Sweet Potato and Greens

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You Need:

  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Turmeric, Red Chilly Powder, Coriander Powder as per taste.
  • Any greens like Spinach, Amaranth or Malabar Spinach. Used Malabar Spinach also popularly called as Basella Alba.
  • Some cumin, fenugreek and coriander seeds.
  • Grated coconut and chilly flakes.

Chop the sweet potatoes into small pieces. Heat some oil. Fry the turmeric powder and red chilly powder in it for less than 10 seconds and immediately add the sweet potato. Mix till all the potato pieces get colored. Sprinkle about 2 teaspoons of coriander powder. Cover and cook on low heat for 5 mins. Open, mix, cover and cook for another 5 mins. Eat a piece to check if its done. Remove.

In the same, there will be some burnt spices at the base. Add in a little oil. Saute cumin, fenugreek and coriander seeds for a minute. Add the chopped green leaves in batches. This will allow you to easily de-glaze the pan and also not make a mess.

Cook uncovered on medium to high heat. When the greens are cooked, sprinkle grated coconut and red chilly flakes.

Enjoy a super healthy and very colorful bowl for a snack or as part of lunch or dinner.

Masala Orka (Bhendi)

okra

This is a recipe that is very simple and does not need your constant attention.

You Need:

  • 250 grams of Okra, Heads and tails snipped and cut into small rings.
  • 2 Tomatoes, roughly chopped.
  • 1 onion, cut into 8 pieces.
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric.
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chilly powder.
  • 3 teaspoons of coriander powder.
  • Indian Sesame Oil (Gingelly or til oil) about 3 tablespoons.

This entire recipe will be cooked using low heat.

Start warming the sesame oil. Add in the onions and tomatoes. Sprinkle some salt. Then mix and leave them alone for about ten mins. When they have softened, add the coriander powder. red chilly powder and turmeric. Add in the Okra. Mix well and let it cook till the okra has softened to the level you like. Ideally 10-12 minutes is enough.

Do not cover the dish. Do not use high heat. Just them cook on a relaxed pace. Once in a while stir out the masala that has stuck to the base of the pan.

Serve with either roti’s or rice.

Kidney Beans with Paneer

You need:

  • Two cups of dried Kidney Beans. Soaked overnight in water. Washed and drained.
  • One cup of crumbled paneer.
  • One Yellow or Red pepper, diced.
  • One Tomato chopped.
  • A teaspoon of Red chilly powder.
  • A quarter teaspoon of turmeric.
  • Some coriander powder.
  • Lots of chopped Coriander. Both stems and leaves.
  • Five to six cloves of garlic, roughly chopped.

Wash the kidney beans before you pressure cook them for at least 20 minutes. The water they are pressure cooked in, must be discarded. Do not add salt when pressure cooking them. Salt will cause their skin to tighten and prevent them from getting soft.

In a pan, heat some oil. Saute the garlic, yellow pepper and paneer. Add the turmeric, red chilli powder and coriander powder. Use the chopped tomato to de-glaze the pan. Season with salt.

Mix in the cooked kidney beans and Coriander. Let it simmer for about 6-7 mins.

Tip: use tofu if you want to keep it vegan.

Enjoy a very colorful Monday protein kick.

Beets and Greens (Water Amaranth)

beets

You Need:

  • 2 Medium Beets, Grate them using the attachment that yields long strips.
  • Water Amaranth or Ponnaganti Kura, couple of bunches.
  • 5-6 Garlic cloves, sliced up.
  • Coriander Seeds about a teaspoon.
  • Cumin Seeds about a teaspoon.
  • Freshly ground pepper powder as per taste.
  • Two tablespoons of mustard oil.

This is a relatively simple recipe. We are using an oil, which already has a rich flavor in it. We complement that flavor by sauteing the cumin, coriander seeds and garlic in it. Use low to medium heat. We don’t want to burn anything. As it starts smelling real nice and the garlic is still white, add the leaves. Stir fry in the open vessel at medium to high heat, till the greens start becoming a bright shade of green. This is an indication that they are almost cooked. Beets don’t really need to be cooked. So we add them now and mix them in. When the contents have all become hot, sprinkle pepper powder and season with a little salt. Switch off the stove and continue mixing everything.

Serve with a dollop of curd. If you want it Vegan, then replace with any equivalent condiment of your choice.

This is an excellent low calorie but loaded with vitamins and minerals kind of meal.

Pumkin Pepper

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You Need:

  • 200 Grams of pumpkin, sliced into long thin strips.
  • One red capsicum, sliced into long strips.
  • A few mint leaves.
  • Some toasted seeds.
  • Some regular seasoning mix.
  • Pepper powder as per your taste. A little more is always nice.
  • Olive Oil.

Rub olive oil all over the pumpkin and capsicum. Sprinkle some salt over it. Heat a large and thick pan. It is important that the pan is nice and thick. When it sizzling hot add the pumpkin and capsicum. Spread them out. Stir occasionally. After about 3-4 minutes sprinkle in the pepper, seasoning and seeds.

Just taste / eat a piece of pumpkin to know if its cooked. Switch off the stove and then mix in the mint leaves.

Enjoy a very healthy and yummy snack.

An Eggplant Boat in a sea of Green.

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You need:

  • One large eggplant. When choosing get one with a small ring at its end instead of a line. These will have a lot lesser seeds.
  • 2-3 tomatoes, finely diced.
  • 1 onion, finely diced.
  • Grated cheese.
  • Any greens like spinach or malabar spinach. I used Water Amaranth (local name is Ponnaganti)
  • Pepper as per taste.

First prep the egg plants. Cut into two halves. Then peel about 1 cm of the skin from the center. This will give it a stable base while baking. Scoop out the seeds and flesh from the middle. There must be about a cm of eggplant left in the shape of a boat. Salt the boats and keep them aside. Chop the removed part of the eggplant.

Heat a tablespoon of olive oil. Add the onions, tomatoes and the left over eggplant. Saute on high heat till everything has softened. Season with salt and pepper. Its done when the volume is half of what it was when you started. Let it cool down.

Wash out the salt from the eggplant boats. Wipe them dry. Coat the outside with olive oil. Fill the boat with the cooked vegetables. Grate cheese on it. Bake in a preheated oven at 180C for 35 mins. Let it rest at least 10 mins, before serving.

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There will be some left over vegetables in the pan. Add some more oil to it. Saute the greens in this, till they are well cooked. Check and add a little salt or pepper if you want. A touch of chilly flakes is always a good idea.

Plate it and enjoy a super healthy meal.

Beans, Corn and Paneer : Color me up

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A simple and healthy snack or even a meal.

You Need:

  • French Beans : Cut into small 1cm pieces. These are low in calories but loaded with vitamins C and A. Other benefits include minerals including iron, calcium and magnesium.
  • Fresh Corn Kernels: Contains zeaxanthin and lutein, two antioxidants linked to eye and skin health.
  • Paneer, cut into small pieces : Vegetarian Protein.
  • Mint : To give a burst of flavor and freshness in every bite.
  • A spoonful of cumin seeds.
  • A teaspoon of garlic paste.

Heat oil or butter. Crackle the cumin and then add the french beans. Cook for almost 15 mins on medium heat in an uncovered vessel. These take time to cook and fully soften up. When they are easy to bite in, mix in the garlic paste and season with salt.

Add the corn kernels and paneer. Cook for about 7-10 mins. Check when its done by tasting each of the ingrediants.

Take the mint leaves. Roll a couple of them into a joint. Use a sharp knife to cut into thin strips. Use the knife’s sharpness instead of brute force.

Mix in the mint leaves into the hot vegetables.

Enjoy a fresh summer salad.