Showing posts with label vegetarian. Show all posts
Showing posts with label vegetarian. Show all posts

Apr 30, 2018

Mexican-Style Green Beans with Eggs (Ejotes con Huevos)

This authentic recipe for ejotes con huevos or Mexican-style green beans with eggs is an old favorite. A simple to make, nutritious, and delicious way to enjoy green beans! Serve as a traditional Mexican meal with tortillas and beans or with rice and rotis for a South Asian twist.



Summer produce is already coming in by the kilo in my garden! This year I bought five green bean plants from the feed and seed shop down the street. They're a local variety is called "Simi" and if left to develop to maturity they'll become the speckled bean called "Simi"  which is much like pinto beans in my native California. What to do with all those green beans? Nepalis do a simple stir-fry with green beans as do most Indians. But I remembered another green bean dish that I ate at my friend Luz's house as a child. It was always a treat to eat at Luz's house because her grandma made fresh flour tortillas every day. So I emailed Luz and asked her what was that egg and green bean dish called that we used to eat for lunch at her house?


It was ejotes con huevos! A simple, classic Mexican home-style dish combining eggs with two of summer's most bountiful items- green beans and tomatoes. So I googled ejotes con huevos and came up with a lot of recipes that required blanching the green beans first. I do not recall anyone ever blanching green beans as a child in my native California. I have never blanched green beans in my life. I have seen green beans parboiled for 5 minutes before canning. Okies and Arkies boiled them with a ham hock and onion. Posh folks ate them heated out of a can or freezer with perhaps with a pat of butter. Then I found this recipe on the wonderful blog, Mexican Made Meatless that is exactly like what Luz's grandma used to make! The green beans are stir-fried with a little tomato, onion, and spices to desired tenderness - no blanching, boiling, or any other fuss. Then beaten eggs are poured over and allowed to set. It's a one pot wonder! My Kashmiri clan loves it. Sometimes I Indianize it a little by adding a tablespoonful of ginger paste in with the garlic or stirring a little cilantro/dhania in with the eggs. We like to eat it with rice but rotis would pair well with it too. This dish also makes a great filling for a burrito or kati roll when topped with a dollop of red salsa. Any way you choose to try I bet you'll like it!


Ingredients:
1/2 kg or 1 lb fresh green beans, tops and tails removed and cut into even lengths
1 small onion, finely chopped
1-3 green chiles/hari mirch, finely chopped (omit for less heat)
1 TBS garlic paste or 3 garlic cloves minced finely
1 medium tomato, finely chopped
1/4 tsp black pepper/kali mirch, freshly ground
3 TBS cooking oil of choice, or scant amount to cover bottom of pan
4 eggs, lightly beaten
salt to taste

Here's what to do:
1) Heat cooking oil in a large skillet or kadhai with 1 teaspoon salt for 5 minutes. Saute the onions until just softened. Add the chopped chiles and garlic. Cook for about 2 minutes or until the garlic has lost its raw smell.


2) Add the green beans, tomatoes, and ground black pepper. Stir well and cover. Cook until green beans are to desired texture. (This usually takes about 10 to 12 minutes.)


3) Once green beans are to desired texture pour the lightly beaten eggs into the pan. Stir and cook until eggs have cooked through. I usually stir enough to get all the green beans coated with egg then cover the pan and let it cook for three minutes like a frittata. For a more scrambled texture keep stirring for about 2 minutes.


4) Salt to taste and serve. Pair with refried beans, tortillas, and salsa of choice for a Mexican meal OR rice and rotis too enjoy it Indian style.


Happy Cinco de Mayo!

Apr 16, 2018

Tips & Tools: How to Make Perfect Fluffy Rice

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We eat rice every day, twice a day. Before I moved to South Asia I had rarely cooked rice. I had never even used a rice cooker! Googling the subject of cooking rice only revealed numerous methods with less than perfect results. So I emailed my Chinese-American university pal Eileen as to how to properly cook rice. I quickly learned that western methods of cooking rice were overly complicated and prone to failure.

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The first thing my friend recommended was to buy a rice cooker. Well, we had a rice cooker but it had no instructions and we rarely had electricity to even run the thing back then. Now that we have 20 hours of electricity a day I can concur that a rice cooker is one of the most cost-effective gadgets ever. If you cook rice on a regular basis you definitely need a rice cooker. It is the easiest and most time-saving appliance ever, just set it and forget it!

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This is the kind of rice we eat every day!

The technique my friend Eileen taught me to cook rice is the absorption method. This is the most common way to cook rice in Asia. Rather than drowning the rice in water and hoping for the best, one adds only as much as the rice needs to cook, and waits for it to absorb while cooking. -It is the simplest way to cook rice and I have found it gives the most reliable results. The method you use to cook rice also depends on the variety of rice you are using. Indians tend to use long-grain rice and use techniques to create separate grains that remain perfectly intact. The Chinese use starchier medium-grain varieties so that the rice sticks together, making it easier to pick up with chopsticks. I have cooked both a local short-grain pearl rice and long-grain Basmati rice with this absorption method with excellent results for the past 10 years!
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1/2 cup uncooked rice = 1&1/2 cups cooked rice

First, you'll want to determine how many servings of rice you wish to make. I usually estimate one and a half cups of cooked rice per adult for my Indian family then add an extra half cup just in case. Rice triples in volume when cooked so that's one-half cup per person of uncooked rice.
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ONE PART RICE TO TWO PARTS WATER
The second and most crucial part of this technique is the ratio of rice to water. All sorts of variables come into play here: the type of rice being cooked, the age of the rice, humidity levels, how well the lid fits on the pot you use, the temperature of the burner being used, altitude, what phase the moon is in (kidding) - the list goes on. Because of all these variables, this is the step that may require some trial and error. The best place to look for the proper ratio the rice is to be cooked at is the directions on the package the rice came in. (Amazingly enough, the instructions on the back of rice packages are usually correct.) If that is unavailable I usually estimate one part rice to two parts water. Sometimes we buy local rice that comes in a plain burlap sack from a village and sometimes we buy rice from the supermarket that's labeled. If the rice is really fresh (as in recently harvested) it may need a little less water to cook. Rice harvested more than a year previous generally requires more water than recently harvested rice due to decreased moisture content. Cooking rice is game of ratios, so be sure to measure carefully unless you want a bowl full of disappointment.

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This is how rice gets cleaned so there's bound to be twigs, pebbles, or bugs in it!
Third, unless you are using rice that is fortified or enriched you will have to wash it. Rinsing traditionally polished rice alters its texture when cooked. Rinsing removes the thin layer of starch from the surface of each grain and keeps the rice from sticking together thus ensuring perfectly separate grains. Long-grain rice, like Basmati, is always rinsed for this reason. This doesn't have to be an extremely thorough sort of a cleanse. I usually rinse the rice twice over the sink by submerging it in water, swirling the rice with my fingers, then pouring off the cloudy water. Submersion allows any debris like twigs, bran, or insects to float out of the rice also. I have seen recommendations on the internet to rinse rice until the drainage water runs clear- this will never happen no matter how many times you rinse the rice I assure you.
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2-Acetyl-1-pyrroline: the aromatic compound that gives bread, jasmine rice, basmati rice, pandan, popcorn, & bread flowers their characteristic scent
Fourth, you need to decide if you wish to soak the rice or not. Soaking the rice speeds up cooking which affects the flavor of the rice. By letting the rice soak for 15 to 30 minutes, you can decrease the cooking time of most rice varieties by about 20 percent.  2-Acetyl-1-pyrroline is the flavor compound in aromatic rice varieties that is responsible for their characteristic popcorn-like aroma.  2-Acetyl-1-pyrroline dissipates while cooking. The longer the rice is exposed to heat, the less of an aromatic flavor it will have. By soaking the rice and shortening the cooking time, you will get more flavorful results. Some people rinse again after soaking the rice, I do not find it necessary.

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Fifth, add a little oil, ghee, or butter to the rice and water before cooking. This is optional but it will add flavor to the rice, help keep the grains separate, and prevent dryness if the rice is left standing for more than an hour after cooking. Restaurants usually do this to keep cooked rice tasting fresher and tender longer. I usually only add a little butter or ghee for special occasions such as if we are having dinner guests. Most Indians and Nepalis do not add salt to their rice when cooking so I don't add it either.

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Sixth, cook the rice over medium heat and with the lid on. If the temperature is too high you run the risk of scorching the rice at the bottom of the pot or unevenly cooked grains. If the temperature is too low you'll get a gloopy mess of undercooked rice. Put the lid on and keep it on throughout the cooking process. I recommend only lifting the lid to check the rice after 15 minutes. Do not stir the rice while it is cooking as you risk breaking the grains, releasing more starch, and a mushy mess. You can tell that the rice is completely cooked when all the water has boiled away, there are "fish eyes" or holes in the rice, and you can hear a crackling noise rather than a bubbling noise signifying that the water has completely boiled away.

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The last and most important step: let it rest! Resting is an unskippable step. When the rice has finished cooking remove the pot from the burner and let it sit with the lid still on. Allow the rice to rest for at least 10 minutes after it's done cooking to achieve optimum texture. This rule goes for all types of rice. Keep the rice covered until you’re ready to eat. Just before serving fluff the rice with a fork or rice paddle. As the Indian proverb goes, grains of rice should be like brothers – close, but not stuck together.
 
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Perfection!
So there you have it: ratio, rinse, soak, flavor, cook, rest, and fluff! Follow these easy steps and you'll get perfect, fluffy, rice every time. This is it - the foolproof recipe to cook rice on the stovetop:

Ingredients:
1&1/2 C long-grain white rice
3 C water
1 tsp cooking oil, butter, or ghee (optional)

Here's what to do:
1) Measure out 1&1/2 cups rice and place into a pot with a tight-fitting lid. Cooked rice expands to three times its original size so be sure to choose an adequately sized pot. 
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2) Over the sink add room-temperature water to the rice until it is covered by about an inch. Use your fingers to swirl the rice and water around the pan. Drain the cloudy water off of the rice through your hand. Discard any debris that floats to the surface. Repeat this process one to two more times. 

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3) Add 3 cups water to the rinsed rice and a teaspoonful of oil, butter, or ghee if using. For fluffier rice, the rice should be soaked for at least 15 minutes or up to 30 minutes prior to cooking.

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4) Cover and place the pot on a burner set on medium heat. Allow rice to cook for 15 to 20* minutes or until water has evaporated and the rice is tender. I usually check on the rice after 15 minutesYou may raise the lid occasionally to see if the water is boiling, see if the water has evaporated, or to listen for a crackling noise signifying that the last of the water has boiled away. Do not stir the rice while it is cooking.

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The little holes you see in the rice are called 'fisheyes' and signify that the rice has been cooked properly.



5) Remove pan from heat. Keep the lid on. Let rice stand, covered, for 10–15 minutes to firm up and absorb the last bit of water.

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6) Remove the lid just before serving and fluff the rice with a fork or rice paddle. Serve hot. This recipe makes 4&1/2 cups cooked rice.

Helpful Hints:
The same procedure can be used for a rice cooker. Instead of step 4 just place the pot in the rice cooker instead of on a stove burner.

*If cooking at altitudes over 3,000ft/1,000M increase cooking time by 5 minutes.

A special thanks to my dear friend Eileen!

Apr 9, 2018

Indian-Style Yellow Cabbage

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This simple cabbage stir-fry uses zesty mustard seeds, earthy turmeric, garlic, and a pinch of red chili to create a flavorful side dish that can quickly be made for a gathering. An easy to make vegan recipe that pairs well with rice and rotis.

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This recipe is adapted from 5 Spices, 50 dishes by Ruta Kahate. The premise of her cookbook is simple: with five common spices and a few basic ingredients, home cooks can create fifty mouthwatering Indian dishes, as diverse as they are delicious. Ms. Kahate teaches regional Indian cooking from her home-based school in Oakland, California, which has been featured on the Fine Living Network. I bought this book when it first came out in 2007. It is very well written and beautifully photographed. About half the recipes are authentically Indian while the other half are interesting modern fusions with western cuisine. My only complaint is that the recipes are a bit bland for my family's tastes- this is usually easily remedied by simply doubling the spices.

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Cabbage was never a favorite vegetable of mine until I moved to South Asia. I never cared for the western methods of preparing cabbage whether raw and shredded as in coleslaw, braised, or even pickled as in sauerkraut. Asian cuisines do cabbage best with simple stir-fries or salads dressed lightly with pungent oil and vinegar or lime juice dressings. This recipe is exemplary of how simple yet flavorsome a cabbage dish can be. (It's also quite pretty in it's glossy and golden yellow presentation.) I have altered the spices in the recipe to suit my family's tastes and to accommodate a slightly larger amount cabbage than entailed in the original recipe. I've used Kashmiri mirch instead of the recommended cayenne. Kashmiri mirch gives more of a rich chili flavor than cayenne and boosts the brilliant yellow coloring of the turmeric in this dish. Most cabbage dishes in Nepal or India are served a little crunchy or al dente, we prefer ours a bit well done. I also prefer frying the cabbage the Kashmiri way in salted oil. Frying in salted oil results in those little carmelized bits of loveliness that add so much flavor. Don't be too skimpy with the oil in this recipe as that's what is carrying the flavor. If you are using a non-stick pan you could probably get away with 3 tablespoons full of your favorite cooking oil, if not then I'd advise sticking to the full quarter cup. Hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do!

Ingredients:
3 to 4 TBS cooking oil of choice
1&1/2 tsp brown mustard seeds/rai
4 cloves garlic/lahsun, minced finely
1&1/2 tsp ground turmeric/haldi
1 small to medium head of cabbage, cored and thinly sliced
salt to taste
1/2 to 1 tsp Kashmiri mirch or  cayenne pepper/degi mirch (use less for less heat)

Here's what to do:
1) In a large lidded skillet or kadhai, heat the oil with 1 teaspoon of salt over medium-high heat for 5 minutes. Add mustard seeds and reduce heat to medium. Add the minced garlic and allow to just brown a little bit.

2) Add the sliced cabbage, turmeric, and chili powder and give the mixture a good stir to coat the cabbage with the oil and spices.

3) Cover and cook until the cabbage is cooked to desired tenderness. (We like our cabbage VERY tender which takes about 10 to 12 minutes.) Stir every three minutes or so. If mixture begins to scorch or stick add a tablespoonful of water, reduce heat and stir. Taste and adjust salt if necessary. Serve hot or warm with rice and/or rotis.

Helpful hints:
Try to choose a smaller head of cabbage for this dish, they are more tender and have a milder flavor than the larger heads.

Do not use purple cabbage for this dish unless you don't mind the sickly blue-green shade it will turn when you fry it with the turmeric

Mar 18, 2018

Green Apple Chutney

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Try this green apple chutney for a hot and spicy way to eat your apple a day! This easy recipe pairs well with everything from rice and rotis to steaks and roast chicken.

Every great once in awhile our local market gets a load of Granny Smith apples in. Often there seems to be some confusion as to where these tart, crisp, bright green apples come from as you can see in the above photo.  It boggles my mind that the apples probably spent 2 to 3 months in a nitrogen-flushed container on a ship from the US to get all the way to Nepal. Then they had to ride on a train and a truck from a port in Mumbai or Kolkata across the searing plains of India up here. After that, I get the pleasure of buying 3-month-old apples for about $3USD a pound! Nevertheless, Pippins and Granny Smith's are my favorite apples and I buy them. I've seen several recipes for South Asian style chutneys combining green apples and cilantro all over the internet. The combination sounded intriguing but few of the recipes suited my family's tastes. Too sweet, too tart, too bland were the complaints. After much trial and error, this is the recipe I've come up with for a green chutney using green apples. It has a nice balance of tart to sweet while garlic, ginger, and chilis give it some spicy heat. We enjoy this chutney with rice but it would also pair well with barbecued meats, kebabs, Mexican dishes, or roast chicken or turkey. Eating healthy is easy when it tastes this good!

Ingredients:
1 tart green apple, cored and chopped (leave the skin on)
2 C cilantro/dhania, leaves and stems roughly chopped
1 TBS oil of choice (I use rice bran oil or virgin olive oil)
2 tsp ginger/adrak paste or 1-inch fresh ginger
2 tsp garlic/lahsun paste or 2 cloves garlic
1-2 green chilis/hari mirch (omit for less heat)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp Kashmiri mirch or chili powder (omit or use less for less heat)
1 TBS lime juice or 1 TBS white vinegar

Here's what to do:
1) Whiz all ingredients in a mixie, blender, or food processor to a fine paste. Salt to taste.

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 2) Keep in a sealed container in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

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Helpful Hints:
Chutney keeps for 4-5 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

 If the chutney is too sour for you try adding a pinch of sugar to sweeten it up.

 If the chutney is too hot for you try adding a tablespoonful of yogurt to cool it down.


I know I'm a day late but Happy St Patrick's day!


Dec 24, 2017

Vegan Peppernuts (Päpanät)

Peppernuts (also called Pfeffernüsse or päpanät) are a tiny cookie baked in Mennonite homes during the Christmas season. This recipe for peppernuts is egg-free and vegan. They're deliciously crunchy, delightfully spicy, and highly addictive little cookies that are perfect for gift giving during the holidays! 


My mother is descended from the Plautdietsch-speaking Mennonites who left the steppes of Russia in 1874 and chose the Kansas prairie for their new home. The modest home my great-grandfather Jacob Krause built in 1874 is part of the Mennonite Heritage and Agricultural Museum near Goessel, Kansas. Peppernuts are found in various forms across Germany, Denmark, the Netherlands, and Belgium. In Plautdiestch they are called päpanät (pronounced pay-pa-nate). The name peppernut does not mean it contains nuts, though some varieties do. The crunchy cookies are roughly the size of nuts and can be eaten by the handful, which may account for the name.

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Traditional Mennonite recipes for peppernuts usually contain beaten egg. Eggs are not considered suitable for vegetarians in South Asia so through a little trial and error I came up with this egg-free adaptation of my aunt's original recipe. My vegan version of her recipe is just as flavorful, crunchy, long-lasting, delicious and sturdy as the Mennonite original. Mine may be a tad spicier in keeping with the South Asian influences though. Although these little cookies are not the prettiest of holiday treats- they are truly addictive. It's really hard to stop eating them, once you start. You are warned! Nary a Christmas goes by that I don't bake a huge batch of these for friends, neighbors, and even the Imam!


Every Mennonite family has a slightly different recipe for peppernuts. The variations are multitude. Some use butter or vegetable shortening. Some use corn syrup, molasses, or golden syrup. Some use brown sugar and some use white sugar. Spice mixtures may or may not include black pepper, white pepper, or even no pepper at all! One thing that is constant in Mennonite recipes is star anise- not ground anise, not anise oil, not anise extract - it has to be STAR ANISE. I have to say that star anise does have a tad extra sweetness as well as a slightly root beer-ish note in addition to the licorice flavor of plain anise. I also like the warmth of black pepper and the citrusy zing of green cardamom in my peppernuts. Anyway you spice them, I really hope you give this unique little cookie a try! No doubt they'll become a favorite made year after year in your home too!

Ingredients:
1&1/2 C vegetable shortening or margarine*
1&1/2 C sugar
3/4 C golden syrup or corn syrup**
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground star anise
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg or allspice
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground green cardamom
1&1/2 tsp baking powder
5 C flour
extra flour to roll out dough

Here's what to do:
1) Melt shortening or margarine in a large saucepan. Add sugar, syrup, and salt to melted oil and bring just to a boil. Remove from heat and allow mixture cool to room temperature.
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 2) Combine ground spices, baking powder, and flour in large mixing bowl. Stir until well mixed. I use my stand mixer to do this.

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3) Add cooled syrup mixture to the flour and spices. Stir until well blended. The dough should be a little sticky yet stiff. Cover dough with cling film and refrigerate overnight or for several days.

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4) When ready to bake preheat oven to 350F/180C . Prepare cookie sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking matts. Sprinkle a little flour or your counter and roll dough into long ropes about as thick as your ring finger. It's usually best to take about a half cup of dough at a time. This dough is really easy to work with despite being a little sticky. I put the ropes of dough onto a baking tray while I'm rolling them.

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5)  Cut the ropes into 1/2 inch pieces and place on prepared pans at least an inch apart. Cookies will puff up and spread a little bit. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes in preheated 350F/180C oven or until cookies just begin to brown.

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6) Remove from pan and allow to cool. Cookies will be soft when warm but will gradually crisp up when completely cooled.

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7) Makes about 4 liters or 16 cups of little cookies. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 months. (Yes, I said 3 months - these are typically sturdy Mennonites cookies!)

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Helpful Hints:
*I have made this recipe with vegetable shortening, margarine, and butter (and various combinations of whatever I could find here in Nepal). All work fine in this recipe but I prefer the extra crunchiness you get with vegetable shortening (Crisco to be precise) .

**I have made this recipe variously with dark corn syrup, light corn syrup, golden syrup, honey, and molasses. Light corn syrup would be what Mennonites from Kansas would use but our Canadian brethren prefer golden syrup. I have to agree with the Canucks on their preference for golden syrup in this recipe. I like the slight caramel flavor that golden syrup gives this recipe best.

This recipe is time consuming but the results are well worth it. Traditionally this cookie is often made in huge batches as a community at the local church to reduce the tedium. (My aunt's original recipe called for a whopping 15 cups of flour!) I usually make the dough one day and freeze it. Then I roll out the ropes of dough and place them on a tray in the freezer until the next day. Then on the last day I fire up my tiny toaster oven, chop the ropes of dough into half inch pieces, and bake them. (This takes all day with our random power outages.) A more efficient plan would be to get a few pals together and delegate the tasks of rolling, chopping, and baking.

Happy Holidays!
Wishing you all the best in this festive season - Peace, Love, Hope & Joy!
Bibi

Aug 28, 2017

Bibi's Tomato and Bell Pepper Chutney

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Get some tasty vegetables into your diet with this South Indian inspired bell pepper and tomato chutney! A savory vegan recipe that's so easy to make and a great way to enjoy Summer's bountiful produce. Pairs well with any rice or roti based meal and makes a great tortilla chip dip!

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We're still enjoying tomatoes from our garden here in Nepal. Vegetables usually get expensive during the Monsoon season so I planted tomatoes, chili peppers, bell peppers, and eggplant in the sheltered areas of our yard. Above you see a day's harvest from our sixteen tomato plants, about a kilogram or two full pounds. You must pick tomatoes when they're not quite ripe here as they'll ripen and rot quickly in the heat and humidity of the Monsoon weather.

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Here's about a day's harvest of bell peppers from our six bell pepper plants. Bell peppers are called capsicums or Shimla mirch in India and Nepal. What to do with all this vegetable largesse? Well, I made this recipe up! There aren't a lot of Indian or Nepali recipes for bell peppers aside from jalfrezi or tossing them into a veg omelet so I thought I'd try putting them into a South Indian inspired cooked chutney. And it worked beautifully! Now most South Indian chutneys require you to fry the vegetables first, cool them, grind them, and then fry the ground mixture again with spices. This double frying of vegetables goes on in a lot of Indian recipes. I'm not a fat-o-phobe nor a grease-o-phobe. But sometimes I think the goal of these Indian techniques is to get every pot in the kitchen dirty or to get as much grease flying around as possible! I thought about steaming the vegetables first but that's yet more gadgetry to clean. Recently, I suffered through watched a Jamie Oliver show where he made a tomato chutney by simmering the vegetables with a little water first and then frying the resulting mixture.

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 SHABASH! (wonderful!) So I just combined the vegetables with a little water and spices in a pot and let them simmer until tender on the back burner while I cooked the rest of the day's meal. Then I let the mixture cool, ground it in the mixie, and then fried it to gorgeous glossiness. The result was fantastic! You probably do use a few less tablespoons of oil too. The spices I used were Kashmiri mirch, turmeric, cumin seeds, and black mustard seeds. Kashmiri mirch gives this condiment a rich red chili flavor with just a hint of heat. If you'd like more heat try using cayenne powder/degi mirch. If you'd like less heat try a mild and smoky paprika powder. Cumin seeds add their earthy warmth also. Turmeric is in there for it's bright color and antioxidants. Black mustard seeds add a bit of nutty flavor and are traditionally used in many South Indian cooked chutneys. If you wanted to make this even more South Indian you could fry some fresh curry leaves in the oil with the mustard seeds. Anyway you choose to spice it this recipe cooks up to a delicious, flavorful, fresh, and healthy chutney!

Ingredients:
7 medium sized tomatoes, roughly chopped
8 cloves of garlic/lahsun or 2&1/2 TBS garlic paste
1 large bell pepper/capsicum, roughly chopped
1 tsp Kashmiri mirch (or 1/2 tsp cayenne plus 1/2 tsp paprika)
1 tsp cumin seeds/jeera
1/2 tsp turmeric/haldi
3/4 C water
2 TBS cooking oil of choice
1 tsp black mustard seeds/rai
salt to taste

Here's what to do:
1) Combine tomatoes, garlic, bell pepper, Kashmiri mirch, cumin seeds, turmeric, 1/2 C water and 1 tsp salt in a deep pan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, then cover and cook over a low heat for 15 minutes.

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2) Take the pan off the heat and leave to cool for about 15 to 20 minutes.

bell pepper and tomato chutney, recipe, south indian, capsicum, tomato, fried, garlic, spicy, easy, chutney, condiment, vegan, vegetarian, indian, simple,

3) Transfer the contents of the pan to a mixie or blender and grind the mixture to a paste.

bell pepper and tomato chutney, recipe, south indian, capsicum, tomato, fried, garlic, spicy, easy, chutney, condiment, vegan, vegetarian, indian, simple,

bell pepper and tomato chutney, recipe, south indian, capsicum, tomato, fried, garlic, spicy, easy, chutney, condiment, vegan, vegetarian, indian, simple,

4) Heat the cooking oil in the same pan over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Add the mustard seeds. When they begin to pop, add ground tomato mixture. (Be careful when adding the tomato mixture to the hot oil as it may splatter.)

bell pepper and tomato chutney, recipe, south indian, capsicum, tomato, fried, garlic, spicy, easy, chutney, condiment, vegan, vegetarian, indian, simple,

5) Fry mixture over low/medium heat for 15–20 minutes until it becomes a thick paste and separates from the oil. Salt to taste and allow chutney to cool a little before serving. This chutney will keep refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days

bell pepper and tomato chutney, recipe, south indian, capsicum, tomato, fried, garlic, spicy, easy, chutney, condiment, vegan, vegetarian, indian, simple,

Helpful hints:
Kashmiri mirch gives this condiment a rich red chili flavor with just a hint of heat. If you'd like more heat try using cayenne powder/degi mirch. If you'd like less heat try a smoky paprika powder.

If you wanted to make this even more South Indian you could fry some fresh curry leaves in the oil with the mustard seeds.
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