Peas and corn rice pilau

Yesterday we strayed from our standard jeera pilau recipe and made it with a few twists.   We took a gamble and served it to the kids  for their supper last night and surprisingly it was well received (surprising as they are fussy eaters – fingers crossed this in not a one off).  Although we had the rice with a vegetable curry we think it can work on its own with a simple raita as an accompaniment

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What do I need to make it?

  • 2 cups of basmati rice washed and drained (we used a Tilda extra long grain variety that resembles basmati when cooked)
  • Whole garam masala (stick of cinnamon, 5 cloves, 5 cardamom pods, 1 black cardamom, 2 bays leave, pinch of mace)
  • 1 medium onion sliced
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp Bahraini spice mix (a blend of coriander, turmeric, red pepper, cardamom, cloves, ginger, black pepper, garlic, anise and sesame)
  • Pinch of saffron
  • Handful fresh coriander and mint leaves chopped
  • 3-4 tbsp ghee
  • Salt to taste

How much will I make?

Serves 4

How do I make it?

Heat a pan with the ghee.  Add the whole garam masala ingredients with the cumin seeds and saute for a minute.  Add the sliced onions and saute over medium heat for five minutes.   Sprinkle the Bahraini spice mix (you could probably find something similar in your local Middle Eastern grocer) and add the peas and corn.   Stir for a minute and add the washed rice and saffron – continue stirring for another couple of minutes before switching off the heat.   Add the chopped coriander and mint, adjust the seasoning and transfer into electric rice cooker.   Add 4 cups of water and set to cook.   Once cooked stir the rice and serve hot.

 

Gluten free rotis with dudhi subji

Having searched the web for alternatives to wheat rotis we stumbled upon a recipe for gluten free rotis made from sorghum (jowar) flour and amaranth (rajgaro/rajgira) flour.   We were both surprised with the pleasant outcome and questioned why we hadn’t done this before.  We have also included a recipe for a dudhi (calabash or bottle gourd) subji  to go with the rotis.  We are excited with this discovery as we can include it in future dinner parties and not rely on rice only.

Bottle-Gourd-Doodhi-

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Gluten free rotis

What do I need to make it?

  • 1/2 cup sorghum flour
  • 1/2 cup amaranth flour
  • 1/2 tsp Xanthum gum
  • Salt to taste

How much will I make?

6 rotis – depending on size

How do I make it?

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl with some cold water to form a dough.   Roll out into discs and cook on skillet.   Add a bit of ghee to both sides to ensure a softer roti.

 

Dudhi subji

What do I need to make it?

  • 1 long dudhi peeled and cubed
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 1 medium onion
  • 4-5 cloves of garlic
  • 1 inch piece of ginger
  • 4 small tomatoes (pureed)
  • 2 tbsp yoghurt
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 3/4 tsp red chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • Whole garam masala (5 cloves, 5 green cardamoms, 1″ piece of cinnamon stick, 2 bay leaves)
  • 3-4 tbsp ghee
  • Handful fresh coriander chopped
  • Salt to taste

How much will I make?

Serves 4

How do I make it?

Par boil the dudhi and keep aside.   Grind the onion, garlic and ginger into a paste.  Heat ghee in a pan and add whole garam masala and saute for a few minutes before adding the ground paste.   Cook on medium heat for 10 minutes till the paste is cooked through and begins to brown.   Dissolve the coriander, chilli, cumin and turmeric in 60 ml of water and add to the pan.   Stir the paste for another couple of minutes before adding the pureed tomatoes.   Continue to cook for 10 minutes till the fat leaves the masala.   Add the yoghurt and stir in the par boiled dudhi and peas and simmer for 15 minutes.   Sprinkle the garam masala powder, adjust the seasoning and garnish with fresh coriander.

Garden fresh – cauliflower soup

Our garden patch of cauliflowers was under attack from worms and caterpillars so we decided to salvage the edible ones to make a hot batch of cauliflower soup tonight.

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What do I need to make it?

  • 1 large cauliflower
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 1 carrot chopped
  • 2 celery sticks chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic minced
  • 2 sprigs of spring onion (optional)
  • 2 green chillies finely chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 vegetable stock cubes
  • 50 ml almond milk
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 3 tbsp yogurt
  • 50 gms butter
  • 2 tbsp oilve oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

How much will I make?

Serves 4

How do I make it?

Heat a pan, add butter and olive oil.  Saute the garlic and bay leaves first for a minute before adding the chopped onion, celery and carrot.  Stir for a couple of minute before adding a bit of salt, pepper and garam masala.  Stir for 30 seconds and then add cauliflower florets, stock cubes and about 3 cups of water.   Bring to boil and simmer till the vegetables are cooked.  Remove the bay leaves before putting blending the soup in a liquidizer to a fine puree.  Return to heat and add the almond milk and yogurt – adjust the seasoning and turn off the heat.  Enjoy.

 

Methi and spinach chicken

One of my favourite recipes from my food bible (Prashad by Inderjit Singh Kalra) is methi (fenugreek) chicken.  I made some a few days ago and added spinach to the recipe which works a treat.  As with every recipe in this book the outcome never seems to fail and the final product is worthy of any top class restaurant.  We had the chicken with brown rice string hoppers but it is a great dish to serve with your favourite Indian bread or rice pilau.

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What do I need to make it?

  • 1 kg chicken – we used skinless, boneless thighs
  • 1 cup yogurt
  • 300 gm chopped onions
  • 3 tbsp chopped garlic
  • 5 tbsp ginger (3 tbsp chopped and 2 tbsp julienned)
  • 6 green chillies chopped (de-seed if you want to reduce spiciness)
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • 250 gm chopped tomatoes
  • 150 gm baby spinach
  • 150 gm fresh fenugreek (if using dried fenugreek leaves – sprinkle 2 tbsp towards end of cooking process)
  • 1/4 cup fresh coriander chopped
  • Whole garam masala
    • 5 green cardamom
    • 1 black cardamom
    • 5 cloves
    • 1 stick of cinnamon
    • 1 bay leaf
    • A pinch of mace
  • 1/2 cup of ghee (clarified butter)
  • Salt to taste

How much will I make?

Serves 4

How do I make it?

Whisk yogurt in a bowl and add chicken, salt, chopped spinach and fenugreek leaves.  Leave this marinade aside for 30 minutes.  Heat ghee in a oven proof pan, add whole garam masala and saute over medium heat until it begins to crackle.  Add onions and saute until golden brown.  Then add chopped garlic, ginger and green chillies, stir for 2 minutes.   Dissolve the turmeric, chilli and coriander powder in 60 ml of water and add to the pan – stir for 30 seconds.   Add the tomatoes and cook(stir often)  till fat leaves the masala, add the marinated chicken along with marinade and about 1 cup of water.   Bring to a boil, cover and simmer until chicken is almost cooked and the fat leaves the masala once again.  Adjust the seasoning.  Sprinkle the ginger and coriander (and dried fenugreek leaves, ‘kasoori methi’ at this point if not using fresh leaves).  Cover with lid.   Mix some wheat flour and water to make a dough and seal the lid with the dough before placing in a 200 degree pre heated oven for 15 minutes.   Remove the seal, stir and serve hot with your favourite Indian bread or rice.

Gluten free upma

Upma is a simple traditional South Indian breakfast and tiffin dish which is normally made of coarse or fine semolina.  Since getting on the Paleo journey Anna and I have abstained from eating upma as its made from a  wheat derivative.   On one of our recent shopping trips to an Asian grocery store Anna spotted some cassava powder (gari) which resembled broken wheat in texture and picked it up.  Last night was a voyage of discovery and we think we have found a suitable alternative to semolina and cannot wait to make some of our traditional breakfast fare and sweet dishes that we have avoided off late.

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What do I need to make it?

  • 1 1/2 cups of cassava powder – dry roasted in a pan till light brown
  • 2 mushrooms finely chopped
  • 1 small carrot finely chopped
  • 1 celery stick finely chopped
  • 8 Indian button onions sliced
  • 2 sprigs of spring onion chopped
  • 3 green chillies finely chopped (de-seed if you want to make it less spicy)
  • 1 small yellow courgette finely chopped
  • Handful of fresh coriander finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • 1″ piece of ginger minced
  • 1 medium tomato chopped
  • Few curry leaves
  • Pinch of asaefotida
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp split urad dahl
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • Few curry leaves
  • 3 tbsp ghee (clarified butter)
  • Salt to taste

How much will I make?

Serves 2

How do I make it?

Heat pan and add 2 tbsp of ghee before adding the mustard seeds.  Once the seeds start crackling add the urad dahl and stir till they turn golden brown.  Add the curry leaves, ginger and garlic and cook for a couple of minutes.  Then add each of the vegetables in sequence giving each a couple of minutes to cook before adding the next (first the onions and celery, then the carrot and courgette followed by the mushrooms and finished off with the spring onions and chopped coriander.  Next add the turmeric powder, garam masala and salt and mix for a couple of minutes.   Add 250 ml of water and bring to a boil and cook on medium heat for 5 minutes.   Finally add the roasted cassava powder to the pan while mixing it vigorously to avoid clumps forming.  Cook for 5 minutes while constantly stirring and then remove off heat.  Serve hot with a fresh coconut chutney.