Horse-gram Curry

BM #110 : Week 4, Day 2
Theme : A to Z theme – Curries

For today’s post, for the alphabet H, I had initially planned on Hare Matar ka Nimona. Then I came across this recipe for Horse gram masala at Priya’s place and I decided to prepare it. I have some horse gram that needs to be used up and this was perfect for it. There are made some modifications I made to Priya’s recipe, it’s more of Kerala style now.

The base recipe is very simple, it has three steps to it. First is soaking and cooking the horse gram. Priya suggests cooking with a good pinch of baking soda and that’s what I did. Second step is to make a coconut paste. That’s where the differences start. I decided to stick with the regular masala I prepare, which has coconut, dried red chilies and jeera. Now the third and final step is to prepare a tadka with mustard seeds and onions and to cook everything together. An optional way to make the curry thick is to purée half of the cooked (and cooled) horse gram and add it to to the curry or run an immersion blender couple of times.

This curry pairs well with rice and roti. It would be great with puttu or aapam also. Read on for the recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup horsegram , soaked overnight
  • A pinch of baking soda
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 4 dried red chilies
  • 1 teaspoon jeera seeds
  • 4-5 almonds/cashews, optional
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 2 dried red chilies
  • A sprig of curry leaves
  • 1 small red onion, chopped finely
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 tomato, roughly chopped, optional
  • Salt as needed

Method:

  1. Check the horse gram for stones and once you have removed it all, wash and soak the beans overnight. The next day morning, pressure cook along with water it’s soaked and a good pinch of baking soda until the beans is cooked. I used the Beans setting in Instant Pot for 30 minutes. I also used the delay timer for 8 hours at night so that the beans was cooked by next morning. Reserve about 3/4 cup of the beans and set it aside to cool down.
  2. Grind shredded coconut along with 4 dried red chilies , jeera and almonds/cashews(if using) in a blender. Add about 1/4 cup water to make a smooth paste.
  3. Heat a tablespoon of oil in a pan. Add mustard seeds, dried red chilies and curry leaves. Once mustard seeds pop, add the chopped onions and sauté till it turns brown. Add the coconut paste, cooked horse gram along with the water it’s cooked, turmeric powder, chili powder and salt as needed. Mix well.
  4. Make a smooth paste of the reserved 3/4 cups horse gram and add it to the curry. Add water to bring it to a pouring consistency. You can add more water (or less) to suit the consistency you prefer.
  5. Taste test and adjust seasonings. Once the curry comes to a boil, let it cook for about 4-5 minutes and then turn off the heat. Serve with rice or roti.

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Muhammara – Roasted red pepper dip

BM #110 : Week 2, Day 2
Theme : Middle Eastern recipes

Muhammara is a dip made with roasted red peppers. This is an easy dip to make if you have all the ingredients. I have used readymade peppers here, but it’s not difficult to make roasted peppers at home over stovetop or oven. I have even taken the microwave method where I rub a little oil over the pepper, poke it a couple of times with a fork and then cook for 2-3 minutes until it’s cooked and soft.

Pomegranate molasses can be made at home by cooking pomegranate juice until it thickens. But you can check out these substitutes too. I have used sweet tamarind chutney as a substitute. The flavors need some time to mingle, so it’s a good idea to make it a couple of hours ahead of serving.

Read on for the recipe.

Recipe Source : All recipes

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 cup chopped roasted red peppers
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1/3 cup fresh breadcrumbs
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoon pomegranate molasses
  • 1 teaspoon paprika/chili powder/pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • Salt as needed

Method:

  1. The walnuts and breadcrumbs need to be toasted. For this, Add a tablespoon of olive oil in a pan. Roast the walnuts first until lightly browned and fragrant. Remove to a bowl. In the same pan, add another spoonful of olive oil and toast the breadcrumbs till done. Set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a food processor, add the drained and chopped roasted pepppers, garlic cloves, cumin, lemon juice, chili flakes, pomegranate molasses, remaining olive oil, salt, roasted walnuts and breadcrumbs. Pulse to get a not too smooth paste. Refrigerate until the time of serving. Serve as a dip with chopped parsley on top.

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Koshari

BM #110 : Week 2, Day 1
Theme : Middle Eastern recipes

Koshari is the national dish of Egypt. It is a fusion of Indian, Italian and Middle East flavors. It has rice and lentils, originated from khichdi, and it has pasta and tomato sauce, from Italy.

The dish looks complex, but it’s extremely easy to make. It has rice, chickpeas, green lentils, pasta and tomato sauce. Each of these can be cooked ahead to make serving easier. Some recipes online serves the dish in layers where as others mix everything and then top with the tomato sauce. I have tried both ways and I prefer the everything together version.

You might end up having more tomato sauce than you need, but it can be refrigerated or frozen until you can use it again. Some people like to have more sauce, so I prefer to make a little extra than running low.

Read on for the recipe.

Serves 4-6 people

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cups cooked Chana /chickpeas
  • 1 cup green/brown lentils (whole masoor dal)
  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • Salt as needed
  • 1 cup dried pasta
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt as needed
  • 1 28oz can crushed tomatoes (or 8-9 of tomatoes puréed)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon oil
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder, or per taste
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • Salt as needed

Method:

  1. Cook lentils separately until done. I pressure cooked it in Instant Pot for 4 minutes. Set aside.
  2. Heat 2 teaspoon olive oil in a pan. Sauté washed rice for a minute. Add salt as needed and 1.5 cups of water. Bring it to a boil, Cover and cook until rice is done. Set aside.
  3. Cook pasta according to package instructions. Run in cool water to prevent sticking and set aside.
  4. In a pan, heat a teaspoon of oil. Sauté 1 chopped onion and minced garlic until it’s soft. Add a 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes ( or 8-9 tomatoes, purées) along with chili powder, cumin powder and salt. Simmer and cook for about 15-20 minutes, taste testing and adjusting the seasonings if needed. Set aside.
  5. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a pan. Sauté 2 large chopped onions until it’s brown. Take off the heat.
  6. Now to assemble, add the rice, lentils, cooked chickpeas and pasta in a big bowl. Taste and add salt if needed. In a bowl or plate, serve the rice mix topped with 2 tablespoons of tomato sauce and a little of caramelized onions.

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Strawberry Jam Butter

BM #109 : Week 4, Day 3
Theme : Dips and Spreads

During the holidays, we had been to a gourmet shop and came home with some interesting items – Jalapeño spiced honey, ginger flavored mustard which is great in salads and raspberry butter, which was absolutely delicious with bread! So when I was using the spiced honey for yesterday‘s chia jam, I remembered the raspberry butter and decided to make a strawberry version.

You can hardly call this a recipe, it is just mixing softened butter and jam of your choice with a whisk or a fork. To keep the emulsion smooth, make sure that everything is at room temperature or else the butter might harden and will look like it’s curdling. If that happens, you might have to heat the bowl for a few seconds until the butter is softened again and turns smooth.

Just like ghee, butter can survive a few days outside the fridge if the kitchen is not too hot. So if you are making a small batch of jam butter, it doesn’t have to be refrigerated. But this is your personal choice, if you are not comfortable leaving this outside, it can stay in the fridge. You might have to warm it up a bit before you spread it on the toast.

Read on for the recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 stick butter (1/4 cup, ~50 gms), softened
  • 3 tablespoons strawberry jam (or per your taste), at room temperature

Method:

    Using a fork or a hand mixer, beat in the jam with the butter.
    The jam and the butter has to be at room temperature for the mixture to be smooth. If it’s straight from the fridge, the mixture might look curdled. You can heat the bowl for a couple of seconds or use a hair dryer to warm it up and then beat again to get a smooth paste.
    Serve on buttered toast.

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