Tuesday, July 31, 2012

My Lunch - Pan Fried Flounder, Sauteed kale and Sweet Potatoes

Pan Fried Flounder, Sauteed Lacinato Kale and Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Kosha Mangsho / Dry Mutton Curry

Bone-in Lamb/Goat cut into small pieces - 2 lbs
For marination :
Onion - 1/2, grate and use the juice
Ginger - 2 inch, grated
Garlic - 6 cloves, grated
Turmeric - 1 tsp
Red Chili Powder - 1/2 tsp
Cumin Powder - 1 tsp
Coriander powder - 1 tsp
Plain Yogurt - 1 cup
Tomato - 1, grated
Mustard Oil - 1 tbsp

Oil - 2 tbsp.
Bay leaf - 1
Cinnamon Stick - 2 inch
Raw Sugar - 1 tsp
Onion - 1 big one, finely chopped
Water - 2 cups

Marinate the meat with grated onion, ginger, garlic, turmeric, red chili powder, cumin, coriander, yogurt, grated tomato, mustard oil and salt for at least an hour or preferably overnight.

Heat 2 tbsp oil in a pressure cooker. Add sugar, bay leaf, cinnamon stick. Then add the chopped onion and cook till it turns pink.

Add marinated meat with all the liquid. Cook on medium low heat for around 45 minutes till all the liquid evaporates and oil releases.

Now add 2 small cups of water, mix well and cook on full pressure for 10 minutes.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Stir Fry Cabbage with Five Spices

Cabbage - 1 small, shredded
Mustard Oil - 2 tbsp
Bengali Five Spices - 1 tsp (a mix of mustard, cumin, nigella, fenugreek, fennel seeds)
Turmeric - 1/4 tsp
Dried Red Chili / Green Chili - 2
Mustard Powder - 1/2 tsp
cilantro - a handful, chopped

Heat oil in a skillet. Add the five spices and dried red chili. Once the spices begin to sizzle, add the shredded cabbage.

Sprinkle salt and turmeric. Mix well and stir for a minute.

Then cover tightly and cook for 5 minutes over medium low heat.

Remove cover and sprinkle mustard powder. Mix and check the seasoning and saute for a minute more.

Sprinkle chopped cilantro on top and serve hot.

Adapted from http://saffrontrail.blogspot.com/2007/09/cabbage-curry-with-bengali-spices.html

Nalen Gurer Payesh / Rice Pudding with Date Molasses

Even though we no longer have white rice and totally converted to brown rice, once a year when I make rice pudding  I use white rice. I have tried substituting with brown basmati rice, but didnt like the consistency and taste. So I figured out that once a year, we can break our rules and have 4 tbsp of white rice. Traditionally a special very fragrant rice called "Gobindabhog" available in west-bengal is used for the payesh. Here I have used organic white jasmine rice from Thailand with equally good results.

Whole Milk - 1/2 gallon
White Rice - 3 to 4 tbsp. (Preferably use Gobindabhog or Kalijira Rice, I used Jasmine here)
Nalen Gur / Date Molasses - around 1 cup (a little more or less depending on how sweet you want the pudding to be and the quality of the molasses, if the molasses is solid then break into small pieces)
Raisins - a handful (optional)

Wash the rice in water and keep aside.

In a large heavy bottomed pot, bring the milk to a boil. Add the washed rice and stir. Then reduce the heat and let the rice and milk simmer for about an hour. Keep stirring in between every five minutes so that the rice doesn't clump together and the milk doesnt stick to the bottom of the pan.

When the rice has become very soft and the consistency of the pudding is very creamy, remove from heat. Add the nalen gur and stir gently till it has completely dissolved and mixed well with the payesh. If using raisins, sprinkle them on top.

Serve the payesh at room temperature.

Peanut Butter Choco Chips Larabar

Pitted Dates - 1 cup, preferably chopped, Mejdool dates are better but here I used Deglet dates
Unsalted Peanut Butter - 1/4 cup
Dark Chocolate Chips - a handful

Place the dates in a food processor and puree until the mixture starts to stick together. Add the peanut butter and pulse again so that the two are combined well.

Remove the mixture on a clean plate and mix the chocolate chips. Using your hands press the mixture to form an even rectangular shape.

Slice into squares and store in the refrigerator during summer months. They can be kept outside in an airtight container during winter.

Adapted from http://www.100daysofrealfood.com/2012/07/01/recipe-homemade-larabars-4-ways-including-nut-free/

Monday, July 2, 2012

Black and White Wednesday - Homemade Frozen Vanilla Yogurt

This is my entry for Black and White Wednesdays Week#39 started and hosted by Susan of the Well-Seasoned Cook.

Frozen Vanilla Yogurt

Greek Yogurt (Whole Milk & Plain) - 2 cups / 16oz
Raw Honey / Maple Syrup / Raw Sugar- 2/3rd cup, can use a little less for slightly tart frozen yogurt
Pure Vanilla Extract - 1/2 tsp

Mix together yogurt, honey and vanilla and whisk till they are completely mixed. Cover and refrigerate for two to three hours or overnight.

Turn on the icecream maker and pour the yogurt in the frozen icecream bowl (I used a Cuisinart ICE-21). Let it mix for 15 to 20 minutes till the mix is thickened. Remove and serve the soft creamy frozen yogurt right away. For a firmer consistency, transfer the frozen yogurt to an airtight container and freeze for around 2 hours.

We had ours with some drizzled raw honey and chopped mixed nuts.

Adapted from http://www.marcussamuelsson.com/recipe/homemade-vanilla-frozen-yogurt-recipe

Malaysian Egg Sambal

Eggs - 4
Oil - 2 tbsp
Onion - 1 medium sized, finely chopped
Garlic - 2 cloves, finely chopped
Tomato - 2, chopped
Red Chili Powder - 1/4 tsp
Paprika - 1/4 tsp
Coriander Powder - 1 tsp
Turmeric Powder - 1/4 tsp
Salt & Pepper
Cilantro - for garnishing (optional)

Heat a tbsp of oil in a cast iron skillet. Break the eggs one by one, season them with satt and pepper and fry them till the whites are set but the yolk is still a little runny. Remove them gently and place on a shallow serving bowl.

Heat a tbsp of oil in a skillet and add the chopped garlic and onion. Saute till the onion caramelises. Add salt, turmeric powder, chili powder, paprika, coriander powder and the chopped tomatoes.

Cook till the tomatoes get mushy and oil separates from the mixture.

Slide the tomato mixture on top of the eggs, mix gently taking care not to break the yolks and allow to sit for a few minutes. Garnish with cilantro and serve hot.

Sending this recipe to the following event hosted by http://www.simplysensationalfood.com/2012/07/announcing-event-flavours-of-malaysia.html

Nachni Bhakri / Ragi Roti / Finger Millet Flatbread

Ragi / Finger Millet Flour - 3 small cups + some more for rolling the bhakris
Water - 21/2 cups
(Do not use salt)
A few drops of oil
Makes around 11 bhakris

Bring the water to a boil. Place the four in a wide vessel. Add 2 cups of the boiling water to the flour, reserving the rest amd immediately start mixing it with a wooden spoon.

After a few minutes when the dough has cooled slightly, start kneading it directly with your hands. Sprinkle a little more water if needed to make a soft dough. Wash your hands, apply a few drops of oil to your fingers and knead again.

Heat a skillet on medium high. Out of the dough, make 11 small balls. Take a plastic cling wrap and sprinkle some ragi flour on it. Place one ball of the dough, sprinkle some more flour on it and cover it with another plastic cling wrap. Using a rolling pin, roll the ball gently into a flat bread.

Place it on the hot skillet and sprinkle a few drops of warm water on it. After cooking for a minute or so, flip the bhakri and cook on the other side for another minute.

Then remove the hot bhakri and place it on a wire rack and cook it directly over the gas flame for a few minutes on both sides till they get large brown spots.

Repeat with the rest of the dough and serve the bhakris hot. We had ours with crunchy sliced red onion, dal and baby eggplant curry.

Adapted from http://tongueticklers.com/2010/09/nachni-chi-bhakri-ragi-roti-finger/

Sending this recipe to the following event hosted by http://ticklingpalates.blogspot.com/2012/07/announcing-lets-cook-17-breads.html

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Spinach Adai / Spicy Spinach Crepes

Split Chickpeas / Chana Dal / Bengal Gram - 1/3 cup
Yellow Pigeon Pea / Tur Dal - 1/3 cup
Brown Rice - 1 cup
Baby Spinach - around 3 packed cups (around 8 oz)
Fresh Coconut - 1/4 cup, chopped
Black Pepper - around 20 peppercorns
Dried Red Chili - 3
Cumin Seeds - 1 tsp
Coriander Seeds - 1 tsp
Oil - 2 tsp
Green Chili - 2 (optional)
Makes around 20 small adais.
Soak rice and the lentils together for 2 to 3 hours.

Heat 2 tsp oil in a skillet. Add the cumin seeds, coriander seeds, red chili and black peppercorns and saute for a minute. Then add the baby spinach and cook for a couple of minutes till the spinach leaves are just wilted. Remove from heat and cool.

Mix rice lentil mixture, wilted spicy spinach, chopped coconut pieces and salt together. If using green chilies, add the chopped chilies as well.

Blend everything together to a smooth mixture by adding a little water. The mixture should be like a pancake batter.

Heat a cast iron skillet on medium low heat. Dip a small piece of folded paper towel in oil and rub over the skillet. Pour a ladle full of batter on the skillet and spread to make a thin dosa with the back of the ladle. Add a few drops of oil around the dosa. Once the bottom side has properly cooked, the edges of the dosa begin to brown and it can be easily flipped. Cook on the other side for a couple of minutes more.

Serve immediately with savory tomato and onion chutney and gun powder.

Adapted from http://www.loveandlentil.com/2012/03/spinach-adai-rice-lentil-crepe.html

Sending this recipe to the following event hosted by http://briciole.typepad.com/blog/2012/07/annuncio-legumi-che-passione-numero-49.html started by

Savory Tomato & Onion Chutney

Roma Tomatoes - 3 (big), chopped
Sweet Yellow Onion - 1 (big), chopped
Fresh Grated Coconut / Dry shredded coconut - 1 tbsp
Roasted Coriander Powder - 2 tsp
Dried Red Chili - 3
Garlic - 2 cloves, minced
Paprika - 1/4 tsp
Virgin Coconut Oil - 2 to 3 tbsp
Mustard Seeds - 1/2 tsp
Hing / Asafoetida - 2 pinches (optional)
Urad Dal / Split Black Gram - 1 tsp (optional)
Curry Leaves - 4 leaves (optional)
Cayenne Pepper - 1/4 tsp (optional, depending on the desired hotness)

Heat a tsp of oil in a skillet and add the dried red chilies and garlic. Saute for a minute and add the chopped onion.

Saute till the onion starts to brown. Add the coconut and cook till the coconut becomes toasted

Add a tsp of oil and add the chopped tomato, a little salt, 2 tsp roasted coriander powder, paprika. Cook covered till the tomato becomes mushy.

Cool down the mixture, add a few tbsp of water, if required and blend in a blender to make a smooth paste.

Heat a tsp of oil and add the mustard seeds. Once they begon to pop, add hing, urad dal and curry leaves. Then pour over the tomato onion paste, mix and serve.

The chutney is thick, creamy, hot and tangy and goes very well with Spinach Dosa.

Paneer & Potato Curry in Yogurt Gravy

Paneer / Homemade Cottage Cheese - 1 cup, cut in cubes
Baby Potatoes - around 10, cut in half if they are a little bigger in size
(You can use just paneer or just baby potato or a combination of both)
Frozen Green Peas - a handful
Cinnamon - 1 inch stick
Cardamom - 3
Cloves - 6
Cumin Seeds - 1 tsp
Dried Red Chili - 2
Yellow Onion - 1 (big)
Tomato - 1 (big) or 2 small ones
Ginger - 1 inch piece, grated
Greek Yogurt - 1 cup, well beaten
Almond Flour 1 tbsp
Garam Masala - 1/2 tsp
Turmeric Powder - 1/2 tsp
Kastoori Methi / Dried Fenugreek Leaves - 1 tsp
Raw Sugar - 1 tsp
Cilantro for garnishing

Make a smooth paste of tomato, ginger, almond flour and dried red chili in a mixer / blender. Keep aside.

Boil the potatoes in sufficient water till they are half cooked. Remove from water and pierce all over with a fork. Heat a tbsp of oil in a skillet. Add the potatoes, sprinkle a little salt and saute till the potato skins are crispy and golden brown. Remove from the skillet. In the same skillet, add a tsp of oil and add the cubed paneer. Cook till the paneer cubes begin to change color. Remove and drop the cubes in a cup of warm water. Keep aside.

Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a big pan. Add cumin seeds, cloves, cinnamon and cardamom. When the cumin seeds begin to sizzle, add the finely chopped onion, a tsp of sugar and a little salt. Cook on low fire till the onion is soft and begins to caramelise.

Now add the tomato almond ginger paste and cook till oil separates the mixture. Add turmeric powder, garam masala, kastoori methi and frozen peas. Add the fried potato and paneer, mix well, check for seasoning and simmer for ten minutes.

Remove from heat and add the beaten yogurt and mix well. Cover and set aside for a few minutes.

Sprinkle chopped cilantro on top and serve hot with steamed brown rice.

Simple Summer Salad

If I could remember one salad from my childhood days, it would be this simple salad. This was a staple at our home during the summer days and is crunchy and refreshing.

Cucumber - 1, traditional small sized (preferably from the farmers market), chopped
Tomato - 1 small (preferably heirloom variety), chopped
Red Onion - 1/2 cup, finely chopped
Cilantro - a handful, chopped
Lemon Juice - 1 tbsp

Mix all the above together and keep in the refrigerator for atleast half an hour before serving.

Sending this recipe to the following event hosted by http://www.simplysensationalfood.com/2012/07/lets-make-salads-event.html


Mixed Lentil Dosa

Whole Green Mung Beans - 1 cup
Urad Dal / Split Black grams - 1/4 cup
Chana Dal / Split Bengal gram - 1/4 cup
Methi / Fenugreek Seeds - 1/2 tsp
Ginger - 1 inch grated
Green Chili - 3, chopped
Water - about 1/4 cup to aid in grinding

Soak mung beans, urad dal, chana dal, methi in plenty of water overnight.

Drain and wash in running water once. Add grated ginger and chopped green chili, a little water and grind in a grinder to make a smooth paste.

Add salt and mix the batter well with your hands.

Cover with a plastic cling loosely (or make a few holes on the cling) and place the batter inside the oven to ferment for 8 hours.

Heat an iron skillet. Brush with oil and pour a ladle full of the batter. Spread with the back of the ladle. Add a few drops of oil to the edges of the dosa.

Cook till the bottom browns. Flip and cook on the other side till brown and crisp. Serve with your favourite chutney.

Chocolate Chip Cookies, GF, eggless, sweetened with honey

Blanched Almond Flour – 2 cups
Salt – ¼ tsp
Baking Soda – ½ tsp
Butter – ¼ cup
Honey – 2 tbsp
Vanilla extract – 1 tbsp
Dark Chocolate Chips / Chunks – ½ cup

Preheat oven to 350F and line a baking tray with parchment paper.

Mix almond flour, salt and baking soda together. Mix melted butter, honey and vanilla together in a separate bowl.

Add the wet mixture to the almond flour and stir in chocolate chunks and mix everything together gently.

Scoop one tablespoon of the dough at a time and put it on the baking sheet.

Bake for around 10 minutes till the edges just begin to change color. Do not overbake as the cookies turn bitter quickly.

Cool completely before removing from the tray. Makes around 20 cookies

Adapted from http://www.elanaspantry.com/primal-chocolate-chip-cookies/

Sending this recipe to the following event hosted by http://www.zestysouthindiankitchen.com/2012/07/favorite-recipes-event-cookies-and.html

Nimbu Paani / Lemonade

Lemon - 2,  big and juice ones
Honey - 2 tbsp
Salt - a pinch
Cold Water - 3 cups

Squeeze the lemon juice and sieve to remove the pits. Add honey, salt and mix well. Add 3 cups of water to the mixture. Divide into 2 glasses and serve immediately.