Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Quinoa with Basil and Pepper

Quinoa is a seed, which looks like a grain. Its a good susbsitute for rice. My husband doesn't like rice dishes, but he loves Quinoa, so many times I make Quinoa Pulav, or Quinoa khichdi. Cooking with Quinoa is very easy. You treat it just like rice.
This time I made Quinoa with Red and Orange Peppers, and Thai basil. I had bought thai basil and colored peppers to make summer rolls, but because of the E-coli outbreak in sprouts, I had to ditch the plan of making summer rolls. So I had a few colored peppers, and about half a cup of thai basil at my home, which I needed to use up quickly, so I decided to experiment by adding them in Quinoa.It turned out pretty good.
Here is how my made Quinoa with peppers and basil
1-1/4 Cup Uncooked Quinoa
Salt to taste
2 Tablespoon Oil
1/8th Teaspoon Asafoetida
2 Bell Peppers, Cut into 1 inch Pieces (I used 1 Red and 1 Orange pepper. You can use any colored pper)
1/4 Cup Frozen Green Peas
1-1/2 Serrano Peppers, Deseeded, and Sliced into two Lengthwise,
1/4 Cup Carrots, Sliced 1/2 Inch Thick,
1/2 Teaspoon Garam Masala
1/4 Teaspoon Turmeric
1/4 Cup Basil leaves Roughly Chopped (You can add whole Basil leaves too)

Take out Quinoa in a strainer and place it under cold runnig water for about 30 seconds. Take it out in a sauce pan. Add 2-1/4 cups of water and salt to taste. Let the water come to a boil, then simmer covered for 15-20 minutes, or until the water evaporates. Keep in mind to not stir it while simmering. Once all the water has evaporated, fluff it up with the help of a fork.

Heat oil in another sauce pan. When its bubbly, add the asafoetida and Serrano pepper. Stir continuously for about 30-40 seconds. Then add the peppers, carrots, and peas. Add turmeric and garam masala, and stir to coat the veggies. Add salt to taste. Turn the flame to medium-low and cook covered until the peppers just start to soften up. You don't want to cook the veggies until they are soft and mushy. and cook for another minute or so. Take off the heat. Now add the basil leaves and cook for another minute or so. Turn off the heat. Now mix the cooked Quinoa to the veggies a little at a time, to make sure that everything combines uniformly. Serve with cold yogurt on side, or eat as is.
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Thursday, June 9, 2011

Spring Salad with Balsamic-Mustard Dressing

I can eat salads everyday for lunch provided the salad dressing is different each day:). Being vegetarian, I have to be careful while selecting dressings for salads. Some dressings have eggs, while others have enchovies in them. When I have salad at home, I prefer to make my own dressing.

A few days ago, I bought Apple Chipotle Mustard from a local farmer's market. Its tastes a bit sweet, with very mild heat from the chipotle peppers and tangyness of the mustartd. The person who was selling it, told me that it can be used on meats as a rub, and also it goes well with fish. Ofcourse, I don't eat any of those, so I thought I can try to mix it with my salad dressing that I make at home. If you can't find Apple Chipotle Mustard at your local stores, try substituting it with Honey Mustard.

Here is what you will need for salad.
2 Cups Spring Salad Mix
5-6 Salted and Roasted Almonds,
2 Teaspoon Golden or Black Raisins,
Slices of 1 Orange, Separated and Cut in Half
3-4 Strawberries, Cut into Thin Slices (Optional)

2 Tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar
1/2 Teaspoon Apple-Chipotle Mustad (Can Substitute with Honey Mustard)
2 Tablespoon Olive Oil,

Method for Dressing:
Combine together the mustard and the vinegar in a bowl. Mix well to form a uniform mixture. Now add the olive oil a little at a time while continusously stirring with mixture with the other hand. This process incorporates some air in the dressing, and helps combine vinegar and oil together.

Assembling the Salad:
I run my knife through the greens once so that I don't end up with huge leaves in my dinning plate:). You can also tear the leaves with your hands while adding them to the salad bowl. Now add the raisins, almonds and orange slices. If you are using strawberries, add them now too.

Just before serving, pour the dressing over the salad. Mix thoroughly and serve.

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Monday, June 6, 2011

Taro Root (Arbi) Patties

I tasted taro root for the first time at a friend’s place two years ago. She had made taro patties with minimum spices, but they still tasted good. Since then I have been cooking it the same way. Be aware, if you like taro root, you will want more and more if this patties:).

Here are the ingredients:
6-7 pieces of Small Taro Roots
Salt to taste
1 Teaspoon Crushed Black Pepper (optional)
2 Teaspoon Lemon Juice
1 Teaspoon Chaat Masala
1 Teaspoon Oil

Wash the roots thoroughly and put them in a container. Put the container in the pressure cooker and cook for 5 whistles. Let it cool.
Once the taro roots have cooled down to touch, peel them. Press them gently in between the palms of your hands to make a flat patty. If need cut them in two pieces before making small patties.
Heat up the oil on a griddle or a non stick pan. Once it is hot, arrange the patties on the griddle. Sprinkle the salt, pepper and chaat masala on the patties. Cook them on medium heat for about 2 minutes, or until the underside turns golden brown. Flip the patties gently. Now sprinkle the salt, pepper and chaat masala on the cooked side. Let the underside cook for another two minutes to get golden brown color.
Take off of the stove and squeeze a fresh lemon over them or brush some lemon juice on the patties. Garnish with chopped coriander. I can’t stop eating them as soon as they are off of the griddle; therefore I never get to the garnishing stage:).

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