Basic Tomato Sauce

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Its Basic!

You Need:

  • 3 Large Ripe Tomatoes.
  • 1 Small Onion, finely chopped.
  • 4-5 Garlic cloves, roughly chopped.
  • Paprika as per taste and then a teaspoon.
  • Italian Seasoning.
  • Salt as per taste.

First we need to blanch the tomatoes. So using a sharp knife cut thru the skin on the base of the tomatoes in the shape of a cross. Get water to a raging boil. Carefully drop in the tomatoes and let them stay fully immersed for approximately a minute. Remove when the skin starts to tear away from the cross.

Remove and let them cool. Remove the skin. Cut them into quarters and remove the seeds. Discard both the skin and seeds.

Heat oil. Saute the onions and garlic till they are sweating away. Add the tomatoes. Season with salt and paprika. Cook on low heat till the tomatoes are so mushy and soft that you can visually no longer tell them apart.

Add Italian seasoning. When cool, blend into a fine puree.

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This sauce goes great with plain cooked Pasta and super great with grilled chicken.

Heart Healthy Greens

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You Need:

  • Malabar Spinach : 19 calories in 100gms but loaded with vitamins A, B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B6 (niacin) and C, as well as the minerals calcium, iron,phosphorus, magnesium, potassium and sodium.
  • Grated Mango Ginger :  helps with asthma, bronchitis, cough.
  • Diced Fresh Red Chilies: Anti Inflammatory.
  • Cumin and Coriander seeds.

Heat some oil. Preferably mustard or coconut. When hot, crackle some cumin and coriander seeds in it. Then spread out the greens all over the saute pan.. Reduce the heat.

Now start grating the mango-ginger and dicing the chilies. Add them to the wilted greens. Mix well. Season with salt.

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Enjoy.

Chilly Broccoli

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Simple as always.

You need:

  • A head of broccoli. Separate into large florets. Wash and dry.
  • A yellow capsicum, sliced into long thick sticks.
  • 4-5 Big Red Chilies, remove seeds and cut lengthwise thru the middle.
  • 4 tablespoons of Flavored Oil : Use either sesame, coconut or olive oil. Add pepper, salt, cumin seeds, onion seeds…whatever you want, as much as you want.

Take the flavored oil in a large dish. Toss in the capsicum and chilies. Rub in the oil and remove them. Add the broccoli and coat it in oil. Doing this in two batches ensures a good rub on everything without destroying the tender florets.

Get a pan to high high. Add the capsicum and chilies. They MUST sizzle when put on the pan. If your pan is large enough, push them to a corner and add the broccoli. Broccoli must not be stacked on each other. But each and every floret must make contact with the pan. Let it cook at high heat. Turn them around once in a while. The chilies will cook first. Remove and when slightly cool cut them into thins strips.

When the capsicum and broccoli is cooked thru and its easy to know this as they become brighter and brighter. When they look bright enough, taste if unsure. Remove from pan.

 

To make it a full meal, add in any grilled protein.

Peas and Pumpkin Curry

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This recipe is heavily inspired by Atul’s post in Facebook. Its originally called as Banarasi Matar Ka Nimona. The big difference is that we used pumpkin instead of potatoes. Rest of the recipe is itself a copy paste of his original with minor edits.

You need:

  • 1 Kg Peas – Weight before shelling.
  • 250 grams of Pumpkin, chopped into 1 cm squares.
  • 1/2 Cup Tomatoes pureed
  • 1″ Ginger
  • 2-4 Green Chilies.
  • 1 Teaspoon Cumin.
  • 1 Teaspoon Garam Masala.
  • Ghee

Coarsely blend half the peas , remove. Liquidize the remaining peas with ginger and chilies. Add a little water to make them into a smooth paste. Mix both the peas and store in separate bowl. In the same blender and you don’t really need to rinse it, puree the tomatoes.

Saute the pumpkin in oil and once they have softened, remove.

Saute cumin and as they crackle add the tomato puree. Season with salt.

When the oil starts to separate add peas, drizzle a little water and cook till peas are almost done. Add the pumpkin. Mix well. Test for salt and then add garam masala. A scoop of ghee on top is highly recommended.

Enjoy an extremely tasty dish with hot roti’s.

Vegan Proteins : Green Chickpeas

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Green Chickpeas are an excellent source of folate (vitamin B9) as well vitamins A & C. They also contain a good amount of protein, iron, magnesium, potassium, and calcium.

You Need:

  • Approx 100 gms of dry chickpea per serving per person.
  • 1 teaspoon each of cumin and coriander seeds.
  • A little turmeric powder.
  • Chopped Mint leaves, medium onion and green chilies.

Soak the chickpeas overnight. They put them in a colander and wash under running water. Wash them really well. Rub them with you fingers and be absolutely certain that there is no dirt of grit stuck on them.

In a pressure cooker add the chickpeas, cumin, coriander, salt and enough water to cover them all. On high heat till first whistle and then let it simmer for no more than 10 mins.

When pressure has dissipated open and cook on high heat till all the water has dried up. Just a minute before taking off the stove add the onion, green chilies and mint leaves.

Mix well and enjoy a very yummy and super healthy dish.

Two for One : Chutney for Breakfast, Sweet Potato Fry for lunch.

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Sunday is a day you want to take it easy. This recipe yields two completely different dishes. A chutney for breakfast and a vegetable fry for lunch.

For the Chutney you Need:

  • 6-7 Garlic Cloves, chopped up.
  • 3-4 tablespoons of dry roasted peanuts.
  • 1 inch piece of coconut. Chop it up.
  • Some cumin.
  • A green chilly, chopped up.
  • Lots of chopped coriander.
  • 3-4 tablespoons of sesame – gingelly oil.

First heat the oil. Let it get hot but not very hot. Add the cumin, garlic and green chilly. Stir with a spoon. When the raw smell of garlic is no longer perceptible add the coconut and switch off the heat. Stir if you notice too much bubbling and it looks like the oil might boil over. Let it cool.

First grind the roasted peanuts, add aromatic oil. Grind and then add the coriander. Always soak the coriander for at least 10 minutes in water and then rinse under a tap. Even the coriander, which looks super clean will leave a trail of dust. Get rid of it.

Grind well and add some salt as per taste. Add water to adjust the consistency.

Your chutney for dosa or idly is ready. Save half of it for the next dish.

Dish 2.

  • Half a kilo of sweet potatoes. Peeled and chopped into 1 inch pieces.

Heat a little oil in a heavy dish that has a well fitting lid. When the oil is shimmering add the sweet potatoes and fry for about 2-3 mins. Add the left over chutney. Mix well. Cook covered on the lowest heat for about 10 mins. Do not open to keep checking. Just let it cook on low heat. When you open use a spatula to scrape off the slightly charred bits stuck to the base of the pan. Those will the one’s that the family will fight for.

Have a great week ahead.