If you are a fan of eggplant, like I am, this traditional Indian dish will satisfy the cravings on any given day. Easy to make, it is a winner at the table every time. Make sure to check your pantry for the essential spices, turmeric, cumin, asefoetida (hing), and coriander.
Turmeric is called the Golden Spice. It is a root, a rhizome of a plant in the ginger family. Turmeric is used as a spice, a coloring, and an healing herb. Its uses date back at least 4,000 years.
Turmeric needs rainy, wet places to grow. Once harvested, it is boiled, dried in ovens, and then pounded into a powder. Once in powder form, it is used in the process of dying fabrics, and in the kitchen as a main ingredient in most curries, and subzies (vegetables).
The health benefits of the active ingredient curcumin are numerous. Its main function is an anti-inflammatory. It also aids in digestion, and is used as an anti-oxidant, destroying free radicals in the system. More research is being done on the benefits of turmeric. read more
There has been an abundance of eggplant here in the Valley of the Sun, so I thought I’d make a vegetable dish without using the cookbook. I followed steps I’ve learned, toasting the seed spices, soaking tamarind, and stacking flavors. I found a name for this recipe, and I think I like it. Let me know if you do.
You are probably wondering how to find some of the ingredients I use in this recipe. I have the advantage of having a Vietnamese Grocer several blocks from the house. I can buy some of the specialty items there, split mung beans and eggplant especially. For the bulk spices I go to the Herbalist down the street. They carry a decent supply of fresh herbs and spices. Their cumin is fantastic. When I need to find the exotic, there is a super chain called LeeLees that specializes in International foods. They have a great produce section as well as a selection of the Indian Spices I use. If you can’t find some of these ingredients in your market, check online, there are several reputable companies with reasonable prices. read more
In ancient times, cumin was as common a spice as black pepper is on our tables today. Used as a condiment, baked in bread, and distributed widely, cumin seed generated several fascinating myths and origin stories as a list of incredible health benefits. In the Ancient World, people believed that cumin could cure anything but death. What is Cumin?
Sa cuminThere are two kinds of seed that are called cumin.
Spices make up the “palette” of a chef. They have a long and intriguing story of travel; how they spread out from a point of origin to all over the globe. Each culture treats these spices a little differently, yet there seems to be several common spices used in global cuisine.
Cumin, coriander, turmeric, and ginger make up the base of most Asian and South Asian cooking. Pick up any Indian cook book, and at least three of the four will be listed. The combination is the base of a “curry,” or gravy, that is made to compliment the food on the table. read more
The weather is turning cooler and the cooking mind turns to comfort food: soups. I love lentils in stews and soups. This recipe that I developed is one of my favorites so far. You can also find it in my cookbook Delectable Vegan Soups.
Enjoy this soup on a cold winter's day with warm tortillas or crusty bread.
Saffron is harvested from the three stigmas of the Crocus Sativus flower. The flower has to be hand picked, the stigma removed, and then separated. There is no machine that will do this job. Only human hands are capable of picking the threads without damaging them.
What’s in the name? Saffron is from the Arabic word zafaran which means ‘yellow’. The French culinary term safrané means ‘coloured using saffron’. The colouring properties of Saffron have been prized as much as its unique flavor.
Where does Saffron come from? It spread out from Ancient Persia, down through the Mediterranean peninsula, and up into China, and throughout India, where it was quickly adopted for dying Buddhist monk robes and anointing deities.
What I love about Tofu Scramble is it's versatility. This is by no means the be all and end all recipe for this dish. Experiment with the base, and come up with different vegetables and spices to put in it. I like jalapenos and chili powder, so it goes into the one I make here at home, but you can add any thing, really, that you want to, it all depends on your palate.
Here's a sauce that took me some time to create. There was a time that I was afraid of coconut milk. As a Fearless Chef, I must face these ingredients, and let them teach me what they want to become. I used the spices I love to create food that I love.