Thursday, February 21, 2013

Aloo Tikki with Banana Raita

aloo tikki One of the tings I like about the Herbivoracious Cookbook is that there is a wide variety of ethnic dishes to try. From Asian to Mexican to Indian. The recipe I chose to try next was another one from the appetizer section, Indian potato fritters (aloo tikki). I also made the banana raita sauce which was recommended in the description.

I've had a food mill for a long time and never got around to using it until I made this recipe.  I have never used one before but seen it done many times and wasn't too hard to figure out.  After boiling the potatoes I put them through the food mill to make the mashed potatoes for the fritters. The blade of the mill lies about a half inch from the grate so there was quite a bit of potato that didn't go through so I manually pushed it through the holes. I'm not sure if that is typical or not but it seemed like a lot of extra work to get all the excess through.

After looking back at the recipe I may have used more cayenne pepper than the recipe called for.  I remember thinking it was a lot when I added it but the recipe only calls for 1/2 tsp and I'm thinking I added more than that.  The batch I made was very spicy but not inedible. The sauce is yogurt based which is great for cooling your burning tongue off if its too spicy.

The specs you see in the sauce are the toasted mustard seeds. The recipe called for black mustard seeds but I only have yellow and brown and didn't want to buy a 3rd kind so just went with the brown.  I don't use mustard seeds often and it might have been the first time I've used the seeds. They are so small I was thinking they would get caught in my teeth but they didn't seem to. They gave a nice little crunch to the sauce.

I love potatoes so I had to try this recipe and I enjoyed it for the most part.  It could have been a little less spicy but that was probably my fault for being so spicy and not the recipe.  There's also a recipe for blue potato tarts that is tempting but I need to move onto the next section and make a soup.
  Banana Raita Ingredients Banana Raita

Thursday, February 07, 2013

Smoked Asparagus and Panko Crusted Eggs

Herbivoracious Cookbook 
It's been a while since my last one so I figured it was about time I start another cookbook project.  I decided to go with Michael Natkin's herbivoracious cookbook which I received at a Seattle Blogger Event last summer. Michael also has a great blog so be sure to check it out. His cookbook is filled with vegetarian friendly dishes that are not dull or boring. You won't even miss not having meat. You can always fix these recipes as side dishes if you really gotta have your meat.  In 2010, I tested out an Asian noodle dish which you can find on page 168 of the cookbook called Loaded Otsu Noodles.  I highly recommend it but you'll probably need to visit an Asian food market like Uwajimaya to find all the ingredients for it.

I'll be trying out one or two recipes from each of the categories in the cookbook. I'll photograph and even do some videos to share on my blog and if I made any dietary changes to the recipe I'll make a note about it.  The first recipe I tried was from the Appetizers section and was a combination of eggs and asparagus.

I bet not many people have smoked food indoors; it was a first for me.  The asparagus turned out great and everything but I'm not sure I'll do it again because it filled the kitchen with smoke that lingered for days. I covered a steamer pot with aluminum foil to keep any smoke from escaping through the lid and I tried to be careful and not let too much smoke out of the pan when I removed the asparagus.  I even took it outside to let it air out but quite a bit still got out when I was taking the video of the smoking pot.  I wasn't sure if I should soak the wood chips or not. The recipe didn't say to so I ended up not soaking them but there are other recipes that suggest soaking them. I'm not sure it makes that big of a difference.  The asparagus was drizzled with a gastrique which was supposed to be made with sherry vinegar but I ended up using balsamic since I didn't have sherry.  It was my first time making a gastrique and I gotta say it was pretty tasty.

The other part of the recipe was panko crusted eggs.  I try to eat gluten free as much as possible but I just couldn't find any gluten free panko at PCC or Whole Foods but I know they exist, just not locally I guess. They might have some at Uwajimaya, I didn't check there.  I also unvegetarianized the recipe by using bacon fat instead of vegetable oil.  I don't use vegetable oils anymore and primarily use coconut and olive oil but I know those doesn't work very well for frying so I decided to go with the bacon fat. It gave the eggs a nice bacony flavor so it worked pretty well. I'll definitely make the panko crusted eggs again.  It's a 3 step process which I show quickly in the video. The egg gets dipped first in cornstarch then egg and then the panko before it's fried and crispy.  They don't make for very good leftovers so be sure to just make enough to eat right away.

I'm looking forward to trying out more recipes from the cookbook. Michael also has a great food blog so check it out at
Asparagus egg prep Asparagus and eggs