Pilaf/Pulavs are Indian rice dishes flavored with spices and loaded with vegetables, meat or both and remain one of my favorite and easy ways to cook a single tasty meal at home. Pilafs are versatile, simple and yet bold with complex flavors that make them stand out. My mother made and still makes delicious pilafs on weekends and we would eat them with a side of plain yogurt or a salad. It's also my little way of "cheating" to save time and impress people when they come over.
10 black peppercorns, whole
4 thai chili peppers, stalks removed
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
2 large garlic cloves, peeled
1 inch piece ginger root, peeled and minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 black cardamom pods, crushed
2 bay leaves
1 cup red onion, thinly sliced
1 large lemon
2. Clean the artichokes by peeling of the harder outer green leaves until you reach the inner soft and tender yellow parts. Trim the bottom and the tops of each artichoke and place the artichoke in a bowl containing 4 cups of water and the vinegar to prevent them from browning. Discard the trimmed bottoms and tops.
3. Add the diced onion, peppercorns, cloves, chili, turmeric, garlic, and ginger in a blender/immersion blender or food processor with the remaining 1/2 cup of water. Pulse until the ingredients are completely ground to a smooth pulp.
4. Heat the olive oil in a large wok or saucepan with a lid on medium-high flame. When the oil is hot, add the cardamom and bay leaves. Stir the spices for about 15 seconds and then add the thinly sliced red onions to the pan. Sauté the onions until they begin to get golden brown for about 4-5 minutes. Add the ground spice mixture and remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt to the wok and cook for 1 minute. Drain the artichokes and add them to the wok. Fold gently and cover the wok with its lid and cook until the artichokes are completely tender, this will take approximately 15-20 minutes. Once the artichokes are cooked, fold in the quinoa and slice the lemon and squeeze the lemon juice over the pilaf. Stir the contents and cook for 2 minutes. Remove from the wok from the stove and garnish with the fresh cilantro leaves before serving. Serve hot with plain yogurt.
- Linda of Call Me Cupcake made a sour cream rhubarb cupcakes (there's a ginger cream frosting that has poached rhubarb on it!!!!).
- Climbing Grier's Mountain's Lauren, made this hummus shrimp loaded naan pizza that is simply amazing!
- Lindsey of Dolly and Oatmeal made this gorgeous sauté that's sits on a bed of chickpea and chive mash. This is one, to see and
- This pickled chard by Love and Lemons is what's spring should be about.
A couple of weeks ago, we went out for Indian food at one of our favorite restaurants
, in D.C. I'm trying to tick things off my bucket list, some new places to try and some old spots that I know I will miss a lot, this is definitely on my list. Their menu is always delicious and every item on it bursting with flavors, we ended up trying several different dishes and by the end of the meal we struggled to with our desserts (honestly, we could have skipped it but they sounded and were incredible). Strangely enough, we never ordered any samosas which then led me to remedy the situation with these guys!
I did something very different this time, I infused the pastry dough with fresh rosemary (though dried will work as well here) and also used coconut oil to create the dough's flakiness. The filling for this breakfast-themed pastry includes a mix of sweet potatoes, leeks, spinach, boiled eggs and a little more rosemary that spiced to create a delicious flavorful mix.
There are step-by-step photographs that M took while I prepared the pastries to cook which hopefully make things easier. This is also the way, I prefer to cook my samosas, I don't like to deep fry but simply baking them takes away from the texture of the pastry. So, I do a two-step cooking process where I lightly pan-sear the samosas on each side in a little oil and then bake them till they are cooked.
You can do what I do, prepare these for brunch and/or save the rest and reheat them in the mornings.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon rosemary leaves, fresh or dried
1 cup leek, chopped
2 cups sweet potatoes, diced
4 cups packed spinach leaves, fresh
2 thai green/red chili peppers, thinly sliced
1 1/2 teaspoon kosher sea salt
2 large hardboiled eggs, peeled and chopped
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan on medium-high for about 30-40 seconds. As soon as the oil gets hot, add the rosemary and stir for 10 seconds. Stir in the leeks and sauté for 2 minutes.
2. Add the sweet potatoes and coat them with the oil. Cook for another 5 minutes, until the sweet potatoes are just tender. Add the spinach leaves along with the chili and salt, stir and continue to cook until the sweet potatoes are completely cooked. This will take about 4-5 minutes. If the spinach releases a large amount of water, continue to cook until the liquid evaporates. Fold in the eggs and the garam masala. Remove from stove and keep the filling aside, until ready to use.
1 cup (5 ounces) durum / whole-wheat flour
1 cup (4 3/4 ounces) all-purpose flour + a little more flour for rolling out the pastry
2 tablespoons rosemary, fresh/dried
1 teaspoon sea salt
4 tablespoons melted coconut oil
6-7 tablespoons chilled water*** (you might need more)
1. Add all the ingredients from the flour to the salt in a food processor. Pulse a 2-3 times for 5 second intervals to evenly mix all the ingredients.
2. Add the coconut oil to the dry ingredients and pulse for 10 seconds. Sprinkle the 6 tablespoons of water over the flour and pulse the ingredients until they combine to form a ball dough. You may need to add more water to bring the ingredients together. Once the dough is formed, remove from the processor and wrap with cling film. Allow to rest for at least 60 minutes until ready to use.
a cup of water for sealing the pastry
See the step-by-step photographs photographs above (from top left to right and then bottom left to right).
1. Dust a clean pastry board or smooth kitchen surface with a little flour. Unwrap the dough and divide the dough into 14 equal parts. Mold each part into a ball, cover the balls with a damp cloth to prevent them from drying out while you are preparing the pastries.
2. Take one ball of dough and roll it out into a 5-6 inch circle, dusting with a little flour to prevent sticking. The edges of the circle do not need to be perfect as you will fold them over.
3. Divide the circle into two semicircles with a sharp knife or pastry cutter. Take one semicircle of the pastry in your hand, using your fingers bring the straight ends of the semicircle together and brush the straight edges with a little water and gently press to seal to form a cone.
4. Fill the cone with a generous tablespoon of the sweet potato filling prepared earlier.
5. Brush the open ends of the cone with water and then press gently to seal the mouth. Brush this sealed edge with a little water and then fold this edge once over itself to form a tight seal.
6. Prepare the rest of the samosas similarly and keep aside covered with a damp cloth until ready to cook.
cooking the samosas
1/4 cup olive oil for pan searing (you may need a little more or less)
1. Center a wire rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. In a medium sized non-stick pan, heat two tablespoons of the oil on medium high. As soon as the oil is hot add 3 samosas and lightly cook them on each side until they are lightly seared and become lightly golden brown. You may need to add a little more oil for searing the other side.
Transfer the samosas to the prepared baking sheets. Bake 7 samosas at a time for about 20 minutes or until they are completely golden brown. Repeat this for the rest of the samosas.
3. Serve hot with ketchup or sweet tamarind chutney. Store in airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week. You can reheat the samosas in a microwave or toaster oven before eating.
Semolina is the tinier cousin of bulgur and it resembles a fine sand. You need to lightly toast the semolina but be careful while doing this as it can burn fast, the photograph below shows how deep I let it brown and should give you a rough idea of what the semolina must look like. You can also use ghee instead of coconut oil (stick to the same amounts) in this recipe. The semolina itself is lightly sweetened but the golden raisins impart a pop of sweetness with every bite you take. The rose water is completely optional and I don't like nuts with this halva so I didn't add any but feel free to add a few mixed nuts with the raisins if you prefer to.
- What's for Breakfast, Today? by Marta is a spectacular collection of food and travel photographs that if you haven't come across already, you need to check it out! Her work is inspiring and tasty!
- Molly of My Name is Yeh whipped up a batch of pretzel shortbread cookies and then drizzled them with chocolate. I want to eat each and every cookie she baked.
- I'm on a breakfast kick these days and Kelly of The Gouda Life is responsible for this, reason being her blackberry sour cream muffins.
1. We're moving to the Bay Area.
2. We got engaged! I can't believe, I get to marry my best friend and now we are on our way to start and share an exciting new chapter in our lives! We've known each other for six years, been through the ups and downs that life has to offer, laughed, argued, and cried together, traveled to places, and once narrowly escaped a bear on a hike. Yep, the usual things that all couples do, but above all we're happy and home is where the two of us are together.
3. Finally, I am also super excited to have my first post up at Food52 today where I talk about my love for this bright green chutney aka the Green Goddess, with so many fresh and bright flavors, it will surely brighten up your day. So head over to Food52 to get the recipe.
- Izzy from Top with Cinnamon shared this amazing Coconut Milk Ice Cream that's adorned with a beautiful green pistachio crumble.
- I recently discovered Sini of My Blue and White Kitchen where she shared a Pulla/Swedish Cardamom-Spiced Sweet Bun recipe. She put cardamom in it so don't think I need to explain why I love this so much.
- Phi of Princess Tofu made this spectacular Wild Onion and Stinging Nettle Soup, she also taught me a wonderful new hashtag for artichokes.
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/4 cup water (optional, see Note in step1)
1/4 cup chia seeds
1/4 teaspoon green cardamom, freshly ground
3 tablespoons sugar (adjust as desired)
4 cups almond milk, unsweetened
1 tablespoon rose water
1. Mix the turmeric and water in a small saucepan and heat on a medium-low flame for 2 minutes or until the water begins to just boil. Remove from stove and allow to cool. OR
Note: You can also make the raw version of this pudding by skipping the heating step completely. Mix the turmeric in water and then proceed to step 2.
2. In a large mixing bowl, lightly whisk the turmeric water and the rest of the ingredients. Transfer the contents to a container with a lid, cover with lid and refrigerate overnight. Stir the pudding before serving and serve chilled.