Thursday, July 3, 2008

Spicy Chocolate Truffles

for Eva

I'm going to shock you. Right now in the middle of your day, be prepared for some shock and awe. My relatives in India do not like chocolate. That's right. I thought it was genetically impossible to dislike chocolate until I discovered this fact sometime in my teens. And I was shocked and awed.

My relatives say chocolate must be an acquired taste and, to be fair, it tastes nothing like traditional Indian desserts. So I concocted this recipe to try and bring them over to the dark side. It has lots of chocolate infused with Indian spices and a little cayenne pepper kick.

8 oz semi-sweet high-quality chocolate (can be bars or chips)
1 14 oz can light sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp

For coating:
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

1. Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil
2. While water is boiling, break up chocolate bars into small pieces. If using chocolate chips, skip this step
3. Once water boils, turn off heat
4. Put chocolate pieces into a stainless steel bowl on top of pot of boiling water
5. Stir chocolate as it melts
6. Add condensed milk, cinnamon and cardamom, and stir until smooth
7. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let mixture cool down at room temperature for as long as possible (preferably overnight)
8. Combine cocoa powder and cayenne pepper in bowl to create coating
9. Using a teaspoon, dig out about 1-inch balls of mixture (use your fingers to shape which will be really messy but super yummy for cleanup afterward)
10. Roll each ball in coating
11. Let balls sit again at room temperature to harden for at least an hour

Makes about 20 truffles

Tuesday, July 1, 2008


According to an article in the New York Times, turmeric, a spice heavily used in Indian cooking, is the superstar of spices with anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties. Who knew? I guess it's worth it even though my counter is stained and my fingers stay yellow for hours.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Devil May Care Curry

for Lucy

This curry only looks devilish but actually tastes pretty sweet. It's easy to make and very healthy. Eat it true Indian style - with buttered naan with your hands! The bright-red sauce lends itself to much finger licking and sopping up with naan.

3 Bell peppers (preferably one green and two yellow)
1 Tbsp oil
1/2 tsp each of garlic powder, onion powder and paprika
1 can (15 oz) tomato sauce
2 Tbsp chopped, fresh coriander

1. Rinse peppers, cut in long slices and remove seeds
2. Put oil in pan, turn heat to medium-high
3. Fry peppers with lid on for ~15 min (until brownish and blistery)
4. Turn heat to simmer, add all spices and fry for 2 min
5. Add tomato sauce and simmer for 10 min
6. Once in serving pan, garnish with chopped coriander

Serves 4

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Random Thought of the Day

Have you ever noticed that most recipes serve 4, so if you have a third kid you're just screwed?

Monday, May 26, 2008

Cheryl's Famous Chicken Curry

This recipe made my mom famous in our neighborhood. Tot famu. She was the white woman who made the best Indian chicken curry. My sister and I loved it so much that we made a song and serenaded her:
"Hurry hurry chicken curry
Run to the dinner table"

Chicken curry also caused me to shock my Sunday School teacher in the way only a half-Indian, half-American kid could. When I was 5 and in Sunday School around Thanksgiving, our teacher asked us to write a letter to God telling him what we were thankful for. Most kids wrote boring stuff like "Thank you God for my parents" or "Thank you God for my new puppy and sunshine". I wrote in huge letters "THANK YOU GOD FOR CHICKEN CURRY." My teacher didn't even know what chicken curry was but she was pretty sure God was looking for a better answer.

So there you have it. My mother's recipe is an easier adaptation of my Aunt Indu's traditional Indian recipe - my mother's recipe has less ingredients, less chopping but just as much flavor. Enjoy!

6-8 skinned chicken thighs/legs
2 Tbsp oil
2 medium onions
1 can (14.5-16 oz) diced tomatoes
1 tsp each turmeric, curry powder, American chili powder, garam masala
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon, powdered ginger, ground allspice
salt, red pepper and black pepper as desired

1. Skin chicken
2. Put oil in pot and heat to a medium temperature
3. Fry onions till brown, about 8-10 mins
4. Add turmeric and curry powder then fry for 1 minute
5. Add tomatoes and fry for 5 minutes
6. Add chicken and cook for 30 minutes
7. Now add cinnamon, ginger, chili powder, salt, allspice, red pepper, black pepper and garam masala
8. Turn down heat to a low simmer, cook for another 30 minutes

Serves 4

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

How do you say Patience in Hindi?

Patience, my dear readers! I hear you knocking down my door for the next recipe, but you can't rush the creative process. The artiste needs some time for thoughts and ingredients to simmer. Considering I didn't even really cook until last year, you all are lucky you got 4 recipes out of me already. Don't fret - I am busy in my kitchen perfecting recipes just for you. This week I tried out a new steak recipe with an Indian spice rub, mangoes and blue cheese. While it was quite tasty it was not excellent enough to post. I will not put a recipe up here unless it is certified deelish, by me. So the quest for the perfect Indian style steak recipe the meantime you might get some poems about ketchup and other condiments out of me. You know, just for kicks.

P.S. My dog Tyrus (pictured above) would like to counter the above statement that the steak recipe was not excellent. Some of it landed in his bowl which automatically qualifies it as excellent.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Keema Sloppy Joes

"Keema" means minced meat in Hindi and usually refers to a fabulous dish of minced lamb with peas. The dish is traditionally served with a side of rice. In our fusion version we've chucked the rice and instead serve the minced lamb on a hamburger bun, just like an American sloppy joe. Instead of ketchup we top the dish off with coriander chutney. Mmmm, mmm.

1 lb. ground lamb
1 cup uncooked peas, fresh or frozen
1 cup diced tomatoes
3/4 cup finely chopped onion
Tbsp finely chopped fresh ginger
tsp minced garlic
1 Tbsp olive or canola oil
1 Tbsp curry powder
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp each ground coriander, cinnamon, ground cumin, black pepper, red pepper flakes
1 Tbsp lime juice
1 tsp sugar
Coriander chutney
4 hamburger buns

1. Fry onion, ginger and garlic in the oil until mixture starts to brown
2. Stir in curry powder, turmeric, cinnamon, coriander and cumin
3. Add meat and cook until it loses all pink color (~5-10 mins)
4. Pour the fat out of the pan
5. Add tomatoes, lime juice, sugar, black pepper and red pepper flakes
6. Cover and simmer for 30 mins
7. Add peas and cook for 5-10 mins until peas are done
8. Separate finished keema equally onto 4 hamburger buns
9. Spread coriander chutney on top and serve

Serves 4