Curried Chickpeas and Potatoes

Curried Chickpeas and Potatoes
This was my lunch today. Curried chickpeas and potatoes can be eaten with chapati, naan or puri. It is easy to make and all you need is a small can of chickpeas, a few potatoes, and spices that are found on most Indian kitchen shelves. You can adjust the amount of chilli powder in this recipe depending on your preference.

I will be taking a break from blogging to travel, to take some cooking classes, and to catch up with projects around the house. Have a wonderful summer!

Curried Chickpeas and Potatoes
Prep time: 10
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Serves: 4

4 tablespoons oil
½ teaspoon mustard seeds
½ teaspoon nigella seeds, (kalonji)
2 tablespoons ginger-garlic paste
1 15.5oz can (439g) chickpeas, (garbanzos)
3 medium potatoes, (boiled and peeled)
1 teaspoon Kashmiri chilli powder, (depending on heat and your preference)
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1 teaspoon garam masala powder
½ teaspoon turmeric powder
2 cups of water
½ cup plain yoghurt
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro

Place a saucepan on medium-high heat. Add oil. When the oil is hot add mustard seeds and when they crackle add nigella. Add the ginger-galic paste and saute until the raw smell of ginger-garlic disappears. Drain the chickpeas and add them to the saucepan. Cut the potatoes into small cubes and add them too. Saute for two minutes. Then add the chilli, cumin, garam masala, turmeric, water, and salt. Cover with a lid, turn the heat to high and bring to a boil. Once it starts boiling turn the heat down to medium-low and let the chickpeas and potatoes cook along with the spices for about ten minutes.

Beat the yoghurt until it is smooth and creamy. Turn the heat to low and add the yoghurt. Let the curry continue to cook for another ten minutes. The gravy should have thickened by now. Garnish with chopped cilantro. Sorry, I didn’t have any so you don’t see it in the picture!

Reposting – Fishless Tuna Cutlets

Fishless Tuna Cutlets Fishless Tuna Cutlets
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes
Makes: 10-15

3 Yukon gold potatoes, boiled, skins removed, and mashed, (about 3 cups)
2 cans (13oz/369g) Fishless Tuna, well drained
1 green bell pepper, finely chopped
1 small onion, finely chopped, (about ½ cup)
1 Roma tomato, diced
¼ cup finely chopped cilantro
5 mint leaves, finely chopped (optional)
3 green chillies, finely chopped (depending on heat and your preference, optional)
3 teaspoons chilli flakes, (depending on heat and your preference, optional)
½ teaspoon whole cumin seeds
2 teaspoons coriander powder
3 teaspoons dry mango powder, (amchur, optional)
¼ cup Bengal gram flour, (besan)
1 egg, (replace egg with two extra tablespoons of Bengal gram flour for vegetarian/vegan)
Oil for shallow frying

Add the potatoes, Fishless Tuna, green bell pepper, onion, tomato, cilantro, mint, green chillies, chili flakes, whole cumin seeds, coriander powder, dry mango powder, Bengal gram flour (besan), egg, and salt into a large bowl. Mix well. Form the cutlets and put them on a small tray.

Place a medium-sized non-stick frying pan over medium heat and add oil for shallow frying. Add a few cutlets at a time. If you over crowd the pan, it will be difficult to turn the cutlets over. Wait until you see the bottom edges of the cutlets turn golden brown in color. Then gently turn them over. Fry the other side until golden. Remove and place on a paper towel lined baking tray.

1. Drain the Fishless Tuna and discard the water. Put the tuna in a sieve and press it with a wooden spoon so you can get all the water out before you use it.
2. Have all the ingredients ready before you mix them together, form the cutlets, and shallow fry them. If you mix the ingredients and leave it in the bowl to rest the onion, green pepper, and tomato will give out water which will make it difficult for you to form the cutlets.
3. Fry the cutlets on medium heat until you see the edges on the bottom of the cutlets turn golden brown.
4. If you like tartness, then add the dry mango powder (amchur).
5. Both Bengal gram flour and dry mango powder can be bought from an Indian grocery store.
6. These cutlets freeze well.
7. Replace the egg with two extra tablespoons of Bengal gram flour to make these cutlets vegetarian or vegan.
8. Fishless Tuna is a product of Atlantic Natural Foods Meatless Select. The cans are available at the Potomac Adventist Book & Health Food Store in Silver Spring, Maryland.

Fishless Tuna Burger1October 22, 2014 – Attaching a picture of the cans for those that asked. If you don’t have a store that sells this, you can contact the company directly: Atlantic Natural Foods Meatless Select at:
Fishless Tuna Can Pic

Mattar Paneer Pulao

Mattar Paneer Pulao1
When I go to an Indian restaurant for a meal, I often order mattar paneer. Mattar paneer is a North Indian vegetarian dish that consists of green peas (mattar) and cubes of fresh Indian cheese (paneer) in a creamy tomato based sauce. I enjoy eating mattar paneer with naan (Indian bread). That was my inspiration for the mattar paneer pulao recipe that I’m sharing with you today.

Paneer can be made at home by curdling heated milk with lemon juice or vinegar. Sometime soon, I will share the steps on how you can make paneer at home. Until then, you can buy paneer from the Indian grocery store. You will find it in the frozen food section.

Mattar paneer pulao can be made mild or spicy depending on your level of comfort. You can add the same number of spices that I’ve suggested or reduce them by half. You can also add green chillies or leave them out. This pulao pairs well with a simple cucumber raita or tomato chutney.  Try it out, and let me know if you agree.

Mattar Paneer Pulao
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 35 minutes
Serves: 4

2½ cups Basmati rice
14 oz (400g) paneer
3-4 teaspoons oil
¼ cup ghee
1 large onion, (sliced)
1 bay leaf, (torn into two bits)
6 cloves
2 star anise
6 green cardamoms
1-inch piece cinnamon
10 whole black pepper corns, (optional)
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 tablespoons ginger-garlic paste
3 large Roma tomatoes, (blanched and diced)
4 green chillies, (slit in half, optional)
½  teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon Kashmiri chilli powder
4 cups water
1 cup green peas, (fresh or frozen)

Place the rice in a small bowl and add enough water to cover it by two inches. Using your hands, gently swish the rice grains so that it releases starch. Pour the water out, leaving the rice in the bowl. Do this three or four times until the water runs clear. Soak the rice in fresh water for 15-20 minutes. Drain the water before you use the rice in this recipe.

Cut the paneer into bite sized cubes. Heat one teaspoon of oil in a medium non-stick frying pan, over medium heat. Fry a few paneer cubes at a time, until they turn light brown. Remove and put them directly into a bowl of hot tap water. Fry the rest of the paneer cubes in the same manner. Let them soak in the water until they are called for in the recipe.

Melt ghee in a large saucepan over medium-high heat; add the onion and cook until softened, about four minutes. Add the whole spices – bay leaf, cloves, star anise, cardamoms, cinnamon, black pepper, and cumin. When you get the fragrant smell of spices, add the ginger-garlic paste.  Stir and cook until the raw smell of the ginger-garlic paste disappears. Add tomatoes, green chillies, turmeric, chilli powder, and salt. Cook until the oil separates. Add four cups of water. Turn the heat to high, and let the water come to a boil. As soon as the water starts boiling, turn the heat to medium, drain the rice, and add.

Drain water from the paneer and add it to the rice. Add the peas and stir everything gently just one time so the rice, paneer, peas, and spices are well combined. Let the rice cook on medium heat until you see bubbles appearing on top of the rice. Cover the saucepan with a lid. When you see steam escaping through the lid, turn the heat to low, and cook the mattar paneer pulao for 10-15 minutes. Fluff the rice with a fork before serving.

Hearty Lentil Soup with Rasam Powder

Lentil Soup with Rasam Powder3
I pretend I’m on the TV show Chopped, when my fridge and pantry are down to their last few vegetables – one potato, one onion, one carrot, a few stalks of celery, tail end of the parsley, and lentils. That is how I came up with this recipe.

The rasam part of the recipe was included because both my daughter and I had sore throats. Rasam is a watery, spicy, tart Indian soup. The English called it mulligatawny soup. The name originates from the Tamil words milagu and thanni which translates to pepper-water.

Rasam powder can be bought at Indian grocery stores. Its spicy but you can adjust the amount you use to your own level of comfort. This soup is excellent when you have a cough or cold. It clears the sinuses, helps with digestion, and it is rich in vitamins. I hope you enjoy this soup as much as we did.

Hearty Lentil Soup with Rasam Powder
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour
Serves: 6-8

1 cup diced onion
3 tablespoons oil
6 medium garlic cloves
2 teaspoons whole black pepper, (optional)
2 teaspoons whole cumin seeds
1-2 tablespoons Aachi Rasam Powder, (depending on heat and your preference)
1 cup whole green lentils, (French green lentils)
1 cup whole brown lentils, (masoor dal)
3-4 cups water, (enough to cover the lentils by two inches)
1 cup carrot cubes
1 cup potato cubes
½ cup diced celery
14.5 can of diced tomatoes
32 oz (2 lbs) vegetable or chicken broth, (99% fat free, low sodium)
1½ teaspoons balsamic vinegar, (optional)
2 tablespoons minced parsley, (optional)

Fry the onion in a large pot over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the onion becomes translucent.

While the onions are getting translucent, crush the garlic, black pepper, and cumin in a mortar and pestle. Crush them well so the pepper breaks into tiny pieces. Add the crushed ingredients to the onion and cook until fragrant, about three minutes. Add the rasam powder, stir and cook for 30 seconds. Add the lentils and enough hot water to cover the lentils by two inches. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low, cover partially, and cook for 30 minutes.

Increase the heat to high and add carrot, potato, celery, tomato, vegetable broth, balsamic vinegar, and salt to taste. Reduce heat to low, cover partially, and simmer for 20 minutes or until the vegetables are soft and the lentils have darkened. Add parsley and cook for another five minutes with the lid off. Stir well and serve hot. Can be refrigerated in an airtight container for two days. Warm over low heat until hot.

Reposting – Doughnuts – Indian Style

Doughnuts Usha
This picture was taken by my friend, Usha David, who made these doughnuts for her family recently. Thank you for sharing this picture with me, Usha.

Doughnuts – Indian Style
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
1½ teaspoon baking powder
1 egg
¼ cup vegetable oil or melted ghee
1 teaspoon vanilla
¼ cup milk
Peanut or canola oil for deep-frying
Confectioners’ sugar for dusting

In a bowl, sift flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder. In another bowl whisk together egg, oil and vanilla. Add egg mixture into the flour and gently mix until crumbly. Add milk little by little until the dough hold together. Add a few teaspoons of flour if the dough is sticky. Knead until it forms a nice smooth dough. Cover with a damp paper towel, and let it rest for 15 minutes.

Divide the dough into two portions. Turn one portion out on to a lightly floured work surface. Roll out to a ten inch round. Cut using a doughnut cutter which is dipped in a little flour. This helps the doughnuts to slide off the cutter easily. Do the same with the other portion of the dough. Line a platter with paper towels.

In a deep, heavy saucepan, pour in oil to a depth of two inches, and heat. When oil is hot place a few doughnuts at a time in the hot oil. Using a slotted spoon remove doughnuts when they turn golden brown on both sides. Place them on paper towel lined platter to drain. If you like, you can use a fine mesh sieve to dust the doughnuts with confectioners’ sugar.