Posts Tagged ‘Peas’

A Quick and Easy Lunch

I know I have once again managed to disappear but I guess that’s going to be the case for the next couple of months. My PhD program is at last coming to an end (hopefully). So now I have a research proposal to submit in March and then a written and oral proposal defense right after that. So March is pretty much going to be a very, very busy month. As for now I will try my best to post atleast once every week. This afternoon I wanted to make something quick and easy before we left for the lab. I was searching for ingredients in the refrigerator and the pantry. I found some onions, potatoes, green peas, sausages and some eggs. Obviously these ingredients come together best in a casserole. I also like to add a little crispness to the casserole, like a pie crust.

 

It took about 45-55 minutes to prepare, cook and bake this dish. It will easily serve about 4-5 persons.

Ingredients:

  1. 2 gold potatoes (chopped into 1/2 inch pieces)
  2. 1 small red onion (sliced)
  3. 1 cup green peas
  4. 2 teaspoons olive oil
  5. 1/2 cup chopped coriander
  6. 1/2 teaspoon yellow mustard
  7. 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  8. 3/4 teaspoon salt
  9. 1 teaspoon unsalted butter
  10. 2 hot Italian sausages (Use more if you like more meat in the casserole)
  11. 4 tablespoons of grated cheese
  12. 3 eggs
  13. 1/4 cup flour
  14. 1/4 cup milk
  15. 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream

Directions

  • Heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil and add the mustard seeds. Once the mustard seeds splutter add 1/2 teaspoon, black pepper, 1/2 teaspoon salt and the chopped coriander leaves. Stir the spices and the coriander leaves together. 
  • Now add the sliced red onions and saute the onions till they soften (about 5 minutes).
  • Next add the potatoes and the green peas and stir till all the spices and the vegetables mix together thoroughly.
  • Add a few teaspoons of water and cover and cook for about 5-10 minutes.
  • In the meanwhile prepare a baking dish by applying 1/2 teaspoon of butter all over the dish.
  • Once the vegetables have softened, transfer the vegetables into the baking dish.
  • Remove the cover from the sausages and crush it into small pieces.
  • Cove the sausages in a pan till thoroughly cooked, then transfer it into the baking dish over the layer of vegetables.
  • Sprinkle the grated cheese over the sausages.
  • Pre-heat the oven to 374 degree F.
  • Beat the eggs in a bowl and add the flour, milk, cream, and remaining salt and pepper to it.
  • Pour this mixture over the sausages and bake the casserole for about 25-35 minutes or till the crust is a golden brown.
  • To test if the casserole is completely baked, insert a toothpick into the casserole and if it comes out clean, it’s ready to be taken out of the oven.

We loved the casserole and I am definitely going to try different combinations of vegetables, spices and meat. And this is definitely a recipe that I am going to repeat pretty often. Hope you enjoy the recipe too. And I am definitely going to try my best to atleast post one recipe every week. There is a pav bhaji recipe that I most definitely have to post soon. Which I will because I have a lot of potatoes leftover from my last trip to the grocery store.

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The Dassera Special

Being a Keralite brought up in Bombay has given me the opportunity to see different festivals celebrated in so many different ways. For instance Dassera, the name itself, can be spelt in so many different ways. I have always associated Dassera with two things, one being Dandiya and another being books (lets say the lack of it). For me Dassera is synonymous with the music and dance that people enjoy for during the entire festival. It does get pretty loud but it is also so pleasing to the eye – the colorfully decorated ‘pandals’, the beautifully dressed up girls and of course the music… You start dancing to the music without much effort, you don’t need to know how to – in fact I am sure Amit (who, I am pretty sure, has two left feet) can also manage pretty well.  I so miss being in India for these festivals.

The other reason for me so looking forward to this particular festival is the way we traditionally celebrate it in Kerala. At home we celebrate it primarily as Saraswati Puja (worshipping the goddess of knowledge). Ashtami, Navami, and Vijaya Dashami the last three of the ten day festival are celebrated as Saraswati Puja in which books are worshiped. For me it had always been a three day festival at home. When you say worshipping the books, it literally means that, we used to set aside our school books for the puja on the 1st day and then on the 3rd day after the rituals are completed the books are given back to us. And during the three days we are not allowed to study!!! So now you know why, as a kid, this was indeed the most awesome three days.

In Kerala, the books are either kept at home for worshiping, or at the temple. The third day, Vijaya Dashami is also considered to be a very auspicious day to initiate children into the world of books (or rather into reading and writing). This ceremony is called Vidyarambham (which quite literally translates to Vidya – Knowledge, Arambham – beginning).

And then there was the Ayudha Puja (worship of tools, implements, weapons, automobiles, etc) which was also on the same day as the Saraswati puja. Our car used to get decked up in a garland. In fact any automobile you would see on the streets would have the garland.

In fact this festival is celebrated in different ways in different states in India. Since I am no expert, I won’t delve into the details. But it is celebrated with much grandeur in almost all the states.

So that being said, we celebrated Dassera this Sunday at home. And since I was a bit too busy celebration for us meant cooking and then eating some awesome food. I decided on a 3-course meal and I intend to share all three recipes right here. We started off with an appetizer, the main course and of course ended with a sweet dish.

This post is to share the Aloo Mutter recipe that I made thanks to the recipe I found online. The link is given at the end of the blog. The recipe I found was for Mutter Paneer (Indian Cheese with peas) but since the appetizer had paneer, I decided to adapt the recipe for Potatoes and Peas in a Tomato gravy. The recipe takes about 30-40 minutes from start to finish.

Ingredients:

  1. 2 medium sized potatoes (cut into chunks and boiled)
  2. 1 cup green peas (cooked)
  3. 2 large tomatoes
  4. 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  5. 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  6. 1″ piece cinnamon
  7. 4-5 cloves
  8. 4-5 green cardamom
  9. 10-15 cashews
  10. 1 teaspoon red chili powder
  11. 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  12. 1 teaspoon garam masala
  13. 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  14. 1 cup plain yogurt (make sure the yogurt is not sour)
  15. 2 teaspoons cream (optional)
  16. 1 teaspoon oil
  17. Coriander leaves for garnish
  18. Salt to taste

Directions:

  • Soak the cumin seeds, fennel seeds, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom and cashews in hot water for 10-15 minutes.
  • In the meanwhile cook the potatoes and peas separately.
  • Make a puree of the tomatoes in the blender.
  • Grind the whole spices and cashew to a fine paste.
  • Heat the oil in a saucepan on medium heat and add the paste to it.
  • Fry the paste for about 2-3 minutes.
  • Pour in the tomato puree and cook for another 5 minutes (or till the sauce starts getting thick).
  • Add the chili powder, garam masala, coriander powder and turmeric powder and let the gravy cook for another 5 minutes.
  • Now add the yogurt and continue stirring on a low flame to a simmer.
  • Add the cooked peas and potatoes and let it simmer for another 5 minutes.
  • Add the cream and garnish with some coriander leaves and serve hot.

Since it was Dassera, I decided to indulge in some puris to go along with this dish. But you can serve this with any form of bread (indian or otherwise).  The ingredients listed above make about 4 servings. The original recipe is  available at http://www.tarladalal.com/Spicy-Mutter-Paneer-15657r. Hope you enjoy this version of Aloo Mutter. Sorry about the pictures, I took it a hurry, as I was worried that we would finish most of it and I won’t have any left to take pictures.

An Original Recipe

Today I came home in the afternoon and wanted make something different for lunch. I rummaged around the kitchen to see what I have at home and then I saw the Sweet Potatoes. When I see sweet potatoes I am reminded of the dish my Mom used to make at home. But today was not the day for that recipe. Remember I wanted something different!!!

So I decided to come up with something on my own. I decided to call this recipe Savory Sweet Potatoes. I basically came up with the recipe based on whatever was there in my refrigerator.

Ingredients:

  1. 2 large Sweet Potatoes
  2. 1 teaspoon Olive Oil
  3. 1 Green Chili
  4. 5-7 Green Onions
  5. 1 small Red Pepper or 3/4 large Red Pepper
  6. 1″ Ginger
  7. 4-5 Garlic pods
  8. 2 teaspoons ground Cumin
  9. 1 cup Chicken Stock (for a vegetarian meal you can substitute this with Vegetable Stock)
  10. 1 cup Paneer (1″ slices) (You will find this in any Indian store, or you can substitute this with cream cheese)
  11. 1/2 cup Peas
  12. 1 1/2 teaspoon Lime Juice
  13. 1 teaspoon ground Black Pepper
  14. Salt to taste
  15. 4 six-by-six inch square aluminum sheets.
  16. 4 teaspoons Corn Meal

Directions:

  • Bake the sweet potatoes in the oven (heated to 400 deg F) for 30 – 45 minutes or till tender.
  • Chop the green onions, red pepper and green chili.
  • Mince the ginger and garlic together.
  • Heat 1/2 tsp Olive oil in a saucepan.
  • Toss in the chopped green chili and fry till brown.
  • Add 1/3 cup of chicken stock and let it simmer.
  • Add the chopped green onions and let it cook in the chicken stock for 3 minutes.
  • Add the minced ginger garlic and cumin powder.
  • Let it simmer till the mixture is almost dry.
  • Now add 1/3 cup of chicken stock and the red pepper.
  • Cover and cook till the red pepper has softened. (This will take about 10 minutes but keep an eye on the saucepan every 2 minutes)
  • In the meanwhile cook the peas in the microwave for 3 minutes.
  • If using Paneer: Sprinkle some water on the paneer and heat it in the microwave till it is soft.
  • Once the red pepper has softened, add the peas along with the rest of the chicken stock.
  • Add some salt to taste and let it cook for 2 minutes.
  • Crumble the paneer and add to the saucepan. (if using cream cheese just toss it in and take the saucepan off the heat and mix well)
  • Cook it uncovered and keep mashing the paneer to incorporate into the mixture.
  • Let the water evaporate, add the black pepper, mix well and remove the saucepan from the heat.
  • Remove the sweet potatoes from the oven, once tender, and peel off the skin.
  • Mash the sweet potatoes and add the cooked mixture into it.
  • Add the lime juice and mix well.
  • Add salt to taste.
  • You can refrigerate this till ready to serve.
  • Shape the aluminum foil into small bowls.
  • Divide the sweet potato into 4 parts and fill the 4 aluminum foil cups. (You could  use ramekins instead)
  • Sprinkle the 1 teaspoon of corn meal over each serving.
  • Heat the oven to 350 deg F and place the sweet potato servings in the oven for 10 minutes.
  • Then switch the oven to the broiler setting at 500 deg F and let the corn meal brown. (This should not take more than a couple of minutes)

This entire recipe takes about an hour from start to finish including prep time. I had green salad with some Italian dressing and roasted nuts with the Savory Sweet Potato. You can also serve this dish with some garlic bread.

This recipe can be modified to make smaller sized portions and then can be served as an appetizer.