Spicy String Bean Curry

stringBeansCurry

Ingredients:

  • ½ lb string beans
  • ½ cup red onions thinly sliced
  • 2-3 cloves garlic chopped into small pieces
  • 2 small tomatoes chopped
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • 4 dried red chilies broken into 2pieces
  • Strand of curry leaves

Method:

  • Wash and cut string beans into one-inch pieces.
  • In a saucepan add oil and when hot, add onion and garlic and sauté until lightly golden
  • Add chopped tomato, salt, chili powder, curry powder, curry leaves and cook on low flame until tomatoes are cooked and become sauce consistency
  • Add cut beans to the saucepan, add water and cover and cook until beans are cooked and gravy thickens
  • In a skillet add a little oil and fry dried red chilies.
  • Once red chilies turn dark pour chilies with little over the cooked beans
  • Serve warm with rice
  • Serves: 3-4 as a side dish

Kale and Carrot Stir Fry

Kale_CarrotFry

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups finely shredded fresh kale leaves
  • ½ cup grated carrot
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 2 teaspoons canola oil
  • ½ cup chopped red onion
  • 3-4 dried red chili broken into 2 pieces

 

Method:

  • Wash and dry kale leaves.  Once they are dry shred the leaves.
  • Add kale to a skillet with water, chili powder and salt and cover and cook until water is almost absorbed
  • Add shredded carrot and cook further one minute or until the mixture becomes dry.
  • Add coconut and mix well and cook further one minute stirring continuously
  • Transfer to a serving bowl
  • Wipe out the skillet and add oil and once it is hot add onion and sauté until golden brown
  • Add red chili and fry on very low flame for about 30 seconds
  • Add the cooked vegetables to the fried onion and mix well
  • Serve with rice
  • Serves 3 servings as a side dish

String Beans with Soy Chunks

stringbean_SoyChunks

Ingredients:

  • ½ lb string beans
  • ¾ cup dry soy chunks
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • ½ cup sliced red onion
  • 3-4 garlic cloves
  • 1 cup chopped tomato
  • ¼ cup coconut milk
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder

Spice powder:

  • 1 teaspoon coriander seed
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seed
  • ¼ teaspoon fennel seed

 

Method:

  • Grind coriander, cumin, and fennel together into a  coarse powder and set aside.
  • Add soy chunks to a bowl.  Add enough hot water to cover soy chunks  and cover and let stand for 10-15 minutes
  • Wash and trim both ends of the beans.
  • Cut them into 1 inch pieces.
  • Slice onion and garlic thinly.
  • Add oil to a covered saucepan and when hot, add onion and garlic and sauté until golden brown.
  • Add chopped tomatoes, chili powder, and turmeric powder and mix well
  • Add about 1 tablespoon water and cook on low flame  until tomatoes are cooked into sauce consistency.  If needed add little water at a time
  • Squeeze out the water from soy chunks and cut them into small pieces if necessary
  • Add beans, and soy chunks to the saucepan and add the spice powder and 1 cup water, coconut milk and cook on medium flame for about 15-20 minutes or the gravy has thickened
  • Serve with rice.

Crunchy Almond Crepes with Orange Sauce

AlmondCrunchCrepes

Ingredients:

Pancake:

  • ½ cup all purpose flour
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • ¾ cup 2% milk/soy milk
  • 1 teaspoon orange peel

Filling:

  • ¼ cup generous whole almonds toasted
  • ¼ cup almond meal/almond flour
  • 2 tablespoon 2% milk/soy milk
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Sauce:

  • 1 cup fresh orange juice
  • 2 teaspoon sugar (optional)

Topping:

  • 1 tablespoon orange peel
  • Fresh Raspberries

Method:

Pancake:

  • Sift flour in a bowl and mix in the sugar.
  • In a separate bowl lightly beat egg white.  Add oil and milk and mix thoroughly
  • Make a well in the middle of the flour and pour the egg mixture slowly and combine into a smooth batter.
  • Mix in the orange peel.
  • Lightly grease an eight inch skillet over medium heat.
  • Remove skillet from flame and add a spoon full of the batter and tilt the skillet to evenly spread the batter
  • Return back to flame and cook for 1 to 2 minutes
  • Flip to the other side and cook until lightly crisp

Filling:

  • Chop toasted almonds into fine pieces
  • Transfer to a bowl and mix in almond meal, sugar, milk and vanilla extract
  • Set aside

Sauce:

  • Add orange sauce to a saucepan and heat on low flame for about 8-10 minutes or until juice has thickened and consistency of a sauce.
  • If orange juice is sour, you can add sugar.  Otherwise it is not necessary

Assemble:

  • Spread a teaspoon of the filling on one half of each crepe
  • Fold into half and again fold into quarters
  • Spoon orange sauce and sprinkle with orange peel
  • Top with raspberries

Yields: 9 Servings (crepes)

Baked Bitter-Gourd Curry (பாவக்காய் கறி)

Baked_BitterGourd

Ingredients:

  • 6 bitter gourds
  • 3-4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoons canola oil
  • ½ cup red onion thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 3-4 dried red chilies
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • ½ cup chopped tomato
  • ½ cup thick coconut milk
  • ¼ cup coconut water
  • 1 cup water
  • ¾ teaspoon tamarind paste (more if needed)
  • Salt to taste

 

Method:

  • Pre-heat oven to 425F
  • Split bitter gourd lengthwise and remove the seeds
  • Thinly slice them diagonally
  • In a cookie sheet add bitter gourd and mix thoroughly with olive oil
  • Bake for about one hour or until lightly browned and crisp
  • In a saucepan add canola oil and add onion and garlic and sauté until they are golden.
  • Add dried red chilies and sauté/fry for another one minute
  • Add chopped tomato, salt, and red chili and cook until the mixture becomes to sauce consistency.  If needed add one  tablespoon at a time and cook until the tomatoes are cooked and sauce consistency
  • Add bitter gourd, coconut milk, coconut water, water, tamarind paste and cover and cook for about 10 minutes.  If the curry becomes too dry, add a few tablespoons of water.
  • Serve with rice

 

Coconut water is added to remove the bitterness of the gourd.  If coconut water is not available, just a bit of sugar (1/2 teaspoon) can be used.  But adding coconut water also gives a nice flavor compared to adding sugar.  Also amount of tamarind can be increased if you like the curry to be a little sour taste.  Adding more tamarind will remove the bitterness as well.

Mushroom Pulav with Fried Soy Chunks

mushroom_Pulav

Even though mushrooms are not a delicacy in Sri Lanka, I thought to try this dish in combination with the soy chunks.  I used the same spices that I would use for any other vegetable pulav.

Ingredients:

  • ¾ cup basmati rice
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • ½ cup chopped red onion
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped ginger
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
  • 4-5 whole black pepper
  • 2 -1 inch piece cinnamon
  • 2 cardamom pods
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • ½ teaspoon each cumin seeds and coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala powder
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ cup finely chopped tomato
  • 2 cups sliced mushrooms
  • ½ cup frozen corn
  • 1 cup dry soy chunks
  • ¼ cup cashew nuts

 

Method:

  • Grind ½ teaspoon cumin and ½ teaspoon coriander and set aside
  • Add 1 tablespoon oil to a skillet and when hot add onion, garlic, and ginger and sauté until onion turns transparent.
  • Add whole cumin, cardamom pods, cinnamon, black pepper, chili powder, garam masala powder, ground cumin-coriander powder to the skillet and sauté for another 2 minutes
  • Add chopped tomato and cook on low flame until tomato is cooked to the consistency of sauce
  • Now add sliced mushrooms, corn and salt and cook further 3-4 minutes
  • Wash rice and add the cooked vegetables into the rice and mix well.
  • Add 2 cups of water to the rice and cook in rice cooker.
  • In the meantime add boiling water to the soy chunks and cover and leave for 10 minutes
  • Once the soy chunks are soft, squeeze out the water by squeezing them between your palms
  • Add the 2 tablespoons of oil to a skillet and when hot add soy chunks to the skillet and fry on low flame until they are      crispy and lightly browned.
  • Lightly sauté the cashew nuts in a little oil
  • Once rice is done, let stand covered for about 10 – 15 minutes.
  • Now add fried soy chunks and cashew nuts and mix well and season with salt
  • Serve warm

Stir-fried Cauliflower and Potato Dry Curry

cauliflowerPotatoFry1

 

Ingredients

  • ½ lb potatoes
  • ½ lb cauliflower florets
  • 1 green chili finely chopped
  • 2-3 garlic cloves finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seed
  • ½ teaspoon coriander seed
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • Salt

cauliflowerPotatoFry2

Method

  • Peel and cut the potatoes into about one inch cubes
  • Par boil the potatoes in boiling water until ¾ done – about 10 minutes (add a little salt to the boiling water so that, when potatoes are cooked, they will absorb the salt and makes it tastier.)
  • Drain well and set aside
  • Dry roast ½ teaspoon cumin seed and coriander seed until fragrant
  • Let cool and grind into a powder
  • Heat oil in a large skillet
  • When hot, add rest of the cumin seed (½ teaspoon) and fry until they splutter
  • Add green chili and garlic and fry for about one minute
  • Now add cauliflower to the skillet and add a bit salt and fry on low flame for about 5-7 minutes
  • Add potatoes, and the ground powder, chili powder, turmeric powder and fry uncovered on low flame for about 10-12 minutes.  Sprinkle little water at a time if  needed.
  • Now cover the saucepan and fry more for a minute
  • Turn the flame out and leave for about 10 minutes in the pan before transferring to a serving dish
  • Serve warm with rice or roti.
  • Yields: 3 side dishes

Rice with Kidney Beans and Veggies

KidneyBeanPulav

Ingredients:

  • ¾ cup uncooked brown rice
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 1 small onion
  • 1-2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ¼ cup dried kidney beans
  • ½ cup Brussels sprout
  • 2 medium carrots
  • 1 cup string beans sliced
  • 2 teaspoon canola oil
  • 2 green chilies split lengthwise
  • 2-3 dried red chilies broken into 2-3 pieces
  • ½ teaspoon fennel seed
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder

 

Method:

  • Cook rice and keep in warm (if using rice cooker)
  • Cook kidney beans until tender and drain (you can cook in a pressure cooker which would take only about 10 minutes or cook on a stove with enough water until tender)
  • Preheat oven to 425F.
  • Halve tomatoes and remove seeds and middle portion (do not throw the seeds or the middle portion)
  • Thinly slice the onion
  • Place tomatoes, onion, and garlic on a cookie sheet.  Sprinkle and toss olive oil to completely coat the vegetables
  • Bake for about 15 minutes.  Let cool
  • In the meantime slit string beans lengthwise and then cut diagonally into about 1 inch pieces.
  • Chop carrots into small cubes (about 1 cm)
  • Add 1 teaspoon canola oil to a large saucepan.  Add carrots and green beans and sauté for about 8-10 minutes.  Sprinkle little water at a time and cover and cook for another 5 minutes.
  • Add Brussels sprouts and tomato seeds and cook further 2 minutes
  • Now add the kidney beans and mix thoroughly and set aside.
  • In a food processor add roasted onion, garlic, tomatoes and chili powder and puree until it becomes a sauce consistency.  Add 1 tablespoon water if needed.
  •  In a small skillet heat the rest of the canola oil and once hot add green chilies and fry for about 30 seconds.  Add broken red chilies and fennel seeds and fry for another 30 seconds on a very low flame.
  • To make the pulav, mix in the tomato puree to the cooked vegetables and transfer the cooked rice with the vegetables and mix well.  Turn on the flame and mix and cook on a very low flame until all the water is absorbed and fluffy.
  • Pour over the fried chili mix and combine well
  • Serve with Papad, curd chili or even with Yogurt
  • Serves about 2 as a main dish.

Okra in Yogurt Gravy

OkrainYogurt

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb frozen cut okra
  • 1 teaspoon canola oil
  • 3-4 shallots
  • 2 green chilies slit lengthwise
  • 3-4 dried red chilies broken into 2 pieces (each)
  • 1 strand of curry leaves
  • ¼ teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1-2 teaspoons chili powder
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup thick yogurt
  • Salt to taste

Method:

  • If using fresh okra, diagonally cut them into 1 inch pieces.
  • In a covered saucepan, add oil.  Once oil is hot add shallots and fry until golden brown.
  • Add green chilies, red chilies, and curry leaves and fry on a very low flame for about 30 seconds. (Make sure the saucepan does not get heated.  If so turn off the flame and let the ingredients fry in the heat of the pan)
  • Add fenugreek and fry for another 10-15 seconds
  • Now add okra and mix well with the fried ingredients.
  • Increase flame to medium
  • Add water, chili powder, turmeric powder, salt to the saucepan and cover and cook for about 3-5 minutes
  • Add yogurt and cook covered for another 5 minutes (if curry starts getting dry, add a little bit of water)
  • Serve warm with rice or chapathis.
  • Serves about 3-4 as a side dish

Note: if using fresh okra, add a little extra water since fresh okra need more time to cook.

Vegetable Rotis

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup shredded leeks + carrots
  • ½ cup chopped red onion
  • 1 green chili
  • 2 teaspoons canola oil
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Water to mix dough

Method:

  • Shred carrots and chop leeks into fine pieces
  • Chop green chilies into small pieces (rounds)

  • Add oil to a skillet and when hot add chopped onion and sauté until transparent.
  • Add carrot, leek, and green chili and sauté on low flame until cooked
  • Season with salt and let cool
  • to make the dough, mix flour salt and oil and add the cooked vegetables
  • add enough water to make the dough
  • transfer dough to a bowl and cover with a plastic wrap and leave in a warm place for about ½ hour.
  • To make the roti, divide dough into 10 portions.
  • Take a portion and place on a board and sprinkle a little flour and roll out with a rolling pin into thin rotis

  • Cook rotis on a skillet on both sides until done.
  • Serve warm with chickpea curry or any other curry

Variation:  You can add other vegetables like cauliflower, green beans etc.  But make sure you cut them into very fine pieces.

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