Curried Peas and Tomato

Fresh English peas are low in calories, high in fiber and have one of the highest amounts of plant-based protein. The addition of tomato makes this dish even healthier as tomatoes contain Lycopene and Lutein which are great for your eyes! Pan-fried or scrambled paneer and tofu can be added to the dish to make it more filling.

Ingredients

2 cups fresh English Peas (Trader Joe’s generally have them in stock in the salad/veggie section)

2 tablespoon oil

1 teaspoon black mustard seeds

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

1 medium onion, chopped fine or grated

1 teaspoon each, garlic paste and ginger paste

1/2 – 1 teaspoon red chili powder

1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 medium tomato chopped

1 tablespoon tomato paste

juice of 1/2 a lemon

2 tablespoon chopped cilantro for garnish

Method

Steam the peas for about 4- 5 minutes till just soft (do not cook completely)

Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the mustard seeds and cumin seeds- as the mustard seeds start popping, add the onion . Sauté for about 3 minutes till the onion start to brown.

Add the garlic and ginger paste and stir for 30 seconds. Add the remaining spices and continue to stir for a minute. Next add 2 tablespoons water and cook until the spices are well combined.

Stir in the chopped tomato and tomato paste and continue to stir till the tomato is soft and mushy. Add 1/2 cup water and continue to cook for another few minutes.

Add the peas and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the lemon juice .

Garnish with chopped cilantro.

Variation: Add pan-fried Paneer (or even scrambled tofu) for a more filling dish.

Quick Stir Fried Chicken

I came across a recipe for Cauliflower Manchurian and the base was using ketchup… I thought I could adapt it for chicken as well! This is such a basic condiment thats in every house!

Ingredients

1 pound boneless chicken breasts, 1 1/2 “cubed

about 1/2 cup flour

2 tablespoon oil ( divided )

4-5 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 ” piece of ginger, grated

1/2 teaspoon cumin powder

1 teaspoon coriander powder

1/2 teaspoon garam masala

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper ( more if needed)

1 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup tomato ketchup ( preferably low sodium and less sugar)

Method

Coat the chicken cubes with flour.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a wok or frying pan. Add the chicken cubes and stir fry till the chicken is nearly cooked. about 4-5 minutes.

Remove and set aside.

Add another tablespoon oil in the wok, stir in the garlic and ginger. Stir for 30 seconds and add the remaining spices. Sauté till blended.

Add the ketchup. Cook for a few minutes till the mixture is thick and bubbly.

Add the chicken cubes into the sauce and cook for 2-3 minutes.

Zucchini Bites

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I had been looking for a new, tasty vegetable dish and came across this recipe.

These little bites bake up crisp, are easy to prepare and even appeal to our not always so veggie friendly family!

They can also be frozen and reheat well.

 

Ingredients

1 medium zucchini, grated

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 small carrot, grated

1 large egg beaten

1/2 teaspoon red chili powder,

1/4 teaspoon cumin powder.

1/4 teaspoon coriander powder

1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped

1/2 teaspoon garlic, minced

1/4 cup dry breadcrumbs

 

 

Preparation

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Oil a baking sheet and set aside.

Put the grated zucchini in a sieve, sprinkle with salt and set aside for 5 minutes. Press as much liquid from the zucchini and place in a towel and squeeze as much water as possible.

Place in a bowl and add the remaining ingredients and mix well.

Form small 2 ” flat patties and place on the baking sheet.

 

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Bake for 10 minutes, turn them over and bake again for an additional 6 minutes or so until they are brown and crisp.

 

 

 

 

Turkey Kabobs

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Kabobs are a popular menu item for most meat eaters, and an easy recipe to make ahead of time.  Turkey is good to use especially at parties if you’re not sure if certain people eat beef or lamb.

I have also mixed the ingredients ahead of time, and frozen the kabab mixture.  Its easy to thaw it overnight in the refrigerator, then shape the next day, and broil.

 

Ingredients

1 pound ground turkey (93% turkey and 7% fat)

2-3 whole red chillies

1 cardamom pod, 2 cloves and 1/2″ cinnamon stick

1/4 teaspoon sahajeera (or cumin seeds)

1/4 teaspoon cumin powder

1/4 teaspoon chaat masala (optional)

1/2 teaspoon ginger paste

1/2 teaspoon garlic paste

1/8 teaspoon turmeric powder

1 tablespoon ground almonds

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon dry breadcrumbs

oil for basting

1 limes or lemon

Garnish: onions sliced  lemon slices and cilantro chopped

Preparation

Roast the red chillies, cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, sahajeera in a small skillet, until  the chillies are brown. Cool. Grind to a fine powder.

Mix in the remaining ingredients (except oil and lime).

Make into small logs, place on a foiled lined tray and broil for about 3-4 minutes on each side, basting with oil in between.

Squeeze a little lime/lemon before serving.  Garnish with sliced onions, lime slices and cilantro.

Tip: Make a larger quantity of the spice powder in advance and store until needed.

 

Crunchy Chickpea & Corn Cups

These savory appetizers are made with tortillas and are filled with either chickpeas or corn.

A tasty corn alternative for those who have a Trader Joe’s near by, is the Mexican Style Roasted Corn with Cotija cheese.

Make ahead: the cups can be baked up to 2 weeks in advance and stored at room temperature.

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Ingredients

Flour tortillas, to make the cups

Mini muffin pans

Chickpea filling:

1 cup chickpeas (approx 1 can)

3 tablespoons mint chutney

1-2 tablespoons oil

1/2 small onion, finely chopped

1/2 small tomato, chopped

1/4- 1/2  teaspoon red chili powder

1/2 teaspoon chaat masala (optional)

1/2 teaspoon coriander powder

3 tablespoons cilantro, finely chopped

1/2 teaspoon green chillies, finely chopped

1 teaspoon salt

Corn filling:

1 cup of boiled corn (or canned)

3 tablespoons cream cheese

3 tablespoons cilantro, finely chopped

1/2 teaspoon green chillies, chopped,

 

Preparation

Preheat the oven to 350. Spray mini muffin pans with cooking spray.

Cut out large circles from the flour tortillas (even easier with a cookie cutter if you have one) and press into the mini muffin pans.  Bake for about 5 minutes until light brown.  Remove from pan and cool on a wire rack.

Note: These can be made ahead and stored at room temperature in an air tight container for 2 weeks.

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Chickpea filling:

Heat the oil, add onions and saute till light brown. Add the tomato and cook for a minute.

Add the remaining ingredients and stir until mixed well. Cool until room temperature.

Fill into tortilla cups and serve.

Corn filling:

Heat the corn in a pan, add the cream cheese and cook on low till the cheese is softened over the corn.

Add the remaining ingredients. Cool until room temperature, fill cups and serve .

OR

1 packet frozen Trader JoesMexican style roasted corn with Cotija cheese.”

Prepare according to directions, cool until room temperature and fill.

 

 

 

 

 

Zucchini Match Stick Fries

As you all probably know by now, I try to incorporate vegetables into our family’s diet in creative ways – a few months ago we tried the zucchini fries from Trader Joe’s. Since then I’ve been noticing a lot of recipes for them so I decided to experiment baking them in the oven and with an Indian twist. They turned out great so I wanted to share!

One thing I realized about zucchini, is that it has a high water content – if you cut the zucchini in advance, the coating will not stick! So it needs to be cut and prepared at the same time. If you’d like to make it ahead of time, cooking time can be reduced by a few minutes and then just crisp them up in the oven for 3-4 minutes before serving.

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Ingredients

1 medium size zucchini,

2 teaspoons McCormick’s season all or a different

1 tablespoon olive oil

3-4 tablespoons chickpea flour

1 tablespoon fine cornmeal

 

Preparation

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Cut the zucchini in half, then cut into 4-5 slices lengthwise, and again into thin strips like matchsticks.

Coat with 1 teaspoon of seasonings of your choice.

Mix in the oil.

Add the remaining seasonings to the chickpea flour and cornmeal and mix through.

Toss into the zucchini with the flour mixture and add to a baking sheet.

Bake for 15 – 20 minutes, turning the fries halfway during the cooking.

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If making the fries ahead of time, cook for 10 minutes and finish baking before serving.

 

 

 

Corn Curry

In the summer when corn is plentiful I always think about this flavorful corn dish. My cousin shared this recipe with me years ago – I have made it many times with both Indian and western meals (adjusting the amount of green chilies according to taste).

Curry leaves do add to the flavor of the dish but they are optional – they are the only ingredient you may need to buy from an Indian grocery store (if you don’t already have a curry leaf plant in your garden!).

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Ingredients

1 large green chili

1 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds (separated)

2 teaspoons grated ginger

13 curry leaves, approximately (separated)

1/2 cup cilantro leaves + more for garnish

2 tablespoons water

2 tablespoons oil

3/4 cup milk

3/4 cup half and half

1 teaspoon mustard seeds

3 whole dry red chillies

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

4 curry leaves

1 tablespoon flour

4 cups  fresh cut corn or frozen

1 -1/2 teaspoons salt

Method

Blend the green chili, 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds, 2 teaspoons ginger, 8 curry leaves, 1/2 cup cilantro, water and oil into a paste.

Heat oil, add remaining 1 teaspoon cumin seeds and mustard seeds, and as the mustard seeds start to crackle add the dry red chillies and 5 remaining curry leaves . Stir and add the green paste, cook for about 1 minute. Add the flour and and stir till well blended. Add the milk & half and half very slowly to make a thick paste. Bring to a boil.

Add the corn and salt and cook for about 4 minutes .

Garnish with cilantro leaves.

 

Green Masala Chicken

This dish is one of my regulars – it is quick and easy since you simply  blend the ingredients for the marinade together, and then grill. It incorporates veggies into the sauce so perfect for our family!

 

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Ingredients

1 teaspoon each, garlic paste and ginger paste
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 cup yogurt
1 teaspoon coriander powder
1 pound boneless chicken breast, cut in small cubes
1-2 green chillies
1/2  large green bell pepper
2 cups packed spinach leaves
1/2 cup cilantro leaves
2 tablespoons vinegar or lemon juice
1/2 medium onion, chopped, fried brown or  1/2  cup package fried onions (from the indian grocery store)
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 lime

Preparation

Marinade chicken with the first 5 ingredients.

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Blend the remaining ingredients except the lime, to a smooth paste, in blender or food processor.IMG_2923 (1)

Add this to the chicken and marinade for several hours or overnight.

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Skewer the chicken and grill for about 3-4 minutes or each side.

Squeeze the lime over the chicken and serve with slices of onion.

Poha

Poha, also called Pohe, is beaten or flattened rice – a popular dish from the state of Maharashtra. Though traditionally eaten for breakfast or a snack, it is a super quick option for any meal.

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Ingredients

1 cup Pohe (raw beaten rice) – the medium to thick variety

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1 tablespoon oil

1 teaspoon black mustard seeds

2-3 tablespoon onion, finely chopped

1-2 small green chillies, slit

a few curry leaves (optional)

1/8 teaspoon turmeric powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 small potato, boiled and cubed (optional)

1/2- 3/4 cup frozen peas, thawed (optional)

1/2 lime

2-3 tablespoon cilantro leaves chopped

Preparation

Place the raw poha in a sieve and rinse it with water for a minute or two. Set aside.

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Heat oil in a saucepan and add the mustard seeds. As the seeds start to pop, add the onion and saute for a few minutes till it becomes light brown. Add the green chillies and curry leaves, and stir for 30 seconds.

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Add the turmeric, salt and potatoes and the rinsed poha Stir until combined and add one or two tablespoons of water, if the mixture looks dry.

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Cover and cook over low heat for about 3 minutes.  If adding peas, add the peas and continue to cook for another minute. Squeeze the lime  and garnish with chopped cilantro leaves.

 

 

 

 

Upuma

In the southern part of India, Upuma, a simple breakfast, snack or lunch dish is made from cream of wheat mixed with a few spices.

The cream of wheat used in this dish is of a finer variety, bought in the Indian grocery stores. The cream of wheat found in the supermarket can be used, it is just a little coarser in texture.

When my daughter was working in Atlanta I came up with this home made “upuma mix” which she could use when needed for a quick dinner.  Adding boiling water & some frozen or left over veggies,  it is also nutritious as cream of wheat has iron and some protein.

 

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Ingredients

Upuma Mix:

  1 cup cream of wheat

  1 tablespoon oil

  1 teaspoon black mustard seeds

  1 small red dry chilly, broken

  1 teaspoon urad dal

  1 small onion, finely chopped

  1/2 teaspoon grated ginger

  1 teaspoon salt

1 small tomato, chopped (optional)

1/2 cup cooked vegetables  (green peas, beans, carrots etc)

Preparation

Homemade Upuma Mix:

NOTE: When I’m making the mix, I typically make 4 times this recipe, and store it in the fridge. 

Heat the cream of wheat in a skillet over medium heat until it turns light brown, stirring constantly. Remove from pan and set aside.

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Heat oil in a skillet; add the mustard seeds and when they start to pop add the red dry chilly. Stir for a few seconds and add the onion. Cook the onion till brown, add the ginger and stir for 1-2 more minutes.

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Add the urad dal and nuts, if using, and stir until the dal turns brown (for a few more minutes). Add the toasted cream of wheat and salt and stir well until the cream of wheat is thoroughly mixed in.

If using as a “mix” cool and store in a container in the refrigerator.

Heat 2 cups of water to boiling, and if using vegetables add them now (I added beans that I had in the refrigerator, and a small tomato). Turn down to simmer and add 1 cup of your homemade upuma mix, stir until slightly thickened.

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Cover and continue to simmer for about 3-5 minutes or until the mixture is thick.  Upuma is usually served hot, with a little bit of Indian hot mango or lime pickle.

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