Sunday, 7 December 2014

BULGUR SPINACH & COTTAGE CHEESE PILAF - SCORING VERY HIGH ON THE HEART HEALTH METER



Being on a healthy food diet does not mean that you have to compromise on taste. Unfortunately healthy eating is oft associated with food which do not appease our taste buds. It is not our fault to think like this as food which is introduced to us as children always contain deep fried, creamy, infused with loads of clarified butter dishes and that is what our taste buds tune to as we grow up. Therefore the moment we have to give this up we torment ourselves to thinking that now we have to make huge sacrifices while others are getting to eat as they like. The need is therefore to change the way we think first before we change the way we eat. Even dishes which are not deep fried or do not contain loads of cheese, cream or clarified butter can taste scrumptiously delicious. I am no diet guru and I am not here to certify that diary products or deep fried food is harmful to our gut and in turn effect our well being. All I am trying to put forth is my own experience and my own take on food. I am a foodie and love to indulge in all kinds of food but the sudden serious medical condition of a family member unfortunately related to food made me change not only my outlook but also that of my entire family towards this fact healthy food can also be tasty.

Indulging in traditionally made food seeped in butter or ghee should not be stopped and can be continued if we strike a proper balance by eating more frequently basic, unprocessed and farm to kitchen foods. Unprocessed foods is what is becoming the new mantra for good health these days and the "Farm to Table" way of eating is becoming widely popular.

The hero of this recipe, Bulgur or Dalia is basically a cereal. It is made from the hulled kernels or groats of several wheat spices. Groats are whole grains and contains all the goodness that the grain has to offer including the cereal germ, the fibre - rich barn and the endosperm. If these things look too technical than its o.k. cause what I am trying to put across is that Bulgur contains all the nutrients that the grain has to offer and as it is a basic unprocessed food it retains all its benefits enroute from the farm, into the dish, to our mouth and finally the gut. If Bulgur is new to you, let me put forth that it finds wide use in Pilaf, Khicdi, Soups, Salads and as Stuffing. And below is a pictorial view of Bulgur/Dalia.


I am not only sharing here the recipe of Bulgur Pilaf, but also the yogurt dip which goes very well with the Bulgur Pilaf.

BULGUR SPINACH COTTAGE CHEESE PILAF WITH YOGURT CUCUMBER DIP RECIPE


DALIA PALAK PANEER PULAO WITH KHIRA RAITA RECIPE


SERVES - 4

CUISINE - INDIAN
TYPE - MAIN
TIME - 2 HOURS SOAKING TIME OF BULGUR/DALIA+10 MINS PREPARATION TIME +10 MINS COOKING TIME + 5 MINS FOR MAKING YOGURT DIP/RAITA


INGREDIENTS :

1) Bulgur/Dalia/Broken Wheat - 1 Cup soaked in water for at least two hours.
2) Cottage Cheese / Paneer - 159gns crumbled.
3) Spinach / Palak - 1 small bunch blanched.
4) Green Peas /Matar - 3 tbsp fresh and blanched or frozen abd defrosted.
5) Carrot / Gajar - 1 finely chopped
6) Spring Onion/ Hara Payaz - 3 finely chopped.
7) Caraway Seeds/Shah Jeera - 1 1/2 tsp.
8) Cloves/Long - 5-6
9) Garam Masala - 2 tsp
10) Salt to Taste
11) Oil - 2 tsp
12) Alfa Alfa Sprouts (Optional) - 2 tbsp for garnishing


LETS GET COOKING IN EASY STEPS

STEP 1: Before you assemble all the ingredients, the first thing to do is to wash the Bulgur and soak it covered in water for at least two hours. After two hours, drain the water and keep in a bowl ready for cooking.

STEP 2: Blanch the Spinach. Blanch the fresh green peas. If you are using frozen peas then defrost them. Assemble all the ingredients within reach on the work station.

STEP 3: In a non stick pan heat oil and crackle the Caraway seeds and add the cloves too and wait till they double in size giving out a nice menthol fragrance.


STEP 4: Add the chopped Carrits and toss them lightly for a couple of minutes.


STEP 5: Now add in the chopped Spring Onions. Mix.


STEP 6: Next add the crumbled Cottage Cheese and the green peas. Do not over cook any ingredient in this dish. Just lightly toss, mix and leave for a couple of minutes before adding the next ingredient. The signature of this dish is that the veggies should not loose their crunch and cooking should be just to amalgamate all the ingredients and they should not taste raw.


STEP 7: Finally add in the Bulgur, Spinach and Garam Masala. Break the Bulgur if it forms huge lumps and spread it evenly mixing with all the ingredients in the pan. There should be no clusters in the pan but everything separated.



Plate the scrumptious Bulgur Pilaf/Dalia Pulao and serve with a fresh and cool yogurt dip/raita. Recipe of the two step simple Yogurt Dip/Raita is given below.

INGREDIENTS :

1) Bulgur/Dalia/Broken Wheat - 1 Cup soaked in water for at least two hours.
2) Cottage Cheese / Paneer - 150 gns crumbled.
3) Spinach / Palak - 1 small bunch blanched.
4) Green Peas /Matar - 3 tbsp fresh and blanched or frozen abd defrosted.
5) Carrot / Gajar - 1 finely chopped
6) Spring Onion/ Hara Payaz - 3 finely chopped.
7) Caraway Seeds/Shah Jeera - 1 1/2 tsp.
8) Cloves/Long - 5-6
9) Garam Masala - 2 tsp
10) Salt to Taste
11) Oil - 2 tsp
12) Alfa Alfa Sprouts (Optional) - 2 tbsp for garnishing

LETS GET COOKING IN EASY STEPS :

STEP 1: Before you assemble all the ingredients, the first thing to do is to wash the Bulgur and soak it covered in water for at least two hours. After two hours, drain the water and keep in a bowl ready for cooking.

STEP 2: Blanch the Spinach. Blanch the fresh green peas. If you are using frozen peas then defrost them. Assemble all the ingredients within reach on the work station.

STEP 3: In a non stick pan heat oil and crackle the Caraway seeds and add the cloves too and wait till they double in size giving out a nice menthol fragrance.

STEP 4: Add the chopped Carrots and toss them lightly for a couple of minutes.

STEP 5: Now add in the chopped Spring Onions. Mix.

STEP 6: Next add the crumbled Cottage Cheese and the green peas. Do not over cook any ingredient in this dish. Just lightly toss, mix and leave for a couple of minutes before adding the next ingredient. The signature of this dish is that the veggies should not loose their crunch and cooking should be just to amalgamate all the ingredients and they should not taste raw.

STEP 7: Finally add in the Bulgur, Spinach and Garam Masala. Break the Bulgur if it forms huge lumps and spread it evenly mixing with all the ingredients in the pan. There should be no clusters in the pan but everything separated.

Plate the scrumptious Bulgur Pilaf/Dalia Pulao and serve with a fresh and cool yogurt dip/raita. Recipe of the two step simple Yogurt Dip/Raita is given below.

CHECK LIST :

1) Bulgur/Dalia/Broken Wheat, 2) Cottage Cheese / Paneer, 3) Spinach / Palak, 4) Green Peas /Matar, 5) Carrot / Gajar, 6) Spring Onion/ Hara Payaz, 7) Caraway Seeds/Shah Jeera, 8) Cloves/Long,
9) Garam Masala, 10) Salt, 11) Oil, 12) Alfa Alfa Sprouts (Optional)


YOGURT DIP/RAITA RECIPE :

SERVES - 4
CUISINE - INDIAN
TYPE - SIDE / DIP
TIME - 5 MINS PREPARATION + 5 MINS ASSEMBLING AND MIXING

INGREDIENTS :

1) Yogurt/Dahi - 1 Cup
2) Cucumber /Khira - 4-5 Tbsp finely chopped
3) Roasted Cumin/Jeera Powder - 1tsp
4) Chilly Paprika or Kashmiri Lal Mirch Powder - 1tsp more for the colour than for the heat.
5) Sugar - 1/4 th tsp
6) Salt - to taste

PROCEDURE :

STEP 1 : In a bowl put Yogurt, Cucumber, Roasted Cumin Powder, Chilly Powder, Sugar, Salt.


STEP 2 : Using a whisk or fork mix all the Ingredients well resulting in a nice, thick and delicious dip.


INGREDIENTS :

1) Yogurt/Dahi - 1 Cup
2) Cucumber /Khira - 4-5 Tbsp finely chopped
3) Roasted Cumin/Jeera Powder - 1tsp
4) Chilly Paprika or Kashmiri Lal Mirch Powder - 1tsp more for the colour than for the heat.
5) Sugar - 1/4 th tsp
6) Salt - to taste

PROCEDURE :

STEP 1 : In a bowl put Yogurt, Cucumber, Roasted Cumin Powder, Chilly Powder, Sugar, Salt.

STEP 2 : Using a whisk or fork mix all the Ingredients well resulting in a nice, thick and delicious dip.

CHECK LIST :


1) Yogurt/Dahi, 2) Cucumber /Khira, 3) Roasted Cumin/Jeera Powder, 4) Chilly Paprika or Kashmiri Lal Mirch Powder, 5) Sugar, 6) Salt


NOTE :


You can use Whole Black peppercorn / Sabut Kali Mirch in the tempering of the Bulgur Pilaf.

You may add more veggies of your choice.
You can add chopped mint in the Yougurt Dip/ Raita.
Even fresh pomegrate seeds taste yum in this dip.
You are free not to add the sugar in dip if you don't like it.