Lemon Butter Shrimps

Try my easy lemon butter shrimps tonight!

Lemon juice, Olive oil, butter, salt and black pepper over shrimp.

Broil on high for 5-6 minutes flipping once till the shrimps turn opaque. Easy, Healthy and flavorful!

 

Spicy idli upma breakfast!

Photo: Recycle Friday special! "Recycling" left over idlis for a spicy idli upma breakfast! Deets up on the blog soon! What's your favorite "recycle" recipe?

“Recycling” left over idlis for a spicy idli upma breakfast!

2 cups of crushed left over idlis (idlis should be cold when crushed into a chunky consistency)

1 small onion chopped fine
1 clove of garlic minced fine
1 Tsp mustard seeds
1 Tsp urad daal
1 green chilli chopped fine
1-2 sprigs of Curry leaves
1-2 Tbsps of fresh cilantro
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp turmeric powder
Salt, pepper and cayenne to taste

Saute’ onions and garlic for a 2-3 minutes on medium heat till they turn translucent. Add the mustard seeds and the urad daal and continue to saute’ till the daal turns golden brown.

Add the curry leaves and the chillies. Mix well. Add the idlis, turmeric and the seasonings. Mix well till the mixture turns a pale yellow. Add the lemon juice and toss well. Finish with fresh cilantro.

 

“Bread poha”

“Bread poha” made from leftover pieces of bread.

Laced with curry leaves, peanuts, green chilies and lemon juice.

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To serve 2-3 generously;

2-3 cups of left over bread (crust-less), chopped into small chunks.

1 small onion chopped fine

1 small tomato chopped fine

1-2 green chilies chopped fine

1-2 cloves of garlic minced

1/2″ ginger root, skin peeled and grated

1-2 Tbsp raw peanuts

1 tsp mustard seeds

1 sprig of curry leaves

1 Tbsp fresh cilantro leaves chopped

Juice of 1/2-1 lemon

1 tsp turmeric powder

1-2 tsp of curry powder

Salt and black pepper to taste

 

Roast peanuts on medium heat for 6-8 minutes till the raw smell goes away.

Roast peanuts on medium heat for 6-8 minutes in 1 Tbsp of OO  till the raw smell goes away.

 

 

Add the onions, curry leaves, mustard seeds and green chilies. Saute for 6-7 minutes till the onions caramelize.

Add the onions, tomatoes, curry leaves, mustard seeds and green chilies. Saute for 6-7 minutes till the onions caramelize.

 

Add the bread chunks. Toss well. Season with salt and pepper. Finish with fresh cilantro and a big squeeze of lemon.

Add the bread chunks.  Add the spices. Toss well. Season with salt and pepper. Finish with fresh cilantro and a big squeeze of lemon.

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Super Burgers!!

To make about 5-6 good size burgers;

 

1 Cup cooked quinoa

1 Cup cooked (rinsed/drained) black beans (Keep 2 Tbsp aside)

1 Cup of Kale leaves chopped roughly without the ribs

1/4 cup of carrots chopped

1-2 Green chillies (optional)

2 Cloves of garlic minced

1 tsp Coriander powder

1 tsp garam masala

Salt and black pepper to taste

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Super Burgers!! Full of Super foods!! Quinoa, Kale, Black Beans!

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Chop/Coarsely blend fresh Kale leaves (without the ribs), Garlic, carrots and black beans to a chunky paste.

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Consistency should be as above.

 

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Mix the Quinoa with the Black bean mixture

 

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Mix the left over black beans in the mixture to add some texture. Add the salt, pepper and the spices.

 

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Make hamburger patties (about 1/4″ thick) and cook in a skillet with a tsp of oil. (4-5 minutes on each side on medium heat).

 

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Serve hot/warm or at room temperature. I served this with fresh Avocado guac and mango pineapple salsa.

 

Paranthas! (Griddle flatbreads)

Growing up in a North Indian “Punjabi” home, “Paranthas” (Griddle flatbreads) are what sweet tea is to the South here in the States. It is absolutely essential! Paranthas are nothing but Griddle flatbreads stuffed with a variety of fillings. Seasoned Vegetables, minced meats etc. The most traditional Parantha is a potato (aloo) or cauliflower (gobi). Below is my recipe for a fresh “Methi” Fenugreek parantha. I added some boiled potatoes to it to cut the bitterness of the greens out. You can also make these with Kale, Spinach, Collards etc. Enjoy!

Parantha

To serve 2-3;

 

1 cup of fresh Fenugreek leaves

1 medium potato boiled (peeled and mashed)

2 cloves of garlic minced

1 tsp roasted cumin seed powder

1 tsp turmeric powder

1 tsp coriander powder

Salt and pepper to taste

 

1-1/2 cup of whole wheat flour

3/4-1 cup of luke warm water

1 tsp ghee/oil

 

Oil/ ghee to cook the paranthas

 

Fresh "Methi" Fenugreek leaves; Washed, Drained, Chopped fine

Fresh “Methi” Fenugreek leaves; Washed, Drained, Chopped fine

Mix Methi with boiled potato and fresh minced garlic

Mix Methi with boiled potato and fresh minced garlic; Mash all the ingredients well.

Add the flour, oil and water. Season with Salt and pepper and knead into dough.

Add the flour, oil and water. Season with Salt and pepper and knead into dough. Use water sparingly as required. Kneading is key here to activate the gluten.

Make a hamburger patty almost and flatten it using the palm of your hands.

Make a hamburger patty almost and flatten it using the palm of your hands.

Roll the patty using dry flour.

Roll the patty using dry flour.

Cook on a non stick griddle/skillet on both sides to a nice golden brown. (3-4 min each side) with a tsp of oil/ghee.

Cook on a non stick griddle/skillet on both sides to a nice golden brown. (3-4 min each side) with a tsp of oil/ghee.

 

Enjoy hot with fresh yogurt, pickles and fruit jam (YES, It’s the best!!)

 

Pongal !

Happy Pongal, Happy Lohri and Happy Sankranti!

Growing up all over India exposed me to so many different types of festivals and culinary delights to go with them. One of my favorites growing up was the festival of Pongal. It is predominantly a harvest festival just like Lohri and Sankranti (which is celebrated primarily in Northern India). The festival of Pongal and the dish “Pongal” are unique to the Tamil cuisine and the state of Tamil Nadu in India. However, I have been told that some Tamilians in Sri Lanka also celebrate this occasion.

I was fortunate enough to be raised by parents who celebrated and partook in every local cultural event and festival and being married to a Tamilian, Pongal is an “adopted” festival for me. (Look at my posts on my other “adopted” festivals).

There are multiple kinds of the dish “Pongal”. My favorite is the sweet version or the “Sakkarai” Pongal. My husband is not a big fan so I made this instead. It’s a savory version called the “Ven” Pongal.

Hope you enjoy my version of “Ven” Pongal”.

Ven Pongal

Ven Pongal

 

1 Cup of Rice – rinsed and drained

1/2 Cup of Moong daal – rinsed and drained

2″ ginger root peeled and grated/minced

1-2 Bay leaf

2 Tsp cumin seeds

1 Tsp whole peppercorns

2 Tbsps vegetable oil/ghee

Salt and pepper to taste

5 cups of water (more depending upon the desired consistency)

 

Heat the ghee/oil on medium heat and add the cumin seeds. Let sputter. Add the ginger and mix well. Add the rice and daal and roast for about a couple of minutes to release the aroma.

Add the water, bay leaf and season with salt and pepper. Pressure cook for 15-18 minutes. Let the steam from the cooker be released naturally and don’t force open the cooker.

You can add more water and cook a bit more depending on your preference of the Pongal. Some people like it mushy and some like it a bit firm. I like mine like a risotto.

Pressure cook rice and lentils

Pressure cook rice and lentils

“Tadka”/ Seasonings to temper

1-2 Tsp mustard seeds

1 sprig of fresh “Kari”/ curry Leaves

2-3 Green chillies chopped (Optional)

2 Tbsp cashew pieces

2 Tbsp raisins (optional; I like them so I put them in this version)

2 Tbsp ghee

Salt and pepper to taste

 

Heat the ghee on medium heat and add the mustard seeds. Let sputter. Add the “Kari” leaves and the chillies. Mix well and be careful not to burn. Add the cashew pieces and the raisins on medium heat and brown a bit.

Be careful as the dry fruits may burn if you don’t watch over them. Add the Pongal in the mixture and heat through. Check for salt and pepper.

 

Mix the tadka with the Pongal

Mix the tadka with the Pongal

Serve hot with pickle if desired.

Thai inspirations

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If you know me, you know I love Thai food. I used to love Red curry.. I mean totally LOVE!
That’s all I would order ALL the time when we went to a Thai restaurant. Then I started branching out to the Green and the yellow curries..

Then I think I joined the big leagues.. I am talking Massaman and Panang..Initially they all tasted so similar that I was confused till I started reading about them and the ingredients.
The subtle differences made sense and became apparent to me the more I tried them.

I hope you enjoy yet another “Thai inspired”  tofu based creation of mine.

 

To serve 3-4; 

1/2 cup of chopped onions
1 medium tomato chopped
1 Tbsp tomato paste
2 Cloves of garlic smashed
1/2″ root of ginger peeled and grated
1 tsp green chillies minced
1 tsp cayenne pepper

(Blend all the above into a puree)

1- 2 Tbsps Brown sugar/ Palm Sugar
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp fish sauce (optional)
1-2 tsps sesame oil
1 tsp tamarind paste
1-2 tsp lemon grass paste
1 Tbsp smooth peanut butter
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp coriander powder

(Mix all the above)

1/2 -3/4 cup coconut cream
1-2 cups of water
1 cup of mixed veggies (I used Parboiled potatoes, sliced mushrooms, peas, corn, etc)
1 cup of pressed and fried tofu pieces

Garnish:
1/4 cup of basil leaves chopped roughly
2 Tbsp roasted and crushed peanuts

Saute’ the onion puree on medium heat in 2 Tbsp of Canola oil for 6-8 minutes till the rawness of the onions goes away. Add the brown sugar mixture and mix well.
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Add the coconut cream and water (one cup at a time; depending on the thickness you like). Let simmer on low- medium heat for 10-12 minutes. Add the veggies and the tofu.
Bring to a boil.  Season with salt and pepper.

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Add the basil and mix well. Add the peanuts before serving. Enjoy with steamed basmati rice.

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Also, I have a series of Thai inspired dishes that I have cooked before. (Recipe links below) Be sure to enjoy those as well if you love Thai food as much as I do.

http://freakycurry.blogspot.com/2011/08/freaky-thai-curry.html

http://freakycurry.blogspot.com/2013/08/thai-inspired-peanut-chicken.html

http://freakycurry.com/?p=306

“Get me out of the bed” Soup!!

I rung in my New Years’ eve with a handful of tissues and a congested head!  Not the best way to start off, let me say. After being sick for almost 10 days, I was sick of being sick!! After two rounds of antibiotics and numerous steam sessions, I had to take matters into my own hands. So, you know I had to make chicken soup!

I love a good soup! For a summer evening, On a winter night or on a crisp fall day.. I just love soups.. there is so much you can do with them. Add so many flavors.. They are stock full of goodies.. protein, veggies, herbs, spices.. all in one dish! I mean how easy and clever is that ? I am telling you, whosoever invented soups was thinking right!

Now traditional chicken soup can get boring.. a bit.. same old carrots, celery and noodles.. I amp-ed mine up with some South Asian flavors..Added some fresh basil, lemongrass, curry leaves and the flavor was magical..

I made a big batch and the boys in my house ate it with rice! LOL!!  So it definitely turned out to be a family favorite.. Try it and let me know how you like it.

 

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To serve 4-6

Broth:

2 Chicken breasts (skinless and boneless; If using bone in, remember to remove the bones after the broth is made)
2 Bayleaves
1/2″ Ginger root peeled and sliced thin
2 Cloves of garlic sliced thin
4-5 cups of water
Salt and pepper

Add the above to a stock pot and let cook on medium heat for 25-30 minutes till the chicken pulls apart easily with a fork.

 

Flavor:

1 sprig of Curry leaves
1/2 cup of fresh Basil leaves roughly chopped
1/4 cup of fresh cilantro leaves roughly chopped
1/2 cup of carrots chopped
1/2 cup of baby bella mushrooms chopped
1 medium tomato de-seeded and chopped
1/2 Tbsp of lemongrass paste or 2″ of fresh lemongrass crushed
1/2 cup of coconut cream
Dash of Soy Sauce
Salt and pepper

Add the above (except the cilantro) to the chicken stock and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Remove stalks if using fresh lemongrass and the bay leaves.

Check for salt and pepper. Add the fresh cilantro and Serve hot with a big squeeze of lime! (with or without rice)