Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Mango Salsa!


If you are looking for some refreshing salad, at the same time tasty.. then go for this. It has got a burst of flavors, its sweet, tangy, sour and crunchy with the peppers. It is an excellent accompaniment for chips/nachos, on tacos or serve as a side with any Mexican main course. Looks so colorful and appetizing and it is super easy to make when it comes to big crowd. Just toss in all the ingredients together and its ready.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 ripe mango ( but firm)
  • 1/2 medium onion (finely chopped)
  • 1/4 red bell pepper (finely chopped)
  • 1/2 chilli pepper / Jalapeno (fresh or pickled)
  • 2  - 3 tbsp finely chopped cilantro
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped cucumber ( optional)
  • 1/2 big lime
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper

STEPS

  • In a bowl combine, chopped mangoes, onions, cucumbers, red pepper, and cilantro.
  • Sesaon with salt n pepper and squeeze lime juice finally and give a nice mix.





With Love,

Vegetarian Burrito !



Burrito the famous Mexican dish is made from flour tortillas wrapped with choice of various fillings , mostly meat and beans, with some veggiesm salsa and guac. Buying a burrito at a eatout is s simple, but the fun of making each and everything at home is so special and I indeed thoroughly enjoyed it.
I have previously posted the other components of burrito like the rice, guac and salsa. 
Making burritos at home is really not a tough job when you have all the components ready and you can even make it for bigger crowd.


INGREDIENTS
  • 2 flour Tortillas (plain or seeded)
  • 1 cup Cilantro Lime Rice
  • 1 cup cooked Red Kidney Beans / Black Beans (or from can)
  • handful chopped bell peppers
  • 1/2 red onion sliced
  • 1/2 cup Pico de Gallo
  • 1/2 cup Guacamole
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • fistful shredded fresh lettuce
  • enchilada sauce or any spicy sauce (optional)
  • cooked corn kernels (optional)
STEPS

How to cook the beans:
  • Soak the dried beans overnight. 
  • Next day In a pressure cooker, add oil / butter , throw in chopped garlic (2 cloves), 1 bay leaf and 1/2 chopped onion and saute well.
  • Add water one inch above the beans , add salt, pepper, 1/2 tsp cumin powder and let it cook for 8 - 10 whistles. 
  • Once the pressure releases, the beans would be cooked soft and a nice aroma wafts your kitchen.
  • Keep all the components for your burrito ready.
  • Cook the tortillas as per the package instruction. I just cooked them on stove top on a tawa / griddle for 2 mins each side. (like we do for chapati)
  • Place the tortilla on an aluminium foil.
  • Arrange the beans and the cilantro lime rice as shown. 
  • Then top them with bell peppers and onion, and then pico de gallo, and the yummy guacamole
  • Top with cheese, sour cream and some letuce.
  • Then carefully tuck in the sides first. ( I am unable to show you as I had to click and also fold )
  • After tucking in the sides, just roll the top and bottom part over lapping each other securing the filling.
  • Just wrap the foil around the burrito and tuck the sides of foil well.
NOTES
  • I have used a seeded tortilla, you can use any variety. But just cook according to the package instructions.
  • The bell peppers and onion are added raw here, you can also just saute them in butter and season with salt n pepper and use in the burrito.
  • The amount of each ingredient stuffed in purely depends on one's likes and dislikes, so add whatever you like and how much you ever u like and enjoy.
  • Serve with nachos, salsa and more guacamole.
  • You can also add some spicy enchilada sauce on top before rolling the burrito.
  • Instead of the pico de gallo, you can also add corn salsa.
  • Or just add some cooked corn too along with other stuff.




With Love,

Monday, 29 June 2015

Cilantro Lime Rice !


Just three simple ingredients transforms a plain rice to another level with burst of flavors. The cilantro lime rice is a famous Mexican rice recipe that can be easily made at home within 10 - 15 minutes. 
It is an ideal accompaniment for many Mexican main course and a prominent filling in burritos and the base for a burrito bowl.


INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 cup long grain or basmati rice
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbsp butter / olive oil
  • salt as needed

STEPS

  • Wash and soak the rice for 30 minutes.
  • Heat oil / butter in a pan and add chopped garlic to it. Once the garlic sweats add the drained rice and saute in medium flame for 3 - 4 minutes.


  • Then add 3/4 cup water, salt, few drop of lime juice and let the rice cook. Say max 10 minutes.
  • Once rice is cooked well, turn off stove , fluff the rice and add the finely chopped cilantro and micx well.
  • Squeeze the remaining lime and mix again. 

NOTES
  • Do not add all the lime juice to the water when cooking rice , it may turn bitter.
  • Some mexican eat outs (like Tortilla) have another version of this rice where the cilantro garlic and lime ground and added to cooked rice and mixed well. That way your rice looks green.
  • Just serve it as a side for tacos, enchiladas or use it as stuffing for burrito.



With Love,

Guacamole !



Guacamole or just guac (pronunces gwak) is an Avocado based dip in Mexican cuisine and also used as an condiment in American Cuisine. Traditional Guacamoles called for only avocados that are mashed with mortar n pestle and seasoned with salt n pepper. But nowadays many other stuff like onions, tomatoes, chilli peppers, lime juice , cilantro and sometimes jalapenos are also added.
Lime juice definitely gives that extra kick to the guacamole. It needs no cooking and indeed a refreshing dip.



INGREDIENTS

  • 1 ripe Avocado
  • 1/2 small tomato (seeds and flesh removed)
  • 1/2 small onion
  • 1 chilli pepper
  • fistful of chopped coriander
  • 1/2 a lime
  • salt to taste
  • pinch of black pepper powder
STEPS
  • Chop onion, tomato, chilli and cilantro finely.
  • Destone the avocado and peel the skin off.
  • Chop them fine and press them with back of a fork to mash them.

  •  In a bowl, combine the mashed avocados, onion, chilli ,cilantro and chilli.
  • Add salt and pepper as per taste.
  • Squeeze lot of lime juice and mix everything well.


NOTES
  • After peeling and mashing the avocados use it immediately to make the guacamole. Else it will tun brown or black.
  • This is a very simple version, feel free to add some jalapenos, garlic and basil too.
  • Adjust lime and chilli as per taste.
  • I used normal red chilli, so I removed the seeds and veins to make it less hot. If you get chilli peppers that is perfect to use.
  • Serve with Nachos, use in burritos n tacos, or just as a sandwich spread or for toast.




With Love,


Pico de Gallo / Salsa Fresca !



Pico de Gallo aka Salsa Fresca  is a fresh uncooked salad in Mexican Cuisine and it is mostly misconstrued for a tomato salsa. Pico is also a type of salsa but unlike the tomato salsa it is little firmer and neither mushy nor liquid.  Though the components that goes in are the same, salsa is mostly used as a dip for nachos while pico goes in everything like tacos, served with nachos, in your burritos or just as a side. 
It is so simple and the key ingredients are tomatoes and lime with other stuff like onion, cilantro and chilli peppers or Jalapeno.
Oh did I mention this is gonna be a mexican week in the blog.. :) So i have already stocked up my pantry with tomatoes, beans, cheese, cilantro, lime, avocados etc :)



INGREDIENTS

  • 2 medium tomatoes
  • 1/2 small onion (red or white)
  • 1 small green / red chilli pepper (not too hot variety) / Jalapeno (pickled or fresh)
  • 1/2 a lime
  • salt
  • fresh crushed black pepper
  • 1 tbsp cilantro (finely chopped)
  • a pinch of sugar
  • 1 garlic clove (optional)

STEPS
  • Halve the tomatoes and scoop the flesh and seeds out.
  • Chop them finely into tiny cubes.
  • Finely chop the onion, chilli, cilantro and garlic too.


  •  Take all the chopped ingredients in a bowl and give a nice mix.


  •  Add salt, pepper and some sugar and stir well. 
  • Lastly squeeze the lime juice and give a mix again


NOTES
  • Serve with Nachos or use it in filling your Burrito.
  • Adjust Lime juice as per taste
  • Sugar balances the acidity of tomatoes so better dont skip it.
  • I had only normal red chillis, so I removed the seeds and veins and used in this. It would be great to use some chilli peppers or jalapenos in place of this.
  • Pickled jalapenos that comes in bottles also works fine.





With Love,

Saturday, 27 June 2015

Palak Paneer !



Palak Paneer (Spinach & Cottage Cheese) is a rich Punjabi delicacy where the paneer is cooked in a thich sauce made from pureed blanched spinach and sesaoned with some wonderful Indian spices, Garam Masala and finished with some fresh cream.
 It is so healthy and tasty and one of my favourite gravy dishes. I take care not to overcook the spinach and maintain the fresh green color.. Even my little one enjoys this dish and sometimes to make it more healthy I skip the cream just to benefit only the iron from spinach and protein from paneer. 
I have already posted Aloo Palak which is more or less similar to this dish. You can check it HERE


INGREDIENTS

  • 2 bunches spinach
  • 350 grams Paneer (Cottage Cheese)
  • 1 medium onion (finely chopped)
  • 2 tomatoes (pureed)
  • 2 green chillis
  • 1 - 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp Cumin seeds
  • 2 -3  Cloves
  • a pinch of asafoedita
  • 1 tbsp Ginger Garlic paste
  • salt as needed
  • 1 tsp Red chilli Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Turmeric Powder
  • 1 tsp Coriander Powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 3/4 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp Crushed Kasuri Methi (Dried Fenugreek)
  • 2 tbsp Fresh Cream (Optional)

STEPS
  • Separate the spinach leaves from the stalk and wash them well.
  • Boil some water and blanch this spinach in it for 2 - 3 minutes and just when it startes shrinking turn off stove. Drain and reserve the water for later use. 


  • Cool the spinach and puree it with Green chillis.


  •  Heat oil in a pan and add cumin seeds, hing and cloves, followed by onion and GG paste.
  • Saute them well.


  • Once the onion is soft and sauted well, add the spice powders (except garam masala) and salt and fry well. 
  • Sprinkle some water if they are getting dry n burnt.


  •  When masala is cooked well, add tomato puree and allow the tomato to cook well till raw smell fades and oil starts separrating. Then add some water and bring to boil.

  •  Add the spinach puree, sugar and mix well. 
  • Allow to cook for a minute or two and then sprinkle some garam masala n give a mix.

  •  Meanwhile. when doing above steps, you should soak the paneer cubes in warm water for 5 - 10 minutes.
  • Add the paneer cubes to the spinach gravy, and adjust water (use the spinach blanched water)


  • Cook in low flame for 2 - 3 minutes and then crush some kasuri methi and add to gravy.
  • Finish with cream , mix well and turn off stove.

NOTES

  • Take care not to overcook the spinach else, the gravy would be dark green to black in color and you will lose the nutrients as well.
  • Instead of soaking paneer in warm water, you can also shallow fry in few drops of oil before adding to gravy.
  • Adding cream is optional, but it does enhances the taste and also brings in a creamy consistency.
  • You can also add some milk before adding cream or just milk instead of cream.
  • Make it No onion No garlic recipe too skipping onions and GG paste. You can get an idea how to make this by referring this Aloo Palak recipe here
  • Adding sugar balances the acidity from tomatoes, and also helps in maintaining the fresh green color of palak.


With Love,