Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Wild Rice With Grilled Veggies

I was skeptical to try wild rice first, not sure how it will taste. I never had just the wild rice before, first few times I tried ready to make rice packets you get in grocery stores and I liked the texture, though there was not much of wild rice in it. But finally I got wild rice packet from store and tried making this wild rice salad and it turned out really great. Hope that you will like it too. 

Ingredients

1/2 cup wild rice uncooked
1 small zucchini cut into 1/2 inch thick slices
1/2 red bell pepper deseeded
1/2 green bell pepper deseeded
Couple of broccoli florets
Red wine Vinaigrette(recipe follows)
For Vinaigrette
3 tbs red wine vinegar
1 tsp dijon mustard
1 tbs honey
Approximately 6 tbs olive oil
Salt and pepper as per taste

Method
Cook wild rice according to package instructions. Drain and keep aside. To grill veggies preheat gas grill or barbecue grill. Grill all the veggies until nicely charred. Let the veggies cool. Prepare vinaigrette mixing all the ingredients together and whisk until nicely combined. Combine wild rice, grilled veggies and vinaigrette together and let the vinaigrette infuse into rice and veggies. That surely is a nice and healthy meal to enjoy on summer evening!





Quick Tips-: While cooking wild rice use pressure cooker if you have one, it 
                  will be quicker. Stove cooking takes long according to my 
                  experience. 


Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Green Rice With Indian Flavors

Green rice is an authentic Mexican rice dish. So I thought why not make it with Indian flavors. Though the main flavor comes from cilantro, I added spinach leaves for more deep green color. It's a jazzed up rice recipe with wonderful flavors. And by using rice cooker this recipe come together in minutes. Just prepare and combine everything and let the rice cooker do the job. 


Ingredients(Serves 4)
1 cup cilantro
1/2 cup spinach leaves(I use it only for it's deep green color, otherwise it is totally optional)
2 garlic cloves
1 inch ginger
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 cup shredded cabbage
1/2 cup frozen green peas
5-6 cashews roughly chopped
1 cup uncooked rice
4 pepper corns
2 bay leaves
1 tsp garam masala
1 tbs oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp cumin seeds
Pinch of turmeric and Asafoetida
Salt as per taste

Method
Grind together cilantro, spinach, garlic and ginger to a smooth paste. Keep aside. Wash uncooked rice and keep aside. Meanwhile heat oil in a thick bottom pan and add mustard seeds,cumin seeds, pepper corns and bay leaves. Once the seeds crackle add turmeric and asafoetida. Add cashews and fry for few seconds. Next throw in chopped onion and fry for few minutes. Add shredded cabbage, green peas. Now mix the green paste that we made earlier and saute for a while until you get a nice aroma. In goes the washed uncooked rice and mix everything together once again. Shut off the gas, add salt and mix. 

Transfer everything to Rice cooker(that's how I cooked the rice) and add water according to the instructions on your rice cooker. You can also cook this rice in pressure cooker. No matter what you choose to cook the rice it will always come out great. Serve it hot with some raita or plain yogurt and enjoy!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Leftover Rajma Paratha

I had some leftover rajma(prepared with onions, tomatoes, ginger, garlic and spices) from the other day in the fridge and nobody wanted to eat rajma with rice/roti again so thought of turning this prepared rajma into paratha. And they turned out pretty good. It was a nice variety in Paratha. Paratha itself is a wholesome meal. And this protein packed rajma paratha will satisfy your taste bud and will keep you full at the same time. Make it either for breakfast/brunch/lunch or even dinner, no matter what time of day you eat, it will surely please everyone at your home. It is a very basic and simple recipe. Serve it with cool cucumber raita or just plain old yogurt.

Ingredients

2 cups leftover rajma
Whole wheat flour as needed
2 tbs chopped cilantro
Salt as required
Oil as required 


Method

With a masher mash the leftover rajma into a smooth paste(make sure each and every kidney beans are mashed). Add chopped cilantro plus little bit of salt. Remember our rajma is already seasoned with salt and spices so don't add too much salt. After rajma is  mashed start adding wheat flour and mix together. Use only that much wheat flour that will fit into mashed rajma. Knead into a semi-soft dough.

Keep aside the dough for 1 hr. Later divide the dough into equal balls. Now start rolling the ball into circle and dust some wheat flour while rolling. Roll it till you get a 6 inch paratha. Now place this paratha onto a heated tava/griddle. Cook it on both side by spreading oil as required. Repeat the same procedure for the remaining balls and serve.



Thursday, March 20, 2014

Dhansak

Dhansak is a popular parsi dish traditionally prepared with meat and mixed lentils along with vegetables and spices. But I tried making it with just veggies and it came out perfect. When all the lentils and veggies are cooked along with spices you get a deliciously good bowl of dal. The consistency of dhansak should be thick. Serve it with rice and you will have a warm and healthy meal. This was my second time making dhansak. The first time, I made dhansak masala at home from sratch but recently I found ready made packet of dhansak masala at store and it made my life easier. You can find many recipes for dhansak masala online but this ready made masala is one easy way to go :). I used pressure cooker to cook dhansak.



Ingredients(Serves 4 if served with rice)


1 cup mixed lentils(toor, moong, masoor, chana) in equal amount
1 carrot washed peeled and diced
3/4 cup washed, peeled and diced pumpkin
1 small potato peeled and diced
1 onion(1/2 thinly sliced and 1/2 chopped)
1 Cup washed and finely chopped methi/fenugreek leaves
1 tbs ginger-garlic paste
1/2 tsp amchur/dry mango powder
1/4 tsp turmeric pwd
2 tsp ready made dhansak masala
1/2 tsp garam masala
1 tsp dried mint
Salt as per taste
2 cups water
2 tbs ghee/clarified butter

Method

Wash and soak all the lentils in water for 1 hour. Meanwhile get all the veggies ready. Heat ghee in a pressure cooker add onions both diced and sliced. Saute until translucent and add ginger-garlic paste. Fry it some more time until you get nice aroma of ginger and garlic. Next add all the veggies, carrots, potatoes and pumpkin. Also add chopped methi leaves. Saute to combine all veggies together and add turmeric, dhansak masala, garam masala, amchur, dried mint, salt and mix well to combine all the flavors. Add soaked lentils along with 2 cups of water. Once boiled put the lid on pressure cooker and give 3-4 whistles and keep it on low for 5-7 minutes. Shut off the gas and let the pressure drop. Once the pressure is dropped open the lid and mix well, this dal should be thick. Serve it hot with rice. 

Though I didn't write down the ingredients for rice here is how I made it. I washed uncooked rice(I used basmati) and kept aside. Heat ghee in pressure cooker, add around of 1 tsp sugar and let it brown(don't let it burn). Add cloves, cardamom and cinnamon stick. Throw in washed uncooked rice and mix. Add salt and water, let the rice boil and then put the lid on pressure cooker. Give 2 whistles and keep it on low heat for 5 minutes and then shut off the gas. Once the pressure is dropped open the lid fluff the rice with fork and serve it with Dhansak. 
Sorry I don't have the picture for dal served with rice but just Dhansak.







Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Mediterranean Veggies and Avocado on a Roll

I brought these rolls from store today hoping to make some kind of sandwich. Wasn't sure what kind yet so I started looking in the refrigerator. Had few fresh veggies on hand and also some jarred ones so I mixed and matched a few and came up with this Mediterranean idea. Well I wasn't entirely sure what should I name this sandwich but since it had most of the veggies that goes in Mediterranean salad I thought why not? And since avocado is my favorite, added that too to make it extra special.


Ingredients
2 Rolls
1/2 Cucumber Sliced
1/2 Tomato Sliced
1/2 Small Onion Sliced thinly
1/2 Roasted Red Bell Pepper(I used jarred)
10 Kalamata Olives Pitted and Sliced
1/2 Avocado sliced
2 Green Leaf Lettuce
3 Tbs Mayonnaise

For Red Wine Vinaigrette
2 Tsp red wine vinegar
1/2 Tsp Dijon mustard
4 Tsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 Tsp honey
Salt and Pepper for taste

Method
The method is actually pretty straight forward. Keep all your veggies ready. 


Whisk all the ingredients together for vinaigrette . Keep the vinaigrette aside. Take both the rolls, split them apart, spread mayo on all 4 rolls. Start layering the roll with veggies. With lettuce going first and then adding veggies on top of it. Lastly with a spoon spread the vinaigrette all over veggies and close it with other half roll and serve. This sandwich is so simple and easy to make and tasty too! Enjoy!






Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Mini Soya Chunks In Curry

A textured vegetable protein, made from soy flour comes in variety of shapes and sizes. The one I got from store this time are called mini soya chunks. They are manufactured by different brands but my favorite brand is Ruchi's Nutrella. As you get it by the name these chunks are mini, the regular size is little too big for this curry. That's the reason I got these mini one's, they were perfect in my gravy. It is a great substitute for chicken as it has the same texture like chicken when cooked. My husband and kids are meat eaters but they loved this curry as much as I did. I have used Everest brand chicken masala to get an authentic chicken curry taste. And before I forget, I have a different technique to cook soya chunks than mentioned on the packet so please follow it and I promise you will not regret it!

Ingredients
1 1/4 mini soya chunks
1 1/4 cup milk or more as required
2 tbs oil
2 green cardamom
1 inch of cinnamon stick
2-3 cloves
1 large onion chopped finely
2 garlic cloves
1 inch ginger
2 tomatoes pureed
1/8 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp coriander powder
1 1/2 tsp Everest chicken Masala
1/2 tsp garam masala
1 tsp chili powder
Salt as per taste
Roughly around 1 cup of water
A pinch of kasoori methi(dry fenugreek leaves)
Chopped cilantro for garnishing

Method
First things first, soak soya chunks in hot milk rather than water. It adds more flavor to soya chunks and curry as well. Soya Chunks should be completely immersed in milk.

Keep aside for half an hour to an hour. Soya chunks will absorb milk and will double in size. Meanwhile start chopping your onions finely, grate ginger and garlic and puree the tomatoes. Heat oil in a pressure cooker on medium, add green cardamom, cloves and cinnamon stick and stir until you get nice aroma. Add chopped onions and fry them until golden brown. Next throw in coriander and turmeric powder and fry for couple more minutes. Add pureed tomatoes and cook until tomato puree thickens up a bit and oil starts separating. At this point add chicken masala, chili powder, salt and garam masala. Now add soaked soya chunks along with milk and mix.

Add about a cup of water to make slightly thin gravy. Your gravy should not be too much thick. Now close the pressure cooker with it's lid and give 3 whistles and keep the gas on low for 5 more minutes. Shut off the gas after 5 minutes and let it rest. Once the pressure releases open the lid and sprinkle kasoori methi and stir. Empty the contents in a serving bowl and garnish with chopped cilantro and serve with roti, paratha or rice. 



Friday, February 7, 2014

Paneer Tikki Wrap

Flatbreads stuffed with any filling that you can imagine makes quickest grab and go meal. Try making wraps using your culinary skills from different cuisines. The one that I made today is inspired by Indian cuisine. Tikki meaning small cutlet made with potato and paneer wrapped in a tortilla or whole wheat roti if you want it more healthy.

Ingredients
5 tortilla/any flavored tortilla/whole wheat roti
1 1/4 cup grated Paneer
1 medium potato boiled and mashed
1 tbs fresh chopped cilantro
1/4 tsp chaat masala
1/8 tsp chili powder
Salt to taste
Oil as required to shallow fry tikki's
4 tbs green chutney(mint+cilantro)
1 small onion sliced thinly
1 small tomato sliced thinly
2 green chili's sliced thinly(optional)
Mix Together
5 tbs sour cream
1/2 tsp dried mint(dried pudina)
Salt and pepper

Method
Mix together grated paneer, mashed potato, cilantro, chaat masala, chili powder and salt. Combine everything together and form them to make oval size cutlets. You should get about 10 tikkis depending on what size you make.
Shallow fry them until golden brown from both sides. Keep them aside. Meanwhile mix together sour cream, dried mint, salt and pepper. This is your dressing for the wrap. 
Hmmmm..... I can eat them right away :) but I think I will save them for the wraps. Actually this dish right here will work great as an appetizer. Now to assemble place a tortilla on flat surface, arrange 2 tikki's followed by dressing and mint-cilantro chutney. Top it with sliced onions, tomatoes, green chili's and wrap it by folding up and down sides first and then fold both the sides so that all the filling is secured inside it. Don't bother if some of the dressing drips out. Same procedure goes for remaining tortilla's. 
Relax and enjoy your zesty wrap!

Quick Tips-:
If you don't have sour cream on hand use thick yogurt instead or you can also hang regular yogurt in a muslin cloth and hang it for 15 minutes, it will work just as well.






Friday, January 10, 2014

Tuscan Vegetable Soup

Another filling soup for cold winter nights with great flavors and can come together in minutes. Just don't get overwhelmed by seeing the ingredients, most of the ingredients will be in your pantry. Normally this soup also has celery in it but since I didn't had any I added cabbage and green beans. So if you don't have any veggies from ingredients below just improvise and see what you can use instead. Serve it up with some bread and voila you can have a fulfilling meal in minutes. It can also be made ahead and served later after reheating. If making ahead don't do the mistake that I did the first time I made this soup, add spinach while reheating the soup so that it will not be overcooked and will keep it's fresh green color. 


Ingredients

1/2 cup diced Zucchini
1/3 cup diced Carrot
1/3 cup diced cabbage
1/3 cup diced onion
1/3 cup cut bite size green beans
3 garlic cloves minced
1 tsp fresh sage chopped(1/2 tsp if using dried)
1 tsp fresh thyme(1/2tsp if using dried)
2 cans(14.5 oz) vegetarian vegetable broth
1 cup canned diced tomatoes
1/2 cup of any kind of small pasta(already cooked)
1 cup baby spinach or roughly chopped if using regular spinach
1 cup canned Cannellini/white beans(mash 1/2 the beans and keep remaining beans as it is)
Salt and pepper as required

Method
Keep your veggies ready.

Heat oil in a pot add zucchini, carrot, cabbage, onion, green beans, minced garlic, sage and thyme. Saute until veggies are slightly softened, for 5-7 minutes. Add broth and boil, next add diced tomatoes, beans(mashed and whole) and boil for 5 more minutes. Add pasta and spinach at last and boil for couple of more minutes just until spinach is wilted and shut off the gas. Serve it up with your favorite kind of bread.