Its hot and humid but soaking in the warmth while browsing cookbooks is how I tend to enjoy my weekend afternoon. I was looking a vegan lunch idea and stumbled upon so many wonderful “Chilla” recipes, These crepes called “Chilla” or “Cheela” are so simple, wholesome and savory that I couldn’t wait to experiment with a version of my own.
I have used 3 types of lentils here…Urad, Masoor and Chana and some rice flour. You could use soaked rice as well but I had the rice flour in my pantry so went with it.
The lentils have been washed and soaked for a few hours. They were then ground into a paste along with the rice flour and then I let the batter ferment overnight. I just put it in my cool oven. It was so cool to see it bubble and rising by the morning.
Once the batter is
fermented, add the herbs and spices and use water to bring out the consistency
of pancake batter.
Cooked on both sides
to a warm golden brown and served simply with coconut yoghurt raita and pickles
was just perfect.
The recipe measurements below are just setting some guardrails but this is not an exact science. Feel free to experiment and taste along the way!
Grind the lentils in a food processor, add the rice
flour and blend until a batter like consistency
Let ferment in a cool oven overnight
The batter will rise a little which will tell you that
it has some fermentation. Add the herbs, veggies and spices and use some
water to bring it to a pancake consistency
Heat the griddle or cast iron pan until quite hot. Keep
the heat to medium and pour in the batter. Use a teaspoon to oil the edges
and the middle. Once bubbles start to form and the edges are brown, flip
the pancake/crepe and cook the other side for a couple of minutes.
The weekend summer farmers markets are in full bloom. The joy of sourcing local ingredients is sweet and satisfying. Not everything is local though so it’s a journey to get to totally local sourced for the mind and body.
This was a beautiful Cod fillet and my Za’atar is home made with thyme and oregano that I have grown and dried. Saw a stand at the farmers market selling Za’atar and Olive oil which I am sure would be amazing to use. So if you are not making it at home buy from the local farmers and small businesses.
The tomatoes were just ripe and vibrant and ready to cut so I kept it simple with fresh mint and lemon juice.
The fresh zucchini
also called for simplicity so it has been sautéed with a touch of cumin and
fresh large green onions.
This plate reminds
me of what good clean and abundant food this earth has given us to respect,
enjoy and feed our souls.
Fish and Marinade
Cod filet – 1
Za’atar – 2 tbsp
Lemon zest – 1 tsp
Good olive oil – 1 tbsp
Salt if needed
2 cups cooked rice
1 large zucchini
1 small yellow or spring onion
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp red chili powder
1 tbsp olive oil
A couple of yellow and red
Handful of fresh mint
Juice of one lemon
Lemon zest ( use the same
lemon to zest)
Celtic sea salt – a sprinkle
Heat the oven to 400 degrees
Coat the fish with the marinade ingredients and set aside for 15 mins.
Chop up the Zucchini in small pieces and slice the onions
Heat the olive oil and add cumin and mustard seeds. Once they pop, add the onions.
Sauté the onions until they soften, add the red chili powder and the zucchini.
Sauté for a few minutes until the zucchini is just tend.er Salt to taste and add the rice.
It will take a couple of minutes to combine and heat everything through.
Prepare the tomato salad by chopping the fresh ingredients and combining through with the salt and lemon juice.
Bake the fish for 10 mins in a 400 degree oven.
I have not been to Angie’s Fiesta for a while and looking forward to joining Angie and Ai
vibrant spring is here and its time to embrace all the positive energy it
brings with it. Spring is the time for
rejuvenating your mind, body and soul. Morning walks under blossoms and lush
green trees, farmers markets, planting flowers and seeds, and of course cooking
nourishing balanced food. The Yin and the Yang work together to balance your
This is a
macrobiotic vegan bowl that will leave you full and happy. If you prep
everything it will supply lunches for the week.
So what does it
Chickpeas cooked in spices
Fermented Carrots and Cabbage
Cilantro and green onions
Farro is a beautiful
ancient grain full of protein, fiber and iron. Buy organic and cook per
instructions. I soak it for an hour and cook it in the rice cooker at brown
Soak 2 cups
chickpeas overnight and then cook in the pressure cooker until just soft.
Add coconut oil
in a pan. Add 1/2 tsp cumin and mustard
seed and with whole red chilies. Add curry leaves if you have them and let them
splutter. Add 1/2 tsp cayenne and 1/2 tsp turmeric and saute. Add the chickpeas
and let them cook until the liquid is gone adding salt to taste. Add 1/2 garam
masala and lemon juice to finish.
I used eggplant,
peppers, sweet potatoes and onions smothered with salt, pepper and avocado oil.
Roast at 375 degree oven for 30 mins.
Cook shelled edamame
I had fermented
cabbage and carrot but you can use store bought fermented veggies.
Chop cilantro and
green onion and use lemon juice to top the bowl off.
Assemble as it
pleases you and enjoy this gorgeous bowl!
It’s a vegetable overload weekend in our household. We had pea protein packed smoothie this morning and then ran a 5k in freezing temperatures. But the sun was out which gave energy to the mind and body. Riding the veggie theme for lunch I wanted to make something that continues to feed the body with energy.
So what I have here is a simple harissa roasted and charred cauliflower that is a sensory gift to the taste buds. The fact that it is plant based and has plenty of protein is something wonderful. The cauliflower is crusted with a mix of harissa paste, Labneh and Tahini dressing that amplifies the taste. The Avocados add the much needed fat and the citrus from the grapefruit balances it all.
1 head of cauliflower cut into thick steaks.
1 tablespoon harissa paste
1 tablespoon labneh ( or greek yoghurt)
1 tsp of the tahini dressing
2 tablespoon tahini
4 cloves of garlic
2 tablespoon pomegranate
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 handful of cilantro
Pink or Sea Salt – to taste
Salad greens and Topping
Arugula and Baby spinach
Putting it together:
Blend all the ingredients for the tahini dressing adjust for consistency and salt.
Mix the harissa with labneh and a teaspoon of the tahini dressing.
Smother the cauliflower steaks with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.
Roast in a 450 degree oven for about 20 mins until slightly charred.
Dress the flowerets with the harissa dressing and put back in the oven for 5 mins. Remove and cool
Remove the grapefruit meat in slices being careful to remove the skin.
Slice the avocados
In a large bowl add the arugula and spinach and dress lightly with the tahini dressing
Plate the green, adding the grapefruit, avocado. Top with cauliflower and walnuts.
The magic of Kashmiri cooking always inspires a smile and a happy tummy. So simple and fragrant served with steaming steamed rice and some pickles. The cheese can be homemade or you can buy a block of Indian Cheese which is pretty readily available in supermarkets now. I do find the homemade version with organic milk much better and softer.
For the greens, I prefer the leaves called Chinese broccoli but collard green work really well too. Remove the leaves from the stems. If the stems are thick, peel the skin and use the inside, they are packed with flavor
The key flavor enhancer, I find is the use of Mustard oil. You can always substitute with regular vegetable oil. I used a pressure cooking but you don’t have to, it cooks just fine in a regular pot.
Here is the recipe
Collard greens or Chinese
broccoli – 2 bunches
Indian cottage cheese sliced
into 2 inch pieces
Cloves 2 pices
asafetida – 1/4 Tsp
1 tsp crushed garlic
Ground ginger powder – 1 tsp
Red chili powder – 1 Tsp
Turmeric powder – 1 tsp
Fennel powder – 1 tsp
salt to taste
1/2 cup mustard oil
2 cups of water
Fry the cottage cheese pieces in oil until lightly golden ( not too dark), remove and immerse in warm water. Set aside
In a pressure cooker add the same mustard oil and the cloves. Add Asafetida and garlic. Add water and the rest of the spices and bring to a boil. Add Salt to taste
Add the greens and pressure cook for 5 mins.
Remove the lid and add the cheese.
Cooks for 5 – 10 mins until the flavors combine and the cheese is soft.
Serve as a main dish or side dish with steaming rice.
Kashmiri culture and ways of preparing the food lends to its exquisite and unique taste. An art form which is then accented by how the food is served….in copper dishes, with flavorful white rice, rich yogurt and tart chutneys.
Rogan Josh is a signature dish of the Kashmiri cuisine usually cooked with lamb. This particular recipe is with Chicken or “Kokur” and therefore the title. The subtle but important difference in the preparation is frying the chicken pieces beforehand which gives it the crispy exterior.
The rest of the spices are familiar with just a slight change is the way they are used in the thecooking process that differentiates it from other curries. The aromatic whole spices are fried in ghee to bring out the oils and aroma. The touch of water further steams through the spices.
I have used Mawal here, which is responsible for the deep red color. Mawal is dried cockscomb flower and is boiled with an equal quantity of water and then strained through a fine mesh. A couple of tablespoons of the liquid are then added towards the end of cooking. A pinch of saffron dissolved in warm milk or water is the last flavor and aroma enrichment.
This dish is cooked with love and the process of cooking it is something to be enjoyed as much and eating it. Many of the traditional ways of using the ingredients have been adjusted in my American kitchen but the uniqueness of flavor still commands the respect of the cook and the guest.
Something about a tender juicy meatball is so comforting and satisfying.
There is a meatball or Kofta dish in just about every culture using a variety of different meats and spices. This recipe has been inspired by the Lebanese style of cooking similar to Dawood Basha and uses a combination of ground chicken and beef flavored with spices and no breadcrumbs. I added some feta cheese to elevate that flavor. The spices in the sauce itself are minimal allowing the onions and tomatoes to shine.
The beautiful aroma of fennel and ginger invades your kitchen as you cook this dish.