Showing posts with label pressure cooker. Show all posts
Showing posts with label pressure cooker. Show all posts

May 15, 2017

Mexican Style Beans (Frijoles)

mexican style beans, frijoles, mexican, pinto, simi, beans, vegan, vegetarian, pinto beans, authentic, easy, simple, pressure cooker,

Beans are a staple of Mexican cuisine and a favorite element in so many Mexican dishes. This classic recipe for frijoles is easy to make, versatile, vegan, and healthy. Enjoy these beans with warm tortillas, as a filling for burritos, or with rice and rotis as my Indian family does!


mexican style beans, frijoles, mexican, pinto, simi, beans, vegan, vegetarian, pinto beans, authentic, easy, simple, pressure cooker,

Pinto beans are the most popular bean in the United States and northwestern Mexico. Pinto means speckled or spotted referring to the bean's mottled skin which becomes uniform when cooked. When properly prepared pinto beans have a deliciously creamy texture, mild flavor, and an ability to absorb flavors well. I'm using simi beans which are a local favorite here in Nepal. As you can see in the above photo simi beans are a bit rosier in hue than pinto beans, but their flavor and texture is quite similar.

mexican style beans, frijoles, mexican, pinto, simi, beans, vegan, vegetarian, pinto beans, authentic, easy, simple, pressure cooker,
A Latina friend in my native California taught me to make these Mexican-style beans or frijoles. Each family has their own unique way of preparing beans with differences in bean variety, the type of pot used, specific seasonings, and method of cooking. Traditionally, an earthenware pot called an olla was used to cook beans. As you can see in the above photo an olla is shaped a lot like the handi used in Indian cooking and serves much the same purpose. I have never seen an olla in use to cook beans in any kitchen Mexican or otherwise. The most common vessel I've seen used to cook beans in both Spanish-speaking and Okie communities is a large heavy-duty aluminum stockpot begotten at the Kmart or the local ACE hardware store. I use my Indian-style pressure cooker to save time.

mexican style beans, frijoles, mexican, pinto, simi, beans, vegan, vegetarian, pinto beans, authentic, easy, simple, pressure cooker,

I have often read that lard or manteca is the most authentic fat to use in Mexican cooking. In the town where I was raised the cooking fat of choice for Mexican-American families and most other ethnic groups was Crisco. The famed digestible vegetable shortening or manteca vegetal was used for tortillas and tamales as well as pie crusts and fried chicken. I'm not from Butcher Holler but as Loretta Lynn said in the commercial,
"Crisco will do you proud every time." 

Lard was probably the preferred fat before World War II. Possibly the only place to find lard in the 70's and 80's was at a carnicería or Mexican butcher. I've heard lard is making a comeback though. Choose your favorite cooking oil for this recipe. The preferred chilis for Mexican cooking in California are Serranos and their milder cousins, Jalapeños. Spanish-style yellow onions are used exclusively in Mexican cuisine. To soak the beans or not is another choice. Soaking the beans overnight will save you cooking time. I never saw beans soaked in my little community though so I don't soak either. I do use a pressure cooker which does cut down cooking time to about half. My Indian family loves these with rice but you could certainly enjoy them in a more traditional manner atop a tostada, alongside warm tortillas, or as a filling for burritos. Or try them topped with a little queso fresco, chopped tomatoes, and a sprinkle of cilantro as a hearty soup! Off to the recipe:

Ingredients:
2 C dry pinto beans (or dry simi beans)
1-2 TBS cooking oil (scant amount to cover bottom of pot)
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
1 TBS garlic paste or 3 minced garlic cloves
1-3 Jalapeño or Serrano chilis or any green chili you prefer (omit for less heat)
1/2 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
salt to taste

Here's what to do:
1) Sort through dried beans and remove pebbles. Rinse the beans in water in a colander and set aside. Heat oil in a large stock pot or pressure cooker and fry the onion until it softens.

mexican style beans, frijoles, mexican, pinto, simi, beans, vegan, vegetarian, pinto beans, authentic, easy, simple, pressure cooker,

 2) When onion begins to turn translucent add garlic, chilis, and black pepper to frying onion. Fry for about 2 minutes or until chilis begin to blister and garlic loses it's raw smell. Do not brown the onions!

mexican style beans, frijoles, mexican, pinto, simi, beans, vegan, vegetarian, pinto beans, authentic, easy, simple, pressure cooker,

3) Add the rinsed beans, 2 teaspoons salt, and enough water to cover the beans by about 3 inches to the pot or pressure cooker. If using stock pot: bring to a boil, and then reduce heat and simmer for about 2 hours. Check on the pot every 15 minutes to make sure there's enough water, add more water from time to time as necessary. Make sure to keep adding water so the pot does not dry out. If using pressure cooker: seal lid on pressure cooker and allow to steam until beans are tender. This takes about 40 to 50 minutes in my Indian-style pressure cooker.

mexican style beans, frijoles, mexican, pinto, simi, beans, vegan, vegetarian, pinto beans, authentic, easy, simple, pressure cooker,

4) The beans are ready when cooked so soft you can press them through your fingers and skins slip off easily. (Cooking time depends on the age and quality of beans, drier ones will require a longer simmering time.) Traditionally the beans are left a bit soupy so you can dip your tortilla in them or mash them to make frijoles refritos. Salt to taste and retrieve chilis before serving. Serve with warm tortillas or rice and rotis like we eat them. Once cooled the beans will keep for up to one week refrigerator in an airtight container.

mexican style beans, frijoles, mexican, pinto, simi, beans, vegan, vegetarian, pinto beans, authentic, easy, simple, pressure cooker,
Helpful Hints:
You could certainly use other sorts of beans in this recipe such as black beans, kidney beans, Peruano, Mayocoba, Santa Maria, or Flor de Mayo.

And to all moms out there:


Including moms of furry babies,



Or not so furry babies, 
HAPPY MOTHERS' DAY!!!

Aug 31, 2016

Mutton Do Pyaaza

 Mutton Do Pyaaza, beef, mutton, goat, lamb, buffalo, non veg, meat, indian, onions, recipe, easy, mughal, punjabi,

"Do" means two or twice and "pyaaza" means onions. As the name implies this classic North Indian dish features a lavish amount of onions. Onions are added in two stages, first slowly caramelized then ground with traditional spices to make a rich brown gravy. The mutton is then braised until tender in this bold mix of rustic flavors. This recipe also works well with lamb, beef, or water buffalo stew meat. Pair with with rotis, parathas, or chapattis for a hearty meal.

Mutton Do Pyaaza beef, mutton, goat, lamb, buffalo, non veg, meat, indian, onions, recipe, easy, mughal, punjabi,

Ingredients:
1kg/2lbs mutton/goat or lamb, cut into 3 inch pieces, bone in and lean preferred
1/4 C cooking oil
2 C onions, sliced thinly into half moons
1 tsp salt
2 C water or stock
Grind to paste for masala:
2 C onions, roughly chopped
1 TBS garlic/lahsun paste
1 TBS ginger/adrak paste
1 TBS coriander/dhania seeds
1 TBS cumin/jeera seeds
1 TBS garam masala
1/2 tsp turmeric/haldi
10 black peppercorns/kali mirch
3 black cardamoms/kali elaichi
3-4 green chilis/hari mirch, chopped roughly
1 tsp salt

Here's what to do:
1) Grind ingredients listed under masala to smooth paste, set aside.



2) Heat oil in pressure cooker, deep heavy bottomed skillet, or kadhai. Fry thinly sliced onions with 1 teaspoon salt until golden brown, this should take about 10 minutes.



3) Add mutton pieces to fried onions in pan. Stir well and cook until meat is slightly browned.



4) Add ground masala paste to mutton and fried onions. Stir well and allow to fry for 5 minutes.



5) Add 2 C water or stock to the mixture in pan or enough liquid so meat is covered by at least a half an inch.  If using pressure cooker allow to steam for 5-6 whistles or until meat is to desired tenderness. If using skillet or kadhai simmer covered over medium heat until meat is to desired tenderness, adding a half cup more water at a time if necessary (usually this takes at least two to three hours with goat.)


6) The dish should have a thick gravy when finished. If gravy is thin allow to simmer with lid off for a few minutes. Salt to taste and serve.

Helpful Hints:
I'm cooking a Nepali goat in these photos so I'm using a pressure cooker. If you're cooking this recipe with meat that is not as tough such as Kashmiri lamb or American beef you'd probably want to use a Dutch oven or deep skillet and reduce cooking times accordingly.

If you live somewhere that you can't get the pink Desi onions pictured, the yellow onions found in most western markets are the best substitute. Despite the different color they tend to have similar flavor profile & level of  sweetness.  Do not use red onions, 'sweet' onions, Walla Walla onions, or Vidalia onions in place of pyaaz. They tend to be too sugary, scorching easily & often resulting in a burnt taste.

After chopping and grinding all the onions required for this recipe you may find your hands reek of onions. Rubbing a slice of raw tomato on your hands will remove the onion smell immediately.

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