Just half a spoon of Haldi (Turmeric)

“Half a spoon ( about 1 teaspoon) is enough!”, my mother would say. The first thing I learned about cooking veggies was “add some haldi ( turmeric)”  after about two – three minutes of sauteing, be it potatoes,  peppers, cabbage, cauliflower, they all needed that little bit of haldi, followed by a dash of salt. Cook on low heat for about 20 – 25 minutes until done, finish with a sprinkle of garam masala. Simple, easy & delicious!

 

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Namak Daani ( Traditional spice box)

My mom’s spices were all freshly ground and stored in this Namak Daani ( spice box) a standard feature at many North Indian homes. She could whip up 5 – 6 dishes for a crowd coming over for dinner in a couple hours. Be it 15 people or 50 people, her estimate on how much to make was always perfect. And the food always delicious!!! She  kept it simple, by using Haldi and Garam masala as her primary spice agents. To get that touch of tanginess in Cholle ( garbanzo bean masala) she would add freshly crushed Anardana (dry Pomegranate seeds), or raw green chillies to spice up the saag( steamed greens) or raw chopped red onions on the side to add that crunch to the daal.

Quick Cabbage Stir Fry

 

Ingredients

4 C chopped Cabbage
1 Banana Pepper
1 t tumeric
1 t Garam Masala
2 T oil

Method

  1. Put the chopped cabbage and banana pepper on a non stick skillet
  2. Saute for 2 minutes
  3. Add Tumeric and Salt and blend well for 2 more minutes till it is soft and slightly cooked
  4. Drizzle oil and blend for another 2 minutes on high heat
  5. Sprinkle Garam Masala
  6. Enjoy it with some Roti/Pita or flat bread…….

Dry turmeric  would always be spread out in the sun before being taken to the mill to be ground into a fine powder. After I moved away from home,  I always got to bring a jar back, each time I visited them, for the next 20 years. My father dutifully made packets for me to take along, even though I had plenty of stock. So, I could share fresh turmeric powder with my friends as well – the abundance of it all.

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Now, I look at the few jars I have left  and wonder if I should leave them as keepsakes, as this tradition of drying and grinding turmeric at our home in India has come to an end….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is raining Peppers……..stuff them with potatoes

I have so many peppers; Poblano peppers and Bell peppers. All freshly plucked from Stephanie’s kitchen garden. When she asked me if I wanted three dozen peppers, I wasn’t sure what I would do with them. Then I thought of my dinner and I knew I could use them for my next dinner at the Creperie. Yes! Peppers stuffed with flavored potatoes. Just like my mom made them!

My mom  would slice the top of the bell pepper and fill them with the spiced potato filing and sew back the top on with thread and needle.  Then slowly roast them in oil for about an hour or so. It was one of my favorite dish to have. I like to slice the peppers vertically into four and fill them with the potatoes, and then bake them in the oven, it is easier and quicker..

The Poblano peppers have an intense spicy flavor, we ended up eating them all. The peppers were so fresh that when I sliced them there was about a spoon of water inside them… I could feel the freshness and the love with which they were grown by Stephanie with no chemicals whatsoever…Thank You Stephanie!

Here is the recipe


6 Bell Peppers
6  Med sized Yukon gold potatoes
1/2 t turmeric powder
1 T Coriander powder
1/4 – 1/2 t  Cayenne Pepper
2 t Cumin Powder
1/2 t  Amchur ( dry mango powder) or 1 T lemon juice

  1. Cut the peppers in half
  2. Wash & Steam them for 3 -4 mins in a steamer or 2 mins in a pressure cooker
  3. Boil the potatoes
  4. Mash them & add all the spices …also  salt to taste
  5. Spread 1 Tbsp of oil on a baking sheet
  6. Place the steamed peppers on the baking sheet
  7. Fill the potatoes into the peppers
  8. Bake them at 350 degree F until the peppers & potatoes get crisp & the peppers shrivel.. for 20 to 30 minutes…
  9. Enjoy them as a side dish or a main dish with Pita bread or Naan

Shchi – Cooking with Dill and Dil

dill

Yesterday, I made a dish from my dil ( heart) with dill (herb). It seems to go well with the tanginess of citrus fruits or sour cream. Intending to make a beet casserole with a sour cream based dressing, I ended up making Shchi, a traditional Russian cabbage soup. It was simply delicious!

Continue reading “Shchi – Cooking with Dill and Dil”

Cooking Alu – Gobi | A demo for Michelle

On a cold wintry day, nothing like basking in the warmth of the kitchen. Michelle, my friend was happy to take pictures for my very first blog post. It felt odd and I had no idea where and how to start talking about food and cooking.  As the basics of cooking veggies are always the same…. with little variations!!!!

CHOP

STIR

COOK

Voila!!

Ready in 20 mins!!!

Recipe of Alu Gobi …. for 4 -6 people

1 head cauliflower – Diced
3 red potatoes – Cubed
1 yellow onion – Diced
1 C Carrots – Shredded

Spices::::::::::::
1 tsp Tumeric
1/2 tsp Red Chilly Powder
1 Tbsp Coriander powder
1 tsp Cumin powder
1 tsp Cumin seeds
1 tsp Fennel seeds

1. HEAT 3 Tbsp of oil in a non-stick
2. ROAST Cumin and Fennel seeds for 2 mins
3. ADD onions; SAUTE for 2 mins
4. ADD Tumeric & Chilly Powder; SAUTE for 2 mins
5. ADD Potatoes; SAUTE for 2 mins
6. ADD Coriander Powder & Cumin Powder; BLEND
5. ADD the Cauliflower; BLEND
6. ADD the shredded carrots; ADD Salt to taste
7. SAUTE for about 3 – 4 mins
8. Cover and COOK on medium-low heat for about 20+ mins.
9. Enjoy with toasted Pita Bread.