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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Daal Makhani

Pardon my Daal
Lemony, buttery. Doesn't get better than this!

(serves 2)
(prep time 40 mins + 1 hour soaking)

You will need

Channa daal 1 cup (soaked for about 1 hour)
Green chilies 2 tsp
Garlic 1 tsp
Juice of half a lime
Butter 2 Tbs (Unsalted)
Turmeric 2/3 tsp
Cayenne pepper 2/3 tsp
Pepper 2/3 tsp
Cilantro/coriander powder 1 tsp
Cumin seeds 1/2 tsp
Oil for cooking 3 Tbs

Heat some oil in a pot.
Fry the garlic and chilies for about 30 seconds or so.
Add all the spices.... fry for a few seconds.
Pour in about 1 1/2 cup of water and add the lentils.
Squeeze in lime juice.
Bring to a boil.
Cover the pot and cook over med high for about 20 mins or until the lentils are tender.
Stir in between. You might also need to add more water. The consistency should be like a thick soup.
Turn off the heat and stir in the butter.
I sprinkled some very coarse peppercorns over the top.
Ta da!
Good with Naan or plain rice. Or just on its own!
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Sunday, October 25, 2009

Panini II


I found some gorgeous rare (as in doness) roast beef. I had to make a sandwich or better a panini!

Very simple steps and a wonderfully delicious result.
Lets get started!

(serves 2)
(prep time 20 mins)
Step 1
You will start with some good hearty bread
I used a garlic parmesan focaccia bread
Step 2Then you will need some meat
I used a combo of 1/4 lbs rare roast beef plus 1/4 lbs pepper crusted smoked turkey
Step 3
Cheese of course
I used 2 slices of Havarti per serving
Step 4
Some veggies
I used fire roasted red pepper halves
Step 5
A sauce of some kind to spread on the bread
I whipped up 2 Tbs Mayo + 1/2 Tbs Mustard + 1 tsp chopped shallots + 1 tsp chopped dill pickles + salt/pepper

Assemble the sandwich.
Oil and heat a cast iron grill pan and panini press (or use an electric panini press)
Grill for 8 mins per side on med high heat.
Serve with a nice big broccoli salad!
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Thursday, October 15, 2009

Aash e Shalgham

Aash and I.......

"Aash" is a hearty Persian soup just meant for winters.
I've heard that they have AT LEAST a bazzlion different ways of making it!
I had a couple of turnips lying around so I made this... however I am dying to try Aash-e-anar made with fresh pomegranate seeds..... sounds so perfect!

I searched the net for a good authentic recipe source for this particular soup and came across the same version splattered on several different sites. That recipe seemed a bit plain and the quantity of the onions and turmeric used sounded like a lot! So I tweaked it just a bit. And I think it came out terrific :-)

(Enough for 4-5 servings)
(Prep time: 45 mins)


Ground lean beef 1 lbs
Turnips 2 cups ( I chopped these into tiny 1/2" squares)
Yellow split peas 1/4 cup (Soaked in water for 45 min)
Basmati rice 1/2 cup + Tbs
Onions 1/2 cup (chopped very fine)
Garlic 1 tsp (minced)
Green chili 1/2 tsp (minced)
Fresh mint 1 Tbs (chopped very fine)
White vinegar 1 tsp
Butter 3 Tbs (unsalted)
Turmeric 1 rounded tsp
Sumac 2/3 tsp
Oil for frying

Methodology and all that....

First step is to make the meatballs... and you do that by combining the ground beef, onions, garlic, chilies in a large bowl. Add sumac, salt and a good amount of pepper (I used approx 2/3 tsp).
Make 1" dia balls. You will have close to 18 meatballs.
Now we are going to shallow fry these. Heat enough oil t0 submerge the meatballs half way.
Cook for 1 min each side. They will cook fully in the soup. Right now we are looking for a nice brown color.
Take out the meatballs and keep aside.
Boil 3 cups of water in a heavy base wide pot.
Add the turnips, rice and the split peas.
Season with salt. Add the turmeric... good amount of pepper.
Cover the pot and cook for 30 mins.
This gets thick and might burn the bottom of the pan so stir frequently and add more water if needed.
The consistancy should be like runny porridge.
Use the back of your spoon to mash some pieces of turnip against the pot.
Gently add the meatballs.
Lower the heat cover the pot and simmer away for 15 mins.
In the last five mins add the mint, the butter and the vinegar.
Mix well..
You can now enjoy a delicious bowl of Aash!
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Sunday, October 11, 2009

Cream Puffs

And this is how its done!

The filling was 5 oz Jell-O instant vanilla pudding made with 2 cups of cold milk. It tasted too much like fake vanilla and was too yellow and too sweet. I didn't like that! So I whipped 1/3 cup of plain heavy cream and mixed it in with the pudding. It turned a gorgeous pale yellow and very very creamy!
I used Chef Alton Brown's recipe for the choux pastry, however I doubled the amount of sugar to 2 Tbs. And considering the amount of eggs used I added 1/2 tsp of vanilla to prevent the puffs from smelling eggy...yuck!
The baking directions are perfect!
I dusted the cream puffs lightly with powdered sugar!
P.S. You can also find the show on youtube :-)
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Sunday, October 4, 2009

The big three oh-no!

My beautiful sister made the most beautiful brownie cake for my 30th!
Quite possibly the best birthday a gal can have :-)
Sis ur the best muah muah!

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Thursday, October 1, 2009


These are a Polish comfort food called Golapkis or cabbage rolls. SO GOOD!
Absolutely terrific during the winters!
The traditional way is to slow bake them. I find that cooking on very low heat is just as good.

(This recipe will be good for 4 ppl)
(Prep time: 1 1/2 hours)


Ground beef 1/2 lbs
(I used ground chuck and veal 2:1)Uncooked long grain rice 1/8 cup
(I used basmati rice)
Cabbage 8 leaves
(I used savoy cabbage)Flat leaf Italian parsley 3-4 Tbs chopped fine
Button mushrooms 2 Tbs chopped fine
Fire roasted red bell pepper 2 Tbs chopped fine (optional)
Red onions 1 Tbs chopped fine
Melted butter 1 Tbs
Garlic 1 tsp crushed
Egg yolk 1 large
Red wine vinegar 1 Tsp
Chicken stock 3 cups
Tomatoes 1 cup
Sliced onions 1 cup
(I used canned fire roasted tomatoes)Chili flakes 1/8 tsp (optional)
Pepper 1/4 tsp


In a bowl gently mix in everything but the cabbage leaves, chicken stock, the diced tomatoes and the sliced onions.
Keep aside

Preparing the cabbage leaves

I usually get a small head of Savoy cabbage. You can use regular cabbage.
Cut out the core with a sharp paring knife.
I find it useful to insert the knife at an angle and then cut out the core with a circular motion.
Boil water in a large pot and then turn off the heat.
You should have enough water to dunk an entire head of cabbage.
Put the cabbage into the hot water and after a min or two you can very easily peel off the leaves with a pair a tongs without any trouble.
You will need about 8-9 leaves for the amount of meat we are using.
Pat dry with some tissue paper.
Trim out the tough rib that runs through the center of the cabbage leaf.
One side of the cabbage leaf will tend to curve up when placed on a flat surface. Keep that side face up.
Now you are ready for the meat.
Spoon about 2 Tbs of the meat stuffing at the bottom edge of the leaf (where the tough rib is).
Now fold in the sides of the leaf and roll up like you would a spring roll.
Don't do this very tightly because the rice will expand when cooked, so fold firmly but gently.

Place the sliced onions at the bottom of a pan.
Arrange the rolls snugly on top of the onions.
Pour in the chicken stock.
Add the tomatoes.
Bring it to a gentle boil.
Turn the heat to low and simmer for 1 hour.
Enjoy this with thick slices of crusty bread!
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