Food & Culture

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SUMMER BRINGS RIPE FRUIT!  HERE ARE SOME QUICK SNACK IDEAS…. IT’LL TAKE YOU LESS THEN A MINUTE TO MAKE!!

My aunt taught me, cut up fruit, preferably strawberries, and glaze them with splenda or sugar…. Refrigerate the sweetened fruit.  Voila!  Refreshing glazed strawberries… Bear in mind, the glaze is not at all thick… The “strawberries” taste fresh,cold and sweet, perfect for the summer.

The Background on Abu’s Thanksgiving Cranberry Sauce:

Abu creates a special cranberry sauce every year. Jubilantly, he attends to his Thanksgiving mission.  He embraces the 20 minutes amidst the frenzy to tranquilly stir his sauce.  The end result,  is a rich combination of sweet, spicy and sour.  Completing his masterpiece he tests and shares the sauce.  My first taste of this sauce puts me in a euphoric state.  Closing my eyes, I focus on the sweet, spicy, and sour ingredients.

Abu present’s God’s gift of life in such an aesthetically pleasing manner.  This delightful dish, makes everything in Thanksgiving taste good.  It ties the turkey, bread, and mash-potatoes together; and yet, it combines conflicting components; and that’s what makes life beautiful; you can’t appreciate the sweet without the sour; and you can’t appreciate the sour without the sweet.  C’est la vie!

This Thanksgiving, have yourself some of Abu’s Cranberry Sauce:

1. Brown onions.

2. Mix in garlic and ginger, with a little bit of Red Chili/Cumin spice.

3.  Add in Crushed or Churned Cranberries.  Instead of crushing fresh cranberries, do yourself a favor and purchase canned cranberry sauce.

4. Peacefully stir

Aloo (Potato) Paratha (Pakistani/Indian flat bread):

Ingredients:

  • 5 medium-sized boiled, peeled and well mashed potatoes
  • 2 tsps coriander powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 3 tbsps finely chopped coriander leaves
  • 2″ piece of fresh ginger grated fine
  • 2 cups whole-wheat flour
  • 2 tbsps vegetable, sunflower or canola oil
  • Water to mix

Preparation:

  • Put the mashed potatoes, coriander and cumin powders, cumin seeds, turmeric, chilli powder, salt to taste, chopped fresh coriander and grated ginger into a large mixing bowl. Blend all ingredients well by stirring. Once well mixed, keep aside for later.
  • Put the flour, oil/ghee and all the ingredients (except the water) into a large mixing bowl.
  • Rub together to form a crumbly mix.
  • Now slowly add water, a little at a time and knead well to make a smooth, pliable dough. Cover and set aside for an hour.
  • Divide the dough into golf ball-sized portions and roll between your hands till they are smooth and without cracks.
  • Very lightly flour a rolling board or clean counter surface and roll each ball into a 5″ circle. Now take a tablespoon-full of the potato mix and spoon it into the centre of the circle you just made. Slowly lift the edges and bring together in the center to form a pouch. Press the ends together tightly to close the pouch. Once sealed, press down gently to flatten so that you have a flattened pouch.
  • Lightly flour your rolling surface and roll this pouch into a 7-8″ circle. Don’t worry too much if the filling oozes out. This happens often but can be avoided by using a very light hand to roll out the paratha. Just gather up the filling and either keep aside or try to put it back into the paratha and pinch the dough to seal. Also if you’re just starting out with Aaloo Parathas, do not worry about getting the perfect round shape as it takes a little practice to achieve. Whatever the shape, it tastes just as good! For convenience roll out as many parathas as you like, stacking them, ready to cook with a layer of cling film between each paratha.
  • Heat a griddle and fry the parathas one at a time like this: Put a paratha on the griddle. Do the first flip when you see tiny bubbles rise on the surface of the paratha. As soon as the first flip is done, drizzle a bit of oil on the top and spread well over the surface of the paratha. Flip again in 30 seconds and drizzle oil on this surface too. The paratha is done when both sides are crispy and golden brown.
  • Serve with chilled yogurt and your favourite pickle or chutney.

10 minute Middle Eastern/ Mediternanean snack:

HUMMUS!

Ingredients

  • 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons of Olive oil… Use your base judgment of how much is needed (depending on how many chickpeas you are using and how liquidy you want the Hummus.
  • 1/8 teaspoon of red chilie/ or any other spic
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Optional:  Mint leaves, tahini sauce, basil, etc.

Grind the chickpeas.  Include the oil, salt, garlic, and lemon juice as you grind the chickpeas…. Voila!

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