* Most of the South Asian food that I cook I make by taste. Quantities are more suggestions… start with a lesser amount, taste, and add more depending on your personal preferences.
** I also have a personal love affair with garlic and cilantro and put it in almost everything. Don’t feel pressured to do the same unless you have the same love affair.
4-6 potatoes, peeled and boiled until they can be mushed up
1 onion, diced (I usually use white instead of red) feel free to substitute with scallions
1/3 small bag of frozen green peas
2-3 cloves of fresh minced garlic
1-2 diced green chilies
1/2 teaspoon (or more) of ginger paste
1-2 heaping handfuls of minced cilantro
1/2 teaspoon (or more) of turmeric powder
1 teaspoon (or more) of cumin powder
1/2 teaspoon (or to taste) of salt
a bit of olive oil… to moisten the potato mixture and make it soft instead of dry and crumbly (add at the end after all ingredients are mixed together)
Mush softened potatoes as if making mashed potatoes, add spices and mix (I find kneading with my hand an easier way to mix, sometimes I add the frozen peas ahead of time to cool down the mixture and make it less uncomfortable on my hands). Mix potatoes until an even turmeric-yellow. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix until an even consistency.
Watch this video for advise on how to fold momos in wrapper and steam (skip to minute 2:45 for start of folding). Although you can make your own wrappers, we have always found it easier to buy wonton wrappers at the store (particularly asian markets, but also at regular grocery stores in the vegetable aisle). Round wrappers are easier to work with than square.
Spicy Tomato Momo Achar
To be honest, P, AS and S are the achar making gurus… so next time we make momos I’ll take notes and post the recipe, I promise!
1 ½ cups gram flour/besan (made from chickpeas)
½ tsp salt
1 tsp cumin
½-1 tsp chili powder
½ tsp garam masala
1 tsp minced garlic
1 cup of water (or less)
Handful of fresh cilantro, chopped
Vegetable oil for frying
Vegetables for frying- works well with: whole button mushrooms, pieces of chopped onion, bite-sized cauliflower florets, eggplant slices, whole chilies, slices of potatoes, etc
Mix dry ingredients in a bowl (gram flour, salt, cumin, chili powder, garam masala). Add enough water to make a paste the consistency of thick yogurt. Add garlic and cilantro and mix well.
Prepare oil for frying vegetables (temperature should be medium-hot).
Dip slices/pieces of the vegetables in the batter and generously coat. You can bunch vegetables into sticky clumps, or coat vegetables separately in batter. Put coated vegetables in the oil and fry approximately 30 seconds, or until the batter starts to turn brown. Let cooked pakora sit on a plate with a paper towel to blot off access oil. Continue process until all vegetables and batter are gone. Serve warm with ketchup, salsa, chutney/achar or hot sauce. Serves 4-6.
1 can chickpeas, drained
2-3 handfuls of raw bean sprouts
1 small (I usually use white) onion finely diced
1 med. tomato diced
1 large green pepper diced
1 chili diced (optional for spice)
Large handful of chopped cilantro
approx. 1 ½ tsp olive oil
approx. 1 ½ tsp lemon juice
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
¼ tsp minced garlic
1/8 paprika or chili powder
Mix all salad ingredients in a large bowl. Mix dressing separately then pour over salad, and mix. Add extra salt and lemon juice to taste.
Serves approx. 4-8 depending on serving size
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 onion, diced
1 bell pepper, diced
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 large potato, diced
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
2 ½ cups milk
1 ¼ cups vegetable stock
1 ¾ oz broccoli or cauliflower florets
3 cups frozen corn
¾ cup Cheddar cheese, shredded
Salt and pepper to taste
Feel free to add chili powder, paprika or diced chilies to spice it up a bit if you would like!
Handful of fresh chopped cilantro
Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the onion, bell pepper, garlic and potato and sauté over a low heat, stirring frequently, for 2-3 minutes.
Stir in the flour and cook, stirring for 30 seconds. Gradually stir in the milk and stock.
Add the broccoli and corn. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly, then reduce the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until all the vegetables are tender.
Stir in ½ cup of the cheese until it melts.
Season with salt and pepper, garnish with remaining cheese and cilantro. Serves 4.
1 butternut squash, peeled and cut into relatively small chunks
1 med onion, chopped
½ tsp minced garlic
1 tsp butter
4 cups of vegetable broth
¼ cup heavy cream (whole milk also works just fine)
Salt and pepper to taste
Brown onion and garlic in butter, then add squash. Add 4 cups of vegetable broth and cook until squash is soft. Add salt and pepper to taste. Puree squash and onion mixture in food processor or blender until smooth. Return to pan.
Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring in the ¼ cup of heavy cream (or milk). Add more salt and pepper if desired.
As soup sits and cools it will thicken, so you might want to add a little more broth before serving. Serves approx 4.
2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon yeast
1 cup warm water.
Mix together and kneed for 2 minutes. Let sit and rise while you prepare the toppings of your choice. Makes enough for a large 16 inch pizza. Pre-heat oven to 500 degrees. Pop in the finished pizza for 8-10 mins.
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 egg whites (you could beat them first to make them fluffier but you don’t have to, I don’t usually do it)
2 cups of milk
1 tablespoon of melted butter.
Mix and put in the waffle iron, probably 1/2 cup at a time. Makes about 6.
Chukauni (spicy potato yogurt salad)
5 boiled and peeled potatoes, cut into bite sized chunks
pinch of salt and a squeeze of lemon juice (to quickly season potatoes)
2 tablespoons oil
1/2 teaspoon teaspoon fenugreek seeds
3-4 cloves of diced garlic
3-4 green chilies chopped
pinch of turmeric
1/2 chopped onion
1/2 tablespoon cumin
1/8 tablespoon szechuan pepper (optional)
1/2 tablespoon red chili
1/2 Tablespoon coriander powder
pinch of black pepper
pinch of garam masala
approximately 1 cup of plain yogurt
generous handful of chopped cilantro
Add the pinch of salt and lemon to the chopped boiled potatoes, put to side.
In approximately 2 tablespoons of cooking oil fry fenugreek seeds, garlic, 2-3 green chilies, and turmeric until the fenugreek seeds turn black and the garlic browns. Add to the potato mix.
Add the rest of the ingredients to the bowl and mix. You can add as little or as much yogurt as you would like depending on personal preference, although I think less yogurt is better than more.
Makes a nice side dish for approximately 6 people.
I know you can make hummus with tahini paste, but since I don’t usually have that in my cupboard, I’ve been using a recipe for years without tahini that tastes great.
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
½ cup vegetable broth
½ tsp of lemon juice
1 tsp of minced garlic
sprinkle of paprika or chili powder
salt and pepper to taste
Put all ingredients in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth. Serve with toasted pita bread, tortilla chips or fresh cut vegetables.
Nepali Multi-Bean Soup
Often served during festivals and holidays!
1 package of dried multi-beans (usually packaged for 9 bean soup)- soak beans in a large bowl of water overnight before use
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp of minced garlic
2 fresh green chilies, split lengthwise
½ tsp turmeric powder
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 tsp salt
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
2 tsp ginger powder
1 ½ tsp ground coriander
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp cumin
½ tsp chili pepper
2 bay leaves
2 handfuls of chopped cilantro
Drain and rinse the soaked beans.
Heat butter in a heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, green chilies, and turmeric and fry for 10 seconds. Add the onion and cook, stirring constantly, until lightly browned, (about 7 mins).
Mix in the beans and salt stirring from time to time, until lightly fried and access moisture from the beans has evaporated (about 5 mins).
Add the tomatoes, ginger, coriander, garam masala, cumin, chili pepper, and bay leaves and cook until the tomatoes softened (about 3 mins).
Stir in 4 cups of water and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover the pan and simmer. Check occasionally to see if the water has evaporated or the beans are soft. If not, add more water and continue cooking, covered. Beans should be ready in 45 mins-1 hour.
Add cilantro before serving. Can be served with rice. Makes 4-6 bowls.
1 readymade pie crust
1 cup of heavy cream
2-3 generous handfuls of shredded cheese
(filling option 1)
3 small tomatoes
Large handful of chopped basil
(filling option 2)
2 small tomatoes
1/2 small onion diced
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1/8 tsp salt (to taste)
1/8 tsp pepper (to taste)
large handful of chopped cilantro
(filling option 3)
Be creative, you can but anything in quiche!
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
In a mixing bowl add eggs (beat until smooth), cream and cheese, mix until well blended. Add ingredients of either filling 1 or filling 2 and mix.
Fill pie crust. Bake for 45 min- 1 hr (but periodically check to make sure the crust is not burning and the quiche top is not turning too brown). Quiche is finished baking when knife comes out relatively clean and middle seems solid.
Serves approx 4-6
Rinse pumpkin seeds under cold water and pick out the pulp and strings (it is easier to do this before the pulp dries around the seeds–so shortly after you clean out the pumpkin)
Place the pumpkin seeds in a single layer on an oiled baking sheet, stirring to coat (you can also coat the seeds with non-stick cooking spray instead).
Sprinkle with salt (to taste) and bake at 325 degrees F until toasted, about 25 mins (although check periodically and stir around after 10 mins).
Let cool and store in an air-tight container.
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup or more of raisins
1/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon caraway seed (optional- I never use them)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in raisins.
Mix in beaten egg. Pour in milk and mix with a fork to make a soft dough (may need a little more milk).
On a floured surface, shape dough into a ball and knead lightly 5 or 6 times. Roll out dough to 1/4 inch thick and cut into squares and triangles with a knife (approximately 2 inches in diameter). If you make the dough more flour-y you could use cookie cutters to cut out shapes.
Bake for 12 to 14 minutes or until slightly browned.
Makes about 24.