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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.

Turkish Style Kebabs with Yogurt Sauce

May 7, 2018

One of our best vacations was in Istanbul- the food was out of this world.. These kebabs remind me of the amazing trip…

  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • ½ cup milk

Soak the breadcrumbs in the milk for about 10 minutes and keep aside.

  • 1 pound ground pork, beef or dark meat turkey
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon sumac
  • 1 teaspoon dried mint
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • ½ cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Transfer the soaked breadcrumbs, ground meat, salt, cumin, all spice, sumac, dried mint, garlic, egg and parsley to a large food processor. Process till a smooth mixture is achieved. Take out and let the mixture marinate for at least 2 to 3 hours. Form into meatballs or kebabs, about ¼ cup of mixture for each kebab. Heat a frying pan with the oil and cook the kebabs on a medium heat, turning every 2 to 3 minutes until all sides are brown. Cook till the kebabs are cooked through- about 10 to 15 minutes. Serve with yogurt sauce.

Yogurt Sauce

  • 1 cup full fat yogurt, whisked
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried mint
  • ¼ cup fresh dill, chopped
  • Juice of half a lemon

Mix all the ingredients including the yogurt in a bowl. Serve with the kebabs.

 

Shrimp and Scallop Cakes

September 19, 2017

It’s still warm outside and these are perfect for a quick weeknight meal…

  • ½ pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 6 large scallops, cleaned

Place the shrimp and scallops into a food processor and pulse about 10 times or till the seafood is finely chopped. Take out and transfer to a medium bowl. Keep aside.

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow pepper, chopped
  • 4 green onions, whites and greens separated and chopped
  • 1 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground chipotle
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Heat a medium skillet with olive oil. Add the pepper, the white part of the green onions and garlic. Saute on medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the cumin, chipotle and salt. Continue to sauté on medium heat for 10 minutes. Turn heat off and let cool completely.

  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • ½ cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs, divided in half
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Add the egg, cilantro, green parts of the green onions, salt and half cup of the panko breadcrumbs to the chopped seafood. Add the cooled pepper mixture. Mix well and place in the fridge for an hour.

Divide the mixture into 4 large cakes and dredge with the remaining ½ cup panko breadcrumbs.

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter

Heat the oil and butter in a non-stick pan and add the cakes. Cook on medium high heat for 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Serve with chili lime sauce.

Chili Lime Sauce

  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • Juice of one lime
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Mix all the ingredients and serve with the cakes.

 

Turkish Style Kebabs

April 3, 2017
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 pound ground lamb
  • 2 tablespoons harissa
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground sumac
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 garlic cloves, grated
  • 1 small yellow onion, grated
  • 2 inch piece of ginger, grated
  • ½ cup parsley, chopped
  • ¼ cup mint, chopped

Transfer all the ingredients to a mixing bowl, mix well and let sit for 2 to 3 hours. Form about 12 sausage shaped kebabs and then insert a skewer through each and grill till done. Serve in warm pita with some greens like arugula topped with the harissa sauce.

Harissa Sauce

  • 1 cup full fat yogurt
  • 2 garlic cloves, grated
  • ½ cup parsley, chopped
  • ¼ cup mint, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons sumac
  • 2 tablespoons harissa
  • 2 teaspoons salt

Mix everything in a small bowl, taste for seasonings and serve over the kebabs.

Middle Eastern Style Meatballs with Yogurt Sauce

June 13, 2016

This is a great take on your regular, run of the mill, meatballs- not that any thing is wrong with that… but sometimes it is nice to change it up a bit…. they are really good to entertain with… I served mine with delicious couscous…

  • 1 pound ground pork (any ground meat can be used)
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • ½ cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • ½ cup fresh mint, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • ½ cup panko breadcrumbs soaked in ½ cup milk (let sit for at least 10 mins)

Mix all the ingredients and set aside for at least an hour.

Tomato Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon sumac
  • Zest of one orange (keep juice aside)
  • 3 cups tomato sauce, homemade or canned crushed tomatoes
  • Salt

Heat a heavy saucepan with the oil. Add the tomato paste, fennel seeds, ground cumin, cinnamon and orange zest. Saute on medium heat for a minute and add the tomato sauce and the saved orange juice. Bring to a boil and simmer on low heat with lid on for at least 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes or so. Take lid off and increase heat and form meatballs and drop gently into the pan. Lower the heat to a simmer with the lid on and cook for 30 minutes. Check for seasonings and add salt. Serve on top of couscous topped with yogurt sauce.

Yogurt Sauce

  • 1 cup yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon ground roasted cumin seeds
  • ½ teaspoon dried mint, crumbled
  • ½ cup grated cucumber, water squeezed
  • ½ cup grated carrot, water squeezed.
  • 1 to 2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sumac

Mix all the ingredients and check for seasonings. Serve with meatballs.

Middle Eastern Style Meatballs1

Chicken with Cilantro and Dill Sauce

December 1, 2015

This is one of my favorite chicken recipes- its my Grandfathers. It is simple and delicious…

  • 2 pounds bone-in chicken thighs
  • 3 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons salt

Marinate the chicken pieces with the coriander and salt for 2 to 3 hours.

  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 cup dill, chopped
  • 1 cup cilantro, chopped

Process the onion, garlic, dill and cilantro. Keep aside.

  • 2 tablespoons ghee or butter
  • 1 tablespoon extra light olive oil
  • 1 half inch cinnamon stick
  • 3 cloves
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • Salt
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds

Heat a heavy saucepan with the ghee and oil. Brown the chicken pieces on both sides on high heat, 2 to 3 minutes each. Keep aside. Add the cinnamon stick and cloves. Saute for 20 seconds and add the cilantro mixture. Saute on medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the chicken and chicken broth and salt. Bring to a boil and simmer for half an hour covered. Take the lid off and turn the heat up and cook off the sauce until it thickens a bit. Check for seasonings.

Grind the spices in a coffee grinder and sprinkle on top of the curry. Mix well and let simmer for ten minutes. Serve warm.

 

 

 

Brown Rice with Tomatoes and Beans

May 27, 2015

This is a perfect accompaniment with yesterdays chili.. and it is healthy and delicious!! No one will be able to tell brown rice was used…

  • 2 cups brown rice, rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • Juice of half a large lemon
  • 5 cups water or chicken broth

Heat a saucepan with the butter and oil. Add the rice and sauté on medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the salt, lemon juice and liquid. Bring to a boil and lower the heat to a simmer and cook partially covered for about 20 minutes. Once the liquid is cooked off from the surface, lower the heat and cover with lid. Cook an additional 20 minutes or so, or till the rice is cooked through.

Tomatoes and Beans

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ancho chili powder
  • 1 14 ounces can diced tomatoes with chili
  • 1 14 ounces can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • ½ cup cilantro, chopped
  • Salt

Heat a large saucepan with the olive oil. Add the onions and garlic and sauté on medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the cumin and ancho chili powder. Saute for another minute. Add the tomatoes and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the black beans and cilantro. Add the mixture to the cooked rice. Mix well and add salt to taste. Serve warm.