Sweet and Spicy Cochin Jewish style Tsimmes

Sweet and Spicy Cochin Jewish style Tsimmes Vegetable Stew

Sweet and Spicy Cochin Jewish style Tsimmes Vegetable Stew

Ingredients

This is a recipe from our family friend Aunty Eva which I tweaked a bit over the years.

Tsimmes is a chunky Ashkenazi vegetable stew ideal for Passover with brisket or before the Yom Kippur fast when you want something filling. Kerala where the community of Cochin Jews have resided for centuries has many traditional vegetable stews like the famous Avial. This stew has a delicate hint of spice and uses tamarind instead of orange juice.

Sweet and Spicy Tsimmes- Cochin Jewish style

Serves 12

1/4 cup vegetable oil (no corn oil if kosher for passover)

16 pearl or sambhar onions peeled (use quartered white onions if you prefer)

1/2 kg carrots, lightly scraped and cut into 2-inch chunks

1 kg ratale or sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1½ -inch chunks

1 kg pumpkin, peeled and cut into 1½ -inch chunks

200 grams raw banana or plantain peeled and cut into 1 inch chunks (optional) or unpeeled Russet potatoes

1 cup good quality vegetable stock

1.5 teaspoons peeled and grated fresh ginger root

2 teaspoons tamarind extract whisked into 1 cup water

2 tablespoons ghee or unsalted butter, diced or use margarine for a lactose free dish

3-4 dried red chillies whole (Kashmiri or Bedgi)

1 dried star anise (seeds removed)

1⁄2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 tsp turmeric

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 tbsp jaggery or brown sugar crumbled if required

Instructions

In a large (10- to 11-inch) ovenproof pot heat the vegetable oil, add the star anise, sambhar or pearl onions and red chillies, and sauté over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onions are a light golden colour.

Add the carrots and saute 5-6 minutes. Add the carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, stock, ginger, tamarind juice, ghee or butter, turmeric, nutmeg, 1 tablespoon salt, and combine.

Bring the liquid to a simmer on top of the stove until. vegetables are just tender but not over cooked or mushy.

Stir carefully, taste and adjust for seasonings, and serve warm.

http://www.taradeshpande.in/sweet-and-spicy-cochin-jewish-style-tsimmes/

COASTAL GREEN MASALA ROASTED CHICKEN

COASTAL GREEN MASALA ROASTED CHICKEN WITH POTATOES

COASTAL GREEN MASALA ROASTED CHICKEN WITH POTATOES

Ingredients

HIRVI KOMBDI

Green Masala Roast Chicken

4-6 servings

Serve this entrée with flatbreads, such as chapattis or bhakri, and lentils for a complete meal. Optionally, it works well with deep-fried or roasted potatoes and boiled vegetables like carrots and cauliflower.

It will take 1½ hours to bake.

Ingredients

1 roasting chicken, kept whole (about 2 kg)

8 large cooking potatoes or 16 baby potatoes

¼ cup vegetable oil

1/2 tsp salt

Spiced yogurt

2 cups unsweetened, plain yogurt (fresh, not sour)

2 tsp salt

Spice paste

1/2 cup vegetable oil

2 tbsp ghee or use unsalted butter

1 tsp salt or to taste

1/4 tsp turmeric powder

3 approx 1.25 inch long Indian green chillies

1.5 tsp whole cumin seeds

1½ cups coarsely chopped white onions

3” fresh ginger root, peeled

9 medium cloves garlic

1 cup fresh coriander leaves, roots and large stalks removed

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 180⁰C.

Scrub the potatoes, peel, cut in half or leave whole if using baby potatoes and toss in oil and salt. Reserve. Baby potatoes can be left unpeeled if you prefer.

Wash the chicken with room temperature water inside and out. Pat as dry as possible with paper towels. A wet chicken doesn't cook as well.

Make small cuts all over the chicken and set aside.

Grind the spice paste ingredients to a fine consistency.

Add the yogurt and salt with 2 cups of water and blitz to a smooth consistency.

Rub the 1/2 the spiced yogurt all over the chicken. Spread a little into the cavities and under the skin. At this point you can cover and return this chicken to the fridge if you want to bake it later for upto 6 hours.

Place the chicken in a greased baking dish just large enough for the chicken and potatoes. Truss the legs with some kitchen string. Push the wings under the chicken.

Arrange the oiled potatoes around the chicken. Seal with aluminium foil, prick the foil with a fork in a few places to allow air to release and put the dish in the preheated oven.

After 50 minutes gently remove the foil.

Baste the chicken all over with the remaining spice paste, rotate the potatoes with a spoon to ensure even baking.

Return the dish to the oven for 30-40 minutes, till the chicken is golden brown and potatoes cooked through.

Transfer the chicken to a large serving platter.

Scrape all the cooked spices from the bottom of the pan over the chicken and arrange the roasted potatoes around it.

Serve warm.

http://www.taradeshpande.in/coastal-green-masala-roasted-chicken/

PIYUSH, CHILLED STRAINED YOGURT AND BUTTERMILK BEVERAGE

PIYUSH, STRAINED YOGURT AND BUTTERMILK BEVERAGE

PIYUSH, STRAINED YOGURT AND BUTTERMILK BEVERAGE

Ingredients

A delicious combination of whisked Shrikhand or sweetened strained yogurt and buttermilk this tangy beverage is a traditional favorite in the hot summers in India. It can be seasoned with nutmeg, cardamom or saffron or top it with fresh fruit like mango or strawberries. You can also flavor this with vanilla if you like. It's not traditional but works well with blueberries.

This is a rich drink and can also be served as dessert or instead of tea. If you use unsweetened Greek yogurt you will need to add more sugar to taste. If you used a flavored yogurt you may want to omit the spices.

Makes 6 1 cup portions

2 cups Shrikhand, plain or flavored or strained Greek yogurt

4.5 cups fresh plain buttermilk

cold water for thinning

3/4-1 teaspoon powdered nutmeg or cardamom

6-7 strands of saffron crushed

2 almonds or cashews flaked or 1.5 cups of chopped fruit like fresh mango or strawberries

Instructions

Whisk the shrikhand or greek yogurt until soft and fluffy. Add 1/4 cup water to thin it. Then in a slow stream add the buttermilk and keep blending it to form a smooth batter. This is best done by hand and not in a blender. You want a slightly uneven liquid with blobs of yogurt swirling about.

Add the spices of your choice, add sugar to taste. This is meant to be a tangy beverage.

Chill 3-4 hours.

Whisk again, add water if required to thin. You are looking for the consistency of pancake batter so do not add too much water.

Divide between 6 low ball glasses. Top with cut nuts or fruit. Serve with a spoon.

http://www.taradeshpande.in/piyush-chilled-strained-yogurt-and-buttermilk-beverage/

KOKUM MANGOSTEEN SHERBET

KOKUM OR MANGOSTEEN SHERBET

KOKUM OR MANGOSTEEN SHERBET

Ingredients

Kokum or mangosteen is considered the queen of fruits by botanists.

Native to india it is used copiously in its dried form as a souring agent in cooking. Boiled it makes for a beautiful red syrup. The active ingredient garcinol reduces inflammation and ulcers hence its an excellent cooling drink in the summer.

In the market dried mangosteen or kokum is found in the soft and hard form. Its a dark, gnarled, purplish pod. This recipe calls for the soft variety.

FOR 1 LITER CONCENTRATE

2 cups soft dried kokum or mangosteen

2 cups castor sugar

1 teaspoon freshly roasted and powdered cumin (optional)

1 teaspoon black rock salt- sanchal or kala namak (optional)

Instructions

Pour two cups of tap water over the kokum. Don't soak it, instead immediately drain it to remove impurities.

Place the rinsed fruit and 3 liters of water in a large stock and cook on a high flame until it begins to boil.

Add sugar ad continue to cook until the syrup reduces to 1-1.25 liters.

Drain in a sieve and using the back of a spoon press against the fruit to squeeze out all the juices. Discard this fruit.

Chill the concentrate and use for up to 6 weeks.

TO ASSEMBLE

Pour about 1/4 cup concentrate into a high ball glass. Add ice if desired. Top with chilled water or club soda and stir in black salt and cumin if you like.

http://www.taradeshpande.in/kokum-mangosteen-sherbet/

AMALAKI AMLA SHERBET

INDIAN GOOSEBERRY AMALAKI SHERBET

INDIAN GOOSEBERRY AMALAKI SHERBET

Ingredients

Amalaka is Sanskrit for Avla also called Indian Gooseberry and has great significance in Hinduism and is highly valued in Ayurveda as the balancer of all doshas- a rare quality in any one ingredient. Amla is believed to have originated from Amrit when drops of it fell to the earth. Regular consumption is said to improve general health. It is used in Ayurveda as a fever and heat reducer (great in the summer), aid digestive and hair growth.

The fruit is so treasured temples have the shape carved as a motif in stone relief. Lingaraja temple has a roof top in the shape of Amla.

My grandmother grew this in her garden in Belgaum. We pickled it also but the sherbet with a hint of cinnamon poured over ice is so refreshing. There are many different ways to prepare it. If you use castor sugar you get a clearer yellow liquid like the one in the photo but if you want to avoid refined sugar, sugarcane juice is a good option but you will not get this yellow hue. A stick of cinnamon, mint leaves, edible flowers, powdered cumin, black peppercorn can all be used flavor enhancers and garnishes. It is also a good base for cocktails made with white rum, vodka and gin.

1 KG AMLA OR INDIAN GOOSEBERRIES, WASHED

2 LITERS OF NATURAL SUGARCANE JUICE OR USE 750 GRAMS CASTOR SUGAR

JUICE OF TWO LEMONS

75 GRAMS PEELED AND COARSELY CHOPPED GINGER ROOT

Instructions

STEAM THE GOOSEBERRIES UNTIL TENDER. THIS MAKES THEM EASIER TO PROCESS. RESERVE THE WATER FROM THE STEAMING.

SLICE THE GOOSEBERRIES OPEN AND DISCARD THE SEEDS.

RETURN THE GOOSEBERRIES, SUGARCANE JUICE OR SUGAR, LEFTOVER LIQUID FROM STEAMING, GINGER AND LEMON JUICE TO A LARGE COOKING POT. USE A STAINLESS STEEL CLAD OR ENAMELED POT.USE A POTATO RICER OR MASHING TOOL TO PRESS DOWN ON THE GOOSEBERRIES TO RELEASE THEIR JUICES.

COOK THIS ON A MEDIUM FLAME UNTIL REDUCED TO HALF ITS VOLUME.

COOL, STRAIN, PRESSING DOWN ON THE FRUIT WITH THE BACK OF A SPOON. DISCARD THE FRUIT AND GINGER.

RETURN THE JUICE TO THE POT AND COOK UNTIL YOU HAVE ABOUT 4 CUPS OF THICK SYRUPY LIQUID.

CHILL THE CONCENTRATE AND USE OVER 6 WEEKS WHEN DESIRED.

ADD SOME CONCENTRATE TO A GLASS AND FILL WITH COLD WATER, CLUB SODA AND ICE.

GANISH WITH A SPRIG OF MINT OR STIR IN A STICK OF CINNAMON.

http://www.taradeshpande.in/amalaki-amla-sherbet/

STONE FRUIT SANGRIA

STONE FRUIT WHITE SANGRIA

STONE FRUIT WHITE SANGRIA

Ingredients

MIXED STONE FRUIT SANGRIA

STONE FRUIT REFERS TO FRUIT LIKE CHERRIES, PEACHES, APRICOTS AND PLUMS. THEY ARE IN SEASON BRIEFLY IN THE SUMMER IN INDIA.

SERVES 4-5

IF YOU WANT SANGRIA THAT CAN SIT AROUND A WHILE, REPLACE THE SPARKLING WINE WITH A FLAT WHITE WINE.

INGREDIENTS

1 LITER FIZZY WHITE WINE LIKE VINO VERDI, PROSECCO OR SPARKLING WHITE

1/4 CUP ORANGE LIQUEUR LIKE COINTREAU OR GRAND MARNIER

½ CUP INEXPENSIVE WHITE PORT OR A SWEET WHITE WINE (OR USE 2 EXTRA TABLESPOONS OF GRANULATED SUGAR POWDERED IN A GRINDER)

½ CUP BRANDY

2 TABLESPOONS WHITE GRANULATED SUGAR POWDERED OR TO TASTE

2 CUPS ROUGHLY PITTED AND SLICED STONE FRUIT, LIKE CHERRIES, PLUMS AND PEACHES (YOU CAN KEEP THE CHERRY PITS IF YOU PREFER)

2 2-INCH STICKS OF CINNAMON

3 SPRIGS MINT

Instructions

INSTRUCTIONS

SOAK ALL THE FRUIT, STICKS OF CINNAMON, POWDERED SUGAR IN THE ORANGE LIQUEUR, WHITE PORT AND BRANDY OVERNIGHT. BEFORE SERVING REMOVE CINNAMON STICKS.

ADD THE FIZZY WHITE WINE AND STIR WELL. TASTE AND ADJUST SWEETNESS.

POUR INTO HIGHBALL GLASSES HALF FILLED WITH ICE. SPOON OUT SOME OF THE FRUIT INTO EACH OF THE GLASSES. DECORATE WITH A SPRIG OF MINT AND SERVE IMMEDIATELY.

http://www.taradeshpande.in/stone-fruit-sangria/