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Showing posts from February, 2016

Methi Bajra Debra - Fenugreek Millet Flatbread & Fritters!

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Debras are millet flat breads made in Gujarat, a western state in India where people are primarily on vegetarian diets. This is traditionally made with Bajra or Pearl Millet flour. Methi Bajra Debra is a very healthy and flavorful combination of fenugreek leaves and spices with millet flour. 

Bajra / Pearl Millets are not only gluten free, they are an excellent source of fiber and nutrition as well. The presence of phytic acid and niacin in bajra helps in lowering the cholesterol. Its also a good option for diabetic people as it controls blood sugar levels.

Ayurveda always advocates including bitter elements in our diet. Fenugreek leaves have slightly bitter undertone but are very flavorful when cooked. Usually some jaggery or sugar is added to mask the bitterness and make it more palatable. Fenugreek is also very rich in vitamins and minerals.

Methi Bajra Debras can made two ways - 
1. The dough is rolled into flat breads and pan fried and eaten as a healthy breakfast or lunch. 
2. The se…

Kerala Mutton Curry with Veggie Rice

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Last Sunday my kitchen visited God's Own Country - Kerala. A beautiful state on the southernmost tip of India - Coconut trees dotting the shoreline, large expanse of green paddy fields and the serene backwaters. Kerala is so similar to my hometown, Goa that though I have never been there I feel connected to this place.

Goa is mainly famous for its beaches but we do have our small share of inland waterways. My ancestral home is situated on a small landmass which is separated from the mainland by a small inland rivulet creating our very own backwaters. My Mama's (mom's brother) house has the most awesome view as the backyard opens right onto the backwaters. You could just paddle your own small wooden boat to the mainland whenever needed. The place does have a bridge and ferry boats for more reliable means of transport.

With so many coconut trees around, coconut of course dominates the food scene too. Goans liberally use grated coconut in all their recipes. While coconut oil a…

Sweet, Spicy, Nutty Kale Pumpkin Curry!

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I have been late in jumping on the Kale bandwagon as I really did not enjoy the taste of this vegetable very much. I have tried it a few times but other than Kale chips I did not fancy it. All this changed when Ichanced upon this creamy, complex flavored Indian Style Curry made by Eat Healthy Eat Happy.

Kale and Pumpkin may sound like an unusual combination but they do pair well. The pumpkin adds a nice sweetness and creamy consistency to the curry. Indian spices add the heat and the depth of flavor making this recipe a treat for your taste buds.

Here is my adapted version of this recipe which we loved so much that this will now be the "to go" recipe for Kale always. I served it with spiced raisin quinoa and Lebanese styled lentils for a power packed meal.

Serves: about 4

Ingredients:
8-10 stems of Kale - wash, pull out the leaves, chop finely1 large onion, chopped3 large cloves of garlic, grated1 inch piece ginger. grated1 cup of pumpkin, cubed1 teaspoon cumin seeds1 teaspoon d…

Grilled Chicken Seekh Kababs!

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Chicken Seekh Kababs are minced meat logs which are stuckaround a seekh or iron rod and then grilled to perfection in a hot tandoor.  I don't have the luxury of seekh rods or a tandoor at home. This is an easy recipe to create similar taste in your home kitchen on a grill pan. I did miss the traditional charcoal flavor but it tasted good nevertheless.

Usually I always trim out the fat from the meat. But you really need the fat in this recipe to maintain the moisture and the flavor. In fact ask your butcher for some extra fat while grinding meat for kababs.

I have used chopsticks to mold the kabab over. If you intend to cook it on the stick then soak them in water for at least 20 minutes before using to prevent them from burning. I choose to only shape it on the chopstick and then pull the chopstick out to only get the meat in the log shape.

Makes: 7 three inch seekh kababs

Ingredients:
1/2 lb minced chicken1 teaspoon ginger paste1 teaspoon garlic paste2 green chilies, finely choppedfe…

Goat Meat Rice Noodle Soup : Fusion Recipe!

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Last week was my daughter's first attempt at tasting Vietnamese food. We dined at the Pho Mi 99 outlet close to our home. We were pleasantly surprised to know that most spring rolls and noodles are rice based in Vietnamese cuisine. All the dishes served were fresh and flavorful. The service was very prompt too.

We ordered a shrimp roll for her which had rice noodles, lettuce and shrimps all rolled into a rice wrapper. We didn't give her the dipping sauce as it looked soy sauce based. For me, I ordered Chicken rice noodle soup and my curry loving husband ordered Panang Chicken Curry.

My daughter who is usually averse to soups, had one spoonful of the broth and was hooked onto it. She had discovered a new love. We playfully fought over each spoonful of the flavorful broth. Watching her struggling and then mastering the technique of picking up the slippery rice noodles with chopsticks and slurping them down was another delight. It was an engaging, fun food experience for her whic…

Andhra Style Mutton Pepper!

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With the winter temperatures hitting double negative digits, just soups are not enough to thaw your soul. You need a strong kick in the stomach to gently warm up your whole being. Pepper is one spice which does just that. This Hot and Spicy Andhra Style Mutton Pepper curry was what we needed.

Andhra Pradesh is a state in the south of India well known for super spicy food. They liberally use red chili powder and pepper powder to flavor their food. Spicy food has always been encouraged in India as it breaks you into a sweat and cools off the body. Also it pumps up the immunity making you more resistant to diseases.

This is a semi-dry preparation of curry which pairs well with your favorite flat-bread. We enjoyed it with jowar chapatis/ sorghum flat-breads.


Serves:3-4

Ingredients:
To make broth:
1 lb boneless goat meat pieces/mutton1/4 cup onion, roughly chopped2 large cloves of garlic, chopped1/2 inch ginger, chopped2 teaspoons coriander seeds4-5 cloves5-6 peppercorns 1 star anise1 teaspoon …

Easy and healthy Kolhapuri Mutton Curry!

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Kolhapur, a city in Maharashtra on the western side of India, is popularly known for three things. It is one of the important Pilgrimage site - the Mahalaskhmi temple. Two is a special kind of handmade leather footwear called Kolhapuri chappal and three is their super spicy food.

Their famous Mutton Curry is made two ways - one is in white sauce or Pandhra rassa and other is with fiery red chilies called Tambda rassa or red curry. The cooking style is unique as they cook the goat meat with flavorings to make the broth. The meat and broth are separated and individually cooked further and flavored with more spices. They are then served as a spicy broth, dry mutton curry with sorghum flat breads/jowar bhakris.

Kolhapuri Mutton Curry is not only very spicy but also uses lot of oil. The broth usually has layer of oil floating on top called the Kat. I have tried to recreate the same flavors with minimal oil. The natural oil releases from the meat, the coconut and sesame seeds is enough to add…

Sprouted Mothbean Stirfry/Matki Usal

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Mothbeans Stir fry or Matki Usal is an easy and yummy way for vegetarians to get proteins. Sprouting beans requires planning but are a great source of live enzymes, vitamins and minerals. Usal is an easy stir fry usually made in the Western State of Maharashtra, India.

Matki Usal/ Moth Bean Stir fry is a dry dish which is usually eaten with chapati/ flatbread for a complete vegetarian meal. I love to also have it as a protein snack by itself.


Ingredients:
1 cup sprouted moth beans/matki1 medium onion, finely chopped1 tomato, chopped1 sprig fresh curry leaves1 teaspoon mustard seeds1/4  teaspoon turmeric powder1/2 teaspoon red chili powder1/8th teaspoon Asafoetida powder /Hing1 green chili, chopped 1 teaspoon sugarsalt to taste chopped cilantro for garnish1 tablespoon oil

How to Sprout Moth beans/ Matki:
Sprouting beans is a very easy process but it takes almost 24 hours to complete. So planning is the essential key. Wash the moth beans well. Soak them in a large container with lots of w…

Sri Lankan Red Snapper Curry!

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Seafood used to be a daily feature in my parents home. We lived close to a port and had easy access to the freshest catch of the day. Fish curry, rice, fish fry with a salad was our staple meal. I would get so bored of it that I would look forward to our Sunday Chicken feast.

And now Seafood is a premium with rising cost and low availability. Added to that is the debate about fish being farm raised or wild caught. And with the toxic waste polluting our water bodies, you really don't know what you're eating.  Food used to be so much simpler growing up.

I still try to include Fish at least once a week.  Living in North America, I miss many varieties which I would have back home. I do compensate by trying new local varieties of fish. 

One such fish that I have tried in many ways is the Red Snapper. I love this fish because it absorbs Indian flavors really well. I usually make it in a Bengali recipe called Macher Kalia. But this time I tried it in Sri Lankan style. The aroma of curr…

Easy Crab Masala!

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Cooking crabs may seem like a daunting task but its the cleaning and size of the crabs which actually gets me anxious. I have earlier made Goan Crab Curry with large BC crabs but this time wanted to try an easier alternative. I found these small swimmer crabs all cleaned and ready in my local Asian store.

I made a simple North Indian Style Crab Curry which was very flavorful and easy. The crabs were very tasty too and had a decent amount of flesh considering their size.

Eating crabs is a very engaging experience as it requires a fair amount of work to actually open the crab and enjoy the meat. Some people would prefer the easy way out by getting canned meat or crab cakes. For me, the act of working hard to eat my meal is very surreal. Its times like these when we use all our senses and enjoy the food to its fullest potential.


Serves: 3-4 people

Ingredients:
1 lb swimmer crabs, cleaned and cut into pieces1 medium onion, finely chopped3 cloves of garlic, grated1/2 inch piece ginger, grated1…