Indian Life Pawkoras

April 23, 2013 § Leave a comment

Pawkoras

It’s been 2 months since I’ve been back from India and lately I’ve been craving the Indian food that I indulged in. Though I love cooking, there are many things that I don’t bother making anymore and pawkoras are one of them. I used to make big batches of pawkoras but it was time-consuming to fry them plus my house would smell of smoke for days.

When I discovered the easy no-nonsense of frozen pawkoras, I never looked back. For $5.99 you can get 15 frozen golf ball sized pawkoras with a generous portion of tamarind chutney by Indianlife. They use natural ingredients and you can find their products in the freezer section of the grocery store.

I buy mine at the health food stores like Wholefoods and Choices. The samosas taste very authentic and are not too spicy so the whole family can enjoy them. I often serve them as appetizers at dinner parties and people go crazy over them.

To cook the pawkoras, all you need to do is preheat the oven and cook them on a baking sheet for 16-20 minutes, turning them half way. They are so easy to make and worth the hassle free price of $5.99. I promise that once your try them, you’ll be addicted.

Indian Life Pawkoras

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Nobu’s Vegetarian Cookbook

April 23, 2012 § Leave a comment

Acclaimed chef and restauranteur, Nobu Matsuhisa’s latest cookbook is strictly vegetarian and brings the word elegance to vegetarian cooking. Filled with stunning photos, his cookbook is full of innovative Japanese recipes for fresh salads,vegetables, mushrooms, tofu, yuba (soybean product), noodles, desserts and beverages. A master in combining unseeming ingredients, try one of his unusual recipes such as the Napa Cabbage Sorbet and the Tomato Compote Coated with Chocolate. His sake beverages are equally as impressive and my favourites are the Cucumber Sake Mojito and the Bitter Squash Screwdriver.

I wanted to try a recipe and since I love mushrooms, I decided to make Nobu’s Spicy Mushroom Soup. The ingredients are easy to find and are available at ethnic and health food stores. If you are looking for an adventure, go to the Japanese grocery store Fujiya to pick up your ingredients.

Spicy Mushroom Soup
Serves 4

Ingredients
Kombu Dashi Stock
1 1/2 oz (40 grams) dried kombu kelp
1 qt (1L) water

Soup
14oz (400 grams) mushrooms in total (button, cremini, fresh morels, oyster, shitake, truffle, maitake, shimeji, and matsutake)
3 1/2 cups (800 ml) kombu dashi stock
2 tsp (10 ml) soy sauce
2 tsp (10 ml) mirin
1 tsp (5 ml) salt
2 tbsp (30 ml) chopped scallion
1 tbsp (15 ml) Chinese chili paste with garlic (or douban jiang, Shichuan soy bean paste)

Method:
1. To make the Kombu Dashi stock, combine the kombu kelp and water in a pot and heat until the water temperature reaches 140F (60 C). Cook for about 50 minutes and strain the kelp.
2. Cut the hard parts off the bottom of the mushrooms, and cut or tear into bite-size pieces. For the truffle, chop into small pieces.
3.Place the Kombu Dashi and all the mushrooms in a pot and bring to a simmer. Contine to simmer until the mushrooms are cooked.
4. Season with soy sauce, mirin and salt. Arrange the mushrooms and soup in serving bowls, top with the chopped scallion, and drizzle with the chill garlic sauce.

Masala Macaroni with Peas

April 12, 2012 § Leave a comment

When my kids are hungry and I’m too busy to cook, I tell them to find something to eat themselves. My daughter will dig in the cupboards and if she’s lucky, grab a box of mac and cheese. I usually nibble on the left overs which I splash with hot sauce. One day when I was feeling creative, I decided to try an Indian twist and added masala and peas. It turned out delicious and it’s a fun way to spice up an ordinary box of macaroni.

Cooking time 15 minutes
Serves 2

Ingredients:
1 box of organic macaroni
1/2 cup (125 ml) peas
1/2 tsp (2 ml) masala
sprinkle of salt
dash of hot sauce (optional)

Method:
1. Prepare the macaroni according to the package. A couple of minutes before the pasta is ready, throw in the peas and cook for a minute or two. Drain pasta and peas.
2. Heat the same pot on medium-low heat and add the vegan or regular butter. When the butter sizzles, add the masala and stir. Add the milk and when warm add the cheese and mix with a fork to break the lumps.
3. Add the pasta and peas, stir and spoon into a bowl. Add hot sauce if you want an extra kick.

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