Monday, November 25, 2013

Chickpeas with Swiss Chard

Swiss chard is one of my favorite greens apart from spinach. Add chard to chickpeas with a few spices and this ends up being a flavorful gravy that you can serve with rice or roti. The original recipe uses broccoli rabe. You can use any greens you like. Think outside the box and chickpeas can be switched with black eyed peas or cannelini beans. I have also used the organic green trio from Sam's club - baby swiss chard, baby kale and baby spinach. Tastes awesome. Click here for a link to the original recipe.
Boiled chickpeas - 1 cup (or use one can of chickpeas)
Swiss chard - 1 big bunch chopped (I used red swiss chard)
Onion - 1 finely chopped
Green chillies - 1 or 2 depending on taste - chop finely
Ginger garlic paste - 1/2 tsp
Crushed tomato - 1 cup (I used canned)
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Red chilli powder - to taste
Dhania jeera powder - 1-2 tsp
Salt to taste
Heavy cream - 1-2 tbsp
Oil for seasoning

1. Pour oil in a pan and add cumin seeds. Once they crackle add onions and green chillies and saute until tender.
2. Add the ginger garlic paste and stir till the raw smell is gone.
3. Next add the crushed tomato along with the turmeric powder, red chilli powder and dhania jeera powder. Saute until the oil leaves the sides of the pan.
4. Add the chopped swiss chard and chickpeas with a 1/4 cup of water.
5. Cover and cook until the swiss chard wilts down.
6. Add salt and stir.
7. Stir in the heavy cream and mix until incorporated and bring it to a boil. 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Adai with oats

I have to admit, I am not a great fan of incorporating oats in idlis, dosas and other tiffins. When I came across this recipe in the 365 days of pure vegetarian's blog I had to give it a try. I am glad I did because I just loved the way the adai turned out. This recipe is a keeper and I will surely make it more often. I made some changes to the recipe and here it is. Click here for the original recipe.

Channa dal - 1 cup
Masoor dal - 1 cup
Moong dal - 1 cup
Brown rice - 1 cup
Rolled oats - 1 cup
Ginger - a small piece chopped
Red chillies to taste
Salt to taste
Optional veggies - chopped onions, grated carrots, spinach, etc.
Oil for making adai

1. Soak the channa dal, masoor dal, moong dal and brown rice along with the red chillies for about 3 to 4 hours.
2. Soak the oats in water just 30 minutes before grinding the dals.
3. When you are ready to make the batter - add the dals, oats, soaked red chillies and ginger a little at a time to the blender and make a coarse paste. Do not add too much water while making the batter. The coarse batter improves the taste and texture of the adai.
4. Once the batter is ready add salt to taste. 
5. At this stage you can add finely chopped curry leaves, cilantro and chopped veggies.
6. To make the adai - heat the griddle and pour a ladle of the batter and spread evenly. Add 1/2 tsp of oil and cook on medium heat until browned. 
7. Flip the adai, drizzle some oil and cook until crisp.
8. Serve with chutney, pickle or idli podi.

1. There is no need to ferment the batter. You can use it immediately.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Slow cooker carrot apple soup

Apples, apples, apples everywhere. So what do you do when life throws apples at you. You share, cook and eat them. As simple as that. My refrigerator is filled with bags of apples thanks to our recent apple picking trip. Here is a recipe for a hearty and simple apple carrot soup. The best part of this recipe is that you put everything in a slow cooker and in the next few hours have a warm and delicious soup on your table.

Apples - 6 to 8 (refrain from using the likes of Granny Smith)
Carrots - 3 or 4 medium sized
Onion - 1 chopped
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Vegetable stock/water - 4 to 5 cups
A few cloves of garlic as per taste
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Sauté the onions, garlic and cumin seeds for 1-2 minutes in about a tbsp of olive oil.(See notes).
2. Peel the apples and cube them. Alternatively, you can leave the skin on and use an apple slicer to cut the apples (get rid of the core).
3. Similarly peel and chop the carrots.
4. Add the chopped apples and carrots to the pan with the onions and sauté for another 1 or 2 minutes. You do not have to cook the apples and carrots as the slow cooker will do the work for you.
4. Transfer everything to the slow cooker.
5. Add the vegetable broth, salt and pepper and give it a quick stir.
6. Set your slow cooker on low and cook for 3 hours. (See notes)
7. Give the mix a stir after 3 hours and cook for another 1 hour on high or until the carrot and apples are soft.
8. Blend the soup with a hand blender to a smooth consistency. If you prefer the soup to be chunky then don't blend it all the way.
9. Adjust the salt and pepper and garnish with a dash of heavy cream before serving.
10. I added a few home made croutons to the soup and it tasted delicious.

1. You can omit this step of sautéing the onions, carrots and apples and instead add them directly into the slow cooker. I did not want the raw taste of onions in my soup so ended up sautéing them. Once again you do not want to cook anything at this stage. Just want the veggies and apples to hit the heat.
2. Adjust cooking times depending on the size of your slow cooker. I used a 3 1/2 quart slow cooker for the soup.