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Sunday, 28 February 2016

Bell Pepper Stir Fry Recipe


Colored Bell Peppers are always a visual treat. They not only punch up flavor and nutritional content of our meals but also can change our mood. Not all of us know , but the colors we eat do make a difference in the way we feel. Whenever i feel low , i choose to grab a plate food of fresh and vibrant colors and it does change my mood and i start feeling great !


   Now coming to the dish , there is no hard and fast recipe for this Bell Pepper Stir fry. You can roughly chop the bell peppers and toss them with caramelized Onions and seasonings of your choice. Only what matters is the time of cooking. I stir fry the Bell Peppers on a high flame to induce the smokey flavor and make sure not to over cook them. Over cooking Bell Peppers make them soggy and also lowers their nutritional content. They taste best when they have a slight crunch . 

The Bell Pepper stir fry tastes good just as it is , it can be served as a side dish with chapati or steamed rice. It can be tossed with pasta or topped on Pizza.

  I had made Kutchi Dabeli ( a famous Indian Street Food) , few days back and some of the masala ( spice mix powder) i made for it was left. I have used the same masala for this stir fry. You can make the masala by dry roasting the spices and grinding them to a powder.

Ingredients:
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper
  • 1 Green Bell Pepper
  • 1 Yellow Bell Pepper
  • 2 large Onions
  • 2 tbsp Oil
  • 1 tbsp Spice Mix
  • Salt to taste
For the Spice Mix
  • 3-4 dried Red Chilies( Sukhi Lal Mirch)
  • 5-7 black Pepper corn ( Sabut kali Mirch)
  • 1-2 Cloves ( Laung)
  • 1 Star Anise ( Chakri Fool)
  • 1 /2 inch Cinnamon stick (Dalchini)
  • 1 tsp Fennel seeds ( Saunf)
  • 1 tsp Cumin seeds( Jeera)
  • 2 tsp Coriander Seeds ( sabut Dhaniya)
  • 1/4 tsp dried Mango powder ( Aamchur Powder)
  • 1/4 tsp Asafoetida ( Hing)
   Method:
  1. Dry roast the spices listed under spice mix on a low to medium flame , until aromatic and grind them to a powder using grinder. Keep aside .Use 1 tbsp or more of this spice mix in the stir fry.



  2.   Wash the Bell Pepper thoroughly. Pat dry , deseed and chop them length wise as seen in the picture below. This way of chopping ensures even cooking and the stir fry hardly takes any time. Similarly slice the onion thinly and keep ready.


  3.  Heat up oil in a pan on medium heat . Add the sliced onions and saute until the onions turn translucent.


  4.  Add the chopped Bell Peppers. Stir fry on a medium to high flame for 3-4 minutes. Now lower the flame and add the Spice mix powder and salt . Mix well and stir fry again  for a minute or so. 




    5.  Put off the flame and serve the Bell Pepper stir fry with steamed rice or chapati or toss it with your favourite pasta and enjoy !


  I hope you would have liked this simple stir fry recipe and give it a try. Do not forget to give your valuable feed back. 

Foe more Bell Pepper recipes , do check my posts on


Friday, 26 February 2016

Hummus Recipe


Chickpeas or Garbanzo beans as we all know are rich in protein and fiber content. They contain several key vitamins and minerals known to benefit human health. Apart from its health benefits , they are so versatile, that they have secured a permanent position in our Kitchen pantries.

In our India , there are countless recipes with this humble ingredient. For those who are looking for something different yet delicious with Kabuli Chana ( Chickpeas) , Hummus is a dish to try out for sure.

Hummus is a very popular dip from Middle Eastern Cuisine. A traditional Hummus is made from cooked, mashed Chickpeas and blended with Tahini ( Sesame seed paste) , garlic, olive oil and some seasoning. It is often served with Pita bread.


 Hummus can be easily made at home and can be served as an appetizer, or a spread on sandwiches , a delicious dip which can be had with Breadstick , crackers , toast or Pita bread. It can also be had as it is with some salad. I have made it using Tahini. ( If you do not have it , you can still make this dip using 3-4 tbsp of roasted sesame seeds and 2-3 tbsp olive oil apart from other ingredients in this recipe.) I have also added red chili powder and roasted cumin powder in this recipe. You may omit it or add black pepper powder instead , as per the taste which suits your taste buds.

Ingredients:
  • 1 1/2 cup Chickpeas / Garbanzo beans / white Kabuli Chana
  • 5-6 cloves of Garlic
  • 1/4 cup Tahini ( click the highlighted word for the recipe)
  • 1 tsp of red Chili powder
  • 1 tsp of roasted Cumin powder( optional)
  • 2 tbsp of Olive oil
  • 2 tbsp of Lemon juice
  • Salt to taste.
  • Fresh Coriander leaves or few cooked chickpeas to garnish.
Method:
  1. Soak the Chickpeas overnight. Wash , drain and cook them with enough water in a pressure cooker until soft.



   2. In a blender , add the drained cooked Chickpeas with garlic cloves, red chili powder, cumin powder and salt .  Grind them to get a coarse paste. 


  3. Now add Tahini , lemon juice and olive oil and pulse again to get a paste. i have kept the dip little coarse. You may add little more water and grind to obtain a thin and smooth paste. 



  4.  Remove the Hummus in a serving plate . garnish with coriander leaves or cooked chickpea . Drizzle some Olive oil if you like and serve as a dip with salad or Breadstick or Pita bread or just like that and enjoy !!


  I hope you will give this easy recipe a try. Would love to hear from your. You can give your valuable feed back in the comment section under this post.


Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Tahini Recipe


Tahini is an oily Sesame seed paste which is a staple in many cuisines specially the Middle East and Mediterranean . It is the key ingredient for Hummus, the famous chickpea dip. It can also be used as an alternative to peanut butter. Apart from spreading on a toast or on a bread for sandwich , i also add this paste in many of my gravy dishes to get a nutty flavor and creamy rich texture.

Tahini can be made easily at home with just two ingredients , Sesame seeds and Olive oil. The home made Tahini is not only easy to make and tastes better than the store bought ones , but also it is easy on our pockets.

Tahini can be made with either hulled or unhulled Sesame seeds. You may use any other refined oil or sesame seed oil , if you do not have Olive oil.

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup Sesame seeds
  • 3-4 Tbsp Oil ( i have used Olive oil)
Method:
  1. Toast the Sesame seeds on a heated skillet for about 4-5 minutes, stirring in between. The Sesame seeds get aromatic and slightly change the colour by this time. Take care not to brown the seeds. Toasting helps to reduce the bitterness of Sesame seeds and add a nutty flavor to the paste.


   2.  Remove the toasted Sesame seeds in a plate and let it cool down completely. Put them in a grinder or food processor and pulse 3-4 times to get a coarse powder.


  3.  Now add the Olive oil to the coarse sesame seed paste and blend it using a food processor or grinder. You may add more oil to get a smooth paste of flowing consistency. Transfer the Tahini paste in an air tight container and refrigerate.


  4.  The Tahini paste can be stored refrigerated for about a month. If the mixture separates, stir the Tahini to redistribute the oil. Use it over a toast or in a dip and enjoy !




Monday, 22 February 2016

Schezwan Fried Rice / Indo-Chinese Cuisine


Schezwan fried rice is a hot and flavorful vegetarian rice recipe from Indo-Chinese Cuisine. It is generally served in almost all the Chinese restaurants . It is also served in the road side eateries along with other Chinese fast foods . The reason for this is that if we have cooked rice and Schezwan sauce ( the main ingredients of the dish) ready at hand, then this rice can be made in a jiffy.

This flavorful rice can be easily made at home and the added veggies make it a healthy option. I generally have a stock of home made Schezwan sauce sitting in my fridge , so whenever i have some spicy cravings , i opt for this rice dish. This recipe also helps me to convert my stale rice into a irresistible and yummy dish !

Home made Schezwan sauce
I have not added any artificial color so the Schezwan fried rice does not look exactly as we get in restaurants , if you wish you may add orange food color to the rice. Also the amount of Schezwan sauce added, depends on how spicy you want the dish to be. Here , i have added only 1 tbsp of Schezwan sauce to 1 1/2 cup of rice , as i was preparing this dish for kids.You may add 3 tbsp or more sauce for this quantity of rice , to get a spicy and hot rice dish.The veggies used for this recipe should be chopped very finely and evenly , as the recipe calls for stir frying the veggies and rice on a high flame to get the smokey flavor . The Schzewan fried rice can be served as a main course along with some manchurian gravy or can be had as it is.

Ingredients:
  • 1 1/2 cup cooked rice ( i have used Basmati rice)
  • 1 tbsp of finely chopped Garlic
  • 2-3 spring Onion whites chopped finely
  • 1 medium Carrot finely chopped
  • 1 small green Bell Pepper finely chopped
  • 4-5 French Beans finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp of finely chopped spring onion greens for garnishing
  • 2-3 tbsp of Schezwan Sauce  ( click the highlighted word for the link of recipe)
  • 3 tbsp Oil
  • 1 tbsp of black Pepper powder
  • 1 tbsp of Vinegar
  • Salt to taste
                            

Method:
  1.  Cook the rice 3-4 hours before making the fried rice, as the rice should be completely cooled and non-sticky . Soak the rice for at least 30 minutes. take 4-5 cups of water in a sauce pan , add salt , few drops of oil and squeeze juice of one lemon and give it a boil. Add soaked and drained rice to the boiling water and cook until almost done. 


  2.  Put of the flame and immediately drain the rice in a colander. Allow the rice to cool down completely. If you are in a hurry , add 1 cup of cold water over the rice in a colander.You may use the stale cooked rice also, if using stale one, rub little oil to the rice with fingers and break the lumps if any.

  3.  Heat up oil in a wok. Add chopped garlic , saute well . Increase the flame to high and add the spring onion whites , followed by chopped carrots and french beans. Stir continuously. Add capsicum at the last, as it takes less time to cook. Add salt sufficient for the veggies , as rice and schezwan sauce already have salt.




   4. Add the schezwan sauce and vinegar. Lower the flame while adding the sauce. Mix well , add the cooked rice and stir fry on medium to high flame for 2-3 minutes. 



   5. Lastly add the black pepper powder , mix well and garnish the rice with finely chopped spring onion greens and put off the flame.



   6. Serve the Schezwan Fried Rice hot and enjoy !!


 Hope you would like to try this easy recipe at home. Do not forget to give your valuable feedback.

For more Indo-Chinese Recipes, do check my posts on


Saturday, 20 February 2016

Methi Matar Malai Recipe


Methi Matar Malai is a popular North Indian dish. As the name suggest it is a creamy gravy made with Methi ( Fenu greek) and Matar ( Green Peas ). The dish is fragrant and very delicious, as it uses the fresh ground spices.

There are many variations to this dish. Tomatoes can also be used in the gravy, but then color of the dish changes. Today i am sharing my version of this Methi Matar Malai. Usually Cashew nut paste is added to gravy. But i always prefer Almonds over Cashews and hence replaced them, You can used blanched Almonds, i have soaked them overnight and peeled and made a paste. One more variation is that, i have cooked the gravy in milk instead of water and then added just 2 tbsp of heavy cream. I know the dish is a rich and creamy, but you can always treat yourself once in a while :)

Ingredients: (Measurements 1 Cup = 250 ml)
  • 2 cup Methi leaves ( Fenu greek leaves)
  • 1 cup fresh Green Peas
  • 1 cup Milk
  • 1 large Onion roughly chopped
  • 2 green Chilies
  • 1/2 inch Ginger
  • 10-12 Almonds ( soaked overnight or blanched)
  • 1 tsp Cumin seeds
  • 2-3 black Pepper corn
  • 2-3 Cloves
  • small piece of Cinnamon stick
  • 2 tbsp Oil
  • 2 tbsp Heavy cream
Method:
  1. Take Onion, ginger and green chilies in a grinder and make a paste. To this paste add the peeled almonds and grind to a smooth paste. Add little water if needed.


  2. In a pan , dry roast the spices on a low to medium flame until aromatic. Grind them to a powder and keep aside.


  3. Cook the green peas with water and salt either in an open pan or in a microwave. Drain and keep aside. Similarly clean and wash the Fenu greek leaves thoroughly , drain and chop it finely.


  4.  Heat up oil a pan on low to medium flame. Add the onion, almond paste to it and saute very well for 2-3 minutes ,or until the paste leaves the sides of the pan.



  5. Now add 1 tsp of the freshly ground spice powder and mix well. To this now add the finely chopped Fenu greek leaves mix, now stir in milk to this. 




  6. Add salt and cover cook the gravy for 2-3 minutes . Be cautious while adding salt as the green peas already have salt.



  7. Add the cooked green peas and cook for another 1 minute. Now add the chilled heavy cream. I have added the home made fresh heavy cream. Beat the cream to make it smooth , The cream has to be chilled , or else it will split in the gravy. 



 8. Mix well and cook for 1 more minute and put off the flame.



  9. Serve the Methi Matar Malai with naan ,chapati or paratha and enjoy !


 I hope you will give this recipe a try. Would be glad to know your feedback :)

For more North Indian dishes, do check my posts on


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