The word "khana" in Indian Khana Made Easy means food. So come on, let's explore and cook some easy Indian food together including gluten-free and vegan dishes.


Showing posts with label bell pepper. Show all posts
Showing posts with label bell pepper. Show all posts

July 27, 2011

"Corny" Rainbow Salad

Click image to enlarge

One of the best ways to lose weight and boost your health is to add more color to your diet. So we played with that idea and created the Rainbow Salad. It's so easy that even my sister who always claims she's too busy, took the time to make it and loved it. Now that's saying something!!

- 16 oz frozen bag of Yellow Sweet Corn
- 16 oz frozen bag of White Sweet Corn
- 1 Red Bell pepper, cut into 1cm cubes
- 1 English Cucumber, cut into 1cm cubes
- ½ cup of Coriander, chopped
-  2-3 of Carrots, peeled & grated
- 2 tbsp of Lemon juice

1) Microwave both yellow & white corn for 4 min each and allow them to cool.
2) Then microwave bell pepper for 3 min and cool.
3) Mix corn, pepper, carrots, cucumber and coriander in a large bowl along with lemon juice. Serve cold.

We make it for all our backyard parties and whenever we need a side dish for lunch or dinner. It requires minimal assembly and spices. And these types of salads are very popular in South India, specifically in the Karnataka region.

- If coriander/cilantro is not available, parsley can be added.
- English cucumber can be replaced with regular cucumber (peel and seed to avoid watery consistency) or green squash.
- Moong Dal sprouts can be used instead of corn. 
- Use chat masala instead of lemon juice for a zesty flavor.

June 14, 2011

Go Green Part 2

With the overwhelming storms we had over the last few weeks, it seemed like weren't going to the sun for a while. Knock on wood. However, the rainwater replenished and rejuvenated all our plants and trees making our backyard look like a mini rain forest. The trees spread their branches such that they formed a canopy around our deck. We can now enjoy cool nights and breezy days.

Whenever I settle down on our swing, I feel like I'm relaxing on a houseboat in the backwaters of Kerala or on a hammock in between two palm trees on a tropical island. With weather like this, it's only natural to prepare dishes that add a little beat to your step. I packed this curry and half a cup of brown rice for lunch the other day. It was so good that I couldn't stop eating until I spooned the bowl clean. At that moment, I wished I was eating my lunch on the swing while enjoying the cool breeze passing over me. This "curry" is such a simple and flavorful dish, but don't take my word for it. Go green and make it for yourself and enjoy it.

Here's the ingredients' list and procedure for this dish called Indo-Thai Green Curry:
- 1 lb Green Bell Peppers, chopped into 1" cubes
-  ½ cup Frozen Peas                                   
- 3 Green chilies, finely chopped             
- 1" piece Ginger, grated                                         
- ¾ cup Grated coconut                                             
½ cup Evaporated Milk                           
- ¼ cup Fresh Coriander, chopped
- 1 tsp Whole Cumin or Mustard seeds
- 1½ tbsp Vegetable oil     
- 1 tsp Salt (or as needed)

1) In a blender, blend coconut, green chilies and ginger to a smooth paste.
2) Heat oil in a saucepan and add whole cumin, when they splutter add bell pepper and salt. Mix well and cook under covered lid for about 5-7 minutes until the bell pepper pieces are soft but firm.
3) Now add the coconut paste you made in Step 1 as well as evaporated milk and cook uncovered for about 3-4 minutes or until you notice a gravy consistency.

Remove from stove and mix in the frozen peas. Garnish with coriander & serve hot with your favorite flatbreads: roti, naan or pooris. The curry is also good with rice.

Quick Tips: 
1) For a richer consistency, replace evaporated milk with coconut milk or half & half.
2) You can substitute potatoes for bell peppers (just boil the potatoes in microwave for 5-6 minutes, peel & cube them and follow the directions.
3) Also, coconut can be replaced with 1/3 cup poppy seeds (powder the dry seeds and then add water to make a smooth paste). You can also replace it with coconut milk and dry coconut if fresh coconut is not available with the same measurements. 

April 2, 2011

Chak De India!

I'm not a big sports buff but when I heard the Indian Cricket Team made it to the Finals for the ICC Cricket World Cup, I was jumping up for joy. The team beat out Pakistan in the Semi Finals for this chance. They will be playing against Sri Lanka in just a few hours. To show our support  for the team, we made orange/red bell pepper, feta and broccoli (Indian Flag colors) paninis with onion naan for dinner tonight. They came out all gooey and delicious. I will post pictures soon. 


January 9, 2011

New Year's Resolution - Veggie Delight!

Each new year we start off with a new list of resolutions and one that usually tops the list is eating more healthy and staying fit. That means, less junk and more nutritious meals. We know more than ever how hard it is to keeping up with those resolutions through the course of the year. That is why, we are constantly coming up with more and more recipes to keep you on track without sacrificing the taste of your meals.

Furthermore, there are a lot of products that are designed to keep calories down with the help of diet drinks, bar and cereals. However, it's important to balance your diet plan with vegetables to make sure you are getting the necessary nutrients. One of those vegetables is Okra.
It is low in calories and has a good source of many nutrients including vitamin B6 and C, fiber, calcium, and folic acid (according to We make curries with this vegetable quite often and recently discovered that adding crushed peanuts makes it even more tasty.

Ingredients for Nutty Okra:
- 1.5 lb of Fresh Okra (also known as bhindi/lady fingers)
- 1 Red Bell Pepper, chopped
- ½ cup of Roasted peanuts,  (coarsely ground)
- ½ tsp of Chili powder 
- ½ tsp of Jeera (cumin seeds) 
- 3 tbsp of Vegetable oil
- ½ tbsp of Salt  (or as needed)

1) Wash and dry the okra very well between towel folds or allow it to dry in open air for 15-20min. Chop the ends of the okra and make it into quarters lengthwise.
2) Heat oil on medium heat in a non-stick pan (saucepan) and add jeera. When they sizzle, add okra and mix well. Close the pan with a lid and allow the okra to soften for 5-6 min (stir in between).
3) When okra is cooked (the color will change from bright green to dull green color), remove the lid and pan fry the okra for 5-6 min mixing frequently (add 1 tbsp oil if needed) until the oil comes out. Now add chili powder and salt and mix well for 1-2 min followed by the peanut powder.
4) Mix the contents and transfer into a serving dish. This can be served as an appetizer or as a side dish with hot rice or rotis.
Quick Tip: Salt is added after the vegetable is cooked to avoid gooeyness. 

December 10, 2010

~Funky Fast Fungi~

A Mushroom walks into a bar to get a drink. He walks up to the bar area and asks the bartender, "Can I have a drink?" The bartender looks down and says "We only serve people".  So then the mushroom responds, "But I'm a Fungi" (as in Fun guy). 

My Biology teacher shared this joke with the class the first day of the class to start off with a laugh. Until this day I still remember it and it cracks me up every single time. 
Anyways, let's get down to cooking. My mom came up with this recipe post Thanksgiving weekend. We had a lot of vegetables leftover from the holiday grocery shopping trip. So she thought, what better way to use them up but to create a whole new recipe:

Mushroom and Bell Pepper Medley Ingredients:
Serving Size: 4 to 6

- 1 lb of White button mushrooms, chopped
- 3 Green bell peppers,  remove seeds chop into cubes
- 1 medium Red Onion, chopped into cubes
½ cup (frozen) of Carrot and Peas
1-1 ½ tbsp of MTR Vangeebath powder
- 2-3 tbsp of Vegetable oil
2 tbsp of Dry Grated Coconut 
- 1 tsp each of Mustard and Jeera seeds
½ tsp of Turmeric powder

1) In a saucepan heat oil and add mustard and jeera seeds. When they splatter, add turmeric powder, chopped onions, mushrooms & bell pepper.

2) Add salt and Vangeebath powder and mix well. Cook the vegetables till soft & firm.

3) Then add frozen peas & carrots. Cook for another 5-6 minutes. Next, sprinkle coconut powder and mix well.
Finished Mushroom & Bell Pepper Medley
4) The curry can be served with hot rotis, rice or eaten by itself.

April 26, 2010

Everything Stew with an Indian Touch!

You've heard of the Everything Bagel, right?

It has different kinds of seeds, onions, salt and other ingredients on it. Well, we have something in the same line but it's a stew. It's called the Everything Stew! It's like a Minestrone Soup. 

It has all the vegetables that were in our vegetable drawer plus beans, grains, different kinds of spices and sauces.
I always believe that the best recipes are the ones that you make up on a whim. Everything Stew is just that. My mom started making the stew this way when we were running out of ideas for lunch and needed to make something healthy and hearty. At first, I was not excited about it, I was like, stew? Come on mom.

But you know what, as usual I was wrong. I think my mom knows I'll change my mind once I taste it (I'm the Official Taste Tester in the family). Kind of like how back in the Kings and Queens era, they had peons and servants taste their food before they ate it. It was to ensure that the food was not poisoned or spoiled. In my case, I tell her whether the food requires more or less of a certain ingredient.

I know, it might seem like I'm being biased to my mom's cooking. Everyone would say their mom's cooking is the best. You just have to try it. I would recommend making this when you want to spice up cooking regime. I like to eat it with potato chips, toasted bread or pita chips.

This recipe makes 6-8 servings and you know just 4 steps you have The Everything Stew!!

Click image to enlarge
- 1 cup or 1 packet of Brown rice/ Uncle Ben’s rice (cooked)
- 1 bunch of Celery, finely chopped
- 1 medium Onion, chopped
- 1 can (14.75oz/418g) of Sweet Corn, regular or cream style
- 1 medium size can of Beans (any variety), wash and drain well
- 1½ cup of Crushed Tomato
- 2 tsp of Ginger garlic paste
- 1 tsp of Red chili pd / paste
- 2 Red/green/yellow peppers, cut into ½” pieces
- 1 tbsp of Smoked barbeque sauce (optional)
- 2 tbsp of Olive oil or any cooking oil
- 1 tsp of Marjoram (Italian spice)
- ½ tbsp of Salt

1) In a heavy bottomed pan (casserole), preferably of 4 Qtz size heat oil and sauté onions and ginger garlic paste. (Indian Touch)

2) Add celery and peppers until celery is soft and firm. When celery is cooked, add chili paste and tomato pulp for 1-2min.

3) Then add corn, beans, cooked rice, marjoram and salt & cook well (add water to bring the stew to a thick soup consistency).

4) Serve it in a bowl along with veggie sticks or garlic bread or toast. It makes a very satisfying healthy lunch. Can be stored in the refrigerator for 1-week.

Quick Tips: 
- Barley/ Cracked wheat (dalia) or regular rice can be substituted for brown rice. Any variety of vegetables like carrots, zucchini, cabbage, cauliflower, beans or spinach can be used.
- If available, frozen mixed vegetable packets are convenient and save time in chopping and cooking.