Wednesday, 6 December 2017

BLACK-EYED BEANS CURRY

BLACK-EYED BEANS CURRY

LOBHIYA CURRY



In the 80's when I was in Kenya, I stayed in a remote area for a year, where there was only one boarding school together with 50 teachers’ houses and very few shops and a post office outside the school, where we could buy some basic essentials and nothing else around for many kilometers. One day my neighbour, who was a very sweet African lady, informed me, that every Wednesday there is a market (farmer's market) outside the school campus, where farmers (mostly ladies) come from nearby villages and sell their products. She asked me if I am interested in shopping for a few things from them.



I enquired about what they were selling, then agreed and told her that I will accompany her because I didn't know the local language of that area. Next Wednesday when I went with her to the market, I was surprised to see that those women were not using the weighing scale and measuring their small sized fruits and vegetables with cups, like one full cup of berries is one shilling and big fruits and vegetables they were counting and selling like a pile of 4 tomatoes is one shilling. Initially, I thought why so, but later I realised that they are subsistence farmers who cannot afford the weighing scales.



The other thing which really surprised me was, to see them selling red kidney beans and black-eyed beans in those cups. Until that time I had no idea that Africans also grow and eat those beans. Let me remind my readers that, at that time there was no internet and Google and that was my first overseas trip to Africa. I asked my neighbour lady, whether they also grow and eat these beans and informed her that we Indians also like them. I was really glad to see those beans, which they were selling at a very reasonable price, and bought them along with other vegetables and fruits from that small village market.



Black-eyed beans stew or curry is a famous dish of the state of Punjab in India and it is regularly made in our house. This is one of my favourite dishes and my elder grandson always enjoys and appreciates his grandma whenever I make this dish. Last week when I made this curry, he really enjoyed with rice and told me, “You are the best grandma in the whole world”. I love hearing such compliments from my grandchildren, they make my day! This recipe is very simple, healthy and tasty; this stew can be enjoyed with rice, naan, and roti or dinner bun with some fresh green vegetable salad.



RECIPE

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup black-eyed beans
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 tbs tomato puree or one big tomato, finely chopped
  • 1tsp ginger and garlic paste
  • 2tbs butter or oil
  • 1tsp cumin seeds
  • 1tsp coriander powder
  • 1tsp garam masala (optional)
  • salt and chilli powder to taste
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder

METHOD

  • Rinse black-eyed beans two/three times in water and soak them overnight in three cups of water.
  • Add salt and turmeric powder and boil in the pressure cooker for 10 minutes after the whistle or boil in a pot for 30 minutes till they are done.
  • For garnishing (tadka) heat the butter in a frying pan, add cumin seeds, then garlic/ginger paste, saute for 2 minutes, add onion and fry them until golden brown. Add tomato puree and mix well.
  • Add garnishing (tadka) and garam masala in boiled black eyed beans.
  • Serve hot with naan, roti or white rice.


A slow cooker can be used instead of a pressure cooker to cook this curry, in that case, you will have to cook for 7-8 hours on high. This can be served to three/four people.


I am sharing this recipe for the following blog parties Cook once and eat Twice and Meatless Monday
and  Hearth and Soul blog party and with Fiesta Friday, and Cook blog share and My Legume Love affairs with Lisa and Susan, and with Full plate Thursday












Monday, 20 November 2017

PIZZA ROLLS

PIZZA ROLLS


Grandchildren are the best gift from God, and I am lucky to have three grandchildren, two are boys and one is a girl. My granddaughter is three years old and she lives in Toronto. My two grandsons are living with me and they both know that I love my blog and enjoy sharing my recipes and they both even know the name of my blog. They both love my cooking and they always appreciate and give the best compliments a grandmother can ever have in the world. All three of my grandchildren are artistically inclined and many a time I have enjoyed and admired their creations.


When I started my blog in 2014, my eldest grandson who was 8 years old at that time, after asking the name of my blog, suggested using spices to write the name of my blog. I really liked the idea and the three of us did a good project of writing the name of the blog with the available spices in my kitchen and they really enjoyed that project. I took the picture of that, which I used as a blog header for many months on my blog.

 

Yesterday, when I was doing some work on my laptop, the younger one who is 7 years old now came to me and told me, “Grandma I am bored, I do not know what to do”, I gave him the idea that he can do some drawing and coloring. After listening to my idea of colouring and drawing, he got some pencils and colours and sat on a chair, near my table and was busy for half an hour and I was busy too with my work.



After half an hour he came to me and showed his drawing, to my big surprise, on that paper I saw the heading was, “Herbs Spices and Tradition”, with a lot of colourful food items that were also drawn on it. I was totally impressed with his drawing, couldn't believe my eyes and gave him a big hug and told him that I will take the picture of it and post it on my blog. Then I suggested to him to write the name of the food items as well so that my readers can also enjoy his drawing and understand what he has drawn, for which I helped in spelling some words as well. Following is the picture.




Both my grandsons love these pizza rolls and they even take them in their lunch boxes to school, so they are made regularly in my kitchen. This recipe is an easy one and I have used brown flour to make it healthy.

RECIPE

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups brown flour (Whole wheat flour)
  • Half packet active dry yeast ( 5grams)
  • 1tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 tbs oil
  • more oil for coating

FOR PIZZA FILLING

  • One medium finely chopped onion
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tbs butter (preferably at room temperature)
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 2tbs tomato ketchup
  • 50 grams grated mozzarella cheese
  • 2 green chili optional

METHOD

  • In a cup, dissolve the yeast in 1/2 cup of warm water, add sugar and salt in it. Mix well and leave it for 5 minutes until the colour of the water changes and becomes foamy.
  • In a big bowl take flour, add salt, oil and this foamy water of yeast, mix more water and make a soft dough, coat all sides of the dough with oil.
  • Cover with plastic wrap to let it rise (until double the original size). Keep it in a warm place for 1-2 hours to rise.
  • Finely chop onion, garlic and green chilies and mix into the butter (room temperature) and keep it aside.
  • Punch the dough down and divide into two big balls, roll out the ball thin on a flat surface, spread the mixture of onion garlic and butter thinly on top of the dough.
  • Now give a thin layer of ketchup and sprinkle the grated cheese evenly on top of the dough.
  • Cut thin strips as shown in the picture, and roll all the way up to the end of the strip and keep them on a baking tray, leaving some distance in between the rolls.
  • Bake at 350 degrees F for 15-20 minutes till the cheese is melted.
  • These rolls can be served hot or cold.

Monday, 6 November 2017

CHEESY JALAPENO POPPERS

CHEESY JALAPENO POPPERS

Normally, we bloggers say that blogging is not a joke because it requires a lot of work. Starting from planning, this includes the recipe selection, then making the item with the properly measured ingredients, then taking nice and presentable photographs of the process and the final product. Not only that but the real work starts after that, which is writing a post about it and then about the recipe with the detailed ingredients and list of steps to follow, which should include all the details so that readers can easily understand and reproduce the recipe and so on and so forth.


But, on the other side of the coin, blogging is a lot of fun. I get the feeling of contentment whenever I share my recipes or even when I do something for my blog. There are enormous reasons behind it, first is that cooking is my passion and when there is an intense desire to do something, a person will definitely enjoy it, the same thing is happening with me. The other reason is that blogging has opened many ventures/doors for me to learn not only new recipes but also to try new cuisines and a lot of new things about food and the food industry. The other thing which I like most about blogging is the integration with people, not only with my readers and people who come and comment on my posts but also with other bloggers. In the last three years, I have made many many new blogger friends, who are from different continents, countries, and cultures and we share the same interest in blogging.



Blogging has not only opened doors for me to learn about the culinary art but also has opened doors for me to learn so many other aspects of life and particularly to learn a lot about DIY projects because many of my blogger friends have blogs in which they share their awesome DIY projects. This recipe is my blogger friend Nikki's recipe; surprisingly her blog is not only about food but about lifestyle too, where occasionally she shares some food recipes. This is the link to the recipe.



I met Nikkki Frank-Hamilton, around 3 years ago, soon after I had started my blog. She is a beautiful lady with a beautiful heart, even apart from her busy life; she is always willing to help others. Her blog is View from in here, which is an awesome blog. She is a great writer and a very good friend of mine. Her friendship is a treasure for me which I want to save for the rest of my life. Her posts are so informative, interesting and knowledgeable that anybody would love to read them. Recently she wrote about “Life lessons learning over 50 years”, which is a must-read for everyone turning 50, every single paragraph of this post is awesome and worth reading. Here is the link-
She also has a Facebook Community group of bloggers, Way-Wow community group where we 20 bloggers help and promote each other. If you would like to join this group, please do contact her.



RECIPE

INGREDIENTS
  • 8 jalapeno chili peppers
  • 100 grams grated mozzarella cheese
  • 100 grams cream cheese.
  • 1-2 tbs of milk if required
  • 2 tbs oil for greasing the chilies and the oven tray
  • 100 grams chopped cilantro
  • salt and black pepper to taste

METHOD


  • Wash the chilies thoroughly, slice in the middle and cut them half lengthwise and de-seed them.
  • Mix cream cheese and mozzarella cheese together with salt and pepper and cilantro, if the mixture is too dry, add the milk to make it smooth.
  • Grease the skin of the chilies and the oven tray with oil, Stuff the mixture into the chilies.
  • Heat the oven for 400 degrees C.
  • Place the chilies in the greased tray close together so that they do not fall over.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes, when chilies are brown on the top serve hot as a side dish and enjoy.

I am sharing this post with Sweet Inspiration Link party and Meatless Monday and Fiesta Friday








Thursday, 2 November 2017

ROUND-UP FOR MY LEGUME LOVE AFFAIR 112 - FOR THE MONTH OF OCTOBER 2017

ROUND-UP FOR MY LEGUME LOVE AFFAIR 112 - FOR THE MONTH OF OCTOBER 2017




I am delighted to present the round-up of MLLA, which I hosted for the third time in the month of October 2017. Special thanks to Susan of 'The well-seasoned cook' who conceived this idea in 2008, and later to Lisa of Lisa's Kitchen for taking care of Susan's baby for a long period of time. Because of them, this event is still on, and I got the chance to host it again, thank you!

I would also like to thank all the bloggers who shared their recipes in this MLLA event for October 2017. And now onto some delicious recipe entries of this month: This month MLLA received seven recipes in all. All the recipes shared were amazing and it was difficult to choose which one is the best.

The first entry I got is a very interesting recipe of Sun-dried tomato Hummus, which was shared by Soul Nutrition. In this hummus recipe, she used chickpeas as the legume for this recipe. In her post, she explained some health benefits of lentils and she also added some titbits of nutritional knowledge about this particular recipe.



The second recipe I received is of black bean, corn and red pepper Tacos by Making Healthy Choices. I love tacos with corn and black beans, so I bookmarked this recipe to try soon. In her post, she also explained legumes as a nutrition-powerhouse and the health benefits of black beans.



The third recipe, I got is of Chutney chana pilaf by Recipe Grab Bag, this is a nice green coloured recipe which is also a healthy and delicious way to enjoy rice with boondi and with the flavour of green cilantro, mint chutney.



The fourth recipe is a very interesting, healthy and awesome looking recipe of Zucchini pasta with Italian lentil sauce by Taylor Life. In this recipe, you can enjoy pasta with very little carbohydrate in it because the pasta is made with zucchini ribbons. I would love to try this recipe soon.



The fifth recipe is made under the theme of Caribbean recipes and is by Mayuri Zikoni's, which looks like channa bhature from Indian cuisine. This recipe is called “Doubles”, it is a sandwich made with two baras stuffed with chickpeas curry and served with chutney. This is a famous street food from Trinidad and Tobago. Please visit her website to see this amazingly tasty recipe. I feel like grabbing a plate through my laptop!




The sixth recipe is a hummus again, by “Just tea for two” which is made with roasted beet and the legume she used is chickpeas. I can imagine the taste of roasted beetroot, with garlic, chickpeas and tahini, actually, I want to taste it now with some fresh vegetables like carrots or cucumber, as she mentions in the post that this hummus can be enjoyed with fresh vegetables.



The last recipe which is the seventh one is of peanut butter and jelly thumbprint cookies by The mad scientist Kitchen. This is such a lovely looking recipe of cookies, they are healthy, delicious and protein rich. I like the idea of serving with jelly on top. In her post, she also explained the difference between cookies and biscuits.



Thank you all again for participating, looking forward to more events like this in future.


Monday, 16 October 2017

CHERRY TART

CHERRY TART

HAPPY DIWALI TO ALL THOSE WHO ARE CELEBRATING



My love for cherries is never ending, whenever they are in season, I am tempted to try new recipes with them. Cherry season is very short here in Calgary, though I do realise that frozen cherries are available throughout the year. This year I chanced upon farm stall that was selling fresh cherries in bulk for a very reasonable price, I bought lots, 12 bags in total, then I washed, pitted and froze them in small zip lock bags for future use. Now I know I will enjoy them through the winter.


Three years ago, when my daughter with her family, was coming back after a holiday trip, I wanted to give her a surprise with a new recipe made with cherries. That is when this recipe was initiated the very first time, but now it is made every year whenever cherries are in season. This recipe can easily be made with frozen cherries so even when fresh cherries are not available, this recipe turns out pretty good.


This is a fusion recipe in which I have combined an Indian cheese (Chena) with cherries. Chena is a homemade Indian cheese, which is very easy to make. You have to boil milk and while milk is boiling, add few spoons of vinegar; the acid in the vinegar will separate the whey from the milk solids which we have to extract. Sieve the whole thing to remove the watery whey, then leave the milk solids in the sieve for 30 minutes, Chena is ready. This Chena is used to make paneer, which is a well-known ingredient of north and East Indian cuisine. Many sweet and savoury items are made with paneer, including many restaurant dishes.



RECIPE

INGREDIENTS

FOR TART (For graham cracker crust)

  • Two cups graham/digestive cracker (Finely crushed)
  • One cup sugar
  • 8 tbs butter

FOR FILLING

  • I cup sliced cherries
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup Chena/homemade crumbled paneer
  • pinch cardamom powder

METHOD

For crust

  • Mix crushed graham cracker, sugar and butter thoroughly.
  • Press mixture in to small individual pie trays ( 3 inches )
  • Bake in the oven for 6-7 minutes on 180 degrees C.
  • The tart is ready, cool it well.

FOR FILLING

  • Mix cherries and brown sugar together and heat in a pan to make compote.
  • When compote is ready, mix Chena and cook further for 8-10 minutes so that water from the Chena can evaporate and mixture can thicken. Leave it to cool.
  • Preheat oven to 375 degree F
  • Fill the mixture of cherry, sugar and Chena inside the tart and bake in the oven for 2-3 more minutes.
  • Serve chilled as a dessert after the meals.

Note: - Ready-made tart can be used. If you are using readymade tart shells, first bake the tart shells in the oven for 7-8minutes and after adding the filling, bake for another 2 more minutes.

I am sharing this recipe as my blog post entry to Meatless Monday, Fiesta Friday, Hearth and Soul blog hop and Coo once and eat Twice and with Cook Blog share and we are pinnable. and with Full Plate Thursday and Sweet inspiration link party.