Indian Recipes

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Saffron Lemonade Recipe

Saffron Lemonade

09.02.09 by Jackie

This is actually saffron limeade. I got this recipe from my husband. His family has been making this drink for many years. Lemonades and limeades provide a wonderful canvas upon which other flavors can be layered.

The addition of saffron to the drink imparts a luxurious fragrance and flavor, as well as an exotic orange-yellow tint. Saffron is a spice derived from the saffron crocus. Saffron is comprised of the stigma and style (stalk) of the plant, and it's the most expensive spice in the world.

If you're looking for something special to serve at a summer lunch or barbeque, saffron limeade would be the perfect choice. Consider pairing it with Spanish paella, where saffron is also used in the preparation of the rice.


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Indian Cherry Chutney Recipe Recipe

Indian Cherry Chutney Recipe

08.14.09 by Jackie

Chutney is an Indian condiment that's used to add more flavor to main courses. Chutneys can be sweet, savory, sour or spicy and are often a combination of the four.

The kids went cherry-picking recently. After "pigging out" on their haul, all that was left was about a quart of fairly unattractive cherries. They were too smushed for a pie or a tart, but I was determined not to waste them. It occurred to me that a chutney might be an excellent use for them. Cherries have a sweet and sour flavor that matches perfectly with the spices commonly found in chutneys. In fact, one of my father-in-law's favorite chutneys is made from raw mangoes. Unlike the chutney that's made from ripe mangoes which is very sweet, the raw mango chutney is more tart, while still maintaining some fruitiness.

This chutney would be the perfect accompaniment to lamb, goat or poultry but since there are so many vegetarians in my house, I decided to serve it with some fried tofu. They don't even know what they're missing!


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Gajar Halva (Indian Carrot Halwa Dessert) Recipe

Halva means sweet in Arabic. India is home to many varieties of halva, and it can be found at almost all of our family gatherings.

This particular type is made with carrots. Lulu's aunt taught me how to make it. The base is a dense, sweet confection made of flour such as cream of wheat or garbanzo flour, nut butter such as tahini, or lentils like mung beans. My friend Carole, who is by the way the editor of the site, told me she loves this kind. Here's her feedback about carrot halva:

"Your halva was smoother [than the one I get at the restaurant], and at the same time more flavorful but more subtle, too. We loved it. I can't wait to see the recipe and what's involved. I have a sneaky feeling there's going to be more butter than I want to know about!"

I told Carole: "Well, don't be afraid, there are only two tablespoons of ghee". I prefer making it at home because the gajar halva found at restaurants tends to be too thin and cloyingly sweet. I suspect that the extra sweetness is used to conceal the lack of richness that one would expect from real gajar halva.

Gajar halva, like some Vietnamese desserts, is not always the most glamourous-looking sweet, but it is delicious. If you've never had it before, try making some at home. You will love it.


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Punjabi-Style Chaat (Layers of Tomatoes, Raita, Ginger Garbanzo beans, Mint Sauce and Tamarind Chutney) Recipe

Chaat is an Indian snack. There are many varieties but they all use similar ingredients. If you think of it as in Mexican food where you see salsa, guacamole, sour cream, refried beans and cheese, repeated in many different dishes, similarly chaat is made up of a crispy fried bread called puri and garbanzo beans, tomatoes, yogurt, taramind, mint sauce and spices.

This particular version of chaat is one Lulu's aunt makes whenever she has a family get-together at her house. Since it's more constructed than many of the other chaats, it's got distinct layers. She usually serves it with potatoes as well, which I didn't have on hand; I'm going to post my personal favorite later on, which is called dahi papdi chaat.

For those of you who think Indian food is mostly butter chicken, tandoori chicken or palak paneer, there is a whole world of cuisine that I've been introduced to since I got married I never knew existed. I love South Indian food in particular and I'll try to put up some recipes from that region.


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Lamb Medallion Dijonnaise Recipe

Lamb Medallion Dijonnaise

07.26.09 by Jackie

We served lamb medallions dijonnaise as an appetizer during our wedding reception 4 years ago in July. I thought recreating the dish would be a nice way to relive the memories, especially since I didn't get to eat much on our wedding day. We had a little family gathering this weekend so I made the medallions of lamb and placed them on sweet onion crostini. I garnished them with Dijon mustard and some chives from the garden.

If you're not a big fan of lamb, you can use spice as I did in this dish to mask the strong flavor of the meat. I crusted the sirloin with black pepper, cumin and sumac powders. I also added some cumin and coriander to the sweet onion relish to give it a slightly Indian vibe.


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