Tuesday, December 25, 2018

A Very Merry and Festive Christmas- Piecaken!

A very festive dessert! One mince pie (lots of Moldovan jams and nuts, raisins, currants) and apple pie, all baked into a spice cake, covered with whipped cream, jellied cranberries. Piecaken, that is. Twice born cake, perhaps.
This dessert is out of this world!

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Lemon Rasam

Savory, fragrant, spicy and smacking good! A soupy sauce that is added to rice in the South Indian culinary tradition. I admit that I prefer it on its own, especially in cold form on a hot summer day. Or piping hot on a cold winter day.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Thanksgiving Feast

Sarmale, tamales and mole!
Happy Thanksgiving, friends!
We pardoned the turkey, but there's plenty to celebrate. The gifts of the Americas to the world: chili (ahem), bell peppers, corn, potatoes, pumpkin, beans, cocoa beans, tomatoes, sunflower...to name just a few.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Vatha Kulambu

Vatha Kulambu is that one umami dish so scrumptious and wholesome, it only needs a side of plain rice to render itself complete.
It is by far my favorite of all the gravies on the Tamil Indian menu. Sweet (jaggery), sour (tamarind), bitter (turkey berries), spicy (chili) and salty (salt) flavors bring together that tastefulness.
Vatral is the Tamil word for sun dried (presoaked in yogurt, often times) vegetables and berries. Here I used Sundakkai Vatral, translated as “dried turkey berries”.

I was once told by a relative that this dish is a Brahmin Iyengar specialty, but don't have a way to confirm. Pretty sure it is enjoyed by a vaster community, but cooked in a various manners. Possibly in other parts of India, as well, known by different names.

Here's a well made video tutorial of this dish:

Friday, November 16, 2018

Pumpkin Entremet

Pumpkin entremet. Two tone pumpkin cream mousse. Twice baked. Pumpkin and walnut filled pastry rolls baked in triple chocolate brownie. 
Chocolate and pumpkin spice! Can't go wrong with that!

Monday, November 5, 2018

Balti Chikon and Rice

Balti chikon (vital wheat gluten+chickpea chunks) and rice.
Dressed with crispy fried cilantro leaves.
I ran into this type of sauces (butter/ balti/ rogan josh) more often while living in the UK than in the US, and the rumor is that this style of cooking may well originated in Kashmir/ Persia but it was perfected, developed and adapted for the Western taste in the city of Birmingham (UK).
Regardless of its origin, this is an incredibly delicious sauce that employs aromatic, whole spices and rich cream/ yogurt for marinating/ sauteing both meats and vegetables. I gave it a try with my beautifully textured chikon seitan I made the other day and the results were alarmingly "chicken". 

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Pumpkin and Caramel Mousse Cake

Layers of pie crust and pumpkin mousse, blueberry preserve and cookie crumbs, caramel mousse, pie crust and pumpkin mousse, panna cotta. 
Caramel almond toffee and some white chocolate, slice of the Lindt blueberry filled truffle.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Veggie Koftas in Korma, Rice Pilaf

Cashew korma (sauce) and veggie koftas (balls), roasted peppers and chili rice pilaf, flatbreads. 

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Bitter Gourd and Carrot Soup

This may not be Zelda's "elixir soup", but your body will definitely thank you for eating it. Besides, it's so palatable!
A stew of carrot, golden beet, bitter gourd, curry leaves, turmeric and ginger root, cayenne, some lime juice. Tempered mustard seeds and curry leaves in coconut oil.
O supa din legume cu proprietati medicinale (ca si toate supele). Morcov, sfecla rosie "aurie", dovleac amar, frunze de curry, rizom de ghimbir si turmeric, cayenne (praf de ardei iute rosu), putin suc de lamaie. Seminte de mustar si frunze de planta curry drese in ulei de nuca de cocos.

Monday, October 15, 2018

Mamaliga si Mojdei

A Moldovan vegetarian suite. Mamaliga (cornmeal mush), mojdei (garlic sauce), roasted pepper and mushroom fry, sheep milk cheese (feta, no rennet), sour cream, pickles.

 Mojdei: garlic sauce. A mix of crushed garlic, olive oil, little water. Salt, black pepper, chili flakes.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Chili Soup for Chilly Weather

Soup made with rehydrated and puréed guajillo and ancho chilies, tomatoes, curry leaves, garlic, cumin, mustard, asafoetida, coriander. Some sort of hybrid rasam.

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Cottage Cheese Pastries- Placinte cu Branza de Vaci

Placinte/invartite cu branza-  yeast dough that is oiled, stretched, filled with cottage cheese, rolled and baked.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Vegan Stir Fry

Stir fried marinated tofu, golden oak shiitake, rice noodles.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Butter Beans in Sauce

Butter beans simmered in a rich tomato, onion and chili sauce. 

Tocana de fasole albe in sos de rosii si ardei, ceapa prajita cu mirodenii. Turte.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Eggsteak Bread

Scrambled egg and roasted bell pepper inside a(n) herb de Provence pave slice.
Cholula, for Bingo!

Friday, September 14, 2018

Vegetable and Tahina Dip

Inspired by and adapted from Salsit T'heena recipe in The Gaza Kitchen (cookbook): tahina sauce, or dip. Tahina paste (sesame seeds paste), red chili and tomato paste, roasted bell peppers, olive oil, green olives, lemon juice, salt, black pepper. Served with flatbreads.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Get Your Tostada Straight

Mushroom and black pepper fried rice on a lettuce leaf, on a Mexican deep-fried corn tortilla, all topped with chopped tomatoes and spring onion. A slice of Queso Campesino doesn't hurt.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Pasta Time

Dishy angel hair pasta.
Roasted vegetables chunky sauce (tomato, carrot, eggplant, onion, garlic).

Monday, September 3, 2018

Air Fried Potato Wedges

Absolutely marvelous results. “Fries” with no oil or very little oil. A great, healthier alternative to deep frying. No mess. Made some corn tortilla chips earlier in the day. Perfect crispness.
Here: roasted potato wedges. Held in cold water for 20 minutes, tossed with a little oil, paprika, ground black pepper and salt, shoved in the fryer. Ready in 15 minutes.

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Grilled Angel Food Cake- a Simple Delight!

Absolutely delightful! That sugar crusting gives texture and flavor, combined with hot blueberry sauce. A side of ice cream doesn't hurt, either ;) !

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Pull Apart Eggplant

Pull apart eggplant, filled with Genovese basil pesto and little Asiago. Absolutely smashing. Will call it tear-and-share.
Air fryer "baked".

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Dahi Batata Puri

Dahi batata puri: these are definitely perched at the top of my favorite Indian snacks. 
Because little crisp baskets filled with diced and seasoned potatoes, topped with boondi, topped with tamarind chutney, topped with seasoned yogurt, topped with sev, topped with a sprinkle of chili powder and coriander leaves- simply cannot be topped! 
Traditionally, these appear as tiny balls that are poked and filled with various ingredients. Mine are store bought disks that I deep fried at home and, while trying to poke, split in halves.
I was pleased with the "new look".

Friday, August 24, 2018

Millet and Sauteed Vegetables

Millet with sauteed mushrooms and bell peppers, coated with a few chipotles in adobo.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Mexican Rice, Fragrant and Filling

Glorious rice, the Mexican way.
Simmered with crushed and chopped fresh tomatoes, roasted green chilies and onion, garlic, cumin, salt. A splash of lime was all that was needed.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Makki Aloo Paratha

Makki aloo paratha- an Indian flatbread made with maize flour and potato dough.
Crispy, toasty, slightly spicy. Perfect with a smear of butter or a dollop of sour cream.

Should you feel tempted, here's a link with the recipe and video I got inspired from:


Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Rice, Black Beans and Pineapple Salad.

Rice, black beans and pineapple salad. Tossed with chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. It does need some bite, trust me.

Sweet'n Hot'n Sour.

Monday, August 20, 2018

Potato and Spinach Steamed Dumplings

Dumplings at wok.
Spicy potato and spinach. Steamed on banana leaf in bamboo steamer. Chili sauce.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Noodles and Mushrooms in Thai Coconut Milk Curry.

A touch of galangal, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, turmeric makes this gravy irresistibly fragrant.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

South Indian Banana Leaf Meal

South Indian fare on fresh banana leaf: rice, cabbage and coconut curry, carrot moringa sambar , garlic tomato rasam, sweet poli, appalam, baby mango pickle, plain yogurt.
No shortage of textures and flavors.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Refried Beans Enchiladas

Enchiladas, filled with homemade refried beans and enchilada sauce. Packed with flavor.

Monday, August 6, 2018

Brinjal Korma

Delicious baby eggplants (aka Indian eggplants), roasted, then simmered in a spicy and fragrant coconut milk based sauce

Friday, August 3, 2018

Beans and Egg in a Chili and Tomato sauce. Sourcream.

A filling breakfast dish: Beans in a chili and tomato sauce. Sourcream. Topped with a fried egg.
Bread or tortillas?

Friday, July 27, 2018

Coltunasi cu Cartofi- Potato Dumplings

Potato dumplings, garlic sauce, chili flakes, sour cream. A Moldovan original.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Quinoa and Brown Rice, Spiced Squash

An amazing treat, fresh from the garden. Squash, roasted with some sort of Bengali mix: cumin, fennel, mustard, nigella, fenugreek, coriander, black pepper, turmeric, parsley, salt. Partially ground.

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