28 June 2010

Roasted asparagus and potatoes with thyme

Asparagus is the hot veggie of the season - we are getting bundles of it in our produce box. The first week I made asparagus pesto and last week I roasted the bunch. It was a light and tasty summer lunch.
Serves 4 as a side dish

1 bunch of asparagus with stem ends snapped off
2 yukon potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 tsps of fresh thyme
Salt to taste
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp crushed red pepper
1 tbsp olive oil
  1. Preheat oven to 400 deg.
  2. Cut asparagus into inch long pieces.
  3. In a baking dish large enough to hold potatoes and asparagus in a single layer, add all ingredients and roast in the oven for 25 mins.
  4. After 25 mins stir the mix and check potatoes for doneness. If still very firm, then leave it in the oven for another 10 mins.

20 June 2010

Kokum Sherbat

Lately, I've been trying to experiment with Amchi (Konkani) cooking to try some of my favorite recipes growing up. Its amazing to see how many amchi food bloggers there are out there, and the traditional recipes are there for the picking!

In the summer months, kokum sherbat is supposed to be excellent for cooling the internal system. Considering we have a no-AC unit, I'm just about ready to try anything!

1/2 cup kokum (available in South Indian stores...similar to tamarind, it is used as a souring agent)
1/2 cup sugar (more per taste)
4 cups hot water
salt to taste
jeera pwdr to taste

in a large glass bowl, add the kokum and sugar, and pour the hot water over it. Leave overnight for the juices of the kokum to be released completely. A pinkish-red liquid will be released. Now, use this concentrate to dilute with water. Add water, sugar and salt as per taste (how sour or sweet you like it). Also add a pinch of jeera pwdr before drinking up! The drink is meant to be salty-sweet.

Bengali Shrimp

Tried a variation of the Bengali aloo dum but with shrimp. Delicious!

20 shrimp, cleaned and deviened
2 medium onions, chopped
1 tbsp dhania powder
1/2 tbsp jeera pwrd
2 cloves
piece of cinnamom
1 heaped teaspoon chilli pwrd
1/2 tsp haldi pwrd
2 tsp ginger-garlic paste
2 tejpatta
1 large tomatoes, cut
1/4 tsp sugar for caramelization

In a mixer, grind the onion, dhania pwdr, jeera pwdr, cinnamon, cloves, chilli, haldi,and ginger-garlic paste with a little water. In a cooking pot, heat oil and add this masala. Add sugar to aid with caramelization of the onions. Fry well for almost 15-20 minutes until the onions lose their raw smell. Add the tomatoes and cook till the oil separates (took about 5-7 minutes). At this time, add 1-2 cups water depending on the desired consistency of the gravy. When the gravy is boiling, drop the shrimp in gently and cook about 5-7 minutes. Careful not to overcook since the shrimp can become chewy! Finally, when done turn the heat off and garnish with dhania leaves. As with most seafood curries, the longer you wait before eating, the more intense the flavor of the dish!