Ginger Garlic Paste Recipes

Lima Bean Masala (Indian Butter Bean Curry) Recipe

Lima Bean Masala (Indian Butter Bean Curry)

03.18.10 by Jackie

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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Ricotta Pasta with Chimichurri Recipe

Ricotta Pasta with Chimichurri

03.03.10 by Jackie

I love chimichurri sauce. The bright green color and subtle spiciness are perfect with steamed fish or grilled skirt steak. I've wanted to incorporate this delicious green sauce into a vegetarian dish for some time now to share with my husband Lulu.

So, I made a dish of fettuccine pasta with a creamy white sauce and served it with a little chimichurri sauce. The creaminess of the white sauce is made with ricotta cheese and it matches wonderfully with the garlic and herb flavor of the chimicurri. It's a healthy alternative to fettuccine alfredo that doesn't skimp on flavor.


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Beef Shami Kebab Recipe

Beef Shami Kebab

02.17.10 by Jackie

Shami kebabs are made with an abundance of fabulous spices, meat (beef, goat, lamb or chicken) and chana dal (dried garbanzo beans). The spices vary depending on whether they're from India (Lucknow or Hyderabad) or Pakistan. My husband Lulu's family is from Hyderabad. They're all meat-eaters, with the exception of my husband and father-in-law. So we often make this dish when we have family over for dinner.

These are not your average kebabs. The meat is cubed and cooked in a pressure cooker with chana dal, and once cooked, it's ground in a food processor with yogurt. The resulting mixture is formed into "hamburger" patties that can be frozen or seared, depending on when you plan on eating them.

I learned this recipe from Baji, Lulu's late grandmother. She was an excellent cook. When Lulu and I first got married, she was already giving us hints.

"Jackie, I'm going to teach you a meat specialty from my hometown. They're called Shami Kebabs; they're spiced hamburger patties. This recipe is a must-have when you two have little children. It's nutritious and easy for little ones to eat. Speaking of which, when are you going to give me great grand-children so I can feed these kebabs to them?"

I would always smile, nod and pretend I didn't hear the part about having kids. Don't get me wrong, we'd love to start a family, but the pressure was a little overwhelming. Lulu's grandmother isn't with us anymore, but I promise that I'll make this for my kids when I have them, assuming they don't become vegetarians like Lulu (fingers crossed).


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Scrambled Tofu and Kimchi Recipe

Scrambled Tofu and Kimchi

01.14.10 by timran

Using the kimchi from yesterday's post, I made a dish today for true vegetarians and vegans like my Aunt Elise. She is a monk from Vietnam who's currently visiting us, and one of her favorite meals is mock scrambled eggs with kimchi.  The mock scrambled eggs are actually scrambled boiled tofu. Today, I made mine with turmeric and green onions.

The fluffiness of the tofu complements the salty flavor of the kimchi well. Lulu's New Year's resolution has been to exercise and live a healthier life. He's enrolled at the gym and has been going regularly. My way of supporting his effort is by making quick, healthy meals and snacks that are tasty and good for him.


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Stuffed Bitter Melon (Kho Qua) Recipe

Stuffed Bitter Melon (Kho Qua)

01.12.10 by Jackie

Bitter melon (khổ qua in Vietnamese) is a part of many cultures and cuisines. In India, deep fried bitter melon rings (karela) are a common dish. Vietnamese people use the smoother variety of bitter melon, and the vegetable is often prepared steamed or in a broth. In this particular preparation, I filled the bitter melon with tofu, bean thread noodles and wood ear mushrooms, but you could definitely use chicken or pork. I typically pair mine with rice, but you can also serve a simple vegetable broth if you prefer. 

From Wikipedia:

This dish is usually cooked for the Tết holiday as its name: "bitter" reminds people not to forget or disrespect the poor living condition experienced in the past.

Eating shouldn't be a chore, so if you're a little put off by the description, I understand. The taste is very unusual but I think this dish really does taste great though, so I urge you to give it a try.


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