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.

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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.

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.

Mexican style avocado salad

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Mexican style avocado salad
(Serves 2)

Ingredients:-
1. Salad greens mix 10 oz preferably organic, washed and ready to eat
2. Two large tomatoes chopped
3. Two ripe avocados deseeded and chopped
4. 2 tsp garlic powder
5. 3-4 tsp original taco seasoning or to taste
6. Lime juice to taste
7. Green chilies or jalapeños chopped to taste
8. 1 tsp or to taste Tabasco sauce (optional)

Method:-
Mix everything in a large bowl. Chill and serve.

Tip:-
For a fuller meal feel free to add one can of pinto beans/black beans/kidney beans/garbanzo beans.

For another avocado salad recipe and to ensure avocados are ripe check out this link:- https://eatlightstaylightweb.wordpress.com/2016/05/06/avocado-salad/

Baked lauki ke kofte

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Baked lauki ke kofte (a healthier version of lauki koftas)
(Serves 3-4)

For the koftas:-
Ingredients:-
1. One bottle gourd peeled, washed and grated or pulsed
2. Salt to taste
3. Red chilli powder to taste
4. Two tsp garam masala
5. One cup or as needed gram flour (besan)

Method:-
Squeeze out excess water from the grated/pulsed bottle gourd. The same water can be strained and used in the curry. Now to the bottle gourd add the rest of the ingredients and shape into round balls. Take a greased baking tray. Put all balls on it and lightly brush with oil. Bake at 200 degrees C till all balls turn golden brown. Keep them aside. These can also be frozen once they cool down to use at a later time.

For the curry:-
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 (the water taken out from bottle gourd after squeezing can also be used)
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. Dip in the balls. Serve.

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.