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25 February 2007 @ 12:02 pm
This vegetarian recipe comes straight from a Tibetan monastery in Nepal. It's a great soup for a cold day. Personally, I'm not very fond of tofu so I have substituted it with shrimps which worked very well. I imagine chicken and such should work as well if you're so inclined. Bon Appetit! :)

TIBETAN Spinach & Egg Drop Soup

2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon fresh ginger root, minced
1 tablespoon fresh garlic, minced
1/2 cup red onion, diced
1/4 cup white flour
4 cups water
1 cup fresh spinach, chopped
1 cup fresh tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup tofu, diced [optional]
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 egg

Serves 4.

1. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add ginger, garlic, and red onion. Stir-fry for about a minute.

2. Add flour and continue to stir until flour mixture is slightly golden, approx. 3-5 mins. Add water, one cup at a time, stirring constantly with a wire whisk to prevent lumps. Stir until smooth.

3. Add spinach, tomatoes, and tofu [optional]. Mix well and bring to a boil. Add soy sauce, chili powder, and salt and pepper to taste. Allow to boil for 2 more minutes. If soup is too thick, add a little water. In a small bowl, lightly beat the egg and add it to the soup, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and serve hot with or without rice.
Current Location: Tibet
19 February 2007 @ 10:43 am
Hi all! I wanted to share a recipe I thought you might like for Chicken Madras. It's part of a neat feature called Dinner and a Game at our website, Casual Review (original article) written by our resident chef and sweetheart, Sara Schweid, but I'm reprinting it here for everyone to enjoy. Here's the text from the second half of the feature:

To go along with the Indian-theme of this game, I’ve got a delicious meal for you this week, and yes, it’s an actual dinner this time (I’ve been sort of on a dessert kick). Chicken Madras is a flavorful dish filled with traditional Indian spices. You should be able to buy the curry powder, curry masala gravy and garam masala (a blend of ground spices) in the spices aisle of your local grocery store, or else at a specialty market. Curry comes in a variety of heat (from mild to spicy), and you can use whichever you prefer. This recipe is quick and easy and a delicious supplement for this fun and addictive game.

Chicken Madras (Serves 2)

You’ll need:

- 3 chicken breasts cut into chunks
- 1 cup curry masala gravy
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 2 teaspoons curry powder (or more to taste)
- 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
- 4 cloves crushed garlic
- ½ cup grated ginger
- 5 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 5 tablespoons chopped coriander
- 1 teaspoon garam masala

1. Start by making a paste of the curry powder and chili powder with just enough water to get it wet and sticky.
2. Fry the onion in a pan with the oil until it's translucent.
3. Add the garlic, ginger and cayenne pepper and fry it another 30 seconds or so.
4. Add the curry and chili powder mixture and stir until combined.
5. Add the chicken and fry until the chicken is cooked a bit on the outside.
6. Add the masala gravy and simmer until the chicken is cooked, stirring constantly.
7. When it's almost done, add the coriander and stir.
8. Serve this delicious treat with a side of basmati rice.

If you like the recipe and the writing, we have a nice backlog of Dinner and a Game features and new ones each week at the website! Check us out here.
Current Mood: energeticenergetic
05 February 2007 @ 09:38 am
Does anyone know the difference between Naan and Kulcha? I googled it but there didn't seem to be any real difference that I could find. I thought possibly someone in here would be able to explain it to me . Thanks!
04 February 2007 @ 03:57 am
I will be making this today for the second time. It's delicious. As it was mentioned in the original recipes, here's a slight - Variation: Deep fry slivered almonds in vegtable oil for 2 to 3 minutes to crisp them up. Drain well on paper towel and let stand for 5 minutes before using. BON APPETIT! :)

CHINESE Almond Chicken

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 cup vegtable oil
3-5 slices fresh ginger root
3 green onion stalks, chopped to 1" length
1 green pepper, chopped as above
1/3 cup slivered almonds

1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon white pepper
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 egg white

Seasoning sauce:
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoons dry sherry
1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch

Makes 4 servings.

1. Dice chicken into 1 inch cubes. Combine marinade ingredients, add chicken and mix well. Let stand 1/2 hour.
2. Heat oil in a wok, add chicken and stir fry until browned. Remove chicken and drain well.
3. Stir fry ginger, onion and pepper for about 1 minute until crisp-tender.
4. Combine ingredients for seasoning sauce in a small bowl, mix well and add to wok. Bring to boil. Add chicken to boiling sauce. Stir fry chicken until coated with sauce. Add almonds, mix well and serve hot.

Current Location: Los Angeles
Traditional Moroccan dish that works best in an orginal Moroccan tagine clay pot, or a crockpot. Serve with freshly chopped Coriander/Cilantro sprinked on top & either with couscous, rice, fresh naan, pitta bread or salads. Pasta is another possibility but I recommend couscous or rice. Use chicken pieces or whole chicken cut up into portions, but brown them in a skillet beforehand.
Preserved lemons make a great addition to the dish.

Chicken, Chickpea & Apricot Tagine

6 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into large chunks
2 tablespoons flour
3 large onions, chopped
5 garlic cloves, chopped finely
3 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 inch fresh ginger root, finely chopped
6 ounces dried apricots
2 tablespoons tomato paste
3 fresh Roma tomatoes
2 (14 ounce) cans chickpeas
3 tablespoons honey
1/2 pint chicken stock
1 pinch saffron or 1 teaspoon turmeric
4 teaspoons ras el hanout spice mix
(or make up spice mix below)
1 teaspoon ground coriander (Cilantro)
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cumin
salt and black pepper
chopped fresh coriander, to serve (Cilantro)

4-6 servings.
About 30 min prep, ca. 3 hours total.

1. Heat up olive oil in a frying pan/skillet & saute chopped onions & garlic for 5-10 minutes.
2. Add chicken stock & gradually mix in flour until well mixed & not lumpy. Add honey & tomato paste, mix well.
3. Add herbs, spices & finely chopped ginger with salt & pepper to taste.
4. Finally add tinned tomatoes & mix well.
5. Pour the above tomato, onion & spice mix into slow cooker or tagine.
6. Add chicken & chickpeas & mix well.
7. Add dried apricots making sure they are covered by juice and give it a gentle but good stir to mix everything together well.

--Crock Pot or Slow Cooker or Electric Tagine:
Cook on high for about 3 to 4 hours OR automatic with keep warm facility for up to 8 hours. (Please note that the cooking times depend on your crockpot.)

--Traditional Tagine {RECOMMENDED!!!}:
Do as above & cook SLOWLY for 2-3 hours.

9. If you need to thicken it up towards the end of the cooking time, add cornflour mixed with a little water & add to the tagine, stir well and serve hot.
Current Location: Manhattan Beach, CA
10 January 2007 @ 04:45 pm
I got this recipe from a woman that I correspond with in Mashhad, Iran. I've prepared it several times, and it always tastes delightful. I've never been able to find fresh coriander or fenugreek locally, so I substitute with the dried versions of the spices (picked up at the local Middle Eastern Grocer), and I just add them to taste.

Ghormeh Sabzi

Ingredients (6 servings)

1.5 pounds (or 750 grams) boneless stewing lamb
1 large onion, finely chopped
1/3 cup of cooking oil
1 teaspoon turmeric
1.5 cups water
1/2 cup dried limes or fresh lime juice
3/4 cup black-eyed peas
1 large potato, diced
salt (to taste)
black pepper (to taste)
1 cup green onions, finely chopped
1.5 cups spinach, finely chopped
1/2 cup parsley, finely chopped
1/4 cup coriander, finely chopped (optional)
1/4 cup fenugreek finely chopped (optional)

Trim meat and cut into 3/4 inch (or 2cm) cubes. Fry onion over medium heat in half of the oil until golden. Add turmeric and fry for 2 more minutes. Increase heat, add meat cubes and stir over high heat until meat changes color and begins to turn brown. Reduce heat. Add water, black-eyed peas, and salt & pepper to taste. Cover and simmer gently for 1-1.5 hours hours until meat is tender. Fry potatoes over high heat in the remaining oil until lightly browned. Add to sauce, leaving oil in the pan. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Add prepared vegetables to frying pan and fry over medium heat until wilted. Add to sauce, then add dried limes or lime juice, cover and simmer for further 10-15 minutes. Adjust seasoning and serve with basmati rice.
04 January 2007 @ 06:14 pm

Sri Lanka is one of the countries I lived in as a child. I have nothing but the fondest memories of place, people and local foods and have been back to visit a few times. Great place to go if you're looking for something a little less "commercial". As for the food... it could be said that Sri Lankans like their food rather spicy. There are Indian, Dutch and Portuguese influences, the Brits left their mark as well but all in all it's closest to South Indian food. Rice is part of any main meal, mostly served with fragrant & spicy curries. Almost every dish is prepared with coconut milk. Do try using the real thing rather than the substitute 
when you make this dish.  Vegetarian.

Sri Lankan 

250g (8 oz) raw Cashews
3 cups thin Coconut milk (or water)
1 medium Onion, sliced
2 fresh green Chilies, sliced
2 cloves Garlic, crushed
5 cm Cinnamon stick
4 pieces Rampe (optional)
8 Curry leaves
3 tbs Vegetable oil
1/4 tsp ground turmeric
1 tbs Raw Curry powder 
2 pieces Goraka (optional)
1 Cup thick Coconut milk or fresh milk

* Place the cashews in a bowl, add boiling water, close with lid and soak for about 4 hours or overnight.
* Drain the water from cashews and add salt, turmeric, raw curry powder, goraka and mix well until cashews are well coated.
* Heat the oil in a medium saucepan then add onions, green chilies, crushed garlic, cinnamon and fry until onions are soft and golden.
* Add the cashews and keep stirring until well coated with oil and onions.
* Add thin coconut milk (or water), close with lid and cook on low heat until cashews are soft and cooked.
* Add the thick coconut milk (or fresh milk) and bring to a boil on low heat.
* Turn off heat.  Adjust salt to taste.

02 February 2006 @ 05:17 am
BIRYANI (south indian)
chicken - 1/2 kilo (or 1lb)
rice (basmati) - 1/2 kilo (or 1 lb)
water - 4 cups
yogurt - 1/2 a cup
lemon juice - 1 tb spn

cinnamon* - 4 sticks (of 1 cm each)
cloves* - 3-4
cardamom* - 4-5
dry red chillies* - 10 (the REALLY spicy kind)

garlic - about 10-12 cloves (if they're big)
ginger - 1 and a 1/2 inches
onions (small) - 1 and a 1/2 cups when peeled
coriander - 2/3 of a cup
mint (leaves) - 1/3 of a cup

onions (large) - 3-4
tomatoes - 3
green chillies - 5
salt - as needed

oil - 7 spns
ghee - 7 spns

first, mix the chicken with 2 tbsp of the yogurt. set aside.
grind all the ingredients marked * to a powder.
make a paste with the ginger and garlic.
finely chop the large onions.
finely chop the tomatoes.
roughly chop up the small onions.
20 minutes before you begin cooking, soak the rice in water.

heat the oil and ghee in a pressure cooker or a pressure pan. when the oil and ghee begin to smoke, add the onions and fry until golden brown. then add the tomatoes and saute until they're well done.
add the spice powder that you've made. allow it to cook for 2 minutes.
then add the ginger-garlic paste and cook for about 5 minutes (this is the part where it begins to smell HEAVENLY) add the chopped small onions and cook for another 3 minutes. add the coriander and mint. allow the mixture to cook for 1 minute more.
then add the salt and chicken. allow the chicken to cook for about 5 minutes.
take the rice you've soaked and drain out the water. then put in the rice, add the 4 cups of water, yogurt and mix well.
allow it to boil and then close the lid of the pressure pan.
allow 3 whistles for the biryani to cook.
and it's ready :)
you can make a raita if you want, but honestly, i think it tastes really good by itself.
21 December 2006 @ 02:39 am
Hey food lovers!

I just came back from Turkey 3 days ago and I've posted many pictures up on my bloggie! If you have time, go check it out because to me, the food looked really tempting. 

Anyway, I'm pretty new here if you noticed and I hope to contribute more when I have the time. A hardcore food lover! If I'm not doing anything else, I will start fantisizing about food. And I want to be a chef someday... 

Ok, enough about me!

Just check out my entry ok? thank you!

take care all!
14 December 2006 @ 11:10 pm
kimchi is a salted, pickled vegetable dish that are part of any korean meal. fermentation complemented by salted fish and other seasonings gives it a unique flavor. its hot and spicy and is said to stimulate appetite. its also nutritious; full of vitamins and minerals.

red pepper was introduced to the making of kimchi in the 17th century. a major innovation to korean food culture as by using red pepper with vegetables and fish, a unique method of food preservation was born, thus leading to the adoption of kimchi as a korean staple. there are currently many kinds of kimchi with rather unique, different tastes.

casual kimchi will keep 10 days or longer in the fridge.
simply place in jar and serve with meals.
recipe taken from: 'the korean cookbook' by judy hyun.\\

KOREAN casual kimchi
{mak kimchi}

16 servings

4 lb chinese cabbage (long-straight leafed variety)
1/4 lb chinese turnip
2 cans flat anchovies in oil
4-5 cloves garlic
3 scallions
1/4 cup salt
4 tablespoons hot pepper flakes
2 tablespoons cayenne pepper

1-remove large outside leaves of the cabbage. cut in half lengthwise, then across the grain into 2-inch pieces. place in a very large pot.

2-quarter the turnip, then slice across the grain holding the 4 quarters together for more speed and convenience in slicing.

3-pour the oil from the anchovies over cabbage and turnip. slice anchovies across the grain. crush the garlic. cut the scallions into 2-inch lengths, then slice thin lengthwise. add these ingredients to the pot. season with salt, pepper flakes and cayenne pepper and mix thoroughly. c

4-cover the pot and let the mixture stand at room temperature for 2 days, then refrigerate. keeps 10 days.
Current Location: korea