Spice Chronicles http://www.spicechronicles.com Where Spices Meet the Seasons Tue, 22 Aug 2017 22:45:33 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.5 71035130 Daliya Upma Cracked Wheat Breakfast Pilaf http://www.spicechronicles.com/daliya-upma-or-cracked-wheat-breakfast-pilaf/ http://www.spicechronicles.com/daliya-upma-or-cracked-wheat-breakfast-pilaf/#respond Tue, 22 Aug 2017 22:45:33 +0000 http://www.spicechronicles.com/?p=4852 This breakfast style cracked wheat pilaf has become my go to on busy weekday mornings particularly now that the kids are at home this week. This months recipe redux theme is all about savory breakfasts and giving me the opportunity to share my new lifesaver. An Indian breakfast is usually savory or when going the...

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Daliya UpmaThis breakfast style cracked wheat pilaf has become my go to on busy weekday mornings particularly now that the kids are at home this week.

This months recipe redux theme is all about savory breakfasts and giving me the opportunity to share my new lifesaver.

An Indian breakfast is usually savory or when going the festive dimension, something savory and sweet. A mélange of grains and vegetables, think poha or idlies. An upma is a gently seasoned mélange often made with semolina. Here using cracked with or bulgur ups the nutritional ante and makes it perfect for the instant pot. The toothsome grain cooks down into fluffy perfection in ten minutes. This ten minutes is well utilized into  brewing a good cup of masala chai, or just soaking in the vibe of a peaceful morning.

Cracked Wheat Breakfast Pulaf

One of the benefits of the marathon project that I worked with was that I discovered the joys of using a mobile hotspot. Finding connectively on the train has come a long way in helping me finish answering emails, getting headway on a post like this. Morning train rides especially in these final days of summer are peaceful and set the perfect mood for jotting thoughts and recipes.

Cracked Wheat Upma

It is often the same calm that I relish when cooking alone in the mornings in my kitchen. It allows me to think of possibilities and creative cooking. For a dish like this, I use a medley of vegetables, for  a quick cooking hack a bag of frozen organic mixed vegetables comes in handy. Shocked? Well, there are winter days when no veggies are to be found, during such days such hacks come in handy. I think once I am done with this year’s bout of marathon hosting I will become the queen of culinary hacking. Sort off.

Daliya Upma or Cracked Wheat Breakfast Pilaf

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Daliya Upma or cracked wheat breakfast pilaf is a soothing wholesome and nutritious way to start your morning.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • 1 medium to large red onion, finely diced
  • 10 to 12 curry leaves
  • 2 to 3 dried red chilies broken
  • 1 red potato, diced (skin on)
  • 1 cup assorted mixed vegetables (I used a carrot, 1 ear of corn and a handful of green beans, chopped)
  • 1/2 cup coarse bulgur or cracked wheat
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala powder (optional)
  • 1/4 cup frozen green peas
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (about 1/2 fresh and juicy lime)

Instructions

  1. Turn the instant pot into saute mode. Add in the oil and the mustard seeds and wait until the seeds crackle.
  2. Add in the ginger and the red onion and saute until soft and translucent.
  3. Add in the curry leaves and the dried red chilies and mix well. Add in the potato, mix vegetables, cracked wheat and the salt and stir well.
  4. Stir in the garam masala (if using) and add in a cup of water. Cover the pot and set the timer to 12 minutes usually the rice mode.
  5. Let the pressure cooker cool down naturally. Remove the lid and turn in the frozen peas. Stir in the cilantro and the lime juice and let it rest for about 10 minutes before serving.
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Cauliflower Gashi- Cauliflower in a spicy coconut curry http://www.spicechronicles.com/cauliflower-gashi-spicy-coconut-curry/ http://www.spicechronicles.com/cauliflower-gashi-spicy-coconut-curry/#respond Thu, 17 Aug 2017 04:32:04 +0000 http://www.spicechronicles.com/?p=4844 A gashi is a thick coconut based stew from the coastal region of Mangalore. Often made with chicken and for a vegetarian variation we have the cauliflower gashi. I have been remiss about getting this recipe all squared up. I owe it to the students from my last cooking class. I am beginning to get...

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Cauliflower GashiA gashi is a thick coconut based stew from the coastal region of Mangalore. Often made with chicken and for a vegetarian variation we have the cauliflower gashi. I have been remiss about getting this recipe all squared up. I owe it to the students from my last cooking class.

I am beginning to get a little out of the woods with the monster project. It has taken up way too much time over the past several weeks. Suddenly, I realize that summer is on its last leg, and of course then there are tomatoes. To get this  gashi down to a consistency that I liked, as always it took a bit of trial and error. I am happy to report you can even try this in the instant pot.

Cauliflower Gashi

Crazy or not, cauliflower has been a frequent visitor on my menu long before it became trendy, probably for the same reasons that it is now so trendy. Cauliflower is mild and soothing but can stand up to its share of assertive spices. In this dish, it proves its mettle and then some.  The cauliflower is lightly sauteed in a blend of savory and fragrant spices (fenugreek, cumin, coriander, black pepper and cinnamon). It is then simmered until fork tender and served with either your choice of rice or piping hot naan.

Cauliflower Gashi

I have lately learnt the value of retrying and perfecting the nuances of a recipe a few times. I of course, always do it before I post, but lately I seem to have found a newer appreciation for the tested and tried. On other matters, I have trying to redo some things in the house and have discovered how little can be accomplished on a weekend. Seriously people, I cannot be the only one not wanted to take all the time in the world off to deal with errands. On that note, here is the recipe.

Cauliflower Gashi- Cauliflower in a spicy coconut curry

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

A beautiful well seasoned rich tasting cauliflower curry.

Ingredients

  • 1 and half teaspoons whole cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1 stick (about 2 inches) cinnamon, broken into smaller pieces
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 large cauliflower cut into small pieces
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons oil
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 8 to 10 curry leaves
  • 2 to 3 whole red chilies, lightly crushed
  • 1 medium sized red onion chopped
  • 1 and 1/2 cups coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice (optional)
  • Cilantro to garnish

Instructions

  1. Place the cumin, coriander and fenugreek seeds, black peppercorns and the cinnamon in a spice grinder and grind to a smooth powder.
  2. Place in the mixing bowl with the ginger salt and turmeric, and toss the cauliflower to coat with the mixture.
  3. In a large cooking wok heat the oil and add in the mustard seeds and wait until they crackle. Add in the curry leaves, red chilies and the onion and saute lightly for 3 to 4 minutes.
  4. Add in the cauliflower and cook on low heat stirring frequently until the cauliflower is lightly browned and the spices and fragrant.
  5. Add in the coconut milk with about 1 cup water and cover and simmer the cauliflower for 20 minutes until tender.
  6. Stir well and check the seasonings.
  7. Sprinkle with the cilantro and lime juice and serve.
http://www.spicechronicles.com/cauliflower-gashi-spicy-coconut-curry/

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Laal Maas – Rajasthani Red Lamb Curry http://www.spicechronicles.com/laal-maas-rajasthani-red-lamb-curry/ http://www.spicechronicles.com/laal-maas-rajasthani-red-lamb-curry/#comments Tue, 08 Aug 2017 15:59:24 +0000 http://www.spicechronicles.com/?p=4827 I did a class at home after a while… Among other things the class featured Laal Maas or Rajasthani Red Lamb Curry. The curry was a drop dead seriously good creation.  I realize that I need to plan more classes once I am done with the kids dance recital. My pressure cooker addiction has morphed...

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Laal Maas - Rajasthani Red Lamb CurryI did a class at home after a while… Among other things the class featured Laal Maas or Rajasthani Red Lamb Curry. The curry was a drop dead seriously good creation.  I realize that I need to plan more classes once I am done with the kids dance recital.

My pressure cooker addiction has morphed into a full blown love affair with the instant pot. Can you blame me?

I am acquiring quite the collection of instant pot recipes, and am enjoying the process of learning how to adapt things for the electric pressure cooker. In case, you missed my last recipe, here it is. While I particularly savor cooking down these heavy cuts of meat into fall off the bone tenderness, I have made several good vegetable dishes with real success. Laal Maas_Rajasthani Red Lamb Curry

Laal Maas is a bold and full flavored curry from the princely state of Rajasthan. I have to confess to truly get the rich red color I need to notch up the red chilies in this dish even more. I have lightened this dish some by making this in an instant pot, which allows me to seal the flavors. The traditional recipe does this with lots of clarified butter or ghee. This includes a good dollop of ghee with garlic at the end to wrap up. I skipped the finishing ghee and we did fine. In fact, have no ghee for this dish.

Laal Maas

I finish with added the chopped garlic at the end, inspired by this recipe. The result was awesome. I marinate the lamb overnight resulting in a very well flavored dish.

Laal Maas_Rajasthani Red Lamb Curry

Prep Time: 6 hours

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 6 hours, 45 minutes

Yield: Serves 6

A gorgeous full bodied lamb curry robustly spiced with cayenne and garlic.

Ingredients

    For the marinade
  • 2 inch piece ginger
  • 6 cloves peeled garlic
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander seeds
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground red chili powder (I use 10 dried red chilies)
  • 1 tablespoon powdered kashmiri red chili powder or paprika
  • 2 pounds of lamb on the bone, trimmed and cubed
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • For the gravy and sauce
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 cup chopped red onions (1 and 1/2 medium onions chopped)
  • 1 or 2 pieces cinnamon (2 inch stick)
  • 2 black cardamoms
  • 1 cup yogurt (low fat 2% Greek yogurt)
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh garlic
  • Chopped cilantro to garnish

Instructions

  1. Puree the ginger and the garlic into a paste and mix in the ground cumin, ground coriander, ground red chili powder, kashmiri red chili powder or paprika and rub onto the lamb. Mix in the salt.
  2. Set this aside to marinate for 6 hours or overnight.
  3. Heat the oil in a pot or the base of the instant pot (using the saute setting) and add the onions. Cook the onions stirring frequently, until they begin to sweat and gently turn golden. This takes about 5 minutes.
  4. Add in the cinnamon black cardamoms and the lamb and saute for about 4 minutes.
  5. Add in the yogurt and mix well.
  6. Cover and cook in the instant pot for about 30 minutes or cover and cook on the stove top for 1 and 1/2 hours until fork tender. If cooking on the stove top, add in 1 and a half cup of water.
  7. Let the pressure settle (about 10 minutes) remove and stir in the minced garlic.
  8. Serve after two minutes garnished with the chopped cilantro.
http://www.spicechronicles.com/laal-maas-rajasthani-red-lamb-curry/

 

 

 

 

 

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Ragi Idlis and Milagu Podi http://www.spicechronicles.com/ragi-idlis-milagu-podi/ http://www.spicechronicles.com/ragi-idlis-milagu-podi/#comments Sun, 06 Aug 2017 03:14:27 +0000 http://www.spicechronicles.com/?p=4818 This summer is a mixed bag. Not a lot of time left for cooking. Most days, by the time I am done fending for the house and my house guest, I am wiped. I have not done a lot of creative cooking or spent time on this site. We have been doing a lot of...

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Ragi Idli with PodiThis summer is a mixed bag. Not a lot of time left for cooking. Most days, by the time I am done fending for the house and my house guest, I am wiped. I have not done a lot of creative cooking or spent time on this site. We have been doing a lot of tiffin dishes like idlis and the like. I am learning to refie my cooking through Aunty’s critiques. These Ragi Idlis with Milagu Podi is an example of such learning.

Ragi Idlis are a notch above their snow white counterparts in complexity.

An idli is a naturally fermented sourdough bread that is traditionally enjoyed for breakfast. The naturally gluten-free batter incorporates lentils and rice and gives you a great fresh start to the day. A podi  is a dry chutney or spice blend that can be made ahead and stored.  It is good to have on hand when you do not have the time to make fresh chutney. Perfecting my podi game, has taken some feedback from my house guest. We have currently settled on this version. All of this has helped discover another way to actually learn cooking.

Ragi Idli and Milagu Podi

I have also learned the joys of having an abundant supply of dosa/idli batter handy, the possibilities are endless. From meals for my house guest, to quick meals for kids, dads and then some this is one good thing to have handy. And once you realize the magic of podi, you are all set and squared away.  This variation uses ragi, or finger millet flour in the batter notching up the nutritional level many good levels.

Ragi Idli

There are many ways to make these idlis, I simply add in a cup of ragi flour to my regular idli batter, and ferment it the regular way. I will say that the ragi idlis harden a little more easily so I try to avoid making too many of them at the same time. The beautiful dark purple brown hue is very pretty and brightens your morning plate.

Ragi Idlis and Milagu Podi

Prep Time: 18 hours

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 18 hours, 20 minutes

A nutritious and healthy traditional South Indian breakfast recipe that is vegan and gluten-free,

Ingredients

    For the idlies
  • 1 and 1/2 cups idli rice
  • 1/2 cup urad dal
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup ragi flour
  • For the podi or dry chutney
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1/2 cup channa dal (yellow gram dal)
  • 1/2 cup urad dal (white lentils)
  • 1/2 teaspoon asafotida
  • 15 dried red chilies
  • 2 tablespoons coriander seeds
  • 2 tablespoons cumin seeds
  • 1/3 cup sesame seeds
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar or powdered jaggery
  • 1 tablespoon amchur powder (I use this instead of tamarind)

Instructions

  1. Soak the rice and the urad dal separately for at least 6 to 8 hours. Grind the urad dal with a little (about 1/4 cup) water until smooth and very fluffy. This is essential to a soft idli. Place in a large non reactive container.
  2. Grind the rice with about 1/2 to 3/4 cup of water until smooth with just a little sandy texture. Mix with the ground urad dal and salt. Stir in the ragi flour and mix well. I like to use my hands to mix in the batter.
  3. Cover and place the batter in a warm place for at least 8 hours. The batter will be forthy and smell lightly sour when ready.
  4. Grease the idli mould and add in the batter. Do not overfill.
  5. Steam for about 15 minutes or 25 minutes in the instant pot (like I did). Let it rest for about 15 minutes before serving.
  6. To make the chutney podi, heat the oil and in add in the channa dal, urad dal, asafetida and the chilies, coriander and cumin and roast until gently browned and fragrant. Add in the sesame seeds and the jaggery and amchur powder. Cool slightly and grind to a powder.
  7. Store the unused powder in a cool airtight jar. Serve the idlies hot with the podi.

Notes

Most of the prep time is for soaking and fermenting the grains

http://www.spicechronicles.com/ragi-idlis-milagu-podi/

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Delhi Chicken Curry with Fennel and Ginger http://www.spicechronicles.com/delhi-chicken-curry-fennel-ginger/ http://www.spicechronicles.com/delhi-chicken-curry-fennel-ginger/#comments Thu, 27 Jul 2017 03:51:22 +0000 http://www.spicechronicles.com/?p=4809 I had sampled this Delhi Chicken Curry with Fennel and Ginger on a vacation. The spicing was delicate and ever so subtle and the technique was cooking meat on the bone low and slow. But wait, it does not stop there, this fall off the bone tender meat is pulled from the bone dunked back...

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Delhi Chicken Curry with Fennel and GingerI had sampled this Delhi Chicken Curry with Fennel and Ginger on a vacation. The spicing was delicate and ever so subtle and the technique was cooking meat on the bone low and slow. But wait, it does not stop there, this fall off the bone tender meat is pulled from the bone dunked back into the cooking liquid. A generous dollop of thick yogurt is whipped in and you have a meal fit for a king.

Now let me share my guilty pressure with you.

I had about 45 minutes to make dinner, and today is Sunday, which basically means is family dinner day! Aka, a blasphemy if yours truly does no deliver a decent and reasonably delicious meal. Well, this is where the instapot aka electric pressure cook helped. Anyone who knows me, by now probably realizes that my kitchen like most Indian kitchens thrive on pressure cooking. The electric pressure cooker ups the ante since I do not need to attend to the food being cooked.

Delhi Chicken Curry

Using the seasonings of the original dish, and boneless chicken thighs this dish comes together pretty quickly. I follow it with stirring in thick yogurt and the result was pretty good. My double guilty pleasure was cooking rice also in the instant pot resulting in the 45 minute meal that made all parties happy.

Delhi Chicken Curry

Life has been busy but peaceful and happy. A comfortable state of calm, and I am trying to ease back into a more regular posting schedule on this wonderful site. All things being equal it has been a summer of busy tranquility – oxymoron maybe, but sums up my relationship with summer this year well. We have even had our first cucumbers to combat the sweltering heat that we had a few days ago. Life is interesting and bring surprises when we least expect them.

Delhi Chicken Curry with Fennel and Ginger

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

A delicately seasoned very tender chicken curry done in 30 minutes in the insta-pot.

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 1 tablespoon whole cumin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • 1 medium sized red onion diced
  • 1 tablespoon red cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon ground fennel
  • 2 pounds of boneless skinless chicken thighs cut into small pieces
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup whole yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

Instructions

  1. Heat he oil and add the cumin seeds and the grated ginger and saute for a few seconds in the base of an instapot or electric pressure cooker.
  2. Add in the onion and saute for 6 minutes. Add in the red cayenne pepper and ground fennel and the chicken and mix well. Add in the salt and 1/4 cup of water.
  3. Cover and cook for 12 minutes under pressure (insta pot poultry setting).
  4. Cool and remove the lid. Beat the yogurt and mix into the hot chicken. Test for seasonings and stir in the cilantro and serve hot.
http://www.spicechronicles.com/delhi-chicken-curry-fennel-ginger/

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Summer Inertia – Eggplant Rice with Purslane http://www.spicechronicles.com/summer-inertia-eggplant-purslane-pilaf/ http://www.spicechronicles.com/summer-inertia-eggplant-purslane-pilaf/#comments Sun, 23 Jul 2017 16:13:15 +0000 http://www.spicechronicles.com/?p=987 Note: I rediscovered this Eggplant Rice with Purslane again. I pretty much made it as in, with a lot more purslane. The kids seem to be happy eating eggplant this way. This time of year, I move into Fall, with anticipation and joy at the colorful translation of the landscapes. It is also the time...

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Eggplant and Purslane Pilaf

Note: I rediscovered this Eggplant Rice with Purslane again. I pretty much made it as in, with a lot more purslane. The kids seem to be happy eating eggplant this way.

This time of year, I move into Fall, with anticipation and joy at the colorful translation of the landscapes. It is also the time of the year, when I do not want to lose sight of some of the good summer recipes that I did not have time to share with you. So, here is my Eggplant rice with Purslane. It is an adaptation of the classic Vangi Bhaat or South Indian style Eggplant Pilaf. The outside is slowing down, but we still get a steady supply of greens and enough lone vegetables to keep us going.

This week seems to have been all about the book, even though I had promised myself when the time came I would not lose focus. I guess, the book is much like a new baby that steals the show from everything else in the house. I remember how unprepared I was for the older one, anxious, nervous and hard on myself. My son Aadi, though more of a handful, had been easier just because I was more prepared and also more willing to be easier on myself. Being a good learner most of the time, I have realized that the it is ok not to be perfect and also learnt to forgive myself for mistakes as a mom.

This has helped me make peace with the fact that I will not be great at promoting the book baby. This being said, it will be special to me.

Eggplant and Purslane Pilaf

Now, back to cooking, this time of the year I often have several residual summer dishes, that I have to decide whether to blog and share for posterity or just forget and let them meander into nothingness, this fresh and lively pilaf, a riff on the classic version called Vangi Bhat, was certainly worth bringing out and saving for next summer when both the eggplants and purslane will grow.

Eggplant Purslane Pilaf

Purslane, grows on its own terms a colorful and nutritious weed. I was exceedingly surprised when I realized that it is quite popular in Southern India, and apparently was also liked and eaten by Gandhi. The taste of this plant varies with the time of the day, it is eaten and usually tends to be tarter in the mornings and more mellow and almost sweet in the evenings.

So, it was a happy and colorful marriage, when I paired it with eggplant and peanuts in this colorful rice dish. Given how much we all liked it, chances are this will be a long lasting late summer marriage. In that, we shall see the duo and welcome them again, next summer.

Summer Inertia – Eggplant and Purslane Pilaf

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

A brightly colored light and nutritious one dish meal, this eggplant and purslane pilaf gets a nice tang from the nutritious purslane and crunch from the peanuts.

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup raw shelled peanut
  • 2 tablespoons oil (olive or mustard)
  • 1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 11/2 teaspoons ginger paste
  • 2 dried red chilies
  • 1 medium sized eggplant, diced
  • 1 cup of basmati rice, washed throughly
  • 2 cups of water
  • 3/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped purslane

Instructions

  1. In a skillet, dry roast the peanuts until they are a few shades darker and are fragrant, this will take about 5 minutes, and needs to be watched and shaken while cooking.
  2. Set the peanuts aside.
  3. In a cooking pot add the oil and heat on medium heat for about 45 seconds.
  4. Add in the black mustard seeds and wait unitl the mustard seeds begin to pop.
  5. Add in the red onion and the red chilies and stir well and saute for about 4 minutes until the onion melts and is transluscent.
  6. Add in the eggplant and stir well. Cover and lower the heat and let the eggplant cook for about 4 minutes, it should be somewhat tender at this point.
  7. Add in the rice and the water and mix well.
  8. Add in the turmeric and the salt and when the water is simmering, cover and cook for about 15 minutes.
  9. Remove the cover, at this point the water should be almost absorbed and the rice fluffy and yellow.
  10. Stir in the purslane and the peanuts and mix with the light hand.
  11. Cover and cook for another 3 minutes and turn off the heat and let the rice rest for 5 minutes before serving.
http://www.spicechronicles.com/summer-inertia-eggplant-purslane-pilaf/

 

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Crispy Lettuce Wraps with Turkey or Lentils http://www.spicechronicles.com/crispy-lettuce-wraps-with-turkey-or-lentils/ Sat, 22 Jul 2017 21:29:08 +0000 http://www.spicechronicles.com/?p=4790 This recipe is one of the new finds in our repertoire of sort of staples. I have dreamed of these Crispy Lettuce Wraps with Turkey, long before I made them. Now they are a keeper. Since the children liked them so much, I ended up with a veggie version as well. For these blisteringly hot...

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Crispy Lettuce WrapsThis recipe is one of the new finds in our repertoire of sort of staples. I have dreamed of these Crispy Lettuce Wraps with Turkey, long before I made them. Now they are a keeper. Since the children liked them so much, I ended up with a veggie version as well. For these blisteringly hot summer days, this is just the kind of dish that will satisfy your cravings and then some.

The vegetarian version uses french lentils and mushrooms for dense and satisfying effect. It has been a busy but fulfilling summer, once where I am learning to feel at ease again. The kids have been busy with camp and dance in preparation for their recital. As for me, I have just been watching the weeks go by. We have had their dance teacher, an enthusiastic octogenarian living with us.  While she is a lovely and low maintenance guest, it is one more thing to fit into an already busy life.

CLW

As we battle this horrid sweltering heat wave, a room temperature dish like this, might just be what the doctor orders. While my meat-loving boy had a distinct preference for the turkey version, I think either of these will work well. Satisfying and great severed at room temperature, they are everything the doctor ordered and more.

Crispy Lettuce Wraps

So, how has summer been shaping up for you? Have you been cooking or grilling up a storm? Or like me have you just wilted away until the summer weather gets a little gentler? Truth be told, I can never really get away from cooking, but I do temper my enthusiasm just a little when the mercury soars beyond 80. What can I can, I really am a fall and spring kind of person. People like me leave more of summer for people who love it just so much!

Crispy Lettuce and Turkey Wraps (With a Vegan Version)

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Yield: Serves 6

A lovely recipe that can be done with either ground turkey or lentils for a lovely light summer meal.

Ingredients

  • 1 head of bib or butter lettuce with the leaves separated (It is great to have small crisp tended leaves that form delicate cups for the filling)
  • For the ground fillimng
  • 1 and 1/2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger
  • 1 bunch of scallions thinly sliced with the whites and greens separated
  • 2 to 4 green chilies, minced
  • 1 pound of ground turkey
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
  • 1/4 cup coarsely ground peanuts
  • For a vegetarian version
  • Instead of the turkey add,
  • 3/4 cup cooked green lentils
  • 1/2 cup chopped shitake mushrooms
  • To garnish
  • 1 or 2 tablespoons chopped red bell peppers
  • 1 or 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

Instructions

  1. Heat the oil and add in the sesame oil.
  2. Saute the garlic, ginger and scallion whites for about 3 minutes. Stir in the green chilies.
  3. Add in the turkey or the lentils and mushrooms and mix well.
  4. Add in the soy sauce, hoisin sauce and the ground peanuts and cook for about 5 minutes, until the mixture is cooked through and dry.
  5. Mix in the scallion greens.
  6. Cool the fillings.
  7. To assemble spoon into the lettuce cups and garnish with the chopped cilantro and red bell peppers and serve as a gorgeous summer meal.
http://www.spicechronicles.com/crispy-lettuce-wraps-with-turkey-or-lentils/

 

 

 

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Summer Sorghum Salad for a classic Summer meal http://www.spicechronicles.com/summer-sorghum-salad/ Sun, 09 Jul 2017 14:23:58 +0000 http://www.spicechronicles.com/?p=4781 Today I am back after a while, celebrating a rainy morning and a jeweled Sorghum salad. I am also pausing to celebrate what was, what will be and what can be… In short I am celebrating a calm, peaceful and tranquil state of mind. This week I had loads to but somehow got sucked into...

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Summer Sorghum SaladToday I am back after a while, celebrating a rainy morning and a jeweled Sorghum salad. I am also pausing to celebrate what was, what will be and what can be… In short I am celebrating a calm, peaceful and tranquil state of mind. This week I had loads to but somehow got sucked into watching Buddha, a woefully slow and but addictive series. I am now back to this lovely salad.

 


Sorghum is new to my kitchen, I picked it up a while back, seduced by its pretty nutty pink appearance. Last weekend, I dug up all that I had around along with some red adzuki beans that I thought would match the appearance for the colorful grain.

Summer Sorghum Salad

What is lovely about cobbling together a summer salad is the sheer abundance of herbs that I have around. This year we no real summer plans, but as always plenty to do. This summery sorghum salad is similar to others I have made with quinoa but with a much bolder dressing.

Garden Herbs

Into this I snipped in some oregano and thyme and chopped up all the cucumbers and tomatoes that I had around. Even when I am creating something completely free falling like this salad I like to google and see what is going on. Just like a bit of counter checking, sort of an assurance that the new things are being handled appropriately. From Martha Shulman, I picked up the tip of cooking the sorghum until it just burst – a good 45 minutes in my case.

Summer and the kids

A old cook’s tip that I have also learnt and applied it to add the dressing to the grain when it is still fairly warm, all of which translates to a well-seasoned salad. My dressing for this was fresh ginger, clementine and lime juice, salt, pepper and fresh herbs.

Wholesome Sorghum Salad
Other than that, things have been busy and fulfilling. We do not have any major vacation plans this summer – Deepta is getting ready for her dance debut and catching up on Spanish to get set for her new school. I have gotten somewhat well settling into my new life and world. So all is calm at least for the moment in Curry Garden ville.

Summer Sorghum Salad

Prep Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

Cook Time: 50 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours

Yield: Serves 6

Summer Sorghum Salad

A refreshing and wholesome sorghum salad that is perfect for these summer days.

Ingredients

    For the salad
  • 1/2 cup sorghum
  • 11/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 English cucumber, peeled and diced
  • 1 pint of cherry tomatoes, quartered (about 1 cup)
  • 1 to 2 scallions, minced
  • 1/2 cup fresh corn (about 2 ears of corn)
  • 3/4 cup cooked adzuki beans
  • For the dressing
  • 1 tablespoon fresh oregano
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed clementine or mandarin juice
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon fresh minced ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon pink or sea-salt

Instructions

  1. Place the sorghum in a large cooking pot with 4 cups of water. Add in about 1 teaspoon salt and bring the water to boil, reduce the temperature and cook for 45 to 50 minutes. Let it rest for about 10 minutes before draining the grains.
  2. While the sorghum is cooking, chop and prep the vegetables and place in a large mixing bowl. The bowl should have the cucumber, cherry tomato, scallions, corn and the beans. Add in the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt.
  3. Mince the cilantro, oregano and thyme. Place in a jar. Add in the ginger, olive oil, red chili pepper flakes (if using) and pink or regular salt with the clementine and lime juices. Shake well to mix and set aside.
  4. To assemble add the warm grains to a mixing bowl and toss with the dressing. Mix in the vegetables.
  5. Let the salad chill for at least one hour up to 6 hours before serving.

Notes

Most of the cooking time for this recipe is unattended. The actual hands on time is about 20 minutes.

http://www.spicechronicles.com/summer-sorghum-salad/

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Rhubarb Raspberry Almond Cake (Gluten-free) (Accidental) – Recipe Redux http://www.spicechronicles.com/rhubarb-raspberry-almond-cake-gluten-free-accidental/ http://www.spicechronicles.com/rhubarb-raspberry-almond-cake-gluten-free-accidental/#comments Fri, 23 Jun 2017 02:51:44 +0000 http://www.spicechronicles.com/?p=4768 We visited friends on Saturday evening and I almost feel like I snatched the last good day, for a while at least. I remembered rhubarb from our garden and sought out to cobble up a cake to go. The Rhubarb Raspberry Almond Cake happened because, I love baking with almonds. I have lately been working...

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Almond, Rhubarb and Raspberry CakeWe visited friends on Saturday evening and I almost feel like I snatched the last good day, for a while at least. I remembered rhubarb from our garden and sought out to cobble up a cake to go. The Rhubarb Raspberry Almond Cake happened because, I love baking with almonds. I have lately been working with using some chickpea flour in my regular cake mix. It blends in quite nicely and adds a good protein boost. My typical mixture has been 1 part all-purpose or whole wheat pastry flour, 1-part chickpea flour and 1-part almond meal. While making this cake, I closely followed this recipe fairly closely with my newfound mix. I added added ginger and forgot to add in AP flour. Well a gluten-free cake was born. Who knew?

Accidentally or not, this month’s recipe redux theme was cake.

The texture was dense but really quite flavorful and comforting.

Most of you blog readers know, while I have a lot of naturally vegan and gluten-free recipes on my site they are just that, naturally so! I love chickpea flour or besan. It is quite the workhorse in my house and a lot of other Indian homes. From savory fritters, to sweet fudge it works for almost everything in our household.

This cake was a perfect and spontaneous creation, I did manage to get a couple of shots before I whisked it away for a calm and peaceful evening with friends. Here is my Instagram shot, taken of the evening. Peaceful and simple, just what the heart desires sometimes. I have to confess it took me away from my crazy busy project, which I need to get back to today. I also have planned by evening cooking that should hopefully tide me into the week. On tap, I have cauliflower with fenugreek, goan style salmon curry and eggplant pilaf. I just made the pilaf with mint instead of purslane and it tasted all kinds of fragrant.

Today was a good Monday, as Mondays go. Here is wishing everyone a balanced week? May the summer gods be with you. I have promised someone I will be getting out some recipe, and maybe I will by tomorrow. Wondering do you make self-promises that help you accomplish things?

Rhubarb Raspberry Almond Cake (Gluten-free) (Accidental)

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

A beautiful pink gluten-free cake.

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1/2 pound rhubarb stalks
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries
  • 1 cup chickpea flour
  • 1 cup almond meal
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¼ cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon slivered almonds

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Butter an 8 or 9 inch cake or tart pan. Slice rhubarb in half lengthwise (quarter if very large).
  2. Set aside 8 of the prettiest pieces aside for the top of the cake; chop remaining rhubarb into small pieces.
  3. Place the softened butter and sugar in bowl and beat until fluffy. Mix in the chopped rhubarb and the raspberries. The raspberries will break and offer the mixture a pretty pink color.
  4. In a separate bowl mix the chickpea flour and almond meal with the baking powder.
  5. Beat the eggs with the yogurt.
  6. Add the flours with the egg mixture in batches to the butter mixture. Mix until well incorporated. Pour into the greased pie pan. Carefully arrange the rhubarb stalks over the cake. Sprinkle the slivered almonds over the cake.
  7. Place in the oven and bake for about 35 minutes, until the cake is set and deep pink and fragrant.
  8. The cake will be a dense and earthy cake.
  9. When cooled remove from the pan and cut into wedges and serve.
http://www.spicechronicles.com/rhubarb-raspberry-almond-cake-gluten-free-accidental/

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Viceroy Publik House-Bringing the Raj to Stamford http://www.spicechronicles.com/viceroy-publik-house-bringing-raj-stamford/ Sun, 11 Jun 2017 03:51:25 +0000 http://www.spicechronicles.com/?p=4752 Viceroy Public House is a whimsical attempt to capture moments of the British Raj. Or stated differently, it is an attempt to recapture the British love affair with Indian food, the pub scene and all things fun. It is often difficult to marry two different influences in the menu, but Viceroy is certainly giving this...

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Viceroy Public HouseViceroy Public House is a whimsical attempt to capture moments of the British Raj. Or stated differently, it is an attempt to recapture the British love affair with Indian food, the pub scene and all things fun. It is often difficult to marry two different influences in the menu, but Viceroy is certainly giving this a brave, bold and well balanced  effort.

Waldorf Salad

Publik House, “Pub” for short, was artfully designed by the British, dating as far back as the 1300s. Its focus was that of a gathering place where beer and cider were merely offerings within the pub’s social or political confines. Today, it is still a gathering place with it’s own general of pub-style food.

Menu

The menu brings classic items like onion pakoras or bhajis as they are more commonly called in the UK, and fusion findings such as a decadent Lobster Tikka Mac and a Mulligatawny Soup, that has stolen my heart and taste buds forever.

Tikki Mac

 

My version is pretty good, but you should visit Viceroy to check out the original. The general relaxed fun vibe offers something for everyone including a formal dining room that is good for a quieter dining experience.

Owner  Ramya Lakshman had commissioned restaurateur and music aficionado Eric Monte to bring an interesting English/Indian experience to the bi-level townhouse at 211 Summer Street.

Yard Fowl

The crowd working with Viceroy are a happy chatty bunch, very excited about their eclectic baby. When visiting try to grab someone to fill you in about the history and concept. On a fun night, grab a mike and sing along if you fancy karaoke it. With summer on its way, get out and get your self a cold one with spicy chutney speckled noshings to balance your palate.

The chefs

The kitchen team of chef’s teven Bianchini and Kallingapuram Sarith are a formidable kitchen duo, and we should expect more kitchen magic from them as the menu evolves and settles in.

Viceroy Publik House

211 Summer Street

Stamford, CT

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