Garlic Recipes

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Sara's Baigan Bharta (Indian Mashed Eggplant Dip) Recipe

Baigan Bharta is very similar to the Middle Eastern dish called baba ganoush. I discovered the Indian version after I got married. Lulu's aunt, Sara, makes it whenever we come over for dinner and I absolutely love it. It's very fresh and full of Indian spices. She adds yogurt at the end, and I think it gives the dish a velvety creaminess and adds another dimension of flavor to the eggplant.

One of the best characteristics of Baigan Bharta is its versatility. It is perfect as an appetizer served with baked pita bread. I also like to use it as a spread when I make vegetarian sandwiches. It even makes the perfect element for a fusion dish. I like to serve it as a first course with Israeli couscous.The creamy flavor of the Baigan Bharta melds very well with the tangy vinaigrette that I pour over the couscous.


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Indian Tomato Chutney with Mustard Seeds and Garlic (Tamatar Ki Chutney) Recipe

Tamatar Ki chutney is an Indian tomato chutney flavored with fresh curry leaves, mustard seeds and garlic. It's usually served with basmati rice or roti (an Indian wheat-basde flat bread). I love this chutney so much and we make it so often that I usually use the leftover chutney as the base for the tomato sauce in my pasta. I recently used that sauce for my vegetarian lasagna.

Since I married Lulu, I discovered a wide range of sauces and chutneys that were totally unfamiliar to me. Lulu's grandma was an amazing cook. When she discovered that I like to cook as well, she was very exticed to teach me all her secret recipes. In most of the world, cooking techniques are orally transmitted from mothers to daughters. I always find it amazing that these recipes, techniques and tips have managed to survive for as long as they have. I feel very fortunate to have learned from such talented cooks like my grand-mother-in-law.


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Stir-Fry Pea Shoot Tendrils in Garlic and Black Bean Sauce (Rau Muong Xao) Recipe

Rau muống xào tỏi, literally fresh stir-fry pea shoot tendrils in Vietnamese is my favorite Asian vegetable. It is a staple that can be found on almost every dinner table in Vietnam. This is mostly because it is very easy to grow and very cheap in Vietnam.

In America, pea shoot tendrils can be quite expensive. I always find it interesting that foods that are considered working-class fare in their country of origin can be so expensive in other place. Maybe it's because they are not grown in great abundance here or maybe it's because immigrants crave the foods of their childhood and are willing to pay more for the memories.

In terms of preparation, pea shoots couldn't be easier. Just stir-fry the vegetables very quickly over high heat. Blend in some garlic and black bean sauce and you're set.


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Finger Food: Pan-Seared Caramelized Garlic Shrimp Recipe

I'm a seafood lover and caramelized garlic shrimp makes my mouth water. It's a fairly quick and easy recipe that does not require a lot of prep - just 15-20 minutes of marinating time.

The key to making excellent shrimp dishes is to cook the shrimp for the right amount of time and not a moment more. I got this recipe from my aunt. Remember the one who revealed all her secrets for the perfect phở? She used to run a Vietnamese restaurant in the Bay Area in the 90s. All I can say is... it's worth a try!


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Chili Garlic Sauce (Tuong Ot) Recipe

Chili Garlic Sauce (Tuong Ot)

01.29.09 by Jackie

As promised, this is the recipe of tướng ớt, literally spicy dipping sauce in Vietnamese. It's ultra easy. This sauce is great for dipping and stir-frying. The last time I used this condiment was for my father-in-law's favorite Asian dish, green beans and tofu stir fry.

It contains the bare minimum ingredients: something sweet, something savory and of course a ton of spiciness. This blend has a delicious garlic flavor.

Every year, my husband Lulu plants an incredible amount of all sorts of chiles. My parents-in-law loves extremely spicy food. Before I got married, I hated spicy food. To be honest, I could barely handle a dash of black pepper, let alone a jalapeno or heaven forbid a habanero. I guess marrying into an Indian family helped my taste buds. I've gotten better. I'm learning.


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