Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Tried and Tasted - Tasty Palette's Mor Kali

Mor Kali

Suganya's ears must be ringing. I mean, everyone's talking about her. It's gossip of the nicest sort. This month, Tasty Palettes, her easy-going, beautifully photographed and vegetarian friendly site, is the featured blog for Tried and Tasted. If you've never "Tried and Tasted" Suganya's recipes, now is the time. The event, created by Zlamushka's Spicy Kitchen, and hosted this month by Sweatha of Tasty Curry Leaf, visits different popular blogs for the expressly delightful purpose of choosing a recipe from the archives to prepare, photograph and write about. It's like a global test kitchen, but without the attitude.

Mor Malagai (Curd Chile)
Mor Malagai (Curd Chile), the mor in mor kali.

Given time constraints and my love of fermented flavors, I selected Mor Kali, a South Indian savory rice flour and buttermilk pudding, as thick and creamy as mashed potatoes, and almost as fast as opening a box of dried spud flakes, thanks to Suganya's clever and accurate microwave instructions. There is real genius here. I have never been fond of microwaving, preferring the precision of gas burners and attentive hands-on cooking, although I will admit, the bulky black box is unrivaled for a fast fix of popcorn or pappadums. Anyone who can convert me, however incrementally, to the joys of microwave cooking deserves a medal. And anyone who can present a recipe rich in protein and calcium with the homey comfort of starchy carbs must take a bow. I topped my freshly prepared meal with a fried egg for breakfast, and enjoyed the leftovers later for lunch with a bean stew, warmed... in the microwave. Thank you, Suganya.

Mor Kali 2

~~~

Been There, Done That ~
Arhar Dal
Mango and Tomato Curry
Adrak Ka Shorba

Other People's Eats ~
Carrot Coconut Vada
Palak Chole and Dry Gobi Manchurian
Bharwan Alu
Cabbage Poriyal

Monday, March 30, 2009

Lima Bean and Artichoke Soup - My Legume Love Affair - Ninth Helping

Lima Bean & Artichoke Soup
Light yet rich, a creamy garlic-herb broth is a
spring fling of flavors for tender beans to bob in.


Baby Lima Beans
Dried baby white lima beans.

Lima Bean and Artichoke Soup - My own recipe

Ingredients

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 level teaspoon dried rosemary, lightly crushed
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups vegetable stock
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon salt (optional, depending on salt level of stock)
1 14-16 ounce can artichoke bottoms, drained (hearts can be substituted, but expect a more fibrous texture)
1 cup milk, half and half, light or heavy cream, or any combination of them
3 cups home-cooked or canned lima beans (I used 1 1/2 cups baby white dried beans, soaked overnight, drained, then cooked slowly in 8 cups fresh water until tender, about 2 hours.)

Method

In a large saucepan over low heat, swirl olive oil then add rosemary and garlic, cooking them just until fragrant and barely golden. Add vegetable stock, bay leaves, salt and artichoke bottoms. Bring to boil, then reduce heat to low. Cover saucepan and simmer 30 minutes. Remove from heat and uncover to allow steam to escape for a few minutes. Discard bay leaves. Transfer the contents to a blender container, covering securely. Purée until smooth, about 30 seconds. Return soup to saucepan, then add milk and lima beans before gently heating through over lowest heat, about 5 minutes. Adjust for salt, if necessary. Ladle into bowls or mugs and serve with bread sticks, croutons or toast points. Serves 4. --
Lima Bean & Artichoke Soup

This easy, nourishing soup is for Laurie of Mediterranean Cooking in Alaska, hosting My Legume Love Affair for March, the Ninth Helping. It's not too late to send her one of your remarkable recipes; the event officially closes tomorrow, March 31, but Laurie will accept after-hours posts as long as the round-up has not been published.

~~~

Been There, Done That ~
African Peanut and Yam Soup
Hungarian Mushroom Tarhonya Soup
Leblebi

Other People's Eats ~
Tomato, Lentil and Coriander Soup
Fasolatha
Black Bean Soup with Fried Egg

Thursday, March 26, 2009

CLICK - Wood: Curd Chiles

Curd Chiles in Carved Rosewood
Curd Chiles in Carved Wood

This is my non-competing photo entry for Jugalbandi's CLICK - Wood. I have the pleasure of helping to judge this month's event. Please click the link for full details. There is still plenty of time for you to shoot and submit. Good luck to all the participants.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Make Me Bake

Glass Cake Dome

Spring cleaning has come just a tad early this year. There is no fine green haze of tender leaf buds tipping my borough of trees yet, and hardly a thick and rubbery stem pushing up from now friable soil to splash a frilly head of pastel flower. March is straddled and struggling between two seasons and as nondescript as a zoo without a lion or lamb. This, of course, will change, and typically at a moment's notice. I refuse to miss one second of it, vigilant at the window, scanning for a sign of sweet, new life that will compel me to seize the day, to grab my camera and go. So it is now that I am organizing my space in anticipation of abandoning it: bending, lifting, crawling and hauling to dust and stylize a home that has been suffering a benign neglect over the gray dormancy of the last few months. It is backbreaking work, none so straining to the spine as the collection of my cookbooks. There are well over a hundred of them now, and hunting them down, scuttling under bed, tables and chairs in an ungainly limbo dance before dragging them back to their proper, sturdy shelves has been a bit of an ordeal.

You'd think I'd be able to bask in the reflection of all those slick book jackets lined up in crisp military formation, but I have a greater task at hand. And this is where I need your help. I am scheduled to bake for a literary-minded food-blogging event by April 4. I've long ago selected the author, the novel, the character, and the scene, but I am paralyzed to fix my focus on a flavor. My cookbooks are no help at all, because they are too many. It will be a grand cake, in keeping with the occasion of the story, but outside of the general style, the choices are staggering. I have painfully narrowed them down to three: nut, fruit or chocolate, and have fashioned a ballot box in the sidebar of this blog for you to vote your personal favorite, available through March 27. I would be very much obliged to you if you weight in on this sweetly important issue and will be keenly motivated by the result. I hope you will enjoy the interactive play as much as I already am in gleeful anticipation. You could even look at it this way: this is probably the only time you will ever be able to make me do anything. Seize the day.

Friday, March 13, 2009

MY LEGUME LOVE AFFAIR - EIGHTH HELPING - THE ROUND-UP

At last. Another cavalcade of incredible legume recipes to wow, inspire and make you just plain hungry. Thank you very much for your spirited and creative participation, as well as your patience in allowing me to work through some recurring technical issues which began late last month.

Please let me know if there are omissions or errors that I need to correct; I'll make the changes as soon as I hear from you.

Laurie of Mediterranean Cooking in Alaska is hosting this month's MLLA9. Please keep her in mind when you are preparing your next bean dish.

I'll be back in touch with all of you who would like to host in 2010. Thanks so much for your keen interest in this event!

~~~~~~~

For those used to the gentle flavor of steamy, salty green soybeans, prepare to
be delighted by Mediterranean flavors that will set your tastebuds tingling.

Edamame Pesto Spread
Laurie - Mediterranean Cooking in Alaska
Anchorage, Alaska, U.S.A.

~~~~~~~

Seitan makes the protein count soar in a bowl
of beans accented with Asian ingredients.

Best Vegan Chili
Meg - Becoming Whole
Cape Elizabeth, Maine, U.S.A.

~~~~~~~

A dull day is brightened by a surprise spread of warm and
fresh Middle Eastern classics served by a secretive cook.

Falafel in Pita Pockets
Anu - Chandrabhaga
U.S.A.

~~~~~~~

The ease of black-eyed peas is just one more reason to
embrace a healthy and hearty dish from mom's kitchen.


Bean curd lollipops dipped in creamy sesame sauce
will tempt even those who are timid to try tofu.

Tofu Croquettes and Hummus
Sunshine Mom - Tongue Ticklers
India

~~~~~~~

Five different dals spotlight a dish known in an
Indian state where more than one river runs through it.

Panchratani Palak Dal
Asha - Aroma!
North Carolina, U.S.A.

~~~~~~~

Canned fruit comes in very handy when recreating
a special recipe from thousands of miles away.

Halasina Kayi Ghashi
Asha - Aroma!
North Carolina, U.S.A.

~~~~~~~

Juggling motherhood and homemaking isn't easy, but a clever cook
can slip in a quick, nourishing lunch without it feeling like extra duty.

Red Beans Gravy
Hema - Salt to Taste
New Jersey, U.S.A.

~~~~~~~

A thick, rich curry warms the belly after an
intrepid walk through a winter wonderland.


Get the rice ready as a fragrant pot of spicy-rich
peanuts gently bubbles on the back burner.


~~~~~~~

Summon the sun back no matter what the wind chill
with a skillet full of hot and glowing tropical tastes.


Deep frying makes quick work of delectably spiced morsels,
so crunchy-good you'll not want to wait for them to cool.

Cholar Daler Bora
Sukanya - How Am I Doing?
New Jersey, U.S.A.

~~~~~~~

Locally harvesting mushrooms add that extra magic
to a mound of rice mixed with creamy, quick-cooking dal.

Moth Dal with Mushrooms
Linda - Out of the Garden
Michigan, U.S.A.

~~~~~~~

A softly sweet but lively curry proves that trying times
call for less take-out and more stirring your own pot.

Spicy Green Lentils and Yellow Split Peas
Lisa - Lisa's Kitchen
London, Ontario, Canada

~~~~~~~

Beautifully mottled yellow eye beans add artistry
to a smoky and robust Southern-style meal.


A medley of chunky vegetables adds texture and color
to a simple stew enjoyed in many European countries.

Black Bean and Vegetable Ragout
Sweatha - Tasty Curry Leaf
New Jersey, U.S.A.

~~~~~~~

Dramatic when dry, an heirloom bean mellows to
tones that enrich a dish of distinctive Mexican flair.

Black Calypsos and Epazote
Lori Lynn - Taste with the Eyes
Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.

~~~~~~~

The scant handful of green gram goodness creates
a simple and delicate soup to sip on in five minutes flat.

Payatamparuppu
Easy Crafts - Simple Indian Food
India

~~~~~~~~

Red kidney beans bridge two cuisines for a
quick rice recipe as Indian as it is Italian.


A hot and snappy pea dish will give you something to "chaat" about,
even though you know you're not supposed to talk with your mouth full.

Pateele Wale Chhole
Bird's Eye View - Food and Laughter
India

~~~~~~~

Chinese cabbage and French beans make for a melting
pot of flavorfully spiced soup with great textures.


Soybean patties pass the ultimate taste test for those
who have the patience to be deliciously rewarded.

Gluten-Free Veggie Burgers
Rachel - The Crispy Cook
Schylerville, New York, U.S.A.

~~~~~~~

A tangy, aromatic salad helps a cook keep her commitment
to a new diet without the usual boring menu consequences.

Divya - Divya's Cookbook
Chennai, India

~~~~~~~

Coated in chickpea flour and chili, stir-fried peanuts pop with
flavor and crunch from a hot little pan to your hot little hands.

Masala Peanuts
Srivalli - Spicing Your Life!
India

~~~~~~~

Tiny taters and tender kidney beans honor a request for
something special from one family member to another.

Rajma N Baby Aloo Masala
Srivalli - Cooking 4 All Seasons
India

~~~~~~~

Call them appes, call them vadas, but don't call anyone late
to supper when savory, spiced dumplings are being served.

Black Gram Dumplings in Seasoned Creamy Yoghurt
Deepika - less sugar, please...for a sweeter life
India

~~~~~~~

Your choice of vegetables blended with a dry, crumbly
dal is a South Indian curry specialty that will be long
remembered after your bowl has run dry.

Bean Patoli
Rathna - Asvadha

~~~~~~~

Fragrant, fresh bay leaf plucked straight from the garden gives
a classic Indian recipe yet another variation on its theme.

Dal Makhani
Johanna - Green Gourmet Giraffe
Melbourne, Australia

~~~~~~~

Onion, garlic and peppers add Mediterranean aromas
sure to lure you to a platter of healthy, vegan-adaptable burgers.

Black-Eyed Pea Patties
Ivy - Kopiaste..to Greek Hospitality
Athens, Greece

~~~~~~~

Big, fat butter beans and assorted vegetables cuddle together in
a wildly aromatic gravy highlighted with a handful of herbs.

Gobi, Butterbeans N Mint Kurma/Gravy
Priya - Priya's Easy N Tasty Recipes
Paris, France

~~~~~~~

Crispy string beans match the snap of spices in a fast stir-fry
with a longer list of nutrients than you might initially think.

French Beans Fry
Lubna - Yummy Food
Bangalore, India

~~~~~~~

A hot and sassy condiment is worth the grind when
your mouth instantly waters just from reading about it.

Peanut Chutney
Lubna - Yummy Food
Bangalore, India

~~~~~~~

Tomatoes and toovar dal dance a tangy tango for any
audience appreciative of a great culinary performance.

Lubna - Yummy Food
Bangalore, India

~~~~~~~

Colorful red, yellow and black pulses simmer
down to a creamy, comforting curry that will
warm your heart with thoughts of Mom.

Maa Di Dal
Happy Cook - My Kitchen Treasures
Belgium

~~~~~~~

A magician in the kitchen conjures up a simple
soup sure to satisfy lovers of Latin flavors.

Pinto Bean and Vegetable Soup
Ben - What's Cooking?
Columbus, Ohio, U.S.A.

~~~~~~~

Broken-up veggie burgers meet a can
of kidney beans for a chili as high on
protein and tastes as it is convenient.

Vegetarian Chili
Super Chef - Mirch Masala
U.S.A.
~~~~~~~

A Punjabi spice mixture punches up the heat of delicate bean
sprouts bubbling carefully with easy-to-find ingredients.

Sabat Moong
Meera - Enjoy Indian Food
U.S.A.

~~~~~~~

Put that carton down! Wouldn't you
like to try your hand at milking
your own soybeans, just this once?

Homemade Soybean Milk
Lucy - Nourish Me
Melbourne, Australia

~~~~~~~

Touring the Indian landscape is fun but tiring. Thank goodness for
a refueling of rustic beans to carry you through to your next stop.

Mah Ki Dal
Sunshine Mom - Tongue Ticklers
India

~~~~~~~

Gorgeous green chickpeas can be prepared in many meals, but you'll
want to take a closer look before you get down to cooking them up.

Hara Chana
Bee and Jai - Jugalbandi
The Northwest, U.S.A.

~~~~~~~

Red and yellow wave a flag of tasty flavor and a trace nutrient
reported to enhance the heat in your own personal furnace.

Red Beans and Yellow Pepper Stir-Fry
PG - My Kitchen Stories
Hamburg, Germany

~~~~~~~

Giant creamy beans muscle into a meal guaranteed
to stick to your ribs as well as your satisfied tastebuds.

Rangooni Val Curry
Pavithra - Pakashale
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.

~~~~~~~

A famous five-spice mixture mixes well
with mustard oil and masoor dal. It
will make you go "Mmmmmm...."

Simply Seasoned Red Lentils
Soma - e Curry
Plano, Texas, U.S.A.

~~~~~

Although your tongue might twist pronouncing this BBB masala,
it won't be able to stop talking up its roasted AAA flavor.

Bisi Bele Bhath
Sia - Monsoon Spice
U.K.

~~~~~~~

Slow roasting out-of-season tomatoes lends a rustic, summer
taste to a three-bean salad you will never find on your grocer's shelf.

Winter Panzanella with Preserved Albacore Tuna
Greg - Sippity-Sup
Hollywood, California, U.S.A.

~~~~~~~

Alms for the poor turn out to be a dish rich in recalling
a grandfather's storytelling at the family lunch table.

Boiragi Dal
Sharmistha - Cook-A-Doodle-Do
Hyderabad, India

~~~~~~~

Crispy, thick potato patties call out for traditional chickpea
gravy but won't complain with a fast and fuss-free alternative.

Spicy Red Kidney Beans
Apu - Annarasa (Cookbook Winner)
U.S.A.

~~~~~~~

Crinkly kale and golden chickpeas are as glamorous and
colorful a combo as they are vibrant with nutrition.

Chickpeas and Kale Stir-Fry
Sig - Live to Eat
Seattle, Washington, U.S.A.

~~~~~~~

A pretty assortment of pastel pulses, as smooth as ancient
pebbles, furthers the argument that beans are the rocks of ages.

Rock Soup
Ricki (my sister-in-law)
Delaware, U.S.A.


Ingredients


1 bag 16-bean soup mix (reserve seasoning for another use)
32 ounces beef broth
2 cups water
14 ounces crushed, canned tomatoes
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon Herbes de Provence
1 large onion
5 stalks celery with leaves
2 cups frozen mixed vegetables (corn, carrot, peas and green beans)
1/2 pound beef stir-fry meat
1 teaspoon olive oil
Method

Soak beans per instructions on the bag. Chop onion and celery, and cut meat into small cubes. Put olive oil in stock pot. Add onions, celery and meat, and brown until almost burnt. Add red pepper flakes and herbes de Provence, mix well, and cook 1 minute more. Stir in crushed tomatoes. Add broth and water. Add soaked beans, stir to combine, bring to boil, then turn down to simmer, covered, for 30 minutes. Add frozen vegetables and cook 10 minutes more. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve with crusty bread. Makes 6 servings.

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Generous splashes of lime juice and spices lend tang and heat to
a kidney bean and kale dish with distinctive Middle Eastern kick.

Someone's crunching in the kitchen. You'd be, too, on a batch of
brown clusters of split chickpeas and cabbage from the fry pan.

Chana Cabbage Pakoda
Seema - My Endeavors
Pune, Maharashtra, India

~~~~~~~

You can take the chorizo out of the stew, but you can't take out the
smoky flavor of a pot of lentils infused with the warmth of paprika.

Stewed Lentils
Olga - Olga's Recipes
Barcelona, Spain

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Chunky chickpeas are puréed into a savory, cilantro-flecked
paste for making burgers that think they are also buns.

The Perfect Veggie Burger
Arika - My Yummy Life
Biloxi, Mississippi, U.S.A.

~~~~~~~

Hot, sour and rich, a dal-based condiment can
contribute complete protein when paired with rice.

Kadle Bele Chutney
Mythreyee - Paajaka Recipes
Cupertino, California, U.S.A.

~~~~~~~

A little bit of this and a little bit of that equal a lot of good
eating when a cook tinkers to meet her particular standards.

Purè di Cannellini
Simona - Briciole
California, U.S.A.

~~~~~~~

Chopped golden peanuts crown a crowd of creamy-sweet
cupcakes that a mother and daughter can love.

Peanut-Topped Chocolate Cupcakes with Brown Sugar Frosting
Michelle - Big Black Dogs
Northern Illinois, U.S.A.

~~~~~~~

A classic Asian bean paste fills the bill for Lenten fare
as it fills layer upon layer of delicate pancakes.

Shrove Tuesday Crêpe Cake
Christine - Kits Chow
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

~~~~~~~

As dark and lustrous as black pearls, an Indian pulse
creates a family favorite that is a jewel of a meal.

Black Masoor Dhal
Renuka - Fusion
Tamilnadu, India

~~~~~~~

Red bean curry is just the comforting cure when
working hard in the kitchen is the last thing on your mind.

Rajma
Swapna - Cooking with Swapna
Germany

~~~~~~~

Ring molds make easy, minimalist elegance of
colorful, spiced towers of textures and tastes.

No matter what their origin, light and spicy crêpes ground
from fast-sprouting beans will make your mouth water.

Pesarattu
Rachana - The Gourmet Launchpad
U.S.A.

~~~~~~~

Slipping beans out of their skins is worth the work when you
have a lusciously spiced, nutty curry to look forward to.

Val Curry
Homecooked - Home Cooked
U.S.A.

~~~~~~~

Pesto's uniquely aromatic nuttiness enriches a traditional
Italian soup that will have you happy to stir the pot.


A Middle Eastern repast is ultra rich in iron when
prepared with the lovely green lentil from Le Puy.


Rustic home renovations are hard on everyone, but everyone can be
easily restored with a timeless classic of seasoned peas and pork.

Split Peas with Bacon and Onion
Katie - Thyme for Cooking, The Blog
Lot et Garonne, France

~~~~~~~

Chickpeas, fresh herbs and feta feel just right when
paired with a shimmering glass of juice from the grape.

Chickpea Salad
Kirstin - Vin de la Table
Oakland, California, U.S.A.

~~~~~~~

Four different peppers make their nuances
known in a lively, confetti-colored meal
that refuses to hold back the heat.

Mexican Style Rice and Beans
A & N - Delectably Yours,
Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.A.

~~~~~~~

Disenchanted with restaurant renditions, a cook confirms
that when it comes to the best recipe, there is no place like home.

Dal Makhani
Nags - Edible Garden
Singapore

~~~~~~~

What's in a name? A stew by any other name would
taste as sumptuously savory were it not Spanish called.


Mung, chiles and fennel join delicious forces
for a meal of moderate heat and maximum flavor.

Sprouted Mung Dhal with Fennel Seeds and Ginger
Snjezana - 101 Dalmatian Cats
Republic of Croatia

~~~~~~~

Looking a little red in the face lately? Maybe it's that
ferocious yet compelling curry decidedly not for cowards.

Super Hot and Spicy Kolhapuri Misal
Sia - Monsoon Spice
U.K.

~~~~~~~

Protein-packed pancakes couldn't be easier than
a three-ingredient batter poured on a hot griddle.

Green Peas Dosa
Rama - Foodzest's Weblog

~~~~~~~

A richly-spiced, rusty-red curry with a touch of
tang is only minutes in the delicious making.

Rajma Curry
Trupti - Recipe Center
U.S.A.

~~~~~~~

A thin drizzle of ketchup is all you need
to decorate healthy vegetarian burgers
generously seasoned with fresh cilantro.

Chickpea Cutlets
Mahimaa - Indian Vegetarian Kitchen
U.S.A.

~~~~~~~

A serendipitous find on a vegetable cart lightens the load
during a trudge through town while running errands.

Warm Broad Bean and Feta Salad
Sra - When My Soup Came Alive
Chennai, India

~~~~~~~

When it comes to chickpeas simmering in fragrant Italian
ingredients, one woman's soup is another woman's pasta.

Pasta e Ceci
TBC - The Budding Cook
U.S.A.

~~~~~~~

Peas and potatoes make an especially pleasing pair
when fried up in patties of warm spices and fresh herbs.


Flat and pale mochakottai beans mix nicely with
chunks of fresh okra fried up in an oil of bright spices.

Bhindi-Mocha Masala
Radha - In Kitchen
Singapore

~~~~~~~

Large and plump beans are pretty painted with pink, but more
beautiful still when stewed in a thick, spiced vegetable gravy.

Double Beans
Arundathi - My Food Blog
India

~~~~~~~

The raging blaze of eighteen tiny Thai chiles is brought
under control in a rich gravy of coconut, buttermilk and cream.

Paruppu Urundai Moru Kulambo
Rajee - Simply Innocence
Coppell, Texas, U.S.A.

~~~~~~~

Chickpeas bubbling in coconut milk is not the only soup
brought to the table for a home party of casual culinary sharing.

Pepper Coconut Corn Chowder
Kelly - The Pink Apron
Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A.

~~~~~~~

Burnished flavors and colors blend in a spicy, sour
gravy teaming toor dal with ripe red tomatoes.

Tomato Pappu
Pooja - Sai Kitchen
U.S.A.

~~~~~~~

A thoughtful mom crafts handmade and wholesome burgers that keep
a son and his friends content while waiting for winter to end.

Green Peas and Lentil Burgers
Uma - Vegan Orbit
New York, U.S.A.

~~~~~~~

A taste worth acquiring, bitter gourd belies a wealth
of health benefits hidden beneath its spiny skin.

Pitla Pavakka
Poornima - Tasty Treats
Santa Clara, California, U.S.A.

~~~~~~~

Naturally sour green mangoes make an already
tasty red lentil recipe particularly lipsmacking.

Masoor Dal with Green Mangoes
Sandeepa - Bong Mom's Cookbook
New Jersey, U.S.A.

~~~~~~~

Traveling the long journey from China to Germany,
soybeans enjoy a rousing makeover in an Indian kitchen.


Revisiting the best of far-away family homecooking is
sometimes as close as the frozen-food case of your grocer.

Avarekai Sambar
Sree - Happy Cooking
U.S.A.

~~~~~~~