November 6, 2013
A couple of weeks ago when I walked by a huge pile of sugar pumpkins at the grocery, I couldn’t help myself. I picked one up. In the back of my mind I had this tagine on my mind – green lentils, chunks of pumpkin, spicy harissa paste. Luckily these little pumpkins keep for a while, so it was my sole Halloween decoration for a week or so, before I gutted it and made it dinner.
Sugar pumpkins have a similar texture to butternut squash, which would work just as well for this recipe. I expected the recipe to turn out super spicy due to the harissa, but when I started cooking I realized only a minuscule amount was called for. Of course, I fixed that! (more…)
November 3, 2013
Rounding out our Indian meal, we definitely cannot forget to include a dal, or lentil dish, on our plate. Dal is a staple at the South Indian table, bringing a good dose of digestible protein to the vegetarian cuisine. While I’m sure there are millions upon millions of recipes and variations for dal – just the types of lentils alone: toor dal, urid dal, moong dal, masoor dal, and I could go on and on and on, not to mention that every cook has their own unique spice blend – I decided to share this recipe for a sweet and sour toor dal because I found it to be rather unique. When I say sweet and sour, I don’t mean like your local Chinese joint’s chicken; it’s a much more subtle flavor. While I made a special trip to the Indian grocery to pick up kokum, an acidic, dried fruit, upon opening the package it immediately reminded me of pomegranate, which makes a nice substitute in this recipe if you don’t have a local Indian grocer to frequent.
And that’s how this South Indian meal becomes complete. A couple of vegetarian dishes like poriyal, bhindi masala, green bean bhaji, or some masala potatoes, basmati rice, a bit of dal, a little Indian pickle (which you can buy, or I might post my favorite mango pickle here soon) and maybe some raita or yogurt to cool things down, and you have a veritable feast! (more…)
October 17, 2013
One of my favorite quick go-to pastas has been a beef and arugula pasta with a dijon vinaigrette dressing that I posted a few years back. The first time I made this pasta, I remember my husband saying, “This would be really good with portobellos!”. I was so sure it would that, at the time, I wrote the recipe up with that suggestion for vegetarian-izing (and, incidentally, veganizing) the recipe. A week ago, I had some leftover arugula, so I decided to give this version a go, and what do you know, it was a hit! Still as quick and easy as the original, and still as flavorful. (more…)
September 10, 2013
I’ve decided to dedicate the month of September to getting some of the yummy posts I’ve made on the daily nosh into recipe form over here in the kitchen. And I think I shall kick off with a smoothie that I’ve become addicted to!
I have to admit, I cannot take credit for coming up with the flavor profile for this smoothie. I stumbled upon it at a local juice bar, and I decided to give it a go at home. Mine comes out a bit more cherry, and every bit as cheery as the original, only now I can have it any time I want it. Well, so long as I keep those cheery cherries in my freezer. (more…)
September 6, 2013
I have to say this has been one of my favorite west coast food discoveries, so I’m not quite sure where to even begin when talking about the poke bowl. I guess the point of discovery – Pacific Catch. A few years back, while being touristy in San Francisco, I ducked into a Pacific Catch with my family, and decided on a rice bowl topped with this stuff called poke, among many other Japanese-ish ingredients. I was hooked. I had to learn more about the poke. Which is when I discovered it was a Hawaiian dish that could be made an infinite number of ways. The numerous recipes, as well as the fact I needed sushi grade ahi, kept me from exploring how to make this for a long time. Upon feasting on poke in Hawaii, however, I had a renewed interest in learning to make the most common sesame-oil laced version. So after sifting through lots of recipes, I came up with what I deemed to be the perfect poke. (more…)