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Saturday, August 26, 2017

Where to use Pesto

If you can't answer that, just rub it all over yourself and have someone lick it off you..

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Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Methi & Chard Gotas with Kadhi

I was finally able to recreate one of my favorite Gujarati recipes after growing my own fenugreek leaves from seeds.
They are actually quite easy to grow, very low maintenance, and quick yield.  They'll grow indoors if it's cold in the winter and replenish the outside soil with nitrogen, so it's nice to grow them in several places one after the other to prepare the soil for something more needy afterwards.
I got garden side-tracked.
I've had these growing up, had them in India, and most recently had them in New Jersey every day for breakfast...which I really looked forward to each morning.
Instead of making me tired of it, it actually sparked my desire to make them myself.
Of course, sourcing the methi (fresh fenugreek leaves) is the hardest part.  You can't just go to the store and buy a "bunch" of methi like you would buy a bunch of cilantro or parsley.  Even cilantro is not always guaranteed here (I just grow that too).
My methi leaves are still a bit too small, but I felt I needed to make this right away because I wanted them RIGHT NOW.
So, I added some finely chopped swiss chard greens (also from the garden).  I have a different thinner Kadhi recipe here as well.  This Kadhi is thick like a dipping sauce.
Serves 2 as a meal, 4 as an appetizer
Ingredients

For Gotas:
1/2 cups packed methi leaves, finely chopped
1/4 cup packed chard leaves, finely chopped
1 green chile, coarsely chopped (add more if you like it extra spicy)
1/2 inch ginger, grated
1 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp garam masala
pinch hing (asafoetida)
juice from 1/2 lime
1/4 tsp salt or to taste
1 1/2 cups besan (chickpea flour)
3/4 cups water
1/4 tsp baking soda
Vegetable oil for frying

For Thick Kadhi:
1 1/2 cups buttermilk (half yogurt, half milk)
1 cup water
1/4 cup besan (chickpea flour)
pinch turmeric
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
pinch hing (asafoetida)
1 slit green chile
1 sprig curry leaves
pinch of salt
cilantro to garnish
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
Directions

For Gotas:
1.  Mix all the ingredients together gently until it forms a thick mixture.  It shouldn't be liquidy, but shouldn't be dry either.  You should be able to spoon it and have it slowly drip off.
2.  Heat the oil.  You dont need a deep fryer but you need a deep enough layer so the gotis can be submerged.
3.  Carefully spoon 1 heaping tsp of mixture into the oil at a time, frying until it turns golden, then removing with a slotted spoon onto a paper towel.

For Kadhi:
1.  Heat the oil in a wok or tadka or deep sautée pan.
2.  Add the seeds and cook until they crackle, then add the turmeric and hing.  They should fizz.
3.  Add the slit chile and curry leaves and fry for about 1 minute.
4.  Add the besan and buttermilk and cook, whisking until it thickens.  The buttermilk might separate but it's ok.
5.  Add water until the mixture reaches desired thickness.  Add salt to taste and garnish with cilantro.

For eating:
Either pour the kadhi all over the gotas and eat them one by one on your own plate...
or
keep it communal and use the kadhi as a dip..
Either way, enjoy and wish you had made more..

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Friday, August 4, 2017

Ahi and Avocado Poke Bowl on Arugula


My first memory of eating Poke was on the beach in Hawaii.. bought at the market and separated into plastic cups for the family.
I had never eaten anything as intriguing and it wasn't a big thing.
Then I had it several times at Roy's, a Hawaiian restaurant, and finally, a homemade version from my Father.
Since then, no poke for me.
Also since then, it seems like Poke has become the new fresh fast food.  There are little poke shops EVERYWHERE!
When you only come back to the US every couple of years, these types of changes really stand out.  It went from "what is poke and how to you pronounce it?" to "omg you don't know what poke is?"
Although it's trendy and delicious, which is a rare combination, I do hope that the fishing regulations will take notice of the diminishing tuna populations in the ocean.  These babies need a break to be able to reproduce in sufficient quantities.
Everyone loves to be able to eat it now but it would be even nicer to be able to eat it in the future.
With that said, when it is available and not too expensive, I'm guilty of indulging on that rare occasion.  When I do, this is how I prepare it:
Serves 4
Ingredients
900g (2lbs) fresh Ahi Tuna, cut into cubes
2 small avocados, cubed
1/2 firm cucumber, diced
1 very ripe tomato, diced
1 jalapeno, diced 
2 tsp dried seaweed, rehydrated (use hijiki or wakame)
1 handful chopped cilantro
1 handful chopped chives
1 green onion, chopped
as much arugula as you want as a bed
some black and white sesame seeds for garnish
Vinaigrette:
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp grated ginger
1 Tbsp sesame oïl
1 Tbsp rice vinegar
freshly cracked black pepper
1/2 tsp white sesame seeds
1/2 tsp black sesame seeds
Directions 
1.  Whisk the vinaigrette ingredients together.
2.  Toss with all the rest.
3.  Serve over a bed of arugula
4.  Ask yourself if you are worthy of eating such a heavenly thing

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Wednesday, August 2, 2017

From Yard to Table

Can you feel the joy in my heart?
Sometimes the most simple meals are the ones you create while you're daydreaming and are back to real life once you look at your plate.
Sourcing every single thing on this plate from my yard or the neighbor's yard makes for such a gratifying meal.
We have:
Fresh eggs, zucchini, heirloom tomatoes, chives, and cilantro.
The drizzle of olive oil is not from my yard, but brought to me by my brother:  Queen Creek Olive Mill in Arizona.. Mexican Lime Olive Oil.
For this moment.. I could ask for nothing better..

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