Welcome to Color n’ Spice

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My journey with food, exploring childhood memories and creating new ones from books ,friends and food groups

“Cooking is an art and patience a virtue… Careful shopping, fresh ingredients and an unhurried approach are nearly all you need. There is one more thing – love. Love for food and love for those you invite to your table. With a combination of these things you can be an artist – not perhaps in the representational style of a Dutch master, but rather more like Gauguin, the naïve, or Van Gogh, the impressionist. Plates or pictures of sunshine taste of happiness and love.”  ― Keith Floyd

 

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Frittata

What is a Frittata ? It’s pretty much like a baked omelette or a crustless quiche that’s perfect for breakfast, but can double as brunch, lunch or even dinner!

We have Frittata  mostly as a brunch during the weekends. The veggies added are mainly seasonal or what is at home .Today I made it with spinach ,roasted red bell pepper ,asparagus ,fresh herbs with sprinkle of feta cheese.

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Ingredients :

7/8 asparagus spears

1 cup spinach chopped

1/2 small onion chopped

1 tbsp chives chopped

1/2 bell pepper chopped

3 eggs

3 tbsp milk

1tbsp crumbled feta cheese

olive oil /butter

salt and pepper or chili flakes

 

Method:

Beat the eggs and milk and keep aside.

Blanch the asparagus.  Set aside.

Heat the oven to 375 Degree F.

Heat the oil/butter in an oven proof skillet. Saute the onions till they are soft and translucent. Add the bell peppers,  spinach. Saute all the vegetables at high heat till the water from the spinach evaporates. Add the asparagus and chives.

Spread out the veggies evenly on bottom of skillet. Pour egg mixture over spinach mixture. Use a spatula to lift up the Veggie mixture along the sides of the pan to let egg mixture go underneath. Sprinkle the Black Pepper and cheese on the top. Cook till the eggs are about half set.

Now put the whole pan in the oven & bake for 15 minutes, until Frittata is puffed and lightly golden on the top. Remove from oven with oven mitts and let cool for several minute. Be very careful as the skillet handle is going to be very hot.

Cut into triangles & serve.

NB : add veggies of your choice . I like tomato , broccoli , cauliflower and carrot

 

 

Egg Curry

 

konir jhul will always have potato just like our mangsho jhul . Just writing I feel nostalgic as mind drifts to care free days of  Jorhat .I can smell the aroma of ginger with cardamom from the kitchen .The light jhul is perfect during summer months .Hot steaming rice and fresh squeeze of lemon juice is all you need .

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Every home has a different version. As far as memories go some families  do not  use onion , garlic and spices for a jhul and just have the sauce of a runny consistency. In our home, Ma made it with  slightly thicker sauce and I prefer it too.

Ingredients :

  1. 3 free range eggs
  2. 2-3 small potatoes, peeled and cut in half
  3. 1 or 2 large – medium tomato, grated – about 1 cup grated
  4. 2-2.5 inch fresh ginger, pounded well or grated/made to a paste
  5. 3 fresh hot chili peppers
  6. turmeric
  7.  red chili powder
  8. salt to taste
  9. oil
  10. fresh cilantro for garnish
  11. 2 cardamom ,2 cloves

Method :

The eggs should be hard boiled and peeled. After peeling them, make two small slits on the top or bottom of each egg or on the sides. This will enable some of the flavors of the sauce to seep inside the eggs.  Sprinkle some salt, little red chilli powder if you want and turmeric powder (about 1/4 teaspoon) on the eggs and rub them in. Set aside.

Peel and quarter or half the potatoes. I usually use 2 small potato halves for every egg, but you can use more or less. Sprinkle some salt and about 1/4 teaspoon turmeric on the potatoes and rub them in so they are coated. Set aside.

Puree the tomato and ginger . You can also grate the tomato as I like when the texture is coarse . Combine the ginger and tomato in a bowl and set aside.

Combine the rest of the red chili powder, turmeric powder and salt with about 1/4 cup water and set aside.

Heat a teaspoon oil in a kadai/wok or pan. Place the  potatoes in the oil and cook at medium to high heat until the sides start to brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Heat another teaspoon oil and now place the eggs in the oil. Cook them while turning them around gently once in a while so all the sides turn golden brown. The cooked sides will seem as if the surface has crisped a little and that is how it is supposed to be.

Heat the rest of the oil. Add the slit green chili peppers if you are using. Be careful for they will pop in the oil. When the sides of the peppers brown, add the tomato ginger mix and cook in medium to high heat for 2-3 minutes. A lot of the liquid will have evaporated. Watch it closely and do not let it dry up. The time is approximate. Now add the mix of turmeric salt and chili powder with water. Give it a good stir and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated. The mix would have thickened and oil will start to separate from the sides of the pan.

Add the potatoes and toss well for the mix to coat the potatoes and cook for about 5 minutes in medium to low heat. Now add about 2.5 – 3 cups of warm water to the pan/wok and once it comes to a boil, partially cover and cook until the potatoes are very much near done. Add the eggs ,ground cardamom ,cloves and cook for another two minutes and remove from heat. Adjust salt and garnish with fresh cilantro. Serve with hot steamed rice.

NB :In winter I often cook the same recipe and I add onion to the tomato ,ginger puree.

yes ,in all my cooking where base is onion and tomato there has to be tiny sugar to balance !

Dahi Vada

Dahi vada  is the refreshing combination of deep fried lentil dumplings topped with creamy yogurt, a chutney and spices.

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A vada is deep fried piece of lentil dumpling. It is fluffy and spongy like a doughnut, only not sweet.

Ingredients

white split gram /urad dal 1 cup

cumin seeds 1/2 tsp

yogurt 3 cups or more

roasted cumin powder

red chili powder

salt /sugar

pinch of asafoetida/heeng

chopped coriander leaves

method

Soak the dal in water few hours or overnight

Drain and grind to a fine paste .Add cumin seeds, salt and asafoetida and whisk the mixture to incorporate air into it .

Heat oil in a kadai. Make vadas in wet palm and lower them in oil . I prefer to use a tbsp and drop in oil to cook till golden brown.

Drain in paper towel. Soak in warm water.

Beat yogurt and add salt,sugar to your taste.

Squeeze water out of vadas lightly and add to yogurt .let them soak for an hour or so .

Garnish with roasted cumin powder, red chili powder and chopped coriander .Serve cold .61132030_10213036199332037_5324484498883084288_n

I like to drizzle tamarind chutney on top of the vadas .On top of the yogurt goes the sweet chutney. This would be the part where the Dahi vadas differ from one region to another. While the north Indians will spoon out a generous amount of the chutney, the Dahi vadas in the southern parts of India are served with a different kind of seasoning.

Note :To get the perfect vada, you must beat the batter till it gets light and fluffy.This is very important step. This helps to make the soft and porous vada. They should be fried immediately after beating the batter.

 

Pudina Pulao

Light , refreshing , intensely aromatic and prefect for summer !

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Hot summer days are here and I like to spend as little time in kitchen in the afternoons . I like this pulao as it is a quick fix ;served with a side or salad and raita  it makes a complete meal .

Ingredients :

Joha or basmati rice 1  to 1 1/2 cup

ginger 2  inch piece minced

yogurt  1/2 cup whipped

pudina /mint leaves 1 cup

dhaniya /cilantro 1/2 cup (  optional )

cardamom 3 or 4

cloves 3 or 4

black peppercorn 5 or 6

cashew pieces 6 or 7

salt /sugar /oil or ghee

lemon juice

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Method :

wash and soak the rice for 30 mins to an hour

mince ginger,whisk yogurt ,chop pudina ,dhaniya very fine

Heat oil /ghee. add the cardamom, cloves,peppercorn ,cashew.

As they start to crackle add the ginger and greens .Add yogurt and rice.

Add water ,salt ,sugar and cook covered till rice is done. sprinkle lemon juice to taste .

serve garnished with mint n cilantro if needed.

This is the basic pulao recipe …today I added boneless chicken breast to make it more special .After adding the whole spices , I sauted the chicken till nicely brown . Then followed the recipe .

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Rajma

colournspice

Rajma Curry has become a favorite almost in all the parts of India. Like many other Indian dishes, each house has its own recipe to make it and with a slight variation here and there, it becomes a family owned recipe which passes from generation to generation.

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‘Rajma chawal’ is an absolute favorite in our house, and it’s my comfort food on vegetarian days and Sundays. It might sound a little odd coming from an Assamese, but when I was growing up, we had tenants from Delhi and Sahranpur for many years in our house. Suman Aunty would often send us a bowl of rajma or lauki kofta and halwa. Ma learned a few choice dishes from them like rajma, kofta, alu / gobi paratha, and chole bhatura. They went on to become staples in my family’s diet. Today, even my children love to have rajma with steaming white rice…

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Penne Pasta

This is a pasta dish which is lean and simple as can be ….

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I don’t have a name for this pasta. It was put together very quickly for lunch as today marked the end of college for my son with his last final exams. Sitting back with my cup of tea this morning I reflected on last 16 years; kindergarten through college …struggles, fights and smiles, and here he is ready to graduate this weekend .

There is no fixed recipe. I boiled the penne pasta , saute’d it in generous amount of  olive oil with finely chopped onion, baked chicken, asparagus, capers, and sun dried tomatoes. Dash of fresh black pepper and few drops of lemon juice to give it the needed flavor .

It is pretty lean and tastes quite good according to my son who heaped his plate for a second time !!

 

 

Chapli Kabab

 

The chicken version of the popular kabab recipe that is said to have originated in Pakistan and Afghanistan, chicken chapli kabab is an easy-to-make recipe .They’re actually called chapli kababs simply because they’re flat.  The word chapli is derived from a Pashto (spoken in Pakistan and Afghanistan) word, chaprikh, also meaning flat.

(info from web)

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Recipe courtesy : yummely

Ingredients :

500 grams chicken keema (minced chicken)
2 medium tomato finely chopped
1 medium onion  finely chopped
1 tablespoon mint leaves, finely chopped
1 tablespoon coriander leaves, finely chopped
2 green chillies finely chopped
1⁄2 teaspoon ginger paste
1 medium egg, lightly beaten
1⁄2 teaspoon red chilli powder
1 teaspoon roasted cumin powder
1 teaspoon anardana (dried pomegranate seeds), ground to a powder
1 teaspoon coriander powder
2 tablespoons cornflour
salt to taste , oil to fry

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Method :

  1. Place chicken mince in a bowl; add tomato, onion, mint leaves, coriander leaves, green chilli, ginger, egg, red chilli powder, roasted cumin powder, anardana powder (dried pomegranate seeds),coriander powder, and corn flour mixed with salt. Mix well using your hands or with a fork till incorporated.
  2. Place a frying pan or skillet on high heat; add oil. Shape kebabs while it heats up.
  3.  Oil your hands lightly so that the mixture doesn’t stick to them. Then tear off a walnut-size chunk of the keema mixture, and roll into a ball with your palms; flatten gently to form a fat disk, smoothing the edges.
  4. Once the oil is hot but not smoking, carefully place a kebab into the hot oil. Repeat the same for the remaining mixture, frying in batches of three or four without crowding the pan. Fry until golden brown, about 2 minutes on each side. Remove kebabs with a slotted spoon, allowing the oil to drain, then place in a plate on kitchen paper to absorb any excess oil.
  5. Drizzle lightly with lime juice and serve hot with freshly sliced onion rings.

 

It can be served and eaten hot with naan , rice, or in burgers and sandwiches or stuff in Pita Bread. Or just have as an appetizer with chutney dip, sliced onions and lemon wedges on the side.
Can’t wait to dig in, every time I make something like this!