IFR daily

Daily Indian food, as it's cooked in my kitchen. Sometimes, not-so-Indian. No frills. No props. Just good food. A phone blog.

Month: April, 2014

Spinach and Red Pepper Frittata

2 tbsp oil
1 cup diced onion
2 red peppers
1/2 lb baby spinach, coarsely chopped or not
2 big cloves of garlic
2 hot green chiles
1/2 dried red chile (optional)
3 eggs
2/3 cup milk
1/2 cup grated Gruyère cheese
1/4 cup Parmagiano cheese
1/8 cup dill leaves, loosely packed and chopped
A few sprigs of cilantro, chopped
1 tsp salt
Few grinds of black peppercorns

Slice red peppers into strips and lightly caramelize them on a cast iron griddle.
20140422-073919.jpg
Mince together garlic and green chiles.
20140422-074042.jpg
Heat oil in a 12 inch saucepan. Add onions with a good pinch of salt and cook on medium heat until soft, 5-7 minutes. Add minced garlic and green chile mixture. Mix well and cook for a couple of minutes.

Beat eggs with milk and the rest of the salt and a few grinds of black peppercorn. If you like, crumble a dried red chile into the egg. It looks quite pretty.

Add caramelized red peppers.
20140422-074841.jpg
Add spinach.

20140422-074951.jpg
Cook on medium-high, stirring frequently, until spinach is wilted and the resulting mixture is not very wet.
20140422-075202.jpg
Spread the vegetable mixture evenly over the saucepan. Mix cheeses together and sprinkle evenly over the vegetables.
20140422-075422.jpg
Sprinkle chopped dill evenly over the cheese layer. Carefully pour beaten egg mixture into saucepan. Sprinkle evenly with chopped cilantro.
20140422-080333.jpg
Cook covered on medium-low until eggs are set, about 7-9 minutes.
20140422-080625.jpg
Cut into 8 wedges and serve immediately.

This is based on a recipe for a red pepper and spinach quiche from NYT. I made a frittata as my oven was otherwise occupied.

Advertisements

Mildly-spiced Roasted Cauliflower

1 small head of cauliflower
1-1.5 tbsp neutral oil
1/2 tsp nigella seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
1/2 tsp red chile powder
3/4 tsp salt
2-3 tsp lemon juice

Heat oven to 400F. I like to use the convection roast feature of my oven.

Clean cauliflower by removing leaves and discarding stalk.
20140407-220607.jpg
Break or cut into small florets and place in medium mixing bowl.
20140407-220903.jpg
Mix seeds and red chile powder in a small bowl.
20140407-221048.jpg
Add salt and oil to spices and mix well.
20140407-221304.jpg
Pour spice mixture over cauliflower florets and rub it into the florets gently using your clean hands.

Line a baking tray with aluminum foil and spread the florets out in a single layer.
20140407-221825.jpg
Place in the center rack of your oven and roast for 20 minutes, turning the florets after 10 minutes. Roast until tender, yet crunchy, and browned on the edges. Do not burn.

Once done, pull tray out of oven and add lemon juice. Toss with a wooden spoon to mix. Or, like me, gather the sides of the foil and toss. Do this only after making sure that the foil is not too hot to handle.
20140407-222836.jpg

Serve immediately.

This is a great after-school snack or an appetizer. It also works well to tide over a hungry teen until dinner is ready.

You can change the spices; use your preferred type of oil. Make it spicier by adding finely chopped green chiles. Add minced garlic to the spice mix or keep it whole and roast with the cauliflower. The possibilities are endless.

Mangai sadam (Mango Rice with lots of Mustard)

1.5-2 tbsp ghee
1 tsp cumin seeds
7-8 curry leaves, washed and dried
1 cup unripe green mango, peeled and diced
2 tbsp split coarsely ground skinned mustard seeds (rai kuria)
2-3 Thai green chile
1 cup basmati rice, rinsed and drained
2 cups water (+ 3/4 cup for the lid)
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp salt

Warm half cup of water and soak split mustard seeds for about 10 minutes.
20140403-131131.jpg
Purée diced mango, soaked split mustard seeds (including water it is soaked in) and green chiles in your blender.
20140403-131327.jpg

20140403-131351.jpg
Heat ghee in a medium saucepan or kadhai. Once it melts, add cumin seeds and allow them to sizzle, ensuring that they do not burn. Add curry leaves.
20140403-131533.jpg

20140403-131607.jpg
Add drained basmati rice and stir-fry until rice grains appear translucent.

Add mango-mustard purée, followed by turmeric powder.
20140403-131818.jpg
Mix well. Add 1.5 cups of water and salt. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.
20140403-131926.jpg
Once it boils and the level of liquid falls below the level of rice, cover preferably with an indented or concave lid. Turn the heat down to medium low. Pour about 3/4 cup water onto the lid, less if it is more shallow, ensuring that it does not go into the kadhai. This condenses the moisture inside the pot and ensures that the rice cooks evenly and does not dry out on the top. Cook covered for about 15 minutes.

Carefully lift off the lid and drain off any remaining water from the lid. Check that the rice is cooked.

Serve hot with yogurt.
20140403-135812.jpg

This is based on my friend Niv‘s recipe for Mango rice with Mustard. She uses black mustard seeds while I used split skinned mustard seeds. She does not soak her seeds. I did that to help my blender along.

Traditionally, about 1.5 tsp of mustard seeds are ground to a paste with diced mango. Mustard seeds and asafetida are then added to ghee / oil. Niv’s recipe skips this step and adds all the mustard seeds to the paste. This really appealed to me as I love the sharp taste of mustard. If you are not crazy about mustard, you may want to tone it down by using only half the quantity of mustard or even less. There are versions of mangai sadam that don’t have any mustard in the mango paste and the chiles are added to the seasoned oil. Think about what your preferences are and make adjustments accordingly.

I made this into a one-pot dish since I dislike washing dishes. This also allows me to halve the amount of ghee from 3-4 tablespoons (for 1 cup of rice) to 1.5 tablespoons. Use more if it floats your boat.