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Friday, December 30, 2011

Dimer chop (Egg croquette)


For Baishampayan Da:

Method:
  1. Boil eggs and  cut into quarters(so the croquettes are not too big). Keep aside.
  2. Boil potatoes, mash them well and saute lightly with diced onions , salt , cumin powder, amchur, finely chopped cilantro and garam masala
  3. Embed the egg in the potato mixture, and shape them into desirable shape (round or elliptical). 
  4. Dip alternately into beaten egg and panko flakes/bread crumbs. Repeat.
  5. Deep fry in hot oil. Serve hot with ketchup, chaat masala and raw onions.
You may also make vegetables, fish or chicken croquette using the same technique

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Aloo matar tamatar (Baby potatoes with green peas and tomatoes)

Method:

  1. Dry roast cumin, saunf, coriander seeds, whole pepper corn, cardamom, cinnamon , and cloves. then grind in coffee grinder.
  2. Add kalonji seeds in a hot ghee and diced onions and  tomatoes with a pinch of black salt, turmeric, red chilli powder and hing.
  3. Add boiled, skinned baby potatoes and stir in the mix. Add the ground masala, turn to coat well.
  4. Add yogurt in little water and bring to boil. Add frozen green peas. Cover and simmer,


Taste for salt, serve with freshly chopped cilantro and hot rotis or luchi (phulke)

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Roasted duck legs

Honey-braised roast duck leg with shiitake mushrooms
  1. For marinade: Make shallow cuts on the legs with a sharp knife and marinade in 4-5 tbsp soya sauce, freshly grated ginger, garlic, ground cinnamon, cloves, (green cardamoms optional) anise seed, and honey in a ziplock overnight.
  2. Bake for about 2 - 3 hrs in a preheated oven at 375 F. Turn sides when necessary and braise honey and soya sauce to keep the skin from drying completely.
  3. You can broil the last 5 minutes or at 500 F to brown the skin.
  4. Slice oranges into thin round slices and place the roast legs with sprigs of your favorite herb.
  5. You can serve with your favorite dipping or orange sauce

You can also add your favorite duck sauce to the baste or marinade. Sometimes, packaged Peking sauce can be added to enhance the natural flavors. Don't overkill.

If you have a whole duck and want to use the giblets, you can look up some suggestions here

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Beef medallions wrapped in bacon with roasted asparagus


Sausage with cabbage


Ingredients:
Mild Italian sausage
Onions, quartered
Cabbage, shredded
Tomato, diced
Red dry chillies , broken
Herbs of your choice
Olive oil

Method:

1. Broil the sausage(if uncooked) in convection oven for about 15 minutes. Take out, cool and cut into thin slices.
2. In a wok, add a little olive oil, add quarted onion slices. Make sure the layers are seperated. Add the sausage if uncooked.
3. Add the cabbage- cook just right if you want it al dente. Overcooking will take the crunch away- it's your choice really. Add the tomatoes. Then add herbs of your choice- I like to sprinkle dried rosemary.

Soup version:
You can also make a soup version of this. Add water and diced potatoes in that case.

Variation:
You can add black peppercorn if you want to spice it up. A little soya sauce(adjust salt accordingly) can make a good variation. Diced bell peppers also go well with this dish. And whole garlic cloves for garlic lovers.

Goes well with cilantro pilaf or mushroom risotto. 


Sausage, Peppers and Onions

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Rishta Palak (Meatballs in spinach gravy)

Recently, SG gifted me two new recipe books, one of which is about Wazwan (traditional Kashmiri Muslim) cuisine. I discovered some interesting ideas, and had to innovate because I don't have the dry cockscomb flower as an ingredient-yet. This recipe is as easy as 1-2-3 , but always a hit with guests, and my new favorite way to cook meatballs. We served it in a dinner I cooked for some of our friends visiting from Finland. They asked for the recipe.


For Miina

Ingredients:
Sliced onion
Garlic-ginger paste

Chopped Palak (spinach) - fresh or frozen
Meatballs - home made or frozen

Freshly ground:
Kali jeeri (different from Kalonji- got this from an Indian grocery store just for this recipe)
Shahi jeera
Cinnamon
Cardamom
Cloves

Curd/yogurt
Ghee
Water

Method:
1. Fry sliced onions in a little oil, add ginger-garlic paste, the freshly ground spices, and then the spinach. Add water
2. Add meatballs, stir. Add more warm water if necessary, don't let the balls get brown or dry.
3. Add curd- about 1 tbsp. Don't make it too sour.
4. Add a little ghee at the end, if you don't feel too guilty about it. Serve warm with saffron rice or peas pulao

Also, you might be interested in Meatballs with Ricotta in Tomato Sauce

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Pomfret tandoori

Ingredients:
Whole, cleaned Pomfret fish - make shallow cuts on both sides
Lemon juice- enough to coat all the sides ( about half lemon for 2 medium sized fish)
1 tspn red chilli powder
salt and turmeric
1 tsp cumin seeds, coriander seeds, ajwan and methi seeds each- freshly ground to powder
1 1/2 tsp or less ginger- garlic paste
2 tsp yogurt
oil

Method:
  1. Clean the fish well and dab and excess water with paper towel.
  2. Rub all the ingredients in that order and you can keep it to marinate for about 30 mins or overnight.
  3. Use a tandoor oven if you have one. I bake it  in Aluminium foil or a covered baking tray at 350 F in my convection oven for about 30 -45 mins. You can broil it at the end to give a charred look.
  4. Serve with freshly chopped cilantro, mint sauce or other favorite condiments. Those who can eat raw onions can make onion rings or add some some salad with it
Usually served as appetizers, you may also try the recipe with Salmon pieces.

    Wednesday, November 9, 2011

    Catfish in mustard sauce

    Ingredients:
    Catfish steaks
    Nigella( kalonji/ onion seeds/ kaalo jeere)
    Green chillis slit in half
    Diced onions
    Mustard powder/paste (preferably fresh. Old ones turn bitter)
    Kasundi if you like

    Salt, turmeric powder, oil for cooking
    Cilantro for garnishing

    Method:

    1. Wash the steaks well, and wipe off excess water with paper towels by dabbing them.
    2. Rub salt and turmeric powder and lightly fry them in oil, turning only once. Frying seafood or even freshwater fish tend to make them rubbery/chewy
    3. Take out the fish, and fry the kalonji and onions. Add chilies taking care not to fry them too much, and immediately after
    4. Microwave a bowl of water and add the mustard paste/powder and put in the pan. 
    5. Let it simmer, add the fish steaks. Cook covered.
    6. Garnish with cilantro and serve
    You might want to add a little cumin powder if you like to counter the typical smell of the fish. Also, some might want to add potatoes or tomatoes. Usually, I don't.

    Alternately, you can skip the mustard , use dry roasted cumin-coriander powder, potato wedges and cauliflower florets to make a light curry. Make sure the fish is really fresh for a tasty broth. I prefer live ones. Catfish is inedible if it isn't fresh. Something I had a very bad experience at a New Orleans restaurant where I ate on a whim.

    Nevertheless, Cajun recipes have interesting options :
    Link 1

    Wednesday, November 2, 2011

    Baba Ganoush

    Baba Ganoush Link 1

    This (eggplant) is an allergy alert for me, but I manage to have it once in a blue moon. (the seedless variety). The Indian version Baigan ka bharta goes well with Indian flatbreads. I don't mind it as wrap stuffing with lettuce for a meal.

    Friday, October 14, 2011

    Roasted red bell pepper hummus and ham sandwich

    Some of you might want to make hummus at home and skip the preservatives. Also, hummus is a healthier sandwich topper than cheese or mayo.

    I found a likeable taste in Cedar's Roasted red bell pepper hommus, and Archer's Farms applewood smoked Sliced ham for this quick fix.

    Ingredients:



    and bread of your choice, or wrap it in a tortilla.


    Goat cheese and sun dried tomatoes make delicious sandwich or cracker topping.

    Another quick-fix can be mashed avocado, hummus and salami on pita, or with thinly sliced tomatoes in a sandwich.


    More ideas [Food Network]

    1. Good old BLT (Bacon, Lettuce, and Tomato)

    Monday, October 10, 2011

    Bhuna Gosht with fire roasted pepper


    For Bandita

    Though there are several versions available on the net, I tried the following today and it came out great.

    Ingredients:
    Mutton(Goat)/Lamb- 2 lbs (about 1 kg)
    Diced /garlic paste- 5-7 cloves, depending on your tolerance for garlic
    Tomatoes diced- 2 roma
    Curd- 2 tbsp
    Onions thinly sliced(some ppl skip it)
    Grated ginger
    1 fire roasted Bell pepper- diced (this brings a lot of flavor)
    Red chili powder, salt, turmeric, garam masala
    Mustard oil

    Method:
    1. Heat mustard oil in a wok. Sprinkle salt, chili powder and turmeric evenly on the meat. Mix with your hands if necessary. Wash hands with hot water and soap thoroughly and do not touch raw meat again.
    3. Add grated garlic(or paste), diced tomatoes stir. Can add dry red chilis if you like it hot.
    4. Add curd and then add grated ginger, freshly ground garam masala, and the fire roasted bell pepper (diced). Add a little water if necessary.
    5. Cook until the gravy almost dries up. You can transfer the whole thing to a slow-cooker and cook it for 4 hrs, stirring occasionally for the first hour to keep it from burning.


    For roasting the pepper: Cut the pepper at two ends and then halve it. Remove any seeds and soak any water that might have stayed on after washing. Roast on open fire on stove with a pair of tongs, about a minute or so on each side.

    You can get fire-roasted bellpeppers at your local supermarket too.


    Tuesday, October 4, 2011

    Paya curry

    Usually, eaten as a breakfast dish in winter, I thought it would be interesting to try

    Paya curry video link 1

    Thursday, September 29, 2011

    Salmon recipe

    This is the simplest of all. You can bake the ingredients together instead of pan frying them.

    All you need is chopped onions, ginger, garlic, green chilis, cayenne powder, salt, tomatoes, some dry Italian seasoning and cilantro for garnishing.

    *

    Pan recipe: I find powdered fenugreek seeds and cumin-coriander go well with fish. Sometimes, I add Lahori fish spice and fry the fillet first. Saute the remaining ingredients separately, add warm water and take time to cook in low-flame, till the oil separates. Garnish generously with cilantro and sawleaf herb ( ngo gai ), if you can find it in Asian markets.

    Parantha recipes

    Indian flatbreads (parantha) have fascinated me with their possibilities as much as the lentils have.

    Wednesday, September 28, 2011

    Mom's cauliflower stew

    We all have our versions, but this one is my fav. I don't think I can make it like Mom did, but it is the simplest of recipes that needs just butter, cumin seeds, salt and grated ginger. Add to it cauliflower florets and diced potatoes. Add the ginger later to avoid its turning bitter in heat, and pressure pan it. I loved it in winters, where cauliflower was available. Now, I can have it all year round if I want to.

    I usually steam veggies in the microwave first to cook faster. Not this one, since it gets pressure cooked.

    Another recipe with cauliflower is Cauliflower roast. Where I steam the floret firsts and make the sauce separately with yogurt , loads of cinnamon powder and other preferred freshly ground spices. (Basic garam masala is a good option). You can make it on stove top or bake it in oven for a healthier version. Green peas and tomatoes make great additions to the merry party.

    But the simplest and most satisfying way to enjoy a cauliflower is to pan-roast it with nigella seeds, cracked pepper, slit green chilis, potatoes and green peas. You can add pearl onions too.

    Tuesday, September 27, 2011

    Pork/chicken Vindaloo




    1. Marinate diced chicken breasts/pork with vinegar, broken red chilies and crushed garlic overnight. 
    2. Fry onions in oil and fish out the garlic and chilis (discard remaining liquid) and blend them together to form a paste while sauteing the chicken separately in the oil used for frying the onion.
    3.  Add a suitable amount of salt, red chili powder, turmeric and garam masala and saute further in low heat. 
    4. Vinegar makes it sour. I'd not recommend using yogurt or tomatoes after that, even as a variant.

    Friday, September 23, 2011

    Tuesday, September 13, 2011

    Black-eyed peas

    I like the Punjabi Lobia Masala. Incidentally, I concocted a recipe today which I have taken a fancy to. If you are brave enough to try it, let me know how you like it.

    Black-eyed peas with mint and coconut
    Ingredients
    Black eyed peas (lobia) -Soaked overnight
    Grated ginger
    cumin seeds
    Coriander seeds
    Kasuri methi
    Mint leaves
    Amchur powder
    Cilantro (coriander leaves)
    Bay leaves
    Grated coconut

    Method:
    1. Boil or pressure cook all the ingredients(except the cilantro, which we will use for garnishing- you can make your own version/garnish, and the coconut) with suitable amount of water, salt and turmeric
    2. Discard the bay leaves and blend the mix in a blender
    3. I use freshly ground spices in my recipes- make basic garam masala using cardamom, cinnamon and cloves. You can add a bit of other hot spices like nutmeg powder too.
    4. I grated coconut using the same coffee grinder for dry powdered coconut.
    5. Put the mix and the coconut/ garam masala in the same vessel. Judge the need of adding any more water (microwaved for a minute)
    6. Boil until it reaches desired consistency. Can add a little butter if you want to be evil.
    7. Add minced cilantro for garnish.

    Generally, lobia is eaten whole. But I have found experimenting with lentils can be satisfying.

    Tuesday, September 6, 2011

    Kofta curry (Meatball curry)

    Lau Chingri ( Gourd with shrimp)

    Ingredients;
    Finely chopped Bottle gourd /Lau/Lauki/Opo
    Grated ginger
    Slit green chillis
    Mom's note: Methi seeds if making with shrimp or fish head, cumin seeds if making vegetarian lau with moong dal or vadi

    salt, turmeric, Oil, sugar (abt spnful), ghee, cilantro

    Method:

    1. Chop the gourd as finely as you can with a sharp knife or processor.
    2. Microwave it for 3-5 mins., for faster cooking and it will also require less cooking oil.
    3. Shallow fry  cleaned , de-veined shrimps  about ( 8-12) in oil, coated with salt and turmeric. Set aside.
    4. Temper methi (fenugreek) seeds in oil. Add steamed lau.
    5. Lau releases water on cookingt, add no extra water, unless you see it getting dry (bad, bad lau!). When lau is semi-cooked- add salt, turmeric , stir.
    6. Add shrimps, slit green chillies and  1/2 tsp sugar
    7. Add ghee and freshly chopped cilantro leaves
    Some variants have chopped onions with methi leaves and frozen peas added to it.

    Vegetarian alternative: Lau Moong


    Thursday, September 1, 2011

    Pomfret in Black bean sauce

    Link 1

    Ingredients::
    2 medium size pomfrets, cleaned and halved or cut into steaks
    1 onion, thinly sliced
    ½ inch ginger, grated
    2 tbsp fermented black bean sauce
    4 serrano or thai chilies
    oil

    Freshly ground coriander seeds, cumin seeds and methi seeds

    Chicken stew

    I add spinach leaves, celery, mushrooms, or lentils at times. There is no fixed recipe for my stew.
    But I like using diced potatoes, tomatoes, carrots, zucchini, french beans. A slow roasted version is available here.

    Sometimes, I make old-style beef stew when it is cold.

    Ingredients:
    Olive oil
    Meat pieces for stew (chicken. lamb, goat/mutton or beef)
    Salt
    Cracked pepper
    Coriander seeds
    Bay leaves
    Cinnamon
    Cloves
    Onions
    Crushed garlic
    Grated Ginger
    Green chilies or jalapenos
    ---
    Diced potatoes
    Carrots
    Celery
    Tomatoes
    Sprigs of rosemary and thyme

    I add the ingredients in a pressure cooker in that order. Add warm water after a while and I pressure cook them to doneness.  A good stew retains the individual taste of its ingredients in the broth;  I have found that the key to achieve that is to cook the meat and vegetables in separate steps during the cooking process.

    Chole palak

    Link 1 (Manjula's kitchen)

    Sunday, August 21, 2011

    Twice cooked pork (Szechuan )

    Link 1

    I would add to add homemade Black bean sauce to the above
    *

    You can add sliced cloves of garlic if you want
    Link 2 (video)

    My version

    Saturday, July 23, 2011

    Turkey meatloaf


    For Rituparna
    Chopped yellow onions ( 1 large onion)
    Minced garlic, ginger
    2 tablespoons olive oil
    salt to taste
    1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    1 teaspoon fresh thyme/rosemary leaves/Italian seasoning (1/2 teaspoon dried)
    1 1/2 teaspoons tomato paste
    2 pounds ground turkey
    1 1/2 cups Italian bread crumbs
    2 large eggs, beaten
    3/4 cup ketchup

    You can add your other favorite dry spices- I use garam masala and nutmeg powder too. You can use ghee (clarified butter) for a richer taste.

    Directions
    Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
    Combine the ingredients in a large bowl. Mix well and shape into a rectangular loaf . Spread the ketchup evenly on top. Bake for 1- 1 1/2 hours until the meatloaf is cooked through. Serve hot, at room temperature, or cold in a sandwich.

    For the sauce/glaze: You can use canned/fresh tomatoes and seasonings of your choice

    Sunday, July 3, 2011

    Chili fried chicken


    Grind coriander seeds and cumin seeds in a coffee grinder and red chilis- add to hot oil in a wok.
    Add diced ginger,bite sized chicken pieces. Stir well
    Add soya sauce, chili-garlic paste and powdered cashew/peanuts and green slit chilis.

    Serve hot.

    Monday, May 16, 2011

    Baked trout with pearl onions and watercress sauce


    For the sauce
    1 bunch of watercress
    Olive oil/ butter
    Tartar sauce
    Pepper

    Heat oil/ melt butter in a frying pan and add the watercress.
    When they wilt, add tartar sauce

    Soak the pearl onions in water or steam lightly. Peel the skin and toss it in a pan with a little vinegar/lemon juice and olive oil.

    For baking the fish
    Use olive oil/butter and freshly squeezed lemon juice and mix them to create an emulsion.
    Sprinkle that and your favorite spices on the fish. I prefer garlic powder, grated singer and dry Italian herbs for this.
    Bake at 350 F until fish is flaky.


    Serve in a dish with the sauce and onions.

    Marinated red pearl onions in vinegar and spices serve as good accompaniments.

    Sunday, May 15, 2011

    Stuffed mushrooms


    Stuffed mushroom recipe (Italian) 1

    Link 2 (with crabmeat)

    Sauteed shitake mushrooms in chicken broth
    Shitake mushrooms -sliced in halves
    Saute in butter.
    Add soya sauce, chicken broth.
    Cover and cook till tender

    Can add broccoli florets.

    Monday, April 25, 2011

    Chicken tomato cream and Spinach mushroom chicken


    For Siddharth

    Chicken tomato cream
    Ingredients:
    1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
    1 tablespoon cooking oil/butter
    2 cloves garlic, finely minced/ Garlic powder
    3 tsp heavy cream/sour cream
    1-2 diced tomatoes/ tomato paste (Hunts, 2 tsp)
    Preferred chicken pieces, I liked thighs (with bones for curry with rice, boneless if you are going to serve with pasta)
    Salt and pepper
    Bay leaves
    Cloves
    Cinnamon sticks
    Julienne ginger

    Korma powder

    Method:
    For sauce, saute the chopped onion in cooking medium until softened. Add garlic, ginger and whole spices.
    Wash chicken and pat dry. Make slits with a sharp knife or cut into smaller pieces. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper.
    Add tomato, cover, and cook for 4 to 6 minutes longer, until chicken is cooked through. Add curry powder/ Korma powder, and then cream.
    Can garnish with dry, ground parsley.

    Spinach mushroom chicken can be made similarly by using blanched/frozen spinach and mushrooms instead of tomatoes.

    You can also use diced onions, garlic,  mushrooms and spinach with a splash of soya sauce to make a stir fry or add to your pasta. Good as sandwich fillers with cheese.

    Friday, April 22, 2011

    Tortilla de patatas in yogurt sauce

    This is something my Mom made when I was a kid. Baking makes my job easier.

    All you need is:

    1. Eggs - 5-6, beaten
    2. Potatoes- small, 2, boiled and mashed
    3. Green peas (optional)
    4. Cilantro
    5. Cumin seeds
    6. Salt, turmeric
    7. Onion grated
    8. Ginger grated
    9. Garlic grated
    10. Bay leaves
    11. Yogurt
    12. Milk(optional)

    1. In a small (so it doesn't spread out too thin) baking tray that has some decent height, pour the beaten eggs with mashed potatoes and peas. You can add salt, pepper, a little of the grated onions, garlic powder(or grated), ginger powder(or grated) Bake till it is nice and fluffy. (You can choose to fry this, but why sweat?)Those who like chilies, can add chopped green chillies too. It is good enough to eat now. It is like the Spanish Tortilla de patatas. But let's wait..
    2. For the sauce, fry cumin and bay leaves, saute a little onion, garlic, ginger. Add yogurt.
    3. Cut the potato-egg omelet into cubes, add to the sauce. Add cilantro to garnish.

    Here is a recipe for Omelet curry, using the same ingredients, but the eggs and potatoes are used separately.

    Sunday, April 17, 2011

    Hot garlic shrimp with chicken fried rice


    For Shweta

    Hot garlic shrimp
    Ingredients
    Shrimps, deveined
    1 pinch MSD Substitute
    ½ tsp. Black Pepper(powder)
    1 tsp. Sugar
    2 tbsp.Chili garlic sauce
    2 tbsps. Corn Flour
    2 Eggs
    5-7 Green Chilies, slit in the middle
    6 cloves Garlic
    1 inch ginger
    Onions sliced in squares
    Cabbage sliced
    Cooking Oil
    Salt to taste
    Chili oil

    Directions
    Marinate the shrimp in 1 tablespoon. Soya sauce, salt, egg and 1 tablespoon cornflour for ten minutes.
    Deep fry in hot oil till light brown. Take out and soak excess oil in paper towels.
    Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a wok. Add chopped garlic, ginger, onions, cabbage, and green chilies and toss for 15 seconds.
    Add chili garlic sauce in water.Add MSD substitute, sugar, pepper powder.
    Add shrimp and cook for 3 minutes. Drizzle chili oil
    Garnish with chopped spring onions and julienned green chilies.

    *
    Chicken Fried rice 1

    Rice, cooked
    Grated ginger, garlic, cabbage
    Green Peas
    Diced carrots
    Chicken pieces, marinated in vinegar, pepper and salt
    MSD Substitute
    Soya Sauce
    Spring onions
    1 tbsp butter

    Heat butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add chicken, grated ginger, garlic, cabbage -saute. Then add green peas, carrots and 2 tablespoons soy sauce and stir-fry for 5 to 6 minutes.
    Then add rice and stir thoroughly.
    Can add scrambled eggs.

    *

    How to make chili oil at home

    You might also like Spicy Garlic Shrimp [Food Network, Rachel Ray]

    It is something similar to what I had in Oahu, Hawaii from a food van.


    Chili chicken 1


    Guest recipe by Sangram Ganguly

    Updated version (2/14/2014)
    1. Wash boneless chicken thighs and cut into small pieces (dry with paper towels ) - put corn starch (2 tbsp) , all purpose flour (3 tbsp), 1 egg,  vinegar, salt and pepper. Mix well and keep aside 20 mins to an hour. Deep fry the chicken till brown.
    2. On a separate pan, put 4-5 tablespoon of oil (preferably a mix of refined oil and chili oil)- when hot add minced garlic, ginger and green chili- keep stirring.
    3. Add chunks of bell pepper, onion and soy sauce (3-4 tbsp) - stir - (sprinkle salt  to taste)
    4. When the mixture is fairly done - add some chili paste (Sambal Oelek), some soy sauce again  and keep stirring - add the fried chicken at this point.
    5. Add 2 cups of water (1 cup mixed with 1 tbsp of corn starch) and cover the pan with a lid and cook in low heat for 15-20 mins.




    Add some sauteed greens to your meal like organic broccoli with minced garlic and soy sauce.

    Friday, April 15, 2011

    Sandwich ideas

    Grilled jalapeño focaccia sandwich with provolone, pesto-garlic and smoked ham

    Shepherder's bread with fire roasted red pepper, pepper jack cheese and marinated mushrooms

    Grilled tomato, mozzarella (and basil)sandwich

    Provolone, boiled egg, pepper, pickled jalapeno, tomatoes, pastrami, and chili sauce*

    Thursday, April 14, 2011

    Cashew raisin cinnamon cookie

    1 cup white sugar
    1 cup butter
    1 egg
    1 tablespoon milk powder
    Semolina
    Cinnamon powder
    4 cups all-purpose flour
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    Halved cashews
    Raisins
    Directions

    Thoroughly whisk butter, sugar, and egg.
    Add dry ingredients.
    Cut into shapes and rest onto ungreased cookie sheets. Press raisins and cashews in the center of each cookie. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 12-15 minutes.

    Deviled eggs


    Chilled Deviled eggs make great Hors d'œuvre.

    Here's a version of my basic deviled eggs.

    Ingredients:
    5 eggs
    1 tablespoon spinach artichoke dip (you can use your preferred salad dressing, mashed potatoes, cheese, mayo, garlic powder)
    salt and pepper to taste
    1 pinch paprika

    Directions
    Place eggs in saucepan, add salt and water. Cover and bring to boil. Remove from heat, and let eggs sit in hot water for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from hot water and cool.
    Peel and cut in half lengthwise. Remove yolks, combine with dip and salt and pepper. Mix together until smooth.
    Refill each egg half with the yolk mixture and sprinkle with paprika.

    Visit this link for more ideas of deviled eggs.

    Also, more appetizer recipes at Foodnetwork

    Great with Spiced apple juice with a lemon twist


    Wednesday, April 13, 2011

    Kiwi chicken salad

    Ingredients:
    1 cup cooked chicken breast, diced
    4 kiwifruit, peeled and sliced
    3 tablespoons red onion, finely chopped
    1/2 cup red cabbage, thinly sliced
    Juice of 3 limes
    3 tablespoons light olive oil
    2 teaspoons chopped cilantro
    Salt to taste

    Directions
    Place the chicken, kiwi, onion in a large bowl.

    Whisk together the lime juice, olive oil, and cilantro in a small bowl. Add salt to taste.

    Pour the dressing over the chicken mixture and carefully stir until evenly coated with the dressing.

    Keema -matar (minced meat and green peas) with mint leaves




    Ingredients
    1 pound Minced meat (I usually prefer turkey. Chicken, beef. pork, lamb or goat is ok too)
    3/4 cup - Green peas
    1 big - Onion, chopped finely
    1 piece - Ginger, chopped finely
    1 tbsp - Garlic, grated
    3 green chillies or 1 jalapeño chopped. You can use 1 habanero if you want it really hot !
    2 small - Cinnamon sticks
    2 pods - Cardamom seeds, crushed
    3 - Cloves
    1 - Bay leaf
    1/2 tsp - Whole Coriander seeds
    1/2 tsp - whole peppercorns
    1/2 tsp - Red chili powder
    1/2 tsp meat masala
    Salt to taste
    3 tsp yogurt or sour cream
    Mint leaves to garnish


    Heat oil in a pan and fry onions until golden brown. Add garlic, ginger, cardamom, cinnamom, cloves, bay leaf, coriander seeds, peppercorns, green chillies and fry for 3 - 4 minutes.

    Add minced meat, peas and fry for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally until meat turns brown. Use a hand mixer to mix evenly. Add yogurt. Cover and cook on low heat until meat is cooked . Garnish with mint leaves.

    I love the crunchy coriander seeds and peppercorns in this dish, and the mint flavor. If you don't fancy mint much, you can add cilantro instead, or other seasoning. It is good with rosemary or kasuri methi too.

    Recipe for Aloo Keema

    Monday, April 11, 2011

    Bengali Vegetable Medley (Panch mishali)

    Version 1
     Version 2: Added beets for some color

    Ingredients:
    Chopped cabbage- half
    Butternut squash- a quarter
    Radish: 1 medium
    Roma tomatoes : 2
    Potatos: 1 or 2
    Green Peas : 1/3 cup
    Dry red chilli : 1 (break into 2) or  2 Green chilis slit in halves
    Panch phoron : 1 tsp.
    Turmeric powder : a pinch or so ( I don't like too much turmeric in my food)
    Salt to taste
    Sugar to taste
    Oil : 2-3 tblsp.
    Fresh coriander leaves/cilantro for garnishing

    Method :
    1. Cut radish, butternut squash, tomatoes and potatoes into cubes. Chop cabbage leaves, thaw some frozen green peas. (You can microwave the fresh vegetables first for shorter cooking time)
    2. In a pan, heat 2 tbsp. oil, temper with Panch phoron, and bay leaves.
    3. Add vegetables, salt, turmeric powder and a vegetable masala (like Badshah Sabji masala or dry roasted cumin/coriander powder) if your prefer. It is good simply with grated ginger and green chillies too.
    4. Add sugar and stir fry together for 20-30 minutes in medium flame.
    5. Remove from heat and garnish with fresh coriander leaves/cilantro. (or add before you stop the flame/heat)

    You can use other vegetables like carrots, beets, cauliflower or drumsticks instead or with it. I prefer the radish-butternut squash combination, and add/subtract other vegetables on whim or availability. It is a  great way to clean to clean your fridge before your weekly groceries.

    You can add fresh spinach leaves and chana dal for tempering as a variety. You may also add chopped banana blossom (mocha) for a different flavor.

    Sunday, April 10, 2011

    Vegetable croquette with Sweet Tamarind Chutney


    Tamarind Chutney
    Ingredients

    Red chillies, broken in half
    1/2 tsp fennel seeds
    2 cups water
    White sugar, to taste
    3 tablespoons tamarind paste/concentrate

    Directions

    Heat oil over medium heat and add chillies, fennel seeds, or you can dry toast them too.
    Stir the water along with the sugar and tamarind paste. Bring to a boil, then simmer over low heat until the mixture turns deep brown and is thick enough to coat the back of a metal spoon.

    Vegetable croquette
    Ingredients:
    Vegetables of your choice
    2 eggs
    Bread crumbs

    1. Use vegetables of your choice.I parboiled 1 beet root and 2 potatoes and then skinned them. (You can use cauliflower and carrots too) Then mashed the potatoes, grated the beet. I added thawed green peas and dry roasted peanuts to the mix and slightly fried the mix in a skillet with a little oil. You can add your fav spice in this step. I used julienned ginger, chili powder, salt and sugar.
    2. Make a batter of slightly beaten eggs.
    3. In another bowl add fair amount of panko flakes or bread crumb of your preferred brand.
    4. The vegetable mix is then cooled and shaped into elongated rolls.
    5. Dip the rolls into the egg batter, then coat with bread crumb (Repeat this step for a super crunchy crust)
    6. Deep fry in hot oil, turn once. When light golden brown, remove and drain oil. Serve with the chutney.

    Thursday, April 7, 2011

    Salmon and Tamarind Curry

    I learned about this recipe at a potluck from a South Indian guy. The flavor was amazing, and a hit at the party.

    For Ervin
    Salmon, steak or fillet
    1 onion
    2 tbsp cooking oil
    Garlic, crushed or minced
    2cm (about 1 inch) ginger, peeled and grated
    1 tsp ground coriander
    1 tsp ground cumin
    1/2 tsp turmeric
    2 small red chillies, sliced
    1 tsp tamarind concentrate
    1 tbsp tomato purée
    400 ml coconut milk
    200 ml water
    1 tsp sugar
    Curry leaves
    Coriander leaves/cilantro, to garnish


    1. Thaw the salmon in a microwave based on weight (I prefer thawing in cold water or fresh fish), sprinkle salt and set aside.

    2. Finely chop the onion. Heat the oil in a heavy-based pan and fry the onion. Add the garlic and ginger and fry further, stirring all the time. Can add cumin seeds here. Go easy on the cumin powder then.

    3. Turn the heat down low, sprinkle over the ground coriander, cumin, turmeric and chillies, and stir continuously until the spices give off a warm, toasted aroma - about a minute.

    4. Add the tamarind, tomato puree, coconut milk, water, the remaining salt, and the sugar. Simmer the curry, uncovered, for about 10 minutes before tasting. If you feel the curry needs it, add a touch more tamarind and chilli.

    5. Add the fish to the pan and simmer for 5 minutes, or until cooked. The fish should flake easily when it's ready. Garnish with coriander leaves/cilantro, and serve with steamed rice

    * Can make a version w/o the coconut milk too.

    *Go easy on the tamarind concentrate if you are cooking it for the first time. Add a little water to 1 tsp concentrate and whisk it well for better consistency in the gravy.

    *You can try baked salmon with tamarind glaze too. Less fuss, healthier. 

    Suji Upma/ Nonta Suji

    Ingredients
    1 cup semolina (rava/suji)
    1 tbsp grated ginger (adrak)
    1/2 cup chopped onions
    2 tbsp chopped green chillies
    Curry leaves
    Peanuts
    Mustard seeds
    salt to taste
    oil for cooking

    You can add green peas, diced potatoes, jalapeños too.

    Method
    Heat the pan and dry roast peanuts,add mustard seeds, green chillies, curry leaves, and then the semolina stirring continuously.
    Add the water and make a thick consistency batter.
    Add the salt and mix gently.

    Monday, April 4, 2011

    Yogurt drinks


    Good for nausea and to aid digestion.

    Spicy yogurt-mint drink
    INGREDIENTS
    1 cup yogurt or buttermilk
    Add salt and water if using yogurt
    Mint leaves
    ½ teaspoon jal-jeera
    Ice cubes
    Whole fresh mint leaves for garnish

    Blend together all the ingredients except the ice cubes and whole mint leaves for the garnish until smooth in a blender.


    Gulabi Lassi (Rose flavored yogurt drink)

    Natural yoghurt
    1 tsp rose essence or Ruh-Afza
    Pink rose petals to garnish (optional)

    Mix together yoghourt, water, rose essence in a blender

    Aloo palak (Potato Spinach)

    Ingredients

    Cooking oil
    Bay leaves
    Pinch of cumin seeds
    2 dried red chili broken
    Turmeric powder, salt to taste
    Crushed garlic
    Cubed potatoes, microwaved or boiled, add a little salt
    Fresh spinach, blanched or microwaved for 10 minutes, add a little salt
    Bhaja masala-dry roasted cumin, coriander and dry red chilis

    Method:
    1. Blend the blanched spinach into a smooth paste.(You may also use finely chopped or frozen spinach)
    2. Add the bay leaves, cumin seed, red chilis and let it splutter.
    3. Add  potatoes. Sprinkle salt, turmeric, bhaja masala and fry till golden. Add chopped spinach. Simmer for a few minutes. Sprinkle some water if it gets too dry.
    You can make aloo methi (potatoes with fenugreek leaves) by using chopped methi instead of spinach. Or add cubed eggplant to aloo palak to make a delicious aloo-palak-baingan. You just need to temper mustard oil with nigella seeds and dry red chilies for a quick side dish.



    You may add cottage cheese (paneer) instead of potatoes for palak paneer recipe. Green chillis and onions  may also be aided as a variation. It also help to soften the cottage cheese in salt water if you can't get fresh paneer.

    *Yet another way of cooking paneer is to rub salt, turmeric, red chili powder and amchur on the paneer cubes and shallow fry them first, before incorporating in the gravy.

    Sunday, April 3, 2011

    Mocktails

    Virgin Pina Colada
    Crushed ice
    Pineapple chunks
    Vanilla ice cream
    Your fav pina colada mix or pineapple juice and coconut cream
    Blend.

    Garnish with maraschino cherry, a pineapple chunk and a tropical flower

    Thai shrimp curry with vegetables and bamboo shoots



    Ingredients
    2 tablespoons cooking oil
    1/2 cup chopped shallots
    3 red chillies or Thai chilies broken
    2 teaspoons minced garlic and ginger
    2 teaspoons sugar
    1 (14-ounce) can coconut milk
    1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined (cooked shrimp is ok)
    3 tablespoons chopped Thai basil leaves
    1 packet frozen vegetables- preferably with bamboo shoots in it. They give a different flavor.
    Pinch of curry powder

    Can add Thai fish sauce if you like.

    In a large wok heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the shallots, sauté, add garlic and ginger. Add the vegetables. Stirring, add sugar, then the coconut milk and bring to a boil. Simmer until thickened slightly. Add the shrimp and cook, stirring, until cooked through. Add curry powder. Serve over rice

      Link 1

    Sometimes, I use chicken instead of  shrimp , and pickled bamboo shoots instead of brined ones.



    Rogan Mushroom (Mushrooms in Onion Tomato Gravy)

    I hold mushrooms in high regard. Not only they are rich in nutrients like some B Vitamins and essential minerals- I find them delicious. Give me a mushroom sandwich or cream of mushroom soup anytime- really.

    You can add green peas to the following recipe and make a version of Khumb-matar ki sabzi (Mushroom -peas curry)

    1 large onion quartered
    3 medium-sized tomatoes quartered
    2 green chillies
    5 cloves garlic
    1" piece of ginger
    3 tbsps cooking oil
    1 tsp coriander powder
    1 tsp cumin powder
    1/2 tsp red chilli powder (optional)
    1/4 tsp turmeric powder
    1 tsp garam masala
    500 gms button mushrooms wiped clean and cut into halves
    Salt to taste
    4 tbsps thick unsweetened yogurt or sour cream, whisked till smooth
    Chopped fresh coriander to garnish
    Preparation:

    Put the quartered onion, tomatoes, green chillies, ginger and garlic into a food processor and grind into a smooth paste. There is no need to add any water to this while grinding as the juices from the tomatoes will provide sufficient liquid.
    Heat the cooking oil in a deep pan on medium heat, add the above mixture and all the powdered spices. Stir and fry till the oil begins to separate from the masala. Stir often to prevent the masala from sticking and/ or burning.
    When the masala is done , add the mushrooms and stir gently. Season with salt to taste and add half a cup of warm water. Cook till the mushrooms are soft but not pulpy/ overcooked. Stir in the yogurt or sour cream.

    A bit of cashew paste and ground poppy seeds can do wonders for a gravy. I like using it in my meatballs (Kofta curry). You can use it for this recipe too.

    Tuesday, March 22, 2011

    Tomato dal with caramelized onions

    Makes light accompaniment for anything or as lentil soup, though the Bengali in me prefers it with rice. (I had it with baked Salmon fillet and Tamarind rice last night.)

    1. Pressure cook red lentils (masoor daal) with salt and turmeric powder to preferred mushiness.
    2. Fry separately red chillies, mustard seeds, curry leaves, diced tomatoes in a spoonful of ghee/oil with a pinch of asafoetida & a little salt, add to the boiled dal. Mix well.
    3. Slow fry (in oil/ghee) thinly sliced onions with a little sugar to caramelize them.
    4. Serve the dal in bowls garnished with caramelized onions.

    Caramelized onions is great for Biryani garnishing and in onions dips.

    *
    Other ideas for cooking dal (pulses/lentils)are :

    1. Red lentils with cabbage, drumsticks, peas, carrots and corn
    2. Sambar
    3. Whole green lentils with spinach (can make a salad too)
    4. Dal Makhani 
    5. Ghoogni with aloo
    6. Punjabi chole
    7. Rajma (Red kidney beans)
    8. Lobia (black eyed peas)
    9. Moong Dal with raw papaya
    10. Arhar/Toor Dal with onion, cumin, garlic, zucchini and tomatoes
      More options here

      I'm a lentil lover and though I enjoy dal makhani once in a while- I find a simple dal very satisfying. You might like reading An Exultation of Lentils [NYTimes]

      Thursday, March 17, 2011

      Zucchini and mushroom bake


      This is a quick vegetable recipe minus hassles for days when you don't really feel like cooking on a stove-top. Doesn't look much compared to colorful Indian cooking, but tastes great. All you need is some

      1. Olive oil/ melted butter
      2. Diced or half moon shaped zucchini
      3. Sliced / halved mushrooms
      4. Sour cream
      5. Crushed black pepper
      6. Salt
      7. Garlic powder
      You can add a couple of cloves to make it more interesting.

      Mix all together and bake at 350 F for 20 minutes or until vegetables are soft. You can add chicken and rosemary or your favorite herbs. Bake longer (45 mins) if you add chicken. Skip the sour cream if you like to eat light. Also, olive oil is a healthier option than butter.