Posts tagged ‘indian’

40 minute simple as anything curry

Ryan’s 40 minute simple as anything curry

  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 tsp finely minced ginger
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp red pepper (adjust accordingly)
  • 1 can (14oz) coconut milk
  • 1-2 medium potatoes, cubed 3/4 in
  • Either 2 chicken thighs, strip-cut or 3/4 lb tofu, lightly fried
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt to taste
  • Raisins, chutney, etc.
1. Sautee shallot, garlic, ginger in olive oil for about 10 minutes on low heat
2. Increase heat to med and add meat; brown (about 10 more minutes)
3. Add coconut milk, plus 1/5 the can in water (to rinse out the awesome)
4. Bring to simmer, then add potatoes and spices
5. Simmer until potatoes are soft, add salt to taste
6. Serve with white rice and raisins or chutney

with chicken and spring onion instead of shallot

By Ryan an IT analyst living in Houston who enjoys a good meal, both preparation and consumption. $43,000 away from being a professional chef, he dabbles and learns from reverse engineering popular dishes and drinks. Owns a ridiculously stocked bar. Is currently planning a wedding with fiancée (when you pay for it, you better know where the money is going), enjoys ghost hunting, travel, and spending way too long on the Internets.


April 9, 2008 at 8:05 pm 1 comment

Nirvana Café, Sri Lankan food in Manhattan


I would describe Sri Lankan food as spicy and pungent (which may scare off people more than the spice part). These were from a visit earlier this month but I was sidetracked by other stuff, so finally here are the pictures from the Nirvana Café 218 3rd Ave New York, NY 10010. (Menu)

We missed the lunch buffet but there is the dinner special. Get one entrée and the second one is half off.


Passion fruit cordial and Faluda (mixture of milk, rose syrup, and jelly). The sweet drinks really helped to curb the spice load.


We had the Appetizer Assortment (platter of three cutlets, spring rolls and vadais/lentil cake). The cutlet is like a knish with tuna, I really liked it. The spring rolls were good with the spicy dipping sauces. The lentil cakes were hard and I didn’t really care for them.


We really filled up too much on the appetizers. So the Eggplant Moju side was really unnecessary. It’s a deeply caramelized dish of onions and eggplant, its okay, would’ve been better paired with plain rice.



For entrées; I had the String Hopper Kottu: shredded, steamed rice noodles sautéed with vegetables and egg served with fish curry sauce (had to contend with some small bones, not too many). Evan had the Lamprai: dutch-style savory rice accompanied with a curry, sweet-spicy onion relish (seeni sambol) fish cutlet, ash plantain and shrimp blachan (malay shrimp paste) wrapped altogether in a banana leaf. The shrimp paste gave it a really strong smell but the taste wasn’t as strong. It was a lot of food, we end up taking home half our plates and most of the eggplant. I had the Curd and Treacle (forgot to take pic) for dessert, it’s a tart yogurt drizzled with honey (good for digestion). Next time I want to try more desserts and maybe cut back on the appetizers.

lina-sm.gif – Lina

March 24, 2008 at 7:56 am 2 comments

Palappam, Indian rice pancake


According to wikipedia; appam’ is fermented bread usually prepared with finely powdered rice flour. Palappam has a crisp lacy edge from being cooked in curved pans like woks.

The first time I had tried them was at a Sri Lankan restaurant in Staten Island, they called them hoppers (not to be confused with string hoppers which I had done at another Sri Lankan restaurant).

An egg goes on every fourth one (optional?), and I tried to keep the yolk runny. I used the recipe from Salt and Pepper, a simple recipe with really helpful photos, using just rice flour, coconut milk, and yeast. From what is I saw of all the rest of the recipes online, you basically need some raw rice and cooked rice. I took 2 tablespoons of rice flour and cooked it with some water to form a paste, the “kurukku” part (to be mixed with raw rice flour, can of coconut milk, and yeast). It ferments overnight, so plan ahead. In the morning the batter was thick and needed to be thinned out. The first one stuck to the pan, but the rest worked out great. This broke in my newly seasoned wok. Overall, it was much easier than I had expected. Unfortunately I didn’t have a good Sri Lankan fish curry to go with it. You can also eat it with sweet accompaniments instead of savory. They have a slight tangy coconut flavor and fluffy texture.



March 16, 2008 at 5:10 am 3 comments

Restaurant Week NYC, a wonderful dinner at Dévi

My trusty cookbooks (by Suvir Saran owner/chef of Dévi)

First off, I didn’t bring a camera with me, and even if I did, it was really dark inside so I doubt I could’ve gotten any good shots. This week (and last week) is New York Restaurant Week. It’s a great opportunity to eat at some restaurants that you were saving for a special occasion but never got around to. Dévi (8 E. 18th St., New York, NY 10003) is a really nice though pricey (for moi) Indian restaurant near Union Square. I’ve been dying to go there for the past year, ever since I bought Indian Home Cooking.

This is the first time I ever ate at a Michelin star rated* (1 star) restaurant (I’m frugal). The Hubby and I got the prix-fixe three course dinner (menu). I had the Grilled Scallops (with roasted red pepper chutney, Manchurian cauliflower, spicy bitter-orange marmalade), the scallop (it was just one) and roasted pepper chutney had a great smoky flavor combo, followed by Tandoori Prawns (yogurt marinated with crispy okra salad and spicy eggplant). The Manchurian cauliflower was a great surprise, it was mind-blowing. You can definitely taste a Chinese influence and made me a cauliflower convert. The Pawns were succulent and the crispy okra was equally great.
The hubby had the Goan Shrimp Balchao Bruschettas (with onion-tomato marmalade, red chiles, vinegar, on brioche bread) and Poori aur Tari Wale Aloo (puffy bread, spiced potato curry, fenugreek chutney). We ordered extra sides of Garlic Naan (bread), Saag (spinach) with mushrooms, and Ragda Chaat (potato cakes, white peas, tamarind and mint chutneys), which were completely unnecessary but we wanted to taste as many things as we can in one go.
We were pretty stuffed before we moved onto desserts but that didn’t stop me from enjoying my kulfi falooda (Indian ice cream, falooda noodles, rose milk) and the goat cheese ice cream from the hubby’s fig cake (with wine macerated figs, mascarpone, ginger caramel sauce, goat cheese ice cream). We also had to try the mango lassi along with some Mint Lavender tea to go with dessert. At the end I was happily full and dying to try recreating the Manchurian cauliflower at home. In fact, we went straight to Whole Foods afterwards and picked up a head of cauliflower (I bought other stuff too, I’m sane, I swear!).
* but Thomas Keller’s Bouchon Bakery might count. Their pastries are heavenly.
lina-sm.gif L

January 29, 2008 at 6:38 am 1 comment

Tea in my cookie

(clockwise from the top; vanilla bean, ginger, black tea, cardamom, and black peppercorn)

During the month of December with freezing temps and holiday cheer, I had a great excuse to bake batches and batches of cookies. I tend to make cookies on the spur of the moment and with whatever I have lying around. My pantry always has almond and hazelnut flour on hand (great deals on packs 4 from Bob’s Red Mill on And due to certain events, I now have dozens of vanilla beans (I’m not complaining). I’m usually drinking green tea all day (everyday); but I do keep some black tea around. And my spice rack is always well stocked. All these factors combined made Vanilla Chai Cookies. I also made an almond sugar cookie, but the chai was the clear favorite during Christmas. The smell of warm vanilla and spices is still comforting for these mid winter days.

The idea of putting tea leaves into the cookies came from my favorite tea house, but that’s a whole other story for another time.


Vanilla Chai Cookies


  • a 2 inch piece of fresh ginger
  • 1 whole vanilla bean /or 1 tbsp of vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp of ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp of fresh coarse ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp of ground cloves
  • 3 cardamom pods /or 1/2 tsp of ground cardamom
  • 2 tsp of good quality whole black tea leaves


  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup of organic shortening(but u can use 1 stick of butter)
  • 1 tsp of baking powder
  • 1 1/2 cup of hazelnut(or almond) flour /or 1 1/4 cup of raw hazelnuts(or raw almonds) ground finely in food processor*
  • 2 cup regular white flour
  • 1 1/2 cup brown sugar(light or dark)
  • 1 to 4 tbsp of water(to bind)

In the food processor, throw in all the spices (and tea) + sugar, pulse then blend till the vanilla and ginger r incorporated.
Next add in all the butter, blend till it’s all incorporated.
Add the hazelnut flour and blend.
Add in the egg and blend.
Add in all the flour and pulse, adding some of the water, the dough should ball up.
Get out some plastic wrap and split the dough into 2 pieces.
Form it into 2 logs, wrap and twist up the ends. Maybe doubling the plastic wrap in case it doesn’t cover the ends. Each log should be roughly about 2 x 1.5 x 10inches.
Put it in the freezer for 15-20mins. When it comes out it should be firm enough to slice up into quarter inch pieces. If it’s too hard, leave it out for a few minutes. You can use one log and save the other in the freezer for quite a while.
Preheat oven to 350; place cookies on parchment lined cookie sheet. They might expand up to 50%, so space them out accordingly. Baking time should be about 10-13mins, keep an eye and nose on it; the smell is a good indicator for doneness. If the dough was warmed by the time it goes into the oven, it could be done under 10min. If it’s a wider log or thicker slices it might take up to 15mins or more.

* If you just don’t have or want nuts in it, use an additional 1 1/4 cup of regular flour + 1 tbsp of shortening/butter + 1/2 tsp of baking powder.

To make them more festive I dipped them in white chocolate and sprinkled with pink sugar.

dipped lina-sm.gif -L

January 17, 2008 at 8:09 pm Leave a comment

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