Thursday, July 22, 2010

Old Fashioned Summer Raspberry Jam

The early arrival of summer this year has been good for vegetables and fruits. After our annual ritual of strawberry picking in early June, we decided to join our local organic berry patch to pick summer raspberries!! Sadly some rather unseasonal rain led to the picking being canceled. The patch owner however had an excellent harvest. She contacted us and asked if we would like some pre-picked berries from the farm. We were delighted and got a pail of sweet-tart raspberries.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Boondi Ki Kadhi | Buttermilk Curry with Mini Dumplings

Curries made with buttermilk and yogurt are an integral part of the Indian kitchen. In most parts of the north, a creamy yet very light and delicious curry called Kadhi can be found. There are multiple variations of this dish which tastes equally wonderful with rotis, parathas, and rice!! While a spicy Pakode Wali Kadhi is probably the most well known in Delhi and Punjab, in Rajasthan a Boondi Ki Kadhi is served. The spices and flavours very considerably, but Kadhi is one of the easiest and quickest of food you can rustle up in your kitchen.

1/3 cup chickpea (garbanzo) flour
2 cups buttermilk
1/2 cup water
1" piece ginger, peeled and grated
1/2 tsp cumin (zeera)
6-8 curry leaves
1/4 tsp black mustard seeds (rai)
1/8 tsp fenugreek (methi) seeds
6 black peppercorns (Kali Mirch)
4 cloves (lavang)
1" piece cinnamon (Dal Chini)
2 dried red chilies (Saboot Lal Mirch)
1/2 tsp turmeric (Haldi)
1 tsp oil
Pinch asafoetida (Hing)
Salt to taste
1 tsp clarified butter (Ghee)
1/2 tsp red chili powder (Lar Mirch)
1/2 cup ready made boondi

  1. Heat oil in a heavy bottomed saucepan. When it reaches smoking point, reduce the heat and add one by one the cinnamon, peppercorns, cloves, and red chilies. Roast for a few seconds. 
  2. Then add the mustard seeds, cumin, methi seeds, and asafoetida. Follow immediately with the curry leaves and grated ginger. Stir well until you get the smell of ginger.
  3. Next add half a cup of water and simmer the ginger and spices for 4-5 minutes. Turn off the heat.
  4. In a a separate bowl, beat together the chickpea flour, turmeric, and buttermilk. The mixture should be lump free.
  5. Pour this mixture into the spice mix. and cook on a low heat for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Increase the heat to medium, continue cooking and stirring until the mix begins to thicken into a sauce.
  6. Add the salt to taste, cook for another 5 minutes on a lower heat taking care the sauce does not stick to the pan.
  7. Add the boondi and let it sink into the curry. Turn off the heat. Cover.
  8. Prepare the tarka (seasoning) by heating the ghee in a small pan. Add the red chili powder. Pour over the Kadhi.
  9. Serve hot with parathas or rice.
I love to serve this Kadhi with Spinach Parathas. The combination is simply amazing. This lip-smacker goes out to Priya @ Mharo Rajasthan who is hosting Think Spice, Think Fenugreek this month. Think Spice is a blogger foodie event created by Sunita @ Sunita's World.

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Thursday, July 15, 2010

Daring Cooks July 2010: Home Made Peanut Butter and Satay Dipping Sauce

The Daring Cooks challenge for July is Nut Butters!! We could choose from any type of nut including peanuts, walnuts, cashews, pecans, almonds, hazelnuts, or macadamias. The instructions were simple - puree the nuts into a paste or butter. Then use the fresh homemade nut butter in a savoury recipe.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Chukandar Pachadi | Beetroot Pachadi

I always try to buy local and fresh foods for my kitchen. Apart from our world class Farmer's Market, we have loads of other options for seasonal produce around here. We are surrounded by U-Pick operations that sell vegetables and fruits year round or deliver the goodies right to your home. In the summer, I prefer to go out and pick fresh vegetables and fruits. My last trip to the local farm got me a delicious harvest of carrots, beets, and new potatoes!!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Quick Macaroni with Black Olives and Toasted Pine Nuts

We took a break over the weekend. Lovely scenic lakeside town with a gorgeous pier, sunshine, ducklings, and the cool cool breeze. It was great to get away for a couple of days. But not so great for my plants! When we got back, they looked one sorry sight. The July heat had got to them!! After some serious watering and encouraging words, they are back to normal and I even see some tiny green tomatoes on my tomato plants!! The beans are doing wonderfully and I have already got one small harvest of yellow wax beans. Nothing like growing your own.