Category Archives: Cooking

My First Time Cooking Indian!

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So now that I’m almost settled at home, I have started taking part in some of the house’s routine activities.  The most important being cooking. Well granted our maid is a wonderful cook and most of the time she cooks. However, ive been told that as an Indian housewife you need to know how to cook Indian food so that not only you are aware of what you are being fed by your maid/cook, but also in case one day they don’t show up, you are capable of cooking.

Now as for me, I’ve always loved shopping for groceries & cooking.  However, this joy of grocery shopping & cooking has been reduced due to lack of those wonderful supermarkets we have in U.S.  Also since most of the time I feel so hot, it has become more difficult for me to cook.

That being said, I know a handful of cuisines from different countries, but not Indian. Also, the other challenge for me has been cooking vegetarian.

Being from Iran, I have been raised on non-veg & rice.  So no wonder when it came to trying Indian food, the first vegetarian option I thought of was “Vegetarian Biryani”.  I made it today for lunch and my MIL & husband really praised me.  So I thought I share with you how I did it.

Ingredients (4 servings):

1 Cup Basmati Rice

2 Pinches Of Saffron

3 Tomatoes, Finely Chopped

2 Green Peppers (Capsicum), Sliced

1 1/2 Cup Mixed Vegetables, Boiled

1 tbsp Chopped Coriander

2 tbsp Milk

Salt To Taste

Paste- Follow Instruction Below

For mixed boiled vegetables I used potatoes, carrots and zucchinis. You can try different vegetables according to your taste.

Rice:

Boil the rice with a bit of salt.  When the grains are a bit soft, drain and cool.

In a small bowl add very small amount of ground saffron, add a bit of hot water so the saffron is dissolved.

Add the saffron liquid to the cooked rice and mix well.

Paste:

Make a paste out of the following:

2 small onions, 6 cloves of garlic, 8 leaves of mint, 20 mm piece of ginger, 1 teaspoon turmeric(haldi), 4 small elaichi (cardamom), 1 teaspoon poppy seed, 1 stick cinnamon, 3 green chilies, 1 teaspoon red pepper powder

Vegetables:

In a small pot heat a little oil, add the paste and fry for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the tomatoes and capsicum and fry again for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the boiled vegetables and coriander and cook for a few minutes.  When ready set aside.

Put a little oil at the bottom of a pot.  Add enough rice to cover the bottom. Next add a layer of vegetable mix. Follow the same order ending with rice.  Sprinkle 2 tablespoon milk & 1 tablespoon of water. Cover & put on high heat for 5 minutes. Reduce the heat and let bake for another 25 minutes.  Before serving mix the rice and vegetables and serve hot.

Enjoy!

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Japanese Hot Pot aka Shabu-Shabu

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Hi

So a dear friend of ours invited us over for Shabu-Shabu last night.  I really enjoyed it so I wanted to share and tell you more about it.  So simply said, Shabu-Shabu is a hot-pot meal that you make yourself at the table, sort of like fondue but different.

First you should decide what you want to make, seafood, chicken, lamb, noodles or vegetable. For some vegetarian options you can also use tofu and vegetable dumplings. Or it could be all of them together as we did!

Then the main thing becomes your soup base. It could be as simple as boiling water in the hot-pot and adding vegetable cubes or chicken stock cubes. You could use ready soup bases from grocery stores.  You can boil water and add some veggies. So it all depends on you and how you like it! After the soup base is ready you let it simmer.  This is when you are ready to add your thinly sliced meat to the hot-pot.  You simple put them in and wait for them to be cooked. Depending on what you are cooking time is different.

After your meat is ready you take it out with chopstick and enjoy it with a side of noodles, rice or veggies!  You will also need dipping sauces that you can purchase from stores, some good options are soy sauce, chilli sauce and sesame sauce.

I have to say Shabu-Shabu is very healthy and tasty! I hope this encourages you to check out some recipes and try it.

Let me know how it goes!

Cheers!

My Recipe: Prawns & Pasta

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Hi All,

So last night I decided to have my hubby to be over for dinner. The decision was sudden, I usually eat at their place since I have moved here.  I had Medium size prawns at home.  So this is what I made, I won’t guarantee the quantities cause I made this up and it came out to be yummy.

Ingredients:

Wheat or Whole Grain Pasta

1 kg medium size prawns

Fresh Parsley

Fresh Garlic cloves peeled (4 or 5)

Olive Oil

Fresh Lime Juice (1 lime)

Spring Onions (I used 2 )

Salt & Pepper to taste

Dash of Pepper

One small tomato

Put all these ingredients except Shrimp & tomato into a grinder to make a paste.  Now take 1 or 2 little spoons of the paste and marinate your shrimp in it.  Cover the shrimp and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Add the tomato to the remaining paste and grind.  Now take this thin paste and boil it in a pot for about 8 to 10 minutes on medium heat till it thickens a little. This becomes your pasta sauce. Set aside.

After one hour: I don’t have a grill or oven @ my place so I used a regular pan on high heat and grilled my prawns without adding the oil (the oil in the marinate is enough).  Set Aside

Boil water and make your pasta as usual.  When the pasta is ready mix well with the sauce & shrimp.

Enjoy it with a side of fresh salad or garlic bread!

Let me know if you did try this one and what you think!

Cheers!