Guacamole

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Guacamole
(Serves 2-3)

Ingredients:-
1. Two ripe avocadoes deseeded
2. Two garlic cloves or two tsp garlic powder
3. One green chilli or to taste (optional)
4. One cup cilantro
5. Lime juice to taste
6. Salt to taste

Method:-
Scoop out the avocado flesh and discard peel. Mix all ingredients and pulse everything together in a food processor. Serve with tortilla chips.

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Saag chole

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Saag chole
(Serves 4)

Ingredients:-
1. Two cans chickpeas or garbanzo beans (alternatively one can use chickpeas which have been soaked overnight)
2. Two tsp oil
3. Two medium onions chopped
4. Two-three medium tomatoes chopped
5. 1/2 inch ginger chopped
6. Five-six garlic cloves chopped (2tsp garlic powder can also be used)
7. One bunch spinach washed (frozen spinach can also be used)
8. One bunch mustard greens washed (frozen mustard greens can also be used)
9. Two tbsp or to taste chana masala
10. Salt to taste
11. Three-four tsp sugar or to taste

Method:-
Heat oil in a pan. Fry onions and ginger till translucent. Add garlic and tomatoes and fry till tender. Add chana masala, spinach, mustard greens, salt and sugar. Cook for about 10 mins. Then with a hand mixer pulse everything to a fine paste. Now mix in chickpeas. If using canned, wash well before mixing and discard the liquid. Check for seasoning. If needed add more. Pressure cook for one whistle. This step can be skipped also. Serve hot. This dish can be enjoyed with rice, quinoa, couscous or any kind of bread.

Green chilli pickle

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Green chilli pickle
(Serves 4)

Ingredients:-
1. 14oz green chillies washed, dried so that no water remains and slit
2. Two tsp turmeric powder
3. Two tsp mustard seeds crushed in a food processor
4. Salt to taste
5. One tbsp mustard oil

Method:-
Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Make sure there is no water anywhere. Keep in a jar. Can be had immediately or after 2-3 days. For better results try putting it in the sun for a day or two.

Moong dal quinoa khichadi

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Moong dal quinoa khichadi
(Serves 4)

Ingredients:-
1. 1 cup pre-washed quinoa
2. 1/2 cup split moong dal washed
3. 4 cups water
4. Salt to taste
5. One tbsp ginger chopped
6. Greens chilies to taste (optional)
7. 1/2 tbsp clarified butter (ghee)
8. 1/2 tsp asafoetida
9. 1 tsp cumin seeds
10. 2 tsp turmeric powder
11. One big tomato chopped
12. Couple springs of cilantro chopped
13. Lime juice to taste

Method:-
In a deep vessel put moong dal, quinoa and water to cook on medium heat. Add salt and ginger. Moong dal foams so take out the foam with a spoon. Let cook partly covered for about 30mins or till done. Don’t cover fully. Also don’t cook in a pressure cooker. Meanwhile in a separate pan heat ghee. Add asafoetida, cumin seeds, turmeric powder and green chilies. Cook for a minute. Then add tomatoes and salt and cook till tomatoes are tender. Once the dal and quinoa have cooked properly add the tomato mixture, mix, add lime juice, garnish with cilantro and serve.

Tamarind rice

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Tamarind rice
(Serves 3-4)

Ingredients:-
1. Two cups cooked rice
2. One tbsp tamarind paste
3. Two tsps oil
4. One tsp mustard seeds
5. Pinch of asafoetida
6. 4 tbsp roasted peanuts
7. One tbsp split chana dal
8. One tbsp split urad dal
9. Handful of curry leaves
10. Some split cashews
11. 5-6 whole red chilies or to taste
12. 2 tsp turmeric powder
13. Salt to taste

Method:-
Soak urad and chana dal in water for about 1 hour. Now heat oil in a wok/pan. Add asafoetida, mustard seeds, whole red chilies, cashews, curry leaves and both dals. Fry till mustard seeds splutter. Now add turmeric powder, rice, salt and mix in tamarind paste. Mix everything properly on medium heat. Sprinkle roasted peanuts and serve hot.

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 jalapeños 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.

Spinach kale biryani

 

IMG_1197Spinach kale biryani
(A healthy veggie biryani)
(Serves 4)

Ingredients:-
1. Two cups long grain basmati rice
2. 4 cups water
3. 16oz bag of pre-washed spinach and kale mix or any other power greens preferably organic
4. Handful of mint leaves washed and chopped
5. One bay leaf
6. 1 inch cinnamon stick
7. 10-12 peppercorns
8. 7-8 cloves
9. 4-5 choti elaichi (small, green cardamoms)
10. 2 badi elaichi (big cardamoms)
11. One tsp ghee (clarified butter)
12. One medium onion sliced or chopped
13. One or two medium tomatoes chopped
14. Biryani masala (any brand) to taste
15. Salt to taste

Method:-
Blanch spinach and kale mix or any other power greens by boiling in water till tender. Purée and keep aside. In the meantime wash and soak rice in some water for about half an hour. Heat clarified butter (ghee) in a wok. Add the bay leaf, cinnamon stick, cardamoms, cloves and peppercorns. Add onions and fry till they caramelize. Add tomatoes, biryani masala and salt and cook for about two minutes. Add the puréed spinach and kale. Mix and check for salt and seasoning. If needed add more at this point. Cook for about 5 minutes and then go ahead and add the soaked rice. Make sure to discard the water in which rice was soaked. Use it only if you need more water. Cover the pan and cook on medium heat till rice is done. Don’t cover the pan fully. Leave a little space open for air to escape. Once done turn off the heat and cover and keep the rice
for about 10 mins. After that open, add mint leaves and lightly fluff up. Serve hot with plain yogurt or any raita of your choice.

Tip:-
1. For an even healthier version brown rice can be used.
2. My personal favourite with any biryani is the minty cucumber raita. Check recipe here:- https://eatlightstaylightweb.wordpress.com/2016/05/25/minty-cucumber-raita/
3. Biryani masala can be bought at any Indian grocery store.