Friday, November 26, 2010

Anjum's New Indian - A review

I received this beautiful book  - Anjum's New Indian to review by Wiley Publications.

The author of this book is Anjum Anand who presents Indian Food made easy on the Cooking channel. I still want to catch that show.

This book is Anjum's interpretation of a vast and diverse culinary heritage of India. In her own words -
"This book is only a snapshot of the breadth and depth of cooking of the Indian subcontinent.   "

The book starts with the introduction to the basic ingredients,recipes and techniques. Anjum has introduced her recipes for black masala, garam masala, Goan red paste, Indian yogurt, Paneer. The book is divided into several parts like light meals & snacks, Fish & Seafood, Chicken, Meat, Vegetables, Beans & Lentils, Rice & Bread, Raitas & Chutneys, Desserts & Drinks.

Anjum has written essays about some states of India. She has tried to include a few regional recipes from these states. She has offered  Misal & Black Masala  From Maharashtra,  Red fish curry, salmon wraps from Kerala, Dhokla & Undhiyu from Gujarat, Amrtsari sol & lamb chops from Punjab, Madras Lamb & Lima beans Sundal from Tamilnadu, shrimp toasts & shrimp caes from Goa, Kashmiri lamb kababs & Roganjosh  from Kashmir, Trout with poppy seeds & Mustard shrimp from Bengal - to name just a few. She has also included the recipes like Tomato soup & Indian shephards pie from the Anglo Indian community, chicken Dhansak  from Parsi  community , Sindhi Lamb curry from Sindhi community, Bengal Gram Curry from Jain community.

Being an Indian cook/gourmand myself, many of the recipes are familiar while some are totally new. I was intrigued by Anjum's Peshawari Bread Salad. I have made various  recipes involiving bread salad/chaat. But in this recipe, Anjum stuffs the bread circles with nuts and then dips them into yogurt.

I also loved Anjum's clever presentation of Misal pav. She has served it like a sandwich stuffed into two crusty breads.

The book has 256 pages and contains hundreds of recipes. There are many colorful pictures.

I will surely let you know when I try some of the recipes from this book.

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Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving Pohe

It's that time of the year again. Gudiya is very excited about this Thanksgiving feast. "What's the key to have a happy thanksgiving? - Turkey!!" -  Gudiya has been saying this riddle to everyone at least a million times! However, we do not have turkey as her mom doesn't know how to make the turkey. But our menu today is as follows -

Sweet Potato Rolls from Cooking Light
My aunt's Russian salad
Black beans rice from the back of the Black Beans can
Green beans bhaaji with daanyache kooT
Chocolate pie

So far, I have made chocolate pie. Scalloped potatoes are assembled but need to be baked. I am chopping veggies for the salad. Sweet potato dough is resting. Wish me luck!

As I woke up this morning, I opened the fridge to make a hearty breakfast. I found a frozen packet of Southwestern veggies blend (black beans, bell peppers, onions, corn). Now, nothing is more satisfying than a hot plate of pohe for us. So decided to add the veggies to this pohe and voila! we really liked this combo. Looks like we just created a new tradition for Thanksgiving breakfast. I served it with hot tea and cut cantaloupes.

Thanksgiving Pohe
1 1/2 cup thick pohe, cleaned and washed, drained for 15 minutes
salt to taste
sugar to taste

1 cup frozen southwestern veggie blend, thawed
2 tbsp yellow corn
2 tbsp red/yellow/orange/green peppers
2 tbsp black beans, cooked

1 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/4 tsp asafoetida
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
2-3 green chillies, chopped or slit
2 sprigs curry leaves
2 tbsp onion, chopped

1 tbsp chopped cilantro
1 tbsp fresh coconut, scraped

Lemon wedges per serving
Handful of Sev

1. Heat oil in a saucepan. Add all the ingredients for tempering. Saute till onion is soft.
2. Add all the veggies. Stir fry for 2-3 minutes.
3. Add drained pohe, salt, sugar. Mix well.
4. Cover and keep cooking on a low flame for 5 minutes.
5. Garnish with coconut and cilantro.
6. Serve with lemon wedges and sev

Note -
1. Black beans are precooked in this recipe.

Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

GuLacha Shira

Using jaggery instead of sugar can be considered as one of the secrets from the Sarswat kitchens. It makes the ubiquitous shira so different in color as well as flavor.

GuLacha Shira
गुळाचा शिरा
Jaggery Semolina Sweet
1 cup semolina/rawa
3/4 cup grated jaggery (use more or less per taste)
A small pinch of salt  (optional)
1 tbsp ghee/toop/clarified butter

1 cup water + 1 cup milk

1/4 cup fresh coconut

2-3 cardamoms, peeled & powdered
A small pinch of nutmeg powder

1. Heat ghee. Roast semolina on a low flame till it changes color slightly
2. Boil milk and water mixture.
3. Dissolve jaggery in boiling milk mixture.
4. Keeping the gas low, add salt if using and sweet milk mixture. Keep on stirring till desired consistency is reached.
5. Stir in coconut and garnishing powders.
6. Serve warm.

1. Instead of serving in a bowl, you can pour the mixture in a greased plate. Cut into squares or diamonds and serve. When served as later, it is called ravyachi khantoLi.
2. When this shira is made with coconut milk instead of milk-water mixture, it is called soji.

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