Saturday, April 20, 2013

Black Eyed Pea Salad

(From Banu's Cookbook)

1 1/2 Cups of Dry Black Eyed Pea
1 Red Apple Washed and chopped Finely
Handful or more of Cherry Tomatoes washed and chopped
1 Cucumber Chopped Finely
1 small or half Red Onion Chopped Finely
1 or 2 Avocado's Chopped
6-7 Mini Sweet Peppers Chopped Finely
1/4 Cup of Finely Chopped Cilantro
1-2 Thai peppers or Jalapeno peppers chopped Finely

2 Tbsp of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Lemon Juice
Salt and Pepper to Taste

1. Wash and Soak the Black Eyed Pea for 3-4 hours or atleast for an hour. Pressure cook them with a little salt for about 3-4 Whistles. You can also cook them on stove top until they are cooked and soft.
2. Drain the water out of the cooked black eyed pea and a mixing bowl - mix all the chopped ingredients, the cooked black eyed pea and the dressing ingredients.
3. Toss well and serve it warm, room temperature or cold.

1. I prefer this salad at room temperature.
2. If you cannot soak the black eyed pea, then you just have to pressure cook it for a longer time.
3. You can also add other fruits like strawberries and blueberries.
4. You can also add other ingredients to the dressing like Oregano or Thyme or whatever else that your taste buds prefer.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Channa Daal and Methi Scramble

(From Banu's Cookbook)

1 1/2 Cup of Channa Daal (Picked over, rinsed and soaked overnight or at least 4-6 hours)
1 bunch of Methi Leaves (Washed and Cleaned)
1 inch piece of Ginger
3-4 Green Chillies
Salt to Taste
Oil to Sautee
Mustard Seeds for Seasoning
Hing for Seasoning

1. Drain the Channa daal.  Grind the Soaked Channa Daal, methi leaves, ginger, green chillies and salt in the food processor with no water. . You can make it into a very smooth paste or just a bit coarsely like I have done it.
2. Steam this ground mixture in the pressure cooker for just three whistles. If you do not own a pressure cooker, you can steam in a microwave steamer for about 6-8 minutes.
3. In a pan, heat some oil and add Mustard seeds and once it splutters, add hing and then add the pressure cooked channa daal mixture and mix well.
4. Channa Daal and Methi Scramble is ready to be eaten. You can eat this by itself with a piece of toast or some crackers or you can serve with some rice or chapathi.

Channa daal is very healthy and has very low Glycemic Index and does not get mushy very easily making it easy to use in many recipes. Here is one of my favorite links on Channa Daal.

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Cabbage Paratha with Bran

(From Banu's Cookbook)

1 1/2 Cup of Finely Chopped Cabbage
1 1/2 Cups of Whole Wheat Flour
1/2 Cup of Wheat Bran
1/2 inch of Ginger Chopped Finely
Salt to Taste
1/4 Cup of Yogurt (fat free)
1/4 Tsp Turmeric Powder
2 Tsp of Jeera Powder
1 Tsp of Coriander Powder
1 Tsp of Red Chilli Powder (or more if you want it spicy)
Oil for cooking

1. Mix all the ingredients except Oil in a wide bowl and mix well. Add very little water in increments to knead the dough.
2. Put the mixed dough in refrigerator for at least 20-30 mins. This helps the bran to absorb water and the paratha will be softer.
3. Take the dough out and then make it into small balls (maybe slightly bigger than golf size balls), and Knead them thoroughly. I found that kneading these smaller dough balls is much easier and more effective. Roll it out using wheat flour.
4. Put it on a heated pan and cook it on both sides using oil. Make sure you cook the paratha on medium fire. This takes a bit longer, but cooks it well.
5. Serve the paratha hot with either Pickle or Yogurt or both.

1. You can add Cilantro as well. I forgot to add this time.
2. You can skip the yogurt if you are not inclined to add it, but I have found out that Yogurt and keeping it in the fridge helps the bran soften quite a bit. But I have tried it without yogurt as well and it works perfectly well.
3. If you do not like the taste of cabbage, you can chop it much more finely in the food processor before mixing it with the flour.

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Tindora Gravy Curry

(From Banu's Cookbook)

2 Cups of Chopped Tindora
1 Medium Onion Chopped
2-3 Cloves of Garlic
1 inch piece of Ginger
1 Tsp of Poppy Seeds
1 Tsp of Sesame Seeds
2 Tsp of Coriander Seeds
1/2 Tsp of Turmeric Powder
1/2 Tsp of Cumin Powder
1 Tsp of Red Chilli Powder
A few pinches of Hing
1 Tsp of Tamarind Paste
Mustard Seeds for Seasoning
Curry Leaves
Coriander leaves for garnish
Oil for Sauteing
Salt to Taste

1.  Steam the chopped Tindora. I used a Microwave steamer (Steamed it for 6 Mins). But you can para boil it or just steam in a rice cooker or even pressure cooker.
2. Roast Poppy Seeds, Sesame Seeds and Coriander seeds with a few drops of oil until they are golden brown. Take it out of the pan and in the same pan add a bit more oil and fry the Onion.
3. Once the Onion is transclucent, then add the ginger and garlic and fry a bit more.
4. Let all of this come to room temperature. Then grind all the ingredients that you roasted into a smooth paste with tamarind paste. Use as little water as you can. You really do not not need too much water.
5. Heat oil in a heavy bottom pan, add oil. Once the oil is hot, add the mustard seeds. After the mustard seeds splutter, add curry leaves and hing. Also add turmeric powder, red chilli powder and Cumin powder and roast for a little bit.
6. Turn the fire to low, and then add the ground masala paste and fry for 5 mins or so on very low fire.
7. To this add the steamed Tindora & Salt to taste and let it cook well on low fire.
8. Garnish with chopped fresh coriander leaves and serve it hot with Rice or Chapathi.

Notes: You can add either roasted ground nuts or coconut in the masala. But I skipped both to keep it a bit more healthier version.

Monday, April 01, 2013

Eggplant in Poppy seed Gravy

(From Banu's Cookbook)


1 Medium Eggplant Chopped (Keep the chopped eggplant in water to avoid discoloration)
1 Big Red Onion Chopped Fine
3 Tsp of Poppy Seeds
1 Tsp of Red Chilli Powder or 2-3 green Chillies
1/4 cup of Chopped Coriander leaves for Garnish
Salt to Taste
Oil to Sautee

1. Sautee the chopped Eggplant in pan with some oil and once it is done, take it out on a plate.
2. In the same pan, add some more oil and saute 1/2 of the chopped onion and when it is half done, add the poppy seeds and fry some more until you see the poppy seeds changing color. Take this mixture out and let it cool to room temperature.
3. Grind the onion and poppy seed mixture along with some Red Chilli Powder or Green Chillies into a smooth paste. It will take some time as poppy seeds are kind of hard to grind.
4. In a pan, add some oil and add cumin seeds. Then add the remainder of the chopped onion and Sautee well. Add the ground paste to this and cook for a little while. Add some water if need be. Add the chopped Eggplant and salt and cook it on low fire until it all mixes together well. You can add some more water at this point as Eggplant will also absorb it. Add enough water until you get the gravy consistency that you want.

Eggplant with Poppy seed Gravy is ready to be served hot with either Chapathi or Rice.

Black ChickPea, Avocado and Bell Pepper Salad

(From Banu's Cookbook)


1 Cup of Kala Channa (Black Chick Eyed Pea) - Soaked overnight and then pressure cooked.
1 Avocado Chopped
1 Red Bell Pepper Chopped
1/2 Red Onion Chopped
1/2 Cup of Cucumber Peeled and Chopped
Cilantro for Garnishing

Salad Dressing:
2 tsp of Lemon Juice
2 Tsp of Olive Oil
1/4 tsp of Ginger grated finely
Salt to taste

1. Mix the Cooked Kala Channa (I drain out any excess water) along with the chopped Avocado, bell pepper, onion, cucumber and cilantro.
2. Add all of the salad dressing ingredients to this mix and toss well. You can always increase the lemon juice if you prefer more tangy.
3. Kala Channa salad is ready to be eat.

1. I prefer to mix warm Kala Channa and not cold as Kala Channa does not taste that great when it is cold.
2. You can also add Tomatoes and other Vegetables to this Salad.

Paneer Stirfry with Cabbage and Bell Peppers

(From Banu's Cookbook)


1 Cup of Fresh Paneer (Cubed)
1 small head of Cabbage - Finely Chopped
1-2 Bell Peppers  - Chopped (I used a combination of Yellow and Red Bell Peppers)
Oil To Sautee
1/4 tsp Turmeric Powder
1-2 Tsp of Cumin Powder
1 Tsp of Corriander Powder
1 Tsp of Red Chilli Powder
Salt to Taste


1. Pan fry the paneer cubes with very less oil in pan and keep it aside. In the same pan, heat some more oil and sautee the bell peppers.
2. In a Wok, add some oil and once it is hot, add some cumin seeds and then add all the dry powders and saute for a few mins and then add the chopped cabbage and cook it for 10 mins with a lid on and very slow fire. This way you can cook the cabbage completely and yet keep it crisp and not soggy.
3. Once the cabbage is done, add the paneer and the bell peppers, salt to taste and mix well. You can garnish this with chopped coriander leaves.

Paneer stir fry is ready and can be eaten with Chapathi or Rice. I had it just like this with some salad.