Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Three step Slow Cooker Sarson da Saag

A three step recipe to make a traditional Indian curry in a Slow Cooker. A perfect blend of greens, flavors and taste, this Sarson da Saag recipe is a keeper!



Last year I got my slow cooker. Initially I was not confident about using it. Over the last couple of months I made a TON of food in it and now I am loving this completely!

I first made Dal Tadka in this cooker and it turned out amazing. Then I tried out Sarson da Saag, an Indian curry made from Mustard Greens, Radish and Spinach leaves. The result was perfectly creamy curry that takes just three steps to make. 


One of the most famous curries from Northern India, this Saag is best made in a claypot and cooked on slow flame for a long time. The slow cooker helps to make the curry on a very low temperature for several hours, without having to bother about stirring it or taking care it does not burn or stick to the base. 

I made this curry over the last weekend and finally shot it too. Though I expected the color to fade completely, I was glad it was not totally faded. The vegetables cooked in about 4 hours and then I cooked them for another hour. 

Served with freshly made Makai Roti and a simple salad of onions and tomato, we had a PERFECT dinner! I topped it with a teaspoon of Amul butter and it added SO much flavor to the saag. 


This dish is only made in winters in India, because that is the only time we get mustard greens there. It is so amazing to see the greens in the Farmer's Market right in the middle of March. The freshness of the leaves from the market adds to the great flavor and color of the dish. The best part is that I got the greens and other ingredients in the morning, washed and cooked them for the next few hours and had an amazing dinner on Sunday!

Last week I got the mustard leaves and made this one. Now I am hoping I can lay my hands on some more this weekend and make a Paneer Saag or Chole Saag recipe. Every weekend I see fewer vendors selling these greens now. And of course, I cannot wait to go back to India this winter and enjoy the authentic Saag, without having to make it :p


Variations

I used the ingredients as mentioned below. A lot of people add bathua to the saag too. If you can get it, add it. I did not find it in the market and left it out. Plus, if you cannot get radish leaves, you can skip them too. The other ingredients should be pretty easy to get.  

Plus, I added just ghee in the crockpot and later. If you like butter better, add that. And if you are making a vegan version, substitute with any vegetable oil. And last of all, the flavor deepens when the Saag is left for a few hours after cooking. That is the reason that Saag tastes much better the next day! 


Ingredients

Mustard leaves/ Sarson 1 bunch
Spinach leaves/ Palak 1/2 bunch
Radish leaves/ Mooli ke patte 1/2 bunch
White radish 2-3 inches piece
Onions 3 medium diced
Tomatoes 2 medium diced
Ginger 1 inch piece diced
Green chilli 2-3 diced
Garlic 5-6 pods diced
Jeera 1 tsp
Red Chilli Powder 1 tsp
Asafoetida a pinch
Maize flour/makai aata as required
Ghee 4 tbsp


Salt 1 1/2 tsp



Method

Wash and chop all the greens and set aside. In the slow cooker add all the leaves, radish, two onions, tomatoes, ginger, garlic and chilli. 

Mix well and add red chilli powder, asafoetida, salt and one tbsp ghee. Also add 3 cups water and mix well. Slow cook on high for four hours. The greens will cook well and the other ingredients should be soft too. 

Cool and blend to a smooth paste adding in the maize flour. Transfer to the slow cooker and cook on high for an hour. 

When ready to serve, heat the remaining ghee in a pan and jeera seeds. Once the seeds pop, saute the remaining one diced onion. Add it in the saag and mix well. 

Serve with chopped onions, chopped green chilli, a dollop of butter and freshly prepared Makai Roti.



Monday, March 20, 2017

Japchae | Korean Stir-Fry Noodles

Blogging Marathon #74 Week 3 Day 3
Theme: Quick and Delicious Stir-Fries 
Dish: Japchae | Korean Stir-Fry Noodles

A flavorful stir-fry made from sweet potato noodles, vegetables and tofu. This Korean recipe is a keeper!


Asian cuisine has a ton of noodle recipes. The noodles in the recipes vary from super thin to round and from flat thin noodles to the super thick ones. Plus, every noodle is made from a different ingredient. From oats, brown rice and quinoa to chickpeas, sweet potato and rice. 

I have tried most of these noodles and they all have a special flavor that is perfect for a different dish. Some noodles are specific to a cuisine; like rice noodles for Pad Thai, Flat noodles for Malaysian, Thick ones for Udon recipes and Ramen for Soups. 


My pantry is filled with all the different types of noodles, given our love for Asian cuisine. We make it all at home and LOVE it too much. Thai, Chinese and Vietnamese cooking was always a star in the house, now Korean has been added too. Recently we got two clay pots to make Ramen noodle soup. We had it a couple of times, though I still have not shot them. 

For those who are aware, Korean places generally serve their Ramen Soup with an array of sides. A local joint here has the following: brown/pink rice, sweet potato fry, seaweed salad, a glass noodle stir fry and kimchi. So the day I made the Ramen Soup, I HAD to make this Glass Noodle dish called Japchae. It was made as a side and we loved it so much, that I made it as a main dish this weekend. So I shot it too, and included it this week for the theme Quick and Delicious Stir-Fries. 


What is Japchae?

Sweet Potato Noodles are really popular in Korean Cuisine. A simple Stir-Fry made from these noodles and vegetables and protein is called Japchae. The dish is super flavorful and generally has peppers, carrots, mushrooms and onions. As a protein, the vegetarian versions generally have tofu. The most attractive part of the noodles is that they turn translucent on cooking. The result is a beautiful noodle dish, slightly tinted with the Soy Sauce. Sometimes also referred to as Cellophane Noodles, in my opinion a stir-fry with them is essentially a Salad :p Given that the noodles are just sweet potato starch and the add-ins being vegetable, protein and sauces. 


To make Japchae

The noodles packet is pretty big and the noodles generally come all tangled. I read a TON of recipes on different websites to make them. Some recipes said that the noodles need to be soaked in cold water to separate the noodles. A few other recipes said you can boil them directly and cut them using kitchen scissors once the noodles cook. 

I found that method easier, so followed that. The result was perfectly separate noodles that cooked really well. I added vegetables and tofu in the noodles. I had a lot of bean sprouts and they tasted perfect in the dish. Though I added them and the vegetables as mentioned below, you can substitute with vegetables of your choice. 

I made an eggless version of Japchae, but adding fried eggs cut into strips is common. You can add a protein of your choice; from chicken to tofu! Just add whatever you have in your refrigerator and whip up a yummy dish. 


Ingredients

Japchae / Korean Sweet Potato Noodles 10 oz
Firm Tofu 7 oz
Garlic 2 pods, minced
Spring Onion 1 bunch, shredded
Red and Green Pepper 1 each, sliced
Carrot 1 medium, julienned
Bok Choy 1 bunch, separated
Broccoli a few florets
Bean Sprouts 1/2 cup
Soy Sauce 1 1/2 tsp
Vinegar 1/2 tsp 
Sesame Seeds 1 tsp
Oil/ Chilli Oil 1 tsp
Salt and Pepper to taste


Method

In  large pan heat 6-7 cups of water. Once it boils, add the noodles. Cook for 5-6 minutes till soft. Using clean kitchen scissors, cut the noodles to smaller pieces.

In about 8 minutes, the noodles will be cooked. Remove and drain completely. Add some soy sauce and toss to ensure the noodles do not stick. 

Heat the oil or chilli oil in a wok. Add garlic and saute till brown. Then add spring onion whites, peppers and saute for a minute. Add broccoli and carrots and cook for a few minutes, till tender. Finally add bok choy and cook till it is wilted. 


Season with 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper. Also add Soy Sauce and Vinegar. Add the cooked noodles and toss well. Cook for a minute and turn down the flame. 

Add bean sprouts and spring onion greens. Mix well. Sprinkle sesame seeds and serve immediately. 





BMLogo 


Saturday, March 18, 2017

Tofu Kee Mow | Garlic Tofu

Blogging Marathon #74 Week 3 Day 2
Theme: Quick and Delicious Stir-Fries 
Dish: Tofu Kee Mow | Garlic Tofu 

A quick side made from pan-fried tofu, LOTS of garlic and Asian sauces and spices. A 15 minute, one pan recipe that is a keeper! 



This week I am posting Quick Stir-Fries and when it comes to a theme like that, I cannot leave out Asian cooking. Almost all Asian cuisines have stir-fries as most of the food there is a quick mix of vegetables, proteins and spices. 

One such dish that I completely love at a local Thai restaurant is Garlic Tofu. A semi-dry preparation of tofu that is FULL of garlic. I went there once and ordered this dish. I fell in love with the flavors, and now I love to make the same at home too. 

The best part about this stir fry is that it is really quick. Unlike many recipes that need a complex sauce or chopping multiple vegetables, this one needs none of them. And it all comes together in just one pan. 


On days when I want to have something Spicy and Asian but do not want to chop TONS of vegetables and make sauces, I make this with a side of stir-fried noodles or steamed rice. On days that I don't mind all that work, it is Garlic Tofu with Schezwan Rice. 

The only ingredients needed in this recipe are tofu, broccoli (which is optional, I added as I had it) and some Asian sauces. That is it! And from start to finish, the dish comes together in 15 minutes. This was the first dish on my mind when Valli announced the theme as 'quick' and 'delicious' stir-fries, because this dish is both of that vegan too! 


Variations

I added broccoli in the dish, just cos I had it. Besides, it adds some color to the otherwise brown dish. However, it is completely optional. And if you like, add some vegetables to the dish. That way it is more wholesome. The proportion in the recipe is good for two people and has a strong garlic flavor. If you like a milder flavor, reduce the number of garlic pods. Stir frying in sesame oil gives the best flavor, but vegetable oil works as well. I generally use a mix of both. 

Ingredients

Firm Tofu 1 block (14 oz)
Garlic 10-12 cloves, diced
Ginger 1 inch piece, grated
Broccoli 1/2 cup, florets removed
Soy Sauce 1 tbsp
Vinegar 1/2 tsp
Chilli Sauce 1 tsp
Sesame Oil/ Vegetable Oil 2 tbsp
Chilli Oil 1 tsp
Cornstarch 1 tsp
Salt 1 tsp
Pepper Powder 1 tsp
Sesame seeds 1 tbsp
Spring Onion greens 1 bunch


Method


Press the tofu between a couple of paper napkin sheets to remove all the water. Cut into 1 inch pieces and set aside.

Heat the oil and chilli oil in a wide pan. Place the tofu pieces and brown them on all sides. Remove and set aside.

In a bowl mix cornstarch with 1/4 cup water. Also add the vinegar, soy sauce, salt and pepper powder and mix well. 

Heat the remaining oil and add some more if required. Saute the garlic and ginger till the garlic is golden brown. 

Add the broccoli and saute till tender. Add the tofu pieces and mix well. Add the cornstarch mixture and mix well. Cook till the sauce dries. 

Serve topped with sesame seeds and spring onion greens.





BMLogo 


Friday, March 17, 2017

Kobi no Sambharo | Quick Cabbage Stir-Fry


Blogging Marathon #74 Week 3 Day 1
Theme: Quick and Delicious Stir-Fries 
Dish: Kobi no Sambharo | Quick Cabbage Stir-Fry 

Simple shredded cabbage is transformed into a fragrant side dish with the addition of cilantro, lime, and an array of spices including turmeric and cumin.


Spring is here and it is time for everything colorful. A couple of days back I made this simple stir fry using cabbage, carrots and peppers. It took me back to my childhood! 

I did not intend on shooting and posting this recipe because I thought it was too simple! But the result was super colorful and looked really pretty. I put my lunch plate aside and got to shooting this one! So without thinking too much, I got a dish that was perfect for this week's BM theme, Quick and Delicious Stir-Fries! 

This recipe dates back to my childhood. We used to live in a joint family and everybody had different food preferences. At times when we would not eat what everyone else is eating, my grandma used to make this yummy cabbage stir fry for us. Not overly spicy and not something that would take a long time to make, this dish was on  my favorites since the beginning. 


Plus, this stir fry often features in traditional Gujarati thalis. It is a cross between a salad and a dry vegetable. The cabbage is not cooked through and maintains its crunch. So does the carrots and peppers. Really simple flavors of only turmeric powder and no so spicy green chilli, this recipe works well when you do not have many vegetables in the refrigerator!

Served with some freshly made rotis and a bowl of dal, it is a complete meal! That was exactly my meal when I made this last time. A bowl of tuvar dal, pressure cooked and some added salt and turmeric completed the meal with roti, sliced onion and rice.

Plus, this sambharo is often served with fafda gathiya and jalebi. Generally a papaya stir-fry is served with gathiya, but when the raw papaya is not in season, either a radish stir fry or this stir fry is served with them. It tastes awesome with freshly made gathiyas! 


Variations

I made a milder version with mild green chillies and no red chilli powder. If you like a spicy version, feel free to add some spicy chillies in it. Plus, I had colored peppers in my refrigerator and used them. The taste will not change if you use just green peppers as well. The traditional version is made in groundnut oil, but I used sunflower oil and I don't think the taste is altered much. Feel free to use an oil of your choice. 


Ingredients

Cabbage 1 cup, shredded
Carrot 1/2 cup, julienned 
Peppers 1/2 cup, shredded
Green Chilli 1, chopped
Curry leaves 2-3
Vegetable Oil 1 tbsp
Mustard seeds 1/2 tsp
Cumin seeds 1/2 tsp
Asafoetida a pinch
Turmeric Powder 1/4 tsp
Salt 1 tsp
Lime Juice 1/2 tsp
Cilantro to top


Method

In a pan heat oil and add mustard seeds. Once they pop, add cumin seeds and asafoetida. When cumin pops, adds curry leaves and chilli. 

In a few seconds add peppers and saute for a minute. Then add carrots and saute. Finally add cabbage and mix well. 

Season with turmeric powder and mix well. Cook on high flame for 3-4 minutes and finally add salt. Add lime juice, mix well and serve immediately topped with cilantro. 



BMLogo 


Thursday, March 16, 2017

Easy Peasy Mousse & Cookie Jars

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.#SpringItOn #NestleKitchen #CollectiveBias

A FIVE ingredient make-ahead dessert that is super easy to make and delicious too. These jars are perfect for Spring parties or get togethers!


Spring has finally arrived and it is time to start planning Easter, barbeque parties and treats for kids' Spring break fun. Apart from all this, Spring brings the annual season of decluttering, cleaning, starting new plants for summer and a lot of other activities. 

So when it comes to entertaining this Spring, you need easy recipes that require minimum ingredients and can be made ahead of time. Is this on your mind too? Then this post is made specially for YOU!

Moms-on-the-go need desserts that come together really quick right? Something that can be made ahead of time and served really quickly and without any mess. I have seen my friends trying to balance kids, work, entertaining and Spring cleaning all at once! That was the inspiration when I made these jars. 

For a mom who LOVES to entertain, this one is perfect. Bake the cookies on Friday night and cool them overnight; make the mousse on Saturday morning and you are all set for a party on Saturday or Sunday! 


I made these jars for my last party, and I literally had to ask parents to restrict their kids to just one jar to avoid a sugar rush! Yes, these colorful jars are so delicious that kids and adults will enjoy them thoroughly. And the best part, they need just FIVE ingredients, can be made ahead of time and are so easy that you can get your kids involved in making them too! Isn't that the best way to keep kids occupied during Spring break? I am sure it will be great for kids to DIY desserts, topping the pre-made desserts with fresh fruits! 

In this recipe I combined flavors, textures and colors to make a super vibrant dessert. The bottom layer is made of Nestlé Toll House Refrigerated Cookie Dough. Not only is cookie dough easy, convenient and delicious, you will fall in LOVE with the fresh new flavors for Spring! They have morsels of white chocolate and a delicate strawberry centre, perfect to put a twist on a classic! When baked to perfection, this layer is crispy and crumbly. 


Above the cookie layer is a velvety mousse made with French Vanilla Flavored Nestlé Coffee-mate Liquid Creamer. This layer is creamy and full of flavor. The coffee mate is perfect to stir up the creamy goodness of French Vanilla or Hazelnut flavors for a smooth, sweet sip. It allows you to create the perfect cup by adding just the right amount of flavor.
Finally, the top is roasted strawberries, partly sweet, partly sour, little soft little juicy but totally indulgent! 


I got all the ingredients I needed for this recipe from Walmart. The products were super enticing and looked perfect for a lot of recipes this Spring. So I got two Nestlé Toll House Refrigerated Cookie Dough (Strawberry and Blueberry limited time flavors for Spring) , a French Vanilla and a hazelnut Nestlé Coffee-mate Liquid Creamer and a few packets of Nestlé Toll House Morsels ranging from milk to sweet and dark to white! I bet you need them ALL this Spring and to find recipes that are perfect, head straight to this gallery from Nestlé. Create new and delicious recipes with Nestlé Toll House right away! 


Coming back to the recipe, here is how I made these jars. I added the cookie dough to the base of the jar and baked them. While laying them out, I was tempted to try the dough as it smelled delicious; but remember never to consume raw cookie dough, ever! The cookie dough made my task so simple and quick, no more mixing, stirring or the like. Just break the pieces apart and start baking!

The Mousse layer came together in five minutes flat! Just mix some Lactose-free and Cholesterol free Nestlé Coffee-mate Liquid Creamer with cream and whip whip whip! The flavor of the mixture is such that it needs no added sugar. Layer this over the cookie and they go straight to the refrigerator. 


Enjoy the party with your guests or entertain your kids through the event. When it is time for desserts, just top the strawberries and let them DIG IN! Isn't that perfect to make something delicious on the go? Thinking of a dessert to take along for a party? Just grab these jars and off you go! No spilling, no mess and total portion control. For the upcoming Spring, you need these jars for sure! Don't forget to get your kids involved in this activity. It will be PERFECT for Spring break activity! 







Ingredients

Nestlé Toll House Refrigerated Cookie Dough(Strawberry Shortcake) 2 pieces/jar

Heavy Whipping Cream 1 cup
Nestlé Coffee-mate Liquid Creamer (French Vanilla) 1/4 cup

Strawberries 10-12

Sugar 2 tbsp 





Method

For the Cookie Layer

Preheat oven to 350 F/ 180 C. Open the Nestlé Toll House Refrigerated Cookie Dough and cut 2 pieces out of it. Place them in a dessert mason jar. Repeat for remaining jars. 

Place the jars in the oven and bake till the cookie spreads at the bottom of the jar and cooks through. 

Once the cookie jars are done (mine took 14-15 minutes) remove and cool completely. 


For the Roasted Strawberries

Wash and cut the strawberries into pieces. I cut the small ones in half and the large ones into fours. 

Spread them in a baking tray and sprinkle sugar on them. Toss them and place in the oven preheated to 350 F/ 180 C. Bake till the strawberries are soft and release some juices. Cool to room temperature. 


For the Mousse

In a bowl add whipping cream and Nestlé Coffee-mate Liquid Creamer (I used French Vanilla flavor). Whip till soft peaks appear. 

Pour the mousse over the cookie layer and refrigerate till ready to serve. 


To serve, top the jars with roasted strawberries and chocolate chips or mint leaves if desired. 



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