Showing posts with label Recipe. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Recipe. Show all posts

Apr 12, 2017

Garam Masala Deviled Eggs

Garam Masala Deviled Eggs, garam masala, eggs, easter, recipe, easy, indian, deviled, spicy, worcestershire, hard boiled, hard cooked, vegetarian,For a more authentic Indian take on curried deviled eggs try this recipe with garam masala instead of curry powder. Garam masala is a traditional Indian spice mix whose warm and peppery notes brilliantly contrast with creamy egg yolks. Tangy tamarind from Worcestershire sauce and tart lime lend added zest to this dish also. An easy treat to make that can be served as an elegant appetizer before a posh dinner or at a springtime picnic!

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Nepali Style Garam Masala
I really think garam masala works much better with deviled eggs than the usual curry powder. Traditional blends of garam masalas are varying ratios of black pepper, cassia/cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, nutmeg, and possibly cumin, fennel, or star anise. The slightly sweet and richly aromatic warmth of these spices are far more complimentary to the delicate, creamy flavor of hard-cooked eggs than the readymade curry powders you'll find in western markets. Most of the curry powders you find for sale in western countries are far too harsh and fenugreek heavy. Try this recipe with your favorite store-bought brand of garam masala or make your own with one of these regional recipes from South Asia: Nepali Style Garam Masala, Basic Garam Masala, Mughlai Garam Masala, Kashmiri Garam Masala, or Parsi Garam Masala.

Garam Masala Deviled Eggs, garam masala, eggs, easter, recipe, easy, indian, deviled, spicy, worcestershire, hard boiled, hard cooked, vegetarian,Garam Masala Deviled Eggs, garam masala, eggs, easter, recipe, easy, indian, deviled, spicy, worcestershire, hard boiled, hard cooked, vegetarian,

This recipe came about as I was looking for an appetizer to serve at a dinner party we were hosting. I wanted to showcase the beautiful eggs we have here in Nepal. (Above you see our handsome Gaston in black and white checks with with his lovely ladyfriend in red, Mademoiselle Belle.) We certainly don't have any curry powder in our Indian household so I used a recent batch of garam masala I had made. Shabash! It was a hit at the dinner party and has been requested at every meal we've hosted since! My Indian husband had never tasted deviled eggs of any sort but now these are his favorite which he lovingly calls "Eggs with cream." (Most Indians call mayonnaise cream.)

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Look what I found at our local supermarket! All the way from New Orleans it's Crystal brand Worcestershire sauce. It's somewhat the worse for wear as one of the bottles in the case broke and leaked all over. How it got to Nepal from Louisiana boggles my mind. I do love the sharp, sweet, and tangy tinge of tamarind that worcestershire sauce gives to these deviled eggs. Worcestershire sauce has a slight asafoetida/hing-like umami punch that adds Indian flair too. I put a pinch of turmeric in for rich color and to cut the eggy taste a bit. Lime juice is another ingredient typical of Indian cuisine that brings it's floral tartness. Cilantro's fresh green herbaceous note is typically Indian also.You could certainly customize this recipe to your tastes and to what you have on hand. In place of the cilantro I've tried fresh mint, chopped chives, chopped olives, chopped cornichons, mango chutney, finely diced radish, finely diced red onions, and pickled jalapenos with great result!And so without further ado is the recipe:

Ingredients:
6 eggs, hard-cooked and peeled.
1/4 C mayonnaise
1 TBS lime/nimbu juice (or 2 tsp white vinegar)
1 tsp ground mustard powder or prepared mustard
1 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 TBS chopped cilantro/dhania (fresh mint, chives, chopped olives, chopped cornichons, mango chutney, finely diced radish, & pickled jalapenos are all options too)
salt to taste
For garnish: paprika, Kashmiri mirch, cayenne powder, chopped mint or cilantro

Here's what to do: 
1) Slice peeled hard-boiled eggs in half lengthwise, removing yolks to a mixing bowl. Placed halved whites on a serving platter.
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2) Combine yolks with the mayonnaise, lime juice, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, garam masala, turmeric, chopped cilantro, and 1/2 teaspoonful salt in mixing bowl.

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3) Mix ingredients until creamy using fork, food processor, blender, or mixie. Adjust salt to taste.

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4) Spoon or pipe egg yolk mixture into halved egg whites. For a do-it-yourself pastry bag, clip the end of a small sandwich bag and fill with the egg yolk mixture. Gently squeeze the bag from the top to pipe the mixture into the egg white halves.

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5) Garnish each egg with chopped mint or cilantro. Sprinkle a little Kashmiri mirch, paprika, or cayenne pepper for an extra kick of flavor and color. This recipe can be made up to 4 hours ahead of serving. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Makes 12 deviled eggs.

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Apr 5, 2017

Nepali Style Okra (Bhindi Tareko)

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Tantalize your tastebuds with this simple spicy okra dish from Nepal! Sliced okra is first flash-fried to banish any trace of slime. The pods are rendered crisp, delightfully chewy, and infused with the warmth of cumin, coriander, and chilis. Try this quick and easy vegan recipe to get a healthy serving of vegetables with any meal. 

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Nepalis do a lot of simple stir-frys like this. Be it potatoes, lab lab beans, or even chayote. If you see tareko on the menu at any casual eatery in Nepal you can be sure it will be a lightly spiced, fresh, and tasty vegetable side prepared this way. My maid showed me how to make this bhindi tareko or fried okra recipe that she makes quite often at home. It's the easiest, fastest, and most delicious okra dish that even my mutton-crazed Kashmiri family loves. Since this dish has a crisp and chewy texture it's a great way to use those okra pods that are a little past the petite and tender stage and are a bit large and fibrous. We enjoy this as a side dish with rice or rotis. If you're doing the low-carb thing I could see this as a delicious accompaniment to a garam masala spiced grilled chicken breast.

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To minimize the dreaded slime that can accompany okra dishes it is advised that the pods be completely dry before slicing. I do this by rinsing them vigorously in a colander and then setting them out in full sun in the backyard to dry outside for at least two hours. It seems to help if the okra gets a little wilty before cutting too. Frying the sliced okra in salted and smoking hot oil really gets rid of any residual stickiness. After about ten minutes of frying any and all slime is absolutely gone. Do not cover the okra while cooking as steam seems to perpetuate sliminess also. Using a shallow, wide pan like a skillet so that the okra can be spread in a single layer help to achieve the crispy edges and aid in slime reduction too. Utilizing a pan with a non-stick finish will allow you to use considerably less oil if desired also. That's all the okra cooking tips I've learned over the years so now it's off to the recipe!

Ingredients:
1/2kg/1lb okra, tops and tails removed and sliced into scant half inch rounds
3 TBS cooking oil (or just enough to cover the bottom of your cooking vessel)
2-3 dry red chilis/lal mirch broken in half (omit for less heat)
1 tsp cumin/jeera seeds
2 tsp garlic/lahsun paste
2 tsp ginger/adrakh paste
2 tsp ground cumin/jeera
2 tsp ground coriander/dhania
1/2 tsp turmeric/haldi

Here's what to do-
1) Heat oil in skillet or kadhai with one teaspoon salt for about 5 minutes over medium heat. Add cumin seeds and broken red chilis and fry for half a minute.

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2) Add chopped okra and stir well to coat all pieces with oil. Allow to fry for 5 minutes uncovered.

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3) Add 1 teaspoon salt, garlic paste, ginger paste, ground cumin, ground coriander, and turmeric to frying okra and stir well.

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4) Fry for 5-7 minutes more or until the okra becomes crisp. (Don't worry if the okra seems a bit slimy, after about 10 minutes of frying the slime completely disappears.) Salt to taste and serve as an accompaniment to rice or rotis.
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Helpful Hints:
You might wish to retrieve the dried red chilis from the dish right before serving. This will minimize the risk of anyone biting into a random fiery hot bit of chili while enjoying their okra. Nepalis and Kashmiris would not remove the chili bits before serving but might toss them aside on their plate when served.

Mar 22, 2017

Peanut Butter Shorties (eggless)

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This decidedly decadent shortbread recipe makes the peanuttiest peanut butter cookies ever! Adding salted peanuts lends an extra bit of crunch and a deliciously salty-sweet flavor. Buttery, meltingly tender, and so simple to make this egg-free recipe can can easily be made vegan by substituting a good quality margarine or shortening for the butter.

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I think it's well known worldwide that Americans love peanut butter. Yes, it's as American as apple pie, hot dogs, and the 4th of July! Peanut butter has everything we American love with it's salty, savory, and rich peanut flavor. Unfortunately the rest of the world seems to find peanut butter's rather sticky and somewhat velvety texture revolting. That would include my Kashmiri family. So I found this classic un-foul-uppable recipe in my Sierra 4-H Club cookbook from 1973. Baked into a cookie is the only way my Kashmiri clan loves peanut butter. Actually, now that I think about it they'll eat peanut butter in these chocolatey easy no-bake 5 Minute Cowpat cookies too. But that's about it.

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What's not to love?!?
 All cultural considerations aside, these cookies store well, are eggless, and super easy to make. They can certainly be made vegan by simply substituting a good quality vegetable shortening or margarine for the butter. Whether you make these made these with the organic Hessian-weave peanut butter from the health food store or the greasy kid stuff from the supermarket they turn out great! Chunky or smooth both work well too. I prefer to keep them strictly peanut-y by adding salted peanut but you could get posh and personalize them by adding white or dark chocolate chips or even honey roasted peanuts. If you really wanted to get fancy you could drizzle or dip them in white or dark chocolate for a true indulgence! And so without further ado here is the recipe, enjoy!

Ingredients:
1 C butter or margarine, softened and at room temperature
2/3 C peanut butter, chunky or smooth
3/4 C powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2&1/4 C all purpose flour
1 C salted and roasted peanuts, or mini chocolate chips

Here's what to do:
1) In a large mixing bowl beat together softened butter, peanut butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla until creamy. Be sure there are no lumps of butter. (The lumps or bits you see in the photo below are peanuts from the chunky peanut butter I used.)

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2) Add flour and peanuts to creamed mixture and mix until dough comes together and pulls away from the sides of the bowl. The dough will start out a bit crumbly but should start sticking to itself after about 2-3 minutes of mixing. Cover dough with cling film and place in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.

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3) When ready to bake heat oven to 325F/170C. Shape tablespoonfuls of dough into balls the size of walnuts. Place on baking sheets lined with parchment or a silicone mat about 2 inches apart. Flatten with the bottom of a glass wrapped in cling film or the heel of your hand. (I used a tablespoon sized cookie scoop to form the dough into balls before flattening with the bottom of a glass wrapped in cling film.)

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3) 4) Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until bottoms of cookies are slightly browned. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before removing from baking sheet with spatula. Makes about 3 dozen. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

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Helpful Hints:
This recipe can easily be made vegan by the use of a good quality vegetable margarine or shortening in place of the butter.

This recipe could easily be customized to your tastes by adding dark chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, or honey roasted peanuts instead of salted peanuts. 

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Mar 8, 2017

Kashmiri Onion Chutney (Ganda Chetin)

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In Kashmiri, ganda means onion and chetin means chutney. This authentic recipe is a savory relish that often accompanies meals and street foods like kebabs in Kashmir. A simple pickling process and marination with traditional herbs and spices brings out the piquant and zesty flavors typical of Kashmiri cuisine.

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This is a favorite chutney or chetin that regularly graces our family dinner table. It's so easy to make and we most always have all the ingredients necessary on hand. We usually enjoy it as a condiment alongside our rice based lunches and dinners. Be forewarned, this chutney is quite fiery and a bit tart so it is definitely not for the timid of palate!

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The red chili powder or Kashmiri mirch, dried mint, and shahi jeera or black cumin are all hallmark flavors of Kashmiri cuisine. The locally grown and brilliant red Kashmiri mirch chili powder is what gives this condiment its color and rich flavor. If you don't have Kashmiri mirch a mix of half paprika and half cayenne powder makes a good substitute. Dried mint is very much a signature taste in Kashmiri dishes but fresh mint is often used in a lesser amount when available. Shahi jeera or black cumin is a spice native to Kashmir with a uniquely herbaceous and mild cumin-like flavor. A reasonable substitute for shahi jeera or black cumin is a lesser amount of regular cumin. Anyway you choose to make this recipe, if you love hot and spicy foods you'll love this!

Ingredients:
2 C onions, thinly sliced into half moons
2 tsp salt
3 TBS vinegar or lime/nimbu juice
2 tsp Kashmiri mirch (or 1 tsp paprika plus 1 tsp cayenne powder)
2-3 green chilis/hari mirch, chopped finely
3 TBS cilantro/dhania leaves, chopped finely
1 TBS dry mint/pudina or 2 tsp fresh mint/pudina
1 tsp black cumin/shahi jeera (or 1/4 tsp cumin/jeera)

Here's what to do:
1) Mix together sliced onions with 2 teaspoons salt and place in sieve or colander over plate. Allow mixture to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. Some liquid may or may not come out of the onions.

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2) After 20 minutes transfer salted onions to a plastic, glass, or stainless steel container that can be sealed airtight. Mix salted onions with vinegar or lime juice, Kashmiri mirch, chopped green chilis, chopped cilantro, dry mint, and shahi jeera.

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3) Seal container with mixture airtight and place in refrigerator for at least 4 hours or overnight. Stir well before serving as a condiment alongside savory dishes. Makes a great sandwich or salad topping as well as a relish with kebabs. Keeps for about 3 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Helpful hints:
If the chutney is just way more heat than you can handle try adding a couple of tablespoons of yogurt to it to cool it off.

Mar 1, 2017

Parsi Style Scrambled Eggs (Akuri)

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Scrambled eggs take a spicy twist in this classic dish from the Parsi community of India. Ginger, garlic, green chilis, tomatoes, a hint of cilantro, and a pinch of garam masala make these eggs the ultimate breakfast for dinner. A quick and easy recipe that's ready in twenty minutes.

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Parsi scrambled eggs, akuri, or akoori is one of my favorite dishes to order when we eat out. So when I saw this recipe in Saveur a few years back I had to try making them myself. The Saveur recipe was a little different than what I've tasted in restaurants in India so I've tweaked it a bit. I've added ginger, turmeric, and garam masala because that's what I've tasted in restaurants here. The turmeric gives the eggs a brilliant color while the ginger and garam masala gives them a bit more Indian pep. I usually use a little milk in the recipe rather than cream simply because I rarely have cream on hand. Whether you choose to enjoy these Parsi scrambled eggs atop buttered toast with orange juice in the continental manner or with rice and rotis in the subcontinental way I'm sure you'll love'em!

Ingredients:
4 eggs
3 TBS cooking oil or ghee
1/2 C onion, finely diced
2 tsp ginger/adrak paste
2 tsp garlic/lahsun paste
2-3 green chilis, finely chopped (omit for less heat)
1 tomato, finely diced
1/4 tsp garam masala or ground black pepper
1/4 tsp turmeric/haldi powder
2 TBS milk or cream
2 TBS cilantro/dhania leaves, chopped coarsely
optional for garnish- 2 TBS chopped cilantro/dhania leaves

Here's what to do:
1) Heat oil or ghee with one tesaspoon salt in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and translucent. Add ginger, garlic, chiles, and tomatoes. Cook until tomatoes soften, about 5-6 minutes.

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2) While onion mixture is cooking mix eggs, garam masala or black pepper, turmeric, milk or cream, and chopped cilantro together until thoroughly mixed. (Sometimes I cheat a little and run this through the mixie.) 
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3) Add egg mixture to fried onion and tomato mixture in skillet with a half teaspoonful of salt. Mix well. 

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4) Stir and cook egg mixture until set into soft curds, about 6 minutes. Transfer eggs to a platter. Garnish with cilantro sprinkled over eggs and serve hot with toast, rice, or as a fiiling for a kati roll or breakfast burrito.
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Helpful Hints:
For breakfast on-the-go or a tea time treat we like to roll Parsi scrambled eggs in a roti with a dollop of chutney. This is sort of like the street food called a kati roll in Kolkata, a frankie in Mumbai, or a breakfast burrito in the United States.

Feb 20, 2017

Parsi Garam Masala

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Parsis are an ethnic and religious group that emigrated from ancient Persia to India in the 10th century. Parsi cuisine has evolved into a delicious fusion of Persian and Indian influences. This recipe for Parsi style garam masala perfectly reflects this unique blend of cultures. The earthy warmth of green cardamom, cumin, and black pepper are perfectly balanced by the sweet heat of cinnamon, cloves, and star anise in this flavorsome mix.



"Parsis of Bombay" engraving, ca. 1878

Parsis practice a unique religion called Zoroastrianism. Zoroastrianism encourages wealth creation as well as charity.
 For centuries, prominent Parsis have shared their success through philanthropy. The names of top Parsi traders and industrialists are a common sight on hospitals, schools, and libraries in India.

Parsis celebrating Navroze Mubarak

No Parsi function is complete without good food that has been laboriously and lovingly prepared. The Zoroastrian community gathers for six annual feasts called gahambars and a new year's celebration called Navroze. Weddings too require a lavish multi-course feast called a lagan no bhonu. Parsi dishes reveal traces of their Persian past in a fondness for nuts, dry fruits, and sweetness. The Indian influence on Parsi cuisine is the addition of garlic, ginger, and subcontinental spices.


I've adapted this recipe from Neela Batra's cookbook, 1,000 Indian Recipes. Unfortunately Ms Batra's book has rather incongruent instructions for those 1,000 recipes. The recipes also often result in unsuitably large quantities for the home cook. So I reduced the amounts by half to yield a half cup. The quantities in the original recipe were for ground spices so I've left them that way. I used whole spices and ground them in the same amounts with excellent results. It's the ratio that's most important in spice mixes. Ms Batra's recipe calls for dry roasting the ground spices too. DO NOT DRY ROAST GROUND SPICES OR YOU'LL END UP WITH A SCORCHED MESS.  I don't dry roast my spices for reasons listed here. I'll include instructions for roasting whole spices if you are one of those sorts who simply must dry roast though.

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Ingredients:
2&1/2 TBS ground green cardamom/elaichi
2 TBS ground cinnamon or cassia/dalchini (or four 2 inch pieces of cassia bark/cinnamon sticks)
2 TBS ground black peppercorns/kali mirch
2 TBS ground cumin/jeera
1&1/2 TBS star anise/chakra phool
1 TBS ground cloves/laung

Here's what to do:

For raw/unroasted garam masala- 
Coarsely grind all spices until roughly the texture of coffee grounds. Traditionally a mortar and pestle or "sil batta" was used to get this texture. Garam masala is not supposed to be like that finely ground powdery stuff you see sold at stores. To get the traditional texture we're looking for use the pulse button on your mixie, food processor, or coffee grinder until you get the desired results. If you are using a coffee grinder or small mixie jar you might want to grind each spice separately in batches to get a consistent texture. Breaking the cassia bark (or cinnamon sticks) into smaller pieces before grinding helps also. Store in an airtight container out of sunlight or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

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Two methods to dry roast garam masala-

Traditional- 
1) Heat a heavy bottomed frying pan or tawa for 7-10 minutes.
2) Dry roast spices one at a time in batches, or toss all spices in and stir frequently until spices give off a fragrant aroma.
3) Allow to cool completely. Grind coarsely using pulse button in mixie, food processor, or coffee grinder.  Store in an airtight container out of sunlight or in freezer for up to 3 months.
(The problem with this traditional method is that the temperature isn't really even over a tawa on a gas flame &and some spices may scorch while others remain unroasted. Cumin usually roasts faster than the other spices and when burned has an unpleasant bitter flavor.  Roasting spices separately reduces the risk of scorching but is tedious. Why do South Asians still do use traditional tawa method? Because most South Asians do not have any sort of oven in their homes.)

Fast & easy oven method-
1) Preheat oven to 220F/100C.
2) Spread all spices over 13 inch by 9 inch baking pan or cookie sheet. Bake spices for 10 minutes.
3) Allow to cool completely and grind coarsely using pulse button in mixie, food processor, or coffee grinder.  Store in an airtight container out of sunlight  or in freezer for up to 3 months.

Feb 15, 2017

Kohinoor Chicken Curry

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From the royal courts of the ancient Mughals comes this recipe for a rich chicken curry. First, the chicken is marinated in yogurt and spices which will render it moist and flavorsome. The marinated chicken pieces are then slowly simmered until tender in a creamy gravy lavishly laced with traditional spices. Truly a regal dish that requires far less effort than you might think to prepare!

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This is one of those creamy, rich, ultra-posh Mughal dish with all the "bells and whistles" so popular around Delhi. The long list of ingredients does look quite daunting, but I've broken it down and simplified the steps so it's really not that difficult! It is also a great recipe for any special occasion as most of the preparation can be done a day in advance. A word of warning though, this chicken curry is VERY spicy. This isn't one of those bland, timid Mughlai recipes relying mostly on butterfat and cream for it's flavor. There's definitely a lot of spice and heat going on here, but it is masterfully blended to perfection. So if you're looking for a chicken curry recipe with bold, vibrant, IN YOUR FACE flavor - this is it!

Ingredients:
1kg/2lbs chicken, skinless and cut into 8 pieces, bone in preferred
3 TBS cooking oil or ghee
1 C onions, thinly sliced into half moons
3 tomatoes, diced finely or pureed
2 C water or stock/shorba
1 TBS dried mint (optional for garnish)
Grind to smooth paste for masala:
1 TBS coriander/dhania
2 tsp cumin/jeera
9 cloves/laung
12 black peppercorns/kali mirch
7 green cardamoms/elaichi
1 inch piece cassia bark/dalchini, broken into small pieces
1 TBS water
Grind until smooth for marinade:
1 C full fat yogurt
1/2 tsp flour/maida (this will keep the yogurt from splitting)
1 TBS garlic/lahsun paste
1 TBS ginger/adrak paste
3-4 green chilis/hari mirch
1/4 C almonds/badaami, ground finely (or coconut cream)*
2 tsp Kashmiri mirch (or 1 tsp paprika plus 1 tsp cayenne powder)
1 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp turmeric/haldi
2 tsp salt

Here's what to do:
1) Grind almonds to fine powder in mixie, food processor, or blender. Grind powdered almonds and all ingredients listed for marinade to smooth paste in a mixie, foods or blender. Coat each piece of chicken in marinade. Place chicken and marinade in airtight, sealable container and allow to marinate for at least 4 hours or up to overnight in the refrigerator.

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2) When ready to cook, heat oil over medium heat in a large heavy bottomed skillet or kadhai for 5 minutes. While oil is heating grind spices with water as listed for masala in mixie, food processor, or blender and set aside. Add thinly sliced onions to hot oil and fry for 5 to 7 minutes or until just beginning to brown. 

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3) Add diced or pureed tomatoes and ground spices for masala to the fried onions, stir well, and fry for 5 minutes or until oil separates from the mixture.


4) Add marinated chicken pieces to fried onion mixture in pan. Reserve marinade. Cook chicken pieces for 2 minutes on each side. Add reserved marinade and 2C water or stock/shorba. Stir well.

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5) Bring the dish to a simmer covered over medium heat. Stir well every 5 minutes turning the chicken pieces to be sure they cook evenly. The dish is ready when the chicken is cooked through, about half the liquid has evaporated, and the oil separates from the gravy. This usually takes 20 to 25 minutes.  Salt to taste, garnish with dried mint if desired and serve!

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Helpful hints:
For persons suffering peanut or nut allergies a good substitute for ground almonds is canned coconut cream. (Persons suffering peanut and tree nut sensitivity can usually safely eat coconut.)

Lithograph dated 1844 from the online gallery of the British Library depicting the Maharaja Ranjit Singh's jewels including the famed Kohinoor diamond (top center). Maharaja Ranjit Singh extorted the Kohinoor diamond from the Emir of Afghanistan in 1813. The lithograph also portrays one of Maharaja Ranjit Singh's favorite horses shown with the head officer of his stables.

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