Tag Archives: coriander

Quinoa, Beet, and Black Bean Burgers

25 Feb

quinoa, beet, and black bean burgers

Once again, I’m playing host here in Buenos Aires (this time, to Andrew’s parents instead of mine). And, although it’s easy for people to eat out for every meal when on vacation, I think there’s nothing like a home-cooked meal after a long plane ride or a day of sight-seeing. These quinoa, beet, and black bean burgers are more complicated than many bean burgers, but the different components can be cooked ahead of time, and the mixture can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week before being formed into patties. This makes them ideal for serving to guests – I did all the legwork ahead of time and just had to fry up some patties and toast some buns to have dinner on the table. Of course, they’re not just convenient – they also have amazing color, flavor, and texture, and I have to give most of the credit to the beets. I would never have guessed that finely diced beets would make such a great base for a veggie burger, but their earthy flavor and firm texture are perfect here. I always like to add chia seeds to my cooked quinoa, so I went ahead and did it here, too, with the added benefit of the chia seeds helping to bind the burger, eliminating the need for an egg (though if you’re having trouble keeping your patties together, you can always still add in an egg to help). I balanced everything with some rehydrated dates, for sweetness, and lemon juice, for tartness, and couldn’t help tossing in some smoked paprika as well (you can use a chopped chipotle pepper in adobo instead for similar smokiness with a spicy kick). These burgers (which can also be formed into balls and used in place of meatballs or on top of a salad) are so flavorful that they barely need any toppings – but I went ahead and added halved cherry tomatoes and pickled red onions for a little fresh crispness.

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Thai Chicken Satay

13 Feb

thai chicken satay

The combination of flavors in the marinade here seemed strange to me at first (coconut, turmeric, sugar, and coriander?), but I decided to roll with it because I really trust the recipe source (the great She Simmers which not only has fantastic authentic Thai recipes but also appeals to the linguistics nerd in me with the lovely accompanying information on Thai pronunciation and etymology). I’m glad I did because this chicken satay was very easy to make, and the result was delicious on its own and completely addictive when served with peanut sauce and ajat. This would be great food for a party, especially if you get the grill going to cook the chicken on skewers (the traditional way). But since I couldn’t find skewers and don’t have a grill (and wasn’t feeding a crowd, besides), I pan-fried the chicken and found that worked just fine. Using high heat and cooking in batches was crucial to getting a nice char. I suspect you could also bake these, if you wanted, with a couple minutes of broiling at the end. And for those who don’t like chicken, this marinade can also be used on shrimp (shorten the marinating time to 5 – 10 minutes) or tofu (you might want to extend the marinating time).

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Chana Masala

23 Jan

chana masala

Despite the lengthy ingredient list, this North Indian chickpea stew comes together quickly and easily. It’s more of a tart curry, rather than some of the creamy ones with lots of warming spices (cinnamon, cloves, etc). Here, acidic tomatoes, tart amchoor powder, and citric lemon juice are strong components, alongside a hefty quantity of spices, of course. But it still manages to feel balanced, especially when served over rice (or quinoa, as I served it). I added cauliflower florets to my version (I think that actually makes this gobi chana masala), which I think are great alongside the creamy chickpeas. A sprinkle of cilantro at the end proved surprisingly crucial in rounding out the flavors (I wouldn’t omit it), and a little yogurt on top helps to quench the heat of hot peppers and ground cayenne pepper. I also topped mine with pickled red onions and thought their crispness was a great complementary texture. This curry, by the way, only improves with a couple of days in the refrigerator, so don’t hesitate to make this large batch even if you’re only cooking for one or two.

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Harissa

29 Aug

harissa

This recipe for harissa, a Tunisian chile sauce, is seriously spicy. Okay, I’ll admit, my spice tolerance is not quite unbeatable, but it’s pretty high, certainly higher than most people I’ve met. I lap up the spiciest Indian and Thai curries like nobody’s business, toss chili peppers in everything, and liberally sprinkle my food with hot sauce. I’ve never once used gloves when chopping hot peppers. Jalapenos (barely spicy to my palate!), bird’s eye chiles, habaneros, I’ve practically rubbed them all over my hands with no ill effect (okay, the occasional burning eye, admittedly).

Well, that all changed when chopping up the rehydrated chiles for this particular recipe. Despite washing my hands after doing so, I was soon struck by an intense and slowly worsening burning on the sensitive skin between my fingers – repeated washings, lime juice, and painkillers provided only momentary relief. In the end, I was left to wait for that solver of most problems – time. By the next day, my hands were (mostly) back to normal. But consider yourself warned. The resulting spice paste, however, is amazing. Perfect in small doses as a meat rub, on sandwiches, stirred into soups, or even added to salads. For those less spice inclined, cut back on (or omit) the arbol chiles, and use more guajillos and anchos instead. And I’ll certainly be wearing gloves the next time I make this.

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Mulligatawny Soup

30 Jul

mulligatawny soup

A while back, I posted a recipe for a Japanese adaptation of Indian curry. But by far the most well-known adaptations of Indian cuisine come from the British. These fusions have become so widespread that it’s not unlikely that you’re already quite familiar with some of them – such as chicken tikka masala and vindaloo – from your favorite Indian restaurants (and in fact, they are now prevalent in India itself). Mulligatawny soup is a great example, the name itself a British take on an Indian phrase meaning “pepper water.” There are many variations, but they’re usually a rich yellow or orange color from the spices (if you’re using a curry powder without turmeric, make sure to add some) and often contain meat. This particular version, however, is vegetarian, with red lentils and carrots providing the bulk of the soup, and coconut milk (very popular in Anglo-Indian cuisine) stirred in for extra richness.

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Garam Masala

30 Apr

garam masala

I know I post a lot of spice mix recipes, but they’re really an easy way to get the most flavorful food out of your kitchen. The same basic spices (which will stay good for years when stored whole) can be recombined into many distinct mixes. Garam masala is one of my favorites. A staple of North Indian cuisine, the recipes can vary widely from one household to the next, but always involve some “warming” spices (such as cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and black pepper). So this is a great mix to adjust exactly to your liking, whether its changing the proportions, omitting some ingredients, or adding others (allspice, star anise, or a couple bay leaves would all fit nicely here); I like mine a little heavy on the cumin and chili peppers. The resulting mix can elevate a simple stew, help to recreate authentic North Indian dishes, or even be added to cookies or hot chocolate for an unusual twist.

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Ginger Shiitake Salmon

28 Mar

ginger shiitake salmon

Growing up, I never liked salmon. Coming from a kid who loved lima beans and chicken liver, this probably seems really strange, and I can’t say exactly why I had bad associations with this classic fish. Perhaps I’d had it overcooked or under-seasoned, but whatever the reason for my previous dislike, I’ve since changed my mind. Salmon is a delicious and easy to prepare fish, and this particular method is no exception. The salmon is sprinkled with coriander (which seemed strange to me at first, but I quickly realized the lemony notes are the perfect pairing) and then broiled before being topped with a glaze including bell pepper, mushroom, ginger, and honey. The flavors work wonderfully (I can never resist anything Asian influenced!), and since the whole dish only took about half an hour to throw together, I could easily see myself serving this up for guests. And it doesn’t hurt that it looks gorgeous too!

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Ethiopian Berbere

27 Feb

ethiopian berbere

Growing up in DC (home to the largest Ethiopian population outside of Ethiopia), I’ve gotten used to a city with a plethora of cheap and delicious Ethiopian restaurants. My favorite place is a mere half mile from me and offers up a vegetarian platter big enough for two or three people for ten dollars. So it’s understandably difficult for me to motivate myself to try cooking Ethiopian food. But I might not be in this city forever, and the flavorful filling stews and spongy sour bread has become somewhat of a comfort food for me so I recently decided to try my hand at making them. The very first step in cooking delicious Ethiopian food is the spicy and fragrant spice mix known as berbere. This deep red mixture is vaguely reminiscent of Indian garam masala with warm sweeter spices like cinnamon, cloves, allspice, and nutmeg playing a role on top of spicy chiles, cumin, fenugreek, cardamom, and coriander. Berbere adds a large amount of paprika to these spices for a unique and unmistakable flavor that serves as the base for many different Ethiopian stews.

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Madras Curry Powder

20 Feb

madras curry powder

The more I cook, the more I love customizing the dishes I make. And one of my favorite ways to customize my food is by making my own spice mixes. Madras curry powder is the perfect example for this. No two versions of this South Indian blend are alike; every brand, every family, every person adjusts the spices to their liking. Making your own curry powder gives you the opportunity to get exactly the combination of flavors you want (not to mention the amazing difference using freshly ground spices makes). My personal blend is heavy on coriander and cumin with warmth from curry leaves, cinnamon, and nutmeg. But everything here can be easily adjusted, so soon you can have your own perfect curry powder. And after you have your own blend, come back to see the two simple recipes I’ll be posting on Wednesday and Friday that really showcase the curry powder’s flavor.

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Pomegranate Curry Shrimp

30 Jan

pomegranate curry shrimp

Ever since making my Sri Lankan curry powder, I’ve been keeping my eyes open for recipes to use up the extra curry leaves I’d popped in the freezer. When I saw this recipe using curry leaves and pomegranate molasses (one of my favorite kitchen staples), I knew I had to try it. So when I accidentally bought shrimp too far in advance for planned shrimp cocktails (d’oh!), it was the perfect opportunity to give this recipe a shot. The flavors came together spectacularly (and quickly), and this dish made a perfect light dinner served atop a salad, although I think it would also be well-suited as an appetizer. I didn’t have a chance to grab a pomegranate, but I think the fresh seeds would take this over the top with an extra burst of color and flavor.

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