Tempeh or tempe is a traditional Javanese soy product that is made from fermented soy beans. It is made by a natural culturing and controlled fermentation process that binds the soy beans into a cake form (see pic below).
Because tempeh is packed into a cake, it offers more protein than other meat alternatives like tofu. It is also very high in fibre and probiotics and hosts a whole array of minerals and vitamins, which I'm not going to bore you with here. Tempeh has a subtle nutty flavour and absorbs any ingredient flavour it is cooked with, much like its cousin, tofu.
Here, I''m sharing a simple baby spinach and tempeh stir fry which is healthy, vegan and easy to whip up in minutes! It can be a snack, a side dish or even a wholesome breakfast dish! I love it for breakfast with baked beans because its a good protein packed start to the day to keep me full longer. Its a relatively simple dish to prepare so there is no requirement for step by step instructions here.
Ingredients (serves 1-2)
Kidney beans in the Indian cuisine are popularly known as Rajma. These unique beans are shaped like a kidney, has a strong nutty flavor with powdery texture and have a reddish brown color.
Rajma is very popular in the Northern Indian cuisine. It goes extremely well with plain Basmati rice or what is popularly known as rajma chawal. Rajma beans are fully loaded with proteins, in addition to minerals like magnesium, molybdenum, potassium, sodium, copper, iron, phosphorous, and vitamins such as Vitamin B complex constituents, Vitamin K and other traces of essential vitamins.
In Indian market there are three types of rajma:
Jammu Rajma or Kashmiri kidney beans refers to a type of kidney beans which hv originated from Jammu and Kashmir region. They are as famous as Kashmiri mirchi (chilli powder). These small red kidney beans are delicious and cook fast. These beans are famous all over Himalayas and it’s foothills for their aroma and subtle taste. Kashmiri rajma come out best when soaked for about 4-5 hours prior to cooking. They may look deceptively similar to the regular kidney beans but in fact they are a notch smaller (see pic below). It is said that some of the best rajma are said to hv grown in Jammu.
I usually cook regular Rajma curry on an occasional basis. But I was introduced to Jammu Rajma by a close friend NK who happened to bring this delicious curry for a potluck lunch at my place in December. She had apparently slow cooked it overnight which explained its ultimate heavenly taste! I refrigerated and enjoyed it for two days after the lunch gathering! Little did i know that there was a another type of kidney beans called Jammu kidney beans!! I was able to source for it locally in Singapore through our regular online grocery store Redmart, but life got in the way and I only got to today Feb 12th to cook and post the recipe here. Don't be alarmed by the number of ingredients. It is actually quite an easy dish to prepare and the final delicious taste definitely beats store bought rajma masala powders. You are sure to wow your family and friends!
Ingredients (serves 4- 8 people)
Jammu Rajma Beans Preparation
2 cups of Jammu rajma beans, washed and soaked overnight or a minimum of 4hrs
4 dried bay leaves
4 stalks of coriander leaves with roots intact, washed well
8 black peppercorns
1 tsp cumin seeds
Pound or dry grind the above till you get a smooth powder
1 bay leave
1/2 inch cinnamon stick
4 medium onion, cut into big pieces and blended
4 medium tomatoes, cut into big pieces and blended
2 tsps ginger garlic paste
2 green chillies each cut into 3 pieces
1 stalk coriander leaves, chop small
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp chilli powder
2 tsps coriander powder
1/2 tsp asoefetida powder
Pour half cupwater in a small bowl and mix the above spices into a smooth paste
Canola Oil & Salt
1) Wash and soak the rajma beans overnight. The next day, bruise the coriander leaves with roots slightly. Using a pressure cooker, boil the rajma beans in water with salt, 4 bayleaves and the bruised coriander leaves for 10 mins. Set aside to cool. Do not throw the boiled water away - its the stock of the beans and is full of flavour. You may need it to dilute the curry later.
2) Heat a medium cooking pot and heat 3 tbsps of oil. Fry the pounded/ground dry spices together with cinnamom stick and a bay leaf. Then add the blended onion and fry for 5 - 10 mins on medium heat.
3) Then add the 2 tsps of ginger garlic paste and fry for another 5 mins.
4) Next, add in the blended tomato and the masala powder paste. Add salt at this juncture.
5) Cover and simmer for 10 minutes
6) Next, pour the rajma beans without the stock and chcek if its thin enough. If its not, add some of the stock water.
7) Cover and simmer for another 10 mins.
8) Serve hot garnished with chopped coriander leaves and sliced green chilli.
On the 6th annivesary of my American Moments food blog, I'm sharing a simple rice dish called Venn Pongal. Savoury Pongal or Venn Pongal as its commonly called in South Indian cuisine is a mix of rice with lentils and topped with an assortment of condiments. It is usually served as a breakfast dish with fresh coconut chutney and a lentil curry called sambar. Again, ghee is usually used to increase its taste, but a vegan version is shared here. A sweet version of this rice pudding called Sakkarai (Sugar) Pongal is also enjoyed by many.
Ingredients (for 2)
Here is a recipe for a vegan version of an Indian semolina pudding called Kesari. Though it doesn't have the richness of a traditional Kesari which includes ghee, this is quite light and guilt-free.
Ingredients (for 4)
The Hindi word Toor Dal is pigeon pea in English. We, Indians use a lot of lentils in our cooking as it takes care of our protein in our daily meals, especially for vegetarians. With the variety of lentils available and with the myriad of recipe ideas in our Indian cuisine, we are never lost for a dish to make for our friends and family.
This toor dal lentil curry is relatively easy to make and makes a good accompaniment for our rice dishes and our chapathis (wholewheat flat bread). As its pretty straighforward, I will not be posting step by step photos as I do with more difficult recipes.
Ingredients : (serves 3-4 as a side dish)
3/4 (three quarter) cup toor dal (pigeon peas)
3 and 1/2 (half) cups water
1/2 (half) tsp salt
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
2 tbsp canola oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 dried chilli (optional if you want a less spicy curry)
a pinch of asoefetida
1 small onion, sliced
1 tsp ginger garlic paste
1/2 green chilli (again optional)
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1/2 tsp coriander powder
1 medium tomato, chopped small
1 stalk coriander leaves, chopped small
1 tsp dried fenugreek leaves
Salt per preference
1) Wash the toor dal, check for stones and put the dal in a pressure cooker with the water, turmeric powder and salt. After the first whistle, reduce fire to low and switch off after 10 mins. Leave to cool.
2) In a small sauce pan, heat the canola oil and fry the mustard seeds, cumin seeds, dried chilli and asoefetida.
3) Then add the chopped onion and fry for 2-3 mins. Next, add in the ginger garlic paste and green chilli. Fry further for 2-3 mins.
4) Add the turmeric, chilli and coriander powders. Stir and fry the spice powders. Add salt per your preference.
5) Add in the chopped tomatoes and 1/2 cup water and let it cook and turn soft and mushy.
6) Add the cooked toor dal and stir well. Check for salt.
7) Lastly, add the chopped coriander leaves and the dried fenugreek leaves.
8) Serve warm with rice or chapathis.
Hi guys! I'm Nilofar Iyer and I have shared my dishes here for you to cook for your own family and friends with love and most importantly with their long term good health in mind.