Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Roasted Butternut Soup

Colorful warm squash soup would be heartening on a cold winter night. I love using various colorful vegetables in fall. Butternut squash soup is a favorite Thanksgiving food in my house.

1 butternut squash
cooking spray
1 T olive oil
11/2 C chopped onion
3 garlic cloves, minced
6 C stock or water
2 C coarsely chopped peeled potatoes
2 t chopped fresh sage
salt to taste
1/4 t freshly ground black pepper
1 bay leaf

1. Preheat oven to 400 F
Cut squash in half lengthwise; discard the seeds. Place the squash, cut side down, on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake at 400 F for 30 minutes or until tender. Cool. Discard peel; mash pulp.
2. Heat oil in a large pan over medium high heat. Add onion; saute 4 minutes. Add garlic; saute for a minute, stirring constantly.
3. Add stock or water and the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil.
4. Reduce heat, and simmer 45 minutes or until potato is tender. Let stand for 10 minutes. Discard bay leaf. Blend with emulsifying blender. Serve warm with bread.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Sarson Ka Saag(Broccoli rabi)

 Sarson ka Saag with Makai ki Roti on a cold day would warm you up instantly.I found fresh mustard greens(sarson) in the indian store yesterday. I decided to make it  for dinner today. I cooked the greens in the slow cooker. A friend of mine told me that it has to be cooked for hours on low heat.  My kids were not a big fan of it, but my husband loved it.

1 bunch mustard greens, chopped
1 bunch spinach, chopped
3 green chili(more if you want it spicy)
salt to taste
1 T oil
1 T grated garlic
1 T grated ginger
1 large onion, chopped
1 t cumin powder
1 t coriander powder
1/4 t turmeric powder
1/2 t chili powder
1 t aamchur powder(dried mango powder)
11/2 t garam masala
1 t corn flour

1. Cook the greens with chili and salt with enough water in a slow cooker, or boil in a pressure cooker, without the lid.
2. Heat oil in a pan and saute the garlic, ginger, and onion till they are cooked. Add the spices and cook for 2 minutes.
3. Transfer the onion mixture to the greens. Slow cook for 3 hours. Blend the greens in the cooker using an emulsifying blender. Stir in the corn flour if the saag is thin. Serve warm with hot makai ki roti(corn meal roti).

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Lemon Rice

1 C cooked rice, cooled
juice from one lemon
salt to taste
1 T cashew nuts, roasted
1 t roasted peanuts
For seasoning:
1 t mustard seeds
1/2 t urad dal
1/2 t channa dal
2 green chili, chopped
1 red chili, broken
curry leaves
1/2 t asafoetida
1 t turmeric powder

1. Season everything. Pour it over the rice.
2. Add salt and lemon juice. Mix gently. Check for taste and add more juice if needed. Enjoy with chips or papad.

Dum Aloo(Baby Potato in gravy)

I bought pink baby potatoes to make mashed potatoes for the kids. When I heard from my neighbor that she made Dum Aloo, I decided to make it too, as it has been a long time. Tiny potatoes are perfect for this recipe. This dish tastes a little sweet and sour.

12 baby potatoes
1 large onion, chopped
2 chili, slit
1/2 inch ginger, minced
1 tomato, chopped
1 C tomato sauce
2 T khoa, shredded or 2 T milk powder
1/2 C yogurt, beaten
1/2 t turmeric
1 t cumin and coriander powder
1/2 t dried mango powder(aamchur)
1 t kashmiri chili powder
1/2 t sugar
1 t kasuri methi
salt to taste

To powder for masala:
1-inch cinammon
3 cloves
2 cardamom pods
2 pinches nutmeg powder
5 black peppercorn
2 t poppy seeds

1. Wash and dry potatoes. Prick them with fork. Arrange them on a broil pan. Spray with olive oil and broil in oven till they are tender. Keep aside.
2. Powder the ingredients for masala. Keep aside.
3. Heat 2 T oil in a large pan on medium heat. Fry 2 bay leaves. Add the masala powder and fry for 2 minutes.
4. Add onion, chili and ginger. Cook onion till it is translucent. Add cumin, coriander power, turmeric, aamchur, and chili powder. Add tomatoes and cook for 4 minutes. Add tomato sauce, and sugar. Cook for a few minutes.
5. Add khoa or mix milk powder in 1/2 cup of water and stir it to the sauce. Arrange the potatoes in a single layer in the sauce. Add water if necessary. Cover and cook for 10-12 minutes.
6. Open the lid and stir in the yogurt. Cook for 5 minutes. Sprinke kasuri methi. Serve warm with roti or naan.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Oats Idly

I got this recipe from my sister today, and decided to try it out for dinner. I was pleasantly surprised that everyone in my family, excepting my son liked it. It was quick and easy to make. Oats idly is low in fat and filling too. Idly is known to be a healthy and low fat food. Oats idly is high in fiber. It tastes more like rava idly. If you like rava idly, you would definitely like Oats idly.

1 C rolled oats
1/2 C cracked wheat or sooji rava
1/2 C curd
3/4 C water
1/2 t baking soda
salt to taste
grated carrot
1 T roasted cashew pieces
fresh cilantro, chopped

For seasoning:
minced green chili, or chili paste
curry leaves

1. Dry roast oats and cracked wheat separately. Allow to cool and powder them separately.
2. Beat the curd and mix it with water. Mix the powdered mixture with the curd. The batter should be slightly thick. Add salt, cashew, cilantro, and the seasoning. Cover and set aside for 15 minutes.
3. Fold in the carrot. Pour 1/4 cup of batter on greased idly plates. Steam in pressure cooker without the weight for 10 minutes.
4. Serve warm with coconut chutney.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Mexican Rice

Mexican rice is cooked with tomato sauce. It is usually served with black beans. It is similar to the tomato rice made in India.

1 C rice
1 T olive oil
1 medium-size yellow onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 jalapeno pepper, minced
1 Chipotle pepper, minced
1 t chili powder
1 t powdered cumin and coriander
salt to taste
1 C tomato sauce
1 C water

1. Heat oil in a pan  and saute garlic, pepper, and onion on medium heat till the onions are translucent.
2. Add chili powder, cumin, coriander, and salt.
3. Mix tomato sauce and water. Mix it to the onion. Add rice. Cover and cook for 20 minutes or till the rice is done.

Mexican Tortilla Soup

Last week I had this soup in California Pizza Kitchen. It was very good. I looked for the recipe and made it tonight for dinner, with Mexican rice and corn bread. The soup turned out  to be very tasty and filling.

1 T olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 jalapeno pepper, seeded and sliced thinly
3 garlic cloves, minced
11/2 large tomatoes, chopped
1(15-ounce) can black or pinto beans, drained
1/2 C corn
2 t chili powder or to taste
2 t ground cumin
2 C water or vegetable stock
1/2 medium-size avocado, cubed
1/4 C fresh cilantro, minced
2 handfuls of tortilla chips

1. In a medium-size pot, heat the oil, and saute onion, chili, and garlic over medium heat until the onions are translucent.
2. Add the tomatoes, beans, corn, chili powder, cumin, salt and water. Cover and allow it to simmer for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the avocado and cilantro.
3. Ladle the soup into bowls and top with a handful of tortillas and sprinkle the avocado and cilantro.

Substitute 1 can of diced tomatoes for  fresh tomatoes.
 Different varieties of chili peppers such as Chipotle, Serrano or Anaheim can be used.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Thai Coconut Soup

This soup is loaded with vegetables, and is very light. Kaffir lime leaf, lemongrass, Thai basil, and galangal ginger give authenticity to this soup. But, regular ginger and basil can be substituted. Lemongrass can be found in Asian stores. It can be chopped and frozen too.  I found this recipe in the book, The 30-Minute Vegan. My family enjoyed this soup.

3 C water
1 can(15-ounce) coconut milk
3 kaffir lime leaves, or 1 t lime zest
11/4 C chopped yellow onion
2 carrots, thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 T minced fresh galangal ginger
2 C small broccoli florets
2 C chopped bok choy
1 T finely minced lemongrass
1 t seeded and minced thai pepper or other hot pepper
1 pound extra-firm tofu, small cubes
2 T freshly squeezed lime juice
1 T pure maple syrup or brown sugar
2 T minced fresh Thai basil
soy sauce to taste

1. Place water, coconut milk, and lime leaves in a large pot over medium heat. Begin prepping the vegetables in the order given above, placing them in the pot as you go.
2. After adding the tofu, allow the soup to cook for 5 minutes, or until the veggies are just tender.
3. Add the remaining ingredients, remove the lime leaves and serve hot.

Kaffir lime leaf is the bay leaf of Southeast Asia. It is added to stocks and soups and removed before serving.
Lemongrass is a popular grass in Thai and Vietnamese cuisine that imparts a citrus flavor to the dish.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Mint Pulav

2 C basmati rice
1 C water
1 C coconut milk(optional)
1 small onion, chopped
1/4 C green peas
1/2 C chopped green pepper
salt to taste
lemon juice to taste
To Make Mint Paste:
1/2 C fresh mint
1/4 C fresh cilantro
1 T fresh grated coconut
3-4 green chili
1 inch ginger, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 inch cinnamon
1 clove
1/4 t turmeric powder
1/4 t chili powder(optional)

1.Blend the ingredients for paste. Keep aside.
2. Cook rice. Fluff with fork when done.
3. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a pan on medium flame. Saute onion and pepper till it is cooked well. stir in the paste, and cook till you get a nice aroma. Add peas and cook for 2 minutes. Add salt.
4. Mix in the rice. Check for salt. Add lemon juice as necessary. Serve with raita.

1. Do not cook rice separately. Saute the vegetables and paste. Add uncooked rice. Add water and coconut milk. Cover and cook, or transfer to a rice cooker and cook.
2. Substitute coconut milk with 1 cup of water.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Aviyal(Vegetables in Yogurt Sauce)

Aviyal is one of my favorite South Indian dishes. This is a popular dish from Kerala. It is a one pot dish with a medley of vegetables cooked in a yogurt sauce. It is typically served as a side dish with rice or Adai(lentil pancake).  I try to make this dish at least a couple times a month. It is a popular dish in my home. 
1 Carrot
1 small potato
1/2 green plantain
1 drumstick
10 string beans
10 kothavarangai
10 flat beans(avarakai)
1/2 C white pumpkin
1/4 C pumpkin
1/4 C rutalu
1/2 C fresh grated coconut
6-8 green chili(as per taste)
3/4 C fresh curd
2 t coconut oil
curry leaves
salt to taste

1. Cut the vegetables into long pieces(finger length).
2. Grind coconut and chili in a blender to smooth paste. Keep aside.
3. Place the vegetables in a large pan with little water. Cover and cook on medium flame. Add salt.

4. Mix the paste with curd. Stir in the curd to the vegetable.

 Add oil and curry leaves. Cook for 2 minutes. Remove from stove. Serve over rice.

 Note: My mom grinds cumin seeds with coconut and chili. That is Tanjore style of making Aviyal. I make it  Kerala style without cumin.

Taza Pulav

11/2 C basmati rice
1 medium onion, sliced
1 small tomato, chopped
2 C chopped vegetables(potato,carrot,beans,cauliflower,green peas,and pepper)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 inch ginger, chopped
3-4 green chili, slit
1 T fresh cilantro, chopped
1 bay leaf
1/2 inch cinnamon
2 clove
1 cardamom
1 nutmeg flower
1 T cashew nuts(optional)
2 T oil(less if desired)
1/4 t turmeric powder
chili powder to taste
salt to taste
1/2 t garam masala
2 C coconut milk
1 C water

1. Wash and soak rice  for 10 minutes.
2. Heat oil in a pan. Roast cashew on low flame
3. Add dry spices and fry for 2 minutes.
4. Add ginger, garlic, and chili. Saute rapidly for 2 minutes. Add onion and saute till it is cooked.
5. Add all the vegetables and tomato. Mix well. Add cilantro, turmeric and chili powder. Add garam masala.
6. Drain rice and mix it in. Add salt, coconut milk and water. Cover and cook till the rice is done(medium flame). It should be done in 15 minutes. Or transfer to electric rice cooker and cook.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Plantain with Tamarind and Dal

Green Plantains are low in sodium, low in calories and rich in potassium. They are good source of energy for diabetics. I use green plantains in different ways to accompany rice. Yesterday, I cooked it like a gravy to go with white rice. I used toor dal, black-eyed peas and tamarind to cook with the plantain.

2 large green cooking plantains
1/2 C tamarind water
1/4 C cooked toor dal
1/4 C cooked black-eyed peas
1/4 t turmeric powder
salt to taste
mustard seed,and urad dal for seasoning
To powder:
3 red chili
1/2 t corriander seeds
1/4 t urad dal
1/4 t raw rice

1. Peel plantain and cut into big cubes.
2.Cook plantain in enough water, with turmeric and salt. Add tamarind water and cook till the smell leaves.
3. Dry roast the ingredients to powder, and blend to make masala.
4. Stir in the dal and black-eyed peas.
5. Add the powdered masala. Mix well and cook for a minute.
6. Season with mustard and urad dal. Serve over cooked rice.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Beets Dry Kari

4 beets
1 t cumin,coriander powder
1/2 t chili powder
salt to taste
1 T crushed raw peanuts(optional)
1 t oil
mustard seeds, urad dal, and broken red chili for seasoning

1. Pressure cook the beets with skin for 3 whistles. Peel when cooled and dice to small pieces.
2. Heat oil in a pan. Season mustard, urad and chili. Add the beets, spices and mix gently. Cook for 3 minutes.
3. Sprinkle peanuts. Sprinkle lemon juice if necessary. Enjoy it like a salad or with rice.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Chinese Fried Rice

Easy to make, loaded with vegetables, and my kids love this fried rice.

2 C rice
1 T sesame oil
1 bunch spring onion, sliced
1 T chili,garlic, and ginger, minced
1 large carrot, peeled and diced into small pieces
10 string beans, diced
broccoli florets
cauliflower florets
6 baby corn, diced
6 mushroom, diced
1 T soy sauce
1 t chili sauce or to taste
salt and pepper to taste

1. Cook rice with little salt and oil. Cool it.
2. Heat oil in  a wok or a broad pan on medium heat.When the oil is hot, add chili, ginger and garlic, and saute quickly. Add the vegetables and saute till they are cooked, but crunchy. Mix in the spring onion.
3. Stir in the sauces,salt,and pepper. Add the rice. Mix well.

Vegetable Soup

I love making soup when it is cold. Today I did not have bread to make sandwich for lunch. I raided my refrigerator and made soup with the vegetables I found. It turned out well. It was low-fat too.

1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 turnip,diced
1/2 parsnip,diced
1 carrot, peeled and diced
1 red potato, diced
6 green beans, diced
4 florets cauliflower
1 small tomato, chopped
1 T edamame(green soy beans)
1 t dry parsley
1 T dry white beans
1 T dry basil
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 T olive oil

1. Heat oil in a pan. saute garlic and onion.
2. Add the rest of the vegetables. Add enough water to cover the vegetables.
3. Add the parsley and basil. Add the dry beans. Transfer everything to a slow cooker. Cover and cook on high for 1 hour or on low for 2 hours. If you do not have crock pot, put everything in a pressure cooker. Add salt. Cover and cook for 4 whistles.
4. When the soup is done, add salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm with bread.