Stir Fried Mustard Leaves

You need:

  • Mustard Leaves.
  • Bathua Leaves. Approximately half the quantity of the Mustard leaves.
  • A whole radish with it’s leaves.
  • An onion, sliced.
  • Two green chillies.
  • A couple of cloves of garlic, chopped.
  • A heaped tablespoon of ghee.
  • Two tablespoons of mustard oil.

Fry the onion, garlic, green chillies and radish root in mustard oil. Chop all the greens and add to the pan. Make them into a doughnut shape. This will cause the moisture they release to pool in the middle. The leaves will not turn soggy and will also retain their color. When no more water is getting released add the ghee. Cook for another minute or two.

Season with salt and pepper.

Enjoy with a piece of jaggery.

Sour Bottle Gourd

Bottle Gourd

I wanted to do something wacky and this crazy idea came up. It’s quirky but tastes like fun.

You need:

  • A bottle gourd sliced into thin matchsticks.
  • Juice of a lemon.
  • A couple of peanuts.
  • Coconut oil about 2 tablespoons.
  • Finely chopped Coriander or Dill.
  • Spice mix or just red chilly powder.

Marinate the bottle gourd sticks in lemon juice for at least ten mins. Fry the peanuts in coconut oil. Add the bottle gourd. Cook on low to medium heat for about seven minutes. When the bottle gourd no longer has a raw taste add the chopped greens.

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Mix well and dry it up.

Season with salt and any spice mix.

Soul Kadhi

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I absolutely love curd and am mad about greens. What better soul food than combining these together.

You Need:

  • Finely chopped Greens. Any greens. You can use spinach, fenugreek or even sorrel. I used Malabar Spinach.
  • Green chilies as per taste, finely chopped.
  • Cumin
  • Coriander seeds
  • 250 gms of Curd whisked with a teaspoon or two of besan flour.
  • Mustard oil.

Heat mustard oil. When its nice and hot, add the cumin and coriander seeds. When they crackle, add the green chilies followed by the chopped greens. Cook on high heat. Keep stirring. When there is no more water being released by the greens, switch off the stove. Immediately add the whisked curd. Mix and let it rest for some 5-10 mins.

No need of salt. When whisking curd with besan, use a blender to avoid any lumps.

You can also use this as a dip with cucumbers, zucchini, khakra or chips.

Macaroni in Roux with Vegetables

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I was out shopping with my kids, when my son spotted Broccoli and decided that dinner was going to be Pasta.

You Need:

  • 250 gms of Pasta. Follow instruction and cook them in salted water. Save 100 ml of this starchy water for later.
  • 5-6 finely sliced garlic cloves.
  • 200 grams of button mushrooms, chopped up.
  • 2 capsicums, chopped up.
  • 200 grams of Broccoli. Separate the florets. Peel the stem. Discard the rough exterior. Chop into small pieces the soft stem inside it.
  • 30 grams of butter.
  • 30 grams of flour. You can use either Maida or Whole Wheat.
  • 200 ml of milk.
  • Any seasoning or dry herbs.

Heat oil in a large pan. Add the garlic and cook till the raw edge is gone. Saute the mushrooms, capsicum and chopped broccoli stem. Do this on high heat. Do not let them boil in the water they are releasing. The mushrooms will rapidly shrink down to approximately half the original volume. Add the broccoli florets. Cook on medium heat. Watch the broccoli as they start changing their color. They will suddenly start becoming bright green. When you feel they are really bright, eat one of them. If its cooked. You are done. Do NOT overcook them. The color of the broccoli is their cue and respect it. Overcooked broccoli tastes horrible and is one of the main reasons why most people hate it.

Remove all the vegetables. In the same pan add the butter. Use medium to low heat. When the butter has fully melted, add the flour. Whisk it. Keep on whisking it. When the raw smell is gone start dribbling the milk into this. Keep whisking and don’t add more than 10-20 ml at a time. This will prevent the formation of lumps. Be patient as the rewards are worth it. When all the milk has been added and there are no lumps, you start adding the half cup of pasta starch water. Use the same technique of dribbling in the liquid while constantly whisking.

Season with salt and any herbs you like. Add the vegetables and the macaroni. Cook on high heat for about 2-3 mins When the consistency is just right, switch off the stove and leave it covered for about 10 mins. This will allow the pasta to absorb the sauce.

Enjoy.

The K Kick : Banana Stem

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Banana stem is one of the best natural sources of Potassium (K). The biggest benefit of Potassium is its ability to control blood pressure and make your kidneys strong.

You need:

  • A fresh banana stem.
  • Green Chilies chopped.
  • Cumin.
  • Coriander seeds.
  • Mustard seeds.
  • Curry leaves.
  • Coconut oil.

The banana stem usually has a lot of fibers. These need to be removed before its cooked. First remove the rough outer skin and get to the softer flesh inside. I was very lucky to find a tender stem, which hardly had any fibers in it. The stem also quickly changes color, if exposed to air. So mix a teaspoon of curd in water. The cut pieces of the stem need to be kept immersed in this to avoid the discoloration.

Cut the stem into small rings. When you separate them, fibers may form between the rings. Pull out the fibers and discards them. Finally chop the rings into small pieces.

Saute all the ingredients except the chopped stem in coconut oil. When they start smelling like the doorway to heaven, add the stem and cook alternating between low and medium heat. They usually take about 10 minutes to get fully cooked.

Enjoy as a mid-morning snack or eat with rice.

 

 

When Rajma met Millet

First the Rajma:

You need:

  • About 250 gms of Red Beans soaked in water for at least 10 hours.
  • 2 Onions, chopped.
  • 2 Green Chilies.
  • 2 Tomatoes.
  • 1 Teaspoon of Ginger Garlic paste.
  • 1 heaped Tablespoon of Coriander Powder.
  • 1 heaped Tablespoon of Garam Masala Powder.
  • 1/4 teaspoon Turmeric.
  • Mustard oil.

First saute the onions and green chilly in mustard oil till the onions are translucent. Add ginger garlic paste and fry till the raw smell is gone. Add tomatoes, salt and turmeric. Cook till the tomatoes have completely softened. Add the coriander powder and garam masala. Let them cook on medium heat for about 5 mins.

Wash the soaked red beans. Use a colander under a tap to get them nice and clean. Add the beans to the masala and roast them for about 4-5 mins. Cover with water and pressure cook. One whistle on high and then simmer for about 20 mins. When pressure has dissipated, open and switch to high heat. Dry up the dish and also mash a couple of beans to get an overall creamy texture.

For the Millets:

You need:

  • 1 cup of millets. I used Barnyard millet. Simply follow the instructions on the pack and cook them.
  • 2 Tablespoons of olive oil.
  • 2 dry red chilies.
  • 2 teaspoons of all purpose seasoning.

Warm the olive oil. Tear and crush the chilies and add to the warm oil. Add the all purpose seasoning powder. Mix and let them stay warm for about 5-6 mins. Drizzle over the millets and mix well.