OKRA (ladies fingers)

okra_ladiesfingers

ROSEMARY

I plant rosemary all over the garden, so pleasant is it to know that at every few steps one may draw the kindly branchlets through one’s hand, and have the enjoyment of their incomparable incense; and I grow it against walls, so that the sun may draw out its inexhaustible sweetness to greet me as I pass.

                                                                              Gertrude Jekyll

rosemary_herbs

Toor Dal /Arhar Dal Fry

toor_dal_arhar_dal

MEALS | August 7, 2017 | By

Toor dal is one of the most common dal dishes I cook for my family. It is a favourite with my husband and son. Toor dal fry, along with simple rice and any kind of spicy condiment is enough to make everyone happy. It is a very economical, simple and satisfying vegetarian meal. Most Indians fry dal in ghee (Indian clarified butter). But I always cook it with vegetable oil or olive oil because my husband is a vegan. But my son and I enjoy the dish more when we garnish the dal fry with a little butter or ghee while the dal is still hot. (Vegans can garnish it with Nuttelex margarine instead of ghee or butter)

toor_dal_arhar_dal 

If you are living outside the Indian subcontinent, some ingredients for toor dal are available in supermarkets. But the main ingredients will be available only in Indian grocery stores.

toor_dal_arhar_dal

Toor Dal / Arhar Dal
Serves 4
A delicious spiced flavoured yellow lentil curry!!!
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
40 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
40 min
Ingredients
  1. Toor dal – 1 cup
  2. 4 cups of water
  3. 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  4. 3 whole red chillies (optional)
  5. 1 large onion, finely chopped
  6. 1 bay leaf
  7. 1 teaspoon of cumin seed
  8. 3 pinches of asafoetida
  9. 1 teaspoon of ginger and garlic paste
  10. 2 medium size tomatoes, finely chopped
  11. 1 teaspoon of ground turmeric
  12. 1 teaspoon of ground cumin seed
  13. 1 teaspoon of ground coriander seed
  14. 1 teaspoon of ground red chilli
  15. 1 teaspoon of salt
  16. 1 serving spoon of roughly chopped coriander leaves
Instructions
  1. Place the dal and water in a pressure cooker and cook until the pressure cooker gives two whistles. Turn the flame off and leave the pressure cooker until it cools down enough for the lid to be opened.
  2. Heat the oil in a pot. Add the bay leaves, cumin seeds and whole red chillies. Fry until the cumin seeds become light brown.
  3. Add the onions and fry until they become light brown at the edges. Add asafoteda, ginger garlic paste, chopped tomatoes and all of the ground spices. Sprinkle some water on the mixture. Mix well and fry until the tomatoes are cooked. Remember to keep stirring in order to avoid burning the mixture.
  4. Add dal from the pressure cooker and mix well. Cook until the mixture comes to a boil. Add water if you find the mixture is too thick. After the mixture comes to a boil, add coriander leaves and cook for another two minutes. Enjoy.
Blue Bell Recipes http://www.bluebellrecipes.com/

FOCACCIA BREAD

foccasia_bread

MEALS | August 6, 2017 | By

This is the recipe for freshly baked garlic and rosemary flavoured Focaccia bread. This bread, along with a hot bowl of soup, is an excellent treat on a cold rainy winter day. This is an Italian style vegan bread which is not only simple to make, but also has an excellent taste. It is also goes well with any kind of soup or curry. I have a strong preference for herbs. I therefore use generous amounts of rosemary, thyme and garlic on most occasions. You can use any type of fresh or dry herbs which you prefer. It is important to note that the flavour of Focaccia bread is heavily dependent on herbs and olive oil. The correct texture of this bread is for it to be crispy on the outside and soft and chewy on the inside.

focaccia_bread

Focaccia Bread
Serves 4
Fresh and delicious home made focaccia bread!!!
Write a review
Print
Cook Time
20 min
Cook Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
  2. 120 ml of extra virgin olive oil (almost ½ cup)
  3. 235 ml of warm water (almost a cup)
  4. 2 teaspoons of active dry yeast
  5. 1 teaspoon of raw sugar
  6. 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt
  7. 1 tablespoon of roughly chopped fresh or dry rosemary
  8. 1 teaspoon of fresh or dry thyme.
  9. 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
Instructions
  1. Mix the water along with sugar, yeast and half of the olive oil. Stir well. Keep the mixture in a warm place for about 5-6 minutes, or until the mixture becomes frothy.
  2. Add flour and half of the salt into the mixture. Mix well with a wooden spoon or spatula until the mixture starts binding together. Place the mixture on a lightly floured surface and knead until the dough becomes smooth and elastic. Place the dough in a bowl that has been greased with olive oil. Cover the bowl with a damp cloth or plastic wrap. Keep aside at a warm place for about 40 to 45 minutes until the dough rises and doubles in size.
  3. In the meantime, place the olive oil, thyme, rosemary and garlic on a skillet. Heat the mixture for about 6 to 8 minutes, making sure the garlic does not burn. Then place the mixture aside.
  4. Preheat the oven to 220C/425F.
  5. Place a baking sheet on a baking tray. Tip the dough out of the bowl. Flatten the dough onto the baking sheet. Squeeze the dough towards the corners of the tray. Use your fingers to dimple the dough. Drizzle the thyme, garlic and olive oil mixture onto the dough. Then sprinkle the remainder of the salt onto the dough. Let the dough rise for about 20 minutes until it puffs a little. Bake for about 15 – 20 minutes until the dough becomes golden brown. Cool the bread on a wire rack.
  6. Ding...ding...dingggggggggggg, now focassia bread is ready to serve!!!!
Blue Bell Recipes http://www.bluebellrecipes.com/

ONION FRITTERS

onion_ fritters

MEALS | April 8, 2017 | By

Onion fritters (also known as pyaz bhaji) is a popular Indian snack which can be eaten on it’s own, or with any main dish. It also goes well with tea. Many Indians enjoy crispy pyaz bhaji with any type of spicy chutney (also known as spicy condiments) and a cup of tea; particularly during rainy days. I have fond memories of onion fritters from the period before my marriage. My sister often prepared this snack for afternoon tea when we lived in Lucknow. Girls love to talk about girls’ subjects while having this kind of snacks.wink

onion_fritters

Onion fritters are eaten more commonly among Indians than any other kind of fritters. I often serve them as a starter with chilli garlic sauce or cilantro chutney. Left over fritters can also be a tasty addition to any kind of vegetarian dish.

onion_fritters

 

Onion Fritters
Serves 4
Crispy onion fritters!!!
Write a review
Print
Total Time
35 min
Total Time
35 min
Ingredients
  1. 3 large onions, thinly sliced
  2. 200 gm chickpea flour
  3. 2 tablespoons of rice flour (optional)
  4. ½ teaspoon of baking powder
  5. 3 green chillies, chopped (remove the seeds if don’t like it too hot)
  6. 1 teaspoon of ground chilli
  7. 1 teaspoon of whole cumin
  8. 1 teaspoon of ground cumin
  9. 1 teaspoon of turmeric
  10. 1 teaspoon of salt
  11. 1 teaspoon of mustard seed (optional)
  12. 3-4 curry leaves (optional)
  13. 1 serving spoon of fresh coriander leaves, chopped
  14. 120 ml water
  15. 500 ml vegetable oil for deep frying
Instructions
  1. Heat the oil in a pan on a medium flame.
  2. Make a thick batter by mixing all the ingredients together. The mixture should be thick enough to hold together.
  3. Carefully drop five or six pieces of batter into the hot oil. Each piece of batter should be about a table spoon. Fry until the fritters become golden brown and slightly crispy. Do not attempt to fry too many pieces at a time, because it will become overcrowded and the pieces will end up sticking together.
  4. Repeat the same process until all of the batter is finished.
  5. Serve hot with any dip of your choice.
Notes
  1. If you are cooking onion fritters for guests, partially fry the fritters (about 75% complete) before the guest arrive. Once you are ready to serve after the guests arrive, you can then re-heat the same oil and fry the fritters again until they are light brown and crispy. This is because fritters taste best when they are hot.
Blue Bell Recipes http://www.bluebellrecipes.com/

Chana Aloo Kanghou/Stir Fried Chickpea And Potato

chana_aloo_kanghou

Chana Aloo Kanghou is a spicy stir fried side dish from my home state of Manipur. I cook Manipuri dishes not only for their taste, but also for the memories they bring for me. This particular dish is a snack which goes very well with afternoon tea or supper. It also goes well with rice, particularly as an after school meal.

 

chana_aloo_kanghou

 

 I like spicy food because I grew up in a community where spices are important ingredient in bringing out extra tang in the food. If you don’t like spicy food, or do not have one or more of the spices in this recipe, you can simply omit the spices you don’t have or want. The dish will still be tasty.

 

chana_aloo_kanghou

 

chana_aloo_kanghou

Chana Aloo Kanghou
Serves 4
A super simple stir fried small chickpeas and potato dish!!!
Write a review
Print
Cook Time
20 min
Cook Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 medium sized boiled potatoes, chopped into cubes
  2. 2 cups of cooked small chickpeas
  3. 4 tablespoons of olive oil, or any vegetable oil
  4. 1 bay leaf
  5. 1 teaspoon of whole cumin seeds
  6. 1 serving spoon of garlic chives, chopped into half inch pieces
  7. 1 medium size onion, chopped or thinly sliced
  8. 1 teaspoon of ginger paste, or finely chopped ginger
  9. 1 teaspoon of garlic paste, or finely chopped garlic
  10. 1 teaspoon of chilli powder
  11. 1 teaspoon of ground cumin
  12. 1 teaspoon of ground coriander
  13. ½ teaspoon of ground turmeric
  14. ¾ teaspoon of salt
  15. 3 Indian green chillies, slit in half
  16. 1 serving spoon of fresh coriander leaves, chopped
  17. 2 serving spoons of cabbage, chopped (for garnishing)
  18. 1 medium size onion, thinly sliced (for garnishing)
Instructions
  1. Heat the oil in a frying pan on a medium flame. Add bay leaves and cumin seeds. Fry until the cumin seeds become light brown.
  2. Add garlic, chives and onion. Sauté on high heat until the onions become light brown at the edges.
  3. Add ginger and garlic paste along with all the ground spices. Mix well.
  4. Add chopped potatoes, chickpeas and salt into the mixture. Fry for 10 minutes.
  5. One minute before turning off the flame, add the green chilli and half of the chopped coriander. Mix well.
  6. After turning off the flame, pour the final mixture into a bowl or platter. Garnish the mixture with chopped coriander, sliced onion and cabbage. Enjoy.
Blue Bell Recipes http://www.bluebellrecipes.com/

CARROT, MILK POWDER AND ALMOND POWDER BURFI

carrot_milk_almond_burfi

DESSERTS | December 2, 2016 | By

‘’Oh it’s really delicious mom!!!!’’ Those are the words my little boy said when he tasted this burfi for the first time. Burfi is an addictive sweet. It is not ideal for people like me; who don’t want to put on weight, but don’t work out either. It is therefore something which I don’t prepare often. I only make it occasionally, mainly for festivals.

carrot-milk-almond-burfi

 

Carrot, Milk Powder And Almond Powder Burfi
Write a review
Print
Cook Time
35 min
Cook Time
35 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 ½ cup of carrot, finely shredded
  2. 1 cup of granulated sugar powder
  3. ½ teaspoon of green cardamom powder
  4. 1 cup of milk powder
  5. 1 cup of almond powder
  6. 1 ½ cups of water
  7. 1 serving spoon of olive oil, or 2 tablespoons of butter
  8. ½ cup of pumpkin seeds, roughly crushed
Instructions
  1. Heat a frying pan on medium heat. Add oil, carrots and ½ cup of water. Cook until the carrots become soft and tender.
  2. Add ½ of the sugar and half of the cardamom powder (keep the remaining cardamom powder for the almond and milk layer). Mix everything well and keep stirring, until the mixture absorbs all the water. Once that is done, turn off the flame .
  3. Transfer the mixture into a rectangular or square shape baking tray. Press down gently on the mixture with a spatula to make a smooth surface, then leave the tray aside.
  4. Pour one cup of water into a pan and bring it to a boil. Add milk powder to the boiling water and stir well on a low flame. Add almond powder, cardamom powder and the remaining ½ cup of sugar. Mix well until the mixture becomes a smooth paste.
  5. Pour the paste on top of the carrot mixture and make a smooth layer.
  6. Sprinkle the crushed pumpkin seeds on top and place the whole thing in the feezer for 1 hour.
  7. Once it is properly set, cut the burfi into any shape you want.
  8. Enjoy.
Blue Bell Recipes http://www.bluebellrecipes.com/

INDIAN FRIED RICE

fried_rice

MEALS | November 28, 2016 | By

Fried rice is a popular dish that people like to eat for lunch, dinner and sometimes even breakfast. It can be prepared with a variety of ingredients, depending on which vegetables a person might like. Rice is a staple food for my family, so I often end up with left over rice. One of the best things you can do with left over rice is to prepare fried rice.

I always keep some frozen green beans and peas in my freezer for emergencies. These come in handy when I want to make a quick fried rice dish, because these two vegetables go well with fried rice.

fried_rice

Indian Fried Rice
Serves 3
A simple and quick left over fried rice!!!
Write a review
Print
Total Time
15 min
Total Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. 3 cups of cooked rice
  2. 3 tablespoons of olive oil, vegetable oil
  3. 1 onion thinly sliced
  4. 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds
  5. 1 teaspoon of coriander powder
  6. 1/2 teaspoon of chilli powder
  7. 1/2 teaspoon of cumin powder
  8. 1/2 teaspoon of garam masala (optional)
  9. Optional: 2 green chillies, chopped (deseeded)
  10. 1 large tomato, chopped
  11. 1 serving spoon of carrot, finely chopped
  12. ½ cup of frozen green peas
  13. 1 cup of frozen green beans
  14. 2 medium sized button mushrooms, thinly sliced
  15. 1/2 teaspoon of salt
Instructions
  1. Heat the oil on a large pan, then add cumin and fry for 5 seconds. Add sliced onion and fry untill the onion become slightly brown.
  2. Add all the spice powders and chopped tomato and mix well.
  3. Add all the vegetables into the mixture and fry for 5 minutes.
  4. Add rice and salt. Fry all the ingredients together for about 4 more minutes. Garnish with fresh coriander leaves if you have some.
  5. Serve hot.
Blue Bell Recipes http://www.bluebellrecipes.com/

HOME MADE ENERGY BARS

home_made_energy_bar

DESSERTS | November 23, 2016 | By

There is no doubt that home-made energy bars are much better than store bought ones. This is because the home made bars are less sweet, cheaper, fresher and tastier. They can be eaten with morning or afternoon tea, after a workout, or while travelling. They also go well as an after school snack for kids. I sometimes include one as a surprise snack in my son’s lunch box. This is a vegan friendly bar which anybody can prepare in a short time.

home_made_energy_bar

home_made_energy_bars

Home Made Energy Bars
A delicious protein loaded energy bars!!!
Write a review
Print
Ingredients
  1. 2 ½ cups of dates, deseeded
  2. ½ cup of dark raisins
  3. 3 tablespoons of pumpkin seeds
  4. ½ cup of dry shredded coconut
  5. ½ cup of walnuts
Instructions
  1. Put the pumpkin seeds, shredded coconuts and walnuts in a food processor and grind them until they turn into a rough powder. Add raisins and dates, then blend all the ingredients together in the food processor until everything combines and sticks together.
  2. Remove the mixture with your hand or a spatula, placing it all on a rectangular or square baking pan. Press down on the mixture with your hand or the spatula to create a smooth surface.
  3. Place it in the freeze for 1 hr.
  4. Then cut the bar into your desired shape.
Blue Bell Recipes http://www.bluebellrecipes.com/

KIDNEYBEAN AND POTATO CURRY/RAJMA ALOO CURRY

kidneybean_potato_curry

MEALS | November 12, 2016 | By

This dish is made up of kidney beans and potatoes, cooked in spicy tomato sauce. It can be cooked any time of the year and can be eaten with cumin rice or plain rice, or any kind of bread. This is an aromatic dish that is cooked with beautiful Indian spices. It is a very common vegetarian dish in India, a favourite among many and a real crowd pleaser at functions.

kidneybean_potato_curry

Adding potatoes to this dish is entirely optional. My family like potato chunks with kidney beans, so I usually include potatoes. I use olive oil in this recipe, but you can also use vegetable oil, butter or ghee (Indian clarified butter) instead of olive oil.

kidneybean_potato_curry

If you are using fresh kidney beans, it is best to soak them overnight and then cook them in the pressure cooker, in preparation for this dish. Alternatively, you can use canned red kidney beans.

kidneybean_potato_curry

Kidneybean And Potato Curry
Serves 3
A soft and smooth curry, kidneybean and potato cooked with spiced tomato gravy!!!
Write a review
Print
Cook Time
30 min
Cook Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 ½ cups of boiled red kidney beans
  2. 2 large boiled potatoes cut into big cubes
  3. 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  4. 1 bay leaf
  5. 1 teaspoon of cumin seed
  6. 1 large onion, finely chopped
  7. 1 teaspoon of garlic paste
  8. 1 teaspoon of ginger paste
  9. 1 cup of tomato puree
  10. 1 teaspoon of red chilli powder (vary the amount according to your taste)
  11. 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder
  12. 1 teaspoon of coriander powder
  13. ½ teaspoon of cumin powder
  14. 1 teaspoon of garam masala
  15. 1 teaspoon of rajma masala (optional)
  16. 1 serving spoon of kasoori methi (dry fenugreek leaves)- (optional)
  17. 1 ½ cups of water
  18. 1 teaspoon of salt
  19. 2 serving spoons of fresh coriander leaves, chopped
Instructions
  1. Heat the oil in a pan. Add the bay leaf, cumin seeds, and chopped onion. Fry the mixture until the onions become slightly red.
  2. Add ginger and garlic paste, tomato puree and all the ground spices. Cook until the tomato puree is no longer raw. Stir often.
  3. Add boiled kidney beans, chopped potatoes, salt and water. Mix well and bring the mixture to a boil. Mash some of the kidney beans to bring about a nice texture. Cook for another 5 minutes, then turn the flame off. About one minute before turning off the flame, add half of the chopped coriander leaves and mix well. Keep the remainder of the coriander leaves for garnishing the curry at the very end.
  4. Serve with rice or any kind of bread.
Blue Bell Recipes http://www.bluebellrecipes.com/