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.

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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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Sambar rice

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It was my mother in law’s labor intensive full meal thali yesterday. Today it is a one pot meal, my style. This is perfect for weekends when you want your husband to think that you have put in a lot more effort than you actually have! This is as simple as putting all the vegetables, soaked rice and dal and cook it along with tamarind and sambar powder.

The only thing to remember in this recipe is to soak the rice and dal ahead.  If you are feeling a bit more lazy, skip the tadka, cut out the sauteing part entirely and add everything directly in the pressure cooker and let it cook for about 4-5 whistles. Tamarind can be skipped and replaced by a couple of roughly chopped tomatoes.

This doesn’t need a side dish other than a packet of chips or a papad. But I serve with some scrambled egg, raita and some pickles alongside the chips. It gives a ‘full meal’ feeling. A dollop of ghee on top will give it a bit more luxurious feel.

Now, all you have to do is switch on the TV, watch a movie together with your family while eating your easily prepared, labor intensive looking dish.

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BM 61, Week 1

Theme: Meal Ideas 

Pictorial:

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The recipe makes three generous servings. The first thing to do is to wash and soak one cup rice along with half cup dal. You have to use about 3 times water of the rice-dal mix, so about 4.5 cups of water here. I have used masoor dal here, you can use moong dal or toor dal as well. You can soak it before you start the vegetable preparations.

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Heat oil in a pressure cooker and add 2 teaspoons of oil. Add one teaspoon mustard seeds, 5-6 curry leaves, one red chili and a good pinch of hing.

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Add one sliced onion and saute for a couple of minutes. Onions are optional, skip if you want to.

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Add vegetables of your choice. I added one bell pepper, one green eggplant and one cup of frozen mixed vegetables (carrots, beans, corn, peas). Saute for 4-5 minutes until veggies soften a little bit.

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Add the rice and dal mix along with the water. Add 2 teaspoons of tamarind paste as well.

You can add 1 tablespoon of sambar powder directly or grind the sambar powder with 3/4 cup coconut into a fine paste and then add.

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Keep the lid and pressure cook for 4-5 whistles. Turn off the heat and wait for the pressure to subside.

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Once you open the cooker, mix well and add 2-3 cups of water (if needed) and bring it to a boil. Cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring the rice. You want it mushy. Taste test and adjust seasonings, if needed. Serve with chips or papad, scrambled eggs and a simple raita.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup rice
  • 1/2 cup dal (can be toor, masoor or moong)
  • 2 teaspoons oil
  • one teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 5-6 curry leaves
  • one dried red chili
  • pinch hing
  • one medium onion, sliced (optional)
  • one bell pepper, diced
  • one small eggplant, diced
  • one cup frozen mixed vegetables (a mix of carrot, beans, corn and peas)
  • 2 teaspoons tamarind paste or 1/2 cup of tamarind juice
  • 1 tablespoon sambar powder
  • 3/4 cup coconut (optional)
  • A spoonful of ghee, to serve – optional

Method:

Makes three generous servings

  1. The first thing to do is to wash and soak one cup rice along with half cup dal. You have to use about 3 times water of the rice-dal mix, so about 4.5 cups of water here. I have used masoor dal here, you can use moong dal or toor dal as well. You can soak it before you start the vegetable preparations.
  2. Heat oil in a pressure cooker and add 2 teaspoons of oil. Add one teaspoon mustard seeds, 5-6 curry leaves, one red chili and a good pinch of hing.
  3. Add one sliced onion and saute for a couple of minutes. Onions are optional, skip if you want to.
  4. Add vegetables of your choice. I added one bell pepper, one green eggplant and one cup of frozen mixed vegetables (carrots, beans, corn, peas). Saute for 4-5 minutes until veggies soften a little bit.
  5. Add the rice and dal mix along with the water. Add 2 teaspoons of tamarind paste as well.You can add 1 tablespoon of sambar powder directly or grind the sambar powder with 3/4 cup coconut into a fine paste and then add. Keep the lid and pressure cook for 4-5 whistles.
  6. Turn off the heat and wait for the pressure to subside.Once you open the cooker, mix well and add 2-3 cups of water (if needed) and bring it to a boil. Cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring the rice. You want it mushy. Taste test and adjust seasonings, if needed. Serve with chips or papad, scrambled eggs and a simple raita. Add a spoon of ghee on top of the rice, if desired.

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