Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Vegetarian Chili with Guacamole

Vegeterian Chili with Guacamole
Avocado and Guacamole are synonymous for me. When I am talking about Guacamole, I should admit that I have mentally check myself that I am not saying Avocado! In the past, I would get Gua.. eh, Avocado and could not know how to determine it was ripe and would eventually end up spoiling it. Not good - so this time in my latest frenzy of trying out new vegetables, I was determined to not repeat Avocado history @ Pragyan's.

From the grocery store, I picked up the toughest to touch Avocado and brought it home to store immediately in the refrigerator. On checking the next day, it was still tough to touch. Same story the day after as well. Time to google - learned that I should leave it outside in a brown bag to ripen. Left outside for two days, they were soft to touch but not squishy. Immediately moved it back to the refrigerator and it stayed good for three days before I remembered about them again! Lucky - they were still good. And I got to enjoy my FIRST home-made Guacamole!! (as I usually say, drum rolls and trumpet please! ;))

Info from the link "How to ripen Avocados?"
  • Place 2-3 avocados in a brown paper bag and store at room temperature. If you don't have paper bags on hand, wrapping them in newspaper will also do.
  • For even quicker ripening, add an apple or a tomato to the bag.
  • Check daily to see if avocados are ripe yet. Don't just judge by their color, as some varieties will retain their green color, even when ripe, rather than turning a deep greenish brown.
  • Ripe avocados will peel easily and are soft, yet still firm and not squishy.
  • Extra Tip: If your avocados are ripening before you have a chance to eat them, place them in the crisper of your refrigerator, as this will help them keep a bit longer once they are ripe.
 To cut the Avocado, put the knife through till you hit the core seed. Circle the knife through the entire diameter. And then slowly tug one-half to pull it apart. To remove the core, slowly hit the core and get the knife caught in it. With a slight tug, the core will come apart. Loved this part of cutting this vegetable! :) Next using a spoon, core out the flesh from the skin and you will have them apart as shown in the pic below. Immediately squeeze some lime juice on the Avocados to prevent them from browning and thus, oxidizing. I used the shells as containers to serve the Guacamole - they looked very pretty! :)


Here is the Guacamole recipe that I followed with slight modification as per our taste preference and availability of ingredients.

Ingredients

    1 Avocado, halved, seeded and peeled
    1 Lime, juiced
    1/2 teaspoon Salt
    1/2 teaspoon ground Cumin-Chilli Powder (Link)
    1/2 medium onion, diced
    1 Medium Tomato, seeded and diced
    1 tablespoon chopped Cilantro
    1 clove garlic, minced

Method

In a large bowl place the scooped Avocado pulp and Lime juice, toss to coat.
Add Salt and Cumin-Chilli powder. Mash them roughly. I like to have good chunks of Avocado in my Guacamole. Mash them as per your preference.
Fold in the Onions, Tomatoe, Cilantro, and Garlic.Mix well softly.
Wrap the container in plastic wrap to prevent further oxidation of the Avocados, if you are not eating them right away. Enjoy them with Chips, Tacos, etc - I enjoyed mine with Chili and they tasted awesome together!

Homemade Guacamole

The Chili recipe shown below is a modification of this recipe, again as per our taste preference and availability of ingredients.The addition of Yellow Squash to this recipe gives it a slightly sweet taste which I relished a lot.

Ingredients

1 Medium Onion, chopped
3 cloves Garlic, minced
1 tbsp Canola oil
2 Medium Tomatoes
3 tbsp Tomato sauce
1 tsp ground Cumin-Chilli Powder (Link)
1/2 tsp Black Pepper powder
1 medium Yello Squash, chopped into not too tiny pieces
2-3 cup water
1 cup Red Kidney Beans, soaked overnight and pressure-cooked in Medium-High heat for one whistle and cook five minutes thereafter in Medium heat
2-3 tbsp fresh Coriander leaves

Method

In a heavy-bottom utensil, heat Canola oil.
Add chopped Onion and Garlic until tender, stirring occasionally.
Stir in chopped Tomatoes, Tomato sauce, Cumin-Chilli powder, Black Pepper.
When the Tomatoes are half-cooked, add the chopped Yellow Squash.
Mix them with the rest of the mixture and let it cook for 5 mins.
Add water and bring it to a boil.
Reduce heat and let it simmer covered (note!), for 10 minutes. I used the timer to be sure I was not overdoing it.
Stir in the cooked Red Kidney Beans.
Bring it to a boil again.
Reduce heat and let it simmer uncovered (note!), for 10 minutes.
Stir in fresh Coriander leaves.
Serve hot with the cool Guacamole as a side-dish!


Disclaimer - "This sponsorship is brought to you by Avocados From Mexico who we have partnered with for this promotion."