Monday, June 18, 2018

Minced Goat Meat with Eggplant - Kothukariyum kathrikkayum

For the life of me I am not sure how I am going to deal with this moronic President and his voice and face for another 2 1/2 and god forbid another 4 years after that with my severe news addiction. More infuriating are his family members one more tone deaf than the other and clueless about how entitled they are. Where on earth does it say that is OK to separate children from their parents? Oh yeah the party of family values cares only about certain kind of families? Everyone who is a parent has to shudder at the thought of what is happening in the name of law and order. I am tired and sick of being outraged all the time.

I will for now talk about this recipe as talking about something without doing something about it is not really very productive.

When cooking with minced goat meat or kheema and using a pressure cooker there is always a chance it might go dry as it finishes cooking. Adding water takes away from the taste. So my aunt for instance adds cabbage. I had some eggplants and added that to the kheema. The eggplants provides the moisture for the cooking and the almost mashed eggplants once they are cooked gives a nice smooth and moist texture to the kheema.

Goat meat can be substituted with minced lamb, turkey or chicken. Minced goat can be purchased from halal stores, some Indian, Pakistani or Bangladeshi grocery stores. A very good quality chicken or meat masala powder is good to be used for this recipe. Also for those of you who are not familiar with these masalas these powders are used for meat/poultry dishes but they by themselves do not have any meat or poultry in them. They are vegan by themselves. The reason for this explanation - one blogger a while ago questioned if these masala powders were vegetarian or not. Really!

Here is the recipe in pictures.

Heat the oil, add the seasonings, add the onions, garlic and ginger saute followed by the tomatoes .
Add the chopped eggplants, cook for a few minutes. Then add the kheema and the spice powders and mix them well.
Add salt and coriander leaves, put the lid and weigh on and let cook for 3 whistles. When cool open the lid and cook for 6 minutes more till most of moisture is evaporated.

We had them with home made corn tortillas.

Minced Goat with Eggplant
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
  1. 1 1/2 lbs of minced goat meat
  2. 1 cup of chopped red onion
  3. 4-6 cloves of garlic chopped
  4. 1 tbsp of grated ginger
  5. 1 tomato finely chopped (optional)
  6. 6-10 green chilies minced or slit in half (the number depends on how hot the chilies are)
  7. 2 cups of finely diced eggplant
  8. a handful of chopped coriander leaves
  9. 2 tsp of turmeric powder
  10. 1 tbsp of meat or chicken masala powder
  11. salt to taste
  12. 1/2 tbsp of oil
  13. seasoning - 1 tsp of fennel seeds, 1 tsp of cumin seeds

  1. In a pressure cooker heat oil, when hot add the seasonings followed by the finely chopped onions and the green chilies.
  2. Saute the onions till they are nice and brown. Add in the garlic and ginger and saute for a couple of minutes.
  3. Add the minced tomatoes and saute till the tomatoes start to fall apart.
  4. Add in the eggplant and saute for a couple minutes more.
  5. Add in the minced meat, the meat masala powder, turmeric powder and chili powder if using. Mix well. Add salt and the coriander leaves.
  6. Close the pressure cooker, put the weigh on and let cook for 4 whistles and turn off the heat. (for poultry just 2 whistles should be enough)
  7. Open the lid and if there too much moisture cook on open heat for about 6-8 minutes.
  8. Serve with rice or Indian bread of any kind.

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Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Maravalli Kizhangu poriyal - Tapioca Root Stir Fry

What is your definition of happiness? I am not sure what makes me happy but striving for happiness has become a life goal for a lot of people these days apparently. For some people the idea of happiness iwhatever they want and for a few others it is being able to eat whatever they please.

Will you be surprised if this striving for all this happiness is actually making people unhappy? I read this opinion piece in 'The Washington Post'- The quest for happiness may be killing us. The attitude that being sad is a condition that needs to be treated rather than something to overcome and expecting that buying or having more things will make you happy is a futile exercise. This paragraph from the article is what stuck with me written by British therapist and philosopher James Davies who wrote “The Importance of Suffering,” and follow-up bestseller, “Cracked: Why Psychiatry is Doing More Harm Than Good".

Davies argues that we have created a culture that assumes happiness to be the normal, healthy human condition. Deviations from the blissful path - sadness, anxiety, disappointment - are thus treated as illnesses in search of a cure. This “harmful cultural belief that much of our everyday suffering is a damaging encumbrance best swiftly removed” gets in the way of a more robust response, he writes: namely, approaching unpleasant emotions as “potentially productive experiences to be engaged with and learnt from."

Last week brought some really sad new news - the deaths of Kate Spade - though I don't own any of her eponymous articles of fashion I still knew her and then Anthony Bourdain - him I knew and enjoyed immensely watching his show Parts Unknown. Several thoughts of success and happiness were sloshing around in my head and this article was timely I thought. All of us have this unattainable notion of happiness which clearly seems to be affecting and bothering us more than we want to admit.

Working with the animals, the land and doing things that I like - watching TV, reading a mystery novel, are some ways I choose to get out of the doldrums. What is your coping mechanism? Please get the help you want if you feel you are not able to cope.

As for this recipe,it is proof that food does not have to be elaborate to please the taste buds. Simple dishes with very few ingredients that bring out the natural taste of the vegetables are the best dishes to make and enjoy. On our last visit to India DH's sister in law had made this. I usually make this like a dry roast which is delicious in its own right but this one is just simple and perfect as a side dish for sambhar or rasam.

The recipe in pictures. Can't be any easier.

Peel and chop the tapioca. It takes longer to peel than to actually cook.
Boil the chopped tapioca root till it is soft.
In a wide mouthed pan, add the seasonings, green chilies and onions and saute till the onions are translucent. Add in the cooked tapioca root and salt. Saute for a few more minutes.
Add the grated fresh coconut and turn off the heat.

Maravalli Kizhangu poriyal - Tapioca Root Stir Fry
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
  1. 2 Tapioca roots, peeled and cut into cubes
  2. 1/2 cup of finely chopped red onions or shallots
  3. 6-8 slit green chilies
  4. 1/4 cup of grated fresh or frozen coconut
  5. seasonings: curry leaves, cumin, mustard seeds, split urad dal
  6. 2 tsp oil
  7. salt to taste

  1. Peel the tapioca roots, chop into 1 inch cubes and in a pot of water cook till soft. Drain right away and set aside. Takes about 8-12 minutes.
  2. In a wide mouthed pan (kadai) add oil, when hot add the split urad dal and saute till it starts to turn color, add the mustard and cumin seeds. When the mustard starts to pop add the curry leaves.
  3. Now add in the chopped onions and split green chilies and saute till the onion starts to brown.
  4. Now add the drained cooked root and mix it in. Add salt and saute for another 4-5 minutes and turn off the heat.

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Friday, May 18, 2018

Whole Kambu (pearl millet) Dosai

Millet offers a variation from the regular rice, wheat back to rice routine. I read that 90% of our time is spent indoors under artificial lights and mostly sitting doing sedentary jobs which means eating a lot of rice and wheat is not necessarily the best. So to mix it up a little bit I like to add some millet to our diet and hopefully to tackle the ever expanding mid section :(

While the recipe I have here is the way I know in which kambu dosai is made with the addition of spices. I wanted to change the recipe around a little bit so that it is similar to the regular dosai recipe. Since millet is also carbohydrate rich I add more lentils to get a crispy dosai.

Normally I use whole kambu for this but i have a couple of packets of broken kambu and I used that since i was not going to make porridge with the broken kambu.

Soak the pearl millet, rice, lentils and fenugreek seeds overnight.
Grind the fenugreek seeds and white lentils till it is smooth and fluffy. Remove it to a separate vessel.
Grind the pearl millet and when it is getting smooth add in the rice and grind till it is completed smooth.
Remove it to the vessel along with the lentil batter.
set the batter to ferment overnight. Once fermented mix it with a laddle so the batter looks smooth and is ready for use.
Heat a griddle and add a laddle of batter and spread it into circle. Flip on cook on the other side.

Kambu dosai batter made with whole kambu and plenty of lentils is much lighter and crispier.

Kambu Dosai
Soaking Time: 8 hours or overnight
Batter Grinding Time: 40 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes

  1. 2 1/2 cups of kambu (pearl millet)
  2. 1 1/2 cups of idli rice
  3. 1 1/2 cups of whole urad dal (white lentils)
  4. 2 tbsp of fenugreek seeds
  5. salt to taste
  6. For the Dosai
  7. Oil

Batter Preparing
  1. Wash the kambu in several changes of water and let it soak overnight. Wash and soak the rice and lentils. Soak the fenugreek seeds.
  2. Grind the soaked fenugreek seeds and when it is looks almost blended add the lentils to it and blend to a smooth batter, remove to a vessel. I let the grinder run for about 20 minutes.
  3. Next add the soaked millet and let it grind till most of the millet has been blended, add the rice to this and continue to grind till it becomes a smooth batter.
  4. Remove the millet rice batter to the lentil batter, add salt and mix it well and leave it overnight to ferment.
  5. Note:Where it is cold and fermenting is a problem, put it in the oven or microwave with the light oven overnight and it should ferment nicely.
  1. Heat a dosai pan or griddle, wipe some oil on it with some cloth.
  2. Add a laddle of batter and spread it in a circle.
  3. Add oil along the edges of the dosai, let it cook on one side and then flip and cook on the other side.
Serve with chutney of choice.

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