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Potato & Tomato Curry - (Serves 4)



2 tablespoons clarified butter

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

1/4 teaspoon fenugreek seeds

1 tablespoon garlic, finely chopped

11/2 teaspoons ginger, finely chopped

1/2 cup red onion, chopped

1 teaspoon red chili powder

1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder

3large tomatoes, chopped

2 cups potatoes, peeled & cubed

Kosher salt

1 cup water

1/2 teaspoon Punjabi Garam Masala

1 tablespoon Cilantro leaves



1.  Melt the clarified butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat until it begins to shimmer.  Add the cumin and fenugreek seeds and wait until they splutter.


2.  Add the garlic and ginger, then stir until aromatic, 20 to 30 seconds.  Add the onion and sauté until it's tender and light brown.  Add the chili powder and turmeric and stir until the powders stain the oil, about 10 seconds.


3.  Add the tomatoes and sauté for about 5 minutes until they soften.  You can help this along by mashing the tomatoes with the back of the spoon.  Add the potatoes and salt, stirring well, then add the water.  Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to low; simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are cooked through and a bit crumbly.


4.  In the last 5 minutes of cooking, sprinkle on the garam masala and allow it to cook for 5 minutes.  Serve hot, garnished with the cilantro leaves.



Spiced Stuffed Eggplant - (Serves 4)


Masala Paste Ingredients:

2 tablespoons clarified butter, divided

1 cup red onion, sliced

1 teaspoon ginger, chopped

Kosher salt

2 teaspoons sugar

2 whole chiles, red or green

5 whole cloves, divided

1 (1-inch) cinnamon stick

Seeds from 1 small black cardamom pod

1/2 teaspoon peppercorns



Eggplant Ingredients:

8 long, thin, dark Asian eggplants, halved lengthwise

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 tablespoon cilantro leaves, chopped



Making the Masala Paste:


1.  Melt tablespoon of the clarified butter in a frying pan over medium heat until it begins to shimmer.  Add the onion and sauté until brown and crisp, stirring frequently.  Transfer the onion to a small bowl to cool.  Turn off the heat and return the pan to the stove.


2.  Using a mortar and pestle or spice grinder, grind the onion, ginger, salt, sugar, chiles, 2 cloves, cinnamon, cardamom seeds, and peppercorns until you have a smooth paste.



Making the Eggplant:


1.  Using a spoon, apply a thick layer of this paste to the cut side of each eggplant to stuff it.


2.  In the same frying pan, melt the remaining tablespoon of clarified butter until it shimmers.  Add the remaining 3 cloves and stir until they are aromatic, about 10 seconds. Reduce the heat to low and add the eggplants to the pan, cut-sides up.  Flip carefully 1 or 2 times until they are cooked through, about 12 minutes, depending on the thickness of the eggplants.


3.  During the last minute of cooking, drizzle with the lemon juice.  Remove from the pan and garnish with cilantro leaves.



Stuffed Bell Peppers - (Serves 4)



4 large green bell peppers

3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided

1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds

1 small red onion, finely chopped

1 green chile, chopped

1/2 teaspoon dried raw mango powder or 1 teaspoon lime juice

1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder

1/2 teaspoon red chili powder

7 oz. potatoes, boiled & mashed

1/2 cup green peas, blanched

1/2 teasp0on Punjabi Garam Masala or Garam Masala

Kosher salt

1 tablespoon cilantro leaves, chopped



1.  Slice of the tops of the bell peppers and set them aside.  Using a clean kitchen towel, wipe the surface of the peppers to ensure that they are dry.  Remove and discard the seeds and white membranes from the insides of the peppers.


2.  Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.


3.  In a medium skillet, heat 1 1/2 tablespoons of oil over medium heat.  Add the cumin seeds.  When they crackle, add the onion and sauté until softened. Stir in the chile, mango powder, turmeric, and chili powder.


4.  Add the mashed potatoes, peas, and garam masala.  Mix well.  Season with salt.  Continue cooking for 1 minute.  Turn off the heat and allow the mixture to col.


5.  Stuff the bell peppers with this mixture and cover them with their tops.  Set the peppers upright in a baking pan that will hold them snugly.  Brush with the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons of oil and place them in the oven.


6.  Cook for 20 to 30 minutes, until the peppers are tender and browned in spots.  Top with the chopped cilantro and serve with warm Indian bread, or as a side dish.



Stir Fried Green Beans & Coconut - (Serves 2)



9 oz. green beans

1 tablespoon coconut or vegetable oil

1 teaspoon black mustard seeds

1 medium red onion, finely chopped

10 curry leaves (optional)

2 green or red chiles, split in half lengthwise

Pinch of sugar

Kosher salt

1/2 cup coconut, fresh, or frozen & thawed, & grated



1.  Wash, trim, and chop the beans into 1/2-inch or smaller pieces.  Set aside.


2.  In a saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat until it's shimmering.  Add the mustard seeds and let them crackle. Add the onion and sauté until it's softened.  If it begins to brown, add a little water to the pan.


3.  Add the curry leaves (if using), and stir until they become aromatic, about 10 seconds.  Add the chiles and stir for an additional 20 seconds.  Add the beans and sugar. Season with salt.


4.  Cover the saucepan with a lid.  Heat about 1/2 cup of water until it's hot, and have it on hand for adding to the beans as needed.  Check the beans every 2 to 3 minutes, stirring carefully from the bottom of the pan,  If the beans begin to stick, add a few drops of water at a time to aid in cooking.


5.  When the beans are nearly done, but still crunchy, add the coconut and stir ell.  Continue coking for 2 to 5 more minutes.  Serve hot with Indian bread or rice.



Creamy Lentils - (Serves 2)



1/3 cup whole black lentils

2 tablespoons kidney beans

2 cups plus 2 tablespoons water, divided

1 tablespoon butter

1 1/2 teaspoons vegetable oil

1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds

1 (1-inch) cinnamon stick

2hole cloves

2 green cardamom pods

1 green chile, split in half lengthwise

1 medium red onion, finely chopped

2 teaspoons ginger-garlic paste

1 teaspoon red chili powder

1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder

2 tablespoons tomato puree

Kosher salt

1 tablespoon cilantro leaves, chopped

1 1/2 teaspoons fresh cream



1.  Soak the lentil and kidney beans overnight.  Drain.


2.  In a large pot, mix the lentils and beans with 2 cups of water.  Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, until all the beans are softened.  Stir occasionally, and add more water, 1/2 cup at a time, if the lentils are drying up while cooking.  When the lentils are finished cooking, use  large spoon to slightly mash the beans and lentils in the pot.


3.  Heat the butter and oil in a large saucepan over medium heat until the butter melts and the mixture shimmers.  Add the cumin seeds.  When they crackle, stir in the cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, and chile.  Add the onion and sauté until golden brown, then stir in he ginger-garlic paste, chili powder, turmeric, and tomato puree.  Turn off the heat and le the mixture cool until the oil separates from the spices.


4.  Add the lentils to the saucepan and season with salt.  Add 2 tablespoons water, then adjust the seasonings as desired.  Cook for 10 to 15 minutes over medium heat, until the flavors are blended.


5.  Serve hot, garnished with the cilantro and cream.

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