Archive for the The Pantry Category

Recipe: Crispy Spicy Okra

Posted in Recipes, The Pantry, Vegetarian with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 25, 2012 by ninasnosh

 

Been a bit quiet lately as sorting out things to enable me to  sell some things at the markets. But, I have been storing up lots of recipes to blog when I have a spare minute.

I love Okra but only really the way we cook them in our house/family. Okra is unlike any other vegetable I’ve ever eaten and if it isn’t cooked/prepared right could be quite unpleasant. I tend to use the frozen version mainly because they aren’t that easy to get hold of here but also because the frozen ones are easier to cook. When cut up Okra is quite a gooey sticky vegetable so if you are using fresh Okra you must try and slice/chop them the day before and leave to dry out. It is also important to ensure they they are fully cooked otherwise I think they have an unpleasant texture – but that’s just my opinion.

 

Ingredients

This should be served as one of 2 dishes which will then feed 4 people.

For the vaghar:

  • 1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 1/4 tsp hing
  • 2-3 tbsp oil

And the rest:

  • Bag of frozen chopped Okra or about 350g of fresh Okra chopped the previous day
  • 1 onion sliced
  • 1 heaped tsp of fresh masala
  • 2 heaped tsp of ground cumin and coriander
  • 1/2 tsp of turmeric
  • 1/2 -1 tsp salt (or to own taste)

 

Method:

Use a good heavy based frying pan that has a lid.

  1. Add the oil to the frying pan and heat – once hot add the fenugreek seeds and hing
  2. Once the seeds start to brown add the Okra, stir and cover the pan with a lid
  3. Cook on a medium heat for about 5 minutes – this will help extract the sticky properties of the Okra
  4. Next add the sliced onion – cook for a further couple of minutes
  5. Now add all the spices and mix in
  6. Cook the Okra on a low heat with the lid on for about 10 minutes – stirring gently a couple of times
  7. To make the Okra crispy you will need to remove the lid and cook for another 10-15 minutes on a low heat
  8. Gently move the Okra around while they are cooking – don’t be too vigorous or they will break up and turn to mush (but you don’t want them to stick either)
  9. I cook mine on a low heat as there is a fine line between crispy and burnt so you may need to cook for longer or less depending on the pan etc
  10. When checking they are cooked you look to see whether they are slightly crispy and not sticky but fairly dry

spices

 

okra and onion

 

 

Eat with indian bread….

Good luck and enjoy 🙂

Recipe: Chana Dahl

Posted in Dahl, Pickles, Recipes, The Pantry, Vegetarian with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 7, 2012 by ninasnosh

I blogged the kids version of this dish the other day so thought I should update the grown-ups recipe.  I love having this dish with masala omelette, and it also goes well with any of the vegetarian dishes I have blogged. This lentil has a wonderful nutty and sweet flavour. It’s also a good dish for you to serve up some lemon pickles as an accompaniment.

Ingredients

Enough for 2 people served with another dish (and enough for leftovers)

For the vagar:

  • 2 tbsp of oil
  • 1/2 tsp of mustard seeds
  • 1/4 tsp hing

The rest:

  • 1 1/2 cups of Chana Dahl /split peas
  • 1 onion finely sliced
  • 1 fresh tomato chopped up
  • 1 1/2 tsp fresh masala
  • 2 heaped tsp of ground coriander and cumin
  • 1/4 tsp of turmeric
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Hot boiled water – about 4 cups

Method

  1. Soak the lentils in water if you have time beforehand
  2. Heat the oil in a large saucepan add the mustard seeds when hot, cover with a lid and remove from the heat
  3. Once the seeds have popped add the hing
  4. Return the pan back to a low heat and add the onions and tomato
  5. Gently cook for about 5 minutes – stirring a couple of time
  6. Now add all the spices and mix through
  7. Rinse the lentils and add to the saucepan – stir everything together
  8. Now pour in enough water so the level is about 2cm over the lentils
  9. Allow the dhal to cook over a low-med heat – for about 20 to 25 minutes
  10. The water will slowly come absorbed
  11. Check the dahl for flavour and add more water if they are not cook and all the water has been absorbed

Serve with indian bread and another delicious Indian dish.

chana dahl

 

onion and tomato

 

 

all ingredients

Tangy, Spicy Lemon Pickles

Posted in All about food, Pickles, Recipes, The Pantry with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 12, 2012 by ninasnosh

After 3 weeks of sun and sitting my ‘Lemon Pickles’ are perfectly pickled. We opened the jars yesterday for a taste test and they have exceeded my expectations when it comes to flavour. They are tangy, sour, spicy and sweet all at the same time.

Pickles are perfect for serving with poppadoms, dahls and other vegetarian dishes. You can chop them up smaller or serve them as they are. The sauce is so delicious that sometimes I even have some of it on bread or a roti.

I have transfered the pickles into a clean jar – this will prevent the formation of a white mould (which is harmless). Store the pickles in a cool dry place or fridge – they will last for months.

Pickling progress….

Posted in Recipes, The Pantry, Vegetarian with tags , , , , , , , , , , on July 3, 2012 by ninasnosh

I’ll be regularly updating you with the progress of my lemon pickles

Day 11

The juices have really thickened up now. I’d say that they are probably ready for eating but I’m going to leave the taste testing to my sister when she arrives on Monday 🙂

Day 8

All going well, the pickles look like they are marinading well and now totally covered with juices.

Day 2

Look at the difference after just a day and a half in the sun.

You can see that the tasty liquid has increased…..

Day 1



Pickling progress….

Posted in Recipes, The Pantry, Vegetarian with tags , , , , , , , , , , on June 21, 2012 by ninasnosh

I’ll be regularly updating you with the progress of my lemon pickles

Day 11

The juices have really thickened up now. I’d say that they are probably ready for eating but I’m going to leave the taste testing to my sister when she arrived on Monday 🙂

Day 8

All going well, the pickles look like they are marinading well and now totally covered with juices.

Day 2

Look at the difference after just a day and a half in the sun.

You can see that the tasty liquid has increased…..

Day 1



Recipe: Lemon Pickles

Posted in Recipes, The Pantry, Vegetarian with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 20, 2012 by ninasnosh

As promised I’ve finally gotten around to pickling those lemons. I’m using a method that doesn’t use any oil so they are of the healthier variety. The process of preparing the pickles is straight forward and relatively quick but they will need some TLC over the next few weeks.

I used 2 of these half litre ‘Bormioli Rocco Fido Jars’  from KitchenwareDirect which were perfect for quantity I made. Ensure they are sterilised and dry before using.

Ingredients

  •  4 large lemons – washed and dried (using 3.5 to pickle and the juice of half a lemon)
  • 1/4 cup of salt
  • 1/4 cup of brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tbsp of chilli powder
  • 1 tsp of white wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tsp of turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp of cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp of fenugreek seeds
  • pinch of hing

Method

1. Wash and dry the lemons before you top and tail them.

2. Save half a lemon to juice. Take the remaining lemons cut length ways into quarters and then cut each quarter into smaller pieces removing any pips.

Chopping board also from KitchenwareDirect – perfect for pouring the lemon juices into the bowl

3. Place lemon pieces into a large mixing bowl.

4. Add chilli powder, salt, sugar, turmeric and white wine vinegar to the lemons and mix through.

5. In a small saucepan add the fenugreek seeds, mustard seeds, cumin seeds and hing – gently roast on a medium heat for 3-4 minutes.

6. Once the seeds are browned slightly and you can smell the lovely aromas remove from the heat.

7. The seeds now need to be ground down using a pestle and mortar or spice/coffee grinder.

8. Once the seeds are ground down add the mixture to the lemons and mix through.

9. Add the juice of half a lemon to the mixture and mix through.

10. Now carefully place the lemon and juices into a jar for preserving.

11. Give the jar/s a good shake.

12. Place the jar in a sunny/warm position – shaking them regularly.

13. Continue to keep the jar/s in a sunny position for a few weeks (bringing in after dark if they are outside) shaking regularly.

Over the next few weeks you will see the lemons change and the juices thicken. I have made one smaller jar which I will use as my tester jar to see how the pickling is going. I will update photos every few days so you can see how it’s going. Already you can see in the above picture the rich colouring of the pickles.

Do let me know if you have a go at making these 🙂

Look what I found in the garden………

Posted in Recipes, The Pantry with tags , , , , , , , , on May 29, 2012 by ninasnosh

En-route to the Gold Coast we have spent a couple of weeks in Alstonville (North Coast NSW) with my in-laws. We arrived just in time to reap the fruits of my Father in-law’s chilli plant.

He’s not quite sure what kind of chillies they are but one thing’s for sure they are of the hot variety!

Given I have either used up or given away what was left of my last batch of masala I decided to make a fresh batch using these chillies.

As there were only about 100g of chillies I only made  2/5 of the fresh masala quantity which is probably a good amount for the occasional user.

As you can see, this masala is a light green colour as the majority of the chillies were green and full of seeds.

If you know me well you will know how much I love shopping in kitchenware shops. I was recently sent some great storing/preserving jars from KitchenwareDirect to add to my vast array of kitchenware.

I’m always on the look out for great storage and I love this jar. It is called the ‘Bormioli Rocco Fido Jar’ I used a 0.5l capacity jar which was perfect for this quantity of masala – there is even enough space to keep a teaspoon in there!

I’ll definitely be growing my own chillies going forward 🙂

Quick snack to impress the unexpected guest….

Posted in Recipes, Snacks, The Pantry, Vegetarian with tags , , , , , , , , on May 28, 2012 by ninasnosh

As I’ve learnt more about food I’ve generally avoided anything that is ready made and processed. This however, is quite a find and definitely worth having in your pantry. My mum makes them from scratch, something I will eventually do but it’s quite cumbersome so will have to wait until I am a little more settled. In the mean time I say,  ‘go with the tin’.

‘Patra’ are a vegetarian snack very popular in the Gujarat region of India. They are made up of Colocasia leaves which are rolled up with gram flour and spices. The method of making them from scratch involves preparing the leaves, making the paste, rolling them, steam cooking and then pan frying.

The tinned version can be found in all good Indian shops.

Ingredients

  • 1 x tin  Patra
  • 2 tbsp oil (sunflower or canola)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp sesame seeds

Method

  1. Heat the oil in a large frying pan on medium heat, so it is hot but not too hot that the patra burn when they are placed in
  2. While the oil is heating remove the Patra from the tin and slice into about 1-1.5 cm thick circles
  3. Once oil is hot add the sesame seeds and sliced patra
  4. Cook the patra for about 2-3 minutes on each side so that they are nice and golden in colour
  5. Place them on a plate (including the crunchy bits) and serve while they are still hot

I promise you they won’t last long. I cooked these up on our weekend away when the Brain family popped round to our cabin for a quick visit and then again for Scott and I when we were packing and didn’t have time for dinner.

Tin of Patra

Sliced Patra

Cooking

More additions to your pantry…..

Posted in The Pantry with tags , , , , , , , on April 15, 2012 by ninasnosh

In one of my earlier posts I updated a list of a few essential spices that my pantry is never without.

If you have been following my blog you might have noticed a few other recurring items. If you were to have a nosey in my kitchen here are a few other things you’d be sure to find in my pantry, fridge or freezer.

  1. Tinned Tomatoes
  2. Onions
  3. Potatoes
  4. Frozen Peas
  5. Frozen Fenugreek Leaves
  6. Rice
  7. Lemon Juice
  8. Tinned Sardines in Tomato Sauce
  9. Frozen Tuver
  10. Lentils

I might not have used some of these items in any of my recipes yet but if you keep following my blog you’ll be sure to see them appear more than once.

Recipe: Rich Tomato Sauce

Posted in Chicken, Lamb, Recipes, The Pantry with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 14, 2012 by ninasnosh

This is the sauce I used for my lamb curry. It’s a wonderfully rich tomato sauce that provides a wonderful base for chicken or lamb. I make a few variations of this sauce but if you can master this your chicken/lamb curry will taste amazing.

The great thing about this sauce is you can make it in larger quantities and freeze some to use at a later date.  I would probably add it to one of my pantry/freezer must have’s.

Ingredients

Makes enough to cook a whole shoulder of lamb plus potatoes

  • 2-3 tbsp of sunflower/canola oil
  • 2cm cube of ginger  peeled and sliced
  • Half a cinnamon stick
  • 10 cloves
  • 3 small or 2 medium size onions finely chopped in the chopper
  • 1-2 bay leaves
  • 2 x 400g tins of plum tomatoes – pureed
  • 3 tsp of fresh masala
  • 4 heaped tsp of ground cumin and coriander (1 part cumin to 2 parts coriander)
  • 3 heaped tsp of garam masala
  • 2 tsp of salt
  • 1 tsp of chilli powder (optional)
  • 1 tsp of turmeric

Method

1. Chop the onions in a chopper

2. In a large heavy based saucepan heat the oil – add the onions, cinnamon stick, cloves and ginger

3. Cook on a low heat for about 10-15 until the onions take on a reddish tinge – don’t allow it to catch or go too brown

4. Now add all the spices, salt and bay leaves – stir and cook through

5. Add the pureed tomatoes, stir and simmer on a low heat with the lid on for about 15-20 mins (remember to stir it at intervals)

The sauce should take on a deep and darker colour – the onions will have dissolved into the sauce

7. Taste the sauce and add further spices and salt if required – remember the meat and potatoes will absorb a lot of the flavour so if you feel it needs more of a kick add some extra spices

8. Cook through for a little longer if you add more spices

9. The sauce is now ready for you to add the lamb

You could also refrigerate the sauce to use the next day or freeze it to use much later. If I am having guests I try and make the sauce the day before to save time.