Brown Rice Pilaf

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You need:

  • 1 Cup (200 ml) brown rice, washed and soaked for about 30 mins.
  • 300 gms of boneless chicken breast, cut into small pieces.
  • 300 gms of pumpkin, cut into small pieces.
  • 2 tablespoons of garlic paste.
  • 2 teaspoons of red chilly powder.
  • A big bunch of coriander.

While the brown rice is soaking in water, rub garlic paste and red chilly powder on the chicken and let it marinate as well.

Heat any flavorful oil like coconut oil. Saute the chicken till its almost cooked. This will not take more than 6-7 mins. Remove and keep aside.

In the oil that has picked up a lot of amazing flavors from the chicken, roast the brown rice. As it dries up add the pumpkin pieces. Meanwhile start boiling 2 cups of water. When the water has reached the boiling point, add the chicken to the rice and wash it down with the hot water. Mix well. Season with salt.

Divide the coriander into two parts. The stems and some leaves on one side and the remaining leaves into another. Add the finely chopped stems and pressure cook. Two whistles on high and then let it simmer on low for at least 20 mins.

When the pressure has dissipated, add the chopped coriander leaves.

 

Pumpkin Spinach Mash (Vegan)

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You Need:

  • 500 grams of grated pumpkin
  • 300 grams of blanched and chopped spinach.
  • 2 Tablespoons of Sesame oil.
  • 2 teaspoons of pepper powder.
  • 2 tablespoons of Spicy Harissa dressing.
  • Some toasted sesame seeds for garnish.

Get water boiling hot. Add spinach. Switch off the stove. Keep it covered for a min. Remove and wash spinach with cold water. Squeeze out excess water. Chop and keep aside.

Peel the pumpkin and grate it. Cook on a low heat with no oil. Now notice that the pumpkin does not smell very nice. The initial smell will not be obnoxious but it will be definitely unpleasant. As it cooks on low heat for about 10 mins or so, the smell will slowly start improving. Stir once in a while. When the smell has improved or has almost gone, add the sesame oil. As soon as it hits the hot stove and reacts with the pumpkin a remarkable change will occur. The earthy notes will be amazing and tantalize your senses. Cook on medium heat for about 4-5 minutes.

Add the spinach, pepper and the harissa dressing. I used the Veeba Spicy Harissa dressing.

Garnish with toasted seeds.

 

Chicken with Pumpkin Puree

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This is a simple recipe but you can also do an extra step , which is totally worth it.

You need:

  • Half a chicken.
  • A small pumpkin
  • Dry oregano
  • Red chilli flakes
  • Olive oil

When you get the chicken home and after you clean it, rub salt all over it. If you plan to use the chicken right away let it stay for at least half an hour. Else you can also freeze it with the salt.

Before using the chicken wash away the excess salt. This will make it super juicy when cooked.

Rub pumpkin pieces with 3 teaspoons of oregano, 1 teaspoon of red chilly flakes with a tablespoon of olive oil. Wrap in foil.

Rub 3 teaspoons of red chilly flakes, 1 teaspoon of oregano with 2 tablespoons of olive oil on the chicken. Wrap in foil.

Bake in an oven keeping both the foil packets beside each other at 180 C.

Now you have a choice. Either bake for an hour and complete your dish or proceed to the make it more interesting.

For the more interesting dish, bake for only 40 mins.

Remove the skin from the pumpkin pieces. Blend in a mixie along with some milk to make a smooth paste.

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Heat a thick pan and place the chicken breast side down. Pour the puree around the chicken. Lower the heat and cook covered for 30 mins Remove the chicken and let it rest. Meanwhile mix all the juices into the pumpkin puree. It will have picked up a brilliant color and more complex flavors.

 

 

Cream of Pumpkin

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Minimal Ingredients to a soul filling happy meal.

You need:

  1. A yellow pumpkin chopped into small pieces.
  2. One chopped onion
  3. One tablespoon Fennel seeds
  4. 2 dried red chilies
  5. Coriander
  6. Pinch of nutmeg
  7. 100 ml of fresh cream

Heat coconut oil and saute fennel and the red chilies. Add the onion and cook only till it softens up and turns translucent. Add the pumpkin and cook on medium heat till they soften. That should take roughly 7-8 minutes. Add coriander and mix well. Add fresh cream, stir and switch of the stove.

Let it cool and then run it thru a blender. If you want to dilute it, add some milk.

 

Roasted Pumpkin and Beets

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Want a quick lunch box for a busy day.

Slice up beets and pumpkin. Liberally coat with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Wrap foil on a pan. Place the vegetables without stacking them a lot.

30 minutes at 180C is more than enough to soften them up and develop the flavors. Sprinkle some chilly flakes and any dry seasoning powder like sumac berries or zatar.

Enjoy.

Mutton with Pumpkin

I avoid both rice and roti as part of my attempt towards a Keto diet. So cooking a vegetable with a protein is my preferred style.

Add salt, turmeric, red chilly powder and ginger garlic paste and a little water to mutton. Pressure cook on high till one whistle. Then let it simmer on low heat for about 15 mins.

Heat oil. Carefully add the mutton pieces to the hot oil. Be careful and avoid getting any water from the mutton into the oil. It will still sputter and extreme caution is highly recommended. Once the sputtering dies down, add the remaining water from the cooker and also about 100 ml of tomato puree. Check and add salt if needed. Cook on high heat till oil separates.

At this point your basic mutton curry is ready and you can serve it with roti or rice.

But we will add in a chopped pumpkin. Cover and cook for 15 mins or till the pumpkin softened.

Enjoy your keto lunch.

Pumpkin with Coconut Milk

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Chop up a pumpkin into small pieces and put them in a thick pan with some oil. Cook covered on low heat for about 15 mins. This is enough to soften them up.

Now add in about 100 ml of coconut milk and ground up spices. I used pepper, cumin, onion seeds and fenugreek seeds. But anything with some pepper will do.

Cook covered on low heat for another 10 minutes. Garnish with coriander and dry it up on high heat.

Enjoy a yummy feel good vegetable meal.