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Creamy Maharashtrian Chole

Small tomatoes in Korea

Image via Wikipedia

Chole is a classic Indian dish. However, not many people know that chole is made differently across different parts of India. For example there’s Gujurati style chole, which is served in a traditional ‘thali,’ South Indian Chole, which uses curry leaves, and Maharashtrian Chole, which is served in parts of Mumbai. Traditionally, Chole is made with Ghee (India clarified butter) and oil/butter, but that’s not very healthy or necessary to obtain an authentic taste. Plus the addition of reduced-fat sour cream adds a rich creamy taste without the excessive amount of fat!
We usually make 2 types of Chole at home- a creamy version and a more sauteed version. This is the Creamy Chole recipe, which I prefer, because it tastes so heavenly and you feel like you’re eating something that took hours to cook, but its so easy, you can make it every week!
  • 1 can chick peas (I use Goya)
  • 1 medium sized onion- diced
  • 1 beefsteak tomato- diced
  • 1 tbsp black mustard seeds
  • 1 tbsp garam masala
  • 3 cloves garlic– crushed and minced
  • 1/2-1 tbsp freshly grated ginger
  • 1/4 cup sour cream (I used reduced-fat Breakstones Brand or use Vegan Substitute)
  • 1 tbsp turmeric
  • 1 tbsp chili powder (or to taste)
  • couple tbsp water
  • salt- to taste
  • coarse black pepper- few grinds
  • half bunch cilantro– minced
  • 1 red onion- cut into thick rounds (for garnishing)
  • 3-4 sweet peppers- for garnishing (optional)
  • PAM- original
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil

Tools: Medium/Large non-stick skillet, spatula

1. In the skillet over medium-high heat spray with PAM and pour oil. Add mustard seeds, and cook until they are fragrant and “pop” about 30 seconds to a minute. Add onions, garlic and ginger and saute for about 2-3 minutes until slightly brown/golden. Add the diced tomatoes and saute for a few more minutes. Add garam masala, turmeric, chili powder. Once the onions are caramelized and the tomatoes soft, add the chickpeas and combine with the onion-tomatoe mixture until well coated.

2. After about 2-3 minutes add the sour cream and cook until everything is well combined. Add salt and pepper, taste. Cook until chickpeas are soft and flavored well. Make sure to taste a few times for salt and masala. If it’s too thick, add a few tbsp of water (consistency should be creamy, gravy-like, not too thick).

3. Once the gravy has thickened, chickpeas are cooked well and you’ve tasted for salt/masala, remove from heat and mix in 3/4 of the reserved chopped cilantro. Clean the pan and set back on medium-high heat. Spray with PAM and the thick red onion slices and small sweet peppers. Saute on medium-high heat until onions are charred and soft (without breaking circular shape). Place chole in a nice serving dish and top with remaining cilantro, onions and peppers. Serve with Basmati rice, chapati or naan.

Serves 4-6

Nutrition:

The 2 ingredients in this Chole that contribute the fat/calories to this dish are: 1 tbsp oil (14 grams of fat/140 calories)

1/4 sour cream (3.5 grams of fat per 1 tbsp/40 calories)

Want to see more recipes using Garama Masala?

Indian Sloppy Joe (Pav Bhaji Recipe)- Vegan

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Roasted Acorn Squash Stuffed with Vegetable Biryani (Indian Spiced Rice)

Cashew nut snack, roasted and salted

Image via Wikipedia

Christmas is around the corner (trust me it’ll creep up on you really fast, so you better have your gifts ready :-D ), and I like to add a little Indian flair to my Christmas Eve dinner. Ok, I’m obviously not Christian, but being born and brought up in Staten Island, I can say I know a thing or two about Christmas festivities and how important it is, religiously speaking. However, I tend to use Christmas as an excuse to indulge in food and gifts- yes, I’m still a child and there is NO shame in that! For some reason squash reminds me of the holidays- maybe because it’s all over the supermarket in ridiculous quantities and they’re pretty cheap! Just look how cheap you can get some Acorn Squashes at Freshdirect averaging around $1.24 for 1! While using this inexpensive vegetable, I decided to put my Indian twist on Stuffed Acorn Squash.
I roast the squash with some masalas, scoop it out and toss it with Spicy Biryani along with cashews and saffron. It has the perfect winter touch with warm flavors of clove, cardamom, cinnamon and spicy masalas- it’s sure to keep you cozy on a cold snowy day! Biryani by the way is a traditional spicy-roasted basmati rice, served in different varieties across India. It comes in Chicken & Lamb Biryani, but we’re not too concerned with that here :-P . Actually, Wikipediahas a pretty good definition of it! Did I mention this dish is Vegan– yes, I know amazing! So why don’t we get started on my Indian inspired Christmas dish?!
Roasted Acorn Squash Stuffed with Vegetable Biryani:
  • 4 acorn squashes cut in half, gutted
  • 1/2 cup basmati rice soaked in water
  • 1 cup water
  • 2-3 tbsp garam masala (click for a homemade recipe or store-bought is fine)
  • 1 medium red onion- diced
  • 3-4 small sweet peppers- diced
  • handful cashew nuts– chopped a bit
  • pinch of saffron
  • handful cilantro– finely chopped
  • 3-4 tbsp biryani paste- recipe BELOW (or store-bought)
  • 1 medium onion- cut into thick slices (garnishing)
  • salt to taste
  • coarse black pepper
  • PAM original flavor
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. On a baking sheet place the squash halves, spray with PAM and sprinkle with 1-2 tbsp garam masala. Place in the oven and BROIL till tender and charred- about 10-15 minutes.

2. While the squashes are roasting, in a large skillet, spray with PAM and add vegetable oil and set over medium heat. Add the cashews and saute until fragrant and slightly darkened. Add onions and peppers, sprinkle with black pepper and saute until soft, about 5-7 minutes.

Once the onions and peppers are soft, but now brown, add the soaked basmati rice (make sure not to get any water in it!). Saute for 5-7 minutes. You want to toast the the rice.

3. Remove the squash from the oven and cool for a few minutes before handling. Score the squash into small cubes, WITHOUT cutting through the skin. Scoop the cubes out into a bowl and set aside. Keep the shell aside, DON’T throw out!

4. Once the rice is toasted add 1 cup of water, pinch of saffron, cover and cook on medium-low heat, about 15 minutes. You want the rice to be cooked thru, not mushy so don’t mix it around too much! Once the rice is cooked, add the cubed squash, tossing gently (you don’t want the squash to break and mush around the rice). Add the Biryani paste and toss to coat. Mix in 3/4 of the chopped cilantro. Taste for salt and biryani flavor- it should be strong, spicy and aromatic.

5. In a small skillet, spray with PAM and set over medium-high heat. Add onion slices, and saute without breaking up the circles. Cook until brown-ish about 4-5 minutes. Set aside.

6. Fill each squash bowl with rice, just coming over the top. Top each one with an onion round and sprinkle with remaining chopped cilantro. Serve with yogurt or raita.

Serves 4

Biryani Paste:

  • 1 medium white onion- diced
  • 1 beefsteak tomato- diced
  • 3-4 cloves garlic- crushed and minced (click HERE for amazing garlic tips!)
  • 2 tbsp ginger- freshly grated (need help Tackling Ginger?)
  • 1 tbsp chili powder (it should be spicy!)
  • handful chopped cilantro
  • 4-5 hefty tbsp Biryani paste (I use Patak’s Brand)
  • PAM original flavor
  • 1/2 tbsp vegetable oil

1. In a medium skillet, spray with pam, add oil and set over medium-high flame. Add onions and tomatoes, saute until golden-brown about 4-5 minutes. Add garlic, ginger, chili powder and cilantro. Saute until vegetables are soft and fragrant about 4-5 minutes. Add the biryani paste and mix well, making sure all the veggies are coated. Remove from the heat and let cool (10-15 minutes).

2. In a grinder/food processor, add the biryani mixture and grind until smooth (slightly chunky is ok). Store in an air tight container. Can be kept in the fridge for 1-2 weeks, or in the freezer- for a while!

Makes about 1/2-1 cup

Can’t Get Enough Healthy Vegan? Check these out:

Tandoori Tofu Masala “Salad”

Spicy Cumin Potatoes with Green Chili Tofu

Indian Sloppy Joe (Pav Bhaji)

Baked Sweet & Spicy Sweet Potato Fries

Idli & Vada (South Indian Delight)

Creamy Maharashtrian Chole

 

 
 

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Sindhi Kadhi Indian Recipe

Cooked Basmati Rice and peas (beans), with pin...

Image via Wikipedia

Sindhi Kadhi is a dish that is fully rounded and has so many levels of flavor. The hints of sweet and tangy combined with the spiciness and the beautifully colored vegetables is a feast to the eyes and to the hungry stomach. Change out the vegetables, eliminate some you don’t like or add on the ones you love – it’s a very forgiving dish. Enjoy this Sindhi Kadhi with some plain white Basmati Rice and you’ll need little else to satisfy the soul.

 

Prep Time: 15 min
Cook Time: 30 min
Serves: 4 – 6

Ingredients:

Water – 5.5 Cups + .5 Cups
Besan/Chick Pea Flour – 1/3 Cup
Drumsticks – 1 Cup, cut to 1″ length
Carrots – 2 med. peeled, washed and cut
Cauliflower – 2 big florets, cut to bite-size
Green Beans – 10, cut to 1/2″ pieces
Potato – 1 medium, cubed
Green Chillies – 4 or to taste, slit
Small Eggplants – 3, cubed
Oil – 1 tbsp
Methi / Fenugreek Seeds – 1/4 tsp
Turmeric Powder – 1/4 tsp
Red Chili Powder – 1/2 tsp or to taste
Salt – to taste
Jaggery – 2 tbsp or to taste
Tamarind – 2 tbsp or to taste
Cilantro – for garnish

Method:

1. In pressure cooker, combine the Chickpea Flour and the 5.5 cups of Water and remove all lumps.
2. Pressure cook for 1 whistle and allow the pressure to release by itself.
3. In a small saucepan, combine the 1/2 cup Water and the Drumsticks and allow them to come to a boil.
4. Once the Water and the Drumsticks have come to a boil, low heat to a simmer and cook till ready to use.
5. In a big open pan, heat Oil on medium heat and add in the Fenugreek Seeds and allow them to sizzle.
6. Add in Turmeric and Red Chilli Powder and immediately after that all the Vegetables (Potatoes, Green Chilies, Carrots, Cauliflower, Beans & Eggplant)
7. Turn the flame up to a high, mix and coat all the Vegetable with the Oil.
8. Cook for about 3 minutes or till the Vegetables get a slight golden brown and lower the heat to a medium.
9. Add in the Chickpea Flour and Water, add the Drumsticks and the water, cover and cook for 15 minutes.
10. Add in the Salt, Jaggery and Tamarind Paste and mix.
11. Increase heat and allow the Kadhi to reduce and thicken up to a thin custard consistency.
12. Garnish with Cilantro and serve with Rice.

 

 
 

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