September 12, 2012

Sushi with an Indian twist

My son gives me a wish list of dishes he wants me to cook for him every Christmas vacation. Last time there was something new .. 'Sushi'. Initially I was not sure if I wanted to do it because I don't want to buy any special rice (which I might not use for anything else) or any prepared sauces or pickles that go with sushi. But then I did not want to disappoint my son either. So I decided to give it an Indian twist and make up my own sauces and work with the rice that I am comfortable with. It was a great success with my family and then a few times with guests. I have just played with 4 basic things, Nori, Rice, Fillings and Sauces.

1. Nori - Just get a packet of organic toasted Nori sheets. This comes under my not-so-much-processed standards :-)

2. Rice - I have tried Ponni raw rice and Srilankan red rice. Cook rice 2 cups of water for 1 cup of rice in pressure cooker. I work with batches of around 1/2 a cup, add a few drops of olive oil and pinch of salt and mash slightly with a spoon so that I get my sticky rice for sushi. (This is done only once you are ready to assemble)

3. Fillings - I use cooked fillings like Salmon, Shrimp, Sweet potato etc
                  I also use raw fillings like Cucumber, Bell peppers etc.
     For cooked fillings cut them into 1/2 inch strips and mix salt, chilly powder and turmeric powder and broil for about 10-15 minutes.
    For raw ingredients, just cut them into 1/2 inch strips.

4. Sauces - I generally make 2 sauces.
     Ginger-tamarind sauce: Saute 1 inch of inch minced along with 1 or 2 chopped green chilly in olive oil and add water and walnut size of tamarind and 1 cup of water & salt and give it a nice boil. Once this cools down grind to make ginger-tamarind sauce
    Onion Sauce: Saute 5-6 red pearl onions and 3-4 red chilly in olive oil and add salt and enough water and grind to make the Onion sauce.

Now you are ready to assemble.
Since I still have not found the time to buy bamboo mat for rolling I just use a piece of aluminium foil to aid me in rolling.
Step 1. Spread  the rolling aid (bamboo mat or aluminium foil) on your working space.
Step 2. Spread a Nori sheet with rough side facing up.
Step 3. Spread 1/2 cup of prepared rice leaving about 1/2 inch on your left side and 1 inch or your right side
Step 4. Arrange choice of fillings on the rice leaving about 1/2 inch of rice on the left.
Step 5. Start rolling, pressing tight enough to hold the filling in and soft enough not to break the nori. Wet the empty edges of the Nori and seal the roll.
Step 6. Hold the roll tight and cut them into an inch deep strips
Step 7. Serve with the sauces.

Sushi with Red Sri Lankan Rice, Sweet potato, Salmon with Ginger Tamarind sauce


Easy Bulgur Wheat Breakfast



Bulgur Wheat - 3/4 cup
Water - Just enough to cover the bulgur wheat
Cococnut Milk - 1 cup
Raisins - 1/2 cup
Strawberry  chopped - 1 cup
Banana - 1 (chopped)
Walnut - 1/2 cup (chopped fine)
Salt - a pinch
Cinnamon - 1/2 tspn

Soak bulgur wheat in water overnight.

When ready to eat in the morning, warm the milk and add soaked bulgur wheat and salt and let it warm up.
Add remaining ingredients and mix well and serve.

Note 1: this makes good enough for 3 people.
Note 2: I make coconut milk using VitaMix from fresh coconut using 1/2 cup coconut and about a cup of water. Or just use regular milk.
Note 3: Be creative, try other combinations of cereal, nuts and fruits.

September 4, 2012

Quick'n'Easy Squash Soup

I have always made hot soup splash all over my kitchen because I never have the patience to wait till the soup cools down before pureeing it. All this until I got my VitaMix which will work like a charm for anything from boiling hot soups to frozen desserts. My kitchen is cleaner, my trash weighs less and we are all eating more wholesome thanks to VitaMix. This soup is an adaptation of a VitaMix recipe.

Acorn squash skinned and cubed - 1 cup
Onion - 1/2 medium
Red/Yellow pepper - 1 medium
Bay leaf - 1
Water - 2 cups
Green squash/Zucchini/Summer Squash - 1/2 medium
Coconut oil - 1 Tbsn
Low fat milk or coconut milk - 1/2 cup
Black pepper - 1tspn
Salt - as per taste
Juice from 1/2 lemon

Add acorn squash, onion, pepper and bay leaf along with salt and water to a deep saucepan or pressure cooker and give a quick boil.
Remove the bay leaf and add the boiled mixture along with other ingredients in the order listed into the VitaMix and start with speed 1 and low. Go to 10 and high. Blend till soup seems silky smooth for about 2-3 minutes. Serve immediately. Enjoy!!