Immersed in summer mountain vegetables is happiness. Kashmir is a place that gives me that.
Traveling through this tormented paradise brings out some bittersweet emotions. The consistent source of joy besides the rocking landscape is the produce that feeds the souls. The streets are of full of apples, peaches, and pears freshly picked from the nearby trees and accompanied by so many vegetables that you cannot stop filling up your bags to take home.
Kohlrabi is an important part of the Kashmiri diet and prepared with its leaves and served with a light gravy and eaten with rice. Monji Haakh is a simple dish and packs flavor and nutrition. .The key difference in taste I find comes from 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.
Wash and peel the Kohlrabi and cut into slices. Remove the stems from the greens.
Chop 4-5 cloves of garlic, 1 onion, and 1 round plump tomato.
In a pan use a tablespoon of mustard oil and heat until sizzling.
Add garlic, 2 green chilies, onion and 1 tsp of cumin seeds.
Fry for about 30 secs and add a pinch of hing ( asafetida)
Add the Kohlrabi pieces and fry for about 3 mins or so, add tomatoes, cayenne, turmeric, ground coriander, ground ginger, and salt to taste.
Fry the spices for a couple of mins and then add the greens. Add baking soda and a cup of water. I use a pressure cooker to cook everything at this point for about 4-5 whistles. If using a regular pot, let it cook on medium heat until the vegetable is tender
Note: If using a pressure cooker, open the lid of the cooker immediately to retain green color of the greens.
Summer brings inspiration and love, it brings the abundance of fresh vegetables in your garden or the farmers market. Veggies like broccolini and cauliflower are so rich for your mind and soul that they need the simplest of preparation.
So what I have here is a simple roasted and charred presentation that is a sensory gift to the taste buds. The fact that it is plant based and has plenty of protein is something wonderful. I have roasted the beets separately wrapped in a foil for 30 mins in a 375-degree oven. These stay in the fridge for multiple uses throughout the week.
The sauce is a kicker…soaked walnuts, wasabi powder, garlic and garden herbs. This can showcase just about anything you put on a plate.
So here goes
Slice I head of organic cauliflower in steaks.
Take a bunch of broccolini
Sprinkle with salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, oregano and some olive oil
Mix well with your hands and lay it out on a baking tray
Roast at 425 degrees for 20 mins. The idea is to char it and still keep it somewhat crunchy
For the sauce
1 cup soaked walnuts ( 1 hr)
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp wasabi powder
1 bunch parsley
2 sprigs of basil
1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
Blend together and adjust the oil and salt to taste.
Who doesn’t love falafels?? A plant-based vegan protein-packed food that is ever so delicious. Whether it is in sandwiches or salad toppings or cooked in sauce, falafels are versatile and very easy to make at home.
Did you know Chickpeas are the oldest consumed crop in the world? Besides the historical fact, they do help keep you full and balance your blood sugar levels. Add spinach and fresh herbs to that and you are looking at a nutrient loaded food that is so good for your body.
I was experimenting with a healthier version that is not deep fried and these turned out amazing.