Tag Archives: cilantro

A Soothing Bowl

There have been many times when I’ve felt a little off, that I want to eat something warm, nourishing, and easy to digest. A warming bowl of kitchari is what I make to settle myself and sooth my digestion. It’s clean, wholesome and quite frankly delicious. I sometimes incorporate it with a simple 3-day fast in the spring and fall to bring my system back into balance. Kitchari comes from the Ayurvedic system of eating and health that has been around for thousands of years.

Kitchari is made from organic basmati rice, split mung dal, ghee and spices. You can also top it with the vegetables of your choice, cooking them in the kitchari itself. I enjoy putting a dollop of my homemade cilantro-chili sauce, Greek yogurt and microgreens on top. Vegan’s can simply leave the yogurt off. Kitchari is best when made fresh, so plan your proportions so you don’t have leftovers. I make enough for each day and leave it covered on the stove top. If it firms up simply add a little additional water before reheating. Don’t be put off by the long list of ingredients; you can also find premade spice mixes if the list seems to daunting.

For those of you that are curious and want additional information about Ayurveda, http://banyarnbotanicals.com is a great website to explore.

BASIC KITCHARI

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/2 cup basmati rice
  • 1/4 cup split mung beans
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon ghee
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/8 teaspoon hing (asafoetida)
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper corns
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 more tablespoons ghee
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 1-2 cloves garlic (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2-4 cups fresh vegetables (greens, spinach, kale, zucchini)
  • 2 more cups water (as needed)

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Measure out the rice and split mung dal and place in bowl. Add water to cover and soak overnight. You can skip this step (although it cooks much quicker) by rinsing the rice and dal in a colander until the water is clear. If soaking, drain and rinse the following day.
  2. Melt a tablespoon of ghee in a medium saucepan and add the whole cumin seeds and hing. Lightly toast them, taking care they don’t burn. Add the rice, mung and water and bring to a boil. Cover and cook for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally so it doesn’t stick. It should end up looking like porridge or oatmeal in consistency.
  3. Warm the last two tablespoons of ghee in a small skillet. Add the coriander, peppercorns and bay leaf and sauté for 2-3 minutes. Then stir in the rest of the spices and the onion (and garlic if using). Put the sautéed spices in a blender with about 1/3 cup water and blend well. Pour the spice mixture into the rice and mung. Rinse out the blender with the last two cups of water and add it to the kitchari as well. Add your vegetables. Cook for 10-20 more.
  4. Top with garnishes of your choice like cilantro, yogurt or microgreens.

“I know there is strength in the differences between us. I know there is comfort where we overlap.” —Ani DeFranco

Indian Roasted Potatoes

Since I’m on a mission to lose my Covid-19 weight, I’ve been eating a lot a vegetables; and I mean a lot of vegetables!! This is not a particular hardship, since I love them. I’ve been challenging myself to keep it interesting by coming up with creative ways to serve them. Visual appeal and taste are paramount. As I have mentioned in previous posts, adding spices and condiments really change things up. This week, we are going Indian with the use of Garam Masala, which is a spice blend that includes, but not limited to coriander, cumin, black pepper, cardamom and cinnamon. This side can be made ahead and served at room temperature. I am also using my continual go-to condiment cilantro-chili sauce. I just can’t get enough of it! It is easy to make and I find that I have been putting it on my hard-boiled eggs, as well as mixing it with Greek yogurt as a dressing for chicken, or grilled flank steak salads.

INDIAN ROASTED POTATOES WITH CILANTRO-CHILI SAUCE

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3-4 Yukon gold potatoes, scrubbed and sliced 1/2 inch
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons Garam Masala
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro, both leaves and tender stems
  • 2 green chilies, seeded and finely chopped (I use jalapeño)
  • 2 garlic cloves, pressed or grated
  • 1/4 cup sliced and toasted blanched almonds
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 sliced green onions
  • 1 teaspoon nigella seeds or black sesame seeds (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Scrub and slice Yukon golds 1/2 inch (I use 1 medium potato per person). Place in a large bowl and drizzle olive oil; then toss with your hands. Place on parchment paper leaving 1 inch between slices. Sprinkle each slice with garam masala.
  3. Roast potato slices in oven for 40-50 minutes, turn slices over after the first 25 minutes. Potatoes are done when slightly golden and a knife slides easily through each slice.
  4. Meanwhile in a food processor, pulse to combine, 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, the cilantro, chilies, garlic, almonds, lime juice, and a large pinch of salt, until it forms a chunky puree. Taste and add more salt if needed.
  5. In a small bowl, combine Greek yogurt with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Thinly slice green onions, both the white and the green.
  6. On a decorative platter, spoon yogurt on the bottom. Stack your potato slices so they make a pyramid. Place small spoonful’s of cilantro-chili sauce on potatoes. Sprinkle with green onions and nigella seeds.

Serves:2-4

“Every challenge, every adversity, contains within it the seeds for opportunity and growth.”

Roy Bennett