Sunday, May 09, 2021

Edamame Curry

 (From Banu's Cookbook)

Ingredients:

2 cups of cooked Edamame
2 Medium Onions Chopped (1 for masala and 1 for cooking with edamame)
2 Tomatoes Chopped
2-3 Green Chilies
10=12 - Almonds - soaked and deskinned
1/2 cup fresh shredded coconut
1 inch piece of Cinnamon
2-3 Cloves
1 tsp of Fennel seeds
2 tsp of Cumin Seeds
1 Cardamom Pod
Small Piece of Star Anise
2-3 Black Pepper
A few Curry Leaves
A few bay leaves
Oil for Sautéing
1 tsp of Turmeric Powder
1 tsp of Red Chilli powder
2 tsp of Dhaniya-Jeera Powder
1 tbsp. of Tamarind Paste
1 tbsp. of Jaggery Powder
Chopped cilantro for Garnishing
Salt to Taste

Method:

1. Cook Frozen shelled Edamame either on Stove top or Microwave until it softens to touch. Keep it aside.
2. For the Masala - Heat 1 tsp oil in a pan - add 1 tsp of Fennel seeds, 1 tsp of cumin seeds, Cloves, Cinnamon, Star Anise, Cardamom, Black pepper and Sautee well. Add 1 chopped onion and Sautee for 4-5 minutes until onion is translucent. Then add the green chilies and chopped tomatoes and sautee until tomatoes are mushy. 
3. Let this masala mixture cool. In a blender, grind into a smooth paste - the sautéed masala ingredients, 1/2 cup fresh shredded coconut, deskinned almonds and tamarind pate. Set this aside.
4. In a pan heat about 2 tsp of oil, add mustard seeds and once they splutter, add cumin seeds, curry leaves and bay leaves. Then add 1 chopped onion and sautee well. Once the onions have turned light brown, add the cooked edamame pods and mix well.
5. To this - add turmeric powder, red chili powder and Dhaniya Jeera powder and some salt. Mix well. 
6. Add the ground masala paste, some more salt and jaggery powder. Mix well and bring it to a boil on low to medium flame. 
7. Once it has come to boil, reduce the flame to low and let it cook for a few more minutes - this will allow the edamame to absorb the flavors. 
8. Turn off the flame and garnish with chopped Cilantro.
9. Serve it hot with chapathi or dosa or barley. 

Notes:

1. You can add a few more almond and skip the coconut. 

2. Instead of coconut, you can add some coconut milk and reduce the water while grinding.

3. You can add some potatoes with this if you liked the taste of it.

4. You can reduce the tamarind or skip it if you tomatoes are quite sour. Mine was not, so I added the Tamarind paste.

Sunday, April 25, 2021

Besan and Oats Chilla aka Savory Pancake

 (From Banu's Cookbook)

Besan Chilla or Puda is not a new recipe. But I just changed a few things in this recipe to suit me and thus posting it here. 

Ingredients:

1/2 Cup Besan aka Chickpea Flour

1/2 Cup Oat Flour

1 Tbsp of Chia Seeds 

1 Egg

1 inch Ginger

2-3 Green Chillies or per your taste

1 Large Roma Tomato

1 Cucumber Grated

1 Large carrot Grated

1/2 of Large Red Onion Chopped finely

Handful of Cilantro chopped finely

1 tsp of Tumeric

1 tsp of Cumin Powder

1 tsp of Jaggery powder or brown sugar

Salt to taste

Oil for cooking

1 to 1 1/4 cups of water

Method:

1. In my Vitamix blender, I blended the egg, water, both the flours, tomato, ginger, turmeric, cumin and salt well until there were no lumps left in the batter.

2. I poured the batter into a bowl. To this I added the grated cucumber, carrot, chopped red onion and Cilantro. 

3. I added the Jaggery powder and added a bit more water to make it thick yet pouring consistency. 

4. Heat a nonstick pan and spread some oil on it. Spread the batter as thinly as you can. Cook it well on both sides on medium heat. It will take some time, but it will get cooked well and become crispy.

5. Serve it hot with some pickle and yogurt. 

Notes:

1. You can add Rolled oats - instead of oat flour, the batter will be a bit more textured as the rolled oats will not be super smooth. 

2. You can add other vegetables like spring onions, grated zucchini, bell peppers etc. The more veggies you add, it might be harder to spread it thin. So chop the veggies as thin as you can. 

3. If the chilla or pancake is spread thin, it will become nice and crispy and not soggy and gooey. That is the key and plus the heat is critical. Do not cook it on high heat. 

4. You can skip the egg if you want to keep it Vegan and instead add some nut butters like almond or peanut butter. It will taste very well too and still give you some additional protein.

5. You can do roll up omlette style with these pancakes with avocados in the middle. 

6. You can serve it some chutney or curry too. 

7. You can skip chia seeds or add some flax seeds if you prefer it or flax meal.

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Oats and Poha Chivda

 (From Banu's Cookbook)

Ingredients:

1 Cup of Old Fashioned Rolled Oats

1 Cup of Thin Poha Flakes

1/2 cup of Peanuts

1/4 cup of Almonds (whole skinned)

1/4 cup of Broken Cashewnuts

1/4 cup of Roasted Bengal Gram Daal

1/4 Cup of Dry Coconut Slices

3-4 Red Chilies

8-10 Curry Leaves

1/4 tsp Mustard Seeds

Salt to Taste

Olive Oil for Sautéing - About 2 Tbsp

1/4 - 1/2 Tsp of Amchur Powder

1/4 - 1/2 Tsp of Chaat Powder

1/2 tsp of Red Chili powder (or more per your taste)

1 Pkt of Stevia in Raw

1/4 Tsp of less Hing

1/4 Tsp of Turmeric Powder (Optional)



Method:

1. Heat a pan on low to medium heat and roast the rolled oats until they become crisp. They also start changing color slightly and also you can start smelling them. Roast them well on low heat (patience) until they are crisp. You can crunch them with your fingers. Set them aside.

2. In the same pan, roast the poha flakes. I have used the thin flakes, you can use a bit thicker one too. Roast them in low/medium heat until you start to see them brown slightly. Set aside.

3. Clean the pan out of all debris, wipe it down and and heat the 2bsp oil. Once the oil is hot, add the mustard seeds. As the mustard seeds crackle, add the curry leaves, red chillies and Hings. Saute for a few seconds. Add the dried sliced of coconut and all the nuts and roast them well on medium heat. If you feel like something is burning - you can reduce the heat some more. 

4. Once all of these are roasted well (peanuts will start peeling skin when it is well roasted),  add the poha and oats to this mixture. Add turmeric powder, salt, stevia packet and all the spice powders. Mix well but gently. You do not want to break the oats and poha too much. Do wide sweeps to mix it well. If you feel like the mixture is too dry, you can add a bit more olive oil. 

5. Reduce the heat to lowest setting as you mix the Chivda together. Taste and adjust Salt and Stevia powder as needed. 

6. Switch off the heat and let it cool and come to room temperature and Oats/Poha Chivda is ready to be had with a cup of hot tea or coffee. 

Notes:

1. Almonds being meatier of all the nuts takes the longest to roast. So, if you want super crunchy almonds, Roast them separately well and then add it in the end before the spice powders and mix it well,

2, You can add plain sugar or raw sugar or cane sugar or organic sugar instead of the Stevia. I just did not want to add Sugar. You would have to experiment with these - start with less and add more as needed. 

3. You can add raisins too, but I do not like the raisins when they are fried or sautéed, so I did not add them. 

4. I will experiment with Walnuts and Pecans next time and keep you posted.

5. You can do this just with Oats and skip Poha if you want. 

6. Turmeric powder is optional. 


Thursday, April 15, 2021

Almond, Oats and Chia Seeds Laddu

 (From Banu's Cookbook)


Ingredients:

1/2 Cup Fine Almond Flour

1/2 Cup of Old Fashioned Rolled Oats

1/4 cup of Cashew Nuts

10-12 Whole Skinned Almonds

1 Tbsp of Chia Seeds

1 Tbsp of Ghee (Optional)

2 Tbsp of Almond Butter

1 Tbsp of Honey

1/2 Tsp of Ground Cinnamon powder

1/2 Tsp of Cardamom Powder


Method:

1. Dry Roast the Old Fashioned Oats, Cashew nuts and whole skinned almonds on medium to medium-low heat until they are golden brown. You can start smelling the cashews and oats. Set it aside to cool.

2. In the same pan, add 3/4 tbsp of Ghee and 1/2 cup of Almond flour and roast it well until it is aromatic - about 3-4 minutes. Set it aside. 

3. Coarsely grind the roasted oats, cashew nuts and almonds in a food processor. It would be nice to get bits of cashew and almonds when you bite into the laddu.

4. Mix the ground oats and nuts mixture with the roasted almond flour mixture. To this add the Almond Butter and Honey, Chia Seeds, Cinnamon powder and cardamom powder. You can add a pinch of Himalayan pink salt too.

5. Mix it all well and then grease your hands lightly with the remaining 1/4 tbsp of Ghee and make small balls out of this mixture. You have to press hard when forming the balls and then roll them lightly in the palm of your hands to get the round shape. 

6. If you feel like the balls are not holding well together or breaking - keep them in the Refrigerator for a couple of hours after making them so that they can harden. Well mostly, honey and almond butter and any oils from the nuts harden thus creating a good bind. 

7. You can serve them cold or bring it out to room temperature and then service. 

The laddus were very well formed. Not crumbling at all. Had a good texture and enough sweetness. Hope you try this out. Let me know how it came out or what modifications did you make...Thanks. 

Notes:

1. You can add Crushed dates instead of Honey/Almond Butter to give this some sweetness. 

2. You can also add Flax seeds / Flax seed meal along with the rest of the ingredients.

3. You can add raisins to give some more sweetness and moisture.

4. You can also add Vanilla Essence and/or Maple Syrup (Maple Sugar / Jaggery) - to get the sweetness in this dish.


Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Slightly Low Carb Pasta

 (From Banu's Cookbook)

Ingredients:

1 cup cooked low carb/high protein pasta (I used Barilla Red Lentil Penne)

4-5 cups of assorted veggies - Zucchini, Yellow Squash, Broccoli, Bell peppers, Onion, Carrots etc.

1/2 cup of chickpeas (optional)

3-4 tbsp of Pesto Sauce (I used store brought Delallo Simply Pesto Traditional Basil Pesto Sauce)

1-2 tbsp of smoked paprika / crushed red pepper flakes

1-2 tbsp of Italian Seasoning

Black pepper and Salt per Taste

Olive oil to saute vegetables.

Handful of fresh Basil leaves for Garnishing

For the Sauce:

3/4 cup of Heavy Whipping Cream

1/4 cup of Cream Cheese - softened at room temperature. 

3-4 Garlic Cloves - chopped finely

1 tbsp of Butter

2-3 pinches of grated nutmeg

black pepper and salt to taste

Method:

1. Boil the pasta per the directions on the box. I like mine a bit al dente. Rinse in cold water to stop cooking process. Measure out 1 cup of cooked pasta aside. 

2. Heat the olive oil in a pan and add the onion and carrots first. Once they are slightly browned, add the rest of the veggies and cook on medium high heat. 

3. After 5-6 mins of cooking, add the italian seasoning, paprika / crushed red pepper, a bit of salt and mix well. 

4. Reduce the flame and allow the veggies to cook a bit more.

5. Meanwhile for the sauce, mix the softened cream cheese and whipping cream together. In a small pan, heat the butter. Add the chopped garlic cloves.

6. Once the garlic is browned, add the cream cheese and cream mixture and let it come to a boil. Reduce the flame, add some black pepper, pinch of salt and grated nutmeg. Mix well and boil it until it reduces a bit. If you like thin sauce, you do not have to reduce it much. 

7. Add the Pesto sauce and the cooked pasta to the vegetable mix. Mix well. Add the sauce and mix it all well together. 

8. Add salt if needed, add the basil leaves and mix well. Serve it hot with black pepper on top. 

Notes:

1. For the sauce, you can skip the cream cheese or replace it with Parmesan cheese. I like the texture better with cream cheese and I used very little of it. You can experiment with the measurements till you get a consistency that you like. 

2. You do not need flour for the sauce as both Cream Cheese and Cream thicken on their own when heated for a bit. 

3. You can add mushrooms, cauliflower or any vegetables that you like. You can add peas instead of chickpeas. I like the protein and texture of chickpeas, so I added them. 

4. If you do not want to use store bought pesto - here is a link for a Basil Pesto recipe that I had posted a while ago. 

5. You can add additional parmesan cheese on top if you like it and or season it with more fresh basil. 

Monday, October 26, 2020

Ajawain Leaves aka Doddapatre Soppu Chutney

 (From Banu's Cookbook)

The plant that these leaves are a part of is also known as the 'Indian Borage,' which is also called the ajwain plant sometimes. The leaves of this plant are the real stars. They are bright green in color and are broad and pulpy. The reason these leaves are known as ajwain leaves, despite being a part of a completely different plant, is that they have a smell that is similar to that of carom seeds. This is known as "Doddapatre" or "Sambhar" Soppu in Kannada. 


Ingredients:

2 tbsp sesame seeds
2 tbsp channa daal
2 tbsp ural daal
1 tsp jeera seeds|
2-3 red chillies

25-30 Ajwain leaves
1/4 cup fresh grated coconut
2 tbsp Tamarind paste
2 tbsp jaggery
salt to taste

For Seasonining:
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp urad daal
curry leaves a few
Oil for cooking and seasoning


Method:

1. Dry roast channa daal, urad daal, sesame seeds, jeera and red chillies until it is golden brown. Set it aside.
2. Wash the ajwain leaves well so that there no dirt and bugs, let it dry for some time. Chop the leaves roughly.
3. In a pan, heat a tsp of oil, add the chopped ajwain leaves and sauté for a few minutes until you see the leaves soften and leave some water. 
4. In a blender / grinder - add the roasted daals, grated coconut, tamarind paste, jaggery and salt and blend it well.
5. Now to this add the sauted and cooled ajwain leaves and pulse it a few times. Do not grind the leaves into a smooth paste. 
6. Heat some oil, add mustard seeds and once they splutter, add urad daal and curry leaves. Add the seasoning to Chutney
7. Enjoy the Chutney with hot rice and ghee. 

Notes:

1. You can use more or less ajwain leaves per your taste and same goes to red chillies.
2. You can use your choice of red chillies, green chillies or even whole peppercorns. 
3. You can add garlic if you so like, but I feel like in this chutney it will take away the taste from the ajwain leaves. 


Monday, August 10, 2020

Lauki aka Bottlegourd aka Doodhi Paratha

 (From Banu's cookbook)

Ingredients:

1 Medium Sized Lauki - Peeled and cut into small pieces.

1 tsp Turmeric Powder

1/2 Tsp Red Chilli powder

1/2 Tsp Chaat Powder

2.5 cups of Wheat Flour

2 Tsp of Ajwain Seeds

Salt to Taste

2 Tbsp of Oil

Oil for Cooking

Method:

1. In a pan, heat a little bit of oil, add the chopped Lauki Pieces and let them cook on medium low fire. Once they are almost done, add a bit of salt, turmeric powder, red chilli powder and chaat powder. Mix well and saute for a few more minutes. 

2. Lauki has lot of water in it, so you do not have to add any extra water to cook the lauki.  Let the cooked lauki cool down. Make it into paste in the blender or food processor without any extra water. 

3. To this paste, add dry wheat flour, a bit more salt, Ajwain seeds and 2 tbsp of Oil and mix well until it is all incorporated and you get a smooth kneaded dough. I did not need to add any water to make the dough, just the paste was sufficient. But if you feel like you need some water, add it in very little by little, almost with a tea spoon. It is very easy to add more water and you will end up with a very water dough. 

4. Spread some oil on the dough and let it rest for at least 30 minutes.

5. Heat the Griddle. Make lemon sized balls from the dough and roll it out. Cook it on the Griddle on both sides with a bit of oil. You can use ghee as well to cook the paratha.

6. Serve it hot with some pickle and raita. 

Notes:

1. If the lauki is very tender, you do not have to remove the seeds. Just peel and chop. If you feel like the seeds are hard, then you can remove it.

2. You can add additional seasoning to Lauki per your like, like Amchur powder or Jeera Powder etc.

3. The paste though thick looking is more than sufficient to form a good dough. So be careful with adding more water to make the dough.