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Friday, May 31, 2013

Buckwheat Eggplant Risotto

I'm on my way to trying a new grain: Buckwheat
Ok it's not that new, but it is new to me, and it's gluten free (not that it matters to me but it's nice to know.)
I was planning on doing my usual bulgur-quinoa bit, when I remembered I had just bought a bag of buckwheat to try out.  The mix ended up being bulgur, red quinoa, and buckwheat...but hey, the more the merrier right?
As a side to a green chutney marinated then roasted filet mignon, I wanted something equally intriguing, but that would still pair properly.  Ah yes, risotto with eggplant, toasted garlic, and yogurt.  Hmm interesting.. We will have to analyze the flavors later.
1 1/4 cup buckwheat (or a mix with other things)
1 eggplant, cubed
4 cloves garlic, sliced
1 chopped tomato
3/4 cup plain yogurt
1 tsp za'tar
1 or more cups stock(chicken or veg)
1 tbsp tomato paste
Pinch of saffron threads
Lots of fresh cracked pepper
1 handful chopped flatleaf parsley
Some evoo
Feta...I should have saved some because it would be absolutely delicious here, but I only had a handful of parmesan, so I used that.
1.  In some Evoo, color the eggplant cubes with the za'atar, then remove and set aside.
2.  Add some more EVOO and fry the garlic slices until brown, but not burnt.
3.  Add the buckwheat and friends until all coated and nicely sizzling.  A very pleasant aroma should be wafting around.
4.  Add the tomatoes.  I think it would be best to bend them rather than have them chopped.  The grains would absorb the flavor more evenly, but I didn't so no worries.
5.  Add the stock and tomato paste, then cover and lower the heat.  Cook until mostly absorbed (approx 15 minutes).
6.  Stir in the yogurt, saffron, half the parsley, and lots of frsh cracked pepper.  Cover and keep on low heat until absorbed.  Do a taste test to see if you like the bite tenderness.

Before serving, stir inthe parmesan and top with chopped parsley.

This was delicious.  The textures of the different grains makes it feel like you are discovering something new with each bite.  I think I'll try it with 100% buckwheat next time so I can get the full experience.  Tonight was improv, so I only remembered the buckweat once my bulgur-quinoa cup was already half full. cup of Love is overflowing...

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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Pappadums & Chutney

Happy hour can't happen without pappadums in this house...
They say l'appetit vient en mangeant (your appetite develops as you eat- which sounds better in French) but I disagree.  I say it comes depending on the teaser you have given yourself...happy hour, therefore, is an essential part of enjoying a worthy meal.
I bought these pappadums in India, so I cannot offer a recipe, but I definately CAN say that they are best "dégustés" after being toasted on an open flame.
If you do not have a gas stove, 2-3 minutes in a toaster oven can do the trick.  I have a grill option on my microwave that somewhat works.  Do NOT heat them in a pan.  Who would suggest such an insane idea?
Pappadums can be enjoyed either plain, with some green chutney, tamarind chutney, or whatever chutney you can get your little hands on.
For those unfamiliar with pappadums, they would be like some sort of Indian version of chips & salsa.  Instead of masa, they are mostly made of chickpea flour and spices rolled into an extremely thin dough, and dried.  They are not fried like chips, but when ready to eat, heated on an open flame or tandoor (or toaster oven for those of us not quite equipped).
The bottom line is:
Any meal starting with pappadum happy hour will be an extremely pleasurable meal...

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Sunday, May 26, 2013

Egg Curry with Brinjal

Where should I start?  I went through much indecision before choosing the Indian recipe for egg curry over the Burmese one.  I will eventually do that one, but tonight, I'm sticking to my roots.
If the only "meat" in a dish is eggs, is it still vegetarian? I'm going to go ahead and say yes.  No offense to anyone who doesn't eat eggs.  I do.  I love them.  I had to stop myself this morning from having them for breakfast with some salsa verde so that I could make this dish.  It was difficult, but the strawberries in my oatmeal comforted me... then made my mind wonder onto strawberry-basalmic vinegar muffins or cookies.  Then I refocused on the eggs.
6 eggs, hardboiled and shelled
1/4 cup oil for frying
1 large eggplant (brinjal), cubed
3 dried curry leaves
3 cloves
1/2" cinnamon stick
1/2tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
1 chopped onion
1/4 tsp turmeric
some chili powder.. watch out if it's the strong one
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp tandoori chicken masala
1 tomato, blended into a purée
1 tsp molasses
1 can coconut milk
1.  In a wok or heavy based pan, heat the oil, then fry the eggs, carefully turning them on each side until their skin starts to blister.  Oooh it feels cruel but oh so nice to have that nice golden color.  Remove and set aside on some paper towels.
2.  In the oil, brown the eggplant cubes so they are nicely colored on each side.  You may want to pour some of the oil out for the next step.  The eggplants are extremely greedy and soak up anything you put in their path.  Remove and set aside also on some paper towels.
That's not very glamorous, is it?  Just wait.
3.  In your remaining oil, place the curry leaves, cloves, cinnamon, cumin seeds, and fennel seeds.  Heat until it starts to crackle and pop.
4.  Add the onion.  Stir and cook until it colors, then add the eggplant.
5.  Add the turmeric, chili powder, coriander, and tandoori masala.  Stir to coat the eggplant evenly.
6.  Add the tomatoes and molasses.  Cook about 5 minutes.  You don't want a raw tomato taste in your curry.
7.  Add the coconut milk and bring to a boil.  Don't use the whole can if you want a thicker curry.  I don't like mine to be soupy, so I used about 3/4 of the can.  Simmer on low until ready to serve.
8.  Before serving, cut the eggs in half and drop them into the curry.

Serve with rice and/or rotis.  I'm serving mine with Palak Paneer, Jeera Rice, and Rotis.
What a wonderful new way to enjoy eggs.  This is making it into my rotation.  I'm not sure the frying was necessary.  I may skip that next time for a healthier version.

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Saturday, May 25, 2013

Jalapeño Cookies

I've been wanting to make jalapeño cookies for a while now, but for some reason I'm a bit hesitant.  They work well in savory muffins, and of course, corn bread.  I like jalapeños, I like cookies, but will I like them together?  More importantly, will my favorite food critic appreciate them?
We shall see...
I found this recipe from a cookie blog and the writer seems to be on the same instinctual crazy page as I am, so I am trusting her.
Yields 54 tbsp sized cookies
2 1/2cups (350g) whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp cayenne
1/4 tsp cumin
1/2lb (200g) softened butter
3/4 cup (150g) brown sugar
1/4 cup (50g) sugar
*I used180g cassonade and 20g molasses*
3 oz (80g) cream cheese
2 large eggs
1 tsp lemon or lime zest
1 large jalapeño, seeded and diced (approx 1/4 cup)
Extra cayenne for sprinkling
1. Sift together the flour, spices, salt, and baking soda.  Set aside.
2.  In a separate mixing bowl, fluff together the butter and sugar, then add the rest of the wet ingredients and mix together.
3.  Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients little by little until it is all incorporated.  Place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.  It will be easier to manipulate when cold.  Trust me on this one.  If you don't do this, you will end up licking up most of the batter off your fingers than using in the cookies.
4.  Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C).
5.  On a baking sheet, make tbsp sized balls and line them up with approx 2 inch spacing between each ball.  Sprinkle just a touch of cayenne on each one, then bake for 12-14 minutes.
6.  Transfer to wire rack and let cool.

These are surprising cookies.
You can taste the PeP in each bite, especially at the end.  Next time I will definately add chocolate chips to give them some extra depth.
I'm going to have fun surprising people with this cookie.

disclaimer:  that is NOT a jalapeño in the picture, it is a Moroccan chili, and it's the closest thing I can get here in France.

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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Kala Chana Curry

Have you ever tasted something for the first time and wondered why you waited 29 long years to discover such a wonderful thing?  That is the revelation I had while just taste testing this recipe.  I borrowed it from ShowMeTheCurry.. and as usual, it is perfect and rather simple.  I can't keep this one to myself.. I'm going to have to smuggle it out to give samples and hook everyone onto vegetarian cuisine. 
Serves 6 as a side
1 1/2 cups black chickpeas (kala chana) washed and soaked at least 8 hours
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 Tbsp oil
1/8 tsp asofetida (hing)
1/4 tsp turmeric
1 Tbsp freshly grated ginger
1 green chili, minced
1 large clove garlic, grated
2 chopped tomatoes
1 tsp salt
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp chili powder
 1.  Place the chickpeas in the crock pot with about 4 cups of water and  baking soda.  Cook on low for at least 8-9 hours.  These are very stubborn little fellows and take much longer to cook than regular chickpeas.  You will, however, appreciate the difference in finesse.  If you do not have a slow cooker, cook them in a pressure cooker for at least an hour.  Make sure to check the tenderness after opening.  You don't want them crunchy.  If you have neither a slow cooker nor a pressure cooker, simmer for probably around 3 hours.  That's about the time it would take you to go out, buy a pressure cooker, and cook these.  haha.
2.  Make the curry by heating the oil on medium heat.  when hot, add the hing, then the turmeric, then the ginger, green chili, and garlic.  Cook until the raw smell goes away.
3.  Add the tomatoes and let them cook until you have mush.
4.  Add the garam masala, chili powder, and salt.
5.  Transfer this lovely curry to your kala chana.  If you want it less soupy, make sure to take some of the water out before putting the curry in.  Taste and adjust the seasoning.

I like it with a little kick.  My new chili powder I bought from the Chinese supermarket is 10x stronger than the one from French supermarkets.. to my pleasant suprise.
This was perfect, spot on, and appropriate considering the weather we are having.  I served it as a side with my Jaipuri Veg and Paneer Curry, and today had it for lunch over rice as a soup (and was so excited to eat that I forgot to photograph my plate).
It works out well garnished with cilantro, but I didn't have any.

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Monday, May 20, 2013

Chicken & Cêpe Risotto

So you buy a rotisserie chicken...the legs, wings, and half a breast were eaten, and now you're left with 1 1/2 breast (rather dry) and the little pieces of meat you were able to pick off the carcass with your fingers.  You need to feed 3 people a healthy meal without them knowing it. Go!
While I was out of town, I bought this mixture of red quinoa and whole wheat bulgur.  I had about 1/4 cup traditional quinoa left as well and decided to use it.  I'd never had red quinoa before.  It has more health benefits than the beige and a slightly different flavor as well.
I used my Lamb & Cêpe Risotto recipe and used the leftover chicken instead of lamb.
This recipe is a big big hit.  I think I'm going to completely convert to using quinoa + bulgur in risotto instead of arborio rice.  I could go 100% quinoa too but I'm not sure I'd use all red.
I'm sorry if that offends any risotto purists, but I just like it better.  There us a big plus in it as's healthier long as you don't use too much cream.

*don't use bulgur if you're GF!

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Sunday, May 19, 2013

Jaipuri Vegetable and Paneer Subzi

After a meal made with as much love as this one, you are left with a full stomach, nourished body, a spicy mouth, a slightly runny nose, but most importantly, a sense of euphoria leaving you with dreamy eyes and a silly smile on your face.
It's a natural high (shall we take to the sky?)
The little kettle with the kala chana or (black chickpeas) will be the subject of another post.  They totally blew my mind.  It was my first time eating them and they taste very different than regular chickpeas.  More on that later.  This post is about that lovely vegetable and paneer curry on the right. I was originally researching Gujarati recipes, then I researched all types of vegetarian Indian dishes and came up with this one, which I borrowed from TheSpiceWhoLovedMe.  I can't always take all the credit for everything, but I do believe that I made it mine by adding yams (or sweet potatoes for those with handicapped vocab).  I'm not sure I would be ready to give up meat or anything else that I like, but you don't even notice you're eating vegetarian when you cook like this.  I waited until my "audience" finished their plates, or rather licked them clean before asking them if there was any meat in the meal.  The answer was (given with a confused look): I don't know but it was really really good!
4-6 servings depending on how you serve
1 cup peas (mine were frozen)
2 large carrots, peeled and chopped into thick chunks
1 eggplant, unpeeled and chopped into chunks
1 medium yam, peeled and chunked
100g paneer (Ididn't really weigh, but used the yield from 1L)
1tsp chili powder
1 Tbsp turmeric
2Tbsp oil
1 tsp amchur (or lemon juice)
1 cup milk or cream (or whey to make it fight food)
Salt to taste
Blended paste:
1 chopped onion
1 large chopped tomato
1" piece of ginger
6 cloves garlic
Handful cilantro
4 tbsp dried coconut
Dry Masala:
2 1" pieces cinnamon
4 cloves
1 tsp fennel seeds
1/2 tsp nutmeg
6 whole peppercorns
1 tbsp coriander seeds
1 tbsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp poppy seeds (I used black sesame...ran out of poppy)
1 whole dried red chili
1.  Steam the carrots, eggplant, and yam together.  I did this in the steam basket of my pressure cooker for 5 minutes under pressure.  If you don't have a steaming opportunity, just boil them until tender, but look into the steaming option because you retain all the nutrients in the veggies this way.
2.  In a blender, blend all the paste ingredients.
3.  Dry roast the masala ingredients until fragrant, then grind into a powder.  I used my trusty mortar and pestle... I love that thing.  You can do this while you wait for the veggies to finish cooking.
4.  In a wok or heavy based pan, heat the oil, then add the paste.  Fry for a few minutes until the raw smell goes away.
5.  Add the dry masala and stir 1-2 minutes.
6.  Add the paneer.  Let color if possible before stirring it into the curry.
7.  Add the rest of the vegetables, being careful to coat them well with the curry.  Let cook at least 5 minutes.
8.  Add the milk, bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer.  Add the turmeric, salt, and chili powder.  Taste and adjust the seasoning and consistency.

Serve with plain or jeera rice or rotis or both as a main or side dish.
Lay down on the floor and let the wave of euphoria consume you slowly.

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What does Love smell of?

My house, my clothes, my skin, my hands, my brain smell of curry....

As soon as I figured it was going to be a rainy day with no outings, I strapped on my apron and got to work.  I just finished a Jaipuri vegetarian curry and my kala chana (black chickpeas) are in the slow cooker.  The house is filled with the smell of sizzling cumin seeds from the jeera rice on the stove as I'm writing.  I made everything ahead of time so I can be free to roll and cook my rotis before dinner.  I'm not sure I'm going through nostalgia, but it is becoming part of who I am.  Expressing my creativity and spontenuity feels natural through Indian cooking.  There are so many different combinations of flavors to try on different vegetables, beans, lentils, fish, and meats.

When I can't have it, it is missing from me....

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Saturday, May 18, 2013

Baba Ganoush

A perfect balance between the bitter taste of sesame, the creaminess of eggplant pulp, and the smokiness of the charred skin...
makes this mezze something I could eat by the spoonful.
Every bite I take, I close my eyes and let myself be transported to Lebanon, or at least my imagination of Lebanon.
3 medium eggplants
3 cloves garlic, skin on
1 clove garlic, naked
125g tahini (1 1/4 cup)
juice from 2 lemons
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp chili powder
1 Tbsp EVOO per serving
some fresh parsley
some black and white sesame seeds
a sprinkle of za'tar
1.  Grill the eggplants about 5 minutes on an open flame.  If you don't have a gas stove (I don't) use the oven broiler until the skin blisters and blackens.  It took me about 15 minutes and I flipped them once.
2.  Lower the oven heat to 375°F (190°C) and bake for another 20 minutes with the skin on garlic.  The eggplants should be soft when poked with no resistance whatsoever.   Then let cool as to not burn yourself.
3.  Scrape the flesh out of the eggplant and blend with tahini, lemon juice, salt, and chili powder.  It will taste like heaven warm, but try to hold out until the next day (or at least a few hours) so it has time to sit in the fridge.

Serve by making a pool of EVOO in the center and sprinkling the rest of the garnish around the pool.
Use as a dip for pita, cucumber, and various other veggies or dippable items.  I think I'm going to have it for breakfast tomorrow... or as a spread in a chicken sandwich.  Or just sneak into the fridge and finish it off by itself....

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Friday, May 17, 2013

Green Tea in Dessert

Top: Slices of sweet potato, green tea, and chestnut cake
Bottom: Green tea tiramisu

I'm not one for desserts, but the ones at Kyo Sushi in Marseille are intriguing and suprisingly not too sweet.  I love the bitterness green tea adds to dessert.  This makes me want to experiment.  There's a sort of balance that makes it work in many different ways. Maybe some green tea cookies? aaaahh I think I'd like that!
Green tea also adds a magic touch in things like soba or ice cream.  Mmm!!

Their appetizers are also wonderful..
Miso soup with turnips and carrots and without mushrooms (whaaa???) but sooo good!
Wakame salad - always a winner
Strange octopus cheese balls which were interesting.

I didn't get the rest of the meal.. oops, ate too quickly.  Their sashimi and maki are top quality that you can feel sliding down your throat.  The chefs come straight from Japan, and the blond Frenchie waitor even speaks Japanese.  It's a modern type of restaurant, but the sushi is the real thing.  I think I finally found a worthy sushi restaurant in France.  Why does it have to be a 3 hour drive from where I live?
Same goes for Namaste, the Indian restaurant in Marseille.
I just might have to move...

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Saturday, May 11, 2013

Jeera rice

Sit at my table, and I will hand feed you until your soul feels complete...
and I love to make you feel whole...
2 tbsp ghee or butter
1 tsp cumin (jeera) seeds
1 tsp black cumin (nigella) seeds
1/2 inch stick cinammon
2 cardamom pod
1 whole clove
1 cup rinsed basmati rice
1 cup water (or whey)
Few strands saffron
1.  Heat the ghee, butter or oil in a large heavy based pan.  Add the clove, cinammon, cardamom, and cumin seeds.
2.  When the seeds start to crackle, add the rice and stir so all the rice is coated.  Cook for a few minutes this way, always stirring to prevent burning, as you would a risotto.
3.  When the rice is translucent, add the water, bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer and add the saffron.  Cook until all the water is absorbed.  I never time it, I just kind of look at it but it probably takes about 15 minutes.

It will be hard going back to plain white rice after experiencing the depth of jeera rice.
I served this with some quick toor daal fry, magic green grilled chicken, and tandoori cauliflower.
This type of meal has become a biweekly type of thing.  I love it.

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Friday, May 10, 2013

Baked Bhakarwadi

If you would like to build the muscles in your hand and forearm (yes, only one though) then you should make bhakarwadi.
You may go up one ring size.
Since this was my first time, I followed Bhavna's instructions as best as I could.
3/4 cup (95g) sifted gram flour
1 1/4 cups (175g) sifted whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp hing
1/4 tsp turmeric
3-4 Tbsp oil
1/4 tsp salt
approx 1/4 cup warm water

Undress your hand, right or left.  The one that has the most strength.
Mix dry ingredients together.
Add the oil 1 Tbsp at a time and mix well with your fingers.
Add the water, a little at a time while kneading continuously.  You should not need more than 1/4 cup water.  The dough will come together but you will need to keep working it for at least 20 minutes.  This is the workout.  Gram flour tends to make things hard to manipulate.
Cover and set aside.
1 whole green chili
1 tsp fresh chopped ginger
1/4 cup cilantro
1/2 cup (100g) dried coconut
1/4 cup (35g) mix of poppy seeds and sesame seeds
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp hing
2 tbsp sugar
pinch of salt

Blend the chili, ginger and cilantro together to make a paste.  If you have a real blender, add the rest of the ingredients.  If you have an immersible blender like I do, mix the rest of the ingredients by hand.  Your right hand should smell like chili coconut.... which is probably the best spa treatment in the world.  My skin feels very soft... Oooh!
1/4 cup tamarind paste
pinch of cinammon
pinch of ground cloves

Separate the dough into 4 equal parts.
Take one of the parts and press hard with your hands (both of them) to help reduce cracking.  Roll into a circle approx 1ft in diameter.
 This was my first one.  The others were more circular, but unfortunately, I didn't photograph them.
Place a heaping Tbsp of the spread onto the surface and spread evenly.
 Place about 3 Tbsp of the stuffing and spread it evenly as well.   Do not get too close to the edges to avoid wasting.
Take one end and fold over about an ince.  Press to tighten and keep rolling until the end.
 Cutt off the ugly edges and make about 1/2" to 3/4" pieces.  Repeat with the rest of the dough.
Place on a baking sheet and bake at 350°F (175°C) for 30 minutes, flipping once midway.
 These didn't come out like the ones I had in Baroda.  Maybe frying instead of baking makes a difference.  They are quite tasty though.  I just had some with breakfast.  I love the typical India flavor.  There's just no other way to describe it.  They are a little dry, so it's best to eat them with some tea or coffee.  The Baroda ones were also good for happy hour... maybe I'll work it differently next time and bust out the deep fryer that I banished from my kitchen a few months ago.

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Thursday, May 9, 2013

My Happy Place

Though the kitchen is 85% mine, there is one place nobody ever dares (and had better not try) to go.
This is my happy place.  My spice drawer is my secret weapon.  I like to nurture it, introcuce it to new things, and help it grow.  As a way to get out of teamwork housecleaning, I decided to "clean" my spice drawer by labeling everything.  I was actually suprised at the number of different things I ended up labeling.  The crazy part is that I use each and every one of those spices almost regularly.  I have refills for certain things in another cabinet, too.
There are a few things I brought back from India, some I discovered yesterday exist in France, and others were graciously gifted to me so I can work my magic...the good kind.
My most recent addition to the family is the nigella -  a black seed sometimes called black cumin or black onion seeds.  According to the Enlightened ones, they can cure anything but death.
As my paneer is being pressed, I'm contemplating what to do with them.
I'm not sure I've ever had this much fun "cleaning" anything ever before.
The best part is while I was doing this, the rest of the house cleaned itself.

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Monday, May 6, 2013

Mint Chermoula Grilled Turkey with Tahini Yogurt Sauce

There are no words..
I've been craving something like this since yesterday.  Ok ok I'm not the most patient person in the world, but I had a sort of epiphany and was frustrated not to be able to buy cilantro because (among other things) of it being France.  Today, I was happily able to go to my cilantro buying place only to discover that they were completely out of sexy herbs.  WTF???? The only thing they had was mint.  Unable to get around my Chermoula itch, I bought the mint and decided to swap the cilantro for this completely different herb and see what happened.
Ta daaaaa
Mint Chermoula:
1 cup packed parsley
1/2 cup packed mint leaves
2 large cloves garlic, peeled
1 whole green chili
1 tsp caraway seeds
1 Tbsp coriander seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp smoked paprika
juice from 1 lemon
1/2 tsp salt
approx 1/4 cup EVOO

Toast the seeds, then grind.  Blend everything together, adding the EVOO a little at a time until it forms a paste.
Use as a marinade on meat or fish, or as a refreshing salsa.

Tahini Yogurt Sauce:
 3/4 cup plain yogurt, beaten
2 tbsp tahini
1 clove garlic, grated
1 tsp mint chermoula
few cracks black pepper
juice from 1/2 lemon
pinch of cayenne
1 tsp za'tar

Stir together and use as a dip or sauce alongside some grilled meat and pitas.  Thin it out a little more and use as dressing.

This is probably my favorite post-India non-Indian meal.

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Thursday, May 2, 2013

Kottayam Yam and Fish Curry

Thanks again to the lovely ladies at for inspiring this recipe.  Every recipe I borrow from them turns out even better than I expect.
To the soundtrack of my Kiss..
Serves 4
1 lb (500g) firm fish, cubed
1 tbsp coconut oil (I used sunflower)
1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds
1 tsp black mustard seeds
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 large yam, peeled, steamed, and cubed
2 tbsp grated fresh ginger
1 or 2 slit green chilies (if you can handle it)
1 sprig curry leaves
1 small onion, diced
1 chopped tomato
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp chili powder
1 tbsp coriander powder
3 tbsp amchur powder
1 can coconut milk
some water (as needed)
1.  In a large, heavy based pan, heat the oil and add the seeds until they start to crackle.
2.  Add the ginger, green chilies, curry leaves, and onion.  Cook until translucent and add some salt.
3.  Add the tomato and cook for 5 minutes.  Lower the heat.
4.  Add the turmeric, chili powder, coriander powder and the yams.  Add some water to avoid drying.
5.  Add the coconut milk and bring to a boil, then lower the heat and add the fish.
6.  While fish is simmering, add the amchur, 1 tbsp at a time and tasting for sourness.  Add some water depending on your curry thickness preferences.  The fish shouldn't cook for longer than 5-7 minutes.
Serve over basmati rice with rotis, and garnish with fresh curry leaves and some extra julienned ginger.

I was treated to one of the best compliments I've ever had on this dish:  This is gastronomical!
I concurrrr...

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Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Pain d'Epices Carrot Muffins

What else is there to do when it's a holiday and it's raining outside and you have a bunch of carrots dying to be used?
Yield 20 muffins
2 cups (230g) whole wheat flour, sifted
1 cup oats
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp pain d'epices spice mix
1 cup milk
3/4 cup plain yogurt
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp molasses
1/3 cup butter
1 large egg
2 tsp maple syrup
1 tbsp ground flaxseed
2 cups grated carrot (4 or 5)
handful dried chopped figs
1.  Mix the dry ingredients together.  In another bowl, miw the wet ingredients together.
2.  Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ones and stir until just incorporated.  If you mix too thoroughly, the muffins will turn out hard.
3.  Incorporate the carrots and figs.
4.  Butter and flour your muffin moulds.  Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).  Fill the moulds to 2/3 and sprinkle some oats on top.
Bake for 20 minutes, remove and let cool.

Eat slightly warm plain or with a smear of cream cheese.
These are nice because they're not overly sweet, they're kind of healthy, especially if you used organic ingredients like I did.  You can have them with midday tea or coffee, as breakfast, or even as a dessert.
The pain d'épices spice mix is similar to what you would put in pumpkin pie. 
It will put a smile on your soul you will feel deep in the pit of your stomach.. but in a good way.  

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