ironamma

A new wave of vegetarian cooking!

Archive for the category “Main Dish”

Sticky Pineapple Rice/Quinoa!

sticky pineappleMy daughter did not take up the juice diet as she’s about to have a baby. In her last weeks she has been getting more hungry than usual, probably to put the fat on my grand-daughter. I can hardly wait. As the rest of the household was juicing she had less variety of food to eat than usual.

However, she made it work from our fruit juicing as there was some pineapple pulp/juice left over with some cooked rice and Quinoa in the fridge. Her mind working overtime decided to make sticky pineapple rice/quinoa dish. Had a small taste…it was too good! Tangy, salty, sweet and hot – all tastes in one.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup cooked rice
  • 1 cup cooked Quinoa
  • 1 cup broccoli – cut small florets
  • 2 cups pineapple pulp juice (juice with a juicer without using a strainer/ or can throw a couple slabs of pineapple in the blender and finely blend)
  • 3 garlic cloves – slice
  • 1/4 white onion chopped
  • 1/4 finely minced jalapeno green chilli
  • 1 tsp red chilli oil – contains sesame/soy/ginger/garlic oil
  • 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp salt

PREPARATIONS: 

  • In a pan heat olive oil and red chilli oil on medium, add and saute garlic & onions until golden.
  • Then saute broccoli florets for a few minutes. Remove florets to a plate.
  • Then add the green chilli, cooked rice/quinoa, salt and pour in the  pineapple pulp until it thickens and becomes sticky.
  • Garnish with broccoli florets

*Note:

  • Cooking Rice/Quinoa: Microwave uncovered 1/2 rice and 1/2 cup quinoa in 3 cups of water for 15 – 20 min.
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Green Beans with Chana Daal Palya/Sabji

I have learnt this palya from my Mother-in-Law who cooks amazing food as her main ingredient is love. She usually adds different peas or beans like black-eye or shelled beans of broad, round or curved green beans. Here I will use chana daal instead of the above.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 cups diced green beans
  • ~ 3 to 4 tbsp chana daal – wash and soak in hot water for 15 min
  • 4 to 5 Thai green chilies – slit in halves
  • 3 to 4 curry leaves – julienne cut
  • fresh blend of 1/2″ ginger and 1/4″ turmeric – use small food processor
  • 1/4 cup fresh grated coconut or frozen
  • 1/2 lemon – juice
  • 3 tbsp cilantro – mince
  • ~ 4 tbsp water

Seasoning:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp urad daal
  • 1/3 tsp asafoetida powder
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • ~ 1 1/4 tsp salt or to taste
  • 2 tsp palya powder (optional – should be added after the beans are cooked)

PREPARATION:

  • Temper mustard and urad, then add asafoetida, green chilies, curry leaves and fresh blend for ~ a min.
  • Reduce heat and add soaked chana daal.
  • Saute for ~ 3 min before adding the green beans.
  • Add water and turmeric – stir and cook for ~ 12 min on medium.
  • Add salt after 6 min of cooking.
  • Cross cover the lid and stir in between to retain the green color of the beans.
  • When the beans are soft and tender add coconut and lemon juice – stir.
  • Turn of heat and garnish with cilantro.
  • Enjoy with flat bread or rice.

*Note:

  • Sprinkle coconut to individual serving for those who like it rather than adding it in the whole dish!

Dill, Green Kale and Red Chard Sabji with Heirloom Tomatoes

Do you hate eating dark green leafy vegetables? This group of veggies are the super food of health, they contain vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytonutrients. Put more in your body and they will protect your cells from free radical damage. Now let’s find a way to make them tasty!

Combination of these greens, earthy sweetness of Black Zebra heirloom small tomatoes (black, green and red color) and garlic cloves when cooked mellows into a sweet flavor far form its raw pungency which creates an awesome savory dish.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 bunch dill (~1 1/2 cup) – finely chop and don’t use hard stem
  • 1/2 bunch green kale (~4 to 5 cup) – roll leaves for ribbon cut then cut the ribbon in half and also use stem
  • 1/2 bunch red chard (~4 to 5 cup) – roll leaves for ribbon cut then cut the ribbon in half and also use stem
  • 3 to 4 any green chiles – fine chop
  • 5 garlic cloves – slice or mince
  • 4 heirloom tomatoes – dice
  • 2 tbsp fresh blend of ginger and turmeric – food process

Seasoning:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp small mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp urad daal
  • 3/4 tsp salt or to taste

PREPARATION:

  • Bloom mustard and urad in oil, reduce heat and add fresh blend.
  • Then add kale, chard, dill, garlic and chile, cook and reduce, not fully covered for about 6 to 7 minutes. Stir in between while it cooks.
  • Add salt and tomatoes, saute for 3 to 4 minutes.
  • Enjoy as a side dish or use as filling.

Note:

  • Cooking green chile and garlic with the greens reduce the pungency and adds a gentle oiliness rather than fried taste.

Palak Paneer (Spinach + Cheese)

My neice Prerna Dubey always talks about Paneer as her all time favorite food. When Prerna was a kid, her mom would try to get her to smile for the camera.  The only attempt that would work is if her mom asks her “tell me your favorite food?” Then Prerna would give a big smile and say PANEER! The pictures turned out beautiful.

Palak paneer is a favorite of children and adults alike – a good source of protein and iron! My mom also prepared palak paneer often for all her active kids. This recipe is for all you paneer lovers.

Party quantity (for ~ 30 with other items)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2.5 lb ( 1.1 kg) spinach – microwave uncovered (to retain it’s green color) for 4 min in 3 batches and blend finely or coarsely as desired
  • 30 oz (800 g) paneer – rectangular or cube cut (1″) – lightly brush skillet with oil and sear on both sides on medium low heat
  • 1/4 to 1 cup cream or 2 tbsp sour cream – if richness is desired (I used 2 tbsp of low fat Greek yogurt/strained yogurt)
  • 1 1/2 large tomato or 4 Roma tomatoes or use 1 can cut tomatoes (14 oz) – chop
  • 1 3/4 large white onion – chop
  • ~ 1/2 cup water to help blend mixture (eye ball it)

Fresh Blend:

  • 1 jalapeno, 2 Thai green chile, 2″ ginger piece, 4 garlic cloves and 1/2″ fresh turmeric piece, 1/4 bunch cilantro – chop and food process

Seasoning/Masala:

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp butter or ghee
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 2 1/4 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp red chile powder or to taste
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 1/4 tsp allspice powder (optional)
  • 1 tbsp broken cashews
  • ~ 3 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tsp kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves) or 1/4 bunch of fresh fenugreek leaves or a little of both  – make powder by rubbing between the palms of your hands

PREPARATION:

  • Temper cumin in oil and butter – reduce heat add onions, ~1/3 tbsp of salt and fresh blend until translucent.
  • Add the rest of the seasoning list and saute for few min.
  • Then add tomatoes and cook until soft. Mix in the yogurt and add half of the blended spinach for few min.
  • Turn off heat and cool it to blend.
  • Mix the rest of the blended spinach with the seasoned spinach – bring it to simmer on medium low. Add  paneer and cook for few minutes more.
  • Lastly taste and adjust salt, etc.
  • Serve hot with rice, naan, pita or your favorite flat bread.

***Palak /Spinach can be used as a dip by adding sour cream or any soft cheese shown on the right for paneer, pita, bread, veggies, etc.

Mango Masala Chaat Pizza

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Our friends, Manisha, Lavanya, and Sunil, had scoped out a restaurant called “Pizza and Curry” in Fremont, CA where they ran into a Mango Chaat Pizza. Over the weekend, my daughter went to Bodega Bay with Manisha and she reinvented this Mango Chaat Pizza and it was a supreme hit. 4 pizzas were wiped out clean within minutes. We can salute to this pizza TODAY at the opening night of the London Olympics 2012 (NBC @ 7:30pm – Pacific time).

Ingredients: (1 pizza)

  • 1 Organic wheat pizza crust (can buy at Whole Foods)
  • 1 medium sized onions (sliced into thin long pieces)
  • 1 bell pepper (cut into small cubes)
  • 2.5 mangoes (slightly ripe – hard enough to cut into 1 inch cubes)
  • 1/4 bunch of Cilantro (chopped)
  • 1 packet of shredded Mozarella cheese
  • ~1 cup of Mint Chutney
  • ~1/2 cup of Ketchup (use the bottle)
  • 2 tbsp Chaat Masala (get at store – good brands “MDH”)

Preparation: 

  • Preheat Oven to 400 degrees
  • Lay out the Organic pizza crust on kitchen table
  • Spread mint chutney as desired evenly on the pizza crust leaving 1/2 inch off the edge
  • Next, squeeze the Ketchup as desired evenly on the crust (~1/2 cup per pizza)
  • Then place cubes of mango, bell pepper, chopped cilantro and slices of onion on the pizza
  • Lastly, sprinkle shredded Mozarella cheese as desired
  • Put finished pizza either directly in the oven or on top of an aerated pizza pan
  • Cook for 10-12 minutes until top is golden and cheese is bubbling
  • Remove pizza and sprinkle 2 tbsp Chaat Masala evenly on the pizza
  • VOILA – Thanks Manisha for a wonderful Olympic Meal!

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Pumpkin, Pumpkin and more Pumpkin (Pasta)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 10 0z/~250 g Gemelli spiral pasta (100% organic durum wheat semolina) – cook pasta in boiling water for about 11 min with 1/4 tsp salt, drain, but keep 1/4 cup of the liquid
  • 2 cups Brussel sprouts – cut in halves and microwave covered for 4 min in 2 tbsp water
  • 6 cups pumpkin scrap threads (looks like spaghetti) – microwave uncovered to reduce for 3 min
  • 5 garlic cloves – slice
  • 2 jalapeno – thin julienne cut
  • 4 tbsp fresh fenugreek leaves (methi) – finely chop
  • 2 tsp pasta seasoning blend (available at Traders Joe’s)
  • 3/4 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tsp red chile flakes or to taste
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes – cut in halves (optional – if tartness desired)
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 tbsp Parmigiano Reggiano cheese – grate or shave

PREPARATION:

  • Heat oil in pan on medium heat. Add garlic, jalapeno, fenugreek, red chile flakes and saute for 2 min.
  • Add Brussels sprouts and sear, then add pumpkin for few minutes.
  • Add pasta, salt, pasta seasoning and stir for few min – then add little of the pasta liquid.
  • Turn off heat and add cherry tomatoes.

Garnish:

  • Top it with Parmigiano Reggiano cheese.

*Note:

  • Vegan – Don’t add the cheese.

Lentil Salad with Pickled Veggies and More

This salad goes a long way and is one of the best choice for a healthy filling food.

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup lentils (whole masoor daal) – wash, soak and microwave covered for 20 minutes in a cup water

3 to 4 cups pickled veggies — cauliflower, red radish, daikon (muli), carrot, celery, beet, corn, green beans, green chiles.

Chop veggies into small cubes, microwave covered for 2 to 3 minutes, submerge into pickling vinegar and refrigerate overnight. Apple juice, balsamic vinegar, rice vinegar and spices are the ingredients for pickling.

1 small piece ginger thin julienne cut

1/2 red onion thin slices and ginger –  soak / marinate in lemon juice, salt and cayenne powder for 15 min.

1/4 cup cilantro finely cut

1/2 cup cherry tomato halves (optional)

4 tbsp berries and seeds – pumpkin and cranberry, etc

1/4 tsp sea salt or to taste

PREPARATION:

Drain the vinegar from the veggies.

Mix all the ingredients in salad bowl and garnish with some of the onion, ginger and cilantro.

Potato Curry with Green Tomatoes

My mother, expert in village culinary would make the simplest food and it would be finger licking good. I remember she would use green tomatoes in the some of the dishes rather than ripe ones. Enjoy with puris (small rotis fried and puffed in oil).

INGREDIENTS:

4 large yellow or Idaho potatoes (don’t use sweet ones) Pierce and microwave 20 min.

6 green tomatoes pureed

2 tbsp finely cut cilantro

1 tsp lemon juice

Fresh Blend:

1 small piece of ginger and fresh turmeric, 1 green chile finely blended in food processor.

Massala, Seasoning:

1 tsp cumin seeds

1/4 tsp asafoetida

1/2 tsp turmeric

1/2 tsp cayenne or degi mirch

1 1/2 tsp coriander powder

1/4 tsp garam masala

1 1/4 tsp sea salt or to taste

2 tbsp olive oil 0r clarified butter (ghee)

3 cups water or by consistency

Preparation:

Temper cumin and asafoetida in oil and reduce heat to add fresh blend. Saute for 2.min., then add the rest of the masala (spices). After 1 min. add the green tomatoes, stir and cook for 5 to 8 min. until soft. Last add  the cubed potatoes and mix thoroughly for few min. before adding water to make thick consistency. Simmer for another 10 min., then add lemon juice and garnish with cilantro.

GARLIC RICE

Carmalized savory garlic rice.

INGREDIENTS:

2 cups rice – microwave uncovered in 4 cups water/ 1 tbsp butter or olive oil for 23 min.

1 cup slivered garlic

1 stem curry leaves

4 tbsp finely chopped cilantro

Seasoning:

1 tsp small mustard seeds

3/4 tsp carom seed

1/2 tsp urad daal

1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds

1/4 tsp asafoetida

4 to 5 hand broken red chiles or to taste

1 tsp salt or to taste

2 1/2 tbsp olive oil

PREPARATION:

Temper mustard, carom, urad in oil – reduce heat add fenugreek, asafoetida, red chiles, curry leaves and garlic. Saute until garlic is roasted. Add salt and mix the seasoning with rice.

Garnish with cilantro. Serve with yogurt on the side.

Bottle Gourd (LOKI – Squash) with Tofu Sabji

Light in calories, a cooling vegetable with many health benefits. Loki, squash, is a vitamin rich vegetable that can lead to a healthy heart. For all us South Asians this recipe will cut the cholesterol out of your diet and increase your health.

This recipe is a tribute to The South Asian Heart Center at El Camino Hospital, which has created awareness for the epidemic of heart disease in the South Asian community.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 medium Loki (skin scraped/ cubed) and microwave covered  in 1/4 cup water for 4 min
  • 3 to 4 Roma tomatoes diced
  • 1 large firm tofu cubed
  • Fresh blend: ginger, fresh turmeric, garlic, sweet peppers, green chili, 1/4 red onion (blend in food processor)
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped cilantro

Seasoning/ Masala:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3/4 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/4 tsp red chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/8 tsp asafoetida
  • 3/4 tsp salt

PREPARATION:

  • Temper cumin in oil, reduce heat, add asafoetida, turmeric, chili, coriander, 2 tbsp fresh blend and tofu. Saute for about 4 min.
  • Add salt, tomatoes, loki and cook for about 10 min. on medium low heat. Garnish with cilantro.

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