Sunday, June 20, 2010

Quinoa-Rice Payasam with Cashews,Pistachios & Saffron

Payasam/Kheer is a very vital traditional Indian dessert. This dish is a must for various festive celebrations and feasts. I love to cook different Kheers with some twists and variations. Today I made Rice Payasam and enriched it with Quinoa. It blends well with rice and brings more balanced texture to Kheer, generous quantity of cashews,Pistachios and bold aroma of cardamom and saffron made this Kheer more tempting and delicious.

Ingredients :-
  • 1 Cup Basmati rice
  • 4 Tb.spoon Quinoa
  • 1 1/2 Cup sugar
  • 10-12 Cardamom - finely powdered
  • 2 whole cardamom.
  • Saffron - 3 pinches
  • 2 Tb.spoon Ghee
  • 20-25 Cashews - roughly chopped + Few whole for garnish.
  • 1/4 Cup Pista - roughly chopped
  • 5 Tb.spoon condensed milk
  • 3 Cups water
  • 6 Cups milk (2% Fat)
Method of making Payasam/Kheer :-
  1. Rinse rice and quinoa separately until water runs clear. Keep it aside.
  2. Heat 1 tbspoon ghee in small pan and shallow fry cashew nuts - just until they turn light golden brown. Place them on paper towel.
  3. Place minimum 4 quart size thick bottomed pot on stove and heat 3 cups water. Drop two whole cardamoms and pinch of saffron in water. Once the water starts to boil add rinsed Basmati rice. Let it cook for 7-8 minutes on medium heat. Occasionally stir.
  4. Now add rinsed quinoa and simmer it on low heat until all water gets almost absorbed - 6-7 minutes.
  5. Pour 6 cups of milk. Stir and cook it on medium low heat. Frequently stir until milk starts to boil.
  6. Add powdered cardamom , 5 tbspoon condensed milk and one more pinch of saffron, cashews, pistachios, sugar. Simmer on low heat so that milk gets nicely soaked by rice and quinoa - for about 8-10 minutes.
  7. Finally pour 1 tspoon melted ghee .Take immersion blender and give quick swirl for 15 seconds. This will bring thick-rich texture to the Kheer. Garnish each bowl of Kheer with additional nuts , few strands of saffron and serve Hot or Cold.
Note :-
Quantity mentioned in this recipe is good for 15-20 peoples crowd, for smaller crowd you may reduce proportions.
You can use more condensed milk and accordingly reduce the quantity of sugar.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Black Eyed Peas (Chawli) Curry with Dudhi (Lauki/Bottle Gourd)

I always stock variety of canned beans for ease of preparation and to add more nutrition and variety to Lentil-Bean-Grain based dishes...even adding them to sabjis, greens, soups brings lot of enrichment. Today I made black eyed peas curry for make it more nutritious and interesting I added Dudhi/Lauki (Bottle gourd) and added one raw Green tomato to bring little sourness. All combinations blended well to make delicious hearty curry. We enjoyed this curry with chapati,green beans thoran, Surmai fish fry.

Ingredients :-
  • 1 Can of Black eyed peas (15 oz.)
  • 1 Cup cubed pieces of Dudhi - Boil in microwave for 6 minutes in salted water.
  • 1 medium size green tomato - diced
  • 1 large size ripe tomato - diced
  • 1 medium size onion finely chopped
  • 5-6 Garlic cloves - finely minced
  • Ginger piece 1 inch long - finely minced
  • 1/2 T.spoon - Turmeric power
  • 1 T.spoon - Red chili powder
  • 1/2 T.spoon Garam masala
  • 1/2 T.spoon any other Masala of your choice - I used Rasoi Magic "Asli Maharashtrian Usal Masala" - Other options like subzi masala, goda masala ,malvani masala,Badshah Rajwadi Masala .This is optional ... you may use 1 tspoon Garam masala.
  • 3-4 cups water
  • 1 Cup - fresh chopped cilantro
Method of Cooking Black eyed Peas Curry :-
  1. Empty black eyed peas into colander - rinse several times under running water until all Can liquid is washed away... drain all water and Keep it aside.
  2. Place 1 cup full cubed pieces of Dudhi/Bottle gourd in glass bowl..cover with 1 cup lightly salted water and microwave for 6 minutes. Keep aside.
  3. In a three quart heavy bottom pot heat oil, then add the chopped onions, when they have softened, add finely minced ginger and garlic, stir to combine..then add turmeric powder,red chili powder and two type of Masala powders - Stir for 1 minute.
  4. Now add diced green tomatoes and saute for 2 minutes on medium heat until green tomatoes are partially softened.
  5. Pour in rinsed black-eyed peas - Mix well with gravy base. Add three cups water, little salt, few chopped fresh corriander leaves. Cover, increase the heat to high and simmer for 3-4 minutes.
  6. Add boiled dudhi pieces along with stock. Put diced ripe tomato. Stir and cook for an additional 5-6 minutes on medium high heat. Reduce heat to low and let it simmer for another 3-4 minutes. Garnish with fresh chopped cilantro leaves.
  7. This simple and hearty curry dish can be served hot with rice, roti or can even be enjoyed as a soup.
Roti,Surmai fish fry,Black eyed peas curry,Green beans thoran.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Quinoa & Millet Soup with Cauliflower and Carrots

This is simple and satisfying Quinoa-Millet soup, flavored with ginger-garlic-cilantro and spiced up with green chilies. Cauliflower and carrots made it more appealing and enhanced nutrition,texture.

Ingredients :-
  • 1/4 Cup Millet - picked and rinsed
  • 3/4 cup Quinoa-picked and rinsed(check for tiny stones even it is pre-washed)
  • 1/2 Cup peanut size cauliflower florets
  • 1/2 Cup diced carrots
  • 1 Medium size onion - finely chopped
  • 3-4 cloves of fresh garlic - finely crushed
  • 1 inch piece of ginger - finely crushed
  • 3-4 Green chilies - finely chopped
  • 1/2 tspoon - turmeric powder
  • 1/4 tspoon - sugar (optional)
  • 1/2 Cup - fresh chopped cilantro
  • 1 tbspoon oil
  • 4-5 cups water
Method of making Quinoa Soup :-
  1. Heat 1 tbspoon oil in 3 quart heavy bottom pot. Add onions - Saute for 3-4 minutes on medium high heat until onions turn soft.
  2. Add crushed ginger,garlic and chopped green chilies,turmeric powder - Saute for one minute.
  3. Add rinsed Quinoa and Millet with 4 cups water. Bring it to boil and let it simmer for 10 minutes on medium high heat without lid. Do stir at interval.
  4. Now add cauliflower florets and diced carrots ,salt along with few chopped corriander leaves - Cook for another 10 minutes on medium heat..keep stirring at regular interval.
  5. Quinoa and Millet will absorb water so Soup/curry will thicken after 15 may add little more water and bring your desired consistency. Add little sugar and remaining cilantro leaves. Cover it with lid and let it stay on stove for five minutes on very low heat.
  6. Serve warm in a bowl with dollop of butter or ghee.. or drizzle some olive oil. You may enjoy with rice and roti too.
Note :-
This recipe has lot of room for variations. You can use different combination of veggies,greens. Add some spice seasonings like cumin,ajwain,kalonji,black pepper...throw in more herbs..garnish with fresh grated coconut. Quinoa gets very well adapted with Indian style cooking.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Bhajia / Pakora with Sprouted Moong Beans

It was a pleasant evening , cravings were perfect to enjoy some deep fried snack...Cup full sprouted Moong Beans were laying in my decided to make Bhajia/Pakora by adding them to regular Bhajia batter. I made delicious chat chutney without Tamarind and Dates. You must try this quick chutney made from Jamaican Jerk sauce which tastes as tempting as Sweet-Sour Chat chutney.For earlier Tofu-Onion-Bhajia/Pakoda recipe click here....

Ingredients :-
  • 1 Cup Sprouted Moong beans.
  • 1 Cup Besan (chick Pea flour)
  • 1 large size onion - roughly chopped
  • 5-6 green chilies - finely chopped
  • 1 Cup fresh Cilantro -roughly chopped
  • 1/4 Cup water
  • 1/4 T.spoon baking soda
  • 1/2 T.spoon Ajwain seeds (owa)
  • Oil for deep frying - 2 cups
Method of making Bhajia :-
  1. Take a medium size bowl - Add 1 cup Besan with 1/4 cup water. Beat well , remove all lumps and make fine thick paste.
  2. Add salt, ajwain seeds, chopped onions, green chilies, cilantro - Combine well.
  3. Put sprouted beans and baking soda - gently mix in the batter. If you find batter too dry and thick while mixing then add little water.
  4. Heat 2 cups oil in Kadhai or as much as you need for 2-inch depth. (It will depend on your Kadhai)
  5. To test oil temperature - Drop peanut size batter into the oil , if it quickly raises to surface and floats at top that indicates oil is ready for frying pakora. It should not quickly turn brown and maintain bright yellow color.Always maintain medium heat and in between you may increase little heat but quickly decrease it back to medium heat.
  6. For dropping pakodas in oil you can use regular eating spoon . If you are familiar with dropping Pakora with hand then merge tips of all five finger together..dip them in batter and collect walnut size batter , gently place 6-10 pakoras in each batch carefully -Fry frequently turning with slotted spoon or Zara for at least 2 minutes or until each bhajia turns light brown.
  7. Take out fried bhajia from oil and place them on the tray lined with paper towel.Repeat next can make around 20-25 bhajia/pakora. Serve them hot with sweet sour chutney or ketchup.
Quick Sweet-Sour Chutney with Jamaican Jerk sauce :-
  • Take 1/4 cup Jerk sauce. ( World Harbors Jamaican Jerk Sauce.)
  • 4-5 green chilies
  • 2 small Galic cloves
  • 1 Cup tightly pressed - roughly chopped fresh cilantro
  • 10-15 fresh mint leaves
  • 1/2 T.spoon Chat Masala
  • 1/4 T.spoon black salt (Sanchar)
  • 1 T.spoon Vinegar
Mix and finely grind all above ingredients in a small jar of blender...your sweet and sour chutney is ready... Enjoy with hot Pakodas/ Bhajia...also this chutney can be perfectly relished as "All-In-One-Chat-Chutney".