Tag Archives: vegetarian

♧ QUESADILLA ♧

“Howdy Y’all?”, miss hearing this quintessential Texan welcome greeting, with a long drawl or a twang and of course Texas, where as the saying goes, everything is Big!

When we were posted in Texas, a couple of years back, we had to face evacuation due to Hurricane Katrina, closely followed by Hurricane Rita – Alphabetical order of women names – why women?! cause they rock your world and could leave you with out your car and house!

‘Hunkering down’ (a phrase new to me, until then) was an option we took for Hurricane Rita, were we stayed put and had a camping adventure in our own house without electricity for a few days.

Notable, was the way evacuation was handled. I was awe struck by a calm | composed | polite | respectful | organised | orderly evacuation, in times of adversity. Hats off Houston, Texas!

Quesadilla, one of the Tex-Mex dishes, is a jackpot or should I say piñata, I hit upon, when in Texas, as T loves it and this healthy recipe is a keeper!

q2
Vegetable Quesadilla

Prep time : 20 mins; Cooking time : 20 mins ; Serves : 4 – 6

Ingredients for the tortilla (organic and unrefined) :

  • 3 cups of Wheat flour
  • 1 cup Corn flour
  • 2 cups of water approx.
  • salt to taste

Ingredients for the filling (organic and unrefined) :

  • 3 onions
  • 3 tomatoes
  • 1 capsicum | green bell pepper
  • 1/4 lettuce or cabbage
  • 1 – 2 Jalapenos or green chilies
  • 3 sprigs of Cilantro | coriander leaves
  • 1/2 a lemon
  • 1/2 tsp Cayenne | Paprika | Red chilly powder or flakes
  • Rock salt to taste
  • 200 gm s or as required Cheddar Cheese or any melting cheese
q6
Perfecto!

Directions :

1. Prepare the dough by kneading the wheat flour, corn flour and salt together to get a soft dough. Cover with a damp cloth, till ready to roll out the tortillas. Set aside.

2. Prepare the filling by finely chopping the onions, tomatoes, capsicum, cabbage or lettuce and green chilies. Squeeze in the lemon juice, add paprika powder and salt just before you prepare the quesadillas, as the vegetables will ooze out water, once salt is added. Set aside.

3. Grate the cheese and set aside.

4. Make round balls with the soft dough and roll out the tortilla on a tortilla maker manually or make them with an electric tortilla press. Cook the 2 tortillas well on both sides on a pan or an electric press.

5. Spread out on one tortilla, about a tbsp of the filling and sprinkle, grated cheese the amount you desire, all around on the vegetables. Cover by placing the other tortilla on top. If one is cooking, on a electric tortilla maker, then close the top plate over the bottom one but if one is cooking on the pan, place a heavy weight, like a heavy plate on top of the tortilla such that the 2 tortillas are sandwiched, well together and cook for 1 – 2 mins. Flip carefully, so as not to let the filling spill out and on this side again, close the 2 plates of the electric tortilla maker or if on a pan then place a heavy weight on the tortilla and cook for another 1 – 2 mins. Make sure to turn the tortillas around while cooking, so that they cook and brown evenly.

6. Cut them into even wedges or quarters and serve hot with salsa, sour cream and guacamole.

Vegan and Gluten Free Version :

Replace wheat flour by Pearl millet flour | Sorghum flour | Bajra atta | Kambu maavu or Amaranth flour | Rajgheera atta and dairy cheese by vegan cheese or tofu in the above recipe. Use only electric tortilla press to make gluten free tortillas. Serve hot with guacamole, salsa and tofu sour cream.

Buen Provecho. Adios, amigos!

q3
Si, por favor, Gracias!

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🌿 POTHINA THUVAIYAL | THOGAYAL | MINT CHUTNEY 🌿

Master chef calls for challenge

Domestic looks for balance

Testing recipes, call for a duel

To which, day-to-day fire may not fuel

Thuvaiyal‘ – minced spiced veggies with lentil

Stock on table, is fundamental

Back in times, it was hand ground

On an Indian stone mortar pestle, all around

Old school chefs, still vouch by the flavour

Of the energetic, manual labour

However, modern world surrender

To the electric blender

PT2
Pothina thuvaiyal

Prep time : 5 mins ; Cooking time : 10 mins ; Serves : 4

Ingredients  :

  • 1 bunch of Pudina or Mint leaves
  • 3 whole red chilies (small round variety)
  • 1/4 tsp whole pepper (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tbsp udad dal | Black gram lentil
  • 1 tsp thuvar dal | Red gram lentil
  • a marble size piece of tamarind
  • salt to taste
  • 11/2 tsp sesame oil / cooking oil of choice

For tempering (optional) :

  • 1/4 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/4 tsp udad dal | Black gram lentil
  • 1/4 tsp asafoetida
  • a red chilly (small round variety)
  • few curry leaves
  • a tsp of sesame oil / cooking oil of choice

Method :

  1. Pinch out the mint leaves, discarding the stems. Wash, drain and scald them on a pan, with half a tsp of oil.
  2. Fry in a tsp of oil mustard seeds, red chilies, pepper, black gram lentil, red gram lentil and tamarind, till the lentils are golden brown.
  3. Grind them coarsely in a mixer jar with salt and scalded mint leaves. If required sprinkle little water to ease the grinding process.
  4. Fry ingredients given under tempering, in a tsp of oil and temper the ground thuvaiyal. This step is optional.
  5. Serve mint thuvaiyal as an accompaniment, along with steamed ghee rice. It can also be used as pesto or spread, on different types of bread.

Variation :

The list of thuvaiyal / thogayal, among many more, which one can prepare in a similar fashion are with coriander leaves, curry leaves,  finely chopped coconut, Kamala orange peels, onions, garlic, brinjal, ridge gourd (peerkangai), chayote (chow-chow), ginger, sesame seeds, coriander seeds and red gram lentils .

 

🍋 FRESH LIME JUICE | LEMONADE | NIMBU SHERBET | NIMBU PANI 🍋

“It’s HOT! It’s HUMID!”, we utter

“This year’s the hottest”, echoes every summer

Mercury reaches 39 C, Breaking news play

Guess now it’s official! Touché

Fresh lime juice, a quick-fix potion

Refreshing, energising, thirst-quenching solution!

LJ3
Fresh Lime Juice

Prep time : 15 mins ; Serves : 4

Ingredients  :

  • 1 juicy medium to large lime or lemon
  • 3 1/2 – 4 cups of water
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 6 – 9 tsp of sugar

Method :

  1. Cut the lime into 2 halves and squeeze out the juice into a vessel. Strain the juice to discard the seeds.
  2. Lime juice + water+ salt+ sugar. Mix well till completely dissolved. Chill and toss in a couple of ice cubes, just before serving. Cheers!

Variation :

  1. A pinch of black salt powder, roasted cumin powder, chaat masala powder, pepper powder, dry ginger powder, cardamom powder, few crushed mint leaves can be added to make Nimbu pani aka Shikanji or shikanjvi.
  2. Use clear soda instead of water, to prepare fresh lime soda or add a pinch of Eno to make the juice frothy.
  3. Sugar may be replaced with Jaggery syrup or honey.

Tips :

Taste the juice before serving. Quantity of sugar and salt may vary, according to taste and sourness of the lime.

 

LJ2
Chilled lemon sherbet

🍘 THAVALA ADAI | RICE | MILLET LENTIL PATTY BURGER 🍘

‘Thavala adai’ – traditional dish held in high regard

Fusion of spices, rice ‘n’ lentil

Yet to encounter it on a Menu card

Why? makes me wonder still

Crispy, chewy, nutty – all in one bite

Do try it

My wondering will seem right

ta1
Thavala adais served – If I were you, I wanna be me too 🎼
Prep time : 15 mins; Cooking time : 15 mins; Serves : 4 

Ingredients  :

  • 2 cups of Raw Rice or Millet
  • 1 1/2 tbsp of Channa dal/ Bengal gram lentil
  • 1 tbsp of Udad dal / Black gram lentil
  • 1 tbsp of Thuvar dal / Red gram lentil
  • 3- 5  Green chilies
  • 3 – 5 Red chilies
  • 1 inch ginger
  • 1 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1 tsp Cumin
  • Salt  as per taste
  • 1/4 cup grated Coconut
  • Mustard – 1/2 teaspoon
  • 1 tsp Udad dal
  • 1/4 tsp Asafoetida powder
  • a few curry leaves
  • 3 – 5 tbsps of cooking oil

Method :

  1. Soak, wash and dry the rice or millet and dals well.
  2. Grind the cleaned rice and dal  along with green chilies, red chilies, ginger, pepper and cumin in a mixer grinder.
  3. Heat a wide mouthed frying pan. Pour 5-6 tsps of oil, thrown in the mustard seeds, 1 tsp udad dal, curry leaves and asafoetida powder. Fry till mustard seeds splutter and urad dal turns light brown. Add 3 cups of water, salt and bring to rolling boil. Reduce flame and then add the ground rice or millet rava mix. Stir continuously, till it gets a thick consistency like ‘uppuma‘. Mix in the grated coconut. Switch off heat and close with a lid for ten minutes.
  4. Heat a tawa or a flat iron girdle/pan. Smear 2 – 3 tsps of oil and grease it well.
  5. Take a part of the cooked flour and roll it into a lemon size ball. Flatten it like a patty burger, about 1/2 inch thick ‘adai’ and place it on the greased pan.  4- 6 ‘adais’ can be arranged at a time, on the pan, according to its size. Pour 2 tsps of oil, around the ‘adais’, sprinkle a little bit of water and cover with a lid. Cook over slow fire. When cooked, the bottom of the ‘adais’ should be crisp and golden brown. Flip the ‘adais’, pour 2 tsps oil around it and cook till the other side too, are crisp and golden brown.
  6. Serve hot with coconut chutney, tomato chutney, sambar or pickle.

Variation :

  1. The cooked flour can be rolled into oval shaped balls, steam cooked and served.
  2. Green chutney can be kept inside the dough as a stuffing and then flattened out into ‘adai’. Fillings can be as creative, as you like it.

♦️ BEETROOT KOSUMALLI | BEETROOT SALAD ♦️

Deep velvety bold burgundy

Salads always trendy

Tumbled, tangled and tassled

Appealing when unravelled

Refreshing and pleasantly sweet

With just a touch of  tang and heat

Place it in  your own bank of experience

Enjoy this symphony with a guiltless conscience

BK1
Beetroot Kosumalli

Prep time : 10 mins; Cooking time : 5 mins; Serves : 4

Ingredients :

  • 3 medium sized  beetroots
  • salt to taste

Ingredients for tempering :

  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp udad dal | black gram lentils (optional)
  • 3 – 4 green chilies
  • a pinch of asafoetida
  • a few curry leaves
  • 1 tsp sesame oil | any cooking oil of choice

Ingredients  for garnishing (optional) :

  • 1 tbsp of grated coconut
  • 1 tbsp of finely chopped coriander leaves
  • Juice of half a lemon or a full one

Method :

  1. Peel the skin off the beetroots and grate them. Scrape the coconut for a tbsp of grated coconut. Finely chop the green chilies and coriander leaves. Keep it all ready.
  2. Squeeze the lemon juice onto the grated beetroots and add salt. Mix well.
  3. Heat oil in a frying pan. Toss in the mustard seeds, once they splutter, add udad dal, green chilies, asafoetida, curry leaves and fry them well. Temper onto the grated beetroots.
  4. Garnish with grated coconut and finely chopped coriander leaves.
  5. Serve with steamed rice or any breads. Traditionally it is served as a side dish on a South Indian meals platter.

Variations :

  1. This kosumalli salad can be made with  grated carrots or finely chopped cucumbers.
  2. Split moong dal or green gram lentils soaked for half an hour, can be added to this salad.
  3. One may skip the tempering, to keep it a wholly raw food dish (though you maybe missing out on a lot of sizzling and pop)
BK2
Look so perfect standing there

 

☯ CHINESE | INDO CHINESE | VEGETABLE FRIED RICE ☯

“Chinese fried rice” named as a matter of fact

 Oriental terrain knows it is not infact

‘Indo Chinese fried rice’ phenomenal tact pact

Its claim to irrefutable fame

Tickling taste buds is thy game

Pointless playing by thy name

 Balancing the ying and yang

 Sweet ‘n’ sour tastes boomerang

Hot, pungent, warm ‘n’ cold

Plants energy Qi ‘n’ roots the soul

 Family’s touch is always welcome

Magical is the outcome

Creating a beckoning array

It was one such fine day!

CF1

🎼 Standing in the Hall of Fame  And the world’s gonna know your name ‘Cause you burn with the brightest flame  And you’ll be on the walls of the hall of fame – The Script – “Hall of Fame” (feat. Will.I.am)

Prep time : 15 min; Cooking time : 30 mins; Serves : 4

Ingredients :

  • 3 cups Basmati | any long grain rice
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced Spring onion bulbs | Scallions
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced Celery (optional)
  • 1/4 cup  thinly sliced Capsicum | Bell Pepper
  • 1/4 cup  thinly sliced Green Beans
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced Carrots
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced or shredded Cabbage
  • 1/4 cup sliced Mushroom | Tofu | Baby corn (optional)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp  Soy Sauce
  • 1 tsp Green chilly sauce (optional)
  • 1 tsp  Red chilly sauce (optional)
  • 1 1/2 tsp Tomato ketchup sauce (optional)
  • 1 tsp Vinegar (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp brown sugar
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 – 3 tbsp Sesame Oil

To be ground into a paste :

  • 1 bulb of Garlic, peeled
  • 1 inch Ginger, peeled
  • 1 – 2 green chilies
  • 1 – 2 whole red chilies
  • 1 – 3 whole peppercorns (optional)

Ingredients for garnish :

  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced spring onion greens

Method :

  1. Rinse well and soak the rice for about 15 mins in 4 1/2 cups of water. Cook in a pressure cooker up to 1 whistle or cook in a vessel filled with water and then drain out once cooked. Make sure the grains are separate and not mushy. Set aside.
  2. Thinly slice all the vegetables and mushroom, tofu (if added) . Set aside.
  3. Grind the ingredients under  ‘To be ground into a paste’ in a mixer. Set aside.
  4. Heat the sesame oil in a large wok, preferably on a medium or high flame, with all ingredients close at hand. Fry the ground paste. Add the vegetables and salt. Saute them for a few minutes, when the vegetables are slightly cooked and crunchy, add the salt, sugar, soy sauce, vinegar and other sauces (if used). Cook for a few more minutes. Check the seasoning.
  5.  Next add the cooked rice and toss things around like a pro, taking care not to break the rice grains and making sure all the grains are evenly coated with the gravy. Switch off heat.
  6. Garnish with spring onion greens and serve hot, as is or along with a Manchurian gravy or your choice of sides.CF2

    Indo Chinese Vegetable fried rice

♧ SHREENIDHI SABZI | BOTTLE GOURD CURRY | DHOODHI KI SABZI ♧

“Maa,  Shreenidhi got her classic sabzi again today for lunch and guess what?!” hollers my older one.

“WHAT?!” apprehensive me, hollering a notch above her, gearing up to dodge a googly that might come next.

“It is Sorrakkai (tamil word for Bottle gourd) curry!” she exclaims.

“DON’T TELL ME!” A relieved me also exclaiming with disbelief, albeit on a note higher but clearly, she had me all ears.

The credits for this Bengali cuisine style recipe go to Shreenidhi’s mother, who not only shared her recipe but also a sample of Nigella seeds, as we do not use these commonly in our day to day cooking – a sweet and thoughtful gesture on her part.

Our way of saying a ‘Big Thank You’ in appreciation of both Shreenidhi and her mother was naming this lip smacking dish ‘Shreenidhi Sabzi’ in our home. Forever!

A great way to introduce any vegetable!SS2Prep time : 15 mins; Cooking time : 25 mins; Serves : 4

Ingredients :

  • 1 large Bottlegourd/Dhoodhi/Sorrakkai
  • 2 -3 onions (optional)
  • 1 -2 tomatoes
  • 1 – 2 green chilies
  • 1/2 inch ginger
  • 1 tsp Panch phoran made of the following 5 ingredients ( 1/4 tsp mustard seeds + 1/4 tsp cumin seeds+1/4 tsp fennel seeds+1/4 nigella seeds + 1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds /methi seeds)
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp red chilly powder
  • 1 tsp corn flour (optional)
  • 1 – 1 1/2 tsp Kitchen king masala or garam masala
  •  salt to taste
  • 1 – 1 1/2 tb.sp Mustard oil | any cooking oil of choice
  • 3 sprigs of coriander leaves

Method :

  1. Peel and chop the bottle gourd in 1 inch square pieces and finely chop onions, tomatoes, green chilies. Grate the ginger. Keep them ready.
  2. Heat oil in the frying pan. Temper with ‘Panch phoran’ till the mustard seeds splutter and rest of the seeds are aromatic and well roasted. Now add the grated ginger, finely chopped green chilies and onions. Saute till cooked. Now add the tomatoes. Scald some more and then add the chopped bottle gourd.
  3. Throw in the seasoning powders – turmeric powder, red chilly powder, kitchen king masala or garam masala and salt. Mix  the corn flour well, in 1/4 glass of water and add it if required, to thicken the gravy. Close with a lid for 5 – 10 mins. Cook till vegetables are well done and check the seasoning. Switch off heat. Garnish with coriander leaves.
  4. Serve hot with Rotis, Parathas or steamed rice.

Variations :

  1. This gravy can be made with a medley of vegetables like potatoes, carrots, peas – to name a few.
  2. Instead of corn flour, 1 boiled and mashed potato can be added to thicken the gravy.
  3. A paste of ginger, garlic and green chilies can be added instead of finely chopping them.
  4. Juice of half a lemon can be added at the very end, if a tangy version of the gravy is desired.

Note :

Larger quantities of ‘Panch phoran’ can be prepared by taking equal propotions of the 5 ingredients i.e equal quantities of mustard seeds, cumin seeds, nigella seeds, fenugreek seeds and fennel seeds.

SS1