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Showing posts with label spinach superfood. Show all posts
Showing posts with label spinach superfood. Show all posts

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Dal and Palak Soup

Heart warming and healthy, soups are the way to go whether you are following a weight loss regimen or suffering from any malady. Sometimes, it can be just the balmy weather conditions that attract one to a glorious bowlful. And this is one of the easiest soups that I have ever come across.

Read on for the recipe -

Preparation Time - 15 mins

Ingredients -

  • a fistful of yellow lentils / toor dal
  • 1/2 cup shredded baby spinach
  • 2-3 tsp carrot juliennes (optional)
  • 1 tsp ginger juliennes
  • a dash of pepper
  • salt to taste

Preparation - Wash the baby spinach, drain and keep aside.

Cooking - Wash the lentil and transfer to a pressure cooker with 1 1/2 cup water and a pinch of salt. Cook for 3 whistles. Keep aside till steam escapes.

Slightly mash the lentils. Transfer the contents into a saucepan. Add some more warm water to bring it to the desired consistency. Bring to a boil and adjust the salt.

Add the shredded spinach and carrot. Boil for 2-3 mins.

Sprinkle ground pepper and ginger juliennes just before turning off the flame.

Serve hot.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Soya-Palak ki subzi (Soyabean au Palanga tarkari)

Political correctness is a virtue which every public figure should possess. As they are under the scanner every time they try to channelize their inner thoughts, they need to learn how to make it sound good. Else they might end up sounding like Mr Nadella who has finally spoken the 'satya' or the truth about the mindset of the Indian male, which incidentally happens to be one of the most insecure breeds amongst all home sapiens. Indian women are born to obey their fathers (and brothers), then their husband and finally their sons. And that is something we have been doing without raising a voice (even when not-so-stray incidents of domestic violence happen). So, when a Nadella decides to advise them on doing good 'karma', all the collective pent-up frustration of the estrogen clan starts pouring out on the internet. While I am no supporter of the now 'infamous' guy, I would very much prefer that these women take it out on the men in their lives instead. Charity begins at home.

Back to my kitchen. While I prefer cooking soya chunks in a traditional (read typical Odia) curried form, spinach usually ends up being pureed with onion, ginger and garlic. This spinach puree is quite versatile and I keep adding it to paneer, sweet corn, potato and even rice preparations. I also stuff it into sandwiches at times.

But last week I was in a hurry to finish all the vegetables/perishables lying in my fridge before leaving for a weekend trip. I had prepared my favorite soya curry for lunch and some of it was still remaining for dinner. As I cleaned out the fridge, I noticed this bunch still lying untouched. Came up with the plan of improvising my leftover curry with some greens. Hence I combined two of my favorite formulas to come up with this curry.

Read on for the easy and yummy recipe -

Preparation Time - 25 mins

Ingredients -

  • 1 1/2 cup soya nuggets
  • 1 1/2 cup baby spinach (with stems removed)
  • 1 medium sized potato
  • 1 medium sized onion
  • 6-7 garlic cloves
  • 1 inch ginger
  • 1 small tomato
  • 1 dry red chili
  • 2 green cardamom
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 inch cinnamon
  • 1 small bay leaf
  • a small bit of a black cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp meat masala
  • 1/2 tsp red chili powder
  • 1/3 tsp turmeric
  • 4 tsp oil
  • salt to taste
  • 2 pinch garam masala

Preparation - Roughly chop onion, ginger and garlic. Transfer to a mixer jar along with the broken red chili and buzz for 1 sec to get a very coarse paste ( you should be able to make out each ingredient ).

Soak the soyabeans in 4-5 cups hot water for half an hour. Remove from hot water and wash under running water. Squeeze out the water and once again wash it under running water. Repeat 2-3 times.

Blanch the spinach ( put in boiling water for 2 mins, remove and immediately transfer to cold water ). Buzz in a mixie jar for 2-3 seconds to obtain a coarse puree.

Cooking - Heat 3 tsp oil in a pressure cooker. Add all the wholes spices and fry for 5-6 secs till they start to give out a fragrance.

Add the onion paste and fry till it turns reddish (use low flame with regular stirring else it will burn). Add the
tomato and cook for 2-3 mins till it softens.

Add the powdered masalas (except garam masala) and salt at this stage and fry for 1 min. Add the soaked (and thoroughly squeezed soya nuggets) along with the diced potato to the cooker. Stir fry on medium flame for 3-4 mins.

Add 2 1/2 - 3 cups hot water, adjust salt, sprinkle garam masala and close the lid of the cooker. Cook for 1-2 whistles on medium flame. Remove from flame and allow to stand aside till steam escapes.

Heat remaining oil in a wok. Add the spinach puree and fry for 2-3 mins. Add the contents of the pressure cooker to the wok. Bring to boil and let it simmer for 2 mins.

Serve hot with white rice, roti or parantha.

Note - One can also skip the whole garam masala and add some powdered garam masala instead.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Palak Kofta Curry

When I made the 'Malai koftas' last week, I had some leftover paneer-potato mix that I had planned to use as a sandwich filling. But while cleaning the fridge on the next day, I found some spinach that was starting to wilt. So, I decided to use both the leftover ingredients and make a curry for dinner. But since I had those koftas the night before, I kept this dish simple. No frying. Just baked the tikkis in the oven. Also, I omitted the butter and added just a hint of cream. Healthy and tasty.

Read on for the recipe -

Preparation Time - 20-25 mins

Ingredients -

For the koftas -

  • 200 gm paneer
  • 1 medium sized potato
  • 1 tsp cornflour
  • a pinch of garam masala
  • 1/3 tsp chilli powder
  • salt to taste
  • oil spray

For the palak gravy -

  • 1 bunch palak/spinach leaves ( 2 cups )
  • 1 medium sized onion
  • 5-6 garlic flakes
  • 1 inch ginger
  • 2 green chilis
  • 2 pinch garam masala
  • 1 tsp oil
  • 1-2 tbsp butter (reduce the quantity if you want)
  • 2-3 tbsp fresh cream (optional)
  • salt to taste

Cooking - Cook the potato with 1 cup water in a pressure cooker for 2 whistles. Keep aside till steam escapes.

While the potato is cooking, chop the onions, peel the garlic and ginger. Also, blanch the spinach and keep aside.

Heat 1 tsp oil in a wok. Add the onion, ginger and garlic. Fry till onion turns translucent. Add the blanched spinach, green chillis and garam masala. Fry for 2-3 mins. Transfer to a mixer and make a smooth paste.

Peel and grate the boiled potato into a mixing bowl. Also grate the paneer into the same bowl. Add salt, cornflour, chili powder and garam masala. Mix thouroughly and divide into 6-7 portions. Shape each portion into a flattened circle about 2/3 cm thick.

Preheat oven to 200 degree Celcius. Take a baking tray and line with butter paper/foil. Spray on some cooking oil. Place the paneer-potato tikkis and bake on each side for 3-4 mins (use the upper grill of the OTG).

Heat 1 tsp butter in a wok. Add the spinach gravy along with 1/3-1/2 cup hot water and bring to a boil. Simmer for 3-4 mins. Add the fresh cream and some more butter. Mix in. Add the koftas and switch off the flame.

Cover and keep aside for 5 mins before serving. (This will allow the koftas to absorb the gravy)

Serve hot with phulkas.

Note - One can also fry some tomato and grind it with the palak to give a hint of tang this dish. 

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Palanga Dalma

Odiya folks love their flavorful  Kosala/Leutiya/Khada/Sajanna Sagaa. And with a whole range of greens being available in the local markets around the year, it is hardly a surprise that the humble 'Palak' or palanga sagaa as we call it does not get the respect it deserves. However, with the latter being elevated to the status of a superfood, Odiya folks are trying hard to incorporate it in their menu.

No easy task adjusting to the slight astringency of the Spinach. Unlike the mellow sagaa's that we consume, this one has a overbearing effect on the palate. No wonder most North Indian recipes include generous amounts to ghee to tone down its strong taste. But copious amounts of ghee is a strict no-no in oriya food except for the osa-baras or the fasting days. Hence was born the 'Palanga Dalma', a variant of our 'Buta Dalma'. A nice combination of spinach, vegetables and lentils, this makes for a very nutritious sidedish without the added calories.

My very first post for 2014 had to be something healthy keeping in line with my New Year resolutions. So here it is. Read on for the recipe:

Preparation Time - 20 minutes

Ingredients - 3 cups chopped palanga/spinach, 1 1/2 cup split channa dal, 1 cup cubed pumpkin, 1/2 cup cubed potatoes, 3-4  dry red chillis, 1 tsp oil, 1 tsp ghee, 1 tsp cumin seeds, 1/3 tsp jeera-lanka gunda (roasted cumin chilli powder), 1/5 tsp cinnamon powder/garam masala, 1/3 tsp turmeric, salt to taste.

Preparation - Wash and soak the channa dal for 2 hours.

Cooking - Take the channa dal, pumpkin cubes, potato cubes along with salt and turmeric in a pressure cooker. Cook for 1 whistle on high flame.

Heat the oil in a wok. Add the chopped palanga and stir fry till soft. Transfer to the pressure cooker and mix with the cooked dal.

Heat ghee in the wok. Add broken red chilli and cumin seeds. Pour the spluttering mix over the contents of the pressure cooker.

Put the pressure cooker back on medium flame. Add the jeera-lanka gunda and cinnamon powder. Simmer for 2 mins.

Serve hot with rotis/puri/paratha.

Sending this to the event Healthy Vegetarian Side Dishes hosted by Nandoo's Kitchen and Priya's Versatile Recipes .

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