Cheesy Quinoa Quenelles with Mango Aioli

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Recently I made these Cheesy Quinoa Quenelles with Mango Aioli 🙂 I have had Quinoa earlier but didn’t like it much then. But this particular dish is really really tasty and definitely in favour of quinoa. I had seen a lot of quinoa fritters recipes on the net and Aioli recipes as well .. I imbibed all these various recipes, added the king of fruits into it and thus came Cheesy Quinoa Quenelles with Mango Aioli !

They were the perfect accompaniment to the monsoon season. Crunchy, cheesy, full of texture, healthy star ingredient and that aioli was to die for! I will use it with other dishes too. Here’s the recipe:

Cheesy Quinoa Quenelles with Mango Aioli

Portion size : 2

Serves : 3-4

Cooking time : 30 minutes

Preparation time : 5 minutes

Ingredients

Mango Aioli

Half a pureed ripe mango (roughly 4 tbsp)
2 tbsp mayonnaise
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tbsp fresh lemon rind
Some chopped red paprika (or any other chilly)
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt

Quinoa Quenelles

2/3 cup quinoa, rinsed, drained (I used the red quinoa)
1/4 cup flour (maida)
1/4 cup crumbled or grated Mozzarella (or any other cheese)
3/4 teaspoons salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 chopped onion
1/4 cup coriander or mint (or whichever leafy herb u prefer)
1 large egg
Vegetable oil (for frying)

Method:

Mango Aioli

Blend mango puree, garlic, paprika, salt, lime juice and lemon rind in a mixer. Whisk in mayonnaise. Adjust salt/chilly if required. Cover and chill. (You can make this a day in advance also)

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Cheesy Quinoa Quenelles

1. Heat a pan. Add quinoa, toast it, stirring constantly for about 5 minutes. (White quinoa will become golden)

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2. Add 1 1/3 cups water to quinoa and boil it. After boiling, let it simmer on low heat till it is cooked and till quinoa has absorbed all the water. (~12 minutes)

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3. Remove from heat and keep covered for 15 minutes. Uncover and cool. Transfer to a large bowl (in which you will make quinoa dough).
4. Add flour, onions, coriander or mint, salt & pepper to quinoa and toss. Add cheese, mix well. Beat the egg separately and stir into this mix until a dough forms (mix gently to prevent quinoa from breaking so that it retains texture)

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5. Heat oil in a pan.
6. Take 2 large table spoons. Scoop dough in one spoon, use the second spoon to scoop this dough out of first spoon, repeat process till a smooth oval shape (like a rugby ball) has formed. (Congratulations you just made a quenelle!)
7. Fry these quenelles in oil, turn occasionally and transfer to a plate with a napkin or paper towel.

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8. Serve the cheesy Quinoa Quenelles warm with the Sweet & spicy Mango aioli .. Enjoy along with the monsoons

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Here’s the recipe in recipe card format as well

Cheesy Quinoa Quenelles with Mango Aioli
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Ingredients
  1. Mango Aioli
  2. Half a pureed ripe mango (roughly 4 tbsp)
  3. 2 tbsp mayonnaise
  4. 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  5. 1 tbsp fresh lemon rind
  6. Some chopped red paprika (or any other chilly)
  7. 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  8. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  9. Quinoa Quenelles
  10. 2/3 cup quinoa, rinsed, drained (I used the red quinoa)
  11. 1/4 cup flour (maida)
  12. 1/4 cup crumbled or grated Mozzarella (or any other cheese)
  13. 3/4 teaspoons salt
  14. Freshly ground black pepper
  15. 1 chopped onion
  16. 1/4 cup coriander or mint (or whichever leafy herb u prefer)
  17. 1 large egg
  18. Vegetable oil (for frying)
Method
  1. Mango Aioli
  2. Blend mango puree, garlic, paprika, salt, lime juice and lemon rind in a mixer. Whisk in mayonnaise. Adjust salt/chilly if required. Cover and chill. (You can make this a day in advance also)
  3. Cheesy Quinoa Quenelles
  4. 1. Heat a pan. Add quinoa, toast it, stirring constantly for about 5 minutes. (White quinoa will become golden)
  5. 2. Add 1 1/3 cups water to quinoa and boil it. After boiling, let it simmer on low heat till it is cooked and till quinoa has absorbed all the water. (~12 minutes)
  6. 3. Remove from heat and keep covered for 15 minutes. Uncover and cool. Transfer to a large bowl (in which you will make quinoa dough).
  7. 4. Add flour, onions, coriander or mint, salt & pepper to quinoa and toss. Add cheese, mix well. Beat the egg separately and stir into this mix until a dough forms (mix gently to prevent quinoa from breaking so that it retains texture)
  8. 5. Heat oil in a pan.
  9. 6. Take 2 large table spoons. Scoop dough in one spoon, use the second spoon to scoop this dough out of first spoon, repeat process till a smooth oval shape (like a rugby ball) has formed. (Congratulations you just made a quenelle!)
  10. 7. Fry these quenelles in oil, turn occasionally and transfer to a plate with a napkin or paper towel.
  11. 8. Serve the cheesy Quinoa Quenelles warm with the Sweet & spicy Mango aioli .. Enjoy along with the monsoons
Twilight Fairy http://blog.twilightfairy.in/

 


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My entries for the #BringYourTastiestBowl Challenge

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I know a lot of people with a sweet tooth who always keep struggling for a balance between their palate and their calorie count. And, when it comes to festivals, no one can stop at just one! Diwali, Holi, Christmas, even Navratras have become a reason to gorge at sweetmeats .. So when I read about Quaker’s #BringYourTastiestBowl challenge  I wondered if I could try my hand at not only experimenting at healthier versions of sweets served during festivals, but also may be win 50 lakhs .. 🙂 The contest is being judged by the ever popular Chef Vikas Khanna as well as people who vote for their favourite recipes.

As we know, Oats are a gluten free, rich source of fibre, which give energy to keep you going for a long time. Hence it is healthier to make Oats based versions of popular “unhealthy” dishes 🙂

So here are my versions of 2 very popular sweets – Mango Basil Oats phirni (diwali) and Oats Til laddoo (Lohri) for the “Bring your tastiest bowl challenge”

Mango Basil Oats Phirni

Phirni is a classic Indian rice pudding, similar to kheer, that is mostly consumed in north India on festive occasions like Diwali, Karwa Chauth etc. The dish is also consumed during Ramzan and prepared for the feasts at Muslim weddings and festivals like Id, among the Muslim communities of India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. 

Here I am preparing my version of Phirni with Oats instead of rice. And I have given it a further twist by adding mango and Basil flavours to it. Without further ado, here’s the recipe.

Mango Basil Oats Phirni

Portion size : 1

Serves : 3-4

Cooking time : 30 minutes

Preparation time : 5 minutes

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 litre Full cream milk
  • 1 cup oats
  • 2 Tbsp sugar or as required
  • 18-20 almonds/badam, blanched, reserve a few for garnishing
  • 6-7 cardamoms/hari elachi (crushed and powdered in a mortar-pestle)
  • 2 Mangoes for mango puree
  • Few leaves of Basil for garnishing

MeThod:

1. Grind the Oats in a dry grinder till it is fully powdered. Keep aside 

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2. Heat milk in a thick bottomed broad pan or sauce pan or kadai, let the milk come to a boil. Then lower the flame.

3. Add the powdered oats, stir and add sugar also.

4. On a low to medium flame cook the mixture without covering. Keep stirring at regular intevals.

5. Powder the cardamoms in a mortar-pestle. Discard the almond peels from blanched almonds.

6. When the oats are cooked and milk seems to be half the original quantity, add the almonds & cardamom powder.

7. Stir and cook for further till the phirni thickens.

8. Take out the pulp of 2 mangoes and puree in a mixer.

9. Pour the phirni in serving bowls. Pour a layer of mango puree on top and refrigerate the Phirni.

10. Once cooled, garnish the phirni with basil leaves & serve.

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Gluten Free, Vegan Oats Til Laddoo

Til or sesame laddoos are typically consumed on Lohri. These laddoos typically also have khoya or condensed milk. My version of Til laddoos is made with Oats & Gud (Jaggery). There is no need to add any ghee or oil because the sesame seeds exude enough oil for binding. The absence of white sugar makes this dish even healthier. And since there are no milk products in this, not only is it Vegan, it is also Gluten free because of Oats. So here’s the recipe.

Gluten Free, Vegan Oats Til Laddoo

Portion size : 1

Serves : 10

Cooking time : 5 minutes

Preparation time : 15 minutes

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup oats
  • 1 cup sesame
  • 1 cup grated Gud (jaggery)
  • 3-4 cardamoms/hari elachi (crushed and powdered in a mortar-pestle)

MeThod:

  1. On medium heat dry roast oat.

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2. Similarly dry roast sesame seeds separately until golden.

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3. Cool them. Powder oats and sesame seeds in a mixer.

 

4. Add the jaggery & Cardamoms and again powder further.

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5. Roll into balls while the mixture is fresh.

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6. Store in an air tight jar.

 

Do try out the recipes and let me know if they tickled your tastebuds enough. Who knows you may even stand a chance to win INR 50 lakhs by participating with a unique entry!


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Dal Makhni Lentil burger with Chicken Curry Mayo

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I have been following Masterchef Australia since quite a while now. So when Knorr India came up with a contest that gave a chance to meet the judges, and attend a #knorrmasterclass, I went all in! The pre-requisite was to use any new Knorr Easy chef Indian masalas in a dish. So I promptly ordered mine from Bigbasket as instructed. What I came up with is a Dal Makhni Lentil Burger (using dal makhni masala) with Chicken Curry Mayo (using chicken curry masala). I’ll go straight to the recipe.

 

Dal Makhni Lentil Burger with chicken curry mayo

Portion size : 1

Serves : 1

Cooking time : 30 minutes

Preparation time : 7 hours

Utensils/Equipment – 1 pressure cooker to cook the Black Urad dal, 1 pan for making the lentil patty, knife for chopping, 1 cutting board, 1 utensil to soak dal overnight, 1 pan for making the lentil mix, 1 mixer for bread crumbs

INGREDIENTS

Black Urad dal – ½ cup
Onion – 1, finely chopped
Knorr Dal Makhni masala
Knorr Chicken curry masala
Butter – roughly 2 tbsp & some for frying
Mayonnaise – 4 tbsp
Salt – to taste
Bread – 1 slice
Jalapenos, Red paprika, pickled Gherkins, iceberg lettuce, tomato – for garnish

MeThod:

1. Soak Black Urad dal overnight. Next morning pressure cook it till the grains are soft (roughly half hour for patty, 1 hr if you want actual dal)

2. In a pan fry some onions in butter. If you use the masala you dont need to add anything else, but I added a little onion for texture in the patty.

DalMakhniLentilBurger-1 3. Add the dal, half packet of Knorr Dal Makhni masala & just 2 spoons of water to mix it all well. Sprinkle some salt, but this masala already has salt, so be careful about how much you add. Let it cool and mash it completely.

DalMakhniLentilBurger-2

4. Pulse one slice of bread in a mixer and add these bread crumbs to the lentil mash for increasing binding.

5. After the mix is mashed, shape into patties and fry in some butter for added makhni flavour.

DalMakhniLentilBurger-3

6. Now prepare chicken curry mayo, by taking the mayonnaise in a bowl and adding a few pinches of the chicken curry masala. Mix very well so that the masala is completely absorbed well into the mayonnaise & u dont taste it as separate granules.

7. Heat the burger bun. Take the lower part, spread some of the chicken curry mayo, place some iceberg lettuce on to it and a dal makhni patty.

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8. Garnish with red paprika, chopped jalapenos, slivers of pickled gherkin & slices of tomato. You can add more mayo if desired. Voila! Enjoy!

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Here’s a composite image of all the elements of this dish.

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I must say it was quite tasty ESPECIALLY the chicken curry mayo. Dal makhni flavours anyway go so well with butter chicken & chicken curry. So go ahead try this protein packed very filling Dal Makhni Lentil Burger with Chicken Curry mayo and let me know how it turned out!


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Want to time travel? Visit Haveli Dharampura

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If you have ever read Enid Blyton’s “The Faraway tree” series, you would remember how a different land used to come on top of the tree every time the trio of lead characters visited the tree top..and they would have fun, be mesmerised with the magic and then come back to their own land. How cool would it be if you knew some place where if you open the door you enter a different world, you partake, you enjoy and then you go back to your own world. Well now there IS one such place. Let me introduce you to Haveli dharampura.

Set in the bylanes of chandni chowk, ensconced in gali guliyan, where the lanes are so narrow, you can only walk – lies an old world land. As you enter the haveli’s heavy set doors you step into a different world. The world of squalor, grime and zillion electric cables tied in to precarious knots is left behind on the outside. What you face is a glimpse of the way nobles and courtiers used to live in Delhi, not so long back. The architecture is a pleasing and unique mix of Hindu, Mughal and colonial influences. You first encounter a verandah with a fountain in the centre, as is typical of many Indian havelis.. a central courtyard with a garden or fountain which used to cool the entire house built around it. The three storeyed haveli can be seen fully from here and well.. from all floors as well. Beyond the varandah is the Baithak or drawing room which now hosts the restaurant – Lakhori. Named after the bricks that the haveli is built with, it serves a cuisine with Mughal and Jain influences.. The same which evolved into the Chandni chowk food that everyone rushes to grab a bite of every now and then.

The entrance to Goel Sahab ki Haveli! The Verandah with the fountainA picture of the dilapidated look the Haveli bore before resurrection A seating room next to the restaurant

The day I visited this old world gem, I met Vidyun Goel the hostess and was treated to a sumptuous collection of dishes from an elaborate menu. Here are some of them. In ascending order of appearance these are – cucumber chaat canapes, palak patta chaat, murg ke paarche, golgappe, galouti kabab, kadak roomali masala, dahi bhalla, Berry’s delight, aloo gobhi mattar deconstructed, kadai chicken (served in a roti), mutton korma, paneer parantha with kashiphal kee sabji, makhane kee kheer, mango kulfi and paan kulfi both wrapped in a chocolate shell .. There was so much more to nibble at that somewhere I quite forgot to take pics and just immersed myself in the gastronomic experience.

Food at Lakhori

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The three storeys of the haveli above the ground floor, have 13 fully furnished rooms – the 14th was converted into a spa. These rooms are divided into Jharokha Rooms, Diwan E Khas Rooms, and Shahjahan Suites. If I am not wrong they are named after various gates of Delhi – the old city. The rooms have the vintage old world feel but are fully equipped with all modern amenities and most importantly, well, modern bathrooms :). As dear readers may note, one may live in this land for a while before retreating to one’s own world. But it wasn’t always like that. Built around 1887 AD, the haveli rooms were divided and subdivided by their owners into nearly 64 rooms! The restoration that took about 8 years, 45 lakhs, 50 specialised masons and labourers was a slow and painful journey with no precedent. Finally we see it restored to its old world glory and the ambience quickly takes us back to an era we haven’t actually ever seen. The credit of all this goes to heritage lover & MP Mr. Vijay Goel, his son Siddhant Goel & their entire family. I hope that other havelis in that area follow suit and somehow manage to do the same because the government is also offering them restoration assistance funds.

Glimpse of the rooms

Apparently the previous owners had a dream that there was a safe in the basement under the ground.. they dug up that precise spot and lo and behold! There indeed WAS a safe under the ground! They claim that it was empty but then who knows what *really* happened when this tijori was opened 🙂 . I wish my dreams told me about buried treasures!

Underground Tijori!

Here’s a look at the views from the top floor .. you can see all the floors from every floor. Makes me miss the old world architecture where you could see all the family members and talk across floors. You can also see Jama masjid from the terrace. There’s another rooftop restaurant at the terrace called the “baradari”. The terrace has a new piece of architecture built into it borrowed from the Rajasthan havelis. The panorama shows the view from the absolute top with Vidyun also in the picture.

View of all the floors from the top floor Jama Masjid viewed from the haveli  The rooftop restaurant Some rajasthani architecture

View from the roof of the haveli & Vidyun in the panorama

 

Apart from being a heritage hotel the Dharampura haveli also has a lot of exciting things for its guests. It houses a tiny art gallery with images from the olden times of Chandni chowk. It will perhaps showcase exhibitions of modern artists too. Apart from this they also have a tiny library section with a cosy seating area next to it. They have a shisha room as well and of course there’s the spa. And did I mention that they also have an elevator? It sure is much needed.

Art Gallery & library seating

 

The magic of the old world would not be complete without the kathak performances that have been started now. They are organised every Friday, Saturday, Sunday along with a fixed dinner menu. Unfortunately I haven’t witnessed any, but can only imagine how breathtaking it would look. There are other activities for the guests, like Kabootar baazi (pigeon flying) and patangbaazi (Kite flying).

Pigeon flying - a popular sport in chandni chowk

A view of the balcony at the haveli and the narrow lane and a different world it looks upon.

Balcony at the haveli Narrow lane and a different world outside

 Here’s a glimpse of the “Now an Then” provided by the folks at Haveli Dharampura

Now and then - provided by Haveli Dharampura

Now and then – provided by Haveli Dharampura

There are just a handful of heritage hotels in Delhi but all of them are from the colonial era from what I know. Haveli Dharampura has, by far the oldest heritage in Delhi! Being in the heart of THE delhi, it has a unique advantage for travellers, who want to explore Delhi and don’t want to be located very far from the centre of attraction. These walls have seen lot of centuries, exchanged hands with a lot of owners and under all that plaster and paint lies the soul of a haveli that lives on and has been witness to many stories. You must go and have a conversation with it some evening.

 

Contact info:

2293, Gali Guliyan, Dharampura, Delhi-6

Tel.: 011-23261000, 011-23263000

E-mail: info@havelidharampura.com
reservations@havelidharampura.com

 

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Oats Poha

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It was with a lot of surprise that I reacted when I learnt from a friend, that there’s one brand of Oats available in India that has customised the oats to substitute various Indian staples. So when Bagrry’s India contacted me to try out some of their products, I agreed pronto. They have Oat substitutes for Atta, poha, sooji, and rice among other things like regular oats. AFAIK there’s no other Oats brand that provides “customised for India” variants. I have tried some of their products and quite liked them.

I am sharing a recipe that I tried some time back. I made the Oats Poha using the “Oats for Poha” variant of Bagrry’s

Oats for Poha

Oats Poha with bagrry’s “oats for poha”

Portion size : 2

Serves : 1

Cooking time : 20 minutes

Preparation time : 10 minutes

Utensils/Equipment – 1 large pot or saucepan for boiling peas & beans, 1 pan for making poha, knife for chopping, colander to drain veggies and Poha, 1 cutting board, 1 bowl to soak oats, 1 pan for roasting peanuts

INGREDIENTS

Bagrry’s Oats for Poha – ½ cup
Plain poha – ½ cup
Onion – 1, finely chopped
Peas – ¼ cup
French beans – ¼ cup diced
Peanuts – ¼ cup
Dry Red chillies – 2-3
Curry leaves (green) – few
Mustard seeds/Rye – few
Lemon juice – 2 tbsp
Oil – 2 tbsp
Salt – to taste
Turmeric – a pinch
Chilli powder – to taste
Coriander powder – ¼ tsp

MeThod:

1. Soak Bagrry’s Oats for Poha in a bowl. The original recipe says 3-4 minutes, but I soaked them for 10 minutes. Drain water and keep aside

Soaked Oats

2. Wash normal poha, drain it and keep aside

Soaked Poha

3. In a pan add oil and heat it on a high flame for 2 minutes. Now add mustard seeds, dry red chillis, curry leaves. Let the mustard splutter a little bit.

4. Add onions and saute. Meanwhile boil peas and french beans till they are somewhat cooked but not fully cooked

5. After a while, drain the peas and french beans and add to the pan. Stir continuously. Simmer down the flame and cover with a lid till the vegetables are cooked.

6. Now add Oats for Poha and all the spices. Mix well.

7. Now add plain poha and mix well so that all the spices evenly coat the poha

8. Cook on medium flame for 5-10 minutes. Meanwhile roast the peanuts on a tawa for 4-5 minutes and then let them cool.

9. Once cooked, add the lemon juice to the poha, sprinkle some peanuts and serve

Oats Poha is ready!

Here’s the recipe in recipe card format.

I must say it was quite tasty unlike what I really expected. It was very filling as well. I felt less guilty because of replacing at least some part of my white grain consumption with oats. 🙂 Go ahead and try the recipe and let me know how yours turned out!


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