Thursday, July 25, 2013

Country Style Sweet Potatoes

Country Style Sweet Potatoes
When Paji was on the Ayurvedic diet, he was quite worried as to how he was going to go without regular potatoes, his all-time favorite food!  I used sweet potatoes in all his favorite recipes and it has been an amazing success much to my relief and his delight. This simple recipe for country style potatoes is one of our particular favorites :).  Choose any type of sweet potato - all kinds work well.

I have given the basic recipe here.  Other veggies that will work well here are carrots, zucchini, and corn.  I allot one sweet potato and bell pepper per person; you may use more/less if you wish.

If you have a wok, get it working for you here - it is my favorite cooking utensil :) - even heat distribution, lots of room so the veggies are not crowded and mushed - what's not to like?!  Alternately, put the whole thing in a baking pan and roast in a 400 F oven for about 30 minutes or until done to your liking.  Bon appetit!

2 Servings

Ingredients:

1 T Olive Oil
1 large Red Onion, diced
1/2 tsp Red Pepper flakes (optional)
1/4 tsp Turmeric
1 tsp Sea Salt
2 medium Sweet Potatoes, large dice
1 each, red and green Bell Pepper (capsicums), diced
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Fresh Parsley/Cilantro, chopped

Method:

Trim the sweet potatoes and peel them if you wish.  I cut the veggies in the order of cooking as I go.

Heat the wok or other cooking utensil and add the oil and swirl to coat.

Add the onions with a pinch of salt and cook covered over low heat until slightly softened, a couple of minutes.

Stir in the sweet potatoes with the turmeric and stir well; cook covered until almost soft, about 10 minutes.  Turn the veggies occasionally so they do not burn.

Now add the peppers with the salt and keep cooking until they are tender.

Remove from heat and stir in the parsley/cilantro and serve hot with breakfast, as a side dish, or any way you like.  Enjoy!!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Chukku Kappi (Herbal "Coffee" With Coriander & Ginger)



 Chukku Kappi

Chukku Kappi is a delicious and refreshing herbal beverage - in spite the word Kappi (coffee), there is no coffee nor caffeine in the ancient recipe!  I was reminded of this beverage when Keeshu found a jar at the Indian market and wanted to try it; it listed coffee as one of the ingredients - you are welcome to add ground coffee or tea leaves to this recipe if you like.  I prefer the caffeine-less original recipe suitable for all ages, all times and diets; so here it is :).

Chukku Kappi is quite similar to Ginger Tea using fresh ginger; it is quite easy and simple to make. It is served as a home remedy for cold/cough or indigestion.  I keep a jar of it in my cupboard and make some as needed.

Some recipes include cardamom, cumin, cloves, fennel seeds and the holy basil; add them to your "coffee" if you wish.

Chukku Kappi ingredients

 Ground Chukku Kappi 

About 6 cups

Ingredients:

2 T Coriander Seeds
1" Knob whole Dry Ginger or 2 T ground
1 t whole Black Pepper (optional)
Palm sugar, regular Jaggery, or Brown Sugar to taste

Method:

Dry roast the coriander until fragrant and slightly browned; transfer to a small plate to cool.

While the coriander is cooling, pound the dry ginger pieces into small pieces.

Pulverize the coriander with the ginger (and the pepper if using) in a spice grinder or a mortar and pestle.

Store the chukku kappi in a clean airtight jar.

Heat a cup of water with the palm sugar/jaggery to boiling and add 1 tsp of the kappi; simmer for a minute, remove from heat, and cover.  Let steep for a couple of minutes.

Strain the kappi and serve; although typically it is served warm or hot, it may be served cold also. Traditionally this beverage is not served with milk or cream; but you may add them if you wish. Enjoy!!


Friday, July 5, 2013

Roasted Cauliflower and Broccoli with Cumin

Roasted Cauliflower

I had a huge cauliflower and a bunch of broccoli that I wanted to use up; since I was quite busy,  I wanted an easy option with minimal prep and came up with this idea. Cauliflower and broccoli are fantastic roasted; the wonderful Kerala spice combination of cumin, coriander and red pepper really compliments their flavors. The amchoor (ground dried green mangoes) or sumac adds the perfect tartness making a good thing even better. Turned out so delicious, that it vanished without a trace :).

Broccoli and the stems from the veggies cook a little quicker; so add them to the pan after the cauliflower has been cooking for 10 minutes and finish cooking all the veggies.

Another delicious option is to sprinkle the roasted veggies with Chaat Masala and fresh lime juice after roasting; if using chaat masala, use minimal salt while roasting as the masala has lots of salt in it.

Note: Ground sumac is a middle eastern spice that adds a lovely tart flavor to salads and veggies. It is available in Middle Eastern markets.

       Cauliflower ready for roasting
4 servings

Ingredients:

1 large head Cauliflower
1 large head Broccoli
1 Tbsp Whole Cumin
1 tsp whole Coriander seeds
1 or 2 dried Red Pepper
1/2 tsp Turmeric
1 tsp Sea Salt
2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 tsp Ground Amchoor (dried mango) or Sumac
Lemon/Lime wedges to serve

Method:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large rimmed pan with parchment paper if you wish for easy clean up later.

Separate the veggies into florets; add the broccoli stems also (the tough outer skin peeled and cut into chunks).

Process the coriander and cumin seeds into a coarse powder; add the chiles and process until finely chopped. Add the salt and turmeric and mix well.

Place the veggies on a large pan with rim and drizzle the oil on top.

Sprinkle the veggies with the spice salt and toss to coat.

Place in the oven and roast; stir the veggies so that they cook evenly.

Cook the veggies for about 45 minutes to one hour until done to your taste.  I like them when they are browned a bit slightly blackened on the edges.

Remove from the oven and sprinkle with the amchoor or sumac and toss to coat.

Serve hot, warm or cold with the lime/lemon wedges if desired. Enjoy!!

Pear Muffins With Ginger & Nutmeg

Delicately spiced with nutmeg and with just the right amount of sweetness, Pear Muffins make wonderful treats for breakfast or snack time with a nice mug of chai or other beverage.  These muffins are the result of Paji's Ayurvedic diet of non-inflammatory foods.  If neither nutmeg nor ginger are available, add a tsp of vanilla to the batter for a variation on the fabulously delicious muffins - they turned out really Yum too!

 Pear Muffins With Ginger & Nutmeg

12 large muffins

Ingredients:

2 ripe Pears, peel and core
2 cups Whole wheat flour
1 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Sea Salt
1/2 cup Organic Sugar
1/2 tsp freshly grated Nutmeg
2-3 tsp finely grated/ground fresh Ginger
2 Tbsp Coconut Oil
1 cup Almond/Rice Milk, about

Method:


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F while preparing the batter.  Prepare the muffin tin by oiling it - you might like to use a spray for ease of application.

Place the pears in a large bowl and mash them well; a potato masher is very handy for this.  The pears do not need to be pulverized; small chunks are fine.

Add sugar and coconut oil and mix well.

Combine the flour, baking soda & powder, salt, and nutmeg in a bowl; stir to mix.

Add the flour mixture to the pears alternating with the milk and mix well; you might not need all of the milk.  The amount of milk depends upon the flour - sometimes the flour might require all of the milk.

Spoon the batter into the muffin tin and bake immediately for about 30 minutes.

Remove from the oven and let sit for 5 minutes.  Tilt the muffins in the tin so that their bottoms are not touching the bottom of the muffin tin so moisture does not condense and make the bottoms of the muffins soggy.  Let cool.

Serve the muffins warm with butter/butter substitute and jams or preserves of your choice if you wish. Enjoy!!

Note:  Any leftover muffins should be cooled completely before storing in a covered container for 2 or 3 days. They also freeze well for longer storage.