Monday, June 20, 2011

Vegetable and Paneer Kabobs

In honor of Father's Day, my family had the first of what is sure to be many barbeques for the summer. It's always great to have a tasty vegetarian option at barbeques...something other than plain old salad or coleslaw. I present to you my contribution to our family barbeque: vegetable and paneer kabobs. 

For measurements and the list of ingredients for the recipe, please refer to Entertaining From an Ethnic Indian Kitchen.  

Prep: If you are using bamboo skewers, soak them in water for at least half an hour.

In a medium sized non-reactive bowl, add yogurt, ginger garlic paste, lime juice, chickpea flour, cayenne, turmeric, ajwain powder, salt and 1 teaspoon chaat masala powder. Stir to combine.

Note: A non-reactive bowl is a bowl that will not have a chemical reaction with the foods that are placed in it. In this recipe, lime juice, which is highly acidic, would have had a chemical reaction with the metal in an aluminum bowl, giving the marinade a metallic taste...which you do NOT want! To sum up, do not use an aluminum bowl for this marinade.
Add paneer, bell peppers, and red onions. Mix thoroughly until all the pieces are evenly coated with the marinade. Cover and marinate for 1/2 - 1 hour in the refrigerator.
Preheat grill to medium high. Thread the paneer and vegetables onto the skewers. Grill them until evenly charred.

Alternative: You can broil these kabobs in the oven. Place skewers on a baking sheet lined with a metal rack. Place baking skeet with skewers 5-6 inches below the heating element. Broil while turning in between once or twice for 5-7 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven.

Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon of chaat masala powder and serve.

For more on our family barbeque from the author of Entertaining From an Ethnic Indian Kitchen, check out Komali Nunna's barbeque blog post.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Stuffed Okra

Prepare yourself for a whole new flavor of okra! I have recently discovered this dish and it has only intensified my love for okra.

For measurements and the list of ingredients for the recipe, please refer to Entertaining From an Ethnic Indian Kitchen.   

In a small bowl, mix together coriander powder, amchoor powder (dry mango powder), cumin powder, dry ginger powder, turmeric, chickpea flour/besan, fennel seed powder, vegetable oil, garam masala powder, cayenne, black pepper and salt for the stuffing.
Rinse okra and dry with a paper towel and trim the cone part. Using a sharp paring knife, make a long slit, leaving ¼-inch top and bottom. Make sure you don’t cut through the okra.

Alternative: Use your fingernail to make the slit.

With your thumb, open the slit and stuff 1 teaspoon of stuffing. 

To season, heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a large shallow nonstick skillet, over medium high heat. When oil is hot, add cumin seeds with a pinch of asafetida.

Note: Asafetida is a gum extract from trees that can be found in Indian grocery stores. It acts as a digestive aid and prevents flatulence from occuring. If you are unable to find this ingredient, the rice will turn out fine without it.  

As soon as the cumin seeds sizzle, add okra in a single layer. Reduce heat to medium. Cook uncovered, turning okra gently from time to time, until lightly browned. It takes about 15-20 minutes.

Note: The okra should be cooked until it is crunchy, not gummy.

Garnish with garam masala powder. Serve as a side dish to any meal.
For more recipes, table setting ideas and gardening tips from the author of Entertaining From an Ethnic Indian Kitchen, check out Komali Nunna's blog.      
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