Hurricane Sandy candle light cooking

This is candle night #2 after Hurricane Sandy and while we lost power, wifi & network, we are lucky to still have running water & gas.

The fridge starting slowly to be out if service, I need to think about what to cook with what I have in the fridge/freezer that can turn bad to avoid maximum waste.

Right now Vegetables in the freezer are still half frozen so I can afford another day before using them.

I decided to cook daal with rice and in top of that Paratha.
I had frozen ready-made Paratha and they were starting to be completely un-frozen (understand they would turn bad pretty quickly).
When eating daal, you either have rice or Paratha/Roti but we got both tonight as hurricane exception.

Besides we are hosting a Dutch friend in the city to run the NYC marathon.
We still don’t know if it will actually happen but in case it does, she needs a high carb diet.
Indian lentils & rice are a good start.

Daal

2 cups of Indian lentils – you have different varieties, I used the yellow one.
4 cups if water
Salt
1 tsp of butter
1/2 tsp of garlic
1/2 tsp of cumin seeds (Jeera)

Wash the lentils and put them in the pressure cooker with the water and salt.
Once you hear the whistling, let the pressure go away after 1-2 min by opening the top button.

In a tablespoon, melt the butter on top of a flame. That said you need to have gas to be able to proceed.
Once the butter is half melted, add the garlic & cumin seeds & keep cooking on the flame until the cumin seeds turn brown.
Toss quickly into the daal and mix. The quickly part is important as it allows you to keep all the flavors.

Serve in a bowl with some rice mixed together.

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Grapefruit, Avocado & Tomato Salad

Staying at home for hurricane Sandy with lots of supply is just making me wanna cook…

To get vitamins, I decided to do this really good and original salad.

This one of my so-called secret recipe: everybody is very surprised by the combination and even if some are doubtful, it ends up always being a huge success. And nobody can guess the sauce 🙂

Grapefruit, Avocado & Tomato Salad

Ingredients
– 1 grapefruit
– 2 small tomatoes
– 1 avocado
– 1 tbsp of mayonnaise

Preparation

Take off all the skin of the grapefruit Di you only have the flesh.

This part might be the longest, especially if you ate not used to do it.
I am not a big fan if anything time consuming when cooking but this is so much better that it’s worth the time and effort.

Cut the avocado and tomatoes in small pieces and mix everything together.

Add 1 tbsp of mayonnaise in the mix.

You can also replace the avocado with shrimps for a non-vegetarian version, also delish!

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This is America – Sunday Pancakes

Sunday morning, I got woken up by a bad dream and I was also craving for pancakes.

I spent some time in bed looking for the perfect recipe both on American and French websites.

I always need to read few different recipes to get a feel of it and then make my own.

I came up with this one:

Ingredients

– 8.8 oz / 250g flour
– Salt
– 1 tbsp sugar
– 1/2 tsp baking powder = 1/2 sachet of “levure chimique” (in France we have ready made size sachet of backing powder and all recipes are going with 1/2 or 1 sachet)
– 1 sachet of vanilla-flavored sugar (also a very French cooking thing) which is the equivalent of 1 tsp sugar + 1 tsp vanilla extract
– 2 eggs
– 11.8 oz / 37.5 cl milk
– 2 oz / 50 g butter

Preparation

1. In a bowl, mix the flour, salt, levure/backing powder, sugar & vanilla extract (or sucre vanillé).

2. In 2 other different bowls, separate the yellow and the white of the eggs. Mix the milk with the yellow of the eggs. Add this mix slowly to the first bowl. The trick is to mix slowly to keep it lump free as much as possible.

3. Add to this mixture the melted butter and mix well.

4. Add a pinch of salt to egg whites and whisk them with an electric mixer until they form stiff peaks.
Fold them gently into the mixture.

5. Heat griddle or large nonstick skillet over medium to low heat; brush griddle lightly with oil. Drop batter by generous 1/4 cupfuls onto griddle, the pancake will naturally takes its form on its own.

Cook until bubbles form on tops of pancakes and bottoms are golden, about 3 minutes. Turn pancakes over and cook until golden brown on bottoms, about 2 minutes.

To keep them all warm, put them in low heated oven once they are cooked.

Enjoy with maple syrup, fruits such as bananas, blueberries, strawberries and also with some Nutella.

I tried other recipes before but didn’t really succeeded. This one turned out to make delicious & not too heavy pancakes.

I would encourage everybody to try it out!

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Aloo Bartha

As I am learning more and more Indian dishes, I tried for the first time to cook Aloo Bartha – or vegetable dish based of potatoes.

I am starting to get better at Indian cooking – apprehending the spices and base ingredients.
Maybe I haven’t made enough to discover the variety or I am just starting with the basics and getting better at it.
At least I can host my friends with basic Indian cooking and they love it.
That’s a good sign, isn’t it?

Alloo Bartha – potato vegetable dish

Put in a pan:
Some olive oil or 2 table spoon of ghee
1 tea spoon of cumin seeds (Jeera)
1 Tomato or 2 tomatoes depending on their size or tomato paste
Green chili
Ginger

Let it cook until all water is gone.

Add salt, coriander powder, red chili, a little bit of tamarin powder.
Let paste cook for 2 more minutes.

Add 1 table spoon of yoghurt.

Let it cook for 2 minutes till the oil separate out.

Add boiled potatoes.

Mix everything & add water 1.5 cup.

Add fresh coriander.

Let it boil & reduce the flame once it’s boiling, cover & let cook for 10 min, until you can see the layer of oil separating.

You can serve that as a side dish or eat with roti or bread.

When I cooked it, I made it as main dish with bread and had also a salad to go with it.

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