Saturday, November 28, 2009

A week in cooking

Read more here about the Madhur Jaffrey project - one of my 2010 goals. For an index of recipes, click here.

First, an apology to Madhur.

I withdraw unreservedly all the harsh words about cooking the lentils for an hour and a half, sans pressure cooker. The masoor dal was delicious. Every little bit of it (and I made a fair bit) was gone by Tuesday.

On Tuesday, I thought I could get by with the food I'd cooked over the weekend, but I'd eaten so much of it, there wasn't enough left.

So I cooked. I made Mustard greens, cooked in the Punjabi style, Yogurt with white radish, and Plain brown long-grain rice. (And yes, I do know how to make rice without a recipe, but since the rules of this project are not 'all the recipes you don't know how to cook already', I followed directions.

It was all delicious. My friend Stu had come over to watch Star Trek, and so I also got to make amends for the chickpea disaster.

Dinner - November 24, 2009 - Mustard greens, cooked in the Punjabi style, Yogurt with white radish, and Plain brown long-grain rice

Leftovers carried me until lunch yesterday. I came home for lunch, and hastily mixed up the Salt-and-Pepper, Indian Style.

Honestly, this one feels like cheating. The directions are - Mix salt, pepper and roasted, ground cumin seeds. That's it.

I was at a bit of a loose end about what to do with my fancy salt and pepper, but then it struck me to do a rub on my tofu, and pan-fry it.

Lunch - November 27, 2009. Pan-fried Tofu, crusted with Salt and Pepper, Indian-style.

It was good, though a bit salty. (To which the admittedly appropriate reaction is - well d'uh.)

Last night's birthday festivities were postponed (the birthday girl is sick) and so I invited my parents over to dinner, since my mom is sick and I thought she could use a bit of a break from fretting about what to make for dinner.

(Yes, my mom reads this. Yes, my mom frets about these things.)

Plus, a cousin of mine was in town.

Dinner - November 27, 2009. In order, Gujarati Carrot Salad, Potatoes cooked with garlic and sesame seeds and Fresh chinese parsley and mint chutney.

The meal was supplemented with the mustard greens from Tuesday, and store-bought naan. (Which, in truly lazy fashion, I sent my dad to buy.)

And here are the happy eaters, with food. (My dad was too lazy to get in the picture.)


Cooking/end notes:

- One of the reasons this project is so fun - every recipe so far (with one exception) has been delicious. Which means I can invite people over for dinner, make a recipe I've never made, and have confidence it will turn out ok. That's pretty compelling.

- The other reason this is fun? - I'm actually cooking, and this project is rekindling my love of cooking. I frequently take the lazy way out when it comes to cooking, and since I can't with this project, I'm being forced to cook, and I am reminded that I love to cook.

- I've been cooking mostly Indian food so far, for the very simple reason that Indian spices are the only thing my cupboards are well-stocked with. I just went and bought some Chinese ingredients, so watch for a more diverse cooking mix.

- The mustard greens recipe called for 9 tablespoons of butter. Are you kidding me? I used 3, and remained appalled at how much butter I was using.

- Finally, and importantly, I've cooked 5.8% of the recipes in this book. All right! (Yes, at this pace, I know I won't finish. In my defense, the first 10 days of November, I was on vacation. I'll pick up the pace over the coming months.)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

This week...

Tuesday: Watch Star Trek with a friend.
Wednesday: Book club (I'm reading Stumbling Upon Happiness, very very good so far.)
Thursday: Trivia night
Friday: Friend's birthday
Saturday: 3 hour French class; a house-warming party
Sunday: A talk on surviving off-grid; dinner with parents.

What's missing from this picture? Time to sew. Sigh.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Weekend cooking update

Read more here about the Madhur Jaffrey project - one of my 2010 goals. For an index of recipes, click here.

There are 484 recipes in this cookbook. I'm freaking out a bit here.

But, I did cook this weekend. Saturday night, I cooked a bunch of food for the upcoming week (it looks like another busy one, and I'll appreciate having food at home.)

Cooking for the week - November 21, 2009.

Shredded cabbage with mustard seeds and fresh coconut

Mung or masoor dal (this is masoor dal, aka red lentils)

Salabat (Ginger tea)

Cooking notes:
Dear Madhur.

Every Indian person I know uses a pressure cooker to cook lentils. You know why? 15 minutes vs. 1.5 hours. Sheesh. (I did it your way though.)
However, the cabbage was both simple and tasty. A bit of redemption.
And while other people might drink the ginger tea plain (it is just steeped ginger and honey, there is no tea in it), I intend to mix it with some club soda to do a ginger-beer-like beverage. Which would be quite tasty.



Sunday afternoon, I had my family over for lunch, and cooked a mini-Iranian feast. The menu - Kateh (Rice with a crust), Eggplant with tomatoes and Yogurt with dill.

Lunch - Sunday, November 22 - (in order) Yogurt with Dill; Eggplant with tomatoes; Kateh

Cooking notes:

- Madhur calls the Kateh recipe deceptively simple, and I agree. The rice is supposed to have a golden crust, and slide out in one piece, which you then cut like a cake. Umm. I burnt my crust, it did not slide out, and certainly didn't cut like a cake. It was, however, tasty. (If you avoided the excessively burnt bits.)
- The yogurt with dill took 5 minutes to make, and it was amazing. I don't think I've ever eaten dill raw (just in pickle usually), and it is delicious.
- The eggplant was also yummy, but it would be, considering the copious amounts of oil that went into it. First, the eggplant gets shallow-fried in oil, then cooked with scallions, tomatoes and parsley. Madhur doesn't do calorie counts, and I understand why. (She also insists that tomatoes be peeled. I have so far ignored each one of these directives. A little peel never killed anyone.)

My parents and brother ate every little bit, and pronounced it delicious. Awesome! (Just a bit of rice as leftovers - even better. When you cook 484 recipes, you don't have room for leftovers.)


Sunday evening, I had a potluck to go to. I took the easy way out, I made this delicious, but very easy lentil salad. Takes about 30 minutes to make, much of the time is just letting the lentils cook.

Dinner - Sunday, November 22 - Lentil Salad (for a potluck)

My first jacket - reviewed.

Here it is - the jacket. This is Simplicity 3962 - view B. Now OOP.

Before I start cataloging all that I hate about it, let me say - I made a tailored jacket. I did a reasonably good job of sewing it (apart from the weird area below). I learned a ton, including how to attach lining. The collar looks well-sewn.

And now, the hate.

- My first big problem: this jacket fits terribly. This is my fault - I know this is why one makes muslins. Had I made a muslin, I would have realized this jacket is too short and too square for me.

- The proportions of this jacket are just off, I think. Too short. Shawl collar - too wide. There's just too much going on, and it all contributes to making me look terrible.

- Shoulders are too wide - I look like a linebacker. I should have narrowed the shoulders by an inch, I think.

- The belt isn't at waist. Lots of resulting puffiness.

(And side view. More puffiness.)

- Look at how low the armsycle is! Honestly, this isn't a winter coat, this is a tailored jacket. Simplicity - I'm sorry, I don't know what you were thinking. This should move up by 3 inches at least.

I took off the jacket after taking photos, and my brother said I looked like I'd lost 10 pounds in the process. Looking at the photos, I agree with him. This is not a flattering look for me.

So, it will never get worn, and will get tossed out immediately, but I've no great regret about it. The lessons here were in the journey of making a jacket. I will try again, but will make a muslin first. (Or BWOF - which I'm reasonably sure will be cut better.)

(I tried to see if it would look better unbuttoned. Not really. Linebacker shoulders still in existence.)

Friday, November 20, 2009


- Is there anything more annoying than getting in early for a meeting, to find out it isn't happening?

I am not a morning person, enough said.*

- My plans last night got cancelled, and I was quite relieved. The BWOF grey dress is cut out. I have an hour of spare time today, which I'll use towards this dress. I'm optimistic about getting it finished this weekend.

- I also pulled out the UFO basket. (Ok, if I'm being honest, the UFOs have overflown the basket, and are now threatening to take over the house.) I pulled a jacket out of it that I started in December! Added some buttons to it. It needs 2 more buttons, and then it is done! (It doesn't fit too well, hence the distinct lack of enthusiasm.)

- Cooking is a bit stalled - I'm out of groceries! (I loathe shopping for groceries.) But grocery shopping shall happen tomorrow morning, and cooking shall resume then.

* Funny story about me not being a morning person. I posted on Facebook that I had signed up for a 9.00am Saturday morning class (French, if you are curious) and people that I haven't spoken to in MONTHS wrote asking if I was ok. Evidently, the fact that I am not a morning person is widely known.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

When you are in a hurry, take your time.

How true this post is, from the excellent Happiness Project blog.

Both my screw-ups yesterday were caused by me rushing around.

Screw-Up #1: I wanted to get out of work in a hurry, and I emailed the wrong file to the wrong person.

Screw-Up #2: And I wanted to make dinner quickly, and I didn't follow directions.

Thankfully, I didn't cut my fabric, because cutting fabric at midnight would have, almost certainly, caused Screw Up #3.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Dinner - November 17

Read more here about the Madhur Jaffrey project - one of my 2010 goals. For an index of recipes, click here.

My first failure.

The plan this evening was that my friend Stu was going to come over to eat dinner with me, bringing with him a copy of Julie and Julia (ask no questions on how these things are possible, since the DVD isn't actually out yet). However, I got back late from work. I'd screwed something up, and was distracted. I was flipping through recipes deciding what to cook while chatting with a friend, and so, by the time Stu was here - all I'd done was add the garlic to the pan. (Significantly, this is the first step.)

Chickpeas with tomatoes, green chilis and garlic sounds easy enough, the kind of recipe you can make in your sleep.

Perhaps it is possible in your sleep, but not when you are trying to maintain a conversation at the same time. I barely read the recipe; I substituted ingredients freely; I added things out of proportion; cooked them out of order, and got the results I deserved.

Dinner - November 17: Chickpeas with garlic, tomatoes and green chilies

I will cook this again, because this should be simple but yummy. My version instead was too tomato-ey, and the tomatoes drowned out all the other flavors. Not inedible, but not finger-licking good either.

Poor Stu. Still, as is almost always the case with my house, there was beer in the frig, and that forgives much.

I really enjoyed the movie. Almost all the reviews I read noted that the Manhattan/Julie bits were slightly annoying, and the France/Julia bits were charming. I tend to agree, but that didn't detract from my enjoyment one bit.

And in sewing news, all I've managed with the BWOF dress is to find the dress fabric in my stash. I have some kitchen clean-up to do now, and then, it is off to bed. I've plans tomorrow, Thursday and Friday, so unless one of my evenings manages to end significantly earlier than I expect, no cutting will get done till Saturday morning. Which is a bit of a bummer. However, since I enjoy having both a social life and friends, this is a good kind of problem to have.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

November 14 cooking

Read more here about the Madhur Jaffrey project - one of my 2010 goals. For an index of recipes, click here.

Biscuit woke me up at the unearthly hour of 8 on Saturday morning*, so I dragged myself into the kitchen, and got to work. I cooked chickpeas for use through the week, and I also cooked 3 kinds of Indonesian sambal.

Now, I have many Life Theories. One of them is that while we might eat in a multi-ethnic manner, for breakfast, we need food similar to the food we grew up eating.

(This is true for me. Your mileage may vary.)

I'm not a big breakfast eater, but I grew up eating savory stuff for breakfast, not sweet. Which is why, I will happily eat cereal for dinner, but cannot abide it for breakfast. I prefer scrambled eggs to pancakes, and I normally eat toast and hash browns at a diner.

Which might explain my very peculiar breakfast. All savory, all delicious.

Breakfast - November 12. From top left to bottom right - Spicy peanut sambal, Sambal tomat (Hot tomato sambal) and Chili sambal, from the book. served with pan-fried tofu and steamed broccoli.

I went out to grab drinks with friends in the evening, and came back home at 2.00am. As is typical for me, I needed a post-drink snack.

My best post-drinking snacks are always potatoes, fried with red chili powder. However, that had the potential to set off the fire-alarm (it was post-drinking, after all) and therefore, I settled for quickly making a yogurt, potato and chickpea snack. Potatoes cooked in the microwave for 12 minutes while I got the rest of the ingredients together.

Post-drinking snack - Yogurt with potatoes and chickpeas in the Delhi style

While it didn't hit the spot quite the same way as fried potatoes, it was nonetheless tasty. My potatoes were a bit rubbery though, and I wonder if that's because of the microwave.


If you are reading this and thinking - this is all great and everything, Reethi, but where the heck is the sewing? - no fear, I'm sewing. I'm currently making an October BWOF dress in a grey fabric for work. (I desperately need chic winter-appropriate, work wear.) I followed Ann's excellent advice, and proceeded to spend a few hours yesterday morning sewing the lining. I love the way the lining fits, (Yay!) and can now proceed to cutting my main fabric and sewing the actual dress.

Here's Biscuit supervising the sewing.

*Although tempting, I did not strangle Biscuit for waking me up at 8. She remains unharmed, and continues to run my life.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Soy Milk, Bean Curd and Wheat Gluten

Read more here about the Madhur Jaffrey project - one of my 2010 goals. For an index of recipes, click here.

Soy Milk, Bean Curd and Wheat Gluten

Soy Milk
Making your own bean curd
Udofu (Simmering bean curd with seasonings)
Bean curd with watercress
Korean-style bean curd in a hot water bath
Hiya-yakko (Chilled bean curd)
Bean curd with chinese parsley
Bean curd with broccoli
Cabbage cooked with bean curd
Bean curd with a deliciously spicy sauce
Carrots and beans with a bean-curd dressing
Bean curd, mushrooms and peanuts in hoisin sauce
Sauteed bean curd
Tofu dengaku (Toasted bean curd with a miso topping)
Fried bean curd cubes
Soy-bean sprouts sauteed with fried bean curd
Fried bean curd with a sweet and sour sauce
Fried bean curd cakes with a mustard surprise
Inari-zushi (Bags of fried bean curd, stuffed with sushi rice)
Pressed bean curd with cabbage
Salad of pressed bean curd, mung bean sprouts and agar agar
How to make fried and baked wheat gluten balls
Stew of baked wheat gluten, potato, turnip, carrot and cabbage rolls
Fried wheat gluten with broccoli, carrot and mushrooms
Fried wheat gluten and potato stew
Shredded wheat gluten and cabbage with fennel seeds
Buddha's delight (a mixed Chinese stew)


Read more here about the Madhur Jaffrey project - one of my 2010 goals. For an index of recipes, click here.

Chawanmushi (Steamed savory custards)
Chawanmushi with bean curd, fresh mushroom and spinach
Chawanmushi with shiitake mushrooms, water chesnuts and snow peas
Odamakimushi (Savory custard with noodles)
Scrambled eggs with cabbage - Dec 17, 2009
Scrambled eggs with Chinese chives - Dec 5, 2009
Scrambled eggs with spicy tomatoes
Omelette with a spicy tomato stuffing
Omelette with bean curd
Egg fu yung
Datemaki (Japanese rolled omelette)
Nigiri-zushi (Sushi rice with datemaki)
Kookoo with cauliflower and parsley - Dec 2, 2009
Kookoo with zucchini, dill and raisins - Dec 2, 2009
Kookoo with potatoes
Kookoo made with spicy Indian-style tomatoes
Kookoo with roasted eggplant
Egg strands
Egg bundles
Parsi-style eggs with okra
Soy-sauce eggs
Hard-boiled eggs with straw mushrooms
Eggs, potatoes and cauliflower
Eggs pulusu - April 3, 2010
Hard-boiled eggs in a spicy almond sauce

Milk products

Read more here about the Madhur Jaffrey project - one of my 2010 goals. For an index of recipes, click here.

Milk products
Making your own yogurt
Yogurt with dill - November 22, 2009
Yogurt with garlic - Dec 15, 2009
Yogurt with cucumber, raisins and almonds
Yogurt with fresh mint, raisins and walnuts
Yogurt with cucumber and crushed mustard seeds - September 3, 2009
Yogurt with cucumber and mint - March 1, 2010
Yogurt with roasted eggplant
Celery root with yogurt
Yogurt with spinach and parsley
Yogurt with banana in the Gujarati style - November 12, 2009
Cauliflower and peas with yogurt
Yogurt with potatoes and chickpeas in the Delhi style - November 14, 2009
Yogurt with chickpeas and tomatoes
Yogurt with fried okra
Yogurt with white radish - November 24, 2009
Yogurt with zucchini
Dahi-baras (Dal patties in yogurt)
Yogurt with green beans and navy beans
Spiced, heated yogurt
Stuffed zucchini in a hot yogurt sauce
Aalan ka saag (Karhi with spinach)
Plain Gujarati karhi - Dec 1, 2009
Gujarati Karhi with okra
Spiced buttermilk to eat with Indian rice dishes - Dec 24, 2009
Spiced buttermilk with tomato - November 13, 2009
Spiced buttermilk with coconut and shallots
How to make soft yogurt cheese
Soft yogurt cheese with dill
Soft yogurt cheese with chinese parsley and scallions Gujarati style
Soft yogurt cheese with crushed black pepper
Soft yogurt cheese with chives and parsley
Soft yogurt cheese with paprika and olive oil
Soft yogurt cheese with fresh tarragon
Shrikhand (Sweet soft yogurt cheese with saffron)
Paneer (fresh cheese)
Matar paneer (peas with paneer)
Saag paneer (spinach with paneer)
Bhapa doi (steamed yogurt, Bengali style)

Little salads, appetizers, snacks and drinks

Read more here about the Madhur Jaffrey project - one of my 2010 goals. For an index of recipes, click here.

Little salads, appetizers, snacks and drinks

Carrot and white radish salad - Aug 16, 2010
Sawsawang kamatis (Filipino tomato salad)
Japanese cucumber salad
Watercress salad with sesame seeds
Celery, carrot and cucumber salad
Korean-style cucumber salad
Cucumber and dried shiitake mushroom salad - Aug 16, 2010
Gujarati carrot salad - November 27, 2009
Gujarati cucumber and peanut salad
Fresh peach salad
Fried, munchable mung dal
Fried, munchable soy beans
Peanuts, fried and roasted
Papadum (dal wafers) - Dec 14, 2009
Green plantain wafers
Roaster laver
Roasted monukka raisins
Khari poori (Savory cookies with peppercorns)
Mutthries (Savory cookies with ajwain seeds)
Samosas (Stuffed savory deep-fried pastry cones)
Cheewra (a melange of nuts, grains, dried fruit and spices)
Potato sev (Snack noodle)
Cold Chinese-style eggplant
Cold eggplant, dressed with yogurt
Baba ghanoush (creamed eggplant with tahini) - Aug 12, 2010
Chickpeas with tahini
Navy bean puree with pomegranate juice
Artichoke hearts and potatoes cooked in oil and lemon
Potato patties stuffed with spicy peas - Dec 27, 2009
Potato and tempeh patties
Filo pastries
Dolma (stuffed grape leaves)
Salabat (Ginger tea) - November 21, 2009
Fresh ginger-flavoured limeade
Indian-style hot tea with fresh mint
Hot tea with cardomom and cinnamon
Anise tea
Ocha (Japanese green tea)
Ginseng tea
Rice tea
Bori cha (Barley tea)
Tamarind sharbat (tamarind syrup)
Strawberry and lemon sharbat (Strawberry and lemon syrup)
Qahwah (Turkish coffee)
Buttermilk - Feb 28, 2010
Sweet lassi (sweet yogurt drink)
Salty lassi (salty yogurt drink) - Jan 3, 2010
Doogh (Persian-style yogurt drink, flavored with mint)
Thandai (A milk and almond drink)
Milk with saffron and nuts


Read more here about the Madhur Jaffrey project - one of my 2010 goals. For an index of recipes, click here.

Dashi - Dec 6, 2009
Japanese stock
Delicious stock made with soy-bean sprouts - Dec 15, 2009
Vegetable stock
Cacik (Cold yoghurt soup in a Turkish style)
Persian-style cold yoghurt soup
Naeng myon (Cold noodle soup)
Cold yogurt soup with barley - Aug 12, 2010
Tan abour (Cold yogurt soup with chickpeas and wheat)
Clear soup with enok mushrooms, bean curd skins and spinach
Clear soup with soft bean curd and celery cabbage
Swee corn and egg soup
White radish soup
Clear soup with cucumber, cooked with Thai seasonings
Chinese-style noodle soup
Thai noodle soup
Hot-and-sour soup
Quail-egg soup
Beet and tomato soup
My cream of tomato soup - Dec 25, 2010
Caldo verde
Miso soup with bean curd
Miso soup with carrots and mushrooms
Rasam (A tomato, tamarind and dal broth)
Masoor dal soup - March 1, 2010
Red bean soup
Cream of lentil soup
Navy bean and celery root soup
Chickpea soup
Chickpea, cabbage and dill soup

Noodles, pancakes and breads

Read more here about the Madhur Jaffrey project - one of my 2010 goals. For an index of recipes, click here.

Noodles, pancakes and breads

Cold noodles with sesame sauce
Cold noodles with peanut sauce
Hot or cold noodles with soy sauce dressing
Cold summer noodles
Noodles with a hot-and-sour bean sauce
Thick noodles in a winter stew
Noodles with Tempura vegetables
Crisp-soft noodles with a broccoli, mushroom and zucchini topping
Noodles with spinach and mung-bean sprouts
Vegetarian mee krob (Crisp noodles with pressed bean curd and eggs)
Noodles with quail eggs, mushroomms, spinach and yuba
Vegetable lo mein
Chapchae (Cellophane noodles with vegetables)
Bibingka (Sweet rice pancake)
Lumpia (Vegetables wrapped in pancakes)
Chaura na poora (Black-eyed pea pancakes) - November 11, 2009
Mung dal na poora (Savory mung dal pancakes with onions) - August 25, 2010
Chickpea flour pancakes - March 8, 2010
South Indian dosas
Rice-flour dosas with mustard seeds and black pepper - April 4, 2010
Semolina dosas with cumin seeds
Bindaetuk (Mung bean pancakes)
Hoppers (yeast pancakes)
Egg hoppers (yeast pancakes with eggs)
Steamed buns
Roti (flat, whole-wheat bread)
Paratha (whole-wheat griddle bread)
Stuffed paratha (Stuffed whole-wheat griddle bread)
Wonderful, flaky paratha (flat griddle bread)
Pita bread
Putu (Ground rice muffins)
Cream of wheat idlis (Savory cakes)
Mung dal dhokla (Savory cakes made with mung dal)
Yow bing (fried bread with scallions)
Pooris (deep-fried breads)
Banana pooris
Potato pooris
Bhaturas (deep-fried leavened breads)

Condiments, Dips, Chutneys and Relishes

Read more here about the Madhur Jaffrey project - one of my 2010 goals. For an index of recipes, click here.

Condiments, Dips, Chutneys and Relishes

Salt and pepper, Indian-style - November 27, 2009
Salt and pepper, Chinese-style
Goma shio (Black sesame seeds and salt)
Dry North Indian Dip - April 2, 2010
Maulka pori (Dry South Indian chutney)
Tempura dipping sauce
Chinese dipping sauce
Japanese dipping sauce
Filipino dipping sauce
Korean dipping sauce 1
Korean dipping sauce 2 - May 3, 2010
Korean dipping sauce 3
Simple Korean sauce - Aug 16, 2010
Spicy Korean sauce
Tahini dipping sauce
Wasabi (Horseradish)
Crisply fried onions
Hot oil
Tomato sauce
Chili sambal - November 14, 2009
Sambal tomat (Hot tomato sambal) - November 14, 2009
Spicy peanut sambal - November 14, 2009
Hot and spicy Hyderabadi tomato chutney - April 25, 2010
Fresh chinese parsley and mint chutney - November 27, 2009
Tamarind-mint chutney for snack foods - Dec 1, 2009
South-Indian coconut chutney - April 2, 2010
Sweet tomato chutney
Apricot chutney with raisins and currants
Goan cabbage salad - October 20, 2009
Pickled green chilies - September 7, 2009
Sour lime pickle
Cauliflower and white radish picked in water
Carrot and turnip pickle
Sweet and sour lime pickle
Atjar kuning (Yellow mixed pickle)
Onions pickled in vinegar
Cauliflower pickled with dill - Dec 15, 2009
Cabbage tsukemono (Salted cabbage pickle)
Kombu relish
Quick-salted white radish pickle
Shoyu daikon (white radish pickled in soy sauce)
Ginger quick-pickled in soy sauce - Dec 7, 2009
Quick-salted cucumber pickle
Tomato, cucumber and onion relish - Mar 8, 2010
Aomidaikon (Quick-pickled small white radishes)
White radish preserve
Cabbage kimchee (Cabbage pickle)
Kakdooki (Pickle made with cubes of white radish)
Stuffed cucumber kimchee
Dong chimi (White radish water kimchee) - August 29, 2010
Spicy turnip pickle
Pickled garlic

Desserts and sweetmeats

Read more here about the Madhur Jaffrey project - one of my 2010 goals. For an index of recipes, click here.

Desserts and sweetmeats

Banana fritters in tempura batter
Mangoes with glutinous rice - July 26, 2010
Stewed dried fruit
Leche flan (Coconut custard)
Firnee - Mar 12, 2010
Peanut taffy
Sesame seed taffy
Shakkar-paara (deep-fried cookies)
Zucchini halwa - April 6, 2010
Whole-wheat halwa
Baklava (filo pastry stuffed with nuts)
Besan barfee (Chickpea fudge)
Rava na ghugra (sweet, stuffed pastry)
Carrot cake with an Indian flavor
Bibingka kamoteng kahoy (Filipino-style cassava cake with raisins)
Cassava suman
Sweet walnut soup - a contemporary Hong Kong version
Sweet red bean soup
Green snow (Green tea syrup and sweet beans on shaved ice)
Chinese-style jellied bean curd sweetmeat with a peanut topping
Chinese-style jellied whole mung-bean sweetmeat
Jellied sweet azuki-bean squares
Chumchum and dilbahar (Chhena diamonds and hearts)
Rasgullas (Chhena balls in syrup)
Sheer korma (an Indian vermicelli milk dessert)

Rice and other grains

Read more here about the Madhur Jaffrey project - one of my 2010 goals. For an index of recipes, click here.

Rice and other grains

Plain boiled rice
Plain baked rice 1
Plain baked rice 2
Plain basmati rice - June 1, 2010
Kateh (Plain boiled rice with a crust) - November 22, 2009
Plain brown long-grain rice - November 24, 2009
Brown rice with spinach
Plain glutinous rice cooked in a double-boiler
Azuki meshi (Glutinous rice cooked with azuki beans)
Plain Japanese rice
Sushi rice
Norimake-zushi (sushi rice rolled in dark laver)
Chirashi-zushi (sushi rice with vegetable topping)
Persian-style steamed rice
Steamed rice with lentils
Plain unseasoned congee
Congee with chinese cabbage and scallions
Ghains (congee with yoghurt)
Geeli khichri (wet khichri)
Saag vali khichri
Guinataan with rice and mung beans (rice porridge with mung beans)
Kongnamul bab (Rice with soy-bean sprouts)
Honsik bab (Rice with barley)
Rice with bean sprouts, spinach and laver
Rice with millet - Aug 16, 2010
Rice with spinach
Bibimbab (Korean rice with egg and vegetable topping)
Rice with garlic
Rice with tomatoes
Rice with sauteed onions and mushrooms - Dec 24, 2009
Rice with coconut milk
Nasi kuning (Yellow turmeric rice cooked with coconut milk)
Rice with fresh herbs and baby lima beans
Rice with paneer and peas
Basmati rice cooked with chana dal and dill - Dec 24, 2009
Ek handi na dal chaval (Rice and dal, cooked in one pot)
Vangi bhat (Rice and eggplant, cooked in the Maharashtrian style)
Kashmiri-style gucchi pullao
Vegetable pullao
Spiced rice with cashews - September 3, 2009
Spiced rice with nuts and raisins
Fried rice with egg and vegetable
Thai fried rice
Sweet rice with orange rind
Zarda pullao (Sweet saffron rice)
Bulgar wheat with scallions and mushrooms
Pilaf of bulgar wheat and red lentils
Bulgar wheat with chickpeas and tomatoes
Tabouleh (Bulgar wheat and parsley salad)
Whole hulled millet cooked with carrots and onion
Whole hulled millet cooked with yellow split peas

Beans and dried peas

Read more here about the Madhur Jaffrey project - one of my 2010 goals. For an index of recipes, click here.

Beans and dried peas

Chana dal with cucumber - Dec 6, 2009
Chickpea salad - April 11, 2010
Chickpea and green bean salad - September 5, 2010
Chickpeas with garlic, tomatoes and green chilies - November 17, 2009
Chickpea and tomato stew - May 2, 2010
Very spicy, delicious chickpeas - May 9, 2010
Falafel (Chickpea patties) - Dec 5, 2009
Besan (A savory, chickpea flour quiche) - June 28, 2010
Fresh fava beans with thyme
Fresh fava beans with straw mushrooms
Dried fava bean and green bell pepper salad
Lobio (Red kidney bean salad with a walnut dressing)
Red beans cooked with garlic and ginger
Lentils with garlic and tomatoes - January 12, 2010
Lentil salad - November 22, 2009
Lentils with spinach - Dec 14, 2009
Candied dried lima beans
Frozen lima beans braised with swiss chard and dill - Aug 12, 2010
Lima beans with raisins - March 22, 2010
Mung or masoor dal - November 21, 2009
Roasted mung dal
Mongo (Mung beans with spinach and tomatoes) - April 2, 2010
Dry mung dal - March 9, 2010
How to sprout your own mung beans
Soy bean sprouts
Stir-fried mung-bean sprouts, carrots and cabbage
Salad of mung-bean sprouts and egg strands
Sprouted mung beans cooked with mustard seeds - April 4, 2010
Sprouted mung beans with spinach
Salad of sprouted mung beans
Soy-bean and mung-bean sprouts seasoned with sesame oil
Navy bean salad - March 26, 2010
Kacang asin (Salted peanuts with garlic)
Spinach with raw peanuts - March 28, 2010
Peanuts with long green beans
Fried tempeh - September 5, 2010 (part of cooking I did for Pecel)
Fried, preseasoned tempeh
Sambal goreng tempeh kering (Sweet and sour tempeh)
Tempeh cooked in coconut milk
Oily toovar dal with cloves - Jan 4, 2010
Oily toovar dal with green beans and tomatoes - March 28, 2010
Sambar (South Indian dal with vegetables) - May 9, 2010

The first meal...

Read more here about the Madhur Jaffrey project - one of my 2010 goals. For an index of recipes, click here.

Was cooked on September 3, 2009. After that, I have cooked about 10 recipes, but haven't taken photos. I'm stating that these don't count, and will therefore have to cook these again.

Dinner - September 3, 2009: Green beans with sesame paste and garlic, Spiced rice with cashews, yogurt with cucumber and crushed mustard seeds.


- This green bean recipe rules. I had it at my cousin's house, and I went and bought the cookbook. Enough said.
- The crushed mustard seeds in a raita was new to me. It was different, and took a bit of getting used to, but I liked it after a bit.
- The rice took forever to make. Soak. Cook on stovetop for 20 minutes. Then bake in over for 40 minutes. I started cooking at 7.30pm or thereabouts - I ate at 10. However, I took some of the rice to a party at my mom's, and everyone there loved it. I therefore surmise that it was worth it.


Read more here about the Madhur Jaffrey project - one of my 2010 goals.


Stir-fried asparagus flavored with sesame oil- May 2, 2010
Green beans with garlic and red pepper
Green beans with sesame paste and garlic - September 3, 2009
Green beans with onion, garlic and tomato- May 24, 2010
Green beans with soy sauce - Aug 16, 2010
Green beans with fresh coconut and sesame seeds - January 16, 2010
Green beans and peas with ginger - April 21, 2010
Green beans cooked with mustard seeds and red pepper - Dec 1, 2009
Green bell peppers cooked with chickpea flour- January 7, 2010
Stewed beets with tomatoes - June 1, 2010
Stir-fried bitter melon - May 7, 2010
Bitter melon with eggs
Brussels sprouts stir-fried with dried Chinese mushrooms- June 1, 2010
Cabbage with Carrot and scallions - August 30, 2010
Cabbage seasoned with umeboshi plums
Shredded cabbage with mustard seeds and fresh coconut- November 21, 2009
Cabbage with yoghurt- Mar 28, 2010
Cabbage and tomatoes cooked in mustard oil- January 16, 2010
Cabbage with miso
Carrots in batter
Carrots with raisins and dates - Dec 15, 2009
Carrots cooked in dashi
Cauliflower in a cashew and sesame seed sauce- Apr 11, 2010
Cauliflower with almonds and lima beans
Cauliflower and potatoes cooked with fenugreek and fennel seeds - March 1, 2010
Cauliflower steamed with whole spices
Cauliflower with zucchini - Dec 6, 2009
Tumis Sawi (Choy sum with shallots)
Haak (Collard greens) - Dec 24, 2009
Corn with coconut milk
Eggplant slices with white miso
Sweet and sour eggplant- March 26, 2010
Eggplant fans in batter
Cubed eggplant cooked with onions - Dec 6, 2009
Creamed eggplant - April 8, 2010
Eggplant and potato - Dec 4, 2009
Eggplant with tomatoes - November 22, 2009
Eggplant cooked with crushed mustard seeds and yoghurt - January 6, 2010
Katte baigan (Sour eggplants)- Apr 11, 2010
Spicy eggplant with onion
Patlican (Fried eggplant with a yoghurt sauce)
Pinakbet (Mixed vegetable stew with eggplant and long beans)
Sajur Lodeh (Eggplant and long beans stewed in coconut milk
Baghara baigan (Eggplant cooked in the Hyderabadi style)
Hijiki with shiitake mushrooms
Hijiki with sweet potatoes
Kohlrabi with chinese black mushrooms - September 5, 2010
Lotus root and tomatoes cooked with fennel and dried ginger
Lotus root with soy sauce dressing
Mushrooms cooked with aluminum foil
Mushrooms with onion, garlic and ginger
Sauced mushrooms with sesame seeds - Apr 1, 2010
Three aunties and three grandmothers (Three kinds of mushrooms and three kinds of vegetables)
Sweet and salty dried shiitake mushrooms
Stir-fried tree ear fungus and summer oyster mushrooms
Morel mushrooms with peas - June 28, 2010
Mustard greens or broccoli rabe, cooked in the Punjabi style) - November 24, 2009
Whole okra - Mar 19, 2010
Sweet and sour okra with chickpeas - Dec 23, 2009
Okra fried with onion and green chili January 7, 2010
Okra with tomatoes
Peas with ginger - August 30, 2010
Peas with parsley and coconut - August 29, 2010
Potatoes and onions - May 9, 2010
Potatoes and tomatoes cooked with fresh coconut- January 16, 2010
Potatoes with chickpeas
Potato stew
Aloo achaar (Potato salad)- March 26, 2010
Dry potatoes cooked with mustard seeds - Dec 1, 2009
Dum aloo- Apr 11, 2010
Diced potatoes with spinach- January 16, 2010
Potatoes with whole spices and sesame seeds
Sambal goreng kentang kering (Spicy shoestring potatoes)
Potatoes cooked with garlic and sesame seeds - November 27, 2009
Fried potatoes
Yellow pumpkin cooked with soy sauce
Fresh soy beans, steamed
Snowpeas cooked in dashi
Oshitashi (Spinach with roasted sesame seeds)
Spinach with shallots
Spinach with fermented bean curd - September 5, 2010
Spinach with scallions, cooked in the Moghlai style - November 12, 2009
Spinach cooked in a Bihari style - June 28, 2010
Yellow squash with onions, tomato and cumin
Stuffed yellow squash
Tomatoes cooked in the Bengali style - March 1, 2010
Tomatoes cooked in the Delhi style- Apr 11, 2010
Tomatoes cooked in the Gujarati style - March 26, 2010
Tomatoes stuffed with potatoes and peas
Turnips cooked in dashi - August 29, 2010
Wakatake (Wakame seaweed and bamboo shoots)
Water chestnuts, plain and boiled
Zucchini stuffed with smoked eggplant - August 30, 2010
Zucchini stir-fried with garlic
Zucchini stuffed with fresh coconut and chinese parsley - Dec 24, 2009
Zucchini meatballs- Apr 11, 2010
Aviyal (Mixed vegetables)
Pecal (Vegetable salad with a spicy peanut sauce) - September 5, 2010
Yum Tavoy (Salad of cooked mixed vegetables)
Vegetable pakoris (Vegetable fritters)

(Looking at how many recipes there are, I think I have my work cut out for me. Or I could be screwed. Take your pick.)

Madhur Jaffrey - World of the East - Index

Read more here about the Madhur Jaffrey project - one of my 2010 goals.

The Chapters

1. Vegetables
2. Beans and dried peas
3. Rice and other grains
4. Soy milk, bean curd and wheat gluten
5. Eggs
6. Milk products
7. Noodles, pancakes and breads
8. Soups
9. Little salads, appetizers, snacks and drinks
10. Condiments, dips, chutneys and relishes
11. Desserts and sweetmeats

(Since I thought it would be useful to have a centralized link to all the recipes.)

Lunch-time cooking

Read this if you are wondering why I'm posting pictures of food.

As an explanation, my apartment is 10 minutes away from work, which means I come home for lunch quite frequently. Also, this week, I've been cooking at lunch, and eating leftovers for dinner, instead of the other way around. (Usually, when I come back home in the evening, I'm starving, and having food ready prevents me from eating junk.)

Lunch Nov 12: Spinach with Scallions, Cooked in the Moghlai Style, Yoghurt with Banana in the Gujarati Style and Brown Rice

Lunch Nov 13 (today): Spiced Buttermilk with Tomato


- I thought yoghurt and banana was the weirdest combination in the world (the recipe also calls for chopped green chili), but the result was surprisingly good.
- The spinach blew me away. I thought I knew how to cook spinach Indian-style - but this recipe opened my eyes.
- The buttermilk with tomatoes is really similar to a recipe I've eaten my entire life. How bizarre. (Ok, it does mention it is a South Indian dish, so, not really that bizarre.)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Sewing Pattern Review - McCall 5699

Overcoming a massive sewing block, I finally finished this project yesterday. Almost 2 months to press and hem? We call that a complete, total lack of sewing mo-jo.

Or just a distinct lack of enthusiasm about how much fitting/fussing I needed to do to get this to look only partially like a sack, not totally like one; along with a certain skepticism that I'd ever wear the resulting dress.


Fabric: A mystery knit of some kind - found in WalMart's $1 section. It is a bit thin and see-through, but otherwise not terrible.

Pattern: McCalls 5699.

Pattern notes: This isn't complicated sewing, but a couple of things I did differently.

- I cut an 8 on top, 10 waist and below, and I was swimming in the resulting creation. The full sleeves don't help - I looked like a sack. To counter, I took atleast 1.5 inches off the sides, as well as the sleeves. The resulting dress is still somewhat sack-like, but in a cuter way.

- The instructions have you create a casing for the elastic for the ruching at the bust area. I skipped that - and sewed elastic directly on the dress. It is on the wrong side - and I'm not meticulous enough to create a casing so the wrong side looks nice.

- I didn't like the puffing at sleeve shoulder. I know the 80s are fashionable again, but please, no thanks. I transferred the gathers to the front and back of the shoulder instead, which I think is slightly better.

Time taken: In actual time, about 6 hours. In elapsed time, 2 months. Go figure.

The conclusion: Well, I did wear it to work today - with black tights and heels, it looked fairly ok. I like the loose/mock turtle-neck, and I dislike the lack of shaping (I enclose a picture of the side view as proof. I am not a sack.) All in all, not a go-to dress, but a perfect I'm-feeling-fat-or-too-lazy-to-care dress. Is that a good thing?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Early morning cooking

Probably as a result of jet-lag, I woke up at the unheard-of time of 7.00am, which actually meant I had time to cook and eat breakfast before I left for work. (I am not a morning person - this is very unusual for me.)

Let me detour here for a bit.

One of my favorite cookbooks is Madhur Jaffrey's World-of-the-East Vegetarian Cooking. (To be precise, it is my second favorite cookbook. The top cookbook on the list - Dakshin: Vegetarian Cuisine from South India.

Anyway, as one of my 2010 goals (and yes, this is reasonably early to be thinking of it, I know), I'd like to cook every recipe in this cookbook. (And, ideally, take a photo, which I'll post here, with other commentary as necessary.)

Back to breakfast.

From the cookbook, I made Chaura na poora aka black-eyed pea pancakes. (The link provides a very similar recipe to the book.)

Soaked black-eyed peas...

are ground with spices to make a batter...

which is cooked on the stove-top...

making an appalling mess on the counter.

When done, (in about the same time it takes to restore a semblance of order to the counter-top)

it is plated and eaten. Yummy!

Chaura Na Poora, served with Goan Cabbage Salad and Green Chili Pickle (the reddish on the right.) All recipes from Madhur Jaffrey's World-of-the-East Vegetarian Cooking.