Saturday, November 30, 2013

Thanksgiving leftovers....Pozole, anyone?

Post-thanksgiving, its time for turkey-brain. I stood before the first ever turkey I roasted, wondering what to do with the all the leftover meat. I couldn't believe that we had company for dinner and yet, the turkey looked just the same in volume as it did before dinner! In our family the bird will probably last several (really, several!) more meals. 
Yesterday I managed turkey bánh mì sandwiches. Easy, really, I soaked up chopped leftover turkey in a marinade of mayo and sriracha. Then the usual  bánh mì toppings went on top of the turkey, on freshly baked bread. It was simply heavenly. But as I mentioned earlier, I had turkey-brain, no ideas appeared after that. 
Then this morning hubby who was still in full control of his intelligence, despite the turkey intake, suggested a pozole. I must say, it was a great idea. The pozole, as it bubbled away filled the house with a beautiful aroma. The taste was great; in spite of being a die hard pork fan, I loved turkey in the pozole.

Leftover Turkey Pozole

3-4 ancho chillies
4 garlic cloves roughly chopped

1 can white hominy, drained and rinsed
1-1/2 cups leftover turkey, shredded
2 whole cloves garlic
1 bay leaf
1-1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
2 Tbsp oregano
3 cups water or stock (to start with)

Cilantro (finely chopped)
spring onion (finely chopped)
avocado (chopped)
lime (quartered)
Red radishes (thinly sliced)
Cabbage (thinly sliced)

In a dry pan, roast 2 cloves garlic till they get slightly brown spots. keep aside. Then roast the ancho chillies, till they start blistering. Pour water in the pan, and let the chillies soak. Add the 4 roughly chopped garlic cloves and a pinch of oregano and salt, then puree the soaking chillies etc., along with the liquid. Strain the puree through a sieve

Meanwhile in a pot, throw in hominy, turkey, bay leaf, ground cumin, oregano and roasted garlic. Pour water or vegetable stock over it. Let it come to a boil. Add the strained chili puree. Let the soup boil for a bit, adding water if necessary. Salt to taste, add cilantro.

To serve, salt the toppings, add to the pozole. This tastes yummy with tortillas or over tostadas.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Orange Almond Polenta Cake

These days Nigella Lawson features in my favorite Brits list, along with J.K.Rowling. (Of course those who've traipsed with me on my April sojourn, would know about my other favs. and no, Kate Middleton is not one of them.) In any case, her lemon polenta cake was one of the first of her recipes that I tried. But today I didn't have lemons and I really wanted something sweeter and less tart. Also I didnt want to add any butter. So I varied the recipe around and it turned out gorgeous, rustic, and yummy. I simply had to share! So here it is:
For the cake:
1/2 cup olive oil
1 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp orange extract
2 cups almond flour. (I had only one cup of almond flour, so I added a cup of AP flour instead. By the way, I ground my own almond flour using roasted almonds.)
3/4 cup polenta
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
Orange zest

For the syrup:
2/3 cup confectioners sugar
1 Tblspn orange marmalade
1/3 cup orange juice

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Line the base of a 9 inch spring form pan with parchment paper and grease its sides lightly or spray lightly and flour the pan.
Beat the eggs and sugar, add oil and the extract
Mix the dry ingredients together: Almond flour, AP flour if using, polenta and baking powder. Add it to the wet ingredients. Add the orange zest. Pour into the pan and bake until an inserted fork comes out clean.
Meanwhile prepare the syrup: Heat the ingredients for the syrup together until the sugar dissolves.

Remove from the oven to a wire cooling rack, but leave in its pan. Prick the cake all over, and pour the syrup over the cake.  Do this when while the cake is still warm and in the pan.

Let cool completely before removing out of the pan, sprinkle confectioners sugar on top. This is a dense, rustic cake and completely satisfying. Cut a slice and enjoy the nuttiness of the almond, crunch of the polenta and the sweet citrussy notes of the orange.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013


There are some dishes which one doesn't try for the simple reason that they look complicated. LIke Tiramisu for instance. Getting my head wrapped around the fact that there are several layers of creamy coffee flavored lusciousness with different textures mingling perfectly has to be complicated to venture.
Another dish is Khandvi. It has always been one of my favorite snacks. A snack from the state of Gujarat, these rolls made with chickpea flour melts in your mouth like a nice smooth slice of mozzarella. How does one get these rolls from a small mound of flour was totally beyond me. The tempering with spluttered mustard gives the desired crunch. Mmyum.
Last weekend I fought my fear of failure. It was a tough fight. Shedding inhibitions. Conquering the feeling of ending up with potfuls of food which could only be poured down the sink before anyone even attempts a taste. I finally rolled up my sleeves (literally) and tried out this recipe.
The results were simply mouthwatering. I am amazed at the deliciously simple method.

A cup of chickpea flour
A cup of yogurt (I used non fat, next time am going to try Greek yogurt)
2 to 2-1/2 cups water
a pinch of asafoetida powder
quarter teaspoon turmeric powder
1/2 teaspoon each of mustard seeds, cumin seeds, sesame seeds
a few curry leaves 
2-3 green chillies, slit
chopped cilantro

Mix together chickpea flour, asafoetida, turmeric powder and salt. Add yogurt and water. Mix well. Use a whisk, it will help with removing lumps.

Prep the rolling surface. I spread aluminum foil on my counter-top. Then spread a teeny bit of oil on it. You can use any flat surface like the back of a steel plate (thali) or a cookie sheet.

Now pour the chickpea mixture into a pot and heat on medium heat. Keep stirring, use a whisk. Beware of lumps! The mixture will thicken soon enough. Turn off heat.

Pour a bit of the mixture on the Al foil and then using a spatula (I used a crepe turner) spread the mixture as thin as you can. Wait about 10 minutes. Then start at one end and roll up the thin sheet which would have set by now. Cut into 1 inch pieces.

For the seasoning: Heat oil, add mustard. After the mustard splutters, add cumin, sesame seeds, then add curry leaves, peppers. Pour this seasoned oil over the rolls.Garnish with chopped cilantro.

You can serve these Khandvis with cilantro and mint chutney. I gobble them up just by themselves.

There's a lovely video by Show me the curry here.