BisiBeleBath

Many readers may be used to eating Naan, Paratha and Panneer at Indian restaurants. These foods mostly belong to the Eastern and Northern part of India. Other parts of India have equally enticing specialties. One of the dishes that Southern India is famous for is Bisi Bele Bath which is often served with the yoghurt side dish, Raita.

Bisi Bele Bath is very popular in Karnataka, a region of Southeastern India. It is served in almost all wedding receptions, festivals, buffets and parties. If you may have ever eaten at a South Indian buffet, Bisi Bele Bath is almost always served. It is a wholesome meal that contains rice, lentils (Thuar Dal) and vegetables.

Bisi Bele Bath is literally translated as “hot lentil rice mixture.” All the ingredients needed for this dish are available at any Indian grocery store, like the one in the “Little India" mall on Black Mountain Road.
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\r\nYou can use a wide range of vegetables such as carrots, peas, beans, bell pepper, onion, tomato along with Indian Pumpkin and Indian beans (Frozen Papdi Liva available in Indian stores), it really depends on the tastes that you enjoy and which ingredients you can find.

Ingredients:

Rice

  • 3 cups of white rice.
  • 6 cups of water

Dal:

  • 3 cups yellow Thuar Dal (a type of lentil)
  • 6 cups of water
  • 2 teaspoons of cooking oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon of turmeric

Sauce:

  • 5-6 teaspoons of Bisi Bele Bath powder
  • 3 chopped Roma tomatoes
  • 3 teaspoons of fresh Coconut

Vegetables:

  • 5 carrots peeled and chopped.
  • 8-10 green beans cut 2 inches long
  • 3/4 cup of peas
  • 2 Bell peppers (green or red) chopped small
  • 1/4 of an Indian white pumpkin, chopped small
  • 3/4 cup of Papdi Liva (Indian beans) about 25
  • 2 medium sized yellow onions, chopped

Additional Ingredients:

  • 2 teaspoons of tamarind paste Tamcon
  • 1 teaspoon of black mustard seeds
  • 3 dry Indian red chilies. Chopped very fine
  • 7-8 curry leaves
  • 1 tablespoon of ghee (clarified butter)
  • Chopped cilantro as garnish

Sauce Preparation

  1. Blend the Bisi Bele Bath powder or paste with a few pieces of tomatoes and chopped coconut. The tomato gives a nice red color to the dish.
  2. When everything is cooked and prepared according to the above instructions, gently mix all of the ingredients together in one pot or a very large skillet and heat well.
  3. Add salt and tamarind paste which will add a nice sour taste to the dish. Stir the pot or skillet constantly so that the dish does not burn.
  4. In a small pan heat 2 tablespoons of cooking oil to the smoke point and add the black mustard seed and chilies, and cover quickly. Shortly thereafter you will hear a popping sound which is the sound of the seeds hitting the pan lid. In India we call this phenomena [text missing]

Raitha Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cup of plain yogurt.
  • 1 grated carrot
  • 2 medium sized chopped tomatoes
  • 1 finely chopped cucumber
  • I/4 medium sized onion, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cumin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon of mustard seeds
  • 4 teaspoon of cooking oil
  • 2 chopped Jalapenos peppers
  • Several stems of chopped cilantro (as garnish)
  • 4-5 curry leaves (garnish)

Raitha Preparation:

  1. Add grated carrots, chopped cucumbers, onions and tomatoes to 1 1/2 cup of plain yogurt.
  2. In the same method as described above, “splatter” in hot oil the jalapenos, black mustard seeds and whole cumin seeds removing the pan from the heat when you hear the popping sound.
  3. Mix all the ingredients together, adding salt to taste.
  4. Garnish with cilantro and serve.
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ThaiCurry

The recipe below is one of our favorites. It is easy to prepare but is wonderfully delicious and very good for entertaining guests. The curry can be cooked in either a wok or a large saucepan. All of the ingredients for this dish can be purchased at the 99 Ranch Market.. It's a good idea to read through the entire recipe to get a sense of the variations possible.

Ingredients:

  • 2 chicken breasts sliced 1/4 in thin in medium sized pieces.
  • 2 tablespoons penut or corn oil
  • 2 (14 ounce) cans coconut milk or cream
  • 1 stalk of lemongrass
  • 4 kaffir lime leaves
  • 1-4 tablespoons of Aroy-D curry paste (Green or Panang)
  • 2 tablespoons of grated fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoons of fish sauce (optional)
  • 1 (8 ounce) can of bamboo shoots
  • 1 (14 ounce) can of baby corn
  • 1 (14 ounce) can of straw mushrooms
  • 1/3 pound frozen peas
  • 1/2 pound sliced green beans
  • 1/3 pound sliced carrots
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Tender sprigs of cilantro
  • 2 cups jasmine rice
  • 3 cups water

Preparation:

  1. Start cooking the rice first in a rice cooker or in a pot. Jasmine rice requires slightly less water than American long-grain rice.
  2. Sauté the chicken in the oil on medium-high heat for 2 minutes.
  3. Add the ginger and the optional fish sauce. Uncooked fish sauce is very aromatic (fishy) before it is fully cooked, don't worry about this as it tempers down during cooking.
  4. Cook the chicken until it is fully cooked, but only very lightly browned.
  5. Add the curry paste (adjusting for your tolerance for chilies), mix well and cook for another minute or so. Both green curry paste (hotter) and Panang curry paste (sweeter) work well with chicken. Try both (but not in the same dish!) You can also substitute firm white fish (like cod) or shrimp for the chicken.
  6. The lemongrass and lime leaves are optional but they really do impart wonderful flavors to the dish. Cut off or peel the dried out parts of the lemongrass stalk and then mutilate it with a kitchen hammer or the back side of a cleaver. Break the lemongrass in one or more places so that the flavors infuse the curry. Please note that the lemongrass and the kaffir lime leaves are for flavoring the curry; it is not recommended that you eat them!
  7. Add the coconut milk or cream to the sauce pan or wok. Coconut milk yields a thinner sauce; many restaurants use coconut cream to create a very thick sauce.
  8. Add all of the remaining ingredients except the cilantro and simmer softly until all the carrots are tender, but not over-cooked. I often use frozen French-cut green bean instead of fresh. Asian eggplants and potatoes also work well in this recipe, but if you use them you must be very careful not to overcook them.

Serve over rice, garnished with small tender sprigs of cilantro.

Thai Cucumber Salad Ingredients:

  • 1 cucumber, either diced small or sliced thin
  • 1-4 hot Thai chilies, sliced very thin
  • 1/4 of a medium onion, or 4-5 scallions sliced very thin
  • 1 cup rice or white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 teaspoon salt

Preparation:

  1. Heat vinegar, sugar and salt in a saucepan and stir until sugar and salt are dissolved.
  2. Let liquid cool to room temperature or cool in refrigerator.
  3. Mix the sliced cucumbers, chilies and onions in a medium sized bowl.
  4. Pour vinegar into the bowl until it is half the depth of the ingredients.
  5. Add water to the point that the ingredients are just covered.
  6. Add sugar and salt and mix well. This salad gets hotter (be careful!) the longer it sits and the cucumbers get increasingly tender as they "pickle". The acidity, saltiness and sweetness of this salad really balances the "thickness" of the curry recipe above.

Recipe by T. Johnston-O'Neill
Photo by Shari K. Johnston-O'Neill

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Schnitzel Ingredients:

  • 1 pound pork cutlets
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup dry bread crumbs
  • Cooking oil

Preparation:

  1. Pound cutlets until they are thin.
  2. Sprinkle cutlets with salt and pepper.
  3. Set out three plates, the first with the flour, the second with the beaten egg and the third with the bread crumbs.
  4. Coat each cutlet first with flour, then cover both sides with egg, then coat with bread crumbs until completely covered.
  5. Heat a 1/4 inch of oil in a skillet over medium high heat.
  6. Add breaded cutlets.
  7. Cook until dark golden brown.
  8. Drain on paper towel and serve.

Spaetzle

Literally translated from German as "little sparrow," spaetzle are small irregularly shaped noodles made with flour, eggs, water or milk, salt and sometimes nutmeg. There are two main ways to make spaetzle, the more traditional way by slicing small slivers off of a flattened piece of firm dough or by forcing batter through a sieve or colander that has large holes. There are also spaetzle-making machines. The recipe below uses the force-through-a-colander method.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups of flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 1 tablespoon of salt
  • 2 tablespoon of finely chopped parsley (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons of butter (to taste)

Preparation:

  1. Fill a large wide pot 3/4 full of salted water and bring to a rolling boil.
  2. Mix the flour, salt, eggs and parsley in a mixing bowl.
  3. Stir in milk slowly until a thick batter forms.
  4. Let batter sit for 5 minutes.
  5. The batter should be thick, just before it reaches the thickness that it will no longer pour from the mixing bowl.
  6. This part is a bit tricky; it requires more hands than most people have and you will be working over a boiling pot of water.
  7. Hold the large-holed colander over the pot and pour about a cup of batter into the colander.
  8. Using a spoon or the bottom of a glass, force the batter through the holes.
  9. The batter will float to the top of the pot, stop adding more batter when the top of the water is covered.
  10. Boil for 5-8 minutes.
  11. Remove Spaetzle with a large slotted spoon and then drain further through a stainer.
  12. Repeat the cooking process until all the batter is used.
  13. Mix with butter and serve.
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varenyky


Photos: Jessica Price Varenyky is a Ukrainian dumpling and makes for a very versatile dish. The possibilities are endless which makes this a great choice for vegetarian, meat eaters and dessert lovers alike! Enjoy!

Varenyky Dough Ingredients:

  • 5 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1 3/4 cups warm water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon oil

Preparation:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine 3 cups flour with egg, warm water, salt and oil. Mix well.
  2. Knead in the remaining flour. Knead until smooth and pliable. Let stand 10 minutes.
  3. Cut into pieces, and roll flat (1/8 inch thickness).
  4. Cut circles in the dough using a drinking glass.
  5. Continue rolling and re-rolling dough until you have as many circles as possible, using additional flour if needed to keep the dough from sticking.
  6. Take a dough circle in your palm and scoop in a small spoonful of filling.
  7. Dip your fingers into a little water, fold over and press edges together.
  8. Repeat this process until all of the dough is used.

This recipe yields many varenyky, but you may store them in the freezer until ready to use.

Savory Filling Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup green onions (scallions), finely chopped
  • 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 package ground soy sausage or pork sausage if preferred
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Dash of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

Preparation:

  1. In sauté pan, warm oil on medium heat and add green and red onion.
  2. When onions have softened, add garlic and sausage, using a fork to break up and mix filling.
  3. Add salt and pepper to mixture. Cook for an additional 3 minutes, or until pork sausage is cooked, and then filling is ready go in the dough.

Sweet Filling Ingredients:

  • 1 apple, finely chopped
  • Seeds from 1 medium sized pomegranate
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar

Filling Preparation:

  1. Add 1/2 tablespoon of butter to medium heated sauté pan.
  2. Add chopped apples and cook until slightly browned and soft.
  3. Add pomegranate seeds and sprinkle mixture with 1 tablespoon of cinnamon. Continue cooking until both the apple and pomegranate are heated through. Filling is ready to be added to the dough.
  4. Add up to 6 varenyky to a pot of salted, boiling water.
  5. Boil 4-5 minutes, until cooked through and floating.

If the varenyky are savory, transfer to frying pan with butter or oil and chopped onions and cook until crispy. Serve with a dollop of Smetana or sour cream. Another serving option is placing 1 or 2 dumplings in a broth soup. If the varenyky are sweet, transfer to frying pan with the other tablespoon of butter, cinnamon, and brown sugar. Serve warm.
As mentioned earlier, have fun with this recipe and get creative!<

Recipe submitted by Jessica Price

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Pablano

"Tex-Mex" is a blend of Mexican and southwest U.S. cultural elements. The term when applied to food typically indicates a method of preparing traditional Mexican foods with ingredients more commonly available in the United States. There are many variations of this dish, this is based on the one my grandmother made. This recipe serves two, but it can be doubled to serve more.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Poblano (Mexican) peppers
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil (for vegetarian version)
  • 3/4 pounds ground beef (may substitute crumbled vegetarian burger)
  • 2 tablespoons McCormick chili seasoning mix or Mexican Adobo spices (more or less according to taste)
  • 2 celery sticks, minced
  • 2 or 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 small onion, minced
  • 1/4 cup shredded pepper jack cheese or Mexican Asadero cheese
  • salt & pepper to taste

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Pablano peppers are typically charred until black over an open flame from either a gas stove or over a grill. They can also be broiled in an oven. The goal with the charring is to fully cook the peppers. Another method is to parboil the peppers for 3 minutes. Peppers can be eaten with their skins or they can be easily removed once they are either grilled or parboiled.
  3. Slice the Pablanos in half lengthwise and remove the seeds
  4. In a large (preferably cast-iron) skillet brown hamburger and then add the garlic, onion celery, spice mixture, salt and pepper. Saute until onions are translucent. If you are cooking the vegetarian version, saute all the ingredients in the olive oil.
  5. Arrange the pepper halves on a cookie sheet or oven pan. Brushing the pan lightly with olive oil will prevent the peppers from sticking.
  6. Fill Pablano pepper halves with the above mixture and generously top with shredded cheese.
  7. Bake stuffed peppers for 10 minutes or until the cheese melts and starts to brown

Stuffed peppers can be served with Mexican or white rice and either re-fried or black beans. Enjoy!

Recipe by Angela Basurtto

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