Sunday, July 12, 2015

Pongal

Pongal is a fluffy savory rice and lentil dish that is commonly eaten for breakfast alongside vada, sambar, and chutney -- but it can be eaten at any meal. Mahesh loves it and it is very easy to make, today I got the recipe from Amma.

PONGAL


Ingredients:

-- 100 ml (between 1/3 and 1/2 cup) Green Gram Dal
-- 1 3/4 cups rice, uncooked
-- 1 heaping Tablespoon Ghee (or oil)
-- 1 1/2 t. whole black peppercorns (can break up for a more spicy taste)
-- 1 1/2 t. whole cumin seed
-- 6 curry leaves, roughly chopped
-- 2 T. peeled and minced ginger
-- 1/4. cup cashews
-- 1 t. salt

Instructions:

1. In a hot dry pan, toast dry dal over medium/high heat until it is very hot to the touch, about 2 minutes.

2. Turn off heat, add dry rice to the pan, and using residual heat in pan, toast rice for another 2-3 minutes.

3. Add ghee, peppercorns, and cumin to a small saucepan or tawa, cook over medium heat for 2 minutes, then add in curry leaves, ginger, and cashews and fry for another 2-3 minutes or until brown and toasty.

4. Pour rice and dal into a large pan that will go into the pressure cooker. Add 6 cups of water, salt, and contents of small saucepan. Cover and cook for 3 whistles or until rice and dal are cooked throughly.

Enjoy with sambar and/or chutney!!

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Potato Curry - With Skin

Potato curry is the most popular vegetarian Indian curry (at least in this house). My mother-in-law makes two versions, this is her "skin on" variety. And, because I am so awesome, I even took some photos so you all can see what this one looks like!!

SKIN - ON POTATO CURRY

Ingredients:

-- 6 medium red potatoes, scrubbed, cut into 1/4 inch matchsticks (pictured below), and rinsed to remove extra starch.



-- 2 T. oil 
-- 1/4 - 1/2 t. whole mustard seed
-- 1 1/2 - 2 T. urad dal
-- 3 dashes asofetida
-- 1 1/2 T - 2 T. dried curry leaves (these are not powdered - if it is powdered use much less)
-- 1 t. salt
-- 1/2 t. spicy chili powder

Instructions:

1. Add approx. 2. T. oil to a hot pan, heat up over medium heat. Add in mustard seeds and cook until they pop.


2. Add in urad dal, and cook until a little brown. Add in the rest of the spices, and mix around and cook a bit.

3. Add the potatoes into the pan, and stir so they are coated with the spices and oil.

4. Mix and fry with cover off for a couple minutes, then cover and steam for approx. 10 minutes, until cooked through. Then take the cover off and fry for approx. 10 minutes more over med-low heat, until fried up a little.


Enjoy!

You can eat this with rice and sambar, rice and rasam, or rice and Vetta Kozambo and raita, etc. 




Friday, June 19, 2015

Cracked Wheat Uppama with vegetables

Upama is sort of like "fried rice" in Southern India. It is commonly made with cracked wheat, rice, and puffed rice, although you can make it with quinoa or any small grain. Here is my mother-in-law's version, made with cracked wheat or broken wheat (I think this is what we call bulgur wheat) and loads of vegetables:

Cracked Wheat Upma with vegetables

Ingredients:

1 cup broken wheat -- cracked wheat
3 Tablespoons oil
1/2 tsp. whole mustard seed
1 dash asofetida powder (optional)
1 onion, finely cut
1 green chili (spicy small one), minced
1 1/2 teaspoon of minced ginger
3/4 tsp. salt.
1 big 2 small tomato, finely cut
1 large handful cabbage, chopped small (about 2 cups)
1/2 green bell pepper, chopped small
1 carrot, chopped small

Instructions:

1. Dry fry the broken wheat in a dry pan until it is hot to the touch -- the idea is to take away all the moisture so it is not sticky. Set aside.

2. Put 3 Tablespoons oil in the pan, heat up. Add 1/2 teaspoon whole mustard seed. Heat until it pops, if you want add one dash of asofetida powder.

3. Add in the onion, cook until transluscent, then add in the tomatoes, green chili, salt, and ginger, cook for a while, then add the rest of the vegetables and saute until cooked -- you are looking to cook them through, not brown them too much. NOTE: you can substitute the cabbage, bell pepper, and carrot in this recipe for 3 cups of pretty much any other vegetables you like, chopped small

4. Add your 1 cup of bulgur wheat and 2 1/2 cups of water to the vegetable mixture, boil until about half the water is evaporated, then put the contents of the pan in a pressure cooker (or in a metal container that goes in a pressure cooker) and cook for 3 whistles. Then it will be done! NOTE: If you don't have a pressure cooker, you can boil it until the wheat is cooked through.

Serve with coconut chutney -- Amma adds coriander and mint leaves into her coconut chutney to serve with this.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Vegetarian Muffuletta Sandwich

I've never had a real muffuletta sandwich, but I've drooled over many a photo of the meat-laden Italian classic online. For a long time I've wanted to try making a vegetarian version for us at home but hesitated because M doesn't really like vinegary things that much. Last night M was out and it was a sandwich kind of night for dinner, so I tried making my version of this recipe for Kiran and I. It turned out delicious! M tried it and loved it when he came home. I think it would make an excellent quick easy sandwich dinner for a picnic, or anytime really.

Ingredients (for the tapenade):
  • 1/2 cup pitted black olives
  • 1/2 cup pitted green olives
  • 1.5 Tbsp capers
  • 1.5 Tbsp canola oil (or olive oil, for best flavor)
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic
  • fresh thyme leaves from about 3 sprigs, or 1/2 tsp dried
  • salt and pepper
Process all ingredients except salt and pepper in a food processor until uniform but still coarse.  Add salt and pepper to taste.
Ingredients (for 4 sandwiches):
  • One loaf ciabatta bread, cut into 4 squares and sliced open like rolls
  • 4 small roasted red bell peppers, jarred or home-roasted
  • 4 to 6 marinated artichokes, quartered (I used jarred marinated, already quartered)
  • 4 ounces fresh mozzarella, sliced
  • 4 slices tomato
  • 8 fresh basil leaves, torn
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • olive oil for drizzling
Preheat oven or grill if you want to serve the sandwiches warm.  In a bowl, combine basil, vinegar, garlic, roasted peppers, and artichokes; let sit for 5 minutes.  After optionally warming bread, spread some of the tapenade on one side of each of the ciabatta rolls, then top with tomato, roasted pepper and artichoke mixture, and mozzarella.  Drizzle with extra vinegar from bowl and olive oil.  Easy!
- See more at: http://www.nomeatathlete.com/meatless-muffaletta-sandwiches/#sthash.T5C50aj2.dpuf

Vegetarian Muffaletta recipe

serves 2-3 very hungry people

Tapenade:

-- 1/2 cup pitted black olives (I used kalamata)
-- 1/2 cup pitted green olives
-- 1 1/2 Tbsp. capers
-- 1 1/2 Tbsp. oil
-- fresh thyme leaves from about 3 sprigs, or 1/2 tsp. dried
-- 1 clove garlic (optional, I left this out but might try next time)
-- 1 Tbsp lemon juice (I left this out but might try adding in next time)

Sandwich:

 -- 1 loaf ciabatta bread, or 1/2 large round italian loaf, sliced in half (I hollowed some of the bread out of the middle of the loaf to leave more room for fillings)
-- 2 large roasted red bell peppers, roughly chopped
-- 1/2 to 3/4 cup marinated artichokes, roughly chopped
-- 100 ounces (1/4 pound) fresh mozzarella, or provolone cheese, sliced. (I used provolone, and a bit more than this I think)
-- 2 large tomatoes, sliced
-- 1 bunch fresh basil
-- 3-4 pepperoncini, chopped (optional, I liked this but Mahesh preferred his sandwich without)


1. Turn on oven to 350 degrees. Wrap bread in foil and put in oven to heat up a bit while you make the tapenade.

2. While the bread is warming, make tapenade by processing all ingredients in a food processor until uniform but still coarse. Add salt and pepper to taste (although I didn't feel like I needed any)

3. Take bread out of oven. Spread tapenade on each side of the bread, as thick as you like. Top with tomato, basil leaves, red bell peppers, artichokes, cheese, and pepperocinni, if using.

4. Close sandwich. You can serve it right away, or wrap tightly in plastic wrap and leave in fridge for a while for the flavors to mingle and some of the juices to soak into the bread.

5. Slice up into edible portions, and enjoy!
Ingredients (for the tapenade):
  • 1/2 cup pitted black olives
  • 1/2 cup pitted green olives
  • 1.5 Tbsp capers
  • 1.5 Tbsp canola oil (or olive oil, for best flavor)
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic
  • fresh thyme leaves from about 3 sprigs, or 1/2 tsp dried
  • salt and pepper
Process all ingredients except salt and pepper in a food processor until uniform but still coarse.  Add salt and pepper to taste.
Ingredients (for 4 sandwiches):
  • One loaf ciabatta bread, cut into 4 squares and sliced open like rolls
  • 4 small roasted red bell peppers, jarred or home-roasted
  • 4 to 6 marinated artichokes, quartered (I used jarred marinated, already quartered)
  • 4 ounces fresh mozzarella, sliced
  • 4 slices tomato
  • 8 fresh basil leaves, torn
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • olive oil for drizzling
Preheat oven or grill if you want to serve the sandwiches warm.  In a bowl, combine basil, vinegar, garlic, roasted peppers, and artichokes; let sit for 5 minutes.  After optionally warming bread, spread some of the tapenade on one side of each of the ciabatta rolls, then top with tomato, roasted pepper and artichoke mixture, and mozzarella.  Drizzle with extra vinegar from bowl and olive oil.  Easy!
- See more at: http://www.nomeatathlete.com/meatless-muffaletta-sandwiches/#sthash.T5C50aj2.d

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Roasted Tofu & Peanut Noodle Salad -- jarred

I really like the other peanut noodle salad we make, but I wanted to try something different this week so I adapted this recipe into our mason jar salads. It is a good salad, I like the veggie mix better than the other asian noodle peanut salad I make, but even after extra salt, a big pinch of added sugar, and spicy sauce, I found the sauce somewhat bland. Maybe I could try adding some cilantro or mint in there next time.

Makes: 6 large mason jars or 4-cup ziploc round containers full of salad.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1/4 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 14- to 16-ounce package extra-firm water-packed tofu, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 7 1/2 ounces soba noodles
  • 1/2 cup smooth natural peanut butter
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger 
  • 8 cups thinly sliced napa cabbage 
  • 2 med or 1 large carrot, julienned small
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, thinly sliced 
  • 1 medium yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups thinly sliced trimmed snow peas 

Preparation

  1. Position rack in lower third of oven; preheat to 450°F. Coat a large baking sheet with cooking spray. Put a large pot of water on to boil for soba noodles.
  2. Combine lime juice, soy sauce and oil in a large bowl. Stir in tofu; marinate, stirring frequently, for 10 minutes.
  3. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the tofu to the prepared baking sheet; reserve the marinade. Roast the tofu, stirring once halfway through, until golden brown, 16 to 18 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, cook soba noodles according to package directions. Drain.
  5. Whisk peanut butter, 3 tablespoons water, garlic and ginger into the reserved marinade. 
  6. Layer the Jars in the following order:
    1. Sauce on the bottom
    2. soba noodles
    3. tofu
    4. carrots
    5. red and yellow bell pepper
    6. snow peas
    7. cabbage to fill up the jar.
  7. When the time comes to eat, mix up the salad and enjoy!

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Mason Jar Vegetarian Nicoise Salad

I am pleased to report that Salad Sundays are still alive and well in this house! This week I wanted to try one of our favorites -- veggie Nicoise salad -- in the large round Ziploc containers I have come to know and love at lunchtime.

This one is fairly time consuming, this recipe is a combo of what I did and what I want to try next time to speed things up.

 Nicoise Salad Recipe

adapted from Simply Recipes
  • Yield:6 large Mason Jar salads, or large round ziploc container salads
 
Ingredients

Vinaigrette:
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium shallot, minced
  • 1 Tbsp minced fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 Tbsp minced fresh basil leaves
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh oregano leaves
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon salt and freshly ground black pepper

Salad
  • 2 cans white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 10 small new red potatoes (each about 2 inches in diameter, about 1 1/2 pounds total), each potato scrubbed and quartered
  • 12 ounces green beans, stem ends trimmed and each bean halved crosswise6 hard boiled eggs, peeled and quartered 
  •  2 Tbsp capers, rinsed and/or several anchovies (optional)
  • 1 cup ni├žoise olives, pitted
  • 1 ½ cups grape tomatoes, cut into halves
  • 1 ½ cups baby cucumbers, chopped
  • 1 small red onion, sliced very thin (about 1/2 cup)
  • ½ lb baby arugula, washed

Method

1. Boil large pot of water. Add in eggs, potatoes and green beans, bring back to boil, and boil for 10 minutes. Drain everything. (I am not sure if this timing will work, but I want to try it for next time -- eggs might need a little more, green beans a little less.)

2. Meanwhile, in a hand blender container, blend together the lemon juice, oil, mustard, and salt and pepper until emulsified. Add in the thyme, basil, oregano, and blend in spurts until herbs are minced. Mince shallots by hand and mix in with a spoon.

3. Layer the ingredients in the salad as follows: 

-- white beans
-- potatoes
-- dressing poured on top of these two items (approx. 4 T. dressing per container)
-- green beans
-- olives
-- capers
-- red onion
-- tomatoes
-- cucumbers
-- eggs
-- top up each jar with arugula

4. Close tightly, salad will keep in the refrigerator 5 days easily. When ready to eat, open and dump into a large bowl, mix everything up.



Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Soba Noodle Mason Jar Salads



Many people have these asian noodle salads with peanut dressing, this is the best though.

Yield: 6 large round ziplock containers
Prep Time: 1 hour

Ingredients:

For the Salad:

  • 8 ounces soba noodles
  • 2 red bell peppers, thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 cup shelled edamame (soy beans), cooked
  • 3 large carrots, peeled and shredded
  • 6 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 3/4 cup crunchy rice noodles
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoon black sesame seeds
  • 8 ounces spring mix lettuce blend

For the Peanut Dressing:

  • 1/2 cup peanut butter, smooth
  • 1 lime, juice and zest of
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 3 tbsp sweet chili sauce
  • 4 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 4 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp sambal chili paste, or more to taste (I usually use like 1 tbsp but I like things VERY spicy)
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro, roughly chopped

    Directions:

    1. In large pot of boiling water, cook edamame according to package directions. When done, scoop out with a slotted spoon into a bowl, and use the same water to cook soba noodles according to package instructions. Rinse noodles under cold water and drain.
    2. Meanwhile, make Peanut Dressing: Using a small blender or hand blender, blend together all dressing ingredients except cilantro. Add in cilantro and blend until it's chopped in there but not completely disintegrated.
    3. Divide Peanut Dressing equally among 6 quart size mason jars or large round ziploc containers (this recipe made 4 T. dressing per jar, which may be too much -- will see when I eat them). 
    4. Divide soba noodles over dressing. Layer remaining ingredients, ending with spring mix. Top with lids and refrigerate up to 5 days. To serve, pour onto plate or bowl, stir and enjoy.