Spicy tangy flavors seem to make everything better for me….the sense of the spice, the heat and the sour is a dance on the taste buds.
In a quest to make gluten free tostadas I have experimented with flours quite a bit which have resulted in as many fails as successes. A combination of coconut flour with some almond flour added in seems to hold it’s own for me. I have seen people add xanthan gum so the dough becomes pliable but I did not have any so went without.
There are layers of flavors in this recipe.
With the dough in place, I started with grated beets and carrots and marinated them with lemon juice and salt for 5 mins.
The steak is grass fed organic and turns out just amazing
The Cilantro sauce is a staple in my kitchen and I have used it as a marinade and topping. You can find the recipe below and another version here.
Now to the fermented red cabbage….just delicious and so good for you. This add the right amount of tanginess and crunch.
This dish is topped with fresh watercress and a sprinkle of goat cheese.
Thai cooking has always been a passion, with fresh aromatic ingredients like lemon grass, cilantro, chilies and ginger, the possibilities of creating dishes is endless. This cuisine brings to the world the 5 flavors of sweet, salty, sour, bitter and hot. The subtle variation in proportions of ingredients used highlights these flavors.
I am fortunate to have a store within a mile that carries fresh Thai ingredients ( except for Kaffir lime leaves). Kaffir lime leaves are essential flavoring in Thai cooking and I found a wonderful online store for a bag of dried leaves. The smell is heavenly.
Lemon Grass ( or Takrai) is widely available and sold in bunches. The edible portion is about 4-6 inches from the root. The rest can be used for flavoring broths.
I am using fresh mushrooms but If you have dried shiitake mushrooms just soak them in warm water until they are soft and use the broth in cooking as well.
This medley of rice and vegetables is inspired by the Kashmiri Pulao that uses morel mushrooms. I did not have the wild expensive mushrooms so used the dried shiitake I hand in my pantry. Soaked in warm water for about 20 mins brings out the earthiness and the umami flavors. Don’t discard the golden liquid from the mushrooms, it adds immense flavor.
I also used cauliflower in this recipe…cut in florets and pan fried with a touch of sea salt.
The basic Kashmiri pulao recipes packs a punch with whole spices…I have used cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, whole pepper, dried ginger and bay leaves.
Saffron is my favorite and it had been used blooming in warm water.
I have also added soaked almond, walnuts and raisins…feel free to experiment.
Once again I am honored to be c0-hosting and feasting with such amazing and talented virtual friends at Fiesta Friday. Our host Angie has done such a wonderful job providing us with this forum and inviting us to a global table. I am also honored to be co-hosting alongside Jhuls and am a big fan :), do check out her blog if you have not already.
These are delightful winter beauties… you fall in love when you go to the winter remains of the farmers market with the variety of pumpkins and squashes. I am not much for decorating with them so just want to find the ones that are delicious to cook
Sweet Dumpling Squash – the sweetest of them all! This has a whiteish skin with green stripes. The sweet, tender orange flesh makes this absolutely delicious to feed your soul.
I baked the squash in the oven, cutting around the stem of the sweet dumplings and removing the top. Scoop out the seeds and pulp, and then baking until tender.
Stuffing this squash takes it to another level. I have used mushrooms and farro as the key ingredient and flavored it with Ras el hanout spice blend, thyme, garlic and cilantro. Farro s a type of ancient wheat grain that is found in many Mediterranean, Ethiopian or Middle Eastern cuisines.
While the squash roast you can prepare the filling which is sautéed mushrooms with garlic and thyme. I added the cooked farro with a generous topping of cilantro, mint and lemon juice.
The icing on the cake is the creamy poached egg on top.
Sweet dumpling squash with Ras El Hanout and Farro
There are so many varieties of lettuce available these days that it would make your head spin. Rich in vitamin A and K and deficient in calories, it is a low carb alternative that accompanies us in salads around the globe.
Butterhead – Also known as Boston or Bibb lettuce has a sweet flavor and tender texture and is perfect for use as cups to serve your favorite mixture.
This gluten free dish is quick and easy to make and the flavors are amazing. I made some lemon grass paste at home and store it in the fridge for multiple uses. It stays pretty well for a couple of weeks. You can always use the store bought version
I have used organic ground turkey here but you could use ground chicken or any vegan proteins you like.
To get a tangy taste, I have added pickled carrots which are easy to make with rice vinegar, salt and a teaspoon of maple syrup.
Chestnuts have been used for that crunch in every bite.
1 head of Butter lettuce – cleaned and leaves removed for serving
Use 2-3 stalks and remove the hard dry stalks first. Then chop up the softer interior. Add 2-3 cloves or garlic, an inch of ginger root, an inch of fresh turmeric (or a tsp of dry) and some sea salt . Blend it in a blender adding water as needed for consistency. Then a couple of tablespoons of olive oil and a final blend. This will store well for 2-3 weeks in the fridge
Marinate shredded carrots in a cup of rice vinegar, sea salt and a tablespoon of maple syrup. Pickle is ready in 20 mins but ages well for future uses.
Putting it together:
Cook the turkey in olive oil breaking up the lumps until brown. Add the lemon grass paste and mix well.
Continue to cook and add the water chestnuts. Give it about 5 mins and set aside.
In a bowl, mix together the cucumbers, green onions, basil, mint, lemon juice and sambal oelek. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Add the cooked turkey and mix well.
Spoon the mixture on to the lettuce cups and garnish with pickled carrots and toasted cashews.
This dish is inspired by my amazing and talented sister in law, Sadia Durrani who specialize in classic Old Delhi food and teaches culinary skills in India. She posted this over 2 years ago and I can’t believe it took me this long to make it. If you want to watch the original recipe from her check out this link
My vegetable garden here in Virginia is overflowing with the cutest purple eggplants that I have used in this dish. I kept a few whole just slicing them to the stem. The rest I cut in cubes with the skin on.