So if you do not desire to put in the baby sitting it needs, turn the same recipe to a sorbet. It tastes as good.
Ingredients (Serves 4-5)
- 1 lb green mangoes( about 6-7small )
- Water for boiling the mangoes
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar (or to taste)
- 3/4 cup water
- 5-6 fresh mint stems and leaves
- 1 small green chili, seeds and veins removed
- 1.5 tablespoon fresh lime juice (adjust quantity depending on how tart the mangoes are)
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (adjust quantity depending on how tart the mangoes are)
- 1.5 teaspoon black salt (kala namak, reduce amount if the mangoes are really tart)
- 1/4 teaspoon regular salt ( or to taste)
Wash the mangoes. Bring the water to a rolling boil in a pot and add the whole mangoes. Let boil on high heat for 5-8 minutes or until the skin turns pale and they are slightly soft to touch(take care that the mango skins do not break open). Take the mangoes out of boiling water and leave to cool off. Once cooled, peel off (the skin will separate in a squeeze) and discard the skins.
While the magpies are boiling, in another small pot, combine sugar and water and place over medium heat,cook, stirring occasionally, until sugar is completely dissolved. Remove from the stove, immediately add the mint stems and leaves and leave aside to steep for about 3-5 minutes (do not leave for too long else the syrup will turn bitter). Strain the syrup through a sieve and let cool down.
Transfer the mango flesh and green chili( if using) to a blender and pulse to smooth. Take out in a large bowl and add the mint simple syrup, lime & lemon juice, black salt and salt to taste to it. Mix to combine. Strain through a sieve to a smooth mixture.
Pour mixture into a 11 inch by 7 inch glass pan. Cover and let freeze for 1 hour and 30 minutes uncovered. Scrape the icy edges with a fork. Freeze again. Scrape every 45 minutes until completely frozen (about 6-8 hours). Remove from freezer every hour or so; scrape with a fork until fluffy. Once semi solid ice crystals are formed, scrape till fluffy.Cover tightly and freeze. Can be made 1 day ahead. Keep frozen.
Scrape granita into bowls and serve garnished with lime wedges and mint.Dust with a pinch of chaat masala or black salt just before serving(optional).
Ingredients (Makes 40 halves of pickled chilies and extra spice (masala) & oil )
- 18-20 whole red chili peppers (I used Fresno)
- pinch of salt
- 4 tablespoon rai (brown mustard seeds)
- 2 tablespoon fenugreek seeds
- 1 teaspoon + 1/4 teaspoon Nigella seeds
- 1.5 tablespoon fennel seeds
- 2 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1.5 tablespoon amchoor (dry mango powder, buy online here )
- 2 teaspoon salt (adjust to taste)
- 300-350 ml virgin mustard oil, divided (or use olive oil, see notes)
- You could use the same recipe to make whole stuffed red chili peppers.Instead of halving them, simply, remove the seeds and stuff with the spices.
- Never under salt the pickle, it will go bad within few weeks.
- If you do not like the strong taste of mustard oil, you can heat it up to do away the raw smell, cool down and then add. Or you can use olive oil in this recipe if you do not get mustard oil. The flavor of the pickle is slightly different from traditional but it works.
- This is not an instant pickle recipe, the pickle is sun fermented and takes 7-10 days (or more depending on strength of sun where you live to mature and get ready to consume.
Wash and pat dry the chilies. Cut and discard the top stem and the entire green portion, then cut them into half. I discarded the seeds & veins of half the chillies,thats where the heat in the pickle comes from. You can remove seeds for all of them if you want. Layer the chilies on a wide, non reactive shallow dish, sprinkle a scant pinch of salt.
Using your coffee grinder, coarsely pulse the mustard, fennel, nigella & fenugreek seeds separately (this is important).You do not need to make a fine powder, if few specks of whole spices remain, its okay. In a small bowl mix the powdered spices together with turmeric, 1 teaspoon salt and amchoor.Taste the spice mix for salt, it should be slightly more salty than you think. Add 2-3 tablespoon mustard oil just so that the spice powder is moistened. This will be make it easy to stuff the chilies.
With dry hands, stuff whole or each half of the chilies with this spice mixture. Place the stuffed chili pepper in a wide glass dish (I use my pyrex). Add 200 ml of mustard oil, any spice mixture remaining and gently mix so that the chilies are coated in oil. At this point, the achaar will have a very strong smell and a bitter taste but that’s okay. Allow it to stand in full sun for two days. Try to stir the achaar once or twice a day with a clean, dry spoon.
On the third day transfer the achaar into a glass or porcelain jar (do not use a metal container) , check and adjust the salt and top with remaining oil and mix well. Cover the mouth of the jar with a muslin cloth, tie with a string and let mature for seven to ten days in sun. (this time will depend on the strength of sun in the area you live).Stir the contents once or twice a day.
At the end of sun fermentation, the skin of chilies would have shrivelled and the strong, bitter taste will go away. Store at room temperature for up to 2-3 months. Always use a clean spoon to serve the pickle.
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Then suddenly, I feel the warmth of my daughter from behind, trying to lift her body on heels to reach for the bowl of seeds that I just shelled.Her smile breaks the array of thoughts. She is like mommy.
Matar Paneer – Fresh Peas & Indian Fresh Cheese in a aromatic and spicy tomato – onion sauce
Ingredients (Serves 2-3)
- 1 cup fresh or frozen peas
- 2 medium tomatoes (yield about 3/4 cup fresh tomato puree)
- 1 fat garlic
- 6 oz paneer (about 200 grams, homemade or store-bought, cubed, use extra firm tofu for vegan)
- 1/4 cup mustard oil (or use olive/vegetable oil)
- 1/3 cup onions, finely chopped
- 2 green cardamom
- 1 clove
- 1/4 inch piece of dalchini (cassia bark, substitute with 1/2 inch piece of regular cinnamon)
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 2 teaspoon coriander powder
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon red chilli powder (adjust to taste, substitute with 1/2 teaspoon cayenne)
- 1/2 teaspoon kashmiri chilli powder (this lends the color not the heat, substitute with paprika)
- salt to taste
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup -1 cup water (depending on the desired consistency of sauce)
- 1 teaspoon kasuri methi, crushed between palms
- 1/2 teaspoon garam masala (adjust to taste)
- 2-3 tablespoon of heavy cream (optional, I did not use, skip for vegan )
- Fresh cilantro & ginger juliennes to garnish and serve
If you are using fresh peas, shell the pods. If using frozen, thaw the peas.
Blend the tomatoes along with garlic to a fine puree. Set aside.
Soak the paneer cubes in warm water. Set aside. If using tofu, dry it using paper towels, cube it and let sit.
Heat up the mustard oil in a large pot, wait till you see little ripples on the surface, add the onions along with cardamom, clove, dalchini & cumin seeds.Saute for 5-6 minutes till the onion start to turn light brown.
Add the coriander, turmeric, red chili, kashmiri chilli powder next and sauté for less than a minute. Add the blended tomatoes and reduce heat to low.Let cook slowly till you see little bubbles of oil separating on sides of the pot and the spice paste glistening. At this point, add the peas along with chopped ginger,add salt, stir to combine together with spice paste and on low heat, saute for 3-4 minutes. Add about 3/4 cup water, mix well and cover the pot with a lid. Cook for about 15-20 minutes till the peas are soft (but not mushy).Uncover and add the kasuri methi and garam masala along with paneer cubes. Stir, and again cover and on low heat, let simmer for another 10-12 minutes.
Add the heavy cream (if using) next and simmer (not boil) on very low heat for another 2-3 minutes.Once the sauce has simmered, let sit for at least 45mins -1hour or till ready to serve.
Once ready to serve, warm up the sauce and serve immediately. You can garnish with cilantro, extra cream and ginger juliennes.
Serve with rice or flatbreads.
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Glutenfree, Dairy Free & Vegan sweet fudge made with cashew and almond meal.
Ingredients (Makes 25 )
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 1.5 cup cashew nut meal (or powdered raw cashews)
- 1 cup almond meal (or powdered raw almonds)
- 1/2 tsp fresh orange zest
- 6 green cardamom pods, seeds crushed
- 1 tbsp ghee (optional, required during kneading, use any vegan substitute)
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar to roll
In a wide, heavy bottomed pan (I use my 12″ skillet) or a kadhai, mix up the sugar and water. Set the pan on low flame and let the sugar dissolve. Stir (I use my rubber spatula) the solution once or twice while the sugar dissolves so that the sugar does not stick to bottom of the pan. Meanwhile, grease the surface that you will be using to knead with 1/2 tablespoon ghee.
Once the sugar has completely dissolved, add the cashew and almond meal to the pan. Mix everything and brace yourself for some hard work. Keep on stirring and stirring as the mix cooks on low flame. The process will be slow in the beginning and you will feel that it will take forever but do not worry. Keep on stirring, scraping the mixture on low flame, do not let the mixture stick to the sides of the skillet.
After about 20-22 minutes, you will see that the mixture starts thickening and coming together.We will shortly be getting there, once the mixture is thick, do not bother much about scraping the sides as they will be really dry. Around 24 minutes, the mixture will start resembling a soft, sticky dough and will clump up around the spatula. If you try to bring the mixture together in one place on the skillet, it will try to slowly spread (similar to how a glug of cold honey spreads on a surface). Mix in the orange zest and crushed cardamom. Put off the stove.
Immediately transfer to the greased surface and leave to cool a bit until its safe to handle.Once the dough has cooled slightly, rub a teaspoon of ghee on your hands and very gently knead the dough for 2-3 minutes. Remember that the dough needs to be warm when you knead so just wait till its safe to touch, do not let it cool down completely, else it will not knead and remain grainy.Do not press very hard as you knead else the nuts will start oozing their oil. You can grease you hands or the dough with ghee in between if it starts feeling sticky.
While the kneaded dough is still warm, pinch small portions of it and roll into a smooth ball. Roll the balls in powdered sugar.
Once cooled, store the peda in air tight container for up to a week.
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- The time of cooking noted in this recipe will vary if you are using any other kind of sugar than granulated, since the water content of different varieties of sugar is different.
- You can use any kind of flavorings – saffron or kewra (screw pine water) instead of orange zest & cardamom.
Continuing my desire to develop new ways of consuming fish,I am always on a look out for ideas.Talking about ideas, I have been eating this quick salmon bowl for lunch quite a lot these days. It is quick, healthy and does not leave you with that “heavy” feeling kind of meal. I could go for a jog after this, no kidding!
I have talked about Indo chinese flavors at length in so many of my previous post. Here,here and here. These two strong asian cuisines marry again and again inside my wok, always leaving me amazed at the robust flavor of the resulting dishes. We simply adore the flavors in our home, though strict foodies(without being at fault) will dismiss it away categorizing it as unauthentic.
When you are a foodie, you draw inspiration from anywhere and everywhere. When I visited my local asian store a couple of weeks back, I was drawn towards the teriyaki salmon bowls on display at their asian section. Tad overpriced at first look but then I notched forward and spotted big chunks of orange salmon glazed in a beautiful dark amber colored sauce, spliced with chilies and colorful , glossy vegetables on the side.The meal was indeed mouth watering and made complete sense. Immediately, the idea of playing with indo chinese crossed my mind. Grabbing my grocery bags in both hands, I yearned to get into my kitchen and stir up something.
An easy recipe of salmon chunks stir fried with asian flavors. Use it as an outline and play around with the sauces/condiments used to suit your taste.
For the Salmon
- 1 no 6oz to 8 oz salmon fillet
- 1.5 teaspoon dark soy
- 1 fat garlic, minced
- 1-2 teaspoon white vinegar (adjust to taste)
- 1 tsp toasted sesame oil (this is a strong-tasting oil, substitute with untoasted sesame oil or any neutral oil)
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 1 shallot, finely chopped
- 1 fat garlic, finely chopped
- 1 small Thai green chili, minced (adjust to taste)
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon coriander powder
- Red chilli flakes to taste
- 1.5 tablespoon Maggi chilli tomato sauce (or use 1 tablespoon tomato ketchup mixed with cayenne)
- 1/4 teaspoon garam masala
- 1/4 teaspoon honey (or to taste)
- salt to taste
- fresh cilantro
- Add any kind of vegetables, scallions, bok choy etc to this recipe while cooking.
- You could add dashes of Sriracha or hot sauce for additional heat.
For the Pickled Vegetables
- 3 tablespoon white vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 Thai green chilli, minced
- salt to taste
- 2-3 radish, julienned
- 1 small persian cucumber, julienned
1/3 cup leftover steamed jasmine or plain rice (optional)
Using a sharp knife, cut the salmon fillet in small cubes. In a bowl, transfer the cubes and mix the soy, minced garlic, vinegar and sesame oil with it. Let sit for 10 minutes.
While the salmon is marinating, proceed to make the pickled vegetables. In another bowl, mix up the vinegar, sugar, salt and minced green chili. Mix. Add the julienned vegetables and refrigerate.
In a pan or wok, heat up the canola oil to smoky. Immediately add the chopped shallot, garlic and ginger. Saute for 1-2 minutes till you smell a nice aroma. Add the coriander powder. Saute for 1 minutes. Then add the marinated salmon text along with . Stir fry the salmon on high for 3-4 minutes. They cook up fast so keep a close eye. Towards the last minute of cooking add the chill-tomato sauce,red chill flakes,garam masala, honey and adjust the salt. Also, check the tang from vinegar at the end of cooking. You can some more if you like. Sprinkle fresh cilantro.
Serve immediately alongside some leftover rice and pickled vegetables from the refrigerator.
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Both the components of this recipe can be done ahead. Roast the chivda (flattened rice) and store it in air tight jar for up to a week. I usually make the peas 3-4 hours ahead (they have better flavor if they sit for a while) and warm up later but you can totally make them when ready to serve.
Ingredients (Serves 4-5)
For the Roasted Chivda (Flattened Rice)
- 4 tablespoons of oil
- 2.5 cups thick poha (flattened rice, available in any indian/pakistani stores)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- Optional – add any nuts or seeds of choice, peanuts, cashews, raisins, sunflower seeds etc
For the Spiced Peas
- 10oz (about 280 grams) shelled fresh peas, blanched
- 2 tablespoon oil
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1/3 cup finely chopped onion (from 1 small onion)
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger (about 2.5″ piece of ginger)
- 1/2 teaspoon roasted cumin powder
- 2-3 Thai green chillies (or adjust to tolerance)
- 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
- salt to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon chaat masala (skip if you do not have, and add fresh lemon juice to taste)
- 1.5 teaspoon fresh lemon juice (or to taste)
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro (from 4-5 stalks, optional)
Roast the Chivda
In a wide, cast iron skillet (I use my 10″) , heat up the oil to the point that it about to smoky. Put off the stove. Take a fork in one hand and start adding the flattened rice with the other, continuously stirring else it will burn. Add all of the rice, and stir so that all the flakes are coated in oil. Add the salt and stir to combine. Return the skillet to stove and on low heat, let the rice toast up. Keep on stirring it a lot of times, else it will burn and you will see that the flakes start to change color. You will smell a nutty aroma too. It takes about 8-10 minutes on low heat for the rice to completely roast and turn pale brown. This time will depend on the variety and thickness of flattened rice you are using. Adjust.
Once the flattened rice has roasted, let it cool down completely. Transfer to an air tight jar. Use a clean, dry spoon to serve it. Store up to a week.
Make Spiced Peas
In a wide pan, heat up the oil on medium heat. Once heated, temper the oil with cumin seeds and wait for them to crackle.Add the chopped onions to the pan and let the onions cook till transculent.Don’t brown them.Next, add the chopped ginger & green chili to the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes.
Add the blanched peas next along with garam masala and salt to taste. Stir to combine and let cook on medium heat for 3-4 minutes.
Add the chaat masala and chopped cilantro next and stir fry on high heat for 3-4 minutes, continuously stirring.Take care that the peas do not turn mushy.
Put off the heat, add fresh lemon juice.
To serve, plate up the roasted chivda and spicy peas. Add 1 teaspoon of granulated sugar on top along with a sprinkle of red chili flakes. Enjoy with a cup of chai.
Thank you for stopping by!
On each visit, I saw my dad, inquiring the price of one variety more than a couple of times, smirking, looking at him and then quickly pointing to some other variety in few minutes,repeating the process with all the seafood infornt of him. After good fifteen minutes or so of this (almost) wordless conversation, just looking at each other, soft smiles and the owner came out with his best offer. In less than ten minutes, we were headed back home, walking hand in hand, thinking about fish meals later in the day.
Ingredients (Serves 2)
- 1 lb fish, cleaned( I use Tilapia, I asked my butcher to cut in into 4 thick pieces. Or use ready to use thick fish fillets)
- scant pinch turmeric powder
- 3 garlic cloves, roughy chopped
- 2 inch fresh ginger shoot, roughly chopped
- 1-2 Thai green chillies (adjust to tolerance)
- 1.5 tablespoon oil (grapeseed or canola)
- 1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard (or use bottled kasundi sauce)
- 1/4 tsp roasted cumin powder
- 1/2 tablespoon chaat masala (homemade or store bought)
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- 1.5 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon red chilli flakes (adjust to taste)
- 1.5 or 2 tablespoon rice flour (or as needed)
- salt to taste
- Mustard Oil ( or grapeseed/canola oil)to cook
- chopped cilantro, lime wedges to serve
- If you do have chaat masala, add 3/4 tablespoon fresh lime juice and 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika to the marinade.
Pat the fish completely dry using paper towel or kitchen towels.Sprinkle with turmeric and set aside.
Meanwhile, using your mortar and pestle, smash the garlic, ginger and green chillies to a coarse paste.
In a medium bowl, add this paste along with all of the ingredients listed except the rice flour to form a marinade.Rub the fish with this marinade. Let sit refrigerated for atleast 30 minutes or not more than 1 hour.
When ready to cook, set the fish out of the refrigerator.
In a heavy bottomed, wide pan (I use my cast iron) , heat up 1-2 tablespoon of oil on medium. Mix the rice flour 1/2 tablespoon at a time with the fish. The liquid in the marinade and from the fish should be enough to moisten the rice flour. We are not looking for any batter or flour dredging here. The flour will scantly stick on the fish here and there. If you feel that you have added too much flour, use 1-2 tablespoon of water. If you feel that the marinade is still runny (this will depend on the variety and water content of the fish), add more rice flour.
Pan fry the fish on medium low heat in a single layer, flipping midway to brown on both sides. It took me about 3 minutes per sides. (If your fish cut is thicker, it will be more time to cook and vice versa).
Sprinkle with some chaat masala and red chili flakes as soon as the fish is cooked, if you would like (depending on how tangy or hot you like)
Sprinkle chopped cilantro on top. Serve immediately with lime wedges, steamed broccoli or choice of steamed vegetables, rice pilaf or lentils.
After I came to the States, like many immigrants starting their life, building bit by bit, accepting the smoothness of life here (trust me it didn’t come easy),I recollect how in those days, we did not own a car and trip to indian grocers was a hardly a once or twice a month activity.Even after making ten lists, I would forget a lot of pantry staples. It was during that time that I delved into making my own spice blends.I found this recipe last month scribbled at the back of an old notebook while I was spring cleaning the garage of old boxes from moving and with an afternoon to kill ahead of me, I blended up some chaat masala. For those of you who happen to live in a place where indian grocer are quite far away to drive to or simply just to try your hand at homemade blends,this recipe could be a starting point. Play with it. Measure, grind, sniff and taste. Add or take items as per your liking. Let the flavor and aroma of spice that you like shine.
Ingredients (Makes approximately 3/4 cup)
- 1/4 cup coriander seeds
- 1/4 cup cumin seeds
- 7-8 whole dried red kashmiri chillies (remove stems, adjust to taste)
- scant 1/2 teaspoon ajwain (carrom) seeds
- 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
- 1 small green cardamom, whole
- 1 small clove
- 1 inch cinnamon stick
- 3 tablespoons amchoor (dry mango powder)
- scant 1/4 teaspoon citric acid powder
- 1.5 teaspoon kashmiri chilli powder (or paprika)
- 1 tsp extra hot red chilli powder
- 1teaspoon kala namak(black salt, available in indian stores)
- 3-4 dried mint leaves
- 2 tablespoon salt (or to taste)
In a dry skillet, lightly dry roast coriander seeds, cumin seeds, whole chillies, ajwain, peppercorns, cardamom, cloves and cinnamon stick, each spice one at a time, separately, on low heat. Do not let the spices turn brown. Let cool completely.
Put the roasted spices along with other items into dry coffee grinder or spice grinder and blitz to a fine powder.
Store in air tight container at room temperature for up to 6 months.
Enjoy & Thanks for stopping by!
There are more than one way I have eaten this root growing up, but necessarily in savory preparations. Never saw a sweet prepared with it, quite unlike the way it is used in the rest of south asia – in making puddings and ice creams or even candy.I thronged our asian grocers almost every weekend until last week I spotted these hairy skinned, mud covered arbi tucked inside a grumpy cardboard box in the corner. Oh my! I notched a little closer, one touch between my palms and in a blink I knew they were perfectly ripe and ready to come home with me.
Ingredients (Serves 2-3)
- 1 lb arbi (taro root)
- 3 tablespoon mustard oil
- 1/4 heaped teaspoon ajwain (carrom seeds)
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1/8 teaspoon hing (asafoetida powder)
- 1-2 green chillies (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder
- 1/4 teaspoon amchoor (dry mango powder or squirt fresh lemon juice at end)
- salt to taste
- Chopped cilantro – for garnish
- Sprinkle of chaat masala (optional, to taste)
- Grease your palms liberally with oil or wear gloves when handling raw taro root. It could be quite itchy without.
- Finish the dish with some sour element, dry mango powder (amchoor) as in the recipe, vinegary or fresh lime/lemon juice. Sometimes, the cooked vegetable can itch the throat. But not to worry. The sour element only adds to the taste.
Using the peeler, peel off the skins of the arbi. Wash under running water. Completely dry with a kitchen towel. Slice length wise into half. Cut batons from each half.
Heat up the oil in a saute pan on medium. Temper the oil with ajwain, cumin,green chillies and hing powder.Immediately add the arbi and stir around to coat the batons in oil. Sprinkle the red chili powder and amchoor. Also add the salt. Stir again to combine.
Reduce heat to low, cover the pan and let cook for 12-15 minutes till the arbi is soft but not mushy.
On high heat, saute for 1-2 seconds.
Sprinkle with cilantro. Serve.