Galette-Saucisse with a curry twist + Tandoori Spiced Seeds

galettearvindas1.jpg

Game day foods! In the spirit of today's 2018 FIFA World Cup final I thought it would be fitting to prepare snacks that are culturally appropriate to the two remaining teams, of course with a sprinkle of some Indian spices for good measure (and for good flavour!). And around here, we're all about flavour.

I don't know too much about football, but what I do know is I'm very much into food! And on days like these, the most fun for me is to pick a favourite team, 'become a fan' and to jump-on-the-bandwagon if you will...albeit on the last day! A part of getting into the spirit is definitely the food. And everything always seems to come back to the food! :)

I was looking to see what foods are enjoyed at soccer games in different countries and came across this list of "What do Europe's football fans eat?" and discovered Galette-Saucisse for the first time. Galette-Saucisse is a common street food eaten in France, consisting of a pork sausage wrapped in a Breton galette, a warm or cold buckwheat crepe. There is cheese inside and it's served with mustard. It's a perfect hand-held food for a game.

I made my version with a vegan sausage and added Arvinda's Curry Powder to both my crepe batter and mixed it into the mustard, taking a subtle hint from the German tradition of currywurst. I added optional fillings for more flavour including red onion, green chili and cilantro. For a traditionalist, this may be a bit overboard but I tend to always opt for more flavour. Tasting this for the first time, I was impressed how delicious it was considering its simplicity.

I have to support the Croatian team too! :) I made a really quick snack of Tandoori Spiced Sunflower Seeds with Lime. Incredibly addictive and offering some good sustenance for a 90-minute game, I can see why this is a popular snack to eat at a soccer match in Croatia, or anywhere in the world for that matter.

These seeds are an amazing topper on any salad or delicious sprinkled on top of warm steamed vegetables, so keep that in mind too and consider making a double batch!

Now that the food is sorted out, cheers to both teams - and may the best one win!


GALETTE-SAUCISSE with a CURRY TWIST

Method of Preparation:

1) In a medium bowl whisk crepe ingredients together. Refrigerate for one hour.

2) Heat a non-stick skillet on medium-high. Add butter (or oil) and 1/2 cup of batter. Swirl batter around skillet to create a round crepe with even thickness. Cook until golden brown on both sides. Continue with remaining batter.

3) Mix ARVINDA'S CURRY POWDER into mustard.

4) To assemble, place sausage in crepe, top with cheese, red onion, green chili and cilantro, and drizzle with curried mustard. Roll and enjoy!

Yield = 12-14 crepes

Ingredients:

1 CUP buckwheat or soft whole wheat flour
1/4 CUP rice flour
2 CUP whole milk
2 eggs
1 TSP. salt
1 TSP. ARVINDA'S CURRY POWDER

6-8 sausages, cooked
1 CUP grated cheese (of your choice)
1 small red onion, finely chopped (optional)
1 small green chili, finely chopped (optional)
1 TBSP. cilantro, finely chopped (optional)
1/4 CUP mustard
3/4 TSP. ARVINDA'S CURRY POWDER
 


TANDOORI SPICED SUNFLOWER SEEDS

Method of Preparation:

1) In a large skillet, heat oil on medium-high heat. Blend in ARVINDA'S TANDOORI MASALA.

2) Add sunflower seeds and gently fold in with spices. Garnish with a squeeze of lime.

Ingredients:

4 CUP sunflower seeds, slightly roasted
1 TBSP. oil
1 TBSP. ARVINDA'S TANDOORI MASALA
1 lime wedge

 

Bombay Shake Black Pepper Potato Chaat with Cucumber Lavender Raita

Arvinda's_LavenderFestival5.jpg

This coming weekend, Arvinda's will be at the NEOB Lavender Festival, July 7 & 8 in beautiful Niagara-On-The-Lake which we're always excited about! So picturesque and beautiful, I find it surreal to be situated right on the lavender fields, surrounded by enchanted rows of lavender bushes with their sweet and calming aromas. I should also mention, the scenery makes for a endearing photo op too! :)

Arvinda's_LavenderFestival6.jpg

Every year for the last few years, I've been invited to do an Indian cooking demonstration at the festival tent, cooking with Arvinda's masalas. In traditional Indian cooking, the art of creating a curry from scratch all lies in the use of the spices--when to add them in, how much quantity to use and knowing how all the flavours balance together. Similarly when cooking and baking with lavender, it's important not to overflavour the dish but rather offer a subtle hint of the taste to balance out with all the other ingredients. I certainly learnt this the hard way!

Since coming to the NEOB Lavender Festival a few years ago, I started cooking with lavender and pairing it in my Indian dishes and realized one too many drops of culinary lavender can potentially ruin the whole dish! But when in balance, it's beautiful and with one bite you feel as though you're tasting Provence.

Now you may think lavender paired with Indian spices is a little bit off beat. Yes, definitely unusual. But it's quite surprisingly refreshing, unexpected and delicious. The flavour of lavender actually works incredibly well in certain Indian recipes, if subtle and used delicately.

This year, I'm repeating the same appetizer-snack I made last year (Bombay Shake Black Pepper Potato Chick Pea Chaat with Cucumber Lavender Raita), only because we received a ton of emails post show, requesting the recipe. My sincere apologies to all who asked for the recipe, so here it is and I'll be demonstrating it again for anyone who missed it last year.

Chaat is an Indian snack food or common appetizer eaten in all parts of India. The word chaat, literally means 'to lick' and this fresh snack food is delicious, spicy and fresh. Lick-worthy too, might I add! :)

There are many ways to make Chaat, but typically there is a base of boiled potatoes and chick peas. For my recipe, I like to spice up the potatoes with Bombay Shake Black Pepper for a lot of flavour. Then I mix in boiled chick peas and garnish with red onion, cilantro and Sev, crunchy deep-fried lentil noodles, an Indian snack food. You can buy Sev from any grocery store that sells Indian food products. It adds a wonderful crunch and texture for every bite and I would say it's worthwhile to seek it out.

Finally garnish with Cucumber Lavender Raita, a cooling yogurt condiment. Different and deliciously good, I hope you will come to the NEOB Lavender Festival this weekend and come by the demo too on either Saturday and Sunday. Hope to see you there! :)


BOMBAY SHAKE BLACK PEPPER POTATO CHAAT with CUCUMBER LAVENDER RAITA

Method of Preparation:

1) In a medium skillet, heat oil on medium-high. Add BOMBAY SHAKE BLACK PEPPER and blend with oil. Add parboiled potatoes and gently fold to coat well. Pan-fry until potatoes are cooked and crispy. Fold in chick peas and add salt to taste. Set aside to cool.

2) In a medium bowl mix together all ingredients for raita.

3) To serve, add potato chick pea mixture to a small bowl or plate. Garnish with sev, red onion and cilantro. Drizzle on Cucumber Lavender Raita. Serves 3-4.

Ingredients:

2-3 medium potatoes, peeled, cubed and parboiled
2 TSP. oil
2 TSP. BOMBAY SHAKE BLACK PEPPER
1 CUP chick peas, cooked
sea salt, to taste
1/4 CUP Sev, to garnish
1/4 CUP red onion, finely chopped, to garnish
1/4 CUP cilantro, finely chopped, to garnish

CUCUMBER LAVENDER RAITA
1/2 CUP thick plain yogurt
1/2 CUP English cucumber, grated
1/2 TSP. ARVINDA'S MADRAS MASALA
1
drop NEOB culinary lavender
sea salt, to taste

Arvinda's_LavenderFestival1.jpg

Tandoori Mapled Almonds

Arvinda'sTandooriMapledAlmonds3.jpg

Earlier this week as we "officially" transitioned into summer, I was thinking about satiating and healthy snacks to pack for long drives and day trips, something to stash in my purse for when I'm out and about or a nice bite to bring out for a gourmet picnic spread.

Always thinking about flavour, I selected Arvinda's Tandoori Masala because it pairs nicely with maple syrup. Whether on vegetables, tofu, paneer or salmon, Arvinda's Tandoori Masala makes a wonderful glazy marinade when mixed with maple syrup. And with Canada Day weekend upon us I'm definitely thinking 'everything maple'! 

You can also set these out in a small bowls when entertaining as a side nibbler alongside drinks on the patio. They go terribly well with a cold drink, maybe because they hit the notes of sweet, spicy and salty all in one bite. I suggest making one batch of cashews and one batch of almonds, just to mix up the textures.

I made a triple batch of these Tandoori Mapled Almonds. Store in an airtight container.  


TANDOORI MAPLED ALMONDS

Method of Preparation:

1) Preheat oven to 250F.

2) In a heavy bottom skillet, heat almonds on medium heat for a few minutes until gently toasted. Remove and set aside.

2) In the same skillet add pure maple syrup and blend in ARVINDA'S TANDOORI MASALA. Fold in almonds and sprinkle on tamari. Mix. 

3) Place coated almonds on a baking sheet and toast in oven for 15 minutes. Remove and cool before serving.

Ingredients:

1 CUP raw almonds (or raw cashews)
2 TBSP. pure maple syrup
1 TBSP. ARVINDA'S TANDOORI MASALA
1/2 TSP.
tamari

Happy Canada Day!

Tandoori Spiced Tofu on Greens with Grilling Vegetables

Arvinda'sTandooriTofu.jpg

If you've wanted to season tofu with a lot of flavour, try Arvinda's Tandoori Masala! Fantastic as a grilling marinade, all it takes is a bit of oil, add some sea salt to taste and mix in the masala. Rub onto extra-firm tofu (organic preferred) with a splash of lemon or lime juice for a touch of brightness and allow to sit in the refrigerator for at least an hour, if not for 2-3 hours. 

What I like about summer cooking is it's fresh, easy, flavourful and can be made in a pinch when you're looking for a quick meal. Bake in the oven, grill on the barbeque or even fry it in the skillet for the quickest method.

When done, it tops well on top of salad greens for a light lunch or stuff into a pita pocket with onions and tomatoes.

Honestly, it can be eaten on its own especially when fried up in the skillet! Be sure to cook well until the edges are crispy and golden, which makes the tofu even more delectable I would say. 


TANDOORI SPICED TOFU with GRILLING VEGETABLES

Method of Preparation:

1) In a medium bowl, add oil, ARVINDA'S TANDOORI MASALA, salt and lemon or lime juice. Mix. 

2) Fold in tofu and vegetables to marinate. Toss well and refrigerate for one hour.

3) Thread on soaked bamboo skewers. 

4) Cook on barbeque or bake in 400F oven for 15 minutes, turning over halfway through.

Ingredients:

350G tofu, cubed
1 red bell pepper, cubed
1 yellow bell pepper, cubed
1 small zucchinni, cubed
1/2 medium onion, cubed
6-8 bamboo skewers, soaked in water

MARINADE:
2 TSP. oil
2 TSP. ARVINDA'S TANDOORI MASALA
1/2 TSP. salt, or to taste
1/2 TSP. lemon or lime juice

Tandoori Spiced Cauliflower "Steaks" with Cashews & Creamy Makhani Sauce

I often make Makhani Paneer, a vegetarian version of the popular dish Butter Chicken which tends to be a 'treat' reserved for a special meal.

I realized the Creamy Makhani Sauce could be drizzled on any steamed or roasted vegetables for a decadently, delicious veggie main that's both filling and satisfying because of all the fibre content vegetables possess. 

For this recipe, I cut the cauliflower into "steaks" or thick slices and rubbed on Arvinda's Tandoori Masala with olive oil. It's optional, but you can add a squirt of lemon on the cauliflower before baking it. 

Add for the garnish, coarsely chopped cashews add a nice crunch and texture, elevating this main to a five star level!


TANDOORI SPICED CAULIFLOWER "STEAKS" with CASHEWS & CREAMY MAKHANI SAUCE

Method of Preparation:

1) Preheat oven to 425F. Mix olive oil with ARVINDA'S TANDOORI MASALA. Brush onto cauliflower on both sides and place on a baking sheet. Bake in oven for 20 minutes. Flip over and bake for another 10 minutes. Remove from oven to slightly cool.

2) CREAMY MAKHANI SAUCE: Heat oil on medium-high heat. Stir in crushed tomatoes and sift in chick pea flour. Whisk to create a smooth paste. Add ARVINDA'S BUTTER CHICKEN MASALA, sea salt and sugar. Stir and cook for a couple of minutes.

3) Stir in cream and thin out with water to desired consistency (if required).

4) Arrange cauliflower on plate and drizzle on Creamy Makhani Sauce. Garnish with cilantro and cashews.

Ingredients:
1 cauliflower head, trimmed and cut into "steaks" (slices)
2 TBSP. olive oil
1 TBSP. ARVINDA'S TANDOORI MASALA
sea salt, to garnish
1 TBSP. cilantro, to garnish
2 TBSP. raw cashews, coarsely chopped

CREAMY MAKHANI SAUCE:
1 TBSP. oil
¼ CUP crushed tomatoes
2 TBSP. chick pea flour
2 TSP. ARVINDA'S BUTTER CHICKEN MASALA        
½ TSP. sea salt
1 TSP. sugar
¼ CUP half-and-half cream
½ CUP water (optional)

Chocolate Chai Spiced Tear Away Bread

ArvindasChaiBread7.jpg

This week I came across a fantastic recipe from delicious. magazine that was too good to pass up. After trying it out, I realized it's a keeper. Easy, delicious and straightforward this is one recipe that will make it out on Easter weekend and many more holidays to come.

I made a few tweaks to the recipe, mainly by substituting Arvinda's Chai Masala for the cardamom, as the blend itself is predominately cardamom in addition to other warming spices like ginger and cinnamon. I omitted the dulce de leche to avoid it being too sticky-sweet, so it could pair nicely with a cup of Masala Chai. Masala Chai is most often served with something savoury like Kale Onion Pakoras so when pairing it with a dessert, choose something less sweet for balance.  

I ended up baking this in a bundt pan for a round presentation, which I thought gives it a bit of a special feel for a holiday brunch. I subbed in some whole wheat flour for the all-purpose flour and added milk chocolate in with the 70% cocoa dark chocolate so you get bites of both throughout the loaf. 


CHOCOLATE CHAI SPICED TEAR AWAY BREAD

Recipe adapted from delicious. magazine

Method of Preparation:

1) In a small bowl, mix warm milk with sugar and quick-rise yeast. Stir to mix well. 

2) In a large mixing bowl combine all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, ARVINDA'S CHAI MASALA and sea salt. Fold in milk mixture and whisked egg. Knead until combined. Cover bowl completely and set aside for one hour until yeast activates.

3) Oil a bundt pan (or loaf pan). Preheat oven to 35oF.

4) Knead dough and roll into golf-sized balls and placed in bundt pan, spacing them apart. Sprinkle in chocolate.

5) Bake in centre of the oven for 30 minutes. Remove from oven, cover with foil and continue baking for another 15 minutes. Cool and serve with butter and a cup of Masala Chai.

Ingredients:
1¼ CUP warm milk
2 TBSP. sugar
1 TSP. quick-rise yeast  
225G all-purpose flour
225G whole wheat flour
1 TBSP. ARVINDA'S CHAI MASALA
1½ TSP. sea salt
1 egg, whisked
100G 70% dark chocolate chunks
1 TBSP. oil

ArvindasChaiBread5.jpg

Kale Onion Pakoras (gluten-free & vegan)

Arvinda'sKalePakoras5.jpg

I'm not quite sure why one would buy frozen Pakoras when you can easily make them in less than 20 minutes! You heard me right. 20 minutes (or less!).

The ingredients are simple and you may already have them in your pantry. All that's required is a mixing bowl, then add the dry ingredients, kale and onion and a bit of water to create a thick batter, then shallow deep-fry...and voila, you have steamy hot Pakoras ready to be eaten, hot on the spot!

This is the only way to eat them in my opinion. Hot. Fresh. And right out of the fryer!

If you're looking for something to pair with your beer this St. Paddy's Day, this is your shortcut to something mouthwatering, homemade and loaded with flavour. And the bonus is that it's quite beautifully green too!


KALE ONION PAKORAS

Method of Preparation:

1) In a mixing bowl add chick pea flour, ARVINDA'S CURRY MASALA, sea salt, fennel seeds from ARVINDA'S ESSENTIAL WHOLE SPICES KIT and baking soda. Whisk together to get rid of any lumps.

2) Add water to create a smooth batter. Mix in onion, kale and cilantro (optional). 

3) Line a plate with paper towel and set aside. Heat 1 cup of oil for frying in a small wok or deep frying pan on medium-high heat. Fry pakoras a few at a time for a few minutes, turning to cook evenly until golden brown in colour. Drain on paper towel and serve hot.

Yield = 12-14 medium sized pakoras.

Ingredients:
1 CUP chick pea flour, sifted
2 TSP. ARVINDA'S CURRY MASALA
½ TSP. sea salt
¼ TSP. fennel seeds from ARVINDA'S  ESSENTIAL WHOLE SPICES KIT
¼ TSP. baking soda
¼ CUP water, add extra 1 TBSP. if necessary
1 CUP green kale, finely chopped
½ small onion, finely chopped
2 TBSP. cilantro, finely chopped (optional)

 

 

 


These Kale Onion Pakoras also serve well with a cup of Masala Chai. Enjoy and wishing you much luck on this St. Patrick's Day! :)

Tandoori Spiced Taro Root "Fries"

Taro4.jpg

Recently, I've been hooked on taro root. Upon most of my visits to the Asian supermarket, the humble root always seems to make it into my shopping basket. Maybe that's because there's always such a large display in the produce section being a conspicuous root itself -- and large in size and hard to miss, it raises a certain level of curiosity. It's a 'curious' vegetable one could say!

As I was rummaging through the taro root pile in the Asian store last week, a curious woman asked me why I was buying it (meaning, what was I planning on doing with it!). She didn't know what it was or how to cook with it, so I explained I was making taro 'fries", cooking it just like a potato.

I actually didn't realize taro root is native to India (and parts of Southeast Asia), but recall seeing it in the markets in South India, as pictured below. Taro has a beautiful nutty flavour, a soft, creamy texture and takes in flavour quite nicely. I selected Arvinda's Tandoori Masala to add a bite of heat and fantastic spice flavour.

I discovered the taro root is high in fiber, lowers blood sugar levels and is high in vitamin C. Prepare the taro root by peeling it, chopping it and boiling it - just like a potato! Easy.

Arvinda'sIndiaMarket.jpg

TANDOORI SPICED TARO ROOT "FRIES"

Ingredients:
1 LB. taro root, cooked and julienned
1-2 TBSP. oil
1 TSBP. ARVINDA'S TANDOORI MASALA
2 TBSP. cilantro, finely chopped, to garnish
sea salt, to garnish

 

Method of Preparation:

1) Heat oil on medium-high heat. Add ARVINDA'S TANDOORI MASALA and blend well.

2) Add cooked taro "fries", coat well and cook for a few minutes until crispy.

3) Garnish with cilantro and sea salt.

Curried Coconut Cashew Popcorn

Arvinda'sCurriedPopcorn2.jpg

I was flipping through the channels earlier this week and caught a segment of MasterChef Canada winner Chef Mary Berg cooking up some DIY Oscar party popcorn recipes and stopped in my tracks when I heard the word curry

The recipe that caught my attention was a Curried Cashew Popcorn which is a clever tropical-ish sweet and salty popcorn recipe that had me saying, 'I HAVE to make this!' And so I did.

This recipe is a little different than our Indian Spiced Popcorn recipe which has a bit more heat and no sweetness.

So easy to make, this is a popcorn flavour for the one who likes a depth of flavour, nuttiness and texture from the cashews and the salty-sweet combo. Best of all, there's a load of health beneficial spices especially from the turmeric found in the curry powder! Isn't that a bonus?!

I slightly changed the recipe as I added some of Arvinda's Garam Masala for some extra aromatic spices, so if that's available in your pantry you can add that in. I also added more Arvinda's Curry Powder to amp up the flavour. And lastly, I added a bit of coconut for some extra texture and flavour and used coconut oil as my choice of fat.

Arvinda'sCurriedPopcorn4.jpg

CURRIED COCONUT CASHEW POPCORN

Recipe adapted from (Marilyn Dennis Show): Chef Mary Berg

Method of Preparation:

1) In a small saucepan, melt coconut oil on medium-low heat. Stir in honey until smooth.

2) Place popcorn in a large bowl. Pour over coconut oil and honey mixture. Toss well.

3) Sprinkle in ARVINDA'S CURRY POWDER, sea salt, ARVINDA'S GARAM MASALA and cashews. Toss well and garnish with coconut. Enjoy!

Ingredients:
1/3 CUP popcorn kernals, popped
2 TBSP. coconut oil
1 TBSP. honey
1 TBSP. ARVINDA'S CURRY POWDER
1/2 TSP. sea salt
1/4 TSP. ARVINDA'S GARAM MASALA (optional)
1/2 CUP cashew halves, gently toasted
1/8 CUP unsweetened shredded coconut, to garnish

Enjoy the 2018 Oscars. My money's on Dunkirk! ;)