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.

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Githeri – Kenyan Bean and Maize dish

BM# 96: Week 4, Day 2
Theme : Southern Hemisphere

Like I mentioned yesterday, I landed up in the Kenyan Masala tea recipe when I was checking out a recipe for Githeri. Githeri is a Kenyan dish with maize (white corn) and beans and a bunch of vegetables. The vegetables and even the kind of beans can be customized to your preference.

I read about the recipe first at Mireille’s blog and then visited Mayuri’s blog where Mireille had originally chosen the recipe from. This recipe uses white corn and not yellow corn. Mireille has suggested canned white hominy or Choclo Corn (South American white corn) for this. I used the canned white hominy for this.

I used black beans (that’s what I had today), but you can use black eyed peas, kidney beans, pinto beans, butter beans or a mix of whatever kind you have in your pantry. The choice of vegetables are left to you. Mayuri mentions that for Starchy vegetables, potatoes, plantains, sweet potatoes, yuca are commonly used. The consistency can also be adjusted to your preference. Some of the recipes I looked at mentioned adding coconut milk or cream, but I didn’t add any today.

Read on for the recipe.

Serves : 3-4

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup black beans, soaked overnight and cooked separately
  • 1 cup white corn
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped finely
  • 5-6 garlic cloves, chopped finely
  • 1″ piece of ginger, finely chopped
  • 2 medium tomatoes, finely chopped (or puréed)
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • Pinch of turmeric powder
  • About 15 beans, cut into 1″ pieces
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 large potato, diced
  • 1 cup of spinach, roughly chopped
  • Salt and water as needed

Method:

  1. Soak the beans overnight and cook it separately. Drain and set aside.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large heavy bottomed pan. Add chopped ginger, garlic and onions. Sauté until the onions turn slightly brown. Add the tomatoes, salt and the spices. Mix well and cover and cook until the tomatoes are very soft and mushy.
  3. Add the beans, maize, diced potatoes, carrots and beans. Add 3 cups of water and bring it to a boil. Reduce heat, cover the pot and cook for about 10-15 minutes until the vegetables are done.
  4. If needed, add 1 (or even more) cup of water if it is too thick. Add the spinach and cook for another 5-10 minutes. Taste test for salt and adjust if needed. Serve hot!

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Mujadara

3mujadara

BM # 71
Week 1, Day 1
Theme : One pot dishes
I am here with an oft repeated dish at my place that is simple to make and is very tasty. Its a one pot rice and lentil dish. I have an adapted version of this dish in my space, its a tasty recipe,  but a far cry from the original Lebanese Mujadara. This version here is a lot more closer to the authentic version, though still not as mushy as it should be.
The mushiness of the dish is something I play with according to my mood. Traditionally, its more like our bisibelabath’s runny texture. This dish needs only onions, rice and lentils with minimal amount of spices. The sauteed onions are a major taste contributor, so don’t skimp there.
I have adapted this recipe from foodnetwork.com. Please check out some videos too in case you decide to try this recipe. Read on for the pictorial.

2mujadara

Pictorial

This recipe makes 4 generous servings. Clean and soak 3/4 cup of basmati rice. Set aside. Wash and clean one cup green lentils (whole masoor dal) and soak with enough water. Set aside.

Heat 1/4 cup olive oil in a pan. Saute three big sliced onions till they are caramelized, about 10 minutes or so. Add salt to hasten the process. Keep half of the caramelized onions aside. To the other half in the pan, add 1 teaspoon ground cumin and 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper or chili powder. Mix it in well.

Drain the soaked cup of basmati rice. Add it to the onion mix and saute for a minute. Add 3 cups water, lots of chili flakes (if you want the heat) and the lentils. Taste test and add salt if needed.

Cover and cook for about 25-35 minutes, checking in between. The rice has to cook completely and the water should be absorbed. Taste test and adjust seasoning. Mix in the caramelized onions well. Take off the heat and serve with yogurt and chips.

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup basmati rice, cleaned and soaked
  • 1 cup green lentils (whole masoor dal),soaked or cooked
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 big onions, sliced
  • 1 stick of cinnamon (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper or chili powder
  • chili flakes, optional
  • salt
  • yogurt and chips for serving

Method:

  1. Clean and soak 3/4 cup of basmati rice. Set aside. Wash and clean one cup green lentils (whole masoor dal) and soak with enough water. Set aside.
  2. Heat 1/4 cup olive oil in a pan. Saute three big sliced onions till they are caramelized, about 7-10 minutes. Add salt to hasten the process. Keep half of the caramelized onions aside.
  3. To the other half in the pan, add 1 stick of cinnamon (optional), 1 teaspoon ground cumin and 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper or chili powder. Mix it in well.
  4. Drain the basmati rice. Add it to the pan, mix and saute for a minute. Add 3 cups water, lots of chili flakes (if you want the heat) and the lentils. Taste test and add salt if needed.
  5. Cover and cook for about 20-30 minutes, checking in between. The rice has to cook completely and the water should be absorbed. Taste test and adjust seasoning. Mix in the caramelized onions and stir to distribute evenly. Take off the heat and serve with yogurt and chips.

1mujadara

BMLogo

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Celery rice

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When two ladies talk on phone, a lot of information exchange happens. This recipe is a result of one such phone call. A casual phone call around lunch time with my neighbor led to the “what’s cooking?” question and when she said celery rice, I jumped out to get my pen and a piece of paper to note down the recipe.

I tried it out soon and I have to say that its a good way to use up the HUGE batch of celery we buy from Costco, the wholesale store. The recipe develops flavor as it sits and I thought it tasted a lot better the next day. I served it with plain curd and chana masala (recipe in drafts, hopefully will see the sunlight some day soon!).

The recipe goes to the second week of CCChallenge. Please check out this page for more details about the event. 

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Pictorial

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Wash and soak one cup basmati rice. Set aside.

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Grind one head celery after removing the base and the fibrous parts with one inch piece ginger and couple of green chillies.

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Keep the paste aside.

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In a pan, heat 1-2 teaspoons of oil and add one medium sliced onion. Saute till pink. Add one teaspoon of ginger garlic paste and let it cook for a couple of minutes.

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Follow this up with the masalas : 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder, 1 teaspoon chilli powder, 2 teaspoon coriander powder, 1 teaspoon cumin powder and salt as needed. The masalas can be adjusted according to one’s preferences.

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Saute everything well, add a teaspoon of water if it sticks to the bottom of the pan.

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Add the ground celery paste now. Mix it in. Let it cook for sometime till the raw flavor goes off. Check seasonings and adjust accordingly.

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Time to add the soaked cup of rice and 1.5 cups of water.

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Cover and let it cook until the rice is done, about 7-10 minutes mostly. Serve with raita.

Recipe source: My neighbor Devi

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • 1 head celery
  • 1″ ginger piece, peeled
  • 2-3 green chillies
  • 2 teaspoons oil/ghee
  • one medium onion, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon ginger garlic paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon chilli powder
  • 2 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • salt

Method:

  1. Wash and soak one cup basmati rice. Set aside.
  2. Grind one head celery after removing the base and the fibrous parts with one inch piece ginger and couple of green chillies. Keep the paste aside.
  3. In a pan, heat 1-2 teaspoons of oil and add one medium sliced onion. Saute till pink. Add one teaspoon of ginger garlic paste and let it cook for a couple of minutes.Follow this up with the masalas : 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder, 1 teaspoon chilli powder, 2 teaspoon coriander powder, 1 teaspoon cumin powder and salt as needed. The masalas can be adjusted according to one’s preferences.
  4. Saute everything well, add a teaspoon of water if it sticks to the bottom of the pan. Add the ground celery paste. Mix it in. Let it cook for sometime till the raw flavor goes off.
  5. Check seasonings and adjust accordingly.Time to add the soaked cup of rice and 1.5 cups of water. Cover and let it cook until the rice is done, about 7-10 minutes mostly. Serve with raita.

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