Friday, January 27, 2017

MOONG BEAN FRITTERS

Treat yourself and your family to these crispy and delicious moong bean fritters

Treat yourself and your family to these crispy and delicious moong bean fritters!!

No fancy restaurant or a street food vendor can beat the taste of Mom's homemade fritters!!! Last weekend, my Mom fried a batch of crispy and golden Moong Dal Fritters for the entire family. They were so good that I ate the entire first batch myself. These crunchy and delicious fritters are great eaten hot with a cup of tea or coffee.

It's a quick snack and can be enjoyed at any time of the day. If you are craving for a taste of autumn, do try them. It may not be the most nutritious, but who cares? Ideal as a side dish, these moong dal fritters are fried to crispy perfection. Serve them with coriander chutney or ketchup and a cup of tea or coffee. It's a bliss specially during a monsoon season.


moong dhuli dal



these fritters are made from skinned and split green gram beans.

These fritters are made from moong dhuli dal (skinned and split green gram beans). Soak it in the water for few hours (2-3 hours) so the green skin of the gram comes off.

It's unbelievably easy to make. Wash the moong dal and soak it in the water for about 2 hours. Grind it into a coarse paste. Add a little water and whisk to ribbon like consistency, keep it aside for 2 hours. Add the spices just 5 minutes before frying the batter and enjoy your crunchy and delicious fritters with mint chutney and hot tea!

MOONG BEAN FRITTERS



Soaking time: 2 hours
Prepration time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Serves: 4 people
Author: The Food Root


INGREDIENTS
1 cup or 200 grams - Moong Dal (skinned and split green gram beans)
1 piece or 1 inch long ginger, grated
2 green chillis, chopped
pinch of asafoetida
handful of chopped coriander leaves
1 teaspoon - fennel seeds, lightly crushed
1/2 teaspoon - chili powder
1 teaspoon - salt or as per taste taste
- and your favorite veggies (optional)
boiled peas, lightly mashed
1 medium size potato, chopped
1 medium size onion, chopped
Oil for frying


METHOD
1. Soak 1 cup of Moong Dal for 2 hours. Drain the water and put the soaked moong dal in the grinding jar and coarsely grind it. If the batter looks thick add a little water but do not make a smooth paste.

2. Take the moong dal paste out from the grinding jar and keep it aside for 2 hours.

3. Next, add grated ginger, green chillis, pinch of asafoetida, chopped coriander leaves and other spices in the batter - lightly crushed fennel seeds, red chili powder, and salt to taste. Mix it well.

4. You can also add some yummy veggies of your choice in the batter. I added mashed boiled peas, chopped potato and chopped onion in the batter. Add little water if required.

5. Now, heat the sufficient oil in a deep pan. Once the oil is hot, spoon in the small sizes of fritter mixture, spaced apart. Cook for over 3-4 minutes on both sides, until they turn golden brown. You may need to do this in 2-3 batches until they become golden brown.

6. And, the Moong Dal Fritters are ready! Sprinkle some chaat masala on top and serve them with coriander chutney or ketchup.

NOTES
1. Make sure you chop your veggies really small otherwise you'll get stuck with crunchy fritters.

2. I recommend frying a test fritter to begin with and to check that you have the right consistency.

3. Theses crunchy fritters are made from moong dhuli dal (skinned and split green gram beans). Soak it in the water for few hours (2-3 hours) so the green skin of the gram comes off.








Tuesday, January 24, 2017

DAL MAKHANI


Experience authentic Punjabi flavors with this exquisite rich and creamy Dal Makhani



Experience authentic Punjabi flavors with this exquisite rich and creamy Dal Makhani!!


Robust with various spices, Dal Makhani is cooked with the aroma of asafoetida, cardamom, bay leaves, cloves and cinnamon. This delectable buttery Punjabi dish of lentils has a rich and creamy texture. A staple in Punjabi cuisine, Dal Makhani taste the best with butter naan, lacha parantha or jeera rice. It's my top comfort food that's incredibly authentic.

Dal Makhani is the most popular dish originated from Punjab region. It's the combination of black lentils and red kidney beans. It was hugely popularized by the migrating Punjabi community within India and around the world. It's a dish that almost all Punjabis swear by, it's that exotic!

This dal is mainly served in dinner parties as it takes long time to cook. So you require a lot of love and patience to prepare it. The best thing about this dal is, it tastes even better on the next day. Try making these lentils in a large quantity, reheat it on the second day and serve them for breakfast. You'll truly love it!



how to make dal makhani


There are different ways to cook Dal Makhani. After experimenting with all of them I'll share my best method. This is my Mom's style of preparation. She uses some unusual techniques in her cooking. She often makes this recipe cuz it's loved by everyone in our family!

About the recipe, we haven't soaked the lentils here, we directly pressure cooked it. This process will take 20-25 more minutes. This method will give you perfect flavors and creamy texture. It's rich, warm and super satisfying. Always remember, the longer you keep Dal Makhani to simmer flame, the better it tastes.

DAL MAKHANI
                                                        

Prepration time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 2-2.5 hours
Serves: 6 people
Author: The Food Root

INGREDIENTS

For Cooking Lentils:
1 cup or 200 grams - black lentils (kali urad)
2 tablespoons - red kidney beans (rajma)
4 cups of water for pressure cooking
1 tablespoon of Salt or as per taste
1/2 teaspoon - Turmeric powder 
Pinch of Asafoetida
3 Green Cardamoms 
2  Bay leaves
4 cloves 
One inch cinnamon 

For Tempering :
4 tablespoon - Clarified Butter/Ghee
2 medium size onions, chopped
3 medium size tomatoes, chopped
2 Green chillis, chopped
1 piece or one inch long - ginger, peeled, grated
6-7 garlic, chopped
1/2 teaspoon - Red chili powder
1 teaspoon - Coriander powder
1/2 teaspoon - Garam Masala
1/2 cup - yogurt
2 teaspoon - Fresh cream (optional)

For Garnishing :

Coriander leaves
Fresh Cream

METHOD

I haven't soaked the lentils, this process will take 20-25 more minutes

1. Wash the lentils and mix them in the pressure cooker - Wash 1 cup of black lentils and 2 tbs of red kidney beans, under the running water. Drain it completely and add it into the pressure cooker. Next, add 4 cups of water and pressure cook it for 2 whistles on high flame. After 2 whistles, turn off the heat and wait for the pressure to release completely before opening the cooker.

2. Add spices and pressure cook the Dal for 5-6 whistles - Open the pressure cooker and add 2 cups of water and the spices: salt, turmeric powder, green cardamoms, bay leaves, cloves, cinnamon and pinch of asafoetida. Stir it well. Pressure cook it for 5-6 whistles on high flame.

3. Open the lid and keep the cooker on the low flame for 25-30 minutes - Open the lid and let the lentils cook for 25-30 minutes on low flame till it get thickened and get a creamy texture.  Keep stirring occasionally. Remember, the lentils should be soft and melt in mouth, you should not get any any bite while eating.

4. Sauté onions and ginger garlic paste in a pan - Meanwhile, heat 4 tablespoon of clarified butter in a pan and add chopped onions and sauté it on a low flame till they become light brown. Then add ginger garlic paste and stir it till it's aroma goes away.

5. Prepare the tomato puree tempering - Add chopped tomatoes, chopped green chillis and sauté it for around 5 minutes on low medium flame. Next, add red chili powder, coriander powder and garam masala in the pan. Sir it well. Let the mixture cook till the oil separates. You can also add half cup of yogurt. It will give a lot of creaminess.

6. Add the cooked dal in the pan. - Then, add the cooked dal in the pan. Add some hot water, if needed for consistency and stir it for next 4-5 minutes till Dal Makhani is nicely cooked and gives a lovely creamy texture. Add plenty of fresh cream and mix it well, sauté it for 2-3 minutes . Turn off the heat and remove it. 

7. Garnish and Serve - Garnish it with coriander leaves or fresh cream. The Dal Makhani is ready to serve!!! Serve with Naan, Parantha or Jeera Rice.

Notes

1. You can save your time by soaking the lentils overnight and skip the step 1
2. Add yogurt while tempering tomatoes, it will give a lot of creaminess.
3. The longer you keep Dal Makhani on flame, the better it taste.
4. Make a lot of Dal Makhani and reheat it, it tastes better on the next day!
5. Serve it with lacha parantha, butter naan or jeera rice.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

SAUTÉED BROCCOLI WITH BELL PEPPERS


Sautéed broccoli and bell peppers is an incredibly appetizing and delicious side dish that goes well with steamed rice and a vegetable platter.

Sautéed broccoli with bell peppers!!

Sautéed broccoli and bell peppers is an incredibly appetizing and delicious side dish that goes well with steamed rice and a vegetable platter. This colorful side dish is perfect for holidays and dinner parties!! I love this dish so much, that I usually eat it as soon as it gets out of the pan. It can be served as a starter or a nice main course dish if you have a big enough bowl. It's so colorful and loaded with fresh tastes. It's a my perfect go-to recipe. It's super healthy and is very easy to make! 


broccoli florets



sliced bell peppers


If you are going to eat a green veggies, you can't do better than broccoli. Do incorporate this in your meal. Broccoli is rich in dietary fiber, minerals, nutrients and anti oxidants. It's the best of all the cruciferous vegetables. It protect your body from various diseases. I recently saw a similar recipe on Food and Style website, it looked so good so I decided to make it! This is my favorite starter now, I make this recipe at least once a week.

Beyond this beauty, I wanted to draw your attention to these colorful Bell Peppers. Bell peppers make broccoli even more desirable to eat. They add crunch, color and sweet flavor to the meal. I totally love the combination of Broccoli and Bell Peppers. I'm sure, you'll love it too. It's a perfect balanced meal.

SAUTÉED BROCCOLI WITH BELL PEPPERS


Preparation time:10 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Serves: 4 people
Author: The Food Root


INGREDIENTS

1 tablespoon salt for blanching water
2 tablespoons  olive oil/butter
1 large Broccoli (400 grams) 
1 medium red bell pepper (Remove the seeds and cut 1/4 inch slice off)
1 medium yellow green bell pepper, (Remove the seeds and cut 1/4 inch slice off)
1 medium green bell pepper (Remove the seeds and cut 1/4 inch slice off)
1 tablespoon chili flakes
1 teaspoon salt or as per taste
4 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon vinegar


DIRECTIONS 


1. Blanch the Broccoli : Bring in a large pot of water to boil. Meanwhile, fill a bowl with a cold water preferably with ice cubes in it. Set it aside. When the water is boiling, add 1 tablespoon of salt and broccoli florets. After 3 minutes, remove the broccoli with a slotted spoon or sieve or drain the broccoli in a colander. Now immediately, plunge the broccoli florets into the bowl of cold water. After 1 minute, strain them again.

2. Heat olive oil or butter in a large non-stick skillet. 

3. Add chili flakes, followed by bell peppers. Sauté it until the peppers turn golden brown, about 5-6 minutes.

4. Add salt and garlic cloves and reduce the heat of the skillet. 

5. Drizzle some vinegar and keep stirring. 

6. Add the broccoli and toss it for 2 minutes. 

7. You are ready to serve.


NOTES


1. In addition to the florets, the Broccoli stems are edible. The Broccoli stems work well in a stir fry - just make sure to peel them before using.

2. Feel free to use your favorite Bell Peppers in the dish.



Tuesday, January 17, 2017

BACK INTO THE ROOTS!

What are Root Vegetables?

Root vegetable is the underground, edible portion of a plant. They are the root of the plants and grown underground. They absorb great amount of nutrients from the soil. They are rich in carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins and minerals. They are filled with high levels of soluble fiber, it fill you up and help you to lose weight. They are unadulterated source of complex carbohydrates, anti-oxidants. They are earthy and bitter but if you cook them nicely, they'll turn out delicious!

Root vegetable are important nutrients and are available all year round. They can be stored in refrigerators or in a plastic bag. They have been staple in many Asian and Indian diet for thousand of years. The most commonly consumed root vegetables are Carrots, Beets, Broccoli, Radish, Turnips, Sweet Potato and spices like Garlic, Ginger, Turmeric.


root vegetables


Types of Root Vegetables

1. Sweet Potato - Sweet Potato are widely cultivated through out the world, especially in tropical and warm regions. It has a creamy texture and spicy flavour. They are mostly orange or purple fleshed on the inside and brownish from the outside.
Health Benefits They're great source of anti-oxidants, fiber, vitamin B5, B6, C, D, potassium, manganese, iron and calcium. Vitamin A helps to support the immune system and keep the bones strong, also helps to keep eyes, skin and hair healthy. Vitamin C helps in cold and Flu viruses. Vitamin D helps in providing nourishment to the body. It has antioxidant properties which help to fight free radicals and protects from Asthma and Arthritis. Sweet Potatoes have much lower glycaemic index and are tasty alternative for diabetics.

2. Carrot - Carrots are very versatile in various number of dishes. It has a crunchy texture and a sweet taste to it. Color of the Carrot is usually Red, Orange and Yellow. They are due to pigments, Carotene makes the carrot orange and anthocyanin makes it bit yellow, red and blue.
Health Benefits Carrots are rich in Vitamin A, B8, C, L, Folate, Potassium, Iron, Copper and Manganese. Vitamin A keeps eye, skin, hair healthy. Vitamin C stimulates the activity of white blood cells. Potassium helps to increase blood flow and circulation, reduces hypertension and heart diseases. Other nutrients and minerals prevent to fight Cancer and keeps your body healthy. They are low in calories and contains no fat and can be eaten both in raw and its cooked forms.

3. Beets - Beet is the most beautiful vegetable. They are blood red in color. It has a sweet and earthy flavour. It is frequently added as an ingredient to salads, soups and pickles. It is also used as a natural coloring agent.
Health Benefits Beet Roots are high in vitamins A, B & C, Potassium, Iron, Manganese, Phosphorous and Fiber.  It helps in the treatment of anemia, indigestion, cancer and heart diseases. Beets are also good for pregnant women since they are a source of Vitamin B. It's low in calories and high in carbs. Vitamin C helps in fighting cancer and helps to prevent Respiratory problems.

4. Dark Green Vegetables -  Dark Green Vegetables include Spinach, Lettuce, Kale, Cabbage, Broccoli and many more. They are quite flavourful and nutritious.
Health Benefits These vegetables have all the vital nutrients and contain all the anti oxidants. The Iron, Calcium, Manganese, Potassium in the dark green leaves prevents from all kinds of serious illnesses and the Carotenoid compounds in Broccoli repair DNA and help in preventing Cancer and Heart diseases.

5. Onion and Garlic - Onions and Garlic are not exactly Root Vegetables. They are Bulbs and widely cultivated throughout the world. They belongs to the allium family. They add flavour in all dishes. Onions are pungent when chopped and contain some chemical substance which irritates the eyes.
Health Benefits They are a great source of Vitamin C, B1, B6, manganese, copper, biotin, fiber. It helps in the regulating the blood sugar level and help people with type1 and type2 diabetes. Vitamin C helps in fighting cancer and helps to prevent heart diseases.

6. Ginger - Ginger is a hot and fragrant spice usually chopped or powdered for cooking. It's a common ingredient in Asian and Indian cooking.
Health Benefits They are high in vitamin B3, B6, Manganese, Magnesium, Potassium and Iron. It's a powerhouse root due to its multi-faceted remedies. Vitamin B6 reduces nausea and vomiting, treats morning sickness and helps in preventing the stomach ulcer. Manganese regulates the blood sugar level and synthesis the bone tissue. Vitamin C reduces the risk of pain and headache, helpful in managing arthritis, cancer and heart diseases.

How To Cook Root Vegetables

There are different methods to cook vegetables. Some of them are Boiling, Steaming, Sautéing, Roasting and Grilling

1. Boiling- Boiling is the most easiest way to preparing vegetables. You just have cut your vegetables, add some salt and put them into a hot boiling water. Boiling may affect the nutrient availability in your food but it speeds up the time of cooking.

2. Steaming - Steaming is again a great way to prepare vegetables. You can add vegetables in the steaming basket, just a bit of water and cover it with the lid on the top. It soften up the vegetables.

3. Sautéing- Sautéing  means stir- frying the vegetables on high heat. The high heat helps to cook quickly while retaing the nutritional value of the food. It's a tasty way to cook vegetables and you can keep all the flavours of the dish. Add oil and some spices and stir fry your vegetables and they'll taste delicious.

4. Roasting- Roasting is my favourite way of cooking vegetables. It helps in keeping the flavour and texture. Cut your favourite vegetable, put some olive oil and sprinkle them with spices and roast them in the oven.

5. Grilling - There are times when you just want to grill your favourite vegetable. Grilling isn't as tough as it sounds. It just takes a little more time than any other method. Just marinade the vegetables and add some herbs. It adds the smoky flavor.

I do hope you find some of this information useful. If yes, then let's get back into our roots! :)



Tuesday, January 10, 2017

WHY FOOD ROOT?

Good Evening Foodies and Greetings from India! 🙏


I'm Anshika Juneja and I welcome you all.
This is my very first blog post.

I started this blog so that my mother and I have a way of sharing our favourite vegetarian recipes using authentic, seasonal and fresh ingredients. We were trying out a number of recipes but wanted to space them down and share our thoughts. So I decided the best way to do this was to blog about it.

I love being in the kitchen and have a great love for food. As a child I was not allowed much near the cooking range but always loved the process of cooking. I only started cooking when I was staying away from my family in another city and when I came back home I started cooking more with my Mom. She's my inspiration. She's a great cook and can turn dust into something delectable.

Apart from cooking, I love watching TV with a tub of popcorn. I love gardening. I have a small garden at my backyard where I grow my own vegetables, fruits and flowers. I love reading books. The last book I read was "On The Road" by Jack Kerouac. I also read cookbooks in free time.

I did Master's in Business Administration with specialization in Human Resources and Marketing. I'm working as an HR and Accounts Manager in the Hotel Industry. I'm also working with my Dad in our family business.

To me blogging is quite a hard work. I wonder how some of these food bloggers do it. Not only do they cook, they photograph, they blog and share stories. Since I have joined blogging my sleep has been disappeared. It does take a lot of time and effort but I'm kind of enjoying it.

I'll be posting some of my recipes over the next couple of days. Till than you can drop me a message here. I would love to hear from you guys!

Love