Quinoa spinach tortilla / paratha Easy breezy gluten free and a true GREENS + GRAINS offering

 So guys here it is because of the phenomenal number of views for the quinoa chapati recipe, another variation for the same but this time with spinach making it healthier and Greeener!!!! Truely a  ” green grain ” recipe. A meal in itself you will find the results of this cooking endeavour lip smacking delicious, and yes you can subsitute quinoa flour with wheat !!!

    INGREDIENTS

1 1/2 cup quinoa flour

  •  water ( add slowly till the dough starts to come together and then forms into a smooth ball)
  • 1 tbsp. amaranth
  • little quinoa flour or even arrowroot flour to roll the chapatis
  • Little ghee or butter to apply on the chapatis and also knead the dough
  • 2 – 3 cups of spinach 
  • 1′ piece of peeled ginger
  • 1 green chilli
  • salt to taste

Tools

  • Rolling pin
  • Marble or wooden board
  • Cast iron or non stick skillet

 

photo 1 (6)

 

photo 3 (5)

Method

  1. Mix the salt into the flour.
  2. In a blender without using any additional ( spinach is anyway very moist and when you wash it, it tends to hold more water ) try to grind or puree the spinach with ginger and the green chilli. put aside
  3. Now slowly add the pureed spinach and knead the dough. You may add a tbsp. oil so that the chapati/ paratha are soft.
  4. Soon the dough starts to take shape and come together, as the quinoa flour is sticky compared to wheat flour, lot of dough will be sticking to your hands.
  5. At this stage use a little oil to grease your palm and knead the dough, this will help some dough to come off your palm. For the remaining dough sticking on to your palm use a butter knife to scrape it.
  6. Now use a little more oil and the knead the dough a little more and form it into a smooth glistening ball .Do not leave the dough for more than 10-15 minutes as the moisture from  makes it wet and sticky. (if that happens use some dry flour to soak up the extra moisture)
  7. Divide this dough into 6 – 8 balls of equal size. Meanwhile heat a seasoned cast iron griddle or nonstick skillet.
  8. Roll the ball between both your palms and make a smooth ball.
  9. Roll the ball in dry flour and with a rolling pin carefully roll it out an inch or two and carefully peel it off the board and roll it in the dry flour again. Use a spatula to peel it off the board as it may break  but wil get better with practice.
  10. Carefully continue to roll and repeat the above step till you have a circle of 4-5 inch in diameter ( with practice you can make a bigger circle without it breaking apart ) of even thickness.
  11. Carefully peel it off the board and place it on the heated skillet on medium heat.
  12. This spinach tortilla / paratha will be thicker than the chapati and WILL take few minutes longer to cook because of its thickness but believe me the result justifies the time spent!!!
  13. Use a paper towel or a clean dish towel to press the thicker edges so that they are well cooked.
  14. Turn it few times at regular intervals, apply little ghee on both sides and press the edges so that there are no uncooked areas left, also ensuring that it does not become crisp and stays soft. You will see nice brown spots now and rest of the paratha with a golden hue.
  15. Do not let these instructions overwhelm you, with practice you wil get finger licking results!!! Patience has never had a sweeter reward or should I say SAVOURY reward!!!!
  16. Brush the tortilla with little ghee on both sides wrap it in clean cheese cloth and keep in a covered glass dish or steel container so that they stay soft.
  17. Serve with plain yoghurt spiced with black pepper and ground roasted cumin powder and ENJOY!!!!

CURRIED DELICIOUS SCRAMBLED TOFU OR PANEER with MORINGA leaves

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. 

Screen Shot 2013-03-13 at 12.51.54 AM

 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!!!

DSC_0280

 

 

DSC_0282

 

 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.

 

 

Image

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.  

 

photo 2 (6)

 

photo 3 (2)

photo 4 (1)

 

photo 3 (3)