. Add the ginger and garlic pastes. Fry 1 - 2 mins. Add the tomatoes and fry for 7 - 8 mins till softened. Then add the chopped eggplant, salt and all the masalas. Mix well, cover and cook on medium low for 5 more mins. Add the frozen peas and 1 to 2 tbsp yogurt. Yogurt gives a good creaminess. Mix well, cover and keep cooking another 5 mins. Take off heat. Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve hot with rotis.

Last weekend, we had this with Paushtik Rotis from Tarla Dalal's magazine.

Here's how I made these Paushtik Rotis:

1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup other mixed flour (I used a mix of gram flour, oat flour, jowar flour, bajra flour - about 2 tbsp each)
1 small potato - boiled, peeled and grated
1/4 cup grated carrots
Handful of chopped spinach
Salt to taste
1 tsp coriander - cumin pwd
pinch of red chilli pwd
4 tbsp yogurt

Mix all of the above into a soft pliable dough. I did not need to add any additional water. Roll into rotis and roast on hot tawa. If desired, drizzle some oil around them while roasting. This made about 5 - 6 rotis for us.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Vegetable Pulav

This post is for my cousin in Mumbai - Shanta Akka. She wanted a simple vegetable pulav recipe. I learnt this version from a vacation class I took at Catering College (Cadell Rd. - Mumbai) while in college. The funny thing was the class was called a "Housewives Course" but 80% of us were college kids who had never stepped into the kitchen to cook! It was such a fun hands-on experience. Every week we cooked 3 dishes - an appetizer, entree and dessert. And got to take them home to enjoy with our family. We even had a test at the end to judge not only our newly acquired cooking skills, but also our presentation (we had to design a menu card) and cleanliness etc. And imagine my utter surprise when I got the second highest marks in that test - I still think it was rigged.
Anyway, coming to the recipe, here's how I make it:
1 cup Basmati rice - wash and drain
2 cups water
3 tsp canola oil
1 cup chopped veggies - yesterday I used 1/2 onion, 1 small red potato (with skin), handful of green beans and 1/2 carrot (peeled) - I usually cut them all into long slivers
Whole spices - 1 tsp cumin seeds, 2 bayleaves, 1 inch cinnamon stick, 4 cloves, 4 cardamons, 4 black peppers
1 green chilli - deseeded and deribbed for less heat
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp ghee
Few cashewnuts
Heat 2 tsp oil. Add the chopped veggies and fry for 5 mins. Drain. In the same pot, add the remaining 1 tsp oil. Drop the whole spices and the chilli pepper. Fry 2 - 3 mins. Add the rice and fry another 2 - 3 mins. Add the water and bring to a rapid boil. Add the salt and sugar. Cover and cook on low for 5 mins. Then add the fried veggies. Cover again and cook another 10 mins. Squeeze in the lemon juice. Gently mix with a fork and take off heat. Heat the ghee in a small vessel and fry the cashews till golden. Pour over the pulav.
Enjoy with a spicy gravy veggie.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Dum Aloo

One of our friends recently gave us a bag of baby potatoes before leaving for their India visit. Seeing those cute tiny potatoes, I just had to make Dum Aloo.
Here's how I made it:
1 lb baby potaotes - There were about 30 in our Trader Joes 1 lb bag
Oil for frying
For the gravy -
1 onion - chopped
3 tomatoes - chopped
1 tsp ginger - garlic paste
handful of cashewnuts
1/2 cup yogurt
1 tsp fennel seeds - powdered
1 tsp soonth (Ginger powder)
1 tsp cumin pwd
1 tsp coriander pwd
1 tsp red chilli pwd
1 tsp salt or to taste
1/2 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp kitchen king masala
Cilantro to garnish

1. Pressure cook the potatoes with 2 cups water for 1 whistle. Immediately take off heat and cool under running tap water.

2. Peel the potatoes. Prick each with a thin toothpick in several spots. Deep fry the potatoes till golden. Season with a little salt & pepper.

3. For the gravy - Heat 2 tbsp oil. Fry the onions till soft. Add the ginger - garlic paste and fry 2 mins. Add the chopped tomatoes. Fry for 7 - 8 mins. Take off heat. Cool slightly and grind with the cashewnuts. Put it back in the pressure pan or kadhai. Heat gently. Add all the dry spice powders. Beat the yogurt to smooth and add that. Add salt to taste and the fried potatoes. Add water to get desired consistency. Boil on gentle heat for 10 - 15 mins. Garnish with chopped cilantro.

Spinach Dal

Ever since I read on Mythreyee's Paajaka that this Spinach Dal is Shri Raghavendra Swami's favorite I have also begun making it every Thursday.

Here's how I make it:

1 cup cooked mung and tur dals (I usually mix the two equally, add a few methi seeds and pressure cook these)

1 cup frozen chopped spinach

For the tempering - 2 tsp canola oil, 1 tsp mustard seeds, 1 tsp cumin seeds, 1/4 tsp asafotida, 1 tsp chana dal, 1 tsp udad dal, 1 dry red chilli broken into 2-3 pieces.

1 tsp sambar pwd

1 tsp cumin pwd

1 tsp coriander pwd

1/4 to 1/2 tsp red chilli pwd

2 tbsp jaggery

1 tbsp tamarind paste

1 tsp salt or to taste

Heat the oil. Add the mustard seeds. When they crackle, add the cumin seeds, asafotida, chana dal, udad dal and dry red chilli. Fry 2 -3 mins. Then add the spinach and saute 2 -3 mins. Add the cooked dal, salt, jaggery, tamarind and all other spices. Add enough water to get the desired consistency. Boil well. Serve hot with rice and/or rotis.

This is a very simple, healthy dal.

Rajasthani Pumpkin and Potato subji

As I mentioned in my earlier post, the pumpkin my daughter picked from Remlinger Farms was lying on my kitchen counter for almost 2 weeks. So over the weekend, I decided to finally use it. I used about half of it in this Rajasthani Pumpkin and Potato subji from Tarla Dalal's magazine. Here's how I made it:

1 cup cubed potatoes
1 cup cubed pumpkin
2 tsp oil
2 bayleaves
1 inch cinnamon stick
1 star clove
1 tsp panch phoron (mix of mustard seeds, fennel seeds, kalonji, cumin and methi seeds)
1/2 cup yogurt/dahi
1/4 tsp turmeric pwd
1/2 tsp red chilli pwd
1 tsp cumin pwd
1 tsp coriander pwd
1/2 tomato - chopped
1 tsp salt or to taste
1/2 tsp amchur pwd.

1. Heat the oil in a wok. Add the whole spices. Allow to crackle.

2. In the meanwhile, combine the yogurt with turmeric, red chilli pwd, cumin pwd and coriander pwd. Add some water and mix well. Add to the wok and fry 2 mins.

3. Add the chopped tomatoes. Fry 5 mins.

4. Then add the potatoes and pumpkin. Add about 1/4 cup water. Cover and cook on medium low, stirring often. When the potaotes and cooked, add salt and amchur pwd.

This is a dry, aromatic subji that goes well will rotis/ puris.

Rajasthani Pumpkin and Potato subji

Colorful omelette (eggless)

This is a simple healthy way to start your day. Here's how I make it.

The batter
For the batter, mix the following together to a smooth consistency:
1 cup Gram flour (Besan)
1/2 cup Rice Flour
1 cup water
1 tsp salt or to taste
I usually add the following veggies (about a handful of each) to this batter - Chopped onions, tomatoes, green onions, beets, shredded carrots. Sometimes I throw in one green chilli (deseeded & deribbed for less heat), at other times I add a pinch of red chilli pwd. But I usually keep the omelette mild and pair it with a spicy chutney.
Spread 2 ladleful of this batter on a hot non-stick skillet in a circular motion. Drizzle a few drops of oil around it. Cook on medium heat for 3 to 5 mins. Flip over and cook the other side for 2 -3 mins. Serve hot with chutney of your choice.
Yesterday, we had this with green tomato chutney from Meera's Enjoy Indian Food. The only change I made to her recipe was to add some curry leaves to the tempering and some cilantro while grinding the chutney.
To round out our lazy Sunday breakfast, we had this wonderful pumpkin bread from tastycurryleaf.
Pumpkin bread (eggless)
The few changes I made to suit our taste/ingredients on hand were - I used all purpose flour instead of whole wheat flour, allspice mix instead of the spices, a handful of walnuts and omitted the chocolate chips. This was my first attempt at making pumpkin bread. It was only recently that I first even tasted this bread. My Jazzercise instructor got some homemade pumpkin bread to class and it was love at first bite for me. I was so glad I tried the eggless version at home. We all loved it so much, I will be making it again soon, especially since I still have about 2 cups of pumpkin puree from the pumpkin my daughter got from Remlinger Farms (Carnation, WA) on her school picnic. Oh, btw, I followed the Chef In You's technique to get pumpkin puree.
And ofcourse, our weekend breakfast is never complete without the special elaichi - ginger flavoured chai.
Sunday brunch - Colorful omelettes, green tomato chutney, pumpkin bread & elaichi-ginger chai
This meal is off to the Monthly Mingle event at Meeta's What's For Lunch Honey. She started this event in 2006 and its been going strong ever since.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Red Beans & Rice

Several years back, when I worked in downtown Dallas, we often ate a wonderful Red Beans & Rice dish from a cafetaria style restaurant. Recently I had the urge to eat this meal again. After some web surfing, some details of that experience came back to memory - the restaurant was situated inside the Plaza of the Americas and was called TreeBeards. At lunchtime, a long line would form at this place for their famous Red Beans & Rice. They had a veg. & a meat version of it. With all these memories flooding back, I could not wait to make this dish @ home. Though my dish may not be the restaurant version, it was very tasty and made for a very satisfying meal.

Here's how I made it:

2 cans Rajma/Red Kidney Beans - drained & rinsed
1 onion chopped
1 bell pepper chopped
2 cloves garlic - minced
2 bay leaves
1 tsp dried oregano
1 heaped tsp Lawry's Taco Seasoning mix
Salt to taste
2 tsp olive oil
Garnish (very imp., do not miss this) - chopped green onions & shredded cheddar cheese

Heat the oil & saute onions in it for 5 mins. Add the bell pepper and garlic. Saute 2-3 mins. Add the rajma and all the other spices & salt. Add about 2 cups water, cover and cook on medium for 10 mins. Take out about 1/2 cup of the rajma mix, cool slightly and grind to a paste. Add this back to the rest of the mix. This gives it the required consistently. Heat the mix again before serving. Check for taste at this stage.

To serve, spoon hot rajma mix over brown rice. Top generously with chopped green onions and shredded cheddar cheese.

These Red Beans & Rice go to the JFI - Rajma event at Divya's Dil Se.

This event was started by Indira of Mahanandi.

I served these with a side of taco salad, which I made as follows:
For the taco bowl - Spray 1 tortilla ( I used multi-grain) with cooking oil on both sides. Press gently into an oven safe bowl. Bake @ 400F for about 10 mins till edges turn brown.
For the salad - Chopped lettuce, colored peppers ( I used red, yellow & orange), sweet onions, shredded carrots, chopped tomatoes, Lawry's Taco Seasoning Mix.
Spoon the salad into the taco bowl. Break off pieces of the bowl and eat with the salad.

Vitamin Bhel

When my daughter gets home from school, she is usually famished & immediately demands a snack along with her afternoon milk. I had been giving her her favorite - PB & J sandwich for a few days in a row and started feeling guilty about it...not that she minded, she loves her PBJ. But yesterday I was determined to whip up something different for her. A Vitamin Bhel that I had found in one of Tarla Dalal's magazines long back was the inspiration for my above dish. The main change I made was to make it a dry bhel (sukki bhel) using only chaat masala, instead of the version in the magazine that used green chutney and tamarind-dates chutney.

I did not really measure the ingredients, you can add or delete per your taste. Here's how I put it together:

Mix the following dry items - handful of kurmure (puffed rice - I usually lightly roast them before storing), shev, peanuts.

Mix the following separately - boiled, peeled & cubed potatoes, frozen peas - thawed in the microwave, frozen corn - thawed in the microwave, shredded carrots, cubed apple pieces, few orange segments, few pomegranate pearls.

Just before serving mix the dry and not-so-dry ingredients together with a big pinch of chaat masala.

This came together in 10 mins flat, which is all the time I have between me getting back from work and N's school bus arrival. I usually am not big on mixing fruits and veggies, but was surprised how good they tasted together, with the chaat masala. We both polished off our bowls of Vitamin Bhel in no time. I will definitely be making this more often.

This Vitamin Bhel goes to the Guilt-free Snacks event at Health Nut.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Dahi vadas

I recently found an interesting version of Dahi Vada on Manjula's Kitchen, where she mixed mung dal with udad dal to make the vadas. I immediately tried these @ home and was very happy with the results - melt-in-your-mouth dahi vadas. I know the above picture doesn't do justice to the ultimate dish, but don't let that put you off.
Here's how I made them:

For the vadas (about 20 - 25 pearl onion sized ones) -

1/3 cup udad dal
1 tbsp mung dal
Salt, pepper to taste

Soak the dals separately in water overnight. Next morning, mix and grind them together with 2 tsp of water (use water in which they were soaked). Take the batter in a mixing bowl. Whip it in a circular motion with a spoon for about 5 mins. The batter turns noticeable light and fluffy. If you drop a bit of it in a bowl of water, it will immediately float up. This means its really to fry. Add salt and pepper. Chopped green chillies and grated ginger can also be added if desired. I usually do not, in order to keep them kid friendly. Drop spponfuls of batter in medium hot oil and fry till light brown. Drain on paper towels. Next you can soak these vadas in warm salted water if desired, but I usually skip this step.

To make the dahi vadas, whip about 1.5 cups dahi with some water till smooth. Add salt, sugar. Pour over the vadas. Garnish with red chilli pwd and cumin pwd to taste. Top with chopped cilantro. You can also add some green chilli chutney and tamarind chutney to spice up these vadas.

Power Pohe

The idea for this dish is from one of Tarla Dalal's magazines. I make it as regular pohe, but replace the potatoes with garbanzo beans/chole. It makes for a quick and tasty breakfast dish.

Here's how I make it:

2 cups pohe (thick variety) - washed and drained
1 red onion - chopped
1 cup canned chole - rinsed and drained
1 cup frozen peas
For tempering - 1 tbsp oil, 1 tsp mustard seeds, 1 tsp cumin seeds, pinch of asafotida, 1 green chilli - chopped, few curry leaves (optional)
1 tsp salt or to taste
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp lemon juice
Garnish - few chopped tomatoes &/or cilantro

Make the tempering my heating oil in a pan. Add the mustard seeds. When they stop spluttering, add the cumin seeds, asafotida, chillies and curry leaves. Then add the chopped onions and saute for 5 - 7 mins till softened. Add the washed & drained pohe, chole and peas along with the salt, sugar, lemon juice and turmeric. Mix well with a gentle hand. Cover and cook on medium low heat for 5 - 10 mins.

Power Pohe are done. Garnish with chopped tomatoes/cilantro.


I had printed this recipe from some web site several years back. Though I have no idea where I got it, their interpretation of a vegetarian dhansaak was very interesting and simple. It was described as a 'Multi-lentil Persian stew with vegetables - what apple pie is to an American, this dhansaak is to a Parsi'. I have made this healthy and simple dhansaak several times since.

Here's how I make it:

1/4 cup tur dal - rinsed and drained
2 tbsp each masur dal, chana dal, mung dal - all rinsed and drained
1 red onion - thinly sliced
1 cup tightly packed chopped spinach - fresh or frozen
1/2 cup chopped carrots
1 chopped tomato
1 tbsp oil - I use vegetable or canola
1 tsp ginger pate
1 tsp garlic paste
1 tsp coriander pwd
1/2 tsp red pepper pwd.
1/4 tsp cinnamon pwd
1/4 tsp clove pwd
1/4 tsp turmeric pwd
Juice of 1 large lemon

Put all the dals, half the onions and all the veggies (spinach, carrots and tomatoes) in a pressure pan with about 3 cups water and cook to 3 whistles.

In another skillet, heat 1 tbsp oil. Add the onions, saute 5 mins. Add the ginger and garlic pastes and saute 2-3 mins. Mix all the other spices with a few drops of water. Add this to the onion-ginger-garlic mix. Saute on low heat till the mixture turns slightly brown (not burnt) and exudes an aroma.

Add this to the cooked dal-veggies mix, scraping any brown bits from the bottom of the skillet. Add salt and lemon juice. Adjust consistency by adding some water if needed.

Serve hot with brown rice and lemon wedges.
This vegetarian Dhansaak goes to the RCI - Celebrating Parsi Cuisinse event at Enjoy Indian Food.
This event was started by Lakshmi of Veggie Cuisine.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Beans Salad

I have been on a quest to find interesting salad recipes these days. One such recipe was lying right under by nose, in a book called Simply Delicious Vegetarian by Carla Bardi, but I hadn't noticed it until today. I had it for lunch and loved it so much that I had to immediately post it.

Here's how I made it, with a few modifications from the original recipe:

1/2 can cannelini beans - rinsed and drained
1/2 can kidney beans - rinsed and drained
1/2 red bell pepper - thinly sliced
1/4 red onion - thinly sliced
1 tbsp Mrs. Dash's Garlic and Herb seasoning
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp lemon juice
Freshly ground black pepper
2 - 3 large handfuls of Spring Mix containing red & green varieties of lettuce, chard, arugula etc.

Toss all the ingredients, except the Spring Mix, in a large bowl. Cover and let it rest for 15 - 30 mins. Serve on a bed of the Spring Mix. I did not add or feel the need to add any additional salt to this.

This Beans Salad goes to My Legume Love Affair being hosted at Monsoon Spice. This event is the brain child of Susan - The Well Seasoned Cook.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Green Beans Salad

I few weeks back on our trip to the local Trader Joe's store, Green Beans Salad samples were being passed out. My daughter loved it so much, she couldn't stop at one. Given that she loved such a healthy, easy dish so much, I simply had to make it at home. I have since made it several times and even given it to her in her lunch box. It turned out especially well when I got a pack of absolutely tender green beans at Costco recently.

Here's how I make it:
Handful of green beans - chopped about 1.5 inch long
Olive oil
Salt & pepper to taste - TJ sample had lemon pepper, but I have not yet tried it with this. Instead, I use Mrs. Dash Garlic & Herb seasoning. Any of ur favorite seasoning should work.
Chopped nuts like almonds/walnuts for garnish

Steam the green beans for about 5 mins till slightly tender but still with a bite. Toss with olive oil, salt, seasonings. Garnish with nuts - this was my touch to the salad.

I have not given specific amounts above - you can just eyeball it depending on your preference. Generally, I have made this pretty bland since that's how my daughter likes it. I have myself also been trying to scale down my salt intake and this dish made me realize how with minimal seasonings, the freshness of the vegetable can really stand out.

This Green Beans Salad goes to the Kids Delight event at Spice Your Life.

I am updating this post 9/30 with 2 pictures by my daughter that are on our fridge door.

Shri Ganesh


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Quinoa Veggie Soup

This soup is also from an issue of the Vegetarian Times. I have been browsing and trying out a lot of their recipes recently. Here's how I made it:

1/2 cup onion - diced (the original recipe had red onion but I used sweet onion as thats what I had on hand)
1 cup veg. broth
1/4 cup quinoa
1 cup canned diced tomatoes with basil, garlic and oregano
1/2 cup chopped spinach - fresh or frozen (I used frozen)
1/2 cup chopped mixed veggies (again I used a frozen mix)

Coat a saucepan with cooking spray. Heat on medium. Saute the onions for 5 mins till soft. Add the broth and 2 cups water. Bring to a boil. Add the quinoa. Cover and simmer on medium for 10 to 15 mins. Then stir in the canned tomatoes, spinach and veggies. Simmer another 10 mins. Season with salt and pepper. I also added a dash of Tabasco hot sauce.

Since this soup is not very liquidy due to the addition of quinoa and veggies, it made for a good lunchbox item for me. It was a good & delicious change from the usual canned soups (Amy's organic ones that I often carry to work) and leftover lunches I have. The flavor somehow got enhanced when I had it for lunch. It struck me that this was the first time I actually cooked something specially for my lunchbox!

The Quinoa Veggie soup goes to the Soup 'n Juice event at Mom's Recipes.

Updating this post to send it to the CWF - WG - Quinoa event at Priya's Mharo Rajasthan's Recipes.
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