Whole wheat Bread spiced just right- And stir fried!

Alright ! I confess I get cravings for the spicy , tangy kind. It could be midnight masala or an afternoon -I-want -something -different – crave.

I simply blame them on my genes of course. You see, I have heard from my mom that she often craved for spicy, tangy food during her life enduring phase with me. I beg to differ, I often though the traffic through the placenta was one way kind. After all, genetic makeup of a fetus is heavily influenced by the chromosomal contributors 🙂 Not the other way around!

Either way , I cannot simply endure toast for too long a time. So out pops this creation, to fulfill the craving of a spice deprived palate.

Be warned : this recipe is born out things available at hand , and can be made definitely healthier by addition of veggies. But once in a while, I would love to indulge in guilty bites:-)

Feeding the guilt :

  • Whole wheat bread –  6- 8 slices. Sliced into one inch squares.
  • Red/White/Yellow Onion – 1 Large – diced finely or as per viewer’s choice.
  • GreenThai chillis – 4-5 – chopped finely or slit lengthwise.
  • Turmeric powder – A pinch
  • Curry powder  – 1 tsp
  • White split Urad Dal – 1/4 tsp
  • Black mustard seeds  – 1/4 tsp
  • Asafoetida – A pinch
  • Curry Leaves  – A few
  • Handful of coriander leaves – chopped finely.
  • My open secret ingredient : Maggie hot and sweet tomato chilli sauce – 2 tsp
  • Olive oil : 2 tsp
  • Salt  –  to taste. I used about a 1/4 tsp for this recipe.

And your mouth begins to water …

  • Heat oil in a wok and add in the mustard seeds and pinch of Asafoetida. Add in the urad dal and when it turns brown in color add in the green chillis and curry leaves.  Add  in the pinch of turmeric powder.Sauté for a min or two.
  • Add in the chopped onions and cook them till them are fine and translucent.
  • Add in the curry powder and stir it in for about 30 seconds.
  • Now gently toss in the sliced bread squares. The idea is to coat in the flavors and spices evenly.
  • Now add in the pinch of salt and 2 tsp of maggie tomato chilli sauce.
  • Stir it in gently once again.(By now the aroma wafting from the stove should make your tummies rumble :-))
  • Add in the freshly chopped coriander and serve it right up!

 

Order up!

A fabulous trip down the memory lane !  Serve it with a cup of ginger chai. Life is Jil-Jil Jiga ( according to a very dear friend of my husband !)

Notes:

  • Make a healthier version of this by adding in freshly grated carrots, sprouts and sliced bell peppers
  • Tamarind sweet and sour chutney is a great substitute for the chilli sauce called for in the recipe
  • Bread a little over the shelf life ?? This recipe rescues it ! In fact this one of the  best ways to use it. My craving of course can warrant the use of the freshest bread when required.
  • Whole wheat dinner rolls could be substituted for bread as well.
  • Dont feel like eating chunks of bread?  leave the bread out on the counter aka airing it out for a couple of days. Finely crumble them and use it in the recipe 🙂
  • Feel the need for protein – Add in a few peanuts and you are in:-)

Happy indulging!

Collard Greens,Peppers and Cottage Cheese Stir Fry ( collard collage)

And I am back with a Bang ! Sigh! After watching one of those fantastically IQ challenged movies churned out by the Bollywood  ( Chennai Express anyone??) I felt the need to seriously fuel or rather revive my brain cells. In fact dissection of the movie and its contents created a bad hangover the following day ( Btw, is there  such a thing as a good hangover?). Good or bad, I really did need to get rid of it!

I channeled Popeye the sailor man! Extoling the virtues of spinach to  any and all including unleashing the lecture to a resisting, unsuspecting family member, yours truly decided  to rescue a particularly sad looking bunch of collard leaves from the refrigerator. A trip to the farmers market had yielded this bounty! And looking at that bunch, the one belonging to the Acephala family  (“without a head” in Greek) ) the irony struck me particularly funny . Watching the movie Chennai Express could particularly create the effect of transgressing several species at the genetic level! No offense to the Acephala group!

This particular recipe, is heavily inspired by a friend’s creation. ( Dearest Vidya, thanks  for inspiring an awesome organic chemical experiment .Maybe you will now give in to writing a piece for me 🙂 )

The wonderful organic experiment !

 Ingredients:

  1. A bunch of collard greens – ( mine were not particularly in the freshest of their spirits.  A week’s time in the refrigerator I suppose dampened their green spirits, albeit only mildly! )
  2. Red onion – I had a particularly large one at hand. And since I was feeling slightly edgy ( Readers to kindly note the root cause of the aforementioned edginess from the first paragraph ) decided to use the entire one. Yep, one large red onion!
  3. Red bell pepper – 1 large one. I had a big fresh one at hand and I try and incorporate it as much as I can in my cooking.
  4. Green bell pepper – 2 medium sized ones. I had these two at hand. I suppose if I had an extra one, I would have added it as well.
  5. Yellow bell pepper -1 large one. Figured more the merrier 🙂
  6. Roma tomatoes – 2 large ones. Ripe and firm. Not squishy at all !
  7. Pressed, cottage cheese : About 8 oz

Iron chef skill aka knife wielding skills !

  • Chop everything finely length wise ( Yes,even the Collard greens . And no, it did not take much time. About 10-15 min to chop a fairly large bunch) . Chop it to about an inch to inch and a half in length. Slivers any one?
  • The panner aka Indian cottage cheese need to be cut as much aligned to the shape of all the greens. 1.5 inches lengthwise.

 The Indian touch! – Dry Spices, Masalas 

  1. Jeera or Cumin seeds : ¼ tsp
  2. Turmeric powder : ½ tsp
  3. Fresh ground Dhania ( dry coriander seeds ) powder : ¼ tsp
  4. Paprika or Chiili powder : ½ tsp for the heat ( use it sparingly if you need to lower the heat level)
  5. Garam masala or Sabji masala : ½ tsp
  6. The necessary evil : fat of your choice : 2 tsp ( I used Olive oil,  the EVOO kind.)
  7. Salt : to taste . About ½ tsp

Fresh seasonings ( if you have it at hand)

  1. Freshly grated ginger : ¼ tsp
  2. Freshly grated garlic : ¼ tsp
  3. Fresh sprigs of coriander leaves, finely chopped . About a handful.

Sizzling in the wok :

  • Add in the olive oil, 2 tsp and when it heats up add in the Jeera seeds and let it sputter.
  • Then add in the fresh grated ginger and garlic (if using them).
  • Add in the size-zero onions  and let is sauté well in the wok.
  • Then add in the turmeric powder aka haldi and add in the  peppers. ( I dumped the whole lot in them )
  • After about 5-8 min, when they are in the almost cooked stage but not mushy, add in the tomatos and let the mixture stew in for a few more min.
  • Add in the collards the very last. They do cook fast when slim-line cut and you really do not want limpy looking greens.
  • Add in the salt and the Garam masala.
  • Now if using cottage cheese, add in the pieces. I usually sauté / toast the chunky pieces on the stove stop on a pan  but this one time I did not mind adding it in directly.This particular cheese was fresh , firm but with enough sponginess in it to give the soft texture like silken smooth soft tofu. Oxymoronic description I suppose, but it saved me from sautéing them separately on the stove.
  • Add in the rest of the spices and garnish with freshly cut sprigs of coriander!

 

Verdict : delectable and completely licked clean off the bowls by the kids..

Served with : Fresh rotis ( flat indian bread )

FIne print :

  • You can add in any combination of vegetables for this one. Potatoes and carrots are awesome additions.
  • You can definitely experiment with the heat level by incorporating more peppers of the spicier kind. Jalapeños anyone?
  • Fresh Indian cottage cheese aka Paneer is commercially store bought by me. I used the low fat variety.
  • Going Vegan? Use tofu instead of Cheese.
  • Try adding in sliced slivers of peeled almonds . I am sure it would be wonderful.

Twist in the take .. Bring it on!

Use it as a pizza topping, fillers in  grilled sandwiches.. Brain cells revived yay!

Cooking time : About 20-25 min

Serves : 4-6