Baked Beans

I love baked beans.  Seriously love.  Seriously, seriously love.  If you had to make me choose between chocolate and baked beans…yes, you guessed it.  Actually, you know, maybe not.  Chocolate is pretty enticing.  But if you made me choose between a piece of fried chicken and baked beans, definitely baked beans wins.  I’m considering following an online recipe and making my own baked beans from scratch…

2 cans Heinz Baked Beans
2 tablespoons olive oil
5 oz onions, chopped fine
1 teaspoon jeeru seeds
1/4 teaspoon methi seeds
1/4 teaspoon hing (asafoetida) powder
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon garam masala
2 tomatoes, blanched and pureed

In a medium sized pot, heat the oil, and add jeeru, methi, and hing, letting it sizzle. Once it sizzles, add the onions, and saute over medium-low heat until slightly pink. Next, add in the spices, and braise over high heat, and then add the pureed tomatoes, stirring the spices into it.

Pour in the baked beans and stir, coating the beans well with the spicy tomato puree and bring to a boil.

Lower the heat, and cover, leaving to simmer for about 20 minutes.

Serve hot with bread rolls or atop a baked potato.

Curry Kichree

There’s something about Gujarati’s and Curry Kichree.  Not sure why they feel so much love towards it, but everybody’s got their thing.  My thing really is just butternut or pasta or pizza.  Which are equally simple.  Simple things do rock.

2 cups yogurt
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 onion, chopped roughly
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
2 teaspoons jeeru
1 tablespoon cilantro leaves
3 curry leaves
Several slices onions

In a small frying pan, heat the ghee and add slices of onion.  Over medium heat, saute until golden

brown.  Place into a bowl and set aside.  Next, in the small frying pan, add the curry leaves and 1 teaspoon jeeru and fry until the jeeru starts to blacken.

In a blender, add yogurt, garlic, onion, salt, turmeric, 1 teaspoon jeeru, and cilantro.  Blend

together until smooth.  Pour into a saucepan, and bring to a boil.  Simmer for 5 minutes over low and add the golden brown onions and jeeru.

Serve hot with kichree.

Butternut Squash Masala

I love Butternut.  The way this is made is so awesome.  It’s got some spiciness and some sweetness, which balances each other out.  And it’s yellow, which makes it feel like a kids food.  :D

2 tablespoons ghee or butter
4 oz onion, sliced thickly
1/2 teaspoon methi seeds
1 teaspoon jeeru seeds
4 peppercorns, crushed
3 curry leaves
1 green chili
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon ginger / garlic paste
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup water
1 butternut squash, cubed

In a small bowl, place the red pepper flakes, ginger / garlic paste, turmeric, paprika, sugar, and salt.  Set aside.

In a frying pan, heat the ghee with the methi, jeeru, peppercorn, and curry leaves until it starts to sizzle.  Add the onion and green chili, lower the heat, and saute until translucent and limp.  Once the onions are done, add the spice mixture from the small bowl.  Mix into the onions and then add the butternut and water.

Cook over low heat, covered, for about 1/2 hour to one hour until done, when butternut is poked with a skewer and it is tender.  When butternut is done, increase the heat and burn off the excess water.

Serve with kichree.

Kichree

1/3 cup mung dhal
1 cup American Long Grain rice
1 cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon ghee
Several slices of onion
1/3 cup water

In a small bowl, wash the mung dhal and leave to soak for 15 minutes.  Wash the rice and set aside.

In a medium size pot, bring water to a boil with cinnamon, turmeric, and salt.  Once boiling, lower the heat to medium-high, and add the rice and mung dhal.  Cook until the rice is al dente, about 7-10 minutes.

While the rice is cooking, in a small frying pan, heat the ghee and add slices of onion.  Over medium heat, saute until golden brown.

Drain the rice into a colander, and wipe the pot.  Place the rice into the pot once again, along with the water and golden brown onions on top.  Steam the rice over lower heat, covered, for about 15 minutes.

Dhal

1/4 cup oil dhal
1/4 cup chana dhal
1/2 yellow split dhal
1 oz onion, coarsely chopped
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon crushed peppercorn

1/4 lb meat (mutton, chicken, or beef)
1 oz onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon ginger/garlic, heaped
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon crushed peppercorn
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup celery, 3 inch chunks

4 oz onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 tablespoons oil
1 oz ginger/garlic paste
1/2 teaspoon crushed peppercorn
2 teaspoons coriander/cumin powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon fennel powder
4 oz coconut milk (or 8 oz tomato puree)

1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
A few curry leaves
2 dried red chilies
A few thin slices of onion
2 tablespoons oil
2 tablespoons coriander leaves
2 tablespoons chopped green onions
A few mint leaves

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Patta Paste

18 oz onion, coarsely chopped
12 green chilies
1/2 cup water
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 tablespoon coriander/cumin powder
3 tablespoons ginger/garlic paste
8 oz gram flour
4 oz cornmeal
2 tablespoons cake flour

In a blender, process the onions, chilies, and water, until just done. The mixture does not need to be smooth.

In a deep dish, pour the onion mixture, and mix in the rest of the ingredients.

That’s how the leaves roll

First you have a big pile big green leaves.

Then you make some yellow paste, and smear it on.

Fold over the sides, and start rolling.


Watch as the small pile turns into a big one. Yay!  Steam ‘em now.

Then you fry up some onions with sesame and mustard seeds…

…and take this out from steam, and remove the onions from the oil…

…and place the rolled leaves in the pot and fry, then top with tomato purée and the onions.

Weeeeeee!  I sense I might be alone in my excitement.  Tough crowd of one…

Big Loaves, Small Loaves

Old vs New. Or Big vs Small. Or This vs That. You get the drill.


I admit, that might be the lamest heart ever.  Ok, it is the lamest heart ever.


Unfinished vs Finished.

Mug ni Dhal

3/4 cup yellow moong dhal (split yellow gram)
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 dried red chili
1/4 teaspoon hing powder
1/2 onion
3 tablespoons oil
1 green chili, sliced in half
1 teaspoon coriander/cumin powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon ginger/garlic paste
1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
Curry leaves

In a medium-sized pot, soak the yellow moong dhal in warm water for about 90 minutes.

Using a hand-held blender, blend the dhal until smooth.  Set aside.

In a another pot, heat up the cumin seeds, red chili, and hing powder.  Add oil and onions and green chili to the pot, and fry until onions are golden brown.  Add coriander/cumin powder, salt, and ginger/garlic paste to the pot and stir in.  Next, pour dhal to pot and stir well.

In medium size frying pan, roast cumin seeds, mustard seeds, and curry leaves in oil until the seeds stop popping.  Pour mixture into the dhal.

Baked Corn

Around the holidays, the Los Angeles Times Parade section had a little piece about one of Dean Koontz’s favorite dishes that his wife makes. It’s simple, quick and easy; made with canned corn. Because of the nostalgic feelings associated to Corn in a Cup, this comes second in my favorite corny dishes.  Sadly, Corn on the Cob isn’t always so perfect, and I’m just not a die-hard cornbread fan (but it’s growing on me more!).  I do still have to try out cream of corn soup someday!

Ingredients
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons flour
1 15-oz can of corn –whole and drained
2 eggs, beaten

Boil 3/4 cup milk with better and sugar.
Dissolve flour in 1/4 cup milk. Pour flour mixture into milk mixture to make a thin white sauce.
Add to drained corn in a 1- to 1.5 quart Pyrex loaf pan. Mix in eggs.
Bake for 1 hour at 400 F.

Serves 4.