Friday, July 25, 2014

Wild Rice Salad

Wild rice Salad
Wild rice is not actually rice, but a long grain grass that grows in ponds and waterways in US and Canada. This highly nutritious grain is long and thin, ash brown to black in color and cooks to a chewy texture with a slight earthy flavor and takes longer than white rice to cook.  
Wild rice is gluten free and has more protein, fiber, iron and copper than brown rice. It is high in the B-vitamins niacin, riboflavin and thiamine, as well as potassium and phosphorus. It is a complete protein containing all of the essential amino-acids.
This is a great dish to make as a side for BBQ, or as a lunch salad. 

To cook wild rice
1 cup Wild rice, washed and drained 
3 cups water or stock 
Salt to taste - optional
Bring to a rolling boil and simmer covered for 45 minutes till some grains split open

Cooked wild rice
Wild rice salad
Ingredients: Serves a crowd
2 cups Cooked wild rice cooled
1 cup Mushrooms
2 stalks Celery
1 Red pepper
1/2 large Red onion
2 carrots Carrot
Handful Mint
Handful Coriander
1/4 cup Pecan pieces
2 tbsp Sunflower seeds
12-15 Dry Apricots chopped
Lime juice
Red wine vinegar
Olive oil
Maple syrup OR honey
Hot sauce
  1. Chop all veggies and herbs.
  2. In a tsp of olive oil lightly saute celery and mushrooms for about 5-7 minutes.
  3. Mix everything together and add the dressing ingredients as per your taste.
  4. Let flavors blend in for 2 hours minimum before serving.
  5. Serve cold or at room temperature.  

Friday, July 18, 2014

Ram Laddoo

Moong dal pakoda chaat, Ram laddoo
Every Delhite has seen and/or eaten these savory, tangy, spicy little fried dumplings. Moong dal pakoda or ram laddoo, a popular street food in Delhi and Uttar Pradesh, are fried nuggets made of moong dal, served with a generous helping of grated radish, sweet tamarind chutney and spicy mint coriander chutney. A great starter to serve at your next party.    

Moong dal pakoda , Ram laddoo
For Ram laddoo
3/4 cup dhuli moong dal
1/4 cup chana dal
2-3 Green chilies, chopped fine
Handful fresh coriander, chopped fine
1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
Red chili powder to taste
Salt to taste
1/4 tsp cumin seeds
Pinch asafoetida (hing)
Oil for deep frying
  1. Wash and soak the lentils for a minimum of 4 hours.
  2. Drain and grind coarsely with green chilies and hing using very little water. 
  3. Take the mixture out in a large bowl and whisk it till light and fluffy (till a small ball of batter floats in a bowl of water rather than sink).
  4. Add all other ingredients and mix well. 
  5. Heat oil in a pan and deep fry small, 1 inch rounds on medium heat till golden and crisp. Drain on a paper towel to remove excess oil.
  6. Serve with a generous drizzle of mint and tamarind chutneys, grated radish, coriander and squeeze of lime. 
To Serve
Grated radish/daikon
Fresh coriander
Lime juice
Red chili flakes(optional)

Moong dal pakoda , Ram laddoo

Friday, July 11, 2014

Fish Tacos

Baja style fish tacos 
Fish tacos are a reliable choice for 'meals to please', whether you are cooking for family or entertaining friends. This Baja style fish tacos combine the robust flavors of Southwestern Slaw, rich taste of Jalepeno Pico de Gallo and lime infused guacamole. Use a firm fish here which can stand grilling without falling apart. Good choices are mahi-mahi or tilapia. Use corn tortillas if you can find them.

All the taco fix ins
Baja style fish tacos
Ingredients: (serves 4)

4 (5 oz) Tilapia fillets (cut in half)
salt to taste
2 tsp cumin powder
2 tsp coriander powder
4 tsp chili powder
1 tsp minced garlic
4 tbsp oil
3 tbsp lime juice
To serve
8 corn tortillas (6 inches diameter)
Southwestern coleslaw (recipe below)
Jalapeno Pico de Gallo (recipe below)
Lime infused guacamole (recipe below)
  1. Season the fish with salt. Stir together all the ingredients for the marinade in a bowl. Coat tilapia with the marinade. 
  2. Grill the fish on the first side over direct heat until the flesh is firm and well-marked, about 2 minutes. Turn the fish and grill until cooked through, about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes more. 
  3. Grill the tortillas on both sides till they have light grill marks about 15 seconds per side. 
  4. Center a piece of fish on each tortilla, top with the southwestern slaw and Pico de Gallo. Add a dollop of guacamole and serve immediately.
Southwestern slaw
Ingredients: (serves 4)

1 cup fine shredded cabbage
1/2 red onion thinly sliced
1 jalapeno minced
handful chopped coriander
2 tsp lime juice
2 tsp honey
salt to taste
Combine everything and allow to marinate for at least 30 minutes before serving

Jalapeno Pico de Gallo
Ingredients: (makes 1 cup)

1 cup diced tomatoes
1/2 red onion chopped fine
2-3 jalapeno peppers minced
handful chopped coriander
1/2 tsp red wine vinegar
salt to taste
Combine everything and mix well.

Lime infused Guacamole
Ingredients: (makes 1 cup)

2 ripe avocados mashed
2 cloves garlic minced fine
2 tbsp lime juice
1/2 tsp lime zest
salt and pepper to taste
Mash the avocados with the lime juice, garlic, and salt. Season with pepper. Adjust with more lime juice if necessary to taste.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Jerk chicken

Tonight's menu
Jamaican jerk chicken
Island rice and beans
Orange spiced carrots
Jamaican jerk chicken with Island rice and beans and Orange spiced carrots
Jerk style of cooking means Jamaican BBQ. Traditionally chicken and pork are cooked with the jerk seasoning which gets its distinctive taste from allspice and scotch bonnet peppers. Jerk seasoning could be made as a dry rub or a wet marinade and uses several spices as listed below. Traditionally Jerk meat was cooked in smoked pit fires imparting a distinctive smokey taste. Over time this technique evolved and oil barrels were used as smokers to save time.

You can use jerk seasoning to marinate any kind of meat. The longer the meat sits in the marinade the better it tastes. I would recommend overnight. Serve it with a side of rice and beans cooked in coconut milk and orange spiced carrots for a complete exotic experience.

Jerk Chicken

8 chicken drumsticks
splash of rum(optional)
1 onion, chopped
3-4 cloves garlic
2 scotch bonnet peppers (or less as per your spice quotient)
4 stalks green onion, chopped
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tbsp vinegar
2 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp allspice
1 tsp dry thyme
1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
1 tsp ground ginger
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tsp sugar
salt and pepper to taste
  1. Take all the ingredients for marinade in a food processor and blend to form a smooth paste. Add a splash of rum and mix well. 
  2. Marinate chicken pieces in this marinade for a minimum of 4 hours or overnight. 
  3. Grill the drumsticks on medium high, turning once till cooked through and crisp. 
  4. Serve with rice and carrots (recipe below) 
Jamaican jerk chicken with Island rice and beans and Orange spiced carrots
Orange spiced carrots

3/4 cup fresh orange mango juice
1 tbsp brown sugar
1/4 tsp powdered ginger
1/4 tsp fresh black pepper
3 cups shredded carrots
Chopped fresh coriander
  1. In a sauce pan combine the orange juice, sugar, ginger and pepper. Bring to boil and cook for 2-3 minutes, swirling the pan to dissolve the sugar. 
  2. Stir in the carrots, reduce heat to medium, and cook 3-4 minutes, until the carrots are cooked but firm. 
  3. Remove carrots from the pan, and sprinkle with parsley and coriander. 
  4. Serve hot, at room temperature, or cold.

Coconut Rice and Beans

1 cup rice
1 tbsp oil or butter
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup coconut milk
1 1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon salt
1 can black beans or red beans, rinsed and drained
  1. Add butter or oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir in chopped onion and garlic, cook until soft, about 3 minutes. 
  2. Stir in rice and mix to coat each grain with butter. Pour in the coconut milk and water. Season with pepper and salt. 
  3. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer until the liquid has been absorbed and rice is tender, about 15-18 minutes. 
  4. Stir in the black beans and cook for a few minutes until hot.