Tag Archives: yogurt

Swiss Chard and Yogurt Curry Sauce

cut-swiss-chard

Swiss Chard

It’s been a while since I’ve posted a recipe. Not that I haven’t been cooking. Just that when I do, it’s in the evening and the light is terrible here in cloudy/rainy Seattle. Anyone else ready for some sun? I know I am and not just so I can take pictures in the evening.

I know many of you are too busy to be able to cook much during the week. Or you are so tired that ordering in feels like an infinitely better plan than cooking and worse, cleaning up. I know the feeling.

Since I don’t like eating out too much, I end up cooking simple dinners most of the time. This recipe is a great example. It is also a tasty way of using up greens that may not last till the weekend. It’s kind of like the pesto of South Indian food.

The dish is called Thambli and is typically made with garlic, South Indian red chilies (byadige), cumin, fenugreek and yogurt. Thambli is normally one of the first sides served in a thali meal in Mangalorean cuisine. But the recipe is versatile and can be used with greens like spinach and swiss chard. You could probably also use mustard greens or kale though you would have to sauté it longer or braise before blending.

Thambli is always made with yogurt. I haven’t tried it without yogurt but I imagine you could blend with avocado or coconut milk to make it dairy free. Have you made it this way? I’d love to hear from you!

Swiss Chard Thambli – Serves 2

  • 3 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 2 long dry red chilis (optional), stalks removed
  • 1/2 – 1 bunch swiss chard, cut into 1 inch wide threads
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup yogurt
  • Salt to taste

Heat the oil over medium heat in a pot or skillet large enough to accommodate the swiss chard. When the surface of the oil start shimmering, add the cumin, fenugreek, garlic and chilis. Let sizzle for 15 seconds while stirring occasionally to prevent the garlic from burning.

Saute the swiss chard till it softens. You don’t need to completely wilt it.

Allow to cool.

In a food processor or blender, blend the sautéed swiss chard with 1/2 cup yogurt and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Taste and add more yogurt or salt as necessary.

Serve over hot rice with a side of pickle or pappadum. And hopefully you can get your spouse to clean the kitchen 🙂

thambli blender

Blending the swiss chard, spices and yogurt

swiss chard thambli

Swiss Chard Thambli, simple and unassuming but yummy and fulfilling

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Pear Lassi with Ginger and Honey

Lassi with pears and ginger

It’s turning out to be one of those weeks when everything happens all at once. Deadlines, errands, events, looking for a new apartment. Not to mention all the work it took to find affordable flights to India for trip in December  and the ensuing visa application. And oh yeah, dark gloomy weather when you’re trying to take pictures.

Or I could just blame it on the pears that were of the perfect ripeness. Just asking to be eaten.

So it came to be that I took the very popular Mango Lassi and made it with baked pears. Was it as good as the One Lassi? I’ll let you decide.

Even with this simple recipe, I had to make a couple of tweaks from what I’d planned. I blended 2 pears with 1 cup of yogurt first and it turned out to be too much yogurt. I added another pear and some honey to make the lassi a bit sweet. Feel free to add sugar or more honey to your taste. I always use freshly ground cardamom when making mango lassi. But the cardamom just didn’t pair well with the pear lassi. I ended up using ground cassia cinnamon instead.

Pears

Baked pear

Makes 2 tall glasses

Recipe

  • 3 pears (I had 2 Bosc and 1 Starkrimson but choose the sweetest ones available)
  • 1/2 inch piece ginger, peeled
  • 3/4 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • ground cinnamon

With a fork or knife, pierce the pears a few times each. Microwave on 80% power for 10 minutes or till pears have softened. Flip them half way through.

Peel, remove seeds and then blend with yogurt, ginger and honey.

Pour into glasses and dust with the ground cinnamon.

Sip and enjoy your dessert in a glass! And enjoy the rest of your week. I can’t wait for the weekend and to dream about all the places I”ll be visiting and all the food I’ll be eating in India!

Cheers!

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Filed under Cocktails, Dessert, Holiday, India, Recipe

Savor the last bits of summer!

Summer was late coming to Seattle. But ever since it got here a few weeks ago, we’ve been hiking almost every weekend. With so many gorgeous vistas from hill tops and trails through patches of wildflower blooms, we’re spoilt for hiking choice here in Washington. And I am ever thankful to live in such a beautiful place.

Mount Rose

We went on a steep hike over the long weekend. By the time we made it back down, we were exhausted, dusty and sore. And thirsty! This buttermilk drink was the perfect antidote to the heat and quenched our thirst.

While South Indians consume buttermilk year round, it is more popular in summer. When you have no AC, a tall cup of buttermilk cooled in a clay pot brings welcome respite from the summer heat.

The term buttermilk is normally used for the liquid that is left over after butter has been churned out of the milk. The same term is used in South India to refer to yogurt thinned with water.

This savory buttermilk ‘cocktail’ may possibly be the easiest recipe ever!

Whipped, smooth yogurt

Savory buttermilk

Pretty wildflowers

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 2 cups plain yogurt
  • 3 cups water
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • juice of 1/2 – 1 lime
  • 1 thai green chili, quartered lengthwise
  • 1 clove garlic, minced (optional)
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro (optional)
  • lime wedges to garnish

Recipe

  1. Using a spoon, smoothen the yogurt by stirring well.
  2. Make a quick garlic extract by putting pressed garlic in a bit of hot water and squeezing the juice out of the clove.
  3. Add the garlic ‘juice’ to the yogurt along with water and the remaining ingredients.
  4. Mix well and let stand for a few minutes for the flavors to mingle.
  5. Pour over ice cubes into tall glasses.
  6. Garnish with a lime wedge and serve.

Tall glasses of cooling buttermilk

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Filed under Cocktails, India, Recipe