Tag Archives: entre

Best of 2015

I had a lot of fun in 2015 trying new recipes from around the world. There are many keepers in the list that i cooked over and over again, and I expect, will continue to do so.

Here are some of my most favorite recipes…

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APPETIZERS & SNACKS

Baked Bajji

Baked Vada

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GRAINS:

Quinoa Dosa

One-pot Mexican Quinoa

Mango Poha

Quinoa Vangi Bath

Cranberry Poha

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BEANS & LENTILS

Cauliflower, Kale, Chickpea  Curry Pot

Black-Eyed Peas and Greens with Navrattan Spices

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JAMS & JELLIES

Anise Flavored Kumquat Marmalade

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DIPS & SAUCES

Sun-dried Tomato and Jalapeno Hummus

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WRAPS & SANDWICHES

Edamame and Zucchini Wraps

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CASSEROLE

Zucchini and Yellow Tomato Gratin

Spaghetti Squash Casserole

Spaghetti Squash Burrito Bowl

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DESSERTS

Pumpkin Payasam

Cherry Swirl with Dark Chocolate & Cherry Bits

Baklava

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BREADS, COOKIES & CAKES

Farro and Sun-dried Tomato Foccacia

Cherry and Cardamon Cake

Vegan Pumpkin Bread

Airplane Cookies

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JUICES & SMOOTHIES

Watermelon Cooler

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CURRIES & MORE

Tomato in Yogurt Sauce

Eggplant Curry with Onion

CherrySalad

SALADS

Cherry and Avocado Salad

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SIDES

Honey and Sriracha Roasted Brussels Sprouts

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SOUPS

Vibrant Beets Soup

Mediterranean Grain Soup

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WHAT’S POPULAR WITH YOU?

Amaranth Upma

Amaranth Dosa

Spicy Chickpea and Brussels Sprouts Soup

Valor Papdi Bean

Baked Bajji

Edamame and Zucchini Wraps

Quinoa Upma

Mango Carrot Muffins

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HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

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Cucumber Melon (Dosakaya)

Is an oval, sometimes stripped, tart melon that is popular in South India. This is not to be confused with the slightly sweet, yellow melon found in Asian groceries. It belongs to the cucumber family, and hence is a low calorie food that is packed with nutrients in the form of water or electrolytes.

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Three main recipes, that my mother loved to make are: dal, pickle or chutney. Although there are many others out there. In fact you can even dry the seeds and ground to a powder along with other spices and an enjoy with rice or as seasoning!

To make pickle is easy…

Ingredients:
1 cucumber melon
2-3 tbsp red ground chilli powder
2-3 tbsp oil
1-2 tbsp mustard powder
Salt to taste

dosakayaRinse and chop the cucumber into half. Remove the pulp and seeds and discard. Slice the cucumber into thin 1/2 inch slices. Add oil, red chilli powder, mustard powder and salt and mix well.

Store in air tight container.  Note can form fungi, if salt is less. Refrigerate to preserve for a longer time period. Serve with some warm rice!

 

dosakaya2To make dal…

Ingredients:
1 cucumber melon
1 cup Toor Dal
1 garlic, peeled and sliced

Seasoning:
1 tsp oil
1 tsp channa dal
1 tsp urad dal
1 tsp mustard seeds
1/s tsp fenugreek seeds
2-3 dry red chilli
1-2 sliced jalapeno
a dash of turmeric
a dash of asafoetida
a few curry leaves

Cook the dal in 2 cups water stove-top or in a pressure cooker.

Heat the oil, add turmeric, and asafoetida.Add sliced garlic and fry till golden.  Add all seasoning ingredients except jalapeno and curry leaves. Lightly fry till golden. Add jalapeno and curry leaves and fry for a minute. Add cucumber melon and fry for a few seconds.

Add some water and cook in medium low, until it softens. Add some tamarind juice and bring to a boil. Add some red chilli powder and mix well.

Garnish with some cilantro and serve warm with rice 🙂

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Curried Ratatouille

Lately, I have been obsessing about ratatouille. There are so many different versions out there. They combine all my favorite vegetables.

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So colorful. So flavorful. So tasty.

I found a few, that I wanted to try. Here’s another variation of the Ratatouille that I tried recently, adapted from Marc Matsumoto’s  recipe. He has at least three different variations.

And there is at least one other recipe from him that I want to try 🙂

Ingredients:

1 small eggplant, cubed
2 zucchini, cubed
1 red bell pepper, cubed
4 medium tomatoes, cubed
2 onions cubed ( or I used 1 bunch green onions chopped)
1-2 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp garam masala
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp turmeric
1-2 serrano or jalapeno peppers
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 inch ginger, grated
5 cloves

cr1Heat the oil in  a large pan. Add cumin, cloves and mustard and fry till they start to pop. Add ginger and garlic and fry till golden on medium flame. Add onions, jalapeno peppers and salt fry till the onions start to brown .

Add eggplant, zucchini, peppers and tomatoes. Add turmeric and garam masala and mix well. Reduce flame to medium low, cover the pan and cook for 20 minutes.

Remove lid and continue cooking for an additional 10 minutes till the moisture evaporates.

Can be made quickly. And perfect for a work day meal!

Beware, it is spicy. You might want to adjust the spices for a milder version!

cr3See Also:

Chickpea Ratatouille

Chickpea Ratatouille

I had picked up some Eggplant this week to make some Ratatouille. The recipe in the 21 day Tummy Diet was the Ratatouille Frittata which I was reluctant to make. I scoured several of my favorite food blogs (Eat, Live, Run being one of them) for something different. I had this vague idea of roasted eggplant, zucchini, tomatoes… and then I found one that was just perfect here. Here is my version with very slight changes.

ratatouilleIngredients:
1 medium eggplant cut into chunks
1 zucchini cut into chunks
1 yellow onion cut into chunks
2 bell pepper cut into chunks (I used 1 green and 1 yellow)
2 medium tomatoes cut into chunks (or used 1 can)
5 garlic cloves chopped
0.5 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 can chickpeas (drained and washed)
1-2 tbsp olive oil
salt and fresh ground pepper
a little lemon juice (optional)
dash of paprika (optional)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Toss the first 6 ingredients in olive oil, salt and pepper in a large oven safe dish. Roast for 40-45 minutes, mixing halfway through. Add chickpeas, and fresh parsley, toss lightly and continue roasting for another 10-15 minutes.

IMG_4051Remove from oven and serve warm. Drizzle a little lemon juice, add salt and pepper as needed. Serve stand alone or with some brown rice couscous. Makes about 4-5 servings.

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Stuffed Eggplant

This is loosely adapted from the 21 day Tummy diet. While the original recipe uses ground beef, this is a vegetarian version.

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Ingredients:
1 Japanese eggplant
1/2 cup quinoa (I used rainbow quinoa)
1/2 cup frozen peas
1 medium tomato chopped
1/4 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1 tbsp olive oil
Touch of turmeric
Salt to taste
cilantro to garnish

StuffedEggplant1Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Slice the eggplant in half. Using a paring knife, scoop out the eggplant pulp, leaving a 1/2 inch border. Place the eggplant with the cut side down in a baking pan. Add 1/2 cup water and bake for 15 minutes or until the eggplant softens.

StuffedEggplant2Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a pan. Add a dash of turmeric. Chop and add the eggplant pulp and fry for a minute. Add chopped tomato and peas and continue frying for another minute. Add 1.5 cups water and bring to a boil. Reduce flame, add 1/2 cup quinoa, cumin and garam masala and let simmer for 25-30 minutes or until cooked.

StuffedEggplant3Scoop the quinoa mix onto the eggplant and bake for 10 minutes. Garnish with cilantro and serve warm.The stuffing is sufficient for 2-3 eggplants or use as a side.

StuffedEggplant4Turned out quite tasty, although if I were to make this again, I would definitely season the eggplant with some salt and maybe paprika. But definitely a delicious, diet based, main dish 🙂

Pumpkin Cooked Two Ways South Indian Style

There was an unwritten rule my mother followed and I seem to have picked it up along the way…

Whenever she cooked a pulusu without dal (or lentils), she always cooked a curry or kura with lentils. A pulusu is a South Indian (from Andhra Pradesh) dish which is cooked with tamarind juice or yogurt to name a few. Being vegetarian, we relied heavily on lentils for our protein, so it makes sense that the kura was cooked with lentils.

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Pumpkin Kura:
1/2 a small pumpkin
1 cup channa dal
1 tsp urad dal
1 tsp channa dal for seasoning
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1-2 dry red chilli peppers
1 jalapeno sliced
curry leaves (optional)
chopped cilantro to garnish
pinch of turmeric
pinch of asafoetida
salt to taste
1-2 tsp oil

I usually like to cook my channa dal and chopped pumpkin  in a pressure cooker. But it should be easy enough to cook on stove top. Rinse, and chop half the pumpkin into 1 in cubes. Rinse and wash 1 cup channa dal. Cook the pumpkin and channa dal in 2 cups of water, adding more as needed or cook in a pressure cooker.

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In a large pan, heat 1-2 tsp of oil. Add turmeric, asafoetida, channa dal, urad dal, cumin seeds, mustard seeds and dry red chillies. Fry till lightly golden. Add curry leaves and sliced jalapeno and fry for a few seconds. Add the cooked pumpkin and channa dal, salt to taste and continue cooking till all the moisture evaporates. Garnish with some chopped cilantro.

Pumkin pulusu
1/2 small pumpkin
1/2 medium onion
1/4 small bottlegourd
1 small sweet potato
1 roma tomato
1tsp urad dal
1 tsp channa dal
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1-2 dry red chillies
1 jalapeno sliced
a few curry leaves
1-2 tbsp jaggery powder ( 2 1 inch cubes or as desired)
1 cup tamarind juice or as desired
1 tbsp white rice powder
salt to taste
chopped cilantro to garnish
I usually like to chop my vegetables into 1in cubes and pressure cook, but you can also cook stove top with some water. I add onion, bottlegourd, sweet potato, and pumpkin and pressure cook.

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Meanwhile, heat a large pan with a little oil. Add turmeric, asafoetida, cumin seeds, mustard seeds, channa dal, urad dal, red chillies and fry till lightly brown. Add curry leaves, sliced jalapeno, and fry lightly. Add cooked vegetables, tamarind juice, jaggary and continue boiling. Mix white rice flour in a bowl with some water and add to the mix. Add some chopped tomato and continue cooking for 10-20 minutes in low flame. Add salt to taste. Garnish with chopped cilantro.

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Serve both with some warm rice. Enjoy!

Eggplant Chutney South Indian Style

This was a constant in my home. You can stick a well greased eggplant on a gas burning stove. I have done this before. Of course my mother loved to roast the eggplant stove top. She even gave me a mesh frame to roast the eggplant. But with six highly sensitive smoke alarms, all hard-wired and interconnected, waiting to set-off any moment, I am less inclined to roast the eggplant stove top. Even a little smoke can set off my smoke alarms. Instead, I prefer to use my oven very, very carefully, with doors and windows open, and with exhaust running high.

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Ingredients:
1 large eggplant or 2 small japanese eggplant
some tamarind juice

Seasoning
1 tsp channa dal
1 tsp ural dal
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1-2 dry red chilli
1 jalapeno
some tamarind juice
a few curry leaves
some chopped cilantro
salt to taste
sugar (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

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Wash eggplant, dry and lightly grease with some olive oil. Bake in the over for about 45 minutes. Periodically rotate the eggplant to enable even roasting.

Cool the roasted eggplant. Peel and extract the pulp. Mash with a spatula.

Meanwhile heat 1 tbsp oil in  a pan. Add turmeric, asafoetida, channa dal, urad dal, cumin seeds, mustard seeds, and dry red chillies. Fry for a minute or two till golden. Add curry leaves and sliced jalapeno and fry for another minute. Add to the roasted eggplant pulp.

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Add 1-2 tbsp thick tamarind juice. Add salt to taste and chopped cilantro and mix well. Can add some sugar (optional). Serve with some warm rice. Enjoy!