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Dal Tadka

The very name Tadka means tempering, this dal is made with a combination of different legumes and is a famous restaurant delight. The process is pretty simple and the end product comes out  very delicious.

 

Serves 4 bowls
Ingredients:
1 cup pigeon peas (tuvar dal)
½ cup split chickpeas (chana dal)
½ cup split yellow moong beans (moong dal)
1 cup finely chopped cabbage/celery
1 finely chopped tomato
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 teaspoons chopped ginger
1 dry Kashmiri Red chilli
1 finely chopped green chilli
½ cup butter
¼ teaspoon hing
2-3 teaspoons salt
few curry leaves
1-2 teaspoons red chilli powder
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1-2 teaspoons coriander seeds
1 cup chopped cilantro

 

Process:  Wash, drain, then soak the split chickpeas and pigeon peas in hot water for around 20-40 minutes.
After soak times rinse 2-3 times the moong dal and mix with the other two dals. Cook the dals together in a pot with the double quantity of water by covering the lid and on medium heat. After it’s boiled and cooked, use a whisker and blend the dal little bit.
(While cooking the dal you will observe white foam on the surface so you can scoop and discard those foamy surface out )

If you have a pressure cooker you can skip the soaking process and give 4 whistles to the dals by putting them in a round container with enough water as to submerge them well. After the suggested whistles let the cooker cool down and then you can open to check.

Heat half of the butter in a pot. Add hing, a teaspoon of ginger, chopped green chili and saute for 30 seconds, then add the cabbage or celery and saute on medium heat for 1-2 minutes.

Add the chopped tomatoes and keep on sautéing till the tomato becomes mushy. Add red chili powder and turmeric powder along with 1 tablespoon of water and increase the heat to high. Add the cooked dal when the stove is on high. Stir well, add salt and bring it to a boil. Potentially this dal is supposed to be thicker than the regular dals but if it is too thick then you can add a cup of water to it.

Let the dal cook on medium heat for 2-3 minutes.
Take a small skillet, heat remaining butter and add the spices starting from mustard seeds (allow to splutter), ginger, coriander seeds, cumin, curry leaves, and red chili. As soon as you put the red chili, pour the tempering by spreading it all over the dal. Cook the dal for another few minutes and then turn off the stove.

Garnish with fresh cilantro and serve with chapatis or rice.

HEALTHY GRAVY BROCCOLI

A rich combination of Broccoli and red bell peppers (capsicum) turns out to be flavorful and healthy antioxidant rich in potassium and vitamins.
Serves 4
Ingredients
3 cups of medium-sized broccoli florets
6 cups of cubed cut red bell peppers (capsicum)
1 cup of cubed zucchini or 70% boiled cubed bottle gourd (lauki)
1 tablespoon of olive oil
3 cups of thin sliced celery or cabbage
1 tablespoon of freshly grated ginger
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
a pinch of hing/asafetida (optional)
1 teaspoon of paprika powder or Kashmiri red chilli powder (for color and less spiciness)
Optional spices to sprinkle – dry oregano, dry thyme, dry dill
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon of crushed black pepper

Please check Measurements 

Process: Boil 6 cups of water, put it in a bowl and add the bell peppers in it. Cover with a lid and keep aside for 20 minutes. During that time heat oil in a medium saucepan. Add the ginger, hing and saute for 2 minutes, then add the cabbage or celery and between medium to high heat continuously sauté them for 2-3 minutes. Put the bell peppers, and cooked mixture in a blender, use two tablespoons of water in it (same water which was used to soak the bell peppers) and make a smooth paste. Add the paste in the saucepan along with the remaining powdered spices and salt. Mix well cook for 3 minutes on medium heat and then add the broccoli and zucchini in it. Add ¼ cup of the same hot water used for soaking the bell peppers and mix well with the vegetables. Cover with a lid and cook on medium heat for 3 minutes. Healthy broccoli gravy sabji is ready to serve.

 

Note: I used organic vegetables so I didn’t peel the zucchini but you are free to do so.

 

Cherry cheese/cream cake (Raw)

This recipe has been my household favorite. This no bake cake is a simply amazing desert to rely on for your sugar cravings.  I make this cake with two variations one with cream cheese and other with fresh cream plus thick condensed milk.

Makes 8 slices
Ingredients
2 cups cherry pie filling/cherry Jam
3-4 cups of graham crackers powder
4 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
1/4 cup coconut sugar
1 cup sweet thick condensed milk + 1 cup fresh thick cream or 2 cups of cream cheese + 1/4 cup honey (any other sweetener will do )
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup melted butter or coconut oil
Please check (Measurements)

Process 1 with cream cheese: Mix graham cracker powder with milk, butter, coconut sugar and 2 tablespoons  honey. Grease  round pie or cake tray nearly 6 inches in diameter and spread this mixture evenly on the tray. Make sure to have raised surrounding edges.
Put the tray in the freezer for 45 minutes.
By that time blend the cream cheese and honey together well. Keep in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Pour the cream cheese mixture on top of the graham crackers and let it set in the freezer for an hour.
During this time whisk the cherry pie filling with 2 tablespoon of honey or  maple syrup and keep in the fridge for 45 minutes.

Then pour this filling on top of the set cream cheese filling and keep in the freezer till the entire thing looks firm and set. This would take nearly 2-3 hours.
If you are using cherry jam with honey then u need to whisk it well till it becomes smooth.

Process 2 with condensed milk and fresh cream: Follow the same procedure for graham crackers.

Whisk the fresh cream and sweet thick condensed milk together and put in the fridge for 45 minutes. Pour it on the graham crackers mixture and put the tray again in the freezer for 2-3 hours.
This mixture will take more time to set.

Then repeat the same procedure for the cherry pie filling.

If you want to make your own cherry pie filling then follow this for four cups quantity:

2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 cups fresh cherries
1-1/2 cups water
1 tablespoons lemon juice

Combine the sugar, cornstarch,water and salt and pour in a large saucepan.
Add the cherries and lemon juice. Bring to a boil.
Cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Let it cool down.

Once the Cake is ready, you can slice them in 8 euqal portions and serve it.

Note: The cake with fresh cream and condensed milk cannot be kept outside for long as it will melt at room temperature because of the cream and milk combination. So after serving some slices you can again put that into the freezer.
The one with the cream cheese can be stored in the fridge once its set well.

 

Spinach/Kale lasagna

Layers of spinach/Kale, butter and potatoes with few selected simple spices which is tasty, sumptuous and easy to make.
Its a great accompaniment with some simple tomato chilli soup.

Ingredients:

5 cups of spinach leaves or Kale leaves without stem
2 big baking potatoes
½ cup of melted unsalted butter
1 ½ teaspoon of crushed black pepper
1 teaspoon of red chilli flakes
Salt to sprinkle
200 grams of grated cheese

 Process: You can use a tray or you can even use a pie dish (by wrapping an aluminum foil and then greasing it with butter).

Thinly slice the potatoes in circular shapes and place one layer of it on the tray. Sprinkle some butter, black pepper, chilli flakes and salt. Place a layer of spinach leaves, add the black pepper and chilli fales. Bake this in the preheated oven at 375 F for 10 minutes. Remove it out and again repeat the layer one more time and on top cover It with layer of potato slice with butter and spices. Bake again for 10 minutes on 375 F.

Poke with a knife to check if potato is cooked. Once cooked broil the top part for 20 seconds and remove it out and put the cheese on top with some black peppers and red chilli flakes. Broil it for a minutes till it turns golden brown.

Remove it out and let it cool down. Then slice it in equal portions and its ready to be served with soup.