Chestnut Hummus

Chestnut Hummus

OK – I know that is a grammatically wrong way to start a sentence, but here is my narrative about how this hummus came to be. Enjoying a beautiful pre-fall day with good friends who had brought along some chestnuts to roast in the oven and serve. Dinner was done and we decided it was time to roast these babies – I was really excited since this would be the first time I am tasting chestnuts – We have heard the Christmas song “chestnut roasting on an open fire..” crooned by several greats like Bing Crosby,  Nat King Cole and more recently, Michale Buble. But that was simply a song and in all my 19 years in North America, never once did I think to try it – Two years ago I may not have, but since I started the blog, my mind suddenly opened up like a never-ending avenue or better, promenade and I am enjoying so many new experiences. Right… So here we are sitting on the carpet with a bowl of HOT chestnuts waiting to be cracked open fully (more labor than peeling boiled unshelled peanuts). Popped the first one in my mouth…. I was told my face was expressive enough to convey that I doubted my feelings for this and the best I could come up with was that these were a cultivated taste – I got some grief about that and our friend even jokingly mocked me – “now you will add some chili and other stuff to it and make it into something to submerge the taste of the nut.” Not one bit...
Hot Pita Pockets

Hot Pita Pockets

I am making my first forays in to this cuisine with Pita Pockets. A Middle Eastern bread Pita has gained immense popularity in many countries and can be compared to the kulchas or naans, the Indian breads. I have always been a huge fan of Middle Eastern foods (their vegetarian foods, more accurately) and this was only reinforced by the fact that my dear Doc Oz is from Turkey and he says the middle-eastern cuisine is one of the healthiest, by far, being rich in protein and Omegas and over all very less in fat. But, as seasoned cook, we are aware that we can make any cuisine healthy or not by the ingredients we use. For instance, I followed a pita recipe verbatim and got excellent results. For this I had to use all-purpose flour as opposed to my usual multi-grain or whole-wheat- I tried whole wheat and I tell you I did not get the same result. This is a very easy recipe with 5 ingredients only. It is awesome when the results are good – and I was thanking the person who submitted this recipe to About.com! But for my readers sake,I give not only an ingredient list but also a step-by-step pictorial so that you no it is coming out the way it is supposed to. Here we go! Ingredients 3 cups all purpose flour 1.5 cups of water 1 pack of rapid rise yeast 1tsp sugar 1 tsp of salt Preparation First get ½ cup of warm water and add the packet of yeast with the spoon of sugar and stir in well so...
Persian Spinach and Black-Eyed Peas

Persian Spinach and Black-Eyed Peas

This is a Persian recipe which I pulled out of WIKI (http://recipes.wikia.com/wiki/Persian_Spinach_and_Black-Eyed_Peas) when I googled Persian recipes to contribute to the AWED eventThis again reminded me of our very own keerai kootu or spinach gravy curry and I add some legumes to my kootus simply because my kids love it Here is how I made it Ingredients 1 pack of frozen spinach1/2 cup of black eyed peas boiled1 tsp of tamarind pulp (instead of the suggest lemon juice)I replaced the cinnamon and parsley recommended with cilantro and ginger powderI did not have leeks so did not use itPreparationFollowed the instructions on the website almost exactly except I mixed the tamarind in some water along with the spinach.I am pasting the instructions below In extra-large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add leeks and cook, stirring often, until wilted and tender, 5 to 8 minutes.Add spinach, parsley, scallions and 1/4 cup water. Cover and cook just until spinach has wilted, about 8 minutes.Stir in black-eyed Peas, lemon juice, cinnamon and nutmeg. Cook, uncovered, just until heated through, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Serve hot. It was very tasty and I served it with home made chappatis and love...