February 28, 2009

Moroccan Chickpea Stew

I didn't know any other way of using up chickpeas other than making Channa Masala & other versions of the same, until I found this recipe that I have for you today.

Yes, its Moroccan Chickpea Stew this time, from my kitchen. I had really never ventured into Moroccan cuisine. After doing a little research on what Moroccan cuisine is all about, Iam more than happy to include it in my ever- growing palette for, I found a lot of vegetarian recipes out there.

Moroccan cuisine is diverse & exotic, thanks to the long history of invasions which has contributed to the diversity of food traditions. It carries distinct tastes from the north, south but, most significantly from the East ..


This particular stew is not only enriched with proteins, but also had the goodness of various veggies & is rather filling & soothing on your stomach. It is rather easy to put this together, if you have all the veggies at hand.

This is how I made it:

You Will Need:
  • 1 cup chickpeas - soaked overnight or for 5-6 hours ( you could use canned as well )
  • 1 onion - finely chopped
  • 3 tomatoes - chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper - finely diced
  • 1 zucchini - finely diced
  • 1 carrot - finrly diced
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tbsp Harissa Paste
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt as per taste

Method:

  • Pressure cook chickpeas until cooked
  • Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pan, add ginger, turmeric, & saute for 20 secs
  • Add onions & saute till they turn transparent. Add chopped tomatoes & saute for another couple of minutes
  • Add diced carrots & cook for a couple of minutes adding 1/2 cup water
  • Add bell pepper & zucchini & add another cup of water, cover with a lid & cook on medium flame until the vegetables are cooked but are crunchy as well
  • Add cooked chickpeas & stir in 2 tbsp Harissa paste & cook on low flame for 5 minutes. Add salt as per taste.
  • Sprinkle dried thyme & serve HOT with any bread of your choice

Can be enjoyed as a soup or can be served with steamed HOT rice.

Enjoi !!!

For Harissa Paste:

You Will Need:

  • 3 red chillies
  • 2 cloved of garlic - minced
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt

How To:

  • Soak 3 red chillies for about 2 hours in water
  • Blend together, soaked red chillies, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, 2 cloves of garlic & salt with 1 tbsp oilve oil in a food processor into a smooth paste.

NOTE: You can make large quantities of this paste & freeze it in an air-tight container.

We had ours with some garlic bread & immensly enjoyed it. I was taken by surprise, watching my 'picky-eater' husband relish this. And, he didn't seem to mind taking more than 2 helpings :) So, this has got to be really really tasty. So, I am gonna make this again.

What I really liked about this stew is that these spices so common in our Indian kitchen are put together so beautifully that it perfectly fits into the comfort food category. This one is sure to lift your spirits on a dull day.

Enjoy your bowl today !!!

February 24, 2009

Rasayana - Banana & Almonds with Jaggery

We all love fruit salads don't we? Ever since I remember, I have always loved fruits. As a kid, I gorged on them like there is no tommorow.

Today I have for you a super easy fruit salad, made with banana chunks, coconut & jaggery. This is more of a traditional salad made during the olden days mainly as an offering to God, I made this today for Maha Shivratri ...


You Will Need:
  • 3 Bananas ( any variety ) - cut into round chunks
  • 2 tbsp grated jaggery
  • 2 tbsp grated coconut
  • 2 tbsp almonds - chopped

Method:

  • Mix in banana chunks, grated jaggery, grated coconut in a large bowl
  • Garnish with chopped almonds
  • Chill for 30 minutes before serving

Enjoi !!!

If you want to cut down on custard & sugar in fruit salads, then this is for you ..

This one does taste different from the regular fruit salads. The slight sweetness from jaggery & creamy coconut coats well with banana & chopped almonds add a nice cruch. I sometimes have this as an evening snack too ..

NOTE:

  • Serve as a dessert topped with vanilla ice cream.
  • Though, traditional Rasayana calls for bananas, you could add other fruits like apple, pineapple, orange, grapes etc. to this

February 18, 2009

Not Your Usual - Methi Gajjar

When it comes to cuisines from the North of India, everyone is more than familiar with Paneer Butter Masala, Bhindi Masala, Baingan ka Bharta & a few others . . Is North Indian cuisine just limited to just these?? Hell NO !! There are so many dishes out there that are yet to be explored. These lesser known curries are just as tasty & quite simple to make. And ofcourse, it lends a homely touch too.


One such lesser known Haryanvi curry is Methi Gajjar. I had quite a few carrots at hand, & not knowing what to do with these, I googled for a simple healthy dish & I found this. I was more than delighted because, I am not that innovative when it comes to carrots, I only know how to make a salad or a Halwa with them or add them along with other veggies to make a healthy dish.

For those of you, who like carrots, this curry is simple & does bring in welcome change into our menu. Adding fresh fenugreek leaves gives it a leafy green angle as well ..

You Will Need:
  • 3 large sized carrots - cut into thin strips
  • 1 cup fresh Methi/Fenugreek leaves - finely chopped
  • A handful of green peas - fresh/frozen (optional)
  • 1 onion - chopped finely
  • 1 tomato - chopped
  • 2 green chillies - slit lengthwise
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp kasuri methi/dry fenugreek leaves (optional)
  • 2 tsp oil
  • Salt as per taste

Method:

  • Par boil chopped carrots in the microwave or on stove-top
  • Meanwhile, heat oil in a heavy bottomed pan & add cumin seeds, once the seeds pop & splutter, add grated ginger, green chillies & saute for a few seconds
  • Add chopped onions & saute till they turn pink,
  • Add chopped tomatoes, red chilli powder & saute till oil separates & tomatoes become pulpy.
  • Add fresh fenugreek leaves & green peas & saute for a minute.
  • Add parboiled carrots & cook on low flame until completely cooked
  • Add Kasuri methi/dry fenugreek leaves
  • Adjust salt according to taste & mix well

Serve HOT with Rotis .. Enjoi !!!

We really did enjoy this for lunch with some warm rotis & yogurt. The otherwise sweet carrots blend well with the slighlty bitter taste of fenugreek leaves & red chilli powder gives it the much needed heat.

Give your regular curries a break & try this one !!!

This goes to RCI:Haryana ..

February 10, 2009

Tava Pulao - Mumbai Special !!

I Love Mumbai . . and I don't say this because I spent all my growing-up years in Mumbai, But I say it from the experience of having lived in different parts of India & different corners of the world.

Mumbai is not just a City . . Its a way of life. From people to places; Bhel Puri to Bollywood - there is that Special Tadka in anything & everything about Mumbai. You need to be a part of this amazing city to feel what it feels like to be a part of Mumbai. Its almost been a decade since I relocated from Mumbai, But even now, I can almost feel Mumbai in my pulse. Such is the spirit of Mumbai, It will have you hooked for life.

A visit to Mumbai can never be complete without having eaten Chaats. OMG !! How much I miss them. The roadside Bhelpuri wallah, My favorite Pav Bhaji stall at Juhu Beach, My favorite chaat corner in Andheri . . I remember each & every eatery in those nooks & corners even now. I can go on & on & on . .


One such dish from Mumbai that I still cherish & recreate at home is Tava Pulao. Now, What's soo special about Tava Pulao Right?? Hang on . . This is made with Pav Bhaji Masala. . Yes, can you believe it?? And, the taste I tell you, is just out of this world.

Now, if you want to taste authentic Mumbai Tava Pulao, you got to try them at stalls in the beaches & not at some fancy restaurant. These chaat wallas are soo good with fusion cooking, I tell you . .

Here's my attempt to recreate the magic at home.

You Will Need:

  • 1 cup long grained Basmati Rice
  • 1 onion - cut into thin strips
  • 1 tomato - chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper - cubed
  • 1 potato - cut into thin stris
  • 1 carrot - cut into round discs/long strips
  • 1 cup cauliflower florets
  • A handful of green peas - fresh/frozen
  • 1 tsp whole Garam Masala
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • 1 tsp ginger-garlic paste
  • 2 tsp Pav Bhaji Masala - Any Brand
  • 1 tsp Garam Masala
  • 1 tsp Kitchen King Masala - (Optional)
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • A handful of finely chopped cilantro - For garnish
  • 2 tbsp Desi ghee
  • Salt as per taste

Method:

  • Clean rice in several changes of water & drain & keep aside for 15 minutes
  • Heat a tsp of desi ghee in a heavy bottom vessel & fry rice until fragrant & keep aside
  • Cook rice in a pot or pressure cooker such that each grain is separate. Keep aside to cool
  • Heat ghee in a griddle or a heavy bottomed pan, add cumin seeds & bay leaves
  • Once they pop & splutter, add whole garam masala & ginger garlic paste & saute for a minute
  • Add chopped onions, & saute till they turn pink.
  • Add chopped tomatoes & Pav Bhaji Masala, cook till oil separates
  • Add chopped carrots, potatoes & cauliflower & cook with very little water until half done.
  • Add chopped bell peppers & green peas & cook on medium heat till done.
  • Add cooked rice,lemon juice, salt, garam masala & kitchen king masala & fluff with fork, on low heat.
  • Garnish with chopped cilantro & serve with raita

Enjoi !!!


February 5, 2009

Lemon Flavored Fettuccine with Broccoli

I do love cooking elaborate meals. But, there are days when I don't even feel like lifting my little finger. All I would love to do is to snuggle under my blanket & settle down with a good book or just randomly blog hop for recipes. Fixing a meal on such days is such a pain. I am sure all of you must have gone through this phase. Sometimes I just end up eating a little bit of this - n - that, & when hunger strikes again with its full force, I do realise that those junkies weren't exactly a good idea.

Last week was one such day when I was at my laziest best. Having skipped breakfast, I was too hungry to have eaten those bits n bobs. I had some leftover broccoli florets lying in the refrigirator for nearly a week. With some sundried tomatoes & fettuccine pasta, I whipped up this quick meal.

Here's how I made it,

You Will Need:

  • Fettuccine Pasta - 300 gms
  • 1 cup Broccoli florets
  • 2 tbsp sun dried tomatoes
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp - black pepper powder - coarsely ground
  • A pinch of turmeric
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt as per taste
  • 1 tsp Lemon zest for garnish (optional)

Method:

  • Cook Pasta in a huge pot of heavily salted water as per package instructions for about 8 minutes or until cooked. Do Not overcook the pasta. Drain & keep aside
  • I added a pinch of turmeric to the boiling water for that bright yellow color. I know it sounds crazy to add turmeric in an Italian dish, but well, it did look bright
  • Heat olive oil in a heavy bottomed pan & saute broccoli until tender. The florets must retain their cruch.
  • Add sundried tomatoes & pasta. Add in lemon juice & black pepper powder & toss well to combine. Adjust salt as per taste
  • Garnish with lemon zest & Serve HOT.

Can be served as Pasta Salad too at room temprature.

Enjoi !!

I made these on a whim & it turned out to be great. This time around, I experimented with lemons & I wasn't disappointed. The lemon juice & zest are the highlights add a nice flavor to the dish. The lemony flavor blends well with black pepper & give broccoli a nice spicy & lemony crunch. Sun dried tomatoes add a bit of flavor from their side & binds well with fettucine. Together, it made a great dish.

This did put a satisfying end to my hunger, without much effort. I will be making this again, probably on another lazy day.


NOTE: Since Iam not a big fan of cheese, I didn't add them. You could top it with grated cheese for that creamy texture. But, It tastes great without cheese

This goes to Vaishali's , Its a Vegan World: Italian !!