Navratan Korma

My south Indian Navratan Korma is a curry comprised of 9 vegetables, comforting spices, and is thick, rich, and creamy. Cooking this dish is a bit of a process with about 3-4 different cooking steps, but it is well worth the time and effort. I like making a huge batch of this once every couple of weeks on which I’ll feast for 3-4 days straight. Although navratan korma may be a process, it is absolutely delicious and my favorite curry to make at home.

Veggies

  • 1 large red onion
  • 2 tbsp tahini or yogurt*
  • 1-10 oz block paneer or tofu*
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1/2 package mushrooms*
  • 2 carrots*
  • 1 squash*
  • 1 bell pepper*
  • 1/2 c green beans*
  • 1/2 c frozen corn*
  • 1/2 c frozen peas*
  • 2 roma tomatoes
  • 2 c+ water

Spices

  • 1 tsp pulao masala for paneer*
  • 1 tsp pulao masala for veggies*
  • 1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
  • 1 tsp jeera/cumin seeds
  • 1 heaping tbsp coriander powder
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp pulao masala in curry*
  • salt to taste

Recipe

To begin, slice your onion and throw in a pan with oil on high heat and salt to fry until browned. While onions are cooking, chop your paneer into small cubes and fry with the pulao masala until it becomes golden brown on edges (a nonstick pan is best for the paneer).* Set the paneer aside. Once the onions are browned, let them cool for about 5 minutes, and transfer them into a blender and add tahini.

Begin cooking your onions, carrots, and mushrooms in a pan with oil on high heat. Once they start browning, add the squash, bell pepper, and frozen veggies. Cook until the frozen veggies are thawed, sprinkle on the pulao masala, combine well, and set aside. Blend the fried onions with the tahini and a little water until it forms a thick paste.

Heat a pan over medium heat with oil. Add the jeera and let splatter. Now empty the tahini/onion mixture into the pan and cook. After 3-5 minutes, incorporate the ginger garlic paste, and cook another 3 minutes. Chop roughly and blend the 2 roma tomatoes into a puree. Now, dump the chili and coriander powder into the mixture. Cook another 2-3 minutes or until the raw aroma of the spices subsides.

Pour the tomato puree into the onion/spice paste, and mix well. This will need to cook for 5-10 minutes, or until it appears that most of the moisture from the tomato puree has evaporated.

Ok, time to add the water and make this an actual curry. Slowly begin adding the 2 c water to the paste. Stir as you go, and stop adding water once you’ve reached a desired consistency. Once you think you’ve reached a good consistency, add the pulao masala, vegetables, and paneer and cook for another 2+ minutes. Alrighty, your navratan korma is ready to devour!

Serve with rice, parathas, naan, chapatis, or as is.

*Paneer and yogurt are totally optional as this recipe makes a great vegan dish as well with the tahini giving a creamy texture and tofu acting as a substitute for paneer. Also, this might be a recipe for a “9 vegetable” dish, but use what you have. It is absolutely delicious with 4-5 veggies as a regular vegetable korma. Traditionally, garam masala is used in this recipe as opposed to pulao masala. However, I prefer pulao masala so… use what you enjoy!

P.S. It may not look delicious, but it’s freaking amazing!

Tofu Broccoli Stir Fry

Stir fry is one of those delicious easy dishes where you can use anything in your fridge and freezer! Tofu broccoli stir fry is full of protein and healthy vegetables combined with a spicy, sweet, and tangy sauce that brings everything together.

Ingredients

  • 1 block tofu
  • 1/3 c egg whites
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp agave
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
  • 2-3 tbsp sambal olek
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 3 c frozen broccoli
  • 1 c frozen peas
  • 1/2 c frozen corn
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 1 tsp agave
  • 1 lime

Recipe

Heat a wok with oil and chop the tofu. Throw the tofu in the pan, and once it has browned, add the soy sauce, agave, and sesame oil. Now set the tofu to the side and cook your egg whites through. Throw your egg whites to the side with the tofu.

Now add some more oil to the pan, and add your onions, zucchini, ginger garlic paste, and sambal olek to the pan. Let them cook for about 5 minutes, and add the frozen vegetables, soy sauces, agave, and lime. Cook until the vegetables are no longer frozen, and there is no water in the pan. This should be about 5-10 minutes.

Now add the tofu and egg white back into the pan, give it a toss, and it’s ready to serve!

Fast Homemade Pizza

Ladies and gentlemen, I tried to make a quick fast homemade pizza dough recipe for years and finally came to a good recipe about a year ago. You can make this dough in about hours, or longer if you desire, and the crust is great! The crust is thick, chewy, crispy, and full of flavor. Thanks to ArtisanBreadwithSteve for introducing me to this recipe and showing me just how easy and fast it is!

Ingredients for Dough

  • 13 oz warm water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp instant yeast
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 1/2 c bread flour
  • 2 tsp paprika for color and flavor
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 garlic clove

Toppings

  • 4 tbsp tomato paste
  • 6-8 oz gouda and cheddar cheese (usually I use mozzarella)
  • 1/2 onion – carmelized
  • 1/2 c pineapple
  • whatever your heart desires
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • garlic clove from above

Recipe

For the dough you need to heat your bowl and water a little; I do it at the same time in the microwave for about 1 1/2 minutes.

Next add your salt, olive oil, and yeast to the water. Mix well, and add your flour and paprika. Now mix the flour and dough until all the flour is incorporated into the dough. Cover it with a lid or plastic wrap add let sit in the oven with only the light on for about 2 hours. (I made this recipe with active dry yeast, let it rise 4 hours, and it was perfectly fine!)

Once the dough has about doubled in size, it’s ready to spread onto a baking sheet and top with tomato paste, cheese, and the rest of your favorite things! If you use a little olive oil on your hands and the pan, it will make spreading the dough easier. Heat up the 1 tbsp butter with the clove of garlic in the microwave for about 20 seconds, and brush on the crust before placing in the oven.

Totally forgot to take a pic of the dough. So sorry!

Bake for about 20 minutes, or until the crust starts to turn golden brown. Heat up the 2 tbsp butter with the garlic clove from earlier some salt and pepper for about 30 seconds, and now you have your own garlic dipping sauce! Your delicious fast homemade pizza is ready to enjoy!

Spicy Mac n Cheese

Mac n cheese is one of my guilty pleasures in life. Ever since I was a child, I have loved mac n cheese. Since then, I have come a long way in my exploration of making it; from velveeta single-serving cups in college to homemade spicy mac n cheese now. It has taken me years to come up with my perfect mac n cheese. I used to think the only way you could make it properly was with a roux, but I hated the texture. If you have found yourself in this predicament, this is the recipe for you! Soft, creamy, and smooth, my mac n cheese is a breeze to make and a pleasure to eat.

Ingredients

  • 2 c water
  • 1 c elbow pasta
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp ras al hanout*
  • sprinkle of cayenne*
  • 1 c evaporated milk*
  • 1 tbsp butter*
  • 3 oz cheddar cheese*
  • 4 oz gouda cheese*

Recipe

This mac n cheese is not traditional; we’re going to cook everything together in one pan, preferably a skillet or wok. Add the water to the pan and let it boil. While it comes to a boil, grate your cheese. It might seem like a lot of cheese, because it is! And it explains why this recipe my guilty pleasure!

Once the water is boiling, add your salt and pasta and let cook for about 2/3 the time listed on the package. Once 2/3 time has elapsed, add the spices and evaporated milk. Now cook until your pasta is tender according to your preference.

If at any point it seems like there is not enough liquid in the pan, add some more water or milk. It definitely won’t hurt, just make sure not to add too much as you can’t take it out. If it does seem that you added too much liquid, don’t fret. The more you stir your pasta and liquid, the more liquid will evaporate, so stir away.

Once, your pasta is tender, and the liquid situation looks good (you still want a little liquid in the pan to help the cheese coat the pasta well), turn off the heat and stir in your cheese. Now your spicy and indulgent mac n cheese is ready to devour!

*You absolutely don’t have to add the spices, but I think they make it better. Use whatever cheese you desire: all cheddar, colby jack, vegan cheese. Butter and milk are optional as well, just make sure you substitute the milk with a non-dairy version.

**Many thanks to Franki Celenza for opening my eyes to cooking mac n cheese this way!

Egg White and Bean Tacos

Egg white and bean tacos are filling and delicious, and – even better – they’re easy as can be. These tacos are perfect for your weekend, especially if you don’t want to spend a lot of time cooking! Plus, they’re filled with iron and protein. Hope you enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 1 can of vegetarian refried beans
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • fresh coriander
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 bell pepper
  • ras al hanout
  • 1/2 c egg whites
  • 1/2 avocado
  • cheese
  • spinach
  • 2 tortillas
  • 1/2 lime
  • yellow bird habanero hot sauce

Recipe

Heat up some oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Chop your garlic, and add it to the oil to saute until it begins turning brown. Once the garlic is brown, add the refried beans and cook until warmed through. Turn off the heat, chop your coriander, and add it to the beans.

Heat some oil in a skillet over high heat. Chop your onions, and add them to the pan. While the onions are cooking, chop the zucchini and bell peppers and add to the pan after the onions become translucent. Saute everything together for 5-10 minutes or until the zucchini starts to get a little color on it. Now shake over some ras al hanout, flip to combine, and turn off the heat.

Heat a pan over medium heat and warm your tortillas. Now in the same pan, add some oil or butter before adding the eggs whites. Cook the egg whites until solid.

Now throw everything on the tortillas with the avocado, cheese, spinach, and hot sauce, and spritz some lime over them. Time to chow down!

Garlic Oil Pasta w/ Broccoli

Garlic Oil Pasta & Broccoli is one of my favorite pasta recipes these days. It’s simple, fast, and requires very few ingredients. I grew up thinking pasta required cheese to be good, but this pasta and broccoli is so garlicy and delicious, it disproves my thoughts completely. While it may be ridiculously easy and have few ingredients, this dish is so flavorful you will not be able to put down your fork. (I was barely able to put my fork down to write this recipe!)

Ingredients

  • 2 servings of angel hair pasta or thin spaghetti
  • 4-6 cloves garlic
  • 1/3 c olive oil (good quality if you have the resources)
  • 3 c frozen broccoli
  • salt and pepper
  • chili flakes*

Recipe

Over high heat, bring a pot with water to a boil, and salt the water generously (I’m talking a small handful of salt). Once the water is boiling, add your pasta. Make sure to set a timer to cook the pasta to “al dente” which means you undercook it a little, because we will cook the pasta some more later.

In a skillet over medium heat, pour in half of the olive oil and let it heat while you chop your garlic. Once the oil is warm, add the garlic and let it begin to saute. You want it to become fragrant without burning it.

When it begins to turn brown, add your broccoli to the pan with about 1/2 c of the pasta water. Cover with a lid and let steam for about 2-3 minutes.

When your timer goes off for the pasta, extract it from the pasta water (which we want to keep) and place it in the pan with the broccoli. Combine everything and add more (but not all) of the olive oil.

At this point, you want to make sure your broccoli is no longer frozen or is cooked to your liking. Go ahead and add your black pepper and chili flakes now as well.

Next, we want to assess the liquid situation happening in the pan. The end goal is to get the pasta to have a velvety sheen on it. We will achieve a velvety sheen by adding pasta water and olive oil back and forth and letting the everything saute over high heat together for a minute before we add anything else. The pasta water and the oil are creating a kind of sauce coating the pasta. It might take a little practice, but it’s not too hard to get.

Once you are satisfied with the liquid situation, velvety sheen, and saltiness, it’s ready to eat! Enjoy!!

*The spiciness and garlicyness of this recipe are wholly up to you! Also, it’s not recommended to add cheese just because it’s an oil based pasta, but if you do, parmigiano reggiano is the one to use!

Palak Tofu

Palak tofu is healthy, zingy, and full of fiber and protein; it is my version of palak paneer. Created out of a need for an economical paneer substitute, palak tofu is just as delicious. If you can find/make and afford paneer, you can use this recipe to make an amazing palak paneer, but palak tofu is fantastic and happens to be vegan!

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch or 9 oz bag of palak/spinach
  • handful of coriander/cilantro
  • 1 block tofu*
  • oil for cooking*
  • 1 tsp jeera/cumin seeds
  • 5-8 cloves garlic*
  • 1 large red onion
  • 1 jalepeno*
  • 1/2 bell pepper*
  • 2 roma tomatoes
  • 1 c water
  • salt to taste (about 1 1/2 tsp for me)
  • 1 heaping tsp garam masala

Recipe

Wash your palak and boil some water to blanch it. When blanching your palak, you only need to let it sit in the water for about 15 seconds or until it turns bright green. Once it is blanched, drain it and rinse with cold water to stop it from continuing to cook. Now blend your spinach and cilantro together; it may require a little water to blend properly which is ok.

It should look smooth like this, and will be about a cup or so of puree.

Now, heat a pan over medium heat with the oil (I used butter, oops) and chop your garlic and tofu while it heats. Once the oil is hot, add the jeera and garlic and allow to turn light brown before adding the tofu. You’ll want to fry your tofu until it gets some color and add some salt as both add flavor.

I’m very much a “use as few pans as possible” girl. You can cook the tofu separately if you like though, so it doesn’t break or crowd the pan.

While the tofu is cooking, chop your onions and tomatoes. Once the tofu is cooked to your liking, add the onions and let them turn translucent. Once the onions are translucent, add the tomatoes and let them soften. After they become fairly soft, smoosh the tomatoes on the side of the pan so they will break down into a paste faster. At this point, you can add your garam masala as well to let it cook a minute before adding the coriander/palak puree.

When I add the tomatoes, I add them to the side of the pan, so I can pay special attention to them and smoosh them up later more easily.

Add your coriander/palak puree to the pan after the tomatoes cook another 2-3 minutes and combine everything well. If the consistency is too think at this point, begin adding the cup of water until it reaches a consistency with which you’re happy. After your palak tofu is all combined, taste for seasoning, adjust, and let cook about 2 minutes before taking off the heat. The longer you cook everything, the darker your palak will become. So if you want it to remain bright green, keep your cooking time low. Time to enjoy!

This can be a fairly fast recipe, I’ve got it down to 20-30 minutes now depending on how I prep it!

*I encourage substituting paneer for tofu if you can, and it’s your thing. Also, use what you like or can eat! There is a lot of garlic in this recipe, and I think it works well. But adjust the garlic and jalepeno to your liking!