Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Day 112 - Cilantro & Mint Tahiri

Tahiri is a comfort homey equivalent of the more 'refined' Pulao/Pilafs, you know, like wearing pajamas & bunny slippers in lieu of a formal shirt & tie. I first learned this recipe from none other than Top Chef Suvir Saran. Once it became a firm favorite at home, I've ventured to add my own improvisations & hacks.

Here's the link to the recipe:


Monday, April 21, 2014

Day 111 - Chutney sandwich sliders (sandwiches)

My two bite take on the Mumbai's signature vegetable and chutney sandwich. This signature sandwich has the following ingredients: cilantro mint chutney, boiled potatoes & beetroot, sliced wafer thin, tomatoes, sweet onions & cucumber. even the layering is specific, the 3 root vegetables are alternated with the tomato & cucumber. & yes, tomato ketchup is mandatory!

I found these tiny two bite dinner rolls at my local Wegmans grocery and they were perfect for these amuse bouche appetizers. I sliced and toasted the rolls lightly prior to assembling them.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Day 110 - Home made Mac n' Cheese

Even before the uproar about fake coloring in store bought boxes of  Mac n' Cheese, there was never any question about what my kids preferred. It was always home made for them. That way, I have the luxury of varying the flavors & cheeses in the mix and can come up with variations galore. This version is made with white sauce, mozzarella & Parmesan, spiced up with fragrant herbes de Provence & smoked paprika

You need:
3 cups cooked fusilli pasta
2 tablespoons All purpose flour
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup milk
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan
1/ teaspoon herbes de Provence
1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs
1/4 teaspoon  paprika
salt & cracked peppercorn to taste

Melt the butter in a saucepan and add the all purpose flour to brown well. Sprinkle the seasonings (paprika, salt, pepper, Herbs) in to the browned flour. Stir in the milk ensuring that there are no lumps, simmer on a low heat until the sauce begins to thicken. Stir in the mozzarella and half the Parmesan cheese. Fold the sauce into the pasta and transfer into a 8 sq inch baking dish sprinkle the Panko bread crumbs and the remaining Parmesan cheese over the pasta. Bake in a 350 F oven for about 20 minutes until the top is bubbly and begins to turn brown. Serve warm.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Day 109 - Fruity Tabbouleh

Cous cous is one of those special ingredients that lends itself beautifully to sweet AND savory dishes, or in this case a mix of both sweet and savory. The dressing in this tabbouleh contains preserved Meyer lemon, olive oil,smoked paprika and cara cara orange juice. Detailed recipe coming up!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Day 108 - Calabash pumpkin stew

The classic 'kootu' from the Southern most tip of India can literally be created out of almost any vegetable, Yes, I mean it, from Asparagus to Zucchini. There is something so universally delicious about the three ingredient spice paste that adds a wonderful nutty flavor even as it allows the individual flavors & texture of the produce it show cases.

You need:
2 cups diced pumpkin,
1cup water
1 pinch turmeric powder
Salt to taste

1/2 cup shredded coconut
1-2 tablespoons cumin
1-2 arbol chiles

For the tempering:
2 tablespoons sesame or coconut oil
1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
1 sprig curry leaves, torn
chopped cilantro for garnish (optional)

Add the water and the turmeric to the pumpkin and simmer in a  saucepan until the pumpkin gets cooked.
In the meantime, blend the coconut, cumin and the arbol chile to a smooth paste using as little water as needed. Add the paste along with the salt. Simmer until the coconut mixture loses its raw aroma
Heat the oil in a small skillet, and add the mustard seeds, once they sputter , add the torn curry leaves. Stir in the tempering, garnish with the cilantro and serve hot with rice or roti.
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