Blog Flux MapStats: Stats and Counter for Cooking For One Or Two

Saturday, October 22, 2005 

This Blog Is Moving - Last Time :D

I've finally launched my new cooking multiblog, Curry Elvis Cooks, which is a combination of my 4 older cooking blogs, as well as several new food, drink, and gardening categories. The homepage is not up yet, and the new blog's template will be changing slowly. I hope you'll bear with me.

By the way, I will be maintaining my 4 older cooking blogs for archive purposes only: Curry Elvis Cooks, Cooking For One Or Two, Chili Monster/Hot Head, Vegetarian Fusion.


curry elvis

Saturday, October 15, 2005 

Tidbits - Easy Kicked-Up Canned Soup

Hearth & Home Soup Mixes - Harry and DavidOkay, you don't have time to make your own soup right now, and you're tired of canned soup. But you've got a stock-pile of cans that you bought on sale. What do you do? Easy. Add a bit of pizzaz to your soup. I regularly add salt, black pepper, crushed red chile pepper flake, sesame oil, and Italian seasoning (any combination of dried parsley, basil, sage, rosemary, thyme). If you like mushrooms and have canned ones on hand, add a few slices. If you have some leftover boiled potatoes, make a small dice of one small potato and add that before heating. After you've heated your soup - either on the stove or in the microwave, for an incredible texture contrast, toss in some Middle-Eastern Salad. When your soup is ready, add a few tablespoons of this salad to your soup.

(c) Copyright 2005-present, Raj Kumar Dash,

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Friday, October 14, 2005 

Easy Salsa/Relish Recipe - Middle Eastern/ East Indian Salad

This isn't exactly a salad, it's more of a salsa/relish - but is sometimes referred to as Middle Eastern or East Indian salad. It's very easy to make, refreshing, and it works great as a garnish for curries, soups, and stews. The salt and parsley/cilantro enhances the flavour of tomatoes and onion.

  • 1 small, finely diced tomato
  • 1 small, finely diced onion
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped parsley/cilantro
  • 2 tbsp finely minced cucumber, skin on for color (unless you're using waxed cucumbers) [optional]
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • Crushed red chili flake or ground red pepper or paprika [optional]

  • Mix all of the ingredients in a bowl and let sit for a few minutes. The salt and pepper will bring out the flavour essence of the tomato and create an addictive sauce. Let the salsa sit for a few minutes, chilled, before serving.
  • As a variation, I sometimes liked to add a 1/2 tsp (or less) of finely ground cumin.

Use as a garnish in curries, soups, and stews, or add chunks of avocado and slivers of red onion and serve with nachos or "scoops" corn chips.

(c) Copyright 2005-present, Raj Kumar Dash,

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Wednesday, September 28, 2005 

Saving Money On Party Snacks - Savoury Grated Zuchinni Potato Mozarella Veggie Comfort Burgers

Mozzarella di Bufala - 200 GramI was watching Chef Emeril yesterday, pancake day, and he made fascinating looking Goat Cheese-Stuffed Zuchinni Pancakes. But while I don't mind goat cheese once in a while, I prefer the heavenly gooey chewiness of melted bocconcinni mozarella. So here's a more savoury, high-protein variation on Emeril's recipe using chickpea flour mixed with white flour, and both zuchinni and potato. Apologies for the inexact measurements. I also skipped the baking soda in Emeril's recipe, but if you want an airier texture, put 1 teaspoon.


  • 1/2 cup grated zuchinni, after wrapping in kitchen towel/ cheesecloth and squeezing out the water.
  • 1/2 cup grated potato. You can leave the skin on if you like, but it's probably better to remove it. To reduce cooking time, you can also add roughly-mashed cooled boiled potatoes (i.e., just potato, no cream, milk, etc.).
  • 3 canned shiitake (or other) mushrooms, finely minced.
  • 1/2 small onion, grated.
  • 1 tbsp Mom's secret garlic ginger paste.
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • Sprinkle of crushed red pepper flake [optional].
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup chickpea flour for protein. It's known as "besan" in East/West Indian and Pakistani stores, and gram flour in Italian and regular grocery stores. You can grind your own from dried chickpeas if you can't find the flour.
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2-3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 3-4 small (bocconcini) mozarella balls, sliced thinly but without falling apart. These are popular enough these days that any good cheese shop, Italian market, or even the deli counter at a large supermarket will have them. You can substitute bufffalo mozzarella, but it's more expensive. If you can't get either, regular grated or sliced mozarella will work as well.
  • In one bowl, combine all of the above ingredients down to the red pepper flake.
  • In another bowl, combine the flours then the egg. You want a fairly pasty consistency, so you may need to add a bit more water.
  • Now combine all of the ingredients together. With a large spoon, scoop up some mixture and see whether it'll fall off the spoon. If not, add 1-2 tbsp of water and mix.
  • Heat a skillet or non-stick frying pan on medium high with the olive oil and butter.
  • When the butter has melted, turn the heat down to medium high.
  • Cook in batches: Ladle a heaping tablespoonful of mixture into the hot oil, and dab it down to flatten into a disc. Place a slice of bocconcinni cheese in the center of the disc. Now ladle another spoonful of mixture on top to cover the cheese. Cook for 2-3 minutes, then flip over. Cook 2nd side for about 2 minutes. (Chickpea flour needs to be thoroughly cooked.) Repeat for each burger.

You can serve these pancake/burgrs like Emeril did, on a chunky tomato sauce or salsa, or with a dollop of sour cream, or with a slice of tomato on a burger bun.

(c) Copyright 2005-present, Raj Kumar Dash,

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Tuesday, September 27, 2005 

Saving Money On Party Snacks: Shiitake Onion Pakora/Tempura

When I've got a craving for a snack with a high mouth feel and belly satisfaction level, I like to have either Japanese-style tempura fritters or East Indian-style pakora fritters. But being the kind of foodie that I am, I always have to be different and try something hybrid. I lucked out one day with a great snack combo: shiitake onion pakura (pakora/tempura). They're easy to make, but do require a deep fryer and hot oil for best results. If you prefer, you can use a heavy cast iron frying pan and shallow fry the fritters. However, they will be denser, so you won't get the light, fluffy but crispy texture

  • 4 parts besan (chickpea flour). You can find besan in East/West Indian and Pakistani markets. If you cannot find besan, grind up dried chickpeas in a coffee/spice grinder.
  • 1 part tapioca starch or tempura mix (preferred).
  • Salt + pepper to taste.
  • Red pepper flake [optional].
  • 1-2 parts water. The amount of water will vary. You want to form a paste that's not too runny. It has to be able to bind the mushroom and onion filling.
  • 1 small onion, sliced into thin slivers and pieces separated.
  • 4-8 canned shiitake mushrooms, sliced very thinly.

  • Mix dry ingredients thoroughly with a spoon or fork.
  • Slowly add water until a paste, slightly thicker than pancake batter, starts to form.
  • Add the sliced onion and shiitakes and mix thoroughly.
  • Heat oil in some safe (heavy) pot or deep fryer.
  • Carefully drop in spoonfuls of batter.
  • Fry 2-3 minutes one side, then turn over fritters using a slotted spoon and fry 1-2 minutes on the other. While the fritters should be golden brown, keep in mind that chickpea flour is very high in protein, burns easily, and stinks when it does so. If possible, try to remove the tiny balls of loose fried batter as soon as they are cooked or they will burn. If you are using a deep fryer, this might be a bit difficult. It's recommended that you fry the fritters in a heavy stockpot. The alternative is to not make the batter too watery. This means you have to cook the fritters a bit longer, as they will be thicker.
  • Drain on paper towel (kitchen paper).

Serve with a mixture of hot and/or sweet sauces, including chutneys, sambal oelek, sriracha, plum sauce, sour cream, or onion dip.

(c) Copyright 2005-present, Raj Kumar Dash,

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About me

  • I'm blogslinger
  • From Canada
  • Writer, author, former magazine editor and publisher, amateur photog, amateur composer, online writer/ blogger, online publisher, freelancer

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