Thursday, September 9, 2010

Kale and Chickpea (garbanzo beans) stew

My palate recently found that one of delicious tasting greens is Kale.  Kale has a tremendous nutritional value. I steam kale at least twice a week because it's a very easy preparation and it has great cholesterol lowering benefits. I am going to reserve steamed kale as one of my future posts. Let me move on with Kale and chickpea stew.

Stews are my all time favorite. This one in particular, has veggies, protein, fiber and carbs all in one pot. It takes less than 30 minutes to prepare, if you happened to have canned chickpeas on hand.

Makes 4 servings (and by 4, I mean really big servings.)

You are going to need :

  • 3/4 bunch of kale 
  • 1 1/2 cups of chickpeas/garbanzo beans (soaked overnight, pressure cooked to 3 whistles next morning or a canned variety would work just fine)
  • EVOO- about 1 tbsp
  • Vegetables- 
Add any veggies you want and in whatever quantities you like. I always make stews when I want to empty my refrigerator. I almost put everything in there. Saturdays are usually planned for stews, because it's a farmers market day. I clean my refrigerator in order to have room for some fresh produce. 

So coming back to the stew. 
Here is a sample of veggies that I added for this stew. 

          Green Bell peppers
          Spring Onions
          garlic-4 to 5 cloves
          Ginger - few chopped pieces
  • Seasoning
         Freshly ground black pepper, 
         Italian seasoning, 
         cumin powder, 
         coriander powder, 
         crushed red chilli flakes 
         Salt to taste.
  • Juice of half of lemon and a lemon wedge for garnishing.
Add EVOO to a big pot, and stir in garlic and onions. Add mushroom and tomatoes and sauté them for a couple of minutes. After this point, add all the veggies one by one. The vegetable that takes longer time  to cook will go in first, of course. Add dash of water in between, if you think the veggies are becoming too dry. Cook them for about 5 minutes and then add the chickpeas and then the chopped kale. Add seasonings as per your taste. At this point add black pepper, Italian seasoning, cumin powder, coriander powder, crushed red chilli flakes and last but not the least add some chopped ginger to the pot for some heat. Add salt to taste. 

Add water to the desired consistency. Bring everything to a nice boil and let it simmer for 15- 20 minutes. The longer it sits the better it tastes. Add some lemon juice at the last minute to enhance the flavor. Since I am trying to cut down on grains, this is a perfect stew for me, because it doesn't really need any bread on side. The heartiness from the chickpeas makes the trick..:)

Serve it with a lemon wedge.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Baked Mung (mugachi / Yellow Split lentil dumplings) Bhaji

In Seattle, it rains half of  the time of the year, and the remaining half is covered with clouds. Although I don't have any complaints, as I am the one who don't like the Calif weather at all.. Too much sunshine for me..:) I am better off with less sunlight and so this is perfect for me, except I definitely crave for a cup of hot tea and some bhajis to enjoy this kind of weather to the fullest.

It's been more than a couple of years that I gave up on the traditional Indian black tea for hot Green tea, simply for it's enormous benefits. I don't crave for black tea anymore. Speaking about bhajjis, as much as I want to have deep fried bhajis that tastes delicious, I feel guilty about eating them for next few days. In order to avoid this guilt forever, I came up with baked bhajis.

Traditionally, a hot black tea goes well with onion bhajis. I tried making Moong bhanjis, just because I was cravings for them. Mung daal  in itself has so many wonderful benefits. Why not include mung daal in to your diet on a regular basis?

All you need is:-

Soaked Mung daal- 1 cup
Ginger- 1/2 inch
Garlic- 2 to 3 cloves
Green chillies- 1to 2 depending on how hot they are.
Cumin seeds- A pinch,  just for flavor
Cilantro- chopped.
Salt to taste

Soak the mung daal in water for about 4 hours. Drain all the water and grind the daal. Do not make it too smooth, leave it a little bite coarser. Make a past out of ginger, garlic, green chillies and cumin seeds in to a mortar and pestle( khalbatta in marathi). Mix the paste in to the mung daal batter. Add the chopped cilantro. Mix well. Grease a baking sheet with EVOO and spoon the batter on to the sheet. Toss some EVOO on top.

Bake the oven to 375F and bake these little buddies for about 20 minutes. Less or more time might be required as per your oven. Turn them once and bake  for 5-10 minutes. They should be golden brown in color.

Just like these-:

Enjoy them with your favorite dipping sauce or just with a cup of  tea (Green Tea??)

Oh... and I am sending this recipe to My Legume Love Affair 27, hosted by The Well Seasoned Cook. I love MLLA event and as always it is so much fun to enter in to.Thanks Susan for hosting.