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Sunday, February 23, 2014

My Table-side "Wholly" Chunky Guacamole

This recipe was inspired by one of the restaurants that I went to in Newport Beach California, where they served us table side guac. It  was very mouth watering and great  joy to watch the server mix all the ingredients at our table and serve us very fresh guac with all the ingredients to our liking.
When you are entertaining guests,  you can pre-chop the ingredients and just keep the avacados to be prepared last. Just before serving appetizers quickly put this together at table side  in front of the guests.  Needless to say it will be a great hit !!

However, if you choose to prepare it ahead of time,  you could do that as well and refrigerate it before serving.

  • 5 ripe avacados
  • Juice from 2 fresh limes
  • 4-5 cloves of garlic minsed
  • 1 large tomato chopped
  • 2 green chilies or fresh jalapenos finely chopped
  • 1 red pepper chopped
  • 1/2 red onion chopped
  • 5 spring onions thinly chopped
  • 1 small bunch of cilantro finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons of crushed dried red pepper or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon of roasted cumin powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon of coarsely ground black pepper or to taste


* Chop all the ingredients as shown in pictures.

* Cut avocados in half. Remove pit.

* Scoop out avocado pulp from the peel, put in a mixing bowl.

* Using a fork or potato masher mash the avocado.

* Add lime juice from one lime, ground garlic and red pepper  to this and mix well.

* Add the chopped onions, cilantro,  tomatoes,  cumin powder, salt and pepper.

* Add rest of the lime  juice.

* Mix well until everything is nicely incorporated.

* To prevent the dip from turning brown place the pits back into the prepared dip.

* Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve.


* Serve with tortilla chips or can use it as a spread for your favorite vegetarian sandwich.

This recipe yields  ~ 6 servings.

Recipe and Photographs by Surekha.
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Saturday, February 8, 2014

Quinoa Pilaf

I had posted a recipe for golden Quinoa pilaf in 2011, this time I made it little different and came out good,  so I thought I will share it with you all.  Basic ingredients are same, except I added sliced almonds and roasted Quinoa with these almonds before making the pilaf and it enhanced the nutty taste and flavor of quinoa.


* 2 cups Quinoa

* 1/4 cup sliced almonds

* 2 tablespoon of olive oil or butter

* 5 cups water

* 1 cup frozen peas

* 1 cup frozen corn kernels

* 1 red onion

* 1/3 cup chopped green onions (optional)

* 1 sprig of curry leaves

* 1 potato peeled and chopped in small cubes

* 6 baby carrots chopped into small pieces

* 1" piece of ginger finely chopped (optional)

* 1/4 cup olive oil or any vegetable cooking oil

* 1 teaspoon cumin seeds

* 3-4 pods of dried red chili peppers

* 1/4 teaspoon of asafetida

* 2 bay leaves

* 1 black cardamom or 2-3 pods of green cardamom

* 1/3 cup of crushed tomatoes

* 2 teaspoons turmeric powder

* 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper powder or paprika powder

* 1/2 teaspoon garam masala (optional)

* 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

* 1 teaspoon cumin powder

* salt to taste

* Juice from fresh 1-2 limes (or to taste)

* 1 small bunch of cilatnro leaves finely chopped for garnish.


*  Heat oil or butter in a sauce pan and add Quinoa and almond, roast it for 5-6 min with constantly stirring on medium heat. Set aside

* Prepare all the veggies as follows.

* Chop onion, green onions, carrots and potatoes in to small pieces.

* Thaw the frozen corn and peas in microwave for about 3 min without adding any water.

* Peel and finely chop ginger in to small pieces.

* Heat oil on stove, when it is hot add cumin seeds.

* When cumin seeds crackle add asafetida, bay leaf and cardamom followed by curry leaves and chili pods.

* Immediately add both green and red onions, ginger, saute for 2-3 min until translucent.

* Add potatoes and carrots and dash of salt, and turn the heat down to low and sprinkle some water, cover and cook (with occasional stirring) until potato and carrots are tender.

* Add corn, peas and crushed tomatoes and cook for another 2-3 min.

* Add all the dry spices and remaining salt.

* Mix well and cook for 1-2 min.

* Mix and toss roasted Quinoa germ and almonds to prepared spiced veggies, mix well.

*While cooking above, boil water on another stove top or in microwave.

* Add 5 cups of boiling water to this Quinoa and veggies and bring to boil on high heat.

* Turn the heat to low and cook the Quinoa for 15-20 min or until there is no water remaining and until the germ separates from the seed. The cooked germ looks like a tiny curl and should have a slight bite to it.
* Add lime juice from fresh lime.

* Garnish with chopped cilantro leaves, you can serve this hot or at room temp.

* If you choose you can also garnish this with sauted/roasted cashews halves/ pine nuts or with fresh pomegranates seeds.

This recipes yields about 6-8 servings. Enjoy :)

Photograph of Quinoa in teaspoon source:

Rest of all he Photographs by Surekha.
Recipe modified by Surekha from a recipes on the bag of Organic "Earthly Choice" Quinoa bought from local Costco store.
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