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September 25, 2008

Fusion Cauliflower - One with no oil & one with a tad bit

It has been a chaotic with cooking classes and parties to attend. I wanted to be served, rather than serve anyone any food, be it frozen or even sticking in the microwave, so off we went to our favorite hole in the wall Mexican resturant and that immediately gives me the boost I want and then off to cooking in our tiny kitchen.

We have recently begun to buy vegetables and fruits from here and it is such a delight that we do not have to go shopping to any store, forget saving gas, we save some moolah from not buying spices and "stuff" that has to patiently wait for it's turn.

We got some cauliflower in our box last week and decided to make Cauliflower Manchurian. Now, we have a spice mix that we got from Salem. The vegetable vendor, who carries a large basket over her head is quite the entrepreneur, when you buy a Cauliflower, she asks if you would like the Manchurian mix and sells that as well. Kind of like Amazon saying, "if you buy this, you may also like this"

We mixed a batch of some blanched cauliflower with that spice mix and baked it in the oven at 350 for about 15 minutes and then broiled for 5. With no oil, we must say the results were fantastic, but the spice mix was SPICY!

Another batch, here is what we did

AP Flour - 1/4 cup
Corn Starch - 2 T
Red Chili Powder - 1 tsp
Ginger - 1 T (minced)
Garlic - 1 pod (minced)
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Water - a couple of tablespoons

Make a smooth batter and add the cauliflower & mix till they are well coated. Let it sit for atleast 30 minutes.

In the meanwhile do this..

Onion - 1/2 cup thinly sliced
Green Chillies - 1 slit in two
Bell Pepper - 1 (chopped)

Heat about 2 T oil in a pan, and start shallow frying the cauliflower until it turns dark brown. Flip it over and do the same. Repeat the process for the entire batch and set it aside on a paper towel.

In the same pan, add the onions, green chilly and bell pepper and saute for a few minutes.


Regular ketchup - 1 tsp
Hot Ketchup - 1 tsp
Soy Sauce - a sprinkle
Red Chili paste - 1 tsp

Combine the sauces with the cauliflower and serve!

This is all we had for dinner last night - two different versions of the cauliflower along with some fruits.

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September 16, 2008

Pistachio Burfi

When Rajesh & I were newly weds, he would look at me like I was crazy when I would narrate incidents of what dishes I ate on a certain day, when I was 10 at so & so's house. I can remember what amma cooked for me on special occasions. Pista burfi is one such sweet that I had at a friend's place for Diwali and I came home and was mad at amma that she has never made them for me. I was really upset that I had lost so many years of my life not tasting pista burfi :).

I taught this sweet recently at class and my niece V was here at that time. She and Rajesh enjoyed the sweet a lot. I made the burfi in the morning, so I can measure and write the recipe down. When I came home from work, there were a couple piece left for me.

Unsalted Pistachios – 2 cups
Milk- 2 cups
Sugar – ¾ cup
Rose water – 3 T
Ghee – 1T +1/2 tsp to grease the tray

  • In a food processor, pulse the pistachios to a fine powder or use a blender to do the same.
  • In a heavy bottomed pan combine the milk and sugar and cook on high heat stirring continuously until it comes to a boil.
  • Then reduce the heat, and let it simmer until the milk reduces in half.
  • Increase the heat to medium high and add the pistachios and ghee and start stirring continuously till you see the mixture forms into a soft ball.
  • Add the rose water and give it a quick stir and transfer the burfi to a greased baking tray.
  • Smoothen the top with a spatula.
  • When it is cool, cut in to 1 1/4 inch squares
  • Store in an air tight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. ( If it lasts for that long in your house)

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September 11, 2008

Salad to Cool Off..

Folsom can get really hot in summers and when were not in the mood to turn on the stove in the house, this was a welcome salad at home. The tanginess of the lemon juice against the garam masala and ginger was very interesting. You can serve this salad at room temperature or chilled. We liked it both ways. This is an excellent potluck dish.

Garbanzo and Ginger Salad

Garbanzo Beans – 2 cups (cooked)
Ginger – 2 inch piece
Lemon juice – 2 T
Garam Masala – ½ tsp
Salt – ½ tsp
Ground Black Pepper – ½ tsp
Lettuce – 1/2
Mint - 1 T (finely chopped)

  • If using canned Garbanzo beans, drain and wash the beans and place in a large bowl.
  • Peel the ginger and cut them in to very thin rounds and then julienne them thin and add it to the beans.
  • Drizzle lemon juice over the salad and all the other ingredients and combine well.
  • Place the salad on a lettuce leaf and serve.
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September 05, 2008

Slow food nation

We were in food heaven on Sunday, August 31st,a day at Slow food Nation. It was a culinary adventure, a feast to our eyes and our palate. Every pavilion was designed with a lot of thought, we loved the pickles and chutney pavilion with the floating "mason jar lid canopy" the best.There were about 15 pavilions in all, chocolates, wines, spirits, pickles, bread, ice creams and more.

A few months ago, when I did a TV demo of Vegetable Upma, Michelle was watching me do the demo and she was keenly looking at the lemon pickles I had on the side for upma. She tasted it and fell in love with it. She enthusiastically asked me if I can help her make some pickles for slow food nation and I was thrilled to be a part of this prestigious convention in a very small way. The recipe was a combination of Manisha's and my mom's and the result was fantastic. Folks who tasted the pickles loved it and even came for seconds. Mind it people, this is not samples that you get in Costco for free, you pay each time you sample it with slow food dough (a coupon with 20 credits, each sample needing 1 - 3 credits). Almost all of the pickles were homemade.

Michelle was the curator of the pickles pavilion was awesome in managing the entire show. She was never tired of patiently naming the pickles or chutneys that folks queued up to sample, the sampler consisted of a plate of yogurt rice with lime pickle, carrot and raisin pickle, pappads tomato and date pickle, 4 chutneys . We were blown away by the different kind of pickles that were showcased. Japanese pickles,Dill,Cucumber, carrot & raisin, Tomato & date, our lemon pickle to name a few. I volunteered to be in the pavilion on Sunday and can I forget volunteering Rajesh too? He came with his camera and clicked away and people made way for him, when they saw him with the camera..not fair!!!!

Shankari making batches of Raitha, with Carolyn Kumpe of East bay resturant supply.The pavilions
Hand worked meat slicer in action

Shankari with Niloufer Ichaporia King, the author of My Bombay Kitchen.People queing up for the gates to open

From the right - Kim, Carolyn Kumpe, Shankari
Naan PlaceLook at these breads!

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September 01, 2008

A brief hiatus due to some fun in the sun

Back from Mexico, where we had some fun. Shankari parasailing above, and me on a wake board.

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