Khandvi – A Gujarati Snack

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Khandvi is a simple, filling Guju snack made of dahi (yogurt) and besan flour (chickpea flour). It’s a rather novel texture, almost like a solidified custard consistency. It’s pretty easy to eat 5-6 of these at a time.

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To make these, I used some haldi (turmeric) and mustard seeds I brought back from India. I was missing a few things (curry leaves, hing, etc) but they still came out delicious.

Khandvi 

Adapted from Veg Recipes of India

For yellow part:

1 cup chickpea flour

3/4 cup plain, unsweetened yogurt

2 1/4 cups room temperature water

1/4 teaspoon turmeric

1/2 teaspoon ginger purée

Pinch of onion powder + pinch of garlic powder (or pinch of hing/asfoetida, if you have)

Pinch of salt

Whisk together the yogurt and water, and then add the spices and mix. Add the chickpea flour and whisk until no longer lumpy.

Spread some oil on two large, rimmed pans and set aside. Nonstick pans work even better.

In a nonstick sauce pan on very low heat, heat the mixture until it solidifies. The original recipe notes it takes 17 minutes to reach the desired consistency, and this is about how long it took for me, too. To test whether the consistency is good, take a small spoonful onto the pan and let it cool a little, then try to roll it. If it rolls, you’re in the clear! Take the mixture off the heat and spread it out in a thin layer across the pan, as evenly as possible.

For “filling” and topping:

2 tablespoons unsweetened shredded coconut

2 tablespoons cilantro or a pinch of coriander powder

1 teaspoon coconut milk or water (or omit)

Mix these together and sprinkle around on the thin layer of chickpea/yogurt.

1 tablespoon oil

1 teaspoon mustard seeds

2 teaspoons sesame seeds

pinch curry powder or 8-10 curry leaves

Heat oil and add mustard seeds, cook until sizzling. Add the curry and the sesame seeds, cook until sizzling/browned. Take off heat.

Assembly: 

Cut the yellow lengthwise into strips, and then roll roll roll. You can do a variety of shapes and sizes. After rolling, arrange on a serving dish and spoon the mustard seed/sesame seed/oil mixture across them. I also sprinkled black sea salt for flavor and color contrast!

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Soft yet crispy, sweet yet savory, delicate yet filling. A snack of contrasts that won’t fail to please! Khana swadisht thaa!

Also because I am a wimp I left out spicy green chilis. You can add these in the batter or in the filling if you so wish.

Cooking with Beer: Beer Bread and Vegetarian Chili

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So we had some nonalcoholic beer in the fridge that I purchased to recreate beer-battered squash flowers and beer-battered avocado fries and so, I used the magic powers of Google to find some uses for it (because just drinking it would be boring).

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I found two recipes — a beer bread recipe and a vegetarian chili recipe — that fit the bill. And both are easy as could be–essentially, you just throw everything together, let it cook or bake for a while, and sit back and enjoy an episode of Entourage or two on DVD. Simple.

 Lucky for me, the day I made these was uncharacteristically cold (around 75–it felt like a deep freezer after the >95 week we’d had earlier) and so having the oven and stove running was actually comforting instead of sweat-inducing.

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The bread came out delicious–subtly sweet from the brown sugar, with a delicious crust and tender inside. The chili was a bit of an experiment, and I’m happy to report it too hit the spot–three bean, tofu, spice-heavy. Just what the doctor ordered.

Chili and homemade bread. Perfecto comfort meal.

DSCN4411Without further ado:

Beer Bread

Adapted from this recipe

2 cups whole wheat flour

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/3 cup brown sugar

4 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

12 ounces beer

Oven: 350°F. Grease and flour a 9.5×13″ loaf pan.

Sift the flours and combine with sugar, baking soda, and salt. Add in the beer and stir to combine. Pour into loaf pan, smooth out, bake 55-60 minutes or until toothpick is clean when inserted and removed from the bread.

Optional: before baking, pour 2 tablespoons of melted butter on top.

Vegetarian Chili

Adapted from this recipe

28 ounces of canned tomatoes (or fresh)

1 15-ounce can garbanzos

1 15-ounce can kidney beans

1 15-ounce can chickpeas

1 cup or half a block tofu, crumbled

1 cup tomato sauce

2 tablespoons chili powder

2 tablespoons cumin seed

1 tablespoon turmeric

sprinkle of parsley

spices to your liking (ginger, etc)

1 12-ounce can of beer

plain greek yogurt, for serving

Combine everything but yogurt in large saucepan. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 20-25 minutes. Serve with a dollop of yogurt.

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This was a really, really good meal. Satisfying. Vegan if you omit the yogurt. See the melty butter (er, earth balance)… mm. It’s melty because that bread is still warm from the oven–what a rare luxury to eat homemade crusty bread. No wonder it’s all gone (within two days). The beer bread goes deliciously with the chili… even if it’s not a cold winter night. Summer has some chilly days too. And the chilly days are perfect… for chili. See what I did there…?

Yellow Zucchini Tarte Fine (with yogurt-based, whole wheat crust and yogurt-pesto sauce)

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I think my favorite way to cook is to…

A) Use up ingredients that are… on their last leg.

B) Use up ingredients that are in major surplus.

C) Cook an ingredient that I have never cooked before… or better yet, seen!

D) All of the above.

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Answer D. But today, we’re having fun with C.

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I guess Yellow Zucchini isn’t totally outlandish. But I’d never seen it before. Zucchinis are green! Not only was this yellow, this zucchini was yellow — super bright, golden yellow, even more so than our mainstay summer squashes.  I got one from a local farmer’s market, but I didn’t know what I’d do with it. It would have to be something interesting, new, exciting….

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So I did a little digging and found this lovely recipe on Chocolate and Zucchini.

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Check out that crusssstttt

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But as usual, I did some tweaking.

Yellow Zucchini Tarte Fine (with yogurt based, whole wheat crust and yogurt-pesto sauce)

Adapted from Chocolate and Zucchini

Crust:

180 grams or 1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour

120 grams or 1/2 cup Greek yogurt

1/4 cup (half a stick) unsalted butter, cold, diced

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 egg

Topping:

2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds

1 cup yogurt, mixed with 1/4 cup basil pesto

a dozen fresh basil leaves

1 yellow zucchini, about 10 ounces or two very small zucchinis, mandolined into thin rounds

salt to taste

Place flour in a medium bowl, and make a well in the center. Add yogurt and diced butter and salt. Using two knives or a pastry cutter, cut the butter (by slicing the knives together) and combine with flour. I eventually used my hands to really get that butter merged with flour–not sure if this is proper, but it worked. Form into a small disc and wrap in plastic wrap; chill for an hour or up to a day.

Allow the dough to come to just below room temperature. Place on parchment paper, add another piece of parchment on top, and roll out thinly. Crimp the edges.

Sprinkle toasted sesame seeds all over, and place parchment paper back on and roll a few times to ingrain them into the dough. Yay sesame-seed-flavored, crunchy crust!

Leave the top piece of parchment on. Put baking beans all over to weigh it down, or dried kidney beans. You can probably leave them off if you don’t have any.

Bake at 360° (not 350!) for 25 minutes.

Beat egg. Brush egg wash on crust. Bake two more minutes.

Allow to cool completely.

Meanwhile, grill zucchini, or leave raw, if fresh enough; I chose to grill.

Next, spread the yogurt mixture thickly all over. Top with zucchini rounds. Sprinkle basil leaves and leftover sesame seeds, if you have them, on top. Cut with a kitchen scissor (my favorite apparatus for pizza and the like) and SERVE!

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So good. The crust–flaky, light, delicate yet rustic, which superb flavor from the sesame and butter. The crust held up well, even after a few hours of having been assembled with the topping ingredients. You can’t even tell yogurt is in the crust. Whole wheat pastry flour wins again!

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Combination of ingredients–also delicious. The caramelization of the zucchini rounds truly brought out their sweetness and elevated the dish. Just a wonderful play of flavors and textures. Would totally make again.

tartecollage

prebaked / posteggwash / readyformangia

Peanut Butter-Greek Yogurt Pies with Oreo Crust

This couldn’t be easier.

Zero percent plain Greek yogurt. Mix with peanut butter. Spoon into premade oreo crusts. Chill (that’s the hardest part).

Warning: Gets better the longer it chills.

Warning: Kinda addictive.

Peanut Butter-Greek Yogurt Pies with Oreo Crust

Adapted from little bitty bakes; makes 12 pies

12 Oreos or other chocolate-sandwich cookies (I used Bloomeos)

2.5 tablespoons melted Earth balance or butter (maybe more, I was kind of winging it)

About 2.5-3 cups 0% Greek yogurt

About 1/2-2/3 cup smooth natural peanut butter

Put cupcake liners in a 12-cup muffin tin.

Pulse the oreos in a food processor until crumbly. Add melted Earth balance. It’ll still be kind of crumbly but pressable. Put about 1.5 tablespoons in each paper liner. Using the back of the spoon and/or fingers, press the mixture to the sides to make little crusts. Place in fridge/freezer to chill. My crust was still pretty crumbly, so I’d probably add more margarine next time to make it sticky. But it didn’t hurt the end result (i.e. spooning into my mouth).

Next, combine the yogurt and peanut butter thoroughly. Now, I thought it was delicious just pb & yo, but a little honey wouldn’t hurt.

Fill up each pie with the pb/yo filling (as best you can–the oreo likes to stick to the yogurt, which doesn’t spread so well) and put in fridge to chill at least 6 hours (the longer it chills, the firmer and better it gets!)

Eat!

So yummy. Seriously, you don’t need sweetener in the filling–the oreo crust is more than enough.

Peanut butter mixed with yogurt. Sounds weird, but really tasty! You could forgo the crust and just eat it like a dip with apples. Personally, I like the crust. Then again, I really like oreos.

Just go make it already. Yum.

Coleslaw (REMIX)

So I had some leftover raw cabbage from a recipe that is coming up soon… and decided to make a Coleslaw Remix, feat. Pineapple, Sesame Seeds, Raisins, and Greek Yogurt! Mashups are always fun, even if the original was good.

I kind of eyeballed this. So as far as measurements, nothing was exact. And it’s not particularly attractive, but it sure was tasty.

Coleslaw (REMIX)

Adapted from a Moosewood cookbook whose cover was torn off so I really don’t know.

~1 1/2 cups raw green cabbage, sliced into square chunks or shredded
~3/4 cup 0% fat Greek yogurt
~1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar (or whatever flavor you would like)
~1 tablespoon agave nectar
~1/2 cup fresh pineapple, cut in small chunks
~2 tablespoons raisins
~1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds

Combine. Eat.

Yum! Sweet and tart, super creamy–yogurt sauces are the bomb–and the toasted sesame seeds just add so much depth.  This would go beautifully with a more savory main course, like burgers (meat, veggie, whatever you fancy) or hot dogs. We actually had this with tuna melts. Hint: foreshadowing.

Curried Waldorf Salad with Pears

While lacking in color contrast, slightly under-ripe pears make a great substitution for apples in a Waldorf Salad. Do not be fooled by looks, for crunchy celery + toasted walnuts + sweet pears + chewy raisins + a spicy mayo/yogurt dressing to hold it all together are a definite treat to the palate in terms of flavors and more so, textures!

Curried Waldorf Salad

Adapted from the New York Times

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

2 tablespoons mayonnaise

1/2 cup plain 0% fat Greek yogurt

3/4 teaspoon curry powder

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

Salt to taste

1 under-ripe anjou pear, chopped into bite-sized pieces

2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

1/3 cup lightly toasted walnut halves

1 cup thinly sliced celery, from the heart of the celery (or as many stalks as your taste for crunch goes for)

1/4 cup raisins

1/4 cup celery leaves or flat-leaf parsley (or 2 tablespoons each), coarsely chopped

Combine the lemon juice, yogurt, mayonnaise, curry powder, cumin, and salt. Set aside.

Mix together the remaining ingredients and smother with the dressing.

Couldn’t be easier! Besides the tedious task of chopping stalk after stalk of celery. But I loved this different take on the Waldorf salad–I’m getting into spicier food lately (I have had a craving for Indian food since last summer, basically) and I loved the toasted walnuts together with the pears (classic combination) and the tangyness of the yogurt and mayo. Plus, all of the celery is used, even the leaves! Kudos for less food waste!

Roasted Tricolor Bell Pepper Soup

Usually, soup with a roasted bell pepper base is made with just red peppers, resulting in a lovely, rich red hue.

But when one is met with a multitude of many colored peppers, a palette of a multitude of colors will result.

Count them. 20+ peppers, AFTER I threw away 5 rotten ones.

But they do look so beautiful after burning their skins to a crisp.

(I did two trays.)

Roasted Tricolor Bell Pepper Soup

Adapted from this recipe

20+ bell peppers, cored and halved

2-4 tablespoons olive oil, enough to cook…

4 small onions and

4 cloves (or more) garlic

1 teaspoon + smoked paprika

4 cups vegetable stock

4 cups water

6 small potatoes, peeled and diced

1 tablespoon dried thyme

1 tablespoon dried parsley

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

Greek yogurt

Cover a pan with aluminum foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Place peppers, skin side up, on tray and spray. Broil for 15-20 minutes (I’m serious, unless my broiler was faulty) until the skins blacken.

Empty peppers into some kind of sturdy bag that can be sealed. The first tray: the peppers had so much juice, they broke through the paper bag. The second tray: The peppers melted right through a ziploc freezer bag. I don’t know what to do.

Let them sit for 10 minutes, then carefully remove and discard the skins (they’ll be pretty hot) but do not rinse the peppers. Chop coarsely.

Heat olive oil in a large vat/cauldron/nonstick soup pot, and cook onions and garlic until soft but not brown. Add paprika and cook 1 minute.

Add roasted peppers, broth, water, dried herbs, and simmer for 20 minutes.

Puree the soup using an immersion blender or food processor, and add the balsamic vinegar just before finishing.

Serve with dollops of Greek yogurt. You can also stir some into the soup itself in place of cream… or just stir in some cream.

Makes A LOT.

This soup was delicious. The smoked paprika adds another layer of flavor, and I’m happy I finally got to use some in this recipe. And the color is actually pretty nice, even though it’s not red. Some black beans and corn might go nicely in this too, and add some protein to make a hearty meal!

We are now bell-pepper-less and couldn’t be happier. However, there are some cucumbers that are taking over the vegetable drawer that might need to be stopped.