HAEMUL PANJEON- KOREAN SEAFOOD AND SCALLION PANCAKE

HAEMUL PANJEON- KOREAN SEAFOOD AND SCALLION PANCAKE

HAEMUL PANJEON- KOREAN SEAFOOD AND SCALLION PANCAKE

Ingredients

Korea has a huge pancake culture. Street vendors everywhere are frying up all kinds of pancakes- scallion, potato, seafood and meat.

There are two kinds of Panjeon pancakes; the sticky more glutinous kind which appeared to be v popular in Seoul and the crispy variety which I prefer. My recipe is for the latter version.Haemul refers to seafood and you can prepare this recipe without any fish.

In the spring a fragrant root called Turup is sliced and added to this pancake giving it a unique flavour. You can omit the fish stock and use vegetable stock. You can replace the clams with mussels, oysters and if you are vegetarian use small oyster mushrooms and bean sprouts. Miso paste comes in a white and yellow/brown option. The latter is stronger as it is fermented longer. You can use either for this recipe.

Stock (1 cup)

2 lightly smashed garlic cloves

half a small onion peeled

2 3 inch anchovy fillets or tinned bamboo shoots for vegetarians

1/2 tsp Thai fish sauce or soy sauce

1 tsp yellow miso paste

12 small clams in their shells, scrubbed clean

3 cups water

Dry ingredients for 2 6-7 inch pancakes

11/4 cups maida or all purpose flour

1 tbsp rice flour

1/2 tbsp corn flour

1/2 tsp soy sauce

salt to taste

cold water as required

Filling

2 eggs whisked

6 baby/tender/spring Garlic chives about 5 inches long with garlic cloves at the end

6 Onion chives about 5-6 inches long

3 bulbs of scallions slice into rings, finely

1/2 cup oyster mushrooms wiped cleaned and coarsely shredded you can use enoki and white mushrooms as well and 2 tbsp sprouted mung beans

For frying

Combine 2 tbsp sesame oil and 2 tbsp vegetable oil

Korean dipping sauce (make the previous night)

1 cup Soy sauce

1/4 cup Sesame oil

1 teaspoon white Sesame seeds, roasted

2 cloves Garlic thinly sliced

1 inch ginger peeled and julienned

1 red bell pepper quartered

1 yellow bell pepper quartered

2 Thai red chillies Finley chopped (or to taste)

2 tsp yellow Miso paste (optional)

1-1.5 tbsp Rice wine Vinegar

1-1/5 tsp Honey

Combine all the ingredients. Taste for sweet, spicy and salty and adjust to your taste by adding more salt, honey or vinegar. Cover and let sit in refrigerator for 6 hours or overnight for flavors to develop.

Serve the sauce cold with hot pancakes.

Instructions

METHOD:

FOR STOCK

Heat 3 cups water with the garlic, onions and anchovy over high heat. When it reaches a boiling point add the clams and switch off flame.

Remove the clams in less than 1 minute.

Cool them.Discard any that are not open.

Restart the flame on medium under the stock.

Open and remove clams. Return some of the shells to the stock and cook until reduce to one cup. Drain and cool stock completely.

Wash the clams and remove any dirt and membranes. Squeeze dry and reserve.

FOR BATTER

Combine cooled stock and all the dry ingredients for the pancake to form a batter. The batter should be thick but easily spreadable so add more cold water a 1/4 cup at a time as required. You want a consistency like a pancake batter rather than a crepe batter. Let sit 10 minutes.

Wash tender garlic shoots and remove roots. Snip off any parts that are yellowed.

Use an 7-8 inch non stick skillet. Add 1 tbsp vegetable oil and sesame oil mix and heat on a low flame.

When oil is warm but not smoking pour 1 cup of batter into skillet and quickly swirl to spread.keep the heat on low so the pancake can cook slowly otherwise the otherside burns and the inside remains undercooked.

As the bottom cooks lay all the green vegetables and mushrooms over the pancake and gently press into the wet batter. Lay the chives lengthwise, scatter the scallions, mushrooms or sprouted beans about and finally the clams if you are using them.

When the bottom is crispy and tcompletely cooked drizzle half the whisked egg over the uncooked side of the pancake facing you. Then drizzle a teaspoon of sesame and vegetable oil over the egg.

Then slowly turn the pancake over using a wide spatula. Allow the wet side of the pancake to cook fully until golden brown. I often use another skillet and just turn the pancake over into the greased pan -this reduces spillage.

Drain pancake over paper towels, pat dry and sliced into 6 pieces. Serve with the accompanying dipping sauce

http://www.taradeshpande.in/haemul-panjeon-korean-seafood-and-scallion-pancake/

 

PASTA PAKORA WITH CHEESE AND RED SAUCE

PASTA PAKORA WITH CHEESE AND RED SAUCE

PASTA PAKORA WITH CHEESE AND RED SAUCE

Ingredients

I prefer the larger penne because you can get more cheese inside it. Rigatoni is my favourite for this recipe if you can get it. Manicotti and Canneloni are much larger but those can be made to work as well.

But for kids or as a passed appetiser with cocktails you may want to use smaller penne.

You can also add a fresh basil pesto to the cheese when you stuff it. There are many combinations you can think up. This is a casual fun snack that kids have fun with.

Serves 6-8 as an appetiser

1.5 cups medium or large Rigatoni, Penne

For stuffing stir together

1 cup finely chopped mozzarella drained of all water if using fresh buffalo mozzarella (more if using larger penne), grated or shredded

2-3 tbspns heavy cream

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh Italian basil

Batter 1

Combine

1/2 cup maida or all purpose flour

1 teaspoon garlic powder (optional)

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

3/4 cup hot water from the boiled pasta

salt to taste

Batter 2

1 egg whisked

1 cup good quality breadcrumbs

1 teaspoon garlic powder (optional)

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Salt about 1/4 teaspoon

For dipping sauce combine

1-1/5 cups spicy bottled arrabbiata sauce

1/4 cup finely chopped Italian basil leaves

Oil for frying

Instructions

Set a pot of water with a little slat to boil on a high flame. When it begins to bubble add your penne and cook 6 minutes or until cooked al dente. Do not over cook it. You cannot stuff pasta that is too soft. You need it slightly firm. It will cook more when fried.

Cook the pasta by draining until running water. Let it drain and dry.

Combine ingredients for batter one. Stuff pasta with the grated cheese as generously. Lightly dip in batter and fry in 2 inches of hot oil until golden.

For batter 2 dip the stuffed pasta light in egg then roll in breadcrumbs and fry in 2 inches of hot oil until golden.

Drain and serve warm with spicy pasta sauce.

http://www.taradeshpande.in/pasta-pakora-with-cheese-and-red-sauce/

CRISPY, BUTTERY SMASHED POTATOES WITH GARLIC AND CHIVE CREAM DIP

THESE ARE SO GOOD!! YOU CAN USE MEDIUM SIZE POTATOES AS WELL IF YOU PREFER A LARGER SCOOP. THESE POTATOES SHRINK WHEN BAKED.SERVE THEM AS CANAPES WITH CREAM CHEESE PIPED ON TOP, SERVE THEM AS A CHIP AND DIP OR AS A SIDE WITH A GOOD ROAST. IF YOU USE ONLY OIL AND A CREAM CHEESE SUBSTITUTE THIS DISH IS VEGAN.

 

 

SERVES 4-5

INGREDIENTS

400 GRAMS BABY POTATOES (MIXED COLORS IF YOU CAN FIND THEM)

SALT AND WHITE PEPPER TO SEASON

1/4 CUP VEGETABLE OIL

2 TBSP BUTTER MELTED OR JUST USE OIL

METHOD FOR POTATOES

WASH THE POTATOES AND STEAM THEM USING A PRESSURE COOKER OR STEAMER UNTIL THEY ARE JUST TENDER ENOUGH TO BE PIERCED BY A FORK.

DRAIN THE POTATOES COMPLETELY AND LINE THEM ON A BAKING TRAY.

PREHEAT OVEN TO 375F AND PREPARE MIDDLE RUNG.

USING A POTATO MASHER SMASH EACH POTATO UNTIL JUST BROKEN.  THIS SHOULD TAKE NO MORE THAN ONE BASH. THE AIM IS TO FLATTEN THEM A BIT AND OPEN THEM UP. DONT MASH THEM.

BUTTER THE POTATOES ON BOTH SIDES GENEROUSLY WITH A BRUSH  THEN OIL THEM WITH THE SAME BRUSH. YOU WONT REQUIRE ALL THE OIL SO SAVE IT FOR ANOTHER RECIPE.

SEASON WITH WHITE PEPPER AND THEN  LIGHTLY WITH SALT (REMEMBER YOUR DIP HAS SALT SO YOU NEED TO BALANCE THE SALTINESS)

BAKE IN THE OVEN FOR 35 MINUTES UNTIL GOLDEN AND CRUSTY.

SERVE IMMEDIATELY  WITH DIP.

 

 

 

 

 

 

FOR THE DIP

YOU CNA REPLACE THE CREAM CHEESE WITH A VEGAN TOFUTTI OR ALMOND CREAM CHEESE FOR A VEGAN DIP.

180-200 GRAMS CREAM CHEESE AT ROOM TEMPERATURE

4 BULBS  GREEN ONIONS OR SCALLIONS FINELY CHOPPED

8-10 CHIVES FINELY CHOPPED

1.5 TBSPS FINELY MINCED GARLIC

1 TEASPOON LEMON OR LIME JUICE

ZEST OF ONE LEMON OR LIME

SALT TO TASTE

METHOD:

WHISK THE CREAM CHEESE UNTIL FLUFFY. ADD REMAINING INGREDIENTS AND BEAT UNTIL WELL INCORPORATED. ADD SALT AS REQUIRED AND STIR WELL.

Karwar style Clam Fritters or Tisri Wade

Karwar style Clam Croquettes

Karwar style Clam Croquettes

Ingredients

TISRI WADĖ

Small, Black Hard-Shelled Clam Fritters

Makes 17-20 fritters

These are so unusual you have to try this recipe at least once. Ideal bar food. It’s New Orleans meets India. I serve these wadé as finger food without a sauce, just a squeeze of lime to highlight the flavour of the clams. Around 2½-3 kg of small clams will give you about 1 packed cup of clam meat.

Use a non stick frying pan as these fritters are delicate and should not stick to the bottom of the pan.

Ingredients

1 cup freshly shelled and washed, raw clams or tisri

1 tsp rice flour

1½ tbsp very finely chopped red or white onions

½ tsp salt or to taste

¼ cup fine semolina or rava/sooji

Vegetable oil for frying

Spice paste

½ cup finely grated fresh; or frozen, defrosted, unsweetened coconut

2 tsp Karwari sambhar powder or methkoot or use a commercial sambhar powder

½ tsp cayenne pepper powder or red chilli powder

1/8 tsp turmeric powder

½ tsp tamarind paste

Instructions

Squeeze out all the liquid from the clams. Squeeze them several times. The liquid can be added to a fish curry or a seafood stock. Cover and reserve drained clams in a sieve.

Grind the spice paste ingredients to a coarse consistency without any water or oil in a food processor.

Stir in the clams with the rice flour and pulse just once to incorporate the clams and spices. Do not grind to a paste. The clams must not be whole but they must not be blitzed to a mush either.

Remove and transfer to a bowl.

Mix in the onions and salt to form a loose dough.

Put the semolina on a plate.

Make small balls, about ¾” wide of the clam mix between your palms and pat each ball in the semolina. Flatten slightly between your palms, till the dough keeps its shape and holds together. Arrange on a plate.

Pour 1” of oil into a non-stick frying pan and place it over medium heat. When the oil is hot, but not smoking, fry the clam fritters till golden and crisp on all sides.

Drain on paper towels and serve warm with a crisp, dry, white wine, beer or limbo pani.

http://www.taradeshpande.in/karwar-style-clam-fritters-or-tisri-wade/

Gobi ke Pakore- Cauliflower Fritters

Cauliflower Pakoras- Cauliflower Fritter

Cauliflower Pakoras- Cauliflower Fritter

Ingredients

FOR THE FRITTERS

1/2 kg cauliflower head cuts into small florets with stem about 1.25 to 1.5 inches in length and 1 inch wide

Juice half a lime

1 teaspoon ginger garlic paste

1/4 teaspoon turmeric

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh coriander or cilantro leaves

2 green chillies very finely chopped

FOR THE BATTER

1/2 cup chick pea flour or besan

2 tablespoons rice flour

1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder

1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder

1 teaspoon salt

Instructions

Heat a large saucepan of water on a high flame. When it reaches a boil immerse the cauliflower florets in the boiling water. Let sit 2 minutes, then drain completely.

Wash the cauliflower in cool running water and drain completely.

Combine the lime juice, coriander leaves, green chillies, turmeric, garlic ginger paste and salt. Toss well to coat all the florets. and let sit covered 20 minutes.

In a mixing bowl combine the ingredients for the batter. Using a tablespoon add the flours and spices to the cauliflower 2 tablespoons at a time. Stir well. Allow the flours to absorb the liquid in the florets. Keep adding flour until it clings to the cauliflower. Add water if required a tablespoon at a time.

Do not create a wet runny batter. You want the pakoras to be crispy. The more water you add the more oily and soft the fritter will be. Stop adding the flour once you have a thick sticky, clumpy batter. Taste for seasoning and adjust.

Heat 2.5 inches of oil in a small kadai or wok on high heat. When oil is hot but not smoking reduce flame to medium. Fry one pakora until golden brown. Drain and taste for doneness and salt.

Adjust salt in batter if required.

Repeat with remaining fritters. Serve warm with ketchup or a chutney of your choice.

http://www.taradeshpande.in/gobi-ke-pakore-cauliflower-fritters/

MANGO GARLIC RELISH

Mango and Garlic Relish: A Pickle with a story

Mango and Garlic Relish: A Pickle with a story

Totapuri mango and garlic jam. Photo: Deepa Netto

Ingredients

I have the monsoons to thank for turning me into a cook. As children my sister and I spent summer holidays with Aaji and Ajoba at their small farm in Belgaum. The front of the plain, ranch-style house was framed by a lush rose garden interspersed with almond, pomegranate and lime trees. To the left of the house was a strawberry patch, and in the backyard, a vegetable and fruit orchard. Ajoba was a proud gardener whose produce competed for and won local awards.

When it rained, we couldn’t play outside so he offered us two choices – learn Sanskrit shlokas and refine the mind or learn cooking and refine the marriage resumes.

For me the choice was obvious.

The monsoons are a lean period for good produce so the months leading to it, especially May, were spent harvesting. Ours was a frugal household, and since most of what we ate during the rainy season came off the farm, we devoted salubrious afternoons to picking guavas, sapota (chikoo), mangoes and cashew apples.

You will have newfound respect for cashews when I tell you how strenuous the reaping is. First, the fruit is plucked off the tree with a diabolical looking hook attached to a long, wooden pole. Then the under-hanging cashew nut is ripped off. We sold the cashew apple to local feni producers, but kept the nuts. The cashew has a hard outer shell filled with a corrosive liquid. We’d slap our hands with oil and, sitting cross-legged on the tile floor, crack open every one of those 2,000 kernels to reveal a tender, crescent-shaped nut wrapped in wrinkled, brown skin. This skin had to be scraped off ever so gently so as not to break the cashew.

Throughout the monsoon Aaji turned these nubile nuts into lip-smacking fried masala cashews, farasbi kaju usal, moogache kaju dabdab, a Karwari specialty of curried bean sprouts that required us to peel the green husk off every single moong bean. This was the culinary equivalent of a Navy Seal training camp.

Flame red seedless papayas, (Ajoba called them disco papitas) grew abundantly, as did videshi panas (breadfruit), a meaty fruit Aaji sliced into kaape, dusted with semolina and pan fried.

cashew plant and seedless cashews

A cashew plant in the backyard & unshelled cashews (R). Photos: Tara Deshpande Tennebaum

Among the many bananas Ajoba grew were the small paper-skinned cardamom-scented Safed Velchis of Maharashtra, Karnataka’s highly-prized Chandrabale red bananas, and the unique Nanjangud (it received protected geographical status in 2005). They were whacked off early and hung up to ripen in ponderous bunches from a disused four-poster bed in the verandah. We took afternoon naps with our adopted stray dog, Brandy under this canopy of carbohydrates. Soft sunlight, a doggy to cuddle and the heady fragrance of sweet bananas made for excellent siestas.

These bananas were turned into hot fritters, halwa and banana dalchini jam. And you haven’t lived until you’ve eaten a caramelised banana jam slathered over homemade white butter on a slice of Swamy Bakery’s coconut bread.

The pride of Ajoba’s garden, however were his mangoes. Some Badami, Raspuri, Totapuri but mostly Langda, the north Indian transplant grew inexplicably well in his garden’s black soil.

Belgaum is disputed territory, claimed by both Maharashtra and Karnataka. Ajoba, who was Marathi speaking, grew varieties of fruit from several states to please his palate and his patriotism. This resulted in delicious politics, the source of which was our maali, Ratan kaka. He had spent much of his life around vegetables that he’d acquired their qualities. A face as shriveled as bitter gourd and gait as curved as a marrow, he was a walking and mostly cussing, hybrid.

But he had veggie magic. Like some potion-brewing druid, he could talk to gourds, resurrect tomato vines even bring brinjal back from the dead. Such talent is alas also opinionated.

Kaka turned his nose up at any produce that wasn’t Kannadiga and because he was born in Maharashtra he was willing to make exceptions for Konkan breeds. When we asked him why Ajoba’s favourite mango was called Langda, (the word means lame,) he explained it was the deformed, treacherous, less good-looking brother of Hapus. Aah, the mango family is ruthless I’d thought, but in fact it was kaka. He despised Langda.

Ajoba had forbidden him from growing Alphonso. Kaka, who was originally from Ratnagiri, the home of Hapus couldn’t abide this lesser-known mango when by birthright he should have cultivated the King.

If the guavas were pitted, maali blamed Langda for poisoning the soil. If the strawberries were not sweet, it was Landga’s fault. Ajoba showed staunch loyalty to the Langda. The graft was a gift from a close friend and a happy reminder of his days in Delhi. “They have far more character of flavour,” he insisted.

But, there was a deep and dark secret the prize-winning cultivator didn’t want anyone to know – Hapus simply wouldn’t grow in his garden!

So, Badamis and Raspuris were turned into aamras, served with saucer-like puris that flew out of Aaji’s kadai onto our plates at the speed of light. Mangoes were also turned into pickles – methamba with fenugreek, sakharammba with saffron and my favourite, garlic and mango lonche. While Langda was reserved for ice-creams and chilled soufflés.

I’m convinced that the Marathi words ‘salsaleet’ and ‘zanzaneet’ were created for foods eaten during the monsoon – when it’s cold and wet outside you warm up to a sizzling, spicy dinner inside.

I remember we’d race up the hillock behind the farm to collect ‘Dongrachi Kali Maina’- the black nightingale of the rocks also known as Karvanda, a fruit that thrives in dry weather on prickly bushes. Wet, our clothes stained red by luscious berries we’d return home for a meal of baby eggplants stuffed with gode masala and steamy jowarichi bhakri. I remember my fingers, tender from the thorns tingling at the touch of those spiced eggplants.

In the monsoons you literally fritter away your time. Love of deep-fried snacks is a genetic Indian syndrome and resisting them is like trying to medicate for a common cold. Give in gracefully.

Onion bhajjis, crisp on the outside soft on the inside, and fragrant milk tea with pudina and ole chaha (lemongrass stalks) are irresistible on rainy days.

Aaji battered up a plethora of bhajjis and pakoras, rice flour chaklis, twisty kodbale, crunchy muduku, sweet corn vadis dotted with green chilies and mounds of masala sev.

She also made delicious guava jam and poached guavas, but it was her guava Sasav with prawns that stood out. Sasav, a thick, sweet and spicy curry that’s utterly delicious over boiled rice is a Saraswat specialty traditionally made with Kala Ishaad mango.

There was also a specialty called ‘shevra‘, or dragon stalk yam, which was chopped and stir fried with a rai-hinga phodni (mustard and asafoetida tempering), colocassia leaves were turned into alu wadi and baby methi was tossed with baby potatoes.

Interestingly, the monsoon brings several bitter vegetables to the table. Karela or bitter gourd, ambadi, chakwat, chuka, red and green Amaranthus leaves called Maath and Kardai (safflower) were all sautéed, turned into usals, rassas, palya bhajis, koshimbris or stirred into lentils and Shevya (vermicelli noodles).

The monsoon months of my childhood were intense lessons in cooking, eating and being blissfully happy.

My marriage resume thus fortified, I married a nice American boy from Minnesota. Ajoba would be relieved to know he loves Langda. Thathastu.

Mango and Garlic Jam (makes about 1½ cups of jam)

This is more a relish than a pickle and is excellent with pulao, bhaat, curd rice, plain flatbreads or a vegetable dish. It’s also excellent with cheese and crackers, roast chicken and grilled fish. You can use a variety of mangoes for this recipe.

Use mangoes that are still green and firm but avoid the totally raw, hard kairis.

Ingredients

4 unripe but not raw Langda or Badami mangoes

3/4 cup white granulated sugar

4-5 large cloves garlic, lightly smashed

3 inch cinnamon stick

1 tsp red chilli flakes (not chilli powder)

A pinch of salt

Instructions

1. Wash the mangoes. Grate them with the skin on. Discard the seeds.

2. Steam the grated fruit and chilli flakes for 5 minutes in a pressure cooker, rice cooker or steamer, without water.

3. Boil the sugar with 1 cup of water in a pan till thick and syrupy. Swirl pan if required but do not stir. Do not let the sugar brown.

4. Stir in the garlic and cinnamon. Continue cooking.

5. When the syrup is very thick, add the grated and steamed mangoes. Cook on high heat, till thick, swirling periodically to prevent burning.

6. Remove from heat and add salt and a little water if you prefer a thinner consistency.

7. Bring to a boil on high heat, reduce heat and simmer again for 8-10 minutes until thick and bubbly.

8. Remove the cinnamon stick. Bottle in a clean, airtight, sterilised jar while the relish is still hot.

9. Keep it refrigerated.

http://www.taradeshpande.in/mango-garlic-relish/

SIMPLE BALLED MUSKMELON SALAD

SIMPLE BALLED CANTALOUPE SALAD

SIMPLE BALLED CANTALOUPE SALAD

Ingredients

MUSKMELON IS A FAMILY OF MELONS THAT INCLUDE MANY VARIETIES LIKE CANTALOUPE, KOREAN,HONEYDEW,CANARY AND SUGAR MELON. THEY ALL BELONG TO THE GENUS CUCUMIS UNLIKE WATERMELON AND ASH GOURD OR WINTER MELON THAT COME FROM A DIFFERENT STRAIN. CHINA IS THE LARGEST PRODUCER OF MELONS. IN INDIA THEY ARE IN SEASON APRIL TO JULY. CANTALOUPE IS A GOOD SOURCE OF VITAMIN A AND C AND IS 90% WATER.

I LIKE TO SERVE MUSKMELON CHILLED AS AN APPETIZER BUT ITS ALSO GOOD AS A SALAD, PALATE CLEANSER AND DESSERT ON A HOT SUMMER DAY.

IN AN INDIAN SENSE OF SALAD YOU WILL FIND A RECIPE FOR MELON DILLON KA WITH SAFFRON OIL.

SERVES 4 SMALL PORTIONS

ONE CANTALOUPE, RIPE, HALVED, SEEDS REMOVED

BALLING TOOL

FOR THE SEASONING

PINCH OF FINELY GROUND BLACK SALAT OR KALA NAMAK

PINCH OF FINELY POWDERED PAPRIKA

A SQUEEZE OF LIME JUICE

Instructions

USING THE BALLING TOOL SCOOP OUT ROUND BALLS FROM THE MELONS FLESH AND PLACE THEM IN SMALL 4 OZ SERVING CUPS. PILE THEM UP ONE OVER THE OTHER.

KEEP COVERED AND CHILLED IN THE FRIDGE UNTIL YOU ARE READY TO SERVE THEM FOR UPTO 4 HOURS.

SERVE COLD WITH CRUSHED SALT, WEDGES OF LIME AND GROUND PAPRIKA ON THE SIDE FOR PEOPLE TO HELP THEMSELVES. THIS SEASONING SHOULD ONLY GO ON WHEN YOU ARE READY TO SERVE THE MELON BECAUSE SALT LEACHES WATER AND THE MELONS WILL LOOSE THEIR FIRMNESS IF SALTED IN ADVANCE.

http://www.taradeshpande.in/simple-balled-muskmelon-salad/

COCHIN HAROSET

COCHIN HAROSET

COCHIN HAROSET

Ingredients

A delicious sweet and spicy chutney thats made during Passover for the seder meal by Cochini Jews in India. Its also lovely with wine cheese and crackers. I eat it with curds and rice too!

MAKES ABOUT 2 CUPS

1.5 TABLESPOONS WHITE SESAME SEEDS PLUS ½ TABLESPOON

175 GRAMS PITTED BROWN DATES

2 TABLESPOONS SWEET WHITE WINE (OPTIONAL, USE WATER OR GRAPE JUICE)

4 TABLESPOONS GOLDEN RAISINS, PIPS REMOVED SOAKED IN A 1/2 CUP OF WATER

1/2 CUP TOASTED WALNUT PIECES

1 CUP PEELED AND FINELY DICE RED APPLES

1.25 TEASPOONS WHOLE CORIANDER SEEDS

2 DRIED RED KASHMIRI CHILLIES STALKS REMOVED ( OR USE TO TASTE)

SALT TO TASTE

Instructions

PUT THE DATES AND A ½ TEASPOON OF SALT INTO A SAUCEPAN.

ADD ¾ CUP WATER AND COOK TO A BOIL UNTIL MOST OF THE WATER HAS EVAPORATED.

MEANWHILE TOAST ¼ TABLESPOON SESAME SEEDS IN A DRY SKILLET ON MEDIUM HEAT UNTIL TOASTY. RESERVE.

TOAST REMAINING SESAME SEEDS, RED CHILLIES IN THE DRY SKILLET UNTIL TOASTY. COOL AND GRIND TO A SMOOTH POWDER.

CHOP HALF THE COOKED DATES. RESERVE.

GRIND THE REMAINING DATES AND GROUND SESAME AND SPICES TO A SMOOTH PUREE.

STIR IN THE WALNUTS, APPLES, RAISINS AND CHOPPED DATES. ADJUST FOR SALT.

GARNISH WITH REMAINING SESAME SEEDS.

http://www.taradeshpande.in/cochin-haroset/

VEGAN ZUCCHINI LATKES

VEGAN ZUCCHINI LATKES

VEGAN ZUCCHINI LATKES

Ingredients

These latkes are vegan and gluten free. They are also Jain. Latkes a Jewish specialty are made during Hanukkah- the Festival of Lights. Shredded potatoes, flour and eggs are mixed together to make a misshapen crispy pancake that is served with sour cream and apple sauce.

These latkes use chick pea flour and rice flour to produce a really crispy mini pancake that is less oilier than the traditional latke. They make wonderful passed hors d'oeuvres.Garnish them with a variety of toppings such as smoked salmon, caviar, vegan apple chutney, strained yogurt, sour cream even salsa.

It should be shredded thick and the length should resemble matchsticks. Shredding them to thin causes the zucchini to leak water.

I use a julienning tool and then I cut them into smaller lengths with a scissor.

Makes 12 2.5 inch pancakes

300 grams zucchini julienned

1/2 teaspoon finely sliced Indian green chillies (optional)

2 tbsp chick pea flour plus more

4 tbsp rice flour plus more

1 teaspoon salt

vegetable oil for frying

non stick pan

Garnish

Strained vegan sour cream or vegan yogurt or regular sour cream

finely chopped curly parsley

apple sauce or chutney for a vegan latke

Instructions

In a dry non stick pan saute the rice flour and gram flour separately on a medium flame about 2 minutes. Cool completely and set aside in 2 separate bowls.

Cut the julienned zucchini into smaller pieces- about matchstick length.

Stir in the green chillies and all the chickpea and half the rice flour. Mix manually. Allow the flours to absorb all the liquid from the zucchini. Let sit 1 minute.

Once you have a dryish mixture add a tablespoon of water and mix again. Slowly add the remaining flour teaspoon by teaspoon until you have a mixture you can form into small loosely held together cakes. The mixture should not drip.

Add only as much rice flour as required to hold the zucchini together. Reserve any excess for a different recipe.

Heat 1.5 inches of oil on medium heat in a non stick frying pan until very hot but not smoking. Drop a small piece of the batter to test the oil. If it sizzles and rises to the top the oil is ready.

Form the zucchini mixture into small pancakes on the base of your hand and slide them into the hot oil about 4-5 at a time. Cook until both side are golden brown.

Drain with a slotted spoon and then place onto paper towels. Turn over so that both sides are well drained.

Let cool 5 minutes. Garnish with a topping of your choice. I used strained yogurt and parsley.

http://www.taradeshpande.in/vegan-zucchini-latkes/

FRESH PEANUT HUMMUS

BOILED PEANUT HUMMUS- A SOUTHERN AMERICAN DIP

BOILED PEANUT HUMMUS- A SOUTHERN AMERICAN DIP

Ingredients

PEANUT HUMMUS OR DIP IS MADE FROM FRESH, BOILED PEANUTS THAT ARE STILL IN THEIR SHELLS. BOILING THEM MAKES THE SKIN ON THE PEANUTS SOFT AND EDIBLE. PEANUT HUMMUS AND OTHER DISHES MADE FROM BOILED PEANUTS ARE VERY POPULAR IN THE SOUTHERN STATES OF AMERICA WHERE PEANUTS ARE FARMED ON A LARGE SCALE.

IN INDIA WE CONSUME PEANUTS IN VARIOUS FORMS.

PEANUTS IN THEIR BROWN SHELLS ARE CALLED SHENGDANE IN MARATHI AND THE PROCESSED SHELLED AND SKINNED PRODUCT IS CALLED PHUTANE. IN HINDI PEANUT IS CALLED MOONGFALLI.

BOILED PEANUTS ARE VERY POPULAR IN INDIA AND HAVE A DISTINCT FLAVOR THAT DIFFERS FROM A ROASTED PEANUT. PEANUTS ARE BELIEVED TO HAVE BEEN CULTIVATED IN SOUTH AMERICA 3500 YEARS AGO FROM WHERE THEY CAME TO ASIA AND THEN FINALLY FOUND THEIR WAY BACK TO NORTH AMERICA WHERE TODAY FARMED PEANUTS ARE A BILLION DOLLAR BUSINESS.

SERVES 8

250 GRAMS FRESH RAW PEANUTS IN THEIR SHELLS

1 TEASPOON OF CREOLE HOT SAUCE OR A HOT SAUCE OF YOUR CHOICE

3 CLOVES OF GARLIC

1 TBSPNS PEANUT OIL

1/2 TBSPNS TAHINI

SALT TO TOASTE

FOR GARNISH

1 TEASPOON TOASTED BLACK OR WHITE WHITE SESAME SEEDS

Instructions

IMMERSE THE RAW PEANUTS IN THEIR SHELLS IN BOILING WATER FOR 20 MINUTES. DRAIN ONE SHELL AND TEAR IT OPEN. TASTE THE PEANUT TO ENSURE IT IS VERY SOFT. IF NOT CONTINUE TO BOIL THEM. DRAIN ALL THE SHELLS. COOL COMPLETELY. TEAR OPEN THE SHELLS AND DISCARD THEM. RETAIN THE PEANUTS AND THEIR SKINS. ADD THE GARLIC TO THE SHELLED PEANUTS AND BOIL AGAIN IN 2 CUPS OF WATER FOR 15 MINUTES ON LOW HEAT. DRAIN COMPLETELY.

COMBINE THE BOILED PEANUTS AND SKINS AND THE GARLIC WITH ALL REMAINING INGREDIENTS AND GRIND TO A FLUFFY PASTE. YOU CAN GRIND THIS TO A SMOOTH PASTE IF YOU LIKE- I LIKE IT A LITTLE CHUNKY.

ADD SALT AND HOT SAUCE TO TASTE. GARNISH WITH TOASTED SESAME SEEDS.

SERVE WITH THICK CUT CRUDITES LIKE CARROT STICKS, BROCCOLI AND CAULIFLOWER FLORETS, CRACKERS, CHIPS OR PITA WEDGES.

http://www.taradeshpande.in/boiled-peanut-hummus-a-southern-american-dip/