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Posts posted by nessa

  1. Just posting a picture or two of my Jaymes' Carnitas . Tee hee.

    Here they are, bathing in their savory glory:


    And a closer yet not quite clear picture of them after their long, arduous path to being bits of carmelized porky goodness


    Edited to add, I think I made them too "ita" and I'll probably make the chunks a bit larger next time. I'll also stir less so theres not as much fraying. Although those fried frayed bits were perhaps a highlight of the whole deal.

  2. Ok, as promised, here is my first attempt at channa masala. Please, be gentle.

    3 cinnamon sticks, about 3-4 inches long

    3 teaspoons cumin seeds

    1 teaspoon ground cumin

    1 teaspoon black mustard seed

    1/2 tsp nutmeg

    4-5 green cardamom dehusked

    1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds

    1-2 tsp ground corriander

    1-2 tbs red chile pepper

    1 tbs ginger paste or about a 3/4 inch of fresh ginger finger pureed

    5-6 cloves mashed well (I use a garlic press)

    1 large yellow onion chopped

    4 -6 cups chicken or turkey stock, or water.

    2 cups dried chickpeas

    3 curry leaves

    *note* all spices are approximate, please adjust to your tastes.

    Chop onion, and break cinnamon stick into very small fragments with a mortar and pestle.

    You can bruise the other spices in a similar manner but not the cumin seeds or the curry leaf.

    Take a few tablespoons of fat of your choice and cook the chopped onion until almost translucent, then add the rest of the spices, except the curry leaves, and brown them in the oil for a couple of minutes to release the flavors.

    Add some stock, or water if they start to stick.

    In a crock pot, (you can use a nice dutch oven or a pressure cooker) add the water and chickpeas, then the spice mix. add a couple curry leaves and let simmer overnight.

    When almost tender enough add the rest of the ingredients:

    6 oz can tomato paste

    13.5 oz can coconut milk

    5 curry leaves chopped

    Salt to taste and adjust seasonings.

    Let simmer for another hour or so until the peas are tender, and the sauce is the consistencey that you want.

  3. Hello Monica :biggrin:

    I'll hold off on the black salt for now, then. I have not yet advanced to the chaat portion of my exploration. At least not making it. I'm planning on making it to a chaat house? soon. I'm not sure what you call a place that primarily serves chaat.

    Thanks everyone for explaining!

  4. Gee thanks. Its only 8:50 AM and now I'm salivating and starving. :wacko:

    Thats it, I'm making aloo ghobi tonight. :wub:

    I don't have any Indian potato dishes yet under my belt, but I will by tonight :laugh: *note to self, use cumin, use cumin!*

    Edited to add:

    I forgot! I did make curried greens and potatoes. That was pretty simple. Darn tasty too!

  5. I tend to use the finger method too, for rice Japanese and Chinese varities, but the 2:1 ratio for long grains. I never bother rice once I put the cover on.

    I too am worried about weevils and other bugs. I live in Texas where its very humid, and weevils and the like can be a big problem.

    I already had a worm incident with my coriander seeds, so now I make sure I don't keep bulks spices on hand that are prone to such things. If I can't use it up within a month, its too much. So I worry about getting a huge bag. I know families who would go through the bag in a week or so, so its not an issue for them. But its just me and my SO, so.... do weevils bother rice? I'm not looking for another protein source.....

    I want to go back and get that bag of rice, I really do. And all the other things I talked myself out of, for that matter.

  6. I made carnitas a few weeks back with Jaymes' recipe, and they turned out absolutely fabulous. The liquid evaporated and left the pork stewing in its own juices, and rendering its beautiful fat. I did mine in the oven, in a big lasagne pan, covered. After a few hours, when the pork was tender, I removed the foil and let it go another hour or was it two..... I'll post pictures when I get home.

    My sweetie was rather concerned when he saw me cutting up the pork shoulder without removing any of the fat. Little did he know what a delicacy awaited him.

    tender, spicy chunks of carmelized goodness. I had planned on freezing some, after all, I made 7 pounds of the stuff. We ate them for just about every meal until they were gone. I'd even sneak them out of the fridge cold. :wub:

    I like that the meat got to simmer in tequila for a couple of hours, then fry in its own fat. The flavor really permeated the meat and I'm not sure that I've ever tasted anything quite so good. Thank you Jaymes, thank you, thank you, thank you!! This should fall under that category of something to make at someone elses house. Its dangerous!

  7. I want to dredge up this thread again, since I also am curious about sihndi salt and black salt. I saw black salt at the store and wondered what it was used for, and what flavor it imparted. Who wants to elucidate?

  8. This. Is. FANTABULOUS!!!!!!!!


    How amazing that there are so many, and so many names, so similar, and that they can be often interchanged. Looks like I bought channa dal, and last time, I had masoor (maybe red chief) and moong. I now see that moong are the yellow mung beans that are inside some of those delightful chinese fried sesame balls. THERE's an addiction....

    one more mystery unraveled.

    I saw those bengal grams and was terribly intrigued. I'll have to find a recipe for them now too. So many lucious legumes, so little time. There are just so many delightful ways to make legumes, its amazing that I ever get around to cooking meat. Good thing I bought asafoetida this time around......

    Again, thanks for this wonderful link. I have a page from them bookmarked for thai ingredients, but totally forgot about that site!

  9. I like to make a yeast dough, roll it out a bit, slather with pesto, sprinkle with parm and proscuitto cubes (teeny) then roll it up, let it proof and throw it in the oven. Yum! I too came on such and overabundance and did that, and also threw the chunks in an omlette or two.

  10. On another isle of Taj Imports, I found myself very perplexed.

    So many different types of legumes, so little time.

    So theres something labled channa on one side of the isle, and it looked like chickpeas/garbanzo beans. Then on the other side was something called channa but it was yellow and looked to be split.

    Chana/channa is a major source of confusion for me. When I read a recipe asking for chana/channa, do I use the yellow split looking number, or do I use chickpeas? Oily or dry? :unsure: I've been using chickpeas. I bought some of the yellow ones this time, however because its time to branch out.

    There were other yellow legumes, some had dal in the name, some looked split, others whole, there were red, green, black etc. There was even a Horse Dal.

    I figured it was called that due to its varigation looking like that of some pinto horses or appaloosas. Most of them I recognized as some kind of lentil.

    Does dal mean lentil, and channa mean bean?

    I have used a whole yellow... thing... it was sort of rice shaped, as opposed to lentil shaped. I forget its name. It could have had channa in the name somewhere? I used it with some of the red dal (masoor i *think*) and some chickpeas to make parippu vada. Yum. The person who gave me the recipe was verbally telling me the recipe, it wasnt written, and said channa. So I used what I thought was channa. It was really fabulous but I still want to make sure I'm using the right legume for the right dish, until I get experienced enough to mix and match with abandon.

    I've searched around on google but I'm still as in the dark as I was before.

    Can someone shed some light on Indian pulses for me? Where can I go, what can I read to demystify these protein packed powerhouses?

  11. I went to my Taj Imports this weekend and among other things, was perusing the vast rice selection. I nearly walked off with a 10 pound bag of "Aged Basmati" because it sounded quite delightful. But I didn't really know what it was, or if it was more flavorful, firmer, or whatever, than the plain-old-bulk-from-Central-Market-basmati that I have currently in my pantry.

    I just have a few cupfuls left. There is something decidely thrilling for me, about buying a big ol' bag of rice. It feels somehow... comforting and safe and I can't figure that one out. I ended up talking myself out of the purchase, but now regret it. I'm tired of feeling guilty for eating rice. Screw low carb. Nothing wrong with a half cuppa rice with my meal.

    So, anyway....

    What IS the difference between regular basmati and aged basmati?

    What about jasmine rice? I love the pop-corny smell of jasmine rice. They had that by the bagful too. There were bags upon bags of rices.

    How do you choose? What do you use? What do you like?

    Newbie Nessa Needs to Know. Tee hee. :cool:

  12. I will never again try to dispose of tofu gone bad down the disposal. Two bricks of the stuff. Apparently I clogged the kitchen sink. So out comes the plunger. Also, out comes gratuitous grungy grotnotonous slime from the drain behind the washer. Who knew they were connected. So now the kitchen smells like rotten tofu, and I was up half the night tryin to clean it up and fix it. Feh. I still dont know if its fixed. Hopefully the SO will know what to do when he gets home!

  13. I take pictures of my food just to have them. I mean, I share too, but I like to have a picture of it so I can look back and say "yeah, that was the first batch of vada I ever made. Awwww..." Its not sick to take pictures of your kids... and you created them, so why is is to strange that folks like to take pictures of other creations. Ok. So maybe its a little...... obsessive. SO WHAT!!

    Tee hee. Keep on clicking! Lovely blog you have here :biggrin:

  14. Monica, absolutely I want your recipe!! Purty please.

    JW46, I don't mind eating alone, if I have no friends who want to eat out with me. When my craving for Indian hits, it has to be assuaged one way or another. My SO's schedule differs greatly from mine, so I am often eating alone, either at home, or out, anyway. I just moved Dallas this past June, so I don't have many friends at all. Luckily all three of 'em are adventerous when it comes to food.

    I guess I'm just used to cooking for one. Well not really, I cook what I like, and then I cook what he likes, and sometimes the two meet in the middle. I do a lot of bulk cooking, then freezing portions so that I don't have to cook two meals every night! It doesnt seem at all like a chore to cook all weekend, and produce several dishes that are catered to each member of the household. It would be GREAT if he liked ethnic food as much as I did, but by gum, his lack of interest ain't gonna slow me down. :raz: Besides, its not like I gotta choke down the mexican food I make him.........

  15. Is it the spices, or the heat, that SO doesn't like?...wifey likes the spices, but I have to tame the Chilis down a couple notches...And almost no Cilantro...she hates that stuff..Can work around that...rather, has to work around that...

    I don't know. He likes cumin and chilies, garlic and onions, since he adores Mexican food. He doesn't mind heat. I think perhaps its just the combinations of the more exotic spices, but I just don't get it. He likes "curry powder" when I mix it with mayo for chicken salad. He doesn't mind cilantro in small doses.

    I give up. He didn't like vada, he didn't like the channa masala (loves hummus), he didn't like the sambar..... He wasn't wild about anything when we actually ate out in an Indian restaurant (once). He did however like the fried pakoras, and naan, I think. The way I work around it is to make him something else.

    I tend to just exclude him when I'm in an Indian mood. Thats what friends are for.

    I too need more slow cooked indian recipes. I've got some masoor dal that I have no idea what to do with. Suggestions?

  16. I don't have a pressure cooker, so just about all Indian food I make is slow cooked. Last I made was channa (sp) masala. Chickpeas. I gotta get all the channa/chana/dals straight in my head. I have to say, the house smelled great and I looked forward to it all day long. I ended up freezing most of it, because my silly SO doesn't care for Indian food. More for me. I had the last portion of it today and nearly cried.

  17. I discoverd injera a week or so ago at one of our local Ethiopian groceries. I bought a huge package of it and really didn't know what to do with it all. I made a beef wat, of sorts, and it was fabulous with that. So what to do with the other 4.75 pounds of it? I froze most of it, but left out a quarter of it. I decided to see how well it fried. Its *#$%$@%^& AWESOME!!!!!

    I cut it in thick strips and fried it, and have plans to dip it in hummus if there happens to be any left over. I keep wandering into the kitchen to snag a strip and munch. Thin, crunchy, sour... its really quite divine.

    Has anyone ever tried this? I fried them in the same oil that I used for frying vada, so the oil imparted some lovely flavors.

  18. I have had the fortune to discover the local Ethiopian community this past week.

    I had a really long and detailed post but the power went out about 3/4s the way through so this is the condensed version. I have found two Ethiopian stores in East Dallas. They are both very friendly and willing to teach a newbie like myself all about the spices, cuisine and culture. One store, the newest, is at the corner of Easton and Garland. They have a lot of dollar store junk, but also apparently, the basic spices and ingredients needed for most Ethiopian cooking. These folks rather took me under their wings and explained the spices to me and how to use them. They have berbere, koroset, shero, met met a, Corarima (grains of paradise), various legumes etc. and fresh Injira. They said they would be serving food next week, as their kitchen is still being worked on. I'll be back for sure. The other store is on the corner of Easton and NWH. They had a variety of spices, legumes, fresh injira, sauces, inscencse, meat, dresses, and other stuff. These folks are also quite friendly, and said that the Ghion Ethiopian Restaurant at 7001 Fair Oaks Ave Ste 519 was quite good. I got adventurous after my visit to the first store and made some beef wat which I greedily consumed with the injira. I like toasting the injira a bit first, I’m going to fry some later this week and see how that goes with hummus. They sell them in these huge packages, between 4 and 5 dollars each, depending on the store. Each package weighs about 5 pounds. Far more than I can consume, so I quartered them and froze most. I’m so excited to have made this discovery, so for a while I’ll be experimenting with Ethiopian cuisine.

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