POMMES DAUPHINOISE GRATIN

POMMES DAUPHINOISE GRATIN

POMMES DAUPHINOISE GRATIN

Ingredients

Pommes Dauphinoise Gratin comes from the Dauphine region of France. It differs from Pommes Dauphinoise, which are deep fried choux pastry made with mashed potatoes.

Traditionally the gratin version is made with very finely sliced raw potatoes layered and baked in cream. Slicing potatoes this fine requires a mandolin, which is not always available. Here I depart from tradition and parboil the potatoes before I bake them. This ensures the potatoes cook through in the oven.The addition of cheese and eggs varies in chefs' accounts.

I do not use eggs but I do use cheese. This vegetarian dish is served with some variety of roast meat.

You could also serve it with the Lentil salad recipe in my cookbook An Indian Sense of Salad (Penguin). You will need ideally an 8 inch square or round that is.5 inches deep. You can also use a 9 by 13 but you will get less layers.

SERVES 5-6 AS A SIDE DISH

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

500ml double cream

500ml milk

3/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg

4 garlic cloves, smashed

8 large cooking potatoes-ideally a waxy potato like Talegaon or Maris Piper

salt and white pepper to taste

120g shredded gruyère or use a melting cheese

Instructions

Heat oven to 190C/170C.

Peel the potatoes and slice them into rounds about 1/4 inch thick.

Place them in a wide and deep pan with the garlic, nutmeg, milk and cream and bring to a slow boil.

As soon as it reaches a boil switch off the flame and using a slotted spoon remove the sliced potatoes from the liquid and put them on a plate. Do not over cook the potatoes. They must be soft but also keep their shape when baked.

Butter gratin dish.

Using tongs arrange potatoes in layers in a gratin dish.

Add salt to the leftover cream and milk and adjust for taste. Stir in a little white pepper.

Pour over the layered potatoes. Use a soup to make sure all the potatoes are well steeped in the liquid and bake in the oven for 35 minutes.

Open oven and scatter the Gruyere cheese over the gratin and broil until golden brown.

Serve immediately.

http://www.taradeshpande.in/pommes-dauphinoise-gratin/

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/

QUICKEST STOVETOP MACARONI AND CHEESE

QUICKEST STOVETOP MACARONI AND CHEESE

QUICKEST STOVETOP MACARONI AND CHEESE

Ingredients

SERVES 3-4

1.5 CUPS WHOLEMILK

1.5 CUPS WATER

200 GRAMS MACARONI

1 CUP SMOKED GOUDA SHREDDED OR CHOPPED INTO SMALL PIECES

1/2 CUP BUFALO MOZARELLA DI LATTE IN PIECES

SALT AND PEPPER TO SEASON

Instructions

HEAT THE MILK AND WATER IN A LARGE SAUCEPAN UNTIL IT REACHES A BOIL. ADD THE UNCOOKED MACARONI AND COOK STIRRING FROM TIME TO TIME UNTIL MACARONI IS AL DENTE.

STIR IN THE CHEESES AND MIX UNTIL WELL COMBINED AND THE CHEESE HAS MELTED. SWITCH OFF FLAME AND SEASON WITH SALT AND PEPPER. SERVE HOT.

http://www.taradeshpande.in/quickest-stovetop-macaroni-and-cheese/

VATANA USAL – SAUTEED FRESH GREEN PEAS

GI

VATANA USAL-SAUTEED FRESH GREEN PEAS WITH COCONUT

VATANA USAL-SAUTEED FRESH GREEN PEAS WITH COCONUT

Ingredients

USAL IS A TRADITIONAL SAUTEED VEGETABLE RECIPE FROM MAHARASHTRA. IN KONKANI IT IS CALLED UPKARI. THIS USAL IS SATVIK-PREPARED WITHOUT ONIONS AND GARLIC AND IS OFTEN MADE DURING GANESH CHATURTI AND OTHER RELIGIOUS FESTIVALS. IT IS DELICIOUS WITH A FLATBREAD LIKE PHULKA OR WITH RICE AND YELLOW LENTILS.

SERVES 4

2 CUPS SHELLED FRESH GREEN PEAS

1 TEASPOON CUMIN SEEDS

PINCH ASAFETIDA

6 FRESH CURRY LEAVES, TORN

2 INDIAN GREEN CHILLIES SLIT INTO FOUR LONG PIECES

1 INCH GINGER JULIENNED (OPTIONAL)

1/5 TSP TURMERIC

1.5 TABLESPOONS GHEE OR VEGETABLE OIL

SALT AND JAGGERY AS REQUIRED

TO GARNISH

1/4 CUP FRESHLY GRATED COCONUT

1/2 LIME

2 TABLESPOONS FRIED OR TOASTED CASHEW PIECES

Instructions

HEAT THE OIL OR GHEE IN A MEDIUM SKILLET ON A HIGH FLAME.

ADD THE CUMIN SEEDS AND SAUTE 1 MINUTE. ADD CURRY LEAVES, GREEN CHILLIES AND ASAFETIDA. SAUTE 30 SECONDS. ADD THE PEAS AND STIR WELL. ADD TWO CUPS OF WATER, TURMERIC A TEASPOON OF SALT AND COOK UNTIL PEAS ARE DRY AND TENDER. ADD MORE WATER IF REQUIRED.

SQUEEZE LIME JUICE OVER THE COOKED PEAS. TOSS WITH COCONUT, CASHEWS AND TASTE FOR SALT BEFORE SERVING AND SRI IN CRUMBLED JAGGERY IF MORE SWEETNESS IS REQUIRED.

http://www.taradeshpande.in/vatana-usal-sauteed-fresh-green-peas/

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/

WILD RICE PILAF WITH CARAMELIZED ONIONS, DILL AND APRICOTS

WILD RICE PILAF WITH CARAMELIZED ONIONS, APRICOTS AND FRESH DILL

WILD RICE PILAF WITH CARAMELIZED ONIONS, APRICOTS AND FRESH DILL

Ingredients

I BEGAN MAKING THIS RECIPE 6 YEARS AGO FOR THANKSGIVING AND IT HAS EVOLVED AND CHANGED OVER TIME- SOMETIMES I USE MINT INSTEAD OF DILL AND CRANBERRIES INSTEAD OF APRICOTS. THE BASMATI MAKES A WONDERFUL CONTRAST TO THE TEXTURE OF WILD RICE. YOU CAN ALSO USE FLAVORFUL RICE LIKE KOLAM.

WILD RICE IS A GRASS SEED THAT COMES FROM A DIFFERENT GENUS THAN ASIAN RICE. THERE ARE 4 SPECIES THAT ARE GROWN IN THE AMERICAS, INDIA AND CHINA. IN THE UNITED STATES IT WAS NOT FARMED BUT TRADITIONALLY HARVESTED BY NATIVE AMERICANS FOR WHOM THIS ANCIENT FOOD HOLDS GREAT SYMBOLISM.

SINCE IT GROWS WILD IN LAKES AND SMALL BODIES OF WATER NATIVE AMERICAN TRIBES LIKE THE OJIBWA WOULD PADDLE TO THE WEEDS IN CANOES AND GENTLY 'KNOCK' THE SEEDS FROM THE GRASS.

SOME SPECIES LIKE TEXAS WILD RICE ARE ENDANGERED BECAUSE OF LOSS OF HABITAT.

I USE MINNESOTAN WILD RICE BECAUSE MY HUSBAND IS FROM MINNESOTA. NOW THAT THIS RICE HAS BECOME POPULAR IT IS BEING FARMED IN PADDY FIELDS IN CALIFORNIA AND MINNESOTA AND CULTIVATED WILD RICE IS VERY GOOD. BUT AT THANKSGIVING I SPLURGE AND BUY HAND-HARVESTED AND WOOD PARCHED WILD RICE THAT'S ABOUT 6 TIMES THE PRICE OF CULTIVATED WILD RICE. YOU CAN ALSO BUY IT ONLINE BUT READ THE CAPTIONS CAREFULLY. HAND HARVESTED ON CANOES IS WHAT YOU ARE LOOKING FOR IF YOU WANT THE TRADITIONAL WILD RICE.

THIS RICE IS A BEAUTIFUL BLACK WITH A SUMPTUOUS MEATY TASTE AND CHEWY TEXTURE THAT VEGETARIANS LOVE. WILD RICE NEEDS A LONGER COOKING TIME THAN BASMATI SO THEY SHOULD BE COOKED SEPARATELY.

SERVES 10

1 CUP WILD RICE CULTIVATED OR HAND HARVESTED

2 CUPS BASMATI RICE

24 PEARL OR SAMBHAR ONIONS PEELED OR 200 GRAMS WHITE ONIONS SLICED IN THICK RINGS AND SEPARATED

1 TABLESPOON MAPLE SYRUP

4 TBSPNS BUTTER OR OIL

1/4 CUP VEGETABLE OIL

12 TURKISH APRICOTS FINELY SLICED LENGTHWISE INTO STRIPS

1 CUP FINELY CHOPPED FRESH DILL/SEPU

SALT TO TASTE

Instructions

HEAT 2 TBSPNS BUTTER AND THE VEGETABLE OIL IN A DUTCH OVEN STYLE POT. ADD THE ONIONS AND SAUTE ON A VERY LOW FLAME, STIRRING FROM TIME TO TIME UNTIL ONIONS ARE TENDER, STICKY AND CARAMELIZED. THIS WILL TAKE 25 MINUTES. YOU CAN DO OTHER WORK IN THE KITCHEN AS THE PROCESS ONLY SPEEDS UP IN THE LAST 5 MINUTES. TOWARDS THE END ADD THE MAPLE SYRUP AND STIR THE ONIONS GENTLY ESPECIALLY IF YOU ARE USE PEARL ONIONS. USING A SLOTTED SPOON REMOVE THE ONIONS AND RESERVE ON A PLATE.

IN THE SAME POINT ADD REMAINING BUTTER AND THE WILD RICE. ADD 3 CUPS OF WATER AND 2 TSP SALT. COOK ON HGH HEAT UNTIL WATER HAS MOSTLY EVAPORATED.

ADD THE BASMATI AND STIR GENTLY TO COAT IN OIL. ADD 4.5 CUPS OF ROOM TEMPERATURE WATER, COVER AND COOK UNTIL RICE IS ALMOST DONE. SWITCH OFF FLAME AND ALLOW IT TO COOK IN ITS OWN STEAM FOR 2 MINUTES.

TAKE OFF THE LID, FLUFF THE RICE WITH A FORK AND LET IT BREATHE ABOUT 10 MINUTES. STIR IN HALF THE DILL AND HALF THE APRICOTS AND ADJUST FOR SALT.

LADLE ONTO A PLATE.

TOP WITH CARAMELIZED ONIONS, REMAINING DILL AND APRICOTS. SERVE WARM.

http://www.taradeshpande.in/wild-rice-pilaf-with-caramelized-onions-dill-and-apricots/

KASHMIRI HAAK

KASHMIRI HAAK

KASHMIRI HAAK

Ingredients

KASHMIR KA HAAK

It had been a long and eventful day in Srinagar. The violent skirmishes outside made us grateful to be back inside the hotel but the cold did nothing to stave off hunger pangs. By the time the waiter brought a bowl of Haak ka Saag to the table we were ravenous.

Dr. Raina, a Kashmiri Pandit and Mumbai surgeon had one look at the simmering bowl and told the waiter to take it back. “This is saag. Please get Kashmiri Haak. No onions, no garlic. “

Fifteen minutes later the server returns with another bowl of wilted greens. And while they did look similar, they didn't smell or taste the same.

Haak Ka Saag is not made with spinach. It is neither the Mughlai Saag Paneerwala nor is it the Punjabi classic, Sarson da Saag made with mustard leaves and batua (pigweed). It’s a traditional Kashmiri dish made with not one but a variety of greens, mostly from the Acephalus family that includes cabbage, broccoli, kale and kohlrabi. Ganth gobi or Navalkole also known as Kohlrabi and Knolknol is an integral part of Kashmiri cuisine.

On several American websites collard greens is recommended as a substitute for Haak. Collard greens are also from the Acephalus family but while its leaves are long and chewy and the stems thick, most of the Haak greens I saw in Srinagar were delicate and tender. Haak has not quite made it to the national table in the same way as Saag Paneer and Sarson da Saag, possibly on account of its simple flavors and the fact that it must be made and served immediately.

The problem is there are various greens used in different seasons and grown in different parts of Kashmir and identifying them is not easy.

“ It’s a soupy and very aromatic dish.” Dr. Raina explains. You take a plate of rice, make a well in the center and ladle the soupy greens into the middle. It’s poor man’s food. On a lucky day a Kashmiri will get some meat with his meal.”

This is true because Haak uses leaves from vegetables that would otherwise be discarded while cooking.

Later that day another local Kashmiri Amit Wanchoo takes me to Jawahar market where he hands me three varieties of Haak. “This ones from Dal lake.” He says pointing to what looks like wavy spinach. “This one is from Khanyaar and these tender Haak- are Kaanul-spring time Haak.”

Haak is a Kashmiri Pandit dish. Asafetida used to season this dish is not a spice commonly employed by Muslims. Dr. Raina recalls childhood memories of meals in his grandfather’s home just a few doors away from Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah’s house.

“The leaves are always whole, you don’t chop them and the dish is always made with green chillies. Dr Raina elaborates. As kids when the pot with Haak was taken off the fire and the lid opened, the aroma permeated the entire house. That’s how you knew there was Haak for dinner. “

Haak it is believed was originally cultivated by the Greeks. Interestingly, asafetida was introduced to us by their close cousins, the Macedonians. Haak and its varieties are distinguished by season and by the thickness and length of their stems called Null and leaves called Vaattir.

Haak not only differs by season and Kashmir has 4 distinct weather changes but are often named after the neighborhoods they are grown in. Haak is so central to Kashmiri life that an entire vocabulary exists to describe various aspects of the dish. Kaathchie Haak is available in the Autumn. Noor bagh and Dal refer to the areas from which, the Haak could originate. The woven wicker basket specially designed for selling Haak is called Haak Foatt. A water-bed on a lake cultivating greens for Haak is referred to as Haak Raadh.

RECIPE FOR BATIH HAAK

Courtesy Rajni Wanchoo

Batih is Kashmiri for Pandit. Kashmiri also known as Koshur has many Perisan and Arabic borrow words but remains essentially an Indo-Aryan language close to Rigvedic Sanskrit (WIKI).

Haak is eaten by everyone in Kashmiri but is a Kashmiri Pandit specialty. This recipe from Srinagar resident Amit Wanchoo’s mother, is delectable.

TIPS:

The leaves are always cooked whole. Only very large or thick stalks may need to be trimmed or removed but traditionally the stalks are left on the leaf. The leaves must be boiled both uncovered and then in their own steam, covered for a while.

Haak should be cooked and served immediately.

Ingredients

Serves 4-5

• 1 kg whole fresh green haak leaves, washed and drained

• 1.5 tablespoons mustard oil

• 2-3 dried red Kashmiri chillies, stalks removed

• 3-4 whole green chillies, stalks removed

• 1/5 teaspoon heeng or asafetida

• Salt to taste

Instructions

Heat the mustard oil in a large cooking pot on medium heat. Add the asafetida and the red, dried chillies. Switch off flame. Let the spices sizzle for 1 minute. Pour in 2 cups of water and turn the flame back on. When the water reaches a furious boil add the Haak leaves and a teaspoon of salt. Let them cook open for about 3-4 minutes. Add green chillies, cover and steam another 3 minutes. Open the lid and serve the Haak immediately with boiled rice.

http://www.taradeshpande.in/kashmiri-haak/

POOMPUHAR MEEN VARUVAL-PAN FRIED SPICED WHITE POMFRET

POOMPUHAR MEEN VARUVAL- PAN FRIED SICED POMFRET

POOMPUHAR MEEN VARUVAL- PAN FRIED SICED POMFRET

Ingredients

This recipe came to me from chef P Saravanan at the Taj Coromandel in Chennai. This delicious red masala pomfret melts in your mouth and is very easy to prepare.

Shown in the photo on the left of the paratha.

INGREDIENTS QUANTITY

WHITE POMFRET 500 GM

TURMERIC POWDER 15 GM

LIME JUICE 15 ML

DRY RED KASHMIRI CHILLY 80 GM

SHALLOTS 40 GM

PEELED GARLIC 25 GM

TAMARIND PULP 25 GM

BLACK PEPPERCORNS 10 GM

CURRY LEAVES 6 SALT TO TASTE

SUNFLOWER OIL 20 ML

Instructions

• Wash the fillets and pat them dry with paper towels. Brush with turmeric and lime juice. Cover and reserve.

• Using a mortar and pestle macerate the dry chillies, shallots, peeled garlic, black pepper, curry leaves and tamarind pulp in a bowl.

• Sprinkle water and grind the mixture to a smooth paste.

• Apply the spice paste to the pomfret fillets. Cover tightly and refrigerate 1 hour.

• Preheat a griddle and sprinkle oil on it. Gently place the marinated fish fillets on the griddle and cook till both sides get an even brown color and the fish is cooked though.

http://www.taradeshpande.in/poompuhar-meen-varuval-pan-fried-spiced-white-pomfret/

UDID METHI -SOUR MANGO AND COCONUT CURRY

UDID METHI SOUR MANGO AND COCONUT CURRY

UDID METHI SOUR MANGO AND COCONUT CURRY

Ingredients

1 CUP PEELED AND SLICED KAIRI OR GREEN MANGO PLUS A FEW THIN SLICES TO GARNISH

2 CUPS SHREDDED WHITE MEAT OF COCONUT

8 RED KASHMIRI OR BEDGI CHILLIES STALKS AND SEEDS REMOVED

1 TEASPOON CORIANDER SEEDS

1 TEASPOON CUMIN SEEDS

1/2 TEASPOON FENUGREEK SEEDS

1 TEASPOON BLACK GRAM

2 GREEN CHILLIES STALKS REMOVED

1/2 TEASPOON TURMERIC POWDERED

JAGGERY AND SALT TO TASTE

FOR THE TEMPERING

2 TABLESPOONS VEGETABLE OR COCONUT OIL

1 TEASPOON BLACK MUSTARD SEEDS

1/4 TEASPOON FENUGREEK SEEDS

1/2 TEASPOON BLACK GRAM

PINCH ASAFETIDA

Instructions

TOAST THE RED CHILLIES, BLACK GRAM, CORIANDER, CUMIN, FENUGREEK SEEDS IN A DRY PAN ON MEDIUM ABOUT 3 MINUTES. COOL AND GRIND TO A FINE POWDER.

ADD THE COCONUT, TURMERIC AND GREEN CHILLIES AND GRIND TO A SMOOTH PASTE. ADD A LITTLE WATER IF REQUIRED.

HEAT OIL IN A PAN ON A HGH FLAME. ADD MUSTARD AND FENUGREEK SEEDS. THEN ADD BLACK GRAM SEEDS AND ASAFETIDA. COOK ABOUT 1 MINUTE UNTIL THEY SIZZLE AND RISE TO THE TOP.

ADD THE GREEN MANGO AND 1 CUP OF WATER. SIMMER UNTIL MANGO PIECES ARE SOFTENED.

ADD GROUND COCONUT MASALA AND SALT TO TASTE. ADD JAGGERY IF REQUIRED. GARNISH WITH A FEW RAW SLICES OF RAW MANGO.

SERVE WITH BOILED WHITE BASMATI RICE.

http://www.taradeshpande.in/udid-methi-sour-mango-and-coconut-curry/

Candied Walnuts and Pecans

Candied Walnuts and Pecans

Candied Walnuts and Pecans

Ingredients

A great way to use leftover egg whites. These candied nuts are excellent in salads, with hot fudge sundaes, as a cocktail appetizer and a snack when you feel like grazing.

2 egg whites

250 grams walnuts, skins lightly removed or pecan wholes

1/4 cup sugar powder in a mixer

1/2 teaspoon salt

Optional powdered cumin/cayenne pepper/chai masala/pumpkin pie spice mix/allspice/Tabasco sauce/habanero sauce

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350F.

Mix the nuts with the egg whites in a large bowl. Stir in remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly.

Lay out the nuts one by one on the parchment lined trays. Bake 25 minutes or until golden, fragrant and crisp.

Cool completely and refrigerate in airtight boxes, bottles or zipped bags. Keeps for several weeks -if you can resist them!

http://www.taradeshpande.in/candied-walnuts-and-pecans/