This dish could be made with any assortment of leftover vegetables in the refrigerator. It was healthy and flavorful.
The recipe was adapted from Chetna’s 30 Minute Indian: Quick and Easy Everyday Meals by Chetna Makan. I must mention that prepping all of the vegetables was not taken into account when including this dish in a 30-minute meal cookbook! I did double the recipe though. It was worth the extra time.
I served it over brown Basmati rice with warm naan on the side. Topping it with cucumber raita was also suggested in the original recipe.
Yield: Serves 4
4 T canola or sunflower oil
2 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp black mustard seeds
2 bay leaves
3 large yellow onions, finely chopped
2 jalapeños, seeded, if desired
6 garlic cloves, grated or pushed through a garlic press
2-inch piece of fresh ginger root, peeled and grated
2 tsp coarse salt
2 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp chili powder
2 tsp garam masala
2 tsp amchur (mango powder) or tamarind concentrate
1 tsp granulated sugar
3 large tomatoes, finely chopped
200 ml (7 oz) boiling water
For the Vegetables:
4 T canola or sunflower oil
1 head cauliflower, cut into small florets
4 carrots, peeled and cut into small pieces
12 oz green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
To Serve: (as desired)
brown Basmati rice
warm flatbread such as naan
cucumber raita or whole milk plain yogurt
If desired, mince the jalapeños and garlic in a food processor; remove and set aside. Chop the onions in a food processor; set aside.
Heat the oil in a pan (with a lid available) and add the cumin and mustard seeds as well as the bay leaves.
Once the spices start to sizzle, add the chopped onions with the jalapeños and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, or until golden.
Add the garlic and ginger and cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
Meanwhile, heat the oil for the vegetables in a large frying pan.
Add all of the vegetables and cook them over medium to high heat for 8 to 10 minutes until lightly colored.
Stir the salt, ground spices and sugar into the onions with the tomatoes and cook for a minute.
Add the vegetables and pour in the boiling water.
Cover and cook over low heat for 10 minutes until the cauliflower is tender.
Serve with rice and/or flatbread, as desired. Top with yogurt or raita, if desired.
This is another weeknight one-pot chicken dinner. I loved the colorful and fresh topping- I would add even more next time! This dish also incorporated farro which is one of my absolute favorites. It could appropriately be served any time of year.
The recipe was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by Melissa Clark. I used sherry vinegar in the topping and modified the proportions and method. Great.
Yield: Serves 4 to 6
2 1/2 to 3 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (about 6) or use whole legs
coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 large or 3 medium leeks
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 to 4 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon fennel or coriander seeds, cracked with a mortar and pestle or the side of a chef’s knife
1 teaspoon cumin seeds, cracked with a mortar and pestle or the side of a chef’s knife
4 thyme sprigs
1 tablespoon tomato paste
3 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 1/2 cups pearled or semi-pearled farro (I used Trader Joe’s 10-minute farro)
1+ cup quartered or halved cherry or grape tomatoes or diced tomato
1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves and tender stems, roughly chopped
fresh lime or lemon juice, or vinegar, to taste, such as cider vinegar or sherry vinegar (I used 1-2 T sherry vinegar)
Pat chicken dry with paper towels. Season all over with salt and pepper, and set aside while preparing the leeks.
Trim roots from leeks, then cut away any wilted, yellowing or browned parts from the greens. Slice leeks in half lengthwise. Wash well under cold running water to remove any soil, then shake dry. (I soak them in a bowl of water.)
Thinly slice the leeks (including the greens) into half-moons. You should have about 6 cups. Measure out about 2 tablespoons of sliced leek whites and set them aside for garnish.
In a large skillet with a lid, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat. (I used a wide and low enameled cast iron skillet.)
When the oil thins and coats the bottom of the pan, add half the chicken and cook until browned on both sides, 4 to 6 minutes on the first side ad 3 to 5 minutes on the second side. Transfer the chicken to a plate and repeat with remaining chicken.
Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the skillet. Stir in the leeks and a pinch of salt. Sauté until tender and golden brown, 9 to 10 minutes.
Add the garlic and cook until golden, 1 to 2 minutes.
Stir in crushed spices, thyme sprigs and tomato paste, and cook until tomato paste darkens and caramelizes, 2 to 3 minutes.
Pour in chicken stock and bring to a simmer, scraping up the browned bits on the bottom of the pan.
Stir in farro and 1 teaspoon salt. When the liquid comes to a simmer, nestle in the browned chicken, skin-side up; pour in any juices from the plate. Cover pan and let cook until the farro is tender and the chicken is cooked through, 25 to 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, toss together the reserved leek whites, chopped tomatoes and parsley. Season to taste with salt, pepper and an acid like lemon or lime juice or vinegar. (I used sherry vinegar.) The mixture should taste tangy and bright.
Discard the thyme sprigs, and serve chicken and farro topped with the tomato mixture.
I loved the combination of textures and colors from the mix of beans in this creamy dal. The recipe was a “staff favorite” in Food and Wine, contributed by Antara Sinha. It was included an article titled “Good to the Last Sop: Cozy Dinners That Deliver Endless Comfort.” The original recipe includes instructions to make homemade roti to serve with the dal to sop it up. 🙂
We ate this dish with store-bought roti but I included the roti recipe from the original article below. I wish I had made the homemade roti because we tragically did not enjoy the store-bought version. (Homemade is always better!) I served the dal over brown Basmati rice with steamed spinach on the side. Hearty and delicious vegetarian comfort food.
For the Dal:
3/4 cup dried moong dal (split yellow mung beans) (about 5½ ounces)
3/4 cup dried masoor dal (split red lentils) (about 5 ounces)
3/4 cup dried chana dal (split bengal gram) or dried toor dal (split pigeon peas) (about 5¾ ounces)
2 medium-size fresh serrano or jalapeño chiles, stemmed, seeded if desired, and finely chopped (about 2 1/2 tablespoons)
1 medium tomato, chopped (about 1 cup)
¼ cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for garnish
For the Roti:
2 cups atta (Indian whole-wheat flour) (about 8 5/8 ounces), plus more for dusting
3/4 to 1 cup water, divided
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
melted ghee, for brushing
For the Tadka:
3 tablespoons ghee
3 small dried chiles (such as Diaspora Co. Whole Sannam Chillies), or more to taste (I used Bird’s Eye)
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
brown Basmati rice, optional
steamed spinach, optional
To Start the Dal:
Stir together moong dal, masoor dal, chana (or toor) dal, salt, turmeric, and 6 cups water in a large saucepan; bring to a boil over medium-high. (I used a medium enameled cast iron Dutch oven.)
Reduce heat to medium-low; partially cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until dal is soft and tender, 35 to 40 minutes. Add up to remaining 1 cup water, 1/4 cup at a time, until desired thickness and consistency is reached.
To Make the Roti Dough:
Stir together atta, 3/4 cup water, and salt in a medium bowl. Knead mixture in bowl until all dry flour is incorporated, adding remaining 1/4 cup water, 1 tablespoon at a time, if needed to incorporate flour.
Transfer dough to a clean work surface; knead until stretchy and slightly sticky, 5 to 7 minutes.
Shape dough into a ball, and return to bowl. Cover with a clean towel; let stand at room temperature until dough is smooth and matte, about 30 minutes.
To Season the Dal:
Heat oil in a medium-size heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium.
Add cardamom, cloves, and cumin; cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, 30 to 45 seconds.
Add onion and chopped fresh chiles; cook, stirring often, until onion is lightly browned around edges, 5 to 8 minutes.
Add tomato; cook, stirring often, until tomato begins to break down, 2 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat.
Add tomato mixture and cilantro to dal mixture; stir to combine. Season to taste with salt.
Cover and keep warm over low.
To Cook the Roti:
Once roti dough has rested, turn out onto a work surface lightly dusted with atta.
Divide dough evenly into 16 pieces (about 1 ounce each).
Working with 1 dough piece at a time and keeping remaining pieces covered with a towel, shape dough into a ball. Dust ball thoroughly with atta, and flatten slightly. Using a rolling pin, roll dough into a circle until uniformly thin and about 6 inches in diameter. Rotate the disk 90 degrees after each roll, flipping and dusting with atta occasionally to make a perfect circle. Repeat with remaining dough pieces.
Heat a large cast-iron skillet over high. Place 1 roti round in skillet; cook until bubbles start to form and bottom is speckled with brown spots, 30 to 45 seconds. Flip roti using tongs; cook until it puffs up completely and is evenly cooked on both sides, 30 to 45 seconds. (Small charred spots are delicious and totally OK.) If roti doesn’t completely puff up, pat the top using a clean towel to encourage it to inflate.
Remove roti from skillet, and brush both sides lightly with melted ghee; transfer to a serving plate. Repeat process with remaining roti rounds and ghee.
To Make the Tadka & to Serve:
In a small skillet, heat ghee over medium-high. Add dried chiles and cumin to pan; cook, stirring occasionally, until cumin is toasted and fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Divide dal mixture among bowls, and drizzle each portion with desired amount of warm tadka. (I served it over brown Basmati rice.)
Sprinkle with additional cilantro, and serve alongside hot roti and steamed spinach, as desired.
Note: Dal can be prepared (without the tadka) 2 days ahead and stored in an airtight container in refrigerator.
We have a new favorite chili in our house! It may double as a new favorite Super Bowl meal too. 😉 I was a little concerned about using sausage as such a primary ingredient but the end result was very balanced. It was hearty, full-flavored, and a perfect compliment to our mandatory guacamole appetizer. I also loved that it could be prepared in advance.
I was initially drawn to the recipe because it was titled “BLT Chili” which sounded intriguing and delicious. After reading further, I realized that it was not related to a BLT but was created by chef Laurent Tourondel of BLT Burger in Las Vegas. Funny.
The recipe was adapted from Food and Wine, contributed by Laurent Tourondel. I modified the proportions, used sweet Italian sausage, and served the chili over brown rice. We also had cornbread muffins on the side. Our dessert of After-School Specials completed our festive meal. Perfect.
Yield: Serves 8 to 10
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 1/2 to 3 pounds sweet Italian pork sausage, casings removed
2 medium or large yellow onions, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/4-inch dice
6 to 12 garlic cloves, minced
2 T tomato paste
2 T chili powder
2 T sweet paprika
1 T cumin seeds
1 T dried oregano
Two 28-ounce cans diced tomatoes
Two 16-ounce cans kidney beans, drained
1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
4 cups water
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
shredded sharp cheddar cheese, sour cream, chopped red onion, pickled jalapeños, cilantro and hot sauce, for serving, as desired
brown Basmati rice, for serving, optional
In a large, enameled cast-iron Dutch oven or casserole, heat the oil.
Add the sausage and cook over high heat, breaking it up, until browned, about 15 minutes.
Add the onions, bell pepper and garlic; cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until the onion is translucent, 8 minutes.
Add the tomato paste and cook for 3 minutes.
Add the chili powder, paprika, cumin and oregano and cook for 1 minute.
Add the tomatoes, beans, corn and water and cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 1 hour.
Season with salt and pepper.
Serve the chili over rice, if desired, with shredded sharp cheddar cheese, sour cream, chopped red onion, pickled jalapeños, cilantro and hot sauce as optional toppings.
I couldn’t stop myself from trying- and sharing- one more recipe in Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street: The New Home Cooking book. 🙂 This recipe was inspired by Madhur Jaffrey’s tomato rice recipe in Vegetarian India.
This quick and versatile dish can be served as a side with seafood, chicken, or, as Kimball suggests, a simple fried egg. We ate it as a light meal with sautéed chard with garlic and cumin. I loved the layers of spices. I used serrano chiles instead of bird’s-eye chiles.
Yield: Serves 3 to 4
1 cup white Basmati rice, rinsed
1 1/4 cups water
2 T tomato paste
2 T grapeseed or other neutral oil (I used canola oil)
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp brown or black mustard seeds
2 serrano or bird’s-eye chiles, stemmed and halved lengthwise
1 garlic clove, finely grated
1 tsp finely grated fresh ginger
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 pound cherry or grape tomatoes, quartered
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
In a bowl, combine the rinsed rice with enough cold water to cover by 1 inch. Let soak for 15 minutes. Drain the rice very well
In a 2-cup measuring cup, combine the 1 1/4 cups water and tomato paste; whisk until dissolved. Set aside.
In a large saucepan over medium, combine the oil, cumin, coriander, mustard seeds, chiles, garlic, and ginger. Cook until the seeds begin to pop and the mixture is fragrant, about 1 minute.
Stir in the rice and salt and cook, stirring, until coated with oil, about 30 seconds.
Stir in the water-tomato paste mixture and bring to a simmer.
Cover, reduce heat to low and cook until the water has been absorbed, about 15 minutes.
Remove from the heat, add the tomatoes and let sit, covered, for 5 minutes.
Stir in the cilantro, fluffing the rice with a fork.
I have another wonderful Indian dish to share. I first spotted this mouth-watering dish on Safari of the Mind– the site of my like-minded blog friend, Loretta. I had to make it. 🙂
I doubled the amount of chicken in the original recipe -thinking it would be the highlight- but I was obsessed with the rice! I didn’t cut the chicken into pieces, but may opt to next time. I used 1 tablespoon of prepared Garam Masala powder but included the ingredients to prepare it below- I do think it would be even more delicious if it was prepared with the fresh spice blend. I also omitted the water in the marinade and the mint in the tempering. I baked the biryani rather than cooking it on the stove.
1/2 large yellow onion, very finely chopped (about 150 grams)
5 large garlic cloves, very finely chopped (about 1 T)
2-inch piece ginger root, very finely chopped (about 2 T)
4 to 8 green chillies, fresh, chopped, de-seeded and minced, to taste (I used jalapeños)
2 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 cup fresh lime juice, from 1 large lime
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
2 tsp coarse salt, or to taste
8 to 10 boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1 1/2 in pieces, if desired
For the Masala Powder:
1 piece cinnamon, 1 inch
4 green cardamom pods
6 black peppercorns
1 teaspoon black cumin seeds
For the Rice:
2 cups basmati rice, or any other long-grain rice
6 green cardamom pods
1 piece cinnamon
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon coarse salt, or to taste
4 tsp plus 1 T ghee, divided
2 T vegetable oil (I used canola oil)
3 large yellow onions, sliced
1 T vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon saffron threads, soaked in 1/4 cup warm milk for 30 minutes
14 fresh mint leaves, for garnish, as desired
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro leaves, plus more for garnish, as desired
1 tablespoon slivered almonds, blanched and toasted
Place yogurt in a large bowl and whisk, using a fork until smooth. Add onion, garlic, ginger, and chilies to a bowl and combine with yogurt, turmeric, lime juice, coriander leaves and salt.
Place masala powder ingredients in an electric grinder and process to a fine powder. Add to yogurt mixture.
Add chicken and massage with your hands for the marinade to coat and penetrate the chicken. Marinate, covered for 2 to 6 hours in the refrigerator.
Wash rice at least 3 times until the water runs clear. Soak rice in water to cover by at least 1 inch for 15 minutes. Drain.
Place a large pan on high heat and pour in 2 liters (8 cups) water. (I used a 4 quart pan.) Bring to a boil and then add drained rice, stirring gently. Toss in cloves, green cardamom pods, cinnamon, bay leaf and salt. Stir to mix, then cover with a lid. Simmer for 5 minutes on low heat or until half-cooked. Drain the rice. Set aside and allow to cool.
Heat 4 teaspoons ghee and tablespoons oil in a pan and fry the sliced onions till caramelized and crisp. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. (200 degrees C)
Drizzle 1 tablespoon of oil onto the bottom of a heavy saucepan and place the marinated chicken at the bottom, spreading it out in one layer. (I used a large enameled cast iron pan.)
Spoon half the rice in a layer over the chicken. Drizzle 2 tablespoons saffron milk, 1/2 tablespoon ghee, and 1/2 tablespoon coriander leaves over the layered rice. Top with 1/2 the onions.
Repeat one more layer with the remaining rice, saffron milk, ghee, coriander leaves, and onions.
Cover the dish tightly with aluminum foil and then with a fitted lid.
Place biryani in the preheated oven for 30-45 minutes, or until chicken is 165 degrees. Remove from the oven. Let the biryani rest, covered for 10 minutes. (Because the chicken pieces were whole, I baked it for 45 minutes.)
Remove lid and foil, and garnish with mint and/or cilantro leaves and slivered almonds, as desired. Serve hot.
I have a few broccoli pasta recipes to share. I’m always buying the 3 pound bag of broccoli florets at Costco when I’m on a break from my CSA vegetables. 😉
This first dish is one of the Most Popular Recipes of 2017 from New York Times Cooking. I’m surprised that I didn’t see it when it was first published- especially because it’s a sheet pan dish! Although it has the ingredients typical of a pasta casserole, more of the broccoli and toppings get crispy by the increased surface area exposed to direct heat by cooking it on a sheet pan.
This recipe was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by Melissa Clark. I increased the amount of broccoli and used Gigli pasta. We ate it with a huge green salad. Quick, easy, and tasty. It would be even more incredible if it was topped with fresh ricotta. Next time!
Yield: Serves 6
2 ½pounds broccoli florets, cut into bite-size pieces
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon coarse salt, plus more as needed
½teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste
12ounces chiocciole, penne, or other tube-shaped pasta (I used Gigli pasta)
⅓cup grated Parmesan cheese
⅓cup panko bread crumbs
finely grated zest from 1 large lemon
½teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
12ounces best quality, whole milk ricotta
fresh lemon juice, for serving (optional)
Heat oven to 425 degrees, preferably on convection roast.
On a rimmed baking sheet, toss together broccoli, 3 T olive oil, cumin seeds, 1 teaspoon salt and the red pepper flakes.
Roast until tender and browned at the edges, 18 to 25 minutes, tossing halfway through. Remove from oven and set oven to broil.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Cook pasta according to package directions; drain.
In a small bowl, stir together Parmesan, panko, lemon zest, a pinch of salt and the black pepper.
Toss cooked pasta with broccoli on baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper to taste, then dollop with ricotta.
Sprinkle with Parmesan mix, drizzle generously with oil, and broil until topping is crisped and golden, 2 to 3 minutes.