Today’s recipe is another entry to my healthy eats category. We have been having Quinoa for quite some time now, probably for a year or so, and I am on the lookout for any new recipe that has Quinoa as an ingredient.
Recently, we went to a mediterranean restaurant and I came across a new type of salad made with Quinoa. I got hooked to it and was eager to try it out myself. The name of the salad is Quinoa Tabbouleh salad and that is the recipe I have posted here.
Quinoa Tabbouleh salad is very easy to make and very healthy as well. On days when you don’t feel like cooking or doing a take out, Quinoa Tabbouleh salad is the one to go for. Very few ingredients are needed to make this salad. Also, there is an accompaniment to the Tabbouleh salad called the Zough. It is a condiment relish made from green chili. The mild taste of Quinoa Tabbouleh and the spiciness of Zough make the perfect pair.
Quinoa Tabbouleh salad can be had as a light dinner or for lunch. Quinoa in general is rich in calories and having it as a salad will not get you full or bloated. Try this wonderful mediterranean salad in your home and let me know your comments 🙂
Cucumber, finely chopped – 1 no (I used Persian Cucumber)
Tomato, medium, finely chopped – ½ no (2 tbsp)
Green onions, finely chopped – 2 tbsp
Carrot, finely grated – 2 tbsp (optional)
Cilantro, finely chopped – 2 to 3 tbsp
Salt as required
Zough – green chilli sauce
Cilantro – small bunch
Garlic cloves, small to medium – 3 nos
Lemon juice – 1 ½ tbsp
Olive oil – 1 ½ tbsp
Cayenne pepper – ½ tbsp
Pepper – ¼ tsp
Cumin powder –a generous pinch
Green chilli – 4 nos
Salt as required
Soak chick pea overnight and pressure cook for 6 whistles adding enough water and salt. Drain the excess water and set aside.
Wash the quinoa thoroughly and drain them using strainer, pressure cook adding enough salt and 1½ cup water (not more than that) for 3 whistles. Or you could parboil them adding the same amount of water in a sauce pan, covered for 15 minutes. Drain the excess water if any.
Finely chop all the above given ingredients and keep them ready.
In a large mixing bowl, add olive oil, lemon juice and salt. Mix well.
Add cucumber, tomato, carrot, green onion and cilantro. Mix well.
Finally add quinoa and chick pea. Mix them well until well combined.
Have it right away or Cover and leave it at least for ½ an hour in the refrigerator and serve chill for better taste.
For making zough
Blend all the above given ingredients to a fine sauce without adding any water.
Have zough sauce as a side for yummy quinoa tabbouleh. Enjoy! :)
Today’s recipe is a new entrant to my healthy eats collections. One of the most popular breakfast dishes in south India is Idli. I would say there is no restaurant back home that does not have Idli in the menu. Normally, Idli is made from rice batter. The same batter can be used to make another popular breakfast item called the Dosa. The recipe that I have posted here is a type of Idli made from a batter prepared from Kollu (or horse gram in english) hence the recipe is called Kollu Idli. It is a healthy breakfast dish that is rich in essential nutrients.
Kollu Idli recipe was suggested to me by my cousin. Thank you, Chitthi! I have been looking for varieties from the usual breakfast dishes that we make and it’s good that this recipe came across. It served two purposes, one is that I finally found a way to make use of one of the least used pulses in my kitchen and the second was that I had found yet another healthy dish 🙂
Kollu Idli is very easy to make and it does not take much time to prepare the batter. You can have this idli with the chutneys that you normally have with regular idli. I would say Kollu Idli is tastier than regular idli and is very much filling too (because of the horse gram/Kollu). Try the Kollu Idli in your home and let me know your comments.
PS:- Check out my other dish made from Kollu here.
Thoroughly wash the rice and dal together in running water (At least thrice).
Soak them with enough water overnight or for 8 to 10 hrs.
Grind them together in a grinder or blender for 20 to 25 minutes or until smooth and thick, sprinkling water in between if needed. If you are grinding for idli do not add too much water. Batter has to be thick.
Add enough salt and mix well. Ferment the batter like how you ferment normal idli/dosa batter.
Pour the batter on idli plates using ladle and pressure cook for 10 to 15 minutes.
Enjoy healthy and tasty kollu idli with milagai chutney or any other hot and spicy chutney of your choice.
Today’s recipe is a continuation of my resolution to post healthy recipes as much as I can, going forward. Beetroot Quinoa is a dish made from a well known legume, beetroot and a not so common grain variety called the Quinoa. Like I had described in one of my earlier posts, Quinoa is a South American grain crop well known for its edible seeds. Quinoa is a super food that is rich in calories and easily digestible. Beetroot, as you may all know, is a very good source of iron and vitamins.
Beetroot Quinoa is a very easy dish to make. It literally takes 15 minutes to prepare. Also, with the way it’s made, you can either have Beetroot Quinoa as is or have the cooked beetroot only with rice. Beetroot Quinoa is a cold food and can be retained by refrigeration, making it the go-to food for bachelors and single ladies that is if you want to have healthy food, if not there is always pasta and noodles :). Also, it is a very good menu for lunch box, especially for kids 🙂
For those who worry about getting Quinoa back home, no worries, Quinoa is quite popular there and is called as (Seemai Thinai, literally known as foreign grain 🙂 ). Don’t miss out trying this truly healthy food which I believe will be a good alternative to have once in a while amongst the mundane dishes that we have often.
Every country has its own snack food variety and the US is no exception. USA is an amalgamation of different cultures and each one has brought their version of snack food. One such is the Guacamole and Chips. Guacamole and Chips are the staple snacks/appetizers served in all Mexican restaurants here. The best part about this food is that it is healthy! And today, I have posted the recipe for Guacamole and homemade tortilla chips here.
Guacamole is similar to chutneys in Indian cuisine. It is made from Avocado, a super fruit, tomato, mint, cilantro, garlic, onion, lime juice and salt and is super easy to make. Avocado is also known as butter fruit or ice-cream fruit back home. It is a calorie rich fruit full of healthy fat. Guacamole is one dish that can be made from Avocado. You can also eat avocado as is or with salt and pepper sprinkled over and also can be used to make sandwiches. Here in the US, Guacamole and Chips is one of the game day foods, along with chicken wings. Game day foods are snacks that are usually had while watching a baseball game or football game with friends in a bar or at home.
As mentioned earlier, Guacamole is a healthy snack and hence kid friendly. Try this amazing snack in your home and have it with friends and family while watching a game or just as a snack 🙂
Finely chop onion, garlic, cilantro and tomato and keep it ready.
Halve the avocado (cut vertically in the middle and twist two halves), pit ( bang knife on the seed and pull it out as shown in the picture), cut to dices and scrape them using spoon (as shown in the picture).
Add the chopped avocado, lime juice and salt into a medium mixing bowl and mash them using spoon or fork or with the same knife.
Now mix in finely chopped onion, garlic and cilantro.
Finally add the finely chopped tomato, mix well and leave it for an hour or refrigerate the guacamole.
For the chips:
Pre heat the oven to 300 degree Fahrenheit. Cut tortilla like pizza and spread them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Place them in the oven and bake for 15 minutes.
Take out and flip them. Sprinkle a pinch of salt on top and bake for 5 to 10 minutes until the tortilla turn brown and form as chips. Enjoy with yummy guacamole!
Today I am posting a recipe that is a different take on one of the dishes that I had already posted before. It is one of my most favorite dishes among non vegetarian items and the version I have posted is a healthier alternative to the popular version known to many. it is the baked fish fry. I basically don’t prefer fried foods. So when I came to know of fish fry that can be baked I was stumped. Also baked fish fry can both be had as a snack as well as in a main course.
I first had baked fish fry at my friend’s house when we went there for dinner a few months back. I was so hooked to the dish that when we went there again, I personally requested her to prepare the dish while I was there so that I could learn the recipe 🙂 A big shout out to my dear friend 🙂 I love fish and any dish that can be made from fish. And when I learnt of a healthier alternative to frying it was a double bonanza 🙂 Baked fish fry is very easy to make. As with many of the non vegetarian dishes, especially dry varieties, marination is the key here. Beware of the consistency of the marinade. It should not be too thick or too watery. And, as passed down to me from my friend, vinegar is the key to get that tanginess in the fry. Also, make sure to get the marinade infused in the fish as much as possible.
I am planning to post the recipes for fish biriyani and chill fish in the near future and the baked fish fry is the main component in those dishes. Don’t forget to follow my blog for those amazing recipes. In case, you don’t have a conventional oven, you can also shallow fry the fillets instead of baking. BTW, Happy National Chocolate Cake Day. Have you all tried my chocolate cake recipe (which is by far the best dish I had baked in the last year, at least as attested by my friends :)) ?
Grind cinnamon and clove separately and make powders of them if you don’t have store bought at home. Make a paste of ginger and garlic and keep it ready.
Mix all the above given ingredients under marinade together to a thick paste and check the seasoning. Add extra salt and spice if needed at this stage. Drizzle water at last to get the right consistency – do not add too much water otherwise the marinade won’t stick to the fish while baking.
Add the fish fillets to the marinade and give a good massage for at least 20 minutes. Leave it to rest overnight or for at least half an hour.
Pre-heat the oven to 350 degree Fahrenheit. Spray or brush enough olive oil on the aluminum sheet.
Place the marinated fish fillets on top of the sheet and spray olive oil on them as well. Bake for 5 to 8 minutes.
Flip the fish fillets and spray the other side of the fillets with olive oil and cook for another 5 to 8 minutes.
Set the oven in broiler and bake for couple of minutes more to get the crispiness.
Remove from the oven and enjoy with lemon wedges on the side. You could also season curry leaves and toss them on top of the fish to add extra flavor to the dish.
Enjoy them as is as a snack or have them along with white rice and fish gravy ! 🙂
Quinoa (pronounced as Kin-wa) is a product of South America and is a relative of spinach and beets. It looks like a variety of grain but actually is grown as plants. The part we eat is the seed which is gluten-free. You can even eat the leaves of a quinoa plant!
While no single food can supply all the essential life sustaining nutrients, quinoa comes as close as any other in the plant or animal kingdom. That’s because quinoa is what’s called a complete protein, meaning it contains all nine of the essential amino acids, which cannot be made by the body and therefore must come from food.
There are different varieties of quinoa but red, white and black quinoas are the most widely available. Among these white quinoa is the most popular variety. Red quinoa is more often used in salads. Black quinoa has sweeter taste. I have had only white quinoa so far. I find its taste closely resembling to rice but much healthier as mentioned above. I have given a detailed description of what quinoa is because I was not sure about the prevalence of this super food among people and wanted to create awareness as well.
Quinoa is very easy to cook and there are no special instruction as far as cooking is concerned. Just follow the same steps that you normally do for cooking rice. Below I have given the recipe for lemon quinoa which is very similar to lemon rice except that we substitute quinoa for rice. You can also alter this recipe to make tamarind quinoa just like tamarind rice. My dear friends have been requesting for a while to post quinoa recipes and I can’t wait to share the interesting recipes that I have in store. 🙂
Wash the quinoa thoroughly in water, add 1 ½ or 2 cups of water and enough salt and pressure cook for three whistles.
Squeeze the juice of lemon and keep it ready. Heat a tempering ladle with oil and temper with mustard and urad dal. When they start to sizzle, add split red chillies and curry leaves. Add turmeric powder and hing. Switch off the flame and add lemon juice.
Add the tempering to the cooked quinoa. Mix well and serve it hot with potato fry or chips on the side. Enjoy!
Today I am going to give you one of the most unusual and tastiest dishes that I (or my husband to be precise) have ever had. It is the vegetarian liver fry. Sounds unusual, right? It is totally vegetarian and is made of Moong Dal.
I personally love liver fry and when I came across this recipe, I was skeptical. How would you compare a vegetarian dish to the awesome liver fry? But I was stumped when I tasted it. It was so good that my husband emphatically declared that it was one among my top 3 dishes that I have ever cooked 😉
Vegetarian liver fry is nutritional and very healthy. I would even say that it can be included in your diet routine. For those who miss non vegetarian dishes due to fasting or for health reasons, vegetarian liver fry will really be a welcome addition to the menu.
I thing I have said enough about vegetarian liver fry and it is time for you guys to try it in your kitchen and let me know your opinions 🙂
Soak moong dal over night. Drain the water and grind them in a blender into thick batter (idli batter consistency). Do not add too much water while grinding. Add quarter tsp of salt (or as required) to the batter and mix well.
Pour the batter on idli plates with a small ladle and steam them for 15 minutes in a cooker.
Meanwhile heat oil in a flat pan and add onions and curry leaves. Cook until onions turn translucent.
Add tomatoes and cook until they become mushy. Meanwhile cut all the idlis i.e vegan liver into an inch cubes or to the desired size pieces.
When the tomatoes are well cooked add all the masala powders (except pepper) and salt and mix well. Add in coconut milk and bring it to boil. It takes very few minutes.
Now add the idli cubes to the gravy and mix well. Close the lid and cook for a minute - For those of you who wants the gravy consistency can stop here.
Cook until the gravy is well absorbed and turns into a semi gravy. You will start noticing the oil in the sides of the pan.
Add pepper powder and stir well. Cook until it forms into a nice dry fry. Garnish with cilantro on top and serve hot!
1.This vegan liver fry tastes even more better when it comes to room temperature. 2.Please be careful not to add excess water while grinding the moong dal.
Achari fish tikka is a Hyderabadi non-vegetarian dish supposedly having its origin from the Nizam cuisine. Achar is pickle in Hindi. So as the name suggests, Achari fish tikka is simply a variety of dish made from fish and pickle.
First when I came across this dish I was intrigued by the combination of fish and pickle (pickle with any other meat, for that matter). But after tasting it, I do see the use of pickle in this dish, it just tastes awesome.
I have had my own troubles when attempting to cook fish. For some reason, I am never satisfied with the end product when I prepare a fish based dish. So it has become the meat that I cook occasionally. But after coming across Achari fish tikka, I have cooked it twice already in the span of a month 🙂 Achari fish tikka is really easy to make and is healthy as well since we grill the fish in the oven. Please make sure to remove all moisture from the marinating ingredients as mentioned in my earlier post of chicken tikka found here. It goes well with almost any main dishes, be it rasam, sambar, chicken gravy or fish gravy etc. Usually Achari fish tikka is eaten as an appetizer with mint chutney on the side. But in our home, on days when I cook this dish, it is often had as a snack 🙂 and as a side dish.
Try this healthy and wonderful Achari fish tikka in your kitchen and let me know your equally wonderful thoughts and experience 🙂
Any pickle of your choice – ¼th tsp ( I used Priya onion pickle)
Salt as required
Olive oil or vegetable oil – 1 to 2 tbsp
Seer fish, cubes, skin removed – ½ pound (250 gms) – I used catfish
Squeeze excess water in ginger garlic paste with the help of cheese cloth.
In a mixing bowl add all the above ingredients and make a paste.
Add fish cubes to the marinade and mix well.
Marinate the fish in the refrigerator at least for 2 hours.
Soak the wooden skewers in water for 15 mins.
Preheat the oven to 360 degrees F.
Insert the fish cubes on each skewers. Brush olive or vegetable oil on top of the fish and arrange skewers across the broiler pan.
Place the pan inside the oven and cook for 10 minutes.
Remove the pan, turn over the skewers and brush the fish cubes with little oil on top. Place the pan inside the oven and cook for another 10 to 15 minutes.
Enjoy the achari fish tikka with mint chutney or just as it is!
Stove top method:
Heat the grilled pan and smear with little oil. Place the skewers and cook the fish turning over in between.
Fish cooks really fast when compare to other meats. So make sure to check in between and do not overcook the fish. You could also add onion, tomato or bell peppers to this dish according to your choice.
Kollu Kuzhambu is a traditional gravy from my home state in India, Tamilnadu. Kollu or horse gram (in english) is a bean variety and is widely used in the cuisine of south Indian states. In Tamilnadu, kollu is widely used in a variety of chutneys, poriyals, rasam etc. In Siddha medicine, kollu is considered to be a bean with medicinal qualities.
I came across this kollu kuzhambu recipe online and as soon as I saw it, I decided to give it a try. I have never had kollu (in any form) in my life and was curious the moment I saw it. And it was worth the try because kollu kuzhambu is the best gravy variety that I have ever had in my life, hands down! The recipe that I have given here requires some ground work. You need to grow sprouts out of kollu before you use it in your recipe. Back to the medicinal properties of kollu, I recently learnt that kollu has anti-glycemic properties and prevents insulin resistence, hence an apt food for diabetic patients. I also learnt from my MIL that it increases your body heat and hence having it in moderation is advisable – as with any other food items.
Without any further delay, below is the recipe to my most favorite gravy of all time, the one and only Kollu Kuzhambu. Try it in your kitchen and let me know if it had become your favorite dish as well 😉
Soak the bean with enough water and leave it overnight or atleast 8 hours.
Transfer the sprouts to a muslin or cheese cloth, drain the water completely, and tie the cloth with a knot holding the beans inside.
Let it hang overnight leaving the excess water to drain.
The next day you will notice tiny sprouts grown out of the beans.
Let the sprouts grow more for another day which adds taste to the food.
To make gravy:
Half boil the sprouted horsegram along with little salt (for 1 whistle). Keep it aside.
Heat oil in a pan and add shallots. Sauté well. Add cumin seeds and curry leaves. Give a quick stir. Add grated coconut. Sauté well and add all the above given powders and switch off the flame. Allow them to cool and blend to a fine paste.
Heat oil in a pan and add shallots. Sauté well and add tomato. When they turn mushy, add half cooked sprouted horsegram and give it a stir. When the horsegram is half done, add the ground paste and enough water. Add enough salt. Bring the gravy to boil for 15 minutes. Cook until all the raw smell disappears. Garnish with cilantro.
Chicken Tikka is a popular north Indian dish made of small pieces of boneless chicken. The work Tikka means pieces (in Hindi). The peparation method for making chicken tikka is unique in the sense that the chicken pieces are baked in a clay oven called Tandoor. Given that we can’t have tandoors at home (atleast most of us, including me :)), conventional oven is a good alternative. It still tastes great baking the chicken tikka in an oven. Chicken Tikka is also the base for another popular dish called the Chicken Tikka masala, a tasty gravy. One of the main pain points for making chicken tikka masala, apart from the Tandoor is the moisture content in the chicken. Make sure to remove all moisture from the chicken tikka and the marinating ingredients as well. I usually marinate the chicken overnight which given the chicken tikka a nice flavor given that the masala gets absorbed by the chicken through the night. Chicken tikka is very popular in overseas Indian restaurants and as far I have seen, it is one of the most popular indian dishes among foreigners (along with naan). Also, given its dual benefit of having it as a dry item as well as a gravy (chicken tikka masala), it is one of the go-to dishes in functions like weddings, get-togethers and also in hotel buffets. Hot Chicken Tikka with a squeeze of lemon juice and coriander chutney tastes like heaven and can make anyone drool just by a glimpse of it. Here is the recipe to this wonderful dish. Let me know your thoughts and comments on your experience with Chicken tikka!