Nun Chai was not traditionally made in our house while I was growing up so I relied on other resources to savor this wonderful salty tea. Memories include waiting for the housekeeper to wake up or knocking on the their shack behind our house to get a cupful. Earlier memories revolve around waiting for Sunday afternoons when the very old “dai” would walk 5 miles to our house and I would coax her into making me tea. Sitting outside early mornings or lazy afternoons, this tea always warmed my soul.
With no access to a Samovar, hot coals and time…the recipe below is simple, inspired by a verbal recipe rally between friends and some experiments at home. Variations and secrets are welcome.
Nun Chai leaves are green tea not black tea so try to use the authentic leaves ( borrow from friends)
Use good baking soda ( a little goes a long way). Good baking soda will not bubble up and make it bitter but will give the tea it’s pink color.
Use a egg beater to really whip up the tea
Tea for 4
6 cups of water
1 and 1/2 teaspoons of nun chai leaves
a pinch of soda
2 cups of milk ( low fat if you like it thin and clear)
Boil the tea with one cup of water and baking soda until the water has reduced to one third.
Add another cup of water and boil and simmer. Use the whip to beat the tea leaves apart until you see the pink color.
Add the rest of the water and brew for 20-30 mins.
This dish is simple takes very little time to make. It can be a go to meal for week days or any other day.
Bok Choy is versatile and delicious. It is classified as a Chinese cabbage and was introduced in Europe in the 1800s. It is readily available in supermarket these days grown organically.
The mushrooms I have used are dried Shiitake. Shiitake mushrooms recognized as a very good source of iron have been used medicinally by the Chinese for more than 6,000 years. They are abundant in the marketplace these days. I soaked a cup in warm water for a couple of hours so they can plump up.
Forbidden rice; This heirloom rice has a delicious roasted nutty taste, soft texture and a deep purple color. Extremely high in a class of flavonoid antioxidants and rich in iron, it looks beautiful on a plate.
5-6 baby Bok Choy greens with trimmed end ( organic and washed)
1 cup Shiitake ( soaked )
2 cloves of garlic ( sliced)
2 dry red pepper (fresh would be fine too)
2 tablespoon ginger
2 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon mirin
1 tsp toasted sesame seeds
1 cup cooked Forbidden rice
Use a tablespoon of sesame oil in a heavy pan and add the red peppers and garlic. After the garlic is light brown add bok choy. Let them sizzle for a few minutes. Add grated ginger, mushrooms and the sauces. Cover and let it steam for 5- 10 mins. Top with sesame seeds and server over forbidden rice.
This broth-y spicy dish has so many variations that is it hard to go wrong. Always feeds all the senses…
The basic taste is that of Thai food but crosses over to Indian with the addition of curry powder and garam masala. Temper the spices to your taste but if you enjoy spicy food then use the amounts I recommend.
Start off with a tablespoon of good coconut oil in a heavy bottomed pan. Add chunks of firm organic tofu and let it fry for a few minutes. Add 1 tablespoon of curry powder and 1 tsp of garam masala. Fry the spices for another few minutes.
Add 1 heaping tablespoon of red thai curry paste, 3 cloves of crushed garlic and 1 tsp of finely chopped ginger. Add 1 cup of light coconut milk and cook for a couple of minutes.
Add 2-3 cups of vegetable broth, 1 green zucchini chopped in large pieces, 1 red bell pepper chopped in large chunks, 1 cup soaked dry shiitake mushrooms, 2 red thai peppers – halfed.
Let it cook for about 10 minutes at medium heat. Add a handful of rice noodles and cook another 5-10 minutes.
Adjust the salt to taste.
Serve topped with red onions, green chillies, crushed peanuts, Cilantro and lime.
I usually don’t blog deserts but this one must be shared. Heart healthy and absolutely divine. Inspired by Peggy Ks healthful recipe I decided to give it a shot.
No baking is required. I bought the mini cake pans for this and so glad I did.
For the crust you need to grind up
1/2 cup pecans; 1 cup golden raisins; 1/2 cup shredded coconut; 1 teaspoon coconut nectar or agave; 2 tablespoon raw cacao powder
Spread the crust out in 3 pans lined with parchment paper. Put it in the fridge while you work on the filling
For the filling use a good blend and blend up
2 cups raw cashews; 4 tablespoon cocoa powder; 1 tbsp espresso or any good instant coffee; 1/2 cup frozen raspberries; 1/2 cup water; 1/2 cup coconut sugar; 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. 1tsp cacao nibs, 1 tsp Maca powder (optional)….once blended add a tablespoon of psyllium husk to thicken.
Pour in the filling and refrigerate for a couple of hours until set
It can be topped with fresh Raspberries with a side of coconut milk ice cream.
Amazing on the taste buds and heart healthy. I know I will make this over and over again.
This sumptuous salad is a full meal…You can top it onto some organic greens.
The grains are a mix of Quinoa, Amaranth (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amaranth_grain) and Millet slightly toasted and and cooked in a rice cooker.
I used a cup of steamed and shelled edamame, 1 cup of roasted chopped beets, couple of sprigs of chopped dill, roma tomatoes and some thinly sliced organic greens. Mix it all together with the fluffed up grains. The dressing was salt, pepper and a good dose of fresh lime and one crushed garlic. I also added a sprinkle of Nutritional yeast but thats optional.
Cooking with and for friends is always a delight. In this array of vegetables I was experimenting with Rajma and Black Chana and then with Jackfruit. Sadly that I could not quite get the taste for the jackfruit. The assembled thali was delicious and thoroughly enjoyed.
The black chickpea by the way is high in protein and has a low glycemic index. Sprouting them for snacks is also a great option.
Rajma with kala chana
Nadru in yoghurt sauce
Jack fruit cooked in curry leaves
I will leave you with the Rajma recipe as you can find the others on my previous blogposts.
Soak 2 cups of red kidney beans and 3/4 cup of Black chana overnight.
Pressure cook both along with whole red chili and ginger slices for about 10 mins.
Coarse grind one medium red onion and one small shallot.
Fry the onions in 2 tablespoon of oil until the mixture turns darker color
Add 2 tbsp garlic ginger paste, 1 tsp red chilis, 1 tsp tumeric, 1 tbsp coriander powder, 1 tsp cumin powder and salt to taste.
Fry the spice for a minute and add 1 cup of crushed peeled tomatoes. I uses Organic canned tomatoes but the choice is your, you can flash boil wholes tomatoes, peel and crush.
Add the beans along with the liquid and cook for about 30 minutes. In the last 10 mins add 1 tsp each of dry ginger powder (soonth) and 1 tsp of dry fennel powder (saunf). Top with cilantro and lime juice.