Monday, May 29, 2017

HOW TO MAKE POHA

I made this dish by adding potatoes, onions, peas, peanuts, tomato, mustard seeds, curry leaves, asafetida, turmeric and various other spices.


Poha is the most underrated yet the most loved breakfast of all time!

A plate of poha or beaten rice/flattened rice is a perfect treat for those lazy mornings when you don’t want to spend much time in the kitchen! It's a super quick meal option, and is very healthy and filling as well. I’ve been making lot of poha on the weekends lately. It’s one of my go-to recipe. You can purchase a packet of Poha from any Asian supermarket or grocery store. Poha is that one street food snack which is popular almost everywhere in India.

This dish always reminds me of my college days in Pune. On my way back home from college, my brother and I use to stop by a stall and have a plate of poha for breakfast. Being located at a prime spot, that stall became the hub for every Poha lover. It was the favorite breakfast place for many college-goers out there. No other restaurant serves the poha like theirs, it was that great..!!

Moving on,

You can make Poha more nutritious, spicy, colorful by adding different vegetables. It is very similar to how upma is made. Just when the mixture is ready, add the poha, toss it nicely and it's done! But before adding poha into the mixture, do remember to rinse it in a strainer, under running water, for about 2-3 times.

This classic one-pot dish is loaded with diced potatoes, chopped onions, peas, peanuts and tempered with mustard seeds, curry leaves, asafetida, turmeric and various other spices. Finish it with a handful of chopped coriander leaves, sprinkle some spicy mixture (sev) and squeeze in some fresh lime juice. Oh man, it just tastes so good! You will just love it!!


POHA


Serves : 4 people 
Preparation time : 6-8 minutes 
Cooking time : 15 minutes
Author : The Food Root 

INGREDIENTS

Tempering
1.5 cups poha or flattened rice
3 tablespoons - oil
1 teaspoon - mustard seeds
2-3 curry leaves (optional)
pinch of asafetida
few peanuts
1 onion, chopped
1 potato, diced
1 tomato, chopped
2 green chillis, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon - turmeric powder
1/2 teaspoon - coriander powder
1/2 teaspoon - cumin powder
1/2 teaspoon - red chilli powder
1/3 teaspoon - garam masala
teaspoon - salt or as per taste
1/2 teaspoon - sugar

Garnishing
chopped coriander leaves
spicy mixture (sev)
fresh lime juice

DIRECTIONS

1. Gently rinse the poha in a strainer, under running water, for about 2-3 times. Set aside to drain, for 10-12 minutes. 

2. Heat oil in a large skillet, add mustard seeds, curry leaves and a pinch of asafetida. Stir and fry until the mustard seeds begin to splutter and pop.

3. Add few peanuts and sauté it for a minute, till it turns golden brown.

4. Add chopped onion, stirring occasionally, until lightly softened, about 3-4 minutes on medium flame.

5. Add in some diced potatoes and cover the pan for 2-3 minutes. Remove the lid and sauté it for 2 more minutes

6. Next, add chopped tomatoes, followed by finely chopped green chillis, stir it for next 3-4 minutes on medium flame.

7. Add in the spices - turmeric, coriander, cumin, red chilli powder and salt to taste. Stir it nicely.

8. Sprinkle some sugar on poha and gently mix it while using your hands. Then, add it in the pan and toss it. Cover the pan for 3-4 minutes.

9. Remove the lid and finish it by adding some garam masala and a handful of chopped coriander leaves. Sauté it one last time and it's done.

10. Serve piping hot, with some spicy mixture on the top! Squeeze in some fresh lime juice and enjoy! 

NOTES

1. Always rinse the poha in a strainer or a colander, under running water at least 2-3 times and then set it aside to drain, for 10-12 minutes.

2. If the poha gets too dry, sprinkle some water on it and serve immediately.

3. Poha usually comes in thick and thin varieties. I have used the thicker variety of poha here, in the recipe. Though, they take longer time to absorb water, but I find them much more tastier than the thinner ones.

4. You can make Poha more nutritious, spicy and colorful by adding different vegetables.





Tuesday, May 23, 2017

RAINBOW BUDDHA BOWL


This satisfying bowl of goodness is filled with rice, red kidney beans, broccoli, bell peppers and cucumber.

Rainbow in my bowl!!

Buddha bowl is a healthy, filling and a delicious wholesome meal. It's a colorful bowl composed of vegetables proteins, healthy grains and nutrients. This satisfying bowl of goodness is filled with cooked rice, boiled red kidney beans, blanched broccoli, roasted bell peppers and sliced cucumber. I combined this with almond butter lime dressing to give it a touch of sweetness and it just turned out perfect! Buddha bowl is a simple way where you can also use your leftover food which is sitting in refrigerator. 

I had the most indulgent weekend ever. I had lots of chocolates and yummy treats, so I decided to make Buddha bowl for lunch. I picked up these gorgeous broccoli and colorful bell peppers at the farmer’s market this past weekend. Luckily, I had enough cooked rice and beans in my refrigerator to make this power-packed meal.



While each portion of this plate has its own individuality and uniqueness. Red kidney beans are full of protein, fiber, vitamin and nutrients. Though rice doesn’t offer much in terms of nutrients but is a good source of carbs. You can always switch white rice with brown rice since it has more nutrients and is relatively low in calories. I totally love the combination of broccoli and bell peppers as they add crunch, color and sweet flavor to the meal. Broccoli is one of my favorite cruciferous vegetable. It is rich in dietary fiber, minerals, nutrients and antioxidants and bell peppers are rich in antioxidants and other vitamins.

Buddha bowl is a versatile meal. To make this, obviously you'd have to make rice and beans ahead of time. I always try to make it differently, depending on what is available at my home. Follow these few simple steps that I have listed below.



RAINBOW BUDDHA BOWL

Serves: 2 People
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 40 minutes 
Author: The Food Root

INGREDIENTS

Red Kidney Beans:
3/4 cup red kidney beans
2 cups water
3/4 tablespoon salt or as per taste

Rice:
1 cup rice
2 cups water
3/4 tablespoon salt or as per taste

Broccoli:
1 head broccoli
2 cups water
1/2 tablespoon salt or as per taste

Roast Veggies:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1/2 yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
1/4 teaspoon chili flakes
3-4 garlic cloves, chopped
1/4 tablespoon salt or as per taste

Chop Raw Veggies
1 cucumber, finely sliced

Dressing
1/4 cup Almond butter
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
1 tablespoon ginger, minced
2 tablespoons water
Salt and pepper as per taste


DIRECTIONS

1. Prepare Red Kidney Beans: Wash 3/4 cup red kidney beans, under the running water. Drain and soak them overnight or in the morning for at least 4-5 hours. After soaking the beans, rinse them with fresh water. Now place a pressure cooker, add beans with enough water and pressure cook them for at least 40 minutes on medium-low flame. After 40 minutes, turn off the heat and wait for the pressure to release completely. Add salt and stir it for few more minutes till it's properly cooked. Drain the water off the cooked beans and let it cool for some time.

2. Boil Rice: Rinse 1 cup basmati rice with cold water, soak it for about 30 minutes. Place a saucepan with double amount of water to boil. Add salt and loosely cover the pan. Reduce the heat and cook the rice for about 10 minutes. Stir it once and turn off the flame. Let the rice sit for about 5-7 minutes. Drain the rice using a colander or a strainer. Let it cool for some time.

3. Blanch Broccoli: Wash the broccoli and cut them into large individual florets. You can also cut the stem into thin circular pieces. Bring in a large pot of water to boil. When water starts to boil, add broccoli florets and a pinch of salt into it. Meanwhile, fill a bowl with cold water preferably with ice cubes in it. Set it aside. After 3-4 minutes remove the florets with slotted spoon in a colander or a sieve. Now immediately, plunge the florets into the bowl of cold water. After a minute, strain them. Keep it aside.

4. Roast Veggies: Wash the pepper, slice it into half, remove the excess seeds and slice off the thin strips length wise. Heat olive oil in a skillet, add chili flakes followed by sliced bell pepper and sauté until it turns golden brown, about 5 minutes. Sauté it and season them with salt and garlic cloves. Toss it for about a minute on medium flame and turn off the flame. Set it aside.

5. Chop Raw Veggies: Chop any raw veggies you like. It depends on your taste. I added fresh cucumber in my bowl.

6. Prepare the Dressing: To make a dressing, whisk 1/4 cup almond butter, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 1 tablespoon minced garlic, 1 tablespoon minced ginger and 2 tablespoons water in a bowl, add salt and pepper to taste.

7. Assemble: Assemble your bowl, add red kidney beans, rice, broccoli, roasted bell peppers and sliced cucumber. Season the bowl with salt and pepper. Drizzle the yummy almond butter lime dressing and gently toss them to combine. Enjoy!!


Wednesday, May 17, 2017

BLOOM WHERE YOU ARE PLANTED


This is the picture of my courtyard garden

 You always have to create your own path. So take some time today and enjoy nature.

To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow.
- Audrey Hepburn

Sending you some spring vibes!!! Though it's hot here in North-India but I cannot wait to share this beautiful picture with you all. This is the picture of my courtyard garden. Not only it's green but it's bold and vibrant. It's simple, but it intrigued me the most. I can't get over this palette of the spring colors. I love the vibrant fields with spring flowers and the magnificent banana and guava trees. I think they'll need few more trimmings in coming week. I can't explain you the joy of waking up to these every single morning. I love spending my morning time in the garden with a cup of tea.

As much as I love food, nature is my second biggest passion (and decorating home is my third). Over the years, I've developed true interest in gardening. Earlier my world revolves around social media, movies, job. I was not aware of things that truly matters in life. I'm happy that I recognize the things that values me the most today but I feel it's a learning process.

I planted lot of marigolds in my terrace garden.

Where flowers blooms, so does hope.


While talking about flowers, marigolds are the first flowers I remember growing. Not only they are easy to grow, but they are breathtakingly beautiful. They always make you smile. I simply love the fragrance of these! This is a glimpse of our terrace garden. I have planted a lot of marigolds in my courtyard and my terrace garden. It's easy to grow them outdoors but you can also grow them indoors. I always make a beautiful marigold centerpiece and decorate my home.

Some important things to remember before planting a Marigold flower!

  • Mostly grown in springs and summers.
  • Need bright sunlight and proper watering.
  • Generally take about seven weeks from seeds to bloom.
  • Seeds can be sowed in pots or raised nursery beds.
  • Can be grown in wide range of soils.
  • Keep pest away (I always grow them with basil and tomatoes).
  • Do not need a lot a fertilizer either.
  • Poor soil can also be benefited by adding in the organic granular fertilizer. 
  • You just need to prepare the soil by digging down 5-6 inches to loosen it and add the organic granular fertilizer. 

I hope you will be inspired to create your own garden.

Happy Gardening!
Namaste!

Sunday, May 7, 2017

PANCH PHORAN OKRA


how to make panch phoran okra


Panch Phoran Crispy Okra - The best okra recipe you'll ever taste!!


Crispy okra, delicately tempered with the panch phoran, the aromatic Bengali spice mix combined with garden-fresh tomatoes! Panch Phoran mix makes a showstopping addition in this recipe. It enhances the flavor and completely transform the character of the dish. It's a ridiculously simple and tempting dish. This is an quick and easy side dish that can prepared in less than 15 minutes. You can enjoy it with roti, stuffed naan or parantha.

My mom recently surprised us with this dish. She is some sort of magician, always set to recreate the recipes and never afraid to play with the flavors and textures. The moment I looked at these beauties, I couldn't resist taking the picture for my blog and post it for you guys. I'm glad, she made this! It's an interesting side dish which you probably haven't heard of. I'm super duper excited to share the recipe with you all.

Before talking about the recipe, I want to draw your attention to this fragrant spice blend of Panch Phoran which is a Bengali 5 spice mix that's ideal for making stir fried veggies. It's a whole spice blend used in Bengali, Nepali and Indian cuisines. This spice mix is a equal quantity of five ancient flavorful seeds - fenugreek, nigella, cumin, black mustard and fennel. The best thing is you don't have to toast or grind panch phoran like other spices, they are a whole spice blend and are used as it is in cooking.


the best okra recipe


There are many ways to cook okra but this one is by far my favorite! I simply love the addition of panch phoran blend. To give a crispy flavor to the okra, sauté it for 3-4 minutes on medium high heat and do not cover the pan. I suggest not to add the mango powder in the dish, as it already has the tangy flavor to it.

Okra pods, also known as bhindi, lady finger (God knows how many names...) is a cheaply found vegetable and a good source of vitamins and minerals and low in saturated fats and sodium. Okra was never my favorite vegetable but after eating this I'll never think that they are boring. This dish is such a hit at my house. It's been made twice already! I'm very sure, you guys will love this recipe. So do try it!!

Happy Sunday to you all! Have a beautiful one!




PANCH PHORAN OKRA


Preparation time : 10 minutes
Cooking time : 15 minutes
Serves : 4 people
Author : The Food Root

INGREDIENTS
400 grams - Okra
2 tablespoon - Oil
1 tablespoon - Panch Phoran, whole (fenugreek, nigella, cumin, black mustard and fennel in equal parts)
4-5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
2 green chillis, chopped
3/4 teaspoon - Cumin powder
1/4 teaspoon - Red chilli powder
3/4 teaspoon - Coriander powder
3/4 teaspoon - Salt or as per taste


METHOD
1. Wash and clean the okra with a dry cloth. Cut off an inch portion of it's two extremes and simply slit each piece vertically.

2. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a pan. Add okra and sauté it for 3-4 minutes on medium high heat and transfer it in a bowl and keep it aside.

3. In the same pan heat another tablespoon of oil and add panch phoran mix, allow it to crackle.

4. Add garlic cloves and fry until it turn golden brown, about 40-50 seconds.

5. Next, add chopped tomato and chopped green chillis, sauté it on medium high heat for 3-4 minutes.

6. Add spices - cumin powder, red chilli powder, coriander powder and salt to taste, stir it gently.

7. Now add the fried okra in the pan and toss it well. Cover the pan and cook for 4 minutes on medium heat.

8. Transfer the panch phoran okra to a serving bowl and serve it with roti, parantha or stuffed naan.

NOTES
1. Use okra, that's tender and fresh.

2. Wash and dry okra thoroughly before cutting the edges.

3. You can also prefer small proportion of fenugreek seeds in panchphoran blend as it is mildly bitter in taste.

4. Unlike other spice mixes, panch phoran is used whole seeds.

5. To give a crispy flavor to the okra, sauté it for 3-4 minutes on medium high heat (do not cover the pan).