Stuffed Snake Gourd

Ingredients:

Snake gourd.-1 big piece

Baking soda – 1/4 spoon

Water – 1.5 cups

For the stuffing:

Coconut grated – 1 handful

Red chillies(roasted) – 5 to 6

Tuvar dal – 1/2 cup

Asafoetida- 1/2 spoon

Salt as per taste

Cumin 1/2 t spoon

Semolina – 2 tablespoons

Method:

Deseed the snake gourd and slice it into three big and equal pieces.

In a saucepan heat 1.5 cups of water and then when it begins to boil drop the gourds in them and also add the baking soda to the water.

Allow to simmer for about 3 to 4 minutes and then remove them from the pan and immerse it in cold water to which a little salt is added.

Keep them aside.

This process helps the gourd to retain its colour.

Now in a mixer jar grind the soaked dal, red chillies, cumin and coconut to a fine paste adding very little water.

Add 2 table spoons of semolina,asafoetida and salt as per taste and mix well.

Now in a steamer add some water and boil it.

In a greased vessel keep the gourds vertically and fill them with the ground masala and press firmly.

Follow the same procedure with the rest of the gourds and steam them for about ten minutes.

Enjoy them with coconut oil.

You may slice the steamed gourds into thin slices using a sharp knife.

Then roast them on both the sides using a little oil to golden brown and enjoy.

Sautéed Okra /Lady finger

Okra or Lady finger is a versatile vegetable which is loved by most of us. If Cooked in the right manner, tastes finger licking good.It has a lot of health benefits too like good skin, improves memory,relieves constipation and also good to regulate the blood sugar levels.

Ingredients:

Okra/ Lady finger – 15 to 20 pieces

Onions – 2

Garlic cloves – 6

Green chillies – 2 sliced finely

Fresh coriander leaves for garnishing – A handful.

Oil – 3 table spoons

Salt as per taste.

For the masala:

Red chilli powder – 1/2 spoon.

Turmeric – 1/4 spoon

Lemon juice – 1 table spoon.

Cumin Powder – 1 spoon

Mixed spice powder or Garam masala – 2 to 3 pinches.

Mix and keep aside.

Method:

Heat a pan and add in finely sliced onions and keep sautéing until it turns pink.

Add salt , green chillies and lemon juice to the thinly sliced okra and mix well and keep aside.

Once the onions Turns pink add sliced garlic. You may even randomly smash the garlic cloves and add them.

Now add the green chillies, salt,lemon juice and sliced okra which had been mixed and kept aside.( This removes the sticky mucus like liquid formed while cooking the okra )

Now add the masala which was kept aside.

Cook on open low flame for about 8 to ten minutes and the dish is ready.

Garnish with fresh chopped coriander leaves.

Goes well with roti.

Tips:

To retain the green colour of the okra immerse them in cold water to which a little ie around quarter spoon of baking soda is added.

Strain them after 10 minutes and wipe them dry before you slice them for cooking.

Refreshing Cucumber salad with onions and Beetroot

Salads are refreshing and add colour and zest to the meals.They complete the meal and is also nutritous and natural source of fibre which is essential for a healthy living.

 

Ingredients:

Cucumber – 1 (sliced thinly)

Beetroot – 1 halved and sliced thinly

Onion – 1 halved and sliced thinly

Chat masala – 1\2 spoon

Lemon Juice -1\2  lemon

Black salt – As per taste

Method:

In  a plate arrange the cucumber, beetroot and onion slices and sprinkle the black salt, lemon juice and finally the chat masala.

Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and enjoy the cool salad as a side with meals.Cooling and refreshing.

Coloured peppers with quinoa feta cheeses

Ingredients:

This is an absolutely yummy and colourful dish. The lemon zest added enhances the taste.. A delicious and fulfilling meal in itself.

Feta cheese – 4 table spoons crumbled.

Red pepper – 1/2 of a whole pepper

Green pepper – 1/2

Yellow pepper – 1/2

Lemon /lime zests – of one lemon/lime.

Red paprika flakes – 1 spoon(small)

parsley or cilantro – 1 handful.chopped.

Oregano/ mixed herbs – few pinches.

Red Onions -2

Garlics cloves – 5-6

Pine seeds – 1 spoon toasted

Lemon juice – 1 spoon

Coarsely ground pepper – 1/4 spoon.

Quinoa – 1/2 cup.

Hot water – 1.5 cups

Olive oil – 3 table spoons.

Method:

Apply a little oil to the surface of the halved pepper to which a few drops of lemon drops and pinches of salt is applied.

Bake the halves of the coloured peppers in the oven until they’re soft on the inside but slightly charred and crisp on the edges.

This may take about 15 minutes.

Simultaneously in a saucepan add the water and few drops of olive oil and salt.

Cook the quinoa on low flame tossing in between on a closed lid.

It may take about 10 to 15 minutes.

Mince the garlic, onions and parsley red coriander leaves.:

Chop the pine nuts.

Heat a pan and take 2 tablespoons of olive oil.

Add the garlic, chopped onions and red pepper flakes and sauté for about 2 to 3 minutes until the onions are translucent and the garlic is fragrant.

Turn off gas, then stir in the cooked quinoa, pine nuts and finely chopped parsley or cilantro, paprika, oregano or mixed herbs,lemon juice,lemon zest, sea salt and black pepper.

Taste and add another few pinches of salt to taste.

Spoon the filling into the roasted pepper halves.

Garnish with feta cheese crumbles and bake for another 10 mins.

Serve the remaining filling at the sides with sliced avocado.

Feta cheese has salt so be mindful on how much salt you may need to add.

Raw Mango Salad

Mangoes both raw are ripe available in plenty. Then it’s time to savour the delicious king of fruits be it in soups, desserts, curries, shakes, smoothies and salads.

The yummy dishes made are never ending.

This delicious, tangy,sweet and spicy well balanced salad is nutritious and filling.

Ingredients:

Raw Mango – 1 firm one skinned

Red onion -1 big

Carrot – 1 medium sized

Coriander leaves – a handful

Salt as per taste

Juice of half a lemon/lime.

Brown Sugar – 1 spoon.

Garlic clove – 1 crushed.

Toasted and skinned peanuts – 1/2 cup.

Fresh chilli -1 red and 1 green.

Chilli flakes – few pinches

Method:

In a small bowl squeeze the juice of half a lime or lemon and add salt , chilli flakes,red and green minced chillies ,crushed garlic clove and brown sugar.

Keep aside.

Shred the peeled mangoes or slice them into julienne

You may even grate them.

Slice onions into thin slices.

Slice carrots into juliennes

Toss them well and add the salad dressing and mix well.

Now finally add the slightly crushed toasted peanuts and garnish with finely chopped coriander leaves and spring onion.

Refrigerate and enjoy fresh.

Raw Jackfruit Kebabs

When the jackfruits are in season I try to make fruitful use of the raw as well the ripened fruit. This fibrous fruit is a delicacy and the nutritional value of the fruit is also a reason for me to experiment with this fruit.

I had planned to make a deep fried podi/ pakora from it but the jackfruit turned to be slightly ripe inside. So the outcome were these delicious kebabs.

Ingredients:

Jackfruit pieces -10 medium sized bits

Onion – 1 finely chopped

Bread crumbs – 1/2 cup

Chilli powder – 1.5 spoons

Garlic crushed – 3-4 cloves

Besan/ Chicpea flour – 2 table spoons

Cornflour – 1 table spoon.

Lemon juice – 1 t spoon

Salt as per taste.

Oil – 4 table spoons.

Method:

In a cooker steam the jackfruit bits adding a little salt for about fifteen minutes.

Once it cools using light finger movements mash them and transfer them to a big bowl.

In the same pan take a table spoon of oil and on medium flame sauté the chopped onions.

As they turn pink add crushed garlic and sauté for another two to three minutes.

Add chilli powder,besan, cornflour and lime juice and sauté for for another two minutes.

Put off the flame and add in the bread crumbs and mix well.

Smear some oil on your hands and shape the mixture into oblong shaped kebabs.

Heat a pan preferably an iron one and apply a few drops of oil and on a low flame roast or pan fry the kebabs occasionally flipping them slowly so that they are roasted evenly.

Enjoy them as is or with coriander or mint chutney and tomato chilli sauce.