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.

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Spaetzle (Whole Grain) with Mustard Cream Sauce and Scorched Garden Veggies

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So I was watching Chopped last night (surprise, surprise) and on the episode, one of the contestants made Spaetzle. 

Spaetzle? What? And everyone seemed to know what it was. 

The contestant dropped ribbons of batter into boiling water, drained them, and then pan-fried them as a bed for whatever the secret ingredient was (duck confit, I think). 

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It looked really cool to attempt… and easy enough to accomplish!

Apparently I have to get out from under my rock, because according to the interwebs, spaetzle is delicious comfort food originating from Germany (I’m part German…) and brings back fond memories of grandmothers making spaetzle for (others, not me) them as youngun’s. 

And guess what, you only need three ingredients.

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Unless you make the sauce. Please make the sauce. It’s freakin’ amazing. As the Chopped judges always bemoan, you need a sauce to tie elements of the dish together, to make sense on the plate as a cohesive meal.

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Well, I’ve learned my lesson from the many episodes I’ve watched over this summer:

Sauce, check.

Dropping things on the floor, thus rendering them inedible, and throwing them away, check.

Using all the secret ingredients… which in this case happened to be things that NEED TO BE USED BEFORE BECOMING SPOILED and included: snowpeas, wax beans, heavy cream, and shallots. 

And the crowd (er, me and my lunch companion, madame mamadukes) goes wild!

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Spaetzle

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour

4 eggs

3 tablespoons Silk unsweetened soymilk

Pinch each of nutmeg, pepper, and salt

Combine all the ingredients and chill for 1 hour or overnight. When chilled, bring a pot of water to boil and prepare an ice bath. 

I used a colander for the majority of the batter–what you must do is spoonful some of the batter into a colander with large holes and allow the little batter drips to fall into the boiling water, and cook for at least 30 seconds (longer, up to 5 minutes, if you want a softer spaetzle). But either my batter was too thick, the holes too small… because the resulting driblets of batter looked like reminscent of something else instead of typical spaetzle.

Towards the end, however, I switched and simply used a spoon to drip batter into the boiling water directly–a lot easier, more fun, and more pasta-like.

After cooking, immediately chill in the ice bath and then drain. Storing? Toss with a bit of olive oil to keep from sticking; it’ll keep for a day or two.

Eating? Try this:

Pan-fried Spaetzle

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Several cups of spaetzle

1 shallot, minced/diced finely

Two tablespoons dried parsley

2 tablespoons butter or earth balance

Heat earth balance in a large skillet. Add spaetzle (you may need to work in batches), let sit for a minute, and then sauté until golden brown on all edges. Add the shallot and parsley, salt and pepper, and cook a bit longer (about a minute or two). Serve immediately.

Unless you make the…

Mustard Cream Sauce

Adapted from Robert Irvine on Food Network

2 tablespoons Earth Balance (or butter)

1/2 a small yellow onion

1/4 cup white wine

1 tablespoon dried thyme

2-3 tablespoons honey dijon mustard

1/3 to 1/2 cup heavy cream

In a small saucepan, sauté the onion in the Earth Balance until it turns brown. Deglaze with white wine; once deglazed, add thyme, mustard, and heavy cream. Stir and lower the heat, cook for 5-6 minutes until thickened. Spoon over spaetzle. Now you can serve.

But don’t forget the… 

Scorched Veggies

Pan that you fried the spaetzle in

Boiled/steamed garden veggies such as snowpeas and beans

Simply add the cooked veggies to the pan and toss occasionally until they brown (scorch). Serve with your delicious spaetzle.


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I have a thing against ugly food. I’ve cooked a LOT more things this summer than I’ve shown on this blog. This is due to the fact that I only feel like photographing food when it’s pretty, and also due to the fact that I’m hungry and just want food in ma belluh. 

I took pictures of this at the last minute, when Mamadukes was like “Did you take pictures yet?” and my blog-guilt set in. But I’m glad I did. Taking pictures of ugly food is probably a good exercise, and makes me get more creative in plating and angles. 

That being said, this food tasted anything but ugly. It was SO GOOD!! The spaetzle was delicious and hearty, full of protein (thanks to… whole wheat flour, eggs, and soymilk!) and just screamed comfort food. The sauce… absolutely delicious. It tasted like restaurant sauce… chock-full of FLAVOR. I wish I could have veganized it somehow but I wanted to use up the heavy cream. 

I love how simple this dish is (even though it ended up taking me a very long time… but if I make it again, it’ll probably take half the time). Just a few ingredients and you have yourself a meal. I’m building my repertoire of from-scratch grad school eatin’, which currently includes lots of quinoa salads, fried eggs, veggies steamed in the microwave, roasted veggies, and now… spaetzle. Who knew?

I’m also thinking of doing an ancestry series on this blog. I’m German, Irish, Scottish, English and Chinese. Got the German dish down… Next up? If you need me, I’ll be Googling. 

Brown-Sugar-Mustard-Glazed-Salmon with Edamame-Cauliflower Puree

TGIF! Okay, well, a day late. TGIS! In fact, TGITW (the weekend). Woo!

For real.

Bobby Flay did not steer me wrong. He hasn’t won Iron Chef 1580153 times for NOTHING.

A lot of my love for this recipe is for this little gem.

Crispy blackened salmon skin. Hardly anything gets better than that. Okay, well, maybe 100% dark chocolate chips in homemade mint chip banana soft serve… or Coach rainboots… or perfectly ripe avocado… or getting a handwritten letter/postcard in the mail… but I mean, crispy salmon skin is HIGH on the list.

And if you love crispy salmon skin in forms other than sushi (which, I have yet to try such a roll–AHHH!), then I recommend the following:

Brown Sugar Mustard Glazed Salmon with Edamame Cauliflower Puree

Adapted from Bobby Flay (Food Network)

2 tablespoons butter

3 tablespoons brown sugar

1 tablespoon honey

1/4 cup dijon or spicy brown mustard

1/2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon minced ginger

4 salmon filets

vegetable oil for grilling

salt and pepper to taste

In a small sauce pan on medium heat, melt the butter with honey and brown sugar. Once melted, remove from heat and whisk in mustard, soy sauce, olive oil, minced ginger. Season to taste if desired, or add more soy sauce (I cut way back on the soy sauce and it was 100% delicious; however, feel free to peruse the original recipe).

Heat a grill pan on medium heat.

Rinse off the salmon if thawed from frozen-ness and pat dry. Spread vegetable oil on the skins. Once pan is hot, placed salmon skin-side down; spread mustard glaze over the flesh part. Save remaining glaze. Grill 6-8 minutes (it will splatter at you so use a mesh cover). Flip if desired, probably unnecessary, around 5-6 minutes in. The skin came off on mine but my dad and I feasted on the charred crispy skin (my mom gagged inwardly and happily dug in to the pink).

For edamame cauliflower

1 head cauliflower, washed and cut into small pieces, steamed until fork-tender

1/2 cup edamame beans, cooked

sprinkle of garlic powder

dash of salt and pepper

a few huge dollops of 0% Greek Yogurt (optional, for creaminess–you really don’t taste the tang at all!)

Using a handheld immersion blender or food processor, process everything until smooth and creamy. Season to taste. The result? A really yummy and protein-packed, low-carbohydrate alternative for mashed potatoes.

To serve, simply plate a filet, a bit of crispy salmon skin, some cauliflower puree, a spoonful of leftover glaze, and a small side salad with orange-yet-sweet grape tomatoes. Divine!

Am I a weirdo for liking salmon skin? Is it a half-Asian thing? My mom recoils at the thought but my dad (Chinese) has always eaten it and taught me to eat it too. I ain’t arguing. The skin is where the bulk of salmon’s healthy fats lie! Maybe it’s not that healthy to eat the skin that’s crisped to a black char but… it’s… so… yummy…

This dinner ROCKED. So good! The cauliflower edamame mash complimented the salmon well, and the glaze was perfect. I kept “taste-testing it” by the spoonful even prior to spreading it on the salmon (butter and brown sugar, can you really go wrong?) and it really couldn’t be easier to make this healthy, delicious, filling meal.

Sure beats meatloaf and potatoes any day. Well, meatloaf makes me  recoil in disgust; I guess we all have our loves and our hates.