Easy Chana (Chickpea) Masala with no oil

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This simple recipe requires no oil, no onions (only to garnish) and no tomatoes.  This cant get easier than that andyet be so healthy and delicious.  The cream chickpeas can be used as a filling for sandwiches and pitas apart from puri, kulcha, roti.  Do try it and you wil be hooked!

What you need:

2 cups white chickpeas or kabuli chanas

2-3 heaped tbsp chana masala

3 tsp  julienne ginger

3-4 slit green chilli

Black/rock salt to taste

1/4 cup chopped coriander (cilantro) leaves

How to make:

  1.  Soak the chickpeas/chanas overnight. Boil Chana with rock salt,  till soft in the pressure cooker.  Pressure cook 1 whistle on high, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Open pressure cooker after steam releases….Chana will be cooked through!

img_11472.  Now in the same vessel, add the chana masala and cook the chanas on slow heat stirring every 10-15 minutes.  Throw in the thinly sliced ginger and slit green chillies and stir well.

3.  After 30 minutes the chana should be cooked till the outer covering of the chana comes off and melts to form a smooth sauce! If water dries up before that you can add more water for cooking.

4.  Serve hot with a squeeze of lime and chopped onions.

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Spinach and mushroom soup

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Cold winter evenings call for hot and hearty soups with a side good nutrition thrown in!   I had some spinach and mushrooms which are good for soups separately on their own.  I decided to experiment and combine both.  The result was a yummy soup which was loved by the whole family! Makes about 4 servings.

What you need:

1.5-2 cups chopped spinach

1 medium chopped onion

1 tsp ginger finely chopped

2-3 gloves garlic chopped

200 gm mushrooms sliced

1 1/2 cups milk

2 cups water

1 tbsp cream

1 tbsp butter

1 tbsp wholewheat flour 

salt to taste

fresh ground black pepper

1 tsp coriander leaves finely chopped

How to make:

  1.  Boil spinach in a little water, along with chopped onion and ginger (you can also do this in a microwave) till the spinach leaves are soft.  Cool and then grind in a blender.  Keep aside.
  2. In a pan, add butter and melt.  Now saute the chopped garlic till it begins to boil.  Now throw in the sliced mushrooms and stir till the mushrooms start to release water.
  3. Add the flour and saute for 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently.
  4. Add the black pepper and saute for half a minute.  Then add the spinach mixture and stir well.
  5. Add the water followed by milk.  Mix well and add the salt.  Keep on low heat and let the soup simmer till it starts to thicken. (about 5 mins)
  6. Add the cream and the coriander leaves and stir well.
  7. Serve hot.  Enjoy!

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Masala fish fry

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Fast and easy and tasty too!  Fish made with freshly ground spices and then flash fried….perfect for unexpected guests or when the kids want a quick bite.  Here’s how it is made.

What you need:

2 tsp Coriander Seeds

1 tsp ghee

2 tsp toor(arhar) dal

1 tsp pepper

2 red dry chillis

½ tsp cumin seeds

Juice of 1 lemon

1/2 tsp turmeric powder

1/2 tsp chilli powder (or to taste)

Salt to taste

How to make:

  1.  Dry roast the first 6 ingredients and then grind them coarsely.
  2. Wash fish with a tbsp of vinegar.  Pat dry and cut into 2 inch pieces.
  3. Toss the fish well with the ground spices and add a good squeeze of lemon.

img_97244.  Also add the turmeric and chilli powders and salt to the fish.

5.  Flash fry the fish in medium hot oil or pan sear it with a spray of oil.

6.  Serve hot with green chutney/sauce.  Enjoy!

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Fish in Mustard Gravy

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I love the flavor of mustard and that is what is used in this Bengali inspired fish recipe.  This dish is deliciously spicy and  healthy and  goes well with both steamed rice and roti .  The aroma of mustard in every bite gives this dish a unique flavor.

What you need:

500 gm fish fillets

1/2 tsp nigella (kalonji) seeds

1/2 tsp cumin seeds

1  tsp turmeric powder

2 medium onions finely chopped

2 medium tomatoes pureed

1 tsp ginger garlic paste

1/2 tsp chilli powder

2 green chillis slit

3 tbsp mustard oil

1 cup water

Salt to taste

To grind

2 tsp yellow mustard seeds

2 tbsp sesame seeds

How to make:

  1.  Rub the fish fillets with 1/2 tsp turmeric powder and  1 tsp salt. keep aside for half an hour.img_8870
  2. Take some mustard oil in a pan and heat .  Now shallow fry the fish and remove.
  3. In the same pan add the nigella seeds and cumin seeds.  Once they splutter, add chopped onions and the ginger garlic paste. Also throw in the powdered mustard seeds and poppy seeds.   Stir well  till the mixture starts turning brown.img_8871
  4.  Now add the tomato puree along with the red chilli powder and  turmeric powder.  Stir well and cook for 2-3 minutes on low heat. Add the fish fillets gently to the pan now and let the masala coat the fish well.  
  5. Add a cup of water and salt to the mixture.  Once the gravy starts bubbling, lower the heat and cook till the gravy thickens.
  6.  Garnish with coriander leaves and green chillis  and serve hot with rice or roti.  Enjoy!

Chicken Tikka Masala

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One chicken dish which is on the menu of all Indian restaurants is Chicken Tikka Masala.  This yummy chicken dish is full of flavor and is a perennial favorite!  This super easy chicken dish goes with rice, bread/pita or naan.  Here I have made it with a little more gravy as I was serving it with rice.  Enjoy!

What you need:

500 gms chicken cut into pieces

2 tbsp tandoori paste or tikka masala paste (I use Pataks)

2 tbsp yogurt

3 tbsp cream (I use light cream)

1 cup tomato puree

2 cloves garlic minced

1/2 tsp minced ginger

2 medium onions ground

1/2 tsp chilli powder 

1/2 tsp coriander powder

1/2 tsp cumin powder

2 tbsp chopped cilantro/coriander leaves

3 tbsp oil

Salt to taste

How to make:

  1.  In a bowl combine the tandoori paste and yogurt.   Throw in the chicken pieces and coat them well with the marinade.  Keep refrigerated for 3-4 hours.
  2. Heat a skillet with 2 tbsp oil.  Saute the chicken pieces well and cover and cook on low heat till almost done.  (Instead you can also bake chicken in an ovenproof dish at 350 F for about 10 mins).

         

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3.  Next heat oil in a pan.  Add the ground onions and stir till they turn pink.  Add the ginger and garlic and saute well for 2-3 mins.  Now add the chilli powder, coriander powder and cumin powder and mix well.  Stir for a couple of minutes on low heat.

4.  Now add the chicken and toss well.  

5.  Separately mix the tomato puree and cream in a bowl together.  Add this mixture to the pan. Stir well and add salt.  Let it come to a boil.  Lower the heat and cover and cook for 5 minutes.  (You can add 1/2 cup of water or more depending on how thick you want the curry).

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6.  Garnish with cilantro and serve hot with rice, roti or naan.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mushroom pepper fry

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Mushroom pepper stir fry is an easy dish to make which goes well with bread, roti and rice.  This simple recipe gets its unique flavor from fennel (saunf).  My family loves it as it  uses both mushrooms and bell peppers which they really like! 

What you need:

200 gm mushrooms sliced

1 bell pepper sliced long

1 medium onion sliced long

1 tsp ginger garlic paste

5-6 Curry leaves

1-2 whole red chillies (optional)

1/2 tsp fennel seeds (saunf)

1/4 tsp mustard seeds

1/2 tsp coriander powder

1 tsp lemon juice

1/2 tsp pepper powder

2 tsp chopped cilantro (coriander) leaves

Salt to taste

How to make:

  1.  Heat oil in a pan.  Add mustard seeds.   Once they start spluttering add the curry leaves, fennel seeds and red chillies.
  2. Add the onions and saute till they turn pink.  Add the ginger garlic paste and stir for another 2-3 minutes.  Throw in the coriander powder and saute for another couple of minutes.

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3.  Now add the bell peppers and mix well.  Cook for 3-4 minutes.

4.  Toss in the sliced mushrooms and salt and cook on medium heat till all the water evaporates from the mushrooms.  Now add the pepper powder.  Stir in the lemon juice and cook till everything has mixed well.

5.  Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot with bread, chapati or rice.

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Fish Vindaloo

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Fish Vindaloo is my all time favorite fish curry which is enjoyed with steaming hot rice! Vindaloo’ is a name derived from the Portuguese dish – “Carne de Vinha d’ Alhos (whereCarne means meat, Vinha means wine and alhos means garlic. However this dish was later modified in Mumbai by the substitution of vinegar for the wine and the addition of red Kashmiri chillies.  Vindaloo curry can also be made with pork, chicken and lamb.  This spicy dish which originated in Goa is quite simple to make and delicious to taste.  

What you need:

500 gms fish (I use Basa fillets in India and Tilapia in USA)

1 tin thick Coconut milk

4 tbsp Vindaloo paste (I use Patak’s)

1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste

1 tsp chili powder

1/2 tsp mustard seeds

1/2 tsp cumin seeds

1/4 tsp turmeric powder

1/2 tsp cumin powder

1/2 tsp coriander powder

2 dry red chillis 

7-8 curry leaves

2 tbsp of chopped cilantro (coriander leaves)

Salt to taste

How to make:

  1.  Wash the fish fillets and pat them dry.  Cut the fillets in smaller pieces (1-2″ pieces).
  2. Marinate the fillets in vindaloo paste and keep aside.

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3.  Heat oil in a pan.  Add the curry leaves,  mustard seeds and cumin seeds to this.  Once the mustard and cumin seeds start spluttering add the whole red chillis.  Now add the ginger garlic paste and stir well.  Saute for 2-3 minutes.

4.  Now add the dry spices of red chilli powder, turmeric powder, cumin and coriander powder to the ginger garlic mix.  Toss well and then add 1 can of coconut milk and 1 cup of water.

5.  Once the curry starts boiling, add the marinated fish pieces to it.  Simmer the curry for about 7 minutes (the fish fillets are cooked within this time).  Garnish with   cilantro/coriander leaves.

6. Enjoy with hot steamed rice!

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