Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Daring Bakers August 2011: Candylicious with Raspberry Pate de Fruit!!

The August 2011 Daring Bakers were challenged to some seriously sweet business!! When I saw the recipes, my heart did a quick flip. Most readers of my blog know, I don't really have a sweet tooth. While I enjoy the occasional dessert or candy, and love to bake and create various sweetmeats for friends and family, I rarely did my fangs in them. On the other hand give me something spicy and salted and I cave in in an instant!!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Khatta Meeta Karela | Sweet Sour Bitter Gourd and Onion Fry

Last weekend we were finally able to make that long awaited trip to the local farm. The weather was perfect - warm with a cool breeze. The sun was out and as we reached early, there were very few people on the farm. Wonderful!! In our part of the world its the season for herbs and all sorts of gourds. I hit the bitter gourd patch first, then the bottle gourd, and then finally the snake gourd!! I was also able to get some fabulous basil and Anaheim and Mariachi peppers!!

Tomatoes, eggplant, green peppers, and jalapenos come next, and I am really looking forward to a good harvest!! In the meanwhile, I have been busy preparing some delicious recipes with the gourds!! Here is a bitter gourd recipe we love and I like to make wherever I get farm fresh and tender bitter gourd. Its a wonderful combination of of the sweet, sour, spicy, and bitter flavours!!

4 karela (bittergourd)
1 large onion, chopped fine
1 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp gur (jaggery)
1/2 tsp lal mirch (red chili powder)
1/2 tsp haldi (turmeric)
1/2 tsp rai (mustard seeds)
Salt to taste
1/8 tsp hing (asafoetida)
2 tbsp of lemon juice (or to taste)

  1. Peel, seed, and dice the bitter gourd. Sprinkle with a half teaspoon of salt and set aside for 10 minutes.
  2. Heat oil in a pan. Add the mustard seeds, asafoetida, and turmeric.
  3. Add the onions and fry on a gentle heat until the onions are transparent and and soft.
  4. Wash the bitter gourd, squeeze away any water, then add to the pan. 
  5. Sprinkle with the red chili powder. Stir well, cover and cook until the bitter gourd is soft and well done.
  6. If needed add a couple of tablespoons of water to the vegetable.
  7. Stir in the jaggery and slat to taste. Turn off the heat.
  8. Serve warm after stirring in a couple of tablespoons of lemon juice.

Good to know:
  • Add the lime juice to taste just before serving.
  • This vegetable stays well in the refrigerator for up to a week. If preparing to eat at a later date, do not add the lemon juice you have warmed the dish and it is ready to serve.
Vegan Recipe

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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Methi ke Pakode Wali Kadhi | Buttermilk Curry with Fenugreek Leaf Dumplings/ Fritters)

It finally rained here - what a relief! I feel as though I have been living in a steam bath for days!! With the rain the temperatures dropped almost 15 degrees and its so beautifully pleasant right now. And most importantly, no mosquitoes on the horizon yet. Keeping my fingers crossed that this trend continues and we can go to the local farm to pick some fresh vegetables and fruits.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Quinoa Rajma Pulao | Quinoa Pilaf with Red Kidney Beans & Poblano Peppers

Our weekend was hot and hectic. Temperatures are once again soaring in our part of the world and the extremely unusual hot weather is back. On days like this, the kitchen almost becomes a no-entry zone for me!! Our cooking range is electric and it generates a lot of heat, much more than a gas range would. Its worse if  two or more burners are on at the same time. Even the evenings are unbearable, so I am keeping cooking to a minimum.