Luchi Aloo ( Kolkata’s version of Puri Aloo )

Luchi aloo is Kolkata’s version of Puri Aloo but it’s so much better especially if you eat it on the streets. There’s nothing like a piping hot luchi, smothered with spicy curried aloo. Here’s a great homemade version of this recipe.

 

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Making Khoresht-e Bademjan at Conflict Kitchen’s Virtual Iranian Cooking Lesson

 

Last weekend, I participated in one of the coolest cooking collaborations I have experienced. I was picked to be one of the participants from around the world in Conflict Kitchen’s virtual cooking lesson with Executive Chef Bahar Sarhangi live from Tehran.

 

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Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s Squash on Toast at ABC Kitchen

I recently went to lunch at one of my favourite eateries – ABC Kitchen, at one of New York City’s most beautiful stores ABC Carpet & Home.

The menu offered many seasonal dishes of which one I just could not get enough off. It was their roasted kabocha squash toast w/ fresh ricotta and apple cider vinegar”. The flavors and textures of this creation were simply divine. Thoughtfully layered with crunchy bread, salty cheese, sweet and earthy squash, topped with chili and mint – it was divinity in each bite.

I recreated this dish in my kitchen using Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s recipe and though I could not get it to taste exactly the same but it was still par excellence.

 

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You must use good quality bread and you can use any cheese from ricotta, goat cheese – I even tried it with a herbed cream cheese and it tasted so good. I would try it with butternut squash the next time around.

 

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This makes for a wonderful snack, appetizer or even a lunch dish!

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My Mother’s Chocolate Cake

I am telling you right now that this recipe is impossible to replicate.

My mother has always baked the best darned homemade chocolate cake ever and if any professional bakers ever saw how she did it they would keel over die.

She throws in a little of this and a bit of that into the batter as if she were tweaking a chicken curry and yet it works as each time she makes this cake it is simply outstanding.

 

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This past summer after several decades of my life…I am finally attempting to blog her recipe. Beware – the finer the ingredients you use – the more you will fail at this cake. Please us good old supermarket brands – like Cadbury cocoa in India and perhaps nestle in the US. All I can say is good luck!

PS: It helps if your tongue hovers over your upper lip whilst you bake this particular recipe!

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Spicy Mutton Curry

I don’t eat much red meat at all but when I am in India I really do enjoy the occasional dish made with mutton. The flavor that mutton imparts onto whatever it is being cooked with is just so deeply satisfying. Here is a superb spicy mutton curry recipe I tried this past summer, which must be eaten with piping hot basmati rice. This dish can be made with chicken too.

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Plantain Kababs (Kachha Kela ka Kabab)

Plantains are a really wonderful source of fiber and vitamins C and A. They taste especially good when spiced up and pan-fried to make a yummy meal that can be served with pretty much anything.

 

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Peter Paniccia’s Stir Fried Hot Peppers w/ Bread Crumbs

I can’t stop raving about my favorite organic CSA farmer Peter Paniccia of Pietro’s Coop and his hot peppers. This past year, he showed me a really great way to cook these peppers.

It was so yummy that I pretty much ate the whole pan of peppers myself – don’t ask what happened to my stomach the next day! Next time I will show some restraint (or maybe not)

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