SPINACH- PEAS CURRY


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Just bought fresh baby spinach from Costco over the weekend. I decided to make another spinach curry most popular in India. This curry is easy to cook, it’s totally vegan. This is another great recipe of people avoiding dairy products temporarily. Couple of tweaks using this same spinach curry- you may add potato/sweet potato/ corn/ paneer/tofu instead of peas. This curry can also be eaten without any toppings. The key ingredient for this recipe is spinach and peas. It is the easiest curry which can be prepared within 30 mins (15 min prep and 15 min cooking time).

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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup frozen peas or boiled fresh peas
  • 2 cup baby spinach, boiled, drained and cooled
  • 2 tbsp. cooking oil
  • 1 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 inch piece of ginger
  • 1-2 cloves on garlic – optional
  • 1-2 green chillies
  • 1 medium sized tomato
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1/4 tsp. crushed chillies or chilli powder
  • 1 tsp. coriander powder
  • 1 tsp. salt, or to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. garam masala
  • 1 cup of water, approximately

Method:

  • Boil spinach leaves for 10 minutes in small amount of water.
  • Drain it and allow it to cool for some time.
  • If using fresh peas you will want to slightly boil it (5 -7 minutes in boiling water).
  • While the spinach is getting boiled, finely chop ½ onion and keep aside.
  • Roughly chop tomatoes green chilies, ginger and garlic.
  • Grind the cooled spinach along with the green chilies, tomato, onion, ginger and garlic to a fine paste and keep aside.
  • Heat oil in a pan.
  • Add the cumin seeds, wait for it to crackle
  • Add the finely chopped onions. Fry for 2-3 minutes, until lightly brown on medium flame
  • Add the spinach paste to the above. Keep it on low flame- to avoid spluttering of spinach all around.
  • Add turmeric powder and salt to taste.
  • Simmer it for 10 minutes.
  • Add frozen peas or boiled fresh peas.
  • Finally add garam masala & chili powder
  • Add 1 cup of water (adjust as needed)
  • Cook for 5-7mins. Turn off the flame.

Cooking Tips:

  • Do not cover the spinach curry if you want a vibrant green color. (Since I covered it while cooking the color changed to olive green)
  • To reduce the bitterness of the spinach you may add a spoonful of plain yogurt. Tomato also helps, but in turn changes the vibrant green color.
  • A trick my mom shared with me and I am sharing with you folks- to avoid spinach to splutter all around, cook it over low medium flame, leave the ladle in the pan. This will ensure no to minimal spluttering.

Serve it with hot hulks/chapatti/rice. try this dish folks and leave me your comments.

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AAM KI LAUNJI (RAW MANGO CURRY)


Aam/Kairi Ki launji is another of my favorites. Kairi is another word for unripe green mangoes in India.My mom always cooks these in summer. She uses raw baby mangoes (Kairi).  You can use frozen raw mangoes (cut) or else use fresh raw mango. I like to use the fresh ones, because, they are more flavorful during the hot summer months.
The best thing, it can be eaten as a main dish and also can be added as a side.

Ingredients

  • 1 large raw mango
  • 1 tbsp olive oil/ any oil of your own choice
  • A pinch of hing/asafetida
  • 1/2 tsp jeera/cumin seeds
  • 1/4 tsp methi/fenugreek seeds
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1/4 tea spoon turmeric powder –
  • 4 tbsp Sugar/honey (adjust if mangoes are not sweet)
  • Salt -according to the taste
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup Water

Method

  • Wash the mangoes. Peel and cut into 2 inch pieces.
  • Boil the mangoes for 8-10 mins, strain and keep aside.
  • Heat oil in a pan
  • Add cumin seeds, methi, and fennel seeds into it.
  • Once the methi seeds are turning light brown in color, add hing to it.
  • Add the boiled mangoes and mix them well.
  • Add the spices: turmeric powder, salt. Mix them well
  • Add sugar and water and let it cook for 8-10 mins on low medium flame.
  • Once the mangoes are tender. Turn off the flame.
  • Ready to be served with Rice or paratha and chapatti.


Hope you like it!

STUFFED CAPSICUM (BELL PEPPER) IN CASHEW NUT CURRY


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I was confused about how to prepare the bell pepper for dinner. I wanted to cook something simple using  bell pepper and potato (the most common way it is cooked in India). But instead I decided to make it using potato  and cheese stuffing.

Since I wanted to serve with roti (Indian flat bread), it needed a curry otherwise it would have been really dry. So far, whenever I have eaten stuffed bell peppers, they are served as one big bell pepper. It is usually hard to eat and messy if you are eating it out.

I decided to slice the bell pepper horizontally, so that they are easy to eat. Also, one large bell pepper can easily serve two individuals. You may choose to use different color and get small/medium size bell pepper for this variation.

The cashew nut curry is thick, creamy and rich. I like to cook it occasionally to change the taste buds from usual tomato/onion gravy.

Ingredients:

Stuffing

  • 1 green bell pepper, small
  • 1 red bell pepper, small
  • 2 small, potatoes, boiled, peeled and mashed
  • 1-2 green chilies, slit, de-seed and chopped
  • 2 tbsp parmesan cheese
  • ¼ teaspoon red chili
  • ½ teaspoon cumin powder
  • Pinch of garam masala
  • Salt & pepper, to taste

Curry

  • 1 onion, medium, roughly chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, medium, roughly chopped
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 2-3 cardamom pods, lightly crushed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 10-15 cashew nuts (whole)
  • 1/4 tsp. ginger-garlic paste
  • ¼ tsp. garam masala
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1/2 cup whipped yogurt (low-fat plain yogurt)
  • 3-4 teaspoons olive oil (any oil of your preference)
  • Coriander leaves
  • Salt to taste
  • Water

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Method:

Stuffing

  • Boil the potatoes in microwave/pressure cook them
  • Peel, mash and keep aside
  • Add the Parmesan cheese and chopped green chilies to the mashed potato
  • Add pepper, salt, garam masala, red chili powder and cumin powder to the mashed potato.
  • Mix everything together and keep aside.
  • Take bell peppers, remove the stalk and take out all the seeds with a knife. Cut the bell peppers horizontally into thick circles (1/2” in width)
  • Take each bell pepper circle and stuff it with the potato mixture.
  • Spray olive oil on a grill pan and grill the stuffed peppers for 5-7 minutes on each side till they are light brown in color. Set aside.

Curry

  • In a pan heat 2 teaspoon of oil on medium heat and add lightly crushed cardamom pods and bay leaf to it. Saute for a minute or two.
  • Add chopped garlic and cook till garlic is light brown in color.
  • Add roughly chopped onions and cook till translucent.
  • Add the tomatoes and cashews.
  • Cover it with a lid and let it cook for 6-8 minutes on medium heat till tomatoes are soft.
  • Switch off the gas and let it cool
  • Remove the bay leaf from the mixture and puree it to a fine paste.
  • In the same pan, heat 1.5 teaspoon of oil on medium heat. Once hot add the ginger-garlic paste and saute for 2 minutes, ensure the raw smell is gone.
  • Add the puree mixture and cook for 3 minutes
  • Add the dry spices – paprika powder, cumin powder, red chilli powder, garam masala and salt. Also add around 3/4th cup of water at this point.
  • Cover and cook the curry for 5-6 minutes on medium flame.
  • Open the pan and add the whipped yogurt. I like to add yogurt instead of heavy cream/ milk
  • Cook the curry for 2 minutes on medium flame.
  • Add the stuffed bell peppers to the curry, cook for 2-3 minutes and switch off the flame.
  • Garnish with some chopped coriander leaves and serve hot.

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I would love to hear back from you! Let me know when you try it 🙂