Zucchini and Spinach Savory Pancakes with Harissa Preparation Time:15 minutes Cooking Time:25 minutes Ingredients
- 2 cup of pancake mix
- 2 cups of packed spinach leaves chopped fine
- 1 -2 cups of grated zucchini
- 1/2 cup of milk + 1 1/2 cups of water more or less
- a pinch of salt
- 1-2 tbsp of harissa
- oil for cooking the pancakes
Serve with some flavored cream cheese or just plain butter.
- Mix the grated zucchini and the spinach leaves with the pancake flour. Add the milk, water, salt and harrisa and mix it into pourable consistency but slightly thicker than the usual pancake batter.
- Heat a griddle or a wide mouthed saute pan, spray with oil and then pour a laddle of batter. Cook on one side and then the other side. Also check to see if the insides are cooked with a knife or tooth pick.Note:
- Do not make the pancake batter too watery, the insides will be moist and feel uncooked.
Monday, June 17, 2013
Zucchini and summer time go together. It seems easy to grow and I have read and heard stories of people running away from their neighbors and friends because of the generosity that comes when you have a bumper crop. For the rest of us who do not have Zucchini wealthy neighbors we can always buy fresh ones from the grocery stores or farmers market especially this time of the year. The good thing is Zucchini can be grated and they are perfect added to pancake batter for some savory pancakes. For those of you who are not pancake fans add them to dosai batter and they are really tasty in them too. I make pancakes a couple of times a week. While the rest of the family enjoys them with maple syrup, apple sauce or jams, I eat them with idli podi - for each his/her own. Anyway this recipe was to satisfy my savory tooth and also to use up the zucchini I had around.
I added harissa which works well with pancake but if you do have it red chilli powder or pepper powder would be good alternatives. I used pre made pancake mix. I usually Red Mill Whole Wheat/Buck Wheat pancake mix mostly because it has ingredients that I recognize.
Friday, June 14, 2013
DC summer weather is predictably hot, humid and icky. When the mercury hits 90F there are public service announcements to drink water and not to stay in the sun for too long. What a pampered lot I thought when I first came here. Apparently people do forget to drink water and end up being dehydrated and lots of bad things happen.But spring months are another matter altogether. It is the time of the year when it is warm enough and on lucky days not too humid so you can actually enjoy being outside without being hot and bothered. It can also mean stifling hot and humid days. Never know what you get. Don't get me wrong, I grew up in a place where even the peak winter night time temperatures do not go below 68F so hot is better than cold. Since we grew up knowing that drinking water is required when it is hot and humid we are generally OK. Anyway yesterday was a hot humid day with intermittent thunder storms all through the day. The rain did some good though it brought down the temp. and it is actually quite pleasant and cool today. As I type this I am enjoying some cool spring breeze wafting through the windows. Drinking something cool and refreshing preferably home made makes these hot humid days bearable. It also gives the kids a chance to enjoy the product of their own handiwork rather than drink the sugared up store bought drinks. It is an excuse I give to avoid buying them. DD2 picked up a box of raspberries and also lime declaring that she is going to make limeade. I suggested adding the leftover raspberries to the limeade. Oh! what a pretty color that made. Don't have raspberries try with strawberries, blueberries, blackberries or even mulberries - if you are lucky enough to have a tree close by.
Raspberry Limeade with honey Preparation Time:5 minutes Cooking Time:10 minutes Ingredients
- 1/4 cup of raspberries
- 2 limes or lemon
- 4 tsp of sugar + 1/2 tbsp of honey
- 6 cups of water
- Ice cubes
- Add the washed raspberries to a blender with 2 cups of water. Puree. You can filter out the seeds but you can leave them be.
- Squeeze the lime/lemon into the puree and add the rest of the water, sugar and honey and stir till the sugar is dissolved.
- Refrigerate and serve or serve with ice cubes.
Wednesday, June 12, 2013
Occasionally I get the urge to eat some fancy food. Not the restaurant kind but home made and done quickly. At these times a pulao or a biryani fits the bill perfectly. It is my go to fancy meal. I always have mint in stock, either growing everywhere in the summer or frozen mint other times. Now is the time to preserve mint if you have them growing, wait a month more they will start to flower and the leaves become smaller. If you have mint handy the rest of the ingredients that go into a biryani are usually pantry staples. Don't despair if you do not have mint just leave it out.I had soaked red kidney beans overnight and also had a block of paneer(Indian Cheese, very similar to Cottage cheese but with the whey removed) ready to be used which is what lead to this Rajama Paneer Biryani. This fancy meal can be a quick weeknight meal and they are great lunch box fare the next day. The problem with beans for a lot of people is the flatulence that seems to go with the territory. This can be avoided with a few very simple steps. Soak the beans overnight and then wash the beans in several changes of water just before using them. Also add some pounded ginger while cooking the beans and discard the cooking water. Usually I cook the beans part way and they finish cooking them in the rice or curry. This way they maintain their shape and the gassy problems vanish as well. This also goes to My Legume Love Affair (MLLA) the 60th edition and hosted over at One Hot Stove.
Red Kidney Beans with Paneer flavored rice - Rajma Paneer Biryani Preparation Time:15 minutes with overnight soaking time Cooking Time:20-25 minutes Ingredients
- 1 1/2 - 2 cups of red kidney beans - Rajma soaked overnight
- 2 cups of Basmati rice or any rice you prefer - adjust water accordingly
- 1 1/2 cup of sliced onions
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- 2 tbsp grated ginger
- 1/2 cup of finely cut tomatoes
- 2 cups of loosely packed mint leaves chopped or as much as you would like
- half a bunch of coriander leaves chopped
- 1 tsp of masala powder (skip if you don't need it)
- 3/4 - 1 tbsp red chili powder
- 3 slit green chilies
- salt to taste
- half a block of paneer about 1/2 cup cubed, (for a vegan version use cubed bread instead)
- 2 tsp of oil
- 1 tsp of ghee
- seasonings: 4 cloves, 1/2 inch cinnamon piece, small piece of star anise broken, a few curry leaves
Accompany with some carrot raita, mix grated carrot into salted whisked yogurt. Note:Follow this method of cooking rice in a cooker and you are guaranteed separate fluffy grains of rice.
- Wash the soaked kidney in 2-3 changes of water and cook them in a sauce till they are about half way cooked. Drain and set aside.
- In a pressure cooker heat oil and add the whole spices in the seasonings followed by the curry leaves.
- Add the sliced onions and sliced green chilies and let them saute till the onions start to get translucent. Add in the garlic and saute for a couple of minutes and then add the ginger and saute for a minutes.
- Add in the mint leaves and coriander leaves and saute till the leaves are completely wilted. Add in the masala powder and chilli powder and mix it in followed by the chopped tomatoes and saute till they are mushy about 4 minutes or so.
- Add in the rice and salt and saute for a couple of minutes. Add the required amount of water (for Basmati the ratio is for 1 cup of rice 1 1/2 cup of water). Let it come to a boil. At this point add in the red kidney beans and mix.
- Once the water starts boiling, check for salt, reduce the heat to medium and let it simmer till most of the water has evaporated and the rice is almost cooked.
- Close the lid, place the weight, reduce the heat to slightly below medium and cook for 7-8 minutes.
- While the rice is cooking, in a saute pan heat the ghee and brown the paneer on all sides. If using bread do the same thing, or crisp them in the oven and then saute in olive oil.
- Once the cooker is cool enough to open, mix in the paneer gently into the rice and close the lid and let sit for another 10 minutes or so before serving.