Nepali Black Eyed Peas Curry

Adapted from: http://www.geniuskitchen.com/recipe/black-eyed-pea-masala-116878

Note: Serving size for lentils. It is common knowledge in India that each person cannot eat more than one fistful of DRIED lentils. So for four adults, you put four fistfuls in the pressure cooker (or cook on the stove or however you do it). This measurement is called a ‘muthi’, a handful. ‘Char’ refers to the number four. Adjust to your own family’s needs. Just think of the ingredients in a ‘proportion’ sense rather than a ‘measurement’ sense. [Caution — this does not apply to those canned lentils they sell!!]

Note: Salt measurement depends on the salt you use. I use morton’s iodized. Sea salt, you will need less. Kosher salt, more.

Serves 4 Adults

Ingredients:

For Pressure Cooker Dubba [box]:

4 fistfuls of dried black eyed peas (char muthi)
1 garlic clove, halved
1 small tomato, quartered
1/2 tsp salt (to taste)

MISE EN PLACE:

1/4 in jalapeno (just chop off a piece of the tail)
2 garlic cloves, minced (or 1 tsp)
1/2 onion, diced
1 in ginger, minced (or 1 tsp)
2 whole black pepper (or 1/4 tsp black pepper powder)
1 in cinnamon stick (or 1/4 tsp cinnamon powder)
3 cloves (or 1/4 tsp clove powder)
1 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1 small tomato, diced
1/2 c yogurt (to taste)
handful of chopped cilantro (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In pressure cooker, put the black eyed peas, handful of diced onions, clove garlic, halved, and quartered tomato. Cover with water.
  2. Cook on medium heat for 30 min.  DO NOT DRAIN.
  3. I use a large heavy bottomed wok to cook in. Add oil. Let warm over medium heat.
  4. Add jalapeno, garlic, onion and ginger. Mix well until cooked, around 2-3 min.
  5. Add cumin powder, turmeric, and tomatoes. Mix well until cooked, around 2-3 min.
  6. Add black eyed peas blend. Add salt. Let cook, 5-10 min.
  7. Take off stove. Add yogurt. Alternatively, can serve yogurt on the side with the meal.
  8. Top with cilantro.
  9. Enjoy with rice.

Note: You can omit the yogurt if you’re not into it. It tastes great without it as well.

Verdict: Recipe’s a keeper. This is mildly different from typical Indian cuisine, but still familiar. Best, it is not oily or spicy, and is in fact very very healthy.

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Stuffed Eggplant (Baked)

This is an improvement of the Stuffed Eggplant Poriyal recipe, which is cooked on the stove. I tried that, but my spices burned, so I decided to bake the eggplant dish instead.

Stuffing:

VAGHAR:

2 tsp oil
2 tbsp coriander seeds
2 tbsp urad dal, picked over and rinsed
2 tbsp yellow split peas, picked over and rinsed
2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp hing
3-4 dried red chillies, seeds removed

ADD:

1 c flaked coconut, dry roasted till brown
salt to taste
1.5 tsp tamarind concentrate
1/2 c water

THEN:

Blend it all together into a thick paste.

STUFF paste into 12 baby eggplants.

Eggplants should be slit into quarters lengthwise, and not cut through entirely.

Fill the eggplant slits with stuffing and set aside. NOTE: Slit eggplants only AFTER stuffing is ready, or eggplants will become discolored.

Preheat oven to 250 F.

Arrange stuffed eggplants in greased pyrex.

Take leftover stuffing, add water (around 1 c) to make a stuffing that is just slightly more runny than pancake batter. Pour over eggplants.

Cover with foil and bake 30 min. Check. Bake for longer as needed until cooked. (Mine took just over 2 hours).

Serve hot with rice.

ALTERNATIVE: Can stuff green peppers instead of eggplant if you want.

NOTE: Tastes great, turned out well. Missed the roasted eggplant taste. Next time will split the difference — will cook the eggplant on the stove FIRST (after it has been split, before it has been stuffed) and then dunk it in the watered down stuffing and let it simmer on the stove or in the oven. A local South Indian place serves its veggies like this, and now I know why.

Baked Potato Soup

I had this at Northwest Community Hospital in Arlington Heights, Illinois, and it’s SOOOO GOOOOD!! (Score one for hospital food!)

This is my approximation of that recipe.

YIELD: 4 servings

Ingredients:

1 small onion, diced
1 carrot, diced
2 stalk celery, diced
1 clove garlic, diced (optional)
4 small gold potatoes, baked

1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp all purpose flour
1 c milk (optional – if can’t tolerate milk, use water)
1/2 c water

Garnish:

salt and pepper to taste (pepper is optional, don’t use if you can’t tolerate it)
1 tsp fresh parsley, minced (optional)
1/4 c cheddar or pepper jack cheese (optional)

Directions:

  1. In skillet or omelette pan or wok, cook onion, celery, carrot and garlic over medium heat until tender. Set aside.
  2. In soup pot, add butter, let melt. Add flour, let brown. Add veggies, let sizzle. Add milk and water, let mix and thicken. Scoop out insides of three potatoes, add into soup pot. Let cook well and then let cool a little.
  3. Blend to desired consistency (optional step).
  4. Put blended soup back in soup pot. Add scooped out insides of last potato. Let cook for five minutes.
  5. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add parsley and cheese for garnish.
  6. Enjoy!

Note: The optional stuff is what I added in that the hospital did not. If you’re on a healthy eating plan of some sort, keep the optionals optional 🙂 If you can’t tolerate solid food, make sure you blend very well, and skip the part in step five where you add in the unblended scooped out insides of the last potato.

Stuffed Eggplant Poriyal

This is a South Indian style stuffed roasted eggplant adapted from the book “Dakshin”.

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Stuffing:

VAGHAR:

1 tsp oil
1 tbsp coriander seeds
3/4 tbsp black gram dal OR  urad dal, picked over and rinsed
3/4 tbsp bengal gram dal OR yellow split peas OR chana dal, picked over and rinsed
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp hing
1/2 dried red chili

ADD:

1/2 c flaked coconut (or 1/2 fresh coconut, grated), dry roasted till brown
salt to taste
a spoonful of tamarind concentrate
a little water

THEN:

Blend it all together into a thick paste.

STUFF paste into 2-3 baby eggplants.

Eggplants should be slit into quarters lengthwise, and not cut through entirely.

Fill the eggplant slits with stuffing and set aside.

NOTE: Slit eggplants only AFTER stuffing is ready, or eggplants will become discolored.

THEN:

VAGHAR:

3 tbsp oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp black gram dal OR urad dal, picked over and rinsed
1 tsp bengal gram dal OR yellow split peas OR chana dal, picked over and rinsed
1 red chili, halved
a few curry leaves

ADD:

Stuffed eggplants, salt to taste, and a little water.

Sprinkle leftover stuffing over eggplants.

Cover and simmer over low heat until eggplants are tender.

Remove lid and saute for a few more minutes, without stirring too much. Take care not to break the eggplant.

Serve hot with rice.

OPTION1: Can stuff green peppers instead of eggplant if you want.

OPTION2: ALTERNATE (EASY PEASY) PASTE:

3/4 c roasted peanuts
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp turmeric
salt to taste

Add 2 medium sized chopped tomatoes after eggplant is tender.

NOTE1: Eggplant did not cook when I made it as above because I used a big baby eggplant instead of those really small baseball sized eggplant.

NOTE2: If using a big eggplant, it is advisable to slit, stuff, and wrap in aluminum foil and let cook at 400 F for 30 min or so, then proceed with VAGHAR above.

NOTE3: Next time, do not add the extra masala to the pot as the same time as the eggplant; it burns. Add it after the eggplant has cooked, and then let it simmer for five minutes or so.

 

Parsi Dhan Shak

This is a Tarla Dalal recipe.
An alternate recipe is here: http://myfoodandrecipies.blogspot.com/2014/06/dhan-shak-parsi-dal-brown-rice-served.html

Ingredients

For The Dhan Shak

3/4 cup toovar (arhar) dal
1 tbsp moong dal (split green gram)
1 tbsp masoor dal (split red lentil)
1 tbsp vaal dal (split field beans/ split butter beans)
1 tbsp urad dal (split black lentils)
1 potato
1 small brinjal (baingan / eggplant)
2 tomatoes
1 small sized bunch of fenugreek (methi) leaves
3 spring onions with greens
51 to 75 mm (2″ x 3″) slice of red pumpkin (bhopla / kaddu)
1 slice of bottle gourd (doodhi / lauki)
6 tsp tamarind (imli) water
4 tbsp ghee
1 onion , chopped
salt to taste

To Be Ground Into A Paste (for the Dhan Shak)

4 green chillies
8 red chillies
10 garlic (lehsun) cloves (lehsun)
25 mm (1″) piece of ginger (adrak)
36 mm (11/2″) cinnamon (dalchini)
3 cloves (laung / lavang)
3 black peppercorns (kalimirch)
3 cardamoms (elaichi)
4 tsp coriander (dhania) seeds
2 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
1 tbsp chopped fresh coriander (dhania)

To Be Made Into Powdered Masala (for the Dhan Shak)

3 cardamoms (elaichi)
2 cloves (laung / lavang)
3 sticks cinnamon (dalchini)

For The Rice

3 cups steamed rice (chawal)
2 onions
2 sticks cinnamon (dalchini)
2 cloves (laung / lavang)
3 garlic (lehsun) cloves (lehsun) , crushed (optional)
3 tsp sugar
2 tbsp ghee
1/2 tsp salt

Method

For the dhan shak

Mix the dals and wash them.
Cut the vegetables into big pieces.
Mix the dals and vegetables, add 7 teacups of water and cook in a pressure cooker.
Sieve this mixture. If it is very thick, add a little water.
Heat the ghee in a vessel and fry the chopped onions for a little time. Add the paste and fry again for 3 minutes.
Add the dal mixture and salt and boil for 30 minutes.
Add the tamarind water and sprinkle the powdered masala and cook for a few minutes.
Serve hot with dhan shak rice.

For the rice

Chop the onions.
Heat the ghee in a vessel and fry the onions for a little time. Add the cinnamon, cloves, crushed garlic and fry again.
Add the rice, salt and enough water to cook the rice.
Cook the sugar mixed with 1 teaspon of water on a slow flame. When it becomes brown, add to the rice while it is cooking.
Serve this rice with dhan shak.

Tawa Baingan

Rasika and Rasika West End, Washington, D.C.

Vikram Sunderam made this stacked eggplant and potato dish at his 2010 Beard House dinner.
Yield: 4 servings

Eggplant:

2 Holland eggplants, or 1 Italian eggplant, sliced thinly
6 cloves garlic, chopped
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon black pepper
Salt to taste

Mashed Potatoes:

2 Idaho potatoes, peeled and boiled until tender
1 tablespoon canola oil
1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
Scant 1/4 cup chopped red onion
Scant 1/4 cup chopped tomatoes
1 teaspoon chopped ginger
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon sliced Thai green chile
1/2 teaspoon chile powder
1/2 teaspoon chaat masala
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Salt to taste

Coconut Sauce:

2 ounces jaggery or 1/3 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/4 teaspoon red chile flakes
Scant 1/4 cup chopped peanuts
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
Salt to taste

Method:

To make the eggplant, combine the eggplant slices, garlic, olive oil, black pepper, and salt in a large bowl and mix well. Set aside.

To make the mashed potatoes, grate the potatoes into a large bowl and set aside. Heat the oil in a sauté pan and add the cumin seeds. Toast until they start to crackle, about 1 minute. Add the onions and sauté until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes, ginger, turmeric, and Thai chilies; cook until the tomatoes are soft, about 3 minutes. Add the chile powder and chaat masala and cook until very fragrant, about 2 minutes. Transfer the contents of the pan to the bowl of grated potatoes. Add the lemon juice and mix well. Season with salt.

To make the coconut sauce, melt the jaggery in a saucepan over a low flame. (If you are using brown sugar, you do not need to melt it first.) Add the coconut milk and chile flakes and bring to a boil. Turn off the heat and mix in the peanuts, lemon juice, and salt.

Heat a sauté pan over medium heat. Working in batches, sauté the marinated eggplant slices on both sides until golden brown, about 2 minutes each side. Transfer the cooked eggplant to a baking sheet lined with paper towels to drain.

Heat the mashed potatoes in a medium pot.

Place an eggplant slice on a plate and top with a spoonful of warmed mashed potatoes. Continue adding alternating layers of eggplant and potato until you have at least 4 layers of eggplant and 3 layers of potato. Drizzle the warm sauce over the stack.

Corn Pudding

Ingredients:

10 ears corn, shucked, cleaned, scraped – get all the milk!
3 well beaten eggs
1 c milk
1/2 c cream
1 tbsp melted butter
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp fresh ground black pepper
5 or 6 dashes Tabasco

Directions:

  1. Mix all ingredients together.
  2. Place in 1.5 qt Pyrex.
  3. Bake in preheated 350 F oven for 45-50 min, or until just firm to the touch.
  4. Enjoy!