Archive for spices

Whole Mung Beans with Yogurt

Posted in Dahl, Uncategorized, Vegetarian with tags , , , , , , , , , , on November 7, 2013 by ninasnosh

photo 4

The humble mung bean holds so many surprises, if cooked right it tastes superb, it’s low in cholesterol, good for detoxifying and high in protein. This dish can be made with or without natural yogurt, the yogurt give it a tangier flavour.

Ingredients

Serves 4 people if there is another dish to accompany.

For the vagar:

  • 2 tbsp of sunflower oil
  • 1 tsp of cumin seeds
  • 1/8 tsp of hing
  • 2 curry leaves

And the rest:

Method

  1. Place the mung beans and chopped tomatoes in a pressure cooker with 3 cups of water (pic.3)
  2. Cook the mung beans in the pressure cooker for about 10 minutes – allowing the cooker to release steam around 4 times (pic.4)
  3. Carefully release the steam and open the pressure cooker to check that the mung beans are firm but cooked through
  4. If you don’t have a pressure cooker just boil the mung and tomatoes until cooked
  5. In a large saucepan heat the oil for the vagar
  6. When the oil is hot add the cumin seeds, hing and curry leaves
  7. After 15-20 seconds remove from heat
  8. Add the yogurt and spices to the vagar, return to a medium heat and stir (pic.6)
  9. Add the cooked mung bean and tomatoes
  10. Next add enough water to cover the beans (pic.7)
  11. Simmer the ingredients for 10-15 minutes on a medium heat, stirring occasionally
  12. The mung bean should be fully soft but not mush, add more water if needed while cooking, see pic 8 which shows the final consistency of dish.

pic.1 spices

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pic. 2 mung beans and tomatoes

photo 1

pic.3 ready to cook

photo 2

pic.4 cooked

photo 5

pic.5 yogurt

photo 4

pic.6 yogurt in vagar

photo 1

pic.7 ready to simmer

photo 2

pic.8 finished

photo 3

Can be eaten on it’s own or with indian bread, roti or rice.

Recipe: Spicy Cabbage, Peas and Potato

Posted in Uncategorized, Vegetarian with tags , , , , , , , , , , on November 2, 2013 by ninasnosh

If you have been following my blog you will notice a lot of the recipes are similar. Please don’t let that put you off trying them as although similar they all have their own unique taste.

Ingredients

For the vagar:

  • 2 tbsp of oil
  • 1/2 tsp of mustard seeds
  • 1/8 – 1/4 tsp hing

And the rest:

  • 1/4 head of cabbage sliced
  • 1 small potato peeled and cubed
  • 1 cup of frozen peas
  • 1 heaped tsp of fresh masala
  • 2 heaped tsp of ground cumin and coriander
  • 1/2 tsp of turmeric
  • 1 tsp salt

Method

  1. Slice the cabbage, peel and cube a medium size potato and rinse through in a colander with the peas
  2. Heat the oil in a large pan which has a lid, remove the pan from the heat when the oil is hot and add mustard seed and hing covering straight away with a lid
  3. Once the mustard seeds have stopped popping return to a low heat and add the fresh masala, cumin, coriander, turmeric and salt – mix the spices together (pic.2)
  4. Add the sliced cabbage, chopped potatoes and peas to the spices – mix together ensuring the spices are mixed through (pic.3)
  5. Cover the pan with a lid and cook on a low-medium heat stirring every few minutes to ensure it does not stick
  6. Cook for around 10 minutes with the lid on then remove the lid and cook for a further 10-15 minutes
  7. Check the potatoes and cabbage are cooked to your liking before you remove from the heat.

pic.1

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pic.2

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pic.3

DSC_3799

Recipe: Chicken curry for kids….

Posted in Chicken, Children's Food, Recipes with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 23, 2012 by ninasnosh

This has to be my kids favourite meal – they are constantly asking me to make chicken and roti. Luckily, because I have a pressure cooker the entire dish probably takes about 10-15 mins from start to finish.

 

 

 

Ingredients

Feeds 2 hungry children – vary the spices according to your child’s taste

  • 1 boneless chicken thigh cut into small pieces (fat removed)
  • 1 small potato peeled and cubed
  • I fresh tomato chopped or 1/2 cup of of passata
  • 1/2 tbsp of tomato puree if using a fresh tomato
  • 1/4 onion finely chopped
  • 2 inches of zucchini finely chopped
  • 1 small clove of garlic – crushed
  • 1/2 tsp for of ground coriander and cumin
  • 1/4 tsp of garam masala
  • pinch of chilli powder or fresh masala
  • 1/4 tsp of turmeric
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup of water

 

 

Easy method

  1. Simply add all the above ingredients except the tomato puree and spices to a pressure cooker
  2. Seal the pressure cooker and place on a medium heat – allow the whistle to sound twice
  3. Allow to rest for 5 minutes – off the hob
  4. Then release the steam from the cooker (on mine I remove the whistle)
  5. Safely open the pressure cooker – add all the spices and tomato puree if you have used a fresh tomato
  6. Allow the dish to simmer for a further 5 or so minutes on the hob
  7. Check that the dish is cooked, taste and allow to rest before serving

Can be served with roti or rice.

If you don’t have a pressure cooker you can of course go with the more traditional method:

  1. Soften the onions and garlic in some oil
  2. Add the passata/ tomatoes
  3. Add the spices and then simmer on a low heat until you have a nice sauce
  4. Next add the zucchini, potatoes, chicken, water and tomato puree
  5. Simmer until the dish is cooked

chopped chicken

 

chopped zucchini and onion

 

all the ingredients in the pressure cooker

 

spices

 

 

finished dish

Virtues of the pressure cooker….

Posted in All about food, Children's Food, Dahl, My top tips with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 27, 2012 by ninasnosh

I’m going to be introducing quite a few more dahl recipes but before I did that I just wanted to write a bit about my friend the pressure cooker.

Whilst I’ve had a pressure cooker for over 10 years I haven’t always been a fan. There was an incident about 12 years ago when I didn’t listen to my mothers instructions (or use my common sense) and opened the lid without releasing all the steam first. This resulted in dahl on the ceiling and every other nook and cranny in my kitchen!! So my main tip  – always makes sure you release the steam before opening it.

I am now a big fan of the pressure cooker. I use it to cook most of my dahls and I also use it for some of my kids food as you will see. I can make a chicken curry for my kids in about 10 minutes! So it reduces cooking time and if used for the right dishes produces some amazing flavours.

Not that many people I know own a pressure cooker but I think it’s a good investment – you don’t need to buy a huge one. The above picture is of my pressure cookers they are basic ones that you’d probably find in most indian households (where they cook) but I know there are snazzier more colourful versions on the market.

Recipe: Crispy Spicy Okra

Posted in Recipes, The Pantry, Vegetarian with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 25, 2012 by ninasnosh

 

Been a bit quiet lately as sorting out things to enable me to  sell some things at the markets. But, I have been storing up lots of recipes to blog when I have a spare minute.

I love Okra but only really the way we cook them in our house/family. Okra is unlike any other vegetable I’ve ever eaten and if it isn’t cooked/prepared right could be quite unpleasant. I tend to use the frozen version mainly because they aren’t that easy to get hold of here but also because the frozen ones are easier to cook. When cut up Okra is quite a gooey sticky vegetable so if you are using fresh Okra you must try and slice/chop them the day before and leave to dry out. It is also important to ensure they they are fully cooked otherwise I think they have an unpleasant texture – but that’s just my opinion.

 

Ingredients

This should be served as one of 2 dishes which will then feed 4 people.

For the vaghar:

  • 1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 1/4 tsp hing
  • 2-3 tbsp oil

And the rest:

  • Bag of frozen chopped Okra or about 350g of fresh Okra chopped the previous day
  • 1 onion sliced
  • 1 heaped tsp of fresh masala
  • 2 heaped tsp of ground cumin and coriander
  • 1/2 tsp of turmeric
  • 1/2 -1 tsp salt (or to own taste)

 

Method:

Use a good heavy based frying pan that has a lid.

  1. Add the oil to the frying pan and heat – once hot add the fenugreek seeds and hing
  2. Once the seeds start to brown add the Okra, stir and cover the pan with a lid
  3. Cook on a medium heat for about 5 minutes – this will help extract the sticky properties of the Okra
  4. Next add the sliced onion – cook for a further couple of minutes
  5. Now add all the spices and mix in
  6. Cook the Okra on a low heat with the lid on for about 10 minutes – stirring gently a couple of times
  7. To make the Okra crispy you will need to remove the lid and cook for another 10-15 minutes on a low heat
  8. Gently move the Okra around while they are cooking – don’t be too vigorous or they will break up and turn to mush (but you don’t want them to stick either)
  9. I cook mine on a low heat as there is a fine line between crispy and burnt so you may need to cook for longer or less depending on the pan etc
  10. When checking they are cooked you look to see whether they are slightly crispy and not sticky but fairly dry

spices

 

okra and onion

 

 

Eat with indian bread….

Good luck and enjoy 🙂

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

Introducing children to ‘Indian Food’

Posted in All about food, Children's Food with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 1, 2012 by ninasnosh

 

Since my children were weaned on to solids they have been eating indian style food cooked with only the non hot spices. My boys are now 4.5 and 2, my youngest has no issue with trying spicy food but my eldest will refuse it before trying it. Probably our own fault for saying things were ‘too spicy’! So I have decided it’s about time we sorted things out and got them both on the spicy food track (only on moderate levels of course).

All of the dishes I blog for children can be cooked without the hot spices too.

I hope this section of my blog will help you vary your child’s diet and introduce so many more new flavours and ingredients that they otherwise would not taste. So many Indian spices hold great health benefits so please give these recipes a go.

Will update my first recipe later today…..

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.