Tofu, Peppers & Green Pigeon Pea Salad

30

03.11.11

Tofu, Peppers & Green Pigeon Pea Salad

Tofu, Peppers & Green Pigeon Pea Salad

 

I have spoken quite a few times about my efforts to eat natural, fresh, local, seasonal and organic whenever possible. I feel like I am trying to do my bit to be more environmental friendly by doing so. I know I can’t completely give up of the food I am used to but I can avoid/limit them wherever possible.

I am very happy that several well-known chefs around the world talk about the importance of cooking with fresh produce for the best flavours. But I am extremely sad about the new growing trend in India of eating highly processed, canned, packed imported food :(

India is blessed with a great tropical weather where fresh fruits and vegetables are available throughout the year. Our traditional diet is full of whole grains, dairy, fresh vegetables, greens, nuts and healthy fats. Almost all our recipes are cooked from scratch with all fresh ingredients. There was no need or space for canned vegetables and pre-cooked meals in our kitchen. But things are changing rapidly.

Thanks for our new found love for consumerism and well paying jobs we now only want to eat things which are grown or manufactured on the other side of the planet! It’s really disturbing to see prominent cooking magazines having recipes which asks for fruits and vegetables which are not local in India. It’s really sad that we don’t take pride in our own produce. Most magazines, books and newspapers recommend most expensive imported fruits and vegetables as the healthiest in the market.

I am going to be making a conscious effort to showcase more and more local produce in Love Food Eat. I will also try to come up with new innovative ways to use familiar vegetables and fruits and new flavours.

 

Pigeon Peas

Pigeon Peas

 

pigeon-pea-salad-4

fresh and abundant in our markets right now

 

I am using our very own Pigeon Peas today. Pigeon Peas known as ‘Hasi Togari’ in Kannada. They are right now fresh and abundant in our markets and are very nutritious with high levels of protein and the important amino acids, methionine, lysine, and tryptophan. For vegetarians it’s one of the best sources of protein. They are delicious when used in curries and stir-fries.  Though I LOVE Indian food, we don’t always have to use our local vegetables in our own cuisine.

In today’s recipe I have used native Pigeon Peas in a warm salad with oriental flavours. I have paired it with pan fried tofu and green peppers and used a soy based light dressing. With both tofu and pigeon peas this is a protein packed dish. You can eat it by itself or even serve it over rice or noodles.

I am sending this as my entry to ‘My Legume Love Affair’, an event Started by Susan of ‘Well Seasoned Cook’ which is hosted by Simona of Briciole this month!

 

pigeon-pea

one of the best sources of protein for vegetarians

 

Pan fried Tofu and Bell Peppers

Pan fried Tofu and Bell Peppers

 

tofu and bell pepper

cut into thin long strips

 

Tofu, Peppers & Green Pigeon Pea Salad

Tofu, Peppers & Green Pigeon Pea Salad

 

A healthy, easy protein packed dish

A healthy, easy protein packed dish

 

[typography font="Cantarell" size="24" size_format="px" color="#b36f98"]Ingredients:[/typography]

  • Fresh green pigeon peas, shelled – 1 cup
  • Green bell pepper – 1
  • Firm tofu – 200 grams
  • Sesame oil – 2 tbsp

 

[typography font="Cantarell" size="24" size_format="px" color="#b36f98"]Dressing:[/typography]

  • Sesame oil – 1 tsp
  • rice vinegar – ¼ tsp
  • Soy sauce – 1 tsp
  • Vegetarian oyster flavored sauce – 1 tsp
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds

 

Boil in pigeon peas in salted water till soft. drain the water and keep it aside.

Heat a little bit of sesame oil on a pan and when smoky hot place the tofu on it. Let it sear for a few minutes till golden brown. Now turn it over for the other side to brown as well.

Cut both the top and bottom part of the bell pepper, de-seed and de-vein it. Place It on the same pan flattened with a little more oil. Let it get slightly charred on both sides.

Cut both the tofu and bell peppers into thin long strips.

For the salad dressing simple combine all the ingredients together.

Combine tofu, bell peppers and pigeon peas in a salad bowl. Drizzle the dressing on top. Sprinkle more sesame seeds on top and serve.

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30 comments :

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    [...] the world slow food day in India, I knew I HAD to participate in it. Slow food is a subject close to my heart and of great interest. I firmly believe that good food is something that one enjoys cooking slowly, [...]

  • shilpa

    any substitute for vegeterian oyster flavoured sauce

  • Simona

    I love those pods! They are really pretty. Very nice salad. If I were closer to you, I’d ask you for an invitation to partake of it. Thank you for contributing it to MLLA.

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    [...] wrote about my attempts to cook fresh, local and seasonal in my last post and I got great response from you all. Thank you so much for all those wonderful comments and [...]

  • Sanjeeta kk

    Get lot of these beans back at home in Rajasthan, and make curries with it. But a salad is a refreshing and healthy option.

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  • Vani

    First time here. Lovely space, food and pics, Chinmayie. Totally agree about the shift away from fresh foods but I think it had more to do with the increased availability and options plus taking the “quick and easy” route than trying to ape the west. Loved the dressing here and the addition of tofu to the salad. Takes care of the protein portion of a meal too.

  • Tanvi@SinfullySpicy

    You touched a sensitive topic there :) Lot of my indian friends & relatives buy and eat processed foods even though fresh produce is available at arm’s length..I think its more to do with laziness than aping western world. They are more than surprised to hear that I buy fresh vegetables & fruits here. Thankfully, my mom always cooked fresh so I am used to that..even here. I think this is one of the reasons I enjoy your blog so much – coz you cook fresh, local & seasonal..
    Never seen those beans back in India but love the preparation you made- I think I can substitute edamame or green lima beans here.

  • anh

    The beans look so fresh and green!
    Love the salad bowl, too. Full of goodness.

  • dassana@vegrecipesofindia

    beautiful pics of the pigeon pea…

    you are right… we have plenty of different varieties of vegetables, fruits and grains produce. i wonder why we always ape the west in everything that we do…

    such a lot india has to offer in terms of food, recipes , methods of cooking…. there is soooooo much…

    we always boil the pigeon peas with salt and have it plain as a light snack. the tofu peppers pigeon pea salad is a innovative lovely idea…

  • Swati Sapna

    I completely agree with you on the need to use local vegetables and fruits. and its so easy to use fresh, Indian produce in whatever cuisine we prefer! I will be looking forward to more such recipes from you. I really liked the idea of using fresh pigeon peas in a salad.

  • Richa@HobbyandMore

    i love the local and fresh ingredients you use in your dishes.. the pigeon peas look fabulous.
    i am done with processed food.. cant even digest a potato chip anymore without feeling weird.

    • Chinmayie

      Thank you Richa. I have always eaten local fresh veggies but I really want to make an effort to blog more about them from now on.

  • Brooke

    This looks beautiful, as usual, Chimayie! Do pigeon peas taste the same as regular peas? It seems they have a lot going for them, nutrition-wise!

    • Chinmayie

      Thanks Brooke. Pigeon Peas taste quite different from regular peas actually. they are not as sweet and smell a lot different too. I love it though..

  • SchmetterlingWords

    I completely agree with you, not every country is blessed with the lovely tropical weather and variety of fruits and grains as India. I appreciate your attempts to go fresh whenever possible.

    The salad looks fab and comforting. The peas pic is eye catching!! :)

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  • Nami | Just One Cookbook

    Photos are outstanding! I can’t take those beautiful photos of peas like you…. amazing. It’s sad indeed. Do you think it’s because a lot of people have career and they don’t have time to cook and rely on pantry ingredients that you can stock up? I’m glad you continue carrying on your passion and I’m sure a lot of people appreciate your effort!

    • Chinmayie

      I agree it is because people are getting busier but we have enough quick healthy recipes using fresh ingredients in India. There really is no need for us to eat canned food.
      What I am really sad about is people just wanting to eat certain things because it’s fashionable! Our newspapers and magazines recommend you to eat breakfast out of a box, imported out od season fruits and vegetables for good health!

  • Divya Vikram

    Tofu and peas sound like an elegant combo! Amazing pictures.

  • Jay

    wow..sounds absolutely yummm n delishh..
    first time here..amazing space you have..
    awesome posts with inviting cliks..
    happy following you..
    do stop by mine sometime..
    Tasty Appetite

  • Priti

    So pretty …looks so good …fab pics

  • Saee Koranne-Khandekar

    I totally understand your effort to move toward more local produce. It makes such a difference to the taste and to our health. I’ve realized it more after my daughter’s birth. And after that gorgeous farm visit the other day! I love your pictures, too. But then, what’s new about that!

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