Thursday, July 19, 2012

Flour Tortillas

Adapted from "Homemade Flour Tortilla" recipe.  After you have this you can't go back to the store-bought tortillas!

2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon shortening
3/4 - 1 cup warm water

Stir together until well combined: flour, salt, baking powder.  Add the shortening, and mix into the flour mixture until shortening pieces are the size of coarse bread crumbs.  (Use your fingers to help break up the pieces.)  Slowly stir in the warm water until dough is soft but not sticky.  Knead for several minutes, until dough is smooth.  Divide into 10 pieces.  Heat a skillet over medium heat.  Meanwhile, begin rolling the pieces out on a floured board.  Tortillas should be rolled into about 6" diameter rounds, and about the thickness of a dime.  (Remember tortillas will puff up while being cooked, due to baking powder.)  Place on hot skillet.  When it begins to puff up and turn golden brown, flip over and cook on the other side.  When it is done, keep in a tightly covered bowl, wrapped in a towel to preserve soft texture.  Continue process with remaining 9 pieces. 

Servings: 10 tortillas

Serving Suggestion: We use this for Chipotle-style tacos.  Fill tortillas with chicken, steak, or pork AND lettuce, rice, black beans, shredded cheese, salsa, sour cream and guacamole.

Kovakai Fry

I recently discovered kovakai and fell in love with it!  Kovakai, tindora, ivy gourd.  It's a cute little vegetable resembling a cucumber, about the size of your little finger.  It is a good source of vitamins A & C and can be eaten raw, but is typically cooked in Indian cuisine.  Once cooked it retains some crunch, which I think adds a delightful texture to the palate. :) Here is a friend's method of stir frying this vegetable.

1.5 lb kovakai, ends cut off and remaining sliced in thin rounds
2 tablespoons oil
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon urad dal
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
2 heaping teaspoons of coriander powder
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/3 cup of grated coconut
Lemon juice

Microwave the sliced kovakai in a bowl of water for 5 minutes to soften.  Drain well.

Heat oil in a frying pan, add mustard and cumin seeds and urad dal.  When the mustard seeds pop add the kovakai and stir fry for 5 minutes.  Stir in the turmeric, coriander, chili powder and salt.  Allow to cook over medium heat until it begins to caramelize and turn golden brown.  At last, stir in coconut and stir fry for a few minutes, then switch of heat.  Stir in lemon juice.

Serve with white rice and sambar.