Chuqandar Ki Subzi

Beetroot might not be a favorite of many, but both me and my husband love this hearty maroon root vegetable.

I love this simple curry along with warm parathas. It reminds me of my mother’s cooking and my childhood.

Chuqandar Ki Subzi – Beetroot Curry

Ingredients:
Beetroot – 3, peeled and chopped
Canola Oil – 3 tbsp
Onion – 1, medium size, chopped
Ginger garlic paste – 1 tbsp
Tomato – 2, medium sized, chopped
Red Chilli powder – 1 tbsp
Salt – 1/2 tbsp
Turmeric powder – 1/3 tbsp
Yogurt – 1/8 cup

Method:

In a pressure cooker at medium high heat, pour in oil and as soon as it is hot add the chopped onion.

Fry it until it is golden brown in color. Add the, ginger garlic paste and fry for a minute. Add chopped tomato, red chilli powder, salt and turmeric powder and give it a stir.

Cook until the tomatoes are soft and mushy. Add yogurt, keep stirring and let cook on simmer for 2-3 minutes. Add the chopped beetroot and half a cup of water and mix well.

Pressure cook for 5-10 minutes or until the beetroot is soft. Let cook until oil seperates. Serve with rice or Roti.

Luv,
Mona

Keema Bharay Tamatay Ka Salan – Tomatoes stuffed with Minced Meat in a Spicy Aromatic Gravy

One of my most favorite dishes that my Mother-in-Law makes is this gravy curry of stuffed tomatoes. Every time she visits us we definitely ask her to make it for us. Today I am sharing her recipe with you all. It is a wonderful dish that tastes amazing and will definitely impress your loved ones.

Keema Bharay Tamatay – Tomatoes stuffed with Minced Meat in a Spicy Aromatic Gravy

Ingredients:

Canola Oil – 1/2 cup
Tomatoes – 6 large tomatoes
For Minced Meat:
Minced Meat – 1 pound
Red Chilli powder – 1 tsp
Salt – 1 tsp
Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
Ginger garlic paste – 1 tbsp
For Qorma:
Onion – 1, sliced thick
Roasted Groundnut Paste – 1/3 cup
Coconut Cream – 3 tbsp
Yogurt – 3/4 cup
Red Chilli Powder – 2 tbsp
Salt – 2 tbsp
Turmeric Powder – 1 tsp

Method:
1. Halve the tomatoes, and scoop out the pulp. Grind the pulp into a smooth puree. Keep aside. Keep the tomato halves aside in a platter.
2. In a non-stick pan with a thick bottom at medium high heat, add onions and brown them while stirring frequently. Remove in a platter and let cool. In the same pan, add the groundnuts and roast them for a few mintues until they are just a few shades darker. Remove in a cup and keep aside to cool. Once cool, add the roasted onions and groundnuts in a grinder and grind until it is a smooth puree. Add yogurt and puree.
3. Prepare the gravy – In a thick bottomed non-stick saucepan at medium high heat, add oil and then pour the groundnut puree and the tomato pulp puree. Keep stirring constantly for 5-8 minutes. Lower the heat and cook covered until it leaves oil. Keep stirring occasionally.
4. In a frying pan at medium high heat, add the minced meat along with ginger garlic paste, red chilli powder, salt and turmeric powder. Mix well and let cook until the meat is dry and well-cooked.
5. Fill the tomato halves with the cooked Keema. Top each with the groundnut gravy.
6. Add the rest of the minced meat and the gravy to a thick bottomed wide saucepan. Spread it evenly in a layer. Arrange the stuffed tomato halves over the gravy and let cook covered at medium heat for about 30 – 45 minutes until it leaves oil. Garnish with chopped mint and cilantro leaves and serve with Parathas and Rice.

Luv,
Mona

Healthy Desi Chicken Tikka Wraps

It is of utmost importance to eat healthy, especially in Ramadan, when our bodies need the best foods to get the best of the nutrients.

I have been trying to eat healthy as much as possible since the last two Ramadan and alhamdulillah I am able to see results. I am feeling much better and able to to do a lot and not feel lazy and lethargic like I used to before.

Full of fresh flavors, these semi homemade wraps that I made for my family were a hit. They make a fun change from regular dinner fare. The parathas were store brought, and the chicken tikka were prepared and frozen the week before Ramadan. So I only just had to assemble the wraps and serve them for dinner. The chicken tikka was baked using a little bit of olive oil. These wraps are healthy and provide your body with good nutrients.

Chicken Tikka Wraps

Ingredients:

Parathas – 8
Chicken Tikka – 6 cups
Olives – 1 cup
Avocado – 2, diced
Tomatoes – 2, diced
Romaine or leaf lettuce, shredded – 2 cups
Sriracha Hot Sauce or any other hot sauce – to taste
Whipped Yogurt – 8-10 tbsp
Lemon/lime juice

Method:

Divide the chicken, and everything else between each wrap, squeeze over the lime juice, then fold over one end to tuck in, and roll up to serve.

A few Ramadan Tips:
~ Chew your food well before you swallow
~ Eat a Multi-vitamin with your meals

Luv,
Mona

Healthy Ramadan Meal – Baked Chicken with Vegetables, Couscous and Tatziki

We desi people tend to eat unhealthy especially during the month of Ramadan. We should all be making a great effort to cook healthy meals for our family and take care of our loved ones instead. Inshallah from this Ramadan onwards, I will posting healthy meal ideas for Iftaar and Suhoor. Keep watching this space for more healthy recipes and meal ideas to come.

The following recipe is just something I made on a whim. It is easy, healthy, and makes a perfect meal for ramadan.

Baked Chicken with Vegetables, Couscous and Tatziki

Chicken Legs/thighs pieces – 12-15 pieces
Black Pepper powder – 1/4 tsp
Salt – 1 tsp
Turmeric – 1/4 tsp
Onion – 1, roughly chopped
Ginger garlic paste – 1 tbsp
Mixed Chopped Vegetables – 4 cups, carrots, grape tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, olives, green beans, broccoli, radish, baby bok choy etc
Garam masala – 1/2 tsp
Olives – pitted, 1/4 cup
Olive oil – 2 tbsp
for Couscous:
Couscous – 1 cup
Olive oil – 1 tbsp
Tomato paste/Pasta sauce (store bought) – 1 tbsp
Fresh leaves and Cilantro – 1 tbsp, finely chopped
Water/Chicken/Vegetable stock – 2 cups, very hot
Salt – 1 tsp
for Tatziki
Cucumber – 1/2, peeled and grated
Garlic clove – 1, mashed
Salt – 1/2 tsp
Fat-free Yoghurt – 1 cup
Juice of half lemon
Fresh mint – 4-5 leaves, finely chopped

Ingredients:
Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a mixing bowl bowl, add chicken, black pepper powder, turmeric, salt, ginger garlic paste, onion, garam masala, olives, olive oil and mix well. In a baking dish with high sides, add the vegetables in a layer. Over them add the marinated chicken again a layer. Cover with aluminium foil and bake for 35-45 minutes covered, then the next 15-20 minutes uncovered until the chicken is juicy and done.
Add pasta sauce/tomato paste, chopped herbs, olive oil, and water/chicken stock in a kettle and let it come to a boil. Add couscous in a bowl. Once the water/chicken stock is boiling, pour over the couscous in the bowl and cover with a tight lid. Keep adise and let rest for 10 minutes. Then fluff with fork.

Using a box grater, coarsely grate the cucumber. Sprinkle it with a 1/2 tsp of salt. Let rest for 10 minutes. Then squeeze and scrunch with clean hands to get rid of the excess salty water. Add it to a bowl. Also add yogurt, mashed garlic, lemon juice, chopped mint leaves and salt. Tatziki is ready.

In a serving dish, add the couscous in a layer. Top it with baked chicken and vegetables. Serve along with tatziki on the side.

Healthy Desi Meals Ideas for Iftaar/Suhoor:
For Iftaar
~ Chanay ki Dal – Lemony Boiled Split Bengal Gram 
~ Jaam ka Kachalu – Guava Chaat 
~ Fruit Chaat – Fruit Salad
~ Baked Samosas – bake the samosas instead of deep frying
~ Ragda Cutlet – alter the recipe by not adding any oil to cook the onions, just saute them in a pan until they get a nice brown color; bake the potato cutlets instead of shallow frying; also do not sweeten yogurt
~ Pita Pockets made using Sheekh Kebabs 

Luv,
Mona

Hara Masala Wali Murgh

The first I remember I ever witnessed chicken in a green colored gravy was at one of my aunts house, when she had invited us all for dinner. I was little and the green color of the gravy slightly put me off. I was hesitant and scared to try it. But when I did upon my mothers insistence, it was just like any other chicken curry, delicious and safe.

My version has fresh cilantro and mint herbs in the gravy, giving the gravy a light green hint. It is one of my favourites and a lovely change that my family enjoys.

Hara Dhaniya Wali Murgh – Cilantro Chicken Curry

Ingredients:

Chicken – 1 whole cute into pieces
Canola Oil – 4 tbsp
Cloves – 4
Green Cardamom – 5
Cinnamon stick – 2 inch stick
Onion – diced, 2 cups
Nigella Seeds/Kalonji – 1/4 tsp
Green chillies – 5, sliced lengthwise
Ginger garlic paste – 1 1/2 tbsp
Tomato – diced, 3/4 cup
Cilantro/Coriander leaves/Hara dhaniya – 2 cups, tightly packed, chopped
Mint/Pudina – 1/2 cup, tightly packed, chopped
Red Chilli powder – 1 tsp
Salt – 2 tsp
Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp

Method:

In a heavy bottomed kadai at medium high heat, pour in oil and as soon as it gets warm, add cloves, cardamoms, cinnamon diced onion and nigella seeds. Let the onions cook until they are brown in color. Keep giving them a stir every now and then. Add the green chillies, ginger garlic paste and fry for a minute or two. Meanwhile puree the chopped cilantro and mint and diced tomato into a smooth paste. Add the puree into the kadai and cook for a minute. Add the chicken and mix well. Let it cook for 2 minutes on high and then give it a stir. Again after cooking it for 2 minutes give a stir, and now lower the heat to simmer. Cover with a lid and let cook for 30-35 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked thoroughly. I like to cook my chicken until the meat literally falls off the bone. Give it a stir occasionally. Serve warm along with Naan or Pulao.

Luv,
Mona