Sorry, sorry, sorry - for this long absence from the blog. Each time I thought it was time to get back here, something would come up and I would think that deserved more priority. Now I realize, that with a baby on hands, baby will always be priority, but I've got to assign some degree of priority to other things in life as well, blog included.
Today was a nearly perfect day - with things going as planned, rains generously hitting the city, water crisis in the house somewhat better, chores getting done before schedule and one dirty window sill cleared of pigeon droppings, and me managing to catch 2 episodes of Jeeves and Wooster in the afternoon while Atri was sleeping. And hey, the little boy entertained himself with a kitchen towel, a tomato and a cooker-vessel. Was that a sign??
If so many nice things in one day could not propel me to start posting on this beloved food blog, then probably nothing could. Besides, what I cooked this evening for supper turned out so colourful and camera friendly, especially to a person behind the camera who off late has been clicking just her baby.
It's a simple couscous and veggies, one plate dish - very high on the health quotient and surprisingly high on taste factor too....in short it is a speedy way to make ourselves happy at dinner time. You can choose any variety of squash on hand as an addition along with any number of fresh herbs as a garnish. I used what I had on hand and the result has turned out superb. Next time I will also consider throwing in some eggplant wedges to roast along with the other veggies. I have added Nutrela granules to up the protein content, but it is optional.
Couscous with roasted vegetables
Makes one generous plate
Time taken - Under 30 minutes, but under 5-7 minutes of active time
1/2 cup couscous
2 tbsp Nutrela granules
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 - 2 cups boiling hot water
1 tbsp olive oil
4-5 fat cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed
1 medium carrot - peeled, cut into diagonal slices
1/2 medium beet - peeled, cut into diagonal slices
1 medium green bell pepper - cut into strips
1 small onion - peeled, cut into thick slices
1/4 cup shredded cabbage
Handful of frozen peas
2-3 green chillies, whole
1 tsp dried oregano (I used one sachet of oregano seasoning that comes in with pizza delivery)
Fresh basil leaves and freshly ground black pepper to garnish
Place the couscous, Nutrela granules and salt in a large bowl and pour a cup and a half of boiling water on the top. Mix with a fork, cover and let it sit for 5 minutes. If it gets too dry, add some more water, cover and wait a few more minutes, before fluffing up with a fork. Keep aside.
In a large skillet, heat a tbsp or more of olive oil. Throw in smashed garlic cloves, let them turn light brown on a medium flame. Next add all veggies except frozen peas (if using fresh shelled peas, then add that in along with the rest). Turn them around on a medium-high flame for 2-3 minutes. The veggies must not overcrowd the skillet - let them be spread out in a layer as they get roasted on a low to medium flame for 7-10 minutes.
Season with salt, pepper and oregano. You can add some chilli flakes for extra spice.
Spread the couscous on a large plate and transfer the roasted veggies over it. Flavour with some extra virgin olive oil on top, fresh basil leaves and more freshly cracked pepper.