February 24, 2020

How to make Veg Stock in under 15 mins ~ Video Recipe

I heard from a family friend recently that making veg stock along with peeling mounds and mounds of potatoes and onions is one of the first few weeks of training at most culinary schools . I think veg stock (or to non-vegetarians , bone broth or chicken stock) is so versatile both in terms of how it is made, as well as how it is used. 

Mostly used in soup / broths, sometimes curries and gravies and biryanis, veg stock is super simple to make (and although I don’t refrigerate it, it stays good for a couple of days in the fridge once made) : Cooking 101 - "Waste Not, Want Not"

Archana - our host for this week - has proposed a fantastic #nowaste or rather a #bestfromwaste kitchen theme. I thought it was a great reason to record this stock recipe that I have used in many of my soup recipes on this blog. Archana has fabulous recipes from across the world and many of her healthy posts is even inspiring me to start a geriatric special theme in my blogs. Her Srilankan spice powder and Barley Bhel recipes are top of my to-do lists soon ! 

If you are a soup lover like us, do check out 21+ varieties of soup ( all vegetarian and mostly vegan and GF) here. 

It requires no special effort to put together, except to carefully wash and store what goes into the broth. There are as many ways to make a batch of veg stock as there are varieties of stock. 

My aunt also used to make a version with dal-pani (leftover water after boiling dal in a pot), but my version is simple, takes 20 Mins start to finish and you don’t even need to watch over the pot.

Important points to note before making any stock:

  1. Carefully wash and drain all the vegetable ends clear of mud or any impurities 
  2. I don’t usually peel any of my veggies (yes incl potatoes for any dish), except on rare occasions. So if you do peel them, make sure they are free of fungus or spores or any other material you would avoid in the first place 
  3. If using vegetable tops (crowns of carrots / radish etc), make sure you wash them really well.
  4. Your stock needs to be packed with flavour, but make sure you don’t either over salt it or add too many conflicting veggies to make it look and taste weird.
  5. Addition of whole spices mentioned in the recipe below are totally optional, but it’s what works for me. Feel free to add or omit any that may not suit you / your kitchen preferences
  6. If refrigerating the stock, bring it to room temperature, and store in glassware / stainless spill proof jars. Use them as quickly as needed. 
  7. Some freeze the stock too - I haven’t tried this method as I prepare fresh stock every time I make a soup. It’s a personal preference, so make those minor changes as you wish.
Prep time - 15 Mins , cook time - 20
Mins , makes ~ 1 litre of veg stock 

You would need :
  • Veg peel (here I also used trimmed broccoli stems , coriander stalks, dew spinach leaves, carrot peels, kohl rabi / knolkohl greens , cabbage stem, etc) - 2 large cups 
  • Onion - 1 medium (sliced) 
  • 2.25 litres of clean , filtered water 
  • Salt - to mildly season 
  • Turmeric - 1/8 tsp (optional but I like to use it mostly unless am making a clear or creamy white coloured soup) 
  • Whole spices (adjust to taste) -whole pepper corn, bay leaf, garlic pods, cloves, cumin, coriander seeds 

Pls check the embedded video here for detailed instructions on how to make this vegetable stock

Use immediately in soups or store as preferred. 

February 17, 2020

Kidney Bean Sesame Seed Dip | Rajma Til Dip | GF and Vegan

Sesame Seeds (a.k.a Sesamum Indicum) are a fibre-rich, Iron-rich source that's been used in India foods for a long time now. The nutrition benefits of these seeds are so wonderful, it is also said to lower Cholestrol , blood pressure and Triglyceride levels. 

Indians use Sesame / Til Seeds heavily around Uttaryan (Makar Sankrant) where calcium is said to be absorbed best through Til Dishes like Chikki, Ellu Bella (Sesame seeds trail mix) and the like.

Sesame Ladoo (Til Ladoo / Ellu Urundai) is also given to young girls at the onset of their menarche to aid pain-free menstruation. A wonderful plant source of calcium and protein, there are many ways we can include this wonder-seed in our everyday dishes. 

Swaty - our host for this week @FoodieMondayBloghop has asked us to use super nuts and seeds this week. 

Today's dish was a meal by itself with some veg crudites, nachos, baked falafel and mediterranean-style oven roasted veggies : all in all an entire dinner that was plant based :)

Some sesame-based dishes that we regularly make at home include:

Yellina Chitranna (sesame flavoured rice - usually made around Ugadi / Lunar New year beginning)

Sankranti Yellu Bella (Karnataka special Sesame seeds -jaggery trail mix) 

Sesame Crusted Bundt bread

Onion Sesame Pull Apart Bread

Oo Ee Mu Chim (Korean Cucumber-sesame Salad)

Baked Sesame and Onion Savoury crackers

Let's get to the recipe now

You may use any plant protein (like chickpeas / kidney beans / Lima beans). I had a bowl of cooked kidney beans so went with it. 

Prep time - 15 mins, Cook time - Nil (doesn’t include soak and cook time for the protein base)
Makes - 250~300 ml of the dip, keeps for 2-3 days under refrigeration


What you need:

Cooked Rajma (One may use Canned too, but drain before using) - 1 cup (240 ml)
Sesame seeds roasted - 3 heaped tablespoon ( you may also use Tahini instead, if using that adjust salt and spice accordingly)
Salt and pepper - to taste
Sumac - 1/2 TBSP
Red chilli flakes - 1/2 tsp
Olive Oil - 1/4 cup (use in parts)
Madras Curry powder ( I used a mix of 1 TBSP Coriander powder and 1/2 TBSP jeera powder + 1/2 tsp pepper powder) - 3 TBSP
Lemon juice - 1/2 tsp

How to:
In a blender, puree the cooked rajma with salt and half the olive oil. Now add the rest of the spices, sesame seeds and blend at low speed, scraping down the mixture every few seconds. 
Serve dip at room temperature with crudites / falafels or any chips / wafers of your choice. 

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