Not Cold Turkey

Instant Pot Turkey Kheema

Instant Pot Turkey Kheema

I’m a sucker for red meat but I love my heart a little more than I love red meat. So once in a while I improvise, after all, kheema is kheema so why discriminate? Turkey cooks a lot faster too so there’s your reason number 2. You could stick it on a piece of toast, stuff it in a hotdog bun, wrap it as a kati roll or just eat it straight like chili! Cooks in under 10 mins and never fails to impress. Need more reasons or should I get on with it?

Ingredients

  • 2-3 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp each of cumin seeds, fennel seeds, coriander seeds
  • 4-5 pepper corns
  • 1 inch cinnamon stick
  • 1 cardamom
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp chopped ginger
  • 1 tbsp chopped garlic
  • 14 oz package lean minced turkey
  • 3-4 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1- 2 tbsp paprika powder
  • 2 tbsp Pav Bhaji masala (my favorite)
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 cup water

Preparation

  1. Turn the Instant Pot on Sauté mode and add the oil.
  2. Add the seeds and the whole garam masala.
  3. Sauté the onions. Add the ginger and garlic and sauté till they turn golden brown.
  4. Add the turkey and sauté for a couple more minutes.
  5. Add the rest of the ingredients including the water and close the lid.
  6. Turn it on meat and stew mode and cook for 3-4 minutes.
  7. Do a quick release and serve hot with your choice of sides.
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All Crunch No Play

Pecorino, Parsley & Smoked Paprika Wadas

Pecorino, Parsley & Smoked Paprika Wadas

A) Don’t judge, I’ve been living in sub zero temperatures for far too long .I deserve to indulge a little.

B) I’m just about perfect (relatively speaking) so why bother with resolutions?

C) Try saying NO to a highly opinionated 6 year old when he comes up with a recipe, which he guarantees, can beat Bobby Flay!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup garbanzo bean flour
  • 1/4 cup oats flour
  • 1/4 cup semolina
  • 1/4 cup grated/powdered pecorino cheese
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley
  • 1 tbsp garlic salt
  • Salt and pepper to taste (go easy on the salt because of the garlic salt and cheese)
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 tbsp Smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • Oil for frying

Preparation

  1. Add all of the ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. (Not the oil)
  2. The batter should be almost the same consistency as cookie dough.
  3. Heat the oil in a frying pan on a medium flame.
  4. Once the oil is hot, drop about teaspoon fulls of batter in a single layer. Not too many at once.
  5. Flip over once they’re slightly brown.
  6. Cook till the fritters are golden brown. Strain and repeat the process.
  7. Serve hot with an extra sprinkle of smoked paprika. (According to chef Karm)

My Cup of Tea!

Masala Chai Mug Cake

Masala Chai Mug Cake

I’m a coffee kinda person. A black cup of extra strong coffee kinda person. But when you leave the warmth of Bombay and land in the sub-zero temperatures of NYC, even the non-sentimental ones like me start dreaming of “Joginder ke haath ki garam Chai”! And throw in a common cold in that equation (seriously, a math related example?) plus a little bit of PMS (ok maybe not a little) and the next thing you’re coming up with the perfect mug cake a hungry soul can ask for! Try it yourself!

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp butter (room temperature)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp unsweetened masala Chai (extra strong made with whole milk)
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 3 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp Chai masala
  • Cooking spray for the Mug

Preparation

  1. whisk all the wet ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Add the dry ingredients and gently mix till the batter is lump free. (Gently if you want a soft cake)
  3. Spray a microwave safe mug with cooking spray. (Or grease it the old fashioned way, I don’t mind)
  4. Pour the batter in the mug.
  5. Microwave it for 110 seconds. (90 if you like a runny center)
  6. Serve hot with a scoop of your favorite vanilla ice cream/ whipped cream.

The Edible Lace

Oats and Rava Dosa

Oats & Rava Dosa with Korean Chili Thread & Pickled Ginger

I’m back. 3 weeks without cooking has been pretty rough but I’m alive. India, of course was incredible as usual. Good food, great conversations, thick smog and zero boundaries. That being said, blizzard not withstanding, it’s great to be back home.

Time to cook some crazy food. Keeping it clean this time since I brought back some unwanted lbs with me and I don’t mean my luggage.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup semolina
  • 1/2 cup rice flour
  • 1/2 cup oats flour
  • 2+1/2 cups water
  • 1 inch chopped ginger
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 cup chopped onions
  • Salt to taste
  • pickled ginger (topping)
  • Black sesame seeds (topping)
  • Korean chili thread (topping)
  • Ghee/oil/butter to cook

Preparation

  1. Add all the ingredients except for the toppings in a large bowl and whisk together. Set aside for 20-30 minutes.
  2. The batter is supposed to be a lot runnier than your regular Dosa batter. (Pouring consistency)
  3. Heat a Dosa pan or a non stick griddle. It has to be pretty hot for the Dosa to stick and get crispy.
  4. Pour a ladle full of batter in a circle starting from the outside, moving towards the center. No need to fill the holes. This is supposed to be lacey.
  5. Add some ghee/oil/butter to the edges to help loosen the Dosa and get a crispy texture.
  6. Add the toppings as per your taste. Remove with a spatula once brown. Fold over and serve hot.

Green Eggs & Slam

Palak Shakshouka

Palak Shakshouka

Hello from the land of misal pao & kadak Chai! So amazing to be back home this time of the year. But I guess everyone feels that way considering the maddening traffic outside! So far, the only thing off the bucket list is Chai, but I’m on it. As a favor to my waistline, I tried eating healthy before I left for my trip to Bombay, and here’s one of those #eatclean recipes if you’re on a binge mission like moi this December!

Shakshouka meets palak paneer, without the paneer because Paneer is my least favorite kind of cheese. (Is it cheese even ?) Never mind that, I’m focusing on the better things in life, like Eggs!! Eggs never let you down (unless you nuke them in the microwave in a hurry) I made my palak in the Instant Pot but you can definitely use your own family recipe. (Or take out, I never judge)

Ingredients (for healthier palak of the palak paneer fame)

  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 large tomato, chopped
  • 2 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 pack frozen chopped spinach
  • Salt
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 tbsp paprika powder
  • 1 tsp cayenne (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1-2 tbsp chhole masala (trust me)
  • 1 cup skim milk

Preparation (for healthier palak of the palak paneer fame)

  1. Set the Instant Pot on Sauté mode .
  2. Add the oil, seeds, onions and Sauté until brown.
  3. Add the ginger-garlic paste, tomatoes, spices and mix. Let it cook for a minute.
  4. Add the spinach and milk.
  5. Cover with the lid while sealing and turn to Manual. Adjust the time to 5 minutes.
  6. Quick release once the beeper goes off. Let it cool a little and grind to a coarse paste. (I used my Ninja Mixer)
  7. In a small iron skillet/non stick pan, pour about enough palak curry so its half full (or half empty if you’re one of those)
  8. Crack 2 or 3 eggs over it. Cover and cook till the eggs are cooked (about 10 minutes on medium to low heat)
  9. Serve with some whole grain bread !

Soup Yourself!

Mulligatawny-ish soup with Bulgur

Mulligatawny-ish Lentils & Bulgur Soup

Its extreme soup weather and lucky for me I only have to deal with it for a week longer. Decembers in Bombay used to feel cold at one point but I’m hoping that these several New York winters have finally cured that problem of mine.

I have a long list of foods that I can’t wait to eat while there with “maa ke haath ka khana” (mom-made food), kathi roll at my sister’s & Joginder’s Chai fighting for the top spot!! Although I take pride in being a born & bred Bombaite (notice i didn’t say Mumbai?), lately I feel like a tourist with all these new cafes and restaurants popping up on every corner (or should I say in every mill?). Hoping to cure that problem too, so recommendations are very welcome!

Now back to this recipe which is a healthier spin on the classic mulligatawny soup made instantly in the Instant Pot.

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 8-10 curry leaves
  • A pinch of Asafoetida
  • 1/4 onion, chopped
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1″ piece ginger, chopped
  • 1 small tomato, chopped
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup mixed frozen veggies (carrots, green beans, etc)
  • 1/2 cup Tur dal + 1/2 cup masoor dal + 1/2 cup red bulgur (washed and soaked for about 30 minutes)
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tbsp paprika powder
  • 1 – 2 tsp cayenne powder (optional 🌶)
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro

PreparationTurn the Instant Pot on Sauté mode.

  • Add the oil, cumin seeds and curry leaves and let them crackle. Add the asafoetida, onions, garlic, ginger, tomatoes, coconut and the veggies one after the other in this particular order and Sauté till golden brown.
  • Add the soaked dal & bulgur mixture.
  • Add 3 cups of water.
  • Add the rest of the ingredients, stir and close the lid.
  • Place on soup mode and adjust time to 15 minutes.
  • Let the pressure release naturally.
  • Once you open the lid, add 3 cups of hot water and mix. Adjust the consistency & seasoning and serve warm with a wedge of lime.

Pack that Paratha

Edamame Paratha with Wasabi Raita

Edamame Stuffed Paratha with Wasabi Raita

As much as I love the good old aloo (potatoes) paratha, it’s definitely time to give that aloo a break. Thanksgiving can be a pretty traumatic time for an aloo!! (What it does to your waistline is a whole different topic we’ll avoid at this moment)

So I decided to stuff my paratha with something more protein and less carbs. Replaced the refined flour with some whole wheat flour and of course, paired this Edamame goodness with some delicious non fat wasabi Raita (yogurt sauce) All that paratha fun with a nutritional twist.

Ingredients & Preparation

Whole wheat Dough

For dough

  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Water to make the dough
  1. In a large bowl, mix the flour, oil and salt.
  2. Gradually add water by the spoonfuls till the dough starts to come together.
  3. Knead until you get a soft, non-sticky & elastic dough for approximately 5 minutes.
  4. Cover and let it rest while you get the stuffing ready.

Defrosted edamame Mashed edamame Japanese chili powder Japanese chili powder

For stuffing

  • 1 pack frozen shelled edamame (defrosted in the microwave for 3 mins)
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 2-3 tsp paprika powder
  • 3-4 tsp Japanese chili powder
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tbsp Chaat masala
  • Pepper to taste
  1. Grind the defrosted edamame until you get a coarse mash.
  2. Add the rest of the seasoning & spices.
  3. Mix well & set aside.

Wasabi paste

For Raita

  • 1 cup nonfat Greek yogurt + 1/2 cup water ( or use 1+1/2 cups regular yogurt instead)
  • 1/2- 1 tsp wasabi paste (depending on its potency & your tolerance)
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  1. Whisk all the Raita ingredients & refrigerate until ready to serve.

Dough ballStuffing the dough Wrapping the the dough around the stuffing Stuffed dough Rolling the Paratha Cooking the Paratha Cooked Paratha

Preparation for the Paratha

  1. Now, if you’re a first timer, I highly recommend a stuffed Paratha YouTube video before you begin making these.
  2. Divide the dough into small balls of approximately 1+1/2″ diameter.
  3. Dust one of them with some flour and roll it out in a circle of approx 6″ diameter
  4. Take about 2-3 tbsp of stuffing and shape it into a flat disc and place it in the middle of your dough circle.
  5. Twist the edges of the dough together in a package and flatten lightly.
  6. Dust the stuffed dough ball with flour once again and roll it out in a circle very gently so that you don’t rip the surface.
  7. Cook the Paratha on a griddle on both the sides on a medium flame, adding a few tsps of oil while turning.
  8. Follow the pattern with the rest of the parathas.
  9. Serve hot with wasabi Raita & picked ginger.

Thankful for Spices

Masala Cornbread

Masala Cornbread

I’m a Gujarati but even the Gujju dal that my mom made while growing up could burn a hole through your shirt! Sweet food wasn’t ever an option. Diabetes was the response when anybody ever spoke of desserts. We never went to restaurants that served bland food. I didn’t know it existed till I hit puberty!

My point, thanksgiving food kind of goes against every fiber of my being. That being said, I do appreciate the history and the culture but if I’m going to eat it, I’m going to spice things up.

Presenting my under 45 minutes masala cornbread made in the Instant Pot. (For which I’m oh so thankful) Wish you and yours a very happy thanksgiving 🍁

Dry ingredients Wet ingredients Ready batter Ingredients

  • 1 + 1/3 cups cornmeal
  • 2/3 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 stick butter (4 tbsp), melted
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tsp lime juice
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp ginger & garlic paste
  • 1 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 cup chopped mint
  • 1 chopped jalapeño (optional)

Preparation

  • Grease and prepare a 7″ round cake tin.
  • Mix the top 7 dry ingredients very well in a large bowl.
  • Mix the rest of the ingredients in a separate bowl and whisk them together.
  • Stir in the wet ingredients to the dry ones, whisking very gently.
  • Pour this batter in the prepared tin.
  • Pour 1 + 1/2 cups of water in the Instant Pot and place a trivet.
  • Place the tin on it. Cover the lid and seal.
  • Turn it on Manual mode and adjust to 22 mins.
  • Let the pressure release naturally once the timer is off.
  • Slice & serve warm

Baking in the Oven : to bake it in the oven, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes till the toothpick comes out clean.

Keep on rollin!

Quinoa & Green Lentils Dosa with Cranberry, Tomato & Smoked Paprika Chutney

Quinoa & Green Lentils Dosa with Cranberry, Tomato & Smoked Paprika Chutney

After a caketastrophic weekend (baked 2 but trying to block out the amount I ate) I’ve decided to go clean at least for a week. Clean should never be boring though.

With all of the thanksgiving fever in the air I wanted to add a festive element to this recipe and I got highly inspired by a cranberry pickle that my bff Anjali’s mom once made for me! And of course, every delicious chutney deserves a remarkable main course. This super healthy and hearty Dosa is all that and more because it’s made with lentils & quinoa and requires very little prep.

Soaked green lentils and quinoa Batter with seasonings Making dosa

Ingredients

(For Dosa)

  • 1/2 cup green lentils
  • 1/2 cup quinoa (I used tricolor)
  • 2 cups hot boiling water
  • 1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • Salt to taste
  • Butter/ghee to spread

Cooking the cranberry chutney

(For cranberry, tomato & smoked paprika chutney)

  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • Salt to taste (I added a bit extra to balance out the tartness from the cranberry & tomatoes)
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper (optional, to make it spicy)
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 6-8 curry leaves

Preparation

(For Dosa)

  1. Wash the quinoa and lentils and soak it in the boiling water for about 2 hours.
  2. Grind it to a fine paste without draining, while using minimal liquid required. The batter needs to be as thick as your average pancake batter.
  3. Add the salt, cumin and ginger-garlic paste to the batter and mix. (Doesn’t need any fermentation)
  4. Heat a dosa/crepe pan and spread out a ladle full of batter in a thin circle and cook it on medium.
  5. Spread some butter/ghee using a spatula once semi set and let it brown.
  6. At it begins to loosen around the edges, roll and serve hot with the chutney.
  7. Follow a YouTube video if you’re a first timer.

(For Chutney)

  1. Mix all the ingredients in a saucepan.
  2. Add just enough water to cover the cranberry mixture and let it cook for 3-4 minutes.
  3. I added a couple of ice cubes at this point to hurry up the cooling process and water it down to ketchup consistency (I have no patience)
  4. Grind to a fine paste and serve with the dosa.

Fast & the Fabulous 


Bulgur “Nasi Goreng”

So apparently my metabolism is slowing further down thanks to the chilly weather. Like being in your 30s can’t handle that job alone! Fortunately kick-starting that metabolism isn’t rocket science. Nor is eating healthy! When there’s a will (and an Instant Pot) there’s always a way! 

Recently, I picked up a bag of red bulgur from Whole Foods and immediately started to think about a bunch of white rice dishes I’ve been avoiding lately (mind works in mysterious ways) Nasi Goreng turned up at the top of that list. So here’s a very healthy & non-authentic-improvised-Manhattan-pantry version of Nasi-Goreng that can be ready in under 15 minutes and is definitely drool-worthy. 

Ingredients 

  • 1 tbsp oil (I love sesame oil for any Asian inspired recipe)
  • 2 spring onions, sliced + extra for garnish 
  • 2 cups mixed veggies (broccoli+cauliflower+carrots) 
  • 1/8 cup soy sauce + 1/8 cup brown sugar 
  • 3-4 tbsp sriracha (or sambal if you have some) 
  • 2 tbsp ginger-garlic paste 
  • 2 tbsp peanut butter powder (or peanut butter mixed in the soy sauce for easy mixing) 
  • 1 cup red bulgur, washed & drained (did not soak) 
  • 2 cups water
  • Salt to taste (don’t forget the soy you added) 
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro 
  • 1 egg, sunny side up as accompaniment (avoid if you’re vegan) 

Preparation 

    1. Turn the Instant Pot on Sauté mode and heat the oil. Sauté the onions & vegetables for a couple minutes.
    2. Add the soy, sugar, sriracha, ginger-garlic and peanut butter and mix. 
    3. Add the bulgur and water. Adjust the salt. 
    4. Close the lid and turn it on Manual. Cook for 4 minutes while sealing and let the pressure release naturally.
    5. Fluff it up using a fork and mix in the cilantro.
    6. Serve with the half-fried egg on top. (I like mine over-easy)