Healthy Quinoa Dosa with fresh fenugreek leaves and onions

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Take regular Dosa to a whole new level. Breakfast to me is the most important meal of the day and I don’t mind taking  efforts to prepare one. I even don’t mind waking up half an hour early to have a good satisfied breakfast.

Here’s a healthier take on a classic dosa. I don’t say traditional dosa is unhealthy, but for those who are gluten intolerant this recipe serves well.  Frankly speaking, experiment like this has been truly a gift for my family. I always look for ways to increase the nutritional value of my food and wanted my girls to somehow eat and like quinoa. I tried many other ways but this ended up to be the most loved quinoa recipe.

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Quinoa is considered to be a super food because of its high protein content, high in iron and magnesium, added to this they are rich omega-3. This super grain dosa works fantastic for a post workout meal. since it is gluten free this seed has become increasingly popular among the vegans for its rich source of protein.

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Yellow or green lentil mixed with quinoa results in increased nutritional value compared to the regular Dosa.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 1/2 cup Quinoa
  • 1/2 cup skinless whole or split Urad or Yellow split lentil( urad dal or yellow/green moong dal)
  • 1 tbsp Fenugreek seeds( methi seeds)
  • Virgin coconut oil or any other cooking oil
  • Salt as per taste
  • 1 finely chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh fenugreek leaves.

DIRECTION

  1. Soak the quinoa, lentil and fenugreek seeds together for 6 hours or minimum of 4 hours.
  2. Grind into a smooth batter of flowing consistency. Transfer into a large bowl, mix salt and let it ferment for overnight or 6 hours at least. You will notice the batter has risen due to fermentation.
  3. Heat a Dosa pan or a flat griddle and spread a big ladle full batter evenly in a circular motion. Now spread some chopped onions and chopped methi. Drizzle a tea-spoon of oil to make the crepe crisper. This is optional.
  4. Once the Dosa/crepe becomes golden brown on both sides and becomes crispy, for this shouldn’t take more than two minutes on each side. Now your super crispy quinoa dosa is ready to serve.

You can serve with any desired chutney or sambar or can have just like that.

 

GRILLED HALOUMI SPINACH OPEN SANDWICH

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With a heart full of enthusiasm and happiness I welcome the winters in Bahrain.  This is the season perfect for outdoors, catching up with friends over a cup of coffee. I love the pleasant winter of Bahrain. The warm sunshine brings a bright smile on my face.

Why not jump-start your day with a healthy breakfast while grabbing every little moment of happiness with your loved ones out in the sunny winter morning.

My grilled haloumi spinach sandwich is easy to prepare, quick , with a mouth full of flavors and health.The delicious flavor of haloumi cheese with spinach is simply wonderful, and the roasted pumpkin and sunflower seeds gives it a perfect nutty bite. To top it with an egg, a sunny side up is my all time favorite. What more could you ask for to start a lovely weekday morning.

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INGREDIENTS

  • 2 multi grain or whole meal baguette
  • 150-200 gm holoumi cheese cut into an inch thick strips or slices
  • A bunch of fresh roughly chopped spinach
  • 1 sliced medium red bell pepper
  • 6-8 cherry tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp roasted pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds.
  • 2 eggs poached or omlette sunny side up
  • 1-2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • freshly cracked pepper
  • Butter for the baguette

DIRECTION

  1. Butter the baguette generously and keep it aside
  2. Take a pan and very lightly drizzle with some olive oil . Toss the haloumi cheese strips for just a few seconds on both sides. Transfer them into a bowl and keep it aside.
  3. In the same pan toss the sliced bell peppers and the cherry tomatoes.
  4.  To assemble the sandwich, take the buttered baguette and top it with the chopped spinach, then the grilled haloumi, bell peppers and cherry tomatoes
  5. Top it with a sunny side up egg and some fresh cracked pepper. Drizzle some more extra virgin olive oil.

An amazing breakfast packed with protiens, calcium, minerals and  carbs to kick start your day .

XORIYOH-POSTO ILISH/ SHORSE-POSTO ILISH (HILSA IN AN AUTHENTIC MUSTARD-POPPY SEEDS GRAVY)

_dsc0439_2Ilish (hilsa) as we call it, is itself a delicacy no matter how u cook it. At least the Assamese and Bengali fish lovers goes   over this fresh water fish curry. The rustic and strong flavor of poppy seeds and mustard seeds makes this fish apart all other fish curries.

Breaking the monotony of  weekend special meal to a weekday special meal  is what wallowing life to the fullest means to me. Well this is what happened during one fine sunny weekday lunch when few friends from US visited Bahrain for work, came home for lunch. It is a fact that people of Assam and Bengal would die for this customary hilsa fish made in mustard-poppy seeds sauce. Our friends with a mind-set of having a light lunch couldn’t stop relishing over this Ilish curry over hot steam rice. good company, nostalgic chats over some great food makes any day a special one.

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The key fixing in xoriyoh-posto ilish is the utilization of fresh mustard and poppy seeds paste which gives the sauce the rustic and pungent flavor, into which the pan seared hilsa fish is seeped in.

INGREDIENTS

  1. 1 kilo hilsa fish cut into medium slices
  2. 1/2 tsp turmeric powder.
  3. 2 sliced green chilies
  4. 1 very small onion and an inch of ginger blended into a paste
  5. 1/2 tsp sugar
  6. salt as per taste
  7. 1/2 tsp red chili powder( optional)
  8. 3 tbsp Mustard oil

For the sauce

  • 2 tbsp white mustard seeds
  • 1 tbsp poppy seeds
  • 2 green chilies
  • 1 inch ginger
  • 2 tsp beaten yogurt

For garnish

  • chopped fresh coriander leaves
  • Fine ginger julienne

DIRECTION

  1. Marinade the hilsa fish slices with turmeric powder and salt.
  2. In a blender add all the ingredients along with enough water needed for the sauce or curry. Now blend it into a fine paste and keep it aside.
  3.  Heat 2 tbsp oil in a pan and sear the fish on both sides for a min. Carefully turn the fish slices as they ate quite soft compared to other fishes. Take out the fried fish slices into a plate.
  4. Now in the same pan add another table-spoon of oil, then add the panch phoren until it crackles. At this point add the onion and ginger paste and saute for a minute until the raw smell of the paste is gone.
  5. Add the prepared mustard-poppy paste into the pan, mix gently. Now add turmeric powder, red chili powder, sugar, season it with salt and sliced fresh green chilies. As the sauce starts bubbling put in the fish slices gently. Cover with a lid and simmer on low heat for a few minutes.
  6. Remove the lid and pour a dash of pure mustard oil for that extra kick and authentic flavor. Allow a last simmer, then turn off the heat and garnish with fresh coriander and fine ginger julienne.

Serve simple with hot steam rice.

 

 

TAPIOCA CHANA kabab( Tapioca chick peas kabab)

 

 

_DSC0499What new can you think of when it comes to vegetarian dishes…… Well well, this is my ” out of the fridge recipe” that’s what I call, even my friends call. In fact, they suggested me to have a separate menu in my blog named as ” Out of my fridge recipes “.

Rajitha, bubbly, hyper energetic friend of mine was wondering how the hell I could think or get the idea of making Chick pea and tapioca kabab without onion or garlic. Urhhhh!!!!  Who gave you the idea? I’ll have to spy on you. I am sure some one gave u the idea….. God! It was terrible to convince her and  there I said, sweet heart, this is an “out of the fridge recipe” , not fried, vegetarian and perfect for you.

One can experiment with so many things in a vegetarian dish. For kababs just three things that is to be kept in mind, the binding agent, seasoning and the main ingredient.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup boiled chick peas
  • 1/2 cup boiled tapioca
  • 1 1/2 tsp ginger and chili paste( 1 1/2 inch ginger and 1-2 green chilies and make into a paste)
  • 1-2 tsp roasted cumin and coriander powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste.
  • Chopped coriander

DIRECTION

  1. Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl and take small quantity and give a shape of kabab using your hand or roll the mixture and put it into a seekh.
  2. You have two option here, oven grill or pan grill. For oven grill, brush some oil evenly over the kababs and put it into the grill. Turn them in between for an even grill texture. For pan grill, drizzle some oil in a pan and cook your kababs until nice brown color on each side and all over.
  3. Sprinkle some chat masala before serving. Yogurt and mint dip would be perfect accompaniment.

TUNISIAN CHICKEN TAGINE

 

 

_DSC0229Manisha:  La classe est pas intéressant sans toi. Je manque  votre classe.

Amal: C’est trés gentil de ta part

Amal: Let me know if you all need any help with your lesson

Manisha: Yes we do have doubts and need your help

Amal: If you wish we can have sessions in my home.

Manisha: Ce sera parfait

And that’s how this interesting new way of learning French language and Tunisian food began. We used to sit together for hours discussing my lessons and talking about food, Tunisian and other cultures and about fashion a lot. Amal too is an enthusiastic cook, she loves trying out different cuisines. She being a Tunisian, not only cooked delicious Tunisian food but also many other different cusines. Thus, i got this opportunity to learn new cuisine along with french language.

My session at her place would always start with a cup of tunisian tea or a coffee of her style or turkish coffee, with something yummy to munch that she had cooked and had saved some for me too try out. More than being my French teacher, she is a lady with a golden heart, a great motivator and a fun-loving person. This had indeed made learning more fun.

To my knowledge TAGINE, which is a slow cooked dish mostly with lamb is a Moroccan delicacy, until i met Amal and got to know that there are different kinds of tagine preparation.  Tagine is a popular and local dish of Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, North Africa.

Tunisian tagine is very different from Moroccan tagine. This is an egg based dish into which , chunks of liver, chicken , lamb, veggies or even only veggies are added. Seasoned with some fresh herbs and spices; cheese, beans and bread crumbs are used to give a nice texture to the dish. Unlike the usual Moroccan tagine which stew based, this is meal on its own or more like ” Italian frittata”.  

INGREDIENTS

  • 300 gm chicken breast cut into small chunks
  • 1 medium potato cut into small cubes
  • 2 tbsp of chopped carrots
  • 1 medium onion roughly diced
  • 1 tbsp chopped garlic
  • 1-2 tbsp chopped parsley( chopped coriander can also be used substituting parsley)
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano and thyme
  • 1 tsp paprika or harissa( optional)
  • 1/2 tsp pepper powder
  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil
  •  4-5 large eggs
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 cup mix of cheddar and mozzarella cheese
  • Salt as per taste
  • parmesan cheese for garnish 

DIRECTION

  1. Pre heat the oven in 180c -200c.
  2. Heat olive oil in a pan and saute the onion and garlic for a minute or two, then add the chicken, potatoes and carrots and cook over medium heat for another few mins until lightly golden and cooked through, season it with some salt, pepper and oregano. Turn off the heat and keep it aside.
  3. In a large bowl take four whole eggs, add baking powder, the seasoning and whisk until eggs are well combined. 
  4. Add the fried chicken, veggies, bread crumbs, cheese( keep little aside for garnish), parsley, paprika. Mix all properly, then transfer into a greased baking dish and bake it for 30 minutes approx in a preheated oven at 180c.
  5. Once the top layer of the tagine turns golden, check it with a fork, if it comes out clean that means your tagine is done. Take it out and allow it to cool slightly. Now cut it into squares and serve with some nice green salads.  

KUMBH MATAR MASALA- MUSHROOM PEA MASALA

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Mushrooms are not associated with typical Indian meal, but off late it has gained much popularity among the vegetarian indian crowd. in many parts of india its still considered as Fungi and not vegetables, like in Assam. Moreover cultivated mushrooms are not readily available in all parts of India.

I consider mushrooms to be a great substitute for meat. Indeed an awesome substitute, less in fats and carbs, where as more in protein, minerals and vitamins, isn’t that sound really good.

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For my vegetarian guest mushroom dishes had always been apart from other vegetarian delicacies. A simple vegetarian meal with a dish with mushrooms had always been fulfilling for my family and friends.

This particular recipe is an everyday kind of a dish with simple preparation, and loads of love.

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INGREDIENTS

  • 300 gm button white mushrooms chopped into two half
  • 1 cup fresh green peas
  • 1 medium to large onion finely chopped
  • 1 tsp ginger garlic paste
  • fresh green chilies
  • Whole spices ( 2-3 cloves, 2 cardamoms, a small stick of cinnamon and  a bay leaf)
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp roasted cumin and coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp Kashmiri red chili powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala powder
  • Salt as per taste
  • 2 tbsp Vegetable oil 
  • chopped fresh coriander
  • Few ginger julian for garnish

DIRECTION

  1. Heat oil in a pan and add the whole spices
  2. Add the chopped onion, ginger garlic paste, green chilies and saute for a minute or two.
  3. Now add the green peas and the masalas, saute until well combined. Next, add the mushrooms with a tiny bit of water and keep stirring untill all the masalas are well combined. Cover with a lid and let it cook for a couple of minutes.
  4.  Once the mushrooms are little tender but not completely wilt, add in the garam masala powder, ginger julian and give a final toss and  let at least 80% of the water evaporate.
  5. Now garnish with chopped coriander and your dish is ready to serve.

This dish goes very well with tandoori roti or any flat breads, and even mildly spiced pulao. 

KOL PATOT DIYA KOTHAL ARU KOL PITHA(Traditional Assamese Jack fruit and Banana Pancake made

 

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Yesterday evening, looking out the rains,  me, Biman and my mother  in law were having some casual talk over a cup of tea and some coconut -jaggery ladoos . During our conversation a topic of malpuwa and pitha came up, when Maa insisted in me having  bananas later in the evening. I simply said, we will make either malpuwa or pithas as I didn’t want have them. My concern was more as in when the jackfruit would be cut, in fact I was waiting for my father in law to break the huge jack fruit that he saved for me, fresh from our backyard jackfruit tree.

It was  7pm in the evening and was still raining, the smell of jackfruit lingered all around the house, the moment father cut it. We all sat together enjoying, one of my favorite fruit with lots of chatting. Maa asked me “did you ever had jack fruit pitha”? I said no, astonishingly. Then I said, ” okay Maa tom I’ll make jackfruit-Banana pitha for breakfast “. 

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For the first time I was trying this as per my mother in laws direction, so quite obvious, with much excitement I started preparing for the Pithas in traditional way wrapped in fresh banana leaves and cooked it on a medium to high heat. The Pithas came out amazingly delicious, with lots of fresh flavors of jackfruit, banana and coconut. Moreover it hardly took any time to prepare. A perfect form of healthy tasty breakfast pitha( pancakes).

INGREDIENTS

• 300 gms jackfruit seedless

• 4 small bananas

• 1 cup fresh grated coconut

• 1 1/2 cup rice flour

• 2 Tbsp whole wheat flour

• 1-2 Tbsp sugar

• 1/2 Tsp salt

• 1/2 cup water

• Banana leaves cut into medium rectangular size

METHOD

1) Wash and cut the banana leaves and keep it aside.

2) Mash the  ripe bananas and jack fruits. Add the rice flour, whole wheat flour, sugar, salt and combine by adding little water to form a thick batter consistency.

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3) Pour a small serving spoonful of the batter on the banana leaf ,spread it out, top it with some grated coconut and fold it.

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4) Place the ready leaves with batter  on a hot flat pan. Cover and let it cook for 2-3 mins on each sides

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5) If the batter does not stick the leaf and is slightly roasted, this means that your pitha is done. If the pitha is still sticky, cover and let it cook for few more minutes.

3) Serve it with a hot cup of Assam tea