Archive for essentials

Recipe: Chana Dahl

Posted in Dahl, Pickles, Recipes, The Pantry, Vegetarian with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 7, 2012 by ninasnosh

I blogged the kids version of this dish the other day so thought I should update the grown-ups recipe.  I love having this dish with masala omelette, and it also goes well with any of the vegetarian dishes I have blogged. This lentil has a wonderful nutty and sweet flavour. It’s also a good dish for you to serve up some lemon pickles as an accompaniment.

Ingredients

Enough for 2 people served with another dish (and enough for leftovers)

For the vagar:

  • 2 tbsp of oil
  • 1/2 tsp of mustard seeds
  • 1/4 tsp hing

The rest:

  • 1 1/2 cups of Chana Dahl /split peas
  • 1 onion finely sliced
  • 1 fresh tomato chopped up
  • 1 1/2 tsp fresh masala
  • 2 heaped tsp of ground coriander and cumin
  • 1/4 tsp of turmeric
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Hot boiled water – about 4 cups

Method

  1. Soak the lentils in water if you have time beforehand
  2. Heat the oil in a large saucepan add the mustard seeds when hot, cover with a lid and remove from the heat
  3. Once the seeds have popped add the hing
  4. Return the pan back to a low heat and add the onions and tomato
  5. Gently cook for about 5 minutes – stirring a couple of time
  6. Now add all the spices and mix through
  7. Rinse the lentils and add to the saucepan – stir everything together
  8. Now pour in enough water so the level is about 2cm over the lentils
  9. Allow the dhal to cook over a low-med heat – for about 20 to 25 minutes
  10. The water will slowly come absorbed
  11. Check the dahl for flavour and add more water if they are not cook and all the water has been absorbed

Serve with indian bread and another delicious Indian dish.

chana dahl

 

onion and tomato

 

 

all ingredients

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Recipe: Spinach

Posted in Lunch, Recipes, Vegetarian with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 30, 2012 by ninasnosh

I made this spinach dish a couple of weeks to accompany one of my potato dishes. It’s easy, delicious and very healthy. I also love eating this spicy spinach in a sandwich –  beats ham or cheese any day.

Ingredients

For the vaghar:

  • 1 tbsp oil
  • pinch of fenugreek seeds

The rest:

Method

  1. Heat the oil and add the fenugreek seeds to toast for 30 seconds or so
  2. Add the finely sliced onions to the oil, cover pan with a lid and cook on a low heat for 3 to 4 minutes – onions should be soft but not brown
  3. Next add all the spices and spinach, cover the pan with a lid to allow spinach to wilt
  4. After a minute or so remove the lid and stir the spinach and spices
  5. Add 2-3 tsp of water, stir
  6. Now on a low heat cook the spinach , simmering with the lid on for around 15 minutes – stirring regularly
  7. Add more water if you need to but you shouldn’t need much as the spinach itself will release water
  8. Taste the dish whilst it is cooking to ensure you are happy with the seasoning and spices

Of course spinach does not take 15 minutes to cook but simmering it will allow the flavours to infuse gently leaving you with really tasty dish.

Serve with another indian dish, eat with roti.

spices

spinach

onions

* you can use larger spinach leaves but should cut off the stalks and chop up

Chicken Dinner ……

Posted in Chicken, Recipes with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 13, 2012 by ninasnosh

On Tuesday night I made this lovely chicken dish using my delicious ‘rich tomato sauce’.

Ingredients

This will feed at least 4 people.

You will need a good sized pot to fit a whole chicken and the potatoes – I always use my le creuset.

  • Rich tomato sauce
  • 1 large free range chicken skinned and cut up *
  • 3 medium size potatoes peeled and cut up into roast potato size pieces

Method

  1. Follow the ‘rich tomato sauce’ recipe
  2. Once the sauce is ready add the prepared chicken, stir in, cover the pot and cook on a low heat for 5 minutes
  3. After 5 minutes add some hot boiled water to thin out the sauce and cover the chicken
  4. Simmer the chicken for a further 25-30 minutes on a low heat
  5. Then add the potatoes and simmer until they are cooked (about 10 minutes) – add more water if required
  6. Turn off the heat when the potatoes are done – leave to rest for 10 minutes (be careful not to over cook the potatoes they will continue to cook while you are resting the dish)
Serve with roti, bread or rice.

* if you prefer not to use a whole chicken you could use skinned drumsticks, skinned thighs or chicken breast. The dish tastes great which ever part of the chicken you use but by using a whole chicken or meat on the bone the dish is far more flavoursome!

Tangy, Spicy Lemon Pickles

Posted in All about food, Pickles, Recipes, The Pantry with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 12, 2012 by ninasnosh

After 3 weeks of sun and sitting my ‘Lemon Pickles’ are perfectly pickled. We opened the jars yesterday for a taste test and they have exceeded my expectations when it comes to flavour. They are tangy, sour, spicy and sweet all at the same time.

Pickles are perfect for serving with poppadoms, dahls and other vegetarian dishes. You can chop them up smaller or serve them as they are. The sauce is so delicious that sometimes I even have some of it on bread or a roti.

I have transfered the pickles into a clean jar – this will prevent the formation of a white mould (which is harmless). Store the pickles in a cool dry place or fridge – they will last for months.

Masala omelette for one …..

Posted in Lunch, Recipes, Vegetarian with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 4, 2012 by ninasnosh

I caught the end of Nigella’s cooking show last week and she was cooking a ‘Masala Omelette’, so I thought it was time to blog my version. It was also a great opportunity for me to try out my great new ‘Scanpan Frypan’  sent by Kitchenwaredirect. I’ve been looking for a second omelette pan that I could use on the hob, under the grill and in the oven – this one didn’t fail me.

Masala omelette is a bit of a lifesaver…..you can have it with a salad, in a sandwich or with other leftovers. If you are just cooking for one and want something tasty but effortless this is the way to go.

Ingredients

Quantities are for one person – increase quantities for more people

Method

  1. Heat the oil in a small frying pan
  2. Turn on the grill – medium heat
  3. In a bowl whisk together the eggs and spices using a fork
  4. Once the oil is hot add the omelette mix and cook for a couple of minutes
  5. When you think it is half done put it under the grill for a minute or so to finish cooking
  6. Check that it is cooked and serve with whatever you like 🙂

spices

on the hob

I had great intentions of eating this with a salad but had it in a sandwich – best sandwich ever ;).

Recipe: Eggplant and Green Beans

Posted in Recipes, Uncategorized, Vegetarian with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 30, 2012 by ninasnosh

In the house we are renting at the moment I was very excited to discover an ‘Eggplant Plant’. It seems to be bearing the last fruits of this season but I have so far been lucky enough to harvest 5 eggplants. Having already cooked, eggplant and tuver, mousakka, pasta sauce for the kids and a vegetable chilli I wanted to cook something else indian.

Here is a tasty vegetarian dish using eggplant and green beans to add to your repertoire.

Ingredients:

This would serve 2- 3 people if served with at least 1 other dish

For the vaghar:

  • 1-2 tbsp oil
  • 1/2 tsp of Carom Seeds (Ajwain) – if you don’t have these just use mustard seeds
  • 1/8th tsp of hing
  • 1 tsp fresh masala
  • 2 tsp of ground cumin and coriander
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp of turmeric
  • 1 eggplant – cubed
  • 200g green beans cut in half
  • 1 fresh tomato – chopped up roughly

Method

  1. Prepare the vegetables – cut up eggplant, bean and tomatoes
  2. Prepare the vaghar – heat the oil in a saucepan then add the carom seeds
  3. Remove the pan from the heat and allow the seeds to toast in the oil before adding the hing
  4. After about 20 seconds add the eggplant and beans to the oil,  and return to a low-medium heat
  5. Stir the vegetables
  6. Now add all the spices, stir, cover the pan with a lid and cook for a couple of minutes
  7. After a couple of minutes add the chopped tomatoes, stir in, cover with lid and cook on a low-medium heat for about 15-20 minutes
  8. Stir regularly – if the dish is sticking or looking dry add some water to loosen
  9. Once the beans and eggplant are cooked remove from heat and rest for a few minutes before serving
Serve with roti
spices
 vegetables

prepared vegetables

Indian Chips ……

Posted in Recipes, Snacks, Vegetarian with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 21, 2012 by ninasnosh

There are not that many people out there who don’t like chips so if you like spicy food these have got to be a winner.

 Ingredients

Method
1. Peel and cut the potatoes into even sized chips then soak in cold water
2. Heat the oil in a large non-stick frying pan (preferably one that has a lid)
3. Once the oil is hot add the mustard seeds and cover the pan with a lid
4. Once the seeds have popped remove the pan from the heat
5. Now add the hing and allow it to sizzle for a few seconds before you add the rest of the spices
6. Mix the spices all together to form a paste in the oil – return to a medium heat
7. Drain the potatoes and add to the pan – make sure the pan is hot but not too hot that the potatoes burn
8. Carefully mix the potatoes so that the spicy paste covers them
9. Cook the potatoes on a medium heat turning every few minutes so they are cooking evenly – keep the lid off for about 10 minutes
10. Cook with the lid half on for about 10 minutes – do not completely cover as you don’t want them to go soggy
11. You want the chips to be nicely brown and cooked through before you serve…
I only use as little oil as I can get away with – as you can see from the picture my chips were not oily. By soaking them in water, making sure the oil was hot enough when cooking and cooking with the lid partially off I ensured they were both cooked and crispy.