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Microwave Cooking

Microwave Peas Pilaf with Spring Onion Raita

Microwave Peas Pilaf with Spring Onion Raita

I’m experimenting cooking with the microwave these days. Yes, these experiments will be on till our landlord fixes the hob. I’m sure it suits all those friends of mine who do not know much about cooking and just know how to use the microwave to make themselves a bowl of instant noodles or some ready soup.

I was fed up of preparing salads & soups from the past few days, was craving for some rice. Picked up a can of garden peas from the grocers and fixed this meal.

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This pilaf requires some of the most common ingredients present in any kitchen which is used to some Indian cooking. Ready in 15 mins. What more can you ask for?

Ingredients: (Serves 2)      Preparation Time: 12-15 minutes
Basmati Rice – 1 cup measure
Water – 1.5 times the measure of rice used, (I made use of the time taken to fry onions to boil water in a kettle & kept it ready)
Onion – 1 large, finely chopped
Garden peas – 1/2 – 3/4 cup measure of rice used
Garam masala powder – 1/2 tsp or more depends on your taste
Star anise – one part of the star of the star anise
Bay leaf – half of a medium-sized leaf torn into a few pieces
Cooking Oil – 1 tbsp
Coriander leaves (optional) – 1-2 sprigs, finely chopped
Salt to taste

Method:
Set your microwave to its highest power i.e the setting used for cooking. Take a microwave bowl which can take upto 1.5 litres of water when empty. Add oil to the bowl & heat the oil for 30s. Add the bay leaf & star anise to it. Put it back in the microwave and turn on the microwave for another 30s. Now add the chopped onions and turn on the microwave for another minute. Next add the garam masala powder, mix well and cook for a minute.

In the meanwhile wash the rice and keep it ready. Once the onions are ready add the rice mix well and cook it for about 30 seconds (If you are using fresh peas add them along with the rice here). Now add 1.5 measures of water to the bowl and mix along with salt to taste and cook for 5 minutes. Add the peas now and mix (I used ready cooked peas from a can hence I added it here). Keep it back in the microwave for another 5 minutes or till the water evaporates.

Garnishing:(optional)
If you want to, garnish with chopped coriander leaves.

Serving Suggestions:
Serve along with raita of your choice. I prepared spring onion raita to serve with this. I added some salad on the top as well.

Microwave Peas Pilaf with Spring Onion Raita

If you like Indian flavoured rice  do check my other rice recipes like – Creamy mushroom  rice, Tomato Rice,Prawn Biryani etc.


Lemon, Mushroom Noodle Soup

Lemon Mushroom Noodle Soup

Yes, there you go, something that you can prepare using a microwave. 🙂 For all those people who want something easy to prepare without switching on your stove & for those others who prefer to use the stove, follow the recipe on the stove.

Yet another day for me without the hob to cook food.The stove not working could not have come up at a better time. Been catching up with schoolmates with whom I had lost touch for over 15 years. We all have been furiously catching up over the phone on what’s ap. So had the hob been working I would have anyways retorted to fixing up quick meals as there is so much to catch up on. 😉 It’s been wonderful.

It snowed last evening in Glasgow. It’s been cloudy and gloomy day & yes of course its been cold.. What’s more comforting than a hot mug/bowl of soup.

Lemon Mushroom Noodle Soup

Tip: You can prepare this in your own way adding some seafood too if you wish to. I have prepared this soup earlier on the stove of course by adding some crabsticks/seafood sticks/minced chicken to this recipe. The soup prepared in the microwave tastes just as good cooking it in the stove. Also I have used 2 stock cubes, one chicken and one veg, vegetarians can skip the chicken stock cube and use 2 veg cubes. But you would need to use vegetarian oyster sauce as a substitute for the actual oyster sauce. But there is no fair vegetarian substitute for fish sauce. So you will have to do without the fish sauce.

Ingredients: (Serves 2-3)       Preparation Time: 10-15 minutes
Mushrooms – 1 cup diced.
Veg stock cube – 1
Ginger – 1 inch piece, finely chopped
Garlic cloves – 2 medium-sized, finely chopped
Green chilli’s – 2 medium-sized & medium spicy variety, finely chopped, you don’t want to bite into a piece when you eat the noodles
Rice noodles/ any noodles of your choice – half of a nest
Chicken stock cube – 1
Corn starch – 1 tbsp dissolved in some water
Dark soy sauce – 1/2 tbsp
Oyster sauce – 1/2 tsp
Fish sauce – 1/2 tsp
Lemon juice – 1/2 tbsp
Water – 1 litre
Salt to taste

Method:
Note: I’m describing the method to prepare this soup in the microwave. You can prepare it in the usual way on the stove.

Set the microwave to its highest wattage. I set it to full power. My microwave is a 800 W one. Heat the water for a minute in microwave bowl/mug. Add both the stock cubes & put it back in the microwave for another minute or two.

Meanwhile you can use this time to chop up the ginger & garlic if you have not chopped them earlier.

If you plan to add some seafood/chicken add now and cook for a couple of minutes. Next add the ginger, green chilli’s & garlic along with the dark soy sauce and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Next add the mushrooms, the oyster sauce & the fish sauce. Add the noodles & let this cook for another minute. Add the corn starch mixed in water. Add salt to taste and cook till the noodles are done.

Once done add the lemon juice, mix well.

Garnishing:
You can garnish with some chopped coriander if you wish to and serve hot – that goes without saying. 😉

Lemon Mushroom Noodle SoupIf  you like soups do check out my other soup recipe’s.


Kala Chana Chaat/ Black Chickpeas Chaat

Kala Chana Chaat

Kala chana refers to black chickpeas. Chaat is a medley of different flavours. There are different kinds of chaats available in India. To name a few – Bhel puri, paani Puri,Sev Puri, Masala Puri, Katori Chaat, Dahi Puri, Samosa Chaat, Tikki Chaat, Aloo Sev Puri, Chana Chaat and the list goes on. Chaat is mostly available as street food in India. People of all age groups love chaat. This is what most eat for a snack when they are out shopping, just sitting by the beach or when they go for a stroll in a garden. All tourist spots have stalls or mall joints where they sell chaat. Believe me it’s lip smacking. I really miss having chaat. If you get a chance to visit India, do try some of these. But if your stomach cannot take street food then try them from some fast food joints.

Kala Chana chaat not usually available in the streets. I first had this kind of chaat in buffet restaurants. This is usually served as a salad or as a side.

Kala Chana Chaat

Very quick to prepare. Best part unlike other chaat dishes this doesn’t use oil. But since it involves chickpeas you would need to soak them overnight or you can use a can of chickpeas available in the market which ready soaked and boiled.

Yes, the hob is still not repaired. So I’m forced into eating only boiled veggies and salads. :)So had to use a can of ready cooked chickpeas from the market. If you using a can make sure you rinse them well enough to take off the brine used to preserve them.

You can also prepare the same using yellow/white chickpeas.

Ingredients:
Black chickpeas – about 200 gms, which is soaked overnight/a ready cooked can
Onion – 1 medium-sized, finely chopped
Potato – 1 large potato, peeled & cubed
Salad Tomato – 1 large, de-seeded and finely chopped, you can use regular tomatoes too
Red chilli powder – 1/4 tsp
Chaat masala (optional) – 1/4 tsp
Green chilli – 1, finely chopped, you don’t want big pieces that you may accidentally bite into
Coriander leaves – 2-3 sprigs, finely chopped
Lemon juice – 1 tbsp
Salt to taste

Method:
If you are soaking the chickpea at home then,wash the chickpeas which has been soaked overnight and boil them with enough water which contains salt, till they are cooked. You can pressure cook them as well, if you like. Drain the water and keep aside.

Boil the cubed potatoes in the microwave with water which has salt. Make sure the microwave setting is set to high. They should be boiled in about 8-10 minutes. Drain the water and keep aside.

If you are using a ready can of chickpeas, rinse them at least 5-6 times in cold water to remove any brine content.

In a large mixing bowl, mix the chickpeas, potatoes, chopped onions, tomatoes, green chilli, chaat masala. Add some salt sufficient for the veggies added, since the chickpeas & potatoes have already been boiled with salt. Squeeze lemon juice.

Garnishing:
Garnish with some chopped coriander leaves.

Kala Chana Chaat

Serving Suggestions:
Serve as a salad.

Kala Chana Chaat

If you liked this recipe, you may also like – Chole Chaat…, Chole/Chickpeas in a tangy spicy Indian sauceChana Masala/ Khatte Punjabi Chane/ Tangy Chickpeas, Tangy Chickpeas dip etc.


Soupy days – Spinach Soup with Potato

Spinach Soup with Potato

As usual I was snuggling in my duvet on the couch, to keep myself warm this quiet, gloomy afternoon with a novel. Keshav had stepped out for some work. I felt lazy to fix up a meal. I did not want something very heavy, but something which fill me up and satisfy my hunger. Had some fresh baby spinach leaves which would wilt away soon if I did not use them. So put together this easy peasy soup.. it is a very healthy soup, no oil or butter. The basil used for garnishing adds a nice aroma to this soup.

A closer look..

Spinach is highly nutritious. It known to be rich in various kinds of vitamins and iron. If spinach is boiled a little too much that would halve its folic acid content, but microwaving it does not. Hence I have used the microwave to cook the soup & keep the maximum nutrients intact.

Ingredients: (Serves 1) Preparation Time: 10 mins
Spinach – 1 cup of washed spinach leaves
Tip: Use one cup per serving, increase all the ingredients in proportion if you wish to make more.
Garlic – 1 small cloves, chopped
Potato – 1 medium-sized,peeled and cubed
Water – half a cup
Milk – 30 ml, I used whole milk, you can use skimmed milk if you wish to.
Back peppercorns – add as much as you like, but remember to use freshly crushed pepper
Basil – 1 leaf, chopped
Salt to taste

Method:
Add the leaves to a microwave bowl, add the water along with the potatoes. Add some salt to taste. Boil this in the microwave for 6 minutes. Midway just stir the contents. Let it stand in the microwave for a minute once done. Take the bowl out and add the chopped garlic. Let the contents cool to room temperature.

Microwave boiled spinach N potato

Now add cooled boiled, contents to a food processor or mixer jar. Do not add the water that is in the bowl. Keep it aside for later use. Grind this to a course paste. The spinach will be a paste but the potatoes should remain as small chunks/bits.

Ground spinach, potato n garlic

Add the ground spinach and potato mixture back to the bowl which has the water kept aside. Add the milk and crushed pepper and bring the mixture to a boil back in the microwave.

Yummy soup..

Garnishing:
Garnish with some chopped basil.

Serving suggestions:
Serve hot along with some bread sticks/croutons/some hot garlic bread by the side.

Spinach Soup with Potato

Tip: For those who do not mind a few extra calories, add some cream/ a little butter on top for that extra flavour.

If you like this recipe you may also like my other soup recipes.