Peas, potatoes, carrots in Olive oil and lemon sauce

BM# 97: Week 4, Day 3
Theme : Flavors of Greece

I had initially selected a date and chickpea rice recipe for today’s post. But I changed it in favor of this simple stew. This recipe in the book The Foods of the Greek Islands. The author mentions that on the islands, this is a classic vegetable stew made with wild fennel. The recipe had dill instead, but I skipped it since I didn’t have any at home. The stew can be a main dish with some feta cheese and bread on the side.

I served to my son when we was back from school and he didn’t like it at all. I was just done with cooking the stew and unfortunately, the vegetables weren’t done when I served it to him. I had to cook for some more time to get it right and it was perfect for our dinner. It had a mild fennel flavor infused with lemon and was very delicious.

The recipe uses a lot of olive oil, about 2/3 cups. I couldn’t bring myself to use that much so I reduced it a lot. The end result was still yummy. The stew needn’t be watery, though we prefer it that way.

Ingredients:

  • 4-5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 fennel bulb, sliced thinly
  • 3 large potatoes, diced into 1.5″ cubes
  • 4 cups green peas*
  • 3 carrots, diced into 1″ slices
  • 1 teaspoon crushed fennel seeds
  • 2 cups vegetable stock or water
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup dill, finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper

* Green beans is a substitute for the peas and so I used 2 cups peas and 2 cups beans.

Method:

  1. Heat 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil in a Dutch oven. Add the onions and sauté for a couple of minutes. Add in the sliced fennel and sauté until its soft.
  2. Add the potatoes, cook for 4-5 minutes. Add 1.5 cups of water/stock along with the peas and beans, carrots, crushed fennel seeds and salt and pepper to taste. Bring it to a boil, reduce heat. Cover and let the stew simmer for 15 minutes.
  3. Add the remaining 1/2 cup of water or stock, remaining olive oil (the recipe used 1/3 cup, I used only 2 tablespoons), 1/4 cup chopped dill and all of the lemon juice. Cook for another 15 minutes or until the vegetables are tender and done. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup dill on top and serve warm with some bread and feta cheese on top.

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Fakies – Greek Lentil soup

BM# 97: Week 4, Day 2
Theme : Flavors of Greece

I was browsing the book Greek Revival, Cooking for life for recipes and stumbled upon this one. This is a very easy, basic traditional soup. The lentil is the main ingredient here, you can use brown or green. The choice of vegetables can be changed according to your preference. The author mentions that something sour- like lemon juice, yogurt or vinegar- is added to Greek lentil soups at the time of serving. It’s a good idea to leave these condiments on the table and let the guests choose for themselves.

The recipe is fairly basic. All it needs is onion, tomatoes and carrots. As I mentioned earlier, you can add vegetables of your choice too. I decided to stick with the recipe on the book. The flavor is simple and it’s easy to put together. I made it easier by cooking the lentils ahead. Serve with some bread to soak up the soup and it’s a healthy and delicious meal indeed!

Serves 3-4

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped finely
  • 2 carrots, chopped finely
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups tomatoes, diced or 14 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup dry whole lentils
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 4 cups water
  • Handful of fresh parsley
  • Salt and pepper
  • Plain yogurt for serving

Method:

  1. In a large pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Sauté garlic, onions and carrots. Once the onions are soft, add the tomatoes, ground coriander and cumin. Stir and cook for a cook of minutes.
  2. Add 4 cups of water. Cover and bring it to a boil. Add the lentils. Bring it to a boil again, reduce heat. Cover and let it simmer for 1.5 hours until the beans are cooked. I cooked the beans separately in pressure cooker, so I reduced the cooking time to ten minutes for the flavors to blend. Add parsley and let it cook for another couple of minutes.
  3. Serve hot with bread. Add a dollop of yogurt or lemon juice to the soup at the time of serving.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing this BM#97

Melopita – Greek honey pie

BM# 97: Week 4, Day 1
Theme : Flavors of Greece

Now a days, I prefer books over internet for recipe searches for the simple reason that the book won’t turn itself off when I am half way through making a dish. I leave the book open and keep coming back to it whenever needed as opposed to asking my son or husband to unlock my phone if my hands are wet or dirty. For this theme, I had taken two books from the library. It’s easier to cook from a book when it comes to new cuisines. And the irony is that I had to depend on the internet for the recipe here.

The Reason? I didn’t do my grocery shopping this week and as a result the last onion and tomato went into making a very Indian lunch. So with the vegetable tray empty, I started looking at recipes that would cater to my pantry contents. Inevitably I was looking at recipes online and ended up choosing Melopita or Honey pie.

This recipe is from the Greek island of Sifnos. The recipe uses a local cheese Mizithra, but ricotta is a close substitute. The recipe can be made with or without a pie base. I had a ready made pie base that I wanted to use up, but you can bake the filling directly in a greased cake pan as well. I may not have onions and tomatoes at home, but I have honey, I have eggs and even ricotta cheese! It takes like a light cheese cake. I served it with some honey on top.

Read on for the recipe.

Recipe source: The spruce eats

Makes: One 10″ pie

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb(450gms) Ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 readymade pie crust or homemade crust, optional
  • Honey for glaze

Method:

  1. Pre heat the oven to 350F.
  2. In a mixing bowl, add the ricotta cheese, honey, sugar, eggs and flour.
  3. Grease a 10″ pie dish with butter and line with the pie crust. Press the dough into sides and bottom of the pan so that there is no gap in between the pan and crust.
  4. Add the filling to the crust and bake until the filling sets and doesn’t jiggle in the middle. It might take somewhere around 40-50 minutes.
  5. Once the pie is cooked, take off the oven and let it cool. Serve with honey or cinnamon sugar drizzled on top.

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Sweet Potato chapati

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BM# 97: Week 2, Day 3
Theme : Vegan recipes

I have been making a whole lot of Vegan recipes for this theme but unfortunately I don’t seem to be able to take pictures. The weather is now bad and before I know it, it’s dark outside and there is no light to take pictures. If I take pictures indoors, the colors don’t come out right. So that’s something I have given up doing a long time back.

Initially i was planning to post the recipe of a vegan cake I had made sometime back. Unfortunately the frosting had butter in it. Coming to think of it, its easy to make a vegan cake, but vegan frosting can be much harder.

Anyway I decided on this sweet potato chapatis for today. It’s been in my drafts folder for a while. My cousin has made this for us when we were in our Velacheri house. I still remember how soft and delicious it was. Mine didn’t turn out to be as good as hers but still it was pretty good. I forgot her recipe so this recipe is from the internet. These chapatis turn out to be very soft. The spice level can be adjusted to your preference. I like it flavored only with chili powder, but you can try adding whatever spices you like.

Read on for the recipe.

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Recipe adapted from: Archana’s kitchen

Sweet potato roti:

  • 1 cup cooked and mashed sweet potato
  • 1 cup wheat flour
  • 1.5 teaspoon red chili powder, or per taste
  • Salt as needed

Method:

    Pressure cook sweet potatoes. Once completely cooked and cooled down, peel and mash them. For every cup of wheat flour, add one cup of mashed sweet potatoes.
    In a big mixing bowl, add the mashed sweet potatoes, flour, chili powder and salt. You can add a teaspoon each of cumin seeds and ajwain(carom seeds) too, if preferred. Mix everything and make a smooth and soft dough, sprinkling water as needed to bring the dough together. Don’t add too much water in one shot, add a little at a time, mix in and add more if needed.
    Once the dough comes together and is soft and not lumpy anymore, cover the bowl and leave it to rest for 10-15 minutes.
    Make chapatis. I suggest watching a video in YouTube if you are not familiar with the making chapatis.Serve with pickle or a curry of your choice.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing this BM#97