Okra Curry

Ingredients

1 lb okra
1/4 lb tamarind
1/4 lb onions
1/2 cup oil
1/2 fresh coconut, or 1/2 cup grated coconut
3 tsp poppy seeds
3 tsp almonds
2 tsp coriander seeds
2 tsp white cumin seeds
4-6 whole green chilies
1/4 bunch fresh mint leaves
1/4 bunch fresh coriander leaves
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground ginger

Method

  1. Wash okra and slit length-wise about 2″ in the middle, leaving tops and tips intact.
  2. Grind all seeds, almonds and coconut together to a fine paste and mix with ginger. Stuff okra with the paste.
  3. Heat oil, add sliced onions and fry until light brown. Add the okra and fry slowly and gently until cooked, about 5-10 minutes, taking care not to mash or break the okra.
  4. Add 1/2 cup water to the tamarind and strain to remove seeds and pulp. Add the tamarind water and salt to the okra, cover and cook gently until a nice gravy forms. This should not be too dry.
  5. Garnish with chopped chilies, mint and coriander leaves.

Makes 12 servings.

Source: Mughal Cuisine


Today’s Comic

Pigeon Breasts with Pine Nuts and Lemon

Ingredients

6 young pigeons
2 oz tritto (see recipe below)
2 oz pine nuts
4 tbsp olive oil
juice and rind of 1 lemon
2/3 cup marsala wine

Method

  1. Remove the breasts from the pigeons. Keeping the blade very close to the high-ridged breast bone, a swift stroke of the knife from back to front will have the breast hanging on by the skin only. Cut through the skin.
  2. Brown the tritto in a very large pan. Roughly chop the carcasses. As the tritto browns, add them, cover with water and bring to the boil. Allow to simmer.
  3. In a frying pan (skillet) containing no oil, toast the pine nuts until they begin to brown. Remove them from the heat immediately – they will continue to cook a little of their own accord.
  4. Heat the olive oil in a heavy pan and drop in each pigeon breast. Cook for no more than 10 seconds on each side. The breasts will puff up. Remove the skin then slice each breast through across the horizontal – i.e. flat – plane. Seal the raw sides of each breast for a further 2-3 seconds in the hot oil.
  5. Pour away most of the oil and return the pan to a high heat. Add the lemon juice, rind and the marsala and reduce until you have a thick syrup, about 5 minutes.
  6. Stir in 2/3 cup of the pigeon broth made from the carcasses and reduce again.
  7. Toss the breasts into the sauce and re-heat for half a minute. Remove the breasts from the pan, pour the sauce over them, and sprinkle the browned pine nuts on top.

Makes 4 servings.


Tritto

Ingredients

1 medium onion
1 carrot
1 glove garlic
1/2 stick celery
1 bay leaf
1 sprig rosemary
6 fresh sage leaves
enough olive oil to cover when the ingredients are packed

Method

  1. Very finely dice all the ingredients into 1/8-inch dices with a food grinder or food processor. Sift the pieces together so they are thoroughly mixed.
  2. Cover with olive oil. THe tritto should be packed quite tightly. Do not use for at least 12 hours.

Source: The Complete Italian Cookbook


Today’s Comic

Stuffed Chilies in Walnut Sauce

Ingredients

8 ancho chilies
1 large potato, about 7 oz
3 tbsp vegetable oil
4 oz lean minced (ground) pork
1 onion, chopped
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup chopped almonds
2/3 cup cream cheese
1/2 cup soft goat’s cheese
1/2 cup single (light) cream
1/2 cup dry sherry
1/2 cup plain (all-purpose) flour
1/2 tsp ground white pepper
2 eggs, separated
oil, for deep-frying
salt
chopped fresh herbs, to garnish

Method

  1. Soak the dried chilies in a bowl of hot water for 30 minutes until softened. Drain, cut off the stalks, then slit them down 1 side. Scrape out the seeds.
  2. Peel the potato and cut it into 1/2in cubes. Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a large frying pan, add the pork and cook, stirring constantly, until it has browned evenly.
  3. Add the potato cubes and mix well. Cover and cook over a low heat for 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Do not worry if the potato sticks to the base of the pan. Season with salt, remove from the heat and set aside.
  4. Heat the remaining oil in a separate frying pan and cook the onion with the cinnamon for 3-4 minutes or until softened. Stir in the nuts and cook for 3-4 minutes more.
  5. Add both types of cheese to the pan, with the cream and sherry. Mix well. Reduce the heat to the lowest setting and cook until the cheese melts and the sauce starts to thicken. Taste and season if necessary.
  6. Spread out the flour on a plate shallow dish. Season with the white pepper. Beat the egg yolks in a until they are pale and thick.
  7. In a separate, grease-free bowl. whisk the whites until they form soft peaks. Add a generous pinch of salt, then in the yolks, a little at a time.
  8. Spoon some of the filling into each chili. Pat the outside dry with kitchen paper. Heat the oil for deep-frying temperature of 180°C/350°F.
  9. Coat a chili in flour, then dip it in the egg batter, covering it completely. Drain for a few seconds, then add to the hot oil. Add several more battered chilies but do not overcrowd the pan. Fry the chilies until golden, then drain on kitchen paper and keep hot while cooking successive batches.
  10. Reheat the sauce over a low heat, if necessary. Arrange the chilies on individual plates, spoon a little sauce over each and serve immediately, sprinkled with chopped fresh herbs. A green salad goes well with this dish.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Mexican Red Hot Cookbook


Today’s Comic

Dolmades

Ingredients

20 vacuum-packed vine leaves in brine
1/2 cup long grain brown rice
1-1/2 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup pine nuts
3 tbsp raisins
2 tbsp chopped fresh mint
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground allspice
2 tsp ground sumac
2 tsp lemon juice
2 tbsp tomato puree (paste)
salt and ground black pepper
lemon slices and mint sprigs, to garnish

Method

  1. Rinse the vine leaves well under cold running water, then drain.
  2. Bring a pan of lightly salted water to the boil. Add the rice, lower the heat, cover and simmer for 10-12 minutes, or until almost cooked. Drain.
  3. Heat 2 tsp of the olive oil in a non-stick frying pan, add the onion and cook until soft.
  4. Stir in the pine nuts and cook until lightly browned, then add the raisins, chopped mint, cinnamon, allspice and sumac, with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the rice and mix well. Leave to cool.
  5. Line a pan with any damaged vine leaves. Trim the stalks from the remaining leaves and lay them flat. Place a little filling on each. Fold the sides over and roll up each leaf neatly. Place the dolmades side by side in the leaf-lined pan, so that they fit tightly.
  6. Mix 1-1/4 cups water with the lemon juice and tomato puree in a small bowl. Whisk in the remaining olive oil until the mixture is well blended.
  7. Pour the mixture over the dolmades in the pan and place a heatproof plate on top to keep them in place.
  8. Cover the pan and simmer the dolmades for about 1 hour, or until all the liquid has been absorbed and the leaves are tender.
  9. Transfer the dolmades to a platter, garnish with lemon slices and mint sprigs and serve hot or cold.

Makes 4 to 5 servings.

Source: The Ultimate Book of Vegan Cooking


Today’s Comic

Chicken in Green Almond Sauce

Ingredients

3 to 3-1/2 lb chicken, cut into serving pieces
2 cups chicken stock
1 onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
2 cups fresh coriander, coarsely chopped
1 green pepper, seeded and chopped
1 jalapeno chilli, seeded and chopped
l0 oz can tomatillos (Mexican green tomatoes)
1 cup ground almonds
2 tbsp corn oil
salt
fresh coriander, to garnish
rice, to serve

Method

  1. Put the chicken pieces into a flameproof casserole or shallow pan. Pour in the stock, bring to a simmer, cover and cook for about 45 minutes, until tender. Drain the stock into a measuring jug and set aside.
  2. Put the onion, garlic, coriander, green pepper, chili, tomatillos with their juice and the almonds in a food processor. Puree fairly coarsely.
  3. Heat the oil in a frying pan, add the almond mixture and cook over a low heat, stirring with a wooden spoon, for 3-4 minutes. Scrape into the casserole or pan with the chicken.
  4. Make the stock up to 2 cups with water, if necessary. Stir it into the casserole or pan. Mix gently and simmer just long enough to blend the flavours and heat the chicken pieces through. Add salt to taste. Serve at once, garnished with coriander and accompanied by rice.

Makes 6 servings.

Source: Classic Mexican


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