Wednesday, September 29, 2010


Our all time favorite waffle recipe which yields light (in texture, not calories), fluffy on the inside, crispy on the outside waffles. Originally from Joy of Cooking.


1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 eggs
1/2-1 cup butter, melted
1 1/2 cups milk


Preheat waffle iron. Mix all dry ingredients together. In a separate bowl mix all wet ingredients. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and stir until JUST combined. (Do not overmix.) Pour about a 1/4-1/3 cup batter into waffle iron.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Cabbage Fry

Thanks to Priscilla for her Sri Lankan version of cabbage fry!

1 tablespoon oil
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon urad dal (optional)
2-4 green chiles, cut lengthwise
1 onion, finely chopped
1/2 head of cabbage, core removed and grated
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon red chili powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

Heat oil in frying pan. When hot add seeds and dal, stir fry until mustard seeds pop and urad dal browns. Add onion and green chiles, saute until translucent. Add cabbage and stir fry for a good 10 minutes, until tender. Add turmeric, chili powder, salt and mix well.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Potato Gravy (Curry)

This is sooo yummy and simple at the same time. To be eaten with poori (basically a chapati dough, rolled a little smaller and a tiny bit thicker and fried), chapati. Without adding water I think it would be delish with dosa . . . I tried various other versions, but this is the one my husband was very excited about. Thanks to my friend, Anu, for her recipe!

4-5 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed (not too small)

Cover with water and a pinch of salt, bring to a rolling boil on high heat, reduce heat to medium and cook until JUST tender (don't overcook), drain and set aside.

1 tablespoon oil
1 tablespoon split chickpeas (channa dal)
1 medium to large size onion, thickly sliced (1/3-1/2 inch thick, about. The reason being, in this gravy you want to enjoy the taste and texture of the onion while eating. You don't want it to disintegrate.)
2 green chiles, sliced lengthwise (decrease or increase depending on your heat tolerance)
10 curry leafs (there is really no substitute for curry leaf; omit it if you don't have it. Most Indian stores will carry at least the dried curry leaf if not fresh)
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder

Heat oil in a large frying pan. When hot add the channa dal and roast until slightly browned. Add curry leaf, chiles and onion. Saute until the onion JUST becomes slightly translucent (again, don't overcook). Add turmeric powder, mix thoroughly. To this, add your potatoes, and stirfry for a couple minutes, slightly mashing the potatoes (be sure to leave some of the pieces whole). To this add salt, to taste, and then pour in water until potatoes are just covered. Reduce heat to low and allow to simmer for 10-15 minutes, or until desired consistency is reached. (Keep in mind the gravy will thicken as it sits.) Garnish with fresh coriander leaf.

Cooking Perfect Beans and Chickpeas

After my pressure cooker broke, I have pretty much stopped cooking beans/peas. I just was tired of soaking the beans overnight, boiling them for 2-3 hours the following day and babysitting them to make sure there was sufficient water, etc. And still after all that time some would be undercooked, others overcooked, and often they were not left in tact after the cooking process. Even with my old pressure cooker the beans/peas would be "broken" and tasteless after cooking. Even if you use the beans/peas in an entirely separate dish, they should have a good flavor in and of themselves, right? How to get that wonderful creamy texture while keeping them in tact? How to get the nutty flavor?

At last, I have found the perfect method to cook beans and peas (I mean the dry peas, not green peas, in case you were wondering)! I say perfect because it is so simple and absolutely fool-proof. And joy, the days of soaking are gone.

Supplies: Slow cooker or crock pot.

1. Pick through desired amount of dried beans or peas to remove any rocks, dirt, etc. Keep in mind that once cooked, the beans will increase in size (I would say by 150-200%, roughly, depending on the variety.)

2. Dump in a crock pot (slow cooker) along with 4 times the amount of water. (i.e. The ratio of beans to water should be 1:4; you could probably do less, but I like to stay on the safe side especially considering I am not babysitting this while it's cooking.)

3. At this point you can add some basic seasonings. If I'm making chickpeas for an Indian dish I
will add a few pieces of cinnamon stick, cassia (Indian bay) leaf, salt. If I'm making beans for soup I might add a bay leaf, a few cloves of garlic, roughly chopped onion, various herbs, salt. But doesn't salt make the beans hard as they cook? I heard that too . . . but, at least with this method, it's not true. I think it's absolutely necessary to cook them with salt to get the best flavor.

4. Put the lid on the crock pot, turn to "low" and leave for a good 8-10 hours. (Usually I turn it on before I go to bed. Not sure if this is a safety hazard . . . :-)) At the end, test the beans, I usually will turn it on "high" for 1-2 hours. Again, I think this will vary based on what kind of bean or pea you use. And the joy is . . . I think it's very hard to overcook using this method. Unless of course you leave it on high for 5 hours . . . if I try it I'll let you know.

5. The result -- delicious, perfectly in tact, nutty, creamy, seasoned beans that you can enjoy right out of the crock pot or use to create another mouth-watering dish. With no effort or hovering over the stove!

So glad I found this use for my crock pot! It's gone from being used once a month to once a week, and has happily expanded its life's calling beyond meatballs and velveeta cheese dip.

Try it, let me know how it works.