Thursday, June 26, 2008

Green Chili

Another recipe from the old blog, finally tranferred to the new.

I have noticed that I tend to veer towards dishes that are curry based, since I can let them simmer on the burner for a few hours and let them cook themselves. I also tend to make Indian dishes with non-Indian ingredients or vice-versa. My sister came by this past weekend, and she always looks forward to what I am going to feed her. A teenager who has grown up in the US, she loves all kind of foods, one of which is Chili.

Regular Red chili is essentially small cubed beef in a red tomato-based sauce- unfortunately, I couldn't make that, since my husband is Hindu and wont touch beef. So I opted to make a Green Chili, with American ingredients, but an Indian twist.

And this is what I used:
  • 1/2 lb ground turkey (you can substitute ground chicken)
  • 4 small tomatillos (you can substitute green tomatoes)
  • 2 medium red onions (you can substitute white or yellow, but red brings an Indian-ish flavor, I believe)
  • 1 tsp ginger-garlic paste (from your friendly neighborhood Indian grocery store, or just pound together 2 garlic cloves with 1/2 inch of ginger root)
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala (optional) 1
  • /2 tsp oregano, crushed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp powdered cumin
  • 1/2 cup of fresh corn kernels
  • 1 bunch cilantro, cut very fine Salt & pepper to taste.
And this is what I did:
- Oil the bottom of a large pan, and brown the ground turkey, along with the ginger-garlic paste and bay leaves.
- While the meat browns, process the tomatillos and onions to a coarse, 1/2 cm x 1/2 cm size- do not puree!
- Once the turkey becomes a light brown, add the tomatillo and onions, and let cook until they begin to brown- about 15 minutes. Turn frequently, and do not let burn.
- Add all the remaining ingredients (except the cilantro), and 1/2 a pint of water. Bring to a boil, then let simmer for a good 1-2 hours.
- After about 1 hour, taste. A tomatillo is essentially a berry, and native to the Pacific South West and Central America. (See: Tomatillos are very sour, and you may find that your chili is sour as well. In which case, you should add another 1/2 cup of fresh corn kernels or 1/2 cup of fine cut onions, and some salt.
- Another 1/2 hour of simmer, and the chili should be extremely thick, not runny in the least- add in the cilantro and if using, diced green onions. turn off the heat.
- If it looks too chunky to you- and yes, it is no more than a very chunky soup- feel free to use a immersion blender- but keep in mind that a smooth soup is not chili at all: DO NOT over process.

And this is what it looked like:

I served the chili with a salad of leafy mixed greens, shredded rotisserie chicken, and croutons, tossed with fat free ranch and garlic salt to taste. You could also serve it over white rice, toast or with crackers. Sis loved it- hubby ate it, which in itself is a victory since I got him to try turkey, which he wasnt enthusiastic about in the first place! Maybe one day he will learn to love sushi as well..... now that I know is just wishful thinking :D

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Guess who's been visiting....

Looks like some folks from work are visiting this and my other blog fairly often- which makes me wonder if I should be minding my ps and qs for the present and the future....not going to happen- especially since only good, clean fun (or mostly so) are featured in any of my posts :D

I have only 1 week to go before I leave my current job. I have absolutely no regrets, but its funny how my friends and even relatives, once they know I am leaving, call and ask me in a furtive whisper, "what happened? is everything OK?."
My response: "Everything will be ok soon- I am only trying to make more money and reduce some work pressure!" As one of the biggest accounting firms in the world, my soon to be ex-firm is a good place to begin at, but not one to live out your entire career at- but then, that's only my opinion- I know folks who've been here their entire careers, and love it. But I am not like them, and accepting that, it was a fair decision to move on to different pastures.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Another milestone down- another highway coming up

It is time to say goodbye to my current firm, and move on to other things. And what better way to commemorate this move than with a beloved song from a very beloved movie and book:)

Jokes apart, its not been a bad ride at all- but it was just time to get on to another one :) Thanks for all the fish folks! :D

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Summertime Rocks

My new favorite song (for the time being)- not sure about summer time, but the video does rock :)

Friday, June 6, 2008

Top Chef Season 4- finale June 11!

Top Chef is a huge guilty pleasure for me- and while I have not been watching Season 4 religiously (I've seen like 4 episodes of 13), I am on tenterhooks about the finale next week!

My vote goes for either one of the ladies: Stephanie or Lisa. Of the two, Stephanie is the more calm, collected, professional and better cook- but she is so darned perfect, that I do wish Lisa would win- snarly, hang-dog, bitchy attitude not withstanding. The bad girl's got to win sometime!

Thursday, June 5, 2008


This is the 1st of the recipes I published at Apni, being moved to its appropriate location, away from the movie blog.

I'm not a great cook. But I like to cook. And I like to cook fast, without spending too much time on the stove, using ingredients I like. Most importantly, I cannot cook stuff I dont like to eat myself :D

One of my all-time favorites is chhole (stewed chick peas). Reading the recipe, any purist can tell that I use a lot of short-cuts- but that's fine by me since my only attempt is to make it taste like mom's- which it does :D

Best thing about this dish? Slow cooking, no fat, tons of flavor.

What I used:

1 can chickpeas, rinsed
2 tomatoes, diced or crushed
2 red onions, minced
1 green chillie, minced
1 tsp turmeric
1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste (as always, available at your friendly neighborhood Indian grocery)
1 tbsp garam masala, OR prefereably: 3 cloves, 3 green cardamoms, 2 black cardamoms, 1 stick cinnamon, 3 whole black peppers, & 1/2 tsp dhania (coriander) powder).
1/2 tsp red pepper powder
1/2 bunch fresh coriander, minced
Juice of a lemon + 1/2 red onion, diced
Salt to taste

Optional: a peice of dried mango (Amchur, from your friendly neighborhood Indian shop)

And this is what I did:
- In a deep-bottomed pan, throw in the diced tomatoes, keeping the heat at a medium. Stir frequently, letting the tomatoes wilt a bit- their juice should prevent sticking.
- Now add in the minced onion, and stir to prevent sticking. Adding a tsp pf oil helps at this time- while I hate adding oil, a lil bit doesn't hurt.
- Once the onions turn golden, add the whole spices (if using). If you are using just the garam masala, skip on ahead without adding that right now. Let the whole spices toast with the onions till you can smell them, then add the rinsed chickpeas, green chillie and turmeric to the pot, and let sit for a few minutes.
- Once the water from the tomatoes and chickpeas evaporates, stir to avoid burning. Add some salt and red pepper. Add the Amchur, if using.
- Now add about 1 point of water to the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the pot to a simmer, and let it bubble gently for about 1/2 hr.
- In about 1/2 hr, the chickpeas should disperse a bit in the liquid, which should have thickened. if you like it thinner, add more water, and give it a boil.
If you want the gravy thicker, then simply take out 1/2 cup of chickpeas, run through your processor and add the minced chickpeas back to the pot. Or just use the side of your spatula to mash the peas in the pan a bit.
- Once you have the consistency that works best for you, add the garam masala, and adjust for salt and pepper. Add more garam masala if that rocks your boat.
- Throw in the diced red onion, lemon juice and fresh coriander, and remove from heat. The onion will continue to cook in the heat of the pot, thus removing any sharp raw taste.

And this is what it looked like:

Alternative beans: You can do exactly the same thing for Kidney beans (Rajma), or black-eyed peas (lobia).

Serving Options: In India, tThis is normally served with bhature (puffed fried leavened bread). I don't like making the fried bread- 1) I suck at it, 2) it's very oily, so why learn to make it in the first place?. I serve the chick peas over rice/regular parathe (pan fried unleavened bread- I really just toast instead of fry)/store brought naan bread/by itself as a snack in individual bowls ;)

Tuesday, June 3, 2008