September 23, 2016

Meditteranean Barley Pilaf

There are some recipes that you adapt from a friend, from a cookbook or from the web, and your family loves it so much that you keep making it again and again. You add your touches to it and at some point you start owning the recipe. This pilaf is one such recipe, which I had made a few years back for a   Meditterarean themed lunch. This can be made with farro as well, though barley has a better taste and texture. The use of fennel complements the spices and mint sauce well, but if you are not sure about fennel, you can omit and just use onion alone. This can be served as a full meal which is full of flavor and is made with wholesome ingredients. This is best served warm or at room temperature and hence is very ideal to take to pot-luck parties. 

Ingredients:
  • Barley - 1 cup (soaked overnight)
  • Black chickpea - 1/2 cup (soaked overnight)
  • Bay leaf - 1
  • Black pepper - 1/2 tsp (crushed)
  • Sea salt - as per taste
  • Masala powder - 1-2 Tbs (see below for proportion)
  • Red onion - 1
  • Fennel - 1 bulb
  • EV olive oil - 1 Tbs
  • Mint sauce - 1 batch (see recipe below)

Directions:
  • Drain the chickpeas and cook with 1 cup of water, bay leaf, crushed pepper and salt. (I use a pressure cooker, which works best to cook any beans)
  • Drain the barley and cook with the cooking liquid from chickpeas (add extra water as needed to cook) and a tablespoon of masala powder. (I use pressure cooker here too)
  • Heat a pan on medium heat, add olive oil and saute chopped red onion and chopped fennel till onion in slightly golden.
  • Add cooked chickpeas and barley and any remaining liquid from cooking barley. Adjust taste add extra salt as needed and more masala if you prefer. Continue cooking till any remaining liquid is completely absorbed. 
  • Switch off, add the mint sauce and mix well. Let it stand for 30 minutes or so before serving. 
  • Serve warm, enjoy!!

Masala Powder:
  • Coriander seeds - 2 Tbs
  • Red chilly - 1-2
  • Cinnamon - 1 inch stick
  • Cardamom - 2-3
  • Grind everything to a fine powder using a coffee/spice grinder

Mint Sauce:
  • Mint - a small bunch 
  • Cilantro - few stems 
  • Garlic Clove 1-2
  • Lemon juice - from  half a lemon
  • EV olive oil - 2 Tbs
  • Grind everything to a coarse sauce.





September 21, 2016

Alu Quinoa Tikki

I have not posted a recipe in such a long time. This summer has been really busy, in a good way. We have been spending a lot of time outdoors getting the much needed fresh air, Vitamin D, etc. Honestly,  I have not been very creative in the kitchen, atleast nothing worth a post. On a few occasions when I did, just did not have the patience to post.

Almost all of summer, I have been cooking only fresh local produce from our local farmer. They have been really kind to us, they were growing Red Edible Amaranth, Okra and tender green beans along with so many other varieties of fresh veggies. I am usually not big on potatoes but there is no match for fresh potatoes. So I end up buying potatoes from our farmer quite often. This recipe was first made at the quicknhealthy kitchen as a quick-fix light dinner. It was made with leftover cooked potatoes and cooked quinoa. It can be served as a snack, or as a light meal, optionally have a serving of veggies, a cup of soup, or a small salad on the side to make it a full meal. 



Ingredients:
  • Quinoa - 1/2 cup (soaked for overnight)
  • Potato - 2 (medium)
  • Ginger - 1 Tbs (minced)
  • Garlic - 1 Tbs (minced)
  • Green chilly - 2-3 (minced)
  • Garam masala - 1 tsp **
  • Amchur - 1 tsp ***
  • Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Sea salt - as per taste
  • Virgin coconut oil - for the pan
Directions:
  • Cook drained quinoa with 1 cup of water and let it cool completely.
  • Cook potato and cool completely, mash with a fork. 
  • Add quinoa and mashed potato into a bowl. Add the spices and salt and mix well with.
  • Divide the dough into 18-20 equal parts. Make each part into small round and oval patties. 
  • Drizzle coconut oil on a pan over medium heat. Place the patties on the pans without overcrowding.
  • Cook till golden brown on one side. Flip carefully and repeat on the other side. 
  • Transfer to a plate lined with a kitchen towel or paper towel.
  • Serve as is for a filling snack or serve with a soup or salad for a light meal. 
  • Enjoy!!

Notes:
  • ** For garam masala, I used my homemade pav bhaji masala, you can substitute with your choice of masala.
  • *** Amchur is dried green mango powder. You  might be able to substitute amchur with a Tablespoon on lemon juice. 

June 17, 2016

Mediterranean Inspired Breakfast Bowl

I have another savory breakfast idea for today. It is inspired from my favorite cuisine, yes you guessed it right, Mediterranean cuisine!! Plenty of beans, vegetables, olive oil.. perfect for a filling and satisfying breakfast. Chickpea can be replaced with any other bean, and for bean hummus, play with your favorite beans. I am substituting tahini with almond butter, again that is just my preference. With a little bit of planning and prep work you can put this bowl together in no time for your busy morning. It is clean, gluten-free, vegan, diary-free and above all quicknhealthy. Serve this for breakfast or for lunch, or for dinner as well :-). 



Ingredients:
  • Chickpeas - 3/4 cup (Soaked over night)
  • Vaal Beans - 1/2 cup (Soaked over night) (Substitute with Fava, Lima or Cannellini beans)
  • Spaghetti squash - 2 cups (cubes) 
  • Garlic - 2-3 cloves
  • EV olive oil - 4 Tbs 
  • Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
  • Sea salt - as per taste
  • Homemade almond butter - 2 Tbs
  • Lemon juice - from half a lemon
  • Lemon wedges - to serve

Directions:
  • Drain and cook the Vaal (or Fava/Lima/Cannellini) beans with 1 cup of water. Let it cool. This can be done ahead of time so that you have cold beans ready to work with. 
  • Drain and cook the chickpeas with 1 cup of water and salt. This can be done ahead of time too.
  • Drizzle olive oil in a pan and roast garlic till golden - transfer to a plate.
  • In the same pan add spaghetti squash cubes and cook covered on medium heat turning them a few times taking care not to burn them.Cook till they can be flaked with a fork Add salt as per taste, remove from flame and set aside.
  • To make your bean hummus - add cooked vaal beans, almond butter, roasted garlic, lemon juice, cumin seeds and enough salt to a blender jar and process till everything is puréed. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and continue till you smooth and creamy. Transfer to a bowl. 
  • To serve, divide the spaghetti squash and chickpeas and into serving bowls. Top with bean hummus, drizzle remaining olive oil and. Serve with lemon wedges. 
  • Serves 3. Enjoy!!
Note: Pressure cooker works best to cook beans to perfection.






June 10, 2016

Curried Sorghum Stuffed Bell Peppers

Sorghum is a new addition to the quick'n'healthy kitchen. Though on the packet it claims to be an ancient grain from India, I have never had it before in my life :). A drought and heat resistant crop very much suitable for sustainable farming just like many other millet varieties. It is nutrient rich and adds a distinct texture and flavor to your dishes. Use them in salads, breakfast porridges, soups, pilafs or stuffed in veggies like in this colorful and flavorful stuffed bell peppers. You can call it bell pepper stuffed with 'curried' sorghum :). I would like to remind my non-Indian readers that curry is not a spice in itself like most of you think, but it is a mixture of spices which varies in mix and proportion based on who is making the 'curry' :). 




Ingredients:
  • Sorghum - 3/4 cup (Soaked overnight) 
  • Multi-color bell peppers - 4 
  • Tomato - 3-4 (pureed) 
  • Red onion - 1 small (chopped fine) 
  • Garlic - 3-4 cloves (minced) 
  • Green chilly - 1-2 (minced) (substitute with red chilly or jalapeño and adjust as per preference) 
  • Coriander powder - 1 tsp  
  • Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
  • Coconut oil - 1 Tbs
  • Arrowroot powder - 1 Tbs
  • Sea salt - 1/2 tsp (adjust according to preference) 

    Directions:
    • Drain the sorghum and cook with 2 1/2 cups of water till cooked well and the water is completely absorbed. If cooking on a regular pot, it will take about 30-40 minutes on medium heat. Cooked best in a pressure cooker till you get about 8-10 whistles.
    • Preheat over to 350 degrees F. 
    • Remove the top from each bell pepper, remove the core and seeds. Cut the bottom slightly just enough so that the pepper can sit on the bottom. Arrange the cleaned cored pepper shells on a baking pan. Chop the remaining pepper slices finely. 
    • Heat coconut oil in a pan on medium heat, add cumin and fry for a few seconds. Add minced garlic and chilly and saute for a few more seconds. 
    • Add chopped onion and sauté for few minutes or till soft. 
    • Add tomato puree and chopped pepper, coriander powder, turmeric powder and cook will tomato puree is reduced to half in about 5-8 minutes. 
    • Add the cooked sorghum, salt and arrowroot powder and cook till water is mostly absorbed.
    • Remove from flame, divide equally and fill the cooked sorghum mixture into the prepared pepper shells. 
    • Bake in 350 degree oven for 30 minutes. 
    • Let it cool for 15-20 minutes before serving.
    • Makes about 4 servings. Enjoy!!