Those who follow me on Instagram might have seen my gleeful updates on restarting my kitchen garden. We sowed a ton of seeds 3 weeks ago and each morning, I would take my coffee up there to talk to the little seedlings and watch each one come out from the soil and take head count (just kidding there!). As usual, I jumped too soon. There's this nut-job of a stray dog who climbs up on our terrace garden every single night and he has taken it as is life's singleminded motto to dig out every inch of soil in the garden, and along with it every thing that I sow. It is such heart ache for me that I cannot bear to step into the garden and see the mini earthquake unleashed by that 10 kilo dog. He sure was an earthmover in his previous birth! Now that I've vented my anger and frustration, I can get back to talking about good food things.
Since the last few Fridays, I've been making a big platter of these fully loaded nachos for dinner. It's like a big salad with lots of veggies, beans, cheese and of course tortilla chips. If you get down to baking these chips, then you have a completely healthy, high fibre, high protein snack ready to serve for a house party. I plan to bake these chips in advance for this weekend.
This is the perfect party dish, easily scaled up. You can assemble these in smaller foil containers, sprinkle cheese and bake so it can be shared between two people.
Preparing the beans:
These are not exactly refried beans because in the former, they are mashed to a coarse paste. Here the beans are pressure cooked until soft but each holding their shape and not mushy. They are then sautéed with some seasonings and kept aside for use in the nachos. You could make these ahead of time and refrigerate up to 10 days in an airtight container.
1/2 cup raw rajma ( I use the smaller Kashmiri variety)
pinch of baking soda
2 tsp olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 tsp cumin powder
1 chipotle chilli or a regular dried red chilli, finely chopped or 1/4 tsp chilli flakes
3/4 tsp salt or to taste
2 tbsp finely chopped coriander
Soak the rajma overnight with a pinch of baking soda.
Drain, wash well and add 1 cup water to this or enough water to completely immerse the beans in a utensil that goes inside the pressure cooker.
Pressure cook the beans for 10-12 minutes. (After two whistles, keep on sim for 10-12 minutes) The cooking time depends on the size of the rajma, for bigger sizes you may have to cook for slightly longer time. You want the beans to be cooked thoroughly, pressing with the back of the ladle or the thumb should mash it to a paste but it should hold its shape. Drain any excess water and keep aside.
In a heavy bottomed pan, heat the olive oil. Saute the onion and garlic with a pinch of salt until the onions are soft. Add the drained cooked rajma, cumin powder, chipotle, salt, coriander. On a low heat, gently saute and let all the seasonings coat the rajma for 5-7 minutes. Once this is done, keep aside until use.
Fully Loaded Nachos
Printable version here
200 grams Tortilla Chips - salted or flavoured (I use the salted variety of this brand and find them extremely crisp with good taste)
1 big onion, finely chopped
2 medium tomatoes, deseeded and finely chopped
1 large green capsicum, deseeded and diced
1/4 cup cooked corn kernels (optional)
some sliced pickled jalapeño (how much or how little, depends on your preference)
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
1 cup of seasoned rajma beans (method above)
Fresh coriander, chopped
Preheat the oven to 200C. If you are using an OTG with heating coils on the top and bottom, make sure the top heating coil is on, for the cheese to melt.
In a large oven proof dish place half the chips in one layer. Top with half the onions, tomatoes, capsicum, corn, jalapeño, rajma and cheese. Place the remaining chips in a single layer over this and sprinkle all the remaining ingredients with coriander and half the cheese right on top.
Place this in a hot oven for 7-8 minutes until the cheese melts.
Remove from oven and eat right away. If serving young kids, make a small portion separately minus the jalapeños and use plain boiled and salted rajma in their dish.
Use fresh and crisp chips for a crispy crunchy dish.
Once you top with all vegetables, do not waste time. It needs to go into the oven immediately or the tomatoes will start making the chips soggy.
The more cheese you use, the more delicious it will be. Use a sharp tasting cheese for a tastier dish.
If you dont have an oven, this dish will taste good as it is, only the cheese wont be melted :)