Friday, 19 December 2014

Soya Chunks Kurma (Indian style curry in coconut milk)

Today, I would like to share with all the food lovers and beginners who are trying to find some inspiration to cook something exotic with spices yet not over powering. Kurma is none other than a type of Indian curry or gravy cooked with extra roasted coconut and its milk. This concoction is nicely blended with sauteed onions, ginger, garlic and green chillies. Here, the curry is dependent on white pepper, black pepper and green chillies for the spicy flavor that complement well with coconut milk. Also, this kurma dish can be served along with Indian flat bread such as Chapatti, Naan or Poori or any type of rice. I made the vegetarian variation of kurma using my favourite soya chunks with no added GMO and potatoes. You can find more about the soya chunks here in this link http://abbylakshmi.blogspot.com/2014/10/vegetarian-soya-chunks-rendang-spicy.html. Soya chunk is great substitute for chicken and mutton as it has the same fibrous structure as meat without artificial, preservatives or flavorings. It is purely made of soya bean flour which is highly rich in protein so I believe it's a boon for vegetarians out there. The kurma has rich, creamy and subtle flavor which would be a grand dish for any occasions. Don't get intimidated by the number of ingredients and procedures to make this kurma. I assure you the taste would be heavenly good and worth all the effort. The kurma powder is a staple spice mix in every Indian household which could be done in advance for a good storage of 6 months. The rest of the paste can be made the day before cooking.

Soya Chunks Kurma (Indian style curry in coconut milk)

Ingredients :


Dried soya chunks : 1 cup
Boiled Russet potato : 3
Big red onion :1
Medium sized ripe tomato : 1
Curry leaves : 2 sprigs 
Homemade kurma powder : 2 tbsp
Salt : as needed
Oil : 2 tbsp 
Chopped coriander leaves : 3 tbsp

Dry roasted coconut paste :


Grated coconut : 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp
White poppy seeds : 1/2 tbsp
  

Saute and grind to smooth paste :


Small red onions : 5
Ginger : 2 inches piece
Garlic : 4 cloves 
Green chillies : 3 - 4
black pepper : 1 tsp
Coconut milk : 1/2 cup 

Homemade kurma powder : 


3 tbsp coriander seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp white pepper

1 cinnamon stick
2 cardamons
3 star anise
1/2 tsp turmeric powder



 To temper:


Cinnamon stick : 1
Cloves : 3
Star anise : 1
Fennel seeds : 1 tsp
Cumin seeds : 1 tsp

Method :


1. Soak a cup of soya chunks  in a sufficient hot boiling water for 10 minutes. After the time, you'll find it doubled in size. Now, you have to squeeze out the excess water from the soya chunks.

2. Next process is to dry roast 1/4 cup and 2 tbsp of freshly grated coconut and 1/2 tbsp of poppy seeds in the heated pan till they turn light brown colour. To avoid burning the grated coconut, you must keep stirring so the heat is evenly distributed.Use mortal and pestle to grind this roasted coconut mixture till it oozes out oil. Keep that aside. Don't skip this process as it is crucial for making the kurma rich and creamy.

3. Add 1 tbsp of oil in a heated pan, started frying small onions, garlic, ginger, black pepper and green chillies until the onions are translucent. Grind them to a smooth paste consistency by adding enough water.

4. Dry roast the ingredients mentioned under 'Kurma powder' and grind them to fine powder. Keep in an air-tight container in a fridge. For this recipe, use 2 tbsp of the powder.

4. In a heated pan, add 2 tbsp of oil, chuck in ingredients under "Temper Section", a minute later followed by sliced big onion and salt. Fry till the sliced onions are translucent. At this stage, start adding diced tomato, Kurma powder, curry leaves and the blended paste. Fry for 10 min. 

5. Now, add 1 cup to 1 1/2 cup of water along with the dry roasted coconut paste. The liquid consistency is based on your preference. It should not be thick or too watery.

6. After that, add soya chunks and diced boiled potatoes.  

5. Let the gravy cook in low flame for 15 minutes and check for the seasoning. After, the gravy changed colour slightly and oil oozes out, add 1/2 cup of coconut milk. After adding coconut milk, you should only let it simmer for 3 minutes and switch off the flame as we don't want the kurma to curdle.

6. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.



-Abby












Monday, 17 November 2014

Gooseberry, Dates and Jumbo Black Raisins Jam

Gooseberry is also known as Amla is among the healthiest food due to its high nutrient content. It is rich in antioxidant, iron, vitamin A, Vitamin C, magnesium, potassium and calcium. So it highly proves beneficial to health. It is effective to prevent cancer or tumor cell growth. It improves eye health, improves hair luster, skin, anemia, etc.With all the nutrient packed in this mini berry, how could I resist from attempting to make something sweet and edible. Unlike other types of berries, the tartness and sourness of gooseberry able to annoy any health conscious person utterly. They might vouch not in many years to deal with gooseberry in any form of culinary. I'm not a sweet tooth kind of person and not much involved in baking cakes or cookies but I do need something to spread on a slice of bread or crackers without feeling guilty of eating sinful luscious spread. At home, we use to make spicy gooseberry pickles as a complement with yoghurt rice but sometimes you get so bored eating conventional food. When food gets mundane in your life, it's time to instil fresh ideas, plan and concoct miracles which will last impressively for at least six months. You know what I mean, we all need that inspiration not only in cooking but in everything that we deal with. Whenever I achieve little success whether in the kitchen or in my teaching, the little girl in me leaps joyfully and that moment had given me countless opportunity to recall back. I personally liked this jam for the sweetness from dates, black raisins and palm sugar concealed the tart and sourness of the gooseberry. I won't be able to justify this recipe to be the healthiest one but I can assure you of the healthy stuffs used here and how delicious it is. You may adjust the sugar level according to your personal taste, some like the tartness and some may not. I stirred the mixture for some time till it absorbed all the liquid so that I can prolong life storage of the jam. The mixture was sticky, shiny and deep caramelized brown in colour. I made huge batch of the jam for giving it away as a gift but you can try in small proportion. There isn't exactly any A to Z rules to follow in this recipe, increase and decrease whichever ingredients as you make. I prefer to use this jam not only as a spread on a slice of bread but also as a filling for sweet puff pastry or jam tart. The buttery crust works well with this jam.


Gooseberry, Dates and Jumbo Black Raisins Jam

Ingredients :


Big gooseberry : 1 kilo
Medjol dates : 500 grams
Butter : 100 grams
Palm sugar : 2 cups (add more if it is still tart and sour)
Jumbo black raisins : 3 handfuls
Orange : 1 (its zest and juice)
Salt : 1 1/2 tsp
Cinnamon : 1 stick
Star anise : 5
Cloves : 10
 

Method

1. Pressure cook the gooseberry till tender and discard its seeds. After that, mash it. 

2. Grind the dates with little water to a smooth paste.

2. In a heavy bottom pan, melt the butter and then immediately add mashed gooseberry, ground dates, cinnamon, star anise, cloves, palm sugar, orange zest and its juice and salt.

3. Keep stirring it by adding 1 cup of water to blend all the ingredients. The sugar can be increased if not enough of sweetness. You must cook till liquid is fully evaporated otherwise it may have shorter storage time.

4. I stirred until it was beyond the jam consistency and the mixture started to leave the sides of the pan. I wanted to prolong the storage so cooked further. Let it cool before transfer it into refrigerator.


-Abby

Soya Bean Savoury Fritters

This post had been lying in my draft for nearly a month. The first time when I made the fritters as a kitchen experiment, I never knew it was going to be a great success among the rest in my family. This recipe was adapted from my earlier post of 'Masala Vadai'. I felt that using Australian dal (type of Channa dal) as a main component in this fritter creates heaviness after devouring few pieces. So, an idea struck my mind of using white soya bean which was left in the pantry for many months. Well, it was a good excuse to eliminate the stuff from my pantry after the last attempt of making soya bean beverage. There wasn't any strange smell of soya but surprisingly it created soft interior. I kept the use of other ingredients to minimum. Blended green chillies and fennel along with Australian dal and soya bean indeed a special concoction. Well of course the fritter was deep fried but once in a blue moon, you need to indulge the soul with unhealthy way of cooking but entice your heart with the use of healthy ingredients. A CHEAT TREAT for your heart and soul, I guess.  I hope many viewers will try this recipe and have a great success in their kitchen.

Soya Bean Savoury Fritter


Ingredients :

Australian Bengal dal or Australian Channa dal : 1/2 cup
White soya bean : 1 3/4 cups
Onion :1 medium
Small green chillies :6 (adjust accordingly)
Fennel seeds : 1 tbsp + 1/2 tsp (used more in place of asofetida)
Curry leaves : 2 sprigs
Salt : as needed 
Oil : for frying

Method :

1. Soak dal and soya bean in a sufficient water for 8 hours.

2. After 8 hours, drain off excess water in a colander.

3. In a liquidizer, add soaked dal and soya bean along with salt, chopped green chillies and 1 tbsp plus 1/2 tsp of fennel seeds. Grind half of the dal to a smooth paste and the other half grind to a coarse texture without adding water.

4. To the ground dal mixture, add finely chopped onion and curry leaves. I kept half the ground mixture in the refrigerator for later use. In that case, I did not add chopped onion to all the mixture only to the first batch of mixture that I planned to fry. The reason was I don't want liquid to ooze out after adding onion and salt and turn the mixture soggy and unpleasant.

5. Mix well and form a small lemon size ball and pat it lightly on top and edges.

6. Sufficient oil is needed for deep frying this savory balls. Keep oil on medium flame and make sure oil is hot enough before frying. 

7. Serve hot as an evening snack.


-Abby





















 

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Vegetarian Soya Chunks Rendang (A Spicy Malaysian dish with a twist)


'Rendang' is a type of thick semi-dry gravy very popular in Malaysia and Indonesia which is slow cooked by using roasted and pounded desiccated coconut along with coconut milk. Different states in Malaysia have been preparing this renowned dish by using Asian spices such as Lemongrass, Galangal, Candlenut and Fresh Turmeric and sometimes the consistency as well as the spice level of the gravy vary based on the authentic culture of the state.  Originally, the recipe calls for chicken, mutton or beef as a main source of protein for this semi-dry gravy but I have substituted it with soya chunks which you can easily buy from any Indian stores. The soya chunks are basically made of soya flour, water and salt. They can be found either in dry granules or mini balls form which require soaking in hot water to soften before the use in savory cooking. In fact, additional preservatives and flavorings are not used so it has been a great source of protein for vegetarians who are looking for healthy choice of cooking.  Unlike seitan or frozen kind of soya meat available in the supermarket or Chinese store, the soya chunks are bland in taste so seasonings in the form of spices definitely required for a delicious dish. The best part of the soya chunk is that it is free from chemicals and ridiculous taste enhancer. Eid celebration in Malaysia is incomplete without Rendang as this dish has been constantly appreciated by all races living in Malaysia for the spicy, sweet and aromatic spices used so intelligently without overpowering the taste. However, as the title above implied, I tweaked the original recipe without using a lot of strong scented spices as the soya chunks are not having real meaty flavor but you do get the exact pleasant experience of eating Rendang. That you should have no doubt about. I found this keeper recipe in one of my mother's hand written cookbook diary. I hope you'll endeavor the recipe and have the best dining experience at your home. Lets check on the recipe and its method of preparation.


Ingredients :

Dried soya chunks : 1 cup
Russet potato : 1
Big red onions : 3
Medium sized ripe tomato : 1
Dry red chillies (You can reduce the amount of chilly, then the Rendang won't be reddish) : 8
Ginger : 2 inches piece
Garlic : 5 cloves
Grated coconut : 1/4 cup plus 1/8 cup
Coconut milk : 1/2 cup
Salt : as needed
Oil : 2 tbsp


 To temper:

Cinnamon stick : 1
Cloves : 6

Method :

1. Soak a cup of soya chunks  in a sufficient hot boiling water for 10 minutes. After the time, you'll find it doubled in size. Now, you have to squeeze out the excess water from the soya chunks and cut each chunk half and keep them aside.

2. Next process is to dry roast 1/4 and 1/8 cup of freshly grated coconut in the heated pan till it turns deep brown colour. To avoid burning the grated coconut, you must keep stirring so the heat is evenly distributed.

3. Now, in a small liquidizer, add dry red chillies, ginger, garlic and roasted coconut with enough water. Grind them to a smooth consistency kind of red paste. 

4. In a heated pan, add 2 tbsp of oil, chuck in ingredients under "Temper Section", a minute later followed by sliced onion and salt. Fry till the sliced onions are translucent. At this stage, start adding diced tomato and the red paste. You may need to add 1/4 to 1/2 cup of water to further cook the gravy till the oil from the coconut oozes out, changes to dark red colour and water had reduced indicating the sign to add soya chunks and small cubed potatoes.  

5. Let the gravy cook in low flame and check for the seasoning. After, the gravy changed colour slightly and oil oozes out, add 1/2 cup of coconut milk and further cook for another 15 minutes before switching off the flame. The Rendang has to be at semi-dry consistency.




-Abby

Vegetarian Soya Chunks Rendang

Soyamate.JPG
Unflavored without GMO soy chunks






Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Egg Biryani and Beetroot Raita



Today, I have no words to describe the super duper taste of Egg biryani. You must try at your kitchen as this egg biryani is a crowd pleaser and will be a hit on your dining table among your family members. The recipe was passed to my mother by an Indian Muslim friend who was an expert in making all kind of biryani. Give a try and let me know about your preference.

Egg Biryani and Beetroot Raita



Ingredients :

 

Basmati rice(used India Gate brand) : 1 cup
Coconut milk : 1 1/2 cup
Oil : 1 tsp
Turmeric powder : 1/4 tsp
Large red onions : 1
Garlic : 6 cloves



To Grind for 'Egg Masala': (grind into a smooth paste using coconut milk)

Cumin seeds : 1/2 tsp 
Fennel seeds : 1/2 tsp
Black peppercorns : 1/2 tsp
Cinnamon : 1 (1 inch)
Chilli powder : 1/2 tsp
Coriander powder : 1/2 tsp 
Turmeric powder : 1/4 tsp 
Coconut milk : 1/8 cup
Salt : as needed


To Temper for 'Egg Masala' :


Clarified butter : 1 tbsp
Cinnamon : 1 (2 inches)
Star anise : 1
Boiled eggs : 3


To Grind for 'Rice': (grind into a smooth paste)

Cooking oil : 1 tsp
White poppy seeds : 1 tbsp
Ginger : 2 1/2 inches piece

Method :

 

 

1. First, wash the basmati rice and soak in a sufficient water for at least 15 minutes. Drain it off after 15 minutes. Mix the rice with 1/4 tsp of turmeric powder, salt and 1 1/2 cup of coconut milk. Let it cook in rice cooker until 70 percent done with little water floating on top.

2.  Slice one large onion and cut garlic into fine flakes. Fry them in oil till golden brown and slightly crispy. Keep aside.

3. Add 1 tbsp ghee or clarified butter to the hot pan and start frying all the ingredients mentioned under 'To Temper for Egg Masala' just for 1 minute and then followed by freshly ground paste under 'To Grind for Egg Masala' section. Fry the masala until oil from the coconut milk ooze out and slightly change to light brown colour. The masala should be slightly dry and thick. Switch off the flame and keep the egg masala on a separate container until it is ready for use.

4. In a hot pan, now add 1 tsp of oil and start frying the white poppy seeds till it becomes golden brown then followed by slices of ginger. Fry till raw smell of ginger has dissipated in the heat. This process should only take about 5 to 10 minutes. Be careful not to burn them. Now, grind the fried poppy seeds and ginger with little water ( 2 to 3 tbsp water) to smooth watery paste. Keep this aside.

5. Now, drizzle haphazardly the ground poppy seed mixture to the 70 percent cooked rice in the rice cooker. Close the lid and further cook for 5 minutes. 

6. After 5 minutes, you can also incorporate the dry and thick egg masala into the rice by creating three mini holes here and there in the rice. Stuff those eggs and masala and close the surface with the turmeric infused rice. Lastly, coarsely chop 4 sprigs of mint or coriander leaves and scatter them on top of the rice along with fried onions and fried flaked garlic. Cook till the rice is done completely. Serve with beetroot or cucumber yoghurt dip or raita to cool the palate after a scrumptious feast.


-Abby

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Sugarless No-Bake Granola bar

Following the success in making truffle dates, I'm pretty confident in venturing into another elevated dessert or energy snack which requires no sugar and no baking process. I'm always on a lookout for healthy options that exclude refined sugar or refined flour in dessert making. Several cooking sites were browsed with series of anticipation but none provided me the satisfying healthy and quick dessert recipe. So, I have to use every ingredient available in my pantry as I was lazy to shop for them and started on the experiment with 10 percent of doubt clouding my mind in whether the outcome would be great or vise verse. As I start frying the quick oats in a tbsp of butter, I couldn't sense the work of magic happening around but when more ingredients added with 1/8 cup of melted butter, delicious aroma wafted all over the kitchen. I tell you, this combination of cranberries, almonds, dates and oats are marriage made in heaven. The sweetness from the dates, tangy and tartness from the cranberries will be bursting with flavor in your mouth. The best part is that no sugar or honey required as the dried fruits are already rich in natural sugar. Well,a day of small square would sweeten up your whole hectic working day. Perfect indulgence for sweet tooth.
"Linking this to Dish it out event hosted by Hasna of Kachuss Delights ; originally hosted by Vardhini of Cooks Joy"

Sugarless No-Bake Granola Bar



Ingredients : 

Pitted dates: 1 cup
Dried cranberries :1 cup
Instant cooking oats: 1/4 cup 
Melted butter : 1/8 cup plus 1 tbsp
Roasted almonds : 1/2 cup  
Vanilla essence : 1 1/2 tsp 
Salt : a pinch
  

 

 

Method :

1. First, In a food processor, I have added finely chopped dates, 1/2 cup of dried cranberries, salt and vanilla essence. All of them were ground smoothly.

2. Next, fry the instant oats in a tbsp butter till golden brown. Keep aside.

3. Dry roast the almonds separately till golden brown. Cool them aside.

3. Then, pulverize 1/2 cup of roasted almonds till it becomes small nibs.

4. Heat a pan with 1/8 cup of melted butter, add in ground dried fruits along with another 1/2 cup of dried cranberries and start stirring continuously til they come together as a ball. Keep mixing for 10 minutes.

5. After that, add coarsely ground almond nibs and oats. Mix well by pressing the mixture hard by using the back of the stirring spoon. Only 5 minutes required to blend all the mixture together on flame.

6. Grease a baking tray with butter and pour the prepared mixture. Press it hard so it's well distributed and easy to cut into small squares. 

7. Store in an airtight container in a fridge for 1 week. 



-Abby

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Truffle Dates - Instant Energy Booster

Its a nutrient packed mini balls of dates and assorted nuts which you can't get bored eating everyday. I made this truffle dates experimenting with different types of nuts and dried fruits and the good thing is that its 'sugarless', can be prepared in jiffy and this recipe never let me down but always lighten up my day in a sweet way. When I was a kid my mother would force me to have two pieces of dates stuffed with almonds as it is rich in iron and fiber. All those years of eating raw dates had firmly developed an unpleasant memories related to dates. Now, after tasting the new found love 'Truffle Dates', I can eat dates without abhorring them.


Truffle Dates



Ingredients : 

Pitted Medjol dates: 9
Prunes : 6
Good quality unsweetened cocoa powder : 1/4 cup
Vanilla essence : 1/4 tsp 
Salt : a pinch
Roasted peanuts without skin : 1/2 cup
Roasted sunflower seeds : 1/2 cup
Roasted almonds : 1/4 cup (optional)
Dessicated coconut for rolling

 

Method :

1. First, In food processor, I have added finely chopped dates, prunes, cocoa powder, salt and vanilla essence. All of them were ground smoothly.

2. Next, 1/2 cup of sunflower seeds and 1/4 cup of peanuts were ground along with the previous ingredients with small nibs of nuts here and there.

3. Lastly, grind 1/4 cup of peanuts and 1/4 cup of almonds slightly coarsely with bigger chunks of nuts. You may reduce the quantity of nuts by 1/ 4 cup, if you aren't preferring them.

4. Apply oil to your palm and start rolling  small balls and submerging it in small bowl of dessicated coconut.

5.Serve in a cookie paper cups and store in an airtight jar. Keep it refrigerated. The flavor will fully develop the next day.




-Abby

Indian Style Beetroot Soup


One of my favourite soup recipe. I love the deep red color of the beetroot as well as its earthy sweet flavor which works so well with all the Indian spices used in this recipe. Having a bowl of beet soup with toasted French baguette infused in garlic butter is a divine eating experience. At home, my mother used to prepare this soup quite frequently and best eaten with piping hot rice and spicy fried fish.



Beetroot Soup


Ingredients:

Small red onions : 7
Large ripe tomatoes : 3
Grated beetroot : 1/2 cup
Small green chillies : 1 or 2
Crushed garlic cloves : 3
Cooked yellow moong dal : 1/4 cup
Curry leaves : a sprig
Turmeric powder : 1/4 tsp
Water : 3 1/2 cups or more
Oil : 1 tbsp
Salt : as needed 

To Temper :

Cinnamon stick : 1 (3 inches long)
Cloves : 6
Star anise : 1
Fennel seeds : 1 tsp
Whole black peppercorns : 1/2 tsp

Method :

1. I pressure cooked the yellow moong lentils with 1/4 tsp of turmeric powder and 3 cloves of crushed  garlic with enough water for 3 whistles. After that, I mashed the dal along with well cooked garlic. Excess water and mashed dal left in the pressure used in this recipe.

2. In a pan, add a tbsp of oil. After the oil is slightly hot, temper all the ingredients under "To Temper" section. The color of fennel seeds should change to light brown.

3. Then, fry sliced onions till translucent and immediately continue the frying process with slitted green chillies, grated beetroot and finely chopped tomatoes and salt.

4. After the tomatoes turn mushy and well cooked, now mix cooked yellow moong lentils which has been mashed well and 3 1//2 cups of water or more.

5. Let it simmer for 10 minutes.

6. Switch off the flame and garnish with finely chopped curry leaves.



-Abby


Thursday, 14 August 2014

Simple Stir Fried Pasta with leftover 'Tom Yum' Paste

Everyone knows how to make stir fried pasta but why am I taking so much of the time to post this simple stir fried pasta recipe on my blog. Guess what, the taste was amazing and unlike other pasta or fried rice recipes I have got in my blog, this particular dish doesn't require lots of vegetables as they will ruin the flavor of 'Tom Yum' paste. So, I kept the recipe simple by only incorporating small sized cabbage not the big one. If you use the big cabbage, it will have the tendency to ooze lots of liquid and turn the dish rather soggy. You could also use finely shredded Brussels sprout and that would be perfect for this dish. I had also reduce the amount of pasta but increased the quantity of the bean sprouts twice to cut down the intake of carbohydrate and alleviate fiber intake. The bean sprouts were grown naturally at home as sometimes I'm worried of buying those from the grocery store for some hygienic reason. Don't skip any of the ingredients used and please never try to use capsicum as it dissipates the smell of lemongrass used in the Tom Yum paste. Small dried salted anchovies would be available in Chinese grocery store and it had elevated the pasta's flavor immensely or you could also substitute it with fresh seafood such as prawn or squid. Try this recipe at home and impress your loved ones with your cooking skill.

Stir Fried Pasta with Tom Yum paste

Ingredients:

Organic spiral pasta : 3/4 cup
Shredded cabbage : 1 handful
Fresh bean sprouts:  3 handfuls
Small dried salted anchovies : 2 tbsp
Medium sized ripe tomato : 1
Chilli powder : 1 tsp (adjust to your spice level)
Tom Yum paste : 1 1/2 tbsp
Olive oil : 1 tbsp 
Small shallots : 6
Garlic : 4 cloves
Salt : as needed


You could always double the quantity of ingredients and the blended paste keep well in the freezer for few weeks.


Method :

1. Finely shred the cabbage and soak in salted hot water for 5 min and discard the water. Rinse off the bean sprouts and soak the tiny anchovies in hot water for 10 minutes and rinse them under cold water twice. Keep everything aside separately.

2. In a deep bottom pan, enough water is added along with salt and 1 tsp of oil. Bring the water to boil and start adding the dry spiral pasta. Cook for 3 minutes or till it is al dente or cooked to be firm to the bite. Drain off the excess water using a colander and rinse the pasta with running cold water. 

3. In a pan, pour a tbsp of olive oil and when it's hot, start frying the anchovies till crispy. After that, add finely sliced shallots and garlic. Fry them till translucent and caramelized. Now time to add diced tomato and Tom Yum paste. Fry till raw smell of chilli disappears and diced tomato turns mushy.

4. Next, add shredded cabbage, chilli powder, salt and cook till cabbage ooze out water slightly but without softening the cabbage much. Lastly, chuck in 3 big handful of bean sprouts and pasta. Give a quick toss for 5 minutes because the longer you cook a lot of liquid will ooze out of the sprouts and lose the crunchiness. The pasta shouldn't be soggy so cook till liquid is absorbed into the pasta.

5. Serve hot. 


-Abby

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Millet in Yoghurt Magic




Another very quick and easy preparation of millet is by adding thick Greek yoghurt with some Indian spices that turns the dish healthy for the consumption of all. We enjoy eating this millet submerged in the luscious thick creamy yoghurt with a kick of spiciness from the finely chopped small onions and green chillies. Enough talking about the goodness of millet as I have already mentioned about its beneficial in Millet in Tom Yum Soup . Lets check on the recipe and its cooking method. 

"Linking this to Dish it out event hosted by Hasna of Kachuss Delights ; originally hosted by Vardhini of Cooks Joy"


Ingredients :  : 

Yellow Pearl Millet : 1/4 cup
Plain Greek Yoghurt without flavor : 1/2 to 1 cup ( adjust according to your liking)
Small onions : 4
Japanese cucumber : 1/4 cup
Water : 2 1/2 cups
Cooking oil : 1 tsp
Mustard seeds : 1/4 tsp
Asofetida : 1/8 tsp
Small green chillies : 2
Salt : as needed

Method :


1. Add 2 1/2 cups of water and 1/4 cup of millet and let it boil on medium low flame till the millet is cooked thoroughly. Run the cooked millet under cold water and drain the excess water. 

2. In a pan, when oil is slightly hot, sputter mustard seeds. Switch off the flame. After that, with the heat left in the pan fry finely sliced onions and green chillies. Add enough salt and asofetida.

3. Pour the fried mixture to the cooked millet.

4. Next add yoghurt and grated cucumber. Mix well and serve.


-Abby




Millet in Tom Yum Soup

For the 'Dish it Out' monthly event, I planned to come up with a healthy nutritious soup using yellow pearl millet which has been one of my favourite staple food at home when we got so bored of eating rice and pasta. When the millet is cooked with little water it becomes congee and when lots of water diluted, it's a soup, so you can cook this recipe in two ways. In Northern part of China millet is consumed highly as it is rich in vitamin B1 and B2 which are necessary to prevent indigestion and sore in the corner of the mouth. Millet is also an alkaline grain that carries abundant nutrition especially amino acid which is good for people with ache all over, disorder of gastric acid, bad breath, indigestion, vomiting, for pregnant women in regulating body condition. I have prepared the soup sometimes using prawns and sometimes substituting them with silken tofu for protein. Its a Thai inspired soup which has all the strong lemony fragrant of lemongrass. The 'Tom Yum' paste made at home has given a nice punch of spiciness and well balanced by the sourness contributed by the ripe tomatoes and lime juice. Millet in general is slightly bland in flavor so adding aromatic herbs really had elevated the soup. Whenever I cook the soup using fresh prawns with all the colorful crunchy vegetables, it has been a great hit in the dining. Nevertheless, the vegetarian version is equally tasty and hardly created heavy feeling of eating grains such as rice, whole wheat or semolina or even barley. 

"Linking this to Dish it out event hosted by Hasna of Kachuss Delights ; originally hosted by Vardhini of Cooks Joy"

 




Millet in Tom Yum Soup

Ingredients :  : 

Large ripe tomatoes : 2
Yellow Pearl Millet : 1/4 cup
Tom Yum Paste : 1 1/2 tbsp to 2 tbsp (adjust according to your spice level)
Mixed Vegetables : 2 cups
(I have used cauliflower, carrot, sweet potato, baby corn, french beans) 
Silken tofu : 1/2 cup (non-vegetarian, may replace with prawns)
Water : 6 cups
Olive oil : 2 tbsp
Small onions : 4 
Crushed lemongrass : 1 stalk
Freshly ground black pepper : 1/2 tsp (optional)
Salt : as needed


Tom Yum paste:

Dry red chillies :3
Garlic :7 cloves
Ginger : 1 inch
Lemongrass : 2 stalks (use only the bottom pink part)

Method :


2. Blanch mixed vegetables of your choice salted hot water for 10 min. Then, discard the water and strain it well.

3. In a pan, when the olive oil is slightly hot, fry finely sliced onions and later add 2 tbsp of Tom Yum paste. Fry till the raw smell dissipates.

4. Now, add diced tomatoes and salt, fry them till the tomato is mashed well.

5. Next add 6 cups of water and 1/4 cup of millet and let it boil on medium low flame till the millet is cooked thoroughly. Lastly chuck in blanched veggies and cook for 5 minutes. I have also added some black pepper powder. Silken tofu is crumbled lightly into the soup and cooked only for 3 minutes before the switching off the flame. 

6. Serve hot with freshly squeezed lime if required.




-Abby