Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Cauliflower Sabzi (Side)

Dec 7th 2010

When I think of Cauliflower, I can hear in my head many an aunty's voice " I got only english vegetables in the market today." Cauliflower, Bell peppers and the like are so called English vegetables by many a south indian ladies. In my mind, English or American or Indian, if it is a vegetable that tastes good, can be made easily, I treat them all equally in my home :)

Anyway, I love this vegetables because it is very versatile. It can be fried, boiled and used in curries and sautéed and used as sides. One step further and it can either be used slightly cooked/raw in salads or be baked as a casserole. Some argue that it does not have a distinct taste but I beg to differ there. I think it has a very distinct taste and actually absorbs other flavors well too.

This is a quick and easy dish that goes well with most south indian gravies mixed with rice. It can also be eaten by itself, rolled in a chappathi as a vegetable roll or mixed with some cheese and used a filling for a sandwich.

Difficulty level : Easy 

Time:  under 30 min

  • 1 large cauliflower, cut into florets
  • turmeric powder ( a pinch)
  • oil
  • mustard ( 1 tbsp)
  • urad and chana dal ( 1 tbsp each)
  • red chillies ( 2-3)
  • curry leaves ( a few)
  • salt ( to taste)
  • curry or sambar powder ( 2 tbsp)
Method de Preparation
  1. Wash and cut  cauliflower in florets.
  2. Keep in a microwave bowl, sprinkle sufficient water and cook for 5-6 minutes in gaps so the vegetable becomes slightly soft. Alternative is to cook covered but that causes it to become mushy.
  3. Take oil in a pan, add the mustard and when it splutters, add the red chillies, urad and chana dhal.
  4. Then add the vegetables and a pinch of turmeric.
  5. Saute without poking too much, stirring occasionally.
  6. Once the vegetables are mostly cooked, add the salt and curry/sambar powder. 
  7. Finally add some curry leaves and turn off heat.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Black Bean Macaroni

Dec 1st 2010

Having grown up for the first 20 odd years of my life with little or no cheese at all, it is surprising how much I care for it now. I love cheese and I love the Pioneer woman because she does use a lot of it! However she does use a lot of meat and others that I leave out or substitute with some vegetarian ingredients. (Please read PS right now) Or like in this recipe, throw in something totally unexpected.

This is a great make ahead dish, that you take to parties, also for large groups at home, or when you are home for the holidays. It is simple but oh so divine. If you leave the Black Bean burgers out of it, it becomes your plain jane macaroni. Add them in and you will not be disappointed, I assure you.

Difficulty level : Easy 

Time:  30-40 min


  • 4 cups Macaroni or any other pasta ( I have used Penne here)
  • 8 Tablespoons Butter (Salted Butter)
  • 2 whole Medium Onions, Cut In Half And Sliced Thin
  • 2 morningstar black bean burgers (Thawed and cooked in the oven per instructions)
  • ¼ cups All-purpose Flour
  • 2 cups Whole Or 2% Milk
  • ½ cups Half-and-half
  • 2 whole Egg Yolks, Beaten
  • Salt And Pepper, to taste
  • ½ cups Grated Gruyere Cheese
  • ½ cups Grated Fontina Cheese
  • ½ cups Grated Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese
  • 4 ounces, weight Chevre (soft Goat Cheese)

Method de Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cook pasta for half the time of the package instructions or slightly more. Drain and set aside.
  3. Thaw and cook black bean burgers per instructions in the oven, keep aside.
  4. Melt 4 tablespoons butter in a skillet and then saute onions over medium-low heat for 10 to 12 minutes, or until golden brown and soft. Set aside.
  5. In a pot, melt 4 tablespoons butter. Sprinkle in flour and whisk to combine. Cook, stirring constantly, over medium heat for 1 minute. Pour in milk and half & half, then cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until thick. Reduce heat to low. Add salt & pepper to taste. 
  6. Beat egg yolks and drizzle 1/4 cup hot mixture into the yolks, stirring constantly. Stir to combine. Pour egg mixture into sauce and cook for another minute.
  7. Add cheeses and stir until melted. Add onions and burgers cut into small pieces and stir. Taste for seasonings and add more salt if needed. Add cooked pasta and stir to coat.
  8. Reserve and sprinkle some onions on the top, before you put it in the oven to bake.
  9. Pour into a baking dish and bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until sizzling and hot. Serve as is or with any salad on the side.
PS:  I have recently learnt that a lot of cheeses contain animal enzymes which makes them non-vegetarian. I have also found that many brands make cheese without them, eg. Tillamook. So please read the label before you buy your cheese.

Confessions: I was super excited to try this recipe and when I eventually did, I went overboard and used 7 not 4 (yes, you read it right the first time!) cups of pasta.  It was a mistake, not intentional. Sheesh, you guys started judging me, I know. Hence the sauce looks lesser than in Ree's pictures. But I have to say one could get away with 5 cups easily and still have a pretty creamy macaroni.

SourceFancy Macaroni

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