Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Tastes of around India for the Assiniboine Park Conservancy and the MLCC

 Last night I had the distinct pleasure of presenting the following recipes for the Assiniboine Park Conservancy at the Madison Square MLCC.  Education Coordinator, Bonnie Tulloch, presented on plants from the regions while Scott Strizic of the MLCC presented beverage pairings and the following welcoming beverage.

The Kerala Shrimp and the Aloo Gobi were served on Red Rice that had been parboiled.  It has a lovely nutty bulgur flavour and is available at Dino's Grocery Mart on Notre Dame in Winnipeg.  

The remaining pairings are coming asap.

Indian Spice Milk Punch
4l 2% milk
1 can coconut milk
1 can cream of coconut
1 lemon rind strip
1 star anise, whole
1 tsp whole cloves
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp ground cardamom
Amaretto Liqueur, optional

Bring first 8 ingredients to a gentle simmer over medium heat, stirring often.  Strain into heatproof pitcher.  Add Amaretto liqueur, 2 tbs per one cup just prior to serving.

1. Kerala Shrimp
1/4 kg small shrimp
1 tsp ground chilies
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp vinegar

1 tbs cooking oil (grapeseed oil or canola so as to not add flavour)
1 large onion, chopped
a few curry leaves
1/4 tsp. paprika or chili powder (depending on how spicy you like the food)
1 tsp coconut oil (optional)

Clean and marinate shrimp in chilies, turmeric and vinegar at least 1/2 hour before cooking.

Heat oil in pan and saut� onion until golden brown. Remove from oil and set aside. Fry the shrimp in the same oil until crispy. Then add the fried onion, curry leaves and optional paprika or chili powder on low heat. Add the coconut oil for good Keralan flavour. Test for salt and serve with rice, roti or chappati, etc.

2. Bengali Squash
4-5 small zucchini or yellow squash (I am also using winter squashes, peeled)
2 tbs mustard oil
2 tbs vegetable oil
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp black mustard seeds, crushed
1/4 tsp cayenne
1 tsp sugar
pinch salt

Slice zucchini or squash lengthwise into 1/2-inch-thick slices.

Heat the oils in a large wok or a heavy skillet over medium high heat. Add the turmeric, mustard, cayenne and sugar and fry for about 10 seconds. Add the zucchini and cook, turning and moving the slices for about 3-5 minutes until softened through but not mushy.

Remove the slices and drain of oil. Sprinkle with salt and toss. Serve hot. If any oil is remaining, reserve for reuse.


3, Aloo gobi
  • 2 cups of cut cauliflower (cut into small florets)
  • 2 medium potatoes (cubed into bite sized pieces)
  • 1/2 inch shredded ginger
  • 3 teaspoons coriander powder (dhania)
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric (haldi)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper ( lal mirch)
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • Pinch of Asafetida (Hing)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds (jeera)
  • 2 green chilies, sliced in long pieces
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon salt (to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon mango powder (amchoor)
  • 2 tablespoons of chopped cilantro (green coriander)
  • 1/4 cup water as needed
  • � cup raisins
  • � cup chopped cashews
  1. In a small bowl, mix the shredded ginger, coriander powder, cayenne pepper, turmeric, and 3 tablespoons of water to make a paste.
  2. Heat the oil in a pan.
  3. Add hing and cumin seeds to the oil after seeds crack add the bay leaves and green chilies and stir for a few seconds.
  4. Next, add the spice paste and stir for a minute until spices start leaving the oil.
  5. Add cauliflower, potatoes, 2 tablespoons of water and salt. Mix well. Cover the pan and let it cook on medium heat for about 15 to 20 minutes until the vegetables are tender. Make sure to stir gently every 3 to 4 minutes.
  6. Lastly, add the mango powder and fresh cilantro (green coriander). Mix everything and cover for a minute. Adjust the salt to your taste.
Add some green peas and/or sliced red bell peppers. The red bell peppers should be added at the end of the recipe as they cook quickly.
Making a paste with the spices will prevent the spices from burning.

4. Squash Halwa- Easy Diwali Sweet Recipe

  • Acorn Squash- 1
  • Milk- � cup
  • Condensed milk- � can or 150 ml
  • Saffron, strands (optional)- � tsp strands soaked in 1 tbsp milk
  • Ghee- 4 tbsp
  • Roasted Almonds, whole or chopped- � cup (roasted in � tbsp ghee)

  1. Peel the skin off the squash and dice it into medium size.
  2. In a non-stick cooking pan, cook the diced squash in water till it turns tender and well cooked.
  3. Drain the water from the cooked squash and put it back into the pan.
  4. Using a wooden spoon, mash the cooked squash without any lumps.
  5. Switch on the stove to medium heat and place the pan with the mashed squash over it.
  6. Add milk and combine well stirring constantly breaking any lumps present in it.
  7. Add the condensed milk to it and combine well stirring constantly.
  8. Pour 2 tbsp of ghee at this point and keep stirring.
  9. If you are adding saffron, add the soaked saffron to the mixture.
  10. Let it thicken and don�t forget to stir it.
  11. When the mixture is no more watery and has thickened, add 2 tbsp more of ghee.
  12. Keep stirring for a minute and remove from the heat.
  13. In a small pan, roast whole or chopped almonds in � tbsp ghee till it turns golden in color.
  14. Grease a platter with little ghee and spread the squash halwa onto the plate.
  15. Even out the halwa level using a flat spatula.
  16. Garnish the squash halwa with roasted almonds.
  17. Chill the halwa for an hour and serve.
You could tweak this recipe according to your needs.
You could adjust the sweetness, amount of ghee added accordingly.
Also add pistachios, raisins or other nuts for extra crunchiness.