Tag Archives: lentils

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

air20152

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

mgs

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

chickpea_brusselssprouts

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

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Roasted Root Vegetable Soup with Kale and Lentils

Chill is in the air. The last few days, the Polar Vortex dipped low, bringing an early freeze to the Mid Atlantic and the South. Some parts of the country even saw some snow.  It is way too early for snow!

While salads are refreshing during the hot summer months, come fall and winter, I love to try new soup recipes.

rvlk3During such chilly weather, I like to turn on the oven to bake cakes, muffins, bread or roast my vegetables. Nicely warms up the house a degree or two as well. Not to mention the aroma that fills the house.

There are plenty of root vegetables out there in fall. You can pretty much mix in your favorite root vegetables to make this soup.

Ingredients:

1 Turnip cut into rings or 1 inch pieces
2 carrots, sliced into rings
3-4 small golden beets, sliced into rings
1 Daikon (winter radish) sliced into rings
2 Roma tomatoes, chopped
1 bunch green onions, cut into 1in pieces
2 cups chopped kale
2/3 cup brown lentils
1-2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp curry powder
juice of one lemon
a few red pepper flakes
salt and fresh ground pepper
fresh or dry cilantro
6 cups broth or water

If using dry lentils, soak for 6-8 hours or overnight.

rvlk1Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Toss all vegetables except kale, with some olive oil, salt and fresh ground black pepper. Lay out on baking sheets and bake for 30 minutes.

Transfer to a dutch oven, or large soup dish. Rinse and add lentils, spices, 4 cups of water and bring to a boil. Reduce flame and let simmer for an hour. Add kale and continue cooking for another 10-15 minutes till kale wilts.

rvlk2Drizzle lemon juice, season with cilantro and red pepper flakes and serve warm!

Croutons or crusty bread on the side wont do harm 🙂

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Quick Lunch Series: Red Lentil and Cucumber Salad

I came across this on PBS Fresh Tastes recently. Looked delicious and refreshing. It is especially good for a hot, summer day meal.

Still, considering the recent nice weather, it was a perfect lunch on a week day.

I altered it slightly…and made it as follows…

cucu1Ingredients:

1/4 cup red lentils
1/2 cucumber chopped
8-10 sliced cherry tomatoes
1-2 tbsp sliced red onion
1-2 tbsp yogurt
1-2 tbsp lemon juice
1 jalapeno minced (optional)
some finely chopped cilantro
a touch of cayenne pepper
salt and fresh ground pepper

Rinse and add 1/2 to 3/4 cup water to lentils and cook on medium flame for 10-15 minutes. Set aside. I rarely like to toss, the liquid when I cook lentils. Something about tossing away the nutrients with the water. I always cook my lentils with twice the amount of water, so there is nothing left. You can always add more if you think you need to cook your lentils more.

In a large bowl, add yogurt, lemon juice, salt and peppers, minced jalapeno, chopped cucumber and chopped cilantro and mix well. Add sliced cherry tomatoes. Toss in chilled, and  cooked red lentils and serve immediately.

Cucumbers and sliced tomatoes are juicy, so it is best to toss the salad with them, just before serving.

Enjoy!

Kale and Lentil Soup

This is loosely based on this recipe.

kalelentilsoupIngredients:
1 cup dry brown lentils
3 carrots, chopped
3 celery, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 bag of chopped Organic Tuscan kale
1 tsp fresh basil
salt and fresh ground black pepper
1/2 tsp paprika
a few flakes of red crushed pepper
1 tbsp of olive oil
a drizzle of lemon juice

Soak dry brown lentils for 8-12 hours.

In a large pot, on medium low, add oil. Add onions, carrots, and celery and fry lightly. Add soaked and rinsed dry brown lentils. Add tomatoes. Add 3 cups water and cook on medium low for 20 minutes. Add chopped basil, and fresh chopped kale and mix well. Continue to cook for another 10-15 minutes. Add salt, fresh ground pepper, paprika, and crushed pepper flakes.

Remove from flame and cool.

Using a hand blender or food processor, blend soup in batches.

Optionally, drizzle some lemon juice and serve warm!

Caldo Verde

Caldo Verde (“green broth”) is a popular Portuguese soup. This recipe is adapted from the 21 day Tummy Diet.

IMG_4212Ingredients:
1 turnip, peeled and cut into 1 in pieces
1 red potato cut into 1 in pieces
3 medium tomatoes cut into 1 in pieces
3 cups loosely chopped kale
3/4 cup cooked lentils
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tbsp olive oil
salt to taste

IMG_4204Heat the oil in a dutch oven. Add potato, turnips and tomato and fry for 1-2 minutes. Add salt and cayenne pepper and cook for another minute. Add 4 cups water (or broth of choice), lentils and kale and bring to a boil. Reduce flame and cook for 30-40 minutes.

IMG_4209Drizzle some lemon juice and serve warm with a lemon wedge. Makes about 4 servings.

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A. Soup. A. Week. Lebanese Lentil Soup

Busy week … and no time for A. Soup. A. Week.

This is one of the first soups I made when I got the home-made soup frenzy..

You know when I decided canned/bottled/boxed stuff is not so good for you because of all the other stuff in it. When I realized it is so easy and tasty to make your own soups… from fresh, local, unadulterated produce 🙂

You can check out the recipe here.

Lebanese Lentil Soup

This is so yummy I never tire of it. It is the perfect antidote for a cold winter’s day!

Enjoy and have a exciting weekend!

Kichdi (Rice with lentils)

Khichdi is a popular one pot meal that is chiefly composed of rice and lentils. Typically the lentils of choice are moong dal (green gram) or brown lentils. You can make it with either brown or white rice. Cooking with brown rice takes longer and most times I double cook it in a pressure cooker. Also it is not as fluffy as when cooked with white basmati. Kichdi is convenient and fairly easy to cook. Perfect for that office lunch box or a week night dinner. It goes well with some raita (yogurt dish) or plain yogurt on the side.

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Kichdi made with whole moong dal and white basmati rice is shown above.

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Kichdi with brown rice and whole moong dal is shown above.

For the Kichidi:
1 cup rice (brown or white)
1/2 cup whole moong dal (green gram)
1/2 onion chopped
1-2 bay leaves
1 jalapeno sliced (optional)
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp cumin powder
2 garlic cloves (optional)
a small piece of ginger (optional)
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp garam masala
1-2 tbsp shredded coconut
pinch of turmeric
salt to taste
some cilantro chopped
1 tbsp oil
1 tsp ghee (optional)

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For the Raita
1 cup yogurt
1/4 red onion chopped (optional)
1/4 cucumber shredded or finely cut
1 roma tomato chopped fine
some cilantro chopped
salt and fresh ground black pepper

To make the raita mix all the ingredients and set aside.

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To make the kichdi, if using whole moong dal, soak overnight or atleast for 8 hours. If using de-husked, split moong dal not preparation is needed.

I usually like to make the kichdi in a pressure pan or pressure cooker. My 7liter pressure cooker comes with a pressure pan that is very convenient to cook. Especially when I need to saute my vegetables in oil first before steaming them.

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My really old pressure pan shown above, that is perfect for steaming and making one pot meals such as kichdi, vangi bath, pulao etc.

Rinse rice and drain all the water and set aside. To make the kichdi, heat some oil in a pan. Add turmeric and cumin seeds and fry lightly. Add onion, garlic and jalapeno and fry till the onions are lightly brown. Add moong dal and rice and fry lightly. Add salt and all other spices and coconut. Always adjust spices for personal preference. Mix well. Add 2 cups water and a tsp of ghee (optional). Close the pressure pan lid and cook until two whistles. If using an electric rice cooker, transfer the ingredients to the rice cooker after light frying and add water and cook. If cooking in the open, add water and bring to a boil. Reduce flame and cook until all water evaporates and the rice is fluffy. Adding more water as needed.

Garnish with some cilantro and eat warm with plain yogurt or raita.

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