Categories
Cooking Food General Indian Cooking Recipes

Rajma (Spicy, Buttery, Kidney Beans) Recipe

Homemade Rajma

In some ways, Rajma is to North Indian cuisine what Macaroni and Cheese is to North American cuisine: it is ubiquitous and seen as a comforting food that reminds one of home. Rajma is also similar to Mac and Cheese in the sense that it is often made badly. And bad Rajma is especially like bad Mac and Cheese in that it’s often bad because its texture is all wrong.

Having said that, it takes a bit more time to make good Rajma than it does to make a  decent Mac and Cheese. Moreover, and this might prove to be controversial, I think Rajma represents a more complex harmony of flavours than Mac and Cheese does.

As you can see, I love Rajma! And as it happens, I’ve recently put together a delicious Rajma recipe, which I am very excited about. If you’d like to give it a try, here’s what you will need:

Equipment:

  • A Pressure Cooker (if you don’t have one, you could just use a large saucepan)
  • A saucier pan or a saucepan
  • A Knife
  • A Cutting Board
  • A Spatula
  • A Bowl and a Plate

Ingredients:

  • 2 Cups Red Kidney Beans, soaked for at least 7 hours in a lot of water
  • 3 Cardamom Pods
  • 3 Cloves
  • 1 Large Bay Leaf (or two small leaves)
  • 1/2 Stick of Cinnamon
  • 1 Tsp Cumin Seeds
  • 1 Red Onion, finely diced
  • 3 Large Cloves of Garlic, crushed
  • 1 Inch Piece of Ginger, grated
  • 4 Green Chillies, chopped coarsely
  • 1 Tsp Cumin Powder
  • 1 Tsp Coriander Powder
  • 1-2 Tsp Garam Masala
  • 1-3 Tsp Chilli Powder (adjust the amount of chilli to your preferred spice level. If you use 3 tsp (which I do) the Rajma will have a bit of a kick to it ;))
  • 1/2 Tsp Turmeric Powder
  • Salt, to taste
  • 2-3 Medium Tomatoes, chopped
  • 3-4 Tbsp Oil or Ghee (I prefer ghee; here is my recipe, if you want to make it at home)
  • As much butter as you like 🙂
  • A Sprig of Coriander/Cilantro, optional

Spices for Indian Cooking

Method:

Note about Serving Size: This makes enough Rajma for 6 people if they’re eating modest portions or if it is served with something else, like a dal (lentil) or a vegetable or chicken based preparation (as it generally would be in, in India).

1. Drain the excess water out of the bowl/pan in which you soaked the beans. Add about a half cup of water to the beans and cook them in a pressure cooker, on medium-high heat, until the whistle of the cooker goes off about 4-5 times. If you don’t have a pressure cooker, place the beans in a large saucepan and cook them with several cups of water until they become soft and cooked through. You can figure out if the beans are properly cooked by squishing one between your finger (or between two spoons). If you’re able to press through the bean and reduce it to mush, the beans are done are ready to be used in the recipe.

2. Pour the oil into a saucier or saucepan. Place the pan on medium-high heat. Once the oil becomes sufficiently hot (you can test the oil temperature by adding a cumin seed to the oil and seeing if it begins to sizzle) add in the cumin seeds. Just as the seeds begin to pop, lower the heat to medium and add in the cardamom, cloves, bay leaf, and a stick of cinnamon. Toss these about in the oil for a bit, until you can smell their fragrance.

Tadka, Indian spice tempering, popu, cardamom, cinnamon, cumin, bay leaf

3. Increase the heat to medium-high again and add in the chopped onion and sauté it until it begins to brown.

Cooking onions for north Indian cooking

4. Now, reduce the heat to medium again and add in the ginger, garlic, and chillies. Toss them about constantly, until the raw smell of the garlic dissipates.

5. Next, add the cumin, coriander, garam masala, and chilli powders to the pot, along with salt, and stir everything together. Let the masalas cook in the oil for a minute or two, before adding the chopped tomatoes to the pot. Stir well, cover the pot, and let the this tomato-onion-masala mixture cook on low-medium heat for about 8-10 minutes, checking on it and stirring as needed every few minutes. You will know the mixture is cooked enough once the oil starts to separate from the rest of the ingredients.

Basic north indian cooking

IMG_2260

6. At this stage, I recommend fishing out the bay leaves, cardamom pods, cloves and cinnamon stick. This is so the finished product feels smooth and creamy, without little bits of crunchy spices ruining the overall mouth feel of the dish,

7. Finally, add the cooked Rajma to this mixture, along with a cup or two of water and loads of butter. Cover the pot and let the beans cook with the onion-tomato-masala mixture for about 4-6 hours, on low heat, stirring intermittently. This slow cooking will allow the flavours to intermingle and “mature”.

Rajma (kidney beans) cooking with butter

6. Serve the Rajma with rice or roti and yoghurt! (My current favourite way to eat it is with a Rumali roti.) You can garnish the Rajma with a sprig of fresh coriander/cilantro, if you like. Enjoy!

Categories
Baking Chocolate Food General Recipes

Homemade Chocolate Hazelnut Butter

If you like Nutella, but also find that it is simultaneously too sweet and not quite hazelnutty nor chocolatey enough, then you know exactly how I feel. In my quest for a perfectly rich and nutty butter, I have tried various different brands, including Patchi and Neuhaus. None of them really hit the spot, unfortunately. The problem was their texture, their weak chocolate flavour, and the fact that I could taste only a hint of hazelnut flavour in them.

Then, it occurred to me, a few years ago: why not make my own butter? I’ve tried various versions of my own butter since then, but this recipe is now my favourite! This butter’s texture is rich and velvety and the flavour is a perfect balance of dark chocolate and the unmatched, gloriously nutty flavour of real, toasted hazelnuts. A quick note: the more you like the dark chocolate you use in this recipe, the better the butter will taste.

Here it is, poured over a slice of bread, looking so delightfully smooth and glossy!

 

If you want to try making some yourself, this is the equipment you will need:

  • A food processor or powerful blender (I use a Blendtec)
  • An oven
  • A baking tray
  • A tea towel
  • A spatula
  • A jar

And here are the ingredients you will need:

  • 450g Hazelnuts
  • 35-45 g sugar (based on your taste) (I use castor sugar but if your processor/blender is not too powerful, I recommend using icing sugar)
  • 172 g good quality dark chocolate, to taste (my favourite is Cotê d’or)
  • A pinch or two of salt.
  • 2 tsp vanilla essence or hazelnut flavouring (optional)(I use this one).

 

Method:

1. Toast the hazelnuts at 350 F in a baking tray for about 15 minutes, until they turn light brown and fragrant, tossing them periodically.

2. After they’ve cooled, place them at the centre of a tea towel/kitchen towel. Wrap the nuts securely in the towel and then roll the wrapped up nuts on any hardish surface. This will help remove their skins. After you’ve rolled the nuts about for a bit, open up the towel, and pick out the skinned nuts. Repeat this step if there are still a lot of nuts with skins on them.

3. Toss the skinned nuts into a food processor or blender and grind them up until they turn into a smooth butter.

4. Melt the dark chocolate in a the microwave or over a bain-marie.  If you have a powerful blender you can skip this step.

5. Throw in the melted chocolate, sugar, a pinch or two of salt (to taste), and a teaspoon or two of vanilla essence or hazelnut flavouring.

6. Blend everything until it feels smooth enough to you, and there you have it! Your own homemade chocolate hazelnut butter!

My favourite way to eat it is on bread with some homemade peanut butter! Mmmmmm!

Categories
General

Nutella Latte!

Right off the bat, I should clarify that I am not much a coffee drinker. When I do drink coffees though, I love flavoured, rich, creamy ones! So if you’re a coffee snob, this post isn’t really for you :p

If you’re still here, then you like coffees that sound, smell, and taste like dessert! And given my well-known love for Nutella, it’s only right that my first coffee post is about a Nutella latte.

Just look at those rich colours!

If you’d like to make one too, here’s what you need:

Equipment:

A shot of espresso brewed in a Nespresso, some other espresso machine, or a Moka pot

Milk frother

Spoons

2 Cups

Ingredients:

A shot of espresso

1/2 to 3/4 cup Milk

1-3 Tbsp Nutella

Sugar (optional)

Method:

1. If you’re using a Moka pot, make up a shot of espresso in it. If you’re using an espresso machine, skip this step.

2. Froth up about a half cup of warm milk. (I use an Aeroccino milk frother and I highly recommend it!) Pour the foamy milk into a cup.

3. Smear your Nutella all over the bottom of a different, preferably wide-bottomed cup. Pour some warm milk into the cup and swirl it about until the Nutella dissolves.

4. Pour the Nutella milk into the cup with the frothed milk.

5. If you made the espresso using a Moka pot, pour the espresso into the cup with the milk.

6. If your using an espresso machine, on the other hand, place the cup with milk in the machine, and let the espresso flow into it.

7. Add some sugar to taste, if you like.

8. Mix it all up and drink up!

Categories
Cooking Food General Recipes

Healthy, Delicious, One Bowl Ceviche!

When I first ate ceviche in a restaurant in San Francisco, I wasn’t particularly impressed. It tasted ok, but there was nothing about it that really spoke to me or got me excited. Then, we visited a friend of mine in Panama and everything changed! I had ceviche made fresh and on the spot by a street vendor, and I was actually amazed. It was beautiful in its simplicity.

I’ve tried ceviche in different cities since then, doing some research on where it’s supposed to be the best. I am now a committed ceviche lover; it’s my favourite raw fish dish!

Until recently, I’d never tried to make it, but my visit to Miami this spring inspired me! I came back to Toronto and found myself craving really good ceviche. The ceviche at Seven Lives (my favourite cafe in Toronto’s Kensington Market) is pretty good, but given how far away the cafe is from where I live, and given how frequent my cravings for ceviche were, combined with a sudden urge to try making something new, I decided to give throwing together my own ceviche a shot.

I read several articles and blogs, over an afternoon and then biked over to my neighbourhood fish shop, Beach Fish House (which is absolutely wonderful, by the way; they sell sustainably fished seafood and it’s always really fresh! (I also grabbed some lovely Peonies)).

 

img_5857

 

Here is the result of all my reading:

You should try making it too! Here is a dish one can make quickly and easily, and it’s almost guaranteed to taste good as long as you use good quality ingredients! Of course, the selection of ingredients and the proportion of the ingredients is important too. Overall though, it’s a relatively simple dish to put together.

So go for it!

What follows is a recipe for a pretty basic ceviche. Once you are comfortable with the dish, you can play around with it by adding or substituting other fish and/or by adding various fruit and other flavours to it (like mango, or watermelon, or orange juice!).

Two small notes though:

Size and Shape of the Fish: The shape and size of the fish pieces you use in the ceviche, along with the amount of time you leave the fish in the lime juice, will determine the texture of the fish. This is because it is the acidity of the lime/lemon juice that “cooks”, breaks down, or softens the flesh of the fish. I like to cut the fish into cubes to ensure more even cooking (as the lime juice “cooks” the fish from the outside. You can cut the fish into whatever sized cube you like, however, the smaller the cube the faster the fish will “cook” in the lime juice. I find it’s easier to control the process so that I can stop the “cooking” process at the right time, if the cubes are a little larger.

Time: As for the time, for tuna, I like to leave the fish in the lime juice for any where between 12-15 minutes. The acidity of the lime or lemon juice one uses can vary. So around 12 minutes in, I will try out a piece of fish and see if I like it.
Equipment

One big bowl

A good quality knife for the raw fish

A cutting board

A citrus juicer (optional)
Ingredients:

One red onion

A small bunch of cilantro/coriander (adjust to taste, I use about 1/3 cup)

1-2 jalapeños, maya habenero peppers, or Thai green chillies

1/2 cup lime/lemon juice

1 pound sushi grade tuna (make sure the fish is fresh and handle it safely. Carry it on ice from the store is possivle and place it in the fridge over ice as soon as you get home)


Method

1. Dice the red onion up evenly and place it in the big bowl.

2. Chop the cilantro/coriander and green chillies up and add them to the bowl, as well.

3. Juice the lime/lemon and add it to the bowl, tossing all the ingredients together.

4. Cut the tuna into small cubes about a centimetre sized. (See note above about size and shape of the fish).

5. Toss the fish into the bowl with the rest of the ingredients and mix them together gently.

6. Salt if you like.

7. Set the bowl aside and wait for anywhere between 12-15 minutes.

 

This fish is done!

 

8. Enjoy your ceviche with some Tortilla chips (preferably homemade !).

I made a little tortilla, roasted it until it was crisp, and then placed the ceviche on it 🙂 (I will write a separate post about how to make tortillas soon! In the meantime, you can go here.

Categories
Food General Indian Cooking Recipes

How to Make Paneer


I just wrote a post about my favourite quick snack: paneer bhurji rolls. As a companion post, I thought it would make sense to write about how to make paneer at home. It’s actually very easy and absolutely worth it, given how amazing fresh paneer tastes!

All you need is:

2 litres Whole Milk

1/4 to 1/2 cup Lime Juice

Salt (optional)

A cheese cloth

A colander

A Large Saucepan

Two Plates

Heavy Books

 

Method:

  1. Pour the milk into the saucepan and bring it to simmer on medium heat (to about 200 F). Keep scraping the bottom of the pan so that the milk at the bottom doesn’t burn.
  2. Take the pan off the heat.
  3. Add the lime juice to the milk, place the lid on the pan and leave it be for about 10 minutes.
  4. Check on the milk. It should have “broken” with the solids separated from the whey. If this has not happened. Add some more lime juice.
  5. Strain the “broken” milk through a colander lined with a cheese cloth.
  6. Then try and squeeze as much of the whey out as you can. I like to tie the ends of the cheese cloth to the top of the tap over my kitchen sink (very securely) so that gravity does the work for me and the whey just drips down slowly.
  7. Once most of the whey is out, place the paneer (still wrapped in cheese cloth) on a plate. Place a second plate on top of the paneer. Then place some heavy books on top of the plate. I like to also place some paper towels on the lower plate around the paneer to soak up the extra whey.
  8. In about 30 minutes, the paneer should have hardened into a nice block that you can now use 🙂

 

 

Categories
Cooking Food General Indian Cooking Recipes

Paneer Bhurji Roll: A Great Portable Snack!

The one thing I hate about busy days is that one doesn’t get to sit down and properly enjoy one’s lunch. I hate rushed meals, you see. So on days when I am swamped, I just eat cookies or brownies for lunch and make up for it with two delicious dinners when I get home.

I know, however, that this isn’t the healthiest way to go about things. And sometimes, I miss being able to eat something spicy and not-sweet for lunch (followed by a brownie, of course). That’s where this roll comes in.

It’s inspired by the concept of a Kathi roll and quite easy to assemble. So if you make the bhurji the night before, it becomes an easy snack to put together for lunch on a busy day. And you can eat easily while you work on something without getting your hands all messy 🙂

If you want to try making it, here’s what you will need:

1 Pound Paneer (for instructions on how to make it, go here; you could also buy some at Indian stores, but freshly made homemade paneer really is several orders of magnitude better than the store bought kind)

1-2 Tbsp Vegetable or Sunflower Oil or ghee (go here for my recipe)

1 Medium Sized Onion (ideally red; diced)

2 Green Chillis (ideally, the slender, thai ones; slit length-wise)

1 Medium Sized Tomato (you can use more tomatoes if you like your bhurji a little sweeter) (diced)Salt to taste

1-2 Tsp Red Chilli Powder

1 Tsp Coriander Powder

1 Tsp Cumin Powder

1 Tsp Garam Masala

1/2 Tsp Turmeric

1 lime

Rotis (for more on how to make rotis, go here; you can also use tortillas or buy pre-made rotis at an Indian store).

Method:

  1. Take the Paneer and chop it up into little small pieces. You can also process it in a food processor until it is broken up into fairly small chunks (not larger than 1/2 inch cubes).
  2. Add the oil/ghee to a frying pan. Heat the pan at medium-high heat.
  3. Once the oil seems hot (test it with one small onion piece) thrown in the diced onions and sauté them until they are slightly browned.
  4. Throw in the green chilli and sauté it as well. Reduce the heat to medium.
  5. Add the tomatoes and toss them about in the pan.
  6. Add the salt and all the masalas (red chilli, coriander, cumin, garam masala, and turmeric powders). Toss the contents of the pan until the spices are well-distributed.
  7. Place a lid on the frying pan and let the tomato-onion-spice mixture cook for a few minutes, until the oil separates from the mixture (stirring intermittently).
  8. Toss in the paneer chunks and stir well, breaking up the paneer in the pan even more as you stir.
  9. Cook until the paneer looks well cooked but still moist. You can taste it after a few minutes and decide whether or not you want it cooked some more.
  10. Take the pan off the heat. Squeeze lime juice on the paneer bhurji, to taste. It’ll add a bit of tartness to it that I love!
  11. Place a roti or tortilla on a plate. Spoon the bhurji into the centre of the roti.

Roll the roti up, so that it looks like a burrito.

Your snack/portable lunch is ready 🙂 I like eating it with yoghurt (I am a yoghurt fiend!)

Categories
General

A quick and healthy grilled fish sandwich

One of my favourite things to do in the summer is to sit outside on the deck with a delicious beer or cider and cook something up on the barbecue! This is what I threw together on Monday evening:

 

Delicious, healthy, east to make salmon fillet sandwich

The mix of flavours and textures in this sandwich are really wonderful. To begin with, there is the soft bread, toasted just for a few moments, for some crispness on the top. It is filled with a nicely charred, slightly spicy, salmon fillet (marinated in a herb and spice paste); garnished with soft, pickled, sour onion rings; slighter firmer and tangier banana peppers; and a creamy, spiced Aioli, on a bed of crunchy spinach leaves and juicy tomatoes!

On a side-note, in a few months, I hope to be using slices of our homegrown heirloom tomatoes in this recipe:

Homegrown deck heirloom tomatoes

In any case, even with the store-bought tomatoes, the sandwich was delicious and perhaps, equally importantly, for some people at least, it really is easy to make 🙂  If you’d like to give it a try, read on!

Equipment needed:

Oven; stovetop and a grill pan; or a bbq

A food processor or stand mixer

Plates, spoons, measuring spoons and cups, a grater, and a knife

 

Ingredients:

Marinade:

2 Tbsp. oil (coconut; sunflower; or Avocado)

1/4 tsp. lime zest (the easiest way to do this, I find is to grate the lime using a grater)

2 Tbsp. lime juice

1 green onion (bulb and stalks)

1 Tbsp. ground red chili powder

2 cloves garlic

½ to 1 jalapeño (depending on the size of the pepper and your preference)

½ cup cilantro, washed and chopped

1 pound of fish, cut into fillets as shown below (I like using salmon or mahi mahi)

Delicious BC Pacific Salmon

 

Aioli:

1 egg yolk

½ cup sunflower oil

1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard

2 tsp. lemon or lime juice

1-2 Tbsp. Sri Racha sauce

To assemble the sandwich:

Onion rings pickled in rice vinegar (place onion rings in a jar or tupperware box, pour rice vinegar over the slices, and refrigerate for at least a few hours, ideally 24 hours)

Spinach leaves

Tomato slices

Pickled banana peppers

Buns (you can make your own, and I will soon post a recipe for this. But if you’re in a hurry, just grab some buns from a bread shop)

 

Method:

  1. To make the marinade: Throw all the ingredients listed above in a blender or food processor. Once you have a paste, rub it onto your salmon or mahi mahi fillets. Place the fillets in Tupperware or a ziplock bag and place them in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

Green Onion, Jalapeño, and cilantro marinade for healthy salmon sandwich

  1. To make the Aioli: In a food processor or stand mixer, process the egg, lime juice, and Dijon mustard. Then add the oil in a slow trickle with the processor running continuously. The mixture will slowly come together into a creamy mayonnaise. Now add the Sri racha sauce and process until incorporated. (A small note on “Aioli”: The term means garlic and oil. Some purists would argue that this emulsion in my recipe is not an Aioli, because it does not have garlic in it and because it has an egg in it. They might also object that it ought not have other flavourings in it, if it is to be called an Aioli. One can therefore, call it a Sri Racha flavoured mayonnaise, if one prefers :))
  1. Grilling the fish: Place the marinated fillets on a preheated barbeque grill or a grill pan on a stove top. You could also place the fish on a pre-heated grill pan and place the pan in a preheated oven. Grill for about 10-15 minutes total (depending on the thickness of the fillet) at about 350-400 degrees fahrenheit, flipping once at the 7 or 8 minute mark. When the fish is almost done, quickly toast the buns as well. Once the fish is done, peel off the skin.

Charred, grilled salmon in spicy green onion marinade

IMG_0278

  1. To assemble: Place spinach leaves and a tomato slice on the bottom half of the toasted bun. Place the fish on the tomato. Top the fish fillet off with pickled onion rings, banana peppers (I actually put the peppers on the side, because they kept slipping off when I put them in the sandwich) and a few swirls of Aioli. Place the top half of the bun on top and serve 🙂

Assembling healthy salmon sandwich, with spicy sri racha Aioli

low- fat, healthy Easy Fish sandwich with spicy AioliEasy, healthy, salmon fillet sandwich with spicy marinade

Enjoy it with a beer or cider or some sparkling water with a lime wedge 🙂

Categories
General Recipes

Drink your Vegetables!!!: A Healthy Carrot Beet Juice Recipe

I’ve started drinking fresh juices! If you’ve been reading other posts of mine, you know that I struggle with eating vegetables. I especially hate how crunchy they are. Which is why, if I ever eat them, I eat them very cooked. I have found, however, that I can “drink my vegetables”,  even raw vegetables, without too much difficulty.  A carrot, beet (beetroot), orange, and ginger concoction I made yesterday for instance, was actually pretty refreshing!

Healthy Carrot Beet Juice

Of course eating whole vegetables is so much better for you. If you’re simply not eating enough vegetables though, for whatever reason,  juicing is a good way to supplement your nutrient intake. Also, when it comes to people like me who dislike vegetables, I see juices as the opposite of a gateway drug, they’re a gateway to healthier eating. At least, I am hoping they are.

Anyway, it’s week 2 and I am still keeping at it. Every day, I make myself some juice, varying the vegetables so that I am getting a range of nutrients. If you’re looking to try your hand at juicing and haven’t done it before, this is a great starter juice. I use a juicer, but I have heard of people using a Vitamix and then straining out the pulp if they don’t like it.

Ingredients:

8 Carrots (with the ends cut off)

2 Beets (peeled, with ends cut off) (you can use just one beet if you don’t like the strong “root” flavour of beets and just use 2 extra carrots instead)

1 Orange (peeled) (you could also use an apple)

2 inch Piece of Ginger

Healthy juice Recipe

 

Method:

  1. Wash the fruit and vegetables well.
  2. Cut them as needed depending on the size of your juicer feeding tube.
  3. Feed the ingredients into the juicer.
  4. Pour the juice into a glass.
  5. Enjoy your juice 🙂

How to make your diet more healthy

P.s. You could use the pulp to bake muffins. I plan on trying this out at some point and will update this post, when I do.

Categories
General Recipes

Easy Fondue for a Rainy Day!

Today was a bit chilly compared to the past week and it has been raining all evening.  I’ve also been trying to cut down on my sugar consumption. All these factors combined left me craving something warm, delicious, and indulgent. My normal go-to cure for rainy-day blues would be a cup of rich, dark, hot chocolate accompanied by a cookie and some truffles (I’ve written about my idea of a delicious hot chocolate afternoon snack before). Given the fact that I am trying to reduce my sugar-intake for the next week though, hot chocolate was not an option. What then?

I wanted something special, a treat, and something warm…and then, I hit upon it: Fondue!  I made several winter trips to Basel (a little town in Switzerland), when I lived in Europe a few years ago. I was even there for the Basler Fasnacht!

Basler Fasnacht!

Basel Carnival

Basler Fasnacht!

Basel Spring Carnival

 

Anyway, I digress, my point is, naturally, one of my favourite things to do in Switzerland was eat Fondue! For lunch, dinner, and dessert! It was delicious! Fondue, I shall make, I decided.

Mmmm. It definitely hit the spot!

Super Easy Fondue Recipe

 

This is a fairly simple recipe, with very few ingredients involving even fewer steps. So go for it if you’re at the tail end of a chilly day or in the middle of a cold winter day!

Ingredients:

1/4 pound Gruyere Cheese

1/4 pound Emmentaler Cheese

1/2 Tbsp Corn Starch

A couple of splashes of Kirsch (If you don’t have this, skip it and use a 1/2 Tbsp of lemon juice, instead)

1/2 cup any white wine

1 pod of garlic

A sprig of Rosemary

Ground Pepper (optional)

Toasted slices of bread or blanched vegetables of your choice, to dip into the Fondue

 

Method:

  1. Grate the cheese. I used a food processor, which makes grating faster and easier.
  2. Cut the garlic clove in half and rub it all over the insides of a small, heavy bottomed pot.
  3. Heat the wine on medium-heat in the garlic-coated pot.
  4. In the meantime, dissolve the cornstarch in the Kirsch. If you don’t have Kirsch, toss the grated cheese with the cornstarch to lightly coat the cheese with the starch.
  5. Once the wine is simmering, add the Kirsch-starch solution, if using.
  6. Next, add the cheese by the handful, waiting for each handful of cheese to melt, before adding the next. Keep stirring in between each round of cheese being added. (At this stage, if you did not use Kirsch, add a half tablespoon of lemon juice.)
  7. Once the cheese is all melted, transfer the cheese to a fondue pot, if you have one. If you don’t have one, and your fondue thickens while you’re eating it, reheat the fondue, on low heat, with a splash of wine.
  8. Dip toasted bread and/or vegetables and go Mmmmm!

 

 

 

Categories
Food General Indian Cooking Recipes

Dondakaya Vepudu: A Delicious, Easy, Andhra-Style Vegetable Sauté

Tindora, Dondakaya, Indian Ivy Gourd, Low fat South Indian Vegetable Sauté

Dondakaya is a common vegetable in Andhra Pradesh (a State in Southern India). While I normally hate eating vegetables, this particular vegetable, prepared in the way my parents make it, I find absolutely delicious! If you’d like to try it, all you have to do is go to an Indian store and ask for “Tindora” which is the Hindi name for it. Once you get your hands on this vegetable, this is a fairly easy recipe to replicate.

Dondakaya Vepudu, Tindora fry, South Indian Veggie Sauté

Dondakaya or Tindora has a slightly tangy taste, and when sautéed in the manner I describe below, it turns out mostly soft, but slightly crunchy. Overall, it’s a flavourful vegetable with nutritional and health benefits. For one thing, according to WebMd it is “possibly effective” for helping manage diabetes by improving blood sugar control. It is also rich in beta carotene which can be converted by the body to Vitamin A (See Artemis C. Simopolous & C. Gopalan, Plants in Human Health, Basel, Switzerland: Karger, 2003) page 64-65).

If you’d like to give it a try, here is what you will beed:

Ingredients:

500 g Tindora/Dondakaya/Indian Ivy Gourd

1 small or medium onion, sliced (yellow or red)

3-4 dried red chillis

1 -2 tsp of red chilli powder

1/2 tsp turmeric powder

1/2 – 3/4 tsp cumin powder (optional)

1/2- 3/4 tsp coriander powder (cilantro seeds, ground) (optional)

3 tbsp oil (I use avocado oil, but you can use any oil that doesn’t have a very strong flavour/fragrance)

 

Method:

1. Slice the Dondakaya either widthways into rings, or lengthways into strips.

2. Add about 1.5 tbsp oil in a pan and heat it at medium-high. Once the oil is hot, add the sliced Dondakaya to the pan.

Tindora, Indian Ivy Gourd, Dondakaya

3. Sauté the Dondakaya for a few minutes, tossing the slices constantly.

4. Cover the pan and let the Dondakaya cook on low heat for about 10-13 minutes until the vegetable is softened.



5. Move the Dondakaya into a separate bowl. Add 1.5 tbsp of oil to the pan again, increase the heat to medium, and add the red chillies and toss until they darken. Then, add the onions and sauté.


6. Once the onions are softened and browned, add the Dondakaya to the pan again, and toss. Season with turmeric, chilli powder and cumin and coriander (if using) and stir the contents of the pan about, for a few minutes, until the spices are more evenly distributed over the Dondakaya pieces.

7. Once the spices are well distributed, take the pan of the heat and serve the Dondakaya Vepudu!

You can serve it as part of a South Indian meal with Pappu (lentils) and/or Pulusu (a tamarind broth with vegetables) and/or Rasam and/or Sambar, rice, roti, and yogurt.

Dondakaya Vepudu in South Indian Meal

 

Dondakaya Vepudu; Tindora fry, Healthy Veggie Sauté

Sometimes though, when I am busy, I make just the Vepudu and eat it with yogurt 🙂