Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Bihari Style Aloo Baingan





Bihari cuisine is a lot similar to North Indian cuisine,but also has a great influence from other eastern states of India like West Bengal and Orissa. Cooking with fish is very popuar in Bihar, the river fish. Cooking with mustard and mustard oil is a norm. I like to learn about various regional cuisines and try them out. A good friend of mine introduced me to Bihari style cooking. I'm not a big fan of mustard oil. I substitute it with olive oil. Today I made aloo baingan, Bihari style. It is basically, potato and eggplant cooked in mustard and garlic paste. dinner was awesome. I must thank my friend for the recipe. I made a few changes to it.

Ingredinets:

12 baby potatoes, quartered
12 round eggplant, quarterd
4 green chili, slit
6-8 cloves of garlic,peeled
4 Tablespoon yellow mustard or 2 Tablespoon mustard powder
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon fenugreek seeds(methi)
1 Tablespoon coriander powder
2 teaspoon red chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon garam masala
salt to taste

Method:

1. Shallow fry potatoes and eggplant separately in 2 Tbsp oil until 3/4 cooked. Keep aside. Leave the oil in the pan.

2. If using whole mustard, blend to a coarse powder; add garlic and pulse until smooth. 
3. Heat pan with left over oil over medium heat. Add  cumin and fenugreek. Turn the heat to low and saute for a minute. Add the garlic paste and cook for 4 minutes or until oil separates.Mix coriander powder, chili powder, turmeric powder and garam masala with little water to make a paste. Stir this paste into the pan. Add 2 cups of water and salt. Turn the heat up to mediun and cook for 7 minutes or until oil separates.


4. Gently stir in potato and eggplant. Add more water if required.



 Remove from stove. Serve warm with phulka roti.


Notes:
Any kind of eggplant could be used in this recipe. I prefer to use the small Indian purple eggplant. In this recipe I used Thai green eggplant. 
I use red and yellow baby potato. Any potato can be used  











Monday, January 23, 2017

Burmese Samosa Soup





Living in California gives my sister the opportunity  to try out food from various cusines. When she told me about the famous Burmese Samosa Soup I wanted to try it too. It is hard to find too many ethnic cusines here in New Jersey.  I usually look for the best recipes online and try making them myself. I am fortunate to have a family that loves to try out new things.
Burmese food is influenced by various Asian cusines like Indian, Chinese, Thai and Korean. Their food is spicy and tangy. Different kinds of lentils are used in Burmese cooking. Chickpeas is an important part of their food. Chickpea tofu is very popular in Burma. So is tea leaf salad. Samosa soup is a spicy tangy lentil soup with cabbage and sprouts. I used the recipe given by my sister, who found it online. It is delicious spicy and tangy soup that is dinner by itself.

Ingredients:

1 Cup toor dal, soaked in warm water
1 Cup black chickpeas, soaked in water
4 teaspoon oil
1 Cup sliced onion
2-3 green chili, slit
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon black peppercorn
2 tablespoon ancho chili
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon red chili powder(Kashmiri red chili)
1 teaspoon tamarind paste
6 Cups vegetable broth
1 teaspoon garam masala
salt to taste
2 Cups shredded cabbage
2 Cups bean sprouts
6 samosas
12 falafel
chopped cilantro, for garnish
chopped green onion, for garnish
lemon, for garnish

Method:

1. Cook toor dal in a pot filled with water over medium heat until it is soft. Drain and keep aside.
2. Cook black chickpeas in pressure cooker until soft. Remove from stove and set aside.
3. Dry roast peppercorn, cumin and coriander seeds. Cool and grind in a spice grinder along with chili powder and turmeric. Set aside.

4. Heat oil in a stock pot over medium heat. Add 1 teaspoon cumin seeds and as it splutters add onion
and cook for 6 minutes. Add slit chili.  Stir in spice powder. Add ancho chili and cook for 5 minutes.



5. Add tamarind paste, stock, cooked lentils,and chickpeas. Add more stock or water as needed. Cover and cook for 30 minutes.


6. Add garam masala and salt. Add cabbage. cook for 5 minutes and remove from stove.


To serve:
Place one samosa, cut ito half,in each bowl.
Place 2 falafel, cut into half in each bowl.
Ladle soup into each bowl. Garnish with cilantro and sprout.
Serve the soup along with lemon wedges.



Note: Fresh samosas are the best to use. I used frozen ones. I used channa dal vada(masala vadai) instead of falafel.










Saturday, January 21, 2017

Vegetarian Taquitos



Taquitos means little tacos. These are tacos filled with meat, beans and cheese, then rolled up like a cigar and baked. I filled mine with black bean, vegetarian Mexican ground and roasted corn. The filling can be made ahead and refrigerated. Taquitos can be assembled when required and baked.

Ingredients:

16(6inch)tortillas

Filling:

1 Tablespoon olive oil
1/2 Cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 habernaro pepper, chopped
5-6 mushroom, cleaned and chopped

1 Cup Mexican Vegetarian ground
1 Cup Black beans(15.5 oz)
1 Cup roasted Corn(2 corn on cob)
3 teaspoon taco seasoning
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 Cup shredded cheddar cheese
Sour cream

Method:

1. For the filling  heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat; cook onion, garlic, habernaro till  translucent. Add mushroom and cook till moisture leaves(3-5 minutes).

2. Add Vegetarian ground to the skillet. Add 2 teaspoon taco seasoning and salt. Cook for 3 minutes. Remove from stove.

3. If using canned black beans, rinse and drain beans. Microwave for a minute. Stir in 1 teaspoon of taco seasoning and mash well.



4. Place tortilla on flat surface. Spreasd taco sauce across the tortilla. Spoon mashed beans over it. Spread filling. Top with 1 teaspoon of roasted corn. Sprinkle with 2 teaspoon shredded cheese.







Roll up tightly; place tortilla on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray.

Lightly spray tortilla with cooking spray. Repeat procedure with remaining tortillas with filling and cheese.


5. Bake at 425 deg.F for 15 minutes or until rolls are crisp.
Serve with sour cream







Note: Taco seasoning can be substituted with 1 teaspoon coriander powder, 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder, 1 teaspoon red chili powder, 1/2 tesaspoon salt.












Thursday, December 29, 2016

Paneer Butter Masala


Anything with paneer is awesome, that's what my kids say! My son always orders the "orange Paneer" when we go to Indian restaurant. He loves to eat it with rice. It is a rich creamy dish ful of protien.

Ingredients:

250 gms Paneer, cut into 1 inch cubes
2 medium onion, quarterd
1 tsp ginger-garlic paste
3 medium tomatoes
6-8 cashews or almonds, soaked in warm water
1 bay leaf
3 green chili, slit
1/2 C milk
2 tsp kasuri methi(dried fenugreek leaves)
1/2 tsp garam masala
1 Tbsp coriander powder
1 tsp kashmiri chili powder or to taste
2 Tbsp heavy cream
2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp oil
salt to taste

Method:

1. Blanch onion and tomatoes. Remove from water and peel tomato skin and cool.
2. Grind onion and ginger-garlic paste. keep aside.
3. Drain cashews and grind to paste. keep aside.
4. Puree tomatoes and keep aside.
5. Heat oil and butter in a pan over medium heat. Add onion paste and bay leaf; cook for 5 minutes or until lightly browned. Add slit green chili and chili powder and saute for 1 minute. Stir in  cashew paste and cook for 2 minutes.

6. Add tomato puree and cook for 5 minutes or until oil starts to separate.












7. Add coriander powder and garam masala and mix well.
8. Add 1/2 cup of millk and cream along with 1/2 cup water and salt; mix well and cook until oil comes on top, about 5 minutes. Add more water if needed.













9. Stir in cubed paneer and kasuri methi and cook for 3 minutes.












Remove from stove.



















10. Serve hot with roti, naar or white rice







Sunday, April 3, 2016

Paneer Tika Kati Roll


Kati Roll is originally a street food from Calcutta which is kebab and egg wrapped in roti and cooked crisp on both sides. Now there are many variations of it. My first taste of Kati Roll was in a Bengali fast food joint in New Jersey. It took 30 minutes from order to table. But the taste, oh my god! It was out of this world. I've not had one better than that since. I discovered Kati Roll Spice at the Indian stores and learnt to make it myself. It is a very satisfying meal.

Ingredients:
For Roti:
1 C whole wheat flour
1/2 C all purpose flour
1 Tbs oil
salt to taste

For Paneer Tika:
1 lb paneer, cut into 1 inch cubes
1 Tbs tandoori masala
1 tsp oil
2 tsp yogurt
1 tsp papaya, mashed
1 onion, sliced
1 tomato, sliced
1 green pepper, sliced
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp red chili powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1 Tbs oil

stuffing
2 potatoes, boiled and mashed
1 small onion, chopped
1/4 C chopped cabbage
1-2 Tbs Kati Roll masala
salt to taste

1 onion, sliced thin
1 small green pepper, sliced
1/2 C sliced cabbage
2 Tbs  Kati roll masala
2 Tbs vinegar
1 tsp sugar

Method for Roti:
1. Mix flour, oil and salt with warm water and knead to a soft dough.
2. Divide dough into 10 tennis ball size.
3. Roll the dough on a floured surface to a large round roti.

4. Cook roti on a griddle over medium heat, brushing oil on both sides. Cook all roti and keep aside.


Paneer Tika:
1. Mix together tandoori masala, yogurt, 1 tsp oil, salt and papaya to a paste. Marinate paneer cubes for half an hour.

2. Heat 1/2 Tbs oil in a pan over medium heat; saute onion, pepper. Add turmeric, chili powder, salt. Add tomato and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.
3. Brush grill with oil. Place marinated paneer on the grill and cook on both sides for 5-7 minutes. Mix with cooked vegetables.


Stuffing:
1. Mix mashed potato with chopped onion and cabbage. Add salt and Kati Roll masala and mix well.
2. Mix vinegar, sugar and Kati Roll masala in a medium bowl. Mix sliced onion, pepper and cabbage in it.


Building Kati Roll:
1. Spread 1/2 tsp oil on the griddle over low medium heat. Place a roti on the grill. Spread  a tablespoon of potato mixture on the roti; lay handful of marinated cabbage mixture, followed by 1 tablespoon paneer tika. Fold the roti, one side over other like a flap over the stuffing. Slide a tooth pick in the center to hold. Turn it over and press gently and cook for a minute. Remove from the griddle.

2. Repeat process with remaining roti. Serve hot with green chutney and sweet chutney.


Thursday, March 31, 2016

Red Curry Paste

The ready made red curry paste found in stores is not vegetarian friendly. Shrimp paste or fish paste is one of the main ingredients in red curry paste. So I make my own vegetarian red curry paste from a recipe I found online.

Ingredients:

1 Tbs cilantro roots
1 Tbs coriander seeds, soaked in water and drained
1/2 tsp cumin seeds,soaked in water and drained
4-5 dried red chili, soaked in water and drained
1 1/2 Tbs galangal
1/4 C garlic, peeled
3-4 Tbs lemongrass, sliced
1/2 tsp peppercorn,soaked in water and drained
2 Tbs salt
1/2 C shallots,peeled
1 Tbs Kaffir lime zest

Place all the ingredients in a food processor and make a paste or use a mortar.
This red curry paste can be used in making Thai Curry.
This curry paste will stay fresh for a couple weeks in the refrigerator and for a year in the freezer.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Pumpkin Thai Curry

                                                                           



Pumpkin is an awesome vegetable that gives a rich creamy taste without being fatty. This is my first attempt in using pumpkin in something other than Indian food. This pumpkin curry is creamy and slightly sweet, yet spicy.  My family loved this recipe.

Ingredients:
1 chili pepper
1 C coconut milk
4-5 kaffir lime leaves
3-4 sprigs Thai basil leaves
1 lb pumpkin
1/2 Tbsp salt(adjust to taste)
1-2 Tbsp Vegetarian Red Curry Paste
1 C water
Red Curry Paste
Method:
1. Cut pumpkin. Slice the seeds from inside. Using a sharp knife peel the pumpkin. Cut the pumpkin into 1 1/2 inch cubes.
2. Julienne red chili pepper. Set aside.
3. Pour half of coconut milk in a large pot, over medium heat. Stir in Red Curry Paste and mix well with coconut milk. Cook till reddish oil starts to form, stir to let the oil bring out the flavor.
                                                           

4. Add pumpkin and stir to coat pumpkin with curry sauce. Add the remaining coconut milk and water. Season with salt to taste. Simmer until pumpkin is soft, about 15 minutes or less depending on the variety of pumpkin.

5. Add sliced red chili pepper and torn kaffir lime leaves. Add Thai basil leaves. Turn the heat off. Stir to submerge the basil in hot curry to retain the green of the leaves.

6. Serve hot with cooked rice.

Note:
Red jalapeno pepper or red bell pepper can be substituted for Thai red chili pepper.
Any yellow pumpkin can be used for this recipe. I used yellow pumpkin and Kabooja squash.
The curry should be creamy with a hint of sweetness of the vegetable and spice from the curry paste.