Archive for the ‘COTC Recipes’ Category

Quinoa Tabouli

Quinoa is that wonder food we began hearing about a few years ago. Its health benefits are actually quite unique. This seed, often considered a  whole grain, is a good source of manganese, magnesium, iron, riboflavin, and copper and can help prevent migraines. Its also gluten free. But maybe the best thing about it, is that it contains a complete amino acid protein, which is great for any vegetarian!

Here is a quick and easy way to incorporate quinoa into your day. The original tabouli is a Lebanese salad made with bulgar wheat and parsley. I like the taste of cilantro far better, so I have used that instead. You may use either or a mix of both. Enjoy!

  • 1/2c uncooked quinoa
  • small bunch of cilantro leaves, chopped finely (I was too lazy for “finely” hehe)
  • 3 scallions or 1/2 red onion diced small
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • 1 cucumber, diced
  • 2-3 green chilies minced (if you like it hot, otherwise omit)
  • 1/4 tsp red chili powder (same as above)
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 2-3 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • salt
  • black pepper
  • 1/4c of crumbled feta cheese (leave out for vegan)
  • 1/4c black olives

Rinse the quinoa in a strainer. Heat 1c water and 1/2c quinoa together in a small pot over med-high heat(I like to add 1 bay leaf and a little salt to the water). Cover. Once it comes to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 10 minutes. Once the little pod splits from the side of the seed and curls, it is done. Fluff with a fork (remove bay leaf) and let cool slightly.

Mix together all the other ingredients in a large salad bowl. Add the quinoa to it, and adjust the seasonings. You can eat it immediately, but it will absorb flavors if you can let it sit for a little while in the fridge. I also prefer it cold.

Sending this to Make it with Mondays-Quinoa and Only Salads by Prathibha and Pari

Bubble Corn Bread

I’ve been trying to decide on which bread to make for BBD- Corn-y Breads. First, I was going to try anadama bread, which has been on my to-try list for a while. Then I considered one from Amy’s Bread cookbook, which is shaped like a sunflower… very impressive, but maybe too advanced for me! Then I had narrowed it down to two from Bernard Clayton :  Broa, a soft portuguese corn bead, and this, “bubble” loaf. As you can see, I went with the bubbles! It was quite easy to make and I liked the outcome. Plus its cute how the little round balls puff up and fill the pan, then bulge over the top. And pulling them apart while the loaf is still hot, and smearing some butter on… mmmmm. I halved this recipe to make in a regular loaf pan.

Here is what I did:

  • 2c bread flour
  • 1/2c all purpose flour (or use all bread or all purpose)
  • 1/2 Tbs salt
  • 2 Tbs sugar
  • 1/2 c cornmeal
  • 1 pkt active dry yeast
  • 3/4c water
  • 1/4c milk
  • 1 Tbs butter + additional melted for brushing the top(optional)

Mix 1c flour, salt, sugar, yeast, and cornmeal in a bowl.

Heat water milk and butter till butter melts, and then cool until it is just warm (and you can put your finger and hold it there without being hot).

Add the liquid to the bowl and mix hard with a wooden spoon for a few minutes (or do this in a mixer). Mix in flour 1/2 cup at a time until a dough forms. (I actually needed to add 2 Tbs more water, but ymmv). Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 8 minutes. He says the dough should be smooth and elastic, and feel alive under your hands!!

Cover the dough and rest for 20 minutes.

Butter the loaf pan. Punch down the dough and knead a few times to remove air pockets. Divide into 16-20 equal pieces, by dividing in half with a knife, half each again, and so on.  Roll each dough portion into a ball (I made little roll forms, by bringing the sides of the dough tightly underneat and pinching it shut, but this may not be necessary) Arrange half the pieces in the bottom. It does not need to fill the bottom because it will do that when it rises. Add the other half on top. Brush with melted butter (I didnt do this step). Cover tightly with plastic and rise for 1 hour.  You can also keep this in the fridge for 2-24 hrs. removing 15 minutes before baking.) Preheat oven to 375 or 325 if using convection oven.  Since I halved the recipe, it only needed to bake for 25-30 minutes, but he says to bake for 45-55 minutes. Place on a wire rack to cool and brush again with melted butter(optional).

Sending this to Yeastspotting, Bread Baking Day, and BYOB and also Healthy or Decadent

Apple-Cranberry Crisp

Apple crisp is one of my favorite desserts because its easy, using only few ingredients, and fairly healthy too. Of course, we love to make it less healthy by pairing the hot  juicy apples with ice cream! Hehe. It also makes the house smell fabulous! Usually I use rolled oats for the topping, but since I’m trying to use what I have, I used rye flakes instead. It is still good, but the rye flakes are much harder than oats. Next time I may try to break them up some in the mixie (food processor) first.

Here is what I did:

  • 5 medium apples, peeled, cored and sliced thinly (I used a combo of honey crisp, granny smith, golden delicious, and stayman winesap)
  • 1/3 c cranberries
  • lemon juice – 1/2 lemon or less as needed
  • 1 TBS sugar  *You may want to add more if your apples are very tart or you like things more sweet*
  • generous sprinkle of cinnamon
  • generous sprinkle of cornstarch

Topping:

  • 1/2c flour
  • 1/4c rye flakes (or rolled oats)
  • 2 Tbs brown sugar *This makes it mildly sweet. Add another Tbs if you like*
  • 3 Tbs cold unsalted butter (if your mixture is not crumbly, you may need another Tbs of butter)
  • pinch of salt

Butter a deep pie dish and preheat the oven to 375.

Put the apple slices in the pie dish and sprinkle them with lemon juice so they do not turn brown, and I like the tartness the lemon gives also. Toss them around and add the sugar and cinnamon, then the cornstarch and toss around again. Sprinkle the cranberries over the top. Cornstarch will make the juices released from the apples to thicken, and so will the pectin in the cranberries. The cranberries also give another level of flavor which I really enjoyed, especially with the sweetness of the ice cream we had it with.

Mix the ingredients for the topping in a bowl, using your fingers to break up the butter and squish it into the rye/flour making a crumbly texture. You may also use a fork or a pastry cutter for this.  Pour the mixture evenly over the top of the apples in the pie dish.

Place the pie dish on a metal baking sheet to prevent any possible spill overs. Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes or until the topping is golden and the apples are bubbling up.

Let it cool at least 10 minutes before eating, but its best while still warm!  Especially with vanilla or cinnamon ice cream!

Sending this to Hearth and Soul and to Decidely Healthy or Horribly Decadent
Hearth n' Soul Blog Hop at A Moderate Life

Kadhi Pakora (spicy fritters in yogurt gravy)

Kadhi is a nice change of pace from the usual tomato-onion curries, and great when you are running low on veggies in the fridge. Creamy, luscious sauce with crispy pakora and steaming hot rice. Comfort food at its best! I got this recipe from my friend Shubh, many years ago.

For rice, I have been trying to include wild rice. You can hardly notice its in there and you get more protein from wild rice as well as four times as much vitamin E and six times as much as folate than brown rice! Note that it does take more time to cook than white rice, so plan accordingly or cook it separately(which I did).

For Kadhi:

  • 1c yogurt (not nonfat)
  • 1/3c besan flour
  • 4c water
  • 1/4 t turmeric
  • 1/2 t red chili powder
  • 1 inch grated ginger
  • salt
  • 1/2t amchoor (add this only if your yogurt is not sour)
  • ghee
  • mustard seeds
  • 3 green chilies sliced

In a bowl put the yogurt and mix it with a spoon until smooth. Then blend in the besan flour and be sure that there are no lumps. Do this before adding water. Mix in ginger, spices and then the water. It will be very thin, but will thicken once its cooked.

Heat ghee (I think there are a few recipes in which ghee really is a lot tastier than oil, this is one of them!) and splutter the mustard seeds. Then add green chilies, stir for 30 seconds. Then reduce the heat and add in the yogurt mixture all at once. Increase heat again to medium. Stir constantly, scraping the bottom and sides until the mixture comes to a boil. Simmer for 5 minutes or until the mixture is thick and the besan does not taste raw.

For pakora:

  • 1/2 small red onion sliced thinly
  • 1c red cabbage sliced thinly as possible (you can make this with just onion too)
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds, crushed roughly with pestle
  • salt
  • red chili powder
  • water
  • besan flour
  • pinch of baking soda

Combine the onion, cabbage, spices and salt in a bowl. Keep aside for 10 minutes or more so that the cabbage releases some water. Add pinch baking soda and enough besan flour till the cabbage is well coated, then sprinkle in water, enough to make a very thick batter (it should not be pourable, but able to be scooped easily with a spoon). Heat a sufficient amount of oil in a pot for frying. With your hands or a spoon drop ping pong ball sized mounds into the oil. Do not pack the dough tightly or the pakora will be hard. Its fine if they are not perfect spheres, in fact the onions/cabbage that stick out and get crispiest are my favorite part! Keep the flame slightly above medium and after adding pakora reduce to medium. Cook until golden brown and cooked on the inside.  You may need to adjust the heat for your stove/pot.

Add some of the pakora to the kadhi to soak in, and keep some on the side for the crispy contrast. 🙂

Methi Aloo Sabji(potatoes with fenugreek leaves)

Winter is a great season for greens and when JF saw some vibrant fresh methi (fenugreek) leaves at the grocery, he couldn’t resist buying some. Then I have to decide what to cook with them! There are a lot of tasty dishes using methi. This is a really simple one.

  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp urad dal
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 red onion chopped
  • 2 med. potatoes, chopped
  • 1 bunch of methi leaves, plucked (depending on your size of bunch or how much methi you want to add)
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • red chili powder to taste
  • salt to taste
  • 1 TBS dried kasoori methi (optional)

Heat oil and pop the mustard seeds, cumin seeds, then urad dal. Add the garlic and onion and cook till translucent. Add the potatoes and cover to cook for a few minutes. When the potatoes are half cooked, add the chopped methi leaves, spices, salt, and a sprinkle of water (! TBS or less) put the lid back on and continue to cook until the potatoes are done. It should not be watery.

I am sending this to CompleteMyThali- Subji Event hosted by PJ at Seduce your Tastebuds and started by Jagruti

and to Veggie/Fruit of the month: Potato hosted by Divya at Dil Se and started by Priya

Eggs poached in a spicy tomato sauce – Shakshuka!

Shakshuka means “all mixed up” in Hebrew and is a popular Isreali breakfast. There is some debate as to the origins of the dish with some claiming it from Libya, Morroco, Turkey and others. (Source: here) When I saw this recipe at foodblog and the dog I thought it looked so delicious and simple and I had all the ingredients for it. When the time came to make it, I started thinking maybe it is too simple, and not worth the extra effort… But I was so wrong!!! It may sound like a simple eggs and tomatoes but the way the flavors come together are really something special. I did not change much, and we had it with my homemade bread. A wonderful weekend brunch!

  • olive oil
  • 2 green chilies minced
  • 1 small red onion chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic chopped
  • 1c or so canned tomatoes (I had some whole peeled san marzano in my freezer, yay!)
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp red chili powder (or 1 tsp paprika)
  • 1/4c water
  • salt
  • 4 eggs
  • ground black pepper
  • feta cheese
  • coriander leaves (cilantro) chopped

Heat oil in a 10-12 in skillet. Add the green chili and onion and saute for a bit. Then add the garlic. Once the onions are translucent, add in the spices, then the tomatoes and salt. Reduce heat and cook until it is thickened. Stir the mixture, then add in the water and then crack the eggs into the sauce. I like to sprinkle the tops of the eggs with some salt and pepper. Cover with a lid and cook 5 minutes or until the yolks are just set. I accidentally overcooked it, so it was more like soft boiled eggs, but still yummy! Sprinkle with feta cheese and chopped coriander. Serve with warm bread ( I lightly toasted mine in another pan).

Sending to DNSW E at Akila’s Kitchen.

Moong dal and Cabbage Palya

Aren’t sprouted moong dal about the cutest things? I sprouted some extra and saved half in the freezer for next time.

Its very easy to do, if you havent tried it. Soak the whole green moong dal in plenty of water overnight. Be sure all the beans have plumped up. Drain the water and place in a strainer or colander and cover with a damp cloth. Once or twice a day rinse the dal with fresh water and cover again with the cloth until the sprouts grow as long as you like.

This is a super simple and healthy side with sambar and rice or chapathi.

Here is what I did:

  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp urad dal
  • sprig curry leaves
  • 3-4 dried red chilies
  • sprinkle of turmeric
  • pinch of hing
  • 1/2 whole moong sprouted
  • 1/2 small head cabbage grated or julienned finely (I used red cabbage)
  • 1-2 TBS grated coconut

Boil 1c of water and add the moong. Cook this only for a couple minutes then drain. Just enough to take the raw taste off and soften them, but do not overcook.

Heat a saute pan and add oil. Then splutter the mustard seeds, add urad dal, curry leaves, red chilies and hing. Then add the cabbage, salt and turmeric and stir fry for 5 minutes. Add in the moong dal and about 2 tsp of water and cover the pan, letting it cook for another 10 minutes or so, until the cabbage is done to your liking. Remove from the heat and sprinkle fresh shredded coconut on top.

I am sending this to CompleteMyThali- Subji Event hosted by PJ at Seduce your Tastebuds and started by Jagruti

 

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