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Appetizers

May 262015
 
Galouti Kebab

Galouti Kebab

Kebabs or Kebobs have captured the imagination of the entire world. The taste of meat, marinated with herbs and/or spices and grilled on fire pits, ovens or in tandoors is not something one can forget easily. Add to that, the numerous ways kebabs are made – cut into cubes and skewered, minced and made into patties, cooked in a tandoor or on open fire, and in case of Doner Kebabs/ Shwarma, sliced meat is cooked on a rotating spit. 

Since the method of cooking is rather fast and over high heat, most kebabs have a prolonged marination with spices, natural acids and herbs to render a great tasting plate of delicious meat.
Galouti Kebab

But like everything else, food evolves. We adapt and learn and innovate. Kebabs also have come a long way from being meat based to being vegetables and fruit based as well. This kebab Fest with the Progressive Eats is a showcase of the love we all have for kebabs and things served with kebabs.

For this Progressive Eats dinner, I made the Galouti Kebabs.  And what’s more, I made them in the Creative – Culinary  Kitchen with Barb. It was a fun day cooking and shooting pics and eating. Barb made the Naans and she also let me use her Grandma’s rolling pin! Score! I have always wanted to roll some dough with that pin!
My first batch of kebabs I put into the pan got overcooked. I blame it on the chatting we were busy with while cooking. But do not fret, we ate those too. There wasn’t any kebab that was ill-treated by us. We did try and wait until the photos were done and then dived straight into dinner. Freshly made naan, melt in the mouth kebabs and a friend to share it with.

Galouti Kebab

Galouti means melt in the mouth. The use of green papaya paste to make the meat tender is an age old trick to make the Galouti kebabs. After being mixed with the papya the meat is infused with select herbs and spices,finely ground meat is shaped into patties and fried in pure ghee until they are browned. So that’s what I did.

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Kebab Fest!

Kebabs
Bread
Side/Dip/Chutney
Drinks
Desserts

 

Galouti Kebab – Melt in the mouth Kebab

Galouti Kebab – Melt in the mouth Kebab

Ingredients

    For Kebabs
  • 1 pound ground lamb
  • 1 pound ground beef (or use just one kind of meat)
  • 2 Tbs ginger paste
  • 2 Tbs garlic paste
  • 2 Tbs raw papaya paste
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne
  • 1/2 tsp ground mace
  • 1/2 tsp ground green cardamoms
  • 4 Tbs roasted ground channa dal (dalia)
  • Salt to taste
  • To Fry
  • Ghee to shallow fry - about 4-6 Tbs
  • Serve With
  • All or any of these:-
  • Green Chutney
  • Sliced Tomatoes
  • Sliced Onions
  • Sliced Cucumbers
  • Sliced Radishes
  • Raita ( mix of yogurt, dried mint and cucumber)
  • And
  • Some Naan or Roti

Instructions

    Form the kebabs
  1. Mix both the meats and add all the other ingredients for the Kebabs in. ( The ghee is only for frying)
  2. Mix to combine and cover and let it chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
  3. Divide into 25 equal portions and make flattened patties out of each portion.
  4. Cook the Kebabs
  5. Heat the ghee in a pan and shallow fry the kebabs until browned on both sides. Take care to turn the kebabs. They are really tender will fall apart if you try to flip them if they are not cooked.
  6. Cook for about 2-3 minutes on each side on medium heat, until browned and cooked through.
  7. Serve Hot, with any of suggested servings and do serve this with a naan or roti.
http://www.spiceroots.com/galouti-kebab-melt-in-the-mouth-kebab/

Welcome to Progressive Eats, our virtual version of a Progressive Dinner Party. This month’s theme is a Kebab Fest and is hosted by Anshie Dhar who blogs at SpiceRoots. Join us and make something unique and delicious!

If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, a progressive dinner involves going from house to house, enjoying a different course at each location. With Progressive Eats, a theme is chosen each month, members share recipes suitable for a delicious meal or party, and you can hop from blog to blog to check them out.

We have a core group of 12 bloggers, but we will always need substitutes and if there is enough interest would consider additional groups. To see our upcoming themes and how you can participate, please check out the schedule at Creative Culinary or contact Barb for more information.

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Apr 282015
 
French Onion Tart

 

French Onion Tart

When the theme for April’s Progressive eats was announced, I imagined myself making a Dacquoise or a Mille-feuille. Having already made the Gateau Opera a few dozen times and enjoyed the Croquembouche challenge with Jenni, I was ready to make a switch and make something else. The decadent Dacqupiose was tempting me. But then I thought, I do need to go out of my comfort zone and make something new and something that showcases the sublime beauty of regional French Cuisine.

 

French Onion Tart

I am really proud of the Tarte á l’Oignon – French Onion Tart. You may ask why. After all it is just a pie, some might say. I know. But if you asked my friend Barb @ Creative Culinary, she would tell you how utterly terrified I was of making pies. She was also amused and told me on certain occasions that I was being silly since I was someone who didn’t blink before taking on complex desserts and was terrified of a pie. So she took on the mantle of a mentor and called me over and we baked pies. And I was allowed to use her Grandma’s rolling pin too.

The good thing about pies is that they are simple. And that’s what is terrifying too. I think simple dishes should be executed flawlessly because they rely on technique more than anything else.

Today’s Tarte á l’Oignon – French Onion Tart is the Appetizer course for Progressive Eats. I hope I made my friend and teacher proud. And I am really thrilled with this. I did it!

French Onion Tart

Caramelized onions, cooked slow and long to coax their sweetness out, freshly made dough for the base, a touch of salt and pepper, a few eggs, a little cheese  and a sprig of thyme. Ingredients that you probably just have on hand. Why not give this a try? If I can do it, anyone can! Honest!

Have a taste of the French Cuisine with my Progressive Eats friends and see what they have cooked up.

 

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Join us for the Flavors of France!

Appetizers
Salad
Soups
Main Course
Bread
Veggies/Sides
Drinks
Desserts

 

Welcome to Progressive Eats, our virtual version of a Progressive Dinner Party. This month’s theme is the Flavors of France and is hosted by Jane Bonacci who blogs at The Heritage Cook. Join us and make something unique and delicious!

If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, a progressive dinner involves going from house to house, enjoying a different course at each location. With Progressive Eats, a theme is chosen each month, members share recipes suitable for a delicious meal or party, and you can hop from blog to blog to check them out.

We have a core group of 12 bloggers, but we will always need substitutes and if there is enough interest would consider additional groups. To see our upcoming themes and how you can participate, please check out the schedule at Creative Culinary or contact Barb for more information.

 

Tarte á l’Oignon – French Onion Tart

Tarte á l’Oignon – French Onion Tart

Ingredients

    For the Tart base
  • 1 stick cold unsalted butter
  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons cold water
  • Filling
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 4-5 large onions, thinly sliced
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 eggs, whisked
  • 1/2 C gruyere
  • 3 Tbs whole milk
  • 2 Tbs crème fraîche
  • For Garnish
  • 3 thyme sprigs

Instructions

    Make pastry: Step1
  1. Blend together flour, butter and salt in a bowl with your fingertips or a pastry blender or pulse in a food processor.
  2. Mix until most of mixture resembles coarse meal with some small (roughly pea-size) butter chunks. Gradually add in ice water and gently stir with a fork (or pulse in processor) until incorporated.
  3. If the pastry holds together, it's ready. if it doesn't add a bit more water and work it in. Be sure to not overmix the dough.
  4. Gather dough together and flatten into a disk. Wrap in plastic wrap, chill until firm, at least 1 hour.
  5. Step 2
  6. I made three smaller tarts out of the dough, but you can simply roll it out to cover a 9 or 10 inch tart pan.
  7. Roll out the disk of dough on a floured surface with a floured rolling pin into a round to fit into your tart pan. Trim excess dough, leaving a 1/2-inch overhang, then fold overhang over pastry and press against side to reinforce edge. Lightly prick bottom with a fork and chill until firm ( about 30 minutes)
  8. Partially blind bake the tart shells for about 10 minutes ( I had three small so it took lesser time) at 400*F. You may need more time for a bigger tart shell.
  9. Tarte á l’Oignon
  10. Preheat the oven to 425ºF. In a heavy pot combine olive oil, butter, sliced onions and salt. Sautee the mixture until it starts to sizzle, then turn the heat down to a simmer, cover, and cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally until the onions are sweet and caramelized. Add in pepper to taste.
  11. Set aside to cool.
  12. Combine eggs, milk, creme fraiche with onions. Spread the onion mixture on top of the partially blind baked shells. Top with cheese and a sprig of thyme. Bake in the middle of the oven for 30 minutes or until the top is golden brown.
  13. Serve at room temperature.
http://www.spiceroots.com/tarte-a-loignon-french-onion-tart/

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Dec 302014
 
Labneh

Herbed Labneh

What the world knows as Labneh, I grew up knowing as Chakka which, simply put was strained yogurt cheese. It used to be a really nice treat in my school lunch box, smothered between two flatbreads with a pinch of salt and spice. The tangy, refreshing taste of the cheese with the hot smoky spices and the chewy bread was quite delightful. I used to look forward to lunch on those days, though ironically this was something my grandmother would pack me because she didn’t have time to cook an elaborate lunch. It was simple, it was humble but it was good.

Herbed Labneh

So is Labneh. Easy to make and so versatile. You can throw a platter full of veggies and bread together, dole out some labneh and just like that appetizer or a snack is taken care of. In addition to being easy and delicious, it is full of healthy nutrients.

As I mentioned before in my Yogurt making post, there are somethings that I grew up doing because it was the way of life. Yogurt making being one and making cheese was the other. Though I never thought of paneer making or making chakka out of yogurt as cheese making, it appears that in today’s sense of the word – I was doing just that. Fascinating! How very!

Herbed Labneh

While I usually make my own yogurt and then make Labneh, I have used store bought Greek Yogurt in times when the said home made yogurt has not been available. You can check the post on how to make homemade yogurt (without the yogurt making gadgets) and make yogurt or use a store bought Greek yogurt for this Herbed Labneh recipe.

Labneh-5

Herbed Labneh

Herbed Labneh

Ingredients

  • 2 C Greek Yogurt
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • 2-3 sprigs of thyme
  • 1 tsp dried chives
  • Salt as needed
  • 1/2 C Extra Virgin Olive oil
  • Equipment Needed
  • Cheesecloth and strainer

Instructions

  1. Line a sieve or a strainer with cheesecloth and set over a big enough bowl. Place yogurt in the center of the cheesecloth. Gather edges of cheesecloth to cover yogurt. Place the yogurt along with the bowl in refrigerator. allow to drain for at least 24 hours.
  2. Take the strained yogurt which will now be soft and cheese like. Scoop out little balls and place in a glass jar.
  3. Add the herbs and salt and garlic powder to the oil and mix. Pour this mix into the glass jar with cheese. Refrigerate for at least 12 hours before using.
http://www.spiceroots.com/herbed-labneh/

 

 

 

 

progressive-eats-logo

Join Us for a Mediterranean Feast

Appetizers

Salad

Soup

Main Course

Bread

Veggies/Sides

Drinks

Dessert

If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, a progressive dinner involves going from house to house, enjoying a different course at each location. With Progressive Eats, a theme is chosen each month, members share recipes suitable for a delicious meal or party, and you can hop from blog to blog to check them out.

We have a core group of 12 bloggers, but we will always need substitutes and if there is enough interest would consider additional groups. To see our upcoming themes and how you can participate, please check out the schedule at Creative Culinary or contact Barb for more information.

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Sep 212014
 
Potato Pizza-3

Potato Pizza-3

Pizza – the ultimate Football food, followed only by chicken wings. For this Sunday’s game day, I just decided to go with Pizza. The potato pizza is a family favorite. I first discovered it in Jim Lahey’s ‘My Bread’. This was the time when I first started experimenting with breads and one of my first successful attempts at bread making was his ‘No knead’ bread.

I remember my pizza making days back in India. I would buy a pre made pizza base, load it up with some spicy red sauce and top it up with tandoori chicken or vegetables and lots of Amul cheese. I can’t say pizza purists would have dared eat my concoction, but I used to get a lot of compliments for it.  But going back now, I know it was all about the toppings and not about the crust. The more I understood dough baking, the closer I got to knowing what kind of pizza crust I liked. And the farther away I moved from buying a pre made pizza crust.

Potato Pizza-2

This potato pizza is a classic Italian pizza and a total package. You might be tempted to think that since it has no cheese and no sauce it will be meh. Meh it is not. The crust, the thinly sliced potatoes, rosemary and garlic come together in one delicious, crispy bite. I do add some chilli flakes or fresh chillies for heat. And on days when it is other than Football day, I serve it with a salad and steamed vegetables.

For today’s Football food, we had the potato pizza, chestnut soup and lot of veggies with a dip. Though the game did not go our way, we were still cheering on our team. Well that’s the thing about Football. Some days you don’t win, but then there is pizza ! #Footballfood Week3

Potato Pizza

Potato Pizza

Ingredients

    Pizza dough
  • 500 grams bread flour ( I used 00 flour)
  • 10 grams active dry yeast
  • 5 grams salt
  • 3 grams sugar
  • 300 ml water ( I ended up using a couple of Tbs more as my flour was drier)
  • 2-3 tbs olive oil
  • Topping
  • A big bowl full of tepid water
  • 1Tbs salt
  • 4 Idaho potatoes (medium)
  • 1/4 C diced onions ( I like the red)
  • 1/2 tsp chilli flakes
  • 3 tbs olive oil
  • 1 tsp chopped garlic

Instructions

    Pizza Dough
  1. Stir together the flour, yeast, salt and sugar in a bowl.
  2. Add water and mix it all together until just blended without any dry spots.
  3. Ensure you don't mix it too much. once everything is mixed in, cover the dough and let rise at room temperature for 2 hours.
  4. Prep the Potatoes
  5. Mix the salt into the bowl of water.
  6. Peel the potatoes and then wash them.
  7. Using a knife or mandoline and slice the potatoes very thin.
  8. Add the sliced potatoes into the salted water. This will keep them from oxidizing.
  9. Let them soak in the brine mixture for an hour or so.
  10. The potatoes will look soft after this soak.
  11. Drain the potatoes and pat them dry using a kitchen towel.
  12. In a medium size bowl, toss the potatoes,oil, onions, garlic rosemary and chilli flakes.
  13. Assemble the pizza
  14. Tip the dough out of the bowl onto a lightly floured surface and cut it in half.
  15. Brush a baking sheet with olive oil or use parchment ( I used parchment to reduce the quantity of oil ) Then tip half of the dough on the pan.
  16. Stretch it out to the edges. And work it out all over the pan. This will be a very thin layer of crust, so it might tear. In that case pinch the tears back together and keep stretching it out.
  17. Spread half of the potato mixture evenly over the dough and double up the potatoes on the edges.
  18. Do the same thing with the other half of the dough and bake at 450*F for 30 minutes.
  19. Do preheat the oven at least 15 minutes prior to baking.
http://www.spiceroots.com/potato-pizza/

 

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Sep 142014
 
salmon and pineapple kebabs-3

salmon and pineapple kebabs

It’s game time again. So what shall I have my friends and family feast on while they are watching the Football game? May be something that matches the raw passionate energy in my living room, has the fire power and deliciousness of a touchdown and is juicier than the remarks of the commentators! May be the Lemon grass infused Salmon and Pineapple kebabs with heat from Korean chilies and a good smokiness from dried ancho peppers.

salmon and pineapple kebabs-2

The secret is the glaze. The flavor is the glaze. And the fun is in the glaze. Once you have the glaze ready, you can put this together in moments. Bring out the wine and set out the plates while the salmon and pineapple kebabs are grilling and then sit back and enjoy game time. You will however hear, “oh this is so good” between all the cheering on and ‘telepathic’ game strategies that boys always have to send to their favorite teams. It is all good when the food you cook reflects the feelings, the joy and the warmth that you have for people for whom you are cooking. In the end, the happy smiles and making memories is all that matters. Food helps make those memories more memorable and thats why we have the Football food tradition.

salmon and pineapple kebabs-3

It is something my daughter waits for and asks about during the week and sometimes even puts in her requests. Given a choice she would love chicken wings with buffalo sauce every single day, but does not complain if there is some form of protein involved.

At first she thought salmon and pineapple kebabs were “too fancy” for football, but after eating a couple of skewers she agreed they were football food. What’s not to like about kebabs with hot and sweet glaze eaten straight from skewers?

Salmon and Pineapple Kebabs

Serves: 10

Serving Size: 1 skewer

Salmon and Pineapple Kebabs

Ingredients

    For the Glaze
  • 1 Korean hot chilli ( It's almost as hot as Thai chilli. Avoid if you can't stand the heat; substitutes :- Thai chili/ Serrano)
  • 1tbs fresh chopped lemon grass
  • 1 dried ancho pepper (seeds and stem removed, soaked in hot water for about 10 minutes)
  • 1/2 C diced onion
  • 2 tbs garlic chopped
  • 1- 2 pineapple cubes ( from the pineapple you will use for kebabs)
  • 3 Tbs apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp brown sugar (you could add more to make it sweeter)
  • 1 tsp oil
  • salt to taste
  • For the kebabs
  • 1 pound salmon fillet (without skin)
  • 1 pineapple ( you won't need all of it for the dish. Alternately you could buy a small box of precut pineapple)
  • 1 tbs oil for brushing
  • 10 Metal or wood skewers (more if you want make small servings)
  • Dipping sauce
  • 1/2 C sour cream
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 tsp finely chopped cilantro

Instructions

    Glaze
  1. Heat the oil in a pan and saute the onions and garlic until slightly browned. Put the onions and garlic in a blender along with the rest of the ingredients of the glaze and pulse to a semi smooth paste. If you can still see bits and pieces of peppers all the more better.
  2. Dipping sauce
  3. Mix the sour cream with lemon zest and cilantro. Chill until ready to serve.
  4. Kebabs
  5. Make 1 inch cubed pieces of salmon and pineapple
  6. Thread on to the skewers - I used 3 salmon pieces and three pineapple. You could use less or more on each skewer.
  7. Brush on the glaze on all skewers from all sides.
  8. Keep aside refrigerated until you need them or cook immediately.
  9. Preheat the oven to 400*F.
  10. Lay the kebabs in a single layer on a baking sheet,cover with foil and bake for 10 minutes.
  11. Remove the cover and broil for a minute or two until you see the charred marks.
  12. Alternately grill them on a BBQ grill for a few minutes each side.
  13. Serve with the dipping sauce.
http://www.spiceroots.com/salmon-pineapple-kebabs/

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Sep 082014
 
Bhatura

Bhatura I wrote and rewrote the introduction to my bread, Bhatura, for this post. You see, this post is for the “Bread Bakers” group. And I did join the group to bake breads with them, for I do love baking breads immensely and baking with friends gives me a chance to learn new things. But my today’s bread is not baked! So after writing and rewriting the introduction to it, I just decided it would be better if I told you why I chose this bread. Our first event is hosted by the lovely Renee Dobbs from Magnolia Days and she chose the theme for this month’s Bread Bakers – “Bake your favorite bread”. Needless to repeat that I ignored the Bake part, sorry Renee !!  I have a reason – hear me out. I was focussing on the word favorite. And Bhatura is my daughter’s favorite bread. She loves the bhatura with some chole. Always has. Though it is a bread she enjoys a lot and I often make it for her, I never thought about posting recipe on the blog. Because simply said “ everyone has their own recipe” for making bhatura. Bhatura Then, a couple of weeks ago I met a few International friends over for drinks. This is a very well travelled, multi-cultural set of people who have recently made the US their home – just like me. The topic of conversation suddenly was food (surprise!!) and quite a few of them mentioned that they LOVED eating the “puffed up fried bread” at Indian restaurants or homes. It was a revelation of sorts. They did mention the fabled Naan, but most of them said they craved the bhatura and puri. So that settled it. I simply had to make some and share. And I thought, why not share the recipe with them and all of you as well. After all, it is the favorite bread month and I simply chose the favorite bread of friends and family. Bhatura-6 There are various methods people follow to make bhatura. Some add yeast, some knead it in yogurt only, some make a sort of a sourdough starter and some like me simply add baking soda & baking powder. The flavors in each method vary. I personally do not enjoy the yeasty smell in a fried bread so I stay away from yeast. I usually don’t make these preplanned, so there goes the overnight rise. Therefore I use a bit of yogurt and some baking powder and baking soda, and give the dough a couple of hours to rest up. The dough does its magic in the fry pan.   Bhatura

BreadBakers

#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme.  Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on this home page. We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient. If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send Stacy an email with your blog URL to foodlustpeoplelove@gmail.com. Here are this month’s favorite breads as shared by BreadBakers. Stop by and enjoy.

Bhatura – Leavened Fried Bread #BreadBakers

Bhatura – Leavened Fried Bread #BreadBakers

Ingredients

  • 400 gms All purpose flour
  • 100 gms Semolina
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 C plain yogurt
  • 1C water
  • 4- 5 tsp oil
  • Oil for frying ( Avocado/Peanut/Grapeseed) I used peanut oil

Instructions

  1. Mix the flour with semolina, baking soda, baking powder, salt and sugar.
  2. Now add the yogurt and mix.
  3. Slowly add in the water a few tbs at a time and mix it in. You may not need the entire cup of water or you may need a bit more. This will depend on how the conditions are where you live.
  4. As soon as the dough comes together and there are no dry spots left, stop adding water.
  5. Knead for a few seconds until combined, then cover and let it rest for 15 minutes.
  6. After 15 minutes, add in the oil to the dough and knead it in.
  7. Cover and let it rest for another 10 minutes.
  8. Now knead the dough until soft and then cover and let it rest for at least 2 hours. Then knead again and divide the dough into 16 portions. Keep these portions covered while you get the oil heated up.
  9. Heat oil to about 350 *.
  10. Flatten each portion of the dough and roll it out into a spherical shape of about 3-4 inches in diameter with an even thickness on all edges.
  11. Deep fry in oil and wait for it to puff up and then turn and fry until brown.
  12. Serve hot off the fry pan. Ideally with chole, but goes well with curries too.
http://www.spiceroots.com/bhatura-leavened-fried-bread-breadbakers/

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