Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Palko Mogar

Palko Mogar is a combination of moong daal and spinach. Palko Mogar is a name I adopted in Jodhpur and modified the recipe a bit. The term 'Mogar' refers to the moong daal, which is yellowish in colour and without outer skin. The leafy vegetable 'Palak' means spinach.

Ingredients (Serves 4):
  • 1/2 cup mogar ( moong daal without skin ) 
  • 2 cups of spinach
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1/8 tsp cumin seeds 
  • 1/8 tsp asafoetida ( hing )
  • 1/2 tsp subrus masala 
  • 1 cm ginger root finely chopped 
  • 1/4 tsp salt 
  • Cilantro chopped (optional)
Ingredients (mogar in bowl)

  1. Wash daal 3 times
    Add 1 cup of water and start heating on medium heat. 
  2. As water starts boiling, lower heat little so that it does not boil over.  It will be cooked in 10-15 minutes.
  3. Add spinach and cover for 5 minutes so that spinach shrinks a bit. Adjust to the desired consistency by adding water.
  4. Add salt, ginger, and cilantro.
  5. Prepare tadka (roasted spices) separately. I find metal measuring cup (1/2 cup) with handle useful for this purpose. In oil put 1-2 grains of cumin for checking oil temperature. When the oil is hot enough, add cumin seeds, then asafoetida and masala.
  6. Add tadka to dal, mix and let it simmer  for few more minutes

The Palko Mogar can be consumed as a soup or as a part of dinner with roti or rice.

Here it is as a part of dal roti sabzi combo:


Monday, July 3, 2017

Green Beans Potato Sabzi

This is another simple sabzi to make, similar to the tiranga sabzi described in a previous post.

Ingredients (Serves 4):
  • 2 cups of cut green beans ( about 1/2 to 3/4 " length) 
  • 1 red potato cut into 1/2" cubes
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1/4 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/8 tsp asafoetida ( hing )
  • 1/2 tsp subrus masala ( spice mix - see prior post for details )
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 5 stems of cilantro leaves and stems cut separately ( optional )

Chopped ingredients

  1. In a non-stick pan, put oil and start heating. 
  2. Put 1-2 cumin grains to check oil temperature.
  3. When oil is hot add cumin seeds, then asafoetidasubrus masala, and potato. 
  4. Stir well to cover potato pieces. 
  5. Add beans, salt and  mix well. Add 2 tbsp water, and cover while on stove to steam.
  6. After 10 minutes reduce heat, add cilantro stems. 
  7. Add 1 tbsp water if needed, cover, continue heating for 5 minutes
  8. Check if potato and beans are cooked by mushing with spoon a piece of potato and bean. Cover and heat for 5 more min if needed. Garnish with Cilantro leaves. 
Below are the three stages of cooking:

After adding potatoes

After cooking 10 minutes

The finished sabzi

Saturday, July 1, 2017

NYTimes Kale Salad With Apples

I had an over-supply of kale which I needed to use up quickly. A quick Google search led me to this NYTimes recipe for Kale Salad with Apples and Cheddar. This is very simple but I will post it anyway, with my variation on it as well my sense of how it came out.

Ingredients (Serves 2):
  • 4 cups of kale, thinly sliced
  • 1 apple (I went with Gala), diced to 1/4"
  • 10 almonds, chopped
  • 10-20 raisins
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 5 tbsp olive oil (EVOO)
  • Pinch of salt
Ingredients before prep

Ingredients after prep

  1. Prep the ingredients as above

    If you notice the knife in the photo above, it is a Victorinox 8" Fibrox Pro Chef's Knife. I am not much of a cook, but I bought it because of the rave reviews, and it has lived up to the reputation! Especially when paired with the NYTimes Basic Knife Skills guide.

  2. Place the kale, apple, almonds, and raisins in a salad spinner
  3. Stir the salt, lemon juice, and olive oil until it is homogenous
  4. Add the dressing to the spinner and push push push!

The dressing
Unlike the original recipe, this one omits the cheddar, mostly because I did not have any at hand. Overall, it came out pretty good! The total prep time was about 15 minutes. The last tip from the NYTimes was key though: letting the entire mixture sit for 15 minutes after mixing helped break down and soften the kale a bit. I would happily make this salad again!

The finished product: Kale Salad with Apples

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Tiranga Sabzi

One of our favorite vegetables is Tiranga Sabzi, or Three-Colored Vegetables. The name is generic but in my case, the three vegetables we use are green / bell peppers, red potatoes, and carrots. Coincidentally, these are the colors of the Indian flag (more or less, haha). The last three ingredients comprise the 'tadka', so named for the sound it makes when the oil becomes heated.

Chopped carrots and bell peppers
Ingredients (Serves 3-4):
  • 1 Bell Pepper
  • 2 Carrots
  • 2 Red Potato medium size( your favorite potato variety )
  • 1 to 2 tbsp Vegetable or olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp hing (asafoetida
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp chili/cayenne powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt

  1. Chop all the vegetables in strips approximately 2.5 x 1 cm (see photo)
Vegetables fully cut to size
  1. Add the oil to a frying pan and heat it on medium-high heat (6 out of 10 on my stove)
  2. Add a small amount of the cumin to the oil until it starts to simmer. 
  3. Once it does, add all the 'tadka', lower the heat to low-medium (4/10) and add the potatoes. 

  1. Partially cover the potatoes to steam them and heat for 7 minutes.
  2. Add carrots
  3. Add bell pepper, mix and heat for 5 more minutes

  1. Make sure all three kinds of veggies are cooked. If not, heat for another 5 minutes.
  2. Add salt, mix well, lower heat, and heat for 5 minutes. 

The dish is easy to make, quick, and relatively healthy. It is usually paired with roti, a common type of Indian bread. This is arguably the most patriotic sabzi an Indian can make, as the colors match those of the Indian flag!

Ready to eat!