CURRIED DELICIOUS SCRAMBLED TOFU OR PANEER with MORINGA leaves

Aside

Hello everybody, we all thought spring was here for good and the fresh green leaves of sorrel and shoots of organic garlic was a sight to behold but the pleasure was short lived as we had temperatures of – 11 degrees Celsius and freezing rain. Well can’t let that dampen our spirits, and it will soon be spring ( hopefully !!!! )

You know I love to use different leafy greens in my cooking, no greens no life !! that is my philosphy. sometimes when I am pressed for time I like to whip up quickly Scrambled Paneer ( Indian cottage cheese) / Tofu dish. It is quick, easy and extremely nutritious and off course not to forget a family favourite. I generally use of lots of cilantro and fenugreek leaves but this time I have used fresh moringa leaves which are not just  healthy but a powerhouse of nutrition. The tree because of its different and varied uses and superfood properties is popularly known as Tree of life. 

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 This vegetable is also called the tree of life because it has life sustaining properties, grows even in drought prone areas. These leaves are not difficult to separate from the stems, though it would take 15- 20 minutes to remove the twigs from the leaves. Growing up I remember my mother talking about these leaves. We ate the flowers, the pods (drumsticks) but not the leaves (which are also readily available). These leaves are available in Sri Lankan stores in North America.They look like Methi(fenugreek leaves ) but are not bitter and are lot more coarse in texture than spinach and methi.
So please do not feel overwhelmed by this vegetable. Get out of the comfort zone of the familiar and ordinary and try something new!!!

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 Ingredients

1 lb. of paneer or firm tofu

2 cups of moringa leaves cleaned and finely chopped ( may subsitute with chopped spinach, aragula,watercress)

1 medium sized red onion finely chopped

1 tomato finely chopped

1/2 tsp.turmeric powder or curry powder

1/2 tsp. red chilli powder or cayenne pepper

1 tbsp. of oil or ghee

salt to taste

 

Method

1. Saute’ the onion and chopped moringa leaves  in heated oil for few minutes till onion is  translucent and the greens are glistening ( 4 – 5 minutes ).

2. Add the finely chopped tomato to it and wait few minutes for the tomato to be cooked .

3. Meanwhile crumble the paneer or tofu  with your hand making sure no big pieces remain.

4. Add the turmeric and the red chilli powder and salt to the onion mix well and then add the crumbled panner . Mix well and cook on medium heat for 10 – 12 minutes till the flavours of different ingredients have blended and the paneer is cooked through ( does not need to browned ).

5. Enjoy !!! Serve with chapati or use as a filling for a wrap.

 

 

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Fermented Savoury Protein rich Vegetable pancakes

 Spring is finally here, birds are chirping and the tender fresh plant life breaks through the freshly thawed ground. And yes not to forget the spring in our steps!!! Our bodies crave the lighter foods following instinctively the change in seasons.

The pancake that I have made today is made of lentils but tradionally not fermented. It is a great alternative for people wanting to avoid grains and eat high protein foods. Fermenting the batter makes it probiotic rich and also the taste has more depth and character to it. 

The  foods which have been fermented naturally, the natural bacteria feed on the sugar and starch creating lactic acid and also in the process creating B- vitamins, beneficial enzymes and different strains of beneficial bacteria.

This process also makes food more digestible and preserves nutrient.    Studies have also shown not just better digestibility of fermented foods but also immune boosting properties of these foods. 

Enjoy this delicious, finger licking savoury pancake.

Ingredients

1 cup red lentils or yellow lentils rinsed and soaked in a 1 1/2 cup of water for 6 – 8 hours

1 onion finely chopped

1 tomato finely chopped

3 – 4 tbsp. cilantro finely chopped

optional 1/2 cup finely chopped spinach or chard

1 green chilli or jalepeno finely chopped

1 ” piece of ginger

salt to taste

2 – 3 tbsp. of oil or ghee

Method

1. Thoroughly rinse the lentils few times till the water loses its milkiness.

2. Soak the lentils in water ( the quantity of water should be little more than the lentils so that lentils have enough water to soak in) for 6 – 8 hours.

3. Now grind the lentils with chill and ginger.

4. You should now have a thick, smooth and velvety textured batter.

5. Pour this batter in a big glass container or a mixing bowl and keep in a pre warmed ( not heated !!! ) oven overnight for 10 – 12 hours.

6. The bowl should be large enough so that there is rooom for the batter to rise which it will in warm tempererature ( with all the bacteria multiplying multiple times!!!)

7. Heat the oven at  375 degrees F for 3- 4 minutes and turn it off. Keep the batter in the heated oven and also turn on the pilot light at this time.

8. After keeping it overnight for 8- 10 hours you will see the batter would have risen to at least double  its volume and be very airy and bubbly.

9. Mix all the vegetables into the batter, the consistency of this batter is thicker than those of crepes.

10. Heat the cast iron skillet or a non stick pan.

11.Take a ladle full of batter and spread onto the heated skillet adding little ghee all around on the sides and cover with a lid.

12. After a minute the pancake will lose its raw look or sheen and then flip onto the other side.

13. Do not put the lid now and let this side of the pancake become golden and crisp.

14.Continue making like this .

15. Once done serve  hot with a relish or a green chutney or a dip.

16. Enjoy this protein rich, satisfying pancake anytime of the day. Serve with a salad and a dip for a complete meal.  

 

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Edamame and Shitake Mushroom salad with Sumac and jalepeno peppers

As a family we love pan asian cuisine, it seems so much healthier and includes many different kinds of my favourite leafy greens. One of our favourite appetizers is salted Edamame. It is healthy, quick and delicious.

I had been thinking of making edamame salad but could not come up with the right combination of ingredients and herbs and suddenly yesterday it struck me why not combine it with shitake’ mushrooms and basil and because all three have sweetish after taste  why not add some jalepeno pepper to balance that and yes some sour sumac to give it some middle eastern touch. Voilla that did it !!!! The melange’ of flavours is unique with ingredients from different regions but somehow works. The key is to let the flavours seep in. The salad tasted great the next day or atleast after sitting for 8 – 10 hours.

Ingredient

2 -3 cups Edamame pods blanched

4-5 shitake mushrooms washed and sliced

1 roma tomato finely chopped

2 tbsp. of finely chopped basil

Salad Dressing

1tsp. powdered sumac

juice of half a lime

1 tsp. walnut oil or extra virgin olive oil

1/4 tsp. crushed black pepper

1/2 jalepeno finely chopped

salt to taste

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Method

1.Mix all the ingredients for the dressing and put aside.

2.. Blanch the edamame pods for 10 minutes in boiling water so they are tender crisp.

3. Once cool take out the seeds and put in a bowl.

4. Heat 1/2 tsp. of oil or ghee and saute’ the mushrooms so they are fragrant and  golden brown.

5.Mix the dressing with the edamame, tomato and grilled mushrooms and basil.

6. Toss well and let sit for 6-8 hours and enjoy a protein rich colourful salad.

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Is there any difference between white and brown sugar?

greenzgrains / kamlesh Tukrel:

great myth busting information!!! Enjoy

Originally posted on romanmyko:

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  Hey everyone,

    Today I would like to talk a bit about two most often talked kinds of sugar namely white and brown sugar. It is often believed that brown sugar is very healthy whereas white sugar is not a good choice for those that want to stay healthy and fit. In fact, the main difference is molasses. White sugar is simply bleached from brownish molasses.  The opposite situation happens with brown sugar. It is produced by adding molasses back to the white sugar and therefore there is a difference in terms of yellow/white color of one kind and brownish of another. In fact, molasses gives a specific flavor which makes brown sugar more sweet, rich in taste, moist and  more of clumpy texture.

   It also should be noted that the perception towards the usage of both kinds differ. White sugar is often perceived as an…

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Curried Chick peas with watercress

I bring to you today a very popular traditional curried chick pea dish made very Un- traditionally with peppery nutritious green herb watercress. This is my husband’s favourite delicious protein packed, high fiber dish made healthier with addition of beautiful greens. Hope you will love it as much as we do.Topped with marinated onions it is a finger licking gooood!!!!  colourful dish. 

An aquatic plant found near springs and slow-moving streams, watercress is an often-overlooked, leafy green food source that is a close cousin to mustard greenscabbage, and arugula. An attractive, succulent plant, watercress bears small, round, slightly scalloped leaves, which, in summer, produce tiny white flowers that become small pods with two rows of edible seeds. Watercress has been cultivated in Europe, Central Asia, and the Americas for millennia for use as both food and a medicine.

One of the best culinary aspects of watercress is its versatility. It can be used as a salad green (a very nutritious one!) with Romaine lettuce or fresh spinach, steamed and eaten as a vegetable, and in soups for a subtle, peppery flavor. It’s also a standard ingredient for sandwiches in Britain for both common and high tea.

Because watercress grows in water, it should be washed thoroughly, then soaked for half an hour or so in cool water with hydrogen peroxide added (around one tablespoon per quart) to remove any pollutants, parasites etc.

Vitamins A, C, and K, and phytonutrients like isothiocyanates and gluconasturtiin in watercress strengthen bones, limit neuronal damage, fight infection, help maintain healthy connective tissue, and prevent iron deficiency. Studies have found the compound PEITC in watercress may suppress breast cancer cell development and prevent DNA damage in cells.

You can find this oft-overlooked leafy green in most supermarkets, so give it a try when you make your next trip to the grocery stores.

Ingredients

2 cups of boiled chickpeas ( or canned )

1 bunch watercress leaves picked, washed and finely chopped ( I do use the tender stems )

1 medium sized red onion peeled

1 inch piece of ginger peeled

2 cloves of garlic peeled

1 green chilli

1 large hot house tomato chopped in in a chopper

3 – 4 tbsp. strained tomato puree

1 tbsp. kabuli chana masala  ( subsitute with 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder and 2 tsp. garam masala )

1 tbsp. ghee or oil

a pinch asafoetida

1 red onion finely chopped and marinated with lemon juice for garnish.

salt to taste

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Method

1. In  a food chopper chop onion, garlic and ginger just enough to see the pieces and not a puree !!!

2. Thoroughly wash the watercress, mabe even soak it in hot water or hydrogen peroxide for 10 minutes as it may harbour parasites or any other pathogens because watercress grows close to slow moving water sources.

3.Chop the watercress leaves fine.

4. Heat the ghee in a heavy pot and fry the chopped onion and garlic mixture on medium heat till the mixture is translucent or 6 – 8 minutes.

5. Add asafoetida and watercress and saute’ for a few minutes, the leaves are tender so it does not take too long. Add also the chana masala, turmeric powder and saute’ for a few minutes.

6. Move the onion mixture to the side gradually and add the chopped tomato lining the bottom of the pan.

7. Let the tomatoes cook for few minutes and then add the tomato puree and chick peas and cook on slow heat for 10 – 15 minutes so that curry comes to a boil and the delicious flavours soak in to the chick peas. Add salt.

8. At this time  you will smell the spicy, delicious aroma of the curry. Garnish with marinated onions. You can serve it with rice or bread or Naan bread. It is a great meal eaten with good bread.

9. Enjoy!!!!

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