Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Guvar Bataka nu Shaak

A simple stir fry from my mother-in-law's kitchen.

Guvar - Bataka nu shaak
Cluster beans with potatoes
2 cups cluster beans, torn into 2" pieces
1 medium potato, peeled & chopped
salt to taste
1 tsp dhana-jiru/coriander-cumin powder
1 tsp grated jaggery

1 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp ajmo/owa/ajwain
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp asafoetida
2 tsp ginger-green chili paste

Suggested Accompaniment
Thepla or Rotla or Rotli

1. Steam cluster beans and potatoes in a pressure cooker. Add water as needed. Set aside to cool down.
2. Heat oil in a pan. Add all the tempering ingredients.
3. As they sizzle, add cooked & cooled beans and potatoes, and remaining ingredients. Add cooking water as well.
4. Simmer till all the water is evaporated.
5. Serve with rotli or thepla.

Note -
1. Traditionally, very tender, small cluster beans are chosen carefully for recipe. They are kept whole by just removing both ends. We do not get tender cluster beans here. So I tear them into 2" pieces.
2. Instead of potatoes, vadis can be added. If you want to add the vadies, steam just cluster beans. Saute vadis in the kadai.
3. If you like, you can garnish with a spoonful of scraped, fresh coconut.

Sunday, January 29, 2012


This recipe falls under Indian fasting food category. What we call "vari" or "bhagar" in Marathi, the same is known as "samo" or "morayyo" in Gujarati. It also goes by the name "Vrat ka chawal" in Hindi. My mom makes delicious varichi khichdi or varicha bhaat and my mom-in-law makes this delicious morayyo on the fasting days.

1 cup samo/vari/nhagar/morayyo/vrat ka chawal, rinsed
2 cups buttermilk, thin consistency
1 medium potato,  raw, peeled & grated
1/4 cup daaNyache koot/unsalted, roasted peanuts powder (optional)
rock salt/sindhav/saindhav to taste
1 tsp green chili-ginger paste/vatela aadu marcha

1 tbsp chokhu ghee/sajook toop/clarified butter

1. Boil buttermilk in a saucepan.
2. Add chili ginger paste, rock salt.
3. As it starts boiling, switch the gas to low.
4. Add all the remaining ingredients except ghee. Stir gently.
5. Cover and cook on a low flame for 20-25 minutes or till it is cooked.
6. Once cooked, drizzle clarified butter.
7. Serve hot.

Note -
1. The original recipe does not require peanut powder.
2. Gujaratis use a special salt called rock salt or sindhav for the fasting food. Common salt is not used for "vrat ka khaana".
3. Use more buttermilk if you prefer porridge like consistency.

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Friday, January 27, 2012

Bread Pakoda

When you say "Bread Pakoda", you don't really think of it as a "light" food. I have tried to modify the original recipe by using Pam cooking spray instead of deep frying it.

I first had bread pakoda at SEEPZ canteen. They served it with their delicious chutney. I made it myself after my marriage and was shocked to see how much oil was gulped down by that bread while frying. So I never made it ever again. But then just the other day, I thought of shallow frying it.

Bread Pakoda

For Stuffing
2 medium potatoes, boiled, peeled, mashed
1/4 cup green peas, boiled (optional)
1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
1 tbsp chopped cilantro
1 green chili, minced (optional)
1 tsp lemon juice

4 sandwich thins

For batter
1/2 cup besan/chickpea flour
salt to taste
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp asafoetida
1/4 tsp paprika
A pinch of baking soda
water as needed to make batter

Pam Cooking Spray

1. Mix mashed potatoes with remaining ingredients to make stuffing. Set aside.
2. Make a thick batter with besan and remaining ingredients. Set aside.
3. Heat tawa/pan.
4. Open each sandwich thin. Stuff potato mixture. Close and dip in the batter so it is fully covered with besan.
5. Using cooking spray, shallow fry all the thins.
6. Preheat oven to 350 F
7. Transfer cooked pakodas onto a baking tray. Bake for about 10 minutes flipping once.
8. Enjoy with tomato ketchup.

1. You could have used leftover potato bhaaji or fry ginger-garlic paste and then add mashed potatoes.
2. I baked it after shallow frying so the besan batter is fully cooked. Since I am not deep frying it, this step is necessary.

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Monday, January 23, 2012

Vegetable Curry with Pesto

I have blogged about several green curries already. One common ingredient in all these green curries is coconut. I was thinking about ways to reduce coconut and use some omega 3s. I suddenly thought about the pesto that I had frozen.

Vegetable Curry with Pesto
1/2 cauliflower, cut into florets
A handful of crowder peas (frozen)
A handful of yellow corn (frozen)
1/2 packet stew vegetables (frozen - potatoes, celery, carrots and pearl onions)
1/2 packet leafy greens (frozen - collard greens, kale, mustard greens)
6-7 grape tomatoes, halved
6-7 red radishes, quartered

1/2 cup Arugula Pesto

1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp dhansaak masala or garam masala

1. In a deep saucepan, add all the vegetables with turmeric powder and 1/2 cup water.
2. Cover and let it cook - without letting it too mushy. Add water if needed
3. Once the veggies are cooked, add paprika, dhansak or garam masala and pre-made pesto.
4. Add water to obtain the desired consistency. Add salt. Bring to boil.
5. Simmer for 5-7 minutes.
6. Serve over a warm mound of rice.

Note -
1. You can use any veggies of your choice. I tend to go overboard and add tons of veggies.
2. In this experiment, I didn't add any oil.

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Arugula Pesto

The only goal of this pesto was to finish off that arugula without getting wilted in the fridge. But once the pesto was ready, I used it not only for the ubiquitous pasta but also for making vegetable curry and daal!!:-D

Arugula Pesto
4 cups arugula leaves
1 cup walnut halves
4-5 garlic cloves
salt to taste
black pepper
1 lemon, freshly squeezed

1. Roast walnut halves on medium heat. Let it cool down.
2. Grind with the remaining ingredients.
3. Refrigerate till ready to use.

Note -
1. I pour this pesto in small containers and freeze till ready to use.
2. Traditionally, the authentic pesto recipe asks for a good amount of olive oil. I didn't use it.

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Saturday, January 21, 2012

Rainbow Sandwiches

This is just a variation of my veggie wraps. I use flaxseeds bead from Whole Foods or Ezkiel bread from Food for life for making these sandwiches. I toast the bread lightly before stuffing them. These sandwiches make a good lunch item.

Rainbow Sandwiches
4 slices of Flaxseed bread or Ezkiel bread, toasted lightly
curry hummus (homemade or store bought)

veggies to stuff
cucumber, thinly sliced
red, yellow, orange bell peppers, cut into rings
spinach leaves
Pickled turnip, thinly sliced

1. Toast the bread slices.
2. Spread hummus.
3. Stuff the veggies.
4. Cut into halves
5. Use toothpicks to hold.

Note -
1. I generally make hummus at home to avoid oil that is added to the store bought hummus.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Split Pea Idli

Split pea idli served with a spoonful of agave necar

I have changed the ratio of daal and rice here. I also used green split daal + urad daal combo.

Split Pea Idli
3/4 cup green split pea daal
1 1/4 cup urad daal
1 cup brown rice
1/2 tsp methi/fenugreek seeds

salt to taste

1/2 tsp baking soda (optional, only needed if the batter doesn't ferment due to cold weather)

Suggested Accompaniment
Agave Nectar (Gudiya's fav combo)

1. Soak daals, rice and methi seeds overnight.
2. Grind to a smooth paste adding salt. Do not add too much water.
3. Cover and let it ferment for 8 hours.
4. Steam idlies in the idli containers.
5. Serve hot idlies with sambar

1. If the batter is not fermented, just before making idlies, you can add baking soda.

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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Mirchichi Koshimbeer

Few bell peppers and a half-used tub of baby spinach were awaiting my intervention. I wanted to make a salad. Why not our good old koshimbeer? - I thought. I decided against fodNi - tempering. But if you like, go ahead and season it with tempered oil with cumin seeds and asafoetida.

Mirchichi Koshimbeer
भोपळ्या मिरचीची कोशिंबीर
Bell Pepper Salad
2 cups Diced bell peppers - red, orange, yellow
1 cup Shredded spinach
salt to taste
2 tbsp daaNyache kooT/roasted, unsalted peanut powder
1 lemon, freshly squeezed

1. Mix all the ingredients together.
2. Squeeze lemon and mix again.
3. Serve.

Note -
1. If desired, you can add tempered oil with cumin seeds and asafoetida

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Monday, January 9, 2012

Butternut Squash Stew

This recipe is heavily influenced from my Maharashtrian heritage. It's nothing but a variation of the upaasachi bhoplyachi bhaaji. I have modified the original recipe by not using toop/ghee/clarified butter, adding turmeric powder and shredded spinach. I also used pressure cooker. I served this stew over cooked quinoa for a hearty meal.

Butternut Stew
1/2 cup raw, unsalted peanuts, soaked for 4 hours
4 cups butternut squash chunks, peeled
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
salt to taste
1 cup water
2 green chilies, slit (optional)
2 cups shredded spinach
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tbsp shredded/grated ginger

1. Soak raw peanuts in a bowl of water for at least 4 hours.
2. In a pressure cooker, add peanuts, cumin seeds, spinach, turmeric powder, ginger, green chilies - if using and water.
3. Pressure cook for 3 whistles. Open the lid when steam is released completely.
4. Add 2 cups water, butternut squash and salt. Bring to boil and simmer till the squash is cooked.
5. Adjust the consistency adding more water or letting it evaporate to make it thick.
6. Served on the bed of cooked quinoa.
7. Serve with a wedge of lemon.

1. Butternut squash cooks quickly so I didn't add it along with the peanuts in the pressure cooker. If you want it to have mushy squash, you could add it with peanuts.

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Saturday, January 7, 2012

Arugula Adai

Generally, I use Arugula in salads or sandwiches. But today, I decided to use it as a topping for my adai. Whenever I make adais or oothapams, I usually use all the daals that I can find in my pantry.

Arugula Adai
Arugula Pancakes
Soak overnight
1/4 cup urad daal
1/4 cup chana daal
1/4 cup green peas daal/split green peas
1/4 cup brown rice

You will also need
salt to taste
1/4 cup minced onion
few green chilies, chopped (optional)
A handful of Arugula leaves

1. Soak all the daals and rice overnight or for 6 - 8 hours
2. Drain. Grind to a smooth paste adding water as needed. Add salt. Cover and keep it for fermentation.
3. Stir in onion and green chilies.
4. Heat a tawa/pan. Pour a ladleful of batter to make a thick dosa. Top with some arugula leaves.
5. Drizzle oil as needed. Cover and let it cook.
6. Once cooked, you can serve it as it or flip on the other side and cook for another minute or so.
7. Enjoy!

Note -
1. Arugula cooks quickly.
2. If the batter doesn't ferment or you want to use it immediately after grinding, you can add a pinch of baking soda.

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Friday, January 6, 2012

Veggie Wrap

January means eating healthy!!;-) It lasts for about a month. But I am hoping that at least we make better  & healthier choices throughout the year. So keeping up with my new year resolution & yearly tradition, I am sharing a healthful eye-catching veggie wrap.

You can always buy a readymade spinach wrap available at the super markets. But I made my spinach wrap "fulka" style to save on oil.

Veggie Wrap
3 Spinach wrap - homemade or readymade
1 curry flavored hummus - homemade or readymade

Few strips of orange, red and yellow bell peppers
Few leaves of spinach, shredded
few slices of pickled turnip (available at middle eastern stores)
few shreds of carrots

1. Spread curry hummus (or any other flavored or plain hummus) on the spinach wrap.
2. Spread all the raw veggies in the middle.
3. Wrap and eat!!

Note -
1. Cut the veggies thinly so it will be easier to wrap the wrap!!
2. I made spinach wrap and hummus at home. But you can use the store bought ones too.
3. I will soon share the recipes of wrap and hummus.
4. Pickled turnip is available in glass jars at the middle easterns stores.

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Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Summer Rolls for winter

Instead of using rice noodles, I used alpha alpha sprouts. Peanut or almond butter dipping sauce is a must for these health packed rolls.

Summer Rolls
4 rice papers

For stuffing
A handful of alpha alpha sprouts
A handful of arugula
A handful of mung bean sprouts
Few leaves spinach, shredded
1 carrot, peeled & shredded
Few pieces of red, orange and yellow bell peppers, diced
Few sprigs of cilantro, use one sprig per roll

Suggested Accompaniment

1. Soak one rice paper at a time in a pie dish. As it gets pliable, keep it on a working surface. Stuff all the raw veggies in the middle.
2. Fold the top and bottom ends and then fold the side ends to make a roll.
3. Cut into two or three pieces at a slant if desired.
4. Serve with a dipping sauce

Note -
1. Soak the rice paper just enough to make it soft. Too much soaking will make it mushy and soggy.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Almond Butter Dipping Sauce

Almond Butter Dipping Sauce
1/3 cup almond butter, well stirred
1 tbsp rice vinegar
Few drops of soy sauce
1 tbsp agave necar (more or less based on the desired sweetness)
salt to taste
Few splashes of hot sauce such as Sriracha (optional)
spoonful of water - as needed
1 tsp lemon juice

1. Blend all the ingredients together.

Note -
1. Stir the almond butter from the jar before taking it out.
2. You can also use peanut butter

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