Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Shahi Sabz Korma

(Royal Braised Vegetables in Cardamom Nut Sauce)

2 medium potatoes (about 1/2 lb.)
2 medium turnips (about 1/2 lb.)
1 carrot (about 1/4 lb.)
12 tbsp vegetable oil
Paneer from 4 cups of milk, or another potato (about 1/4 lb.)
2 c. finely chopped onions
1 tbsp. finely chopped garlic
1 1/2 tbsp. finely chopped ginger
2 green chilies, seeded and minced (dan's note: I used cayenne)
12 green cardamom pods
1 stick cinnamon, 3 in. long
24 cloves
5 tbsp. ground blanched almonds
1 c. plain yogurt
1/4 c. peas, fresh or frozen
1 tbsp. salt
1/4 c. heavy cream

Peel and dice potatoes, turnips, carrot. Put into a bowl of cold water to prevent discoloring.
Heat 3 tbsp oil in a big heavy pan. Add paneer, saute (with a lid handy), remove to a bowl.
Add the rest of the oil, onions, garlic, ginger, chilies, increase heat to high, fry until light brown (~10 min.), stirring constantly to prevent burning. Add cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, and fry 5 more minutes. Add almond powder, stir, fry for 2 more minutes.
Add the yogurt, 2 tbsp at a time (add more when evaporated). Keep stirring a lot so it doesn't burn.
Drain and add vegetables. If peas are fresh, add now. Add salt, 1 1/2 c. hot water. Boil, simmer, cook (covered) until tender but still firm, about 30 min. Add paneer, cream, and peas if frozen, cook (uncovered) 10 minutes. The sauce should be thick. If it's too thin, simmer it some more; if it's too thick, add milk or water. Season, serve. Stores well, tastes better the next day.

Also, check it out: to make Shahi Sabz Biriyani, cook 2 cups basmati rice, add, put in the oven for 30 minutes at 300.

Source: Classic Indian Cooking by Julie Sahni, pg. 269-271, 381-382

Matar Paneer

Matar Paneer, or "Green Peas and Indian Cheese in Fragrant Tomato Sauce"

Paneer from 8 cups milk, should be firm but not hard, compact and not porous, moist but not wet. (dan's note: I just bought some paneer. It worked fine but was maybe a little harder than it should be, it didn't absorb all the flavor)
12 tbsp ghee (dan's note: I used a lot less, maybe 1/3-1/2)
2 c. onions, finely chopped
1 tsp garlic, minced
2 tbsp ginger, minced
2 tbsp ground coriander
1 tsp turmeric
1/4-1/2 tsp red pepper
1/4-1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp paprika
2 c. chopped or pureed tomatoes, or 1 1/2 c. canned diced tomatoes
1 1/2 c. peas, or 10 oz. frozen peas
2 tsp salt
2 tsp garam masala
4 tbsp chopped cilantro leaves (or 2 tbsp dried cilantro leaves)

Let paneer dry for 1/2 hr.
Heat 3 tbsp ghee in a big heavy (optionally nonstick) pan. Add cheese. (it'll splatter) Fry until lightly seared, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.
Add the rest of the ghee, turn heat to high, add onions and fry until light brown (~5 min), stirring constantly so they don't burn. Add ginger and garlic, cook 2 more minutes. Add coriander, turmeric, red and black pepper, and paprika. Stir for a moment, add tomatoes. Cook until it thickens and the fat separates, about 10 minutes, stirring often.
Add 2 1/2 c. hot water, boil, simmer 20 minutes. Cool briefly, puree in a blender, leaving it a little coarse so there's some texture.
Return to the pan, add peas, salt, cheese, and 1/2 c. water, boil, simmer until peas are cooked. Let it rest an hour before serving, then reheat, add garam masala and cilantro, and serve.

Source: Classic Indian Cooking by Julie Sahni, pg. 266-268

Lentil and Rhubarb Stew With Indian Spices

Lentil and Rhubarb Stew With Indian Spices

* 3 or 4 stalks rhubarb, strings removed, chopped
* 1 cup orange lentils, well washed (any lentils work but orange ones cook quickly)
* 2 tablespoons minced ginger
* 1 tablespoon minced garlic
* 4 cardamom pods
* 1 tablespoon mustard seeds
* 2 cloves
* 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
* 1 dried ancho or other mild chili, optional
* Salt
* Chopped cilantro leaves for garnish

Combine rhubarb and lentil in a pan, add water to cover by about 1 inch. Simmer until quite soft, 20-30 minutes.
Meanwhile, in another pan, saute in oil the ginger, garlic, cardamom, mustard seeds, cloves, pepper, and chili. When the mustard seeds start popping all over the place, add this stuff to the rhubarb/lentils. Add salt, garnish with cilantro, serve.

Dan's note: Mark Bittman says you can add other vegetables, but don't add super-flavorful ones like turnips or beets because they overpower the flavor.

Source: Mark Bittman,

Monday, October 13, 2008

Colman's (of Norwich) Original English Noodle Beet Salad

1/3 lb angel hair pasta
2 beets
1 cucumber
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp Colman's (of Norwich) Original English Mustard. Or, you know, whatever yellow mustard you want.
a 1-second glug of soy sauce
2 tbsp apple cider (optional, if you want it sweeter)

Break the pasta into thirds. Cook it. Grate the beets. Cut the cucumber into matchsticks, or maybe grate it (does grating a cucumber work?)... just get it into small thin pieces. Mix them.

Mix everything else. It will look like hell, thanks to the cinnamon floating on top. Now pour it over the solid food. Doesn't look like hell anymore, right? In fact, with the purple noodles and all, it actually looks pretty okay. Season to taste, garnish with your favorite garnish, serve with furious gusto.

Source: yours truly, c/o Recipe Challenge w/ Julie, 10/12/08... the challenge: angel hair, beets, cinnamon, mustard. Comments welcome!
N.B. I am not, nor is this recipe, affiliated with Colman's (of Norwich) Original English Mustard.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Grandma's Grains

Grandma's Grain Recipe

If you can't find one of the ingredients, don't be discouraged. Simply substitute more of whatever you do have - more rice, millet, etc.

1 cup long grain brown rice (I use Lundberg's)
1 cup millet
3 handfuls of whole barley
3 handfuls of whole oats (groats)
1 handful of red rice, wild rice, or a mixture of wild type rices
2 teaspoons salt

Mix all grains together, rinse, drain, and put in a large thick-bottomed pot. Stir in the salt. Cover with water up to your knuckle - about two inches above the grains. Bring to a boil, then turn down flame as low as it will go. Cook uncovered (simmering) until all water is gone, about thirty-five minutes. If you overshot the amount of water you added and your grains cook before the water absorbs entirely, strain off the extra water.

This makes a big pot of mixed grains. Plenty for a family of four to use over the course of a week.
Dan's note: it's true. This is a ton. I made a half recipe, and it's enough to last me forever.