Keema Baingan ( Eggplant with Minced Lamb)

This dish is inspired by my amazing and talented sister in law, Sadia Durrani who specialize in classic Old Delhi food and teaches culinary skills in India. She posted this over 2 years ago and I can’t believe it took me this long to make it. If you want to watch the original recipe from her check out this link

 KeemaBaigan-1-8

My vegetable garden here in Virginia is overflowing with the cutest purple eggplants that I have used in this dish. I kept a few whole just slicing them to the stem. The rest I cut in cubes with the skin on.

Minced lamb and eggplant can be found in many cuisines, my favorite is the Egyptian or Lebanese Mahshi when the eggplant is stuffed. You can find the vegetarian version in my post Mahshi Batinjaan Bi Zayt – Lebanese Stuffed Eggplant.

KeemaBaigan-1-3

If you have been following my blog you know that I use a pressure cooker for a lot of my cooking. You can use a pan and increase the timing,

KeemaBaigan-1-7

Ingredients:

5-6 Purple eggplants

1 lb lamb mince

1 medium onion, finely chopped

2 green chilies

2 chopped tomatoes

1 tbsp. garlic ginger paste

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp turmeric

1/2 tsp red chili powder

salt to taste

1 tbsp. oil ( I used avocado oil)

1 tbsp. ghee

Chopped fresh mint and cilantro for garnish

Putting it together

  • Chop the eggplants, keep a few whole just slicing in quarters until you reach the stem.
  • In a pressure cooker, add oil and the garlic. Add the minced meat.
  • Fry until it loses the pink color ( a couple of minutes)
  • Add cumin, turmeric, coriander, red chili and salt and continue frying for a few minutes
  • Add the chopped tomatoes and cook for a few more minutes until the tomatoes have broken down.
  • Add the eggplant, about 1 cup of water and pressure cook for about 5-6 mins. If use a pan, cook for about 30 mins until the eggplant is blended with the meat.
  • Add chopped green chilies and chopped mint and stir
  • Heat the ghee in a pan, brown the onions in it and pour over the dish.
  • Garnish with mint and cilantro and serve with naan or rice. A side of cucumber raita would make it perfect.

KeemaBaigan-1-9

Fiesta Friday # 130 is on and I am taking this dish.  Thanks to our co-hosts this week, Aunt Juju and Petra.

Posted in Food, Lunch, Main dishes, Meat Dishes | Tagged , , | 10 Comments

Kashmiri Lamb Coriander Korma- Dhaniwal Korma

Kashmiri culture and ways of preparing the food lends to its exquisite, delectable and unique taste. This is then accented by how it is served….with flavorful white rice, rich yoghurt and tart chutneys.

KashmiriKorma-1-3

This particular Korma is called Dhaniwal Korma which is a beautiful medley of lamb cooked in coriander and yoghurt. It is flavored with whole spices and black pepper and not red chilies. A simple twist in preparation changes the flavor  of a korma.

KashmiriKorma-1-5

The yoghurt needs to be cooked beforehand to give it the right texture. The onions needs to be fried and pureed. Other that that the recipe is pretty simple to follow

KashmiriKorma-1-4

Ingredients:

  • 2- 3 lbs of lamb
  • 2 onions ( chopped, browed and pureed into a paste)
  • 1 tbsp garlic paste
  • 4 cloves
  • 8 green cardamoms
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper ground
  • 1 pinch saffron
  • 1 1/2 cup yoghurt
  • 3 tbsp ghee
  • A bunch of fresh chopped cilantro
  • Salt to taste

Putting it together

  • Put the yoghurt and 1/2 cup water in a heavy pan. Whisk and cook on high heat until it comes to a boil. Cook on low heat, whisking on and off until the mixture has reduces to half and is smooth. This is called cooked yoghurt.
  • Wash the lamb and then boil in water for 3 minutes, drain, wash in cool water and set aside
  • Use a heavy bottomed pan, add the lamb and ghee and fry for a few minutes until the meat starts to brown
  • Add onion puree, garlicm cloves, cardomoms, turmeric, coriander powder and cooked yoghurt
  • Add salt to taste and saffron
  • Cook down until the oil separates from the gravy.
  • Add 2-3 cups of water and cook until the meat is quite tender ( takes 30-40 mins)
  • Add black pepper and fresh cilantro before serving.
  • I served it with fluffy white rice flavored with cinnamon and green cardamoms.

 

  • KashmiriKorma-1

Angie’s Fiesta Friday is perfect for this dish wonderfully co-hosted this week by Jhuls @ The Not So Creative Cook and Colleen @ Faith, Hope, Love & Luck

Posted in Food, Kashmir, Main dishes, Meat Dishes | Tagged , , , | 14 Comments

Cucumber Yogurt and Dill salad

There are so many versions of cucumber and herbs in cuisines ranging from Indian, Egyptian to Greek. My version takes all these influences and create a soothing and filling summer dish.

DSC_4304-3

Perfect for the summer months especially if you have those fresh cucumber growing in your back yard. I have been so excited about my cucumber produce that has brought joy to my small garden. Nothing like picking that cucumber and serving it within minutes.

IMG_3076

The yoghurt can be greek or whole milk just needs to be thick. I used a grass fed organic yoghurt which was creamy and delicious.

Dill and mint ( dried and fresh) add amazing flavors and of course garlic is king in kicking the whole dish up many notches:)

You can use Pistachios or Almonds, I soaked the almonds for a couple of hours and sliced them after removing the skin.

This is when you bring out that good quality olive oil.

DSC_4299-2

DSC_4293

</p> <p>Cucumber Yogurt and Dill salad

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

1 container of plain yoghurt

2 cucumbers

Chopped fresh mint

1/2 cup of chopped dill

2 cloves of garlic – crushed

1 tsp lemon juice

1/2 tsp cumin

1/2 cup raisins

1/2 slivered almonds

Salt to taste

Good olive oil

 

Putting it together

  1. In bowl, mix garlic with the yogurt, lemon juice, dill, fresh and dried mint.
  2. Add the cucumbers, cumin and salt to taste
  3. Top with raisins, almonds and  a couple of glugs of  good olive oil.

DSC_4302

Taking this to Angie’s Fiesta Friday.

Posted in Food, Lunch, salad, side dishes | Tagged , , , | 12 Comments

Rose and Saffron Ice cream

The weather is warm, the landscape is green, lush and peppered with bursts of flowers. The month of Ramadan completed and  flowed into the festivities of Eid ul Fitr, signifying the end of Ramadan.

DSC_4317-1

This has the flavors of Eid I grew up with, saffron, cardamom and rose….mmm the essence is just so soothing.

The irony is that we did not make ice cream when growing up in Kashmir…there were no real freezers but the flavors found their way in so many sweet dishes like rice pudding and refreshing rose drinks.

I have to say that this is really easy to make…no churn, no stress, just a lot of fun whipping up the cream:)

DSC_4325-1

I have used organic rose water, saffron that I brought from Kashmir and regular green cardamoms. I soaked the almonds overnight and chopped them after removing the skin.

For the Cardamom, I crushed the pods with a rolling pin on the counter, removed the green skin and just kept crushing until I got the consistency I wanted.

I found a brand of organic condensed milk online that I love. Use  the one you like or make your own if you are adventurous.

IMG_3021

IMG_3022

DSC_4319-1

 

Ingredients:

  • I pint carton of whipping cream
  • 3/4 can condensed milk ( 14 oz)
  • 1 tablespoon coconut sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1/4 tsp crushed saffron
  • 1 tsp rose water
  • 1/tsp crushed organic rose leaves
  • 1/4 tsp pink Himalayan salt
  • 2 tablespoons slivered almonds

Putting it together:

  • Whip the cream until you have soft peaks
  • Add sugar, cardamom, rose water and saffron and whip again until you have stiff peaks
  • Fold in the condensed milk , a pinch of salt and rose leaves
  • Line a glass loaf pan or bowl with plastic wrap. Pour in the mixture
  • Top with almonds, some rose leaves and freeze overnight
  • Serve in scoops or slices. You can serve with a drizzle of honey and nuts.DSC_4314-1

Join me at Angie’s Fiesta with Suzanne @ apuginthekitchen and Jess @ Cooking Is My Sport.

Also sharing this on  Saucy Saturday #52….my first time at this party!

Posted in Dessert, Food, Snack | Tagged , , , | 8 Comments

Eggplant and Chickpea Stew

A simple eggplant stew with Moroccan flavors, can’t go wrong with this hearty dish.  A quick weekend light dinner or a side that stays in the fridge to go with many main courses.

IMG_2980-proc

Chickpeas are soaked overnight and then cook in a pressure cooker for 10 mins or in a pan for 30-45 mins

I roast my cinnamon, coriander seeds and cumin seeds and then grind them but the good store bought versions are just fine.

You can salt the eggplant for 20 mins and drain the juice before cooking. In season and fresh eggplants don’t need any salting.

IMG_2972

 

IMG_2983

IMG_2982

IMG_2977

Eggplant and chickpea stew

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 2 Large Eggplants
  • 1 medium onion (large diced)
  • 4 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 2 cups cooked chickpeas
  • 1(8 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup vegetable stock or water
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp olive oil or clarified butter
  • Cilantro and mint chopped for garnish
  • Lemon juice
  • salt and pepper

 

Putting it together

  • Chop eggplants into 1 inch cubes and salt for 30 mins.
  • Coat a large deep-sided frypan with oil and heat over a medium heat.
  • Add the minced garlic, onion, chili powder, cumin and cinnamon. Stir well to coat evenly. Cook until the onions have softened and slightly brown
  • Add the eggplant,  tomatoes and chickpeas. Add the vegetable stock.
  • Simmer over medium-low heat, covered, for 20 minutes approx. The consistency should be thick with some sauce.
  • Salt and pepper to taste.
  • Squeeze some lemon juice, sprinkle with cilantro and mint and serve over rice or by itself.

 

Posted in Food, Main dishes, side dishes | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Banana Berry Cashew Cream Pie

BananaBerryPie-1

Fresh raspberries, blackberries and strawberries are flourishing in the market now and you know you want to put them in everything including Banana cream pie! They are perfect this time of year. Just be careful to pick the organic one without the harmful pesticides.

Not only I had the best bananas and berries on hand, I had the inspiration which came in the form of my creative fellow blogger Laurena@Life Diet Health. Do visit her blog for the original version that inspired me and her other amazing healthful recipes. Thanks Laurena!

BananaBerryPie-3

So back to banana berry pie…it is vegan and gluten free. How you say? Cashews make the best creamy filling and you will not miss the fresh cream….they have to be soaked and then put in a high powered blender to get that creamy consistency.

The other ingredient used her to hold the cream together is Psyllium husk. It comes from the small seeds of the Plantago ovata plant and it gluten free. Just a tablespoon and half was enough for this pie.

I did not feel like making a pie crust from scratch so picked up a pre made gluten free crust from my next door Mom’s organic market. It worked out pretty well.

Oh yes and lets not forget the dates, sweet and delicious! I have used 4-5 dates plus coconut nectar too sweeten this pie.

BananaBerryPie-4

BananaBerryPie-5

Let’s get to the recipe

 

Banana Berry Cashew Cream Pie

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 1 Pie crust (if you want to make your own use a combination of dates and walnuts ground up)
  • 1 1/2 cups raw cashews soaked for a couple of hoursBananaBerryPie-3
  • 4-5 pitted mehjool dates
  • 1/4 cup coconut nectar ( or maple syrup)
  • 1 medium banana
  • I can coconut cream ( I pick of the cream from the top of the can and leave the water)
  • pinch sea salt
  • 1  1/2 tbsp Psyllium husk
  • 1 lime and its zest
  • 1/2 cup fresh berries
  • Choice of mixed berries for topping the pie
  • Mint leaves for garnish

Putting it together:

  • Put the pre-soaked cashews in the blender ( I use a high powered blender) with the coconut cream, dates, banana.
  • Add 1/2 cup berries, coconut nectar lime juice, pinch of salt and Psyllium husk. Blend again.
  • Add lime zest and stir
  • Pour in the pie crust and refrigerate or freeze until firm.
  • Cover with fresh berries and some mint before serving.
  • If you have any leftovers, this will stay in the fridge for a few days and freeze really well for several weeks.

BananaBerryPie-2

BananaBerryPie-6

Taking this dessert to Angie’s Fiesta Friday where  the co-hosts this week are Mollie @ The Frugal Hausfrau and Aruna @ Aharam

Posted in Dessert, Food | Tagged , , , | 14 Comments

Dum Gobi Paneer ( Cauliflower and Cheese)

Kashmiri cuisine traces back to centuries of tradition, spices and methods of cooking. While predominantly a meat centric cuisine, the vegetarian dishes hold their own and are unparalleled. History has documented well known saints of Kashmir to have been vegetarian for spiritual reasons.

IMG_2415

The cuisine has evolved over the centuries absorbing influences from settlements and migrations. The flavors and spices of Kashmiri cuisine include dry ginger, fennel, cloves, cinnamon and saffron to name a few.

Dum Gobi Paneer

This particular dish is my version, not very common but most people are familiar with Kashmiri Dum Aloo ( potatoes). “Dum” is a technique that is essentially slow sealed cooking. The cooking vessels can be sealed by using a flour dough between the pot and the lid and placed on hot coals which are also added on the top on the lid. Of course this can also be accomplished in the oven ( just giving you alternatives in case you want to make this while camping :)). I used a even simpler route and used a heavy cast iron pot with strong sealed lid and used low heat on my stove.

 

A little about the spices I have used.

  • Cloves: Dried flower buds that contain antiseptic properties and help in preserving food
  • Fennel Powder: Ground fennel commonly used to flavor sauces and stocks
  • Dry Ginger Powder: Fresh ginger is dried and then ground and has a distinct flavor aside from its healing properties
  • Garam Masala: A mix of dry roasted spices that varies from household to household
  • Asafoetida: a spice derived from the plant Ferula assa-foetida – a very distinct flavor and a pinch is all you need.
  • Turmeric powder: Dried and ground root like ginger. Add the beautiful orange color.

The dish is served with rice ( I have used brown) and a side of Kashmiri Onion Chutney.

https://foodforthesoul00.files.wordpress.com/2016/05/img_2410.jpg?w=640

Enough about the history so let’s get to the recipe:

 

Dum Gobi Paneer - Kashmiri

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 1 Cauliflower head, cut in big florets
  • 1 slab of indian cottage cheese (paneer) about 6-8 pieces
  • 2 red onions finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp fennel powder (Saunf)
  • 1 tsp turmeric ( Haldi)
  • 1/2 tsp ginger powder ( Sonth)
  • 1/2 red chili powder
  • One pinch of Asafoetida ( optional)
  • 6 cloves
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil for frying and cooking ( I used Avocado oil for frying and then Mustard oil for cooking) Please use a mild flavored oil of your choice.

 

Fry the Cauliflower florets and Cheese separately in oil until lightly browned.

Let the florets drain on a paper towel. Soak the fried paneer in warm water until ready for use.

Use a heavy bottom pan, add a couple of tablespoons of oil, add cloves until they splutter and add the onions

Once the onions are light brown, add the spices, cauliflower and paneer. You can use a cup of the paneer water to add to the pot.

Mix the ingredients, seal the lid of the pot ready well and then leave it to simmer for about 15 mins.

Serve with rice, yoghurt and chutney.

https://foodforthesoul00.files.wordpress.com/2016/05/img_2413.jpg?w=640Linking to my favorite party at Angie’s Fiesta Friday co hosted this week by  Loretta @ Safari of the Mind and Linda @ Fabulous Fare Sisters

Posted in Food, Kashmir, Main dishes | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments

Gand Chetin – Kashmiri Onion Chutney

This is a traditional Onion Chutney that accompanies many a feasts and dinners in Kashmir. The process is a quick pickling process which is very simple bringing out the tart and savory flavors.

IMG_2420The recipe call for dry mint but fresh would be fine if you are out of stock. I dry my mint in summer and fall and it lasts me at least 6 months. Dry mint does have a unique taste that it imparts to many Kashmiri dishes.

I serve it as a side to rice and savory dishes but you will find that it was be used in many other ways such and sandwiches kebabs.

IMG_2418

Gand Chetin - Kashmiri Onion Chutney

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of organic red onions sliced thin
  • 3 green chilies sliced thin
  • 1/2 cup of green coriander/cilantro chopped
  • 1/2 tsp black cumin ( different form regular cumin)
  • 1/2 tsp dry mint
  • 1 tsp red chili powder
  • 1/2 cup of organic vinegar ( i used rice vinegar)

sea salt to taste

Salt the onions and keep aside for an hour or so and then wash and drain. You will need to squeeze the water out.

Mix all the other ingredients ( you will not need additional salt) and cool in the refrigerator before serving as a condiment.

IMG_2419

 

Linked to Angie’s Fiesta Friday co hosted this week by Ahila @ A Taste of Sri Lankan Cuisine and Diann @ Of Goats and Greens

Posted in Chutney, Kashmir | Tagged , , , , | 11 Comments

Green Banana Walnut Kebabs with garlic greens

Raw or Green banana is just an unripe yellow banana but it is firm and not sweet. It needs to be cooked (boiled or fried) to bring out the taste. Nutritionally, the green banana is a good source of fiber, vitamins and minerals, and contains a resistance starch that may help control blood sugar.

BananaKebabs-2

Green Banana and Walnut Kebabs

It is pretty easy to cook and these cool kebabs and the addition of aromatic herbs and spices helps the banana stand out as the main ingredient.

BananaKebabs-4

I used garlic greens since I had them harvested and was looking for  ways to use them. You can leave them out if you don’t have them.  I did not add a boiled potato as I would normally in veggie kebabs as the consistently looked perfect and I opted to leave the extra starch out.

This consistency should come out something like this:

BananaKebabs-1

Green Banana and Walnut Kebabs Dough

Walnuts are my favorite tree nuts to use and always remind me of being under a walnut tree in Kashmir trying to bring down the big green raw nuts , breaking them apart and savoring the exquisite white flesh inside.  Besides the fabulous taste Walnuts are rich in omega-3 fats and contain higher amounts of antioxidants than most other foods.

 

BananaKebabs-3

 

 

BananaKebabs-5

Green Banana and Walnut Kebabs

Green Banana and Walnut Kebabs

Green Banana and Walnut Kebabs

Green Banana and Walnut Kebabs

  • Servings: 12
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 3 raw green bananasBananaKebabs-4
  • 1/2 cup rice flour
  • 1/2 cup cilantro
  • 1/3 cup mint leaves
  • 1 cup garlic greens (optional)
  • 2 green chilies
  • 1 cup dry walnuts
  • 1-2 inch piece of ginger
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/4 tsp garam masala
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • Avocado oil for frying ( you can use another oil you like)

Putting it together:

  1. Pressure cook the raw bananas in 1/2 cup water for about 3-4 whistles. You can also microwave the raw bananas in high for 5 minutes
  2. Add walnuts to a food processor and chop coarsely and set aside in a bowl.
  3. Add cilantro, mint, green garlic, green chili and ginger to the same food  processor and pulse until blended but still coarse. Transfer to the bowl with walnuts
  4. Pulse the cooked banana in the food processor and transfer this to the bowl with other ingredients as well. You can also mash the bananas by hand.
  5. Add salt, pepper, garam masala and cumin. Add rice flour a tablespoon at a time and mix everything together until you have a dough consistently. It should still be soft.
  6. Make balls, flatten to a patty and pan fry to a golden brown.
  7. Serve hot with cilantro mint garlic chutney .

BananaKebabs-6

Taking this along with my  chutney will to  Angie’s Fiesta Friday where the co-hosts this week are Kaila @ GF Life 24/7 and Laurena @ Life Diet Health

Posted in Food, side dishes, Snack | Tagged , , , , | 29 Comments

Garlic Greens and Cilantro Mint Chutney

Although it has been incessantly raining, spring is kind of here lurking behind the clouds and walls of rain! I harvested my spring garlic greens stalks to allow the bulbs to grow strong and firm in a couple of months. The smell was intense and heady but much milder that garlic bulbs  and I wanted to put them in just about everything.

CorianderChutney-5

Ended up making  this garlicky cilantro chutney, added some greens to my raw banana kebabs/cutlets and then made a black lentil garlic soup. The rest were chopped up and added to daily omelets and sprinkled on curry dishes.

CorianderChutney-1

This chutney is sparkling with fresh coriander/cilantro, fresh mint and garlic greens. It stores in the fridge really well and can be used in many ways including dipping sauce for cutlets as a salsa for chips, as a sandwich spread as so on. Add some nuts and parmesan and it will become your favorite pesto.

CorianderChutney-2

The recipe is pretty simple and you can adjust the seasoning to taste.

CorianderChutney-4

Garlic Greens and Cilantro Mint Chutney

  • Servings: many
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup chopped garlic greens
  • 1 cup chopped coriander leaves/cilantro
  • 1/2 cup fresh mint
  • 1 or 2 green chilies, chopped
  • 1/2 a lemon juice
  • 1 tsp amchur ( green mango) powder
  • ½ tsp cumin powder
  • Pink Salt to taste

 

Use a power blender to blend all the ingredients together to a paste. Store in a air tight container in the fridge and it will last a while.

Note: Amchur is used to add a sour tangy flavor. If you don’t have it, try chaat masala. If you don’t have that, don’t worry about it – the chutney will still be delicious!

This chutney will be perfect to accompany all the snacks at Angie’s Fiesta Friday where the co-hosts this week are Kaila @ GF Life 24/7 and Laurena @ Life Diet Health

Posted in Chutney, Food | Tagged , , | 10 Comments