Friday, July 24, 2009

Protein Packed Rice

Paneer & Green Moong Sprouts make this rice dish an ideal source of protein. This is a recipe I whipped up one day. I simply followed my kitchen instincts and this mildly flavoured, wholesome rice ended up on our lunch menu.







You need -

paneer, 1/4 cup, finely diced

green whole moong sprouts, 1/4 cup

basmati rice, 1 cup

2 cups water

2 fresh red/green chillies, slit

a few corns of pepper and 1/4 tspn fennel/saunf

1 tbspn oil

salt to taste

  1. Wash the rice and keep aside.
  2. Lightly crush the pepper and fennel to a coarse powder.
  3. Heat oil and add chillies and the pepper-fennel powder.
  4. Tip in the paneer and saute lightly.
  5. Now add the sprouts and saute for a couple of more minutes. I microwaved the sprouts for a couple of minutes, this helped.
  6. Add rice and fry on low heat until the rice turns an opaque white. Do be gentle, you don't want to crumble the paneer too much.
  7. Add water and salt to taste. Bring to the boil and then cover and let simmer until the rice is cooked.
  8. Serve with raita (spiced yogurt) and Indian pickle.
You could also add in a sliced onion, but I wanted to keep the flavour clean and simple.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Posting from sunny Darwin!

We came to Darwin on Sunday as M is working on a short project here. I must admit, although we hadn't expected an awful lot, we were pleasantly surprised! We've been told this is the 'dry' season and so it is not all that hot 'n' humid, well, good for us :-) So, now that explains the long gap between my last post and now. I have started cooking in the super convenient serviced apartment we've been given. It's the first time I'm cooking on an electric stove top and I'm still shaky about the heat settings, but I'll get there. I tried baking brownies the other day and they were a disaster! Well, actually I did manage to salvage whatever I could out of the slab with an almost black crusty top and a gooey, unbaked middle. The rest of it, however, was delicious! After that charring adventure, I haven't really made anything exciting and new, just the same regular kind of home food. We did come across some really nice and interesting places to eat though. The other evening, we went to this nice place on the waterfront. It was a buffet dinner and was quite good. Last night we went to the popular Mindil Markets by the beach and there was an array of stalls selling food from almost all over the world! What a lovely evening it was - tantalising aromas, great music and interesting wares at the craft stalls, and all by the beach as the sun set turning the sky into an orange delight. I did not take many pictures of the food, but will do so next time. Here are just a couple to illustrate my post :-)
More in my next post. Happy weekend!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Friday, July 10, 2009

Weet-Bix quick fix

Eureka!! Don't you just love it when you whip up new recipes on your own? I'm beaming right now 'cos I figured out what to do with the big box of 'Weet Bix' (blocks of wheat flakes, eaten cereal style with milk) sitting morosely in a dark corner of my kitchen cupboard. The story so far: A couple of months ago, I was doing a course on English Teaching to Adults (CELTA) and as always, there was an excited pre-course shopping spree where I bought brand new pretty stationery, new shoes (well yea-huh!) etc, and the Weet Bix was part of it. 'I need something healthy and quick for breakfast every day' was my reasoning when M raised an eyebrow at the largest pack on the shelf that I had picked up. And, as always with me, that which began with a great flurry, faded away gradually. I might have had it for breakfast precisely two times! So, back to my eureka moment, the other day I wanted to make something light, healthy and quick for lunch and I opened my kitchen cupboard and stood staring at it as if something would talk to me :-) Then I saw the box and thought I'd experiment a little. And the result was quite good! So here's the recipe.

4 blocks of Weet Bix (well, they're nothing but wheat flakes shaped like biscuits. They may be called something else in your local store. See picture.)

1 onion, chopped

a handful of peanuts

1 tbspn desiccated coconut

1 small potato, boiled and lightly mashed

red chilli powder, cumin powder, salt and sugar to taste

1 tbspn oil

Crush the weet bix to get a bowl of flakes. Sprinkle (not pour) water until you slightly wet the flakes. Adding too much water will make it a porridge! You need to get the avalakki/poha/beaten rice effect.

Heat oil in a wok/pan and add chopped onion. Cook till soft.

Add peanuts and desiccated coconut and saute for a while.

Add mashed potato.

Add chilli powder, cumin powder, salt and sugar and mix well.

Tip in the damp wheat flakes and give it all a good mix.

Serve hot.

I noticed that the texture of this dish is very much like avalakki/poha, but it has an interesting touch of wheat. Light, healthy and quick. A huge plus for me is that I can now finish the rest. I'm actually planning to add some more veggies and flavours to it. Maybe I'll also try something sweet, mmmm...Well, one never knows when one will say 'Eureka!'



Thursday, July 2, 2009

Easy Veg Noodles


Eating in and loving it! Last night M said he'd decided we'd go out out for dinner. Well, I can't say I don't know why, 'cos I do know the reason behind the decision! We have been having an overdose of rice 'n' sambhar, courtesy leftovers, and he wanted a break, heheh. Can't really blame him for the pizza craving now, can I? I, on the other hand, was horrified at the thought of a pizza dinner. Why? you ask...because scenes of me huffing 'n' puffing on the treadmill came flashing into my head and an alarm began to shrill, hence the horror :-) So, I quickly made a plan to cook at home and several defensive answers later, he succumbed, yay! I even managed to motivate him to be my sous chef in our 'we're-gonna-cook-noodles' project. So off we went to the store and back we came with some ingredients. This is a recipe that I adapted from a friend's. Anyway, it turned out absolutely yummy and my sous chef, I must say, was very efficient indeed!

We gathered

1 small onion, sliced

some thinly sliced ginger and garlic (as much or as little as you prefer)

2 red (birds eye) chillies chopped

1 large bowl of mixed veggies - we had green bell peppers/capsicum, mushrooms, baby corn, french beans and carrots, all thinly sliced. Omit or add as you wish, you could add broccoli, for example.

some soy sauce, chilli sauce, honey and salt (we didn't really have any specific measure, just added in according to taste. If you're unsure, check taste and adjust accordingly)

Hokkien noodles or any (thick) noodles of your choice

2 tbspns oil

What we did -

Heated oil in a wok and added ginger and garlic and chillies.

Then we put in the sliced onion and sauteed for a while.

Next we added all the sliced veggies and quickly tossed it for a couple of minutes, stir-fry style. We kept the veggies crunchy and didn't cook them till soft.

Then we added in the soy sauce, honey and chilli sauce. (Now, these three things are the stars of the show. They give all the flavour to the dish, so add according to taste. Be generous with the honey and soy but do hold back on the chilli sauce, unless you want dragon breath, which is what happened to M & me, by the way! We were gasping and panting as we ate dinner, but thoroughly enjoyed it anyways.)

Then we added some salt, again only as much as was needed as soy sauce already has salt in it.

Finally, we added the noodles (which my efficient sous chef had prepared as per instructions on the packet) and tossed everything well.

And voila! Our very own, home cooked, veg noodles was ready to be eaten! Oh, by the way, we had forgotten to buy spring onion on our little ingredients shopping trip, but you could garnish it with chopped spring onion if you wish.

I must say, it was great fun cooking together. We laughed and had a wonderful time. Highly recommended :-) It's a great feeling to cook at home and eat a healthy meal. Plus it only cost us about $5, great in these times! So, go on, put on your aprons and chef's hats and cook a meal with someone you love. I assure you, it'll turn out to be a delicious meal filled with love 'n' spice and all things nice :-)

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