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.

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