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A new wave of vegetarian cooking!

Archive for the tag “vegetables”

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.

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! 🙂

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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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

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.

Ridged Gourd (Torai/Chinese Okra) & Coconut Chutney

Ridged Gourd is full of nutrients and low in calories. Making a spicy condiment with torai will definitely compliment the taste of dosa, roti, rice, fritters or even pasta. Sweet, hot and tangy – enjoy!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 large size Torai – Your choice to use skin (cut thick) or whole – (chop and microwave covered for 3 to 4 min.)
  • 1 1/3 cups grated coconut
  • 5 to 6 Thai chiles (mix of green and red) or to taste
  • 1 to 1 1/2 tbsp natural concentrated tamarind pulp
  • 1 stem curry leaves
  • 1/4 bunch cilantro chopped
  • 1 small piece ginger chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/4″ piece fresh turmeric

Seasoning:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp urad daal
  • 3/4 tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 1/4 tsp asafoetida
  • 1/4 tsp cumin seeds (optional)
  • 3/4 tsp sea salt or to taste

PREPARATION:

Temper mustard and urad in hot oil, reduce heat, then add fenugreek, asafoetida, chiles and curry leaves. Add and sear torai for few minutes. Cool.

Blend all the ingredients by adding water little at a time – coconut, cilantro, ginger, fresh turmeric, garlic, salt, tamarind and the cool mixture.

HEALTHY MINESTRONE SOUP

Enjoy the balance of mixed flavors in this wholesome and healthy vegetable soup.

INGREDIENTS:

1/4 cup red lentils (no skin – masoor daal)

1 cup spinach pasta (any shape) – cook separately in boiling water with 1/8 tsp salt for about 10 min and drain.

Veggies – broad green beans, carrot, celery, zucchini, yellow squash, cauliflower, potato or taro (arbi), corn, green soy beans, garbanzo, kidney, white and brown fava beans. Use 5 types of veggies and  3 types of beans if all is not available.

5 cups veggies – cube (microwave covered in 1 cup of water for 4 to 5 min)

2 cups canned or frozen beans – garbanzo/ kidney/ white (if frozen – microwave with the veggies)

1 cup medium firm tofu – cube (optional)

1 can stewed tomatoes – blend coarsely

2 tbsp tomato paste

1 small can V-8

1 garlic clove – mince

1/4 tsp garlic salt

salt and black lemon pepper to taste

1 tbsp olive oil

3/4 tsp Italian seasoning blend – can use fresh herbs – basil/oregano, etc

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

1/2 tsp Sambar powder

PREPARATION:

Wash and cook lentils for 5 to 7 minutes in 1 1/2 cup of water on medium heat.

Add veggies, stewed tomatoes, paste, V-8, tofu, beans and both salts. Add water and simmer on medium heat for 10 to 15 minutes.

In a small sauce pan saute garlic in oil until golden, turn off heat and add the rest of the seasoning/masala. Transfer it to the simmering soup. Cook for few min more.

Add pasta to each bowl when it’s time to serve. I cook the pasta with soup mixture only when we eat it immediately as it does become mushy and tends to break.

Serve hot! Top it with Tobasco or Parmesan or enjoy the soup as is to reduce the extra intake of calories.

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.

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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