Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Gobi shikshty five

I *love* cauliflower. And this is the BEST way to eat it! (Those who disagree can treat themselves to a big bowl of cole-slaw...)


Cornflour-3 tbsp

Capsicum/ green bell pepper - 1 small cut into tiny strips

Onion- I prefer green onions, but suit yourself - 1 cut into crescents Tomato sauce- 1 ½ tsp
Soya sauce- 1
Chilli powder- 1 tsp

haldi/ turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp


Oil (sunflower/olive)
To make:

Clean the cauliflower and cut into small pieces. Soak it in hot water with haldi for 3-5 minutes.

Drain and add corn flour,salt and chilli powder to it. Mix it in with your hands. If needed just sprinkle very little water.
Heat oil in a pan and deep fry the wrapped pieces till golden brown.

Drain oil well. Set aside.
Add 2 tsp of oil in another pan and saute the onions and green pepper for 2 to 3 mins till the onions are translucent. Remove from fire and set aside.

In the same pan add 1 tsp of oil and add the soya sauce. Immediately add the cauliflower and saute for 2 minutes in a slow flame.

Then add the onion ,greenpepper strips. Saute for a minute or two till everything is more or less homogeneous. ;)
Remove from flame. EAT!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Quesadillas with Cheese and Vegetables

Quick-fix lunch for all us in Ye Forn Lands.

  • Shredded cheese [You can grate if you're enthu enough. Trader Joe's Mexican blend for preference. Cheddar, queso blanco and Monterrey Jack]
  • Tortillas [Trader Joe's sundried tomato and basil flour in this case]
  • Veggies of choice, chopped long and thin [Onions and peppers are a good staple]
Heat oil in frying pan. Toss veggies in with salt, let them cook about 5-10 min. I hate crunchiness so I let em cook. Lay out a tortilla. Sprinkle cheese across half. Lay out veggies as you wish. Sprinkle more cheese. Fold over. Toast in frying pan till cheese melts. About 1 min each side should do. Eat.

Goes well with orange juice and the Colbert Report.

Chole (with Alu)


Serves: 2-3
Preparation time: 10 min
Cooking time: 30 min

1 16 oz can chole/chana/garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1 medium onion, chopped fine
2 medium potatoes, diced to about 1 cm cubes, peeled if you wish
1 tsp ginger paste
1 tsp haldi
1 1/2 tsp dhania
1/2 tsp jeera
1 tsp chana masala
5 tbs tomato paste or 2 medium ripe tomatoes, chopped fine
2 tsp oil
salt to taste

Heat oil in pot. Fry ginger paste for 30 seconds. Add onions and fry till translucent. Add spices and stir. Add tomato paste and fry for about 1 min. Add potatoes. Fry for 1 min. Add chana. Add water to cover the chana and potatoes. Add salt. Cover and cook for 20 min.


Sunday, April 22, 2007

Frijoles Negros Cubanos con Plátanos or Cuban Black Beans with Plantains

This is my favourite Latin American food. Period.

Serves: 4
Preparation time: 20 min
Cooking time: 30 min

For the beans:
  • 2 16oz cans black beans [Goya rules]
  • 1 medium onion, chopped [fine or coarse, it doesnt matter because it cooks so long]
  • 5 cloves garlic, crushed or finely minced
  • 1/2 large pepper diced small [I've used green and red both, it depends on how strong you want the pepper flavour to be]
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano leaves
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 tbs orange juice
  • 1/2 tbs white wine vinegar
  • 2 tbs olive oil [actually any oil]

Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed pan. Nonstick is a VERY good idea because this gets sticky. Add garlic and toss for 30 seconds. Add onions. When they're translucent, add peppers. Cook about 5 min. Add spices. Cook about 5 min. Add beans, water, orange juice and salt. Stir. Cover and let simmer for 30 min, stirring periodically. Whenever you stir, mash some of the beans up into the gravy. By the end about one third to half the beans should be coarsely mashed, so that the gravy becomes very thick. This works very well with any beans in a gravy actually. Add vinegar and turn off the heat. Stir. Remove the bay leaf before serving.

For the plantains

  • 2 ripe plantains, preferably with blackened skin
  • olive oil

Peel the plantains and slice them about 1/2 cm to 1 cm thick. depends on how much oil you want to use and how long you have to cook them. Thick is good because the sugar caramelises best that way. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan. Again, how much you use depends on you, I like to shallow fry them not deep fry them, so I have about 1 or 2 mm of oil in the pan and add more as required. When the oil is hot place the slices in the pan. When they are brown on the bottom turn them over. When brown on the other side remove from pan and leave on paper to absorb excess oil. Serve hot. If you must, nuke em, but they have to be warm at the very least.

Serve with tortillas, arepas or white rice.


NOTE: the sugar I'm talking about is the sugar in plantains, they have a sugar content.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Chicken Meatballs

You can add any gravy you like to these, from spaghetti sause to szechuan sauce. Just be careful not to overdo them or they will be rubbery and dry.

  • Chicken mince (I use lean) - 1/2 kg
  • Garlic paste/minced fresh - 3 tsp
  • Ginger paste/minced fresh - 3tsp
  • Green chillies finely chopped
    (you can seed them too if you want) - 2 medium sized
  • Paprika - 1tsp
  • salt/pepper - to taste
  • lemon jiuce - 1 tsp
  • oregano - tsp

Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl, making sure it is well mixed. Use your hands, they are way more effective. Once meat is evenly flavoured (i would recommend touching a tiny bit to your tongue to make sure that they taste ok) form into... ahem.. balls. I like big... ahem.. balls, mostly because i get impatient, but you can make itty bitty bite sized ones if you dont mind standing around for ages.

Arrange on a baking sheet or tin or whatever you usually use. I cook this is a microwave, so i use glass. Shove into heating device. Now here you will have to guess what heat will work best. It takes me twelve minutes to get these perfect in my microwave. The idea is to get them to sizzle. Tun them over about halfway through, and wait till they brown lightly but still look juicy and wet before you take them out.

I apologise for the lewdness of this recipie.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Banana Bread

What to do when they get spotty all over and leave the faintly sickly sweet aftertaste and make you gag from the squishiness? [Yes I have banana perfection issues]

Preparation time: 30 min [if you, like moi, are sadly bereft of an electric beater. Otherwise I'd say 10]
Baking time: 50 min or so

4 ripe to overripe bananas
2 1/2 cups wholewheat flour
2/3 cup milk
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla extract/essence
1/2 tsp baking soda [cheat and use 1 1/2 of baking powder if you cant be arsed to get the soda]
2/3 cup sugar
1 stick butter [sorry I didn't translate into cups]
2 large eggs

Preheat oven to 350F*. In a bowl beat the eggs till frothy or whatever makes your OCD behave. Add sugar, and beat some more. Add butter, I like to use it melted because it makes the batter easier to manipulate. Beat some more. Get all that anger/frustration out. Mash the bananas and add them. Start adding the flour, mixed with the baking soda and baking powder while folding it in. Again, if it's an electric beater, just chuck and whizz. If you're doing it by hand, use a spatula and just keep folding, lift it up from the bottom and bring it over to the top, endlessly till it all looks smushed and grossly lumpy from the bananas. Use the milk to moisten the batter periodically if the flour makes it too thick. Use the milk anyway, it's part of the recipe. :D Add the vanilla extract. Stir it up. Grease [or not, I forgot and nothing evil happened] your baking dish of choice and bung it in the oven. I'd advise checking on it at 40 and 45 min. Stick a knife in and if it comes out cleanly it's done. Might not be perfectly clean since banana bread is essentially gooey. One good way to check is if its coming away from the sides.

Annnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnd enjoy!

Some variations:
Food Alchemist likes to use elaichi, cardomom I think tis called, though I can never be sure.
I add some cinnamon powder sometimes, and this time I stuck in some chopped walnuts.

Now if you'll excuse me, we're having the first glorious day in a while and there's a cup of coffee and a park bench with my name on them, calling me!

*Appylollyogies for the Farenheit, it's just easier cos here everything works that way. I think I'd go with 150 C.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Apple Martini

So I decided I wanted some, googled about 70 million recipes which all have a dizzying variety of requirements and made up one. So far I like it. It's also very pretty, if the camera were here I'd post a picture.

Serves: 2

2 shot glasses vodka (grey goose)
1 shot glass apple schnapps (puckers)
1 shot glass dry vermouth (martini & rossi)
1 shot glass apple juice (red jacket orchard's fuji apple juice)

Pour ingredients into cocktail shaker over ice. Shake. Pour into martini glass. Drink. Repeat.


Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Strange Primavera Pasta

In delight at the success of this blog so far [snh snh] I've been cooking up a storm. This is the result of a pasta craving and a zucchini in the fridge. I'd say use what you have in the fridge, but I reccomend atleast some peppers, green beans and zucchini.

Serves: 2 and a bit
Cooking time: 30 min

6 cloves garlic
1 medium onion, chopped fine
1 medium red bell pepper*
1/2 cup green french beans *
1 medium zucchini*
4 tbs tomato sauce [not ketchup]
1 tbs dried basil
1/2 tsp dried oregano
4 tbs milk [cream actually but I shudder at the thought]
1/2 cup white wine [optional]
1/4 grated edam cheese [substitute as you wish, it's what I had in the fridge]
2 tsp oil
salt to taste
as much cooked pasta as you like

Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed pot, I'm told the one I used is called a Peking Wok. Add garlic and toss. Add onions and when they are transluscent, add remaining vegetables. Add spices and stir fry for about 5 min. Add tomato paste and wine. Stir for 5 min, add milk. It might split. Don't worry. Add salt and allow it to cook for 10 min or till vegetbles are done. Turn off the heat and add drained pasta. stir in the cheese while still hot and serve.

*Try and cut the veggies to match the pasta, I used fettucini so they were [fancy cooking word alert] julienned.

Quesadillas and Tequila salsa

My first recipe here...

In keeping with the green onions and 10 minutes or less meme, here is my quesadilla recipe. Minkie, thou remeberest?


Wholewheat tortillas, burrito size (I recommend Trader Joe's, but I usually do)
Shredded Cheese

Salsa, made according to following recipe,
2 tomatoes, chopped into small pieces
2 green onions
1 clove garlic
A small fistful of coriander/cilantro, chopped well
1 jalapeno chile, seeded and chopped, optional
2-3 tbsps really good olive oil
Dash of tequila

Combine all ingredients for salsa, ergo you have salsa!
(Would recommend making double the amount of salsa to go with chips and cooking-time margaritas)

Heat a tortilla on a skillet, medium high heat. Once it is warm all the way through put some cheese on one half. Use your discretion about cheese. Remember, quesadillas are generally folded over, so plan accordingly. Add as much or as little salsa as you like. Fold over, heat well on both sides, the cheese should melt.


Chicken with Balsamic Vinegar

Alritey then! I 'invented' this dish a few weeks ago, and it really does come out lovely. Its also ridiculously easy and very quick.

Prep time (including chopping) - 10 Mins

  • Boneless Chicken Breasts - as many as you want, either dice them or cut them into strips. I usually dice, but whatever shape is cool.
  • Green Onions - 2 for every chicken breast, sliced small right upto the ends.
  • Garlic - Either fresh or paste. If fresh say about two cloves for each breast, and if paste about half a tsp for each breast.
  • Balsamic Vinegar - This depends on how strongly flavoured you want it. I usually keep pouring until the chickens turns a nice dark reddish colour. Id recommend, on average, 3 tbls per breast.
  • Salt/Pepper/Chilli powder or flakes - To taste.
  • Olive Oil - 1 tbls.

Heat olive oil in a wok. Add onions and garlic and saute untill onions soften. Add chicken, and cook on a high flame until it browns lightly. Switch to low flame and add Balsamic vinegar and salt/pepper/chilli, and stir until the chicken is evenly coloured.

Remove and serve.

*You can also add chopped celery or any other leafy veggie just before the vinegar stage.

Monday, April 16, 2007

आलू मटर or Alu Mutter

Saturday morning I awoke with the Greatgrandmother of all hangovers. And all I wanted was पूरी आलू। Of course I couldn't get at any, but here's what I came up with.

Serves: 3-4
Cooking time: 30-40 min

4 medium potatoes, washed and diced into small cubes. I like the peel, but it's optional
1/2 medium onion, chopped fine
4 oz tomato paste
1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
1 tsp धनीया (coriander) powder
1/2 tsp जीरा (cumin) powder
1/2 tsp हल्दी (turmeric powder)
2 tsp oil
Salt to taste
Chilli powder to taste
Chopped धनीया (coriander) leaves to garnish

Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed pot, preferably nonstick. Add the onions and saute till translucent. Add the spices and chilli powder if using and stir for about 30 seconds. Add tomato paste and stir for 1 min. Add potatoes and peas and stir for 1 min. Pour enough water to cover the vegetables. Add salt, cover and let simmer for about 20 min or till potatoes are cooked to your liking. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve.

Serving options:
With roti or paratha. Good option is wholewheat tortillas heated on a skillet.
With rice and curd on the side.

Strawberry Daiquiri

Assuming kitty's allowed to get a wee bit tizzy in the kitchen, here's me favorite *fruity* cocktail.

Half a glass o white rum
3-4 fresh strawberries (save half a wedge to stick on side of glass in the end to make it look pretty before u destroy it)
4 tbsp lime juice
1/2 tsp sugar (the brown variety tastes nicer)
1/2 cup crushed ice - if you want a frozen strawberry daiquiri

To make :
Dump all ingredients into blender and blend for 10-15 seconds.
Pour into chilled cocktail glass (and don't forget the half a wedge o' strawberry you saved earlier!).
Bottoms up!

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Caribbean Rice with Kidney Beans

Serves: 2
Cooking time: 1 hr

1 medium onion, chopped fine
3 cloves garlic, peeled, crushed and chopped
1 16 oz can kidney beans, washed and drained
1 cup rice
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
4 oz tomato paste
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander seeds
1 1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 bay leaf
1/s tsp chilli powder
salt to taste
water as per rice instructions, plus 1/2 cup
1 tbs olive oil
1 tbs orange juice

Heat the oil in a large pot, preferably nonstick, on medium to low heat. Add garlic, and then onions. When onions are translucent, add peppers. Add cumin, coriander, paprika, oregano, bay leaf and chilli powder. Stir for about 1 min. Add tomato paste. Stir for about 1 min. Add kidney beans, rice, water and salt. Turn heat to low, cover and let simmer till rice is cooked, adding more water if necessary. Fluff and transfer to serving dish.