Hara gobi masala (dry green cauliflower subji)

Cauliflower is one of our favourite vegetables and it cooks fairly quickly.   The following started off as an experiment and we are quite happy with the outcome so we thought we would share it with you.

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What do I need to make  it?

  • 1 medium cauliflower broken down into florets
  • 1 medium onion sliced
  • 1 tsp panch phoran
  • Pinch of asaefoetida
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • Paste ingredients
    • 3 cloves of garlic
    • 3 green chillies
    • 1″ piece of ginger peeled
    • Handful of fresh mint and coriander leaves
  • Powder ingredients
    • 1 tbsp coriander seeds
    • 1 tsp cumin seeds
    • 1 tsp black pepper corns
  • 3 tbsp ghee
  • Salt to taste

How much will I make?

Serves 4

How do I make it?

Use a pestle and mortar to grind the powder ingredients to semi fine consistency and keep aside.   Next use the pestle and mortar to grind the paste ingredients to a coarse paste.   Heat ghee in a pan and add the panch phoran and asaefoetida – stir for a couple of minutes and then add sliced onions.   Continue stirring on medium heat till onions turn golden brown – add the paste and continue cooking on medium heat for five minutes.   Add the spice and turmeric powder to the mixture, stir for a minute before adding the cauliflower florets.   Sprinkle a 1/4 cup of water, cover and cook on a low heat till the cauliflower is done.   Serve as a sided dish with Indian bread of choice.

Warm butter bean salad

We normally make our bean salads using tinned beans but have now taken a conscious decision to us dried beans moving forward.  Although they are more time consuming to prepare we feel happy knowing what we are cooking and think  it is probably a healthier option.

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What do I need to make it?

 

  • 1 cup dried butter beans soaked overnight and pressure cooked
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 1 big green chilli sliced
  • 1 plum tomato de-seeded and chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic minced
  • Handful fresh parsley chopped
  • 1 tsp sumac
  • Knob of butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • Salt and pepper to taste

 

How much will I make?

3-4 side portions

How do I make it?

Pressure cook the butter beans and drain any remaining liquid.   Heat a saucepan with butter and olive oil.   Saute the garlic over medium heat for a minute before adding the onions and green chilli.   Continue cooking over medium heat till the onions are translucent – add the cooked butter beans, sprinkle the sumac and salt and pepper and switch of the heat.   Dress with lemon juice – add chopped tomatoes and fresh parsley and give it a good mix.   Serve warm or at room temperature.

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.

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.

Curry leaf kuzhambu

This recipe is dedicated to all our fellow South Indians who have had a pepper or curry leaf kuzhambu in the past and had not tried making it possibly thinking it was quite challenging.   On the contrary this has to be one of the simplest dishes to pull together and one that keeps for quite a few days in the fridge.   For our non South Indian friends – kuzhambu is a variation of sambar without the addition of boiled tuar dahl.

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What do I need to make it?

  • Whole garlic bulb peeled
  • Small ball of tamarind – soaked in warm water

To be ground into a powder

  • 1 tsp tuar dahl
  • 1 tsp channa dahl
  • 2 tsp pepper corns
  • 3/4 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 dried whole red chillies
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 cup of curry leaves
  • 3 tbsp sesame oil (not toasted variety
  • Salt to taste

How much will I make?

Approximately 250 -300 ml

How do I make it?

Roast all the powder ingredients with a tablespoon of sesame oil – once roasted, grind to a fine powder.   Heat a pan with the remaining sesame oil and saute the garlic pods and powder for a couple of minutes before pouring in the tamarind water (without the pulp).  Add another cup of water, sprinkle salt and leave to simmer over a low heat.   The dish should thicken to the consistency of treacle – add a little extra water if it is too thick.   Once done serve with boiled rice.   The kuzhambu tastes even better as the days go by.

PS To make a melagu/pepper kuzhambu increase the quantity of coriander seeds to 2 tsp and reduce curry leaves to 1 strip.

Spiced roasted tomato soup

Last night we made a fiery roasted tomatoes and coriander soup which despite being spicy was quite difficult to stop eating.  Guess it is true what they say about the addictive nature of chillies.   We will probably tone down the chillies next time around but the rest of the ingredients work well together to produce a delicious soup.

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What do I need to make it?

  • 8 medium tomatoes
  • 1 head of garlic
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 small green pepper
  • 2-3 red chilli peppers
  • 1 vegetable stock cube
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 cup creme fraiche
  • 1 tsp roasted cumin seeds
  • 1 small handful of fresh coriander chopped
  • 50 gms butter
  • Salt to taste

How much will I make?

2 large portions or 4 smaller servings

How do I make it?

Drizzle a little olive oil over the tomatoes, garlic, chillies, onion and green pepper and roast in a 180 degree pre-heated oven for 45 minutes to an hour till the vegetables begin to char a bit.  Squeeze the garlic out of the skin and blend to a paste with roasted chillies, onion and green pepper.  Remove the skin from the tomatoes and blend to a puree.   Heat butter in a large pot and add the paste – stir over medium heat for 5 minutes before adding the chopped coriander.   Stir for a minute and then add the pureed tomatoes and sugar.  Add the stock cube and 1 cup of water and bring to a boil over a medium heat.   Adjust the seasoning before finishing off the soup with some roasted cumin seeds and creme fraiche.

Mediterranean chicken for kids

Here’s a quick recipe for some mini chicken fillets marinaded with Mediterranean flavours which so far has gone down well with our two fussy eaters.   We marinade enough to prepare over a few days by either pan frying it or baking it in the oven and serve it on its own with fries or as a filler for a wrap.   Our son loved the marinade to the point he actually enjoyed eating it on its own (we though it was amusing).  We’ve also found that by involving the kids in the preparation of a meal they seem more likely to enjoy it when it’s cooked.

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What do I need to make it?

  • 500 gm mini chicken fillets
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • 1 small onion finely chopped
  • Handful fresh parsley chopped
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp sumac
  • 3-4 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

How much will I make?

Normally 12-14 fillets depending on size

How do I make it?

Place the minced garlic and chopped onion in a mixing bowl.  Add the Italian seasoning, sumac, salt and pepper and give it a good mix.  Pour in the olive oil and lemon juice, mix and finally add the chopped parsley.   Place the chicken fillets in the marinade and refrigerate for an hour or more.   Heat a non stick pan and cook the fillets on both sides till they are done.   We make the same marinade for ourselves but add a teaspoon of crushed red chillies for a spice hit.   Hope your little ones enjoy it as much as ours do.