Tag Archives: Let’s Cook

Three kinds of chickpeas pulao

One reason Trader Joe’s is my happy shopping space is that they always have something new in the aisles to try, This time it was a rice made with chickpeas and lentils (in the pasta aisle) that caught my attention. It could go in dishes as rice or as a pasta like orzo. I got a pack and then got thinking about what I could make and that’s when I spotted the can of chickpeas and some crisp chickpeas in my pantry. And that’s how the idea of a three kinds of chickpeas pulao was born. Of course, you could make the same dish with regular rice and it will taste just as yum.

The list of ingredients is a bit long, but once you get everything together, it is very easy to make and the result is a delicious one pot, hearty meal.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp cooking oil or you can use a mix of ghee and oil (I used vegetable oil and ghee)
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cardamoms, open pods and use seeds only
  • 1/2 inch piece cinnamon
  • 4 cloves
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 inch piece ginger, finely grated
  • 1 garlic glove, finely grated
  • 2 moderate green chilis finely chopped
  • 1 medium tomato, chopped into moderate pieces
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • A 15 ounce can of cooked chick peas, washed and drained
  • 1 cup Trader Joes chick pea/lentil rice (or you can use an equal amount of basmati rice – just wash and drain the regular rice)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tbsp crisp chickpeas
  • 1 tbsp mint leaves finely chopped

How to:

1. Heat two tbsps of oil (or the oil/ghee combo) in a pan. Add the cumin seeds, bay leaf, cardamom seeds, cinnamon stick, cloves, and star anise.

2. When the whole spices sizzle, add the chopped onions and sauté for 5-6 minutes till they turn slightly brown.

3. Now add the ginger and garlic and sauté for a minute. Add the green chilis and mix well.

4. Next add the tomato, salt, turmeric powder, and garam masala and toss this well with the onion mixture.

5. Now add the drained chickpeas, the chickpea/lentil rice (or regular basmati rice) and two cups water and mix all the ingredients well.

6. Cook uncovered for 12 minutes (check and stir once or twice)

7. Turn off stove, top with the crunchy chickpeas and mint. Leave covered for a few minutes and then serve with yogurt.

Hint: If you don’t have crispy chickpeas handy, just save a tbsp of washed and drained chickpeas from the can and fry in a pan with a tbsp of oil till it crisps up.

I got on the Dalgona coffee bandwagon

Oh, this is a short post to announce that I have joined the universe that has prepared Dalgona coffee. I’ve heard stories of its origin in India and South Korea, and its meteoric recent rise to fame in the Instagram and Tik Tok universes. So I had to make it.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp Instant coffee powder
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp Kahlua
  • 1.5 tbsps water
  • 1 cup milk

How to:

1. I whisked the instant coffee powder, sugar, Kahlua, and water with the whisk attachment of my hand blender till they formed thick peaks.

2. I warmed a cup of milk for 10 seconds in a microwave, topped it with the peaks of coffee and enjoyed it.

Have you tried this concoction yet?

 

Aloo Methi – spinning potatoes with fenugreek leaves

I’ll be honest – the humble potato has taken a bit of a backseat in our meals of late. With all the hoopla around the nutritional content of a potato, we have not been making it a staple at meals. But potatoes are the ultimate comfort food. And it takes so little to elevate the potato into a lip smacking dish. Like this one, where the potatoes are sautéed in some oil, with cumin seeds, chilis and a whole bunch of fresh fenugreek leaves. Fenugreek leaves also known as “methi” are available aplenty at Indian grocery stores, and this is one of those put a meal together in a jiffy kind of dishes that takes a few ingredients. Sadly, the toughest part of making this dish is the painstaking cleaning required to rid the leaves of mud and grit.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp cooking oil (I used vegetable oil)
  • 2 tsps cumin seeds
  • 2 dried red chili pods
  • 4 medium sized potatoes, peeled, cut into cubes, and washed
  • 1 bunch fenugreek leaves, washed repeatedly till the mud and grit is gone and finely chopped (discard the tough stems)
  • 1 tsp salt (to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder

How to:

1. Heat two tbsps of oil in a pan. Add the cumin seeds and red chili pods.

2. When the cumin seeds sizzle, add the cubed potatoes, salt, and turmeric powder. Cover and cook on a medium flame, stirring occasionally till the potatoes are nearly done (a fork inserted should glide through the potato). This took about 13 minutes for me. (If your potatoes are sticking to the bottom, sprinkle a bit of water)

3. Add the chopped fenugreek leaves, toss the potatoes so the leaves are evenly mixed in. Cook covered for five minutes, and then without a lid for a couple of minutes till the leaves have wilted and have coated the potatoes.

4. Serve hot with roti or pita.

5. A tip. You could also make cumin potatoes by skipping the fenugreek leaves altogether and calling the dish done when the potatoes are cooked. This tastes yum by itself or with rotis or as an accompaniment to rice.