Yamuna Devi Recipe # 11 : Lime Ginger Ale (Adrak Sharbat)

Yet more serialising of recipes by my cooking guru, Yamuna Devi. Before attempting to cook any of her recipes, make sure you are aware of the difference between US measures and Australian/metric measures. See below*

lime and ginger drink.jpg:

“I first served this beverage to Srila Prabhupada in Vrindavan, India, where the well water is distinguished by a slightly salty taste. He commented that his mother had made this summer thirst quencher with effervescent quinine water. It is pleasant with most carbonated mineral waters from the gentle fizz of San Pellegrino to the brisk fizz of Perrier.

Double-boiling the ginger stretches the flavor of fresh ginger root. India

Yamuna Devi Recipe # 10 : Apricot Chutney with Currants (Khumani Chatni)

But wait, there’s more…! Here’s more serialising of recipes by my cooking guru, Yamuna Devi. Before attempting to cook any of her recipes, make sure you are aware of the difference between US measures and Australian/metric measures. See below*

(It’s almost apricot season here in Australia. First of the season apricots are the most tasteful, says Kurma.)

Yamuna's Apricot Chutney.jpg:

This is outstanding chutney, especially when the apricots are tree-ripened, sweet and fragrant. For those of us resorting to fruits sold at supermarkets or corner grocers, look for barely ripened fruit with a fragrant smell. If they are absolutely without smell, use dried apricots which require an overnight soaking in lime juice and water and a slight increase in cooking time. American (and Australian) dried apricots little resemble their shriveled Indian counterpart, aloo bookhara, but they are almost as tasty as the fresh fruit.

Preparation and cooking time for fresh apricots: 30 minutes,

Preparation, soaking and cooking time for dried apricots: overnight,

Makes: 1½ cups.

½ pound (230 g) dried apricot halves, quartered and soaked overnight in 3 table spoons lime juice and 2 cups (480 ml) hot water; or
2 pounds (1 kg) fresh apricots, seeded and sliced, plus 3 tablespoons lime juice and ½ cup water,

2 tablespoons ghee or butter,

3-inch (7.5 cm) piece of cinnamon stick,

½ teaspoon kalonji or black sesame seeds,

½ tablespoon scraped fresh ginger root, minced,

2/3 cup (85 g) dark raisins or currants,

½ cup (75 g) maple sugar or brown sugar, packed,

¼ teaspoon salt,

1/8

Yamuna Devi Recipe # 9 : Cubed Potatoes with Fresh Fenugreek (Khate Aloo Methi)

I’m on a roll! Here’s more serialising of recipes by my cooking guru, Yamuna Devi! Before attempting to cook any of her recipes, make sure you are aware of the difference between US measures and Australian/metric measures. See below*

fresh methi leaves.jpg:

(The photo above, courtesy of nandyala.org., is exactly what my homemade fenugreek leaves look like.)

This everyday vegetable dish is popular throughout North and Central India. Earth-specked new potatoes

Vegetarian Cooking Classes with Kurma in Melbourne

cook it up!:

There’s been a lot of enquiries about forthcoming cookery classes in Melbourne.
In a nutshell: there are 2 remaining Kurma classes in Melbourne for 2010.

Hurry to grab the last bookings. Here’s the details:

Gopal’s Vegetarian Restaurant,

Swanston Street, Melbourne, Victoria,

Morning Cookery Workshop,

Sunday 10 October 2010,

Bookings 03 8555 0361.

Gopal’s Vegetarian Restaurant,

Swanston Street, Melbourne, Victoria,

Morning Cookery Workshop,

Sunday 28 November 2010,

Bookings 03 8555 0361.

Yamuna Devi Recipe # 8 : Butter-soft Eggplant Wedges (Bhona Baigan Bhaji)

Due to popular demand, here’s more serialising of recipes by my cooking guru, Yamuna Devi! Before attempting to cook any of her recipes, make sure you are aware of the difference between US measures and Australian/metric measures. See below*

baigun bhaji bliss.jpg:

Srila Prabhupada gave us this recipe during his 1967 San Francisco classes. In Bengal, bhaji is loosely defined as any fried vegetable, and while this variation has other names, such as eggplant Puki, one thing is constant: it must be served immediately after cooking, piping hot.

To get authentic results, I recommend using fresh ghee; my second choice would be a newcomer on the market

Yamuna Devi Recipe # 7 : Toasted Coconut Rice (Nariyal-Ki Chaval)

We continue our serialising of recipes by my cooking guru, Yamuna Devi. Before attempting to cook any of her recipes, make sure you are aware of the difference between US measures and Australian/metric measures. See below*

coconut 101.jpg:

If you have a piece of fresh coconut in your refrigerator, try this recipe. It is quick, easy and delightful. The rice is cooked with whole sweet spices, and golden-fried coconut strips are folded in along with the chaunk (spices cooked in ghee or coconut oil), which adds to the flavor. Finally, the dish is garnished with more coconut strips. This is a most attractive rice dish, with a slightly crunchy texture and faintly sweet, toasty flavor. It can be served on any menu in any season.

Preparation time (after assembling ingredients): 5 minutes,
Cooking time: 25-30 minutes,
Serves: 4 or 5.

1 cup basmati or other long-grain white rice,
1 2/3-3 cups water,
¾ teaspoon salt,
1½-1 inch (4 cm) piece of cinnamon stick,
6 whole cloves,
3 tablespoons (45 ml) ghee or coconut oil,
¼ fresh coconut peeled and cut into slices 1/8 inch (3 mm) thick and ½ inch (1.5 cm) long,
1 teaspoon cumin seeds,
½ teaspoon black mustard seeds.

If basmati rice is used, clean, wash, soak and drain.

Bring the water to a boil in a heavy 1½-quart/liter nonstick saucepan over high heat. Stir in the rice, salt, cinnamon stick and cloves. When the boiling resumes, reduce the heat to very low, cover with a tight-fitting lid and gently simmer without stirring for 20-25 minutes or until the rice is tender and fluffy and the water is absorbed. (You may wish to cook your rice in lots of water and drain it – your choice, says Kurma).

Remove from the heat and let the rice sit, covered for 5 minutes to allow the fragile grains to firm up.

In the meantime, heat the ghee or oil in a small frying pan over moderate heat. Stir-fry the coconut strips until golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon. Toss in the cumin seeds and black mustard seeds and fry until the mustard seeds turn gray and sputter and pop. Pour this seasoning into the rice, add two-thirds of the fried coconut, gently mix and remove the whole cloves and cinnamon stick.

Serve: spoon the rice onto a serving platter and garnish with the remaining fried coconut.

*Note that since Yamuna wrote her recipes using US measurements, the weights are in US with metric in brackets.

More importantly, her tablespoons are US (15ml) whereas Australian/metric tablespoons are 20ml. So if you follow these recipes using metric measures, your tablespoons should be scant.

Similarly, the US cup is 240ml as distinct from the Australian/metric 250ml cup. The same scant measuring should thus apply to Australian/metric cup users.

The teaspoon is a universal 5ml.

Yamuna Devi Recipe # 6 : Deep-Fried Stuffed Hot Green Chilies (Hari Mirchi Bhaji)

gimme gimme.jpg:

Yet more serialising of recipes by my cooking guru, Yamuna Devi! Before attempting to cook any of her recipes, make sure you are aware of the difference between US measures and Australian/metric measures. See below*

Fresh hot green jalapenos, averaging 2½ inches (6.5 cm) long and 1 inch (2.5 cm) wide, are available in most areas. If their skin has begun to turn red but is still shiny and firm, they are still quite usable. Smaller chilies are inevitably the hottest, especially serranos, but they are next to impossible to seed and stuff.

Use jalapenos or the conical fresnos (usually limited to California markets). Srila Prabhupada once commented to his servant-cook Srutakirti das.

More Marmalade

The big Kumquat tree on my patio is a very generous soul. The recent blossoms were so profuse and fragrant that the whole yard was fragrant for days.
The seasons appear to have overlapped, so yesterday I picked some ripe fruits that were still there and made another batch of marmalade.

8 medium fruits (250g) make a couple of good-sized jars – it’s truly amazing how much yield you get. This is not a photo of my tree, but my tree is the same species (there are a few different types of Kumquat). When my tree is in full fruit it looks identical.

my kumquats.jpg:

Some of my earliest childhood memories are of returning home from primary school in England and finding the whole house perfumed with sweet citrus aromas, and seeing big pots of seville orange marmalade bubbling away on the stove, the steam misting up the cold windows of the kitchen. I am carrying on the tradition, and I think my mother would be proud of me.

Here’s my recipe. It really works well.

Kumquat Marmalade

Kumquats look like miniature oranges, and although they are closely related to the citrus species, they belong to a different genus altogether.

my kumquat marmalade:

Whereas most citrus fruits are considered sub-tropical, kumquats are very hardy and grow easily in home gardens. The round, ornamental variety of kumquats are common, but the more firm, oval variety are generally the ones available in Australian fruit markets. Whatever variety, all kumquats yield a delicious marmalade which is both refreshing and tangy. It is a favourite with those who don

Bill Clinton Now a Vegetarian

Bill.jpg:

Yes, apparently it’s true. For now…

“…Second only to his sex life, Bill Clinton’s hearty appetite for Big Macs and pork barbecue has for years fueled late night comics and produced several of David Letterman’s funniest skits.

Now, it turns out, our 42nd president is going vegan – almost. In interviews with CNN and Willow Bay, Clinton says he has eliminated nearly all meat and dairy products from his diet.

The questions were prompted by Clinton’s loss of 24 pounds before escorting daughter Chelsea down the aisle at her recent (vegan gluten-free) wedding.

“Well, the short answer is, I went on essentially a plant-based diet,” Clinton tells CNN in an interview airing Wednesday night. “I live on beans, legumes, vegetables, fruit. I drink a protein supplement every morning. No dairy.”

Bay asked Clinton, who is 64, if No. 42 looks forward to having grandchildren.

“I’m trying to stay healthy enough to have ’em,” Clinton replied. “That’s what I want to do . . . My travel schedule has cut back on my exercise some, which is frustrating to me. But, I follow a pretty strict diet and I try, you know, to limit how much I eat and what I eat . . .

“Once in a while, I’ll eat fish but not often because I’m trying to be one of those experimenters. Since 1986, several hundred people, who have tried essentially a plant-based diet, not ingesting cholesterol from any source, have seen their bodies start to heal themselves, break up the arterial blockage, break up the calcium deposits around the heart.”

Clinton underwent bypass surgery in 2004. On CNN, he described his new eating habits as “no meat of any kind, no chicken, turkey. I eat very little fish. Once in awhile I’ll have a little fish.”

The 42nd president’s appetites made for a memorable “Clinton at McDonald’s” Saturday Night Live skit, featuring a non-stop talking Clinton clad in a University of Arkansas sweatshirt.

David Letterman once did a “live” broadcast of Clinton’s motorcade screeching to a stop so the president could reach out of his limousine and accept delivery of a pizza.”

Chups Without the Fush

Sandra from Christchurch, New Zealand wrote me yesterday: “Hello Kurma, do you have any secrets for making chips that are crisp outside and soft inside? I love your website by the way.”

My reply: “Thanks Sandra. I receive a lot of letters on this subject. Here’s the step-by-step process”:

perfect chip:


Step One

Begin by choosing the right kind of potatoes. This is the most important step. In different countries the ideal chip potato has different names. The best potato for chips should be neither too watery nor too high in sugar, which respectively give it a crispy texture and a light golden colour. In Australia, many feel Bintjes are the best, in UK it’s King Edward. Not sure about USA. Or New Zealand for that matter. But you get the picture. Whatever the name, choose a floury potato.

Step Two
Peel the potatoes, slice, and cut the slices into even batons. In different countries, the preferred chips can be thin or thick. Again, it’s a matter of taste.

Step Three
Once you have cut the chips you should rinse them thoroughly to remove the excess starch. Pat them dry with a clean tea towel or paper towel. Some even soak them in water first, before rinsing. Either way, they must be completely dried.


Step Four
This step is called blanching; the chips are fried at 160°C (some prefer 170°C) for 4-6 minutes and lifted out just as they start to colour. Make sure you use clean oil to fry in (sunflower is good as it has a high smoking point). Personally, I like ghee. It has an even higher smoking point, and tastes divine. Not cheap, but the very, very best, taste-wise.
To assure the correct oil temperature: if you do not have a mini deep-fryer at home it’s worth investing in a thermometer to take out the guesswork.


Step Five

So we’re frying the chips in batches, allowing the oil to recover its heat before submerging the next batch. Don’t overcrowd. The chips will be cooked on the inside but not crisp. Crisping comes next.

Step Seven
After the initial batches of chips are all fried and set aside, increase the oil temperature to 180-190°C.

Step Eight
Cook the chips a second time, again in batches, allowing the oil to recover its heat in between batches.

Step Nine
Continue to fry until the chips have a nice crispy golden exterior.

Step Ten
Drain on some paper towel, lightly season with sea salt and serve immediately.