Posts tagged ‘side dishes’

Malai Kofta

This rich, creamy dish is one of our favorites, with the fried (of course) koftas. The sauce is usually thickened with ground cashews and finished with a drizzle of heavy cream. Vegetarian koftas are deliciously spiced and made with a mashed mixture of potatoes, peas and raw onion, made into small balls or ovals and deep fried. What’s not to love??? But someone had a smart idea….. instead of deep frying the kofta, she used her paniyaram pan. Brilliant! This is probably the best recipe for malai kofta I have tried.  Please see the recipe at red chillies blog. The main thing I changed was I do not grind the masala with milk, I use water. And then added cream at the end.

I was planning to make this for valentines day, even though I do not celebrate much, especially the commercial aspect of it! But I did want to make some treats (typical foodie isnt it?!). However, due to unforseen circumstances this was made today. The malai, though, had a mind of its own….

Do you see what I see?

A Heart!

The drizzled cream formed a heart shape. It was totally unintentional. Ahhhh. Want to know what is even more romantic? I had help! Doesn’t it feel nice to gather with loved ones in the kitchen and  put together a meal?

The yummy koftas!

 

So even though I’m a party pooper, kill-joy, scrooge mcduck…. I gotta say it (belated)

Happy Valentines Day!

Sending this to Aipi’s Bookmarked Recipes and Hearth and Soul, and Maggie’s DHHD,  with love.

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Tomato Lentil Veggie Rice w/ Scallion Raita

I got inspired to make this when I saw this recipe over at Cranberry Jam blog and I noticed I had a can of tomato paste in the pantry. I don’t usually use tomato paste so who knows how long that has been there! Anyway, this was a perfect one pot and healthy balanced dish. I made a few changes and also cooked it all together in the pressure cooker.

Here is what I did:

  • 1/4c whole lentils/dal (I used a combination of masoor and tiny French lentils)
  • 1 1/4c brown basmati (white basmati will cook faster and get mushier, so if you use that, you may want to cook the lentils separately and then boil it altogether (instead of pressure cook) so it doesnt overcook the rice)
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 dried red chilies
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 red onion sliced thinly
  • 2 big cloves of garlic, grated or chopped
  • 1 inch ginger, grated
  • 1/2 tsp red chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • salt
  • 2 Tbs tomato paste
  • 1/2c mixed vegetables – frozen or use diced carrots, green beans, peas, etc
  • 3c water
  • cilantro

Soak the lentils until they have absorbed water and plumped up. Then add washed brown basmati to soak before you start cutting the vegetables… you can soak them together.

In the pressure cooker or pot, heat oil. Add cumin seeds, then red chilies, then onions. Cook the onions until starting to turn golden. Then add the garlic and ginger, bay leaf and stir. Next add the spices and then the tomato paste. Then add the vegetables and rice/lentils… stir them to coat with the tomato mixture. Add in three cups of water and after mixing well, taste the water. It will be a good indication of how your rice will taste, so if you need more spices or salt add them now. Pressure cook for 3 whistles or Cover and simmer until rice has cooked through and absorbed all the water.

Garnish with chopped cilantro/coriander leaves and serve with raita.

I made a scallion raita which goes with this nicely. Unfortunately I didn’t take a picture but its dead easy. Just finely slice 3-4 scallions/green onions, chop a handful of cilantro and mince 1-2 green chillies. Add to beaten yogurt (half cup or so) and add a little water to thin if needed. Add salt to taste. You can add a tempering of mustard seeds, curry leaves and urad dal, but I didn’t bother.

Sending to Aipi’s and Priya’s Bookmarked Recipes

Veggie Salad with Blueberry Balsamic Vinaigrette

There are basically two salad dressings I make. One is this one, and the other…. I’ll share that another day 😉

I’ve been making it for a while now, and I’m a terrible one for measuring. The truth is, I tried to measure things today in order to share this recipe and I failed at that! So I suggest that you play around with the ratios to your liking.

Here is my best estimates:

  • 1/2c frozen blueberries (can be thawed or fresh)
  • 1-2 minced fresh green chilies (I like this, but you can leave it out if you don’t like it)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/4c balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4c water
  • 1-2 Tbs honey
  • 1 Tbs dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tsp flax oil (optional, but it adds omega 3)
  • 1/4c extra virgin olive oil

First I blend the blueberries, garlic and green chili to bits in a mixie or blender. Scrape down the sides. Add the rest of the ingredients except olive oil and blend again. Taste and make adjustments. If its too strong, add more water. If its too sour, add more honey. Lastly, add in the olive oil. If you have an opening in the top so that you can drizzle it in slowly while the blender is on that’s better, but its also fine to just add it and blend until it comes together and is thickened. Drizzle over any salad you like.

For the salad I put:

  • Mixed baby greens
  • Cucumber sliced
  • Green pepper in thin slices
  • Yellow tomato, diced
  • Walnuts
  • Dried cranberries
  • Mandarin oranges

You could also add carrots, spinach, jicama, other dried fruits, pomegranate, blueberries, strawberry slices, apples, celery, sunflower seeds. Endless possibilities for whatever you have on hand.

Sending this to Only Salads by Prathibha and Pari and Food Palette – Green by Torview

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

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.

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