Sometimes, only handful of things, the usual fare out of your pantry or refrigerator shelves, are enough to create most memorable of your meals. This dinner of ours on a weekday night was one such. The recipe is really crisp, so I will keep my preface the same to match it. Just two words- Classic delight 🙂
2 servings of noodles (cooked al dente, as per the directions)
About 8-10 mushrooms (I used baby bella)
1 white onion
Handful of spring onion/ Scallion
1 inch of ginger
4-5 cloves of garlic
2-3 green chili peppers
Olive oil to stir fry (about 3-4 tablespoons)
Tamari sauce to taste
Vinegar to taste
- Heat a wok. Swirl it with dashes of olive oil for stir-frying
- On high heat, fry thinly chopped green chili peppers, garlic cloves, and julienned ginger, till fragrant.
- Add half-sliced onion, over it till it turns translucent.
- Add sliced mushrooms and fry till slightly seared. Do not cover the pan.
- Season with tamari and vinegar.
- Mix in the pre-cooked al dente noodles. Stir-fry everything for a moment.
- Sprinkle with thinly chopped scallion/ spring onion leaves and it is ready!
Well, technically, it is not a risotto. I will give you that. Neither it has rice, nor it is sprinkled with cheese. Yet, it is as creamy and flavorful. The ancient grain barley, is full of complex carbohydrates, such as starch and cellulose. Cellulose is an important dietary fiber and starch makes it a power-pack of energy. A moderate portion goes a long way. While for a meal for two, I usually take 1.5 or 2 cups of rice, only a cupful would suffice with the barley. As far as you are not gluten-intolerant, barley makes a good addition to your repertoire of staple grains.
Today’s barley risotto is, in fact, a no-recipe kind. I simply, put all the ingredients together, pressure-cooked for 15 minutes…and it is ready to be served. Perfect as a quick lunch on weekdays.
TOMATO BARLEY RISOTTO
1 cup pearl barley
2 cups of tomato puree
1-2 bay leaves
1 piece of cinnamon
3-4 cloves/ black pepper
1-2 dried red chilli pepper
1 teaspoon dried mint
1 teaspoon dried basel
1 teaspoon sumac powder (optional)
Salt to taste
A dash of olive oil
1 cup vegetable stock or water
- Simply mix everything together in a pot/ pressure cooker. Cover/ apply pressure. Cook till barley is done (15 minutes in pressure cooker, a bit more in covered pot).
- Enjoy with a side of any vegetable stir fry!
A long break in posting. While last few weeks could not possibly have kept me from cooking, they definitely succeeded in keeping me away from the blog.
I am glad, though, to return with a worthy recipe. Its ingredients are modest and common, which together develop into elegantly layered flavors. Mujadara is a Lebanese dish that is made of rice and lentils. While it is quite likely to be available on the menu of your favorite Mediterranean restaurant, it is essentially one of those preparations that have been cooked for centuries, across community and household kitchens of their respective food culture. Thus, you would find many variations of mujadara across print and internet resources. At its utmost basics, it is lentils and rice cooked together. More often than not,it would also be garnished with caramelized onion. With varying spices and additional flavorers, you can have endless possibilities. My take on it is vegan one-pot,which becomes a complete meal with addition of vegetables.
1.5 cups of brown rice
1 cup of brown lentils
1 medium-sized potato
1 cup of chopped spinach (I used frozen)
2 medium-sized onions
3-4 cups of vegetable stock and/ or water
3-4 tablespoons olive oil
3-4 garlic cloves
1 stick of cinnamon
2-3 bay leaves
1-2 tablespoon of red chili flakes
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
Salt to taste
Dried herbs like mint or basil (optional)
Fresh green herb like coriander or chives (optional)
Lemon wedges (optional) for serving
- If using dried lentils, wash and soak them for at least 3-4 hours.
- Wash and soak rice for about 15 minutes.
- In a thick-bottomed pot/ pressure cooker, heat 2 tablespoons of oil on a medium-high setting.
- Add half-sliced thick onion to it. Sprinkle with salt and herbs, and caramelize till golden brown with constant stirring. When done, transfer quarter of it onto a plate and keep aside.
- Add remaining oil, and fry the spices (bay leaves, cloves, cinnanmon, cumin seeds, and red chili flakes) and chopped garlic in it till fragrant.
- Add chopped potato and carrot. Sauté for 2-3 minutes.
- Add drained rice and lentils to the pot, sauté for five minutes.
- Stir in the spinach.
- Season with salt.
- Add stock and/ water. Cover the pan/ pressure cooker and cook till rice is tender and chewy but not mushy.
- Serve with generous topping of caramelized onions, fresh herbs, and a squeeze of lemon.