Sunday, March 15, 2009

Gulab Jamuns

3 c. sugar
4 1/2 c. water
6 cardomom pods, cracked

Gulab Jamuns:
1 c. self-rising flour
2 c. Carnation powdered milk
3/4 c. whipping cream

  1. Mix sugar and water in large pot and add seeds from cracked cardomom pods. Bring to boil. Lower heat to medium, and boil for 7 min.
  2. Mix flour and powdered milk in medium-sized bowl. Add whipping cream slowly while stirring until dough is somewhat stiff and not sticky. Form dough into 1" balls.
  3. In a separate pot, heat 2-3 cups vegetable oil until 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Fry dough balls slowly (should take 4-5 minutes) until golden, remove, and drain on paper towels.
  4. When all balls are fried, place in a separate container and pour the syrup over them (do this just before serving). Serve hot. If balls are fried too quickly, they will not be done on the inside. If balls wait too long before serving, they will be soggy and mushy.

Fattoush (Lebanese salad)

**I usually double this--this version is cut down for 2-4 people or for a meal where lots of other things are being served.

1 head romaine lettuce
1 cucumber, chopped
3 tomatoes, chopped
pita bread, cut into bite-sized squares, toasted or fried (add just before serving)

2 t. chopped dried mint
2 t. chopped dried parsley
1/8 c. olive oil
1/8 c. lemon juice
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 ½ t. sumac powder
1/2 t. salt
1/8 t. pepper


2 c. white flour
½ t. salt
1 T. yeast
4 T. lukewarm milk
1 T. vegetable oil
2 T. plain yogurt
1 egg

  1. Sift flour and salt together in large bowl. In smaller bowl, combine yeast with milk and set aside for 15 minutes.
  2. Add yeast mixture, oil, yogurt and egg to flour and mix to soft dough.
  3. Knead dough until smooth (I use the KitchenAid, then knead on counter for about 2 minutes). Place in greased bowl, cover, and let rise in warm place until doubled in size.
  4. Preheat oven to highest setting, at least 450.
  5. Turn dough back onto floured surface and knead for 2 minutes.
  6. Divide into 3 equal pieces, roll each out into teardrop shape about 10 in. long, 5 in. wide, and ¼ in. thick
  7. Bake naan for 3-4 minutes, or until puffed up.Brush naan with butter/sprinkle of cilantro and place under broiler for about a minute until browned.

Chicken Tikka Masala

**recipe from My Kitchen Cafe**

2 chicken breasts*
1 c. plain yogurt
1 T. lemon juice
2 t. cumin
1 t. cinnamon
2 t. black pepper
1 T. minced ginger
1 t. salt
1 t. cayenne
1 t. paprika

Marinate chicken for 1 hr, then grill or fry chicken.**

1 T. butter
1 clove minced garlic
1 chopped jalapeno
2 t. cumin
2 t. paprika
½ t. salt
8 oz tomato sauce
1 c. cream
¼ c. chopped cilantro

  1. Melt butter, then sauté garlic and jalapeno for 1-2 minutes.
  2. Add cumin, paprika, salt, fry for a minute.
  3. Add tomato sauce and cream.
  4. Simmer over low heat until thickened (about 20 minutes).
  5. Add chicken and simmer 10 minutes, add cilantro before serving.

    *I cut my chicken into strips about ¾ in. thick before marinating, then cut it into bite-sized pieces after cooking.
    **I like to broil the chicken—5 minutes on the first side, 4 minutes on the other.

Masala Channa

1 ½ cans chickpeas
1 T. tamarind concentrate
3 T. oil
½ t. cumin seeds
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 in. fresh ginger root, grated
1 fresh green chili, finely chopped
1 t. ground cumin
1 t. ground coriander
¼ t. ground turmeric
½ t. salt
8 oz tomatoes, skinned and finely chopped (I use canned)
½ t. garam masala

  1. Heat oil in wok and fry cumin seeds until they begin to splutter (2 min.) Add chopped onion, garlic, ginger, chili and fry for 5 minutes.
  2. Add cumin, coriander, turmeric and salt and fry for 3-4 minutes. Add tomatoes and tamarind. Bring to boil and simmer for 5 minutes.
  3. Add chickpeas and garam masala, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.

    Note: original recipe calls for dried chickpeas and tamarind pulp; I used canned chickpeas and tamarind concentrate to save time. I use all the tomato juice.

Chicken Saag

10 oz frozen spinach, defrosted
1 in. fresh ginger root, grated
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 fresh green chili, chopped
Scant 1 c. water
2 T. oil
2 bay leaves
¼ t. black peppercorns
1 onion, finely chopped
14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes
2 t. curry powder
1 t. salt
1 t. chili powder
3 T. plain yogurt
2 chicken breasts, chopped

  1. Put the spinach, ginger, garlic, and chili with ¼ c. water into food processor and puree.
  2. Heat oil, add bay leaves and peppercorns and fry for 2 minutes. Add onion and fry 6-8 minutes more.
  3. Add tomatoes to pan and simmer 5 minutes. Add curry powder, salt, chili powder and stir well. Cook for 2 more minutes.
  4. Add spinach puree and remaining water to pan; simmer for 5 minutes.
  5. Stir in yogurt, 1 T. at a time, and simmer for 5 minutes.
  6. Add chicken. Cover and cook for 25-30 minutes or until chicken is tender. Serve with warm naan, drizzle with plain yogurt and dust lightly with chili powder.

Note: original recipe calls for fresh spinach, fresh tomatoes, and chicken thighs. I use all the tomato juice in place of some of the water.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Hummus (my mom's recipe)

1 can chickpeas, partially drained
1 T. tahini (sesame seed paste)
3 T. lemon juice
1 T. olive oil
1/2 t. salt
2-3 cloves smashed garlic (I use a couple more)

Blend up ingredients in food processor (I use my immersion blender). Drizzle with olive oil, if you like, and dust with paprika.

**If you're a local, the best source for tahini is the Asian market (called "Asia") on Yeager catty-corner from the BP. The tahini is downstairs on the wall opposite all the vegetables. It's a tasty variety and quite inexpensive.