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Paneer and Peas Korma

January 22, 2019

  • ½ pound paneer, cut into small squares and soaked in warm water
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cashews, soaked in ¼ cup warm water for 20 minutes
  • 2 tablespoons cream
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 medium tomato, chopped
  • 1 inch fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped

Transfer the drained cashews, cream, onion, tomato, ginger and garlic to a blender. Add some water if necessary and blend till a smooth paste is formed. Keep aside.

  • 2 tablespoons extra light olive oil
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 ½ inch cinnamon stick
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1-2 cups water
  • 1 ½ cups frozen peas
  • 1 teaspoon kauri methi (dried fenugreek)
  • ½ cup cilantro, chopped

Heat a heavy saucepan with the oil. Add the bay leave and cinnamon stick and sauté for 20 seconds. Add the cashew paste and sauté on medium heat for 10 minutes. Add the cayenne pepper, turmeric, salt and water. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the drained paneer and peas and bring back to a boil and simmer half covered with a lid for 10 minutes.  Add the kasuri methi and cilantro. Check for seasonings and serve warm.

Sweet and Sour Chicken

January 21, 2019

I tweaked this recipe from New York Times cooking section- it is definitely one of my favorite places to get inspired as they have such amazing variety of recipes. This one reminds me of my childhood in India ordering sweet and sour chicken from a local Chinese restaurant called Suzie Wong.

  • 2 pounds chicken breast, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 6 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • Mix the cornstarch with the salt and pepper and toss the chicken pieces in the cornstarch mixture.
  • 4 tablespoons peanut oil plus more
  • 4 to 5 dried red chilies

 

Heat a large non-stick frying pan with the oil on high. Add half of the chicken and cook, turning occasionally until golden brown and near cooked, about 4 minutes. Repeat with the rest of the chicken and keep aside.

  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ½ cup pineapple juice
  • 3 tablespoons ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 3 garlic cloves, grated
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 2 medium red bell peppers, seeded and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 cup canned pineapple chunks
  • 3 scallions, thinly sliced

 

Mix the vinegar, honey, pineapple juice, ketchup, oyster sauce, soy sauce, brown sugar and garlic in a small bowl and keep aside.

Add more oil to the frying pan if needed. Heat on medium heat and add the dried red chilies. Saute for 30 seconds. Add the onion and pepper and sauté on high heat for 2 minutes. Add the sauce, pineapple chunks and the chicken. Bring to a boil and let the sauce reduce on medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes, making sure the chicken is cooked through. Check for seasonings and garnish with scallions. Serve with white or brown rice.

Indian Fish Curry

January 8, 2019

Fish Curry with Sole

This recipe is inspired by a bengali fish curry. It doesn’t have any tomatoes or yogurt as a base for the gravy. It is mostly flavored with spices including mustard seeds and onion seeds- which is one of my favorite combinations. It is quite simple and quick to make…

  • 2 pounds fish fillets, (any white fish will do)
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons salt

Marinate the fish fillets with the lemon juice, turmeric and salt.

  • 4 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 2 teaspoons kalonji (onion seeds)
  • 2 tablespoons garlic, grated
  • 2 tablespoons ginger, grated
  • 2 medium yellow onions, chopped fine
  • 2 teaspoons coriander powder
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cups water, fish or chicken broth
  • Salt

Heat a non stick pan with the 2 tablespoons coconut oil. Saute the fish pieces briefly on high heat. Keep aside. Add the leftover oil from the non-stick pan to a saucepan and add the remaining coconut oil. Heat the pan and add the mustard and onion seeds on medium heat. Saute for a minute. Add the garlic and ginger and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the onions, coriander powder and bay leaf. Saute for 4 to 5 minutes. Add the liquid and salt and bring to a boil. Add the fish pieces and simmer for a few minutes till the fish is cooked through but not over done. Check for seasonings and serve with rice.

Easy Citrus Chicken

January 7, 2019

Pan Seared Citrus Chicken
Here is another yummy, healthy chicken dish. This particular one  has Latin flavors. I started with marinating the chicken- I do think it is the key to amazing flavor every time. I marinated the chicken in orange juice, lime juice, agave, smoked paprika and garlic. I later made a sauce out of the left over marinade- always a good idea! To thicken the sauce, I dredged the chicken pieces in a bit of flavor before cooking. The dish came together in no time at all and it was delicious.

I served the healthy chicken breasts with citrus broccoli and some sweet potato oven fries.

  • 3 to 4 chicken breast filets, boneless, skinless and pounded thin (about ½ inch)

Marinade

  • 1 cup orange juice
  • Juice of one lime
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons agave
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 3 garlic cloves, grated

Add the orange juice, lime juice, agave, salt, paprika and garlic in a small bowl and mix well. Add the marinade and chicken to a zip lock bag and marinate for 3 to 4 hours in the fridge.

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Heat a large frying pan with the olive oil. Take the chicken filets out of the marinade and dredge in flour and salt (save the marinade for later). Brown the chicken on high heat for 2 to 3 minutes on each side. Take the filets out and add the marinade into the frying pan. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat. Add the chicken filets and cook on a medium flame until chicken is done (time will vary according the chicken thickness). Serve hot with pan sauce on top of the chicken.

Moroccan Vegetable Tagine

January 6, 2019

Vegetable Tagine

Great healthy way to start off the new year!

Spice Mix

  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

Roast the cumin and coriander seeds in a cast iron skillet on a medium high heat for 3 to 4 minutes or till the seeds become aromatic. Take off the heat and grind smooth in a coffee grinder. Take out in a small bowl and add the turmeric and cayenne pepper. Keep aside.

  • 2 tablespoons extra light olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 to 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon harissa
  • 3 to 4 medium yellow potatoes, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 2 medium turnips, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 3 to 4 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • Salt
  • 1 cup green olives, sliced
  • ½ cup dried apricots, sliced
  • ½ cup slivered almonds
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • ½ cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons dried mint, crushed

Heat a heavy saucepan with the olive oil. Add the onions and garlic and sauté on medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the tomato paste, harissa and the spice mix. Saute for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the potatoes, turnips, carrots, chickpeas, chicken stock and salt. Bring to a boil and lower the heat to a simmer. Cover with lid and cook for 30 minutes. Take the lid off and check to see if the root vegetables are tender. Mash some potatoes with the back of a wooden spoon to slightly thicken the liquid. Add the olives and apricots. Turn the heat up to cook off some of the excess liquid to get the desired consistency- it should be like a thick soup. Add the almonds, cilantro, parsley and dried mint. Check for seasonings and serve with couscous.

Pumpkin Gelato

December 18, 2018

Pumpkin Gelato

  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • ½ cup evaporated cane juice (sugar)
  • ½ vanilla bean, split in half
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ cinnamon stick
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch
  • 2 tablespoons whole milk to mix in the cornstarch

Ice cream maker

In a medium saucepan, heat the milk, vanilla bean, ground cloves and cinnamon stick on medium heat. Once bubbles begin to form on the edges, add the cornstarch mixed in with 2 tablespoons milk. Cook till the mixture begins to thicken, about 2-3 minutes and forms a custard consistency. Add ½ cup pumpkin puree and mix well. Remove from the heat. Strain and refrigerate overnight or at least 2 hours.

Pour the chilled mixture into an ice cream maker and follow the manufacturers instructions. Freeze the gelato for at least an hour once it is done.

Fig and Apricot Compote

December 17, 2018

Fig and Apricot Compote I made this compote for Thanksgiving. Our tradition is to open wine sometime in the afternoon- while I am still cooking. Around 3 I take the cheese and crackers out. I usually make a fig compote cooked in red wine, brown sugar and fresh thyme. It is delicious, especially with some aged goat cheese. We also drink Kir Royale with the cheese and crackers. I love the tradition and look forward to it every year.

The other thing I did different was the compote. I made this one with dried figs and apricots. I decided to use orange and lemon juice with honey. I served it with a variety of Spanish cheeses including manchego, an aged goat cheese and another one- can’t remember the name.

Definitely make this for your next holiday get together. It is quick, easy and delicious. You can make this in advance and keep it in the fridge. Enjoy!

  • ½ cup dried mission figs, cut into thin strips
  • ½ cup dried apricots, cut into thin strips
  • 1 cup fresh orange juice
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

In a small saucepan, add the figs, apricots, orange juice, lemon juice, honey and salt. Bring the liquid to a boil and turn it down to a simmer. Reduce the liquid till the compote is thick and syrupy. It will take about 15 minutes. Taste for seasonings and serve with cheese.