Monday, April 30, 2012

Mung Beans Pasta

I usually avoid eating pasta because without the addition of meat and cheese, most pasta dishes have too much carbohydrate and too little protein. That is until I discovered mung beans pasta. These gems are gluten free and are made with organic green mung beans and give 20 gms of protein for one serving. Unbelievable for a vegetarian pasta dish. The texture is a little different from wheat pasta but they soak up sauce nicely and with the addition of a lot of vegetables, they taste as good as a conventional pasta.

Mung Beans Pasta - 1 cup or 3 oz, ( I used Organic Gluten Free Mung Beans Fettuchini)
Olive Oil - 1 tbsp
Ginger - 1 inch, cut into juliennes
Garlic - 4 cloves, thinly sliced
Carrot - 1, cut into 2 inch long thin strips
Green beans - 10, cut into 2 inch long thin strips
Broccoli florets - a handful, cut into thin long florets
Frozen Green Peas - a handful
Tomato Sauce / Ketchup - 1 tbsp
Low Sodium Gluten Free Soy Sauce - 1 tbsp
Red Chili Flakes - 1/2 tsp
Serves 2

Mix tomato sauce, soy sauce and red chili flakes together and keep aside. Alternatively, instead of a tomato based sauce we can make a sauce by mixing 1 tbsp of tahini and 1 tbsp of soy sauce and chili flakes.

Add the pasta to 4 cups of boiling water (add a little salt just before adding the pasta) and simmer for 6 to 8 minutes until they are cooked through.

While the pasta is cooking, heat a wok. It is ideal to time the cooking in this way so that the vegetables are crisply cooked just when the pasta is done. Then the pasta can be directly mixed to the vegetables instead of draining it and keeping it aside for sometime which may turn it mushy.

 Add a tbsp of olive oil to the heated wok and immediately add the ginger and garlic. Cook for a few seconds and add  the rest of the vegetables. Add a little salt and saute on high flame till the vegetables are just cooked but still crisp.

Using a skimmer, remove the pasta from the boiling water and add directly to the wok. Pour the tomato soy sauce mixture on top and mix well. Cook for a minute and remove from heat.

Serve immediately.

Sending this recipe to My Legume Love Affair hosted by Susan of the Well Seasoned Cook.


Masala Peanuts / Spicy Fried Peanuts

Raw Peanuts - 2 cups
Chickpea Flour / Besan - 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup
Cayenne Pepper - 1/4 tsp
Roasted Cumin Powder - 1/2 tsp
Roasted Coriander Powder - 1/2 tsp
Aamchur / Dried Mango Powder - 1/2 tsp (optional)
Asafoetida / Hing - a pinch (optional)
Turmeric - a pinch
Peanut Oil for deep frying

Place the peanuts in a big pot. Sprinkle salt, cayenne pepper, aamchur, cumin and coriander powder and mix well.

Add the besan. Now sprinkle water and using your fingers mix the besan with the peanuts. The water should only be so much as to coat the peanuts with the spices and besan lightly.

Deep fry the coated peanuts in batches in hot only till they are golden brown and crispy.

Cool completely and store in airtight container.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Banana Muffins with Sorghum Flour, gluten free

Sorghum Flour / Jowar Flour - 1.5 cups
Old Fashioned Oats - 1 cup
Maple Syrup - 1/4 cup
Ripe Banana - 2, mashed very well
Butter / Coconut Oil - 5 tbsp, melted
Milk /Water - 1/2 cup
Baking Powder - 1 tsp
Baking Soda - 1 tsp
Golden Flax seed meal - 2 tbsp + 4 tbsp water
Cinnamon Powder - 1/2 tsp
Sesame seeds & turbinado sugar - for sprinkling on top of muffins (optional)
Makes 12 muffins

Mix flax seed meal with 4 tbsp water and keep aside.

Heat oven to 350F. Grease a muffin tray with little butter.

Put the old fashioned oats in a food processor and make a coarse powder. Mix sorghum flour, ground oats, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon powder  together.

In a separate bowl, mix the flax seed mixture, mashed banana, butter, milk, maple syrup.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix gently. Do not over mix.

Drop spoonfuls in the muffin tray and top with sesame seeds and turbinado sugar.

Bake in the preheated oven for around 20 minutes till toothpick inserted in the centre comes clean.

These muffins have a soft and crumbly texture. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Mixed Vegetable Sauteed with Fresh Coconut

Mixed Vegetable - 3 cups ( a combination of beans, carrots, green peas, frozen corn, cauliflower)
Virgin Coconut Oil - 1 tbsp
Mustard Seeds - 1/2 tsp
Cumin Seeds - 1/2 tsp
Hing / Asafoetida - 2 pinches
Green Chili - 2, finely chopped
Curry Leaves - 5
Ginger - 1 inch, grated
Urad Dal - 1 tbsp
Roasted Chana Dal / Dalia - 1 tbsp
Fresh / Frozen shredded coconut - 1/2 cup
Turmeric - 1/4 tsp

Cut all the vegetables into tiny same size pieces. Heat oil in a pan. Add the mustard seeds.

Once the seeds begin to pop, add the cumin seeds, green chili and hing.

Then add the grated ginger, urad dal and dalia and fry till the urad dal begins to change color.

Add all the vegetables except frozen corn and peas. Sprinkle turmeric powder and salt. Mix well. Cover and cook till the vegetables are half done.

Then add the corn and green peas and cook till the vegetables are slightly soft but still crisp.

Add the shredded coconut and mix well. Cook for a minute more and serve hot with steamed rice.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Curried Quinoa Salad with Roasted Cauliflower

Quinoa - 1/2 cup
Homemade Vegetable Stock / Water - 1 cup
Turmeric - a pinch
Coriander Powder - 1/4 tsp
Cumin Powder - 1/4 tsp
Red Chili Powder - 1/4 tsp

For roasting cauliflower :
Cauliflower - 1 small, cut into 1small 1 inch florets
Turmeric - 1/4 tsp
Olive Oil - 1 tbsp

Red Kidney Beans - 1/2 cup, cooked (if using canned beans, drain and wash well with water)
Cucumber - 1/2 cup, chopped
Parsley / Cilantro - a couple of sprigs, chopped
Roasted Cashew nuts - a handful
Dried Cranberries / Raisins - a handful

For dressing :
Olive Oil - 1 tbsp
Plain Greek Yogurt - 1/4 cup
Lemon Juice - 1 tbsp
Lemon Zest - of half a lemon

Place the quinoa in a strainer and wash well under running water for 2 minutes. Place the quinoa along with vegetable stock in a pan and add turmeric, coriander powder, cumin powder, red chili powder and salt. Bring it to boil. Then simmer and cook till all the liquid is absorbed and the quinoa looks transparent. Keep aside.

Preheat oven to 400F. Place the cauliflower florets on a aluminium foil lined baking tray. Sprinkle salt and turmeric on top. Drizzle olive oil and bake for 30 minutes till the florets are cooked and slightly brown and caramelised.

In a serving bowl, place the quinoa, roasted cauliflower, red kidney beans, chopped cucumber, parsley, cashew nuts, cranberries and mix together.

Whisk the yogurt and olive oil together. Then make a simple dressing by mixing it with lemon juice, lemon zest, salt and pepper. Pour the dressing over the top of the salad and serve.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Peanut Butter Cookies, gluten free and with 3 ingredients

Unsalted fresh peanut butter - 1 cup
Coconut Palm Sugar - 1/2 cup
Egg - 1
Dark Chocolate Chunks - 2 tbsp (optional)
Walnuts - 2 tbsp, chopped (optional)

Preheat oven to 350F

Mix the coconut sugar with the peanut butter. Beat the egg and add it to the peanut butter coconut mixture and mix until well combined.

Stir in chocolate chips and nuts.

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Make small balls of the dough, flatten slightly and place on the parchment paper. Make a criss cross design with the back of the fork fork.

Bake in the preheated oven for around 12 minutes. Cool completely and store in air tight container. These cookies are slightly crunchy and crumbly in texture. Makes around 20 small cookies.

Adapted from

Sending this recipe to the following event hosted by started by

Jowar Bhakri / Rustic Sorghum Flat Bread

Jowar / Sorghum Flour - 2 cups
Water - 2 cups
Salt - a pinch
Dry Jowar flour for rolling

Place the jowas flour in a big vessel. Bring the water to a boil. Add a pinch of salt to the water and immediately pour the boiling water over the jowar flour. With a wooden spoon mix the flour with the water till it forms a dough and cools down slightly. Now place the dough on a wooden board and knead with your hand to make the dough pliant. Make around 8 small balls of the dough.

Heat a cast iron griddle. Place a ball of flour in between two large plastic cling wraps and using a rolling pin, make a round shape. Use a little dry flour if required. Carefully remove the top plastic cling, invert the bhakri on the palm and then remove the other plastic wrap. Immediately place on the hot griddle.

While the bottom of the bhakri is cooking, sprinkle 2 tsp water on the top of the bhakri so that the inside of the bhakris get cooked in the hot steam. When the bottom of the bhakri gets slight brown spots, turn it and cook on the other side till brown spots appear. Then remove the hot bhakri and place it on a wire rack and cook it directly over the gas flame for a few minutes on both sides till they get large brown spots.

Serve immediately while it is still hot with yellow split peas dal and spicy potato curry.

Aloo Papad / Sun Dried Potato Chips

Russet Potato - 2
Salt - 1/2 tsp
Peanut Oil for deep frying

Scrub and wash the potatoes. Slice into thin roundels along with the skin and immediately drop in a bowl of cold water. Wash well twice and soak in water for a few minutes.

In the meantime, heat a big pot of water and bring it to boil. The water should be enough to cover all the sliced potatoes. When the water starts boiling, add half a tsp of salt and switch off the heat. Immediately add the sliced potatoes and leave them for 3 minutes.

Then transfer the potato slices to a colander to drain the water for a few minutes.

Take a parchment paper and arrange the slices in a single line on the paper. Place it under hot sun for 6 to 8 hours and the potato slices turn dry and crispy. If they are still a little moist, place them under the sun next day for a few hours more and they should be ready. They can be stored in an airtight container for a month.

To make chips, heat oil and deep fry them for a minute. Take care not to brown them as they turn bitter when browned. Remove on paper towel to soak up excess grease. Sprinkle a little salt and paprika on top and serve.

Labra / Mixed Vegetable Curry, Bengali Style

Diced Mixed Vegetables- 4 cups
(a combination of sweet potatoes, eggplant, radish, cabbage, carrots, butternut squash, hyacinth beans)
A handful of baby spinach leaves or turnip greens
Mustard Oil - 2 tbsp
Paanch Phoron (a mix of cumin, mustard, nigella, fenugreek, fennel seeds) - 1 tsp
Whole Dried Red Chili - 3
Ginger - 2 inch, grated
Hing / Asafoetida - 2 pinches
Raw Sugar - 1 tsp

Heat mustard oil in a big skillet. Add the paanch phoron and dried red chili. Once they begin to sizzle, add the hing and ginger paste. Saute for a few seconds and add all the diced vegetables.

Add a pinch of turmeric and salt and mix well. Lower the flame, cover and let the vegetables cook slowly in the liquid they release. Stir in between. If required, sprinkle a little water in between.

Once the vegetables are almost cooked, add the spinach / turnip leaves and a little sugar. Cook till the greens are wilted. Add a tsp of mustard oil on top and serve hot.

Sometimes, as a variation, I also add Lentil Fritters to the curry along with the greens.

Black Eyed Peas & Plantain Pulao

Sometime back I was going through Shilpa's blog and came across this recipe. Since I was neither too fond of dried black eyed peas nor fond of plantains and I always thought of pulao having traditional vegetables like beans, peas, carrots and cashew nuts and raisins, I didn't think I would ever try out this recipe. Ironically, yesterday after we came back hungry and famished from a long day out, I opened the fridge to find a lone plantain and carrot staring at me. Immediately, Shilpa's recipe came to my mind and I thought that's my only quick option now. I tweaked the recipe a little - we have stopped eating white rice, so I used brown jasmine rice. Instead of dried black eyed peas, I used fresh black eyed peas which is usually available in the freezer section of grocery store where frozen vegetables are kept. These cook faster and there is no need to soak the beans beforehand. I also added a carrot and a few cloves and skipped the curry leaves. The pulao was quick to cook and delicious. The coconut milk added a richness to it. The chopped plantain went well with the soft black eyed peas cooked to perfection. This is a hassle free quick one pot meal which I am definitely going to make again and again.

Frozen Black Eyed Peas / Lobia - 1 cup
Brown Jasmine Rice - 3/4 cup
Plantain / Raw Banana - 1 small, peeled and cut into small pieces
Carrot - 1, chopped
Coconut Milk - 1 cup (I used Trader Joe's light coconut milk which is without any added preservatives)
Clarified Butter / Ghee / Oil - 1 tbsp
Green Cardamom - 2
Cinnamon - 2 inch pieces
Cloves - 5
Ginger - 1 tsp, grated
Garlic - 2 pods, grated
Onion - 1/2 cup, chopped
Turmeric - a pinch
Red Chili Powder - 1/4 tsp
Roasted Coriander Powder - 1/2 tsp
Water - 1 cup

Heat ghee in a pan. Add cinnamon, cardamom and cloves. Once they sizzle, add the chopped onion, ginger and garlic. Cook till the onion softens.

Now add the rice, black eyed peas, chopped plantain, carrot, salt, turmeric, red chili powder, coriander powder. Saute for a few minutes. Add 1 cup of coconut milk and a cup of water.

In the meantime add 31/2 cups of water to a rice cooker. Transfer the rice mixture to a steel container which can be fitted in the rice cooker and cook til the water dries up. It takes around 45 minutes to cook the brown rice in the rice cooker.

Remove, fluff with a fork and serve hot with cilantro mint yoghurt chutney.

Cilantro Mint Yogurt Chutney

Plain Yogurt - 1 cup
Cilantro - 5 to 6 strands, chopped
Mint - a handful of mint leaves
Green Chili - 1, half the seeds removed
Salt - a pinch
Roasted Cumin Powder - 1/2 tsp
Paprika - 1/4 tsp

Blend yogurt, cilantro, mint leaves, green chili, salt together till a smooth paste is formed.

Sprinkle roasted cumin powder and paprika on top and serve along with vegetable pulao.

Adapted from

Yellow Split Peas with Bottle Gourd / Lau diye Motor Dal

Yellow Split Peas / Mator Dal - 3/4 cup

Oil - 1 tbsp
Paanch Phoron (a mix of cumin, mustard, nigella, fenugreek, fennel seeds) - 1 tsp or 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
Dried Whole Red Chili - 2, break into two pieces
Bottle Gourd / Lau / Lauki - 1 small gourd or 2 cups, (peeled & diced)
Ginger - 1 inch, grated
Turmeric - a pinch
Tomato - 1, chopped
Green Chili - 2
Water - 1 cup

Add 2 cups of water, a pinch of turmeric and salt to the washed dal and cook in a pressure cooker / rice cooker till soft. Remove and mash coarsely with a fork and keep aside.

Heat 1 tbsp oil in a skillet. Add the mustard seeds / five spice mixture and dried red chili. Saute for a few seconds. Now add the diced bottle gourd, grated ginger, a little salt and a pinch of turmeric. Reduce the flame and cook on slow fire till the vegetable is almost cooked.

Add the chopped tomato and mix well and cook for a few minutes till the tomato breaks down.

Add the boiled dal, green chilies and a cup of water. Mix well and bring it to boil. Cook till desired consistency is reached. Serve hot with steamed rice or bhakris.

Mint Coconut Chutney

Grated Fresh Coconut / Thawed Frozen Coconut - 1/2 cup
Mint - a bunch
Roasted Chana Dal / Roasted Split Chickpeas / Dalia - 3 tbsp
Green Chili - 1, half of the seeds removed
Ginger - 1/2 tsp, grated
Yogurt - 1 tbsp
Coconut Palm Sugar - 1 tsp
Lemon Juice / Tamarind Extract - 1 tsp
Water - 1 tbsp (if required)

Oil - 2 tsp
Mustard Seeds - 1/4 tsp
Cumin Seeds - 1/4 tsp
Urad Dal - 2 tsp
Curry Leaves - 4
Dried Whole Red Chili - 1, broken into two

Mix grated coconut, chopped mint leaves, roasted chickpeas, green chili, ginger, yoghurt, salt, palm sugar, lemon juice, together and blend in a blender / grinder to get a smooth paste. If the paste gets too solid, add a little water while blending. Transfer the chutney to a serving bowl.

Heat 2 tsp oil in a small skillet. Add the mustard seeds. Once they begin to crackle, add cumin seeds, dried whole chili, urad dal and curry leaves. Saute till the urad dal becomes slightly brown.

Pour the hot oil plus spices directly the coconut chutney in the serving bowl.

We usually have this chutney with savory crepes. This also goes well as an unusual topping for crackers.