Spicy Recipes

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Lima Bean Masala (Indian Butter Bean Curry) Recipe

Lima beans, also known as butter beans, are legumes that are a great source of cholesterol-lowering fiber and protein. They have a wonderful buttery, starchy texture and are quite filling. At our home we make a lima bean curry that is eaten with paratha (flat Indian bread). The gravy used is the standard yogurt and caramelized onion combination flavored with Indian spices.

I used frozen lima beans in this dish. Frozen vegetables are picked at the peak of ripeness and are as close to fresh as you can get without growing them yourselves or finding a local supplier. I never use dried lima beans so no soaking is required with these. That means a faster cooking time, which is always nice.


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Spicy Garlic Chutney Recipe

Spicy Garlic Chutney

03.12.10 by Jackie

Spicy garlic chutney is meant to knock your socks off. I used Anaheim peppers which are mildly hot; you can decide on the level of spiciness by using hotter peppers such as Serrano peppers. If you're really masochistic, habanero or scotch bonnets would work as well. On the other hand, if you're like me and can't handle spicy food, you could use green bell peppers instead. 

This Indian chutney is a great condiment for subtly flavored dishes such as fish en papillote, meat, Indian potato cutlets, basmati rice and dahl or even a piece of toast. It's also very healthy for you due to the large quantity of fresh garlic. We make this chutney very often, as it stores well in the refrigerator. The only no-no would be to serve it during a romantic dinner !!


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Jeera Aloo (Potato Curry) Recipe

Jeera Aloo (Potato Curry)

03.02.10 by Jackie

Jeera aloo masala is a potato dish made with a spicy cumin gravy. Turmeric powder gives the dish its bright yellow color, and along with the heat from the traditional garam masala, makes this dish the ultimate Indian comfort food.

I often make jeera aloo because it's a quick and easy vegetarian meal when I'm pressed for time. There are always potatoes and a container of ready-made garam masala in my house, so it's something I can throw together with almost no effort.

I think we all wish we could give our family healthy meals, but sometimes life intervenes and it's hard to find time to make wholesome food. Having a few recipes like jeera aloo in your culinary arsenal that you can whip up quickly and easily will help keep you from relying too much on high calorie takeout.


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How to Make Harissa Recipe

How to Make Harissa

10.17.09 by Jackie

Harissa is a spicy paste that is used as a condiment in Northern African cuisine. I was first introduced to harissa when I was in elementary school.

I had a friend named Inès, who was of Tunisian decent. I went over to her house one day and I remember we strolled into the kitchen and she pulled out a jar filled with a dark red paste. She dared me to spread some on a piece of baguette and have a taste.

Of course, I accepted the challenge, and oh boy was it spicy! I don't really eat hot chiles, and I could barely handle it. The harissa did have an amazing flavor though, and after a tall glass of milk to soothe my taste buds, I went back for more.

When it came to eating harissa, I was definitely a lightweight compared to Inès and her family. I could barely handle a few bites, but they ate it the way Italians consume balsamic vinegar and extra-virgin olive oil.  Harissa was eaten with bread as a starter, and mixed with meat and vegetables for main course.

Harissa is not only versatile, but also very easy to make. The main ingredients are garlic, and of course, dried red chiles. The final ingredient is time. Like cheese, the longer you wait, the stronger the flavors get and the yummier it is. So prepare a jar this weekend, and you'll be well on your way to making amazing North African dishes.


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Fusion Raita (Indian Yogurt Sauce) Recipe

Raita (click on the link for the traditional version) is an Indian condiment made with yogurt. It is paired with a lot of spicy dishes like biryani, tandoori chicken or vegetarian cutlets because dairy products have a cooling effect when food is extremely spicy. If you follow Ted Allen's show, Food Detectives, you've probably seen the premier episode which asks "What is the best way to cool your mouth after eating spicy food?" After some experimentation it was clear that dairy was the most effective.

This particular recipe is my take on traditional raita. Similar to the Greek sauce called tzatziki, I add dill, lemon, and olive oil. Being French, I also add some Dijon mustard to add some more complexity to the flavor. 

I know, some people are going to balk at my additions, but I think that sauces are the highlight of a meal, so why not enhance them with a lot of flavor? Sometimes I also add cilantro or dill, depending on what's available in my garden. I'll try to post the traditional recipe soon so that you can make your own variations to your taste.


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