Archive for the ‘COTC Recipes’ Category

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. ūüôā

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

 

Eggplant Rice – Vangibath

Vangibath is an easy, go-to all in one dish, a filling lunch, and one of JF favorites(mine too). This can also be made with potato along with or instead of the eggplant/brinjal.

  • 4-5 small eggplant or, if you can find long green eggplant that is best (sliced thin, finger shapes)
  • or 2 potatoes, finger shape cuts
  • 1 onion sliced thin
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1tsp urad dal
  • sprig of curry leaves
  • green chilies slit
  • vangibath masala powder
  • cashews or peanuts
  • cilantro
  • leftover rice (2 cups)

Heat oil in a wide pan and add mustard, cumin, urad, green chilies and curry leaves. Then add the onion and saute it well. Add eggplant(if using both, cook potato first until half done, then add the eggplant) or potato, and saute a few minutes. Add salt and then a sprinkle of water and cover with a lid until the vegetable is cooked through. Remove lid and put the masala powder, give it a stir and add in the rice. Mix well and check for salt and masala. Add more if you need to.Sprinkle lemon juice over it. Top with cilantro, roasted cashews or peanuts and I love to have this with raita or yogurt for the creamy and appalam or potato chips for that crunch!

*This month, I am only posting recipes I made using ingredients I had on hand, and this dish was made last month. However, I did make it this month using potatoes, though that is not in the photo. So, it counts, hehe*

Sending this to Akila’s Dish Starts with E

and Healing foods- Eggplant by Siri and Kavita

Molasses Wheat Sandwich Bread with Rye Flakes

Don’t ask me how rye flakes ended up in my pantry. Sounds healthy enough, but I have no idea what to do with them! I read that they can be interchanged with oat so I was thinking I could put them in bread, since part of my goal this month is to bake my own breads. I took a nibble, and it didn’t taste too strong so I went ahead with it. I even ventured to make up a bread recipe loosely based on other ones I found that were not quite what I wanted. A bit of a risk since Im a novice bread baker. But to my surprise it turned out really good!¬† The rye flakes themselves give a pleasant grainy flavor and texture to the bread, but I have to say, they are much firmer than oat meal which more or less disappears into the bread. We liked the added bite it gives. I read about soaking whole grains to bring out their sugars and flavors. So I did that, not sure if it made a difference.

Here is what I did:

  • 1c white wheat flour
  • 1/3c rye flakes
  • 3/4c hot water

Combine the three and keep in the fridge overnight. Take out about an hour before starting the rest of the dough so it comes to room temperature.

  • 1/4c warm water

    Check out the crazy franken-yeast!

  • 1 packet active dry yeast
  • 1 tsp sugar

Combine and let bloom for 10 minutes till frothy.

Mix yeast water with the soaked flour above. I used my hand to get it well incorporated. Then add:

  • 1/4c molasses (or a mix of molasses and honey for a milder sweeter taste)
  • 3TBS melted butter or oil

Stir well then add in:

  • 2c bread flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt

Put the salt on top of the flour and mix it in. I did this to minimize salt contact with the yeast, since salt can kill yeast (and Im paranoid about that).

Knead the flour making a soft dough, add more flour if necessary. Knead for 10 minutes. Place in a greased bowl and roll around to coat the outsides. Cover with a damp cloth and keep in a warm place for 1-1.5 hrs till almost doubled.

After I had already shaped my loaf, I found this wonderful video with very helpful hints.(It is more clear than my explanation)

Press the dough into a rectangle shape and fold it into thirds. Let rest 10 minutes then take the small rectangle with the narrow edge in front of you and roll it very tightly, keeping surface tension on the outside of the dough. Pinch together the end. Roll your hands over it a few times to even it out.(mine was uneven, so I wish I had seen this in time. Still tasted fine!) Then place in a greased 9×5 loaf pan, cover loosely and let rise till it crests above the rim of the pan(mine took almost 2 hours in the cold weather). (Most recipes say to cover with plastic wrap but I never buy that. This time what I did is use the plastic bag from some tortilla wraps that we had finished and it works really well. I just put the whole loaf pan inside and sealed it.) Slit down the middle with a very sharp knife (optional).

Preheat oven to 350 during last half hour of rising time.  Bake 40-45 mins until golden, pulled away from sides of pan, and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom. Cool on a wire rack.

Taken the next day in better lighting

I’m sending this to Yeastspotting on Wild Yeast Blog!

I’ve also joined forces at the breadmaking blog to Bake my own bread in 2011 (BYOB)! What a wonderful concept.

BYOB

Vegetable Bean Barley Soup

Continuing on in the spirit of Cleaning out the Cabinets, here is another recipe to use several of my pantry ingredients. This is a delicious soup for a cold winter day (or ice storm as the case may be!).

Here’s what I did:

Soak 1/3c each of adzuki beans, red kidney beans, and black eyed peas (or beans of your choice) overnight

Pressure cook 2 whistles. After cooling, Keep half the beans in the freezer for the next soup!

Cook 1/3 c barley in 1 1/3c water by bringing it to a boil, cover, and reduce to a simmer for 20 min. In the meantime,

Heat oil, add mustard seeds, 4 shallots (all veggies mentioned should be chopped). Once they turn translucent add 3 cloves of garlic, 2 carrots, 2 red potatoes, 2 dried red chilies and 1 TBS Italian herb blend. Stir it around and saute for a few minutes. Then add 3 big leaves of swiss chard, 2 tomatoes, 2 c vegetable broth, cooked barley and any extra liquid, 1c cooked beans, 1c water, chili paste or hot sauce, 1 bay leaf, salt and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer until potatoes are done. Then add in 2c baby spinach, 2 spring onions and a handful of cilantro. To serve top it off with freshly ground black pepper, coarse sea salt, grated parmesan and/or nutritional yeast flakes.

Whew, that’s a lot of healthy goodness!

I was so lucky to receive a lovely gift basket in an exchange party before the holidays. I should’ve posted a pic before! It had some nice french milled soap, a soy based candle, hand cream, a small jar of “holiday” jam, lake champlain dark chocolate bar (used in the tiramisu), and the salt that you see in the picture above. The salt blend has dried lemon peels and fennel seeds and really adds a nice touch to the soup. I just discovered how nice fennel is in soup when I made the potato kale soup last year. If you don’t have this salt, you may want to add fennel seed to your soup. It adds a whole new dimension.

I’m sending this(a tad bit late) to Hearth and Soul event, which already has over 80 entries, wow!
Hearth n' Soul Blog Hop at A Moderate Life

Barley Sakkarai Pongal

This recipe couldn’t have come at a better time… As you may know, I am on a challenge to clean out the cupboards around here, and looking for uses for barley, condensed milk, among other things including moong dal, dried fruits. Perrrfect.

I saw this at Veena’s and the original recipe which I followed is at Priya’s.

Couldn’t be more simple!

1/2c pearled barley
1/2c split moong dal
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1/2tsp cardamom powder
ghee
cashews
raisins

Wash well, then pressure cook dal and barley with 3c water for 4 whistles. Release pressure and add condensed milk. Cook a 5-10 mins until thickened. In meantime roast cashews and raisins in ghee. Add to the pongal with cardamom powder.

So yummy!

Click here to read more about Pongal from Lakshmi.

Sending this to Kurinji’s Pongal Feast Event!

Pongalo Pongal! Happy Pongal to all my Tamil friends!

 

Very Good Banana Nut Muffins

I was searching for a new recipe to use overripe bananas a while back, and found this one at Noble Pig and bookmarked it. The interesting thing about this recipe is that it finally makes it clear the ratio of wet to dry ingredients for the best muffins. Other tips she gives is to mix the batter very lightly and leave some clumps of flour. One that I never tried before is to sprinkle with sugar and then spray with oil to produce a crisp top. I never buy spray oils, but JF picked up one of these Misto sprayers(I swear that man loves to shop more than me.), in which you fill your own oil and pump to produce the spray. No chemicals. I used it for the first time on these. ūüôā

Another thing I liked is that I could use 3 bananas. I just changed a couple things. Here is what I did:

3 ripe bananas, mashed (you can also use 2)
1 egg
3 TBS butter, melted and cooled slightly
1-1/2 tsp vanilla
1-2 Tbs strong coffee (optional)
Milk ~ add only enough milk to make your wet ingredients equal two cups (I used kefir, you can also use buttermilk)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour (or use fully all purpose)
3/4 cup sugar, plus more for sprinkling
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon or pie spice
pinch ground nutmeg
1 cup chopped pecans (or walnuts or a mix of both)
Cooking spray(optional)

Preheat oven to 350 and line muffin pans with papers or grease them well.

Toast the pecans (optional) in a small skillet. Mash the bananas.

In one bowl mix the dry ingredients: sugar, flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, spices and nuts.

Now, if you have a 2c or 4c glass pyrex measuring cup that is perfect for this. I used a 2 c one. Beat the egg in the measuring cup. Pour the mashed bananas in. Add the coffee (next time I wouldn’t add this because I don’t think it added to the flavor) and the vanilla. Now see how close to the 2c line your ingredients are. Since I used 3 bananas mine was very close, and I think I only used around 2 TBS of the kefir. (Next time I will try this without egg and add ground flax seeds).

Add the wet ingredients to dry. Fold it in carefully around 10 strokes. Its okay if there are still clumps of flour! Spoon into the muffin cups. Then sprinkle generously on top with sugar and spraylightly with cooking spray oil. If you dont have the spray, you can use demera or turbinado sugar which is coarse and golden and wonderful and I often use this to top muffins or scones, when I splurge on buying some.

Pop into the oven for 20-24 mins or until a toothpick comes out clean.

This is going to Aipi’s Bookmarked Recipes Volume 24!

Soba noodles with Thai peanut sauce

My first post of 2011! After quite a day in the kitchen, I might add. For some reason, things were not going smoothly. Simple things which should have been done quickly took a long time. The tofu was sticking to the pan. I added ajwain instead of sesame seeds to the oil and had to start again. It’s okay… all’s well that ends well. And the final product was really good. Much better than greasy take out!

I used the recipe found here, but made a few changes because I found that one a bit bland.

  • 8 oz soba noodles (or any)
  • 1 cup broccoli florets
  • 1/4 cup natural peanut butter (unsalted, unsweetened)
  • 2 TBS Tamari sauce or low sodium soy sauce (I love this one)
  • 2 TBS water
  • 1 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1/2¬† lemon, juiced
  • 3/4 inch fresh ginger, finely grated
  • 1 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp hot jalepeno sauce or chili paste
  • handful of cilantro/coriander leaves
  • few scallion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup shelled unsalted peanuts

Begin by making the sauce. In your mixie or blender add peanut butter, tamari, water, vinegar, lemon juice, ginger, brown sugar, red chili, hot sauce, and cilantro leaves and grind it together to form the sauce. No cooking required!

Boil or steam the broccoli. Boil the soba noodles according to the package (mine says 3 minutes) be careful not to overcook them because they  can turn mushy faster than regular pasta noodles. You could also use rice noodles or spaghetti.

Stir it all together and voila! Done.

I served this with Tofu and swiss chard stir fry inspired by this lovely blogger, but with my own sauce, which I will blog about another time.

We also had some simple chili-garlic-sesame green beans. JF loves the french cut ones. Simply heat oil in the pan, add garlic, then red chilie flakes or broken red chilies and sesame seeds. Then green beans (thaw or heat them first if using frozen) and salt. Instead of sesame you could also toast some chopped almonds in the pan before adding the garlic. That is sooo good.

Sending this to Bookmarked recipes by Aipi and Priya and Hearth and Soul at a moderate life

Hearth n' Soul Blog Hop at A Moderate Life

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