Category Archives: Entree

Vegetable Roastie (Rice and potato pancakes with vegetables)

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup rice (any kind, such as Basmati or jasmine rice) soaked for 5-6 hours
  • 1 medium size potato
  • 1 medium size tomato, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped carrot
  • 1/2 cup chopped capsicum
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 green chili, finely chopped
  • 2-3 tbsp chopped coriander
  • 1 tbsp ginger paste
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt or to taste
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds (Jeera)
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper powder
  • 1 tbsp chopped curry leaves
  • 1 tsp Eno fruit salt
  • 4-5 tbsp vegetable oil, such as peanut oil

Method:

  1. Steam / boil the potato and once cooled, remove the skin
  2. Drain the rice and grind with minimum water in blender
  3. Add the potato and blend well till somewhat smooth paste / mix
  4. Take out the mix in a large bowl and add all the vegetables, spices, herbs and salt
  5. If necessary, add 1/4 cup water and mix well. The final consistency of the mix should be relatively thick and not too runny
  6. Let the mix ‘rest’ by keeping it aside for 15-20 minutes
  7. When ready to make roasties, add 2 tbsp water to the mix and in that  water add 1 tsp Eno fruit salt and gently stir it in thoroughly
  8. Alternatively, you can add 1/4 cup yogurt and let it rest for 15-20 minutes. When ready, add 1 tsp baking soda + a few drops of lemon / lime juice and stir it in thoroughly
  9. Heat 1 tbsp oil in skillet on medium heat
  10. Once hot, pour 1/2 cup of the mix and spread it evenly in the skillet to get 1/2 cm thick layer
  11. Cover the skillet, turn the heat to low and cook for 6-7 minutes. Periodically check to see that the cooked side is not burning / charring
  12. Add 1/2 tbsp oil on the uncooked side of the roastie and flip over
  13. Cook this side for 6-7 minutes. Periodically check that it is not burning / charring
  14. Once done, keep the roastie aside for 3-4 minutes before eating. This ensures that any moisture inside is absorbed
  15. Serve the roastie with green chutney

Serves: 4

 

Inspiration source:

Falafel (Baked!)

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup dried chickpeas, soaked overnight (this recipe will not work with canned chickpeas)
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped parsley
  • 1 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 small green chili pepper, Serrano or jalapeno pepper
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp roasted cumin seeds powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom powder
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper powder
  • 2 tbsp chickpea flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

Method:

  1. Drain the chickpeas and let it dry for a few minutes
  2. Make sure that the chopped herbs are not very wet. Access water will make the falafel wet and soggy from inside. You want them moist and soft inside and not soggy!
  3. In our experience, blending raw onions make the end product somewhat bitter. We lightly saute the chopped onions in small quantity of oil, let them cool and then add to blender / food processor
  4. Add chickpeas and onion, parsley, cilantro, pepper, garlic, cumin, salt, cardamom and black pepper to the food processor and pulse to coarse mix. If the mixture is too wet, you can add another tablespoon of chickpea flour. If it’s too dry and crumbly, you can add a teaspoon or two of water or lemon juice
  5. Transfer the falafel mixture to a bowl and add the chickpea flour and baking soda. Mix well, cover it and refrigerate the mixture for 30 minutes to one hour
  6. Preheat the over to 350F
  7. To the baking pan, add 1 tbsp oil and spread it evenly to cover the baking surface
  8. Pour falafel mix to the baking pan, gently spread it evenly in the pan. Add 1 tbsp oil on the surface, spread it evenly and bake it for 25-30 minutes, keeping an eye to make sure it doesn’t get overcooked and become too dark
  9. Take out the pan from the oven, insert a knife and take it out. If the knife is dry, your falafel is fully cooked from inside. If the mix sticks to the knife, you may need to bake the falafel for a few more minutes
  10. Cut into pieces and serve with tahini / yogurt sauce

Serves: 4

 

Inspiration source:

Falafel

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!

Khowsuey

Khowsuey

Khowsuey

Ingredients:

  • 200 grams (7 oz.) egg noodles
  • 1 1/2 cups mixed boiled vegetables (French beans, carrots, cauliflower. green peas, etc)
  • 2 chopped tomatoes
  • 1 can (15.5 oz) coconut milk
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • salt to taste

To be ground into a paste

  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 3 teaspoons coriander seeds
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 3 red Kashmiri chilies
  • 25 mm. (1″) piece ginger

For garnishing

  • 100 grams (4 oz.) sev (thin Indian fried noodles made from chickpea flour)
  • 4 chopped spring onions (with leaves)
  • 1/2 teacup chopped coriander

Method:

  1. Boil the noodles and once cooked, wash under running water and keep aside
  2. Heat the oil and try the onion for 2-3 minutes
  3. Add the paste end fry again for 2 minutes
  4. Add the tomatoes and try again for 2 minutes
  5. Add the coconut milk, boiled vegetables, salt and sugar
  6. Boil the gravy for 10-15 minutes
  7. Add cooked noodles
  8. Garnish with sev, spring onions and coriander leaves and serve hot

Serves: 4

Inspiration source:

The Delights of Vegetarian Cooking by Tarla Dalal, page 72

Remarks:

The vegetarian version of the delicious Burmese bhel – a meal by itself

 

Italian Eggplant Ragout

Italian Eggplant Ragout

Italian Eggplant Ragout

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium eggplants, halved
  • 2 Tbs. salt
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped (2 cups)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (2 tsp.)
  • 1 15-oz. can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 15-oz. can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 2 Tbs. capers
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

Method:

  1. Scoop out center and seeds of eggplant halves. Cut eggplants into 3/4-inch dice. Toss with salt in bowl, and let stand 30 minutes. Drain, rinse well, and pat dry
  2. Heat olive oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, and sauté 5 minutes, or until softened. Add garlic, and cook 1 minute more, or until fragrant. Stir in tomatoes, chickpeas, and eggplants. Reduce heat to medium-low, and cook 15 minutes, or until eggplants are tender but not mushy
  3. Stir in capers and sugar, and cook 2 minutes more. Fold in parsley, and season with black pepper

Serves: 6

Remarks:

The meaty texture of eggplant makes it an ideal ingredient in vegetarian entrées, and its antioxidant content makes it a nutritional powerhouse.

Eggplant is rich in a phenolic compound called chlorogenic acid, a potent free-radical scavenger that confers antiviral, antimicrobial, and cholesterol-lowering benefits.

Prep tip: Salting the eggplant before cooking it draws out any bitter juices and helps the vegetable hold its shape when cooked.

Hot and Sour Chinese Eggplant

Ingredients:

  • 4 long Chinese eggplants, cubed
  • 1 red capsicum
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoon white sugar
  • 2 green chili pepper, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili oil. If not available, use sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds

Method:

  1. Place the eggplant cubes into a large bowl, and sprinkle with salt. Fill with enough water to cover, and let stand for 30 minutes. Rinse well, and drain on paper towels
  2. In a microwave-safe bowl, stir together the soy sauce, red wine vinegar, sugar, chili pepper, chopped garlic, cornstarch and chili / sesame oil. Heat the sauce in microwave oven for 1 minute and then set it aside
  3. Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Fry the eggplant until it is tender and begins to brown, 5 to 10 minutes
  4. Pour in the sauce, and cook and stir until the sauce is thick and the eggplant is evenly coated. Sprinkle sesame seeds on it
  5. Serve immediately with steamed rice

Serves: 4

Inspiration source:

http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Hot-and-Sour-Chinese-Eggplant/Detail.aspx

Quinoa Khichdi with Vegetables and Masoor Dal

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 cup masoor dal (red lentils)
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 cup chopped onions
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • 1 chopped green chillies
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 4 cardamom pods whole
  • 2 cinnamon stick
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup chopped green beans / french beans
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 2 tbsp fried cashews pieces
  • 2 tsp salt or to taste
  • 1 tbsp Ghee

Method:

  1. Add the ghee to a deep bottomed pan and put it on medium heat
  2. Add cumin seeds, bay leaf, cinnamon stick, cardamom pods, and chopped onions
  3. Saute till the onions turns translucent
  4. Add ginger, green chillies, turmeric, vegetables, quinoa and masoor dal
  5. Toss for about three minutes to immerse the grain and the vegetables with the spices
  6. Add four cups water and salt and simmer on a slow flame till cooked and the water is all absorbed. It should be light and fluffy
  7. Add crushed cashews as garnish to give it a nutty flavor
  8. Serve with papad and tomato chutney

Serves: 4

Inspiration source:

India Currents, Nov 2014 – page 58

https://www.indiacurrents.com/articles/2014/11/05/cooking-quinoa

Misal (Spicy fast food served on Mumbai roadside carts and small restaurants)

Misal

Misal

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup whole mung (green gram)
  • 1/2 cup black chana (chickpeas)
  • 1/2 cup black eyed peas
  • 1/2 cup moth beans / mutki beans / Turkish beans
  • 3 medium-size potatoes
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp asafetida
  • 4 tbsp goda masala (http://cooks.ndtv.com/recipe/show/maharashtrian-goda-masala-100476)
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp coriander cumin powder
  • 2 tsp salt or to taste

To serve:

  • Indian spicy mix such as Andhra Mix
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • Lemon / Lime slices

Method:

  1. Soak all the peas and grams overnight then wash them and cook them in pressure cooker (3 whistles). Note that some of these may take longer to cook!
  2. Cook, peel and cut potatoes into medium pieces
  3. In a large pan, heat the oil on medium heat and add hing to it
  4. Just when it gets a bit fragrant (5 to 10 seconds), add goda masala, chili powder, coriander cumin powder and sauté it for a minute
  5. Add all the cooked peas, grams and potatoes and sauté for a couple of minutes
  6. Add 4-5 cups water and salt, bring to boil and then let it simmer on low heat for 5 minutes
  7. Crush some peas, grams and potatoes a bit to give the gravy some thickness

To serve:

  1. Take generous portion of spicy mix in a serving bowl
  2. Add the misal gravy to it and top it with chopped onions and lime / lemon juice
  3. Serve with Indian pav (bread) or any other hardy bread such as ciabatta bread

Serves: 4

Taco Meal

Ingredients:

For tacos:

  • Trader Joe’s Taco Shells (made with organic stoneground yellow corn)

For beans:

  • 2 cans black beans
  • 2 tbsp Trader Joe’s Taco Seasoning Mix
  • 2 tbsp oil

other:

Method:

Tacos:

  1. Heat the taco shells in toaster oven at 450 degree F for a minute (make sure it doesn’t become brown / burn) and then put aside

Beans:

  1. Gently wash the beans with cold water to remove preservatives, etc
  2. Heat the oil in a pan
  3. Saute the beans in the oil for a minute
  4. Add the taco seasoning and saute for 2-3 minutes on medium heat

Putting together: In each shell, put 2 tbsp of seasoned beans, 2 tbsp of yogurt and 2 tbsp of guacamole and enjoy!

Remarks:

You can add shredded lettuce and cheese to enhance the richness of the flavor

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!