Sunday, August 26, 2012

Canned Navy beans Curry with Beetroots and freshTomatoes. Infused with Hara Dhania/Cilantro and tempered with Jeera/cumin.

One weekend in August  I made this quick canned navy beans curry/usal  for lunch. I infused it with cilantro by using finely chopped stems and leaves, also added few pre-boiled beetroot chunks, generous quantity of fresh roma tomatoes. Finally tempered it with cumin Tadka. Few enhancements made this canned navy beans curry colorful, interesting and healthy.

Ingredients :
  • 1 Can  of  Navy beans - drain off can liquid and thoroughly rinse beans.
  • 1 medium size onion - finely chopped
  • 3 small Roma Tomatoes - cut into small dice.
  • 3/4 cup diced and pre-boiled beetroot pieces
  • 1.5 inch piece of ginger - coarsely crushed
  • 2 green chilies - finely chopped
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic - coarsely crushed
  • 1 Cup tightly packed chopped Hara Dhania / Cilantro leaves
  • 2 Tb.spoon - very finely chopped cilantro stems
  • 1 Tb.spoon - oil + 1 T.spoon for tempering
  • 1 T.spoon Jeera / cumin seeds
  • 1/2  T.spoon - your most favorite pre-ground masala powder.
  • 2-3 cups water

Method for cooking Navy beans curry / Usal :
  1. Thoroughly rinse the navy beans of their  can juice. Drain and Keep it aside.
  2. Cut one small size beetroot into 1 cm size cubes, 3/4 cup yield. Place cubes in a bowl with water, add little salt and boil for 6 minutes in microwave. Drain out liquid. (save it or just drink it up.)
  3. Combine ginger, garlic, green chilies - crush to coarse texture without adding water, alternatively you may chop chilies and use microplane grater to grate ginger and garlic.
  4. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a medium saute pan over medium heat. Fry onions until they turn transparent, about 6-7 minutes. Add crushed mixture of ginger-garlic-green chilies, saute for 1 minute.
  5. Then add chopped tomatoes (reserve half cup quantity for later use) and  2 tbsp finely chopped cilantro stems. Continue to saute for 3-4 minutes until tomatoes turn soft.
  6. Now add 1/2 tsp masala powder of your choice, saute for one minute then add pre-boiled  beetroot cubes along with drained navy beans. Add 1.5 cup water and allow it to simmer over medium heat for 3-4 minutes.
  7. Add reserved chopped tomatoes, add salt, adjust curry consistency by adding little more water. Sprinkle half the quantity of  chopped hara dhania / cilantro. Continue to simmer covered for 6-7 minutes.Reduce heat to low and prepare Tadka.
  8. Tempering/Tadka - Heat 1 tsp oil in a tiny pan, don't heat too much. Test heat by adding 4-5 cumin seeds, if they sizzle and don't get quickly too dark means oil is hot enough. Add one tsp jeera/ cumin seeds, sizzle for 15-20 seconds. Once they slightly turn darker; quickly pour tempering over curry. Add  one ladle full of curry in tempering pan, swirl around and pour back to the curry pot. Mix well, continue to simmer over  medium low heat for 2-3 minutes. Shut off the heat. Garnish with remaining chopped cilantro before serving  with rice or roti or enjoy as a soup with dollop of butter, Ghee or extra virgin olive oil.
Navy Beans curry with beetroot and tomatoes.

Curried Navy Beans.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Images and video of female American GoldFinch eating boxwood basil seeds, Amaranth/Thotakura Seeds and Black-Eyed susan flower seeds.

Since last few days one pair of American goldfinch is visiting my patio garden to pick  seeds from  boxwood basil plant and Amaranth plant (thotakura/Maathachi bhaji). Both the plants are placed close to my patio door and I am able to see them from living room through patio glass door. Every day these birds make two or  three rounds to pick seeds, they smartly cling to the plant from different directions.  It was fun to observe this pair of American goldfinch while picking seeds. After picking Amaranth and basil seeds, they will jump over to black-eyed susan flowers. Enjoy few pictures of male and female American Goldfinch and one Video of female goldfinch  captured while picking boxwood basil seeds.

Female GoldFinch clinging to Amaranth plant for picking seeds.

Male yellow Finch is beautifully clinging to Amaranth plant.

Video of American GoldFinch picking BoxWood Basil Seeds.

Female goldfinch is  gripping  over black-eyed susan flower to pick seeds.

 American GoldFinch (Carduelis tristis) Eastern Goldfinch / Wild Canary

Female American goldFinch sitting amid  boxwood basil bloom.

Male American goldFinch

Maathchi bhaji

Boxwood Basil Plant before blooming.

Amaranth / Thotakura - Green leafy vegetable