Monday, 15 December 2014

KALE AND TOFU SIDE DISH

KALE AND TOFU SUBJI
(suitable for vegans)


Two weeks ago, I set out to make stir fry noodles with tofu. Having no tofu in the fridge, I asked my son to bring tofu while coming back from the office. In a hurry he got two packets of soft (silken) tofu instead. Now I had to use this soft tofu somehow in another recipe as it would have been too soft to use in noodles. I checked the fridge and found one bunch of fresh kale, and thought that kale would go very well with soft tofu.


As I was chopping the kale, my mind was just thinking of what else can be added to this dish- may be some onions. That is how this new dish was invented in my kitchen. I fried some onions, and made this new dish of kale and tofu, which came out very nice. Me and my husband enjoyed it with rumali roti (soft thin indian flat bread) with plain yogurt and green salad. Because I really enjoyed it, I thought of cooking it again and writing a post about it.


As I have mentioned in another post that I started using a lot of kale in Canada only because it is easily and always available throughout the year here. In addition to that I have read a lot about its health benefits so I am trying some new dishes with it too. I feel the combination of this dark green vegetable and a lean protein is really beneficial. I have tried mixing kale with lentil also, that recipe I will share in another post.
For this recipe I have used red kale, which I have never seen before.While shopping for kale at my organic grocery shop, I didn’t get the green variety, only got the red variety. Next day I checked the images of red kale on Google and was satisfied to know that there are other varieties available other than green too.

This recipe I am sending as my blog entry for The Hearth and Soul Hop event.
And also for Cook Blog Share event.


RECIPE

INGREDIENTS

  • One bunch of kale
  • One small pack of soft tofu (300 grams)
  • One large chopped onion
  • One tsp cumin seeds or mustard seeds(I used mustard seeds)
  • One tsp coriander powder (optional)
  • Salt and black pepper powder to taste
  • Two tbs olive/coconut oil (any oil of your choice)
METHOD

  • Chop finely and rinse kale leaves two three times in clean water.
  • Heat the oil in a fry pan, add cumin seeds and wait till it changes the color.
  • Now saute the chopped onion till translucent.
  • Add kale leaves with salt and coriander powder, turn after every few minutes, do not cover the lid because kale will leave some water which will soon evaporate.
  • Crumble the tofu and mix well in kale. Cook till all the water evaporates from kale, sprinkle black pepper powder and turn off the gas.


This can be served with nan/roti or dinner bun. This dish can be served to 4-5 people.

Monday, 8 December 2014

PALAK PARATHA

(Indian flat bread with Spinach)



Spinach has many varieties, my favorite is the small tender one which is baby spinach and English Spinach, which we easily get in Calgary. Getting these types of spinach was a big problem when I was in Botswana, where I lived for a long time. The only spinach we used to get was white silver beet spinach, because this was locally grown there.



Spinach is a type of vegetable which can be used in many ways and many varieties of dishes can be made in my kitchen. In indian cuisine, spinach is mostly made in combination with other vegetables and lentils. One very famous snack is spinach pakoda (fritter), and a very famous restaurant dish is palak paneer, when spinach is made with Indian cheese as a side dish.


These parathans are my grand children's favourite dish. Feeding vegetables to children is always a challenge. They themselves are not interested in eating any vegetable, this recipe will hide the green leaves. Kids will only see the colour and they like colourful food items. This recipe is also good for their lunch box, provided we keep in a lunch box which can keep the parathas warm.


I had the pleasure of cooking fresh spinach straight from my kitchen garden for many years in Africa. But the type of spinach we grew there was the long white silver beet spinach. My husband was growing many vegetables in our kitchen garden there, the problem with spinach was that we had to water it every single evening without fail. The heat and the direct sun light during the day was making the leaves of the spinach wilt and lie flat on the ground in the evening. I remember, my children would remind me every evening to water the plants, saying that, “mumma, your spinach is already dead lying on the ground, water it quickly.”

This recipe i am sending as my blog entry for the Breakfast event.
And also for Hearth and Soul Hop event.





RECIPE

INGREDIENTS

  • 500 grams brown bread flour
  • 500 grams baby spinach leaves ( One bunch)
  • salt to taste
  • chilli powder to taste
  • One teaspoon cumin seeds
  • Two tablespoon oil
  • Oil for roasting.

METHOD

  1. Wash and rinse the spinach leaves 2-3 times in water.
  2. Put the leaves in a pot for boiling on a low heat, it will take 10-15 minutes, till the leaves are tender. Leave it to cool.
  3. When cold, blend the spinach in a food processor.
  4. Now prepare the dough, take brown bread flour in a bowl, mix all dry spices and 2 tablespoon oil. Make the dough with spinach, no additional water is needed. Spinach should be added slowly to make a hard dough.
  5. Pinch small pieces of dough and make small balls then flatten them so that it is easy to roll.
  6. Roll them in small size of roti.
  7. Heat the cast iron tava or fry pan and roast them on both sides, applying little oil and roast till they are brown on both sides.

    Theses parathas can be served hot or warm. Hot will taste better with yoghurt or any pickle. They can also be served with juice or any other drink of the choice. You can make around 20 or more depending on the size, can be served to 5-6.

Monday, 1 December 2014

CHIWDA

(A SAVOURY CRUNCHY INDIAN SNACK)

Chiwda is a light, crunchy and an all time snack. Indians are very fond of tea which is not served alone, it is served with either biscuits (cookies) or a savoury snack etc. This chiwda is a perfect snack with evening tea.
When I was in Kisumu, Kenya, my neighbour lady, who later became a very good friend of mine, gave me this recipe. One day she called me to help her in making chiwda because she was making it on a large scale. I asked her, “why are you making on such a large scale?” She replied, “we gujaratis like chiwda, it should always be there in the house plus it can last for a long time.” That explanation was good enough for me to understand why she was cooking it on such a large scale. Now I also make a big box of it in my house, because it can last 6-8 weeks on the shelf. In her recipe she was frying chana dal and brown lentil, after soaking it overnight. But I replaced it with readily available roasted chana dal and skipped the brown lentil because I do not want to add more fried items in the chiwda.
This recipe of mine is a very light version of chiwda. Because out of five main ingredients, I only deep fry two of them. The reason of making it light is that we can eat more or can be eaten any time.

This recipe I am sending as my blog entry for Favorite Recipes event.
And also sending for What's with my Cuppa event.







RECIPE

INGREDIENTS

-1/2 kg poha (flattened rice)
-1/2 kg murmura (puffed rice)
-200 grams besan for boondi
-½ kg roasted chana dal
-½ kg raw ground nuts and 2 tablespoon oil
-50 grams roasted cashew nuts
-50 grams roasted sesame seeds
-50 grams raisin (optional)
-200 grams curry leaves
-100 grams slices green chilli (optioanl)
-one tsp turmeric powder
-salt and red chilli to taste
-Two tablespoon sugar
-Two tablespoon mango powder
-oil for frying

METHOD

FOR MURMURA and CHANA DAL

-Dry roast murmura in a big wok for 5-6 minutes to heat it, turning continuously.
- Dry roast chanan dal in a big wok for 5-6 minutes to heat it, turning continuously.
FOR GROUNDNUTS
  • Heat 2 tablespoon oil and roast groundnuts in a fry pan for 10-15 minutes until it turns a few shades darker.
FOR POHA ( flattened rice)
-Heat oil in a wok, add turmeric powder in the oil, when oil is very hot, fry poha in batches.
-It will pop up, then quickly take it out of the oil and leave it on a kitchen paper towel.
- When poha is still hot, add salt, chilli powder, sugar and mango powder.

FOR BOONDI and CURRY LEAVES

  • In a bowl, mix little water in chick peas flour and make paste.
  • Heat oil in the wok and take the paste in a big spoon and spread it on strainer on top of the heated oil.
  • Soon nice round drops of paste will fall on oil.
  • Turn the boondi, take it out on a paper towel,when its colour is light brown.
  • In the remaining oil, curry leaves and green chillies can be fried, till they change the colour.
  • Leave it on a paper towel for 15 minutes.

Mix all ingredients together – poha, murmura, groundnuts, roasted chana dal, fried curry leaves and fried chillies, cashew-nuts, raisins and sesame seeds.


When cold, it can be kept in an airtight container, can last on shelf for 2 months.