Kadai Kumbh Palak

BM #112 : Week 3, Day 2
Theme : A-Z Curries

The library here was one of the first places to close when COVID 19 started spreading. They had emailed us to let us know that we should hold on to the books we borrowed until further notice. They are renewing the books from their end to avoid fines during this time. It’s a blessing that we can borrow digital copies using their App. I am fine reading a book in my phone, but somehow for cookbooks I don’t like the digital copy. I still prefer the paper copy.

So good thing is that, I am home with some really good books. One of which is Vegan Richa’s Indian cooking. I have already checked out that book couple of times and every recipe I have tried so far has been delicious. I am sure it’s a matter of time before I will be buying a copy of this book, but until then I have the library copy with me.

This is a mushroom and spinach curry with a base tomato gravy is from that book. I added some onions and peppers too to the mix, it’s a simple recipe to make and it was delicious. I had made extra servings, but it all got finished in one go – which I think is a good sign:-).

Read on for the recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 cup mixed peppers, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 green chilies, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon kasoori methi
  • 3 big tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 cups sliced mushrooms
  • 2 cups packed spinach
  • Salt

Method:

  1. Heat oil in a pan. Add garlic, green chilies, peppers and onion. Sauté until onion changes color. Now add the spices – coriander powder, garam masala, chili powder, kasoori methi and salt. Cook for a minute. Add the tomatoes, mix well, cover and cook until it’s mushy. About 5 minutes or so.
  2. Add mushrooms, spinach. Sprinkle a tablespoon or two of water, if needed. Mix well, reduce heat, cover and cook until the mushrooms are done. Taste test and adjust seasonings. Serve with rice or roti.

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

Spinach peanut butter smoothie bowl

BM #112 : Week 2, Day 3
Theme : Summer Coolers

Smoothies and smoothie bowls are my son’s favorite dinner during summertime. It’s not summer yet here, but the weather is a lot warmer than before. So smoothies are back in our diet.

I started off with a peanut butter smoothie, then I remembered that I had some spinach to be used up so included that as well. The addition of peanut butter makes smoothies a lot more filling. Usually I add jam when making peanut butter smoothie, but here the sweetener is honey.

The vibrant green color of this smoothie is pleasing to the eye, I add avocados too to this smoothie if I have it. The toppings can be anything of your choice. I didn’t have any fresh fruits left, so I used a bunch of dry fruits and nuts.

Read on for the recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium bananas, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup milk/soy milk
  • 2 tablespoons honey or per taste
  • 2 big handfuls of spinach
  • Toppings of your choice – I used a mix of chocolate chips, cashews, chopped apricots, raisins and granola

Method:

  1. In a blender, add everything except the spinach and blend well. Once it’s smooth, add the spinach and blend again until everything is combined well.
  2. Pour into a tall glass or a bowl. If it’s a smoothie bowl, add toppings of your choice. I used what I had. Its a mix of chocolate chips, cashews, chopped apricots, raisins and granola.

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

Sending this post to Srivalli’s Kids delight event , hosted by Usha this month. The theme is Kid friendly Summer Coolers.

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.

Spinach Dal

BM# 98: Week 4, Day 3
Theme : Cooking for Two

For Day 3 of Cooking for two theme, I am here with another simple recipe and a simple meal. Growing up, we never used to sit together at the dining table and eat a meal together. The dishes are left on the table and whenever you are hungry, you can go and serve yourself. Amma follows her body clock when it comes to hunger and appa follows the actual clock. I always wonder what would happen if we hide all the clocks…how will appa eat then?!

After my brother left home for work, he would visit us every month. It was during these visits that we started eating together as a family. He would insist on eating together and would wait until everyone is gathered at the table. Eating together, as we found out, was a wonderful experience and one which I sorely miss now.

In a typical Indian house, the woman eats last. For most part, this is because you would have cooked the exact number of servings and its a good idea to wait until everyone else has done eating. That way you know that the family has had enough food and you can finish off whatever is left. In most cases, there wont be enough leftover and the mother makes the sacrifice of eating rice without any curry on the side. Its something I have never understood. I always prefer making an extra serving so that everyone can sit together and enjoy a meal without worrying whether it will be sufficient for all or not. But that’s just me.

Anyway, here is a recipe I made for lunch today, cooked exactly for two people. My son is having his lunch at school and its only me and my husband for lunch. I decided to make it extra special by making a thogayal (a kind of chutney) and omelette too in addition to the ladies finger fry. My husband prefers rice but I had this meal with quinoa. Read on for the recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup toor dal
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 green chillies
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • a good pinch of hing
  • 1/2 medium tomato
  • 1 cup chopped spinach/palak
  • 1 teaspoon oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds

Method:

  1. Wash toor dal couple of times till the water runs clear. Add this to a pressure cooker along with turmeric powder, hing and enough water so that there is about 1/2″ water on top of the submerged dal. Add roughly chopped onions, garlic and green chillies. Pressure cook for 6-8 whistles or until the dal is completely cooked and mushy. Let the pressure release naturally from the cooker. Mash the dal with a ladle so that its smooth.
  2. Heat oil in a pan. Add mustard seeds. Once it crackles, add chopped tomatoes and cook until its soft and mushy. Add the chopped spinach and salt as needed.
  3. Once the spinach is cooked, add the dal mix and half cup of water. Add 1/2 teaspoon of chilli powder, if you prefer more heat. Let it come to a boil. Taste test and adjust the seasonings. Simmer the dal for about 10 minutes and take off the heat.
  4. I served it with quinoa. I prepared an omelette, ladies finger fry and ridge gourd chutney to serve along with the dal.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing this BM#98