Sunday, January 31, 2010

Super blogger sunday: Madhuram of Eggless Cooking

Meet Madhuram from Eggless Cooking blog this week in the Super blogger sunday series. Her blog is one of the best blogs dedicated to eggless recipes. There is also important information related to egg substitutes, vegan recipes, healthy baking and so on..The amazing collection of recipes is a treat to every reader's eyes..go ahead and read more about Madhuram and her blog.

EC: Tell us something about yourself. Who and what inspired you to start food blogging ?

Madhuram: My blog will turn 2 in another 3 months. Wow! I can't believe it myself. It all started like an hobby but it's more than that now. I got interested in baking after watching all the Food TV shows religiously. Being a vegetarian I was not comfortable bringing eggs home (though we eat store bought baked goods made with eggs). So I started looking for egg free baking recipes and stumbled upon Indira's Banana-Carrot Cake recipe. That was the first egg free baking recipe I ever tried and it came out very well. It was so good that I used to avoid eating bananas and let them over-ripe purposely just to make the cake. Then I started visiting blogs from her blog list and came across a lot of eggless baking recipes in those blogs too. I began to bookmark them and the list was getting out of control and that's when I told my husband that I too wanted to start a blog just to create a directory of eggless baking recipes. At that time I didn't even have the slightest clue that I would be baking so much. The idea behind my blog was just to put all the links under one roof.

Before blogging became an inevitable part of my life, I have often wondered what was I doing with my life. I was of course happily married and a stay at home mom of a toddler son. Often times I felt that I was wasting my time, I wanted to do something, but I didn't know what "that something" was. Now after a year and 9 months later, with my husband's tremendous technical and moral support, my blogging friends' and visitors' encouragment and appreciation I'm very happy that I'm doing something worthwhile.

EC: The garnishing on ur cakes are wonderful..can u share some tips on it

Madhuram: I too am a novice. I have always had interest in cake decorating but until recently I did not get the chance to join the Wilton's Cake Decorating courses. It's a 4 part series covering the basics to some extent of advanced cake decorating techniques. There are a lot of videos on YouTube for cake decorating, but I would definitely suggest taking the course. It is really very helpful.

EC: Have your recipes been copied anywhere without your permission..How would you deal with plagiarism ??

Madhuram: Yes a couple of times. It was not by fellow bloggers but by these crooked/smart people who sort of got RSS feeds from my blog and updated theirs with my content as and when I posted. My husband took care of it by calling our web host and blocked their IP address.

EC: What are your sources for recipes ? Do you follow them as given or make changes to suit your taste buds?

Madhuram: Initially I was following baking recipes (from books/websites) to the T. I always mention the source of the recipe if it is not mine. Now with little experience I'm making a lot of changes and substitutions to the original recipe and sometimes come up with baking recipes of my own.

EC: If you were to suggest one of your recipes for a first time baker, which would it be and why ?

Madhuram: I'm having a hard time to choose between these 2 because both are very easy to bake and very tasty too.

EC: Your favourite vegetarian recipe

Saturday, January 30, 2010

The Chocolate Shop ~ Kerry Alexander

For more minis by Kerry Alexander, visit:

Khaman Dhokla (Steamed Lentil Squares)

Guest author: Gauri Karmali

I learnt this from one of my gujrathi frend at the temple where we used to go do seva.


2 cups chana dal/bengalgram dal
1 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 cup urad dal/ blackgram dal
1/4 coconut grated
2 lemons
2 tbsps coriander leaves chopped
1 tsp green chilli-ginger paste
8 curry leaves
4tsp asafoetida
4 tbsps ghee
1/4tsp soda bicarb
Salt to taste
1 tsp sugar

Soak chana dal and urad dal for 8 hours. Grind finely. Mix ginger and green chilli paste to the dal paste. Add soda bicarb, asafoetida, salt and sugar. Heat two tbsps ghee and pour into the dal mixture. Put the mixture in a vessel. Cover and leave overnight. Add the juice of two lemons in the morning. Spread the mixture in a greased thali or pan and steam cook. When dhokla is ready, test by piercing with a knife. It should come out clean. Remove and cool. Cut into squares. To season, heat remaining ghee, add mustard seeds, a pinch of asafoetida and curry leaves. When they pop, pour over the dhoklas. Garnish with grated coconut and green coriander leaves and serve.

This is her tenth and final entry to the MLLA-19th helping - an initiative of Susan, guest hosted this month at my blog

Just one day more for the event to end ...Do rush in your entries

Friday, January 29, 2010

Self Storage Locations Are Your Best Friends While Moving!


We recently moved into our new home, in fact, out First Home - Yippeee!! and though things are still scattered all around, I fell happy, excited, and a lot less tense, because instead of dunking every piece of furniture, clothing and equipment in the new place, we took advice from our friends and rented a Self Storage Location that will hold all our stuff until we decide what goes where!

I'm sure you have a list of Things to Do before you actually Move. Moving can be a very stressful process, but with a little bit of planning, some help from friends and family, and a clear process of how you are going to tackle the move, you can make this a peaceful and stress-free adventure. One of the topmost concerns while moving is packing and relocating all your stuff to the new place. Yes, you can hire Movers who will do this for you, under your supervision, of course, but most of the times, the new place is not completely ready to take the brunt of all your stuff. And believe me, even if you stay in just a one-bedroom apartment, you'll be amazed at home much stuff you gather over time and dunk it in your closet! you might not even know you had these things, until they show their existence during the process of packing and moving. In my personal opinion, your best bet in such circumstances is to rent a Self Storage Location and move all your not-so-important stuff in there, until you have arranged all the other things in the new place, and have figured out where everything else will go.

Self-storage option can be less expensive if you expect to need it for a number of months Or if you have only a few items to store. Traditionally, self-storage facilities require you to bring your property to them. Because their primary business is self-storage, they tend to offer a better product and more flexibility. However, they can be less convenient because they require you to bring your property to them. Here are a few things to consider before deciding on whether this is right for you:

Understand the cost structure. Almost all self-storage facilities offer the first month free. What's the cost after that? is the rate guaranteed?
Is there a security deposit?
What are the late fees?
When can you access your storage facility? Is it closed on weekends, if yes, then that might not be your best bet.
Do you need to insure the goods yourself? Some homeowners policies may cover property that you put in storage.
How large a space do you need?

All these are valid questions to ask before you hone in on a storage company. Another option is on location self-storage. These companies bring mini-storage sheds, also known as PODS (Portable On-Demand Storage) to your house--you fill them up and they take them to their storage facility. While it's a neat concept, it can be a little tricky to coordinate with a larger move. These are great if you're only moving a short distance, though. But there are some that you can rent the PODS and leave them on your new facility itself. that way, you ahve access to it 24/7, and can slowly shuffle out things as you find space to arrange them in your new space.

Almost everyone I know hates Moving, because it takes up a lot of your time and energy, not to mention the million other things you need to take care of, before your Move is complete. Self Storage locations can help you take off some part of the pain associated with moving. I know it helped us, and I'm sure it could help you too, so give them a serious thought to enable a less stressful move that you had imagined!

Black Forest Cake ~ Anne-Marie

For more minis by Anne-Marie, visit:

Black Bean or Black eye bean curry

Guest author: Gauri Karmali

This curry can be made either with black beans or black eyed beans.


1 cup Black Beans or black eyed beans soaked for atleast 8-10 hrs
1 tomato
1 green chilly
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
Coriander leaves
1/2 inch ginger
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp of oil
1 tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp garam masala
Salt as per taste

Soak the beans for atleast 8-10 hrs. Pressure cook the beans. Make a paste of tomato, ginger, green chilli and coriander leaves. Heat 1 tbsp of oil, add 1 tsp of cumin seeds. Once the seeds get fried well and a nice aroma comes out, add the tomato, ginger, chilli and coriander leaves paste. Fry the paste for sometime till the paste is cooked. Once the paste is cooked, add the turmeric, red chilli powder, coriander powder, cumin seeds powder and garam masala. Once the masalas are cooked, add the cooked beans and salt, mix well and boil for 5 min. This dish is now ready to serve with bread or chapatis.

As I do not eat garlic and onions, I asked my mother in law to try adding onion and garlic to the masala paste. That is she made a paste of onion, tomato, ginger, green chilly, garlic and coriander leaves and she said that it tastes really great. So its for those who eat onion and garlic go ahead and try it.

This is her ninth entry to the MLLA-19th helping - an initiative of Susan, guest hosted this month at my blog

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Black Forest Cake ~ Stephanie Kilgast

Moong dal kheer

Guest author: Gauri Karmali

This kheer is my favroite sweet. Its so easy to make. I really love to make and eat it.


1 cup moong dal
1/2 coconut's extracted milk
1/2 cup jaggery - adjust jaggery as per taste
Pinch of elaichi powder
Dry fruits of your choice

Dry roast the moong dal till it is brown in colour and the raw smell goes away and a nice aroma comes out. Now pressure cook the dal with 2 cups of water. The dal needs to be little mashy. Now add the coconut milk and jaggery to the mashed dal and boil it for sometime. Do not cook for more time. Add the elaichi powder, dry fruits and mix well. Serve hot. This kheer becomes a little thick after cooled.

This is her eight entry to the MLLA-19th helping - an initiative of Susan, guest hosted this month at my blog

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Chocolate-Vanilla Cake ~ Kerry Alexander

For more minis by Kerry Alexander, visit:

Budding blogger: Sanjana

Budding blogger series introduces new bloggers (those blogging for less than a year) every wednesday and promotes their blogs through Simple Indian Food. If you are interested in being a part of this series, please mail me a short description about your blog, the cuisine you specialize and your objective/inspiration in blogging to

This week meet Sanjana from KO Rasoi. She appears to focus on vegan food, eggless baking and most importantly shares the secret of Gujarati cuisine..Check her blog for all these and more..

Sanjana feels

KO Rasoi is about all the important things in life... Families, food and happiness through creativity. For me, KO Rasoi is a place where I can share the Vegetarian Gujarati recipes my family and I grew up eating. I believe I inherited my passion for food from my two late grandfathers who were both superb chefs. I like to cook both traditional Indian food and also fusion dishes which combine ingredients and cooking styles from all over the world. I don't think food is about fancy presentation- food is about flavours, colours and the way dishes makes you feel when you eat them. Do they bring back memories? Do they make you think of long lost friends? Or perhaps your family? If so, then KO Rasoi is the place to come and share your memories of food and perhaps to learn a little bit about mine. Hope to see you there sometime...

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Channa dal with sabudana kheer

Guest author: Gauri Karmali


1 cup channa dal/bengalgram dal
Half handful of sabudana/sago
1/2 coconut's extracted milk
1/2 cup jaggery - adjust jaggery as per taste
Pinch of ealichi powder

Soak channa dal for about 8-10 hrs. Soak the sabudana. Pressure cook the channa dal. Mix the channa dal, jaggery, sabudana and coconut milk and boil for sometime. Do not overcook as when it cools it becomes very thick. Add elaichi powder, dry fruits and serve hot.

This is her seventh entry to the MLLA-19th helping - an initiative of Susan, guest hosted this month at my blog

Pastries ~ Cindy Teh

For more minis by Cindy Teh, visit:


Photography by Stéphanie Kilgast. For more minis by Stéphanie, visit:

Monday, January 25, 2010

All dal dosa

Guest author: Gauri Karmali

I learnt this dosa from my mom she makes it really good. I have tried it and it comes out very good. Everyone should try this healthy recipe.


1 cup urad dal
1/2 cup moong dal
2 tbsps toor dal
1/4 cup channa dal
2 cups of raw rice
1/4 tsp cumin seeds
2 cut green chillies

Soak all the dals together and rice separately for atleast 8-12 hours. Then grind the dals and rice separately to a smooth paste. Mix the rice and dal pastes and let the paste ferment overnight. Heat a tbsp of oil in a pan, add cumin seeds, ginger and green chillies. Fry these ingredients and add it to the fermented mixture. Add salt and mix the batter well. Heat a tava or a heavy griddle, spread some oil. Take a ladle full of the dosa batter and pour onto it. Spread it in a circular motion to make it as thin as possible. Pour a little oil around the dosa and on it. Once it is cooked crisp on one side, flip it over for few seconds and serve hot with sambar and coconut chutney.

This is her sixth entry to the MLLA-19th helping - an initiative of Susan, guest hosted this month at my blog

Fancy Food Show Winter 2010 Cool Stuff

There were a number of things I saw at the Winter Fancy Food Show that really intrigued me this year. But tasting something is not the same as cooking with, or trying something in my own home kitchen, so I decided I would put some of the most provocative products into a separate post from my favorites. Hopefully this makes sense. Next up will be the trends from the show and beyond...

Cypress Grove chevre
If you love cheese, how can you not fall head over heels for this wedding cake? It's made entirely of Cypress Grove chevre and lovely fresh flowers. For someone who prefers cheese over sweets, it would be a fantastic way to celebrate in style. In fact, master cheesemaker and Cypress Grove founder Mary Keehn served one at her own wedding.

black garlic
I've been hearing about black garlic for quite some time, but I'm not sure I'd ever tried it before the show. It was offered up in various forms from whole heads, to cloves to liquid. It is fermented and all the natural sugars come out creating a very sweet molasses like flavor and a texture somewhat chewier than a raisin. It has no bite and is actually used in various desserts, believe it or not. I think it would be great with caramelized onions, on pizza, or even in bread. I snagged a sample and look forward to experimenting with it. Hopefully it will be more widely available soon.

smoked olive oil
Let me tell you, the show floor was simply buzzing about smoked olive oil. Everyone I met asked if I had tried it. Yes, I did. And I liked it, but will need to see how it works on various dishes. It seems like it would have good potential on soups and drizzled over vegetables or to boost flavor on grilled foods. It's supposedly a top seller in Tyler Florence's kitchen shop in Mill Valley.

When I was in Japan I discovered yuzukosho, a paste made from the yuzu citrus and kosho, a Japanese green chili pepper. It's got loads of tangy citrus flavor not just pure heat. I was so crazy about it I bought tubes to bring home, afraid that I might not find it here (fortunately it is available in my local Japanese grocery store). This new product is yuzusco, like Tabasco, and it is yuzu and kosho but in a thin vinegar sauce. It has all the complexity and mild heat of yuzukosho but is much easier to use. I would use it in place of Tabasco, which I find to be fairly simple and one note. I hope the company producing it is able to get distribution soon.

San Angel mole sauces
I only tried a packaged mole sauce once, and it was dreadful (actually Trader Joe's discontinued it not long after I bought it)l. I tried both the black and red mole sauces from award-winning San Angel as well as the red cascabel sauce and was very impressed. The red was a bit spicier, the black a bit sweet but each tasted homemade and contains high quality natural ingredients. They were layered with flavors and I could see keeping them on hand to use with leftover chicken and turkey. I'd use the cascabel to make enchiladas.

Etruria Gourmet
My friend Vanessa of Italy in SF introduced me to these fantastic Etruria Gourmet vinegars from Italy and their producer, Giuseppe Cagnoni. I had never had honey vinegar before and fell for it, hard. I plan to pick up a bottle and see how many ways I can use it. I bet it would be great on fruit salad as well as bitter green salads. Vanessa suggested using the mild honey vinegar with sparkling water for an aperitif, which sounds great. The raspberry vinegar was also amazingly fragrant and floral. Giuseppe explained how the ancient honey vinegar was probably first invented by accident. All his vinegars are living, contain "mother" and are not filtered.

Sparrow Lane pear vinegar
Another vinegar I liked was this Sparrow Lane pear vinegar. Again, I tried it plain, so I don't have a good idea how it will perform in recipes, but I did like it very much.

Fabrique Delices savory macaroons
One of the oddest things I tried, also all the buzz at the show, were savory filled macaroons from Fabrique Delices. Supposedly these are popular in France. I liked the goat cheese one, but the other flavors such as porcini and sun-dried tomato were problematic for me, as the cookies were too sweet. Since they are made from egg whites and sugar, I'm not sure how the baker will get the balance of sweet and savory right, but I think it's an interesting idea and look forward to trying them again, perhaps with a glass of wine?

bread armour
The Fancy Food Show has very few gadgets and gizmos, but there was an interesting invention, Bread Armor a special plastic zip top bag designed specifically to keep artisanal bread fresh. It wasn't an ordinary plastic bag, but one made of 7 layers and supposedly it keeps baguettes fresh for up to 20 days. Obviously I need to put this to the test! But as someone who routinely makes bread crumbs or tosses out petrified baguette remnants, I am very excited at the prospect of this product. It can also be reused many times.

Burns' Night: Haggis, Neeps & Tatties ~ Linda Cummings

January 25th marks the annual celebration of the birth of Scotland's national poet, Robert Burns. In 1796, the Scottish bard died and his friends gathered at a supper in 1802 to read his poems, eat haggis & drink whiskey to his memory. Burns' Night has been celebrated worldwide ever since! This is a miniature representation of a Haggis, split with the traditional "Dirk", served with "Tatties" (mashed potatoes!) & "Neeps" (mashed turnip) ... in this case, however the "Neeps" are actually mashed carrot & turnip! The final touch to this traditional Burns' Night meal is a rich & creamy whiskey sauce ... you don't have to be a Scot to enjoy a Haggis!

Dal with corander sticks

Guest author: Gauri Karmali

1 cup toor dal
1 tomato
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
1/2 cup coriander sticks (which we usually throw after picking out the coriander leaves but they are very nutritious for health and we can still use them instead of throwing them out)
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
Pinch of asafoetedia
1 tbsp of ghee

Pressure cook the toor dal with the tomato and the coriander sticks. Once they are cooked, just grind them in the mixie. After the dal, tomato and the sticks are blended well, just take it out and boil the mixture by adding salt, pinch of turmeric and red chilli powder. Temper the dal mixture using 1 tbsp of ghee, mustard seeds and add pinch of asafoetedia. Now the dal is ready to be served with rice.

I think garlic can be used in this dal while tempering, may be it will taste good. I think who eat garlic can try using and let me too know how it exactly tastes. But without garlic it tastes delicious.

This is her fifth entry to the MLLA-19th helping - an initiative of Susan, guest hosted this month at my blog

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Haggis, Neeps & Tatties ~ Margaret Cassidy

For more minis by Margaret Cassidy, visit:

Super blogger sunday: Supriya of Red chillies

Meet Supriya of Red chillies this week in Super blogger sunday series. She manages the Food world aggregator that showcases the recipe updates from more 200 bloggers. She clicks amazing pics and has a nice collection of Vegetarian recipes..It is amazing to note her time management considering her personal commitments, her blog and the work involved in food aggregator..Read on to know more about her

EC: Tell us something about your blog and the reasons and inspiration behind starting it.

Supriya: First of all thank you EC for giving me the opportunity to talk about me and my blog. I have been blogging since July 2007 and so RedChillies is about 2.5 years old.
After I took up the mantle of cooking I discovered that I enjoy cooking, experimenting and also trying out new dishes. When I found the medium of food blogging I decided to use this platform as a way of keeping track of my recipes (more like an online cookbook) in an organized way, recording my experiments, mis-trials etc. Currently blogging has become my passion and I am enjoying it very much.

It must have been about 3-3.5 years ago that I discovered food blogs through some Google searches and had been hooked onto them. I loved the concept of presenting recipes through photography, narration, musings, user interaction etc. After seeing many Indian food blogs amongst them, I thought why not give it a try myself? After all food is a part and parcel of daily life and there is something cooking in our kitchen everyday. So I started blogging as a way of recording my recipes and culinary adventures. Initially I started out privately, but after some nudging and encouragement from my husband I decided to make the blog public.

EC: How frequently do you post, do you cook specially for the blog?

Supriya: Now that I am caught up in this whirlwind of blogging I try to post twice a week, (depending on my schedule). As I have said before I have zeal for learning and trying out new recipes, and now that I blog that cooking interest gets intensified. Now add photography to that equation and the enthusiasm gets compounded.

EC: Food world aggregator is a boon to the food blogging community. Tell us something about how you came up with this idea and the efforts behind it.

Supriya: Thank you and I am glad that this effort is able to bring the bloggers together. The idea of FoodWorld was inspired by FBD (another blog aggregator) started by Indira, Mathy and also TOI started by Sailu. When I was new to the world of food blogging I found FDB, TOI to be useful to make my blog known not only to the other like-minded bloggers but also to a wide range of interested audiences.

When FBD closed down, I thought why not give it a try and create one myself? Luckily I succeeded and that is how FoodWorld got created. It is an aggregator and is an opportunity to provide free platform for other food bloggers to showcase their work to wider audience.

EC: The pictures on your blog are so attractive. Give us some tips for good photography

Supriya: Thank You. I am still a beginner and I have a long way to go. I believe that photography skill comes through experience and experimenting. There are lots of articles, videos on the web that I find very useful. You can find some of the links here.
It is very important to go through the cameras manual and try out the different modes.
Some tips to share that I have learnt:

· Just changing the mode from “Auto” to “Portrait” or “Macro mode” makes huge difference.
· Take time to think through the setup, look at some food magazines, and online websites like TasteSpotting for inspiration, ideas on the setup.
· Take pictures in bright natural light as far as possible. Do not add the flash.
· Take lots of pictures of food from different angles, not just from the top. It is important to bend and take a picture from top level of the food container. This gives some depth to the pictures and does not make it appear flat.
· Use glass cutlery as far as possible. This works well for me as I have not had good results using steel or transparent glass containers.
· Last but not the least, use editing software to crop out unnecessary part and change the brightness, contrast of the picture as required.

EC: How do you manage to keep posting on your blog, the aggregator and your daily chores as well?

Supriya: I think it depends on setting up priorities. I have a four year old boy and I also work full time. My family, home and work takes priority and blogging is something that I do during spare time and weekends. I take pictures after I am done with the cooking. The draft, working on posts is something I do during night times. I thoroughly enjoy blogging as my hobby and I feel that at the end of the day it is a good way of de-compressing from the daily grind. It sure is a stress buster

EC: Have your recipes or pictures been copied anywhere without your permission. How would you deal with plagiarism??

Supriya: To be quite frank, I am not aware if my pictures or recipes have been copied elsewhere. On the same token I do have to mention that I feel very strongly and critical about plagiarism. I feel that stealing content from other sources without permission is just outrageous. It is just day light robbery and cannot be tolerated. It annoys me no end when people steal our content, threaten us and publish it as their own. I just cannot understand as to why people do not ask permission or give credits to the original creator.

EC: To what extent one must have technical knowledge for blogging?

Supriya: I don’t think technical knowledge is necessary for basic blogging. Just simple know-how is sufficient to start off with blogging. The platforms like Wordpress, Typepad and Blogger are user friendly and pretty easy to use. However if additional changes are necessary to the design/template then a good bit of technical knowledge especially HTML helps. There are lots of free on-line tutorials and it is not that difficult to learn.

EC: Your favorite vegetarian recipe

Supriya: I think this is the toughest question so far. I have about 200+ vegetarian recipes in my blog and picking just one is tough. However I would gladly settle for this one: Poori and Vagetable saagu, my all time favorite.


Saturday, January 23, 2010

Polka Dot Cake ~ Stephanie Kilgast

Moong / Green channa or whole masoor Goan curry

Guest author: Gauri Karmali

This curry can be made either with moong / green channa or whole masoor. This curry is really the heaven of goa and best i can think of when i m really really hungry.


1 cup whole masoor/Green Channa or moong - any one can be taken
2 cups of raw scraped coconut
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp coriander seeds
2-3 red chillies
1 tsp red chilly powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
a small ball of tamarind
3-4 cloves
1 inch cinamon
3-4 peppercorns
1 tbsp of oil
salt and sugar as per taste

This curry does not need sprouted beans.

Soak the masoor or green channa or green moong overnight and Pressure cook the beans. Heat 1 tbsp of oil and fry the cumin/coriander seeds till they are light brown, then remove them. In the similar way fry the cloves, cinamon and peppercorns. Lightly fry the red chillies. Finally in the remaining oil roast the scraped coconut till it is brown. Mix the roasted coconut, fried spices, red chillies, red chilly powder, turmeric and tamarind and grind it to a smooth paste. In the mean time put some water in the cooked beans and boil it for 5 min. Add the ground paste to the beans and add salt and sugar as per taste. Boil it for a while and add coriander leaves. Serve hot with chapati or rice.

Onion can be used in this curry and it becomes good too. So while using onion just fry the onion in the oil till it is golden brown and grind it with the coconut, spices paste.

This is her fourth entry to the MLLA-19th helping - an initiative of Susan, guest hosted this month at my blog

Friday, January 22, 2010

Tandoori Aloo Masala (Potato Curry)

tandoori aloo masala
Its been raining like hell in North California since past couple weeks, and looks like more rain is on the horizon! Its one thing to sit at home sipping hot tea and enjoying Bhajiyas while hearing the pitter-patter of the rain, and totally another boring story to be driving to work each day in these nasty showers! Nevertheless, whenever I am down, I turn to food for comfort, and making and eating a nice comforting meal always help to lift your spirits! This hot and spicy Tandoori Aloo Masala is no exception! Enjoy it with some lovely Parathas and you'll be sure to feel good after the meal!

8-10 baby potatoes
1 Medium size onion (grated)
1 cup yogurt - blended
1 tbsp Coriander seeds
3 cloves
1 inch piece of cinnamon stick
2 Cardamom pods (green)
4 tbsp Ghee/oil
4-5 Bay Leaves
1 tsp each Ginger-garlic paste and chilli powder
1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder
1/4 tsp Tandoori masala (ready-made)
1 tbsp tamarind paste
1 tsp sugar (or add to taste)
salt - to taste

Boil the baby potatoes, making sure they stay firm and not become too mushy. Split into halves and keep aside.

Now take ghee in a non-stick pan and let it heat. Then add the grated onions and a pinch of salt, to prevent onions from becoming bitter in taste. Saute the onions for about 2 mins, till golden and translucent.

Dry roast the cardamom seeds, cloves, coriander seeds, bay leaves, and cinnamon in another pan on medium heat. Then process them in a spice grinder to make fresh dry masala powder.
PS: If you cannot do this, add the spices directly to the onions and let them cook with it. Just remove the bay leaves and cinnamon barks after about 5 mins so they don't overpower the recipe.

Add the fresh masala to the onions and let it cook. Also add the ginger-garlic paste and saute on low-to-medium heat, stirring constantly, till it becomes reddish brown and the mixture starts separating from the oil.

Now add turmeric powder, chilli powder and salt. Fry it about a minute till everything becomes smooth and almost like a gravy.

Now add the blended yogurt, and the tandoori masala to the gravy. try to keep the gravy thick, but if it is too solid, you can add about 2 tbsp water. now add the boiled and skinned potatoes and gently roll them over to coat them evenly with the masala gravy. Add some chopped fresh coriander leaves, Cover with a lid and let it simmer for about 5 mins. Stir occasionally to make sure the curry does not stick to the bottom of the pan. Add water only if needed.

Cook till thick and muchy, then remove from flame, garnish with some chopped cilantro and chillies, and serve hot with some Parathas!

Also take a minute to check out this recipe for Tandoori Aloo which is a great appetizer or a side dish for parties

Fancy Food Show Winter 2010 My Favorite Things

Here's the thing about the Fancy Food Show, you have to kiss a lot of frogs before you meet the prince. There are thousands of products to sample and not nearly enough time to try them all, so I let my intuition guide me and keep my eyes peeled for what could be something delicious (plus I ask everyone I can about their best discoveries).

Today I'm excited to show you the things I loved the most. Next I will show you some cool new discoveries that I think have a lot of potential...

So without further ado I give you my top 10 picks!
salted butter caramel sauce
Please don't be offended but I affectionately call this salted butter caramel sauce, sex in a jar. It is hands down the most delicious caramel I have ever tasted. It comes from Isigny in Normandy featuring one of the only AOC's for butter. This jar of caramel contains salted butter, sugar and creme fraiche. That's all. It has depth, balance, texture, and the flavor lingers lusciously on your tongue. I discovered it in the French section of the show floor and so far it is unavailable in the US, but I did my best to convince someone at Zingerman's to import it. Fingers crossed!

Mother-in-law's Kimch
Mother-in-law's Kimchi was the only kimchi I saw or tasted at the show. I liked both varieties, but was most impressed with the fresh and crunchy cubed daikon kimchi, it had a wonderful bright quality. I think I could have eaten a whole jar. It wasn't too spicy, and was bursting with freshness.

blue cheese
I'm already a big fan of Rogue Creamery blue cheeses but there were two new ones I fell for at the show, Cave Man, which is aged in a limestone cave and has some earthy notes, and Brutal a limited edition cheese which is intensely flavored and super creamy aged for 3-4 years. Good stuff! Keep your eyes open for it.

Kendall Farm's creme fraiche
Do you ever use creme fraiche? Then you must seek out Kendall Farm's creme fraiche. It is the most delicate and scrumptious creme fraiche on the market. It also works great in recipes, you can whip it and you can add a dollop to pan drippings and it won't just melt into nothingness, it will thicken your sauce. It's tangy and silky and very decadent.

Zix ravioli cookies
I found Zix ravioli cookies in a section of products searching for a home "on the shelf." They are flaky and rich, filled with a raspberry almond filling. I liked both the regular and gluten-free versions. These are pretty cookies that taste as good as they look. Locavores take note! They are from Sonoma county.

J. Burger Seasoning
Sometimes you give something a chance that you're not quite sure about. So it was with J. Burger Seasoning from August Kitchen. It is kind of like a mirepoix, that mixture of onions, celery and carrot but in this case it has onions, Worcestershire sauce, tomatoes, bread crumbs and spices, cooked down to a flavorful melange that can season and add texture to meatballs, burgers, sauces, soups, stews, you-name-it. Available at Foodzie. Makes me wonder if I should make something like this to keep on hand in my own kitchen?

Ramar ice cream
I liked all the Ramar ice cream flavors I tried, but the More Than Coconut was my favorite. It was green and included the flavoring of pandan leaves which lent herbal vanilla notes. Very memorable. I look forward to finding this ice cream from the Philippines in Asian grocery stores in the Spring of this year.

Bertagni pasta
I recently went out to a much lauded Italian restaurant in San Francisco. The pizza was ok, and the pasta wasn't anything special. I knew exactly what was wrong. The dough of the stuffed pasta lacked that silky smoothness with just a bit of give. Bertagni pasta from Bologna is way better. It's available fresh in the refrigerator section of markets and delis. The thickness of the pasta varies depending upon the filling, for fillings that take longer to cook the pasta is thicker. I tried the tortellini and am looking forward to trying some of the ravioli next.

Happy Goat caramels
I have mixed feelings about goat milk products. Some cheeses and yogurts made with goat milk are good, others are stinky, with too much barnyard for me. The goat milk caramels from Happy Goat made in old fashioned copper pots are pure genius, mild, soft but not too soft, smooth and tremendously satisfying. Very impressive! A local product too.

Kodiak cakes
The final product is something I was sent a sample of not too long ago. It's the pancake and waffle mix from Kodiak Cakes. I generally make pancakes and waffles from scratch, because no mix ever lives up to my expectations. Kodiak not only makes light and crisp waffles, and fluffy, tender pancakes, it is lowfat and filled with whole grains! The ingredients are 100% whole grain wheat flour, 100% whole grain oat flour, non-fat dry milk, dry honey (honey, wheat starch), leavening (Sodium Bicarbonate, Sodium Aluminum Phosphate, Monocalcium Phosphate), egg whites and salt. Amazing! Available at my local supermarket and a new staple in my pantry.

Other Fancy Food Show round ups:
Italy in SF note: Vanessa and I went to the show together, so seeing her post will give you a sneak peek at some of the products I will be writing about next...

Oyster Food & Culture
Lettuce Eat Kale
Yum Sugar
Food Channel
Lick My Spoon
Local Food
Eat Something Sexy
The Baking Bird
Go Dutch Baby
Cake Grrls Cakery
Bay Area Bites
What's Cooking?
A date with flavor
Eat. Drink. Better.
Food Bat
The Second Lunch
3 posts on the show from Is it EDible(!)
The Well-Tempered Chocolatier