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Sunday, March 27, 2016

Cooked Savory Bulgur/Savory Daliya with Veggies: A Healthy Breakfast/Brunch Option

Bulgur  is a cereal food made from the groats of several different wheat species, most often from durum wheat.  Bulgur is a kind of dried cracked wheat. It is most common in European, Middle Eastern and Indian cuisine.
Bulgur for Turkish consumption is usually sold parboiled and dried, with only a very small amount of the bran partially removed. Bulgur is recognized as a whole grain by the USDA. and the Whole Grains Council. Bulgur is sometimes confused with cracked wheat, which is crushed wheat grain that has not been parboiled. Whole grain, high fiber bulgur and cracked wheat can be found in natural food stores, Middle Eastern specialty grocers, and some traditional grocery stores.  It has a light, nutty flavor. In Turkey, a distinction is made between fine-ground bulgur, called köftelik bulgur, and a coarser grind, called pilavlık bulgur. In the United States, bulgur is produced from white wheat in four distinct grinds or sizes (#1 Fine, #2 Medium, #3 Coarse and #4 Extra Coarse). The highest quality bulgur has particle sizes that are uniform thus allowing a more consistent cooking time and result.
Bulgur is also known as "Dalia" in North India. Dalia is popular all over the wheat-consuming regions of North India. It can be consumed as sweet dalia or regular dalia. 
Bulgur can be used in pilafs, soups, bakery goods, or as stuffing. In breads, it adds a whole grain component. It is a main ingredient in Tabbouleh salad and kibbeh. Its high nutritional value makes it a good substitute for  rice oo couscous.
In Indian cuisine, bulgur or daliya is used as a cereal with milk and sugar. In the United States is often used as a side dish, much like pasta or rice. In meals, bulgur is often mistaken for rice because it can be prepared in a similar manner, although it has a texture more like couscous than rice. A popular South American carnival food, bulgur is often prepared with flower pollen and tapioca syrup and fried in patties.
Daliya is a popular breakfast cereal in North India and is made with Bulgar or cracked. It can be made either as a sweet dalia kheer (poridge or pudding) or as savoury daliya.  This is the recipe for savoury Daliya that was often served on lazy Sunday mornings and this is  how we used to make it, when I was growing up in North India.

  • 2 cups of Bulgur
  • 1 cup of Mix veggies (Here I use frozen mix veggies which contain corn, carrots, peas and beans)
  • 1 cup of shelled edamame (I used frozen)
  • 2 medium potatoes
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 1 bunch of green onions

  • 1 green pepper (can use red or yellow pepper)
  • 1" piece of ginger
  • 1 bunch of cilantro
  • 1 juicy fresh lime
  • 4 tablespoon of butter or Ghee (clarified butter)
  • 4 tables spoon of olive oil
  • 2 teaspoon of cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon of black mustard seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon of asfoetida (optional if don't have it)
  • 1 sprig of curry leaves 
  • 1- 2 green chili pepper
  • 6 cups of water
  • 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper or to taste
  • 2 teaspoon of cumin powder
  • Salt to taste
If you have a pressure cooker, use it to cook this as it may take long time to cook it on stove, or you may pre-soak the roasted Bulgur for few hours before cooking. I did not pre-soak, because I used pressure cooker.  I must say, it is much faster to cook in pressure cooker.
Although I have never tried but I am sure you can cook this in a rice cooker as well.

* Peel and chop potatoes in small cubes.
* Peel and chop yellow onion. Wash and chop  green onions, and green / red pepper.
* Finely chop green chili pepper, peels and grate or finely chop ginger.
* Steam boil the mix veggies, edamame and potatoes. (I used a silicone steamer and cooked them in microwave)
* Heat oil in a pan and add cumin seeds, when these crackle add asefoetida, curry leaves, grated ginger.

* Add both chopped green and yellow onions and saute it until light brown.
* Add chopped green peppers (or red peppers if using red instead)
* Saute for 1-2 more min, then add steamed mix veggies, edamame and potatoes
* Add one cup of water and some salt and cook for 1-2 more min.
*Add one of the two chopped tomatoes.
*Set aside.

* Now take another pan and heat butter or Ghee, add cracked wheat and roast on medium heat for 2-3 min until golden brown. (will need to stir in constantly so does not get burnt)
* While doing this you can boil 4 cups of water on other stove top or in microwave.
* Turn the heat off when the cracked wheat are golden brown, add salt to taste and slowly and carefully add hot water.
*Be careful while pouring water the water and the Bulgar will splatter, keep stirring it with other hand.
* At this point you can pre-soak the roasted 
Bulgar if you don't have pressure cooker.
* Since I used pressure cooker I followed the next step immediately.
* Add all the onions peppers, potatoes and  veggies, with its water.
* Add turmeric, cumin powder and cayenner pepper powder, add tomatoes and one more cup of water.
* Then transfer the content to the  container in pressure cooker and pressure cook for 15 min (5-6 whistles).
* If you don't use pressure cooker, you can cook it on the stove until the Bulgar is tender and all the water is reduced. You may have to stir in between so it does not stick to the bottom of pan.
Turn the stove off .
* Let the cooker cools until all the steam is out.
* Open the pressure cooker and take the cooked Daliya out on to serving platter.

* Add lime juice and garnish with cilantro and rest of the chopped tomato.
* You may use pomegranate seed for garnish as well.
* Serve hot.
* I love this savoury Daliya with home made plain yogurt, but you may serve it with sweet or salty Lassi (chhas made out of yogurt.
* This recipe yields 8 generous servings.

Enjoy !!
Bulgur Information Source:
Recipe and Photographs by Surekha.
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Saturday, March 12, 2016

Taro Root and Portobello Mushroom Makhani with Saffron Rice

Makhani is a Hindi word meaning "with butter". It is used in the names of several dishes from  Punjabi Cuisine. Dal Makhani: made from beans and pulses. Paneer Makhani made from the Indian cheese also known as Paneer butter Masala and Murgh Makhani also known as "Butter Chicken"
    This recipe for the gravy can be used for any Makhani curry for example Paneer Makhani, Methi Matar Makhani and .Chicken Makhani (Butter chicken), Except that to make Chicken you have to marinate the chicken for several hours in yogurt and spice mixture before grilling or cooking it. (therefore you will have to make extra yogurt mixture for the marinade)
    I fell in love with Taro Root all over again after our trip to Hawaii in 2014.  I have posted other recipes with Taro root earlier and have given description for Taro root in those recipe so I am not going to go over it again.  I wanted to make this gravy with Taro root and Portebello mushroom. Both of these veggies have a body and  texture to it that I thought would go well with this curry and I was right, this came out delish !! I made saffron rice with it. basically same way that I make Basmati rice in Microwave (recipe on this blog) except I added 1/4 tesaspoon of saffron and little bit of butter along with olive oil before cooking.   Lately I have been buying Zafrani  Basmati Rice from Costco and they are amazingly good with great nutty Basmati rice flavor and  extra long grains. If you haven't tried it I highly recommend it ! 

    • 1 pack of sliced large Portobello mushrooms 
    • 1/2 (4 oz) pack of sliced baby Portobello mushrooms 
    • 1 yellow  onions
    • 1  red onion
    • 2 fresh green chili peppers (I used 1 large Jalapeno)
    • 6 taro root tubers
    • 1 teaspoon of ground ginger
    • 4-5 garlic cloves finely chopped 
    • 1/4 cup olive oil
    • 1 tbl spoon of butter
    • 1/8 teaspoon of asefoetida (optional if you don't have it is okay)
    • 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds
    • 4 green cardamom pods
    • 2 black cardamom pods
    • 2" stick of cinnamon
    • 2 bay leaves
    • 2 pods of dry red peppers
    • 1/2 teaspoon of fenugreek seeds (optional) 
    • 4 cloves
    • 1 cup of plain yogurt 
    • 1 cup of fat free sour cream
    • 2 cups of crushed tomatoes
    • 1 cup of Heavy whipping cream
    • 7-8 cashew soaked in water and ground to fine paste (optional, I did not use them this time)
    • 2 tbl spoon of coriander powder
    • 1 teaspoon of garam masala
    • 1 teaspoon of Turmeric powder
    • 1 tbl spoon of Paprika
    • 1 teaspoon of Cayenne pepper
    • 1/2 teaspoon of coarsely ground black pepper
    • 2 teaspoon of cumin powder
    • 1/4 teaspoon of  crushed saffron
    • 2 teaspoon of Salt or  to taste  
    • 2 cups of water
    • 1/2  teaspoon of dried Fenugreek leaves (Kasoori Methi) (optional, I did not use it because my son does not like it)
    For garnish:  (optional, you may simply garnish with chopped cilantro and drizzle some cream, but I wanted to garnish with sauteed onions mushroom to extra flavor, you may omit this step)
    • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
    • One yellow finely chopped onion
    • 1/2 (4 oz) pack of sliced baby Portebello mushrooms
    • One bunch of cilantro washed and chopped  
    • Some extra heavy cream for drizzle if desired.

        • Wash and peel Taro root and cut or slice them in to desired rounds or cubes.
        • You can pressure cook these sliced Taro root or cook them in microwave for 25-30 min with water deep enough in a pan so the slices are totally submerged in water.
        • I add some salt to the taro root and water before cooking in microwave or pressure cooker.
        • I used microwave a lot to cook my veggies and potatoes.
        • While taro root is cooking you can prep for gravy as follows.
        • Place sliced onions, ginger, garlic, and chili in food processor and puree and set aside. You may choose to puree ginger, garlic and chili separate and onion separate for better preserved flavor but I did it all together.
        • In a bowl whisk yogurt and sour cream together until smooth texture.
        • Add dried coriander powder, turmeric, paprika, garam masala, black pepper, cuyyenne pepper, ground cumin to this yogurt and mix well, set aside.
        • In another bowl mix crush tomatoes  and  cashew paste along with dried fenugreek leaves (Kasoori Methi) and puree it with hand blender, set aside.
        • In a sauce pan heat oil and butter together.
        • When oil is hot,  add cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds, when these crackle, add asefoetida.
        • Immediately bay leaves, green and black cardamom, cinnamon, cloves and dried red pepper pods.
        • Add onion, ginger, garlic and chili puree and saute on medium heat until light brown.
        • Then add sliced large portobello mushrooms and half of baby portobello mushroom and saute for additional 2 min.
        • Add yogurt and spice mix and cook for 2 min.
        • Add cashew and  tomato puree.
        • Add crushed saffron.
        • Cook for additional 2 min, then add cooked taro root, add water and cook for additional 5 min or until it boils.
        • Add cream last and mix well. Turn the stove off.
        For garnish:  (optional)
        • In another pan heat 1 tablespoon of oil and add chopped onions, saute until light brown.
        • Add another half of sliced baby portobello mushroom.
        • You can garnish this on each serving along with finely chopped cilantro and drizzle some cream. 
         Serve hot with Naan and Saffron rice.
        Enjoy !!
          Makhani definition info source:

          Recipe and Photographs by Surekha.
          Read More »
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