December 31, 2008

Happy 2009!

year 2009

This year I hit upon the Farmer's Market and started the Farmer's Market series. I made my own applesauce, jams and jellies and even canned sauces for the dreary winter. I am yet to post them... will do as I open them one by one.

For the new year it is our hope to do more of the same. Hopefully we will continue to make simple and quick dinners and lunches, indulging our tastes, learning new recipes and making healthy food. We also hope to do more with off-the-beaten-path recipes and themes (like the Thanjavur marathi series).

Thank you everyone for your encouragement and continued support.

Wishing everyone - family, friends, fellow bloggers, and readers - a
safe, healthy, auspicious and happy new year.

HAPPY 2009!

December 30, 2008

Lamb Shammi Kebabs


As promised, this is the shammi kebabs recipe that I made for dinner recently. I saved some from this for the puff pastry bites in the earlier post:)

I had picked up some organic minced lamb from the Farmer's Market few weeks ago on an impulse and had no idea what to do with it. So, when I was in the Indian store a week later and saw the Shaan Shammi Kebab Masala packet, I picked it up and decided to give it a try.

This was the first time trying out kebabs at home, and it came out great. The kebabs were soft and perfectly spiced too. I followed the recipe (more or less) adding just extra garam masala while cooking. We had it as a roll with salad on spinach tortilla. Yum.

(adapted from Shaan recipe)

1 lb minced lamb
1 cup chana dal - soaked for 30 min
1 packet Shaan Masala
8-9 cloves garlic
1 1/2 tbspoon ginger paste
2 medium onions
2 green chillies
2 cardamoms
2 cloves
1" cinamon
Salt and pepper

For Kebabs:
1 medium onion - chopped finely
1-2 green chillies- chopped finely
1/4 cup cilantro - chopped finely
1 egg
2-3 tbspoon oil

Boil all the ingredients (leaving out the onion, chillies, cilantro, egg) together till meat and dal is boiled.

Drain the water and grind it together to a paste. Take care to drain the water properly. If there is water left in the mix, it will make it hard to make kebabs as it becomes too soft and crumbly.

Heat a thick bottomed pan and add some oil. Now add the chopped onions, cilantro and mix it well. Take a small amount of the mix (about small scoop of ice-cream) in the palm of your hand and flatter it slowly to make kebab. Dip it in the egg wash and fry till each side is golden brown.


Serve warm. Enjoy it as a starter, as a side dish for dinner or as the main course.

December 22, 2008

Puff Pastry Appetizer Bites

puff bite-2

The weather has been freezing the past week, not to mention the big snow storm that hit on Friday. In this weather, when you are looking for reasons to not got out and shovel the snow, doing a television series marathon seems the perfect excuse. We have been watching "The Wire" and these appetizer bites kept us glued to the television screen.

I picked up the puff pastry sheet at Trader Joe's and created a variety of toppings. I have made it a few times now with meat, mushrooms, jam, applesauce, color bell peppers etc - and have received good feedback from everyone.

1 puff pastry sheet
Cheese - I used three cheeses: Pepper Jack, Cheddar and Swiss
Toppings: For this post, I used some leftover lamb kebabs which I made recently. (recipe coming in the next post)
Garnish - You can garnish with variety of herbs. For this round, I used cilantro.

This is the simple part.

Preheat the oven to 400 degF. Cut the puff pastry to bite size pieces and layer each piece individually with cheese and meat.

puff bite-1

Bake for 15 minutes and serve warm.

December 15, 2008

Carrot Soup


'Tis the season, as the semester ends, to get together, eat and enjoy friends company. We had friends over during the weekend and I made some pizza, soup with a big bowl of salad. The pizza is over, but we had some soup leftover which we enjoyed with our dinner today.

This is a mix of carrot, potato and onion soup and the ratio is 4:2:1. So for 4 carrots, you put two potatoes (half of carrots) and one onion (half of potatoes). The soup is spicy with garam masala, cumin, and ginger garlic. The best part is there is no cream added, yet this is thick and creamy and the spices cut the sweetness of the carrots well. This is perfect for that movie/tv series marathon you've been planning, or just relaxing on a snowy day.

Ingredients: (serves 5-6)
8 medium carrots
4 potatoes
2 onions
3 cloves garlic
1" ginger
2 bay leaves
1 tspoon garam masala
1 tspoon cumin powder (I dry roasted the seeds and ground them)
1/2 tspoon red chilli powder
1/4 tspoon turmeric powder
Salt to taste

I like to mix in my spices when I am boiling the vegetables so they mix well together.

Clean and cut the vegetables and cut in big cubes. Boil them together with the spices. Once boiled and tender, puree in batches.


Put it in a big pot and simmer for a 3-4 minutes. Garnish with cilantro (optional) and serve warm with salad, pizza, or bread.

December 09, 2008

A-2 Farmer's Market #11

Now that the winter has come in for good, the veggies at the market have reduced dramatically. This time when I went in, several of the vendors were gone and only a few were selling veggies. But there were several vendors with beautiful arrangements and wreaths and I spent a lot of time looking through them.


This picture is of the veggies I got from the market last week. And you can see the difference. I made potato & pumpkin sabzi with the pumpkin and the carrots and broccoli went in a couple of different dishes But the one we ate right after coming home was the delicious cranberry and walnut whole wheat bread. :)

Read about the other Farmer's Market trips:
Farmer's Market #1
Farmer's Market #2
Farmer's Market #3
Farmer's Market #4
Farmer's Market #5
Farmer's Market #6
Farmer's Market #7
Farmer's Market # 8, #9
Farmer's Market #10

December 03, 2008

Fried Catfish w/ cranberry relish


It's been a while since I posted last. The truth is that the Mumbai blasts really shook me and I couldn't bring myself to do anything else. We were glued to the Internet and television as the events unfolded. We were wondering what we could do here in Ann Arbor, and got a chance to attend a vigil at University of Michigan Diag two days ago. Despite the bitter cold, about 200 people gathered to pay their respects and try and make sense of what seems meaningless.

I feel little better now, better enough to talk about food again. So let me share this catfish fry with cranberry relish recipe with you all. We went to a friend's place for dinner and got the recipe for cranberry relish, which I tweaked to go with the fish fry. Here is how this came together.

Catfish fry
Ingredients:(serves 2-3)
2 catfish fillets
1/2 tspoon turmeric powder
1/2 tspoon chilli powder
1/4 tspoon fresh ground black pepper
salt to taste
1 1/2 tbspoon soy sauce
2 tbspoon oil

Mix all the spices in soy sauce and make a paste. Marinate the fish in the paste for 2-3 hours.
Heat oil in a thick bottomed pan and shallow fry the fish 3-4 min on each side till the fish is cooked completely.

Cranberry relish
2/3 pack fresh cranberry pack
1 fresh apple
1 full orange (with rind)
1/4 tspoon salt
2-3 tspoon brown sugar (change it with your taste)

Chop it all together in a mixer till you get a relish consistency, not too smooth. This is the original cranberry relish recipe.

To this I added 1/2 tspoon balsamic vinegar, 1/2 tspoon virgin olive oil and fresh ground pepper. It gave a nice tang and sweetness which went really well with the simple fish fry.

catfish cranberry

We had this for lunch this past weekend with quinoa pilaf.


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