Sunday, May 23, 2010

Bagara Baingan

Source: Edible Garden

Really, Edible Garden has just NAILED this recipe and even provides step by step pictures. I'll keep this short. This dish came out perfect! I'll try and provide instructions which will help you multi-task and make the dish faster.

  • 7-10 purple baby brinjals/ eggplants (depends on the size. My store sells very small ones)
  • 2 Tablespoons white sesame seeds (I don't use these often, but was able to buy a small packet for $1 at my local Latin market)
  • 2 Tablespoons peanuts
  • 2 Tablespoons grated coconut
  • 1 Red Onion, chopped fine
  • 1 Tablespoon ginger paste
  • 1 Tablespoon garlic paste
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon jeera/cumin seeds
  • 1 Tablespoon coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon red chilli powder (I used 2 Tablespoons)
  • A small lemon sized ball of tamarind
  • Salt to taste
  • Fresh coriander leaves for garnish


1. Preheat the oven to the broil setting

2. Dry roast the peanuts and sesame seeds until golden brown

3. While this is roasting clean your brinjals, trim the stems, and make deep perpendicular slits at the bottom of each. Place on a pan coated with a little oil and broil. Broil on each side for about 7-8 mins until it's soft and slightly charred.

4. Place the roasted mixture along with a little bit of cold water and shredded coconut in the blender. Allow to cool for a little bit.

5. Place the tamarind in 1.5 - 2 cups water. Microwave on high for 1.5 mins. Break up the tamarind and let it soak.

6. While your roasted mixture is cooling, chop up the onions

7. Fry the onions and ginger garlic paste until golden

8. While frying, grind the roasted mixture with coconut to form a smooth paste. You can add as much water as you need to grind it.

9. Add the ground paste to the onion/ginger/garlic and fry for 1 minute. Add water if it starts to stick.

10. Add turmeric powder, chilli powder, jeera, coriander powder and salt. Mix well and fry for another minute.

11. Add the tamarind water, mix and cook for 5 mins. Taste the gravy and add more spices/ salt if necessary. If it is too watery, boil it for some more time. (If it is too thick, add more water and boil.)

12. Add the brinjals and cook closed for 5-10 mins

13. Garnish with coriander leaves

Kuty's Twist

As I said before, the recipe from Edible Garden will come out great if you just follow the recipe. The only change I made was how I cooked the brinjals. I like to leave the stems on so it is easy (and more fun :P) to pick them up and take a good chomp out of them. I also broiled them rather than frying them. I am sure frying them (with a lot of oil) will make the dish taste better!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Tandoori Tempeh Sandwiches

Source: Kuty's Kreations!

So I've eaten a few absolutely amazing Tempeh sandwiches in my life. For some reason I had gotten it into my head that it must be a very complicated thing to cook. Well it's not!

After eating the mouth watering Bali Bliss Sandwich at the Veggie Grill, I was inspired to try cooking with Tempeh. Of course my first attempt had to involve masalas.. and red chili powder! And YES.. this is an original Kuty Kreation!

There are several variations to this. You can be creative and add different toppings, and even vary the Tempeh with tofu or paneer.

Number of Servings: 4 Sandwiches


Sandwich Assembly
  • 2 Packages of Tempeh (You can probably makes this with tofu or paneer instead)
  • 8 Slices of Sourdough Bread (I used Wheat Sourdough Bread)
  • 1 Tomato
  • 1 Red Pepper
  • 1 Onion
  • Cheese Slices (Optional. I used Havarti cheese just out of curiosity. Mozzarella or Cheddar would work fine)
Indian Mayonnaise
  • 1 Cup Vegan Mayonnaise
  • 1/4 Bunch Coriander Leaves (cilantro)
  • 6-7 Peppercorns
  • 1 Garlic Clove
  • 1 Green Chili
  • 3-4 Tablespoons Tandoori Masala Powder
  • 1 Tablespoon Red Chili Powder
  • 1 Tablespoon Garam Masala Powder
  • 2 Medium Tomatoes
  • Half Bunch Coriander (Cilantro)
  • 3 Green Chilies
  • 3 Cloves Garlic
  • 1.5 - 2 cups Yogurt
  • Lemon Juice to taste
  • Pinch of Salt

1. Prepare the Tempeh
Cut the Tempeh into fourths (so you have 8 pieces in total). Place in boiling water for about 10 mins. Pat dry and poke a few holes in each piece with a fork. While you are boiling the Tempeh you can prepare the Marinade.

2. Prepare the Marinade
Blend together all of the ingredients for the marinade with 1 cup of yogurt. Taste the marinade. If it seems too spicy add yogurt as necessary. (Note: The marinade should be a bit spicier than you can handle because the Tempeh will end up being a tad less spicier.)

Marinate the Tempeh in this mixture for 3-4 hours. Overnight is best. (Of course I was too impatient to eat this so I only marinated it for 1 hour. I'm sure it will taste better tomorrow!)

4. Prepare the Fix-Ins

You can put any veggies you happen to have in the fridge.

Onions: I chopped up the onions into rounds and caramelized them (sauteed the onions in butter until they turned very brown.)

Grilled Red Pepper: Cut the Red Pepper into big slices (about 8). Toss with olive oil and pepper. Broil until blackened.

5. Broil/ Grill the marinated Tempeh pieces on each side for about 10-15 mins until it changes color and starts to blacken.

6. Indian Mayonnaise
Blend together all of the mayonnaise ingredients.

7. Grill the bread slices and melt the cheese on one side of the bread.

8. Assemble your sandwiches with 2 pieces of Tempeh, mayonnaise, and all the fix-ins! ENJOY!

Kuty's Twist

Instead of the Indian Mayonnaise, this will surely taste as good with a simple raita (yogurt) dressing with cucumbers. Instead of bread, you can make it into a wrap too.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Shortcut Spicy Malai Kofta

Source: Fun and Food Blog

In honor of my husband's birthday week, I wanted to cook his most favorite dish in the world, Malai Kofta. (Funny thing is that similar to the Fun and Food blogger, my husband ALSO actually judges the quality of an Indian Restaurant by it's Malai Kofta.) I had told myself that I wouldn't ever try making it because it would never match his restaurant standards, but curiosity gave in.. and here I am.

I tried making this about 2 months ago and it was a total disaster. I've made multiple recipes from Fun and Food Blog, so I was quite confident that this recipe would turn out well. For some reason my koftas completely broke apart and ended up being a messy oily disaster. Deep frying is also my worst enemy. It never turns out well and is a mess to deal with the oil and cleaning the vessel afterward.

It was 7:30pm after a long day at work, and the last thing I wanted to do was even consider deep frying again.. and then the light bulb went off! Trader Joe's Vegetable
Masala Burgers!


  • 2 medium Onions - finely chopped (I used 1 big onion)
  • 1 can of Tomato Puree (I used 3 roma tomatoes)
  • 12-15 Cashews
  • 1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 tsp Garam Masala
  • 2 tsp Kitchen King Masala
  • 2 tsp Jeera
  • 1 tbsp Cumin-Coriander Powder
  • 2 tbsp Red Chilli Powder
  • 2 tsp Turmeric Powder
  • 1 cup Fresh or Whipping Cream (I used 1/2 cup)
  • 1 inch Cinnamon Stick
  • 2 Green Cardamon
  • 2 Cloves
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 1 big tbsp Tandoori Masala
  • 2 tbsp Coriander Leaves, finely chopped
  • Salt to taste

Blend the tomatoes with cashews, kitchen king masala, cumin-coriander powder, garam masala, chilli powder and turmeric powder to smooth paste. (Yes.. these masalas make the gravy VERY spicy!)

Heat oil in a pan and add jeera, cinnamon stick, cloves, cardamom and bay leaf and saute it for a few mins, then add the chopped onions to it till they are pinkish golden in color. Add the ginger-garlic paste, and then the tomato-cashew puree. Add 1 1/2 cups water and mix well to form the gravy. When it starts simmering add salt, tandoori masala, and whipping cream and cook for further 10-15 minutes over a low flame. If you think it is thick and need to make it liquid, add some whole milk (I just added water and it tasted fine).

Remove from heat, mix in finely chopped coriander and keep it aside. I also added some lemon juice.

Kuty's Twist: Masala Burger Koftas!

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

Defrost the masala burgers and mash them with your hands. You should be able to mash and form 4 balls or log shaped koftas from 1 burger. These burgers have the perfect texture to form into nice shapes. You won't need to add any breadcrumbs or besan. And best of all.. No deep frying!

Place your koftas on a sprayed pan. Bake for 10-15 mins (flip over once). Broil for 1-2 mins if you want a crispier taste.

Contrary to the original recipe, the tandoori masala made the gravy more red than yellow. I added extra turmeric powder, but still wasn't able to get that rich yellow color.

Keep the koftas and gravy separate and pour
the gravy over them when it's time to serve.

p.s. Thanks to my dear friend Ulupi. who partially gave me this idea. She has used these burgers to make aloo tikki chaat.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Avocado Gazpacho w/ Spiced Croutons

Source: Food Network- Torie Ritchie

This is perfect for a hot day and is both vegan and raw.



  • 2 cucumbers, peeled, seeded, and diced (I only used One)
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 1/2 to 1 cup vegetable broth (I used 1 bouillon cube w/ 1 cup water)
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves, plus additional, for garnish
  • 1.5 jalapenos, chopped
  • 4 green onions, sliced (including green tops)
  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 4 garlic cloves (I love garlic, you can put less)
  • 1 Tomatillo
  • Salt
Note: Only the Gazpacho is raw and vegan. The Croutons are not.
Spiced Croutons
  • 3 big slices of sourdough bread (or any bread you have)
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 1 Teaspoon Red Chili
  • Black Pepper to taste
Preheat an oven to 450 degrees F. Cut bread into medium cubes and spread on a baking sheet. Toast in oven until crisp and golden, about 10 minutes. Melt butter and stir in ground chili powder, salt, cumin, and pepper to taste. Toss and coat bread cubes. Return to oven and toast 5 minutes more.

In a blender, puree cucumbers, lime juice, 1/2 cup broth, 1/2 cup cilantro leaves, jalapenos, green onions, garlic, tomatillo, and 1 of the avocados, diced. Season, to taste, with salt. Cover and refrigerate for about 2 hours or until next day.
To serve, thin gazpacho with additional broth if desired. Dice remaining avocado finely and add to gazpacho base. Pour into bowls and garnish with cilantro leaves and croutons.
Kuty's Twist:
Croutons come out great with sourdough bread!

I only added 1 cucumber since I've heard it doesn't keep too long. My other additions included garlic and a tomatillo. Tomatillos add a nice tangy flavor to this.

If you are desperate to eat this right away, which I was, pour a small amount into 1-2 bowls and stick it in the freezer for 10 mins!

Baked Macaroni and Cheese w/ Jalapenos

Source: Over The Hill And Roll

It's only fitting that my first post is the cheesiest dish I've ever made! This one's for mom, who loves cheese as much as I do.

  • 8 Tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup planko bread crumbs
  • 5 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 Tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon red chili pepper pepper
  • 4 cups grated sharp white cheddar
  • 2 cups grated gruyere cheese (I only used 8oz)
  • 1 pound elbow macaroni
  • 2 Jalapenos
Start boiling your water to cook the macaroni.

Warm milk and 6 Tablespoons butter over medium heat. When it starts to bubble, whisk in flour and continue until mixture bubbles and thickens, 8 to 12 minutes. Remove cheese mixture from heat and stir in salt, black pepper, red chili powder, 3 cups cheddar and all of the gruyere. Stir and allow to cool slightly. Taste a little and add more black pepper if necessary. (I like a lot of black pepper in mine.)

Cook macaroni for 2 to 3 minutes in boiling water (the macaroni will continue cooking in the oven). Drain and run under cold water. Add macaroni to cheese mixture and combine. Pour mixture into buttered/ sprayed baking dish. Sprinkle remaining cheddar cheese over top. Bake until golden brown, about 30 minutes. Serve and enjoy!

Kuty's Twist

Slice up 2-3 jalapenos and pan fry them til they are crispy. Set aside.

Take 1 cup planko bread crumbs and lightly cover them with oil or melted butter.

After the macaroni has baked for 20 minutes, mix in the jalapenos and sprinkle the breadcrumbs on top. Bake together for another 10 minutes. If the breadcrumbs don't start to brown, set your oven to the broiler setting.

Serving suggestion for a dinner party: Bake the mac and cheese in individual ramekins.