Spice Market in the Grand Bazaar Istanbul

October 24, 2013 § Leave a comment

spice marketThe Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, Turkey is a maze of endless shops selling handbags, leather, clothing, household goods, gold and of course spices. My friends and I walked into this shop and was greeted by a friendly gentleman who took his time and explained the various spices to us. He was a great salesman and both my friend and I bought a full bag of spices, tea, dried fruit and turkish delight. My purchases came to $50.

spices - grand bazaar

The spices were so fresh and I found the Indian spices to be of better quality that what I buy at home. I purchased a mild chill powder from the several that they had for sale and turkish saffron. I also bought a few types of herbal and fruit tea that was essentially dried turkish fruit.

Grand Bazaar - dried fruitDried turkish fruit. I got a tropical mix that included pineapple, mangoes, coconut and some green apple.

turkish delight

I was prompted to try a sample of Turkish delight even though I originally refused because I normally don’t like it. I was so amazed at how delicate and intricate the flavours were and ended up buying a couple pieces of each flavour.

Ramazan shop is located at Terziler Sok, No.22 Kapalicars, Beyazit – IST, Turkey in the Grand Bazaar. Tel: 0212 511 82 18, http://www.ramazancanbaz.com.

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Winter Squash Curry

February 26, 2012 § Leave a comment


People often ask me how I cook with squash. It seems that there are two popular ways to cook squash, roasted in the oven with drizzled olive oil and salt or as a big pot of soup. Indians only have one way of cooking, they turn everything into a curry.  As a kid I detested squash curry. My mother a fanatic of squash, made it way to often for my liking.  As an adult I have learnt to appreciate the flavour of this curry and my kids love the sweetness and of it. Use a sweet squash for this recipe and serve with hot flatbread on the side.

Cooking time 60 minutes
Serves 4
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F

4 cups (1 L) roasted squash
3 tbsp (45 ml) olive oil
2 tsp (10 ml) black mustard seeds
1 1/2 tsp (7 ml) cumin seeds
3 cloves
7 cardamom pods
1 tsp (5 ml) ginger
5 cloves crushed garlic
1/2 cup (125 ml) diced onions
1/2 tsp (2 ml) tumeric
1 1/2 tsp (7 ml) salt

1. Cut the squash in half and take out the guts. Place on a lined baking tray and roast in the oven for half and hour or until the squash is cooked. Let cool. Peel of skin and chop into 1 inch pieces.

2. Add 1 tbsp of oil to a medium-sized saucepan on medium heat. Crush the cardamom and cloves and add to the hot oil along with the mustard and cumin seeds.

3. When the seeds pop add the garlic and ginger and sauté until they brown about 30 seconds. Add the onions and sauté until caramelized.

4. Add the turmeric, stir and cook for about 30 seconds. Add the squash and 2 tbsp of olive oil. Depending on how much moisture is in the squash, you may need to adjust the amount of oil that you need. Cook until the squash softens and all the flavours incorporate 5-10 minutes.

Cauliflower and Masala Chickpea Curry

November 21, 2011 § 1 Comment

Cauliflower is my daughter’s favorite vegetable and according to her, I never make it enough. When cooked, cauliflower is like a sponge and absorbs the flavour of any spice that you cook it with. Be careful not to over cook the cauliflower as it will lose its shape, turn into mush and not hold any flavor. You can serve this dish with an Indian flat bread and is nicely complimented with raita. Roll the leftovers in a wrap and have it for lunch the next day.

Cooking time 30 minutes
Serves 4

Ingredients
1 tbsp (15 ml) + 1 tbsp (15 ml) olive oil
2 cloves
5 cardamom pods
pinch of fenugreek
1/2 tsp (2 ml) black mustard seeds
1/2 tsp (2 ml) cumin seeds
1 tbsp (15 ml) minced ginger
1 tbsp (15 ml) crushed garlic
1/4 cup (65 ml) diced onion
4 cups (1 L) cauliflower florets
425 grams (15 oz) chickpeas
1 tsp (5 ml) masala
1/2 tsp (2 ml) turmeric
2/3 tsp (4 ml) salt
cilantro (optional)

Directions:
1.  Heat a medium-sized saucepan on medium heat. When it’s hot, add 1 tbsp of olive oil, cloves, cardamom and fenugreek. Cook for 30 seconds and add the cumin and black mustard seeds.

2. When the seeds pop add the garlic and ginger and saute for about 30 seconds.

3. Add the onions and saute until golden about 1 minute.

4. Add the cauliflower and stir occasionally. Cook until it starts to soften but still holds it shape, about 8-10 mins. If the cauliflower is getting dry, you can add a tbsp of olive oil.

5. Add the chickpeas and cook until the cauliflower is soft and the chickpeas are slight firm, 5-8 minutes.

6. Add the turmeric, masala and salt and cook for another minute and turn off the heat.

7. Garnish with fresh cilantro (optional).

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