Shikampuri Kebab (stuffed meat tikki/patties)

As usual…..I did the vanishing act, again ūüôā but have a good reason for that this time…Ma and Baba were here to stay with us in Melbourne…Oh! What a wonderful time we had together…visiting Tasmania where we went to Hobart, the 2nd oldest settlement of Australia and New Norfolk (a rusty old town rich in Antique shops dating back to World War II). We traveled a lot in the last few months, but in between I did cook..Baba and Ma, as you guys know, love variety and I wanted them to taste everything that isn’t easily available in India…from quails to new fish varieties like salmon, snapper, etc.., from veggies and fruits like fennel, butternut pumpkin, celery, persimmon, ¬† to ‘strange’ foods like raw oysters and mussels. In the next few posts I will share some of the recipes I that I made for them.

To start with lemme write about Shikampuri Kebab. Now the Mughals are praised for bringing in the concept of kebab to India. ¬†But it seems making kebab in different forms was a well-established tradition in India.¬†The Rajputs made ‘Suley’ or smoked kebabs with the game meat they brought in from their hunting expeditions. To preserve the meat they would spice &¬†pickle it and then cook it the next day over an open fire in the forest.¬†¬†When the Mughals came, they brought in their version of the kebabs and introduced the use of dried fruit, fragrances such as rose and¬†kewda¬†and nuts with the meat.

Interesting eh?! Anyways, going back to the post, here is the recipe.

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Wholewheat Couscous Salad with Asparagus and Eggs Chermoula (My version of a Maghrebian Dinner)

Dear Cousins!

Happy New Year!! What a start to the year..Daibi…2 back-to-back posts from you??!!! Wow, that is indeed commendable!! :D.¬† Your post on the healthy aspects of street foods should have been written some 15-20 years back when mothers like ours totally¬†prohibited¬†us from eating these things…uufff the reasons she gave for not letting us gorge on Papri Chaat or Gol Gappa were so convincing!! “You will get a sore throat..or You will get a stomach upset”!! Ma’s commandments on street foods however led to my secret missions to the market, eating few¬†platefuls¬†of Chaat, coming home and then again eating a full dinner!! You guys can very well imagine my condition, right? ūüėÄ Burping and praying that next morning everything stays fine (especially stomach and throat), I would quietly go to sleep ūüėÄ Till date Ma doesn’t know about those secret missions :P.¬† Reading your post now am thinking, if only I had known these amazing facts about spices then, I would have¬†combated¬†Ma’s decisions with them instead of the secret missions!! But I must confess, the kick one gets in such secret missions was and continues to be awesome…heehhehehehe!!

The pics in your second post on Pushkar Mela look awesome Man!! I wish I was there too….considering what is going on in India today, it “seems” to be the worst place to be…but trust me in all the travels and stays around the world, I still feel ‘Go East or West, India is the Best!’….the stories, the rich culture, the melas, the food, the people….OH!! there are so many reasons always for me to go back to India!! I will…I will one day….

Wholewheat Couscous Salad with Asparagus and Eggs Chermoula (My version of a Maghrebian Dinner)

Wholewheat Couscous Salad with Asparagus and Eggs Chermoula (My version of a Maghrebian Dinner)

Anyways, today I am writing to share this amazing sauce I recently discovered which I think goes well with our chaat plates as well.¬† Its called the Chermoula, a Maghrebian (Egyptian/Algerian/Moroccan/Tunisian) marinade for fish, seafood and meats.¬† It looks like our simple mint chutney, but the blast of flavours you get with every spoonful, makes it awesome I think.¬† The day I saw this recipe, I only had eggs in the fridge and some veggies.¬† So I decided to make a Couscous Salad and Eggs Chermoula. Couscous is primarily a North African staple food made of semolina which serves as an¬†accompaniment¬†to the curries, tagines and meat/fish dishes.¬† One can make lovely salads as well with it. In keeping with the pact of being and eating healthy this year, I used Wholewheat Couscous instead of the plain one that’s made of white flour.

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Juicy Honey-Sesame Chicken Drummettes, Fried Eggs with Tamarind Relish & Fish Tikkis

Woooooooow Daibi!!! What a walk!!! I sure miss Delhi on such days….when I visit next time, please, oh please take me there again..coz I see new things that I never tasted…me and Niloy together drooled over your¬†Iftaar¬†foods post and the other pictures on your¬†DelhiByFoot¬†Facebook¬†page and took a pledge..WE HAVE TO GO TO DELHI 6 ON OUR NEXT VISIT!!

Didi, I too wish I was at one of Rizi’s B’day parties…managing kids or helping you clean afterwards would have been a cake-walk if I would have¬†had the chance to fill myself with all the goodies you make for these parties…I still remember the pictures of the self-made burgers that you made last year…yuummmm!! But lemme not stray with old memories of food again (is there something about food & memories, good or bad, they tend to linger on, don’t they?)… So¬†getting back to your last post, like you, some of my friends too have been asking me about a few starters that I keep making regularly..so here are some of my favorite recipes..please note that in this post the ingredients of the recipes are in italics.

Juicy Honey-Sesame Drummets with Grilled Butternut, Grilled Tomato and Avocado Salad

There are four amazing starters on this plate.  Grilled Butternut, which is basically half-inch slices of this buttery-textured pumpkin arranged on a grill pan and then sprinkled with olive oil, salt and freshly ground black pepper.  Just when the butternut slices are cooked (you can poke a knife in it to check) and slightly browned, sprinkle some shredded cheddar cheese on top.

Second is that beautiful Grilled Tomato where I cut the tomato in to half, cleaned the innards (Beauty Tip: don’t throw them..the juice and seeds mixed with one tsp of olive or almond oil and 1 tbsp whole wheat flour or black chickpea flour makes an awesome face pack or body scrub to reduce dark spots), stuffed it with lots of cheddar cheese and chives and then grilled it for 10 mins.

The third is an Avocado Salad or dip which as you know is called a guacamole.

The fourth is the very Juicy Honey-Sesame Chicken Drummettes! It is a bit different from the normal recipes coz I add a few extra flavors in it. ¬†For the two of us, I take 8-10 drummettes with skin (A whole chicken wing has three joints – one is the wingette which sort of rectangular in shape with the two skinny bones & meat in between. The drumette is the section that is attached to the body of the chicken and¬†resembles¬†a drumstick. The wing tip isn’t eaten normally). If someone doesn’t like the skin, they can peel it off by soaking the pieces in hot water. ¬†Then I marinate these drummettes in 1tbsp sesame oil, 1 tbsp oyster sauce, 2 tbsp soy sauce, 1 tbsp tomato ketchup, 1 tbsp honey, 1/2 tsp hot chilli powder, 2 tbsp lime juice, 1 tsp ginger and 1 tsp garlic. ¬†I also add grated lime rind and finely chopped coriander root in this (according to my Thai friend Paruedee to get the maximum flavor of coriander leaves, one must use the part close to the roots. ¬†She washes them thoroughly and adds the green parts to her curry pastes or simply throws them in a boiling soup). ¬†After marinating for 5-6 hours, I pan fry them with very little oil on mostly high heat till they are partially charred and yummily cooked ūüôā In this way, all the juices remain intact and you have these flavorsome soft and amaazing drummettes….gosh I am drooling!!!!

Fried Eggs with a Tamarind Relish

Fried Eggs with a Tamarind Relish

This is again a recipe from Paruedee and she used to produce this simple but totally delicious¬†starter/main dish from thin air in what the Germans say, an augenblick (a moment). ¬†So you pan fry boiled eggs and set aside. ¬†Make a table tennis sized ball of tamarind and soak it in hot water. ¬†In a pan fry some chopped red chillis (depending on how hot you want it) and then add the tamarind water, sugar and salt according to taste and boil. I like it hot, sweet and very sour..but you can tweak accordingly. ¬†Then slice the eggs into halves and plate them. ¬†Pour the tamarind sauce liberally all over them, sprinkle chopped coriander, mint and basil, and throw in a generous dash of fried shallots on top (here you get them prepackaged in the market, but you can fry some onions till they are crispy brown). ¬†I drizzle some more sauce to add an extra kick ūüôā And you can serve these with drinks or as a party snack for kiddies or if you have made a lot of sauce, you can serve it with rice too!!

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Fish Tikkis

I made these fish tikkis or kebabs for Niloy’s b’day party. ¬†It was again very simple…I made some 35 tikkis by mashing 1kg boiled Basa fish fillets (any boneless fish would do), 4 medium sized boiled potatoes, 2 medium sized onions and 4 cloves of garlic chopped finely, 2 handfuls of mint leaves &¬†coriander¬†leaves, 5-6 chopped green chillis, 1 cup breadcrumbs, 2 tsp homemade garam masala, 4 tbsp lemon juice and salt to taste. ¬†¬†You can do the maths if you want small amounts ūüôā With a clean hand roll out table tennis sized balls and flatten them into a shape of a tikki. ¬†Pan fry these with few drops of oil. ¬†The sheer¬†exhilaration¬†of producing 35 tikkis made me forget my blog and¬†I didn’t take any pictures!! ūüėõ

Let me know if you guys try these..sending lots of love,

Dakhina

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Hey Rinks,

I still remember those half-spheres of eggs and were they addictive or what…the sauce was to-die-for. Actually I always thought that the eggs were simply boiled, now I know that u did saute them a bit…

This is really simple, i am making this very very sooooon ūüôā

cheers & take care

Ramit.

Exotic Indian Chutneys

1.  Hot and Spicy Shrimp Chutney

Shrimp                      100 gm, cleaned

Garlic                         2-3 pods(tweak according to taste)

Green Chili               2-3

Onion                         1

Cumin Seed              1/4 tsp

Lemon Juice and Salt to taste

Oil                                1 tsp

Method 

heat the oil,add the shrimps and fry on low heat till crisp and red. Grind together with all other ingredients adding just a few drops of water.It should be thick and smooth in texture. Add salt and lemon juice.

2.  Groundnut ( Peanut) Chutney

Groundnuts                                   100gm

Dry Red Chilli                               1-2

Garlic                                                1-2

Lemon juice and Salt to taste

Method

Grind the peanuts with garlic and chilies , adding very little water. Add lemon juice and salt.

3.  Coconut Chutney

Fresh coconut grated/small pieces                100gm

Dry-Roasted Chick Pea                                         a small fistful

Yogurt                                                                          3 tbsp

Ginger                                                                            1- 1 inch piece

Green chili                                                                    1

Black mustard seeds                                               1 tsp

Asafoetida                                                                    pinch

Curry leaves                                                                few

Dry red chili                                                                 1

Sesame oil/ white oil                                               1 tsp

Salt to taste

Method

Grind the coconut, ginger, chick pea, with the yogurt to fine paste. Do not add water. Take out into the serving bowl, add salt to taste.

To prepare the temper,In a small pan heat the oil, once it is smoking hot take off the heat and add the black mustard seeds, asafoetida, dry red chili and curry leaves. Once the mustard starts spluttering pour over the chutney.

4. Tangy Indian Salad Dressing (1/2 cup)

Lemon Juice                                                         2 tbsp (for an extra tang, add more)

Olive oil                                                                  5 tbsp

Mustard paste (homemade or ready made) 1-2 tbsp depending on the pungency

Ginger                                                                     1tbsp grated

Garlic                                                                       1 pod grated

Coriander Powder                                             1 tsp (optional)

Sugar                                                                       1 tsp

Yoghurt                                                                  2 tbsp

Salt and Pepper to taste

Method

Mix all in a quarter size bowl and beat well with a fork for 5 mins. Let is stand for 10 mins as it would allow the flavors to infuse well. This can be stored in the fridge for a week.

 

5.   Bengali Style Sweet Tomato Chutney

Tomatoes (blanched, peeled & chopped)              6-8

Sugar                                                                                     1-2 tbsp

Raisins                                                                                  a few

Dates                                                                                    a few (deseeded and chopped)

Ginger                                                                                  1 inch square, julienned

Black Mustard Seeds¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† ¬Ĺ tsp

Whole dry red chili                                                          1

Chili powder                                                                       pinch

Oil (vegetable)                                                                  2 tsp

Salt to taste

Method

In a wok/pan heat oil, add the mustard. Once it splutters, add the whole dry red chili and ginger. Fry for half a minute, add the chopped tomatoes, sugar, chili powder and salt to taste. Cover with a lid; simmer on low heat till the tomatoes are pulpy. Now add the raisins and dates. Simmer for a few more minutes and remove from heat. Serve hot or cold. This chutney should be a little syrupy.

6. Roasted Brinjal (Aubergine) Chutney

Brinjal (aubergine)                                                          1-2

Onion finely diced                                                           1

Garlic                                                                                     2-3 pods per brinjal

Coriander leaves (cilantro)                                           1 bunch finely chopped

Green chili                                                                          2(deseeded and finely chopped)

Ginger                                                                                  1/2 inch piece finely grated

Mustard Oil                                                                        1 tsp

Salt to taste

 

Method

Make gashes in the aubergine and insert the garlic pods. Coat with a little oil and roast on naked flame or in oven. Take out, remove the skin and grind to paste along with ginger. Add the finely diced onions, chopped coriander, oil, chili and salt. Serve with hot steamed rice. You may substitute Olive oil in place of Mustard oil.

 

 7. Quick Aam Kasundi (Raw Mango and Mustard Chutney)

Raw Mangoes                                                                   2-3, peeled, pitted and chopped

Black/White Mustard Seeds                                        2 tbsp

Mustard Oil                                                                        2 tbsp

Salt to taste

Method

Blend the mangoes to a paste, do not add water. Separately grind the mustard seeds to a thick paste. In a wok heat the oil, add the mango pulp, cook for a few minutes. Add the mustard paste, salt and simmer till thickened. Serve cooled.

Alternative Recipe

Ingredients same, except oil is increased to 1 cup and mustard seeds are dry ground.

Mix the blended mango paste and mustard paste. Add the oil and salt. Pour into a sterilized glass jar and keep in sun for a few weeks. Keeps well for a long time.

 

 8. Sweet and Sour Tamarind Chutney

Tamarind paste (Imli)                                                     3 tbsp

Sugar/ Jaggery (gur)                                                       2 tbsp

Red Chili Powder                                                              1 tsp

Dry Ginger Powder (Saunth)                                       1 tsp

Water¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† ¬Ĺ cup

Salt to taste

Method

To make tamarind paste, soak a large fistful of dry tamarind in a cup of hot water. Let it sit for ten minutes, Using your fingers squeeze it into a pulp. Strain.

Thin the Tamarind paste with the water, add the sugar or jagerry, red chili powder, dry ginger powder, salt. Boil till it becomes syrupy. The taste should be tangy, sweet and sour. The sourness depends a lot on the quality of tamarind, so adjust the sugar accordingly.

 

Hot and spicy Mint chutney

Mint 1 large bunch( the leaves picked from the stems)

1 Raw mango, stoned and cubed ( in case raw fresh mango is unavailable, you can use lemon juice/tamarind pulp/raw mango powder)

2-3 green chilies

salt to taste

Method

blend all the ingredients together to a fine paste, adding the minimum amount of water.

Store in a lidded container in the fridge. Stays for two to three days.

use with all Indian savory snacks

 

Shrimp and Salmon Bake with Asparagus – A Fishy Cassoulet!

Dear Daibi and Didi,

The three of us are known everywhere for being “avid fish lovers”..isn’t it? Just like other fellow Bengalis, the three of us drool at the mere mention of the word fish, right? Heheheee….our friends who read this would know for sure that am lying. ¬†When it comes to fish, we are ‘Fraud Bengalis’ as the sight and smell of fish is enough for us to throw our hands up in the air and call for a hunger strike, saying, ‘Cholbe na cholbe na’ which in English means, it will not be tolerated (though that never worked with our parents as they would still stuff the large Rui or Katla fish pieces down our throats). ¬†As a child I loved fish, Ma still tells me that I used to happily polish off a whole fish head back then…but I guess growing up with you two fish haters, I too switched over. ¬†Then when I moved to Europe, I realised that genetically modified chicken tasted bad and it wasn’t the best way to complete my¬†protein¬†intake. ¬†Being a student, limited my finances, hence I could’t afford the organic stuff either. This made me turn to fish and eggs (I hated both of them). ¬†I began to eat cans of tuna or herrings or sardines and even smoked salmon, anchovies and caviar (a continental chef would sue me for saying this, but I would still say, by themselves these things STINK!!!!). ¬†My all time high was when Baba, a true fish lover, could not eat raw fresh herring in Amsterdam whereas I ate it without any qualms! I even fell in love with the different forms of Sushi and finally came to the conclusion that ‘pheesh runs in my blaad too’ :).

Till now I have cooked with tuna and sardines (have even turned them into divine Indian curries and koftas), but never with salmon. ¬†I am finally beginning to do so and Niloy, who is another fish lover, has complimented each of my experiments. ¬†I must say that I got the general idea of this particular dish from the Masterchef Australia 4 series, and thought it was unique. ¬†But then I read about Cassoulet¬†–¬†a traditional dish from south of France made with haricot beans and meat topped with crunchy bread cubes – and I knew where the influence came from ūüôā ¬†There are many ways of cooking this dish, but here is my version of a fishy cassoulet!

Shrimp and Salmon Bake with Asparagus

Ingredients: Serves 4

1 roughly chopped Onion

1 tsp of chopped Garlic

400 gms of Salmon steaks (or any other boneless fish)

1/2 cup cooked and peeled Shrimps

2 Carrots chopped in cubes

1/2 bulb of Fennel (you could use 1 tsp of Fennel Powder instead and add some other veggie)

15-20 green Asparagus sticks (you could replace with 1 Broccoli/French Beans for adding crunchy greens)

(optional) 1 Celery sticks, 5 inch leek piece, peas, corn

4-5 slices of stale White Bread

1 cup of White sauce (traditionally called roux) or 1/2 cup white sauce+1/2 cup sour-cream (for people concerned with health, thick sour yoghurt mixed with 1 tsp of white flour to stop it from getting curdled)

1/2 cup White Wine

1 Lime/Lemon

2 tbsp Olive Oil

A few sprigs of thyme and dill

Parmesan Cheese, Salt and Pepper to taste

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In a hot pan, sear the Salmon steaks til crispy brown on both sides.  Set aside.  In the same pan, to retain the fish oil and flavor, add 1 tbsp of olive oil and throw in the garlic and onion.  While the onions are getting cooked, cut the bread into cubes, place them in a baking tray, sprinkle some olive oil on them and roast for 12-15 mins till crispy Рleave in the oven with the heat turned off.  Add the carrots, the fennel, some salt & pepper in the pan and saute till cooked.  Chop about 7-9 asparagus sticks into 1inch pieces and add in the pan with the other cooked veggies for 3-4 minutes or till nice and fresh green Рtransfer this into a baking dish.  Crumble the salmon steaks and put in the shrimps, white sauce, wine, herbs and lemon juice.   Mix and season well according to taste (you could add more lemon juice for a tangy flavor).  Coarsely crush the bread cubes and cover the fish mixture.  Finally sprinkle some Parmesan cheese (quantity as per liking) and bake in the oven at medium heat for 10-15 mins or till the crust turns brown.  In the meanwhile take a pan, add a tsp of olive oil and saute the rest of the asparagus or broccoli till crispy green. Season well and serve as a side dish with the bake.

Do make it some time and let me know how it tastes, coz Niloy and me loved it and finished it off in 12 mins flat¬†ūüôā

Take care, lots of love,

Rinki

Basic Chutneys and Sauces

Pizza sauce

You can always use the sauce out of a bottle, no crime in that, believe me I understand the woes of a busy mother or a weekend cook. But if by a miraculous stroke of luck the planets have aligned to give you the leisure and time and most importantly the energy to make your own sauce…I promise you by all that is holy, that it is WORTH making from scratch. And its not difficult either. ( plus… a definite plus…i will let you cheat)

Ingredients

Tomatoes, red, ripe and firm!          1 kg (chopped)

Garlic                                                          1 whole pod ( minced)

Olive oil                                                      1 tbsp ( or any white oil)

Oregano                                                      1 tsp

sugar and salt to taste ( can also add red chilli powder to adapt it to our taste)

The proper way would be to blanch the tomatoes in hot water, skin and de-seed them. (But I usually cheat)

Add olive oil to a heavy bottom pan, once the oil is warm add the chopped garlic and fry till golden brown, remove the fried garlic and keep. Add the oregano and the chopped tomatoes, sugar salt, chilli powder. Cook till softened. Now I use my hand blender and blitz the tomatoes! ( the cheating bit i told you about), then I add back the fried garlic and cook till the sauce coats the back of a spoon. There is your yummy, fragrantly fresh sauce ready.

White Sauce (1-2 Cups)

Flour                                           1.5 tbsp

Butter                                          2 tbsp

Milk                                             1-2 cups (depending on how thick you want it)

Salt and pepper

In a heavy bottom pan, melt the butter and fry the flour in it.  When the flour is nice and sticky, lower the heat and add milk slowly while stirring continuously.  Let it simmer till the lumps melt away and season with salt and pepper for a smooth white sauce.

Tips: At times the lumps don’t wanna go..so whisk it with a blender for few seconds and you would get a fine and shiny sauce. ¬†For variations in the sauce, herbs or cheese or garlic or nutmeg powder can be added. ¬†But I must confess I love the nutmeg and cheese combo in my white sauce..it can turn any boiled vegetable into a divine dish!!

Hot-spicy Green Coriander/Mint Chutney (1 cup)

Coriander Leaves/Mint                       1 Bunch

Garlic                                                          1-2 pods (depending on how strong you want the flavor of garlic

Green chillis                                            2-3 (to taste)

Sugar                                                         Optional to taste

Lemon Juice and Salt                        To taste

Grind to paste everything together.  Add few drops of water if you face difficulty in grinding.  Season well. For coriander chutney, 1 tbsp of coriander powder as well.

Sweet-Tangy Tamarind Chutney

1/2 cup Tamarind Pulp

1  cup sugar

1 cup water

chilli powder 1/2 tsp

ginger powder 1/2 tsp

roasted cumin powder 1/2 tsp

salt pinch

mix sugar, water, tamarind pulp. boil till it coats the back of spoon. add the ground spices. Serve with Indian snacks.

Mushroom P√Ęt√©/Dip/Sauce

Fresh Button Mushrooms               100gms

Garlic                                                       1-2 pods (depending on how strong you want the flavor of garlic

Onion                                                       1

Butter                                                      2 tbsp

Chives, Salt and Pepper to taste

Coarsely chop the onion, garlic and mushroom.  In a pan, melt the butter and add the garlic.  After 1 min, add the rest and fry/cook till tender and the excess water has evaporated.  Put the mix in a blender/grinder and blend/grind till paste.  Garnish with chives  and serve with crispy pan-fried bread or at breakfast with warm toasts and eggs.  You could also add some cream and make it more like a sauce and serve as a dip/sauce with tortilla chips, potato fries, oven baked potatoes or veggies and fritters. Some nuts liek walnut or cashew could be added for more flavor.

Warm Puntarelle Salad with Toasted Nuts

Dear Didi,
In another of my efforts to try out a new vegetable available in the fresh-food market here, of which I had previously read about, the warm puntarelle salad happened! Yesterday night I tested the¬†Puntarelle, an Italian variety of Endives on Niloy and we both loved it. ¬† ¬†The leaves taste a little bitter if eaten raw like the other endives. ¬†This is why one should take of the leaves (discard them), and soak the shoots in cold water till they curl. ¬†But I didn’t want to waste such beautiful looking leaves. ¬†So we tasted the leaves first and both decided that we were not ready for a plate of bitter salad. I turned the whole leaves into a¬†warm salad instead of taking out and throwing the leaves.

Warm Puntarelle Salad (a variety of Endives)

Treating each leaf as a prized possession I carefully washed a bunch of Puntarelles to get off all the grime in it (the amount of soil these veggies contain here might clog-up my kitchen drain one day! But its fine, anything for the love of food! Right?).

While the leaves were being soaked, I quickly dry-roasted¬†a handful of pistachios, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds in a pan for that almost perfect brown tint and then crushed them coarsely. ¬†The two cloves of garlic that were waiting for my attention were then gruesomely chopped and thrown in 1tbsp of heated olive oil. ¬†When the pan made the¬†garlic¬†pieces and the oil sizzle, the Puntarelle leaves quietly followed to be blanched to perfection. ¬†Once the leaves were tender, I threw them in cold water so that they retain their lovely fresh green color and transformed the ripe avocado and the juicy apple into small dices. ¬†Did you know it is always best to cut apples right before you serve or else the iron in them oxidizes and one is left with brown apple pieces? If not, now you know ūüôā

All the ingredients looked perfect for arrangement by then.  In a medium-sized salad bowl I laid the Puntarelle leaves, put some nuts, the apple, the avocado and seasoned it with salt, fresly ground pepper, dried mint powder and a dash of lime juice.

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It is difficult to get these endives in India, but do try this recipe with lettuce. ¬†You don’t have to have it warm though..it would be lovely with crunchy leaves too ūüôā If you are making it raw, I suggest you add some finely grated garlic in the lime juice, whisk it well with a fork and then pour it over the leaves. ¬†Do try it out!

So till the next time,

Take care and happy cooking!

Dakhina