Saturday, June 14, 2008

Thai Chicken Curry

This recipe is great... I love it, it has great flavour and it's really easy to make. Serve it with rice and you've got a nice meal.

* 3 tablespoons red mild Indian curry paste, Patak's Mild Coriander & Cumin is a good brand
* 3 tablespoons olive oil
* 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips
* 1 tbsp. pesto
* 1/2 bunch cilantro, leaves chopped
* 2 (13.5-ounce) cans coconut milk
* 2 tablespoons soy sauce
* Kosher salt
* Freshly ground black pepper
* Steamed rice, to serve
* Paprika, for garnish
* 1 scallion, thinly sliced, for garnish

In a large skillet, mix together the curry paste and oil over medium heat. Cook until it sizzles for 2 minutes. Add the chicken to the skillet and stir. Cook for 8 minutes stirring occasionally.

Add the pesto, cilantro, coconut milk, and soy sauce and season with salt and pepper. Give it a good stir, cover it, and cook on medium low for 10 minutes. Stir it again, cover, and let it rest for 3 or 4 minutes off the heat. Serve over steamed rice, garnished with paprika and scallions.

*Note: Patak's Curry paste is available in the US & UK. You need to get it at indian markets in the US.

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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Barley Tabbouleh Salad

This recipe is wonderful... It goes very well with my spiced hummus recipe that I have posted earlier in this blog. Both hummus and tabbouleh are middle eastern dishes. You can eat tabbouleh with flat bread, pita chips, romaine hearts, or by itself. This recipe has a nice balance of all the flavours and tastes amazing. I hope some of you will be able to enjoy this.

* 1 1/4 cups pearl barley
* 3 cups salted water
* 1/3 cup olive oil
* 3 tbsp. lemon juice
* Zest of 1/2 lemon
* 2 cloves garlic, minced
* 1 green onion, chopped
* Salt and pepper to taste
* 1 roma tomato, seeded and diced
* 1 cup seedless cucumber, diced
* 1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley, minced (please don't use regular parsley, flat-leaf is traditional in middle eastern cooking)
* 1/4 cup cilantro, minced

In a saucepan, bring salted water to a boil. Add the barley and reduce heat to a simmer covered for 25 minutes. Drain.

Rinse barley with cold water in a strainer until all the grains are cooled.

Transfer to bowl and toss with olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, minced garlic, green onions, salt and pepper.

Before serving add tomatoes, cucumber, parsley, and cilantro.


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Monday, June 9, 2008

Khichdi (Rice and Lentils)

This Indian dish is very easy to make and only takes 30 minutes to prepare... It is also prepared in one pot, which is nice for me. No extra dishes! Oh and did I mention it tastes really good? I love it! My mum hates lentils, but when she tried this, she really liked it.


• 2 tbsp butter
• 7 oz. (1 cup) basmati or jasmine rice
• 3.5 oz. (1/2 cup) green or yellow lentils
• 1 large onion, chopped (optional)
• 3 garlic cloves, minced
• 1 tsp ginger paste
• 2 potatoes, peeled and diced in cubes
• 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
• 1/2 tsp red chili powder
• 2 1/2 tsp garam masala
• 1 tsp kosher salt or more to taste
• 4 cups warm water


Heat the butter over medium low and fry chopped onions until it turns brown. Add minced garlic and ginger paste. Now mix garam masala and fry for 3 minutes. Pour in warm water and add lentils. Cook for 10 minutes. Add rice, potatoes, and salt; Stir. Cook over medium heat for 20 minutes.


This is supposed to be a very moist rice dish... Not all the liquid will evaporate like when rice is cooked plain. As long as the rice, lentils, and potatoes are cooked, it is finished.


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Friday, June 6, 2008

Paneer Makhani

This is such a wonderful dish... I made my own paneer, to go with my makhani sauce, but you can buy it pre-made if you don't want to make it yourself... You can replace tandoori chicken for the paneer and make chicken makhani or in indian, 'Murgh Makhani'. Serve this wonderful dish with basmati rice or pulao and some naan and you've got a great dinner.

Yields: 6 Servings

* 1 cup cubed paneer
* 1 1/2 tsp garam masala
* 1 tbsp sugar
* 1/2 tsp chili powder
* 1 14 oz can tomato sauce
* 1 tsp crushed ginger
* 1 tsp crushed garlic
* 3/4 cup whipping cream
* 1 cup water
* 1/2 tsp ground fenugreek
* 6 tbsp butter
* 1/2 serrano green chili, with insides taken out
* 1/4 tsp. salt

Heat 2 tablespoons butter in medium sized pan over medium low heat. Add the paneer and fry until golden brown on top and bottom of cubes. Remove paneer from pan and set aside on a plate or in a bowl.

Heat 4 tablespoons butter in the same pan the paneer was fried in, over medium low heat. Add garam masala. Wait until it crackles. Add ginger, garlic, and 1/2 green chili. Cook 2 minutes. Add tomato sauce, chili powder, salt, and 1 cup water. Boil, reduce heat, simmer 10 minutes. Add sugar and ground fenugreek.

Add fried paneer cubes. Simmer 5 minutes. Add cream.


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Thursday, June 5, 2008

Paneer (Fresh Indian Cheese)

This is a wonderful cheese and can be made in one day if you start in the morning, it will be finished by evening. The flavours are very mild, but it has a unique flavour.


* Stove top
* 3 - 5 sheets cheese cloth or old linen i.e. an old pillow case cut down each side and at the bottom seam throughly washed in soapy bleach water and rinsed very well. (I used old linen, and it worked out very nicely, in fact I don't think I'd use cheese cloth at all.)
* 1 large pot
* 1 wooden spoon
* 1 colander
* 2 plates
* Tin cans, or something heavy like a brick, at least 10 lbs or 22kg.


* 1 litre or 33.8 ounces rich 3.8% milk (avoid ultra-pasteurized)
* 2 tablespoons white vinegar
* 1/2 - 1 teaspoon kosher salt


In the sink or over a bowl, line the colander with the cheese cloth or old linen.

In a pot bring the milk to a low boil over medium heat (Be careful—once milk boils, it foams and makes a mess quickly). Stir constantly as it heats up to avoid scalding on the bottom of the pan.

Once the milk has come to a boil, removed from heat and add vinegar one teaspoon at a time and stir until curdles start to form and a yellowish liquid separates the white curds.

It should look like this...

Once the milk starts to curdle and you can see separate curds from the yellowish whey, walk away from the mixture for 10 minutes so that the curds can develop.

After 10 minutes, give it a stir again. Strain the curds over the lined colander.

Gently stir it around a bit to help the whey to drain. Once it is cool enough to handle sprinkle on the salt to taste, just a little not too much. Stir in the salt into the curds, then bring all sides of the linen together and start twisting. The tighter you twist the more liquid will come out. While twisting, stop for a few minutes and squeeze the ball of cheese to get the whey out. The more you squeeze, the firmer your cheese will be.

Once you have squeeze it, let the cheese sit in the colander to drain off the whey for a few minutes. Once the cheese has drained, untwist the cloth, but keep the cheese covered. While still in the cloth pat out a 1/2 inch disc on a plate and place another plate on top, then place your cans, or heavy object on top of the cheese and put it in the refrigerator for 2 hours. More whey will come off the cheese, discard it or save it for making your next batch of paneer. The whey from a previous batch will yield a more tender cheese.

Wrap the cheese and cut it into cubes and enjoy!

You can make paneer makhani (butter paneer), or fry the paneer in a little ghee (clarified butter), or oil for a tasty snack.


The paneer should not be crumbly, it should be a solid cheese, but soft like goats cheese.

Makes about 6 ounces of cheese. Use immediately, or keep in the refrigerator for up to one week.

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Monday, June 2, 2008

Spiced Hummus

Difficulty: Easy
Appliances: Food processor and blender

* 2 (30 oz) can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
* Tahini Sauce, optional, See recipe below
* 2 tbsp minced fresh parsley
* 4 tbsp lemon juice
* 4 cloves garlic, minced
* 2 1/2 tsp garam masala**
* 1 1/2 tsp. ground corriander
* 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
* 3/4 tsp salt
* 3/4 cup olive oil
* 1/2 cup water

Tahini Sauce:

4 tbsp sesame seeds
2 tbsp olive oil

Tahini Procedure:

Preheat oven to 350F.

In a shallow dish, like a 8" - 9" pie tin, place sesame seeds and shake lightly to make an even layer.

Place sesame seeds in oven and toast for 6 - 8 minutes or until golden brown.

If you don't have an oven, you can do this in a skillet over some sort of low heat stirring occasionally until sesame seeds are brown.

Cool the seeds.

In a blender, place the cooled seeds and add the olive oil and blend until you get a thick, but pourable sauce.

Put aside.

Hummus Procedure:

Process garbanzo beans and tahini in food processor. Blend in remaining ingredients in food processor and blend for 5 - 10 minutes or until creamy and all the garbanzo beans are blended. Chill in the refrigerator for an hour or so for flavours to meld. Serve with flat bread, pita chips, or fresh vegetables.

** Available in some super markets, and most indian stores. If you can't find garam masala, here is a recipe you can use. Click here

This recipe makes a lot of hummus, I usually make enough to munch on over the week, so if you don't want so much, try cutting all the measurements in half.

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