A monthly experiment.

Archive for the ‘Vegetarian’ Category

Kadhi Pakora

I have been away from the blog for a while; I need to get back into it. We are going to open it up with a nice vegetarian dish called Kadhi Pakora. Well, my take on Kadhi Pakora. I haven’t ever had them before, but I was surfing around looking at things and saw this recipe on Manjula’s Kitchen and realized I had almost everything to make this. So I have no idea how they are supposed to turn out or what you are really supposed to do with them, but I enjoyed them none the less.

Ingredients, this isn’t exactly Manjula’s recipe because I didn’t have everything, but it was close.

Kadhi –

½ cup buttermilk

½ cup heavy cream

2/3 cup gram flour (besan)

6 cups water

Pinch of asafetida (hing)

1/2 teaspoon fenugreek seeds (mathi)

1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds

1 teaspoon turmeric

2 tbsp red chili flakes

2 bay leaves

4 curry leaves

1 teaspoon salt

Pakoras:

1 1/2 cup besan (the recipe calls for 3/4 cup but mine was just water and it scared me so I added more until it became closer what I was used to, like a thin pancake batter. Maybe it is supposed to be super thin and watery?)

About 2/3 cup water

¼ teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

Okay so I combined the buttermilk and cream in a bowl and added the turmeric and 3 cups of water together and whisked the hell out of it until it was smooth. Then on the stove in a pot a heated up some oil and added the cumin seeds, the fenugreek seeds and the asafetida (good lord this stuff smells SO BAD when it’s raw. It’s literally like someone’s butt got stuffed in your face). Once the cumin seeds pop I added the chili flakes, bay leaves and curry leaves. After that I poured in the wet mixture and mixed. It got really thick really fast once it boiled so I added the last 3 cups of water, then it got really thin really fast. I guess this is normal. I got it to a boil and let it simmer for an hour. While that was happening I moved on to the pakora.

Note: While this was cooking it was so odd. It started out smelling like dead foot from the asafetida, then for some reason began to smell like a pumpkin pie. Then it mellowed out and smelled like something I hadn’t smelled before but I wanted to eat. It was pretty odd.

I whipped the besan, water, salt and baking powder for a long time until it was smooth and kind of silky. I got a few cups of peanut oil hot on the stove and began spooning in little bits of it. It was hysterical. As soon as a spoonful went in it fluffed up and became this fat little puffball. I fried them in batches until they were brown and took them out.

So now I’m looking at the kadhi and the pakora. All the directions said the khadi should be thick; mine wasn’t that thick, it also said to put the pakora in the kadhi for 20 minutes. I’m skeptical of this but the hell with it. I revved up the rice maker and got some rice going. Then dumped the pakora into the kadhi and stirred. Amazingly enough, they stayed fluffy and sucked up a little bit of the kadhi but for some reaons, the kadhi became thick and silky after about 20 minutes of sitting there with the pakora in it.

The rice cooker popped and I scooped a big pile of rice onto the plate and covered it with this awesome sauce and dumpling mixture. Who knows how you are supposed to eat it but it worked perfectly like this.

One last thing: I also read you can dip vegetables in this batter like tempora and fry then. Cauliflower pakora here I come. This batter is amazing and has a wonderful flavor and texture since it isn’t wheat but channa dal.

Baked breaded eggplant and white bean goodness

Alright so this one isn’t Vegan, but it’s the end of the month and I decided to add a bit of ovo-lacto into the mix, but just a bit. I did some breaded baked eggplant with a white bean topping. It came out really nice, crispy and soft at the same time. It is one of the reasons I love Panko bread crumbs so much. If someone knows a vegan way of getting the breadcrumbs to stick like eggs/milk let me know, I will switch to it.

Ingredients

  • 1 Japanese eggplant
  • 1 bag panko bread crumbs
  • 2 cups whole milk (so weird to be using milk again)
  • 2 eggs (ditto for eggs. I haven’t cracked an egg in a month)
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 can great white northern beans
  • Dried mushrooms (I used lobster, porcini, morel and chanterelles)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 small white onion
  • Olive oil
  • Oregano
  • Thyme
  • Rosemary
  • Flat leaf parsley

Preheat the oven to 400. Add the dried mushrooms to hot water and cover and set aside.

Tip: Use a small bowl for the mushrooms and just enough water for them to float, like a small cereal bowl. We want to use that water as our liquid later since it becomes wonderful mushroom broth.

Take some plates and put the flour on one plate, some breadcrumbs on the other and in a large bowl mix the milk and the eggs together.  Now to prep the eggplant cut off the tips, cut it in half and shave off the peel on 2 sides. We just want a flat side to bread, but don’t waste too much of it. Press each side of the eggplant down into the flour, give it a nice bath in the egg wash and then into the panko. Get a lot of bread crumbs on it, I mush in as many as possible. Lay them out on the sheet pan and pop them into the oven.

While those are baking drain and rinse the northern beans, dice the onion and mince the garlic. In a pan heat up some olive oil and toss in the onions and a bit of salt. When they are translucent add the garlic. When it is light golden add the beans and stir through. While the beans are heating up remove the leaves from the herbs and chop them up roughly. Add the herbs in and stir through. Now remove the mushrooms from the water, squeeze as much water as you can back into the bowl they were in. Chop them roughly and toss into the pan. Once everything is heated through and the beans begin to break down a bit, go ahead and add the reserved mushroom liquid (make sure no grit gets in) and simmer this mixture until it’s all reduced down. Smash some of the beans during stirring to get a nice thick sauce holding everything together. Salt and pepper to taste, you can also add some vinegar at this point to brighten things up, I would recommend using nice light white wine vinegar. At the last second chop some fresh Italian flat leaf parsley roughly and stir through.

Let’s turn our attention back to the eggplant. At this point it should have been around 20 minutes and the eggplant is done inside, we just need golden crispy outside. I switched to my broiler at this point, opened the oven door and drizzled some olive oil over my planks. With the door cracked open I watched them toast in less than 3 minutes, then I flipped them and did the same process.

Once they were golden brown and delicious I took them out, plated one with a nice mound of the beans and drizzled with olive oil. Enjoy!