Ladoo

Ladoos are made thoughout in India at home and readily available in sweet shops. The round shaped sweet is called ladoo and there are many varieties of ladoo. Different ladoos are made depending on occasion and festival. This sweet is favorite of children. It can be eaten as snack or with a meal as a sweet.

Wheat Flour Ladoo

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Serves: 12

During month of August or September (on the fourth day of Bhadarva Sud in Hindu calendar) comes Ganesh Chaturthi. This year it was on September 2, 2019. Ganesh is the elephant-headed god of wisdom. The festival of Ganesh lasts for 10 days. His favorite food, ladoos, are made and offered to him. In the region of Maharashtra, special steamed ladoos called modaks are made with rice flour, coconut and jaggery. In Gujarat, ladoos are made with whole wheat flour and jaggery.
Ingredients
  • 2 cups ladoo (coarse whole wheat) flour, available in Indian grocery stores.
  • 1 tablespoon chickpea flour
  • 4 tablespoons canola oil
  • ½ cup or more warm water
  • 1 cup sugar or more or 1 ½ cups jaggery or more shredded with knife
  • 1 cup ghee (clarified butter) or more, melted and warm
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground cardamom
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons toasted almonds, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup white poppy seeds, for garnish
  • Vegetable oil for frying
Directions
  1. Combine wheat flour, chickpea flour and canola oil in a large mixing bowl. Gradually add water and form into firm dough. Use more water if needed. Knead the dough until smooth. Divide the dough into 14 to 15 equal parts and form into balls. Take one ball into palm of your hand and make a fist with ball. Tightly press the dough with your hand and make oval shaped dough (muthia). Repeat with rest of the dough balls.
  2. Heat oil in a frying pan until hot enough to fry. Fry the muthia, 4 to 5 at a time until golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer the muthia to a paper towel lined large mixing bowl to drain excess oil. Once all muthia are fried, remove the paper towel. Cover the bowl with a plate and let muthia cool down for 10 to 15 minutes.
  3. Break muthia into smaller pieces with your hands or with a wooden spoon. In a food processor, process small pieces until it resembles wet sand in 3 to 4 batches. Transfer to same bowl.
  4. Add sugar, almonds, cardamom and nutmeg and mix well. If you are using jaggery skip sugar. Taste ladoo mixture and add more sugar if it is not sweet enough. Make a well in the center and add ¾ cup of ghee. If you are using jaggery, add jaggery in the ghee. With warm ghee, jaggery pieces will start to melt. With hands combine with ladoo mixture. Break unmelted pieces of jaggery with hand while mixing and taste ladoo mixture. Add more jaggery if it is not sweet enough. Take handful of mixture into hand and try to form a ball. If mixture does not stay together then add more ghee until the mixture stays firmly together. With a small ice cream scoop, scoop ladoo mixture and press firmly. Drop it on a plate and form a tight ball (ladoo) with your hands. Repeat the process until all mixture is used.
  5. In a pie dish or a small baking pan spread out poppy seeds. Drop a ladoo on poppy seeds and roll it gently between hands to evenly coat poppy seeds. Transfer to a serving plate. Repeat with remaining ladoo. Let ladoo stand for at least two hours to solidify ghee. It is served as sweet on special occasions. (makes about 24 ladoo)

 

 

Shing na Ladoo

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Serves: 6

Many Indians keep fast during certain days. Sometimes on a fast day, some people avoid eating regular meals or will eat only one meal. On those days to keep strength people may eat fruits, dry fruits and nuts. During the fast, people avoid eating salt. Whenever my mother had a fast, she used to make these ladoos on that day. These peanuts ladoos are quick and easy to make.
Ingredients
  • 1 cup dry roasted shing (peanuts)
  • ⅓ cup powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons ginger powder
  • ¼ cup or more ghee (clarified butter), melted
  • ½ teaspoon cardamom
Directions
  1. Ground peanuts in food processor until like a wet sand. Transfer to a mixing bowl.
  2. Add rest of ingredients to ground peanuts. Combine them with your hands. Take handful of mixture into hand and try to form a ball. If mixture does not stay together, add more ghee until the mixture stays firmly together. With a small ice cream scoop, scoop mixture and press firmly. Drop it on your hand and form a tight ball (ladoo) with your hands. Roll between your hands to make it smooth. Repeat the process until all mixture is used.
  3. Serve as a snack or sweet.

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Panchrav Shaak

Panchrav Shaak

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Serves: 10

During month of August or September (on the eight day of Shravan Vad in Hindu calender) people in India celebrate Lord Krishna’s birth. The festival is known as Janmashtami. This year it was on August 24, 2019. People observed fast on that day. The next day which is called Parna, feast is prepared as an offering to god as well as to break a fast. The Panchrav (mixed) shaak (vegetables) is prepared as an offering which includes variety of vegetables available in the market. Only on that day vegetable mongers in Gujarat sell prepared mixed vegetables known as Patrali. All you need to add are root vegetables to make panchrav shaak. In the recipe, quantity of vegetables might seem too much, but as you cook them it will reduce almost in half. If some vegetables are not available, it should be fine. Try not to add onion and garlic. That way you will taste each vegetable separately in the mixed vegetables. Remaining shaak can be frozen for further use.
Ingredients
  • About 4 to 5 cups of mixed vegetables (like butternut squash, cabbage, cauliflower, carrot, zucchini, etc.), finely cut
  • About 5 to 6 cups combined, green peas, green beans, corn kernels, papadi lilva, toover lilva (fresh pigeon peas), choli (Indian long green beans), suran (Indian yam), tindola (green ivy squash), etc. available in frozen section of Indian grocery stores
  • About 3 to 4 cups of mixed vegetables (like eggplant, potato, sweet potato, taro root, etc.) finely cut
  • About 2 cups methi (fenugreek leaves), frozen available in frozen section of Indian grocery stores.
  • About 1 cup palak (spinach), frozen
  • 2 to 3 jalapeno or serrano chilies, finely chopped
  • ½ cup or more olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
  • ¼ teaspoon asafetida
  • 1 ½ teaspoons turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons red chili powder
  • 3 teaspoons dhana-jeeru (spice blend of ground coriander and cumin)
  • Salt to taste
  • Juice of one lime
  • ½ cup chopped cilantro, for garnish
Directions
  1. Heat ¼ cup oil in a Dutch oven or large soup pot until shimmering. Add mustard seeds and let them sizzle. Add asafetida, turmeric and 1 teaspoon chili powder. Immediately add first mixed vegetables and green chilies. Season with salt and stir to combine with spices. Cover the pot and let vegetables cook for 5 to 7 minutes. Occasionally stir vegetables so they do not stick to bottom.
  2. Uncover pot and add second mixed vegetables. Season with salt and stir to combine with other vegetables. Let vegetables cook for 5 to 7 minutes. Occasionally stir vegetables so they do not stick to bottom. If vegetables start to stick to bottom add more oil 1 tablespoon at a time.
  3. Uncover pot and add third mixed vegetables. Season with salt and stir to combine with other vegetables. Let vegetables cook for 5 to 7 minutes. Occasionally stir vegetables so they do not stick to bottom. If vegetables start to stick to bottom add more oil 1 tablespoon at a time.
  4. Uncover pot and add methi and palak. Stir to combine with other vegetables and cover pot. Let vegetables cook for 10 to 12 minutes until you start to see oil on side of pot. Occasionally stir vegetables so they do not stick to bottom. If vegetables start to stick to bottom add more oil 1 tablespoon at a time.
  5. Uncover pot and add remaining chili powder and dhana-jeeru. Stir shaak to combine with spices. Taste shaak and add salt if needed. Add lime juice. Let shaak cook on low heat for 10 to 12 minutes. If shaak looks dry add more oil 1 tablespoon at a time. By the time shaak is fully cooked, it should be glistening with oil. Before serving garnish with cilantro. Serve with warm puri.

 

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Everyday Cabbage (shaak)

Everyday Cabbage (shaak)

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Serves: 6

This is a basic recipe to cook any vegetable in Gujarati style and it is referred as shaak. Usually there is some kind of a shaak with a meal (Gujarati thali). In vegetables like cauliflower, cabbage, green beans, okra etc. mustard seeds are used whereas for potatoes, sweet potatoes, butternut squash and eggplant etc.; cumin seeds are used. You can cut down amount of oil and adjust seasoning according to your taste. The spices and its amount from recipe works for 3 medium size potatoes, one medium size eggplant, and 30 to 35 green beans (or 1 16 oz. bag of cut green beans or French cut green beans). You can also mix and match vegetables.
Ingredients
  • 1 medium size cabbage (cobish), shredded
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
  • ⅛ teaspoon asafetida
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 2 teaspoons dhana-jeeru (spice blend of coriander and cumin powder)
  • 1 tablespoon cilantro for garnish
Directions
  1. In a wok or a frying pan heat the oil until shimmering, 2 to 3 minutes. Add mustard seeds and let them sizzle. Add asafetida, turmeric and chili powder. Add cabbage and season with salt. Stir cabbage until coated with oil and spices.
  2. Cover the pan with a lid and let cabbage cook until fork tender, stirring from time to time, about 8 to 10 minutes.
  3. Once cabbage is cooked, uncover, add dhana-jeeru. Stir and let cabbage cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Just before serving garnish the shaak (cabbage) with cilantro. Serve warm with any type of Indian flat bread.

 

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Karela nu Shaak

Karela nu Shaak

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Serves: 4

Karela (biiter melons) are usually available during mango season (April to July) in Gujarat. Here in US they are available all year around. This shaak is especially eaten with mango pulp. Both works well together as karela are bitter and mango pulp is sweet. Not all people like this shaak but once you get used to bitterness it is very delicious. It is very enjoyable with warm Rotli(puffed flat bread).
Ingredients
  • 1 lb. karela (bitter melon)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
  • ⅛ teaspoon asafetida
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 2 teaspoons dhana-jeeru (spice blend of coriander and cumin powder)
  • 3 tablespoons golden raisins
  • 3 tablespoons cashew bits
  • 3 teaspoons sugar or to taste
  • 1 golf ball size jaggery piece, cut into smaller pieces
Directions
  1. Wash karela. If karela are fresh and skin does not have any blemishes keep the skin otherwise remove the rough part. Remove ⅛ inch of karela from both ends. Cut bigger karela in half, again cut karela in half and slice into three to four slices. Remove tough seeds while cutting karela. Karela are extremely bitter. If you wish to remove some bitterness, sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of salt and let it drain in a colander for ½ an hour. Skip salt later in recipe.
  2. In a wok or a frying pan, heat oil on medium high heat, about 2 minutes. Add mustard seeds and let them sizzle, 30 to 40 seconds. Lower the heat to medium. Add turmeric, chili powder and asafetida. Add karela, season with salt and stir everything well. Cover and let karela cook for 10-12 minutes or until karela are tender, stirring occasionally.
  3. Once karela are cooked, add rest of ingredients. Stir everything and let it cook uncovered on low heat until sugar and jaggery is melted and karela looks dry, about 7 to 10 minutes. Karela should be covered in caramel to reduce bitterness. Golden raisins help in reducing bitterness and use of more sugar. Check seasoning and add salt if needed. Serve warm with any type of Indian flat bread.

 

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Singapore Noodles

Singapore Noodles

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Serves: 4

This noodle recipe is the result of influence of Indian and Chinese cuisine in Singapore.
Ingredients
  • ½ cup neutral oil, divided
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder
  • ¼ teaspoon or to taste cayenne pepper
  • 8 oz. rice noodles (vermicelli)
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 package of firm tofu
  • 2 shallots, sliced
  • 1 red pepper, sliced
  • 1 large carrot, cut into 2 inch strips
  • 2-inch piece of ginger, finely minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ cup green peas
  • Juice of ½ a lime
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup chopped cilantro
Directions
  1. Drain tofu and remove excess liquid from tofu by putting it between two baking sheets covered with paper towels and weighing it down with cans or a heavy pan. Cut into ½-inch dice.
  2. Heat 3 tablespoons oil in a wok or a skillet until shimmering and sauté curry powder and cayenne pepper for a minute or until fragrant.
  3. Soak rice noodles in 8 cups of boiling water for 5 minutes or until soft. Once soft, drain water and toss with curried oil, soy sauce and sugar in a mixing bowl. Set aside.
  4. Heat 3 tablespoons oil in a wok or a skillet until shimmering, Stir fry tofu until light golden brown, 7 to 8 minutes. Drain excess oil and transfer tofu to noodle bowl.
  5. Add remaining oil to wok or skillet until shimmering. Stir fry shallot, red pepper and carrot for 2 to 3 minutes. Add ginger and garlic and stir fry with vegetables for a minute. Season with salt and black pepper.
  6. Add ¾ cup water or vegetable broth to wok or skillet. Add noodles with tofu and let everything cook together until water or broth is absorbed. Add peas, lime juice and stir.
  7. Before serving, garnish with scallions and cilantro. Serve warm.

 

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Pina Colada Tiramisu

Pina Colada Tiramisu

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Serves: 16

Ingredients
  • 1 7 oz. packet of lady fingers
  • ¾ cup pineapple juice
  • 8 oz. Mascarpone cheese
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • ½ Container (9 oz.) of Coconut whipped topping (defrosted for an hour)
  • ¼ cup coconut cream
  • ¼ cup confectioners sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract or rum extract or rum
  • 1 cup pineapple (fresh or canned (drained)), ¼ inch diced
  • ½ cup sweetened coconut flakes
  • ½ cup toasted sweetened coconut flakes
Directions
  1. In a stand mixture, whip mascarpone cheese on medium speed until smooth, 2 to 3 minutes. Add heavy cream, coconut cream and whipped topping. Whip them on medium speed until everything is well combined, 3 to 4 minutes. Add confectioners sugar and extract or rum. Whipped mixture for 4 to 5 minutes, initially on low speed and then on high speed until light and fluffy.
  2. Add diced pineapple and sweetened coconut and whip for 30 seconds.
  3. Soak ½ of lady fingers one by one in pineapple juice and arrange in single layer in 8 inch sqaure glass baking dish. Adjust the size of lady fingers to fit into single layer if needed. Layer evenly ½ of cream on top of lady fingers.
  4. Repeat step 3 on top of cream one more time. Sprinkle toasted coconut flakes on top evenly. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate alteast 4 hours before serving.

 

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General Tso’s Tofu

General Tso's Tofu

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Serves: 4

Ingredients
  • 1 package of extra firm tofu
  • 1 egg
  • ¾ cup water
  • ¼ cup AP Flour
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce
  • ½ teaspoon salt or to taste
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch
  • 3 tablespoons neutral oil
  • 2 tablespoons minced ginger
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup Mirin
  • ¼ cup rice wine vinegar
  • Oil for frying tofu
  • 2 tablespoons roughly chopped toasted peanuts, for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro, for garnish
  • Zest of one orange, for garnish
Directions
  1. Combine egg, AP flour and ½ cup water to make batter for frying tofu. Season batter with salt and hot sauce. It should be thin batter.
  2. Drain water from tofu package and then remove excess water from tofu by putting it between two baking sheets covered with paper towels and weighing it down with cans or a heavy pan. Then cut into ½ inch dice.
  3. Heat oil for frying in a frying pan until hot enough for frying. Coat diced tofu with batter and deep fry in hot oil in 2 to 3 batches, until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Transfer tofu to paper toweled lined plate.
  4. Combine soy sauce and corn starch, and make smooth slurry. Set aside.
  5. In a wok, heat 3 tablespoons oil until shimmering on medium high heat. Add ginger and garlic, and sauté them until fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Add sugar and let it caramelize until light golden brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Deglaze pan with mirin and vinegar. Let everything cook for 2 to 3 minutes.
  6. Add corn starch slurry and ¼ cup of water. Keep stirring and let sauce thicken, 2 to 3 minutes.. If sauce is too thick add more water. Add fried tofu and stir to coat with sauce. Let tofu cook with sauce for 3 to 4 minutes.
  7. Garnish with peanuts, orange zest and cilantro before serving. Serve with steamed rice and broccoli.

 

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Chikki (Brittle)

Chikki (Brittle)

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The sun starts to move from south to north during December. It is believed that this northerly movement (uttarayana) begins on January 14 (Makar Sakranti). This day is celebrated with kite flying in Gujarat. People fly the kites from their terraces. The sky is filled with colorful kites and there is a international kite flying competition in city of Ahmedabad. Brittle called chikki, made with jaggery, sesame seeds and peanuts is eaten during this festival.
Ingredients
  • 1 cup sesame seeds (til), unhulled to make sesame seeds brittle or
  • 1 cup raw peanuts (shing), without skin to make peanuts brittle
  • ¾ cup jaggery, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon ghee or melted unsalted butter
Directions
  1. In a dry frying pan, roast sesame seeds or peanuts on medium heat until light golden brown, 5 to 6 minutes. (until sesame seeds starts popping). Remove from pan and set aside.
  2. Brush the same pan with ghee or butter. Also brush spatula and rolling pin. If you do not have silicon mat then brush approximately 10 x 12 inch area with ghee or butter on a stone surface.
  3. Heat jaggery on medium high heat until melted (it will be like caramel), 3-4 minutes. Keep heating jaggery until caramel is darker in color for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly. Lower heat to low.
  4. Add sesame seeds or peanuts and stir quickly to combine with caramel. Transfer to silicon mat or brushed area. Roll out into ¼ inch thick approximatly 10 x 12 inch rectangle.
  5. Make cuts with a knife to make 2 x 2 square pieces. Let brittle cool down and once cooled, break the square pieces. Store in air tight container. Enjoy as a snack or a sweet.

 

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Vegetables and Chickpeas Tagine

Vegetables and Chickpeas Tagine

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Serves: 6

The spices used in Moroccan Tagine recipes are very similar to spices used in Indian curries. I like to cook curries/stews with warm spices during winter months. It is very satisfying and comforting during cold season. I add chickpeas or lentils for protein to dishes like this.
Ingredients
Spice Blend:
  • 1 tablespoon turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon dhana-jeeru (spice blend of ground coriander and cumin)
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon ginger powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground allspice
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
For Tagine:
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 inch piece of ginger, finely minced
  • ⅛ teaspoon saffron threads
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 cups cauliflower florets
  • 2 carrots, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 cup small red or yellow potatoes, cut in half
  • 1 cup vegetable stock or water
  • 1 zucchini, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 cup different color peppers, cut into strips
  • 1 15 oz. can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 15 oz can of diced tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons salt or to taste
  • 1 cup large green olives
  • 2 preserved lemons, roughly chopped
  • ½ cup roughly chopped dry apricots or golden raisins
  • 1 cup cilantro, chopped for garnish
Directions
  1. In a mixing bowl make spice blend by combining all spices. Preheat oven to 350 degrees (optional, See step 3).
  2. In a large Dutch oven or oven proof sauté pan, heat olive oil on medium high heat for 1 minute. Add onions and sauté until translucent, 3 minutes. Add garlic, ginger, saffron and spice blend, and sauté until fragrant for 2 minutes. Next add tomato paste and sauté for 2 minutes.
  3. Add cauliflower florets, carrots and potatoes to pot. Stir to coat vegetables with spices. Add stock or water and bring it to boil. Season with 1 teaspoon salt and stir. Cover the pot and you can either cook vegetables on stove top or transfer to oven. Let vegetables cook for 10 to 12 minutes or just tender.
  4. Add remaining vegetables, preserved lemons, apricots or raisins and olives. Add diced tomatoes from can with juices and chickpeas. Season with remaining teaspoon of salt. Stir to combine everything and cover the pot. Transfer to oven or continue to cook on stove top for another 10 minutes or so until all vegetables are cooked through.
  5. Before serving garnish with cilantro. Serve with couscous and/or nan.

 

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Country Fried Cauliflower Steak with Couscous

Country Fried Cauliflower Steak

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Serves: 4

This recipe is inspired by vegetarian episode of Guy's Grocery Games show on Food network.
Ingredients
  • 1 large cauliflower
  • 1 cup AP flour
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1¼ teaspoons black pepper
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt or to taste
  • Canola oil for frying
Directions
  1. Cut four ½ inch thick steak from cauliflower with stem.
  2. Season flour in a shallow baking dish with ½ teaspoon of each garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, salt and pepper.
  3. Whisk eggs and buttermilk in another shallow baking dish. Season with ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon black pepper.
  4. Season panko bread crumbs in a shallow baking dish with ½ teaspoon of each garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, salt and pepper.
  5. Dredge each cauliflower steak one by one in flour, eggs and then panko bread crumbs, pressing bread crumbs on steak to adhere. Keep the steaks on a wired rack baking sheet.
  6. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
  7. Heat oil for frying steaks in a large frying pan or a Dutch oven until ready for frying. Fry cauliflower steaks one by one on each side until golden brown, 2 to 4 minutes. Transfer them to wired rack baking sheet. Bake steaks for 10 to 12 minutes until cauliflower is cooked through.
  8. Serve over couscous with roasted red pepper sauce (recipe follows) and side of roasted asparagus or green beans.

 

 

Couscous with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

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Serves: 4

Ingredients
  • 1 cup Israeli couscous, uncooked
  • 3 large roasted red peppers
  • 1 cup or more raw cashews
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 cups or more water
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
Directions
  1. Cook couscous according to directions. Once couscous is cooked, drain and transfer to same pot and stir in olive oil off heat.
  2. In a blender make smooth sauce by combining peppers, cashews, tomato paste, and 2 cups water. If sauce is too thick, add more water. If sauce is too thin, add more cashews. Season with salt and pepper and blend for few seconds. Pour the sauce over couscous and stir to combine.
  3. Let couscous cook with sauce for 2 to 3 minutes. Serve warm with cauliflower steak.

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Thanksgiving 2018

Whole Roasted Cauliflower
Follow the link below for recipe. This recipe makes a center piece for vegetarian thanksgiving. Use sauce from recipe as gravy. http://abc.go.com/shows/the-chew/recipes/whole-roasted-cauliflower-with-poblano-vinaigrette-and-goat-cheese-cream-clinton-Kelly. Serve with nan and/or plain rice.

 

 

Mashed Potatoes

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Serves: 4

Ingredients
  • 4 large or 6 medium Yukon gold potatoes
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt or to taste
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
Directions
  1. Peel and cut potatoes into 1 inch chunks. Transfer them to a Dutch oven or a large soup pot. Cover the potatoes with water and add 1 teaspoon of salt. Cover the pot and let potatoes cook until tender, 10 to 12 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile combine milk, heavy cream and 4 tablespoon of butter in a small sauce pan and warm it.
  3. Drain potatoes once they are cooked and transfer them to same pot. On low heat, mash the potatoes with a potato masher or a ricer. Stir in half of milk mixture with mashed potatoes. If mashed potatoes are dry add more milk until potatoes have creamy consistency. Save some milk if you are not going to serve mashed potatoes immediately. Season with remaining salt and pepper.

 
Mexican Corn Stuffing

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Serves: 6

Ingredients
  • 4 cups corn bread, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 bunch scallions, chopped, green, light green and white part separated
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 jalapeno or serrano chili, minced
  • 2 cups frozen or fresh corn kernels
  • 1 red pepper, finely diced
  • ¾ cup mayonnaise
  • ½ cup crumbled queso fresco or finely shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup or more vegetable stock
  • 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • ½ cup chopped cilantro, for garnish
Directions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Spread out corn bread cubes in even layer into two baking pans. Bake corn bread cubes until bread is almost dry, 25 to 30 minutes. Let bread cool down.
  2. In a medium sauté pan, heat oil and 2 tablespoons butter until butter is melted. Add white and light green parts of scallions and sauté it for a minute. Add garlic, green chili, red pepper and corn. Season with ½ teaspoon salt, pepper and paprika. Sauté vegetables for 2-3 minutes to soften them slightly. Let vegetables cool down for 10 minutes.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine mayonnaise and vegetable stock. Add corn bread, ¼ cup cheese and vegetables, and stir until bread and vegetables are well coated. Add more stock if mixture looks too dry.
  4. Butter 9 x 13 inch baking dish. Transfer stuffing to buttered baking dish. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top. Bake stuffing for 35 to 45 minutes until top is browned.
  5. Before serving garnish with green part of scallions and cilantro.

 
Charred Brussels Sprouts Salad

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Serves: 4

Ingredients
  • 1 lb. Brussels sprouts
  • 1 navel orange
  • ½ cup pomegranate seeds
  • ½ cup cilantro or parsley leaves
  • 1 inch piece of ginger, finely minced
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
Directions
  1. Wash and trim Brussels sprouts. In food processor with a slice blade, slice Brussels sprouts.
  2. Heat large cast iron pan on high heat. Transfer Brussels sprouts to pan and sauté them until they are charred in several places, 10 to 12 minutes. Add minced ginger and garlic and sauté for 30 seconds. Let Brussels sprouts cool down for 10 minutes.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, cut orange segments. Squeeze juice from remaining orange. Add maple syrup and season with salt and pepper. Combine juice and orange segments with olive oil.
  4. Add cooled Brussels sprouts and stir with dressing. Transfer to serving bowl and sprinkle pomegranate seeds and cilantro or parsley.

 
Cranberry Chutney
Click on chutney to fine recipe.

 
Apple Pie Bars
You can find the recipe on NYTimes Cooking.

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Puran Poli

Puran Poli

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Serves: 6

Puran (filling) Poli (flat bread) is one of my husband and his family's favorite dishes. During a holiday/festival you are bound to find it during meals at his family home in Gujarat, India.
Ingredients
For filling (puran):
  • 1 cup toover dal (split pigeon peas)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • ⅛ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
For dough:
  • 2 cups chapatti or whole wheat flour
  • 2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon neutral oil
  • Pinch of salt
  • ½ cup or less all-purpose flour, for rolling and dusting
  • ¼ cup or less ghee (clarified butter), for brushing
Directions
  1. Wash split pigeon peas few times. For oily dal make sure all the oil is washed off. Soak in about 2 cups of water for 1 to 2 hours or until peas are soft in a medium size soup pot. (Soaking is optional).
  2. Cover dal with a lid and cook it with water on a medium heat until peas are very soft, about one hour. Dal can also be cooked in a pressure cooker, according to manufacturer’s direction.
  3. While dal is cooking make dough. Put chapatti or whole wheat flour in a medium mixing bowl. Add salt and 2 tablespoons oil and mix it with hands. Gradually add water and knead until it makes soft and smooth dough. Cover the dough with a plate or a kitchen towel and let it rest while dal is cooking and you make the filling.
  4. Once dal is cooked, add sugar and cook until mixture thickens, stirring frequently, about 25 to 30 minutes. (You can also cook filling in microwave uncovered for 10 to 15 minutes). Let filling cool for 45 minutes to an hour or until cool to handle. Add cardamom and nutmeg and stir to combine. Divide filling into 12 to 15 equal portions and roll into balls.
  5. Pour 1 teaspoon oil on top of the dough and knead it few times until smooth. Divide the dough into 12 to 15 equal portions and roll into balls.
  6. Put about half a cup of all-purpose flour into a flat dish. Dip the ball of dough into flour and flatten it on a smooth cutting board (wooden or marble). Dip the flatten dough into flour again on both sides. First roll out a biscuit size (about 3 inch in diameter) small circle. Put one ball of filling in the middle. Gradually make folds around the edges to cover filling. Pinch the folds together, twist the dough on top and press the dough down so that it makes small circle. Dip the circle into flour on both sides .Roll out into a circle about 6 inches in diameter, dusting with flour if the dough starts sticking to the board. If some stuffing comes out or dough breaks, it’s fine.
  7. Heat a griddle or a flat non-stick pan on a medium heat. Transfer puran poli on to heated pan. Let the first side cook for 30 seconds to 40 seconds or until small bubbles appear on surface and flip to the other side. Let the other side cook for one minute. Remove from the heat. Brush the first side with about 1 teaspoon of ghee. Repeat the process with all the remaining dough and filling balls. Stack cooked puran poli. Serve warm with a shaak (vegetable) like okra, tindola or bataka ni sukhi bhaji.
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