Tag Archives: Indian

A Twist to Poha with Quinoa and the Instant Pot

Poha is a quintessential savory breakfast/snack food served in homes and restaurants in Mumbai and the state of Maharashtra in Western India. It is essentially flattened, flaked rice cooked with onions, potatoes, and spices. It is not only a super easy dish to create, but it is economical and yummy.

With my newly acquired Instant Pot beckoning me to be creative, I embarked on the idea of creating the taste of poha, with my favorite powerhouse food – qunioa.

Despite it being an experiment, I was so overjoyed to see the results; quinoa elevated to the taste of poha in just a few minutes, thanks to the Instant Pot. Here’s how I made this easy dish.

Quinoa Poha using an Instant Pot

A quintessential Indian breakfast food gets transformed with quinoa

Course Breakfast
Cuisine Indian
Keyword Quinoa, Poha, Indian, Instant Pot
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4 people

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsps Cooking oil
  • 1 tsp Mustard seeds
  • 1 tbsp Cumin seeds
  • 1 Green chili, finely chopped
  • .5 Red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 Potato, medium sized, cubed
  • .5 tsp Turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp Kosher Salt
  • 1 cup Quinoa
  • 1.5 cup Water
  • 2 tbsp Finely grated coconut
  • 1 tsp Fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
  • 1 Lime, sliced

Instructions

  1. Press the saute button on the Instant Pot. When it displays hot, add the oil, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, green chili.

  2. When the mustard seeds pop, add the onions and saute till they brown.

  3. Add the potatoes, turmeric powder, kosher salt and saute for two minutes.

  4. Add the quinoa and water, mix well

  5. Cook on high pressure for five minutes, with the valve in the sealing position. Release the pressure manually by switching the valve from the sealing to the venting position.

  6. When pressure has been released completely, slowly open the pot, add the coconut and cilantro leaves and toss once.

  7. Serve quinoa poha with a slice of lime.

Recipe Notes

If you don’t have an Instant Pot, you can cook the recipe over the stove.  

Grandma’s Curry – The LOW CARB WAY

If predictability and rituals in childhood are the secrets to growing up in a balanced way, I think I am set for being balanced across multiple lifetimes! I spent every summer of my childhood with both my grandmothers in south India and one staple in their kitchen was a root vegetable curry called “erisherri“. The vegetables were cooked till just done in water blended with salt and turmeric, then mixed with a paste of ground coconut, cumin, and green chilies, and topped with a finishing touch of curry leaves, red chilies and mustard seeds fried in a tad bit of coconut oil.

Since my husband has been on a low carb diet for some time now, I decided to try the dish with cauliflower substituted for the starchy root veggies. While nothing will quite match my grandmothers’ magical, love-infused dishes, this dish turned out to be quite yummy!

Cauliflower Erisherri

A lovely cauliflower dish served in a coconut gravy

Course Side Dish
Cuisine Indian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 people

Ingredients

  • .5 Head of cauliflower
  • 1 tsp Turmeric powder
  • 1.5 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1 cup Freshly grated coconut
  • 4 Hot green chillies
  • 1 tbsp Cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp Mustard seeds
  • 2 Dried chillies
  • 5 Curry leaves
  • 1 tbsp Coconut oil (or any cooking oil)

Instructions

  1. Separate the cauliflower into small florets, wash and drain.

  2. Take the cauliflower, add water to cover the vegetable and cook with the turmeric powder and kosher salt for 10 minutes (the cauliflower should be cooked but firm).

  3. Grind the coconut, green chilies and cumin in a blender with just a little bit of water, till the ingredients are blended into a nice paste.

  4. Add the coconut paste to the cooked cauliflower and let the curry boil for about 5 minutes.

  5. Heat the oil in a small pan and fry the mustard seeds, dried chilies, and curry leaves till the mustard seeds stop crackling.  

  6. Add the seasoned oil with the ingredients to the cauliflower curry.  Serve hot with steamed rice.

Recipe Notes

Freshly grated coconut is available at Indian supermarkets in the freezer section.  The brand I use is called Daily Delite.  If you are unable to find freshly grated coconut or want a short cut, take a cup of coconut milk, mix in 1.5 tsp of hot red chilly powder and a heaped tbsp of cumin powder and mix this with the cooked cauliflower instead of the ground coconut paste.  It still creates a beautiful, yummy curry!

PS.  I love my dishes hot and spicy; you can adjust the seasonings to suit your taste buds.

Tangy meets spicy in this apricot chutney

I bought a batch of apricots from the farmers market and while they were yummy, they had a level of “new to the season” tartness to them.  Contemplating a variety of baking projects to use up the apricots, I hit upon an idea; could they take the place of tomatoes in a favorite, spicy chutney?

My excitement kicked up a couple of notches when I saw the farm fresh red onions waiting to be invited to this party.

Quickly, I assembled the ingredients.

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A few quick steps and out emerged a chutney which was fiery, tangy and super yummy!

Ingredients:

4 farm fresh apricots, seeded and cut into small chunks

2 farm fresh red onions, leaves removed and finely chopped

3 green chilies, finely chopped

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

1 1/2 inch piece ginger, finely chopped

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 tsp mustard seeds

1 dried red chilly

1 heaped teaspoon hot curry powder

2 tbsps oil (I used avocado oil)

Salt to taste

1 heaped tsp cilantro leaves for garnishing

How To:

Heat the oil in a flat-bottomed pan or wok and when hot, add the cumin seeds, mustard seeds and dried red chilly.  When the mustard seeds stop crackling, add the onions, green chilies, ginger, and garlic and fry till the onions turn brown.

Add the chopped apricots, toss with the onion mixture and cook covered till the apricots are close to done.  They should be easy to smash with a spatula.

Add the salt and curry powder, mix well, turn off the stove and garnish with fresh cilantro.

The chutney is ready in 15 minutes and goes beautifully with steamed rice, flatbread, as a spicy condiment with eggs and more!

PS: Everyone’s spice tolerance varies, so please feel free to adjust the chilies and curry powder to suit your palate.