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Koftas in tomato sauce

Something about a tender juicy meatball is so comforting and satisfying.

Kofta in tomato sauce

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.

Heading to Angie’s Fiesta Friday Party where I am so excited to cohost with Alex @ Turks Who Eat. So come on over and bring your delicious dishes with you.  See you all there!

Continue reading Koftas in tomato sauce

Nun Chai ( Kashmiri tea)

On a cold winter day, decided to reblog this savory tea.

Food For The Soul

Kashmiri Nun Chai

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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.

Tips:

Nun Chai leaves are green tea not black tea so try to use the authentic leaves ( borrow from friends)

Use good baking soda…

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Leek Dosa fritters

These are lovely as appetizer or an afternoon tea. I was experimenting with the store bought Dosa powder and inspired by recipes other awesome bloggers have posted.

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Use 1 packet of Dosa powder and 1/2 cup kefir or yoghurt.

Add:

salt;  1/4 tsp Ajwain(carom seed);  1/2  tsp cumin powder; 1 cup of chopped leeks;  a bunch of chopped cilantro; 2 sprigs of fresh chopped mint;  1 small chopped tomato and 1 chopped green chili.

Using 1 tablespoon of water at a time make a thick paste that has the consistency of cake batter.
Let the mixture sit for about 10-15 mins.
Pan fry the fritters in a large heavy pan using coconut oil.

Server with the Coriander Chutney I had posted earlier.

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Lauki and Chana Dal ( a bottle gourd recipe)

1-photo 1Lauki is a wonderfully delicious vegetable and continues to be one of my favourites. Also known as Bottle Gourd, this vegetable is 96% water but full of health benefits with healing properties. I have made many variations of it ranging from Kashmir down to the south.

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This is pretty common in indian household and is rich in plant based protein and nutrients

I bottle gourd or Lauki ( peeled and sliced in chunks)

I cup Chana Dal

fresh herbs – curry leaves, mint and cilantro

lemon or lime

2 whole red dried chillis, 1 tsp cumin seeds, 1 tsp tumeric, 1 tsp coriander powder, 1 tsp cumin seeds, pinch of  asafoetida(hing), 1/2 tsp red chilli powder, 1 cup of chopped tomatoes.

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Soak chana dal in water for a couple of hours . Drain. Boil chana dal and lauki with salt, turmeric powder and one cup of water till done ( I used a pressure cooked for about 5-7 minutes).  Heat oil in a pan. Add cumin seeds, red chillies and asafoetida and cook for a minute. Add red chilli powder, coriander power. Add tomatoes and cook till they soften and there is a sauce like consistency. Add the cooked chana dal and lauki and stir. Add fresh chopped mint, cilantro and juice of 1 lime. You can also top it with some curry leaves if you have them

Serve hot with bread or rice.

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Mango Tart

This one is a Mango version of the recipe I did a while back with chocolate and strawberries https://foodforthesoul00.wordpress.com/2014/04/05/chocolate-raspberry-tart/

It is a heart healthy desert and full of protein and nutrients.

You can use fresh ripe mangoes or frozen ones. I happened to have both on hand so used a combination.

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;

Spread the crust out in 3 pans lined with parchment paper. Put it in the fridge while you work on the filling01-IMG_2279-001 02-IMG_2280-001

For the filling use a good blender and blend up. I used the high power vitamix blender.

2 1/2 cups raw cashews;  1 1/2 cup chopped mango pieces; 1/2 cup water; 1/2 cup coconut palm sugar; 1 teaspoon vanilla extract ,1 tsp of lemon zest, 1 tsp Maca powder (optional)….once blended add a tablespoon and a half of psyllium husk to thicken.

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Pour in the filling and refrigerate for a couple of hours until set. Serve topped with Mango pieces.

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Desert that is beautiful, rich and healthy!

 

Nun Chai ( Kashmiri tea)

Kashmiri Nun Chai

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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.

 

Tips:

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.

Add milk and salt to taste. Bring to a boil.

Enjoy a cup with friends.

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Edamame, Beets and Grains

Edamame, Beets and Grains

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.