Saturday, March 14, 2009
Amchur powder is made by pulverizing dried unripened mangoes. I used this recipe as my reference for this dish: http://beelittlefood.blogspot.com/2008/04/saut-okra-season-with-dry-mango-powder.html
I used fresh okra. I washed and carefully dried the pods, since I read that any extra moisture can make the okra more gooey. I also let the washed okra dry out on the cutting board for 5 to 10 minutes. I sliced the okra, and then stir fried them with minced garlic, and salt for a few minutes until the okra was soft but still retained some crunchiness (I forgot to put chili or curry powder). In the last 30 seconds, I added a tsp of anchur powder.
Sunday, March 01, 2009
This soup is loosely based on a recipe in The Santa Monica Farmer's Market Cookbook by Amelia Saltsman. The peas were in the original recipe but, I would do this without the peas next time; they are extraneous and distracting. So I've left the peas out of this recipe, but if you'd like to add them, you can just stir them into the finished soup and heat until the peas are hot.
1 head cauliflower including the stem, washed and cut into small florets or pieces
1 dried red chili
1 yellow onion, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Tbsp freshly grated ginger and juices
stock (I used canned vegetable stock, but any kind of stock is fine)
Saute onions until translucent (I like to sweat my onions for 5 minutes first by covering the pan, and then sauteing uncovered until soft) but not caramelized. Add a bit of oil and add the minced garlic; continue cooking for a minute or two until the garlic is fragrant but not browned (or else it will become bitter). Move the onions to one side of the pan. Add the curry powder and ginger in the uncrowded part of the pan and toast for 30 seconds until smoking and aromatic in order to bring out the curry flavors (I used a couple of Tbsp of curry powder, because my powder isn't that strong and I wanted a noticeable curry flavor). Use scissors to cut chili into flakes into the pan. Mix the spices and onion together, and saute for 1 minute more. Use an equal mixture of water and stock. Add enough stock and water to cover the bottom of the pan and bring to a boil. Stir in the cauliflower. If necessary you can add some more liquid and bring everything to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and let steam for 15 to 20 minutes, until the cauliflower is very tender.
Use an immersion blender, or let the soup cool a bit and use a stand blender to puree the soup. Do this in batches, if necessary. The soup should be "the consistency of heavy cream". If its too thick, you can add more liquid to dilute it. Return the soup to the pan, and heat until its just about to boil. Serve hot.
I had some left over baguette, that was going stale. So I made croutons. This is a pretty standard recipe that I use to repurpose old bread.
Preheat oven to 350. While the oven is preheating, cut bread on the bias into thin slices. Rub a peeled and semi-smashed garlic cloves on the slice. Mince garlic, and herbs (I used oregano here), and mix both with some olive oil, salt, and pepper. Let the olive sit with the aromatics while the oven heats in order to infuse the oil with some more of the flavor. Use a pastry brush to spread olive oil the slices, and also the herbs. I topped this off with a tiny bit of freshly and finely grated Parmesan-Reggiano.
Bake until the croutons are crispy and starting to brown on the edges, but are not burnt.