Category Archives: vegetarian

Mrs. Kaur

Jaahaan’s mom, Mrs. Kaur is visiting from Delhi for a few weeks. I don’t know why she would visit Syracuse in January with all this snow when the weather in Delhi is balmy and wonderful. I’d been hearing stories about her mom’s obsession with PNC, so I asked for a cooking lesson and Mrs. Kaur gratefully obliged. When I arrived at Jaahaan’s apartment Mrs. Kaur  already had all the spices set out, the vegetables diced, and was ready to go. It was like entering into the Indian version of Everyday Italian with Giada. Pretty much a dream come true.

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This is all Mrs. Kaur has to work with. One saucepan, one skillet and a rice cooker. And I learned that the basic ingredients in any Indian dish are tomatoes, onions, maybe some ginger garlic paste, and some spices. Really the most essential spice is a garam masala mix. Just goes to show that Indian cooking isn’t hard. All you need is a pot, some vegetables, and a spice mix and you are cooking like a true Desi lady. Most of the ingredients used can be found in the International isle at Wegmans. Some of the more obscure items, like amchoor powder, can be found at Kashmir Grocery on Erie Boulevard.

PANEER CURRY

1/4 cup onion paste* |||| 1 teaspoon garlic ginger paste |||| 3/4 cup tomato puree |||| 1 teaspoon salt |||| 1/2 teaspoon turmeric |||| 1 teaspoon garam masala |||| 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder |||| 1 teaspoon chili powder |||| 1/2 cup diced green pepper |||| 1/2 cup diced onion |||| 1 1/2 cups milk |||| 1 package fried paneer

*To make the onion paste: mix diced onions in a blender or a food processor until an onion paste forms. Then briefly saute the paste in a skillet with some oil until the paste turns light brown. The onion paste will keep in the fridge for up to a month.

1. Heat vegetable oil in the bottom of a medium-sized pot. Add the onion paste and garlic ginger paste and saute for about 2 minutes.

2. Then add the tomato puree and spices. Allow the mixture to cook for another 3-4 minutes.

3. Add the milk, green peppers, onions, paneer, and 1 /2 cup of water to the spiced tomato puree mixture.  Allow the mixture to boil until the curry thickens and the vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes.

POTATOES with MUSTARD SEEDS

1 teaspoon mustard seeds |||| 2 potatoes, peeled, boiled, and diced |||| 1 small onion, cut into thin strips |||| 1 teaspoon garlic ginger paste |||| 1/4 cup tomato puree |||| 1 teaspoon salt |||| 1/2 teaspoon amchoor (dried mango powder) |||| 1/2 teaspoon turmeric |||| 2 teaspoons garam masala |||| 1 teaspoon dhania powder (coriander seed) |||| 1 teaspoon chili powder

1. Heat a few teaspoons of vegetable oil in a skillet. Once the oil is hot, add the mustard seeds. Beware! The mustard seeds will pop. Stand back so you don’t shoot your eye out. Allow the seeds to cook for about 30 seconds before adding the onions.

2. Once the onions start to turn brown add the tomato puree and the spices. Allow the onions to cook with the spices for another 3-4 minutes.

3. Then add potatoes and 1 cup of water to the skillet. Allow the mixture to cook until the water is totally evaporated.

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Econ homework and a plate of Indian food for dinner.

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This kitty only speaks Hindi.

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Filed under indian cuisine, side dish, vegetarian

Shabbat Shabooty

Vegetarian Eggrolls

1 package of 15 eggroll wrappers |||| 1 1/2 cup sweet cabbage, chopped |||| 3/4 cup celery, finely chopped |||| 1/2 cup green onions, finely chopped |||| 1 can of water chestnuts, finely chopped |||| 1/3 cup carrots, finely chopped |||| 1/3 cup sprouts, finely chopped |||| 2 teaspoons garlic |||| 1 teaspoon  chili powder |||| 2 teaspoons sugar |||| 1/3 cup soy sauce |||| 1 teaspoon salt |||| 2 teaspoons pepper |||| 1 egg |||| 2 cups olive oil

1. Saute cabbage, celery, garlic, green onions in a large skillet with some olive oil. When tender, add the water chestnuts, carrots, sprouts, sugar, spices, and soy sauce. Cook everything together for 4-5 minutes.

2. Allow the cabbage mixture to cool. Then assemble the eggrolls. Use an egg, mixed with a little water, to seal the eggrolls. (I just followed the rolling directions on the back of the package. If your package doesn’t  have directions/pictures, use the opportunity to get creative.)

3. Heat oil in a large skillet with high sides. Fry the eggrolls in small batches, turning so that all sides get brown and crispy.

 

Amy, Jamie, and Alyssa had the whole gang over for Shabbat dinner last Friday. They made stir-fry, salmon, salad, baba ganoush, rice, cookies, and challah. Jordana and I brought the eggrolls and wine. Not the most traditional Shabbat dinner, but hey, I’m not even Jewish…If there is a potluck, religious or not, I am there. Needless to say, I was stuffed at the end of this smorgasbord. Everything was delicious. My friends really know how to cook!

On account of responsibility and the need of funds to uphold our decadent lifestyle, Kathryn had to work Friday night. She missed Shabbat and the eggrolls. Luckily, I bought two packages of the eggroll wraps, so we made eggrolls again on Saturday night. Cooking with friends was followed by: going to Jes’s art show, playing a rousing game of Pictionary, and then going to a excellent party. A seriously solid weekend indeed.

Also, recently I’ve had an unquenchable craving for soy sauce. Everything I put it on tastes better. I think that if I ever go preggo, I’ll probably need professional help to deal with my soy sauce cravings.

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Filed under chinese, side dish, vegetarian

tastes better when its local

Honey Butter Cornbread – Another local recipe from my friend Amy

2 1/3 cups flour |||| 1 cup cornmeal |||| 1 cup honey |||| 4 1/2 teaspoons baking powder |||| 2/3 cup butter, at room temperature |||| 3 eggs |||| 1 teaspoon salt |||| 1 2/3 cups 2% milk

1. Preheat oven to 360 degrees. Add honey, butter, eggs, and milk in a blender. Blend until ingredients are evenly combined.

2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt. Mix well.

3. Then slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, using a whisk to blend completely.

4. Pour batter evenly into a greased 16×9 glass baking pan. Bake for 22-25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Amy says: I used honey for this recipe because its the only sugar source produced naturally in Upstate NY. Also, I did not use salt but if your able to get a hold of salt in your local region, I would definitely recommend.

BastaPasta says: I had a taste of this sticky cornbread last Saturday night. It was a crazy night made better by the addition of local cornbread. Mad good son.

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Filed under Baked goods, vegetarian

cornflower soup

6-8 cups of chicken stock |||| 2 cans of creamed corn |||| 1/2 cup green onions, chopped |||| 1 cup of spinach, chopped |||| 1 cup of rice |||| 1/4 cup soy sauce |||| 2 tablespoons cornstarch |||| salt and pepper to taste

1. Prepare 1 cup of rice following the directions on the package.

2. In a large pot combine chicken stock, corn, green onions, spinach and soy sauce to a rolling boil.

3. Dissolve cornstarch with some water in a small bowl. While continuously stirring, add the cornstarch mixture to the soup. Let the soup bowl for a few more minutes, until the broth thickens.

4. Add the prepared rice to the soup. Season with pepper and salt (or soy sauce). Garnish with won ton strips from the CHIX WON TONS recipe.

 

 

With this recipe, its very important to dissolve the cornstarch into water before adding it to the soup. I tried adding the cornstarch directly to the soup and the results were not good. Cooked cornstarch chunks appeared in my soup! Luckily I was able to strain the cornstarch chunks out the the soup. But you can totally avoid this by dissolving the cornstarch before mixing it into the soup.

Maybe I should change this to a strictly soup blog because I don’t think I’ve ever met a soup I didn’t like! Here’s the thing about soup: it’s easy, cheap, tasty and there’s always leftovers. And there is something I truly enjoy about coming home after a long day of class to a big bowl of soup. Call me a weird-o (or maybe a soup-o!) but I am a certified soup enthusiast. Cornflower soup is prefect for the Fall because it is hearty without being too heavy. And the green and yellow colors in the soup are so pretty! 

Is it becoming apparent that I am really getting into creamed corn recently?

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Filed under chinese, soup, vegetarian

experimental pie

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PIE FILLING

3 large yams, peeled and diced |||| 8 apples, peeled, cored, and diced |||| 1/2 cup sweet white onion, finely chopped |||| 2 tablespoons paprika |||| 2 tablespoons + 1/4 cup vegetable oil |||| 2 teaspoons + 1 tablespoon curry paste |||| 1 tablespoon cinnamon |||| 1/4 cup of + 2 teaspoons honey |||| 2 tablespoons apple cider |||| 1 teaspoon mustard |||| 1 cup of dried, sweetened cranberries

CRUST

1 2/3 cups white flour |||| 1/3 cup cornmeal |||| 1 teaspoon salt |||| 3/4 cup vegetable shortening |||| 1/3 cup ice water |||| 1/2 cup brown sugar

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a large rimmed baking sheet. Toss the diced yams with vegetable oil, paprika, salt, and pepper. Spread out yams evenly on the baking sheet. Roast yams until they are tender and lightly browned on the outside, about 1 hour.

2. Saute the onions in a large non-stick skillet. When the onions are tender, add apples, 2 tsp curry paste, cinnamon and honey to the skillet. Saute the apples until they are tender and browned.

3. In a small bowl combine 1/4 vegetable oil, 1 tablespoon curry paste, 2 teaspoons honey, mustard, and apple cider.

4. When the yams and apples are done, combine them in a large bowl with the curry/honey mixture and the cranberries.

5. Combine all the crust ingredients in a large bowl. Kneed with your hands until the course dough starts to mold into a ball.

6. Evenly press the dough into the bottom and sides of 2 9-inch greased pie pan. Set aside 1/2 cup of the crumbly dough for the topping.

7. Divide yam/apple mixture evenly between the two pie pans. Top each pie with 1/4 cup of the crumbly pie crust, 1/4 cup brown sugar and a drizzle of honey.

8. Bake pie at 400 degrees for 10 minutes. Then turn the heat down to 350 degrees and bake for about 40 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown.

 

This Experimental Pie started as a recipe for roasted yam and apple salad out of October’s Bon Appetit. But my salad turned out too mushy and not particularly appetizing. And I wasn’t really digging the sweet and savory flavors. After a taste test and caucus with Dana, I was convinced to turn this salad into PIE! So I immediatly started making some pie crust -shout out to Kathryn’s Mom for the pie crust recipe! (Although I did add the cornmeal because I was just short on flour for the recipe.) Also note that this recipe makes two pies.

Even as a finished product, I still didn’t really like this pie. My roommates on the other hand, loved it! I guess its just a personal preference. Its just the combination of the savory curry paste and mustard with the honey and brown sugar. But don’t let that discourage you, this pie is delicious to some.

I gave one of the pies to the boys upstairs. Still waiting for reviews and my pie pan back.

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Filed under Baked goods, vegetarian

santa fe something

1 can condensed tomato soup |||| 1 can creamed corn |||| 2 1/2 cups skim milk |||| 1/4 cup green onions, chopped |||| 1/4 cup roasted red peppers from a jar |||| 1 garlic clove, minced |||| pinch of curry powder |||| pinch of red pepper flakes

1. Mix together tomato soup, creamed corn, milk, curry powder and red pepper flakes in a large pot.

2. In a small pan, saute the green onions, red peppers, and garlic for about 5 minutes or until onions are browned.

3. Combine the onion/pepper mixture into soup mixture. Heat thoroughly but do not let the soup boil.

 

This recipe happened on accident but it was a good accident. So quick and delicious, this soup is made for Tuesday nights. Makes me want to get under a blanket, read the newspaper and pet my cat….waaait, I don’t  have a cat! I think the soup is making me delirious its so good.

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Filed under soup, vegetarian

split pea soup

2 1/2 cups of green split peas |||| 1 medium sized onion, chopped |||| 1 teaspoon garlic, minced |||| 1 teaspoon curry powder |||| 1 teaspoon salt |||| 2 tablespoons soy sauce |||| 8 cups water |||| 1 large potato, diced |||| 3 stalks of celery, chopped |||| 2 large carrots, chopped

1. Saute onion, garlic, curry powder and salt in a skillet until onions are tender.

2. In a large pot combine sauted mixture with water, peas, and soy sauce. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour.

3.  Add potato, celery, and carrots and cook for 30 more minutes.

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Filed under soup, vegetarian