Category Archives: Vegetables

Vegetarian Side… Pok Choy with a bit of teriyaki sauce

Guyanese Style Pok Choy

I love vegetables. Simple with no meat or additives. Just seasoned right. Pok Choy or Bok Choy as it is commonly known to non Guyanese, is one of those vegetables that you don’t want to over cook, or over do (as we Guyanese say). It is best enjoyed in a simple flavorful dish, where you can truly taste the crunchiness of the leaves and deliciousness of the pok choy. The recipe below, is quick and simple and highlights the flavors of the pok choy.

Start with about 4 bundles of fresh pok choy.

Start with about 4 bundles of fresh pok choy.

Cut off the head (part holding leaves together), then wash the leaves individually to remove sand.  Be sure to wash white stalk thoroughly.  Then chop into small pieces.

Cut off the head (part holding leaves together), then wash the leaves individually to remove sand.
Be sure to wash the white stalk thoroughly.
Then chop into small pieces.

Then in a saute pan, cook 1/2 onion (diced), 4 cloves of garlic (finely chopped) and 3 roma tomatoes (diced).  You can use about 2 tbsp olive oil to cook the onions, garlic and tomatoes. Cook until tomatoes are soft and onions are slightly brown.

In a saute pan, cook 1/2 onion (diced), 4 cloves of garlic (finely chopped) and 3 roma tomatoes (diced).
You can use about 2 tbsp olive oil to cook the onions, garlic and tomatoes.
Cook until tomatoes are soft and onions are slightly brown. Add a bit of salt and pepper to increase flavor.

Add the pok choy and toss together.

Add the pok choy and toss together.

Then, add about 1/4 cup of teriyaki sauce. The one I am using is by LeChoy and is actually a marinade and is not as sweet as some teriyaki sauce can be.

Then, add about 1/4 cup of teriyaki sauce. The one I am using is by LeChoy and is actually a marinade and is not as sweet as some teriyaki sauces.

Add salt and pepper to taste, mix together and continue to cook for about 5 minutes.

Add salt and pepper to taste, mix together and continue to cook for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and enjoy.

Serve with your favorite starch (roti or rice)!

I had mine with rice and fried fish.

I had mine with rice and fried fish.

Pok Choy with a bit of teriyaki sauce (serves 4)

Ingredients:
4 bundles of pok choy
3 roma tomatoes (diced)
1/2 yellow onion (diced)
4 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
1/4 cup of teriyaki sauce
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 tbsp olive oil

Directions:
Cut head from pok choy bundles. Separate leaves and wash individually to remove sand and mud. Chop into small pieces and set aside. Add oil to a saute pan on medium heat. When hot, add onions, garlic and tomatoes. Add a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook until tomatoes are soft and onions are brown. Add chopped pok choy. Toss together, then add teriyaki sauce and remaining salt and pepper. Mix together and cook for about 5 minutes, or until whites of the pok choy stems are a bit tender. Remove from the heat and enjoy with your favorite starch (rice or roti).

Tips and Ramblings:
1. Sometimes you are unfortunate to find Pok Choy that has more white that green on the stems. You will need to throw away or save for stir fry, most of the white part of the stem. You need to have a good balance between the white and green of the stem or the dish will taste watery and less flavorful.
2. I get my Pok Choy from the Asian markets. They seem to have them in a wide variety.
3. If you are using a really sweet teriyaki sauce you can reduce the amount to just about 2 tbsp.
4. If you don’t have teriyaki sauce but you have cassareep, you can use about 1 tbsp of cassareep and 1 tbsp of brown sugar. The flavors will net out to be just about the same.

Happy Cooking!

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Baigan Choka… Roasted Eggplant

Baigan Choka

I don’t have a gas cook top / stove / burner. My cook top and oven are electric. Which means there’s no flame for roasting peppers or tomatoes or other vegetables, especially eggplant for baigan Choka. I LOVE baigan choka. In fact, I love eggplant, period. Since I don’t have a way to cook it during the winter months, I can’t wait for summer when we fire up our grill and start cooking outside. These past few weeks we’ve cooked all our meals on the grill. No joke! Which means my house is free of food smells (if you know me, you know I have a slight OCD about food smells. Ha).But it also means that I made baigan choka!!! One of my viewers and good friends asked me a while back to share my baigan choka recipe so here goes. It’s really simple and the hardest part is roasting the eggplant to perfection.

For this recipe you need 4 simple ingredients: Eggplant (I'm using two fairly large eggplants), 1 large tomato, about 4 cloves of garlic and about 5 heads of green onions (not pictured)

For this recipe you need 4 simple ingredients: Eggplant (I’m using two fairly large eggplants), 1 large tomato, about 4 cloves of garlic, half a wiri wiri pepper and about 5 heads of green onions (not pictured)

Wash the eggplant and tomatoes.  Then, make 2 inch slits (with a knife), lengthwise along the entire eggplant.  Peel the garlic cloves and cut in halves. Insert haves into a few of the slits in the eggplant.

Wash the eggplant and tomatoes.
Then, make 2 inch slits (with a knife), lengthwise along the entire eggplant.
Peel the garlic cloves and cut in halves. Insert garlic halves into a few of the slits in the eggplant.

I placed the eggplant and tomatoes and the rest of the garlic on the grill to roast. You can also roast your garlic this way for the choka, but I was making a dish for dinner that required roasted garlic, so I was killing two birds with one stone.

I placed the eggplant and tomatoes and the rest of the garlic on the grill to roast. You can also roast your garlic this way for the choka, but I was making a dish for dinner that required roasted garlic, so I was killing two birds with one stone.

After a while the eggplant wasn't getting the char I needed so I moved it to the burner of the grill.  If you are making this at home, you can put directly on the flame on your stove. Juices will leak from the eggplant and that can be very messy so be careful. Once one side of the eggplant becomes charred (roasted), turn on the other side and continue to roast.  At home, you can place the tomato on a fork and roast over the open flame as well.

After a while the eggplant wasn’t getting the char I needed so I moved it to the burner of the grill.
If you are making this at home, you can put directly on the flame on your stove. Juices will leak from the eggplant and that can be very messy so be careful.
Once one side of the eggplant becomes charred (roasted), turn on the other side and continue to roast.
At home, you can place the tomato on a fork and roast over the open flame as well.

What the ingredients looked like after 30 minutes of roasting on an open flame

What the ingredients looked like after 30 minutes of roasting on an open flame.

Let the eggplant cool for about 5 to 10 minutes. You want it too cold, but cool enough so you can work with it.  Insert a knife under the skin and pull skin towards you to create an opening or access to the flesh.

Let the eggplant cool for about 5 to 10 minutes. You don’t want it too cold, but cool enough so you can work with it.
Insert a knife under the skin and pull skin towards you to create an opening or access to the flesh.

Use a fork to scoop out the fleshy parts of the eggplant from the charred skin.

Use a fork to scoop out the fleshy parts of the eggplant from the charred skin.

Finely dice green onions and 1/2 of a wiri wiri pepper (you can use scotch bonnet peppers if you don't have wiri wiri peppers).  Saute in a small sauce pan with 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, on medium heat.  The olive oil gives it a great flavor.

Finely dice green onions and 1/2 of a wiri wiri pepper (you can use scotch bonnet peppers if you don’t have wiri wiri peppers).
Saute in a small sauce pan with 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, on medium heat.
The olive oil gives it a great flavor.

Place the fleshy parts of the eggplant that you removed from the charred skin, and the roasted garlic, in a plate or serving dish.  Then, remove the skin from the tomato. Add the tomato to the eggplant and garlic. Using a fork, crush tomato and garlic and mix together with the eggplant.  Finally, add the green onions, pepper and salt to taste (about 1 tsp).  Mix together and serve hot with your favorite type roti. I had mine with sada roti.

Place the fleshy parts of the eggplant that you removed from the charred skin, and the roasted garlic, in a plate or serving dish.
Then, remove the skin from the tomato.
Add the tomato to the eggplant and garlic. Using a fork, crush tomato and garlic and mix together with the eggplant.
Finally, add the green onions, pepper and salt to taste (about 1 tsp).
Mix together and serve hot with your favorite type of roti. I had mine with sada roti (recipe to follow).

 

Baigan Choka / Roasted Eggplant (serves 4)

Ingredients:

2 large eggplants
1 large tomato
4 cloves garlic
5 heads green onion
1/2 wiri wiri pepper
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp salt

Directions:
Wash eggplants and tomato. Using a knife, make 2 inch slits lengthwise along each eggplant. Peel garlic cloves and cut into halves. Stuff halves into a few of the slits along the eggplants. Add to an open flame and roast for about 30 minutes or until the eggplants are completely charred and soft. Rotate eggplant so that all sides are roasted evenly. Roast tomato on an open flame until the skin is charred and easily removes from the flesh. Finely chop the green onions and pepper. Add oil to a small saute pan on medium heat. Add green onions and peppers and saute for about 3 minutes.
When eggplants are completely roasted, remove charred skin and scoop fleshy part and roasted garlic out with a fork. Add eggplant to a serving dish. Then, remove skin from roasted tomato. Add tomato to the eggplant and roasted garlic and crush with a fork. Add green onions, pepper and salt. Mix together and enjoy.

Tips and Ramblings:
1. You can choose not to cook the green onions and add them raw. It gives it a nice crunchy taste.
2. The tomato I used had a lot of water. So it made my baigan choka a bit watery. It also had a sour/tangy taste which also affect the taste of the choka, so choose your tomato wisely. Roma tomatoes or vine ripen tomatoes might have been a better choice.

Happy Roasting!

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Vegetarian Side Dish… Katahar Curry

Katahar Curry

Katahar is a relative to the Jack Fruit family. In fact, many mistake it for jack fruit. The young/green katahar is usually cooked in a coconut curry broth. The mature/ripe katahar is used only for its seeds, that are boiled and eaten as a nutty, meaty snack.

Before I made this dish, I hadn’t eaten katahar in over 13 years. Every time I visited Guyana it was not in season. When I lived in New York, I rarely longed for Guyanese food because it was so readily available. A few weeks ago while visiting my mom, we went shopping in little Guyana and what did I see on a vegetable stand on Liberty Avenue? Katahar of course. So I bought two katahar/s, packed them in my suitcase and brought them to Denver.

I should state as a disclaimer that katahar is quite time consuming to cook, from peeling, to the actually cooking, it takes like 2 to 3 hours, if you’re lucky. So I let the katahar sit in my refrigerator for almost 3 weeks, putting off cooking it every time I saw it in the fridge. Sadly, when I finally decided to cook it, one of them was completely rotten and the other one was salvageable but a bit brown.

 

Now for this dish…

First, you will need to peel off the tough green skin from the Katahar. Then, separate the "flesh" from the seeds/nuts. Next, you must remove the outer shell from the seeds. Finally, I shredded the flesh in to tiny strips and cut the seeds/nuts into halves.

First, you will need to peel off the tough green skin from the Katahar.
Then, separate the “flesh” from the seeds/nuts.
Next, you must remove the outer shell from the seeds.
Finally, I shredded the flesh into tiny strips and cut the seeds/nuts into halves.

Now for the curry…

Prepare a curry paste I added 1 onion, 6 cloves of garlic and 2 tbsp water to the food processor and blended until finely chopped.  Then, I combined 1 tbsp granulated garlic, 1 tbsp geera (ground roasted cumin), 1 tsp garam masala, 2 tbsp curry powder, and 1 tsp salt. Mixed it together to form a curry paste.

Prepare a curry paste!
I added 1 onion, 6 cloves of garlic and 2 tbsp water to the food processor and blended until finely chopped.
Then, I combined 1 tbsp granulated garlic, 1 tbsp geera (ground roasted cumin), 1 tsp garam masala, 2 tbsp curry powder, and 1 tsp salt.
I mixed it together to form a curry paste.

Cook curry paste in a pressure cooker on medium heat, with about 3 tbsp of oil.

Cook curry paste in a pressure cooker (without the lid on, just like you would a sauce pot) on medium heat, with about 3 tbsp of oil.

When most of the liquids have evaporated from the paste and the curry almost brown in color, add the katahar.

When most of the liquids have evaporated from the paste and the curry is almost brown in color, add the katahar.

Add 5 cups of water and pressure cook until flesh and nut are tender (melts in your mouth tender).

Add 5 cups of water and pressure cook until flesh and nut are tender (melts in your mouth tender).

Once the katahar cooks, add 2 cups coconut milk and reduce heat. Let simmer (without pressure lid on) until broth thickens, about 10 to 15 minutes.

Once the katahar cooks, add 2 cups coconut milk and salt to taste. Then, reduce heat. Let simmer (without pressure lid on) until broth thickens, about 10 to 15 minutes.

Katahar curry is best enjoyed with white rice!

Katahar curry is best enjoyed with white rice!

Katahar Curry (Makes 6 servings)

Ingredients:
1 medium katahar (peeled and prepared)
1 onion
6 cloves garlic
2 tbsp curry powder
1 tbsp granulated garlic
1 tbsp geera
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp salt
3 tbsp oil
2 cups coconut milk
5 cups water (for pressure cooking)

Directions:
Peel and separate katahar flesh and nuts/seeds. Peel nuts and cut into halves. Shred flesh into tiny strips.
Prepare a curry paste by combining onion and garlic in a food processor with about 2 tbsp water. Add curry powder, granulated garlic, geera, salt and garam masala to processed onion and garlic. Add oil to a pressure cooker on medium heat, with lid off. When oil is hot, add curry paste. Saute curry paste until the liquid evaporated and curry is almost brown in color. Then, add katahar, followed by water. Increase heat to high, add lid and pressure cook until flesh and seeds are tender. When katahar is fully cooked add coconut milk and a bit more salt to taste (of needed). Reduce heat and let simmer until curry broth thickens.

Tips and Ramblings:

1. You can peel and prepare the katahar overnight. It took me about an hour to peel the little katahar I had.
2. You can add more spices or pepper to the curry paste. I have a pretty good curry powder that has loads of spices so I often don’t add anything else to my curry paste.
3. I didn’t want the curry to lose the richness of the coconut milk, through the pressure cooking so I chose to add the coconut milk towards the end as a thickening agent.
4. I had to check my pressure cooker 3 times and add a bit more water before the katahar was fully cooked. It pressure cooked for like an hour.
5. Logic tells me this would be a great slow cooker dish, so next time I am fortunate to come across katahar I will try it in the slow cooker. Of course I also need to buy a slow cooker, first. (smile)

Happy Cooking!

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Sunday Brunch… Potatoes and Vegetables Gratin

Potato Gratin

This is a quick side dish, perfect for Easter brunch. It’s a classic potato gratin with a veggie twist. I’m not going to say too much on this post, still sick and battling a nasty cold. So while my head is in a fog, I’ll spare you guys any crazy stories.

For the dish….

First you will need about 1lb potatoes.Washed and sliced into 1/8 inch thickness.Layer in a sauce pan and cover with water. Cook until it is al dente (slightly hard).

First you will need about 1lb potatoes.
Washed and sliced into 1/8 inch thickness.
Layer in a large saute pan and cover with water and add 1 tsp salt.
Cook until it is al dente (slightly hard).

Once the potatoes cook, remove from heat but not from water.For the veggies I am using a bag of steamers by Bird's Eye, but you can use fresh cauliflower, carrots and broccoli. Just remember to steam them a bit before putting the dish together.

Once the potatoes cook, remove from heat but not from water.
For the veggies I am using a bag of steamers by Bird’s Eye, but you can use fresh cauliflower, carrots and broccoli.
Just remember to steam them a bit before putting the dish together.

For the sauce:Melt 1 tbsp butter in a saucepan on low heat. Add, 1 tsp granulated garlic, 1 tbsp chopped onions, 1 tsp spicy brown mustard, 4 cups shredded cheese, 2 cups milk, 1 tsp parsley flakes and a pinch pf  fresh ground black pepper.Whisk together until cheese melts and forms a thick sauce.

For the sauce:
Melt 1 tbsp butter in a saucepan on low heat.
Add, 1 tsp granulated garlic, 1 tbsp chopped onions, 1 tsp spicy brown mustard, 4 cups shredded cheese, 2 cups milk, 1 tsp parsley flakes and a pinch of fresh ground black pepper.
Whisk together until cheese melts and forms a thick sauce. Remove from heat and when cooled whisk in 2 whole eggs and set aside.

Layering the Gratin…

Grease a large baking dish with oil or cooking spray. Add a light layer of cheese sauce.Then add a layer of potatoes, followed by another layer of cheese sauce.

Grease a large baking dish with oil or cooking spray.
Add a light layer of cheese sauce.
Then add a layer of potatoes, followed by another layer of cheese sauce.

Add a layer of vegetables, then another layer of cheese.Finish with a second layer of potatoes and a final layer of cheese sauce.

Add a layer of vegetables, then another layer of cheese.
Finish with a second layer of potatoes and a final layer of cheese sauce.

Top with 1 cup shredded cheese and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 to 40 mins.

Top with 1 cup shredded cheese and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 to 40 mins.

I had mine with a side of oven roasted herb crusted chicken breast. Yummy.

I had mine with a side of oven roasted herb crusted chicken breast. Yummy.

Potatoes and Veggies Gratin (Serves 4)

Ingredients:

1lb potatoes
1 packet Bird’s Eye Steamers (mixed veggies),
or
1 head of broccoli
1/2 head of cauliflower
3 Carrots
5 cups of shredded cheese (about 1 1/2 pounds)
2 eggs
2 cups milk
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp chopped onions
1 tsp granulated garlic
1 tsp spicy brown mustard
2 tsp salt
1 tsp parsley flakes
pinch of black pepper

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Wash potatoes and slice into 1/8 inch round slices. Layer slices in a large saute pan, cover with water, add 1 tsp salt and cook on medium heat. When potatoes are cooked but not too soft (al dente) remove from heat, but not water.
Prep veggies:
If you are using the steamers, follow instructions on the packet. If you are using fresh veggies. Steam veggies for 5 to 10 minutes. They should be cooked but not soft. Season with 1 tsp salt
Making the cheese sauce:
Melt butter in a small saucepan. Add chopped onions, granulated garlic, mustard, parsley flakes and black pepper.
Add 4 cups cheese and milk. Whisk until cheese melts into a thick sauce. Let cool then whisk in eggs.
Layering the gratin:
Grease a large baking dish with cooking spray or oil. Add a thin layer of cheese sauce. Then add a layer of potatoes followed by a layer of cheese sauce. Then add a layer of veggies, followed by another layer of cheese sauce. Finally add a top layer of potatoes and a final layer of cheese sauce. Then top with the remaining shredded cheese.

Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until top is golden brown.

Tips and Ramblings:
1. If you want this to be more cheese, you can add 1/2 lb more cheese.
2. You can make the cheese on the top much thicker, but I wanted a more subtle cheese flavor.
3. You can make the sauce thicker by adding a tbsp of flour to the butter before adding the onions etc.

Happy Cooking!

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Vegetarian Sides… Pumpkin and Tomatoes

Guyanese pumpkin

I LOVE pumpkin. I could eat it every day, with every kind of protein or without anything protein at all. Pumpkin and roti is my comfort food. Throw in some dhal and I’m in heaven! Today I am featuring the first in a series of Guyanese vegetarian side dishes. Initially I thought about cooking seven curry and featuring that, but I couldn’t find katahar in Denver to save my life. So I am doing something a bit more simple. Now I know a lot of you will give me lots of grief about these next posts because you can probably already cook these dishes, but listen, I have non-Guyanese followers too.

This dish is quick and simple. It takes about 30 minutes to prep and cook.

I am using 1 1/2lbs pumpkin. Peeled, gutted (seeds and "guts") removed and cut into 1/2 inch cubes.To season this dish you will need: 3 Roma tomatoes sliced, a handful of plum tomatoes cut into halves, 1 large onion diced, 6 cloves garlic finely chopped, 1 wiri wiri pepper, 1 tsp dried thyme, about 2 tsp salt and a pinch of freshly ground black pepper..

I am using 1 1/2lbs pumpkin. Peeled, gutted (seeds and “guts” removed) and cut into 1/2 inch cubes.
To season this dish you will need: of  garlic (finely chopped), 1 wiri wiri pepper, 1 tsp dried thyme, about 2 tsp salt and a pinch of freshly ground black pepper.

First, heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a large skillet on medium heat. Then cook onions, garlic and garlic until slightly brown. I also add the whole wiri wiri pepper  for flavor without the heat. Then add sliced roma tomatoes and cook until tomatoes are soft.Add diced pumpkin, thyme, salt and black pepper.

First, in a large saute pan on medium heat, warm 2 tbsp oil. Then cook onions and garlic until slightly brown. I also add the whole wiri wiri pepper for flavor without the heat.
Then add sliced roma tomatoes and cook until tomatoes are soft.
Add diced pumpkin, thyme, salt and black pepper.

Saute pumpkin for about 5 minutes, then add 1 to 2 cups of water. Cover and let simmer until pumpkin is fully cooked and soft (about 15 minutes)Then, add halved plum tomatoes. Cook for an additional 5 minutes and remove from heat. Serve with rice or roti and your favorite protein!

Saute pumpkin for about 5 minutes, then add 1 to 2 cups of water. Cover and let simmer until pumpkin is fully cooked and soft (about 15 minutes)
Then, add halved plum tomatoes. Cook for an additional 5 minutes and remove from heat. Serve with rice or roti and your favorite protein!

I’m having mine with dhal and roti. Yummy.

pumpkin and roti and dhal

Guyanese Style Pumpkin Stew (6 Servings)

Ingredients:

1 1/2 lbs peeled and diced pumpkin
3 roma tomatoes (sliced)
1 large onion (diced)
6 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
about 10 plum tomatoes (halved)
1 tsp dried thyme
2 tsp salt
pinch of freshly ground black pepper
1 wiri wiri pepper for flavor (not heat)
2 tbsp olive oil

Directions:
Heat oil in a large saute pan on medium heat. Add onions, garlic and wiri wiri pepper. Cook onions and garlic until brown. Add roma tomatoes and cook until tomatoes are soft. Add pumpkin, thyme, salt and pepper. Saute for about 5 minutes, then add 1 to 2 cups water. Cook covered for 15 to 20 minutes or until pumpkin is cooked and soft. Add plum tomatoes and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Remove from heat and enjoy.

Tips and Ramblings:
1. You can use butternut squash as a substitute for pumpkin if you are in the US and can’t find pumpkin. For this post I bought pumpkin from my local Asian market but I’ve often cooked butternut squash as a pumpkin substitute. You may need to add brown sugar and blend the butternut squash with a hand blended to give it a smooth texture but the flavors are very similar.
2. You can add chicken, beef, shrimp, lamb whatever protein you want to this dish. Most Guyanese prefer pumpkin and shrimp. I recently made pumpkin and salt fish. It was delicious.
3. If you want some heat in this dish. You can cut open the wiri wiri pepper at the end or chop it up in the beginning. I like the flavor of the pepper without the heat.

Happy Cooking!

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Not popeye’s spinach… Bahgie

Spinach/Bahgie

Today I am featuring dish number two in a three dish series. It will take you less time to cook this dish than it took me to write this post. Spinach or Bahgie, as it is known to most Indo-Guyanese (Guyanese with Indian ancestry), is a popular side dish for most curry and roti combinations. Or at least it’s that way in my home. It’s quick and easy and loaded with iron.

Let’s get right to the recipe cause I’m sure you don’t want to hear about how we grew spinach in our back yard when I was little and picked it fresh and cooked it every other week. Or do you (wink).

For this recipe I am using 3 bundles of spinach/bahgie. 3 tomatoes (diced), 5 cloves of garlic, 1 tsp brown sugar (not pictured) and salt to taste (about 1/2 tsp).

For this recipe I am using 3 bundles of spinach/bahgie. 3 tomatoes (diced), 5 cloves of garlic (chopped), 1 tsp brown sugar (not pictured) and salt to taste (about 1/2 tsp).

First you will need to wash the spinach/bahgie because it is usually loaded with sand. I'm washing mine in my sink but you can use a large bowl if you prefer. 1. Chop the stems off the spinach.2. Submerge spinach in water. Then wash each  hand full of spinach under running water.3. Chop spinach into large chunks.

First you will need to wash the spinach/bahgie because it is usually loaded with sand. I’m washing mine in my sink but you can use a large bowl if you prefer.
1. Chop the stems off the spinach.
2. Submerge spinach in water. Then wash each hand full of spinach under running water.
3. Chop spinach into large chunks.

Add 3 tbsp. oil to a large frying pan / saute pan on medium heat. When oil is hot add tomatoes and garlic and cook until tomatoes are soft. Add chopped spinach and toss until spinach and tomatoes are thoroughly mixed together.

Add 3 tbsp. oil to a large frying pan / saute pan on medium heat. When oil is hot add tomatoes and garlic and cook until tomatoes are soft.
Add chopped spinach and toss until spinach and tomatoes are thoroughly mixed together.

Cook down for 5 minutes (do not cover pan), then add sugar and salt to taste. Cook for an additional 10 minutes on high heat, Turning occasionally to ensure even cooking.

Cook down for 5 minutes (do not cover pan), then add sugar and salt to taste. Cook for an additional 10 minutes on high heat, Turning occasionally to ensure even cooking.

So in about 30 minutes (prep included), you have really yummy bahgie.

Bahgie(spinach), bunjal chicken, dhal and rice.

Bahgie(spinach), bunjal chicken, dhal and rice.

Bahgie (Spinach) (4-5 servings)

Ingredients:
3 bundles of spinach (chopped)
3 large tomatoes (diced)
5 cloves garlic (chopped)
3 tbsp. oil
1 tsp. brown sugar
salt to taste

Directions:
Heat 3 tbsp oil in a large saute pan or frying pan, on medium heat. Add tomatoes and garlic and cook until tomatoes are soft. Add spinach. Toss spinach until completely mixed with tomatoes. Cook down spinach for 5 minutes then add sugar and salt. Increase to high heat and let cook for an additional 5 minutes, turning spinach often to ensure even cooking. Spinach is finished when all the water has cooked off and spinach has a dark green color.

Tips and Ramblings:
1. This is not the only way to cook spinach but it’s the easiest way to cook bahgie.
2. Some people add coconut milk to their bahgie. If you like you can add 3 tbsp. coconut milk right when you add the spinach. It gives it a rich flavor.
3. Do not cover the spinach while cooking or it will “spring” a lot of water and you’ll likely end up with steamed spinach, which is also tasty but not exactly what we are going for here.
4. In the last 5 minutes, let the spinach saute on high heat, it will make a difference in the flavor.

Happy Cooking and don’t forget to subscribe, it’s free!

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

30 Minute Meal… Bora two ways.

Green Beans and Shrimp

Green Beans and Shrimp with rice.

When I was a little girl in Guyana, there were definitely week day meals and weekend meals. On the weekend we cooked “fancy dishes” like fried rice and baked chicken or cook-up rice, because that’s when you were most likely to have a visiting relative. Guyanese customs stipulate that who ever walks through your doors must be fed. And that’s exactly what happens when you visit anyone in Guyana. Well, that’s what happened when I was growing up, not sure if it’s quite the same now. Okay, I am straying from the top at hand. During the week we made simple dishes that were often served with rice. Guyanse vegetable stews and stir-fries often consist of one vegetable and a protein. Simple and delicious.

Now about this Bora situation. Bora is the Guyanese word for Chinese long bean and is quite delicious when paired with meat or fish. As you guys know I live in Denver now, where I can only find Chinese long bean at the H Mart (Asian Supermarket) in the summer, so I’ve discovered that when cooked with the right spices green beans have the same flavor profile.

In this recipe I am using frozen petite whole beans (bought from the freezer section in WalMart) and pairing it with Shrimp for my husband and just stir fried with tomatoes for moi, since I don’t eat shrimp. The recipe takes about 30mins and is a great mid-week meal for two. So if you’ve got 30 minutes, you’ve got dinner!

First let’s get our rice on the stove.

First you will need 2 cups of rice (I'm using parboiled long grain rice). Then, 2 cups water.Add rice and water to a saucepan and bring to boil on medium to high heat.Let boil for 5 minutes then reduce to low heat and let simmer until rice is fully cooked and all the water has evaporated.

First you will need 2 cups of rice (I’m using parboiled long grain rice). Then, 4 cups water.
Add rice and water to a saucepan and bring to boil on medium to high heat.
Let boil for 5 minutes then reduce to low heat and let simmer until rice is fully cooked and all the water has evaporated.

While the rice is cooking, let’s prep the veggies and the shrimp. First the veggies.

You will need 1/2 onion (thinly sliced), 2 tomatoes (diced), 3 cloves of garlic (finely chopped), 1 tbsp. dried thyme, 1 tsp. brown sugar and a pinch of salt and black pepper.1. In a large skillet, sauté onions until soft and brown.2. Add tomatoes, garlic, thyme, brown sugar and salt and pepper. 3. Cook until tomatoes are soft and cooked down.

You will need 1/2 onion (thinly sliced), 2 tomatoes (diced), 3 cloves of garlic (finely chopped), 1 tbsp. dried thyme, 1 tsp. brown sugar and a pinch of salt and black pepper.
1. In a large skillet, sauté onions with about 3 tbsp. oil, until soft and brown.
2. Add tomatoes, garlic, thyme, brown sugar and salt and pepper.
3. Cook until tomatoes are soft and cooked down.

Defrost the green beans. If you are pressed for time you can run it under hot water. Then chop into 1/2 inch pieces. Once you've chopped all of the green beans, add to the cooked tomatoes and seasoning and sauté for about 10 minutes tossing constantly to ensure even cooking.

Defrost the green beans. If you are pressed for time you can run it under hot water. Then chop into 1/2 inch pieces.
Once you’ve chopped all of the green beans, add to the cooked tomatoes and seasoning and sauté for about 10 minutes tossing constantly to ensure even cooking.

Now for the shrimp…

Peel and devein about 1/4lb shrimp. Season with salt and pepper, thyme, garlic powder, paprika and  pinch of cumin. Set aside and let marinade for 10 to 15 mins. Then, add 1 tbsp. butter to a warm skillet (on low to medium heat). Once butter has melted ad shrimp.Let cook for 2 minutes on each side, then remove from heat.

Peel and devein about 1/4lb shrimp. Season with salt and pepper, thyme, garlic powder, paprika and pinch of cumin. Set aside and let marinade for 10 to 15 mins. Then, add 1 tbsp. butter to a warm skillet (on low to medium heat). Once butter has melted ad shrimp. Let cook for 2 minutes on each side, then remove from heat.

Bringing the dish together…

Separate the cooked beans into two portions, leaving 1/2 in the skillet. Add shrimp to the beans in the skillet and cook for 2 to 3 minutes on medium heat. (It is important not to overcook the shrimp or it will become tough).

Separate the cooked beans into two portions, leaving 1/2 in the skillet. Add shrimp to the beans in the skillet and cook for 2 to 3 minutes on medium heat. (It is important not to overcook the shrimp or it will become tough).

And there you have it, bora (or for the sake of argument, green beans) two ways. Enjoy!

Green Beans and Shrimp with Rice

Ingredients:

Rice

2 cups long grain parboiled rice

4  cups water

Green Beans and Shrimp

1 packet frozen green beans (chopped into 1/2 inch pieces)

3 tbsp. oil

1/2 onion (thinly sliced)

2 tomatoes (diced)

3 to 4 cloves garlic (finely chopped)

1 tbsp. dried thyme

1 tsp. brown sugar

salt and pepper to taste

Shrimp

1/4 lb large shrimp (peeled and deveined)

1 tsp. butter

1 tsp. dried thyme

1/4 tsp. paprika

1/4 tsp. granulated garlic or garlic powder

salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Add rice and water to a saucepan on medium to high heat and bring to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes, then reduce to low heat and let simmer until all the water has evaporated and rice is fully cooked (about 10 minutes).

Add thyme, paprika, garlic, and salt and pepper to shrimp and set aside.

Warm oil in a large skillet on medium heat. Add onions and sauté until onions are brown and soft. Add tomatoes, garlic, thyme, brown sugar, salt and pepper and cook until tomatoes are soft. Add chopped green beans and sauté for an additional 10 to 15 minutes, tossing constantly until beans are cooked.

In a medium or small skillet on medium to low heat, melt 1 tsp. butter. Once butter is completely melted add seasoned shrimp. Cook (without turning) for 2 minutes or until shrimp turns pink, then flip on other side and cook for another 2 mins. Remove from heat and set aside.

Separate green beans into two portions, leaving one portion in the skillet. Add shrimp to green beans in the skillet and cook for an additional 2 to 3 minutes.

Tips and Ramblings.

1. Frozen foods get a bad wrap but when they are fresh frozen they taste just as delicious as the fresh stuff. When fresh green beans are available I opt for those.

2. You can substitute shrimp in this recipe for chicken and, or beef

3. Although I don’t eat shrimp, my husband loves it and I enjoy cooking it for him

4. This meal probably takes less than 30 minutes to cook, in all honesty, but giving yourself a little bit of wiggle room is always a good thing.

Happy Cooking!

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,