Minty Bean Salad

My mint pot is brimming with fresh mint in abundance. I was thinking of ways to use up those fragrant leaves in ways possible. And what better way to enjoy its freshness than in a salad.

Mint growing profusely in pot outdoors on deck

Canned beans are a pantry staple for me. I use them frequently in soups and salads. During this season of outdoor barbecues, this no-cook, colorful, quick to throw together and crowd pleasing salad makes for a great entree. You can also serve this salad during Ramadan at Iftaar, or as a light lunch along with boiled eggs if you desire.

Substitute the red kidney beans with whatever beans you like, for example: chickpeas, black beans, navy beans, pinto beans, lima beans, black eye beans, etc or a can of mixed beans.

Minty Bean Salad
Serves: 4

Canned Red Kidney Beans – a 175 ml can
Tomato – 1, medium, finely chopped
Fresh Mint leaves – 1/2 cup, tightly packed, finely chopped
Red onion – 1/4 cup, finely chopped
Juice of a Lime
Small Green Chilli – 2, finely chopped
Black pepper powder and Salt – to taste

Refreshing Minty Bean Salad

Method:

Drain and rinse the canned beans in a colander to remove excess sodium. In a mixing bowl add the drained beans along with the rest of the ingredients. Mix well. Let it sit for 1 hour in the refrigerator. Shake it every now and then. Serve it chilled.

Note: You can also use dried beans if you desire which you will have to soak overnight and then boil till tender the next day.

And here’s one question for all my readers. What do you all usually prepare using fresh Mint/Pudinah leaves. If you have any interesting recipes, please send them to me. I would love to try.

Luv,
Mona

Anniversary – Four Years of Blogging

Hybrid Tea Rose from my garden, just after a drizzle

Today marks the fourth anniversary of my wee blog mashallah. What a fun filled and exciting journey it has been. With 300 blog posts, 4,302 lovely comments and 4,212 facebook followers in these four years, I am amazed, humbled and overwhelmed. I am delighted to be able to get in touch virtually with foodies around the world who have provided me with invaluable tips and support. JazakAllah Khair, thank you everyone for such lovely comments and words of encouragement. I look forward to many more years of sharing my love of food with you all.

Cheers,
Mona

Kulfa Gosht

My love for Kulfa ki bhaji is beyond words. I adore the earthy taste of this succulent green leafy vegetable that is also a weed and rich in omega-3-fats and vitamins. It has thick and spongy leaves, and reddish stems, both of which are edible.

Names of this green leafy vegetable in other languages:

Portulaca Oleracea L. (Purtulacaceae)
English: Purslane, Garden purslane, Pigweed, Hogweed
Hindi: Khulpha, Khursa,
Bengali: Lunia, Bara Lunia
Maharashtrian: Ghol
Tamil: Pachiri
Gujarati: Luni bhaji
Telugu: Gangapaayala, Peddapaayala, Payala kura, Peddapaavila aaku koora, Goli Kura
Kannada: Doddagoni Soppu
Arabic: Ba’le, Bakli, Farfhin, Arnuba, Bighal, Barabra (Maghrib), Rijl, Rujila, Al-hamqa, Al-baqla, Badalqa, Kharqa
Armenian: Perper
Urdu: Kulfa ki bhaji
Greek: Glystiritha, Andrakln
Italian: Portulaca, Porcellana, Perchjazza (Bari, Apulia)
Spanish: Verdolaga
French: Pourpier potager
Turkish: Semizotu, Temizlik (Aksaray Province)

source: Wikipedia Commons

I was in Saudi Arabia the last month to visit the two holy mosques of Makkah and Madinah alhamdulillah, which must explain my absense from the blogosphere. To my surprise,I discovered Jeddah has become a mini version of Hyderabad. There are meat markets there that sell fresh Lamb meat from Hyderabad, lambs are I suppose shipped from Hyderabad/India/Pakistan and then slaughtered in Jeddah. And many restaurants that specialize in Hyderabadi food. I was amazed but equally happy. Also the fruit and vegetable market of Jeddah also called as the Halaqa is the biggest I have ever seen with so much variety of fresh produce that Jeddah is a foodies paradise for sure. (Susie’s Jeddah Vegetable and Fruit Market Album)

source: Wikipedia Commons

At the Halaqa there, I bought and alhamdulillah enjoyed many fresh fruits and vegetables which are otherwise not that easily available here in Toronto. The following is my mother in laws recipe. Succulent purslane leaves are cooked along with meat and the resulting dish is simply superb.

Kulfa Gosht – Chunks of Lamb in a succulent and spicy Purslane leaves mash

Ingredients:

Canola oil – 3 tbsp
Onion – 2, small, sliced
Ginger garlic paste – 1 tbsp
Tomato – 2, small, diced
Red chilli powder – 2 1/2 tsp
Salt – 2 tsp
Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
Lamb meat with bone – 650 gms
Green chillies – 4-6, chopped
Kulfa ki bhaji/Purslane plants – 4 big bunches

Kulfa Gosht – Chunks of Lamb in a succulent and spicy Purslane leaves mash

Method:

1. Chop off and discard the roots, tough stem ends and any yellow flowers of the purslane plant. Use the tender stalks as well as the leaves and chop them roughly.
2. In a pressure cooker at medium high heat, pour oil as soon as it warms up and add the sliced onion and fry until lightly browned. Add ginger garlic paste and fry along for a minute. Add red chilli powder, salt, turmeric powder and diced tomatoes. Mix well. Add the meat and green chillies and stir to mix. Let cook until the meat is no longer pink. Add water to cover the meat and also add the chopped purslane leaves. Cover with the lid and pressure cook until the meat is tender. Uncover and let it cook for a while. Serve along with warm parathas.

Luv,
Mona