Category Archives: Mains

Cauliflower Kofta Curry

Cauliflower Koftas

Cauliflower Koftas

So what is a Kofta one might ask, for those non South Asians it is generally some form of ground meat shaped into a ball, that is cooked and then simmered in a sauce. The vegetarian version generally uses potatoes as the binding agent and another vegetable or cheese stuffed into the center. I have made a variety of Kofta’s – paneer (indian cheese) and raisins being popular centers for them. I came across this recipe using cauliflower and since I love cauliflower I thought I would give it a go with a few modifications. And I have a cauliflower paratha recipe that follows.

Ingredients

For the Kofta
1 1/2 cups cauliflower, grated
2 medium white potatoes, boiled and mashed
1 medium sweet potato, boiled and mashed
3 tbsp. quinoa flour (or oats flour)
1/4 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp chaat masala
1/4 tsp black Pepper powder
A pinch of Baking powder
2 tbsp. finely chopped fresh coriander leaves
1/2 tsp kastoori methi
1/2 tsp salt
Coconut Oil (or Olive oil) for frying

For the Gravy
3 tbsp. tomato paste
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 inch piece of ginger finely chopped
1/2 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
1 1/2 tsp coriander powder
salt
4 tbsp. chopped coriander leaves
1 cup milk
1/4 cup cream
3 tbsp. quinoa flour
1/2 cup water
Coconut oil (or olive oil) for frying

Method

For the Kofta’s

Skin the potatoes and boil them in water for about a half hour on high or until a knife goes through them easily. Pour out the water and let them come to cool in the pot. Put them through a potato ricer or mash them with an implement of your choice.

Heat a pan on medium low heat (more low than medium) and toast the grated cauliflower, stirring occasionally. You want to get the moisture out of the cauliflower. This should take about 5-7 minutes. The cauliflower should not brown.

Mix the all the Kofta ingredients together and form into 1 inch balls. You want to make sure your Kofta’s are more firm and not soft or they may disintegrate. Heat a little oil in the pan (medium high) and once its hot add the Kofta’s in the pan and fry turning the balls once they have formed a skin about a minute. Once they are done take them out onto a plate and set aside. Repeat with the remaining Kofta’s.

For the gravy

Heat a pan on medium high heat and add the oil. Once the oil is hot add the cumin seeds and let them sputter for 30-40 seconds until a little brown and they have released their fragrance. Add the ginger (carefully) and stir for 20 seconds. Then add the red chilli powder, garam masala, coriander powder, turmeric and stir for another minute. Add the tomato paste and fry stirring for about 2-3 minutes or until the oil separates.

Add the salt, water and stir to incorporate. Add the quinoa, cilantro and kasturi methi and stir. Add the milk and heavy cream and let the sauce simmer for about 5-10 minutes. If your sauce is too thick you can thin it by either adding water or more milk.

Add your Kofta’s to your sauce and enjoy them with Roti’s/Paratha’s or rice.


Cauliflower – The vegetable that just keeps going

Cauliflower Pizza

Cauliflower Pizza

 

The cauliflower is such a versatile vegetable. I have been reading on all the different things that you can do with it. I know some folks simply cannot get over the taste of cauliflower. However, you really cannot taste or smell it when you make cauliflower pizza. I would recommend that you try it. One of the main things to do is to get all the water out of the cauliflower. The more you are able to wring out the crispier the crust becomes.

Go ahead try this and let me know if you like it!

 

Ingredients

  • 1 medium-sized head of cauliflower (3 cups after processing)
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • sprinkle of red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons almond meal
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 egg beaten
  • salt

Sauce

  • 1 28 oz can diced tomatoes (Drained)
  • 1 spring of rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder

Toppings

  • 15 cherry tomatoes – halved
  • basil leaves – shredded
  • sea salt

Method

Line your pizza pan with parchment paper. Preheat your oven to 450 F.

Cut off the leaves and wash the head of cauliflower. Pat dry with a paper towel and then chop into chunks. Use your food processor and process the chunks in batches to get cauliflower rice. You should end up with about 3 cups of cauliflower rice. Place this in a microwave safe bowl and cover. Microwave for about 4 minutes. Put the cooked cauliflower onto a paper towel and let if cool.

Once the cauliflower is cool, wring the water out of it. You want to squeeze as much water out as possible. This helps you attain a crispy crust.

Put the cauliflower into a mixing bowl. Add the Italian seasoning, almond meal, red pepper flakes,  olive oil. Using a fork stir it all to incorporate. Then add the egg and stir till well mixed. Put the mixture on the pizza pan and using your hand press it out to form a 10 inch disk. Make sure that the edges of the disk are just a tad bit raised. The disk should not be too think.

Put the pizza in the oven and bake for 12 minutes. Start on your sauce.

After the 12 minutes have passed, make sure that you see the edges of the pizza have browned. Keep it in for a minute or two more if it does not look like it has browned. Remove from the oven.

 Top with the sauce, cherry tomatoes and bake for another 4 minutes. Remove from the oven. Top with basil and sea salt. Let it cool for 2 minutes. Then cut it with a pizza wheel and serve.
Sauce
Cook the drained diced tomatoes with the rosemary and cumin. Let the sauce thicken stirring. This will take about 10-12 minutes. Cool.

Pizza time

Pizza

So I have had a long break, but I have been baking and cooking away. I must say that living in Atlanta one does get to try out a plethora of various cuisines. However, I must say when I visited Melbourne, Australia I was so impressed with the variety of food. There were restaurants that had street food from South East Asian countries. I did partake of a few and enjoyed every tantalizing morsel of yumminess. If you ever get a chance to visit Melbourne make sure you leave enough of time to eat. In addition, make sure you eat at Brunetti’s – they even have a counter in Myer’s and we totally enjoyed their desserts. Make sure you get the bite sized pieces that way you get to sample a lot more!

Now back to the regularly scheduled writing –  I have been baking pizza the Peter Reinhart way which I think is great. You get a really lovely thin crust and you get to freeze dough for a later date. In addition, I have used the dough to make Indian bread ‘Naan‘ which comes out really well. Well I was watching TV – Cooks Country on PBS and they had what a pan pizza recipe. I was most intrigued by it. I was very happy to have my trusty kitchen-aid do the kneading for me. This pizza dough is not the thin crust variety but the pizza is absolutely brilliant.

Pizza first rise

Pizza Stretched before second rise Pizza stretched before second rise

 

Feel free to modify the toppings – I happen to love the peppery taste of tarragon and I had some lying around so on it went. I wanted to increase the spice level and that is why I used a spicy pepper jack cheese. You can go with any variety of cheese that you like and you can top it with anything you like.

Ingredients

Adapted from Cooks Country

For the dough

  • 3/4 cup + 2 tbsp water (warm water)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons yeast
  • 1 1/2 cups bread flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

For the topping

  • 28 oz can of drained diced tomatoes
  • 8 oz mozzarella (shredded)
  • 8 oz jalapeno pepper jack (or your favorite cheese shredded)
  • 20 basil leaves (cut into strips)
  • tarragon (optional – as much – as little – or not at all)
  • sea salt optional

Method

Stir the yeast in the 3/4 cup of water and let it rest for 5 minutes until nice and frothy. Mix the bread flour and salt.

Add the yeast water mixture and the oil to the dough and knead on low until the dough comes together. Then turn up the speed to medium low and knead for about 5 minutes until you have a really nice soft sticky dough. If your dough is not sticky start adding the additional water as you continue to knead for another 5 minutes. Take a teaspoon of olive oil and coat your dough.

Oil a 11×13 sheet pan well, this will help your pizza slide out very easily once done. Plop the dough out onto the pan and pat it into the shape of a rectangle. You do not need it to fill the pan. Just a 10×6 inch rectangle should suffice. Cover with cling wrap and put it in a warm place until doubled in size. This should take about an hour to an hour and a half.

After the dough has risen, remove the cling wrap. The dough should be very sticky. Work it to the edges of the pan gently stretching it. Cover it with cling wrap again and let it rest for about 45 minutes.

About 10 minutes before the dough is ready turn your oven to 500F.

When your dough is ready top with the two shredded cheese till about a half inch from the side. Then top with the tomato. Put it in the oven for about 10-12 minutes. You will see your crust is formed and your cheese is bubbling. Remove it from the oven using your oven mitts. Let it cool for about 2-3 minutes on a wire rack. While it is cooling top with basil and tarragon if using. Sprinkle a little sea salt (if using).  Then slide the pizza out onto your cutting board slice and enjoy.

 

 

 

 


Spicy Jackfruit Curry

Jackfruit Curry

Jackfruit Curry

Jackfruit is a fruit I loved eating when I was growing up (and still do). There are a lot of people who do not like eating it because they cannot get past the smell. My brother, for instance, could not stand the aroma. To me though, the aroma is wonderful. Jackfruit is also a ‘cousin’ of Durian. Now that is a smell I cannot get over. It is so stinky to some people, that in South East Asia they ban the fruit from hotels. I did get around to trying a candy made out of Durian and did not like it. Okay, back to the one that I like which is the variety that you get in India, it is a bit of a challenge to tackle. It starts off with a spiny skin, you cut the jackfruit into half, then quarters. Then you oil your hands well and hopefully you have spread newspaper all over the counter. Then you start pulling each of the fruit pods out. The reason for the oil is that the pods are held to the fruit with this glue like substance and the oil prevents it from sticking to your fingers. Each of the fruit pods have a large seed that a lot of people roast and then use.
Now that we have spoken at length about the fruit, this recipe came about because a friend of mine had told me he made a Jackfruit curry and then told me how he made it. I looked over the internet and all the recipes used the unripe fruit. Apparently the unripe version is fairly common across India. So I decided I was going to try making it – now the version I made was spicier as I added hot sauce to it (which I have left out of the recipe) but if you want an even bigger kick go ahead and add 2 tablespoons of Maggie hot and sweet. I also used a canned variety and drained all the syrup out of the can.
Pile this spicy jack-fruit filling into warmed pitas, and serve with yogurt.

Ingredients

  • 2 Tablespoon oil
  • 1 large onion, diced (2 cups)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 inch piece of ginger, minced
  • 1 Serrano pepper, minced
  • 2 teaspoons red chili powder
  • 3 teaspoons cumin-coriander powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 6 cloves crushed
  • 3 pods of cardamom, shells removed and seeds crushed
  • 4 tablespoons of tomato ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 20-oz. can ripe jack-fruit in syrup, rinsed, drained, and chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Method

Heat the oil in a pot on medium heat. When the oil is hot add the onions. Cook the onions (stirring occasionally) until they have softened and are translucent. Then add the garlic, ginger, green chile and cook for a minute. Add the chili powder, cumin-coriander powder, turmeric powder and crushed cloves and cardamom and stir for a minute.

Add the chopped jack-fruit, ketchup and lemon juice. Stir and cover and cook on a medium low for about 10 minutes. Stir occasionally. When done remove the cover add the salt and cook for another minute and serve.


Spiced Roasted Eggplant

Spiced Roasted Eggplant

Spiced Roasted Eggplant

My love for roasted vegetables has grown over time. I have been trying different vegetables and so many of them roast so well. Here is one of my favorites. This one is spicy, if you do not want to have it spicy – you can reduce the amount of sambal olek. The brown sugar caramelizes really well and is a really nice balance to the spice.

In addition, you can roast other vegetables along with this – green beans, thinly sliced onions etc.

Ingredients

  • 4 Japanese eggplants
  • 3 tablespoons Sambal Olek (use less for a less spicy version)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3/4 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Method

Turn your oven to 350F. Line your baking tray with foil.

Wash and dry the eggplants. Cut the tops off and then split the eggplants in half. Using a sharp knife, make diagonal cuts in the inside of the eggplant. Do not cut all the way through.

Make a paste of the sambal olek, olive oil, brown sugar, olive oil and salt. Spread this paste on the eggplant.

Drizzle olive oil on the panko crumbs to moisten and then distribute evenly on the tops of the eggplants.

Bake for 30 minutes. Serve warm.

 


Squash Latkes

Squash Latkes

Squash Latkes

Don’t you just love the summer. In addition to being wonderfully sunny – the garden is in full bloom and for those of us with vegetable gardens there is an abundance of produce. Well i do not have a vegetable garden – purely due to the lack of space, however, I do have friends who have gardens who are so nice to always share. I got these from my friend Sherry. I was so excited when she said she would bring me some. Look at them aren’t they simply gorgeous.

So I took them home and then was trying to think of what I could make with them (no bright spark at that moment). I was on flipboard reading the food section and came across kefedes and looking at the picture I thought Squash Latke’s – I can do those. So I did try them out and they were brillant. I think it would have helped if I had done the draining technique on them so they had less water in them. They would probably have cooked a lot quicker. I have made Latke’s out of sweet potatoes and the next one I am going to try it with is with Parsnips – I think those may come out a little on the sweeter side but I will let you know.

Ingredients

Serving : 6-8, Prep time : 15 minutes

Sauce

  • 6 tablespoons light sour cream
  • 3/4 teaspoon grated lime rind
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder

Latke’s

  • 6 cups shredded Squash (4 medium squash)
  • 1 cup grated onion
  • 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped jalapeno
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

 

Method

For the sauce

Mix the ingredients and refrigerate until ready to use.

 

For the Latke’s

Combine squash and onion in a mesh colander and press to drain excess water. Put into a bowl and add the rest of the ingredients except for the olive oil. Mix well. Your mixture will be moist and a wee bit sticky.

Heat some oil on a skillet. When hot pour about a 1/4 cup of the mixture on the pan and then press down to flatten. Repeat until you have filled your pan. My wide pan does about 3 at a time. Now let is sauté until it has browned and then turn it over and repeat on the other side. Repeat with the remaining batter.

Serve with the sauce.


Spicy baked eggplant

Roasted Eggplant2

 

I have begun baking a lot of veggies. It is quick, easy and the results are simply delicious. I have tried this with a variety of eggplants but the long Japanese ones seem to turn out the best. You can vary the amount of sambal olek (found at your local farmers market or Asian store). Its a spicy Indonesian cooking paste that is simply divine. The brown sugar adds a subtle sweetness to the dish. I added the bread crumbs just to add a little bit of crunch as the eggplant becomes really soft. Using Panko bread crumbs gives you a much better result than regular finely shredded crumbs.

You can serve these as appetizers or as part of a main course. Pair it on top of rice, couscous, quinoa or alongside other veggies. You can also bake other veggies in the same tray along with this (chunk of red onions – tossed in olive oil, green beans …. ). Let your imagination run wild – or as it happens with me – what do I have to use from my refrigerator :-).

 

Ingredients

Total time : prep – 10 minutes, cook 25 minutes

  • 2 long purple eggplants
  • 2 tablespoons sambal olek sauce
  • 4 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 4 tablespoons oil
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
Method

Preheat oven to 350F . Line a baking tray lined with aluminum foil.

Mix together the sambal, brown sugar, lemon juice, minced garlic and 3 tablespoons of the olive oil for the  sauce.

Wash and dry the eggplants. Cut the eggplant in half lengthwise. Score the eggplant across at an angle and then score it the other way (you are attempting to get the sauce into the eggplant when it bakes). Generously coat the cut and scored side of the eggplant with the sauce. Place the eggplant flesh side up on the lined baking tray.

Moisten the Panko bread crumbs with the remaining olive oil. Use more if the crumbs are not all evenly moistened. Pat the bread crumbs on to the top of each of the eggplants.

Bake for 25 minutes until the eggplant is cooked through and the crust has formed.

Serve hot.

Optional : You can also top with shredded cheese. Do this about 5 minutes before you are going to remove it from the oven.