Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Left Over Wow - Layered Methi Biryani!!

A young mom’s biggest tension in life is to get rid of the huge amounts of leftover she gets left with. My child however so I wish, refuses to eat many things that are staple to his growth. But I ain’t one of those moms who is going to quietly make those left overs my own dinner. I spice and spruce it up and make it a bigger than life thing for the full family to enjoy. This post is an idea which pretty much stemmed out of this very emotion.

So I harvest these young fenugreek leaves, about which I wrote in my earlier post- 

Growing Your Greens- Fenugreek!!

My son is extremely happy to have parathas made with fenugreek the first day. The next day too he devoured these bitter microgreens with ease and I was beyond happy. So I sowed the seeds again and this time when I harvested, I decided to try a rice dish instead. I was in a mood to prepare a wow dish, but had a big bowl of left over rice in the fridge with some hard boiled eggs which was very rudely denied by my little guy the previous night. So to serve him something healthy yet fenugreek-y, I took some carrots and ripe pumpkin to make a curry where the spice used was just these fresh microgreens from my balcony. Then I transformed the curry into a layered biryani adding in some hidden flavours. If you are positively curious about the dish now, then you should definitely read on to the next page to get possibly the most amazing yet so very simple- Layered Methi and Subz Biryani. 

Ingredients for making the Fenugreek and Veggie Curry

2 medium carrots cut in ½ inch pieces
150 gms pumpkin cut in big ½ inch pieces
Harvested fenugreek microgreens. I didn’t really weigh or measure it, but it would be approximately 3 big handfuls.
2 tbsp of mustard oil      
½ tsp cumin seeds
1 bay leaf
1 dry red chilly
Salt to taste
A pinch of Turmeric
Sugar to taste
To be ground-
2 to 3 fat cloves of garlic
2 small onions or a big one
3 green chiliies
Handful of cilantro leaves

For layering-

Cooked Rice (stale or not, nothing for guessing what i must have used!)
A boiled egg sliced
A couple of spoonful of mango and chilly pickle with mustard oil (I used a homemade mango and chilly pickle. I had followed Alpana Habib’s method of pickling. She is a famous celebrity chef from Bangladesh, whose food is quintessentially Bengali. But for this recipe, any other hot and sour and sweet pickle would work as well. I love to use the oil mixed with juice of the pickle so it is a good idea if you are buying a pickle, buy the one which is preserved in mustard oil)
A dash of milk
Sliced onion fried- barista (optional)

Chopped cilantro



I didn’t use fried onions because it’s extremely tedious to cut fry and drain it, just for a weekday lunch to be carried to the office. But if I was to serve it in a party, I would do these extra steps willingly.

To make it completely vegetarian, just omit the egg part and you are good to go.

Monday, 21 September 2015

Growing Your Greens- Fenugreek!!

How many of you guys out there reading me right now have a green something close to u! Nope, tat green cup or a fridge magnet doesn’t count. I mean real living green leaves around you, especially if you have a balcony to spare. When I look out while I write this, I see this view and I feel lucky to have made this green patch in my home today. I have a bigger terrace which has vegetable seedlings growing and another little balcony which has herbs growing. I manage the gardens alone, with whatever help I get from anyone. Nursery visits are satisfying but sowing seeds from a real veggie is still much more filling than that. Mixing manure with soil, feeling the stringy roots forming and marvelling at the growth these little guys go through. Sigh… Container gardening is really a wonderful thing that has changed the way urban living goes! Today, just a bit of these little guys in nooks and corners of your house are gonna brighten your day up, and if you plant edible stuff, then the harvest will brighten your dish up as well.

For some time now, friends in the real and virtual worlds have been marvelling on my social media posts of my little container garden. There have been many requests for tips and tricks to get a green belt going in every house. It’s an inexpensive hobby that I discovered after moving to Gurgaon. And my balconies are turning green faster than I thought, and firmer than I ever imagined. The most satisfying beginner crop that I grow here is methi or fenugreek. And today I am going to pen down the way to plant it in the easiest fashion possible, which worked for me. I have harvested and replanted fenugreek quite many times, and each time I did that, it felt wonderful to eat wat I grew with my own hard work. It was fresh, pungent and so so tasty. I made this layered box for my husband to carry to his office. He was blown over when he opened the box and the aroma of these methi leaves travelled out. Growing your own veggies does guarantee a freshness which cannot be had anywhere else.

This is a unique recipe on my site today. In fact who would have thought I would be giving off recipes to planting seeds in this little corner that I call mine. I didn’t for sure, but if you liked it then do send out a shout to me on any of the mediums. I will then concentrate on making more such posts and giving you more inexpensive tips to get a green belt going in your house.

Now to planting these little guys. A fistful of your methi/fenugreek seeds can be thrown overnight in a bowl of water to soak. In the morning, all you do is take a few disposable salad bowls and with sharp knife or a part of scissors, drill some holes for proper drainage. Fill tat up with some soil mixed with manure and sprinkle the soaked seeds evenly on its surface. Sprinkle some more soil on top to barely cover the seeds. Water the seeds well and pat it down gently but firmly for a good soil to seed contact. Keep it in a draft free dark place and keep sprinkling some water daily for the first leaves to pop i.e. germination. Once there transfer it to a balcony and water it every day to get a good harvest of young Kasuri Methi leaves in 10 to 15 days’ time. When you are ready to harvest, take a bunch and snip off the roots. If you are eating it fresh like I do, then let the stocks remain. If you intend to dry it and make the spice ‘Kasuri Methi’ with it, then pluck the leaves only.

Now I can’t leave you without a proper recipe to go with this post. So keep looking out here, as my next post is going to blow your minds off. I would be making this delectable bowl that I call- METHI BIRYANI. And the best part is, I just used the left over rice to make it. So it is a recipe that you don’t want to miss really. And it’s perfect in fact better as a tiffin/lunch box than served right then and there. So coming really soon is my smart use of left over rice and hard boiled eggs in the making of Methi Biryani!  


Saturday, 12 September 2015

#WIN15 Voting!

It started as a passion, leading on to becoming a profession and now to get this encouraging news has led me on to my belief- THAT I AM MADE FOR FOOD ONLY.. 
A good day spent for me has elements of food in it only. And as if cooking wasn't enough, that now my passion lies in gardening and tending plants which can bear fruits for me to harvest. From onions to potatoes, they have all been seeded and shaag/leafy veggies that have been harvested too.. 

So today when my blog- ZOUQH got nominated for #win15 by BlogAdda.com, I couldn't be more humbled by the thought that so many must have wanted me to stand with such stalwarts of food blogging industry, many of whom have always been an inspiration to me. I surely am quite happy to considered as to 10 indian food bloggers of today, and I sit prettily on top in alphabetic order! So, PLS PLS VOTE FOR ME; as i deserve to be on top non alphabetically as well. :) :D 

Like, comment and tweet to register your vote properly!! :) Cheers!!


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