Sunday, October 30, 2011

nablopomo and hydrating. yippee.

I registered my blog for NaBloPoMo - for November 2011. That basically means I'll be updating my blog every day for a month, which should be fun! I probably won't be posting about food everyday though. Maybe a little bit of crochet and life in general. Speaking of which, I really need to start working on Newbah's blanket again; it's getting cold now. We could use it for her stroller when we're out Insha Allah!

I have about two cups of cooked black beans sitting in the refrigerator. Gotta think up something creative that I could do with them for dinner, perhaps. Really not in the mood to cook today though. Let's see, they might just turn into burgers, yum!

In other news, I'm going to really start working on drinking more water every day. Apparently, most of us live in a dehydrated state. If you feel thirsty, you're already dehydrated. The trick is to drink water before you even feel the need, and keep drinking regularly. Lack of water could lead to all sorts of problems, from muscle soreness to water retention, digestive complications and obesity. Let's drink more water!

Monday, October 24, 2011

shaljam - turnip

I decided to be nice and try to really document this recipe for the shaljam/turnips I cooked a few days ago. Except I'm kind of late in writing this post so I may miss out a couple of minor details. Going to try my best not to.

So I actually bought fresh vegetables the other day. It takes more time to prepare the food, but tastes good! Anyway, let's get to it.

oil - olive, vegetable
1 small onion, chopped
1 tomato, diced
about 2 - 2 1/2 cups chopped turnips
garlic + ginger paste, 1 tsp
1 tsp zeera/cumin seed
1/2 tsp flax seed
1/2 tsp sesame seed
1/2 tsp rai/brown mustard seed
1/4 tsp methi daana/fenugreek seed
1/4 tsp kalonji/blackseed
1/4 tsp haldi/turmeric
salt, red chilli powder to taste
1 - 2 green chillies, chopped
cilantro, finely chopped

I like to get all my ingredients ready before I start cooking, but sometimes I just do stuff as I cook. Actually, I usually chop up my onion and get it frying before I do anything else because it takes long, but in this case those turnips will take long to prepare so it's up to you if you want to start your onion first or just wait. I would just first wash and peel the turnips. At this point, a good potato peeler will be your best friend. Next, chop up the turnips. Don't leave the pieces too big because it'll just take longer to cook and it's more flavorful when the pieces are smaller.

Fry the onion on medium-high till it's soft and transparent, but not brown. Add the ginger+garlic paste and the first 6 spices on the list - all the whole seeds:

Once the seeds start to get reddish-brown, throw in the tomato and lower the heat to medium and stir.

When the tomato is a little soft, add the turnips and stir to coat them well. Once everything is nicely mixed, cover the pan and let it sit for about half an hour or until tender. Check and stir occasionally so as not to let anything stick to the bottom of the pan.

When the turnips are nice and tender (and look much more appetizing than the picture above), turn the heat down to low and sprinkle those yummy green chillies and cilantro over them and cover for a few more minutes before serving.

I think I got everything down. Hope you try the recipe and enjoy it! The boy loved it, took some to work the next day for lunch, with a couple of naans :)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Thursday, October 13, 2011


Possibly the easiest, quickest vegetable to cook - Okra.
We had daal and rice today, and chicken but the boy isn't having meat. So I figured I'd pull out the bag of cut okra from the freezer and quickly cook it up before he got home.

So easy:

half an onion, chopped
1 teaspoon zeera/cumin seed
1/2 teaspoon methi dana/fenugreek
1/2 teaspoon rai/black mustard seed
1/2 teaspoon kalonji/black seed
3 whole dried red chillies
1 tomato, diced
2 cups of okra, cut (I used frozen, easier, but fresh always tastes bettah)
salt and red chilli powder to taste

Saute the onion in a pan, preferably a wok, and add all the seeds and whole red chillies. Let the spices turn reddish brown, and add the okra. Season with chilli powder and salt, and stir in the tomatoes. Let everything cook on medium, stirring occasionally, until the okra is cooked through and the tomatoes are tender. Throw in a bunch of chopped cilantro and cover for a bit so as to infuse the okra with the scent of the cilantro...yum.

I know some people like their okra nice and dark and crispy, while others like it just cooked, bright green. I like mine somewhere in the middle. Like so:

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

the bean scene

Last week, I came across a Babble post about the Top 50 Food Apps for Moms. And while I haven't had the time to try out all fifty (no, I don't intend on doing so either), I did download the highest ranking one on there: How To Cook Everything by Mark Bittman.

It's a pretty cool application, what with timers built into the recipes and such. While browsing through the recipes I came across one called The Simplest Bean Burgers, which I just searched and found online for y'all here. I have to say, I was pretty excited about the recipe. What an exciting concept! So the next morning we went to Publix and bought some oats. Everything else on the list we had at home. (I'd boiled some red beans the day before for something else)

Very very easy recipe. You just dump a bunch of things into the food processor and pulse till it's the right consistency. I forgot to add the egg at first and ended up putting too much liquid, and so when I added the egg later on it got too wet and sticky. But I managed. Instead of shaping the patties by hand I just dropped globs of the mixture onto the pan and sort of shaped them into patties with my spatula. It worked out fine. I think I may have been a little stingy with the salt at first, but I added some more later and made yum little bean kababs the next day with the leftover mix.

We got some kaiser rolls while we were at Publix, and used those for the burgers. Put in some sliced (and slightly grilled) mini bell peppers and lettuce, and voila!

And now that I know how to make these, I can start experimenting and adding cool stuff into the mix. Definitely some cilantro next time. I love cilantro. Have I said that before?