Sunday, October 23, 2011

Ackwards-bay Ai-chay*

We're in full "What do you serve for a three-year-old's birthday party?" mode. Since the party is scheduled for 10am, I thought to look through Mollie Katzen's breakfast bonanza Sunlight Cafe for brunch-ish ideas friendly to both child and parent. I hope to have some well-fed guests next weekend! And I was inspired to make this beverage for an afternoon snack. It's called "backward" because usually for chai you add milk to spiced tea and this is spiced milk mixed into black tea. Mmmm, very satisfying and so much less expensive than a trip to Starbuck's.

     Backward Chai
     from Sunlight Cafe by Mollie Katzen

     1 cup milk
     2 cinnamon sticks
     [2 tsp fennel seeds] (I didn't have any. Omitted w/out worry)
     16 cardamom pods
     8 whole cloves
     1/8 tsp ground coriander
     1 1/2 cups hot black tea, brewed very strong
     Ground cinnamon

  • Pour the milk into a saucepan and add all the spices except the honey and ground cinnamon. Place over medium heat.
  • Just before the milk reaches the boiling point, turn the heat down and simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes. 
  • Strain the milk mixture into the black tea. 
  • Stir in honey to taste. Pour into mugs. Sprinkle each with cinnamon and serve hot.
     Serves 2-3

*Because ig-pay atin-Lay is fun and I only just remembered that.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Anda and Aloo Curry

I had a goal to find a new recipe that would (1) feed four adults and a child, (2) use inexpensive ingredients, and (3) not be pasta.  I specifically thought to look in my Indian cookbook because I'd remembered most of the recipes served 12 (hello leftovers!) and a lot of the dishes had rice bases (rice being something we can afford in abundance). As it was I decided on a recipe that was potato rather than rice based. Luckily my pocketbook is as much a fan of potatoes as of rice. Plus, it was delicious.

     Anda and Aloo Curry (Egg & Potato Curry)
        from The Spice Box by Manju Shivraj Singh

  • 4 Tbls oil
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 4 medium onions, grated
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 cup hot water
  • 4 fresh tomatoes, chopped (or 1 Tbls tomato puree)
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 tsp coriander powder
  • salt to taste
  • 1 cup yogurt (or 1 cup hot water)
  • 6 hard-cooked eggs, peeled and chopped
  • 6 boiled potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 1 tsp garam masala powder
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • fresh mint leaves, chopped, for garnish
     Heat oil in a wok or saucepan. Add cumin seeds and fry 1 minute. Add the onions and garlic and fry till golden. 
     Add 1/2 cup hot water, tomatoes, spices and salt. Simmer, covered, for 5 minutes. 
     Add 1 cup of yogurt or hot water, then the eggs and potatoes. Simmer, covered, for 5 minutes.
     Turn off the heat. Add garam masala and lemon juice. Stir. Garnish with mint leaves.
     Serves:  12

A few comments~
I grated the onions in the food processor (the ONLY way. My goodness. Cannot imagine grating them by hand!) and then dumped them into the wok. What I wish I'd done was drain the onion juice after grating. As it was, without draining it was extremely soupy and there was no golden action. I had to pour out the boiling hot onion water before the onions could have a chance to brown. Not safe. So don't be like me. Drain the onion juice after grating.

We enjoyed this dish the night I made it, but a great unexpected perk was that it made great leftovers. Served cold it's transformed from Anda & Aloo Curry to Curried Potato Salad. I think it'd be a tasty addition to a picnic (cook and eat 1/2 the recipe as a hot meal the night before, pack the remainder to share with friends the next day).

Sunday, October 9, 2011

When You Fancy a Simple Dessert

It's a lovely idea:  fruit as dessert. It's fancy because the fruit is exotic and attractive. It's simple because, hello, cut up some fruit and voila! All in all, this recipe's a winner.

from Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home
Inside-Out Mango
  • 1 ripe mango
  • 1 lime
Slice the mango and turn each side inside out (if you don't know what I mean, see this video at 1:30). 
Squeeze the lime over the mango. 
Serve with spoons.

This would be especially good after a spicy meal.