Cabbage Carrot Stir- Fry (Guest Post by The Odd Pantry)

Cabbage-carrot anti-curry

Cabbage-carrot anti-curry

Greetings, readers of the Pretty Polymath! Thank you so much Hetal for thinking up this wonderful idea.

For those who have not run into my blog before, my name is Aneela and I blog at The Odd Pantry. I write about food with a focus on regional Indian; I frequently wander off into cultural or scientific claptrap; and lately I’ve been exploring the science and social impact of genetically modified crops. I can cook, I can write, and I’ve been known to take the occasional mediocre-to-decent photo. But here is the message I want you to take away from this guest blog, even if you forget my name and my blog address and never think about cabbage nor carrot again in your lives — I hate curry! No, I don’t hate the dish or the dishes that are called by that name. But I hate that word!

IndiaMy problem with the word is that it can mean whatever you want it to mean. For Westerners who know Indian food mostly through restaurants, curry means a gloopy reddish-brown dish with random stuff floating in it. An Indian cook who is intimately familiar with the simplicity of home cooking might apply that word to a basic cabbage stir-fry that has perhaps some turmeric or tomatoes thrown in. She might call that a curry because that is the word people use to describe her cuisine, not realizing that by calling it that others are imagining an undecipherable gloop, completely inaccessible in its methods and its ingredients. You spend maybe 15 minutes in your kitchen in a procedure that is simplicity itself; but people are hearing elephants trumpeting and sitars buzzing and Emperor Akbar’s marble kitchen firing up the tandoor.

A word that means everything means nothing. If you want to know how this word came to be, please read this public service blog post I did a while ago.

Anyway. If this tempts you enough to want to visit my site and perhaps leave a comment or two, maybe click around hither and thither, and subscribe yourself and some spouses and children and distant cousins to boot, I would not be averse to it. Really, I wouldn’t.

Cabbage-carrot anti-curry

This is a very simple stir-fry that I grew up eating. In my family we had this with chapatis or rice about once a week. We made it solely with cabbage, but here I have thrown in some julienned carrots for color and added nutrition. It is a fantastic, simple, quick dish to put together as you will see. My main goal is to demystify Indian food for people who perhaps are still intimidated by the thought of having to purchase many spices. This one only uses a few.

Shredded cabbage, julienned carrot

Shredded cabbage, julienned carrot

All the spices

All the spices

Cabbage Carrot Stir- Fry

Ingredients

  • Half a head of cabbage shredded, or, third of a head of cabbage and couple carrots, julienned
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-4 fresh green chilies, according to your heat preference, sliced thin
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder, freshly ground if possible
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons oil

Instructions

  1. Heat the oil in a wide, thick-bottomed pan on a medium-high flame. When it shimmers, put in the mustard seeds. They will soon pop.
  2. Then add in the chilies and the garlic. Wait till the chilies look blistered and the garlic looks shriveled.
  3. Then it is time to add the cabbage and carrot.Toss it around to cover with oil. Let it cook on medium-high for about 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables have shrunken down some, and possibly some pieces show edges of brown.
  4. Now is the time to add the dry spices and the salt and stir nicely.
  5. Cover, turn the heat to medium-low, and let it cook for another 5-7 minutes and you are done.
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Delicious Childhood Memories: Mangalorean Goli Baje (Guest Post by Spice in the City)

Hi, I am Naina and I blog at Spice in the City. I don’t subscribe to any particular food philosophy, I just cook food that makes me and my loved ones happy. On my blog you will find Indian curries jostling for attention with snacks, desserts and everything in between!   I do believe that you eat with your eyes first, so I like to put some effort into my photography and presentation. :)

Small Goli Baje

Certain foods have the capacity to invoke strong sentiments, don’t they? Do you have a dish that immediately conjures up memories of your childhood?

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When Hetal from Pretty Poly Math contacted me abut doing a guest post, I was pretty excited. First, Hetal has a lovely blog where she cooks up some really awesome food. Need proof? Check out her Chocolate Chai Mini Bundt Cakes! Stuff that Chai dreams are made of :D   Second I was really excited  by the theme she suggested: favorite Indian childhood food! Isn’t that a wonderful theme?

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The first thing that popped to my mind when I thought about my favorite childhood dish were Goli Baje! Those crispy, fluffy, pillowy fritters that my mom used to make…

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Goli Baje are a Mangalorean specialty. Mangalore is a coastal town in the south Indian state of Karnataka. It is famous for its cuisine, especially the fiery, tangy and absolutely mouth-watering seafood curries.

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My family is Mangalorean, so the cuisine is one I have grown up with. Goli Baje was a favorite tea-time snack on weekends. ‘Goli’ means round and ‘Baje’ is just local lingo for bhajiya or fritters. So these are simply round fritters.

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Not that they turn out specially round, but the taste, oh the taste… you have to try it to believe how such simple ingredients come together to form the perfect alchemic balance :D The spicy green chili, the subtle hint of ginger, the bits of coconut, all ensconced in the crispiest of exteriors…Mmmm…

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I remember eating them piping hot, almost burning my mouth in the process, followed by a few gulps of hot Bournvita or malted milk! Served with Coconut Chutney, these simple fritters made tea-time so very special :) It is also a hidden gem; not many people outside the Mangalorean community are familiar with this wonderful snack at all.

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If you have been following my blog for a while, you know I dislike deep-frying and try baked versions of traditionally deep-fried food. Well, Goli Baje is an exception. The kind of wicked-crispiness that you get from these fritters would be impossible to replicate in a baked version.

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Here’s the recipe.

Mangalorean Goli Baje (Guest Post by Spice and the City)

Prep Time: 4 hours

Cook Time: 28 minutes

Yield: 15 Baje

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup all purpose Flour
  • 1/4 cup rice flour
  • 1 cup of sour yogurt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1-2 green chilli, chopped
  • 1 inch piece of ginger, grated
  • 1 sprig curry leaves, roughly torn
  • 1/4 cup grated fresh coconut
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil for frying

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, mix together all purpose flour, rice flour and salt.
  2. Add yogurt and some water and mix to form a smooth batter without any lumps.The batter needs to have the consistency of a very thick cake batter.
  3. Set this batter aside for 4-5 hours.
  4. Just before frying, mix in baking soda, green chilli, curry leaves, coconut and ginger.
  5. Heat oil in a frying pan or deep fryer.
  6. When the oil is hot, drop spoonfuls of the batter in the hot oil. They will puff up to form round balls ('golis').
  7. Fry them in medium heat until golden brown.It is important to cook these on moderate heat, otherwise the insides won't be cooked.
  8. Drain on paper towels. Serve hot with Coconut Chutney.
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Small Goli Baje1

 

Be sure to check out more of Naina’s mouthwatering recipes at her website, Spice in the City!

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My Favorite Childhood Food: Bottle Gourd Dumplings (Muthia)

Muthia (Bottle Gourd Dumplings)This week I have some awesome guest posts for you guys from some of my favorite Indian food bloggers. The topic you ask? What’s you’re favorite childhood food? What is the one dish that brings you back home when you were little and makes you feel like a kid again?

For me this is muthia. I wasn’t a very picky kid growing up and I pretty much ate everything my mom gave me, especially muthia with some plain yogurt on the side. I was obsessed as a kid. Every time my mom would ask me what I wanted for dinner I’d scream MUTHIA!  Muthia is traditional Gujarati dish made with bottle gourd and seasoned with sesame seeds ( my favorite). I would eat pretty much anything covered in sesame seeds. It’s soft and crunchy (if you stir fry them a bit longer) with a nice hint of garlic, perfect for dipping in a nice tangy bowl of yogurt! Try it for yourself!

Bottle Gourd Dumplings (Muthia)

Bottle Gourd Dumplings (Muthia)

Ingredients

  • 2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/4 tsp ajwain
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp asafoetida
  • 1-2 green chilis chopped finely
  • 1 tsp ginger,minced
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 2 tbsp chopped cilantro (optional)
  • juice of 1/4 of a lemon
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup shredded bottle gourd
  • For Frying
  • 1 tbs oil
  • 1/2 tsp aseofitida
  • 1 tbsp sesame seed
  • fresh cilantro or coconut flakes for garnish

Instructions

  1. Mix the baking soda, oil and flour together till uniform. Add ajwain, turmeric, asafoetida, coriander powder, ginger,lemon juice, sugar, salt and pepper .
  2. Lightly squeeze the shredded bottle gourd and reserve the water in a separate bowl for later.
  3. Fold the bottle gourd tinto the batter until it is the consistency of playdough. If needed add the water you squeezed out of the bottle gourd to get the correct consistency.
  4. Using greased hands, shape the muthia by rolling the dough out into 1'' wide cylinders that are each 3-4 inches long and then gently squeezing with your fist. Now steam the muthia on a greased plate for 20-25 minutes on medium heat. Make sure that the muthia do not overlap each other. You will know if the muthia are cooked through by using the toothpick test.
  5. Let the muthia cool until they are easy to touch without burning and then slice them into 1/2 inch thick slices.
  6. In a separate pan, heat the remaining tbsp of oil and add 1/2 tsp asafoetida and sesame seeds. Stir in the muthia and cook until they turn light brown and look crispy on the outside.
  7. Garnish with coconut flakes and/or cilantro and serve.
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Muthia (Bottle Gourd Dumplings) (4)

 

 

 

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Propresser Garlic Press Review (Tomoson)


propresser garlic press I recently was sent the Propresser Garlic Press by OrBlue for a review. When I first got it I was so surprised at how heavy duty it was. They are not playing, it is the real deal! Here are my thoughts:

garlic propresser Honestly there aren’t many cons. It’s a garlic press – all you need to really know is that it does the job and you can do it with one hand. It’s that easy. You can also fit gigantic garlic cloves in the basket sieve piece so you could also put in large chunks of ginger too! I like that it’s all one piece because the one I used before had a separate piece for the basket sieve and I have lost that thing like 50 times.  This will make cooking just slightly less manic for me.

Disclaimer: I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

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Love Letter to Philly and September Craft Giveaway!

CREDIT: Visit Philly

If you read my blog regularly, then you know I have a special place in my heart for the city of Philadelphia. It shaped me into the person I am today. I went to undergrad and grad school in Philly and fell in love. A few weeks ago I was back on my old stomping grounds and took a small trip to Reading Terminal to buy some amish donuts to binge on for the day. As I drove past Walnut street, I remembered all the solo shopping trips I took here and how I learned to be independent and that hanging out by myself is ok. I started tearing up as I slowly drove (Philly traffic, gotta love it) past new restaurants and shops and I couldn’t help feeling a little bit of FOMO. I always knew Philly had the potential to be an amazing city, not that it wasn’t already, but I wanted others to see the city how I saw it. To this day I believe that Philly is the most underrated city for foodies. I remember saving up all my cash during college and waiting for that one special week, Restaurant Week, where upscale restaurants would have $35 prix fixe menus. My friend Marlene and I would make list of all the places we would hit up. Every Jose Garces and Steven Starr restaurant was always on top of the list. I still dream of the meal I had on Amada on my birthday. Even the cheap food was noteworthy from Lorenzo’s pizza to the Greek Lady. Six years into my living in Philly I had eaten at almost every restaurant in the city! Now that I see all these amazing new places popping up in the city, I can’t help but feel like I’m missing out a little.

By the time I hit Rittenhouse Square I was at a full sob. So many memories of leaving the lab (Biochem major here) to have a picnic and go people watching, rare but memorable awkward dates at the Rittenhouse restaurants, and saying to my friends when I make money I’m going to live here. Here I am a San Franciscan, still wanting to go back to my little city of Philly. Here are some of the things I love/miss about Philly:

 

CREDIT: R. KENNEDY FOR VISIT PHILADELPHIA™

1. Driving down 76 and hitting Boathouse Row and the city skyline at night. I can’t help but feel like I’m finally home. The city just hugs and surrounds you out of nowhere with bright lights and beautifuls views of the art museum and Schuykill River.

2. Philly is a city with a small and homey feel to it. You can have a house with a driveway and backyard and still be in the city! Each area of Philly has a distinct culture and look to it, making it such a fun place to explore. South Street, University City, Olde City, Northern Liberties- none of them are like the other.

That would be my husband eating a pizza the size of a small baby....

3. The food-  I started blogging in Philly as PhillyFoodGirl. It inspired and and introduced to me amazing chefs and food products. The sole reason I ever even went to classes on Thursdays was because I knew at the end of the day I could treat myself with a whoopie pie from the Amish Farmer’s Market in Clark Park. Before going to Philly, I hardly ever ate out since my family never really went to restaurants. I started exploring other cuisines, my best friend introduced me to sushi and I learned how to use chopsticks in Philly. I was in my early 20s so I took advantage of my fast metabolism and stuffed my face with immense amounts of pizza, amish donuts (don’t get me started on these…life changing), pasta, gyros from Greek Lady and fries from Ishkabibles. Oh and tubs of water ice and ice cream from the Franklin Fountain. Philadelphia pretzels were apart of my daily diet because they were cheap and filling- the ideal meal for a broke college student. Philly is truly a food lover’s destination.

4. History. When I was bored in Philly, I would hit up all the historical sites I could find. Locals tend to ignore all the “touristy” historical destinations, but I embraced them. I found hidden gems like the first surgical theater in Pennsylvania Hospital and the Chemical Heritage Foundation. For a history buff like me, it was paradise.

Credit: SomeECards

5. Confidence and independence. Philly locals have a honey badger-like attitudes. They don’t care what you think of them, they do what they like with confidence. I learned how to be assertive with my thoughts and my driving. :-) You do you Philly ;-)

GIVEAWAY!! (1)

Now onto the good part. I did a mini road trip from my home in North Jersey to Philadelphia and stopped at a few cute gift shops in between. I’m a sucker for good stationery and cute scrapbooking supplies so I picked up a few items that I’m going to be giving away!

GIVEAWAY!!

Enter Below to win a craft giveaway worth $50+! Giveaway ends midnight 9/15/2014.  (Open to residents of the 48 contiguous states only)

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Chocolate Chai Mini Bundt Cake

chocolate chai vanilla bundt cake

This weekend I landed back in California after spending 3 weeks back home in New Jersey. I’m sad to leave home, but I’m excited to have started a new job in SF! I’m now working at a healthcare startup and have now ended my 6 months of “funemployment”. I’ve officially have become a San Franciscan now that I work at a startup and own a blog.  Yup…I’m THAT person now. Not sure how I feel about that just yet.

chocolate chai bundt cake

Anyways, today I want to share this delicious chocolate chai bundt cake recipe. I used Tazo’s Chocolate Chai Latte concentrate to make the icing and the spices make it a great dessert to welcome in September. (what! where did my summer go?! ) The cake is dense and buttery and the icing has a nice warm, spicy flavor with a hint of chocolate. The only reason I even made this was because I found a mini bundt cake pan on sale for $2 at a estate sale! Score! If you don’t have a mini bundt cake pan, this recipe will make 1 large bundt cake as well.  Enjoy! :-)

 

Chocolate Chai Mini Bundt Cake

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Yield: 6 Mini Bundt Cakes or 1 large Bundt Cake

Chocolate Chai Mini Bundt Cake

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract or paste
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 1.5 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • Chocolate Chai Icing
  • 1-2 tbsp [Tazo Chocolate Chai Latte|http://www.tazo.com/Product/Detail/42
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • chocolate shavings (optional)

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 F
  2. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar together with a whisk.
  3. Next, add in the eggs, vanilla extract/paste, and yogurt. Mix well with a whisk.
  4. Add the flour and whisk together. The batter will be nice and thick!
  5. Pour the batter into a greased bundt pan or mini bundt cake pan. If you're using a mini bundt cake pan, be sure to fill each mold 3/4 of the way.
  6. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Run a knife along the edges of the cake to loosen them up and flip onto a flat surface. Cook on a rack until completely cold.
  7. For the Icing
  8. In a medium size bowl, whisk together the Tazo Chocolate Chai Latte concentrate and powdered sugar. Make sure there are no lumps. Spoon about 1.5 teaspoons of icing onto each mini cake and sprinkle with shaved chocolate. Enjoy!
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