Tuna Avocado Salad

August 9th, 2010 Mona Posted in Avocado, Black pepper powder, Cilantro/Kothmir (fresh), Dill/Suvabhaji (fresh), Green Chillies, Lemon/Nimbu, Salt/Namak, Tuna 6 Comments » 8,573 views

Avocado, with more than 500 varieties and chock full of healthy nutrients, is one of my favorite power fruits. The first time I had tasted it in Toronto, I was a little apprehensive if I would fancy its taste or not. But as it is so good for health, I kept getting one every time I visited the market and began having chunks of this fruit every once in a while at breakfast instead of mayo in my sandwich. And oh boy, I eventually fell in love with it.

If unripe when bought, keep them wrapped in a newspaper at room temperature for a few days until they are ripe and yield slightly to pressure. Once ripe, cut around the pit using a sharp knife, twist the halves to open the fruit. Carefully whack a knife on the pit, twist to remove and discard the pit. Cup the avocado halve, score and scoop out flesh. Cut avocado reacts with air and browns just like an apple, so it is better to use it immediately.

I was eyeing this recipe from one of my most favorite and inspiring chefs from Food network~Micheal Smith, since long. I tried it and whipped up this yummy quick salad/sandwich filling for a yummy evening snack along with chai and a banana on the side.

Tuna Avocado Salad
(Inspired from Chef Micheal Smith’s recipe)

Ingredients:

Canned tuna, packed in water – 1 can
Avocado – 1, pitted and peeled, chopped
Lemon juice – 2 tbsp
Dill leaves – 1/4 cup, finely chopped
Cilantro – 1/4 cup finely chopped
Green chillies – 2, finely chopped
Salt and Black pepper powder – to taste

Method:

Combine all in a mixing bowl, toss together to mix. Serve as a sandwich or in a wrap.

Luv,
Mona

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Palak Gosht

May 3rd, 2010 Mona Posted in Canola Oil, Coriander seeds, Dill/Suvabhaji (fresh), Ginger-Garlic paste, Green Chillies, Hyderabadi special, Lamb/Beef/Mutton/Veal/Sheep, Red Chilli powder, Salt/Namak, Spinach/Palak ki bhaji, Tomato/Tamatar (fresh), Turmeric/Haldi, Yellow Onion/Pyaaz 24 Comments » 15,955 views

One of the most usual accompaniments to khatti dal and rice, or parathas at meals, palak gosht is a simple spinach+meat medley that both nourishes as well as satisfies. It is comfort food for me. Give me this combination and I will happily gobble it all up anytime.

Fresh Spinach leaves – Palak

You can even use frozen spinach as it will save both time and effort. However, fresh is best and always recommended. Make sure you wash the fresh spinach leaves well before use.

Palak Gosht – Spinach Meat curry

Ingredients:

Lamb Meat with bone – 500 gms
Canola oil – 2 tbsp
Onion – 1, medium, finely sliced
Red chilli powder – 3 tsp
Green chillies – 6, chopped
Salt – 2 ½ tsp
Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
Ginger-garlic paste – 1 tbsp
Tomato – 1, chopped
Fresh Spinach/Palak – 300 gms (or) Frozen Spinach – 300 gms
Dill leaves/Suva bhaji – 1/2 cup, finely chopped (optional)

Palak Gosht – Spinach Meat curry

Method:

1. If using fresh spinach: Wash the spinach carefully. Cut and discard the thick stems. Hold the leaves together in a bunch and cut into thin strips. Again cut these strips thinly in opposite direction.
2. In a pressure cooker at medium high heat, add oil and as soon as it warms up, add the sliced onion. Stir fry until golden brown. Add ginger garlic paste, chopped green chillies, red chilli powder, salt and turmeric powder. In a minute add the meat with bones and mix well. Cook until the meat is no longer pink. Now add the chopped tomatoes. Mix well. Pour in about 1 ½ cup fresh cool water and pressure cook until the meat is tender. Once done, open the lid and cook at medium hight heat while stirring frequently until the mixture dries up and starts leaving oil. Add the chopped spinach and chopped dill leaves and pressure cook for 3 more minutes. Open the lid and cook for 10 minutes at medium high heat. You can cook until the curry is dry, or leave a little gravy if you like. Serve warm.

Luv,
Mona

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Masala Vada

April 14th, 2010 Mona Posted in Canola Oil, Chane ki Dal, Curry leaves (dried), Curry leaves (fresh), Dill/Suvabhaji (fresh), Ginger/Adrak, Green Chillies, Red Chilli powder, Salt/Namak, Yellow Onion/Pyaaz 6 Comments » 7,880 views

An Andhra special street food and snack, most often seen being sold at Indian Railway Platforms, these crunchy on outside but soft inside vada’s are my favorite tea time snack along with chutney and some warm chai. They are made out of lentils, herbs, spices and chopped onions. Sometimes I also dunk these vada’s into warm sambar and enjoy the vadas as a mini meal.

Masala Vada

This time I added a few dill leaves that were lying in the refrigerator. You can add fresh chopped cilantro or mint or amaranth leaves or even spring onions (if using spring onions, skip chopped onions in the recipe and add both the chopped greens as well as the whites) instead.

Masala Vada – Lentil Fritters

Ingredients:

Chana dal – 1 cup
Green chillies – 4-6, finely chopped
Ginger – 1 tsp, minced
Red chilli powder – 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves (fresh/dried) – 1 sprig, finely chopped
Salt – to taste
Onion – 1, small, finely chopped
Dill leaves – 1/4 cup, finely chopped
Canola oil – to deep fry

Method:

1. Soak the chana dal in a bowl with surplus fresh cool water for 2 hours. Later, drain and reserve about a fistful of the soaked chana dal aside in a bowl. Add the rest of it into a food processor. Process until coarse, do not puree the mixture, and do not add any water while grinding. Remove the coarse chana dal into a mixing bowl. Add the reserved soaked chana dal and add the rest of the ingredients except oil. Mix well, and shape into patties.
2. Heat oil to deep fry in a kadai or a deep saucepan. Once the oil is hot, fry the patties one by one on both sides until golden. Remove into a wire mesh strainer or a paper towel lined platter for excess oil to drain away and serve warm along with coconut chutney or coriander and mint chutney or sambar.

Luv,
Mona

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Sem ki phalli ka salan

January 9th, 2010 Mona Posted in Canola Oil, Dill/Suvabhaji (fresh), Indian broad Beans/Sem ki phalli, Quick fix meals, Red Chilli powder, Salt/Namak, Soya protein(TSP_TVP), Tomato/Tamatar (fresh), Turmeric/Haldi, Yellow Onion/Pyaaz 22 Comments » 8,519 views

I am a non-vegetarian, no doubt, but there is some sort of comfort in simple and fresh vegetable preparations. Whenever I visit the grocery market I am always on the lookout of fresh Indian vegetables, and الحمد لله Toronto has many if not all of the regualr Indian vegetables to fulfill South-Asian’s taste buds.

Sem ki phalli ~ Indian broad beans

Sem ki phalli, as these beans are called in Urdu language, (Chikkudu kaya in Telugu) (also called as Valor papdi or Hyacinth Beans or Indian Broad beans) are one of my favorite vegetables. They are also sometimes available frozen in the cold sections of the markets.

characters in play -
clockwise from top: chopped Indian broad beans, onion, stir-fried suya nuggets, dill leaves, and tomatoes

This simple curry that I have made with whatever I had in the refrigerator that day was nourishing and flavorsome. We enjoyed it along with Dahi ki Kadi, Parathas and some plain rice for lunch yesterday.

Sem ki phalli, tamatar aur soya ka salan – Indian broad beans along with soya granules in tomato sauce

Ingredients:

Soya nuggets – 1 cup
Canola oil – 4 tbsp
White/Yellow Onion – 1, large, finely sliced
Tomatoes – 4, large, finely chopped (or) Canned crushed tomatoes – 1/3 cup
Red chilli powder – 1 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste
Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
Sem ki phalli – around 1 kg, topped and tailed and fibrous side strings removed, each bean slit into two and then chopped into pieces ( as shown in the picture above)
Dill leaves/Suva bhaji – 1/4 cup, finely chopped

Sem ki phalli, tamatar aur soya ka salan

Method:

1. Soak soya nuggets in surplus cool water for 1-2 hours. Later, squeeze them, drain the water and put the squeezed nuggets in a dry bowl. Add fresh cool water to it and again squeeze them, drain the water and put them in a bowl. Repeat this about 5-8 times, until there is no lather in the water when you squeeze them while washing them up. This is important, otherwise the lather in soya will cause severe flatulence. So, be careful there. In a small frying pan, pour  1 1/2 tbsp oil and as soon as it warms up, add the squeezed washed soya nuggets and stir fry them until lightly browned on all sides. Remove in a bowl and keep aside.
2. Pour 2 1/2 tbsp oil in a medium saucepan at medium high heat and as soon as it warms up add the sliced onions. Stir fry until just lightly browned. Add chopped tomatoes or canned crushed tomatoes-whatever you are using, and red chilli powder, salt, turmeric powder. Mix well and pour 1 cup warm water. Let cook covered for 3 minutes. Lower heat to medium low and add the chopped beans and stir fried soya nuggets and mix well. Cover and let cook for 15 minutes. Keep stirring occasionally.

Suva bhaji/Dill leaves

3. Once the beans are tender, add the dill leaves and mix well. Cook uncovered for a few more minutes until the moisture is evaporated. Serve warm with rotis or rice.

This simple veggie preparation goes to Meeta’s ‘Monthly Mingle‘. Sudeshna of ‘Cook like a Bong‘ is the guest host this month for this event with a theme of ‘Winter Fruits and Vegetables‘.

Luv,
Mona

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Khadi Masoor Ki Dal

March 26th, 2008 Mona Posted in Canola Oil, Dals (Pulses & Legumes), Dill/Suvabhaji (fresh), Eid/Ramadhan/Iftaar, Fats and Oils/Tel, Ginger-Garlic paste, Hyderabadi special, Onion/Pyaaz, Quick fix meals, Red Chilli powder, Red Lentils/Masoor ki Dal, Salt/Namak, Spices & Seasonings/Masaale, Sunflower oil, Turmeric/Haldi, Vegetables/Tarkariyaan, Yellow Onion/Pyaaz 18 Comments » 27,430 views

Khadi Masoor Ki Dal reminds me of those beautiful sunny and summery Indian breakfasts, that consisted of warm Parathas and Khadi Masoor ki Dal. My Aunt-Mami used to prepare the best Khadi Dal. I always used to request some of it whenever I would go to visit her.

Khadi Masoor Ki Dal, served along with Afghani Roti

Khadi Dal is one very easy side dish that goes well along with Mirchi Ka Salan or Mahekhalya or Andey Ka Khatta Salan, Baghare Baingan and Basmati Chawal for a meal, or just with Parathas for a breakfast or brunch. This recipe is so quick to prepare that it is one of the very first dishes one learns when he/she starts to experiment in kitchen discovering their culinary skills.

You can garnish it with finely chopped cilantro/dhaniya and mint/pudina, or with finely chopped fresh dill/Suvabhaji. It tastes best along with chopped dill, but if unavailable you can also go by the cilantro and mint.

Khadi Masoor Ki Dal - Red Lentils curry
Serves – 4-6

Ingredients:

Split Red Lentils/Masoor Dal – 1 cup
Canola Oil/Sunflower Oil - 2 tbsp
Yellow Onion – 1, small sized, finely sliced
Ginger Garlic paste – 1 tsp
Tomatoes – 1, large, finely chopped
Red Chilli Powder – 2 tsp
Turmeric – 1/4 tsp
Salt – 1 tsp or to taste
Warm Water – 1 cup, to cook
Warm Water – 2 cups, to soak

for garnish:
Finely chopped Cilantro and Mint – 1 tbsp (or) Finely chopped Dill/Suvabhaji – 1 tbsp

Khadi Masoor Ki Dal – Dry Red Lentils

Method:

  • Wash the lentils well in a strainer till water runs clean and soak them in a bowl of warm water-to soak for about 30 minutes.
  • Meanwhile in a pan on medium high heat, pour in oil and as soon it warms up add the sliced onions and stir fry them till they are golden brown in color.
  • During this time, drain the soaking dal and throw away the water.
  • Lower the heat and add ginger garlic paste, fry for a minute. Add the chopped tomatoes, red chilli powder, turmeric and salt. Mix well. Add the drained dal and mix it well with a spoon. Pour in the warm water to cook and give it a stir. Cover the lid of the pan and let it cook on medium heat till a nice steam has formed inside. Keep an eye on it as soon as the dal is done remove it from heat (You can add a few drops of water and stir to mix gently if needed if the dal is still undone)
  • Garnish it with fresh finely chopped dill(Suvabhaji) or fresh finely chopped cilantro and mint. Serve immediately.

Suggested Accompaniments: Mahekhalya or Andey Ka Khatta Salan or Baghare Baingan or Mirchi Ka Salan and Basmati Chawal, or Parathas..

This delicious dal is my entry to the event ‘Delicious Dals from India’ being hosted by Suma at her blog Veggie Platter.

Luv,
Mona

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