raw mango & tofu stir fried noodles

By Shalini Kolluri

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This dish tastes a lot like fried rice. However, preparing it with rice noodles makes cooking and eating this recipe a lot funner. Begin soaking the noodles before you begin to chop the vegetables, and they’ll be ready to stir-fry when the other prep is done.

Raw mango is fairly popular in south India. It is used in rice based dishes and pickles.I decided to experiment with it today, and to my delight the sour-sweet element it brings to this dish is fantastic.

The raw mango is highly appreciated for its nutritional value they are excellent source of Vitamin C, which is comparatively more than ripe mangoes; raw mango is a rich source of pectin which gradually diminishes after the formation of the stone. Unripe mango is sour in taste because of the presence of oxalic, citric, malice and succinic acids.

Here’s what you will need..

Ingredients:-

8 ounces thin rice vermicelli

2 tablespoon sesame oil

2 table spoon soy sauce

1 table spoon sriracha/chili garlic sauce

1 tablespoon garlic paste

1 tablespoon ginger paste

1/2 cup thin raw mango slices ( Peel raw mango, discard the seed and grate or make thin slices)

1 /2 cup broccoli pieces

1/2 cup green bell pepper pieces

1 cup red onion longitudinally cut

1 teaspoon red chili powder

1 teaspoon sugar

salt to taste

tofu 1 cup (cubed pieces)

1 tablespoon dry sherry / vinegar

Add in more vegetables if you like.

Method:-

Place the noodles in a large bowl, and cover with warm water. Soak for at least 20 minutes, until soft. Drain in a colander, and cut into 6- to 8-inch lengths with kitchen scissors.Add in 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 tablespoon oil and mix (This way thy don’t stick to each other)

Heat a 14-inch flat-bottomed wok or 12-inch steel skillet over high heat until a drop of water evaporates from the surface within a second or two. Swirl in 1 tablespoon of the oil by adding it to the sides of the pan and tilting the pan side to side. Add the tofu.

Reduce the heat to medium-high, and stir-fry one to two minutes until the tofu begins to brown.

Add the garlic and  ginger paste, and stir-fry for no more than 10 seconds. Add the peppers and mango, and stir-fry two minutes. Add in the broccoli and onions and stir for 5 min till they cook. Make sure they are still a little crisp and semi cooked. This adds an additional crunch while eating the dish. Sprinkle some salt to taste. (i add the salt at this stage to make sure the tofu gets some salt as well. However, since three steps involve using salt, make sure you do not over do it!)

Add in the noodles to the stir fry. Add salt, soy sauce, sriracha, chili powder, sugar and vinegar. Stir gently making sure not to break the noodles. Serve hot.

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lunch box:green soy chunk pulao

By Shalini Kolluri

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Vegans/ Vegetarians look to soy big time as they are packed with protein. Soy chunks are soft, great tasting and a perfect substitute for chicken. I have just started experimenting with this awesome legume. It can be used in pilafs, kormas and sauteed with butter, pepper and salt.

It is relatively easy to make and is highly nutritious.I use basmati rice that takes 15-20 minutes to cook. The combination of basmati, soy chunks and delicious green vegetables makes this recipe a hit during lunch time in my household.

Hope you enjoy eating it!

Ingredients:-

1/2 cup long grained rice (basmati rice)

1/2 cup soy chunks (rinsed and soaked in warm water for 15 min)

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

1 cup chopped green pepper

1/2 cup chopped scallions

1 teaspoon ginger paste

1 tablespoon garlic paste

1 bay leaf

1 cinnamon stick, 2 cloves and 2 cardamom

1 cup chopped green beans

1 table spoon canola oil

salt

2 green chilies chopped / 1 teaspoon red chili powder

2 teaspoons agave

1 1/4 cup of water

1 table spoon yogurt

Method:-

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Rinse and soak basmati rice for 1/2 an hour.

The soaked soy chunks would have swollen to almost 2 times their original size. drain excess water and rise with water to get rid of raw smell.

Heat oil in a non-stick pan (with a lid) over medium flame. Add cumin, bay leaf, cardamom ,cloves and cinnamon and allow to sizzle for 2 minutes. Add in the sliced scallions , green chili, ginger and garlic paste. Sizzle for 3 minutes.

Add in chopped peppers and beans. Saute on medium for 5 minutes.

Drain excess water from rice and add in pan. Stir in the salt and agave and add water & yogurt in it. Put a lid on it. cook for 15 min while stirring now and then.

After ten minutes, check if grain is cooked by crushing it between your thumb and index finger. If still raw, cook on low flame for 5-10 more minutes. Try not to over cook it as it might become mushy. Remove the bay leaf and cinnamon before serving.

Once cooked, garnish with cilantro.

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v-day brunch

By Shalini Kolluri 

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There’s nothing like a sumptuous combination of an Indian masala omelette and spiced potato (chatpata potato) served with a chilled glass of lemonade (neembu paani).

A long, leisurely brunch is a great way to unwind over the weekend. It puts you in a pleasant mood and sweeps away the worries of the week. If you are one of those people who wants to celebrate your valentine’s day by cooking an easy and wholesome meal, then these recipes are perfect for you.

Indian lemonade or neembu pani is an excellent coolant as it contains lime and herb salts such as cumin powder and black salt. Ideally, you could add a few leaves of mint to give you a fresh and minty after taste. However, I prefer having  chilled neembu pani with any masala food. It hydrates you and perfectly balances hot and spice flavors.

CHATPATA ALOO:-

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Ingredients:-

2 table spoons canola oil

2 big russet potatoes ( boiled, peeled and cut into cubes)

1/2 cup cilantro

1 green chili

1 tablespoon sriracha sauce (chili garlic paste)

1 teaspoon garlic paste

1 teaspoon ginger paste

1 tablespoon lime juice

1 teaspoon black pepper powder

2 teaspoon agave/sugar

1/2 red onion minced

salt to taste

Method:-

First, make a paste of cilantro and green chili in a blender or using a mortar and pestle. Keep aside.

In a heavy bottomed skillet, add oil and heat on high.

Add in the potato cubes and roast on medium for ten minutes on all sides. Add in the ginger and garlic paste and stir once.

After the sides of the potato turn golden brown, stir in the sriracha, pepper, salt and agave/sugar.

Once they turn brown, add in the cilantro chili paste and stir.

Cook on mild for 5 minutes and turn off the flame.

Add in red onion pieces and lime juice. Mix and serve.

MASALA OMLETTE:-

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This is an Indian favorite. Easy to make and is a perfect brunch recipe. Hope you like it!

Ingredients:-

2 eggs

2 tablespoons milk

1 green chilli chopped finely

1 table spoon chopped cilantro

1 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 red onion finely chopped

salt

1 teaspoon ginger paste

1 teaspoon garlic paste

1/2 teaspoon coriander powder

1 table spoon canola oil

Method:-

Beat the eggs till frothy (the more you beat the egg the fluffier it will come out to be). Add the rest of the ingredients except the oil and whisk well.

Drizzle oil in a pan, allow it to heat up. Once hot, reduce flame, add half of the egg mixture and swirl it around the pan. Cook on low to medium flame till the sides are cooked and the underside is slightly browned.

Flip slowly over to the other side and cook.

NEEMBU PANI:-

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Best part of neembu pani is it just refreshes and gives you instant energy. This certainly helps with downing a spicy meal.

You will need:-

1 medium sized lemon

1 glass chilled water

1/4 teaspoon cumin poeder

salt to taste

1 table spoon honey

few mint leaves (optional)

1 lemon slice

A pinch of black pepper powder

Method:-

Take water in a vessel.

Slice the lemon and squeeze the juice with the squeezer or with the help of your hand into water. Discard the seeds. Add honey, black salt, cumin powder, mint leaves and ice cubes.Pour into tall glasses and add lemon slices if using.

Serve chilled

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Valentines day delicious breakfast

-By Shalini Kolluri

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There are many ways to plan a romantic day for the one you love. While some consider going on fancy dates, some others prefer ordering in and enjoying their quiet time together. For those like me, who find creative expression through their cooking, there is nothing more personal than preparing a delectable and aesthetic meal for your boo.

I think it’s important to keep the meal simple yet satisfying. It’s definitely one of those days you can stop counting your calories and indulge! The reason I said simple was because you shouldn’t have to spend too much time in the kitchen trying to prepare a complicated meal. You’ll want to look spiffy and focus on having a great time.

For breakfast, we have a coffee milk shake and strawberry buckwheat pancakes!

Buckwheat, a gluten-free relative of rhubarb, has a delicate, almost nutty flavor all its own. These pancakes are light and fluffy and soak up maple syrup like sponge.

Ingredients:-(12 pancakes)

2 cups buckwheat flour

3 table spoons honey

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon vanilla essence (optional)

2 cups milk / almond milk

2 large eggs

3 table spoons canola oil

1 cup sliced strawberries

1/2 teaspoon salt

Method:-

Whisk the flour, honey, salt, baking powder and baking soda in a large bowl. Add the milk, eggs and oil to a second bowl and whisk to combine.

Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the wet mixture. Stir with a rubber spatula until just combined.

Heat a nonstick frying pan over medium heat. Add a few drops of vegetable oil and a pat of butter. Once the butter melts, wipe the skillet with a paper towel. Ladle about 1/4 cup batter onto the griddle for each pancake. Place a small handful of sliced strawberries on top of the pancakes.

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Cook until the bubbles begin to burst on the surface, about 3 minutes, then flip and cook until the second side is a nice golden brown, about 2 more minutes.

Arrange the pancakes on individual plates and serve with the syrup.Enjoy!!
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COFFEE MILKSHAKE:-

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This is a blended-coffee treat much like an iced cappuccino you might buy at a restaurant. You can make it non-dairy by using soy milk/almond milk. In under a minute, you have perfectly whipped milkshake in a glass, ready to be sipped on with delicious pancakes.

Ingredients:-

1 tbsp Nescafe

¼ cup warm water

4 tablespoons honey/agave

1 table spoon Hershey’s chocolate syrup

2 cups chilled milk

1/4 teaspoon vanilla essence

6 to 8 ice cubes or as required

Method:-

In a blender take take 1 tbsp Nescafe powder,honey,chocolate syrup and add ¼ cup warm water. Add ¼ cup warm water. Stir very well to make the shake, I used whole milk. You can also use skimmed milk or low fat milk or almond milk. If you are using low fat milk, then just reduce the ¼ cup water to about 2 to 3 tbsp.

Blend for a minute or till the coffee solution becomes frothy and the color lightens a bit.

Add 6 to 7 ice cubes. For a thick cold coffee, you can reduce the ice cubes from 2 to 4.

Pour 2 cups chilled milk.

Blend once more till everything is mixed well and you get a nice froth on top.

Pour in glasses and serve cold coffee. The froth on top settles down and reduces with time. So serve coffee milk shake immediately.

This is basically my standard recipe.The vanilla, is a delicious addition!

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