Samo semolina upma

Samo is a type of wild grass originating from tropical Asia.  In India seeds of this grass are consumed during festival fasting days. In Gujarati it is also called  “Moriyo”, in Marathi it is called ‘bhagar’ or “Vari cha Tandul” and the English equivalent is “sawa millet”.   We bought some samo semolina at an Asian grocer a few days back and made a gluten free upma using it.   Texture wise it it very close to wheat semolina upma and taste is not too dissimilar either.   We think this seed could be a very good gluten free substitute for semolina based dishes.

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What do I need to make it?

 

  • 1 cup of Samo semolina – dry roasted for five minutes
  • 1 cup of mixed corn and green peas (if frozen – microwave before use or par boil if fresh)
  • 1 small onion finely chopped
  • 1 inch piece of ginger finely chopped
  • 3-4 green chillies slit
  • 1 preserved lime finely chopped
  • 1 tsp urad dahl
  • 1 tsp channa dahl
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • Pinch of asafoetida
  • 3 tbsp ghee
  • Handful curry leaves
  • Handful fresh mint and coriander chopped
  • Salt  to taste

 

How much will I make?

Serves 2

How do I make it?

Heat ghee in a wok before adding mustard seeds.  Once they start spluttering, add the urad and channa dahl and fry till they start turning golden brown.   Add the ginger, green chillies, curry leaves and asafoetida – stir for 30 seconds before adding the onions.   Cook on medium heat till the onions begin to change colour.   Add the vegetables, preserved lemon, chopped herbs and season to taste.   Pour in 2 cups of hot water from the kettle and bring to a boil.    Then add the samo semolina and keep stirring to ensure it doesn’t stick to the sides.   Continue cooking for 10 minutes or till all the water is absorbed.   Serve hot.

Indo-Chinese vegetable hot and sour soup

For all lovers of Indo-Chinese cooking an all time favourite has to be a vegetable hot and sour soup served with sliced green chilli in vinegar.   This is our version of a classic.

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What do I need to make it?

  • 1 small carrot finely chopped
  • 5 baby corns sliced thinly
  • Handful of mangetout thinly sliced
  • Handful of shredded cabbage
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • Half a green pepper finely chopped
  • 2 green chillies finely chopped
  • 1 inch piece of ginger minced
  • 4 cloves of garlic minced
  • 2 mushroom or vegetable stock cubes
  • 50 gms of silken tofu chopped into small cubes
  • 2 teaspoon corn flour
  • Handful of fresh coriander chopped for garnish
  • 1/2 tsp white pepper
  • 2 tsp Tamari soya sauce (gluten free)
  • 2 tsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp spiced black rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil

How much will I make?

2 large hearty bowls

How do I make it?

Heat a pan with the oil in it.   Saute the minced garlic and ginger for thirty seconds before adding the chopped onions, green peppers and green chillies.   Cook on medium heat for 5 minutes (do not brown) and then add the remaining vegetables keeping the tofu aside.   Sprinkle the white pepper powder and add the stock cubes with a litre of water.   Bring to a boil and simmer over low heat for 10 minutes.   Add the soya sauce and vinegar and adjust the seasoning if necessary.   Dissolve the corn flour in a little bit of water and add to the soup.   Allow the soup to thicken a bit before switching off the heat.   To serve, place some of the tofu in a bowl – pour the hot soup over it and garnish with fresh chopped coriander.

 

Stuffed portabello mushrooms

We normally cook portabello mushrooms on the barbecue in the summer as a vegetarian alternative.   We love mushrooms and could not pass up the offer on some large portabello mushrooms on a recent shopping trip.   We also had some gluten free bread in the fridge and used the crusty end pieces to make a tasty bread crumb stuffing.   We can’t wait for the summer to try this dish on the barbecue.

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What do I need to make it?

 

  • 3 large portabello mushrooms (skin peeled)
  • 2 slices of bread
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 small onion
  • Handful of fresh parsley
  • Salt and pepper to taste

 

How much will I make?

3 mushrooms

How do I make it?

Roughly chop the garlic, onion and parsley and place in a mixer with the crusty bread slices.    Blend to a coarse mixture and season with salt and pepper.   Place a couple of heaped tablespoons of the stuffing on top of the mushrooms, drizzle a little olive oil and bake in a pre-heated oven at 180 degrees for 20 minutes or till done.  Enjoy hot.

Moroccan flavoured corn cous cous upma

With the kids on half term break a couple of weeks back we have not managed to post any recipes.   The weather also appears to have turned for the better after a couple of months of incessant rain – thus allowing us to begin cleaning our backyard and prepare it for some vegetables and herbs.   We posted a recipe for a gluten free alternative to semolina upma using corn cous cous – we made it again and this time decided to add a teaspoon of Ras al-Hanout powder, a teaspoon of harissa paste and a preserved lemon which was coarsely chopped (added after the onions were sauteed and cooked for a couple of minutes to ensure the raw smell of the spice mix disappears).   The flavours worked beautifully and the addition of the preserved lemons added a new dimension to the upma.   We are now inspired to experiment with other ethnic flavours to make our upma more interesting.

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Related links:

Corn cous cous upma

Potato, cauliflower and peas subji

Potatoes work really well with aubergines and they are an equal delight with cauliflower and peas.   This is a fairly simple recipe which we pulled together and experimented a bit with a dry Gujurati dahl masala powder to season the dish.   If the powder is not readily available then substitute with 1 tsp coriander power, 1/2 tsp cumin powder, 1/2 tsp red chili powder and 1/4 tsp turmeric powder.

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What do I need to make it?

  • 6 medium potatoes – peeled and quartered
  • Half a head of a small cauliflower – cut into florets
  • 1 cup of fresh peas
  • 1 tsp pan puran (Bengali mix of mustard, cumin, nigella, fenugreek and fennel seeds).  This should be available in most Asian grocery stores – we have also seen it in the Waitrose spice section)
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1 inch piece of ginger minced
  • 2 tsp Gujurati dahl masala powder (bought from an Asian grocer)
  • 3 tbsp ghee
  • Salt to taste

How much will I make?

Serves 4

How do I make it?

Par boil the vegetables and keep aside.   Heat a large pan with ghee and once hot add the pan puran.    Saute for 30 seconds before adding the ginger and garlic.   Continue sauteing over a medium heat till the ginger and garlic start to brown before adding the chopped onions.  Cook for 5-8 minutes and once onions start to turn colour, sprinkle the dahl masala, stir and add the par boiled vegetables.   Adjust the seasoning and cook for another 10 minutes till done.   Serve with Indian bread of choice or rice pilau.

Mushroom pasta

If you love mushrooms and pasta this recipe is for you.   We picked up some large closed cup mushrooms last week and decided to make a dry warm pasta dish for dinner a couple of nights back.   The dish is incredibly quick to prepare and tastes great.

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What do I need to make it?

  • Pasta of choice for 2 persons
  • 10-12 large closed cup mushrooms quartered
  • 4 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1 small shallot chopped
  • `1 Thai red chilli finely chopped
  • 1 tsp dry oregano
  • Large knob of butter
  • Handful of fresh parsley to garnish
  • Salt and pepper to taste

How much will I make?

Serves 2

How do I make it?

Cook the pasta with some salt and olive oil and keep aside (save some of the cooking liquor for later).   Heat a large pan with butter – saute the garlic and red chilli for a minute before adding in the shallots.   Cook over medium heat till the shallots turn translucent.   Sprinkle a teaspoon of the oregano, give it a good mix and then add the mushrooms.  Cook for ten minutes or till mushrooms begin to take on a bit of colour.  Adjust the seasoning and garnish with fresh chopped parsley.    Add the boiled pasta to the dish – if it sticks to the pan use some of the cooking liquor to loosen up the dish.   Serve with a sprinkling of grated Parmesan cheese.

Corn cous cous upma

On one of our past trips to ASDA we came across some cous cous made from maize semolina which we have been meaning to experiment with.  Tonight we made an upma (generally made with wheat semolina) with it which tasted remarkably like normal upma but without any of the gluten.   It is safe to say based on tonight’s experiment that this ingredient is definitely going to be a part of our cupboard essentials for quick meals in the future.

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What do I need to make it?

  • 1 cup corn cous cous – roast over medium heat for 5 minutes
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 4 green chillies slit
  • 1 inch piece of ginger finely chopped
  • Handful fresh curry leaves
  • 1 cup of frozen corn and peas microwaved for 3 minutes
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp split urad dahl
  • 1 tsp channa dahl
  • 3 tbsp ghee or oil
  • Salt to taste

How much will I make?

Serves 2

How do I make it?

Heat a wok on medium heat with some ghee in it and saute the mustard seeds, urad and channa dahl till the mustard seeds start to splutter.   Then add the ginger, curry leaves and green chillies.   Saute for 30 seconds before adding the chopped onions.    Sprinkle a bit of salt to taste and cook the onions till they go translucent.    Add the microwaved corn and peas to the wok with 300 ml of boiling water.   Allow the dish to come to a boil before pouring in the cous cous.    Give the dish a good mixe,  place a lid over the wok and switch off the heat.  Wait for 5 minutes for the cous cous to absorb the water.    Once done fork through the dish to fluff up the cous cous and enjoy hot.