Friday, December 1, 2017

Panch Phoron

Panch Phoron literally means 'five spices.'  It is a blend of five commonly used whole spices from the Indian Kitchen and consists of cumin, brown mustard, fenugreek, nigella and fennel seeds.  Mix all all the seeds and store in an air tight container. To use, either dry roast or fry these seeds in a little oil.
Panch phoron is used in many dishes from the Bengali and Bangladeshi cuisine. Stir fry potatoes or karela or pumpkin in a teaspoon of panch phoron for a delicious bowl of goodness.
Panch Phoron is usually a mixture of equal amounts of each spice.  I choose to use less fenugreek because of its bitter taste.  Feel free to increase the quantity if you like.

Ingredients: (makes about ¾ cup)
3 tbsp cumin seeds (jeera)
3 tbsp brown mustard seeds (sarson)
3 tbsp fennel seeds (saunf)
3 tbsp nigella seeds (kalonji)
1 tbsp fenugreek seeds (methi)
  1. Combine the seeds in a small bowl. Store in an airtight container.
  2. Depending on the dish, either fry briefly in oil or dry roast these seeds to bring out the flavor.

Friday, April 21, 2017

8 hearty Buddha bowls

Macro bowls, hippie bowls, Buddha bowls, rainbow bowls...... many names for this amazingly beautiful, colorful and delicious assembly of nutritious food. Make one of these versatile bowls for any meal - breakfast, lunch or dinner. Start with a healthy grain and top with some protein, add some colorful roasted/sauteed veggies, add something raw for freshness, and drizzle with a dressing or dip to tie all the flavors together. Lastly sprinkle something for texture. 

There are actually no rules to assembling these awesome bowls. Choose foods from several food groups and be sure to include a variety of colors and textures for a nutritious and aesthetically pleasing ensemble. So you can add all your favorite ingredients and incorporate flavors you love. Experiment with herbs, spices and dressings and design combinations that suit your family's taste buds. For dinner you can lay out all the different components on the table and allow each family member to assemble their own meal. This is especially fun for kids. 

Here is a simple guide to get you started on making your very own Buddha Bowls.
Grains - Choose from wheat, oats, any type of rice, barley, millet, quinoa, buckwheat, couscous and corn. Great source of fiber, vitamins and minerals. 
Protein - Choose from Chicken, fish, eggs, beans, tofu, etc. 
Cooked veggies - Roast, steam or saute leafy greens (spinach, kale, collard greens), broccoli, mushrooms, zucchini, peppers, eggplant slices, peas, carrots, cauliflower. Flavor with garlic powder, paprika, ground cumin, herbs, salt. For extra filling roast sweet potato, potato, yams, pumpkin, raw banana or plantain.  
Raw stuff - Add freshness by choosing fresh fruits and veggies. Cut up veggies such as radish, tomatoes, celery, avocado, beets, cucumber, carrot, bean sprouts, baby spinach, mixed salad greens. Include seasonal fruit like mango, berries, orange, pineapple, grapes, pomegranate, kiwi, fresh figs and apple.
Extras - Add toppings for varied texture and flavor. Include any of these - nuts and seeds; dried fruit like apricots, figs, cranberries; your favorite cheese such as feta, cheddar; pickled stuff like olives, peppers. 
Dressing - Any dressing and/or sauce of your choice. Some examples are simple vinaigrette, hummus, guacamole, tapenade, pesto sauce, salsa, mint chutney, maple syrup, honey.    
Here are some that I created for my family in the past weeks. Get assembling and have fun. Enjoy your healthy and delicious bowl.

Quinoa Buddha Bowl
Green Quinoa with kale, roasted yam slices, baby spinach, pineapple, beets, olives and jalapeno peppers with hummus and a sprinkle of lime juice. Healthy hearty lunch bowl.
To make the quinoa, add some chopped kale to the boiling quinoa pan along with seasoning and a drizzle of olive oil. Peel and slice the yams, drizzle with olive oil, season with salt, pepper and oregano and roast them in the oven at 400 F for 20 minutes.

Soba noodles Bowl
Soba noodles are spaghetti like Japanese noodles made of either all buckwheat flour or a combination of wheat and buckwheat. Cook them according to package directions and then flavor them with sesame oil, soy sauce and sriracha sauce. In this lovely and delicious bowl I have soba noodles with shredded carrots, sauteed mushrooms and roasted broccoli, steamed edamame, roasted peanuts and a small hot Thai chili, all drizzled with a heaped tablespoon of teriyaki sauce and sprinkled with roasted sesame seeds. This one will satisfy you to the core.

Falafel Buddha Bowl
Chick pea fritters or falafels, the well known Middle eastern street food. Easy to make at home and can be served in different ways. Serve them with a dip as party appetizers, inside a wrap or pita pocket with all the fix ins, or just serve them over salad. These pack well for lunch, just keep the yogurt dip separately. A great vegetarian dish. In this bowl I have mixed greens, carrots, cucumber, tomato slices, avocado and kiwi.
A healthy wholesome vegetarian lunch option.
Detailed recipe for falafels here

Zucchini Fritters
My take on the zucchini fritters, using ingredients from the Indian pantry and keeping it strictly vegetarian. These quick and easy savory pancakes are perfect for breakfast or snack or as a component of my vegetarian Buddha lunch bowl. Serve with a dollop of plain yogurt or sour cream flavored with garlic and herbs. A few handful of ingredients and you get yourself a wholesome platter of goodness.
Detailed recipe here.

Cedar planked Tilapia
Fish cooks in its own moist juices, infused with the sweet smokiness of the cedar plank. A must try recipe this summer. Here I marinated tilapia fillets with olive oil and mustard. To balance the tartness of the mustard I drizzled a little ice wine syrup. The light sweetness of this syrup tastes awesome on this smoked grilled tilapia. Serve over crisp lettuce with grilled broccoli and mushrooms and a side of pineapple wedges. A totally wholesome and delicious lunch Buddha bowl.
Detailed recipe here.
Tofu Buddha bowl 
This here is an assembly of all things you love. Pan fried seasoned firm tofu flavored with your favorite spice/marinade and a bunch of raw produce. I have cucumber and carrot sticks, ripe mango chunks, sauteed corn and figs with guacamole and peanut garlic hot sauce. 
Fish in ginger garlic sauce, braised Bok choy
If you like Mandarin style Chinese food then this is a fare you will love. The simplicity of the dishes and the combination of flavors just delights the palette. Makes you feel good about consuming so many veggies. The crunchy stalks of Bok choy are crisp with a subtle peppery flavor. A great source of vitamin A, vitamin C and calcium. Use a firm white fish for this recipe catfish, snapper, tilapia or halibut. 
Find the detailed recipe here.

Chicken Burrito Bowl
This is a deconstructed burrito, largely inspired by Chipotle's burrito bowl. Rice is aromatic with a wonderful lime flavor, black beans are simmered in garlic and cumin, peppers have a charred grilled taste, corn adds the sweetness. I have listed several toppings and you can choose all or a few to make this your own. Omit chicken to make it vegetarian. Tangy salsa, creamy guacamole and a dollop of sour cream makes this a meal to relish. Don't forget the pickled banana peppers. For a taste variation try a different cheese such as feta or Havarti. 
Detailed recipe here

Vegetarian Burrito Bowl
This one here has herbaceous brown rice, garlic and cumin flavored black beans, grilled multi colored peppers, pico de gallo, few slices of tangerine, cubed feta and hot pickled banana pepper. 

Friday, April 14, 2017

Salsa all the way

Spring is the season for warm sunshine, charming sounds of twittering birds and humming bees, colorful blooms, green leaves and little shoots on the bare branches. It also marks a start to the barbecue season. So while you prep your yard and grill, here are a few recipes to get you started this spring. These salsas will complement any grilled meat, fish and veggies.

Salsa is Spanish for sauce. Chunky or smooth, it is a great accompaniment to grilled fish and meat, wraps and fajitas, and tastes awesome with chips. There are many types of salsas. Tomato based salsas, fruit salsas and vegetable salsas. Make them mild or hot, based on your spice quotient. Here are a few of my faves.

Types of salsa
Salsa Ranchero: Red, tomato-based with taste of cilantro and garlic. Spice can vary from mild to very hot. Usually served warm to provide full flavor.
Salsa verde: Tomatillos give the color and flavor for this salsa. Can be prepared with raw tomatoes or with roasted for an enhanced flavor.
Tomato-based chunky salsas: Most tomato-based salsas are a mixture of tomatoes, onions, peppers and spices. Cilantro and jalapenos are used to spice it up.
Vegetable Salsas: Popular vegetables for salsa include corn, dried beans and peas, sweet peppers, avocados, sweet potatoes and olives. Use them as starters or as a salad, serve over rice or inside a wrap.
Fruit Salsas: The combination of hot and sweet is a fave with our family. You can use just about any fruits for the fruit based salsas but the tropical fruits taste the best (e.g. pineapples, mangoes, citrus fruits and papayas). You can also use fresh berries such as strawberries and raspberries, and other fruits such as pomegranate, watermelon, pears and peaches. I do not recommend using frozen fruits because the texture will be affected and the flavor dilutes as the fruit defrosts. Fruit salsas should be served cold.

Pico de gallo (or salsa fresca)
1 large diced tomato
1/2 diced medium sized red onion
1/4 bunch of cilantro (use more or less depending on your taste)
juice of half a lemon
1/2 teaspoon of minced garlic
1 tsp of salt
1 jalapenos (or more if you prefer it hotter)

Mix up all ingredients and keep at room temperature for half an hour to let flavors blend in.

Spicy fresh pineapple salsa

1/2 a pineapple cored, chopped to bite sized pieces
1 large red pepper chopped
1/2 red onion chopped
Handful of fresh mint leaves chopped
2 jalapeños, stemmed and minced
1⁄4 cup finely chopped cilantro
Salt to taste
3 tbsp fresh lime juice
2 tbsp fresh orange juice
1 tsp sugar (optional)
Mix all the ingredients together and chill for 2 hours. Serve at room temperature over the grilled fish.
Mango avocado salsa
2 ripe mangoes
2 avocados
1 small red onion
Handful fresh cilantro
Few leaves of fresh mint
2-3 jalapeño peppers
Salt to taste
Lime juice
  1. Cut mango and avocado into small bite sized pieces. Thinly slice onion and chop jalapeño, cilantro and mint fine.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine all the ingredients. Chill for an hour to blend the flavors. Serve cold.
Mango salsa

3 mangoes cubed into ½ inch pieces
1/2 red onion, chopped fine
1 Thai chili, finely chopped
Handful fresh coriander , chopped roughly
1 red pepper, chopped into ¼ inch cubes
bunch fresh mint, chopped
Juice of 2 limes
Salt and pepper to taste
Mix everything, cover and chill for an 30 minutes before serving

Citrus Salsa

2 ruby red grapefruits
2 navel oranges
1 small red onion
Handful fresh mint and coriander
1 jalapeno pepper
Salt to taste
Freshly ground black pepper
  1. Peel and chop the grapefruit and oranges into small bite sized pieces. Do this in a bowl to catch all the juices that will flow as a result of chopping.
  2. Chop onion, jalapeno, mint and coriander.
  3. Add these to the chopped citrus fruit. Add salt and pepper to taste and mix well.
  4. Taste. If the fruit is sour enough then your salsa is ready. Sometimes the oranges and grapefruit are sweeter than you want. In that case add some lime juice to taste. Cover.
  5. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Salsa Ranchero
This earthy salsa is traditionally pounded to a smooth paste in a mortar and pestle, but a food processor works just as well.
1 lb tomatoes
4 hot chilies (serrano/jalapeños)
4 cloves garlic, peeled
Salt to taste
Handful finely chopped cilantro
1⁄2 onion, chopped fine
1 lemon, juice and zest
  1. Use 4 or less chilies based on your spice quotient.
  2. Place tomatoes, chilies and garlic on a foil-lined baking sheet and broil on high. 
  3. Turn them often. Cook till you see charring (blackened spots) and everything cooks through about 10-15 minutes. 
  4. Chilies and garlic will be done before the tomatoes. Remove as each ingredient is done. Cool.  
  5. Place everything in a food processor and puree until smooth. Small chunks are okay if you like your salsa a bit chunky.
  6. Keeps in the fridge for up to a week. Serve warm for an enhanced flavor.
For a detailed recipe click here
Salsa verde
This salsa has 2 versions. Raw and roasted. Both taste great. Choose based on prep time available as the roasted one takes some cooking time. I must say the cooked version has an earthy smoky flavor.
1 lb tomatillos (husks removed)
2-3 cloves of garlic
3-4 hot chili peppers (serrano/jalapeños)or less based on your spice quotient
Handful finely chopped cilantro
1 lime, juice and zest
1⁄2 medium onion, roughly chopped
Salt, to taste

Black bean and corn salsa
For a detailed recipe click here
Ingredients: (serves 4-6)
1 can black beans
1 cup frozen corn
1 red pepper
1 large tomato
1/2 large red onion
Few sprigs fresh coriander
1 jalapeno pepper
1 tsp roasted and ground cumin
1 Lime, juice and zest
Salt to taste
1 tsp oil

Tomato olive salsa
This pico de gallo gets a briny boost from olives. Serve it spooned over grilled fish or chicken.
2 ripe tomatoes, chopped
1 small red onion, chopped
1/4 cup finely chopped coriander
1 small jalapeno pepper, chopped fine
1 garlic minced
5-6 green pitted olives, chopped
Salt and pepper
Juice and zest of 1 lime

In a large bowl, toss together all ingredients.
Let sit for 30 minutes to blend flavors. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

Friday, April 7, 2017

9 scrumptious recipes using Potato

Potatoes are a staple at any table. Whether you are hosting a get-together, or enjoying dinner with friends, or simply hanging out with your family, this comfort food favorite is sure to satisfy every taste bud. So versatile, you can roast, bake, stir fry or boil them. Having a neutral starchy flavor, they complement almost any meal. From starters to side dish, main dish to dessert, potato never fails to disappoint.
There are about about 100 varieties of edible potatoes grown around the world. These range in size, shape, color, starch content and flavor. Besides being a world staple, potato has an impressive nutritional profile. It is a very good source of vitamin B6 and a good source of potassium, copper, vitamin C, manganese, phosphorus, niacin, dietary fiber, and pantothenic acid.

Here are some of our family faves.

Grilled Potato wedges
Crisp crunchy exterior with soft fluffy insides, flavored with spice mixture of your liking and a little char from the grill. These perfectly seasoned grilled potato fries/wedges are one of my favorite sides to serve with any BBQ dish. They are quick and delish and pair wonderfully with most meats coming off the grill.
Find the detailed recipe here.

Sweet Potato Wedges
These grilled wedges make for an excellent side dish alongside grilled salmon or chicken. Sweet and soft on the inside, charred and crunchy on the outside – what’s not to love here? And I love that all components for dinner can be cooked outside and there is practically no clean-up to do in the kitchen.
Find the detailed recipe here.

Aloo chaat
Diced potatoes are fried in generous helpings of oil on large griddles or tava and drizzled with tamarind, mint chutneys and an array of ground fragrant spices.
This version is much lighter without compromising the taste. Roast the half boiled potatoes in the oven with just a drizzle of olive oil to get the crisp delish spud. If you prefer, you can shallow fry your diced potatoes and flavor them with chaat masala.
Find the detailed recipe here.

Batata Vada
Battered, deep fried potato fritters typically served as a tea time snack is a popular Maharashtra street food and is served with a bunch of condiments such as green mint coriander chutney and the red chili garlic chutney. Flavored mashed potatoes are shaped into round balls and dipped in a thick chickpea flour batter, then deep fried to get a crispy exterior with a soft interior.Find the detailed recipe here.

Aloo tikki
The evergreen Indian street food is loved by all, big and small. Spiced potato cutlets fried to perfection to give a crispy exterior and a soft interior. This versatile dish can be served in several ways and is a real comfort food for those cold and wet evenings.
Find the detailed recipe here.

Dum Aloo
This fried potato curry is an Indian dish from the Kashmiri kitchen. Small baby potatoes are cooked in a tangy spiced gravy of ginger, garlic, tomatoes and yogurt. The beautiful reddish hue comes from Kashmiri chili powder which have a distinctive flavor, though not very spicy. I like it with roti or naan. Dum aloo can be served on special occasions and looks as beautiful as it tastes.Find the detailed recipe here.

Sesame potatoes (til wale aloo)
My mom's recipe, this dish is from Nepal and is always a favored item in gatherings. This spicy vegan fare takes multiple steps but is well worth the effort. As the flavors blend it, taste enhances after 24 hours. So I always make a double batch to ensure left-overs for later. This dish is suitable for a fasting meal.
Find the detailed recipe here.

Aloo Posto
A simple and delicious stir fried potato dish, aloo posto is a staple in Bengali households. Using just a few ingredients you can make these spicy potatoes and they taste awesome with dal and plain roti. The main flavor comes from poppy seeds.
Find the detailed recipe here.

Sweet potato fudge (shakarkandi halwa)
Shakarkandi ka halwa or sweet potato fudge makes for a delicious prasad and dessert for the day of fasting. A must try for everyone with a sweet tooth.
Find the detailed recipe here.

Friday, March 31, 2017

14 Paneer recipes

Indian cuisine is well known for offering a wide range of vegetarian dishes for its massive population that relies purely on meat free diet. An array of lentils and beans, an abundance of seasonal vegetables and paneer along with a wide selection of herbs and spices form the backbone of Indian vegetarian cuisine.  
Indian cottage cheese or paneer is fresh cheese that can be easily made at home and requires no aging. It has a mild taste and  and soaks up the flavor of the spices its cooked in. It holds up well to frying and grilling and so is a great choice for curries and BBQ. This versatile ingredients is used to make a wide array of dishes ranging from starters to main dish to dessert. A fave among all you can find it in restaurant meals, home cooked food and street food.
Here is a collection of paneer recipes ranging from starters to main dish to dessert. Click on the titles to go to their detailed recipes. Happy cooking. 
These mini paneer cutlets are super cute and super yummy. A great appetizer dish that you can make ahead. Make them bigger to use as a burger patty. The main ingredient in here is grated paneer which constitutes almost 70% of the mix. Add a little potato to help bind the mixture. Apart from these you can add any veggie combination you like. Carrots, peas, beans, leeks, etc. Make sure to lightly steam or microwave cook the beans and peas before adding to the mix.

Tandoori paneer tikka
Soft chunks of paneer marinated in hung yogurt based marinade with tandoori masala and grilled to perfection with onions and peppers. Often served as a starter, paneer tikka has the char broiled flavor of the tandoor (clay oven) and is a great vegetarian alternative for BBQ. Marinated cubes of paneer are threaded through the skewers along with red onions, pepper chunks and mushrooms and grilled till they sizzle. Serve them with mint chutney as a starter and with Plain naan as a meal.

Haryali paneer tikka
Hara bhara paneer tikka or haryali paneer tikka is made with an array of herbs and spices and tastes fresh and herbaceous. I use hung yogurt as the base for the marinade. You can also use sour cream if you wish. Grid the green marinade fine using as little water as possible.
Tikkas are served as starters with drinks or as an accompaniment to the meal with raw red onion rings, salad greens, mint chutney, hot dipping sauce and even small bites of naan. Give hot tikkas a drizzle of lime juice and a sprinkle of chaat masala (a mix of spices with mango powder, cumin, black salt) for an exquisite flavor.
Kali mirch paneer tikka
Kali mirch paneer tikka is simple and quick to make. The coarse texture of peppercorns infuse a gentle heat to the succulent paneer pieces and red and green peppers add to the smoky charred flavor. Tikkas are served as starters with drinks or as an accompaniment to the meal with raw red onion rings, salad greens, mint chutney, hot dipping sauce and even small bites of naan. Give hot tikkas a drizzle of lime juice & a sprinkle of chaat masala for an exquisite flavor.

A flavorful dish to serve with naan or roti, karahi paneer has its roots in Mughlai cooking. Succulnt pieces of paneer and smoky peppers are cooked in a tangy tomato sauce with a hint of creaminess. Adjust the consistency as per your taste.

Matar paneer
Matar paneer is a tomato based peas and paneer curry from North India. Fried cubes of paneer and peas are simmered in an onion, tomato, ginger and garlic based gravy spiced with cumin, cloves, cinnamon and green chilies.

Detailed recipe

Palak paneer 
Spinach with cottage cheese is a rustic dish and an old favorite of Punjab (North India). Lightly fried cubes of paneer (Indian cottage cheese) and pureed spinach are simmered in an onion tomato gravy till flavors blend in. Palak paneer goes well with roti, paratha, naan and jeera rice with a side of raw onion rings and crisp green chilies. I make palak paneer in two different ways. One the more traditional recipe and the other a stir fried version which is much healthier and less calorie dense. Its not as creamy as the other version but taste awesome for those quick meals. So call it the shortcut method. Make sure to try them both.

Detailed recipe
Chaulia Paneer
This dish is very similar to matar paneer. Just use chaulia (green chickpeas) instead of peas. Fried cubes of paneer and chaulia are simmered in an onion, tomato, ginger and garlic based gravy spiced with cumin, cloves, cinnamon and green chilies. So shallow fry paneer cubes till lightly golden and keep aside. Make the gravy and add chaulia. Add the fried paneer and simmer for a bit to allow the flavors to blend in. Do not overcook the paneer as it gets rubbery. Serve with cumin rice or roti.

Detailed recipe

Paneer Stuffed Indian peppers

Stuffed peppers are a fave all over the world. A variety of fillings find their way into these beauties both vegetarian and meat fillings. Flavored with cheese, tomato and spices you can fill them with almost anything - beans, rice, ground chicken, quinoa or a combination of these; they all taste awesome.

Detailed recipe

Shahi paneer
Shahi paneer means a royal paneer curry. This tomato and yogurt based creamy dish with cubed paneer has a definite Mughal influence. It is mildly sweet in taste. Sweet nuttiness comes from the cashew paste, slight sour from the yogurt and rich smoothness from the cream

Detailed recipe

Methi Chaman
Methi chaman is from the Kshmiri kitchen. Fresh methi greens are cooked with fried cubed paneer and buttermilk and flavored with bold spices such as ginger and fennel powder. There are several variations to this dish. You can use half methi and half spinach leaves to reduce bitterness and make it more kid friendly. You can also puree the greens rather than chop them. This makes for a smooth gravy like dish.

Detailed recipe 

Malai kofta (paneer kofta curry)
Malai Kofta is a dish for special occasions and is a vegetarian version of meatballs. Koftas are fried dumplings. More popularly recognized as meatballs, koftas can be made from different ingredients such as lamb, chicken, vegetables, paneer. Fried koftas are immersed in rich silky gravy and accompanied by naan, tandoori roti or cumin rice.

Detailed recipe

Kalakand is a soft,moist delicious dessert very popular all over India specially during festivals and celebrations. Traditionally its made by boiling milk down to half its volume and combining it with paneer or cottage cheese, a tedious and long process. But a much simpler microwave version of the recipe takes about quarter the time and comes out as delicious. I have written down both recipes and have also tried both. The results are almost same. Try this recipe during the festive season this year and enjoy.

Detailed recipe
Coconut Laddo
For a real quick and delicious dessert make these bite sized delights. This is an almost no cook dish which is ready in minutes and tastes very delectable. Serve them at room temperature for a melt in the mouth treat.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Cedar planked Tilapia

On the plate
Cedar planked Tilapia
Roasted Mushrooms
Roasted Broccoli

If you have never experienced the delectable flavor of cedar planked fish then this is a must try recipe for you this summer. Fish cooks in its own moist juices, infused with the sweet smokiness of the cedar plank. Cedar plank cooking is not restricted to fish, you can use other types of meat as well. Serve right off the plank and the conversation is sure to revolve around the concept of cooking on planks.
Here I marinated tilapia fillets with olive oil and mustard. To balance the tartness of the mustard I drizzled a little ice wine syrup. The light sweetness of this syrup tastes awesome on this smoked grilled tilapia. Serve over crisp lettuce with grilled broccoli and mushrooms and a side of pineapple wedges. A totally wholesome and delicious lunch Buddha bowl.
Some thoughts on safety. Always exercise caution when using this technique of cooking. Make sure the plank is well soaked before cooking. The plank can catch fire on the edges after being on heat for a while. So have a spray water bottle handy for any flare ups. Also make sure the plank is completely extinguished before discarding it.

Cedar planked Tilapia
Ingredients: (serves 4)
4 boneless tilapia fillets
1 tsp olive oil
3 tbsp grainy mustard
cracked black pepper
salt to taste
1 cedar plank
1 tbsp ice wine syrup
  1. Pre heat your BBQ to medium high.
  2. Soak the cedar plank in water for 2 hours and then drain. Very lightly spray with oil.
  3. Rinse the fish fillets under cold water and then pat dry. Generously season the fillets with salt and pepper on both sides.
  4. Mix together olive oil and mustard. Spread this all over the fish.
  5. Place the fish on the prepared cedar plank. Place the plank on the hot grill. Cover the grill and cook till fish cooks through and reaches an internal temperature of 135 F. This will take about 20-30 minutes. Keep a spray water bottle handy for any flare ups.
  6. Transfer the plank carefully on a serving platter and drizzle with ice wine syrup. 
  7. Serve right off the plank.

Grilled Broccoli and Mushrooms
Ingredients: (serves 4)
1 lb white button mushrooms
1 whole head broccoli
olive oil
Freshly cracked black pepper
Salt to taste (optional)
  1. Trim the broccoli into medium sized florets. Clean the mushrooms.
  2. Drizzle olive oil on all of the above. Season with pepper. 
  3. Place on the pre-heated grill. Cook turning occasionally till slightly charred and tender. 
  4. Sprinkle salt just before serving if desired. 

Friday, March 17, 2017

Sprouted methi seeds

Seeds, grains, beans and nuts are all filled with beneficial nutrients. Soaking and sprouting these seeds and beans replicates the germination process. This helps activate and multiply its micro-nutrients (particularly Vitamins A, B, and C), and makes them more bio-available by promoting the growth of vital digestive enzymes. Sprouting at home is an easy and inexpensive process, and requires minimal equipment. The process to sprout seeds, nuts, grains and beans is the same. Only the time required for germination changes. Here are some of the things you can sprout.
Pulses and beans - Moong beans, green lentils, adzuki beans, black eye beans, whole Bengal gram
Seeds - Alfalfa seeds, mustard seeds, methi seeds, chia, arugula, flaxseeds
Nuts - Almonds, Brazil nuts, Cashews, sunflower seeds

Here is the procedure I use for sprouting methi seeds. A little intro to these tiny golden seeds.
Fenugreek or methi (as its called in India) is the seed of the Trigonella foenum-graecum plant species, commonly used as a dried spice in East Indian cuisine. These golden seeds of the fenugreek plant are known for their fragrant aroma and a slightly bitter taste. Used in small quantity as a spice in stir fries and curries, methi seeds enhance the flavor of the food. In its fresh form methi leaves are consumed as stir fried leafy greens.

Fenugreek seeds
Sprouting Methi Seeds (Fenugreek seeds)
1/2 cup methi seeds
Strainer/Colander with a large diameter
Paper towel
Cheese cloth
  1. Soak methi seeds in water overnight.
  2. Rinse and wash the slime off the seeds. 
  3. Line the colander with some paper towel and spread the seeds on it. Place the colander on a mixing bowl and cover with a breathable mesh or cheese cloth.
  4. This arrangement is necessary so that air can circulate, and the water can drain off. Allow to sit in a well lit warm area.
  5. Repeat the rinsing process and spread fresh paper towel twice a day.
  6. The seeds will sprout and be ready to consume within 2-4 days depending on the temperature. In 5-6 days tiny leave will appear as well. 
  7. At any stage you can rinse well and store in a jar in the refrigerator. Consume within 2-3 days. 
  8. These beautiful sprouts make for a nutrient rich addition to salads, wraps and sandwiches. 
  9. The picture above is methi sprouts, red onion, cucumber and fresh coriander all tossed together with fresh lime juice and a hint of salt and pepper.