Black-eyed peas & Corn-on-cob Stew

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The idea of corn-on-cob into the bean stews seems bit rustic in style. But if you are game to let your fork down for a while, it can reward you with more complex flavors than you would have otherwise got from using only loose corns.

BLACK-EYED PEAS & CORN-ON-COB STEW

Serves for  two

Ingredients:

1-2 corn cobs (cut into halves or quarters, as per your preference)
3 cups of black-eyed peas (soaked overnight)
2-3 small potatoes
1 onion
1 cup of spinach
2 tablespoon of olive oil
1/2 teaspoon crushed fenugreek seeds
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1-2 green chili peppers
2-3 cloves of garlic
7-8 curry leaves (optional)
pinch of asafoetida
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
2 teaspoon curry/ masala powder of your preference
2-3 cups vegetable stock/ water
Salt to taste

Method:

  1. In a pot/ pressure cooker, heat oil.
  2. Fry a tempering of crushed fenugreek seeds, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, curry leaves, asafoetida, chopped garlic, chopped green chili peppers, and curry leaves, till fragrant.
  3. Add turmeric powder, then chopped onion, and then mix.
  4. Once onion starts losing color, add curry powder. Sauté till it loses its raw smell.
  5. Add potato chunks, corn cobs, and soaked black-eyed peas and mix.
  6. Add vegetable stock/ water. Season with salt.
  7. Cover and let the stew cook on medium heat. In pressure cooker it would take 15 minutes (about two whistles). Open pot would require about 25-3o minutes.
  8. Check if potatoes are done. If yes, then add chopped spinach.
  9. Let it wilt (about 3 minutes) and then take pot off the heat.

It is usually served with rice or flatbreads. For a lighter week lunch, we had it with a pot of quinoa. I also do not see why it cannot be a one-pot meal. The addition of curry masala powder would make it spicy. For a non-spicy version, you can altogether skip adding it. The basic tempering would be enough for bringing all the flavors together. I used black-eyed peas because I happened to have those at that time, but they can be substituted with other dried beans (like lima, red, butter beans, or chick peas). So go ahead, and take a chance with those corn cobs into a pot of bean stew.

Avocado Crouton Vegetable Salad

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Last evening, I came home knowing that there were two perfectly ripe avocados in my kitchen basket, which needed to be used at once. Not really an obligation, considering my new-found obsession for them. I love avocados in all forms. So even yesterday, I could have happily settled for avocado toast or guacamole.  Then, I had a sudden craving that I should diversify a bit, and somehow increase the vegetable portion in my meal. Yet, I was too tired for making any elaborate plan and preparation. The quick fix, then I thought, would come from an avocado salad bowl. I always have packets of cut frozen vegetable soup or stir fry mixes in my freezer. Using one of those, and some other common residents of my kitchen pantry, I prepared the following:

AVOCADO CROUTON VEGETABLE SALAD

Ingredients:

2 ripe avocados
A mix of soup/ stir fry vegetables (carrot, corn, green beans, peas, potato, leek)
1 cup vegetable stock
2 bread toasts, cut into crouton-sized chunks
1-2 tbspoons of lemon juice
1-2 tbspoons of herb mix or za’atar spice mix
Dash or two of olive oil
Salt to taste

Method:

  1. Stone, peel, and chop/ pulp avocados.
  2. Warm a dash of olive oil in a wok, and stir the vegetable mix on high heat. Sprinkle some salt and herb/ spice mix over it, add a cup of stock (or water) and let the vegetable cook in the combined juices, for about 5 minutes.
  3. Once vegetables are cooked, take the wok off the heat/ flame.
  4. Add avocado pulp and toasted croutons over the vegetables. Squeeze lime juice over everything and mix well.

It was unassuming, yet comforting and tasty. Perfect for the week night dinner, when you want a healthy home-cooked meal at the least expense of time  and energy.