Tag Archives: Fiesta Friday

Pineapple Harissa Salmon with Tahini Greens

A healthy recipe bursting with deep flavors of pineapple, tahini and rose harissa spice blend.

salmonharissa-1

Angie’s  Healthy Recipe Challenge is on and I am pretty late in thinking about combining leafy greens and pineapple. I like spice in my recipes so pineapple is the perfect sweet to cut through those spices. A wild caught salmon is perfect to showcase the flavors with quinoa, arugula and baby spinach and a perfect tahini  dressing.

fiestafriday-healthy-recipe-challenge◎ A C

I used Elaine’s Rose Harissa Blend ( Thank you Elaine!). Do check it out on her blog and the fantastic ways she has used it in many recipes.

A little bit about the dressing….Tahini can be made at home or you can buy the good quality organic tahini in a bottle. Tahini is sesame paste and has fat in it. No additional fat is needed in the dressing. The apple cider vinegar gives it the tartness, pineapple the sweetness and aminos or tamari gives a bit of salt and flavor.  This can be stored and used in  many dishes that you will make. Top it over falafels, burgers, fritters and anything your heart desires.

salmonharissa-1-6
Pineapple Tahini Dressing

So with that said, the pineapple and greens challenge has been well incorporated in this dish 🙂

salmonharissa-1-3

salmonharissa-1-2

Pineapple Harissa Salmon with Tahini Greens

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

a harissa spiced salmon baked in the oven served with tahini dressing over greens

Ingredients

Salmon:

  • 2-3 pieces of  wild-caught Salmon

Harissa Spice mix marinade:

Dressing:

  • 2 tablespoon tahini
  • 1/2 cup pineapple pieces
  • 2 tablespoon coconut amino or tamari
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • Pink or Sea Salt – to taste

Salad and Toppings:

  • Arugula and Baby spinach
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • Toasted walnuts
  • Chopped Pineapple
  • Sliced Avocados

Directions

Salmon

  • Use a blender to combine the Harissa marinade ingredients  and marinate the salmon pieces for 30 mins.
  • Preheat the oven to 425F
  • Put the salmon on the baking sheet (skin-side down), then put it in the oven.
  • Bake for 8-10 minute.

Greens

  • Mix quinoa and  greens together with dressing, I have used arugula, spinach  but any fresh salad greens are good here.

Dressing

  • Put the dressing ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth and creamy.

 

Assemble the greens, top with walnuts and dressing. Plate the salmon and top with sliced avocados and pineapple.

 

salmonharissa-1-4

Avocado Banana Chaat

Chaat is a term describing savory snacks, typically served at road-side tracks from stalls or food carts in India, Pakistan, Nepal and Bangladesh- this from Wikipedia. Chaat to me is sweet, tangy and savory sensation put together to be had as an appetizer or snack. Most street versions have fried cracker bases or delicious potato centers.

AvocadoBananaChaat-1-4

Well…Today is the day!!! My first time co-hosting  Angie’s Fiesta Friday #108 with the lovely Suzanne@apuginthekitchen .

If you don’t know it already Fiesta Friday is where to party every Friday. I joined it when I started blogging a couple of years back and it has been such a great support and platform to grow. Bring your dishes here and Link up your posts at Angie’s Fiesta and to both the co-hosts!

Do read the guidelines posted here….but the rules are really to have fun and enjoy visiting all the fabulous bloggers.

I wanted to make something quick and simple for my co-hosting responsibility ( and its been a really long week) so this quick appetizer was perfect. Now I am eager to spend all my time looking through the deliciousness everyone else brings to the party,

One of my favorite Indian fusion restaurants Rasika delighted me with a Avocado and Banana version that is a must try if you are ever in DC.

AvocadoBananaChaat-1-7

Here is my take on serving up this amazing dish. You can never go wrong with Avocados can you? The nutrient rich bananas lightly browned bring a sweet dimension. Tamarin Chutney can me home made, I used a store bought version. A sprinkle of cumin, a dash of cayenne, a squeeze of lemon and there you have it! Ready in 10  mins.

AvocadoBananaChaat-1-2

Avocado Banana Chaat

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 2 ripe avocadosAvocadoBananaChaat-1-6
  • 1 banana
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon tamarind chutney
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Fresh cilantro – chopped
  • Lemon juice
  • Banana chips for garnish

 

  • Use firm almost green bananas,  brown in coconut oil and cut in 1 inch pieces. Set aside
  • Cut the avocado into chunks and squeeze the juice of half lemon over it. Toss in 2 tabsp of tamarind chutney, cumin and cayenne. Chill.
  • Using a ring mold or a hollow can, place the avocado mixture at the bottom, cover with the bananas, sprinkle with lemon juice, another dash of cayenne and cilantro. Top with some banana chips to bring in the crispiness.

 

AvocadoBananaChaat-1-8

Tofu and Lauki Koftas with Cashew Curry – Vegan


IMG_1629Fall continues to delight the soul and inspire recipes that are warm and comforting for the season.  So this recipe take quite a few ingredients and steps but its worth it. I have added the flavors of Fennel and Dry ginger to bring in the Kashmiri influence. This recipe is vegan but you could add fresh cream instead of coconut milk if you like.

Lauki or Bottle Gourd is a staple in Kashmir but you can use Zucchini as an alternative.

Tofu and Lauki in Cashew Curry
Tofu and Lauki in Cashew Curry

Tofu and Lauki Koftas in Cashew Curry

Tofu and Lauki Koftas

Tofu and Lauki in Cashew Curry

Tofu Koftas in Cashew Curry

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Print

For the Tofu and Veggie Koftas

  • A pack of organic firm tofu – drained of all water and crumbled in a bowl
  • 2 cups of grated Lauki (Bottle Gourd)
  • 1/2 tsp red chili powder
  • Green chilis – 2 finely chopped
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp dry ginger powder
  • 1 tsp fennel powder
  • 2- 3 tablespoons of besan ( Chickpea flour)
  • salt to taste

For the curry sauce

  • Onion – 1
  • Tomatoes – 4 peeled or from a can
  • 1/2 cup cashews soaked for 30 mins
  • 2 green chilis
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp tumeric
  • 1/2 tsp red chili powder
  • Ground ginger and garlic ( 1 whole head of garlic and 2 inch ginger)
  • 1/2 tsp dry ginger powder
  • 1 tsp fennel powder
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 4 green cardamoms
  • 1/2 tsp black cardamom powder
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1inch cinnamon stick
  • Salt to taste

Putting it together

  • Take the Tofu out of the package and drain until dry
  • Take the grated Lauki and immerse in boiling water for 2 mins. Drain well and squeeze out the water.
  • Mix together all the ingredients for the Koftas. Adjust the flour to get a good light consistency.
  • Make moderate size balls and let them rest. Now you can deep fry these, bake them or use the pan I used, a good quality Takoyaki pan that has uses in multiple cuisines. Takes a dash of oil in each cup to cook the veggie balls. Make sure you rotate them to cook evenly.
  • Once the batch is fried, let them rest on a towel until the sauce is ready.
  • Blend the cashews, onion, tomatoes and green chili.
  • Add olive oil to a pan, sprinkle the Cumin seeds and Fennel seeds. Add garlic and ginger paste  and fry for a minute until fragrant. Add the dry ginger powder, fennel powder, cardamoms, cinnamon, turmeric, garam masala and the red chili.
  • Add the cashew mixture and cook down until the oil separates from the mixture
  • Add a cup of water  and the coconut milk to the mixture and bring it to a saucy consistency. Add the Koftas and cook on medium heats for 5 – 10 minutes.
  • Top with some fresh lemon juice and chopped chilis and serve with rice or naan.
Tofu and Lauki Koftas in Cashew CurryTofu and Lauki Koftas in Cashew Curry

Eggplant Burani – Kabul inspired

Summer vegetables continue to inspire creative global recipes. The eggplants, green and red bell peppers and tomatoes have been a source of pride in my garden. I was blessed to have family visiting from Vancouver while I still nursed my fractured leg this past weekend. My sweet sister in law turned out to be an amazing and creative cook. We put this dish together as a blend of our cultures and it seemed to disappear with minutes of being brought out to the family table.

Burani - Eggplant in Yoghurt Sauce
Burani – Eggplant in Yoghurt Sauce

Fortunately I remembered to take some picture and delighted to share this simple recipe with everyone.

The root of this dish is Afghanistan which has a mild cuisine without too many spices. Eggplants are shallow fried and layered with tomatoes and smothered with garlic yoghurt. I had also roasted some bell peppers from my crop which were added to this dish. We used both green and red tomatoes….yummm. Can’t really go wrong with all these ingredients.

Burani - Eggplant in Yoghurt Sauce

Here is what you need:

  1. 4 eggplants ( I used the slim versions)
  2. 5 red tomatoes
  3. 2 green tomatoes
  4. 1 green chili ( chopped)
  5. 2 cups yoghurt
  6. 3 cloves crushed garlic
  7. 1 tsp cumin powder
  8. salt and pepperBurani - Eggplant in Yoghurt SauceBurani - Eggplant in Yoghurt SauceBurani - Eggplant in Yoghurt Sauce

Putting it together:

Slice the eggplants lengthwise in 2 inch pieces. At this point You could sprinkle with salt and set aside for an hour but I usually skip this step with garden fresh eggplants. Otherwise just sprinkle with salt and pepper and shallow fry on both sides until golden brown.

Cut the tomatoes in circles and slices the roasted peppers

In an oven safe dish layer the eggplant, tomatoes, peppers and green chili. Sprinkle with some cumin powder.

Heat the oven to 400 degrees and bake for about 15-20 mins until the tomatoes soften. You can do this when ready to serve.

Whisk the yoghurt with garlic and some salt and pepper.

Pour over the vegetables before serving. Sprinkle with fresh black pepper and cumin powder.

Burani - Eggplant in Yoghurt Sauce
Burani – Eggplant in Yoghurt Sauce

Makes a great side dish for a family style dinner.

I am excited to take a dish to Fiesta Friday after a bit of a  gap.

Eggplant Burani

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Credit: food for the soul

Ingredients:

  1. 4 eggplants ( I used the slim versions)
  2. 5 red tomatoes
  3. 2 green tomatoes
  4. 1 green chili ( chopped)
  5. 2 cups yoghurt
  6. 3 cloves crushed garlic
  7. 1 tsp cumin powder
  8. salt and pepper

Method:

Slice the eggplants lengthwise in 2 inch pieces. At this point You could sprinkle with salt and set aside for an hour but I usually skip this step with garden fresh eggplants. Otherwise just sprinkle with salt and pepper and shallow fry on both sides until golden brown.

Cut the tomatoes in circles and slices the roasted peppers

In an oven safe dish layer the eggplant, tomatoes, peppers and green chili. Sprinkle with some cumin powder.

Heat the oven to 400 degrees and bake for about 15-20 mins until the tomatoes soften. You can do this when ready to serve.

Whisk the yoghurt with garlic and some salt and pepper.

Pour over the vegetables before serving. Sprinkle with fresh black pepper and cumin powder.

Nadru Palak ( lotus stems with spinach)

Another journey through the vegetarian Kashmiri food.

Kashmiri Nadru Palak
Kashmiri Nadru Palak

Nadru or Lotus stems/roots are a delicious curious vegetable very popular in Kashmir (India). They are often fried and served as a street snack food. For the dinner table, the 2 most popular recipes are Nadru Yakhni (yogurt sauce)  and Nadru Palak ( Spinach). This recipe is for the latter but you can try our the delicious yogurt recipe in my earlier post or my step by step guide on wikihow

Also take a look at my post and pictures of Lotus Seeds from last summer.

The ingredients are simple and the recipe is simple. I always use a pressure cooker with root vegetables as it locks in the ingredient and saves time but you can use a heavy bottomed pan.

Lotus Stem is very low in Saturated Fat and Cholesterol. It is also a good source of Dietary Fiber, Thiamin, Vitamin B6, Phosphorus, Potassium, Copper and Manganese, and a very good source of Vitamin C.

The actual stems at my local asian market in Virginia  look like this:food for the soul (1)

I actually wanted something more tender so bought a bag of the frozen kind. The were fantastic.

The spinach can be fresh and organic. I blanch in in boiling water for a few minutes but you don’t have too. It just makes it easier to stir when cooking.

You can serve this with rice. I actually had it with quinoa which would not be typical but healthier.

Here is what you need

  • Bag of frozen lotus stems or freshly cleaned and sliced – about a pound
  • Organic spinach – a couple of bunches ( about 2 lbs)
  • cumin seeds – 1tsp
  • whole red chilis – 3
  • asafetida – 1/4 Tsp
  • dry ground ginger – 1 tsp
  • red chili pwd – 1/2 Tsp
  • turmeric  – 1 tsp
  • dry ground coriander – 1 tsp
  • salt to taste
  • kashmiri vari – 1 tsp ( optional)
  • 1 tablespoon mustard oil

In a pressure cooker add some mustard oil and the cumin seeds and whole chilies

Once crackling, add the asafetida and then the lotus stems. fry for a few minutes. Add the spinach, ginger, turmeric, coriander, and salt. If the spinach is fresh then let it wilt. If it is blanched then just stir it around for a bit.

You may need to add a 1/2 cup water if the mixture is on the dry side.

Pressure cook for about 4 whistles. Once you are able to open the cooker add the vari if using for that extra flavor and spice.

Exquisite!

Kashmiri Nadru Palak
Kashmiri Nadru Palak

This is a unique dish to take to Fiesta Friday hosted by  Dini @ Giramuk’s Kitchen and Mollie @ The Frugal Hausfrau

Tofu and Snow Peas in chili garlic sauce

Sometime the simplest of dishes bring the most comfort. An effortless stir fry to clean out your fridge is how I would qualify this dish. After a long’s day at work it does feel good when you can whip up dinner 10 mins and it is completely satisfying and healthy. Any firm vegetables of your liking are good in the stir fry such as green beans or asparagus.

Tofu and Snow Peas Stir Fry
Tofu and Snow Peas Stir Fry

For the tofu, I cut it in cubes and let it dry on a kitchen towel. The texture is firmer and better when it has less moisture in it. I like my garlic fresh and whole cloves but please chop if you like. For prep you want to chop all the veggies and set aside. Mix all the wet ingredients and set aside.

Here is what your need ( or what I had on hand)

Organic firm Tofu cut in cubes
1 1/2 cup Snow Peas ( or just a couple of handfuls)
1 Red onion chopped in strips
1 Green pepper chopped in strips
1/2 cup Shelled peanuts
5 garlic cloves sliced in chunks or whole
1 chopped green chili.
1 tablespoon peanut or olive oil
1 tsp sesame oil

For the Sauce, mix together
2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
1 inch ginger grated
2 tablespoon rice vinegar ( Mirin works well here too)
1 tablespoon sambal oelek chili paste ( found in any asian market)
1 tsp organic raw honey
1/2 cup vegetable stock or water.
salt and pepper ( remember soy sauce has salt so add extra salt to taste)
Putting it together:
Heat your wok on high until smoking. Add peanut oil and then the peanuts, give it a minute and add garlic cloves and green chili, let the garlic brown just very slightly and then add the tofu, add the veggies one at a time while stirring constantly being careful not to break up the tofu.

Tofu and Snow Peas Stir Fry
Tofu and Snow Peas Stir Fry

Add the sauce and cook on medium heat for a couple of mins. Add sesame oil towards the end for that wonderful fragrance and taste.

Tofu and Snow Peas Stir Fry
Tofu and Snow Peas Stir Fry

Serve with brown rice.

Tofu and Snow Peas Stir Fry
Tofu and Snow Peas Stir Fry

Red Beans with Turnips – Razmah Gogji Kashmiri Cuisine

Razmah Gogji ( Turnips and beans)

Kashmiri food is a culinary dance that plays on all the senses.  The flavors and a spices incorporates the rich diversity of the people of Kashmir.

Red Beans with Turnips - Kashmiri Cuisine
Red Beans with Turnips – Kashmiri Cuisine

Kashmiri’s are hearty meat eaters but the history and the cuisine is immersed the cross cultural influences of earthy foods, farm and hillside vegetables and spiritualism through food. This dish is simple. Turnips and beans may seem like unusual companions but they result in an amazing offering.

10532040_10152600963319178_2106095848550812747_o

My dad sent me an old cookbook a few years back and I ventured into experimenting this dish. Do try it. It is food for the soul and senses.

Here is what you need:

  • 2 cups of dry red beans ( soaked overnight)
  • 5 turnips ( peeled and cut into quarters)
  • 1 tablespoon crushed garlic
  • 3 whole red chilies
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp black cumin seeds
  • 2 inch cinnamon stick
  • 2 tablespoon ginger powder
  • 2 tablespoon fennel powder
  • a pinch of asafetida ( hing)
  • Mustard or olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste.

I use a pressure cooked to make this dish but you can use a heavy bottomed pan. The beans need to be cooked with the turmeric until firm but not too soft. Fry the turnips in a shallow pan with oil until browned and drain on a paper towel.

Use the same pan and add garlic, cumin, cinnamon, red chillies, fennel and ginger powder. Fry in the oil, add a splash of water to soften and then put this mixture in the beans ( again, I am using a pressure cooker).  Add the turnips, whole chilies and the asafetida ( this is optional). Let it pressure cook for about 5 minutes until the turnips have softened. Same idea if you are using a heavy pan to let this cook.

Serve with white or brown rice and a side of good yoghurt.

IMG_0501