Lentil Soup with Caramelized Onions, toasted Cumin and Coriander

Lentil Soup with Caramelized Onions, toasted Cumin and Coriander

1/2 cup Yellow Pigeon peas or Red Lentils

1 large Onion

1 Tomato

Fresh Ginger

3 cloves of Garlic

Pinch of Turmeric

Salt to taste

Cayenne

1 teaspoon Lemon Pepper

1 teaspoon Coriander powder

Canola Oil/ Vegetable Oil

1 teaspoon Cumin seeds

Cilantro for garnish

2 teaspoons Lemon Juice

Take 1/2 cup of Yellow Pigeon peas (you can also use Red Lentils) in a pot on a gas and add 1 cup water and keep covered till it cooks completely.You will know the lentils are cooked thoroughly once they turn mushy. Add salt to taste.  Keep them aside.

Chop ginger,garlic and onions finely. Then heat a pan, add 2 teaspoons of ghee or clarified butter. Transfer the chopped onion, ginger and garlic to the pan. Also, add pinch of turmeric and cayenne, salt to taste, 1 teaspoon lemon pepper powder and saute well till the onions are caramelized. Then chop a tomato and add it to the pan. Sprinkle some water and keep covered till the chopped tomato cooks well and takes in all the flavors from the spices. This is called a “TARKA” in Indian Cuisine and adds richness to the humble dal which we cooked earlier. Once onion tomato ginger garlic paste is cooked and ready, add the “TARKA” to the cooked lentils. I like to use a hand blender and blend it a little so you can still see bits of caramelized onions and tomatoes. Squeeze some fresh lemon juice or add 2 teaspoons of lemon juice. Chop some cilantro leaves and use to garnish as well. Enjoy!

Nutrition facts

Lentils in general contain high levels of protein and the important aminoacids methionine, lysine and tryptophan.

Cooking Class for the Newcomers-Encore Club of Short Hills and Millburn

Cooking Class for the Newcomers-Encore Club of Short Hills and Millburn

FullSizeRender (12)

The Newcomers-Encore Club is a social club open to all residents of Short Hills and Millburn, no matter how long they’ve lived in the area. The Club organizes various fun events and activities through out the year for its members.

FullSizeRender (14)

One of my good friends Neetu Salhotra approached me with an idea for offering a cooking class for the Newcomers group. I agreed and we both exchanged a few ideas and emails to come up with the following menu for the group.

  1. Quinoa with roasted Cauliflower, Cranberries and Walnuts
  2. Curried Brussel Sprouts with Paneer and Bell Pepper
  3. Lentil pudding

I printed recipe cards and handed it to everyone. There was a lovely group of 10 wonderfully enthusiastic people ready to whip up these dishes. I split them into groups of 2 and they were so good at following the recipe and carrying out their tasks like chopping/ cooking/ seasoning/ garnishing-that we finished the class right on time for all of them to taste the dishes that they cooked as a team.

It was interesting that they all had one thing in common to tell me that they learnt a few new ingredients that they used in the class-

  1. Freshly ground garam masala
  2. Fresh coriander seeds
  3. Fresh cardamom seeds for the pudding
  4. “Jaggery” for the pudding- it is a healthier substitute for sugar
  5. Dried Fenugreek leaves for brussel sprout dish

IMG_2532

 

I think it is extremely gratifying to know that people have a nice take away from the class apart from learning to cook couple dishes -in this case- introduction to a set of new ingredients that they werent used to cooking with and now are willing to incorporate in their everyday cooking:)

I am very grateful to all of you and always appreciate the team effort that leads to such wonderful cooking experiences with beautiful people like you.

Stay tuned for more events coming up soon…..

 

 

 

Recipe: Chick Peas with Grated Coconut

Recipe: Chick Peas with Grated Coconut

Ingredients:

1 can of chick peas

1 tsp mustard seeds

1 tsp cumin seeds

1tsp lemon pepper powder

1 tsp coriander powder

1 tsp cayenne powder

1 tsp turmeric

2 cloves of garlic

Salt to taste

Canola Oil

1/4 cup grated coconut- frozen or fresh

Preparation:

Heat a pan with canola oil. Add mustard seeds, cumin seeds and wait till splutters. Add turmeric, cayenne, coriander powder, salt and lemon pepper powder. Then chop garlic and add to the pan. Saute for less than a minute. Then transfer the chick peas from the can and mix well for about 3 min’s so it soaks in all the flavors of the spices.

Turn off the heat and add the grated coconut and mix well.

Enjoy! This is such a great healthy snack!

If you do not wish to use the caned chick peas, you can buy the packet of chick peas from the store and soak it overnight. Pressure cook it and use the cooked chick peas.

Catering for an Art Show-4/6/13

Catering for an Art Show-4/6/13

My daughter goes to art classes in a small warm cozy art studio in Maplewood, NJ. The owner is an extremely talented, warm and nice. She was organizing an Art Show at her studio and wanted me to cater some short eats to go with wine for all the people who were invited.  I decided to make Polenta but wanted to make it mess free for people to pick and eat. The first thing that came to my mind was the mini cupcake baking pan. I have baked so many cupcakes and done bake sales for my daughter’s school. I decided to use the cupcake bake pan to mold the polenta. I always try and use Bob’s Corn Grits or Polenta from the supermarket simply because its convenient and easy to prepare.

art 1

geralynThe instructions usually tell you to cook the corn grits with water but I do it differently.

Currylicious Tip: I whisk half heavy cream and half whole milk in a pot until it comes to a boil. Then, I add corn grits and whisk well to avoid lumps. By the way dont polentaask me why I whisk the cream/milk and bring it to a boil:))) lol I just feel that it tastes absolutely delicious when I make it this way!

Once the polenta is creamy and hot, I spooned it into the mini cupcake baking pans and leave it in the refrigerator to set for about 1/2 hour. Once you take them out of the refrigerator, you can scoop out the polenta cupcakes easily. I also made a baked art audienceeggplant dish which i used to top off the polenta cupcakes.

food

I also made a Tuscan ChickPea spread with garlic and tomatoes and it was served on toasted bread.

I took all the food to the studio as I was also invited to the Art Show. It was so much fun meeting several people and to see them taste my food and get their feedback and appreciation.

With much love …….

Cold Beet Salad with Goat Cheese & Sunflower seeds

Cold Beet Salad with Goat Cheese & Sunflower seeds

 

photo 4

I must say that this is one of the best way and form I have consumed beets! My daughter ate a whole bowl of this salad so for all those moms

struggling to get all the good stuff with nutrients in your child, this might be a dish you wanna try! Beets belong to root vegetable family and are super rich in antioxidants and nutrients.

This dish took me less than 2 minutes to plate once the beets were cooked. Cooking beets takes a while but trust me this dish is so worth it!

Ingredients:(Serving Size for 2)

Beets- 2 or 3 beets

Goat cheese crumbled- 1/4 cup

Sunflower seeds- 1/4 cup

Red Onion- 1/2

Olive Oil

Salt to taste

Preparation:

 

Cooking the beets: There are 2 ways to cook the beets. You can peel the skin dice them evenly and roast it in the oven at 375 degrees for 45 minutes.

or

You can use a pressure cooker. I love cooking a lot of my veggies in my cooker since its faster and cooks evenly. Peel the skin of the beets, dice the beets evenly and transfer them to a container with water. Cook the beets in a cooker. It takes me about 15- 20 minutes to cook them in a pressure cooker.

I transfer the cooked beets in a bowl and add the crumbled goat cheese and mix it up. Then I add salt to taste, drizzle some olive oil and leave it in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes. Prior to serving, mix some sunflower seeds and serve as a cold salad.

Absolutely healthy and delicious meal!

With much love …….as always….