Tsukejoyu-Sushi Dipping sauce as a salad dressing

While this is a great dipping sauce for sushi, tempura and sashimi I also use it as a marinade and a salad dressing -options are given below.
Ingredients
1 cup mirin (sweet cooking wine)
2 cups shoyu (fermented soy sauce)
4 ounces katsuobushi (dried tuna fish flakes)

Method

Place the mirin in a saucepan over medium heat, add the shoyu and bring it to a gentle boil. Switch off the flame and then add the fish flakes. Let it rest until it reaches room temperature. Whisk it again. Strain the shoyu through a fine strainer. Bottle and refrigerate for up to 6 months. Scan be served chilled from the fridge as well as at room temperature but whisk it before use.

Salad dressing
Combine half cup Tsukejoyu with 1/4 cup vegetable oil and 2 tbsp toasted sesame oil, 1 tsp toasted white sesame seeds and juice of one lemon, 1/2 tsp or. more ground wasabi paste. Drizzle over cucumber, tomato and lettuce salad.

Noodle salad dressing
Combine 3/4 cup Tsukejoyu with 1/4 cup crunchy peanut butter, 2 tsp finely minced garlic, 1/2 cup finely chopped scallions, 1 tbsp red pepper hot sauce of your choice. Adjust for sweetness with brown sugar and toss with 200 grams of noodle salad.

Marinade
Combine 1 cup Tsukejoyu with 1 tbsp ground ginger root paste, 1/2 tbsp fermented red chilli paste, 1 cup good quality orange juice, 1 teaspoon orange zest and salt to taste. Pour over 750 grams of chicken, fish or pork and marinate overnight. Grill or roast the meat as desired. Thicken the leftover marinade with some corn starch and serve with the cook meat.

SCOTCH EGGS

SCOTCH EGGS

SCOTCH EGGS

Ingredients

It is said the British took the recipe for Nargisi Kofte and turned it into bland Scotch eggs, a hardboiled egg encased with chicken or lamb mince. My grandmother's version of Scotch eggs was anything but bland. She cooked the meat with onions and spices and served the Scotch eggs with a spicy mayonnaise, French fries and steamed vegetables.

She always used lamb mince. I prefer chicken because it cooks faster and leaves the egg inside softer.

Makes 4

For the egg wash

4 soft boiled eggs peeled

1.5 cups good quality breadcrumbs laid on a wide plate

2 eggs plus 1 egg white whisked in a wide dipping bowl

For the mincemeat

600 grams chicken or lamb mince, washed and completely drained

3 tbspns vegetable oil

3 cloves

3 black peppercorns

1 dried bay leaf

1 inch stick cinnamon

3/4 cup white onion finely chopped

1 tablespoon garlic and ginger paste

3 green chillies about 1`.5 inches long (Indian or Serrano) finely chopped

2 slices white bread processed to a fine crumb

1 egg yolk

1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro (optional)

1 tbsp finely chopped mint (optional)

For the spicy mayonnaise combine

1 cup mayonnaise

1 teaspoon minced garlic

2-3 teaspoons hot sauce such as Sriracha, Tabasco

Instructions

Drain the water from the minced meat in a fine sieve. Squeeze it several times to drain out any excess water.

Heat oil in a large deep skillet on medium heat. Add the bay leaf, cloves and peppercorn and saute 1-2 minutes until fragrant.

Add the onions and green chillies and cook till soft and opaque.

Add garlic and ginger paste and cook 1-2 minutes stirring constantly.

Remove and discard the bay leaf.

Add the minced meat and stir well.

Lower flame and cook until meat is almost cooked through and most of the water has evaporated.

Cool completely. Add salt to taste.

Process meat in a grinder or food processor with the cooked spice until coarse but well combined. Do not turn into a paste. The meat should have some texture.

Stir in chopped herbs, yolk and processed bread. Combine well.

Divide into 8 equal portions.

Place one portion on the palm of your hand and flatten it. Place the egg over it and bring the sides together. Rest on a plate. Take the second portion and flatten it on your palm. Lift the half covered egg and place the uncovered side into the minced meat in your palm. Bring the sides together to completely cover the egg. Do not press too hard or you may damaged the soft boiled egg. Shape gently to look like an oval.

Dip this patty into the whisked eggs. Pat onto the breadcrumbs until all sides are covered. Repeat the egg wash and dip into breadcrumbs again.

Do this with the remaining 3 patties.

Heat 2 inches of oil in a deep non-stick skillet. When the oil is hot but not smoking fry the eggs until all sides are a deep golden brown. Drain and serve immediately with suggested sides and spicy mayo.

http://www.taradeshpande.in/scotch-eggs/

DATE, NUT AND ORANGE LOAF

DATE NUT AND ORANGE LOAF

DATE NUT AND ORANGE LOAF

Ingredients

The addition of orange zest and wholewheat flour gives this loaf a beautiful texture and a deep rich flavour. I use Thoory or Zahidi dates because they are smooth with few fibers and excellent for baking but the more commonly found Medjool is also good.

Serves 12

1 cup brown dates such as Thoory or Zahibi or Medjool, pitted and finely chopped

1 cup water

1/2 cup butter, softened

3/4 cup white sugar

1/4 cup light brown sugar

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/4 cups maida or all-purpose flour

1/4 cup wholewheat flour

1 egg, beaten

1 teaspoon orange extract

1 teaspoon orange zest (orange peel only no white pith)

1.25 cups chopped skinned and lightly toasted walnuts

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) and prepare middle rack.

Grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan and sprinkle all sides lightly with maida or all purpose flour. Smack the pan on the counter to remove any excess flour. Reserve pan.

In a saucepan over medium heat, bring dates and water to a boil.

Meanwhile cream the butter and sugar in a stand mixer or using an electric beater until fluffy.

Add orange extract, orange zest and nutmeg and beat again until fluffy

Add the egg and beat until well incorporated.

Remove dates from heat and stir in baking soda. Let cool for 10 minutes.

Add both the flour and nuts to the batter and beat until well incorporated.

Add the dates and soda and whisk again until evenly distributed.

Pour batter into prepared pan.

Bake in the preheated oven for 50 to 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

Let cool in pan for 25 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely.

Serve at room temperature and keep covered and refrigerated in humid weather.

http://www.taradeshpande.in/date-nut-and-orange-loaf/

The Khitchdi

Khitchdi Rice and Lentil Porridge

Khitchdi Rice and Lentil Porridge

Ingredients

The word Khitchdi has been spelt in so many ways throughout it's history -Kedgeree, Ketchery, Kitchery, Cutcherry that one is only certain what it means when it is described as a mixture of rice and dol/dhal/doll/dal/dholl in various references by some of the most famous scholars, adventurers and traders to have visited the Indian sub-continent over 700 years.

Ibn Batuta, a Moroccan scholar who visited Tughlaq's court- considered the richest Muslim ruler of his time and who gave Batuta the title of Qadi, or judge, spells it 'Kishri' and describes it in his fascinating medieval travelogue, Travels (1340 A.D.) as -a buttered mix of Munj (moong) and rice eaten for breakfast.

In a 1443 reference in 'India in the 15th century', Abdurrazzak, a Persian scholar describes "Kitchri'' as a meal fed to the Maharajas elephants.

Afanasy Nikitin, a Russian merchant in his 1475 chronicles on India describes 'Khichiris' prepared with sugar and oil as a meal fed to Indian horses.

In 1648 Albertus Jacobus Van Twist the Governor General of Dutch East Indies elaborates in his memoir that this meal feeds poor labourers.

In 1672 French adventurer Taverniers and Balls, 'Travels in India' mentions Baldaeus, a Dutch minister who travelled to India as eating Quicheri and Kitzery.

In 1772 Hamilton writes about Kitcheree "some doll and rice, being mingled together and boiled...the common food of the country. They eat it with Butter and Atchar."

There are also several late medieval references to Kitcheree being eaten with atchar (pickles) and salted fish in Bengal.

Today Kedgeree in Britain is a colonial era buttered rice eaten with smoked fish and boiled eggs.

In a 1907 copy of The Handbook of Trinidad Cookery I found 2 recipes for Kedgeree, one employs gill- a British Imperial measure in use when America was colonized. Trinidad moved hands from the Spanish to the British in 1889, enough time for the British version of Khitchdi to take root. Khitchdi and versions of it are found in British colonies across the world.

Cynthia Nelson, a resident of Barbados and a Guyanese food lover recounts in her column, 'Tastes Like Home' her mother telling her of Hindus in the Caribbean who fed the groom khitchdi when he first came to the bride's home.

Khitchdi could certainly qualify as a national dish- a dish born in India with ingredients native to the subcontinent- rice, moong and ghee, a one pot mash of boiled ingredients that was eaten for centuries by the common man within India and without and by Indians who moved abroad. Served with ghee or oil, sugar or dried fruits, pickles, fish- it was a meal that nourished hungry bellies.

My second edition 1903 Hobson Jobson alludes to a single pot of 'khichri' that was atleast 880 kgs, larger than the Khitchdi -(800 kg), which has just been cooked to beat a Guiness world record in 2017.

Hobson Jobson is a remarkable compendium of Anglo-Indian terms first published in 1896 that covers millions of words from India's British Raj, some no longer in use and some so differently spelled today, you'd never guess what they meant.

A reference to the Nawab of Tonk (Rajasthan) in an 1880 report by an Indian Mirror correspondent describes him as having donated 3000 rupees for the supply of 2 colossal pots of 'khichri' made with rice, dry fruits and sugar for a religious festival in Ajmer. One pot contained roughly 80 maunds and the other 40 maunds (a varying post Akbar era measure used in the sub-continent) 1 government maund =37 kg however it could be as little as 11 kg also. So that would mean the bigger pot contained atleast 880 kgs of rice and combined these 2 'tremendous' pots contained at minimum over a 1000 kgs of rice. The cooking of these were observed by the Nizam, Ajmer's commissioner and various civil servants- leading me to wonder if maund here was the government standard of 37 kg per maund.

While the item is described as 'khichri' it contains sugar and dried fruit so it appears by modern standards to be more like a cooked kheer though no mention is made of milk. If not the largest khichri, is this the world record for kheer? Also which religious festival was this? Any thoughts?

In a 1934 book The Mystery Chefs Own Cookbook by John Macpherson, an American of Scottish descent, a chapter is devoted to national foods. Macpherson says curry is India's national food and to be fair all through Victorian times Indian food is referred to as curry. He also describes Stroganoff (named after a Russian noblemen) as Russia's national food. I don't know if Russians today would agree-I'd say it was probably Pirogi or Pelmeni dumplings. This book was written while India was still colonized and Russia's Tsarist rule had come to an end, only 17 years before this book was published. So Khitchdi or no Khitchdi, he hybrid curry is still the first thing that comes to mind the world over when one thinks of Indian food.

Abu'l Fazl describes a recipe for 'khichri' in 1590 A.D for 7 dishes recorded in the Ain E Akbari. Fazl was one of Akbar's Nav Ratnas. Here is the recipe and my adaptation-

5 ser of each rice, split dal and ghi and 1/3 ser salt

1 ser is approx .93 kg

My interpretation and adaptation

1 cup rice

1 cup moong dal

2 tbspns ghee (plus more for garnishing)

salt to taste

Optional improvisations

1 /2 teaspoon turmeric

1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds

8 fresh green curry leaves, torn

2 teaspoons of peeled and minced garlic

Instructions

Wash the lentils and rice and immerse in 8 cups of water in a pressure cooker. Add turmeric.

Heat 2 tbspns ghee. Add cumin and cook 30 seconds. Add curry leaves and garlic and cook 45 seconds. Pour spiced ghee over uncooked rice and lentils and steam 2-3 whistles until fully cooked and soupy. Salt to taste. Garnish with more ghee and serve with papads, yogurt and assorted pickles.

References Hobson Jobson (1903), The Mystery Chefs Own Cook Book, Tastes Like Home (C. Nelson) A Handbook of Trinidad Cookery 190

http://www.taradeshpande.in/the-khitchdi/

Urad, Moong, Toor Dal Vadi: Mixed Lentil Fritters

Dal Vadi

Dal Vadi

Ingredients

1/4 cup - channa dal

1cup - moong dal

1/4 cup - urad Dal

1/4 cup - Toor dal

1/2 teaspoon - Coriander seeds

Half inch piece of fresh Ginger, peeled

1/4 cup freshly grated coconut

1 dried Kashmiri chilli stalk removed

1/2 cup coriander leaves

2-3 1 inch long Indian Green chillies or to taste

8 fresh green curry leaves, chopped

FOR TEMPERING

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

Pinch asafetida

Salt to taste

Vegetable Oil for deep frying

Instructions

Wash lentils and soak them separately in bowls of tap water overnight.

Drain lentils, wash again, drain completely. From the toor dal reserve two tablespoons of whole lentils. Grind all and the remaining to a coarse paste. Add water carefully. You want a thick batter almost like a soft dough that can be molded into balls. These are more dense than medu vadas and will take longer to fry.

Make a smooth paste of coriander seeds, coconut, ginger and red chilli to a smooth paste and stir into the lentil puree.

Stir in chopped coriander leaves and chopped curry leaves.

Heat oil in a small tempering spoon or skillet on high heat. Add cumin seeds and cook 60 seconds. Ad asafetida and switch off the flame. Cool and pour over the lentil batter. Stir well.

Taste for salt.

Make small 2 inch size balls from the thick dough. Flatten them and lay them on a tray. Keep covered with a dry cloth.

Heat 2 inches of oil in small wok or kadai on high heat.

When oil is hot but not smoking lower flame to medium.

Drop one fritter in the oil and cook until golden. Taste for salt and doneness. Adjust.

Repeat with remaining dough.

Serve hot with tomato ketchup or coconut chutney.

http://www.taradeshpande.in/dal-vadi-mixed-lentil-fritters/