Archive for September 2011

Mung Bean Sprouts

September 25, 2011

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 cups mung bean sprouts
1/2 tablespoon chana masala
1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice – optional

1) In a medium-size skillet, heat the oil and add cumin seeds. As soon as cumin seeds start sputtering stir in the remaining ingredients except lemon juice and cook covered over the medium heat for 8 to 10 minutes.
2) Add lemon juice if needed. Remove from the heat and transfer to a serving bowl.

Yield: 4 servings.

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Bathuwa Chana Subzi

September 20, 2011

I’ve had several posts covering quinoa and amaranth because growing up in the northern part of India my family used the leaves of quinoa (bathuwa) and amaranth (chau lai) just like beet greens or any leafy vegetables.  The leaves of quinoa are often used in making raita, fritters, dumplings, parathas, savory pancakes, lentils, yogurt-based soups, and my personal favorite – simply sautéed with chickpeas.  Although I have not found bathuwa or amaranth greens in the supermarket produce section, the edible weeds (lambs quarter and pigweed) grew in my garden abundantly.  Keep in mind that this is an acquired taste.  However, I went ecstatic recently when I saw bathuwa (probably lambs quarter) in my local farmers’ market. Below I have posted the picture of the quinoa plant along with the Bathuwa Chana Subzi.

1 bunch leaves of quinoa
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 onion thinly sliced – optional
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
1 teaspoon chopped ginger
1/8 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cups cooked chickpeas
1/3 teaspoon salt or to taste

1) Remove the tough stem ends and toss the bathuwa (or spinach) in a large bowl filled with cold water to clean. Lift the bathuwa from the water and drain in a colander over the sink. Set aside.
2) Heat the oil in a large skillet over a medium heat. Cook the onion and garlic for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. Stir in the remaining ingredients and continue to cook for approximately 5 to 7 minutes or until the bathuwa have wilted. Adjust the seasonings as needed.

Yield: 4 servings.

Summer Thoughts

September 10, 2011

Summer is the perfect time to enjoy dishes prepared with plain yogurt or yogurt cheese that can be assembled in a variety of ways within 15 minutes. Plain yogurt, also known as dahi in my Nani’s kitchen, is one of the most versatile dairy products often used in one way or the other in the Indian kitchen regardless of its regional cooking. Every summer I like to take advantage of the juicy fruits and yogurt cheese any way I can think of. Fresh fruits such as peaches, apricots, plums and mango are great choices to match up with various nuts such as walnut, cashews, almonds or pistachios and spices of choice (e.g. freshly ground green cardamom, nutmeg or cinnamon). One of my family favorites is a simple yogurt cheese served on top of peaches for an easy dessert.

What is summer without Hurricanes though? Although we in Connecticut hardly ever get hit with hurricanes, recently Hurricane Irene brought back the memories of Hurricane Gloria that hit Connecticut almost a quarter century ago – in September of 1985 to be precise. We were not affected much by Gloria though hundreds of others were including some of our friends. The memories of that year continue to come back as a flash back. The pictures displayed below show some of the items I often prepared during summer.