Monday, November 28, 2016
In keeping with the white and creamy appearance of the gravy, the chicken pieces are not browned and white pepper powder adds a tinge of spiciness without darkening the look. If you prefer to use bone-in chicken, double the amount of chicken and increase the cooking time.
Saturday, November 26, 2016
|Stuffed Rava Idlis|
Cream of wheat is known as rava in Hindi and suji in Bengali. Idlis are steamed cakes made from rice or cream of wheat. The batter is generally soaked the night before to allow it to set up. In this instant recipe, cream of wheat is combined with yogurt and spices and set aside for 30 minutes. I have to admit that instant idlis are not as soft and plump as the overnight recipe. So if time is not a constraint, it's better to prepare the batter the night before and leave at room temperature overnight.
This recipe for idlis makes 8 idlis, so I used only 2 trays of the idli stand. Each tray can be removed from the stand by unscrewing the black knob on top, and separating each tray from the spindle in the center. They can then be reassembled by reversing the process. I used my wok to hold the idli tray to steam the idlis, but a pressure cooker can also be used.
Here's another recipe that uses Yellow Alu or diced russet potatoes prepared the South Indian way.
Thursday, November 24, 2016
|Chinese Seasoning Salt for Fruits|
The perfect pick-me-up between meals, the sweet-lime this morning was not sweet enough for my palate, which prompted me to turn it into a salad. A friend from Taiwan brought me these tiny packages of seasoning salt for fruits which are sweet, sour and salty. I added a diced serrano pepper and minced mint which took it over the top! Let it sit for a few minutes after prepping to allow the flavours to meld.
To make your own seasoning salt, stir together the juice of 1/2 lime along with salt and sugar to taste.
Wednesday, November 23, 2016
Rarely do I cook lentils without adding vegetables, but these split mung beans taste really good just the way they are, without embellishments. The traditional way to prepare split mung beans is to toast them to a golden brown before cooking them in water. Kacha means raw, i.e. not toasted. I generally put lentils on the boil first, before cooking a side of vegetables or the main meat/fish/seafood dish, so that by the time the rest of dinner is ready, the lentils are done and simply need to be tempered.
There isn't a simpler way to cook lentils than what I made today.
Tuesday, November 22, 2016
|Koi Maacher Jhaal|
Climbing Perch or Koi Maach, available in the Asian markets, are flash-frozen before being packaged for export from places like Vietnam. Flash-freezing is an accelerated process in which fish are individually frozen solid at extremely low temperatures immediately after being harvested. This allows fish to be caught, processed and frozen solid in hours rather than days. Flash-freezing prevents fish from getting freezer burn so that we, the consumers, are able to enjoy fish at its peak of perfection. Of course there is no comparison to fresh-caught fish from local Indian markets, but we are grateful that the varieties of fish we grew up with, are available to us at all!
This dish generally has a layer of oil (usually mustard oil) floating on the top, but I scaled it down to a mere 4 tablespoons.
Sunday, November 20, 2016
To save some cooking time, a can of Del Monte's sliced potatoes came in handy in place of the russet potatoes I would have otherwise used.
To give this dish a taste of Kashmir, the ground spices consist of Kashmiri mirch (paprika) along with powdered ginger and fennel seed powder.
Monday, November 14, 2016
|Pumpkin Cake A La Mode|
The easiest dessert ever! We had this for Thanksgiving dinner this year and I preferred it to the pumpkin pie of past Thanksgiving dinners.
|3 Ingredients Only|
|Pumpkin Angel Food Cake|
Sunday, November 13, 2016
Saturday, November 12, 2016
|Banana Walnut Friendship Bread|
This is a nostalgic bread/cake that goes back to the days when we first arrived in Toronto, Canada in the late 1970s. My then-brother-in-law worked at Proctor & Gamble (P&G) and brought home a recipe book featuring Crisco Oil. This Banana Nut Loaf recipe, modified by me many times over, originated from that P&G recipe book.
Some of the changes I made were to replace granulated sugar with dark brown sugar to improve the colour of the bread, to add sour cream to improve the moistness of the bread and most recently, to add Amish Friendship Bread Starter to the batter to give a yeasty aroma and taste to this banana nut loaf. The Amish Friendship Bread Starter can be omitted for a denser, cake-like banana nut loaf. Using the starter gave it a more bread-like texture.
Use the darkest brown sugar you can find, the darker the better. I had only light brown sugar on hand, which accounts for the lightness in the center of the bread. And if you skimp on the Crisco oil, your bread will be dry and horrible. I'm sure substituting another vegetable oil for Crisco will work just fine but, some forty years later, I continue to use Crisco oil.
Wednesday, November 02, 2016
|Bhapa Pudina Chingri|
If it was on hand, I would have added cilantro stalks to the paste for more flavour. But it was delicious with mint and green chilies. Prawns take so little time to cook that it's ideal to prepare when there's not much time to spare. It's such a pity that prawns in the supermarket are sold headless. The heads of the prawns add so much flavour to the sauce.
To rid the onions of their strong smell, I blanched onion chunks in boiling water along with garlic before blending to a paste.