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Friday, March 8, 2013

Qeema Aur Shimla Mirch

There must be a thousand different ways to make this, every household does it differently.
Hope you like my version.

(cook time 15 minutes)
(serves 3-4)

White onion 1 small sized (about 1/2 cup chopped fine)
Minced fresh garlic 1/2 Tbs.
Thai chilies 3-4 medium sized sliced thinly (use less or more if you like)
Red bell pepper 1/2 large (cut into chunks)
Green bell pepper 1/2 large  (color of pepper won't matter use whatever you like)
Ground beef  1 Lbs. (you can use whatever meat you prefer)
I used fatty ground beef (16% fat) and therefore needed no cooking oil. If you are planning to use leaner meats then you will need around 2 Tbs. of your preferred cooking oil.


Coarse black pepper 1/2 tsp.
Black cumin seeds 1/2 tsp. (You can buy this easily at an Indian grocery store)
Turmeric 3/4 tsp.
Red chili flakes 3/4 tsp. (make adjustments if you'd like)
Fenugreek leaves 1 1/2 tsp.
Coriander powder 1/2 tsp.
Roasted cumin powder 3/4 tsp.
This is made by dry roasting cumin seeds on a nonstick pan. They will turn dark brown to almost black. Let them cool down completely and then grind into a powder. Keep an eye on them while roasting they go pretty fast and they shouldn't smell burnt.


Since I had used fatty ground beef my method was simple.
I combined all the ingredients and spices (except the peppers) together in a wide skillet and turned the heat on to medium high.
It took me under 15 minutes to cook this, I had to use a spatula to break down any lumps that formed.
I like the peppers to be not super tender and I added them in the last 4 minutes.

Method 2: (for leaner meats)

Heat cooking oil in a skillet to medium high.
Cook onions for 4-5 minutes or until soft.
Add garlic, chilies and spices... stir around for a minute.
Now you will add the ground beef to the skillet.
Use your spatula to make sure everything is well incorporated and break any lumps that might form.
Add peppers towards the end.
You are done.

This goes very well with most Indian breads like naan, roti or paratha.

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Friday, March 1, 2013

Raw Pear and Bean Sprouts Salad

Wonderful lunch :-)
This salad turned out quite nice... It was very easy to put together and had a re-freshing zesty flavor.

How to sprout beans

Sprout People has some good info on sprouting.

It took me close to 4 days to sprout the mung beans. I prefer them when the tails are very small, if you want them to be longer it will take you more than 4 days - I don't know how many because I haven't really tried that :-)

I had no special tools for sprouting I simply soaked them overnight  in plenty of water and then drained them. I then spread the beans in a colander and put them in a warm place for 2 days. I chose my oven because its cold here, otherwise your counter-top would be fine. Twice or thrice a day I sprinkled them with water. And then after a couple of days they just sprouted :-)

They had no bad coloring, no funky smells or any kind of bitter flavor.
They tasted wonderful. Light and crunchy!

It is quite a commitment to start prepping for lunch 4 days in advance :-) just skip them if you don't want to trouble yourself too much.

(prep time 10 mins)
(serves 1)

Bosc Pear 1 large (a little over 3/4 cup chopped)
Mung sprouts 1/3 cup
Red peppers 1/2 medium sized (1/2 cup chopped)
Salad greens 2 cups *I used Organic Girl's I heart baby Kale!
(baby kale, tango, baby spinach, baby green chard, green romaine, baby green oakleaf lettuce)


Red onions 1/2 Tbs - minced very fine
Garlic 1/4 Tbs - minced very fine
Macadamia nut oil 1 Tbs *I used Brookfarm Natural Macadamia Nut Oil
(I tend to consider most cold press nut oils as raw... I know some might not agree. So please don't use this if you have concerns)
Fresh lime juice 1 Tbs
Lime zest  1/4 tsp
Pink Himalayan salt 1/3 tsp
Fresh ground coarse pepper 1/8 tsp

Whisk together all the ingredients in a large bowl and keep aside.
You can use olive oil instead but macadamia oil was wonderful... very buttery and delicious. I highly recommend it.


Simply chop the pear and red pepper into chunky pieces.
Toss these in the vinaigrette along with the mung sprouts and pour over the greens.


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