Bokchoy Shrimp Stir-fry

What can you do with a bokchoy and shrimp? Well you make stir fry. But what sauce do you make. Well – you don’t make one.

Chok full of ginger and garlic with some onions tossed in oil

Add the bokchoy – washed and chopped

Add 1/4 cup chicken stock.

Cook with lid on, and stir. Add salt and pepper.

When greens are cooked, take them out on the plate and keep the liquid in the oan

Use it to cook the shrimp. Add a tsp of oyster sauce.

When ready, put it on the bed of greens 🙂 top it with some coriander and spring onions. It was half gone before we remembered to take pics 🙂

Simple and hearty

Quick and hearty breakfasts

I am a fan of quick, and if it can be hearty, even better. Especially when you need to scale 7 days of breakfasts with 3 people in the house, it’s helpful to turn to porridge and smoothies. One of our other staples has been boiled eggs. We all love them, yep including Tara 🙂

But I was looking for something different and ran into the cold oatmeal cult. What a splendid idea to let your creativity run wild. Here’s what I do with them.

Base – Some nut or plant based milk; not regular milk. I’ve tried almond, coconut and oat milk so far. I also use yogurt sometimes but then that becomes a parfait.

Sweetener – Any of these – Palm crystals, Palm sugar, honey or grated jaggery. If you like to add additional sweetness top it with maple syrup.

Grain – Rolled Oats, or Muesli

Nuts and seeds – pumpkin seeds, walnut, cashew, chia, almonds, raisins

Nut butters – peanut or almond

Toppings – figs, berries, seasonal fruits, dates,

Flavor – cacao powder, or vanilla essence, cinnamon, cardamom powder, and nutmeg

I cup grain, 3-cup milk, rest is all up to you 🙂

Now play with these ingredients in any sequence and prepare your jars of goodness. (I bought these Le parfait containers since they looked so chic and so old school all at the same time.) These last for 3 days in the fridge.

Flavor Bomb Rasam!

You know that feeling when you create something with a lot of love and it comes out to be BOmb! Yep that’s what happened today. Won’t waste time in trying to explain the bombastic flavors this leaves in my mouth. Let’s get to the steps

3 medium tomatoes – puréed in a blender

2 tbsp tamarind paste diluted in 2 cups water

8-10 curry leaves

2-3 dry red chilies

A bunch of coriander – with stems coarsely chopped

1 cups water

24Mantra Rasam powder

1tbsp black peppercorns whole

6-8 garlic cloves

1 tbsp cumin

Salt

1 tbsp sugar

In a mortar and pestle coarsely mince black pepper corn, garlic and cumin. Don’t worry about a fine paste, just crush each pod to release the flavors

Grind 3 tomatoes in a purée

Heat 1/2 tbsp oil in instant pot

Add 1 tsp turmeric, 1 tbsp mustard seeds and let the seeds splutter, add 2 red chilies 🌶

Add tomatoes and cook until they are mushy l. Don’t need to wait till they are full cooked

Add tamarind juice (2tbsp tamarind paste into 2 cups of water)

Add another 1 cup of water to make the consistency thinner

Add curry leaves and coriander

Add 2 tsp rasam powder

Add the coarsely minced pepper corns garlic and cumin

Add salt to taste. I liked 1/2 tbsp sugar in it. Up to you if you want to.

Seal the lid and pressure cook on high for 5min

When done, taste and adjust the salt/sugar and enjoy a flavor bomb rasam!

let’s teach how to IP

I am thinking of teaching a few instant pot cooking classes for my friends. I have convinced them that it makes life a lot simpler, and hence they are onboard with the idea. But now the tough part – drive adoption. Let’s make it clear. I get nothing from Instant Pot for doing this. I like to simplify tasks – all sorts of them. And Instant Pot is my simplification mechanism for cooking. So is, my air fryer, vitamix and rotimatic. But IP gets to rule them all. It really is a better way to manage your cooking.

Anyways so as I was looking into how to go about this new project. I found out that AirBnB offers a good platform for this. I can out up my class as an ‘experience’, cook and then eat what you cooked… you get the point. Now I don’t have a lot of time on hand to go into this type of a project. But I thought it was a cool idea.

Anyways, I plan to kick off my first batch of ‘IP chefs in training’ next week with a few close friends. Let’s see how it goes. Best part, it does not have to go anywhere. If it simplifies their daily cooking tasks, I’d have met my purpose 🙂

Yesterday I made lemon rice in the IP. It turned out fine. I also really liked the Quinoa Upma that I tried the other day. I need to write that recipe so I don’t forget it. Of course my favorite party is the no touch pasta that take no supervision from me to cook. I love IP, and it has definitely made me an efficient cook. Let’s spread the love.

Winter Soups

I get bored of the typical vegetable dishes very easily and am always on a look out for more interesting ways to eat our veggies. Winter is fun because you can always make winter soups with the roasted root vegetables. If you don’t know what I am talking about.. read on.

The sheet pans are my best friends in winter. Toss in any of these veggies below in a lot of olive oil , salt, pepper, or any other herbs that you like, add some garlic and shalllots to them, and roast at 375-400 for 30min until you see some charred corners.

The veggies I usually use are – cauliflower, sweet potatoes, sweet peppers, butternut squash, beets, tomatoes, carrots, and parsnips. You can make a combination of carrot, and tomatoes, or parnsip and carrots, or cauliflower and sweet peppers. Be creative!

Once your veggies are roasted, put them in a sauce pan and cover them with broth (home made is better, but honestly, use whatever works for you.) Add some salt, and pepper. Bring the veggies to a boil, and then simmer for 15 min. The veggies get soft and puree easily after that. Toss your mix into a Vitamix or use a hand held immersion blender, and puree it up.

Some times I like to dress up my soups. Like today we were having cauliflower with sweet pepper soup. I fried some garlic and shallots in avocado oil, and added all spice to it. I garnished the soup with this mix and it added a different flavor. If you don’t want to dress it up, just drizzle some olive oil or pepper and voila!

You can also use these soups as pasta sauce base. Another delectable way to enjoy your veggies.

Looking forward to a soupy winter 🙂

Kheer 

1/2 gallon whole milk

1/2 can condensed milk

Mix and cook at high for 4 hours in a slow cooker on high

Stir in 3/4 cup rice (more if you like more rice) 

Cook at high for an hour more 

Let it cool and serve it with almonds, raises and cashews.