Shakshuka

BM #114 : Week 2, Day 1
Theme : Brighten Your Breakfast

Shakshuka is a breakfast dish from Middle East and North Africa. It’s eggs served with a tomato based sauce cooked with peppers and onions. This is an easy dish to prepare. You can add veggies of your choice and serve this dish for a quick lunch or dinner too. The regular spices that goes with this dish is paprika, chili powder and cumin.

There are many variations to this dish. You can add cooked polenta or tofu for a vegan/egg free version. I didn’t have enough fresh tomatoes to make a puree for this, so I used some readymade marinara sauce that I already had. I added some dried herbs to it and now it’s an Italian version Shakshuka :-). We had this as our brunch, so I served this with toasted bread and some avocados. This is a stovetop recipe, but it can be made in Instant pot as well. I would be trying that next.

Read on for the recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped finely
  • 1 medium red pepper, chopped finely
  • 3 cloves garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup spinach, roughly chopped
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder, or per taste
  • 2 teaspoons dried herbs (Italian seasoning)
  • 2 cups marinara sauce or puréed tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup water, optional
  • 6 eggs
  • salt as needed

Method:

  1. Heat oil in a wide pan. Sauté onions, pepper and garlic. Once onion turns pink, add the spinach in and couple for a couple of minutes until it wilts.
  2. Add paprika, chili powder, cumin, salt and dried herbs. Add marinara sauce or puréed tomatoes and water. Let it come to a slow boil and cook for about 7-8 minutes until it’s not runny anymore.
  3. Crack one egg into a small bowl. With the ladle, make a small hole in the curry and carefully add the egg. Repeat with the rest of the eggs.
  4. Let the eggs cook until they are done. Covering the pan would help it cook faster. Remove from heat once the eggs are cooked to your preference. Serve with bread slices and some avocado.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing this Week

Mixed vegetable khichdi

BM#102: Week 4, Day 1
Theme : 
One bowl recipes

For this week’s theme, the dish should be either prepared or served in a bowl. So the vegetable khichdi I had prepared in Instant Pot recently, seemed a perfect choice. What I like about this dish is that it’s a “put everything inside the pot and close the lid” kind of recipe. You start off with a tadka of ghee or oil with cumin seeds and ginger. Then all you have to do is add a bunch of vegetables, spices, rice and lentils and cover and cook. Done!

The best part is that this can be served with just pickle or yogurt on the side. But of course, a yogurt based Kadhi would be excellent as well. Though this is a traditional recipe with each house having their own version, the particular one that I tried is from the book The Essential Indian Instant Pot cookbook. I have followed the recipe as such and absolutely love the results.

Read on for the recipe.

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon ghee/oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, minced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 medium potato, diced
  • 1 medium tomato, diced
  • 1 cup cauliflower florets
  • 1 cup spinach, chopped
  • 1/4 cup green beans, cut into 1/2″ pieces
  • 1/4 cup green peas
  • 2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 cup rice
  • 1 cup dal (1/4 cup each masoor, moong, toor and Chana dals)
  • 6 cups water
  • Salt as needed

Method:

  1. Wash and Clean the rice. Set aside.
  2. Put the Instant Pot in Sauté mode and add the ghee. Add the cumin seeds and minced ginger. Add all the vegetables, chili powder, salt and turmeric powder. Mix well. Add the rice and the dals along with 6 cups of water. Stir to mix well.
  3. Cancel the sauté program and select to Rice setting. Let the pressure release naturally. Serve with pickle and Methi Kadhi.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the recipe from other Blogging Marathoners.

Crema de Quinoa

BM# 102 : Week 2, Day 1
Theme : Cuisines from South America

For the first day under the theme, this is a creamy quinoa chowder from Ecuador. The recipe is from Jose Garces’s book The Latin Road Home. It’s his take on the local crema de quinoa, which is a rich diary based broth with potatoes, white corn and avocados. I didn’t have the achiote paste, which is the main flavor inducing ingredient here. The paste has quite an unique taste, so I will definitely be looking for it the next time I go shopping. But for today, I had to follow the substitute mentioned in this link. I also substituted the white sweet corn with yellow corns.

The quinoa absorbs the liquid as it sits, so it’s a good idea to serve this as soon as it’s prepared. Else remember to check the seasoning again if you add more stock/ water to adjust the consistency.

Read on for the recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1/2 small potato, cut into matchsticks
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 3/4 cup quinoa
  • 1/2 cup sweet white corn
  • 1 tablespoon Achiote Paste or substitute
  • 2.5 cups stock or water
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • Salt as needed
  • 1 tablespoon minced parsley
  • Sliced Avocados for serving

Method:

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in an omelette pan and fry the matchstick potatoes. Set aside.
  2. Heat butter and olive oil in a pan. Sauté onions and garlic until it turns pink. Stir in the achiote paste, if the paste is not available, add the substitute spices mentioned in the link.
  3. Add the quinoa and corn and sauté for a couple of minutes. Add the stock/water and cream. Bring it to a boil.
  4. Lower the heat, add salt and simmer the chowder uncovered until the quinoa is completely cooked and the liquid is reduced to 3/4th it’s original size. Take off the heat.
  5. To serve, add the chopped parsley, fried potatoes. Garnish with sliced avocados.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the recipe from other Blogging Marathoners.

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