Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Mexican Corn Chowder

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I try to keep weekday dinner simple but interesting. Some recipes are regular on my weeknight menu. For example , sandwiches. We love experimenting with various kinds of bread ranging from sliced sandwich bread to the rustic ciabatta and hamburger buns.Pair it with  different cheeses and vegetables and the possibilities are endless.
For the spreads I use hummus, store-bought or homemade pesto and sometimes mayo spiked with some indian spices.
We love fried rice and I try to use the nutty short-grain brown rice whenever i can. A small portion is very filling. Sometimes I throw in some tofu pieces along with the vegetables.
When i am craving for an indian meal I quickly put together a stir-fry and serve it with frozen chapatis. I use the ones from costco. It helps keep things sane when the world around is demanding more from you. ;)
These days am learning to make soups.Like this thick creamy corn chowder.Try out the canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. I usually transfer the chillies into a jar and store it in the refrigerator. These are very hot chillies so use a very tiny bit to start and gradually increase if needed.

Mexican Corn Chowder

Kernels from 3 ears of corn
1 C milk
3-4 garlic cloves
1/2 large red or yellow bell pepper chopped
1 medium onion chopped
1 tsp cumin powder
5-6 C vegetable stock
1 chili in adobo sauce ( seeds removed and cut )
salt to taste
oil to saute

  • Over medium heat combine the onion,garlic until soft. Add the bell pepper.
  • Then add the corn, stock,cumin powder,milk and chilli in adobo sauce. Let the whole thing come to a gentle boil. Reduce the flame and simmer for 10min.
  • Let this cool. Then process 3/4th of it in food processor. 
  • Add it back to the pot and let it boil. Add salt and  finely chopped cilantro.
  • Serve hot with some crusty bread.

Both of us totally loved this soup. Its so easy to make with a consistency reminiscent of the sweet corn soup that I love, only spicier and more filling.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Kishmish wale Choley

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Just a few months to go and my baby would be all of three years old. 3 years a.k.a 36 months.  The baby that I swaddled to bed in a warm, cozy blanket is stretching his arms and breaking his shell. Till yesterday he fit easily into my arms and sometimes on my shoulder. Now he just jumps down and runs on his own. Yes, my baby is growing. 
You know it when they do not need their onesies and the overalls.You know it when the pair of pants you bought last month fits just above the ankles, the shoes get tighter, when its time to get the undershirts and time to say goodbye to the diapers. Their babbles slowly start turning into legible speech They start having their own opinions, their own voice and tastes. Slowly you realize that you would be better off asking them what they want for dinner or for that matter give them the choice.Your evenings get all the more busy, more noisy and perhaps more demanding. 

I often find myself browsing through the pictures on my laptop almost every other day. Wishing I had taken more pictures when he crawled, or may be a few more videos when he uttered those first few words.

Onto the recipe in this post. Its a somewhat sweet and spicy chickpea curry. Chickpea is an-all time favorite for and we can never have enough of them. The recipe uses a handful of golden raisins that provide a sweet-tart flavor to the curry. Try it if you like your curries on the sweet and sour kind.

Kishmish Wale Choley

For onion-raisin mixture :
1 medium onion sliced ( reserve 1/4 of the onions)
2-3 green chillies
handful of golden raisins
2 cloves of garlic
1 tbsp ginger grated
2C boiling water

2C pressure cooked chickpeas or canned chickpeas
1 tsp cumin
2 tsp coriander powder
2 tsp cumin powder

salt to taste
oil as required

  1.  Soak the raisins in boiling water for 20-30min until they are plump.
  2.  In a food processor combine the ingredients for the onion-raisin mixture and pulse into a coarse paste.
  3. Over medium heat combine the cumin and reserved 1/4 of the onions. When the onions are soft add the onion-raisin mixture. Saute till golden and till some oil separates from it. Add water a tablespoon at a time if the mixture dries up so as not burn the mixture. Around 7-8min
  4. Add the cooked chickpeas and water to loosen the curry. Season with salt, cumin powder and coriander powder. Add you favorite garam masala if you like. I did not add any.
  5. Taste and adjust seasoning. Serve with fresh rotis or with some crusty bread.