NutCracker or Just Plain Nuts?

July 17, 2009

Recipes ›

It's midnight and I'm proud to say I have finished my four recipes. Two are done and the two others I just finished putting into the crockpots. They'll be done by the morning. It's later than I thought, but here's how the day started:
I woke up at 7 a.m. instead of 5. Because I went to bed much much later than I thought I would. So...I was tired. But that two hours you know what that means? The rugrats are awake. And you know what that means? They're in the kitchen. Running around. Asking me for things. Trying to sit on the counter. Aria - eating raw spinach out of the bowl like it's going out of style. (What kid does that???) And Neha - no better. She tends to take on pets in the house. A year ago it was a lemon from the fridge. She played with it. Ate with it. Slept with it. She wasn't the same for days after Sandeep accidently cut it up and squeezed it over our side salad. Today she found an almond in its shell. First, she tried to break the shell with tongs. I told her we needed to buy a nutcracker. Then, she went to my bedroom and played with it for a while...and fought with Aria when the little one tried to make a grab for it. (I knew I should have put these kids in summer camp! What in the world was I thinking??)
So....I managed to only prep the Sarson ka Saag and the Goan Black Eyed Peas. Both turned out amazingly well, though for the peas I've decided to use one can less of coconut milk than the original stovetop recipe dictated.
I started cooking again late. And Neha was still up - at 10 pm! I was irritated, but sucked it up and started thinking about what this project is really all about. It's about them - so why not try and be a little more patient? So...this girl that usually is in bed by 8 stood by my side for an hour and helped me chop ginger and garlic into paste in the food processor and grind a roasted cumin and coriander powder from fresh whole spices. She even sampled the Goan Black Eyed Peas and liked them. Exactly the reason I'm cooking in the first place - to get them to try as many different dishes as possible.

Here's one of my favorite new spice blends - it went into the cauliflower in spicy tomato sauce:

Toasted cumin and coriander seed
1 Tablespoon cumin
1 Tablespoon coriander

Place both in a dry, shallow frying pan. On medium-high heat warm until golden brown. Shake or stir the seeds so that they don't burn. This will take 2-3 minutes. Place the mix into a bowl and allow to cool. Once cooled, place in a coffee grinder (used solely for spices) or mortar and pestle and grind into a powder.

The result is a lemony-nutty flavor that is great when trying to enhance the flavor of a dish.

Here's another tip - do the above with just cumin and keep the powder on hand to add into savory yogurt (raita). You'll be amazed by the flavor. My mouth is just watering thinking about it.

What's in store for tomorrow???

Dry dal (Sooki Dal) - awesome in wraps with a little spinach
Winter Melon
Spinach Dal
Spicy Eggplant

Sooo...keep me honest. Who is coming over to pick up some food? I'm dropping some off to my buddy Shruti in the morning - she's been an awesome taste tester so far. And my buddy Maria who picked up food last night. Don't be shy. Sophie????? Where are your containers?

Good Night for now!!



Anupy Singla
Anupy Singla

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10 Comments

Indian As Apple Pie
Indian As Apple Pie

July 21, 2009

Ally – all the feedback is great! Regarding the eggplant, note that you won't get the eggplant to break down in the cooking process as much if you use the Japanese/Chinese variety – it's much heartier. And – it can't be roasted the way a large-sized regular eggplant can be. Here's a great use for the Japanese/Chinese variety (the long ones):

roast over the stovetop until the outside skin is completely charred. Then soak in a bowl of water until the skin slips off. Chop and serve with a side of soyu (soy sauce). Makes a fun appetizer with chopsticks.

Thanks for trying the food..and come over again soooooon! -Anupy

Ally
Ally

July 21, 2009

OK I am feeling technologically and ethnically deficient right now (you'll see that I use the English names for everything) : ). So you know we loved the lamb kebobs, the potato curry and the eggplant (Pete's only comment was could there be fewer seeds…I didn't really have an issue with it. But I did recently try Chinese eggplant which has very few seeds, if you're interested). More recently we had the chick peas soaked in what you called the Indian version of gooseberries. Delicious! Especially with nan. The lentils were excellent too (had them over rice).

About Me
About Me

July 17, 2009

Sophie…
Thanks a million for your comments. It all helps. With the chana I gave you … I recommend slicing red onions very thinly and serving with those on top. I did that but because it cooked a little longer than I'd wanted the onions got cooked into the dish. Folks – remember with Indian – once the dish is finished we always add some freshly chopped onions. It adds this amazing crunch and dimension to the food while you are eating! I'm obsessed with raw onions. Sophie – I knew there was a reason we got along! And tell your mom to look. I'm going to post that halwa recipe she had asked me about soon. Anupy

About Me
About Me

July 17, 2009

Jasmine…my magic formula-skipping along the Mag mile-You take the short one I'll take the long one…Friend. Yes. Let me get to Devon and you all will get my famous around the world sweet and sour pumpkin sabzi. There is nothing like it. Making it is an ode to my old friend Mukta Gupta that showed me how to do it in between surfing and hula dancing in Hawai'i.

smokingpenguin
smokingpenguin

July 17, 2009

All of this reminds me of when I lived in Vancouver. All of my friends were Punjabi (they called me Burinder Singh Flanigan) and when they would go home to visit their parents they would always return with giant tupperware containers full of incredible food. My favorite though was my friend Ramen who would go home and inevitably see the woman I knew only as "maha bua" the aunt of aunts. She made the most incredible chicken makhani I have ever had. When she learned about her "biggest fan" she started making a container for me and one for Ramen. Good lord I miss that woman!

About Me
About Me

July 17, 2009

Ha. I was just in Vancouver last weekend. The Punjabis there are hard core. If you are Punjabi you know what I mean. The "Kidhun" type. "Tehte Punabis." You have to love love love the ability to speak Punjabi well. I don't. I have more of a Hindi-Punjabi thing going. But I love listening to my cousins in Punjab really get going…Anupy

About Me
About Me

July 17, 2009

Please please please come over. I'm here after 4 p.m. anytime!! And bring containers.

Jazz
Jazz

July 17, 2009

Anupy – I wish I lived in Chicago to pick up your delectable cooking! You know I'm dying for the recipe for your Pumpkin Sabji and anything and everything you know in the Goan cuisine area. I'm trying to remember what you made in your open air University of Hawaii kitchen back in your surfer grad student days…I'll get back to you on that!

Sofia
Sofia

July 17, 2009

Anupy! So, I just had a delicious bowl of the lentil soup (yellow daal) with some basmati rice, it was excellent! I ate it with some fresh chooped onions on top, one of my favoite dishes, my comfort food! I also had some channa and basmati rice, it was also very good, what do you think about chunky chopped onions cooked with? Can you tell I love onions!? I love being a taste tester, wonderful! I'm planning on trying the other dishes in the next day or so, I'm especially intrigued to try the saag with corn bread…

Bioburn3
Bioburn3

July 17, 2009

Anupy let me start by first congratulating you on your successes thus far. I am very excited for your blog (Brennan loves to cook and I love to eat, this will work out well!!). Tomorrow's dishes sound fantastic and I would love to be a taster! Your spice combination intrigues me as I love both nuts and lemons (mmmmmm) I want to try using it on chicken to make a nice summer salad.
Oh, and if you need a nutcracker, you should check out Alessi (611 N. State St.) tell them I sent you and they will be extra nice.

Oh, this is James (My aim profile is not filled out oops!).

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