Ever wonder where tonic water gets its name? Here's the fascinating medical history of a bar standard!
Forget the grill, invest in a few clay pots and build a tandoor in your backyard this summer! For about $100 you can build a natural convection oven that will make you the envy of neighborhood bbq's.
This is how I will become a grillmaster. Neither changing propane tanks, nor praying at the altar of Weber, but rather with a tandoor. The contraption now sits in my backyard, taunting my with its emptiness. It is neither difficult to build nor challenging to maintain and at the risk of sounding alarmist I want to scream through the digitas WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?
My pursuits of the perfect Saag have taken me far and wide. I’ve tried many a recipe in my kitchen, some my own, some belonging to those far more well-versed in Indian cooking. My pursuits have brought forth this dish, reminiscent of the saag at my favorite Indian restaurant, but tweaked for my Brooklyn kitchen. Instead of spinach I used rainbow chard because it was local, fresh and calling to me with jewel-toned legs amidst the shrubbery of the produce aisle. Two bunches may look like a lot when you stick it in your cart, but chard (like every leafy green) cooks down to nothing. Ergo, buy more than you think you need.
- 2 bunches Rainbow Chard
- 2 tablespoons Olive Oil
- 1 inch Ginger, peeled and minced
- 1 tablespoon Mustard Seed
- ½ tablespoon Amchur (or the pit of one mango)
- 3-5 Cardomom Pods (depending on your affinity for the scent)
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- 1 teaspoon Black Pepper
- ½ cup Coconut Milk
- Strip the leaves of chard from their jewel-toned stems. Reserve the stems for making veggie stock, we will not be using them in this recipe. Stack the leaves of chard and roll them into a fat, tight cigar. Slicing across the roll, cut the chard into strips. Set the ribbons aside.
- In a large stock pot or wok heat the oil over medium-high heat until rippling.
- Add the ginger and saute for 3-5 minutes, or until it is golden brown.
- Add the mustard seeds and amchur (or the mango pit) and immediately put a lid on the pot. The seeds will start to pop and without a lid your kitchen will be covered in tiny little black spots. I repeat, put a lid on it.
- When the popping dies down (after about a minute or two), open the lid and stuff the chard into the pot.
- Add the cardomom pods, salt and pepper and stir everything to combine.
- Continue to stir as the chard wilts and pour in the coconut milk.
- Put the lid back on the pot, drop the heat to low and simmer for 15-20 minutes.
- Remove the lid and continue to simmer for another 5 minutes, or until the leaves are tender and the milk has thickened slightly.
- Eat it.
Beginning with an Indian inspiration I tore the insides from mental samosas and packed them into a casserole dish. The result is a tray of scoopable, spiced, tender, and crusty potatoes, perfect as the bed for some fried eggs. I add a lot of peas to my potato mixture, feel free to adjust the proportion should you be pea-averse.
4 large Yukon Gold Potatoes (~2 lbs)
1 tablespoon White Vineger
1/3 cup Olive Oil
2 Serrano Chilies, minced (~2 tbs)
5 cloves Garlic, minced (~1 1/2 tbs)
3 inches Ginger, chopped (~3 tbs)
1 tablespoon Black Mustard Seed
1 tablespoon Amchur
2 1/2 teaspoons Whole Cumin Seeds
1/2 teaspoon Ground Coriander
1/2 teaspoon Ground Cardamom
1/2 teaspoon Fennel Powder
2 cups frozen Green Peas
- Chop the potatoes into roughly 2 inch pieces.
- Place them in a large saute pan and cover with two cups of water. Add the vinegar.
- Cover the pan and bring to a simmer, cook at a medium temp for 15-20 minutes, until potatoes are fork tender but have not lost their shape completely.
- Drain the potatoes and partially mash in a large bowl.
- Heat the oil in a large wok or saute pan.
- When the oil is hot, toss in the serrano chilies, garlic, ginger, cumin seeds and black mustard seeds. Saute till light brown.
- Throw in all the remaining spices.
- Add the semi-mashed potatoes, stir everything to distribute the spices.
- Add the frozen peas.
- Spoon potato mixture into casserole dish and drizzle olive oil on top. Slide into the oven at 375 for 10-15 minutes to crisp up the top.