Category Archives: Ekadashi

Simplified Palak Paneer

I’ve been meaning to post this for atleast a month..while I was still fasting for Shravan.
Finally, I had the perfect opportunity to publish this post yesterday for all my fasting friends, until I realised that my images were “missing”.

This morning I found my fourth memory card in the depths of my boot…*ashamed*. I am SURE there are a few ungodly things hiding in the dark corners of my car…I am really hoping to resolve my car-storage issues this week!

I am totally bored with potatoes, moriyo (samo) and sabudana ( sago/tapioca). It reminds me of tasteless mush that I often ate on fasting days while growing up. It takes a skilled cook to actually make those dishes taste anything but bland! ( Yes, I know…fasting is not meant to be tasty!)

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I made this healthy, delicious Palak Paneer on Ekadashi some time ago.

Ingredients: Preparation Time: 10 minutes if you are really slow :p Otherwise 5. Cooking Time: 10 minutes

A big bag ( 250ish grams) of fresh baby spinach.. sorry, I don’t measure these kinds of things. I judge according to how many people I need to feed;)….just being honest!
1.5 cups cubed paneer.
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp green chilli
1/2 cup cashew nuts
1 tsp salt ( more, or less..to your taste!)
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh mint leaves
1 tsp khas khas ( white/opium poppy seeds)
2 tsp freshly grated ginger
1.5 tsp dhana jeeru ( ground cumin + coriander)
1 tsp red chilli
1 tsp taj masala ( cassia/cinnamon powder)

2 tablespoons of reduced fat fresh cream

Method:
Wash and spin the spinach. Make sure there is MINIMAL water/moisture left on the leaves before you continue.
Blitz in a food processor until a fine consistency is achieved. I like to stop JUST before it turns into a puree. You can add a tablespoon or so of water to help the process.

In a deep frying pan or a wok, heat the olive oil. Add the cumin, khas khas ,chilli and ginger until you can hear that delicious sizzling sound. Add the cashew nuts and fry until golden. I love to add a little extra! Add the mint leaves and fry for about half a minute.

Stir in the spinach. Add the remaining spices, and simmer on medium-high heat for 7 minutes.
Add the paneer, then reduce the heat and add salt and fresh cream. Simmer for 3 minutes.

My sister made these VERY healthy , gluten free bhakhris (flat bread) made with Rajigra flour, to go with this delicious palak paneer. I promise to add her recipe soon.

I know sometimes ingredients are difficult to find. Use vegetable oil or butter if you’re out of olive oil.
Use ricotta cheese, or even haloumi cheese for a nice change, if you can’t get your hands on paneer.
It was such a refreshing change from the usual potato-heavy dishes eaten on Ekadashi.
Serve hot, with a squeeze of lemon!

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Creamy Baked Squash

I present to you my SECOND Ekadashi post for today:)

I love gem squash. My mum used to prepare it for us in winter when we were kids, with a touch of salt, pepper and a generous dollop of butter.

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Many people aren’t aware that all types of squash are fine to eat on Ekadashi.  Even more people doubt the light, fluffy taste of this yung squash.

Preperation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 12 minutes

Serves 3-4

Ingredients: 

6 gem squash halves

6 tsp butter

4 tbsp creme fraiche or sour cream

4 tbsp cheddar cheese

1 tbsp parmesan* cheese

1 tsp paprika

1 tsp black pepper

salt to taste

Method:

Steam the gem squash in the microwave for 5 minutes and the set aside.. Make sure you don’t over do it – we don’t want the skin to be all wrinkly and neither do we want the shape to deform. Place a teaspoon of butter in each half.

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This is almost a 3 cheese squash bake! In a bowl, mix the remaining all the remaining ingredients.

Spoon the mixture into each half and sprinkle with a little extra cheddar cheese. Bake at 180 degrees for 7 minutes. For the next 3 minutes, switch the oven to “Grill” mode, so that the surface appears slightly crispy.

Remove from the oven and garnish with black pepper and some finely sliced fresh green chilli if you desire.

Dig in, and don’t be shy to scoop up the circumference of  squash and mix it well with the rich, creamy centre;)

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Tomato and Roast Pepper Ekadashi Soup

It’s Ekadashi yet again and I have decided to religiously publish some exciting food that we can enjoy on our fasting days:)

Hopefully this will give people incentive to feast oops I meant  fast more often;)

I’ve been feeling a little under the weather since Thursday – I think it must be the sudden drop in temperature in Joburg! Yes, summer is officially over! I thought I’d warm myself up with this absolutely delicious roast pepper and tomato soup. It is so good, I would even make this on a non-fast day, and enjoy it with some croutons or warm buttered bread:D I think I will repeat this some time next week!

My FAVOURITE long Pimento peppers are something that I can’t do without anymore. The flavour they lend to any dish is so sweet, deep and also a bit fiery. Don’t worry too much if you can’t get your hands on these – you can use yellow or red peppers, or anything similar:) The trick is to roast them – it’s what releases the deep flavours within.

I really enjoyed flavouring this soup with the basil and chilli from my garden. It is SUCH a pleasure to be able to snip ingredients from my mother’s little herb and vegetable garden. I really wish to cultivate the skill of gardening soon!

 

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I couldn’t resist photographing my quirky little  scissors that I use for snipping herbs in the garden. I got them from Melissas in Cape Town for a mere R10.00 !

 

Preperation Time: 10 minutes

Cooking Time: 20-30 minutes

Ingredients: 

2 Pimento peppers ( or any other red, or yellow peppers that you can get your hands on)

8-12 ripe tomatoes

2-4 fresh chillis

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp black cumin ( shahi jeera )

a handful of basil leaves

1 tsp black pepper

salt to taste

*A dollop of creme fraiche

 

Method:

Chop the peppers into large chunks. Halve the tomatoes. Drizzle with olive oil and roast for about 20 minutes at 200 degrees. Make sure that the edgers of the peppers are slightly charred, and that the tomatoes are oozing and their skins slightly dehydrated. I have to admit that I popped mine into my Philips Air Fryer for about 15 minutes at the same temperature) – probably one of the BEST gadgets I have ever purchased. It saves me so much time, and not to mention – oil! If you are using a normal oven, try switching to “Grill” mode for the last 5-7 minutes of roasting, to help with the charring.

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Chuck into a blender and aim to achieve a smooth puree.  Heat the olive oil and add the cumin. Follow with basil once the cumin is sizzling in the oil. Now it’s time to add the puree…maybe even come some aside, and  use the thick, rich puree as a dip, pasta sauce or sandwich spread!

Add salt, pepper and a knob of butter if you wish! Add two cups of warm water and stir continously until the soup comes to the boil.

Check your seasoning and adjust if required.

Serve HOT with a dollop of creme fraiche or sour cream, and garnish with a sprig of basil. Enjoy!

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