Ikra

Ingredients:

  • 1 small onion
  • 6-8 small eggplants
  • 2 ribs tender celery
  • 2 medium size carrots

 

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic grated
  • 1 tsp dry oregano
  • 1 tsp dry basil leaves
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp paprika powder
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt (or to taste)

Method:

  1. Chop all the vegetables in small pieces
  2. Heat the oil in a pan and saute the vegetable for 2 minutes
  3. Add grated garlic, all the spices, salt and sugar and saute for additional 2 minutes, constantly stirring
  4. Add tomato sauce and paste and saute for 2-3 minutes
  5. Take the pan off the heat and enjoy Ikra with any dipping bread

Serves: 4

Inspiration source:

 

Remarks:

 

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Healthy Roasted Cereal Chevdo (dry snack mix)

IMG_20190818_111031

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups Cheerios
  • 2 cups rice crispies
  • 2 cups cornflakes (a bit crushed)
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp peanut oil
  • 25-30 curry leaves
  • 2 green chilies chopped into 8-10 pieces
  • 1 cup raw peanuts
  • 1/2 cup roasted chickpeas (dalia)
  • 1/2 cup coconut chips
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds
  • 2 tbsp fennel seeds (saunf)
  • 1/2 tsp asafoetida
  • 1 tsp red chili powder

Method:

  1. Roast the following separately on slow to medium heat for 2-3 minutes, stirring regularly to make sure they don’t burn / become brown:
    * Cheerios
    * rice crispies
    * cornflakes
  2. After roasting each, transfer to large mixing bowl
  3. Add salt and sugar, mix well and set aside
  4. In a pan, heat the oil on medium heat
  5. Add green chilies and curry leaves and roast for 2-3 minutes till the chilies and curry leaves wilt
  6. Add peanuts and roast till very light brown in color
  7. Add the following one by one and roast for 2-3 minutes
    * chickpeas (dalia)
    * sesame seeds
    * raisins
    * fennel seeds (saunf)
    * coconut chips
  8. Add asafoetida and red chili powder, mix well and continue roasting for a couple of minutes
  9. Turn off the heat and let this mix cool down
  10. Once cool, add to the Cheerios, rice crispies and cornflakes in the large mixing bowl. Gently mix thoroughly
  11. The chevdo is now ready
  12. Once it has totally cooled down, store in airtight jars

Serves: 20

Inspiration source:

Remarks:

 

Aloo suva sabzi

IMG_20190716_183059

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 tbsp Oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp Cumin seeds
  • 1 inch long ginger, cleaned and freshly grated
  • 1 Green chili chopped finely
  • 3 medium potatoes, cubed
  • 1/4 teaspoon Turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon Red chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt or to taste
  • 1 cup Dill leaves (suva bhaji) chopped
  • 2 teaspoons Lemon juice

Method:

  1. Heat the oil in a pan on medium heat.
  2. Once hot add cumin seeds. Let them sizzle for 5-10 seconds.
  3. Then add grated ginger and green chilies. Saute for 30-40 seconds.
  4. Add potatoes and mix well.
  5. Add turmeric powder, red chili powder and salt and mix well.
  6. Cover the pan. And cook till potatoes on medium – low heat till they are 80% cooked.
  7. Add chopped dill leaves.
  8. Mix well and cook till potatoes are cooked completely.
  9. Squeeze fresh lemon juice and mix.
  10. Serve with chapati / roti.

Serves: 4

Inspiration source:

https://www.spiceupthecurry.com/aloo-suva-subzi-recipe/

Remarks:

Thai Green Curry

IMG_20190707_121320

Ingredients:

Green curry paste

  • 1 lemongrass stalks, tough outer layers removed
  • 3 Serrano chili, seeds removed
  • 1/2 green capsicum, seeds removed and cut into small pieces
  • 1 medium shallot, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 1-inch piece galangal (if not available, use ginger), peeled, thinly sliced
  • 1 1-inch piece turmeric, peeled, chopped, or 1 teaspoon dried turmeric
  • 1 kaffir lime leaf, very finely chopped (if not available use 1 tbsp lime zest, from about 2 limes)
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp kosher salt (or to taste)
  • 1 tbsp palm sugar (if not available, use cane sugar)

Green curry

  • 2 cans of coconut milk (each can of 400 ml)
  • 8 oz baby corn (from can), cut into inch long pieces
  • 8 oz sliced water chestnuts
  • 8 oz bamboo shoots (thick slices)
    8 oz sliced carrots
  • 8 oz red / green capsicum, cut into 1 cm pieces
  • 8 oz extra firm tofu, cut into 1 cm pieces
  • 1 tbsp palm sugar (if not available, use cane sugar)
  • 1 bunch Thai basil leaves, picked and washed

Method:

Green curry paste

  1. Saute chopped shallots for a couple of minutes and let them cool. In our experience,  if you grind shallots / onions without sauting, they give bitterness to the end product!
  2. Finely grate bottom third of lemongrass into a blender or food processor.
  3. Then add the coriander and cumin seeds to blender and blend to smooth powder.
  4. Add the rest of the paste ingredients including sauted shallots and blend into smooth paste.

Green curry

  1. Heat medium / large pan and add a can of coconut milk.
  2. Stir the milk regularly for 3-4 minutes to thicken it.
  3. Add the paste to the milk and continue to stir so that the paste it well blended into the milk.
  4. Let the milk with the paste simmer on low / medium heat for a couple of minutes.
  5. Add 400 ml water and bring to boil.
  6. One by one, add all the vegetables… tofu at the last.
  7. Add sugar and bring the curry to boil. Then bring down the heat and let the curry simmer till all the vegetables soften to desired softness level (4-5 minutes).
  8. Turn off the heat, add Thai basil leaves and serve with Jasmine rice.

Serves: 4

Inspiration source:

https://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/green-curry-paste

(tweaked for vegetarians)

Remarks:

Guvar Dhokali Shak (Guar with dumplings)

Ingredients:

Dhokali (dumplings)

  • 3 tbsp besan (Gram flour)
  • 1 tbsp wheat flour (to make muthia softer)
  • 2 tbsp peanut (or any other) oil
  • 1 tsp salt (or to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp dhana-jiru (coriander seed + cumin seed powder)
  • some water

Guvar

  • 1 lb guvar, ends removed and tough fibers from the edges removed
  • 1 tsp soda bicarb
  • 1 tsp salt (or to taste)
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 2 tbsp red chili powder
  • 2 tbsp dhana-jiru (coriander seed + cumin seed powder)
  • some water

Method:

  1. Mix all the dhokali ingredients in a mixing bowl, add as little water as possible to make dough from it
  2. In a large pan, heat the oil
  3. Add guvar, salt, soda bicarb, water and gently mix… make sure there is enough water to fully cover the guvar as it’s tough to cook vegetable
  4. Press small (penny-size) dhokali from the dough and put on top of guvar. Make sure that the dhokalis touch water / slightly submerge in it) and cover the pan
  5. Cook on medium-low flame water evaporates and dhokalis are cooked
  6. Once guvar and dhokalis are cooked, sprinkle dhana-jiru and chili powder on it and gently fold so that guvar is coated with the spices
  7. Cook covered at low heat for 2-3 minutes
  8. Serve hot with phulka roti.

Serves: 4

Inspiration source: My mother!

Remarks:

Valor Methi Muthia Shak (Flat green beans with fenugreek dumplings)

20190630_130146

Ingredients:

Muthia

  • 3 tbsp besan (Gram flour)
  • 1 tbsp wheat flour (to make muthia softer)
  • 3 tbsp kasuri methi (dry fenugreek), pre-soaked for 2 hours and then drained
  • 1 tsp red chili powder
  • 2 tsp dhana-jiru powder (coriander seed + cumin seed powder)
  • 1/2 tsp Soda bicarb
  • 1-2 tbsp peanut (or any other) oil
  • 1 tsp salt (or to taste)
  • Some water

Valor

  • 750 grams valor (frozen or fresh) rinsed
    (if fresh, remove the tips and tough fiber from both the edges)
  • 3 tbsp peanut (or any other) oil
  • 1/2 tsp soda bicarb
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)
  • 1 tsp red chili powder
  • 2 tsp dhana-jiru (coriander seed + cumin seed powder)
  • some water

Method:

  1. Mix all the muthia ingredients in a mixing bowl, add water a few drops at a time to thick consistency
  2. In a large pan, heat the oil
  3. Add valor, salt, soda bicarb, water and gently mix… make sure there is enough water so that the valor is just about dipped in it
  4. Make small muthia (dumplings) and put on top of valor and cover the pan
  5. Cook on medium-low flame till muthia are cooked (will grow in size)
  6. Once valor and muthia are cooked, sprinkle dhana-jiru and chili powder on it and gently fold so that valor is coated with the spices
  7. Cook covered at low heat for 2-3 minutes
  8. Serve hot with phulka roti.

Serves: 4

Inspiration source: My mother!

Remarks:

Eggplant Quesadilla

Eggplant Quesadilla

A pretty good attempt at reproducing quesadilla we had at a restaurant in Montecito, CA

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium size eggplant
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp dry oregano
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Cheddar cheese
  • 2 spring onions
  • 4 tortillas

Method:

  1. Finely chop spring onions
  2. Slice eggplant into 1/2 inch thick round slices
  3. Heat 1 tsp oil in a flat pan on medium heat
  4. Spread eggplant slices in the pan
  5. Sprinkle some salt and oregano on eggplant
  6. Turn the eggplant slices a few times and roast on both sides till medium brown in color
  7. Keep the cooked eggplant slices aside
  8. Pour 1/2 tsp oil on the flat pan and put it on medium heat
  9. Place a tortilla on the pan
  10. Place 4 eggplant slices on the tortilla and sprinkle spring onions and cheese on it
  11. Cover it with another tortilla, gently press it and roast it on both sides till lightly brown on each side
  12. Follow the same steps for the second quesadilla
  13. Cut the quesadilla in 4 pieces and serve hot with a generous dollop of guacamole (see recipe under dips / spreads) – https://veggiefoodie.com/2012/08/30/guacamole/

Serves: 4

Remarks: As you can see, I’ve improvised by using Indian bread chapati instead of tortillas!

Spicy Ethiopian Lentil Stew (Instant Pot recipe)

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 tsp. freshly grated ginger
  • 1-2 tbsp. berbere spice blend, to taste (https://www.amazon.com/Frontier-Berbere-Seasoning-ORGANIC-Bottle/dp/B005WDVQHG)
  • 1/2-1 tsp. cayenne pepper, or to taste, optional
  • Poblano pepper chopped into medium size pieces, optional
  • 1 1/2 cups dried split red lentils
  • 4-5 medium size tomatoes diced or 1-14 oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 3 medium red potatoes, about 3/4 lb. total, diced
  • 3-4 celery ribs, chopped into medium size pieces
  • 2 carrots, chopped into medium size pieces
  • 3 cups fresh baby spinach leaves, sliced and lightly packed
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt or to taste

Method:

  1. To the pot, add the oil and put it on saute mode
  2. Add onion, carrots, celery, poblano chili and saute for 2 minutes
  3. Add potatoes and salt and saute for 2 minutes
  4. Add garlic, ginger, berbere spice and cayenne and sauté 1 minute more
  5. Add lentils, tomatoes and stir a few times
  6. Add 4 cups water, cover the pot and switch it to a mode with cooking time of 15 minutes
  7. When cooking is done and cooled, open pot and put it to saute mode
  8. Stir in spinach, add lemon juice and continue to cook just until spinach is wilted, about 2 minutes
  9. Turn off the pot and serve the stew with rice or any bread

Serves: 5-6

Inspiration source:

https://www.connoisseurusveg.com/spicy-ethiopian-lentil-stew/

Remarks:

You can add a bit more berbere and cayenne, if desired.

Tropical Fruit Salsa

Ingredients:

  • 2 ripe mangoes, diced
  • 1 cup diced pineapple
  • 1/2 medium red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion
  • 1 Serrano chili, finely chopped
  • 1 lime, juiced (about 1/4 cup lime juice)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste

Method:

  1. In a large bowl, combine the mango, bell pepper, onion and chili
  2. Drizzle with lime juice, add salt and mix well
  3. Serve chilled with your choice of chips

Serves: 6

Inspiration source:

https://cookieandkate.com/2015/fresh-mango-salsa-recipe/

Remarks:

For best flavor, let the salsa rest for 30 minutes to an hour before serving.

Mediterranean Lentil Soup with Spinach

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup brown lentil (whole), washed, soaked overnight and drained
  • 1 onions, sliced
  • 3-4 celery ribs, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 teaspoon cumin seed powder (preferably, freshly roasted and then ground)
  • 1 cup baby spinach, chopped
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt (or to taste)

Method:

  1. Put InstantPot on saute mode
  2. Add oil to the pan
  3. Once oil is hot, add onion and saute for a couple of minutes
  4. Add carrots and celery and saute for a couple of minutes
  5. Add garlic, salt and ground cumin and saute for a couple of minutes
  6. Add lentil and tomatoes and saute for a couple of minutes
  7. Add 3 cups of water, cover the cooker and switch InstantPot to rice mode (10 minutes cooking time)
  8. Once the soup is ready, add chopped spinach and serve hot with pita bread or any hearty bread

Serves: 4

Inspiration source:

This is an attempt to reproduce awesome lentil soup we had at Zaytouna Mediterranean Grill in Freehold Township, New Jersey

Remarks: