Saturday, March 26, 2011

Provencal Bean Stew

Cannellini beans, these traditional Italian beans are loaded with nutrients. Cannellini beans are low-fat, high in fiber and provide a high quality of magnesium, fiber, iron and folate. They have twice as much iron as beef. Maintaining high iron; ensures a stable supply of hemoglobin. This carries energizing oxygen to every cell in the body. This gives you energy to spare!

Serves 2-3

150g boiled cannellini beans
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion sliced
1 tsp minced garlic
½ of both red & yellow pepper thinly sliced
200g can tomatoes chopped
2 tbsp tomato puree
1 tsp of both minced thyme and basil
1 vegetable soup cube
1 bay leaf
50g pitted black olives
Salt and pepper to taste
Parsley for garnishing


Heat oil in a large pan, sauté onion, garlic, and herbs for 2 minutes. When onion turns translucent, add peppers stir for 1 more minute.

Add chopped tomatoes, tomato puree and soup cube stir well. Add one soup bowl of water, cover lid and let it simmer.

When soup starts simmering season with salt and pepper, add cannellini beans and black olives.

If you prefer a thick stew, you may add corn starch (1 tbsp mixed in cold water) and stir well.

Ladle stew into bowls garnish with parsley.

Thursday, March 24, 2011 - A Traveler's Guide to Local Cuisine

I was recently contacted by about their Wiki Project. They are looking for contributors. MyCityCuisine is a project to create a free, reliable and up-to-date guide to the most original and tasty traditional foods from different countries of the world. MyCityCuisine is an open project, so everyone can contribute to it. Please write about original and tasty traditional foods in different countries including your own country. 

Here is their guidelines to submit a dish or dish list. 

Stir Fried Black Night Shade Leaves (Manathakkali Keerai Varai)

Both leaves and berries are mainly used in South Indian cooking to make stir fry dish (varai) and gravy curries (vathal kulambu). Leaves are effective in the treatment of digestive disorders, mouth and stomach ulcers. The fruits or the berries of the plant is beneficial in treating asthma and also yields beneficial results in fevers. Juice of these leaves is good in healing chronic skin diseases such as acne, eczema and psoriasis.

I heard about these leaves medicinal properties, and was hoping to try them to make it as green curry for our typical Sri Lankan lunch. Surprisingly it was widely available in Indian grocery stores here. It took me awhile to research and decide on method of cooking. I got a plenty of results in which the berries were cooked in hot and sour gravies, leaves with pulses etc., I opted for simple stir fry (less cooking time) so I could preserve its nutrients and color.

Serves 2-3

1 large bunch of Manathakkali, leaves with delicate stems cleaned & roughly chopped
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp of each cumin & mustard seeds
1 onion diced
3 tbsp shredded coconut
1 tbsp yellow split peas
3 dry red chilies roughly chopped


Heat oil in a large pan, add mustard, cummin seeds and yellow grams. When mustard seeds start to splutter, add onion, red chili, salt and shredded coconut. Sauté for 1-2 minutes till coconut turns into golden brown color.

Add roughly chopped greens, lower heat, and mix well for 2 minutes.

Turn off heat, serve with rice.

Note : You can apply the same method of cooking for any type of green leaf vegetable.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Ami's Vegetarian blog featured in The Star Malaysia

Click this link to read full article "Bounty for vegetarian"

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