I have always looked at meat balls in a sauce and wanted to create the same exact vegetarian or vegan version of it. So here goes:
Ingredients for the spinach balls:
1 cup of spinach finely chopped
1/2 cup potato cooked really well
Spices- turmeric, salt, cayenne, garam masala or curry powder, coriander and cumin seeds crushed-all 1/2 teaspoon
Rice flour- 1tablespoon
Oil for frying- any
Take a big bowl, add all your spices and mix well, add chopped up spinach and toss then throw in the well cooked potatoes and mix with your hands to make a dough. Let it rest in the fridge for a half hour. Once you take it out prior to frying them add 1 tablespoon of rice flour and mix well again. Rice flour gives you that golden brown surface.
Take a frying pan, add oil and you could either deep fry if you like it really golden brown or you could shallow fry and it still tastes delicious.
Ingredients for the Sauce:
Onions- 2 large chopped
1 tsp Ginger garlic paste or 1/2 inch of fresh ginger and 5 cloves of garlic
Green Chili- 2
Tomatoes- 4 diced
Salt to taste and 1 tsp of turmeric powder and curry powder
Place a pan under medium flame and saute ginger garlic in 1 tablespoon of oil and as soon as garlic starts to turn golden, throw in chopped onions, green chili’s and diced tomatoes along with the spices and salt and let it cook down with a lid to a pasty consistency. Blend this to a sauce with 1/4 cup water and cook for another 5 minutes until simmer and then transfer the spinach balls.
I belong to the Southern part of India and we make a lot of traditional dips otherwise popularly known as “Chutneys”
in the Indian food culture. One can play with this idea and make so many variations of chutneys once you have a basic understanding of making a chutney.
I have picked 3 of my best Chutneys for you—-
1) Coconut Chutney
Toast 1/2 cup of fresh or frozen but thawed coconut in a pan under medium flame with 1 teaspoon of coconut oil with chopped green chili, 2 teaspoon of roasted Bengal gram lentils and salt to taste. Blend in a food processor or blender to turn into a semi smooth paste.
Garnish with Cilantro, mustard seeds and curry leaves.
2) Tomato Chutney
Take a pan under medium flame and add 1 teaspoon of coconut oil, 1 cup of chopped tomatoes, 1 teaspoon cumin seeds,
1 teaspoon of red cayenne/ chili powder, 1/2 inch of grated fresh ginger or paste, 3 garlic cloves finely chopped and sauté with 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric powder and salt to taste and blend to a fine paste. Garnish with mustard seeds and curry leaves.
3) TRADITIONAL “THOGAYAL” OR LENTIL CHUTNEY WITH COCONUT
For this chutney, you need 2 teaspoons of Black gram lentils or Black Lentils – although its called black gram these lentils are white on the outside with black seed inside -its called ” Urad dal” in the Indian food culture. You also need 1 teaspoon of Split chickpeas which is yellow in color. Toast both these in a pan under low flame with a teaspoon of coconut oil. Add 1/2 cup of coconut- fresh or frozen grated thawed- and toast with salt and 2/3 fresh red chilis. If you don’t have fresh red chili substitute using cayenne powder. Throw all of this in a blender and grind with as little water as possible. I also add a small piece of fresh tamarind. If not available you can add a teaspoon of lemon juice for acidity. In my household growing up this was one chutney that was never garnished and was gobbled up before it got to the table:)
My way of coping amidst this panic of Covid 19 is by cooking. It helps me calm down and release my stress.
This morning I decided on cooking a big breakfast. The thing about Huevos Rancheros is that it is a Mexican dish rich in protein from the beans and the eggs. You may skip the yolk and even make the eggs with simply egg whites if you like.
This recipe is simple yet a bit time consuming in terms of the number of ingredients and plating or layering involved. If you want to make it quick you may skip few ingredients as per your liking.
Onion- 1 medium chopped fine
Garlic cloves- 4-5
Habanero lime tortillas from Trader Joes (you may use any brand tortillas or any kind)
1 Can of black beans
1 jalapeno diced
Cheddar Cheese or any mexican cheese blend
Salt to taste
1 avocado sliced
Salsa -either homemade or any store bought (I use Ghost pepper or Habanero salsa because our family loves spice)
Butter or oil
Cilantro for garnish
Take a pan and place over medium heat, add 1 tsp oil, garlic cloves, onions and black beans along with salt and saute for about 5-10 minutes. Then take another pan and make half fry eggs over medium flame. Toast the tortillas in medium flame and I add some cheddar cheese over the toasted tortilla while its warm so the cheese melts over it.
Take a plate -place the toasted tortilla with cheese
Tranfer 2-3 spoons of the beans with onion and garlic on top of the tortilla
Place the half fried egg over
Add some salsa
Add a dollop of sour cream or more as per your liking
Add sliced avocados
Add jalapenos if you like the crunch and spice
Garnish with cilantro
Layering or Plating:
Tip: I always try to make the yolk runny since that elevates the quality of the dish so much.
One of most comforting soups I have ever come across is a coconut based broth with aromatics of Galangal, Lemon Grass and Thai basil- Yes you guessed it right – a thai curry.
I love the green and red curry during the monsoon months or while gazing through the window looking at each snow fall off the ground and stick.
I have the long version of recipe which involves making the curry paste from scratch but in this day of fast life -I found an excellent product which cuts down the prep time to less than 20 minutes and I am going to share the secret with you all.
Green Chili- 2 depending on spice level you may even skip
Place a pan over medium heat. Add 2 tsp of coconut oil. Transfer chopped garlic, green chilis and onions and saute for 5 min’s. Then add your chopped mixed assorted veggies and saute for about 10 minutes covered with 1/4 cup water. I throw in whatever I may find in my refrigerator so you can play with this dish a lot. Meat lovers can throw in chicken pieces too.
I sometimes like to add some tofu for protein. Now add my magic product Maesri red curry paste to the dish and mix well. Once all the veggies are coated with the paste, lower the flame and add in the can of coconut milk slowly and let it cook till it comes to a slow boil.
Garnish with Cilantro or thai basil. You may serve with brown or white rice or drink it up as a soup! Voila!