Thursday, February 14, 2019

Easy Vegetable Korma With Coconut Milk (Vegetable Curry South Indian Style)

Easy Veg Korma 
Easy Vegetable Korma With Coconut Milk is a mild, naturally sweet curry that can be tweaked with an extra chile or another pinch or two of cayenne to give a bit more kick. This is a redo of a recipe from a friend (not sure of the origins of the original recipe); by the time I was done with the changes, it turned out absolutely scrumptious! 

This Veg Korma is a hearty curry and maybe served as a stew on its own or over your favorite hot cooked grains, with breads, etc. It maybe accompanied with a dal, salad, etc also if desired.

There are no added fats other than what is in the coconut milk; light coconut milk maybe used if preferred. 

Notes:

Other veggies maybe used to make Veg Korma. Use brown, yellow, or white skinned onions for this dish.

For best flavor, I usually grind the coriander and cumin seeds rather than use the store-brought ground spices.

Coring the chiles makes for a mild stew; if a spicy curry is desired, include the core and/or add more chiles.

If using canned chickpeas, chickpeas, drain and rinse before adding to the Korma.

Ingredients:

1 large Onion, finely diced
1 JalapeƱo/Serrano Chile, cored and minced
1 one-inch piece fresh ginger, finely grated 
1-2 cloves Garlic, minced (optional)
1/2 tsp Whole Cumin Seeds
1 Tbsp ground Coriander seeds
2 tsp ground Cumin seeds
1-2 pinch Cayenne
1/2 tsp ground turmeric 
1 1/2 cups water
1 can Coconut Milk
2-3 pieces of 1-inch Cinnamon sticks
2 Stems fresh Curry Leaves
Sea Salt
2 large Carrots, cut into 1/2-inch-thick chunks
2 cups freshly cooked Chickpeas OR One 15-1/2-oz. can
1 small cauliflower, broken into bite-sized florets (about 4 cups)
4-5 Sweet Potatoes, cut into chunks (about 1 lb)
2 medium tomatoes, diced medium
1 -2 cups freshly shelled Peas
4 Tbsp fresh Cilantro, finely chopped

Nuts/Seeds for garnish
Hot cooked Grains/Breads for serving

Method:

In a 5-6 quart Dutch oven or other heavy-bottomed pot, cook the onion with a pinch of salt over medium-low heat stirring occasionally, until beginning to color and caramelize, about 10 minutes. Sprinkle a little water as necessary to keep the onion from burning. 

Add the chile, garlic and ginger; cook, stirring, for 3-4 minutes, until they soften. 

While the onion mixture is cooking, heat a small pan and add the cumin seeds; stir and shake until they start to puff and pop a bit and become fragrant, about 30 seconds or so. Add the ground coriander, cumin, and cayenne; stir for a few seconds to toast the spices. Tip the spices into the onion mixture.

Add the water, coconut milk, cinnamon stick, and 1 tsp salt to the pot; bring to a boil. 

Stir in carrots along with the curry leaves and continue cooking for about 4-5 minutes.

Add the sweet potatoes, bring back to a boil, and place the cauliflower and chickpeas on top. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes or so. 

Stir in the tomatoes and peas along with the curry leaves and simmer for another 2-3 minutes. Add a little boiling water if the Korma is too thick. Remove from heat.

Allow Korma/curry to rest for at least 10 minutes.

Stir in cilantro. Taste and correct seasonings; add a little salt and/or cayenne if needed.

Remove and discard cinnamon sticks.

Serve hot garnished with nuts/seeds if you wish.

Enjoy!!

Easy Veg Korma

Friday, January 25, 2019

Simply Savory Oatmeal (Oats with Turmeric, Pepper, & Cumin)

A bowl of  warm Simply Savory Oatmeal is delicious and satisfying to dig into any morning/time! I often enjoy a bowl of savory oats with lots of veggies and beans stirred in for dinner too. It is just like the Oats Kanji with the addition of spices. You can of course make this into overnight oats by preparing everything the night before but cook it. In the morning (or anytime really) pop it in the microwave, in a pan, or pressure cooker for a fabulous and delightful breakfast! Try it and see for yourself.

I typically use gluten-free rolled oats; they cook fast and don't need much planning. If you prefer to use steel-cut oats, see the Notes below for directions.

Notes: Steel-cut oats will require more time to cook but is quite delicious prepared this way; allow about 30-40 minutes for cooking in a regular pan or pressure cook to reduce the time considerably. Cook steel-cut oats with the salt and spices according to the package directions. The oats maybe prepared ahead up to this point, reserved in the fridge, and reheated as necessary. Stir in cooked veggies and/or beans if desired. Serve warm/hot with your favorite toppings and sides.

1-2 Servings

Ingredients:

1/2 cup Rolled Oats
1 cup Water
Salt to taste
1/4 tsp Turmeric
1/4 - 1/2 tsp Freshly ground Black Pepper
1/4 - 1/2 tsp Freshly ground Cumin Seeds

Optional Add-ins

1/2 - 1 cup Diced Veggies: Carrots, green beans, Peas, Asparagus, etc.
1/2 - 1 cup cooked Beans of choice

Optional Toppings

Toasted Nuts: Cashews, Almonds, Peanuts, etc
Toasted Seeds: Hemp, Sesame, Sunflower, Pepitas, etc
Nut Butters
Non-dairy Yogurt

Optional Sides

Toasted Papadams
Vegetarian Kimchi
Achards des Legumes
Indian Mango/Lemon Pickles

Method:

Bring the water to a boil in a 2 quart/liter pan.

If using fresh veggies, add them now and return water to a boil.

Stir in the oats with salt and spices; cook stirring often until oats are soft, about 5 minutes. Or alternately, after returning the mixture to a good rolling boil, turn off heat, cover and let it sit for 5 minutes.

If the oats are soaked overnight, heat the oats until hot. Stir in the cooked veggies and beans if using.

Serve warm/hot with your favorite toppings and sides.

Enjoy!!


Thursday, January 24, 2019

No Cook Confections - Quick & Easy Date-Almond, Cashew-Coconut, & Date-Walnut Bites

Happy New Year everyone! I wanted to start the New Year with a sweet, healthy option for satisfying the craving for a little sweet something.

These quick and easy Date Bites are delicious little confections for those times when you want something sweet but healthy.  Although similar to the digestive Masala Date Bites, these confections are exactly that - simply little confections to satisfy a sweet tooth! - so use only a smidgen of spices. They really are very easy as well as quick and take only about 10 minutes to make plus chilling time.

Date Bites store well in the fridge; if longer storage is needed, they freeze well also.

NOTES:

If the dates are soft and moist, use them straight up. If they are on the dry side, sprinkle with about 1 or 2 tablespoons of warm water, let them soak for 10 minutes or so until the dates are soft, then proceed.

Chill the date mixture in the fridge for 15 minutes or so. Chilling helps to firm it up and form into bites. Moistening the hands with a sprinkle of water will help prevent sticking.

Alternative to rolling into balls, the date mixture maybe pressed into a pan lined with parchment, chilled until firm, and cut into little squares, about 24.


The date bites maybe rolled in Cocoa Powder, Matcha (Green Tea) powder, toasted Sesame seeds, other ground Nuts, etc which are other lovely options.

About 24 Bites

Date Almond Bites

Ingredients:

3/4 cup Almonds, raw or toasted
1 Tbsp ground Cinnamon/1 tsp ground Cardamom seeds
1 cup Dates, pitted
1/4 cup Finely chopped Pistachios, Hemp seeds, OR Finely chopped Almonds

Method:

Process the almonds in a food processor until finely chopped; add the spices and dates and process pulsing until finely chopped and mixed well.

Scoop the almond-date mixture into a container and put in the fridge for 15 minutes or so. Chilling helps to firm up the date mixture and form into bites.

Shape into small patties or balls and roll them in pistachios, almonds, or the hemp seeds and chill until serving. Moisten hands with a little water now and then to avoid the date mixture sticking to hands. Store the Date-Almond Bites in a covered container in the fridge.

Serve cold or at room temperature. Enjoy!!

Cashew-Coconut Date Bites

Ingredients:

3/4 cup Cashews, raw or toasted
1/2 tsp ground Cardamom Seeds
1 cup Dates, pits removed
1/2 cup dried unsweetened  Coconut, finely grated, divided

Method:

Process cashews in a food processor and pulsing until finely chopped; they maybe chopped using a  blender or a knife also.

If only shredded coconut is handy, no worries, just process until finely grated.

Add the cardamom, pitted dates, and half the coconut. Process until finely chopped and the mixture comes together. Spoon into a bowl and chill for about 15 minutes or so.

With moistened hands (to avoid the date mixture sticking to hands) form 1-2 tablespoons of the mixture into small balls.

Place remaining coconut in a shallow bowl, and roll the balls in the coconut. Place the date bites in a covered container and store in refrigerator.

Serve cold or at room temperature. Enjoy!!

Date-Walnut Bites

Ingredients:

3/4 cup Walnuts, raw or toasted
1 Tbsp ground Cinnamon
1 pinch grated Nutmeg
1 cup Dates, pitted
1/4 cup Finely chopped toasted Walnuts

Method:

Process the walnuts in a food processor until finely chopped; add cinnamon and dates and process pulsing until finely chopped and mixed well.

Scoop the walnut-date mixture into a container and put in the fridge for 15 minutes or so. Chilling helps to firm up the date mixture and form into bites.

Shape into small patties or balls and roll them in the chopped walnuts and chill until serving. Moisten hands with a little water now and then to avoid the date mixture sticking to hands.

Store the Date-Walnut Bites in a covered container in the fridge.

Serve cold or at room temperature. Enjoy!!