Posts filed under ‘veggies’

Garam Masala spiced Palak Paneer Timbale

A Timbale is a baked savory custard like dish usually made with meat, cheese, vegetables and eggs. Pasta or rice is sometimes added to the creamy mixture too. This elegant dish can be made almost with any vegetable.

There is a Light up your Diwali contest going on at The Urban spice. We have to create recipes with Spinach ,Egg , Brown Rice, Khoya or Oats as the core ingredient.

I thought of a Spinach Timable which has been on my mind for a while. Currently I am in a ‘fusion food’ creative mode and so the Spinach Timbale turned into a Garam Masala spiced Palak Paneer Timbale :).Two core ingredients Spinach and Eggs are incorporated in this recipe! So,this recipe has been created for The Urban Spice and KitchenAid India Diwali Contest.

Timbale

Instead of using any Pasta or Rice I preferred using Ragi/Nagli Rava. You can swap this with Semolina or any Millet if you like.

To add a little crunch and flavour, add some finely julienned Ginger as a garnish along with a garlic-Red Chilly flavoured  (Tadka) . A simple Kachumber kind of salad served on the side along with the soft creamy Timbale makes for a hearty meal, using day to day ingredients-The humble Palak Paneer Sabji  in gourmet avatar! It was super tasty as it is, but you can also serve this with a Tomato gravy if you like. These can be made ahead and baked just when you want to serve them.

Here’s the recipe for my Garam Masala Spiced Palak Paneer Timbale

Serves 2

Ingredients

For the Timbale

1 Tbsp Butter

1 onion, finely chopped

½ tsp garlic paste

½  tsp ginger paste

1 green chilly finely chopped

½-1 tsp Garam Masala

¼ Cup Ragi Rava, soaked in water for 5 minutes

½ Cup Spinach Puree

½ Cup grated or crumbled Paneer

1 egg

2 Tbsp fresh cream (I used Amul)

1 small pinch sugar

Handful of coriander leaves, chopped

Salt to taste

For the Garnish

2-3 Tbsp oil

1 inch Ginger piece,finely julienned

1 tsp Cumin seeds

¼ tsp Asafoetida

2-3 Garlic cloves,sliced

½ fresh Red Chilly sliced

For the Salad/Kachumbar

1 onion, sliced

1 Tomato, sliced lengthwise

A few cabbage shreds

1 Cucumber, sliced lengthwise

Salt and Red chilli powder to taste

1/2 tsp lime juice

Few sprigs of fresh coriander

Method

To make the Timbale

Preheat the oven to 190 degree celcius.

Grease two 175ml/ ¾ Cup Ramekins.

Line the base with a parchment paper and grease the paper.

In a pan heat the butter. Add the onion and the ginger garlic paste.

Saute for 1-2 minutes and then add the green chilly, Garam masala.

Saute for a few seconds and then add the Ragi Rava

Mix properly. Take off the heat.

Add the Spinach puree, Paneer,fresh coriander, Cream,salt and sugar.

Mix well and let the mixture cool a bit.

Whisk the egg and add this to the Spinach mixture.

Spoon the spinach mixture into the ramekins and place in a deep baking tray with tall sides.

Add hot water to the baking tray to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins.

Bake for  about 40-45 minutes till just set. (Insert a tester and check if it comes out clean)

Invert onto a plate and peel off the paper.

Serve Hot garnished with the fried Ginger and the Garlic-Chilly oil and the salad on the side.

For the garnish

Heat the oil in a very small pan.

Add the Ginger and fry till crisp.Take it out of the oil and drain on a paper towel.

In the same oil, add the cumin seeds and the Asafoetida.

Add the garlic and fry till golden.

Take off the heat and add the sliced Red chilly

For the Salad/Kachumbar

Mix all the ingredients and serve.

November 27, 2015 at 1:38 pm 1 comment

Soulfull 8 years!

The blog officially turned 8 this August! Still on a high after attending the first ever Indian Food bloggers meet, I almost forgot that it’s been 8 long years since the Food blogging bug first bit me! I can still vividly remember the day, long long ago when I discovered this wonderland through the gorgeous Mahanandi.

blog photos

This gastronomic journey, more than anything else, has been such a precious learning experience for me. On my way I have also discovered my passion for baking and a whole new world of Food photography. Reading, learning and imbibing everything shared by all the talented, generous and ever encouraging Food bloggers has enriched my culinary life and opened up many new avenues for me. So a big Thank you to all my Food blogger friends, for being so inspirational and encouraging throughout this ride.

thanks

A huge THANK YOU to all the readers of My Foodcourt. To those who have stuck around for a long long time- posts or no posts. Thank you to all the new readers and to those whose comments & message are ever so encouraging. To those who check on me when the blog is silent for long- everyone Thank you very much.

And now to today’s Soulfull post. Of the cart load of Goodies we received at the #IFBM2014, the one from Soulfull was tried, tasted and over as soon as I returned back. I had heard great reviews about Soulfull from Food blogger friends, mostly on Twitter. This got attested when the fussy daughter finished the Soulfull Choco fills-Nagli bites without any fuss and was asking for more. I immediately checked with them if they deliver products in Nasik and to my delight they do! The son loved the Granola bars and I did not get even a glimpse of the bars.

The Adai mix packet at the outset did not receive such a warm response. The fussy one declared- not another dosa. I promised her, no dosa.

soulfull

Both kids love Appe – dosa + veggies in a cuter Avatar. The Appe pan/ Aebleskiver pan is currently my favourite pan to use. The kids love their ‘Pancake appe’ made with the Appe pan. The Adai mix, instead of being served as a plain old dosa was dressed up with some veggies and served as cute little cocktail bites. I made an Indian version of the Chimichurri sauce- a Cilantro mint Chimichurri sauce, which was relished with the Veg Adai Appe.

unnamed

From no more Dosa to more ‘Cocktail Adai Appe’ pls,the Soulfull Adai mix was a hit with the kids. I particularly liked the predominant flavor of Asafoetida in theAdai mix.

This is one of those dishes that has to be served and savoured as soon as it is made. A perfect rainy weather snack- here’s the recipe for Cocktail Adai

adai

 

Cocktail Adai with Soulfull Adai mix Recipe:

Makes~ 10-12 Appe

Ingredients:

1 cup Soulful Adai mix

½ cup homemade buttermilk

1 cup water to make a thick batter (or as needed)

2 tsp fine semolina/Rava

A handful of (total)veggies (I added Sweetcorn, chopped onion,chopped Spinach and grated carrot)

1 tsp chopped coriander

Oil for drizzling

Method

Mix the Adai mix,Rava, buttermilk and water and keep aside for half an hour.

Mix in the veggies.

Heat a Appe pan/ Aebleskiver pan ( I use a non-stick one)

Drizzle oil in the cavities.

Drop spoonful of the batter in the Cavities.

Cover and cook on low flame for 3-4 minutes or till the bottom is golden brown.

Use a wooden skewer to turn each Appe and cook on the other side for 1-2 minutes.

Serve immediately.

 

Cilantro-Mint Chimichurri Sauce recipe

Makes~ 1 ½ cups

 Ingredients

1 cup firmly packed fresh Cilantro/Coriander

¼ cup mint leaves

3-4 garlic cloves

½ small onion chopped (~2 tbsp)

1 Tbsp lime juice

1 Tbsp wine Vinegar

¼ cup olive oil

½ tsp Crushed black pepper/ Red chilli flakes

Salt to taste

 Method

Pulse together the onion, garlic in the blender/food processor.

Add the Cilantro and mint leaves and pulse till just crushed

Take out the mixture in a bowl and add the rest of the ingredients and mix.

Refrigerate if not using immediately.

 

 

 

 

 

August 20, 2014 at 6:51 am 10 comments

A wholesome weekend Brunch- Veg Fajitas with Guacamole

The lad is a foodie- much to my happiness! He tastes the food and gives an instant ‘thumbs up’ to well made dishes. Some of my trials are met with an honest ‘I didn’t like this much’ feedback along with a suggestion to ‘repair’ the dish. On some Friday nights ‘Would you like to have Pizza for dinner?’ is answered by ‘Do we have fresh Basil and Mozzarella?’ On one occasion when I asked him what he would like to have for dinner (please note: this question gets asked only on weekends) , he picked up one of my cookbooks (the one mentioned below) and wrote down, on a piece of paper -A starter ,soup, a main course and a dessert he wanted me to make for his dinner!

Most of the days it’s a pleasure to feed this child who happily eats his veggies and fruits without any fuss. On the flip side, he needs a lot of variety. He is the ‘forever hungry monster’ specially when I am home. The veggies get grilled, marinated, wrapped, sandwiched or they get topped on whole wheat ‘pizza’ to make them more interesting than the regular Roti-Sabji.

The Veg Fajita (recipe below) is adapted from a book called ‘330 vegetarian recipes for health’. This book which I picked up from the local Crossword store has been one of my ‘super finds’. All the recipes are vegetarian (no-meat, no-fish). The first section in the book includes a whole food guide for fruits and vegetables to grains and from dairy foods to herbs and spices. This vegetarian ‘mini encyclopedia’ includes essential facts about key health benefits as well as information on buying, storing and preparing whole food. The photographs are absolutely drool-worthy. The book showcases hundreds of step by step recipes from around the world. Most of the recipes are not only healthy but are also easy to follow.The book occupies is always kept handy on my book shelf since more than often I find myself referring to it for ideas to keep the foodie lad satiated. The Light meals and side dishes section in the book are our favourites. I would recommend this fascinating book to anyone interested in  finding out more about whole food.

For these colorful  Veg Fajitas, Mushrooms and coloured Peppers (capsicums) are marinated in a little chilli powder/olive oil ,lightly sautéed and wrapped in flour Tortillas. Fresh Mushrooms and coloured capsicums are usually found in our crisper since they are a hit whichever way they get served. I used our regular whole wheat  Rotis (Phulkas) to substitute the Tortillas.

Guacamole is a family favourite. We love Guacamole. Whenever I have access to good quality Avocados, the creamy dip gets slathered on breads or Rotis or is paired up with corn chips, khakras, Tacos anything that can be dipped or wrapped!. One of the very few veggie vendors who stocks ‘exotic’ fruits here in Nashik sometimes sells Avocados. Finding good quality Avocados is a challenge since they travel here all the way from Goa (that’s what the vendor tells me). I was happy to find some lush green Avocados on my trip to Nature’s basket, Bangalore.

A freshly made Guacamole served with the medley of colorful vegetables wrapped in a whole wheat Tortilla made for a wholesome weekend brunch. The foodie lad was ecstatic and lost count of the number of ‘Tortillas’ that vanished into his little tummy 🙂

Here’s the Recipe for the Veg Fajitas

Ingredients:

1 onion sliced

1 Red Pepper

1 Yellow Pepper

1 Green Pepper ( I skipped this )

1 garlic clove crushed

1 packet Button mushrooms (about  15-16 mushrooms)

6 tbsp vegetable oil ( I used the herb infused Olive oil  )

2-3 tsp Red chilli powder (the original recipe asks for 2 tbsp but I reduced the quantity since our Red chilli powder is quite hot, adjut this to taste)

Salt to taste

Freshly ground pepper for garnishing

To serve:

~ 6 small Flour Tortillas/ Rotis warmed.

Sprigs of fresh coriander

Wedges of 1 lime.

Method:

Slice the onion.

Cut the Peppers into strips.

Mix the onion slices and peppers in a bowl.

Add the crushed garlic.

Wash and dry the Mushrooms on a kitchen towel.

Remove the stems from the Mushrooms (Use them to make stock)

Slice the Mushrooms and add to the pepper mixture.

Mix the oil and Red chilli powder in a small cup and mix.

Add this to the veggie mixture and Keep aside for  20 minutes (or  till you  make the Guacamole recipe below)

Heat a pan or wok till hot.

Add the marinated vegetables and stir fry over high heat for 5-6 minutes, till the veggies are just tender.

Season with salt and crushed black pepper.

Spoon the filling on to each Tortilla and roll up.

Garnish with fresh chopped coriander.

Serve with Fresh Guacamole and  lime wedges.

I did not follow the recipe for Guacamole from the book.This is how I make it:

Recipe for Guacamole

Ingredients:

1 Ripe Avocado

1 small Onion finely chopped

1 small Tomato seeds removed and chopped

1 Green chilli chopped

Juice of 1 lime

Crushed black pepper to taste

Fresh coriander leaves chopped

Salt to taste

Method:

Cut the Avocado in half.

Remove the pit, scoop out the pulp from the peel and put in mixing bowl.

Mash the Avocado with a fork. I like to keep a few small pieces.

Add the onion, tomato, green chilli, lime juice, coriander leaves, salt and crushed black pepper.

Mix nicely and serve immediately with corn chips, Tacos, Khakras or Veg Fajitas.

Note: This is not one of the make ahead kind of dip since the Avocado oxidises very fast. If you haveto keep it for some time before serving cover with a plastic wrap and refrigerate.

July 27, 2012 at 4:42 pm 7 comments

Yotam Ottolenghi’s Caponata recipe and a ‘Festive Giveaway’

The Monsoon is retreating (having a hail storm outside as I type this) but we are moving into another season of festivities. I am excited to host my first giveaway from CSN stores for the festive season.

CSN stores carries everything from Dining tables to cookware to shoes and bags .CSN stores has generously offered one lucky reader of My Foodcourt from USA and Canada a Gift certificate worth $60 to use on any of the CSN stores websites.

I would like all my readers to please leave a comment below this post letting me know what you like about this blog and what would you like to see more often on My Foodcourt. Please leave one comment per person along with your E-mail address. All you silent readers, now’s your chance to share your thoughts with me.:).

The Giveaway is restricted to USA and Canada readers and there may be international shipping charges in the case of Canadian addresses.

One lucky winner will be chosen randomly and the winner will be announced on 17th October 2010.

Here are the Giveaway details:

Gift certificate: A one-time-use certificate worth $ 60 at any of the CSN stores

How to enter: Leave a comment  with Email ID below this post letting me know what do you like about this blog and what would you like to see more often on My Foodcourt.

Giveaway closes: 16th October 2010, winner will be chosen on 17th October 2010.

Giveaway Valid for: Readers from USA and Canada (there may be international shipping charges in the case of Canadian addresses.)

A Special Thanks to CSN stores team for generously sponsoring this giveaway

§§§§§§§ ♥♥♥ ♪♪♪♪ ♥♥♥§§§§§§§

After the exciting  Giveaway now for an exciting Caponata recipe…..
Over the past few years Food blogging has changed my perspective about different cuisines. Chinese is no longer restricted to Hakka noodles and Fried Rice; Mexican is no longer just Tacos and Salsa; Italian is not just pizza and pasta. Surfing the various blogs each day has made me explore many vegetarian recipes beyond these popular dishes of that particular region.

Alessio  challenged us to make a Sicilian speciality-Caponata for this month’s Velveteer’s Challenge.

‘The 4 Velveteers was started by Aparna, Asha, Alessio and Pam, who are passionate about different cuisines and food in general. Each month, we will attempt a new dish and share our experiences and the recipes we used. If you’re interested in joining the Velveteers, please feel free to drop by our Google group
I have never made a Caponata before, so was quite intrigued by it.

Wikipedia describes Caponata as a Sicilian aubergine dish, a cooked vegetable salad made from chopped fried eggplant and celery seasoned with sweetened vinegar, and capers in a sweet and sour sauce usually served as an Antipasto.

In my quest for a simple Caponata recipe I came across this recipe by Yotam Ottolenghi. I loved the use of Harissa paste- the ‘Ottolenghi  treatment’ as the recipe says- in the traditional Caponata recipe. I had some Harissa seasoning which my brother had gifted me some time back. Also the addition of raisins was quite interesting. I did not have capers neither did I have red-wine vinegar. I skipped the capers and substituted the red-wine vinegar with white-wine vinegar. I also substituted the canned tomatoes with fresh blanched tomatoes.

The loved the array of colors that the vegetables brought to the Caponata. I love eggplants in most of its form but here the humble eggplant/ aubergine was transformed into a flavorful salad with just a few ingredients. The fresh celery leant a refreshing flavor to the Caponata and the harissa added the much desired tang. The raisins were a welcome ‘sweet’ addition to the already ‘tart-spicy’ caponata.

I also added some fresh Basil leaves, which for a change are in abundance right now. I served this delicious Caponata on Bite sized- Chilly rusks.

As recommended in the original recipe, it also makes a great sauce for pasta or couscous. It’s also delicious with cheese: try spreading it over rustic bread and topping with mature vegetarian pecorino, much like the English cheese and pickle sandwich.

I could not save the Caponata to be savored the next day but you might want to make an extra batch since it tastes better the next day!

Here’s the recipe:

Adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi ‘s Caponata recipe

Ingredients:

2 slender Eggplants/ Aubergines diced

2-3 tender celery stalks cut on an angle into slices

1 small red pepper diced

1 onion diced

~ 3 small tomatoes blanched, peeled and chopped

Few green olives sliced

3 tbsp chopped parsley

~ 2 tbsp Fresh Basil leaves chopped

2 tbsp Harissa Seasoning

1 ½ tbsp white wine vinegar

Handful of Raisins

½ tsp sugar

1 tsp Lemon juice

Salt and pepper to taste

Red Chili flakes as required (optional)

2 tbsp Olive oil+2 tbsp sunflower oil

Method:

Heat both oils in a heavy-bottom pan or a non stick pan.

Add the diced aubergines and fry for 5-6 minutes till golden brown, stirring occasionally.

Use a slotted spoon to transfer the aubergine to a colander and sprinkle with a bit of salt.

After a few minutes, transfer to soak on a paper towel.

Add the celery to the hot oil, fry for three minutes, add the pepper and cook for two minutes. Transfer to the colander, then to a paper towel.

Sauté the onion and harissa seasoning in the oil (add a little more to the pan, if needed) for seven minutes, until soft and golden.

Drain off any excess oil from the pan, add the tomatoes and vinegar, stir and bring to a simmer. Add the fried vegetables, olives and sugar, and season.

 If the mix is too dry, add a few tablespoons of water. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.

Remove the pan from the heat taste and adjust the seasoning.

Add the raisins.

Leave to come to room temperature, add the lemon juice and parsley,basil leaves and Red chilli flakes(if using)

Serve with sliced baguettesor garlic bread or some spicy rusks as I did.

Thanks Alessio for introducing me to the delicious Sicilian favorite, I am going to try several other versions in several different ways from now on.

Do Check out the various versions of the Caponata on the other Velveteer’s blogs:

 Aparna’s Eggplant and Fig Caponata

Asha’s Sicilian Caponata over Zatared lavash

Sarah’s Caponata- A Sicilian Relish

Veena’s Sicilian Caponata

Ken’s Caponata jam

                                      

September 29, 2010 at 4:23 pm 20 comments

Pickled Beets

I love Beets, so whenever I see fresh juicy Beets in the farmers market I cannot resist the temptation to buy them. The Beets that are usually available locally are quite big in size. I just love to boil them, chop and sprinkle some salt and pepper and eat it right away, when they are still warm. My other favourite Beet recipe is beet+Yoghurt- Raita/Koshimbir.

I saw these cute little baby Beets the other day in the market and couldn’t resist buying them. Even as I was buying them, this recipe for Pickled Beets from Elise @Simply Recipes was on my mind. The Beets were scrubbed clean the moment I reached home- Boiled (I did that in a pressure cooker), cooled, cut and dressed with the mustard vinaigrette -all done in no time. I have changed the proportion of ingredients to suit our taste.

These delicious Pickled beets are now a favourite in our house and we add them to everything from salads to wraps!

Thanks Elise for this simple yet delicious Pickled Beets recipe, my family loves it!

Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients:

6-7 Baby Beets

 For the vinaigrette:

2 tsp split mustard seeds (or you can use dry mustard)

~2 tbsp Cider Vinegar

~1/2 tbsp sugar

1 tsp black pepper crushed

1 tbsp olive oil

Salt to taste

 Method:

Clean and boil the Baby Beets (I used a pressure cooker). Peel off the skin and halve them (If you do not have baby Beets, use the big ones and chop them into cubes after boiling)

Whisk together the ingredients for the Vinaigrette in a mixing bowl. Adjust the sugar or pepper/salt if required.

Add the boiled beets.

Mix nicely for all the beets to coat.

Keep covered at room temperature for ~ 1 hour.

Serve as a side dish or add to salads or wraps.

These Pickled beets recipes are being sent just in time for Blog Bites #6 @One Hot Stove

August 25, 2010 at 2:31 pm 7 comments

Lasooni Methi

Lasooni Methi-a treat for garlic lovers & Methi (fenugreek) lovers. I first had it at one of our favorite local restaurants. Every time we dine there now we ask for Lasooni Methi with gravy (In India most of the curries will have a gravy and without gravy versions, including some Chinese dishes).

Fresh Methi leaves cooked in more onion-less tomato gravy and topped with generous amounts of chopped garlic ! My version of Lasooni Methi has more amount of Methi: less gravy; as against the restaurant version of more gravy: less methi.

Here’s how I made it:

 1 bunch Methi (fenugreek) cleaned, washed and chopped. (Add the tender stalks if you like)

2 large onions chopped

10-12 garlic cloves peeled and chopped

~ 2tbsp tomato puree

½ tsp Garam Masala

½-1 tsp Red chilli powder

¼ tsp sugar (or just a pinch)

½ tsp Cumin seeds

Salt to taste

~5-6 tsp Oil for the

1 tsp Ghee(clarified butter/optional)

Blanch the Methi leaves for ~ 4-5 minutes in as little water as possible along with some salt. Drain and keep aside. Don’t discard the water; it can be used for making rasam or soups.

Heat 1 tsp oil in a wok/ pan. Add ~ 2-3 chopped garlic cloves  and sauté till the onion turns a light brown color.

Cool and grind in a blender to a smooth paste (add 1-2 tsp water if required)

(to save time:alternatively you can directly grind the onion and garlic in the blender to a fine paste without first sautéing and then fry it in oil)

Heat 2-3 tsp oil +1 tsp ghee in the same wok. Add cumin seeds and add the onion paste. Fry well till the paste turns brown (~ 7-8 minutes)

Add the spice; red chilli powder, garam masala, turmeric powder and fry for 1 minute more.

Add the tomato puree. Cook for 1-2 minutes.

Add the blanched methi leaves.

Mix well. Add salt and pinch of sugar and mix again.

Add ~3/4th cup water and cook for 2 minutes more or till gravy turns to a slightly thick consistency.

Remove from stove top.

In a small pan heat remaining oil. Add the remaining chopped garlic and fry till light brown. (If you like spicy food you can add chopped green chillies to the oil too)

Add the fried garlic along with the oil to the Methi gravy.

Serve hot with Naan or Tandoori Roti.

Note 1This recipe demands a generous amount of oil for the tadka and tempering compared to my usual 2 tsp oil; but once in a while I don’t mind pleasing the palate . You can reduce the amount of oil used.

Note 2: For a rich gravy you can also add 2-3 cashenuts to the onions and then grind.

December 30, 2009 at 2:02 pm 15 comments

Tandoori Platter

Tandoori-the name itself triggers the taste buds for most of the people. The combination of different aromatic spices with the raw smoked vegetables is sure to tempt even fussy eaters! These are wonderful party starters (if you have the patience) or cocktail snacks.

You can use assorted vegetables like cauliflower, potatoes, yam, fresh green peas with the shells, baby onions or even fruits like pineapple. This is the perfect season for spicy hot Tandoori parties.

My Tandoori platter today has babycorns, mushrooms and Paneer (Indian cottage cheese). I don’t have a Tandoor, so I use a shegri (chulha) – a coal fired stove. You can use the stove top with a griddle or even the oven to grill the vegetables.

 Here’s the recipe for my Tandoori platter:

10-12 Babycorns

10-12 button Mushrooms

10-12 Paneer cubes

For the Marinade:

~ ½ cup thick curd

2 tsp Tandoori Masala

1 tsp Chaat Masala

1 tsp Red chilli powder

¼ tsp turmeric

½ tsp lemon juice

4-5 mint leaves chopped finely (or coriander leaves)

~2-3 tsp oil

Salt to taste

 Whisk the Marinade ingredients together. Adjust the spices to your taste, if required.

Add the Babycorns, Paneer and Mushrooms to the curd mixture.

Mix well so that the curd mixture coats all the pieces evenly.

Keep aside for 30minutes to 1 hr.

Grill on the coal fired stove (using a mesh) or insert into skewers and grill on stove tops or grill in the oven till vegetables are browned or even a little charred (if you like the smoky flavour)

Serve hot direct from the stove top!

Note: Chopped onions sprinkled with salt and red chilli powder and green chutney are good accompaniments with the Tandoori vegetables.

December 29, 2009 at 3:50 pm 6 comments

Celebrating the season with Spicy Masale Bhaat

I am back from a weekend of food and fun in Pune. There is a sudden chill in the weather here; the nippy, foggy mornings making it all the more difficult to get back to work on a Monday morning!

We love this season for the bounty of veggies that it offers. The farmer’s market is flooded with variety of colorful veggies, rarely found during the rest of the year. So, many of my recipes this season, will be celebrating winter vegetables. One such recipe is Masale bhaat. The veggies which go into this spicy Rice are available year round. But they lack the freshness and color that this season offers.

Here’s a spicy Rice (Masale Bhaat) recipe perfect for the weather.

Masale Bhaat; characteristic Maharashtrian Rice cooked with seasonal vegetables and spices. Masale Bhaat is an imperative dish for every festive/wedding meal in Maharashtra. The ivy gourd (Tindora/Tondli) used in this rice is the key ingredient apart from the spices used, to lend its distinctive flavour. Rest of the vegetables can be substituted depending on the availability.

In my home it keeps revisiting like ‘old styles coming back in fashion’ every now and then for dinners with family and friends. You will find plenty of recipes for Masale Bhaat depending on the origin. Here’s how I make it:

 Masale Bhaat Recipe

2 cups Long grained rice washed

10-12 Tindora/Tondli(Ivy Gourd) cut lengthwise

1-2 carrots peeled and cut into chunks

1 small potato washed, peeled and cubed (optional), any other veggies of your choice like peas, cauliflower…

1 tsp Kala Masala,

Salt

4 cups water

Whole spices: 2-3 cloves, 2-3 black peppercorns, 1” stick cinnamon, 1-2 bay leaves

Tadka ingredients: 2 tsp Oil, 1 tsp mustard seeds, ½ tsp turmeric powder

For Garnishing: Freshly grated coconut, chopped coriander and Ghee (clarified butter)

 Heat oil in the pressure cooker (or in a pan if you are using a rice cooker)

Add the mustard seeds and allow them to splutter.

Add the turmeric and the whole spices.

Add the veggies and sauté for 2-3 seconds.

Add the Kala Masal and mix well.

Add the salt and water and bring to a boil.

Pressure cook till the rice is cooked (the grains should be separate after cooking)

Garnish with coconut, coriander and a generous dollop of ghee!

Serve hot.

 

December 28, 2009 at 12:57 pm 23 comments

Vegetable Kung Pao

I wanted to make Kung Pao ever since I saw it on Deeba’s blog here. Being a vegetarian I skipped the chicken and used the available vegetables for this quick and easy vegetable Kung Pao.

Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients: 

8-10 button mushrooms sliced

1 large carrot diced

1 small Red cabbage diced

4 spring onions, white bulbs and green tops cut separately into 1/2″ pieces

1 red/yellow bell pepper, chopped

3 Tablespoons soy sauce

1Tablespoons sherry

2 teaspoons cornstarch

2 teaspoons sugar

2 Tablespoons white-wine vinegar

2 teaspoons Asian sesame oil

1/3 cup water

2 Tablespoons cooking oil

3/4 cup cashews

1/4 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes

3-4 garlic cloves, sliced

In a small bowl, combine the sugar, vinegar, sesame oil, water, soy sauce, sherry and cornstarch.

In a wok or large frying pan, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over moderately high heat.

Add the cashews and stirring until light brown, about 30 seconds. Remove from the pan.

Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Add the garlic & chili flakes. Stir for 2 minutes till fragrant & light pink.

Add the white part of the spring onions, carrot & cabbage and cook, stirring, for 1-2 minutes.

Add the bell pepper and mushroom and cook for a 1-2 minutes more.

Add the soy sauce mixture and the onion greens and simmer for 1-2 minutes Stir in the cashews.

Serve hot over steamed rice.

December 26, 2009 at 7:00 am 8 comments

Vegetable Tagine with Harisa

This is a warm up to the 7-day recipe marathon initiated by Nupur, at One Hot Stove. Just making sure I haven’t forgotten writing posts!  Nupur has provided the much needed push for My Foodcourt and hope to reach the finish line, even though I shall be travelling.

Harisa Seasoning was not a very familiar spice to me till recently. My dear brother picked up some free samples for this from a trade fair in Berlin last month. Some Google research and I was tempted to use it immediately; Hit the bulls eye with this recipe for Vegetable Tagine with Harisa. Loved this recipe since I had all the ingredients that were required (a very rare coincidence!).

All the veggies used for this Tagine are in season now. I did not have the traditional ‘Tagine pot’ but slow cooked it on the stove top for the flavours to mingle and the result was a scrumptious spicy-sweet and tangy stew. Traditionally served with couscous, I served this with rice. As usual I tweaked the recipe a little bit to suit our taste.

Here’s the recipe:

Vegetable Tagine with Harisa

2 onions, sliced

½ tsp ginger-garlic paste

1 tsp sugar

3 tsp Harisa seasoning

a pinch of saffron (optional)

1 tsp cumin seeds (roasted and crushed)

1 cinnamon stick

1 bay leaf

250ml vegetable stock or water

3 ripe tomatoes, skinned and chopped

2 large carrots, cut into chunks

2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed

1 red pepper, seeded and cubed

1 yellow pepper, seeded and cubed

2 brinjals, cubed

400g chickpeas soaked overnight and cooked

1 tsp dry red chilli powder or pepper (optional)

Salt

2 tsp Oil

Chopped fresh parsley for garnish

Heat the oil and fry the onion, ginger-garlic and sugar over a low heat until onions begin to caramelise.

Add harissa powder and spices and cook until fragrant.

Add the veggies, season with salt, Cover and simmer for 40 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.

Garnish with chopped fresh parsley.

Serve hot with couscous or rice.

December 17, 2009 at 4:39 pm 5 comments

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