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.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Day 107 - Sweet sour potatoes with Fenugreek greens (Aloo Methi)

Its been a great fun day, met up with a friend from college after a long time. So much fun in fact that I almost missed today's post. Here it is, potatoes paired with bitter fenugreek greens, sauteed with some sweet tamarind sauce. Recipe to follow!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Day 106 - Neer More (Savory Lassi, South Indian style)

It was a tradition in small villages throughout South India to always have a large earthen Pitcher handy of this deliciously refreshing yogurt drink, in case some thirsty traveler stopped to ask for some water to drink. In contrast to the thick creamy Lassi from Punjab, The Neer More was a very diluted version spiced delicately with crushed ginger, salt and curry leaves and a hint of lime. I'd much rather indulge in a large glass of this in summer than any sweet fruity summer beverage.

You need: (makes two 8 oz servings)
1/2 cup fat free yogurt
1 1/2 cups chilled water or plain seltzer
1 small piece of ginger
1 sprig curry leaves
coarse sea salt to taste
juice of 1/2 lime

Blend together the yogurt and water/seltzer so that the yogurt completely mixes into the water.
In a mortar combine the curry leaves, ginger and salt and pound into a paste. Add to the diluted yogurt along with the lime juice, stir well and allow to rest for about 1/2 hour in the refrigerator. Strain into glasses and serve. (I personally love chewing on the ginger shreds an skip the straining.)

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Day 105 - Carrot, mung & Cilantro salad

One of the must have dishes for every major festival luncheon is a shredded carrot salad with soaked dehusked mung. It seldom varies, yes there may be some finely diced cucumber or a chopped tomato added perhaps, but the main ingredient in this dish is always carrots. Strange, considering that carrots are not exactly native to the southern regions of India. This recipe is one of those dishes that does not depend upon exact measurements, A handful of this, a pinch of that works perfectly!

You need:

4 medium sized carrots, shredded
1/2 cup dehusked, split mung, soaked in water & rehydrated
1 finely minced serrano chili
1 cup chopped cilantro
juice of 1 lime
Salt to taste
2 tablespoons  oil
1 teaspoon black mustard seeds

Combine the carrots, mung, serrano chili and cilantro in a steel or ceramic bowl. Add salt, and combine the ingredients. Taste and adjust for seasoning
Heat the oil in a small cast iron pan until its just short of smoking, add the mustard seeds and once they sputter, pour the oil into the salad and fold the mustard until its evenly dispersed. Drizzle evenly with the lime juice. Chill for about 15 minutes prior to serving.
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