jadegirl: (Default)
[personal profile] jadegirl
Being alone most of the time now has inspired me to learn to cook. I'd never really learned how before, at least not anything I regarded as particularly interesting, although when I was 16-17 I was making Beef Stroganoff, sweet-and-sour chicken, and sweet potato pancakes for my SO at the time. The recipes were from a Betty Crocker cookbook, and full of horrifying ingredients like canned cream soups. Edible stuff, but not much more than that. On the other hand, my god can I bake. Breads, pies, intricate pastries, hell, even puff pastry - I've done it all. I can whip up a mouthwatering gingerbread that will scent the whole place in ten minutes, while sitting on the kitchen floor (Sir needed the counters, and we were multitasking.). Since he's always liked cooking, and is quite excellent at it, I never bothered to do anything else, since for some reason while baking is an absolute pleasure, cooking has always seemed like drudgery to me.

I've embraced my cooking related laziness, and made nothing but Indian dishes so far. It's my favorite cuisine, and so much of it is one pot, making enough for plenty of leftovers, so I can cook once a week, and feed myself well every day, limiting both kitchen time and cleanup. Enter Manjula's Kitchen. I'd be *lost* without this website. Not only are the recipes clear and simple, each one has a video where Manjula guides you through the entire process, like a cooking show without the chatter. Some people might have some searching to do to get some of the spices, depending on where you live, but I'm quite lucky to have a market three blocks away that caters to our local Bangladeshi population.

Today was Spicy Squash. OMG. I had to fudge a little, since I couldn't get mango powder or fenugreek, so I substituted mango pickle, which has green mango, fenugreek, cumin, and chili, and dropped back on the chilis in the recipe. Not hard, since it's way spicy already - this recipe calls for 4 whole chilis and a teaspoon of chili powder. It's *so* good. Seriously, best thing I've ever cooked for myself.

There's a *ton* of other recipes, including breads and desserts. When I have someone to cook for I'll try a bread, but for now I'm doing one new main dish a week.


Date: 2009-10-21 11:34 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] yarnyoga.livejournal.com
I've bookmarked that website. Yum!!!

Date: 2009-10-21 11:36 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] chelseagirl.livejournal.com
Thanks for the link -- looks great! Indian is pretty much my favorite cuisine, and while I'm not vegetarian anymore, I'll cheerfully do without meat much of the time . . .

We were going to have lunch or tea sometime, yes? This semester just got crazy. Mondays work for either; Tuesdays for lunch. The rest of the week I just have an hour lunch break so probably not worth your while . . . Next week I'm getting job applications out (most of the deadlines are 11/1) but anytime after that.

Date: 2009-10-21 11:51 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jadegirl.livejournal.com
Lunch or tea sound great. I'd only be available on Monday the week after next, since the following weekend is Faeriecon. Let me know if that would be good for you, and we'll figure out a where/when.

Date: 2009-10-21 11:41 pm (UTC)
liana: Teaberry plant in snow (Default)
From: [personal profile] liana
Oooh, that sounds awfully tasty! I'd probably have to cut way back on the chili, though.

Date: 2009-10-21 11:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jadegirl.livejournal.com
She does *not* mess around with the spice levels, it's hotter than just about any Indian restaurant I've ever been to.

Next time I'm going to use butternut squash, I used acorn this time and having to hammer the cleaver through 4 squash and then peel them was a little too much like work for me.

Date: 2009-10-21 11:59 pm (UTC)
liana: Teaberry plant in snow (Default)
From: [personal profile] liana
I bet that would be lovely with butternut squash.

Hm. I'm not used to thinking of squash as work, since I always make it the easy way: Chop in half, place halves face down in baking dish with 1/4" of water, cover, bake. (Seed scooping may be done either before cooking or after, whichever is easier for you.) When soft, season and serve. Or scoop, mash, season and serve.

My mouth is watering

Date: 2009-10-22 01:05 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] salsuginous.livejournal.com
That recipe sounds SO GOOD. I'll definitely have to cook it up this weekend. (If I can get over my loathing of peeling squash).

Thanks for the link! I loves me some Indian food!

Flatbreads are actually pretty easy. I haven't tried to stuff any of them yet, but I've had a lot of success with chapti and naan.

Re: My mouth is watering

Date: 2009-10-22 05:58 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jadegirl.livejournal.com
Heh. The reason I'll probably only make naan if someone else is around is that without anyone keeping me honest, I'd eat the whole recipe's worth, and nothing else.

Mmmmm. Garlic naan. Nomnomnom.

Date: 2009-10-22 05:06 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] littleblueworld.livejournal.com
I love--and by love, I mean am addicted to--mango pickle. Did you make it or buy it?

Date: 2009-10-22 05:17 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jadegirl.livejournal.com
*laughs* I know what you mean - I'll eat garlic pickle with a spoon! I buy mine at a local market, the Mahya brand is what's common here. It was a very good addition to this dish!

Date: 2009-10-22 05:19 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] littleblueworld.livejournal.com
I need to move to New York. Or, India.

Date: 2009-10-22 05:25 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jadegirl.livejournal.com
I strongly advise moving to New York. Sushi delivered to your door, and Indian groceries. Also, we can buy beer at the supermarket (being from Philadelphia, this is luxury untold). What more does a girl need? :)

Date: 2009-10-22 05:43 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] littleblueworld.livejournal.com
We can buy beer at the supermarkets in Atlanta, but not liquor, which we could do in Phoenix.

I can get sushi delivered, but not good sushi. Speaking of which, the best sushi chef in Atlanta left us and opened a place in New York. His name is Soto. I should find the name of his restaurant for you. He is amazing.

Date: 2009-10-22 05:54 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jadegirl.livejournal.com
Yes, please! Back in Chicago we got to know a fantastic sushi chef - we wouldn't order, he'd just make whatever he wanted, as long as we kept the beers coming. OMG, so good. I haven't fell for a sushi chef since.

Date: 2009-10-22 06:10 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] littleblueworld.livejournal.com
Oh! His place is called Soto, just like in Atlanta:


357 Sixth Ave., New York, NY 10014
nr. Washington Pl.

Date: 2009-10-22 09:37 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] silme.livejournal.com
I've bookmarked the website -- thanks for the link. :) (One thing about living in England, even in a small town -- it's easy to find these spices. :)
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