We are very happy to present to you this recipe created by Mary Krystinak of Mary's Wholesome Living!
This recipe was quite timely in regards to the new food trend of 2015, which is using more fermented foods like pickled cauliflower along with smoked cabbage.
Mary's goal is to bring back the lost techniques of canning, pickling, fermenting, kombucha, and bread making using only the most natural ingredients. She offers classes regularly at many locations. Be sure to check out her website and enjoy the recipe!
2 large heads of cauliflower, cut into bite sized pieces
2 Tablespoons Curry's Curry Powder
2 Tablespoons chili powder
2 Teaspoons ground cayenne pepper (or I used hot paprika)
2 Teaspoons ground turmeric
3-6 cloves garlic, smashed
4 Tablespoons sea salt
1/2 cup whey, 1/2 brine from previous batch, or an additional tbsp of salt
Measure all your spices and salt then mix well to combine. Peel and smash garlic. Add to spice mixture.
Toss cauliflower, and spice mix to coat. Place in a large clean crock or large glass jar, gently pressing the cauliflower. Pour whey or reserved brine over cauliflower, fill will unchlorinated water. Mix well to distribute spices.
Covering - if using a crock, place saran wrap directly on top of mixture to seal out air. I place another smaller crock on top of this to weight down cauliflower and keep it below the brine. It is important that the cauliflower stay submerged the entire time in order to prevent mold. Cover the crock with a cloth to keep out dust and insects, but allow for air.
If using a large jar, you can use glass weights if available or saran wrap as above with smaller water filled jar to keep veggies submerged. Once again cover to allow air flow, but keep dust and insects out. I have fermentation caps, Kraut Kaps, that allow for air flow, but keep things clean.
Place on couter and keep at room temperature 3-5 days. Check for tanginess. Leave a few days longer if you wish. Should be nice and crisp. Place in sealed glass jars and store in refrigerator.
This post was inspired by Suzanne, our Farmer's Market manager, who also runs her own booth of fresh produce. Almost every market day, she comes to my booth and offers me some kind of greens (FREE!) and says "You probably know how to cook these with your spices"! So, here we go, some Swiss Chard recipes using Curry's spices.
I love eating nutrient-dense greens at least 2-3 times a week because they are rich in essential vitamins (beta-carotenoid (converts to vitamin A), vitamin C, vitamin K, and folate) and minerals (iron, calcium, potassium, disease fighting phytochemicals, water, and fiber).
Recently, research reports that there is a gene that specifically responds to the green leafy vegetables we eat. That is why the recent drive to drink green juice or smoothies for ultimate health is gaining so much of popularity among those who are health conscious. Some believe that raw greens are more beneficial as the nutrients present are not lost during the cooking process. While some of the heat-labile (easily broken down) nutrients like vitamin C can be lost while cooking, the cooked form of the greens can also be beneficial: cooking breaks down the complex plant cells to release the nutrients for easy digestion and absorption.
However, greens seem to be a troublesome ingredient from the cleaning to the cooking – they are finicky and can become mushy or salty very easily if you are not careful.
Today, I am going to show you some very easy and sure-success recipe tips that you can personalize to suit your meals. In, India, cooking greens in any form is very common and popular. They can be lightly sautéed or pureed to add to a gravy like Palak Paneer (cottage cheese in spinach gravy), lamb or chicken curry; chopped and added to dough to make flat bread; added to a batter to make fritters, etc. There are some hundreds of recipes on green leafy vegetables. Below, you will see two of them: Swiss Chard and Chicken Curry and Swiss Chard Fritters. Give them a try and I’m sure adding greens to your dishes will become a favorite. Go Healthy!
This recipe is a nice combination of curry powder and creamy mozzarella cheese stuffed inside slices of eggplant.
You can serve them as a side dish with grilled fish, poultry, or meat.
1 large eggplant
1 egg, beaten lightly*
1 tbsp water
1 cup breadcrumbs
½ tsp Curry Powder
1/8 tsp salt
½ cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
½ tsp Curry Powder
Olive oil to fry
1. Cut eggplant lengthwise into 1/4-inch thick slices. You will get about 6 slices.
2. Mix water with the beaten egg to make it thinner in consistency.
3. In a separate dish, mix the breadcrumbs, Curry Powder, and salt and keep it aside.
4. Heat 1 tbsp oil at a time in a pan over medium high heat.
5. Dip each eggplant slice in the egg mixture and let the extra drip off.
6. Coat the eggplant slices well with the breadcrumbs mixture.
7. Fry the eggplant slices until nicely brown on the bottom. Flip the slice and fry the other side.
8. Put some cheese mixture at the center of eggplant slice and gently fold the other end so that the cheese is covered well. Press lightly with the bottom of a ladle so that the cheese melts slightly and the eggplant fold holds in place. You can also use a toothpick to secure the fold.
9. You can arrange the eggplant slices over a warm grill until serving time so that it keeps the eggplants warm while developing a smoky flavor at the same time.
* You can use a batter made of corn flour or all-purpose flour in place of egg.
Okra! A beautiful pointy summer vegetable also known as “lady’s finger” loved by many people. Especially in southern cooking you will see a number of recipes of this vegetable such as battered fried okra, okra hush puppies, or gumbo. While many people enjoy it, it’s definitely not welcome by a home cook. Why is that? We’ll be talking about that today and showing how cooking okra can be made enjoyable.
Recently, when I was in a local grocery store picking up my okra supply, a lady approached me and asked me how I cook them. Does its sliminess not bother me? I briefly explained how to avoid that “slimy stuff” she was referring to but she did not seem to be interested in my story. It’s amazing that just because of a special attribute, a whole vegetable can become totally unforgivable to people.
Another memory of okra: A few years back, at one of my dinner parties at home, I prepared Indian-style fried okra. Everyone enjoyed it a lot and also asked me for the recipe, but all of them agreed that it was too hard to prepare due to okra’s slimy nature. So, I thought of including a very simple recipe here to show how to handle this little vegetable that creates havoc in everyone’s kitchen.
Okra has been my favorite since I was little as my mom used to prepare it in several different ways. In Indian cuisine you’ll see a number of recipes where this little veggie becomes the star of the dish, including whole grilled okra, simply sautéed okra, spiced-up okra, okra in a spicy tomato sauce, stuffed okra and many more. I never thought that this vegetable, although I loved it so much, was worth mentioning in a recipe book or a blog. It always seemed like a common staple to me and very easy to prepare. But once I started cooking okra myself, I found that a few careful steps were needed to avoid that slimy annoyance while cooking!
Remember that okra tends to get slimy when it comes into contact with water or is cooked under steam. To prevent this, follow the steps below:
Wash and dry before cooking: Wash the okra, pat dry, and spread it on a paper-lined tray. Once it is dry (about 30 minutes), cut the vegetable in your desired size and spread it again on a paper towel to dry for at least 30 more minutes before you start cooking.
Do not cook it covered: Make sure that you cook the okra uncovered. Cooking with a cover will steam the vegetable and the added moisture will make it slimy.
Add salt and spices at the end: Do not add any salt or dry spices until the okra are half cooked. The dry spices and salt draw out the moisture from okra and make it slimy. If you are making dry fried okra, add salt and spices at the end of cooking, after the okra is almost cooked and browned. This is the same concept as browning mushrooms before adding salt to it.
So, let’s begin with a simple recipe of sautéed okra!
½ lb. okra
2 tbsp. coconut oil/ghee/butter or any fat of your choice
1 tsp. whole cumin seeds
1 large onion, thinly sliced
1 tsp. minced ginger
1 tsp. salt
¼ tsp. turmeric
½ tsp. Curry Powder
½ tsp. Garam Masala Powder
¼ tsp. red chili powder/cayenne pepper powder (optional)
1 tsp lime juice or raw mango powder (available in Indian grocery stores)
1. Wash the okra and pat dry with a kitchen towel. Spread the okra on a paper towel-lined baking sheet to dry completely. The okra must be dry before it is cut.
2. Cut okra into medium thick slices.
3. Heat oil/ghee/butter on medium heat in a heavy skillet.
4. Add cumin seeds and let it sizzle.
5. Add onion and fry until it is lightly brown.
6. Add okra, minced ginger, and turmeric. Stir once and cook uncovered without stirring for about 2-3 minutes until the okra starts browning. Flip them carefully without stirring too much which may cause it to become slimy. You may see very few slimy strings developing which you can ignore. They'll disappear once the okra is well cooked and browned on all sides.
7. Add salt and all the other spices and cook for a couple more minutes until the okra is coated well with the spices and is slightly crisp.
8. Sprinkle the lime juice/mango powder and stir once. This adds a refreshing tanginess to the dish. Serve it hot as a side dish.
This dry fried okra goes very well with rice and Indian flat bread such as roti, chapatti, or paratha.
Dr. Gayatri Borthakur, a nutritionist turned entrepreneur, has a PhD in nutrition and a passion for delicious but healthy foods.