Methi Garlic Salmon

Happy new year! My resolution this year is to slow down and practice mindful eating. I have been trying to eat healthy for the most part but I think being mindful will help me get to the next goal of eating with intention and attention. When I think of healthy foods, from heart health to brain health salmon is always on the top of my list. Pan roasted, crisp and super flavorful methi garlic salmon is one of my favorite recipes in addition to the tandoori salmon and salmon tikka masala on skewers. These are on our repeat list to get all the benefits of eating fatty fish like Salmon once a week. Continue reading “Methi Garlic Salmon”

Lentils with drumstick Leaves

After weeks of indulging into festive foods, its high time to share some healthy and everyday dishes that I cook for my family. Lentils aka Daal is a favorite dish in my home. My boys love all sorts of daals. I feel happy and satisfied to see them eating healthy and protein packed foods (at least for weekday dinners).

During my recent trips to Indian grocery store, I noticed some greens that I had never seen before. The label on them said ‘Drumstick leaves’. Not knowing how to use them I did not buy them. I was curious what they were used for. After researching a little bit I found out that these leaves are a nutritional power-house. Here is the nutrition information from wikipedia: The leaves are the most nutritious part of the plant, being a significant source of B vitaminsvitamin C, provitamin A as beta-carotenevitamin Kmanganese, and protein, among other essential nutrient  Continue reading “Lentils with drumstick Leaves”

Beet Salad -A celebration recipe

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For my birthday this year, a good friend of mine gave me an amazing book – ‘Share’ : A cookbook that celebrates our common humanity by Women for Women International (WFWI). The underlying message of Share is simple: for all our apparent diversity―as individuals, societies and nations―our actions, however small, can have an exponential, positive influence both on the world and the lives of others. Nothing more beautifully conveys our interdependence than the food we eat. The recipes featured in this uplifting book―provided by contributors who are all actively engaged in humanitarian issues, as well women from the eight countries in which Women for Women International (WfWI) work.

I am in love with the illustrations in this book. The night I received this book, I was up past midnight going through it. One recipe that caught my eye right away, was a beet salad recipe by Zainab Salbi, founder of women for women international. I love beets and it had many ingredients that I use everyday. Last weekend I finally decided to make this recipe.  As I was making it, I wasn’t sure how it would come together. However, when I tasted it, the flavors were out of this world! The flavors of sesame seeds, balsamic vinegar, olive oil and fresh ginger along with all the chopped veggies were heavenly. This probably is one of my most favorite salads and I am going to make this again and again.

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I made some changes to the original recipe. Instead of using raw beets, I used roasted beets. I also replaced carrots with fresh orange bell pepper that is now in season and I added some grape tomatoes. I followed the rest of the recipe and it indeed was a celebration of colors and taste on my plate and my mouth!

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Stir fried Tindora {Ivy Gourd}

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Ivy gourd, also known as Tendli, Tindora or Tondle is a tropical vegetable that grows on a vine. It looks like baby cucumber, with a very mild crunchy taste. I remember eating it in a very typical rice dish called “Tondle bhath” which was served with a cool buttermilk drink flavored with cilantro and fresh ginger. In 2010 when my mom was visiting me she taught me this amazing stir fry version that can be enjoyed with Parathas. It is a simple recipe that starts with a tempering mustard seeds and then cooking the tindora with turmeric, cashews, green chilies. Finish up by garnishing with fresh coconut, lemon juice and sugar. The outcome is a very unique combination of flavors as well as textures, the soft and juicy tindora, creamy cashews and the crispiness of the coconut in a mildly spiced sweet and sour tindora stir fry.

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Purple Cabbage Parathas {flatbreads}

 

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I love buying cabbage, both purple and green, to add to salads and tacos. You’ll probably find some sort of half-cabbage head, in my refrigerator,  tightly wrapped in clear plastic because it keeps forever. It always comes through in a jam when I forget to pick up salad greens or purples! They are my back up veggies in the fridge. Today, I decided to use up the purple cabbage I have been saving in the refrigerator to add in my salad. It has been a rather cold week and I am in no mood to eat cold salad. So decided to use it up to make some ‘garam-garam’ parathas. The best way for me to chop cabbage is to mince it food processor. After all the cabbage was finely chopped, I realized I was out of cilantro. I had some kale (another hardy multi-purpose nutrition powerhouse)  on hand, which I thought would make a good substitute to add some greens. So chopped kale leaves, ginger and green chilies and made a brand new kind of Parathas… Yum! I love starting with simple ingredients and turning them into hearty, filling and super healthy dish. Did you know that Anthocyanin rich purple cabbage (beneficial for the nervous system and fighting free radicals)  has 10 times more vitamin A and twice as much iron as green cabbage?

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Mung bean sprouts salad

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Did you know that 2016 is the United Nations International Year of Pulses (IYP)?

Check out more details on Pulses, the nutritious seeds for a sustainable future at – http://www.fao.org/pulses-2016/about/en/

My pantry is always stocked with variety of pulses that include whole pulse like chickpeas, split pulses with the skin on, and split pulses with the skins removed. Pulses are packed with protein, making a great alternate to animal protein and are low in fat and high in fiber. Pulses when stored in airtight and dry containers have a long shelf life and can be used in a variety of dishes.

One of my favorite beans is the mung bean. The recipe here is a super easy, healthy and filling sprouted mung bean salad that can be prepared in no time. You can add any vegetables that you like, squeeze some lime juice, sprinkle with some salt and pepper and Enjoy!

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Methi/fenugreek-sweet potato Paratha {flatbreads}

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Parathas in my family can be eaten for breakfast, lunch or dinner. It’s everyone’s favorite dish that brings smiles, memories and a fun conversation that always leads to what stuffing we love in our parathas. This is my first paratha blog post and I promise many more with some unique combinations that we love.

While in India, my husband used to travel extensively for work. His most vivid memories while traveling in north India, that he tells us about, are of eating piping hot parathas on cold winter mornings. He loves dipping them with pickles and yogurt. My older son eats them without any condiments, while my younger son loves them with ketchup. For me, Parathas bring memories of my mom making them and the aroma of fenugreek leaves and ghee all over the kitchen as mom served them hot off the pan, ‘garam garam’ as she calls them.

There are lots of recipes for parathas including a variation of fillings that they can be made with. I do not have a favorite yet, as I feel like I am still discovering more. Today’s recipe uses fresh fenugreek/methi and sweet potatoes added directly to the wheat flour, along with some spices to make the dough. Sweet potatoes give these parathas very soft yet crispy texture!

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Chana masala

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Chana masala (spiced chickpeas) is a staple in my kitchen and definitely my go-to dish when entertaining. This intensely spiced, tangy, aromatic dish makes for a healthy, protein packed dinner.

This dish can quickly be made if you have the spices roasted and blended in advance (or you can use ready made chana masala spice which is readily available). I recently made a batch of this spice blend to speedup my weeknight cooking. After researching quiet a few recipes and several trials, I now have the perfect recipe that I am thrilled to share with you! This blend uses Kashmiri red chilies that give the dish a deep orange color and just the right amount of heat and dried mango powder to enhance the tangy tomato flavor. The spice blend uses few basic spices and can be made ahead in a big batch or can also be made while you are sauteing onions for this chana masala recipe. Here is the recipe using my chana masala spice blend that can be made in a jiffy.

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