Category Archives: side dishes

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!

 

Quinoa Walnut Salad with Wasabi Dressing

Spring? Summer? Not sure what’s going on with the weather in Virginia but in spite of the incessant rain, the green trees and foliage lends a spark to life.

We have vegetables, herbs and trees we are planting and it is all very uplifting for our own being and the life of this planet.

This salad needs no recipe but here it is…. You should adjust the ingredients to your taste.

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The base ingredients are cooked quinoa, chopped cucumbers, chopped walnuts, cranberries, lots of chopped parsley, chopped mint and some arugula. You can really add and subtract what you like but keep some crunch( cucumbers), some carbs( quinoa), some  good fats ( walnuts)  and some sweetness ( cranberries).

I cooked the quinoa in a rice cooker with the setting of white rice. Please use any method that works for you.

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The dressing is another story. I love wasabi and found this dried powder version I am able to use in dressings. It has just the right amount of sharpness. The truffle oil adds an earthy dimension that will leave you craving for more.

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Quinoa Walnut Salad with Wasabi Dressing

  • Servings: many
  • Difficulty: easy
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a beautiful spring inspired quinoa salad

Ingredients

Salad

  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 2 cups chopped chopped organic cucumbers
  • 1 cup chopped parsley
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onions
  • 1/2 cup chopped mint
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 cup arugula

Dressing

  • 1 tsp wasabi powder
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons truffle oil
  • 1 tsp mustard
  • 1/2 tsp garlic paste
  • Pink salt  and black pepper to taste

Directions

  • Mix the salad ingredients together in a large bowl
  • Whip the dressing together and adjust the seasoning
  • Pour over the salad, toss and serve

I am taking this to  Fiesta Friday #170,  with Angie and our co-hosts Monika and Sue.

I have also shared this with CookBlogShare hosted  by Hijacked by Twins

Fermented Food experiments #2 -Beet Kanji

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 if microbes that produced 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 food s I am experimenting with.
Click here for a previous recipe of Kashmiri Achar
Click here for a previous recipe of Red Cabbage Pickle

In this edition: Fermented Beet tonic – Kanji

https://foodforthesoul00.files.wordpress.com/2017/03/beetkanji-5782.jpg?w=474

BeetKanji-5786This fermented beet pickle and tonic fascinates  and mesmerizes with its deep violet color and tangy taste. There many health benefits of both the beets and these are just amplified through fermenting.

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“Kanji”  is usually a pungent combination of water, mustard seeds, beetroot and carrots and is full of digestion-boosting friendly bacteria and enzymes. I have only used beets here so the color is quite intense. Beets are high is sugar but the fermentation breaks the sugars down and makes this drink a healthy tonic. Very similar to Kvass which is an eastern European fermented beverage commonly made with rye bread.

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Fermented Beets - Kanji

  • Servings: many
  • Difficulty: easy
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a zesty beet fermented drink and pickle

Ingredients

  • 3 – 4 large organic beets
  • 3 tbsp mustard seeds
  • 3 whole red chilies ( Serrano)
  • 2 tsp pink Himalayan salt
  • 6–7 cups filtered water

Directions

  • Wash and Slice and dice the beets in bite size pieces. I like to leave to skin on for organic beets.
  • Crush mustard seeds with mortar and pestle just to a coarse grind
  • Place the diced beets and carrots into a half-gallon glass jar.
  • Add the Serrano pepper, mustard seeds and salt.
  • Add the water, leaving one-inch of air space between the top of the water and the top of the jar. Tightly cover the jar.
  • Ferment the kanji for 2-3 days at room temperature.
  • Stir with a clean wooden spoon and taste. If it’s tangy – it’s fermented and ready
  • You can transfer the jar to the fridge and store for a few weeks.

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Enjoy a cup or bowl of this delicious liquid and eat the pickles beet and add them to your salad.

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Divine!

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Sharing this at Angie’s Fiesta Friday

Fermented food experiments #1 – Red Cabbage quick pickle

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 if microbes that produced 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 Kashmiri Achar

In this edition: Red Cabbage Pickle

https://foodforthesoul00.files.wordpress.com/2017/03/redcabbagepickle-5765.jpg?w=474

Continue reading Fermented food experiments #1 – Red Cabbage quick pickle

Kashmiri Pulao – Rice with mushrooms and vegetables

kashmiripulao-9050-2This medley of rice and vegetables is inspired by the Kashmiri Pulao that uses morel mushrooms. I did not have the wild expensive mushrooms so used the dried  shiitake I hand in my pantry. Soaked in warm water for about 20 mins brings out the earthiness and the umami flavors. Don’t discard the golden liquid from the mushrooms, it adds immense flavor.

kashmiripulao-9046I also used cauliflower in this recipe…cut in florets and pan fried with a touch of sea salt.

The basic Kashmiri pulao recipes packs a punch with whole spices…I have used cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, whole pepper, dried ginger and bay leaves.

Saffron is my favorite and it had been used blooming in warm water.

I have also added soaked almond, walnuts and raisins…feel free to experiment.

Once again I am honored to be c0-hosting and feasting with such amazing and talented virtual friends at Fiesta Friday. Our host Angie has done such a wonderful job providing us with this forum and inviting us to a global table. I am also honored to be co-hosting alongside Jhuls and am a big fan :), do check out her blog if you have not already.

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Kashmiri Pulao with Mushrooms and Cauliflower

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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a flavorful pulao with fragrant spices and vegetables

Ingredients

                                                                                     

  • 10 pieces dried shitake mushrooms
  • 2 cups of cauliflower bites (about 1 inch pieces)
  • 2 cups of basmati rice washed and soaked for 10 mins
  • 2 tablespoon ghee or butter
  • 1 onions chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4-5 black cardamoms
  • 5-6 green cardamoms
  • 5-8 whole peppercorns
  • 2 small sticks of cinnamon
  • 1 tea spoon cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp ginger powder
  • 5-6 cloves
  • 1 pinch saffron
  • 2  1/2 cup water ( including the mushroom broth)
  • Grapeseed oil for frying the vegetables
  • 1/2 Almonds, walnuts and raisins soaked for 30 mins and chopped
  • Lemon juice
  • Salt to taste
  • /recipe-ingredients]

Directions

  • Soak the mushrooms in 1 cup warm water for 30 minutes. Strain the water and slice the mushrooms. Save the water to cook the rice.
  • Soak the saffron in a tablespoon of warm  water
  • Dice the cauliflower and pan fry in oil until just brown
  • Drain, slice and Fry the mushrooms and set aside
  • In a heavy bottomed pan, add ghee and chopped onion, sauté until translucent.
  • Add bay leaf, cardamoms, cinnamon, cloves, black pepper and cumin seeds. Let it splutter.
  • Now add the soaked rice and vegetables.
  • Add the ginger powder.
  • Add water (including the mushroom water) to cover the rice plus 1/2 inch.
  • Salt to taste
  • Squeeze 4-5 drops of lemon juice in the mixture and let it cook on low/medium heat for 20 minutes until the rice is done.
  • Using 2 tablespoon of ghee, fry the nuts and raisins until just toasted and add to the rice when serving.
  • Serve with a side of mint raita

Beautifully fragrant and delicious.

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Also linking up at Suacy Saturdays

Pickled Vegetables – Kashmiri Achar

Fermented foods are  probiotic powerhouses  boosting the good bacteria in your gut and helping with overall health and immunity

“Achar” is a form of fermented food in the Indian subcontinent and essentially is a pickling process. It is one of the oldest methods of food preservation, sustaining communities through changing climate and seasons where the life of the crop could be extended by preserving it.

achar-1Kashmir with it’s cold winters is very conducive to pickling a variety of vegetables such as Kohlrabi, carrots, radish,  peppers etc. There is no vinegar in these pickles. Mustard oil is the main carrier in which fermenting agents like mustard and carom seeds are added. This will last a long while on your shelves.

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The basic recipe was for Monji Achar ( Kohlrabi pickle) from which I strayed a bit and added the crunchy turnips and carrots. The Kohlrabi leaves I had already cooked in another dish, otherwise I would have chopped and added them.

The key would be to dry out the cut vegetables in the sun for a day or so just to reduce the moisture. I am in the dead of winter here in Virginia so sunshine is scarce. I left it out for another day….48 hours.achar-2

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Kashmiri Achar - Pickles

  • Servings: many
  • Difficulty: easy
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Beautiful fermented winter vegetables

Ingredients

  • 1-2 large bulbs of Kohlrabi ( Monji is Kashmiri)
  • 1-2 large turnips
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 table spoon sea salt ( adjust to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon mustard seeds
  • 1 tablespoon carom seeds ( Ajwain).
  • 1 cup mustard oil.
  • 2 table spoons red chili powder
  • 1 tsp ginger powder

Directions

  1. Peel and cut the bulbs of kohlrabi into 1 inch pieces.
  2. Do the same with peeled turnips and carrots
  3. Wash the veggies and spread them on a cloth to dry out in the sun for one day. This can be 2 days if there is no sunshine.
  4. In a large glass bowl mix the spices with the oil.
  5. Add the vegetables and mix well..
  6. Put it in a large glass pickling jar and seal tight.
  7. You need to leave the jar in a sunny place for a week to ferment. If you are in a cloudy wintery place like me, then it will take another week.

Sharing at Fiesta Friday  which is be co-hosted this week are Jhuls and Ginger

Sweet dumpling squash with Ras El Hanout and Farro

These are delightful winter beauties… you fall in love when you go to the winter remains of the farmers market with the variety of pumpkins and squashes. I am not much for decorating with them so just want to find the ones that are delicious to cook

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Sweet Dumpling Squash – the sweetest of them all! This  has a whiteish skin with green stripes. The sweet, tender orange flesh makes this absolutely delicious to feed your soul.

I baked the squash in the oven, cutting around the stem of the sweet dumplings and removing the top. Scoop out the seeds and pulp, and then baking until tender.

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Stuffing this squash takes it to another level. I have used mushrooms and farro as the key ingredient and flavored it with Ras el hanout spice blend, thyme, garlic and cilantro. Farro s a type of ancient wheat grain that is found in many Mediterranean, Ethiopian or Middle Eastern cuisines.

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While the squash roast you can prepare the filling which is sautéed mushrooms with garlic and thyme. I added the cooked farro with a generous topping of cilantro, mint and lemon juice.

The icing on the cake is the creamy poached egg on top.

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Sweet dumpling squash with Ras El Hanout and Farro

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Deliciously sweet quash flavored with Ras El Hanout and stuffed with mushrooms and farro

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces baby bella mushrooms (roughly chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
  • 4 -5 sweet dumpling squash
  • 2 tsp thyme leaves
  • 1  teaspoon Ras el hanout ( Moroccan spice blend)
  • 3 garlic cloves – crushed
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro or parsley
  • 2 tablespoons chopped mint
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 cup cooked farro
  • Pink Salt and Pepper

Directions

  • Combine Grapeseed oil, Ras el hanout,  1 tsp thyme, salt and pepper and set aside
  • Preheat oven to 375°F. Cut off the tops of the dumpling squash, then use a spoon to scoop out the seeds. . Rub the insides with the oil mixture.
  • On a sheet pan, place the squash cut-side down and roast in the oven 30 to 35 minutes, or until browned on the outside.
  • Add coconut oil to a pan and add garlic. Saute for a min and add the mushrooms
  • As the mushrooms continue to sweat add the thyme, salt and pepper.
  • Cook until the mushrooms are tender
  • Cook the Farro per instructions.  I used the 10 minute farro.
  • Mix the Farro with the mushrooms and with a generous topping of cilantro, mint and lemon juice.
  • Fill the squash with the mixture, top with a poached egg and serve.

 

I am taking this at this week’s Fiesta Friday  with  Angie , Aunt Juju and Sandhya.