Thursday, October 30, 2014

Pumpkin Recipes

Pumpkin Hamentaschen

Fall is here. Halloween is just around the corner and before long Thanksgiving will be upon us. Pumpkins are everywhere. Visit a local farm and you can pick your own. Visit a farmer's market and there's pumpkins a plenty for the choosing. Here's some great ideas to utilize those ever present pumpkins.

Maybe you have a few extra lying around that you never got around to carving or maybe there's a few cans of Libby's pumpkin puree in the pantry. Here are a few recipes to utilize all those delicious pumpkins.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Pumpkin Pancakes

It's almost Halloween and pumpkins are everywhere. Pumpkin is one of my favorite ingredients. It is so versatile and adaptable to both sweet and savory preparations. For my last updated recipe, here is a pumpkin pancake to utilize some extra canned pumpkin you might have in the back of the refrigerator.

I am very picky about pancakes. The only pancakes I ever order if I am eating out are silver dollar pancakes. I don't like the super high pancakes that are so thick so that when you bite into it, the interior is dry. A small ladle over the top of the pancakes should be enough so that every bite is syrup moistened. These have more liquid that those mile high fluffy pancakes, but this is a personal preference of mine. Feel free to decrease the liquid if you prefer fluffy dry pancakes.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Lapsi...Indian Cracked Wheat Porridge

Diwali Foods, Diwali Sweets, Diwali

This week my BM theme is to re-visit old posts and update with new and improved photos. Since it was Diwali, the equivalent of the Indian New Year, just a few days ago, it's only appropriate that I revisit an Indian sweet that is sometimes served at Diwali.

I did not change any of the recipe, so you can just jump over to the previous post to visit the recipe and see the step by step photos here. This is a traditional porridge made with cracked wheat/bulgur. Although I generally use cracked wheat and bulgur interchangeably, there is a difference. Bulgur is parboiled and dried before it is processed into broken pieces of whole wheat. Cracked wheat is broken as is without the parboiling. The bulgur will cook slightly faster than the cracked wheat. Really, the difference is very small and you can make this delicious treat with whichever is easiest for you to get your hand on.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Makkai ki Roti - Indian Cornmeal Flatbread

Indian Cornbread Roti

This week's BM theme is to update a few old archived posts with updated photos and improve the recipes also, if warranted. One thing that has improved in the last 2 years is my talent at rolling flatbreads and especially Indian breads. Makkai ki Roti is one of the most difficult roti's to roll because of the coarse nature of both Indian wheat flour and cornmeal. This is one of the most challenging roti's to roll, but since I managed with Bajra ki Roti (millet) here, I decided I was ready to try again. Since neither millet nor cornmeal have gluten, this is what makes these roti's so challenging. Additionally, Indian wheat flour has a lower protein content than American wheat flour,

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Paneer Chaman

Tomato Fennel Paneer

Having a big block of paneer in the refrigerator to be utilized, I went on a search for North Indian paneer dishes to go with my BM theme this week and I came across this tantalizing curry infused with the fragrant flavor of fennel.

This dish comes from the politically tumultuous but breathtakingly stunning North Indian state of Kashmir. Located on the border and once part of the Mughlai Empire, there is a lot of influence of Middle Eastern cuisine on the plates of the Kashmiri's. Abundant use of fennel, cardamom, saffron, dried fruits and nuts characterizes this cuisine.

Happy Diwali treats

Happy Diwali, also known as Deepavali to all.

What is Diwali you might ask? Well it is the most celebrated holiday in India, also known as the Festival of Lights. In addition to India, it is also largely celebrated in other countries with large Hindu populations like Sri Lanka, Mauritius, Malaysia, Guyana, Trinidad & Tobago, as well as Suriname.

It is a festival that lasts four days. The third day is Diwali day, which is today. Part of the celebration includes lighting small oil lamps called a diya, hence its name - Festival of Lights. There are several reasons why this holiday is celebrated by different communities like the Jains & Sikhs, but mostly it is to celebrate an occurrence from the Ramayan (a Hindu holy book) when Lord Rama along with Sita and Lakshman escapes from a 14 year exile when he defeats the evil Ravana.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Paneer Mirch

Rajasthani Paneer Mirch

Since the Indian side of my family is said to originate in Rajasthan, I am always interested to learn more Rajasthani recipes and I wanted to represent recipes form 3 different North Indian states for my theme this week of North Indian side dishes. Since we've already done Punjab and Kashmir this week, it's time to more on to Rajasthan, the land of Kings. Although paneer is not as popular in Rajasthan as it is in Punjab, I was able to find this paneer recipe from the Rajasthan city of Jodhpur.

This is a very spicy curry, so feel free to adapt it to your own palate. It is a semi-dry curry and goes great with steamed Basmati rice.

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