Green Beans Super Salad

This easy recipe is loaded with nutrients and a couple of super foods. Let’s see how!

Ingredients:

  • 200 gm green beans/ french beans cut into 3 inch pieces.
  • 1 chopped green chilli.
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated coconut
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp urad dal
  • 1/2 tsp chana dal
  • Few curry leaves
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp freshly squeezed lime/ lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup roasted cashews and almonds
  • Salt to taste

Method:

  • Heat a frying pan on the stove and once hot, add the oil. Then reduce the heat to low and coat the pan with the oil.
  • Now add the mustard seeds. Once they splutter, add the dals, curry leaves and green chilli.
  • Almost immediately add the beans and toss everything together. Steam for 2 mins and then, add the salt. Then, cook uncovered for another 3 mins.
  • Remove from heat, mix in the coconut and lime juice. Cover and leave aside for a couple of minutes.
  • Just before serving sprinkle the roasted nuts and we’re done.

Notes: This is great side dish or all on it’s own. Enjoy it however you like.

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Indian Green beans casserole

This is a very quick but nutritious weekday dinner. It doesn’t require a lot of spices, preparation or cooking time. So here goes:

Ingredients:

  • 400gm french beans, washed, cleaned and cut into 3 pieces each
  • 1 large onion, chopped or spices
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped or sliced
  • 3 green chillies, slit into 2 pieces each.
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds.
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tsp oil

Method:

  • In a wok, add oil and once hot, add the mustard seeds and green chillies.
  • When the spluttering starts to settle, add the onion and fry until golden brown. Then add the beans and stir everything together on a high flame for 3-4 mins.
  • Then lower the flame and cover. Let it cook for about 5 mins. Then add tomatoes, salt and turmeric and mix everything and stir together on high flame for another 2 mins.
  • We’re done. Great to go with roti and rice. We usually pair it with a daal of choice. It keeps well in the fridge for about a week and is excellent in falafel or paneer wraps.

PS: I have added some left over boiled potatoes and paneer. You don’t need to.

Mutter Paneer/ Cottage cheese and peas curry.

This is a liked by all recipe. It can be adapted but this tried and tested version has always worked wonderfully with nearly everyone who has tried it. The picture is literally that of my lunch box.

Ingredients:

  • 200 gm paneer/ cottage cheese cut into cubes or triangles. I like triangles.
  • 1 bowl peas ( fresh or frozen)
  • 2 inch piece of ginger, chopped
  • 1 green chilly, chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, boiled and ground into a puree
  • 2 tbsp whisked plain curd or yogurt
  • 1 green cardamom
  • 1 clove
  • 1 small cinnamon stick
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 2 tbsp ghee
  • 1 tsp oil
  • 1 small cup of water

Method:

  • Take a heavy bottomed pan and put it on high heat
  • Once hot, put oil and ghee in it together and reduce the flame to a low. Then add the whole spices and wat for them to splutter.
  • After this add ginger and chilly and fry for a minute before adding the tomato puree.
  • Add salt and turmeric and cover and cook until the fat separates.
  • Once done, add the yogurt and mix again.
  • When everything looks like an inviting goop then add a small cup of water and the peas. Bring to a boil and cover. Let it simmer for about 10 mins or until everything looks like an homogenous gravy.
  • Then add the paneer and mix gently. Add some garam masala and let this simmer together for another 5 mins and we are good.
  • Enjoy with hot roti or paratha or any bread.

Cheat Code: Add the paste of about 15 cashews to this to make it fit for royalty.

Keema Mutter (Chicken Mince with Peas)

This is a great choice for an office lunch. It can also be easily adapated to suit tastes and ingredients available. Again, it is simply a good protien option which is ready in under 20 minutes.

Ingredients:

  • 250gm Chicken mince
  • 1 chopped medium onion
  • 4 chopped garlic cloves
  • 2 inch piece of ginger, chopped
  • 1 bowl of fresh or frozen peas
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 green cardamom
  • 1 small stick cinnamon
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp vinegar
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Method:

  • Take a frying pan and add the olive oil. Once hot, add the whole spices and onion to fry.
  • Once the onion is translucent, add the peas and cover the pan with a lid after lowering the flame to a medium low. After about 5 mins, stir around and add salt.
  • After another 5-6 mins, add the chicken mince, more salt, turmeric and vinegar. Mix everything well. Increase the flame and toss for about 2 mins.
  • Then reduce the flame to a medium low and cover and cook until the chicken is done. This usually takes about 5-7 mins for the amount of mince used in this recipe.
  • Our one pot wonder is ready to go with hot roti/ bread/ pita.

Vegetable Pulao/ Pilaf

This is a fantastic one pot dish and especially for those rush weeks at work. It doesn’t take more than 20 mins start to finish and is as tasty as it is healthy. So here goes:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup unpolished hand pounded rice – washed and rinsed. ( Basmati is a popular choice but I like this variety for it’s nutritional value)
  • 1 medium onion thinly sliced
  • 1 potato thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup shelled peas fresh or frozen
  • Handful of cauliflower florets
  • 1/2 cumin seeds
  • 1 green cardamom
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 5-6 black pepper corns
  • 2tbsp ghee or oil
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 cups water

Method:

  • Take a pan/ kadhai and heat the ghee or oil in it. Once hot add the whole spices and let them splutter.
  • Add the onion and saute until golden brown. Add the potato and stir. Leave for a min.
  • Add the rest of the vegetables and mix and stir for another minute.
  • Add the washed rice and mix everything.
  • Now add 2 cups of water. Add salt and let everything boil on a medium high flame.
  • Once little Wells start to form in the various spots in the rice bad veggie mix and the water seems like it has dried off, reduce the flame to the lowest possible and put a lid on the pot.
  • Cover and cook for 12-15 mins or until d rice is done.
  • Enjoy with raita or curd or dal or all of these or on its own. Add more ghee for a richer taste.

Note: This is a very make your own recipe so add any vegetables of choice.

Egg Curry

This is a very quick version of a much celebrated curry. This is my weekday egg curry which takes under 30 mins.

Ingredients:

  • 4-6 hard boiled eggs
  • 2 tomatoes roughly chopped
  • 1 onion roughly chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic roughly chopped
  • 1 inch piece of ginger roughly chopped
  • 1-2 green chillies roughly chopped
  • 2+2 tbsp oil
  • 1 green cardamom
  • 1 clove
  • 1 small piece of cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 coriander powder (optional)
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala (optional)

Method

  • Boil, cool and peel the eggs and set aside.
  • Take a pan or wok and heat 2 tbsp oil in it. Once hot, add all the chopped veggies and fry until tender and then add the powdered spices except garam masala. Add the salt too. Let it cook until the oil separates.
  • Cool and grind this mixture.
  • In d same pan, add 1 tbsp oil and add the eggs and stir them around for a minute to get some texture on the skin. This is optional.
  • Remove the eggs if frying the eggs, else add 1 tbsp oil in the pan and add the whole spices. Once they splutter, add the ground mixture and cook for 2 mins.
  • Add the water and bring to a boil. Now add the eggs and boil together for another 2 mins. Add some garam masala and cover for 5 mins.
  • Egg curry is ready to go with Chapati/ rice or paratha or in the tiffin for the next day.

Chickpea Salad

This is an excellent go to weekday lunch/ dinner. I even mash it and use it as a sandwich spread.

Ingredients:

Dressing

  • 1 tbsp Greek/ regular yogurt
  • Handful Fresh mint
  • Freshly crushed black pepper
  • 1 tsp Olive oil – optional

Salad

  • 1/2 cup boiled chickpea ( I soaked mine overnight and then boiled them in the morning in a pressure cooker. Feel free to use canned ones if the process is too tedious)
  • Handful of cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 1/2 boiled potato
  • 1/2 peeled and deseeded cucumber.
  • Some mint leaves.

Method:

  • For the dressing, mix all ingredients under Dressing and keep aside.
  • For the salad, put everything on the plate and keep ready.
  • Pour over the dressing just before consuming and enjoy.

Butter Paneer Masala

This paneer dish is a popular staple at most lunch and dinner gatherings. It is creamy, delicious, nutritious but not that difficult to put together. Let’s take a peek.

Ingredients:

  • 400gm paneer, fresh is better but frozen will do. Cut it into shapes of choice, I had cut mine into triangles.
  • 400 gm ripe red tomatoes, boiled & skinned
  • 10 cashews, soaked in hot water for 15 mins
  • 10 cloves of garlic, peeled.
  • 2 inch piece of ginger, peeled.
  • 2 green chillies, roughly chopped.
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt, store bought or home made
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tbsp cream, can use the one that collects on the milk container or store bought.
  • 2 tbsp oil and 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 cloves + 1 black cardamom + 1 cinnamon stick.
  • 1tsp Red chilly powder
  • 1tsp dried fenugreek leaves
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 2 tsp freshly crushed black pepper powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • Fresh ginger and coriander leaves for garnish

Method

  • Grind together the tomatoes, yogurt and cashews.
  • Using a mortar and pestle, crush together the ginger, garlic and chillies. One can use the grinder but the flavor is a lot better if crushed.
  • Put a heavy bottom pan on stove on high heat and add the oil and butter to it.
  • Once hot, reduce the flame to a medium low and add the whole spices. Saute for a minute.
  • Now add the crushed ginger garlic and chilly and stir around quickly. Once it is golden brown, add the tomato puree made in step 1 and mix well.
  • Increase the flame and when the bubbling starts, add all the dry spices except sugar. Cover and cook until the oil starts to separate from the sides.
  • Now add the milk and sugar and bring to boil. Once boiled, add the paneer pieces and gently mix.
  • Let it simmer for 10-15 mins to form a homogenous gravy and then garnish with cream, fresh ginger and coriander leaves.

Served best with Paratha/ Chapati/ Roti.

Chicken Skewers

These skewers are quick, yummy and easy on the eyes.

Ingredients:

  • 2 chicken breasts, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp cayenne
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Bell peppers, cut into squares
  • Skewers to set
  • Boiled corn on the cob

Method:

  • Marinate the thin slices of chicken in all the ingredients and keep aside for 15 mins
  • Wash and soak the skewers
  • Then, place a slice of bell pepper on top of the skewer and gently thread the chicken slice into the skewer and then place another slice of the pepper toward the end of the skewer.
  • Put a griddle pan on the stove on full flame and lightly brush it with an oil of choice, I had used canola.
  • Place the skewers and cook on a medium flame. It takes about 2-3 mins on each side.
  • Cut the corn into big chunky pieces and place on the pan.

Dinner is served




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Biscuits, Strawberries and Cream

I can almost never call a meal complete without ending it with a dessert. But on a weekday, if I want something fresh and fast, there are fewer options other than buying something from the market. Then one day, I saw a recipe for Biscuits, berries and cream on the Jamie Oliver show. It was a magnificent recipe where he used vanilla creme’ fresh with berries, short bread biscuits and edelflower concentrate.

I was mesmerized with it instantly. But given the constraints of not being able to find all berries all year around, I decided to make it my own. Its not as fancy but really it is almost criminal, how easy this is and how devilishly good!

Recipe is shared here. The picture is the bowl that I devoured the night I made this 🙂

IMG_20160514_182901

Ingredients:

  • 3 oatmeal cookies
  • 1 box of strawberries
  • 3 tbsp double cream, chilled.
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla paste or pure extract
  • 1 tsp butter

Method:

  • Beat the oatmeal cookies to a crumb with a rolling pin. Throw them in the bowl you want to serve the dessert. Then, mix the butter and set to a hard base at the bottom of the bowl.Set it in the fridge to chill.
  • Cut the strawberries lengthwise or as you please and set aside.
  • Take the double cream in a bowl and use an electric mixer to whisk. You may use a hand whisk too but I was just too tired for it.
  • After beating it for about 2-3 minutes, add the vanilla paste / extract and sugar and then continue to whisk until soft peaks form.
  • Arrange the strawberries on top of the biscuit base and on the sides. Plonk the cream in the middle of the bowl and then top up with some more strawberries and fresh mint leaves. Voila.. its ready.
  • This will hold good until 24 hours in a fridge.