Monday, 27 September 2010

Indian Feast

X came up with this "vegetarian once a week" idea not too long ago, claiming that it could help to reduce carbon emission. Third week running, already we have had a few hiccups with what and when to cook.

I referred to some of the recipes featured on Food Safari, and decided we would go vegetarian the Indian way. Toor dal tadka, palak paneer, and gujarati potatoes sounded like a true vegetarian feast to me.

I have most of the spices required, which was convenient. I couldn't get asoefatida, dessicated coconut, fenugreek leaves (kasuri methi), and paneer, but decided to forge on anyway.

The recipes did not state the number of serves; therefore, I did a bit of guess-work to serve dinner for five.

The toor dal tadka turned out nicely, although I did adjust the recipe to make it saltier and hotter. I wonder how it would have turned out had I have asoefatida powder on hand (according to the SBS glossary, asoefatida / asoefatid is dried resin from a foot plant of the fennel family, with a flavour similar to garlic and onion, and used as a digestive aid to reduce flatulence brought on by a diet high in fibre and legumes).

The palak paneer, as expected, fell short, due to the lack of the key ingredient, the paneer (I ended up substituting it with cream cheese). However, the pseudo-palak paneer fulfilled the vegetarian theme, so everyone was happy. KT also commented that he didn't like the onions in the palak paneer, I probably could have diced it a bit finer, or used less of it.

The gujarati potatoes were so easy to make - I couldn't get pontiac potatoes, I made do with brushed potatoes, which turned out well. I also sprinkled more sesame seeds to the potatoes after coating them with the seasoned oil; I love sesame seeds, and also to make up for the dessicated coconut.

The above were served with rice; everyone went back for seconds (in KT's case, even thirds). That night, though, both X and I had bad stomach cramps, diarrhoea, and flatulence. Probably because I didn't have the asoefatida in the dal, eh? :|


Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Taro / Yam Paste

I used the base recipe obtained from Corner Cafe then made a few changes. I wanted a smooth paste for a ping pei mooncake filling.

1 medium-sized taro, about 750g
125g unsalted butter
150g caster sugar
Pinch of sea salt


1. Peel skin off taro and cut into fairly even small cubes.

2. Place taro cubes into a metal plate, making sure the cubes are evenly
distributed on the plate. Sprinkle some water over the cubes. Avoid stacking
cubes on top of each other. If necessary, steam taro in batches, over high heat
for about 30 minutes, or until soft.

3. While still hot, mash taro with a potato masher until there are no lumps. Pass
mash through a fine sieve to get a smooth mash.

4. Melt butter in a saucepan over low heat. Add taro mash, sea salt, and half the
sugar. Add a little water (about 50mL) if mash is dry. When sugar dissolves, add
the remaining sugar, or to taste. Stir continuously until paste thickens. Adjust
taste. It should taste buttery and fragrant from the combination of taro and
butter, and sweet. Remove from heat.

5. Allow paste to cool at room temperature before storing in an airtight container
in the refrigerator.


Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Mooncakes, mooncakes, mooncakes!!!

Mid-autumn festival is around the corner!!!

Time to improve on my mooncake-making. :)

I bought a taro to make taro paste.

Going to make ping pei and ordinary mooncakes.

Watch this space. :)

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