Tag Archives: healthy recipes

Anda Curry (Egg Curry)…My way!

anda, anda curry, bengali egg curry, egg curry

Anda Curry is one of Piyush’s favorite dinners.  It’s inexpensive, incredibly quick to throw together and is super simple to make! In fact, it’s so easy that Piyush is usually the one who makes this dish for himself–although his recipe is completely different than mine.  He likes his curries “watery” and I prefer mine thick.  Tomato, Tuhmahto. 

The hardest part to this curry is cooking the eggs, and even that is easy if you know a few tricks. Continue reading

Tamatar Shorba (Indian Spiced Tomato Soup) Vegetarian & Vegan Friendly

tamatar shorba, indian tomato soup, tomato soup, spiced tomato soup, indian tamatar shorba, tomato shorba, tamatar shorba

Tamatar Shorba with Spiced Grilled Cheese Sliders

Last year at this time tomato soup would have been the last thing on my mind!  Instead, I was preoccupied with my “baby” plants, berry picking and killing those stubborn Canadian Thistles…Seriously, how do you get rid of those things?!

Unfortunately, this year has been the complete opposite of the last.  Winter is holding on tight, refusing to budge.  Looking out the window, one would think it was December, not May!  It’s been a long winter and I’m beginning to feel a little confused (and a whole lot irritated!)–unsure if I should be planning my gardens or digging out the Christmas decorations.

As you can probably imagine, I’ve been daydreaming a lot about the warmth of India. I’ve even gone so far as to tell Piyush I think we should move there.  Sell the house, ship our stuff overseas and live happily in the tropics–with an air conditioner to keep us cool, of course.  I’d grow my own black pepper plants, drink liters of chai every single day and we’d have our very own mango tree in the back garden.   Continue reading

Diets Don’t Have to Be Torture (but they usually are) & Mexican Spiced Shrimp

Mexican Spiced Shrimp with Black Beans topped with a dollop of Greek Yogurt

Mexican Spiced Shrimp with Black Beans topped with a dollop of Greek Yogurt

I’ve mentioned once or twice a million times that I’ve been on a diet.  How exciting?!  Actually, I’m trying to think of it more as a lifestyle change.  I’m not depriving myself, I’m just not over-doing it, either.

My new way of eating really focuses on portion sizes and eating more frequently.  Truthfully, it sucks.  That being said, it works.

Most of the food I’ve been cooking lately has been incredibly unexciting.  Because I’ve been busier than usual the past couple months, Continue reading

Besan Chillas: Chickpea Flour Pancakes with Veggies & Shrimp (can be made vegan!)

**This recipe can easily be made Vegetarian or Vegan**

I mentioned, a few days ago, about using leftover Indian Spiced Shrimp (recipe HERE) to make my husband a special, savory Indian-inspired breakfast.  Now, if you don’t eat shrimp, are looking for a vegan option, or are hoping to find a gluten-free alternative to pancakes, this recipe is very flexible and will definitely suit your needs–and your taste-buds!

This recipe came about because I was craving carbs.  That’s the simple truth.  I wanted carbs, and I wanted them now.  More specifically, I wanted pancakes.  Big, fluffy pancakes.  But, because I’m trying to eat healthy and watch my waistline (a never ending battle!), I thought I’d replace regular flour with besan flour (flour made from ground chickpeas).

Chickpeas are healthy, right?  I am always so amazed by how many different things you can make with the humble chickpea!  I’ve made everything from Indian spiced hummus, to curries, to pies!  Yes, a pie made out of chickpeas!  A chai-flavored chickpea pie, to be exact.

bean pie

recipe not yet posted…sorry! It will be eventually. :)

I wanted to increase the protein and fiber in my pancake, so I added chopped left-over shrimp and vegetables.  It was settled, I knew what was for breakfast.  Even better, I had left-over garlic and coriander raita to slather on top!

Indian chickpea pancake, chickpea pancake, besan pancake, besan flour pancake, savory pancake, Indian pancake with raita

Besan Chilla…smothered in garlic and cilantro raita and sprinkled with chopped coriander

Continue reading

Easy Indian Spiced Shrimp with Garlic and Cilantro Yogurt Sauce

Yogurt, Garlic and Cilantro Dipping Sauce (Raita)

Yogurt, Garlic and Cilantro Dipping Sauce (Raita)

I hope everyone had a safe and wonderful time celebrating the New Year!  2012 was a pretty good year for Piyush and I; and I’m so excited to see what 2013 has in store for us!

I’m also stoked (yes, I said “stoked!”) about what’s in store for My Fancy Pantry in 2013!  Thank you all for taking time out of your day to read what I write, cook what I cook, and especially for sharing your thoughts and comments with me.  I appreciate it more than I can even express! Continue reading

mussels and rice

Indian Inspired Mussel Pilaf

I’m not a huge fan of seafood, but the other night while I was paging through one of my cookbooks (Gordon Ramsay’s Great Escape: India) I noticed a beautiful photo of a whole sea bass cooked in banana leaves.  I haven’t been able to get it out of my mind since.  It’s pretty much embedded.

I’ve had Mr. Ramsay’s cookbook for quite some time now, but have yet to cook anything out of it; so I was really excited to give this recipe a go.  Unfortunately for me, buying a whole sea bass in Rochester is absolutely impossible.  I can’t even have it ordered from our local grocery stores.  Seriously.

Luckily, the man behind the fish counter was very knowledgeable and extremely helpful.  He called his supplier to see what they could offer me.  They had a few options, and he suggested I try the strawberry grouper.  I ordered a couple fish and should be able to pick them up tomorrow.

Now that my dinner plans were officially and completely shot–yes, I am that dramatic–I decided to buy a pound of mussels and do something with those instead.

mussels: scrubbed and de-bearded

I brought my mussels home and sorted through them.  Any mussels that will not stay closed when they’re pressed on should be tossed aside.  They’re most likely dead.   The photo below shows a mussel that has not yet been cooked, but refuses to keep it’s shell fastened shut.

Mussel won’t close before cooking? Throw that sucker out!

Once the mussels were sorted and scrubbed, it was time to de-beard ‘em.

You see those nasty little string-like things poking out from the shell?  That’s the mussel’s beard.  I left this on until I was just about ready to toss them in my pot.  Removing them too soon could–and probably will–cause your mussel to die.

The easiest way to remove the beard is to just grab it and pull quickly.  I thought that some of the beards were really hard to remove, and patience is not something I’m known for, so I enlisted Piyush to help with this task.  I also don’t like killing things–not even mussels–but I guess that’s another issue all together.

After the mussels were cleaned, I still didn’t know exactly what I was going to make.  So I did what I always do when I don’t know what the heck I’m planning to make…

I diced an onion.

 

You’ve gotta start somewhere, right?

I looked in the fridge and found a green pepper, carrots and thai chilies.  I grabbed a couple potatoes, some frozen peas and some peeled roma tomatoes.  It was right then that I decided to make a mussel stew, similar to my bouillabaisse recipe.

I added some Indian spices and on a whim I decided to toss in some raw basmati rice.  It was absolutely brilliant.

Modesty, like patience, is not something I possess in large quantities…

Indian Inspired Mussel Pilaf

The mussels had so much flavor and the rice was incredibly fragrant.  Not only did this dish taste amazing, it was also relatively quick to make.  The entire meal took approximately an hour from start to finish.

Indian Inspired Mussel Pilaf

Now, before I post this recipe, I have to say that it is not an authentic Indian preparation.  It’s just inspired by my love of spice. :)

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. mussels– washed and de-bearded (see notes above)
  • 2 tbsp. oil (I used a mix of olive oil/ghee)
  • 1 large white onion- diced
  • 5 garlic cloves- crushed and minced (add less if you don’t like garlic a lot)
  • 1″ piece of fresh ginger- peeled, smashed and minced
  • 1 tsp. black mustard seeds
  • 4 thai chilies- slit (you may remove the membrane/seeds if you don’t like heat)
  • 1 large green bell pepper- diced
  • 2 medium potatoes- diced
  • 2 carrots- diced
  • 1/2 tsp. ground turmeric
  • 1 1/2 tsp. garam masala
  • 1 tsp. coriander powder
  • 1 tsp. cumin powder
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1″ small piece of cinnamon
  • 4 green cardamom pods- slightly crushed
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 2/3 c. dry white wine*
  • 14.5 oz. peeled roma tomatoes- diced (equivalent to 1 can store bought tomatoes)
  • 1 c. frozen peas
  • water- 1 c. to start
  • pinch of saffron
  • 1 c. basmati rice- rinsed
  • salt- to taste
  • pepper- to taste
  • fresh coriander (cilantro)- 2 handfuls, chopped (one for recipe, one for garnish)

*If you do not wish to use wine, you can use water.  No problem.

Directions:

  • Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat.  Add black mustard seeds.  Once they start to sizzle, toss in the diced onion, green bell pepper, carrot, chili peppers and potatoes.  Lower heat to medium, and sweat the vegetables until they become soft and tender.
  • Add ginger and garlic. Also add the turmeric, garam masala, coriander powder, cumin powder, bay leaf, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and 1 handful chopped coriander.  Cook for one to two minutes or until the raw smell disappears. Things should start sticking to the bottom of the pan, and you’ll notice things will turn a little brown.
  • De-glaze the pan with 2/3 cup of wine.  Stir everything really well and let this simmer for a few minutes or until the wine doesn’t smell so strong.  Add the tomatoes and cover the pan.  Let this cook for about 10 minutes, or until the tomatoes break down.
  • Add 1 c. water and a pinch of saffron.  Cover and let this simmer another 3-5 minutes.
  • Add the uncooked mussels to the tomato mixture and put the lid back on the pot.  Let the mussels steam for 5 minutes, then remove the lid.  Using a tongs, remove any mussels that have opened their shells and set them aside.  If there are any unopened mussels, place the lid back on the pot and let them steam an additional 2 minutes.  If they still do not open, they are most likely bad.  Toss them out.
  • Add 1 c. frozen peas.
  • Season with salt and pepper.
  • Add 1 c. raw basmati rice and an additional cup of water.  Cover the pot and let the rice cook.  After 10 minutes, check your rice.  Add more water, if needed.  The rice will take anywhere from 10-20 minutes to fully cook.
  • Once the rice is properly cooked, check the seasoning and add salt and pepper if needed.
  • Place the cooked mussels back into the pot of rice, place the lid back on the pot and turn off the heat.  Let the dish sit, covered for at least 3 to 4 minutes so the mussels re-heat.
  • Garnish with additional chopped coriander…and enjoy!

**NOTE**  I leave the whole spices in my dish, but if you would like you can remove them.  This can be difficult, but if you put all the whole spices in a little bag of cheesecloth before adding them to the pot it will make this task a lot easier.

I’ll get the printer-friendly recipe posted soon!

The only bad thing about this meal?

The lingering smell of the mussels.  Now my house is going to smell fishy for about a week.  Yuck.

DSC06403

Black Truffle, Prosciutto and Purple Potato Fritatta

I have so much I’d like to write about tonight, but the words just won’t flow.  Have you ever had a day like that?  It’s frustrating, to say the least.

This past Saturday and Sunday was my scheduled weekend to work; and man, was it a doozy.

Working at a hospital is hard.  Really hard.

Emotions–of all types–surround you everywhere you go.  There’s no escape.  Seriously.  I’ve even seen people crying or trying to hide in the stairwells because they were so overwhelmed with emotion.

You may see a family weeping in the hallways or comforting each other with tears in their eyes and hope in their hearts one moment.  A few minutes later–maybe even simultaneously, or just a few steps away–there may be another family celebrating good news with ringing laughter and ice cream cakes.

If you work in a hospital, you understand.  If you don’t, my rambling may make absolutely no sense; and for that, I apologize.

Now that I’ve got that somewhat out of my system, I’d like to introduce you to dinner!

I made this simple frittata in a manner of minutes using ingredients I had on hand and “dressing them up” with the very special addition of fresh black truffle.

Italian Summer Black Truffles

A little goes a long way with these suckers.  They have a really strong smell and impart a fantastic, earthy flavor into a dish.

I decided to thinly slice the truffles and add them to a fritatta along with a little diced prosciutto, boiled purple potatoes and chopped parsley.

I love how beautiful the inside of the truffle is. I find it almost hypnotizing.

I whisked 6 eggs with a little salt and pepper.  I added my other ingredients to the mix and got a oven-safe pan on the stove top.

I added a bit of oil to the pan.  Once it was nice and hot, I added my egg mixture.  I cooked it the same way one would cook an omelet, and once the eggs were about 2/3 of the way cooked…I tossed them in the oven–under the broiler.

The eggs cooked in the oven for approximately 2 minutes before my fritatta was finished.  Easy!

Coming out of the oven…

Once I pulled the fritatta from the oven, I scattered a bunch of fresh truffle slices on top (I used 2 decent-sized truffles for my fritatta).

 

Because I used an enormous pan, my fritatta was really thin–more like an omelet, I’d say.

I served my fritatta with a simple side salad and some fresh fruit.

stacked!

It kind of looks like a colorful pie there, doesn’t it?

Ohh…pie.  That reminds me.

There is a fabulous food event coming to the Minneapolis/St. Paul area in September.  It’s called The Food Experiments, and I’ve got to say…I’m really excited to be taking part!  It looks like a lot of fun.  Pie.  Beer.  Shenanigans.  What could be better?!

Check out their website (linked above), and if you’re in the area…you should snag some tickets before they’re sold out! Or, if you’re feeling quite daring, sign up to compete!

 After the great success of the 2011 National Tour, the Food Experiments will be bringing the show to Minnesota on September 30, 2012. It will be the twelfth stop on our 16 city tour, in which we bring together amateur chefs to create inventive takes on the event theme for a panel of local celebrity judges and an audience of food enthusiasts.

Exciting!!!