Spicy Swiss Chard Saute

Ingredients

1 tbsp canola or vegetable oil

1 tsp cumin seeds

1/2 tsp red chilli powder

1 to 4 fresh green chillies, minced (according to desired heat level)

1/4 tsp turmeric powder

2 tbsp fresh ginger, minced

1 clove garlic, minced

1 small onion, diced

1 bunch Swiss chard, stems removed and diced, leaves rough chopped (no, we will not waste the stems)

1 tomato, diced

1/4 cup split moong dhal, soaked at least 2 hours and drained

Salt to taste

Directions

1.  Heat the oil in a large saute pan over medium heat.  Add the cumin seeds.  When the cumin seeds just start to brown, add the green chillies and red chilli powder (make sure your exhaust fan is on and don’t breathe in the fumes… trust me).  Saute for just a minute and then add the turmeric powder, garlic, ginger, onions and chard stems. Add about a 1/2 tsp of salt at this time.  Saute until the chard stems are just beginning to soften.  If the mixture becomes too dry, you can add a tbsp or two of water.

2.  Add the chard leaves in batches, adding more to the pan as it wilts.  (I had some extra spinach when I made this, so I added that too.  However, it isn’t necessary for this recipe.)  Saute until the chard has wilted and the water has mostly cooked off.

3.  Add the tomato and saute for a few minutes. Taste and add salt if needed.  Stir in the moong dhal.  Serve warm as an accompaniment to rice and dhal, or Indian breads.

Mixed Vegetable Curry… Or What To Do With Lonely Vegetables

Ever look in your pantry or refrigerator and see those random vegetables?  You know, the extra ones you bought just in case your recipe didn’t work out, or the ones you bought for the recipe you never tried but you used the other necessary ingredients so you can’t make it anyway?  Well, here’s a simple recipe to use up those lonely veggies.  You can use pretty much any vegetables for this.  Just be sure to pay attention to cook times so that some veggies don’t end up uncooked while others turn to mush.  Oh, and serve this with rice or any Indian bread.  Heck, have it with toast.  Still tastes good.

Ingredients

1 tbsp canola or vegetable oil

2 tsp cumin seeds

1 to 3 tsp red chilli powder, depending on how spicy you like it

2 to 4 green chillies, chopped, depending on how spicy you like it

2 cloves of garlic, minced

2 tbsp fresh ginger, minced or grated

1 medium onion, chopped

2 potatoes, peeled and chopped in 1/2 inch x 1 1/2 inch pieces

2 carrots, peeled and chopped in 1/2 inch x 1 1/2 inch pieces

1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped in 1/2 inch x 1 1/2 inch pieces

1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped in 1/2 inch x 1 1/2 inch pieces

1 tsp salt

1 cup frozen peas

1/2 cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped

Directions

1.  Heat the oil in a large pan.  Add the cumin seeds and saute until just starting to brown.  Add the red chilli powder, saute for a few seconds, and then add the green chillies, garlic and ginger.  Try not to breathe the cooking fumes as the spice level will irritate your respiratory system.  Saute for a few more seconds and add the onions.  Saute until onions turn translucent.

2.  Add the carrots and potatoes and mix well.  Saute for about 5 minutes.  Add the bell peppers and saute a few more minutes.

3.  Add water to the pan, until the vegetables are just covered.  Add the salt and mix well.  Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and continue cooking for about 20 minutes, until the potatoes and carrots are just tender.  Add water if needed.  By the time the vegetables are cooked, the liquid will reduce to nice gravy thickened by the starch from the potatoes.  (If your gravy is too watery, you can mix in a thin paste made of 1 tbsp rice flour and a 1/4 cup of water and cook for a few extra minutes.)

4.  Mix in the peas and continue to cook for about 3 minutes.  Remove from heat.  Garnish with fresh cilantro and serve with rice or bread.