Spicy cauliflower and chickpea salad

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A nice, warm winter treat (though this is good cold, too)! I know cauliflower is making a comeback, as it should! I’m particularly fond of it roasted, a little charred, smoky, but still sweet. This has just the right amount of spice without being overwhelming. Enjoy it with some tapas, bread, and a glass of wine (that’s what I’m going to do right now. Oh yes, and binge watch Project Runway).

Adapted from: Simply Nigella

Prep time: 40 minutes

Serves: 4-6 as an appetizer or 2 for dinner

Ingredients

1 small head of cauliflower

3 tbsp. regular olive oil

1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

2 tsp. cumin seeds

1 can (approx 400 gms.) chickpeas, drained and rinsed well

2 tbsp. harissa

2 small, vine ripe tomatoes

Salt, to taste

Bunch of cilantro OR parsley, chopped

  1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C or 425 degrees F. Trim the cauliflower into small florets. gobi1
  2. Whisk the oil, cinnamon and cumin seeds together in a bowl. Tip in the cauliflower and toss to coat. Pour the contents into a baking tray or dish and bake for 15 minutes.gobi2
  3. In the ‘dirty’ bowl that you used for the oil, add the harissa, tomatoes and chickpeas and mix together well. chickpeaharissa
  4. When the cauliflower has done its 15 minutes, take it out and add the harissa, tomatoes and chickpea mixture to it. Mix everything and put it back into the oven for another 15 minutes.roastedcauliflower
  5. Once the cauliflower is tender, sprinkle with salt. Garnish with cilantro or parsley leaves and serve!chickpeafinal

Pearl couscous salad with paprika and mint dressing

We’re back to school, lovelies! And what a back-to-school dramaturgy it’s been. We’ve been having a record-breaking heatwave here in southern California, no joke, temperatures reached 100+ with nasty Santa Ana winds (the equivalent of the Delhi ‘loo’) blasting in from the desert.

This salad has been a lifesaver in this unseasonably hot weather. Not only does it keep well in the fridge for days (making a most delicious lunch indeed), but it is easy, quick, cooling, and manages to strike that magic balance between being both light and filling (perfect for teaching days). Don’t be daunted by the long list of ingredients – almost everything is replaceable and substitutable – you can replace the couscous with quinoa or another grain, you can replace the chickpeas with white or kidney beans, and you can replace the mint with basil or parsley. Etc. Etc. Etc. Whatever you’ve got lying around, I promise it will work. The toasted almonds add such a nice crunch and depth of flavor, you really do need the crunch, so if you have to substitute them, use something crunchy!

You get a hint of cinnamon and smokiness from the bay leaf in the couscous, which adds that subtle vacation-y feeling to this. So we can pretend like summer’s not really over.

Bon appetit!

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dressing

Prep time: 20 minutes

Serves: 2 as generous lunch portions, or 4 as a side

Ingredients

2 cups pearl couscous (sometimes called “Israeli couscous”)

1 15 oz. can (about 430 gms) of chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1/2 white onion, finely chopped

1 stick cinnamon

2 small or 1 large bay leaf

1/2 cup black olives, halved

2 cups cherry/grape/heirloom tomatoes, halved

4 small Persian cucumbers, chopped

4 cups boiling water

3/4 cup slivered or chopped almonds, lightly toasted

3 oz. crumbled feta cheese (or any cheese you like, or omit if going vegan)

For the dressing:

4 sprigs of mint, finely chopped

1/2 tsp. paprika

2 tbsp. white balsamic vinegar (or red wine vinegar is fine too)

4 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

  1. Dry roast the couscous in a saucepan until the pearls start browning, about 3-4 minutes.
  2. To the couscous, add 4 cups of boiling water (double the amount of couscous you are using), the bay leaves, cinnamon stick, onion and a pinch of salt. When it starts to boil, lower the heat, put on a lid, and cook for about 12-15 minutes.
  3. In the meantime, assemble your other ingredients: chickpeas, tomatoes, cucumbers, and olives.
  4. In another small pan, toast your almond slivers and set aside.
  5. Prepare the dressing.
  6. When the water from the couscous has evaporated and the pearls have puffed up, set aside and let the mixture cool down for a few minutes. Remove the cinnamon stick and bay leaves carefully. Lightly fluff the couscous with a fork.
  7. Add the dressing. Gently combine everything with a fork.
  8. Sprinkle the cheese and toasted almonds on top. Serve!

Note: if you will be eating this as leftovers, don’t add all the almonds now – just add them to your own bowl. Save the rest and add them just when you are about to eat so they stay crunchy.

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Soba noodles with kale, tahini and ginger dressing

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Here we go: another quick, yummy lunch fix. I’ve been tripping on this no-cook dressing for weeks now. It can literally be ready in less than 10 minutes (not counting the time that it takes for your water to boil). But honestly, this is perfect if you are like me and rush home starving and want something quick, tasty and also healthy. I usually have these ingredients in my pantry as well, so it’s not as if any shopping is required for this.

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tahinidressing

Prep. time: 10 minutes

Serves: 2

Ingredients

1 bunch purple or green kale

25 gm (1 bundle) of soba noodles per person

1/3 cup tahini

2″ piece ginger, grated

1/2 cup warm water

1 tbsp. sesame oil (+ a dash more for noodles)

1 tbsp. sriracha (add more if you like)

2 tbsp. rice wine vinegar

1 tbsp. soy sauce

1 tbsp. honey

1 scallion stem, finely chopped

1/4 cup sesame seeds, roasted

  1. Put about a liter of water to boil. In the meantime, remove the kale leaves from the stem and prepare your tahini dressing (combine tahini, ginger, warm water, sesame oil, sriracha, rice wine vinegar, honey and soy sauce).
  2. Once the water is boiling, throw the kale leaves in and blanch for about 5-6 minutes, until leaves soften. Using a slotted spoon, remove the leaves and set aside.
  3. Throw in the soba noodles into the same boiling water, carefully noting cooking times which will depend on whether you are using dry noodles or not. Once a la dente, drain noodles into a colander and rinse with cold water to cool. Add a dash of sesame oil on top of noodles to prevent them from sticking. Pour in dressing and massage into the noodles nicely.
  4. In a bowl or plate, arrange your kale at the bottom. Add the noodles and sauce. Garnish with scallions and sesame seeds. Enjoy!

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Sugar snap peas with breadcrumbs, chili and garlic

Happy spring! Apologies for the radio silence, lovelies….what can I say? First year on the TT is kicking my butt. But believe me, I’m determined to make time to blog again. And just slow down.

This week in my CSA, I got a beautiful bunch of sugar snap peas–bright, green, sweet, and crisp. In fact, when I was trimming the peas, they actually exuded this sweet fragrance. How amazing is that?

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This recipe, which I read and slightly adapted from food52.com, is super fast, super easy, and super delicious. It blew me away and I hope you enjoy it too. It makes a great side, light lunch, or appetizer. And now is the perfect time to enjoy them! I love how the crunch from the breadcrumbs complements the crunch of the peas. The heat from the cayenne and slight tanginess from the lemon zest work really well together here too.

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SUGAR SNAP PEAS WITH BREADCRUMBS, CHILI AND GARLIC

Prep time: 10 minutes

Serves: 2 (as a side)

2 tbsp. olive oil

1 garlic clove, minced

3 cups sugar snap peas, ends trimmed

Zest of 1 lemon and juice of 1/2 lemon

1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper or red chili flakes

1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs (or any breadcrumbs)

Salt and pepper to taste

  1. Heat 1 tbsp. olive oil in a medium saucepan on low heat. When the oil is hot, add the breadcrumbs and toast until golden brown (about 3-4 minutes). Add the garlic clove, cook for another minute, then turn off heat. Put into a mixing bowl and zest the lemon into the mixture and add the cayenne pepper or red chili flakes. Set aside.
  2. In the same saucepan, add another tbsp. oil and add the sugar snap peas. Saute for about 2 minutes, until they are still bright green but cooked through. Add a pinch of salt and pepper.
  3. Mix everything together; squeeze some lemon juice on top. Serve immediately.

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Baked potato with chive sour cream

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Happy Thanksgiving, lovelies! As we stuff ourselves, let’s not forget the historical basis of Thanksgiving: http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/33781-no-thanks-how-thanksgiving-narratives-erase-the-genocide-of-native-peoples

I am on my way to a pesctarian Thanksgiving feast at a friend’s house, and we are all bringing a dish to share. I offered to make mashed potatoes, but after some humming and hawing, I realized I am much more in the mood for a baked potato: the crisped, charred skin, soft interior, and a dollop of deliciousness in the form of a chive sour cream. Inspired by Nigella’s recipe, I lightened up the sour cream with some Greek yoghurt. You really can’t tell the difference. Use Idaho or any other Russet potatoes  – they are the best potatoes for baking because of their high starch content (Yukon Gold’s are the best for mashing).

While this is a great Thanksgiving side, sometimes it can also be a really comfy meal in itself. The best part is: once you pop them in the oven, you have an hour and fifteen minutes to do whatever else it is you need to do (in my case, writing a letter of recommendation for students – ’tis’ the season)!

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Hope you all have a wonderful, relaxing, fun evening with lots of good food and wine.

Prep time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Serves: 6

Ingredients

6 Russet or Idaho potatoes, washed, scrubbed and dried with a towel

8 oz. sour cream

1 cup plain Greek yoghurt

1/3 cup chives, snipped with a scissor

1 tsp. whole grain mustard

1 tsp. salt

A good grinding of white pepper

Metal skewers for the potatoes

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Clean the potatoes and skewer them. Once the oven is at the right temperature, place the skewers directly on the oven rack (this makes for the crispiest skin, rather on than a baking sheet or foil).
  3. While the potatoes are cooking, make the chive sour cream. Mix the sour cream, yoghurt, mustard, salt and pepper into a bowl. Snip the chives into the bowl. In another bowl, snip about 6 strands for garnishing at the end and keep separate.chivesourcream
  4. When the potatoes are done (about 1 hour, 15 minutes), remove them from the oven. Take them off the skewers and cut a cross in the top of each of them and slightly squeeze them so they open out and place them into a bowl.
  5. Garnish the potatoes with the extra chives. Serve the potatoes with the chive sour cream on the side and have people help themselves. bakedpotato

Fall roasted veggies with haloumi

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Tonight, I’m attending a moveable feast in my neighborhood. Each person is responsible for serving one course in their home, and then we move to the next person’s house, and so on. Theoretically, anyway. My guess is that somewhere around the second or third house, we might all fall down with the wine and good food buzzing in our bodies, but who knows? Maybe we actually will make it to dessert.

My friend Denise and I are co-hosting the second course of the evening, appetizers. She is making a mushroom dip and I decided to make these roasted vegetables with haloumi, which I once saw on Nigella Bites. I have a feeling there’s going to be a lot of cheese on the menu tonight, but as far as I’m concerned, that’s a good thing. This is also a great recipe for a weeknight dinner – just pop it into the oven and forget about it until five minutes before its ready to eat. Rewarding, rustic, delicious, easy.

If you don’t have/can’t find haloumi, you can substitute with feta or with another salty, crumbly cheese. Or you can also make your own haloumi, which I am going to attempt to do, thanks to this recipe: http://wholesome-cook.com/2012/07/18/homemade-haloumi-cheese-in-an-hour/

Prep time: 1 hour

Ingredients

One large sweet potato

1-2 yellow or red potatoes (whatever you have on hand)

1 red bell pepper

1 red onion

1/2 head of garlic (about 6-8 individual cloves)

4 tbsp. olive oil

1/2 tsp. red chilli flakes or cayenne pepper (optional – I feel it adds more flavor)

Grind of pepper

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Cut the potatoes into slightly smaller cubes than the sweet potato (the potatoes are denser than the sweet potatoes, so need slightly more time to cook). Add each ingredient to the pan as you go.
  3. De-seed and cut the red peppers into approximately the same size cubes and add to pan.
  4. Half the red onion and then cut each into 4-6 segments. Discard the outer skin. The onion chunks should stay together.
  5. Separate the cloves of garlic but you don’t need to remove the skins (yay).
  6. Drizzle your olive oil on top and mix everything together with your hands.
  7. Season with pepper and/or red chili flakes if you wish. Don’t add salt because otherwise your vegetables will get mushy.
  8. Arrange all the vegetables in a baking dish. Bake for approximately 45 minutes. Gently turn the vegetables about halfway into the baking process.roastveg2
  9. About five minutes before the vegetables are done, slice the haloumi cheese and lay on top of the veggies. Turn your oven on the broiler, and broil for 5 minutes. The cheese should get brown on top (if you don’t want to use cheese, just add salt at this stage).roastveg4
  10. Serve!

White bean, garlic and basil spread

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In continuation of my quest for hearty, delicious lunches, here is a quick and delicious white bean spread, perfect on a wholegrain toast with some avocado and tomato. The basil flavor really comes through and makes this pop as a dip or spread. I had it today for breakfast and now, I want it every day.

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Prep time: 15 minutes

Ingredients

1 15 oz. can (approx. 425 gms) white, cannelini, or great northern beans

10 basil leaves

2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped (don’t worry–its going in the food processor)

2 tbsp. olive oil

3 tbsp. water

Juice of 1/2 a lemon

Salt and pepper to taste

  1. Drain the can of beans and rinse well, until the foam disappears from the beans. Add to a food processor. whitebeansrinsed
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients into your food processor and blend everything until smooth. Add more water if you want a smoother or creamier consistency. whitebeanprep
  3. Taste and adjust for sourness, salt and pepper.beansblender
  4. Eat as a dip with pita chips or use as a sandwich spread. Bon appétit! whitebeantoast

Mediterranean Orzo Salad

I often find lunch to be a problematic endeavor. It usually catches me off-guard–there I am, typing away furiously, and lo and behold, its 12:34 pm and my stomach is growling.

During fieldwork, following Kashmiri norms, I cut out lunch altogether. Instead, I would eat a massive brunch of ghee-soaked parathas and yoghurt (not Kashmiri) until my tummy ached. “Lunch” consisted of coffee or tea, maybe a piece or two of toast if one of the doctors ordered some from the hospital canteen. Then, I’d rush home at 6 pm sharp, and a glorious mountain of sticky rice and hak (spinach) or other vegetables would be waiting for me. This, I would consume, with my hands, with half an eye on the banal Hindi serial on the telly. Now, I know this was not at all a healthy schedule (I am well aware of the six small meals a day thing, but really? who has time to cook six meals?) and I am not advocating the two huge meals a day routine. But, honestly, I miss the simplicity of that schedule, no lunch problem plaguing me.

Now, ready to start a new teaching term (tomorrow folks!), I find myself all too often in that stomach-grumbling phase and again, unprepared. Out of desperation, I will eat something on campus: packaged veggie sushi or tacos or a $10 salad and inevitably feel guilty. I’m determined to put an end to this mindless/unhealthy eating this term and am on the lookout for lunches that carry well, are easy to prepare, delicious, and healthy. Early career teachers also know about the stomach butterflies on teaching days that we must factor into the eternal ‘what to take for lunch’ question. If you have other good suggestions for office lunches that fit the bill, do share.

The following recipe, a sunny, bright, Mediterranean-inspired salad that I recently discovered, is ideal. It can jostle around in your bag all day (trust me, I tested), it’s lovely and refreshing at room temperature or cold, and its light and filling at the same time. I mean, chickpeas, olives, tomatoes, feta, parsley…these are really some of my favorite things. You don’t even need to worry about packing the dressing separately, because the orzo and vegetables soak up the flavor really nicely, all day long.

My Trader Joe's haul

You can easily prepare this in the morning before you dart out the door, while you are doing five other things. I recommend making a big batch and keeping it in the fridge. It will keep for a couple of days (although I recommend keeping your dressing separate if you are going to store for more than a day). This rainbow-colored salad looks beautiful and each bite is different. It makes eating lunch at your desk actually something to look forward to!

Prep time: 20 minutes

Serves: 2 big lunch portions (or 3 smaller)

Ingredients

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 clove garlic, minced

Juice of one lemon

1 roma tomato chopped, with seeds removed, or 15 cherry or grape tomatoes, halved

1 dozen, black, pitted kalamata olives, halved

1 bunch curly parsley, chopped

8 oz. or 200 grams chickpeas or garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed

1/2 small red onion, chopped

3 oz. feta, crumbled (approx.)

1 yellow/orange bell pepper (optional)

1 cup orzo, cooked according to package instructions

Salt and pepper to taste

  1. Put about 8 cups of water to boil. When the water comes to a rolling boil, add salt and 1 cup of orzo. Stir the orzo occassionally and cook according to package instructions (about 9 minutes). When it’s done, drain the water and put your orzo into a big serving bowl and let cool. Note: your orzo will expand significantly after it cooks.Orzo1

Orzo: after

2.  While your orzo is cooking, prepare your dressing. Add lemon juice, one chopped garlic clove, salt, pepper, and olive oil into a mason jar and shake well until the dressing becomes creamy and a mellow yellow color. Set aside.De-seed and chop your tomatoes, olives, orange or yellow pepper, parsley, and red onion.

3. Open your can of chickpeas/garbanzo beans, drain out the water and rinse the beans well.

4. Time to assemble! Over your orzo, distribute all your veggies on top, with your parsley last. Crumble the feta over the veggies. Add the dressing and mix everything gently, but well. Note: if you don’t want such a robust onion flavor in your salad or, say, you have student conferences all afternoon, you can mix a bit of the red onion in with your dressing instead. The acid from the lemon juice will mellow out the flavor. Starting to look beautiful!

5. Add a little more parsley and/or feta for garnishing if you desire. Bon appetit!

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Mango and Arugula Salad with Balsamic Mustard Seed Dressing

arugulumango5Summer is officially here! My mum is visiting from Delhi, and today’s recipe is hers (although she says it’s not really hers, but she doesn’t remember where its from).  It’s a salad I’ve eaten many times while visiting my parents in Delhi, and it seemed perfect for the humid, sweltering day we had in Durham today.  Luckily, my mum agreed to model for me (those lovely hands in those photos, hers!), so today’s entry is truly collaborative.

For Indians, nothing symbolizes summer more than the appearance of mangoes in the market.  A sweet, juicy, dripping mango is what makes summer bearable, many would say.  This recipe is all about celebrating those incredibly sweet, ripe mangoes of summer, but contrasting them against some peppery arugula and two different dressings, one sweet and one sour.   You do need ripe, sweet mangoes for this recipe, so in the grocery store, look for mangoes that are a little soft and that give a little when you squeeze them (just like a ripe avocado).

You should prepare the different components of the salad separately: (i) the mango and arugula; (ii) the balsamic dressing; (iii) and the mustard seed dressing.

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arugula1I love the way this salad looks: the bright marigold of the mangoes, with dots of black, against the green.  And it couldn’t be easier. I hope you’ll try it! x

Prep time: 20 minutes

Serves: 4

Ingredients

2 ripe mangoes, cubed (discard the center portion with the seed)

1 bag washed arugula (about 8 cups)

For the balsamic dressing:

3 tbsp. balsamic vinegar

1 tsp. honey

Pinch of salt and pepper

4 tbsp. olive oil, whisked in

For the mustard seed dressing:

2 tbsp. olive oil

1 1/2 tsp. mustard seeds

12 curry leaves (approximately)

  1. Wash the arugula and dry it with a dish towel.  Put it in a large bowl leaving a hole in the center for the mangoes.  arugula2
  2. Cut the mangoes into cubes – they don’t have to be exactly the same size.  Place in the center of the bowl with the arugula and set aside.mangoes3
  3. Make your balsamic dressing: add balsamic vinegar, honey, salt, and pepper in a bowl and whisk in about 4 tbsp. olive oil.  Taste and set aside.
  4. Heat 2 tbsp. olive oil in a small saucepan on medium-high heat.  When the oil is very hot, add the mustard seeds and allow them to sputter for about 30 seconds.  mustardseeds1Add the curry leaves, but be careful, the oil will sputter, so be sure that you are not too close to the stove.  When the curry leaves become crisp and fried, turn off the flame and pour the mixture immediately over the diced mango.
  5. Pour the balsamic dressing over the arugula leaves.  Mix everything and serve immediately.arugulamango2

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“Burmese” Curry Noodles with Tofu, Baby Bok Choy and Carrots

Last night, I watched an episode of Anthony Bourdain’s show, The Layover, in which he spent a dizzying 30 hours in Singapore and ate his way through something like 8 meals. His last meal before he boarded his 17 hour flight back to New York was a heavenly-looking laksa, a spicy Peranakan noodle soup, for breakfast. Watching him patiently standing in line, sweating through his expensive shirt on an ordinary, humid morning in Singapore, made me long for that bowl of goodness.

So, here it is: a hot, spicy bowl of noodles and curry to simulate being in or around Singapore, minus the fascism. Since laksa usually involves some meat, it was merely a jumping-off point. In fact, once I started cooking, I went more in a Burmese direction – this is a modified khow suey, really, from the Shan state in Myanmar/Burma – than a Malaysian one (all references being very loose here). It doesn’t really matter; what you’ll find are big flavors and a balance of spiciness, sourness, and sweetness. Best of all, this dish is entirely vegan and vegetarian (simply omit the boiled egg as condiment).

This is a great dish for a dinner party—not only because its easy to scale up—but because all the condiments look so pretty laid out on the table, and everyone can personalize the curry to their liking. There’s something very nice about allowing your guests to engineer their own magic. What makes it super fun to eat are the condiments: a bit of egg, some fried garlic and shallots, fresh coriander, some green chili and lime.  Worth every bit of extra effort.

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A note about cooking:

Everything cooks up pretty fast, so make sure that all your veggies are chopped and ready to go before you start cooking. OR, if you are multitasking, chopping while your garlic and shallots are cooking, make sure to keep a close watch on them, so that you don’t burn them (I often have to make two batches)! You will have several things on the stove at once; at times, this feels like you’re creating music, with different melodic and rhythmic lines coming together, but it can also feel a bit chaotic. I’ve tried my best to show what kinds of multitasking work best here and when you really might want to do things one at a time.

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babybokchoytofucarrotPrep time: 40 minutes (with some multitasking)

Serves: 2

Ingredients

1/2 lb. egg noodles/Canton noodles/spaghetti (all work well in this)

5 oz. five spice or other pressed tofu (if you cannot find pressed tofu, use extra firm)

1/4 cup canola or sunflower oil

1 can coconut milk

1 tbsp. ginger-garlic paste

1” ginger, to grate

Two cups of baby bok choy (green beans or other greens work very well here too), washed

2 carrots, peeled and chopped in rounds

6 cloves garlic, sliced as thinly as you can

2 shallots, sliced with a mandolin or as thinly as you can

1 tsp. turmeric

1 tsp. cumin seeds

2 green chilies, chopped (or dried red chili is fine too)

1 tsp. red chili powder

Juice of one lime

Peanuts, for garnish

Cilantro, for garnish

2 eggs, hard boiled

Limes, for garnish

1/2 cup of warm water

Salt and pepper, to taste

  1. If using the five-spice tofu, cut your tofu into cubes and cut the carrots into rounds. Add the ginger-garlic paste and turmeric and mix everything well. (If you can’t find pressed tofu and are using tofu in water, drain your tofu well, cut it into cubes, and fry it in 1 tbsp. of sesame oil, to sear it. See: http://mortarandpestle.info/malaysian-coconut-curry-with-okra-chips/ for more detailed instructions)  tofucarrots
  2. Steps 2, 3, and 4 can be done at the same time. In a large saucepan, bring water to boil for your noodles. Keep an eye on the time and remove them a minute before what the package instructions say. Set aside.
  3. Place two eggs in a small saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring this to a rolling boil, turn off the heat and cover the eggs. They will be ready in 10 minutes and will be hard boiled but still a bit creamy. Once done, chop your eggs and place in a small bowl and set aside.
  4. At the same time, heat the sunflower oil in a saucepan on medium heat.  Slice your garlic and shallots (you can use a mandolin if you have one). When the oil is hot, fry the garlic and turn down the heat to medium-low. Keep your eye on it to make sure that it doesn’t burn. In the meantime, place a paper towel on a dinner plate. When the garlic turns golden brown, remove it with a slotted spoon and place it on the paper towel. Fry your shallots in the same oil until they are crispy and brown (not black!) again making sure not to burn them.  Set aside on a paper towel. shallots

shallotsfrying5.  Take 1 tbsp. of the oil from the fried garlic and shallots and pour into a medium or heavy bottomed pan on medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the cumin seeds and green chili. Once the cumin starts sputtering, add the marinated tofu and carrots into the pan. Let the tofu and carrots cook for 30 seconds, and then add in the coconut milk with the warm water. Gently scrape the bottom of the pan, to get any bits of ginger or garlic. Turn the heat down to medium-low and bring the curry to a gentle simmer for 10 minutes. burmesecurry16.  While your curry is simmering, heat a small saucepan on medium-high heat. Add the peanuts and roast until they are brown (3-4 minutes). Shake the pan occasionally to make sure they roast evenly. Set the peanuts aside in a small bowl.

7. Chop your condiments – the cilantro/coriander leaves and lime wedges.  Place your peanuts, shallots, and garlic, in separate small bowls. Once the curry has been simmering for about 10 minutes and the carrots are softened, add in the baby bok choy, along with 1 tsp. red chilli powder, salt and juice of one lime. Grate 1” piece of ginger into the curry. burmesecury38.  Add your noodles and gently ladle the curry on top. Let everything simmer for another 2 minutes, until the baby bok choy is tender, but still firm. Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary.

9. Turn off the heat. Serve your bowl of curried noodles with your accompaniments: wedge of lemon, scallions, green/red chili, cilantro, peanuts, fried shallots, fried garlic, and egg.

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burmesecurry7Oh, and did I mention that it’s finally spring?

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