ironamma

A new wave of vegetarian cooking!

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.
Advertisements

My name is Mr. Sour Pussycat

sour pussycat

What a cute way to carve oranges into a cat. Try it at home! – Meow

Midnight snack: Grilled Zucchini/Eggplant w/ Pesto

A day in my pregnant daughters life:  

My daughter writes……………..After a magical movie with my family the clock hit 11:24pm. Just in time for a Midnight snack 🙂 Should I go for the chips, cookies, or grill up something healthy. I looked in the fridge saw zucchini/eggplant that were ready to be cooked. Iron Amma has the solution. She grabs the zucchini & eggplant and chops the ends. I am hungry, I am ready to jump on the first thing that’s eatable. Iron Amma cuts long slices- fast, race car fast. Then she pulls out a pan and sprays olive oil evenly on the surface. Finally she grills the long slices of vegetables enough so they brown on the edges. I’m thinking am I just eating grilled veggies!! SURPRISE. Iron Amma has a storage of Kirklands Pesto Sauce from Costco. She plates the grilled zucchini & eggplant and glazes the pesto sauce on top for a delicious midnight snack. I scarf them down, sit in satisfied comfort till I drag my body for a sound night of rest. It’s so nice to have Iron Amma as my MOM! 🙂

Kheer Medley / Pudding

Indulge! Bal Gopal’s Favorite!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 gallon (3.8 L) milk – 2% or whole milk (I used 2%)
  • 1 cup jasmine rice or Basmati – microwave uncovered in 2 cups of water for ~15 min
  • 1 1/2 cup makhana (also known as foxnut) – mix with 1 tsp ghee or butter and spread out on a plate to toast in the microwave for ~40 sec (then break into half)
  • 1 1/2 cup paneer – crumble like large curds of cottage cheese or make fresh by bringing 1/2 gallon whole milk to a boil, then pour vinegar little at a time until the milk curdles. Wash the large curds with water few times to remove sourness and drain in the cheese cloth.
  • 1/2 cup wheat vermicelli – mix with 1 tsp of ghee or butter and toast in microwave for 1 1/2 min (check every 30 sec)
  • 1/2 cup yellow raisins and few munakka (big raisins – wash and remove seeds)
  • 1/4 cup almond – soak and remove skin (cut in half or slivered)
  • 1/2 cup pistachio and cashew – round cut
  • 1/4 cup shaved coconut – toast in microwave 1 1/2 min (check every 30 sec)
  • 2 tbsp chironji (seeds of Buchanania lanzan plant) – wash
  • 1 big piece of ginger – smash just enough to keep it intact
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 tsp cardamon (grind the seeds and saffron in the mortar)
  • 1/4 tsp saffron
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg (optional)
  • 1 tsp rose water
  • 1/2 tsp kewara
  • 1 1/2 to 1 2/3 cup sugar – or add sweeteners of your choice (better options available in the market)
  • 1 can evaporated milk (optional)

PREPARATION:

  • In a sauce pan heat 1 tbsp butter and lightly toast almonds, pistachios, cashews, chironji and raisins – then add the cardamon/saffron until the smell comes through. Keep it aside.
  • Bring milk to a boil on medium heat by stirring constantly so it does not burn. Can also microwave in a big glass bowl for ~20 min or more.
  • Add ginger – stir for 10 min.
  • Then add cooked rice, makhana, paneer – stir for 15 min.
  • Add evaporated milk,vermicelli, sugar and toasted mixture for another 15 min.
  • Remove ginger piece.
  • Reduction by 1/4 is sufficient as it thickens when it cools.
  • Last add coconut, rose water and kewara.
  • If the pudding thickens just add little milk.

Garnish:

Garnish with powdered pistachio and verk (thin silver leaf) or top it of with your favorite berries and fruits or favorite sweets – gulab jamun, burfi, laddu, chumchum, halwa, cake, pie, muffin, etc. I have tried the kheer with chocolate cake and loved it.

Notes:

  • Can also add tapioca pearls if desired.
  • Rice (coarsely broken) – soak and cook directly in milk, but need to stir constantly to avoid burning the milk. Otherwise, microwave for intervals of 15 min and stir each time.
  • I prefer using milk than evaporated milk so that the flavors of all ingredients come through in the pudding.

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.

Bitter Melon (Karela) Chips on the GO

Bitter melon, karela, is widely appreciated in Asia even with its’ bitter strong taste! Because of its’ healing benefits, health spas serve pure karela juice for those who are diabetic and other health issues.

According to many studies Bitter Melon has properties to control the production of insulin, which may lower blood sugar levels for diabetics.

Karela is cooked in many various ways, here I will make chips.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 bitter melon – wash, cut thin round slices
  • 2 tbsp natural tamarind pulp
  • 1 tbsp MDH’S Tava Fry Masala
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder (optional)
  • 2 1/2 tbsp olive oil

PREPARATION:

  • In a large bowl mix all the ingredients and keep aside for 15 min.
  • Spread seasoned karela slices on two Pam sprayed baking pan (try not to overlap them)
  • Option 1: Preheat oven 375* and bake in the oven for ~ 40 min.
  • Option 2: Slow fry both sides on a skillet on low heat and then microwave for a min to get a chewy bite.

*Note

  • Enjoy the chips on the go or top it on a salad, bhel (chaat), sabjis, yogurt, etc.

Karela is a summertime vegetable. If you are interested in purchasing home made chip packets for the next month (August 2012). <INTERESTED? COMMENT WITH YOUR EMAIL> 

Ironclad Review #1! Trader Joe’s Chicken-less Mandarin Orange Morsels

Image

My vegetarian family needs more protein. In the 60’s if you were a vegetarian, protein meant the cheese off a slice of cheese pizza. Luckily in the past 10 years there has been a wave of Vegan & Vegetarian products in the market that will substitute meat protein. Some products are tasteless or dry and other products really satisfy!

The Ironclad Review for the Trader Joe’s Chicken-less Mandarin Orange Morsels is a big 3 knives out of 4. One of the better soy products on the market. Mostly organic, these morsels are easy to make and are similar to the taste of real chicken (for the carnivores turned herbivores). The orange sauce keeps the soy protein moist and chewy. Finally, with a couple bites you can fill your protein intake for the day. The only drawback is that the bag only portions for 1 person/1 meal. (9.25 ounces for $2.99). Viva la Veg!

Image

Tropical Fruit Smoothie


As a special request from India, here is a yogurt based smoothie that is healthy and tastes good. What a better way to start a the day than with a healthy energized smoothie!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 1/2 large ripe mango (preferably not stringy) – peel and cut chunks
  • 1 cup pineapple (Dole brand – chunks in its own juice)
  • 1/2 banana
  • 2 cups coconut milk (Freshly squeezed or Trader Joe’s Original)
  • 1 cup yogurt
  • 3 tbsp hemp seeds
  • 3 tbsp blue agave or 1 cup fresh squeezed cane sugar or to taste
  • 1/2 cup crushed ice

PREPARATION:

  • Blend hemp seeds with pineapple until smooth.
  • Then add mango, banana and coconut milk until smooth.
  • Lastly add yogurt and ice and pulsate until mixed.
  • Garnish with a cherry.

*Note

Can flavor the smoothie with few drops of vanilla, cardamom, almond or rose water extract if desired.

Mango Masala Chaat Pizza

Image

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!

Image

My favorite “Beetle-Juice”

Thanks to everyone that announced their one favorite juice to drink for this heat wave!

Beetle-Juice” is my favorite juice for the heat. Sometimes I feel sluggish during the hottest days, so I not only need that cool refreshing drink at hand, but something that keeps me alert. Raw beets have a good source of Vitamin C, Iron and Magnesium to give you the essential nutrients to increase blood circulation. So why not, cool off in a pool of beet juice 😉

INGREDIENTS:

  • ~ 2 bunch of celery
  • 2 medium beets
  • 4 apples
  • 2 oranges
  • ~ 1/3  honeydew melon
  • 2″ ginger piece
  • 1 green chile

PREPARATION:

  • Wash fruits and vegetables
  • Feed fruits and vegetables through a juicer (We recommend this brand of Juicer “Omega J8006 Juicer” – excellent for making juice, pastes, and fresh squeezed oils)
  • To serve cold chill juice for an hour

GARNISH:

  • Slice of lime and stem of mint

Post Navigation

%d bloggers like this: