Back Second Week of July’14

Feast on Fruits

 

 

 

 

 

Am busy travelling and so will be away from this space till the second week of July.

Till then, feast on these juicy fruits which I enjoyed for breakfast a few days back courtesy my fruitoholic mother!

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How to Cook Slime-free Okra

How to Cook Slime-free Okra


How to Cook Slime-free Okra

 

 

 

 

 

I have been meaning to post this very quick tip on slime-free method of cooking okra for quite some time now.

This is a tip I have picked up from my mum and each time I cook okra this way, they are minus the associated slime or stickiness.

In all honestly, I have never researched how to cook stickiness-free okra on the internet since the following has always worked; if it is not new, my apologies.

All you have to do is:

  1. Have your unwashed okra in front of you.
  2. Take a very clean kitchen towel (cloth, not paper).
  3. Dampen the towel, squeezing out any excess moisture. You should end up with a piece of cloth which feels a little damp, no more.
  4. Wipe one okra at a time, placing it on a separate plate or in a separate bowl.
  5. You will end up with cleaned okra which will not turn slimy or sticky upon cooking.

Simple Tendli (Ivy Gourd), The Kooky Mum’s Way

Simple Tendli/Tindora/Ivy Gourd, The Kooky Mum's Way

  • Servings: 1-2
  • Difficulty: easy
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Simple Tendli, The Kooky Mum's Way

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You know how there are some foods which you’ve had over the years and which have seen you from childhood into tantrum-filled teenagehood into a (hopefully!) mature adulthood and while you have changed their taste remains unchanged? This is one such recipe.

Tendli, also known as tindora, ivy gourd, baby watermelon, little gourd and gentleman’s toe (!) was a firm favourite in our family. The amazing thing was that each time my mum cooked it, it tasted exactly the same (as is the case even now).

I tried replicating her recipe from my imagination and the end result was a twin – taste: copy; texture: copy; aroma: copy. How bizarre is that?!

Interestingly, cooking with tendli is not confined to the Indian subcontinent.

According to Wikipedia, its consumption “extends from Africa to Asia, including India, the Philippines, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, eastern Papua New Guinea, and the Northern Territories, Australia. Its documented introduced range includes the Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Guam, Saipan, Hawaii, the Marshall Islands, Samoa, Tonga, and Vanuatu.” I find this very fascinating and would love to experiment with this vegetable in some non-Indian dish.

a really simple, straightforward, fuss-free recipe which can be made with basic store cupboard ingredients

It goes very well with rotis. I had some salad on the side as you can see from the photo. A delicious, nostalgic dinner.

Ingredients

250 Grams tendli

2 Medium size potato

1 Teaspoon turmeric powder

1-2 Teaspoons chilli powder

1 Tablespoon coriander powder

1 Tablespoon cumin powder

1 Teaspoon asafoetida

1-2 Teaspoons oil

Salt to taste

Method

  1. Wash the tendli and either dry it on a kitchen towel or leave it in a colander to get rid of the excess water.
  2. Once the tendli is dry, halve it along its length and slice it finely.
  3. Wash and slice the potato in the same way (halve along its length and slice finely) or in medium size cubes.
  4. Heat the oil in a frying pan.
  5. Once it is hot, reduce the heat to minimum and add the asafoetida and turmeric.
  6. Next, add the sliced tendli and salt to taste.
  7. Mix well, cover and cook for 10 minutes.
  8. Uncover, add the potato, chilli powder, cumin powder and coriander powder.
  9. Once again, mix thoroughly, cover and cook for 10 to 15 minutes.
  10. By the end of this cooking time, both the vegetables should have cooked. If no, cover and cook for a few more minutes.
  11. Serve with roti. also goes very well with dal and rice.

Spicy Quinoa with Vegetables, The Indian Way

Spicy Quinoa with Vegetables, The Indian Way

  • Servings: 3-4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Spicy Quinoa with Vegetables, The Indian Way

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What I like about cooking with quinoa is how adaptable and flexible it is. You can use it as a base it in a variety of different cuisines and it will make itself at home.

It is also an extremely flexible seed. Use it in a stuffing, popped, sprouted, in a batter and it gels with its fellow inmates without shouting for attention.

to summarise the health benefits of quinoa

  1. Unlike most foods, it is a complete protein with all the nine amino acids.
  2. We all know about the health benefits of fibre. Quinoa contains almost twice as much fibre compared to other grains.
  3. It is full of iron.
  4. It contains high level of lysine, a type of essential amino acid which human body needs for tissue growth and repair.
  5. It is rich in magnesium which is important to control blood sugar level, detoxification, regulate body temperature and promote healthy teeth and bones.
  6. It contains Riboflavin (B2).
  7. It has high levels of manganese.

Today’s recipe of Indianised quinoa is relatively simple. You can use any combination of vegetables such as cauliflower, broccoli, courgette, sweetcorn, pepper, green pea, french beans, carrot, pumpkin, squash and fresh beans. I had cooked with french beans, green peas and carrots along with onion and tomato.

A note on the cooking medium. This recipe tastes best if cooked in ghee (clarified butter). Of course, you can use oil if you prefer or a combination of ghee and oil. As with everything else in life, it boils down to personal taste but in my humble opinion, ghee works best.

Ingredients

1 Cup uncooked quinoa

2 Cups chopped mixed vegetable of your choice

2 Onion

2 Tomato

3-4 Fresh green chilli

Fresh ginger the size of your thumb

10-15 Curry leaves

Small bunch fresh coriander

1 Tablespoon raw peanuts

1 Tablespoon urad dal (split black gram)

1 Tablespoon dalia (split bengal gram)

2-3 Dry red chilli

1 Tablespoon mustard seeds

1 Teaspoon asafoetida

1 Teaspoon turmeric powder

1/2 Cup strong/sour/tart yoghurt

1 Tablespoon ghee or oil

Salt to taste

Juice of lime or lemon (optional)

Method

  1. Peel, wash and finely dice the onion.
  2. Wash and chop the tomato.
  3. Wash and finely slice the green chilli.
  4. Peel, wash and grate the ginger.
  5. Wash and chop the fresh coriander.
  6. Break the dry red chilli into two.
  7. Heat the ghee or oil in a frying pan.
  8. Once hot, lower the heat and throw in the mustard seeds.
  9. As soon as they start crackling, add the asafoetida, broken dry red chilli and curry leaves.
  10. Stir for about 15 seconds.
  11. Add the peanuts, chana dal and urad dal.
  12. Stir for about a minute or so till the dals turn a couple of shades darker.
  13. Next, add the onion, sliced green chilli, grated ginger, turmeric and salt to taste.
  14. Mix well, cover and cook for 5 minutes.
  15. Uncover and add the chopped tomato.
  16. Cover and cook for 3 to 4 minutes.
  17. Uncover and add the quinoa.
  18. Stir around for a couple of minutes.
  19. Add the vegetables and mix well.
  20. Mix the yoghurt into 2.5 cups of water. Add this mixture to frying pan, stir for one last time, cover and cook for about 25 minutes till the quinoa and vegetables are thoroughly cooked.
  21. At the end of cooking time, you should end up with a dry, pilaf like dish. If you find that there is still too much liquid remaining, remove the lid and cook for a few more minutes till it dries up.
  22. Garnish with fresh coriander and serve.
  23. A few drops of lemon juice is optional and depends on individual taste.

A Very Purple Salad

A Very Purple Salad

  • Servings: 1-2
  • Difficulty: easy
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A Very Purple Salad

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s a summer friendly salad recipe which can be enjoyed on its own with a glass of white or rosé (and some bread, if you are so inclined).

It is very easy to assemble and doesn’t take much time but it does require a bit of planning since you have to marinate red cabbage, beetroot and onion.

This salad includes uncooked courgette, a first for me. I have recently developed a taste for this vegetable in its raw form (in salads) thanks to a friend.

a beautifully coloured salad which is light yet satisfying

Ingredients

250 Grams red cabbage

1 Beetroot

2 Onion

1 Yellow Pepper

1 Green Courgette

10-12 Cherry tomato

Juice of 2 lime/lemon

1 Tablespoon vinegar of your choice

1 Tablespoon strong mustard

1 Tablespoon olive oil

A pinch of freshly ground pepper

Salt to taste

Method

  1. Wash and finely slice the red cabbage.
  2. Peel, wash and halve the onion. Slice in fine rings in half moon shape and separate the rings.
  3. Wash and steam the beetroot for about 7 to 8 minutes (depending on its size). You want it just a wee bit tender, not cooked.
  4. Once the beetroot has cooled down, slice it in thick matchstick like shape.
  5. Take a bowl with a lid. Throw in the sliced cabbage, onion rings and beetroot.
  6. Add the vinegar, juice of 1 lime or lemon and a pinch of salt.
  7. Toss well, cover and let this marinate for about 5 to 6 hours.
  8. When you are ready to assemble the salad, wash and halve the cherry tomato.
  9. Wash, de-core, deseed and halve the pepper. Finely slice each half.
  10. Wash and remove both ends of the courgette. Cut it in half and slice it along its length. Slice each halved length into half moon shape.
  11. In a salad bowl, throw in the pepper, cherry tomato and courgette.
  12. Add the marinated cabbage, beetroot and onion mixture.
  13. Add olive oil, mustard, juice of 1 lime or lemon, salt and pepper.
  14. Toss well and enjoy.

Spicy Chickpea & Pumpkin Hummus

Spicy Chickpea & Pumpkin Hummus

  • Servings: 1-2
  • Difficulty: easy
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Spicy Chickpea & Pumpkin Hummus

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s another easy peasy hummus recipe which is utterly pumpkiny delicious.

I read somewhere recently that pumpkin is one of those vegetables we should be eating more of which gave me the idea of incorporating it in hummus.

This hummus is spicy with a hint of natural sweetness. You can reduce the chilli quantity if you like. Also use either canned chickpeas or soak and boil them (this is what I did).

spicy, tasty moreish hummus which can be made in a jiffy

Ingredients

1/2 Cup cooked chickpea

150 Grams pumpkin

2 Heads of garlic

4-6 Hot red chilli

2 Tablespoons tahini

Juice of 2 lime/lemon

1 Tablespoon dry roasted pumpkin seeds

1 Tablespoon olive oil

Salt to taste

Method

  1. Wash the pumpkin and cut it in cubes (leaving the skin on).
  2. Boil it with  pinch of salt.
  3. Once cooked, drain and set aside to cool. Don’t throw away the water it is cooked in, drink it or use it in some other recipe as it is nutritious and tastes quite nice.
  4. Peel and finely grate the garlic.
  5. Wash and chop the hot chilli.
  6. In a food processor, add the chickpea, pumpkin, garlic, chilli, tahini, juice of lime or lemon and salt to taste. If you find the mixture too thick, add a bit of the water in which pumpkin was boiled.
  7. Blend till pumpkin and chickpea are paste-like (a bit coarse is also okay).
  8. Transfer to a serving bowl, add the olive oil and toasted pumpkin seeds, mix well and chill for a couple of hours before serving.