Archive for the 'Indian' Category

Nov 05 2009

Shrimp and Calabash in a Coconut Curry.

Published by under Indian,Seafood

I call this the ‘Blend of Cultures’. This is a very traditional East Indian curry that I have modified and cooked the Malvani way. And I must say I am very happy with the result. For those who do not know, I am an East Indian Catholic and am married to a Malvani (from the Konkan Coast of India) guy. So I am always trying ways to blend the two cultures. In the East Indian version of this dish, coconut milk and vinegar is used in place of the roasted coconut paste and the kokums.

Calabash which is also called Bottle Gourd or Lauki (in Hindi) is widely available throughout India. This is my mom’s favorite vegetable and she would be happy to eat it everyday if she can. Myself and my sister-in-law share this liking with her as well. I think its a girls and guys thing in our family as the guys don’t seem to enjoy it as much :), but who cares, they get to eat whatever we cook!

Hope you enjoy the blend of my cultures as much as we did! Comments are welcome as always.

Shrimp and Calabash in Coconut Curry

Ingredients:
1/2 pound of raw shrimp, peeled and de-veined
1 small Calabash (bottle gourd or dudhi or lauki) peeled, seeded and cut into 1 inch cubes
2 cups chopped onion
3/4 cup grated coconut
3 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 tsp coriander seed
2 tsp grated ginger
1/2 cup crushed tomatoes
6 curry leaves
3 Kokums
2 Tbsp meat masala
1 and 1/2 cups of water
coriander to garnish
1 Tbsp + 2 tsp cooking oil
salt

In a skillet, heat 2 tsp of cooking oil. Add the crushed garlic and 1/2 cup of the onions. Cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes. Add the coconut and coriander seed and cook it till the mixture is evenly browned. Take it off the heat and allow it cool. Grind the coconut mixture with 1 cup of water and salt till it forms a paste.

In a 3 quart cooking pot heat the oil on medium heat. Add the curry leaves (stand back to avoid getting splattered). Add the onions and ginger and cook for about 5 minutes. Add the calabash,and the salt and let cook for about 10 minutes. Add the meat masala and stir well. Add the crushed tomatoes and 1/2 cup of water. cook on medium heat until it comes to a boil. Add the coconut and onion paste and the kokums. Stir and cooked covered for another 5 minutes.

In the end add the shrimp and cook covered for 5-7 minutes. Garnish with cilantro and serve with rice.

Notes:

  • Calabash or bottle gourd is availbale in Asian and Indian grocery stores. If you cannot find it substitute with Zucchini.
  • You may also substitue the kokums with 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar.
  • The Cucumber and Onion Salad goes great with this curry.

4 responses so far

Sep 02 2009

Zucchini Fritters

Published by under Appetizers,Indian,Sides,Vegetarian

Another traditional dish which I learned from my grandmother. Traditionally this is made with Chinese Okra which is grown abundantly in Vasai and is generally available throughout the monsoon season (June-September). These crispy fritters are perfect accompaniments with fish curry and rice.

Chinese Okra is not available in US supermarkets, but can be sometimes be found in Asian and Indian grocery stores. I have used Zucchini here instead.

Zucchini Fritters

Ingredients: Makes about 24 fritters
1 medium Zucchini
1medium red onion, sliced thinly
1 tsp grated ginger
2 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped fine
1 green chilli, chopped fine
2 Tbsp chopped cilantro
1 Tbsp meat masala
1/4 cup rice flour
1/4 cup chick pea flour
salt
2 Tbsp cooking oil

Cut the Zucchini into 4 slices lengthwise. Taking two slices at a time, chop them finely into strip. Add to a bowl with all the remaining ingredients except for the oil, rice flour and chick pea flour. Allow to rest for about an hour. This was my grandma’s trick to avoid adding water to the batter. When you let the mixture of Zucchini and onions stand for a while, the salt draws out the water from the veggies which is enough to form a batter.

Add the rice flour and chickpea flour to form a thick batter (thicker than pancake batter). Heat 1 Tbsp oil in a saute pan(preferably non stick) on medium heat. Drop the batter one tablespoon at a time, flattening it with the base of the spoon. Fry on each side till they are brown, remove on paper towels to drain excess oil.

Notes:

  • Add extra rice flour if the batter isn’t thick enough.
  • The batter can be frozen for up to 1 week.
  • If using Chinese okra, peel the Okra, slit it into half lengthwise, seed it and slice it thinly.
  • You could use 1/2 tsp chili powder,1/2 tsp turmeric, 1/2 tsp cumin powder and 1/2 tsp coriander powder instead of the meat masala.

8 responses so far

Aug 27 2009

East Indian Bafat (Shrimp and Vegetable Curry)

Published by under Indian,Seafood

This is my all time favorite curry. A hot and tangy dish that is completely irresistible and a complete meal in itself. Its got the veggies, shrimp (protein) and carbs(rice & potatoes). Traditionally this dish is made with dried Bombay Ducks. Other dried fish or shrimp can be used as well.

This curry brings back fond memories of home. Its a fave with everyone in the family. On a wet monsoon day, this is a perfect curry with rice and Chinese Okra fritters (recipe coming soon). This is a curry that is usually found made in Vasai, which is a suburb of Bombay, among the East Indian catholic community. I learned to make it from my mom who in turned learned it from my grandma. Every cook has a special way of making it. My grand aunt Mary (Mary Aatu) also makes a great version of this using her pressure cooker.

My dear cousin Aashoo keeps requesting me for more recipes of curries to go with rice (dhaan ke upar Kaanji), because her husband loves them. She probably knows this one, and I know for sure its her favorite too. I hope she will comment on this one and share her secrets to this recipe.

East Indian Bafat

Ingredients:
1/2 pound of raw shrimp, peeled and de-veined
1 large potato
1/2 cup of valor beans shelled
4 small eggplants
1 large onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, crushed and diced
2 tsp grated ginger
tamarind about the size of 1 lime
6 curry leaves
2 Tbsp meat masala
1 and 1/2 cups of water
coriander to garnish
1 Tbsp cooking oil
salt

In a microwave safe bowl, add the tamarind and 1/2 cup of water. Cook in the microwave for about 30 seconds. Using your fingers to squeeze out the pulp from the tamarind. You may also use 1 teaspoon tamarind concentrate and combine it with 1/2 cup of warm water. Set aside.

In a 3 quart cooking pot heat the oil on medium heat. Add the curry leaves (stand back to avoid getting splattered). Add the onions, garlic and ginger and cook for about 5 minutes. Dice the potato into about 1 inch cubes and add them to the onions. Season with salt. Let the potatoes cook for about 5 minutes. Cut the eggplants in quarters and add to the pot along with the valor beans and continue to cook for another 6-8 minutes. Add the meat masala and stir well to coat all the veggies.

Add the tamarind pulp to the veggies and stir. Add the remaining 1 cup of water (you may add more if you need more curry). Cover and cook for about 10 minutes until the veggies are almost cooked. Add the shrimp and cook for another 5 minutes. Garnish with cilantro.

Notes:

  • Always add the salt in layers. Add some after every addition of the main ingredients. In this case, add some after the onions, potatoes, beans and eggplants. Add enough salt to flavor the ingredient you are adding and you are guaranteed the right amount of salt at the end of cooking.
  • If you have trouble finding valor beans, you can used shelled edamame.

8 responses so far

Aug 04 2009

Spinach Pilaf

Published by under Indian,Sides,Vegetarian

I was trying to find ways of making spinach taste good without having to add lots of butter or cream. I had once had spinach pulao in a small restaurant in Pune (India), and thought of recreating it. The result was great. Even my husband who doesn’t like spinach loved it. I tricked him by adding cashews which he loves.

Spinach Pilaf
Ingredients:
1 and 1/2 cup basmati rice
4 cups fresh spinach (about 1 sack)
2 shallots finely sliced
2 cloves of crushed garlic
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp cumin
1 Tbsp garam masala
8-10 unsalted cashews
2 and 1/2 cups chicken stock or veggie stock or water, heated
1 Tbsp canola oil
salt

Wash the rice and place it in a sieve allowing the water to drain well. Meanwhile steam the spinach and puree it in a food processor.

In a saute pan (with high sides and a lid), heat the oil on medium heat. Fry the cashews until they are golden brown. Take them out of the pan and drain on paper towels. Add the cumin and red pepper flakes to the oil. Add the shallots and galic and allow to cook for about 5 minutes until the shallots are translucent. Add the rice and keep stiring for a couple of minutes so that the rice is coated with the oil. Add the garam masala and let cook for another minute. Now add the spinach puree and salt, stir to combine all the ingredients. Add the chicken broth and cover the pan. Lower to heat to low and cook for about 20 minutes until all the liquid is absorbed and the rice is cooked. Add the cashews and fluff with a fork.

3 responses so far

Jul 30 2009

Roasted Cauliflower and Broccoli with Indian Spices

Published by under Sides,Vegetarian

I usually make a cauliflower curry which requires me to slave over the stove. To try to make it easier I tried to add the same curry flavors to the cauliflower without having to keep stirring the pot. Since I had broccoli in the fridge, I decided to add it too. The result was great. Serves as a great vegetarian side dish. Let me know if you like it!

Roasted Cauliflower and Broccoli=

Ingredients : Serves 4
1/2 head of cauliflower cut into florets
1 head of Broccoli cut into florets
1 Tbsp cooking oil
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp garam masala
1/4 tsp cumin seeds
1/4 tsp mustard seeds
salt & pepper

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl combine all the ingredients. Transfer to a baking dish and bake for about 30 minutes. That’s it! As easy as that!

One response so far

Jul 10 2009

Black Pigeon Peas Curry

Published by under Indian,Vegetarian

This recipe is how my mother in law cooks all her beans. My husband comes from the coastal region of the southern part of the state of Maharashtra (India) called the Konkan coast. This region has an abundance of coconut palms and the residents use coconut in all their dishes.

In the native language(malvani) this curry is called “Kalya Vatanyachi Usal”.

Black Pigeon Peas Curry

Ingredients :
1 and 1/2 cups Black Pigeon Peas (dried)
3/4 cup grated coconut
2 cups chopped onion
1/2 cup crushed tomatoes
2 Tbsp Malvani Meat Masala
1 Tbsp + 2 tsp cooking oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tsp grated ginger
5 curry leaves
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp cumin
1 pinch of asetofodia
3 Kokums
2 Tbsp Chopped coriander
2 cups of water
Juice of half a lime
salt to taste

Soak the peas overnight and cook them with some salt until they are tender.

In a skillet heat 2 tsp of cooking oil. Add the crushed garlic and 1/2 cup of the onions. Cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes. Add the coconut and cook it till the mixture is evenly browned. Take it off the heat and allow it cool. Grind the coconut mixture with 1 cup of water and salt till it forms a paste.

Heat the remaining oil in a pot and when it starts to ripple add the curry leaves, mustard seeds and cumin. When the mustard seeds start to crackle add the asetofodia and the onions. Cook on medium low heat until the onions are softened. Add the meat masala and cook for a minute. Then add the cooked peas, grated ginger and salt and mix well. After cooking for another couple of minutes add 1 cup of water and cook covered for about 5 minutes. Add the coconut and onion paste, crushed tomatoes and the kokums and continue cooking. In another 10 minutes the curry is ready. Take it off the heat and add the lime juice and coriander.

Notes:
1. Use any meat masala instead of the malvani meat masala.
2. Kokums are optional.
3. Can be served with rice or chappati.

Tips: Do not throw away the stems of coriander. Chop them up and add them to the onions. They impart good taste and aroma.

2 responses so far

Oct 01 2008

Curried Butternut Squash

Published by under Indian,Vegetarian

Curried Butternut Squash
Ingredients
1 medium butternut squash
1 Tbsp olive oil
salt & pepper

1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 tsp mustard seed
1/2 tsp cumin seed
3 small green chillies
2 tsp garam masala or curry powder
1/2 cup fresh grated coconut
2 tbsp chopped coriander (cilantro)
1 Tbsp cooking oil
salt & pepper

Cut the butternut squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Place the squash on a cookie sheet with the cut sides facing up. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F for 50-55 mins.

When the butternut squash is cooled cut it into 1 inch cubes, discarding the skin. In a saute pan, heat the cooking oil and add the mustard seeds and cumin seeds. When the seeds starts crackling add the onion. Cut the chillies lengthwise and add to the onions. Saute the onion till it turns translucent. Season with salt and pepper. Add the squash and the garam masala (or curry powder). Combine well, cover and cook on low heat for about 10-15 minutes. Add the grated coconut and cilantro and take it off the heat. Serve with chappati or other flat breads.

One response so far

May 07 2008

Stuffed Eggplant (Brinjals)

Published by under Indian,Vegetarian

Stuffed Eggplant

Ingredients: Serves 4
8 small eggplants
1/2 tsp mustard seed
1/2 tsp cumin seed
1/2 cup water
1 Tbsp Canola Oil

For the Sauce:
2 medium onions
3/4 cup crushed tomatoes
6 cashews
2 Tbsp meat masala
1 and 1/2 cup water or chicken stock
2 tsp canola oil
salt to taste

For the filling:
1 small onion finely chopped
1 cup grated coconut
1 Tbsp ginger garlic paste
1/4 cup ground peanuts
2 Tbsp sesame seeds
2 Tbsp chopped coriander
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp ground coriander and cumin
1/4 tsp red chili powder
1/2 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp aamchoor powder (dried mango powder)
2 tsp oil
salt

Filling: In a saute pan heat the oil and cook the onion until tender. Add the ginger-garlic paste, turmeric, chilli powder and the ground coriander and cumin. Saute for a couple of minutes. Add the grated coconut and roast until the coconut dries out. Then add the ground peanuts and sesame seeds and the aamchoor powder. Toast for another 5 minutes. Add the chopped coriander and the garam masala. Turn off the heat and allow the filling to cool before

Sauce: In a saute pan(with high sides) heat 2 tsp of canola oil. Add the onions finely chopped. Add salt and cook till they are tender. Add the cashews and toast them till they are lightly browned. Add the meat masala and cook for 1 minute till the raw smell of the masala goes away. Add the crushed tomatoes and cook for another 5 minutes. Remove the pan off the heat and allow the mixture to cool for about 15 minutes. When the mixture is cool, blend it in a blender with the water or chicken stock till it forms a nice and thick curry.

Clean and dry the eggplants. In a small bowl mix together 2 teaspoons salt and 1/4 tsp chili powder. Cut the eggplants in quarters, making sure not to cut all the way through. Sprinkle the salt mixture in the insides of the eggplants. Stuff each eggplant with about 2 tablespoons of the filling. Reserve 2 Tbsp filling to garnish.

In a saute pan heat 1 Tbsp canola oil on medium heat. When the oil is heated add the cumin and mustard seeds. When the mustard seeds start sputtering, add the stuffed eggplants. Add the water and cover. Let the eggplants cook covered on medium heat for about 5 minutes. Turn the eggplants with tongs carefully. Add the sauce and cook covered for another 10-12 minutes till the eggplants appear soft. Garnish with the reserved filling.

Related Posts with Thumbnails

No responses yet

Next »