Search Results for “curry”

February 16, 2012

Mix This | Georgian ‘Curry’ Mix

ImageIn Georgian cooking, Khmeli Suneli is a spice mix that can be used as a dry rub or as an enhancement to soups and stews. It is essentially a curry, since it’s just a mix of spices.  You can choose to use all dried ingredients, or include some fresh, if you have it or it’s in season.

I used this in a mixed braise with lamb and short ribs (expect a post about that soon).  But it would also be great mixed with some olive oil and bread crumbs as an herb crust on chicken or fish.  Or sprinkle in a heaping tablespoon once you’ve sweated down some onions as a base for soup.

It’s fragrant, beautiful stuff, with forgiving measurements.

Persephone’s Khmeli Suneli

Mix equal parts dried of (I used a tablespoon each):

Whole fenugreek seeds

Bay leaf (I used 2 huge ones)

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February 9, 2011

Cold Weather Curry | Masoor Dal with Root Vegetables

Just because it’s a weeknight meal and it’s cold, and – let’s face it – you’re a little bit miserable, doesn’t mean that you have to compromise.

We always hear the world is getting smaller.  Things that we once thought were inaccessible, foreign and exotic, even five years ago, are now within easy reach of the home chef of today.  As South Asian food and culture continues to entice new followers, why not adopt these beautiful, time-tested and spice-kissed flavors as your own, even if just for one night?  You might just fall in love with the fragrances and techniques and make them a part of your cooking repertoire and perhaps, your family’s traditions.

Tonight’s recipe is for a dal that adds root vegetables.  Made with a base of quick cooking split red lentils, I added some onions, carrots, parsnips and potatoes.  The pleasure of a dish like this is that if you manage the base technique, you can change up the ingredients, and even spices to make it just to your taste.  Like cumin seeds, but don’t have the black cardamom? Fine. Use what you like and have.  PK tip: The basic trick to getting the flavor right in this dish is heating the oil very hot and frying the whole spices until they are very brown.  This makes a perfectly balanced vegetarian dinner if you serve this with basmati rice that’s been cooked with a cinnamon stick, four whole cloves and a few crushed cardamom pods.  Or if you’re in the mood for meat, serve this, like I did, with garam masala dusted lamb loin chops and homemade naan bread with cumin seeds.

Mansoor Dal with Root Vegetables

2 T vegetable oil

1 bay leaf

1 T whole corriander seeds

1 T whole cumin seeds

1 T whole mustard seeds

4 green cardamom pods, lightly crushed

1 black cardamom pod, lightly crushed

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November 10, 2010

Curry for a Lady

I love curries.  Love, love, love.   I love them even more now that I’m a bit more familiar with the cooking techniques and spices that are considered basic.  Anjum Anand had an Indian Food Made Easy series on BBC that was really a great intro to the genre.  You can find it on the Cooking Channel now, which to be honest isn’t really my cup of tea, save for series like hers. 

Tonight, I did a take on her Bengali Butternut Squash recipe, only with the last winter squash we picked up at Rennick’s a few weekends ago.  It was a turban squash that I probably, in hindsight, should have roasted.  Fortunately, Hades was the one that wielded the knife and not me.  And score! no trip to the hospital.  I really recommend this be done with a more manageable squash like a butternut or acorn.  Really.  Your local emergency room will thank you.

A Chelsea Girl’s Curry

2 T vegetable oil

1 bay leaf

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September 27, 2010

Brick Lane, Meet Persephone: A Seasonal, Weeknight Curry

Awww! Cherub is such a big help with chopping tomatoes. With a butter knife.

 

Indian food is something I’ve developed a taste for.  To the point that I crave it regularly.  I didn’t always.  I didn’t understand it; it was a little too exotic.  Now?  Let’s be honest here: I love it.  It has become a point of pride that I’ve tried to learn what I can about a world cuisine that 1.1 billion (with a B) eat every day.  

On Sunday, Hades, Cherub and I made a stop at the Sawmill Patel Brothers, the Indian supermarket, and worked up the ingredients for a lovely English-inspired vegetarian curry (it’s the heavy cream that makes it smack of something that Richard Hammond might enjoy after a few shouts at his local).  Cherub even helped pick out the 10 pound bag of Basmati rice that we ended up taking home.  Add in some seasonal baby eggplants and cauliflower, plus the last (I keep saying this) of the tomatoes from our garden.  Then a lovely melange of Indian spices from Patel to make it delicious.  

These two dishes require a bit of prep, but it’s totally worth the minor, and I do stress minor, effort. 

Lemon Basmati with Curried Eggplant and Cauliflower 

For the Lemon Basmati 

1 c. Basmati rice, soaked briefly in water 

2 c. water 

Salt 

While you’re doing prep for the rest of dinner, soak the rice in cold water.  When it’s time to get cooking, bring two cups of water to a boil and add in a generous sprinkling of salt.  Then tip in the drained rice, bring back to a boil and then reduce to the lowest setting to simmer slowly for about 15 minutes.  Turn off when done.  You will finish this in a frying pan just before the curry is ready. 

For the Curried Eggplant and Cauliflower 

The cauliflower breaks down significantly in the 30 minutes it cooks. Leave it initially in large chunks, so that you'll have some variety in size when it comes time to serve the dish.

 

1 bay leaf 

1 small red spicy pepper, whole 

1 black cardamom pod 

3 or 4 green cardamom pods 

1 t. cumin seed 

1 t. mustard seed 

1 red onion, chopped 

1 shallot, chopped 

1 garlic clove, minced 

1/2 inch fresh ginger root, finely grated 

5 or 6 baby eggplants, halved 

1 Japanese eggplant, sliced into rounds 

2 red skinned potatoes, cubed 

1 tomato, chopped 

1 heaping t. of curry 

1/2 t. garam masala 

2 c. water 

1/2 c. heavy cream 

Vegetable oil, salt, pepper (optional) 

In a pan heat a tablespoon or two of vegetable oil over medium high heat.  Add in bay through mustard seed and cook for one to two minutes, until browned.  Careful, the mustard seeds really pop.  If you have a screen to put over the pan, by all means, do it.  Then add in the onion and shallot.  Continue to cook over medium high heat for another two minutes, or until just beginning to brown.  Add in the garlic and the grated ginger.  Cook for 30 seconds.  Tip in eggplant through garam masala, cook for two minutes.  Add in the water.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium and cook for 30 minutes.  Just before serving, reduce heat to low, add in the heavy cream and stir to incorporate. 

To finish the Basmati 

1/2 t. mustard seeds 

1/2 t. fenugreek seeds 

1/2 cumin seeds 

6 curry leaves 

2 green onions, sliced 

1/2 c chopped almonds 

1/2 lemon, zest and juice 

1/2 inch grated fresh turmeric root (1/2 t. dried turmeric will work just as well) 

1 generous pinch fresh coriander leaves, chopped for garnish 

In a large frying pan, heat 1 to 2 T. vegetable oil over medium high heat.  Add in the mustard, fenugreek and cumin seeds and the curry leaves.  Cook for one to two minutes, until browned.  Careful of the popping mustard seeds, cover with a lid or splatter screen.  Add in the green onions and almonds, cook for two minutes.  Mix the lemon zest, juice and fresh turmeric and pour in quickly and cook for 20 seconds.  Add in the cooked rice and stir to incorporate the seasonings.  Fry for two or three minutes to reheat. 

To serve, place generous servings of rice and curry in shallow plates, top with chopped coriander. 

Playlist included M.I.A’s Paper Planes.

May 21, 2012

Unexpected Savory | Cumin Granola

Sometimes texture can be just as important to a dish as flavor. It’s harder to enjoy something that’s just a bowl of mush.  Ok, aside from perhaps enjoying a whole dinner of say, mashed potatoes with copious amounts of butter or oodles of macaroni and cheese.  I have those days, too.  But sometimes there are some things that need a little crunch.

Enter this delicious and surprising garnish for a ho-hum dinner in need of some oomph.  Consider moderating the spices based on your dish.  I think a curry granola or a chile scented granola would be equally tasty.  And if you’re local to Columbus, stop by North Market Spices to pick up one of their many spice blends (which are amazing) to use.

Savory Cumin Granola

1 c rolled oats

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February 24, 2012

My Most Favorite Soup | Spicy Senegalese Peanut

This is truly and honestly my most favorite soup of all time.  It is creamy and comforting, spicy and flavorful.  It is African-influenced.  It is at once modern and familiar.  And while you’ll need a handful of spices (have you been building your spice cabinet?), the technique is simple and fairly quick.

I first came across this soup years and years ago when I lived in New Jersey.  Montclair, with its “winter views” of Manhattan, had an outpost of what was, for a brief shining moment, a wonderful little soup shop.  Initially, it was really great.  But then, the original owners dropped out after making a cookbook, someone else took over.   You know the story.  This shop was in a teeny what-used-to-probably-be-a-closet-for-maintenance-equipment underneath railroad tracks.

But this soup.  The combination of leeks and curry and peanuts and spice and goodness, well, it was worth it what I seem to recall being like nine bucks a bowl.

Here’s my take on all the warm toasty soup goodness with none of the pesky cost.  Enjoy it when it’s chilly and you want to skip the meat for a night or four.  This makes plenty.

Spicy Senegalese Peanut Soup, makes a whole bunch (inspired by a recipe in The Daily Soup Cookbook)

1  12 oz bag of roasted, salted peanuts (this is the size of a bag from Whole Foods)

2 T vegetable oil, (or preferably peanut oil)

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January 29, 2012

Moms’ Recipes from All Over the World | Taste of OSU

This past Friday was the 2012 Taste of OSU.  Hosted by the OSU’s Office of International Affairs, the event brings some 4,000 guests to the Union to experience food and culture from all over the world.  More than 30 student groups provide the recipes, do the cooking and share a bit from their home countries.  Even more share cultural performances, from dragon dances to Bollywood showstoppers.

I love this event because people from all over the world who have joined the OSU family, come together to cook food that says, “this is what it tastes like in my country,” “this is what my mom makes on my birthday,” “this is the food that we have when we celebrate.”  These are moms’ recipes.  Moms that may be many thousands of miles away.  But at this event, it’s a chance to share a taste of something that reminds these students of home.  Proust’s madeline.

I had the good fortune to be asked to judge.  I was very excited.  Not only would I get a chance to sample a good variety of the entries from the 30 plus international student groups, but I got a chance to see some of the recipes.  Imagine my delight at being able to peruse the Russian Club’s beef stroganoff and blinis!  The Thai Student Association’s Green Curry Chicken!  The Somali Students Association’s rice!

The six finalists were the Russian Club, the Somali Students Association, Habesha Student Organization, Lebanese Student Association, the Organization of Arab Students and the Sri Lankan Student Association.  They all produced delicious dishes.

But the standout for us was the Habesha Student Organization.  And they won it with their lentils.  I scooped up some lentils with injera bread.  My eyes lit up.  This is something special.  Savory, perfectly seasoned.  Delicious.  Greedily, I flipped through the half-inch thick book of recipes.  Searching, searching.  I found the list of ingredients.

Crestfallen, I knew in a moment that there were not just three ingredients in that amazing lentil dish.

I knew Mom didn’t share her secret spices this time.  She didn’t share what makes her lentils better than anyone else’s.  Because sometimes, you have to grow up with her to be given the secret.  But if anyone asks her what makes it so special, I’m sure she’d smile and tell you it’s love.

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