Paranthas! (Griddle flatbreads)

Growing up in a North Indian “Punjabi” home, “Paranthas” (Griddle flatbreads) are what sweet tea is to the South here in the States. It is absolutely essential! Paranthas are nothing but Griddle flatbreads stuffed with a variety of fillings. Seasoned Vegetables, minced meats etc. The most traditional Parantha is a potato (aloo) or cauliflower (gobi). Below is my recipe for a fresh “Methi” Fenugreek parantha. I added some boiled potatoes to it to cut the bitterness of the greens out. You can also make these with Kale, Spinach, Collards etc. Enjoy!

Parantha

To serve 2-3;

 

1 cup of fresh Fenugreek leaves

1 medium potato boiled (peeled and mashed)

2 cloves of garlic minced

1 tsp roasted cumin seed powder

1 tsp turmeric powder

1 tsp coriander powder

Salt and pepper to taste

 

1-1/2 cup of whole wheat flour

3/4-1 cup of luke warm water

1 tsp ghee/oil

 

Oil/ ghee to cook the paranthas

 

Fresh "Methi" Fenugreek leaves; Washed, Drained, Chopped fine

Fresh “Methi” Fenugreek leaves; Washed, Drained, Chopped fine

Mix Methi with boiled potato and fresh minced garlic

Mix Methi with boiled potato and fresh minced garlic; Mash all the ingredients well.

Add the flour, oil and water. Season with Salt and pepper and knead into dough.

Add the flour, oil and water. Season with Salt and pepper and knead into dough. Use water sparingly as required. Kneading is key here to activate the gluten.

Make a hamburger patty almost and flatten it using the palm of your hands.

Make a hamburger patty almost and flatten it using the palm of your hands.

Roll the patty using dry flour.

Roll the patty using dry flour.

Cook on a non stick griddle/skillet on both sides to a nice golden brown. (3-4 min each side) with a tsp of oil/ghee.

Cook on a non stick griddle/skillet on both sides to a nice golden brown. (3-4 min each side) with a tsp of oil/ghee.

 

Enjoy hot with fresh yogurt, pickles and fruit jam (YES, It’s the best!!)

 

Pongal !

Happy Pongal, Happy Lohri and Happy Sankranti!

Growing up all over India exposed me to so many different types of festivals and culinary delights to go with them. One of my favorites growing up was the festival of Pongal. It is predominantly a harvest festival just like Lohri and Sankranti (which is celebrated primarily in Northern India). The festival of Pongal and the dish “Pongal” are unique to the Tamil cuisine and the state of Tamil Nadu in India. However, I have been told that some Tamilians in Sri Lanka also celebrate this occasion.

I was fortunate enough to be raised by parents who celebrated and partook in every local cultural event and festival and being married to a Tamilian, Pongal is an “adopted” festival for me. (Look at my posts on my other “adopted” festivals).

There are multiple kinds of the dish “Pongal”. My favorite is the sweet version or the “Sakkarai” Pongal. My husband is not a big fan so I made this instead. It’s a savory version called the “Ven” Pongal.

Hope you enjoy my version of “Ven” Pongal”.

Ven Pongal

Ven Pongal

 

1 Cup of Rice – rinsed and drained

1/2 Cup of Moong daal – rinsed and drained

2″ ginger root peeled and grated/minced

1-2 Bay leaf

2 Tsp cumin seeds

1 Tsp whole peppercorns

2 Tbsps vegetable oil/ghee

Salt and pepper to taste

5 cups of water (more depending upon the desired consistency)

 

Heat the ghee/oil on medium heat and add the cumin seeds. Let sputter. Add the ginger and mix well. Add the rice and daal and roast for about a couple of minutes to release the aroma.

Add the water, bay leaf and season with salt and pepper. Pressure cook for 15-18 minutes. Let the steam from the cooker be released naturally and don’t force open the cooker.

You can add more water and cook a bit more depending on your preference of the Pongal. Some people like it mushy and some like it a bit firm. I like mine like a risotto.

Pressure cook rice and lentils

Pressure cook rice and lentils

“Tadka”/ Seasonings to temper

1-2 Tsp mustard seeds

1 sprig of fresh “Kari”/ curry Leaves

2-3 Green chillies chopped (Optional)

2 Tbsp cashew pieces

2 Tbsp raisins (optional; I like them so I put them in this version)

2 Tbsp ghee

Salt and pepper to taste

 

Heat the ghee on medium heat and add the mustard seeds. Let sputter. Add the “Kari” leaves and the chillies. Mix well and be careful not to burn. Add the cashew pieces and the raisins on medium heat and brown a bit.

Be careful as the dry fruits may burn if you don’t watch over them. Add the Pongal in the mixture and heat through. Check for salt and pepper.

 

Mix the tadka with the Pongal

Mix the tadka with the Pongal

Serve hot with pickle if desired.

Out with the old, In with the new !! Year End Recap 2013

We are a day shy from the New Year! I cannot believe how fast this year flew by. I know, I know we all say that every single year BUT somehow 2013 went by really fast! and what a year it was!!Before we ring in the New Year, I wanted to take a minute and recap the wonderful year Freaky Curry has had. I wanted to thank you all for the overwhelming support and love for me and my passion. I also want to acknowledge all my friends and family for humoring me while I “grew” and “matured” in my art. 🙂 Without you all, this wouldn’t have been possible. So…..

Thank you!! 

Before we go “Out with the old, In with the new..” Let’s do a quick recap of 2013!! 

(Trust me when I say that I couldn’t find a way to post the thousands and thousands of pics taken)
January: Freaky Curry travelled to India and found teeny tiny coconuts!!
And made a MEAN MEEN Curry 😉
February: We celebrated Valentine’s day and the flirty weather Carolinas is famous for!
March: A lot of finger foods!!
 AND participated in a mini culinary challenge:
April: We were all about healthy eating !
May: Destination eating and welcoming the grilling season!
June: All about summer entertaining
July:  Birthday celebrations and A lil bit of everything
Happy Happy to me!!
August: Come cook with me!!
Yumm!!
September: Getting ready for Fall!
October: Vineyard picnics and more!!
Picnic recipes!!
November: Thanksgiving!
December: Holidays and introding Luca’s friends cooking corner for charity!
Cooking with kids!!
Quoting from my favorite poem really apt for beginning a New Year,And there’s a hand, my trusty fiere,
And gie’s a hand o’ thine,
And we’ll tak a right guid willie-waught 

For auld lang syne!

For auld lang syne, my dear
For auld lang syne,
We’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet
For auld lang syne!
Translation:
And there is a hand, my trusty friend,
And give us a hand of yours,
And we will take a goodwill drink (of ale)
For times gone by!For times gone by, my dear
For times gone by,
We will take a cup of kindness yet
For times gone by.And whatever your tradition is to ring in the New Year, Whether it is black eyed peas, cooked collards, tangerines or a shot of whiskey….
Always remember; Food is a great leveler; Respect it, Cherish it, Share it. 

I wish you and yours health, hope and a presence of mind because everything else will follow. 

Happy New Year! 
Please “like” Freaky Curry on Facebook to get updates on 2014 Cooking classes and recipes.

Savory potato and applesauce skillet cake with chives sour cream

A perfect balance of sweet and savory! Breakfast or Dinner !!

To serve 1 (generously)

1 potato peeled and grated
1/2 cup of applesauce
1 egg
1 clove of garlic minced
2 Tbsp onion chopped fine
1 Tbsp Basil leaves chopped
2 Tbsp of shredded cheddar
Dash of cinnamon
Salt and pepper to taste

Mix all the above. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes.

Serve with chopped chives mixed in sour cream.