Technology, she laughs at me. In spite of the heavy week I have had, and the ridiculous struggle between stomach bugs and long fasts, this tempestuous maiden of the modern world prefers to kick me where it hurts and completely erase an entire draft of this post, nearly finished but evidently not backed up. Alas. I had this brilliant post marveling in the magnificence of human athleticism that is the Olympics, leading to the trials of fasting through Olympics, and if you can believe it I had some kind of delicate turn oh phrase that led quite seamlessly to these kabobs.
Humph. You don’t get to read that now. But that’s okay, what does it compare to the mind-blowing skills of the amazing US women’s 4×200 m Medley. Olympic records being broken left and right. Wow! I guess you could say my personal Olympic challenge would be in the realm of cooking–that is, trying to make the tastiest kabob out of the medley of ingredients found in my sister-in-law’s kitchen with nary a taste to guide me! (Not quite as seamless, but good enough) Continue reading →
Did you even realize you can find us on Facebook?!? You should consider checking Coriander Dreams out there (and even Liking us) for video highlights, random anecdotes and such treats as the Daily Tasty! It’s also a fun and easy way to reach out and share your thoughts about recipes, recommendations, and even requests. Just throwing it out there for all you crazy FB lurkers. Might as well look at something delectable too.
Many a year ago I discovered something that would completely upend the way I looked at a pepper–the art of skinning it. You’d do well not to dwell on the exhilaration I glean from such an activity; certainly I’d only apply such tactics to veggies after all. I was first exposed to this while studying in Mexico (For a whole 5 months afterwards my Spanish skills were quite exceptional. Now, 5 years later, I’m like any other gringa. Que Oso!). During my month long stint that summer, I partook not only in strictly language classes, but also dance, music, and cooking. I also make a super easy, super tasty and super unhealthy flan if you’re interested. And I was dubbed the most dangerous one on the dance floor. My moves are lethal! 😉
Experiences like that truly are invaluable; exposure to another culture fosters mental and personal development, and the chance to get your hands literally dirty in the process of submerging into it… well, nothing beats that in my book. So I learned the way of the pepper. The stuffed pepper. The charred and peeled stuffed pepper. The amazingly sweet, smoky, succulent pepper. Continue reading →
Another quick treat for you, for those days you want to pretend you are cooking and still come out with something exquisite. This recipe is part of my unofficial series of ‘no work, just bake’ recipes, wherein I literally toss random spices together to zest up a vegetable and let the oven do the work. What? Have I never shared my fall back recipes with you? Sumptuous cauliflower? Melty garlic? Succulent brussel sprouts? Yes indeed, brussel sprouts are actually in my top 5 list here folks, completely eradicating years of conditioning hearing young ignorant children harp on their fear and loathing of the cute little cabbage thingies.
Anyway, for today’s special, we are offering baked broccoli to a crisp, utterly divine and un-broccoli-ish by the end of it all. I had to do something as my sister in law gave us a beautiful bunch of fresh broccoli, but the challenge fell on the fact that the husband more or less can’t stand it most times. Great. Baked it is then!
one large bunch of broccoli florets, stemmed and chopped in half if needed (don’t want them to be too large)
1 tbsp Amazing curry powder husband made (Roasted coriander, curry leaves, a little cumin and lord knows what else)
1 tsp Red chili powder if desired
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil and lightly grease it with olive oil. Rinse the broccoli (goes without saying, right?) and drizzle some olive oil until the are fairly coated. Then add the curry powder. Now I used some crazy concoction the husband made, and once I know what it is I will share with you. But you can use a standard curry powder, or just some coriander and cumin powders. Better yet, experiment with flavors. I didn’t use any garlic for example, but you might.
Anyhoo, lightly sprinkle with salt and add the chili powder if you like. Spread on the baking sheet (i sprinkled a little more salt for good measure because I’m notorious for never putting enough to be honest, although I like it that way. Its a touchy subject in this household. Some people tend to overdo it. Just sayin’.
Loosely cover the pan with foil and bake for about 20 min. Once the broccoli have darkened considerably and have a lovely crisp, you’re done. Remove and eat quickly before the husband nabs it and eats the whole bowl. Fatty, Yeesh.
Quick treat for you: spicy baked okra!
A simple treat that is sure to convince even the okra-fearful that their sticky uncooked traits are always short lived. These delectable crunchies are the perfect complement to a night filled with daal and rice (kichdi), paneer and raita… Or with anything. I’m just trying to make you envision my dinner. And then salivate.
In a large bowl mix in 2 tbsp olive oil with:
2 tsp coriander powder
1 1/2 tsp cumin powder
1 tbsp garlic and ginger paste, each
1 1/2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp chaat masala (found in indian groceries. Barring that, use some clove powder, black pepper, and dried mango powder)
Salt to taste
1 tbsp of gram flour (besan)
fresh squeeze of lime, or a drizzle of lime juice
Mix it up and adjust the olive oil, lemon juice and besan to reach a desired pasty consistency ( not too runny, should be thick) and also adjust the seasonings as you wish for taste.
Take a pound or so of fresh okra, slice off the tops and ends and then slice lengthwise in quarters, making long strips rather than the typical circles.
Mix into the paste vigorously, trying to coat every piece with some masala. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees but first quickly pan fry the okra in 1 tbsp extra light olive oil on medium/high heat. I did this just to rid the okra of any major stickiness, for no more than 2 minutes. The okra will gently brown, after which immediately spread it on a baking pan (carefully, it’s hot!) and bake for 20-25 minutes. Check occasionally and lightly mix it once or twice for even baking.
A few weeks ago G ad I went bowling with his sister and her friend Ron. As the husband and I arrived at the lanes first, we took the liberty of posting everyone’s name on the board… In hindsight, I’m sure Beena will tell you not to let us arrive earlier than anyone who bowls with us again, else suffer the consequences <insert sinister chuckle here>. Oh it wasn’t that bad, we have silly minds more than anything else, but G did come up with a gem for Ron. Just the night before he had been raving about a particular dish we had made, so it seemed quite apt that when his turn came up, instead of “Ron” the board read “Parmesan Chicken”.
It’s too bad those boards are limited in space, because Ron really deserved to be titled Parmesan Crusted Chicken, considering the rapturous praises he virtually sang. All he really needed was a heavenly choir floating down from the beaming skies. Am I being over dramatic? Perhaps. But this chicken was ridiculously tasty and simple. Also slightly unhealthy because of the butter, but that can be substituted with olive oil, Smart Balance, or whatever else. Of course the husband is very adamant about his daily butter intake, a habit I am TRYING so desperately to curb. So we did this the first time with butter, but after that the husband need not know I’ve since made the necessary substitutions. But the best thing, we baked!
I stared into the pantry cupboard. I turned to gaze at the open door of the fridge. A sigh of puzzlement. Back to the pantry. To the fridge. Pantry. Fridge. Pantry. Fridge. Ceiling. Oh, that would be me rolling my eyes in aggravation at not knowing what to make.
This is how most days start for me actually, unless I had a vision the night before and plan to bring it to life. Not for want of ingredients—definitely not stocked with all the goodies of a gourmet pantry but decently expansive most of the time—but rather I always begin the creative process this way. Staring blankly at a white page, at a new day, at an untouched kitchen. The directions are infinite, thus rendering my decision-making all the harder.
So anyway, one day in particular I took a gander at the plethora of lentils that G bought recently and figured it might be wise to start using some of them—but how?? Ergh… more thinking… what to do with all this stuff?? This stuff… stuff… Stuff!
And thus Stuffed bell peppers with lentils galore were born! Yeah yeah, cheesy transition, but cheesy I am. Continue reading →