Carrots and Squash Sautéed in Cumin, Garlic and Ginger

There are more than five hundred million vegetarians in India, where cooks reflect regional standards and tradition.  In the villages many still embrace a diet similar to their ancient ancestors.  Every morning all over India, the vegetable bazaars and markets (sabzi mandi) are a remarkable sight, with every conceivable fresh seasonal vegetable and fruit.  Small, tender seasonal vegetables are much more succulent than large ones because they are easy to digest and considered nutritious.

Squash and Carrots

Carrots and Squash Sautéed in Cumin, Garlic and Ginger (Sabzi)

Serves 6

4 medium carrots
2 medium yellow squash
2 medium zucchini
¼ cup corn oil
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped fine
½-inch piece fresh gingerroot, peeled and chopped fine
4 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped fine
½ teaspoon turmeric powder
½ teaspoon coriander powder
½ teaspoon cumin powder
Salt to taste

Wash and cut the carrots, squash, and zucchini lengthwise into 2-inch pieces.

Heat the oil in a wok over medium heat.  Add the onion, garlic, and ginger and sauté for 3-4 minutes, stirring constantly, until golden brown.

Add the turmeric, coriander, and cumin powder and sauté for 2-3 minutes.

Add the carrots, squash, zucchini, and salt, and stir.  Cover and simmer for 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender.

Serve hot with basmati rice, legumes, and salad.

 

Being on friendlier terms with your stomach serves you well!  Discover and share my dazzling repertoire of authentic, delicious, healthy, and easy-to-prepare recipes of diverse flavors with your friends from my cookbooks Feast of India: A Legacy of Recipes and Fables (1991, 2015) and India’s Unsurpassed Cuisine: The Art of Indian Curry Cooking (Editor’s Choice, 2016) at www.feastofindia.net.

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Delicious Grated Carrots

A vegetarian meal generally consists of rice or roti, vegetables, legumes, chutney or relish, pickle, salad, and plain yogurt, followed perhaps with a sweet dessert or seasonal fruits.  A dry vegetable dish is usually served with a liquid legume (dal) accompaniment.

Chili Flavored Grated carrots

Grated Carrots Sautéed with Flavor-Enhancing Spices (Gajar ka Sabzi)

Serves 6

2 pounds fresh carrots, grated
¼  cup corn oil
1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon split black beans (urid dal)
1 large onion, peeled and chopped fine
6 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped fine
½-inch piece fresh gingerroot, peeled and chopped fine
1 green chili, chopped fine
2 sprigs fresh curry leaves
¼ teaspoon asafoetida
¾ teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon coriander powder
1 teaspoon cumin powder
½ teaspoon garam masala
Salt to taste

Heat the oil in a wok over medium heat. Add the mustard seeds, cumin seeds, and split black beans and sauté for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly, until they change color and the mustard seeds start popping.

Add the onions, garlic, ginger, chili, and curry leaves and sauté for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onions turn soft and golden brown.

Add the asafoetida, turmeric, coriander, cumin, and garam masala and mix thoroughly for 3-4 minutes.

Add the grated carrots and salt and mix thoroughly. Cover and simmer for 6-7 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent the ingredients from sticking to the bottom of the wok.

Serve hot with basmati rice, roti, legumes, raita and cilantro chutney.

 

Being on friendlier terms with your stomach serves you well!  Discover and share my dazzling repertoire of authentic, delicious, healthy, and easy-to-prepare vegetarian and non-vegetarian recipes of diverse flavors with your family and friends from my cookbooks Feast of India: A Legacy of Recipes and Fables (1991, 2015) and India’s Unsurpassed Cuisine: The Art of Indian Curry Cooking (Editor’s Choice, 2016) at www.feastofindia.net.

 

 

Cardamom-flavored Stewed Apple

The apple season is here for dessert lovers of all ages.  I have made this tasty treat from my mother’s kitchen hundreds of times for family and friends with rave reviews using one of the most unique honey-tart flavored apples in the United States: the delicious Jona Gold apple of New York State!

Stewed Apple with Cardamom

Stewed Apple with Cardamom (sev)

Serves 6

3 pounds Jona Gold apples
8 cups cold water
6 green cardamoms
½  teaspoon black peppercorns
1 cinnamon stick
6 cloves
1 bay leaf
½ cup brown sugar (optional)

Remove the skin from the apples and cut into ½-inch pieces.

In a large pot, add the water, apples, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, black pepper, bay leaf, and brown sugar.  Cover and boil over medium heat for 6-8 minutes until ¾ tender.

Cool and transfer to serving dish.  Serve in small dessert bowls topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

 

Discover and share my dazzling repertoire of authentic, delicious, healthy, and easy-to-prepare recipes of diverse flavors with your family and friends from my cookbooks Feast of India: A Legacy of Recipes and Fables (1991, 2015) and India’s Unsurpassed Cuisine: The Art of Indian Curry Cooking (Editor’s Choice, 2016) at www.feastofindia.net.

Healthy Legumes (dal)

Legumes (dal) or dried beans and peas are a part of the ancient Indian culinary tradition.  Dal contains enzymes, fiber, minerals, and vitamins.  Easily digested and highly nutritious, dal is an accompaniment of almost every Indian lunch.  In India, the generic name for all members of the dried pea and bean family is dal.  The repertoire of dal dishes is indeed extensive, from liquid soups and thick purees, stews, fried appetizers, crispy pancakes and crepes, sauces, and chutneys to sprouted salads and delicious sweetmeats.  Dal is always prepared in combination with pungent herbs and spices, such as garlic, ginger, onion, black pepper, chilies, mustard seeds, asafoetida, cumin, coriander, turmeric, fenugreek seeds, onion seeds, salt, and oil or clarified butter.

 

M023

Healthy Legumes (masalawale dal)

Serves 6

½ cup pigeon peas
½ cup pink lentils
½ cup split green peas
½ cup split yellow peas
½ cup split black beans
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
10 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
1-inch piece fresh gingerroot, peeled and chopped
2 tablespoons water
¼ cup corn oil
1 large onion, peeled and sliced fine
1 tablespoon ground coriander
¼ teaspoon chili powder
½ teaspoon turmeric powder
10 cups water
Salt to taste
1 small fresh green chili, chopped fine
½ teaspoon roasted ground cumin
½ teaspoon roasted ground garam masala
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
¼ cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped fine

Soak the beans and lentils together overnight in a pot of cold water.  Rinse and drain the beans.

In a food processor, puree the chopped onion, garlic, ginger, and 2 tablespoons water.

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Add the sliced onions and sauté for 5–6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until soft and golden brown.

Add the onion paste, coriander, chili powder, and turmeric, stirring constantly for 4–5 minutes, until the mixture turns brown and the oil separates.

Add 10 cups water.  Stir and boil.

Add the beans and salt, and mix.  Cover and simmer for 30–40 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the beans are tender and the liquid is of a thick consistency.

Add the green chili and cumin, and mix.  Cover and cook for another 10 minutes.

Add roasted garam masala, lemon juice, and fresh cilantro leaves.  Cover for 5 minutes.

Serve hot with rice, vegetables, chicken curry, and yogurt salad.

 

Being on friendlier terms with your stomach serves you well!  Discover and share my dazzling repertoire of authentic, delicious, healthy, and easy-to-prepare recipes of diverse flavors with your friends from my cookbooks Feast of India: A Legacy of Recipes and Fables (1991, 2015) and India’s Unsurpassed Cuisine: The Art of Indian Curry Cooking (Editor’s Choice, 2016) at www.feastofindia.net.

 

 

 

Ground Lamb sautéed in Curry Spices and Mint with Spaghetti

Today, pasta has found its place in the curry menu with immense international appeal.

Spicy Ground Lamb on Noodles

 

Ground Lamb sautéed in Curry Spices and Mint with Spaghetti (Keema Do-Piazza aur Seviayan)

Serves 6-8

2 pounds lean ground lamb or meat of your choice
½ cup plain yogurt
Salt to taste
½ teaspoon turmeric powder
½ teaspoon cumin seeds
½ cup corn oil
1 large onion, peeled and sliced fine
2 fresh green chilies, slit into half and cut into ½-inch pieces
¾-inch piece fresh gingerroot, peeled and chopped fine
1 large onion, peeled and chopped into ½-inch pieces
8 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped in half
2 cups water
1 cup baby peas
½ cup fresh mint leaves, chopped fine
1 pound packaged thin spaghetti
16 cups water
1 tablespoon corn oil
1 large onion, peeled and chopped into ½-inch pieces

In a large bowl combine the ground lamb, yogurt, salt, turmeric, and cumin seeds. Marinate for 10 minutes.

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Add the sliced onions and sauté for 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until soft and golden brown.

Add the ground lamb and stir.  Cover and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lamb is half-cooked.

Add green chilies, chopped ginger, chopped onion, and garlic, and stir for 2-3 minutes.

Add 2 cups water and stir.  Cover and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lamb is tender and the liquid has evaporated.

Add the peas and fresh mint and mix thoroughly.  Cover and set aside.

In a large pot, add 16 cups water and 1 tablespoon oil.  Boil over medium heat.  Add spaghetti and cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 8-10 minutes until done.  Drain immediately in a colander.

On a platter, transfer the spaghetti and arrange the ground lamb on the top.  Serve hot with sweet mint chutney and fresh salad.

 

Being on friendlier terms with your stomach serves you well!  Discover and share my dazzling repertoire of authentic, delicious, healthy, and easy-to-prepare recipes of diverse flavors with your family and friends from my cookbooks Feast of India: A Legacy of Recipes and Fables (1991, 2015) and India’s Unsurpassed Cuisine: The Art of Indian Curry Cooking (Editor’s Choice, 2016) at www.feastofindia.net.

Delicious Chicken Kebab

This is a quick and delicious chicken kebab to put together.

Kababs

Cocktail Chicken Kebab (Chhote Kebab)

Serves 6

1 cup plain yogurt
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
6 cloves garlic, peeled
½-inch piece fresh gingerroot, peeled and chopped
1 fresh green chili
1 teaspoon roasted ground coriander
1 teaspoon roasted ground cumin
½ teaspoon turmeric powder
¼ cup fresh mint leaves
2 pounds ground chicken
1 egg
2 tablespoons plain bread crumbs
Salt to taste
¼ cup corn oil

In a food processor, place the yogurt, onion, garlic, ginger, green chili, coriander, cumin, turmeric,  and mint leaves and puree to a fine mixture.  Transfer to a large bowl.  Add the ground chicken, egg, bread crumbs, and salt and thoroughly mix.  Divide into 20 smooth balls and set aside.

Using a wet hand, spread each ball along the length of a 12-inch steel skewer at least 1 inch apart.

Prepare the barbecue charcoal grill or heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Gently place the kebabs in the oil.  Cover and cook for 7-10 minutes, until they are golden brown and crisp.  Turn over the kebabs, cover and cook for another 7-10 minutes.  Remove the lid and stir gently until the liquid has evaporated.

Serve on roti with fresh salad or skewer on toothpicks and serve as hors d’oeuvres with Sweet Mint Chutney.

 

Being on friendlier terms with your stomach serves you well!  Discover and share my dazzling repertoire of authentic, delicious, healthy, and easy-to-prepare recipes of diverse flavors with your friends from my cookbooks Feast of India: A Legacy of Recipes and Fables (1991, 2015) and India’s Unsurpassed Cuisine: The Art of Indian Curry Cooking (Editor’s Choice, 2016) at www.feastofindia.net.

 

Semolina Halwa

In its simplest form halwas (puddings or sweetmeats) are made with fine-grained semolina, clarified butter (ghee), sugar, saffron, raisins, slivered almonds, and ground cardamom.

Indian Sweetmeats

Semolina Halwa (sooji ka halwa)

Serves 6

1 pound fine semolina
¼ cup hot milk
¼ teaspoon saffron threads
½ cup clarified butter (ghee)
½ cup unsalted blanched slivered almonds
¼ cup raisins
1 cup sugar
¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
5 cups boiling water

Heat the wok over medium heat.  Add the semolina and stir constantly until slightly roasted.  Remove and set aside.

Soak the saffron threads in ¼ cup hot milk for 20 minutes.

Heat the ghee in a wok over medium heat.  Add the almonds and raisins and roast, stirring for 1-2 minutes, until golden brown and the raisins swell.  Remove and drain on paper towels.  Add the semolina and ground cardamom, stirring constantly for 2-3 minutes.  Add the boiling water and sugar, and stir thoroughly until the halwa thickens.  Add the saffron milk, almonds and raisins, and mix thoroughly for 1-2 minutes until moist.  Transfer to a dessert bowl and serve hot.

Or, grease a medium baking pan with a little clarified butter.  Spread the halwa evenly on the pan.  Cool for an hour and cut into 1-inch squares before serving.

 

Being on friendlier terms with your stomach serves you well!  Discover and share my dazzling repertoire of authentic, delicious, healthy, and easy-to-prepare recipes of diverse flavors with your friends from my cookbooks Feast of India: A Legacy of Recipes and Fables (1991, 2015) and India’s Unsurpassed Cuisine: The Art of Indian Curry Cooking (Editor’s Choice, 2016) at www.feastofindia.net.

India’s Fragrant Basmati Rice

Uncooked Basmati Rice

Famous around the world today, India’s long-grained Basmati rice, also referred to as the Patna or Dehradun variety is grown in the foothills of the Himalayas (abode of snow).

About fifteen hundred years ago an Indian story recorded that rice was dressed in ghee with its full accompaniment of curries.  Little has changed since then, for an Indian meal is incomplete without rice.  The Muslims introduced the traditional pilao and biryani festival dishes to India in the eighth century.

The rulers (nawabs) of Awadh (Oudh) and Hyderabad dazzled the world with their culinary delights.  Their unforgettable and incomparable pilaos resembling plates of rubies and emeralds were conversation pieces.  The chefs used techniques that were developed in the kitchens of the caliphs of Baghdad where rice was soaked in saltwater before cooking to give it the luster and sparkle of crystals.

Here is a simple way to prepare Basmati rice.

 

Basmati Rice (Chawal)

Serves 6

2 cups long-grained Basmati rice
10 cups water
1 tablespoon corn oil

Wash and thoroughly rinse the rice three times in cold water until the water is clear.  In a large pot add the rice, 10 cups water, and 1 tablespoon oil.  Cover and boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until rice is almost cooked.  Remove, rinse in cold water, and drain thoroughly in a colander.

Preheat the oven to 350ºF.  Transfer the rice to a baking dish.  Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake in the oven for 5-6 minutes until rice is steaming.

Remove and serve hot with chicken curry, vegetables, plain yogurt, and salad.

 

Being on friendlier terms with your stomach serves you well!  Discover and share my dazzling repertoire of authentic, delicious, healthy, and easy-to-prepare recipes of diverse flavors with your friends from my cookbooks Feast of India: A Legacy of Recipes and Fables (1991, 2015) and India’s Unsurpassed Cuisine: The Art of Indian Curry Cooking (Editor’s Choice, 2016) at www.feastofindia.net.