Mediterranean Tzatziki

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Mediterranean Tzatziki
(Serves 10)

Ingredients:-
1. Two cups strained Greek yogurt
2. One cup seeded cucumber shredded or diced
3. Two tbsp lemon juice or white vine vinegar
4. Two tsp garlic powder or two cloves garlic minced
5. One tbsp chopped dill or mint leaves
6. Salt to taste
7. Pepper to taste preferably white pepper but black would also be fine
8. 1/2 tbsp olive oil

Method:-
If not using strained yogurt, strain yogurt for 30min-3hours using a cheesecloth or coffee filter to drain out excess water. Skip this step if using store bought strained yogurt. You can skip this step also if you are in a hurry. Shred cucumber, mix some salt and keep aside. After 10 mins squeeze out excess water and mix this cucumber in the yogurt. Add garlic, lemon juice, mint/dill leaves, olive oil, salt and pepper and mix everything well. Mediterranean Tzatziki is ready to serve.

Tip:- This can be served with pita chips, veggies, can be applied on gyros, buns, breads etc to make yummy sandwiches/foldwiches. Remember to keep it refrigerated.

Homemade salsa

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Homemade salsa
(Serves 4)

Ingredients:-
1. 7-8 big ripe tomatoes, washed and chopped
2. One medium onion chopped
3. Two garlic cloves chopped
4. 1/2 cup cilantro washed
5. 1-2 jalapeƱos deseeded and chopped
6. Salt to taste
7. Sugar to taste (optional)
8. Lime juice to taste
9. 1/2 cup spaghetti sauce (optional)

Method:-
Blend everything together in a food processor. Store in an airtight bottle in the refrigerator. If adding spaghetti sauce, this will have a shelf life of a month. Else try finish in a week.

Tip:-
For a healthier version add parsley too and skip spaghetti sauce. Spaghetti sauce, however, gives a nice red color to it.

Dahi wali bhindi

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Dahi wali bhindi
(Okra in yogurt gravy with spices)
(Serves 2)

Ingredients:-
1. Two cups okra washed, dried and chopped
2. One cup yogurt whisked
3. 1 tsp oil
4. 1/2 tsp asafoetida
5. 1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds
6. 1 tsp turmeric powder
7. 1 tsp red chilli powder (optional)
8. 4 tsp coriander powder
9. 1/2 tsp garlic chopped or garlic powder (optional)
10. One medium onion chopped (optional)
11. 1/2 cup water
12. Salt to taste
13. One spring cilantro chopped to garnish (optional)

Method:-
Heat oil in a wok. Add asafoetida and fenugreek seeds. When the seeds splutter add onions and garlic/garlic powder. Fry till translucent. If you don’t like onion and garlic skip this step and add turmeric powder, coriander powder and red chilli powder. Now add okra, water and salt. If okra is bit hard try giving two whistles in a pressure cooker. Else cook covered till okra is tender. Now add the yogurt and bring to a boil. Garnish with cilantro and serve.

Tip:- You can enjoy this with rotis, tortillas, rice, quinoa, couscous, farro or parathas.

All purpose curry

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All purpose curry
(Serves 3-4)

Ingredients:-
1. One tsp oil
2. One big onion pulsed
3. One big tomato pulsed
4. 1/2 inch ginger pulsed
5. 5-6 garlic cloves pulsed
6. 1/4 cup cashews pulsed (optional)
7. 1/4 cup dried fenugreek leaves (kasoori methi) crushed (optional)
8. 7-8 springs of cilantro finely chopped (optional)
9. One tsp turmeric powder
10. One tsp cumin powder
11. Four tsp coriander powder
12. One tsp red chilli powder
13. Salt to taste
14. One to two cups water
15. Two tsp garam masala powder

Method:-
Heat oil in a wok. Add the pulsed onion, tomato, ginger, garlic and cashews. Fry till translucent. Now add spices and salt. Fry for two minutes more. Add water and bring to a boil. Once curry thickens a bit turn off the flame and add dried fenugreek leaves and chopped cilantro.

Tip:- This curry is an excellent make ahead curry. Boiled and cubed potatoes can be added to it. Soya chunks, boiled veggies or just boiled peas can also be added to it. Cottage cheese (paneer) or tofu can be cubed and can be added to it too. Make ahead frozen deep fried or baked koftas can also be added to this curry.

Jeera rice

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Jeera rice
(Serves 3-4)

Ingredients:-
1. One and a half cup rice washed and soaked in water for half an hour
2. Three cups water
3. One tsp oil
4. Two tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
5. 1/4 tsp clarified butter (ghee)
6. Salt to taste

Method:-
Heat oil and clarified butter together in a wok or deep pan. Add cumin seeds. When they have crackled add rice and salt. Mix well and toss for about 2-3 minutes. Add water and cook on medium heat till done. Cover the pan but leave a little space open for air to escape. Don’t stir till cooked. Once cooked, let it rest fully covered for around 5-10 minutes and then gently fluff up.

Tip:- Jeera rice is a staple with any North Indian curry. Enjoy it by itself or with any curry of your choice.

Sesame garlic noodles

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Sesame garlic noodles

(Serves 2)

Ingredients:-
4 cups noodles cooked as per pack instructions and strained
1 tsp sesame seed oil
1 tbsp white sesame seeds
1 tbsp garlic chopped
Salt as per taste

Method:-
Heat oil in a non-stick pan. Add sesame seeds. When they crackle add garlic. When garlic turns translucent add noodles and salt. Mix and serve.

Tip:-
These go very well with sesame chicken or sesame vegetable stir fry. Find recipes for both on my blog.

Sesame vegetable stir fry

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Sesame vegetable stir fry with sesame garlic noodles

Sesame vegetable stir fry
(Serves 2)

Ingredients:-
1 tsp+1 tsp sesame seed oil
1 tbsp white sesame seeds
5-6 whole red chillies
1 tbsp garlic chopped
One medium onion chopped
1 cup broccoli florets blanched
1/2 cup snow peas blanched
1/2 cup baby carrots blanched
1/4 cup bell peppers blanched
4 tbsp soya sauce
Salt to taste
Black pepper to taste
Maggi vegetable seasoning to taste
1/2 tbsp cornflour
1/2+1/4 cup water

Method:-
Heat 1 tsp sesame seed oil in a non-stick pan. Add sesame seeds to this. When they crackle add garlic and onions. When they turn translucent add the blanched veggies, water, salt, pepper and Maggi vegetable seasoning mix. Add soya sauce. Cook till water evaporates a bit. Dissolve cornflour in 1/4 cup water and add to thicken the gravy. Now in a separate pan heat 1 tsp sesame seed oil. Add whole red chillies and sesame seeds. After tossing for two minutes add to the gravy. Mix in lightly. Serve.

Tip:-
This goes well with rice or any kind of noodles.