South Indian Sambhar


Ingredients:

  • ½ cup toor dal (yellow split pidgeon peas)
  • 1 Tablespoon oil
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • ½ teaspoon asafoetida
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • ¼ teaspoon red chili powder (or paprika for mild version)
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground fenugreek
  • 1 cup chopped carrot
  • 1 cup chopped daikon radish (or red radish)
  • 1 cup cut green beans
  • 1 cup chopped large shallot (or small onion)
  • 1 cup chopped pumpkin (or squash or zucchini)
  • ½ cup chopped tomato
  • 3 cups water
  • ¾ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 Tablespoon tamarind paste, soaked in 1 cup of warm water for 5 minutes
For the “Tempering”
  • 1 Tablespoon oil
  • ½ teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 10-15 curry leaves

Method: 

  1. Rinse toor dal well, then soak in warm water for 10 minutes. Drain then boil them in 2½ cups of water over medium heat for 25 minutes or until they are fully cooked. Use a spoon or spatula to mash the cooked peas and set aside.
  2. In a large pot over medium-high heat, add the oil, then fry the coriander, cumin seeds, asafoetida, turmeric, chili powder, black pepper, and fenugreek for 5-10 seconds before adding all of the chopped vegetables and 3 cups of water. Add the salt. Bring it to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to medium. Cook for 10 minutes.
  3. In the meanwhile, soak the tamarind in 1 cup of warm water. After 5 minutes mash the tamarind water with a spoon or your fingers. Strain the tamarind juice into the pot slowly. You want to leave about a Tablespoon of the juice behind because there can be some grit that will have settled to the bottom. Add the cooked, mashed toor dal to the vegetables and cook for another 5 minutes.
  4. Make the “tempering” by heating the oil in a small saucepan then adding the mustard seeds. They will sizzle and may pop, so keep a lid handy. After a few seconds add the curry leaves (which will definitely pop). Immediately remove from heat and dump this seasoned oil, seeds, and curry leaves into the sambhar. Stir them in and taste the dish for seasoning, adjust, and serve with rice.
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Ginger peanut tofu curry


Ingredients:

500g firm tofu, cut into 1.5cm cubes
3.5 tbls olive oil
3/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
200g | 1 large onion, roughly chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
40g | large thumb size piece ginger root, grated
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp ground cumin
1/8 tsp ground cardamon
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1 x 400g tin of diced tomatoes
2 tbls natural peanut butter
375ml | 1.5 cups vegetable stock
1 bunch spinach, trimmed and shredded (or other leafy greens)

Fresh coriander leaves (cilantro) and cooked rice, to serve.

Method: 

Set your oven to 220C.

On a lined baking tray, toss your tofu with 1/2 tbls of olive oil and 1/4 tsp of salt. Spread out in a single layer and bake for 30 min, till golden and crisp – tossing half way through.

In a large saucepan over medium heat, fry the mustard seeds in the remaining olive oil till starting to pop – 1-2 min. Add the onion and cook till soft and starting to colour – 5 min. Stir in the ginger, garlic, spices and remaining salt and cook for a further minute till fragrant.

Add the tomatoes and peanut butter, stir till combined and then mix in the stock. Bring to a boil and then lower to a simmer, cooking uncovered for 10 mins or so, till it is a rich sauce. (I let the curry simmer till the tofu is done baking).

Stir in the tofu and spinach and cook for a couple more minutes till spinach has wilted and tofu slightly softened – 2 min. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper, if desired.

Serve topped with fresh coriander and alongside some steamed rice or flat bread.

Dum aloo recipe


Ingredients:

  • 12-15 baby potatoes
  • 1 ½ cup Yogurt
  • 3 tbsp. Oil
  • 1/2 tsp. Sugar
  • A pinch of Asafetida powder
  • Salt to taste
  • Water

Spices;

  • 4 Kashmiri red chilly
  • 1/2’ Dry Ginger
  • 1 tbsp Fennel seeds
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp. Cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp. peppercorn
  • 4 Cloves
  • 2 Black cardamoms

 

Method: 

Wash all the baby potatoes and parboil or partially cook them in a large pan of water.

Place all the parboiled potatoes in a other vessel filled with cold water and let them cool.

Peel all the potatoes and prick each potatoes lightly with a fork.

Heat a pan and dry roast coriander seeds, cumin seeds, black cardamom, peppercorn, fennel seeds and dry red chilies on high heat for about a minute.

Grind all the roasted ingredients with cloves, cardamom and dry ginger

Pour about 2 tbsp. of oil in a flat pan and shallow fry the potatoes till they turn golden brown in colour.

Take out the potatoes and place them on tissue paper.

Heat oil in a pan and add asafoeitda powder in it.

Pour a tablespoon of water in ground spices and salt, pour this into the pan and cook it for 2 minutes.

Whisk the yogurt well with a fork and add it in the pan.

Add sugar (optimal) and shallow fried baby potatoes in the pan, cover with a lid and let it simmer for 10-15 minutes on medium heat.

Cook till the gravy thicken and oil starts floating over the pan. At this stage you can give ‘Dum‘ to the curry by placing it over a hot griddle.

Cover the pan with a lid and place it on a hot griddle and let it cook on slow heat for 15 minutes.

Turn off the heat and serve the Dum Aloo curry with plain rice or India flat bread

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Healthy Italian Salad


Ingredients:  salad
1 (19 ounce) bag frozen cheese tortellini pasta
2 orange bell peppers, cut into bite size pieces
1 English cucumber, cut into quarters and sliced
½ medium red onion, thinly sliced
16 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved

1 (14 ounce) can pineapple tidbits in 100% pineapple juice, divided

Dressing
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup pineapple juice (reserved from the can of pineapple tidbits)
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon  garlic paste or fresh grated garlic
2 teaspoons  Ginger Paste or fresh grated ginger
1 teaspoon course ground black pepper

 

Method: Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook tortellini according to directions on the package.  Drain and set aside once cooked.

Chop  vegetables and set aside. Reserve pineapple juice from can for the dressing. Set aside.  Combine salad ingredients in a large bowl. Set aside.

In a pint size mason jar add dressing ingredients. Shake mason jar until dressing is combined.  Pour dressing over salad and gently toss with salad tongs until well coated.

Serve and enjoy

 

 

Plum Jam


Ingredients:  12 lbs plum

4 cups  sugar

Method:   1. cut  12 lbs of plums in half, pit them and place in a large mixing bowl. Drizzle well with 4 1/2  cups sugar. Using a large spoon, stir plums with sugar until all are coated.  If your plums are overripe or already very sweet, you may only need 4 cups of sugar total. You can add more sugar to taste while its cooking. Let plums sit at room temp with the sugar for about 1 hour, or until sugar is somewhat dissolved.

2. Transfer plums/sugar mixture in to a large cooking pot.

3. Place it on the stove uncovered and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Make sure if you see a light boil to stir because the whole pot may not be boiling, just the center. If it stops boiling after you stir it, continue boiling until everything is uniformly bubbling, then simmer for 10 minutes and turn off the heat. Let the pot stand uncovered until it is just warm to the touch or reaches room temp.

4. As soon as it cools, repeat step 3. You will bring it to a boil a total of 4 times, stirring to prevent scorching the bottom. This is why it takes 2 days to make. It’s really easy though and so worthwhile!  There’s no “set” waiting time between boilings. If 2 days doesn’t work for you, by all means, take 3 days. Preserves have plenty of sugar so they won’t spoil at room temp if you leave it on the counter overnight. If you want the preserves to have an even thicker consistency, you can boil it 5-6 times if you wish.


Ingredients:

For the Spread:
    • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
    • 2 Tablespoons sour cream
    • 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
    • Juice from one lime
For the Topping:
  • 1/4 cup grated Cotija cheese
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika (or chili powder if you want heat)
  • Chopped cilantro, for garnish (optional)

Method: 

Soak 5 wooden skewers in water for 30 minutes. Pierce a skewer halfway into the bottom of each corn cob.

Preheat the grill to medium heat (between 350-450 degrees F).

Place the corn directly over the heat, cover and let cook for 10 to 15 minutes, turning often, until the kernels are spotted brown.

Meanwhile, combine the spread ingredients in a small bowl, and the topping ingredients in another small bowl; set aside.

Carefully remove the corn cob from the grill and transfer to a large platter. Smear the spread all over each corn cob, then sprinkle evenly with the topping. Serve immediately.

 

Spicy Potatoes


Ingredients:

  • 500g baby new potatoes, scrubbed
  • 1 tsp ghee
  • 2 tbsp canola oil or any vegetable  oil
  • few sprigs curry leaves
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 inch ginger, sliced finely
  • 1 red chilli- chopped
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • salt to season
  • A small bunch of coriander leaves, chopped

 

Method:  

  • Boil the potatoes in water until almost tender.
  • Drain and put aside.
  • In a wok, heat the ghee and canola oil together.
  • Temper the curry leaves, chopped chilli, mustard seeds, ginger and cumin seeds until fragrant.
  • Add in the coriander powder, chilli powder and the dash of turmeric.
  • Tip in the potatoes and stir fry for few more minutes until the potatoes are well coated with spices.
  • Season with salt and throw in the coriander leaves.
  • Serve warm

 

 

 

I am going to share some tasty recipes with a healthy twist