Oct
15
    
Posted (Lori) in News

DIWALI

This Indian/Hindu holiday is as important to many who celebrate it as Christmas and Rosh Hashana are to their observers. Diwali starts this Thursday and lasts for five days. You’ll find more information about it on these sites:

http://www.diwalifestival.org

kids.nationalgeographic.com/explore/diwali/

https://www.timeanddate.com/holidays/us/diwali

Food is a major element of the holiday, particularly desserts and snacks (many of which are made from vegetables). You’ll find many Diwali dishes here:

http://www.vegrecipesofindia.com/diwali-recipes-diwali-snacks-sweets/

and here:

http://www.sharmispassions.com/2014/10/diwali-recipes-diwali-sweets-recipes-2014.html

Lipica gave us this great recipe for korma last year; I don’t know if it’s specifically served on Diwali, but I’ve tried it and it’s fantastic.

VEGETABLE KORMA
FROM LIPICA:
“This is my family’s recipe for Vegetable Korma, a vegetarian Indian dish that’s endlessly adaptable. Enjoy!’
Ingredients
1/4 cup cashew halves or almond slices
1/4 cup boiling water
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 inch peeled ginger root, minced
3 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 bay leaves
1 large onion, diced
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp turmeric powder
1/4-1 tsp chili powder (optional)
1 tsp garam masala (optional)
chopped vegetables (any kind you want, just make sure they’re all chopped to roughly the same size)
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 cup vegetable broth
1/2 cup heavy cream (I’ve also used coconut milk or almond milk)
1/2 cup plain yogurt (soy yogurt works well too)
Korma Directions
1) place nuts in a small bowl, pour boiling water over them, set aside
2) heat oil in a large pan over medium heat, crumble the bay leaves into the oil and sauté for 30 seconds
3) stir in the onion- cook til soft
4) stir in the garlic and ginger and all the spices, sauté for 30 seconds
5) add in all the vegetables and stir til they’re all coated with the spice blend and have softened a bit (about 5 minutes)
6) add in the tomato paste and broth, cover, reduce heat, simmer 15 minutes (stirring occasionally)
7) while the mix is simmering, add the heavy cream and yogurt to the nut/water mix, mix til smooth
8. Stir the nut/cream mixture into the pot, simmer an additional 15 minutes or until the whole dish thickens a bit.
Enjoy!

VEGETABLE KORMA

FROM LIPICA:

“This is my family’s recipe for Vegetable Korma, a vegetarian Indian dish that’s endlessly adaptable. Enjoy!’

Ingredients

1/4 cup cashew halves or almond slices

1/4 cup boiling water

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 inch peeled ginger root, minced

3 Tbsp vegetable oil

2 bay leaves

1 large onion, diced

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp turmeric powder

1/4-1 tsp chili powder (optional)

1 tsp garam masala (optional)

chopped vegetables (any kind you want, just make sure they’re all chopped to roughly the same size)

1/4 cup tomato paste

1 cup vegetable broth

1/2 cup heavy cream (I’ve also used coconut milk or almond milk)

1/2 cup plain yogurt (soy yogurt works well too)

Korma Directions

1) place nuts in a small bowl, pour boiling water over them, set aside

2) heat oil in a large pan over medium heat, crumble the bay leaves into the oil and sauté for 30 seconds

3) stir in the onion- cook til soft

4) stir in the garlic and ginger and all the spices, sauté for 30 seconds

5) add in all the vegetables and stir til they’re all coated with the spice blend and have softened a bit (about 5 minutes)

6) add in the tomato paste and broth, cover, reduce heat, simmer 15 minutes (stirring occasionally)

7) while the mix is simmering, add the heavy cream and yogurt to the nut/water mix, mix til smooth

8. Stir the nut/cream mixture into the pot, simmer an additional 15 minutes or until the whole dish thickens a bit.

Enjoy!

Dick Sandhaus sent this wonderful pumpkin curry and instructions on how to make your own curry powder–perfect Diwali dish. It’s from his fantastic blog, Better, Cheaper, Slower; if you haven’t checked it out yet, you should—great info on recipes, health, exercise and many other topics.

http://bettercheaperslower.com

Pumpkin Curry

Whether you carve it or curry it, your pumpkin’ll be ready for Halloween and Diwali. You know, the Hindu harvest celebration also known as the Festival of Lights. The Jack-O-Lantern’s not the traditional Diwali lantern, but it’s certainly festive. And yours could be ready for tomorrow’s celebration and Halloween.

Pumpkins and squashes of every size, shape, and color are abundant and cheap in Farmers Markets everywhere. They’re in markets all over northern India and Nepal right now, too. Hiking in Nepal, we saw squash vines climbing across rooftops in every village. Where they go into curries of all types. Be like them: make your own shockingly great curry powder in a fraction of the time it takes to carve your pumpkin.

Ingredients

4 cups of pumpkin and/or butternut squash, peeled, seeds removed and cubed

1 onion, chopped

2 tablespoons of grape seed or other neutral oil

2 cloves of garlic, chopped

Fresh ginger, equivalent to 2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped

1 heaping tablespoon of curry powder

1 cup of water, milk or coconut milk

Anticipating torture by carving, your pumpkin will be surprised to learn it’s about to be curried. I used a baby pumpkin and a butternut squash. On the inside, they look and taste pretty much the same. Peel them; cut them in half; scoop out the fibers and seeds; chop into small bite-sized cubes.

Cook the onion in a big, high-sided pan over medium heat in the oil. When the onion’s soft but not brown, add the garlic, ginger and curry powder, homemade or store-bought. Stir for two minutes.

Now add the cooking liquid. I used coconut milk because I love the combination of curry and coconut. Vegetable stock, milk or water will work fine. Give it all a good stir, then add the pumpkin and/or squash. Stir for a minute, then put the lid on the pan.

Fifteen minutes later, remove the lid and inhale deeply. Good, huh? Now taste. If the pumpkin’s too firm for you, cover again and let it cook for five minutes more. Whenever it’s right for you, it’s ready. It’s sweet, it’s spicy. It’s mouth- and nose-filling. It tickles every taste bud you have. Serve as a thick stew or on a bed of couscous or farro. Yum.

HOME-MADE CURRY POWDER

Halloween Curry, Manhattan Style

Curry is a blend of spices. Which spices depends on which village you’re in. Or which household you’re in. Turmeric is always in the recipe; it gives curry its color.

In my household, I use whatever’s in the pantry. Right now, that means peppercorns, cloves, powdered ginger, powdered turmeric, fennel and cumin seeds. And a dried chile and coriander seeds from the garden. If you make your own, use whatever you have and like. If you want something a little more sweet-spicy and pumpkin pie-like, try cinnamon, nutmeg and cardamom. If you want to keep it mild, avoid the chili pepper and peppercorns. Make as little or as much as you like – it’ll keep for months in a sealed container. And still be Way fresher than any jar of curry powder you can buy at the market.

After you settle on your ingredients, toast the whole ones in a pan over medium heat for a few minutes. When your entire home begins to smell like an exotic spice market, add the powdered ingredients and toast for two minutes more. No oil – just keep shaking the pan gently to keep it all moving. This is a little like roasting coffee beans; you can go for lighter or darker. Personally, I keep it light to avoid bitterness.

After toasting and a few minutes of cooling, grind it all. You can use a spice grinder if you have one. Or a coffee grinder – if you’d like your next cappuccino lightly curried. Or you can use a mortar and pestle like I did. As a last resort, you can use a hammer and a cutting board. It took about three minutes to grind eight tablespoons of coarse curry powder with my old-fashion mortar and pestle.




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