Warm Fava, Feta and Tomato Salad

Making this again for thanksgiving…perfect side for the table.

Food For The Soul

Who doesn’t like Fava Beans? I think a lot of people don’t but it may be just not having the right recipe.

Did you know that Fava beans are filled with nutrition and a great source of lean protein? Also known as broad beans, they have no saturated fat or cholesterol and contain a high concentration of thiamin, vitamin K, vitamin B-6, potassium, copper, selenium, zinc and magnesium.

This is another Mediterranean influenced dish which takes your palate through many surprising textures and tastes. The tomatoes are pan roasted in olive oil and garlic and a hint of red chillies which is the base of making this a warm salad. Make sure you get good Feta especially if you can make the trip to the local Mediterranean grocey store and explore the varieties.

Fava Beans with Roasted Tomatoes and Feta Fava Beans with Roasted Tomatoes and Feta

You can serve is as a starter course with pita or as…

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Thai Red Curry with Cod

This chill in the air and the smell of slow burning fall leaves calls for something spicy and healthful.IMG_7307

Thai cooking has always been a passion, with fresh aromatic ingredients like lemon grass, cilantro, chilies and ginger the possibilities of creating dishes in endless. This cuisine brings to world  the 5 flavors of sweet, salty, sour, bitter and hot. The  subtle variation in proportions of ingredients used highlights these flavors.

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Continue reading Thai Red Curry with Cod

Matz t, Palak – Lamb meatballs with Spinach

I spend a beautiful fall morning bringing out my Kashmiri spices in my American kitchen trying to connect and reconnect with a land so abundant with beauty and an unmatched gastronomical  adventure.

Kashmiri cuisine traces back to centuries of tradition, spices and methods of cooking.  The cuisine has evolved over the centuries absorbing influences from settlements and migrations. The flavors and spices of Kashmiri cuisine include dry ginger, fennel, cloves, cinnamon and saffron to name a few.

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My home smells like fennel and ginger and far away tales of dreams and amazing food are weaving in through the aroma creating an aura of peace. Continue reading Matz t, Palak – Lamb meatballs with Spinach

Fermented Food stories – Okra and Carrots

Fermented foods are just beautiful  not only for the taste buds but also for your gut.  Ancients culture have propagated fermented foods for preservation and taste through the centuries. The souring action of microbes that produce fermentation have been critical in our diets throughout  the globe.  Similar foods can be found in every culture,  just called something different.

Indian “Achar” or “Kanji” are great examples and so is the fabulous “Kimchi” from Korea.

My personal story takes me back to the late 1970’s where as a young girl spending lazy winters vacation in Lucknow, India  I would watch my grandfather ferment and pickle various vegetables in earthenware and produce the probiotic liquid called “Kanji” in India. It  was delicious, tart and healthy and the joy of helping my grandfather  while he worked on these beautiful foods is a memory that is permanent ink in my soul.

True to foods that nourish your soul and help you remember your history, in this series I am sharing different fermented foods I am experimenting with.

Click here for a previous recipe of Kashmir Achar, Red Cabbage and Kanji

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chutney

In this edition: Okra and Carrots

Continue reading Fermented Food stories – Okra and Carrots

Roasted Tomato and Garlic Chutney

It was a surreal summer filled with travels, sorrows, beauty, love and new perspectives. When I got back to my veggie garden after weeks of being away the tomatoes ( among other vegetables) were screaming to be picked turned into something divine.

My first instinct was to get all of them out to friends and family ( which I did for some), but….the rest went in preparations like this amazing tomato chutney.

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The tomatoes were halved and roasted whole in a 375 degree oven for about 30 mins to bring out the flavor.

The chilies are whole and dried and are a staple in the pantry.  The oil is a mustard oil which brings out a beautiful flavor.

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This chutney will last a while in the fridge, my teenager has been using it to smear her morning bagels.  I have used it on top of my grilled chicken for a workday lunch and topped my sandwiches.

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You can adjust the heat and seasoning  to your taste but my recommendation would be to keep the heat elevated 🙂 😉

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Roasted Tomato Garlic Chutney

  • Servings: many
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

a versatile chutney that goes with everything

Ingredients

  • 10-12 red tomatoes
  • 10 red dried chilies
  • 1 pod of whole garlic
  • 2 tablespoons Mustard oil
  • 1 tsp onion seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • Himalayan Salt to taste

Directions

 

  • Slice off the very top of the garlic and wrap the garlic pod in foil.
  • Layer the tomatoes along with the pod of garlic on a sheet pan.
  • Roast  in the 375 degree oven for 30 mins
  • Cool and remove the skin from the tomatoes and the garlic
  • Heat mustard oil in a pan until smoking
  • Add the seeds and let them splutter
  • Add the chilies for a couple of minutes
  • Next add the tomatoes, garlic, salt, and turmeric
  • Once bubbling, cover the pan and let the mixture cook for about 5- 7 mins.
  • Do taste the seasoning and adjust.
  • Cool the mixture and run it through your Vitamix or any other processor.
  • Bottle in jars. It will stay in the fridge for a couple of weeks if it lasts that long.

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Come join the party at Fiesta Friday!

 

Chicken Thai soup with Forbidden Ramen

Thai cooking has always been a passion, with fresh aromatic ingredients like lemon grass, cilantro, chilies and ginger the possibilities of creating dishes in endless. This cuisine brings to world  the 5 flavors of sweet, salty, sour, bitter and hot. The  subtle variation in proportions of ingredients used highlights these flavors.

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Soup is always the best when the stock is of ultimate quality. Make your chicken stock at home with bones and vegetable or buy a good organic variety.

With Thai cooking you need the sour with the sweetness of creaminess. In this soup I have used low fat coconut milk and no oil, the ingredients lend their flavors beautifully.

IMG_7225Use dried shitake mushrooms instead of fresh ones and they are more intense. Just soak the in warm water for 30 mins and use the liquid as well.

The spark comes from the kaffir lime leaves which I have bought dried ( I can’t find the fresh ones here so far)

IMG_7234Now to the starch, the Lotus Food forbidden rice noodles are so good, healthy and add that intense purple color.

IMG_7222Chicken and Stock

  • 4 whole organic chicken thighs
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 2 anise seed pods
  • 1/2 tsp peppercorns
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 carrots chopped
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 2 whole black cardamoms
  • 2 cups water

Soup

  • 5-7 Shitake Mushrooms soaked in warm water for 30 mins and then sliced
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp red chili powder
  • One yellow zucchini sliced in thin slices
  • 1 can low fat coconut milk
  • 1 full tablespoon  red thai curry paste
  • 4-5 dried kaffir lime leaves
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 2 tablespoon desiccated coconut
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 serving of forbidden rice ramen ( Lotus Foods)

Putting it together:

  • Add all the chicken ingredients in a pressure cooker and cook for 10 minutes. Your can also cook in a slow cooker for 3-4 hours but I much prefer the pressure cooking.
  • Cool and strain the chicken. Save the broth and shred the chicken.
  • In a saucepan over medium heat combine curry paste with coconut milk. Stir until it come together.
  • Add turmeric and chili powder
  • Continue cooking and add the stock. Also add the fresh stock from the chicken cooked above.
  • Once the soup base has come together add the lime leaves, zucchini, mushroom and the chicken. Cook for 5 minutes.
  • Add 1 cube of rice ramen and cook through pulling the ramen apart for 4 minutes.
  • Turn of the heat and add the lime juice.
  • Dry roast the desiccated coconut and sprinkle over the soup before serving

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Sharing at Fiesta Friday! Thanks  Jhuls @ The Not So Creative Cook and Nimmi @ Adorable Life for co-hosting

Figs with walnuts, yoghurt and honey

Figs, one of the oldest fruit cultivated and consumed by humans traverses global cultures and complex history. Fresh, dried and preserved figs have carried many a generations through culinary experience of reaping its sweet benefits.IMG_7171

 

When I saw my parent’s fig ( Anjeer) tree in Kashmir this summer, I was in complete awe. It took my dear friend Imtiaz a fair amount of effort to climb up and get me a basket. My newly planted tree in Virginia seemed dwarfed and needed way too much maintenance.IMG_6923

I am not giving though, my Virginia tree now is freshly fertilized and nurtured and although just a few months old has delivered a few fruit.

When you don’t have enough figs growing, there is always the local market. Beautiful figs were calling me and I brought them home.

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This recipe is simple with drained thick yoghurt, toasted walnuts and a drizzle of saffron infused honey. The walnuts and saffron are from Kashmir which are the absolute best. Be careful not to burn the walnuts and just lightly toast them.

Please note that I used drained coconut yoghurt so this version is DF. Experiment to your taste.

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I have paired this with my coconut orange cake.

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Figs with walnuts, yoghurt and honey

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

a simple summer dessert

Ingredients

  • 5-6 fresh figs slices
  • 1 cup drained Greek yoghurt or drained coconut yoghurt
  • 1/2 cup toasted  walnuts
  • 1/2 cup raw organic honey
  • 1 pinch saffron
  • 1/4 tsp lemon zest
  • 1/4 tsp orange blossom water
  • Squeeze of 1/2 lemon

Directions

  • Warm the honey over low heat with saffron, lemon zest, orange blossom and lemon juice for 5 mins. Don’t not let it boil. Let it cool to room temperature.
  • Toast Walnuts in a dry small skillet over medium-low heat, tossing often, until golden brown, about 4 minutes.  Let them cool
  • Serve yogurt and figs drizzled with warm honey mixture and topped with toasted walnuts. A slice of cake pairs perfectly.

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It’s been a long time since I shared with my friends at Angie’s Fiesta Friday so here goes. Thanks to the cohosts this week  Colleen @ Faith, Hope, Love & Luck and Alex @ Turks Who Eat

 

great food and discovery of the soul

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