By Life Positive
Try not to be overwhelmed by all this vegetarian manna; prepared by Kurma dasa, one of the Hare Krishna movement’s celebrated chefs
RICE WITH GREEN PEAS AND ALMONDS
This dish is ideal for party catering or for a special lunch or dinner. Preparation Time: 5 minutes Cooking Time: 30-40 minutes. Serves 4 to 5 persons
1 cup basmati or other long grain white rice
4 green cardamom pods
2 cups water
¾ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon turmeric
3 tablespoons ghee or oil
One 4 cm cinnamon stick
6 whole cloves
1/3 cup slivered or sliced almonds1 cup fresh or frozen peas
Wash, drain and dry the rice. Lightly tap each cardamom pod to partially crush. Bring the water, salt and turmeric slowly to a boil in a 2-liter saucepan over moderate heat. Heat the ghee or oil in another 3 liter saucepan over moderately low heat. Fry the cinnamon stick, cloves, bruised cardamom pods and almonds in the hot ghee until the almonds turn pale golden brown.
Add the rice and sauté for about two minutes or until the grains turn whitish. Pour in the boiling salted turmeric water and fresh peas( defrosted frozen peas should be added after the rice has been cooking for about 10minutes) Stir, increase the heat to high, and bring the water to a full boil. Immediately reduce the heat to low, cover with a tight fitting lid, and gently simmer, without stirring, for 15-29 minutes or until all the water is absorbed and the rice is tender and flaky.
GUJARATI YOGURT SOUP (KARBI)
>Karbis (or Kadhis) are smooth yogurt-based dishes that are served with rice. They are sometimes thick and sauce like as in the case of northern Indian Karbi. This Karbi recipe from Gujarat is traditionally soup-like with a hint of sweetness. Preparation times 5 minutes Cooking Time 20 minutes Serve 5 or 6 persons
3 tablespoons sifted chickpea flour (besan) 2 cup water
½ cup yogurt
1 ½ teaspoon turmeric
1 teablespoon ghee or oil
1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
2 hot green chilies, minced
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
8-10 fresh curry leaves
1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
¼ teaspoon yellow asafetida powder
1 tablespoon chopped fresh coriander
Place the sifted chickpea flour and ¼ cup of the water into a small bowl and whisk to a smooth paste. Add the rest of the water and whisk again. Carefully whisk in the yogurt, turmeric, sugar and salt. Pour this mixture into a heavy based 4 liter saucepan and, stirring constantly, bring it to a boil over moderate heat. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring often.
Heat the ghee or oil over moderately high heat in a small pan. Sauté the mustard seeds in the hot oil. When the seeds crackle, add the chilies, ginger, and curry leaves. Once the curry leaves darken, add the fenugreek. Stir until the fenugreek seeds darken a few shades. Add the asafetida and stair to mix; then add the contents of the pan to the simmering karhi.Stir well, remove from the heat, and cover.
Serve hot, garnished with fresh coriander leaves
PUFFED FRIED-BREAD (Poori)
Popular over all of India, pooris are ideal to cook for both small dinner parties and festivals with hundreds of guests. On a number of occasions, I have cooked 500 or more pooris in a few hours for big feasts. Once you get the rhythm down, its effortless and rewarding, Pooris are traditionally made with straight wholemeal flour, but you can vary the ingredients. One half wholemeal or atta, and one half unbleached plain flour makes lighter pooris. If you are an expert at rolling, try using just plain flour for translucent, gossamer-thin pooris. You can add yeast two your pooris for light, bread like results, you can add spices to your poori dough; you can sprinkle sugar on top of pooris for a sweet snack; or you can stuff them with various sweet and savory fillings. The dough for this poori recipe differs from chapati dough in that butter or ghee is rubbed into the flour and less water is added, to form a drier dough. No flour is used on the rolling surface.
Preparation Time 15 minutes Dough Resting Time ½ – 3 hours Cooking Time 15 minutes Yield 26 medium sized poori
2 cups sifted chapati flour or half wholemeal and half unbleached plain flour
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons melted butter or ghee
2/3 cup warm water, or as needed ghee or oil for deep drying.
Combine the flour and salt in a mixing bowl. Rub in the butter or ghee until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. Add up to 2/3 cup of water, slowly pouring in just enough to form a medium soft kneadable dough. Turn the dough onto a clean working surface and knead for 5-8 minutes or until silky smooth. Cover with an overturned bowl and leave for ½ to 3 hours. Knead the dough again for 1 minute. Divide the dough into 16 portions, roll them into smooth balls, and cover them with a damp cloth. Preheat the ghee or oil in a work or deep pan over low heat. Meanwhile, with a rolling pin roll all your balls of dough into smooth disks about 11.5-12.5 cm wide. Increase the ghee or oil temperature until it reached about 185 C/365 F lift up a rolled poori and slip it into the hot oil, making sure it doesn’t fold over. It will sink to the bottom then immediately rise to the surface. Hold it under the surface with a slot seconds, then it is browned to a light golden color turn it over and cook the other side to an even golden color. Lift out the poori with the slotted spoon and carefully drain it in a large colander. Repeat for all the pooris. Serve immediately, if possible, or leave in a preheated, warm oven for up to two hours.
EGGPLANT, POTATO AND CURD CHEESE
Our spiritual master, Srila Prabhupada, taught Dipak my old friend and culinary guide, how to prepare this vegetable dish in 1972 giving it the unusual sub title of Meat eaters Delight.
Because the panir (Cheese) is cut into large, uneven chunks and deep friend in ghee until dark, then slowly stewed in spiced whey, it develops a very meaty texture and appearance.
Note: Save the whey when you make the panir. Preparation and Cooking Time: 1 hour. Serves 4 to 5 persons
Ghee for deep-frying
2 large baking potatoes, peeled and cut into 2.5 cm cubes
2 large eggplants, cut into 2.5 cm cubes
Home-made panir plus the whey made from 8 cups (2 liters) milk, pressed for ½ hour, and cut into 2.5 cm cubes
1 tablespoon ghee
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
1 teaspoon crushed dried red chilies
½ teaspoon yellow asafetida powder
½ teaspoon turmeric
2 cups whey
½ teaspoon ground coriander
1 ½ teaspoon salt.
Add enough ghee to half fill a work or deep frying pan. Place over moderate heat and allow it to reach 190 C/375F. If you use a large work or pan, Otherwise, add half the potatoes and deep fry them until golden brown (8 to 10 minutes). Remove and drain. When the potatoes are all fried, allow the ghee to return to the required temperature. Add half the eggplant pieces and deep fry them until they are golden brown.
Remove and drain them. Allow the ghee to return to the frying temperature then fry the remaining eggplants and drain 3. Deep fry the panir cubes until they are dark golden brown. Remove and drain. Turn off the heat under the ghee. Heat 1 tablespoon ghee over moderate heat in a heavy 3 liter saucepan. Sauté the cumin seeds until golden brown. Add the chilies, asafetida, and turmeric.
Stir momentarily; then carefully add the whey.
Salt and ground coriander. Raise the heat until the whey boils. Add the potatoes, eggplant cubes, and pieces of fried panir. Combine the vegetables with the whey taking care not to crush the eggplant. Boil, reduce the heat to low, and simmer the vegetables for about 20 minutes. Cook until the potatoes become glazed and light golden. The eggplant should be soft but not mushy, and the panir cubes should be juicy.
NORTH INDIAN CABBAGE AND PEANUT SALAD (Kobi Pachadi)
A pachadi is a raw vegetable salad with finely cut pieces of vegetables, lemon juice and oil dressing, nuts, and freshly grated coconut. This attractive salad, a sort of Indian coleslaw, originates from Maharashtra. This salad can be made in advance, for the taste improves as it marinates. The preparation time for this North Indian Cabbage and Peanut Salad is 10 minutes. The quantities given in this recipe is enough for 6 to 8 persons.
1/1 a medium cabbage (inner leaves only) finely shredded (about 6 cups) 4 medium tomatoes, finely chopped ½ cup ground, roasted peanuts
2/3 cup grated fresh coconut
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon brown sugar
6 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons light corn oil
½ teaspoon brown mustard seeds
½ teaspoon cumin seeds
¼ teaspoon turmeric
½ teaspoon yellow asafetida powder
1 tablespoon hot green chili, seeded and minced
4 tablespoons coarsely chopped, fresh coriander leaves
Place the cabbage, tomato, peanut powder, coconut, salt, sugar, and lemon juice in a large bowl. Mix well and set aside.
Fry the mustard seeds in oil in a small pan over moderate heat until they crackle. Add the cumin seeds, turmeric, asafetida, and green chili. Fry until the cumin seeds turn a darker shade. Remove from the heat. Add these above prepared spices to the cabbage. Toss the salad thoroughly and make sure that the spices have been properly mixed in.
Garnish with the coriander leaves. Chill and serve cold.
CREAMY, SAFFRON CONDENSED YOGURT DESSERT (Shrikhand)
This popular Gujarati sweet is simple to prepare. Yogurt is hung in a cloth to remove excess liquid. The solid residue, called yogurt cheese, or dehin is sweetened flavored with saffron, pistachio nuts cardamom, and rosewater, beaten until silky smooth, and served ice cold in little cups. As an alternative replace the saffron, nuts, cardamom, and rosewater with ¼ cup fresh ripened vine, chopped raspberries, strawberries, or blackberries. Shrikhand is ideal for preparing in large quantities. Remember the simple sugar to yogurt ratio. Good quality yogurt should yield 50 percent liquid (whey) when hung.
Add sugar to the yogurt cheese in the ratio of one to four in other words the sugar content of shrikhand is one eight of the original quantity of yogurt. Reserve the liquid residue that drips out of the yogurt. It is a first class curdling agent to make panir. Shrikhand is delicious served with slices of fresh mango and puffed plain flour poories sprinkled with sugar. Preparation time 15 minutes Yogurt Draining Time 12-16 hours Serves 8 to 12 persons
4 cups (1 liter) while milk yogurt
¼ teaspoon ground saffron threads
¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
1-tablespoon rosewater (or a few drops of rose essence)
2 tablespoons blanched raw silvered pistachio nuts
½ cup icing sugar.
Place a triple thickness of cheesecloth in a colander. Spoon in the yogurt, gather up the corners of the cloth, tie it up properly, and hang it either in a refrigerator or a cool place for 12 to 16 hours. Catch the drips in a bowl.
The residue yogurt cheese should have reduced to half the original quantity. Transfer it to a bowl and add the ground saffron, ground cardamom seeds, rose water, pistachio nuts, and sugar. Beat until light and fluffy.
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