Tag Archives: garam masala

Comfort Soup (Or, “Three Animals Walked Into a Crock Pot…”)

In my pantry today:

  • 1/2 c lentils
  • 5oz canned chicken breast
  • 2 medium potatoes
  • 1c celery, sliced
  • 1c carrots, sliced
  • 3c kale, finely minced
  • 1 tbsp sausage grease
  • 1 large onion, thin-ish slices
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 5c broth (I used vegetable despite the meaty base)
  • 1/2 c half and half
  • 1 tsp hot red chili powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp asafoetida

So it’s chilly, the wife is home sick and I’m not feeling too spunky, myself. It feels like soup time; not just any soup time, mind you — it’s comfort soup time. Start the onions and garlic out in the sausage grease… in the crock pot. Turn it on MH, stir and let sit for an hour or so. Turn off. Run those two godforsaken errands you don’t really want to have to drag your ass out of bed to do. Come back. Assemble!

Turn the crock pot back on to MH Stir in sliced carrots and celery. Cut potatoes into bite-size chunks and stir into the mess. And what the heck — drain that little can of chicken sitting in the cupboard and toss it in. Sprinkle on and stir in all the seasonings so that all of the soup bits are well-coated in the glory of flavor. Then enter your broth. After the first cup or two, stir in the lentils. Begin folding in little fistfuls of kale, alternating with the remainder of the broth. Bless the entire stew with half and half, cover, and let cook on M-MH until the potatoes are soft. All of the comfort of a hearty, stick-to-your-ribs soup with all of the vegetative nutrition of a salad bar — you’ll need all 5 spoons for this pot!

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Unintentionally Vegan Homecoming (or “What a Crock of… Awww, Love.”)

In my pantry today:

  • 2/3 c dried lentils
  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 4 medium russet potatoes
  • 2 large carrots
  • 1 heart of celery, diced
  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 4-6 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp vegetable ghee
  • 1 tsp safflower oil
  • 6 c vegetable broth
  • 1 tbsp garam masala
  • 2 tsp hot curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp asafoetida

Crush the cloves of garlic well, and let them simmer in the ghee/oil mixture for a few minutes. Before the garlic turns brown transfer it, along with everything else up there to your brand new off-the-wedding-registry crock pot. Set the timer and smile, because maybe now you can properly cook beans. 4 spoons!

I still have neither found nor purchased a new camera. Pictures will continue to be Google Image Search results and/or cell phone-resolution shots. First world problems suck, but we still make do… in fact, we had to borrow someone else’s camera for our awesome, should-write-a-book wedding trip to NYC.

(Oh and yeah, I just got married!!!!!!!!)

 

Let’s Rice and Roll!

In my pantry today:

  • 6-8 leaves kale
  • 3/4 c cooked black matpe beans
  • 1/4 c cooked basmati rice
  • 1/2 c ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 c ground golden flax
  • 1/2 tsp ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 tbsp minced fresh basil
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp hot red chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp asafoetida
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Before v. After Blanching

Ok, this part is actually way more simple than the ingredient list might suggest. Just cream all of it together then set aside while water begins boiling. When the water boils, dip each leaf of kale by the tip of ts stem for a count of ten then transfer to paper towel. Dump the water out of the pot and start your sauce in it:

  • 1/2 medium Vidalia onion
  • 2 medium salt-roasted beets
  • 2 c unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 8 oz can plain tomato sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp vegetable ghee
  • 1 tbsp black mustard seeds
  • 1 tbsp kala jeera
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp hot curry powder
  • 2 tsp madras curry powder

In the pot, burner reduced to ML, insert your ghee and oil and top with mustard seeds, kala jeera, onions and garlic. Stir and let sit on the burner as the temperature drops. This would be a good time to carefully slice the stems out of your kale. Do that then come back, add diced beet and turn the heat back up to M; stir and let cook for about 5 minutes (or until the edges of your garlic slices begin to brown). Mix in a shot of vinegar and reduce heat to ML for another 10-15m.

That presents an excellent opportunity to begin constructing the actual rolls: put a teaspoon full near the base of a leaf, then roll up as tightly as possible without smooshing out the ends like a melty ice cream sandwich. Set each roll, seam side down, aside. Get back to that sauce.

Transfer pot contents to the food processor and puree. Scrape sides and add in almond milk and the remainder of seasonings. When at as fine a consistency as your palette desires, transfer back to the stove and add in tomato sauce. Bring to an easy boil on M then immediately reduce temperature to L. Put a spoonful of sauce in the bottom of a small glass baking dish then put your kale rolls in. Cover and bake at 350° for 20m. Serve, bottom-up from the plate: rice, sauce, rolls, maybe a little more sauce. 5 spoons for the rolls! They retained their crunch even after the oven. The sauce will get 4 spoons, if only because I still have unresolved bigotry issues towards beets.

 

 

Chicken and Buckwheat and Salad, Oh My!

In my pantry today:

  • 2 c Colonel Cat’s Crock Pot Chicken* pulled meat
  • 2 c Colonel Cat’s Crock Pot Chicken* stock
  • 1 c buckwheat Kasha
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp hot red chili powder
  • 3 c leftover salad mix
  • 1 shaved carrot
  • 2 tbsp fresh blueberries
  • 1 tbsp golden raisins
  • 2 tbsp feta cheese
  • 4 tsp olive oil
  • 4 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp balsamic vinegar

Because I am a little overwhelmed with fatigue right now, yesterday my better half set the thawed whole fryer from the fridge to be ready for me to contend with on a level today which far surpasses that of general convenience foods. I separated the broth from the carcass and the meat from the bones. Then I fed the dogs a little of the super soggy crock pot chicken skin before tossing the bones. The chicken came out so tender and fragrant; it was a natural complement to whatever approached to shake its hands.

*Colonel Cat’s Crock Pot Chicken:

  • 1 2lb whole naked fryer
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2. tsp salt
  • 6 c water

Did someone call the colonel?

I picked up a box of Kasha at the store yesterday — I admit to never having heard of it before, though it appeared to be an answer to my consistent “make sure there’s protein without meat” dilemma. I took a chance and was rewarded handsomely. It cooks up like a cross between pearl couscous and steel cut oats, and because I substituted stock for water it came out with a fragrance and flavor that crooked a finger for the chicken to come hither. Toss the pulled meat, 1/2 tsp salt and 1 tsp red hot chili powder with the Kasha. Set aside.

Ring the inside of a large bowl with salad greens and top with raisins, blueberries and carrots. Scoop a dollop of the chicken and Kasha combo into the middle then top the bowl with feta cheese. Seal the deal with a little olive oil, lemon juice and balsamic vinegar. This was a surprisingly wonderful combination — I did not expect to like buckwheat at all, but that may have been largely due to the fact that I assumed Eddie Murphy would not be as delicious as he may have once been. Now, I know the true face of buckwheat. 5 stars!

Beanie-ahini (Now With Entire Tree Limbs!)

In my pantry today:

  • 2 c cooked white beans
  • 1/2 orange bell pepper
  • 1 leaf of kale, minced
  • 1/2 onion
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 packets Swanson® Flavor Boost™ (Vegetable)
  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • 1/2 c unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tsp yellow curry powder
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp asafoetida
  • 1 spring dried rosemary, ripped mercilessly from its home in a public median
  • 1 c uncooked Basmati rice

I felt like dicing things up into tiny slivers today, and I made it so to the best of my ability. Put your meticulously slivered garlic in your giant pan with the olive oil and turn the cold burner to M. As it warms, dice and add onion and stir. Let that cook for about five minutes (or until sizzling sounds begin to happen) while you dice your pepper. Add and toss everything with turmeric until bright yellow seeps across the stainless steel surface. Add 1 tbsp water when/if pan begins to dry out to buy time while you pick up that bundle of kale you just brought home and regard it thoughtfully. End up choosing only a single stalk and dicing the leaves — it has been decided that this dish is more about the tahini than the kale, and it must be approached carefully so as not to allow kale the spotlight.

So just sprinkle in that minced leaf as visual interest, stir. Fold in the white beans with your other seasonings as well as the trademarked Flavor Boost™ before adding in tahini a tbsp at a time. Thin out the sauce with a little unsweetened almond milk and, upon satisfactory meld, top with spring of dried rosemary and cover. Let cook on L for a couple hours for best results, then serve over Basmati rice. 4 spoons!

Garleeky Black Beans

In my pantry today:

  • 2 c cooked black beans
  • 1 leek
  • 2/3 head fresh garlic
  • 1/3 c safflower oil
  • 4 roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1 c water
  • 1 packet of Vegetable Broth concentrate (or a bullion cube)
  • 2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp asafoetida
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp cardamon
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • Basmati rice

First, thinly slice the bulb off your leek and crush/mince your garlic. Add to safflower oil and turn heat to M. Let them cook together in a deep frying pan for 10m. Add your tomatoes in fist-fulls, squeezing each fist ‘o ‘maters ever so gently over their bowl to weed out extraneous tomato snot. Fold the tomatoes into the garleek mixture, pressing them down with a spatula after they’re completely coated with oil. The stove should remain on M so that everything in the pan is in a constant state of agitation.

Add your spices — put in the turmeric first just to enjoy the bright and cheery color change your dish will have for just a moment. Then add your packet of omavegetable bullion and c of water. Stir with emphasis on flattening your tomatoes, for when the beans come into the picture there will be no more fruit-smashing. And when you feel you have smashed enough, fold in the beans and stir. Let it all boil down together into a slightly less watery nonsense, then reduce heat to L with a lid and let it ruminate for an hour. Serve serve over rice.

Sweet-N-Savory Soup

In my pantry today:

  • 2 c leftover cooked matpe beans
  • 1 c broccoli slaw
  • 1 leek
  • 1 c unsweetened flax milk
  • 1.5 c chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp garlic paste
  • 1 vegetable bullion cube
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 2 tsp yellow curry powder
  • 1 tsp black pepper

Slice your leek and saute it on M in 1tbsp olive oil. After a few minutes, decide you should add that second tbsp of oil. Mix it around and add the slaw mix. Add your garlic paste and vegetable bullion and mix it around some more (until the cube is decimated). Throw in your liquids and spices. Bring to a boil the reduce immediately to the lowest heat setting. Let it slow cook until the broccoli in the slaw is soft. Serve with some garlic naan and laugh at the cold rain what has been done forecast.

 

———-ADDENDUM———-

Instead of naan, we split an unopened small container of white rice from the Chinese takeout we got night before last. Between the two bowls, it was a perfect amount of rice added to a soup that looks and tastes better for it.

*ALSO — Don’t forget to add a dash of fart powder to this. If I don’t list asafoetida in an ingredient list that otherwise smacks of potential flatulence, please take it upon yourself to know how not to be a gassy windbag.

Li’l Matpe Cakes, or “U Rad!”

 

In my pantry today:

  • 3-4 c soaked-n-cooked black matpe beans (a.k.a urad)
  • 3 packets of Chick-fil-A salad croutons
  • 1 tbsp plain bread crumbs
  • 1/4 c safflower oil
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp garlic paste
  • 1/2 tsp Asafoetida
  • Garam masala
  • Coriander
  • Cumin
  • Chili powder
  • Cayenne
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • Leftover Basmati rice
  • Feta cheese
  • Sunflower sprouts ($4 Microgreens from the farmers’ market!)
  • Two packets of Zaxby’s Lite Ranch Dressing

First thing’s first — get a large bowl. In it, combine 1.5c of your beans (put the rest in the fridge for the not-too-distant future) and the following: egg, croutons, bread crumbs, salt, asafoetida and to taste: all above listed seasonings. Put the bowl contents into a food processor and pulse until the consistency-ish of what a ground beef meatball mixture.

It’ll be a little slimier in texture than that, for forewarning’s sake. But it will do the same thing as meatball mixture — make little balls! I made six, but feel free to experiment with ball size.  Heat oil until it’s at full M then add the balls. Press them a bit flat with a spatula. Let them cook until light-medium brown. Imagine Michael Jackson circa 1974; that color. Then flip them and do a double Jacko.

Remove them and put them into a covered dish (I put them on paper towels too). Put them in at 350° for 10m. While they’re in, mix the spices you put in the pattymush into your leftover fast food dressing packets (ultimately, this was about 2tbsp’s worth) and plate the rice. Remove the cakes. Arrange them artfully atop the rice, then also artfully top with sprouts, feta and a fork-drizzle of dressing.

Look here at how pretty this photo just prior to plating is. And see, now, what had happened was while I meticulously photographed this process from the beginning, we immediately dove into the plated results: food lust drove me from the camera and into the dish. I guess that means it was good?

[UPDATE]

I checked with my dinner companion. Her verdict: “I wouldn’t change a thing, except for maybe making them a little more moist.” And, dear readers, fear not: I had already edited this recipe before posting to exclude half the original amount of breadcrumbs used and adjusted the oven time. Watch those two aspects to ensure a moister texture!