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Saturday, October 24, 2015

Creamy Cucumber and Tomato Salad with Dill

For my friend's son's Mehndi party I was asked to make a salad, which would go with spicy Indian food and yet had a different flavor to it.
I  came across this recipe on line at All Sounded pretty good so I made it, of course with some modifications.  Everyone including my son loved much so that whenever he comes over, he asks me "can you make that salad for me to take home". I must have made this 4 times this month already, since the party which was in end of Sept. of this year.
Takes only few minutes to make.

    • 3-4  tomatoes or one pack of grape tomatoes
    • 1  English cucumber
    • 2 cups of sour cream (fat free or low fat) or to taste
    • 1  cup of plain Greek yogurt
    • 1 small pack (.75 oz) of dill
    • 1 small bunch of Cilantro
    • 3 teaspoon of salsa powder
    • 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
    • Juice from 1/2  fresh lime or lemon (I used lime)
    • 3 Tablespoon of Balsamic vinaigrette salad dressing
    • 1 teaspoon of salt or to taste
    • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
    • 1 teaspoon of granulated sugar 
    • 1 fresh pomegranate for garnish (optional)
    • 2 Roma tomatoes sliced for garnish if desired.

    • Wash and cut cucumber in small quarters, you may peel it or leave the skin intact . I did it both ways.
    • Dice Roma tomatoes is cubes, if using grape tomatoes you may just cut in halves.
    • Wash and finely chop cilantro and dill.
    • Combine all the ingredient together in a large bowl.
    • Garnish with pomegranate seeds and sliced tomatoes.
    • Chill and serve.
    • This recipes yields ~ 8 servings.



    Recipe adapted and modified by Surekha from a recipe at
    Photographs by Surekha.
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    Saturday, October 10, 2015

    Hungarian Peppers Stuffed with Quinoa

    My husband loves stuffed Hungarian peppers. He likes them spicy, so I don't take the seeds and veins out of peppers after slitting them lengthwise for filling.  I have tried different kind of fillings for these peppers and have posted a few in past.  If you desire them not too be very spicy, you may opt to take the seeds out, you can use any kind of peppers for this recipe.

    • 8 Hungarian peppers
    • 1 cup Quinoa
    • 1/3 cup cream of wheat
    • 1 yellow onion
    • 4 spring onions
    • 4 tomatoes
    • 1 teaspoon ginger paste 
    • 1/2 cup red pepper paste (from a jar I bought from local middle eastern store)
    • 1 small bunch of cilantro
    • 4 cups water
    • 1/4 cup olive oil
    • 1.5 teaspoon cumin seeds
    • 1/8 teaspoon asefoetida (optional)
    • Juice from one fresh lime
    • 2 teaspoon paprika
    • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
    • 2 teaspoon cumin powder 
    • 1 tablespoon coriander power
    • 2 teaspoon mango powder
    • 1 teaspoon garam masala (All spice)
    • Salt to taste and 1 tablespoon of sugar

    • Take one cup of Quinea in a microwave safe bowl
    • Pour four cups of water in this.
    • Cook quinoa in Microwave for 10 min, check in between so it does not overflow in microwave.
    • When cooked take it out of microwave, do not discard water.

    • While quinoa is cooking, you can chop onions, green onions, cilantro and ginger paste in microwave.
    • Set the chopped paste aside.
    • In food processor or blender puree tomatoes and red pepper paste and set aside this puree. 

    • Heat oil in a frying pan.
    • When oil is hot add cumin seeds and when these crackle add asefoetida.
    • Add chopped onion past to this and saute for few minutes
    • Add cream of wheat.
    • Saute on medium low heat until cream of wheat is light brown.
    • Add tomatoes and pepper paste.
    • Cook for few seconds
    • Add cooked quinoa with water.
    • Add all the dry spice and salt.
    • Add 1 cup of water.
    • Cook until some water is reduced.
    • Add lime juice, and sugar.
    • Mix well and set aside.
    • Slit  the Hungarian pepper lengthwise with step intact.
    • If don't want the prepared dish to be very spicy then you  may take the veins and seeds from peppers out.  Otherwise let them be. May want to use gloves, when handling these peppers.
    • Fill the cooked quinoa filling in to peppers.
    • Arrange them in  9 x 13 microwave safe casserole.
    • Cover with plastic wrap.
    • Cook in microwave for 10-15  min or until desired tenderness of peppers.
    • Serve with Naan or chapati or rice.

    Recipe and Photographs by Surekha.
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