Sunday, June 2, 2019

Sri Lankan Parippu Mellun (Lentil and Coconut Curry)

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Lentils are a favorite side dish with rice and curry meals.  I have eaten lentils in many ways, but my mother introduced me to lentils with coconut recently and I could not believe it was the first time I had such a wonderful way to eat lentils.  I love this lentil dish and actually ate it with rice and no other curries...I don't do that very often.  I felt like there was no need for any other curry because  this dish was so full of wonderful spice and flavor, nothing else was needed.  My entire family loved it, and when my daughter told me this was her favorite lentil dish of all time, I knew it was a keeper. 
Ingredients:
To cook the lentils:
2 cups masoor lentils
3-4 cups water
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 small cinnamon stick
5-10 curry leaves (optional)
1 pandan leave (optional)

To fry lentils with coconut mellun:
1 cup dessicated coconut
1 onion sliced
2-3 green chilies sliced
1 Tbs mustard seeds
10-12 curry leaves(optional)
1-2 pandan leaves (optional)
3-5 dried red chilies (broken into small pieces)
1-2 tsp red chili powder
salt to taste
 
 
Directions:
Wash lentils well in cold water until water runs clear.  If you see any stones, remove them.  Cook lentils in water with curry leaves, onions, turmeric, cinnamon stick and pandan leaves.  Do not over cook the lentils and make them mushy.  You want them to cooked until they are tender, but still able to see the individual lentil pieces.  Once lentils are finished cooking remove from stove.


In a separate pan, heat canola oil.  Then add curry leaves, onion, broken pieces of dried chilies, pandan leaves, mustard seeds, green chilies.  Once onions begin to soften, add dessicated coconut, salt and chili powder.
Then add the cooked lentils and mix well by stirring and mixing together without mashing lentils.   Note:  My mother actually turned a wooden spoon upside down and used the handle to make round circles to mix and incorporate all the ingredients together without mashing them.  Of course do this in a pan that will not get scratched up. Serve with rice.  Enjoy.





Copyright: All recipes, content, and images (unless otherwise stated) are the sole property of Kitchen Simmer formerly known as Curry and Comfort. Please do not use without prior written consent. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Chili Dogs in a Lettuce Bun (Low Carb)

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I'm all about saving on unnecessary calories and eating low carb these days.  I was so excited when I realized I could make my chili dog recipe low carb friendly by switching out the bun for a few baby romaine lettuce leaves.  
 
The romaine lettuce gives a perfect shape for the hot dog and to make it less messy so I tripled up on the lettuce for the bun.  I also kept all the filling from falling out by taking an extra leaf and placing it on top of the hot dog to make it seal in all the fixings.  My kids munched on their traditional bread hot dog buns and I indulged (wink) with my low carb lettuce option.  I love when that can happen. 


If you are interested in the Chili Topping for these hot dogs, check out my recipe here:  Chili Dog Recipe


 


Copyright: All recipes, content, and images (unless otherwise stated) are the sole property of Kitchen Simmer formerly known as Curry and Comfort. Please do not use without prior written consent. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited.

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Vegetable Pakoras (Vegetable Fritters)

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My mother dropped by for another cooking day and top of my list to make were these vegetable pakoras.  She has made this a several times for parties and events and they disappear in a flash.  Pakoras are basically a vegetable fritter that has a very delicious chickpea batter base. 
 
This is a vegetarian/vegan treat that will make even the meat-lovers in your life happy. My husband and son (my resident carnivores) wouldn't stop popping these vegetable fritters into their mouths.  Nothing beats these pakoras fried hot out of the oil... but they are still pretty darn tasty once they cool down.  
 
You don't need any dip as far as I am concerned.  All I need is a pakora in each hand and a plate of them close by because once you started popping these crazy looking fritters you don't want to stop.

Ingredients:
1 cup chopped cauliflower (small bite size pieces)
1 cup sliced onion
1 cup sliced cabbage
1 cup diced boiled potatoes
2-3 large green chilies (I used aniheims sliced)

Canola Oil to deep fry (as needed)

Batter:
2 cups chickpea flour sifted (found in Indian grocers)
1 cup up to 1 1/2 cups water (or as needed)
1 inch grated fresh ginger
2-3 cloves grated garlic
2-3 tsp whole cumin seeds
2-3 tsp red chili powder
1 tsp red chili flakes
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
salt to taste

Directions:
Cut and prep all vegetables.  Make batter and mix well.

 The batter should be the consistency of thick pancake batter.  Add vegetables to batter and mix well.

Heat oil to 375 degrees.

 Drop small clumps of the batter/vegetable mixture into oil and deep fry until golden brown.

The pakoras have no real shape, they just free from in the oil.  Serve immediately or at room temperature.  Enjoy.


 

 


Copyright: All recipes, content, and images (unless otherwise stated) are the sole property of Kitchen Simmer formerly known as Curry and Comfort. Please do not use without prior written consent. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited.

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Chicken and Mushroom Stir Fry

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Ingredients:
2lbs of boneless chicken sliced thin into small pieces
1lb of sliced button mushrooms
2 carrots thinly sliced ( I used a mandolin)
1 cup of cleaned snow peas
1 inch of fresh ginger grated
2-3 cloves garlic grated
salt and black pepper
red chili flakes (optional)
1 Tbs cornstarch
2 Tbs water

Sauce:
3 Tbs soy sauce
1/4 chicken stock
1 Tbs  Shao Hsing Chinese Rice Wine or substitute dry sherry
1 Tbs Oyster Sauce
1 tsp sesame oil

Directions:
Heat 2 Tbs of canola oil in a large wok.  Add chicken an cook with a sprinkle of salt and black pepper until 3/4 the way cooked. Then add ginger and garlic cook until chicken if fully cooked. Remove chicken from pan.  Heat 2 tsp canola oil and add sliced mushrooms.  Cook mushrooms until they become cooked and brown.

Next add snow peas and sliced carrots.  Saute for a few minutes then add the cooked chicken back onto the wok.

Add the prepared sauce and cook for another minute until sauce starts to boil.  Next mix the cornstarch and water to make a slurry.  Add to stir fry and stir will.  Taste for seasoning. Serve with rice.  Enjoy.






Copyright: All recipes, content, and images (unless otherwise stated) are the sole property of Kitchen Simmer formerly known as Curry and Comfort. Please do not use without prior written consent. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited.

Sunday, April 7, 2019

Asparagus and Mushroom Curry

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Spring is my favorite season.  Yes, I love the flowers and beautiful weather, but I also love when fresh asparagus comes into season.  Right now it's everywhere in the grocery stores.  I bought several bunches of asparagus and decided to pair it with some mushrooms for a fantastic curry. We ate this with my Basic Lentil Curry, rice and a few other curries.   I can't wait to buy more asparagus to play with and make this dish again.



Ingredients:
1lb of fresh asparagus sliced
1/2 lb (8oz) sliced mushrooms
12-15 curry leaves
1 medium onion chopped
2 green chilies sliced (seeded for less heat)
1 cinnamon stick
1tsp of fennugreek seeds
1 tsp of mustard seeds
1 tsp of cumin seeds
1/2 tsp of sugar
1/2 tsp of turmeric powder
Red chili powder (to taste)
1Tbs of curry powder
salt to taste
1tsp of vinegar (optional)
1cup of coconut milk (or cow's milk if you prefer)
1/4 cup of water

Note:  When working with asparagus remember to cut the bottom portion that is to tough to eat.

Directions:

Heat 1 Tbs of canola oil in a large frying pan on medium-high heat.  Once heated, add the onions, chilies, curry leaves, cinnamon stick and fenugreek seeds.   Fry for a few minutes until onions become tender.  Then add your cumin and mustard seeds.  Fry for another few minutes.

Then add the sliced mushrooms. and saute for 3-4 minutes. Next add the cut asparagus and salt to taste then saute for another 2 minutes.
Finally add the red chili powder, turmeric, curry powder, sugar, vinegar and water then cook for 10 minutes.  Finish off with the coconut milk and cook for another 5-7 minutes.  Taste for salt and seasoning. Serve as part of a rice and curry meal. Enjoy.





Copyright: All recipes, content, and images (unless otherwise stated) are the sole property of Kitchen Simmer formerly known as Curry and Comfort. Please do not use without prior written consent. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited.

Sunday, March 31, 2019

April Fools' Day Burger and Fries

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Happy April Fools' Day!  Today is a day for playing the fool and tricking people with some harmless practical jokes. I love to play food practical jokes and I've been excited to do this one for a while.  Last year I took meatloaf and mashed potatoes and made a cupcake out of it.  This year I decided to take a cupcake and make a burger and fries. 

I have seen "cupcake burgers" all over the internet, but this is my spin on them.  I decided to use fruit as some of my burger toppings instead of using all icing like most of the recipes I have seen.  My kids ate their burgers and loved every bite.   My son, who dislikes real tomatoes, joked that these were the best "tomatoes" he has ever eaten.  Ha! ha!

What is a burger without french fries?  I had to come up with a fun idea to replace your traditional fries and apples did the trick. My kids really loved them and I may have to make my apple "fries" more often for them so they can take it in their lunchboxes to school. I think the kids at the lunch table will get a real kick out of them.  

So, did I fool you with my burgers and fries?  Well, I hope I did, even for a quick second. 

I hope your day is full of fun surprises, jokes and big laughs!
 

To Make the Burger
Ingredients:
1 box yellow cake mix prepared per package instructions
kiwi slices (tip buy a ripe, but firm kiwi)
strawberries sliced
sesame seeds as needed

Chocolate Glaze:
12oz bag of chocolate chips
1/3 cup half and half milk
2 Tbs butter

Special equipment:  cupcake pan or whoopie pie pan, double boiler (or glass heatproof bowl over a pot of boiling water)


Directions:
Prepare cake batter per package instructions.  Place batter in cupcake pan or whoopie pie pan. Bake as needed.


For cupcakes, cut tops off and sprinkle some with sesame seeds to be the top "bun" of the burger.    If you use a whoopie pie pan, sprinkle the "top buns" with sesame seeds and use them as they are without trimming them. 




To make chocolate glaze, first heat up milk (half and half) and butter in a double boiler.  When the milk is hot add the chocolate chips and stir well until smooth.


 
 
Dip the "burger" into
 chocolate glaze using two forks and place on a baking sheet lined with wax paper.  Allow chocolate coating to set in the fridge.

 

Slice strawberries and kiwi to act as lettuce and tomato of burger.  You can also add mango for mustard or cheese.  Tip: use round strawberries for better "tomato" slices.   Assemble burger by placing a bottom "bun", kiwi layer, "burger", strawberry layer and then sesame seed top "bun".  Skewer if desired.



To Make the Fries
Ingredients:
2 large apples cored and peeled
4 cups water and 2 tsp salt 
1/2 tsp cinnamon powder 

"Ketchup"
3Tbs Raspberry or Strawberry jam
1 tsp strawberry syrup (the kind you make strawberry milk with)


Special equipment:  crinkle cutter, peeler with corer


 Directions:
Core apple and peel.  Then use crinkle cutter to cut french fry size strips.
Place cut "fries" into salt water and allow to sit for 5 minutes.  Dry on a paper towel for a minute and sprinkle with cinnamon.  Take paper towel and make sure cinnamon in only lightly coated by wiping off access.


 



Copyright: All recipes, content, and images (unless otherwise stated) are the sole property of Kitchen Simmer formerly known as Curry and Comfort. Please do not use without prior written consent. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited.