1. Neha
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    Neha Beyond Infinity. Contributor

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    La Cuisine

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Neha, Apr 25, 2009.

    We are a forum of diversity and I've noticed that in many threads discussion on food from different places crops up. Since I was bored I decided to create this thread where we could share, discuss and work out with recipes. I'll go first.

    This is an Indian speciality(one of my faves)-Rajma Masala(Red Kindey Beans Curry)...beans, not yum right? Well you just gotta have this dish--it's delicious!My Mom's recipe:

    2 cups red kidney beans soaked overnight(or at least 5 hours beforehand)
    4 cups water
    2 medium onions finely chopped
    2 bay leaves (optional)
    1 tablespoon each of finely chopped ginger and garlic
    ½ teaspoon each of asafoetida and turmeric powders
    1 teaspoon cumin seeds
    2 teaspoons red chilli powder
    2 big tomatoes finely chopped
    1 teaspoon each of hot spice mix (garam masala) and cumin powders
    2 tablespoons coriander powder
    3 tablespoons oil
    salt to taste


    Drain the soaked red kidney beans and wash them well. Place them in a pressure cooker (for speedy cooking). Add the water and some salt. Close the cooker and cook on high level. After one whistle, cook on low level for about 10 minutes or till the beans are soft.
    Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed pan on medium level and crackle the cumin seeds. Add the bay leaves (optional), asafoetida and chopped ginger-garlic. Fry briefly. Add the chopped onions and fry till they are golden brown. Add all the spice powders except hot spice mix. Add the chopped tomatoes. Fry till the oil separates. Add the cooked red kidney beans along with its stock, sprinkle salt, mix well and cook on medium level for about 15 minutes.
    Add the hot spice mix. Cover and cook on medium level for about 5 minutes.
    Garnish with finely chopped coriander leaves.

    Edit-the above dish can also be made in a pot if you don't have a pressure cooker. But it'll take almost twice the time
     
  2. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Neha! I want to marry you!! :D

    I love all things curry, both from the Indian subcontinent, and from Thailand.

    For me these foods are a gustatory epiphany.
     
  3. Neha
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    Neha Beyond Infinity. Contributor

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    talk to me in 2 years and maybe,....I'm still a minor :p...lol j/k..


    Have you had the Thai Chopsui?
     
  4. lessa
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    lessa Contributing Member

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    Neha over here people would probably use canned beans.
    and skip the soaking and pressure cooker stages.
    What is asafoetida I know the other ingredients but have
    never come across this one.
    sounds interesting might try it if I can find the ingredients.
     
  5. Neha
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    Neha Beyond Infinity. Contributor

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    Lessa-It's called hing in hindi....basically it's put in most Indian dishes because it helps in digestion and prevents acidity and gas problems...It's often used in egg-plant dishes.
     
  6. sophie.
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    sophie. Contributing Member

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    Just had some curry. Yum yum.

    Hmm.I can't cook...I panic and boil over and burn (the food :p)...but my mum makes a good lasagne!! Haha
     
  7. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Whole Wheat Pancakes

    2/3 c. All purpose flour
    1/3 c. Whole wheat flour
    ½ tsp. Baking soda
    ½ tsp. Salt
    ½ c. Buttermilk
    2 Tbs. Melted butter
    1 Egg, slightly beaten
    3 Tbsp. Molasses

    Directions:

    Combine the first four ingredients in a medium bowl. In another small bowl, combine the other four (liquid) ingredients — add the melted butter last. Add the liquid mixture into the dry mixture, and stir until any lumps are broken down. Add additional buttermilk or milk until the consistency is slighltly thicker than heavy cream. Use a 1/3 cup measure to pour batter into a hot non-stick pan or griddle. Turn when bubbles form into pits that don't collapse.
     
  8. ValianceInEnd
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    ValianceInEnd Active Member

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    Sounds pretty good. Are they akin to buckwheat pancakes Cog?
     
  9. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Well, buckwheat is basically an edible weed. Whole wheat is the same as white wjeat except that the husk of the wheat is ground in woth the flour, resulting in a higher fiber, mineral, and vitamine content. The real flavor comes from the molasses,

    This is my daughter's favorite kind of pancake.

    I've never cared much for buckwheat cakes myself.
     
  10. ValianceInEnd
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    ValianceInEnd Active Member

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    Thanks Cog for clearing it up for me.
     
  11. Neha
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    Neha Beyond Infinity. Contributor

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    As in the sugarcane by-product molasses?

    Hmm, my Mom makes a killer Naan at home, which is generally a type of Indian bread we have with veg/chicken curry. It's soft and chewy and yummy!

    2 cups lukewarm water
    1 tsp. active dry yeast
    1 cup milk
    27 oz. (6 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour; more or less as needed
    1 Tbs. plus 1 tsp. coarse salt
    Vegetable oil for the bowl
    3 to 4 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted
    Cornmeal or flour for dusting the peel
    1 tsp. nigella (black onion) seeds or 1 Tbs. sesame seeds for sprinkling (optional)


    To make the dough: Put 1/2 cup of the water in a cup or glass and stir in the yeast. Heat the milk in a small saucepan to lukewarm, about 100°F. Pour the milk and remaining 1-1/2 cups water into a large bowl. Stir in the yeast mixture. Stir in about 2 cups of flour, stirring always in the same direction, until smooth. Stir in the salt and continue stirring in flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until the dough is too stiff to stir but is still soft. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Wash, dry, and lightly oil the bowl. Knead the dough until it's smooth, 4 to 5 minutes, incorporating only enough flour (by keeping the work surface dusted) to prevent the dough from sticking; the dough should be quite soft and not tight.

    Put the dough in the bowl, cover with plastic, and let it rise in a cool place for 8 hours or overnight. If you're not ready to bake yet, punch down the dough, put it in a plastic bag, and refrigerate it for up to 3 days.

    To shape and bake: About 1-1/4 hours before you want to serve the breads, set an oven rack to an upper-middle rung. Put a large baking stone or unglazed quarry tiles on the rack, leaving a 1-inch gap around the border. Heat the oven to 500°F.

    Pull the dough away from the sides of the bowl and transfer it to a lightly floured surface. Cut the dough in half, putting half of it back in the bowl (covered) while you work with the other half.

    Cut the dough half into five equal pieces. Shape each one into a ball by rolling the dough on the counter or by using both hands to turn it, round it, and smooth it. Put the balls to the side or back of the counter (flour the surface), and brush each with melted butter. Cover with plastic and let rest for 20 minutes. During the last few minutes of resting, prepare the remaining dough the same way.

    Dust a rimless baking sheet or peel lightly with cornmeal or flour. Put one risen ball of dough on the floured work surface and push it out with your fingertips to a 6- or 7-inch round; don't turn it over.

    After some time, push it out to a rough 9x7-inch oval; you might try stretching it by draping it over the back of your hands and pulling gently. Repeat with the second piece of dough.

    Place both ovals on the peel and pull on the front edges. Sprinkle on seeds, if using. Transfer the flatbreads to the baking stone in the oven.

    Bake the breads until their rippled tops have light golden spots and the bottoms are golden, 5 to 6 minutes. Remove them with a peel or long-handled spatula, transfer to a rack to cool for about 5 minutes, and brush with more melted butter, if you like. Wrap them in a cotton cloth to keep them soft and warm.
     
  12. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I love Naan. The basic plain Naan is my favorite though.
     
  13. Neha
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    Neha Beyond Infinity. Contributor

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    as in the Tandoori?? I myself prefer Chappatis and puris, which are sort of fried chappatis.
     
  14. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Yes, the Tandoori Naans, with the slight smokiness, and the sweetness that comes from flour breaking down to sugars from the heat.
     
  15. Neha
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    Neha Beyond Infinity. Contributor

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    Yup, that's good too, esp. with cheese spread---what do you prepare your Tanduri Roti in? The best are those made in the tandoors, in fact everything made in the tandoor is yum, like tandoori chicken.
     
  16. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I'll be honest with you - I love naan, but I don't make it myself. There are some wonderful restaurants in the area, and I always look forward to the naan.

    I have made flat bread loaves on a charcoal grill though, and the flavor is not dissimilar. The texture is different, though. The grill bread is heartier and more chewy than naan.
     
  17. lessa
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    lessa Contributing Member

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    Neha thanks for the recipe.
    I have been thinking about making Naan
    but didn't find a recipe.
    no Indian restaurants or stores in our town
    not even in either big city left or right of us.
    We can buy Naan bread in the grocery store and
    it is nice but I guess I want to try the real stuff.
    Will make it this week when I make bread again.
    One question though.
    Does it pack well for taking on picnics.
    We go in the bush for day trips lots and it would
    be nice for snacking on.
     
  18. Neha
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    Neha Beyond Infinity. Contributor

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    lol, I think it'll be fine if you wrap it up in foil paper...should remain good and warm for a while....however not for more than 2 hours though, it'll harden up then...there's another type of bread that doesn't spoil for a long time though. I'll see if I can get the recipe for you.
     
  19. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Generally, breads containing no fats dry our quickly. Adding oils extends their "fresh time", and some fats, (butter, ghee, olive oil, sesame oil, etc.) also add uniquie flavors and aromas to the bread.
     
  20. lessa
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    lessa Contributing Member

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    we always have a one burner stove in the van so I could make the dough
    at home and bake it when we stop.
    Will definetly try this.
    I make bannok out in the bush quite often since it is easy to bake in the
    frying pan. I have cast iron ones and one is a griddle.
     
  21. Carmina
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    Carmina Contributing Member Contributor

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    Oohhhh...I need to go through my recipes now. :) Oh wait...everything I cook comes out of a box, can, jar, or freezer. Hmm....let me think on this.
     
  22. ManicParroT
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    ManicParroT Contributing Member

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    Oh wow, I'd kill for some naan bread. Or some rotis. The Japanese have no idea of how to make decent wheat flour based products, and I don't have an oven :(

    To contribute:

    Ostrich Bolognese

    This is pretty straightforward - it's just a spag bolognese with ostrich mince. People might have seen ostrich mince in the supermarket and not known what to do with it. Well, here you go.

    Spaghetti (duh)

    Ostrich mince (800g or so - this recipe is very scalable)
    Tinned tomatoes (I use two tins)
    Onions (1)
    garlic (as many cloves as you can be bothered to peel)
    Olive oil (not too much)
    Carrots (one)
    A little milk
    Red wine (1 - 2 glasses)

    Fry up the garlic, carrot and onions with a little olive oil on a low heat. You don't want it to burn.

    Once it's softened, chuck in the mince and turn the heat up. Stir the mince around, breaking it up into little pieces. Make sure it's all thoroughly browned.

    Pour in the milk. This helps protect the meat from the acidity of the remaining ingredients.

    Pour in the red wine and turn the heat down slightly. Chuck in the tomatoes, and then lower the temperature to a very slow simmer. Let it reduce (cook off), until it's a rich, thick sauce.

    In the meantime, have your spaghetti going. Remember, you either need to cook spaghetti in a big pot with a LOT of water (I mean, 4 litres or so for a packet of spag) or you need to add a little olive oil to the water, to help prevent the spaghetti from sticking together.

    Strain the spaghetti, mix with the sauce and serve. Parmesan cheese is strongly recommended. Kids often like to use grated cheddar cheese.

    Some notes:

    If you've cooked the spaghetti and the sauce still has some time to go, you should run it under a cold tap to stop it from overcooking. When you need to serve it, pour a kettle full of boiling water over the spaghetti and it'll heat up.
    Ostrich meat is pretty healthy - lower fat content than beef, but a similar flavour.
    If you want to lower the fat content of mince you can prebrown it (seperate from the onions and so on) and then run hot water over it. This lowers the fat content, but I suspect it doesn't improve the flavour.
     
  23. lessa
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    lessa Contributing Member

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    Some notes:

    If you've cooked the spaghetti and the sauce still has some time to go, you should run it under a cold tap to stop it from overcooking. When you need to serve it, pour a kettle full of boiling water over the spaghetti and it'll heat up.
    Ostrich meat is pretty healthy - lower fat content than beef, but a similar flavour.
    If you want to lower the fat content of mince you can prebrown it (seperate from the onions and so on) and then run hot water over it. This lowers the fat content, but I suspect it doesn't improve the flavour.

    for hamburger or beef mince you can lower the fat content by
    putting it into a plastic strainer and cook it in the microwave.
    meat cooks and browns and the fat goes out the holes into a pan.
    then toss it with onions and cook until the onions are soft.
     
  24. ManicParroT
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    ManicParroT Contributing Member

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    Oh, that's very good to know. Sounds better than my method. I'll leave it up, for those poor saps (like me) who don't have a microwave.
     
  25. lessa
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    lessa Contributing Member

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    cook the meat and onions and spices then spoon it onto paper towel or a coffee filter the way you do french fries.
    have done that for years before the microwave was around.
    yes I am from the age of dinosaurs.
     

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