L Cook With Jovi

Tuesday, 20 November 2018

One Pot Lentil and Grain Mash


This is a winter favourite, both flavoursome and full of nutrition. Easy on the stomach and supremely easy to cook as well. In India, this dish is typically made with rice and lentils. I have substituted the rice for a mix of quinoa and bulgur wheat to make for a healthier version.

Preparation Time: 2 mins
Soaking Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 12 mins
Serves: 2

  1. Soak the quinoa and bulgur wheat mix and the lentils in water for 30 minutes. The grains and lentils will swell up.
  2. Heat oil or ghee in a pressure cooker.
  3. Add cumin seeds and allow to splutter for a minute.
  4. Put in the chopped green chillies and stir for a minute.
  5. In the meanwhile, drain the grains and lentil and add to the pressure cooker.
  6. Stir well for about 2 minutes and then add 2.5 cups of water.
  7. Tip in the turmeric powder and 2 teaspoons salt.
  8. Close the pressure cooker and bring to full pressure on high heat.
  9. Reduce heat and cook for 8 minutes.
  10. Remove cooker from heat and allow to cool naturally.
  11. Serve hot with yoghurt.  

Jovi’s Notes
The medium of fat I have used in this dish is ghee. Use of ghee gives added flavour to this dish. Feel free to add an extra tablespoon of ghee to make this even tastier.
I have used a mix of quinoa and bulgur wheat here. However, I also regularly make it with just plain bulgur wheat as well.
Alternate between lentils as well each time to savour a variety of flavours. 

Tuesday, 23 October 2018

Black Bean & Quinoa Chilli

This black bean and quinoa chilli makes for a filling and nutritious meal. If it’s autumn, make a big pot because it is perfect for those cozy nights and if it’s winter then it will warm you up. The best part is, that this dish is a full meal in itself. You don’t need any bread/roti/pasta to go with it. Take it to your next pot luck and you will know you have a crowd pleaser!

Preparation Time: 5 mins
Cooking Time: 30 mins
Serves: 2
  • 1.5 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ cup quinoa
  • 1 heaped tsp finely chopped ginger
  • ½ onion chopped
  • 1 carrot, diced into cubes
  • ¼ cup beans
  • 4 tbsp tomato puree
  • A can of black beans (400 gms)
  • 1-2 green chillies, chopped 
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp chilli powder or less
  • Salt to taste

  1. Cook the quinoa in a pot, using the instructions on the packet.
  2. Heat olive oil in a pan. Stir in the cumin seeds, onions, chopped ginger and green chillies.
  3. Stir for 3-4 minutes and tip in the rest of the chopped vegetables.
  4. Mix in the tomato puree, cumin powder, chilli powder and about 1 teaspoon of salt.
  5. Cover and cook on medium heat for 5 minutes. Do not overcook the vegetables.
  6. Once the onions are done, add the tomato puree. Stir for a few minutes.
  7. Add the black beans along with the liquid in the can and mix everything well.
  8. Cover and cook for about 5 minutes.
  9. Adjust salt and seasoning as per taste.
  10. Serve hot!

Jovi's Notes

I used my favourite Artisan Grains brand of quinoa but feel free to use whatever is easily available.

I used Biona Organic Black Beans for this dish.

Tuesday, 4 September 2018

Minced Lamb on a Crumpet


This is one of those dishes that you cannot possibly go wrong with! Indian spiced minced lamb served on a toasted crumpet is going to make your dinner table proud. You can always enjoy it more traditionally with a garlic or butter naan. This one is finger licking good!

Preparation Time: 10 mins
Cooking Time: 40 mins
Serves: 2

  • 2 tbsp ghee or olive oil if you prefer that
  • 400 gms minced lamb (Approximately 20% fat)
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 1-2 green chillies, chopped
  • 2 tsp chopped ginger
  • 2 tsp chopped garlic
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 4 cloves
  • 1 inch piece of cinnamon
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 green cardamom
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tsp coriander powder
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • ½ chilli powder or more if you like it hotter
  • ½ tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp chicken masala (optional)
  • Salt to taste
  • Chopped coriander for garnishing
  1. Heat oil or ghee, add cumin seeds and allow to splutter for a minute.
  2. Slide the sliced onion in and sauté for about 5 minutes till the onions start turning pink.
  3. Add the chopped ginger, garlic, green chillies and the whole spices (bay leaf, green cardamom, cinnamon, cloves) and continue to sauté till the onions start turning slightly golden on the edges.
  4. Put in your minced lamb to this onion mixture and cook uncovered on moderately high heat for about 8-10 minutes. You will notice that your minced lamb starts turning white and also ends up losing water which is exactly what you want.
  5. After 10 minutes, add the chopped tomatoes, frozen peas and spice powders (coriander, powder turmeric, chilli powder, garam masala, salt) to the minced lamb and mix everything well.
  6. Cover and cook on moderate heat for about 10-15 minutes, stirring once every 5-minutes.    
  7. The minced lamb should be almost done by now.
  8. Sprinkle chicken masala at this stage for a fuller flavour and cook uncovered for another 5-7 minutes.
  9. There are myriad ways to enjoy this minced lamb dish.
  10. Serve hot with a buttered naan or on a toasted crumpet.

Jovi’s Notes
I have used the Waitrose Duchy Organic Welsh Lamb Mince for this recipe but feel free to use whatever is easily available.

The use of chicken masala is optional. If you prefer a milder flavour, then skip it. For a more intense flavour, add the chicken masala. The brand I used is Shaan Chicken Masala.

A crumpet is a thick, flat, savoury cake with a soft, porous texture, made from a yeast mixture cooked on a griddle and eaten toasted and buttered. Crumpets are popularly eaten at the breakfast table in England. I buy my crumpets from M&S. Serving lamb mince on toasted crumpets makes for an excellent starter or a beautiful side. The porous crumpet absorbs the juices in the dish and makes each bite scrumptious. 

Tuesday, 14 August 2018

Indian Flavoured Red Cabbage

Red/purple cabbage is commonly used in salads, but few people know that it also makes for a wonderful side dish. This is a simple yet delicious recipe. I have used freshly ground coconut in the recipe although you can swap it for desiccated coconut if you prefer.

Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 mins
Serves: 4

  • 2-3 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 red cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 4 tsp finely chopped ginger
  • 1-2 green chillies, chopped
  • 8-10 curry leaves
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes (optional)
  • 4 tbsp, ground coconut
  • Salt to taste

  1. Heat oil in a large pan. Add the mustard seeds, ginger and green chillies and sauté for about 2 minutes.
  2. Add the curry leaves and stir for a minute.
  3. Drop in the cabbage and salt. Stir well for a few minutes.
  4. Put in the coconut and mix well.
  5. Cook and cover for about 8-10 minutes on medium heat, stirring in between.
  6. How much you want to cook the cabbage, completely depends on individual taste. Some like it crunchy and some like it well done.
  7. Serve warm with roti or paratha.

Sunday, 22 July 2018

Indian Style Jackfruit Dish


The picture below might look like meat but don’t be fooled. If you haven’t eaten jackfruit yet, your life is going to change once you do. Often referred to as the ‘vegetarian chicken’ this stringy fruit (yes its actually a fruit) is the food that vegans dream of! It’s a healthy vegan meat replacement and it’s fast becoming one of the biggest food trends among vegetarians, vegans, and even adventurous meat lovers. Best of all, it's the key to making a large variety of dishes ranging from barbecued stuff to burgers to Indian curries as it pairs well with almost all spices. Here’s just one of the many ways I cook jackfruit. Go on, add it to your grocery list for next time.

Preparation Time: 10 mins
Cooking Time: 30 mins
Serves: 2

  • 1.5 tbsp olive oil + more for frying
  • 1 tin jackfruit (400gms) in salted water
  • 1 medium sized onion, sliced
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 tsp chopped ginger
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • ½ chilli powder or more if you like it hotter
  • 1-2 green chillies (optional)
  • ½ tsp garam masala
  • Salt to taste
  • Chopped coriander for garnishing
  1. Remove the jackfruit from the tin and throw away the excess water.
  2. Heat oil in a pan and shallow fry the jackfruit pieces till golden in colour.
  3. Remove the jackfruit pieces and place on a kitchen towel so that the excess oil gets absorbed.
  4. Now heat 1.5 tablespoons of oil in a separate pan, add cumin seeds and let them splutter for a minute.
  5. Add the chopped ginger, sliced onions and sauté till onions start turning slightly golden on the edges.
  6. Once the onions are done, throw in the green chillies and tomatoes, and stir well. Cook for 3-4 minutes on moderately high heat.
  7. Gently stir in the fried jackfruit pieces and start adding all the spice powders-turmeric, coriander powder, chilli powder, garam masala and salt. Make sure everything is combined well.
  8. Pour about ¼ cup water into the pan, cook and cover for about 8-10 minutes.
  9. Uncover the pan, give the jackfruit one last stir and check for seasoning.  
  10. Serve hot garnished with coriander.
  11. A hot naan would make your meal perfect.

Jovi’s Notes
Fresh jackfruit is not available in the region where I stay. That is why I use the tinned variety. Make sure to buy jackfruit in water and not in brine. The one in brine turns out rather sour after getting cooked. I have provided below, a picture of the brand I use. 

Friday, 13 July 2018

Liven up your Space with Silk Plants

5 Innovative uses of Silk Plants to Liven Up any Living Space

The presence of greenery provides a relaxed atmosphere and creates a warm and inviting space. Plants and flowers play a major role in beautifying any given area, and artificial plants and trees have completely revamped the outdoor and indoor landscaping market. They lend a very classy and hassle-free touch to any decor. They are very appealing when incorporated in decorating both residential and commercial spaces. As the artificial foliage is made of silk, it looks very similar to natural tree foliage and has the additional advantage of being weather resistant and maintenance free. Another bonus of silk plants is that they will save you money – there is no feeding, repotting or treating for disease, so you can sit back and admire the instant effect. There’s no denying that lots of greenery makes us feel better, so this is a trend that will be here to stay. These silk plants allow you to let nature in, without really having to do so!
Here are five interesting ways to use silk plants to create a lasting impression and give you flexibility to have a variety of fresh looking foliage whenever, wherever!

Tease with a Hedge maze!
Create a hedge maze outside your home or office, or even miniature versions inside, to keep people engaged and stimulated.  Apart from adding a very fresh and different look to the exteriors of the area, it will also serve the purpose of being an attraction and a place for recreation.

Host a tropical party every day!
Use different artificial plants and trees in different sections of your work or home space to create small theme sections. For example, palm trees can turn any given area into a tropical paradise within seconds! Install palm trees of varying lengths in the desired sections of the room to give it the look of a tropical oasis. Hammocks and some books by the side will complete the look and also transform the area into a unique and desirable space.

Create a mini garden indoors!
The best way to achieve this would be by creating small terrarium museums and displaying varieties of artificial plants and flowers in them. These terrariums are miniature gardens that can beautify any section of a room effortlessly. Use combinations of plants, trees, and flowers creatively to make them depict something exciting or follow a particular theme that you may like such as floral or coastal.

Bring Spring to your table!
Artificial flowers come in great variety and as they are life-like, they can be a hassle-free substitute for real flowers. Different types of flowers can be arranged on work tables or dining tables to give the look and feel of spring even when indoors. These flowers do not attract insects or wither and make it easy for you to live with nature.

Work on a Treetop!
This can be a fascinating experience to have while working in a closed environment. Different varieties of artificial plants could be arranged in a pattern, and this could be covered by a glass top. These table-like structures could then be used as workbenches for an exhilarating experience. The feeling of working on a tree top and the constant view of plants can also help de-stress as well activate one’s energy.

These refreshing ideas are sure to bring life to offices spaces, homes and work from home stations. Why not keep a few stored away as well, so you can vary your display or brighten up a room anytime you feel like it?

Here's a small perk that you might find handy.  Just enter the discount code BLOGGER10 and avail a 10% discount on any products you buy on https://www.silkplantsdirect.com/

Happy shopping! Happy decorating!

Wednesday, 4 July 2018

Spicy Soya Mince

This spicy soya mince makes for a hearty and nutritious vegetarian meal. A lot of non-vegetarians think that soya is boring but this dish will surely make them change their minds. Try it once and be sure that this veggie soya mince will become a household favourite. I love this dish with warm rotis.

Preparation Time: 1 hour
Cooking Time: 20 mins
Serves: 2
  • 1.5 olive oil
  • 2/3 cup soya mince
  • 1 tsp finely chopped ginger
  • 1 small onion sliced
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • ½ cup frozen peas
  • 1-2 green chillies
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2-3 cloves
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • ½ tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp chilli powder (optional)
  • 2 tsp chicken masala
  • Salt to taste

  1. Soak the soya mince in ¼ cup milk and about 1-1.5 cups of hot water for about an hour.
  2. Heat olive oil in a pan. Add cumin seeds, bay leaf and cloves and allow to sizzle.
  3. Stir in the sliced onions, chopped ginger and green chillies.
  4. Keep stirring gently till the onions start turning golden.
  5. Once the onions are done, add the tomatoes. Stir for a few minutes.
  6. In the meanwhile, drain the soya mince. Press the mince so that it loses all the water it has absorbed. 
  7. Add the soya mince to the onion tomato mix and continue stirring.
  8. Mix in all the spice powders and salt.
  9. Tilt your frozen peas in as well.
  10. Cover and cook for about 8-10 minutes, stirring gently in between.
  11. Adjust salt and seasoning as per taste.
  12. Garnish with fresh coriander and serve hot with chapatis.

Jovi's Notes
The product links are the actual ones I have used in this recipe. Feel free to try other brands. 
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