Eggplant Sauteed With Tomatoes and Fenugreek leaves( Methi Begun)

A very simple,  no onion and no garlic dish that cooks very fast. I love to have this with plain rice but you can have this with any flatbread. I would rather, you keep your plate ready before you start making this. As you sautee, the aroma of fenugreek leaves fills the air and you tend to feel very hungry. This dish is very good for diabetics. Whole cooking process is done on a high flame.

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Quinoa Pulao

Pronounced “keen-wah,” this protein-packed grain contains every amino acid, and is particularly rich in lysine, which promotes healthy tissue growth throughout the body. Quinoa is also a good source of iron, magnesium, vitamin E, potassium, and fiber. It looks a bit like couscous and is as versatile as rice, but quinoa has a richer, nuttier flavor than either of them.Quinoa is closely related to the edible plants beetroot, spinach, and amaranth(Amaranthus spp.), another pseudocereal which it closely resembles. Amaranth or Rajgira as it is locally known is a cheaper alternative to quinoa. We can use rajgira instead of quinoa. 

Both are pseudo-grains — foods that are prepared like grains (for making flours, and cereals), but are actually seeds and are gluten free. Rajgira, also called amaranth, is comparable to quinoa in terms of calories (370 cal per 100gm), fibre (7gm), fat (6-7gm) and protein (6-7gm), and has similar calcium, potassium and iron content too, plus higher vitamin E and magnesium as compared to quinoa.Both can be eaten on its own as a side dish, with a bit of butter or oil, salt and pepper, or other seasonings. It also makes a great breakfast dish mixed with dried fruit, cinnamon, milk, and maple syrup or honey. Paired with chili, stir-fries, beans or curries, quinoa is a healthy substitute for rice, and it also makes a tasty pilaf. In fact, I made one in a rice – cooker and everyone loved it. 

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Bengali Masoor Daal ( Red lentils)

Lentils have been eaten by humans since Neolithic times and were one of the first domesticated crops. In the Middle East, lentil seeds have been found, dating back to more than 8000 years. In Judaism, lentils are considered to be a food for mourners because of their round shape symbolizing the circle of life. The Greek playwright Aristophanes called lentil soup the “sweetest of delicacies”. Lentils have also been found in Egyptian tombs from as far back as 2400 BC. In India, the lentil is known as dal or daal. For many centuries, lentils were considered to be “the poor man’s meat.” In Catholic countries, those who couldn’t afford fish would eat lentils during Lent instead. In the 18th century, King Louis XV’s wife, Marie Leszczynska, made lentils fashionable among royalty and they were nicknamed “the queen’s lentils”.

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Veggies and Fruits with Black Rice

 

This is my idea of an ideal weekend lunch during summer. Black rice, which was also known as forbidden rice, has won the hearts of a whole lot of rice eating population because of its nutitional value. This rice is native to China. 

According to legend, black rice was thought to be so rare, delicious and nutritious, that it could only be eaten by emperors. While this rice is now being brought to the masses around the world, its nutritional content has still remained high. It provides a satisfying nutty flavor, making it a great addition to a number of different dishes. 

It usually takes a bit longer to be completely cooked than traditional white or even wild rice. Due to its high fibre content it keeps you feeling full for a longer period of time, making it a favourite for weight watchers. This recipe combines the health benefits of rice, fruits, veggies and healthy oil . I usually make it on saturdays for lunch because everyone is at home and I want to feed then something really healthy.

Serves 4

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Mutter paratha (Peas stuffed Indian Flatbread)

Mutter Paratha

The charm of winter can be seen in the local markets, with veggies and fruits in vibrant colours on the carts.

Fresh green peas, being a very versatile vegetable, are used in preparations in every state of India with not much difference in taste and masalas. My mutter paratha recipe is inspired by our very own Bengali motor shootir kochuri. Kochuri means stuffed deep fried bread.To give it a healthy twist, I made parathas instead which are made on a gridle pan with much less oil or ghee.I made the stuffing in the microwave  and this goes for both kochuri as well as paratha.
Makes 8 parathas Continue reading “Mutter paratha (Peas stuffed Indian Flatbread)”

​Kaali Daal( Whole urad daal cooked with spices)

Kaali Daal

This Indian delicacy that belongs  typically to the Northern region of India has made its way into the hearts of millions of Indians. This Daal is included in almost all menu lists ranging from restaurants to parties to get-togethers because of its  versatility to go with any type of bread and rice. I, personally feel this is a very close cousin of black beans both tastewise and from the nutrition point of view.Having learnt to make this from two of my close Punjabi friends 20 years ago, I have been making this once or even twice every month. I assure you that once you’ve mastered the art of cooking this, there will be no looking back. The gelatinous nature of this lentil makes the gravy so satiny and smooth and once cooked,stays for quite long in the fridge.

Serves 6

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​Pumpkin Stems Cooked in Mustard paste( Kumro shaager chorchori)

This vegetarian dish is very easy and fast to cook and the love of this simple yet rustic dish made me sow a few pumpkin seeds in my pot at home. In a few days, a beautiful pumpkin plant came up and believe me when I say it grows really fast. Now I can have this dish whenever I want, my kids aren’t so keen on it, though. It is a rustic dish, so we dont need any particular set of veggies.Just throw in whatever you want to cook with. Anyway, the ingredients mentioned below are what I have used in this recipe. I would advise you to cook this in an iron skillet or wok to get maximum flavour.

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