Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Early Spring - Some Pictures - Earth Day 2015

Early Spring is the prettiest time of the year. The trees are just starting to sprout and flowering trees are ablaze with blooms. The prettiest time of the year, as if everything has been cleaned and spruced.
Today is Earth Day, the event held to honor and protect the earth's resources. Is just one day enough to think about the earth and its resources? Better yet might be to modify our lifestyles a little bit to do our part to keep the earth rejuvenated for future generations.
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Monday, April 20, 2015

Kadai Mushroom with Potatoes and Methi

This past week my favorite section in the Washington Post, carried this headline "Can Vegetable Biryani Satisfy Mr. Meat and Potatoes?" no prodding is necessary to read the Food Section but this heading piqued my curiosity. There were a few Indian Recipes and the Kadai Musroom recipe was one that I wanted to try immediately. Mushrooms bought here have too much water and so the simple stir fry with just chilli powder and salt that my mother does in India does not taste all that good. The 2 packets of mushroom were not sufficient so added a few potatoes, also added fresh Methi leaves with the tender stems which gave it the special taste and aroma. If you have enough mushrooms leave out the potatoes.
  1. Cremini Mushrooms 2 Packets cleaned and sliced (about 3 cups)
  2. 6 garlic cloves minced or grated
  3. 5 Green Chillies (deseeded) and chopped fine
  4. 1 1/2 inch ginger piece grated
  5. 1/4 cup of fresh Methi leaves chopped or frozen (use more or less)
  6. 5 Roma tomatoes (I added one big tomato and one roma tomato) (or chopped/crushed canned tomatoes)
  7. 3 Medium sized Red potatoes cut into lengthwise strips (optional)
  8. handful of corriander leaves chopped
  9. 1/2 tbsp kassor methi crushed coarsely
  10. 2 tsp of any masala powder or 1/2 tsp garam masala powder
  11. 2 tsp Red chilli powder
  12. 1 tbsp coriander powder
  13. 1 tbsp of oil
  1. In a Kadai add a little the oil and when it is hot add the mushroom and stir fry till all the water is evaporated, transfer to a bowl.
  2. Clean the kadai add some more oil and stir fry the potatoes if using till they are 3/4 cooked and set aside.
  3. Add the remaining oil and when it is hot add the garlic and ginger and let them cook till they turn color, don't let the garlic burn, adjust the heat to a little below medium.
  4. Now add the methi and coriander leaves and chilli powder and saute till are wilted.
  5. Add the green chillies and fry for a minute.
  6. Now add the tomatoes and cook till they are soft and mushed.
  7. Add masala and coriander powders and mix well.
  8. Add the the mushrooms and Potatoes, salt mix well, cover with a lid and let it cook for 6-8 minutes till the potatoes are cooked through.
  9. Now add the kasoor methi and after a minute switch off the heat.
Serve with Rice, roti or any Indian Bread
Recipe Source: From chef Nilesh Singhvi (article in the Washington Post)
From the archives. Originally posted 4/22/07

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Garlic and Curry leaves flavored Roasted Lotus Seeds or Fox Nuts (Phool Makhana)

Louts Seeds or Phool Makhana as they are commonly called, are exactly what they sound like - exotic! I have never tasted them before, have just heard of them. This has been on my to try list for the longest time. When I finally made the purchase, it sat in my pantry for a good 3-4 months. During that time I came to understand that Phool Makhana though often referred to as lotus seeds are not exactly louts seeds but seeds of the Makhana plant or Euryale ferox. When they are roasted they become just like popcorn. While curries, kheers and several other recipes can be made with them, I want to try roasting them first. They are nuts after all ;) Sorry guys! That was a bad joke!!

Keeping this recipe that is used for making kara pori I decided to use the fox nuts a try.

Garlic and Curry leaves flavored Roasted Lotus Seeds (Phool Makhana)
Preparation Time:5 minutes
Baking Time:15 minutes
  1. a pack of phool makhana
  2. 6 garlic cloves thin slices
  3. curry leaves 2 sprigs
  4. 1 -2 tsp of chili powder
  5. 1/2 tsp of turmeric powder
  6. salt to taste
  7. 1 tsp ghee or any oil (for a vegan version)

  1. Heat the ghee or oil in a wide mouthed pan or kadai.
  2. When hot add the garlic and saute for a minute, don't let it get burnt. Add in the curry leaves.
  3. Now add the salt, chili powder and turmeric powder, saute for a few seconds and add in the lotus seeds.
  4. Saute for about 5-8 minutes stirring continuously till the spice powders are well coated.
  5. These are perfect for a snack any time of the day.

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