Tag Archives: indian

Tofu Bhurji (Masala Scramble) (V)

I need to preface by saying, I love this recipe! It is so quick, easy and filling and the leftovers lasted me for quite a while. It’s a take on the traditional Indian Paneer or Egg bhurji, which usually involves crumbled paneer cheese or egg and some veggies in a tomatoey spicy gravy. The difference between this and a traditional scrambled egg is that I added a bit more tomatoes so the tofu was really soaking in a spiced almost-gravy.  It was so delicious!

Health Stuff: Now that the Whole Foods Plant Based diet has become so popularized people are always looking for a vegetarian protein source. This is one that doesn’t skimp on flavor. Specifically, it alters the texture of tofu which is the biggest complaint I’ve heard from people who eat meat. Turmeric is totally en-vogue right now too! It’s been used in my family for generations and is so good for you! It’s an antiseptic and has anti-inflammatory properties.

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You will need:

  • 1 block of tofu (I prefer not to use the extra or super firm because I like a softer consistency)
  • 2 large tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1 med onion
  • 1/2 red pepper
  • 1/2 green pepper
  • Cumin seeds
  • Turmeric powder
  • 2-3 green chillies, chopped
  • Grated Ginger
  • Pinch of garam masala powder
  • Cilantro for garnish

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Prep:

  • Using a fork, crumble the tofu. Let it drain in a muslin cloth if you like, but since this recipe is slightly wet, it doesn’t matter if you skip that step.
  • Finely chop all the veggies.
  • Grate the ginger (about 1 tbsp)

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To Prepare:

  1. In a skillet, heat 2-3 tsp of oil. Add cumin seeds.
  2. When cumin seeds sputter, add chopped onions and 1 tbsp grated ginger and green chillies to taste.
  3. When onions become transluscent add the tomatoes. Allow the tomatoes to cook down on high heat until they start to break down and get soft. Add 1 tsp of turmeric.
  4. Add peppers of choice, (I used green and red) and the tofu
  5. Add water if the sauce is too thick.
  6. Salt liberally and simmer for 5 minutes until the tofu absorbs the flavors.
  7. Sprinkle some garam masala over the top
  8. Garnish with cilantro and serve with chapatis, bread or rice!

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Makes 4-6 servings!

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Summer Squash Curry

DSC_0006I know it’s not summer yet, but I got these beautiful zuchinnis and yellow squashes in my farm basket last week. Zuchinni is not something you typically find in India  and is uncommon in Indian cooking. But Indian cooking does feature dishes with water-based vegetables and I thought I’d try it out. I decided to make a squash curry. It turned out great! Curry, for non-indian readers, doesn’t always mean a gravy-based spicy dish. It includes stir fried dishes with spices as well.  Zuchinni is a low-calorie, water-dense vegetable that is high in Vitamin A and C, magnesium, fiber, folate, riboflavin, phosphorus, potassium and Vitamin B6.  More importantly, my dinner guests loved the combination of yellow and green. It was a feast for the eyes! This recipe was super simple, takes only 10-15 minutes from start to finish.

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Quinoa Pulao and Cilantro Mint Raita

My mom’s neighbor, Jaya aunty invited us over for dinner. I love when people from different parts and cooking styles invite us for dinner because there are new sources of inspiration. She made us a feast! Among the delicious south Indian fare was a quinoa pulao, made andhra style, almost like a biryani. The fact that it was made with quinoa made me feel so good about eating it! Quinoa is high in protein and is a healthy carb. It was sautéed with veggies, spices and had soya chunks in it to give additional texture  and protein. The dish was topped with fried onions and cashews.  A cool cucumber, tomato and onion raita on the side is a perfect complement for this warm, spicy pulao.  This recipe is not vegan, but the pulao can be made vegan. A vegan alternative to raita can be a cucumber salad, omitting the yogurt. A big thank you to Jaya aunty for sharing this delicious recipe!

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You will need:

  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup Nutrella (found in most indian stores)
  • 1/4 cup peas, a handfull of carrot sticks, any other veggies as desired (I added cauliflower)
  • 3-4 tsp of ghee (this adds a lot of flavor, but as a vegan option, canola oil is perfectly acceptable!
  • Spices: whole cinnamon stick, bay leaves, coriander powder, cumin powder, garam masala, turmeric, red chilli powder
  • Garnish: Fried onions, coriander, cashwews
  • salt to taste

Directions

  1. screen-shot-2016-12-11-at-11-29-27-amSoak Nutrela for 2-3 hours. Squeeze out water well. Cut in half if desired.
  2. Cook quinoa in rice cooker with 2 cups of water.
  3. Heat 2 tsp of ghee in a skillet, 1 tsp oil. Add a cinnamon stick and a bay leaf.
  4. Once the oil is hot add chopped onions, Saute for a few minutes and add the nutrela chunks.
  5. Add 2 tsp coriander powder, 1 tsp cumin powder, 1/2 tsp garam masala, 1/2 tsp chilli powder and 1 tsp turmeric powder.
  6. Stir and add all the vegetables. Add 1-2 tsp salt and stir fry until cooked.
  7. Mix in the quinoa and a 2 tsp ghee or oil.
  8. Garnish with cilantro, fried onions and cashews. Yum!

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Cilantro- Mint Raita

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You will need:

  • Whole milk yogurt
  • 1 large vine ripened tomato or 2 small tomatoes
  • 1/2 English cucumber, seeded and peeled
  • 1/2 red onion. (some people don’t like how strong the onion  is so use to taste)
  • Cilantro
  • Mint
  • Cumin powder, red chilli powder, garam masala  if desired
  • Salt to taste

To Prepare

  1. Chop  veggies  finely
  2. Add 1 cup of yogurt to a bowl and add in some water
  3. Season the yogurt with 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp of cumin powder, and a pinch of red chilli powder. (You can sprinkle with garam masala if desired)
  4. Add in veggies and stir
  5. If it is too thick, add more  water, if too watery, add yogurt
  6. Garnish with chopped herbs, about a handful of cilantro and a few sprigs of mint
  7. Serve with the spicy quinoa pulao for a cooling effect

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Makes 4-5 servings

Spicy Apple Chutney (Thokku)

dsc_0046It’s thanksgiving week!  I went apple picking a few weeks ago and I felt this apple chutney dish would be a perfect vegetarian side dish for thanksgiving. Plus, it helped me use up the pounds and pounds of apples I picked! I bought both fuji and pink lady apples that were slightly tart. I made this chutney South Indian style, it’s actually called thokku in Tamil. It turned out great! I brought it to my office pot-luck and it was a success! Serve it with bread, on sandwiches or a relish to spice up any meal!

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Roasted Cauliflower and Sweet Potato Curry

I’m back and at it with posting! Sorry for the very long respite. I worked to re-vamp this blog and create a new layout. Let me know what you think! Here’s a recipe I’ve been meaning to post for a few months now. Since thanksgiving, actually! At thanksgiving, we decided against the traditional fare, and opted for an asian-themed thanksgiving. Naturally, coconut milk-based curry was on the menu! This weekend we were slammed with a mountain of snow. This recipe is perfect for cozying up on the couch. This recipe is mild, but has a nice warm kick from the spices and ginger. Enjoy it served piping hot basmati rice with peas and cumin.

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You will Need:

  • Half a small head of cauliflower (I used the bagged Trader Joes cut cauliflower)
  • 1 sweet potato
  • Orange bell pepper
  • Red Bell pepper
  • Yellow Onion
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Curry powder (My favorite is from Trader Joes, and contains cumin, turmeric, coriander, chile pepper, mustard, cardamom, ginger, cloves nutmeg, red pepper, cinnamon, black pepper, saffron)
  • Cilantro
  • 1 can of Coconut milk
  • Cayenne pepper (optional)

To Prepare:

Step 1: Roast the veggies

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  1. Preheat oven to 375. Cut sweet potato and cauliflower into bite sized pieces.
  2. Coat the veggies with some light oil, like grapeseed or olive, and sprinkle some curry powder on it. Season with salt and pepper
  3. Roast for 15-20 minutes until fork tender.

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Step 2:

  1. In a skillet or wok, heat a few tsps of oil.  Add 1/2 medium onion, sliced or 1 small onion, sliced. half a red pepper and half an orange pepper
  2. Grate 1 clove of garlic and about 1/2 inch nub of ginger (1 tsp)
  3. Add 1 tbsp curry powder, stir. You can add additional turmeric if you would like the color to be more yellow.
  4. When veggies are softened, add 1 can coconut milk and 1 can of water.
  5. Mix well, allow to simmer for a few minutes and season well with salt.
  6. Add roasted veggies, mix, simmer for 1 minute and remove from flame.
  7. Garnish with cilantro and Serve with hot rice!

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This recipe yields 4 servings. Prep time is 20 mins, cook time 15 minutes.

 

 

Everyday Indian Aloo Palak

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Today I wanted to do a post about an every day recipe that I make. A lot of my posts are new and creative ideas, but if I were to whip something up last minute and I was really in the mood for something tasty and filling, I would make Indian food. Indian food is my go-to, mainly because that’s what I grew up with. This recipe is really simple, using just spinach, potatoes, tomato and a few spices. There seems to be this crazy fear over potatoes in recent times due to their high starch content. But potatoes do have tons of nutrients and in moderation, aren’t really going to make you gain weight.  The recipe takes maybe 10 minutes to prepare. The flavors remind me of home, simple enough to cook every day and yummy enough to entertain with. Hope you enjoy!

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You will need:

  • 2-3 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped.
  • 1 bag fresh spinach. Chopped. (You will need to chop on a cutting board) Frozen spinach will do, but fresh is better.
  • cumin seeds
  • garlic, finely chopped 1 cloves
  • ginger, grated 1 tsp
  • 2 small indian green chillies
  • turmeric powder
  • 2 roma tomatoes or 1 large tomato, cubed
  • cilantro

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To Prepare:

  1. First, parboil the potatoes in water, with a pinch of turmeric and salt. Parboil means cooking them until right before they are cooked. It’s best to peel and chop the potatoes into bite sized pieces before parboiling them. Drain and set aside.
  2. In a saucepan, heat some oil and add 1 tsp cumin seeds.
  3. When cumin seeds start sputtering. add in 2 chopped green chillies, ginger, garlic and saute for a couple minutes
  4. Add potatoes and tomatoes, and stir well. If you do not have indian green chillies, you can add 1 serrano pepper or a pinch of cayenne powder.
  5. Let the mixture saute for another few minutes before adding fresh spinach and a gentle amount of salt. Turn off flame and stir well. The spinach will wilt into the potatoes.
  6. Garnish with cilantro and serve. DSC_0317

Servings: When I prepared this dish, I prepared it alongside dal and rice. The quantities serve 2-3 hungry people.

Southern Style Green Tomato Dal

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I’ve had Green tomatoes before in the form of “fried green tomatoes” southern style. But I wanted to see if there was another way I could use them, since I’m not so big into southern cooking. When I think of comfort food, I think of a different kind of southern cooking–dal and rice! There’s a dish my mom makes all the time, Nimbu Rassam, which is basically a dal (yellow moong), but with South Indian spices and lemon juice.  Green tomatoes hold their shape much better than regular tomatoes, which go to mush when cooked. This dish uses tomato to give the dal the sour flavor instead of lemon, and it’s nice because you have small chunks of tomato to chew on here and there 🙂 I enjoyed it with a vegetable curry and rice!

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