Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Chickpea Salad

Chickpea salad is an absolutely delightful delicious salad option which is protein packed, full of anti-oxidants, fibre & other essential nutrients. Chickpea is also known by other names like 'Garbanzo Beans' or 'Bengal Gram'.

The body of our salad constitutes of chickpea(as also the name suggests) , accompanied by fresh cucumbers, crunchy onions, ripe-juicy tomatoes and crisp bell peppers. The salad's dressing has sweet-sour flavour with dash of lemon & honey, punch of garlic, garnished with roasted sesame seeds & fresh coriander for adding that extra freshness and flavours in it.

Earlier whenever I made this salad I never added honey or any sweetener to it. Recently when I was making it with my mom, she asked me to add a little honey to it and see myself how it enhances the overall flavour of salad. After being hesitant, I added a teaspoon of it and yes it really brought a balance to the overall taste. Lesson learnt-Mom will be mom & you don't argue with her, no matter what age you are ;) !!

It is almost winter time in most of India, also the time when you are constantly looking out for some quick recipes which can me made without spending hours in kitchen. This easy & quick chickpea salad along with a soup of your choice makes for a complete meal anytime. You can even serve it as a side salad in lunch or dinner for your daily dose of protein. Also, this is a good option for weight watchers as it is quite filling and makes you feel satiated for long.

You can alter the proportion of veggies as per your own preference. For example, some people often complain that they find green capsicum slightly bitter, so you can skip it or add it in lesser amount. Personally, I feel that it balances the sweetness from red & yellow bell pepper so do try the exact recipe first and then later alter the quantities as per your palate in second attempt.

Hope you would like this Healthy colourful Chickpea Salad recipe!!

List of Ingredients: (Serves 2)

  • Boiled Chickpea- 1 cup
  • Chopped Onion-1/4 cup
  • Chopped tomatoes-1/4 cup
  • Chopped Red Bell Peppers-1/4 cup
  • Chopped Yellow Bell Pepper-1/4 cup
  • Chopped Green Bell Pepper-1/4 cup
  • Chopped Cucumber-1/4 cup

For Dressing

  • Honey-1 tsp (optional)
  • Garlic cloves-2
  • Lemon Juice-2 tsp
  • Olive Oil-1&1/2 tsp
  • Crushed black pepper- 1 tsp
  • Salt- To taste

For Garnishing

  • Roasted Sesame seeds- 2 tsp
  • Chopped Coriander leaves-2 tbsp

Steps To Prepare:

Soak the chickpea overnight or 5-6 hours. Pressure cook them in a cooker by giving three whistles and them simmering down for 20 minutes. If you don't have time for soaking/boiling the chickpea you can even use canned tin for the same.

Finely chop the garlic cloves. Mix together all the ingredients for dressing-honey, chopped garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, crushed black pepper & salt. Keep it aside.

Finely chop all the vegetables you are going to use for the salad. Fresher the better!! I just love this colourful spread on my chopping board.

In a mixing bowl, boiled chickpeas and chopped veggies. Top it up with the dressing prepared in step2. Toss the salad gently or stir it gently using a spatula.

Garnish it with roasted sesame seeds and freshly chopped coriander leaves. Enjoy this vibrant looking wholesome salad either as side-salad or with your favourite soup in winters!!

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Sama / Vrat Rice Pulao

Sama Rice Pulao is one of the popular delicacies enjoyed by people during Navratri fasts. Sama Rice is known by many other names like Samvat Rice, Vrat Rice, Sama ke Chawal, Bhagar Rice, Jungle Rice & Samo etc.

Although this grain is not actually a variety of rice but people call it so because of its texture and colour. In actual, the grain belongs to millet family and is called 'Barnyard Millet'. It has small granular texture and is off-white in colour. It is a gluten free grain which makes it suitable option for consumption not only on fasting days but also if you are on gluten-free diet.

The other recipe shared on this blog using this grain are: Sama Rice Potato Cutlets, Samo Rice Dosa & Samo Rice sweet pudding. The texture of barnyard millet makes it suitable for use in both savoury & sweet recipes. You can check out more fasting/ gluten free recipes by clicking here.

I have used those spices & ingredients in this recipe which are commonly consumed by most people during their fasts (vrat). However, you are free to incorporate more veggies or use spices of your choice to make it more nutritious and flavourful. The Sama Rice pulao is a healthy dish that can be relished during fasts. As it is made using little fat (oil/ghee), it is quite lite on palate & stomach especially when you are consuming mostly fried items in these days.

I personally like to have this Pulao with freshly made coriander chutney. You can also have curd or Mint Raita with rice as they go really well with its flavours

Hope you would like this Sama Rice Pulao recipe!! For more Navratri recipes, click here.

List of Ingredients: (Serves 2)

  • Sama Rice/Samvat Rice/ Barnyard Millet-1/2 cup
  • Water-1 & 1/2 cup
  • Ghee/Cooking Oil-2 tbsp
  • Cubed Paneer- 1/4 cup
  • Split Cashews - 10 to 12 
  • Peeled & Cubed Potatoes- 1/2
  • Peanuts-6 to 8
  • Cumin seeds (Jeera)-1 tsp
  • Red Chilli Powder-1/2 tsp (or to taste)
  • Chopped Green Chillies-1
  • Rock Salt (Sendha Namak)- To taste
  • Chopped coriander-1 tbsp (For garnishing)
  • Lemon Juice - 1 tsp (optional)

Steps To Prepare:

Wash & drain the sama rice well. This is required to wash away the impurities. Then soak them in clean water for 30 minutes. In the mean time, lets proceed to next step.

In a heavy bottomed or non-stick pan, heat cooking oil or ghee. Fry cubed paneer on medium flame till it is golden brown. Keep these fried paneer cubes aside.

In the same pan, add split cashews & fry them till they turn golden in colour. Keep these roasted cashews aside.
In the same pan, add cubed potatoes and saute them for 4-5 minutes. Add peanuts and roast them on low flame for 2-3 minutes.

Then add chopped green chillies, cumin seeds and red chilli powder. Roast them for 10-15 seconds till they start releasing their aromas.

Drain all the excess water from rice. Add these soaked rice in the pan. Stir gently so that rice is mixed well with all the spices. Add water & rock salt (sendha namak) to it. Let it cook on low flame.
(If you like the consistency to be on softer side i.e. more of the khichdi texture then just add 1/2 cup water more.)
When the water reduces to half cover it with a lid. Let it cook covered for 3-4 minutes.

After that add fried paneer & cashews which we kept aside in step1. Fluff it gently with the help of a fork and switch off the flame if there is no more water left, else let it cook for 1-2 minutes more.

Garnish with fresh chopped coriander leaves. You can sprinkle some lemon juice over it but that is totally optional. Serve it hot with raita, curd or Coriander chutney!!
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