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Monday, August 26, 2013

Madhur Jaffrey's Curry Easy

Indian cooking tends to be complex and slow, requiring many ingredients. Attempts to simplify or even 'Westernise' Indian food have spawned a generation of wannabe TC stars and attendant books, often of highly variable reliablility.

Contrast this with the recipes of Madhur Jaffrey. She has written numerous books and 'Curry Easy' might therefore sound like a dumbling down of classic Jaffrey for the 20-minute-cook market. Not so. This is classic Jaffrey, only better.

As she clarifies in the introduction, it has taken her decades to realise that some classic recipes can in fact be simplified, or ingredients substitued, with little discernable difference to the result.

The vairety of dishes goes beyond the title of the book, 'curry', to many regional dishes from north and south, with only the slightest of geographical or historical context for the dishes - but you will find this in her other books.

This is, indeed, 'Curry Easy' and is a handsome book, clearly laid out and easy to follow with enticing and not overstyled photography. Classic Jaffrey, and a steal at the price.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Alluring Afghani Dishes : Kababs, Qorma and Mantu - 1

Dear Women Of House!!

Spices like saffron and pepper and cooking methods of Pashtuns, Tajiks and Uzbeks define the Afghani Cuisine.

Afghani food is a tasteful fusion of the cuisines from Afghanistan and neighbouring regions. Modern Afghan cuisine is the blend of the cooking methods of the three major ethnic groups - Pashtuns, Tajiks and Uzbeks. Influence of India is obvious in the use of spices like saffron, coriander, cardamom and black pepper. The Afghans prefer food which is neither too spicy nor hot. Here are some of the most common Afghani food items. This article will get you acquainted with them.

Kababs :

Lamb kabab is a favorite of the Afghans. Afghan kabab is mostly served with naan. Lamb chops, ribs, kofta and chicken kababs are served in Kabul restaurants.

Qorma :

Qormas are very popular among Afghan people. Fried onions, meats, fruits, spices or vegetables are added to them.

Mantu :

Mantu are steamed dumplings stuffed with minced meat.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Salad : Always Healthy

Dear Women of the House!!

Surely vegetable salad is always healthy...or is it?

A lot of people are becoming health conscious already. They prefer to prepare their own food to make sure they are eating just healthy foods.

Vegetable Salads are generally easy to make, plus it is very healthy. Most are made from vegetables and fruits. It could be topped with a dressing or just seasoned to taste. It may also be an appetizer for your main meal.

Green or garden salads are mostly made out of green leafy vegetables like lettuce, cucumbers and cabbages. It may also be topped with mushrooms, carrots, peppers, onions, celery, avocado, and radishes. You could make your own vinaigrette dressing or just buy ready-made in bottles.

This salad is fun to make, fun to look at and fun to eat! That is why I call it “Happy Salad”. The hint of onion flavor in the dressing makes it rich and tasty. It can add a little brightness to your day!

8 packed cups spinach, cleaned
10 medium strawberries, sliced
1-2 kiwis, peeled and cut in quarter moons
½ cup almonds, sliced and toasted

1/2 cup agave syrup or honey
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon dry mustard
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon onion pulp
1 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon poppy seeds

Take half of a peeled onion and rub down the side of a grater. This will make your onion pulp. Blend dressing ingredients (except oil). Turn blender on high and add oil slowly. Cover and chill. Place spinach in bowl and top with strawberries, kiwi and almonds. Toss dressing on to taste. Starting with less and add more if you like. If you have edible flowers they can be a nice addition. When it comes to eating healthy, the first food that many people think of fresh salad on the go.

Serves: 6
Total cooking time: 20 minutes