Broccoli, Basil, Capsicum

You need:

  • Broccoli, cut and blanched.
  • Capsicum, yellow or red.
  • A bunch of Basil leaves, chopped up.
  • Garlic cloves, roughly chopped up.
  • A lemon.
  • Dry red chilies and chilly flakes.
  • Salt and pepper for seasoning.

Heat olive oil and toss in the garlic and chillies. Stir Fry for two to three minutes and then add the capsicum. When slightly tender, add the broccoli, Basil leaves, salt and pepper.

Lemon zest and lemon juice. Switch off the stove.

Note: add only as much lemon juice as you want. We want it to be a mild flavor that enhances the Basil and not over power it.

Enjoy a quick and sprightly salad.

Watermelon Rind Sabzi!

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Watermelon is one of my favorite fruits. But we eat the juicy red part and discard the white rind. Couple of years back my friend brought a chutney made with it. It was very nice and this thought has always played in the back of my mind. Every time I slice a watermelon, I felt guilty about discarding an edible part. Finally decided to try cooking it and am very happy I did it.

You need:

  • Finely diced watermelon rind.
  • Couple of Garlic pods, roughly chopped.
  • Mustard seeds about a teaspoon.
  • Turmeric powder about half a teaspoon.
  • Red Chilly powder about 2 teaspoons but adjust according to taste.
  • Salt
  • Coriander for garnishing.

Be careful while removing and discarding the green outer skin. Its best to cut the watermelon in half and place it on a cutting board. Let the knife run downwards. If you try any other angle there is a good chance your knife will slip and cut your finger.

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Heat oil and saute the garlic and mustard. Add the red chilly powder and turmeric. Mix them well. Add the watermelon rind and cook on low heat. Use low heat and cook till it softens. Midway thru this season with salt.

Garnish with coriander. A splash of lemon juice is optional.

Goes great with rotis.

 

Purple Cabbage Spread

A healthier alternative to mayonnaise.

You need:

  • A roughly chopped purple cabbage.
  • Butter.
  • Pepper corns about a tablespoon.
  • Sugar either white or preferably brown, about a tablespoon.
  • Apple cider vinegar as per taste.
  • Extra virgin olive oil or sesame oil.

Lay out the cabbage on a moderately hot pan. Let it sizzle for sometime. This will help remove any water that was retained after washing. Once you feel that there is no water left and this will take barely four to five minutes add the butter.

Let it melt into the cabbage and keep cooking till the cabbage becomes soft and tender. Now add the sugar, salt and pepper. Mix well. Taste it. Now slowly add the vinegar. Be careful and add till its at the level of tartness you like.

Mix well and now move the cabbage to one side. The liquid will collect on the other. Increase the heat and cook till the liquids have all evaporated.

Let it cool.

Blend in a mixie. It will be dry. Now add any oil like olive or sesame till it’s smoothness is at the level you want.

Pair this with any protein of your choice. I used a simple Pomfret fry.

Make your sandwich with any bread, toasted or plain.

Bajra Flakes with Beets and Capsicum

Beets

You need:

  • Bajra Flakes.
  • 3 medium beets.
  • 2 capsicums
  • Cumin seeds
  • Mustard oil.

Grate the beets and finely dice the capsicum. Wash and strain out the excess water from the Bajra Flakes.

Heat oil and add the cumin seeds. For this recipe you will need to rely on your power of smell. Add the beets and capsicum and cook on high. When the raw smell of the capsicum goes away, season with salt. Now add the flakes. Cook on medium heat till the raw and distinctive earthy smell of the bajra reduces.

Garnish with coriander and serve hot or cold.

 

 

Tapioca Biffins

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I can’t decide if these are biscuits or muffins so I invented a new name…Biffins.

You Need:

  • Grated Tapioca about 800 gms.
  • Some fresh coconut
  • 2 teaspoons of Cumin and fennel seeds.
  • 3 Dry red chilies.
  • Whole Wheat Flour approximately 3 to 4 tablespoons.
  • Sugar as per taste.
  • Salt to season.
  • Grate the tapioca.

Powder the chilies, cumin, fennel and coconut. Add salt and sugar.

Combine the tapioca and the powdered spices. Knead together. It will be very wet. Add whole wheat flour in small batches till the moisture wetness is manageable.

Make into biscuit shapes and bake for 30 mins in a 160C oven. Don’t use butter paper as it has a tendency to stick to the paper. I made this mistake, you don’t need to.

Enjoy with any chutney or ketchup.

Honey Sesame Cabbage

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You need:

  • A full head of cabbage. Cut into long strips.
  • 2 tablespoons of honey
  • 2 tablespoons of sesame oil or extra virgin olive oil.
  • pepper and salt.

Super simple as always.

Just roast the cabbage on a hot grill pan. You can also broil it in the oven. But a stovetop is easier. You may need to do the cabbage in batches. As cabbage shrinks when its cooked you can add them all back into the pan before the final step.

Whisk together honey and oil. Drizzle this over the cabbage. Season with salt and pepper. Its a simple and nice dish that goes great with any grilled protein.

Snake Gourd without Oil

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Snake Gourd is a fantastic vegetable loaded with many health benefits. But it has a tendency to get a oily glaze when cooked. Its something I don’t particularly fancy. This recipe gets rid of this by not using any oil.

You need:

  • Cumin seeds
  • Coriander seeds
  • Dry red chilies
  • Snake Gourd, peeled and cut into small pieces.
  • Chopped up tomato
  • Aamchoor Powder.

Heat a pan and dry roast all the spices. As they release a lovely aroma, add the snake gourd. Cook on high flame and keep stirring. As the snake gourd starts to soften up and this may take only 7 to 8 mins, taste and check if its done. If satisfied, sprinkle some aamchoor powder and salt. Mix it well. But in minute or two, this will form a slightly sticky layer at the base of the pan. Now add the tomato and mix it up. This will clean up the pan.