Posted in Bread, Indian, Main Courses, Meat, Recipes, tagged goats cheese, naan, parmesan, prosciutto, spinace, sun-dried tomatoes on January 11, 2013 |
53 Comments »
I have a confession to make: I’m in love and it’s not JT. It’s really not as bad as it sounds, my love affair is with a certain Indian. OK. I’ll ‘fess up, it’s Naan. There. I’m in love with Naan. The bread, silly! I’m embarrassed to admit how many times I’ve made this recipe but suffice it to say it’s double digits! About the same time that Maria over at a-boleyn live journal made our delicious naan recipe into a gorgeous pizza, I had the same idea (yes, I blog well in advance!). So on the day the world should have ended (again) I made a naan pizza for dinner. What a way to go!
It’s basically whatever you have in the fridge, our ingredients were goats cheese infused with garlic and EVOO, torn prosciutto, sun-dried tomatoes in EVOO and chopped spinach topped with shaved parmesan cheese. What more can you want?
Why Naan? I usually like my pizza crust super thin and crispy, what the naan brought to the table (pardon the pun) is a bit more bite and a lot of chewiness. Delicious chewy goodness. Need. I. Say. More. ?.
A slightly chewy crust made delicious by garlic infused goats cheese
Read Full Post »
It’s still blistery cold in these parts and we’re craving hearty foods. This was a recipe created because I wanted to make Naan again and I needed something Indian to go with it (I know, it’s usually the other way around, but I really wanted to
eat test my new recipe again). It’s a lovely subtle curry with just enough spice to enhance the flavour and a wonderful creamy texture. I used coconut milk powder and water for the coconut milk in the recipe, but feel free to use the high fat canned stuff, I’m sure it will taste a lot richer. By the way, serve it with this Naan.
A delicicous combination of curry and coconut milk
Coconut Chicken Curry
Serves 4, 100 g servings of chicken each
- 400 g boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 2.5 cm or 1 inch chunks
- 1 1/2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 tbsp curry powder
- 1/2 onion, thinly sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 4 tbsp coconut milk powder
- 400 mL or 14 oz warm water
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 1-2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp sugar
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 red pepper sliced thinly
- 1/2 green pepper sliced thinly
- Heat oil and curry powder in a large skillet over medium-high heat for two minutes. Stir in onions and garlic, and cook 1 minute more. Add chicken, tossing lightly to coat with curry oil. Reduce heat to medium, and cook for 7 to 10 minutes, or until chicken is no longer pink in center and juices run clear. Reserve chicken.
- Combine coconut powder and warm water and mix well.
- Pour coconut milk, tomato paste, lemon juice and sugar into the pan and stir to combine. Cover and simmer stirring occasionally for approximately 30 to 40 minutes or until the coconut milk reduces to a nice thick sauce. During the final 15 minutes, add the red and green peppers so they don’t overcook and the chicken to reheat.
- Serve with Naan.
Yes, these are as good as they look. I kid you not.
Read Full Post »
Posted in Gluten Free, Indian, Recipes, Salad, Sauces, tagged carrot, chutney, condiment, delicious, Indian, pickle on December 28, 2012 |
26 Comments »
The same restaurant that I mentioned in a previous post, Bombay Palace serves a pickled carrot that I just can’t get enough of. It’s sweet, tangy and crunchy and delicious. Their version is very red because they put food colouring into it, I omitted the colouring.
Lightly crunchy and packed full of flavour
Original recipe from here, but I changed it up.
- 1 medium carrot, about 200 g cut into cubes
- 1/2 tbsp mustard powder
- 1/4 tsp chili powder
- a pinch each ground cloves and cardamom
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup rice vinegar
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- Blanche the carrots and stop the cooking in an ice bath. Drain well.
- Mix remaining ingredients in a seal-able container, add the carrot and refrigerate for 1-2 days.
- To serve, drain and rinse.
Sweet Mango Chutney
- Mango, not too ripe
- 1/4 cup chopped red onion
- 1 clove garlic, finely minced
- 1 tbsp freshly grated ginger
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- pinch of ground cloves
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup cider vinegar
- 1/4 tsp chili paste
- Peel and seed the mangos and chop into 5-10 mm cubes.
- Place all ingredients into a non-aluminum saucepan and bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour or until fruit and onion is very soft. Lightly mash with a fork. Allow to cool and place in a clean glass jar. Store in the refrigerator
Read Full Post »
I have searched high and low for a good Naan recipe and much to my chagrin, I have never found one that was quite what I was looking for. I thought I had found them on occasion, but not quite. That is, until now. I found the Evil Shananigans and it seems that the author Kelly was in the same spot I had been in for so many years. Thank goodness that Kelly did all the work and came up with this fabulous recipe. The only thing I did was reduce the quantity as I didn’t need quite as many and I added 1 level tablespoon of milk powder. Why milk powder you ask? I read somewhere that it adds to the elasticity of the dough and I wanted a chewy dough and it worked wonders! Quite possibly the best Naan ever, I kid you not.
I used an inverted cast iron dutch oven in my gas BBQ to try to replicate the tandoor oven, and by George, I think I got it! The baking method really allowed the dough to bake slowly over indirect heat, maintaining the elasticity and also allowing some parts to crisp up. Dare I say, genius? I hope you’ll bring me down to earth, so I don’t get too comfortable tooting my own horn, even if it is once in a while.
Chewy and crispy at the same time
Makes 4 109 g servings
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp dry active yeast
- 3/4 cup milk, heated to 110F
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- 1 tbsp milk powder
- Warm the milk to about 44° C or 110° F and dissolve the yeast and sugar. Allow to bubble up (about 5 minutes).
- Combine the flour, milk powder and salt in the bowl of your stand mixer and add the activated yeast. Kneed for 5 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic (dough is rather tacky).
- Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rest for two hours in a warm place.
- Once rested, turn out the dough and divide into four equal portions (I measured mine to be about 109 g each). Make each portion into a ball and allow to rest 30 minutes.
- Roll out each ball into thin flat sheets (you’ll need a little flour so it doesn’t stick (15 cm x 30 cm) and then cover with a towel and allow to rest another 30 minutes. You can rub a little olive oil on top so it doesn’t dry out.
- Pre-heat your BBQ with an inverted cast iron dutch oven to the highest temperature. (I used an inverted cast pan to replicate the tandoor oven).
- One by one, drape each naan sheet over the ‘oven’ and bake until golden and slightly puffy (don’t worry, they will deflate).
- Keep warm in parchment wrapped in foil in an oven or serve immediately.
The most delicious naan yet
Read Full Post »
Posted in Indian, Recipes, Salad, Vegetable Sides, tagged chick peas, cold, delicious, Indian, side, tangy, tasty, yogurt on December 12, 2012 |
33 Comments »
There is another Indian Restaurant in Toronto that we really like, and you’ve probably heard of it because it’s in all the major cities around the world, it’s called Bombay Palace on Jarvis Street. We usually go there for lunch and there are two particular things I love, the carrot pickle and the Aloo Papri Chaat (described as a sweet Medley of crispy wafers chickpeas, potatoes with yogurt-mint chutney dressing). I tried to find as close a recipe as possible to this tangy, sweet and crunchy side, and this one was pretty darn close. I had to make a few changes due to unavailable ingredients, but to be honest, the flavour didn’t suffer for it. I must warn you, it does take a lot of steps.
Aloo Papri Chaat
A delicious mix of sweet and tangy flavours with the crunchy texture of the wafers
Serves 4-6 as a side dish
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 1/4 cup Semolina flour
- 1 teaspoon tamarind paste
- 7-8 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder
- 1 dried apricot
- 1 small cooked potato, cubed
- 100 g chick peas
- 1/2 cup low fat yogurt (if using Greek yogurt, you will need to add milk to achieve the right consistency)
- 1 chopped green chili
- 1/2 teaspoon Chaat Masala (see spice mix below)
- 1 cup peanut oil for frying
- Make a soft dough with the flour and semolina by adding a little bit of water at a time.
- Roll the dough out into a rectangle and cut into bite-sized squares.
- Heat the oil to fry the squares and fry them until they puff a little and are golden. Drain oil off and set aside.
Directions for the Tamarind Chutney:
- In a small heavy bottom sauce pan, add the tamarind paste and the apricot. Add about 1 cup of hot water to it and heat to a boil until the tamarind paste dissolves and the apricot is mushy. Blend well with an immersion blender. Strain out any hard bits from the tamarind paste.
- Add the sugar, chili powder and mix well. Boil until all of the water evaporates and you are left with a thick rich paste.
Ingredients for the Chaat Masala:
Note: the original recipe for Chaat Masala called for Mango Powder which I did not have, and therefore I substituted the apricot into the tamarind mix to replicate the sweet and tangy flavour of the mango powder.
- 1 tbsp coriander
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1/8 tsp cayenne
- 1/4 tsp ginger
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/4 tsp black salt
Directions for the Chaat Masala:
- Put all ingredients into a bowl and mix well. If some of the spices are seeds, you will need to grind them well.
Directions for the Yogurt Sauce and assembly:
- Whip the yogurt with a whisk until thin and runny (or if it’s Greek Yogurt, add a little milk),
- Add the cubed potatoes, chopped green chili, the chickpeas and a teaspoon or two of the tamarind and mix well (being careful not to break up the potatoes).
- Add the bite sized Papri (wafers) and mix gently to coat.
- Garnish with Coriander leaves and finely chopped green onions.
A quick shot of the actual serving dish at the dinner party, the lighting sucks as it was already night
Read Full Post »
Posted in Beef, Indian, Main Courses, Meat, Recipes, tagged Beef, delicous, gravy, green peppers, succulant on December 9, 2012 |
33 Comments »
We have an Indian restaurant just north of where we live in BWV called North of Bombay. It’s a lovely place, nicely decorated in a contemporary style, close enough to walk (about 20 minutes) and the food is very good and it’s never crowded and the service has been very good. But for some reason, we ALWAYS order takeout or delivery. Indian is like that for us. And they have a crappy wine list. But they have the most delicious Beef Bhuna that we’ve ever had so that is the recipe I was trying to replicate for our Indian themed dinner party. Their menu describes it as Eye of round cubes cooked with fresh onions,green pepper, ginger, coriander, tomatoes, herbs & spices. So when I was searching the net, those were the key ingredients I was looking for. The recipe below is loosely based on this recipe but I changed it to replicate the flavours of North of Bombay’s Beef Bhuna. I also changed up the technique because I wanted to cook it slow and low as per Bœuff Bourguignon.
Tender beef cubes drenched in a mildly spicy, fragrant, flavourful gravy
Serves 4-6 as part of a bigger menu
- 400 g eye of round beef, cut into 2.5 cm or 1 inch cubes
- 1 Green Pepper, cut into similar size squares as the beef
- 1 red onion, finely chopped
- 2 tsp of mild curry powder
- 1 tsp of Chilli Powder
- 1 tsp Garam Massala
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper (omit if you find this too hot)
- a pinch of ground cardamon
- 1/2 tsp coriander
- 4 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 2 tbsp fresh ginger, finely minced
- 1+ cup water
- 1/2 cup beef stock
- 1/4 cup cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup chopped green onions
- Pre-heat oven to 300° F.
- In an oven-proof pan (like Le Creuset’s dutch oven) sear the beef in about 1-2 tbsp high flash point oil (like peanut or canola). Remove from pan. De-glaze with a 1/2 cup of beef stock, pour over the meat.
- Add finely chopped onions and cook well (I saw Madhur Jaffrey on Martha Stewart once and she said that Indian cooking doesn’t sweat the onions, but they cook the onions dark, but not burned).
- Add the curry, chilli, cayenne, cardamon and coriander and cook JUST until you can smell it. Add the garlic, fresh ginger and garam masala give a quick stir. Now add the water and combine well. Return the beef to the pan and give it a good stir. Cover and bake in the 300° F oven for 2-3 hours or until beef is fork tender. Check frequently and add water as required; you don’t want it soupy, just a nice light gravy. About 30 minutes to serving, add the green pepper — you don’t want the green pepper soft and mushy.
- Serve hot garnished with cilantro leaves and green onions with Basmati rice and Naan.
Read Full Post »
Posted in Indian, Recipes, Vegetarian, tagged cheese, creamy, delicious, Easy, healthy, home-made, soft, tasty, tomato gravy on December 7, 2012 |
43 Comments »
This is an absolute favourite of our household, but to be honest the gravy is usually laden with butter and ghee which is really bad for you, so I prefer to make my own so that it’s healthier. The Makhani gravy is from this recipe, but as I mentioned in the menu post, I had to add a little sweetness (I used Agave Nectar) to counter the very acidic tomatoes — I suspect that the full butter and cream of the original recipe would do the same, so if you choose to go full fat on this baby, omit the agave. There I said it.
The paneer is a soft unripened cheese made similarly to Ricotta, but instead of leaving it loose, you press it into a rectangular shape to be cut into cubes. Easy.
A delicious, rich tasting tomato gravy with gently firm paneer
This is the original recipe I just doubled the quantity
Serves 4-6 as a part of several dishes
- 4 liter Fresh whole milk
- 4-6 tbsp lemon juice
- Heat the milk in the deep and heavy bottom pan at medium heat (this is really important, otherwise you will need to spend at least a half hour trying to clean the burnt milk off the bottom). Allow it come to a gentle boil and stay there for a minute. Make sure the milk is not vigorously boiling (also important, see note above). If it does, immediately reduce the heat and bring the milk back to gentle boil. But if you do burn your enamel pan, I have a great tip at the end.
- Add two tablespoons of lemon juice and quickly stir it in (because I had doubled the recipe, it took a bit longer to develop). At this point, you will start to see small curdles in the milk but no whey. Add another tablespoon or two of juice and again stir it in. The curdles will increase and you will slowly begin to see the yellowish whey. Add the last tablespoon of juice and with this, you should be able to see a clear yellowish whey separating from the curdles, switch of the gas immediately at this point. Depending on the acidity of the juice, the amount of juice you require may differ. Start with one tablespoon at a time till you achieve the results.
- You could save the whey, and if you do: Line another pan with double layered cheesecloth. Make sure the cheesecloth is long enough to be bundled up and hanged later. Run the whey through the cloth which will collect all the curdles. Set the whey aside.
- Wash the curdles in the cheese cloth, by running it through cold water to remove the lemon taste.
- Tie up the cheesecloth in a tight bundle and let it drain for about 30 minutes. Then place weight on the cheese to get it to be flatter and drain out extra moisture. I wanted a nice block of cheese so I pressed the contents of the cheese cloth into a square cake pan about 20 cm (8 inch). Then I took the still wrapped cheese and placed it between two cutting boards and put a heavy pot on top for 1-2 hours.You don’t want to add too much weight for too long as it can drain out way too much moisture from the cheese making it hard and crumbly. Your cheese should have a slightly elastic texture so when you lightly press your finger into it, it will bounce back.
- Wrap it and store it in the fridge for up to a week.
- Reheat very slowly in the microwave for 30 second spurts until too warm to touch. Add to the makhani gravy at the last minute (I didn’t want my paneer to fall apart).
TIP: if you happen to burn the milk to the bottom of your pan, try this handy tip, cover burnt area with a good thick layer of table salt, add a bit of water and heat but don’t hard boil. Using a silicon scraper, see if it comes off. If it doesn’t, do the same but instead of water, use lemon juice and this time bring to a soft boil. Using a silicon scraper, peel away the burnt layer. Voilà!
Read Full Post »
Posted in Appetizers/Hors D'oeuvres, Indian, Recipes, Vegetarian, tagged Appetizer, baked, delicious, hors d'oeuvres, Indian, onion on December 5, 2012 |
49 Comments »
I am very excited to tell you that THIS post will tip this blog over the 100,000 views! I can hardly believe it. My humble little blog from Bloor West Village. Go figure. I was going to do some sort of prize, but I have no idea how to measure who my 100,000 visit was. So I’ll have to think of something else. WOOO HOOO!
Oh Christmas Tree
We decorated the tree a few days after we got it home. Now I know it’s probably a lot larger than many cultures, but for Canadians this tree is small; even by our standards it’s a wee bit puny, we had to put it up on a table to get the height we needed! But I’m OK with that, because that just gives us more room for presents!
These delicious little bites were baked, believe it or not, and you will be surprised at how soft and chewy the centre is and how crispy the exterior becomes when you reheat. I don’t think I will deep fry my bhajis ever again.
Baked Onion Bhajis
Don’t be fooled by their size, they pack a big punch of flavour
original recipe from BBC. Makes about 24 mini bhajis.
- 2 large eggs
- 1 Vidalia onion very thinly sliced
- 120 g/4 oz all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp cumin
- non stick cooking spray
- Pre-heat the oven to 400°F. Pre-heat a 12 or 24 mini muffin tin.
- Beat the eggs and add the finely chopped onion rings, mix well.
- Combine the flour, ground coriander and cumin and stir well. Add to the egg, onion mixture and stir well to combine.
- Generously spray the mini muffin tin, add about 1 tbsp of the batter per cavity. Bake for 7-10 minutes, then flip each bhaji so that it browns evenly on both sides and bake for another 7-10 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely. To serve, pre-heat oven to 350°F and place bhajis onto a cookie sheet and heat for about 10-12 minutes, crisping up the exterior.
- Serve immediately with some onion chutney or tamarind chutney.
Read Full Post »
It must be officially fall because the temperatures have plummeted and the rains have set in, the skies are grey and the wind is noisy. Kind’a depressing weather, and it certainly doesn’t inspire so I wasn’t up to menu planning; but paging through a local grocery chain’s fall 2010 issue, JT found a recipe he thought he would like to have to spice up our weekly meal plan. We’re making chickpea and potato curry. Now I don’t usually gravitate toward potato recipes, but I was totally uninspired in making the menu this week and decided to just go for it, potatoes and all. Next time, I would add a handful of sultana raisins to add the sweetness this curry was missing. Or alternatively I think I’ll try this with sweet potatoes or even butternut squash as I think the sweetness of the sweet potato or butternut squash would be heavenly with the curry.
Do you meal plan? I generally plan out the entire week on Sunday and do the groceries Sunday afternoon. I always make enough for lunches for the following day. The planning makes my head want to explode for an hour or so but then I don’t have to think about it! I store the plan on the iCloud in my Reminders app on my iPhone and that way I have it no matter where I am (because if I’m having fish on Thursday I’ll need to pick it up from my fishmonger that day and my Reminders will remind me!)
The dish comes together reasonably quickly and cooks in about 30 minutes. I think it took me 10 minutes to prep everything (mise en place) so 40 minutes tops. And I am sure you can do this in the slow cooker, I would choose low and cook for 4-5 hours (just remember to heat the curry powder in a lightly oiled frying pan before you add it to revive the flavours). The starch in the potato makes a very nice and creamy sauce. In the recipe below I cut the potatoes down to half, as I just didn’t want as many carbs. The method for preparing the onions is a little unconventional, but it worked out very flavourful.
Warm with a touch of heat is nice when it’s blistery cold outside
Chickpea and Potato Curry
Original recipe can be found in Longos Fall 2010 magazine or here.
- 1/2 vidalia onion, halved
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped roughly
- 1 inch piece fresh ginger, grated finely with a microplane
- 1 small hot chili pepper, halved and seeded
- 1 tbsp canola oil
- 1 tbsp mild curry powder or paste
- 3 cups water
- 3/4 lbs Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cubed small (about 2 potatoes)
- 1 can (19 oz) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 1/2 tbsp garam masala
- 1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro
- 1-2 cups greens (arugula or spinach) per person
- In your immersion blender, purée onion, garlic, ginger and chili pepper into a fine paste (you can do this in a mini processor too, but I find the immersion blender does a finer job).
- In a large deep skillet, heat oil and cook onion paste for about 5 minutes or until softened.
- Stir in curry powder and cook for 1 minute.
- Add 2 cups of the water and stir to make a gravy consistency (it was actually quite liquid/soupy for me).
- Add the potatoes; cover and cook, stirring occasionally for about 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender but firm.
- Add chickpeas, garam masala and remaining water and cook for 10 minutes or until thickened and potatoes are very tender.
- Serve on a bed of greens, sprinkled with chopped cilantro.
Read Full Post »