Saturday, January 30, 2010

Cranberry-Walnut-Blue Cheese Salad

Our Indian everyday meals don't have too many green vegetables so it only makes sense to include salads in them so that we get our daily dose of green veggies.

This one is very famous salad here in the US. There are several versions of it as you can change the kind of cheese and the salad dressing per your liking. The cafe where I eat once in a while serves this and I absolutely love it. So one day I decided to give it a try at home and it turned out almost exactly the same.

When making salads, I try to use organic vegetables, if available. Also, I try not to use bottled salad dressing but make them fresh before making the salad. For this one, I had less time so I used the 365 fat free organic Balsamic Vinaigrette from Whole Foods.

As for the mixed leafy greens, you can buy them mixed from market (Whole Foods has big selection that you can choose from and Costco has good prices, if you're in the US) or mix them at home. Here is a list of several green veggies in case you are buying them individually.

Items:
2 plates full of organic mixed greens
3 tbsp balsamic vinaigrette
½ cup walnuts
½ cup dry cranberries
½ cup crumbled blue cheese

Method:

Take a big bowl and put the mixed greens in it.


Add balsamic vinaigrette and toss it to mix well. Then add walnuts, cranberries and cheese crumbs in that order. You can change the quantities if these if you like depending upon your taste.






You can choose to toss it or not. If you do, the walnuts and cranberries will sit at the bottom so make sure while serving you don't leave them out.

The salad is ready to eat!


Serves: 4 people

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Dam Aloo

Ingredients:

1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp red pepper powder
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp salt (or adjust to taste)
1 tsp aamchur powder
3 tsp dhana-jeeru

3 tsp ghee
3 tsp oil
2 tsp cumin
2 cups chopped onion
1 cup cilantro
1 cup fresh/dry methi
1 1/2 cups tomato purie
6 medium sized potatoes

1 tbsp magattari seeds
1 tbsp khuskhus

water

Method:

Step 1:

Soak magattari seeds and khuskhus in water for half an hour and crush in blender with half a cup water, set teh paste aside.

Step 2:

The potatoes should be the small ones but if you can't find them, you can use the regular ones as well.

Peel the potatoes and cut each potato into 1 to 1 1/2 inch pieces.


Step 3:

Put oil and ghee to heat. Once hot, add cumin, then add onions and saute well until they are brown.





Step 4:

Add tomato purie, methi and cilandro and stir well.


Step 5:

Add all the spices - turmeric, red pepper, garam masala, salt, aamchur powder, dhana-jeeru and mix it well.

Step 6:

Once the mixture is boiling, add the potatoes and mix them well.



Step 7:

Transfer the mix in a pressure cooker and cook for 1 whistle.



And you have 'Dam Aloo' sabzi ready! :)


Paneer Bhurji

There are so many versions of this that one can practically come up with a new recipe with every new vegetable. This version is without the gravy.

Items:
2 tbsp oil
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp chopped (green chili, ginger, garlic)
3 cups chopped onions
3 cups chopped bell-peppers/capsicum (red and green)
1 ½ cup grated paneer
½ cup kasoori methi
1 tsp cumin/jeera
1 tsp garam masala

Method:
Put oil and butter in a pan to heat.

Once hot, add chopped green chili-ginger-garlic and cumin and mix well.

Add onions to the pan and keep stirring until they're well cooked.

Add kasoori methi and stir to mix it well.



Then add the chopped bell-peppers and grated panner and cook for 5 mins.



Add garam masala and cook for another minute.

Remove from stove and serve hot with any kind of bread.

Feeds: 4 people

Sambhar

I initially started putting together my recipes on my main blog but since Meera and I are doing this together, I decided to bring my first recipe here now.

Items:
1½ cup pigeon peas/tuvar daal
6-7 tsp oil (or as needed)

3 tsp white lentil/urad/adad daal
2 tsp fenugreek/methi seeds
2 tsp chickpeas/chana daal (optional)
1 tsp cumin/jeeru
1 tsp black mustard seeds/rai
2 big dry red chili peppers (cut into halves)
½ tsp asafoetida/hing
10-12 leaves curry leaves/meetho limbdo

4 tsp cumin-coriander blend/dhana jeeru
2 tsp red chili powder
2 tsp salt
1 tsp turmeric
2 tsp sambhar masala

2 tomatoes chopped
¼ cup tamarind/imli/aambli
1 tbsp grated coconut (optional)
water (as needed)
cilandro/dhana (to garnish)


Method:
Boil the tuvar daal in pressure cooker until it’s well cooked. It’s okay if it’s a little over cooked (not burned, but more liquidy). Mix the cooked daal well with water and set aside.

Boil the dry tamarind in one cup water and after mixing it well, strain it. Set aside.

In a big pot, heat the oil and add mustard seeds, urad daal, methi, chana daal, red chili peppers, jeeru, meetho limbdo and hing. Once the urad daal turns light pink, add about 5-6 cups of water. After the water starts boiling add the following: salt, red pepper powder, turmeric, sambhar masala, dhana jeeru. Keep stirring in between to mix well. Let the liquid boil some more and add the daal that we set aside earlier. Add tomatoes, tamarind liquid, and grated coconut. Stir well and let it boil at medium heat.



Veggies: (for Vegetable sambhar)
Note: This is optional, but I add it because it makes sambhar healthier. You can add/remove any of the veggies as you please.

½ cup chopped onions
½ cup chopped bottle gourd/dudhi/lauki
½ cup chopped ivy gourd/tindora
½ cup chopped potatoes
½ cup chopped eggplant
½ cup chopped okra/bhindi
¼ cup chopped carrots
2 tsp oil

Method:
While the sambhar is boiling, in another pot, heat the oil and add the onions, once the onions turn light pink transparent then add rest of the vegetables and cook at medium heat for 10 mins.

Add these cooked veggies to the sambhar mix. Don't just dump it in as it might make the sambhar splatter all over the place. Instead use a big spoon to move it from one pot to the other. Alternatively, you can put a little bit of sambhar in the pot with veggies and pour it all back into the bigger pan.

Let it boil some more so that the veggies are well soaked in the sambhar. Garnish with cilantro. Serve hot with idli or rice or just as soup.

Feeds: 8-10 people

Monday, January 18, 2010

Welcome & Lentils/Grains of the Day

श्री गणेशाय नमः

Welcome to Our Cooking Experiments!

This is our blog to keep track of different recipes we have tried and other cooking notes.

Enjoy and share your suggestions!

Meera & Kanan
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Notes:

Traditionally, these grains/lentils are eaten on the following days:

Monday/Somvaar - saamo/varaya?
Tuesday/Mangalvaar - Pigeon pea (tuver)
Wednesday/Budhvaar - Green Gram (moong/mug)
Thursday/Guruvaar - Chick pea (chana)
Friday/Shukravaar - Rice (chokha)
Saturday/Shanivaar - Black lentil (urad/aDadh daal)/ Sesame (tal)
Sunday/Ravivaar - Wheat (ghau)

~~~~~*~~~~~


A very helpful link that lists Indian Vegetables, Spices and Grains: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multilingual_list_of_Indian_vegetables,_spices_and_grains