Mirch Masala has moved to a new location starting Jan 2011. You can now find me at http://www.mirchmasala.me Hope to see you all there! Thanks!

Mirch Masala has moved to a new location!

>> Thursday, January 20, 2011

Those of you who follow Mirch Masala on Facebook will know about the recent changes that has happened. For the others, it is my pleasure to let you all know that Mirch Masala has moved from Blogger to Wordpress and also that So I Married a Meat-a-holic has finally been merged with Mirch Masala. To celebrate that there was a Fish Molee post that was up a couple of days ago. There is also a delicious Satsuma Mocha Pudding Pots post that was updated yesterday. Don't miss these posts any more and update your book marks, feeds ets with the new links.

The address for Mirch Masala now is http://www.mirchmasala.me/ The blogger account has been getting redirected to this domain for a long time now, but it will no longer do that. So please update your book marks, feeds etc. The new feeds link will be http://feeds.feedburner.com/mirchmasala/LdLK.

Thanks a lot for being there seeing this blog grow and for the tremendous support I have received from all of you. I will continue to see you guys at the new place!

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Steamed Persimmon Pudding

>> Sunday, January 2, 2011

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Happy New Year everyone!! Hope you all had a great beginning to the new year. It was a busy and relaxing first two days of 2011 and I hope that combination lasts for the rest of the days of the year as well. It was a great start for the blog as well as I made quite a lot of things and we had two gorgeous sunny days for me to take some good photographs as well. This steamed persimmon pudding was one of those things I cooked.  We got some nice persimmons as part of our box of produce from Full Circle Farms last week. I did not know what to do with persimmons and was looking around for some recipes when I found this a recipe for Spiced Persimmon Tea Cake on The Kitchn which led me to the Steamed Persimmon Pudding on Lovely Morning.

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Steamed Persimmon Pudding – The Recipe


from Lovely Morning (adapted from Local Flavors)
1 stick unsalted butter
3 Fuyu persimmons, pureed
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup 2% milk
1.2 tsp salt
1 cup all purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon powder

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Before you start with this recipe, make sure that the persimmons you have are really really ripe. If not wait for a couple more days. Grease the pudding dish. Use a pudding dish that when kept over a small inverted heatproof bowl (I used a cookie cutter ring as the stand for the pudding bowl), will fit into a dutch oven or a similar pan with lid. Melt the butter in a sauce pan and keep aside. Puree the persimmons and keep aside. They may have some seeds sometimes but the ones I used did not have any at all. Mix the butter, pureed persimmons, sugar, egg, vanilla and milk. In another bowl, sift the flour and add the baking soda and cinnamon powder to it. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients mix and combine well. Pour this into your pudding bowl(s).
Place the stand in the dutch oven, bring some water to a boil in a kettle, place the pudding bowl on the stand, pour the boiling water into the dutch oven till about 2/3rds of the pudding bowl. Close the pan with the lid. Cook on medium heat for about an hour or so or until when a knife when inserted comes out clean.

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The texture of the pudding will be like a cake, so you can either invert in onto a plate and cut it to slices and eat or just eat from the bowl as it is, like I did! :)

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Happy New Year!!

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Spinach and Artichoke Dip

>> Friday, December 31, 2010

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Here is wishing all the readers of Mirch Masala a very happy and flavorful New Year!! Everyone must be busy at this time planning parties – at home or elsewhere, making resolutions, wondering whether your resolutions are doable, wishing friends and family and all the other fun things. I always get very antsy at the end of a year. I am of course, very excited about the upcoming year, but there is always this thing at the back of my mind as to whether there was anything else that I wanted to do this year that I forgot to. But that is what the next year is for right?, to do all those things that you have wanted to do always :) Leaving you guys with a easy party appetizer recipe for you New Year party and the many more parties in the year 2011.




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Spinach and Artichoke Dip – The Recipe


1 can artichoke hearts – drained and chopped
1 bag frozen chopped spinach
1/2 cup cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sour cream
1/3 cup grated parmigiano reggiano or grated parmesan
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp red chilli flakes
salt to taste
freshly ground black pepper


Boil some water in a saucepan and add the spinach and artichokes to it. Boil for 2-3 mins and then drain and keep aside. Heat the cream cheese in the microwave for 30 secs or so, if is not softened enough. Whisk well, add the sour cream, cheese, garlic powder, red chilli flakes, salt and pepper and mix well. Add the spinach and artichokes to this and mix well again. Store in refrigerator until ready to serve. You can warm it a little before serving or serve it as it is with fresh veggie sticks and/or tortilla chips.

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Happy New Year, again!

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Brunchtime Seattle : Citizen

>> Tuesday, December 28, 2010

I have to admit - the first time AJ and I went to Citizen was because we had a Living Social coupon. We had heard from friends about this nice little cafe on Queen Anne and when we saw an amazing deal on Living Social we bought the coupon. It is one of those coupons that we used sooner than many of the others which wait around till the last possible valid date. I am super glad we discovered this place and now we have been here a couple of times already.

Citizen is this nice cozy comfortable cafe with equally warm people who work there. We have been there on a sunny Seattle day where we made use of the patio seating and on a drab rainy day where we sat indoors to the comfort of warm dim light and a cozy set up. We have had the sandwiches, crepes, breakfast specials, dessert , everything from here and loved all of it! I absolutely love ordering their coffee drinks made from Lighthouse coffee, as not only are they almost perfect to my liking but they come in giant mugs that I love to hold (sometimes more than my coffee ;) )


That is the Citizen Crepe and a Latte in the picture above. Citizen is one of the savory crepes filled with Avocado, caramelized onions, roasted asparagus, apple smoked bacon, spinach & goat cheese and topped with house made crème fraiche. ($8.95). That is what AJ had while I had the Caramel Pear Brulee  -caramelized apples, fresh pears, brûléed sugar & topped with caramel sauce and served with fresh whipped cream. ($7.95) because, if I remember correctly I was in the mood for something sweet that morning. Well, that said, when am I not in the mood for something sweet?

On our next visit here, we had the French Toast (Served in the style of bread pudding with seasonal berries & fresh fruit and topped with maple syrup, fresh whipped cream & dusted with powdered sugar. $7.95) to share which we both LOVED and I tried the Vietnamese Style Sandwich with Cilantro, jalapeño, cucumber, Vietnamese mayo & pickled veggies with spicy tofu (chicken or roasted pork can be had instead of Tofu) and served on french style bread. ($ 5.95) and AJ tried the Citizen Cheese Steak Sandwich with Sliced beef, sautéed mushrooms, bell peppers, caramelized onions, swiss, white cheddar, pepper mayo with a drizzle of Worcestershire sauce & garlic butter and served on soft warmed french bread with chips. ($8.95). The sandwiches were really good too ( A word of caution if you order the Vietnamese Style sandwich - the jalapeno peppers are just sliced in rounds and put there without removing the seeds / flesh inside which can be a little too spicy for some)

Overall this place falls somewhere on top of the list of our favorite brunch places in Seattle and I think saying that is enough!


Citizen on Urbanspoon

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Christmas Fruit Cake

>> Monday, December 27, 2010

Fruit CAKE Having lived in Kerala for most of my life with many malayalee Christian neighbors and friends, Christmas never went unnoticed. Even though Carols and Christmas stars put up in front of everyone's homes reminded you that Christmas was here, the highlight of the holiday season were the numerous fruit / plum Christmas cakes and home made wine that we used to get from our friends and neighbors. Only much later did I realize that some of these cakes were in incubation for almost a year, with the fruits being soaked in rum or brandy for that long before they were put in the cake.  It was not always for that long that these fruits were soaked, sometimes it was only for a few months, weeks or even a few days. But the longer they soaked, the better they were. Obviously!

I have always wanted to bake one of these cakes but never actually got around to doing that. What pushed me into baking one this year was that I forgot to bring back one from Kerala when I visited India last month. Now I had two choices – bake one or wait till someone went to Kerala to bring me back one. I did not really have the patience to wait that long but was lazy to actually bake a cake too. After much debate I finally decided to bake it myself but by then it was a little late and I could soak the fruits in rum for only a few days. It still turned out to be a lot better than what I expected it to be. DSC_0070I found a really good recipe in the New England Malayalee Association's blog and while using that as the base, made my own Christmas fruit cake. The measurements for ingredients are the same from this recipe, only I changed some of the ingredients a bit.

Christmas Fruit Cake - The Recipe

Candied fruits and peels - 1 box (you get it in the produce section at the grocery store - 8 to 12 oz tub)
Raisins - 2 cups
Rum - 1 1/2 cups
All purpose flour - 4 cups
Baking powder - 3 tsp
Butter, softened - 4 sticks (1 lb)
Sugar  - 4 cups
Caramel - 4 tbsp (the original recipe called for making caramel from scratch but I had a tin of readymade caramel I had bought on one of my trips, so I used that)
Eggs, at room temperature - 12
Powdered cinnamon - 1 tsp
Powdered nutmeg - 1 tsp
Powdered cloves - 1 tsp
Powdered dry ginger - 1 tsp
Pumpkin spice powder - 1 tsp
Salt - 3 tsp
Vanilla extract - 1 tsp

Add the rum to the dried fruit mix and raisins and keep them soaked in the rum, at room temperature for about 2 weeks ( I managed to soak them for only 3-4 days).
Preheat the oven to 350F and grease two square/round cake pans. Sift the flour and baking powder in a bowl. In a larger bowl, cream the butter and sugar and whisk the eggs together one at a time. Add the caramel, powdered spices, salt and vanilla and mix well. Now add the dry ingredients to this. Once mixed well, add the rum soaked dried fruits to this. Spoon into the prepped pans and bake for 1 hr or until done. Once done, remove from oven and let it rest on a cooling rack. You can pour some more rum on top of this at this point of time. Once cooled, wrap it tight and refrigerate.

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Restaurant Review : Galerias and Watercress Asian Bistro

>> Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Its time for some restaurant reviews again. These are some reviews that I wrote sometime back for Yubit.com, a local startup that offers deals from local businesses in and around the Seattle Area. Since I have put in some effort (read: EAT and of course, write the review too), I thought I might as well put it out here as a reference for my readers. In the rush of trying out new places each time, I really haven't been to any of these places after this but I am sure it still holds true.

As in one of my earlier posts, because of various reasons (click here to see what they are), I have decided to start writing mini reviews (these two are not so "mini" as I had written them before I started the mini reviews series) – just including what we ate, whether we liked it or not, whether we will go back there or not etc ad of course some pictures. That way it will be a quick list for someone wanting to know where to dine in Seattle and surrounding areas.

(Pics will be up soon as I am still trying to locate them after I moved them when I changed my computer)

Galerias, Capitol Hill WA
A brunch at Galerias was one of the best things that happened during the otherwise drab weekend. We went in with not much expectations and it turned out to be a very pleasant experience. It is one of the first times that we had a Mexican brunch and I was pretty impressed with the interpretations and twists to some of the classic breakfast dishes. Galerias is located on Broadway Street in Capitol Hill and is not easy to miss with the colorful “Weekend Brunch at 6.95” banner outside the restaurant. As soon as you step in you are greeted with bright yellow and lime green drapes hung around the room and it feels so fresh and pleasant, all at the same time. The chairs are the old fashioned curvy types with color coordinated fabrics as that of the drapes and the fans in the ceiling blow in a gentle breeze and you feel like you are in a completely different place altogether.

It took us some time to figure out what we wanted as there were so many choices in the menu and each one seemed as appetizing as the other. Finally I settled in on the Huevos Benedictos, a Mexican interpretation of the classic Eggs Benedict with masa corn cakes in place of the English muffin, ham, poached eggs and a spicy (probably poblano) hollandaise. I savored every single bite of that and wished there was more. I asked for the ham to be given on the side and they did serve it that way. AJ had the Mole Poblano – sautéed chicken breast in a delicious mole sauce with fried plantains on the side. A friend of ours who also came for the brunch had the 3 Eggs Omelet and he liked it very much. All the dishes came with roasted potatoes and a mini baked cup with beans in it, which was a little odd in taste by itself but was an interestingly good combination with the rest of the plate. The potatoes were really good with the spices in it not at all over powering its taste, but some of the bigger pieces were undercooked, so that wasn’t all that good. The Mole Poblano and the Omelet were ordered from the main brunch menu as entrees, so we could help ourselves to the brunch buffet which had some of the most delicious and moist cakes, fresh fruits, yogurt and granola. The best part of the brunch was the giant margarita we ordered, to share. It was a tad too early in the day to be drinking but I was told by a friend to not miss the margarita if I ever went to Galerias. So I just had to try that. Our waiter was a little surprised by that order, I must say. But it was one delicious and potent drink!

This definitely was one of those brunches that I will always remember and will look forward to going back again. The food was indeed very flavorful with a lot of fabulous choices to pick from and the quantity was not only just right to be able to finish it but also to keep you full till dinner time. The service was good even though it took a little longer than usual for our food to arrive, but the food from the buffet kept us busy till then. I will totally recommend this to anyone wanting to try out something different for a brunch.

Price: $ ( below $10 for an entrée) – just the brunch
Ambiance: 3/5
Food: 3.5/5
Overall: 3.5/5

Galerias on Urbanspoon

Watercress Asian Bistro, Redmond WA

Watercress Asian Bistro – the name is very familiar to us as we have seen it all the time whenever we drive by on Redmond Way. Even though it is set in a strip mall – I liked the atmosphere as soon as we stepped in.

We were served water immediately and since we were already really hungry we did not even bother to go through the drinks menu and directly ordered some Shanghai Style Spring Rolls for appetizers. I have heard that Watercress has one of the best happy hours and I am waiting to make another trip there for that. It wasn’t really crowded as it was a Tuesday evening but still there were many tables that were occupied. Our spring rolls came in real quick and they were gobbled up in no time. I loved the sweet dipping sauce – plum sauce on the side.

For our main course, we ordered the Eggplant Sichuan Style for me. I like eggplants for their versatility and invariably have tried the eggplant dish in most restaurants we visit often. So, it is like base test for me to see how well a restaurant makes its eggplant dish. It might sound easy and not possible to mess up, but I have had real horrible ones in some places. The Mango Curry Chicken was what we ordered for AJ as he likes the hint of sweetness that you find in some dishes in Asian cuisine. We ordered a Vegetable Fried Rice to share. The Eggplant Sichuan Style was good; the taste was pretty much as expected – except that the taste of the gravy had not soaked in to all the eggplant pieces, but overall it was very flavorful. AJs Mango Curry Chicken was exactly word-to-word from the menu – subtle flavor of mango with curry overtones and it is chicken, so one just cannot go wrong there. He liked it and I am glad I made AJ order it. The best of all was the fried rice. I don’t know whether it was the authentic one or not – but it totally reminded me of the Indo-Chinese fried rice that I love so much. There wasn’t anything left of that to box!

Overall, we had a wonderful evening. It was good, especially for a weeknight dinner as it took us just a little over an hour to get in-eat food-pay-get out. The service was fast and efficient and the food was flavorful with enough vegetarian choices on the menu. Only thing we felt that the entrees were a little overpriced for the quantity as well as the kind of food that was served -the menu had very normal dishes that most Asian restaurants offer. Will I go there again? Thats yet to see.

Price: $$ ($10 and above for an entrée)
Ambiance: 3/5
Food: 3/5
Overall: 3/5

Watercress Asian Bistro on Urbanspoon

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Shimla Mirch Kadhi ~ Bell Peppers in a Tangy Yogurt Sauce

>> Thursday, December 9, 2010

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I have been lazy and busy all at the same time. Wondering how one can be both of that at the same time? Ask me! :) We were in India for a good 3 weeks and had one of the most amazing times out there. It was only 3 weeks but we managed to do a lot of things, meet a lot of people and eat a lot, A LOT, of good food!  We came back last week and got back to our usual routine - it took me more than a couple of days for that, but well, thats where we are now. Loving the holiday feel around me and waiting for some snow. 

Here is something that I made on a Sunday before we left for India. This is from Raghavan Iyer's 660 Curries which is sort of my bible for Indian cooking. I made a mushroom-peas curry and a spinach-shallots curry along with some rice for a rainy Sunday lunch. Take my word for it, make more of this and store it in the refrigerator for you will want to eat more of it later too - seriously, its THAT good! Don't believe me? Make it for yourself and see.

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Kadhi is a preparation with yogurt and chickpea flour as the base. You can add chickpea flour fritters/dumplings to it which is the more common variety, called Kadhi Pakoda or you can also add vegetables like in this recipe.

Shimla Mirch Kadhi ~ Bell Peppers in a Tany Yogurt Sauce
Adapted from 660 Curries

Yogurt - 1 cup
Water - 1 cup
Besan / Chickpea Flour - 2 tbsp
Salt, to taste
Thai green chillies - 2
Ginger - 1 inch piece
Red Chilli / Cayenne powder - 1 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Roasted Cumin powder - 1/2 tsp
Roasted Coriander powder - 1/2 tsp
Green Bell Pepper, deseeded and chopped - 1
Green Peas ( I use frozen, most of the time) - 1/2 cup
Cilantro, chopped - 2 tbsp
Canola/vegetable oil - 1 tsp
Mustard Seeds - 1/2 tsp
Cumin Seeds - 1/2 tsp

Mix the yogurt with the water, add the chickpea flour to it and mix well so that no lumps are formed. Crush the ginger and green chillies using a mortar and pestle and add that to the yogurt mix. Add salt, cilantro, red chilli powder, turmeric powder, cumin and coriander powder to it and keep aside.

Heat the oil in a pan and add the mustard seeds to it. Once they splutter, add the cumin seeds and let them sizzle. Add the bell pepper and stir-fry for a few minutes. Add the green peas to it as well. Now mix in the yogurt mix and lower the heat. Do not let the mixture boil or else the yogurt will separate. Keep it on the stove till the raw smell of chickpea flour disappears.

Serve with rotis/chapathis or rice!

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Spaghetti with Home-made Tomato Sauce

>> Sunday, October 24, 2010

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Its been a while but things have been busy, so let’s leave it at that! Its gonna get even busier when I take off to India in a week. I have plans of documenting, taking pictures and blogging about all the delicious food I am going to eat there and I really hope I remember to do all that and not get carried away by just eating. We all know that can happen right?
Smile But the good news is that I have atleast 3-4 more good posts waiting and you will see them all in the coming week.




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You know I am a big proponent of cooking from scratch. It IS tedious, time consuming and all that but believe me once you go down that path you will never go to store-bought or ready made pastes, sauces, whatever else that maybe. Use the freshest of ingredients that you can get your hands on, make whatever you can from scratch with love and I swear there will not be a more delicious food that you will ever make. Pasta sauces are one my recent obsessions to cooking from scratch. The tomatoes and the onion used in this sauce are farm fresh from my CSA box from FullCircle Farms.

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Start by scoring and X at the bottom of each tomatoes, dunk the tomatoes in boiling water for 2-3 minutes. Remove them from the boiling water and put them in ice cold water. Peel off the skin, remove seeds – just keep the nice fleshy part, it makes the sauce thick and gives it a great color too. Now keep the rest of the ingredients for the sauce ready – crush the garlic, dice onions and drain the oil off the sun-dried tomatoes.

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Heat some olive oil and throw in the garlic and onions into it. Saute till the onions become translucent and add the chilli flakes, dried basil and oregano to it. Give it a good mix and then add the sun-dried tomatoes. Saute for a little while more, switch off the heat and keep aside to cool a little. Add this mix and the blanched tomatoes to your food processor and process to a smooth puree. Put this back to the pot and bring to a boil, add salt and crushed black pepper to it. Now you can add this to your favorite pasta or store it in the refrigerator for a week or so.

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Sprinkle a little grated parmesan on the warm pasta just before serving and enjoy with your favorite glass of wine.

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Spaghetti with Home-made Tomato Sauce – The Recipe

Tomatoes – 3-4


Olive Oil – 1 tbsp
Yellow Onion – 1, chopped
Garlic – 3-4 cloves, crushed
Sun-dried tomatoes – 3 tbsp
Red Chilli flakes – 1 tbsp
Dried Basil – 2 tsp
Dried Oregano – 2 tsp
salt
crushed black pepper
Spaghetti – 1 box
Parmesan Cheese, grated – 2 tbsp

Method

Blanch the tomatoes (

Start by scoring and X at the bottom of each tomatoes, dunk the tomatoes in boiling water for 2-3 minutes. Remove them from the boiling water and put them in ice cold water). Peel off the skin

 

remove seeds – just keep the nice fleshy part, it makes the sauce thick and gives it a great color too. Heat the olive oil in a pan, add the onion and garlic to it. Once the onion turns translucent, add the red chilli flakes, dried basil and oregano (Note: If you have fresh herbs, use them as they are way more flavorful than the dried ones). Mix well and add the sun dried tomatoes too. Season with salt and crushed black pepper. Switch off the heat. Let it cool down a bit. Add this mix and the tomatoes to a food processor and grind to a smooth puree. Pour it back into the pan and heat it up a little. Cook the pasta to al dente, mix in the sauce. Grate some parmesan on top of the plated pasta just before serving.

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Kathirikkai Kuzhambu ~ Baby Eggplants in a Tangy and Spicy Gravy

>> Tuesday, September 14, 2010

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Sometimes some vegetables are irresistible because they are fresh, sometimes you find a rare vegetable – something you don’t see everyday and want to buy it but it also happens that sometimes a vegetable is “cute” that you want to buy  it. Yes, you heard me right. Cute!! A couple of days ago I saw some absolutely cute baby eggplants – tiny little round purple eggplants and I immediately wanted to make this kathirikkai kuzhambu with them. It is not very often that you see these cuties here. I brought a bunch back home and only today I finally got a chance to make something with them. I usually make this kuzhambu with regular Indian eggplants cut into small pieces. This time I just cut the baby eggplants in four just about 3/4 of the way so that they cook well inside but still remain intact and whole. This spicy and tangy kuzhambu with some rice and yogurt made an awesome dinner.

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Kathirikkai Kuzhambu ~ Baby Eggplants in a Tangy and Spicy Gravy – The Recipe

8 – 10 Baby Eggplants, cut in four 3/4 of the way
1/2 tsp canola oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds
1 tsp urad dal / lentils
5-6 curry leaves
1 onion, chopped finely
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tomato, sliced thinly
4 tbsp sambar powder
1 tbsp black pepper powder
cherry sized ball of tamarind, soaked in water and pulp squeezed
a pinch asafoetida powder
salt, to taste
a handful of cilantro leaves, minced
DSC_1031Heat the oil in wide heavy bottomed pan on medium heat and add the mustard seeds to it. Once they splutter, add the fenugreek seeds, lentils and curry leaves to it.

Keep an eye on the fenugreek seeds – they can blacken very quickly and can turn extremely bitter because of that.

Add the onions and garlic to the pan and saute well. Add the turmeric powder at this point and the tomatoes as well. Saute for a few mins and add the eggplants. If you want you can add some oil to the pan to coat the eggplants well. Increase the heat a little to help cook the eggplants. Add the sambar powder, pepper powder and salt. Add the tamarind pulp to the pan and add a little water to it to dilute and cover the eggplants. Let it boil and cook for a few minutes till the gravy begins to thicken a little. Sprinkle the asafoetida powder and finish off with the minced cilantro. Enjoy the tanginess and spiciness all infused in the tender eggplants.

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Quinoa Salad with Farm Fresh Vegetables, Dried Cranberries, Toasted Walnuts and a Lime-Cilantro Dressing

>> Friday, August 27, 2010

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Last month we signed up for a CSA with Full Circle Farms here in Carnation, WA in an attempt to try and eat local and organic food. I went through a whole lot of other options before I decided on this one and the reason why I chose FCF is because they have a home delivery system apart from the regular pick up locations and the options for delivery are every week or every other week. These days I don't cook dinner at home every day - every day. It is mostly 2-3 times a week and I was pretty sure that if I get veggies and fruits delivered every week then most of it is going to go waste, so the every other week delivery works perfectly fine for me. We have got two deliveries now and so far we love it! It is always a surprise till the week before (when they send out the list of vegetables that are going to be there in your box, so that if you want you can substitute with other vegetables or order more from their seperate list of Green Groceries) and it makes me think to see what I can make with the produce I get rather than decide what to make and then buy produce accordingly.


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So, yesterday I got some of these awesome baby carrots ( I managed to save some for the salad as I kept eating them as it is, they were so juicy and delicious) and zucchini along with a whole bunch of other produce - this time it is a lot of greens , rainbow chard, arugula, lettuce, rapini - that I just wanted to make something fresh with them for dinner the same day. I was at work and during the low period of the day, I started thinking about food and recipes and photo set ups, which happens many a time, and came up with this recipe for a Quinoa salad.

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Look at those fresh limes. I got them from FCF too. It was a substitute I ordered for some fruit that we did not particularly enjoy the last time we got it.

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So I sauteed the carrots, zucchini and some onions in a little olive oil for just a little bit.

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Those are part of the dressing - the chopped cilantro, green chilli, garlic, salt, pepper and olive oil along with the lime juice. The toasted walnuts and dried cranberries were tossed into the salad after mixing the salad with the dressing.

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In goes the olive oil into the lime juice, cilantro, green chilli, garlic mix.

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The sauteed veggies get tossed up with the cooked quinoa.

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The dressing goes on top of that. Give it a little toss again and add the walnuts and cranberries and your dinner is ready. This salad is not only healthy because of the whole grains and the veggies, it has such a wonderful flavor from all the aromatics and such a great combination of texture from the chewy dried cranberries and the crunchy toasted walnuts. It was totally an amazingly fresh salad! Go try it and see for yourself.

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Quinoa Salad with Farm Fresh Vegetables, Dried Cranberries, Toasted Walnuts and Cilantro-Lime Dressing - The Recipe

Quinoa - 1 cup
Baby Carrots, thinly sliced like matchsticks - 5-6
Zucchini, cubed - 1
Yellow Onion, diced - 1/2
Olive Oil - 1 tsp
Dried Cranberries - 1/4 cup
Broken Walnuts - 1/2 cup
salt and freshly cracked black pepper

For the dressing:
Lime, squeezed - 1/2
Garlic, minced - 1 clove
Cilantro, minced - 3 tbsp
Green Chilli, minced - 1
Olive Oil - 4 tbsp
salt and freshly cracked black pepper

Wash and boil the quinoa in 1 1/2 cups water and a little salt till all the water evaporates and the quinoa is cooked. Fluff it with a fork and let it cool. Toast the walnuts and keep aside.

In a saute pan, heat the olive oil and saute the carrots, zucchini and onions lightly with some salt and pepper. Keep aside.

Mix all the ingredients for the dressing together. Add the sauteed vegetables to the cooked quinoa, pour the dressing on top and mix well with a fork. Add the cranberries and walnuts too and mix well. Check for seasoning and add more salt and pepper if required.

Enjoy your salad!

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