Monday, September 28, 2015

Crab Cake Meal

Crab Cake Meal
I made this for dinner one night when we were looking for a break from Indian food. Lump crab meat is available at most supermarkets which is convenient because the crab meat is already picked clean of any remnants of shell. Making the crab cakes was as easy as making fish cakes. The hasselback potato is made from an old recipe, except that I switched out all the ingredients except for the oil and substituted half a package of Fiesta Ranch Dip Mix which was poured over the potato and tomato halves before baking them. The other half of the package of Fiesta Ranch Dip Mix was used in the crab cakes in place of the middle section of the ingredients. This packaged dressing may not be available everywhere which is why the alternative is provided. I used two greased baking sheets, one for the crab cakes and the other for the tomatoes and potatoes. All of it baked in a 400*F oven for 20 minutes.

Hidden Valley Dips Mix
Fiesta Ranch Flavour

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Tiny Whitebait in Onion & Tomato Gravy - Puti Mach-er Jhol

Puti Maach-er Jhol
They're called whitebait in English and keski or puti maach in Bengali. Compare the thickness of the translucent strips of onion in the picture above to the opaque, skinny whitebait. 

I had whitebait for the first time at my sister, Rene's, home and she advised that to remove any fishy smell, the fish should be marinated in turmeric and garlic paste as soon as they're thawed. Stir-fried in onions and tomatoes, there's no need to add water to get a gravy because more than enough moisture is released by the sliced onions and tomatoes.

Mustard oil would be the best oil to use for this dish, but if it's not available vegetable oil would work just as well.

Frozen Blocks of Whitebait
Whitebait comes in blocks of ice, two to a package, in the Vietnamese market. The package is labelled silverfish mainly because of the translucent, silvery colour of the fish. In some Asian markets the fish is called Chinese Whitebait.

Thawed Whitebait
When they're thawed, whitebait look like silvery threads that are about 1 to 1-1/2 inches in length which turn white when cooked.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Mung Dal-er Khichuri - Mung Beans Lentil Stew

Mung Dal-er Khichuri for Lunch
Khichuri is a lentil stew that is usually made with lentils and rice. I spied a South Indian pongal preparation on Facebook that combined lentils with oatmeal which appealed to me because I have to watch my carbohydrates. The resulting khichuri, which I made with split mung bean lentils and oatmeal, was thick and creamy and totally yummy!

Mung Dal-er Khichuri for dinner
For dinner we had the khichuri topped with Cajun-grilled fish fillet and hard boiled eggs.

Wednesday, September 09, 2015

Meatball Stew

Meatball Stew
It was one of those days when dinner was the last thing on my mind and the fridge was as bare as Mother Hubbard's cupboard. If I'd planned for it, I may have made my own meatballs from scratch, but it's real handy to have Italian-style meatballs in the freezer. The ones I buy are cocktail sized meatballs and there are about 120 in a bag. I separate them in Ziploc bags of 20 since there are usually only the two of us to cook for.

In our home, meals are eaten on time every day. Breakfast is the one exception, but lunch is always at noon and dinner at 6 p.m. It was already 5 in the evening with no time for much so I put on a cup of mung dal to boil, fried some cauliflower along with the tempering for a Mung Dal with Cauliflower dish. Then I raided the pantry for a can of Del Monte diced new potatoes so I wouldn't have to mess with or waste time scrubbing & peeling potatoes. Hard to believe, but I had dinner on the table in under an hour. The basmati rice took 18 minutes to cook in the microwave.

Monday, September 07, 2015

Burmese Tofu Salad

Tofu Salad
I've been trying to include more protein in my diet, so tofu has featured on my grocery list  of late. I have it in Miso Soup and thought why not substitute soybean tofu for chickpea tohu. Admittedly, it's not half as tasty as Burmese Tohu Salad, but it satiated my craving for Burmese flavours just as well. I used dry balachaung and pickled jalapeno peppers to garnish the salad.

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Paneer & Apple Payesh

Paneer & Apple Payesh

I found a recipe for this payesh on Sanjeev Kapoor's website but, as you will notice, I modified it to suit my dietary needs. I replaced the sugar with Splenda and the condensed milk with a mixture of evaporated milk and Gits kulfi mix. 
We were halfway through the dessert before I remembered to take a picture. It was delicious!

Friday, August 28, 2015

Green Beans Kasundi

Green Beans Kasundi
Indian markets can now be found in practically every town in Michigan. A Bangladeshi market opened up recently just 3 miles down the road and I found a bottle of kasundi which looked really tempting.

Weikfield's Kasundi

Kasundi is a fiery mustard sauce that originates in West Bengal in India. It is used as a condiment at the Indian table for dipping fried foods and as a sauce for stir-fried spinach. Today I decided to spice up my green beans dish with a dollop of this sauce. Taken on its own, it imparts a pungent flavour of mustard that can make your sinuses flow. 

Even though there is no comparison between the two, if kasundi is not available, try substituting with coarse-ground dijon mustard.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Monday, August 24, 2015

Musuri Dal Begun Diye - Red Lentils with Eggplant

Musuri Dal Begun Diye
I've used Japanese eggplant here, but any variety of eggplant will work as well. The lentils are first cooked until tender, the eggplant cooked separately and the two merged at the end and garnished with ghee, cilantro and green chilies. It's a wholesome side dish which can be accompanied, by chicken, meat, fish or egg curry and served with rice or chapatis.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Phool Kopi Karaishuti Posto - Cauliflower & Peas in White Poppy Seed Sauce

Phool Kopi Karaishuti Posto

White  poppy seed (posto in Bengali) is very versatile and can be added to any combination of vegetables. It is especially tasty with cauliflower and peas. 

This dish was introduced to me by my sister, Rene, who lives in Toronto in Canada. I specifically remember the evening she made this on one of my visits to Toronto. She had also made Chicken Razala whose leftovers she told me she'd packed for my husband to have when I got back home to Michigan. 

At the U.S. border, a female customs official questioned me about what food I was carrying in the car and I told her about the chicken. She asked me to pop the trunk and examined the ice chest, came back to me in a fit of anger and informed me that she could impound my car. Really startled, I asked her what the problem was and she said she found some cauliflower along with the chicken. I told her to take the entire contents of the ice chest and throw everything in the trash, for all I cared. Honestly! Give a woman a little bit of power and she's likely to go bonkers!