wayfarer in the kitchen

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

uh oh

I hope no one has made the ras malai yet. I put the wrong measurement in there. For the first ingredient i had put 15.8 ounces ricotta but it should be 32 ounces...big difference!

I made half a batch in the interest of not gaining weight and had halved the recipe for myself but didn't halve the rest of the ingredients for you. I changed it in the recipe below so it is correct now. Sorry if you made it and thought "WHOOOA - too sweet!"

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Speaking of mangos...

...my son doesn't like the Mexican/Costa Rica ones either - just like his dad. I pureed them and made them perfect for him and when i put the spoon in his mouth his whole body shivered with disgust. It was the funniest and saddest thing i've seen. It was obviously too sour for him. I guess i have about 16 more months until those Indian mangos start getting imported. Until then, i guess i have to eat the pureed mangos all myself...mango lassi here i come!

How's that for the Little Dude being just like his father? He may not look Pakistani, but he is in every other way.

Ras Malai

Ras Malai
Originally uploaded by wayfarer.
Oh dear me. This recipe rocks. My husband is very particular about his ras malai, like he is his mangos. He always said he can't find good ras malai here so i've only ate it once because he always says, no that doesn't look good etc. Soooo, his diet ended Monday (he won out of ten coworkers for losing the most weight...congrats dh!) and i figured i'd give him a treat so made a friends recipe for ras malai but i didn't know if he would like or not since he's so picky. He looooooved it. Between yesterday and the day before we ate the entire batch. I sort of knew when i tasted it he was gonna like it even though i didn't know a good ras malai from a bad one. I'll be making it for my inlaws on my upcoming visit because they complain about the ras malai in canada too. Here is the recipe:

–32 oz (2 lbs) Ricotta cheese
–1 and 1/2 cups Sugar
–1 spoon cardamon powder

Drain as much water out of the ricotta as you can by placing it in cheesecloth or muslin in a strainer over a bowl. I do it the entire day so a lot comes out...it makes the texture better.

Preheat oven to 300-350 degrees. Mix the sugar, and cardamon powder and stir completly. Drop spoonfuls into a mini-cupcake pan (i used a regular size).

Place in oven for about 20-30 minutes or until the entire ricotta sets (i find it takes about 30-40 depending on temperature and oven - it should become puffy and bubbly on the top. You want all the water to basically dry up. I couldn't get it all to dry so when the ricotta got to the right texture i let it cool and then flipped the cupcake pan over a baking sheet and then propped it up on an angle and let the juices drain out that way.

Now make the sauce:

–about 32 oz heavy whipping cream or you can mix half whipping cream, half regular milk (to make the sauce a little less "rich") or even just using half and half (this is what i like the best after having tried all the ways)
–about half cup sugar (or to taste)
–pinch of saffron
–couple drops of rose water
–crushed pistacious for garnish

In a saucepan boil the cream until thick and hot, add the sugar and kewra/rose water essense, once done…cool a bit and poor it into an airtight container.

Drop the ricotta patties in the creamy sauce. Seal tight and store in the fridge overnight for best results. Enjoy!!!! We sure did. Thanks Lindsey!

Chicken yakatori and salad

Chicken yakatori
Originally uploaded by wayfarer.
The recipe wasn't strong enough for me but my husband liked it a lot. I think the meat should be marinated beforehand... I think they don't have you do that because brown sugar often makes things burn. If i did this recipe again though, i'd marinate it anyhow and then i think it would be really good.


1 lb boneless chicken breasts
1 bunch of scallions/green onions cut into inch long pieces
1/4 cup soy sauce
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon chicken stock
whatever else you want on there

Soak your bamboo skewers so they don't burn. Cube your chicken breasts. Skewer however you like. I did it with green onions/scallions with a tomato and mushroom at the top. Well actually that was my husbands touch. And he made that yummy salad too.

Anyhow, preheat your broiler or grill.

In a saucepan over medium heat, combine soy sauce, sugar and stock. Bring to a boil. Allow sauce to simmer for 3 minutes or so stirring constantly. Remove from heat.

Brush the broiler pan with oil and place the skewers of chicken on there. Broil for about 8-10 minutes. I think you should glaze them first though. I really didn't think they were strong enough.

Make sure chicken is basically cooked through and brush chicken with sauce every couple of minutes and turning them until done.

recipe came from a book called Japanese Cooking at Home. Don't remember the author.

Horseshoe in my yoghurt

Horseshoe in my yoghurt
Originally uploaded by wayfarer.
This horseshoe was on the top of a brand new yoghurt. How crazy is that? Maybe i can sell it on ebay liked those people who sold the piece of toast that had Mary in/on it. Or i could be rational and just call a horseshoe a horseshoe. Isn't it strange though how perfect it is?

(the picture looks a little gruesome with all that red huh? it's just beet juice from my goat and beet curry)

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Okra Dry Fry

Originally uploaded by wayfarer.
I'm having a hard time letting this recipe out into the world. It's my secret weapon. ;-)

This is the rare dish that my husband says i make better than his mom so that is a huge compliment because his mom's cooking is very good and i learned much of my indian/hyderabadi/pakistani cooking from her. This recipe i didn't.

I have no idea for measurements cause i just eyeball it so this is going to be a hard one. And trust me on the yoghurt - that is what throws people off when i tell them this recipe and they don't put it in there and it doesn't taste the same. It's my secret ingredient.

And when you shop for okra, look for the tender little ones. It should roll easily between your fingers and have some give. If it's hard, it's not as good.

(Be sure to wash the okra first and make sure it's dry before cooking, otherwise it'll be slimy. I wash mine as soon as i get home from the grocery store and then drain it on a few paper towels or a tea towel and then i spread it out and let it finish air drying. To store, put in the fridge in a bag and put a paper towel to absorb moisture.)

Okay, off to the best okra recipe ever -

1 lb Okra - i'm guessing a pound - about three full handfuls
1 medium to large onion
1-2 garlic cloves
2-4 small green chilis
2 small plum tomatos or 1 big regular tomato
chili powder to taste (i use about a teaspoon to a teaspoon and a half)
1 cup of yogurt
cumin seeds/zeera (again, what you like..i use about a teaspoon and a half to a tablespoon depending on my mood)
1 teaspoon turmeric/haldi
salt to taste (about a teaspoon)
vegetable oil (for cooking, i start with 1 tablespoon and add if/as needed)

Chop and crush garlic cloves, chop onion, slit green onions and pull out the spine and seeds (unless you want the extra heat since that is where the heat is). Dice tomatos into chunks.

You can start carmelizing the onions now if you are a fast chopper, otherwise, chop okra now too. Chop the top off and the bottom if it's brown. Slice into little pieces like my picture.

Put the oil in the pot (use a big skillet or a wok/karahi). Carmelize onions (fry until medium to dark brown so they sort of melt away later). When brown, add garlic and let cook for a minute. Now add the okra, tomatos, and green chilis. Fry on high heat about five to seven minutes and keep stirring them so they don't burn. They should crust up just a little bit on the outside. When the five to seven minutes is up add salt, turmeric, and zeera. Blend it all and add a cup of yoghurt - i sometimes do a cup and a half. It all depends on the amount of okra though. Turn the heat down to low or low medium, 2 and a half on my stove. Cook and stir until the yoghurt disapears and then sprinkle the chili powder on top. Mix in and remove from heat.

It's good the first day but be sure to make enough for leftovers because it's so much better the next days. I make a big batch and seperate into small containers and put it in the freezer so i don't have to make it every time. It's delcious later on.


Dinner my husband made

Husband made dinner
Originally uploaded by wayfarer.
DH doesn't cook often so when he does it's a real treat. Here is his blackened fish (forget what it was), baked potato with yummy soy bacon bits, corn on the cob and salad.

Can i get an alhamdulillah for dh's who cook?

Saturday, April 08, 2006


I've added recipes to everything that didn't have recipes. Do try the chickpea patty recipe i posted (from the March 27 under finger foods). We loooooved those!

Coming next: my famous okra recipe

Friday, April 07, 2006

mahi mahi, brussells sprouts and corn

This may not look good but it tasted good! Used Alton Brown's recipe for macademian nut crusted mahi mahi (on food network's website), a vegan recipe from Vegan LunchBox (sidebar) for Sweet and Sour Brussells Sprouts (first time eating them and yummmmmmy, they are good!), and creamed corn.

A very healthy dinner. This explains how i've lost a bunch of weight recently and dh too.

Taco Salad

Taco Salad
Originally uploaded by wayfarer.
Nuff said... A layer of refried organic beans, lettuce, spicy beef, two kinds of cheese, sour cream, avocado, jalapeno, tomato,olive. Such good comfort food and not half bad for you either if you put more salad than the other stuff.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006


Originally uploaded by wayfarer.
Had a mom's lunch and playdate over here and this is what i served:

Innocent Sangria, Salad with grilled lemon pepper chicken and red onions, homemade dressings (one is a soy ginger vinagarette and the other is homemade caesar), fresh fruit (red grapes, peaches, blueberries, strawberry's drizzled with a touch of lemon and sprinkled with powdered sugar, pita sandwiches with the salad mixture inside.

Easy fuss free lunch. Most of it can be made the night before.

Beef and Potato Curry, Vegetable Curry and Strawberry healthy dessert

Clockwise from the salad...

Beef and potato curry (yummmmmyyy...we don't have a lot of repeat meals but this is one we do repeat about once a month), a healthy "dessert" - cinnamon raisin bread topped with mascarpone cheese, a drizzle of honey, shredded basil and strawberries, vegetable curry (cauliflower, carrots, lima beans, corn, peas, mushrooms, onion).

The recipe (adapted from http://www.cookingwithbj.com/bjcooking/recipe/rcpdetail.php?rcpID=433&rcatID=107):

1 lb cubed beef
1 TBSN garlic paste
1 TBSN ginger paste
1\2 cup slightly beaten yogurt
1 - 1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon dhunya/coriander powder
1 1\2 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
3 small (or 2 medium or 1 gigantic) potatos peeled and cubed
1 teaspoon garam masala
1\4 cup coriander, fresh, chopped
2-3 green chilis, sliced down the middle and seeds taken out (or left in if you want it extra spicy


1. Place meat in a bowl, add ginger and garlic paste, yogurt, chili powder, turmeric, salt and coriander powder. Mix all the ingredients thoroughly and leave to marinate for an hour.
2 Heat oil in heavy-based saucepan. Add onions and stirring frequently fry onions until light-medium brown. Add meat and marinade and stirring constantly, fry meat until brown, about 5 minutes.
4. Add about one cup water (barely cover meat), stir once and cover with tight fitting lid. Reduce heat and cook until meat is half cooked, about 20 minutes.
5. Add potatoes and enough water to cover meat and potatos, mix well, cover and cook for another 25 minutes or until beef and potatoes are tender.
6. Add garam masala, coriander leaves and green chilies and cook for another minute and then let it sit for a while before serving.

(Pakistani and Indian food taste better after sitting for a while...and it's even better the next day after all the spices and flavors have mingled for a day. I usually cook in the morning and let it sit then refridgerate and reheat in the evening.)


Vegetable Curry:

I put a little olive oil in a wok or pot and stir fry onions in the oil until carmelized or medium brown. Add about a tablespoon of garlic paste and a tablespoom of ginger paste, a chopped clove of garlic and about 1 teaspoon turmeric and 1 teaspoon chili powder. Add the vegetables (whatever you want). I do lima beans, cauliflower, peas, mushrooms, carrots (but carrots you have to precook in the microwave for about five minutes or so to soften a bit - otherwise they'll be hard), corn. I use whatever i have around. Add a little water or veggie broth or chicken broth and fast simmer for about ten minutes or until done. Sprikle fresh corriander/cilantro on top.

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