Monday, July 4, 2011

Greek Yogurt Fruit Salad

This is a quick and easily modifiable creamy summer fruit salad..Any excuse to eat Greek Yogurt!

Serves 2-4

1 nectarine, diced
1/2 mango, diced
1/2 green apple, diced
raspberries, handful
blueberries, handful
blackberries, handful
6 strawberries, halved
1 container Greek Goddess Honey Flavored Greek Yogurt
1/4 cup orange juice
juice from one lime wedge

Combine and chill. Serve with brunch, a side dish to a summer BBQ, or as dessert on a hot day!

Channa Masala & Curried Potatoes

I love Indian food and have been experimenting in my kitchen with my own take on some of my favorite dishes...While not always a success from the beginning I think I have finally mastered Channa Masala...Sure its not cooked by someone one's Indian grandmother, but this is my take, and its pretty delicious!

Channa Masala
Serves 4-6

1 large white onion, chopped
2 large tomatoes, chopped
1 tomato segmented and set aside for final presentation
1 can garbanzo beans (chick peas)
1 lime
garlic paste
olive oil
garam masala
dried mango powder
grated fresh ginger
hot chili powder
bay leafs1/2 cup water

In a large pot, on medium heat,  brown your chopped onion with olive oil and garlic paste (I used 1 heaping tablespoon, use your own judgement with the garlic and all the spices in this dish). Once the onions are browned add all of the spices, except the bay leaves. I would start off with a small amount of each spice if you are not familiar with the flavors, about 1/4-1/2 tsp. You can always add more of a flavor you prefer, but you can't back peddle and take them out. Combine spices and onions, the onions should be a dark yellow to orange color at this point. Now add your two chopped tomatoes and stir.

Onions, tomatoes, and spices!

While your tomatoes and onions are cooking on medium heat you can prepare your garbanzo beans. I cheated and used canned ones because its much quicker. If you have time or a pressure cooker than use dried ones..They always taste better. Open the can and remove about 1/3 of the beans (do not drain) and either blend them with your immersion blender or mash them until they are soft (I find this helps make the dish a little more saucy). Add the mashed beans to the tomatoes and onions and stir, then add the rest of the can of beans. At this time you can also add a 1/2 cup of water. Stir everything well and let simmer for about 10 minutes.

Once the pot comes to a light boil turn down the heat and add 2 bay leafs. Cover your pot and cook on medium to low heat for 30-40 minutes. Stirring occasionally. It's at this point that its a good time to taste your Channa Masala and see if you need to add anymore spices. I tend to go heavy with the garlic, cumin, and mango powder (which adds a slight tang). If you like your curry hot add some more chili powder. At the very end of the cooking cycle I like to add the juice of 1 lime. This combination of spice, heat, and tang is very satisfying! Pour into a serving dish and garnish with a raw segmented tomato. Serve over Basmati rice.

The final product, with raw segmented tomatoes as a garnish!

Basmati Rice with Green Peas
Serves 4-6

1 cup Basmati rice
1 cup frozen sweet peas

The ratio for Basmati rice is one cup rice to two cups water..This will make plenty of rice to compliment your Channa Masala. Combine rice and water and bring to a boil. Once water has came to a boil cover and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for about 15 minutes, stir as needed. Once the rice is cooked remove from heat and add one cup of thawed green peas. I generally just dump them on top of the rice and cover with a lid. The steam from the rice cooks the peas while you finish up the final touches on your dinner. Adding green peas to the rice adds a nice pop of color and adds texture and sweetness to the rice. It's one of my favorite combinations!

Basmati Rice and Green Peas

Curried Potatoes
Serves 4-6

3 peeled red potatoes, boiled and diced
1/2 onion, dices
mustard seeds
olive oil

Peel three red potatoes and boil until soft enough to put a fork through. Do not boil them too long or they will get mushy. Drain water and set aside.

Place skillet on high heat and let the pan get hot adding a few Tbs of oil, enough to cover the pan. Add the mustard seeds and stir them constantly allowing them to toast. Now add your spices and stir into the olive oil and mustard seeds to create a spice paste, once it starts to bubble add your onions and turn down the heat. Cook the onions until they soften and then add your potatoes. Combine until all the potatoes are coated and then allow them to cook as you would hash browns. Flipping once our twice until they begin to crisp. Serve along side your Channa Masala and Basmati Rice.

Curried Potatoes

Timing is everything when cooking multiple dishes. I started both the rice and potatoes about half way through the last 30 minutes of the Channa Masala cook time, and they both took about 15-20 minutes to complete.
I served these dishes with Trader Joe's Samosa's and Garlic Naan, both which require about a 10 minute cook time in your oven...I plan to attempt homemade Samosa's next time around. However Trader Joe's will do in a pinch.

My attempt at an Indian Fest!