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.

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Showing posts with label garam masala. Show all posts
Showing posts with label garam masala. Show all posts

February 21, 2021

Garam, Garam Air Fried Samosas by Meagan



Ingredients for the Samosa Dough

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 cup avocado oil*
  • ¼ tsp black cumin, toasted
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 3 Tbsp water
Ingredients for Potato Filling
  • 2 medium potatoes
  • ¼ cup peas (blanched)
  • ½ tsp ghee
  • ½ Tbsp ginger, minced
  • Pinch of asafoetida
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp cumin, ground
  • ¼ tsp garam masala
  • ½ tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp fresh cilantro/coriander, chopped

You will also need

Extra oil for rolling dough Pastry Brush & Rolling Pin Water for sealing samosas


Procedure 1) Boil potatoes until just done; so, a fork can go through. Crumble potatoes and set aside. Add ghee, ginger, and spices to a pan until it sizzles, saute for about 30 seconds, stirring, add peas and cook for another 2 minutes. Add mixture to potatoes along with vinegar and stir well. Set aside to cool. 2) Mix together flour ingredients, except water. Rub the flour well for a few minutes to mix the oil in well. The dough should be able to hold shape and not crumble when it is ready to add water. Mix in the water a little at a time to make a stiff dough. Cover and rest for 30 minutes. 3) Knead the dough to smooth, cut into three pieces, and roll into balls. Cover remaining dough while rolling out each piece. Oil the rolling area and flatten a ball, drizzle oil on ball. Roll ball into an oval shape about 8 x 6 inches. Cut into two parts, this will be two samosas.





4) Take one part and add water over the straight edge, joining edges to make a cone. Press down carefully to seal the cone from the inside also.




5) Add cilantro to potato filling and mix well.

6) Fill the cone with potato masala and gently push filling inside the cone. Brush water on both remaining edges bring together, and seal, pinching the edges together. Cover to keep from drying while working on the others.



7) Once finished, turn on the air fryer to 350. Brush or spray samosas generously with avocado oil. Bake in the air fryer for about 30 minutes or until light golden brown.



Quick Tips
-  If avocado oil is not readily available, you can use substituted with ghee or canola oil. 
If baking in the oven, turn on the oven about 10 minutes prior to forming samosas.


We thank Meagan for sharing her love of Indian cooking with us. Like these vegetarian Samosas, follow Meagan: on Twitter and on YouTube.

December 27, 2020

All-in-One Cheesy Pepper Cups

Although I started my vegetable garden later than expected this year, I managed to grow some delicious vegetables like sweet bell peppers, tomatoes, and herbs. 

One of my favorite ways to cook sweet bell peppers (red, orange, and yellow-colored ones) is by stuffing and then baking them. The flesh gets soft when you grill or char it and then you can stuff it with whatever you want. 

I've made this dish several times but never wrote the recipe down. My mom nudged me to share it since I'm always at her back to write all of her recipes so I can make them at my leisure. I hope you enjoy this dish as much as I do. 


Ingredients


  • 3 Bell peppers (red, orange, and/or yellow can be used) 
  • 1 medium onion, chopped finely
  • 10 oz mushrooms (Baby Bell or white button mushrooms), chopped
  • 1 tomato (vine or plum variety), finely chopped
  • 8 oz fresh spinach* leaves
  • 1/2 Tbsp ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder (optional)
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp salt (adjust salt as per your taste)
  • 1.5 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 cup cooked rice* (plain or brown)
  • 1 cup grated pepper jack cheese (or mozzarella cheese)

Instructions
  • Heat oil in a medium saucepan on medium heat. Add ginger-garlic paste and onions. Saute them until the onions are translucent, and then add garam masala, turmeric powder, and chili powder. Mix well. 

  • Reduce the heat to low-medium and add mushrooms. Cover with lid and cook for 5 to 7 minutes or until mushrooms reduce in size. Remove the lid and add tomato and salt and cook for a few more minutes. Next, add spinach and cook uncovered until the leaves are wilted and the mixture is not as watery. 


  • Lastly, add the cooked rice or your favorite carb like quinoa or brown rice. Mix well and remove from heat. 
  • Chop the bell peppers in half so you end up with 6 halves (or cups) so they can be stuffed. Then place them on a dinner plate, season each pepper cup with a little salt, and microwave them for 4 to 5 minutes. Let them cool down. 

  • Grill/char the halves on a griddle or flat pan to your liking. Transfer the pepper cups to the desired baking sheet/dish safe to use in the oven. Sprinkle cheese into each of the grilled pepper cups. 


  • Scoop about 1/3 cup of stuffing into each pepper cup. You can stuff as much as you want. 


  • Sprinkle the top of each stuffed pepper with more cheese. 


  • Preheat oven to 350 °F and bake peppers for 15 minutes or until cheese is melted.


  • The stuffed peppers are ready to be served. I can easily eat one to two pepper halves for lunch or dinner. 

Quick Tips
  1. Frozen spinach can be used but make sure that you pick up frozen spinach leaves. 
  2. You can substitute with quinoa as well. 
  3. You can make the stuffing, while you are preparing the bell peppers.  
  4. I sometimes add some cheese to the stuffing to hold it together. 

I like using red, orange, and yellow bell peppers because they have a sweeter flavor than the green ones. Add some cooked lentils or legumes to increase the nutritional value of this recipe. I like making this dish because it is heart-healthy and you can use up whatever vegetables and/or rice you have on hand for the stuffing. 

Please feel free to share your comments about this recipe. Let us know if you end up making it or have any questions. ðŸ™

🎊🎉🎇 Happy Holidays ðŸŽ‡ðŸŽ‰ðŸŽŠ

December 21, 2016

Comfort Food Series: Spinach and Tofu Rice


Although today was the official first day of winter, we've been having winter weather for the past month or more. The temperatures have been fluctuating between 20 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit everyday so it's only natural to want to make and eat comfort food. 

Our go to comfort food is some kind of rice dish. It should have vegetables and protein so you are not just "carbing" it up. Below is a recipe for easy Spinach and Tofu rice.  




Ingredients
- 2 cups Basmati Rice, cooked with slightly less water
- 1 large bunch of fresh Spinach, chopped finely 
- 4 oz tofu*, cut into 1/2" cubes
- 1/2 tsp crushed green chilies paste (or 1 green chili, finely chopped)
-  1 tsp Garam Masala
- 1 Tbsp ginger-garlic paste
- 3 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 1/2 Tbsp whole cumin
- 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
- Salt, per your taste
- Fried onions (optional)

Procedure
In a large skillet, heat oil and add whole cumin. When it starts to sizzle, add turmeric powder, crushed chilies, and ginger-garlic paste. Stir for few seconds. Then add spinach, sprinkle some salt and stir the mixture until the spinach leaves are wilted (cook for about 3 to 4 minutes). Next add garam masala and mixture well. Then add cooked rice, tofu and salt as per your taste. Mix well until the spinach is evenly mixed into the rice. When it's ready to be served, top with fried onions. 

This dish can be enjoyed on its own or eaten with cucumber raita (yogurt dip). It's comfort food for the soul.  


*Quick Tips
- We freeze tofu for 3 to 4 hours to keep it firm and thaw it for a bit when we need to use it. This way it doesn't crumble when we cut portions of it. 
- Try our other rice dishes made with beets, coconut, and/or lentils

October 31, 2016

Egg Curry with Bell Pepper and Tomatoes


Cooking is more than a hobby for me; it's a way of life. This blog started out as my portable cookbook that contained recipes of dishes that my sister and I grew up eating. I've learned so much over the years, cooking alongside my mother; teaching me the ways of Indian cooking. 

However, as I grew up my tastes changed a bit. I was vegetarian when I first moved here. I slowly started trying new dishes and cuisines and now I'm half vegetarian. I eat eggs, chicken and fish every so often. However, I still stay away from meats like pork and beef. 

One of the dishes I really like is egg curry but my mom doesn't eat eggs so it's up to me to figure it out. I've watched YouTube videos and looked for recipes online. I've tested a few but didn't like the taste so much. A few months, I found a recipe at Archana's Kitchen called Quick and Simple Egg Curry Recipe. I did find her recipe to be simple enough and kind of quick. 

I made a couple changes for my taste, such as adding more vegetables like bell peppers, mushrooms or spinach to the recipe. Check out the recipe below:



Yields: Serves 6 (2 egg halves and gravy per serving)

Ingredients
- 6 eggs (boiled, peeled, and cut into half vertically)
- 3 vine tomatoes, pureed
- 1 large green bell pepper, chopped into 1/2" pieces and microwave for 2 to 3 minutes
- 12 oz baby Bella mushrooms, chopped into 1/2" pieces (optional)
- 1 tsp Turmeric powder
- 1 tsp coriander powder (or Dhanjeera powder)
- 1 tsp Garam Masala powder
- 1/2 tsp red chili powder or cayenne pepper (optional)
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt (adjust as per your taste)
- a small bunch of fresh coriander leaves, finely chopped
- 2 Tbsp vegetable oil

Ingredients to be ground to a paste
- 1 large onion, chopped 
- 1 (1-inch) piece of ginger, peeled and chopped
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 2 green chilies (or 1/2 tsp of chili paste)

Procedure
Heat oil in a medium saucepan on low-medium heat. Add the paste made with onion, ginger, garlic, and chilies to the pan. Saute for a few minutes or until the onion mixture turns translucent in color. Next add turmeric powder, sugar, garam masala powder, coriander powder, and red chili powder. Mix until combined well. I added mushrooms next and let them cook a little before I added bell pepper.  Cook for a few minutes while stirring intermittently. Next, add the tomato puree, salt, and eggs. Cover the saucepan with a lid and simmer the egg and vegetable mixture for 10 to 15 minutes. 

Lift the cover and check the salt and spice levels; adjust them to your taste. If you want the gravy to be a bit thinner, add 1/4 to 1/2 cup of water. Turn off the stove and sprinkle fresh coriander on the curry and serve with your meal. 

This curry goes well with plain white or brown rice, jeera rice, quinoa, or your favorite flatbread. Whenever I make this curry, I make two halves and some gravy and a couple of roti for lunch. It's healthy and filling. I would definitely recommend this recipe to anyone who likes eating eggs and wants to try something different. 

Quick Tips
- If wine or plum tomatoes are not readily available, you can buy a crushed tomatoes can. 
- Other vegetables you can add are yellow or orange bell peppers
- You can add evaporated milk for a creamier taste. 


May 12, 2015

Mother's Day Special - Vegetarian Maqluba & more




I've always been curious and adventurous about cooking. When I was little, I used watch my mom cook in the kitchen. The aroma of the taalimpu or tadka (tempering of the spices) was so energizing. When she mixed those spices with the various vegetables, my mouth was watering and I couldn't wait to eat what she had made. It was that joy of cooking that drove me to learn to cook our ethnic food. 

I'm all grown up now and I still find the tempering of spices euphoric. Just a whiff of whatever is being cooked in the kitchen is enough to make me run wherever I am to the stove. I thank my mom for getting me excited about Indian cooking and teaching me the ways. She's always encouraged my sister and I to experiment and not be afraid to try new dishes.

I feel that some of that energy or spunk has rubbed off on my dad as well. He's been testing out a lot of recipes he finds on the Internet and gets feedback from my mom.

This Mother's day was no different. He was catching up on his daily dose of world news and found an interesting recipe for a rich dish called Maqluba; a Middle Eastern dish that literally means "upside down", The dish includes meat, rice and fried vegetables in a pot which is then flipped upside down when served. Leave it to my dad to come up with the menu for this special day. He researched further and found a vegetarian version of this dish on the Serious Eats website.

Vegetarian Maqluba (Rice Layered with Tomatoes, Eggplant, and Cauliflower)

Yield: Serves 6 to 8
Total Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

Spice Ingredients

  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground allspice
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
We adapted this recipe to what we had at home and used garam masala for all the spices except turmeric.

Other Ingredients
  • 1-2/3 cups basmati rice, rinsed until water runs clear
  • 2 medium eggplants, cut into 1/4" thick slices
  • About 5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 medium cauliflower, divided into medium florets
  • 1 tbsp butter, melted
  • 3 medium ripe tomatoes, cut into 1/4" thick slices
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, peeled and halved
  • Plain yogurt, for serving (optional)
  • Hot sauce such as sambal oelek, for serving (optional)
  • Chopped fresh cilantro or coriander, for serving (optional)

Procedure

Adjust oven racks to middle positions and preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Cover rice with water, stir in 1 tsp of salt and let soak. 

Stir together all the spices in a small bowl. (In our case, we measured the garam masala and put it in a bowl). In a large bowl, toss eggplant slices with 3 tbsp oil, 1/3 of the spice mixture, salt, and pepper to taste. Lay eggplant out on two rimmed baking sheets and roast, turning slices once, until eggplant is browned and tender (see example below), about 20 minutes.  


In a large bowl, toss cauliflower, with 2 tbsp oil, 1/3 of the spice mixture, salt, and pepper to taste. Lay cauliflower out on a rimmed baking sheet and roast, stirring once, until cauliflower is browned and tender, about 20 minutes. 

Time to assemble the Maqluba
Line the bottom of a Dutch oven with a circle of parchment paper, then brush paper and sides with melted butter. Assemble tomato slices in a circle, covering bottom of the pot and overlapping the slices as you go. Follow with the eggplant, Arrange cauliflower over eggplant. Drain rice thoroughly, then spread over cauliflower. Stir remaining spice mixture and 1 tsp salt into vegetable, and pour over rice. Scatter garlic pieces over top. 

Place pot over high heat and bring stock to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Cover pot with a tight-fitting lid and simmer for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, remove pot from heat, remove lid, drape a clean tea towel over top of pot, and quickly replace lid, letting dish set for 10 minutes. Quickly invert rice dish onto a large round platter; do not remove pot for 2-3 minutes. Remove pot and circle of parchment and serve maqluba with plain yogurt, hot sauce and chopped fresh cilantro, if desired. 

 
Although we substituted some ingredients and used a different pot, our Maqluba dish still turned out well. 

We also tossed together a healthy salad (my sister's recipe): baby spinach, cooked beets (purchased from Costco), walnuts, crumbled goat cheese, diced apples, flax seed powder, and diced carrots. This salad can be eaten as it is or with poppy seed salad dressing. Every since my mom tasted this salad at my sister's place, she always asks her to make it whenever she's visiting us. 

I'm not a big fan of salads, but I love the ingredients in this recipe. I couldn't believe my sister came up with it on her own; she always seems to surprise me with her ingenuity. 

For dessert, I made Dark Chocolate brownies with walnuts using Pillsbury brownie mix and just added chopped walnuts. After we all tasted these brownies, I don't think we're going back to the original kind. I don't feel as guilty eating these since the only calories are from the oil and cacao. Once in a while, it's okay, right. 

My mom loved her Mother's day surprise dinner and we enjoyed cooking together after a longtime. 

Quick Tips
- We realized the importance of parchment paper after we flipped the pot into the serving dish. Some of the rice and vegetables fell out of place. If we had used the parchment paper as suggested in the recipe, everything would have stayed in place and looked more presentable. 

- We forget to garnish the dish with fresh cilantro or coriander. It would have added more flavor. Lesson learned and looking forward to making it again. 

- You can always cut down the recipe by half if you're making it for less people. 

Have you made or tried Maqluba before? What did you do for Mother's Day? Please share your thoughts with us. Happy Mother's day to all the mommies and to be mommies!


May 1, 2010

Spinach Nuggets...Beyond Appetizers!!

Remember Tater Tots from your high school lunches? What about spinach nuggets from fast food restaurants with some spicy dipping sauce. Did you ever think you could make an Indian curry out of them? Here's what my mom had to say. The following is our conversation between mother (M) and I, the daughter (D):

M: Traditionally, Koftas (dumplings) are made using the following method: you first grate vegetables like potatoes, long squash, plantains or even Paneer (Indian Cheese). Then mix the grated vegetable with bread crumbs or gram flour, and then make them into balls. Next you fry these balls and add them to the gravy which you also have to make.

D: What?? All this sounds like a long process. Isn't there a way to shorten this recipe and still eat healthy.

M: I'm glad you asked because there's a way out. You can use tater tots or spinach nuggets as the dry koftas. No more grating or mixing and making balls. All you have to make is the gravy, which is not that difficult.

D: Okay, how do you make it? Oh, maybe we can make this for our guests tonight.

M: That's a good idea. It makes 3-4 servings, so we will have enough.

Here's what you will need:

Ingredients for koftas:
  • 1 Packet Veggie Patch Spinach Nuggets - (12 pieces total)
Ingredients for the gravy:
  • 2 tbsp Cooking oil
  • 1 Medium Onion, finely chopped
  • ½ tbsp Ginger-garlic paste
  • ½ tbsp Garam Masala
  • ½ cup Red Pack Crushed Tomato puree
  • 1 tsp Chili Powder
  • 1 tsp Turmeric Powder
  • 1 tbsp Cream cheese
  • 1 tbsp Regular Sour Cream
  • 1 tbsp Fresh Coriander, finely chopped
  • Salt to taste
***It's a good thing we have our Chaunk box (spice box) for some of the ingredients. It makes it easier to store them for cooking.

Procedure:
1) Bake the koftas in a toaster oven at 350°C for 20 minutes, alternately they can be toasted mildly on both sides in a non-stick pan.
2) Heat oil in a saucepan and sauté crushed onions until light golden brown. Add ginger garlic paste and sauté for 1-2 min. Then add turmeric, chili and garam masala powder and mix well.
3) Stir in crushed tomato / puree and mix well, add cream cheese & sour cream and mix it into the tomato mixture.
4) Next, add water to make the gravy to a soup like consistency and salt & boil the sauce. Evaporated milk (small can) can be used instead of cream cheese and sour cream to make the gravy.

5) Drop the nuggets into the sauce and continue to heat the curry to boil and remove and transfer into a serving dish.
6) Garnish with fresh coriander and serve the vegetable with rice or any type of bread.




***Quick Tip:
- To avoid koftas /nuggets from breaking, arrange them in the serving dish and pour hot gravy over them. Microwave for 3-5 minutes if needed.
- Fat-free or non-fat ingredients could be used to make a low-calorie dish.
- Mushroom and broccoli nuggets, Tater tots, or Ashoka's Hara Bhara Kebabs can also be substituted for spinach nuggets.