Showing posts with label mixer grinder. Show all posts
Showing posts with label mixer grinder. Show all posts

Apr 18, 2016

Aloo Mattar (Curried Potatoes & Peas)

Sumptuously spicy and hearty enough to be served as a main dish this is my version of the classic North Indian menu item aloo mattar. Aloo means potatoes and mattar means green peas, both are combined with traditional warm aromatic spices and slow simmered to tenderness in a rich yogurt and tomato gravy. This popular vegetarian dish pairs well with rotis, rice, or naan. 

We had a bumper crop of potatoes this year, those you see in the photos are Yukon Golds from my garden. If you can't find Yukon Golds where you are Russets or any baking type potato will do. In this dish we first make the gravy and then add the peas and precooked potatoes. The peas we get here aren't the tender kind we get in western countries, they're a bit tougher and require some cooking so I use a pressure cooker for this dish. If you're using the tender green peas found in western countries you could simply use a heavy bottomed skillet or kadhai to make the gravy then simply stir the peas in at the same time as the precooked potatoes and allow the dish to simmer for an extra five minutes or so.

3 potatoes, boiled until tender, peeled and cut into one inch cubes
1 cup green peas/mattar, fresh or frozen
3 TBS cooking oil or ghee
2 onions, sliced finely into half moons
1 tsp cumin/jeera seeds
1 cassia leaf/tej patta
1 tsp dried fenugreek leaves/kasoori methi
1 tsp salt
Grind until smooth for masala-
3 tomatoes, chopped roughly
1/2 C yogurt/dahi
1 TBS garlic/lahsun paste
1 TBS ginger'adrak paste
2 tsp Kitchen King* masala (or garam masala)
2 tsp ground coriander/dhania seeds
2 tsp cumin/jeera, ground
1 tsp Kashmiri mirch (or 1/2 tsp cayenne plus 1/2 tsp paprika powder)
1/2 tsp turmeric/haldi
1-2 green chilis/hari mirch (optional, omit for less heat)
1 tsp salt

Here's what to do:
1) Boil potatoes until tender, then peel and slice into one inch cubes and set aside. Grind all ingredients listed under masala to a smooth paste and set aside. Heat oil in a pressure cooker, heavy bottomed skillet, or kadhai with one teaspoon salt and fry onions until beginning to brown.

2) Add cumin seeds, cassia leaf, and ground masala paste to fried onions, stir well and bring to simmer. Allow to simmer for about 7-9 minutes or until oil separates from sauce. If mixture begins to scorch or stick add 1/4 cup water, stir and reduce heat.

3) Add peas to fried mixture. If using pressure cooker add 1cup water seal and cook for 2 whistles. If using heavy bottomed skillet or kadhai add 1/2 cup water and simmer until peas are just tender. (The peas in South Asia are a bit tough and require a lot of cooking unlike the tender peas found in Western countries. If you are using the tender peas found in Western countries you might want to stir them in with the potatoes in step 4 to prevent them being overcooked. )

4) If using pressure cooker allow to cool and open, stir in boiled potato cubes and simmer until gravy is to desired consistency. If using skillet or kadhai stir potatoes in and simmer until gravy is of desired consistency. Salt to taste and serve.

Helpful hints:
Kitchen King is a popular North Indian premade spice mixture. My favorite brand is Catch but MDH is good also. If you can't get Kitchen King masala a good substitute is: 1/2tsp cayenne + 1/2tsp paprika + 1tsp cumin + 1tsp coriander + + 1/2 tsp fennel + 1/4tsp ground fenugreek +1/4tsp mace + 1/8tsp nutmeg 

Apr 15, 2016

Vegan Green Goddess Dressing

cilantro bell pepper onion ginger dressing vegetarian creamy easy

This vegan version of the classic Green Goddess dressing is just as smooth, creamy, savory, and vibrantly green in color and flavor as the original! Traditionally this dressing is made with herbs and anchovies on a decadent base of sour cream and eggy mayonnaise. This recipe replicates those bold, lush, and bright flavors with a more health conscious blend of ginger, garlic, bell pepper, lime juice, and your choice of oil.

Truth be told, when it comes to chutneys and dressings Bibi usually just chucks whatever looks good fresh from the garden into the mixie and hopes for the best. This was definitely a very happy accident! I've made this several times with olive oil, tahini, sunflower seed oil, rice bran oil, and it is always delicious1 It mixes up to that gorgeous green you see in the photos and is every bit as luscious as the original. Don't let that chili pepper in the photo fool you, this dressing is not hot. Serve drizzled over leaves of romaine, a wedge of iceberg lettuce, as a dip for crudité, or perhaps even as a dip for samosas or pakoras!

1 large bell pepper/capsicum, seeds and white membranes removed, roughly chopped
1 inch piece of fresh ginger/adrak, roughly chopped
1-2 cloves of garlic/lahsun
1/2 C onion, roughly chopped
1-2 green chilis/hari mirch, roughly chopped
1 TBS lime/nimbu juice
2 TBS oil of your choice (or tahini)
1&1/2 C cilantro/dhania leaves & stems, cleaned and roughly chopped
1 tsp salt

Here's what to do:
1) Blend or grind all ingredients to a smooth emulsion in mixie, blender, or food processor. Salt to taste and keep in refrigerator in airtight container until ready to serve.

Helpful Hints:
I have yet to try this with an avocado blended in, I bet that would be superb!

Mar 1, 2016

Tamatar Dhania Chatni (Tomato and Cilantro Chutney)

Tamatar Dhania Chatni Tomato and Cilantro Chutney

Ever the iconoclast, Bibi whizzed the ingredients of her favorite Mexican salsa through the mixie. "Et voila!" she had a delicious chutney! Yes, it tastes every bit as good with tortilla chips and atop tostadas as it does with rice and chapattis. A brilliant "fusion" dish you say? Nah, just a classic, piquant, combination of fresh herbs, fruits, and vegetables that always reminds me of summertime in my native California. You simply can't improve on that. It's also fat free, vegan, vegetarian, paleo, halal, gluten free, and probably some other hip things I don't even know about. But most importantly, it is "que delicioso!"

Tamatar Dhania Chatni Tomato and Cilantro Chutney

2 tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 C cilantro/dhania, roughly chopped
4 green chilis/hari mirch
4 garlic cloves/lahsun
1/4 C onion, roughly chopped
1 TBS lime juice
1 tsp salt

Here's what to do:
1) Place all ingredients in mixie, food processor, or blender and grind until smooth. Salt to taste. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
Tamatar Dhania Chatni Tomato and Cilantro Chutney
The mighty mixie mixes chutney!
Helpful Hints:
Feel free to adjust the proportions of the ingredients to suit your tastes and what you have on hand. This recipe is practically "un-screw-uppable," within reason of course.

Feb 27, 2016

Tips & Tools: How to Make Garlic Paste

Garlic paste is a great convenience product. Easy to store, easy to measure, disappears texturally into food, the grinding enhances garlic's flavor, and it's so much simpler than peeling and chopping cloves of garlic every time you need some in a dish. You can buy commercially prepared garlic paste at markets in South Asia, but it always tastes a bit sour and odd from the acid preservatives used.  So about once a week I make my own garlic paste. Here's my tried, tested, and true method for making garlic paste.

2 heads of garlic/lahsun
2 TBS cooking oil
1 tsp salt

Here's what to do:

1) Peel all garlic cloves removing any rotten or bruised parts also. Remove any green sprout-y bits as they will make your garlic paste taste weird.

2) Place peeled garlic cloves into a mixie, food processor, or blender with 2 TBS cooking oil and 1 tsp salt. Why does Bibi put cooking oil and salt in her garlic paste? Because the oil and salt will provide a hyperosmolar environment that will help prevent pathogens from growing and spoiling your garlic paste. The oil will also help the garlic cloves blend into a smooth paste, and unlike water will carry the flavor of the garlic and not spatter at you if placed in hot oil.

Whiz, bang, boom! The modern miracle of the mixie!
3) Grind mixture into a fine paste.

4) Transfer garlic paste to sealable airtight container. Keep in refrigerator for up to one week. Oil may separate form garlic but just stir it back in when you wish to use it.

Helpful Hints:

When using this garlic paste remember that it has salt already in it. Be sure to adjust your salt usage in a recipe accordingly.

This garlic paste can be frozen successfully also. Just place tablespoon sized scoops of the garlic paste on a cling film lined baking sheet, Place in freezer overnight. When the scoops of garlic paste are completely frozen place them in a sealable plastic bag and store them in the freezer. When you need some garlic paste just take out as many of the frozen tablespoonfuls as you need.

Feb 17, 2016

Pudina Dahi Chatni (Mint & Yogurt Chutney)

mint yogurt chutney esi

It's a veritable mint-a-palooza in Bibi's garden these days. So let's just show that mint who's boss and whip up a tasty chutney. Fresh, savory, and slightly tart this chutney pairs well with kebabs, tandoori, or just about any lamb, mutton or chicken curry you can think of. 

1 C fresh mint/pudina leaves, tightly packed
1/4 C onion, roughly chopped
1/4 C yogurt/dahi
1/4 C bell pepper/capsicum, roughly chopped
2-3 garlic cloves/lahsun
2 tsp ginger/adrak, minced finely
2 tsp lime juice
2-3 green chilis, chopped
1 tsp salt

Here's what to do:
1) Place all ingredients in a mixie, food processor or blender and grind until smooth. Salt to taste. Keep in an airtight container in refrigerator until ready to serve.

Dec 7, 2015

Tips & Tools: The Mixie With The Moxie

Introducing the thoroughly modern mixie:

mixie panasonic
Taa Daaaa!!

This is the mixie, the marvel of the modern south Asian kitchen that Bibi keeps banging on about in the recipes on this blog.  Glorious, is it not?  This fantastic machine is also commonly known as a "mixer grinder" on the Subcontinent. Your poncy western food processors & old fashioned blenders can't compete with the adroit engineering of this kitchen beast. As you can see the "jars" are of sturdy stainless steel & the rubber flanged lids are some sort of clear "scratch resistant" unbreakable polycarbonate. The electric mixie has largely replaced the drudgery of using a good old mortar & pestle or traditional "sil batta" in most kitchens of the Subcontinent. (The "sil batta" is a vertical version of the mortar & pestle with the "sil" being a large, flat, ridged stone tablet upon which spices are ground with a heavy stone rolling pin called a "batta.")

Clearly this polycarbonate lid is neither unscratched nor unstained after 6 yrs of use.

The interior looks like a blender on both large & small jars. Those blades are Panasonic's patented "Samurai Blades" & those jars are patented "Flow Breaker Jars."  Wow, huh?

Both jars are better at "wet grinding" rather than dry.
Supposedly the smaller jar is for grinding spices. Unfortunately the small jar only partially & rather unevenly grinds spices. This sort of 'coffee grounds' texture is actually fine for most Desi dishes. Mostly I use the small jar for pureeing garlic & ginger or grinding small amounts of almonds, cashews, or walnuts to a 'whole meal' texture or paste. If I wish to grind spices to powder I use an electric coffee grinder.

The large jar is great for grinding chutneys, yogurt based marinades, making lassis & raitas, or pureeing things like onions, bananas, pumpkins, chicken livers, & persimmons. In a pinch, I've even ground small amounts of wheat to flour & granulated sugar to powdered sugar in the large jar also.

Stainless steel is preferred for most food related appliances & dish ware in south Asia as it is unbreakable, does not absorb food odors, easy to clean, & does not stain (DUH). The cuisines of the Subcontinent often require the use of strongly pungent spices which often stain & imbue their odors in plastics- (turmeric & saffron stains are near impossible to get out & the smell of fenugreek/methi, garlic, & hing/asafoetida is also). You can see by the pale yellow staining of the polycarbonate lids this mixie has seen it all.

Some helpful tips when choosing a mixie-

1) Be sure it has at least 550 watts voltage. You will need it.

2) Choose a mixie with a "double safety locking system" like my Panasonic SUPER MIXER GRINDER pictured here.  This mixie will not run unless the cap & the base are locked & secured.  I had a previous mixie that had lids that didn't lock but were simply secured by the tenuous grip of the rubber flange.  This would result in a 3-4 foot geyser of whatever was being mixed or ground spewing everywhere. You would have to press down on the lid FIRMLY the entire time you used the mixie to prevent this mess.

3) Just buy the basic model with 2 stainless steel jars. You can now buy mixies with juicers, gallon sized jars, food processing jars with various blades, see through polycarbonate jars, & a lot of other crap you'll never use & don't have room to store. 

4) Buy a black mixie.  Between the heat, the dust, the humidity, the spices that stain, & the near constant frying that goes on in a Desi kitchen - a white mixie will not be white for very long. I have to take a toothbrush & a mixture of dishwashing soap & vinegar to my white mixie weekly to keep it looking decent.

And remember,
Keep Calm & Curry On!

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