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 frozen vegetables. Show all posts
Showing posts with label frozen vegetables. Show all posts

April 30, 2019

Simple Guvar Beans Stir Fry

I visited my parents this past weekend and enjoyed some good ol' home cooking. I love simple stir fry dishes especially if those stir fries are made with guvar, tindora or snake gourd. 

It can be difficult to find these vegetables in the fresh produce section in supermarkets. That's why we buy them frozen in the Indian supermarkets. Check out the recipe below for simple Guvar Stir Fry.   

- 12 oz packet of Cut Guvar beans (frozen)
- 2 green chilies or per taste, chopped finely
- 3 gloves of garlic, sliced finely
- 1 Tbsp brown sugar
- 1/2 Tbsp salt
- 2 Tbsp sesame powder (sesame seeds roasted and powdered)
- 1/4 tsp turmeric powder

Ingredients for seasoning
- 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 Tbsp Urad dal (also known as black gram lentil)
- 1 tsp whole cumin
- 1 tsp mustard seeds

In a small pressure cooker, heat oil on medium and when you feel heat on your palm, add the seasoning ingredients: urad dal, cumin, and mustard seeds. 

When the dal is roasted and the mustard seeds splutter, add the green chilies and garlic. Toss until the garlic aroma comes out (about 1 minute). 

Now add turmeric, guvar beans, salt and brown sugar. 

Mix well and add 50 ml of water and pressure cook on low to medium heat until 3 whistles. Wait until the pressure is released from the pressure cooker and heat the curry on low heat to allow the extra water to evaporate and then add the sesame powder. Mix well and serve hot. 

You can serve this stir fry as a side dish or with rice. I like eating it with warm rice, topped with ghee (clarified butter). 

Quick Tips
- If you do not have a pressure cooker, you can make this dish in a skillet as well. Cook under tight lid mixing intermittently until the beans are cooked well and soft. Add sesame powder, mix well and serve hot. 

June 10, 2013

My Foodilicious Weekend!

What can I say except I absolutely loved the weather this past weekend. It certainly brightened up my mood for doing errands and some good ol' home cooking.
Friday night my mom made Sarvapindi, a dish planned for Mothers' day for her mom but was postponed because we were all sick at that time. After dinner, we played rummy (different from gin rummy and played with 13 cards) and ate rasmalai. Guess who won 3 times in a row? Me, of course. The next day, my dad and I went to work for a few hours to unpack boxes and rearrange furniture in our new office. I'm not a fan of working on weekends but I knew the sooner we settled in, the easier everything will be for all of us. A productive day deserves a good meal. That night, I made paneer kati rolls for everyone. It's quick and easy especially if you use ready made rotis or plain parathas (I recommend Deep Foods brand). I used to eat these all the time when I was working in the city. They're cheap and filling.
Since I worked so much on Saturday, it's only fair that Sunday should be a lazy day. I caught up with all my shows from the week, cleaned my room, and organized my closet. Why does it always feel like time flies by on Sundays? Before I knew it, it was time for dinner. My mom and I made Spinach and Cheese Naan Pizza. Oh Goody!

Pizza is my grandma's favorite American food. I wonder why? Any guesses. She loves the crispy, crunchy crust and the stringy cheese.  We love it because it's easy to make and it's foodilicious!! We sauteed a bag of frozen spinach and red onions with ginger-garlic paste, salt and chili pepper. Then we laid out the naans (from Costco) on a baking tray and spread pizza sauce (you can also use pasta sauce) evenly on them. Next we spooned the seasoned spinach and onion mixture all over and sprinkled the naans with shredded pepper jack cheese (we love the spicy flavor). We popped the trays into the preheated oven (375 degrees) for about 10-15 minutes or until crispy.

Have you tried naan pizzas before? What are your favorite toppings? Feel free to share!

October 15, 2012

Seasoned Brown Rice Enriched with Lentils & Vegetables

Rice is a staple food in most, if not all, Asian dishes. In South Indian cooking, white rice is served with all of our vegetable curries and rasams. After reading more about the various kinds of whole grains that are beneficial for us, we made a healthy switch to brown rice - which brings us to the first super food ingredient. Brown rice has a lower glycemic index than white rice. That means it doesn't raise blood sugar levels as much after you eat it. Any measure that can be taken to lower the risk of getting diabetes sounds good to me. It's also a great source of fiber, magnesium, zinc, and vitamin B-6.

Below is a great way to spice up brown rice and enjoy eating healthier.

Seasoned Brown Rice with Moong Wadi and Stir Fry Vegetables

- 2 cups Brown Rice/Brown Basmati*
½ cup Moong Wadi (Sun-Dried Lentil Clusters)
- 2 cups Frozen Asian Stir Fry Vegetables
- 8oz can Tomato sauce
- 1 tbsp Ginger-Garlic paste
- 2 tsp Salt
- 1 tsp Chili Sauce (Asian variety)
- 1 tsp Garam Masala
- 1 tsp Cumin seeds
- 4 tbsp Olive oil/Vegetable oil

In a large saucepan heat oil, add moong wadi and stir fry until they turn yellow to reddish-brown color. Then add cumin seeds; when they splutter, add rice and fry until mixture becomes whitish. Next add ginger-garlic paste, chili sauce and garam masala. Fry for two minutes and transfer the contents into an electric rice cooker. Then add 6 cups of water, tomato sauce, salt, and allow it to cook. (Hint: use the cup that comes with the rice cooker for the water measurement; otherwise measure 4 cups of water using a regular measuring cup) Stir every 5 minutes to evenly cook. When rice is more than half cooked, add frozen vegetables. Mix well, close cooker with lid and cook until it's done.

***Quick Tips:
- 1/4 cup of uncooked rice = 1 serving
- Check out another great recipe with brown rice.  


January 22, 2012

Daily Delight's Fresh Frozen Aviyal Mix

Ever since we ate Aviyal at Rajni Restaurant, I wanted my mom to try to make it at home. She found a packet of Aviyal Mix at Subji Mandi (Indian grocery store) last week and tried to recreate it. Aviyal is a mixed vegetable dish with a coconut and yogurt gravy sauce, originating from Kerala.

On the upside:
- All the vegetables needed to make this dish were included and they were straight from the source - grown and packed in Kerala.
- The cost of this mix was under 2 USD.

The packet contained fresh frozen pre-cut vegetables and spices found in a typical Aviyal dish: 
1-2 Drumsticks
50 grams of Elephant yam
1 medium-size Cucumber
50 grams of Snake gourd
50 grams of Long beans
50 grams of Carrot
1 small green mango
3 medium-sized green chilies
10 curry leaves

The only downside is that the packet didn't come with a recipe. Lucky for us, my mom is a genius. I cheered on as she did her magic.    

Below are the ingredients for the gravy:
12oz Yogurt
1/2 cup Coconut (fresh/frozen), grated
1 tsp Whole Cumin seeds
A pinch of Turmeric
Salt, as needed

Let's get started:
1) Empty the cut vegetables into a heavy-bottomed saucepan (3-5 Qt). Add 1½ cup of water, ½ tsp of turmeric, and cook until soft and firm.  Drumstick takes the longest time to cook, so make sure it is soft. Transfer into the serving dish and allow it to cool down.
2) Blend together grated coconut, green chilies, cumin, and approximately 1/3 of yogurt and a pinch of salt until it is a smooth mixture.
3) Add the remaining yogurt, blended coconut mixture to the cooked vegetables and mix well. For seasoning, heat a tablespoon of coconut oil on low heat and add 1/2 tsp mustard seeds, cumin, and red chili. when they splutter, add asafoetida and curry leaves. Stir 10 seconds and immediately transfer it into Avial and mix well. 
4) Serve it with warm rice or pooris.

Served hot over brown rice
***Quick Tips:
- The packet includes 3 chilies, use 2 if you prefer less spice level.
- On the packet, the serving size is listed as 3 but we found that after combining all the ingredients together, the dish is enough for 4-6.

Our conclusion: The dish turned out well and didn't require a lot of time since most of the prep work was done. Also, the spices included in the packet were packed separately to prevent any wetness or sogginess. We would buy this mix again.

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 18, 2011

"Carrots" - A Girl's Best Friend

My sister and I like to cook but with her busy schedule, it's not as easy. Additionally, she says in the city she can't readily find all the ingredients.

What is a girl to do, she says.

Whenever we both have some free time, we chit chat about our lives and so on...

Today, I told her about our new snack, veggie boats. When she saw the posting, she got very excited and I knew why.

A few of the pita pockets were filled with her favorite vegetable dish, carrots and moong dal.

My dear sister, this recipes is just for you. ENJOY!!

2 lbs Carrots, peeled and grated
- 1/3 cup Moong dal
- ½ cup Frozen peas             
- 1/3 cup Coconut powder (dry), optional
- 3-4 medium sized Green chilies, chopped finely
- 1" piece Ginger, grated
- 1/3 cup Fresh Coriander, chopped*
- 2 tbsp Vegetable oil
- 2 tsp Whole Cumin seeds
- 1 tsp Mustard seeds
- 1 tsp Salt or according to taste

1) Add ½ cup of water to moong dal and microwave it for 2 minutes, allowing it to soak for 15-20 minutes.

2) Heat oil in a saucepan and add cumin and mustard seeds. When they splatter, add chilies and ginger and stir for a minute. (Hint: In this step, we are sauteing spices to make seasoning for the dish).  Then add grated carrot and soaked moong dal along with water.

3) Add salt, mix and cook under closed lid for 10-15 minutes (on low heat) stirring in between until the dal is cooked and soft but not mushy.

4) Turn off stove and remove the lid and stir in frozen peas and coconut powder. Allow it to sit for a few minutes and serve hot garnished with the chopped coriander.

My sister loves eating this simple dish with rotis or chappatis. You can eat it with soft tortillas or pitas as well.

***Quick Tip: Coriander/cilantro is most often used as a garnish to again heighten the flavor and give color to the dish. Parsley or basil can be substituted if it is not readily available.

August 2, 2010

"Just Moved In" Curry

The First Meal

Friday July 30th at 730AM - The movers came to our old house and began the hours long moving process. We thought it would take 4-5 hours. We packed everything ourselves except for the furniture. Hey, we not Super People. Anyways, long behold, 5 hours passed and we are not completely done. In fact, it was after 5 hours that the movers headed to the new house to transfer the stuff. Either they took their time or we had way more stuff than we calculated. Anyways, by the time the whole move was completed it was 10 hours and we were all tired and hungry. We tried to group the boxes in their respective rooms so we do not run around like headless chickens when it comes time to look for items. That night, we just decided to eat out since cooking was not an option.

The next night though my mom decided to make some curries so we could a nice home cooked meal. I realized you can eat out as much as you want but the meal can never be compared with what you make at home. The taste is too different. I point this out because the previous night we went to a vegetarian Indian restaurant (Chand Palace, Parsippany, NJ) and the cuisine and service was fine. Actually I haven't been there in years so it was a nice surprise to find the place more enjoyable this time around. My point is that some of the curries that I tried lacked certain ingredients (a little salt here and there). I started critiquing the items and realized that no matter where you go, you are bound to question the way it is made or the amount of ingredients used if it is not something you are used to.

On with the subject at hand, the "Just Moved In Curry" was prepared with the utensils and cookery we were able to unpack from the numerous kitchen boxes (as you may see in the pictures). My mom used a small pressure cooker to cook the curry. Mind you, you may use the pressure cooker when you are using fresh ingredients but if all you have are frozen veggies, then it is not needed. My mom used the bottom of the pressure cooker (the container part) to make the curry. When you are limited to ingredients available in your kitchen, you are really testing yourself on what you can make for dinner and you will be surprised at the results. Why you may wonder? You actually tend to cook better. At least that's what my mom figured out soon enough.

Garam Masala
Crushed tomatoes
Small boiled potatoes
Frozen vegetables
Salt to taste

Procedure (from what I recollect):

1) She started out by sauteing garam masala in the cooker with some oil. Then added crushed tomatoes and let them cook a bit.

2) Next add the frozen vegetables.  (Hint: Defrost the vegetables a bit before adding to the mixture.)

3) Add the boiled potatoes and cook everything together on simmer until it comes to a gravy consistency. Add salt for taste.

4) It should ultimately look like the picture below. I will add the exact measurements in a bit. Until then, please enjoy the story and the pictures which by the way I took with my phone since the camera was packed away.

I realized that in some cases, improvising makes the best dishes.