Pork Vindaloo

April 4th, 2010

A little bit of Vindaloo history:

In 1509 the Portuguese explorer, Alfonso de Albuquerque came to India. He captured Goa a tiny state on the West Coast of India, from the Sultan of Bijapur and made it the headquarters of the Portuguese Empire in India. The Portuguese controlled the whole of India’s export trade to Europe for more than a century. The Portuguese introduced chili peppers, potatoes, coffee, tobacco and Christianity to India. Goa became a Portuguese colony and is about one third Christian to this day.

Vindaloo is a very hot and sour dish developed by the descendants of the Portuguese. Goa is known for its fiery Pork Vindaloo. Goa is one of the few states in India where pork is commonly consumed. This dish use to be taken on sea voyages hence there is no water used in it, and the vinegar acts as a preservative. The word Vindaloo comes from the Portuguese word Vin, meaning vinegar and Alho meaning garlic.

Vindaloo Masala

8 Dried Red Cayenne peppers

20 Black Pepper Corns Read the rest of this entry »

Baklava

April 4th, 2010

The Mediterranean cuisine has been popular all over the world for its delicious taste as well as for the healthy ingredients. The first known inhabitants of Greece were some people of the Stone Age around 7000 BC who came from the east. The Greeks arrived about 2000 BC from the north. Flour, honey, pastry and nuts have been the style of Greek food since fifth century BC as mentioned in the comedies of Aristophane the famous Greek philosopher. After the partition of the Roman Empire in AD 330, Greece became part of the Byzantine Empire based in Constantinople, which is now Istanbul. This lasted for more than eleven centuries. In 1453 the Ottoman Turks captured Constantinople and Greece lived under Ottoman control for the next four hundred years. By the time Greece emerged as an independent nation again in 1830 their cuisine became Middle Eastern.

Greek desserts are typically very sweet with a lot of fat content. One of the most popular one is Baklava, a dessert made with phyllo pastry, nuts and sweets. Another variation of the Baklava is Sourota, which is a Baklava Roll. When I was in a Loreto School in Calcutta India, one of my classmates was called Athena and was originally from Greece. Her grandmother used to come from Greece every summer to visit her. I took a few notes while watching her make this dessert and I have worked on refining this recipe ever since. This is the sweet result.

Ingredients: Read the rest of this entry »

Royal Bengal Kitchen Judged First in Chili

February 28th, 2010

On February 27th Caterer Roma Melrose was Awarded First Place by the Judges in the the  Chili in Niwot competition. She was also awarded second place in the Peoples Choice competition. “Chili is fun! They warm you on a cold night, cool you on a warm night, and there is nothing better than Chili with a warm tortilla.” Said the winner Roma Melrose.

Roma’s Yoga of Food, Ayurvedic Cooking

February 21st, 2010

The natural healing cuisine of India

“Ayurveda” or the science of life is the ancient medical system of India and existed since about 5000B.C. There are four religious doctrines discovered many years ago in India. They are the Rig-Veda, Sham Veda, Yajur Veda and Atharva Veda. The Ayurveda is contained within the Atharva Veda. Ayurveda is based on firstly a belief in God. The healing system is based on love.

According to Ayurveda, there are three major life forces in the body called the three biological humors. In Sanskrit they are called Vata, Pitta, and Kapha and are also known as the “Tridoshas”. They again relate to the elements of air, fire and water and is the basis for the treatment of both physical and psychological constitution. There is also the three “Gunas” or qualities called Satya, Rajas, and Tamas. The biological humors are the root of this ancient healing system.

 Ayurvedic science of food and diet is a tremendously large field and influences every aspect of one’s life. In Chinese medicine there is reference to Yin, Yang and Chi or blood to be the primary elements in the body. In European Medicine it refers to as the Bile, Blood and the Phlegm. In Ayurveda “Purusha” means male and “Prakriti” translates as female. The “Tridoshas” Vata Pitta and Kapha as discussed before are the dynamic principles that govern the body, mind, and consciousness. Read the rest of this entry »

Khichuri

February 21st, 2010

This is a basic Mung Bean dal and Basmati rice stew

The word Khichuri literally means a hotchpotch or a mixture

2 Cups Mung Bean Dal, or split yellow Lentils available at the Indian Groceries or Asian and Thai markets. You could substitute with split Red Lentils available at regular grocery stores.

1 Cup Basmati Rice

4 Tbs. Ghee, clarified butter, or cooking oil

2 Bay Leaves

2 Whole Cayenne Peppers

1 Tsp. Cumin Seeds, whole

1 Jalapeno or two Serranos chopped fine

1 Tsp. Asafoetida or Hing powder (available at Asian or Indian grocers)

1 Tomato chopped, about one cup

1 Tbs. Fresh ginger peeled and grated

1Tsp. Turmeric powder

1 Tbs. Roasted and ground Cumin Seeds

1Tbs. Salt

1Tbs. Sugar

1Tsp Garam Masala (Equal amounts of Cardamom Cinnamon and Clove ground together)

6 Cups Water (You might need more) Read the rest of this entry »

Cranberry Chutney

February 21st, 2010

2 Cups Fresh or frozen cranberries

1/2 Cup Fine sugar

1 Cup Brown sugar

1 Tbs. Salt

1Tbs. Peeled and grated fresh ginger

1 Tbs. Whole mustard seeds

1 Tsp. Crushed red pepper

1 Tbs. Cooking oil

Heat the oil in a pot and put the mustard seeds and the crushed peppers in. When they start popping add the ginger. Fry the ginger a little bit and then add the cranberries, sugars, salt and simmer the chutney in medium heat till the cranberries are mushy and there is a thick gravy. Serve as a condiment or sweet chutney on the side with dinner.

Cucumber Raita

February 21st, 2010

2 Cups Thin slices of Cucumber

1 Green lime juiced.

1 Tsp. Roasted and ground Ground Cumin seeds.

1 Tsp. Kala Namak or Rock Salt Powder available at Indian Groceries already powdered and if not available, use regular Salt.

1 Tsp. Sugar

1 Cup Plain Yogurt

1 Cup Chopped Cilantro

2 Tbs. Fresh Mint Leaves minced fine

Mix everything together in a bowl and serve as a condiment with dinner or as an appetizer with chips.

Gota Siddhow

February 21st, 2010

Means “Whole Boiled”

This cuisine is a special one and it is better to search for small sized whole vegetables.

1 Cup Small whole potatoes.

1 Cup Small onions peeled

1 Cup Frozen peas

1 Cup Butternut Squash peeled, and chopped

1 Cup Baby carrots

1 Bunch Spinach Leaves

1 Cup Brussel Sprouts

2 Plantains

2 Tarro Root this can be found in Asian markets or in regular grocery stores

You can be creative and add any vegetables. Do not stick to the rules, if you have bigger vegetables cut them in chunks.

Boil the vegetables together with 1 cup of water and after they are cooked try to dry the water up as much as possible on high heat taking care not to burn them. Cool the vegetables and mix them in a bowl with:

2 Tbs. Mustard Oil available at Asian or Indian Groceries. You can also use Ghee or Clarified Butter

1 Tbs. Ground hot mustard powder

1 Tbs. Salt

1 Green Lime or Yellow Lemon juiced

1/2 Cup Chopped cilantro

1 Jalapeno or two Serranos chopped.

Serve with plain rice or the rice and lentil stew.

Aloo Morich

February 21st, 2010

The word “Aloo ” means potato and “morich ” means black pepper.

4 Big Potatoes boiled, peeled and cubed.

1 Tbs. Ground Black Pepper

1 Tbs. Ghee or Clarified Butter or cooking oil

1 Tsp. Salt.

1 Cup Water

In a pan or cooking pot heat the ghee or clarified butter, or canola oil. Add the potatoes and salt and start cooking on medium heat until the potatoes mix well with everything. Add the ground black pepper and keep cooking. Add the water, lower the heat and simmer covered until the potatoes are more soft and the water is dried up. Serve over rice, toasted bread or with Kitchuri.

Indonesian Pork Sate`

February 21st, 2010

Indonesia is composed of thousands of islands big and small and among them Java, Sumatra and Bali are the most popular islands for tourism. The largest archipelago in the world, Indonesia attracted powerful Buddhist, Muslim and Hindu rulers for the past two thousand years. Some of Indonesia’s eastern islands like Molucca or Spice Islands now called Maluku were the only place in the world where cloves and nutmeg grew. The people of Maluku used to plant a clove tree to celebrate childbirth. The child would also wear a string round his or her neck strung with cloves to protect them from evil spirits and diseases. The food of Indonesia is very rich and has a great variety inherited from the different historical influences over the years. The cultures are so diverse that many languages and dialects are spoken. Bahasa Indonesia is the national language and it was derived from Malay the language of Malaysia

In Indonesia meats grilled on bamboo skewers are called Sate` and in Malaysia they are called Satay. Indonesian cuisine is a unique combination of spicy chilies and flavorful herbs and other seasonings with the sweet coconut, peanuts and honey. Sate` is one of the most popular dishes in Indonesia with it’s peanut dipping sauce. There is also a famous salad called “Gado Gado” which is a mixture of vegetables, potatoes and tofu served with peanut sauce. Sate` is made with lamb, chicken, shrimp, turtle, beef or pork. Read the rest of this entry »