Sunday, June 30, 2013

Nectarine's Nectar- A Glorious Preserve


Though jams and preserves are sparingly used in our home, a little bit of it, and a little bit of that for a tea party does not hurt. (or not much anyway ;)
The result is a golden red preserve of delightfully chewy texture and amazing flavor. Voila.



Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Chickpea- or Lentil: Spiced and Seasoned


I bought this batch of lentils (was told) at the local market, though it looks more like some sort of chickpea. At the end of the day, they are all pulses. Nutritious, extremely delicious, and cheap. Missing meat? (_______)
Fried with peanuts, mustard and cumin seeds, parsley, paprika and curry spice- I impressed the heck out of the home crowd. I don't usually get excited about that- this time I did though.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Green and Purple Beans and New Potatoes - New Style



This is a very common dish around here, when new beans start to show up. Though garlic is the most common seasoning used for giving it a lift, I used the liberty and teased it with some Indian spices. Quite an impressive effect on the taste buds.Of course, the purple became green when cooked... disappointed ;)



Friday, June 21, 2013

Whole Masoor and Bown Bean Dal- in A Rich Tomato and Onion Gravy

 
Though split Masoor lentils have a gorgeous coral color when uncooked, the whole ones are brown. They are very versatile- can be cooked in soups, gravies, breads and snacks. Delicious on their own, just seasoned with salt, they make an even more delightful dish when they meet the exquisite Indian spices: cumin, cardamom, clove and black pepper, freshly ground, of course. I mixed in a batch of cooked brown beans for drama.
Seasoned with splattered mustard seeds and fried curry leaves- it's a complete meal. Just add chapatis or bread on the side!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Syrniki-Cheese Pancakes, With a Twist

 

One cannot stop at just one, for they are smashing! An old time favourite, syrniki were staple snacks when we were growing up. I twisted the ingredients a bit since I do not like the doughy type. So I added more quark (yoghurt curd cheese), used yoghurt instead of water, and less flour, plus egg and seasoning. I prefer the savory type, though sweet, vanilla flavoured ones are equally tasty.

The result is these delicate, soft on the inside, crispy and chewy on the outside cakes that pair with almost any sauce, jam or honey, though sour cream is a classic winner!



Battered Zucchini Fries



The season of bounty is officially here.
Zucchini or courgette (bostanel) is a wonderful summer squash which can be prepared in matter of minutes. Being very tender and delicate, it it requires minimal thermal treatment. In fact, these battered zucchini fries are crisp from outside and delightfully crunchy on the inside, since the hot oil  crusts the batter and barely affects the inside texture, if not let for too long to brown.

My batter is a simple one: yoghurt, flour, salt, paprika and a tad of turmeric. Crunch crunch. I had to protest them kids grabbing the whole plate and go away with it: hey, I am writing a blog!!!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Soya Malai Kofta - a Treat for the Vegan, Vegetarian, and the Budget Conscious



These are incredibly good. At less than 25 US cents per pound, soya beans have certainly been underrated, mostly used for cattle feed in this part of the world (Moldova). A great source of high quality protein, soya is an invaluable ingredient in a vegetarian's pantry, as well as in a budget conscious persona's.
Easy to make from scratch (not as easy as unpacking a frozen box of them though ;). Soaking and cooking the beans is required, and a pressure cooker is a life saver. Grind the beans (about 2 cups) with a handful of semolina, add herbs, spices, seasoning, form into small balls and coat them in bread crumbs, or semolina, and shallow fry them. These take very little oil if the oil is brought to optimum temperature. Am sure they can be baked too.
Serve them plain, or soak them in gravy, for an extra kick.




Saturday, June 15, 2013

After a Six Month Break- I Am Back, La Placinte!


Pasca- traditional Easter Bread. It usually has a braided cross on top. However, for Ispas (Ascenssion of jesus), that is left undone.
It's been long since I trotted on my own space. Moving, changing homes, changing lives and perspectives- all of them.
Visiting Moldova for the past fifteen days, and five more months left to enjoy the beauty and bounty of this rich land.
Of course, baking, with one week recurrence interval. At grand scale.



The Grand Fire

Baking in process...

Placinte

Cottage Cheese Placinta

Herb Placinta

Cabbage and Herb Placinta

Potato and Herb Placinta
Tart Cherry Placinta
    
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