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 24 2009

“Throw em all in” Veggie Burgers

Published by under Burgers

It was Friday evening and I was trying to clean up my fridge for the weekend groceries. I had a few veggies in the vegetable drawers and thought of making a veggie burger. Had some leftover black beans and corn from the southwestern pasta I had made earlier, and they went in the burger as well.

Do not limit yourself to the veggies I have used here. Use whatever veggies you like. I have used the new “Sandwich Thins” for the bread. I love this new product. For me its just enough bread that I want to have with my burgers. I also made a quick pesto mayo and some ketchup to go along with the burger.

Veggie Burgers

Ingredients: (Makes 6 burgers)
1 large potato, cooked
1 cup cauliflower, cooked
1/2 cup cooked yam
1/2 green bell pepper, finely diced
1/2 red bell pepper, finely diced
1/2 medium onion, finely diced
1/2 cup corn kernels
1/2 cup cooked black beans
1/2 cup edamame, shelled and cooked
1/2 cup peas and carrots, cooked
1/4 cup finely chopped fenugreek leaves (can substitute Spinach)
1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp garam masala
1 Tbsp + 2 tsp cooking oil
salt

In a sauté pan, cook the peppers and onions in 2 tsp of the oil on medium low heat until they are softened.

Combine all the remaining ingredients except the oil in a bowl. Add the cooked peppers and onions. Using a potato masher, mash all the veggies until they are soft enough to form patties. If your mixtures gets too soft, add some breadcrumbs.

Fry the burgers in a non stick pan on medium heat until they are browned on both sides (5 minutes per side).

For the Pesto Mayo: Combine together 1/4 cup light mayonnaise and 1 teaspoon pesto.

I did make the ketchup at home too, but that will be another recipe. Check back again for it!

Notes:

  • I cooked my veggies in the microwave. Using a microwave safe bowl, I first cooked the potatoes, yams, edamame and cauliflower. Them I added the rest of the veggies to the same bowl and cooked until they were all tender.
  • I used the frozen peas and carrots.
  • For the pesto mayo I use the olive oil mayonnaise, which is naturally low in fat.

5 responses so far

Aug 18 2009

Southwestern Pasta Alfredo

Published by under Pasta

Here is a neat twist on the classic alfredo pasta. You must know by now that I love spicy food. So, here is how I tried to add some spice to the good ol’ alfredo.

I am using store bought alfredo sauce, just to save some time, but you can make your own. This is a vegeratian version of the pasta, and would taste great with some grilled chicken or chorizo. I have used a penne pasta here, but any short cut of pasta will do.

Southwestern Pasta Alfredo
Ingredients:
3 cups pasta, uncooked
1 medium onion, sliced
1 green bell pepper, sliced
1 red bell pepper, sliced
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1/2 cup corn kernels
1/2 cup cooked black beans
2 Chipotle in Adobo sauce
1 tsp cumin powder
1 cup light Alfredo sauce
1 Tbsp olive oil
salt & pepper
Cilantro to garnish

Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the package. Before draining the pasta reserve 1 cup of the cooking liquid.

In a large saute pan, heat the oil and add the onions and garlic. Allow to cook for a couple of minutes and then add the bell peppers. Cook until they are softened. Add the corn and black beans. Chop the chipotle peppers very fine and add them to the pan along with the cumin. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for another 2 minutes. Add the alfredo sauce and lower the heat to low. Add 3/4 cups of the pasta cooking liquid. Stir well. Toss the pasta and garnish with cilantro.

Note: If you cannot find chipotle in adobo, you can add 1/2 tsp of Chipotle powder or mexican chilli powder.

5 responses so far

Aug 14 2009

Sautéd Tuna

Published by under Seafood

Growing up in the coastal region of India, seafood was a staple in our house. However in the monsoons when the fishermen docked their boats and stayed home, we had to do with canned seafood (if you are lucky enough to get it). This is a recipe my mom used to make with canned tuna. It can be easily adapted to use any kind of canned fish.

Use your imagination to flavor the canned tuna. Since I am making it in the Indian style, I am going to be using curry powder. If you would like to make a Thai version of this, use some red curry paste with a dash of coconut milk and fish sauce. For Italian, use some hot pepper flakes, capers and some Italian seasoning. You can even just use good ol’ salt and pepper.

Sautéd Tuna
Ingredients:
2 6 oz cans of tuna, drained and flaked
1 medium onion, sliced
1 green bell pepper, sliced
1 red bell pepper, sliced
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
3 scallions, chopped
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
2 tsp curry powder
1 Tbsp canola/olive oil
salt & pepper
Cilantro to garnish

Heat the oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic. Cook for a couple of minutes. Then add the sliced bell peppers, salt and pepper. Cook the onions and peppers until they are almost tender (about 10 minutes). Add the tuna, the scallions and the curry powder. Stir and continue to cook for another 5 minutes. Garnish with cilantro.

2 responses so far

Aug 12 2009

How do you like it now?

Published by under Uncategorized

Welcome to my redesigned blog. It has all the same delicious recipes as before, only in a different setting. Let me know whether you like this new look or prefer the old one.

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Aug 06 2009

Cucumber and Onion Salad

Published by under Salads,Sides

Last summer my dear friend Veronica spent a day with us. We had fun shopping and cooking. Veron taught me to make mutton xacuti, which is a goan speciality, and it was YUMMY! To go along with the spicy xacuti, she decided to make a cucumber and onion salad. The recipe for this salad originated from Veron’s aunt in Goa, India. This is a very refreshing crunchy salad with sweet, sour and spicy notes. It goes well with spicy food and would also be great as a burger topper too.

So this one is for you Veron! Thank your aunt for it! Hope to spend some more time in the kitchen with you soon.

Cucumber and Onion Salad
Ingredients:
1/2 English cucumber
1 medium red onion
1 green chilli (optional, if you do not like the heat)
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 tsp sugar
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
juice of 1/2 a lemon
salt

Cut the cucumber lengthwise and then slice each half into thin slices. Slice the red onion as fine as you can. Add the cucumber and onion to a bowl.

Dice the chilli very fine and add it to a small bowl. Add the vinegar, lemon juice, sugar and salt. Stir well to make the dressing. I let the dressing sit for a little while to let the flavors combine.

When you are ready to serve toss the dressing with the cucumbers and onions and sprinkle the cilantro on top.

Notes: If you cannot find English seedless cucumber, you can use one regular cucumber, but remember to seed it first.

Cucumber Salad on Foodista />

9 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 31 2009

Cranberry-Oat Ricotta Muffins

Published by under Breakfast,Cakes & Cookies,Sweets

This one is one of my absolute favorites. The ricotta creates a nice crust on top. This muffin is a cross between a muffin and a scone. Can be served with morning coffee or afternoon high tea!

Cranberry-Oat Ricotta Muffins
Ingredients: Makes 12 muffins
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup dried sweetened cranberries
1 cup part skim ricotta cheese
1 egg
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 stick butter at room temperature
1/3 cup canola oil
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degree F. Sieve together the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Beat the sugar, butter and oil. Add the egg and beat well for about 3 minutes. Add the ricotta cheese and vanilla extract and beat for another 3 minutes. Add the flour slowly and mix well. In a small bowl combine the cranberries and about 1 tsp all purpose flour. Toss the cranberries with the flour to coat. This prevents the cranberries from sinking to the bottom when baking. Add the cranberries and oats and stir to mix. Using an ice cream scoop, drop the mixture into a muffin pan lined with paper cups. Bake for about 25 minutes.

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4 responses so far

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