Tag Archives: yogurt

Jordan…

Monday, July 15 –

I’m late on this post. I know it. SUPER late, really. To tell you the truth, I lost my mojo for this project somewhere along the last few weeks. I’m trying to get it back, but it’s a struggle. So here’s this one, and I will try my best to get back on photo(25)board with it…

This dinner was just BestestFianceEver and me, but we were hoping to have yummy leftovers for lunch. So we took a pound of ground lamb, one onion finely chopped, some garlic, some spices, an egg, and a grated carrot and mixed it altogether. It ended up being super, extra oniony – but that’s ok because we love onion. I made them into round-ish patties instead of balls because they tend to cook faster and more evenly on the stove. Then I threw them onto a hot pan that had a little coating of oil.

While those were cooking I started on the sauce. And I have to ask – how do you boil two teaspoons of water for several minutes? I have no idea. So I put two teaspoons of water into a coffee mug, put the saffron threads in with it, covered it with plastic wrap and microwaved it for three minutes. That was about as close as I knew how to pull that off. I took the wrap off and put the rest of the ingredients in and ended up doubling the lemon (so one whole lemon, juiced) and extra parsley.

BestestFianceEver made rice and a salad (yes, a salad – it was hot outside and it sounded good). Once the meat was done cooking we were good to go for dinner. The meatballs ended up super crumbly because of the meat-to-onion ratio, but the flavor was good. The sauce was still a little tasteless but it went pretty well with the caraway seeds in the meat. All in all this dinner gets a thumbs up.

Jordan
(recipe borrowed from the cooks at: http://khanapakana.com)

Jordanian Meat Balls

  • Lean Minced Lamb or Mutton 350 gm
  • Small Onion finely chopped 1
  • Garlic 1 clove
  • Fresh Thyme 1 tsp
  • Caraway Seeds 1/2 tsp
  • Paprika 1/2 tsp
  • Egg 1
  • Salt to taste
  • Black Pepper to taste
  • All Spice Powder 1/4 tsp
  • Carrot Grated 1/2
  • Oil as required for grilling

For the sauce:

  • Saffron Threads a few
  • Boiling Water 2 tsp
  • Fresh Parsley 2 tbsp
  • Lemon 1/2
  • Yogurt Unsweetened 1 cup
  • Salt to taste

Cooking Directions:      In a bowl mix the lamb mince, onion, garlic, thyme, caraway seeds, all spice powder, grated carrot, paprika, salt and black pepper along with the egg.    Mix well to combine.    Shape the mixture into approximately 16 balls and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes.    Soak the skewers in cold water.    Carefully thread the meatballs onto the skewers and grill on a well greased grill either charcoal or a grill pan and cook for about 10-15 minutes until meat is cooked through making sure to rotate the skewers whilst cooking.    For the sauce soak the saffron threads in the boiling water for about 10 minutes with a pinch of sugar, stirring occasionally.    Add 2 tbsp chopped parsley and the rind of 1/2 lemon along with the yogurt to the saffron and soaking water.    Transfer it all into a small bowl for serving.    Serve the ready meatballs with the sauce, lemon wedges and sprinkle with some more caraway seeds and fresh parsley.


Iran…

Friday, April 19 –

It was raining like crazy on Friday, and this dinner was just BestestFianceEver and me, so really, we didn’t have to make a big production out of it. Instead of grilling the meat we just put it in the marinade with photochopped tomatoes and onions, let it sit for a few hours, then baked it for a short amount of time on a high heat (leaving the middle of the meat a little bit pink). Served with rice and the spinach yogurt sauce, it was a simple, easy to make dinner. The spinach dip I cheated on measuring anything and just used a big handful of spinach, with a quarter of an onion, a couple of spoonfuls of yogurt, a few chopped garlic cloves, and some salt and pepper. Once mixed I put it in the fridge to sit until the meat was ready. Dinner was served! Thanks to BestestFianceEver with the help on the marinade and dishes (as always).

The lamb was tender, but didn’t have much flavor. I would have liked more punch out of the sauce. The spinach yogurt mix went well with the rice and lamb in one big forkful. I thought that all-in-all it went well, it just needed a little bit more kick. (But really, I usually always think that!)

Iran
(recipe borrowed from the cooks at: www.iranchamber.com)

Kabab Barg (lamb kebabs)

  • 800 grams boneless lamb
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 2 large grated onions
  • 1 clove of garlic (crushed)
  • 4 medium tomatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon saffron
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon sumac (optional)

Directions:

Prepare marinade: combine olive oil, lime juice, onions, garlic, saffron, salt and black pepper. Cut lamb into 1 cm thick and 4-5 cm long pieces. Do not remove all the fat as you will need it to melt. Marinate overnight (preferably 24 hours) in refrigerator. Container should be covered.

Thread lamb on long, thin metal skewers. Thread whole tomatoes separately on another skewer. Brush with marinade. Barbeque for about 5 minutes on each side, turning frequently. Serve hot with plain rice (Polow or Chelow) or on middle-eastern bread. If served with rice, some sumac may be sprinkled on.

Borani Esfenaaj (spinach yogurt dip)

  • 1 kg fresh spinach
  • 250 grams yogurt
  • 2 onions (thinly sliced)
  • 4 cloves of garlic (finely chopped)
  • 2 tablespoon cooking oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Directions:  Wash spinach and cut into small pieces. Fry onions and garlic in oil until slightly golden. Add spinach and fry together over medium heat until cooked. Let it cool down completely in the refrigerator. Add salt and pepper to yogurt to taste and beat the yogurt until. Add spinach to yogurt and mix well. The mix should be thick and homogeneous. Now this tasteful side-dish is ready to serve.


India… {Potluck!}

Saturday, April 6 –

There was SO MUCH FOOD. Oh my gosh. We had lamb korma, two types of chicken tikka, matar paneer, raita, gluten-free naan, gluten-free onion fritters, mango lassi, rice, gulab jamun, chutney, samosas, and a potato dish photo(8)that I missed the name of. There was a ton of people and we all ate so well there was much groaning and belly patting. I can’t even tell you how much fun it was to have so many cooks participate. Thank you, again, to everyone that cooked, ate, drank, and participated in the India potluck. Thank you to RubsWithLove and SirVJ for hosting this dinner!

Let me admit that this dinner was hard for me because I was having an allergy attack so bad that I couldn’t smell or taste anything. Ugh. I don’t recommend it. Four allergy pills and an air purifier later, I finally enjoyed the dinner.

I made the matar paneer recipe as it was written (however, I did not really measure the spices very well at all) but when I was all done it just didn’t look like the matar paneer that I was used to at restaurants. So I added coconut milk to it. But that watered down the flavor so much that it didn’t taste like anything other than coconut milk and a spicy-heat punch to the tongue. Not so good. So I kept adding the spices that the recipe called for trying to fix it. That worked… a little bit. I ended up dumping in curry powder and it fixed it just fine. I know I probably shouldn’t have messed with it, but it did not look like the photo – not one bit! In the end it turned out ok. Not my favorite, but ok.

The raita was easy to make and pretty much vanished because of how many spicy dishes we had. I am super glad that I made a double batch. Everything else was so good that I wanted to eat seconds (I didn’t, but I wanted to!). I definitely recommend Indian food as a great potluck idea for parties! Just make sure to have mints on hand after everyone is done eating.

India
(recipes borrowed from the cooks at:  www.sailusfood.com and www.epicurious.com)

Matar Paneer Recipe

  • 1/4 kg paneer – cube and saute in a tsp of ghee till lightly browned
  • small cup fresh green peas
  • 1 large onion, finely chop
  • ginger-green chilli paste (1″ ginger piece+3 green chillis)
  • 2 tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 3/4 tsp red chilli pwd
  • pinch of turmeric pwd
  • 1 1/4 tsps coriander pwd
  • 1/2 tsp kasuri methi (dry fenugreek leaves)
  • pinch of garam masala pwd
  • 1 tsp Kitchen King masala pwd
  • 1 tsp malai, top of milk
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp oil

1 Heat oil in a cooking vessel, add the onions and sauté, approx 4-5 mts. Add ginger-green chilli paste, coriander pwd, turmeric pwd, red chilli pwd and combine. Add few tbsps water and saute for a mt.
2 Add tomatoes and cook for 4-5 mts. Turn off heat and cool. Make a coarse paste.
3 Return this paste to the vessel, add a cup of water and bring to a boil. Reduce flame, add the green peas and cook for 6 mts. Add the paneer and malai and simmer for 7-8 mts. Add salt. Simmer for a few more mts.
4 Stir in malai, garam masala pwd, Kitchen King masala and kasuri methi and combine, cook for a mt. Turn off flame.
5 Let it sit for a while before serving. The gravy thickens, so at the time of serving, add a little milk and combine. Serve hot with rotis or naan.

Traditional Indian Raita

  •     1/2 cup plain yogurt
  •     1/2 cup chopped seeded English hothouse cucumber
  •     2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  •     2 teaspoons chopped green onions
  •     1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  •     1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

Preparation: Mix all ingredients in medium bowl. Season to taste with salt. Chill raita, covered, until ready to serve.


Fiji…

Friday, October 5 –

Fiji turned into a house full of friends, an entire kitchen full of food, and lots of empty wine bottles by the end of the night. We had: BestestFianceEver, Bestie Extraordinaire, Mistress Whiskey, MoneyShot, RubsWithLove, Sir VJ, GingerNuts, NoPoots, ChinUp, and MyBuddy. Bestie Extraordinaire and Mistress Whiskey made squash and chana dhal, MoneyShot brought a salad and wine, RubsWithLove made a ceviche, Sir VJ made crabby patties and a remoulade, GingerNuts and NoPoots brought wine and bread, ChinUp and MyBuddy made ginger fish and brought wine, and I made Fijian raita, chicken palau, and rice and brought wine. Holy goodness, it was a lot of food and wine!

I started by making the raita so that the flavors could sit and blend a little in the fridge. I grated the cucumber and lightly salted it and let it sit in a colander while I grated the carrot and chopped the jalapeno. Blended altogether in the yogurt it turned a pale orange color from the carrot juices. I wrapped it up and let it chill while I started on the chicken.

Starting the chicken dish I chopped an onion, the cloves of garlic, the jalapenos (keeping the seeds), and the chicken and set them separately in bowls. I also chopped half an onion and the cilantro for the rice. With the pan hot I put in the oil, then the onion and garlic, then the spices (using curry powder instead of curry leaves, but everything else as it is listed below). Once the onion was translucent and starting to brown I put in the rest of the spices and the jalapenos. In went the chicken and the salt. Left to simmer I moved on to the rice.

I changed up the rice so that I sauteed the onion, spices, and rice but then I dumped it all into my rice cooker. I knew I had someone that was coming over that doesn’t like to eat chicken and I wanted the rice available as a side without being tainted, so I kept them as separate dishes.

Did I mention there was a lot of food? Delicious, aromatic, mouth-watering food. The crabby patties with the remoulade were everything you ever wanted out of a crab cake. The squash and chana dhal was flavorful without being too spicy. It had a good, not-too-gooey texture. The chicken palau was spicy but a little dry. It could have been cooked for much less time. The ginger fish was moist, flaky, and simple in flavor, which worked really well with the rest of the dishes on the plate. The rice went with everything. The salad added a good crunch. And last but not least, the ceviche was so good that I can’t even properly explain it. Wrapped in butter lettuce with tender fish and a tangy sauce, it was perfect.

There might have been 11 of us, but we were all well fed that night. Three cheers to Fiji and their exceptional food!

Fiji
(recipes borrowed from the cooks at: www.angelfire.com and www.fijibure.com)

Fijian Raita

  • 2 cups light sour cream or yogurt
  • 1 cucumber, grated
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 green chili such as Serrano or jalapeno, seeds and stem removed, minced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • Salt to taste

In a bowl, combine all ingredients and mix well. Allow to sit for an hour to blend the flavors. Yield: 6 servings. Heat Scale: Medium

Chicken Palau (Pulao)

  • 1 whole chicken (cut in curry pieces)
  • oil 4 tablespoons
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 5 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • curry leaves – 6
  • cumin seeds (jeera) 1 teaspoon
  • mustard seeds (sarson) – 1 teaspoon
  • fenugreek seeds (methi) – 1/2 teaspoon
  • cardamom pods – 3
  • cloves – 3
  • cinnamon stick – 1 small piece
  • Palau masala or garam masala – 2 teaspoons
  • 3 chilies – chopped
  • salt to taste

For rice

  • water – 6 cups
  • rice – 3 cups, washed and drained well
  • ghee or oil 3 tablespoons
  • 1 onion
  • cardamom pods – 3
  • cloves – 3
  • cinnamon stick – 1 small piece
  • 1/4 chopped fresh coriander leaves (dhania)

Method:  Heat up a fairly large pot, add oil, then onion, garlic, curry leaves, cumin, mustard, fenugreek, cardamom, cloves and cinnamon stick. Cook for stir for approximately 5 minutes. You may add a little more oil if it sticks to pan. Add palau masala or garam masala and chili. Stir for a minute then add chicken. Stir for a couple of minutes. Add salt. Let cook for 45 minutes on slow/medium heat. Add 1/4 cup water if it sticks. On another burner heat up ghee [clarified butter]. Add onion, cardamom, cloves and cinnamon. Add rice and fry for approximately 5 minutes. You may add a little oil if it sticks to pan. Add water and let cook for ten minutes. Add cooked chicken. Stir all together and let cook for a further 10 to 15 minutes on low heat without opening lid. Lastly add coriander, stir and switch off burner. Adjust salt. Serve and enjoy.

Ginger Fish

  • 2-3 pounds of snapper, grouper or cod — or any firm white fish
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 T vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup Soy Sauce
  • 1/4 cup corn oil
  • 3/4 cups white wine
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 2 tsp grated fresh ginger root
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • parsley, coriander or slivered ginger root for garnish

Rinse & dry fish well. Cut lemon in half and squeeze, rubbing juice into fish, inside & out. Refrigerate for about an hour then rub with vegetable oil and place in a shallow baking dish. In a blender, mix thoroughly soy sauce, corn oil, white wine, garlic, sugar and ginger. Pour over fish. Bake at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes until the fish flakes easily and juices are opaque. Baste frequently with sauce. Garnish & serve. Yields 6 portions.

Squash and Chana Dhal

  •   1 cup channa dhal (yellow split peas)
  • 1 small yellow squash, peeled and sliced
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil or clarified butter
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seed
  • 1½ teaspoons red chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seed
  • ½ teaspoon crushed garlic
  • ½ teaspoon minced ginger
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup lemon or lime juice
Wash the split peas thoroughly and place in a pan with four cups of lightly salted water. Boil, uncovered, until the peas are soft, about 20 minutes. Add the squash and simmer for about 10 minutes, or until the squash is soft. While the squash is simmering, heat the oil in a saucepan and saute the onions for three minutes. Add the remaining ingredients, except the lime juice, and stir well. Continue to saute for 5 minutes.

Ethiopia…

Thursday, September 27 –

This dinner was equal efforts on the part of Bestie Extraordinaire (spicy mixed vegetable stew and wine), ChinUp with assistance by MyBuddy (chicken stewed in red pepper paste and wine), BestestFianceEver (dishes and cleanup), and me (spicy lentil stew, naan, rice, and plain yogurt). Three cheers for everyone making this dinner so delicious!

The spicy lentil stew was incredibly easy to make. I took the dried lentils and cooked them just like it said to on the back of the package (1 cup of lentils to 4 cups of water for about 35 minutes). I cooked the onion and garlic in plain butter instead of the spiced butter (I should really make some soon, I do love these spices…) until they were translucent. Then I added rounded tablespoons of all of the spices. Yes, I know that little t’s in recipes are usually supposed to be teaspoons, but I like things strongly spiced, remember? So tablespoons it was! In next went the tomatoes and the paste, some of the salt and pepper, and then the broth. I let it all simmer together until all of the other food was ready.

Everything was a brilliant shade of red – the veggie stew was brown with a hint of red, the lentil stew was red with a hint of brown, and the chicken was a brilliant shade of red with white little eggs floating on top. And the smell – mmmhmm. That’s what food dreams are made of. The dinner was supposed to be served with injera, but because of my terrible crohn’s experience with it the only other time I’d had it, I decided to go with naan and rice instead. With a dollop of yogurt on top, dinner was served.

I started off with the different dishes next to each other, but not mixed. In the end it was all scooped together and each of them blended together deliciously with the others. I was so excited for left-overs, let me tell you what. If you have a love for stews with a touch of spice, these are definitely recipes that you should think about making. Especially with the cold weather coming and the need for warm soup starting to settle in, save these to your computer!

Ethiopia
(recipes borrowed from the cooks at: www.whats4eats.com and www.interlog.com)

Yetakelt W’et (spicy mixed vegetable stew)

  • 1 c Onions; finely chopped
  • 2 Garlic cloves; minced
  • 1 T Berbere
  • 1 T Sweet Hungarian paprika
  • ¼ c Niter Kebbeh
  • 1 c Green beans; cut into thirds
  • 1 c Carrots; chopped
  • 1 c Potatoes; cubed
  • 1 c Tomatoes; chopped
  • ¼ c Tomato paste
  • 2 c Vegetable stock
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • ¼ c Parsley; fresh, chopped
  • 2 Batches Injera
  • Plain yogurt or cottage cheese

Saute the onions, garlic, berbere, and paprika in the Niter Kebbeh for 2 minutes. Add the beans, carrots, and potatoes and continue to sauté for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent burning. Add the chopped tomatoes, tomato paste, and the vegetable stock. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 15 minutes, or until all of the vegetables are tender. Add salt and pepper to taste and mix in the parsley. Serve with injera and yogurt or cottage cheese following the same serving and eating procedure as for Yemiser W’et. Servings: 6. Note: Try making this dish and Yemiser W’et for the same meal. In Ethiopia, it is customary to offer several stews at one time, and people eat some of each kind.

Yemiser W’et (spicy lentil soup)

  • 1 c Dried brown lentils
  • 1 c Onion; finely chopped
  • 2 Cloves garlic; minced
  • ¼ c Niter Kebbeh
  • 1 t Berbere
  • 1 t Cumin seeds; ground
  • 1 t Paprika; sweet Hungarian
  • 2 c Tomato; finely chopped
  • ½ c Tomato paste
  • 1 c Vegetable stock or water
  • 1 c Green peas; fresh or frozen
  • Salt to taste
  • Black pepper; fresh, to taste
  • 3 Batches Injera bread
  • Plain yogurt or cottage cheese

Rinse and cook the lentils. Meanwhile sauté the onions and garlic in the niter kebbeh, until the onions are just translucent. Add the berbere, cumin, and paprika and sauté for a few minutes more, stirring occasionally to prevent burning. Mix in the chopped tomatoes and tomato paste and simmer for another 5 to 10 minutes. Add 1 cup of vegetable stock or water and continue simmering. When the lentils are cooked, drain them and mix them into the sauté. Add the green peas and cook for another 5 minutes. Add salt and black pepper to taste. To serve Yemiser W’et, spread layers of injera on individual plates. Place some yogurt or cottage cheese alongside a serving of w’et on the injera and pass more injera at the table. To eat, tear off pieces of injera, fold it around bits of stew, and, yes, eat it with your fingers. Servings: 8

Doro Wat (Ethiopian chicken stewed in red pepper paste)

  • 2 lbs Chicken, leg and thighs, skinless
  • 1 Lemon juice only
  • 2 t Salt
  • 2 Onions chopped
  • 3 cloves Garlic, crushed
  • 1 T Gingerroot, peeled, chopped
  • ¼ c Oil, butter or niter kibbeh
  • 2 T Paprika
  • ¼ to ½ c Bebere paste
  • ¼ c Red Wine
  • ¾ c Water or Stock
  • ¾ c Salt & Pepper to taste
  • ½ to 2 t Cayenne Pepper
  • Option 4 Eggs hard-boiled

Mix together the chicken pieces, lemon juice and salt and in a large, non-reactive bowl and set aside to marinate for about 30 minutes. While the chicken is marinating, puree the onions, garlic and ginger in a food processor or blender. Add a little water if necessary. Heat the oil, butter or niter kibbeh in a large pot over medium flame. Add the paprika and stir in to color the oil and cook the spice through, about 1 minute. Do not burn. Stir in the berbere paste and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes. Add the onion-garlic-ginger puree and saute until most of the moisture evaporates and the onion cooks down and loses its raw aroma, about 5 to 10 minutes. Do not allow the mixture to burn. Pour in the water or stock and wine and stir in the chicken pieces, cayenne to taste, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 45 minutes. Add water as necessary to maintain a sauce-like consistency. Add the whole hard boiled eggs and continue to cook for another 10 to 15 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and very tender. Adjust seasoning and serve hot with injera bread or rice. Servings: 4-6


Egypt…

Wednesday, August 15 –

Last week’s dinner was a little painful, mostly because I was frying food and it felt like it was 90* outside. Ugh. But the dinner and the company more than made up for the torture in the kitchen. It was BestestEverFiance, Bestie Extraordinaire (who brought ciders and pita to share), and LittleLamb (one of my friends that I’ve known the longest that should get a huge kick out of that name).

I started this off by mixing the lamb with the onion and spices, letting it sit while I mixed the falafel mixture. Then I mixed the tzatziki mixture and put it in the fridge to stay cold. Once everything was prepped, I started frying the falafels. I chopped the chickpeas with a pastry cutter, so there were bigger chunks of chickpeas in the patties. But I tasted them as they were done frying and they still tasted like the falafel I was hoping to have. Bestie Extraordinaire helped to make a tomato/basil salad and formed the meat patties for me. The lamb patties went into the same pan that I cooked the falafel in. We toasted some pita in the oven and then brought everything outside to serve on the picnic table we have to enjoy the nice weather.

The falafel was perfectly browned, nicely seasoned, and had great flavor. They disappeared really, really quickly. The kefta were ok, in my opinion, but didn’t knock my socks off. I’ve definitely done better work with lamb before. I would have wanted more seasoning in them and a bbq flavor instead, if I made them again. The tzatziki was cold and delicious on everything we ate. The tomato/basil salad was a perfect addition to break up the fried flavors. And pita is always a good decision.

 

Egypt
(recipes borrowed from the cooks at: www.whats4eats.com and www.allrecipes.com)

Kefta (Middle Eastern spiced meatballs)

  •     Ground lamb or beef, or a mixture of the two — 2 pounds
  •     Onion, minced — 1
  •     Fresh parsley or mint, finely chopped — 1/2 bunch
  •     Ground cumin — 1 tablespoon
  •     Cinnamon — 2 teaspoons
  •     Allspice (optional) — 1 teaspoon
  •     Salt and pepper — to season
  •     Oil — 1/4 cup

Method:

Place the ground beef or lamb, onion, herbs, spices, salt and pepper in a large bowl and knead together well. Wrap in plastic and chill for 1-2 hours to allow the flavors to mingle and make the meat easier to handle.

Form the meat mixture into balls, patties or ovals the size of a small egg.

Heat the oil in a skillet over medium flame and, working in batches, sauté the meatballs until browned on all sides and cooked through. Browned meatballs can also be finished in a 350ºF oven.

Serve as is or in pita bread as a sandwich with tzatziki sauce.

Variations:

  1.     Keftedes (Greece): add some breadcrumbs and a little red wine to the meat mixture.
  2.     Köfte (Turkey): add some breadcrumbs and form the meat into a sausage shape on skewers. Oil the meat well and grill over hot coals.
  3.     Before frying, you can roll the kefta in some flour and shake off the extra to help them brown.
  4.     Experiment with different seasonings–coriander, cayenne, sesame seeds.

Falafels

  •     1 (15 ounce) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and mashed with fork
  •     3/4 cup panko bread crumbs
  •     1 small unpeeled red potato, shredded
  •     1/4 cup diced red onion
  •     2 cloves garlic, crushed
  •     1 egg
  •     1 tablespoon olive oil
  •     1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
  •     1 teaspoon lemon juice
  •     1 teaspoon ground cumin
  •     1/4 teaspoon salt
  •     1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  •     1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
  •     1 cup canola oil for frying

Directions:

Combine chickpeas, 3/4 cup panko bread crumbs, red potato, red onion, garlic, egg, 1 tablespoon olive oil, cilantro, 1 teaspoon lemon juice, cumin, salt, and black pepper in a large bowl.

Form mixture into 2-inch patties. Place 1/4 cup panko crumbs in a shallow bowl. Gently press patties into the crumbs to coat.

Heat canola oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.

Fry patties in the hot oil until golden brown, about 4 minutes per side. Set patties aside.

Tzatziki Sauce

  •     8 ounces plain yogurt
  •     2 tablespoons olive oil
  •     1 tablespoon lemon juice
  •     1/2 teaspoon salt
  •     1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  •     1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
  •     3 cloves pressed garlic

Comoros…

Friday, May 18 –

This dinner came with a huge sigh of homecoming. It was nice doing the potlucks and it was nice to have other people bring stuff and have them get creative, but the sense of happiness and peace I get from puttering in the kitchen to cook dinner for a few friends was overwhelmingly heart-warming. Not only that, but making a curry-type dinner always makes me think of home and comfort because of my wonderful parents, and sharing that warmth is priceless. So for this dinner we had Wonderful Boyfriend, Bestie Extraordinaire, MoneyShot, SlotMachine, WingWoman, and Officially Gangster.

So Bestie Extraordinaire and I chopped and diced our way through the prep for this dinner. With seven people for dinner we made nine chicken breasts, two and a half onions, eight on-the-vine tomatoes, eight garlic cloves, and four seed-in jalapenos. I cooked the chicken first, in batches, and then place them into a big stock pot. After the chicken was done I sauteed the veggies with the spices. While those were cooking I put the tomatoes in with the chicken and let it simmer for a while. I blended the two and added all of the yogurt and let it come up to a simmer. The yogurt-to-tomato ratio wasn’t quiet right, in my opinion, so I added a large can of chopped tomatoes. The spicing wasn’t quite right either, so I added some crushed red peppers, salt, and pepper. I also couldn’t find cardamom pods, so I just used the ground kind.

With rice ready to go, the green salad ready (thank you to SlotMachine for bringing it!), and the wine poured for everyone (thank you to SlotMachine and Bestie Extraordinaire for bringing the bottles!) we were ready for dinner.

Just like I hoped it would be, it was warm, spicy, and filling. I would definitely recommend this dinner for someone that’s looking for warm comfort food.

Comoros
(recipe borrowed from the cooks at: www.healthy-life.narod.ru)

Comoronian Chicken Curry (Poulet à L’Indienne)

  • 1 large chicken cut into serving pieces
  • 2 onions, finely sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 cm length ginger, grated
  • 8 tomatoes, blanched, peeled and chopped
  • 4 chillies, finely chopped
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 6 cardamom pods, crushed
  • 300 ml natural yogurt
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • Generous pinch of saffron
  • 50 g toasted slivered almonds
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

Cooking Instructions:  Fry the chicken pieces in oil until golden brown then set aside. Place the onions, garlic and chillies in the pan and fry until the onion has softened. Add the cardamom and cloves and fry for a few minutes more. Return the chicken to the pan and add the tomatoes. Mix the yogurt with the cumin and saffron and pour this mixture over the chicken mixture. Season with salt and pepper, cover tightly and simmer gently for 1 hour (add a little water if he mixture dries too quickly). Serve on a bed of rice, garnished with the toasted slivered almonds.