Wednesday 12 June 2024

Buddha Bowl - Option 2

As I have mentioned in my earlier post, there is no limitation on the variety of ingredients you could use to make a Buddha Bowl. Today, let me share with you the Buddha bowl I made recently with a different set of ingredients.

Ingredients: (Makes 4 bowls)

Whole grain 

Broken wheat or wheat rava - ½ cup 

Plant protein 

Whole urad dhal - 1 cup 

Channa dhal - 2 tablespoons

Rajma - ¼ cup

Sauce

Instead of making a separate sauce, I made dhal makhani to replace protein in sauce!

Vegetables

1. Sauteed vegetables 

Sweet potato - large, 1 no, cut into thick slices

Carrots - 2 no, cut into sticks

Onion - 1 no, large, cut into thick slices 

Capsicum - 1 no, cubed

Black sesame seeds - 1 teaspoon

Salt - to taste

Ground pepper - ¼ teaspoon

Oil - 1 tablespoon

2. Steamed vegetables

Green peas - ½ cup

Cauliflower florets - 1 cup

Yellow pumpkin - peeled and cubed , 1 cup

Salt - to taste

Ground pepper - ¼ teaspoon

3. Salad

Cucumber - 2 no, cut into cubes

Sweet corn kernels - ½ cup

I used the curd dressing for the salad

Greens

Lettuce - large leaves, 8 no

Nuts and seeds

Pumpkin seeds - 1 tablespoon


Method:

Whole grain

Wash the broken wheat well and cook with 1 cup of water in a rice cooker. Keep aside.

Plant protein and Sauce

Click here to view the recipe of dhal makhani.

Sauteed vegetables

  • Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a pan. Add in black sesame seeds, and when they start to crackle, place the onion slices and capsicum cubes in the pan. Cook on low flame till onion slices and capsicum start to turn light brown. Transfer to a bowl.
  • Now place sweet potato slices and carrot sticks in the pan. Sprinkle salt and ground pepper on top. Cover and cook on low flame till the vegetables are cooked and start to turn golden brown. Switch off the heat.
Steamed vegetables
  • Steam green peas, cauliflower florets and yellow pumpkin cubes in a steamer till the vegetables are cooked. Sprinkle salt and ground pepper on top. Keep aside.
Salad

Click here for curd dressing recipe. Add sweet corn and cucumber to the curd dressing. Let it stand for 30 minutes.

Greens

Wash and chill the lettuce leaves in the refrigerator.

Nuts and seeds

Dry roast pumpkin seeds in a kadai for 2-3 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.

Preparing the Buddha bowl

The quantity specified here makes 4 portions. Hence, use a quarter of all items to prepare one bowl. First place lettuce leaves at the bottom of the bowl. Place cooked wheat rava in the bowl. Top it with dal makhani. Surround it with sauteed vegetables, steamed vegetables, salad in curd dressing. Sprinkle roasted pumpkin seeds on top. Your Buddha bowl is ready! Enjoy!

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Monday 10 June 2024

Dhal Makhani

Dhal makhani is one of the protein rich side dishes that you can serve with chapati, roti, naan , paratha or poori. The main ingredient of this dish is whole black gram, which contains 25 gram of protein and 18 grams of fiber per 100 grams. Let us make this simple recipe today.

Ingredients:

Whole black gram - 1 cup

Bengal gram dhal - 2 tablespoons

Rajma - ¼ cup

Curds - ½ cup

Coriander powder - 1 tablespoon

Cumin powder - 1 teaspoon

Garam masala - 1 teaspoon

Turmeric powder - ½ teaspoon

Kasuri methi - 1 tablespoon, roasted and crushed

Butter or ghee - 1 tablespoon

Cream - 1 tablespoon (optional)

Salt - to taste

For the masala paste:

Ginger - 1" piece

Garlic - 3 pods

Tomato - 4 no, cubed

Onion - 3 no, cubed 

Oil - 2 teaspoons

Cashew nuts - 1 tablespoon (optional)

Kashmiri chili - 1-2 no, adjust to taste

Method: 

  • Wash and soak black gram dhal, rajma and Bengal gram dhal in water over night. Next morning wash again and pressure cook for 15 minutes. Keep aside.
  • Heat oil in a kadai; add in Kashmiri chili and fry till they turn darker. Then add onion cubes, and sauté till they turn transparent. Add in garlic pods and sauté for 2 minutes. Allow the ingredients to cool. 
  • Grind the fried items, tomato, cashew nuts and ginger into a fine paste.
  • Heat 2 teaspoons of butter or ghee in the kadai; add in the masala paste and fry for a minute. Cover and cook on low flame till oil separates.
  • Mash the cooked dhals together and add to the kadai. Mix well. Add in required salt and simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Beat the curds well. Add coriander powder, cumin powder, garam masala, turmeric powder and kasuri methi. Mix very well and add to the cooking dhal. Simmer for 10-15 minutes. 
  • Decorate with cream and 1 teaspoon of butter. Serve hot with roti or chapati.

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Saturday 8 June 2024

Plantain Flower Curry (வாழைப்பூ கறி)

Plantain flower or banana flower (வாழைப்பூ) is an edible part of the plantain tree, like the plantain stem and is used to make several dishes in the traditional South Indian cuisine. It is rich in fiber, low on calories and contains minerals, antioxidants and essential amino acids. Today I wish to share a traditional curry made with plantain flower.

Ingredients:

Plantain flower - cut into small bits, 2 cups

Coconut - grated, 2 tablespoons

Kashmiri chili - 1-2, broken into pieces (adjust to taste)

Turmeric powder - ¼ teaspoon

Salt - to taste

Asafoetida - a generous pinch

Oil - 2 teaspoons

Mustard seeds - 1 teaspoon

Split urad dhal - 1 teaspoon

Curry leaves - a few

Jaggery powder - ½ teaspoon

Butter milk - 1 small hollow ladle or 50 ml

How to clean and cut the plantain flower:

Under each layer of purplish brown skin of  plantain flower, you will find neatly arranged yellowish white florets. Discard the covering purplish brown skin. Separate the florets. Remove the thick central stamen (கள்ளன்) from each floret. Add a ladle of butter milk to half a liter of water. Keep this mixture ready before starting to cut the florets. Cut the florets into tiny bits and add them to the buttermilk mixture. Keep aside.


Method: Heat oil in a kadai, add in Kashmiri chili pieces. When they turn darker in color, add mustard seeds. When the seeds start to crackle, add in split urad dhal. When the dhal turns golden brown in color, add asafoetida. Strain the cut plantain flower in the buttermilk mixture through a colander and add the vegetable to the kadai. Add in salt, jaggery powder and turmeric powder. Add 2 tablespoons of water and mix well. Cover and cook on low flame till the vegetable is cooked well and the fluid is fully absorbed. Add grated coconut and mix well. Sauté for a minute and garnish with curry leaves. Plantain flower curry is ready! Serve hot with rice and sambar or rasam.

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Wednesday 29 May 2024

Buddha Bowl

Buddha bowl is essentially a wholesome meal containing whole grain, plant proteins, vegetables, greens and nuts and/or seeds. You can top it with a sauce of your choice.  So you can customize your bowl depending on the availability of ingredients!  According to legend, Buddha would carry his food bowl through the village for the people to fill it with various type of foods. Balance is an important Buddhist concept. Hence, make sure that you prepare a balanced meal for your bowl. Let me share how I prepared my Buddha Bowl.

Ingredients: (Makes 4 bowls)

Whole grain* 

Basmati rice - 1 cup 

*You can use brown rice, hand-pounded rice, red rice, white rice, millet or quinoa instead.

Plant protein

White black eyed peas or karamani - ½ cup 

Red black eyed peas or karamani - ½ cup  

*You can used kabuli channa, sprouts, rajma, paneer, tofu etc.

Sauce*

Onion - 1 no, cubed

Tomato - 2 no, cubed

Ginger - ½" piece

Cashew nuts - 1 tablespoon

Kashmiri chili powder - ½ teaspoon

Mixed herbs (rosemary, oregano, basil, parsley, thyme and sage) - ½ teaspoon**

Oil - 1 tablespoon

Salt - to taste

* You can use curd dressing, tahini sauce, green chutney or any other sauce of your choice. Instead of preparing sauce separately, I had added the black eyed peas to it and made it into a gravy.

** You can use garam masala or spices such as cinnamon, cardamom, clove etc.

Vegetables

1. Sauteed vegetables* 

Potato - large, 2 no, cut into wedges

Carrots - 2 no, cut into sticks

Onion - 1 no, large, cut into thick slices 

Black cumin seeds - 1 teaspoon

Salt - to taste

Ground pepper - ¼ teaspoon

Oil - 1 tablespoon

* You can use French beans, capsicum, broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, beetroot, yellow pumpkin etc.

2. Boiled vegetables

Green peas - ½ cup

Sweet corn kernels - ½ cup

All purpose flour - 1 teaspoon

Butter - 1 teaspoon

Milk - 100 ml

Salt - to taste

Ground pepper - ¼ teaspoon

3. Salad*

Cucumber - 2 no, cut into 3" long slices

Ground pepper - ¼ teaspoon

Red chili flakes - ¼ teaspoon

Salt - to taste

Olive oil - 2 teaspoons

Lemon juice - 2 teaspoons

* You can use zucchini, capsicum, grated carrot etc.

Greens*

Balloon vine leaves (முடக்கத்தான் கீரை) - 2 cups

Salt - to taste

Oil - 1 teaspoon

Jaggery powder - 1 teaspoon**

* You may use any type of green such as spinach, palak, lettuce etc.

** Balloon wine tastes slightly bitter. Jaggery helps reduce the bitterness.

Nuts and seeds*

Black sesame seeds - 1 teaspoon

White sesame seeds - 1 teaspoon

* You may use peanuts, melon seeds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, almond, pistachio etc.

Method:

Whole grain

Wash basmati rice well and cook with 2 cups of water in a rice cooker. Keep aside.

Plant protein

Wash black eyed peas well and soak in sufficient water for 2 hours. Later pressure cook the peas for 5 minutes or 5 whistles.

Sauce

  • Heat 1 teaspoon of oil in a kadai. Add in onion cubes and sauté till they turn transparent. Allow the onion cool down.
  • Grind onion, tomato, ginger and cashew nuts into a fine paste using a mixer-grinder.
  • Heat 2 teaspoons of oil in the kadai. Add in the ground paste and Kashmiri chili powder. Cook till the sauce thickens. Now add mixed herbs and simmer for 2 minutes.
  • Add in cooked black eyed peas and required salt. Mix well. Simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the fire.
Sauteed vegetables
  • Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a pan. Add in black cumin seeds, and when they start to crackle, place the onion slices in the pan. Cook on low flame till onion slices start to turn light brown. Transfer to a bowl.
  • Now place potato wedges and carrot sticks in the pan. Sprinkle salt and ground pepper on top. Cover and cook on low flame till the vegetables are cooked and start to turn golden brown. Switch off the heat.
Boiled vegetables
  • Boil green peas in water till they are cooked. Steam or boil sweet corn till done. Keep aside.
  • Heat 1 teaspoon of butter in the kadai. Add in all purpose flour and fry till it starts to turn light brown. Switch off the fire. 
  • Add 100 ml of warm milk and mix well to form a smooth mixture. Cook on the low flame with continuous stirring till the mixture thickens. Add required salt and ground pepper. Blend well.
  • Add in boiled green peas and sweet corn. Mix well and simmer for  a minute. Remove from fire.
Note: You can add green peas and sweet corn directly to the Buddha bowl. However, I made a small quantity of white sauce to enhance the flavor and taste.

Salad

Mix olive oil, salt, pepper, lemon juice and red chili flakes in a bowl to form salad dressing. Add in cucumber slice and mix well. Set aside for 20-30 minutes.

Greens
  • Wash balloon vine leaves in running water well and drain. 
  • Heat 1 teaspoon of oil in a kadai. Add in the leaves and sauté for 2 minutes. Add salt, jaggery powder and ¼ cup of water. Cover and cook for about 5 minutes. Switch off the stove.
Nuts and seeds

Dry roast sesame seeds in a kadai till they start popping. Transfer to a bowl.

Preparing the Buddha bowl

The quantity specified here makes 4 portions. Hence, use a quarter of all items to prepare one bowl. First place cooked rice in the bowl. Top it with sauce containing black-eyed peas. Surround it with sauteed vegetables, boiled vegetables in white sauce, salad and greens. Sprinkle roasted sesame seeds on top. Your Buddha bowl is ready! It is nutritive and filling.

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Tuesday 28 May 2024

Cucumber Corn Salad

Summer months are marked by the abundance of cucumber and mangoes. Adding cucumber to our diet increases the fiber content and improves hydration. Here's a simple cucumber salad recipe.

Ingredients:

Cucumber - 2 no, cut into fingers*

Sweet corn - steamed or frozen, half cup

Salt - to taste

Pepper - ⅛ teaspoon, adjust to taste

Olive oil - 2 teaspoons

White sesame seeds - 1 teaspoon

Black sesame seeds - 1 teaspoon

* I have used long cucumber; you may use desi cucumber or English cucumber as well.


Method:

  • Roast the sesame seeds in a kadai till they start popping. Keep aside to cool down.
  • In a bowl, mix olive oil, salt and pepper well to form salad dressing.
  • If you are using frozen sweet corn, allow it to thaw for 20 minutes.
  • Add in cucumber pieces and sweet corn to the bowl and mix well. Allow it to soak for 30 minutes.
  • Finally add in roasted sesame seeds and mix well. Your salad is ready!

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