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.


Full Recipe...
How to Cook Perfect Wild Rice Recipe

How to Cook Perfect Wild Rice

05.20.09 by Jackie

In cooking, there is a difference between simple and easy. Easy recipes don't require a lot of skill to prepare. Then, there are recipes that are simple: that is to say that there are few ingredients, but the preparation of the ingredients may be very complex.

Cooking rice is as much an art as it is a science. I remember watching a program when chef Morimoto talked about how difficult it is to prepare properly seasoned sushi rice. I'm no expert at making sushi rice but I do make a lot of brown, basmati,  jasmine and wild rice for my husband. If cooked improperly, wild rice can taste like horse food. But it doesn't have to be that way, I've discovered some method and techniques that will produce a softer, more delicate end product . Just because wild rice is good for you doesn't mean that it can't taste good as well.

A special note: The wild rice in the picture was given by my father-in-law's friends from Minnesota.

Wild Rice Product


Full Recipe...
Vegetarian Chow Mein (Chinese Sauteed Noodles with Tofu and Vegetables) Recipe

I've noticed that kids love chow mein. It's probably because they are crazy about soft noodles in general. I usually make a huge pot of stir-fry green beans and tofu the day before and use the leftover to make chow mein. I love making chow mein, I think it's because of the sizzling sound of the stir-fry vegetables and noodles in the wok. And it's quite some exercise stir-frying and lifting a large quantity of food using 2 big spatulas, so you will feel like you've earned the calories when you eat it!

The combination of stir-fry noodles, vegetables and soy sauce is a  classic in Chinese cuisine. Make chow mein at home; there's no need for take out. It is always a hit.

 


Full Recipe...
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.


Full Recipe...
Butterscotch Creme Brulee Recipe

Butterscotch Creme Brulee

05.17.09 by Jackie

Crème brulées, though tasty by themselves, are a perfect palette for other flavors. My husband Lulu loves butterscotch, so I came to the fairly obvious conclusion that I should combine the two of them.

If you're not a big fan of butterscotch, you can substitute any other flavor that you like but you have to balance the sweetness of the dessert.


Full Recipe...