Categories
Recipes

Amaranth Upma

Amaranth is a grain I suggest quite frequently in the meal plans for my CW90 wellness program. More frequent is inclusion of spinach and then there’s paneer every once in a while. Here’s a quick recipe for upma, that uses all three – amaranth grain, spinach and paneer.

Ingredients:

  • Amaranth grain, 250 gm, soaked 15 minutes, boiled until tender
  • Spinach, 250gm, washed, blanched and chopped
  • Paneer, 200 gm diced
  • Onions, 3 medium, chopped
  • Ginger, 1 inch, finely chopped or grated
  • Green and red chili, 1, finely chopped (or more)
  • Mustard seeds, 1 tsp
  • Arhar dal, 2 tbsp
  • Kadi patta, a whole sprig
  • Hing powder, 1/2 tsp
  • Oil/ghee, 3 tbsp
  • Coriander leaves, handful, chopped

Method:

  1. Heat oil, splutter mustard seeds, saute dal till light brown, add ginger, onions, chilies and hing. Saute some more until the onions are transparent/pinkish.
  2. Add paneer. Saute a little more.
  3. Add boiled amaranth grain. Mix well.
  4. Add spinach. Mix well.
  5. Season and serve hot, garnished with coriander leaves.

Notes:

  1. A tsp of ghee tastes good.
  2. This amount is good for a snack for three. For breakfast or a meal, double the quantities.
  3. Good substitute for wheat semolina / suji based upma.

Categories
Recipes

Salmon, Corn, Veggies

Cherie expressed a desire to eat salmon a few days ago. The challenge is usually using up all the ingredients that I’m experimenting with, leftover vegetables and putting all of them together into a single platter.

There were a couple of sad carrots in the fridge accompanied by an equally glum green bell pepper. I had made soaked and boiled a batch of chickpeas a couple of days ago and that needed to be used. There was a batch of toor dal that I had soaked for a few days to see when they would be tender enough to quickly cook in an open pan with a little water. Indu had picked up some corn on the cob, a pomegranate and some spinach a few minutes ago. Here’s what happened.

Ingredients:

  • Salmon, steaks; salted, drained and rinsed
  • Corn on the cob, boiled with a pinch of sugar
  • Carrots, sliced fine.
  • Green bell peppers, sliced fine
  • Chickpeas, boiled and drained
  • Tahini (sesame seed paste in oil)
  • Garlic, raw, a few pods; sliced
  • Toor dal; boiled and drained
  • Pomegranate seeds
  • Honey
  • Eggs, boiled
  • Spinach; blanched, drained and squeezed
  • Black peppercorns; freshly cracked
  • Olive oil
  • Sesame oil

Method:

  • Blend boiled chickpeas with a couple of pods of garlic, some tahini and some salt. That’s your hummus. Start with two pods of garlic and a tablespoon of tahini for about 150 gm of boiled chickpeas and adjust per your taste. Blend finely or coarsely; your call. Set aside.
  • Mix the boiled toor dal with pomegranate seeds, salt and a little olive oil. Set aside.
  • Toss the carrots and bell peppers in a hot pan with a little oil, and then add a bit of honey, some salt and take off the flame. Mix well. Set aside.
  • Mix the blanched spinach with sliced fresh garlic, salt and sesame oil. Set aside.
  • Slice the boiled eggs.
  • Sprinkle salmon with a little salt, fry on that side in a little oil for about 2 minutes on a medium flame. Sprinkle freshly cracked black pepper on the side facing you and then flip it over and fry for another couple of minutes or so, depending on the thickness of your steaks.
  • Plate it all. Serve.

Notes:

  • When the layers of salmon are perfectly visible and separable, it’s well cooked. When they’re fused together, it’s overcooked.
  • Use extra virgin olive oil if possible.
  • Free range eggs are good. Don’t over boil the eggs as I’ve done. Yolks ought to be a bit moist.
  • Feel free to change the dal used. Don’t nuke it though, while cooking. We don’t have to pressure cook everything to death.
  • I used wild honey.
  • If you’ve prepped beforehand, don’t pre-mix the dal and spinach mixtures. Rinse the dal, spinach and corn in in hot water to reheat them. Re-toss the carrots and pepper if you wish at the last moment. Don’t fry the salmon prior.
Categories
Recipes

Grilled Paneer with Mango

This is a tasty and fun platter that all of us enjoyed at dinner. When you’re eating it, remember to try different combinations of individual elements on the platter and I’m sure you’ll have a great time too.

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

  • Carrot, 3 medium, sliced
  • Any chili powder/paste of your choice. I used a Tibetan version.
  • Garlic, 6 cloves, sliced
  • Paneer, 600gm, sliced x4
  • Cucumber, 2 med, sliced thick
  • Mango, sweet, 1 large, 3 slices without skin
  • Coriander, handful, finely chopped
  • Spinach, 100gm, blanched, squeezed, divided x3 portions
  • Lemon, halves x 3
  • Peanuts, roasted, 6 tbsp
  • Yogurt, whipped, 3 tbsp
  • Any chili sauce, 1 tbsp. I used Huy Fong Sriracha sauce.
  • Orange juice, 1 tbsp
  • Sesame oil, 3 tbsp
  • Salt, pepper to taste
  • Oil for cooking/grilling

Method:

  1. Saute carrots, garlic, chili until cooked. Season, keep warm.
  2. Mix yogurt and chili sauce well. Reserve.
  3. Put orange juice, sesame oil, salt and pepper into a bottle. This is a version of vinaigrette. Mix well. Reserve.
  4. Grill slices of paneer until done as desired. Keep warm.
  5. Assemble. Drizzle with vinaigrette. See video for details.
Categories
Recipes

Couscous, Beans, Spinach & Eggs

After a walk in the morning, Indu and I like sitting out in the balcony, watch the sun come up, sip tea and share breakfast. Sometimes, a groggy, bleary-eyed Cherie joins us.

I’m experimenting with a rajma-galauti kebab recipe, and had a pile of boiled rajma (kidney beans) available. Starting from there, this platter came together, with spinach pancakes, some spiced up couscous and a bit of hot, green chutney to bring it all together.

The pancakes were really soft, softer than I thought they’d be. Parathas make me lethargic and I tend to avoid them as beloved as they are though a bit of carb indulgence on a weekend is nice.

Ingredients:

  • Pancakes
    • Spinach, blanched and pureed, 1 cup
    • Flour, any – besan (chickpea), whole wheat, maida, 2 tbsp
    • Eggs, beaten, 2 nos
  • Couscous
    • Couscous, cooked in salted water, 50gm
    • Onions, chopped
    • Coriander, chopped
    • Garam masala, per taste
    • Olive oil, extra virgin, per taste. Go easy.
  • Rajma, boiled
  • Olives, bottled
  • Green chutney
    • Coriander, garlic, ginger, onion, green chillies, lemon juice

Method:

  • Pancakes: Mix the lot, adjusting for consistency. Pour on to a pan, cover and let the top side steam. They’re prettier this way.
  • Couscous: Mix the lot, adjust seasoning.
  • Chutney: Blend the lot, adjusting for personal taste. We went heavy on the garlic, choosing a somewhat coarse texture.
  • Assemble and serve