Tag Archives: mint

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

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Mango Tandoori Tofu Pizza and Cucumber Mint Salad with Citrus-Sesame Dressing

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This  recipe is slightly indulgent and simply divine. The semi-homemade portion of the recipe is the garlic naan, which I purchased from Trader Joe’s, but you are welcome to make your own if you can.  It is topped with lightly fried tofu cubes in a makhani, or butter masala gravy (inspired from vahrehvah.com), chunks of tangy mango fruit, and sliced pepper and red onion, a mild cheese and cilantro.  The salad complements the spice of the pizza with cool cucumber, mint and corn with a citrus-sesame vinaigrette. There are several steps, but it is relatively simple to replicate, and if you are entertaining, it will be both a visual and sensory delight!

Health Stuff:

Stufft is about eating clean and veg, but ‘clean’ is not devoid of indulgence once in a while. There are a few substitutions in this recipe that make it healthier options. For example, I used tofu instead of paneer, and low fat milk instead of heavy cream. I also paired it with a fresh salad and topped the pizza with tons of veggies.

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Part 1: The Tofu Masala

You will need:

  • Extra firm tofu, DSC_7862cubed, dried
  • 1 small yellow onion
  • 1-2 tbsp tomato paste
  • Ketchup
  • 1 large tomato
  • Ginger-garlic paste
  • Coriander powder
  • Cumin powder
  • Red chili powder
  • Garam masala powder
  • Kasoori Methi
, or dried fenugreek leaves
  • Low-fat milk
  • Salt to taste

To Prepare:

1. (optional) Lightly fry the cubed tofu until golden-brown

2. In a saucepan, sauté a small yellow onion, chopped or half a medium onion.

3. Add ginger-garlic paste, 1 tsp coriander powder, 1/2 tsp cumin powder, 1/4 tsp garam masala powder, and 1/2 tsp red chili powder. (adjust spices to taste)

4. Add around 2 tbsp tomato paste, and 2 tbsp tomato ketchup (trust me, it tastes good!).  Add water, salt and a pinch of kasoori methi.

5. Bring the gravy to a boil, add tofu pieces and reduce to simmer for 10-15 minutes.  Remove from flame and add milk, stirring constantly. It will taste exactly like a makhani gravy!

6. Set aside.

Part 2: The Pizza

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Toppings:

  • Tofu butter masala
  • Red, Yellow, Orange peppers sliced into rings
  • Red onion, sliced into rings
  • Frozen mango chunks, cut into smaller pieces
  • Mild cheese (like mozzarella)
  • Cilantro

To Prepare:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°
  2. Toast the garlic naan for 1-2 minutes
  3. Layer the tofu masala (warmed) on the garlic naan
  4. Scatter a few pieces of frozen mango, unthawed
  5. Top with a layer of peppers and onions, and finish with cheese
  6. Bake for 10 minutes until the cheese melts
  7. Finally, turn on the broil setting for the final 1-2 minutes to make the cheese brown and bubbly
  8. Garnish with chopped cilantro or red chili powder

Part 3: The Salad

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  1. Dressing: combine ¼ cup orange juice, 2 tbsp lemon juice and 1 tbsp sesame oil (a little goes a long way), salt and pepper. Mix well.
  2. Salad: peel and cut 1 cucumber finely, add sweet corn and chopped mint into a mixed green salad.

Enjoy!

This recipe makes around 4 pizzas

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