Posts Tagged ‘Onion’

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There are times when days feel long, tiring, or hectic and you really do not want feel like doing anything. You would expect someone to make a good meal for you or at least you want to cook something very quick. Luckily for those long days, Shakshuka comes to the rescue. You may or may not have heard this name before. I have eaten this dish (with different variation) few times in Pune (India). In short, this dish is a variation of an Indian egg curry without boiling eggs. Eggs are poached in flavorful juices of tomato and spices. Shakshuka is believed to be of Jewish, Tunisian or Middle Eastern origin. I have tried three versions of this dish – with feta cheese, with coconut milk and a combination of both. This is best enjoyed with bread but you can have anything like rice, roti, naan, pita bread along with it. The variation I made from the original dish is to cook eggs for a long time as I don’t like runny eggs but the original dish requires the egg to be runny and less cooked.

Ingredients :-

Eggs, large 6
Onion, large finely chopped
Red bell pepper,finely chopped
Garlic cloves, thinly sliced 3
Fresh Ginger, grated 1 tablespoon
Black Pepper 1/4 teaspoon
Green Chilies, Chopped 2
Tomatoes, finely chopped 4-5
Garam Masala 1/2 teaspoon
Coconut Milk 1/2 cup
Cilantro, Finely chopped 2 tablespoons
Turmeric powder 1/2 teaspoon
Paprika 1/2 teaspoon
Olive Oil 2 tablespoon
Salt  to taste
Parsley leaves, dried or fresh 1 tablespoon

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Method :-

  • Heat oil in a pan over medium heat. Add onion and bell pepper and saute it until soft.
  • Add ginger, garlic and green chilies and saute for 2 more minutes.
  • Add turmeric, black pepper, paprika and garam masala and cook it for 1 minute.
  • Add tomatoes and keep sauteing until the tomatoes get fully cooked.
  • Add coconut milk and stir it gently. Let it simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Add salt according to your taste and give it a quick stir.
  • Make well for each egg and crack the egg one by one directly into the simmering sauce. Lower the heat to medium low, cover the pan and cook the eggs until they have a faint layer of white over the yolks. I cooked it for more five minutes until the eggs are fully set. 
  • Garnish it with cilantro and dried parsley leaves over the top and enjoy it warm with any kind of bread or rice you want.

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Notes:-

  • You can even bake this dish once you put egg in it. For that preheat the oven to 375 degree Fahrenheit and use a oven proof skillet to cook the dish. Cook it for about 10 minutes.
  • You can add any type of cheese on top of it but feta cheese goes best with this dish.
  • Spiciness of the dish can be modified according to taste. I like to have this dish with some sprinkled red chilies on it.

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Burger! It’s mostly termed as a junk and unhealthy food but it can be as healthy as any food depending on the condiments and ingredients you pick and choose. A homemade burger, or for that matter any dish, can be tailor-made depending on individual choices. Like for example if you want to skip mayonnaise you can add homemade guacamole (instead of store bought since I like it fresh) which is not only healthy and natural but delicious too. I have attempted to make the burger as healthy and yummy as possible that you will probably not miss the burger from your favorite joint. Am I exaggerating? Nope, cause it tastes damn delicious and is full of healthy & nutritious ingredients which will make you forget all the guilt you have of burger. It’s free of trans fat, chemical & preservatives which you get in frozen burger patties. Here I have not used any cheese or mayonnaise, but of course if you are making this for kid you can’t omit cheese as its good for them. The key ingredient of this dish is soy granules which is made from soy beans and is protein rich. The Soy beans assist in controlling blood sugar and cholesterol levels. Besides the popular Tofu (Bean Curd), Soybeans are consumed in direct and indirect way in Indian and Asian cuisine. In most Indian grocery stores in the USA, you will be able to find Soy sauce, Soy nuggets, Soy granules, etc. So what are you waiting for. Do try this and let me know how you find it.

Ingredients :-

Soy granules 1 cup
Burger buns 4
Oil 4 teaspoons
Salt to taste
Onion 3 medium
Green Chilies, Chopped 2
Tomato Ketchup 6 tablespoons
Mustard Paste 2 tablespoons
Cilantro, finely chopped 2 tablespoons
Potatoes, Boiled and grated 2 medium
Fresh whole wheat bread crumbs 1/2 cup
Red Chili Powder 1 teaspoon
Tomatoes, Sliced 2 medium

Method :-

  • Roast the Soy granules for 4-5 minutes on medium heat until lightly roasted. Allow it to cool.
  • Soak the granules in sufficient water for 10 minutes. Squeeze the water out and put it in a bowl. Keep it aside.
  • Chop one onion and cut other two into roundels.
  • Heat two teaspoon of oil in a pan. Add chopped onion and green chilies and saute.
  • Add soy granules, two tablespoons of tomato ketchup, one tablespoon of mustard paste, salt, chopped cilantro and continue sauteing till dry.
  • Remove from heat and transfer into a bowl. Keep aside to cool it slightly. Add boiled and grated potatoes, bread crumbs and mix properly. Divide the mixture into four equal proportions.
  • Take one portion of the mixture and shape it into patties. Roll it into some more breadcrumbs and keep aside. Similarly make rest of 3 patties.
  • Heat little oil on a griddle pan. Place the patties on the pan and cook it both sides until golden brown.
  • Separate onion roundels into rings. Heat two teaspoons of oil in a pan and saute the rings until golden brown. Drain and set aside.
  • Cut the burger buns. Heat a tawa/griddle and roast the burger buns. Apply the remaining tomato ketchup to the burger bases, place some tomatoes roundel, caramelized onion rings over it and then place the patties over it.
  • I didn’t have lettuce so I sauteed some broccoli florets with garlic in one teaspoon of olive oil and placed it in top of patties. These broccoli are also side dish for burgers.
  • Similarly prepare rest of the buns. Apply mustard paste to the top half of the burger bun and place over it.
  • Secure with a toothpick and serve hot.

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Notes :-

  • Amount of chilies depend on your taste so you can increase or decrease accordingly.
  • Here I have used sauteed broccoli as side but if you want to go traditional but healthy way you can make baked potato wedges.
  • To make the burger even more healthier you can use one parboiled grated carrot to the mixture. 

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South Indian food like Idli, Dosa, Uttapam are amongst my favorite breakfast items as they are nutritious, low in calories and filling. I remember, as a child, these dishes in our home were treated as delicacies. Even when we use to go out for dinner (rarely) my 1st choice would be sada (plain) dosa (savory crepes). I am certainly in love with this cuisine for its health benefits (one year to ninety years old can have it as its easy on digestion) and delightful taste. Idlis are soft, savory cakes which you can enjoy with sambhar (Spiced lentil veggie soup) and any type of chutney. Normally idlis are made from a fermented batter of rice and skinless split black gram (dhuli urad dal) which requires at least 2 days of preparation. Specifically, Rava idli is very easy, quick and handy to make as you can find most of the ingredients easily in your pantry. It is made of semolina (cream of wheat/Rava/Sooji) and acts as a savior when you don’t have any regular idli batter in hand. So lets start with the recipe.


Ingredients :-

Semolina/Rava
2 cups
Sour Curd
1/2 cup
Coconut Oil/any other
3 tablespoons
Fresh Coconut, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons
Urad Dal (Split skinless black gram)
1 teaspoon
Chana Dal (Split Bengal Gram)
1 teaspoon
Broken Cashews
1 1/2 teaspoon
Mustard Seeds
1 teaspoon
Green chillies, seeded and chopped
3-4
Curry Leaves
4-5
Ginger, finely chopped 1 inch piece
Salt
To taste
Fruit Salt (Eno) 1 tablespoon
Water
1 Cup

Method :-

  • Dry roast the semolina/rava in a heated pan.
  • Combine the semolina, curd, water, 2 tbsp of oil and salt together in a bowl. Whisk it continuously so that there is no lump. Keep aside for 30 minutes.
  • Heat the remaining 1 tbsp of oil in a small pan for seasoning. Add the urad dal, chana dal  and cashews. Fry it till they turn brown in color. Add mustard seeds.
  • When the seeds crackle, add the coconut, green chillies and curry leaves and saute for a few seconds.
  • Pour this  seasoning over the semolina batter and mix well.
  • Add the fruit salt and sprinkle a little water over it. When the bubbles form, mix it gently.
  • Pour spoonfuls of the batter into greased idli moulds (don’t let the batter fill till the brim) and steam on medium flame for 8 to 10 minutes. Check by inserting tooth pick in center of idli. If it comes out clean then its cooked.
  • Serve hot with any chutney of your choice. Below I have mentioned one of the chutney which goes well with this dish.

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For Onion Tomato Chutney

Ingredients :-

Onion (Preferably red onion), chopped
1 cup
Tomato, chopped
3/4 cup
Red chillies
3-4
Ginger, chopped
2 teaspoons
Oil
2 teaspoons
Salt
to taste
Curry Leaves
5-6
Mustard Seeds
1 teaspoon
Urad Dal (Split skinless black gram)
1 teaspoon
Chana Dal (Split Bengal Gram)
1 teaspoon

Method :-

  • Heat 1 tsp of oil in a pan. Add half of the curry leaves and  red chillies followed by the onions.
  • Add some salt and fry till they become translucent.
  • Add the chopped ginger followed by the tomatoes.
  • Fry till they become soft and remove from the heat.
  • Let it cool and grind it to a fine paste.
  • Heat other teaspoon of oil in a pan.
  • Add rest of the curry leaves and red chillies and saute it till fragrant.
  • Add urad dal and chana dal and let it brown.
  • Add mustard seeds and let it splutter. Switch off the heat.
  • Add the tempering/seasoning to the chutney and serve with idlis.

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Notes :-

  • If you don’t have eno use 1/4 – 1/2 tsp of baking soda. In this case, the batter needs to be fermented for minimum of 25-30 minutes to raise.
  • I always prefer using eno compare to soda since it soothes the stomach. It is available in any Asian/Indian store.
  • Curd should be sour enough to make good tasty idli otherwise it tastes bland.
  • You can add grated carrot, peas or chopped cilantro/coriander to add more flavor.
  • To get Idli with cashew visible on top first place one roasted cashew in each moulds and pour batter on top.
  • Consistency of batter and adding eno plays a major role in soft and fluffy idli.
  • You can drizzle some drop of ghee (clarified butter) on idlis while serving.
  • Idli moulds can be found in any indian store.